Last week I published a post about how the practice of Christianity in Ghana has taken a new dimension.HAS CHRISTIANITY BECOME THE OPIUM OF THE MASSES?
Fortunately, WordPress daily post prompt three days ago was “Prophecy”. Even though I’m a little late, I couldn’t recuse myself from writing on this interesting topic. Anytime I hear the word “prophecy” the imagery that pops up in my mind is something beyond the ordinary.
Merriam-Webster defines prophecy as “ a statement that something will happen in the future or the power or ability to know what will happen in the future”. Basically, anybody who is able to know what will happen in the future is called a Prophet.
The Hebrew word for a prophet, navi (Nun-Beit-Yod-Alef) comes from the term niv sefatayim meaning “fruit of the lips,” which emphasizes the prophet’s role as a speaker.
Muḥammad is the central figure of Islam and widely regarded as its founder by non-Muslims He is known to Muslims as the “Holy Prophet”, almost all of whom consider him to be the last prophet sent by God to mankind to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He united Arabia into a single Muslim polity and ensured that his teachings, practices, and the Quran, which Muslims believe was revealed to him by God, formed the basis of Islamic religious belief.
In the Bible God told the prophet, Amos, to record “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
If Romans 3:4 is anything to go by, then all prophecies from God are true.
There are a lot of prophecies in the Bible that were fulfilled. When a prophet received a revelation from God, he was obligated to share the message with the intended audience, which could be for contemporaries of the prophet or for people hundreds or even thousands of years into the future. Many of the prophets recorded the words they were given, and some of these writings God preserved as Holy Scripture.
The prophets of God often faced opposition when they were instructed to deliver messages of warning, but they were not permitted to shy away. The prophet Jeremiah expressed how it felt to deliver messages from God warning the sinful leaders of Judah to repent of their sins. He was not allowed to keep God’s words to himself, saying, “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not” (Jeremiah 20:9).
: “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8).
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”
God’s inspired writings give spiritual light and guidance to mankind. The book of Proverbs describes this vital knowledge as revelation, saying, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint” (Proverbs 29:18). Another Bible translation of this verse adds additional emphasis: “Where there is no vision [spiritual guidance], the people perish” (King James Version).
The Prophecies of Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre and Edom
Let’s take a look at a few Bible prophecies that were fulfilled about 2500 years ago when the ancient kingdoms and cities of Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre and Edom were destroyed. The Bible makes the assertion that these entities were destroyed because they had sought to destroy the Holy Land of Israel and the people of Israel (the Jews).
Babylon Will Rule Over Judah for 70 Years
“…This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.”
Both parts of Jeremiah’s prophecy were fulfilled! In 609 BC, Babylon captured the last Assyrian king and took over the holdings of the Assyrian empire, which included the land of Israel.
Babylon’s Gates Will Open for Cyrus
If you read Isaiah 45:1 you will find a prophecy that was ultimately fulfilled hundreds of years later in 539 BC.
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut…”
In this passage, the prophet said God would open the gates of Babylon for Cyrus and his attacking army. Despite Babylon’s remarkable defenses, which included moats, and walls that were more than 70-feet thick and 300-feet high (with 250 watchtowers) Cyrus was able to enter the city and conquer it. Cyrus and his troops accomplished it by diverting the flow of the Euphrates River into a large lake basin. Cyrus then was able to march his army across the riverbed and into the city!
For details on the other prophecies being fulfilled, kindly visit Bible Study Tools.
Just as there were prophets 2500 years ago, there are also prophets in the modern day church, especially in Ghana. From my observation, I’ve realized that the churches of prophets receive high patronage in recent times. This is as a result of their ability to make accurate predictions of the future.
Prophecy has now become part of our daily lives. This is as a result of it now being used as a tool for solution to problems (either physical or spiritual). As a result of this, prophets in one way or the other have become essential fragments of our lives. Accolades such as “Senior Prophet Major” “Major 1” “Prophet 1” etc. have been bestowed on some prophets as a result of their track record of being able to give accurate prophecies. Irrespective of the geographical location of prophets, people still travel great lengths to see them so far as mysteries behind their problems would be revealed to them.
31st December in Ghana and Africa as a whole now seems as a day of prophecy. This is because most prophets make predictions of what would ensue in the coming year on this day. Over the years predictions of a plane crash, Terrorist attacks, Wars, the death of some prominent people, Economic hardships etc. have become headline prophecies. As fate will have it, all these prophecies have come to fruition.
Prophecy now plays a role in elections in Ghana. I remember when the Late President John Evans Atta Mills won the 2008 general elections, he traveled to Nigeria to thank God and a particular prophet for playing a role in his dethronement of the sitting government at the time. I remember the prophet talking about how he gave predictions about the elections going into a run-off. All these predictions came to pass.
In a build up to the 2012 elections, a so-called prophet predicted that a particular presidential candidate would win the elections but the candidate lost. It is an electioneering year and some prophets have begun predicting who would win the November 2016 general elections.
Prophecy has also traversed into the sports arena in Ghana. During the Under-20 World Cup which Ghana won in 2009, I remember there was a lot of hullabaloo about who first prophesied that the Black Satellites will annex the trophy. Some rumors were making rounds that a prophet in Nigeria called the coach and gave him the names of the players who should take the penalty kick during the penalty shoot-out.
During the 2006, 2010 and 2014 world cups which Ghana participated in, I recollect some prophets laying claim to predictions of the Black Stars being eliminated at a particular stage in the tournament.
In a build up to the recent African Nations Cup which Ghana lost to Ivory Coast, some prophets attributed the Black Stars trophy drought to the failure of previous governments to fulfill some promises made to Ex Black Star players who won laurels for Ghana. Before the Black Stars departed to partake in the tournament, President Mahama pledged some amount of money to the Ex Black Star players to cater for themselves.
One might be deceived into thinking that, prophecy is only exclusive to pastors or a tenet of the Christian religion. In a build up to the 2014 world cup, Real Madrid talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo sustained a knee injury. A popular Ghanaian traditional priest claimed responsibility for Ronaldo’s injury to prevent him from scoring against Ghana. He even went further to predict that, the Portuguese international won’t be able to score a goal against Ghana. Ironically, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal against Ghana which eliminated us from the group stages of the tournament.
One Prophecy that is taken seriously in Ghana is the Prophecy of death. If you want to get the attention of the average Ghanaian, just tell them you had a revelation that they will die or a loved one of theirs will die. This prophecy will make them quiver to their knees. Make any outrageous demand from them in order to avert the death prophecy and you will be amazed at the length at which they are willing to go to meet your demands just for the prophecy to be averted. As a result of this, some so called prophets have exploited this vulnerability of the average Ghanaian. Some of the predictions they make can even be made by an ordinary person just by applying some psychological principles.
In recent times, some politicians and celebrities in Ghana have been marked for the candidacy of death within a particular period of time. As at the time was chronicling this post, these death candidates and celebrities are still among the living.
So I ask, what is your view on prophecy in Ghana lately? How can you discern whether a prophecy if backed by God or not?