On Thursday, August 15, 2019, an ex-occult grandmaster-cum-kidnapper confessed on vision 1 FM during a programme spearheaded/hosted by Nana Yaw Sarfo that some false prophets and pastors have been indulging themselves in human sacrifices with their quest to become popular and powerful.
Who knows what might have compelled the so-called pastor or prophet who got drowned performing rituals in Offinso River in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday, July 6, 2021? Are pastors or prophets supposed to baptize people in a river or perform rituals called “Akwankyere”?
Again, what about the exposé on Net 2 TV in 2020 on the issue of a false Prophet who killed a pregnant woman in the full glare of his junior pastor?
There has been a recent publication of a false prophet who impregnated two siblings (sisters). What an abomination! These false prophets are highly promiscuous. They can even sleep with married women. There are a lot of false prophets everywhere.
The operation of false prophets is as old as Methuselah. Prophets are supposed to be God’s messengers, who preach the gospel, rebuke evil deeds and direct people God’s ways. In contrast, self-style and self-seeking prophets are ungodly and messengers of Satan.
The term “fabulous” is an adjective which means excellent, extremely good, pleasant, genuine and correct in actions and inactions while false is synonymous with fake, deceptive, fraudulent and destructive deeds/acts( in nature).
Etymologically, the term, “prophet” can be traced to the Hebrew Bible. The word for "prophet" in Hebrew is usually nabi' which denotes "spokesperson"; used over 300 times, while the related feminine noun nebi'ah ("prophetess") occurs only rarely. Both words are derived from the root verb naba' which means "to prophesy and to speak on behalf of another" See Encyclopedia.com (2019): https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/philosophy-and-religion/biblical-proper-names-biographies/daniel-bible-prophet and JK Kaplan (2009).
It may interest you to know that “pro” in Latin also means instead of. So when purported prophets impersonate or speak instead of allowing God to speak through them they become false prophets.
"Prophets" are those who "speak before" something happens, thus "predicting", but it can also mean "for" or "on behalf of", that is why most biblical scholars insist that "prophets" are those who "speak on behalf of God"
This write-up aims at comparing and contrasting genuine prophets and fake prophets. All prophets preach and teach the word of God, but the content of their messages differs. For instance, fabulous/genuine preachers/prophets preach salvation messages while false prophets preach and lay emphasis on financial and material prosperity. One day, a brother told me that a prophet said, “As for your pastor, he always preaches salvation, salvation without stressing prophecies” In other words, fake/false prophets preach prophecies as lifestyle while fabulous or genuine prophets “preach Jesus and him crucified” Also, false prophets normally talk hyperbolically what they can do and have been doing in their ministries by broadcasting what they describe as “confirmation of prophecies” without ascribing the glory to God. Conversely, genuine men and women of God talk about the mightiness of God as well as ascribing all exploits in their ministries to God. Now, what are the dissimilarities of these prophets? False prophets are usually identified by strange names or nicknames as opposed to genuine prophets of God. Again, false prophets are lovers of sensationalism and sentimentalism prophecies while extremely good prophets/preachers are courteous and caring in giving biblical prophecies. In other words, false prophets/pastors are experts in creating fear and panic in people with the intention of compelling their listeners to follow them blindly. That is to say that, fake prophets’ prophecies are soul-destroying, sensational and sentimental as opposed to biblical, caring and courteous prophets’ prophecies.
It may interest you to know that almost all false prophets patronize miracle items such as selling holy or anointing water, anointing oil, anointing or anointed fruits, signs and wonders wristbands, miracle calendars and stickers. If you go to a church where your prophet/pastor sells miracle items, repent and run away for your life. No miracle item can save you. It is only the Lord Jesus Christ that saves.
Furthermore, false prophets are fond of compelling and inducing people to speak or confess that they are either wizards/witches or the spirit of a family member speaking through them before they can be delivered. The point is that an evil spirit can manifest under the ministry of a genuine man/woman of God, but the false prophets or pastors always insist that an evil spirit must speak through a person before he or she can be delivered. This is divination or demonology and not Christianity.
The basic role of prophets in the Bible is not primarily about predicting the future or giving life-threatening/heart-breaking prophecies.
On the other hand, genuine prophets/prophetesses usually challenge people of their own world, especially their rulers, to remain faithful to God's commandments and/or to repent of their sins and turn back to God if they go astray. False prophets are usually fond of giving political, marital, financial and travelling overseas (abrokyire) prophecies whereas fabulous or genuine prophets stress spiritual prosperity (salvation of souls).
Why can’t people learn to hear from God themselves but always desirous to hear from prophets?
What about political prophecies?
It seems all false prophets are passionate about giving political prophecies. False prophets patronize political prophecies usually a year before elections. Did you see some prophets or pastors giving political prophecies in 2019 and 2020? How many of these pastors or prophets gave prophecies about COVID-19 in 2019? Can prophets who give election prophecies be banned or arrested? The answer is emphatic NO. According to article 21(1b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, “All persons shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, belief...” If people cannot be prevented from expressing personal opinions, then prophets cannot equally be prevented from prophesying politically, but Africans, particularly, Ghanaians can choose not to patronize their political prophecies. Can one therefore say that political prophecies are constitutional ?Africans, particularly, Ghanaians must seek the face of God in holiness and righteousness through true repentance so as to have individual spiritual senses active instead of being bothered and anxious about false or fabricated prophecies, particularly, political, marital and material prophecies.
Prophets who prophesy miracle money are false prophets as opposed to prophets who teach their members how to work hard to enable them to fend for themselves. How can one receive money into his/her bank accounts without somebody transferring it? The Bible says, he who does not work must not eat. Any prophecy that goes contrary to the Word of God is false and can best be described as magic and not miracle. What is so disheartening and dehumanizing is when those false prophets heartlessly indulge themselves in bloodshed with their quest to become popular and powerful. However, fabulous/genuine prophets of God are fond of waiting on God by praying, fasting and studying the Word of God so as to be empowered by God.
What is the way forward? It is advisable to stop patronizing the activities of these false pastors/prophets. If it is possible, discourage and prevent your family members and loved ones from attending the programmes of these false prophets as well as even watching their TV or radio programmes. It is equally expedient to follow your wife, sister or mother to a suspicious, probable false prophet’s programme as you may not know the demonic intentions of a false prophet.
In short, we must stop seeking miracles from prophets and start seeking to know God. Knowing God personally is the key to all miracles and total breakthrough in life while running after prophets for miracles can be misleading, destructive and can even lead to the death of the miracle seeker.
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error/destruction” (Matthew 24:11).
The writer is a lecturer at the Ghana Communication Technology University
E-mail: [email protected]