Monthly Archives: October 2009
Obedience is a very important aspect of the Christian faith. Obedience goes along with faith. For us to obey the Lord means we surrender our desires and our will to his desires and his will. Jesus prayed in Matt.6:10,"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven(NKJV)." Jesus prayed this prayer to teach his disciples what it means to surrender our will to God’s will. When we obey the Lord he blesses us(Isa.1:19). He gives us the things that we need because our will and desires have become his.There’s no regret in obeying the Lord because he promised in his words that he will bless us if we obey him(Deut.28:1-2).
Deut.6:5,tells us that we should love the Lord with all our heart, soul and might. This means without reservations. We must obey God without reservations. When we love him we will obey him.
In the book of Isaiah he says if we are "willing."We have a choice to obey and obedience should be out of love for God.We must take a deliberate step of faith and obey the Lord.We disobey when we do our will and follow the flesh but when we follow the spirit we obey God.Rom.8:2 tells us, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The law of the Spirit of life in Christ is obedience out of love, which gives us life.It is a response of our faith in God.When we obey God it leads to life.Jesus commanded us to love one another just as he had loved us(John 13:35).This was the golden commandment which the Lord gave us and he said by obeying this commandment shall all men know that we are his disciples.We need the Holy spirit to help us fulfill this commandment because the fruit of the spirit is love(Gal. 5:22). When we obey the Lord it shows that we believe in him and he rewards us for it.
“…And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept,…” (Nehemiah 1: 1b – 4a)
Like Nehemiah wept when he heard the tidings that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, any committed member of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), who truly loves the Church, and who was either witness to or heard about, the glorious early years of the Church, cannot but weep at what the dear Church has turned out to become today. Over the years, spiritual retrogression has eaten gradually and unchecked, deep into the fabric of the Church, culminating in the unfortunate crisis that has torn the Church apart for about nineteen years now. Indeed, it has been one long nineteen years of chaos and confusion. Things are sadly, no longer as they used to be. The CAC of today has become a shadow of the glorious CAC of between the 1930’s and 1960’s. The spiritual walls of the Church have broken down terribly, and it is a time for people with the heart of Nehemiah to weep.
The beginning of Christ Apostolic Church was indeed glorious. The Church was birthed over nine decades ago, in the labor room of united prayers. As early as the year 1918, a group of men led of the Holy Spirit, began to meet regularly for prayer and to share the Word of God, somewhere in the town of Ijebu-Ode, in Nigeria, West Africa. The group included people like one Joseph Sadare, E. Olukoya, D. Oduga, E. Onabanjo and Ali, and later joined by David Odubanjo. Most of them were members of the Christian Missionary Society (CMS).
The Nigerian communities at that time were largely pagan communities, despite the presence and activities of early Christian missionaries and churches. Occult practices and idol worship were widespread. Spiritual darkness pervaded the land. The Christian churches made some progress and disciples, but they were largely religious organizations that were powerless to penetrate the darkness and make much impact in the lives of the people. The Christian religious leaders then often had to compromise with the society, so they could make some members from among them. It was in the midst of all that spiritual darkness that the Holy Spirit stirred up these men who refused to compromise on Scriptural principles, and who started exhibiting a living faith in God that produced astounding results!
The prayer meeting gradually developed into the Aladura Movement, which was later called the “Precious Stone,” and later metamorphosed into the “Faith Tabernacle.” A.A. Hanson and Isaac Akinyele (Olubadan of Ibadan) also joined the group later, around 1924.
The group met constantly to pray for spiritual revival in their land, a prayer that God eventually answered by raising Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola in the 1930’s, a man through whom God visited the dark African continent with burning spiritual light, and with unprecedented signs and wonders. Through Apostle Babalola’s revivals in the 1930’s, and those of his disciples, several idol worshippers surrendered their idols to be burnt and gave their lives to Jesus.
Apostle Babalola was eventually led by God to join ranks with the members of the Faith Tabernacle, and together they started a new kind of Pentecostal organization called the “Christ Apostolic Church.” Even the name of the Church was given by the Holy Spirit. God confirmed the new partnership between Apostle Babalola and the leaders of the Church, with an unprecedented harvest of miracles, beginning with the miracle of raising a ten year old boy (called “Obi”) from the dead, at Oke-Ooye in Ilesa, under the ministration of Apostle Babalola, during a meeting called by the early leaders of the Church to settle doctrinal rift. Since then, outstanding miracles became a badge of the Church. Several dead people have been raised. Countless dumb ones have spoken. The ears of the deaf have opened. The lame have walked in their thousands. Countless souls have been saved into the kingdom of God. Oh, Africa had never experienced such a harvest by the Holy Spirit! However, it is remarkable that in spite of the abundant miracles that God performed through Apostle Babalola, the Apostle still humbled and submitted himself to the oversight of the leaders of CAC at that time.Continue reading
Pastor Udofia in CAC History
Pastor (Dr) Nelson Ekuh Udofia was an icon of faith and a rare breed among elderly pastors of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria (CAC). He started out quite young, when in 1950, in response to the persistent invitation of his friend and former colleague (now late), Pastor Egabor, he set out on a journey from the Eastern part of Nigeria to the West. He later joined himself to Prophet Babajide (the right-hand man of the late Apostle Ayo Babalola) under whom he served as a disciple for a period of about eight years. While there, he performed Secretarial duties, like writing and replying Prophet Babajide’s correspondences. He also handled the music department, for example, composing tonic solfas.
Pastor Udofia’s strength of character – integrity, forthrightness, absolute loyalty and unfeigned humility – immediately endeared him to his superiors. Prophet Babajide loved him and entrusted important responsibilities into his hands. His qualities quickly became noticed by Apostle Babalola who sent for him, so as to send him to assist Mrs Pearce, who was Principal of the CAC Bible Training College then. There, Baba Udofia once again dispatched his duties commendably.
He was ordained pastor in 1963, at the age of 35 years. Although he was young at the beginning of his sojourn as a pastor in CAC, the leaders of the church then found in him a loyal, dependable and thoroughly trustworthy disciple. They therefore felt very comfortable to put him in charge of important assignments and in positions of great responsibilities. He was member or secretary to various committees, and leader of delegations sent to settle occasional disagreements in some assemblies and districts. He was also their choice representative on the boards of interdenominational organizations, like the Pentecostal Federation of Nigeria (PFN).
After his stint as lecturer at the CAC Bible Training College, he was posted again to the secretariat of the church, to work as personal assistant to the late Pastor A.A. Hanson (who was then General Secretary of the Church). Because of his diligence, faithfulness as well as industry, when Pastor Hanson died in 1968, the leaders had no problem appointing Pastor Udofia to succeed Pastor Hanson, first as Acting General Secretary and very shortly after as substantive General Secretary of CAC. He was later also appointed a Trustee of the Church. He was General Secretary of the Church for a period of thirty-three years until he became president in 2001, after the passing away of the president then, Pastor Adegoroye.
Pastor Udofia literally defined what the Secretariat of the Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria is today. In all, he served first as personal assistant to the General Secretary under the administration of Pastor (Oba) I.B. Akinyele and as substantive General Secretary under three other presidents – Pastors Latunde, Orogun and Adegoroye – before he himself became president in 2001.
While he was General Secretary, he conducted the affairs of the Church’s Secretariat with diligence and openness, in the tradition of the early leaders of the Church. He passed away to glory in the morning of Sunday, 14th December 2008, at the age of 81 years. His passing away marks the end of a life of service in CAC spanning a period of almost six decades.
He has since been buried amidst great pomp and pageantry in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, on 7th February 2009. He is survived by children and grand-children.