Posted Nov 30, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

For several weeks now, 2 Chronicles 20:20 has been quoted repeatedly, urging us to believe God’s prophets when they say that Trump will serve a second term while also rebuking those who question what the prophets say. That is a very serious misuse of that scripture. Please allow me to explain.

But first, understand this. I fully affirm prophetic ministry today and have been teaching on it since the 1980s. I have worked with New Testament prophets for years, I have been asked to be a mentor to some prophets, and at times, I have been used prophetically as well. So, my issue is NOT with the validity of prophetic ministry today. And my issue here is not with whether these prophets heard that Trump would serve a second term, nor I am debating here whether the election was stolen. My issue is with the current misuse of “believe the prophets and you will prosper.” 

You see, in the Old Testament, the average Israelite could not hear the voice of God for himself or herself, since they were not indwelt by the Spirit as we are today. So, the prophets played a special role in the nation, giving them life and death prophetic words. That’s also why prophets who prophesied falsely were held to strict standards – like stoning.

But today, we don’t stone those who prophesy falsely because they are not held to the same standard. Instead, in these New Testament times, the Spirit has been poured out on all flesh and all believers, potentially, can prophesy. More importantly, all of us can hear the voice of God for ourselves. We don’t need to go to a prophet for a word because the Spirit speaks to all of us. (And of course, we have THE Word, the Bible.)

So, in the New Testament different prophets speak, then their words are weighed carefully by others. Everything is tested, and we hold fast to what is good. We are not simply told to “believe the prophets.” Again, that is not a New Testament concept.

It’s also important to understand that prophets do not lead the Church. They are simply one aspect of the fivefold ministry, and, while they may receive revelation (as one pastor who worked with some powerful prophets explained), they may not have the interpretation, and they often do not have the application. That’s why prophetic leaders are simply one part of a larger leadership team, from whom direction should be given to the Church.

Interestingly, in the last year, there were no major prophets who brought public warnings about COVID-19. (Some said the Lord showed them privately, and some may have spoken of a coming shaking, but none publicly prophesied the pandemic in advance.) In addition, some prominent prophets said that the virus would dissipate beginning mid-April, during Passover, and these words have been played on internet over and again to make charismatics look bad and even to make all believers look bad. So, if ever there was a wrong time to be preaching “believe the prophets,” it is now. As a group, they hardly have a perfect track record.

That being said, if the Lord has spoken to your heart that God wants Trump in office, and if you are convinced that there is fraud, by all means, give yourselves to prayer for God’s righteous outcome. Go for it! But under no circumstances should you judge others who have not heard God say this, telling them they must believe the prophets. Hardly. And what about Jesus-loving, Spirit-filled believers who contacted me privately BEFORE the elections to tell me they believed God showed them Biden would win? Do we tell them to ignore the voice of the Spirit in their own lives and to believe other prophets, even though these prophets do not have a perfect track record?

Perhaps you recognize me as a teacher of the Word but you think I’m lacking in prophetic insight. That’s fine, since I write these words as a teacher of the Word and as a child of God. In short, we must not confuse Old Testament prophetic ministry with New Testament prophetic ministry. And if you want to use an Old Testament text like 2 Chronicles 20:20 (which, by the way, was spoken by the king, not the prophets) and you want to have the authority of Old Testament prophets, then you’ll have to accept the Old Testament penalties for false prophecy too. Be careful what you wish for.

One last note: when you read the Bible, you see that it was often one prophet, like Jeremiah or Micaiah, who was right while the rest of the prophets, the overwhelming majority, were wrong. So, just because there’s a consensus among charismatic prophets doesn’t mean their words are true. Not only so, but it could be those who make us uncomfortable and challenge the crowd who are the ones speaking for God.

When it comes to the current prophetic words, I would love to see them prove true, since friends of mine have predicted that Trump would have a second term and I personally voted for Trump. And again, if there is electoral fraud, I pray it will be exposed – and exposed quickly. But don’t let anyone tell you that you must “believe the prophets.” You have your own walk with the Lord, and as one of Jesus’ sheep, you can hear His voice. For a recent video teaching I did on this subject, click on this link: https://youtu.be/xjZBB0UnKUw

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Laurie posted a comment · Dec 05, 2020
I always appreciate Dr. Brown's insights and voice of reason. I voted (both times) for Donald Trump because of his platform, not his personality. If nothing else, I hope (and still do) that the Lord would allow him a second term to keep the approaching socialism and loss of our freedoms at bay for a while longer. But my trust is neither in Donald Trump nor the prophets. I was hoping the prophetic words were accurate ( and still do hope), but men and women are flawed and make errors. Thanks, Dr. Brown, for your clear and carefully written words, as always.
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neptune posted a comment · Nov 30, 2020
SteveW wrote: "As I have said before, it is inexcusable that Dr Brown is still undecided on whether there has been election fraud or not. Please stop churning out Op-Eds at such a rate that you can't find the time to look around at what is actually going on." Good points, SteveW. Sad to say, so much of what columnists write—even Christian columnists—is blather. In Eccl. 5:2, it says, "Let your words be few." How can you do that if you're a columnist? Good question. That's why I would not want to have to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ having been a columnist on earth! LOL. Columnists are basically just paid to gab—not to edify. It doesn't matter whether they have anything important to say—they just have to spit something out. Well, quality is a lot more important than quantity! :) SteveW also wrote: "For the benefit of your readers who usually enjoy your writings, like me, you really need to be more informed on this whole subject." Excellent advice. In the meantime, we as readers have to be very discerning about what we choose to take in. This is called "guarding our gates." We have to be careful about what we see (which includes reading, videos, TV, etc.) and about what we hear. Anyway, some of Brown's columns are excellent. Unfortunately, some of his more recent ones about the election seem to be closer to hot air. ;) In that case, it's best to just skip 'em.
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SteveW posted a comment · Nov 30, 2020
As I have said before, it is inexcusable that Dr Brown is still undecided on whether there has been election fraud or not. Please stop churning out Op-Eds at such a rate that you can't find the time to look around at what is actually going on. It does not take much in the way of due diligence to see the reality of the massive fraud. I also think that Dr Brown is confusing the "pandemic" with the "plandemic", which is being used to usher in the Great Reset by the globalists (and no this is not a conspiracy theory). For the benefit of your readers who usually enjoy your writings, like me, you really need to be more informed on this whole subject.
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Nov 30, 2020
What makes a "prophet"? Who decides? Those are far more important (and never answered) questions.