For Christian Prophets Who Predicted Donald Trump's Reinstatement in 2021, No Apologies

Whatever happened to the "Trump prophets," those charismatic/Pentecostal Christians who said that God told them that President Donald Trump would win a second term?

There were hundreds of prophets—famous and obscure—whose predictions about Trump being restored to his rightful place in the White House provided a theological framework for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The smoke had barely cleared when a few of the prophets repented for being wrong. Their websites and Facebook feeds were inundated with vulgarities, recriminations and even death threats. Jeremiah Johnson, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based prophet who said Trump would win in 2020, admitted on January 7 that he was wrong and said he got "multiple death threats" and "thousands" of angry emails. He added that he "never dreamed" that such a barrage of "satanic attack and witchcraft" would come from charismatic/Pentecostal people.

He also said in a Facebook post, "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."

Michael Brown, a leader in a 1990s movement known as the Brownsville Revival and a Charlotte-based scholar with a decades-long history of prophetic involvement, said it "was the largest-scale deception I've seen in 49 years of following Jesus."

Die-hard prophets began shifting their timelines backward. After President Joe Biden was inaugurated on January 20, some prophets said that Trump would be restored in March. Robin Bullock, a pastor from Birmingham, Alabama, resorted to Shakespeare to prophesy that Biden would be out by the "ides of March." Others said that the military was going to remove Biden by the end of April, at the latest, or that Trump was still president in an alternate spiritual reality taking place in heaven.

A year later, most of the prophets who made these predictions have not apologized.

Rather, they have dug down and are fighting to protect their relevance despite the massive failure of their movement to predict who would get inaugurated as the 46th president. They thrive in a political climate where nearly 1 in five Republicans believe (as of polling last month) that Trump would be reinstated in 2021.

Michael Brown
Religious scholar Michael Brown says predictions by charismatic/Pentecostal prophets that Donald Trump's presidency would be restored in 2021 are "the largest-scale deception I've seen in 49 years of following Jesus." Photo courtesy of the FIRE School of Ministry

James Beverley, a research professor at Tyndale University in Toronto and author of the 2020 book God's Man in the White House: Donald Trump in Modern Christian Prophecy, said that by August, prophets had wised up about naming exact dates.

"If you name a specific date, you can fall pretty flat when Trump doesn't show up," he told Newsweek.

Some still believe that Trump will be miraculously reinstalled. Others have joined the anti-vaccination movement. Others are pouring their energies into revival meetings, and one is broadly hinting that Biden will die in office.

Charlie Shamp, president of Destiny Encounters International in Moravian Falls, North Carolina, who prophesied last year that Trump's eventual victory would hinge on certain events in Pennsylvania, was in the crowd outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In a September 16 YouTube broadcast honoring the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, he obliquely predicted Biden's death in office.

"I saw the flag of the United States begin to lower, and I saw Joe Biden's health diminish," he said.

"The administration that sits in the White House is under the judgment of God, and we are going to see the health of the man who sits in the White House begin to diminish. And I saw the American flag lowered to half-staff."

As if to press home the point, on December 19 he posted on Instagram photos from last March of Biden stumbling on the steps of Air Force One. He wrote: "I heard the Lord say, 'A greater fall is coming to Biden.'"

Kat Kerr, a pink-haired preacher from Jacksonville, Florida, who says she has frequent visions of heaven, declared a year ago that God told her that not only had Trump won "in a landslide" but he would serve for eight years as president. She kept to this narrative throughout 2021.

On October 20, she told the Christian YouTube channel ElijahStreams that even if Trump is not restored for "a couple of years," America will erupt in celebration when it finally happens. She saw all this during a recent vision, she told host Steve Shultz.

"I literally saw the celebration in the streets," she said. "God said, 'I will show you. I will show you the victory, I'll show you the celebration.'"

Hank Kunneman, the pastor of the Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska, is another prophet who kept moving the goalposts. After continually asserting that Trump had won and the election was stolen, he told Shultz in September that God was going to turn things around.

"We've got four months that's going to finish up this year, [and] God has a certain thing that he is poised to do and he is doing. So don't give up," Kunneman said in a transcript released by Right Wing Watch. "Don't think that the year is coming to a close and we aren't going to see the hand of God. No, it's going to continue, and it's going to be revealed in 2022."

As for those who would question his judgment, "God is testing us to see who's on the Lord's side right now," he said.

None of these individuals responded to requests from Newsweek for comment. Shultz has said he does not engage with the secular media.

Some outside the charismatic movement say they are furious at how many Pentecostal and charismatic leaders have not taken the prophetic errors seriously. Chris Rosebrough, a theologian and Lutheran pastor on the Minnesota-North Dakota state line who monitors prophets on his Pirate Christian Radio channel, excoriated false prophecies in a December 22 YouTube broadcast.

"People in the charismatic movement treat this as no big deal," he said. "They're kind of like the Black Knight in Monty Python: 'It's a mere flesh wound! Come back, I'll bite your knees off.' But no, this is dead serious.

"I do not despise prophecy. I despise false prophecy. Big difference," he said.

Last spring, some of the elders in the prophetic movement took a major step in reining in their errant members by drawing up a "prophetic standards" statement. Those calling themselves prophets had to agree, by signing the document, to allow their prophecies to be evaluated by peers in the movement and, if wrong, to publicly apologize, thereby "demonstrating genuine contrition before God and people."

Some 883 people eventually signed, but the movement's most extreme elements have not.

Johnny Enlow is a Pentecostal pastor who proclaimed (also on ElijahStreams) that Trump had won at least 88 million votes (he actually got 74.2 million to Biden's 81.2 million) and that both New York and California "went red" (they didn't). On January 29, he said that Trump would be restored to power and that Biden's inauguration "doesn't really mean anything." He also said there would be "two Trumps" in office at some point; as in the former president and one of his sons.

Enlow is known for an infamous April 30 Facebook post describing Trump wearing a golden crown.

"As I was praying today, I saw a vision of DJT seated on a throne holding a golden scepter," he wrote. "He also had a golden crown on his head. This, I was shown, is his PRESENT status from heaven's perspective.... Heaven does not recognize [Biden] having any scepter nor wearing any crown. From heaven's perspective, there is only the legitimacy of DJT."

Moreover, the Trump prophets were accurate, he said.

"God has assigned a massive contingency of angels to that scepter and to that crown. They have not ceased assignment and anointed seers can see this. To repeat, the prophetic word has been true all the way from Nov 3. On that date, DJT won the election 'as spoken by His servants the prophets,' IT WAS FULFILLED.

"The only thing presently yet to be made visible is will an outrageous steal hold for a whole term. It will not! The answer from God to the question of when is—SOON. Do I have a date on that SOON? No, I don't," Enlow wrote.

On a July 2 ElijahStreams broadcast, he announced that "something's going to show up" on the Fourth of July to signal Trump's return to the White House. But nothing did.

There have been some casualties in the movement. In March, Johnson got out of the prophecy business entirely by shutting down Jeremiah Johnson Ministries and starting Altar Global, a group devoted to preparing Christians for the Second Coming.

Jeff Jansen, a co-senior leader of Global Fire Ministries in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who also predicted the military would reinstall Trump at the end of April, was asked to quit his position in May. The reason was "for unscriptural and unbiblical behavior" that was part of "a pattern of making poor moral choices, and bad coping mechanisms, character flaws," according to a statement from his church.

A June 3 update said he had made no attempt to reconcile, repent or show any remorse" for his actions, nor had he reconciled with his wife, family or church.

But he's been replaced by new and equally fervent voices in the movement. After wrongly prophesying that Trump would be restored in April, Tacoma, Washington, evangelist Nathan French reset a return date for late 2021 or early 2022.

"The Lord is going to bring Trump back in," French proclaimed on November 5 on ElijahStreams. "I believe that he knows deep down in his spirit, he knows that God has chosen him, not someone else.

"He's flawed for sure—I don't believe in some of the things he says about vaccines—but the truth is, God called him as the trump card, and he's gonna throw that card on the table in just the next few months, and you're going to see how God is actually going to take back what the enemy tried to unauthorize, he tried to steal, and he tried to manipulate, and the whole system of how we elect people in the future will be restored."

Asked by Newsweek about his wrong prophecy of last spring, French responded by email that the election was fraudulent. "When cheating is involved, it is not counted as a win but a disqualification," he wrote.

'So should there be accountability in the prophetic community? Absolutely! Those who make predictions that are wrong should speak up and apologize. But never apologize for getting it right―instead let things play out."

Alarmed by such reasoning, Michael Brown, who was one of the originators of the prophetic standards document, posted on Facebook and a November 15 column titled "Whatever Happened to Trump Being Restored to the White House This Year?"

"Can we be realistic and recognize that Trump will not be restored to the White House by some kind of military act or miraculous event (other than simply running again in 2024)?" he asked in the column.

"My only concern is that those who were deceived or misled or misinformed would come to grips with reality, learn from their mistakes, and come out as better men and women for it," he wrote. "As for those leaders who misled or misinformed others, now would be a good time to say, 'It looks like I was wrong, and I apologize for speaking falsely and getting your hopes up for nothing. I intend to learn from this and not repeat such errors.'''

Although not meant as mockery, many commentators, especially those on, took it as such and lambasted Brown for betraying the cause.

"It appears that behind the scenes there are still many who 'believe the prophets,'" Brown told Newsweek.

And they always will, said Leah Payne, an associate professor of theology at Oregon's George Fox University and its Portland Seminary. A century ago, some believers wrongly predicted that Wilhelm II, the German kaiser, was the Antichrist; others saw President Franklin D. Roosevelt as filling that bill. Despite neither being correct, "the idea that God was working in the world by giving practitioners insight sustained and energized these communities," she said in an email.

Likewise with the current situation.

Outsiders may expect Pentecostals and charismatics to "become disillusioned and reject prophets," Payne added, "but what usually happens is that prophets retool the message, or their followers reinterpret the vision to fit current events."