Trump as Cyrus? Really?

In History & Politics by eric holmberg4 Comments

CyrusTrumpSmallI have been told by more than a few sincere Christian friends that the Lord has anointed Donald Trump to be the next president. And I have seen variations of it posted in cyberspace more times now than I can count. God, the gist of it goes, has chosen an admittedly very earthy, earthen vessel into which He has poured His grace. The result (see Isaiah 45:1,2) is a new Cyrus the Great, a man ordained in this hour to be a blessing to Israel, America and the Church while doubling as a “wrecking ball” to smash the “bronze gates” of the humanist/globalist/socialist juggernaut.

For some, it’s a genuine prophetic word—akin to Agabus’ message to Paul in Acts 21: 10,11—assembled together from multiple witnesses that range from Lance Wallnau’s now much-known revelation on Isaiah 45 — to retired firefighter Mark Taylor’s vision in 2011.[1]

For others it’s more a product of piecing together information from a number of sources, including: American history; fiscal and cultural trends; presuppositions concerning end-time events and/or American exceptionalism; conspiracy theories; dislike for Hillary Clinton; appreciation of Trump’s non-PC persona and other aspects of his character and approach to trade, immigration, and foreign wars (among others); concerns about the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation to come; the lock the Democratic party will have on future elections as the third Clinton administration first grants illegal aliens worker status and then voting rights; increased susceptibility to Islamic terror…I can go on.

They see Trump as the best way to “make America great again”—or at least hold back the Orcs at Helm’s Deep—and therefore believe, or want to believe, He is God’s chosen vessel.

Anything else looks like a full-tilt boogie disaster and the potential end of America as we know it.

For me? Well, as a Christian with a “yuge” view of God, His power and sovereignty, I have no problem with the idea that the Lord can use any crooked stick He wants to strike a straight blow. The Bible is replete with examples of this, the aforementioned Cyrus being a prime example.

In fact, that is one of the characteristics I most admire and am awed by concerning God: that He can make even the wrath of man praise Him. (Psalm 76:10)

So any Christian who is certain that Trump’s many problems necessarily disqualify him from being the Lord’s instrument of blessing, does not know God’s ways or even history very well.[2]

I also have no problem theologically or experientially believing that God can give one of His children a dream, impression, vision or in some other way a inspired “word” that can address all manner of things, including future events.  It should be clear to a Biblically-literate person that these prophetic impressions can never be contrary to scripture and are never to be treated as inerrant—as a “Thus sayeth the Lord” utterance that is even remotely akin to the inspired words that make up the Bible. They need to be discerned, judged, and tested. But they certainly can be a prompting towards encouragement and direction and, as such, should not be despised. (1 Thess. 5:20).

I have experienced the blessing of these types of words first-hand. And have also been surprised by their power. My own salvation involved a person who received a supernatural glimpse into the hidden recesses of my soul. As another example, I remember a “prophecy” given by a little-known, now deceased, self-taught country teacher/preacher with a reputed gift for receiving prophetic impressions. I attended a conference in 1989 when after worship he got up and shared a bizarre word about some riots that were going to soon break out in Miami, Florida. It has nothing to do with anything about the conference, just a shot from deep right-field. I thought he was a bit of a loon at the time. And so did most everybody else…until it came true with startling specificity about a month later.

And history is replete with these types of divinely-inspired downloads that have inspired heroes of the faith esteemed even by Christians who are cessationists and don’t believe God can speak or direct apart from scripture.[3]

So as incredible as it will seem to most people, could Lance and Mark have a true word from God concerning Trump?

My answer is… I don’t know. I am open to it. While I’m far from a fan of Mr. Trump, a part of me would love for it to be true with Hillary Clinton waiting to step into the Oval Office if it’s not. (Literally, an involuntary shudder came over me as I typed those words.) And I find encouragement in that there are lots of other thoughtful, culturally engaged Christians that feel the same way.

But while I remain open, I’m also not going to lap water like a dog. (Judges 7:4-6) I’ve got my eyes up and on the horizon and am watching.

I hope you, Christian, are doing the same.

And there, on the horizon, I see a number of potential problems, or gut checks, that give me serious pause in regard to the “Trump as Cyrus” word.

  1. Modern prophetic words are often wrong. Because the anointing to channel scripture is gone and the canon is closed, there are no longer servants of God who are perfect amanuenses for the Holy Spirit. As a result, post-Apostolic-age, prophetic impressions are not inerrant. They can range from being right to varying degrees of wrong, including wildly so.

As someone who has been in and around the charismatic arm of the church for thirty-six years and has received his own fair-share of words, my impression is that only a small minority are spot on relative to the specificity that characterize Wallnau’s and Taylor’s revelations.  And, again from my experience, this susceptibility to be off is magnified when prophetic sensitivities enter the realm of politics.  If I had a nickel for every unfulfilled or flat-out wrong word I’ve heard about how so-and-so was called by God to be president, or governor or whatever—or how another so-and-so was going to spell the doom for America, or the GOP—or how this so-and-so was going to usher in, or even be, the Anti-Christ or would end up bringing in the New World Order—I could buy a Venti latte at Starbucks. Or two.

In addition, prophetic impressions are normally an amalgam of the Holy Spirit’s leading coupled with the conveyor’s personality, mood and presuppositions. A person, for example, who is dispensational and believes that the Great Tribulation is around the corner can take an authentic impression that God is doing a fresh work of converting and reviving souls and turn it into a “this is the last great outpouring before the Lord’s return to rapture His bride” type of word. I saw this happen repeatedly during the move of God in Pensacola, where I was living at the time. No one is exempt from this. And this is why prophetic words need to be carefully tested and why many of them, even when the impetus is the Holy Spirit, can be off.

From my cursory research, Wallnau, Taylor and many if not most of the people who are really in to the “Trump as Cyrus” word—or some permutation thereof—have been influenced by premillennial/apocalyptic as well as other eschatological and theological “flavors” that are not part of my particular worldview stew.

Now I’m not saying I’m right and they’re wrong about these things—though obviously that would be my leaning (otherwise I would believe the way they do, wouldn’t I?), only that it makes me question the precision of their supposed revelations.

These are things that reflective Christians should be aware of when discerning not just prophetic impressions but even Biblical teaching and preaching.

  1. Trump the man. God normally (I would say never, but it’s rarely good to say never when it comes to how God does things) doesn’t do a brain and personality transplant when He anoints someone for a task. He may resurrect them from the dead and turn the lights on (and it has been said that this may have recently happened to Trump. ) But if they were an introvert, or an extrovert, or right-brained, or an “N” on Myers & Briggs scale before they were met by and transformed by Jesus, they will pretty much retain the same wiring, albeit with a new mission, afterwards.

God, for example, used the Apostle Paul to do most of the theological heavy-lifting in the New Testament canon precisely because he was a very learned man in the scriptures even before He got zapped by the Lord on the road to Damascus. Paul may have never actually met Jesus before His death, resurrection and ascension. But a good number of other people did, including twelve disciples that essentially lived with, were discipled by, and listened to His teaching for three years. Yet the majority of them didn’t contribute a peep to the Bible. Why then Paul, who perhaps only met Jesus in a vision? (1 Cor. 15:3-10) Because He was anointed? Sure. But he also had the right stuff; the fissionable raw material that enabled him, with the Holy Spirit’s obvious help, to get his mind around the great truths to which the Old Testament was pointing.

Well, we don’t know a lot about Cyrus the Great. But from what we do know, toQuayle paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen’s response to Dan Quayle in the 1988 debate: “Mr. Trump, you’re no Cyrus.”

Consider:

Cyrus was already both a seasoned governor and a military leader, one who ruled Persia and conquered the Babylonian empire, before he became the deliverer (literally, “anointed one” or “messiah”) of the Jewish people.

Trump avoided the military and has had virtually no governmental experience.

Cyrus was a master of diplomacy and inclusion, able to gain respect and fealty from a diverse number of people groups with their disparate cultures and religions.

Donald Trump on the other hand…well not so much, to put it mildly.

From what we can tell, Cyrus was very wise in regards to his speech.

Trump has one of the worst cases of foot-in-mouth disease in American history.

Polls didn’t exist at the time, but if they did Cyrus would have a high approval rating across his vast empire.

As of this writing, 60% of the American population don’t like Trump. And a significant percentage of them despise, hate or are in abject fear of him. Outside of America, his approval ratings are even worse. Even the Russians now are saying that they would rather work with Hillary.

One of Wallnau’s laugh lines is that both Cyrus and Trump wanted to “build a wall.” Cyrus actually was more a leader who wanted to tear down walls, both literal and ideological, that separated people and nations. Yes, he sponsored the Jews in their return to the homeland and in their rebuilding of their temple and their holy city. And yes, rebuilding the walls of the city was a part of this process—for the Jews. But that wasn’t Cyrus’ primary emphasis.

It is for Trump.

John-KnoxLastly, Wallnau has made a point of Trump’s connection to both Scotland and John Knox through his mother’s ancestry, calling him a “strange hybrid walking in a Cyrus anointing to break things up and a Knox disposition to Reform.”

Well again, “I know John Knox and I know the Reformation, Mr. Trump. And you wouldn’t know either of them from a hole in your hat.”

  1. Trump’s trajectory since becoming the nominee. Like at lot of Christians who shudder at the thought of Hillary selecting the next two, three or four Supreme Court nominees—as just one of many critical issues facing our nation—once Trump won the GOP nomination, I thought, “OK Father, let’s see what we have here. Even though I haven’t liked much of what I’ve observed about the man thus far, perhaps that will change now the primaries are over.” I heard about Wallnau’s revelation, followed later by Taylor’s dream. And I had a good number of friends, thoughtful Christians I respect, affirming variations on the same theme.

And so I have diligently prayed. Understanding that God doesn’t necessarily call the qualified, but rather qualifies the called, my daily prayer has been for this conditioning process to become manifest: that whispers of the wisdom, grace and character of a divinely called and qualified leader would be evidenced in Trump’s words, demeanor and decisions.

And I have prayed not just to see it, but for the Father to make it happen. I’ve been pulling for Donald, really believing for and wanting to like the man, truly hoping to see him become the leader who could help reverse our nation’s decline.

To date, I’ve been having to ignore camels in order to find some gnats . In fact, I would say that things have gotten—one could say supernaturally—worse since the primaries.

If I was counseling a young man who was waiting on a leading and confirming signs concerning a woman he was thinking of marrying and he experienced half of the cringe-worthy moments Trump has delivered, I would advise him to run. Hard.

  1. The circle-the-wagons syndrome. I begin to get suspicious when people claim a prophetic word but then begin to throw up weak objections or qualifiers to any ensuing events that call into question the veracity of it. (How many times has this happened for so-called prophets and teachers concerning their predictions about the return of Christ?) Well, I’ve seen more than a little of this going on with the “Trump as Cyrus crowd” as well.

No matter how un-Cyrus-like Trump behaves, his apologists seem to be ready to look the other way or make excuses for his behavior.

As just one example, consider Trump’s recent, bone-headed comment about the Khans, the Gold Star parents of a slain Muslim American soldier. Within a day or two after the brouhaha began, Trump supporters, Alex Jones followers and anti-Islam apologists like Walid Shoebat began to weigh in on the matter, among other things pointing out the father, Khizr Khan’s, connections to the Clinton money machine and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations. (Don’t get me wrong, these are issues that should be carefully and tactfully vetted and, if true, brought to light. I share their grave concerns about the threat fundamentalist Islam represents to America and the West.)  Wallnau also weighed in on the subject (see the Wrath of Khan), taking the heat off Trump and stating that this was more of the same, “the spirit of political correctness” run amok, “manipulated by the media” and producing “mind control” and then proceeded to list the reasons why Khan is part of a larger conspiracy to derail Trump, normalize Islam and perhaps even open the door to domestic terrorism. (There’s that apocalyptic presupposition raising its head again.)

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that all of this is true, that Khan is a closeted Jihadist, a Wahhabi operative playing off the Clintons’ lust for power and money. Fine. What would the proper response to this be from a wise, Cyrus-like man anointed by God to be the leader of the free world? I can think of several potential scenarios. I’m sure you can as well. But guess what? None of them involve the seat-of-the-pants blathering Trump exhibited, particularly in regard to his comment—yet again!—about a man’s wife. And then having it go on, and on, and on.

Hillary Clinton didn’t make Trump say it and then keep saying it. God certainly didn’t. Shoot, I don’t believe even the devil would have that much finesse. Trump gave the Left a big ugly-stick to hit him with all by his lonesome.

Well, it’s not over until the full-figured woman sings. As of this writing we have ninety-four days until blast-off. Maybe God is humbling DT, bringing him to a breaking point, and then is going to zap him. Maybe some of the good men that I’m told Trump has gathered around him will be able to break through and we’ll begin to see more of Reagan and less of the host of The Apprentice.

Maybe. I’m still praying. And watching.

But I’m no longer at all optimistic.

And I’m also beginning to wonder about another potential plot-line and divine casting decision in regard to this bizarre, “‘Do I have your attention now?’ says the Lord” election season. Yes, Trump’s been anointed all right. But perhaps to a very different end than the one envisioned by Wallnau, Taylor and company.

More on that next time.

(For another take on how God could providentially be using Donald Trump–and what to my mind is a better Biblical analogy–I offer this for you consideration as well.)

 

[1] Nothing in this article is meant to question the faith or spiritual maturity of either of these men or the Christians who believe they are on to something. I don’t know them, but both seem to be good men with sincere hearts. And I have a few friends that know Lance and tell me he’s a great guy. I have no reason to doubt them. But anyone can be “off” when it comes to these matters, including me. What follows is shared in humility and charity and with nothing but a desire to let “iron sharpen iron” (Proverbs 27:17) in the hopes of gaining wisdom and understanding.

[2] Constantine the Great, for example, had both his son and his wife killed. But he nevertheless helped make the Roman Empire (somewhat) “great again”, stopped the persecution of the Church and was instrumental in the Council of Nicea and halting the spread of the Arian heresy

[3] John Knox, the great reformer and a founder of the Presbyterian church, often prayed, preached and proclaimed concerning future events that came true in powerful ways. Charismatics would say he prophesied.

 

Comments

  1. Oh, and Trump builds extravogent buildings… Another plus there for the 3rd Temple wouldn’t you say… Almost like he’s a carpenter. Kinda like Noah, or Solomon maybe? Happy New Year 5777 !!!

  2. Out of all of that crying and butt-hurtness over Trump being PoTUS… You completely left out the few versus about Cyrus before Isaiah 45… Near the end of Isaiah 44… All of you bloggers against Trump always leave Isaiah 44 out of it. All of you. It’s like you’re scared of mentioning it. Isaiah 44 says Cyrus will rebuild the 2nd Temple of Israel… So what if Trump works with Israel to start the construction of the 3rd Temple ? What say you then ? I say let’s see!

    1. Author

      Not coming from a hyper-dispensational perspective, James, there is no need–and certainly no fear–of addressing the verses you mention in relation to Mr. Trump. There are some Christians who cite–and misinterpret–scriptures that to them indicate that the earth is flat and then carry-on when other people don’t accept what for them is the clear reading of scripture. With all due respect, I consider your theory that Trump will help Israel build a third temple–or even the whole idea of a third temple–to be just as absurd.

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