When most people think of a prophet they are presented with a dichotomy of two different varieties of a prophet. There is the clairvoyant, who in ancient cultures was regarded as a fortune teller or soothsayer with the gift of being able to learn the future from whichever deity they believe in. The second type of prophet is that which is common in religious texts from the Abrahamic religions, an individual who has been blessed with the ability to convene with God or Allah, not to predict the future but to seek guidance on how to live. Prophets are regularly regarded as wise men or women in either case and it comes as no surprise that those who believe in a given religion give so much respect over to them.
In Christianity, the Holy Spirit gave people the ability to speak with God and learn his teachings directly, with a view to pass these teachings on to other Christians. As Paul the Apostle wrote, the gift of prophecy was to benefit the Church as a whole, not to be used for the sake of it. Prophets therefore were considered throughout the Bible as conduits through which God could speak directly and they provided the foundations upon which the book was written. Likewise in Islam, Mohammed was a prophet who also spoke with Allah and learned the teachings of the Koran, spreading them throughout Arabia.
With the rise of certain denominations of Christianity in the United States and other converted countries, they each brought their own methods of preaching. For some, this form of preaching was more akin to the prophets of the Bible, using their gift of being able to communicate with God to guide their followers. In a similar vein, deliverance is a popular method of directly exhibiting the force of God in being able to cure the sick and remove demons from souls.
Prophet Uebert Angel is one such modern day Christian preacher and prophet from Zimbabwe who uses his ability to converse with God to deliver his followers from evil. Unlike some of his contemporaries however, Uebert Angel is also a prophet like those who can predict the future and he has gained a large following who regularly attend his services to hear what God has told him.
As well as a great teacher, Jesus Christ was also known for using his ability as the Son of God to perform miracles. These miracles fall into four categories as outlined by Henrik van de Loos – cures, miracles of nature, resurrections and exorcisms. A devout Christian would claim that these miracles are in fact true; each one was performed by Jesus as a demonstration of his divine heritage. More liberal Christians are less willing to accept the miracles as being gospel, more symbolic of Jesus’ nature as a benefactor than anything else. Contemporary preachers regularly draw on Jesus’ miracles as a way of showing what God is capable of and there are many sensational videos on YouTube and other sites which depict a preacher removing a tumour from a sufferer or enabling someone to walk once more.
Without real demonstrable proof of God’s power, it can be difficult to maintain a level of belief in worshippers with the advent of the digital age. It is unsurprising that when those preachers who do demonstrate miracles do so successfully, they are surrounded by crowds of hundreds if not thousands of people. Uebert Angel is a Zimbabwean prophet who has used evidence of his connection to God to convince his 10,000 strong clergy to remain faithful. Not only has Prophet Uebert Angel claimed to have made accurate predictions for the deaths of famous figures, but he also regularly heals members of his clergy, many of which have been African heads of state.
The prophet has clearly made a success out of performing miracles and predictions, as otherwise he would simply not be as popular as he is today. Jesus and his followers, whether the stories are true or not, were ultimately so popular because of how fantastic they sound. If a person truly believes that they can be cured of their blindness by attending one of the sermons by someone who performs miracles, then they will in almost certain terms attend a ceremony.
As with proving anything, if the evidence is there then it is much easier to believe and miracles are no different. An effective way of leading worship has been demonstrated by those who can perform acts of deliverance or healing the sick.