The Coordinator for the School of Theological Education by Extension (STEE) at the Pentecost University College (PUC), Apostle Christian Tsekpoe, has called on African Pastors and church leaders to teach their congregation about the sovereignty of God to avoid the situation where they become victims of false prophets.
“African Christians have to understand the concept of spiritual warfare; that God is more powerful than the devil, that He wields all the powers and that He is the source of miracles and not human beings,” Apostle Tsekpoe said.
Apostle Tsekpoe was presenting a paper on “Deliverance and Prophetic Ministry Challenges” during a track session at the Empowered21 Africa congress which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He called on Christian leaders to engage in a discussion on the prophetic ministry, its abuse and the way forward.
“It is time we realize that the prophetic and deliverance ministry cannot be ignored in African ministry,” he said, adding, “Until the churches are able to absorb prophetism into their structure and offer a theological framework for the operations of healing, exorcism among others, the church will continue to suffer.”
Apostle Tsekpoe admitted that the deliverance and prophetic ministry has brought a lot of people to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This, according to him, are genuine people seeking salvation. He however said the system has been abused to a large extent, creating a dent on the work of genuine pastors.
Giving a background to the prophetic and deliverance ministry in Africa, Apostle Tsekpoe said it is not a new phenomenon. According to him, it had been practiced differently at different times with renewed characteristics, to meet the demands of the time. “In contemporary times, prophetic and deliverance has taken a centre stage in many Pentecostal services,” he said.
He explained that at the initial stages, the classical Pentecostals did not have special deliverance and prophetic services apart from their usual prayer meetings and church services. They believed that once a person accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and is consequently baptized in the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in tongues, they are empowered to overcome all spiritual powers. Therefore, healing and deliverance was considered as part of the foursquare gospel that can be appropriated by all Spirit empowered believers.
According to Apostle Tsekpoe, one of the ways by which the prophetic and deliverance ministries respond to the fears of the African people is what is called “Prophetic declarations,” adding, “What is worrying about some of these declarations is how they threaten readers of misfortune for failing to share with others.”
Apostle Tsekpoe proposed two solutions to the challenges of prophetic and deliverance ministries in Africa: churches teaching their congregants about the sovereignty of God, make them understand the concept of the spiritual welfare as stated in the book of Ephesians chapter 6: 1-14 and teaching them about the techniques or methods of exorcism, preferably those used by Jesus.
“Every member of the church must have God as their God,” he stressed.
Earlier, Dr. Agrippa Kathide of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, castigated false prophets who have commercialised spiritual services to the people through consultation and the sale of anointing oil among others. He stressed the need to discuss African spirituality.
The Co-Chair of the Empowered 21 Africa Congress, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, who facilitated the session, shared his experience with the participants about a wizard he defeated with the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
“Many people following false prophets are afraid of the devil, because they do not know their position in Christ,” he said, adding, “Christians must be made to understand that they are above demons.”
At the opening ceremony of the Empowered 21 Conference, the Premier of the Gauteng Province called on the gathering to help curb the issue of false prophets, especially in South Africa.
“People are drinking pesticide, eating grass and all kinds of harmful substances at the instance of false prophets,” he bemoaned.