The False Prophet's Playbook: What to do when it all goes terribly wrong?

Marko Joensuu         No comments
This year hasn’t been kind to many prophets in the Charismatic movement, especially not in America, where many prophets predicted 2020 to be year of joyful increase but didn’t foresee 'minor' issues such as the coronavirus crisis. But all is not lost. Even when it all seems over, there are many ways to survive a professional mishap. 

I can predict (not prophesy) that these following practical and rhetorical strategies will come into play in 2020.  This is simply because they are well-tested and part of the false prophet’s playbook for when it all goes wrong.

1. Delete your prophecy 

This is where the misfortune that your prophecy didn’t initially get any traction becomes a benefit. If a prophet prophesies in the wilderness and there is no one to hear the sound, did it really happen? This philosophical question remains unanswered, so you are really in the company of great minds when you apply this strategy. A prophet philosopher. Has anyone written a book on that?

If you are lucky enough, you can give your prophecy a mafia funeral and bury it in an unmarked grave. What prophecy? I see no prophecy about that. Remember, the delete button is your friend!

2. Misquote your prophecy 

This technique is based on the fact that most Charismatic Christians never paid much attention to your actual prophecy. So, sometimes it is enough to adjust the wording of your prophecy slightly, and make it look like you in fact got your words right – after all, many Charismatics seem to believe that fact-checking is from the Devil!

3. Release a wave of new prophesies 

Release a mighty wave of new prophecies that will make everyone forget the old ones. Again, most Charismatic believers pay little attention to what you are actually saying. Don't care about the content. Just speak fast. Overwhelm them with new stuff so they will forget the old.

4. Remember another prophecy 

“Remember another old prophecy that you gave earlier, which will now suddenly give a new explanation to the other prophecy that now only looks like it had missed its target. If you add another piece, the jigsaw puzzle suddenly looks different!

5. Re-purpose an old prophecy 

There might be an actual old prophecy that you might be able to re-purpose. It doesn’t matter that at the time it was all supposed to happen in 2007 and not in 2020 – the Charismatics aren’t known for their attention to detail. 

6. Make the concrete spiritual 

If you prophesied that the year 2020 will be the year of financial prosperity, now make that prosperity spiritual and tell that true riches are stored in heaven and not in your bank account. 

7. Make the spiritual concrete 

If your prophesied spiritual warfare for 2020, now make that spiritual concrete – what it really meant was financial difficulties. 

8. Create your own facts 

Blame the news media for bias and create your own facts. It doesn’t really matter if you have any reliable sources or not – facts are there to be bent by your faith. 

9. Create your own reality where other people’s facts don’t matter 

Even better - don't just create your own facts but a whole reality. Release a new conspiracy theory where the lack of any evidence for it is the very evidence that the conspiracy is real. Now your prophecy is wearing a bulletproof vest! 

10. Release a new doctrine

There is nothing more exciting for the Charismatics than a new doctrine. Let them get excited studying that.

11. Blame the Devil 

You were right all the time but the Devil stopped it from happening because the Church didn’t pray enough.  Or if it wasn't the Devil, it must have been Jezebel. Or Moloch. There are many legions of demons, so the opportunities for naming them are endless. 

12. Start a moral campaign 

You were right all the time but now God is judging the society for their sins. Start a moral campaign against something. Now you aren't just a prophet but also a societal reformer!

13Ask everyone else to repent 

You were right but the prophetic fulfilment would have demanded full repentance from the Church. Your failure is not your failure but the very evidence that the Church hasn't repented yet. Become the prophet of repentance.

14Discover an esoteric Bible verse 

There must be a Bible verse that explains it all! The benefit of this strategy is that now you aren’t known only as a prophet but also as a Bible scholar.  

15. Redefine the function of prophecy (but not the office) 

Remind people that the New Testament prophecy is not 100% infallible, but at the same time they must  reminded about the infallible authority of your prophetic office. 

16. Teach about false prophets 

No false prophet would ever teach about false prophecy. Or would they? Launch a new series that teaches the intricacies of how to recognise false prophets.  

17. Lie, and lie more for the sake of ministry (and forget who the father of lies is) 

If you repeat lies often enough someone will believe them. Even you might. And you can always suffocate your subconscious scream with a shot of vodka. And now, few more shots. 

18Never say sorry 

Saying sorry is so unprofessional. Never get caught saying sorry. Jesus never said sorry. And He never advised us to say sorry. Or did He? If He did, He would reveal that to you personally in a dream or vision. There is no point in opening that Book to find out. He will always talk to you directly. You never need to read the Book for yourself, only to teach others.

You can doubt God and His omnipotence. But never doubt yourself!

19. Do something good publicly 

Now it is time to do something good publicly. Help the homeless, whatever, the important thing is that everyone sees how good you are. A prophet is known by their fruit, isn't he?

20. Sacrifice a friend

If all else fails, now is the time for the ultimate sacrifice. Go through your Filofax and see who is the most expendable.  Launch a personal attack against someone because of their false prophecies. Sometimes the herd must sacrifice the weakest member. (If you don't know what Filofax is, you are already vulnerable yourself, as you haven't been in business long enough. And your name will be in someone else's Filofax.)

21. Hope for the best when you get to Heaven 

Jesus was known for His pragmatism when it came to the business side of things. He always put His livelihood first, didn’t He? On arrival, make sure that Jesus will understand that the motivation of your heart was always to further the best interest of the Church.  It was never money or fame. 

Exitus acta probat – the outcome justifies the deed – wasn't it Jesus who said that? 

You can connect with Marko on Twitter @markojoensuu and on Facebook at or by visiting 
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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