There’s some nutter on Facebook who claims Donald Trump is THE Antichrist. You may recall that when Barack Obama was President some were saying he was the Antichrist. I wrote an article about the claim here.
Some might be surprised that for a time Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6), who lived at 666 Cloud Rd., was said to be the antichrist. The address was later changed to 668 by Nancy.1
There have been more predictions of who “the antichrist” is that it’s getting tiresome that (1) people are still making predictions, (2) people are taking them seriously, and (3) the effect that prophetic prognostication is having on how many Christians approach evil in the world. Instead of confronting it with the goal to beat it back, the hope against hope that they’ll be raptured out of the evil. There’s been a steady stream of this very bad theology for more than 100 years.
I’m not sure the nutter — who goes by RevDonald FirstBaptist — is for real. His Facebook page doesn’t have anything on it. There are numerous posts from him on a Facebook post related to an article about Stormy Daniels, Trump, and Evangelicals.
Christians need to stop obsessing about the antichrist, the rapture, and other prophetic claims and get busy in the here and now.
Pointing out Trump’s sexual sins is not a biblical cause to identify him as THE Antichrist or even the fact that he professes to be a Christian and most likely is not. The New Testament is very specific about the definition of antichrist. Sexual sins of political leaders are not new. There were these three biblical biggies: Samson, David, and Solomon.
Trump is far from perfect. A majority of Evangelicals voted for him because they believed the alternative — Hillary Clinton — would be far worse.
Some say a “Temple Coin” showing the profile of Trump and the biblical king Cyrus in gratitude to President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem is a sign that Trump is the antichrist since, according to the claim made by prophecy “experts,” the antichrist will make a covenant with Israel and then break it thereby unleashing a 3.5-year period of great tribulation. Try as you may (and many of tried) there’s no such thing taught in the Bible.
It’s curious that the word “antichrist” does not appear in the book of Revelation. The word only appears in two of John’s short epistles. Here’s the first time the word “antichrist” appears in the Bible:
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour (1 Jn 2:18).
You will notice that there were “now many antichrists.” The word “now” refers to John’s day. The people to whom John wrote may have been misled into believing that there was only one antichrist. This would not be surprising since the Christians at Thessalonica had to be set straight by Paul on their mistaken belief that the “day of the Lord has come” (2 Thess. 2:2). The KJV reads, “that the day of the Lord is at hand.”
The definite article is absent from 1 John 2:18. I don’t know how significant that might be. In 1 John 2:22, we find, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” The definite article is used, but it’s applied to a definitional group. In 2 John 7, we find a particular definition that compliments what we read in 1 John 2:22: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
John was describing antichrists (plural) in his day as evidence that “it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18). What did John mean by “the last hour”? It’s a reference to the prophecy Jesus made in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) and other places (Luke 11:46-52; 13:34-35; 17:22-37; 19:41-44) that a prophetic event was going to take place before their generation passed away. When John wrote his first epistle, the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was very near. For a verse-by-verse study of Matthew 24, see my book Wars and Rumors of Wars and/or my shorter study Is Jesus Coming Soon?
James wrote about “the coming of the Lord” (5:7). He told the recipients of his epistle, “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand…. Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door” (5:8-9).
John uses the word “antichrist” again and packages it with the statement that “many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn 4:1; see Mt 24:11).
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [2 Jn 7] is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 Jn 4:2-3).
The definition of an antichrist is clear. It’s someone who denies that Jesus has come in the flesh and that he has a unique relationship with His Father, “the one that denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22).
The term does not mean merely a mock Christ or false Christ, for which the N.T. term is ‘pseudo-Christ’ (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22). Nor does it mean simply an opponent of Christ, for which we should probably have ‘enemy of Christ’, like ‘enemy of the Cross of Christ’ (Php 3:18) and ‘enemy of God’ (James 4:4).
Who does John have in mind? They are identified in Revelation as “those who say they are Jews and are not but are a synagogue of Satan” (Rev 2:9; 3:9). The early adversaries of Jesus and the gospel message were Jews. Jews wanted to stone Jesus for His views that would end the Old Covenant rituals and be replaced with Jesus as the true temple and lamb of God (John 1:29; 2:19; 8:59; Matt. 12:14; John 10:31; 11:8). Notice how Jesus describes His Jewish opponents:
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44; also see vv. 8, 41).
Jews conspired with Herod and Pilate to have Jesus crucified. In the end, they rejected Jesus as their king and cried out, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15). In addition to Jews being the first converts to Christianity as we see at Pentecost (Acts 2:5, 37–47; 5:11), Jews were also the first opponents of the gospel (4:1-22–5:17–42). Stephen was martyred by his own countrymen (7:54–60):
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles…. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison (8:1–3).
When Herod “laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them” and “had James the brother of John put to death with a sword,” he continued the persecution when he saw that his actions “pleased the Jews” (12:1–3; also 24:27; 25:9). This emboldened Herod to seize Peter and have him put in prison (12:4).
Jews in Iconium “stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren” (Acts 14:2). Before long there was an attempt by “both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them” (14:5). Before long, “Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead” (14:19).
A now converted Paul was confronted and seized upon in the temple in Jerusalem by “Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him” (Acts 21:27; 20:19; 24:18). Similar to what happened in Ephesus, “Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul, they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion” (21:30–31). Then there was the conspiracy by the Jews to kill Paul (Acts 23:12–15).
The first people to embrace Jesus as the promised Messiah were Jews, and the first to reject Him were also Jews. The historical context of John’s use of the word “antichrist” must be understood in order to formulate an accurate definition.
It would be more accurate to describe someone who rejects Jesus and works against His moral standards to be anti-Christian than an antichrist. There is a difference.
- A Los Angeles Times article reported: “In August, 1986, [a group of 18 ‘financially independent’ friends] bought the 7,192-square-foot ranch-style house at 666 St. Cloud Road in Bel-Air for $2.5 million. In February, the address was officially changed to 668 on city records because of the ‘mutual concern’ of the Reagans that the old number could be construed as a Biblical reference to Satan, according to Elaine Crispen, press secretary for Nancy Reagan.” [↩]