ONCE again we heard the now common rhetoric and New Year eve’s ritual where all sorts of prophecies are given in prophetic denominations as we enter each New Year. The focus of my writings is not to seek preoccupation with personalities but to propound the truth as enunciated by the Bible. I would therefore not want to dwell much on personalities but, in this piece, seek to highlight that it is crucial to understand the vast difference between prophecy and prediction.

Indeed, there is a world of difference between prophesying and predicting. Prediction is what we commonly witness every day, even in the occult world. Many will remember Simon the Octopus which predicted France’s World Cup victory with chilling accuracy. Some may know of soothsayers who have the ability to accurately predict future events. Even witchdoctors, as some people may testify, have won the hearts of many by their uncanny ability to predict future events. It therefore follows that accurate prediction is not only the preserve of God but that the practice can also be done by forces of darkness as much as it is done in Christendom. A number of prophecies have been given in the last few years and it is also unavoidable to realize that emerging churches have fought for supremacy in this regard.

Let me put forward a straightforward verse for those who often struggle with how to identify a true prophet. And this is only one of nine ways to identify a true prophet. “And if you say in your heart, how shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass, or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: You shall not be afraid of him.”(Deuteronomy 18:21-22). The true prophet of the Lord predicts with exactness that which comes to pass. If the prophet’s predictions fail, even in the least, they are exposed as not of God. You may then want to check the prophecies we have received in the last few years against this verse; it is not for anyone to say but the Bible.

Just before year end, Nigeria’s TB Joshua last year ‘prophetically’ claimed that the terrorist group, Boko Haram would be completely dislodged by year end. But and just recently the group seized a town and a key multinational military base in North-eastern Nigeria. Many people were killed and the town was set ablaze. To date, Boko Haram continues to attack towns and villages almost on a daily basis, abducting people including young girls and boys in apparent defiance of the ‘prophecy’. Sometime in 2012, we heard a prophecy from one Ambassador Ishmael who allegedly told his congregation to pray for Mtukudzi’s health because, “I see it failing.” Needless to say, the musician was not amused and two years on, he is holding musical shows around the world.

Countless times we have heard ‘prophecies’ to the effect that President Mugabe will die, with dates being given at times, but the opposite truth stands clear for all to see. In similar fashion, a Malawian ‘prophet’ has yet again made the same ‘prophecy’ and one wonders which God always specializes in revealing the death of one leader. Mugabe himself has constantly joked that he ‘has died and resurrected several times’ much to the chagrin of these ‘prophecies’.

Again, since 2011, we have heard; time without number the ‘prophecy’ of economic boom which, probably, happens in some Zimbabwe we do not know. We were told at the end of 2013 that there would be a massive economic boom in 2014 and that shops would operate for twenty four hours. We have been told that all our troubles would end sometime in April last year but, yet again, the sobering truth is that the country is battling to revive its economic fortunes.

Recently, a ‘prophecy’ made headlines that a huge building is set to collapse in Harare’s First Street. Now, I do not seek to ignite the debate on whether this or that is true but as I wrap up, it should be understood that God’s wish for his people living in this age is for the world to prepare for The Second Coming of Christ (Rev 1: 7) rather than focus on an activity (prediction) which n’angas and spiritists also do well. This whole prophetic business is in itself a source of confusion destructing Christians from focusing on the real substance of the Gospel which is salvation of mankind.  This is the last hour.