THE PRESIDENT, THE PROPHESY AND THE PREDICTION:  Will the real prophet please stand up?

THE PRESIDENT, THE PROPHESY AND THE PREDICTION:  Will the real prophet please stand up?

by Mike Burnard

THE PROPHECIES OF MAN

Prominent Christian leaders like CBN Founder Pat Robertson and Hank Kunnema, senior pastor of Lord of Hosts Church and founder of One Voice Ministries, have not only expressed public prophecies that Donald Trump will win the 2020 Presidential Election but have also claimed that this election will be followed  by a series of earth-shaking events, including massive civil unrest across the US.  Robinson also believes the near future will bring some fulfilment to end-times prophecy, including a war against Israel as foretold in Ezekiel 38 in which God will come to Israel’s defence in a powerful way. 

Prophesies of Donald Trump’s re-election were not only limited to the USA but Christian leaders across the globe received similar oracles from God.  According to an exclusive report from Charisma, Dr. Reg Morais, who is the founding pastor of Living Faith Community Church in Perth, Australia, and founder of Anoint the World Ministries, alleged that he received a prophetic word at the beginning of 2020 that ‘Donald Trump will win a second term.’

Even more concerning were some “prophetic assumptions” that other leaders made in the light of Scripture.  According to Frank Aquila, a guest columnist in the Ceres Courier, there is an eerie numerical link between Donald Trump’s life and the Holy Bible. Aquila noted that the number seven is said to signify God’s perfection and then specifically applied this to Mr. Trump.  Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946, 700 days before Israel’s birth as a nation on May 14, 1948. Interestingly, Trump was 70 years, seven months, and seven days old, when he first entered his office as the United States president. After 70 years of Israel’s birth, Trump had controversially acknowledged Jerusalem as the country’s capital. 

“Exactly seven months after Trump’s first full day in office, there was a total solar eclipse over the US continent, a path that was exclusively in the US that has not happened since 1776, the year recognizing the US Declaration of Independence. Trump’s birthday is June 14, 1946, which occurred also on a Blood Moon and the midpoint of his first term, January 20, 2019, was also on a Blood Moon. Interestingly, Forbes Magazine ranked Trump the 777th riches person in the world,” said Aquila, Express.co.uk reports.

But what should concern Bible-believing Christians most are the prophecies that are spoken in the inner-room of Donald Trump by his spiritual advisors.   In November 2019, Trump appointed Paula Michelle White-Cain as his special advisor to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative at the Office Public Liasion.  She is currently Chair of the Evangelical Advisory board in Donald Trump’s administration.

Below is a video of her prayer/ prophesy after the election

 

THE REALITY OF THE ELECTION

On November 8, Severskiy.com reported as follows:

News organizations have called the presidential race for Joe Biden and he is now the president-elect of the United States. This lies in stark contradiction to the different pre-election prophesies that were made by various Christian leaders

Donald Trump however, refused to concede and will legally challenge the results.  This provides some hope that the prophesies might still come to fruition.  Reality however paints a different picture. 

Joe Biden holds a lead of tens of thousands of votes in key states where he needs the electoral college vote, and by about 4 million in the overall popular vote. To overturn those margins, the Trump campaign would need to convince judges that those ballots had been cast illegally.

So far, Trump’s efforts do not look promising. The handful of lawsuits he has filed are legally shaky, experts say, and even if they had any merit, they would not be sufficient to overturn Biden’s leads. At least two of the suits have already been dismissed.

Even Scott Walker, the former Republican governor of Wisconsin, has acknowledged Trump is unlikely to overcome Biden’s 20,000-vote lead in the state with a recount. 

Much of Trump’s focus in challenging the election result has been focused on the fact that election officials are counting mail-in ballots after election day. But even though the ballots are tabulated after election day, all of them were cast on or before it.  Trump has offered little evidence of any, let alone widespread, ballots that were cast illegally.

The US supreme court also wants to be seen as above politics and unlikely to get involved in an election where it would have to overturn the results in a number of states. In the 2000 election, the supreme court got involved in one state, Florida. But 2020 is dramatically different. Biden is projected to win a number of key swing states and the court is likely to be very hesitant to get involved. That sets a high bar for Trump and his lawyers: they have to show clear evidence of wrongdoing that would change the results in those places.

Even in the highly unlikely event of the elections results being nullified and Mr. Trump being declared the winner, it will still not indicate that the prophecies were from God and that the predictors are prophets. 

Making a right prediction does not qualify you as a prophet.

The Questions This Raises

The fact that the Trump prophecies did not come true raises critical questions:

  • How does the Church discern between what is true and what is false?
  • Are unfulfilled prophecies due to bad judgement or bad character?
  • What about the consequences for followers of false prophets?
  • How do we view future predictions by these same ‘prophets’?

THE CONTENT OF A BIBLICAL PROPHECY

Two elements that are key to any prophecy or so-called “words from God” are;

  • firstly, the focus of the prophecy
  • and secondly, the purpose of the prophecy.

A prophecy will always point to the Kingdom of God, not the institutions of man.  A prediction of an election, regardless of what it will imply for the nation as a whole, should be seen simply as that: a prediction.  Prophecies point to God: to God alone, to His Kingdom, to His glory and to His reign.  We should never confuse a political prediction that will benefit a nation with a Godly prophecy that will build the Kingdom.  It may come as a surprise to many, but Jesus Christ did not involve Himself with the politics of His day. Even though He had a strong interest in government, He chose not to become involved in any of the political factions of the day, either in the Jewish government or in its overseer, the government of Rome.  Jesus had good reason to remain apart from politics. The message He preached was about government, but a government He would bring to the earth, not one that would come about through human effort. Jesus’ message was about the government of God that will rule the world and that will bring about peace!  Jesus did not come to earth to fulfil the political ambitions of His followers but to establish the Kingdom of God

The second element of any prophecy is not prediction nor preservation but a call to repentance[1].  This is always a clear indication of whether a prophecy could be from God or not.  If it is simply a prediction about an outcome or events to follow without a call to repentance, then it is most likely not from the Lord.  If it does not mobilise people to a greater sense of urgency in proclaiming the good news of Christ then it should be seen for what it is: a prediction based on human understanding. 

When Christian leaders predicted the outcome of an election for the sake of self-preservation without calling people of all persuasions to repentance, red flags should immediately be raised.  Any Bible-believing follower of Christ should identify it as unbiblical, un-Christlike and therefore a false prophecy.

But, a Biblical prophecy should also fall within a Biblical timeframe.  Prophecies in Scripture indicate that one event will follow another with the final event being the proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth[2]. The fact that the “blood moons” suddenly line up with the Trump presidency does not nullify the other events which should also take place before we witness the end. There are a number of prophetic events that should take place before we believe predictions and interpretations, the final one being the proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  Any prophecy therefore that does not stir us into a new urgency to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel of the Kingdom is either out of context or in self-interest.

THE BIBLICAL QUALIFICATIONS OF A PROPHET

Sadly, the Church is full of self-proclaimed prophets who speak ‘in the name of God’ without a clear understanding of the responsibility and consequences thereof. Under scrutiny, they ultimately fail the Biblical test of a prophet. Christians accept false prophets as being legitimate primarily due to a lack of Biblical knowledge, and as a result, they do not hold them accountable for false predictions.

The fate of a false prophet in Biblical times was quite severe. According to Ezekiel 13v9: “The Lord declares that His hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations.” Matthew Henry comments on this verse as follows: “God’s hand shall be upon them, to seize them and bring them to His bar, to shut them out from His presence, and they will find it a fearful thing to fall into His hands. They pretend to be prophets, particular favourites of heaven, and authorised to preside in the congregation of His church on earth; but, by pretending to the honours they were not entitled to, they lost those that otherwise they might have enjoyed.”

This is serious.  Not only for the prophet but for the follower as well.

The first act in dealing with false prophets should be a Biblical discernment of what a prophet should look like, according to God.  The solution to this problem is to gain discernment from Scripture concerning prophets. No one need be deceived as to whether a professed prophet is true or false. Standards have been established in the Bible that make it possible to determine which messengers have come with messages from God and which are counterfeits. If the Biblical tests are applied consistently and persistently to the life and teachings of any prophet, they will reveal the source of their communications.

FIVE TESTS IN IDENTIFYING TRUE PROPHETS:  (with reference to the writing of Ellen G. White and John Dear, from New Mexico, USA

Test 1.  IDENTIFY THE FRUIT

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20

“The setting for this statement is the latter part of the Sermon on the Mount in connection with the warning Jesus gave to His disciples, ‘Beware of false prophets’. On the basis that every good tree produces good fruit, and that a corrupt tree produces corrupt fruit, Jesus presents a sure test to be applied to prophets.

  • What kind of fruit is brought forth in their lives?
  • What fruit do their teachings bring forth in the lives of others?
  • What results show up in the life of the church as a whole?”

These lead to critical questions believers need to ask themselves:

  • Does the prophecy make me hate more or love more?
  • Does the prophecy fill me with fear or with hope?
  • Does the prophecy create reconciliation (both man with man and man with God) or suspicion?
  • Does the prophecy mobilise me to share the Gospel or move me towards self-preservation?
  • Do I see a call to Christ in the prophecy or a fear of man?
  • Is the prophecy point to God or is it about man?

 Test 2.  IDENTIFY THE FOCUS

Morning, noon, and night, the prophet is centred on God. The prophet does not indulge in political predictions, do his or her own will, or speak his or her own message. The prophet does God’s will and speaks God’s message. In the process, the prophet tells us who God is and what God wants, and thus who we are and how we can become fully human.  The prophet will always bring a word pointing to the Kingdom of God, not the kingdoms of man. 

Test 3.  IDENTIFY THE VISION

A prophet interprets the global picture. This is where most prophets miss the mark.  The true prophet is concerned with the world, here and now, in the daily events of the whole human race, not just our little backyard or some ineffable hereafter. The prophet sees the big picture—refugees, war, starvation, poverty, corporate greed, nationalism, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. The prophet interprets these current realities through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of analysts or pundits or Pentagon press spokespeople. The prophet tells us God’s take on what’s happening NOW.

Test 4. IDENTIFY THE CONTENT  

All the prophets of the Hebrew Bible are concerned with one main question: justice and peace. They call people to act justly and create a new world of social and economic justice, which will be the basis for a new world of peace. Justice and peace, they learned, are at the heart of God; God wants justice and peace here on earth now. And the prophet won’t shy away from telling us that if we want a spiritual life, we must work for justice and peace.  This will result in messages and acts of reconciliation, not division, hearts of anguish, not of anger, and a spirit of gentleness, not of arrogance.

Test 5. IDENTIFY THE LIFE-STYLE  

For the prophet, the secure life is usually denied. We learn from John the Baptist that he adopted his lifestyle according to his calling.  He embraced the simple life-style and diet of a prophet by living in the desert, eating locusts and honey (the food of the poor) and wearing animal skins (the dress-code of the poor).  It might do us well to evaluate the lifestyles of those who profess to speak in the name of God.  More often than not the prophet in the Bible was in trouble. Prophets call for love of our nation’s enemies. They topple the nation’s idols, upset the proud, boastful, rich and powerful, and speak up against immorality, sin and pride.  The warlike culture takes offense and dismisses the prophet who speaks on behalf of the God of love and the message of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Consequently, the prophet ends up outcast, rejected, harassed, and marginalized—and, eventually, punished, threatened, targeted, bugged, followed, jailed, and sometimes killed.  Sadly, the modern-day prophet seems to gather followers and soon become an internet celebrity, selling books, T-shirts and CD’s

To summarise:  Prophesies should be identified by calls to justice, voicing concerns for the marginalised, focusing on the redemption of souls, interpreting current global events and creating a hunger for God and a thirst for righteousness.  Prophets will always point to the Kingdom of God and not the institutions of man.  Prophecies will always contain elements of hope and hearts of compassion.  Anything else is of little spiritual value.

However…

There is a clear Biblical distinction between false prophets and false prophecies.  A false prophet is someone who tries to deceive people into an unbiblical and faithless life.  Even though the Trump prophets need to give an account of their erroneous predictions, it should be said in their defence that their motive was never to lead people away from God.  It may well be that there was economic advantage for some of the ‘prophets’ who marketed products associated with the predictions, but for the most part, there seemed to be an honest call to prepare for the end.

A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE

There should be a three-fold response to failed prophecies:  accountability, repentance and forgiveness. 

The authors of the false prophecies should own up for leading people astray and should be accountable for speaking falsely in the name of Jesus.

There should be an equally serious attempt to repent and refrain from seeking excuses and making future predictions. To falsely prophesy that the Lord “said” that Mr. Trump will win the election not only creates animosity amongst non-believers but also creates enormous suspicion among fellow believers, taking prophecy into a level of ungodly prejudice.  Those who believe they have the right to place their preferences under the name of God should repent not only for proclaiming falsehoods but also for creating fear, hatred and division.

For those who believed the prophets, following the predictions religiously and proclaiming them on social media, there should be as much forgiveness as there should be a warning.  We as Bible readers ought to know better when it comes to people claiming the ability to foretell the future (even if they are Christians). Jesus said quite plainly that “no man knows” when the day of His return will be[3]. Why not? Because it has not been revealed by God yet, let alone put in the Bible. Jesus said even He and the angels did not know this.

We ought to know that unless the future is revealed by God, humans don’t know exactly what will happen for certain. 

Let none of us be found guilty of speaking glibly and presumptuously on behalf of God; let us rather be found guilty of spreading the message He has already proclaimed to us – you don’t get much more prophetic than that.

SOURCES

 

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