Christians who claimed months ago that Donald Trump was foretold in Biblical prophecy must be feeling prescient today. Worrying in 2015 that Trump would be a major party nominee was treated as being about as likely as the 5000-1 odds that bookies gave Leicester City at the beginning of the 2015-16 season. But this week, as both unlikely predictions came to pass, it seems prudent to take a look at just what it is that those eschatologists claim to see.
Historical lists of those who have predicted either that God would destroy the world as punishment for collective sins or those who have used formulae to predict that people should circle specific days on their calendar is far too long to list here. (Wikipedia has one such list.)
Specific individuals who were seen as catalysts for the end have included Ronald Reagan, various popes, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Barack Obama–although even Richard the Lionheart was implicated back in the 13th century by Joachim of Fiore.
Joachim is often credited as being the first eschatologist to cause major upset in Christendom with his predictions. Joachim used a complex formula that counted the number of generations in the Bible before and after the birth of Christ, combined them with the detailing of three ages of history until the end of the world, and came up with the period 1200 to 1260 CE as containing the fateful year.
And while counting generations is just one of the methods of predicting the end of the world, other “prophets” have observed the chaos of the world around them and declared that God must be coming: what else could explain the horror and sin surrounding them?
Friedrich Engels, co-author with Karl Marx on some of the source texts for Marxism, profiled the remarkable story of Thomas Muntzer, the common man who led thousands of German peasants to rebel in what is known as The Peasants War of 1525 by historians. Muntzer was among the estimated 75,000-100,000 peasants who were killed by German princes, who were not happy at being defied on the basis of someone reading the Bible. Muntzer warned the princes in published pamphlets that they were about to incur the wrath of God unless they changed the way they governed. Luckily for the princes, Martin Luther threw his considerable weight around to discredit Muntzer, but not before the two had engaged in a war of words that took no prisoners.
The idea that Donald Trump may herald the beginning of the end times can be seen as contained within a long and storied tradition of this type of thing. But, the writings implicating Trump are remarkable in their own right. Last year, one such Biblical interpreter claimed that God told him:
“so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. You must listen to the trumpet very closely for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.”
After a “firestorm” blew up among conservative Christians, the owner of the vision defended himself on Facebook, saying that he would he would publicly repent if he was proven to be wrong.
Another article drew parallels between Trump and events, which pointed toward an apocalyptic future. The article cites article after article about Trump, and verses of the Bible that he finds relevant. After a long, protracted presenting of both sides of the argument, eleven reasons are presented as to why Donald Trump is “apocalyptic.” As one of these eleven reasons, Trump’s statements against Apple are cited, which “suggest an environment of loss of privacy and favoring unlimited government control. This type of thing will be exploited by 666 of Revelation 13:16-18.”
Perhaps the most virulent of the “Trump = End Times” predictions is contained at a website called “Now the End Begins.” There a mean-faced Trump stares out at the reader while text, in bold, all caps, and italics–depending on the point being made–hammers home that
“DONALD TRUMP IS THE ANSWER OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO THE REPUBLICAN POLITICAL MACHINE, AND GOD’S ANSWER TO A WICKED NATION”
Christian conservatives have agitated for decades for the election of a “Godly” man who will help to reform America and bring it in line with Christian values. No one sees Donald Trump as that man. But, Trump’s “immorality” is not why Christians should vote for Trump. They should vote for Trump because he’s going to bring Christ back to earth a lot faster than he is currently on track to get here.
Just as God brought Hitler to do the “good work” of creating Israel, so too has he brought forth Trump to take Christians to higher ground.
God raised up the unGodly King Nebuchadnezzar to shake and enslave Israel for 70 years, and He used the unGodly King Cyrus to allow construction of a new Jewish Temple. He allowed the unGodly Pharaoh to enslave His people the Hebrews for over 400 years, and He allowed the Roman emperor Titus to burn Israel to the ground in 70 AD. Furthermore, God allowed the demonic Adolf Hitler to create the Holocaust in order that Israel might be regathered in 1948 according to prophecy in the last days.