According to the Bible, a false prophet pretends to speak for God but, in reality, speaks for himself and is moved by his intentions and political commitments. (Jeremiah 14:13–15; 23; Ezekiel 13:2, 3, 10, 11).
Unlike Prophet Jeremiah, who had at least three false prophet antagonists; Ahab (Jeremiah 29:21), Azur (Jeremiah 28:1), and Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:5): Prophet Muhammad had lots of enemies in Makkah, but none of them were false prophets of the one and only God.
Yet today's False Prophets are getting more popular and had a hand in motivating the terrible events at the U.S. Capitol, according to Brad Christerson, a professor of sociology at Biola University in Southern California. Biola is a nationally ranked private Christian university and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges.
Professor Christerson has written a very perceptive article (in The Conversation) about the self-proclaimed 'prophets' from a small but growing sub-movement of evangelical Christians who provided religious motivation for the January 6, 2021 events at the U.S. Capitol. Since they think Donald Trump is God's chosen candidate, they believe any other candidate is illegitimate no matter what the vote totals show.
Many white evangelical leaders have provided religious justification and undying support for Trump's presidency, including his most racially incendiary rhetoric and policies. But Professor Christerson argues that a particular segment of white evangelicalism that he and his colleague Richard Flory call Independent Network Charismatic played a unique role in providing a spiritual justification for the movement to overturn the election, resulting in the storming of the Capitol.
Independent Network Charismatic Christianity is a group of high-profile independent leaders detached from any formal denomination yet cooperating in loose networks.
In the days and hours leading up to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the group Jericho March organized marches around the Capitol and Supreme Court building, praying for God to defeat the "dark and corrupt" forces that they claimed had stolen the election from God's anointed president – Donald Trump.
Jericho March is a loose coalition of Christian nationalists formed after the 2020 presidential election to overturn its results. Jericho March's main activity is organizing prayer marches around state Capitol buildings throughout the country after the election.
By imitating the "battle of Jericho" in the Bible, Jericho March members believe that their prayer marches will help defeat the corrupt forces they claim "stole" the election. They further believe that God will install Trump in his rightful place as president on January 20.
Their strategy is peaceful prayer marches. After the Capitol violence, they released this statement: "Jericho March denounces all acts of violence and destruction, including any that took place at the U.S. Capitol." There is no evidence that anyone affiliated with the Jericho March organization took part in the Capitol breach.
In most Charismatic churches, those who receive visions or direct words from God that make predictions that later correspond to events or have uncanny insights into people's lives, are seen to have the "gift of prophecy." Some particularly gifted "prophets" are seen as predicting world events and getting directions from God regarding entire nations.
Before the 2016 election, a group of Independent Network Charismatic "prophets" proclaimed Trump to be God's chosen candidate, similar to King Cyrus in the Bible, whom God used to restore Israel's nation. After their prophecies of Trump's winning the election came true, these "prophets" became enormously popular in Independent Network Charismatic Christianity.
Between 1970 to 2010, the number of regular attenders of U.S. Protestant churches as a whole shrank; while independent Charismatic churches, a category in which Independent Network Charismatic groups reside, grew in attendance by an average of 3.24% per year. According to the World Christian Database, there are now over 36 million people attending U.S. independent Charismatic churches – that is, those not affiliated with denominations.
Independent Network Charismatic promotes a form of Christian nationalism. The primary goal is not to build congregations or convert individuals but to bring heaven or God's intended perfect society to Earth by placing "kingdom-minded people" in powerful positions at the top of all sectors of society.
Many of those referred to as prophets in Independent Network Charismatic Christianity predicted another Trump victory in 2020. After he lost the election, they did not recant their prophecies. Still, they adopted Trump's conspiratorial rhetoric that the election was fraudulent. Many believe that the demonic forces that have stolen the election can still be defeated through prayer.
For Independent Network Charismatic Christianity's "prophets," Trump is God's chosen candidate to advance the kingdom of God in America, so any other candidate, no matter what the vote totals show, is illegitimate. According to Professor Christerson, these False Prophets provided religious motivation for the fight to overturn the election. Much more sinister elements are using their marches for their political purposes.
As Prophet Jesus warned his followers in the Gospel of Matthew: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (7:15) and "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many [believers]." (24:11)
"For there shall arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (24:24)