By Femi Aribisala
I first observed the manifestations of the power of God in the ministries of J.T. Kalejaiye and Uma Ukpai.
“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 19:1-2).
I grew up in a Christian, church-going family. Nevertheless, I never heard of the Holy Spirit until I was 41 years old. The Anglican Church today is different from the Anglican Church of old; at least I hope it is. In my youth, I never heard anyone preach about the Holy Spirit. But then, glory be to God, at the age of 41, I finally received the Holy Spirit, and he changed my life completely. Therefore, I find it necessary to talk to others about this wonderful gift of God.
The move of the Holy Spirit is so glorious; it is constantly subject to attack and forgery. With the Christian Church today full of con-men, many have chosen not to believe in miracles, or in the wonderful works of God. And yet, God is forever the same. He says: “I am the LORD, I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6). The same God of biblical yesteryears is the same God of today. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).
Jesus says: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8). When those called into ministry have spent time in the presence of the Lord, we receive the requisite anointing. This manifests in a number of ways and to different degrees. Its primary purpose is to heal the sick and to set at liberty those demonically bound and oppressed.
The Lord himself explains this at the beginning of his ministry. Quoting from the book of Isaiah, he says: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18-19). “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21).
Imagine a situation where a preacher is invited to your church and he declares that he has been anointed to declare that Christmas is now every day of the year. That is what it means to proclaim “the year of the Lord’s favour.” It means by the special grace of God, the blind will now see and the lame will walk; the lepers will be cleansed and the deaf will hear; the dead will be raised up and the poor will have the gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:5).
Today, there are so many counterfeiters of the power of God. However, for every counterfeit, there is the original and genuine article. When I first observed the manifestations of the power of God in the ministries of J.T. Kalejaiye and Uma Ukpai, I ran to the Lord to inquire about this. He confirmed to me that he was the author and then showed me their scriptural underpinnings in the bible. I have since seen all of them manifest in my own ministry.
Pillar of Cloud
I am sure you may have seen this before: an evangelist decrees healing or deliverance in the name of the Lord, and some people fall to the ground. That is the clean way of doing this because he does not touch anybody or, as some pretenders do, push them to the ground. The move of God comes at the instance of his voice, and some people are visibly and dramatically affected.
There is no artifice here, except on those bogus occasions when charlatans plan with others beforehand to put on an act in order to deceive. The power of God fills the place as an invisible but discernible thick cloud: “As the priests came out of the inner sanctuary, a cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. The priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple.” (1 Kings 8:10-11).
This sometimes causes some congregants to fall down suddenly on their faces in a worship mode. Ezekiel says: “I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 3:23). Paul also has a similar experience: “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground.” (Acts 9:3-4).
Slain in the spirit
The power of God also causes some men to be so overcome that they fall back. When Jesus identified himself to those who came with Judas to arrest him: “they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6). In Christian charismatic circles, this is referred to as being “slain” under the anointing because the person appears momentarily to be dead.
Again, there is scriptural backing for this. John says: “When I saw (Jesus), I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.’” (Revelation 1:17). As a matter of fact, the power of God sometimes puts people to sleep and they might not wake up for the entire duration of the service or fellowship. This again is scriptural. It indicates that the Lord is doing some operation or surgery on them.
The same thing happened to Adam: “The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.” (Genesis 2:21). Ditto for Abram: “Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.” (Genesis 15:12).
Once in my ministry, I quoted the scripture which says: “You have led captivity captive; you have received gifts among men.” (Psalm 68:18). Out of the blue, Bimpe Akindele was slain under the anointing. She remained motionless for the rest of the fellowship. When she recovered, she revealed that the Lord carried her to heaven and gave her an astounding revelation of his glory.
It is not always that glamorous. Sometimes the person overcome by the power of God goes into convulsions, and he might even start vomiting. When I first noticed this in the ministry of Uma Ukpai, I ran to the Lord to inquire about it. “Is this of God?” I demanded. “Yes,” the Lord replied, “it happens when people are undergoing deliverance from demonic oppression.”
Then he showed me an example from his ministry in the scriptures. A father describes the condition of his deaf and dumb son to Jesus: “Whenever the demon is in control of him it dashes him to the ground and makes him foam at the mouth and grind his teeth and become rigid.” (Mark 9:18). When they brought him to Jesus: “The demon convulsed the child horribly, and he fell to the ground writhing and foaming at the mouth.” (Mark 9:20).