The first Tabieorar festival was held at Ogere, on the 22nd of August 1937, during which Late Prophet S. Ola Diya became the first warden to be anointed as Prophet. Before that occasion, the Late Primate and Founder - Dr. Ositelu, heard a voice in a revelation that he should proceed to a place, which will later be named – “Mount Tabieorar”, but pronounced and sometimes written: “TABBORRAH”, “TABORAH” or “TABORA”.
The name MOUNT TABIEORAR came during a few days of the first retreat. The name was revealed by God unto Ositelu in a vision, and pronounced to him. The name according to the revelation stands for: the mountain of power, victory, and blessings; the mount from where the Holy Spirit will be disseminated upon all and sundry from all the remotest part of the world.
And that he should take disciple S. Ola Diya with him. He was further told in his vision that they should settle down there for thirteen days, fast and pray. They should on the thirteenth day receive the public, and reveal all revelations and messages sent from God to them.
The words “Tabieorar”, “Tabora” and “Tabborrah” are therefore used interchangeably in this study.
The Tabieorar festival is celebrated every year on the 22nd of August, but the festivity itself is a period of thirteen days during which all members of the Church fast and pray to God. Members all over the world always attend the festival every year.
The Tabieorar festival is not only popular today, but it has become universally essential for all members of the Church. There is a special anthem sung every year on Mount Tabieorar, so it goes:
“The Mount Tabieorar’s Festival has come
Mount Tabieorar is gleeful
The spiritual anniversary has come
Meritorious year has come
All hail the King of Glory
Praise to the Lord of mercy.”
The Mount Tabieorar is a holy mount of God where the children of God come up each year to receive blessing from the Lord. It can be compared to Shiloh where people go annually for prayers and for making sacrifices unto the Lord God Almighty (1 Samuel 1:19-20); and compared with Mount of Camel where God revealed Himself as the Supreme God over other gods (1 Kings 18:20-40); and likened unto the mountain of Bashan, which God desires for His abode, where the Lord will reside forever (Psalm 68:15-18).
Emergence of Tabieorar Festival
On the 5th of August, 1937 late Dr. J. O. Ositelu heard the voice of the Lord calling him and instructing him to go to the secluded place, where he used to pray and commune with God, for thirteen days in prayer and fasting, with the divine promise that the Lord would reveal some secret and His mightiness to him and make everlasting covenant with him.
Late Dr. J. O. Ositelu then inquired as to the day to proceed to the Mount. The Lord then told him to ascend the Mount on the 10th of August 1937 but with only one companion. The Lord further directed that the fast should be undertaken with foods without salt, pepper, oil, meat or fish, sugar or even milk or eggs.
Late Dr. Ositelu acted on the instructions of God by ascending the Mount at the dawn of 10th August, 1937 with his attendant, Prophet Ola Diya. Having made a small tent for themselves they engaged in prayer sessions all day and all night. As they prayed, they also meditated on the Bible. In the evenings, his attendant will go home to collect food for the breaking of their fast.
The presence of God was greatly felt as God spoke to late Dr. Ositelu in visions, revelations, dreams and audible voice and trances both day and night. Throughout the whole thirteen days period on the Mount, the Lord opened wide the gate of heaven for wisdom, power and revelations, and many promises were made to him. Some of the revelations are as follows:
“My Church will flourish and last till end of time. My Church will be extended to all the remotest parts of the world and nations of the earth shall testify to it that I am the true God that is indwelling you, for I have made my habitation and possession in you.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
On the 13th day, the last day, God told late Dr. J. O. Ositelu to send for the people at home to come up to the Mount and receive divine blessings from God. On the 22nd of August 1937, Evangelist N. O. Ogunderu led the congregation to the Mount. According to the divine instruction, the people were to come in white robes, with candlelight in their hands, and with bottles of water.
The people came to the Mount with exceeding joy in their white robes and lighted candles singing jubilantly:
“Mimo, Mimo, L’Oluwa Oba Mimo awa yin O logo,
Ijo akobi yin O, nwon yin O, awa t’aiye nsope,
Mimo Mimo, L’Oluwa Oba Mimo awa yin O logo.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
“Holy, Holy is the Lord, the Most Holy King we praise your name,
The Church of the first fruits is praising you,
We here on earth give thanks,
Holy, Holy is the Lord the Most Holy King we praise your name.”
The late founder Dr. J. O. Ositelu once recounted that in the year 1960 when Nigeria was agitating for independence, an elderly man came to him in a vision on Mount Tabieorar and said:
“Ko sile, oro Nigeria, Ominira inira, Ominira inira, Ominira inira.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Meaning: Write it down in respect of Nigeria, Independence is hardship, Independence is hardship, Independence is hardship.”
Ositelu prophesied further, that if Nigeria should get independence at that time the outcome would not be favourable. After three years, law and order would break down, there would be no peace. There would be great hardship and evil would prevail everywhere to the extent that people with godfathers in high places would go scot-free whenever they commit any crime.
This was published in one of the dailies and a copy of the revelations was sent to the government and her officials.
The evil that was predicted eventually came to pass with a crisis, which started in a part of the country in 1962. The trouble soon degenerated to the scrapping of a regional government and the declaration of state of emergency in that region. That was the genesis of the problem facing Nigeria as a nation, and which continued until the 29th of May 1999 when a new civilian president was sworn-in to rule the country.
Three political striking predictions were made during the Tabieorar festivals of the 60’s, 80’s and the year 2000. The first one was made by the founder and first primate of the Church – Late Dr. Josiah Ositelu. The second was made by Late Primate Adeleke Adejobi and the third was made by the incumbent Primate, Most Rev. Dr. Rufus Ositelu.
First, Ositelu publicly announced that God revealed unto him that Chief Obafemi Awolowo would not succeed in his bid to become the head of the Federal Government of Nigeria until certain things were done. History has it that Chief Awolowo responded scornfully to the message sending the bearer of the message to go and ask Ositelu how the God who gave him the message looks like. Today, it is history that he never became the head of the Federal Government before he died.
Secondly, Late Dr. Emmanuel Adejobi likewise announced publicly that the government of Alhaji Shagari would be toppled in a military-coup unless certain things were done. Instead of obeying the message of God through his prophet, security agents were sent to arrest the prophet of God for questioning. Today, it is also history that the Shehu Shagari government was toppled in a military-coup of Buhari and Idiagbon.
Thirdly, Primate Dr. Rufus Ositelu during the Tabieorar retreat of the year 2000 prophesied concerning the United States of America (USA) about what will happen to the country in the year 2001 thus:
“… Pray for forgiveness of sin in order to receive the grace of God not to allow less-powerful nation to wage war against them…”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Two copies of this book of revelations were sent to the U.S.A. embassy in Lagos, Nigeria.
Among the headlines carried on the front-page of the International Herald Tribune of Thursday, September 13, 2001 include: “AMERICA IN SHOCK”, “A Nation Mourns”, “Sifting the Rubble for Victims”, etc.
As regards the terrible attack of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 George F. Will wrote a commentary in the International Herald Tribune of Thursday, September 13, 2001 on page eleven, that was captioned: “When a Nation’s Virtues Draw the Anger of the Weak”.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The Editorial of the International Herald Tribune of Thursday, September 13, 2001, which was captioned: “Mourning in America” reads:
“… And by 10:30 a.m. all that had gone. Lower Manhattan had become an ashen shell of itself, all but a Pompeii under the impact of a terrorist attack involving two airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center and then brought its twin towers down. In Washington, a plane had plunged into the Pentagon. The president was for a long while out of sight, his plane seeming to hop around the middle of the country in search of security. For all Americans, the unimaginable became real … As the scenes of the explosions replayed themselves on television throughout the day, the shock only deepened as we began to perceive the suffering that those pictures from New York and Washington concealed – office workers at the World Trade Center, caught in the collapsing lattices of glass and steel, and the unbelieving passengers aboard the second airliner as it swooped below the smoke in the north tower, already burning, and plunged into the southern one …
… Despite the increased airport security, the attackers managed to hijack four large airliners from three major airports almost simultaneously, and flew one of them into the Pentagon’s restricted air-space apparently unchallenged …”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Part of the Tabieorar revelations for the year 2001 published August, 2000 was about the kidnapping of innocent children. In confirmation of the fulfilment of this revelation, many print-media reported in April, 2001 waves of child kidnapping in the country.
For examples, the Sunday TRIBUNE of April 1, 2001 and the PUNCH Newspaper of Monday, April 30, 2001 carried stories on this subject.
The Sunday TRIBUNE of April 1, 2001 on page twenty-nine reported:
“The Primate of the Church of the Lord (Aladura), Most Rev. Dr. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, who predicted that those making money with the blood of children would be exposed and killed … The Primate, in Tabieorar revelations published in August last year, containing revelations for the year 2001 had, in page seven of the book, predicted concerning waves of child kidnapping in the country … Last month, not less than 26 kidnappers and those who made penis to disappear mysteriously were apprehended and roasted in Ibadan … The cat was let out of the bag when a woman kidnapper was nabbed at Akinyemi Way junction, off Ring Road, Ibadan by a commercial (vehicle) driver who raised alarm on the woman’s devilish mission … The activities of these satanic agents is not confined to Ibadan alone, even as their operations in many states of the federation including Abuja have been reported in some dailies.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
On the subject, the PUNCH Newspaper of Monday, April 30, 2001 on page thirty-one carried a report captioned: “KIDNAPERS IN IBADAN”. The Newspaper reported:
“… Kidnappers have besieged the nooks and crannies of Ibadan city. They are searching for the quickest way to get rich. And they have decided to go to any length to make their dream a reality. According to a confession made by one of the hoodlums caught recently, the members of his gang are ninety-two in number. These people, who normally disguise as lunatics around the city just to hide their identity, move from one place to other, carrying bags containing phones, guns, charms and local and foreign currencies. On getting to Ibadan (or any other city), they choose nursery and primary schools their ‘catchment’ areas … Some of the hoodlums caught have been killed and burnt by irate mobs …”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
In 1945 the late Founder and first Primate – Prophet Josiah Olunowo Ositelu, during the Tabieorar Grand Finale of that year announced that late Apostle Adeleke Adejobi would succeed him as the Primate of the Church. Also as if history was repeating itself, late Primate Adejobi in 1987 during the Grand Finale of the Tabieorar of that year announced that late Reverend Olusegun Ositelu would succeed him as the Primate of the Church.
Likewise, in 1998 during the Tabieorar Grand Finale, the most senior Minister of Religion thereby present, Dr. Rufus Ositelu was proclaimed as the new Primate of the Church.
There are testimonies galore on what God has done in the lives of people who called on Him at the Mount Tabieorar. Many barren women have been blessed with children. Many who have considered their cases as hopeless have had cause to thank God for his goodness.
Traditionally, new members of the Church always get their blessed wooden cross handed to them. The Mount Tabieorar’s Thanksgiving service always take place on the following Sunday after the Tabieorar Festival.
The Tabborrah festival has become a festival for all today. It is being attended nowadays by people from all denominations. An Anglican friend of mine after his first attendance to the Mount Tabieorar festival commented thus - “This is my first time to witness a religious festival which knows no denominational boundary”.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> He was actually right, but the question is, why is this so? I therefore decided to interview few attendants to the festival. The major questions asked among others were:
- Why are you attending this festival?
- Are you a Christian?
- To which denomination do you belong?
I have interviewed over two thousand people along the years. The answer to the question – why is it that the attendance to Mount Tabborrah festival knows no boundary can evidently be seen in the answers received from the three questions asked during the interview, thus:
97 percent of the people interviewed came to Mount Tabieorar purposely to make a special request from God because they believe that God will surely grant any request made on Mount Tabieorar, while 3 percent were inquisitive and wanted to celebrate with the crowd.
According to the declarations of the people interviewed:
=> 94,0 % were Christians of different denominations
=> 4,2 % were Muslims
=> 1,8 % were of Traditional African Religion
The answer to the third question can be seen in the table below (Basic 94 % Christians):
% Denominations (Christians)
58,78 Members of The Church of the Lord (Aladura)
26,22 Members of other AICs
6,70 Members of the Anglican Church
5,43 Members of the Methodist Church
2,87 Members of the Catholic Church
Other questions asked were:
How did you first get to know about the festival?
Is there anything the government can do to ease the transportation problem?
81 % of the people interviewed first knew about the festival through their local Churches.
11,54 % knew about it through friends; while
7, 46 % knew about it through local news media.
As regards government assistance:
78,26 % of those interviewed want their respective government to declare the 22nd of August as a public holiday because of its:
· Importance and
· In honour and pride in its African originality.
While 21,74 % want the government to:
Provide enough transportation means; and
Subsidise their transportation cost.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The attendance to the Mount Tabieorar Festival increases year after year. For example, the 1980 figure was estimated at about 200,000 thousand while that recorded for 1991 was about 600,000 (six hundred thousand), peoples of different race all over the world.
No census of the attendance of the festival has been taken, but the attendance in recent years has been estimated to be between one to two million peoples.
The sixtieth Tabieorar turned out to be a special celebration, in that delegations from the World Council of Churches (WCC), All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and some other African Instituted Churches all over the world came to witness the Tabieorar festival of 1997.
It is stated in the Church’s Constitution that the Tabieorar Festival shall take place at the headquarters of the Church (Ogere), on the 22nd day of August every year. Furthermore, the Festival shall be preceded by thirteen days of fasting and that the form of ceremony at the service of this Festival shall be presented by the Primate, who also shall direct the whole proceedings.
The Tabieorar festival is a spirited legacy and the manifestation of God’s love the mankind. It should therefore be the collective duty of all to preserve it and seek its good at all times so that it will continue to be a blessing and hope to all and sundry.
Tabieorar 1999 Extracted Sermon
Tabieorar extracted sermon as presented on Sunday, 22nd August, 1999, at the Tabieorar Ground of the Church of the Lord (Aladura), by His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, The Primate, The Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide, in the book: “Sunday School Bible Study Guide, 2000”, (Ogere, Grace Enterprises, 1999), p 8:
Topic: THE TOUCH OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD!
Dear children of God, it is important for you to receive the touch of the Almighty Jehovah today in order to:
Free you from the bond of the enemy (Satan), from oppression, from affliction, from marital disappointment, from unsettled home, and from spiritual wickedness of all sorts.
Help you, protect you, sustain you, keep you, provide all your needs, and bless you.
Gracious to you, turn His face towards you, and give you peace, break-through and Divine prosperity.
May God Almighty, God of our forefathers, God of Tabieorar touch every part of your body, your soul, and every part of your life in Jesus Name. Amen.
Some of you may be asking the following questions:
What can the touch of God do in your lives?
How can you be touched by the Almighty Father?
What will be the results of God’s touch in your lives?
Let us take the questions one by one:
The touch of God is what you need today, just as Daniel and Jeremiah were touched by God. There are various effects the touch of God can have in your life, namely:
The touch of God can heal and strengthen you – In Daniel 10:18, we are informed that when Daniel's strength was gone and he could hardly breathe, he was touched by God and he immediately received strength.
The touch of God can conquer for you and cause your enemies to flee far away from you – In Daniel 10:7, we read that while Daniel was gazing at the vision, the men with him were overwhelmed with such terror that they fled and hid themselves. Therefore, brethren, submit to God completely and receive the power to resist the devil and the devil will flee away from you (James 4:7). The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face. They will come from one direction but flee in seven directions in Jesus Name. Amen. (Deuteronomy 28:7).
The touch of God can put an end to all your worries and sorrows – Isaiah 60:20 says, Your Sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your Moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end in Jesus Name. Amen.
The touch of God can give you great success in all your undertakings, just like Hezekiah – the king of Judah, as it is written in 2 Kings 18:7 which read thus, “And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.”, or like David as stated in 1 Samuel 18:14 which read thus, “In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him” (NIV).
The touch of God can make you to see vision – according to Daniel 8:18-19, we are told that while Daniel was asleep, with his face to the ground God touched him and gave him a vision concerning the appointed time of the end.
The touch of God can give you great ability and skills which you never had – in Daniel 9:21-22 we understand that while Daniel was praying, angel Gabriel appeared to him, instructed and told him that he, Gabriel, has come to give Daniel insight and understanding.
The touch of God can make you fearlessly stand for God – 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” When Daniel was trembling, the messenger of God told him not to be afraid (Daniel 10:10-12).
The touch of God can make you to prophesy and fearlessly reveal the message of the Lord – Daniel 10:16 tell us that, when Daniel’s lips were touched, he began to prophesy. Jeremiah’s mouth was touched by God and he began to reveal the message of the Lord fearlessly.
The touch of God can give you victory over your enemies, Satan and his agents – If you submit to God and put your trust in Him, God can perform the same miracle in your lives as He did for Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel 6:22-23 read thus, "No injury was found on Daniel because he believed in God Almighty.” 1 John 5:4 says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith in Jesus Christ.”
Let us remind ourselves about the story of Elijah, the prophet of God, when he confronted the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah as stated in 1 Kings 18:1-40.
Prophet Elijah who was serving the true God became victorious over the false prophets of Baal and Asherah. In the same story you can also see how God put Satan and her daughter Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, to shame. So also will God put your enemies to shame if you remain faithful unto Him. Amen.
Elijah was victorious because he was serving the Living God. If you serve the LORD God in truth and in spirit, and put your trust in Him just like Elijah, so also will you be victorious over all your enemies in Jesus Name. Amen.
The touch of God can make you prosper in life – Proverbs 28:25 says, “Whoever trusts in the Lord will prosper.” Just as Daniel prospered because he obeyed and trusted God (Daniel 6:28), so also shall you prosper in Jesus Name. Amen.
The touch of God can cleanse you from all your iniquities and remove all your impediments. When our Lord Jesus Christ touched the leper, he was cleansed of his leprosy immediately (Matthew 8:3). The blind men received their sight after our Lord Jesus touched their eyes (Matthew 9:29; 20:34). When Lord Jesus touched the tongue of the Mute, the impediment of his tongue was loosed. So also will God remove all your impediments in Jesus Name. Amen.
The touch of God can give you perfect peace and abundant blessings – The word of God in Deuteronomy 28:2 says, “And all the blessings of Jehovah your God shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey and put your trust in the LORD.” May the Lord JEHOVAH bless you all abundantly in Jesus Name. Amen.
The touch of God can give joy, happiness and strength – As Nehemiah said to the children of God in his days so also do I say to you this day, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). When God touches you, your grieve will turn to joy in Jesus name. Amen.
Finally, the touch of God can renew your life entirely – The word of God makes us understand that ”if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The word of God according to 1 Samuel 10:26 tells us that, when Samuel proclaimed Saul king over Israel, only those whose hearts God had touched followed him. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14).
Brethren, now that we know what the touch of God can do in our lives, we also need to know what we need to do in order to receive the TOUCH OF GOD:
First of all, you need to come unto Lord Jesus in all humility with a clean heart. You have already taken the first step. Your presence here today shows that you are ready to be touched by God. DID I HEAR SOMEBODY SAY YES? Praise God (Hallelujah)!!!
A clean heart, what do I mean by that? I mean a repentant and a forgiven heart. The Scripture says, forgive those who have trespassed against you, forgive and you shall be forgiven.
The seven things the LORD hates and are abomination to Him are:
- A proud look
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devices wicked plans
- Feet that are swift in running to evil
- A false witness who speaks lies
- And one who sows discord among brethren.
Corruption is sin, and it has become the cancer, which is killing our nations little by little. It is high time we do away with this dangerous cancer. Both the government and the governed should have the fear of God in their heart and do away with sin so that the nation may receive the touch of God.
Corruption eradication should start with the government officials and the lawmakers. Both the spiritual and terrestrial leaders should lead by example in the fight against corruption and other evil deeds.
To the general public I say, stop to give and to take bribe, rather let the LORD Almighty supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. According to the Word of God in Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is better than great riches, and loving the favour of God is better than silver and gold”.
To the students in our higher institutions I have this to say, cultism is an abomination unto the LORD. It is sinful to be a member of any secret cult.
Children of God, do not let your heart envy sinners, their end is destruction except they repent and mend their ways. But in the fear of the LORD, you should continue all day long. (Proverbs 23:17).
Parents owe it to their children, the duty to teach them the way of the LORD right from their youth, so that when they become men and women, they will not depart from it.
The conclusion of the whole matter is: “Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
You need to trust and obey God absolutely, that is, obey the commandment of the LORD, and put your trust and confidence in the Lord Jesus – the Author and Finisher of your faith.
Last but not least, you need to earnestly and prayerfully desire God’s touch, of your body, soul and mind, and your life as a whole. You therefore have to be very close to God in your thoughts, attitude and actions, and in prayer.
If you want God to touch you and your life, you must earnestly desire it, trust Him completely that He can do it – With men it may look impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Trust in the LORD of Hosts; rejoice and be glad in His salvation (Isaiah 25:9).
Children of God, if you allow God to touch you and your life, your life will not remain the same, because He will renew your life and as a result you will become a new person, that is, a person:
- Of perception – a person with the knowledge of God;
- Of principle – a person with moral integrity;
- With purpose – a person who is focused on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith;
- Who is faithful and steadfast in prayer – a person who against all odds remains faithful, who patiently and trustingly overcame, and thus received the promises of the Lord;
- With purity – a person who is free from corrupting elements and always hating what is evil but clinging to what is good;
- Who is healed by His stripes – free from all impediments and satanic bondage;
- Who is under the protection and Divine supply of the Almighty God. A victorious person;
- Who is at peace with God and his/her neighbour – a person who prospers in life. A successful person. A person who is blessed according to His riches in glory;
- And last but not least, a person with power from above as endowed by the Holy Spirit of God.
Prophet Daniel, Prophet Jeremiah and the other great prophets had the touch of God upon them because they trusted God, obeyed God, and prayerfully desired the touch of God. So also were other men of God of this age. And their lives did not remain the same.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
------- End of the Extracted Sermon.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Tabieorar 2001 Extracted Sermon
I like to present the reader with another Tabieorar extracted sermon to show the importance of the word of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God within the AICs. To God be all the glory!
Tabieorar extracted sermon as presented at the Tabieorar Ground of the Church of the Lord (Aladura), Ogere, Ogun State in Nigeria on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 by His Eminence, Most Reverend Dr. Rufus Ositelu, the Primate of the Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide:
Topic: POWER AND POTENTIAL!
Beloved in Christ, God reveals to us in the second Book of Peter Chapter 1 verse 3 that:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The God of Tabieorar is the Source and Origin of all power, knowledge and wisdom. His power, knowledge and wisdom are available to us as sources of blessings.
If we diligently obey God’s commandments and follow the teachings of Christ Jesus, we shall receive the potential to be the expression, the expansion and the extension of God’s power in us.
Before I proceed further, we need to understand the meaning of the words “Power” and “Potential”.
According to Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, “Power” is defined as “able to do”, “the ability to do” or “the capability of performing”. It may also be defined as “the strength or authority to act or accomplish something”.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Similarly, “Potential” is defined as “that which has power”, “potent” (i.e. to be able), “capability”, “that can, but has not yet, come into being”, or the like.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
I am speaking to you about the Omnipotent God, Whose power is unlimited, which is not to be compared to the limited power of a president. I am talking about the Divine Power of God, which is the source and origin of all power, knowledge, wisdom and potential.
The crux of the matter is: whatever capabilities we may possess, we need to develop them and use them in a way that God will be glorified in our lives.
The power to grow and be successful, does not come from within us, but from God Almighty. So also, the wisdom to develop our potentials comes from God. Because we do not have the resources by ourselves to be truly godly, God has given us the grace through Christ Jesus, to participate in the divine nature to help us live a righteous life. As followers of Christ, God empowers us with His moral goodness. Because “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
“And God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
“For we have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The word of God in James 1:5; says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he/she should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him/her.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The Amplified Bible puts it in another way so that we may understand this passage perfectly. It says: “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God, Who gives to every one liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
What type of wisdom are we talking about here?
Let us find out what the original Greek word says. The Greek word “Sophia” used in that passage is referring to “spiritual wisdom”. I am not speaking about “sophos”, which is akin to “sophes”, meaning “clear” or “wise” in general terms.
The Greek word “Sophia” is also used or applied generally to mean – cleverness; skill; scientific knowledge; and wisdom.
The word “wisdom” as in the Greek word “Sophia” was used in 15-ways:
· Human education (Acts 7:22).
· Man’s wisdom (1 Cor. 1:19-22; 2:1-13).
· Human philosophy (Col. 2:23; 1 Cor. 3:19; 2 Cor. 1:12; Gal. 1:14).
· Earthly, sensual, devilish wisdom (James 3:14-16).
· Prophetic anointing (Luke 11:49).
· Godly training (Luke 2:40,52).
· Anointing to speak (Luke 21:15; Acts 6; 1 Cor. 2:7).
· Ministerial ability (Eph. 1:8,17; 3:10; Cpl. 1:19,28).
· Christ the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24,30; Col. 2:3; 3:16).
· Divine gift of wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8).
· Divine attribute of God (Rom. 11).
· Spirit of revelation (2 Pet. 3:15).
· Ability of Christ (Matt. 12:42; 13:54).
· Native insight, that is, the ability to understand the inner nature of some specific thing (Rev. 13:18; 17:9).
· Heavenly wisdom (James 3:17-18).
In order not to go beyond the scope of the topic of this sermon, I shall limit myself with the way of the “Heavenly Wisdom”.
According to the Bible, we have principally two kinds of wisdom:
· The godly wisdom, which is spiritual, genuine and rightly guiding.
· The satanic wisdom, which is earthly, fake and misleading.
The word of God according to James 3:13-17; says: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
A truly wise person will not value himself or herself merely upon knowing things. After you must have acquired knowledge, it is very important to make a right application and use of that knowledge. Knowledge and application of it make up for true wisdom.
True wisdom is known by its works. It is not he/she who thinks or talks well is wise according to the Scripture, but he/she who lives and act well. True wisdom will evidence itself in meekness, temper and sincerity.
Now that we have the lovely picture of the wisdom which is from above (heaven), which is contrary from that which is from beneath, that is, the earthly wisdom, let us therefore grasp the message perfectly.
The message: True power, wisdom and potential are from God. It is the gift from God. It is not gained by the knowledge of this world, but comes from above.
True wisdom restores peace and every other good things to individuals; families; churches; kingdoms; societies; nations; countries; continents; and the world at large.
All we need to do is to seek for the true wisdom that comes from above.
The wisdom that comes from above:
· is without hypocrisy;
· is sincere and open;
· is steady and uniform;
· is consistent with itself;
· and it sows the fruits of righteousness in peace.
And that which is sown in peace will surely produce a harvest of joy.
Commitment, diligence and hard-work produce SUCCESS. This is what true wisdom reveals to us. No wonder the Scripture Ecclesiastes 9:10a says: “Whatever (good) your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
And Colossians 3:23-24 in the same vein says: “Whatever (moral and legal thing) you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
I am sure that some of us have witnessed some situations where the swiftest or the strongest do not win. Some people see such example as unfair. Remember that the world is finite, and sin has changed life contrary to God’s intention. We must also remember that, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
An example of this can be found in the story of David and Goliath. David trusted in the Lord, and he was swift to action while his opponent (Goliath) was still parading himself (1 Samuel 17:1-50).
1 Samuel 17:48-49; says: “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line … reaching into his bag, he slung a stone that struck the Philistine in the fore-head and he fell facedown on the ground.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
This example shows commitment, diligence, hard work, and above all, faith of the winner in God Almighty.
One thing is to know what is right, but another thing is to do the right thing at the right time.
We need to remain committed and dedicated to our work and not allow the inequities, that is, instances of unfairness, keep us from earnest, dedicated work. We should always remember that we are serving God not people (Col. 3:23).
Colossians 3:9-10; says: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
This scriptural passage is telling us that we as Christians should get rid of all evil practices and immorality, but remain committed to Christ, as Christ is the Wisdom and Power of God.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Furthermore, this passage is telling us that to be a Christian means more than just making good resolutions and/or having good intentions. To be a Christian means taking the right decisions and actions at the right times. If you call yourself a Christian, you should act like a Christian.
Every Christian should be in a continuing education programme – learning about Christ Jesus and His work. Because, the more we know of Christ and His work, the more we are being changed to be like Him. This should be a life-long process, and we must never stop learning and obeying the word of God. Always remember that you have to do the right thing at the right time. And whatever you can do today, do not postpone it till tomorrow.
It is the spiritual wisdom, which translates to commitment, diligence and hard work to whatever you want to do that will bring the successful result. Let me put it to you this way: “Get committed and end up distinguished!”
Commitment, diligence and hard work are choices we make, these are not gifts. You should therefore not pursue a cause to which you are not ready to be committed.
Whatever may be your occupation – a professional, a trader, a business-person, a civil-servant, a clergy or a student, and whatever your occupation may be – if you want to excel, you must be committed to your pursuits. You must do whatever you do with all your might because you want to do it and not because it is expected of you.
If you are a businessman for example, you must have resumption time, schedules, goals, accountability and discipline in order for things to be right. These virtues apply also to all other occupations.
Message to the Nations of the World
Preamble: The fountain of all spiritual blessings is the Divine Power of Jesus Christ. All things that have any relation to the true spiritual life are from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Wisdom and Power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). In Him dwells all fullness of the Godhead, and it is from Him that we receive grace after grace, that is, one blessing after another (John 1:16).
Through the knowledge of God and faith in Him, all the spiritual support and comforts that we need, are conveyed to us.
Therefore, the political, the traditional and the religious leaders of the countries of this world need the Divine Wisdom of God in order to lead their individual country aright.
The inhabitants of the world and Nigeria in particular need re-orientation. They must rebuke the satanic spirit and influences of 419 (fraud), corruption, wickedness and other evil devices. They should rather seek the face of God for His Divine Power, Wisdom and Potentials (James 1:5; Eph. 4:22-24; 1 Kings 3:9-12).
In Exodus 31:3; God told Moses that He has chosen Bezalel and has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
All power, wisdom and knowledge belong to God. No wonder the Psalmist said: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The planet earth, which is about 25,000 miles in circumference and about 8,000 miles in diameter, is one of the smallest of God’s planets.
Job in Chapter 27:7; says that God “… spreads out the northern skies, over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
One may ask that how could Job know in those days, that the earth was hanging suspended upon nothing but the power of God?
Job came to this knowledge through the spirit, power and wisdom of God just as God gave Bezalel the knowledge to do things he had never learnt to do.
In the same vein, we are told in the book of Isaiah 40:22a that God “… sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
The question arises again, how could Isaiah know that the earth was round when thousands of years later, scientists were still arguing that the earth was flat?
Prophet Isaiah knew this because he was filled with the Holy Spirit’s power, wisdom and understanding.
If you are committed, dedicated and obedient, you may also be filled with the spirit of God that will enable you to develop your potentials.
James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
You have been taught according to the truth that is Christ Jesus. You are to put off your old self, “which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Conclusion: God is LOVE. Because of His love for us, we are able to receive His Divine Power, Wisdom and Knowledge, if we so desire.
God is all-powerful, all knowing, all seeing and eternal. God wants us to exercise faith, obedience, discipline, commitment, diligence, dedication and hard work. He is willing to support us so that He may shine through us.
Every individual must rise up to its full potential, by doing whatever good his/her hand find to do with his/her might as doing it for the Lord (Eccl. 9:10).
The nations of the world must rise up to their full potential through humbleness, prayer, and seeking the face of the Lord, but first of all, by turning away from their wicked ways so that God may hear their prayers from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their lands (2 Chronicle 7:14).
The Churches must rise up to their full potentials and fulfil the prophecies of Joel Chapter 2.
God is sovereign over every situation; His power is shown by the ways He reveals Himself to us in creation, history, and His Word. All the wisdom we need can be found in His Word.
We should therefore continue to meditate in His Word day and night so that we may know Him more (Joshua 1:8).
We are being called – “… not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world,”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> with its behaviour and attitude that are usually selfish and often corrupting. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values must go deeper than the level of behaviour and attitude. It must be firmly planted in our minds, that is, we must “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” (Romans 12:2).
It is only when the Holy Spirit of God renews, re-educates, and re-directs our minds, that we are truly transformed.
We can always seek the face of the Lord for Divine Power and Potential.
We must strife after true knowledge of Christ in which to grow and develop our potentials.
Life does not remain static – it either goes forward or backward. Life without growth is a waste. Similarly, knowledge without practice becomes blindness instead of vision (2 Peter 1:3-14).
In order to develop our potentials and be successful, we need to make the right choices.
We need to:
· Love rather than hate;
· Believe rather than doubt God;
· Plan rather than play all the time;
· Build rather than destroy;
· Take decisions rather than delay them;
· Be hard-working rather than day-dreaming;
· Persevere rather than quit;
· Heal rather than wound;
· Act rather than grasp alone;
· Bless rather than curse;
· Praise rather than gossip;
· Pray rather than despair;
· And seek first of all, the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then, all other good things of life will be given to you (Matt. 6:33).
Moreover, you must love and serve God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37).
If you believe in the promises of the Gospel, God will restore His implanted Divine nature in you. And you will thus experience the Divine Power of God. According to the Scripture, God gives and restores His Divine Power in us in order for us to live godly and successful life.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
------- End of the Extracted Sermon.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
PS: The above was extracted from the book: “AFRICAN INSTITUTED CHURCHES – Diversities, Growth, Gifts, Spirituality and Ecumenical Understanding of African Initiated Churches” written by His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Rufus Okikiolaolu OSITELU and published by LIT-Verlag, Germany (2002) pages 137 – 162
A UNIVERSAL CALL TO ARISE AND REBUILD
BY PRIMATE DR. OSITELU.
The Primate of the Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide, His Eminence, the Most Rev. Dr. Rufus Ositelu, has made a universal call on individuals, families, communities and Nations of the World to arise and rebuild themselves spiritually, materially, physically and politically to the Glory of God.
Dr. Ositelu made this clarion call during the year 2002 Mount TABIEORAR Grand Finale Festival on August 22nd 2002 at Ogere-Remo in Ogun State, Nigeria. While addressing hundreds of thousands of Christians from different denominations all over the world, and non-Christians alike, Primate Ositelu stressed the need for them to identify where they have gone wrong, pick up the pieces of their lives and face the challenges of rebuilding with Jesus Christ as their focus.
This year’s theme, ‘Arise and Rebuild’, was taken from the Book of Nehemiah 2:17B: “Come let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and we shall no longer be in disgrace.” He also quoted from the Book of Prophet Isaiah 61:4A, which says, “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore places long devastated;” to buttress his global call.
He however, cautioned, that the paths to rebuilding at individual, communal and national levels were fraught with opposition from friends, allies, foes, as well as pessimists and other agents of Satan (Nehemiah 2:10). He then advised that Christians should not be discouraged but rather be courageous and be of good cheer because Christ has overcome the world for them.
According to him, the prerequisites for victory in the task of rebuilding include, prayerfulness, perseverance, vigilance, dynamism, commitment to victory and absolute trust in God. Quoting the Bible, he cited examples of Jeremiah, Nehemiah, David, Priscilla, Deborah, Paul etc., who succeeded because they possessed these sterling qualities.
In the same vein, Dr. Ositelu enjoined leaders of the world to eschew greed, political deceit, injustice, bribery, corruption, craze for power and wealth, violation of fundamental human rights, etc., as “only righteousness exalts a nation.” (Proverbs 14:34). On the need for justice, he said, “Let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24).
On the forthcoming 2003 elections in Nigeria, Dr. Ositelu urged the citizenry to exercise their civic rights by participating in the electoral process. ‘Do not sell your birthright but vote according to conscience by electing God fearing people who will not loot the treasury or mortgage the future of your children’, he said.
Primate Ositelu then called on the leadership of the country to ensure free and fair elections (devoid of violence and rigging), and maintain justice, accountability, transparency and good governance in order to move the nation forward. He stressed the need for the survival of democracy in the country. ‘Nigeria is a great country in Africa, the whole world is watching us, we therefore cannot afford to fail’, he further warned.
This year’s Tabieorar celebration which was preceded by a press conference by His Eminence; Primate Dr. Rufus Ositelu, was given unprecedented publicity by the Nigerian print and electronic media nationwide. Similarly, a programme tagged MEDIA OUTREACH aimed at strengthening the evangelical strategies of the Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide was launched by the Church. The post Tabieorar publicity of this year was unprecedented in the history of the Church. Both the print and electronic media were still carrying news about the Tabieorar celebration everyday, and even two months after the Tabieorar Festival. To God alone be the glory!
The next edition of the Mount Tabieorar Festival will by the special grace of God come up on August 22nd, at the same venue, Mount Tabieorar Ground at Ogere, Ogun State, Nigeria
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ositelu, Gabriel, The Tabieorar Story, (Ogere: Grace Enterprises, 1997), p 3.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ibid, p 4.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ibid, p6.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Divine Revelations from the Mount TABIEORAR for the year 2001, (Ogere: Grace Enterprises, 2000), p 21.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> International Herald Tribune, Thursday, September 13, 2001, p 11.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ibid., p 10.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Sunday TRIBUNE, April 1, 2001, p 29.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> The PUNCH Newspaper, Monday, April 30, 2001, p 21.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ositelu, Rufus, African Indigenous Churches, (Frankfurt/M.: Alexander Verlag, 1984), p 34.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ositelu, Rufus, African Indigenous Churches, Alexander Verlag, Frankfurt/Main, 1984, p 35.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> The Church of the Lord (Aladura) - Sunday School Bible Study Guide, Grace Enterprises, Ogere, 1999, p 8ff.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Sunday School Bible Study Guide for Year 2000 of the Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide, Ogere, 1999.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 2 Peter 1:3; New International Version (NIV).
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Webster, Noah, Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, William Collins Publishers Inc., USA, 1979, p 1412.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ibid., p 1409.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> John 3:6; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 2 Corinthians 5:21; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 1 Peter 1:23; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> James 1:5; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> James 1:5; The Amplified Bible (TAB).
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> James 3:13-17; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ecclesiastes 9:10a; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Colossians 3:23-24; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 1 Corinthians 1:27; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 1 Samuel 17:48-49; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Colossians 3:9-10; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Exodus 31:3; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Psalm 8:3-4; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Job 26:7; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Isaiah 40:22a; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> James 1:5; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Ephesians 4:22-24; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Romans 12:2; NIV.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> 2 Peter 1:3-4.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Sunday School Bible Study Guide 2002 of the Church of the Lord (Aladura), Ogere, 2001, (in print).
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