Some Religious-Right Figures See Apocalyptic Dreams of Violence and Civil War As Warning About 2020 Election

Dana Coverstone, pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Burkesville, KY, has made a splash with his apocalyptic dreams about 2020 (Photo from Living Word Ministries website)

Kentucky pastor Dana Coverstone became a religious-right mini-celebrity when an online video he posted on June 25 describing a series of violent apocalyptic dreams he has had about 2020 went viral, racking up more than 1.5 million views online. While some “prophetic” figures have challenged Coverstone’s message and his call for people to stock up on guns, ammunition, food, and gold, some promoters of a pro-Trump prayer rally on the National Mall in September have suggested that Coverstone’s most recent dream provides a divine endorsement of their efforts.

Coverstone says he experienced a series of dreams beginning in December that prophesied the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic unrest that unfolded in response to George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer. More recent dreams, he says, have predicted greater violence this fall, foretold economic hyperinflation and a move to a cashless society, and featured the appearance of Russian and Chinese soldiers. Coverstone says he believes his dreams were sent to him by God to “wake the church up.”

In recent weeks, Coverstone has repeatedly told his story on religious-right shows and podcasts, including Jim Bakker’s—where host Mondo de la Vega used it to promote the show’s prepper food buckets—and Cindy Jacobs’ Prophetic Dateline, where Jacobs connected Coverstone’s call for prayer in September to “The Return” rally being put together by End Times author Jonathan Cahn, QAnon-promoting activist Kevin Jessip, and other prominent religious-right leaders who see spiritual warfare as necessary to getting President Donald Trump reelected, and therefore set the stage for spiritual revival in the U.S.

Among those who have covered Coverstone’s dreams—and the debate and criticism they have generated among some competing apostles and prophets for leaving Christians fearful and hopeless—is Charisma, the stridently Trump-supporting media outlet with a largely Pentecostal and Charismatic audience. CEO Steven Strang, author of several books about God, Trump and evangelicals, believes that God intends for Trump to be reelected. In early July, Strang devoted a couple episodes of his podcast to discussing Coverstone’s dreams and the reactions they generated among other religious-right figures. Strang mentioned former Trump campaign adviser Frank Amedia’s recent prophesy that God will pluck a sinking Trump out of the swamp in September and rescue his presidency.

Last weekend, Charisma promoted a “prophetic vision” of author and film maker Derrick Gates and linked to a podcast in which Gates described an “encounter” he had with God on June 24—the day before Coverstone’s video went online–about a coming civil war in the U.S. In Gates’ “encounter,” he said God showed him what could happen “if godly men and women do not make a change right now.”

‘Violence breeds violence. Blood is coming,’ says the Lord. ‘Civil war is at the doorstep. The spread of socialism will cause right-wing extremists to fire back against the likes of antifa and the Muslim Brotherhood. More moderate conservatives will be caught in the middle of the bloodbath and will be forced to take sides in order to survive. A mass exodus will happen in the western states, as moderate Christians will be thought of as terrorists by the left-wing radicals. For their own safety, conservatives will flee inward to the Midwest. New York will completely fall into anarchy. Behind closed doors, dark deals are being made. The hand of Satan himself is guiding the hand of the left … Antifa and socialism will continue to cause chaos in liberal cities. That will pave the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to step in and police the cities with Sharia law. Christians have never experienced the kind of persecution in the United States as what could come to our doorsteps. … The blood will run through the streets in a way we have never seen it.

Gates said the vision was a warning of what could happen in America and a call for Christians to come together in prayer. He also asked for donations to support his efforts to take back “the media and entertainment mountain.” Gates’s podcast “Unleashed” is part of the Charisma Podcast Network and he claimed on Saturday’s podcast that the video version of the podcast that he shares on YouTube is “actually going to be starting to go onto several TV networks across the world.” On his podcast, Gates describes himself as “a former drug boss that died and was brought back by Jesus Himself.” On Charisma, his bio says that he is “submitted to apostle/prophet Jennifer LeClaire,” a former Charisma senior editor.

Lance Wallnau, who teaches that Trump was anointed by God, told his listeners in a rambling monologue about Coverstone that he wasn’t “buying it” and suggested that Coverstone is reading too many newspapers and that they are putting ideas into his head. He cited biblical precedent to suggest that Coverstone’s dreams are not prophesying events that are predestined to happen, but a warning about what could happen if the church supports the wrong choice on Election Day.

On the same video, Wallnau declared himself “stunned” by the “weakness” of some Republicans’ support for Trump. “We got to drag their sorry carcasses over the finish line in November, but this is the last time,” Wallnau said. Quoting 16th Century Protestant reformer John Knox saying, “Give me Scotland or I die,” Wallnau added:

We got to get some Christians to say, ‘Gimme America or I die. Give me this country.’ You know why? Because the nations belong to Jesus. They don’t belong to the devil. They don’t belong to the Antichrist and we’re not getting out of here—that’s not our strategy. They belong to Jesus. We’ll talk about the Rapture and everything else later. I totally believe in it. I believe in overcomers’ Rapture, not a wimpy wiped out Rapture. I think he’s looking for a radiant bride, not some sloppy chick that’s dressing for other guys.

Wallnau’s reference to the Rapture reflected a complicated tangle of beliefs among evangelicals about the unfolding of the End Times. Wallnau and dominionists associated with the New Apostolic Reformation tend to dismiss the belief that God will “rapture”—take into heaven—Christians before a prophesied great tribulation, arguing that it makes Christians passive and unmotivated to engage in politics and spiritual warfare. As Wallnau’s comments suggest, some dominionist leaders believe that Jesus will not return to a defeated church but a triumphant, dominion-taking one.