Friday, February 26, 2016

Antichrist Rising

The direction the presidential election appears to be headed can tell us a lot about how close we are to the end of the Church Age. It certainly looks like Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president and this means he will likely win over his Democrat challenger who will probably be Hillary Clinton. There has been significantly more enthusiasm for a Republican winning the presidency as demonstrated by the turn-out in the primaries. Such a difference in enthusiasm is understandable in light of the pent-up dissatisfaction with the direction that Democrat President Barack Obama has taken this country.

If the people of the United States managed to elect a president with proven conservative credentials like Ted Cruz, it would indicate that God is still at work restraining evil in this country. However, there are strong indications that God is in the process of removing His restraint of evil foreshadowing the Tribulation when mankind will be totally given over to the consequences of our natural selfish ways. The process of God removing His restraint of evil is accelerating so we should expect the next president to exhibit many of the characteristics of the Antichrist.

It is amazing to see the evangelical support for Donald Trump. The man is obviously pandering to Christians yet so many see him as their political deliverer. It is admittedly refreshing to hear a politician who appears to have no regard for political correctness which is a tactic of Leftists that has been growing in effectiveness. But Trump is a strange Christian indeed who builds casinos and strip clubs, who stumbles over Bible references, publicly lusts for his daughter, and said he never had to ask for forgiveness. Trump is a wolf in sheep's clothing who will turn against his Christian benefactors when it becomes politically expedient as he has demonstrated during the campaign in response to people critical of him. Such a superficial assessment of Trump by evangelicals reveals the apostate condition of the church in yet another indicator of our times.

It is likewise amazing to see those who consider Trump to be conservative. People have blindly accepted his explanation for previously supporting Democrats on the basis of business pragmatism. But his words betray him even as he runs for the Republican nomination... he praises Planned Parenthood, will help unions by imposing tariffs on imports, and likes the Obamacare mandate. One thing we know about Trump is that he knows how to build an empire. When he has the power of the federal government behind him, he will use that to grow the reach and influence of the government just as any big government liberal is driven to do.

If we are in the era leading up to the return of Jesus, we should see some of Antichrist's characteristics in Donald Trump. And indeed we do, the Antichrist will rise from obscurity, a "little horn" who "shall be different from" other world leaders (Daniel 7:8, 24, NKJV). Despite Trump being a political outsider, he has proven to be very shrewd politically and has a background that is significantly different from all of his challengers. The Antichrist will also be a charismatic, boastful speaker (Daniel 7:8, Rev 13:5) who will use unusual methods to come to power (Daniel 11:21) and have devoted, worshipful followers (Rev 13:8); just as Trump.

We all know Trump to be a deal maker which speaks to his ability to bring both sides together and this especially appeals to progressives who criticize conservatives for not compromising with them. The Antichrist will be known for his miraculous deal making when he "confirms a covenant with many" allowing Israel to build a temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15). What a phenomenal feat of deal making that will be.

Trump has also gone on record during his campaign saying that he is flexible and thus "capable of changing to anything I want to change to." This certainly applies to his ideological "principles" which reveals that while he campaigns as a conservative, he could well govern as a big government liberal. When you have no moral mooring, you are subject to being "tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14). Likewise, the Antichrist will himself legislate change (Daniel 7:25). Barack Obama ran on "hope and change" and this country is falling for the same deceptive lie all over again. There will be change but not for the good. "Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).

We will find out soon for sure but based on the surprising strong support for Trump in South Carolina, it is likely that there is nothing to keep him from winning the presidency. The Antichrist will be likewise invincible... "they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?'" (Revelation 13:4).

The characteristics of society in general during the time before Jesus returns is given in 2 Timothy 3:1-7. Among those exhibited by Donald Trump during his campaign are: "lovers of money, boasters, proud, ...unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, ...headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure ...led away by various lusts." Trump is certainly reflecting the society in which he is seeking to rule over so you'd expect him to display those very same characteristics. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

With all this said, it looks like I am making the case for voting Democrat in the upcoming presidential election. I am not. While there is a local Democrat office holder I will be voting for because I know he is not aligned with the Democrat Party on a national level, the Democrat Party platform is in fact the greater evil. It was very telling during the 2012 Democrat Convention that the delegates loudly booed the idea of making a token reference to God in their party platform. No way can I vote for the party of abortion, socialism, corruption and lawlessness. The Republican party is far from being white as the driven snow but when there are only two practical choices, it is the lesser of the evils. It has been a long time since I have voted for a presidential candidate in the general election, it has instead been necessary for me to vote against the most evil ideology in the last several elections.

I know that some of my fellow Christians will likely not vote in the presidential election at all because they will see the choice between two evils as no choice at all. I will not condemn them for that position but I am personally convicted that voting is part of being a good steward and our civic responsibility before God. So, if it comes down to voting between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I will hold my nose and vote for Trump. As Trump exhibits many of the characteristics of the Antichrist, Hillary Clinton has even more. We can not know who the Antichrist will be during the Church Age so while both presidential candidates exhibit his characteristics, this is only an indicator of the stage of history we're in.

There is certainly some gratification in seeing a political outsider do an end-run around the Republican establishment and their ruling elite brethren but the end results have the potential to be worse than if the Democrats had just retained their power in the federal government. Our consolation is in knowing that God is still in control and what is happening to this country serves His purposes whether we like it or not. If I have to vote for Trump, I know I am not voting for the Antichrist, I am voting for the will of God to be done on earth.

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20)

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