The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Prophets, the Great Deception

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We are at a very definitive moment in history and never in the history of mankind has the gospel of prosperity taken centre stage at the expense of the gospel of holiness and the gospel of miracles has lifted itself above the gospel of faith.

Those at the forefront of the lucrative charismatic movement have found a cover in miracle and prophecy to milk the bleeding pockets of their poor followers. Someone once coined the phrase "misunderstanding to a person who misunderstood is understanding".

The bible says they have ears to hear but will not hear, eyes to see but will not see. This author firmly believes that every spirit must be tested and to cap it all refer to Ephesians 5 v 11; "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them".

Jesus warned in Luke 11 v 29 of the generation that seeks signs. While in Mark 16 v 16, Jesus explicitly says signs and wonders will follow them that believe and not vice versa. Since time immemorial, the sick have been healed in many Zimbabwean churches.

Demons cast out, the barren receiving restoration and broken marriages revived. The author can certainly testify of many miracles within his congregation only that they are not commercialised. True miracles touch the hearts of many though they are not televised in the same manner as magic shows.

Mathew 7 v 15; "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves". They are proud and not accountable, but are entities unto themselves and their so-called foreign fathers. Many church fathers in the country can testify that any attempt to correct or advise them falls on deaf ears as they are an island in the realm of Christendom.

The Apostle Paul an Apostle to the gentiles was caught up in paradise which in the bible passage is also referred to as the third heaven. While in that awesome place, he observed some of the things which humanity could not normally experience without it proving too much for them, 2 Cor 12 v 1-5. He was shown nine mysteries which were to be read about, studied and understood by believers world-wide before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The mysteries are as follows:

1) The mystery of the gospel: Ephesians 6 v 19

2) The mystery of Israel: Romans 11 v 25

3) The mystery of faith: 1 Timothy 3 v 9

4) The mystery of His will: Ephesians 1 v 9

5) The mystery of Godliness: 1 Timothy 3 v 16

6) The mystery of Christ and his church: Ephesians 5 v 32

7) The mystery of resurrection:1 Corinthians 15 v 51

8) The mystery of wisdom of God:1 Corinthians 2 v 7

9) The mystery of iniquity (lawlessness): II Thessalonians 2 v 7

This edition will deal with the ninth mystery, 2 Thessalonians 2 v 7; "For the mystery of lawless is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he be taken out of the way and then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the brightness of this coming". The world awaits the son of perdition whose epitaph runs the father of lawlessness.

Jesus said in John 5 v 43, "I have come in my Father's name and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own, him you will receive". Generations have not accepted the gospel of eternity but that of vile passions.

This is echoed in 2 Thessalonians 2 v 3 "Let no one deceive you by any means for the day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that's worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God". Take note of the term "falling away". The anti-Christ does not exclusively mean against Christ but also in the place of Christ. The devil will establish a satanic trinity comprising of the devil, the anti-Christ and the false prophet.

The devil is an imitator, 2 Cor 11 v 13 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works". This is a mystery of lawlessness and it will take truth seekers to see the deception of this system. What they think is great the bible says its vanity.

The Greek word for "falling away" is apostacia. Almost every evangelical teacher believes there will be a falling away from God in the end times and an ushering in of a generation of apostasy. Thus believers of all hues will turn away from God and from the truths of the bible and fall by the wayside. 2 Thessalonians 2 v 9-11; "The coming of the lawless one is accordance to the working of Satan with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of truth that they mighty be saved.

And for this reason God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie". Many are adamant to stay in these lies because of the delusion that is called, in Shona chidzimaidzwa. The carnal eyes are not good enough to discern issues of the esoteric or gnostic order. This is such a great mystery and it is pertinent that I highlight the characteristics of anti-christ and compare and contrast how they closely relate to those of his predecessors who are conspicuously glaring in our very own time.

The anti-christ will work signs and wonders and cause great deceptions such that he will make fire to come down from heaven. He and the false prophet will breathe into the image of the beast that the image may speak. Raising people from the dead is no big deal with satanic miracle workers. Are we not witnessing sensational miracles that will move the hearts of many towards man worship.

He will cause craft to prosper Daniel 8 v 25 "Through his cunning he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity" The kind of pseudo prosperity we see being preached today will bring destruction of many, for it is through deceitful means that have no bearing with the hand of God. Many magicians have produced miracle money which builds nothing.

He will control money and riches, religion and worship in his own realm, Daniel 11 v 38-43. He will act against the strongest of fortresses with a foreign god. See how much money these guys command even after a year of inception together with their foreign fathers which I liken to foreign gods. They sleep on money even when the very contributors of this wealth are wallowing in deep poverty. They are made to institute alters at their homes. They invest money throughout the week which they are scared to take in case of emergency since it is sacred. This ensures the system is continuously well oiled with financial resources not understanding that sacrificial altars of the old testament are now superseded by one altar offering of Christ and his blood. For many, the alters fail to bring results and dejected they either leave the system to relapse back into the life of drinking and womanising. There have been testimonies of such.

The anti-christ will influence world leaders Rev 16 v 13. Do we not see world leaders and authorities bowing down to this system including those who have never been religious, some go to these prophets behind the scenes and some publicly. The world leaders are slowly being prepared for an alliance with the anti-christ system who will gather them through the power of unclean spirit of frogs for the battle of Armageddon.

He takes kingdoms and multitudes by flatteries, Daniel 11 v 21 "And in his place shall arise a vile person to whom they will not give the honour of royalty. But he shall come in peaceably and seize the kingdom by intrigue (flatteries)". The anti-christ initially will appear peaceful. Today the prophets are like wolves in sheep's clothing. They dress, talk and behave like sheep yet inside they are ravening wolves. See how quickly they sue people instead of casting burdens unto God. They want to defend themselves unlike Christ who left it all unto the Father.

He will speak boastfully and open his mouth to blaspheme, Daniel 7 v 8b " And there in the this horn were eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words"

The pride we see today is beyond imagination. Man of God challenging other man of God to contest on a Spiritual Platform. They quote old testament scriptures to validate their carnal nature not knowing that we are in the new covenant a ministration of grace in which the fruits of the Spirit are love, meekness, joy, peace, gentleness, long suffering, goodness and patience. God found fault with the old covenant and brought in a new covenant based on better principals Hebrews 8 v 7, Hebrew 8 v 13. This explains why Christ would not even defend himself even before the likes of Jewish authorities. He did not do miracles for self exaltation or to demonstrate power but he did for the sake of love to those who were in distress. Despite so much opposition he never called for a spiritual contest.

The anti-christ shall cause commotion or shaking Isaiah 14 v 16 "He shall make the earth tremble, and shall shake kingdoms, he shall make the world like a wilderness". The influence and impact of the modern day get rich quickly prophets is causing so much alarm and havoc. In Rev 13 v 3b "And all the world marvelled and followed the beast". Here take note that the antichrist will command multitudes.

The traits of the false prophets is void of biblical norms because prophets of the bible are sober and noble not boastful and pompous. They focus more on prosperity thus reversing priorities unlike Peter and Paul who were Christocentric (Carrying the burdens for Christ). They strive to be great among man of God. The apostles could have multiplied bread and made bakeries but instead they concentrated on training disciples to live holy lives. The reactions and venom attack by some of their followers lack character which is the fruit of the Spirit and the hallmarks of holiness. When Christ was criticized he remained quiet and still maintained his Godly Character.

They make merchandise of their followers. By covetousness they exploit them with deceptive words. They speak what people want to hear. They broadcast socially accepted gospel that conforms to people's expectations. Had Jesus promised the Jews the Roman Empire with its splendour and luxuries they would not have rejected him.

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