Sunday, November 08, 2020

Election Prophecies

Several big-name prophetic leaders in the United States (they openly call themselves prophets) have prophesied that Donald Trump would easily win the presidential election. Like prophesying the sex of an unborn baby, prophesying the outcome of election is risky (because there is a 50 percent chance of being right, even if God has not spoken). Prophetic people should be careful about both because we can easily be overcome by a desire to help and encourage, but the consequences can be quite serious if we are wrong.

Now that Trump seems to have lost the election, I will be interested to see how these people deal with their mistake. I suspect that they will respond in four different ways.

  • Some prophets will stand by their prophecy, but claim that it was not fulfilled because Christians did not pray seriously enough and consequently the spiritual powers of evil were able to obstruct it (this is blaming their listeners). However, there is a big difference between saying we should pray for a person that God wants to win and prophesying that he will win. People who are prophetic should understand the difference. In this case, they did prophesy that Trump would win, so they cannot wiggle out now by saying that there was not enough prayer.

  • Some will reinterpret their prophecies and claim that people misunderstood what they were saying. They will claim they were actually giving a much more nuanced message than was thought at the time and that their listeners should have understood this (another form of blame the listener).

  • Some will claim that they were not actually prophesying, but were speaking in their role as a social media commentator. They will blame the listeners who misunderstood what they were doing. This is not really an excuse, because prophetic people should state clearly when they are prophesying. Being vague about what they are doing as an escape if their prophecy fails is not an option.

  • Some prophets will respond to the failure of their prophecy with real grief, and ask forgiveness of the people who have trusted them (blaming themselves). I am not sure that this will be a common response.

  • Some will respond to the failure of their prophecy with a quick confession, saying something like this. Whoops. It is impossible for prophecies to be right one hundred percent of the time. All prophets make mistakes. I made a mistake on this one. Sorry! Let’s move on. This is a way of blaming the Holy Spirit for not speaking clearly.

A trite acknowledgement of a prophetic mistake is not good enough. These prophetic people claimed to speak for God. They declared that they had received a revelation from God about the election. They were wrong about this, so they need to do some real soul searching. They need to discover why they could be so easily misled about something so important, and explain what they will do to resolve the problem and preventing it from happening again.

God does not operate on the principle of “one strike and you are out” so these people are not finished. However, they might need to go through a restoration process for trust to be recovered. Their prophetic failure has done serious harm to the church’s witness to the world, so there needs to be some serious accountability.

The prophetic leaders who were wrong about the presidential election will need to engage in some serious personal examination. There are two big reasons why they may have got their prophecies wrong.

  • Some may have opened themselves up to a spirit of deception, which has been able to mislead them (like the court prophets who misled Jehoshaphat and Ahab (1 Kings 22)).

  • Some have previously accepted a lie that is commonly believed in their culture and this has opened the way for them to accept another lie without their realising it was a lie.

The second reason will often lead to the first: believing a lie opens people up to deception by a lying spirit.

Both these reasons represent a serious problem that would need to be dealt with before the prophetic person should be trusted again. If prophetic people admit they were wrong in their prophecies about the election, I suspect they will respond in different ways.

  • Some will admit that they were caught up in the general euphoria of the election and got carried away by what some pundits were saying. This is not very creditable. People should not be prophesying on the basis of media noise. They should ensure that they have heard from God before they speak, as this is what gives them a voice to the world.

  • Some will say that they were just repeating what other prophetic people were saying. This is not very creditable either. The scriptures are clear that prophets need to hear from God. Christians should not be prophesying what they hear other prophetic people are saying, if they have not heard from God.

  • A few will admit they were trapped by political biases that they inherited from their family or church, but I double that will be common, although it could be true.

  • Very few will admit that they have believed a lie or been deceived by a lying spirit. That is dangerous, because if it has happened once then it can happen again. No real harm has come from their mistake about the Trump presidency (except for creating massive disappointment) but the next time a mistake is made for these reasons, the impact might be far worse. The spiritual powers of evil like to try a tactic out and see if it is successful before trying it again in a different context to do far greater evil. Having people access to people who believe they are prophets, but are vulnerable to believing “lies” or deceiving spirits is a very dangerous situation for a church or a nation.

  • Most of the prophetic people who were mistaken about the presidential election will say that are sorry but carry on as if nothing has happened. This would also be dangerous, because what has happened is serious. People have believed a lie and spread another, and some who claim to be able to hear the Holy Spirit have been deceived by a lying spirit without being aware of what has happened (even after they have been proven wrong).

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