By Femi Aribisala
My name is Femi Aribisala. You may know me as the writer of these articles of faith. What you may not know, however, is that I am a great man. Indeed, I am greater than Prophet Isaiah. I am greater than Jeremiah and Ezekiel. I am greater than Elijah and Elisha. As a matter of fact, I am greater than all the Old Testament prophets.
Witness of God
John says: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” (1 John 5:9). I received the witness of my greatness from the Lord himself. Right from the beginning of my relationship with him, he has been at pains to make me understand and receive his witness of my lofty status in Christ. Jesus says: “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11). By receiving the kingdom of God, I became greater than John the Baptist, who in turn is greater than all the Old Testament prophets. Therefore, I am greater than all the Old Testament prophets.
The very second time the Lord Jesus spoke to me directly, he referred me to Matthew 13:13-16. This has him saying to me: “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.”
I understand this to mean after forty-one years of walking in darkness, the Lord finally opened my eyes and ears. I discovered thereafter, that “many prophets and righteous men desired to see what I see, and did not see it, and to hear what I hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:17). This is because these men of old never had the privilege I have of listening to the teachings of Jesus and receiving the vision and illumination that come from his words. This is the tragedy of Paul. He never heard Jesus preach and teach. He refused to receive the word of Jesus from the apostles. Therefore, he was severely handicapped.
Sons and servants
Because of this handicap, Paul refers to himself as “a slave of God.” (Titus 1:1). This shows he does not know the doctrine of Jesus. A son of God would never refer to himself as a slave of God. Slavery is anathema to children of God. A slave is bought, but a son is birthed. A slave does not have the guarantee of eternal life that is the birthright of a son. Jesus says: “A slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:35).
Jesus is the quintessential Son of God. But God calls Moses his servant. (Joshua 1:2). Elijah also refers to himself as a servant of God. (1 Kings 18:36). At the Mount of Transfiguration, God brought these two powerhouses of the Old Testament to talk to Jesus. Then he sent an important message to his disciples: “A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’ And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.” (Mark 9:7-8). In effect, there was a baton-change. God said “listen to my son: stop listening to my servants.”
Servants of God have limited knowledge of God. Jesus says: “A servant does not know what his master is doing.” (John 15:15). Therefore, if we were to learn about God from his servants, including Moses and the prophets, our knowledge would be limited. Furthermore, Jesus maintains: “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40). This makes Moses and the prophets inevitably inadequate teachers. If we were to learn at their feet, our knowledge could never exceed their limitations. But if we were to learn from Jesus, we would receive perfect knowledge.
God told Moses he would be sending yet another Jewish prophet like him whose word must be obeyed. (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). If servant Moses had been capable of doing a perfect job, that would not have been necessary. That other prophet of promise is Jesus: the son of God.
Let there be light
Therefore, once I received from Jesus the power to become a son of God, I began to ask and to seek and to knock. Jesus says: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). I had a bone to pick with God especially. David was so centred on God; he even listened in on a conversation between God the Father and Jesus. He says in the psalms: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.’” (Psalm 110:1).
I told the Lord this was unacceptable. If he could give such a mighty revelation to David, a servant of God; he could jolly well give it to me as well; after all, I am his son and thereby, greater than David.
I harassed God about this repeatedly until one day, during a church prayer-meeting at Pentecostal Assembly, he asked me to tilt back my chair. When I did, I could hear the gentleman behind me praying in tongues. Then suddenly, something dramatic happened. The Lord opened my ears and the man’s “tongues” turned into perfect Queen’s English. To my astonishment, I discovered the Holy Spirit was the one praying through him. What would God’s Spirit pray to God? I was privileged to hear everything. The Holy Spirit was praising God.
I have never heard such exuberant praise in my life. I cannot recall again exactly what he said. I just know I was dumbfounded. I was struck by the diction. It was superlative praise; far superior to anything written by David in the psalms. I kept thinking: “Oh, how I wish I could record this!” But if I had, it would just have come out as someone praying in tongues. After a while, the revelation simply rolled away; replaced again by tongues. When I shared it with the man concerned after the service, he was just as flabbergasted as I was.
So let me repeat this again; without bothering about those always inclined to take offence. I am greater than Isaiah. I am greater than David. I am greater than all the Old Testament prophets. AND SO ARE YOU IF YOU ARE A SON OF GOD.
Jesus says: “He who is of God hears God’s words.” (John 8:47).