Do Trump prophecies mark the destruction of the prophetic movement?

Marko Joensuu         No comments
You might be forgiven to wonder why anyone would ask that question, as right now, many Charismatic Christians are convinced that God has anointed Trump to be the president, and the proof has already been received by his election. But in fact the Trump prophecies are a sign of the destruction of the prophetic movement, as its prostitution with money and political power is now complete. We are no more hearing the prophets of God but the prophets of a political movement. God has given us what we have wanted for so long; He is not responsible for the consequences.

There are eight factors that have contributed to the current politization of the prophetic movement. We will look at them a little later. And day by day this process of politization is taking more troubling forms. For example, in a charismamag.com article Michael Snyder implies that the Satanic Temple is in an alliance with the Democratic Party. And when witches gather to pray against Trump, we take it as a sign that surely God is with Trump, so we will defend him even louder. But we forget that the devil's greatest weapon has always been deception: his main operation rarely is the one he shouts the loudest about.


But how is it that we have moved away from the biblical Christianity of preaching the gospel, making disciples and helping the poor? For that is the manifesto of the Early Church, as expressed in Galatians 2:6-10.


"But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.  They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do." 


But day by day, it becomes clearer and clearer that the prophetic movement has really become the "chosen vessel" of spreading political propaganda to the Charismatic Church, and more and more rightwing operators, such as Michael Snyder, have learnt to mimic prophetic voices.

Now, if you are a Republican, you might not find this particularly troubling, as your side seems to be winning, but you should be, as it is the Charismatic Church and the prophetic movement that are really losing. For if we are claiming to speak with the voice of God, a day will come when God will make us accountable for giving a false witness about Him.


Today, the prophetic movement seems to be stuck in circular reasoning: Trump has been anointed by God, hence everything he does must be right, and everything Trump does must be right because he has been anointed by God. Hence they will seek to defend Trump no matter what he does, often even defending him against the Bible! Because what matters to us is victory, not whether it all stands the test of the Word or not.



Putting Trump's words above Jesus' words

But this is not biblical reasoning. And the Bible is there to judge all prophecy. A prophetic word does not entitle us to an exclusion clause from the jurisdiction of the Word. But I have seen Christians defending Trump against Jesus; it seems that many are giving Trump's words more eternal significance than the words of our Master! For if a policy is against the words and principles of Jesus, we will defend it.

Even if you did believe that God has anointed someone to be a national leader, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he would be a blessing to  a nation. For example, in 2 Kings 8 the prophet Elisha goes to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria is sick. He sends Hazael to ask Elisha if he will recover. 

2 Kings 8:10-12 says, 


And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the Lord has shown me that he will really die.” Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept. And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”


In this case, the anointing of a political leader brought destruction to Israel. Now, I am not saying that Trump will cause destruction to America; I only make this point to make it clear that the word ‘anointing’ works differently in the Old Testament with an alleged anointing of a political leader. 


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!”


Currently, we behave as if there is no price to pay if we call evil good and good evil; but I really don't want to know personally what the words "Woe to those" really signify.


But all this is just an indication of a far greater malaise in the prophetic movement. The prophetic movement that should be specialised in how to use words carefully has in fact become pretty careless with words; but this only reflects our casual relationship to the Word. 


We seem to have been gripped by collective madness; we seem to believe that God has given us the license to redefine the meaning of His words rather than that we should keep on studying His Word diligently in order to discover what He really means.

The spirit of the age

I fear that we have now fully been captured by the spirit of the age.

We seem to have embraced the postmodern definition of truth, and perceive it to be merely an opinion. But that is the spirit of the age.


We now defend a political leader against the Bible. That is the spirit of the age.


We ignore large chunks of the Bible to protect our political views. That is the spirit of the age.


We forward fake and  questionable stories if they fit our agenda. That is the spirit of the age.


We label any facts we disagree with as “liberal bias”. That is the spirit of the age.


We demonise our opposition. That is the spirit of the age.


Rather than looking for truth, we feel that our opinion is the truth. That is the spirit of the age.


When our prophets sound identical to the political pundits, that is the spirit of the age.


When a prophet spreads hate speech,  that is the spirit of the age. 


When a prophet puts a party political agenda above God’s Word, that is the spirit of the age.


When prophets compete with each other to give a better version of the same word, that is the spirit of the age.


It should be no secret that the prophetic movement has been rather unwell for a long time. When charismag.com, the leading Charismatic website, publishes an article on What the Aquarius Constellation Teaches Us About Pentecost—and the End Times  and no editor blinks an eyelid, it should be clear to anyone still reading the Bible that we have lost our way. 


Over the last two years I have written numerous articles about the Trump prophecies and other political prophecies; it is not my intention to go through them here. Below are some links to them. They show that if you actually study the Trump prophecies carefully, they turn out not to be quite what they have been advertised to be.


Prophecy as propaganda

Is God finished with current prophetic movement?
The Trump prophecies and the urgent need for prophetic reformation
Why did so many prophets get the 2012 election wrong?

I believe that unless the prophetic movement returns to God and to faithfully presenting His word—which always begins with faithfulness to the Scripture—it will soon be written off by God as an unredeemable failure.

I deal with the crisis of the Charismatic movement in my book Supernatural Love: Releasing the Compassion of Jesus Through the Gifts of the Spirit, which gives an in-depth look into these things. For this article, I have identified eight reasons that have led to the current crisis in the prophetic movement. If these issues aren’t dealt with I fear that soon there won't be much left of our testimony.


What many don't realise is that much of the 'prophetic' out there is really agenda-based and not a result of seeking God. We prophesy because we believe that we have the right position on something. So, if we believe in the prosperity gospel, for example, we will prophesy prosperity to every Christian we meet on the way. If we believe in revival, we will prophesy revival to everyone on the way. But hardly anyone stops listening to God afresh. 


In 2 Samuel 7:3 the prophet Nathan says to King David, Nathan said to the king, “Go and do what you really want to do, because the Lord is with you.”


But then Nathan goes home and God actually speaks to him, saying that King David isn't the right man to build Him a temple. 


Much of the prophetic today is actually agenda-based assumptions. We believe that we have a God-given agenda, and we believe God wants to give us the victory. And we think that it is OK to prophesy victory, as we see that as exercising faith. But much of the time, no one really seeks the Lord. Instead, they proclaim the first things that comes to their mind, believing that God is with them! 


Here are eight factors that are operating together through our prophetic culture, but are bringing destruction to the prophetic movement.

1. Idolising our leaders leading to biblical illiteracy 


We seem to respect our Charismatic leaders and party-political consensus more than the Bible. This is the result of decades of being drip-fed by other people’s ideas about the Bible rather than us studying the Bible diligently ourselves. I have spoken with countless of Charismatic Christians who seem to be blind to what the Bible says because some Charismatic leaders have taught them something different.

We have a created a generation of Christians who think they know everything because they have attended a conference about everything, but in reality they are biblically illiterate.

2. William Branham

Most Pentecostals and Charismatics are unaware how intimately the current prophetic movement is linked with William Branham—a healing evangelist who operated from the late 1940s to 1960s. 

A multitude of Charismatic leaders and prophets see Branham as the greatest prophet and healer that ever lived, and often they pray for his mantle. Practically everyone in the Apostolic-Prophetic movement pays at least lip service to him.


In my book Supernatural Love: Releasing the Compassion of Jesus Through the Gifts of the Spirit I show how deeply Branham’s teaching has affected our Charismatic and prophetic movement.


Paul Cain, another leading figure in the American prophetic movement, called Branham “the greatest prophet that ever lived.”


So, who was this remarkable man so many seem to respect?


Branham was indeed the first revivalist in the Healing Revival of 1946-1956. He was known for alleged healings and for allegedly accurate words of knowledge.


Kris Valloton, a prophetic leader at Bethel Church, Redding, tells in one video available on YouTube that he once asked God, “Would you give me the mantle of William Branham?” He says that God’s answer was that Branham’s mantle would destroy him, and that it would be too heavy to be carried by one man.


C. Douglas Weaver, Professor of Religion and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Religion in Baylor University writes,


“The influence of William Branham did not end with his death. His ministry has made a significant impact upon the broader Pentecostal movement of this day. As the pacesetter for revival, Branham was a primary source of inspiration in the development of other deliverance ministries.”


According to Weaver, “Branham’s ministry must also be considered, at least in part, as a precursor of the Faith/Confession movement…”


According to many, William Branham is the prototype of the end-time ministry, and we should all follow his lead. Bill Johnson, Senior Minister of Bethel Church, Redding, writes about Branham,


“It is very possible that no one since Jesus Himself carried this particular measure of anointing. But he was not without faults. The strangeness of his doctrine later in life has caused many to once again ‘throw out the baby with the bath-water.’ It seems easier to reject a person for error than it is to learn to eat the meat and throw out the bones. One response only needs an opinion; the other requires maturity.”


Bill Johnson refers to Branham’s “faults”, but he doesn’t seem to perceive them as significant. According to this view, Branham’s doctrine “later in life” is the problem, but his ministry model still remains the gold standard in the Charismatic ministry.


In Derek Prince’s view, Branham operated under the influence of a demonic spirit at least part of the time. And yet many expect us to accept Branham’s ministry uncritically.


Branham’s teachings and life history indicate that, contrary to what he insisted, he might not have been called into ministry by God at all.

Branham had many doctrines that were clearly wrong. For instance, he affirmed the Old Testament law that man had the right to divorce his wife, if she cut her hair short.


But Braham’s most infamous teaching was the doctrine of the serpent’s seed. According to Branham, Eve gave birth to Cain through sexual intercourse with the snake; consequently every woman potentially carried the literal seed of the devil. 


He also taught that denominations were the mark of the beast.

Most alarmingly, Branham said, “Trinitarianism is of the Devil. I say ‘Thus saith the Lord.’”


You might ask how much this really matters. A lot.

Remember the Protestant Reformation? We are celebrating its 500th anniversary this year. It started as a reaction against corruption in the Church. Most Christians have heard about the The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences.  


But perhaps the Reformation could also be seen as a protest movement against the marriage ban that was instituted for the priests in the 11th century as part of a reforming effort of the Church.


The marriage ban of the Church for the priests released “many abominations” to the priesthood, an issue the Catholic Church is still struggling with.

And this marriage ban went clearly against the Bible, although it was supposed to bring holiness to the priests. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says,


“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”


We can see that sound doctrine matters. It is my sincere conviction that Branham propagated many “doctrines of demons” and that the idolatry of him by the prophetic movement has released a great deception into the Church.


Clearly, Branham has brought a worship of the supernatural into the Charismatic Church, and nowadays we put our supernatural experiences above the witness of the Bible.

3. ‘Bending reality’ through a word of faith

One of the major streams that has affected Charismatic Christianity is the Word of Faith movement, and the Healing Revival was very much influenced by it. This seems clear to most, but what has been lost to the mists of the 19th and the early 20th century is that the Word of Faith movement itself was profoundly affected by New Thought.

Kate Bowler, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School writes about New Thought.


New thought represents a cluster of thinkers and metaphysical ideas that emerged in the 1880s as the era’s most powerful vehicle of mind-power. Three aspects of New Thought became foundational to the twentieth century’s view of mind-power.  First, New Thought assumed unity between God and humanity, perceiving that separation between them was only relative and not absolute.


Bowler writes,


“As many New Thought authors worked inside a Christian framework, they explored ‘salvation’ not as a act imposed from above by God, but rather an act of drawing out humanity’s potential.”


New Thought saw the material world as subject to the mind and began to perceive faith as something that could bend reality.


“Second, New Thought taught that the world should be reimagined as thought rather than substance. The spiritual world formed absolute reality, while the material world was the mind’s projection.”


Third, they thought that human beings shared God’s creative power of thought and words.


“Third, New Thought argued that people shared in God’s power to created by means of thought. People shaped their own worlds by their thinking, just as God had created the world using thought. Positive thoughts yielded positive circumstances, and negative thoughts yielded negative circumstances.”


Phineas P. Quimby (1802–66) is usually cited as the founder or the earliest proponent of New Thought. A native of Portland, Maine, Quimby was a clockmaker with little traditional education. After observing the power of the mind to heal through hypnosis, suggestion and the placebo effect, Quimby began to practise hypnotism and developed the view that illness was simply a matter of the mind. He opened an office for mentally aided healing in Portland, Maine in 1859. One of Quimby’s students was Mary Baker Eddy, who went on to found the Christian Science movement.


E.W. Kenyon, who is considered to be the father of the Word of Faith movement, brought the New Thought way of thinking into teaching about healing. F. Bosworth, who would later on work with Branham, then carried the New Thought framework to healing revivals.

Later on, there was a shift from an emphasis on healing to focus on prosperity in New Thought. This shift was followed by a similar shift in the Christian camp, which led to prosperity gospel.

It is vital to understand that behind the Word of Faith understanding of faith is a belief that man’s mind has the ability to bend physical reality. The word of faith was seen as the law of faith, or as “faith force”.


But this is distinctly different understanding of faith than what the Bible gives to us. In the Bible, faith is a gift from God, and the gift of faith is a gift given by the Holy Spirit. In the Word of Faith teaching you hear a lot about the “spirit man”. This goes back to Kenyon’s teaching about the “spiritual man” that is born again, but rather than with the apostle Paul, who teaches that we are a temple of God’s Spirit, in Kenyon’s teaching our reborn spirit remains very much in charge. 


This influence has led to science scepticism and disrespect of facts. This might be one of the reasons why so many Christians are able to share fake news so easily, as long as they confirm their assumptions.


But Psalm 51:6, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.”


There is one thing faith can't overcome: the truth.

4.  Dominionism

It seems to me that dominionism has been creeping into our midst over the last few decades. It seems that many Charismatics have forgotten that one day we will die, and that we go to our grave naked. We have become the rich man of Luke 12:16-21:

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”


In the Charismatic world today, this is exemplified by Lance Wallnau’s Seven Mountain Mandate where the Church is supposed to take over the society.


But this is naive political theology at best. Besides, the Church did that in the Roman Empire, and it didn't end up well. It assumes that the Charismatics could somehow be the one corruption free generation that will somehow be free of the temptations of political power and money. But Revelation 17 shows how by seeking earthly power the Church will end up becoming a prostitute. Like Trump's government, the Seven Mountain Mandate is all about getting the power, but there is zero reflection on how to maintain your integrity, and how to actually use that power in a responsible way. 


Considering the Seven Mountain Mandate, I find it rather ironic that the prostitute church of Revelation 17 sits on 7 mountains. She gets on top of the mountains, but in the process she has become a prostitute.


And what the church history teaches us is that every generation of Christians that has been greedy for political power will end up prostituting itself, and more experienced political theology would definitely focus a lot more on the corrupting influence of political power. That is what we are seeing right now in the Charismatic movement.


Yes, we are the salt of the earth, but if salt loses its saltiness, it is only useful for being thrown away and trampled. We should remember that if we believe we have been called to be salt in politics. We need more mature political theology that actually factors in the imperfection of us Christians.

5. Prosperity gospel

Loosely linked to dominionism is our acceptance of the prosperity gospel, which has made us deaf and blind to the clear biblical stream of social justice, starting from Moses and continuing through the prophets and Jesus.

Trump himself says, “Norman Vincent Peale - the great Norman Vincent Peale - was my pastor. ‘The Power Of Positive Thinking’ - everybody's heard of Norman Vincent Peale. He was so great.” 

Prosperity gospel and positive thinking have worked their way through the Charismatic movement so deeply that in Trump the movement has recognised their own messiah—after all, Trump is speaking the same language of prosperity gospel that we speak. It is worth asking if we are today serving God or mammon.

6. Decades of conspiracy theories masquerading as prophecy

Isaiah 8:12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

We have seen decades of conspiracy theories with a multitude of apocalyptic interpretations in the prophetic movement. Many of these conspiracy theories are pushed out in books that become bestsellers for a moment but are soon forgotten—which is good for the authors, as their theories are generally proved false within a few years—sometimes within months. 


2 Peter 1:20-21 says,  “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

Most of these conspiracy theories are empty speculation based on “one’s own interpretation” – books made for a quick buck. But consuming these books for decades has left its mark in the Charismatic movement which doesn’t seem to believe a prophecy unless there is a conspiracy in it.


Why are most books on End Times so bad for you

7. Politicised spiritual warfare 

Although spiritual warfare as such is vital, disconnected from biblical teaching it becomes unhealthy. Paul says in Ephesians 6:12,

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."


Today, spiritual warfare has become connected to a political ideology, and it has been harnessed to deliver rather partisan and earthly goals. Nowadays, political operators are well versed in the rhetorics of spiritual warfare, and they harness it to their political ends.

8. Confessional Christianity

We don’t really care about the people’s lifestyle. We say we do. But we don't. We are only disturbed by the bad lifestyle of our enemies. But as for our friends, it is enough for us that they confess Jesus with their mouths. What we have kept of the evangelical movement is the confession, but we no more care about evangelism. 

In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says,  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”


Now I don’t want to bring anyone under legalism. We all need grace, every single day. I need grace every single day. But the fact that we don't always get things right doesn't mean that we have been given permission to teach against the more ethical teachings of Jesus. We need to begin to move from a mere confession to discipleship. 


The Charismatic movement is not a discipleship movement. We will only become a discipleship movement when we stop talking about discipleship and begin to apply the words of Jesus to our lives. 


These eight factors are slowly destroying our movement from the inside.  And it takes at least partial acceptance of all these factors to even begin to be able to take the Trump prophecies seriously. 


In Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Moses says, 

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”


My conviction is that today God is giving the prophetic movement a choice: either return to God and faithfulness to His Word, seek truth in all things, and choose life—or continue on the way that leads to the destruction of the house of prophecy.


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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