ROCK of Hope Assemblies overseer Apostle Roy Machona has advised people to be wary of false prophets who claim they have anointed oil and water which can shield them from contracting COVID-19.

And Apostle Machona says some churches had lost some members due to the pandemic and they had not returned up to despite COVID-19 restrictions being eased.

In an interview, Wednesday, Apostle Machona urged people to have faith in God and follow the laid down COVID-19 guidelines.

“I think my advice will go to our people, the Bible says He sent forth his word and healed them all. The power of healing is in his word. These prophecies we are seeing every day; anointed water, anointed oil, I think anointing a patient is biblical but I think we have done it out of the Bible. My advice will go to our people in our churches; let them just pray and trust God. But the issue where they are saying ‘no, we will give you anointed water, anointed oil, you will not get COVID’ they are just risking their own lives,” he said.

“I cannot say much on the prophets because false prophets have been there even during the time of Christ. So we cannot stop them. Even if we crucify them, even if we kill them, some will also come. So I think it is written, we cannot stop them. But my advice should go to our people, our community that let them continue following the health guidelines. Let them trust God but they should not risk lives by listening to these prophets like giving anointed water, anointed oil. They should be careful.”

He recounted that some men of God who claimed to have the power of healing COVID-19 died from the same pandemic.

“We have seen even some pastors dying. Remember Philip if you can go back, when we started COVID, remember that man of God who said ‘no I am going right there in China where there is COVID to pray for the COVID patients’ he died. So my simple advice to all [is] please have faith in God, trust in God and embrace the word of God but don’t listen to these prophets who say ‘I will give you this water’. I heard somebody was saying ‘if I give you this anointed water, you wash your face and then you will be applying anointed oil every morning you cannot get COVID-19’. Please in the name of Jesus don’t listen to such people,” Apostle Machona cautioned.

“Doctors are there, physicians are there, health workers are there. Let’s just open our minds and eyes to see how we can be wise to protect our lives.”

And Apostle Machona said COVID-19 had negatively affected church membership.

“Brother Philip, I think from the time we discussed over COVID-19, I remember I mentioned to say it was not easy for churches to start where we ended and I still confirm with you that up to now we have lost some members who are not even yet back to our churches. But we are still following the COVID guidelines and we have seen slight improvement. We are trying to catch up, especially after the former republican president his Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu said it’s a new normal. So we accepted the situation, we said let us live with it and we should observe the guidelines,” said Apostle Machona.

“Some churches are back to normal. Some churches are still struggling. Of course some churches have not even started [meeting], especially those who had no building maybe they were renting classrooms, they were renting some government building, up to now they have not started. And we are still feeling for them. But those with their own buildings I think things are moving very well.”