WE can all agree that former President Robert Mugabe has proven the “gods” wrong so many times; well, at least according to the “prophets” that are at every street corner in Africa. From one to the other, the date of his death has been prophesied, moved from month to month and year to year. What is most intriguing is that when a prophecy comes to pass, they rush to their archives and produce those videos as proof that the Man of God was spot on and yet when it does not, nothing of that sort happens.
GUEST COLUMN BY ROBERT SIGAUKE
Tom Tirivangani, a Canada-based preacher whose hugely publicised prophecies went south on more than enough occasions, spends most of his sermons explaining his prophecies that would have missed the spot.
In his own words, the word or prophecy of God is accurate and never misses.
On February 18 and on July 1, 2018, the preacher prophesised in clear terms that MDC leader Nelson Chamisa would win the 2018 elections. Heavily bruised from this false prophecy, towards the end of the year, Tirivangani then prophesised that there would be protests and demonstrations in many parts of the world.
Tirivangani, in which year has there never been protests in many parts of the world? Without shame, he then made noise, counting a few protests in January this year, saying his prophecy was coming to pass.
Really? A young prophet married to a non-black wife, who says he is son to Eubert Angel, prophesied that there would be drought during the 2016-2017 season in the country. Zimbabwe recorded some of the highest rainfalls in its history during that season.
Without a doubt, where there are false prophets, it inversely means there are true prophets somewhere.
The Bible gave a yardstick and guidance to believers in that false prophets is when prophecies do not come to pass.
However, this shall by no means be the only yardstick as the Bible itself warns that in the last days, even the elect would be deceived, and that false prophets would even make fire fall from the skies to earth (figurative to mean miracles).
This undoubtedly means there would be false prophets whose predictions will, indeed, come to pass. For one to foresee and foretell what is to come, a connection to the spiritual is all that is needed.
Demons and occult powers are spiritual forces and can empower mortal men to foresee and foretell and so, just because a prediction has come to pass does not mean the prophet is a true prophet sent by God.
The Bible urges believers to pray for discernment and not be deceived.
The most important question that begs an answer is: why only all these prophesies when the country’s economy started going south, did these charismatic churches surge?
Every street corner in Johannesburg is littered with a church with a general seer or prophet, usually a non-South African for that matter.
School leavers, during those golden old days went into the job market, pastors were mostly men and women of mature age.
They prophesied without pomp and fanfare, preaching salvation, repentance, forgiveness, love and virtues of living in purity, exactly the virtues that the Bible teaches will prepare one’s way to Heaven.
Make no mistake, in the book of Joel the Lord speaks, saying during the last days He would pour His Spirit and young men and women shall prophesy.
This, therefore, means ministry has absolutely nothing to do with age.
The issue has always been that the prophetic movement brought with it what many have come to know as prosperity gospel.
There is nothing wrong with teaching people to lead comfortable lives; actually that is the advantage of following God who owns all gold and pearls.
In Psalms 23, it says He is my “shepherd and provider, and I shall not want”.
God wants us to live comfortably and be rich.
A crippled man who used to sit by the gate into the temple asked for money from Peter and John as they went into the temple, but their reply to him was: “silver and gold we do not have, but what we have we give you. In the name of Jesus, get up and walk”.
Silver and gold they did not have, but the power of God was with them.
We have all seen the antics of how some congregants are into drinking petrol and eating human hair and grass, testifying that they taste like chocolate.
In all of their miracles, Jesus and the early apostles did was to meet a need.
They did not do miracles just for the fun of it or boast about it.
At times it is unfair to place all the blame on the papas as most of them are merely looking for a living like the rest of us.
Without the congregants who give this demigod status to prophets, the papas would not have been able to exercise such demigod influence.
The bandwagon and a scramble for a slice of the cake has been hijacked by all and sundry.
Those papas who have not been blessed with the true gift of prediction, or been able to raise enough money to get powers from that famous sorcerer in Ghana, all chant in their Sunday sermons “I see some of you here getting promotions at work; some of you will get married, the Lord tells me some of you will buy houses”, this while the congregants all shout “I receive papa”.
Even the dumbest mathematician can tell you that in a congregation of tens and hundreds of single people, unemployed people, lodgers, the probability of some of them getting married, employed or buying their own houses is imminent.
There is nothing prophetic about that.
I would fancy that one day the congregants, during such a sermon when the papa says “some of you will get married”, to ask him “which one of us papa and when exactly”.
Many would remember that TB Joshua prophesied that he sees a woman winning the United States presidential election in 2016.
To justify it when it did not come true, it was told that Hillary Clinton had indeed garnered more votes that Donald Trump.
The problem with that narrative is that it presupposes that God does not know how the US election system works.
God does not know that in America you win according to electoral colleges and not necessarily majority vote.
Salute goes to the men and women out there, who have chosen to follow what the Word of God says, and listened to His voice and chose to remain undeterred even though their churches have been left with less than 20 members after everyone has rushed to charismatic churches for miracle money.
There are men and women out there who have remained believing that ministry is a personal devotion and commitment for the growth of the body of Christ and that all honour and glory must go to Him, and not to any individual.
Remember how and why Herod died.
One famous man of God, during a church service, prophesied to a Nigerian man that he was Yoruba.
The man confirmed that he was indeed Yoruba, then the congregants started clapping hands.
The papa then immediately turned around in a boastful mood and walked across the stage staring at cameras and declared: “I stand to be corrected, I stand to be corrected.
But I think I am a major!” If indeed you prophesied with God’s power, what then makes you a major as if it was your own power?
It is true that if one looks at the teachings of all the major religions, they teach more or less the same things; love, forgiveness, peace, devotion, alms giving, service and sacrifice.
So are we then saying God will disqualify those who earnestly exercised these virtues in their daily lives just because they belong to a different cultural method?
Religion is a mere cultural method, but relationship with God, salvation and entering Heaven, are a personal affair.
That is what God will judge us on.
Even papas are also busy hunting their own place in Heaven.
To the believers, do not waste time arguing which prophet is true or not.
Do not attack any of them, especially if you do not know who is true and is not.
Some of them are doing God’s work and, indeed, others are after fame, riches and women.
Rather work on your relationship with God and practice the teachings of His word, He will show you where you should go and where you should not.