EMMANUEL Oje Ehimika, popularly known as The Preacherman, is the founder and President of Fruits Integrated, an all encompassing network of ministries with headquarters in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He is the Apostle of “The Jesus Dream”, vision which is today, one of the most unifying Christian experience worldwide since Pentecost. In this interview with newsmen, The Preacherman explains why the world must understand the significance of Africa in the ministry of Jesus; “When he needed to live, Africa gave Him shelter and when He needed to die an African helped him to carry the instrument for his death.”
What is The Jesus Dream, TJD?
Before Jesus died, He prayed over and over again concerning unity of his disciples(the Church), because that was His passion for God to be able to dwell on earth. This is because without unity of the body, God cannot dwell on earth. When shed His blood and died, the unity was accomplished.
He had prayed that the world would see us as one. (John 17:23). TJD is the manifestation of the oneness that we are in Christ, for the world to see. It is observed by a one hour worship session by Christians all over the world, declaring the wonders of God just like the first thing that was done by the early church, on the day of Pentecost. Christians in all countries of the world will, at the same hour declare the wonders of God on June 30 every year.
Who are the participants?
The Bible says whoever says Jesus is Lord, the Holy Spirit enables him/her to say it: All who confess Jesus as Lord are the participants of TJD. At that hour there are no Catholics, Orthodox, Pentecostals etc. but Christians.
Where is the venue?
TJD is observed anywhere you are in the world; in the church, schools, prisons, hotels, hospitals, offices, sea, air, homes, etc. “Sing unto the Lord a new song and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the SEA, and all that is therein: the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing; let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord and declare his praise in the Islands. (Isaiah 42:10-12.
As a family man/woman, God expects you to gather your family to observe the praise hour; or as a pastor organize it in your church. Others can likewise gather Christians in their respective communities; even on the streets, estates, etc. to observe TJD.
Why June 30?
June 30 is the center of the year and it also signifies stability. Six months on the right and six months to the left equally. Similarly, God dwells in-between cherubs over and above the Ark of covenant. Even Jesus was hung between two thieves on the cross.
What is the benefit of declaring the wonders of God?
Since man was created to worship God. (Isaiah 43:21, I Peter 2:9), when we undertake to declare God’s wonders in praise, we only return to the original purpose for man. God then is committed to “in all things make things work out for good to those who are called of Him and are in His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). For that day, there are spiritual benefits.
First, we are no longer in our local assembly or denomination spiritually, but in the Great Assembly. That’s why David said he will worship God in the Great Assembly (Ps 35:18). We become parts of the great spiritual building of God. Second, as we declare God’s wonders we attract wonders into our lives, because it’s what you behold that you become. (II Cor. 3:18)
How do you sponsor this global event financially?
I do not have a church or a secular business. I had a church, but God instructed me to close it down. I started two different businesses as well and God told me to shut them down too. So I now depend on freewill offerings from those whose eyes are opened to the greater need of the larger church.
A lot of Christians are ignorant of what exactly constitutes the Body of Christ because in their local assemblies, very few pastors teach about unity of the entire body. They end up supporting only their local assembly leaving the larger body, which Christ died to unite to suffer. I thank God that a new awareness is being created now and the number of givers are increasing.
We are trusting God to raise people who on a regular monthly basis will give to TJD financially no matter how small. This will enable us to go on radio nationally and internationally and also to organize seminars to teach people and sensitize them on the fact that while we do not support the unity of Christ’s body we only build cathedrals for ourselves but refuse to “build” the spiritual house in which God wants to dwell among men.
God told us to take nations for Him. So, when you give to TJD and we spread the vision in several other nations of the world, then such a Christian is taking the nations for God.
How will advanced nations react to this African initiative?
God chose where Jesus Christ was to be born and He also chose where to hide him when, as a child, Herod wanted to kill him. That was in Egypt (Matt 2:13) in Africa.
Also when He carried the heavy cross and was tired, an African named Simon, from Cyrene near Libya, helped Him: follow the pattern: When he needed to live, Africa gave Him shelter.
When he needed to die an Africa helped him to carry the instrument for his death. Now concerning His greatest passion—unity, He has chosen Africa again. Clearly, in these deep spiritual moves, no human being has choice other than to accept heaven’s decisions.
Why declaring God’s wonders?
The original purpose of man when God created him was to praise God, not to pray. Before Adam sinned, there was no need for him to pray; but to praise God who had made everything good and available. In the book of Hosea 14:2, it says “… Forgive us our sins so that we can praise you.”
Which means if there is no sin praise is the next thing. When sin is forgiven the first thing to do is to praise God. That is why on the day of Pentecost after Christ had forgiven us our sins the first thing the disciples did was to declare the wonders of God when the Holy Spirit arrived.
Why is the 2014 edition the foundation laying edition?
This is the fifth edition of The Jesus Dream event and from this edition onward we will be doing the same thing year after year, declaring the WONDERS OF GOD.
In the last four editions it was prayer for the unity of ministers of God, unity of the entire Body of Christ and thanking God for reconciling us to Himself.
How was the 2013 tjd edition?
First, it could be termed the most advertised Christian event in Nigeria so far. God raised people especially the media to support. We saw some churches streamline the event in Ghana, another African country.
In America some churches extended their church service. In other foreign countries, some preachers used their radio programmes to announce TJD. There were miracles like a 48-year old lady who had never had a suitor, after she prayed TJD on the next day her would-be husband showed up.