INTERVIEW:Compliance to legacies of our church will improve if...- Pastor Obiwale

Pastor Gideon O. Obiwale

The DCC Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church, Osogbo Districts Coordinating Council (DCC), Pastor Gideon Oyewole Obiwale, in this interview with 'Gbenga Bankole speaks on his experience in the ministry, compliance of CAC members to church legacies and other interesting issues. EXCERPTS !

How would you describe your experience as a church member before becoming a Pastor?

During our own time in those days we were just going to church for going sake despite the fact that I come from a Christian family and my father was a Pastor. I and some people including my siblings were just going to church, not that we really believed, we were just Christians by name. We just knew that it is a normal thing to go to church. We were not born again. We went to church to dance, particularly during the “olope lope ye” segment of church service. We were doing that until we had an encounter with God and we changed. After I became born again, I was a member of Christ Apostolic Church Students' Association (CACSA) and Light of the World Society. I indeed experienced God being a member of CACSA while in school. I was taken to CACSA by my Aunt and it was a step that really brought a positive turnaround to my Christian journey.

Prophets are seen or known to be controversial ministers these days. What’s responsible for that?

Many of those controversial Prophets were not called by God, while some don’t even know their ministry. They believe that people respect Prophets and so they refer to themselves as Prophets, they are not real Prophets of God. We can detect a genuine Prophet of God by what he says. Coronavirus has exposed many false Prophets because their predictions never came to reality. They refer to themselves as Prophets, they are not Prophets of God. Elijah was known or referred to as Prophet by his work, gift and ministry. These days it is a case of ministers of God calling themselves Prophets, not people, like the case of Elijah.

Some people usually say I am a Prophet and Evangelist, but I don’t normally refer to myself as Prophet. They call me Prophet because whenever I stand in the midst of God’s people to minister, whatever I say usually comes to pass. Most of the Prophets we have these days are self acclaimed Prophets, they were not ordained by God.

How will you describe the attitude of modern day Prophets to money?

Their attitude shows that they are so conscious of money. I can say money is their main target. Their philosophy is “without money, God is not in you.” They don’t know the importance of patience and are in hurry to get money.

Having ministered in different meetings in Nigeria and abroad, how would you compare the brands of Christianity practiced in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world?

Nigeria has time for God, but in overseas there is no time. Time factor is the number one factor which makes Nigeria better compared to some countries. While one can preach for 1 hour and 30 minutes here in Nigeria, it is not the same in Europe or America. When I went to minister in a Redeemed Christian Church of God assembly in Dallas Texas, USA, I was given 20 minutes to preach. I was once given 10 minutes to anchor a prayer session at a particular programme abroad (Laughs). In Nigeria you can minister for as long as two hours.
Secondly, most of the things we do in CAC in terms of following the legacies of our forefathers don’t work in Europe. Holiness to God in terms of what you wear is minimal.
Thirdly, most of the ministers of God there are not full-time ministers.

As an experienced Pastor of different assemblies of CAC in Lagos and many places, how will you describe the extent of compliance to the legacies of CAC founding fathers?

 The legacies are not well put into action. It may surprise you to know that some of our Ministers don’t believe in CAC legacies. How can you be a Pastor or Prophet in CAC and you don’t believe in the legacies of our fathers? It is very ridiculous! There are Pastors in CAC whose daughters wear trousers. When I was posted to Amuwo Odofin DCC headquarters, I discovered that some of their women were using earrings. I rose against it one day and I told them that they should not wear them to church again. When I discovered it is almost resulting to a crisis, I told them that they should be removing it before entering into the church compound. They may decide to use it when they are not in church, but we can’t allow it in the church premises. If each minister in CAC can stand against the usage of earrings, women wearing trousers and other things that are against the legacies of our church, it will definitely stop.
Here in Latona, because we have school in our compound, a lot of people usually troop into our compound on daily basis, even those who use earrings and trousers. It was on a particular day that I asked the security personnel to stop them.
 Ministers who uphold these legacies are seen as those who are not civilized. Meanwhile, by the time the Pastor who is upholding the legacies is being transferred, the person that replaces him may not show interest in the legacies, but may even introduce his own and it is really affecting the growth of our church.  It is the ministers that we are producing that are eroding the legacies.

What do you think the authority of the church can do in this regard?

The church authority should be retraining our ministers and continually emphasizing it. Ministers who cannot uphold our legacies should leave the church. Irrespective of who you are, you cannot wear your shoes into Celestial Church, even if you are the President of Nigeria. They will never allow you into their premises. Some people believe that we are chasing away our members, particularly our youth due to our legacies. Meanwhile, Deeper Life Bible Church still maintains its standard till date and you can see that they have one of the biggest auditoriums in Lagos.

Do you see the hand of God in the raging coronavirus pandemic?

I can tell you that the hand of God is there. If you are spiritually sensitive you will know that since last year God has been saying that a calamity will come. I was on the mountain February this year God told me to tell members of CAC Latona that March and April of this year would be a tough month and we should prepare. I announced it to the congregation and we prayed about it. God said we should have a three-day prayer for us not to be victims of it which we did. God wants to use the present situation to reshape the world and individuals' lives.

There are insinuations that with the array of Prophets and healing Evangelists in Nigeria, churches should not have been shut but minister definite healing to the spiraling COVID-19 cases. What’s your take?

Coronavirus is a global pandemic which has been predicted many years ago. A pandemic of this type can never be stopped by anybody, except God. It is divine and nobody can stop it if God didn’t intervene. The Bible says the Men of Issachar knew how to read time, but most Pastors of these days don’t know how to read time. Coronavirus is not a thing that anybody can just say it would stop within the next three months. It is a thing that will linger. Usually we should continue to pray, but it is not the prayer that will stop it or take it away, it is God.
So many years ago during the time of Apostle Ayo Babalola, people were dying at Teachers' Training College in Efon-Alaye, Ekiti State. Babalola prayed when he got there but the death didn’t stop. Meanwhile, there was a Prophet known as “Woli jeje” whon God was using wonderfully. It was Woli jeje that Babalola asked to come and stay with the people of Efon which the Prophet did for one year before the strange death stopped. I believe strongly that COVID-19 would stop when God wants it to stop.

There has been so much talk about end time revival. What is revival and end time revival?

End time revival is a revival that has been divinely ordained which can never be initiated by anybody, but it would come at God’s appointed time.
Revival is for somebody to know his or her negativity and change it to positivity. Revival means bringing back to life of something that is dead. Revival is transformation to new life in Christ Jesus. It is transformation from worst to better, from better to the best. Most of the revival programmes we are holding these days are fund raising and parades. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that brings God’s own ordained revival which always brings positive change.

What form or direction are we expecting the end time revival to take?

No human can decide or predict it. Nobody can plan or arrange it. The emergence of Babalola was not arranged by anybody. The same way coronavirus caught us unaware is the same way end-time revival will start. God may not answer the prayer of any group of people who are praying for end-time revival because God doesn’t want anyone to take the glory that belongs to Him. God may not use those who are boastfully saying that God will use them for the revival. 

What is your advice to upcoming ministers of the gospel?

My advice to upcoming ministers is in five folds. Firstly, they should call themselves after God called them. Secondly, they should know their gifts and not be among those who want to imitate Pastor Adeboye, Pastor Kumuyi etc. There are a lot of imitators in the ministry these days. Thirdly, they should be patient. You can’t get to the top overnight, just be patient.  Fourthly, they should have a mentor. As old as I am I still have fathers in the Lord I call for counseling and prayers. Lastly, they should guide their families. Most ministers today don’t have families.


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