In Defence of Prophetess Nyamboike’s Message: Heed or Ignore?
Yesterday, the Standard Online featured a story of Prophetess Josephine Nyaboike’s unsettling predictions on a number of issues affecting the country: the possible outcome of the upcoming general elections, the fulfillment of some events that have taken place lately in the country like the deaths of prominent personalities, the possibility of political chaos in the aftermath of the elections, and several other issues. She said she saw in her vision the person who will be the next president of the country and although she didn’t mention his or her name, anyone conversant with the political landscape of Kenya can easily conclude who the person is. This prediction makes some people very mad, especially those on the opposite side of the political camp of the predicted leader, because they would not want to imagine such a person being the leader of our nation. So what do they do? They resort in attacking the messenger instead of focusing on her message. That’s understandable because her prophecies touch on some very sensitive issues affecting the political destiny of our nation. Upon reading this article, the question that came to my mind (and many others going by the blog responses) is, is she a true prophet or not, and consequently, is her message true or not?
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Before I address the issue of her message, let me try to answer the first question, a question that is of great concern to many: Could she be a true prophet? Or if we are to leave her person out and focus on the issue, the question is: Could her prophecies be true and therefore end up being fulfilled? To answer this question, I’ll use the grid of common sense and also the Bible because that’s where she makes her claims from. Before I state my position about this, let’s first look at the three main biblical standards of a true prophet. They are:
1.A true Prophet will be 100% accurate. There is absolutely no margin for error, because their message is divine.
(“The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him." Jer. 28:9; See also Deut. 18:21-22).
2.The true Prophet of the Lord will receivevisions or dreamsfrom the Lord.
(And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6)
3.A true Prophet keeps God’s Law, and abides by the testimony of the Bible. If a Prophet does not agree with the general biblical teaching andprinciples he or she is a false prophet.
("To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20).
Though I personally don’t know Ms Nyamboke, going by the content of her predictions, she appears to meet the above biblical criteria. However, it’s important to note that, one can have supernatural visions but not necessarily from the Living God. There are other sources of supernatural messages other than the true God. For example, at one point, when Paul and Silas were in Philippi, a woman who had a an evil spirit of divination kept on following them proclaiming, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” (Acts 16:17). Notice the content of her message was correct and yet the source was Satanic. It was the spirit of divination speaking through her. Why would Satan give a true, evangelistic message about God? He does this to confuse and distract people from the true God. The point I want to make is that, no one can know with certainty whether the source of her visions is God or Satan, unless of course God reveals it to them. However, the content of her message seems to be biblical.
And that takes me now to the content of her message. The question is, as I have said earlier, is the content of her message biblical or salvivic, regardless of the source? I believe it is, at least going by what has been appearing in the media. Throughout her interactions with the reporters, she kept on calling the church and the nation, and especially the leaders, to repentance. This is in total agreement with 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their evil wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive them their sin and will heal their land.”
Why would anyone think that calling the country of Kenya to repentance is unusual or fake? I think that this message is overdue for Kenya. I am personally convinced that, since the church and its leaders have not done their part in calling and leading the country to repentance, God is using unorthodox means (At one point in time He used a donkey to speak to a mad prophet, Balaam) to achieve the same – and this is because He loves Kenya very much.
If you don’t think the message of repentance is overdue for Kenya, consider the following:
The continual and constant shedding of innocent blood.
So much innocent blood has been shed, and continues to be shed in Kenya. Hardly a day goes by without such grave news. If the innocent blood that has been shed through political clashes, road accidents, police brutality, robbery, pre-meditated murder, and the like were to be collected and put in a container, it would scare many of us and awaken the conscience of the nation. However, the saddest thing is that Kenyans have gotten used to the innocent shedding of blood. This is totally abnormal and should drive us to our knees in repentance!
When Cain killed his brother Abel, God said that Abel’s blood was crying out from the ground to Him (God). What was it crying out for? What was Abel’s blood saying? It was crying out to God for vengeance. We read in Genesis 4:10, “And He said: ‘What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground."It was pleading with God to vindicate him. And God had to rise up to judge the murderer, Cain. Think about it, if the blood of one innocent person, Abel, could do this, what about the blood of so many innocent people? If God could rise up to judge Cain, why do we think He won’t do so when so much innocent blood has been being shed in Kenya? Even if there was no other reason for God’s judgment on Kenya, this is enough of a reason. Man is made in the image of God and therefore killing innocent men and women incurs the wrath of God.
You might be thinking, “But I am innocent. I have not killed anyone and therefore I should not be held responsible.” Although that reasoning sounds rational, it’s not only impractical but also unbiblical. Just like we don’t live in isolation and that the effects of our actions are felt by others who were never part of the act, the sin of a nation affects everyone in that nation. That’s why men of God like Daniel and Ezra included themselves as having sinned against God as they repented of their fathers’ sins and yet they themselves had not sinned (Dan. 9:3- 12; Ezra 10).
The endemic corruption in the country.
Corruption has become a way of life in Kenya. Though we blame our leaders, especially Members of Parliament, the police, and the executive, the whole nation is corrupt. Think about this for a moment: statistics show that Kenya is about 80% Christian in population. Now, if Kenya is so much corrupt and these statistics are correct (and we have no reason to believe otherwise), then who is really corrupt? It cannot be the remaining twenty percent but also the eighty percent. If the eighty percent or, let’s reduce the number to say, just forty percent, were not only not corrupt but also hated corruption the way a true Christian ought to, they would have easily influenced the remaining population to change. However, as things stand out, corruption prevails and has refused to go because the people of God, those who are called by His name, are not seeing things as God sees them. No wonder that, although Kenya has a great Christian population, their saltiness is not being felt politically, and especially in the top leadership!
Solomon, in his divine-given wisdom, wrote that “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). What is righteousness? It’s to do right, especially as it pertains to one’s neighbor. It’s to treat your fellow citizen right. This is what exalts a nation. It’s good to have vision 2030 but this is not what exalts a nation. It’s righteousness. We have an economic vision 2030 but no moral vision 2030. How do we build the country to the economic vision 2030 while our young people are getting into drugs so rapidly and yet we are not ready to deal with root cause of the drugs – the drug dealers that are causing the problem? How can we prosper economically with a known culture of brutally ridding ourselves of any opposition that tries to stand in our way? Because of our greed, we are ready to do anything to climb to the top of the ladder of success even if it means kicking off, in the process, many people to the ground to get us up there or to remain there. We have to remember that there is enough in Kenya for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. We cannot succeed economically and politically without a moral vision. It’s God that exalts and blesses a nation and not the intellectual or economic prowess.
Highly spiritual country yet highly immoral
The most interesting thing is that Kenya has many Christians who pray and are even good in spiritual disciplines like fasting and faithfully going to church, and yet the country is steeped in moral decay. Why is that so? It’s because what exalts a nation is not the religious practices, but righteousness. I can pray and fast but if I don’t do what is right I won’t be blessed (Isaiah 58:1 – 7).
I remember an incident that illustrates what I am trying to say that took place several years ago when I immigrated to the United States. I was driving my first car from Baltimore to D.C. Metro area and had given a ride to a friend of mine, an American. Although my friend professed to be a Catholic by denomination, he was neither a regular church attendant nor very religious. I was, on the other hand, the opposite; a very spiritual man seriously ministering in the church and involved in spiritual practices and disciplines like prayer and fasting. We were in the car when I noticed that I had missed my exit road. I quickly looked this way and that way and noticing there was no one around us, made a quick U turn though the area had a No U turn sign posted.
When I did this, my friend could not believe his eyes. He looked at me and said something like, “Paul, how could you do this? Don’t you see there is a “No U turn” sign there? You can’t do that?” I looked at him in bewilderment that he would be concerned about such a small thing and brushed him off saying, “Look, you want us to waste our time by continuing to forever being lost?” What amazed me, though, was that this guy was not very spiritual as I was and yet he was keen to obey the laws of the land, even when no one was around him. On the other hand, I was very spiritual, a minister in the church, and yet not keen to do the right thing because of my background of upbringing in Kenya. It’s righteousness that exalts a nation and not spirituality. It would amaze many to know that most nations in the West, and even the East, are not as “spiritual” or religious as Kenya is but are more prosperous. Now I am not too naïve to know that these countries also have their weaknesses and their plateful of problems, however, because of the rule and the enforcement of their laws, righteousness is generally upheld and practiced. For instance, in China where you can be sentenced to death for corruption while in Kenya that hardly happens. That’s why, I believe, some of these countries in the West and the East have become what they are today, and we have become the way are.
Political leadership and the responsibility of the Church
Leadership of a nation is a gift from God and reflects the state of the rest of population. We have watched in total amazement as our MPs (some people have resorted to derogatorily calling them“Mpigs” out of anger) have kept on selfishly passing or amending laws to raise their salaries or award themselves huge gratuities, yet they do this untouched and in total oblivion of the economic fate of the so many in their constituents languishing in poverty. The amazing thing is that, although we are mad at them and wonder how people can do such things, most of us would probably do the same if we were in their positions. They are just a sample of who we are because we elected them to represent us. The reason we elected them (and would probably elect them again knowing very well who they are – if they succeed in bribing us) is because they are the best among us morally and in leadership. If we want good leadership, we ourselves need to change first, and then we’ll get leaders like us, leaders who are not just thinking of the next election but the next generation of Kenyans.
The worst part in all this is that the church, and especially her leaders, has compromised. It’s become very rare to hear church leaders being passionately mad at the main evil strongholds in the country –corruption, tribalism, and innocent shedding of blood. There are church leaders in Kenya who command a lot of following who could use this authority to steer the country into repentance, yet few are doing it. People tend to falsely think that as long their church or business is doing well, and surrounded by enough security (whether in terms of personnel or by building high walls to their homes), they are safe. Of course no one is safe when the country is in danger of being cursed by God because of the evils that we’ve allowed to prevail and become the normal way of life. We are safe when the country is blessed and when everyone in the country is safe. The church should rise up and declare that only righteousness shall prevail in the land.
What are some signs that Kenya is experiencing divine disfavor? The main sign is the problem of rains – either too much to destroy the means of livelihood, too late, or too little (Deut. 28:12). Another sign is the constant deaths, the impunity of our leaders, and the current poor and selfish leadership.
I believe that the solution to these problems first of all, is repentance. The church leaders should unite and call for one or three days of national prayer of repentance. They should reach out to the leaders of all faiths and invite the political leaders as well. The church leaders need to set a date for this solemn undertaking and urge everyone to participate in humbling themselves before God and asking for forgiveness as a nation. We need also to pray, during this time, for the upcoming general elections and for the right leaders for the country. We need to pray against the strongholds of tribalism and pray for respect and love for every citizen. I believe if we do this, God will hear our prayers and heal the land.
(Bishop Dr. Paul Mulani, is the senior pastor of Disciples Fellowship Int’l Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. He is also the author of his newest book, Children as Arrows: Bringing Lasting Revival to Your Home).