Mugabe, Zimbabwe and the Journey to Armageddon

Some commentary from me on what I believe are prophetically important happenings  here in Southern Africa....and will I believe repeat itself in many nations in this time of the end of the age and the transition to the new age of the Kingdom of God.

This week saw the dramatic change of power in Zimbabwe with the ousting of Bob Mugabe and the installation of Edward Mnangagwa as President.  The whole nation rejoiced to finally see the back of that old man. In the end he was desperately pleading with the army generals that he is willing to sacrifice that Jezebel of a wife, Grace, if they will allow him to stay on in power.  A real Ahab and Jezebel pair those two....Bob lived long enough at 93 to see what 37 years in power did for Zimbabwe...a prosperous nation at independence in 1980 to an economic wasteland from 37 years of tyranny and misrule in 2017.

Mugabe famously said..."Only God who appointed me will remove me." (An election rally in June 2008).  And I actually believe he spoke prophetically.  Here is why...because God has a plan for Zimbabwe, for South Africa....and for the nations of the world. 

The Armageddon Moment

I have observed an interesting phenomenon in studying the history in the Bible of God's interactions with nations and people.  I call it the Armageddon is that time when a period is set aside when God deals with people, either individually or collectively.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they did not know the hour of their visitation.  God had come to the remnant of Israel with the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom.  They rejected the gospel.  Instead they declared independence from Rome and thought they could build a new independent Israel apart from God and His Kingdom....Jesus said "this generation will see the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple",  And after this pronouncement in 33 AD it took 37 years and Armageddon arrived in 70 AD with Roman armies destroying Jerusalem and the Temple.

But here is an interesting phenomenon....between the time of prophetic warning and final execution there is always a period of grace. God wants to see if nations and people repent in response to His warnings.

The Jonah Phenomenon

Then in the midst of prophetic declarations there are other amazing things that happen.  Prophecy does not come true.  God declares a thing through His prophets with a "Thus says the Lord!"....and it does not happen!

Jonah goes to Nineveh with a sure word of prophecy...."Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown". (Jonah 3:4) But they were not overthrown.  They lived and prospered. Why? because they as a nation repented and turned to  God.

I have seen this Jonah phenomenon in the last 40 years.

I remember the many prophecies in the 1970's and from before that time. prophecies about....
- The Antichrist was coming out of a revived Roman Empire, being the European Union
- The Soviet Union was going to invade Israel
- A mighty army of 200 million was coming out of China to devastate Israel and the earth.
- America was going to be destroyed

I still have many of those prophetic books such as Hal Lindsay's "The 1980's : Road to Armageddon",  Edgar Wisenhunt's "88 Reasons why Jesus Returns by 1988". etc

What happened?  Apart from just bad eschatology and wrong teaching...there were many sincere and godly prophets who had real and impactful visions of a soon coming earth devastation.   I still respect those godly prophets and their words.

But something happened on the road to Armageddon....

In the 1960's Time magazine had cover entitled..."God is Dead".  In early 1970's a new cover "The Jesus Movement"...a revival in California among the hippie generation and an estimated 3,4 million across America came to dramatic conversion and filled with the Spirit.  God woke up the church through an outpouring of  His Holy Spirit and hundreds of thousands of young people went into all the world on mission.  That revival movement had international consequences.

In 1987 the Charismatic movement entered China....and the house church movement exploded.  Today over 200 million Chinese are spirit filled and growing. The new 200 million man army is not marching on the world to devastate the earth....but to evangelize.

The Soviet Union collapsed and Russia is now declaring itself to be a Christian nation with the government building thousands of churches.

And I can go on and on.  None of the prophecies turned out true...and yet the world was on the brink of Armageddon....but God intervened and people responded by the millions to the gospel.

The Southern Africa Armageddon Moment

At the declaration of independence in 1980 the whole of Zimbabwe at last!  37 years later the nation is an economic wasteland.  But with this difference....the many factories were filed were they are filled with churches.  By the millions Zimbabweans are going to church seeking God and calling on the Lord.  Their faith in politics and politicians shattered.

Here in South Africa the nation rejoiced in 1994 with the new government headed by the idol of the masses Nelson Mandela.  That started an economic boom based mostly on foreigners buying up all the best productive assets of the nation and most of the new civil servants going deep in debt to fund a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption.  Today 23 years later the nation is bankrupt and turning into an economic wasteland.  What the foreigners did not buy up the thieves and the corrupt have stolen from both the public and private purse of the nation.  Our government needs to borrow R1 trillion over the next 3 years just to pay its bills but the ever rising demand of the citizens for more services and more government hand outs mean that disappointment and anger at politics and politicians are growing.

On top of that the Lord is dramatically revealing in the media all the hidden corruption of those in power who have enriched themselves at the expense of the people.

What is happening?

What is happening is that like in Zimbabwe where a great move of God is happening among the people the same is happening in South Africa.  Why did a million South Africans gather in Bloemfontein to pray for the nation?  Why are stadiums, built for the great World Cup Soccer tournament, now being filled by Christians and not sport fans?

The nation is under judgment.  We are on our journey to that God moment when God visits a nation and people with judgment to see if they will respond as Nineveh responded...with repentance.

God has called us to disciple nations.  We are to be co-labourers with Him in this task. He does His part we do ours.  God brings many ways to discipline nations into discipleship...economic hardship has always been a way for God to get people's attention. And the best way to do that is to give a nation a fool to be its leader.  This is the lot of many nations as it is here now in Southern Africa.  They and their cronies are like the proverbial locusts that God sends to a nation to eat up the land.

Under such a plague of locusts are we now in South Africa suffering after that same plague has cleaned out Zimbabwe.

Now is the time for repentance and to rebuild our devastated nations.  But let me just give a word of warning here.  For South Africa it is still going to get worse. But there are movements already that the Lord is doing a new thing...

This last week our local church leaders led by our Dutch Reformed dominee's met with our municipality management team to plan ahead.  We are in the midst of a terrible drought that is affecting our local economy.  But we local church leaders decided it is not just a matter of prayer but also of action that we must take.  We are going to be working together as a community to fix our water supply and work to bring new jobs and industry to our area.  We also got a summary of the social problems of our municipality from the director of social services and mapped out strategies of how we as churches can assist in the social breakdown of our communities.

Jesus made an enigmatic statement in Luke 18:8....
"When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Prophetic writers and teachers misinterprets this verse as they do many scriptures having to do with the coming of the Lord.  Understand this very important truth...there are many "comings" of the Lord to nations and to people.  God comes regularly for fruit inspection time in His vineyard of earth.  And when He comes it is an Armageddon moment...a time when He wants to know "Is there faith in the land of Zimbabwe?"  Is there faith in the land of South Africa?  If there is not....then the judgments of the Lord come and the prophets are sent out with warnings.

There was a visitation by Jesus to Zimbabwe in 1980 and to South Africa in 1994 both with new governments and new beginnings.  Jesus wanted to know was there faith in our lands?  Yes there was faith...there was faith that politics and politicians would heal our lands and lead us into the promised land. And where did that end up?

Jesus saw there was no real faith in God.  And so judgment started.  Sometimes it takes 37 years for the message to get through.  Nineveh got the message within 40 days.

I have great hope and faith for our future here in Southern Africa!  God is wonderful and full of grace and mercy. He loves us and has wonderful plans for our future.  We are going to see a great move of God here in Southern Africa and a great rebuilding of our nations based on Godly principles and righteous government.  We are going to be discipled as nations and as people. We are going to learn how to base  our societies our culture, our laws, our economies on scriptural principles.

We still have a long road ahead.  But at our next visitation from Jesus I believe He will find faith on our part of earth and He will find a welcome place to tabernacle among us. 

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