By James Gatdet Dak
NB: Read it through to the end before commenting!
“A Prophet given spectacles (visions) of God,” which translates from the phrase in Nuer language as “Gök mi̱ ca ka̱m neeni̱ wäŋni̱ Dɛ̈ɛ̈ŋ.”
The above description is how (Prophet) Ngundeng Bong presented himself in his songs cited at his Headquarters (Bieh) from the mid 1800s until his peaceful death in 1906.
Ngundeng who is from the Nuer ethnic group of South Sudan was born in the land of Jikany-Nuer clan—-but into his maternal side of the Lou-Nuer clan who inhabit the present day Jonglei State of Upper Nile region in the country.
His father, Bong, is originally from the Bul-Nuer clan of Western Nuer in the present day Unity State.
Bong migrated to the land of Jikany-Nuer (Eastern Nuer) about 200 years ago—-in the present day Upper Nile State. This is where he married Nyayiel, the mother of Ngundeng. Nyayiel is from Lou-Nuer clan.
After Ngundeng was born in Jikany-Nuer Land and grew up, he then migrated to Lou-Nuer Land where he established his Headquarters (Bieh) and built a pyramid at Wec Deang village.
He was born around the mid 1830s and died in 1906, according to his recorded life history published by different books authors.
More information about his life is available online by simply googling his name ‘Prophet Ngundeng Bong’.
A reader will also notice that his first name is sometimes wrongly altered or spelt as Wundeng by a few random commentators. His real or true first name is Ngundeng, not Wundeng.
Well, the focus of my brief analysis or curiosity is on the prophecies or predictions Prophet Ngundeng proclaimed during his lifetime, and the origin of such prophecies, and whether or not he was equally a God to be worshipped.
I want to say this from the onset based on my understanding as a Christian. For those of you who worship (Prophet) Ngundeng as God, let me kindly say that you are terribly wrong!
I will tell you why. Keep on reading!
And first of all for your information, I myself also learnt more about Ngundeng’s messages or prophecies.
I listened to his messages delivered in form of many songs for the past 30 years!
Since Ngundeng’s generation or followers in the Nuer Land were from a primitive (illiterate) society who could not write or read, the most effective way to ensure that his messages were carried on for generations was to deliver them in form of songs.
I also read books written about him by many authors from 1930s, including about his miraculous divine-like birth—-which earned him the name ‘Ngundeng,’ meaning ‘Gift from God.’ in Nuer language.
Ngundeng NEVER claimed himself to be the God. He actually believed in the heavenly God, although he claimed to have descended from heaven.
When he said, “Ɛ ɣän kuoth…kiɛ ta̱a̱ kɛ kuoth” which literally translates “I am a God…or I have God,” he was claiming having been possessed by certain sorts of divine attributes or powers of God, not that he himself was the God of Heaven.
In Nuer language, ‘kuoth’ or ‘God’ is used interchangeably to mean God and to also mean deity or divinity of God.
For example, when a prophet or a claimant prophet or prophetess said, ‘Ta̱a̱ Kuoth’ or ‘I have God’, they did not mean they were the God of Heaven——-unless they were claiming being false little earthly gods. They meant they were possessed by spirits of either the false satanic gods, goddesses or by the God himself.
And here is an IMPORTANT thing to note. Even in both the New and the Old Testaments of the Bible—-at the time of many true prophets—-a prophet would speak in the first person as if he was the God himself speaking. This is why you read in the Old Testament Bible when a prophet is told by God to say what God wanted him to say to people, the prophet will directly quote God and say, “I have done this, or I will do this…,” I, the LORD Almighty have spoken.
Here is an example in the book of Isaiah Chapter 44 verse 24, when Prophet Isaiah spoke. “This is what the Lord says——-your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
“I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfils the predictions of his messengers.”
As you could see above, Prophet Isaiah was speaking as if he was God himself—-simply because he was directly quoting the statement from God.
It is like reading a presidential decree on a national TV where a newsreader sounds as if he or she is the one issuing the decree using the first person ‘I’ because they read it in the exactly as said or stated by a King, a President, a Prime Minister, or any authority that made the decision or gave the statement.
That was what Ngundeng did! He spoke by directly quoting God and therefore he spoke in many instances as if it was God himself speaking through his mouth.
HERE BELOW ARE A FEW EXAMPLES FROM SOME OF HIS MESSAGES (in the1800s)
“The day I will get angry (in Sudan/South Sudan) the land will be unstable. It will be unstable in the east. It will be unstable in the west. I will destabilize the south, and I will destabilize the north….”
From the original Nuer phrase it says, “Cäŋɔ wa̱ we gaakɔ piny bɛ tee wanywany. Bɛ ku waany ɛn piny. Bɛ waany meni̱ käny ca̱ŋ, meni̱ kony cäŋ. Cuec dɛ ɣɔaa bä wany, cam ɣɔaa bä wany…”
You could see that Ngundeng used the first person ‘I’ as if he was the one making the decision or issuing the decree, when in fact it was (presumably) God speaking through his mouth—word for word.
He also said in Thok Nath (Nuer language), “Rölun bä nyɔ̱t kɛ pi̱c, ken ruac dɛ kɔn gueer…” Translation, “I will stir up your nation, its case has not yet been settled…”
He also predicted a war in Khartoum when he said, “Röl Kartum ba̱a̱r, röl pajaŋ cɛ waŋ dä lo̱ny riɛm muɔcä wɛ̈ɛ̈, mäthdä ni̱ cuɔɔr…” Translation, “The nation (site) of Khartoum Bahr, blood is rolling down from my eyes, I will give to the vultures. Vultures are my friends…”
Ngundeng also predicted about the current 10 states in South Sudan. He prophesied a lot about the peoples and the present day South Sudan, many of which are too sensitive to discuss publicly at least for now.
And back to who he claimed to be and to further prove that he never claimed to be God of Heaven himself, let me give you two more examples in which Ngundeng even mentioned himself or listed himself separately from God and vice versa when he said, “Lapä kuoth ni̱ gölä, lapä kuoth gaankä diaal…kɔnɛ ŋundɛŋ ta̱ kɔ kaar…” The translation to English reads, “I am the God of all my children….I and Ngundeng have a lineage…”
So God and Ngundeng are separate, but connected by a (supernatural) lineage.
Another example in which Ngundeng listed himself apart from God is when he spoke about those witnessing or overseeing the land and said, “Cäŋ kɛnɛ pay, kɛ ŋundɛŋ kɛ ɣän Dɛŋ, kɛ kɛn kɔn kua̱r da̱ŋ ŋuan…” Translation, “The Sun and the Moon and Ngundeng and myself Deng (God), we are the four leaders (overseers)…”
Why would Ngundeng list himself separately and yet say, “and I myself Deng (God)?” This is another indication that he was directly quoting God, or God was the one speaking directly to the people through his mouth.
So when people heard his direct speech some of them mistakenly thought that he was proclaiming himself to be the God. No, it was like a newsreader told to read a presidential decree with the words ‘I dismissed or I appointed so and so…’ But it doesn‘t mean that the person’s name you mentioned as having issued the decree is you the newsreader. You are just a messenger!
Ngundeng also prophesied a promising bright future. He said after the nation has gone through uncertainty, instability or turmoil, there shall also arrive a time for it to heal and become united and prosperous. He described that future nation like a “bull whose horns shall reach to the skies” and with great agricultural production.
He however INTERESTINGLY also predicted that before that prophesied time arrives, people will continue to “speak about it with doubts as if the prophecies shall not come to pass” or get fulfilled.
Religions are publicly discussed with open minds. They are NOT a taboo! This is why people preach them publicly in Churches, in Mosques in Temples, in town square centers, on YouTube or Facebook, or in writing, etc,. etc.
Like I said, I was curious to listen to the messages of Ngundeng and read books written about him in order to know exactly what he said.
Yes, I do agree that I have witnessed many of the things he prophesied more than a century ago having been fulfilled currently—–or have come to pass in real time for the last few decades to present time. These include good and bad events as he accurately prophesied over a century ago. And maybe the rest will come to pass too.
In his messages, Ngundeng went to a great length of details over a hundred years ago by naming many future (current and recent past) personalities with their respective known names today—-whom he said shall appear in the political scene in South Sudan, among other predictions. He also predicted and described some of their respective personal characteristics and actions, etc., which a person can truly notice today.
This accuracy amazed me and added to my curiosity given the fact that he primitively (as an illiterate) made the predictions a hundred years ago before their recent past and current fulfilments.
Most of false prophets could not predict into a far distant future with details and accuracy unless the prophesies or predictions originated directly from the God of Heaven.
Also with false prophets and false teachers today, even among Christians, a false prophet who wants to deceive a church may secretly agree with someone or some people to act on the stage in a church like a random recipient, and say things they agreed to tell the congregation as if they were true dreams or visions or testimonies of healings fulfilled, etc.
False prophets do not accurately predict with details a far distant future like Ngundeng did it. They mainly assess situations and guess outcomes, or consult with demonic spirits, etc.
But Ngundeng’s prophecies have passed the test of time and are being fulfilled with accuracy. One of such century-old prophecies which scared the hell out of me occurred in 2005, exactly just as he said a century before.
BUT THE QUESTION IS:
Did Ngundeng receive his visions or prophecies directly from God or did he receive them from Satan who stole the plan or predictions directly from God?
In other words, can Satan decide and authorize prophesies, or is it God alone who decides and controls the course of prophecies on human lives?
Allow me to briefly narrate a few Biblical facts below in trying to put my point across:
According to the Bible, God is the only being who is omnipresent (being present everywhere at all times) and also omniscience (all-knowing, including current thoughts and future thoughts of people) and also omnipotent (all powerful with no limitation).
Even angels do not have the three natural attributes of God. God only directs them and empowers them.
Satan cannot see God’s thoughts and plans unless God has voluntarily and freely revealed them. Then Satan can react by trying to either twist them or counterfeit them.
Satan has a limited ability to counterfeit God’s plans and twist or distort them for humans when revealed to him. God allows what can be revealed. Satan only gets the opportunity to learn of God’s plans because God is transparent in his nature, thus his plans.
So Satan as a supernatural being can see those plans in the spiritual realms. The Bible says that Satan has the ability to even transform himself into a FAKE angel of light to deceive humans.
But he cannot see certain plans hidden by God!
This is why Satan regretted the death of Jesus on the Cross after he realized that it was done to redeem the world.
God only revealed a half-mission to Satan that he would send his son, Jesus, to the world in a human form as the Messiah to save people from the influence of Satan and reconcile the people with God’s laws. Satan did not understand the whole mission.
Satan ignorantly reacted by working to try to destroy Jesus and fail his mission on earth. Satan connived with the Roman Empire and the Jewish leaders from Pharisees (Jesus’ own people) to kill Jesus (on the Cross).
God kept it a secret from the understanding of Satan that the death of Jesus was in fact a grand plan by God to redeem the world through his shed blood as an ultimate sacrificial intervention.
Satan on the other hand wanted people to continue to sin or break the laws of God—-since they were all sinning anyway—-and therefore be all destroyed by the HOLY justice-driven wrath of God.
It is only after the resurrection of Jesus Christ that Satan——whose real name is Lucifer (Satan and Devil are his titles)—–realized he was outwitted by God, and was only used together with the Roman Empire and the Pharisees to fulfill the grand secret plan of God’s salvation for the world.
So Satan hates the sacrificial intervention done by Jesus—-which has now given people the opportunity to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
But the spiritual warfare over the eternal fate of humans continues as Satan prevents the majority of people on earth from acknowledging the intervention and salvation plan brought through Jesus, the Messiah.
Back to the point:
Now as briefly narrated above, if Satan lacks the three natural attributes of God (omnipresent, omniscience, and omnipotent), and does not set or control the future and prophecies—–but can only try to counterfeit them or twist them, then this means any prophecies or predictions that pass the test of time and get fulfilled with accuracy are originally from God—-not from false gods or Satan.
So whether Ngundeng was used by God or by the hijacker, Satan, to deliver specific prophecies about Sudan or South Sudan and to some extent, Ethiopia and Egypt, the messages themselves about the punishments and then blessings must have originated from God.
And for a quick reminder, some of the prophecies told by Ngundeng about the future of Sudan (South Sudan) do also correlate with the prophecies told by Prophet Isaiah Chapter 18 about the future of Sudan (South Sudan) in the Bible.
Again, in the case of Ngundeng, according to how I understood his messages, he was claiming or confessing having been empowered by God of Heaven with some true divine powers, which he described as “Spectacles of God,” that made him to prophesy into the distant future with accuracy.
However, another curious question would be, why would God use someone as a prophet if the era of prophets was over when Jesus came, and why would that late messenger or prophet be still practicing animal sacrifices when Jesus was the last Sacrificial Lamb, according to the Bible?
Also many people questioned the mode of Ngundeng’s prayers at ‘Bieh’ or his shrine, and the fact that he could at times eat unclean or nasty things for food, and probably in the same way John the Baptist ate grasshoppers in the desert—-which were considered to be unclean in the ancient Israel.
Why Ngundeng should not be worshipped like God?
Having stated the above, Ngundeng did not claim to be the God of Heaven. He only claimed to be a true messenger or prophet of God.
He also never directed his followers to establish churches in his name!
I felt sad when a “German white man”—-as described to me by his friend—-worked hard to establish a Ngundeng Church, and actually sponsored some members of the Nuer community to establish such churches around the world. This is to lead people astray from God.
I again repeat for emphasis, Ngundeng only claimed that he was a messenger or phrophet of God used to LOCALLY deliver specific messages about the coming punishments by God and followed by blessings for the future of his people in Sudan or South Sudan, just like prophet Isaiah did in the Bible.
And NOTE that Ngundeng came before Christianity reached his people.
REMEMBER that the NAATH or Nuer ethnic group—–just like other communities in South Sudan—– knew about the existence of heavenly God before Christianity reached them and provided them with details of written accounts about that heavenly God.
Before Christianity reached them, the NUER or NAATH also used to call God as ‘Kuoth-Nhial’ which literally means ‘God of Heaven’, or ‘Kuoth-Cäkä’ or with His nickname as ‘Dɛŋ-Tääth’, both of which literally mean ‘God of Creation.’
NOW ANOTHER QUESTION:
Which God did Ngundeng describe as Deng Nyangeer (Dɛŋ Nyaŋgɛɛr) when he said ‘Dɛŋ Nyaŋgɛɛr rɔm weydu?’
He repeatedly mentioned Deng Nyangeer in his songs. Some people say he symbolically meant God of the Cross—–or he was pointing to the coming Christianity as representing the true worship of heavenly God. Is it true?
So my point is, even if Ngundeng’s prophetic claims were to be truly coming from the God of Heaven, and being fulfilled nowadays, this still does not qualify Ngundeng to be worshipped as God. It is WRONG!
You don’t worship prophets or angels or messengers even in the Bible. You simply honour them by taking heed to their messages and worship God—–the owner of the message—–who used and sent that prophet or angel to deliver the message.
So, whether Ngundeng is a messenger or a prophet, no one should worship him as the God!!!
And I kindly appeal to you as followers of Ngundeng to turn to Jesus Christ!
I believe Ngundeng himself also foresaw and embraced the coming of Christianity to his people of South Sudan in the same way Prophet Isaiah in the Bible foresaw the coming of Messiah (Christianity) in Chapter 53.
Ngundeng knew that Christianity represented the TRUE worship and WAY of SALVATION of the TRUE one God of Heaven. God bless him!
This is my humble opinion! I however stand to be corrected.
And if you think I am wrong, prove it with mature convincing arguments.
I VERY well know that there are over FOUR THOUSAND different RELIGIONS in the whole world, big and small. But majority of them are worshipping gods, not God.
And there is one TRUE religion among them!
My post is an advice! You are free to take it or leave it, or take the part you want.
And beware that this could also be a religious experiment!
Happy new month (December) and the last month of the year 2022!
May God guide us all! And Cheers!
The author is a Press Secretary (Spokesperson) in the Presidency, Republic of South Sudan. He is also a Christian by faith. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.