Controversy often trails prophetic instructions. For instance few years ago the dust of such controversy was raised when one of the fathers in the Christian faith in Nigeria reportedly instructed his church congregants to bring combs to the church for him to pray to those combs. It was said that the highly revered cleric assured the congregants in his church that when they comb the hairs of their heads with the “Prayer comb” their problems would instantly solve.
This is one of the “weird “prophetic instructions” (as they often claim) by some Nigerian church leaders to their passive congregants or followers. Some pastors, particularly prophets sell prayer mantles, olive oil, Holy water, Spiritual soaps, coconuts, oranges, prayer shawls (for barren women) etc to their church members or miracle seekers in their assemblies. Also, some prophets instruct their church members and miracles seekers to bring canes to weird Koboko Night to mercilessly flog their enemies to death right in the church.
Of course, there are several references of “prophetic instructions” in the Bible that truly appeared weird, stupid and nonsensical to human senses. For instance, in 2 King 5:14, Elisha told Namaan, the leprous captain of the Syrian army to go bath seven times in the dirty Jordan River. In Ezekiel 4:4-5, God told Ezekiel to sleep on one side for 390 days, and further instructed him in verses 11-12 to mix dung (shit) with his food and eat. In Hosea 1-1-3, God instructed Hosea to go marry a prostitute. Also, in the New Testament we read in John 2:1-1 where Jesus Himself ordered six water pots to be filled with water, and then turned the water inside all the six pots to wine at the marriage in Cana of Galilee.
The above scriptural references and many more in the Bible somehow prove that “prophetic instructions” are biblical. But why are “prophetic instructions” engender controversy and suspicions from people, including believers today?
Pastor Andrew Morgridge, Associate Pastor/Administrator of The Christian Brethren Church (TCBC), Ejigbo, Lagos, in the below interview Christian Benefits on the prophetic instructions controversy bluntly dismisses prophetic instructions as unscriptural, and sternly warns people, particularly believers to be careful and wary of the so called prophetic instructions by the preachers he prefers to call “magicians” in this End time. Excerpts.
“Today, that Jesus is in us, and does not need “prophets” to do miracles for His children. Why? The Holy Spirit in the Prophet or the General overseer is the same in all Born Again Christians. There is no 20 years old Holy Spirit or 12 years old, junior or senior Holy Spirit. It’s our level of walk and intimacy with God that differs.”-Pastor Morgridge
Please, can we meet you sir?
My name is Andy Morgridge, Associate Pastor/Administrator, The Christian Brethren Church, Lagos; serving under Senior Pastor, Afolabi Oladele.
How long have you been walking with the Lord?
Officially, I got born again on January 1 1986; officially because much earlier, in 1975 thereabout I committed to the Lord but the youth in me left Him for the “fun” associated with youthful exuberance. I left him but He didn’t leave me as I was always conscious of His presence in my wild days.
How would you describe your walk with the Lord over the years?
The Lord is good-super good! He’s always there for you. If you reciprocate His love to you, you will always win. He’ll see to it that whether it’s family or ministry, He’s always there to make the difference for you.
Please, tell us about The Christian Brethren Church (TCBC)
The vision of The Christian Brethren Church is to raise a group of believers who are carriers and transmitters of the truth, knowledge and life of God; giving light to the nations for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to live for him here and now, and to be prepared to meet the Lord in the air at his soon return. Our mission statement is to partner with the Lord Jesus Christ through the teaching of sound doctrine, ensuring the removal of the spiritual veil covering and preventing the nations from imbibing the whole truth of the gospel, especially the dynamics of the End-time as revealed in the Holy Bible. Thus we preach the gospel to save the lost. We teach the Word of God, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures, with verity, to build the saints up. We organize teaching seminars, conferences and outreaches via missionary journeys and establishment of Christian Resource Centres. We publish literature and preach the gospel through Radio and Television broadcasts nationally and internationally. We endeavour to strengthen and network with fellow believers, nation to nation, as God gives opportunity for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. (ACTS 16:9). We declare the nearness of Christ’s return and help prepare people for His soon coming. We ensure that as the crisis of the age deepens, doubts, fear and confusion are replaced with confidence, faith and divine love while remaining expectant of the soon coming of the Lord.
TCBC is reputed as an End time prophetic ministry as in a ministry given to explaining the times and seasons with references to the scriptures. So, tell us the view or the position of the church on prophetic instructions
When you talk about a prophetic ministry you are talking generally about someone emphasizing the preparation for the Rapture, all it takes; pointing attention to prophecies fulfilling is just to ginger people to be more serious in the Christian service and Christian living. This has nothing to do with what you call prophetic instruction. In fact, there’s nothing like that in the context in which it is being presented today-making for people; often gullible followers special water, special seed offering, special comb, special handkerchiefs, special shawl etc.
“Believers fall for their gimmicks because it’s cheaper to pay magicians for miracles than build your faith through studying the word of God and prayers.” Pastor Morgdrige
What is your stand on prophetic instruction as it relates to pastors praying to combs, shawls, soap, water, coconut etc for people as prophetic instructions?
That’s not what the prophetic does. That’s what magicians do, and Jesus spoke about them in Matt. 24, with the warning that we should steer clear of them Mt. 24:4, 5,11,23,24. Likewise Paul in 2Tim 3:8 (James and Jambres being the magicians that withstood Moses, now being used by Paul to project prophetically the magicians (fake men of God) who will do things contrary to the truth- the word of God. And guess what; the first magician in the Bible is Satan- drawing from Gen. 3:1 where the Bible says, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the Garden?” the word serpent is from the Hebrew root word, Nachash i.e. Enchanter, to practice divination, whisper magic. So, when Jesus was telling us in Matt. 16:18 that the gate of hell will not stop him from building (and translating) His church, he was telling us the nature of enemies within the “Body of Christ” to watch out for (Matt. 24:22-25).
“True men of God will instead point you to God and how you as a person can get from him directly.” Pastor Morgridge
Some assert that prophetic instructions sometimes are incomprehensible; people should simply obey, even if they don’t understand like Jesus mother told the servants; “whatsoever he (Jesus) saith unto you do it (John 2:5) at the marriage in Cana of Galilee? How tenable is this assertion?
In the Old Testament instructions were given for various reasons. Naaman had to drop his ego to receive healing (hence, go bath in the dirty water). For water to turn to wine, Jesus began to teach faith and total obedience to God- no matter how “stupid” the instructions. Lepers were told to show themselves to the priests; that didn’t make sense too, considering the many instant healing he had done for others. Yet all he wanted was to see the faith that would trigger the miracle. Today, that Jesus is in us, and does not need “prophets” to do miracles for His children. Why? Because the Holy Spirit in the Prophet or the general overseer is the same in all Born Again Christians. There is no 20 years old Holy Spirit or 12 years old, junior or senior Holy Spirit. It’s our level of walk and intimacy with God that differs. Today its only faith in the word (Bible) and His individual promises that triggers miracles. (See Matt. 17:2; Mark 16:15-18).
Today, lots of people, including believers fall for dubious prophetic instructions. Why is this so, particularly for the so called believers?
Believers fall for their gimmicks because it’s cheaper to pay magicians for miracles than build your faith through studying the word of God and prayers. Psalms 15 tells us who can stay in God’s presence to develop intimacy with God. Many people don’t qualify (read it yourself whether you qualify). So, the prophet (magicians) present the alternative way to receiving from God. People only want to get from God; they don’t want to serve him. The only way to circumvent relationship with God as basis for receiving from him- Father giving to His Children- is to go through someone; in this case the magicians. True men of God will instead point you to God and how you as a person can get from Him directly.
Are there ways people can discern genuine prophetic instruction?
Maybe I should reframe this question thus; how do you identify the magicians because I can’t dignify them with the word, prophets because their gimmicks are not scriptural. In real terms, they (their strategies) are crazy. How else can you describe the South Africa pastor touching people with snake to receive deliverance? How else can you describe the Nigerian Pastor in Kenya touching women breast and private to receive healing or the one kissing women to receive healing. Or is it the one laying legs on people instead of hand or the one spitting water from his mouth to the mouth of people to receive healing. The list of unscriptural gimmicks is endless.
“I can’t dignify them with the word, prophets because their gimmicks are not scriptural. In real terms, they (their strategies) are crazy. How else can you describe the South Africa pastor touching people with snake to receive deliverance? How else can you describe the Nigerian Pastor in Kenya touching women breast and private to receive healing or the one kissing women to receive healing. Or is it the one laying legs on people instead of hand or the one spitting water from his mouth to the mouth of people to receive healing. The list of unscriptural gimmicks is endless.” Pastor Morgridge