FALSE PROPHETS AND FALSE PASTORS
There is hardly any day that passes, without reports of false prophets and their likes, deceiving or duping gullible people with lying visions and prophecies. They as well commit one atrocity or the other. These are glorified soothsayers and diviners, who have found the ‘work of God,” more lucrative. The truth is that genuine prophets of God exist. But they are vastly outnumbered by false prophets_ disguised native doctors, juju priests, marabouts, etc, who are in every nook and corner. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many”—Matthew 24:11.
Once upon a time, there existed someone who declared himself a man of God. He swiftly went into action: holding crusades in many cities; and planting churches as he went along. He was conspicuous and flamboyant in his outings. His voice was heard on many radio stations. He appeared on television stations as well. Little did people know he is an agent of Satan!
He had the headquarters of his church at Port Harcourt, River State. He had branches in Bayelsa, Imo, Delta States, among other places. He was pulling crowd wherever he went. He could pass for a genuine minister of the gospel. He used to dress very decently. He had a church that was sitting thousands of unsuspecting worshippers. Of course, he could quote the bible extravagantly.
This charlatan was very vocal in his condemnation of: witches and wizards, native doctors, devils, and juju priests. He called them names. He used to parade himself as a man of God, until the time the Lord exposed him.
He performed outstanding miracles and healing, by the unclean spirits residing in him. He once boasted of healing someone of AIDS. This fake minister could preach and teach, and people would repent: while he himself was heading to hell. He used to call on the name of Jesus Christ while praying. Actually, God was taking the glory of his activities, in the sight of the public; who mistook him for a real minister of God. He claimed he had healed many blind, and crippled persons.
He would tell them to come to his church and do thanksgiving; else the sickness would come back. Hear him, “My God is a God of now. He answers my prayers immediately”. He used to dramatize and commercialize on deliverance, along with his surrogates. Deliverance is a physical exercise to him. He could hardly distinguish between casting out devils, and torturing people!
What he was actually doing was exorcism – driving out evil spirits by magical powers. He was casting spells on people in the name of healing and deliverance. An agent of Satan can never cast out devils completely from somebody. What he used to do was mere substitution of devils. He could command a demon to leave the body, for a higher demon to replace him. On the physical, the person may look healed or delivered: but in the spiritual realm, more bondage has taken place. Devil cannot cast out devil –Mark 3: 23.
This occult minister used to attribute virtually every problem, or sickness to demons. He was a prayer businessman. He could recommend deliverance for any headache. He was making a lot of money; and living ostentatious lifestyle.
But one day, his day of reckoning came. For God said in the tenth chapter of Matthew, “for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, and hid that shall not be known”. In 1999, he organized a crusade in Warri, Delta State, that lasted several days. Multitude of people went as usual. He preached and ‘healed’ people, on the first and second days without a hitch. Unknown to him, his former colleague in a certain secret society, was watching him on the crusade. The man genuinely repented: and left him in the occult many years previously.
The now born-again Christian discovered a lot of irregularities, and similarities of his operations: with what obtained in his former occult society. He observed this fake man of God, adopted some of those practices, into his mode of operation on the crusade. For instance, he noticed the tongue he was speaking, was their language while in the occult world. Hear him, “Oh Urobo Urobo Scatter! Urobo Scatter! Marii! Ah. Inanaaa!!!” Some people suggested he was calling on Urhobo people to scatter!
The young man also noted he was using demonic powers on the people. He watched him for two days. Then, he prayed and prepared for him on the third day. He went straight to the stage to meet him. The occult minister was shocked to see him there. However, he welcomed him and gave him a seat. He only introduced him as a friend, to his assistants. He didn’t allow him to handle the microphone to speak. That day, himself couldn’t preach. He called on one of his assistants, who took over the proceedings. He was highly afraid of the unwanted guest. He knew his time of exposure was imminent.
The following day, the ‘man of God’ failed to turn up. The same assistant preached and prayed for people. Then, he handed over the microphone to the guest to greet the audience. The young man saw it as a golden opportunity; to expose the fake minister. He greeted the people, and told them he knew God was taking glory, of what was happening on the crusade ground: the conversions, healing, and so on.
Nevertheless, he told them he was in the same secret society with the so-called man of God, until the time he left him there. He was courageous to tell them, the man was speaking in the tongue of devils; they were using in communicating in the occult. He said further, his powers were demonic among other things. After the exposure, he left.
It had adverse effects on that ministry. The size of crowd, attending subsequent days of crusade began to dwindle. There was murmuring everywhere. Many people found it very hard to believe the exposure. His assistants, and other church members were highly embarrassed. The mighty had fallen! The self-proclaimed man of God, never showed up on the crusade ground again. He abruptly stopped making television appearances, or speaking on the radio. He deserted his ministry! Up till now, nobody knows of his whereabouts.
Many of his pastors have changed the signboards, and name of the church. They have renamed and taken over most of the branches. Others are operating without signboards. They regard the name of the church as a stigma. We heard he holds clandestine meetings, with some leaders of loyal branches: probably to collect some money from them. For him to come out again, and pray for people to be healed and delivered, no way. He has gone into hiding! Unless he repents, he will likewise perish!
He is much more possessed, than many of the people he claimed to be delivering. He has climbed very high in occult level. Many like him, have probably come face to face with Satan. Such take orders directly from Satan. Demons possessing him are much stronger than witchcraft or mermaid spirits; he can easily chase away. Unless he repents, he will go to hell. There are so many fake ministers like him, who don’t want to change. Some of them break away from their masters, in occult churches to form their own. They are stubbornly waiting for Almighty God, to cast them out of the churches!
And there existed another occult preacher. Before the Lord exposed and disgraced him, he used to parade himself as a man of God. Many churches and Christian organizations: used to invite him to minister in their churches and crusades. He had the negative anointing to perform miracles, signs and wonders. He was popular in that city.
But one day, something unpleasant happened to him. His iniquities became full before God. He was invited as usual, to preach on a crusade. Before making any appearance to minister, he would go into his strong room to perform some rituals: to revive his demonic powers. He would turn to a beast: then turn back to human being before going to preach. He had sold himself to devils for fake powers! On that faithful day, he performed the rituals as usual. He turned to animal, but couldn’t return fully to human being. He was therefore half-man and half-animal. People waited in vain, for him to come on the crusade ground, and perform miracles as usual. Some persons were sent to go, and find out the problem with him. When they arrived at his residence, his doors were wide open, even to his bedroom.
They called him several times, but no reply. Then, they began to search for him everywhere in the house. They eventually went to his bedroom. And behold, there he was half-man, half-animal. From the legs to chest was animal. From the arms to head was human being. They were astonished to see him in that condition. And that was the end of the so-called man of God. There are many more hypocrites like him, in the ministry. They are waiting for the Lord of Hosts to kick them out; and end their demonic careers!
There is another fake pastor based in Lagos. Before conducting fake healing on sick people, he would first hypnotize them; and put them in a state of unconsciousness. Then, he would wield his staff over the motionless bodies of his patients; and make incantations to his gods to come and heal them. He is still in the business. Like native doctors, he collects money, fowls, goats, and yams for ‘thanksgiving’. He is in league with: butchers, yam, and rice sellers, who patronize him regularly.
“Son of man, prophesy and say unto them. Thus said the LORD God unto the shepherds. Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool. You kill them that are fed: but you feed not the flock. The diseased have you not strengthened. Neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost, but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them. And they were scattered because there was no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered” –Ezekiel 34: 2-5.
God Almighty was pouring out His indignation upon hired shepherds of Israel: and by extension hired shepherds of today. They were his ministers. But they became brutish and terror, to the flock they were supposed to cater for. They were not feeding the flock with the word of God properly. They cared little, about the spiritual well being of the people God entrusted them with. They were more concerned about what they could get from the people: money, fowls, goats, etc. He lambasted them for milking the flock dry. He accused them of covetousness, and materialism.
He also accused them of dictatorship, and cruelty. They lorded it over the people. He lamented the sheep scattered, because there was no shepherd to take care of them. The sheep wandered through all the mountains, and scattered upon all the face of the earth. The shepherds fed themselves, and fed not the flock. He said as they made His flock to be meat to every beast of the field, He would stop them from feeding the flock: neither would the shepherds feed themselves of the flock anymore. He promised to gather them from the countries they were driven to; and bring them to their land and feed them.
He promised to judge the shepherds: to judge between the fat and lean cattle; to destroy the fat and the strong. He promised to bring the son of David, as their true shepherd. He said He would make a covenant of peace, and cause evil beasts to cease from the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in wood. And, He will no longer allow hired servants to serve themselves of them. During the invasion of Judah by Babylonian soldiers, God used them to deal ruthlessly with many of the shepherds: scribes, kings, priests, and so on. Many of them were slain, even in the temple. The Lord judged them! For He said, “Judgement will begin in my sanctuary.”
“The prophet that has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? said the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? said the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: thou shall not be afraid of him– Jeremiah 23:28-29 & Deuteronomy 21:22.”
YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS
What is the chaff to the wheat? There are a number of ways to detect clearly, if persons who claim to be of God are genuine. The fake ones among them indulge in immoral acts like: fornication, adultery and rape. Some of those charlatans engage clients who go to them for prayers on sexual intercourse; as conditions for getting their problems solved.
These counterfeit ministers are also involved in criminal activities like: robberies, murders and ritual killings. Criminals are now invading the pulpits as pastors: thus transforming themselves into pastors without repentance. They don’t have pedigree of conversion. Many people get confused when they keep hearing that some ‘pastors’ are caught and charged with armed robberies, ritual murders or rape. Such persons are agents of Satan in camouflage. If they refuse to repent, they will face the wrath of the LORD, even while alive.
Some of those men and women, were originally called of God. But, like Samson, they derailed somewhere along the line, or backslid; and began to live immoral and ungodly lives.
Samson was called of God from the womb (Judges 13:3-5). He was used mightily of the Lord; to bring deliverance to his people of Israel, from the hands of Philistines. He started well; but ended up tragically. Immoralities and disobedience led to his destruction.
He rent a young lion with his bare hands –very easily. He began to destroy the Philistines and slew thirty men at Ashkelon. Later, he smote the Philistines in hip and thigh, with a great slaughter (Judges 15:8). He used a jawbone of an ass to slay about one thousand men. Then, came his waterloo: his encounter with Delilah a harlot; who seduced and ended his ministry abruptly. He was sleeping with her daily. He was seduced to violet his covenant of Nazarite unto God: by having his head shaven.
Then, the Lord departed from him. The Philistines caught him; plucked off his eyes; and beat him up mercilessly. Thorough beating is part of God’s punishment, on rebellious ministers! He ended up killing himself and thousands of Philistines.
Remember what the Most High deed to king Zedekiah of Judah. He said of Zedekiah “My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the chaldeans, yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there” (Ezek.12: 13). He was taken to Babylon blind!
You will also notice his house, and belongings were burnt down, among other things. He was thoroughly beaten up by the Babylonians. God used them to judge him. The Babylonians plucked off his eyes, bound him with chains, and too him to Babylon. They beat him up mercilessly. Some fake pastors have received beatings of their lives. Yet, they refuse to change. Even their occult churches are not speared of fire.
One day, what happened to Hananiah the false prophet, will happen to them. For the LORD said to him, through Jeremiah, “Behold I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shall die, because thou have taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the false prophet died the same year in the seventh month” –Jer.28: 16-17.
SIMILARITY BETWEEN FALSE PROPHETS AND DIVINERS
There is a thin line of demarcation between outright native doctors and juju priests on one side; and fake or backslidden pastors. They are basically the same. The major difference is that the later dress more corporately, and moves about clutching the scriptures.
There are places some so-called men of God, go to obtain false powers_ the powers to see false visions and perform fake miracles. When something is rubbed in their eyes, they begin to see visions. When you see them moving around the swamps, you will mistake them for those who go there to tap rubber or palm wine. When they stroll along the bar-beach, you will think they are there for picnic. They go to those places to commune with devils for fake powers. They are swamp and bar-beach pastors!
Many false prophets go to the ‘wilderness’. They wander bare-footed in the bush for days or weeks, without food or bathing. Like reggae musicians or mad people; they leave their hairs uncut or unkempt. They are religious lunatics!
Every sizeable mountain is to them Mount Zion. They climb ‘Mount Zion’ to build altars, and offer sacrifices to devils. They commune with demons of the forest and rivers for fake powers. They cannot preach hard against idolatry; something they are deeply involved in. Frankly speaking, false prophets convert people to demons their masters.
The fulfillment of their so-called prophecies or visions fall short of scriptural standard. Prophecies must be hundred percent fulfilled, before they can be considered to be from God Almighty. There are no half-measures or hap-hazard fulfillment of revelations from God. That half of what somebody said or even ninety percent come to pass, is never from God. Outcome of Satan-inspired predictions are hap-hazard. Satan and his agents know little about the future.
Anxious people fall prey to these glorified fortune tellers. They are anxious to know about their future. In the process of seeking help from soothsayers, they get entangled in one misfortune or the other. It is dangerous to patronize them. They cause broken homes, divorce, disappointment, misery and death, through their divination (sorry prophecies).
A man got happily married to his wife. Soon she became pregnant. The husband was anxious to know the gender of the unborn baby. He went to a fortune-teller to find out. The fortune-teller accurately or coincidentally, made forecast the child would be a boy. Actually, the wife put to bed a baby boy later. And they were happy.
However, there was something the soothsayer told him also. He said, that the woman he was living with, was not the real wife. He told him further, that another woman– his real wife, was coming his way. He told him a better wife was coming. He stored the message in his mind.
One day, the man had a serious quarrel with his wife. They were at neck of each other. Suddenly, he remembered what the diviner told him sometime ago: that a better woman was coming his way. Then, he became more furious. He was urged by an unseen force, beyond his control, to drive away his beloved wife. He threw her belongings outside; and ordered her out of his house. He warned her never to come to his house again.
It is over twenty years now, since he sent his wife packing. He has been waiting in vain, for the ‘real’ wife to come. He is now disillusioned. He is a drunkard and womanizer. After getting himself drunk, he will be running after women. He has a broken home. Even his only son is no longer staying with him. He is staying with his mother. The man has no plan of getting married again. He allowed the devil to ruin his family, through divination!
Diviners, soothsayers, false prophets, juju priests, name them, use false visions and false prophecies to ruin families, and make merchandise of the people. In Nigeria, and other countries, you hear them say some prominent or rich men will die before the year ends. That such persons need serious prayers to survive.
They are prophets of dooms and booms. They predict doom for wealthy individuals, in order to seek their patronage. For instance, they can predict that a certain rich man needs serious prayers to survive the year. Then, fear will grip the person; if he is unbeliever or has no faith in God. He will do everything to live, no matter the expenses. You know, ungodly rich people are very much afraid of death. They fear to die and leave behind their enormous wealth.
Then, the wealthy man whom virtual death sentence is hanging on his neck: will go to the same prophet for solution; or ‘cancellation’ of the death. He is now ready to pay any huge amount of money, charged him to get off the hook. He can be compelled to buy a car, land, or roof the personal house of the false pastor. The latter sees the so-called death cancellation, as opportunity to escape from poverty. As he stands praying or seeing vision, his mind is on the half bag of rice and some tubers of yams at the corner of his client’s house.
These evil agents bury charms and life animals like goats, in their premises to fortify their evil powers and attract more customers.
There was a time an occult minister invited a genuine preacher to his church. He honoured the invitation. When the appointed time came, he began to minister. In the middle of his ministration, he noticed smoke was coming out under the altar. It was becoming thicker and thicker. The power of God was at work.
At a stage, the guest speaker took to his heels. And members of the church pursued after him, including the host minister. They were in hot pursuit with sticks and clubs: very angry. He was able to jump through the high wall. That was his saving grace. Then, they stopped pursuing after him. They went back to clear the debris. The altar was burnt with all the charms buried underneath it. The Lord exposed and destroyed their evil powers that day!
A man went to a false prophet to help him solve his problem. He told him to buy two pigeons, which he did. He took him to the center of a river, after ordering him to remove his clothes, remaining his pant. He used one pigeon to smash on all over his body. At the end of the exercise: the blood, feathers, and flesh of the pigeons were all over him. Then, the false prophet bound the other pigeon, and threw it into the river. A mighty snake came from nowhere and swallowed it. He bathed the man in the river. Later, he told him, the pigeons were used to cleanse the curses upon him. He charged him a lot of money, which he paid and left.
Sooner than later, he discovered his problem had not been solved. He went back to same man, with ‘jerry coil’ hairs like a mad man to complain. The evil prophet cleverly told him, he had a devil to be cast out of him by flogging; before his problems would be totally solved. He told him to come with a bundle of wipes the next day. On the appointed day, he instructed him to remove his clothes, and lie on the table face down. He told him should he run away during flogging: his problem would persist.
He began to flog him. He continued to flog him hard until he ran out of his house. He chased him out of his compound with the wipe. He told him not to come to his house again: as he didn’t want his problems to be solved!
People should seek revelation knowledge of the scriptures, by studying. When we study and meditate on the word, God speaks to our hearts. To those who obey Him, He speaks and ministers to them every now and then. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, are children of the Most High. He doesn’t tell us about most of the things He does in our lives. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose—Romans 8:28.
True prophets of God exist, but are outnumbered by evil prophets that are everywhere. Prophets of God concentrate on repentance and salvation of souls; and not to make merchandise of the people.
John the Baptist neither had the gift of healing, nor the gift of miracles. But the most high used him mightily to turn multitude of people from darkness unto the marvelous light. We therefore call on all: “prophets of Baal,” backslidden ministers, and others, to have a change of heart, and return to the LORD their creator. For He has appointed a day in which to judge the whole world.