Early in September 2011, while fasting and praying for the national prayer retreat of The Preacher scheduled for later that month, the word of the Lord came to me, “Pray against the Spirit of Sudan.”
South Sudan had become independent from the oppressive Islamic north only a few weeks earlier, on July 9. I understood the word to mean that the Satanic principality that had sponsored Sudan’s very oppressive anti-Christ Islamic regime, and sustained twenty cruel years of a most ravaging civil war between the Christian south and the Islamized north, having lost that territory, was seeking another abode, in Nigeria. I took it as a personal prayer point even though, later, I had to send out sms’s to a few friends. The message as I understood it seemed well explained by Luke 11:24-26, especially the first half of verse 24:
24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man[a territory, Sudan], he walketh through dry places, seeking rest ; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
This reminds me so much of the Kenyan experience decades ago, when a group of intercessors in a teacher training school suddenly had a vision of furious red horses galloping towards their country. Intercepted by timey prayers, however, the horses diverted from the border of Kenya into Somalia next door. Somalia has not been a normal country ever since, with little rest from wave after wave of Islamic insurgencies.
In September 9-11, 2011, there was the retreat of The Preacher in the Middle Belt city of Jos, Nigeria. In the process of the prayer vigil on the second night of that retreat, a sister with remarkable prophetic gifts raised a prayer concern about Nigeria. She used the same words to describe her burden as she called us all to pray against “the spirit of Sudan.” I was frightened. It was no mere coincidence. I realized at once that God had confirmed His word in the mouth of a second witness. Anyone who has gone through the horrors of one civil war will never wish to experience another. Ask them in Liberia, Sierra Leon, Libya, and ask the elders in eastern Nigeria who suffered the Biafran war.
Four days before Christmas, we posted the online message, “When Feasting is Unpardonable Sin ,” warning that in this season of Christmas festivity and the threats of Islamic jihads in Nigeria, it might not be permitted for everyone to enjoy a feast when the land mourns. Yesterday was Christmas, but it was not to be for everybody. I had been fasting for many days, and could not but go on fasting. St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, on the outskirts of Abuja the capital city of Nigeria, was suicide bombed at the close of Christmas service as worshippers were queuing to leave. Over 40 deaths have been reported, besides several injured and inestimable property damaged. What jolted me was the Yahoo News on the tragedy: “Boko Haram is trying to ignite a sectarian civil war in a country split evenly between Christians and Muslims” http://news.yahoo.com/islamists-kill-dozens-nigeria-christmas-bombs-081417359.html It sounded so much to me like the word of the Lord about the agenda of the Spirit of Sudan. Could that be a third witness from the mouth of a prophetic internet donkey?
What further bothered me in that news were the remarks attributed to Muhammadu Buhari, who had also contested at the last presidential polls. In the opinion of that retired army general and former head of state, these assaults are a pointer to the failure of the present government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a man who has been under the severe assaults of high level sorcery and political snares; such manipulations and sorceries that it takes more than a Sunday school T-shirt to bullet proof.
As we relish, on one hand, the lofty condemnations of the premeditated brutalities of Boko Haram, we, on the other hand, share the worry of Jesus in Luke 11:17, about the paradox of a house divided against itself. Oh, that Prophet Daniel could come down and read us these glittering handwritings on the wall!
About a year ago, a retired army General who, like Buhari, is a northern Muslim and former military ruler of the nation, threatened tacitly in the papers that there could be a civil war attributable to Dr. Jonathan if he did not ‘gentlemanly’ abdicate his presidential ambitions to the ‘north,’ all of whose prominent candidates were Muslims.
Some hundreds of years ago, Egypt was a very Christian territory, as also was Libya and the rest of northern Africa. Today, the story is pathetically different. Ephesus, where Paul once preached, which had the first of the seven churches to which Jesus sent special letters, it is said, does not have a church anymore. Its candle has gone out, as Jesus had warned in Revelation 2:5. Islam has taken over that city, and others like it.
May our children not rise up in the next fifty years to curse us fathers and mothers whose knees were too stiff to bend, whose lazy brains and fearful hands knew nothing to do while the spiritual topography changed against their tender future. As a Bishop recently feared and warned, may they not have to spit on our graves someday, that while we pursued our insatiable greed and stuffed our protruding bellies with stolen wine, we wasted our political privileges in the houses of parliament and the other corridors of economic and political power, shamefully unlike another woman centuries ago who in similar circumstances swore, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
Jos, a city whose name is said to have been derived from the acronym, “Jesus Our Saviour,” which used to be the paradise of many missionary agencies in Nigeria, is now like ancient Berlin with an invisible wall marking the risky boundary between the Muslim north and the Christian south of the city. The city has already conceded some precious grounds to the threatening advance of Islam. Port Harcourt and Lagos are not too south from the ‘northern’ threats. America is not as far away anymore; not farther away now than next door. South Africa and Kenya and Britain are already marked for their own seasons. Ghana and Zambia are stirring. France seems almost like a helpless captive. The list is long. Every place is under watch. It is a global threat, “while MEN slept” (Matthew 13:25). Feeble women and little children may sleep, but when adult men also sleep in some seasons, things go wrong.
There are notable parallels between the two nations of Nigeria and what used to be Sudan. Today, Nigeria is reckoned as the foremost evangelized and evangelistic nation in Africa, a missionaries-sending nation next only to USA in the world. In the 1950s and earlier, the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) similarly sent missionaries, and especially evangelized the northern parts of Nigeria. Sudan had a dominantly Christian south and an Islamized north. So does Nigeria. Both territories boast a large land mass. Sudan had and still has a species of Islam that is fundamentally fanatical and very intolerant of any other faith, like the Boko Haramians of northern Nigeria. Sudan used the means of politics, governance, and violence (in fact, wars) to pursue its agenda of enforcing sharia over the entire country. The tools have been no different with those who have been invoking the spirit of Sudan into Nigeria. The sounds of ‘Boko Haram’ are the sounds of that spirit already knocking at our door.
‘Boko Haram’ is a political mask. May God expose the masqueraders behind the mask. Boko Haram is a unilateral declaration of war awaiting escalation whenever ‘the other’ should have been provoked enough to reply. When a cock struts out to challenge the sleeping neighbour next door to an early morning fight, check properly; its owner is behind it, waiting with a machete. The coordination, professionalism and sophistication of Boko Haram are not those of some ragtag terrorists or ‘militants.’ They have the intelligence and other backings of certain foreign governments, of notable foreign and local agencies, royal fathers, as well as serving and retired politicians. Until recently, when God exposed one of their moles among the members of parliament, who could have believed that those dissidents had such ‘noble’ membership and patronage? The general public will be shocked the day it learns about the size and skill of their army and the sophistication of their weaponry; but our prayer is that God may do again in Nigeria what He did to Pharaoh and his armies when He overthrew both horses and their riders in the sea (Exodus 15:1). Amen.
Last night, during my midnight prayers, the date “January 12” came to me as having been marked for a surprise attack in an unsuspecting location. I wish I can right away tell where, but it could be somewhere in one of the ‘safer’ southern cities. Watch and pray; pray with eyes open in this season.
Often, one hears the understandable remarks of aggrieved southern Nigerians, that the country should split, and “let them go their own way.” It is not so easy, for many reasons that this is not the place to explain. Besides, by such expressions, unawares, these make prayers in support of the very Spirit of Sudan.
Someday, soon, the mystery of the fifth seal shall speak from under the altar in Heaven, and there shall come “the great day” of the wrath of the lamb that sits on the throne. In that day, there shall be no hiding place in the dens and rocks and mountains “from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:14-17). May that day come soon, in Jesus name. Amen.
May the world join us now to contend against the Spirit of Sudan. We would rather have those prayers now than relief materials later for a war-torn people, should that wandering spirit somehow find abode here, aided by the bloody invocations of its armed priests that have already offered more than sufficient provocations.
If this stirs you, please, pass it on. If it does not, delete it. One will chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30). Amen.