Praise and worship was over, the whole congregation rose as the man of God strode in. He looked neither to the right nor left as he made straight for the pulpit.
Women curtsied and men bowed in his wake. He didn’t acknowledge the greetings but he was aware of it. It was his due. He had earned it
He climbed the elevated podium and stood, staring haughtily over the sea of heads. He held himself erect for a full minute. In that minute, you could hear the bated breathes as people waited expectantly to ‘hear from God’.
Dramatically, the figure on the pulpit threw up his hands and dropped to his knees. Immediately the hall erupted as people scrambled to their knees. You don’t remain standing when ‘The Commanding Bishop’ of His Glorious Body Ministries was on his knees.
The Most Revered Reverend Jehovah-Nissi Iyala raised his voice in a booming wail,
“Why are you grieving My Father? Why are you grieving My Brother? Why are you grieving My Partner?”
He paused and in an even louder voice roared,
“God is not happy! Jesus is not happy! The Holy Spirit is not happy! The Cloud of Witnesses is not happy! Nay, the whole of heaven is not happy!”
Suddenly dropping his voice to a low whisper, he said,
“And YOU ALL are the cause!”
He stood up to his feet and glared at the congregation. They cowered before the judgment in his eyes. In a voice quavering with suppressed emotion, he continued,
“I cannot even preach today because of the pain in my heart. The pain in my soul. The pain in my spirit.”
“The Holy Spirit in me groans in pain. Christ is weighed down in sorrow and The Almighty God can barely raise His head up anymore!”
He spread out his arms in eloquent supplication,
“Are you not the light of the world?
Why is the world still in darkness?
Are you not the salt of the earth?
Why have you not sweetened the earth?
Are you not the possessors of His riches?
Why is His church and servant lacking?
You are citizens of heaven, God’s ambassadors on earth, the ones He has chosen to enlarge His servant but you have failed Him!”
“The Ruler of Heaven and Earth! The Alpha and Omega! The I AM that I AM is ashamed of You!”
“Do you dare to invite His judgment?
The Stumbling Block?
The Rock of Offence?
Are you not afraid to fall into the Hands of the Dreaded Judge?
HA!!! Do you know who you are toying with?”
“Christ said you are to do more than He did but you have not even done what He did. Yet you are feeling comfortable and patting yourselves on the backs?”
“Better ask for forgiveness. Cry out for mercy. Plead for His compassion that He might not destroy you in His burning rage”
Immediately, cries went out from every lip. Some sobbed, some rolled on the ground, others tore at their head ties and hair as they sought absolution for sins they didn’t know they had committed.
The Oracle of God watched them dispassionately for a while and then raised his left hand for silence. Like an ebbing tide, the cries faded out until there was only deafening silence once again.
“All that is well and good” he said derisively, “but repentance is in deeds not words”.
“To show you are truly sorry, start by doing more than Christ in your tithes and offerings. He paid 10% 0f His tithes. How much are you willing to pay to prove yourself to Him?”
He gestured with his hands and the ushers immediately sprang into action. Offering baskets were passed round. Bags were emptied and pockets turned out as the innocent faithful gave more than the 10% of their Savior to prove themselves to God and His mouthpiece.
The baskets soon found their way back to the altar and were piled at the feet of the man of God. He didn’t take his eyes off the people.
His piercing gaze swept over them, probing for anyone who had given less than his all. None had, but they still quailed in self condemnation and guilt before the look in those eyes.
Finally, “I will pray to My God to have mercy and accept your repentance offerings but more than that, I will pray to Him to give you the heart to maintain this Spiritual Revival of More!”
He raised both hands, palms facing down, “May the Grace of the Lord be with you!”
With that, he strode off the podium. The ushers hastily grabbed the baskets and fell into line behind him, exiting the hall.
Sunday service was over.