[This is an approximate full transcript of the message of Pastor Agu Irukwu at the 2017 August Ministers’ Conference of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. An abridged version for the general Church is posted at http://churcharise.blogspot.com.ng/2017/08/wake-up-call-for-church-extracts-by.html]
Anyone who is an observer of things would certainly tell that we are definitely coming close to the end of the ages. There is an unprecedented battle that is underway for the souls of nations. But before I talk about that, just for a few minutes, let me just give a picture out of the Bible that I want to form a backdrop for what I am about to share with you.
Sometime in 930 BC toward the end of Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel entered into spiritual decay like it had never done in its history. The whole nation degenerated. The pursuit of materialism held sway, idolatory began to take over the land, and that state of affairs so made God angry. If we read I Kings 11:9-13, that because Solomon turned away from Him, He made clear that He was going to take the kingdom away and give it to a servant. Now do note in the 14th verse, that as a result of Solomon’s turning away from God, God raised an adversary against him. As a result of that degeneration, the kingdom literally collapsed. Once Solomon died, the servant Jeroboam took ten of the tribes and they formed the Northern kingdom of Israel. His son Rehoboam was left with just two of the tribes. From then on, the nation of Israel started to descend rapidly. King after king competed with themselves to outdo each other in evil; and a refrain that you will read is how one king did more evil than the other king. Finally, there arrives on the scene a king called Ahab. I Kings 16:30. “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all who were before him.” He married a young lady called Jezebel, she was the daughter of the king of Sidonia, a man called Ethbaal, the prophet of Baal. They took the evil that existed to another level. Darkness really ruled the nation. The worship of Baal became common-place. A state religion imposed on the nation. The worship of God was chased out of public life. The Bible testifies that by that time the prophets of God were in hiding. It was a clear strategy from the pit of hell. This woman Jezebel took control of her husband Ahab, and she had one agenda on her mind, and the agenda was to erase the worship of Jehovah in the land. The agenda was to impose immorality as the order of the day. The agenda was to make sure that there was no worship of the God of Israel. But where I was going, as the nation descended into that level of darkness; as it seemed like God had lost the battle, we read in I kings 17:1 God’s response. And what was God’s response? God’s response was to raise up a man called Elijah.
And what is significant about Elijah? Elijah was God’s response to degeneration. God’s response to decay. God’s response to darkness. God’s response to immorality. Elijah was God’s response to apostasy. Elijah was God’s response to a plan of the enemy to seize a nation and pervert God’s plan for the nation.
It’s interesting that the Bible talks a bit more about Elijah. In Mathew 17: 11-12, Jesus answered them and said to them “Indeed Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer in their hands.”
He says Elijah is coming first, and he will come with the mandate to restore all things. And so a singular Elijah came, called out by God from obscurity to confront the evil of the day and to save the nation of Israel. Our Lord Jesus Christ speaks about another Elijah that is coming. And that Elijah comes with a mandate of restoration. He also goes on in Luke 1:17 to say to us concerning Elijah. “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the LORD.” Of course He was speaking about John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and the power of Elijah. So there was first, Elijah the prophet. But then there was another Elijah that came in the spirit and in the power of Elijah. And that Elijah was a fore-runner to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ’s coming.
Where am I going? It would seem very clear to me that just before Jesus comes, just before a great move of God, just before God steps in to rescue a nation, or nations, there must be someone who comes in the spirit and the power of Elijah.
What is this spirit of Elijah? There are 6 things: Faith, Prayer, A commitment to the Word, a Zealousness for God, Holiness, and a demonstration of Power. Put this at the back of your mind: there must be a person or people who come with the spirit and power of Elijah as a precursor to a move of God.
I want to share a bit about the United Kingdom. The state of things in the United Kingdom. If the truth be told, things are bad. Things are challenging. We have seen the move of an aggressive secularism that wants to take the worship of God out of public life. We have seen our leaders embarrassed and forced to resign simply because of their faith. We have seen and see an attempt by another faith to wrest control of the nation, to seize the soul of the nation. We really are seeing some challenging and dark times in the United Kingdom We have seen churches closed, On the last account 500 churches in and around London closed and 480 mosques were planted in their stead. We have seen laws that are so ungodly passed. Policies that we know are so ungodly passed. Some of them…. it is impossible to imagine that such things can happen. We are now dealing with the issue of genders and transgenders. It’s being taken out of a lot of our literature the reference to male and female, because it is assumed that there is some middle ground that is neither male nor female. And that is official. And so things are dark in the United kingdom.
But then, I wouldn’t say it’s any different from here. It might not be the same expression, but then we look round at the state of things here in Nigeria, we see the rabid corruption that led our former Prime Minister to describe it as fantastically corrupt. Of course we all protested; but in our hearts we knew there was an element of truth in what he was saying. We see the blatant use of the government’s machinery in some places to advance the agenda of one faith over another. We read about how our curriculum for our children has been hijacked so that any reference to the deity of Christ has been removed. We look around at some parts of the Church and we marvel that this is the Church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We hear about the killing that is taking place in some parts of the country. The persecution of Christians. The kidnapping of young girls and them being forced to convert to other faith. We are amazed that we all sat back and the learning of Arabic was made compulsory in our schools.
And I can go on and on and on, but you get the picture. What I’m trying to say is that it’s no different here. It’s no different in the Middle East. It’s no different in North America. It is no different in South America. It is clear that the kingdom of darkness is marching on and has an agenda, and the agenda is to push back the Church, and to seize the high ground.
We asked ourselves in the UK, How did we get into this state? How did we allow this to happen? And a parable will seem to sum up exactly how we got into that state. Mat 13:24, “The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds into his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced the crop, the tares also appeared. And the servants of the owner came to him and said, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it now have tares? Then He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Do you want us to go gather them up?”
How did we find ourselves in this state? How did we find ourselves in a state where the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is supposed to occupy until He comes, in a lot of instances is just barely surviving? How did we find ourselves in a state where the prophet‘s description, In Isaiah, the 60th chapter, of deep darkness over the people and darkness covering the earth? How did we find ourselves in a place where the laws are changed, the policies are changed? How did we find ourselves in a place where the organs of government are used to advance policies that are clearly against the Church? We find ourselves in this place because while men slept, the enemy came and sowed tares. We find ourselves in this place because, if the truth be told, the church has been asleep. Yes, we have made gains. Yes, we have planted churches, yes there has been some progress, but then this is a family meeting, and we can afford to be truthful to ourselves. If the truth be told, the Church slept while the enemy made gains. And the challenge is that the Church is got solution. But then if the Church has abdicated its responsibility, what solution is there? Jesus is clear about His Church …..Mat 16 verse 18: “I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I don’t know about here, but where I serve, we see at best a Church that is holding ground, but in a lot of instances we see a Church that is in retreat. And yet Jesus says that Church will prevail against the gates of hell. We find that if we become complacent, the enemy takes ground.
Let us not forget that the nations of Turkey and Syria were once Christian nations. An enemy has done this. An enemy did it while the Church was complacent. And today, if there is anything that I say, I will like to challenge us out of that complacency, much the same way that I challenged myself out of that complacency.
And maybe the Prophet Amos might do a better job of this than me. In Amos 6:1, he says “Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, and who trust in Mount Samaria, notable persons in the chief nations to whom the house of Israel comes.”
Amos could easily have been speaking to Church leaders today. Woe to you who are at ease in Zion. Those who are complacent. Those who don’t see the signs of the time. Those who don’t understand that if we are not advancing, the enemy is advancing Those who don’t fully understand that we can’t stay stationary in this battle. Those who don’t understand that if we don’t take ground the enemy is taking ground. Notable persons in the chief nation, he says “woe to you”. He says from verse 3, “woe to you who put afar off the day of doom, who calls the seat of violence to come near.” We can’t say we will not act, and believe that not acting is doing something. Because not acting means that we are agreeing to the seat of violence drawing near…. He says “woe to you who lie on beds of ivory, who stretch out on your couches, who eat lambs from the flock and cows from the midst of the stall. Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David. Who drink wine from bowls and anoint yourself with the best ointment. But are not grieved for the afflictions of Joseph. Therefore they shall now go captive as the first captives. And those who recline at the banquet shall be removed.”
He paints a graphic picture of a leadership, of a nation, that does not understand that the position of complacency they’ve taken is to give the enemy ground. I could paraphrase his message in modern words like these: Woe to the politicians in church. Woe to the sycophants in church. Woe to those who specialize in insincerity and call it wisdom. Woe to those who are consumed by personal ambition. Woe to the purveyors of pettiness. Woe to the agents of distraction. Woe to those who would not release people into their call but suppress them instead. Woe to those who cannot discern the times and the seasons. Woe to those who cannot hear the trumpet call for war. Woe to those who try to drown out God’s voice with their own voices. Woe to those who are playing Church, instead of being the Church. Woe to those who are focused on an honorarium, instead of the mandate. Woe to meaningless conferences and meetings, while the enemy is gaining ground. Woe to those who reduce a sacred calling to a job. Woe to those who see our calling as a means of earning a living.
Woe to those who judge their success by the cars we drive or the sizes of our church, not the fulfilment of our call. Woe to those who abuse positions of power and authority. And woe to those who are not grieved by the state of the Church, by the state of the decomposing and decaying society.
If we don’t do something, not only are we toying with our captivity, we are consigning our children to a lifetime of captivity,
And believe me, God will judge us.
How did we end up here? We ended up here because we played Church. We became politicians of an ecclesiastical nature. We specialized and majored in pettiness and distractions. We built empires , we said we were building churches. And maybe we did, but we didn’t understand that to build a church is the first stage in building the Kingdom of God.
And you know the reality? ……In a natural sense, it is probably too late. The enemy has made too much gain. The enemy is entrenched. The things that were spoken 40 years ago, 50 years ago, at Independence, 60 years ago, the things that were spoken concerning this nation, things that are against the Church and against God that we serve…. We are watching them come to pass. In a natural sense, if the truth be told, it really is too late.
We have in a sense, naturally, woken up too late. For where do we start? How do we roll back the laws and the policies? How do we change things that are so entrenched against the Church and against our God? How do we deal with the stronghold of scepticism and cynicism that unfortunately have developed? A lot of them because, people who purport to be men of God have acted in a way that has discredited the call on their lives. How can we prevent the nations from being swamped by Islam, and I have nothing against Islam, it is just that they are advancing their own agenda and their kingdom, and I have an agenda and a kingdom to advance. How do we attract an increasingly sceptical millennial generation? In a natural sense, it is over.
But thank God, we don’t believe in a natural God! But we believe in a supernatural God. That’s the only thing that gives us hope. That God can do the impossible. We look back to the early Church, we find them in a similar place. Maybe even worse than we are. And we see a move of God that turned the whole of the world right side up. We dare to believe in that God, that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. So even though in a natural sense, we might be too late, but thank God! God is not natural!
We understand clearly, at least I have come to understand, that it must be a move of the spirit of God. The words of the prophet Zachariah resonate: In Zech 4:6 – Not by might, not by intellect, not by persuasion, not by size, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord of Hosts.
And as we woke up to our unpleasant reality in the United Kingdom, the merciful Lord began to lay quite a lot on our heart. I have always known that the Redeemed Christian Church of God was part of God’s plan. You can’t be in the Redeemed, and not know that. We have heard it so many times, that this is a covenant church. It is a church that would usher in our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. We’ve always known that. But there is a difference between knowing something in your head, and knowing something in your heart and your spirit. In God’s end-time plan, and I am not making God’s case, I’m just telling you. In God’s end-time plan, the Redeemed Christian Church of God has a pivotal role to play. Reinhard Bonke had a prophecy. In the prophecy, he saw a vision. In the vision the African map was inverted. And when you invert the Africa map, it looks like a gun. The trigger of the gun is where Nigeria rests. The muzzle of the gun, the end of the muzzle where the bullet comes out is in South Africa. It’s not any wonder, and I say that with a lot of humility, because we do have our challenges as Nigerians, but wherever you look in the world, God is somehow using a Nigerian or a group of Nigerians to push this Gospel forward. It is now not any wonder, that God will take a church out of this imperfect country, out of this country that has a stigma attached to it, and that church, itself not a perfect organization. And I know Redeemed is not perfect. I should know. I serve in it. And I know it’s not perfect also because I am a part of it, and I know I am not perfect. And if you are part of it, then it obviously is not perfect. But somehow, in His infinite wisdom, and I can’t say, I even can make a case for His wisdom, it is obvious that God has chosen this organization to use it in these end-times, to win back nations to Christ. It is not coincidence, that this organization finds itself in 197 countries. Mensah Otabil was saying to a group of us, he said, in modern church history, there is nothing like the Redeemed Christian Church of God. It is actually a phenomenon, the Redeemed Christian Church of God. There is absolutely nothing like it in modern history. Imperfect, yes. But then, is it not like God to use the imperfect to achieve His plans and purposes?
And I shared with you the story of Elijah because I wanted to say something the Lord has laid on our heart. Every time there is decay and degeneration, every time immorality is rife, every time a nation is driven to its knees by the enemy, every time the spirit that tries to strangle the Church is released into a nation, God always has an answer. And that answer is to raise up an Elijah. I want to say to you that, without any doubt in my mind, upon The Redeemed Christian Church of God is the mantle of an Elijah. It’s interesting that when I joined The Redeemed Christian Church of God, for three years, the only sermon I heard from our father in the Lord at the Holy Ghost nights, was Elijah! And as I think about it now, I think those messages must be priceless because then, he was speaking about a time such as these when we would understand that there is a mantle upon us to take nations for Christ. You look at the size of the Church, you look at the strength of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, you look at the spread of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, you understand the covenant of this church, and you can almost sense the frustration of our spiritual father. You see, it’s the frustration of a man who gives his adult life to creating something by God’s grace. But the thing was created for a particular purpose. But he’s given so much of his life to creating it. And he arrives at the point where it is created. The potential is there. It’s lying dormant. It’s waiting to be aroused. And he realizes his own limitations. He has no omni qualities, he is not God. He can’t be everywhere at the same time. And his heart cries out for someone in Osun state, someone in Abia state. Someone in Cameroon. And someone in Congo. And someone in South Africa. And someone in Australia. And someone in Venezuela, who would do what he would do if he were there. And when he doesn’t get it you can almost sense his frustration. Because he knows that the machinery is ready. It is just looking for people who would give themselves to achieving God’s plan and God’s purposes. And I guess what must be most painful is the realization that time is running out. You can almost sense his frustration to the point that he wishes he go and do it all. Be in England, be in America, be in Canada, be in Africa, be all over the place, because of what he sees and what he senses. You can almost hear the call to the prophet Isaiah: “who will go for us?”
And when you look at the spirit and power of Elijah, you don’t need anybody to tell you that that is the spirit in this church. Again, I say it is not a perfect church, but if you are looking for a church that prays, you have a church that prays. If you are looking for a church that is committed to holiness, you have a church that is committed to holiness. If you are looking for a church that is based on the Word of God, you have a church that is based on the Word of God. If you are looking for a church where we have seen the demonstration of power, we have a church where we have seen the demonstration of power. The mantle of Elijah is upon us in this Church. With Elijah, it was a singular person. But, in this last run, it is plural. It is a mantle that rests on each one of us. A mantle to take back nations for God.
To be used by God, there are a few things that are absolutely critical.
Number one, you must even be aware of the problem. And you will be amazed at the amount of ignorance that exists in the body of Christ. I see it every day where I serve. Good Christians who are unaware, who can’t, like the sons of Issachar, read the time and seasons. Good Christians who imagine that just attending church is all that matters. Not realizing that the enemy is making progress. My brother and my sister, please lift up your eyes from your own circumstances. Look up from your own challenges. And look around you and see how the enemy is taking ground at the expense of the Kingdom of God. You have to be aware of the problem.
For God to use you, you have to be burdened. Nehemiah the first chapter says this about Nehemiah ( in the third verse): “the survivors who are left of the captivity in the Province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire. And so it was, Jerusalem said, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept and mourned for many days. I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven..” The news came to Nehemiah, the survivors are in great distress and reproach. My sister, look around you, the nations are in great distress. The Church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is suffering reproach in so many sectors. This Bride of Christ is being abused and scorned. There is an attempt to castrate the Church. My sister look up from your problem, my brother look up from your challenge. Don’t let the enemy play a trick on you where the focus becomes yourself. We are here for more than ourselves. What a tragedy if we live this life just for ourselves!
He says the wall of Jerusalem is also broken down and its gates are burned with fire. That sentence was driven into our hearts by the Spirit of God. The walls of the United Kingdom are broken down, its gates are burned with fire. This is the nation that took the gospel to the far-flung parts of the world. This is a nation that had a church on every single street, literally. This is a nation of John Wesley, this is a nation of William Booth. This is a nation that sent young missionaries who came out of Oxford and Cambridge, and they came to Africa knowing that they would most likely die from malaria; but the fire that was burning in their bones won’t let them sit down with their degrees from Oxford and Cambridge; they had to preach the gospel. And yet this is a nation that we look at and we said to ourselves, the walls are destroyed, they are broken down, the gates are burned with fire.
Look around you at the nation where you find yourself, the story is probably the same. And when Nehemiah heard these things, life couldn’t continue as normal. My brother, my sister, there is no “normal” life anymore. Someone said to me in England , “you are possessed”, I said absolutely, I am now possessed by one mission and one mission alone. I live it, I breath I, I sleep it – that’s all I do, I have nothing else to do! My success in life will be judged whether that nation goes to the enemy or not. Not by the large church that I am priviledged to pastor. No, we’ve left that behind. We are now contending for the soul of the nation. Because if you hear the news, life can’t continue as normal. You can’t hear that a brother or a sister is being killed in Southern Zaria and life continues as normal. You can’t hear that a 14 year old girl was kidnapped and forced to convert and then life continues as normal. You can’t see some of the billboards that we see advertising things that have nothing to do with church and yet ending with the name “church”, and life continues as normal. You can’t watch the Church being emasculated and strangulated and life continues as normal. If life continues as normal, there is something that’s wrong somewhere.
Nehemiah said “I sat down, I couldn’t continue.” I looked around, at the immorality that is rife and it stopped me in my tracks. It was so heavy, Nehemiah said, I wept and I mourned. My brother, I want to ask you when was the last time you wept in prayer over the nation you find yourself in? Enough of this psychedelic prayers! Enough of this oratory, enough of us praying so that we sound good in people’s ears! When was the last time a congregation wept because they looked at the state of the nation and thought, “God, how did it come to this?”
He said, “I didn’t just weep,” he said, “I mourned. It was so heavy on my soul it led me to mourning.” Have you mourned for Nigeria? Have you mourned for Cameroon? Have you mourned for Zambia, have you mourned for Kenya? Have you mourned for Canada? Has it stopped you in your tracks? Have you said to yourself, I have no other life!
He said “I mourned for many days,” and then he said, “I was led to fasting and prayed before the God of heaven.” The weight of circumstances is not supposed to paralyse us. It’s supposed to drive us to our knees in prayer and to fasting so that the God of the supernatural can move on our behalf. I understand very clearly, John Knox’s phrase, when Queen Mary of Scotland was ruling. I understand clearly, how John Knox would kneel down and say to God “Give me Scotland, or I die!” My sister, do you have a burden? If you don’t, then what church are you in?
Number three. To be used by God, there must be sacrifice. A friend of mine has a favourite phrase. It says the heavens belong to the highest bidder. Of course, the work is finished. It was finished at the Cross of Calvary. It was finished so that we can enter His rest. Yes, of course I agree theologically, that is sound. But don’t believe all these crazy message that is going around. God expects us to do something. When “they” fast, “they fast”. When we fast, half of us are not fasting. And those who are, will drink and eat in-between the fasting period. The heavens belong to the highest bidder. Believe me, a lot of people a bidding higher, that is why we are in the state we are in. When we say pray, we expect that we say one prayer, and it is answered. But I say, No. In our Church, for 5 years, we have prayed the same prayer, every single gathering. It is a testimony to heaven, that we said we will never gather as a Church without crying out for this nation. For 5 years, we have not missed one gathering where we have not cried out for the nation.
Five years is a long time to pray the same prayer point, but we say to God, one day you will hear this prayer that we are praying from this place. When we said to them at the start of the year, we want the Redeemed Christian Church of God to cover every single day in prayer for this nation, someone said to us “every single day?”, I said “every single day”. And so that they will not say you gave us the tough one, I said we will take Christmas day, and we will take the first of January. Those are the days people want to eat, I said we would take those days. Shared the rest amongst us. Every single day, since this year started, there has been prayer going on non-stop by the Redeemed Christian Church of God for the nation of England. For the United Kingdom. God will have to hear our prayers.
Number four. God has to use people of faith because it takes faith to believe what we are talking about. When you look around and all the signs are saying the opposite, it has to be a person of faith. It has to be the spirit of Elijah that goes us a mountain and faces nine hundred plus prophets knowing that if God does not answer, he is dead! It has to be the spirit of Elijah, that kneels down to pray and keeps saying to his servant, “Go and check, because I hear the sound of the abundance of rain, and my God does not lie”. I hear the sound of revival in the world, and God does not tell lies!
Number five. It has to be someone who is ready to be persecuted. You know, when people see the clip of the Prime Minister visiting Church, and it was a wonderful day, visited Church, not just visiting, worshiped in Church. The result of that was the most unprecedented attack personally I have faced in my whole life. The Press tore me to pieces. At a stage, I felt for my own children, that they have to read such things being said about their father. My Caucasian friends were calling me to commiserate with me. But I told them one thing: I said, God must surely prepare a man, for the call of his life. I said, I am Nigerian. ‘Am African. We have a thick skin. If this is all that they can throw at me, they haven’t even seen anything yet!
And I learnt something from our father in the Lord. I have seen him face the most vicious, vile attacks imaginable, and not once has he responded to anything that anybody had to say. Amongst my friends we joke, (I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this), we joke among my pastor friends, we say he is like an on-rushing train. If you stand in his way, the train is going to go through you because the train has a destination. It doesn’t stop at every station. It only stops at stations that it is destined to stop at.
And so, I took a leaf from that book, somebody said “sue them”, somebody said respond, somebody says put a press statement. I said, just forget it, it is a waste of time. Billy Graham said “those who are going to believe you already believed you. “ They said to him, why don’t you speak out, when he was being persecuted, he said, those who are going to believe him, already believed him. The others, there is nothing you can say that will make them believe you; so just get on with the work. But persecution will come. You know, a lot of us are praying for revival, and we think revival means one prayer and the church is full. No. My brother, my sister, revival comes with persecution. So get ready for it.
Number six. A radical holiness. It is impossible for God to use anybody in this manner if that person is not committed to what I call a “radical holiness.” This is more than an understanding of “doctrinal holiness”, but is the pursuit of personal holiness through a knowledge of the Bible as the living Word of God.
And let me just share some of what our state of affairs has led us to do in the United Kingdom. Some of it might encourage you, some of it you are already doing, but I share these things.
We sat down, we strategized, we prayed, we mourned. We wept. Then we were forced to fast and pray. And God began to give us certain strategies and I’ll share them very quickly with you.
Number one, God said to us, part of the challenge is that as a people you are not strategic. And yet, all your enemies are strategic. You see, as a church, we are short-term in nature. Let me just get through Sunday, let me just get through the next service. Let me just get through next week. Our enemies are strategic. Our enemies are strategic. The things we see now, you know history, I don’t have to tell you. Some of them were said in 1960 at independence. We are beginning to see them now. The enemy already knows those he has targeted for certain positions. In whatever guise, the enemy is strategic. Now in England, they are beginning to slip into the subconscious of young people especially: that certain lifestyles is normal. They are strategic. They know that if they do that for the next 10 years, that after 10 years it would be accepted as normal. Because there are things that are acceptable now, that 15 years ago were unthinkable! But the enemy is strategic, the Church has to become strategic. We have to look beyond a service. And we have to start to think of 5 years, and 10 years, and 15 years, and 20 years. Every battle is won by strategy.
Number two. We came to understand something that our father in the Lord has said. And I’ll never forget when I was sharing this with my wife. She said to me, you know, “Daddy G.O. has said this thing, but for the first time, I get it.” We have no choice but to be aggressive church planters. There is no choice in the matter. Why is there no choice? Because nature abhors a vacuum. If you don’t put your foot there – and don’t forget it’s all about territory – somebody else is going to put their foot there. That’s how we found ourselves in a place where 500 churches closed, 480 mosques are planted. It’s about land. It’s about territory. We don’t have a choice. If we hope to win this war, we must somehow figure out, how we are going to plant Churches. Because you see, when God looks down from heaven, and sees those churches, it might only be 10 people, but what God sees from heaven is a light in darkness. God said to me recently, “you said you believe in revival,” I said, “I do with all my heart. It’s what I live for.” He said, “then show me by your work, your faith.” I said, “God, what do you mean?” He said, “if you believe people are going to come, all these millions of people are going to come, then a wise man should be preparing the barns where the harvest are going to come to.” He said “if you believe it, and it’s not just you saying it, then, go and start to prepare for what you believe is coming. When I see your preparation, I will know that you believe that there is going to come a revival. If you believe that millions are going to come to the Church, plant the church.” Someone said to me that if the barn is empty, and I said, then let it be empty and let it send a message to God that someone here is preparing for an outpouring that is going to bring the lost into this Church and this is the preparation, it’s in place.
And you know for us in the United Kingdom, when we realized this, we went to God because I said to them, we don’t have the money. And that’s a constant cry from all of us. We understand that some of those who have another agenda have access to billions, we don’t have access to billions. So what are we going to do? And God gave us all kinds of strategies, one of them you saw, … that talk to all these cinemas. Guess what, there’s a lady in one unknown to us, who was a Christian, and she was in charge of giving out those places. And so we went to her and said, “Can we have 2 or 3, maybe 4 or 5 places?” She said, “well we have 90 on the books.” I said, “can we take all the 90?” And so we said we’ll take all the 90. We start in a month and half thereabout, with 45 of them, on one Sunday. It was God’s way of saying to us, if you have the desire, I will make a way. And God’s ways are not our ways. My natural thinking was, God, I need some millions of pounds to be able to purchase this place. And God was saying to me, don’t worry. You have the desire, you have the will. You come to me, I will make a way for you.
Number three, and this should have been the first thing. We knew that only prayer like we have never prayed before can make these things happen. We knew that for what we want, we must pray prayer we have not prayed before. And so God led us to a whole series of prayers. Different kinds. You saw on the screen our Praise75. Praise75 is an amazing initiative. You know, the truth is that if you start, God will take over. How did we start Praise75? We said to ourselves, August is a down month. Everybody goes on holiday. We said we can’t go on holidays, by the time we come back, the enemy will have finished this fight. So I said to the guys, can’t we raise a level of prayer that will shift things even in this slow month called August? And so I say, won’t it be nice if we kind of took the G.O’s birthday, everybody loves the number 75 because the G.O. was 75, And so we prayed for 75 days, and one of the team said let’s call it Praise75 and I said.. let’s call it Praise75! That’s how Praise75 started. If you go on to the website now, you’ll be amazed as to how many people have logged on. Half of the people who have joined Praise75 are not Redeemed Christian church of God members. That tells us that there were people who are waiting for someone to say to them we can pray in this manner and see God move. And so we ask people: Will you pray for 75 days? Will you pray for 75 minutes each day? Will you recite these 75 scriptures and use them as the Sword of the Spirit? And we are amazed at the groundswell of people who have joined what we believe will usher the Redeemed Christian Church of God into the next phase of its work in that country.
What else did God lay on our hearts about prayer? God said to us, you need to raise governance cells. Someone said to me, what are governance cells? They are cells of people who don’t pray ordinary prayers. They are people who understand governance prayers. Who understand kingship and who understand decree, and the power of it. And so we are raising governance cells. Our aim is to raise 250 governance cells all over the UK. We are training them specifically to pray that kind of prayer.
Number four. What else did God tell us? We came to understand too late that information is critical to every war effort. And so we created the Central Intelligence Unit. And what is their mandate? Their mandate is just to gather information. Information that allows us to pray and allows us to act. There are people who love research. They enjoy it. One of them, he’s just excited when he’s showing me diagrams and graphs and he’s explaining to me, voting patterns of all our MPs. Because how do you pray if you don’t know the voting patterns of the Member of Parliament, or your Senator, or your Member of House of Reps? How do you ensure that the next election, he does not, as they say in Nigeria, “smell” that place? Because you’ve looked at his voting pattern and he consistently votes against the Kingdom of God. How do we fight if we don’t have information in our hands? How do we know what is happening, How do we know the places where we need to concentrate our efforts? And so we …set up this research effort, and that’s what they do. All those doing this research, they just give us information. And some of the information is eye-opening. But it allows us to be targeted in our efforts and in our prayers. It’s from that information that we knew concentrations of areas that we needed to concentrate on. Because those areas were anti the gospel.
Number five. We’ve understood that God works in partnership. Elijah said, “God I am the only one!” God said, “Don’t be so arrogant. There are 7,000 of you who haven’t bowed their knees to Baal.” We know the Redeemed Christian Church of God is pivotal, we know that beyond a shadow of doubt. I know that in the United Kingdom, we planted 45 or 50 churches last year, everybody is celebrating us because the next person to us planted maybe 11 or 12. And then the next person to that 3 or 4. So we understand, that we are pivotal. But then we must never think we are the only ones. God always works by the body. In a partnership. And so God said to us, strengthen your partnership. So we strengthened our partnerships. And we’ve been amazed by the blessings our partnerships have being to us. One of the few times the General Overseer was in London, he was having lunch with Mummy G.O. with the Bishop of London. Guess what, amazing. The Bishop of London was talking to them about us planting Churches together! Have you heard of the Anglican Church wants to plant churches with a Pentecostal church? Amazing, what partnership can do! The last time, one of the times he was there, he was at Lambert Palace. To just share coffee with the Archbishop of Canterbury. At a certain point, they asked all of us to leave, and you know, like the Transfiguration, only God knows what they discussed there. But I’m certain whatever they were discussing, and I can assure you it was serious things about advancing the Kingdom. That’s what partnerships do. Because otherwise, it would be some esoteric experience on the fringe of the immigrant community. But when the partnerships work together, it’s a revival for the whole Church. Can someone say “Amen!”
Number six. We’ve understood that Salt and Light means that the salt and light is out there. Not in the salt shaker, but the salt jar. And so, we’ve now started to fast-track our members into public life, and please, just listen to me for one or two minutes. It was music to my ears to hear our father in the Lord talk about political dominance. Because if we stay in our churches and clap hands, and sing songs, the enemy will arrive at the door of our churches. The whole essence of Church is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry is not just the pulpit. The work of the ministry is someone who is in the House of Reps and godly, not someone who purported to be godly, and then when they got out there we hear they were doing all kinds of things. Someone who is sitting on top of an organization and godly. And so we must have a strategy, because part of the reason that they get there and they fall is because we haven’t intentionally equipped them for the battle that is out there. And the battle is fierce. Out there. Somebody says to me, I can’t be corrupted, I said let them put a million dollars in front of you, and you know nobody is going to know if you take it. Then tell me if you don’t take that whether you can be corrupted. That’s what a lot of those people face. And we haven’t fortified them and build structures around them. And created accountability circles around them. So that they can go out there as soldiers on a mission. And we must do that. Of course the Pastor can be President. A Pastor can be President of the Senate. A Pastor is Vice president and Acting President. Of course pastors are ministers. Why shouldn’t ministers be heads of banks? Of course, they can! But then they must carry Christ into those places.
Number seven. We realized that if we don’t engage the millennial generations, we should forget about it. I became a pastor when I was 28. I remember being ordained here in Camp. I thought it was a joke. My friend, Pastor Ghandi went to the G.O., we had a talk, and he went to the G.O. that they are making a mistake. (I don’t know if Daddy G.O. remembers.) That trying to ordain us is a mistake. And then he told G.O. why it was a mistake. And guess what, on his way to the ordination, at the petrol station, some people did something, he almost beat the man up. So he told the G.O., I almost beat somebody up, I can’t be a Pastor. And he was speaking for all of us. Because we had no qualifications. We just loved God, and were zealous for God. So I ask ourselves, where are the 28 year old Pastors? Where are the 30 year old Pastors? Look at all of us here. All of us are… How many people here are 28 or 25? So there’s something that is not quite right if we are not creating a pathway for people to become Pastors when I became a Pastor. Somehow, we have to engage those millennials and release them. Can someone say “Amen!”
As I end, I just hope somehow God will put a fire in your heart. Don’t look for anybody to do this. It has to be you. That spirit of Elijah that is the mantle on this ministry is on you. And God is counting on you. I’m hoping that someone will leave here tonight, challenged to rise up and do something about this decay and this degeneration. This church was granted grace by God, to become something that is a phenomenon. Look at the size of it. Look at the influence of it. There is no politician who wants to run for high office in Nigeria that does not know he has to visit the Camp. It is political suicide not to visit the Camp. That’s unbelievable. And guess what? It’s happened in Nigeria. But I dare say, it will happen in the United Kingdom. It will happen in America. It will happen in Cameroon. It will happen in Congo. It will happen in South Africa. But then it’s not something to make us proud. On the contrary, it’s something to humble us. That why would God choose us for such an awesome responsibility? It then places a burden on us to discharge that responsibility. To do what God has called us to do. My sister and my brother, if we lose that nation that is failure. Every other thing we have done cannot count as success. Success is that that nation comes to Christ.
Let me end on this note, and I hand over back to our father in the Lord. Ezekiel 37:1-14, “the hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me in the midst of the valley and it was full of bones. Then he caused me to pass them all around and behold there were very many in the valley and indeed they were very dry.” And tonight, some of us might be in that place. Where we are dry. I believe God that as our father speaks prophetically, that dryness is going to cease. You see, I know some of the challenges of the system. You might have a superior who is not releasing you. A superior who is keeping you down. A superior who doesn’t even understand the call. A superior who doesn’t understand the mandate of the church. But please don’t let anybody truncate God’s call on your life. You will account to God for the call on your life. Now, of course that is not to say there must be insurbodination. It is to say there is a God in heaven, and there is a call on your life, and you cry unto that God in heaven, He has to respond because it is Him that put the call on your life.
“And he said to me son of man, can these bones live? So I answered, O Lord God, you know. Again he said to me, prophesy to these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord God to these bones, surely I will cause breathe to enter into you and you shall live”. May the spirit of God come into us this night like never before and galvanize us to a new level.
“I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breathe in you, and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD”. I am believing God that there ….something is about to happen in someone’s life that will be a confirmation of the Lordship of Christ over your life. And can I tell you something, as an aside? I have found one thing to be true. If you do God’s thing, God does your thing. I am telling you, if you do God’s thing, God does your thing.
“So I prophecied as I was commanded and as I prophesied, there was a noise”….. This nation needs a noise! And not the noise that we are hearing. But the noise of the move of God. “And suddenly, a rattling. A shaking by God, and then the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed as I look, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over, but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, prophesy unto breathe, prophesy son of man, and say to the breathe: thus says the LORD God. Come from the four winds o breathe, and blow upon these slain, that they may live.” May the breathe of God come upon us like never before today.
“So I prophesied as he commanded me and breathe came into them; and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They did say our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off. therefore prophesy and say to them, “Thus says the Lord God: Behold o my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know I am the Lord, when I shall open your grave and brought you out of your graves. I will put my spirit in you and you shall live and shall place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I the LORD have spoken it and performed it, says the Lord.Father, we thank you and we bless You. We thank you for the call upon this Church. The mantle of that Elijah’s spirit. A people called to restoration. A people called to move in the spirit and the power of Elijah. We thank you for the mantle for nations. To take nations for Christ. We thank you Father, for using ordinary people, obscure, like Elijah. No introduction of him, just that he came down from the hills of Gilead. We look around at ourselves and we marvel. that you could choose to use us. But then, we understand that you choose to use the weak to confound the strong, foolish things to confound the wise. Tonight Lord, we ask that you will light an unquenchable fire in our hearts. That from this place, an exceeding great army will march out. That Father, from this place, nation builders will be released. We ask heavenly father, that by your spirit, you will do amazing works in our lives. We humbly receive the call that is upon this ministry to take nations. We ask that you will give us the grace, Father, so that we can achieve success. Not as we define it, but as you define it. We know we are imperfect, we bring our imperfections to You. We marvel that you can choose to use us in spite our imperfections. Sweet Holy Spirit, seize us, seize our hearts, seize our lives. And we declare Father that, the nations will turn their hearts back to you. For the spirit of restoration that is upon Elijah was to turn the hearts of the people to the Father. And so we declare heavenly Father, that Nigeria will turn its heart to you O God. We declare that the United Kingdom will bow its knees once more to you. We declare that America will praise you once more. We speak into all the nations where you have your Church represented. We ask Lord, because the strategies will differ from nation to nation, but the goal remains the same, that those nations should come back to Christ. Help us O God. Help us O God. Help us O God. Help us O God. Help us O God! In Jesus name, Amen.