April 22, 2016, Charisma magazine ran a story about a prophetic vision Mark Taylor had supposedly predicting a Donald Trump Presidency. Taylor claims while watching Donald Trump in an interview in 2011 when Trump was contemplating a presidential bid in 2012, that he was “listening to the president.” Trump decided against a presidential run then, so Taylor thinks his prophecy applies to Trump’s campaign now.
I do not care to comment on the content of the prophecy itself. If you want to know what Taylor said you can read it for yourself in the article on Charisma’s website. I want to address the matter of modern day prophecies in general.
I believe the canon of Scripture is closed. By that I mean those books we accept as being inspired by God and constitute a revelation of His holy nature and divine will are complete without need for addition or deletion.
But I do not discount the possibility of modern day prophetic utterances when I read “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets,” Amos 3:7. I realize Amos wrote this during a time when Scripture was being written and compiled, and he could be simply referring to that process, but the verse itself is a disclosure of God’s revelatory nature that transcends time and place.
I believe God directs the course of human history and if He chooses He can reveal what will transpire, but whatever He reveals will never be in conflict with what He has already revealed in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are our guide to discern between truth and falsehood, wherever, whenever, by whomever it is said, prophetic or otherwise.
Prophecy is never intended to promote the fortune or ambitions of the speaker or his audience. Mark Taylor is not a pastor of a mega-church promoting his newest book; he is a retired firefighter. This seems to fit the scriptural pattern of God using common people to accomplish uncommon things.
But there are other biblical patterns as well. In Scripture, prophecies regarding national and international issues were often uttered and written centuries before they transpired, removing the influence of the utterance from its ultimate fulfillment. In simple terms this means prophecy in Scripture could not be manipulated to be self-fulfilling.
This is what makes Taylor’s prophecy suspect in my mind; it has the potential to influence the electoral outcome of a current political campaign. Especially, in the mind of those who may hold his prophecy to be from God.
Paul told us to “not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully: hold fast to that which is good,” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21. Having examined Taylor’s prophecy, I cannot say whether it is or is not from God. So I will “hold fast to that which is good,” my own prayerful considerations.
There is enough mystery in the Scriptures, and enough of the mystic in me to accommodate prophetic utterances, but not to the contradiction of the Scriptures.