God wants us to test every spirit that comes our way, irrespective of the vessel. His reason is because of the upsurge of lying spirits. It did not start today. It was like that during the time of the Apostles. Some people delight in saying what God has not said. They may claim that God has used them in performing certain miracles when He has not.
I remember with pathos, how I returned, one year, from my usual annual Isuikwuato Christians Crusade Organization [ISUCCO] programme, and a fellow Senior Pastor in our Ministry, told me about a revelation about me, when I was away. “Where is Pastor Osondu?“ He told me that God was asking them. My response met him took him by surprise. “Are you saying that God doesn’t know Isuikwuato? Did He not commission all believers to be going all over the world to preach the gospel, which I did? You were in your cozy house, enjoying your AC, your wife and your children and God didn’t look for you. Imagine! He was looking rather for me, who was on a battlefield, on a retreat ground, from December 22 to 26, as I do yearly, sleeping with no pillow or mattress, and not minding the harmattan, mosquitoes or bedbug. How would God be asking where I was?” I asked him. He regretted messing himself with that false prophecy.
In that ministry, three of us were the ministers God had commissioned to be looking after His people and by His grace, we were doing that. In 1973, however, before that ministry started, God constrained the believers in Isuikwuato Local Government Area, to evangelize our people. We started doing that, having branches all over Nigeria.
We had programmes throughout the year, but in December, we hold our major crusade and it is residential. Uncle did not know how to stop me from attending the ISUCCO annual retreat I was sold to. Not only me, Dr. Emenike Ukazim was flying in every December from the US for it. Uncle thought that the best way to stop me was by telling me that my Father, Who is omnipresent, and was with us there, was looking for me.
A youth corps member, who joined our church newly in those days, ‘prophesied’ about the ministers one day. “Pastor Sunday Anyalechi,” he was referring to me, “God said that you will serve Him in evangelism ministry.” Unfortunately for him, I had never changed my name since I was born. “Has God forgotten my name?” I wondered. The man had been hearing our members calling me ‘Pastor Osondu’, which he thought was ‘Pastor Sunday.’ Secondly, I had been in-charge of evangelism in the church. His ‘prophecy’ about the ministries God will give my colleagues was also what they had been doing. There was nothing new he said. We rejected his prophecy and moved on. He left the church.
During the Nigerian civil war, I led the team of Red Cross members that went to a branch of Cherubim and Seraphim Church to solicit for relief materials for the sick people in our refugee camp. The Pastor was excited to see us. When he was ‘prophesying’, I became his target. He told me that a man in my compound, called Kanu, was planning to kill me.
Though I was an unbeliever then, I refused to accept that prophecy because Kanu was a common name in my compound. I refused to perform the rituals he wanted me to do and no evil happened to me. After the war, one of his members brought to him for prayers, a lady he had wanted to marry. He told the man and the lady, after his prayer, that God told him that the lady was the person He had given him to marry. Uncle, who came for prayers, was shortchanged.
God does not expect us to swallow hook, line, sinker, boots, all…of every prophecy we receive. We are to judge it. The critical question is whether it is consistent with the scriptures. If it is not, no matter the personality behind it, it should be thrown into the dustbin. God cannot contradict Himself by declaring a position here and overturning it in another place. The virgin birth of the Lord Jesus is consistent with Bible prophecies, from Genesis to Revelation and it was fulfilled.
It is also important to consider whether the prophecy, in any way, benefits the person that gives it. In some cases, the benefit to be derived is all about self-acclamation. During a Bible study, I used the scriptures once, to stop someone who was doing that. Another thing to consider is whether God has used the vessel in that area. “The Lord told me that you will buy me a car,” the man of God may tell a very rich member of his church and that is the first time he is prophesying. All the time, the church was seeking the face of God concerning Mummy Jane’s sickness, who later died, God did not speak to him, but now he needs a car, He has spoken to him. Such a message should be trashed, unless there is a confirmation.
Two friends, Sam and Olu, as I wrote in one of my books, may conspire, so that a lady will marry Sam. The day Olu will give the ‘prophecy’, Sam, the beneficiary, will not be in the church. Midway during general prayers, Olu will burst in ‘tongues’, which is his first time of speaking in tongues. It is all about Sister Bose, who has secured employment recently in Chevron oil company and now rides a modern jeep, her dad bought for her. “Sam Okeke, the youth after my Spirit, where are you? You have not started to pray for a life partner but I have given you Bose Oni, my beloved daughter, in marriage,” Uncle Olu declares. Some members may be excited while some, especially, men may be reserved as it is his first prophecy since ten years he joined the church!
In 1958, we were in a church, near Enugu, when one of the most influential men in the community entered. During the offering time, he brought out one British pound note and showed it to all of us, before he put it inside the offering plate. It was strange, someone giving one pound offering! The usual offering was one penny and 240 of such would give a pound. We all shouted in excitement. A few months later, we realized that he was going to contest an election to be the local government chairman! His offering was to bribe us to vote for him. And we did!
In one church, an Elder bought their pastor a car. He was appreciated highly by the members. It was when the pastor reprimanded him later for committing adultery that members realized that the gift had nothing to do with God. It was for the pastor to cover his adultery, but we thank God that he did not! May the Lord help the church learn to judge prophecies and gifts, especially, when an election is drawing close!
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]