Prophecy as propaganda: the Trump prophecies as political persuasion

Marko Joensuu         10 comments
What is often worse than defeat is the illusion of victory. Right now, the Charismatic prophets are celebrating the election victory and the fulfilment of the Trump prophecies, and if you look at the headlines, it might seem that these prophecies were accurate. But if you read the prophecies more carefully, a very different picture emerges.

This article might cost me some friends, but it is vital that the prophetic movement tests their prophecies, and the beginning of testing is actually reading and hearing them more carefully and taking their content seriously. 



Personally, I believe the Trump prophecies will turn out to be a snare for the prophetic movement, as it now bows to power rather than to truth. We are already seeing some weird theology being developed, with Rick Joyner predicting that Trump will rebuild the Temple like Cyrus did—i.e. restore the Church in America.

But the celebrations and the high-fives are still continuing in time of writing. For example, Jennifer McClaire writes on charismamag.com that Trump’s win "should open the eyes of those who were on the fence about modern-day prophetic unctions. It should confirm to those who have long believed in the prophetic and that we can have accuracy." She also says, "Clearly, now we see someone wasn't hearing correctly. Now, I wonder, will those people come out and repent and say, 'You know what? I missed it.'" 

I find Jennifer’s call for repentance for false prophecies rather ironic in the context of dozens of false prophecies charismamag.com has published under her editorial watch without any signs of repentance.  It is the sheer volume of these predictions that should ensure that at least one or two of them get it right.

But the real issue is that Trump’s election victory didn’t in fact fulfil the Trump prophecies, as they were always about so much more. 

In my book Five Movements: Winning the Battle for Your Prophetic Gift I show how, although prophecies are partial, they are also always precise. It is like getting only a few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The individual pieces are all clear, but you don’t always know how to put all these pieces together. But what we see in the individual pieces is still accurate; we just don’t know how the whole jigsaw will look like.

The problem with the Trump prophecies is that they are causing many Christians to give unqualified support to Trump, as they feel he has been elected and anointed by God and has a mandate from Him.  

For the last eight years, the Republican Christians have been blaming Obama for everything wrong in America, but now when the Republican Party has the presidency, the Congress and the Senate in their hands, they have an opportunity to govern. And they will also be responsible for the outcome. Real politics is a dirty business, and soon many will be forced to call good evil and evil good if they want to keep on endorsing these prophecies. 

But Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Regardless of many prophecies, we have been called to exercise discernment between right and wrong and good and evil. But right now, it seems that the white Charismatic church cares very little if something is right or wrong, or good and evil, false or true, as long as it furthers their political interests.

We have won, but at what a cost. At the cost of the Church ignoring lies and often propagating them, not caring if something is true or not. We have politicised facts to the point that we no more think that we need to care about them. But there is something wrong with the prophetic movement if we are happier to forward fake news than real news.

Rather ironically, this website also got a strong boost from the Russian bots, as they were promoting my previous articles on Trump prophecies. 

Now lets look at the actual content of some individual prophecies regarding Trump in detail. You should never just read the headlines.

Trump as truth-teller and with tender heart

Jeremiah Johnson, one of the prophets who prophesied quite early about Trump, didn’t in fact prophesy that Trump would be elected, but that he would become a trumpet and that “Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed.” 

This has already turned out to be false, and Trump winning won't change that. By any reasonable fact-checking standards Trump has lied perhaps more than any other American presidential candidate. Ever. Before the election day hundreds of his own lies went unnoticed by Trump.

Today, it seems fine for Christians to propagate clear lies, as long as it furthers their political interests. We pass on political lies, but we would be horrified if any of our friends would tell us similar lies in our private life. We have come to the point in the Church where truth and facts don't seem to matter. To many, they seem to be just opinions. And it seems OK to lie, as long as we get what we want.

But Zechariah 8:16-17 says, "'These are the things you shall do: speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; and do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ says the Lord.”

Personally, I steer clear of the prophets who routinely pass on political lies without bothering to do any fact-checking. I do think that fact-checking should be an indispensable part of prophetic ministry. Aren't we supposed to be the guardians of truth, no matter how uncomfortable that might be?

It seems clear that Trump is not intent on clearing the swamp of Washington D.C. any time soon but on simply bringing his own alligators to the swamp with the wealthiest ever proposed administration filled with billionaires, Wall Street bankers and millionaires. Although the lobby groups and special interest groups that have access to power are changing to new ones, it is business as usual in Washington. 

Jeremiah Johnson said about Trump, “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.”

For this prophecy to come to pass, Trump will need to break most of his campaign promises, which is already happening, so perhaps this part of the prophecy has some legs. But I don't see him becoming the champion of the foreigners or strangers any time soon. 

Honor, respect and restoration to America

Mark Taylor prophesied: "For I will use this man to bring honor, respect and restoration to America."

This one will be difficult to judge, as many respected America even when it was still trading in slaves and before the end of segregation. These kinds of nationalistic prophecies are difficult to assess. 

What is honour? Does Trump act honourably in your view? I find it difficult to reconcile Trump with any biblical sense of honour, but if you respect brutal power, perhaps he is your man.

In these kinds of issues the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But it seems likely that the world will be divided on the issue of “honor and respect” of America. How does God define honour?

Trump as Cyrus

One of the loudest prophets prophesying Trump’s victory is Lance Wallnau, who likened Trump to Cyrus, the apostle Peter, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther, and he also told us that Trump is a prophet.

“Jesus chose a businessman to give him governmental keys to restore the kingdom,” Wallnau said. “Jesus is putting his hand on a Peter right now; like you’re just saying, it’s a businessman. Trump is a businessman with the keys of the kingdom right now to wreck what hell has been doing over the United States.”

There is something very troubling about this. It seems to me that Wallnau is equating the Kingdom with the power of the Republican Party. This is presenting the Kingdom of God merely as a political movement—in direct opposition to the words of Jesus.

If you want to retain any meaning of words, I don’t think that anyone can be serious regarding calling Trump an apostle or a prophet, or like Martin Luther. To compare Trump to any of these people means asking Christians to ignore practically the whole message of the New Testament.

Churchill. Perhaps. But we will need a world war to verify that. And I certainly hope that no one will start one.

But what about Cyrus? This could be a possibility. But not in the way Lance Wallnau propagates it. Unfortunately, his argument works only with those who don’t know the Bible and the ancient history well.

Lance says about Trump, "With him in office, we have an authority in the Spirit to build the house of the Lord and restore the crumbling walls that separate us from cultural collapse. Even then, this national project is likely to be done, as Daniel prophesied, 'in times of trouble' (Dan. 9:25)."

Are we now deriving our spiritual authority from a man instead of God? 

The Jews knew Cyrus as their redeemer, but his liberation of the Jews was only a small part of his project of letting the nations that the Babylonians had conquered to return to their homeland and worship their own gods.

The historical truth about Cyrus was that he had no religious motivation to do what he did; what he did was simply in the interest of securing his own power by pleasing every nation that had been dealt with harshly by the Babylonians. 

The Cyrus Cylinder describes the beliefs of the real Cyrus:

"I collected together all of their people and returned them to their settlements, and the gods of the land of Sumer and Akkad which Nabonidus – to the fury of the lord of the gods – had brought into Shuanna, at the command of Marduk, the great lord, I returned them unharmed to their cells, in the sanctuaries that make them happy. May all the gods that I returned to their sanctuaries, every day before Marduk and Nabu, ask for a long life for me, and mention my good deeds, and say to Marduk, my lord, this: 'Cyrus, the king who fears you, and Cambyses his son, may their…'"

As far as Cyrus was concerned, he worshipped Marduk, the patron god of the city of Babylon.

There is an ancient 40-line hymnic praise of Marduk, in which his dual nature is described in complex poetic wording: Marduk is powerful, both good and evil, just as he can help humanity, he can also destroy people. 

If we were to apply the “Cyrus anointing” to Trump in any consistent way, that would mean that perhaps he would increase the freedom of Christians, but also every other religious group, like Cyrus did. So, if Trump is a Cyrus, America won’t become any more Christian, but more religiously pluralistic, although the Christians would also have the freedom to worship.

In the first millennium, Cyrus’s god Marduk was identified with Jupiter, the chief God of Rome, in whose name thousands of Christians were martyred. 

Looking at the prophecy of Isaiah 45 about Cyrus, the whole point is that although Cyrus was a pagan emperor, God would still use him to help the Jews to return to Israel. That was the limit of his assignment. We should not confuse the word ‘anointing’ here with anything like the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and I fear that Lance is abusing the fact that most Christians do just that.

All this happened in the context of Cyrus helping every nation in exile to return and worship their own gods.  So, if Trump really were Cyrus, he would mean that every Christian, Muslim, Hindu and even satanist would be given freedom to worship their gods.  But that definitely is not the way how Lance Wallnau refers to Trump as Cyrus.

And that begs a question: do prophets have the freedom to take biblical concepts and utterly redefine them? Is it OK to say that Trump is like Cyrus but not actually like Cyrus and give the word Cyrus a new meaning? Isn't the whole point of referring to Trump as Cyrus to claim that Trump is like Cyrus? And wouldn't it make sense to see who the biblical and historical Cyrus is first before putting too much weight on this prophecy?

In Lance Wallnau’s mouth words and biblical concepts have lost their meanings. But that is exactly how propaganda works: words and concepts lose their commonly agreed meanings and begin to mean something entirely different.

But the words God uses are accurate. He has chosen every word He uses very carefully. He doesn’t need to change the meaning of his words. 

Did Kim Clement prophesy that Trump will be the president?

The short answer is no, at least not in the prophecy everyone refers to from the year 2007. I wish Christians would pay a little bit more attention to the actual wordings of prophecies.

According to Kim Clement’s prophecy, Trump will become the trumpet and Bill Gates will open the financial realm to the Church. What follows is a prophecy about a president—who Kim Clement doesn’t name—who will rule for eight years. 

As Kim Clement never names the president, the only prophetic thing about this “prophecy” is that there will be a president who will stay in White House for eight years.

But how did Kim Clement himself interpret this prophecy? Unfortunately, he is no more around, so we must go with what he has said or written.

At least on April 9 2008, he clearly seemed to think that the president he prophesied about was Barack Obama.

Kim says, 

“For they have unfairly spoken against an African man, and I'm not talking about Jeremiah Wright; I'm talking about Obama. For God said, ‘Even though you may think this or that, there is an element of righteousness inside of him to reach out for Jesus. Therefore, I will sway it next week,’ says the Spirit of God, ‘and I will cause My man, My power—to exalt in the White House what is necessary to declare victory. For this time, I shall rise up and I shall make known who I am in a way that I have never done it in this nation,’ says the Lord.
For the Spirit of God says, ‘Do not say, “Is it this one or is it that one?” Hear me out. I am raising up My mantle, My voice. This nation shall be awakened to a spiritual activity that has been dead for 42 years. Listen to Me,’ says the Lord. ‘I will take over in a way and in a fashion that will bring a force of spiritual unity in this nation for the first time. You can believe it or not. I will take white and I will take African, and I will bring a unity in the Church between the two of them,’ says the Spirit of God.

This night in America and in this next week, God has informed us to ‘watch’ as He unfolds and reveals things so you will know that your nation has not been set aside for division and discord; but a time in the Church where African-American, where white or Caucasian, where Hispanic and every race in this nation under the spiritual guidance of the Spirit within a midst of war and division—will bring them to a place of unity.

Also, he says ,"'I will bring you out of what they call "a recession" into your highest economy that you've ever had in your next four years,' says the Spirit of God. ‘Do not think it impossible, for it shall be so.’”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that this highly optimistic prophecy has come to pass. The blacks and the whites and the Hispanics never united, neither did the recession turn into the highest ever economy in four years. Trump was quite loud already in 2007, so Trump becoming a trumpet is perhaps not such a courageous prophecy. And as far as I am aware, Bill Gates is yet to open the gates of finance to the Church.

But Obama did rule for eight years, although the white Charismatic church never really accepted him as their president.

So how did they get the election right?

I suggest that this election shouldn’t be seen in isolation of other elections, making the prophecies also appear in isolation. And the same prophetic movement that got the name of the president right in 2016 also got the 2012 election wrong.

So what was the difference this time? The answer is simple. This time, the winner was a Republican, and by and large, most Charismatic prophets tend to prophesy that the next American President will be a Republican.

The dissenting voices tend to come from the African-American Church, and this mostly simply reflects their base. It seems that both sides are quick to forgive any false prophecies. 

They meant well, didn’t they? After all, they were fighting on our side.

The hard fact is that the US presidential elections have tended to follow the election cycle of maximum of 8 years in power by one party since 1953 with some exceptions. This is because after 8 years in power, any rhetorics for change will begin to sound thin, and it is extremely difficult to campaign on the change agenda when a president from your party is in power.

So, from 1953, no party has held the presidency for longer than two terms. So, betting for a Republican president would have been quite a strong bet, simply because this election was always the one the Republicans should have won. And we saw how eventually most Republicans returned to their home base, even when initially they said that they would not vote for Trump, and how the independents followed them.

May I also suggest that the prophetic movement operates in a similar way to Saul’s army. The prophetic movement waits in one line for one “brave” prophet to stand up and declare a definitive prophecy about the Republican victory, whereas the more seasoned ones (once burnt) tend to make more vague statements, so that they don’t get caught of a false prophecy if a Republican doesn’t get elected, but they can participate in the victory if their candidate wins.

If the brave prophet gets it right, he or she gets the glory. If he or she gets it wrong, they are simply forgotten, or if they are famous enough, they will find a way to deluge the market with more prophesies so that the original prophecy is forgotten.

I might sound a bit harsh here. But that’s the way things have been. I guess I have observed the prophetic movement for far too long.

Also, it might come to you as a surprise, but these kinds of prophecies should matter very little to the Church. Yes, even Jesus prophesied about the world events, such as the destruction of the Temple. But his emphasis was rather different.

In Matthew 24:15-16 Jesus says, “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

Jesus gives this prophecy, so that the Christians of Jerusalem and Judah would know to flee, as the Roman army would be merciless against the rebelling Jews.

In Luke 21:28 Jesus says, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

The purpose of these kinds of prophecies in the Bible is very different than today. God wants to protect us in the world; the purpose of Trump prophecies is simply for Christians to organise and vote in order to gain political power.

In Lance Wallnau’s case, this is very much in line with his understanding of the seven mountains of influence.

The seven mountains of influence 

In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), developed a new strategy. Their mandate: Bring godly change to a nation by reaching its seven spheres, or mountains, of societal influence. They concluded that in order to truly transform any nation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, these seven facets of society must be reached: religion, family, education, government, media, arts & entertainment and business.

One of the problems of the seven mountains philosophy is that it doesn’t really deal with the corrupting influence of power. There is a naive assumption that Christians won't ever be corrupted by it. But this generation is by no means the first generation of Christians desiring political power. And it has never ended well. Have your ever read the history of the popes? Or every Christian political party in power since the beginning of time?

Revelation 17 gives us a prophetic warning about what can happen to the Church that makes it to the seven mountains of influence. Rather than the nations loving the Church they will see her as a prostitute—which she really is—and turn against her.

I have dealt with this issue in my article on Fact-checking ‘The Rape of Europe’.

May I also suggest that the American prophetic movement has been unduly  influenced by William Branham, and sometimes it seems like some sort of Branham Club. To be accredited by the club prophets must pay at least lip service to William Branham, and so most do.

In my book Supernatural Love: Releasing the Compassion of Jesus Through the Gifts of the Spirit I look at how William Branham’s model of prophecy, healing and word of knowledge has permeated the Charismatic understanding of ministry. And I believe that William Branham’s ministry is one of the main reasons why the Charismatic Church is so much lacking in the gift of discerning spirits.

Propaganda as prophecy

I have written earlier on about the polarisation of the American news environment. 

According to Mark Thompson, in his book Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong With the Language of Politics, the rhetorics of conscience that has taken over our political language has begun to resemble prophecy as a genre. This is because we have given up listening to those who disagree with us. There is no argument; you either agree or disagree. But there is no space for any rational arguments in this kind of communication. 

That is why, although I often hear from the Lord regarding political issues, I don't really like to bring prophecy into talking about politics: mostly it is much better to discuss the political issues from the perspective of the Scripture, as otherwise the scene will soon begin to resemble an argument between two toddlers.

All this demonising of people who disagree with your political view—especially when your view is based on a prophecy rather than the Bible—is rather sickening and disastrous to the Church.

As political communication has become more ‘prophetic’ in the level of rhetorics, the actual political prophecies have also become more acceptable. We no more debate the merits of policy issues, but we simply say that God has called someone to be the President, hence there is no debate.

If someone has been anointed by God to become the President, who are we to offer any resistance?  

Today, political communication and prophecy are meeting in the middle and merging into ‘prophetic’ propaganda.

The ultimate goal of propaganda is to persuade respondents to take a particular course of action. According to Douglas Walton, it follows a dialogue structure based on what she takes to be the commitments of the respondent. If you believe in the gift of prophecy, political propaganda will offer the message in the format of a prophecy. If you don't, it will find another way.

Propaganda has a goal directed structure—the goal is to get the respondent to act or to to support a particular policy or action—in this case, vote for Trump.

There is an involvement of social groups: the goal is to move mass audience to a particular direction—while a message can be delivered by an individual speaker she always represents a broader agency or organised group. This was very much true with every prophet of the Republican Church.

There is an indifference to logical reasoning. Propaganda appeals to emotion that is fallacious according to the standards of logical reasoning, but it also uses logic when it seems useful. As we have seen, these prophecies didn't engage with us on the level of logical reasoning. And we have seen that these prophets care very little for the conventional meaning of words.

Propaganda is one-sided argumentation. It presents the arguments in favour of one side as strongly as possible. There is no searching for fairness, or critically to discuss an issue openly considering all the arguments on both sides.  

Propaganda is justified by results. It is generally justified by citing a danger to the group and then stressing that the adoption of a particular point of view is needed to combat or guard against the danger. 

Propaganda uses emotive language and persuasive definitions: emotively charged words and phrases and highly positive coloration for own viewpoint and negative coloration to any opposing viewpoint. 

A whole new vocabulary can be invented (freedom fighter vs. terrorist or Elijah vs. Jezebel) There is also a structure of a quarrel.  We are fighting against the bad guys—if you are not for us, you must be against us.

For example, the call to warfare against the spirit of Jezebel just before the election, illustrates this well.

"We are calling to do warfare against the spirit of Jezebel that has become exposed in our nation and in our leadership," Amedia says. "We know the power and force behind the principalities that have oppressed our nation, that are diluting our Judeo-Christian principles, attacking the Christian faith and breaking our covenant with God. As one nation under God, it is time for the church to take its position as Esther. We are the bridge, as Esther was the bridge for her nation."

The language  and rhetorics of political campaigning seems to have nearly irrevocably entered the American prophetic movement, and they are now eating it from the inside. Soon there won’t be much left. I propose that the only way out of this is to begin to affirm the value of truth rather than power in our political life.

You can connect with Marko on Twitter @markojoensuu and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mpjoensuu/ or by visiting markojoensuu.com.
Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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10 comments:

  1. Sir, you have carefully deconstructed a complex knot. Thank you.

    The well from which your thoughts are raised is deep indeed. I find your words carefully measured and presented in the context of reverence for the broad and multifacited Nature of God rarely comprehended.

    I marvel at your willingness to even tackle this topic, and marvel even more at how you did so... maintaining spiritul integrity throughout. Your encouragement for (and protection of) true expressions of Spiritual gifts is evident.

    I share your interest of the soundness of Kingdom work, and hope many believers hear your heart and words.

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    1. Thank you for your kind and generous words! Indeed, it is not the easiest topic to tackle. But God's perspective is so different from ours. (Joshua 5:13-14)

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  2. Prophets miss it when they put timeline .Kim Clement was a great man of God. Many prophesies about Obama were meant to be of Donald Trump. He is the president Kim was referring to. God hides some information from his prophets and it's His glory to hide a matter and search the matter it's the glory of Kings(prophets).

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    Replies
    1. Proverb 25:1-It is the glory of God to conceal a matter ; to search out a matter is the glory of kings(prophets).It's for us to search and know what God was saying through his servant Kim Clement. RIP Kim Clement.

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    2. That proverb really has nothing to do with prophecy but everything to do with good governance and ensuring just decisions when it comes to ruling the country.

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    3. And how does God come in? How does He hide a governance matter? No prophecy is open even the written prophecies in the bible. Prophecy is always symbolic,unclear until the time of fulfillment that when everyone one come to know what it meant. Concerning Kim Clement prophecies everyone can see he only missed the timing. His prophecies are very accurate.

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  3. We have eight years to prove the remaining unfulfilled Kim prophecies. Let us wait and see.

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  4. You made a glaring error in your arguement in the statement regarding each political party holding the presidency for alternating eight year periods since 1953. I ask you have you forgotten the twelve years of Reagan on H. W. Bush? Or the single term presidents such as Carter? You missing such an obvious and easily fact checked item causes me to doubt any other point you have raised.

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    Replies
    1. Typo in my post, it should read, "...twelve years of Reagan and H. W. Bush?"

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    2. My apologies - I should have phrased it less absolutely and used the word "tended". It is a recognisable pattern, but in political science and history there are no absolutes.

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