I declare that you will be Rich: Prophetic Nonsense?
During the first Iraq war in 1991, Pat Robertson (700 Club) proclaimed that we were witnessing the fulfillment of prophetic movement towards the end of times. He ‘prophesied’ that Sadam Hussein was the Anti-Christ and what the world was supposed to prepare for is Armageddon. According to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible, Armageddon (/ˌɑːrməˈɡɛdən/, from Ancient Greek: Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn, Late Latin: Armagedōn, from Hebrew: הר מגידו Har Megiddo) is the prophesied location of a gathering of armies for a battle during the end times.
The prophetic principle is not only an Old Testament concept but is accepted by Christ as a true methodology in the wide and mysterious Divine communication. The Old Testament prophets spoke on matters that affected the people, “preaching, and teaching,” and they also spoke of matters that proclaimed the progression of Divine Revelation, “prophecy.” In one of the prophetic utterances, Isaiah spoke of the coming messiah. Jesus referred to this prophecy, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 18ff
Jesus was confirming to those present, the Jewish congregation, that not only was the Torah (the Old Testament) a true manifestation of God’s intended will in writing the scripture, not only that the words spoken and written by the prophets and the biblical writers were a true representation of God’s WORD, but that the specific reference (Isaiah) from where he was reading, was divinely sanctioned (authenticated). He was basically saying that we can rest assured that what the prophets spoke and what the Bible has as their words is true and God Himself has confirmed it, “Today in your midst, this scripture is fulfilled.” This established the authenticity of the Holy Bible as the Word of God! Jesus Christ came from heaven and used the Old Testament as the Word of God!
There are many prophesies in the Old Testament that became true during the generation for which they were written. And there are many prophesies that spoke about Jesus that came true during his life on earth. Prophecy is therefore an authentic divine methodology of communication. In fact, St. Paul, who has been my focus in my many years of seminary education, confirms that there are some within the Church who have the gift of prophecy “ . . . now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the COMMON GOOD . . to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, . . . all these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”1 Cor. 12:1ff
The purpose of the gifts given to the Church of Christ is for the “common good”. In theological terms we call it “EDIFICATION.” There is however a movement, especially among my brothers and sisters in the Pentecostal, who use these gifts as means to self-glorification. They have used these spiritual gifts to draw people to them with an intention of being seen to be greater than they are. They have refused to study the historical use of gifts, especially prophecy and miracles to see their intended purposes as instruments for edification. Instead they use them as means to shock and owe the masses, then entice them to “support” their “supernatural” ministry.
I attended a service where the preacher was prophesying all kinds of stuff to everyone in the congregation: Jobs, riches, wives, girlfriends, land, peace, joy, potatoes and all! One Kenyan pastor commonly known as, Wakogara Wakogara invited people to his Eldoret hotel room. “Bring your soil,” he said “I will prophecy over it.” Another person told us in Florida that the hurricane, which was about to hit us a few years back would be, “brown away into the deep!” Really? I run to Atlanta.
No matter how prophetic a person is, you will not become a doctor without going to medical school. You will not be promoted to become a veterinarian out of prophecy without studying veterinary science! Hurricanes are part of God’s natural mysteries and they will continue to hit the US! When you hear that one is coming, please run! But pray that God will protect and preserve those who it overcomes.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (Ph.D)
Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist