The five days of glory organized by Believers Love-World Incorporated (a.k.a Christ Embassy) in Owerri, Imo State between September 18 and 22, 2013 proved by every standard to be a glorious rendezvous in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Certainly, there is a height one cannot reach in life except one gets to meet another to unlock one’s potentials.
Christ Embassy is the church packaged by God to enlighten the eyes of understanding of Christians to know perfectly their calling so as to be able to operate as masters on the earth. Truly, the brethren in Owerri have moved to the next and higher levels of glory in their ministry and secular lives. And they have Senior Pastor, John Amenkhienan, the pastorate and deaconry to thank for packaging the programme.
They are equally effusive in their gratitude to the visiting pastors, Vale Odu-Thomas from Lagos and T. T. Edun from Asaba in Delta State including their own Deacon Chike John Okafor, immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Imo State.
It was Deacon Okafor who set the ball rolling on Wednesday, September 18 with his teaching on the topic: Pre-destination. Okafor submitted that there is pre-destination. ‘Is there pre-destination? Yes. Has God pre-destined us? Yes. But is He responsible for the good and bad things that happen in our lives? Not exactly,’ Deacon Okafor stated, adding: He is only responsible for the good things.
The deacon went ahead to show the participants that they have the capacity to change their destiny. Isaiah 38: 1 tells us that King Hezekiah had been destined to die. God had sent Prophet Isaiah to deliver the news of the death sentence to the king. The Bible tells us that the monarch immediately turned to God to plead his case. He told God why he should not die and before the prophet could leave his palace, God directed him to go back to tell the king that He had added extra 15 years to his life.
Okafor submitted that if King Hezekiah had accepted the death sentence, he would have died as decreed, adding that though the Bible records that Esau would serve Jacob (see Romans 9: 10), Esau would have pleaded his case before God to reverse it had he wanted.
According to him, pre-destination is of two types: Pre-destination for salvation and pre-destination for glory. Of course, salvation is the starting point and God had pre-destined that all men should be saved. Anyone who receives and confesses Jesus as his Lord and Personal saviour has come into the plan of God. But are all men accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour? No! Those who don’t accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour are damned (See Matthew 13:18) not just in the sweet by-and-by but also here on earth, he asserted.
Salvation is the starting point but one does not need to stop at this point. One needs to cruise to the next stage: which is pre-destination for glory. Okafor insisted that each time God wants to lift His people, He causes a programme like the five days of glory to be packaged.
God, he went on, is a God of pattern, a God of set time. He charged the brethren to run God’s agenda rather than theirs. ‘Show me a man who is running his own agenda and I will show you a man who is damned. But show me a man who is running God’s agenda and I will show you a man who is in the right path,’ he stated.
He added: ‘be sensitive to the spirit of God. As the word of God comes to you during the programme, seal it with your seeds.’
If the brethren thought that they had been wowed by the teaching on pre-destination, Pastor Vale Odu-Thomas kept them gasping for breath and wisdom on the Day Three of the programme. After giving words of knowledge about a young man whose quest for a contract running into millions, a young lady who had kept an aliment secret and a couple who had found it difficult to have a child of theirs after six years of marriage having their needs met, he took participants to Proverbs 23: 23 where the Bible counsels us to buy the truth and sell it not.
Pastor Odu-Thomas explained that sealing the revelation of God’s word each time it comes to one with a seed offering is the most appropriate manner to privatize/possess the knowledge. He counselled brethren to understand the uses of money, saying those who do not understand the uses of money find it difficult having money. Money, he asserted, is a defence, meaning that whoever does not have money is defenceless. Like Deacon Okafor, Pastor Odu-Thomas submitted that God has His principles which his children must follow to have money.
Yes, money and other riches belong to the children of God but only those who apply God’s principles would enjoy their inheritance. He gave the analogy of an account holder in a bank who cannot withdraw money from his account by shouting at every teller he sees on entering the banking hall to give him his money. Pastor Odu-Thomas stated that as long as he refuses to sign the withdrawal slip or his cheque, no one would listen to him.
Each time, the man of God opened his mouth, wisdom oozed out of it to the brethren who were ready to lambano all of it. He enjoined the brethren to kill poverty with their seeds, first fruits and tithes and to refrain from begging because begging destroys their faith. According to him, suffering in Nigeria is personal. To buttress his point, he noted that all the companies selling brand new vehicles would have closed down if no one was buying the vehicles.
He submitted that there is no respecter of persons with God, warning against heaping and piling up in the name of savings (Proverbs 11:24-26). According to him, those who save tend to poverty.
Pastor T. T. Edun on Sunday, September 22 opened his teaching with wanting to know brethren who want trouble to come to them. Majority refrained from raising their hands. Laughing heartily, the cleric maintained that troubles or adversaries are important, pointing out that without them, no table would be set before us and we won’t have testimonies (Psalm 23 and Isaiah 60: 1-5). He declared that the five days of glory are five days to hear the word of God and thereafter have a lifetime to enjoy.
The man of God who warned against caustic criticisms of men of God and political leaders, asserted that God blessed Abraham for the sake of Christians even as he submitted that God is in the business of making his children great. He enjoined Christians to desist from running from one place to another in search of greener pastures pointing out that being the blessed of the Lord, they would make it anywhere they are planted. It is not in the place but in you, he declared.
Great men and women are made by words. The brethren in Owerri have been built up by words, the fruits of it would be enjoyed for a lifetime.