• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Christian Right Books Tout Claim David Wilkerson Prophesied Covid-19 Pandemic in 1986

A book blurb:

God, Trump, and COVID-19

This book is a timely follow up to God, Trump and the 2020 Election that reveals insider information about China, the virus, and the ever-increasing stakes of the upcoming election. It will answer the question for the Christian believers (and seekers) of where God is in all this? It provides an unreported 1986 prophecy by the late David Wilkerson about a plague coming that would shut down the government as well as churches and bars, including shaking New York City as it’s never been shaken. Wilkerson said this plague would force believers into radical prayer that will spark an awakening–something echoed by Christian leaders and prophets.

Just as the economy was booming and Donald Trump was fixing long-term problems and beating back attacks from his opponents, a brand-new virus shakes up everything including the outcome of this election. The author has inside information about what happened in China early in the pandemic and what went wrong. He even documents (day by day in the appendix) what happened and how Donald Trump has led the nation in this time of crisis.

The author is Christian media mogul Stephen Strang, and a copy of his God, Trump and the 2020 Election was waved around by Trump at Davos, as I noted here.

Strang has already published some supposed “insider information about China” in columns for Charisma News – he is particularly reliant on the Christian Right activist Frank Amedia (blogged here), who claims to be in contact with Christians in China. Amedia says that Chinese Christians are experiencing miraculous healings, and he promotes as fact the theory that the virus emerged from the Wuhan lab. He has also provided Strang with the false information that Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first identified the new illness, was a Christian (unsourced, but probably based on a fake deathbed testimony that was doing the rounds a few weeks ago).

The supposed prophecy attributed to David Wilkerson, meanwhile, has only recently come to light via the “End Times” Christian Zionist evangelist Mike Evans. Assuming it is genuinely based on something that Wilkerson actually said, the context is obviously AIDS, which was hitting New York badly in the mid-1980s. As I noted previously, Wilkerson was always predicting calamities, and he would certainly have imagined a downward spiral rather than the development of effective treatments. Supposed prophecies, whether from the Bible or elsewhere, should always be understood in relation to the times in which they appear.

In 1973, Wilkerson published The Vision, straplined as “A terrifying prophecy of Doomsday that is starting to happen now!” He died in an unprophesied car crash 38 years later, and his New York Times obit noted that just a month before his death he was promising that “an earth-shattering calamity is about to happen”, with “riots and fires in cities worldwide”.

However, Strang has competition – Evans (who in 2017 presented an award to Trump) has a book of his own covering the same ground, titled A Great Awakening is Coming. According to the blurb:

In 1986 David Wilkerson gave Mike Evans an incredible prophecy: “I see a plague coming on the world, and the bars and churches and government will shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless Believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles, and repentance will be the cry from the man of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world.” In A Great Awakening Is Coming, Dr. Evans shares how God is working to stir revival in the hearts of people during a time of struggle. Sharing Scripture, inspirational stories, and accounts of awakening throughout history, he offers hope that the Lord has not left us, but is preparing us for a coming Great Awakening.

Apparently an advert for the book has appeared on Fox News.

The phrase “Great Awakening” here is most likely a reference to a new period of Christian revivalism, akin to the “Great Awakenings” of the past, although I wouldn’t discount the possibility that there is also subtle pitch towards enthusiasts of the millennial “QAnon” or “Q” conspiracy theory, who look forward to a “Great Awakening” in which elites and opponents of Trump will be exposed as child-killing Satanist paedophiles and put to death.

For some reason, works of popular prophecy that relate to some current crisis tend to appear behind the curve rather than ahead of it; from 2016 I recall a book entitled Ebola and the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse.