Monday, November 9, 2020 8:33 am
Reviewed by Matthew Agboma Ozah
It is not often that you find a book that is so engaging, inspiring,and interesting to the point that you are consumed in it and do not wish to finish reading it too quickly, just because you want to continue to enjoy and savour the prophetic revelations and biblical knowledge it provides. The Chinese people have a saying when they want to emphasize that somebody is born for a great accomplishment. In that situation, they say the person is born in interesting times. Likewise, one would crown the effortsof the author of “Beyond Dreams, Prophecies, and Visions,” Dr.Wisdom Okotie, as a gift from God Almighty in these interesting times. Readers of the book must be prepared to confront biblical verses that would challenge and build theirChristian faith in God.
The book cuts across events surrounding the author’s Church, the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), particularly the Pastor-successor issue. Some of which came in the form of dreams, prophecies, and visions, even beyond, as the book’s title suggests. There are lots of wonderful revelations in the book,one of which is what the author calls the mystery of number 38. According to the author, Papa Samuel Bilehou Joseph (SBJ),Oshoffa received the divine message to start the church on September 29, 1947, at age 38. He pastored the church for 38 years until his call to glory on September 10, 1985, while the Holy Spirit spoke to the author on September 29, 1985, that the Lord was choosing him to head the church, and that was the day CCC turned 38 years, etc. This, as the author analyzed, is a sign of how structured the works of the Holy Spirit are that are beyond human comprehension. The theme and whole narrativescentered around the book point to succession of the Pastor’sposition of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) worldwide. The author, aside from his dreams and visions, emphasized severaldreams, visions, and prophecies by other people in different places and time portraying him as the rightful person to ascend the post. His humility and perseverance to wait on the Holy Spirit to lead and unveil the wool from the eyes of the current factional leaders of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) is worth emulating.
Regarding the accounts recorded in the book and the sequence at which revelations exposed the author as the chosen one, there is no need to look any further about who is divinely positioned to succeed Papa SBJ Oshoffa. Therefore, it is very paramount for every reader of the book to have not just a clear mind but a lucid understanding of the various prophecies and visions as well as comments by notable leaders of the church. The book took its roots from the background of how things started to manifest in the form of dreams, visions, among others. As far back as March 28, 1985, the author shared Holy Spirit-directed propheticrevelations with Papa SBJ Oshoffa. While sharing the revelations, Papa Oshoffa said, “Ooto Oro ni omo yii so,”meaning this young man tells the truth. On Friday, March 29, 1985, SBJ Oshoffa laid hands on his head and blessed him. In an attempt to correlate the incident to the Bible, the author reminded readers about how Moses laid hands on Joshua and how Elijah told Elisha to ask what he wanted. To buttress the succession factor, the author reprinted Papa SBJ Oshoffa’s response to a question on a television interview where he said, “I already have an arrangement. There is a write up that is with me…. When I pass, it will not be the officer that is really close to me in rank that will sit on my seat…it is the Holy Spirit that will choose the one who will sit on my seat…” However, when the kingmakers begin to struggle to become king themselves the need to adhere to the Holy Spirit becomes difficult. This bringsto bear Papa SBJ Oshoffa’s prophetic sayings that, “After my death, if Celestians stand in unity and one accord, in seven yearsa Pastor and true leader will arise and lead Celestial worldwide. But, if there arise deceit and fight for leadership and post, the Church will suffer disunity and segregation, and when it’s thirty years a young man will arise for the unity of Celestial throughout the world”.
The failure of the CCC leadership to wait on the Holy Spirit is starkly manifested in the prolonged and continued division or factions within the Church. In the spirit and letters of the CCC Constitution, the powerful 54 pages “Blue Book” that took about four years to complete as well as in the perception of the liberal members, the church leaders continued in their failure to reach a common ground in solving the succession issue. Under such circumstances, the author queried, how do Celestians come to terms with the failure of leadership to arrive at a peaceful consensus on the succession matter? It is more crucial and expedient for CCC worldwide to exist with a Holy Spirit-chosen Pastor as leader than the prevalent factional leaders.
The book offers a unique insider’s experience in chapters four and five as it tries to paint a picture of the bureaucracies that we find in public service in the church. It critically enumerates the various ways in which dreams, prophecies, and visions from different people and places point at the author as the Pastor’ssuccessor. Yet, some notable leaders in the church continue to play the de facto role on the succession issue. In an attempt to expand the readers’ understanding of who succeeds Papa SBJ Oshoffa, Chapters six to nine tend to reveal clearly a lot of correlation between what the author dreamt about years ago and prophecies from other men and women of God. It is interesting to note that in faraway Singapore, Prophet Sadhu Sundar Salvaraj, in a prophetic message, informed the author during a conference in February of 2019 while preaching that, “you have been brought here because you have an assignment from God.”Just as in a prophecy on April 6, 1983, Woli Tunde of Adelabu Parish, Surulere said: “The time is coming when God will use you as His anointed servant…” And on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Prophetess Tijani in a dream saw Papa SBJ as he prayed, robed, crowned and hugged Dr. Okotie. After which, Papa SBJ assured him of his guidance through the path…”. The above encounters drew a lot of relevance because the author is likely the successor to the Pastor’s position.
It is surprising to note that some leaders of the church who ought to show exemplary leadership allow themselves to get involvedin discrepancies and conflicts that could be solved at the altar through the Holy Spirit. However, Chapter ten can be a child of circumstance as the book was to end in the previous chapter. According to the author, the Holy Spirit laid some mind-boggling questions on his heart for the Church leadership; What must have gone wrong? Is there a solution, and can the problem be resolved? In the affirmative, the author believes that the leadership crisis in CCC can be resolved amicably. Therefore, he used the opportunity to draw readers’ attention to his several visits and the cordial relationship between him and the SBJ Oshoffa’s family, other factional leaders, and notable personalities in the church. Of course, one can guess the reason for this. Hence, the author drew a contrast between himself andsome leaders who took delight in their position and blinded with the thought that kings don’t go to their subjects. The author was quick to point out to those with the above belief that the seat of the founder in CCC is not Obaship, that Christ left His heavenly throne to visit with His subjects on earth. More so, Christ said, “The greatest among you must be your servant.” There is, to a fair degree, an understanding of Dr. Okotie’s book. The message he so desperately endeavours to pass out, as the book suggests,is really beyond dreams, prophecies, and visions. It has everything to do with the nature of man and his limitations to comprehend the awesomeness of God. However, I think it is an excellent book with a very great attempt at opening the eyes of the CCC leadership to the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit through dreams, prophecies, and visions. The book is an essential read for every Christian and, in particular, Celestians. It is a real eye-opener to the lingering succession issue. I salute the author and congratulate him for his painstaking effort in putting all that happened in a span of over three decades together.