The Holy Throne of the Most High God on Earth Ministry, also known as Kingdom of Heaven on Earth Mission (KIHEM) last week held a special thanksgiving service in honour of late Coordinator Special Priest, Peter Oreoba Talabi in Lagos. Elijah Obagbemileke, Senior Shepard Priest of KIHEM spoke with SEYI JOHN SALAU about the late priest and some national issues. Excerpts:
In your sermon you mentioned that the departed priest followed Jesus to the letter; what would you say were the legacies he left behind that are worth emulating?
We have lots of them and you can actually come across them in the tribute that people showered on him. Late Shepherd Priest Oreoba like Jesus actually said in the scripture “seek ye first His kingdom and all His righteousness”; Oreoba sort His kingdom and he possesses the righteousness of that kingdom. That was what people were testifying to. He was the coordinator of all Shepherds in KIHEM and also doubled as the treasurer and welfare officer for the ministry, and this was what people were testifying to. He was so humble – he will come down to any level to make sure that the problem you bring to him is solved. And he was able to relate with everybody with humility – both the young and old were testifying that this man was a great man of God who served God selflessly. Also, when we talk about the legacies he left behind – we the ministers he left behind are part of his legacies because he deposited all he has learnt from Jesus Christ, and his mentor – Olutanmole, he manage to deposit everything in us, and this is what we carry on with; life of righteousness, life of holiness.
You said that he was not materialistic; looking at this, what is your message to today’s church?
I will just advise our contemporaries, our colleagues who are in the world to ensure that they do the right thing. Christ came to the world to show the way to the father – to show us the way we can access the father and access heaven. So, He said seek ye not all these material things because this is what the gentiles also seek; because your father which is in heaven knows you have needs of all these things and He will provide for you. That is why He now told us that what we should seek is the kingdom of God. If the pastors and leaders of the people are seeking the right thing – am telling you our world would not be in this mess. It is the love of money and material things that is causing all the problem because this one wants to be rich, I want to be rich; this one is piling up riches for himself and his children yet unborn and the common people that needed to be comforted, that needed to be supported are neglected. In today’s world we have pastors that build houses that fly in jets – I mean it’s not bad to fly in jets but at least you are taking care of the poor masses; that is what Christ stood for. He came to care for the needy to solve the problem of the less privileged people. So, I am appealing to our fellow pastors to retrace their steps back to Jesus Christ. To do the needful; Christ preached righteousness – Christ did not preach marriage, did not preach leadership, did not preach what people are preaching today – He preached righteousness and the will of God. Christ preached against sin, so they should start reaching against sin and turning people back to do the will of God, and seek what Christ says we should seek above all things – the kingdom of God.
Nigeria’s economic situation is not getting better anytime soon; what is your take on this?
It’s time for the nation to seek God because wisdom cannot do what is on ground – human wisdom, human knowledge, intellect cannot solve Nigeria’s problem. Nigeria needs God – when I say Nigeria need God, some might think but we have churches, religious settings all over; are people seeking God? When I say seeking God, I am talking about people pursuing God’s righteousness – until people begin to do the will of God on earth there is no way out of whatever problem we found ourselves. Christ says may thy kingdom come; may thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven, and towards the end he says lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil. What is happening to the world has been predicted by the Lord Jesus Christ. He predicted it in two different places – first in the book of Matthew, he talked about the gospel that shall be preached in this end-time: “and then shall the gospel of the kingdom be preached in all the earth as a witness unto all nation; verse 12, he said “then there shall be iniquity and the love of people shall wax cold” – meaning that the love of people in God shall wax cold. This is what is playing out in the world now, and because of the love of the people that is waxing cold and iniquity shall abound – then there shall be consequence. In verse 21, he says there shall be great tribulation such that has never happened before – this is what is unfolding now. In Revelation 3:10: he says because thou have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation coming to the earth to try all them that dwelleth on the surface of the earth. So, what we are experiencing is just the unfolding of tribulation and temptation upon the earth. So, can human wisdom solve that? It’s God, we need to retrace our steps back to God.
What is your message to Nigerians as we transverse these trying times?
My message for Nigeria and Nigerians is that they should not lose hope – God is in charge. I want to tell you that as bad as the situation is in Nigeria, God is still in charge. People that are following God should follow events and they should align themselves with the programme of God. He is the same God – the God of Moses, God of Elijah; He is still the same God. What is happening today, God has a solution to it. The solution is what I have been talking about – doing the will of God in the kingdom of God. And, this kingdom is not just what we say by mouth, but we are talking about the rule of God (God’s divine rulership).
Back to the Shepherd priest; what more can you tell us about him?
Late Shepherd priest coordinator, Pater Oreoba, was a senior minister and we used to work together in the ministry and almost in every assignment, we were always together. He was a very honest and honourable, humble man of God. He dedicated his life to God in a world where ministers of God chose to pursue the material things like other people used to pursue in the world as against the injunction of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, when he came into the world didn’t own a house, didn’t own any earthly property, and he thought his disciples to do the same – even to the point that he said that the birds on the air they have nest, and the rabbit they have hole, but the son of man have nowhere to place his head. So, Christ almost and virtually had nothing – he didn’t possess any material things. But, today’s servants of God who claim to be followers of Jesus, everybody wants to live a gorgeous life on earth. So, people are acquiring money here and there deceiving the children of God; but we have somebody who followed Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ came into the world to preach righteousness; not everybody followed the pattern of Jesus Christ, but we had somebody who followed the pattern of Jesus Christ, and that was the mentor of this man (Oreoba); that person by name is Olutanmole universe. Olutanmole followed Christ to the letter, all his teachings to the letter. Jesus Christ owns nothing on earth; the same Olutanmole owns nothing, and the same legacy he passed on all his disciples – everybody that believed in Jesus Christ like this late priest Oreoba. As I am talking to you now, this papa had no earthly property – he owned no house, he had no landed property, and all the children that God gave unto him, he trained them in the way of the lord. If you look at what is happening in the contemporary world, Christendom, you will think that God is no longer in existence because of the way people are beginning to live their lives.
Why is he addressed as Special Coordinator?
Coordinator as per the name is one that administers, that leads, that ensures that people do the right thing. So, when you hear Coordinator Special Priest or Special Priest Coordinator, in KIHEM we have the office of Shepherd, we also have the office of Priesthood. So, our minister unlike what they use in the church; they call their spiritual leader pastor of bishop – in KIHEM like what Jesus Christ stood for; Christ was a Shepherd and also a Priest going by the gift that people gave to him and even by his ministration – he was a priest and also a shepherd. So, we combine the two because if you say a priest – the priest is the one that leads people in worship, a shepherd is the one that looks after the flock – provide for their needs, care for them; this is what ministers in KIHEM stands for. We are not just ordinary priest of pastor, we look after the flock, we take care of them, we show them love – teach them the way of God, and showing them love is not limited to providing their basic or material needs – we are talking about providing the word of life that will make them inherit internal life, which was the purpose Christ came into the world.