Home Free WHY PASTOR ENOCH ADEBOYE DEFEATED POVERTY: By: Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa

WHY PASTOR ENOCH ADEBOYE DEFEATED POVERTY: By: Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa

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PEACE: THE GLOBAL QUEST – TEXT OF A LECTURE DELIVERED BY EMERITUS PROF. MICHAEL OMOLEWA AT THE 5th PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE ANNUAL BIRTHDAY PUBLIC LECTURE

Yesterday, we commenced the publication of the lecture with the above title delivered by Emeritus Prof. Michael Abiola Omolewa, President of the 32nd General Conference of UNESCO and Nigeria’s immediate past ambassador to UNESCO. Below is the concluding part of the treatise.

WHEN THE PRINCE OF PEACE STEPS IN: With all the failures over the centuries of the peace efforts at every front, one could be tempted to give up and conclude that the search for peace would remain futile. It can be predicted that the traditional diplomatic efforts at resolving problems among nations would remain as new series of Conventions, Agreements, Declarations and Treaties are worked out. Furthermore, considerable effort would continue to be made to resolve the challenges of religious and cultural differences. Already there are Conventions on respect for cultural differences and there are declarations on global peace. Nevertheless, it seems that the world remains more divided. This conclusion is supported by the obvious demonstration of nationalism, arms race, and continuing domination of the weak.

Yet, there is hope that peace will be restored to the hearts of man and the nations. It has been suggested that one way of establishing peace within nations and among nations would be to reduce the spending on war including the manufacturing and acquisition of arms, missiles combat vehicles and sophisticated weapons. The spending on peace would then be substantially increased to take care of the expansion of education, the provision of qualitative and quantitative education, access to education, strengthening the rule of law and promotion of the rule of law and social justice. There is yet another proposed solution: the elimination of hatred from the heart of man and the implanting of the desire for peace within oneself and with other people. It is being proposed that this latter aim can be accomplished by the invitation for assistance from the Prince of peace.

One thing that is however required is the forgiveness of sin and some spirit that can give man satisfaction and cure him of the insatiable appetite to acquire those things that he would leave behind when death calls. Many religions have developed claiming to have the capacity to usher in peace in the mind of the individual as prelude to bringing peace to the wider community, the nations and the entire world. However there is one particular religion that has been proven to achieve peace at every level because of its particular nature which also requires faith. The Scriptures carry the information on this possible solution as prophetically stated by prophet Isaiah that there would emerge a solution from One described as Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end… The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (10).

Isaiah had further prophesied that the praise of God will fill every mouth, and that; the righteous nation which keepeth the truth would enter and that God would keep the promise, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because He trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength (11).  The One who can give peace and also called the Prince of peace is Jesus, the Son of God, who came purposely to bring peace to the earth by His life, death and Resurrection. His coming to the earth was to save man from sin. As Mathew noted, Mary was destined to give birth to Jesus: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (12). Jesus removes all obstacles to peace, which include sin, the power of Satan, disease, sickness, failure, frustration, closed doors to breakthrough, conflict, pride, arrogance, deceit, and the denial of good things. Jesus brings restoration, forgiveness, peace, total peace, victory, grace, favour, open heavens, assurance of Salvation, deliverance from all forces of darkness peace that passes all understanding, mercy, Through the power in the blood of Jesus, anyone who believes receives new life. There is the familiar hymn which asks: What can wash away my sin? To which the answer is promptly provided, “nothing but the blood of Jesus.” The hymn then concludes with that assurance: This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SALVATION: As Daddy Adeboye explains, “The Christian’s number one treasure is salvation. The salvation of your soul is worth more than all the wealth in the world” (13). Jesus helps to keep the Christian pure, clean and holy.  Until that stage is reached, a person stands the risk of living a life of sin and thus negates the purpose for which the Prince of peace came into this world. Yet Jesus has all the capability to help the sinner become saved because of His stature in heaven. For as Saint Paul notes:  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (14).

The peace, which the Prince of peace brings covers every aspect of the life of man and continues until Eternity, world without end. This is the promise that the Prince of peace gave as He prepared His disciples for the life after His departure from them. At the time, He encouraged His disciples:Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (15).

The Bible teaches that while on earth Jesus brought peace to all situations wherever He visited. For the young couples in John chapter 2, Jesus stopped the plan of the enemy to make them a laughing stock because of the inadequacy of the provision of wine at their wedding in Cana of Galilee. For the hungry, Jesus fed the 5000 plus people with five loaves of bread and two fishes. For the blind Bartimaeus, the affliction of begging, dependence on others, poverty, lack, stagnation and absence of self-esteem were terminated as soon as he called on the Lord Jesus for Divine intervention. The visit of Jesus to the man, who had been ill for thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda, brought the joy and peace, which the man had thought was impossible. For the Son of God nothing can be impossible. This is because He created all things over which He remains in full control. During the storm of life and anxiety of the disciples when Jesus was on earth, he invited peace as He pronounced peace be still. The suddenness of the arrival of the peace gave the disciples considerable surprise who declared the uniqueness of Jesus. After his death and Resurrection He has continued to bring peace to people who ask Him for it.

For the Prince of peace, nothing can ever be too hard (16). Furthermore, any one or nation that allows Him to take charge can do all things as we declare that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (17). This is because He created all things and without Him was nothing created that was created. The heart of kings is fully in His hands and He can cause them to reach agreements of peace as He proposes. Jesus is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Who only hath immortality… (18). I have been able to study the impact the Prince of peace can make on an individual, when Mummy G.O., the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, gave me the opportunity to work on the Biography of her husband. While my colleagues brilliantly concentrated on aspects of the mission of Daddy, I was interested in the study of his life to discover how he made it in life. I was amazed by my findings that Daddy Adeboye did not experience peace early in life as he was plagued by problems of poverty and afflicted by lack. For example, he had to embark on compulsory fasting to persuade his poor parents to send him to school. While at the secondary school, he had problems with the payment of his fees and the demise of his father compounded his   problem when he was only in his third form at Ilesa Grammar School.

PASTOR ADEBOYE & THE STORMS OF LIFE: Pastor Adeboye experienced several disappointments including the failure to have a Commonwealth Scholarship award. At the interview for the Scholarship, one of the panelists, who happened to be the Chairman and had woken up to ask the candidate where is Entebbe, got offended when Pastor Adeboye reminded him that he was being interviewed for scholarship in Mathematics, not Geography. Of course, as must have been expected, Pastor Adeboye was denied the postgraduate scholarship. Pastor Adeboye is always quick to add that the failure to secure the scholarship led him to the University of Lagos for his postgraduate studies and later to his conversion to Christianity and subsequent commitment to the Gospel. Mercy, therefore, gave him the courage and determination to defy all obstacles on his path. Mercy also gave him the love of his life as wife whom he describes as the best gift only second to the Salvation of his soul.

I was further astounded by my findings from the archives of his secondary school at Ilesa Grammar School about how his arrival at the School on Wednesday, 25 January 1956 was unheralded because of his humble background. His home address was left blank while the addresses of those from the well-known families in Ilesa, who were his colleagues, occupied more than the required space on the admission register (19). Enoch Adeboye, registered for admission as student number 1674, also had his birthday wrongly entered in the School Register. The young man however refused to give up on his dream. He continued to lead the class as he also constantly collected prizes for his exemplary performance in spite of all the odds. He struggled on with his education until he obtained the PhD after which he has been conferred with many honorary degrees and recognitions.

At the spiritual realm, Daddy also had a challenge to his peace of mind until July 1973 when he gave his life to Jesus at a small Church at Ebute – Metta in Lagos (20). From that moment, Adeboye received power from Above. His only desire and interest was to serve the Lord and fully follow His instructions in complete obedience.  He made up his mind that he would never go back to the world. His surrender to the Lord was irrevocable and absolute. When he was asked to close his bank account and empty his earnings to the Lord, he obeyed without question.  Angered that people would congregate to worship other gods on the soil of Nigeria during the Festivals of Arts and Culture, FESTAC 77, he decided to inaugurate the first Congress of Christians even when he had limited resources to handle such ambitious project.

Like Father Abraham who “went out, not knowing whither he went”, Adeboye began to be led to what to do where to go and how to move with his life.  The Holy Spirit made him leave the attractive position of University Lecturer for full time ministry as Pastor, abandoning the house of many rooms for a small space in a poor area of Lagos. He became the General Overseer of his Church. Thereafter he was asked by the Lord to go and live in a snake-infested, robbers abode along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. In addition, at the new location as he built the sanctuary for his God he often did not have enough money even for the tollgate at the time. But he persevered because he was aware of the immense capacity of the One who called him, to deliver and safe. The Holy Ghost service was instituted following a visitation to him on his birthday, and the Holy Ghost congress followed. The Divine Encounter, the Shiloh Hour, Ministers Conferences, the Solemn Assembly, taking the Gospel to all the regions of the world with the diverse cultures, languages and even the weather conditions. Pastor Adeboye has continued to expand the outreaches every year, eager to have all peoples know about the power of the Prince of peace to safe and deliver. Then the writing of the Open Heavens, and of the songs that accompany each session of the Holy Ghost service and the Congress and the Convention have followed.

Pastor Adeboye consistently confesses that he is only working for the Prince of Peace who leads him, directs him, occasionally speaks to him, and he keeps informing anyone that cares to listen that he is only just beginning, even as he moved the auditorium from the earlier spaces to the Kilometer 3 by 3 Arena. The power of the Prince of Peace to work wonders is thus clearly demonstrated in the life of Pastor Adeboye and his wife who, like Priscilla is always by the side of her Aquila, making exploits for the Prince of Peace. Pastor Adeboye trusted that the Prince of peace who had come to his life would always take care of His Church in spite of the expansion with its attendant increase in the challenges faced by the Church. He has told the story of how he would come home after work or travel and the wife would list the challenges reported to her. Pastor Adeboye would ask for his meal and after eating would go to bed with the wife wondering if he had not fully heard all that she narrated. The following morning the wife would be amazed about how all the problems had been resolved without seeing the husband lift a finger. The Prince of peace settles all issues and leaves His peace with His own children. He later advised that.

BUILDING TRUST IN GOD: The moment you learn to trust God, life will become beautiful because you will begin to experience a kind of peace you never knew existed. Initially it can be quite hard for us to trust God… His instructions and commands might seem strange. Even if you cannot see around the bend, you should trust Him enough to know that He will always lead you aright. (21). The Prince of peace has fully rehabilitated Daddy Adeboye. For example his visit to Ilesa Grammar school would lead to the closure of that institution for the day. When the School authorities discovered that I was conducting some research on the life of Pastor Adeboye at the School, I instantly became a celebrity. There was an unconfirmed rumour that on one occasion when the set of 1956 converged later in life in the School, some of them came with choice vehicles but Pastor Adeboye flew in an helicopter! It is clear that the Prince of peace promotes and celebrates His own. Already Pastor Adeboye has supported sets of buildings in the school, as he insists on always assisting the various institutions which had contributed to his development.  Pastor Adeboye can as well join David in singing the first verse of Psalm 126: “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream” (22).

RCCG’S FIRST COUPLE & COMPASSION: Under the leadership of Pastor Adeboye and his compassionate wife, the Redeemed Christian Church of God has instituted vibrant social responsibility programmes, including the establishment of educational institutions at all levels, provision of health facilities, sponsorship of indigent students, remediation of out-of-school children and support for anti-poverty livelihood skills development. Prostitutes, sex workers and drug addicts have been located, given the message of hope and restored as disciples of the Prince of peace. Pastor Adeboye and his wife are also penchant givers who share the concerns of people beyond the membership of the Church. They believe that the Prince of peace does not want them to limit their intervention to preaching but would want them to accommodate practical steps that would restore peace to the individual and the global world. Pastor Adeboye offers prayers against kidnappers, ritualists and all those who disturb the peace of the land. At the International level, Pastor Adeboye carried the message of the Prince of peace to all parts of the world, defying the weather, culture, languages and convenience, and always with the wife, the prayer partner and companion. He has been invited to the United Nations headquarters in New York to pray for world peace, and to Israel to pray at the Feast of Tabernacles. He once visited UNESCO where he met with the Ambassadors of countries that were at war and they all appreciated the air or peace that his presence brought to the United Nations specialized agency.  He has been named one of the 50 most influential people in the world!

The life of Pastor E. A. Adeboye is an eloquent description of the impact of accepting the Prince of peace to one’s life. The moment when a person makes that decision, peace is restored. That was the case with David who in his familiar declaration states, “as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters…so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God” (23). The danger comes, however, when those eyes are removed from the Lord. As the British evangelist, Oswald Chambers, explains, “spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto him”(24). Chambers gave the testimony of how the Lord never failed to keep His own portion of the Covenant relationship with His children:

Whenever a thing becomes difficult in personal experience, we are in danger of blaming God, but it is we who are in the wrong, not God: there is some perversity somewhere that we will not let go. Immediately we do, everything becomes as clear as daylight. The attitude must be one of complete reliance on God. When once we get there, there is nothing easier than living the saintly life; difficulty comes in when we want to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own ends. Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the witness of an unfathomable peace, which is not natural, but the peace of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, tarry till it does or find out the reason why it does not. If you are acting on an impulse, or from a sense of the heroic, the peace of Jesus will not witness (25).

The promise of the Prince of peace is firm and sure. He told His hearers on one occasion about His faithfulness as Covenant-keeping Lord: And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, or the gospel’s. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren,, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (26) The Prince of peace brings  not only peace in the state of mind, contentment,  and trust that the Lord can never fail, but also the assurance that in after life there will be a place reserved for whoever He chooses to give that honour. He made this categorical promise when he announced His mission to the world: For God so loved that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life (27). The Prince of peace assures us of security, expunging of all anxiety and shame and offering a permanent peace by His side in Eternity. With the Prince of peace there is no provision for all the deadly consequences of association with the devil: death, disease, destruction, defeat, or disaster.  Furthermore, the answer to all requests from the Prince of peace will always be “yes”, and delay is not denial.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PEACE, JOY & VICTORY: Some of the ingredients of peace are joy and victory. The outward demonstration of peace is the contentment that arises with the acceptance of the Prince of peace. It is not the wealth or blessings that follow but the presence of Jesus in the person. Jesus Himself says that He came, not to send peace but the sword. Oswald Chambers notes that thousands of people are happy without God in this world. They are comfortable and prosperous. He quickly explains that the kind of peace that derives from such happiness is however not sustainable. Chambers says that “that kind of happiness and peace is on a wrong level (because) it is not based on a personal relationship to Jesus, the Prince of peace (28). God Himself has stated that there will be no peace for the unrighteous. If the unrighteous therefore has peace, then one must watch out because that peace is by no means authentic. The gift of peace cannot be measured in material terms. Chambers defended his position on the nature of peace from Above:There are times when our peace is based upon ignorance, but when we awaken to the facts of life, inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. .. My peace I give unto you – it is a peace which comes from looking into his face and realizing His undisturbedness. Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of God’s providential permission, and having, as it were, turned over boulders of your belief, are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort; is all barren? Then look up and receive the undisturbedness of the Lord Jesus…If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you, you are either disturbed or you have a false security… When one confers with Jesus Christ the perplexity goes, because He has no perplexity, and our only concern is to abide in Him (29).

Inviting the Prince of peace into one’s life demands patience, trust and confidence.  On many occasions, things may not work out the way one would want.  It is imperative that at such moments, one should just wait and expect the Lord to decide what next to do. Attention is often drawn to the man-driven vision of Peter who assured the Lord that he would lay down his life for Jesus only to end up denying the same Lord three times before the cock could crow. The result is further frustration.  Chambers advises that we avoid doing anything on the impulse of feeling, and concludes that “if you do, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right. Wait for God’s time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment” (30).

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: It is possible that some of us in this auditorium or those reading this contribution are like Pastor Adeboye. We have desires, frustrations, unmet expectations, betrayals from friends and colleagues. There is only one solution to the unrest in our minds and lives, and that is by surrendering our lives to the Almighty God Creator of heaven and earth, repenting of our sins and iniquities, hidden and open, and confessing them, accepting His only begotten Son as personal Saviour and Lord of our lives. It will always take courage to want to abandon the earlier direction of our lives. However, that is exactly what the Prince of peace would want us to do: forsake our earlier ways. The reward of accepting the Prince of peace into lives of individuals and nations is the stilling of the storm.  Jesus says that it is His prerogative to give peace. Since peace is given, we only need to receive it by faith and trust the Prince of peace who never fails to intervene in whatever situations we find ourselves.

The rewards of accepting Jesus as Lord are many. The most important of the rewards is however the gift of peace. As Saint Paul puts it, “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1 As soon as the Prince of Peace enters a man or a situation, there is a halt to all anxiety and all impediments to the attainment of peace.  The Lord Jesus Himself declared: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace” John 16:33 Again it was Saint Paul who experienced at first hand the benefits of the peace from Jesus who advised his readers: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayers and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (31).

The Lord Jesus gives peace to anyone who accepts Him. Peace is therefore a gift from Jesus to those who receive Him. Shortly before He surrendered Himself to be crucified, Jesus assured His disciples that His peace would always be with them: Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (32). It is, therefore, great privilege to accept the Prince of peace into our lives. He will calm every storm in our lives. The troubled world, troubled homes, troubled businesses, troubled marriages, troubled ministries, troubled thoughts, troubled situations and circumstances will receive peace.  We shall then celebrate, rejoice and have testimonies.

I, therefore, want to give anyone who has not already done so, the opportunity to come and surrender his or her life to Jesus.  Those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus but who want to renew their commitment to Him should join. Jesus Himself has invited people to come to Him:“Come to me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”(33). The Prince of peace invites us to come under His management. We also know that there is power in the precious blood of Jesus, capable to give permanent and sustainable peace. We may not know where we are heading but if we follow the Prince of peace who is the Way, the Truth and Life, we can be rest assured that we will not miss way. We will therefore end up having sustainable and permanent peace.

TESTIMONIES – JESUS CHRIST IS REAL: Please permit me to conclude this presentation with my own personal experience of the impact which the Prince of peace can make on an individual. I personally experienced the miracle gift from the Prince of peace when I had just completed writing my PhD thesis in History at the University of Ibadan. The thesis was an experiment begun by the Department of History then under the leadership of Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi after whom this auditorium has been named. Professor Ade Ajayi wanted the Department to have specialists in all the regions of the world including Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. To that end, he invited me, on the completion of my undergraduate studies and as the best graduate student in the Department of History, to proceed to Europe to work with distinguished specialists in the History of France, Germany and the United Kingdom to undertake a comparative study of the 19th century History of Europe. On completion of the work, I had to return to Nigeria to defend the thesis.

The three examiners who conducted the first round of the oral examination at the University of Ibadan kept me on the first day for three hours. They decided to continue with the examination the second day when I spent another two hours. After the examination, the examiners informed me that the thesis had failed. That would be the first time I would learn that a thesis could fail as I had understanding of theses that were referred for re-examination after minor or major corrections and for varied period of three months, six months and even one full year. I asked the examiners for a clarification of their decision and the external examiner told me that what they meant was that the thesis was inadequate for the award of a PhD but that it could be rewritten and submitted for a Master’s degree within two years under a new title that was to be registered at the Postgraduate School. They further explained that if I further desired to continue with the PhD degree, I could register as part time student and within another five to six years, I could present myself for the degree examination. I considered my situation hopeless and helpless. Peace vanished from me. I remembered that colleagues were already in festive mood at my apartment. When I returned to the apartment to inform colleagues that I had failed the examination, they did not believe and thought that it was a joke. They carried me shoulder high to announce the news of my failure, still joking. Those who had learnt about the sad development and who came to sympathize with me were surprised that I was carried around, and began to check for the real situation. I was bleeding inside and cursing the day that I decided to pursue a path in research and obtain a doctorate degree.

Not knowing what to do I went to join Christian students group at the Chapel of the Resurrection, and at Abadina, on the University campus that specialised in praise and worship. I was told that it was not enough to attend Church but that it was important to give my life to Jesus. I was encouraged to be re-baptised. Aware of the depth of my sin against God and my fellow human beings, I was interested in the Salvation of my soul and having the gift of Eternal Life as well as obtaining the PhD degree that appeared a mirage. In the process, I prayed, fasted, and worshipped and I was still not sure how the Lord would do the miracle of giving me a PhD. I thought that working for almost another ten years after an initial investment of four years in the pursuit of the PhD was perhaps too challenging for a young man. In the end, on the recommendations of the Faculty of Arts, of which Professor Ayo Bamgbose was the Dean, and the Postgraduate School, the Senate of the University decided that the candidate “should be allowed to register a new title and be supervised by another person” (34). The new title being registered, the examination was scheduled to take place not at the University of Ibadan but at the University of London, courtesy of the support of the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Oritsejolomi Thomas, and Chairman of Senate. It was clear that only a miracle would produce a PhD in less than one year.

By this time, I was already fed up with the thesis, so I spent the period of waiting for the re-examination to work on two articles related to my new position at the Faculty of Education. However to fulfill all righteousness I got the new version of the thesis completed within five months. With the new, approved title, I was ready for the examination. I kept on reminding myself that all things are possible for Jesus although I was not sure at the time that He was also interested in a doctoral thesis. A date was fixed for the examination. The University of Ibadan paid for my travel expenses to the UK and sponsored Professor Tekena Tamuno, the Head of the Department of History at the University of Ibadan, to join the two other examiners from the University of Oxford and the University of London.

The thesis was examined for less than one hour at the University College of the University of London and it was pronounced successful. Peace was restored to me. Instead of the ten years that the earlier panel of examiners had suggested that I resubmit myself for another PhD examination, the Prince of Peace had awarded me a brand new PhD within five months! I called my experience as a progression from PULL HIM/HER DOWN, the PhD of man, to PRAISE HIM DAILY, the PhD of the Prince of Peace. The University of Ibadan also gave me an accelerated promotion to the position of full Professor within the ten years that those examiners had listed. Consequently, rather than be called a Doctor the Lord chose to give me the title of Professor, all within ten years! I marveled at how the Prince of Peace qualifies the unqualified and gives extra to an ordinary person to make him extraordinary. I thereafter decided to stay put with Him for the rest of my life.  I later found myself teaching and examining courses up to the PhD theses, not only in all the regions of Africa but also in European universities. Today the same University of Ibadan has given me another miracle breakthrough by appointing me an emeritus Professor.  I have also been invited to assess professorship candidates and serve on the editorial boards of most prestigious History learned journals including the Journal of African American History. I appreciated the value of peace and recognized the role that Jesus plays in restoring peace to broken hearts at most desperate times.

However I learned one lesson from my experience that has helped me through life, and that is to just be still and know that Jesus is Lord. Patience and trust in the Prince of peace is important. If I had not passed through the storm of the PhD thesis, I would not have learnt lessons of providential will of God. My experience at the PhD examination made me abandon my proposal to conduct research in the field of who was responsible for the death of the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821 and to move into the interesting field of the History of Education in Nigeria. I am not sure why Daddy and Mummy G.O decided to appoint me to the foundation Governing Council of the Redeemer’s College, Sagamu or the founding Board of Trustees of the Redeemer’s University, but I always think that my work in the broad field of education may have attracted their attention. In any case, I know that the Federal Government was interested in a person in the field of education to serve as Nigeria’s representative and Ambassador to UNESCO on the return to democratic governance in 1999. Both President Olusegun Obasanjo who approved my nomination and Professor Tunde Adeniran who made the nomination must have been aware of the status of education in the work of UNESCO and possibly would have hesitated to appoint some specialist in the field of the death of Napoleon (35).Again, Chambers warns:There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come when order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run before God’s guidance (36).

Later in my Christian life, I was invited to listen to Pastor E. A. Adeboye at the Chapel of the Resurrection at the University of Ibadan. As I heard him talk of Elijah the Tishbite, I became convinced that signs and wonders of peace and transformation would always be my portion for as long as I listened to the man of God and follow his instructions.  His central message was consistently, how Jesus makes the impossible possible by whatever means or method that He chose. I trusted the Lord for His many pronouncements and the word of knowledge at the Holy Ghost services.  I began to experience great peace in my undertakings as I committed my several elections and travels to the hands of the Prince of peace. On many occasions when I felt betrayed, I promptly reported such cases to the Prince of peace and waited for Him to act as He pleased.

When I served at the Nigerian Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris, I brought many difficult matters to Daddy G.O for advice and prayers and he was kind enough to attend to my myriad of requests. He indeed once prophesied that I would leave an indelible   mark in UNESCO. I was therefore not surprised when I was elected as the first West African to the position of the President of the General Conference of UNESCO in 2003. Today my photo is proudly displayed at the entrance to the Hall in which Ministers of Education, Science, Culture, Foreign affairs and Communication meet every two years to deliberate on the issues of education, science and culture.

In addition, I remember that Daddy Adeboye once told my Secretary, whose wife was barren, that he would have children. The wife of the Secretary later gave birth to triplets. On another occasion I left a prayer request at the offering basket at the Divine Encounter programme asking that the Director General of UNESCO who had been asked by the Federal Government to take a flight to Abuja be made to take his flight Lagos. My daughter wondered why I dropped the request at the offering box and I told her that the people who would count the money would take the request to the appropriate quarters for attention of Daddy G.O. Later that week the Director General who had booked a flight to Abuja, missed his flight to Abuja because of the heavy   snowfall in Paris which made it impossible for him to connect his flight to Abuja in Amsterdam. The Director General thereafter had to change his flight to Lagos exactly as I had requested from the Lord. And he was able to take part in the centenary celebration of the foundation of King’s College, Lagos for which I have been named an honorary student. The Lord has proved to me repeatedly that with Him nothing would be impossible and that His presence in any issue is a guarantee for peace.  It has also been clearly demonstrated to me that Jesus is the Source of peace and that He knows how to arrange peace in every troubled situation and circumstance.

It is the wish of Pastor Adeboye and my own ardent desire that everyone of us today in this Auditorium will surrender our lives totally to the Prince of peace to do whatever He wants with it. He will give us His peace that passes all understanding by His grace and according to His promises. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that with God nothing shall be impossible. The only requirement is to take a step of faith. That is what we should now do. Investing in the Prince of peace will usher in peace in individual minds, communities, institutions, villages and nations. It is a wise desirable investment that will provide sustainable peace on earth and guarantee entry to Eternity.

CONCLUSION: It is now left to us to take this advantage of surrendering our lives to Jesus as part of our celebration of the birthday of Daddy E. A. Adeboye. You may kindly join me in taking this decision as we sing along: I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.

I thank you all for listening and for your patience. We wish Daddy G.O. happy birthday. Praise the Lord.

 Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa, OON, FCOL

6th February 2019

 Notes and References

  1. Numbers 6:24-26.
  2. Daniel 10:18&19
  3. Luke7:50
  4. Luke 8:48
  5. Psalm 34:12-14
  6. Hebrews 12:14
  7. Isaiah 2:2-4
  8. James 4:1
  9. See S.A. Akintoye, Revolution and Powerpolitics among the Yoruba, 1840- 1893, London, Longman, 1971, J. F. Ade Ajayi and R.S. Smith, Yoruba    Warfare in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, 1964,                Bolanle Awe, The Rise of Ibadan as a Yoruba Power in the Nineteenth               Century, D.Phil thesis, Oxford, 1964 and Justin Labinjoh, Modernity and               Traditions in the Politics of Ibadan, 1900-1975, Ibadan, Fountain Publications, 1991
  10. Isaiah 9:6-7
  11. Isaiah 6:1-4
  12. Mathew 1:21
  13. E.A.Adeboye, Open Heavens Devotional11 November 10,2016
  14. Philippians 2:9-11
  15. John 14:1-3
  16. Jeremiah 32:27
  17. Philippians 4:13
  18. 1Timothy 6:15-16
  19. Michael Omolewa, J.F. Odesola, Olaitan Olubiyi and Akinjide Osuntokun, eds.  Pastor E.A.Adeboye: His Life and Callingr, Ibadan, Bookcraft                 Publishers 2017, p.30
  20. E.A.Adeboye, Whoso finds a wife, Ota, Dominion Publishing\house, 2018
  21. E. A. Adeboye, Open Heavens Devotional, Monday, 15 October 2018
  22. Psalm 126:1
  23. Psalm 123:2
  24. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Barbour Publishing Incorporation, 1994,Devotional for November 24
  25. Chambers, Devotional for December 14
  26. Mark 10:29-30
  27. John 3:16
  28. Chambers, December 19
  29. Chambers, August 26
  30. Chambers, 4 January
  31. Philippians 4: 6-7
  32. John 14:1, 27
  33. Mathew 11:28-29
  34. Ayo Bamgbose, From Grace to Grace: An Autobiography, Ibadan, University Press Plc, 2016, pp. 138-139.
  35. Tunde Adeniran, Serving My Fatherland, Vol 1 Ibadan, Bookcraft Publishers, 2015, p.334
  36. Oswald Chambers, Devotional for January 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROFILE OF EMERITUS PROFESSOR MICHAEL OMOLEWA, OON FCOL

Michael Omolewa, currently Emeritus Professor of the History of Education at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ibadan and Emeritus Professor of History and International Studies at the School of Education and Humanities, Babcock University, had his primary education at the Seventh Day Adventist Schools in Ipoti-Ekiti, Erunmu and Ibadan; and his secondary education at Ibadan Grammar School, Ekiti Parapo College, Ido-Ekiti, and Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti. He had his university education at the University of Ibadan, the University of Dakar, Senegal, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and King’s College, University of London. He also attended the Advanced Christian Leadership course at the Haggai Institute in Singapore.

 

He was Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, 1985-1987, Head of the Department of Adult Education, 1987-1990, 1994-1998 and Chairman of the Committee of Deans of Faculties of Education of Nigerian Universities 1986/87 session. He was the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Nigeria from 2000 to 2009 to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and President of the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO.

 

He has been awarded the Nigerian National honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON and the Fellowship of the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada, FCOL. He is Member of the Governing Council of Alex Ekwueme Federal University in Ebonyi State and of the Faculty of the Jerusalem Institute for Multicultural Studies in Bethlehem, Israel. He is  also a Member of the Governing Council of the International African Institute in the UK, Vice-Chairman of the Governing Council of Christ the Redeemer College in the UK and Member of the Board of the International Research Centre in Beijing, China.

 

He is Life Patron of the Historians of Education Society of Nigeria. Among his publications are Michael Omolewa, The Life and Times of Chief T.L. Oyesina: The story of a pioneer in African Education and Youth Leader, Ibadan, Abiprint 1981; Michael Omolewa,, Gbolagade Adekanmbi and Abiodun Okediran, eds J.S. Ogunlesi, 1902-1981, Ibadan University Press, 1989;  Michael Omolewa and Akinjide Osuntokun eds, Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi: His Life and Career, Ibadan Bookcraft Publishers, 2014;  and Michael Omolewa, J. F. Odesola, Olaitan Olubiyi and Akinjide Osuntokun, eds, Pastor E. A. Adeboye: His Life and Calling, Ibadan Bookcraft Publishers, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEACE: THE GLOBAL QUEST

A LECTURE DELIVERED BY EMERITUS PROF. MICHAEL OMOLEWA AT THE 5th PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE ANNUAL BIRTHDAY PUBLIC LECTURE

Yesterday, we commenced the publication of the lecture with the above title delivered by Emeritus Prof. Michael Abiola Omolewa, President of the 32nd General Conference of UNESCO and Nigeria’s immediate past ambassador to UNESCO. Below is the concluding part of the treatise.

WHEN THE PRINCE OF PEACE STEPS IN

With all the failures over the centuries of the peace efforts at every front, one could be tempted to give up and conclude that the search for peace would remain futile. It can be predicted that the traditional diplomatic efforts at resolving problems among nations would remain as new series of Conventions, Agreements, Declarations and Treaties are worked out. Furthermore, considerable effort would continue to be made to resolve the challenges of religious and cultural differences. Already there are Conventions on respect for cultural differences and there are declarations on global peace. Nevertheless, it seems that the world remains more divided. This conclusion is supported by the obvious demonstration of nationalism, arms race, and continuing domination of the weak.

 

Yet, there is hope that peace will be restored to the hearts of man and the nations. It has been suggested that one way of establishing peace within nations and among nations would be to reduce the spending on war including the manufacturing and acquisition of arms, missiles combat vehicles and sophisticated weapons. The spending on peace would then be substantially increased to take care of the expansion of education, the provision of qualitative and quantitative education, access to education, strengthening the rule of law and promotion of the rule of law and social justice. There is yet another proposed solution: the elimination of hatred from the heart of man and the implanting of the desire for peace within oneself and with other people. It is being proposed that this latter aim can be accomplished by the invitation for assistance from the Prince of peace.

 

One thing that is however required is the forgiveness of sin and some spirit that can give man satisfaction and cure him of the insatiable appetite to acquire those things that he would leave behind when death calls. Many religions have developed claiming to have the capacity to usher in peace in the mind of the individual as prelude to bringing peace to the wider community, the nations and the entire world. However there is one particular religion that has been proven to achieve peace at every level because of its particular nature which also requires faith. The Scriptures carry the information on this possible solution as prophetically stated by prophet Isaiah that there would emerge a solution from One described as Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end… The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (10).

 

Isaiah had further prophesied that the praise of God will fill every mouth, and that; the righteous nation which keepeth the truth would enter and that God would keep the promise, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because He trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength (11).  The One who can give peace and also called the Prince of peace is Jesus, the Son of God, who came purposely to bring peace to the earth by His life, death and Resurrection. His coming to the earth was to save man from sin. As Mathew noted, Mary was destined to give birth to Jesus: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (12). Jesus removes all obstacles to peace, which include sin, the power of Satan, disease, sickness, failure, frustration, closed doors to breakthrough, conflict, pride, arrogance, deceit, and the denial of good things. Jesus brings restoration, forgiveness, peace, total peace, victory, grace, favour, open heavens, assurance of Salvation, deliverance from all forces of darkness peace that passes all understanding, mercy, Through the power in the blood of Jesus, anyone who believes receives new life. There is the familiar hymn which asks: What can wash away my sin? To which the answer is promptly provided, “nothing but the blood of Jesus.” The hymn then concludes with that assurance: This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

 

As Daddy Adeboye explains, “The Christian’s number one treasure is salvation. The salvation of your soul is worth more than all the wealth in the world” (13). Jesus helps to keep the Christian pure, clean and holy.  Until that stage is reached, a person stands the risk of living a life of sin and thus negates the purpose for which the Prince of peace came into this world. Yet Jesus has all the capability to help the sinner become saved because of His stature in heaven. For as Saint Paul notes:  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (14).

 

The peace, which the Prince of peace brings covers every aspect of the life of man and continues until Eternity, world without end. This is the promise that the Prince of peace gave as He prepared His disciples for the life after His departure from them. At the time, He encouraged His disciples:Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (15).

 

The Bible teaches that while on earth Jesus brought peace to all situations wherever He visited. For the young couples in John chapter 2, Jesus stopped the plan of the enemy to make them a laughing stock because of the inadequacy of the provision of wine at their wedding in Cana of Galilee. For the hungry, Jesus fed the 5000 plus people with five loaves of bread and two fishes. For the blind Bartimaeus, the affliction of begging, dependence on others, poverty, lack, stagnation and absence of self-esteem were terminated as soon as he called on the Lord Jesus for Divine intervention. The visit of Jesus to the man, who had been ill for thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda, brought the joy and peace, which the man had thought was impossible. For the Son of God nothing can be impossible. This is because He created all things over which He remains in full control. During the storm of life and anxiety of the disciples when Jesus was on earth, he invited peace as He pronounced peace be still. The suddenness of the arrival of the peace gave the disciples considerable surprise who declared the uniqueness of Jesus. After his death and Resurrection He has continued to bring peace to people who ask Him for it.

 

For the Prince of peace, nothing can ever be too hard (16). Furthermore, any one or nation that allows Him to take charge can do all things as we declare that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (17). This is because He created all things and without Him was nothing created that was created. The heart of kings is fully in His hands and He can cause them to reach agreements of peace as He proposes. Jesus is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Who only hath immortality… (18). I have been able to study the impact the Prince of peace can make on an individual, when Mummy G.O., the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, gave me the opportunity to work on the Biography of her husband. While my colleagues brilliantly concentrated on aspects of the mission of Daddy, I was interested in the study of his life to discover how he made it in life. I was amazed by my findings that Daddy Adeboye did not experience peace early in life as he was plagued by problems of poverty and afflicted by lack. For example, he had to embark on compulsory fasting to persuade his poor parents to send him to school. While at the secondary school, he had problems with the payment of his fees and the demise of his father compounded his   problem when he was only in his third form at Ilesa Grammar School.

 

Pastor Adeboye experienced several disappointments including the failure to have a Commonwealth Scholarship award. At the interview for the Scholarship, one of the panelists, who happened to be the Chairman and had woken up to ask the candidate where is Entebbe, got offended when Pastor Adeboye reminded him that he was being interviewed for scholarship in Mathematics, not Geography. Of course, as must have been expected, Pastor Adeboye was denied the postgraduate scholarship. Pastor Adeboye is always quick to add that the failure to secure the scholarship led him to the University of Lagos for his postgraduate studies and later to his conversion to Christianity and subsequent commitment to the Gospel. Mercy, therefore, gave him the courage and determination to defy all obstacles on his path. Mercy also gave him the love of his life as wife whom he describes as the best gift only second to the Salvation of his soul.

 

I was further astounded by my findings from the archives of his secondary school at Ilesa Grammar School about how his arrival at the School on Wednesday, 25 January 1956 was unheralded because of his humble background. His home address was left blank while the addresses of those from the well-known families in Ilesa, who were his colleagues, occupied more than the required space on the admission register (19). Enoch Adeboye, registered for admission as student number 1674, also had his birthday wrongly entered in the School Register. The young man however refused to give up on his dream. He continued to lead the class as he also constantly collected prizes for his exemplary performance in spite of all the odds. He struggled on with his education until he obtained the PhD after which he has been conferred with many honorary degrees and recognitions.

 

At the spiritual realm, Daddy also had a challenge to his peace of mind until July 1973 when he gave his life to Jesus at a small Church at Ebute – Metta in Lagos (20). From that moment, Adeboye received power from Above. His only desire and interest was to serve the Lord and fully follow His instructions in complete obedience.  He made up his mind that he would never go back to the world. His surrender to the Lord was irrevocable and absolute. When he was asked to close his bank account and empty his earnings to the Lord, he obeyed without question.  Angered that people would congregate to worship other gods on the soil of Nigeria during the Festivals of Arts and Culture, FESTAC 77, he decided to inaugurate the first Congress of Christians even when he had limited resources to handle such ambitious project.

 

Like Father Abraham who “went out, not knowing whither he went”, Adeboye began to be led to what to do where to go and how to move with his life.  The Holy Spirit made him leave the attractive position of University Lecturer for full time ministry as Pastor, abandoning the house of many rooms for a small space in a poor area of Lagos. He became the General Overseer of his Church. Thereafter he was asked by the Lord to go and live in a snake-infested, robbers abode along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. In addition, at the new location as he built the sanctuary for his God he often did not have enough money even for the tollgate at the time. But he persevered because he was aware of the immense capacity of the One who called him, to deliver and safe. The Holy Ghost service was instituted following a visitation to him on his birthday, and the Holy Ghost congress followed. The Divine Encounter, the Shiloh Hour, Ministers Conferences, the Solemn Assembly, taking the Gospel to all the regions of the world with the diverse cultures, languages and even the weather conditions. Pastor Adeboye has continued to expand the outreaches every year, eager to have all peoples know about the power of the Prince of peace to safe and deliver. Then the writing of the Open Heavens, and of the songs that accompany each session of the Holy Ghost service and the Congress and the Convention have followed.

 

Pastor Adeboye consistently confesses that he is only working for the Prince of Peace who leads him, directs him, occasionally speaks to him, and he keeps informing anyone that cares to listen that he is only just beginning, even as he moved the auditorium from the earlier spaces to the Kilometer 3 by 3 Arena. The power of the Prince of Peace to work wonders is thus clearly demonstrated in the life of Pastor Adeboye and his wife who, like Priscilla is always by the side of her Aquila, making exploits for the Prince of Peace.

 

Pastor Adeboye trusted that the Prince of peace who had come to his life would always take care of His Church in spite of the expansion with its attendant increase in the challenges faced by the Church. He has told the story of how he would come home after work or travel and the wife would list the challenges reported to her. Pastor Adeboye would ask for his meal and after eating would go to bed with the wife wondering if he had not fully heard all that she narrated. The following morning the wife would be amazed about how all the problems had been resolved without seeing the husband lift a finger. The Prince of peace settles all issues and leaves His peace with His own children. He later advised that.

 

The moment you learn to trust God, life will become beautiful because you will begin to experience a kind of peace you never knew existed. Initially it can be quite hard for us to trust God… His instructions and commands might seem strange. Even if you cannot see around the bend, you should trust Him enough to know that He will always lead you aright. (21).

 

The Prince of peace has fully rehabilitated Daddy Adeboye. For example his visit to Ilesa Grammar school would lead to the closure of that institution for the day. When the School authorities discovered that I was conducting some research on the life of Pastor Adeboye at the School, I instantly became a celebrity. There was an unconfirmed rumour that on one occasion when the set of 1956 converged later in life in the School, some of them came with choice vehicles but Pastor Adeboye flew in an helicopter! It is clear that the Prince of peace promotes and celebrates His own. Already Pastor Adeboye has supported sets of buildings in the school, as he insists on always assisting the various institutions which had contributed to his development.  Pastor Adeboye can as well join David in singing the first verse of Psalm 126: “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream” (22).

 

Under the leadership of Pastor Adeboye and his compassionate wife, the Redeemed Christian Church of God has instituted vibrant social responsibility programmes, including the establishment of educational institutions at all levels, provision of health facilities, sponsorship of indigent students, remediation of out-of-school children and support for anti-poverty livelihood skills development. Prostitutes, sex workers and drug addicts have been located, given the message of hope and restored as disciples of the Prince of peace. Pastor Adeboye and his wife are also penchant givers who share the concerns of people beyond the membership of the Church. They believe that the Prince of peace does not want them to limit their intervention to preaching but would want them to accommodate practical steps that would restore peace to the individual and the global world. Pastor Adeboye offers prayers against kidnappers, ritualists and all those who disturb the peace of the land.

 

At the International level, Pastor Adeboye carried the message of the Prince of peace to all parts of the world, defying the weather, culture, languages and convenience, and always with the wife, the prayer partner and companion. He has been invited to the United Nations headquarters in New York to pray for world peace, and to Israel to pray at the Feast of Tabernacles. He once visited UNESCO where he met with the Ambassadors of countries that were at war and they all appreciated the air or peace that his presence brought to the United Nations specialized agency.  He has been named one of the 50 most influential people in the world!

 

The life of Pastor E. A. Adeboye is an eloquent description of the impact of accepting the Prince of peace to one’s life. The moment when a person makes that decision, peace is restored. That was the case with David who in his familiar declaration states, “as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters…so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God” (23). The danger comes, however, when those eyes are removed from the Lord. As the British evangelist, Oswald Chambers, explains, “spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto him”(24). Chambers gave the testimony of how the Lord never failed to keep His own portion of the Covenant relationship with His children:

 

Whenever a thing becomes difficult in personal experience, we are in danger of blaming God, but it is we who are in the wrong, not God: there is some perversity somewhere that we will not let go. Immediately we do, everything becomes as clear as daylight. The attitude must be one of complete reliance on God. When once we get there, there is nothing easier than living the saintly life; difficulty comes in when we want to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own ends. Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the witness of an unfathomable peace, which is not natural, but the peace of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, tarry till it does or find out the reason why it does not. If you are acting on an impulse, or from a sense of the heroic, the peace of Jesus will not witness (25).

 

The promise of the Prince of peace is firm and sure. He told His hearers on one occasion about His faithfulness as Covenant-keeping Lord: And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, or the gospel’s. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren,, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (26)

 

The Prince of peace brings  not only peace in the state of mind, contentment,  and trust that the Lord can never fail, but also the assurance that in after life there will be a place reserved for whoever He chooses to give that honour. He made this categorical promise when he announced His mission to the world: For God so loved that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life (27). The Prince of peace assures us of security, expunging of all anxiety and shame and offering a permanent peace by His side in Eternity. With the Prince of peace there is no provision for all the deadly consequences of association with the devil: death, disease, destruction, defeat, or disaster.  Furthermore, the answer to all requests from the Prince of peace will always be “yes”, and delay is not denial.

 

Some of the ingredients of peace are joy and victory. The outward demonstration of peace is the contentment that arises with the acceptance of the Prince of peace. It is not the wealth or blessings that follow but the presence of Jesus in the person. Jesus Himself says that He came, not to send peace but the sword. Oswald Chambers notes that thousands of people are happy without God in this world. They are comfortable and prosperous. He quickly explains that the kind of peace that derives from such happiness is however not sustainable. Chambers says that “that kind of happiness and peace is on a wrong level (because) it is not based on a personal relationship to Jesus, the Prince of peace (28). God Himself has stated that there will be no peace for the unrighteous. If the unrighteous therefore has peace, then one must watch out because that peace is by no means authentic. The gift of peace cannot be measured in material terms. Chambers defended his position on the nature of peace from Above:There are times when our peace is based upon ignorance, but when we awaken to the facts of life, inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. .. My peace I give unto you – it is a peace which comes from looking into his face and realizing His undisturbedness. Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of God’s providential permission, and having, as it were, turned over boulders of your belief, are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort; is all barren? Then look up and receive the undisturbedness of the Lord Jesus…If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you, you are either disturbed or you have a false security… When one confers with Jesus Christ the perplexity goes, because He has no perplexity, and our only concern is to abide in Him (29).

 

Inviting the Prince of peace into one’s life demands patience, trust and confidence.  On many occasions, things may not work out the way one would want.  It is imperative that at such moments, one should just wait and expect the Lord to decide what next to do. Attention is often drawn to the man-driven vision of Peter who assured the Lord that he would lay down his life for Jesus only to end up denying the same Lord three times before the cock could crow. The result is further frustration.  Chambers advises that we avoid doing anything on the impulse of feeling, and concludes that “if you do, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right. Wait for God’s time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment” (30).

 

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

It is possible that some of us in this auditorium or those reading this contribution are like Pastor Adeboye. We have desires, frustrations, unmet expectations, betrayals from friends and colleagues. There is only one solution to the unrest in our minds and lives, and that is by surrendering our lives to the Almighty God Creator of heaven and earth, repenting of our sins and iniquities, hidden and open, and confessing them, accepting His only begotten Son as personal Saviour and Lord of our lives. It will always take courage to want to abandon the earlier direction of our lives. However, that is exactly what the Prince of peace would want us to do: forsake our earlier ways.

 

The reward of accepting the Prince of peace into lives of individuals and nations is the stilling of the storm.  Jesus says that it is His prerogative to give peace. Since peace is given, we only need to receive it by faith and trust the Prince of peace who never fails to intervene in whatever situations we find ourselves. The rewards of accepting Jesus as Lord are many. The most important of the rewards is however the gift of peace. As Saint Paul puts it, “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1 As soon as the Prince of Peace enters a man or a situation, there is a halt to all anxiety and all impediments to the attainment of peace.  The Lord Jesus Himself declared: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace” John 16:33 Again it was Saint Paul who experienced at first hand the benefits of the peace from Jesus who advised his readers: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayers and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (31).

 

The Lord Jesus gives peace to anyone who accepts Him. Peace is therefore a gift from Jesus to those who receive Him. Shortly before He surrendered Himself to be crucified, Jesus assured His disciples that His peace would always be with them: Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (32).

 

It is, therefore, great privilege to accept the Prince of peace into our lives. He will calm every storm in our lives. The troubled world, troubled homes, troubled businesses, troubled marriages, troubled ministries, troubled thoughts, troubled situations and circumstances will receive peace.  We shall then celebrate, rejoice and have testimonies.

 

I, therefore, want to give anyone who has not already done so, the opportunity to come and surrender his or her life to Jesus.  Those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus but who want to renew their commitment to Him should join. Jesus Himself has invited people to come to Him:“Come to me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”(33).

 

The Prince of peace invites us to come under His management. We also know that there is power in the precious blood of Jesus, capable to give permanent and sustainable peace. We may not know where we are heading but if we follow the Prince of peace who is the Way, the Truth and Life, we can be rest assured that we will not miss way. We will therefore end up having sustainable and permanent peace.

 

Please permit me to conclude this presentation with my own personal experience of the impact which the Prince of peace can make on an individual.

 

I personally experienced the miracle gift from the Prince of peace when I had just completed writing my PhD thesis in History at the University of Ibadan. The thesis was an experiment begun by the Department of History then under the leadership of Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi after whom this auditorium has been named. Professor Ade Ajayi wanted the Department to have specialists in all the regions of the world including Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. To that end, he invited me, on the completion of my undergraduate studies and as the best graduate student in the Department of History, to proceed to Europe to work with distinguished specialists in the History of France, Germany and the United Kingdom to undertake a comparative study of the 19th century History of Europe. On completion of the work, I had to return to Nigeria to defend the thesis.

 

The three examiners who conducted the first round of the oral examination at the University of Ibadan kept me on the first day for three hours. They decided to continue with the examination the second day when I spent another two hours. After the examination, the examiners informed me that the thesis had failed. That would be the first time I would learn that a thesis could fail as I had understanding of theses that were referred for re-examination after minor or major corrections and for varied period of three months, six months and even one full year. I asked the examiners for a clarification of their decision and the external examiner told me that what they meant was that the thesis was inadequate for the award of a PhD but that it could be rewritten and submitted for a Master’s degree within two years under a new title that was to be registered at the Postgraduate School. They further explained that if I further desired to continue with the PhD degree, I could register as part time student and within another five to six years, I could present myself for the degree examination. I considered my situation hopeless and helpless. Peace vanished from me. I remembered that colleagues were already in festive mood at my apartment. When I returned to the apartment to inform colleagues that I had failed the examination, they did not believe and thought that it was a joke. They carried me shoulder high to announce the news of my failure, still joking. Those who had learnt about the sad development and who came to sympathize with me were surprised that I was carried around, and began to check for the real situation. I was bleeding inside and cursing the day that I decided to pursue a path in research and obtain a doctorate degree.

 

Not knowing what to do I went to join Christian students group at the Chapel of the Resurrection, and at Abadina, on the University campus that specialised in praise and worship. I was told that it was not enough to attend Church but that it was important to give my life to Jesus. I was encouraged to be re-baptised. Aware of the depth of my sin against God and my fellow human beings, I was interested in the Salvation of my soul and having the gift of Eternal Life as well as obtaining the PhD degree that appeared a mirage. In the process, I prayed, fasted, and worshipped and I was still not sure how the Lord would do the miracle of giving me a PhD. I thought that working for almost another ten years after an initial investment of four years in the pursuit of the PhD was perhaps too challenging for a young man. In the end, on the recommendations of the Faculty of Arts, of which Professor Ayo Bamgbose was the Dean, and the Postgraduate School, the Senate of the University decided that the candidate “should be allowed to register a new title and be supervised by another person” (34). The new title being registered, the examination was scheduled to take place not at the University of Ibadan but at the University of London, courtesy of the support of the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Oritsejolomi Thomas, and Chairman of Senate. It was clear that only a miracle would produce a PhD in less than one year.

 

By this time, I was already fed up with the thesis, so I spent the period of waiting for the re-examination to work on two articles related to my new position at the Faculty of Education. However to fulfill all righteousness I got the new version of the thesis completed within five months. With the new, approved title, I was ready for the examination. I kept on reminding myself that all things are possible for Jesus although I was not sure at the time that He was also interested in a doctoral thesis. A date was fixed for the examination. The University of Ibadan paid for my travel expenses to the UK and sponsored Professor Tekena Tamuno, the Head of the Department of History at the University of Ibadan, to join the two other examiners from the University of Oxford and the University of London.

 

The thesis was examined for less than one hour at the University College of the University of London and it was pronounced successful. Peace was restored to me. Instead of the ten years that the earlier panel of examiners had suggested that I resubmit myself for another PhD examination, the Prince of Peace had awarded me a brand new PhD within five months! I called my experience as a progression from PULL HIM/HER DOWN, the PhD of man, to PRAISE HIM DAILY, the PhD of the Prince of Peace. The University of Ibadan also gave me an accelerated promotion to the position of full Professor within the ten years that those examiners had listed. Consequently, rather than be called a Doctor the Lord chose to give me the title of Professor, all within ten years! I marveled at how the Prince of Peace qualifies the unqualified and gives extra to an ordinary person to make him extraordinary. I thereafter decided to stay put with Him for the rest of my life.  I later found myself teaching and examining courses up to the PhD theses, not only in all the regions of Africa but also in European universities. Today the same University of Ibadan has given me another miracle breakthrough by appointing me an emeritus Professor.  I have also been invited to assess professorship candidates and serve on the editorial boards of most prestigious History learned journals including the Journal of African American History. I appreciated the value of peace and recognized the role that Jesus plays in restoring peace to broken hearts at most desperate times.

 

However I learned one lesson from my experience that has helped me through life, and that is to just be still and know that Jesus is Lord. Patience and trust in the Prince of peace is important. If I had not passed through the storm of the PhD thesis, I would not have learnt lessons of providential will of God. My experience at the PhD examination made me abandon my proposal to conduct research in the field of who was responsible for the death of the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821 and to move into the interesting field of the History of Education in Nigeria. I am not sure why Daddy and Mummy G.O decided to appoint me to the foundation Governing Council of the Redeemer’s College, Sagamu or the founding Board of Trustees of the Redeemer’s University, but I always think that my work in the broad field of education may have attracted their attention. In any case, I know that the Federal Government was interested in a person in the field of education to serve as Nigeria’s representative and Ambassador to UNESCO on the return to democratic governance in 1999. Both President Olusegun Obasanjo who approved my nomination and Professor Tunde Adeniran who made the nomination must have been aware of the status of education in the work of UNESCO and possibly would have hesitated to appoint some specialist in the field of the death of Napoleon (35).

 

Again, Chambers warns:There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come when order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run before God’s guidance (36).

 

Later in my Christian life, I was invited to listen to Pastor E. A. Adeboye at the Chapel of the Resurrection at the University of Ibadan. As I heard him talk of Elijah the Tishbite, I became convinced that signs and wonders of peace and transformation would always be my portion for as long as I listened to the man of God and follow his instructions.  His central message was consistently, how Jesus makes the impossible possible by whatever means or method that He chose. I trusted the Lord for His many pronouncements and the word of knowledge at the Holy Ghost services.  I began to experience great peace in my undertakings as I committed my several elections and travels to the hands of the Prince of peace. On many occasions when I felt betrayed, I promptly reported such cases to the Prince of peace and waited for Him to act as He pleased.

 

When I served at the Nigerian Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris, I brought many difficult matters to Daddy G.O for advice and prayers and he was kind enough to attend to my myriad of requests. He indeed once prophesied that I would leave an indelible   mark in UNESCO. I was therefore not surprised when I was elected as the first West African to the position of the President of the General Conference of UNESCO in 2003. Today my photo is proudly displayed at the entrance to the Hall in which Ministers of Education, Science, Culture, Foreign affairs and Communication meet every two years to deliberate on the issues of education, science and culture.

 

In addition, I remember that Daddy Adeboye once told my Secretary, whose wife was barren, that he would have children. The wife of the Secretary later gave birth to triplets. On another occasion I left a prayer request at the offering basket at the Divine Encounter programme asking that the Director General of UNESCO who had been asked by the Federal Government to take a flight to Abuja be made to take his flight Lagos. My daughter wondered why I dropped the request at the offering box and I told her that the people who would count the money would take the request to the appropriate quarters for attention of Daddy G.O. Later that week the Director General who had booked a flight to Abuja, missed his flight to Abuja because of the heavy   snowfall in Paris which made it impossible for him to connect his flight to Abuja in Amsterdam. The Director General thereafter had to change his flight to Lagos exactly as I had requested from the Lord. And he was able to take part in the centenary celebration of the foundation of King’s College, Lagos for which I have been named an honorary student. The Lord has proved to me repeatedly that with Him nothing would be impossible and that His presence in any issue is a guarantee for peace.  It has also been clearly demonstrated to me that Jesus is the Source of peace and that He knows how to arrange peace in every troubled situation and circumstance.

 

It is the wish of Pastor Adeboye and my own ardent desire that everyone of us today in this Auditorium will surrender our lives totally to the Prince of peace to do whatever He wants with it. He will give us His peace that passes all understanding by His grace and according to His promises. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that with God nothing shall be impossible. The only requirement is to take a step of faith. That is what we should now do. Investing in the Prince of peace will usher in peace in individual minds, communities, institutions, villages and nations. It is a wise desirable investment that will provide sustainable peace on earth and guarantee entry to Eternity.

 

It is now left to us to take this advantage of surrendering our lives to Jesus as part of our celebration of the birthday of Daddy E. A. Adeboye.

You may kindly join me in taking this decision as we sing along: I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.

 

I thank you all for listening and for your patience. We wish Daddy G.O. happy birthday. Praise the Lord.

 

Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa, OON, FCOL

6th February 2019

 

Notes and References

 

  1. Numbers 6:24-26.
  2. Daniel 10:18&19
  3. Luke7:50
  4. Luke 8:48
  5. Psalm 34:12-14
  6. Hebrews 12:14
  7. Isaiah 2:2-4
  8. James 4:1
  9. See S.A. Akintoye, Revolution and Powerpolitics among the Yoruba, 1840- 1893, London, Longman, 1971, J. F. Ade Ajayi and R.S. Smith, Yoruba    Warfare in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, 1964,                Bolanle Awe, The Rise of Ibadan as a Yoruba Power in the Nineteenth               Century, D.Phil thesis, Oxford, 1964 and Justin Labinjoh, Modernity and               Traditions in the Politics of Ibadan, 1900-1975, Ibadan, Fountain Publications, 1991
  10. Isaiah 9:6-7
  11. Isaiah 6:1-4
  12. Mathew 1:21
  13. E.A.Adeboye, Open Heavens Devotional11 November 10,2016
  14. Philippians 2:9-11
  15. John 14:1-3
  16. Jeremiah 32:27
  17. Philippians 4:13
  18. 1Timothy 6:15-16
  19. Michael Omolewa, J.F. Odesola, Olaitan Olubiyi and Akinjide Osuntokun, eds.  Pastor E.A.Adeboye: His Life and Callingr, Ibadan, Bookcraft                 Publishers 2017, p.30
  20. E.A.Adeboye, Whoso finds a wife, Ota, Dominion Publishing\house, 2018
  21. E. A. Adeboye, Open Heavens Devotional, Monday, 15 October 2018
  22. Psalm 126:1
  23. Psalm 123:2
  24. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Barbour Publishing Incorporation, 1994,Devotional for November 24
  25. Chambers, Devotional for December 14
  26. Mark 10:29-30
  27. John 3:16
  28. Chambers, December 19
  29. Chambers, August 26
  30. Chambers, 4 January
  31. Philippians 4: 6-7
  32. John 14:1, 27
  33. Mathew 11:28-29
  34. Ayo Bamgbose, From Grace to Grace: An Autobiography, Ibadan, University Press Plc, 2016, pp. 138-139.
  35. Tunde Adeniran, Serving My Fatherland, Vol 1 Ibadan, Bookcraft Publishers, 2015, p.334
  36. Oswald Chambers, Devotional for January 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROFILE OF EMERITUS PROFESSOR MICHAEL OMOLEWA, OON FCOL

Michael Omolewa, currently Emeritus Professor of the History of Education at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ibadan and Emeritus Professor of History and International Studies at the School of Education and Humanities, Babcock University, had his primary education at the Seventh Day Adventist Schools in Ipoti-Ekiti, Erunmu and Ibadan; and his secondary education at Ibadan Grammar School, Ekiti Parapo College, Ido-Ekiti, and Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti. He had his university education at the University of Ibadan, the University of Dakar, Senegal, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and King’s College, University of London. He also attended the Advanced Christian Leadership course at the Haggai Institute in Singapore.

 

He was Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, 1985-1987, Head of the Department of Adult Education, 1987-1990, 1994-1998 and Chairman of the Committee of Deans of Faculties of Education of Nigerian Universities 1986/87 session. He was the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Nigeria from 2000 to 2009 to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and President of the 32nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO.

 

He has been awarded the Nigerian National honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON and the Fellowship of the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada, FCOL. He is Member of the Governing Council of Alex Ekwueme Federal University in Ebonyi State and of the Faculty of the Jerusalem Institute for Multicultural Studies in Bethlehem, Israel. He is  also a Member of the Governing Council of the International African Institute in the UK, Vice-Chairman of the Governing Council of Christ the Redeemer College in the UK and Member of the Board of the International Research Centre in Beijing, China.

 

He is Life Patron of the Historians of Education Society of Nigeria. Among his publications are Michael Omolewa, The Life and Times of Chief T.L. Oyesina: The story of a pioneer in African Education and Youth Leader, Ibadan, Abiprint 1981; Michael Omolewa,, Gbolagade Adekanmbi and Abiodun Okediran, eds J.S. Ogunlesi, 1902-1981, Ibadan University Press, 1989;  Michael Omolewa and Akinjide Osuntokun eds, Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi: His Life and Career, Ibadan Bookcraft Publishers, 2014;  and Michael Omolewa, J. F. Odesola, Olaitan Olubiyi and Akinjide Osuntokun, eds, Pastor E. A. Adeboye: His Life and Calling, Ibadan Bookcraft Publishers, 2017.

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