Sunday, 21 April 2024 04:46

Article of Faith: Fulfilling God’s prophecies (1) - Femi Aribisala

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In 1996, God gave me a prophecy in a dream. I had a video shop in Victoria Island, Lagos, and I was flipping through the account book. Suddenly, I opened a page and discovered it was recorded that my shop made N23,000 on a certain day. Then I woke up.

I was excited. The maximum the shop had made in a day since I opened it in 1993 was N7,000. But now God showed me it would make N23,000.

God says in Isaiah: “Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:11).

So, I knew that: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but (God’s) words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). Therefore, I decided to run with this prophecy. I poured resources into the shop. Where I used to put 10 copies of a video, I put 50.

Some clients warned me that I was wasting money. But I refused to listen. Theirs was the voice of a stranger. (John 10:5). I so ran with this prophecy that God spoke to me again about it. He said: “Femi, because you believe the word I gave you, I will tell you when My prophecy will be fulfilled. It will come to pass on 29 December 1996.

 This propelled me to an even greater level of determination. But something baffling happened. On 29 December 1996, my Victoria Island shop did not earn N23,000, according to God’s prophetic word. Instead, it earned N29,000.

 I took the matter to the Lord and sought His clarification. “I am not complaining, but You said N23,000 and it was not N23,000. Instead, it was N29,000. How come?”

The Lord’s reply took me to another level of faith. He said to me: “Femi, you exceeded the prophecy!”

Exceeding Prophecies

A year later, in 1997 God gave me another prophecy. I rented a house in Victoria Island as the headquarters of the ministry He gave me. But then He told me that He had given me the rented house.  

I decided to act immediately as if I already owned the house. I spent over N6 million renovating it to my taste. When it was time to renew the rent after two years, the landlady sent her lawyer to me. She told me the landlady said she wants to sell the house, and she specifically wants to sell it to me.

I agreed to buy the house at the ridiculous price of N26 million. The landlady even agreed that I should pay for the house in instalments over two years. But after two years, I still had not finished paying for the house. N10 million was still outstanding.

So, I borrowed N10 million from First Bank to pay off the landlady. The papers for the house were then given to First Bank pending my redemption of the loan. I paid the loan down to N5 million, fell on hard times, and it grew back to N10 million with penalties.

Then God appeared to me in a dream and promised to send me the money. Within eight days, I received N11 million in unsolicited gifts. I paid off my N10 million outstanding loan for an agreed N8 million and the house became mine.

That house that I bought for a song at the agreed price of N26 million in 1999 is now worth over N1 billion in 2024. That is the amazing grace of God

Nouveau Schools

Some years later, God gave me another prophecy. He showed me a group of children from different countries running around in front of the building He gave me. I did not exactly understand what this meant. I assumed it meant I would have an international ministry somewhere in Europe. But then, the children were running around in front of the building in Lagos.

Some 10 years later, two Indian women came to see me. They said there was a 35-year-old international school fifteen minutes’ walk from mine. (It was rather hidden, so I was totally oblivious to this). The owner was retiring and going back to England. Would I be interested in inheriting her school free of charge?

That is how God gave me an international school. I came to work one day and saw some 60 children from different parts of the world running around in front of the building God gave me. It blew my mind.

Thus fulfilled one of the promises of God to give His people: “(A) land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant.” (Deuteronomy 6:10-11).

But the question remains. Why does God keep giving me these prophecies which I am then required to run with to their fulfilment?  

He says to Habakkuk: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3).

Messianic Prophecies

The answer to my question comes through the study of Jesus.

The entirety of the Old Testament is a collection of prophecies about Jesus. Indeed: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10). When Jesus finally arrived on the scene He was determined that every single prophecy about Him must be fulfilled.

When He rose from the dead, He reminded His disciples: “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.” (Luke 24:44-46).

Jesus was so determined that the prophecy of His death and resurrection must be fulfilled that when Peter tried to dissuade Him from the cross, out of the misguided kindness of his heart, Jesus shut him up in the most extreme manner:

“Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’” (Matthew 16:21-23).

Jesus was so determined that the prophecy of His crucifixion be fulfilled, that He even encouraged Judas to go ahead and betray Him without delay. He knew Judas planned to betray Him to the Jewish authorities and He said to Him: “”Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” (John 13:27).

Immediately, Judas got up, and went out to betray Jesus.

We can see, therefore, that it made no difference if the prophecy was good or bad, if it was about Jesus then Jesus was committed to its fulfilment.

Thus, Isaiah prophesied about Jesus the Messiah:

“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

On His resurrection, Jesus berated His disciples who refused to believe this prophecy. He said to the two He appeared to on the way to Emmaus: “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25-26).

Prophecy About Believers

In this way, I discovered that God was giving me prophecies and fulfilling them so that, like Jesus, I would be committed to their fulfilment. But the lesson was so much bigger than my puny businesses, my school, and my finances. It was intended that I should be conformed to the image of Jesus,

It was because God had predestined His elect to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29-30).

So, what are some of those prophecies about believers that we must be determined should be fulfilled?

Here is perhaps one of the most important ones. God says the time is coming and now is when the children of God will not be able to commit any sin whatsoever: “(God) will subdue our iniquities. He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19).

The prophets say the time is coming when God will rain righteousness on us. (Hosea 10:12). So much so that we will not only not want to sin, but will even discover that we cannot sin: “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9).

Should we believe this prophecy? Yes, of course! But if we believe, what should we do about it? How should we show our commitment to its fulfilment?

James says: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:18/20).

John even poses the challenge more succinctly: “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3).

If we do not keep ourselves pure, that is eloquent testimony that the prophecies about God’s sanctification of His saints do not apply to us. Those who believe must be determined, like Jesus, that everything written about us in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, the Psalms, and the New Testament must be fulfilled in us. TO BE CONTINUED.

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