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All scriptural quotations in this book are from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright© 2021 by Abiodun Jemilohun

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the copyright holder, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

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Dedicated to all lovers of the truth of the Gospel worldwide

Table of Contents




Chapter 1

The Road to Chaos

Chapter 2

The Fulcrums of The Reformation

Salvation by Personal Merit

Chapter 3

Usurping God’s Authority

Chapter 4

Changing the Definition of the Church

Chapter 5

The Clergy-Laity Dichotomy

Chapter 6

Moving in a Circle

Chapter 7

A Postmortem of the Reformation

Chapter 8

Who is on the Lord’s Side?

Would You do Me a Favor?

Other Books by the Author

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In 2017, about 500 years after the Reformation that began on 17th October 1517, in Wittenberg, Germany, there was an escalation of the simmering demand for another Reformation of the Church. While the objection to the status quo appears to be global, Nigeria seems to be the epicenter this time around. Since then, many commentators have voiced their concerns through social media about the numerous erroneous doctrines and unbiblical practices that have invaded the present-day Church and demanded a change.

Some people have condemned this new demand and labeled it “Church bashing” but a careful look at Church history suggests this response is incorrect. Considering the similarities between the state of the present Church and that of the Medieval Church and the timing, one cannot but conclude that, as chaotic as it is, this current agitation is not a coincidence.

In this treatise, we shall attempt to explore the state of the Medieval Church at the commencement of the Reformation and compare it to the current state of the Church, using Nigeria as a case study, to see if the call for another Reformation is truly warranted.

Be blessed as you read.

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Chapter 1

In the beginning, there were no Christian denominations. Local Churches were called by the name of the cities or the communities in which they were situated. So, there was the Ephesian Church, Philadelphian Church, Antioch Church, Jerusalem Church etc.

There were also no formal physical buildings for the gathering of believers. They gathered in any free and safe space they could get such as houses of members and church leaders, riversides, open spaces, caves etc. Though some local assemblies were called by the names of the leaders such as "the Church in the house of Philemon" (Phil 2), "the Church in the house of Priscilla and Aquila" (Rom 16:3-5), etc. in scriptures, this was mainly for reference purposes. There were no divisions or denominations, the Church was the Church. Believers moved freely within the Church from one place to the other.

The leadership structure of the Early Church was Presbyterian in nature. That is, the Church was governed by a body of elders as we see in the book of Acts and the Apostolic Epistles. Although there were gifted men who lead the Jerusalem Church, no single person could claim ownership of the Church like we have today, especially among the Pentecostals. Not even Peter, the most eminent of the apostles, could dominate the Church. He was accountable to the body of elders. So also, was James the brother of our Lord Jesus who was the local presiding elder at Jerusalem. They were all subject to one another. Major decisions in matters of doctrine and practice were jointly taken after thorough deliberations. (Acts 15:1-29)

As Christianity spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the Roman Empire, Churches outside Judea looked up to the Jerusalem Church for leadership, generally, in the first century AD. They had local elders like the Jerusalem Church but the leadership structure was essentially Presbyterian. (1Tim 3:1-6; Tit 1:5-9)

However, the leadership of the Church began to increasingly become patriarchal over time. By the 4th century AD, the bishops of the major Roman metropolis began to take control of the other cities and towns in their respective Roman administrative jurisdictions. At the initial stage, four Patriarchs became more prominent than the others: The Patriarchs of Rome in Italy, Jerusalem in Palestine, Antioch in Syria and Alexandria in Egypt. The Jerusalem Patriarch was given recognition largely for historical purposes. There were not many people living in Jerusalem at that time. After the seat of power of the empire was moved to Constantinople in present-day Turkey, the Patriarch of the city also became a metropolitan bishop. These were altogether called the Pentarchy (the five Patriarchs).

In the first three centuries of Christianity, the bishops of Rome were obscured figures, many of who suffered martyrdom. By the 4th century AD, after Constantine became the Roman Emperor and declared Christianity legal, the Roman bishops began to attain supremacy over the other Patriarchs in the empire.

Although the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, defined at the First Vatican Council (1870), says Jesus Christ established the papacy (the Pope’s Office) with apostle Peter as the first Pope, an objective survey of Church history says otherwise.

Church history shows that the concept of papal primacy over the whole Church was established slowly over a long time. Leo I who became the bishop of Rome in AD 440 was the one that provided a theoretical backing for the doctrine of apostolic succession of the Roman papacy. Although he supported this by the words of Jesus in Matt. 16: 13-19; Luke 22: 31-32; and John 21: 15-17, he obviously took these Bible verses out of context.

The doctrine of apostolic succession states that Peter was the first Roman Catholic Pope and all the other Popes in succession derived their authority from him as the Vicar (representative) of Christ and the head of the Church on earth.

While the official language of the Empire was Latin, the Eastern region of the Empire, previously governed by the Greeks, retained the Greek language as its lingua franca. Hence, there was a natural language division of the Empire/Church to the Latin (Western) and Greek (Eastern) divisions but the Church was one.

In the course of time, the Roman bishops (Popes) continued to gain power and became the ecclesiastical head of the Western Church. By the fact that Constantinople was then the seat of power, the Patriarch of Constantinople also became more powerful, leading to a battle for supremacy between him and Roman Patriarch (Pope).

The struggle for supremacy in doctrinal and political influence between the two Patriarchs continued until the 11th century AD (1054) when the Western and Eastern Churches officially split into two. This is called the Great Schism or the East-West schism.

The Western Church consisted of Churches in Western Europe, a few in Eastern Europe and a part of North Africa with the Pope as the head. This is the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Church consisted of the Greek Church, the Orthodox Churches in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East and the former Byzantine region of Africa. This is the Eastern Orthodox Church. This was the beginning of denominationalism.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has remained largely one, apart from the oriental Churches, led by the Patriarch of Alexandria that differentiated itself because of Christological differences. It also has several of the unscriptural doctrines and practices of the Western Church and remains unreformed because it did not participate in the Reformation.

As Western Europe was neglected by the Roman Emperors who resided in Constantinople, the Pope became the de facto political leader of the region since nature abhors a vacuum. Thence, the doctrine of papal supremacy became more established.

Different unscriptural traditions, doctrines, and practices were established by successive Popes because they could not be questioned. These continued for a thousand years when Martin Luther came on the scene to paste his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church outlining the erroneous teachings and practices of indulgence by the Western Church. This action technically marked the beginning of the second schism in the Church leading to the three major branches of Christianity we have today: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. Therefore, the myriads of Church denominations we see today are the offspring of the Roman Catholic Church.

About 400 years after Protestantism began, the Pentecostal movement that emphasizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit (with the evidence of speaking in new tongues) broke out on Azusa street from 1906 to 1915. Some other movements have occurred within the Pentecostal circle since its inception that helped shape it to its current state.

Due to the unregulated nature of Pentecostalism, certain vices which are similar to the pre-reformation problems of the Medieval Church such as disregard for sound biblical exegesis in doctrinal promulgation, authoritarianism, avarice, administrative opacity and lack of regard for social justice crept in, which are now spreading to the general body of Christ. Although these problems are present globally, they seem to be more pronounced in the Nigerian/African Church.

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Chapter 2

There are four critical questions the Reformers sought to answer in order to restore the Church to the pattern laid down by the apostles of Christ. These include:

We shall from this point forward approach this treatise with these questions in mind to bring clarity to the present chaos. We have to state here that the issues of concern do not apply to all the ministries and ministers of the Gospel so as not to fall into the error of overgeneralization. There are several ministers of the Gospel in Nigeria and worldwide who are above board in their service to God. However, the pervasiveness of the problems is the subject of concern.

How is a person saved? In answering the critical question of how a sinful person could find peace with God, the Reformers responded by siding with the Bible that justification or righteousness is obtained by grace through faith in Christ alone. They asserted that good works do not make a man righteous, but a righteous man must of necessity do good works.

“24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 3:24)

“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

“16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16-17)

The Reformers had five battle cries, called the “Five Solas”, four of which were directly related to the salvation of mankind.

  1. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). The Scripture comes before human authority or tradition.
  2. Sola Fide (faith alone). Faith takes precedence above works.
  3. Sola Gratia (grace alone). Grace over merit
  4. Solus Christus (Christ alone). Christ is the only mediator between God and man.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone). All the glory must be to God and not to man.

The second to the fifth Sola have been weaved together to portray clearly the foundation upon which our salvation rests: "Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone."

The Medieval Church taught that righteousness before God is attained by both faith in Christ and personal merit. In addition to faith in Christ, the individual has to maintain good works and pay penance for sins committed. The doctrine of penance stipulates that the Christian should confess his sins to the priest who would then grant him absolution (pardon) after repentance. Not only that, the individual may need to inflict physical punishment in form of fasting, flagellation, and pseudo-crucifixion on himself as a sign of remorse in order to get God's forgiveness.

To reduce the severity of the penance the penitent needs to pay, the doctrine of indulgence was introduced. This involves the performance of good works in replacement of penance. The doctrine of indulgence was later commercialized and interpreted to mean that monetary payments could be made to the Church for the release of the souls of relatives who were held in Purgatory for the temporal consequences of their sins to heaven. In other words, salvation could be procured for dead relatives with money by the living.

Why was the indulgence commercialized? In the book “Tithe and Giving in the Christian Church: Setting the Record Straight”, we explained how tithing was introduced into Christianity. We mentioned that it was initially agricultural produce like it was under the Mosaic Law but was later monetized in order to fund the elaborate priestly hierarchical order and the numerous building projects of the Medieval Church. The commercialization of indulgence also became inevitable as large sums of money were needed to prosecute the crusades (holy wars) and the building of the medieval cathedrals.

In order to cajole more people to pay indulgence, Johann Tetzel, the Grand Commissioner for indulgences in Germany was reported to have overstretched the Church’s position on the doctrine and became known for the couplet:

“As soon as the gold in the casket rings

The rescued soul to heaven springs”

We see today that the Pentecostal Movement has gone full circle to the position of Medieval Roman Church that righteousness is obtained by both faith in Christ and personal merit. Although they may not say this explicitly, this inference could be easily made by several of their teachings and practices. For example, the Pentecostals teach that whoever does not pay tithe is a robber who is under God's curse. We know that no robber or a divinely cursed person can make heaven. So, we see that the Pentecostals are essentially teaching that we cannot be saved without personal merit. It should trouble any Christian who knows the truth that the salvation of mankind is now being tied to payment of tithe. How is this different from payment of indulgence? How is this different from the concept of procurement of salvation with money?

We know that all the attendant benefits of life in Christ are freely given as the Bible says. The Pentecostals explicitly teach that to obtain the blessing of God one has to give money to Him through “the anointed” (someone who claims to have an anointing for prosperity) or an “anointed ministry” (the ministry of “the anointed”). This comes in various forms: tithe, seed-faith offering, 24-hour miracle offering, firstfruit, firstborn redemption offering etc. This concept has been adequately treated in the book “Anatomy of the Prosperity Gospel” by this author.

“32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)

We know how the Pentecostals began to lay undue emphasis on tithing despite that the Roman Church no longer places much emphasis on it. They have also introduced various schemes of collecting money from their members in order to prosecute their own pet projects that may not necessarily be related to the core message of the Gospel.

Contrary to the teaching of the Bible that salvation and answers to prayers are obtained on the merit of Christ who is the only mediator between God and man, the Roman Church teaches that apart from Christ the mediator, there is the mediatrix in the person of the Virgin Mary and a retinue of canonized saints whom the Christian can petition to pray on his behalf to God. They teach that the believer can obtain favor from God through the accumulated merits and virtues of these saints.

“5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.” (1Ti 2:5-6)

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Act 4:12)

We see this concept of secondary intermediaries between God and the Christian in the Pentecostal circle in the form of founders and leaders of denominations by whose names members of respective denominations now petition God.

In addition to the doctrine of penance and indulgence, there was the use of “holy objects” like the cross, the images of Jesus and Mary and holy relics (relics of dead saints) in prayer, worship and for protection as the case may be. The holy relics were eventually commercialized and became an important source of revenue. It is disheartening that practices that are similar to these have also become entrenched in the Pentecostal-Charismatic circle. The use of anointing oil, holy water, holy mantles (holy handkerchiefs) in prayer has been elevated to an idolatrous level. Some now use pictures of their leaders for protection. These objects, together with other objects like olive oil and prayer shawl from the Holy Land, the water and sand of river Jordan etc. have also been commercialized.

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Chapter 3

Where does religious authority lie? As against medieval Western traditional view that religious authority lies with the Roman Church, headed by the Pope, the Reformers averred that religious authority lies in the Word of God as found in the Bible. This is the crux of the first of the five Solas (Sola Scriptura) and it is the basis of the others.

“I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” (Psa 138:2)

“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Tim 3:16-17)

“19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2Pet 1:19-21)

The Roman Church traditionally derives its authority from the Bible, various Church traditions that are mostly unsubstantiated by Scripture and the authority of the Pope. The doctrine of the primacy of the Pope elevated him to a position of infallibility as the representative of Christ on earth.

Contrary to the injunction of our Lord Jesus Christ that spiritual leadership should be servant-leadership oriented and not patterned after worldly leadership, that places the leader on a pedestal above the followers, the Roman Church practically elevated the papacy to the level of a supreme monarch. They exercised absolute power over the Church and lived in humongous luxury in medieval times.

“25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mat 20:25-28)

The word of the Pope was given the same authority as the written Word of God. In matters of doctrine and practice, the Pope’s word was final. He could not be questioned or challenged since he was infallible. This resulted in the promulgation of different unscriptural doctrines and superstitions by the various individuals who occupied the office.

The Old Testament scriptures were written in the Hebrew language, generally, although the Aramaic language was used in the books of Daniel, Ezra, and a few other books, while the New Testament scriptures were written in the Greek language. The Hebrew Old Testament was translated into the Greek language at the request of Ptolemy II, a Greek king of Egypt. The translation was done from the 3rd to the 2nd century BC for keeping in the Alexandrian library. The only other language, apart from Greek, that had a complete translation of the holy scriptures was the Latin language.

In order to keep the people in perpetual spiritual ignorance, the authorities of the Roman Church took away the Bible from the people claiming only the priests could accurately interpret it. They also prevented it from being translated to any other language apart from Latin for more than a thousand years until John Wycliffe supervised the translation of the entire Latin Vulgate to the English language in the late 14th century AD (1383-1395).

The first English translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek was conducted by William Tyndale in the 16th century AD. The authorities of the Roman Church were enraged by this work. They banned it and burnt its copies. Tyndale was declared a heretic, defrocked and turned over to the civil authorities to be strangled and burnt at stake.

We stated in Chapter 1 that the leadership pattern laid down by the apostles of Christ for the Church was Presbyterian. Some of the Reformers made effort to revert to this pattern from the authoritarian patriarchal model of the Medieval Church. This is why some of the reformed churches, apart from the Anglican and Methodist churches that operate an episcopal model (leadership by bishops), maintain Presbyterian or Congregational models of leadership. Although the modern Roman Catholic Church is still largely episcopal, it is no longer authoritarian as was the case during the Middle Ages.

Contrary to the instruction of our Lord Jesus and His apostles that Christian leaders are meant to serve the brethren in love and humility and not lord it over the flock, it is very troubling that we are seeing an increasing authoritarian model of leadership among many Pentecostal churches.

“25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mat 20:25-28)

“1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” (1Pe 5:1-4)

Just like the Roman papacy of old, the words of the Pentecostal denominational heads have been technically elevated to the level of the Holy Scripture that must not be challenged even when it is clear they are unscriptural. Whereas there was one Pope whose authority must not be questioned in the Medieval Church, we now have numerous modern Popes in the Pentecostal denominational heads whose words are a law to the followers.

A departure from sound biblical exegesis and systematic theology to personal interpretation of the Bible has led to a proliferation of strange doctrines and practices that are in complete contradiction to the letter and spirit of the Scripture. Rather than direct the people to God and His holy word, many of the Pentecostal denominational heads covertly and overtly direct the people to themselves, the “anointing” on their lives and their “commission”. No one dares question them as they threaten the flock with invocation of curses.

In the build-up to the 2015 general election, a popular Nigerian Pentecostal preacher declared that he would open the gate of hell on those who opposed his preferred presidential candidate. Contrary to all scriptural evidence, another very popular one categorically declared that anyone who does not pay tithe will not make heaven. It seems to me that some of these leaders believe that God has handed over to them the keys of the gates of hell and heaven, giving them the authority to use them as they wish. We are thankful that God remains God and man remains man.

Whether by intention or otherwise, many Pentecostal leaders feed the flock consistently with the milk of the word, thereby preventing them from becoming matured Christians whom God intends for them to be. The fact that a reasonable number of popular Gospel ministers that have large followership are no longer teaching the basic tenets of the Christian faith but prefer to teach motivational messages, the "prosperity gospel", the "fall down and die gospel" etc. should give us a lot of concern.

This deviation is, to my mind, the strongest threat to the future existence of Christianity in Nigeria. Whether we like it or not we will be persecuted for the sake of Christ but if we teach the people the Gospel, no one can take it from them. Jesus said, "I will build my Church and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it." Church history has proven that if we stay true to the truth of the Gospel, no external force can defeat the Church.

We must settle it in our minds that the Gospel can neither be modernized nor modified. The message is still about the old rugged cross and the risen Christ. Anyone who has been called to preach the Gospel but chooses to consistently preach a message that is not related to the core Gospel message is inadvertently preaching another gospel. Such a person has constituted himself to be an enemy of the cross of Christ. Although we have been wrongly programmed to believe that external forces are our enemies, the real enemies are those amongst us that are preaching another gospel.

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Chapter 4

What is the Church? As opposed to the traditional medieval view that the Church was a sacred hierarchy headed by the Pope, the Reformers returned to the original position of the early Christians that the Church is a community of believers (saved people) in which all are priests called to offer spiritual sacrifices to God.

According to traditional medieval belief, an individual had to belong to the visible Church to be a part of the kingdom of God. Church membership was not voluntary, one automatically becomes a member of the Roman Church by birth as a citizen of the empire. This was the origin of infant baptism. In fact, forced conversion was the norm in the frontiers of the empire.

Whoever was excommunicated from the Church by the Pope was believed to have been removed from the kingdom of God. Such an individual automatically becomes a son of perdition. Hence, everyone dreaded the anathema declaration of the Pope like an eternity in hellfire itself. The Popes of medieval times used this power to the full to subjugate the people, especially the recalcitrant monarchs and princes of the realm who ordinarily would not have submitted themselves to the authority of the Roman Church.

We see today that Church membership has been practically reduced to membership of denominations. Many Christians and Church leaders cannot see beyond their denominations and their pet doctrines. Some go as far as believing and asserting openly that only their members would make heaven. It matters not to them whether the person is born again or not, the most important criterium for fellowship and making heaven is denominational membership. Isn’t this incredible?

We have heard several Pentecostal leaders claim they have prophetic covering for their followers. How God outsourced His protection over His children to these leaders remains a subject of research. Some even go to the extent of threatening their members that evil will befall them if they withdrew their membership from the denomination as they would lose the prophetic covering!

Due to the prevailing lack of scriptural understanding of the time, physical building became the house of God instead of the individual and collective bodies of believers as the Bible says in the Medieval Church. Undue emphasis on the building of magnificent cathedrals called “churches” became the norm.

“16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (1Cor 3:16-17)

“19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Co 6:19-20)

Whereas the Bible states clearly that God does not dwell in houses built by human hands but resides in the hearts of believers, the then Church behaved as if physical buildings were the abode of the Almighty God. The leadership went to far-reaching lengths and used both ethical and unethical means to raise funds for the construction of the cathedrals while neglecting the welfare of the people.

We see a repeat of this error among Christian ministries today. Huge sums of money are being used to build gigantic auditoriums they call "churches", forgetting that God does not dwell in houses built by human hands. The leadership, like Solomon of old, heap heavy burdens on the people with their incessant demands for monetary contributions for these projects even in the midst of pervasive poverty.

“47 But Solomon built Him a house. 48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the place of My rest? (Act 7:47-49)

“24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” (Acts 17:24-25)

Some also employ tricks and unethical means to raise these funds. Though it may be alright to have a modest building for congregating believers, it becomes a source of concern when ministry success is defined by the size of the church building. It seems many can't get it that God is more interested in people than in physical buildings and that the true Church is the people and not the building.

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Chapter 5

What is the essence of Christian living? Again, the Reformers aligned themselves with the position of the Bible in answering this question that serving God in any useful calling, whether ordained or lay is the essence of Christian living. In other words, there is no distinction between the ordained minister and the lay people; every believer in Christ is a minister of God who ministers the grace received to others through his life and work. Every believer is a priest of God who ought to offer his life and services as a continuous offering on the altar.

“1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:1-2)

“You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pet 2:5)

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1Pet 2:9)

However, this position is in total contradiction to the belief of the Roman Church that created an artificial distinction between the clergy and the laity. The clergy was seen as superior to the laity both in terms of relationship with God and service to man. In order to strengthen this artificial distinction, the Roman Church created an elaborate ministerial hierarchical order similar to what obtained under the Mosaic Law whereby the Pope occupies a position similar to that of the High Priest, the bishops function like the chief priests, the priests (the referend fathers) are like the low-ranking priests and the nonordained workers are like the Levites who worked under the supervision of the priests.

Due to the special privileges that were given to the clergy, several morally bankrupt persons who had no call of God on their lives opted for the ministry. As medieval clergy accumulated influence and privileges over the people, they controlled a substantial proportion of the land, a major instrument of wealth creation, and became wealthy and corrupt. Together with the aristocrats, they lived in opulence and excessive luxury amid an extremely poor people of the time. There was more or less an unholy alliance between the clergy and the temporal rulers to seat on the Commonwealth and keep the people perpetually subjugated. This flagrant disregard for social justice among the clergy led to the advent of monasticism (monkhood) whereby pious individuals who were worried by the excesses of the clergy took the vow of voluntary poverty, celibacy and social seclusion to render a lifetime of service to God.

Isn’t it interesting that we now have a repeat of the clergy-laity dichotomy in the modern Church? This is even more pronounced among the Pentecostals who ordinarily ought to know better since they claim strict adherence to Scripture. It is a reality today that a reasonable number of popular Pentecostal ministers have elevated themselves to celebrity status. They live in pomp and pageantry with a retinue of security details that make it very difficult for the ordinary members of the flock to access them.

The corrupt modern ministers find it so difficult to live the simple life the Bible prescribes for ministers of the Gospel. Access to them is sometimes dependent on the social status of the inquirer. There is an intense race for accumulation of material possessions and status symbols almost amounting to an unhealthy competition between ministers of different denominations. Some are now claiming they need private jets to preach the Gospel and have gone ahead to acquire them with money contributed by the people. Isn’t this incredible? There also appears to be an unholy alliance with the temporal rulers because many high-ranking Nigerian clergies can’t speak truth to power when it really matters.

“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge,
And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” (Mal 2:7)

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Chapter 6

In a nutshell, the Church has gone full circle to its pre-reformation position, especially among the Pentecostals. Virtually all the things that make Christianity attractive to non-Christians have been taken away from the religion in Nigeria by the twin evil of the “prosperity gospel” and the “fall-down-and-die theology” (this theology specializes in killing human enemies spiritually).

It was said of the Early Church that despite the hostility of the Roman Empire and its citizens to the religion, the believers eventually disarmed and won the empire over by their simplicity, love for the brethren and their enemies, steadfastness and patience in the face of persecution, integrity, a general disposition to peace and the brilliance of early Christian apologists. Can we, in all honesty, say of these concerning the Nigerian Church of today?

Several suggestions and attempts were made by various individuals to reform the Medieval Roman Church from within before the Reformation began in the 16th century AD, but just like all previous attempts to reform religion were treated, these were all summarily dismissed and crushed by the authorities. Anyone who dared the authority of the Church was declared a heretic and excommunicated or martyred as occasion dictated.

For example, John Wycliffe (1330s-1384), an Oxford professor of theology, challenged the issues we have raised in this treatise and several others and advocated for reform. In addition to this, he supervised the translation of the Latin Vulgate to the English language because he believed that the Church cannot be effectively reformed without getting the Bible into the hands of the common people in the language they are familiar with.

When the Church authorities would not listen to Wycliffe, he turned to the common people in the cottages and towns. He garnered enough support that prevented the Church authorities from moving against him. However, his followers were persecuted and forced to renounce their views. After his demise, the Church authorities declared him a heretic and excommunicated him retroactively, banned his writings, exhumed his body, burnt it and cast the ashes into the river.

Another Reformation harbinger was John Huss (1339-1415) of Bohemia (Czech Republic) who was influenced by John Wycliffe. He also advocated for reform within the Roman Church but he was declared a heretic and burnt on 6th July, 1415 after attempts to make him recount proved abortive. If the then Church had taken heed to these voices, she would have been spared the needless fragmentation we now have.

While we continue to criticize and label the men and women who are asking critical questions about the biblically unfounded doctrines and practices that have become so entrenched amongst us, we would be wise to recognize that it is neither the performance of miracles nor the building of cathedrals that sustained the existence of Christianity till date but the “intellectual” endeavors of men like the apostle Paul, the early Christian apologists like Tertullian, Clement, Origen, Athanasius and several others after them like Martin Luther and his contemporary Reformers who helped to distill and crystallize the essential elements of the Christianity faith for easy understanding. But for these gifted teachers, the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ would have long been assimilated into the myriads of human traditions, superstitions, and philosophies that coexisted with it from inception. They are the ones who through the fruits of their labor realigned the Church to the original plan that was once delivered to the saints and prevented the Gospel light from quenching.

We see God is beginning to raise such men at this crucial hour of derailment from the truth of the Gospel but instead of appreciation, all we give them is castigation and ostracism. The fact remains, the truth they are espousing will, by all means, go out to the ends of the earth because it is an idea whose time has come. If we succeed in our effort to silence them or they choose to keep quiet at this hour, God will raise a thousand and one others to replace them.

The answer to bad theology is not silence. It is by countering the wrong theologies that have been introduced into the Church with scripturally sound theology and force of reasoning we can win over the people in error, the skeptics and cynics to our side. Indeed, we may not be able to attain sinless perfection while we are still on this side of eternity, but we can attain a perfect understanding of the truth of the Gospel, according to the Bible. We must, by all means, prevent ignorance and the pride of man to plunge the Nigerian Church and the African Church, by extension, into the over 1,000 years of darkness the Medieval Church experienced.

“11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” (Eph 4:11-14)

Some have said we should not challenge the errors of the elders that are before us in order to maintain the traditional African respect for the elders. We would be wise to realize that human position, status, influence, age, and authority have no place in the declaration and proclamation of the truth of the Gospel. It has to be said exactly as it is. There is no place for any sentiment whatsoever since the truth has sufficient inherent authority. It needs no external support.

“But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man - for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.” (Gal 2:6)

The most eminent of the ministers of the Gospel are not always the most steadfast in upholding the truth of the Gospel. Sometimes it is the least of the brethren that are the most faithful. For example, Peter who was the most eminent apostle of his day was unable to consistently uphold the truth of the Gospel. It was Paul who was the least of the apostles that stood firm to keep the truth of the Gospel intact for us who were to come after them. But for him, Christianity would have permanently become a religion of fables and absurd superstitions. Anyone could have introduced any new invention and it would have stood.

“11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?” (Gal 2:11-14)

Christianity originated from Palestine and firstly expanded to the other countries in the Middle East which are today’s Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey (Asia Minor) Iraq, Iran; then to North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria), Europe and Ethiopia in East Africa (this arrangement is not necessarily chronological). The Apostle Paul, in particular, labored fervently in some of the major cities and regions of Asia minor like Ephesus, Galatia, Phrygia, Laodicea, Colossae etc. Unfortunately, Christianity is no longer a force to be reckoned with in the Asian and North African countries where it first blossomed today.

Christianity has also seriously nosedived in Europe. Although God gave Europe a second chance to go back to the truth of the Gospel through the Reformation, the countries that experienced the Protestant Reformation like Bohemia, Germany, Switzerland, England, Wales, Scotland, the Scandinavian countries etc. soon lost their fervor and focus to dead religion. Thereafter, the people gradually discarded the religion for atheism and secularism as they became more intellectually enlightened and economically prosperous. The damage had already been done through the centuries of religious perversion, oppression and subjugation they experienced. The bitterness of the past religious manipulation and oppression is with the people till today despite that the current generation did not directly experience the raw power of corrupt religion as they look at Christianity with suspicion and derision. In addition to atheism and secularism, some of the people are now turning to the religions of the East to fill the vacuum. I am afraid the Nigeria/African Church seems to be heading in this wrong direction. Unless urgent actions are taken to halt the current trend, a wrong history will inevitably repeat itself right before our eyes.

The voices of the Prophets and Reformers are ringing again as of old, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

“7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness.” (Heb 3:7-8)

To be honest, most of the criticisms the Christian faith has been receiving in Nigeria are valid. To pretend that the Nigerian Church has not been invaded by pernicious doctrines and practices that could exterminate her existence in the future is to deny reality. It is a given, many people will have no reason to accept Christ in the future as they become more enlightened and the economy of the nation prospers if this trend is not checkmated. In fact, it is already happening. Many of our educated young men and women are already disillusioned with the perverted version of Christianity that is predominant in the country. An increasing number of these educated young people are withdrawing their membership from the Church denominations to either become lone-ranging Christians or atheists. Should we allow this to continue?

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Chapter 7

We must be thankful for the work of the frontline Reformers of the 16th century who staked their lives to denounce several of the unscriptural practices of the Roman Catholic Church such as penance, indulgence, holy relics, purgatory, pilgrimages and five of the sacraments. They boldly confronted these issues with the full weight of the Scripture at a time it was a death sentence to do so. But for their legendary courage, the Gospel message would probably have become a tale that could save no one.

Nevertheless, a keen observer cannot but acknowledge that the leaders of the movement were not without some significant shortcomings. Although they claimed submission to scriptural authority (Sola scriptura), they defaulted in several areas doctrinally and practically. In reality, they saw their limited understanding of Scripture as the final spiritual authority and not the Scripture. They also seemed to have deferred to political expediency and not the authority of Scripture in some instances.

Though the Reformers understood and taught the priesthood of believers, they did not practice it. They maintained the clergy-laity dichotomy just like the Roman Catholic Church, though they changed the nomenclature of the leaders from priests to ministers. They did not go further enough in their reform to allow the local church to function as the Bible says. Despite knowing that the Church is the people and not the building, their legacy denominations continue to build costly large cathedrals like the Roman Church.

Whereas there was one Pope who could not be questioned in the Mediaeval Church, the frontline Reformers became the Popes of the various sections of the movement who could not be questioned. These front-liners like Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli could not humbly reconcile their doctrinal differences under the guidance of the Holy Spirit like we see in Acts of the Apostles. Moreover, they tended to be very intolerant of dissenting views and used unscriptural methods such as physical punishment and death to suppress and subdue those who disagreed with them.

As the Reformation continued, a group of believers discovered that infant baptism, as the then Church practiced, is unscriptural. The Bible prescribes baptism for the repentant and not for infants who cannot decide for Christ. This group was given the appellation Anabaptists because they practiced rebaptism for the repentant who previously had infant baptism (the word Anabaptist means the one who baptizes again). These people also discovered that the union of the State and the Church as practiced by the Medieval Church was unscriptural. In addition, the Anabaptists preached against the socioeconomic inequality that was pervasive in Europe at that time.

Knowing that the discoveries of the Anabaptists are the Scripture’s position, one would have expected the frontline Reformers to align themselves with these positions and face the consequences. Unfortunately, they did not align for political expediency. Both the Protestants and the Roman Catholics persecuted these brethren severely even to death for daring to obey and teach scriptural revelation. Indeed, the Protestants, under Zwingli, were the first to persecute them, with Felix Manz becoming the first martyr in 1527. Many of them were tortured and thousands executed by both the Protestants and the Roman Catholics.

We must bear in mind that some of the Reformers, including Martin Luther and John Calvin, were Augustinian scholars. They took aspects of Augustine's (354 AD – 430 AD) theology they considered relevant, fine-tuned, and used them. They were right where he was right and erred where he erred. For example, Augustine was the one who laid the doctrinal foundation for the Church to use physical force to correct dissenters. The Western Church took advantage of this to justify torture and killing of dissenters. Unfortunately, the Reformers replicated this error.

We must admit that the Reformers replicated several of the practices and cruelty of the Roman Catholic Church they criticized. The frontline Reformers continued to baptize infants despite their justification by faith preaching (an infant cannot exercise faith in Christ) and ran churches that were married to the State. This is why their legacy denominations in Europe are still owned or controlled by the European States.

Several of the Reformers knew that tithing is not the New Testament way to finance the Gospel but they continued to collect tithes like the Medieval Church (kindly refer to the book “Tithe and Giving in the Christian Church” by this author). This attitude also showed in other areas such as soteriology and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the Church.

In response to Roman Catholicism’s soteriology that teaches human merit (through penance, indulgence and accumulated merits of their canonized Saints) in salvation, the Reformers overreacted by teaching a soteriology that absolves man of any personal responsibility. This is why the followers of John Calvin were unwilling to objectively examine the objections of Jacobus Arminius and his followers to Calvin’s monergistic soteriology despite the numerous scriptures that speak explicitly about the need for man to willingly believe the Gospel and abide in Christ. Why would God warn sinners to repent repeatedly in His word if they are not responsible? Why would God instruct and warn the believer continually to keep faith till the end if he is not responsible? Also, Martin Luther seemed not to have been able to differentiate the works of the Law, as taught by Paul, from the good works (deeds) of faith, as taught by James. Because of this, he had a condescending view of the Epistle of James, calling it “straw”.

It may surprise the reader that the Eastern Orthodox Church does not have the soteriological controversies in Western Christianity (Protestantism is an offspring of Western Christianity) simply because they do not accept Augustine as a Doctor of the Church. The Eastern Church also rejected the Reformed theology’s soteriology because it contravenes the teaching of the Early Church Fathers (100 AD – 325 AD). No one before Augustine taught Unilateral Divine Determinism. Even the Roman Catholics didn't agree with Augustine on his Unilateral Divine Determinism. They just took aspects of his theology that suit them.

Against the claims of healing and miracles in the Roman Catholic Church, which they said was evidence that God was with them, John Calvin began to develop a doctrine that is now called Cessationism. This doctrine espouses the idea that the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as healing, miracles, tongues and prophecy ceased with the apostolic age. This invariably de-emphasizes the manifestation of the Spirit among the people of God.

Another area the Reformers did not pay adequate attention to is eschatology. Martin Luther in particular believed that the Apocalypse (Revelation) should not be a part of the canon of Scripture.

Since the Scripture states explicitly that God’s ultimate goal is for the body of Christ to come to the unity of faith, I believe the Church of the 21st century will need to pay adequate attention to these observed deficiencies and several others to come to the unity of faith in line with scriptures. We would need to repent of our pride and break down the artificial doctrinal walls we have erected. We must bear in mind that God abhors sectionalism among His called-out people.

We need to align our understanding of salvation with the whole counsel of God as stated in scriptures. We would need to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to manifest His gifts through us. The local churches need to be allowed a reasonable level of autonomy to function as the Bible instructs. They have to be organized with a plurality of elders in line with Scripture as against the one-man leadership that is common today. The sizes of some local churches need to be reduced to a manageable number. Church members are not supposed to be strangers. The local church is meant to be a community of brethren with mutual accountability.

In the area of giving, we would need to teach grace-giving and not obligatory giving and use the funds realized to sponsor the Gospel and not human ambition. We would need to sponsor more missionaries to the frontiers and give to the poor. Pet projects should no longer be the focus of gospel financing. The future hope of the believer (eschatology) also needs to be clarified and emphasized. There is a need for us to go back to the Scripture for a clearer understanding of God’s mind in this regard.

Lastly, the Church needs to jettison the self-centered gospel that has invaded it and return to the apostolic doctrines. We need to return to the great Gospel themes such as the sinful nature of man, atonement, justification, adoption, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the nature of the Godhead, the fruit of the Spirit, the authority of the believer, the charismatic gifts, the duties of the Christian man to his neighbor and society, the end times etc. The self-help messages that have become so pervasive in the Church today cannot take it to its glorious destiny.

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Chapter 8

This call was made about 3,500 years (around 1490 BC) in the wilderness of Sinai when the children of Israel shifted their focus from Jehovah, who delivered them from the bondage of ancient Egypt, to idols made by human hands.

“25 Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.” (Exo 32:25-26)

Throughout biblical history, God made this call often to the people who were called by His name (the Israelites) every time they deviated from His original counsel to their inventions. It seems to me that God, at this time, is making the same call to Christians in Nigeria and the world at large.

Among the several dispensational divisions of human history by theologians, two major dispensations relate to organized religion. The first is the Mosaic dispensation (the Old Testament or the Old Covenant) that ushered in Judaism and the second is the dispensation of Grace (New Covenant or the New Testament) that ushered in Christianity.

The Old Covenant was made primarily with the children of Israel to serve as a type or a shadow of the New Covenant which was made with the whole of the human race. While Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, Jesus, the Son of God, is the Mediator of the New Covenant.

From the time of the establishment of the Mosaic Covenant, every other prophet that arose after Moses bore witness to that same covenant. In other words, all the other Old Testament prophets could only affirm what Moses said. Any deviation from Moses was regarded as a heresy that was punishable by death.

In addition to laying down the religious rites (the Ordinances), the civil and social laws (the Judgements) and the moral laws (the Commandments), Moses prophesied about the disobedience of the children of Israel, their expulsion into exile and subsequent restoration, and the first advent of Jesus Christ (Deu 31:14-30, Deu 32:1-47, Deu 30:1-10, Deu 18:15-19).

“15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 “And the Lord said to me: What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” (Deu 18:15-19)

A careful study of the Old Testament scriptures shows that all the prophets after Moses either affirmed or expatiated on these essential elements of the Torah (the five books of Moses). In other words, any Old Testament prophet that deviated substantially from the essential elements of the Torah was a false prophet.

“20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa 8:20)

It was difficult for the majority of the Israelites to comply voluntarily with the demands of the Law without external regulation by a pious national leader because the Old Testament Jews did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit as we have today,

“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Jdg 17:6)

In essence, compliance with the Mosaic Law was dependent on the character and piety of the Israelites' national leadership. They complied with God’s instructions whenever they had a pious leader but went astray whenever they had an impious one. This was why they frequently backslid into idolatry and the attendant vices despite clear instructions to the contrary in the Torah.

God sent several prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Isiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Malachi etc. to them at different times to awake them to their covenantal obligations, but many of these prophets couldn’t cause any substantial revival in the land. The nature of revival in the Old Testament was such that there had to be external enforcement of compliance with the dictums of the Mosaic Law by a pious ruler in conjunction with the Aaronic priests and the prophets as the case may be. Therefore, the Old Testament revivals were external conformity with the Mosaic Code. There were no spiritual conversions in reality. We see examples of this type of revival under the leadership of David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Not long after the demise of these leaders, the Israelites often returned to their vomit (idolatry).

Throughout the pages of the Old Testament scriptures, the sound of “Who is on the Lord's side” continually echoed.

At the inception of the New Covenant, our Lord Jesus began to set down the foundational principles of the kingdom, which are captured by one word- LOVE. He went further to instruct His disciples before His departure that He would send His Holy Spirit to complete His instructions to them because they couldn’t bear it at that time.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

These instructions, as we know, are contained in the writings of His apostles that are available to us today (the Epistles). God particularly gave one man, Paul, a deep insight into the nature of the redemptive rights of the Christian and inspired him to document them for future generations. The nature of these post-ascension apostolic writings is such that they reveal the spiritual realities that the death and resurrection of Christ brought to light which were previously not revealed or partially revealed. This is what Paul often referred to as “Mystery” in his writings.

Again, we know that the New Testament proper did not begin until the death of Christ as a Will (Testament) cannot be enforced until the death of the one who made the Will (Testator).

“16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” (Heb 9:16-17)

Since the Epistles espouse the realities about the position and privileges of the man in Christ, it implies that all other books of the Bible have to be interpreted in their light. Every interpretation regarding doctrine and practice that substantially deviates from the letter and the spirit of the Apostolic Epistles can’t be considered correct. We can then safely say that just like the Torah in the Old Testament, any teaching that substantially deviates from the teachings (doctrines) of the apostles of Christ is erroneous or heretic as the case may be.

We see in the Bible and Church history how individuals and groups at different times deviated from the apostolic doctrines. We also see how God continually raised individuals and groups to restore the Church to these doctrines.

The first major deviation was the Judaic or circumcision movement that insisted that Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised and obey the Mosaic Law before they can be saved. Although the Church took a position on this at the Jerusalem council, Paul had to contend with the sect throughout his ministerial life.

“1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.” (Act 15:1-2)

The second was the Gnostic movement (Docetism) that denied that Jesus came in the flesh. This movement began in the 1st century AD and lasted for at least a millennium. The apostle John addressed it before his death.

“1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1Jn 4:1-3)

We see several other movements like Arianism in the 3rd century AD that denied the divinity of Christ. This was rejected by the First Council of Nicaea.

There are two major types of revival of religion in the Christian era: conversion revival which brings about massive salvation of souls, and doctrinal revival which restores the apostolic doctrines to the Church.

The nature of spiritual revival is such that God often bypasses the religious establishments and high-ranking men for “outsiders” and neophytes to bring about His desired change. This is not because God is wicked or uninterested in establishment people but because they are often too proud to see any need for change.

We see how God had to discard a whole generation consisting of at least six hundred thousand men, except two (Caleb and Joshua) and settled for the younger generation in the wilderness because they were unwilling to believe Him.

Jesus couldn’t relate to the Jewish religious establishment people because of their pride. The apostles of Christ couldn’t also. God had to bypass these people because despite knowing there was a need for change, they felt too proud to follow the new direction God introduced. Regarding the plan of salvation, the Jews felt too proud to accept Jesus, hence, God had to turn his back on the nation and faced the Gentiles.

Towards the end of the Dark Ages, early Reformers like John Wycliffe, John Huss, and Jerome Savonarola suggested the need for reform to the Roman Church but the idea was rejected. God had to take the Reformation outside and use the likes of Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, John Knox etc. to accomplish His plan. The Roman Church had to make major reforms thereafter to survive.

Even after the Martin Luther-led Reformation, God had to bypass older groups and used newer groups to restore certain aspects of the apostolic doctrines that were previously abandoned to the Church. Examples include the jettisoning of infant baptism, advocacy for Church membership and baptism of adults only, and separation of the State from the Church by the Anabaptists; the restoration of the place of human volition in salvation by Jacobus Arminius, holiness teaching by Wesleyan Methodism from which the Pentecostal Holiness Movement later emerged; the restoration of divine healing by pioneers of the healing movement like Carrie Judd Montgomery and Maria Woodward-Ether; the restoration of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a separate spiritual experience by Charles Fox Parham, and William Joseph Seymore of the Azusa street revival etc.

I have taken time to chronicle all these events to show us how God bypasses “The Establishment” because of pride to do His work. I believe the purpose of this current move of God, as chaotic as it seems, is to engender a total restoration of the apostolic doctrines, not only to the Nigerian Church but also to the global Church. As events unfold, we will see people whom God has quietly prepared for years secretly take prominent roles in this work.

I appeal to everyone reading this treatise to do the needful: go back to your Bible and check the veracity of what you have always believed, practiced and taught. Jettison whatever is inconsistent with the Bible and embrace the truth of the Gospel.

This is the way it sometimes happens, many people who have ceaselessly yearned for revival don’t get to appreciate it when it finally comes. Some will even unwittingly oppose it because it falls short of their expectations. May we never miss the day of God's visitation.

“41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)

Today, the voice is sounding again “Who is on the Lord’s side?" Would you heed the call?

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Would You do Me a Favor?

Thank you for reading this book. I am positive that you learned some important lessons that would help you to be a better steward of the word of God.

I have a small favor to ask. Would you mind taking a minute to write a review of this book on Amazon? I would love to get a feedback if you have been blessed by it.

God bless you!

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Other Books by the Author

  1. Tithe and Giving in the Christian Church: Setting the Record Straight
  2. What is wrong with the Black Man? Busting the Myths; Finding Answers
  3. Anatomy of the Prosperity Gospel: A Biblical Scrutiny of the Prosperity Theology
  4. Errors of the Word of Faith: Unveiling a Cleverly Concealed Lie
  5. How People Prosper Financially: A Christian Perspective on Financial Prosperity
  6. The Place of the Law in the Era of Grace: The Road between Legalism and Lawlessness

You can find them on

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The End