“NEW YEAR PROPHECIES" AND THE AFRICAN CHURCH
In 2016, just before the US presidential election, I wrote about the new and popular political ‘disease’ condition which I called APIS (Ambivalent Political Introspection Syndrome). This condition allows a person to know whom not to vote for but makes it uncertain to know whom to vote for. In that blog, I observed that the widespread disenchantment with the US political establishment might result to the likelihood of a surprise upstage of normally affirmed political permutations. On the other hand, many pastors and church overseers in Africa, especially Nigeria who were emphatic that God told them that Senator Clinton would become the 45th President of the United States. The failure of most of these “God told me” predictions paints a negative picture of Christianity in Africa and points to the need for Christ-centered, Gospel focused authentic leadership development for the African church.
On the last days of 2018, many pastors and Overseers dished out tens of prophecies about 2019. My greatest surprise was that none of these “prophecies” has anything to do with the spread of the gospel or the fate of Christian believers in a world in which Christians are increasingly facing persecution. Just the morning following these prophetic New Year’s eve services, 24 young Christians (mothers, youth and even kids) who had just finished worshipping God in one of those services called “cross over service” were brutally killed on their way home. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42540793. On the same New Year day, over 50 who were mainly Christians were murdered in Benue State in one swoop. Would these deaths not have been averted if these events were foretold and preventive measures taken?
Compare this to the prophetic guidance received by the early church. In Acts 11: 28, a prophet named Agabus forewarned the church about an impending famine. This same prophet in Acts 21:10 also forewarned the church about what would happen to Paul if he went to Jerusalem. These prophesies were clear and unambiguous. The prophecies came to pass because they came from God.
Deuteronomy 18: 21 has this to say “ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him”.
I am not saying that God does not reveal things. I am also not saying that God did not speak to these African pastors. Perhaps, he did speak to some of them. Would it not be wonderful if these men receive from God New Year prophecies that saves lives?Let prophecy continue to come from God if God wills it but my prayer is that it be prophecies straight from the Bible which saves lives and build up the church rather than those that make prophecy look like fortune telling. Fortune telling, Sorcerer and divination have been condemned by God as Satanic, untrustworthy and unworthy in the Assembly of God’s people (Deut 18: 9-14; Acts 16:16-18, Rev 22: 14 – 15)
But this we can be sure of: when we hear God speak through his Word, it helps us to prayerfully arrive at decisions in keeping with the will of God.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev Joshua Amaezechi, an ordained Minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), is the President of the LEMA Institute. He works as the Lead Chaplain at the Kalamazoo County Jail, Michigan through the Forgotten Man Ministries.
The opinions and comments expressed in this blog are exclusively that of the author.The LEMA Institute or its Board and faculty is not responsible for any aspects of the information supplied by the blogger.