The trouble with miracle movements

Posted on Jan 7 2014 - 8:01am by admin

By Learnmore Zuze

The last quarter of 2008 and early 2009 saw the advent of new and fast growing religious movements in the country. The subsequent years were to witness the dawn of a new era for most Christians. The incoming movements changed the face of Christianity altogether.

Prophet Walter Magaya

Prophet Walter Magaya

This new school of thought (with emphasis on the prophetic and prosperity) stole the hearts of many. Breaking away from the conventional Gospel which focuses on heavenly prosperity, the focus of the new movement is on the hear-and-now. It promises wealth to its followers.

It is punctuated by flamboyance as opposed to the humble lifestyles led by Christ and Biblical prophets. It claims that where possible every Christian must be worth millions. Money is everywhere as the watchword is prosperity (on earth).

The irony though is that Zimbabweans remain a poor lot in a country where fiery speakers continuously declare blessings upon their lives week-in, week-out. Reportedly, the dead were raised and fresh wounds were healed instantly.

As a consequence, most Christians left their traditional churches en masse as they pursued this new phenomenon. In particular, there was a mass exodus to UFI and Spirit Embassy by worshippers from mainstream churches like Methodist, AFM, and the Roman Catholic among many others.

Most worshippers seemed to have been deprived of basic tenets of their faith in the traditional churches and this new dispensation promised restoration. The number of worshippers which flocked to these prophetic and prosperity movements was alarming.

I recall motorists having to wait for over thirty minutes to make way for multitudes trooping to one well-established miracle church in Harare in 2009. I also recall how commuter omnibus operators made big business owing to the crowds wooed by these movements.

On the other hand, to say that traditional churches were left depleted is an understatement. A number of my pastor friends admitted to the negative effect that the movements had had on their congregations. Most pastors fought a futile battle in an attempt to control the “damage”.

Today, as 2014 kicks off, it would appear that tables are yet again turning in proving the trouble and futility of miracle-based gatherings. A new prophet has emerged in town and worshippers are flocking to him as never before.

The same worshippers who left their churches in droves are yet again gathering in crowds at the new spectacle. Prophet Magaya founder of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) is reportedly drawing larger crowds than his predecessors.

Having read about the development, I had to personally attend one of his sessions and discovered that indeed the majority of his followers are deserters from the previous movements and they number in the thousands.

These miracle-loving worshippers are now heaping praises on Prophet Magaya describing him as ‘more powerful’ than the pioneer movements. Scores of the worshippers at Magaya’s congregation wore armbands from UFI or Spirit Embassy.

A personal friend who was a staunch UFI member and usher told me that this new prophet is just what the doctor ordered. His sentiments were echoed by many miracle-lovers I mingled with in the mass gathering.

The exodus to Magaya’s church was fueled by a miracle he reportedly performed on a Chitungwiza mad man. He restored the man’s sanity after thirty years of mental instability. It is further reported that Prophet Magaya, after healing the man, built a house for him and furnished it in typical today’s prophet style.

He also assigned two people to monitor the man’s welfare at the house. And just like his predecessors, Prophet Magaya’s wife is also a prophetess. The history and rise to prominence of Magaya started in 2012 when he visited the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Nigeria where he received a prophecy from TB Joshua.

Typically, his predecessors also have a spiritual father who hails from Nigeria’s neighbour- Ghana. Most congregants confirmed having left AFM for UFI and insisted that they had found a “permanent home” at PHD Ministries. But, is Magaya’s ministry going to be the last ministry to perform breath-taking miracles? Are these worshippers following God or men?

Another million dollar question is: does it necessarily mean that God’s power is obtainable only in West Africa? Why do pastors come back with “power” after visiting West Africa? These questions continue to beg for answers my friends. Miracles however, need to be taken with great caution.

The Bible puts it in the clear that miracles do not come from God alone. Miracles themselves do not indicate the authenticity of a prophet at all. The widely held view that someone cannot perform miracles unless they are anointed of God is a very dangerous assumption because we are told in the book of Exodus that pharaoh’s magicians and ‘prophets’ where veritable miracle workers.

They could counterfeit miracles done by God. These men would also help the Pharaoh with predictions. Such men helped King Nebuchadnezzar with interpretation of dreams and visions. They actually lived within the King’s quarters.

No incident in the Bible casts a darker shadow on miracle-workers than the account in which Apostles Paul and Silas met one sorcerer called Simon“…who mesmerized the whole of Israel with his miracles”(Acts 16:16) yet he was empowered by an evil spirit.

Note well: the Bible referred to Simon as a sorcerer but Israel (people) regarded him as a prophet. The Bible actually records that Simon was an extremely popular ‘prophet’ in Israel. Brethren, prophets of God are not simply anyone who can work miracles.

Jesus actually rebuked people who flocked to him for miracles and not for the word that he preached. In his rage he said (about miracle-lovers), ‘…a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign.” (Matt 6:39)

‘It pained Jesus to have people who chase after miracles instead of the Word of repentance. They were filled with sin (just like today’s people) yet they would not believe unless they saw a miracle. For that reason Jesus told them, “But none will be given to it except the sign of Prophet Jonah.”

Performing miracles proves nothing. The true Gospel has never been and will never be about earthly riches or miracles. The true Gospel is heavenly-focused emphasizing instead that people leave their sinful ways in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. (Rev 1:7)

This is the last hour. Take heed that no one deceives you.

Learnmore Zuze can be reached at [email protected]

  • Cde Chinodhuukadhuuka Zoraunye

    This is about God and not who is bigger than who. Let people worship where their heart is at peace. There is so much work to be done have you visited the bars and nightclubs? Just check out how many souls needs to be saved. Let the people of God do the work. If they preach Jesus Christ and use the Bible then that settles it.

    • All Glory To Jesus

      a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign.” (Matt 6:39)

      • Samuel N

        true

    • All Glory To Jesus

      Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Mathew 7:15

    • All Glory To Jesus

      Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 1 John 4 v 1-6

      • Samuel N

        remember Simon

    • All Glory To Jesus

      The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9

      • Andy

        irrelevant passage

        • All Glory To Jesus

          For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11v13

        • Emelda

          I disagree with you Mr Andy. I think the Word Of God is our measuring stick. The Word says it all. If you disagree, help the Brother by citing verses to the contrary, Its not about what people say, Its about what The Bible says, dont you agree?

          • Andy

            its irrelevant because the verse doesn’t name specific persons. I could get up in the morning and say Emelda must be the “servant of unrighteousness” of 2 Cor 11:13. But if I don’t provide evidence to prove that then I need to go back to sleep! Don’t you agree?

          • fidza

            andy the verse is completely relevant, its talking about the showcase of miracles at the expense of true scriptural teaching. I have seen one of these guys dvd’s where he says you cant approach a prophet without an offering, that is totally unscriptural. People dont question it because of the miracles that person does. Thats why the previous commenter mention the verse above because its actually ministers of satan acting as true ministers by mainly working mass promoted miracles and prosperity teachings, and not sound doctrines.

      • Samuel N

        true hanzi they shall come in sheep clothe but inside they are coxs

    • Andy

      Zuze is lazy. He wont even bother double check his scriptural references! Acts 16 is NOT abt Simon the sorcerer. Wake up!!! Besides, who told you Simon the sorcerer was Jewish? The text of Acts 8 (not Acts 16!!!!) clearly implies he was a Samaritan. Before you write another public article do me a favor: get off your lazy butt and go do some real serious research and home work. This is shoddy and sloppy

  • tisu tichatonga

    this guy has got a point

    • Andy

      This guy has no point. Zuze is confused as usual. He’s as confused as a termite in a yoyo. For example:

      1. Since when is AFM mainstream? By what criteria?

      2. Why are denomination pastors fighting a “futile battle in an attempt to control the damage”? What damage? Losing members to another church that is more faithful to the full Gospel (which includes supernatural manifestations) is “damage”?

      3. Why does Zuze think Magaya is the last one to do miracles? Has the Holy Spirit of Acts changed? Magaya is doing what every preacher should be doing i.e. preaching the Word with signs and wonders (Mark 16). Magaya is in fact a product of a prophetic word given by Rev Makandiwa. All 3 prophets work together in collaboration, not competition.

      4. Not every pastor who has power has visited West Africa. What garbage! Reverends Guti, Wutawunashe, Deuschle etc and thousands of other Pentecostal pastors who have miracles in their churches – when did they ever visit West Africa? Are you ok upstairs?

      5. Acts 16 is NOT about Simon the sorcerer! You cant even read and reference properly? For someone who writes publicly this is disgusting. Are you too lazy to double check your references?

      6. And where do you get this idea that Simon the sorcerer was Jewish? He was Samaritan. Again you don’t care about accuracy. You just write thinking people are fools who will just accept what you say with no question. Why do you take people for granted? You are also making a fool of the editors at Nehanda Radio who assume that you have done your homework. Whatever academic standards NR had, you are making sure they go as low as possible with sloppy articles like this. Next time before you write a public piece, get off your lazy bum and go do some hard work of research.

      Zuze is a Sabbatarian. They don’t believe in miracles. They believe miracles ceased with the apostles. This is the whole point behind this article. How deprived!

      But here is what Paul said:
      1 Cor 2:4
      My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,

      Romans 15:18-19
      I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ

    • Samuel N

      for sho

  • Kutonhodzwa KwaChauruka

    I remember this man receiving a prophecy at the Aquatic Complex and i do not see any reason why the papers are quick to say he is more powerful than so and so. Let him do his mandate as a man of God as was prophesied to him by Prophet Makandiwa way back.

    • All Glory To Jesus

      See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Collosians 2:18

    • All Glory To Jesus

      And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Revelations 19:20

    • Samuel N

      ask yourself kuti akazotanga kuporofita abvakuNigeria sei? aidiikungotanga kuporofita arimuno

      • fidza

        hanti kana makandiwa akadzoka ku ghana a prophet. There is something fishy going on about these guys going to ghana and nnigeria and coming back prophets…

  • Rose

    There is the Pioneer of the prophetic movement, the emeritus of prophecy and these man of God do not make comparisons but they are for the increase of the kingdom of God. Hell Empty Heaven Full.

    • All Glory To Jesus

      Matthew 7:16
      You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles

      • Andy

        their fruits are there for all to see . . . thousands saved, healed and delivered. Where are YOUR fruits?

  • Honye

    Everyone is free to go wherever he wants to worship God.

    • nyaraiwoooo

      Musazoenda ku Universal or kwa Pastor Gumbura kikik

  • ZESA

    Ko sei vanhu vachida kuvhiringidza vanhu vanowirirana. Ini ndakatoenda kunogadzira magetsi kuOffice kwaProphet Magaya pavakauya kuoffice kwaMajor Prophet. Vemapepa always munonyora zvenhema chete these people vanowirirana and vanoziva zvebasa raMwari.

  • Guest

    What most people don’t know is, these Prophets are together, they even visit each other

  • Shorai

    What most people don’t know is, these are people of God not politicians, whatever you say will not make them hate each other, they even visit each other, do not waste your time.

    • nyaraiwoooo

      That’s exactly what God’s people should do. If a prophet prophecy and the prophecy doesn’t happen, then he is not of God. If he prophecy and heal in the name of the Holy Trinity I say Amen

      • All Glory To Jesus

        “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.Deutronomy 13v1-4

        • Andy

          proves nothing . . . keep on going!

    • All Glory To Jesus

      These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. Jude 1 verse 12-16

      • Andy

        another passage that proves nothing. Keep on going . . . you’ve got 66 Books to quote from lol!

        • Samuel N

          let me tell you something ‘lol’ means Lucifer our lord so you better stop using those word you are using Andy

          • Andy

            according to you, because you are too devil-conscious. Unlike you I don’t see demons under every muzhanje tree. I don’t let you or anyone choose meanings for me. I define my own terms and for me LOL means ‘laugh out loud’, it also means ‘love of life’, light of love, lord of life etc . . . See how you don’t have to go negative?

  • Shreck

    Learnmore Zuze if you are a Christian you should know better than to be like a story full of sound and fury signifying nothing.When you went to Prophet Magaya’s church wasn’t Jesus Christ preached? Didn’t they open the bible? Did he say worship me? If you are that righteous as you claim to be why don’t you start your own church as you have become a judge of people of God. What is your movement? Destabilisation of the Christian community. Takubata. This time haulume

    • All Glory To Jesus

      For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3

    • Andy

      Start a church? He’d be lucky to have a table at a village musika

      • All Glory To Jesus

        Mathew24;24

        For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect

      • All Glory To Jesus

        Detronomy 18:20

      • All Glory To Jesus

        “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
        Jeremiah 23:21

        • Andy

          At least they were prophets!

        • Samuel N

          you are right

    • All Glory To Jesus

      Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Psalms 146.3-4

  • Servant

    The servant is not above the master

  • Servant

    A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.

    • nyaraiwoooo

      Yes, but what do you mean ” the servant is not above the master” who are you referring to?

  • Zuzeya

    Don’t mix bad words with a bad mood. You’ll have many opportunities to change a mood, but you won’t be able to replace words you spoke.Never explain yourself to anyone. The person who likes you doesn’t need it, and the person who doesn’t like you won’t believe it.So Zuze get this into your thick zuze head.

  • Kutonhodzwa KwaChauruka

    The author of this article clearly shows his shortcoming by not visiting the so called churches that he claims to be drained of congregants of which Spirit Embassy is now with overflow upon overflow. Prophet Magaya was first prophesied to by Prophet Angel during the Prophetic Conference hosted by Prophet Makandiwa,

    • All Glory To Jesus

      But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2 Peter 2:1-22

      • Andy

        this scripture proves nothing

        • All Glory To Jesus

          They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Ezekiel 13:6

  • Troublesome Hude

    I went to spirit embassy on sunday, i saw overflows upon overflows, some people were outside the gate, this movement of people is real

  • Jet Electrician

    Well pple always write wrong things about the people of God. Prophet Magaya is a humble man of God and i personally installed electricity at his new office after i was sent by my father Major Prophet Angel. There is no competition among these men of God yet the papers always want to portray as if they are in business. Yet they are for the kingdom of God.It was an honour for me to visit Prophet Magaya’s offices and install zesa there but above all i thank my father Prophet Angel who made me go there and do the installation. These are man of God carrying out God’s work.

    • Bo Ska*z

      Your father Major Prophet Angel? Really!!!

      • David Moyes

        Hahaha! Eubert Mudzanire isnt even in that whole name!

  • yolanda

    We all save one God, zvarikwauri iwe munhu kusarudza kuti kwaunoda ndekupi,.

  • Guest

    God is good,we give all the glory to his name.its by Grace to live in prophetic nation.

  • Jaine mushure

    Hama dzangu regai nditaure, pane paunoona kuti mwari aripo, pozoita panooneka kuti mwari vakasovaendakare zvavo, ndopamungati ndigare here ipapo,

  • Trade zishungu

    Am will follow a Prophet, thats were my Life is secured.

    • All Glory To Jesus

      For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might FOLLOW IN HIS steps. 1 Peter 2v21

    • All Glory To Jesus

      Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would COME AFTER ME, let him deny himself and take up his cross and FOLLOW ME. Mathew 16v24

  • john 14 v 1

    There is so many prophets in zimbabwe.we could write our own bible…..anyone wanna join me? I see big bucks…no pun intended! !!!

  • heya_nhai

    When we were young ana Abracadabra (magicians) used to roam the country giving shows at schools…Where do you think they all went ???

  • John Tinobva

    Prophet Angel prophesied about Prophet Magaya at a conference at Prophet Makandiwa’s church at the Acquatic Complex .Prophet Magaya was holding a lot of business files and he was told by Prophet Angel that forget about these files you are a Man of God and ever since he followed the prophetic word and now we want to start comparing talents I close my own mouth.