If you are of the mindset that we are living in the “last days”, your doctrine concerning the timing of the rapture will have a bearing on what you expect to happen in the near future. For those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture whereby believers will be removed from the earth prior to the tribulation, recognizing that identifying the antichrist is little more than an entertaining intellectual exercise.
Escape – or not?
This belief system provides a means of escape from the “son of perdition” (2 Thess.2:3). On the other hand, those who believe in either a mid-tribulation rapture or a post-tribulation rapture (a/k/a pre-wrath rapture that places this event prior to the Day of the Lord, or the Day of Wrath) are much more concerned about the arrival of the antichrist on the scene, since they expect to be living under his reign – at least to some extent. While all of these doctrines can produce proof texts to support their belief systems, only one will prove to be true. And time will be the ultimate judge on the veracity of which doctrine prevails.
This writing will address the possible effect of a Trump presidency on end time prophecies. For those who believe that Christians will live through at least some of the tribulation era, any major political figure should be suspect – especially one who is the leader of the free world. So before presenting the possibilities as I see them, let me make a few things clear.
First, I voted for Donald Trump and I would again. I simply believe(d) that he was(is) the best person for the job, and I am very excited about how he will restore much of our Constitutional Republic. Second: I also believe that the antichrist will be virtually impossible to identify for the first 3 1/2 years of his reign – a time that would approximately bring us to the end of one presidential term. Whether the antichrist is always a malevolent personality disguising himself as an angel of light or experiences an occurrence that dramatically changes him will not be known until after the occurrence (or after the 3 1/2 year cycle) is fulfilled. Therefore, speculation about who he is may be feudal – except for recognizing his abilities to fulfill his destiny.
Is Trump the antichrist?
All that being said, there is no one more qualified to fulfill the tasks associated with the antichrist than Donald J. Trump. Scripture tells us that he will initially be known as a friend to Israel, and that he will broker a seven-year peace treaty between them and their enemies. Of course, half way through, he will change. We are further told that he will implement a world monetary system, known as the “mark of the beast” which will be accompanied by an identification number of 666. This accomplishment will require that he is familiar with world banking and how monetary systems work.
Many believe this number will actually consist of the numbers 666. However, it is possible that the three sixes represent three sets of six numbers equaling a total of 18 numbers, or two times our social security numbers, which will create a credit and debit system that will eliminate theft, fraud, and money laundering. Such a system would look wonderful to the world and paint rebellious Christians as criminals. It should also be noted that in order for the world to willing comply with such a monetary system, it is likely that a worldwide financial collapse would precede the acceptance of such a plan. This is one scenario.
Or perhaps the restrainer?
Another option under the pre-trib scenario is that Trump is not the antichrist and that the reprieve he has ushered in will delay the tribulation. Of course, if he is, it will not matter to those that escape the second half of his rule.
Or does Trump protect believers from the antichrist?
The next scenario is substantially different and paints Trumps in quite a different light. Trump can indeed bear the banner of constitutional restoration that we all hope he will preside over – and it can be a prophetic fulfillment as well. This belief system is not as depressing or as frightening as it might seem on the surface, for it also provides for the protection of the pre-tribulation saints in a remarkable way. The proof verses that support this doctrine are primarily Rev. 9:3-4, Rev. 3:10, and Eze. 9:3-6. These verses tell us that God has provided a means of protecting His children from harm during the tribulation.
It needs to be clear that this mark of protection and place of refuge is only provided for believers who exist prior to the tribulation and specifically those “who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done…” They will be protected as Lot was protected from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as Noah and his family were protected from the Flood, and as the people of Goshen were protected from the plagues of Egypt. While it can be argued that this protection includes being raptured from the earth, it can also be argued that this included protection for God’s children while on earth. The aforementioned verses in Ezekiel provide the best explanation to support the latter.
An open door that none can shut
Trump’s role in the above scenario can be to simply ensure that the Church of Philadelphia (strange and coincidental name for this church considering it is the city were our nation was birthed), remains a place of refuge for God’s elect. In spite of all the best laid plans of God’s adversary, God knows how to protect His own. So whether that protection will include a pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib rapture, time will serve as the best judge. As for me, I am hoping and praying that our 45th president will be the man of God’s choosing and not that of our adversary’s. After all, the Scripture does say that we will be raptured “at the last trump” (1Cor. 15:51-52) – perhaps that is another strange coincidence or perhaps not.
Reprint from The Daily Rant, copyright 2017 Mychal Massie, by permission.
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