MasterwebNews 31/12/15 - 2016 Prophecies: A Nation of False Prophets and Evil Leaders - Part 1

[ Masterweb Reports: C. K. Ekeke reports ] - "The prophets prophesy lies, and the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so" (Jeremiah 5:31). As the 2015 draws to a close, all kinds of selfish prophetic utterances and false claims are being made by the Nigerian clergymen.  This has become a yearly dose of trick to seek fame, prestige, power, popularity, and prosperity.  However, a closer look of these prophetic utterances do not line-up with biblical prophecies.  In fact, the prophecies being promulgated today by these so-called men and women of God in Nigeria and across Africa are not prophecies at all but psychic telling. 

When I read some of the 2016 prophecies of Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church and host of others; most of their predictions are very political but not prophetic or apocalyptic.  Any serious student of the social, economic, political, religious climate of Nigeria can predict even more accurately the same things these men are making and claiming to be hearing from God.  In fact, those who believe in psychics can get far better predictions than most of the prophecies by these prominent men of Cloth. 


Millions of Christians especially in Africa misunderstand the gift of prophecy to be the ability to predict the future. While knowing something about the future may sometimes have been an aspect of the gift of prophecy, it was primarily a gift of proclamation or forth-telling, not necessarily prediction or fore-telling. For instance, the prophets of Scripture (e.g. Malachi, Habakkuk, Micah, Amos, Jonah, etc.) seem to be prophesying something totally different from what we commonly hear today from modern day prophets. Making explicit predictions about the future of the nation seems to be a small part of their function as a "prophet."

Biblical prophecies are far fetched from what is commonly known as prophetic messages being promulgated in Nigeria and most of Africa today.  A prophecy must measure-up with the Word of God.  For instance, the gift of prophecy is listed among the gifts of the Spirit in First Corinthians 12:10 and Romans 12:6. The Greek word translated “prophesying” or “prophecy” in both passages properly means to “speak forth” or declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God which is designed to influence people.

The point is I’m trying to make here is that a true prophet is a messenger of God. And the prophetic message of God is always about the future, about repentance, about judgment, and about consequences.


The Call of a Prophet
If the Bible is studied very carefully,  you  will notice that God called different people to various activities and assignments – some to  be  Wise Counselors (Daniel), as Leaders (Joseph, Moses, Joshua), as Kings (David, Solomon),  as Military Warriors (Joshua, Samson, Deborah, Jehoshaphat), as Missionaries (Abraham, Paul), as Judges (Deborah, Gideon), as kingdom Builders (Jesus), as Revolutionaries (Jesus),  as Pro-creators (Adam &Eve ), and off-course many were called to be Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Bible Teachers. 


According to the Ephesians 4:11, Prophets were next to the Apostles.  God does not do any thing on planet earth without revealing it first to His true prophets. Why, because God is intimately involved in all of our lives. God cares and loves us too much. This incomprehensible quality of God, theologians call "Divine Pathos" which simply means divine passion. Despite His self-sufficiency, God passionately seeks and desires a relationship with His creatures and mankind is the most loved of all God's creation. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to suffer agony; pain and excruciating death on the Cross in-order to repair the damaged relationship caused by Adam's sin. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He continues to speak to His people through His prophets. He continues to find willing hearts to deliver His prophetic messages to mankind. His compassion, love and faithfulness for His people have not ceased.


Therefore, since the beginning of redemptive history, God has always sought for a man or woman to deliver His message of care and love to His creatures. Theologians call this mouthpiece of God - a Prophet. It is derived from two Hebrew Words: (1) Ro'eh - which is translated "Seer" in English. It indicates a special ability to see in the spiritual realm and foresee future events as given by God through dreams, visions, revelations or spoken words. The second Hebrew Word is: (2) Nabi - which is translated Prophet. It literally means to prophesy, to put forth words abundantly from God's mind and by God's spirit.


A Nabi is a spokesperson that poured out words under the impelling power of God's spirit. And so throughout human history such men and women have arisen and spoken courageously and compassionately the Words of God to His people and nations. In addition to being the mouthpiece that reveals the message of God, a prophet is also a preacher, a poet, a patriot, a diplomat, a moralist and a social critic and reformer. He is a moral being who speaks to the social, political, religious and moral issues of the day. Therefore he or she is sort of an adviser and consultant on moral and social issues to society at large.


What are Prophetic Messages?
Prophetic messages are not only central to our faith and beliefs system but also to our personal life, social life, business life, and political life as well. Throughout biblical history, the men and women who God towered spiritually to speak on God's behalf such as Moses, Deborah, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jeremiah, and Jesus; just to mention a few, received divine knowledge and spoke courageously the messages of God.  These prophets spoke not only in religious places but also in every area of peoples’ lives.


They spoke against sin, idolatry, immorality, and all kinds of evil in the society. They warned against corruption, greed, unrighteousness and injustice especially in the lives of Kings and Priests. They warned people of God's judgment and therefore called them to change and follow God's instruction. They encouraged people to remain faithful to God and his covenant. The prophets loved people, cared for them and sought the highest good for them.  In a nutshell, biblical prophets were the social and moral activists in their era.


Since God is the source of prophetic messages, people are called to obey the words spoken by the prophets. Even in recent times, we are reminded of the prophetic messages of Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and John Paul II and off course Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Their prophetic words and insights have saved mankind from slavery, apartheid, poverty, destruction and death. Today, we need such prophets to arise and speak to the monumental challenges facing Nigeria/Africa and our planet earth.


Throughout the history of mankind and even in our present time, true prophets of God and genuine spiritual leaders had always denounced sin, wickedness, and injustice – not per say by political activism but by calling the political leaders of nations to rule in the fear of God and work to provide a just and fair society. 


During the prophetic ministry of Isaiah who reigned during the time of Kings Uzziah, Jotham and Hezekiah, you will read that those kings were extremely wicked kings with exception of King Hezekiah, who ruled with the fear of God.  Kings Uzziah and Jotham abused the power of their office and led the people astray.  They crushed the poor for their own profit. 

Prophet Isaiah challenged the rebellious people of Jerusalem and gullible Judah to repent of their sins and turn to God.  He called on the people to clean up their acts.  Isaiah denounced Judah for her idolatry and immorality and called for national repentance, prayer, and fasting.  He also rebuked the kings and rulers for their social injustice and called on the politicians to restore a just and fair society otherwise God’s judgment and destruction would come suddenly. Finally, he believed that God has something to say about Judah’s foreign policy and as God’s representative and ambassador to the Kings of Judah - Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah; he warned them about entering into an unholy alliance with Assyria. 


Jesus was called and sent to bring light to the dying world and to lay down his life for Kingdom’s sake. Jesus ministry was whole – teaching, preaching, healing, social, economic and political.  Jesus spoke to the political (Sadducees) and religious elites (Pharisees) of his day more than he preached and taught the Scriptures.  Prophet Isaiah prophesized 750 years before Jesus was born, “For to us a son is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace, there is will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” - Isaiah 6:6-7.

Nehemiah left gave up his comfortable and wealthy position in Persia, and returned to h

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