Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) showed on Saturday that, despite the several miracles God has used him to perform and the huge success of the just-concluded Holy Ghost Congress of the church, he is human after all.
On the last day of the Congress, Professor Aboaba, one of the elders of the church, who introduced Pastor Adeboye’s session, had wished the week-long Congress continued for another week. Mr. Aboaba, a professor, is about 85 years old.
As he made his wish open, Pastor Adeboye was seen whispering to his wife, Pastor Folu, popularly called Mummy G.O.
And later when he mounted the pulpit to minister, he shared what he had whispered to his wife. “I told my wife jocularly, I have no objection to his (Aboaba’s) wish provided he would be the one preaching (during the additional week of the Holy Ghost Congress). I will just sit down and enjoy it.”
A source close to Pastor Adeboye explained later, “that was a joke but of course it shows it takes the grace and empowerment of God for him to do all what he is noted for doing. You must have heard him say often that without Jesus he is nothing.”
The over 75-year-old pastor noted for his disarming humility and stamina dreads taking God’s credit, a reason he dislikes to be praised. He would rather want Jesus. who empowers him, to be praised, according to what he said during a book launch for him last year at the Redemption Camp which he reluctantly attended.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was at the book launch, had commented on Pastor Adeboye’s humility in the foreword of the book, “Stories of Pastor E. A. Adeboye.”
He stated: “The life of Daddy (Pastor Adeboye) in itself is one big miracle! For a man born to financially-challenged parents in the remote village of Ifewara, Osun State, who had no shoes at 18 years old; who was not a born again Christian until the time he was a mathematics teacher at the University of Lagos, becoming the leader of a church with a strong presence in over 192 countries (now 198), and with over 32,000 parishes in Nigeria alone, is indeed, a miracle worth knowing.
For this same man to remain infectiously humble, in spite of his enormous power, influence and popularity is also a miracle in itself.”
Pastor Adeboye himself had heard some people say that he is a spiritual being who does not eat. He has taken time to debunk that claim a couple of times to show he is human.
“Someone once said that the reason God is using Pastor Adeboye is because of his name “Enoch”, referring to how God related with Enoch in the Bible. ‘He doesn’t eat. Have you ever seen him eat the pounded yam he talks so much about?’ the person argued.
“When I heard that, I laughed. You think I don’t eat? Well, invite me to your house, prepare some good pounded yam; get a very good combination of okro, make sure there is plenty of bush meat and chicken and fish and turkey. Right there in your dining room, a mountain will become a valley.
His whisper to his wife about Professor Aboaba’s wish, reminded some people in the congregation of his encounter with God, after the first major RCCG Convention at Lekki, which was so massive that it nearly shut Lagos down. According to the account, he was warned not to take God’s credit if he doesn’t want to be wiped out.
He had said in a testimony: “Something happened after Lekki 98; one of the biggest programmes that we ever had. The whole of Lagos was paralysed because of the programme.
“People walked kilometres to the venue and back. Fortunately, the programme was also transmitted by radio, so those who those who couldn’t get there listened to it on their radio. It was a fantastic programme!
“After the programme, I returned to the Redemption Camp and soon proceeded on a prayer walk to thank God: “God I bless Your Holy name, what a wonderful thing, etc.”
“It was between 2a.m. and 3a.m. when He spoke. I heard him say clearly, “Son, bend down.”I did that quickly because, you know, I was in the jungle. You never can tell; a witch could have been flying past.
“And then he said, ‘Draw the figure of a man in the sand.’
“I drew the figure of a man: zero for head, one line for the body and two lines for the leg and so on. You know that kind of drawing.
God said, ‘Stand up.’
“I did, but by then I was afraid because I knew something serious was happening.
He said, ‘Wipe out the figure you have drawn with your leg.’
“I wiped it out.
“And He said, ‘Son, if you ever forget who your boss is, I will wipe you out and nobody will even remember you came to the world.
That was what He told me. So, I smile when I hear people say, ‘He’s a very humble man. How can a man be so successful and be so humble?” You think I want to be wiped out? As they say in Nigeria, “You think say I dey craze? Me I no dey craze at all o.”
When you allow pride to creep into your life, you know what you are asking for? “To be wiped out.’”
On Saturday, as he lowered the curtains on the Congress, he thanked God “for starting with us and ending with us,” and preached on the topic “Anointing for Victory.”
He highlighted the three types of external enemies portrayed in a Bible passage on King David’s experience; and the need to overcome them with the anointing of God.
He likened the enemies to the lion, the bear and Goliath.
The lion, he explained, kills by choking its prey, and that in the case of humans it could be someone in superior position or influence who wants to suppress you, frustrate to death or kill opportunities or people who are to enhance your emergence or growth. He cited the example of Pharaoh, who ordered all male Israeli babies killed because a leader was to emerge among them.
But he had a solution for that. “There is anointing from God to take care of lions.”
The bear hugs to kill, (from which we got the term “bear hug,”) and that he said makes it very dangerous enemy because it comes pretending to be a friend.
According to him, the bear therefore represents people who get close to you, smile at you, pretending to love so as to get close enough to destroy you.
For those people too, he said there is an anointing to take care of them.
He gave a chilling testimony of how one of his three close friends earlier in his ministry hated him so bitterly he didn’t want him to be the General Overseer after the death of the founder of the church.
“It was way back in 1980, when one of the three was getting married. When I got there, the other friend welcomed me warmly and was doing everything to please me with drinks, food and other offers.
“But God spoke and I heard Him clearly. ‘He is your enemy!’
“I was shocked because I had exposed myself too much to that man.
“When we met later, I told my friends God’s message but the man denied being an enemy. That was in June, 1980.
In December, we met again to discuss the church after the demise of the founder, and there the man bared his teeth: ‘From the day you came to this church I hated you,’ he confessed.
“The Goliath is the enemy who has insight into your destiny but vows that you will not get there. He could be a boss, a colleague or even an opponent, Pastor Adeboye said, explaining that what was at stake in the David and Goliath fight was the kingdom of Israel, which David had be anointed rule.”
He assured that with the right relationship with God and His anointing Goliaths too have no chance to destroy people. “Anyone who says you will not reach your goal will fail, in the name of Jesus,” he said, singing the song ‘I know my Redeemer liveth’, to buttress his point.
An altar call was made before the church administered the Holy Communion – surprisingly done seamlessly for a congregation of that size.
The anointing session of the programme was done with oil Pastor Adeboye had personally blessed.
The General Overseer anointed his wife, who anointed the special guests. He also anointed deputy general overseers, and assistant general overseers, who in turn anointed pastors for them to anoint the congregation that was usually eager for such moments.
That done, he prayed for the congregation and blessed them to close the congress.
As at that Saturday, the church’s medical facility had recorded the birth of 51 babies – 25 boys and 26 girls.
Earlier in the day there had been prayers and talk sessions on: The sacrifice of praise; Victory over lack; Victorious hope; All will be well; Divine champions; and More than conquerors.
There had also been goodwill messages from a delegation from Northern Ireland and Cote d’ Ivoire. Pastor Paul Keith from the Simple Faith Ministry in Belfast said, “This is my first time in Nigeria, and in all my ministry work around countries, I have not seen so much joy and hope.”
He continued, “This has taught me so much; I am totally transformed by the experience.”
Lionel Mitchell, who led a delegation of 11 pastors from six different churches in Cote d’ Ivoire, described Pastor Adeboye as “the Abraham of our age, whose work and person continue to inspire us. “What God is doing through him gives us faith and hope,” he added.
As usual, there were also testimonies. A South-Africa-based Nigerian lady had been healed from arthritis during the Congress; and another lady who had heart problems, which doctors said could lead to heart failure, was also healed at the Congress.
From Oyo State, a lady whose sister had been kidnapped as she left her shop, leaving her baby in her car, got her released unconditionally when she prayed about it at the Congress.
And an elderly woman from Ijebu Ode, Ogun State had an encounter with someone in a dream and woke up blind, but after divine intervention, she can now see clearly.
A thanksgiving service was held on Sunday for the success of the Congress, which held in absolute peace and brought joy to many hearts, without recording any ugly incident.