The church must manifest its potential or the whole world would go in disarray – Bishop Osagie
Annually, Powerline Bible Church holds its Power Conference every first week of October in Lagos. Ahead of this year’s conference, Bishop Lawrence Osagie, bishop of the church, held a press parley to announce the date for Power Conference 2017. Seyi John Salau was there and spoke with Bishop Osagie. Excerpts:
The Power Conference usually commences on October 1, same day with Nigeria’s Independence celebration. Is it a mere coincidence?
Well, liberty is one of the reasons why Jesus came. We used to do the Power Conference in the month of November; we did it for about three years and God told me to move it to the first week of October because, for our country, that signifies independence, that signifies deliverance from the people who ruled over us. Again, it was part of our own little way of joining the nation to celebrate her freedom, her liberty, and her independence. But, unfortunately the gains of that freedom are not with us. When they were talking about freedom and independence, we were very small then; I was in primary school and at that time we had so much hope, we did not have all this money that people can steal in this country. As far removed from limelight as my village is up till today, even then the impact of independence was felt in that little remote village because then the federal government would send things like plastic mug with the flag of the country printed on it, they would send bags of rice to every school.
On Independence Day, we were all in school not for any strenuous work but for celebration; the teachers cooked the rice and every child that was a Nigerian ate and had a sense of belonging. We marched in our beautiful uniforms well prepared for the celebration. It was fun and many of us looked forward to some level of development, for some light to shine, but eventually the cups never came again, the rice ceased, and all we have been hearing ever since are stories upon stories.
As we are talking now, there is a dance going on in Abia State, in this same country, and at times when you think deeply about it, you have the tendency for depression because disappointment is not good for anyone. I was thinking that at my age now I would be seeing a lot of people coming from outside Nigeria because of the beauty and all the manner of things that we had then, but they are nowhere to be found. The only things that have been instituted for us now are darkness, hunger, hatred, and stupidity. Funny enough, some people, a section of the country, just believe they can take the entire nation hostage. It is unbelievable but it’s here with us and it is only God that can give us true freedom and liberty from the tentacles of this kind of terrible mess that we find ourselves.
Are we to expect other guest ministers at the conference?
To make sure it is not only one voice that we would hear during the conference, I have also decided to invite two of my very close friends, Pastor Femi Emmanuel. Pastor Emmanuel has his ministry, Living Spring Ministry, at Ibadan, but he has a major branch at Ikeja. Then I have my other friend, Apostle Victor James, who has his ministry and a church in Dopemu area of Lagos State. We will team together to bring the word of God and expose people to the biblical prescription of signs, wonders and miracles. In the midst of that – the truth is that whenever the word of God is spoken with the spirit, God always comes down to add power to back it up, and the confirmation is always miracles like series of deliverances, intervention and breakthroughs. And why we are speaking, praying and worshiping, we expect the move of God that will bring about miracles and testimonies, and change in people’s lives.
On the crisis in the South-East that you mentioned, what is your advice to the federal government and how should we handle the issue of IPOB?
The present situation is a very painful one because while on a global level people are talking about civilized ways of leading people, here we are still more like in the Dark Ages. We are acting as if we do not know what democracy is all about, particularly what is going on in the Eastern part of Nigeria. The way the government has handled it has now exposed what the problem has been over the years. I cannot stop you from expressing yourself, it is your right. Why? Because God gave you that right and you should express yourself. If I do not like you, there are ways of going about it. We have a constitution. That constitution, though not perfect, guarantees you some level of freedom and liberty. The right to life should not be denied anybody, and under no circumstance should you take anybody’s life. What we are seeing now is an eloquent display of failed leadership. And for Nigeria, a nation that other African countries look up to, to be manifesting this level of decadence at this time, is a sorry situation. The best that the leadership can do, the best that this government can do, is to retrace its steps immediately. The damage is already done and whether Buhari likes it or not, if God gives him life he will eventually answer for what he has done; there is no way he can escape it. There is absolutely nowhere he will run to in life, he will definitely, because the world today is not the same as you had 30, 40 years ago.
The world is moving and we need to be seen as a nation that is moving along with civilization. No matter what those people are agitating for, they have a right to say we need this, and then it is not by sending soldiers there to wipe them out. What they should have done was to create a forum where people can sit down and dialogue. There is absolutely no problem that does not have a solution. When people dialogue over their issues, a solution will be found, but as long as a section of this country believes that it is their right to rule others and step on their legs and neck, and if they talk, you kill them, there will be no way forward.
Going back to the Power Conference, what more can you tell us about it?
The Power Conference is the major annual programme of the church. We have been doing Power Conference for the past 28 years. We started in a little way at the beginning of the church when we were at Pako Bus-stop, Aguda, in 1989, and we have had it every year. Every year sees the enlargement and the expansion of that little dream that was started 28 years ago, and we are glad that it has been sustained by God Himself and it has been an avenue of blessing to several thousands of people – some of them who have had their breakthrough and are out of the country now are coming back with lot of testimonies coming out of the gathering of Power Conference. It is our most prestigious programme, it is one programme we invested a lot into because we always look at it as our ladder to climb to the next level and we have never been disappointed.
This year’s preparation has been taken to another level because we know the level of preparation that we make is the level God meets us. We have scheduled to hold it from October 1 to October 8, that is one whole week. Power Conference is usually a weeklong event and the theme for this year’s conference is ‘Signs, Wonders and Miracles today’. We want to search the scriptures, search the word of God to see if there is any provision for the manifestations of the glory of God in our day. We are talking about biblical, scriptural manifestation of the power of God through signs, wonders and miracles. Why did we go in this direction? The bible says in the Book of Romans chapter 8, verse 19, that the whole earth is in pain waiting for the manifestations of the sons of God. The whole earth is in turmoil, but it’s waiting and expecting the revelation of the sons of God to manifest their potential, and unless the church begins to manifest its potential, the whole world will go in disarray. That is the reason we are looking at the subject of signs, wonders and miracles. In the process, we will be looking at issues like who are those that can manifest the miracle, who can delve into the supernatural, what do you need to be able to provoke or invoke the supernatural powers, and if such powers have been provoked and invoked, what are the sustaining factors to uphold the benefits of such powers that have been unleashed?
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