The Two Spies Report

The "Minority Report" from J. Michael Bennett, Ph.D, Emeritus Producer of the Future Quake Radio Show, and Author of the soon-to-be-released book series The Holy War Chronicles – A Spiritual View of the War on Terror

Tag: prophet

The New “Lost Cause”: What Might Await Us – Part 3: The Stakes of Conservative Christian Leaders and “Prophets” on the Mythology of Trump’s “Lost Cause”

 

NOTE TO THE READER: This is another of those VERY LONG posts from me, although it is only one of many parts in this series. I confess that this is around 50 pages single spaced in Word, but it is all connected to a single sub-theme, and I couldn’t come up with a way to break it up and still maintain its interconnected coherence and “punchline.” Thus, just take your time reading this in stages at your leisure, but please remember it should all be considered finally in total to impress the lessons it has spoken to me and (hopefully) other readers. It has a lot of contemporary quotations and viewpoints of major Christian figures, and thus it is a good link to forward to other Christians you know via Facebook and other social media, and emails (please do) – particularly conservative ones like many of us have been, and I think it can be constructive if they are open to some constructive critique from a well-meaning Christian, and something I think we need to confront as a Body of Christ. I hope any readers will also consider reading the first two foundational Parts of this themed-series, and even the ones that come after this that further advance the premise, to maximize the recognition of the ramifications of these epochal spiritual crises we now face.    

 

Part 1 of this blog post series (posted two days before the Capitol domestic terror event) explored the historical roots of national “lost causes” – whereby a major portion of a nation’s public (or a major region) comes to believe that their political and social power has been unfairly or treacherously “stolen,” the mythology that is cultivated to propagate its message (often exaggerating history and facts or merely fabricating them), the “scapegoats,” “traitors” and other “boogeymen” proposed by demagogues by which to focus the pubic into a frenzy of action over generations, and the eventual underground vigilante and guerilla actions, movements and groups that seek to return the “power to the people” outside the rule of law or democracy. In Part 2, we briefly further explored some historical examples from our holy and ancient history texts, which reveal that when mythologized “lost causes” become religious-fueled “holy wars,” we see emerge the role of the “anointing priests” and “prophets” that foretell a spiritual, heavenly-empowered restoration and even revenge of prior “lost causes” that have particularly influenced devout monotheistic God-fearers and challenged their faith and self-respect, and the identification of a God-chosen “messiah” to “right the wrongs,” avenge prior defeats and humiliations, and restore a messianic “golden age” with God’s people in control. We also saw what lasting “fruit” is borne from such crusades, and their ramifications, to help us reflect on what to expect in the “Lost Causes” in our era and beyond. In this Part 3 of this series, we explore the conservative Christian/Religious Right community that has built such a mythology around Donald Trump as the symbol of their “lost cause” of “conserving” the status quo of the classes, races and institutional parties that are allowed to have a seat at the table of America’s social and political influence and power (with their seat as society’s Pharisaic moral arbiters and “culture warriors”), their unique “prophecies” that have guaranteed his 2020 victory to inspire the masses and to profit from them, and their imperative to bring about that vision to fruition and thus instigate their flock, at whatever cost or danger, to retain their own credibility and influence.

 

This blog, dedicated to the “Two Spies” Joshua and Caleb as a kind of “Christian Minority Report,” is focused on how the “Bible believing” religiously-conservative American Christians like myself perceive society and the world around them, how they process that perception within and inform their culturally-driven “biblical worldview” they have adopted and embrace (versus the timeless one they hear from the words of Jesus and the saints) and their innate religious culture that has been cultivated for generations, and how it impacts their public issue positions, statements and deeds, by both their recognized Christian leaders and celebrities, and the average practicing Christian citizen, on the national stage, on Facebook and online, and within their own churches, home groups, families, workplace and other circles. As someone raised in a classic, Bible Belt evangelical culture, I still believe in evangelizing, soul-winning and making disciples by “rescuing the perishing” and being “fisher’s of men,” one person at a time. I still believe in the born-again experience, and a Great Commission duty to share the “Good News,” and to proliferate not by family births and institutional infant baptisms and catechisms into one’s own cloistered religious culture or clan, but by combing the “highways and byways” and lifting the burdens of guilt and sin from seeking, searching individuals and to help provide their desired spiritual deliverance, or to inform them of what their spiritual and cultural darkness has blinded them as to a ‘better way,” and a path and ticket to an eternal “Kingdom of Heaven” of sustainable, fulfilling “life” in community with their Creator, and with others. If you have read this blog for any length of time, I am sure you have gathered that I am greatly concerned that the proud, hateful tone I hear from my fellow “Bible-believing” Christians here from their leaders nationally, and online and in local discussions, to the point that now it greatly distresses me to the suspicion that they have shipwrecked their testimony to the physically or spiritually needy, about whom they would rather spread the most paranoia and contempt, or even worse, simply don’t care about outreach to those in the margins of their society and are satisfied to combat and vanquish them, to secure an iron grip on an earthly kingdom here in America.

In the fall of 2011, six months before I concluded my Future Quake radio show, I began focusing on writing on what was going on then in the Bible Belt Christian community, especially here in the “ground zero” of middle Tennessee in the explosive rise of the “Islamophobia” and “anti-sharia” craze, centered on the new Islamic Center in nearby Murfreesboro. Anti-Muslim paranoia had a peak of sorts, understandably, in the wake of the spectacular and generation-defining 9/11 terror attacks, along with widespread conservative Christian community endorsement of Guantanamo mass-incarceration of innocents as well as the dangerous, jailing without trial (or only “secret” military trials) or witnesses, no identification of those witnesses or cross examination, inhuman torture tactics, illegal renditions off the street, set-up and contrived FBI “terror stings” of gullible, low-functioning simple folk, and the like, all enacted while conservatives were “in charge” during the Bush terms. However, I find of interest that a renewed and even deeper “wave” of interest within conservative circles in the “anti-Muslim mania” topic occurred in the latter years of the first term of the Obama administration, and as I document, became a “horn of plenty” for conniving demagogues and snake oil salesmen populating Christian media and rallies, including ex-Special Forces groups seeking vigilante movements, fake “ex-terrorist” defectors, and others with different angles to terrify and rile up the natives, all to make a buck. I thought the material might barely make a full book, but now I am on my 12th manuscript, being led to go back all the way to the first “holy war” of Cain and Abel, to find out how violent confrontations fueled by religious differences (or just rival religious leaders of packs seeking dominance) has defined the history of the monotheistic faiths, and how it reveals what they really believed about their “Master” and His values, priorities, goals, nature and agenda, like the man who buried his “one talent.” While I was aggressively trying to wrap up that extensive book series for publication before the material and era became a distant memory, friends like Adam Sayne were prodding me to write and focus on more immediate and new developments with the new era of conservative Christian messaging in the “Trump era” of 2015, prompting me to “come out of the closet” with my views on the controversial matter here on this blog in 2015, and to relent and divert my concluding efforts of the Holy War Chronicles book series in 2018-2019 to begin to document these new developments into what has become a three-volume Two Masters and Two Gospels book series (Volume 1 released in April 2020).

The narrower focus of this current blog post series looks at the roots of what prepared “Bible believing” Christians to accept a profane man of wicked history and contempt for other humans as not only their standard bearer, but a messianic deliverer and now apparently the leader of a delusional, conspiracy-obsessed death cult. However, in hindsight I can now see that the cultivation of the conservative Christian community, claiming to follow the “Prince of Peace,” to go “full in” on xenophobic hatred of Muslims and immigrants, fabricating evidence-free slanders of their communities (akin to the notorious “blood libel,” Protocols of Zion claims about Jews in 1920s-30s Germany (AND America!), led by the deep pockets of an exploitative conservative talk radio and cable news cartel (and even worse, the “Christian” variants)), disgraced and dangerous ex-commandos, mercenaries and intelligence officials with ignored skeletons in their closets, and other “strangers” with hidden agendas of wealth or covert agendas, actually set the stage for the wider-focused, and more extreme nature of the “Trump culture” who, like Dirty Harry, “hates everybody” outside their circles, and lives in a paranoid, evidence-starved world view once reserved for wackos in cabins in the woods, or in institutional care.

The real matter then becomes, with four years of daily outrageous statements and actions by Trump or his taxpayer-paid staff or media sycophants, known by all except those who only use Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Breitbart and such for their news (who daily omit these incidents, or somehow spin it as a positive (!)), such as the collusion of his campaign chief and chief national security advisor with Russian intelligence having been proven in court and grand juries, Russian advisors invited to Trump Towers by Trump Jr. to knowingly accept Russian data on a political rival (as Trump later met with top Russian officials with no other American representatives permitted), illegally withholding military aid approved by Congress to help ally Ukraine from an ongoing Russian invasion unless they generated fake dirt on his presidential rival (as attested by senior aids under oath), lying about his wealth and covering up his deep debts and vulnerability to foreign banks, tearing innocent children from their mothers, putting them in cages and permanently separating them from their families, etc., etc. – the daily list is far too expansive to recount – has the undying and critical support of “moral” Christian “values voters” for Trump wavered at all? In 2016, it was found that 81 percent of evangelical voters said they voted for Trump, as the essential voting block for his election, although as I show in my book, taking into account the relative percentage of evangelical voters who actually vote, only about one third of all evangelicals voted for him, although in practice they have come to be recognized as speaking for all evangelicals, and their actions certainly have dictated over his administration the execution of (1) the “bum deal” tax plan they subsequently foisted on lower and middle class citizens, (2) the skyrocketing deficits to support the halving of corporate taxes and the brackets of the highest wealth earners, and (3) the economic disaster long term of being a global pariah state for sabotaging all global economic trade and arms control treaties, and producing a future polluted and overheating world their children will suffer through, along with the crippling future debt they approved to enjoy their immediate materialistic excesses. After four years of such daily revelations – mostly told by Trump or his spokesman directly in public statements and rallies without any shame or opaqueness – has the cultish devotion to Trump wavered at all in the 2020 election? 

Well, the Gallop organization, considered the premier polling firm in the world and certainly Christian-friendly, has begun to compile and report such data. On November 13, 2020, they reported that “The AP VoteCast survey shows that 81% of White evangelical Protestant voters went for Trump this year, compared with 18% who voted for Biden. The Edison exit polls estimate that 76% of White evangelicals voted for Trump, 24% for Biden” – so, in other words, their support really has changed much at all. It is also interesting to note their report that “The Edison exit polls estimate that 52% of all Catholic voters went for Biden this year, and 47% for Trump. The Edison exit polls in 2016 showed a 46% Catholic vote for Clinton, and 50% for Trump”; it should be noted that amongst Catholic voters, a smaller proportion of them would likely be associated with the Religious Right (although many are pro-life), than with evangelicals.

The bigger question probably is – how many losing Republican voters, evangelical or not, accept the announced results of the 2020 election that was certified by Republican governors, secretaries of state, and confirmed by top Trump appointees at the head of the Department of Homeland Security for elections and his own loyal Attorney General, and verified in scores of court cases since then, or rather cling to the evidence-bereft Internet claims that it was “stolen” somehow, as a “lost cause” of unjust betrayal and a “stab in the back” by even these Republican authorities? On December 9, 2020, National Public Radio reported that “according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey…Sixty-one percent say they trust the results, including two-thirds of independents, but just 24% of Republican respondents say they accept the results.” They add that “Unlike past presidents, Trump has refused to formally concede. That’s something that two-thirds of Americans think he should do, according to the survey. Sixty-two percent of Republicans, however, don’t think he should,” and that “A strong majority of Americans — 60% — don’t want him [Trump] to run again, but two-thirds of Republicans do. That effectively freezes the potential 2024 Republican primary field.” They also note that “Sixty-one percent of Americans now say they will take a vaccine when one comes available, up from just 49% in September”, but that Republicans are evenly split down the middle as to willingness to take the vaccine, with only 34% of Republican women to do so.” They further state that “Also among the most reluctant to get the vaccine: Trump supporters (only 47% said they would), people who live in rural areas (51%), people without college degrees (53%), white evangelical Christians (54%) and non-whites (58%).”

I cannot impress upon the reader strongly enough the significance of these findings. This is not just disconcerting data about my favorite punching bag – my fellow beloved Religious Right evangelicals – but all Republicans, including the non-religious libertarian and big-business advocates, most of whom who refuse to believe the experts as to the accuracy of the national election (probably a first time ever), and continue to see it as “stolen” and an “illegitimate” “lost cause” of sorts, and remain devout to Trump in resisting a peaceful transfer of power, and in his long-term leadership of our nation, which carries over even into disbelieving health officials in their guidance that is trying to save lives, as they did to eradicate smallpox and polio, and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. This is not just a handful or brainwashed “Manson girls” we are talking about here, or a small paranoid compound or cult outpost; what will this suspension of belief in reality lead almost half of the American public to do in the months and years ahead in defiance to what they think was “stolen” from them by the “deep state” and their fellow despised citizenry, with an air of desperation and apocalyptic fervor they have adopted from the talk radio, cable news and online outlets that have cultivated it in a fashion that would have impressed a Joseph Goebbels? [NOTE: I wrote this preceding paragraph before the assault on the Capitol. Ed.]

And, as they say, “that’s nuthin’.” On December 17, 2020, our local Nashville newspaper The Tennessean reported that “Just 15% of Republicans in Tennessee believe President-elect Joe Biden is the legitimate winner of the November election, a new Vanderbilt University poll found…In addition to the vast majority of Tennessee Republicans believing that Biden did not legitimately win the presidential election, 70% of GOP voters said they thought the Democratic president-elect was trying to ‘steal the election,’ a claim that has been disproven as dozens of court cases brought by allies of President Donald Trump have been struck down” (emphasis added). they add that “By contrast, 70% of Tennessee Democrats believe Trump is attempting to ‘steal the election,’ the poll found. Among Republicans, 35% did not think Trump should concede after the Electoral College met. Only 12% of Republicans surveyed felt confident that votes nationwide had been counted fairly.” They noted “the state’s top GOP leaders also refusing to acknowledge Biden as president-elect,” and that “Gov. Bill Lee, who said last week he would wait to call Biden president-elect until the Electoral College met and the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a legal challenge to reverse the results, said on Monday that he still was not ready to recognize the victory.” Furthermore, they acknowledge that “In separate statements provided this week to The Tennessean, the Republican state House and Senate speakers also declined to recognize Biden as the winner. Both Lt. Gov Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, said they would be more ‘comfortable’ with doing so after Congress counts the electoral votes Jan. 6 [Note: what exactly duo they have up their sleeves to at least attempt at that time? [Well – although I wrote that before the hijinks of January 6, now we know. Ed.]. Tennessee House and Senate Republicans have publicly endorsed Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election through court challenges, and the state’s Republican attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting a failed effort to have the U.S. Supreme Court intervene.” Makes me so proud to be a Tennessean!

The conservative activist lobbyists were not idle either, in regard to this “threat,” so the “cause” will not be “lost.” By December 10, a collective lobby group called the “Conservative Action Project” announced online that “There is no doubt President Donald J. Trump is the lawful winner of the presidential election. Joe Biden is not president-elect. Accordingly, state legislatures in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Michigan should exercise their plenary power under the Constitution and appoint clean slates of electors to the Electoral College to support President Trump. Similarly, both the House and Senate should accept only these clean Electoral College slates and object to and reject any competing slates in favor of Vice President Biden from these states.” This action is to overturn the clear votes of the citizenry, whose results have been approved by these states’ Secretaries of State and governors (many of them Republican), the top Trump official overseeing elections (who has since been pressured to resign) and Trump’s selected Attorney General (who has also been pressured to resign). This document was signed by individuals such as Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, Alfred Regnery (head of Republic Book Publishers), Brent Bozell, Kenneth Blackwell, Morton Blackwell, former Sen. Jim DeMint, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (surprise, surprise! – who took an oath to defend the Constitution), Rick Scarborough, Gary Bauer, Judson Phillips (founder of the lucrative Tea Party Nation), Rob Chambers (American Family Assoc.), and many, many others. Is this all that is required to take power – a document from some lobbyists, and some partisan dissatisfaction – to seize power, in dispensing with the massive national election process overseen by many thousands of American citizens in long-vetted processes, the long list of court hearings after considering and dismissing appeals, and even the response from the U.S. Supreme Court? Have we arrogantly taken our “sacred” voting process and its legitimacy for granted for too long, while we looked down on the corrupt circuses of such in the Third World and Communist countries? Will we ever have an accepted election and peaceful transfer of power again?

This development of a Trump loss (even though long foreseen by polling data all year) has been particularly thorny for the Christian community, and its “signs and wonders” sect in the charismatic/Pentecostal and even Messianic forms. The Religion Unplugged blog writes that Pentecostal or Charismatic Christians are “part of the world’s fastest-growing form of Christianity,” and that “There are about 66 million Pentecostal or charismatic Christians in the U.S.,” according to expert Holly Pivec; that’s twenty percent of ALL the population of the nation. This community has long been bold in its “prophets” – both the old ones who have amused us for years, and new ones that always come out of the woodwork, sensing “thar’s gold in them there hills!” – giving specific dates and events they foretell will happen, and when it doesn’t, no one seems to care or remember much about it. I should not pick on this crowd alone – the non-charismatic crowd I was raised in began to emphasize the “prophecy being filled today” mantra (and I say this as a believer in Bible prophecy myself) ever since Hal Lindsey’s Late, Great Planet Earth became a best seller in the early 1970s, and I admit the concept energized my own Southern Baptist religious practice. Soon thereafter with the advent of cable television, and the distribution of audio cassettes and later videocassettes, the prophecy industry/racket flourished, with each upstart needing to outdo the other in the brashness of their claims, and a “gimmick” slogan or angle to establish a footing in the market. Prophecy buffs were found to be as faithful as cigarette smokers, rock concert attendees and multi-level marketing wannabees in their devotion to the product, swallowing up any materials produced by these crowds, and attending every conference they could afford, although the crowd now is starting to considerably gray (and who thought long ago they would already be raptured out of here), although the Internet is also cultivating a younger crowd on Youtube videos and conspiracy materials, often for free since they can’t afford the conferences, books and DVDs (or don’t want to, saving their money for video games and such) like the retiree crowd. This sub-culture was found to be a perfect breeding ground for promoting a hawkish right-wing foreign policy (originally Cold War, right-wing Zionist, then anti-Muslim, anti-Iraq, anti-Iran, and generally whoever the enemy needs to be for the U.S. at the time, to “pin the tail on the Antichrist”) and domestic security state, centered on the mandate to supply overwhelming arms, military secrets, money and United Nations human rights-sanction cover for the largely-atheist State of Israel (as I have mentioned elsewhere, at one prominent prophecy conference I spoke at not long ago, I noticed an intimidating man in a suit and with an earpiece hanging up Israeli flags in the speakers’ lounge, and when I inquired, I was told by another speaker that he was sent by the Israeli government, and that they underwrote many of these meetings).

These prominent and well-compensated speakers made assurances that Jesus should return no later than the 1980s. Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement like the church I have attended in recent years, who hung their hats on Bible prophecy (which MUST be “pre-trib” to permit franchising as such) as a foundation of their brand, caught up in the Southern California euphoria of the 1970s and 80s as the home of Hal Lindsey and similar Bible prophecy operators), as an example, pushed the assertion in two of his books that Jesus would return by 1981 at the latest, and then held a 1981 New Years Eve service to await the end, leading many people to leave Calvary Chapel (but Bible prophecy, post-Smith, is still their foundation today). Another famous “date setter” was the book, “88 Reasons why the Rapture Will Occur in 1988,” drawing yet further ridicule. This was built on the “grand daddy” rapture prediction of the Seventh Day Adventists/”Millerites” experiencing “The Great Disappointment” when Jesus did not return in 1844 as their founder predicted, leading him to repackage the event as an unseen one in the heavens, which they still believe today, and set the template for managing future prophetic date-setting “PR disasters” by merely moving the goalposts. Ideal dates for the frenzy of Bible prophecy date-setting was obviously the year 2000 (deliciously baited by the Y2K scare, and a May 2000 astrological conjunction of the planets), and the 2012 date (foretold by a pagan Mayan calendar). Untold books have been published by special Christian publishers with these dates embedded in the titles, along with “Omega this” or “Armageddon that” and then come and go without anyone casually reflecting – probably much like how “prophets” routinely make prophecies that have not come true in otherwise exciting Pentecostal meetings over the years, and if someone pointed out their failure and the fate of the Hebrew prophets when they were wrong well, I guess that would spoil all the fun. Does anyone remember the “Blood Moon Rapture” a few years ago, where even parishioners at my church pressured leaders to announce its coming? Nashville has had its announcements of local doom announced on local billboards at least twice since I have been here – first by Harold Camping in 2011, and more recently by a group saying on local billboards that the End Times would begin when a nuclear bomb (detonated by Muslims, of course) would destroy Nashville on July 18, 2020 – an announcement also run in a full page age in the prominent local Tennessean newspaper. The Messianic/Hebrew Roots crowd also has their list of dates they announce through one or more figures, always based on the Law, Hebrew calendar or Kabbalah-style numerology. As of late, I am told that an asteroid passing by before long will somehow create the rapture here, and since they have spaced the event date to occur some time from now, they should sell a lot of books and other materials in the meantime. When these days come and ago, no one seems to care – except for the ones outside the Church who are yet again disappointed when they are seeking an authentic message of deliverance, but the Church folk particularly don’t seem to care about that.

Of course, the grand-daddy of “Trump-win prophets” has to be Mark Taylor, known as the “Fireman Prophet” or “Trump Prophet.” As I understand it, he was a firefighter without any theological or similar education who claimed he was unemployed and suffering from PTSD for years, watching TV a lot and having dreams of demons dragging him away, but while watching TV one day he believed he got a message in 2011 that Donald Trump on the television would be president. In 2016, the wife of his doctor uses this information shared by Taylor with his doctor (her husband) to start a “shofar prayer chain” to get Trump elected. She eventually even uses Israelis to blow shofars for their purposes. Tom Horn’s group Defender Publishing evidently saw a profitable opportunity with the gullible Trump Christian follower crowd seeking affirmation for their undying support for a thrice-divorced, adulterous Manhattan casino owner that bragged of sexually assaulting women, and quickly published his biography and “prophecies,” in a book called The Trump Prophecies. Liberty University, also one quickly to capitalize on financial opportunities with dubious collaborators (like Trump himself), subsequently produced a film for theater release in 2018. I saw the film, and a major part of its contents after a basic and brief historical re-inactment are a series of simple interviews with top Dominionist, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) national leaders like Michelle Bachmann and Gen. Jerry Boykin, reiterating that Trump was “God’s man.” One major newspaper reviewer of the film stated that “Taylor has made other claims, which he calls ‘prophetic words,’ including that Trump will serve two terms, the landmark supreme court ruling on abortion in the Roe v Wade case will be overturned, and that next month’s midterm elections [2018] will result in a ‘red tsunami,’ strengthening Republican control of both houses of Congress, Barack Obama will be charged with treason and Trump will authorise the arrest of ‘thousands of corrupt officials, many of whom are part of a massive satanic paedophile ring.’ Trump will also force the release of cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s that are currently being withheld by the pharmaceutical industry.” On my own, I had noticed Taylor having new radical prophecies on an almost weekly basis, and having evidently found his “gig,” and noticed that people are eating it up. I heard from him that the Illuminati are using special weapons to alter the DNA of people like myself to not otherwise obviously support Donald Trump. He also revealed another time that Sen. John McCain did not die of a brain tumor like the “fake news” announced, but rather died in front of a firing squad for daring to get in the way of Donald Trump.

The “respected” Christian media outlet CBN News (Christian Broadcast Network, connected to Pat Robertson’s 700 Club) interviewed Taylor and his wife evidently in 2017, which can currently be viewed on Youtube, in which they point out his 2011 “prophecy” of Trump’s election (or, as I see as a alternative possibility, another incident of one of a million monkeys typing the complete works of Shakespeare (in other words, the one in a million coincidence guess) that he has capitalized on, a possibility I consider given the spiritual maturity and “accuracy” of his subsequent “prophecies” he has demonstrated). He recounted how his “word from the Lord” said that under President Trump, America would prosper more than ever before, with stronger ties with Israel than ever. During his bout of PTSD, he got help from “Christian physician Dr. Don Colbert,” and his wife saw notes of the prophecy Taylor had shared with his doctor (I don’t know how HIPAA rules apply in such cases), and she says in them “she saw the Father’s rhythm or frequency, because God has His own frequency.” She said for the prophecy to come true, it would take a lot of prayer (I don’t know, if it was a true prophecy from God, why it would need “help”), but she says she “got the prophecy in the hands of major leaders across the country, people that I knew were influencers in their church” (as they showed pictures of Kenneth Copeland and his wife) and started a prayer chain “that the Lord told her to do,” although she thought it would happen over the 2012 election. When that didn’t happen, Taylor said, “I thought I  missed it,” and even Colbert said she had doubts, but God told her to watch the Belmont Stakes horse race, where horse Creator beat horse Destined by a hair, and she noticed the CNN headline, “Creator wins by a photo finish,” to which she said, “God, you’re going to really do this” (of course, I also noticed the winning jockey also had a huge pentagram on his chest (no kidding), but no mention was made of that). The CBN interviewer brilliantly responded, “The horse’s name is Creator, God is the Creator,” to which Colbert replied, “God is the Creator, I win.” She further added that “God used Trump to stop an anti-Christian agenda.” Taylor added that his original prophecy said that the news media would eventually come to agree with everything that Trump is doing, to which he said that “God is looking for His millionaires and billionaires” to buy out the news media, and that under Trump “the Army of God will have victory after victory after victory.” The interviewer asked the “prophet” Taylor, seen as spiritually aware of God’s sure-fire plans by millions of Christians, “will there be an eight year Trump presidency?“, to which he replied, “Absolutely. I’m sure about that,” because when they see the “good coming to the country,” which he defined by its “prosperity” and “the economy,” “he will sail right in to a second term.”

The Trump Cult has taken its “prophet,” who had appeared to me from his own biographical details to be an unemployed man with self-professed PTSD and demonic hallucinations, to great fame, and probably much prosperity for his strong message of God’s certainty of His endorsement of Donald Trump, and the certainty of his reelection as well. Obviously, he has a lot at stake, as well as other Christian “prophets” who have told of the certainty of Trump’s reelection, in seeing that come to pass to salvage their reputation, and God’s endorsement on them as well as Trump. It is thus of no surprise that his Twitter account shows his passionate support of the “stolen election” narrative, and that God will still somehow leave Trump in office, having shown support for each lawsuit to throw out voting ballots along the way, including the “last stand” power grab by the House over the voters in January, to cancel the elected and certified electors. His December 11 tweet says, “This is your reminder that @realDonaldTrumpis the next President of the United States! Nothing can stop what is coming, Justice Inbound! The Victory is ours! FIGHT!”, and on December 16, “This is your reminder that @realDonaldTrump is the next President of the United States! Are you part of the Surrender Coalition? Why would you surrender when we have won? We will NEVER Surrender! We will NOT stop Fighting until we are Victorious! WE WIN! 5:5?” When popular Christian author Beth Moore came out in frustration of Christians’ veritable worship of Trump, and one of Trump’s strongest Religious Right supporters, Franklin Graham, merely thanked Trump for his four years and did not offer to fight, leading Twitter person “A Patriot” to say on December 15, “The DS [Deep State] church is well trained in mind control and Psyop warfare. This carefully crafted letter will essentially peel off those with shallow roots to give in to defeat. Next step- vaccination for the masses Syringe do your research and above all,” with Taylor retweeting and adding, ” Deep State Church leaders like @BethMooreLPM are more overt in there [sic] attacks. Others are more covert, sly and cunning, but they will always out themselves. I said on last night’s show to watch for others to join her. These DS Pastor’s have been activated!” Are we to the point to perceive that these traditional Christian leaders, who I also have my ethical issues with, all seen as “psy ops, mind controlled Deep State Church” functionaries? Where does this go? Regarding COVID vaccines, Taylor added on Dec. 10 that “When will we learn (They) are trying to kill us! No Vaccines!”

Since the day I originally drafted this section, we have had Trump supporters trampling the Capitol and trying to find and attack the congressional “traitors” (as they shouted) outside their chambers, breaking windows to get inside the congressional chambers. That night, Mark Taylor was guest about on the Mc Files radio program.(check out his “Q-Anon” figurine on the desk behind Taylor’s left shoulder – you can see it clearer in later interviews he does on video). In addition to speaking with certainty that Antifa was the actual group that broke in and performed violence in the Capitol, and that Pence is a “snake” that Trump should get rid of (with the host saying the President “had a knife stuck in his back” by him), and “gave his personal vote” for Gen. Flynn to replace him as Vice President, along with everyone else around Trump being purged (Taylor also quoted the wisdom of “Q Anon” extensively on understanding what is going on, Taylor said this was “the biggest war that ever existed since the resurrection of Christ,” and concerned that attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood can’t reach Trump (we will hear more about them soon)). On the show he said that

The Lord told me over the weekend that if Pence didn’t do the right thing, that all eyes would be on me, Mark Taylor, and that I would have to go this alone probablythat everyone is going to be gunning for me personally, as a prophetic voice because I said Trump as going to be in for a second term…and what the Lord was saying is that you need to be prepared to go it alone, because I am going to show you who are true and the false is, and who has the fear of MAN, versus the fear of God…are we going to start seeing prophetic people apologizing? I don’t know…at some point I think God is going to issue a rebuke of these people.” (emphasis added)

I do agree with him about a “rebuke” from God coming.

The following day after the insurrection (July 7), on another show with Paul Oebel of the Faith Unveiled Network (with about 100,000 views in two days’ time), “the Fireman Prophet” Mark Taylor added that

God spoke to me over the weekend…this past weekend the Lord woke me up and spoke to me, and said that if Pence doesn’t do the right thing…you [Taylor] need to be prepared to stand alone as a prophetic gunslinger…I’m fixing to show you who is true and who is false… [God said] you will see those who will come out and apologize…they will go on an apology tour, these prophetic voices will. The pastors started it…right after November third. We had Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffrees, all these big pastors…saying “president elect” Biden, basically…if God has told you Trump would have a second term, why are you not standing firm in faith?…This is not close to being over. [repentant pastors] are committing a type of treason…saying we don’t need to be in the fight anymore, we need to pray for President Biden…this is pulling every single cockroach out of the cracks right now of the Deep State Church…they’re probably going to say I’m a false prophet, because they think it’s over…how can anyone give up right now, when God has said we have the victory? Donald Trump, Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn said we absolutely won this…why would they all put their reputations on the line?…there will be a Red Sea moment…This [the insurrection by middle-aged white men in the Capitol] is Antifa all the way…the Vatican owns all the satellites that did the hacking…I believe [attorney] Lin Wood is being used as a soft disclosure for declass…he’s named…the VICE PRESIDENT being involved in some nefarious things…he’s called him out as a paedophile, he’s called him out as a child molester, and today he came out and said he likes 13, 14, 15 year old boys…a lot of ministries and churches are into child trafficking…

The host took courage in saying that President Trump did not concede. Seconds after he stated that, Taylor saw online the announcement that Trump would enable a peaceful transition, but the host said it would all be reversed, and Taylor said that Trump said, “Our journey is just beginning,” followed by the host saying, “the patriots are ready for a civil war,” and “we all know Trump plays with words.”

When Franklin Graham, an apologist for Trump and his worst excesses and earliest endorser of Trump’s political career as a messianic figure (going back to 2012, I believe), and staunch opponent of liberals (in particular young people and their concern for civil and human rights, like his father), posted on Facebook that Trump should welcome Biden and Harris and their spouses to the White House, Taylor responded via Twitter that “Why would @Franklin_Graham usher in pure Evil into the White House for the sake of healing? There’s NO compromising with Evil! Your [sic] giving up a fight when we already won? Some would call that Treason by leading people over a cliff!” The evolution of this “movement” is to now see “confusion in the ranks” and dissension amongst the politicians formerly in lockstep with Trump, amongst the punditry, and now even the Religious Right leadership, once Trump’s most solid unified base (with few apologies to date, however, and still his most deluded and ironclad core). Like amongst the allied enemies of God’s true people in the Old Testament when they came against them, is this yet again the hand of God intervening in our midst, or just the nature consequence of insane and unsustainable human folly?  

Many Christian pundits within the “signs and wonders” charismatic/Pentecostal crowd have jockeyed for airtime and microphone space to prophesy that Trump would win a second term (evidently knowing that prophesying such could be quite lucrative, having seen that it was for Mark Taylor the first time around) – so many that I could not remember the number or names of all I’ve heard so far, and that would only be a speck of those who are truly out there. I have seen some on shows I record, like Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural! show. The same Christian antenna television network aired an informercial I saved of a documentary produced by TBN Network founder Paul Crouch’s son entitled, Trump 2024, which has mainstream Christian leaders like Mike Huckabee expressing on air how Trump is God’s anointed man for the long haul, as they proceed to do a hard sell to Christians, imploring them to overlook Trump’s immorality, crudeness, lack of character and integrity, and rather look at what he’s transacted for them.

This began in earnest when “lightning struck” as Trump surprised the pollsters and pundits (and himself) by winning the 2016 election, as the bold speculators (er, “prophets”) in the televangelist fold who had “rolled the double zero” on the roulette wheel by predicting a Trump victory before the election (which was not that risky, since their gullible Christian followers are notoriously reliable in forgetting the many erroneous prophecies they make shortly afterwards) were rewarded with celebrity “prophet” status, and the gambit of many to use their “prophecies” and praying over the immoral Trump bought a good number of them special access as “court evangelicals” in the Trump administration and his circles. USA Today documented some of these successful “prophets” of this victory just after the 2016 election. They write that New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Dominionist leader Rick Joyner (and a major subject of my Holy War Chronicles book series) had predicted/prophesied a Trump victory on Election Day 2016, and added that “Many evangelicals view Joyner, the founder of MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mills, as a prophetic voice who describes hearing and seeing divine revelations from God,” and that “More than 200,000 follow Joyner’s Facebook page, where he frequently posts about U.S. politics,” and added that “A video, dated Oct. 14, shows Jorge Parrott, Morningstar’s missions director, prophesying directly to Trump that he would become president.” More importantly, they add concerning arguably the most influential NAR “prophet,” that “Lance Wallnau, a Dallas-based business consultant, has been speaking and prophesying about Trump for over a year in videos to his Facebook page, which features 200,000-plus followers. He also heavily promotes his book released in September that describes ‘Donald Trump being God’s Chaos candidate.’ ‘I heard the Lord say: “Donald Trump is a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness”,’ Wallnau wrote in an Oct. 5 Charisma News article titled ‘Why I Believe Donald Trump Is the Prophesied President.’ In an Oct. 9 video, he called the surfacing of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape ‘the devil strategically exposing information in order to destroy a candidate.’ The video, titled ‘Prophetic Word on Donald Trump,’ received over 3.7 million views.” Wallnau added on a Facebook post that “He [Trump] doesn’t even have enough sense to shield himself from charismatics prophesying over him…I guarantee [Mike] Huckabee and [Ted] Cruz would never let you get them on a platform prophesying over them five days before the election. They know better…Trump is like a child when it comes to the kingdom. He’s open.” One thing that didn’t seem to occur to these nationally-known and influential “visionary” Christian leaders was that they were being played by a simple real estate showman whose whole “angle” in business has been playing to customers’ vanity and desire for “being somebody” rather than offering any valued-added product, and exploiting their darker elements as a simple con-game “mark.”

Wallnau elaborated on what he thought was going on in his October 5, 2016 article in Charisma magazine entitled, “Why I Believe Donald Trump is the Prophesied President.” He reveals the common thinking of these top Christian leaders when he writes,

The truth is, a relative few shape the culture, a remnant of elites in proximity to power. This is why you can’t evangelize a nation into transformation. Christians already outnumber other groups but keep losing influence. To put it in Christian terms, a remnant of gatekeepers who sit at the culture-shaping gates of influence are making the greatest impact. This powerful elite is made up of dense, overlapping networks located and largely concentrated in the coastal cities and distributed among the peak institutions of government, law, academia, journalism, banking and entertainment—institutions that touch us all… Revival ignites from the bottom up, but cultural reformation solidifies from the top down. You must occupy the gates! (emphasis added)

He adds that

The winner of this election will have the power to appoint three or four more Supreme Court Justices. To use a J.R.R. Tolkien analogy, this is the ‘one ring to rule them all.’ The winner has power to protect our constitutional freedoms or alter the meaning of the Constitution and punish, prosecute and persecute the opposition for the next 40 years…Spiritual warfare is all about whose version of reality becomes manifest on the Earth. Christians are about to make a big mistake in this election cycle if they buy into the wrong narrative about Trump...My first meeting with Trump was Dec. 30, 2015, in the boardroom on the 26th floor of Trump Tower. Most of those attending did not know each other personally prior to the meeting. It was a rather eclectic sampling of evangelicals…As individuals spoke, he [Trump] read them and weighed their relative power within the group. A Messianic Rabbi sitting near me said, “Your comments don’t always represent you in the best light. People want to know you have a presidential temperament. They want to know that you are a person they can trust with a finger on a nuclear button.” Trump pursed his lips in characteristic fashion, nodded thoughtfully and said, “I hear you”…Several of us exchanged glancesHe [Trump] would do as occasion required—until he clinched the nomination. As our meeting continued, I was surprised to find that Trump actually knew some of the preachers and teachers in the room, not because he had met them but because he had watched their TV programs. Media is one of his domains. He is very much dialed in on all sorts of TV programming, including Christian programming…Subsequent to this meeting, he proposed lifting the Lyndon Johnson ban on churches discussing politics that hangs like an IRS sword over the heads of churches in America…When the meeting broke up, I went home feeling certain there is some sort of anointing on this man. (emphasis added)

Wallnau was one of the early Religious Right leaders here to compare Trump to the great Persian king Cyrus, and his decree that facilitated the Jews building the “house” of the Lord, and his Persian king successors facilitating their operation to build the walls in Jerusalem. Waxing prophetic on these American Christian leaders’ repeated suggested connection of ancient Jerusalem and America, he opines that

These two phrases, “the house” and “the wall,” should make believers stop and wonder. This is a direct promise to the church and restoration to society. The controversy over “building the wall” in current-day politics is more symbolic than people think. What do walls represent in the Bible? Proverbs 25:28 says “He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.”…From my perspective, there is a Cyrus anointing on Trump. He is, as my friend Kim Clement said three years ago, “God’s trumpet.I predicted his nomination, and I believe he is the chaos candidate set apart to navigate us through the chaos that is coming to America. I think America is due for a shaking regardless of who is in office…He revealed how he views himself in contrast to pastors and clergy. Tapping his Bible, he said, “Look, I freely admit that while you all were pursuing a higher calling, I was running around building buildings and making money.”…Trump is more prophetic than most people realize…He sees the threat nobody else has courage to talk about until it’s too late. He sees it with radical Islam, he sees it with the soaring $19 trillion debt, and he sees it in America’s tinderbox of the inner city….Trump is not a perfect man or a flawless candidate. But I do believe I’ve heard God. (emphasis added)

To “prophet” Wallnau, other American Christian leaders and their flocks, and readers here, I ask – have the last four years of the Trump administration shown a man who “has rule over his own spirit,” as Proverbs 25:28 demands, or more like a “city broken down and without walls”? We should also remember that after the “miracle” of Cyrus, not long thereafter the Persian king in power was indulging in corrupt and heretical excess and bacchanalia, even using the religious symbols of God’s people in acts of decadent indulgence in mockery of them, like Trump with the Bible at Liberty University or over the bodies of protesters at the Washington church, leading the “finger of God” to declare “mene, mene, tekel upharsin” – “You have been weighed in the scales and found wanting,” followed by an immediate downfall. Will this generation also see a similar rapid collapse due to such corruption?

Wallnau has been able to parlay his “prophecy” about Trump into even more notoriety and financial enrichment, just like “Trump prophet” Mark Taylor. He was interviewed by the “Thrive Time” radio show, also listed on Youtube as a Nov. 20, 2020 show (after the election), who began their interview of Wallnau by stating that he is “a modern-day Judeo Christian prophet whom USA Today described as one of only three evangelical leaders to accurately predict Donald Trump’s Presidency from the moment he began his campaign. His best selling book, ‘God’s Chaos Candidate,’ broadcasts and viral media influenced 3-5 million undecided evangelical voters to vote for President Donald J. Trump.” They also mentioned Wallnau’s recent pronouncements just before then alleging widespread voter fraud, and the “Dominion” ballot counting software conspiracy. In terms of his “prophecies,” Wallnau said in the interview he considered himself a “futurist” who looked for “trends” in public events – sounds to me like he uses earthly means to fabricate a “prophecy” he can sell, like “mentalists” can use rapid fire questions and power of suggestion to audience members to “amazingly divine” details about their life. He says in the interview that

I started talking about him [Trump] as a Cyrus, and when he became a candidate, it became a justification for that forty percent of those evangelicals to say, “Well, wait a second, maybe he’s not one of us but he’s a Bible character, and that was helped rationalize the vote for many of them. And I found that out in research afterwards, when liberals were coming after me for linking Donald Trump to a Bible character, and I found out that helped get him elected. (emphasis added)

Ah, the power of the Internet, Twitter, social media and the old reliable Religious Right email chains and media to manipulate highly suggestable and gullible Religious Right voters to help fulfill the “prophecies” of their self-appointed “prophets” by the mere power of suggestion over weak minds, just like in the old tent meeting healing revivals. 

Wallnau also said in his first book he predicted the term “Trump derangement” before he got elected. In his second book [God’s Chaos Code] he released in July 2020, he said that the continuous flow of ballots after the election will turn his win into a loss “and as the courts deal with it on the side of Trump, and you will see the unleashing of hell in America’s cities.” (emphasis added)

In the approximate 60 court cases nationwide protesting the vote counting by the Trump attorneys, only one case had any acknowledgement of the veracity of their position, impacting only a tiny handful of votes of imperceptible impact.

Wallnau added that Christians who voted for Joe Biden were like Christians who voted for Hitler. They also talked about a fellow “prophet” Kim Clement as well (they also mentioned Wallnau at meetings alongside fellow “prophet” Hank Kunneman), and they asked him how things will unfold in the election, to which Wallnau answered, “Once when Kim was in my church, and we went through a terribly devastating ordeal – I used to be a businessman, and I pastored, and then I’m doing media – I went to him later and asked, “Why did you not tell me this thing was coming, and you’re a prophet, and you nailed everything, but this one big thing happened and you didn’t say anything!“, to which Kim Clement said the Lord did not make the outcome privy to him, like Elisha. Wallnau added that “The church has been weak and wimpy, it has not supported this president…I think this whole ordeal is to bring ourselves to lie down upon the corpse, and to bring life into it. I am confident God is going to bring resurrection life into the battle Trump has, but I’ll tell you this, Trump has a 20 percent Las Vegas chance of winning, and that is only going to give greater glory to God when a miracle happens.” In conclusion, the Christian interviewer told Wallnau, “Thank you for not being a false prophet, in this time when we need real prophets.” Wallnau concluded by saying that when Benjamin Netanyahu went to the White House, he told Trump, “You are Cyrus,” which confirmed to Wallnau that “I was hearing from God.”

My my – I guess Wallnau is a regular monitor of Las Vegas odds-making – maybe that helps with his “prophecies,” like the tent revival healer with the earpiece in his ear, and his “words of knowledge.” I have no idea what kind of business Wallnau was referring to, possibly in alliance with fellow “prophet” Clement, much less its “crisis” – I always figured he was just a full-time evangelist/”prophet.” On what appears to be his “Linked In” business page, Wallnau seems to describe himself as President of the “Lance Learning Group” for twenty years, saying that “We are a “transformational training company”…We understand that “cash-flow is the life blood of any organization. This is true for a business or a non profit, therefore our focus is on the creation of highly profitable fully aligned organizations…We understand the challenges of leadership and map out customized strategies for clients and organizations that shatter constraints and maximize profit…our passion is to reproduce trainers who know how to do what we did. We will get results and teach you our process and move on….because when you’re out to change the world you don’t stay in any one place too long.” At the top of his “Linked In” page, he describes himself as “Best Selling Author, Speaker, Educator, Trump Whisperer (The 7 Mountain Guy).” He proudly proclaims of himself at the top in his “About” section that “Dr. Lance Wallnau is one of 3 people recognized by USA TODAY for having accurately predicted Donald Trumps presidency – a year before it happened! Lance is a Futurist and frequent lecturer on culture and trends and known for pioneering the Seven Mountains concept with Dr. C. Peter Wagner. Based out of Dallas, Texas the Lance Learning Group is a global network of business, entertainment, ministry and government leaders.” In his twenty year career as a consultant, he says of himself that, “Speaker, author and consultant, Lance is a catalytic and entertaining thought leader who works with leaders who want to expand their impact and companies that want to explode their profits.” He claims a doctorate from Phoenix University of Theology, with advanced degrees in “Organizational Leadership, Marketplace, Human Potential,” and “Leadership in Organizational and Cultural Transformation.” Sounds like quite a salesman and motivational speaker – I’m sure the skills he has helps him “sell the goods” in both spheres, to much profit.

In a radio interview by popular host Eric Metaxas the day after the insurrection, Wallnau talked of “the cosmic conflict that we’re in right now.” When asked as to the identities of the invaders in the Capitol, he replies, “I know its Antifa.” Metaxas says “this is like a Marxist coup.” When he asked Wallnau if “the prophets got it wrong,” Wallnau replied in some opaque, indecipherable answer, talking about “prophets” being “goaded into a picture for an audience,” thus “creating a frame where you actually only saw one part;” he said that, “because he was part Jewish” (clarifying later he was 20% Askenazi, for some reason), he had a “dystopian view” and told his staff two years ago he was afraid Kamala Harris was going to be President, saying “I see her but we need Trump,” and his staff said to him that Trump was going to win. He said that “Trump never really stirs a crowd up,” and just said at the time that “we’re going to have a nice march up to the Capitol.” He said the next fight will be who controls the 75 million populists, and in 2022 we’ll have “our tribe” come back strong. So “prophet” Wallnau did not believe his own prophecy he sold so hard to us about Trump’s re-election, and had to be convinced by his staff? Note that Wallnau did not admit he had blown his prophecy, like a man (and like others have done), and the hurts of various forms it has imposed on gullible but somewhat well-meaning Christians who believed him, nor denounced the stunt by Trump and his “march” and provocation of the Proud Boys and others that led to a number of lives lost and many more people traumatized in the police and inside the building, or held any of them or other leaders responsible. It sounds like their prophecies were much like the prophecies of the false prophets of King Ahab, who flamboyantly prophesied a major victory for their leader in war, and only disputed by the lonely Micaiah, who was not popular online or with their national leader, the latter saying, “I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil,” thus earning him the “bread and water of affliction,” but was vindicated by a truthful pronouncement. More importantly, Micaiah said that “the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee,” to get the corrupt leader to march to his destruction. May we be witnessing this today, both in our corrupt leader, and in his most popular “prophets”?   

I just found another Facebook video Wallnau posted on his site at 1:19 AM Friday morning on his site, entitled “Let’s Get This Straight” (although Facebook covered it with the message, “False Information – Checked by Independent Fact-Checkers”, with a button labelled, “See Why”), supposedly just after having arrived back from Washington and the “Stop the Steal” rally with the President at the scene of the terror event instigated there. Wallnau is normally very polished as a speaker at stadium events to large audiences, speaking with much scripture sprinkled in with his inspirational “prophecies” according to his “anointing”; in this case, he is much more interesting, talking in a casual, intimate manner I assume is common in his alter-ego life as a corporate profit-maximizing advisor (as I just discovered and documented here), with more of a breathless “late breaking news” feel amongst confidantes, and a “street swagger” and smirk-laden ironic tone that is fatalistic in vibe. He begins by showing a video of Rep. Louie Gohmert on the TV (OAN Network), talking about his certainty that the middle-aged white folks storming the Capitol building were all Antifa, which Wallnau agreed, calling Rep. Gohmert “the only guy with a clear head” (it should be noted that Rep. Gohmert sued Vice President Pence to force him to discard the delegate slates approved by swing states and to substitute Republican ones, with the case immediately thrown out of court, leading Gohmert to say in an interview that the ramifications of “the ruling would be that you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM“). Wallnau described battling “left wing wing-nuts,” and “mind-controlled senators” who are “weak,” such as Lindsey Graham and recently-losing (and fully Trump-devoted) Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler (whom Wallnau said “who proved to be as useless as we all feared she was”), who both withdrew subsequent protests of the swing-vote delegate slates to stop the violence in the Capitol that day, or as Wallnau put it, lamented that they cowardly “did not want to be associated with bad activity” that day. He minimized the severity of the events that day, saying they just had “one girl…who I think was shot in the back” by a “nervous policeman” (rather than the fact that she was shot climbing into a broken window into the actual congressional chamber where congressmen were trapped, and shot after warnings from the few security forces inside to back off, as attested by numerous witnesses on the scene; he also did not mention the policeman bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by Trump supporters, or others who died at the scene). He said regarding the violence that “we understand the frustrations of people, though.” He says now “we are going to have to carve some of you weak ones out,” and that “we’re dealing with witchcraft at high levels.” He says a new populist party will be formed he called “the American Party” that will involve the “Christian populace” and others that “don’t like the manipulation of technology and the press” and will replace “weak” Republicans, and expect to have “30 percent of political spectrum with the next four years.”

Even more interestingly, he breathlessly told his tens of thousands of Christian confidants listening online at the time (if I transcribed it correctly) that “you guys got to get ready for the second round because its going to be an exciting year from now until 2022. Gonna’ have that glorious “Chaos Tour” into these states…The rallies are coming…Don Jr., Eric, Tiffany, Mike Lindell [MyPillow guy] and the President himself, Charlie Kent [head of Liberty Univ.’s think tank, I think], Eric Metaxas…it’ll be crazy, we’ll televise it, unlike anything you’ve ever seen.” It should be noted that Wallnau has virtually trademarked the “chaos” brand, with his best seller books God’s Chaos Candidate (which sold 100,000 copies in six weeks) and his recent God’s Chaos Code (published by Killer Sheep Media, Inc., and co-authored by Mercedes Sparks, who helps clients in “crafting the strategy to monetize their message,” selling #3 in Amazon Books under “Political Parties,” #3 in Christian Spiritual Warfare, and #4 in Christian Social Issues). His corner on the “Chaos” market might be challenged by Alexandyr Dugin, the Rasputin-styled “Vladimir Putin Guru” philosopher of “Chaos” theories as a disciple of Aleister Crowley, and the “circle with outward rays” emblem of chaos often worn by alt-right and white-supremacists; in any case, quite a distinction from the “God of order,” who saw chaos and darkness on the face of the deep. One thing Wallnau did not exhibit was any talk of God directly intervening to fulfill Wallnau’s “prophecies” on His own, rather trying to fulfill his prophecy in his own strength – I think a late-night moment when the normally-savvy Wallnau let his guard, for the few of us who are watching. The top of his Facebook page shows his appearance on Friday, January 8 on a “Flashpoint!” show with Kenneth Copeland, and fellow prophets such as Dutch Sheets and Kat Kerr – the latter peer “prophet” we’ll discuss about shortly.

I have tried to compile a list of popular Christian celebrity “prophets” who have guaranteed a Trump second term as I have come across them to file and compile – certainly only a small sampling – but the following Youtube link supplied to me by my good friend Adam Sayne is a great compilation of a good number of these ironclad “prophecies” whereby these practitioners stake their reputations on the certainty of the second Trump term as God’s man, including Pat Robertson, Hank Kunneman, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Nashville pastor Greg Locke, Lance Wallnau, “prophet” Chris Reed, Sid Roth, Curt Landry, “prophet” Tracy Cooke, “prophet” Albert Milton, “prophet” Robin Bullock, and how some (like Perry Stone, Dutch Sheets) tried to cover their tracks (or shame) by saying the election was “stolen” (out of the secure hands of God?). Another November 19 video form the same source includes former Senator and presidential candidate (and Religious Right darling) Michelle Bachmann, and also Kat Kerr, Robert Henderson, “prophet” Kent Christmas, “Fireman Prophet” Mark Taylor, and others.

Joining some of these Christian leaders who were “certain” of a second Trump term was Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn – who was Trump’s National Security Advisor (the top foreign policy post), and who resigned before being fired twenty two days into his tenure, when it was discovered he had lied to Vice President Pence and others about his communications with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak (he had been talking to him about relieving Russian sanctions while he was a private citizen, and as the Russians and Obama administration were both expelling each others’ diplomats), and later that year pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI; in 2019 he dismissed his attorneys and retained attorney Sidney Powell, who asked Attorney General Bill Barr to intervene and exonerate Flynn after he had agreed to plead guilty for a lesser term and cooperate with investigators. Two weeks before he was to be sentenced, Flynn withdrew his guilty plea, and Attorney General Barr told the Justice Department to drop all charges, but the judge put the court case on hold (although telling Flynn in court that “arguably you sold your country out”), leading Trump to pardon Flynn in November 2020.

His connections to Russia go way back to when he was a senior American military intelligence executive; in 2013, Russia’s GRU (top foreign intelligence organization) “invited Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, for a three-day visit to Moscow. Following a trail carefully blazed by several predecessors, Flynn laid a wreath at Russia’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and visited the GRU’s ultra-modern headquarters outside Moscow,” and he later hosted his Russian counterpart for dinner, although his desire for follow-up visits there were disallowed by American senior officials. He was criticized for his cozy relationship with Russians then, and in 2017 it was reported that “Several months after Flynn returned from his Moscow trip, he hoped to reciprocate by inviting several senior G.R.U. officers to the United States. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, cautioned him against it. Russia had recently annexed Crimea.” The same source noted that “In early November, 2015, a D.C.-based representative of RT [Russia Television, affiliated with the Russian government] contacted Flynn’s speakers’ bureau and invited him to Moscow for the channel’s tenth-anniversary celebration. The fee was approximately forty thousand dollars, according to a source familiar with the arrangement;” his old military colleagues tried to talk him out of it. They add that “Flynn stayed at a hotel near Red Square…Flynn was seated at the head table for dinner that evening. Putin sat to his left….After Putin concluded his remarks, Flynn, joining other diners, stood and applauded.” They note that “In part through his son, Flynn began flirting with an online community of conspiracy theorists and white nationalists who referred to themselves as the ‘alt-right’.”  Although Flynn had been critical of Turkey’s extreme Muslim government, once his consulting business got a contract from a Turkish business closely aligned with the Turkish leader to promote the pariah nation, Flynn proudly wrote in The Hill that Turkey’s leader was our “strongest ally” against ISIS. They discuss his senior role in the new Trump administration, and that “Flynn’s son, Michael, Jr., did a brief stint on the transition, before he was dismissed, after continuing to push on Twitter the fake-news story about Hillary Clinton’s role in a child-sex-trafficking ring in a pizzeria in northwest Washington, D.C.” Flynn Sr. was nervous talking with the reporter writing this story at the time, saying he was concerned that they might “rehash all this stuff about me being anti-Semitic and pro-Russia and an Islamophobe”.

The New York Times also reported that he had also failed to register as a lobbyist for Turkey, and ignored subpoenas from Senate hearings, and had not disclosed his payments from Russia when he took the administration job. They add that “In addition to RT, he received $11,250 from a Russian cargo airline, Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which had been implicated in a bribery scheme involving Russian officials at the United Nations. In October 2015, he was paid another $11,250 by Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, the American branch of a Russian cybersecurity firm.” On November 30, 2016, Flynn joined a meeting between Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and Kislyak at Trump Tower. Kushner wanted to use secure channels at the Russian embassy, but Kislyak declined.

Flynn joined his Christian “prophets” in the December 2 “Global Prayer for Election Integrity” event; his attorney Sidney Powell had to back out from attendance. It was reported that at the event Flynn praised Powell as a “spiritual warrior” and called her his—and America’s—“guardian angel of justice.” He urged people to pray for the “incredibly brave patriots” who have been coming forward to tell stories about alleged voting irregularities. They add that “Mario Bramnick, a religious-right activist who emceed the call, wondered out loud if there had been some kind of threat or intimidation against Attorney General William Barr that would explain Barr’s recent statement that he had seen no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.” Kevin Jessip, who worked with End Times author Jonathan Cahn to organize the Sept. 25 “The Return” rally on the National Mall, encouraged people to contribute to Defending the Republic, the legal fund that has been set up to support Powell’s election work. It also involved popular conservative pundit Eric Metaxas, who “noted that many of the people leading the charge on stolen-election claims—including Powell, Lin Wood, and Jenna Ellis—are ‘born-again believers’ and ‘serious Christians.’ Lance Wallnau, a ‘prophetic’ author and Trump supporter, also noted that the battle to overturn the election results is being ‘sustained by Christians’…Wallnau decreed that God would “overturn” the election because Trump’s “assignment” from God has not yet been completed.” They add that

Bramnick responded to prayers by “apostle” John Kelly by affirming that today’s apostles and prophets “don’t have to allow this” because they have been given “spiritual authority” to “shift” things on Earth. “We are not dependent on the Pennsylvania congressional leadership,” Bramnick said. “We, as Americans here and the nations joining us, can disallow any illegal verdict as it relates to the election and decree the verdict of Heaven and bring it down on the Earth realm.” Another prayer leader, Pam Olsen, declared that Trump’s scheduled Dec. 5 appearance with Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who both face Jan. 5 runoff elections, will be a “victory rally” for Trump as well as the senators. Other prayer leaders included Intercessors for America’s Dave Kubal, author and evangelist James Goll, and Cindy Jacobs, a leader in the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation…Jacobs prayed that all the ongoing prayer efforts would amount to a “nuclear bomb against the powers of darkness” and decreed that the intercession, engagement of angel armies, and legal work by Sidney Powell would amount to the “critical mass” needed for that “nuclear explosion.” Metaxas and Bramnick closed out the call. “We speak judgment over the deep state,” Metaxas prayed…Bramnick thanked God in advance for giving Trump victory, declaring, “Father, President Trump won in the natural, and Father, we decree that he will be seated as the president for another four years, Father. We bring that down on the Earth realm. We decree it.”

We will explore both Gen. Flynn and Sidney Powell in greater detail in the next part, and the importance of their actions in recent days.

The former crack and cocaine addict, MyPillow CEO and darling of Donald Trump that was brought in to the White House and Rose Garden for his “expertise” on patent medicines to address COVID as well as to campaign for him (see my earlier post), Mike Lindell, appeared just hours after the Capitol Assault that night on the Victory Live broadcast of the Eagle Mountain International Church. One witness of the video (attached to the upper link) said that “During a service last night at Eagle Mountain International Church, MyPillow guy Mike Lindell said the two Democratic Senate seats in GA were stolen, that Pence will form a committee to investigate the Presidential election, and that Trump will be President for the next 4 years.” Lindell added that

Those two Senate seats that they… stole yesterday… all eyes were on them. Now we’ve got more evidence, more… this stuff went to Pakistan. It went overseas to other countries, China, where these boats went over again. And they, you know, this attack on our nation. And with that happening, even if we were to won them both, they already have plants where they’re gonna… corrupt senators that are going to flip, and they were going to take the country anyway. So by taking the two, at least we got more evidence for it…Now, I bet my Twitter, my Facebook, everything is blowing up — my text messages — “Well, the vice president turned on the president.” No, he really didn’t. What he’s saying is… he’s not gonna do what he could do, but he’s gonna follow the procedure. He’s going to have to give a 10-day… I really pray. I think everybody needs to pray that he delays for 10 days and assigns a committee like Rudy suggested… assigns a committee to show all the evidence… that they can look at all the evidence. What should be done, and should be on national TV, like kind of like the O.J. trial. Here’s the evidence, we show everybody, because once you see what I have seen, once you see what I have seen, even the people on the left are going to go, “Wow, Donald Trump really won! I don’t like him, but he really won!” The truth is going to set us free. Mark my words, God’s got his hand in all of this, and Donald Trump’s our president for the next four years.

Kat Kerr, a self-proclaimed “prophetess” who is very popular with my fellow Christians, and author of the big seller books Revealing Heaven and Revealing Heaven II of her forays into the third heaven, is best known for her visions of Heaven in that Heaven has cows that drive tractors…In Heaven, kids take art classes taught by rabbits. Giant rabbits. Giant multi-colored rabbits…and There’s a city in Heaven made out of Jell-O where you can “eat the mailboxes.” In her biography on her website about her books, she writes that “Now President of One Quest International; a for profit corporation God downloaded into her spirit for His purpose of releasing products into the marketplace that bring Heaven to earth and generate Kingdom finances. The Father has told her that the Body of Christ is about to produce entrepreneurs through Heaven’s witty ideas, inventions and within a Holy Spirit inspired entertainment industry, things that will shock this world and shift the current economy.” She humbly adds that “Darkness flees from her presence as she walks in obedience to the commission Christ gave her.” Of course, she hasn’t missed being on the Trump prophecy bandwagon as well. Right after the Capitol storming, “Kat Kerr – Revelator” loudly pronounced to those (Christians, I guess) that want to give in to the “evil one” (Joe Biden?) that “I SAY NO – IT WILL NOT HAPPEN, IT WILL END AND WILL BE DONE BECAUSE I SAY IT WILL BE DONE…THERE WILL BE GREAT CELEBRATIONS IN THE STREETS OF THIS COUNTRY AND THE WORLD, BECAUSE OF THE GREAT VICTORY ON BEHALF OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, ON BEHALF OF MY AMERICA THAT I’M NOT GIVING UP TO ANY ENEMY,” in spite of the “lying, crying news,” for God says of “my plan in putting my son Donald Trump back in that White House, even if they inaugurate the villain, and try to put him there, I will kick him out, I will remove him.”

At her talk on January 11 at Glory Fire Church, Kerr, a 67-year old woman I believe, sporting her normal pink hair (“in obedience” to God’s command) and wielding a big stick (literally), stated that “Trump will sit in the White House for four more years – that will happen – and if he dies, I guess I’ll have to go resurrect him.” On her “Frequently Asked Questions” page at her website where she confirms what she literally saw in heaven based upon inquiries by her followers, she confirms that we will eat chocolate ice cream in heaven, there are T-Rexes and art easels there, there is a “fantastic amusement park” there with a roller coaster called “The Rush” and where you can learn to fly like Superman, she saw a Yorkie named Max and Sally, an 1,100 pound pig there, there are soccer fields in heaven and other sports, where “each team has a place on the scoreboard, but all the points go to Jesus,” they have a beauty salon there, but “they use no chemicals to curl or color your hair. It is done by light and only takes seconds,” and “you get amazing jewelry to wear and it is FREE!” When some asked her if God could send His own chariot to pick them up when they died, she replied affirmative, saying that “That is exactly what happened to Oral Roberts when he passed away; he was picked up in the Lord’s own chariot.” She has a huge and growing following of Christians who seek her for wisdom and reliable knowledge of the spirit world and God’s will, and accordingly she passes on the centrality of God’s endorsement of Donald Trump. People like Kenneth Copeland have her at conferences to give “prophetic utterances” along with Lance Wallnau and other “prophets,” and she is becoming better known as a popular, revered and respected “heavy hitter.” Outside of Nashville here in the summer of 2020, she “activated the Divine Counsel” (!) (why is Mike Heiser keeping that from all of us?). “Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties” (Jude 1:8 NASB).

On December 2, 2020 The Huffington Post wrote about why evangelicals refuse to concede that Trump lost the election. They note that Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Paula White, Tony Perkins, etc. have either been quiet during the election dispute or openly support the fraud, and at a minimum withheld judgment until all court and other inquiries have been completed, but yet insinuating unproven fraud nonetheless. The theologians they cite as having been more strident their advocacy of alleging fraud the the legitimacy of Trump’s second term include Liberty University’s Falkirk Center (which includes Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis and Charlie Kirk as fellows), as well as right wing media host/activist Eric Metaxas. They also write that

The “alternate reality” embraced by some evangelicals could also stem from a “parallel culture” that the religious group has built in recent decades, according to Randall Stephens, a historian at the University of Oslo who has studied American evangelicalism. Evangelicals have established their own homeschooling curricula, higher education institutions and accreditation bodies. They’ve created a separate world of entertainment and consumer culture. They have their own alternative experts and fields of knowledge that are largely cut off from the wider academic and intellectual community in the U.S., Stephens said. “This parallel culture certainly now seems like it was primed for a figure like Trump to play a leading role in it,” he told HuffPost in an email. “Like so many believers, Trump was also skeptical of mainstream knowledge, climate science, vaccines, or the national origins of America’s first black president.”

For some Christians, the narratives about Trump being chosen for such a time as this weren’t just stories ― they were prophecies from God, waiting to be tested. According to André Gagné, a theological studies professor at Concordia University and an expert on the Christian right, the belief that God has restored the role of the prophet in modern times is most common among evangelicals from the “neo-charismatic” wave of Pentecostalism, which emerged in the 1980s. Neo-charismatic Pentecostals are a minority within American Christianity ― it’s more of a movement than a specific denomination. As a result, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many Americans currently believe prophecies about God wanting Trump to be a two-term president, Gagné said. However, he added, Trump-supporting prophets have amassed substantial followings. They spread their ideas by working with well-established professional networks of like-minded preachers, Gagné said. And now, they are using their platforms to spread theories about election fraud and encourage their audiences to wait just a little longer for the truth to triumph. “People need to realize that these movements in evangelicalism are not fringe,” Gagné told HuffPost. “These people are really active and they’re successful.”

Lance Wallnau, an evangelical author who has enjoyed access to the White House under the Trump administration, claims that God revealed to him before the 2016 election that Trump would become president and act as a “King Cyrus”…He has been speculating about election fraud in a series of Facebook live videos for his more than 500,000 followers. Mark Taylor, a retired Florida firefighter, says that God told him in 2011 that Trump would be a two-term president. Taylor’s story inspired a Liberty University-affiliated film, “The Trump Prophecy,” that was released in over 1,000 U.S. theaters. Last week Taylor insisted on his YouTube channel that Trump would be declared president again and that faithful believers just have to be patient and continue praying.

On November 30, 2020, John Fea, Ph.D, Professor of American History at Messiah College since 2002, wrote that Donald Trump called to to Eric Metaxas’ show that day. He wrote that “Metaxas told the president that ‘Jesus is with us’ in the fight over voter fraud and said that he would ‘be happy to die in this fight’.” He recounts the texts of Jenna Ellis and Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s think tank, as well as Lance Wallnau and Calvary Chapel’s Jack Hibbs, refuting the legitimacy of the election, and a desire to overturn the delegates chosen by the voters, as well as doubts by David Brody of the Christian Broadcast Network, and Dinesh D’Sousa.

Hank and Brenda Kunneman are co-pastors of an Omaha, NE church with the very intimidating name of “Lord of Hosts Church” (why can’t they use names like “Friends of Jesus Fellowship,” or such? Certainly more impressive than my pastor-friend’s lowly “Church of the Carpenter” name). I recently became familiar with them from seeing them on the parade of “prophets” on Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” show, each having their own brand, and gimmick of a unique prophetic product and niche they carve out in the marketplace; I noticed how Brenda in particular has a lock on the “preacher voice” of authority and confidence in the status and content of her prophetic message, even if it is sometimes nebulous and virtually impossible to verify, as you can see if you watch her visit here on Mr. Roth’s show, and listen to her for a while; on other shows with him she comes on even stronger. Although I am not intimately familiar with the inside track of what is going on in the Pentecostal community, it appears that they have become somewhat “heavy hitters,” at least in their media circles. On their church web page that promotes their building and fund raising efforts, they boast of “Sunday services alone averaging over 20,000 unique online views weekly!”, for a period they have now uniquely branded and “prophesied” as the “Decade of Difference.” I was unable to find any detailed backgrounds of either of them online as to their lives prior to pastoring this church; in his biography at their own site of his pastoring era he says that “Pastor Hank is known for a strong prophetic anointing as he preaches. His ministry has been marked with an incredible accuracy in the word of knowledge and prophecy concerning nations and world events. He is used of God in demonstrations of the Spirit with many testifying of healing and miracles…He and his wife, Brenda, also preach as a team, flowing together uniquely in prophetic demonstrations including tongues and interpretation.” Her own biographical page there modestly says of herself that “Pastor Brenda is a captivating preacher with a powerful prophetic anointing. She preaches a cutting-edge kingdom message and lives have been changed by specific prophecies for both individuals and churches,” all “With a ministry of impartation and deliverance.”

Their “Products” page of books and DVDs they have authored includes titles such as, “The Anointing of Preservation,” “Decade of Difference,” “Favor of Separation,” “SOZO Power: Claiming Your New Spiritual Birthright,” “The Daily Decree Book,” “Activating Angels (“discover how to activate the ministry of angels as part of your divine birthright”),” “Prophets and Prophecy CD (including “Discerning the true and false in the prophetic ministry“),” “Opening the Heavens,” “Chaos in the King’s Court,” “Decoding Hell’s Propaganda” (“teaches Christians how to receive fresh, sound revelation, while being alert and discerning enough to recognize false teachings and deceptions“), “Don’t Leave God Alone,” “What Does The Future Hold?/Roadmap to Divine Direction,” “It Must Come to Pass,” “Evidence of Spiritual Maturity,” “Expect God to Answer/Made to Reign,” “How to Put Your Angels to Work,” “Increase Your Expectation,” “Kingdom Increase,” “Prophetic Promises of Divine Transfer/Positioning Yourself for Money Miracles,” “Spiritual A.D.D.,” “Decree and It Will Be Done,” “The Daily Prophecy/Prophetic Package (“Each prophecy is written as if God is speaking directly to you”),” “The Roadmap to Divine Direction,” “Prophesy With the Wind of God in Your Mouth,” “Throne Room Prophecy” (“When it comes to prophecy, how can we discern if the words being spoken are true, false, or wrong?…so that the words they share come from Heaven, not from their flesh, soul, or other sources. Hank Kunneman is a trusted father and mentor in the prophetic community…he teaches you to speak prophetic words that carry thunder from Heaven’s Throne Room! Learn to communicate messages from God with precision and accuracy…In this timely book you will learn…How to identify the characteristics of false “horned” prophets”). I’ll leave it to the reader as to if they detect any trends here in message.

In February 2020, Newsweek reported that “Hank Kunneman recently claimed that God will save Americans from the new coronavirus because President Donald Trump’s administration has ‘aligned themselves’ with the right side of life. Speaking to the Lord of Hosts church during a service in Omaha, Nebraska last Sunday, Kunneman prophesied that citizens in the U.S. will not have to fear the coronavirus because God will ‘give mercy’.” They quoted Kunneman quoting the very words of God given to him via prophecy, noting that God pronounced that “And because of the administration that stands in this land, who honor me, who honour the covenants of your forefathers and of the Constitution. And because they have aligned themselves with Israel and because they have sided on the right side of life—life in the womb, life given outside of the womb—there I give life to this nation and I give mercy,” Kunneman added. “Do not fear. This virus is the spirit of God.Well, given that roughly 400,000 Americans have been documented as having died of COVID at the time I write this, I guess so much for the “incredible accuracy in the word of knowledge and prophecy concerning nations and world events” and the “precision and accuracy” of his “anointed” gift of prophecy. 

Later that month on February 2020, it was reported that when Nancy Pelosi tore up Trump’s State of the Union speech papers after Trump had been impeached, Kunneman said as an official prophetic announcement on the video that “The attempt to tarnish this president’s name and time in office by impeachment vote and trial, the record of it will be torn in two. Removed and erased,” as he spoke on behalf of God. I don’t know if that also applies to Trump’s second impeachment. You can watch of video of this pronouncement here.

Regarding Kunneman’s prophetic pronouncements that Trump would serve a second term, he gets getting quite agitated of people’s expectations that Christian leaders who claim to speak the words of God as prophets must be accurate. A video of him from mid-December has his statements that

…and all of these quote “votes” that came that after hours, that they’re saying exists, was for one candidate…USE YOUR BRAIN! WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ABSOLUTE MARXIST TAKEOVER OF OUR NATION. They’re trying to steal our nation from us through fraud and lies. And you buy their lies? And you’re willing to concede? (congregation yells, “No!”)…Believe his prophets. God wants you to believe Him, but believe His spokesmen.

Now, I do not think for a moment that God’s leading prophets that have track records of very precise words have all missed it, and somehow the media is telling the truth. Have they told the truth in the last four years? (“No!”) Then why are we attacking the prophetic voices of the Lord? “And oh, I will just not follow anyone again…” but you’ll go and be a Fox News junkie who has sold out and betrayed this nation.

In a video from January 11, Kunneman says that Jesus Himself is coming “like Rambo” to expose the voter fraud – a myth that must be perpetuated for these “prophets” to maintain any shreds of credibility:

He’s [Jesus] is not coming with a little sweater… [in effeminate voice] “Father, I must go now and celebrate what is going to take place January 20th with the one that stole the election…I don’t think He’s coming like Mr. Rogers, in the Land of Make Believe. That’s what they want us to do, MAKE BELIEVE THAT IT WAS LEGITIMATE, MAKE BELIEVE THAT IT WASN’T STOLEN, MAKE BELIEVE THAT HE HAD MORE VOTES…He’s coming like “Rambo,” How’s that? [intimidating Rambo] “You drew first blood..” [pretends to fire an automatic weapon as the congregation cheers] That’s how He’s coming…and He’s gonna’ deal with the liars, the crooks and those who’ve committed treason.

Another “prophet” I have watched recently on Sid Roth’s parade of eccentric Pentecostal showmen with their own schtick has been Robert Henderson – an older, seasoned operator with the down-home “good ol’ boy” homespun voice and demeanor, but “upgraded” with what appears to be an expensive haircut and gelled, spiked hair, and as best as I can ascertain from hearing him, has a gimmick of having unique access to “Heaven’s Courts,” and can serve like a defense attorney for you there to serve your agenda, which of course the first priority is wealth and making money. He has his own answer to why his prophecies and those of his henchmen of a second Trump term will not come to pass, with a laughable answer that he knows the gullible Christian followers will swallow. Around the end of December it was reported that

Speaking on The Jim Bakker Show this Monday, Pastor Robert Henderson (who once suggested that his prayers were responsible for the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg) tried to do a little damage control in light of the fact that Biden is destined to be sworn into office. When asked by host Jim Bakker what he thought about Trumpworld’s recent string of defeats in the Supreme Court, Henderson said the SCOTUS “took the easy way out,” so now the matter is entirely up to the “courts of heaven.” Bakker then asked, “Is [Satan] coming against the United States in the courts of Heaven right now.” Henderson said yes, and added that while he thinks God clearly has the power to do whatever he wants, it’s up to Christians to give him a boost now and then, and a lack of enthusiastic Trump-supporting Christians could be responsible for Trump’s fledgling effort to overturn the election.

In a video clip of his comments from the show embedded in the story, Henderson adds that in his prayer meetings, “We have been contending in the court of heaven…I do believe that we are contending against legal claims that the Adversary says he has against our nation, and we have been seeking to undo those claims.” I am sure that their “messiah” Trump can relate to this, having spent most of his adult life in legal court cases over his discriminatory practices as a slum-lord with his father, many divorce proceedings, and efforts to cover up his mistresses, taxes, financial records, health records, and sticking it to his hapless business “partners” when he routinely folds up companies in bankruptcy suffering from his mismanagement, leaving them holding the bag, and now impeachment trials. To be fair, in this clip, shockingly Henderson says (the first time I’ve heard this) that he does not see himself as a full-time prophet (maybe to save face from the election outcome), but his regular pronouncements of what God purportedly privileged him to witness in the third heaven and the Father’s courts is exactly what the legitimate Old Testament prophets did in their office as prophet.

On January 7, the day after the Trump followers plundered the Capitol to destroy the Congressmen but they confirmed the Biden victory anyway, Henderson gave the following mea culpa and “weasel words,” in a sermon to a church flock, as this video attests:

A lot of people said, “Well, wait a minute, the prophets said that Donald Trump would be President.” I said, “Well, what did you want them to prophesy? Did you want them to prophesy that Joe Biden was going to be President? I said, “You don’t understand the nature of the prophetic.” I said, “The nature of the prophetic is, the prophets understand, when they prophesy a thing, it sets it in motion for it to become a reality…the prophetic is not just a forward telling, it is actually a setting in motion for something that can become a reality…I understand, that whenever we prophesy, or decree a thing, out of a spirit of God and do our best to hear the spirit of the Lord, we are setting that thing in motion. So I say to people, “What did you want them to prophesy? I believe they heard the word of the Lord, but here’s the deal…Just because somebody prophesies something, doesn’t mean its going to come to pass, because every prophetic word has to be prayed into reality.

There are some things Robert Henderson can take credit for; according to a late September 2020 video from his Waco church, Henderson claimed that his storming of the Courts of Heaven by prayer led to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, like a rabbinic Orthodox Kabbalah-style Pulsa DiNura death curse, (although they use black candles, and usually perform the magical ritual in a graveyard). He stated on the video that

We were in the meeting on Monday night in D.C., and I told them, I said, ‘Look, we need to go into the courts of Heaven right now while we’re on-site in D.C., and we need to shut the mouth of the lion, judicially. “‘We need to ask for a judgment against the lion that has actually been devouring and intends to devour from the Supreme Court. We need to get a judgment against this lion that Paul said God shut the mouth of.’ So, I led us into that place. Well, guess what? Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away. President Trump will establish a new Supreme Court justice. That’s no accident…So someone said “How can you have the authority to do that?” Because we are a house of prayer…A house of prayer that represents a culture can stand in the Courts of Heaven and get verdicts rendered out of heaven that will allow God’s will to be done.

Huh…I thought as sinners delivered by God’s grace, and given a “message of reconciliation” and Good News to deliver to “set the captives free,” that praying to save Judge Ginsberg, or even just change her mind regarding abortion, might have been more proper, if folks like Henderson have that level of clout to get verdicts rendered in the courts of heaven. I guess it just shows the priorities and proclivities of the heart. I also guess guys like Jesus and Stephen the deacon martyr were “too wimpy” by asking God to “forgive them, for they know not what they do,” or to “lay not this sin to their charge.” As far as the “blood on the altar” he describes on the video from abortions that set demonic powers down to earth if they don’t stop it, folk like Henderson don’t seem to care much about the “blood sacrifices” of the Indians and Africans of old here, the unarmed black males shot by cops far too often in our streets, the refugees who succumb to the elements or dangers in ignored tent cities or migrating, or those dying of malnutrition, preventable diseases, or bombs dropped indiscriminately in a War on Terror, and the “demons” they all invite.

Sometimes, supernatural Pentecostal power is even better augmented and fortified with good old-fashioned earthly weaponry and militaristic bluster. The Friendly Atheist website reports that Pastor Brandon Burden of KingdomLife in Frisco, Texas covered all these bases during his sermon on January 10, 2021, writing that

During a long rambling sermon just days after the Capitol coup, he told his (maskless) congregation to stock up on weapons, celebrated a God-ordained siege of Washington, spoke in tongues to give his statements added oomph, claimed Apple would create a national blackout, railed against FOX News and Mitch McConnell for not being conservative enough, urged everyone to stock up on generators and food, and said with absolutely certainty that Donald Trump would be president for eight straight years. How would that last part happen considering Joe Biden‘s inauguration is next week…? With military tribunals that execute traitors, of course. It’s just an unhinged rant that shows how broken these people’s brains are. They live in a bubble completely untethered to reality.

[From ten minutes of his 90-minute sermon, they note his comments that] “We are locked and loaded at the Burden house,” he said. The pastor advised churchgoers that it’s illegal to shoot a trespasser on their lawn, but he said they can if someone tries to enter their home, citing the state’s Castle Doctrine [looking forward to the opportunity, evidently]. During the service, Burden shouted in tongues while a woman at the altar waved a large American flag in front of him. In his sermon, the pastor cited “prophetic voices” who have said God told them Trump would be president for eight years. “We have an executive order — not from Congress or D.C., but from the desk of the CEO of heaven, the boss of the planet,” Burden said. “He said from his desk in heaven, this is my will; Trump will be in for eight years.”

This is what happens when your church rejects critical thinking and embraces conspiracy theories that have the added weight of God’s approval. Burden is a cult leader. Is there any doubt that pastors like him are part of the reason so many Christian Nationalists stormed the Capitol last week? They believed they were on a holy mission. If Muslims did anything like this, you can bet the same Christians in this room would be screaming about the dangers of a holy war. Yet here they are, using God to justify their irrational and arguably dangerous beliefs about an election their side lost. They treat Trump as their savior but give Jesus lip service along the way, which allows them to ignore his corruption and bigotry and lies while endorsing their mythologized version of who he is and what he can do. Burden, by the way, was a candidate for the Frisco City Council a few years ago. He lost, but not by much.

It is so sad that I cannot disagree with the perspectives of this honest atheist in this last paragraph. Many moral atheists and agnostics seek authentic expressions of spiritual truth that are consistent, based on some rational underpinnings, and demonstrate personal moral and societal transformation, but sadly these folk in our Religious Right circles keep letting them down by showing a bigoted, hateful, xenophobic and even disgusting and lunatic profile that really lets these people down, especially when evangelicals are supposed to be “salt and light” and about “soul winning,” which they don’t seem to talk about much during their “culture war,” or their expressions of hatred and paranoia about everyone outside their circles during the Trump love-fest. I pray that God can sift out an authentic witness in our country that can earn the respect of these searching people, even as St. Paul did for the skeptics on Mars Hill. If I were not already “weaned” culturally throughout my life in the evangelical culture, I probably would have been their biggest critic, which would have been a tragedy to miss its eternally life-altering message, albeit given by spokesmen that make free eternal life seem unappealing.  

These Evangelical forces, both charismatic/Pentecostal “prophetic” and otherwise, converged in their mutual spiritual devotion to Trump in their zealous conference at Washington D.C. in mid-December 2020. Right Wing Watch describes the event this way:

Organizers of Saturday’s pro-Trump “Let the Church ROAR” rally on the National Mall—also referred to as the national “Jericho March”—were proud of the fact that the event’s organizers represented different strands of conservative Christianity. Jericho March, which has been encouraging activists to hold daily rallies at state capitols—was created by Rob Weaver, a Pentecostal Christian, and Arina Grossu, a Catholic. Both have worked for the Trump administration. The Pentecostal wing of Trump’s movement, which includes the dominionist “apostles” and “prophets” associated with POTUS Shield and the New Apostolic Reformation, was represented by speakers like Lance Wallnau, Cindy Jacobs, and emcee Eric Metaxas. The Messianic Jewish wing, which overlaps others, was represented by speakers like Curt Landry and End-Times author Jonathan CahnRight-wing Catholics were represented by Ed Martin, whose Phyllis Schlafly Eagles was an event sponsor, along with far-right Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a priest specializing in exorcism and “deliverance,” and “traditionalist” Catholic author and podcaster Taylor Marshall, who figured prominently in Kathryn Joyce’s Vanity Fair article “Deep State, Deep Church: How QAnon and Trumpism Have Infected the Catholic Church.” Marshall’s book “Infiltration,” which purported to expose a decades-long plot by communists and Freemasons to take over the Catholic Church as a means to achieving world domination, was a bridge too far even for many conservative Catholics.

George Michalopulos, who blogs at Monomakhos and has promoted debunked conspiracy theories about how the election was “stolen” from Trump, represented the Trumpist corner of the Orthodox wing of Christianity. “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees,” Michalopulos told the crowd. “On November 3, Donald J. Trump won the most resounding reelection victory in history and is in fact the duly elected president of the United States.” He called Biden a “usurper.” Michalopulos recently admiringly reposted a comment from Roosh V’s blog calling on Trump to refuse to step down, use the military to “crush his enemies,” and “use his authority under the Insurrection Act to arrest and/or kill everyone who participated in this plot.” (Roosh is a former pick-up artist and alt-Right blogger who now runs an online “forum for Christian men.”) “It really says it all, doesn’t it,” Michalopoulos wrote of the call for Trump to arrest leaders of the Democratic Party and Big Tech and “everyone of significance in the mainstream media.” Michalopulos began promoting Jericho March and “Let the Church ROAR” in November, warning, “We have a Jericho within our midst … Behind its walls are people who are plotting to destroy this country and rebuild it into something of their own making, for they have no god. It grows like a cancer and it is evil. Their tentacles run deep and are stifling our very way of life in an effort to snuff it out completely.” “They have closed our churches and forced us into hiding,” he wrote, “Were it possible, they would burn this country to the ground and have said so many times. But God can be trusted. He has sent us a “commander of the army of the Lord to deliver Jericho into our hands and we are His army.”

Let the Church ROAR” also represented another kind of ecumenism, the kind on which adoration of Trump has brought together elements of overlapping right-wing movements in the United States. Also speaking from the stage were conspiracy-theorist extraordinaire Alex Jones and anti-government extremist Stewart Rhodes, leader of Oath Keepers, who warned that if Trump didn’t use his powers as commander-in-chief to defeat his opponents, it would be up to right-wing militias to do so in a “more bloody war.”

Even some conservative Christians were appalled by the display on the National Mall. “This is a grievous and dangerous time for American Christianity,” wrote conservative writer and Trump critic David French. “The frenzy and fury of the post-election period has laid bare the sheer idolatry and fanaticism of Christian Trumpism.” French warned that the kind of language used by Metaxas and others “embody a form of fanaticism that can lead to deadly violence.” “We’re way, way past concerns for the church’s ‘public witness,” French wrote, adding, “A significant movement of American Christians—encouraged by the president himself—is now directly threatening the rule of law, the Constitution, and the peace and unity of the American republic.” Writer and culture-warrior Rod Dreher, who frequently lambastes the left, was also appalled. He wrote about the rally and his reactions to it at The American Conservative: “I watched because I wanted to see how far the Christian Right — for the record, I am an Orthodox Christian, and a conservative — would go to conflate Trump politics and religion. Pretty far, as it turns out. Right over the cliff. You had to see it to believe it.…This phenomenon is going to matter. Divinizing MAGA and Stop The Steal is going to tear churches to bits, and drive people away from the Christian faith (or keep them from coming in the first place). Based on what I saw today, the Christians in this movement do not doubt that Trump is God’s chosen, that they, by following him, are walking in light, and whatever they do to serve Trump is also serving God. They have tightly wound apocalyptic religion to conservative politics and American nationalism.

Popular Baptist author and speaker Beth Moore denounced Trumpism on Sunday as seductive and dangerous, adding, “This Christian nationalism is not of God.” Moore’s comment drew plenty of blowback from Trump’s supporters, including one from pastor, White House guest, and online angry man Greg Locke, who responded to Moore by telling her she had “lost her mind,” and should “SIT DOWN.” Jenna Ellis, the Trump attorney and Rudy Giuliani sidekick who was just the recipient of a glowing profile from Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, responded with an “AMEN” and thanks to Locke. Trump “prophet” Lance Wallnau also slammed Moore, as did musician-politician Sean Feucht.

This same source also reported on Christian Rabbi Jonathan “Harbinger” Cohn’s participation at this event:

End Times author Jonathan Cahn delivered the closing speech at Saturday’s “Let the Church ROAR” rally…Cahn’s speech was an example of a primary strategy used by religious-right leaders to drive conservative Christian turnout for Trump: fostering fear of anti-Christian persecution…many of Trump’s religious-right supporters continue to believe and declare that God will yet intervene to give the “anointed” Trump a victory. The weekend featured calls for violence from Trump supporters on stage and actual violence from Trump supporters in the streets.

Cahn has sold a lot of books for his publisher Charisma by purportedly decoding and explaining a biblical “paradigm” he says God revealed to him, in which stories and prophecies in the Bible foretell specific events in modern history, from Mark Twain’s visit to Israel to the elections of U.S. presidents up to and including Trump. Cahn was one of the primary organizers of “The Return,” a Sept. 26 gathering on the National Mall that was meant to seal Trump’s reelection victory and spark a national religious revival…At “The Return” in September, Cahn smashed a clay jar to the ground as a sign of what will happen to the U.S. if it fails to repent and return to God… Cahn painted a dire picture of what the future will look like in an America that has “forgotten her God” and allowed a “spirit of radicalism” to sweep universities, the media, and the Democratic Party. He warned that those preparing to assume power in Washington “will seek to end the culture war with a total vanquishing of the opposition.” He warned of an America in which believers are forced to perform abortions and their children are indoctrinated into “the ways which war against the ways of God.”

Cahn called attention to the upcoming Jan. 5 runoff elections for the two U.S. Senate seats from Georgia…“Right now, we are standing only two votes, two Senate seats away from a government that is ready to enact the most radical anti-biblical agenda in the history of this nation, without any restraint,” he claimed. Noting that the rally was taking place during Hanukkah, Cahn drew a long analogy between the events the holiday commemorates and the position of Christians in the U.S. today. He described a time when Israelites were being forced to bow to a wicked government until “the deplorables of that nation” rose up in revolt, and despite being “out-financed” and “out-weaponed,” won the battle with God’s help.

[Cahn continued:] We will not surrender to the darkness. We will not give in to the night. No matter what happens in this world…no matter what thrones may decree, we will not bow down to Baal…We will not bow down to princes or kings. We will not bow down to the sacred cows of this age. We will not bow down to the edicts of immorality and the decrees of darkness. We will not bow down to a radical agenda and the totalitarianism of a political correctness. We will not bow down darkness, and we will not bend our knees to evil.

On January 14, The Washington Post reported on the attendees to the January 6 rally and riot that came because of the words of Christian “prophets” calling them and prophesying Trump’s reelection, and gave examples of such people, and then added the following narrative of what transpired:

Images and references to being on the march for Jesus were common at the massive Jan. 6 rally – and later, riot – including a segment of American Christianity that believes it has the power of prophecy. Some experts say charismatic, prophetic Christians who operate largely outside denominations make up U.S. religion’s fastest-growing subset. In recent decades, millions have been increasingly seeking out these prophets and apostles on YouTube channels, in books, group prayer calls, via regular group text chats and at conferences where breakout groups practice faith healing and raising people from the dead. And nothing has focused this disparate, independent group like Donald Trump. While mainstream evangelical conservatives, including Trump’s own evangelical advisors, didn’t appear at the event, the day had been heavily promoted and covered by media and leaders of this charismatic, prophetic segment of Christianity.  “I believe something dramatic is going to happen before Congress votes on those electors. Something very dramatic that will change the outcome of that vote…the Holy Spirit will enter into this situation and it’s going to be something very dramatic,” televangelist Pat Robertson told his Christian Broadcasting Network audience Jan. 4, on the eve of two days of rallies in D.C.

After the deadly Capitol siege, the prophesies continued – that Trump will remain in power. “Anyone who think this ends tonight is totally mistaken…you are still the president and we need you to stay on the front lines, sir,” prophet Mario Bramnick, one of Trump’s faith advisors, said Jan. 7. “We thank God for exposing and foiling all the plans of the enemy set against him. We affirm his lawful election and pray for four more years with Donald Trump as our President!” the 24/7 National Strategic Prayer Call, a 10,000-member Arkansas-based ministry that hosts weekly live prayer calls, told its listeners Monday.

“What’s different from the past [of apostolic, charismatic Christianity] is it’s just so wound up with the person and presidency of Trump,” says Peter Montgomery, who has studied and written about right-wing religious movements for decades. “Many of these prophetic leaders in 2015-2016 said Trump was anointed by God, divinely assigned to save America and protect religious freedom. And now with them believing that Trump is standing in the way of Christianity being criminalized in the United States, this is an existential moment.”

The high-octane, emotional fight for Trump makes sense for these believers…Spiritual warfare is constant. Signs and wonders are everywhere. So as time passes and Trump’s options disappear, God’s move to keep him in power will be even more spectacular – evidence even more likely to spark a religious awakening or revival. “Let’s pray like a field, moving forward, for the Lord to reveal his plans and seal our time together – as long as there is an intercessor there is still hope. We are needed at this time in our nation, we are an effective part of God’s plan for the United States,” a voice said on a call Tuesday to Intercessors for America, a Purcelleville-based ministry with 100,000 Facebook followers and a weekly prayer call. The call ended with a cacophony of callers praying in tongues.

Brad Christerson, a sociology professor at the evangelical Biola University who wrote a book about this phenomenon – which he calls “Independent Network Charismatic,” or “INC,” Christianitysaid it is changing the face of religion in America by making it more experiential, more experimental and less theological. “There is a breakdown in consensus about what’s scientific truth, a breakdown in faith in institutions. We’re in a period of high competition for ideas, and young people are fascinated by the supernatural. There’s more of an openness to all kinds of ways of thinking,” he said. Christerson in his 2017 book cited the World Christian Database as saying between 1970 and 2010, independent apostolic and neo-Charismatic groups – other names for the charismatic Christians who believe in these unaffiliated prophets – grew the fastest of any other. Holly Pivec, another researcher who has written two books on the movement, estimates some 66 million Americans have come into close contact with its teachings, through books or conferences or music. The numbers are much more dramatic overseas; prophets and apostles are promoted at many of the world’s largest churches, in Nigeria, Colombia, South Korea, Pivec says.

…Then-presidential candidates Rick Perry, in 2011, and Bobby Jindhal, in 2015, hosted “prayer” rallies of tens of thousands of people in huge arenas, featuring prophets. Prophet Lance Wallnau, who wrote a book predicting Trump’s election (“God’s Chaos Candidate”) has spoken at Values Voters Summits. Mario Bramnick met multiple times with Trump officials about immigration reform, among other things. Leaders of five White House “faith” offices were introduced at a prophetic event in Beltsville, Md., just before the 2018 midterms. And the charismatic queen of American prosperity gospel, Paula White, has been by Trump’s side through his presidency, overseeing his faith office. In November a video went viral of White prophesying that God has dispatched angels from Africa and South America to help Trump achieve victory.

…By Monday, Wallnau was urging followers to focus on true prophesies and disregard conspiracy theories making the rounds on prophetic sites – such as one about Trump being about to declare martial law, or another about how major social media sites are about to go black. In December, Wallnau said on a prayer call that God would “overturn” the election because Trump’s “assignment” from God has not yet been completed. Later that month, in a video on his Facebook page, he said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) congratulating Biden on his victory was just another example of the deep state that Trump was sent to fight. Now, Wallnau said Monday, the prophetic word he’s now hearing is “enlargement.” How God is just about to “enlarge his sphere on Earth.” As far as the false predictions, he asked: “Why is it our people are so vulnerable to this stuff?”

John Fea, Professor of History at Messiah College wrote that

In Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, I wrote extensively about the so-called Independent Network Charismatics (INC). According to scholars Brad Christerson and Richard Flory, INC is the fastest-growing Christian movement in both the Western world and global south. INC Christians are outside the network of traditional Pentecostals. Unlike the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland)…[etc.], INC Christianity is not a denomination. Nor are its networks affiliated in any way with the National Association of Evangelicals. INC Christianity is a network of authoritative spiritual leaders with very large followings. They are closely related to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). If I understand these movements correctly, INC Christianity is more open to the prosperity gospel than NAR Christianity, but there is a lot of overlap. Both groups believe in the traditional Pentecostal “gifts” (speaking in tongues, healing, miracles, and prophecy). They expect a great revival of the Holy Spirit will take place shortly before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and God will raise up “apostles” and “prophets” to lead this revival.

Some of the more prominent INC prophets include Che Ahn (Harvest International Ministries in Pasadena, CA), Bill Johnson (Bethel Church in Redding ,CA), Chuck Pierce (Glory of Zion Ministries in Corinth, TX), Cindy Jacobs (Generals International in Red Oak, TX), Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO), Lou Engle (The Call in Colorado Springs, CO), Dutch Sheets (Dutch Sheets Ministries in Dallas, TX), Lance Wallnau (Lance Learning Group in Dallas, TX), Jeremiah Johnson (Jeremiah Johnson Ministries in Charlotte, NC), Kat Kerr (Revealing Heaven Ministries of Jacksonville, FL), and Shawn Bolz (Bolz Ministries of Studio City, CA).

INC prophets and apostles believe that they have been appointed to serve as God’s agents in ushering in his future kingdom, a process that many describe as God “bringing heaven to earth.” They are thus deeply attracted to Seven Mountain Dominionism, the belief that Jesus will not return until society comes under the dominion of Jesus Christ…INC prophets want to reclaim seven cultural “mountains”: family, government, arts and entertainment, media, business, education, and religion. The goal is to place God’s appointed leaders atop these cultural mountains as a means of setting the stage for the time when God will bring heaven to earth.

As early as 2007, INC prophet Kim Clement received a word from God: “Trump shall become a trumpet. I will raise up Trump to become a trumpet, and Bill Gates to open up the gate of a financial realm for the church.” Early in the 2016, Wallnau received similar words: “Donald Trump is a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.” When Wallnau’s prophecy caught the attention of Trump’s evangelical supporters, he was invited to attend a meeting with the candidate and other evangelical leaders in Trump Tower. As Wallnau listened to Trump talk about his desire to give evangelicals a more prominent voice in government, he sensed that God was giving him an “assignment”–a “calling related to this guy.” One day, while he was reading his Facebook page, Wallnau saw a meme predicting that Trump would be the “45th president of the United States.” God told Wallnau to pick up his Bible and turn to Isaiah 45. On reading the passage, Wallnau realized that, not only would Trump be a “wrecking ball” to political correctness, but he would be elected president of the United States in the spirit of the ancient Persian king Cyrus…Wallnau was shocked by this discovery. “God was messing with my head,” he told Steven Strang, the editor of Charisma, a magazine that covers INC and other Pentecostal and charismatic movements.

In early 2015, Cindy Jacobs claimed that God said to her, “I have a trump card in my hand and I’m gonna play it and I’m gonna trump the system.” When Trump announced his candidacy in 2016, Jacobs supported his candidacy through “prayer walks” through seven swing states. Jacobs was one of the religious leaders who stood behind Trump on the White House lawn when he announced an executive order on religious liberty on May 4, 2017. Frank Amedia, an INC apostle who claims to have presented Trump with a note at a campaign stop in Youngstown, Ohio, telling the candidate that God had revealed to him that it was a “forgone conclusion” that he would win the GOP nomination, worked as Trump’s “liaison for Christian policy.” Amedia has led several of these INC leaders in the formation of an organization called POTUS Shield. The clergy associated with this organization gather regularly to pray for Trump to protect them from the Satan-inspired attacks of his political opponents. The POTUS Shield prophets seldom appeared at the White House, but they served as a kind of spiritual support group for God’s new Cyrus, who will lead America back to spiritual and economic prosperity and help to set the stage for the dominion of Jesus Christ over all the earth.

Prior to Trump, INC and NAR prophets were on the fringe. The secular media didn’t even know they existed. The only outlet that covered them on a regular basis was Right Wing Watch, a project sponsored by People For the American Way. But in recent days, the Washington Post and New York Times have recognized the influence of these Christians and their massive followings…As might be expected, INC and NAR prophets prophesied a Trump victory in 2020. Some of them, including Johnson, apologized. Over at Religion Unplugged, Julia Duin has a piece on how Trump’s loss has divided the INC and NAR community [saying:]…At least 40 charismatic Christian leaders predicted Trump’s reelection starting around 2018, according to J. Gordon Melton, 78, the venerable compiler of the Encyclopedia of American Religions and an American religious studies professor at Baylor University. “Only a handful [of prophets] got it right on the 2016 election,” said Melton, “so they all jumped into this election and with one exception,” a Black prophet from North Carolina whose name he did not recall, “they were wrong.” This is the second major hit this movement has taken in less than a year, he added. The first was during a prophetic summit last year. “Last November when [evangelist] Cindy Jacobs had her meeting in Dallas, none of the prophets at that meeting – and it was the elite who were there – none of them hinted that anything like the coronavirus was coming,” Melton said. “That has come back to haunt them.”

Some in the movement are still holding out for some kind of last-minute miracle from God that would magically reverse the election and install Trump as president on Jan. 20. The Dallas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries is one. On Jan. 7, host Gene Bailey and several other prophets appearing on a ministry broadcast known as Flashpoint, floated conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol. All of them encouraged listeners to continue believing in prophecies of a Trumpian victory. “Many are on the side of, ‘Let’s attack one another. Let’s get on social media and attack the prophets. And let’s draw the sword on one another,’” said the Rev. Hank Kunneman, pastor of Hosts Church in Omaha, Neb. “And I think that is the greatest mistake we can make as true patriots, true Christians, those of us that are in the body of Christ.” God had personally assured him there would be a miraculous outcome, he added. “I’m telling you that’s what we’re getting ready to see,” he said. “I don’t know how that’s going to play out. I just know this thing is not over.

In November after the election, the Religion Unplugged blog reproted that “Steve Schultz, founder of the prophetic website Elijah List, which has a YouTube broadcast called Elijah Streams, commented Nov. 10 that interest in the prophetic is so high right now, he’s getting 100,000 views for some of his broadcasts. ‘The prophets aren’t backing off what they prophesied,’ he said on the air. ‘They’ve known it, they’ve said it; they are not backing off’ (emphasis added). they add that

One such individual is Charlie Shamp, 38, a North Carolina evangelist who…affixed the title of “Prophet” before his name. Interviewed on Nov. 10 by Schultz, he said his fellow prophets had called the election correctly despite what the headlines say. “When you have tested prophets that have got numerous prophetic words over the years correct, you begin to question the narrative that is presented to us and stop questioning whether the prophets got it right or not,” he said. “When we have the church believing the media more than the prophets, there needs to be a discernment coming back to the body of Christ after four years of lies from the media.” [emphasis added] Shamp has prophesied that a sudden turnaround will happen in Pennsylvania and told Schultz that God will post a double rainbow around the White House as a sign. Without mentioning names, he took a shot at some prophets who had backed down from their predictions of a Trump victory. “Those who do not have a spirit of discernment, they are backing down but we’re not backing down,” he said. Noting that he had predicted two years ago that a “red tide” would sweep the 2018 elections (it didn’t), he excused his mistake by saying God had intended for that to happen, but “something not right in the American election system” had stymied the divine will.

They also write that “Kris Vallotton, 65, the resident prophet at the Redding, Calif., mega-congregation Bethel Church” was such a major prophet who confessed he had made a false prophecy, while denying he was a “false prophet” but now did have a “credibility gap,” and took full responsibility. However, they add that “Pushback within the movement was swift, and Vallotton quickly reversed himself, removing the video from his account. In a second video, he said he had gotten “thousands” of responses saying he had apologized too soon; that he was naively believing the media or that he was a coward” (emphasis added).

They also wrote that prophet-apologizers “include Los Angeles pastor and spiritual coach Shawn Bolz (who also prophesied last Feb. 28 that COVID-19 would die down quickly)” (emphasis added).

Speaking of prophets with egg on their face, and their cultural “home” with the popular Charisma magazine, on January 8 its editor Stephen Strang wrote a belated mea culpa entitled, “Regardless of the Election Outcome, God Has Plans and Purposes We Don’t Understand” for his confident and prestigious prophecy friends, and his earlier enthusiastic endorsement of them, in the latest prophetic “fail” which is commonplace but very obvious today (and which people will promptly forget anyway), writing that

As you probably know, I’ve not only written four books about President Donald Trump, but I’ve also been an unabashed Trump supporter for several years now. Now that the Senate has confirmed Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, I want to share my personal thoughts on the prophecies about President Trump and how Charisma Media will cover this going forward. My first book, God and Donald Trump, was really about his miraculous win…If you’ve read the book, you know I actually attended the victory party in New York City the night of the 2016 election. And even though in the natural, everybody said Trump would never win, I just thought, Well, the prophets prophesied, and I believed he would do itGod and Donald Trump is still a good read…It was successful enough that I wrote a sequel, Trump Aftershock. As the 2020 election drew near, I decided to write God, Trump and the 2020 Election…The first chapter is called “Why Trump Must Win,” because I thought…we just cannot turn this country over to the Left.

But the second chapter is “Why Trump Might Lose”…the other reason—and probably the main reason—I said Trump might lose was fraud. And I documented a lot of the potential fraud that we have since seen take place. When the election happened, officials stopped the voting the night of the election only in the states where it made a difference. It looked like Trump was way ahead, and by morning, they had mysteriously found boxes of ballots, and he was behind…I thought all these examples would be investigated, and the courts would step in to change the election outcome. And at the same time, a number of Christian leaders were saying that somehow God had said Trump would be in for two terms. There were several pathways to this outcome, including the U.S. Senate rejecting the electors for Joe Biden from the seven states that chose electors for both candidates or even only a couple of those states. And as it unfolded, we all got a civics lesson on how this could happen and even had happened earlier in our nation’s history.

During the period where it looked like the election might go in Donald Trump’s favor, we decided at Charisma Media and charismanews.com to play it fairly straight but avoid calling Joe Biden the president-elect until the election was certified. Now that the U.S. Senate has certified the election, we will, when appropriate, refer to him as President-elect Biden. And of course, after he’s inaugurated on Jan. 20, we will respect him as President Biden. We are instructed to pray for our leaders, which we will do.

In my books, I reported prophecies going back to Kim Clement in the 2007 time frame. He prophesied in a service in Redding, California, that God was going to raise up a person who loved him the way King David did. And he said Trump was going to be a trumpet, but he also said Bill Gates was going to be the gate that God would open. Again, his prophecy was somewhat ambiguous, but still interesting. So far Trump has been that trumpet for religious freedom. The prophecy about Gates has not yet come to pass. There were other prophets whom I also cited in my books.

I am not a prophet. I’ve never been a prophet; that’s not my gift. But there were a number of prophets who were very certain that Trump would be elected. Now that it has not happened, they are apologizing one by one. Since we covered their prophecies (and I personally hoped they were right), we are covering their apologies. So far, we have published two of them, from Loren Sandford and Jeremiah Johnson. I thought they both said it well. They refused to blame other people; they refused to say, “Well, Trump won, but the election was stolen“…I personally do believe Trump won, and I personally do believe the election was stolen. But it’s not my responsibility to fix that. I can’t make anything happen.we will grapple with how to understand times like this when God doesn’t come through in the way we thought He should.

In a way, many of these prophecies were…wishful thinking and praying that God would come through and turn things around in America…And the things the Democrats say they’re going to do are also very serious, but we just have to trust God…I don’t understand what’s happened, and I‘m not going to try to defend Donald Trump. He is who he is; he answers to God, not to me. But I also don’t back off from what I have written or from the different podcasts I’ve done. They were all sincere, and they were all from the perspective of what I believed God was saying. And I hope that you’ll give me the grace—and Charisma Media the grace—of missing this, in a manner of speaking.

I also want to go on record as saying we do not condone violence in any way, and we believe that apparent Trump supporters breaking into the Capitol is far worse than Black Lives Matter rioters burning a police precinct or burning down a store—which we also condemn. We’re sad for the loss of life of the woman who was killed at the scene [what about the policeman bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the Trump supporters?].

Well, so much for an “apology.” So, its more that the election is stolen, and not so much that the arrogant, presumptive prophets were “wrong,” nor do they owe refunds to all the gullible followers who bought their DVDs and books to tell themselves what they wanted to hear in their own pride. To merely vindicate the “prophets,” this rationale gives spiritual sanction to distrust the government, the courts (including Trump appointed ones who ruled against him amongst the sixty judges) and Republican lawmakers who accepted the will of the people via the ballot and a Constitutional set of delegates, and to take actions to bring God’s obvious “will on earth” – by force in disobeying government if necessary – so as to save the reputation of the “prophets,” because they CAN’T be wrong, otherwise maybe all of Christianity is suspect. 

After all this talk of today’s popular, money-making “prophets” suddenly “moving the goalposts” in terms of their flamboyant and definitive promises of President Trump’s second term as a sign of their divine appointment and authority, and all the excuses and pivoting they are so skilled at executing, maybe we should consult the One who supposedly sends prophets to let God-fearing people know God’s mind on the issues of the day, using His own words and thoughts as expressed through the universally-recognized prophets of the Bible. I hope this is helpful to charismatic/Pentecostal readers (including those who receive a link to this posting via email from fellow Christian friends) who have up to now been taking these men and women very seriously as the authoritative “man or woman of God,” to the point of adopting world views or taking significant actions or commitments (whether sending life savings, quitting a job or storming a Capitol) based upon their edicts. 

First, at the time God was first calling out His own nation of God-fearing people to be His, He laid the ground rules for how prophets should be discerned as speaking for Him:

I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.” You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. Deut. 18:19-22, NIV

King Ahab did not want to bring the authentic prophet of God Micaiah before him and allied King Jehoshaphat of Judah, because while the false prophets patriotically prophesied success for the King in his agenda, like Donald Trump, Ahab hated genuine prophets of God that spoke “truth to power” and told the truth of the dangers of their actions. When Micaiah did it again and did not give God’s endorsement of the King’s actions, he further elaborated that sometimes God Himself will put lying words in the mouths of the prophets to help God bring down arrogant, corrupt kings by their own hubris, which we may be witnessing today:

“ ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. “ ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “ ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ “So now the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.” 1 Kings 22:22-23, NIV

The real prophet Jeremiah told how in his days, where the nation of “God’s people” were slipping into delusions of “exceptionalism” that would keep them from God’s judgment, and with rising spiritual, economic and political corruption of their times, a sign of their imminent demise would be the appearance of many “prophets” that would merely confirm their delusions of self-importance and special, preserved status:

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14, NIV

Jeremiah elaborated further on their modus operandi, and His opinion of them and those who follow them:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORDBut which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?…I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?…”Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD…If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the LORD,’ I will punish them and their householdBut you must not mention ‘a message from the LORD’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God. This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the LORD’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken? …I will bring on you everlasting disgrace–everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.” Jer. 23:16, 18, 25-26, 30-32, 34, 36-37, 40 NIV

Such false prophets need to be called out specifically:

“But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true.”…Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. Jer. 28:9, 15 NIV

The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading. Lamentations 2:14 NIV

Isaiah saw the same thing in the same era:

[God] who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense… Isaiah 44:25 NIV

The prophet Ezekiel witnessed some of the worst corruption of his people amongst the powerful “religious caste”:

Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious peopleFor there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of Israel. But I the LORD will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay. For in your days, you rebellious people, I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Sovereign LORD‘…Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins…Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the LORD has not sent them, they say, “The LORD declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The LORD declares,” though I have not spoken? ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign LORD…Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them…You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live. Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the LORD will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. Ezekiel 12:2-3, 24-25, 3:2-4, 6-8, 17, 19, 14:4 NIV

The prophet Micah described a populace, and the religious leaders they follow, that is much like our own!

If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people! Micah 2:11

Jesus continued to warn about false prophets to the church, and their increased threat in the Last Days:

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets… Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves…Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!‘…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Luke 6:26, Matt. 7:15, 22-23, 24:11-12, Mark 13:22 NIV

The Apostle Paul saw them in full force in the early days of the Church:

For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Cor. 11:13-15 NIV

The Apostle Peter foresaw the “modern TV prophet” in his day as well:

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies…Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them…This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understandFor they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 2 Peter 2:1-3, 10-12, 18 NIV

That’s why the Apostle John said:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 NIV

 

A few of today’s “prophets” we have mentioned in this writing have humbly come public with apologies for their hubris, which is a rare observance these days and notable, even though as we have seen, God’s Word prescribes severe punishments for those who falsely take the prophetic mantle to speak “in the name of the Lord.” As one example, “prophet” Jeremiah Johnson wrote the following in Charisma magazine, called, “My Public Apology and Process”; it is a bold statement that in its sincerity and honesty, stands in condemnation of its “prophet” peers who have not been men enough or sincere enough to do the same, and I strongly urge each reader to read it in full:

Dear Saints and Leaders,

I have submitted this letter to senior, respected national leaders in the body who have now given their approval to publicly release it. I am also currently in relationship with local church elders where I reside, whom I greatly value and believe are essential for accountability in my life, marriage and ministry.

We have dialogued and prayed, and I continue to receive their instructions and corrections. I have learned some very hard and valuable lessons throughout this process, and I intend to be as transparent as possible in the following remarks. The prophetic ministry is simply one of the gifts that God has given His body, and we should always be actively seeking relationship and accountability, first at the local level and then nationally if that is where God’s calling leads us.

My aim in this public apology is twofold. First, I would like to repent for inaccurately prophesying that Donald Trump would win a second term as the president of the United States. I refuse to blame the saints and say, “It didn’t come to pass because they did not pray enough.” Nor will I proclaim, “Donald Trump actually won, so I was right, but now it has been stolen from him.” I believe the first statement seeks to alleviate the prophetic messenger from the responsibility of what he prophesied, and the second statement is filled with potential pride and an unwillingness to humble himself and admit he was wrong.

I want to go on record: “I was wrong, I am deeply sorry, and I ask for your forgiveness.” I specifically want to apologize to any believer in whom I have now caused potential doubt concerning the voice of God and His ability to speak to His people. As a human being, I missed what God was saying; however, rest assured, God Himself is not a liar, and His written Word should always be the foundation and source of our lives as Christians.

Second, I would like to explain my prophetic process along the way so that anyone desiring to grow and learn from my mistakes might have the benefit of doing so—especially other prophets and prophetic people. As a public figure, I recognize my mistakes often have public consequences, and I want to be as transparent as possible.

For those who follow our ministry closely, you will especially understand just how detailed my prophetic journey has been with Donald Trump since 2015. I believe I was given an assignment to help the body of Christ prophetically discern the plans God had for Donald Trump. However, my mandate has and will always be focused on preparing the bride of Christ for the return of our bridegroom King Jesus Christ. I have intentionally recorded my encounters concerning Donald Trump publicly for accountability purposes over the last five years.

To this open letter “prophet” Johnson added a more detailed narrative on his own website, which includes a timeline of his “prophecies” about Trump. I originally thought this looked like an apologetic for his actions by showing how he was originally accurate and why it was understandable why he was mistaken, and thus I was initially disappointed, but I did find within its timeline of his prophetic pronouncements a few good lessons, and some insight on the moral of this story that is about as thoughtful as you will ever see from this crowd. He begins by saying that in the summer of 2015 (notably, when Trump was getting a lot of press coverage for his provocative presence in the early debates), he first publicly prophesied Trump as the “new Cyrus,” and further “prophesied from God” that “many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. 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” (!) His later prophecies also showed that Trump’s arrogance might get the better of him, and the Church might look into the wrong things from him, like his wealth or their own. After his January 2018 “prophecy,” he wrote, “Could Donald Trump have been raised up by God Himself like a Cyrus and bring necessary change to America, but through his own pride, arrogance, and forsaking of the poor end as a type of Nebuchadnezzar? The answer is: ABSOLUTELY…  The truth is that many in the Church are guilty of idolizing and worshipping Donald Trump as the savior of America.” (emphasis added). He added parenthetically to this that “Upon its release in 2018, it was also primarily rejected by a majority of those who rejoiced at the original prophetic word I received in 2015.” In December 2019 he was given a “Dream prophecy” about the 2020 race, in which Trump struggled to win a marathon, but was helped when “Mike Pence, Franklin Graham, Donald Trump Jr., and his family were there to comfort him” (!) In October 2020, he wrote that “I became convinced that Donald J. Trump would win re-election and began to prophesy that without conditions,” and published that and two other prophecies that came true (including that the Dodgers would win the World Series, which seemed to be a concern for him (!)) in Charisma magazine then. In understanding his own prophecies and making sense of them (including the error of Trump’s reelection), he writes that he now thinks God’s message is that

God Himself anointed Donald Trump in 2016 and then removed him from office in 2020 because of his own pride and arrogance. Joe Biden’s becoming the 46th President of the United States is meant to humble not only Donald Trump but all those who worshipped him more than they kept their focus on Jesus Christ. For the record, if I myself inadvertently persuaded anyone to do this by sharing my prophetic dreams and interpretations with the world, I repent and ask for your forgiveness. I have stated all along, “Political figures can never solve spiritual issues.” Regardless of who sits in the oval office, we have a sin problem in America that the One who sits above the circle of the earth is calling us to give an account for…I am simply convinced God Himself removed him and there was nothing that any human being could have done about it. I prophesied inaccurately that he would be re-elected because of the dream I had in October 2020. Perhaps the first two parts were born of the Spirit and the third part was of the flesh—a soulish desire of mine that was not from God…I believe the Church would be much better off concerning these issues [abortion, Israel, marriage, etc.] under another four years of Donald Trump — if he had repented of his pride and the church had not put him on a pedestal — but this is not what happened, and I accept it as the will of God. We can kick and scream, or we can humble ourselves and get prostrate in prayer like never before. As difficult as it will be for millions of Christians in America to accept, I invite you now to consider that God Himself removed Donald Trump from office….Do not waste the next four years blaming and engaging in endless debates online about a stolen election. It will only cause more strife, division, and works of the flesh in the body of Christ…A humbling has come and is coming to the American Church like never before. How we choose to respond to this correction and judgment from the Lord will determine many outcomes in the years ahead…We must focus our efforts on preaching the gospel and making disciples like never before…I, for one, am choosing today to dedicate 2021 and beyond to the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, on the afternoon of January 10th, Johnson posted this on his Facebook page:

Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. I have been labeled a coward, sellout, a traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times. We have lost ministry partners every hour and counting. After publicly repenting on January 7th, I fully expected to be called a false prophet etc. in some circles but I could have never dreamed in my wildest imagination that so much satanic attack and witchcraft would come from charismatic/prophetic people. I have been flabbergasted at the barrage of continued conspiracy theories being sent every minute our way and the pure hatred being unleashed.

To my great heartache, I’m convinced parts of the prophetic/charismatic movement are far SICKER than I could have ever dreamed of. I truthfully never realized how absolutely triggered and ballistic thousands and thousands of saints get about Donald Trump. It’s terrifying! It’s full of idolatry! If I helped to prop up this ideology concerning him, I will need to repent again and stir up even more hell. On a personal level, I am just beyond relieved that President Trump was only an assignment for a season and never a mandate. Revival is never dependent upon who sits in the White House but rather who sits on the Throne in Heaven. I will continue to preach the Cross and the power of the resurrection…As we head into 2021, expect me to be more committed to the gospel and making disciples than ever before. By God’s grace I will walk in a greater measure of humility and repentance than ever before. I will learn from my mistakes and seek correction from Godly leaders always.

I’m going to read the Sermon on the Mount now.

“Prophet” Loren Sandford, Senior Pastor of NewSong Church, also swiftly placed his apology on the Charisma platform the day after the Trump supporter domestic terror attack, entitled, “Pastor Loren Sandford’s Open Apology: How and Why We Got It Wrong.” There he stated that

I promised long ago that if I got it wrong regarding the outcome of the presidential election and my prophecy that Trump would be reelected, I would publish an open apology. Since then, I have waited for procedures and challenges to run their course. Last night, the Congress counted the votes, and the election went to Biden. The president has apparently conceded, promising a smooth transition. So, now is the time.

I want to tell you how I got it wrong. This is a confession and an explanation, not an excuse or justification. Let me begin with this. I don’t believe in rubber prophecy, stretch-to-fit. I’ve spoken against that for a number of years. For example, many have already exhorted me not to apologize, insisting that Trump actually won and the election was stolen. Regardless, the fact remains that Joe Biden is confirmed as the president-elect. I will not protest that I was right to make my words fit the situation and deny getting it wrong. No rubber prophecyPart of my own prophetic discipline, laid on me by the Lord, has been never to feed on the words of other prophetic voices…The Lord told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 23:30 (NASB), “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other.” We sometimes hear what other prophets are saying, and it stirs us up emotionally. In that emotional stirring, we build a bit on what was said, adding to it in the rush of emotion, because the emotion carries us forward until the final product is no longer the word the Lord actually gave.

My first confession is, therefore, that I departed from that discipline. I allowed myself to be caught up in a prevailing stream and to be carried along by it. In doing that, I actually compromised what the Lord had already told me years before. The Lord told me in October of 2016, Trump’s first campaign, that he would win that election but that he would not serve…In the first week of December after that election, I saw in a vision the crisis that would strike in the fourth year…I warned from the beginning that his reelection was not a certainty if he didn’t learn to temper his rhetoric and stop insulting his enemies. I called for prayer that the Lord would change the president’s heart. I was roundly criticized by fellow ChristiansWhen I appeared on Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural, taped in June 2018 and aired in September that year, I warned that the president’s reelection was not a certainty, in spite of what other prophetic voices were saying, unless there was the kind of change of which I’d spoken. I should have stood on that word of uncertainty. I didn’t. I was wrong not to. Many who have a lot more fame and widespread credibility than I do were confidently prophesying a victory, and it fed into my own insecurity and need to belong or fit in. How could I be wrong when all those who have such wide credibility over mine were prophesying a certainty?

In 1 Kings 22, Micaiah came before the kings among 400 other prophets. The 400 prophesied a victory for the kings if they went to war against Aram. Micaiah stood alone to speak what was actually true. The kings didn’t listen to him, went with the 400 and lost the battle. King Ahab was killed…In this case, I compromised that and allowed myself to be caught up in the prevailing stream. For this, I repent before the Lord, and I humbly ask the forgiveness of the body of Christ. I have learned a hard lesson I pray I will not forget in the days to come. I will be redoubling my quest for intimacy with the Lord and His word in the quiet place.

Another element of how I got it wrong: The tendency we have to hear what we want to hear. Strong desire and strong opinions play a huge role in distorting the words we believe we hear, if we allow that to happen…I will say, though, that strong desire and a strong negative opinion of the Democratic Party played a role. The hard reality is that lots of us with sterling records of past accuracy got it wrong. I see this as a rebuke from the Lord for an imbalance the majority of us fell into, and I will take it to heart.

I am also refocusing the prophetic aspect of my own ministry to the core of prophetic ministry. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus, pure devotion to Him and the revelation of who He isPrediction is really a lesser thread in the wide sweep of Scripture. The core calling of the prophetic is to separate the precious from the vile—the holy from the unholy—and to ensure that the devotion of the people of God is pure and uncompromised. In fact, prediction is often conditional upon the people’s response to prophetic calls for repentance and change. One often-missed purpose of prophetic ministry is found in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (NASB 1995): “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” There’s the core of it. “convicted,” “called to account.” It seems like we too often miss or neglect those two significant words.

I apologize for allowing my own focus to be skewed. I ask forgiveness for allowing myself to be caught up in the stream of the 400 when God has called me to stand as a Micaiah. I apologize for allowing my own insecurity about belonging among other prophetic voices to carry me into error. And finally, our obligation now as a whole body of Christ is to obediently pray for Joe Biden and his administration, whether or not we like the outcome, their agenda or their party. And God bless you all.

Dr. Michael Brown, a conservative Christian radio host, charismatic/Pentecostal evangelist/pastor, and prominent national Christian leader, reflected on the current state of the Christian community and what these last few years and days of Trump-fetish have exposed about them, on the night of the Nov. 6 domestic terror attack, on the site of one of the most major conservative Christian (and Trump-supporting) news sites, World Net Daily. There, he writes:

There is nothing more powerful than faith in God…But faith is not fantasy. Faith is not simply affirming the figments of our own imagination. Faith is anything but delusional. That’s why faith is not moved by circumstances or feelings. That’s why faith rejoices before the answer comes. That’s why faith is sure even when there is every reason to doubt.

But what if we are believing something that is not true? What if we are convinced that God has spoken when He has not? What then? Right now, there are millions of Christians in America, including quite a few prominent leaders, who remain certain that Donald Trump will be inaugurated for a second term on Jan. 20. It doesn’t matter to them that the courts have rejected almost every single case of alleged fraud brought by the Trump team. It doesn’t matter that there is no political path for his reelection. They are convinced that God had spoken, and they will not be moved. Certainly, many of us can relate to this kind of faith, having believed God against all odds at other times in our lives. Our friends thought we were crazy. Family members thought we had lost touch with reality. All the evidence was stacked against us. “Just accept the facts,” we were told. “You will not get your miracle.” And yet we did get our miracle. God came through. Our faith was vindicated.

That is how many of these Christian leaders are feeling right now. They, too, are expecting their miracle. Trump will have four more years! No amount of factual, contrary evidence will dissuade them. On the one hand, this could be a great testimony before a watching world if the seemingly impossible happens. This could demonstrate that our faith is not a fantasy and that we are not delusional. What spiritual courage! On the other hand, when Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, what will happen to our testimony before the watching world? It will be difficult for people to separate our faith in Jesus from our faith in Trump’s reelection, difficult for the world to distinguish between a written promise in the Bible and something we personally believe God has spoken. (In other words, to the non-believer, it will be difficult to distinguish between, “The Bible says that whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life,” vs. “I believe the Holy Spirit has spoken to me that Trump will be reelected.”) The truth be told, it will be difficult for many Christian believers to distinguish between faith in God’s eternal promises and faith in an alleged promise that Trump would serve a second, consecutive term.

That’s why I’m writing this article today, well before Jan. 20, 2021. That’s why I’m shouting this simple message from the rooftops. (And I shout it as a charismatic leader who believes in contemporary prophecy and prophetic ministry.) The Bible, God’s Word, stands alone. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. What God promises in His Word is 100% certain, more fixed than the rising and setting of the sun. You can bet your very life on it. Jesus died for our sins. He rose from the dead. And He will one day return. As it is written so it is, and so it will be. I stake my eternal dreams and hopes and destiny on these glorious truths…As for alleged prophetic words spoken today, including words we “sense” in our hearts or words to which our spirits bear witness, they are subjective and must be tested. And, even if they prove true, they are not equivalent to the Bible, they do not have the authority of Scripture, and they do not represent universal truths that are binding on all believers. When it comes to the presidential elections, God never gave me any assurance that Trump would be reelected (although, as any of my readers would know, he was my preferred choice over Biden). Nor did the Lord ever give me any assurance that the prophets, who to a person proclaimed a Trump victory, were right. That means that my faith will not be affected in the least with the anticipated inauguration of Joe Biden, although I will certainly be concerned with the direction he has pledged to take our country. The Bible never told me (or you) that Trump (or any other presidential candidate) would be elected. And I can give a list of reasons why so many prophetic voices and Christian leaders could have been so wrong in their pro-Trump predictions. (We will certainly address that when the time is right.) But my message to a watching world right now is simple: John 3:16 will remain true long after the Trump reelection prophecies are forgotten. Don’t confuse what is written in the Word with some alleged prophetic words.

On the 12th of January, Religion Unplugged wrote,

“People are speaking words without accountability,” said Michael Brown, a leader in a 1990s movement known as the Brownsville Revival and author of the 2018 book “Playing with Holy Fire: A Wake-Up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church”. “No major prophetic voices said the COVID crisis was coming and then – when some of them prophesied that it would end in April and it didn’t – no one apologized. So we came into the elections with a bit of a black eye. The prophecies had already been off for a major event”… The end result was dozens of prophets saying Trump would win; a situation Brown said “was the largest-scale deception I’ve seen in 49 years of following Jesus.” Brown was one of the few in the movement who sounded an early alarm that the prophets could be wrong when he published a cautionary Dec. 15 essay in thestream.org. His “Line of Fire” talk show now includes warnings against folks like Kerr and Kunemann, who he said “prophesy falsely” on a Jan. 11 broadcast. That has caused some backlash. “I’ve been called the servant of Satan and spawn of Baal because I caved and am not standing with the prophets,” Brown said. “I’ve been called Deep State and that I’m a Mossad agent.” (emphasis added)

They also write that

James A. Beverley, a research professor at Tyndale University in Toronto, went further in calling the matter “the most significant crisis in the history of modern charismatic prophecy” that he has seen in 40 years of studying the movement.“ The fight over the Trump prophecies has brought a deep division in the charismatic and Pentecostal world and it has given that branch of the Christian church a serious credibility issue,” he said. Beverley also believes that the QAnon movement’s wild speculations that Trump will engage the military to take back Washington have influenced some Pentecostal prophets. Released last month, Beverley’s new book, The QAnon Deception, explores how some famous Christian pro-Trump figures like Mark Taylor (known as the “firefighter prophet”) and Dave Hayes (aka the “praying medic”) have direct links to QAnon.

To be fair, there have been a few, isolated “voices crying in the wilderness” amongst our Christian celebrities and leaders, who have warned about this obsession with the volatile and troubled Donald Trump, and how this will irreparably damage our Christian witness in our society, in a problematic proclivity in our midst much bigger than Trump himself, some going back to Trump’s first campaign. The Religion News Service recently featured a listing of a sampling of such bold and rare “profiles in courage” of those in Christian positions of influence. They included  Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, who boldly proclaimed in The New York Times and on the Face the Nation TV program about the Trump’s campaign “reality television moral sewage.” In turn, on Twitter Trump called Moore “a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with no heart!” They noted that “Moore has since changed the bio on his Twitter profile to reflect the jab: ‘terrible representative of evangelical Christianity, due to nastiness’.” They added that “Oak Hills Church pastor and popular Christian author Max Lucado said Trump wouldn’t pass the ‘decency interview’ he required for his three daughters’ dates.” Conservative blogger Eric Erikson “told Katie Couric in May, ‘If the Republican Party wants to go in (Trump’s) direction, I guess I’m not a Republican anymore’,” and that ” ‘Donald Trump has had no “road to Damascus” conversion. He only wants to date the preacher’s daughter,’ Erickson wrote.” Regarding Marco Rubio’s former faith outreach director, Eric Teetsel, they write that “Teetsel stood outside the Republican nominee’s June meeting with conservative Christian leaders in New York, protesting with a handwritten poster board: ‘Torture is not pro-life. Racism is not pro-life. Misogyny is not pro-life. Murdering the children of terrorists is not pro-life. Proverbs 29:2’.” A number of others were also listed.

In concluding this part of this blog post series and its topic, I just ask the discerning and contemplative Christian reader (who must be such if they hang in there this long in these tedious blog posts),the following inquiries:

(a) what does the love affair, or Faustian Bargain, of the Religious Right leadership and their massive ranks of followers with Donald Trump, and their overlooking of his absence of morality, almost daily acts of corruption, association with nefarious figures compromised with foreign intelligence and seeking their own financial enrichment and well as Trump, and nonchalant attitude about those on the margin, and even those vulnerable to COVID within their own families and churches, reveal about the core of their spiritual and humanitarian fundamental values, how seriously they take the most basic teachings of Jesus about the Kingdom of Heaven as well as the prophets, and what their real agenda is for the rest of us, including family members and those we have served alongside in our churches?

(b) Does the evolution in this movement as of late, and their blind devotion that begins to resemble a new religion or cult in all aspects, suggest anything about their general maturity, connection with reality and basic truths, discernment from evidence-based knowledge from distinguished sources versus “feel good” rumors from strangers on the Web, and their ability to take over the reins of government again that could later impact thermonuclear responses, war, foreign policy, pardons and executive orders that are graft-based or intended to target rivals, life-and-death policies towards immigrants and refugees, or even a mature, grown-up, responsible and credible government response to the next deadly global pandemic, if they come to power again?

(c) What does the embarrassingly immature, childish, selfish veneration by many of the American Christian masses of the cocksure, self-appointed “prophet” showmen and ego-scratchers who “guaranteed” them a second Trump term, say not only about their Bible literacy and circumspect discernment, but also their level of just basic “horse sense,” experiential “street smarts” and general grasp of logical principles, which may explain why many of their lives are a wreck of financial foolishness, poor life decisions and dysfunctional relationships and lack of discipline much worse than the average “pagan,” and their ability to be “salt” and “light,” and “guides” for society?

(d) How many of these spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and psychologically weak people will be “shipwrecked” in their faith when they see that God “did not come through” with the prophecies of Trump continued winning they were promised by conniving, financially exploitative Christian leaders they trusted, be they “prophets” or other Christian leaders, and what type of millstones do God have planned for the necks of these “stumbling blocks”?

(e) In this modern world, many thoughtful secular or inquiring, “free-thinking” individuals, as well as many of the millennial generation who are children of church-goers but haven’t had the societal imprinting to “go along” with church culture in spite of their legitimate questions and concerns (unlike myself and many other older readers raised in church culture), are desperately seeking an authentic, virtuous, inspiring source of truth that is felt in the soul as well as the mind, that offers plausible answers about our origins, reasons for our existence and consciousness, purpose in this reality and a potential satisfying destiny. Will they find this in America’s Religious Right “church crowd,” who are quite conspicuous in society with the vast Christian media presence their large incomes bankroll (along with corporate America), the secular conservative, wealth-class advocating talk radio and cable news institutions reading from the same playbook, and their emphasis on unapologetic hatred of anyone outside their circles (including their fellow Christians who ask too many questions, or advocate for others), particularly those on the margins without similar financial and political levers of power, such as the poor, immigrants, refugees, those of other faiths or other peaceful lifestyles, and assigning to them all sorts of ridiculous, nefarious agendas, of peoples most of them don’t even know personally? How much are these “soul winning” evangelicals providing the ultimate “stumbling blocks” to these folks otherwise coming to Christ, rather being concerned with their own selfish interests and ironically making their own earned, self-fulfilling prophecy of “Christian persecution” pushback, and is there any evidence they even care that they are destroying the means for widespread evangelization to occur in this spiritually-needy nation, or accept the duty of the Great Commission to be “fishers of men,” or rather be like the Pharisees, whom Jesus said laid heavy burdens upon men, but did not lift a finger to lighten their loads?

(f) Will any portion of their ranks look at the devastation wrought in America’s Christian witness, the wide, impassable gulf in worldviews in a split nation, and a wider gap of distrust, in the aftermath of an era of disaster exemplified in the “barbarians” recently storming the gates of Congress, who were seeking all, conservative or liberal, to “string up” in an orgy of berserk primalism (with maybe the worst yet to come), and recognize the contribution of their prideful hubris that contributed to the wreckage, like the prideful, patriotic, exceptional Jews in the wake of the needless and preventable sacking of Jerusalem, both in the first Exile and by the Romans by necessity again? Will they be motivated to pause and be introspective and soul searching, and apologize and serve those they have slandered and wronged, and humbly expend effort to build bridges they have destroyed, or will they just “double down”?

 

We have seen that the “prophets” we have quoted have hypothesized many scenarios of what “God was up to” in letting Joe Biden win, just like the Jewish leaders had to do after the Fall of Jerusalem, and a few of them, like in Jerusalem, have said that maybe God wanted to humble His people, or get them to trust in Him and not the “latest prophecy” when things don’t go their way, and their may be some truth in that. However, could there be even more that God is up to? Is it possible that in our society, just like in Prophet Micaiah we have discussed, God has sent “lying spirits” to the prophets as a form of judgment, to lead to the ruin of the corrupt leadership, flocks and government leaders allied with them? Is it more than a test of discernment of his people – rather, a judgment rendered to send away many of the professing Christian masses and their leaders whom He “never knew,” who lustily and recklessly lunged their mouths into the stream to lap up “waters” of revelation that fed their prejudices and pride, and rather only retain a remnant of those circumspect enough to carefully and slowly raise the water to their mouths while they cautiously look around them, doing their cultural and spiritual “threat assessment,” to serve as the small company God used with Gideon to do great things, and restore a wholesome and effective Christian witness in their land? I really hope that is not the case, for I would see many people I love and have served with for years be in perilous straights if that were to occur, and how might the Lord even consider me and my faults? It may indeed be that the momentous events of our days now, as related to our Bible Belt, dear conservative evangelical heritage, “signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Heb. 12:27, KJV).

As I said in Part 2 of this blog topical series, could the data shared here and in the subsequent Parts, which get into the events before and during the “Capitol Invasion” domestic terror event, and the role of the Christian leadership, media and supporters in helping bring that to pass, have some general reflection of or similarity to the prophecy of Daniel in Chapter 11, in which it is said in the future that “…the violent ones among your people will also lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down” (Daniel 11:14, NASB)? As I said in Part 2, did we just see “violent” ones with Christian flags and singing hymns not only bludgeon a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher and impale them with American flag poles, but also engage in other “violent” forms like the “psychological warfare” of “hearts and minds” of Christian and talk radio and internet rumors, the “holy war” pronouncements and calls to war of the Church’s “prophets” and bishops, and the aggressive threats I hear in church home groups, between neighbors, or in my local restaurants and supermarkets? Has the “ends justified the means” to “bring Heaven to earth” by conquering the Seven Mountains of Culture by force, or even illegal means by throwing out peoples’ votes and their electors, or other trickery if they get away with it, or making “deals with the devil” for short-term political or judicial gain, in order to “help God” to “fulfill the vision,” like some modern form of Rabbi Akiva? How “successful” does God’s Word show such worldly efforts will be successful, as the recent days’ headlines have revealed, in addition to the historical record? As we have seen, for many of the famous “prophets” we have profiled here and others, unlike the humble ones who have confessed their error and shame, they have shamelessly “doubled down” and migrated from lofty pronouncements of inspirational Bible passages of futuristic prophecy fulfillment and praise to God, to merely taking earthly means to “bring about the vision” with serious talk in hushed tones of civil war, disobedience, and resistance to God-appointed governments, like militia organizers without exhortations to wait upon the Lord, or learn from Him – just like the Zealots, Macabbeans, Bar Kokhba followers and Crusaders that came before them, who in their zeal led God’s people to ruin. Where will this lead us?   

In Part 4, we will consider how this recent “Lost Cause” has cultivated a whole new type of religion and cult that is way out of the control of the modern “prophets” and Christian leaders that toyed with it previously for their own agenda, and creating a new set of fundamental truths and canons for a major segment of American society, and how that began to build a brain-washed movement willing to take extreme and sometimes violent measures, only on the whims of their “messiah” or a Tweet, or the riddles of a mystery person online who may or may not exist, but whose gibberish is processed like Nostradamus Quatrains to construct some obtuse conspiracy narrative, that must may perpetually modified as daily events contradict it. The ramifications of these developments and their leading to the “Capitol Invasion” will begin to unfold as well.   

My new book, Two Masters and Two Gospels, Vol. 1 – The Teaching of Jesus Vs. the “Leaven of the Pharisees” in Talk Radio and Cable News, is available in paperback and Kindle ebook here at Amazon, in paperback, Nook .epub ebook and even two types of hardcover at Barnes and Noble, in ebook via Kobo/Walmart and paperback and ebook at Books A Million, and many other places; I also offer a special deal for ebook readers at the Two Masters site at Bookbaby (available here), which provides Kindle, epub and pdf versions together for one price, and if you leave your email there for my mailing list, I will additionally send you a special short work I have done, just for you. You can also catch a few of my recent interviews on my book at Conspirinormal, Iron Show, Binnall of America, Ryan O’Neal’s WQEE Classic Rock, Pastor Mike Spaulding’s Soaring Eagle Radio and Derek Gilbert’s View From the Bunker.

The website that chronicles and makes announcements about my books is www.mikebennettbooks.com.

My publisher website is www.akribospress.com.

The New “Lost Cause”: What Might Await Us – Part 2: The Ancient Religious “Holy War” Lost Causes, and the Role of the “Prophets” and the “Messiah”

 

Part 1 of this blog post series (posted two days before the Capitol domestic terror event) explored the historical roots of national “lost causes” – whereby a major portion of a nation’s public (or a major region) comes to believe that their political and social power has been unfairly or treacherously “stolen,” the mythology that is cultivated to propagate its message (often exaggerating history and facts or merely fabricating them), the “scapegoats,” “traitors” and other “boogeymen” proposed by demagogues by which to focus the pubic into a frenzy of action over generations, and the eventual underground vigilante and guerilla actions, movements and groups that seek to return the “power to the people” outside the rule of law or democracy. In Part 2 of this series, we briefly further explore some historical examples from our holy and ancient history texts, which reveal that when mythologized “lost causes” become religious-fueled “holy wars,” we see emerge the role of the “anointing priests” and “prophets” that foretell a spiritual, heavenly-empowered restoration and even revenge of prior “lost causes” that have particularly influenced devout monotheistic God-fearers and challenged their faith and self-respect, and the identification of a God-chosen “messiah” to “right the wrongs,” avenge prior defeats and humiliations, and restore a messianic “golden age” with God’s people in control. We will also see what lasting “fruit” is borne from such crusades, and their ramifications, to help us reflect on what to expect in the “Lost Causes” in our era and beyond.       

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following content was not originally intended to be added to this blog post series of this theme, much less Part 2, which was intended to start exploring contemporary events that appear to be taking on a “Lost Cause” motif in America today, with information “pulled from today’s headlines.” However, at the conclusion of drafting a very lengthy Part 2, I found myself reflecting back to the historical events in “Bible times” that put the contents of that study of contemporary religious issues in a timeless context. Thus, near the end of that lengthy work, I elected to add to the end of that study and part of this series a description of similar “lost causes” that were fueled by religion in the era of our holy texts, and excerpted a big portion of an unpublished manuscript I had drafted years ago to include within it, to provide some historical data to bolster it. Afterwards and near publication, I decided (a) it made a very large work even that much more unacceptably long for the average reader, and (b) being of a historical and foundational nature, I decided it best be shoehorned ahead of the contemporary events studies to put the latter into better historical context, as with Part 1 of this series. Thus, the following work is a shorter review of “Bible era” “lost causes,” adopted primarily from my prior written work. Please stay tuned – Parts 3 and some additional parts have already been drafted, and will follow within 5-7 days at most to bring readers into pondering and analyzing our fascinating current events under this framework.

 

There is a prophecy of future events in the Book of Daniel, which may or may not have already occurred, or it might be a case of “recurring fulfillment.” Within its narrative of apparently sequential historical events that occur in the “to and fro” of the battles between God’s peoples and the nations and leaders opposed to them, that at least at some time in these events, “…the violent ones among your people will also lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down” (Daniel 11:14, NASB). Is that possibly the kind of thing that we have witnessed in recent days in America, as at least some kind of “fractal,” peripheral fulfillment or reflection of such? Did we just see “violent” ones with Christian flags and singing hymns not only bludgeon a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher and impale them with American flag poles, but also engage in other “violent” forms like the “psychological warfare” of “hearts and minds” brainwashing via Christian and talk radio and internet rumors, the “holy war” pronouncements and calls to war from the Church’s “prophets” and bishops, and the aggressive threats I hear in church home groups, between neighbors, or in my local restaurants and supermarkets? Has the “ends justified the means” to “bring Heaven to earth” by conquering the Seven Mountains of Culture by force, or even by illegal means, such as by throwing out peoples’ votes and their electors, or other trickery if they can get away with it, or making “deals with the devil” for short-term political or judicial gain, in order to “help God” to “fulfill the vision”? How “successful” does God’s Word show such worldly efforts will be successful?

The Jews of the First Temple era thought their “exceptional” status with God could help them avoid due punishment previously promised to them for their sins of omission and commission. He told them repeatedly, going even back to the original Mosaic Code, that not only their sins of idolatry would cause them to lose their privileged place of God’s favor, but more importantly, their ignoring of the Mosaic Law commands to ecologically “let the land rest” one year out of seven, rather allowing the poor and immigrant aliens to forage freely on it, or to “redistribute wealth” as the Mosaic Law commanded, in giving the lands confiscated by powerful financial lords in capitalistic fashion over the years back to their original owners every fifty years, the avoidance of the latter two provisions being those Jeremiah said were the cause of their 70-year Exile. God was “easy on them” in allowing Nebuchadnezzar to have a “light yoke” of tribute from them while they dwelt in their own land and worshipped as they liked, but their patriotic pride and arrogance led them to ignore God’s warnings and to rebel against the Babylonian king (who was far more humane than the sadistic Assyrians who took away their Israeli brethren) via inspiring Judean kings to “make Judea Great Again,” leading God to “bring” His “servant” Nebuchadnezzar to Jerusalem to sack it and cart off its political and religious leadership.

The Greeks were eventually welcomed with open arms by the Jewish leadership, flattering them by proclaiming that Alexander “fulfilled prophecy,” and thereby betraying the Persians who had been so kind to them and had let them return to Jerusalem and restore it and the Temple and walls. In due time, the Jewish priestly rivals fought so much and whined to the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes over an inter-Jewish feud over Chief Priesthood rights (which was very corrupt at that time, like other eras), hitting him with their bickering right as he passed through Palestine after a humiliating defeat he just had in Egypt, that at that point the already temperamental king had “had enough” with the always-bickering Jews, and impulsively imposed very draconian restrictions on their priestly and religious rituals to frustrate both factions. In turn they famously decided to “fulfill the vision” by means of the “violent ones” in their midst – the Maccabeus brothers, celebrated in the (non-God commanded) patriotic ceremony of Hannukah. They led a presumptive, deadly civil war with Greece without God’s sanction, while their other brethren laid down their lives without resistance to avoid breaking their religious tenets, without starting a civil war themselves. Ironically, their “enemy,” Antiochus Epiphanes, died (by the hand of God, as the manner He evidently had intended to resolve the problem) shortly after they started – had they waited just a little, all the deadly troubles could have been averted. After considerable bloodshed and upheaval of many years, they chased the Greeks out and took over running the nation as their own Hasmonean dynasty rule for generations of trouble and rivalry. To add further tragic irony, their resolute fight to shed much blood to resist their people becoming “Hellenized” with Greek culture, led them to adopt Hellenized names and culture as soon as they took power over their own countrymen, like the “pigs” starting to look like the “farmer” in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. It also didn’t solve any lasting problems of foreign powers being over them – before long the Romans marched in and took over, just like their own “legitimate” prophets had foretold long before, which they could do nothing to stop in their “own strength.”

They still did not learn their lesson; in Jesus’ era, the Pharisees and many of the people sided with the “violent men of their people,” the Zealots, who were violent men who terrorized not only Rome, but even their own people. In the seminal moment of their peoples’ future destiny, the Pharisees goaded them to accept the patriotic killer assassin and thief Jesus Barabbas over Jesus of Nazareth – just as today’s Christians have been goaded to follow the “patriotic” (albeit self-serving) but depraved Donald Trump and his values over Jesus and His humble ways and teachings today. The “fruit” of their choice was their eternal city, governing authority and society being destroyed a mere generation later, along with the walls and gates of Jerusalem and all they symbolized to them and their independent pride and strength; this is why Jesus told the women He passed to “weep for themselves, and their children” as He drug His cross up to Calvary.

They still did not learn their lesson. A mere sixty years later, their religious leader, the “sage” Rabbi Akiva, whom they still consider “more important to Judaism than Moses,” would anoint Bar Kochba (or Kokhba) as the foretold Messiah of Israel to militaristically deliver them, and a fulfillment of a prophecy of a “star” appearing of deliverance. The following is an abbreviated excerpt of some of what I wrote about him in my soon-to-be-published volume of Judaism and Its Holy Wars:

The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia entry for Bar Kokhba  notes that prior to the appearance of Kokhba on the world stage in Palestine, there had been an “insurrection of the Jews of Cyrene, Cyprus, and Egypt in the last years of the emperor Trajan”, when Hadrian took power in 118 CE, who “immediately after his accession to the throne, pursued a pacific policy toward the Jews, and made concessions to them”.  It also notes that “It appears that Hadrian had already granted permission for the rebuilding of the Temple”, and “the Jews of the diaspora had already begun to return to Jerusalem”.  It adds, however, that Hadrian “requested that the site of the new structure be somewhat removed from its former location – a condition which the Jews of course could not accept”; possibly this was desired to prevent its renewed use as a militarily strategic “high ground” as the Temple had been misused by the Zealots previously.  Subsequently, the article notes that “they took up arms and assembled in the Valley of Rimmon, on the celebrated historical plain of Jezreel, and a rebellion seemed imminent”, although a peaceful Jewish leader named R. Joshua b. Hananiah noted the danger of their rebellious acts and pacified them for a time.

In spite of this respite of sane reconsideration, the article notes that “the Jews remained quiet only on the surface; in reality, for over fifteen years they prepared for a struggle against Rome”.  It notes that “They converted the caves in the mountains into hiding places and fortifications”, and that “Preparation devised on so large a scale could hardly have been instituted without organization, and it may therefore be assumed that the leader, Bar Kokba, was already quietly preparing for this war in the first years of the reign of Hadrian”.  Most importantly, it adds that “It is thought that the travels of the celebrated teacher of the Law, Rabbi Akiba, were made with the intention of interesting the Jews of the most remote countries in the coming struggle, and these travels extended through Parthia, Asia Minor, Cappadocia, and Phrygia, and perhaps even to Europe and Africa”.  Regarding Kokhba’s given name, the article states that “it is certain that the name Bar Kokba is only an epithet derived from R. Akiba’s application of the verse to Koziba: ‘There shall come a star [“kokab”] out of Jacob who shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Seth (Num. xxiv. 17)”.  It Is interesting to note that this same word for “star” in this verse (kowkab, Strong’s H3556) is also used in Amos 5:26, in which the prophet says of the Israelites, “But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves”, and cited by the deacon Stephen in Acts 7:43 (and which will be explored again in a later chapter). It is also interesting to note that the article states that “It must have been during this war, when he had already performed miracles of valor, that R. Akiba said of him, ‘This is the King Messiah’,” but that the arrogant Kokhba was said to have prayed to God, “‘We pray Thee, do not give assistance to the enemy; us Thou needest not help!’”.

The Jewish Encyclopedia article also asserts that “the statement that the Christians were tortured by Bar Kokhba if they did not deny Jesus, is made only by Christian authors”, such as Justin in his work Apologia.  It notes that while the Christians refused to unite with Jews in the struggle, “Jews residing in foreign countries also flocked in masses”.  Although Bar Kokhba and his fellow Jewish rebels had some early successes, the article notes that after they were defeated, “the land became a desert, and Jews were slaughtered en masse”.  It notes that “According to Dio Cassius, 580,000 Jews fell in battle, not including those who succumbed to hunger and pestilence”, and as a result, “the end of the Jewish nation had come”.  It adds that “This war, designated by the Mishnah (Sotah ix. 14) as ‘the final polemos’, had lasted three and one half years”, ending in 135 – 136 CE.  Letters from this period referred to him as “prince (nasi) of Israel.” Prominent Christian historian Eusebius (260 – 340 CE), in his work History of the Church, noted that Bar Kokhba “claimed to be a luminary come from heaven and was magically enlightening those who were in misery”, and noted in his work Chronicle that he “killed the Christians with all kinds of persecutions, when they refused to help him against the Roman troops”, and even noted the earlier historian Justin’s remarks that Kokhba commanded that the Christians “be punished severely, if they did not deny Jesus as the Messiah and blaspheme him.” The cited website also shows a coin minted by Kokhba that shows the Temple with the “messianic star” above it, which looks very similar to the Star of David, suggesting a common spirit of military rebellion with the secular Jewish nation that resides there today.

The Talmud’s Midrash Rabbah on Lamentations notes that when Kokhba led his men into battle they cried, “O God, neither help nor discourage us!”, to which the Talmudist rightfully quoted Psalms 60:2: “Hast not Thou, o God cast us off?  And go not forth, o God, with our hosts?”.  He was also said in the same Jewish reference as having killed a pious rabbi who prayed for God’s deliverance, fearing he may have allied with Hadrian, resulting in a heavenly voice announcing, “Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock!  The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye!” (Zech. 11:17).  In addition to the 580,000 Jews being killed, ten members of the Sanhedrin were also killed, in punishment by Rome for repeatedly starting insurrections.  Most of the Jews resident in the area that were not killed were sold into slavery and dispersed.  Jews were forbidden to worship there except for to mourn their defeat at the Western Wall each year at “Tisha B’Av” (the “ninth of Av” – a day on the calendar that coincided with the destruction of both Temples, the “bad report” of Moses’ Twelve Spies, and the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion – all signifying the fruit of when Israel had acted out of patriotic arrogance, and in defiance of the times and actions prescribed by God).

Further insurrections were attempted by the Jews, including in league with the Samaritans, and even the Persians in the early seventh century against the Byzantine Romans – all bitter enemies (even, as they understood, to God Himself) that they “forgave” in their greater zeal for nationalistic independence.  It also led to the center of Jewish community leadership shifting to those residing in the Babylon area, and their brand of Talmudic, rabbinical Judaism.

There is much more to be gleaned from the ancient historical records, and particularly the Jewish Talmud, regarding Rabbi Akiba’s use of Bar Kokhba’s Revolt to solidify his control behind the emerging rabbinic power center in Judaism, and to launch physical “holy war” attacks against the new rival branch of Judaism that embraced Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah.  Daniel Gruber, who is apparently a figure within the Messianic Jewish movement, as judged from his website (www.elijahnet.net), has written a number of books on related topics, but his book Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah – The Origins of Rabbinic Authority documents a plethora of historical and Talmudic citations that give copious further details of the devious aspects of Akiba’s agenda.  The findings in his book are so immense and compelling that they require an extensive citation in the remainder of this chapter and the beginning of the next.  Regarding Bar Kokhba himself, Gruber quotes the 1971 Encyclopedia Judaica article on the figure, stating that “Bar Kochba regarded himself as holding the authority of the Roman emperor and transferred the lands of liberated Judea to his own possession…he was empowered to exercise control over the lands of Judea and confiscate property for the public good” [Gruber, Daniel, Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah – The Origins of Rabbinic Authority, Elijah Publishing, Hanover, NJ, 1999, p. 51.].

However, the bulk of the book centers on Rabbi Akiba’s use of Bar Kokhba and the revolt for his own purpose of re-molding Judaism and its future, solidifying his leadership and that of his trained rabbinic successors, and launching his attack on Jewish Christians.  Regarding his controversial (and later embarrassingly erroneous) anointing of Bar Kokhba, Gruber notes that through his Talmudic writings “Akiba redefined the Messianic Age.  He separated it from the World to Come.  In so doing, he eliminated the supernatural and the exceptional from the Messianic Age and from the role of Messiah”, noting that Akiba believed no supernatural endorsement from God via signs and wonders was necessary to confirm Messiah, whereas Jesus spoke that “the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (p. 262).  Gruber notes that no one during the time is recorded as believing that Bar Kokhba was the Messiah, either before or after Akiba’s declaration, and other prominent rabbis even rebuked him for this pronouncement in their deliberations.  Akiba had not noted any special accomplishment of Bar Kokhba that justified the title, and Akiba was not predisposed against the Romans, and had seen the futility of fighting them as a young man.  The top rabbinic leaders publicly warned the people against revolt, and even Akiba was noted to prophesy (as recorded in the Talmud) that there would be suffering as a result of the revolt, happiness would be deprived them, and that distress was in store for them, rather than Messianic bliss (p. 264).  The great Jewish sage Maimonides noted that Akiba was Bar Kokhba’s aide-de-camp.  Gruber quotes a scholar who notes that the Hagada mentions that the revolt was schemed in the home of Rabbi Akiba with other prominent rabbis on the night of the Passover Seder, where it notes that “the scholars together with their disciples began to chant the old hymn of revenge” (p. 267).

One key provision to further Akiba’s aims with the revolt was the establishment by the rabbis of the term milhemet mitzvah, or “commanded war”.  This term, devised by the rabbis of Akiba’s era and his disciples, rescinded the voluntary participation options of the people as prescribed in the Torah, restricting its use only to what they designated the milhemet reshat, or “war of choice”, which permitted the newlywed husbands and others not so motivated to decline.  The latter category they ruled was akin to the wars of expansion fought by David, while the former included the wars commanded by God to conquer Canaan, and now included the Bar Kochba revolt, as determined by Rabbi Akiba’s henchmen on the rabbinic council.  This new designation, made possible by Akiba’s declaration of Bar Kochba as Messiah, accomplished several things for Akiba’s agenda: (1) it removed any opposition by the Sages (leading rabbis) of a different view, (2) it eliminated the need for Sanhedrin approval, (3) it forced Jewish disciples of Jesus, or Talmidei Yeshua, to fight to support a false Messiah rather than for nationalism, and (4) it enacted provisions for Christians to be thus executed by Jewish officials for dereliction of duty.  Regarding the first two aspects, Gruber notes that Jewish sage Maimonides states in his Mishneh Torah that “In the case of a religious war [i.e. a milhemet mitzvah], the king does not have to obtain the sanction of the Supreme Court.  He may at any time set out independently and compel the people to come out with him.  But in case of an optional war, he can bring out the people only by a decision of the court of seventy one” (p. 274).  This would explain the unity of the people behind Bar Kokhba, since any lack of military assistance would be a capital crime.

Gruber notes that Talmud rabbinic teaching at the time asserted that the Messiah would appear in a seventh year of war during a seven year period of turbulence, and that this war would be known as the ”beginning of redemption”.  For this reason, Bar Kokhba had coins struck during his brief reign that were stamped with the phrase, “Year 1 of the redemption of Israel”.  Gruber also notes citations of Bar Kokhba’s ruthlessness in the ancient records, including reports that he required all of his Jewish fighters to cut off one of their fingers to show their toughness and devotion, his shackling of soldiers and citizens who did not perform as desired, and even the kicking to death of his own uncle the priest when he was falsely accused of complicity with the enemy (p. 275).  This latter incident was said to have resulted in a Bath Kol (voice from heaven) declaring that Bar Kochba was the “worthless shepherd” of Zechariah 11, resulting in his killing and the end of the revolt, according to the Talmud (p.289), and leading his followers to flee to surrounding caves and eventually succumb to cannibalism (p. 290).  Gruber notes that Akiba could have anointed Bar Kochba as king but not Messiah, and the Jewish Christians could have assisted in the revolt.  However, the refusal of the Jewish Christians to fight under a false Messiah allowed Akiba to deftly create a split between them and the am ha’aretz (the common people of Israel) since they would not assist them in battle, for otherwise they would have had sympathies for the Talmidei Yeshua if the Sanhedrin had attempted the kill the Jewish Christians for other reasons.  Gruber cites passages from the Talmud that state that the Sanhedrin would re-gain such authority of capital punishment in the land during the acknowledged days of Messiah (p. 277) – and may yet again in a future “Messianic Age”.

Gruber further notes that the “holy war” persecution of Jewish Christians by the Sages (rabbinic leaders) had been going on for some time leading up to the revolt, using the same techniques now used against Jewish Christians in Israel today, Muslims against Christians, and even Christians against Jews at times in history.  He writes: “The Rabbis decreed that the Talmidei Yeshua [Jewish followers of Jesus] should be ostracized from public life.  Their legal rights were taken away.  Their books were burned.  They were turned over to the Roman authorities to be put to death.  It was lawful to cast them into a pit to die.  As Rabbi Akiba emphasized, ‘one is deserving of death for disobeying the rulings of the Sages’” (pp. 278-279).  He cites the Christian contemporary of Akiba and Bar Kokhba, Justin Martyr, who wrote that Bar Kochba targeted Jewish Christians and commanded them to deny Jesus and Messiah and blaspheme Him, and that “the Jews count us foes and enemies, and like yourselves they punish us whenever they have the power” (p. 279).  He also cites another popular Church Father of the era, Eusebius, who wrote that Kokhba “killed the Christians with all kinds of persecutions, (when) they refused to help him against the Roman troops”.  He notes the Mishneh Torah commented on the rights of a rabbinic court (such as one at Bar Kokhba’s stronghold of Bethar) to change the law itself for the sake of religious unity.  Maimonides is quoted as explaining it this way:

“The court may inflict flagellation and other punishments, even in cases where such penalties are not warranted by the law if, in its opinion, religion will thereby be strengthened and safeguarded and the people will be restrained from disregarding the words of the Torah…So too if, in order to bring back the multitudes to religion and save them from general religious laxity, the court deems it necessary to set aside temporarily a positive or a negative command, it may do so, taking into account the need of the hour.  Even as a physician will amputate the hand or the foot of a patient in order to save his life, so the court may advocate when an emergency arises, the temporary disregard of some of the commandments, that the commandments as a whole will be preserved…The king has a right to execute anyone who rebels against him” (pp. 280-281).

I don’t know about you, but some of these statements and phrases sound disturbingly close to that of many conservative Christian leaders today, in their goals to “take America back” as a “Christian nation”, and to win the “culture war”, doing whatever is necessary to obtain their goal and that they can get away with politically.  Just as the rabbinic religious/political leaders were willing to set aside Torah safeguards securing due process, trials, witnesses and mercy for the accused, many Christian political and religious figures today conveniently ignore Christ’s commands to “love your enemies” and “do unto others as you would have done unto you”, and remember “My Kingdom is not of this earth, lest my brothers would fight”, and “we wrestle not against flesh and blood”.  Even Paul reminded the Corinthian church that they should interact with “fornicators” and “idolaters” in this world and not judge them, saying “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?” (1 Cor. 5:12).  Our Jewish Christian ancestors knew better than to be caught up into another religious, patriotic “holy war” in direct opposition to the teaching of our Lord, and for that they were accused of being unpatriotic traitors and paid the price – sometimes with their life or in other ways.  Do we have Christian leaders in America today who are strong enough to take the same stand?  Gruber cites Talmudic narratives that describe such trials of Christians in Jewish courts, apparently during the brief reign of Kokhba (p. 282).  Talmudic descriptions of their techniques of execution included lowering the condemned person into a pit of dung up to his chest, and then inserting a burning article into their mouth to burn them internally (ironically similar to how Jesus is described as burning in excrement in hell, according to the Talmud), and how a priest’s daughter was burned to death by placing burning faggots around her.  Given these examples and that of the witch and heretic burnings by the Church, is it fair to decry the Muslim religion as being especially barbaric for having used similar techniques?

This Jewish persecution, leading to the death of Christians, led Church Father Justin Martyr to note to the Jews that they then, even after the suppression of the revolt and restoration of Roman rule, were

“cursing in your synagogues them that believe on Christ.  For you have not authority to raise your own hands against us, because of them who are now supreme.  But as often as you could, this also ye did…In addition to all this, although your city has been taken, and our land laid waste, you do not repent, but dare even to curse Him and all them that believe on Him.  And, as for us, we do not hate you, nor them that because of you may repent and find mercy from God the Father of the universe, who is tender-hearted and full of compassion.” (pp. 294, 297)

One development introduced by Rabbi Akiba in the wake of the failed revolt and messiahship of Bar Kokhba fundamentally changed the mindset of Judaism from his time forward, and particularly in the twentieth century.  Before his time, it was understood from the writings of the prophets that the suffering imposed on the Jews by God through conquering nations by proxy (such as through the Exile) was to humble them, help them to understand the gravity of their offenses and their ramifications, and hopefully lead them to sincere contrition, repentance and acknowledgement of their sins, with such commitment to reform leading to their reconciliation with their God.  However, Rabbi Akiba changed the mindset of the role of Jewish suffering, and embodied it in his own supposed martyrdom at the conclusion of the Bar Kokhba rebellion.  Rather, Rabbi Akiba taught that the exile and suffering of a Jew alone, without the need to acknowledge sin or repent, would “earn” atonement and require God to restore them eventually.  Gruber notes this by stating that “Akiba did not attribute the failure, suffering, and exile to sin, but he did believe that ‘Exile makes atonement for iniquity’”, quoting from Akiba in the Talmud; Gruber adds that “He believed there was no sin involved, not even his own Messianic proclamation.  Even if there had been sin, exile would atone for it” (p. 301).  Part of his doctrinal innovation was to make the atoning services of the priests and Temple unnecessary, much less the atoning death of Christ for those who believed on Him.

Akiba added in the Talmud that “suffering is precious because it makes atonement for the sufferer”; Gruber in fact cites sources that state that later rabbis taught that Akiba’s death fulfilled Isaiah 53:12 (p. 301), which states, “he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” – a passage Christians universally associate with Christ.  Gruber also quotes another scholar who explains the modern Jewish view this way: “The willingness to offer one’s life has become a means of effecting mediation between God and Israel, a radical means especially necessary in the face of a reduction in traditional prophecy…The process is linked in turn to the concept of vicarious suffering.  Thus the prophet’s martyrdom is for the sake of Israel”, and explains the Talmudic view of the offering of Isaac in Genesis 22 led Abraham to state, “God will for himself see the lamb” (p. 305).  Note that this implied that God sees an atoning lamb offered by the sacrificial martyr himself, while the actual verse states, “God will provide himself a lamb” (Gen. 22:8).

Modern Christians today, in their embrace of all things Jewish, largely do not understand that the modern Jew does not think in terms of reconsidering prior historical acts as wrong, or in need of repentance before God.  The modern Jew sees his or her own suffering as the “ticket” to demand God’s restoration and blessing, as their own atoning sacrifice.  This is why they placed extreme emphasis upon the Shoah, or the suffering imposed by the Holocaust, as the means by which they were made righteous and therefore deserving of God’s favor by having “earned” it, either by means of privileges expected through the Zionist state of Israel, or other accommodations.  No need for humility or reflection is thus required.  When Christians go beyond regretting the suffering of Jews (and other victims) who endured the Holocaust, and even rightly promoting measures to prevent its reoccurrence, and instead rather “sacredize” the event and elevate the uniqueness of the suffering of the Jews over any other victims of genocide and persecution in history, and thus denote the divine “specialness” and special favors due to the Jewish people as a result, it reinforces the spiritual view of Jews that such suffering is adequate for their right standing with God – even regardless of past sins, and even if they may be atheists today!  It also implies a concurrence to them from their Gentile “lesser” brethren that their suffering has earned them a place of global spiritual leadership in the world at large.  For Christians, it should be obvious that this imposes a terrible spiritual disservice to our Jewish friends by denying their need to “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Gruber concludes by noting several reasons why Jewish scholars and the Jewish community at large have been kind to Rabbi Akiba for selecting a false Messiah, and his role in the devastating Bar Kokhba Revolt and resultant Diaspora from Judea. First is Rabbi Akiba’s stated position in the Talmud, that a Sage, or noted rabbinic expert, is not held accountable for the results of their decisions; he quotes Akiba to declare to another mistaken sage, “You are absolved since you are an expert (Mumche), and whoever is an expert for the Bet Din [rabbinic council] is absolved from reparation” (p. 307).  Secondly, he noted that Akiba taught that the Law was entrusted to the rabbis, and not God, and even heavenly pronouncements could not overturn them (more will be said about his “advances” in Judaism such as this in the next chapter).  Thus, as Gruber notes, “If the Rabbis declare someone to be the Messiah, then he IS the Messiah, even if their declaration is factually wrong, it is still right” (p. 308).  He also notes that Akiba’s Theology of Suffering made the failure of the revolt a good thing, thus becoming a means of atonement.  Lastly, Gruber notes that “Akiba’s teaching was still sought because there was no other Judaism left in Israel.  He had defeated them all.  By various means, he had overcome the Priesthood, the Traditional Rabbis, the Scriptures, Prophetic Revelation, the Talmedei Yeshua [Jewish Christians], and God Himself.  Rabbinic literature exerted control over the synagogues” (p. 308).

As we conclude this chapter on Bar Kokhba and his failed rebellion, and the role of Rabbi Akiba, which not only led to the forced dispersal of the Jews away from Jerusalem, but also provided opportunities to wage a “holy war” on their fellow monotheists the Christians as well as the pagan Romans, we should note that the resultant attacks on their Christian rivals were not merely physical in nature.  Although this final rebellion by a Jewish community allowed them to briefly rule as sovereigns again in their own homeland, bolstered by their pride and self-sufficiency apart from their God (whose help was officially rejected by their anointed Messiah Bar Kokhba), their failure led not only to their loss of independence, but also the use of legal, police and military force against their new “holy war” rivals, the Christians.  As they lost such compulsory tools to subjugate and attempt to quench the Christian movement, they had to develop new tools to wage a more covert, “psy-op” holy war against the rising (yet persecuted) Christian faith that even allowed “unclean” Gentiles to join in sharing the fruits and blessings of God’s favor and fellowship.  It turned out that the significant evolutionary changes in the Jewish faith at the time, by means of rabbinic authority, substituting the Sages and synagogue for the Temple, Torah and priest, provided the tools to wage such a covert but momentous conflict.  In the hands of the all-powerful rabbis, no legacy of faith was too sacred to be changed, modified, reinterpreted or erased to deal with the Christian menace – not even the Torah and the writings of the prophets themselves, as we shall see.

…To put into perspective Rabbi’s Akiba’s role in the “holy war” of physical resistance, both against the Romans via Bar Kokhba and with rival Jewish sects by means of the rabbinic council, one might presume that his vision and efforts were abject failures, with the Bar Kokhba Rebellion a disastrous defeat, the Jews dispersed, and even Akiba himself suffering a painful demise as a result.  However, this circumstance serves as an ideal example of what usually transpires in history’s “holy wars” – what appears to be the “winners” and “losers” when the smoke clears are often deceptive, because the public rarely knows what are the true agendas of the “insider” instigators and supporters of these conflicts, which do not become clearer for many years later, if at all.  Akiba, who permitted himself to become a glorious martyr and venerated at an elderly age, actually accomplished all of his personal goals during these days of tumult.  Yes, he looks like he “bet on the wrong horse” with Bar Kokhba, but in fact he suffered no consequence for his decision, because meanwhile he had established the provision in his faith community that the findings of the rabbinic sage are not to be challenged – even by God Himself.  Rather, he used the ruthless brute Kokhba – who professed no need for God’s help – to force compliance to the rabbinic council and the Sanhedrin populated by his cronies, and put the “squeeze” on Jewish Christians to submit to them or be “unpatriotic” and subject to “Patriot Act”-style persecution.  The overt “Great Patriotic War” afforded Akiba the opportunity to cement the supreme authority of the rabbi “sages”, over rival rabbis and the priests as well as Jewish Christians, and use the draconian conditions of a military “holy war” as just cause for his religious subversion.

At that point in this book volume, I discuss in detail Rabbi Akiba’s historical “info war” on Christians, in describing as “fake news” the Old Testament Bible passages confirming the Messiahship and deity of Jesus from the Septuagint, the landmark translation of the Old Testament books hundreds of years before Christ’s era, and the definitive “Bible” of the Jewish community and the new Christian variant, with it becoming an inconvenient tool of the upstart Christians to successfully argue the prior prophetic fulfillment of Jesus. Thus Rabbi Akiba sought to create an alternative translation of these texts, using a disgruntled Jewish convert to Christianity who quit due to reprimands about his continued astrological pursuits, Aquila of Sinope, who was used by Akiba to develop a scrubbed text that downplays Messianic phrases, and which is largely expressed in our widely-used Masoretic Text. Bible students will often see Paul, Jesus and other New Testament figures that quote Old Testament passages that don’t exactly match most of their translations, but typically they do with the Septuagint, because it was the Bible of the early Church. This “holy war” thus became a “psychological operation” of controlling the “information space” and planting doubt, when physical forms of force, coercion, jailing and capital punishment were no longer available to them.

However, Akiba and his colleagues were not finished with other means of controlling the “information space” as a delayed waging of their prior “lost cause.” Resuming the narrative later in my draft manuscript,

Rabbi Akiba not only has played a central role in the propaganda “holy war” against Christians by means of his brazen intent to change God’s written word; he also influenced a direct disciple of his who produced apparently another fraudulent witness to history that still impacts Judaism today, and may show evidence of manipulating Bible prophecy to give sanction to Akiba’s presumptive act of military deliverance.  This disciple, Jose ben Halafta, was the originator of a new Jewish calendar and historical dating system, the Seder Olam Rabbah, which is still used in Judaism today, replacing a calendar based upon the beginning of the Greek Seleucid dynasty.  The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia entry on Halafta notes that his family was of Babylonian origin,  and according to the Talmud “he was one of Akiba’s five principal pupils…his principal teacher was Akiba, whose system he followed in his interpretation of the Law”.  He was ordained in violation of a Roman edict, and was forced by the Romans to remain in the town of Sepphoris.  They write that “Like his master Akiba, Jose occupied himself with the dots which sometimes accompany the words in the Bible, occasionally basing his halakot [interpretation of Jewish law and practice] on such dots” (one could say he knew how to “connect the dots”). Most importantly, the article confirms that “Jose is considered to be the author of the Seder Olam Rabbah, a chronicle from the Creation to the time of Hadrian”.  The article adds that “One of his characteristic sayings is, ‘He who indicates the coming of the Messiah, he who hates scholars and their disciples, and the false prophet and the slanderer, will have no part in the future world’…According to Bacher…this was directed against the Hebrew Christians”.  They conclude by noting that “Owing to Jose’s fame as a saint, legend describes him as having met Elijah”.

The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia entry on the Seder Olam Rabbah calls it the “earliest post-exilic chronicle in the Hebrew language”, cited in the Babylonian Talmud, and is “a chronological record, extending from Adam to the revolt of Bar Kokba, in the reign of Hadrian”.  It states that “The author probably designed the work for calendrical purposes, to determine the era of the Creation; his system, adopted as early as the third century, is still followed”.  It notes that it followed the Bible texts, and gave some historical dates not in the Bible, but which can be inferred from calculation; it does note that “In many cases, however, he gave the dates according to tradition”, according to “preceding rabbis and of his contemporaries”.  This article by Jewish authors notes that this historical chronological document, still used by Jews today in their calendrical dating system, only accords thirty four years for Persian domination.  As a result, they note that “It will be seen that the allowance, contrary to historical facts, of only thirty-four years for the Persian domination is necessary if agreement with the Biblical text is to be insisted upon” (emphasis added).  Their stated rationale for how this must obtain “agreement with the Biblical text” is based upon their argument in the article that the “seventy weeks of years” (or 490 years) prophesied by Daniel in chapter 9 of his book denotes the period of the start of their exile to Babylon, to conclude with the destruction of the Temple by Rome, thus requiring only thirty four years of Persian reign (since the Talmud stated that the Temple was destroyed after 386 years of Alexander’s domination over Palestine), which is counter to all historical knowledge.

This prophetic interpretation ignores the beginning of the “seventy weeks” to occur with the call to rebuild Jerusalem, as clearly noted in the text (Dan. 9:25).  Most Christian theologians who view this as a futuristic prophecy associate this beginning with Artaxerxes’ call to Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls in 445 BCE; given that the passage asserts that only “sixty nine weeks” (483 years) will occur until “Messiah be cut off”, they extrapolate that end date to approximately 32 CE (adjusting for the 360 day Jewish calendar and no year “zero”), which they assert possibly correlates with the date of Jesus’ Passion Week and His official rejection by Jerusalem.  Halafta and other Jewish scholars apparently also evidently conflate this closing prophetic event somehow with Bar Kokhba’s revolt, because the article notes that “from the destruction of the second Temple, which according to the Seder Olam, occurred at the end of the last week of the Sabbatical year, to the suppression of Bar Kokba’s revolt, or the destruction of Bethar, was a period of fifty-two years.  But the text here is very confused, and gave rise to various emendations and interpretations”.  Although the ancient document deals with the period of Kokhba and Hadrian in a few sentences at the end, the encyclopedia entry also notes that “originally the ‘Seder Olam’ was more extensive, and that it consisted of two parts, the second of which, dealing with the post-Alexandrian period, had been lost, with the exception of a small fragment that was added by the copyists to the first part.  Many passages quoted in the Talmud are missing in the present edition of the ‘Seder Olam’”.  Did the missing pieces attempt to correlate the prophetic Bible passages to the Bar Kokhba rebellion, or were they content to merely interpret the Daniel prophetic passage in a manner to preclude the association of the events of Jesus’ life with it (which had occurred not more than a generation or two beforehand) – even being willing to defy confirmable historical facts by artificially shortening the reign of the Persian kings?  Did the missing pieces disappear by accident, or was it intentional?

Whatever the reason, Jose’s work left an indelible imprint on the Jewish people and their history, by giving them a dating system and calendar significantly out of sorts from similar published Christian attempts to date world history from the time of creation based upon the Biblical record.  The most famous of such works is known as “Bishop Ussher’s Annals of the World”, written by James Ussher, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armaugh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656.  His chronology was added to the King James Bible in its annotated editions at the beginning of the eighteenth century, as well as the later Scofield Reference Bible.  His work was translated into modern English and released as an almost 1000 page hard-bound epic volume in 2003 [Ussher, James, The Annals of the World (revised and updated by Larry and Marion Pierce), 2003, Master Books, Green Forest, AR.].  Appendix G in this work, entitled “The Seder Olam Rabbah – Why Jewish Dating is Different”, by Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones, addresses the discrepancy in dating between these two works.  According to his website, Dr. Jones served as a geophysicist in the petrochemical industry for sixteen years before leaving the field of science to pursue Biblical studies.  He notes his possession of a Ph.D as well as a doctorate of theology (Th.D.), and is an ordained minister with the Southern Baptist Convention.  He served as an adjunct professor at Continental Bible College in Brussels, Belgium as well as Chairman of the Department of Biblical Chronology at Pacific International University.  The contents he wrote in the cited “Annals” reference generally mirror that contained in Appendix I of his own work, Chronology of the Old Testament [Jones, Floyd Nolen, Chronology of the Old Testament, 1993, Master Books, Green Forest, AR.].

In his work in Appendix G of Annals, Dr. Jones notes that Ussher’s Bible-based dating research denotes Adam’s creation (based on its rendering of the Bible passage chronologies) at 4004 B.C., differing by as many as 243 years from the calendar used by the Jewish community today, as dictated by the ancient Seder Olam Rabbah.  He also notes that at the time the Seder Olam was compiled, Jews dated their years from 312 BC – the beginning of the Seleucid era, while the Seder Olam was only used by Talmud students for the next few centuries.  As such, the year 2012 in a modern Gentile calendar would correlate to 5772 in a Jewish calendar (adjusted for the fact that Gentile and Jewish New Years are on different dates, and with no “year zero” in the Gentile calendar).  Dr. Jones, in this document, painstakingly documents that many of these years can be attributed to simple Old Testament interpretation errors in many places, such as regarding the age of Abraham’s father, Abraham’s age at the time of his covenant, and the time of the consecration of the Second Temple.  Most importantly, he notes that the “abbreviated history” of the “Seder” during the period from the consecration of the Second Temple (351 BCE vs. 515 BCE) until its destruction by Rome comprised two thirds (and the remaining amount) of the entire discrepancy in time (164 years) between the two dating approaches, and was predominantly due to a radical shortening of the era of Persian rule (and removing three of the Persian kings).  Dr. Jones posits that this implausible shrinking of the Persian reign (to 53 years (34 after the dedication of the Temple) from the more credible 207 years from other historical sources) was done intentionally, and with the foreknowledge of the Jewish writers.  Further he notes that “present day Jewish scholars acknowledge that there is something enigmatic about the Seder Olam’s dating”.  As evidence, he cites the Jewish writer and commentator Rabbi Simon Schwab, who admitted that “the commonly received dates in the Ptolemaic chronology ‘can hardly be doubted’”, and who proposes in his writings the following reasons for the discrepancy:

“It should have been possible that our Sages – for some unknown reason – had “covered up” a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto.  If so, what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure?  Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted… those saintly “men of truth” to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secrets to themselves” (emphasis original) [Schwab, Simon, “Comparative Jewish Chronology”, Dr. Joseph Brewer Jubilee Volume, 1962, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch Publications Society, p. 188, as cited by Annals, p. 932.]

In turn, Dr. Jones makes the following response:

“This is an astonishing proposal!  Schwab, along with other Jewish commentators, further suggests that the reason God directed the sages of the 2nd century AD to become involved in falsifying the data was to confuse anyone who might try to use the prophecies of Daniel to predict the time of the Messiah’s coming.  This was supposedly done to honor Da. 12:4: ‘shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end’.  He adds that the reason the sages had adopted the non-Jewish Seleucid Era calendar was part of the scheme to do just that – to close up the words and seal the book of Daniel [Schwab, Simon, “Comparative Jewish Chronology”, Selected Speeches: A Collection of Addresses and Essays on Hashkafah, Contemporary Issues and Jewish History, CIS Pub., Lakewood, NJ, 1991, pp. 270-272, as cited in Annals, p. 932.].  Schwab also states that if the 165 years were included it would reveal, ‘we are much closer to the end of the 6th Millennium than we had surmised’ (Schwab mentions this date as the time when many rabbis expect Messiah to come).”

Jones continues:

“But can any sincere reader accept such a flimsy reason as justification for distorting history?  It actually accuses God himself of perpetrating a dishonest deception.  Indeed, it is manifestly apparent that the real reasons for the deliberate altering of their own national chronology in the Seder Olam were: (1) to conceal the fact that the Da. 9:25 prophecy clearly pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as its fulfillment and therefore the long awaited Messiah, and (2) to make that seventy week of years prophecy point instead to Simon Bar Kokhba!”

Dr. Jones concludes by giving evidence bolstering his assertions, such as the role of Rabbi Aviba in “anointing” Bar Kokhba as Messiah as well as mentoring Seder Olam author Yose ben Halafta, and the fact that the destruction of many Persian records after their overthrow provided the Jewish teachers with an opportunity to modify the records of the duration of their rule.  He finishes by saying, “The author offers the conclusions given herein as the only reasonable, logical deductions that can be drawn from the historical and blblical facts”.  Whether he is right in that the intention was to show Bar Kokhba as Messiah, or the Jewish Encyclopedia scholars in that the intention was to comply with their belief that the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel concludes with the destruction of the Temple, one cannot ascertain; possibly the additional material from the Seder Olam, specifically from this period of time, which has been removed from its text would offer answers, and the reason for its removal would be quite curious.  But it can be confirmed, from all sources both Christian and Jewish, that (a) an intentional effort was made to falsify the chronological record of the time, and (b) it involved getting the “desired answer” from Daniel prophecy, which was not that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the prophecy.

The shadows of the “lost cause messiah” Bar Kokhba still hang over the Jewish people, and particularly the militant, patriotic segment that reside in modern Israel. Later in this volume I write that

[According to the Jewish Virtual Library,] In the modern Zionist era, the popular Zionist youth movement “Betar” took its name from Bar-Kokhba’s last stronghold (the group adopted its leader, radical militant Vladimir Jabotinsky’s “Oath” that “I will devote my life to the rebirth of the Jewish State, with a Jewish majority, on both sides of the Jordan”, as “defense training was proclaimed the foremost duty of every member”, while fighting claims by other Zionists of their being fascists. Even a song in Israeli kindergartens today contains the refrain, “Bar Kokhba was a hero; he fought for liberty” [Lomsky-Feder, Edna, and Ben-Ari, Eyal, The Military and Militarism in Israeli Society, 1999, State University Press, Albany, p. 50.].

 

So, have we seen that when a “lost cause” over prior “Camelots” or “golden ages” of a culture that were lost, crumbled or pilfered, and desired to one day be restored, are energized with religious rationale and fervor, with the arguments of “prophesied” fulfillment and the “day of visitation” by the “prophets” of one’s era, there is almost nothing that the religious leadership will not resort to, and the devout people following them not swallow blindly to the point of offering themselves in violent or coercive struggles at the cost of their life or freedom? That “anointing messiahs,” and justifying their “non-messianic” traits to the gullible flock are often quite easy, if a little peer pressure or coercion is applied, only if a profane messiah figure appeals to their patriotic or cultural superiority pride, and energizes them with boastful words of “fights” against the “barbarians” that have previously subjugated them? That the first casualty in “lost cause” struggles is the truth and facts of today’s events and our history, and when they are forcefully made into religion-fueled “holy wars,” that even the sacred scriptures and prophetic promises are contorted to serve the ends of those who stand to profit from it? This work was not intended to merely disparage our Jewish brethren; of course, we can see incidents like the tragic Christian Crusades as such an example of religious and state leaders conspiring to build an external “boogeyman” of another religion and culture, suggest prophetic sanction and spiritual anointing by its religious zealot leaders, and energize an otherwise demoralized and low-esteem underclass of devotees to march off to waste their lives under the direction of insane religious zealots or shrewd, self-serving leaders. We witnessed a milder version 177 years ago, when the evangelicals under Baptist William Miller believed his interpretation of prophecy to await their Rapture in 1844, only to be led into the “Great Disappointment,” leading the failed leader and his cohorts to “move the goalposts” and redefine its fulfillment while still retaining a surprisingly large following, and while many more threw up their hands in disgust on the whole Christian experience. In Part 3 of this series, we will explore how such similar circumstances we are now living in amongst the Christian community during our current “Lost Cause” may witness similar outcomes.

my new book, Two Masters and Two Gospels, Vol. 1 – The Teaching of Jesus Vs. the “Leaven of the Pharisees” in Talk Radio and Cable News, is available in paperback and Kindle ebook here at Amazon, in paperback, Nook .epub ebook and even two types of hardcover at Barnes and Noble, in ebook via Kobo/Walmart and paperback and ebook at Books A Million, and many other places; I also offer a special deal for ebook readers at the Two Masters site at Bookbaby (available here), which provides Kindle, epub and pdf versions together for one price, and if you leave your email there for my mailing list, I will additionally send you a special short work I have done, just for you. You can also catch a few of my recent interviews on my book at Conspirinormal, Iron Show, Binnall of America, Ryan O’Neal’s WQEE Classic Rock, Pastor Mike Spaulding’s Soaring Eagle Radio and Derek Gilbert’s View From the Bunker.

The website that chronicles and makes announcements about my books is www.mikebennettbooks.com.

My publisher website is www.akribospress.com.