Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Photo: W. Scott McGill/Shutterstock)
By Peter Montgomery / 02.21.2018
While thousands of conservative political activists gather just outside Washington, D.C., this week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a gathering of spiritual warriors will pack the Trump International Hotel just blocks from the White House. The sold-out event—The Turnaround: An Appeal to Heaven National Gathering—has been organized by a group of dominionists who consider themselves to be modern-day apostles and prophets, including Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs and Lou Engle.
Event leaders are associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes a triumphant, dominion-taking church will help bring about the return of Christ, and many are part of POTUS Shield, a network of self-described apostles and prophets who believe President Trump was anointed by God to help bring that all about.
Sheets, the event’s main promoter, believes the event will play a prophetic role in getting the church to “function as Christ’s Ekklesia, the representatives of His Kingdom government on earth; as such, we will expose the enemies of God, disrupt their plans, enforce Heaven’s rule, and reform America.” As he described it in 2015, “We must realize that we are God’s governing force on the earth, which have been given keys of authority from Him to legislate from the spiritual realm.”
“It seems the spiritual airwaves are filled with prophetic insight regarding this gathering,” Sheets wrote excitedly in an email sent over the weekend. He told a story about a dream that a “trusted prophet” had, which featured hundreds of angels with tuning forks in their hands transforming into an army of special forces.
Sheets is big on the concept of the Ekklesia, a Greek word that is traditionally interpreted in scripture as “the church.” But Sheets imbues the term with governmental authority:
One of the great shifts in process within the Body of Christ is regarding our role as Christ’s Ekklesia (Church). Most of you probably know that in Christ’s day, the Word did not mean a religious service, organization, or building; it was a legislative assembly. We are “representatives” of Christ’s Kingdom government on earth.
Certain streams of the Body of Christ have functioned well as His family and Bride. Few of us, however, have operated at a high level as His Ekklesia. Binding and loosing, opening and closing spiritual doors, releasing Heaven’s decrees to earth—these governmental functions have occurred only at fairly low levels.
This is about to change.
The turnaround for America is only part of God’s plan for this gathering. One prophecy concerning the upcoming Turnaround conference stated that the worldwide prayer movement will be launched into its next phase. Functioning as Christ’s Ekklesia IS that new phase! The Church is about to move into a completely new level of enforcing Kingdom rule and the will of God on earth.
Sheets considers it interesting that the meeting will take place physically between the FBI and the Department of Justice, “two of the agencies from which a few corrupt individuals have tried to destroy the president.”
We will operate in our Kingdom authority while there, breaking the back of this attempt to render President Trump ineffective. We will decree the exposing and failure of all attempts to sabotage his presidency. We will release favor over him, enabling him to accomplish everything for which God sent him to the White House—including the turning of the Supreme Court! President Trump will fulfill all of God’s purposes for him.
“I think it’s so prophetic that we’re doing this in the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.,” Sheets told fellow prophet Steve Shultz in a January interview. Sheets says that when organizers were looking for a place to hold their event in DC, some venues told them they weren’t welcome. They worried about approaching the Trump International because it is more expensive than anywhere else, he said. But after his team reached out, someone from the hotel called the next morning and said they knew all about the Appeal to Heaven, wanted it in the hotel, and lowered their prices to make it happen.
The event’s February 22 starting date also holds prophetic significance for Sheets and other organizers. Sheets calls the Bible verse Isaiah 22:22 “the key to governmental authority,” describing its power in 2014:
Fifteen years ago, God unequivocally and undeniably gave me Isaiah 22:22 as a life-verse. “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open” (NASB). After 40 plus confirmations over a two-week period—yes, more than 40—I became thoroughly convinced this verse was both a promise and a weapon for me. I have since used the verse hundreds of times throughout America—in all 50 states and in Washington D.C.—to open and close spiritual doors for the Lord.
Lou Engle, who has called on Christians to pray that God would “sweep” the Supreme Court and other federal courts of justices and judges who uphold Roe v. Wade, operates through a group called The Call, which sent supporters a February 7 email about the prophetic nature of the event and the choice of February 22 for its opening. The email asked readers to “take up our rod of authority” and urged people to pray for President Trump:
Pray for the exposing of any lies and subversive plans arrayed against the president. Decree that he will perform all of God’s pleasure while in office (including the appointment of pro-life judges, establishing of Jerusalem, etc.) Isaiah 44:28. Decree that every demonic scheme to entrap or impeach him would come to nothing. Declare a hedge of protection around the president according to Isaiah 44.
Sheets believes that God has a special plan for Trump. “I’m very confident that there is an encounter with God that this man is going to have,” Sheets said of Trump, an encounter that will transform him into a modern-day John the Revelator, author of the apocalyptic biblical book of Revelation. “I already believe God is using him…I believe He wants to make him a father of this nation, for this nation, to this nation.”
Sheets and others have been sending weekly notices calling for prayer and inviting people to take part in prayer calls for gathering. The prayer focus for this week included a specific request that the VIPs just around the corner would make an appearance: “Pray that President Trump and Vice President Michael Pence will honor the invitation and come, even if just briefly.”
Last week’s preparatory prayer call covered conference logistics and prayers that armies of angels would attack the enemies of God, “anti-Christ spirits that want to derail the destiny of this nation.” One leader prayed that God would rebuild and restore America “according to Your original intent.” Another who led prayers on the call said, “We declare it’s no longer the District of Columbia, it’s the District of Christ!”
This isn’t the first time Sheets and Jacobs have held an event in D.C. Back in 2012, they teamed up with the Family Research Council to launch an election-year project. At the launch event, Sheets declared “I’m trying to raise up an army!” and asked God to “raise up kingdom warriors that are ready to do whatever it takes to bring forth your kingdom rule in the earth.” Their pre-election prayer rally that year did not have its intended consequences, but 2016 was a different story.
Originally published by Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, a program of Open Society Foundations, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.