MF writes: “Do you have any information on a supposed Catholic SEER named Charlie Johnston? His name and dire coming vision of the year 2017 was shared with me. His message is dark and dire and honestly frightening. I wanted to see if there was any reliable information form the Church and other credible individuals about Mr. Johnston and his visions.”
The Church has made no pronouncements on Charlie Johnston or his prophecies. Even though he has been receiving spiritual direction for years, neither his bishops nor the clergy familiar with his prophecies have publicly acknowledged these messages.
For those who never heard of him, Johnston is a 58 year-old Christian fundamentalist-turned Catholic who is currently living in the diocese of Denver, Colorado. He claims to have been receiving messages from Jesus, Mary, the angels and other heavenly visitors since the age of eight.
According to the Mystics of the Church website, an excellent source of information for many of the Church’s most esteemed mystics, the messages Johnston has been receiving concern a “Great Storm” involving a series of catastrophic events that will begin to come upon the world as early as this fall.
It will be like a worldwide civil war and start with Islam and then North Korea, which he describes as the “dragon’s tail”, but it will be China that will eventually pose the most threat.
“The first initial battles of the Storm however will be with Islamic forces, which will eventually be overthrown, but this will be another false dawn, as the battle with China will then arise, showing the Islamic conflict to have only been a cub of a challenge,” the site explains.
During the Great Storm, most of our support structures will collapse which will bring down economic systems and governments. An estimated 26 million people will die during this time and those who survive will be reduced to a much more primitive lifestyle.
However, God is not punishing us with this Storm. Instead, it is the beginning of our reclamation and many of us will begin to rebuild amidst the chaos. Johnston reassures that God has very specific plans to help us to get back on our feet and we will eventually experience “an era of great peace.”
This era will come about as a result of the action of Our Lady, which he refers to as “the Rescue” sometime in late 2017 which coincides with the 100 year anniversary of her apparition at Fatima. It will be the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Johnston claims that this part of his prophecy comes directly from heaven and has not been subject to any interpretive efforts on his part. It was delivered very bluntly, along with orders to tell everyone about it.
You can read more about Johnston and his prophecies here.
While we are not obligated to believe in private revelation, and because the Church has not yet made a pronouncement about their veracity, we should use great caution in accepting and/or rejecting these messages. In cases like this, always heed the advice given to us in the Bible: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21).
What is good in these messages is that they contain essentially the same warnings that were given by Our Lord and Our Lady in other approved apparitions – repent or suffer the consequences. The only difference is that Johnston has put a timetable on it and has given specifics about what kind of consequences we can expect to suffer in the days ahead.
It’s also a good idea to heed the advice of spiritual directors, such as the late great Father Benedict Groeschel, who claim even the greatest saints got it wrong when it came to messages from heaven.
For instance, St. Joan of Arc misinterpreted a message from the “voices” that she believed told her God would spare her from being burned at the stake. She apparently believed this up until the moment the fire was lit. Eyewitness later revealed that Joan claimed when she asked the voices if she would be burned, they said things like “trust in the Lord” and that she would receive succour. But Joan was so fatigued from the harsh conditions in prison and so frightened of facing such a horrible death that she interpreted God’s words to mean that He would intervene and save her.
In his book, A Still Small Voice, Fr. Benedict Groeschel lists five reasons why even authentic revelations given to the most saintly seers are likely to contain errors: 1) faulty interpretation; 2) tendency to use a revelation to write history rather than use it symbolically; 3) tendency of visionary to mix subjective expectations and preconceived ideas with the action of grace; 4) a tendency to alter or amplify a message after the fact; 5) errors made in good faith by those who recorded the testimony (pg. 51).
In other words, even if Johnston is legit, he’s likely getting at least some of it wrong, so don’t make any decisions based on his prophecies without first discussing this with a spiritual director or confessor.