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Donald Trump’s Presidency and False Prophecy

In more modern times, before the Azusa Street revival and the birth of modern Pentecostalism, there was a revival that took place among several Holiness congregations in Corsicana County, Texas, in the 1870s. This revival began with a burst of worship and enthusiasm which included tongues. Significantly, the local leadership understood that the gifts of the Spirit described in 1 Cor. 12 -14 were for the present. Unfortunately the leaders were inexperienced in prophecy and its discernment (of course, there were no mentors or literature to help them) and drifted into false prophecy.

Some prophetic utterances included the message that a person baptized with the Spirit would be regenerated physically to the point of being able to live a thousand years. But strangely enough, some in the congregation continued dying. The revival disintegrated as local prophets urged their followers to sell all and await Jesus’ return in 1875. Jesus didn’t make it, and the only thing achieved by the revival was the discrediting of future Pentecostal efforts in the area four decades later as the people remembered the previous fiasco[15].


The Prophesies of David Wilkerson

In the Twentieth Century there was the very interesting case of David Wilkerson’s 1973 false prophecy. The Rev. Wilkerson was truly one of the heroes and pioneers of the Charismatic Renewal. He began as a small town preacher (Assemblies of God) in the coalfields of Pennsylvania. Through a series of promptings from the Holy Spirit, he went to New York and was led to minister to delinquent teenagers in the slums of New York City. This eventually led to a marvelous and effective ministry in New York and other cities for the evangelization and rehabilitation of inner-city teenagers called Teen Challenge. The story of the beginnings of this ministry is told in his book, The Cross and the Switchblade.[16] That book had a special anointing in its power to inspire people and was translated into many languages and sold more than 50,000,000 copies worldwide.

But in April 1973, when Wilkerson was already known worldwide for his teen ministry and first book, he received a series of visions. They were prophetic visions and dealt with the supposed coming events of the next decade (1973-1983), with special attention to the happenings in the United States. It was published as The Vision, and became a best seller among Evangelicals and Charismatics.[17] Wilkerson first publicly proclaimed the vision in a conference of Lutheran Charismatics in August of 1973. The tape of that session is an amazing document in the history of Christian false prophecy.[18]

The prophet is in a poor position to discern their own revelation.

Although the book contains all the prophecies, one can best appreciate Wilkerson’s state of mind by listening to the tape. As he spoke at the Lutheran assembly he asserted time after time that his message was directly from God, and that it was the “clearest vision I’ve ever had.” He assured the audience that the Spirit behind the vision was the same that guided him to the teen ministry. Several times during his delivery he was practically overwhelmed by emotion and said, “Never have I felt such an anointing,” or “I predict in the Spirit!” and so on.[19] Wilkerson warned of five major calamities that were surely coming on the world by 1983. In economics, the “next few years” would be prosperous (he missed the recession of 1974-1975), followed by a deep depression brought about by financial collapse. The depression was to start in Germany and the Arab countries would suffer the most – but none of that happened. At the same time, there would be severe earthquakes in the United States and worldwide food shortages. That also did not happen, but was scary to those who heard the prophecy. On the moral front, the United States was to be invaded by a flood of pornography never before seen, and the courts would take an even more permissive stand on this issue (sort of true, but one did not need to be a prophet to see the trend already apparent). There would also be a major wave of disobedience by children towards their parent (a constant, but no noticeable jump in this sin area).

The most important and dramatic part of the vision pertained to the churches. According to Wilkerson, there would arise a new Church, really the Church of the anti-Christ, made of a liberal Protestant and Roman Catholic amalgam, in which the Pope would be recognized as the political head. The “true” Church of God, a new union of all authentic Spirit-filled Christians, would of course oppose this Church and in turn suffer persecution.

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2020

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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