May I express two opinions:
ONE: I am not a hard “cessationist”, that is, there is not a single Bible verse that says the gift of prophecy ended with the apostles. Not Hebrews 2:4. Not 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. Certainly not Revelation 22:18-19. If cessationism is not explicitly taught in Scripture, I have no right to teach it as so. In fact, I have a small Word file on my laptop where I recorded detailed prophecies, about my person, by two Latin Americans – they were astoundingly precise, and they came to pass within a brief time. Today’s post has nothing to do with people like these.
TWO: I believe that many of the “predictions” I hear from specially-anointed-rhema-declaring-prophetic-apostolic-send-me-your-money leaders are random thoughts, or too vague to be disproven, shared with their followers only after the events take place. I wrote up an article on these “prophets” with regard to their statements about Hurricane Irma in 2017. As Jeremiah wrote about these people, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.”’
Now that we have cleared that up: On January 21, 2020, I sat down and penned the following “predictions” of what would happen in 2020. I quote myself from my file:
What’s my scorecard? 100%!
✓ Superbowl Feb 2 – Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20! Fulfilled.
✓ Earthquake – the largest earthquake of 2020 was the Alaskan. s.8 (22 July 2020), M7.6 (19 October 2020). San Andreas quakes spark alarm. Fulfilled.
✓ Discovery of earthlike planets outside our solar system. Fulfilled.
✓ Massive tornados in the American Midwest. Fulfilled, there was a raft of killer tornados
✓ Election: On Nov 3 Donald Trump will go down in defeat, although he will demand a recount. Fulfilled.
A perfect score! Although, oddly enough, I missed the big headline of that year, the COVID pandemic! Which a true prophet almost certainly would have mentioned. (In January 2020 I still believed that it would blow over in a couple of months.)
Of course, for those of you with inquiring minds, these predictions might not seem too spectacular.
SUPERBOWL – by January 21, 2020, I already knew that Kansas City was going to play in the Superbowl, so I had a 50/50 chance – if I had predicted their victory a few years earlier, it would have been more impressive.
EARTHQUAKE – there are Pacific Rim earthquakes every year!
EXOPLANETS – they had been discovering them for years, so of course they would discover hundreds and hundreds in 2020! As of this writing (March 3, 2022) there have been 4980 known exoplanets. In 2020 it was announced that in just one case, a single student had discovered 17!
TORNADOS – there are tornados in the Midwest every year!
ELECTION – notice that I didn’t say he would lose to Joe Biden, since it was not certain in the previous January who would be running against Trump.
And one factor more! I was entirely honest when I said, I give you my solemn word that I am recording this on January 21, 2020… However – and some of you guessed this already – these were not the only predictions I wrote down. Here is a fuller list, where clearly I was allowing myself breathing space!
So, I told you the truth, nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth! And this is exactly what happens: people unveil that they had really foretold the future, but only after the future has come!
- One example: before the 2016 election, some “prophesied” that Trump would win.
- Others, that Clinton would win.
But you and I know what happened: the Clinton predictors quietly faded into the background; the Trump predictors went on to a reward of fame and profit.
The internet never forgets. If you see someone making an astounding prediction, even one that comes true, it’s worth asking: but what were your other predictions?
COVID. After the pandemic, some people (falsely) reported that David Wilkerson had predicted it many years ago. He had not.
The fall of the Soviet Union. A Norwegian professor predicted it! And so he gained fame and influence. Nevertheless, in the early 2000s he predicted that because of George W. Bush, there would be a collapse of US power by 2020 – I hope people remember this and give less credit to his prophecies!
“How I predicted future events! (Or did I?)” by Gary S. Shogren, PhD in New Testament Exegesis, Professor of Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica