THE MAJOR SIGNS!
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
The Holy Spirit is always present in the church and He is in control even when it seems things have gone very wrong. Unfortunately, so many people are not aware of His presence because they are looking for a physical manifestations of His presence in forms of fire, thunder and voices. The Holy Spirit is not about the noise we make in the church, He is not in the temporaneous physical seizures and speaking with another tongues. We may call them evidence of His presence but that is not the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the perfect replacement of Jesus Christ on Earth as the executive member of the Godhead. His primary ministry is to teach us all things, He will bring things we have forgotten, which we have learnt about Jesus Christ to our remembrance.
I don’t accept when somebody said that Jesus appeared to him and taught him things about healings, demons, and about faith from the Bible. I believe Jesus Christ has finished His teaching ministry and handed it over to the Holy Spirit. I guess what he meant was that, Jesus Christ excused the Holy Spirit and said to Him, “sorry, I can’t trust your ability to teach this man properly, so allow me to take over, later you can continue”. That must be very wrong!
Jesus may give us revelation of His programs on Earth like He did with Apostle Paul, Peter and John but He doesn’t teach us doctrines, judgement and righteousness (Jn. 16:8). That’s the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit! The present day ministry of Jesus Christ is intercession at the right hand of the Father for us. The Holy Spirit is our teacher of all things, not somethings but all things. He also reproves the world of sin through His teaching ministry. He guides us into all truth through His teaching ministry,He teaches us because He speaks to us only what He heard directly from the Father and the son(Jn.14:26;16:8-12).
Consequently, the spirituals discern the presence of the Holy Spirit by monitoring the out come or fruits of each manifestations. There are so many manifestations and many of them are not by the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the sure evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. We know where the Holy Spirit is manifesting per time and in a season by how much goodness, how much righteousness and how much truth accompanied such move or manifestation. We are to make decisions of life by our ability to prove what is acceptable to God. The Holy Spirit will not do that for us. It is in our hands as Spirit-filled believers to prove what is acceptable and to disassociate with the unfruitful works of darkness. Darkness here means any manifestation that is not full of goodness, righteousness and truth. We are not only to disassociate ourselves but also to go on and reprove those unfruitful works of darkness. We are born of the Holy Spirit, so we can judge or prove all things (1 Cor. 2:15). The book of Jn 3:20-21 says, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God”.
Interestingly, there are people that are of the opinion that we should not say anything or contribute anything to end the crisis in AGN. They forgot that it takes somebody to start a crisis and it will take another person to end the crisis. They believed that God knows how to settle it at the right time. I vehemently disagree with them based on these three scriptural grounds. (1) All the crisis that came up in the church in the New testament were not settled mysteriously by God. It took wise and spiritual men among them to resolve them. (2) We were instructed to speak out and stop (or contend) the mouth of those who are unruly, vain talkers, deceivers and those who subvert whole houses. Apostle Paul says that such persons should be stopped and rebuked sharply (Tit.1:10-13) while Jd. 3 says that we should contend with those who crept in unaware into the church just to abuse the grace of God. (3) God has not called us to walk in the miraculous but in the light. It is as we walk in the light in the midst of darkness that miracles follow us. It is written, 1Jn. 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”. The Apostles never walked in the miraculous, that’s why they had council meetings when there was conflicts not prayer meetings. They were beaten, jailed, blackmailed, conspired against, suffered hunger, nakedness and rejection. There was no power explosion and supernatural intervention. They came out of all these stronger in the Lord by walking in the light in the midst of darkness. Instead of trying to command fire against their oppressors, they commanded praises! They thanked God because He counted them worthy to suffer for Christ. Until we all walk in such light, we would never have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us only as we fellowship with one another.
All it takes to fight darkness is enough light of His truth not silence! We need enough truth so we can prove what is acceptable to God. Having said these, we can look on major signs, as I wrote in the part 6, through which God spoke in order to prevent this crisis. God speaks to us through signs and it takes men with discernment to understand the voice of God.
THE EC FACTOR!
The EC(executive committee members) are the highest decision making body in Assemblies of God Nigeria. The chairman of this body is the General Superintendent. They arrive at all their decisions through majority vote. However, in a situation where they have difficulty arriving at a decision, they may decide to enlarge the house. They are to mandate the GS to call for a General Committee. Constitutionally, the Gen. Committee is to be called twice every year whether there is any challenging situation or not but where there is a serious issue on ground, an emergency Gen. Committee must be called immediately by the GS in order to resolve any empasse.
I strongly believe that the ex-GS was blessed with some of the most humble, successful and intelligent leaders of all times as members of the EC in his tenure. Eight of them were in their last tenure in leadership. These eight men like Rev Dr Ikoni had been in leadership in different capacities long before the GS became an ordained minister. They were men of great experiences and integrity but above all, they all desired to end well their ministries by corporating with the ex-GS administration. These were men who were not ready for any form of confrontation especially with whosoever was GS. I remembered that Rev Dr Ikoni was asked why he was not fully for the EC or for the ex-Gs, he gave an insight to the mindset of all others who were about to retire, he replied; “I am about to retire and I can’t fully support anyone because I don’t know where the pendulum may swing”. Retirement in AG means that you would no longer be part of the every day running of the church. You are more or less at the mercy of the incumbent, whoever he maybe. These were the kind of very easy to work with EC members that the ex-GS inherited from Dr Osueke yet he failed. I believe that a humble graduate from Bible college would have succeeded with such men around him. You can now compare it with the hot headed, young, educated, intelligent and zealous young men in the EC now working with the present GS, Rev Dr Chidi Okoroafor. In fact, the EC has been enlarged from 17 to about 22 members or there about yet after five years, no cracks in the leadership not even a rumour. They are still united and progressing.
Furthermore, the other remaining eight are either his senior in age and ministry or his colleagues,men of the same age bracket. Men like Rev Dr. Alaje has successfully led a District for many years before the ex-Gs was made a district secretary. It takes years of hard work and loyalty to the work of the ministry before one grows to be an EC member. Severally, in those days of out ex-GS administration, you would hear Dr Alaje address the ex-GS as our father in the Lord, our leader and so on. In 2013 leaders’ beginning of the year prayer meeting, while Dr Alaje preached, he said, “if you don’t know, know it now, it doesn’t matter how old you are, this man whom God made our GS(referring to the ex-GS) is our spiritual father and we must all honour him”. I remembered, I was with the ex-GS that evening and he was very excited at all the enconium poured out on him by Dr Vincent Alaje. He didn’t say those words to make him happy, he expressed the minds of all the EC members at that time. You remember that I wrote earlier about how Rev Dr Amaowoh once called me and almost said the same things as Rev. Dr. Alaje.
However, just like anyone who had tried to be loyal to the ex-GS, their loyalty was taken for granted and abused. Out of loyalty, they approved so many questionable projects like the shocking destruction of the GS official residence after he had spent over 10millions to renovate it, and then destroyed part of the building later in order to build a more befitting one. Why the renovation at first instance, if you know that you want a new one? They stamped so many strange decisions including the sack of most staff that were either close or related to Rev Dr Osueke. Men like Rev Amah, Rev Macjaphet, Rev Ojiogu and over thirty other staff including the nephew of Rev Dr Osueke. Today, the General Council has reabsorbed most of those people dismissed and sacked. These were all in their efforts to show loyalty. At this point, they we not called Osueke boys, their minds we not poisoned by Osueke to hate nor were they called conspirators but wonderful men of God because they were turned into a stooge. Their loyalty was intact and unquestionable until the very fabrics of our familihood as AGN was threatened by the ex-GS.
The petition by the Ambassadors came on July 2013 and pointed out some perceived maladministration of ex-GS. They presented their petition as our culture in AGN is and the EC requested that they should excuse them from the boardroom after the presentation. They accepted and went outside. They expected to be called back for clarification and further explanations. The Ambassadors, by the way were the elites of the church and men who have made immense contributions to the growth and sustainability of the church. Such men asked questions about the direction the church was moving which they don’t understand. All that a responsible leadership needed to do was to give the required explanations and possibly if need be, apologize for keeping the stakeholders in dark about how things were at that point. It is civil and the politics of administration.
Unfortunately, the Ambassadors were called back and dismissed without any further discussion. They felt very humiliated and left deeply provoked. Anyway, the ex-GS said that most of the things they wrote were frictitious and fabrications. Is that not the more reason why the leadership should have sat down with them and iron things out? Painfully, this wasn’t the case in this matter, the ex-GS insisted that they wouldn’t receive further attention except they first knee down and plead for forgiveness. They were to knee down from the staircase and crawl to the boardroom pleading for forgiveness. He said, they have hurt his ego for falsely accussing him even though they were not proved wrong by any means. Please, friends, can we by any spiritual standard call this a fruit of the Spirit? Should a child of God have pride and ego in him let alone a GS?
While he was very furious, his EC members, full of men that were about to retire pleaded with him to forgive them but to still allow them to come so they would caution them properly. One even came out of his seat and knelt down for him. His refusal resulted to very hot arugment and sharp disagreement. The EC didn’t see the reason why these Ambassadors would be ignored and dismissed shamefully.
Eventually, the Ambassadors went home humiliated and abused. They later wrote an open petition against the ex-GS, which was made available to all and sundry. The EC had continued to plead on behalf of the Ambassadors to the ex-GS, so he can reconsider his refusal to invite them for peaceful resolution of whatever their misgiven might be. Preferably, the ex-GS shocked the whole EC when he converted the leaders conference that came up that year which was to build up the spiritual life of the leaders; rather, he suddenly turned it to the place where he would defend his innocency. This was against the background that the EC pleaded with him before the conference to allow them to handle the matter and he promised them that he would not mention anything about the petition to the leaders. He didn’t just broke his promise, he went further to equally indict the EC of compliance in the accusations of the Ambassadors. At this point, the EC had been forced to the middle of the fired bullets. All the while, they had tried to be supportive of the ex-GS at one hand and also to accommodate the Ambassadors on the other hand as spiritual fathers. Now, the ex-GS had pushed them away and their only option was to defend themselves and stand by their conviction.
THE FIRST MAJOR SIGN.
Sequencially, there had been a chain of abuses and humiliation. The Ambassadors were disgraced, now followed by the EC. To cap it up, he invited the EC to pass a vote of confidence on his administration. Then, the EC fired the first major sign. A wise man would have seen it coming but no, not the ex-GS. The EC told him that they can’t pass a vote of confidence on him because he refused listen to them. They were ready to do so only if he would first invite the Ambassadors for peaceful resolution. Fellow believers, we are told in the scripture that the fruits of the Spirit is peace. We were asked to seek peace.
A CAMPAIGN STRATEGY.
Unfortunately, the ex-GS preferred to escalate the matter by broadcasting the accusations against him which he said were false yet he felt it was an opportunity to gather sympathy for himself. That’s why he didn’t want a second and third eyes to verify the authenticity of his claims because if they were verified and sorted out, there would be no political gains. Therefore, immediately the ex-GS failed to manipulate the EC to give him a vote of confidence on his administration, he fixed zonal meetings where he chose to go and defend himself from all the accusations of the Ambassadors. Actually, it was more or less an opportunity to campaign for the next election because I was with him in one of the zone. He defended himself from all the accusations, then reviled the EC members as accomplice to the so-called accusations, itemized all his achievements so far and finally made promises of better days ahead for Pastors especially now that he had blocked all the means where the Ambassadors syphon money from the church. Which he claimed was why they hated him. At this point, every one clapped and shouted Prof! Prof!! Prof!!! It was more or less a political rally and his aim was to (1) Ensure he was reelected.(2) Ensure that all the EC who were eligible for the next election but didn’t support him were not re-elected especially, Rev Ejim, Rev, Alaje and Rev Chidi Okoroafor. (3) To ensure that the Ambassadors we seen as irrelevant and irresponsible thereby demonize them. You can now understand why we called them occultists.
He almost succeeded but these were the evidence that God owes AGN. Meanwhile, we have gone back to singing our song, ” Osueke hates me!”. The problem wasn’t any longer between him and the Ambassadors rather between him, Osueke and the EC because they refused to be manipulated. In fact, at a point he barely mentioned the names of the Ambassadors because to mention their names made him look like the oppressor and he hated that position. Consequently, he mentioned the EC as the accusers who were sponsored by Osueke. It is very important to note that the EC never for once accused the ex-GS of any thing, their position was simple, you have been accused whether the accusations were true or false, invite the accusers to either be clarify, bring their evidence,be caution or even be discipline as the case maybe.
Interestingly, this may sound strange to an outsider but it shouldn’t be. Two months before his own accusers came up, he told me how some highly placed members from Ughelli District came with strong petition against his assistant, Dr Chidi Okoroafor. He told me how they used harsh and hard words to describe him but that he intervened and warn them not to use such words. That notwithstanding, Chidi Okoroafor was asked to defend himself and he did. The EC blamed and caution him where necessary and defended him where he did well. The world didn’t end neither did the AGS ran around to curry for sympathy. What the ex-GS meant by his actions was that his AGS can be accused, abused and made to answer for his actions before his accusers but himself was above being accused,let alone to give answers to such accusations.
The English man says, ” Clear conscience fears no accusations”. What was he afraid of that made the ex-GS destabilize the whole AGN system that had worked for eighty years before he took office?
THE SECOND MAJOR SIGN.
One morning, I came to office and found the whole EC seated at the boardroom except the ex-GS and two other EC members. I asked one of the ex-GS personal assistants why the ex-GS was not with his colleagues? He told me the ex-GS was not aware of the meeting. The meeting was called at the instance of the EC through the Gen. Sec. I was shocked but above all, it was a strong sign. The Gen. Sec. was one of the three men with him, who desperately did his best to stand as a middle man and hoped it could help to prevent the fight. His mind was set towards retirement and not a fight. While the EC used to be twelve in number in their stand,on this critical day, they increased to thirteen. That was enough to speak volume to a critical mind and a wise heart.
This was almost after about six months of stalemate with no progress in any of their meetings. At this point, a responsible leadership would have succumbed to the wishes of the majority or call for a Gen. Committee. Instead, he chose to campaign against the EC and curry for sympathy as a victim of oppression all over the country yet he was not a victim but the oppressor.
Frankly speaking, I have never been terribly concerned about the way things were going until that day. I felt that such meeting must never be allowed to hold without the ex-GS. They told me they had informed the ex-GS but he told them never to worry but there was no way any reasonable man will not be worried. I feared that the EC were fed up with the cold war and they were about to take action by maybe pronounce a suspension on the ex-GS. I shared my fear with two of his personal assistants. I referred them to the Constitution which empowered the EC to suspend the GS. I thought properly they have decided to invoke that part of the constitution. The ex-GS personal assistants seemed very ignorant of what I was saying, so I jumped into my car and drove straight to meet with the ex-GS in his official resident. There was no one to inform him of my presence, I waited for a while then went straight to lock at his bedroom door because I heard his voice from there severally. He was playing with his one year old son but immediately he saw me and how disturbed I was, he stopped to know what was the matter.
Again with much difficulty, I wanted to know if he was aware of the EC meeting. He said, he was informed that morning. He called it a meaningless meeting because as he claimed, that they don’t have the constitutional right to call such meeting. I pleaded with him to attend the meeting, so they would not take any decisions against him but he was very confident, that nothing would happen. It was then he tried to calm me down because he had a plan. I was curious, I wanted to know the plan. He said that he had consulted with his lawyer and that he was ready to go to court against the EC. This was a day to 2013 Peniel. I just couldn’t believe my ears, what? Court? For what? I looked at him bewildered, then I gathered courage and said, ‘Dad, it must never get to that point’. He promised me it would as they were holding meeting without his permission. Then, I reminded him that the meeting was called by the Gen sec.(which made it official)whom he said was on his side. With little or no surprise, he said, “I don’t take Ikoni serious, he is an old man”. My God! An old man? Then, why go to war with an old man? Why not lobby other members of the EC to your side instead of going to court? As usual, the EC actions were blamed on an imaginary sponsor known as Osueke. So he was not going to court against the EC but against Osueke. He was so sure that he would humble them as he boasted and defeat the EC and Osueke. He was so convincing that I left relieved for a while but then, I was still afraid of what would be the outcome of the EC meeting. By evening, I returned to his house to know what was the outcome of the meeting. As I got close to his house, I saw the 13 EC members alighted from their cars and helded straight into his house. I knew I had to hang around. My fear tripled and my heart began to beat hard and harder. I thought they have come to hand him his suspension letter. I knew that constitutionally, they have the power.
Curiously, I prayed and waited. In about 35-45 minutes, the EC were out and each entered their cars and they drove off. It was then I drove in and ran upstairs. The ex-GS was still with a piece of paper but with a smile on his face. Just that smile was what it took to restore me back to life but then he had a typed piece of paper. I sat down anxiously, and then he said, I told you there was nothing to worry about. Then he narrated how they spoke very peaceable with him. How they promised to give him their an alloyed support and loyalty. However, they presented a four points demand which would help to put behind their difference. I can still remember very well three of those demands (1) That he should stop travelling around and pitching his tent against them in the name of defending himself.(2) that he should not speak anything concerning the crisis at Peniel. (3) that he should call for a general committee to resolve whatever misunderstanding anywhere.(4) I am not sure what it was but it had to do with forming a common front.
The demands were written and signed by 13 members of the EC. The EC were men full of wisdom and restrict. Can say now more boldly, they were men full of the Holy Spirit. Conversely, I was happy yet very worried, they used to be 12 but now 13 of them. The 13th person was the Gen sec. Who then was with you at this critical time if you have lost the Gen sec? I asked myself in my heart. The AGS,G.SEC, GT were not with him and he was not ready to carry them along.
This is the question I have for all the former District Superintendents like Ngene, Itoto, Nyim, etc that chose to follow him, as great leaders you were, would you have carried on to this point if you were the GS without the full support of your officers? Many of you came to join him only after proper discussion and agreement with your presbytery. That’s why everything is still intact but here is your leader, who lost his three officers on administrative ground and made no effort to stop everything until he won them back.
In his response to them, as he told me, he asked them if they have the constitutional rights to call an EC meeting without his permission? Which he said that they replied in the negative but with a reason. Then, he said to them, your meeting is null and void. That sounded like an emperor speaking to his subjects. Anyway, he said he told them later that he would think about it but that he was not under any obligation to obey anything they suggested because their meeting was illegal. I guess the EC were not in the mood to argue about the legality or illegality of their meeting, they kept quiet but that was another major sign. Wisdom is not a title or a position, it is the ability to see things and escape or plan ahead before they happen.
The EC kept faith with their promise and stood with him during Peniel. He did his best not to mention anything about the crisis but he refused to call for the Gen. committee after Penial. Everything from July 2013 had stood still in the Church. It was almost like there was no leadership because people were confused. All it would take to call things back to order was just one meeting that would be chaired by the ex-GS himself but he bluntly refused, instead he was busy holding meetings with his lawyers on how to sue the EC to court. Above all, he continued to travel around on what should be properly called, “campaign against the EC”. Campaign is a serious offense in AGN and it is punishable with suspension from ministry if there are evidence that can attest to it. Here, there were overwhelming evidences.
Meanwhile, the Gen committee normally comes up twice each year, July and Dec. It is a constitutional matter and can only be cancelled or shifted by the EC. However,in 2013 when the church desperately needed the Genco to hold, the ex-GS single-handedly cancelled it. Again, his fear was that, the EC and Papa Osueke would unite against him even though he would be the chairman. The question then is, why would they do so? What would be their gain? Assuming the EC and Papa Osueke had agreed to collaborate against the ex-GS, they would had been only 14 persons on one side. What about all his Directors whom he appointed? What about all District Superintendents? Were they also against him? What about all the members that were part of the Genco, have Osueke also bought all of them over too? Can anyone explain to Assemblies of God Nigeria why Genco was cancelled twice in 2013 without explanations or excuse?
The result was that the church was denied leadership for nine months and it would have continued if the EC did not step their feet on ground to save the church on March 6th. There is no vacuum in leadership, it is either you lead when called upon or you give chance for others to lead. Anyway, tension mounted heavily after the ex-GS cancelled in the most humiliating manner the last Genco. Most people were already in Enugu for the meeting and had lodged in their hotels when a text message came in around 10pm in the night that the Genco has been cancelled. What a shock?! Confusion and anger erupted everywhere and instantly, there were red lights everywhere. This was it! The Bible adjourned spiritual and nature parents, ” provoke not your children to wrath”(Eph.6:4). That was the day the ex-GS crossed the line. The hedge has been broke, the serpent must bite! The EC were now convinced I guess, beyond all reasonable doubts that they must rise up to their sacred responsibility and rescue the church that Jesus Christ bought with His precious blood.
Nevertheless,men like Rev Dr. Idogo swung into action and pleaded with his colleagues to calm down and at the same time did his best to convince the ex-GS to use the leaders beginning of the year prayer meeting of 2014 to apologise and fix a date for the Genco.
Surprisingly, it was rumoured that the ex-GS agreed to apologise in the leaders beginning of the year prayer meeting and to also fix a new date for the Genco. I must confess that I wasn’t aware of all these development after the last cancellation but I was reliably informed by one of the personal assistants to the ex-GS. I was totally in support of all the ex-GS actions, I never expected him to apologise and he never did.
THE THIRD MAJOR SIGN.
Consequently, the 2014 was the worst leaders meeting in history of Assemblies of God Nigeria. The atmosphere was clouded with so much uncertainty and fear. The Executive Committee members refused to sat on their exalted seats, they rather preferred to sit with the audience. That was another major sign but the ex-GS pretended as if he didn’t see it. On the final day, when some people expected him to apologise and then, to fixed a new date for the Genco…my God! He warned and reprimanded everyone especially those whom he claimed questioned his authority. Nobody was free to question or challenge his decisions from then on. The English man was right when he says, ” he who the gods want to destroy,they first made mad”. I was a little bit surprised because even though I didn’t know about the plan for him to apologise, I didn’t see the necessity for his outburst. That was the last stroke that broke the Carmel’s back.
Afterwards, most of the EC walked out, Rev Ejim, now that AGS went and sat at the door with Royal Rangers. This happened just at the time of holy Communion. Friends, eventually all the EC members didn’t eat communion except the officers and the leader of the church, the ex-GS was not moved. What kind of a Pastor in AG would prepare communion and his deacons refused to eat and he would be comfortable? What type of leadership of a church would sit back and watch their Pastor mesmerizing the church which he was not the founder nor the President? The EC had to stand up and they did!
Friends, this was the EC I once described with all types of unprintable names and called occultists just to justify our wrong and unrepentant actions. My actions in words and writing was wicked and rebellious. This was the truth I hid from people which when I realized myself later, I went back to openly apologize to the EC. I realized now that apology was not enough,the record must to be put straight before God and man. I still apologise to these holy men on my knees, please forgive me. I sinned against you and against the church of God. Forgive me!
Our fathers, the EC were smeared and called horrible names inspite of their patience, maturity, endurance and long-suffering. The ex-GS cannot say, these men were not kind and respectful to him yet he encouraged all these unprecedented attacks and misrepresentation of their persons and character,just for his selfishness reasons. I pray that God will forgive him. These EC gallant soldiers for Christ were not Osueke boys as we called them then but Ambassadors of righteousness.
THE HORRIBLE GENERALS. THE EJIKE EJIM FACTOR!
TO BE CONTINUED.