ON Friday, July 6, 2012, founder and spiritual head, INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church of God, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele, launched the new edition of his popular book, Warnings To The Nations (WTN), at the headquarters of his church at Oke Afa, Ejigbo, Lagos. On Sunday, July 29, 2012, the Badagry, Lagos, multi-million naira branch was dedicated and it was a well attended event.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the humble preacher of the Word on these new developments and much more when we visited him recently.
On Friday, July 6, 2012, the 2012/2013 edition of your popular book, Warnings To The Nations (WTN), was unveiled, why is it an annual event because the last edition was unveiled in July 2011?
It’s not a man made event, it’s divine. That’s how God wants it. We received the message in the book from February 19 to April 4, 2012, and it passed through all the necessary procedures before we took it to press. So, before coming out on July 6, 2012, it had been ordained that every first Friday in July, we must do the press presentation of the book. We had to follow the instruction from God strictly. So that He can reward us abundantly. It’s a divine event that comes annually, it’s not designed by anybody but God.
But some people still believe that most predictions are directed to the high and mighty, the rich and the famous so that they can run to those…
(Cuts in) No, predictions are not like that. Prophecy is to guide the nation or individuals against the danger ahead. God sent prophets of hope to people. Look at King Ahab in the bible, when God sent a prophet to him, he disregarded him because the prophet did not say what he wanted to hear. So, if a prophet tells you something, it’s either you call the prophet to confirm it or you take it to the prophet in your own church. But the better thing is to go to that person who gave you the message and then forge ahead. And it is for those that God loves that He reveals Himself to. For you to get a genuine prophecy, is not an easy task. The essence of sending a prophet to the people is just for them not to perish. If you believe in God, you listen to those messages. God can send them through a Christian or a Muslim, there is no church in heaven. Whoever that He sends to you, you just have to follow the instruction of God. Left to me, it’s not a matter of coming to me, you can go elsewhere. You don’t have to criticize whoever calls himself a prophet because you’re not God. It’s ignorant to do so and the consequences of doing that may not be palatable.
There was a time you canvassed about the restructuring of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), what is the development concerning that now?
I don’t want to talk about that now. But for real, there is a need for restructuring. But let’s hold on and see what the Lord is going to do on that. I don’t want to make any further comment.
But some people will see it as if you’re interested in the number one seat of the association that’s why you’re calling for a change in the leadership of the association?
That’s not true. The work I have is enough to keep me busy. I have so many churches, I have a lot of things I am doing. I have a lot of programmes that cut across. So, if anybody is saying that I am interested, the person is not getting it right. But the truth is that, there are things to be changed in CAN. I don’t have the time and anybody who wants to take that kind of responsibility must be ready to abandon certain things at his own end. I have a lot of orphans I am catering for, the widows and the aged. So, I will now say I want to put CAN on my head. It can’t work.
As usual, are you still taking care of Muslim widows this Ramadan?
They were here today and they left with smiles on their faces. Ramadan started on Friday but we couldn’t meet them that day. We only had time to meet them on Sunday. That was the day we gave them some beverages including Bournvita, Milo, milk, sugar and so on. We also gave them rice so as to make them happy during this Ramadan. Some of them came here today. It’s not by my power but by the grace of God. I believe it’s my duty and I will always do it. This year as usual, we are sending one Muslim widow to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for hajj, while a Christian widow will also be sent on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. We are planning to do more. This year, I am going to buy them attires for Eld-il-fitri festival, with shoes to match. They shouldn’t feel that they don’t have husbands. They should also celebrate and be happy when other Muslim brothers and sisters are celebrating. I believe the more I am blessed by God, the more I should also bless others.
Let’s touch another area, you like commenting the issues of national interest…
(Cuts in) I don’t comment on issues of national interest, I am not a political or social analyst, I only say the mind of God if there is any issue of national interest.
Okay, what’s your candid opinion about the threat by House of Representatives members, to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over non-implementation of 2012 budget to the fullest?
Before this happened, I have said it in the interview I granted Global Excellence magazine in its edition of September 27 to October 10, 2011, that President Jonathan and members of House of Representatives will have issues and they will want to impeach him. It has been foretold. One thing that baffles me is that our leaders berate God, they don’t listen to God. If you check page 35 of 2012/2013 edition, you will see it there. The National Assembly and Jonathan will have issues and that there will be a serious crisis between the National Assembly and the Presidency over the implementation of budget. We said this in February and see what is happening now. So, when the Lord speaks, let’s take it very seriously. It’s not the person, as for me, don’t look at me but God has revealed His messages to me. I am just a human being but the Lord in me speaks. The Dana Air plane that crashed, we said it before it happened that Nigerians should pray against plane mishap. I said it in not less than three newspapers last year that we should all pray against such an occurrence but the government didn’t take to it. It’s God’s warning but they will look at it as if oh! this one is not our person, he doesn’t belong to us and so on. If your pastor doesn’t see it coming, others may see it. God will surely reveal Himself to whoever He wants to. That’s why He is the I am that I am. He will remain unchanged forever. If God sends a pastor to you, it now depends on how you respect the word of God and respond to it.
Let’s know a few of your prophecies that have come to pass in this new book?
A lot, when you look at page 35, Jonathan and the House of Representatives, pages 75 and 76, the gunshot. Precisely, it is said in the book that not all the senators will finish their term. Let the senators pray so that none of them will be shot dead. Now, you see what happened to that senator. Also, the private universities that the government withdrew their licenses. Then, before they went on the European championship league, we said that Spain will lift the cup and it also came to pass. Then, the crisis in Gangland local government in Plateau State, it is precisely stated in the book. Then on page 105, it is stated that Oshiomhole will retain his seat. And the most surprising one is the death of President Attah Mills of Ghana. It is stated on page 155 that Attah Mills will not complete his tenure because of his health challenge. The page 148 of the same book says that Ghanaians should pray so that they will not be in a mourning mood. What can we call what’s going on in Ghana now? Is it not a mourning mood? That’s just God for you and that’s efficacy of God’s prophecy. There are lots more, we can’t finish talking about all that are contained in the book.
What’s your take on miracle?
I can’t understand what you actually mean, miracle happens in our church also. I saw a woman who had stroke for over two years, the woman couldn’t walk properly, she was using crutches. Now, she has dropped the crutches. Also a man who couldn’t see properly was healed by God in our church here. In our own church, miracle happens gradually, it’s not the type of stage managed miracle where they will just touch people and they will be falling down instantly. The pastor will say be healed and the person will start giving testimonies. No, miracle doesn’t happen like that in our own church. We don’t stage manage miracle. We heal people here but through prayer. We have two services, that’s English and Yoruba. In our Yoruba service, we allow about 40 to 45 minutes deliverance service and prayer. During this period, God heals the sick through prayer, not instantly. It’s not about somebody that had gone blind for many years back and you now command he should begin to see on the spot. We don’t stage manage miracle, it may be happening in some churches, I may not know. For instance, they brought a boy here, he is at the back of the church now, the boy is just 18 years. I believe the boy has lost his consciousness and he was attacked spiritually, they were now saying he ran mad. I asked them what they meant by that? Just leave him, all you need do is to pray that God should touch him and give him the grace to sleep so that he will regain his consciousness. When he couldn’t sleep, I now went into prayer on his behalf, I gave him the anointing oil and he slept. When he woke up, he was surprised where and how he found himself because they had tied his hands and legs. He is now talking like a normal person. All you need do as a pastor is ask for God’s directive before you lay hands upon anything. A woman that has been looking for a child for 17 years, she has been to several places. When she came to our prayer session last year, we just said let’s pray and anybody that has stomach problem should just pray along with us that God wanted to heal the person. The woman just put her hand on her stomach. In few months, a miracle happened in the life of the woman. She got pregnant. Now she has had a baby boy. The baby was christened Elijah Eniola Oluwashina. It’s not by my power but I believe it’s her time but God just used me for her. I believe miracle happens in the churches where they call God’s name truly. It happens among the children of God.
Concerning your church in Badagry, what’s happening to it at the moment, has it been completed?
Yes, we dedicated it on Sunday, July 29, 2012. It’s a multi-million naira project. At least, it’s one of the best churches in that vicinity. After that, we are also opening another branch in Alagbado, Ogun State. Later, we will move to Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode to open our branches there. We won’t go to where God didn’t direct.
Do you intend spreading your church all over the country?
No, it’s just only where God has directed us to go that we will open our branch, not everywhere. He has told us the number of branches we should have. We act as He directs us, that’s why INRI is a spiritual church. That’s why God has always been with us and we will continue to be grateful to Him.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, August 7, 2012