Christian prophecy has continued to brew controversy. Recently, Lugogo Baptist Church organised a reformation conference to enlighten believers on prophets and prophecy. Dr Julius D. Twongyeirwe, the executive secretary of Association of Christian Evangelical Missions in Uganda (ACEMU) explained the presence of prophets in the Bible and their roles. In the Old Testament, people such as, Abraham, Enock, Moses, Ezekiel, David, Amos, Elisha, and Daniel, were called by God to prophesy.
“A prophet is one appointed by God to bring His message and details about the future to human beings. They would preach against corruption, call people back to obedience, exhort people to sincere worship, warn of divine judgment on personal sin and national sin, and prophesy about the coming of the Saviour.”
Dr Twongyeirwe adds that Jesus came as a prophet, priest and king to fulfill many prophesies. “Prophecy is a spiritual gift and the church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets. However, in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17, God promised to pour out His spirit on all flesh and they will prophesy. So, who are the true prophets in today’s Church and to what purpose should prophecy serve?”
Father Frederick Ssebuliba of St Mark’s Parish Bunamwaya says whereas he believes in the prophesies of canonical scriptures, we cannot do away with the fact that God still speaks. “And because He is God, He is not limited. He can use anyone, through various ways. God brings a prophecy for admonishing, correcting, and guiding, depending on what message He intends to give the different people or groups.”
Apostle Wilson Kitondekigya of Anointed Ministries Uganda echoes the dilemma concerning prophets today. “When someone sees that the office of a prophet is the in-thing, he or she will become a prophet overnight. Many of them say God called them to be prophets. Is it in our place to judge them? We can only know them by their fruit. Prophecy is for the building of the Body of Christ and the Bible is our yard stick. You can prophesy but we shall go back for the truth in the Scriptures.”
Separating the two
Sometimes, the work of some prophets is contrary to the Bible. In Jeremiah 27:16 God disowns prophets who lie and abuse in His authority. “A listener has the responsibility of testing the prophecy and the spirit. True prophesies come to pass. However, the listener cannot discern without knowing Scripture, because if you do not know right, you cannot tell wrong,” Dr Twongyeirwe says.
He adds that false prophets oppose critical thinking and isolate their followers from doing God’s will as it is revealed in Scripture. “They seek inappropriate rights as leaders, instead of pointing people to Christ. Because they are not disciplined, they use the grace to cover their indiscipline.”
Ugandans are accepting prophecy
Prophet Brian Kagyezi
Pneuma Word Ministry Fellowship speaks out
“The prophetic word is still doubted by many people but soon, they will accept it. Ugandans are not going to stop prophetic works because the number of prophets is growing and so are their followers. The rise of prophets has nothing to do with money; it has everything to do with Scripture. Other religious leaders feel bad that we draw huge crowds of youths but there are no old prophets in Uganda. In 1 Chronicles 16:22, the Lord said, Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.
We need to listen to prophets, because the testimony of Christ is the spirit of prophecy. People should receive prophecy with honor, because you cannot say you honor God and not receive the ones He sends.
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.”
Compiled by Lawrence Ogwal