Here we go again! It seems that each time there is talk of peace in the Middle East, social media (vastly among Christians) lights up with questions or accusations that Donald Trump is the Antichrist. Let’s get this straight once and for all…
NO, NO, NO…absolutely NO WAY is Donald Trump (or any other American) the Antichrist!
I’m not much on social media, but I get enough questions via this blog, and see just enough on Facebook to want to shout: “Christians…are you reading your Bibles!?!” Some are and some aren’t, so let’s use the Bible to understand the identity of the Antichrist.
First, we must understand the timing of things. We’re going to hone in on 2 Thessalonians 2:7, but please stop right now and read the entire passage in context. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.
You can see that passage is talking about the “man of lawlessness,” that is the Antichrist. In verses 1-2, Paul mentions the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with Him. We know that as the Rapture, and we know that Christians will be “snatched away,” taken out of this world to meet Jesus in the air. (Paul already said that in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18!)
So, both the Tribulation and the Rapture are mentioned. Which happens first? Great question! Here is where we hone in on verse 7:
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.~2 Thessalonians 2:7
The “mystery of lawlessness” is perpetuated by the man of lawlessness (Antichrist), and that spirit is already at work in the world. (Think about Hitler, Stalin and other madmen throughout history.) It is not yet the MAN at work in the world, but the SPIRIT. There is one who restrains lawlessness until taken out of the way.
Who is the restrainer? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 describes us (believers) as the temple of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit lives within us, but at the Rapture, we will be taken out of here! Currently, the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers restrains the man of lawlessness…the Antichrist!
So, notice the timing! The Antichrist will NOT be revealed until we, the temple of the Holy Spirit…the restrainer…are taken out of here! Believers, we will not see the Antichrist revealed! In fact, it is futile to look for the Antichrist, when we need only look for Jesus Christ!
The premise behind the question of Donald Trump being the Antichrist is that he brokered the recent peace deal between Israel and the UAE. Part of that agreement is that Israel will postpone declaring sovereignty over parts of the West Bank (which Israel was about to do), and the potential of a state for the Palestinians. So, people are up in arm about President Trump dividing the land of Israel, against the harsh warning of Joel 3:2:
I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land.
That is a strong warning, indeed, and America and the nations of the world must heed it or pay severe consequences. But understand, the land in question already belongs to Israel and Trump made it clear a few months ago that claiming sovereignty over it is not illegal.
Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority is NEVER going to meet the criteria of defunding Hamas, ceasing payment to families of terrorist murderers, giving up the idea of Jerusalem as their capital, and giving up the right of return. They have had those opportunities for decades and have refused to even negotiate them, much less give them up. Thus, Israel is not giving up one inch of land in this peace deal. (First time in history that is true!) They are simply agreeing to delay exercising sovereignty over portions of the West Bank in order to take advantage of an incredible peace deal with moderate Sunni nations. (UAE was first, but more will follow.)
If that is not enough, the Bible tells us precisely from where the Antichrist will arise…and it is not the US! King Nebuchadnezzar and the prophet Daniel both had dreams about conquering nations that bear out and identify the place Antichrist will arise. (Read Daniel 2:31-45 and Daniel 7:15-27 and find commentary here and here.) The Antichrist will arise out of a revived Roman Empire! That is not the US, and it is not a Muslim country. He will arise from Europe.
Again, that eliminates the possibility that Donald Trump could be the Antichrist!
Finally, we know the Antichrist will reign during the Tribulation. Though some would argue we are living in the Tribulation now, that idea is mere foolishness. I’ll give you one reason why. Read Revelation 6, where we are introduced to the Antichrist as the rider on a white horse in verse 2. Notice the carnage he brings immediately. By verse 8 he has wiped out 1/4 of the earth’s population…and this is only the very beginning of the Tribulation! (It takes many more chapters to describe the rest.) Have we seen 1/4 of the earth’s population killed in the manner described here? No!
Believers, that is the work of the Antichrist! We don’t need to even consider whether or not Donald Trump or any other American president is the Antichrist! BTW, two previous American presidents brokered peace deals between Israel and Arab nations and both times Israel gave up land for peace (which they never got)! Yet, neither of those presidents (Jimmy Carter – Egypt-Israel, 1979 and Bill Clinton – Jordan-Israel, 1994) were the Antichrist either!
If you are a born again believer and follower of Jesus Christ, there is no need to be concerned whatsoever with the identity of the Antichrist. He will not be revealed until we are out of here! So set your sights on JESUS CHRIST, not the Antichrist!