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Prophets’ Political Words Bring Division, Derision

Joe Biden is not the duly elected President of the United States. The 2020 election was stolen. Trump will soon be officially reinstated. Patriots need to buy weapons and prepare for a second civil war.

These are God’s views on American politics, according to dozens of preachers who claim to be Christian prophets.

Researchers James Beverley and Gordon Melton found that more than 150 prophets predicted Trump’s victory last November, but only a handful have admitted they were wrong and apologized.

“Others have dug in and prophesied a return of Trump to the White House,” said Beverley, who is affiliated with the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Texas and Tyndale University in Toronto.

Though some prophets are little known, their words from God can reach large audiences through partnerships with other prophets, or appearances on programs like Sid Roth’s streaming show, “It’s Supernatural!” which has 1.3 million subscribers.

“I have a friend who just told me still thinks the results of the election will be overturned, based on ‘prophesies’ from Hank Kunneman and Kat Kerr,” wrote one MinistryWatch reader in an e-mail. “I am so alarmed at the deception out there that people believe. If you have anything on these charlatans you can refer me to, I would appreciate it.”

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Kunneman’s predictions for July 4 led some believers to believe that Trump would be reinstated over the patriotic holiday.

Prophets reach wide audiences

“Look to the skies of your 4th of July” for “signs of the freedom and the restored order that is coming to your nation, and it’s coming fast,” said Kunneman, pastor of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Neb. His prophecy was made on a broadcast on Elijah Streams, a 200,000-subscriber streaming service from Steve Schultz’s Elijah List prophecy website, which serves as a clearinghouse for prophetic messages.

“Listen to the sound of My voice that shall be heard within your fireworks, for it shall be My fist that is cracking down! For I have declared that this shall mark an hour and a day of a shift that shall come to you, America.”

Kunneman’s video, “Shocking Prophecy Regarding Trump,” has been viewed 320,000 times.

Kat Kerr is a Florida woman with pink hair who promotes herself to listeners with a unique angle: “Discover what Heaven is like by someone who has been there many times.”

Her audience is smaller than Kunneman’s — 41,000 YouTube subscribers and thousands of views of her many videos — but she has doubled down on her claim that Trump would serve two consecutive terms followed by two terms by Mike Pence.

Lance Wallnau has 182,000 subscribers, and 32,000 people have viewed his video, “President Harris on the Horizon.”

Jim Bakker has promoted both Trump prophecies and fake COVID-19 cures to his 93,300 subscribers.

Rick Joyner, who urged believers to arm themselves for a coming civil war, has 57,400 subscribers, though some of his videos have been seen by fewer than 2,000 people.

Evil darkness inside Biden,” warns Robin Bullock, in a video that racked up more than 30,000 views in the first 24 hours after its premiere.

Johnny Enlow, who has fewer than 20,000 subscribers, appeared on Elijah Streams to announce that God favors those who stick with Trump:

It’s not sufficient just to say, “Hey I worship God. I’m totally sold out to God or to Jesus.”… Who’s being advanced and blessed and ministries that are advancing and blessing and who I see in increased anointings, they’re seeing more favor, they’re seeing more revelatory, are people who didn’t back off Trump.

Prophets who apologize are attacked

Loren Sandford, a Denver prophet, acknowledged and apologized for his erroneous predictions about Trump, and has experienced a humbling from God. He says prophets who owned up have also received significant pushback, online attacks, death threats, and diminished audiences, while at least some pro-Trump prophets have seen audience numbers and incomes rise.

“People are more upset about us apologizing than they are about the others getting it wrong,” he says, referring to his friend Jeremiah Johnson, who has faced a reckoning with his supporters for his admission of error, according to Christianity Today.

In a post-election sermon at his New Song Church and Ministries, Sandford detailed the grief he and other political prophets had wrought on the church, saying,

“Instead of strengthening God’s people in the testimony of Jesus, connecting them more intimately and firmly with Him, our prophecies about the election led too many to connect their hope in an idolatrous way to a man or a political party.

The fruit has been ugly. First, our prophecies failed, and second, we’ve thrown the church into disarray, generated division, caused many people to throw out prophetic ministry as a valid gift for today and caused the name of Jesus to be dragged through the mud. The charismatic wing of the body of Christ has been badly shaken, not strengthened. For this, we all bear responsibility before the throne of God, both prophets and people.”

The ridicule has grown so great that Hank Kunneman recently acknowledged it, and asked God to rebuke those who criticize him and others. “God, people have laughed at you. They’ve laughed at your prophets, they’ve laughed at your church, they’ve laughed at your intercessors, they’ve laughed at the patriots, they’ve laughed at those that voted for 45. Now I’m praying that their laughter would be turned into silence as you laugh. It’s your turn now, God, to laugh out of the heavens and to show the Earth that you’re a just God.”

“Repentance is in order,” says Sandford, but he isn’t expecting repentance any time soon. He’s still waiting to hear prophets apologize for their claims from more than 20 years ago that that the Y2K computer bug would wreak havoc across the globe. Instead, the prophets cashed the checks earned by their mistaken Y2K books and videos and moved on to their next prophetic words.

Sandford attributes the rise of partisan political prophecy to host of problems within the prophetic community:

  • a long-running lack of accountability for prophets;
  • a growing number of preachers who have little or no theological training;
  • prophets who have no connection to a local church, and thus remove the Holy Spirit’s gift from its intended context;
  • celebrity- and money-hungry prophets who compete for eyeballs, clicks, donations, and sales of books and DVDs by issuing ever more fantastical pronouncements;
  • social media outlets that spread their words far and wide;
  • prophetic conferences and events that titillate audiences with “sanctified psychic readings” that reinforce what they want to hear instead of what God is saying;
  • and the most basic problem prophets have confronted for millennia. “There’s a lot of confusion between what we really desire passionately, and what’s the voice of the Lord,” says Sandford, who supported Trump.

Sandford, who earned a master’s in divinity degree from Fuller Seminary, said personal insecurities and competition with better known prophets helped lead him astray. “I got caught up in it,” he says.

Calls for accountability

As Julia Duin reported in Religion Unplugged and MinistryWatch in April, 85 ministries joined together to issue a statement on “Prophetic Standards,” but few believe it will rein in the most ardent Trump prophets or lead them to say they were wrong and apologize.

James Beverley has written 18 books, including three about Trump and evangelicals published in 2020: Evangelical Civil War, The QAnon Explosion, and God’s Man in the White House: Donald Trump in Modern Christian Prophecy, which tracks more than 500 prophecies from 100 prophets.

“The prophetic aspect about Trump is as an important element in his presidency, a key factor in charismatic and evangelical identity and controversies, and very significant given the number of prophets who focused on him and the incredible outreach that many have,” said Beverley, who has studied prophecy for 30 years, and wrote about the Kansas City Prophets and the Toronto Blessing.

Beverley says his research shows that “Christian prophets, in general, have always been Christ-centered and have kept within the frame of basic Christian faith,” but there have always been problems with some issuing overly vague prophecies that are not verifiable, or “predicting great revivals are just around the corner — a claim seldom borne out by church growth.”

His study of Trump prophecies “shows that the prophecies are usually vague, sometimes totally wrong, and, with rare exception, have failed to be properly critical of Trump.”

Asked why so many prophets have doubled down on Trump since his election loss, Beverley, who considers himself “a moderate pro-charismatic evangelical Christian,” has a simple answer: “Most white Pentecostals and charismatics chose Trump as God’s Man, and the charismatic and Pentecostal prophets fell in line with that view.”

Beverley can’t predict what the prophets will do next, but has seen the harm they’ve already created.

“This hurts evangelism to those who despise Trump and cannot imagine why any Christian would support him,” he said. “And differing views on Trump, QAnon, and the integrity of the November 3 election have created division in families and churches.”

Steve Rabey

Steve Rabey is a veteran author and journalist who has published more than 50 books and 2,000 articles about religion, spirituality, and culture. He was an instructor at Fuller and Denver seminaries and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He and his wife Lois live in Colorado.