Why did so many prophets get the US election wrong?

Marko Joensuu         14 comments

November 6, 2012 was a disastrous day for the American prophetic movement. Not because Obama won but because so many prophetic leaders had either prophesied that Romney would win or warned about the dire repercussions if Obama were re-elected.

The list of prophets who got the election wrong reads like who’s who in the charismatic prophetic circles. Many have decided to ignore the issue, but to me, the fact is that this kind of collective failure brings collateral damage to the public perception about the value of the prophetic gift. If the most mature of us can’t get it right, how can the rest put their trust in hearing from God?

Right now, the body of Christ needs the prophetic gift more than ever. And God’s voice can be heard loud and clear, if only His people follow the clear principles given in the Bible about listening.

After all, God hasn’t given us a spirit of confusion but of sound mind. He speaks clearly, if we only cared to listen to Him.

My intention isn’t to comment on party politics, but to give you some of the reasons why so many leaders got it wrong. And none of these reasons has anything to do with God who still speaks loud and clear.

1. They forgot there is only one Master

At least some of these prophetic leaders were emboldened to proclaim the victory of Romney because Bob Jones said so!

Bob and Bonnie Jones wrote on their website in June 2012:

“This year on the 16th of January at 5:00 in the morning, the Lord asked Bob a question: ‘What do you think about a Mormon president?’ Bob was surprised and did not answer. Mitt Romney was not Bob’s first choice but I believe he is God’s choice. In my opinion Mitt Romney is the man God has chosen for this time and season and we should begin to pray for him immediately! We should also pray for a godly vice president and the conservatives that will be elected. NOTE: I said this was my opinion, not a prophecy.”

Bob is one of the original Kansas City Prophets, and no matter how many words he gets wrong his followers just keep on trusting him.

Many of Bob Jones’ friends seem to have ignored the ‘disclaimers’ that were there in case the ‘prophecy’ turned out to go wrong. They went for the kill. If Bob Jones thought that Romney could win, surely he would! Now there was an opportunity to make a statement on the national stage that would be proven right!

But we should be careful with believing other prophets without asking God first.

1 Kings 13:1-23 says:

"And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, 'O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘"Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you."' And he gave a sign the same day, saying, 'This is the sign which the Lord has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out.'

So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, 'Arrest him!' Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself. The altar also was split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. Then the king answered and said to the man of God, 'Please entreat the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.'

So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as before.  Then the king said to the man of God, 'Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.'

But the man of God said to the king, 'If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, "You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came."' So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.

Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king. And their father said to them, 'Which way did he go?' For his sons had seen which way the man of God went who came from Judah. Then he said to his sons, 'Saddle the donkey for me.' So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak.

Then he said to him, 'Are you the man of God who came from Judah?'
And he said, 'I am.'

Then he said to him, 'Come home with me and eat bread.'

And he said, 'I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. For I have been told by the word of the Lord, "You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came."'

He said to him, 'I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, "Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water."' (He was lying to him.)

So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back; and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, 'Thus says the Lord: "Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the Lord said to you, 'Eat no bread and drink no water,' your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.”'

So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back. When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him."

The young prophet was killed because he had trusted the old prophet rather than God! He was deceived as the old prophet paraded greater revelations he had himself experienced. But he should have trusted in the word of God rather than the word of another prophet.

And there is a worrying trend in the charismatic world that calls for apostolic and prophetic alignment—a mode of church government where leaders subject themselves under the authority of apostles and prophets to somehow partake in their ‘blessing’. And this means kissing their ring and toeing the party line.

And some of this teaching is just plain weird. Peter Wagner for example believes that the Second Apostolic Age began in 2001.

But these theories have little biblical backing. Yes, there have been apostles and prophets since the Early Church but their job is quite different from being the Overlords of the Church many leaders in the new ‘apostolic and prophetic’ movement believe they should be.

Jesus said that there’s only one Master, and the only one we call father (apart from our biological father) should be our Heavenly Father. Now, Paul legitimately told many Christians that he had been their ‘father’ but I don't think he expected us to abuse his few sentences, as they mostly criticize the very doctrines we use them for! He only resorted to the language about spiritual fatherhood as other tried to lord over these Christians.

The apostles and prophets should be in the business of equipping the Christians to conquer new territories and to hear God, and their calling should be evident on their work rather than on their register plate.

It seems the old quarrel about who’s the greatest in the Kingdom has got new clothes.

Let me be clear—I believe that apostles and prophets exist in the Church today but they have a completely different function than most of these leaders promoting models of apostolic and prophetic alignments would like you to believe.  They find the radical equality before God Jesus taught about too hot to handle.

No true apostle or prophet can ever teach Christians to follow a man. Or a woman. True apostles and prophets want to give the people the very best—the same Master they are following—Jesus.

2.They forgot that consensus doesn’t mean God has spoken

Opinions don’t metamorphose into God-given revelation just because a bunch of people agrees – not even when the people who agree are prophets!

Jeremiah 23:30 says,

“'Therefore,' declares the Lord, 'I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.'"

I was raised in a church where the agreement of elders was taken as a sign that God had agreed with them. But their agreement was based on the fact that they were all middle-aged men who shared a similar worldview. And they made a lot of bad decisions. A lot.

3.They placed the Constitution above the Word

Many prophetic leaders seem to regard the Constitution as a divinely inspired document. And because of that, they were ready to believe any trash that supported this view, including the ‘White Horse Prophecy’, a Mormon prophecy that says that a Mormon leader would one day save the Constitution.

And Romney seemed to fit the bill.

But, in truth a Constitution that didn’t seek to eradicate slavery can never have been divinely inspired. There might be a lot of good things in it but it is far from the Word of God.

4.They valued their friends over the Word

One of my friends in the USA told some Christian leaders to stop cursing Obama, as the Bible exhorts us to pray for the authorities. They stopped inviting him to their church.

A prophet who becomes a people-pleaser will never be able to hear from God. The biblical truths might sometimes be uncomfortable and not fit the political worldview of our friends, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

Prophets have to be willing to confront issues such as deep-rooted racism or greed in the Church and call them with their proper name. And they should never eradicate the biblical command to look after the weak and vulnerable in society with some self-serving lies about individual responsibility.

How much is there individual responsibility in grace?

5.They worried too much about their business

Being a prophet can be a fairly profitable business —if you choose your words carefully, and don’t listen to God too much!

The current prophetic movement has become toothless, talking loud about the presumed godlessness of the society but ignoring the godlessness of the Church.

You might not want to spoil the party where you are a guest speaker. You might not want to bite the hand that feeds you.

But God hears your every word. I’d rather have zero invitations to speak and hear God clearly than soothe the bad consciences of Christians who live in blatant disregard of the biblical commandment to love their neighbor. After all, the Bible teaches that God sees our love for Him from the way we love our neighbor.

6.They confused two kingdoms

It seems we have learnt nothing from church history. Combining earthly power with spiritual power has always led the Church into a big mess.

No prophet who becomes a party politician of any party can hope to hear from God. If he begins to push a party agenda he has stopped working for God. Why should God talk to him ever again?

7.They ignored past failures

Some prophetic leaders who had foretold the victory of Romney criticized their critics for being immature enough for actually believing in them!

Others took Romney’s loss a sign from God that America was beyond repentance and heading toward destruction.

I don’t recall anyone saying sorry.

We need to begin to take each failure of interpretation seriously and look for the reasons that might have contributed to it. Otherwise we will lose our ability to hear from God forever. Or not forever, as He will confront us when we try to get to heaven.

8.They forgot truthfulness

I fear that we have forsaken truthfulness in order to ‘protect’ the gospel truth. We don’t let facts get on the way of our message.

We use two scales to measure the sins of the people—one for us and our friends, and another
for our enemies.

But according to God, truthfulness matters—even when the facts don’t support our case. Christian leaders simply can’t recycle half-truths and political propaganda and think God doesn’t mind.

It is more honorable to God to admit when our enemies are right than try to pretend that their right is wrong. If we say we stand for Truth we must also stand for truthfulness.

Otherwise we can’t expect to hear from God ever again.

9.They forgot to listen to God

Prophetic ministry is about staying in the counsel of the Lord rather than declaring what you might have heard from the Lord in some prophetic conference at the earliest opportunity.

That takes time. It doesn’t fit with our busy schedules, and it definitely doesn’t fit with the demand of running a profitable prophetic business.

But the prophets should learn to shut up if the Lord hasn’t spoken.

There’s only one way to get out of the bankrupt state of the Western prophetic movement. It is to stop listening to all other voices and begin to listen to God.

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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  1. This is a deep learning for me and is profound.

  2. I'm glad it has blessed you! I pray that God will guide you and counsel you into the fullness of His plan for you this year!

  3. Or he did win and the election was stolen.

    1. God is Sovereign. He opens doors no one can shut and shuts doors no one can open is Bible.

  4. Or he did win and the election was stolen.

  5. Finally, things said that no one else has had the guts to say. May our Father continue to bless and keep you. Great Grace be unto You-IJN

    1. Thank you for your kind feedback and wishes!

  6. This is a wonderful dose of truth that is so timely and relevant given the prevalence of spiritual error in today's environment. Thank you for this work of godly integrity.

  7. These very words speak life into the ears of those who will listen. Not because you said it, but because His Word says so. Thank you for your insight!

  8. I love, love, love this article.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.




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