OBINNA AKUKWE OF GHANA 4
NEW STYLE PROPHETS AND THEIR VISIONS OF PHONE NUMBERS, BANK DETAILS AND LADIES UNDERWEAR
New style prophets from Nigeria and Ghana have bastardized the once prestigious prophetic ministry and turned it into a caricature of visions of phone numbers, bank details, and ladies’ underwear. The prophetic ministry is one of the fivefold ministries which Jesus Christ gave for the edification of the church (1 Corinthians 12 vs 28) The New Testament order was apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The reigning craze among the new style prophets is calling people’s phone numbers and bank details on the pulpit. Some of them, in order to convince the congregation that the Holy Spirit is in operation and can reveal the deepest secrets, mention the colors of underwear, panties, brassieres of pretty female worshippers to the cheering of equally spirit-filled congregation. Prophets have been used by God occasionally to reveal deep secrets about people especially when a gross danger is about to envelop a person, city or nation and profers solution on how to overcome the situation. (Ezekiel 11:1-4), therefore the bastardization of the process by fraudsters do not eliminate the existence of true prophets and pastors.
The prophetic ministry is the highest in ministerial rankings, Jesus Christ called Himself a prophet who is without honor in His home (Matthew 13 vs 56-58) and Apostle Peter while addressing the crowd after the healing of the lame at the beautiful gate said, ”For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ ” (Acts 3 vs 22-23). The Bible said that God will send them a prophet in the order of Moses and Elijah. During the time of transfiguration of Jesus Christ, two prophets, Moses and Elijah appeared and flanked Him (Matthew 17 vs 1-3). Most of the fathers of the faith, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Daniel operated the prophetic unction. Therefore, prophetic ministry is a ministry ordained by God as a medium of directly communicating His mind to people. Simply put, prophets are spokesmen of God who must deliver the counsel of God whether the recipient likes it or not.
A prophet must always manifest a word of wisdom (future predictions and solutions), word of knowledge (recalling past events and solutions). There are three types of people parading themselves as prophets in contemporary Nigeria, those called by God, those who called themselves and those called by the devil. There are prophets called by God, some of them are still in our midst. As an undergraduate, a classmate, who is now a pastor with the Assemblies of God Church, Enugu convinced me to follow him to the house of a lady prophetess from Christ Ascension Church, Enugu. This lady then living in abject poverty and under oppression by a difficult husband was able to tell me things still unfolding in my life almost twenty years after. I had to cut out a large chunk of my feeding money to assist this woman from poverty. I can never forget the prophetic counsel and foresight of this woman whose daughter, Chimuche, is now a successful Abuja based gospel singer. I have had recourse to meet others like Rev Stephen Tamfu, a Taraba born missionary whose advice and counsel then was as if God had spoken and fifteen years later, those things are still unraveling. The two I talked about lived a Spartan life until God deemed it fit to change their financial status.
During a prophetic session at the Abiding Word Gathering Campus Fellowship, a beautiful female student known for prophetic messages cried aloud that fornication has entered the fellowship. At the end of the service, the responsive campus fellowship leaders conducted a discreet investigation and found out that some prominent actors in the fellowships are into immorality. Those affected were confronted and openly suspended from fellowship and after evidence of repentances, were readmitted back. Such is the edification process of the prophetic ministry.
These new styles prophets are not interested in whether the worshipper is going to heaven or hell, their focus is intimidating the congregation with the revelation of hidden secrets with the intent of fleecing the stunned worshipper of lands, houses, cars, and life savings. These groups of people first call the phone number of the victim to the cheering of the excited congregation, others go further to mention the person’s bankers, bank details, and the amount of funds with the bank. Some others will move a step further to mention the color of the underwear some beautiful ladies in the congregation are putting under their skirts, to the cheering of the congregation.
The prophets will then invite the beautiful and figurine ladies to their hotel rooms for special deliverance and anointing while the ugly looking and shapeless ones are asked to have faith in God, except if they have fat offerings as compensation for their unpleasant figure. This bedroom invitation always leads to bedroom exercise and the prophet repents, asks for forgiveness, and awaits the next lady visitor. When the people discover that their miracle is yet to come, they transfer their aggression to anyone who is called a pastor. Therefore, genuine pastors should shut down the activities of these new-style prophets before they distribute the stench of their activities to the honest ones.
These new styles prophets from Nigeria have been known to travel to Kofiridua, Ghana while others visit Kumasi with the aid of some Ghanaian pastors where they consult the Antoa river goddess for powers to see people’s secrets. Others travel to bar beach Lagos, some to Calabar, Port Harcourt among other places to consult with powers. These powers must be serviced by constantly sleeping with church members or else the powers will dry up.
The second group of phone number callers are those who cannot muster the evil courage to consult spirits for strange powers, therefore, with the collusion of some church pastors, they send people in advance to gather information about certain persons in the congregation, including their vehicle plate numbers, villages, number of children, etc. Four years ago a visiting prophet based in Enugu, who have influenced a lot of youth for God in the early nineties when his anointing was full, contracted some young men to get information about certain people in a church where he was invited to preach at Owerri and promised to share the booty in the ratio of 70:30. At the end of the shows he released a paltry N200,000 nairas to them. The embittered accomplices went to the chief donor and exposed the deal. The chief donor dragged both the visiting prophet and the host pastor to the police station to help recover both the state of the art vehicle and the millions he gave to the prophet.
This second group is less harmful than the first group because they can only access the finances of the worshipper while the earlier group can be spiritually harmful.
In 2003 I was invited to the church of one of the new style prophets in Lagos. The church service started at 9am and ended by 4pm. This handsome pastor, whose brothers are all prophets, walked up to a man and asked his name, the man replied John. He moved across to the other side of the large congregation of over two thousand and asked another man his name, the man replied John. The congregation erupted in cheers. He walked to a woman and asked for the name of the absentee husband and the woman replied John, everybody rejoiced the more. Then he moved to the first John and asked him what he does for a living, the man said that he is a staff of the University of Lagos. He proceeded to a woman near the window and asked her what she does for a living, the woman said that she is a staff of the University of Lagos; the crowd erupted in dancing and jubilation that God had revealed deep things. Then he moved back to the second man named John and asked for the name of the wife, the man answered Phebe. He moved to the first lady whose absentee husband bears the name John and asked her the name of the person that invited her to church, the lady replied that the person’s name is Phebe – this time around the congregation went wild with joy that God is in this place. This cycle continued with intermittent songs and dance until service closed and the congregation went home satisfied that next week will be their turn for God’s visitation.
The Bible said that Christians should test every spirit but these prophets with lots of intimidating credentials of the number of senators, governors, ministers, ambassadors they have prayed for easily sways unsuspecting worshippers to their sweet talks until it is too late. For those who have fallen victim to these people, it serves them right because people who reject the simplicity of the gospel and ignore those who appear too simplistic, preferring those with a plethora of bodyguards, convoys and affluence as signs of genuineness they will fall victim to conmen who use the power of effects to manipulate others. Let every Christian grow in maturity with the help of the Holy Spirit, constant reading and meditation in the Bible so that when the new style prophets appear again with visions of bank details and ladies underwear, they will not fall victim.
Friday, July 3, 2020
MY HERO PASTOR IS A FALSE PROPHET
It has been a confusing time for many Nigerian Christians over the genuineness of the crowd claiming to be Bishops, Pastors, Apostles, Primates, Prophets, Rev Fathers and all who claim to have been called by God to minister spiritual food to his people. The mainstream Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal churches have always viewed with suspicion the activities of religious leaders like Olumba Olumba Obu (who claimed to be the holy spirit); Eddy Nawgu (who was butchered by Bakassi boys); Rev King (currently in a Nigerian prison for setting a female church member ablaze); Prophet T.B. Joshua was initially blacklisted as a false prophet since 2001 by the leadership of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) under Bishop Mike Okonkwo and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. Reports got to the PFN that Rev Chris Oyakhilome has been secretly fraternizing with T.B Joshua and was eventually seen on Television holding anointing service with T.B. Joshua at the latter’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, they called him for clarifications and when he failed to respond, they warned PFN members to beware of the antics of the duo. However, some church members of Olumba Olumba Obu, Eddy Nawgu, Rev King, T.B. Joshua and Chris Oyakhilome claimed that they received some form of relief from financial pressure, sicknesses, and depression as a result of the prophecies, revelations, literature materials, holy oil, holy water and spiritual materials from these pastors.
The history of false prophets is as old as Christianity. The first named false prophet in Church history was Simon Magnus. This man was actually converted by Philip, according to Acts chapter 8 vs 9-22 and when Apostle Peter and John came to Samaria to pray for the Holy Spirit on the new converts, this sorcerer turned Christian offered to buy the impartation for money and was rebuked by Peter. Simon converted to Christianity and was later to introduce all manners of false doctrines which he backed up with miracles to the consternation of the Apostles. He was seen as the father of heresies in the Church. When Simon died around 61 AD, Menander continued as his successor till 111AD.
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyonnais, and disciple of Polycarp, who was tutored by the Apostle John, had to confront a certain Marcus around 135-178 AD. This Marcus was performing some miracles, prophecies and causing a lot of people to commit sexual sin. He drew a lot of followers and caused confusion in the early church that Irenaeus had to intervene by writing to the religious faithful to beware of the magical antics of Marcus. This earned Irenaeus the historical tag of Defender of the Faith.
Many Christians who had the privilege of dying and coming back to life like the celebrated case of John Chiedozie who died for some days and miraculously came back to life in the early eighties and Daniel Ekechukwu who was officially certified dead for 42 hours by a medical doctor and came back to life on Sunday, December 2nd, 2001 between 3.30-5pm during the Crusade of German Evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke at Grace of God Mission, Onitsha had tales of seeing disobedient Christians in hellfire. The accounts of these two pastors corroborated the reality of heavenly bliss and a burning hell where even some pastors and disobedient Christians were languishing. Daniel Ekechukwu said he saw a pastor who told him that he was in hell for stealing church money.
A disobedient Christian is one who willfully disobeys the commandments of God. A Christian who sleeps with church members, seduces pastors and snatches people’s husbands is a disobedient Christian (1 Cor 6 vs 18). One who deliberately lies, slanders and bears false witness is a disobedient Christian. A Christian who visits necromancers, astrologers, native doctors, palm readers, sorcerers and diviners to gain promotion in office, contracts or political appointments is a disobedient Christian. (Deuteronomy chapter 18 vs 9-12). A prayerless and wordless Christian (one without sufficient knowledge of the Bible) is a disobedient Christian because by his laxity and weakness, the devil will strike and turn him into an experiment, bringing shame to the name of God.
The first identity of these false prophets is an overemphasis on prosperity. The Bible says in 3 John 1 vs 2, ”Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” This scripture posits that both soul prosperity (repentance, salvation and sanctification) should be given the same attention as health and financial prosperity. Matthew 6 vs 33 says ”.. but seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto you” this signifies that as the church member seeks constant repentance and sanctification (righteousness) God will equally include all other things, prosperity, health, breakthrough in a measure that will not be injurious to the soul of his child. Therefore a pastor who lays much emphasis on financial prosperity while abandoning spiritual prosperity is a false prophet. That was part of the heresies of Simon Magnus during the era of the early church.
A major fallacy from these false prophets is the theory of Once Saved, Always Saved. This theory posits that once a Christian is saved (born again) the person is always saved no matter the atrocities of the person. This fallacy is inconsistent with the scriptures. Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 Apostles, was once saved but lost his salvation due to greed and was called the son of perdition (John 17 vs 12). Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2 vs 12 to ”…. work out our salvation with fear and trembling” and he also added in Romans 6 vs 1 ” what shall we say then, shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound, God forbid. How shall we, that have died to sin, live any longer therein.” Therefore, a pastor who teaches such is a false prophet, encouraging iniquity and leading his flock to hell.
Another fallacy is one of God’s Unending Mercy. God is both a Merciful God and a Consuming Fire. The same God that forgave King David his sins was the same that ensured that all the punishment He prescribed for David for committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah, came to pass despite being a man after God’s heart. (2 Samuel 12vs 1-18). David lost four sons, including Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah as a result of the curse. Absalom killed Amnon for raping the young sister, Absalom plotted a coup against his father, David, dying in the process, while Solomon killed Adonijah. These false prophets give a one-sided analogy of David’s forgiveness from God, without adding that David served out his full sentence, thereby encouraging sin in the church.
Another fallacy is the use of tithes and offerings to bribe God. The Bible enjoins us to pay tithes and offerings for the upkeep of the work of God but not from stolen funds. A Christian who steals government funds meant for development and provision of essential social amenities have already contributed to hardship in the society. He cannot bribe God by donating a part of the cursed money to the pastor as a tithe, offering, or seed. God rejected the offerings of Cain in Genesis 1 vs 4-5, therefore God does not receive offerings obtained by looting the national treasury. These false prophets propelled by greed will be glad to receive stolen money in the name of God without the consent of God.
Jesus Christ said that ” and there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders; in so much as it is possible, to deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24vs 24) Therefore miracle is not the only proof of the genuineness of a religious leader. Revelation chapter 16 vs 13 describing the prowess of satanic miracles says ”.. and I saw three unclean spirits come out of the mouth of the dragon, and of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. ” For they are the spirits of the devil, working miracles….” The devil can do miracles too, especially Marine spirits who can give relief from one side and add a problem from another side. The False Prophet will use miracles to give credence to the Anti-Christ including calling down fire from heaven (Rev 13vs 13). Paul had to strike a certain false prophet by name of BarJesus with blindness for obstructing him while preaching to the Roman proconsul Sergio Paulus. (Acts 13vs 6-12). Bible history had shown that the prophets of Baal were in the habit of calling down fire from heaven until the battle of Mount Carmel where their god could not perform on an all-important day.
The early church was brought up with a mindset of cross-checking every new teaching to ensure that it is in tandem with the scriptures. These false prophets elevate their views above the teachings of the scriptures. The Berean Christians were called noble because they searched the scriptures to see whether the teachings of Paul were according to the Old Testament (Acts 17 vs 11). Therefore every Christian have a noble duty to prayerfully evaluate the theories of his Pastor, Bishop, General Overseer with the teachings of the Bible to avoid a situation whereby according to Jesus Christ in Matthew 15 vs 13-14, a blind man is leading a blind man and all fall into a pit.
The false prophets of Nigerian extraction have the notion that they are gods, therefore when a religious faithful happens to get wearied of their antics and decide to leave the congregation for another; they use the pulpit to castigate such. They make no effort to know why people are leaving, rather they heap curses on those escaping for their lives. Some of them go on to pray witchcraft prayers for their fleeing members such that all the seeming breakthrough, security, and finances obtained from their place of worship disappear after a while and the parishioner is left in a sorry state as evidential lessons for others who want to toe the same line. A popular prophet in Nigeria had a cousin whom he healed of blindness and after some years the said cousin discovered that his prophet used to disappear into the streams near the worship centre. Perturbed by the constant discoveries, he decided to leave the church. The prophet warned him that the blindness will return if he leaves. He ignored the prophet and left and his blindness came back months after. He was carried from church to church in the South West and South East between 2002 and 20003 until God intervened. However, they do not frown when others abandoned their former churches for theirs.
These false prophets usually pay more attention to the wealthy and influential members of their churches at the expense of the poor and hungry ones. Once the tithe and offerings from the parishioner are not fat enough, they are not given attention. Apprentice pastors are assigned to look into matters concerning their poverty-stricken members while they devote hours, days, weeks, and months of fasting, prayers, and deliverance for the influential members and release all sorts of anointing on their head. Their spiritual eyes always watch over the wealthy ones while the impoverished will have to contend with evil spirits without any help. They forgot that Jesus groomed groups of fishermen and others until they became a force to reckon with.
These false prophets equally reserve special seats in their churches for these influential members and their families. These rich men are quickly converted to pastors, elders, deacons, deaconesses due to their financial maturity rather than spiritual maturity. When other church members see how spiritually empty moneybags are granted pastoral and presbyterian privileges, they develop an impression that without money the Church and even God does not recognize them. That is partly responsible for the craze of Nigerian churchgoers to loot national treasury to impress their pastors, priests, and prophets and receive titles in the church.
These false prophets live a life of sexual immorality. They have sexual affairs with choristers, ushers, sanctuary keepers, and different categories of church workers in the church. It is part of conditions for the release of strange powers to a pastor. Since the powers used to do miracles are not of God, the more they commit sexual sin, the more anointed they become to see more visions, prophesy and do wonders. When concerned members draw their attention to their immoral life they rebuke them and quote copiously verses like ”touch not my anointed…”(Psalm 105 vs 15),” there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..”( Romans 8 vs 1), ”judge not that ye be not judged..'( Matthew 7 vs 1)’ among others. Instead of repenting and asking God for grace to overcome sin as Jesus told the adulteress in Matthew 8 vs 11, And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Jesus also said to the man He healed of sickness of 38 years at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5 vs 14. “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you”
Therefore, Jesus enjoined sinners to sin no more while the false prophets conjecture excuses while iniquity should be tolerated. In the past when a pastor or church member misbehaves, the senior pastors give them back seat for a while until it is proven that normalcy has returned. Those so sanctioned equally accept their punishment and will be absorbed back into the fold at the end of the suspension period. This serves as an example to others that iniquity is not part of the church. The system has changed and nobody has control over others and the church members are getting confused the more.
There are false prophets in every denomination. The Roman Catholic Church has a strict process of determining whether a priest or brother exhibiting charismatic gifts is of God. Priests with charismatic powers like Rev Fr’s Ede, Njoku, Mbaka and others in Nigeria passed through some scrutiny before their Diocese and their Congregational Orders gave them clean bills of health to operate beyond the normal limits of the church. In older Pentecostal fellowships like Assemblies of God, Grace of God, Apostolic Church, Scripture Union, etc some level of scrutiny is given those operating charismatic powers to ensure that strange powers are not in operation. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, in recent times, is finding it difficult checkmating the activities of strange powers among people claiming to be Pentecostals. Some of these people are actually converts from some white garment churches and some shrine attendants and native doctors who refused to relinquish strange powers they used before they turned their enterprise to church – they are not Pentecostals and they refuse to submit to PFN authority.
A Church member who has doubts over the genuineness of his pastor should go through the checklists earlier enumerated and if still in doubt, should pray, fast, and seek God’s clarifications. God is ever willing to shine light through the darkness and once seriously solicited would find a way of confirming it through the revelation in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3 vs 16), the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11vs 12), dreams (Matthew 1 vs 20-21), visions (Acts 10 vs 9-18) counsel from matured Christian leaders (Proverbs 12 vs 15), audible voice of God (Acts 9 vs 4-5), angels ( Luke 1 vs 26-38) among others. Once there is enough confirmation from God that your Hero Pastor is a False Prophet, then it is time to escape for life as Lot and his family escaped from Sodom and Gomorrah. The church member should prayerfully ask God for an exit strategy especially to avoid the satanic curses and vendetta emanating from these servants of devil whenever their secrets are exposed.
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