September 14, 2018 by Steve Lumbley
Trump or No Trump?
Disclaimer – This is not a criticism of Christians who voted for or support President Trump. In the interest of full disclosure I support the presidents policies and efforts to change the direction of this nation.
Christian Zionists who support President Trump’s attempt to “Make America Great Again” may soon have a real dilemma on their hands. Dispensationalism (which has spawned modern Christian Zionism) has always held that a future world leader known as the antichrist will make himself known first by establishing a peace treaty with modern Israel. In the beginning this will be hailed as a wonderful time of peace leading to the rebuilding of the temple and re-establishment of animal sacrifice in Jerusalem. According to the teaching though, after 3 & 1/2 years the antichrist will break the treaty, betray Israel and a period known as the great tribulation will begin.
In case you are unfamiliar with this doctrine it’s all based on what I believe to be misinterpreted scriptures primarily from Daniel chapter 9 and Matthew chapter 24
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Dan 9:27
Dispensationalism says the “he” being spoken of here is the antichrist and the “covenant” is a modern day peace treaty with Israel. The “week” is symbolic of 7 years and so “in the middle of the week” means 3& 1/2 years after the initiation of the treaty he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering which has been re-instituted in the Jerusalem temple and declare himself to be God in the flesh.
A full refutation of this doctrine is beyond the scope of this article but allow me to address the biggest flaw in this whole scenario. The he being spoken of in Dan 9:27 isn’t antichrist but Christ himself. Jesus is the subject and he did in fact establish a covenant with many. Not a modern day peace treaty with Israel but the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer 31:31) and confirmed by Christ himself in Matthew chapter 26, Mark chapter 14 and Luke chapter 22
For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mat 26:28
The covenant with many established by Jesus did cause the temple sacrificial system to cease. First by making it obsolete (Heb 8:13) and eventually stopping it all together when He sent the Roman army in 70ad to destroy it forever. So as you can see, Daniel 9 is not a prophecy to be fulfilled in our day but rather a prophecy that’s already been fulfilled in Christ.
With all that as background I’m wondering why we’re not seeing more hand wringing or cheering or something about President Trump’s soon to be released peace plan for Israel?
Dispensational legend has it that the antichrist will come in as a great world leader who is a friend to Israel and seemingly solves many problems. Not only bringing peace to the middle east but also reinvigorating the world economy. Peace and prosperity, what more could anyone want.
Christian Zionist’s are cheering Trump as the most pro Israel president we’ve ever had. He’s moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, shut down the PLO office in Washington and stopped US tax dollars from being spent on the UN Palestinian resettlement program. Since taking office, the U.S. economy has soared. Unemployment is at historic lows and wages are rising. Next item on the agenda is the peace plan for the middle east and the stage will be set for the final 7 year countdown.
Given all that, I’m wondering when will Christian Zionist’s begin to declare Trump a real candidate for the role of antichrist? I haven’t seen any CZ or so called prophecy expert even hint at the possibility of Trump as antichrist. I’ve heard some grumbling about Trumps Jewish son in law, Jared Kushner. Some believe he’s the real antichrist figure behind the peace process. But what about Trump himself. So far, he fits the bill better than anyone.
Lest some of you get the wrong idea, I am not saying Trump is the antichrist or even a candidate for the office. I understand that democrats, leftists, liberals, Marxists ideologues, and anarchists (redundant terms, I know) have no problem seeing Trump as the antichrist in the political sense. Virtually every president of my lifetime has been seen as an antichrist by some group, so that’s not what I’m advocating here. I’m just anxiously awaiting the realization by CZ’s that what they’ve been taught about the future antichrist is unfolding before their eyes in the form of President Donald J. Trump.
I was brought up under the doctrines of dispensational eschatology so I know what I’m talking about. I have rejected dispensationalism not because I don’t understand it but because I don’t believe it’s an accurate representation of what the Bible teaches. I do not believe in a future world ruling antichrist or a 7 year great tribulation, or a rapture of the church or any of the other tenets of dispensationalism.
So, what do I believe. I’m glad you asked.
I believe that mankind has always been plagued with messianic figures, antichrists if you will, whether they be from the religious, political, military, or economic realm. This will continue until Christ returns but none of them will ever achieve the world rulership role traditionally envisioned for THE antichrist. There will always be an antichrist candidate in the world or on the horizon. It is the nature of man to seek a messiah, any messiah other than Christ. We will experience wars and rumors of war, great storms and earthquakes, economic disaster and recovery. All those things have always been and they always will be until Christ returns.
Our job as Christians is to endure these things and occupy until he comes. We are called to influence the culture of our day, not through politics, the military or economics, but by living out our faith in the midst of these trials for all to see. Tribulation or testing is the natural state of believers as long as we are in this earth. All believers will go through tribulation in one form or another. It may be actual physical martyrdom as is happening now to many of our brethren in foreign lands or it could be the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches that we experience here in America. Regardless of its form, tribulation is designed by God to test us, to shape us, to bring us closer to Christ. It is a vital and necessary part of His process of sanctification in our lives.
strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; Rom 5:3
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Rom 8:35
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; Rom 12:12
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2Cor 1:4
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.… Rev 1:9
Don’t get caught up in endless speculation about ‘end times’ and antichrists. It’s easy (and profitable for many) to read current events into the scriptures. In the end it’s nothing but a waste of time. Embrace the times in which you live knowing that Jesus rules not only in heaven but on this earth. Nothing can separate us from that. Nothing can diminish that for us. Not even an alleged antichrist or a president that looks like one.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
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(Interesting and informative post by Steve Lumbley, but I do want to add my own disclaimer here, and that is that I am not a Trump supporter.)
Today’s church is very much interested in what is happening in the Middle East, seeing it as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The grounds for this belief, whether we are aware of it or not, is the unbiblical teaching of dispensationalism.
Please read the following post… And because iniquity shall abound… It was written in 2008 by PJ Miller, and it is as relevant today, even more so, than when it was first written ten years ago. I recommend reading the post and PJ’s comments at the end. (Although the blog is no longer active, you can still read the posts and comments.)
Excerpt… “it is imperative that Christians today take discernment based on God’s Word very seriously as not doing so will certainly cause one to feed on leavened bread and adulterated word which in turn will cause you to set your spiritual affection after things of this world – idols of this day and age. (*we see this today …Christians who’s theology has led them into making an idol out of flesh and blood people, and plots of ground in the Middle East).” PJ Miller
The war drums are beating again. Now is the time to take this issue to heart.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
It was in the late 1990’s and we were living in a small apartment. When I needed to do laundry I would take my shopping cart and walk a couple of blocks to the laundromat. I always carried tracts with me wherever I went “just in case” and one day an opportunity presented itself at the laundromat. Al.
Al was an elderly man, and I felt a strong prompting to give him a tract, but I resisted. I was silent, and I left without saying a word!
When I got home I felt bad. I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to please put that man before me again so that I could witness to him. Not long after, as I was crossing the street near my home, lo and behold there was the man from the laundromat, crossing in the opposite direction. I engaged him in conversation somehow, and I learned that his name was Al, he was a retired lawyer, and he was Jewish. I offered him a This Is Your Life Chick Tract. He took it.
After that encounter my husband and I would see Al at the laundromat from time to time. Al said he read the tract that I gave him, and that it scared him some. (Scared him in a good way.)
We became his friends. He even came to an evangelical outreach with us one night.
When we moved we kept in touch with Al. One night he called us but we weren’t home. He left a friendly message on our answering machine, saying something to the effect that he wasn’t a particularly religious person. We were always talking about the Lord with Al, therefore the reason for the message he left.
The next time we called Al a relative answered the phone. We were told that Al had died, suddenly, unexpectedly. We were heartbroken.
Al received a clear Gospel message from us, and we showed him God’s love.
Ephesians 4:14-15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.