The question that has not only chucked a lay man void of knowledge and understanding, but has brought immense confusion and bitter debates in Zimbabwean Christendom. Even the Pentecostal fathers are caught in web of dissenting views over the famous and controversial men of the cloth…
by Reinhard Ncube |@
Scrolling down through a social media page, are all insults, blasphemies, arguments, squabbles and justifications, some are slandering, others defending and a few negotiating. The topic of debate is whether the so-called men of the cloth (Emmanuel Makandiwa, Walter Magaya and Eurbet Angel Madzanire) are true prophets or colossal imposters.
The topic has brought immense confusion and bitter debates in Zimbabwean Christendom. Are they true prophets? This is the question that has not only chucked a lay man void of knowledge and understanding, even the Pentecostal fathers are caught in web of dissenting views over the famous and controversial trio, some authenticating them as Biblical Elijah’s of our time and the other faction rendering them as Satanists, thieves, magicians and performers of false miracles.
Many at times I have been very hesitant and careful not to comment slanderously on things I lack knowledge and understanding on. The bible renders such who speak evil of things they cannot affirm as “natural brute beasts” (2Peter 2:12). However, I have decided to answer the question from an objective and biblical stand point.
False and true prophets have long existed side by side since the days of Moses in the bible, where the man of God competed and contested with the Egyptian magicians. The bible states and shows from the Old Testament (OT) to the New Testament (NT) that even false prophets can perform and work miracles.
Here are points to note when distinguishing between a true servant of God and a false one.
- Never judge a prophet by miracles he performs but weigh everything by the word of God, be it the word of prophecy he or she is giving. I grew up in the rural areas where Zionist or cult churches are popular; one thing I noted from the Zionist prophets is that their prophecies impart fear of evil. True prophecies edify, encourage, guide, rebuke and warn, they lead men to the fear of God, repentance, acknowledgement and glorifying of God.
When it comes to miracles, signs and wonders, the argument is that the bible does not designate miracles as real or false. It actually gives a blank cheque when it says those who believe shall do even more miracles than those which Jesus did. Furthermore, it continues to say that nothing is impossible with God and to him that believes. Therefore if all things are possible it simple means God can even give miracle money and many more strange things. On the other hand I had also to consider and appreciate the existence and reality of magic. During my primary school days, I used to attend magic shows and one of the things that perplexed my mind is the fact that magicians are also able to make “miracle money”.
Coming to what is called deep or forensic prophecies as the emergent Pentecostals will want to call it, it baffled my mind to learn that Buddhist seers are able to hold your hand and tell you your biography and everything you know about yourself even as the contemporary prophets do. After pondering on all these things that non-Christians are able to do I concluded by saying that we cannot judge or prove prophets as of God by the extra-ordinary things they do only.
- A prophet of God exists to give glory to God and not to amass glory to him There for any prophet who seeks glory is not of God, prophets who want men to bow for them no matter how they want to justify themselves they are not true prophets, Its funny to see a man standing or just seating throughout the worship or prayer sessions only to kneel and fall down before a man. In Acts 10:25 Peter refused that Cornelius should fall before him, Paul and Barnabas rent their clothes when the people of Lystra worshiped them. It’s only prophets who prophesy for fame and money that applauds people for worshipping mankind. However a man of God does not becomes false because he has money or is rich, money does not define godliness or ungodliness. As far as having your ten dollar note does not make you evil what makes you think that having a million of ten dollar notes makes one a child of devil.
- Prophets are distinguished by the doctrines they teach. Nowadays the doctrine of anointing water and oil is prevalent both in the apostolic and Pentecostal sects .The use of water to exorcise spirits used to be a mapostori (white garment churches) practice but it has now penetrated deep into the Pentecostals. The use of water as a doctrine or tradition is absolutely unbiblical. Jesus did not say in bottled water shall they cast out devils but in his name. When the apostles went about preaching they were casting out devils and healing the sick in the name of Jesus and not with bottled water. Though Peter used his shadow and Paul his handkerchief it never became an established daily practise or doctrine. What the bible simple shows in those passages is the power and the grace of God that was present to heal the sick and deliver the oppressed. Otherwise the use of water as a form of cleansing and exorcising spirits is a common practise among ancestral worshippers and cultic people.
- Mathew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Every fruit bearing tree is named after its fruits, so are men. Some people call it judging but I call it facts. I only call a spade by its name and not the other way around. What do you call men of God who rape women, abuse children and make merchandise of poor citizens?. There are times and seasons where every man’s works are exposed to be tasted before the sun. This is where you will begin to read in newspapers about prophets rapping, committing fraud and involved in sex scandals.