UNITED Family International Church leader Emmanuel Makandiwa last Friday warned Christians to be wary of “prophets” who abuse social media to create false perceptions.
Makandiwa was advising people on how to differentiate between genuine and false prophets on ZiFM radio station last Friday.
The charismatic religious leader said many false prophets were culling information on social media platforms, and then presenting this back to their followers as prophecy.
Many people publish a lot of personal and professional information on their social media accounts.
Makandiwa said, “Assess your man of God before you accept him. When you go to church before you become an official member of that ministry, understand the anointing, understand the covering, before you go under it.
“What they do now these people, when they realise that there is no voice from God, they create it. When I ask questions like, ‘do you have this information on your Facebook?’; that’s not a joke because you hear people laughing. But I am already prophesying against other prophets.
“People are not as wise as they appear. And because of this information age do you know that we can have two million prophets and then if we take away technology you maybe be left with just two.
“… You remove Facebook you are left with maybe just one prophet. So they are made prophets by technology not by God. Because when everything else is taken away from you and you are left with God you should still be able to prophesy. But the people are not wise, I don’t understand what’s wrong with people.
“Can’t you see that everything that the man has told you is on your Facebook (account). All the people that he mentioned are your friends on Facebook.
“He looks for you there, he sees you, he sees your friend, he then goes to your friend’s Facebook he researches him and that friend has got friends. Again he goes to that other friend. And you see people crying! You have helped this prophet to give you a word. It was better for you to just go home and open your page and read that information for yourself, if that’s all you wanted to hear.”
He went on: “Please know that nothing is as it first appears … Everything that you see for the first time, take your time look at it again, you will see a different thing. Imagine what you saw before you married your husband. What you see now is something totally different.
“There are men of God that you admire because they are on television. Television makes people big, it makes even small people big.
“If you see a prophet prophesying to somebody no matter how deep he goes, you don’t only regard him to be a true prophet basing on the prophecy given to another person who is not yourself.
“You don’t know where those people are coming from. This is where mentorship comes in. Mentorship, coaching, fatherhood. It is simply learning through someone else’s experiences…
“It is important to always have a mentor who tells you his own experiences. I know prophets that have a title prophet who are not prophets but they have been made prophets by tactics.
“They have got ways of getting information about people and they use that to confirm their calling as if they hear from God. Yet they don’t hear from God.”
Makandiwa also said false prophets sent spies to other churches to get information on congregants.
“I know of certain prophets when you invite them to come they will tell you that I’m so busy that ‘you can’t invite me within a week even within a month; I will need at least from two months’.
“And there is a reason why he is saying that. Number one, he wants to understand your ministry which is okay in general. But then he goes as far as wanting to understand your members because your members are also available on the Internet.
“… What these other prophets do is they have got a team, you will have to come up with a budget because you have a lot of things to cover up. So if he is coming in December you will have people landing at your airport from him and they start attending your services without your knowledge and they are coming from him.
“They take note of every important programme and announcement … Two months when the guest finally comes he will pick on those same names and exact dates that they wedded, and after two months you will not even remember that you said it publicly.
“So he gets to know how many people are in the choir, their names, they are there, they are sending information to their senior man of God. And for further information … he gets into the Facebook to get more information.
“So now when the man of God finally comes he is already well packaged. He has everything to make you believe that he is a prophet.
“You notice after that conference, after the guest is gone…you will miss certain faces in your church. Mission accomplished,” Makandiwa said.
He said some church leaders had their spies in the congregation, amassing information on congregants which was then passed on to the boss who would use it as evidence of a prophetic gift.
“They are there even before the preacher arrives. Everything that is happening there while he is still in the hotel he is already getting updates,” Makandiwa said.
“…So he sends a message to his prophet: ‘You know where I am seated, the guy on my right has two children, he has been coming to this ministry for so many years’. And when you have the prophet coming from the front to you, you never suspect the guy sitting next to you.”
Makandiwa’s message was premised on Ezekiel 13 in the Bible.
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