ow did the state of the nation degenerate to this level? How could a nation characterized by intense religious inclination become a haven for high level corruption manifesting at all levels? What happens to the precepts, moral obligations and injunctions required of believers of these faiths? Now the question is, where are the so called prophets in the land? The dictionary meaning of a prophet is a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration. It could also be a person who practices divination. Now the question is, are there true prophets of God in Nigeria? If there are, what messages have they received from God to the people of Nigeria with regards to the precarious situation that has placed the nation in peril? From the Old Testament bible, true prophets of God were divinely chosen to convey His messages in regard to specific situations in order to accomplish some specific purposes. When someone is called to be a prophet, such an individual must be ready to disengage himself/herself from the pleasure of this world. He or she must be prepared to fight for justice and equality. Prophets must be prepared to face serious oppositions, hate, threat, imprisonment, and possibly death. A true prophet of God must be in direct conflict with anything that negate the righteousness of God. Prophets of God are brave and very direct in their messages. They do not vacillate by intimidation neither are they revered because of their fearless and courageous stance against unrighteousness. A true prophet of God warns the people of imminent consequences of their sins and provide specific solutions on how to avoid them.
The only way to understand true prophets of God, is to carefully examine their characteristics according to the scripture. In the book of Deuteronomy 18:18 -22, the lord said, "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19, I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 21, And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? 22, "when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing follows not, nor comes to pass, that is, the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him".
From the lives of the prophets in the Bible, it is crystal clear that prophets of God were driven by Holy Spirit with all aggressiveness to combat evil in all its ramifications. When King David assassinated Uriah after he had committed adultery with his wife, he was oblivious of the fact that God had recorded the episode. As soon as the deed was done, God immediately sent Prophet Nathan to divulge the secret of his atrocities and to impose a penalty accordingly. Prophet Nathan went to David and did exactly what he was told to do without fear of intimidation. Prophet Jeremiah was another example of a true prophet of God. He was known for his intrepid and radical opposition to injustice. He was hated for his friction against the ruling class and injustice perpetrated against the poor. Jeremiah's boldness and undaunted move against powerful elements in Israel put him among the most hated prophets in the kingdom. At the end Jeremiah was arrested and kept in a dungeon for a long time. Many ancient writers had written that in 586BCE after Jerusalem was annexed by the Babylonians, Prophet Jeremiah fled to Egypt along with some Jews and there he was stoned to death.
Another remarkable prophet was Elijah. He was one of the prophets of old whose radical move against injustice, idolatry was seen in his conflict with the ruler ship of King Ahab. Elijah was sent by God to inform King Ahab that because he had turned away from the true God of Israel and had made the people to sin, there would not be rain in the land for few years. 1 King 17 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word." Prophet Elijah was henceforth kept in a brook where he was fed by God. From there, he was asked to go to Zarephath in the region of Sidon where he lived with a widow. Thereafter he was moved by the spirit to go back to Israel at the humble request of King Ahab to release the nation of the draught. Another Prophet to be reckoned with was prophet Isaiah. He was also used by God to reprimand the children of Israel during their sinful days and Isaiah did exactly as he was commanded.
Another radical prophet was Amos. As a sheep herder and a farmer, he surrendered his life to the call of God in the office of a prophet. He was remarkably bold on speaking against sin. What about John the Baptist, the last and the greatest of them all? The scripture says he lived in the wilderness and ate locust. His messages to the children of Israel was that they must flee from wickedness in order to escape the wrath of God. He went straight to king Herod Antipas and reprimanded him for marrying his own brother's wife, Herodias. Consequent upon this, he was arrested and beheaded at the request of the king's daughter. From above references, one must understand that the mission of a true prophet of God is to rebuke, correct, and exhort. The question now is, if prophet Jeremiah, Elijah, Amos, and Isaiah were to rise from their graves to address the situation in Nigeria as it is today, what would be their messages to Nigerians? Of course it would be tougher and more stringent warnings than what was given to Israelites in their time. I assume that their first message would be to close down 98 percent of Nigerian churches as they have become a reproach and abomination to God. Then they would proceed to the rot in government and moral decadence in the society. But how come the nation is flooded with prophets and yet the same nation is bedeviled by high level of wickedness and none of these prophets seem to be speak against it? The answer is simple. It is because there is no prophet of God in Nigeria. Nigeria is hijacked by a conglomerate of modern day voodoo practitioners also popularly known as native doctors. They masquerade as prophets of God but they are what the scriptures refer to as false prophets.
It is extremely important to know that these false prophets masquerading as Disciples of Christ, are on a common mission with intent to cause spiritual havocs and material damages to the lives of Nigerians. It is imperative that Nigerians understand that these con-men and women are using the Church as platform to perpetrate some of the most gruesome crimes in the nation. As the nation sleeps into chaos and the people trapped on the web of economic quagmire, these prophets and Bishops have continued to manipulate, hypnotize, and extort their unfortunate followers by brainwashing them that the only way they would overcome their problems is to surrender their hard earned money. Records and testimonies have shown that these con-artist, also make covenant with evil spirits and marine kingdom to acquire powers by offering human and other sacrifices. Equipped with such powers they create counterfeit miracles by simply hypnotizing their victims. Sometimes some individuals are paid to pretend to be healed of some kind of debilitating diseases and these individuals are made to spew lies in front of media telecast about such fabricated miracles. These false prophets also engage in amorous relationship with married women and minors as part of rituals to appease their gods. There is no doubt, these Babalawos or native doctors would have been regarded as prophets of Baal in the days of King Ahab.
These Babalawos, Charlatans and sangomas also dabble into predictions on contemporary issues which have absolutely nothing to do with God and His people here on earth. All their predictions have not only failed on countless times, they have become laughable. They lie against the Holy Spirit by using the phrase "the lord said to me or God has sent me to tell you" when in essence the lord has not spoken. In the Old Testament it is commanded that any prophet who speaks in the name of the lord, and the thing he says does not come to pass must be put to death. Deuteronomy 18:20, But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. I could only imagine how many of these self-proclaimed prophets would have been executed by now if this specific law in the Old Testament had not been abrogated. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon.