A few years ago, during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s first term in office as civilian president of Nigeria, God revealed to me that Obasanjo was doing some wrong things and was not leading Nigeria rightly. However, when Nigerians told him so, Obasanjo stubbornly refused to listen. Instead, he wrongly declared that what he was doing was what God had asked him to do! In the vision, I told Obasanjo that God was not pleased with him because he was leading the country on the wrong path and that God wanted him to change to the right course, but Obasanjo justified himself and refused to repent. Of course, we all know that Obasanjo is a self-proclaimed born-again Christian!!
And in a vision on Wednesday the 6th of February 2002, the LORD took me in the Spirit to see the renowned televangelist, Benny Hinn preaching and “performing miracles” in a crusade attended by a very large crowd. He also provided a lot of food for the attendees but, somehow, I couldn’t feast with his followers. Then the LORD enabled me to see Benny Hinn stage-managing a walk in the air! He profaned the Name of Jesus as he shouted Hallelujah and pretended to be walking in the air at about 15 feet above the ground. However, in reality, he was suspended like a muppet with rather invisible strings tied to his limbs and a huge tree. I was extremely disgusted at the profanity and rebuked him saying: “I thought, like most unsuspecting people, that you were a true man of God but you have shamelessly demonstrated and proven yourself to be false.”
Let us take to heart what God warns in the third of the Ten Commandments: “You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” – Exodus 20: 7 and Deuteronomy 5: 11. Furthermore, it is written: Judgement shall begin in the house of God. “Therefore, let us worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire!” – Hebrews 12: 28. It cannot be over-emphasized that God is never impressed with our “Hollywood Religiosity”!!!
However, we must not be discouraged or deterred from seeking, worshipping, obeying, following and proclaiming God; by our rightful disenchantment with the false servants of God and false religiosity!! The condemners of false religiosity must invariably be preachers and practitioners of true religiosity!! Otherwise, they would be hypocrites! And such hypocrisy is unforgivable!!
Religion is a two-way relationship between the Creator and mankind, just as marriage is the relationship between a husband and his wife. Religion is not a one-dimensional relationship; it is two-dimensional; God interacts with mankind just as a husband interacts with his wife.
The scriptures testify that God had regular fellowship (“physical” and social interaction) with Adam and Eve from their creation to, at least, shortly after they sinned and disobeyed God. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” – Genesis 3: 8 – 10. Even Cain who killed his brother Abel, had interaction with God: “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”– Genesis 4: 9.
Just as marriage can be marred by infidelity or other infractions, resulting in estrangement between a husband and his wife, so also can the relationship between the Creator and mankind be marred by man’s sin, disobedience and rebellion! It is obvious that mankind has become so estranged and distant from God, because of mankind’s sinfulness, disobedience and rebellion, that man now denies the existence of the Creator who created him!
Adam met and spoke with God so he could never have said that God did not exist. The same is true for all those who have seen God and spoken with God!!
Throughout the ages, God has had fellowship and interaction with mankind, as with Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Caleb, Deborah, Gideon, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Mary (the blessed mother of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ), Joseph (earthly father of Jesus), John the Baptist, Apostle Peter, John the Revelator, Apostle Paul (Saul of Tarsus), and many unknown prophets, men and women.
The truth is that God speaks to everybody, but not only to the prophets! However, some people (most people), by selfish desires, pride, arrogance and foolishness, refuse to tune their hearts and incline their ears to hear God. As a result, they don’t hear God even when he speaks to them very loudly!! How many times have we failed to hear what was being said to us by someone who was standing very close to us? We didn’t hear simply because we were not listening, not because the person was not talking loud enough or clear enough! We were distracted and were not paying attention. For example, there are many radio and television stations and channels that continuously broadcast thousands of news programs and other programs. We can hear a particular radio or television program only if we tune to that particular radio or television program. If we choose to listen to the CBS evening world news, and tune to it, we would forgo listening to the evening world news being broadcast at the same time by ABC, NBC, CNN and all other such television stations. Similarly, we would not hear God if we refuse to tune our hearts and incline our ears to him!!! It is crystal clear therefore that every person chooses whether or not to listen to God, hear God or hear from God.
Jesus, the good Shepherd, declares: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. – John 10: 27. Jesus also declares: “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” – John 8: 47.
How then do we listen to God? “The LORD said to Moses: Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: Be holy because I the LORD your God, am holy.” – Leviticus 19: 1 – 2. Furthermore, Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” – Matthew 5: 6. My people, the Ijaws “pomo” (sanctify) themselves before going to war and when they sin. When God wanted to meet with the assembly of the Israelites in the wilderness, he asked them to be clean (righteous and holy) because he is superlatively clean (righteous and holy) so that his cleanliness (righteousness and holiness) will not be compromised when he meets with them! If we were invited to meet with the Queen in Buckingham Palace, meet with the President at the White House or attend a wedding, we would dress cleanly, honorably, elegantly and gracefully. Similarly, we must be clean (righteous and holy) so that we can consummate our wonderful relationship with our righteous and holy Creator who loves us with an everlasting love and longs to bestow on us outstanding eternal glory and riches that this ephemeral world can never give us!
Jesus declared: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5: 8. How can we see God if he is formless? The scriptures testify emphatically that God created man in his image and likeness: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image and likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1: 26 – 27. “The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake.” – Psalm 99: 1. “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.” – Isaiah 40: 22.
How then can we see God? Can any great scientific or technological equipment, such as the Hubbell Telescope, enable mankind see God? No!! As already shown above, Jesus declared: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5: 8. In this regard, the Scriptures command us thus: “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12: 14. It is also written: “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.” – Psalm 24: 3 – 4.