INTERVIEW:Indiscipline is still serious issue among our Ministers

Pastor Samuel O. Oladele

A team of CHRIST APOSTOLIC MAGAZINE journalists, made up of the Editor, Pastor Ademisoye Alawode, 'Gbenga Bankole and Samuel Bukola Olagoke, met the General Superintendent of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Samuel Olusegun Oladele in his office recently for an Exclusive Interview. Pastor Oladele gives deeper insight into the ministry of the Holy Spirit and other interesting issues. Excerpts! 

Kindly give us the spiritual and philosophical background of the theme of this year's conferences which is “That the Scripture Must be Fulfilled”

Each year we choose a theme which will be centrally treated in all our conferences and gatherings. As a matter of fact, the Christian Education Department of the church is doing a great work for us. They usually come up with some suggested themes out of which we choose the one we consider relevant to our church and Christianity at large. We live in the days where some of the teachings and prophecies of the scripture are being flung aside as if they are not relevant to our situation but the Bible says “forever O Lord, your word is settled in Heaven.” What we have in mind is to impress it upon, not only our church members, but anyone that comes across the materials we use to enhance Christian Education, that whatever happens or whatever we are going through; cloud may seem to hover around the word as if it won’t come to pass, as long as it is there in the Bible it will be fulfilled.  The Bible is not a closed book, but sometimes people live their lives as if the word will not come to pass. We just want people to know that whatever happens, the word of God is settled in heaven. It doesn't matter how I, as a preacher interpret or misinterpret the scripture, the scripture must be fulfilled.

Look at the politicians, for example, they think they can rule the world without making reference to the God that made the world, but God is making a kind of mockery of them. All the national and international occurrences are pointing to one fact that one day the ruler of the world will come. The world today is like a pregnant woman that falls into labour pain and you now gather some quacks to come and attend to her. They cannot find a solution. The events of the world are proving to us that politicians do not own the world, it belongs to God and Christ is coming. When He comes, he is going to reign in righteousness. Just like the first prophecy of His birth was fulfilled, prophecy that has to do with His second coming shall come to pass and all other scriptures must also be fulfilled.

As the General Superintendent of the mission since 2014, what changes have you noticed in adaptability of Pastors in CAC to discipline and decorum?

We thank God, but it has not been easy. It is a hot seat. If you think only of the honour and benefit that accrue to the seat, you may say all is well. But if you are burdened or you have a vision for the church you will not be happy if you consider some things. For example, I have noticed that people don't like discipline, orderliness or sanity. I thank God for some of our ministers who have hearts after God, but we have a lot of our ministers who, all they want is for the status quo to remain and that is something that pains one to the marrow. We are trusting God that with time, we are going to get there by God's grace, but we must say that it has not been easy. All hope is not lost. We know that things will continue to get better.

People are saying that despite the proliferation of churches, morality keeps declining. Some are even saying the world would be probably better without churches or mosques. What is your comment? How would the world look without religious institutions?

If you study the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, it has not always been a success story as far as godliness and righteousness are concerned. In the days of Noah, he preached for many years, but only seven souls were converted. Idolatry was everywhere in the days of Abraham before God called him out from his kindreds. When you look at emancipation of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land, how many of them left Egypt? How many of them got to the promised land? It was not a success story. Israel as a nation was continuously violating the law of God. Look at their journey from wilderness, to Sinai and to the promised land. Under how many kings did they prosper spiritually? What is the reason for many judges we have in the Bible? It is because God's people deviated from God's law and God sold them to their oppressors and they cried to God and He answered them. There would have been no need for the Judges if they had been right with God. It was like that until Christ came and when He came,  was it a success story? The Bible says “he came unto His own and His own didn't receive Him”. Thank God, He started His church and He made a promise that the gate of hell will never prevail over it. Throughout history down the ages, why is it that God fearing people are not many in all generations? The parables of our Lord Jesus Christ tell it all. The parable of wheat and tares, parable of the dragnet and some other parables of Jesus are to illustrate the fact that it is not always going to be a success story.

When you look at the population of the world today, we have about seven billion people and about three quarter of this seven billion is lost. China happens to be the most populous country in the world. When you combine the population of China with that of India they take almost half of the population of the whole world. It is a lost world considering the fact that there are also some Arab countries that have nothing to do with Christ. It is only a quarter of the world population that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and out of this one quarter we have unbelieving believers and that is why we need the churches.

I am not against churches being planted everywhere because we need the churches. If people don't complain about many brothels, drinking bars and disco joints of this world, which are also on the increase, why complain about the church?  If only the church would live up to the expectation of God it would be great. The expectation of God for the church is that it should be the light and salt of the earth and you don't have to be many. The salt doesn't need to be like any other thing to stop corruption. A light doesn't need to be any other thing to shine. Just be a light and the salt. If few of us that are calling on the name of the Lord out of the population of the whole world can be light and salt indeed, we may not be able to do some things, but we will use our influence. When corruption is spreading, by the time it gets to salt it will stop. A Christian may not be able to influence society sometimes, but when corruption gets to him or her, it stops there. There are two spirits; the spirit of God and the one working in the heart of the people of the world. There is always this battle between God and Satan. If not for the church, the world or this country would have been worse than it is today.We still have to thank God for the church. The reason why this country is still liveable is because of the Christians who are the light and the salt. There is difference between Christianity and religiosity. I know that most of what we have in our country today is nothing but revival of religiosity. It has been noted by observers very keenly that Christianity in Nigeria is mile wide and inch deep. What we need is not religiosity, but Christianity. Christianity brings about a radical change. It is not about just going to church or Prayer Mountain, but to be like Christ anywhere you are. I thank God for those who still hold on to the Christian faith and it is because of those ones we have a country called Nigeria. If only we can be Christians indeed, not mere religious, we are going to have a better country.

What is the role of the Holy Spirit at the rapture of Christians?

We have to make this clear because there are some preachers who teach what is called “passion rapture”. They claim if you are not baptised in the Holy Spirit when the trumpet sounds you won't go with Christ. It is totally wrong because the Bible does not teach that. This is why it is good for one to go to Bible College and if you don't, then give yourself to the study of the word. Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third person in the trinity. The Holy Spirit is not just a force or energy, but he is a person and that is why the Bible says he speaks, he teaches, he counsels etc. Energy or any force cannot do those things but because Holy Spirit is a person, he feels, he speaks and has all these personal attributes. When our Lord Jesus Christ was here physically He promised when He was going that he would send the Holy Spirit. But before the day of Pentecost, the Apostles' names had been written in the book of life. When they came back from the missionary expedition He sent them, they told Him of how they cast out demons and other things. He warned them that they should not rejoice in the fact that demons bow to them, but they should rejoice in the fact that their names had been written in the book of life. That simply means that their names had been written in the book of life even before the day of Pentecost. Peter was saved before Pentecost, but in between the time of his salvation and Pentecost, he denied the Lord because he didn't have the power which is given by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said you are going to receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. It is not power to carry bags of garri or rice at Bodija market, but power to witness for Christ wherever you are. It is the power to stand for the Lord even in the face of persecution and that was what Peter lacked that made him deny Christ. If Jesus Christ hadn’t prayed for him or had he died in that condition, he would have lost his salvation because there is no way one will deny the Lord and go to heaven. When the day of Pentecost came they were empowered and after that, they were ready to die for the cause of the gospel and that is what the Holy Spirit does. So, when we come to Christ and we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, we become sons and daughters of God. And that is why the Bible says to those who believe he gave power to become the sons of God. Accepting Jesus Christ makes you a child of God, but when you are baptised in the Holy Spirit, he makes you an effective worker, effective soul winner and then you are strengthened. If we say those who are not baptised in the Holy Spirit will not rapture with Christ then what about members of the orthodox churches? There are many denominations that do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but they have received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. When you look at our church CAC for example, it is not about your education or how much you know. Our founding fathers were bold to withstand the persecution during their own time and that is what the Holy Spirit does. Accepting Christ as your Lord and Saviour makes you a child of God and being baptised in the Holy Spirit gives you the power to be more effective in soul winning. One makes you a son and one makes you a good servant.

I know that the Scripture says those who do not have the spirit of Christ are not His, but the spirit of Christ the passage is referring to is the disposition of Christ. The spirit you receive when you become a Christian. It is the seed of God that is planted in you when you become a Christian. The seed will germinate and continue to grow. It is the fruition of the seed that makes you a child of God and you will be growing in Christian character. Once you have that you are saved and your name is written in the book of life. So when the Bible says “those who do not have my spirit they are not mine'' it is not talking about the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of Christ or spirit of sonship which you receive at conversion.

It was written: “Jesus was endowed with Holy Spirit without measure.” Does the Holy Spirit have a measurement? 

Yes. You know that Jesus Christ is God and he is not limited. When Christ was here physically He demonstrated all that God is. He is omniscient (knowing everything), omnipotent (ability to do everything) and omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time). It is true that Jesus emptied Himself of His glory when he was coming to this world but he never emptied Himself of those attributes and that is why he could do many things that we are not able to do, but when we are baptised in the Holy Spirit we are gifted, despite that, it is still with measure. When you talk about the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (though some say it is more than that but at least we are sure of this nine) it is not possible to possess all the nine. Paul says “for we know in part and we prophesy in part.” If you have the gift of word of knowledge which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you can only know in part. There are things our Prophets will not know. In the Bible when the son of a certain woman died and the woman went to see Elisha, the Bible says Gehazi was about to push her away, but Elisha said, “leave her alone. Can't you see she's deeply distressed? And the Lord has not told me a thing about it.”That means the Holy Spirit was given to Elisha in measure. If our Prophets will be true to God who endowed them with the gifts, they will admit that there are things they don't know. As a Prophet there will be mysteries of life which you won't be able to explain. Just say I do not know. Even when you talk about the Bible, you can only know in part. It is only when we get to Heaven that our limited knowledge shall completely be swallowed in omniscience. When we get there we are going to know everything like He does. Tell me of any minister, either in the past or present that knows everything. Was it Babalola, Obadare or Idahosa? It is God that knows everything. Even Apostle Paul said “I am going to Jerusalem, what will happen to me there I do not know.” But he said “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.” There are things we don't know and we have to admit it. It was only Christ who had the Holy Spirit without measure, nobody can boast of that today.

Is it compulsory to speak in tongue once we receive the Holy Spirit?

This is Christ Apostolic Church, the first indigenous Pentecostal church in Nigeria and by the grace of God and the position that God has placed me I have no option than to defend what we believe. We have Bible Scholars in CAC who train in various Evangelical Bible colleges and they have imported what they are taught into our doctrine. There are some evangelical doctrines they have imported which we do not agree with. The evangelicals include the Anglican, Baptist, ECWA etc. You know pastoral ordination is always ongoing in CAC and before someone can qualify for ordination he must have been through at least one of our listed Bible Colleges, which, to me, is very dangerous. Because how can you have different entry points into the priesthood? It doesn't happen in some other churches. We have to maintain and uphold our own doctrine. Our evangelical brethren have always maintained that gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer needed for today. When I was in St. Louis Christian College in America, I used to have a lecturer with the name Prof. Boatman. Prof. Boatman was then a 70-year old American who had many degrees and he topped it all with Bachelor of Oratory. He was such a wonderful scholar. He was teaching us in class one day and he said 'Christ said I will build my church and the gate of hell shall not prevail over it'. He said when you want to build a house you need scaffolding to help you build and when you have completed the building you dismantle them (the scaffolding). He said when Christ was building His church He needed the gifts of the Holy Spirit to build it (just like how builders use scaffolding) and now that the church has been built, the scaffolding must be dismantled. There was this brother in our class from Haiti (Haiti is the only country founded by a black man outside Africa) with the name Gilbert. Brother Gilbert used to argue with Prof. Boatman. I called Brother Gilbert one day and I said “why are you arguing with this man”? He is only an American Professor. He has never travelled out of America since he was born. I told him “you are from Haiti, a country known for voodoo and demonic activities and you know how the power of the Holy Spirit is helping to counteract the activities of demons.  I started my ministerial training in 1969 and I trained for four years under the late Pastors Ogundiran and Akande in Ibadan. I went to Bible College and when I finished I taught in the same Bible College for three to four years before I went to a Pentecostal Bible College in England and I know what the Holy Spirit does. I came back and taught at the seminary for four more years before going to America for further studies. How can an American Professor who does not know more than America or its evangelical circle now teach me what I have experienced? We ought to be like Rhoda who went to the door when the church was praying for the release of Peter. The Bible says Peter was knocking at the door, a damsel came to open, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told the brethren that they should stop praying, their prayers have been answered because Peter was already at the door knocking. They said to her “you are mad.” One thing about the lady is that she didn't allow anybody to mock, threaten or coerce her out of her experience. By experience she has been to the door, she heard Peter and she was so convinced that this is Peter. She didn't allow their mockery and rebuke to stop her.

We Pentecostals of today have been to the door of the Holy Spirit, we have heard His voice, we know what the Holy Spirit does and we cannot deny what he has done among us. Coming back to your question, show me anywhere in the new testament where anyone was baptised with the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongue? On the day of Pentecost 120 of them were there. 12 of them were Apostles including Mathias who replaced Judas Iscariot. The rest 108 were church members and they were baptised with the Holy Spirit and they all spoke in tongues. When Philip went to preach in Samaria why did Simon the Sorcerer offer money to the Apostles in order to receive power? He must have seen some manifestations taking place. Simon witnessed how Peter and John placed hands on new believers who received the Holy Spirit. There are versions of the Bible which recorded that the new believers spoke in tongue after receiving the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongue is the initial evidence of the Holy Spirit which everyone who claims to have received the Holy Spirit must have. It is the initial evidence, but if there is initial evidence there must also be lasting evidence. The lasting evidence is the ability to witness for the Lord effectively. But when the Bible says “do all speak in tongues” it is not talking about the initial evidence of speaking in tongue, but the gifts of tongue which will bring message to the church, not all church members have that. Prophecy is a gift, tongue is a gift, but it is not the tongue you have when you initially receive baptism. That is meant for your personal use. Maybe while you are praying in your bedroom you speak in tongue. It is between you and God. It has nothing to do with somebody who has the gift of tongues and during service in church he begins to speak in tongue to bring a message and not every Christian has that gift. Not every Christian can have the gift of tongue but every Christian baptised with the Holy Spirit speaks in tongue as the initial evidence and it is two different things. As Pentecostals, it has always been our belief, experience and what we are taught that when you are baptised in the spirit something accompanies it, that is, you will speak in tongue. Some Christians or Christian workers including some of my friends who are being used greatly by God said they have asked God to speak in tongue and He said no.

What happens is that many of us are embarrassed that we don't want to speak in tongue when we were baptised in the spirit. I have a friend in America, Professor Nelson who is a child of God to the core. When we were young he said the day he received the Holy Spirit, he discovered a strange language was coming from his mouth and he stopped it. The Holy Spirit will only give you the utterance, but you have to speak out. Some of us were embarrassed we didn't speak out. Many of us have the ability to speak out we will not. Some will say “how would I know if this tongue is genuine?” When we ask in faith he gives us and we are still in doubt. We are thinking it is not from God.

Give us more explanation on the Holy Spirit and power. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, he breathed into his disciples. But as he was about to be taken up, he told them to stay in Jerusalem. He said “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come and upon you…”

Jesus breathed unto them because he was departing from them and he knew that they needed something in the interim to keep them going. It is like making a deposit. Although when we receive the Holy Spirit the spirit will receive Holy Spirit down payment. It is a seal that we belong to Him. The Holy Spirit we receive at Pentecost is a seal that we belong to him and when he comes he will take us up finally. Jesus breathed unto them because he knows they needed something in the interim. Then 40 days after that the Holy Spirit came in full force which signified that the Disciples belong to Him forever. The Holy Spirit is a spirit of power and we all need His power. This is what is lacking in some churches. We need power because there will always be manifestations of demons and we need something to counter all these manifestations. The church cannot do without Holy Spirit. It is true that we can preach but we need His power for the preaching to be effective and fruitful.

The Bible says there are diverse gifts of the Holy Spirit compared to the nine mentioned in the Bible. Are there more than nine of them?

The nine gifts are the main gifts that we know. The nine are divided into three which are power gift, revelation gifts and vocal gifts. Power gifts are miracle, healing and faith. Revelation gifts are knowledge, discernment of spirit and wisdom, while Vocal gifts are tongue, interpretation and prophecy. There are other spiritual gifts which I can't call minor but they don't belong to the same class with nine aforementioned gifts.

Is it wrong to pray without mentioning “in the name of God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit?”

We have to be very careful and we don't have to be very rigid about somethings. What is prayer? Prayer is a communication we make with Heaven. When we come to God we should approach Him in the name of Jesus. It is not necessary to call in the name of Jesus three times. It is the name of Jesus Christ that opens all doors. Probably you may not start with the name of Jesus, but by the time you finish praying you have to say “in Jesus name I pray.” We don't have to be dogmatic about it. Whenever you pray, you pray through Christ. Who are you to go to the presence of God if not for Jesus Christ? It was Jesus Christ that repairs the bridge that man can tread to get to God. We can only get to God through him. Muslims also pray, but they don't go to God through the appropriate channel and that is an insult to God. To think that you can get to God by other means different from means He offered you is an insult to Him. But God is gracious that is why His rain falls and sun shine on everyone. The Bible says “ask and you shall receive.” Someone said in his book that you may receive without asking, but you wouldn't have received from God. There is this general grace God releases on every human being. God releases on Christians, Muslims and even idol worshipers because he is gracious. But he answers us in a special way because we approach Him through the means he provides for the whole world which is by the name of Jesus Christ.

Was it God that sent the Holy Spirit after Jesus Christ had ascended unto heaven or it was Jesus Christ that sent Him?

Jesus Christ said when he was going that He will send us a comforter. Jesus Christ proceeded from the father and Holy Spirit proceeded from Jesus Christ. They know how they do their things in their kingdom.

Kenneth E. Hagin in one of his books said one can be baptised by the Holy Spirit and not have the fruit of the Spirit. Do you agree with this?

I totally agree with him. I said it earlier that when you become a Christian the seed of God which is “The Word” is deposited in you. If it falls on good ground it will begin to grow or germinate and then people will begin to see it in you. That is manifestation of the very character of Christ. You will become a tree and beginning to branch out fruit. People will beginning to see in you the very character of Christ and that is what is called the fruits of the Spirit. It is the manifestation of the nature of God in you that makes you a son or daughter of God. When you are baptised with the Holy Ghost, you shouldn’t be thinking it is all about gifts. If you don't strike the balance between the two you will be manifesting the gift and not the fruit. When you look at some of our popular ministers, especially the Prophets, there is jealousy, envy and bitterness among them. If you don't live on the word of God that envy, bitterness and others will manifest in you. A Christian can operate in either up or lower realm, it depends on you. When Rebecca became pregnant, she went to the house of God to know why there is always a struggling taking place in her womb. God said to her that two nations are in your womb, Jacob and Esau which represent the flesh and the spirit. God said the elder shall serve the younger. Whatever you are, you are first and foremost a canal person. We all have our Esau. When you become a Christian your Esau will still be there. Then the Spirit we receive on the day of conversion is the spirit of Jacob. He will be struggling against the spirit of Esau. The Bible says “for the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” This happens in the lives of Christians. Those who are not Christians they have the struggle because their lives are all about carnality. Meanwhile, if you feed yourself with carnality you will become a canal Christian. If you feed yourself with spirituality, you will become spiritual. The canal nature is not totally eradicated from us when we become Christians. Some years ago, I totally disagreed with my friend, Pastor Kumuyi when he was teaching “Sinless Perfection.” It is not attainable not here on earth. He said Christians can be perfect. Perfect to what extent? When the Bible says “Be ye perfect” it is telling us to amend our ways. When he said to Abraham, walk before me and be perfect, it's not sinless perfection, it is “amend your ways.” The perfection of man, at its best, is like the image God showed to Nebuchadnezzar. Head of gold, arms and breast of bras, stomach of silver, legs of iron and toes of mixture of iron and clay. If you see me in my gold part, you will want to say nobody is like Pastor Oladele, but the day I will show you my bronze you will say “how inferior could this man be”? Then if I show you my iron part, you will say ''is this not Pastor Oladele whose gold I saw?” When we become a Christian, we have the old and the new man, but the promise of God is that the elder shall serve the younger. That is when the flesh will want to say ‘I am here’, the younger will say ‘no, I am in charge’. If we don't feed the spiritual in us, carnality will take control. It is going to be like that until we get to heaven where there will be perfection of everything.

Do you agree with Ben Hinn who said Holy Spirit told him that sowing seed for healing or miracle or raising fund at the altar is like trading the gospel?

I am not surprised about what he said. Pastor Famuyide said it some years ago that prosperity message is a wave. It's going to pass one day. Bishop Wale Oke said recently that Christianity is not about prosperity. Thank God that some people are beginning to come back to the basics. It is not about feel good message. We have been saying this for years. It is rubbish to say “anointing without money results in annoyance.'' If you want to give, give because you love the Lord, not because you are going to get anything in return. We have to go back to the basic which is the Bible. We didn't receive this from our fathers and we thought they were fools, no. The Bible is there for us on how to get funds for the church. Paul wrote to those people that before my arrival make all the preparation. Your giving must be proportionate to your blessing. You don't need to bamboozle, manipulate or coerce people to give. If we carry the love of God in our hearts, nobody need to bamboozle us before we can give for His work. In gathering like that it doesn't matter what you say I'm not going to come out. I know my God, I know His working and I know His word. We have to return to the Bible. It is only in that measure that the church will be church indeed. Some people know how to misinterpret the scripture to suit their purpose.
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