Donald Trump’s Presidency and False Prophecy
William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D
Recently the Mark Galli’s op-ed piece in Christianity Today created uproar among Evangelical Christians. He asserted that President Trump should be removed from office for his lack of moral character. Many Christians were offended, but many others affirmed his view as theirs. It seems clear that most Evangelicals understand that Trump is a deeply flawed and a personally immoral person. The divide then is between those who find this to be disqualifying for the office of president, as the Rev. Galli, and those to whom Trump’s immorality is lamentable, but not important as president. This latter group strongly believes that Trump has been called by God to be president in spite of his character flaws. For his defense, the “Forever Trump” Christians cite his pro family and pro Christian tilt in the White House, and especially his court nominations, Supreme Court and lower courts, and his across the board support of Israel, as indicators that this is true.
When criticism is given about Trump’ behavior, as in his shameless boasting, lying or insulting tweets, the Forever Trumps often cite that biblical heroes, men and women called by God, were often imperfect, or had some deep areas of immorality. For instance, Samson could not resist Pagan women and destroyed the fullness of his ministry with this fault/sin but still carried out much of God’s call on his life.
To be transparent, I side with the Rev. Galli’s opinion. Galli commented the following week that the mass of email and letters disagreeing with his op-ed followed this line of thought, and refused to argue or discuss the specifics of Trump’s immoral or arbitrary acts. Like Galli, I too have found that the Forever Trumps most often do not bother to defend Trump’s action or irrational tweets, but rather cite the biblical injection, “do no touch my anointed.” (1 Chr 16:18)
The acceptance of this disjunction between Trump’s personal morality and intemperate, rude, uncharitable tweets, etc. and his support by most white Evangelical Christians is due in part to a series of prophecies, by a previously unknown prophet, Mark Taylor. These were assisted by Mary Colbert, an influential Christian writer and editor. This prophetic message and belief that Trump was especially called out by God has been reinforced among Charismatic Christians by Mr. Steve Strang, CEO and president of Strang Communications, which publishes charismatic books and the influential Charisma magazine.
In this essay I want to look the issue of prophecy, especially the discernment of prophecy from biblical viewpoint and from the experience of the Church over the ages. I will be taking into account various instances of false prophecy that have cropped up throughout Church history. Were the prophecies that propelled Trump to presidency true prophetic messages from God, or false prophecies to divide and undermine the moral standing of the Evangelical and Charismatic community, or something in between?
False prophecy is common in Church history, and most often involves very good Christians and communities who misinterpret or exaggerate God’ direction. Paul is careful to encourage prophecy in New Testament Church and recommend it to Christians as the most important gift of the Spirit (1 Cor 14:1). But Paul put discernment boundaries around it, as in having the prophet submit their visions and prophecies to the church for discernment. It is also clear that Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 principally refers to prophecies that uplift and correct at the local church level (1 Cor 14:3), not global, trans-church issues.
Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. (1 Cor: 29-31)
But that does not exclude prophecy about national or international issues, In Act 11:28 the prophet Agabus prophesied that there would be a large scale famine, and the Church had to prepare for it. It happened. Similar valid prophecies have occurred throughout Church history. For Instance, Demos Shekarian, the founder to the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International, recounts how his family immigrated to California from Armenia due to warnings in the 1900s by a local prophet. That prophet warned that the Armenians must leave to avoid slaughter. Some, including his parents, heeded the warning and escaped the Armenian genocide by the Turks of 1915-1916.
The discernment of prophecy is both a grace and a matter of experience. That is, having a discerning community that both cherishes prophecy as possibly direct words from God, but is aware of the danger of false prophecy. I have treated elsewhere the difficulty of practicing prophecy and having a church that is at ease with the gift. Even Pentecostal pastors are often unsure how to allow and correct spontaneous prophesies in their congregations.
The consensus of the discernment literature, Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal is that, especially in the local church, short prophetic utterances can be of the Holy Spirit, (all must be discerned) but as they get longer they tend to bring in element of the prophets subconscious wishes, prejudices and preferences. So accepting the long and long-range prophecies about Trump should be especially cautious.
But before I proceed further let me cite from Christian history some false prophecies that influenced the Church to its determent.
A major false prophetic movement was begun by a prophet call Montanus, about the year 170 A.D. His prophesies, and that of two women prophetesses who aided him, spread in the Roman Empire during a period of severe persecution.  Montanus and his prophets predicted the very soon coming of Jesus, and predicted that a “New Jerusalem” would descent from heaven and alight in their home town of Pepuza – a sleepy one-horse, or one chariot, village in the mountains of Phrygia (modern Turkey). That his home town would be the center of the Second Coming is an example of the provincialism and vanity that often seeps into false prophecy. This may be part of what Paul refers to as “itching ears” in 2 Tim 4:3
Montanists prophets caused divisiveness and the real conflict with the majority of churches and their bishops through the prophets’ moral rigor and legalism. They claimed, through repeated prophetic utterances, that the Holy Spirit decreed that those who had broken under Roman torture and renounced the Christian faith could never be accepted back into the Church. These had committed the “unforgivable sin.” Most of the bishops of the Church disagreed, and saw a need for leniency, including restoration of these persons into the Church after a penitential period.
The orthodox Bishops came out of this conflict as defenders of the true Gospel of mercy. In the process, the prophetic ministry was put under suspicion. Sadly, the bishops began to appropriate the prophetic office into their ordained office, and away from 1 Cor 14 as Paul indicated, by interpreting the meaning of “prophecy” as the preaching and teaching ministry of the Church. This is an idea that the Reformers were to adopt as standard. The effect was that prophecy, instead of being what Paul suggested, the most common gift for the Christian community (1 Cor. 14), became an increasingly rare gift.
After a while the Montanists prophets declared that the “prophetic age” (their own) was over and the movement settled down as a legalistic sect – and eventually petered out. But the Montanists movement extended negative consequences throughout Church history. It vastly curtailed (but did not totally end) the frequency of spontaneous lay prophetic utterances. Without a flow of prophetic utterances in the Church’s normal parish life there was crated a vacuum of ongoing (and necessary) practice of discerning prophecy by church elders and leaders. That is, there were few, and scattered, living persons experienced in the gift of prophecy in their churches or could exercise discernment and caution prudence.
Later on, the Catholic Church developed the concept of ‘spiritual direction” in which a mature person, usually an ordained cleric, would act as the discernment person to mystics, nuns, monks and others who experienced visions and prophecies. But this was a very specialized and limited ministry. The Reformation rejected this tradition and the excellent literature on discernment that it generated, and saw prophecy, as the other gifts of the Spirit, restricted to the Apostolic Age (the doctrine of cessationism).
In the revivals among the Protestant Churches that occurred from the 1600s, where the gifts of the Spirit were newly discovered by one community or another, lack of discernment on prophecy and experience in discerning prophecies, was a constant problem. This lack often discredited many of the revival movements of the Church. This was the principal reason why the Great Awakening (1737-1742) of New England was cut short. Specifically, there arose traveling prophets who put forth false prophecies and presumptuous judgments about other ministers and churches. The American theological genius, Jonathan Edwards, witnessed this discernment failure first hand and single-handedly created Protestantism’s’ best discernment works in response.
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 older folks 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.
The Prophesies of David Wilkerson:
In the Twentieth Century there was the very interesting case of David Wilkerson 1973s 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 coal fields 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. 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 world wide.
But in April of 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. 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.
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. 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 will suffer the most – none of that happened. At the same time there will be severe earthquakes in the United States and world wide 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 will 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 pertains 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 will be recognized as the political head. The “true” Church of God, a new union of all authentic Spirit-filled Christians, will of course oppose this Church and in turn suffer persecution.
Wilkerson especially warns Catholic Charismatics to expect persecution from their own hierarchy. They will eventually be forced to choose between their Catholicism and the Spirit-filled life. As a practical measure he warned all Christian churches to put their financial houses in order so as to weather the coming hard times. Specifically, no new buildings or borrowing should be initiated in the immediate future. All through the delivery of this prophecy Wilkerson provided ample biblical quotations to give it a sense of biblical validation.
That The Vision was a false prophecy is obvious. Was it merely a subconscious concoction of the beliefs, fears and prejudices of a small-town preacher raised in the tradition that the Catholic Church was the “whore of Babylon” etc.? Certain elements in the prophecy suggest that they may have had a deeper, demonic influence. The very shrillness and lack of humility in his assertions was itself a sign of that. The prophecy did not call Christians to prayer or repentance, nor did it console, edify, or exhort; it frightened and condemned. There was not a single suggestion that might have been remotely useful, such as might have prepared Christians for the energy crisis of 1975 when Saudi Arabia stopped oil exports to our country to protest our support of Israel.
Further, the only practical suggestions were destructive. The separation of Spirit-filled Christians into “one true Church” would have resulted in a new Montanism with results perhaps as destructive to the Church as the old Montanism. Even the minor point of financial conservatism most probably had a demonic source, for many churches in the 1970s did in fact continue to flourish and expand and to build in response to their growing needs. In my own city, Atlanta, several large charismatic churches arose, borrowed some money for construction, grew tremendously and repaid their debts.
That Catholic Charismatic did not follow the deadly advice of The Vision was due in great part to the intelligent and quick response of other, more mature leaders. David du Plessis, the elder statesman of Pentecostalism, and who had seen first hand the birth of the Catholic charismatic movement, quickly denounced the prophecy as not coming from God. He compared it with many a false prophecy he heard as a young man which claimed the coming world rule of Stalin and the Papacy. Ralph Martin, one of the best-known and respected Catholic Charismatics quickly spread the warning of “false prophecy” among fellow Catholics. Indeed, as time has shown, Catholic Charismatics never suffered persecution from their bishops, and although the movement slowed down in the U.S after the 1980s, there are many Catholic Charismatic fellowships in the United States that are doing fine. Further, in Africa and South America the Catholic Charismatic movement has been instrumental in bringing millions of nominal Catholics to become true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Wilkerson’s prophecy goes to the core of the discernment problem. He did nothing wrong in reporting his prophecy. As a matter of fact, according to traditional Catholic theology, he would have sinned from cowardice had he not spoken. The famous Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, in a brilliant work, Inquiries, made clear that, the prophet is in a poor position to discern his own revelation. This is because if it is of demonic origins or contamination it will play upon the fears, prejudices, and belief structure of his own subconscious mind and those in his immediate faith community. It is the task of the Church to judge prophecy, not the prophet. This again is Paul’s point in 1 Cor. 14:29.
It is important to note some other issues. It is clear that Wilkerson’s original ministry was blessed by God and has borne much fruit, yet The Vision was demonic. This is a modern example of Peter’s “multiple inspirations.” Specifically, when Peter declared that Jesus was the messiah, (Matt 16:17) but later urged Jesus not to continue to Jerusalem and His crucifixion (Matt 16:23). It is also important to realize that while he delivered his address to the Lutheran conference, Wilkerson was probably functioning as a partial medium for an evil spirit. Yet in no sense did he commit the sin of mediumship. Rather it is in the nature of the mature spiritual life to be an instrument of either the Holy Spirit or other spirits. Advanced spiritual life is by nature risky – but not as fatal as a mediocre spiritual life, for our Lord makes it clear that he abhors those who are neither “hot or cold” (Rev. 3:15). Perhaps the major failure with Wilkerson and his vision was that he did not seek an elder or mature spiritual director with whom to discuss his visions before he went to the public with them.
Mark Taylor prophesies on Trump:
The year 2017 saw the publication of a influential best seller that described the prophecies received by a retired fireman Mark Taylor. It pertained to how he had received various prophecies starting 2011 that Trump would be president, and was chosen by God to bring America back to righteousness and it true Christian calling. The book was co-authored by Mary Colbert, an influential writer and editor who worked to gather a large number of Charismatic and Evangelical pastors to agree with the prophecy and pray for Trump’s election, and then his subsequent presidency.
The Taylor prophecies were not just one incident but a series of visions and “hearings” (called “locutions” in traditional discernment theology) supposedly from the Holy Spirit. These prophecies show many of the traits of false prophecy that have occurred throughout Church history. Among his predictions is the statement that Trump, after his election, would soon “captivate the media” and many in the mainline media will agree with his positions. This has proven to be the very opposite of what has happened thus far, and perhaps merely represents a “wish for” presented as prophecy.
The Taylor prophesies are full of statements supposedly made by Lord that ‘tickles the itching ears” of conservative Republicans but affirming their beliefs and suspicions, but are contrary to the character and a true message of God. For instance there are several passages in which the Lord categorizes both President Obama and the Clinton’s as totally evil. The Lord supposedly said:
Beware, beware, the enemy roams about seeking whom he can devour and this sitting president [Obama] is doing that in this hour . He’s full of lies and deceit and is very hateful; he spreads division and corruption with every mouthful. Beware when he says, “look over here, what the right hand is doing” to divert your attention from what the left hand is doing, is his intention. This is a setup from this President and his minions, from the hate, the division, and Hilary Clinton. …For the signs are clear to see, that this President and his minions shall try for thee. A sign will be, he will try to and take the guns so the people can’t rise up and stop him when he tries to run [for a third term].
An astonishing statement about Obama indeed, whose policies many would disagree, but his administration was relatively corruption free – in contrast to the Trump administration where several of his advisors had already been sentenced to prison. Again, the contrast between truthfulness and lying between Trump and Obama is huge, but exactly to the contrary of what Taylor wishes were true.
Further, the Holy Spirit does not rail against living persons and declare them evil, but if they are doing wrong, urges repentance. This utterance was from a demonic source using Taylor’s suspicions, fears and desires.
Another intemperate salvo against Obama has proven false with time:
For this man who holds the title of President of the United States, will begin to lose his grip from it and be stripped of it, for I the Lord God will rip it from him. The man who calls himself the Commander in Chief, is nothing more than a lying deceitful Thief!”
This has now proven to be totally false, Obama left the White House with dignity, and in his inaugural address Trump recognized the gracious cooperation that Obama gave his transition team. The “prophecy” is another demonic rant, manipulating and pandering to the ugliest areas of partisan Republican suspicions and hatreds.
The statement backing the pro-gun position of many Republicans and the NRA could not have been from the Lord. True Christianity has been reluctant to endorse weapons of any kind, and for instance, it is traditional for clergy to bless troops in war for their protection, but not their armament.
The above demonically influenced gun control rant echoes several conspiracy theories that circulated about Obama and his administration in conservative Christian circles. The most famous one was the bru-ha-ha over the Armed Forces exercise in 2015 in the South-West called “Jade Helm 15.” This involved about 1.200 servicemen practicing to intercept a vehicle loaded A-bomb brought in by terrorists via the southern border – a real possibility.
The conspiracy theory was that the Army was really sent to disarm conservative Texans of their weapons and bring them to empty Wal-Mart stores as makeshift concentration camps – several of which were indeed empty for renovation. Shamefully, this was widely believed and the Governor of Texas pandered to this conspiracy theory (lie) by ordering Texas National Guard officers to monitor the exercise just in case Texans started to be arrested.
Like many conspiracy theories, hatred and suspicion override common sense. It is impossible for 1,200 soldiers to carry out a grossly illegal order and disarm millions of conservative Texans, who are often very heavily armed. That this conspiracy theory was believed by many Christian conservatives shows something very disturbing about their state of mind towards President Obama, i.e. hatred overrides common sense, and this is continued in The Trump Prophecies – with demonic assistance.
Here we should note the important role played by the co-author of the Trump Prophesies, Mary Colbert. A well-heeled editor, writer and consultant, she read Taylor’s prophecies in manuscript form. She was from the same Anti-Obama, anti-Clinton Republican mind-set as Taylor, and instead as serving as a discerning elder, she fell for them whole. She then set out to organize Charismatic pastors and teachers to affirm the prophetic message that Trump was chosen by God to be president. That group has continued to pray for the president in his entire turbulent presidency.
That the Trump Prophesies is a false, and demonically laced work is quite plane. Already we can discern some of its harmful spiritual fallout. Many younger persons who might have taken Evangelical Christianity seriously have been appalled by Trump’s tweeting cruelty and speech, coupled with he uncritical support by Evangelicals, and have either drifted into agnosticism or into liberal forms of Christianity that do not do justice to the true Gospel (as in disbelieving the miracles, etc.)
Adding to this calamity is the effects of Trump’s use of the phrase “fake news.” The phrase was first used accurately to describe invented and false news events planted by Macedonian hackers for monetary gain. I recall in the year before the Trump Presidency seeing strange and unbelievable stories forwarded by my Face Book buddies. One story claimed that Mexico had built a long an expensive fence on the border with Guatemala to keep out immigrants. The message was of the “hypocrisy” of the Mexican government. It was totally false and the fence pictured in the story was of the Israelite fence along its border with Syria. The Macedonian news-lies inventors were paid by the number of hits received on their websites. They, like demonic entities were careful to note and pander to the fears, suspicions and hopes of their target audience, often conservative Christians.
Trump appropriated “fake news” to mean any news that criticizes him even if it is factually correct. it is important to distinguish between “fake news” and normal partisan news coverage. They are not the same. Since the early years of our Republic the press has been mostly divided along partisan lines. The Jeffersonians vs. the Hamiltonians, etc., and to our own day with the bitter liberal/conservative divide. But, for instance, Fox News and CNBC most often give the same basic facts of the news, but with vastly different shades of interpretation, or emphasize some items and ignore others. In fact, it might be said that the Bible shows a form of this “partisan” interpretation. For instance there are different interpretations David’s kingship in the book of Kings and Chronicles, with Chronicles being more positive and avoiding the story of David’s murder and adultery with Bathsheba.
But neither the Bible nor reputable news outlets contradict facts or eliminate facts that are inconvenient. By calling embarrassing items “fake news,” as Trump is prone to do, serious spiritual damage is done but disabling the ability to tell truth from exaggeration or error.
But to get back to The Trump Prophecies. It is my opinion that certain elements of it were originally from the Lord, as in the part received in 2011 that Trump would be president. This is similar to the mix of true and false prophecies that sometimes occur in church prophetic uttering. A person may begin with a short word of Wisdom from the Lord, but as he goes on past the revelation drifts into areas of his own prejudices and fears that are then utilized by demonic forces to incite fear, anger or mayhem.
The original fraction of true prophecy may be the factor why so many credible and anointed Charismatic and Evangelical pastors accepted it whole, and why Mary Colbert was able to rally such a large group of reputable pastors and teachers behind the prophecy. And later convert the group into a huge prayer support team for Trump. Of course praying for a sitting president is enjoined in scripture. (1Tim 2:2). But the group organized by Mrs. Colbert became uncritical and accepting of Trump’s actions or disrespectful and insulting tweets.
Here lies a large failure of the Forever Trump pastors. They became “court prophets” who agreed with all the Trump did and said, instead of discerning wither thy should on occasions play the role of Nathen to David (2 Sam 12), that is, to reproof sin when it occurred. To be biblically specific, the incident in 2 Kgs 22 shows four hundred court supported prophets “tickling the inching ears” of the Kings of Judah and Israel by prophesizing victory in a coming battle. Only one (non-court) prophet, Micaiah, proclaimed the real message from the Lord – defeat. In fact, a very few Forever Trump pastors have had the discernment and courage to rebuke Trump in any of his intemperate sayings or actions. An exception to the rule is the popular TV evangelist Jetzen Franklin who publicly rebuked Trump for his vulgar language reference some of the more backward countries of the Third World.
This failure to give just reproof began even before his election. One of the most disturbing aspects of the Trump campaign was his declaration that the Southern border wall would be built, and Mexicans would pay for it. Trump; “Who will pay?” Crowd: Mexico!” This dialogue was cruel, insulting and ultimately unrealistic, as time has shown. It played on a childish sense of revenge on Mexico. It unnecessarily offended the Mexicans, and prevented a sane dialogue and diplomacy on the wall with the Mexican government. Christians who participated in this rant should repent of it. That the Christians pastors who supported and surrounded Trump during his campaign period did not reproof him for it was a scandal.
To be clear, I am for the wall being built, for our security, for our right to have a culture not radically and immediately changed. But also for a problem not much mentioned. The large scale migration of Central Americans to the US will lave those countries much depleted of people and totally in the hands of various drug cartels that are forming “pirate states” that prey on their own people. The process is well under way in northern Mexico and sections of El Salvador. The solution to this is very difficult since the drug cartels cannot be brought to justice in these countries as they control or terrorize the police and courts. In any case the continued depletion of the populace from Central America will mean that any solution to this problem will be impossible.
Immediately after the election Trump famously clamed that his voters were undercounted by 3.000,000 votes, the number that matched Hilary Clinton’s superiority in the popular count over Trump. This was a wild, narcissist stab, and grievous injustice to the integrity of the many secretaries of state in the various states who ensured a clean election. In my state, Georgia, the Republican secratary of state only found a dozen or so false or inaccurate votes out of the millions cast. Trump should have been reproved for this narcissist invention immediately by his Christian supporters.
One last comment would relate to the failure of the Republicans to bring forth a reasonable health coverage issue. Here again I feel there is some outright sin involved. Many Republicans enjoyed mocking the Obama Affordable Care Act as “Obama Care” and something out of hell. Indeed it was a flawed bill, but it extended coverage to millions, and could have been the basis of a reformed health care bill. The Republican, and Trump’s jeering dismissal made rational discourse and compromise with the Democrats practically impossible. Again I invite Republicans who participated in this awful name-calling to consult their conscience in prayer and repent. The Affordable Care Act was very imperfect, but it brought millions health care coverage. The Republicans did zero, and ultimately must bear much of the blame for the thousands of Americans who are dying every year from lack of health care, and making us the laughing stock of the rest of the developed world.
I should make also clear that I believe that some of the things that Trump has accomplished have been good and long overdue, as in his challenge to the unequal trade relationship with China, and a revision of NAFT. But even his accomplishments could have been achieved with less narcissist attachments. I do not intend to go further with a litany of Trumps political atrocities that have so harmed the civility and political discourse of our Nation. My intention is to affirm that Christians who have become “Forever Trump” need to reconsider, and perhaps repent, of their failure to be a Nathan to a very flawed David.
Mark Galli, “Why Trump Should be Removed From Office,” Christianity Today Dec. 19. 2019. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/december-web-only/trump-should-be-removed-from-office.html
 Even in his inaugural address he boasted that by his becoming president that gang crime would stop “[T]he crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” No noticeable change on this since he took office. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/the-inaugural-address/
 As a Vietnam veteran I was appalled that even before he became president he attacked Senator McCain by implying he was less that a hero by being captured. That view is ignorant and hurtful, as pilots who eject from a stricken aircraft and land in hostile territory have no choice but to surrender. McCain broke his legs on landing, but proved unusual courage in the years of his confinement.
 Mark Galli. “Much Ado About Trump and His Supporters,” The Galli Report, Dec 27, 2019.
 What is often overlooked is that Trump’s support among African-American Evangelicals and Pentecostals is quite low.
 Steven Strang, God and Donald Trump (np: Frontline, 2017). And, The Trump Aftershock (np: Frontline, 2018).
 Demos Shakarion, The Happiest People on Earth (Old Tappen: Chosen, 1975), 19-22.
 William De Arteaga, “Prophecy in the Church: Pathway to Revival.” Pneuma Review, Feb 18, 2016.
For a balanced, extensive and sympathetic view of Montanism, see the work by R. A Knox, Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the history of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1950), chapter 3. The Wikipedia article on the Montanists is also balanced and excellent.
 John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries: The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians (Tr. Ross Mackenzie; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960) 376ff.
Hans von Campenhausen, Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Church in the First Three Centuries. Trans. J.A. Baker, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1969) chapter 8 “Prophets and Teachers in the Second Century.” Dr. William Spencer of Gordon-Cornwall Seminary believes that already by the end of the 3rd Century the gifts of the Spirit were waning. See his article, “The Chaining of the Church, Christian History #17 “Women in the Early Church,” posted 1/1/88.
 The crown jewel of Catholic spiritual direction and discernment literature is Augustine Poulain’s, The Graces of Interior Prayer. (St. Louis, B. Herder, 1910). Still in print in various editions.
 In particular, Edwards’ classic, Distinguishing Marks of the Spirit of God. I treat this issue in my work, Quenching the Spirit (Lake Mary: Creation House, 1996), chapter 3.
 On the rise and fall of this revival see: Barry W. Hamilton, “The Corsicana Enthusiasts: A Pre-Pentecostal Millennial Sect,” Wesleyan Theological Journal, 39 #1 (Spring, 2004) 173-193.
 Old Tappen: Spire Books, 1963.
 David Wilkerson, The Vision (New York: Pyramid, 1974).
 David Wilkerson, “The Coming Persecution,” Tape #DW-8, Springs of Living Water tape library. In author’s possession.
 “Persecution for Charismatic Catholics?” New Covenant, (Jan. 1974) 13.
 Karl Rhaner, “Visions and Prophesies,” in Inquiries (New York: Herder and Herder, 1964).
 I am of the opinion, which the French Christian philosopher, Blaise Pascal, first put forth, that the penal gland is the brain’s portal to communication with the spiritual world: either the Holy Spirit of unholy spirits. Thus the demonic can use the same portal and brain circuitry to suggest his diabolical messages just as the Holy Spirit can give us inspiration.
 Mark Taylor, and Mary Colbert, The Trump Prophecies (Crane: Defender, 2017
 Ibid., 132.
 Taylor, Trump, 149
 Ibid. 165.
 William De Arteaga, “The Sinfulness and Destructiveness of Conspiracy theories,” Pneuma Review, June 29, 2015. In this article I take special effort to deconstruct this ridiculous conspiracy theory ore precisely. http://pneumareview.com/the-sinfulness-and-destructiveness-of-conspiracy-theories/
 Here is just one of many examples that could be cited: Robert Farley “Another Dubious Trump Attack on ‘Fake News’” Fact Check.org, posted 12 Dec, 2019. https://www.factcheck.org/2019/12/another-dubious-trump-attack-on-fake-news/
 I treat the spiritual negativity of the Republican Party to its slow and steady adoption of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, “Objectivism” and is specifically anti-Christian morality, as in her famous novels Atlas Shrugged, etc. See my “The Spiritual Decline and Fall of the Republican Party,” This was one of the blogs that was removed by Blogger, but now available at Troy Day’s web site: http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-republican-party/
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.