And there was war… and the dragon fought… (Revelation 12:7).
A great prophet perplexed me lately when he wrote about “the vision” that he “saw,” prompting me to open anxious eyes to also see what he had seen, but he proceeded to announce a message rather than narrate the signs that I supposed he should have seen in a “vision.” A little later, he puzzled me even more when he added, “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem” (Isaiah 1:1-2; 2:1). Does one see words or hear words?
According to Isaiah, he “saw” a “word” (or a message); he saw a word-vision; a weighty word about an endangered nation and its capital city of Jerusalem. I leave that to the prophets.
I look into 2015, the ominous year of presidential and other gubernatorial elections in Nigeria; I look beyond 2015, and I hear the frightful sounds of an approaching factional war. Someone might argue that the nation is already at war, yes, except for the media conspiracy to undermine the deaths, the guns, the bombs, the myriad battle fronts. The present Boko Haram conflicts, sadly, are a foothold already, but what the enemy intends is an escalation that would leave no part of the country out. For what I see, my heart has been in anguished trepidations, like a prisoner awaiting the inevitable hangman’s noose. I am unable to find my place at the jamboree vigils and recreational church services. There is coming another Christmas when we might not, should not, be feasting. I recall the prophetic warnings of three years ago: The Spirit of Sudan!
I have sobbed to some I hoped could hear what I hear, in case we both might see God’s way out. This afternoon, I look through the window and see children at play, and fearfully wonder how much longer the fun would last before we are refugees in some far flung forest, or raped or captured or conscripted to fight with an army we do not support. I lately warned at a Christian gathering that we might be having our last church parties, if we do not penitently wake up now. Our children might be doing their last terms at school, unless God shows us mercy. We could be holding our last annual church conventions and enjoying the last rides in our fanciful cars, unless the mercy of God again descends. We could be savouring the last fantasies in our sedating beds, and eating the last dainty meals in our comfortable homes from which we soon might flee to nowhere, unhelped and unhelpable by the gods we have multiplied in bank accounts and many other altars. All that you have amassed for life, if it be spared by the bombs, will be looted by the gangs, or acquired by another who never laboured with you. There are some projects starting now that will not be completed, and were better not started, should the tremors begin. Some children, in the next thirteen months, may have become fatherless and motherless, some wives widowed. Some husbands will see their wives taken away from them by force of the barrel of the gun. It will be the jungle justice of war.
8 Their land is full of idols;
the people worship things they have made
with their own hands.
9 So now they will be humbled,
and all will be brought low—
do not forgive them.
10 Crawl into caves in the rocks.
Hide in the dust
from the terror of the Lord
and the glory of his majesty (Isaiah 2:8-10, New Living Translation).
An ancient prophet once assured, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). In the past twenty-five years until now, there has been no shortage of dreams and revelations of wars, of blood, of a nation drenched in a north-south conflict; a conflagration between Muslims and Christians. If this had been the warning only from prophets, that should have been serious enough, but ordinary church members have received these warnings; old men and old women have had these dreams; little children have had these visions, turning to their parents for explanation. Not only respected intercessors but also simple Christians have received the warning. You probably are one of those many witnesses.
I spoke on phone today with three preachers in different parts of the country, and each of them, on this same day alone, has had a revelation or some frightful afternoon dream about the approaching war. If we were to ask for everyone who has ever had such a dream or revelation to come forth with them, we would have an encyclopaedia spanning decades, from all strata of people, from all corners of the nation.
Could God have been doing so much for so long so that we are without excuse should that unfortunate storm somehow someday burst? That makes me tremble. If God were not about to redeem Sodom and Gomorrah, would He have bothered to reveal and discuss the matter with Abraham (Genesis 18-19)? That is my consolation. I believe in the power of God; I believe in the love of God, but I fear. If God would ‘sell’ off Israel, His own ‘first born,’ into cruel exile (Judges 4:1-2); if He would so harshly deal with His own covenant people because of their wicked ways, I wonder what ‘favour’ excuses Nigeria whose priests and rulers compete to outdo each other in lies, greed and wickedness. The Father said to Abraham that if He could find ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, the whole population would be spared the pending fires. I plead with the Father that there are more than ten righteous people in Nigeria, and I tell Him I am one of them. (I hope so.) May we not go the way of Sodom.
Over twenty-five years ago when these pages began to sound this alarm, it was said, “A prophet of doom.” Now, that doom hangs palpably over us like a dark low cloud; now, more and more are beginning to be scared by the eloquent rumblings in the sky. Now, mails and SMS’s pour in, asking, “What do we do?” I ask the question myself. Days ago, I got the following SMS from a missionary up north:
This is an alert, sir. Yesterday afternoon, I was praying over the work I did at the mission field in Benin Republic when suddenly I saw myself standing on a vast map of Nigeria; the sand was boiling from the northwest to the northeast, pumping blood across down south, flowing like a river. I was shown big trees falling as the flow of blood continued. I was startled at the sight. I prayed, but there was a repeat of the revelation at about 2am, so I am moved to call you and others to watch and pray over this Islam fast. (Rev. Isaac A.)
A river of blood needs no interpretation – it means widespread deaths; the big trees are mighty fellows in the land – religious, political, and business leaders: bishops, apostles, army generals, great politicians, powerful millionaires and billionaires, all swept off like the commoner by the deluge of blood (Daniel 4:20-22). That the revelation should be repeated… I fear to say the meaning… maybe Joseph’s words in interpreting Pharaoh’s dream might speak for me:
28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass (Genesis 41:28, 32).
From the multitude of these recurring disturbing dreams and revelations of war, it would appear that in every congregation of a hundred, there would not lack ten who have had the experience. For what reason does God do this? To entertain sleepers? To leave us without excuse if our wicked ways should urge us sleepily on into the threatening storms? If Dr Goodluck Jonathan should win the presidential elections, the Islamic army that so long has threatened the land with blood and fire seems poised to escalate the war; should he lose or be schemed out, the same trained army in the disguise of being his ‘southern brothers’ defending his ‘political’ rights to the national cake, is already warming up again in the creeks of the Niger Delta to resume from where they had paused, according to Alhaji Asari Dokubo the ex-Deeper Lifer now turned Muslim fighter. Those are not a kinder breed than the Boko Haramians. In the hills of Ebonyi State in the south-east, intelligence had long notified us that they had also been training. Some of those are indigenous Ibo Muslims. Repeated signals from above suggest that the west itself would soon be in for a rude shock. Lagos, Ibadan, beware! Rifles and bullets could soon be speaking in tongues. Also, I don’t know where or what, except that we should pray for the nation against the dates of October 7 and 9.
The procedure of God in handling disputes, according to Matthew 18:15-17, is to first take a personal step to the other. Should the other party be unwilling to hear, an accompanying witness or two become necessary. Should that second step also fail, then the Church government would be involved. If even that third step does not help, the adamant partner should have become evident to everyone as a ‘publican.’ Accordingly, when God begins to send prophets with warnings from other lands to any people, it is firstly an indictment, that they have become stubborn or deaf, hence the need for that ‘second step’ of an outside witness. Remember Eli and Samuel (1 Samuel 2:27-29; 3:11-13).
Secondly and most importantly, when God thus sends a foreign messenger to any land, it could also be an emergency signal of how close to judgment that land has come. Two chapters after God had sent an unnamed prophet to Eli, and one chapter after the child Samuel became the second witness, the nation as well as its Ichabod priesthood was overtaken with a most embarrassing and exterminating disaster (1 Samuel 4-5). When God dispatched Jonah to Nineveh, that nation was only forty days away from an obliterating Judgment (Jonah 3:1-4). I fear that Nigeria was at that junction in August 2014 when, within the same month, God sent two prophets to the nation. That has added to my worries.
There may have been other witnesses, but the first of the two in this series to which I draw attention, was during the annual international leadership and prayer conference of the Wailing Women, in Port Harcourt the capital city of Rivers State. It is said that the map of Africa turned clockwise to 90 degrees has the form of a pistol, with the nozzle in South Africa and the trigger in Nigeria (actually in Rivers State, whose capital is the city of Port Harcourt where that conference held). At that conference, the prophet, Apostle John Mulinde from Uganda, took pains to narrate the ordeals through which his country passed in the days leading up to and during the hitherto ignored Idi Amin, who turned into the horrific Islamic red dragon that he became, from whose legacies, even after so many years, that nation is still grappling with survival throes. Idi Amin’s coming was greeted with blind public messianic celebrations. Soon, the Church got driven into the wilderness, from which it crawled back in blood and mud, seeking a forgotten God. In his final words, this Apostle, who was visiting the country for the first time, warned that danger was coming to Nigeria, but that there was a window of hope, the final outcome of which would be dependent on what the leadership of the Church in Nigeria did within the window of grace. From where I had concealed myself in the crowd, I froze. Only about a week before, during the quarterly Ministers Forum seminar of The Preacher, I had been unable to do the usual scheduled leadership presentation as we were otherwise confronted and diverted with the weight of the same emergency burden of the coming war and Islamic storms, with their occult reinforcements involving their sorcerers that, we hear, have been imported from certain other countries, to enchant from locations in the capital city of Abuja, so that the Christian president would die and be succeeded by his Islamic vice. The magicians of Pharaoh are seeking to duplicate what Moses the prophet of God had done, to bring upon Jonathan what God had brought upon the late Musa Yar’Adua whom Jonathan had succeeded to the throne.
…In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established (Matthew 18:16).
The second witness was the Apostle Chuck Pearce, a reckonable prophet from the United States of America, at the instance of the respected Prophet Emmanuel Nuhu Kure of Nigeria. Providence had found me in Abuja, unplanned for that meeting. Reading the signs of the times, however, I shelved the initial schedules that had taken me to that capital of the nation. A gathering of prophets in this season was a timely opportunity. This prophet said that God had sent him with the ‘gift’ of a plum line to Nigeria; and like Mulinde, he also said that the nation had a window of nine months, during which it could be saved or lost, depending on what we did with the time. I counted nine months from that last week of August; it took me to May, 2015 when a new post-election national government should be coming into power. Nine months…
I remember a concerned long distance call two months before, with a burdened prophetic intercessor in the United States; the word was that Nigeria was a nation in the travails of birth. Either mother or baby or both could die or be saved in labour; and it could be lamentation or celebration, depending on the outcome of the childbirth. Are these turmoils the birth pangs of a new nation, or death throes?
And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth (Isaiah 37:3).
I had left the Wailing Women’s conference to also speak at another international Calebite Conference in Kogi State, in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. I could not but announce there “The Coming Darkness,” and make the call of the Lord in this season for women intercessors to respond in tears, so that our streets be not littered tomorrow with the corpses of our young ones. A call was made; a hundred women or so came out to wail. We lay in the red dust, some rolled; beautiful clothes mattered little in the dust when lives and the destiny of a nation were at stake. The call had also come for personal prayer efforts as well as monthly women’s vigils for the nation, until February 2015 (Jeremiah 9:17-22). I counted the months off my finger: six months. Before the end of the meeting, that ministry had responded promptly by announcing a date for its women’s first vigil. Every birth date was to be someone’s duty post to fast and pray for the nation. My birthday was the next day. I had no choice.
We know in part and prophesy in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). The best of prophets sees only a part of God’s whole. My signals had called for six months; the witness from the US had announced a nine-month window. I probably had seen only up to the critical second trimester of the pregnancy, whereas God had shown him up to the tumultuous delivery at the end of nine months. The first witness did not specify a time span; I had announced a six-month prayer call; Apostle Chuck Pearce forewarns of a critical nine-month period from August. That would seem to be how much time we have. I just got shown a headline, if it means anything: “Senate urges Jonathan to declare total war on B’ Haram” (The Guardian, Wednesday, September 17, 2014).
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul (Ezekiel 33:7-9).
I recall the following words in “The Onus of the Watchman” in “The Spirit of Sudan” series of The Preacher in January 2012:
In about two Christmas seasons from now, we may have to face this battle once more (1 Kings 20:22). Their last attempt at cutting up the nation was about two Christmas seasons ago in 2009. It was not on the pages of the newspaper. Those who were close enough read the moves; prophets caught it in the spirit.
I hear voices conspiring in an assembly, “Nigeria has troubled the nations with the Gospel and has herself not been troubled. We have made other nations boil, why cannot Nigeria also boil? How much longer do we let her be, and her sins and her goodness mount up to heaven?”
I watched a brief Aljazeera TV interview days ago on the Islamic troubles in Nigeria, and I saw a deliberate attempt by the program anchor-man to make the Islamic crises appear as agitations against corrupt governments in Nigeria and Kenya; an attempt to give the dog a bad name, as they would say, so as to kill it quick. While I do not excuse the evils in governments, in Nigeria or anywhere else, I found myself asking the TV from where I sat, “China, the US, Britain, Syria, Iraq, France, even Russia, are at the moment facing the same challenges as Nigeria; is kleptomaniac governance the explanation for the Islamic jihadist agitations in all those places? Even if internal corruption or regional marginalisation were the reason for which Muslims from Mali, Chad, Iran, and the US have joined their fellows in Nigeria to bomb churches and eliminate predominantly Christian communities, are they the mouthpiece of the nation? Are they the only ones marginalised? If hunger is the reason why a person destroys a whole village, how much is the cost of the AK-47 he wields, compared to what the average person needs to survive in this economy?” They are already preparing to blame what they intend to start on ‘corrupt’ leadership. My lips shall not help their cause, not even against the noble priesthood whom they seek to smear with scandals in this season of war, distracting us, diminishing our potency.
It is uncomfortable to play the roles of an unpatriotic Jeremiah predicting the inevitable fall of Jerusalem and the triumph of Nebuchadnezzar the enemy. So often I have asked, “Lord, what do we do?” Now I see we should pray for God to raise us a deliverer, to lead us into the victory. Each time Israel sinned and cried from their oppression, He sent them a deliverer. It took a Moses to take them out of Egypt; a Gideon to break the yoke of the Medianites; a Samuel to give fresh direction. In this season, may God also raise us a saviour. Amen.
But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer (Judges 3:15).
In addition to all the supplications we should make during this period of ‘pregnancy,’ may all women’s groups or women in churches kindly commence monthly vigils for the life of Peter (Acts 12:1-7; Jeremiah 9:17-20). Everybody else, kindly pick your birth date (not birthday) to fast and pray, that the Lord will drive away the dark clouds from our sky. You were born on the 15th? Then let the 15th of every month (even if it be your birthday) until May 2015, be your appointment on the watchtower, to fast and pray for the soul of Nigeria.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not (Jonah 3:9-10).
From The Preacher’s diary, September 20, 2014.