Author Archives: Editor

Affliction

The following was a response I sent to a brother inquiring about particular troubles he is facing that I thought might also be of encouragement to you. Love, bro Steve

Dear brother M, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man. The same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. Thus, God is in control of circumstances and even temptations themselves. See I Cor.10:13; I Pet.5:9,10.

You indicated that you are distressed over a continuing ailment. I know virtually nothing of your situation, but let me offer these words that I trust will be of comfort and encouragement to you. The Psalmist says: “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” [Ps.119:71]. It was due to a bodily affliction in Paul that the gospel was first preached to the Galatians [Gal.4:13].

In the wisdom of God, the Lord not only allowed, but refused to remove a thorn in Paul’s flesh on the grounds that His grace was sufficient for the power of God to be manifest through that weakness [2 Cor.12:7-10]. Having so said, Paul confessed that he was well content with [and I will provide here an alternate translation of verse 10] “inability to produce results [i.e. weaknesses], mistreatment [i.e. insults], necessities [ i.e. distresses], with persecutions, with anguish [i.e. difficulties], for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

So, dear brother, in that you are presently reduced to weakness and distressed over that state is designed for your good and everlasting benefit by loving wisdom from on high. Do not fret over obtaining a rapid release from what seems to be set against you presently. In good time the Lord Himself will bring you forth into broad places. Yet even a Timothy was beset with a chronic affliction for which no supernatural remedy was forthcoming [I Tim.5:23].

It is quite natural for us to search our hearts when things appear to be “going wrong.” But do not become morbidly introspective; this is never the Lord’s will. The deeper one peers into that darkened cesspool of self, the more removed we become from the solution. David rightly prayed thus: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there by any wicked/hurtful/way of pain way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” [Ps.139:23,24].

This is the prudent and safe way; ask God to search your heart rather than attempting to do so from our own distracted, confused, and untrustworthy assessment. If there is something needing mending, He will surely lovingly bring that to our attention for our blessing and His glory.

It may be so that our situation and the silence of God are, in fact, due to no fault of our own. It was so for the brethren in Ps.44. “All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You, and we have not dealt falsely with Your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, and our steps have not deviated from Your way” [v.17,18]. Read that Psalm; in the midst of it is the striking statement that we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered [v.22], the very passage that Paul quotes as proof that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord [see Rom.8:35-39].

Brother, you indicated that you have a sense of failure. I, at least, would not wish to boast about my own “success;” I am acutely aware of my numerous shortcomings-failures, actually-and have nothing to glory in but the cross, through which I have been crucified: not a very complimentary resume’. If I have been crucified, then there is hope in Him who is the Resurrection and the Life that something good may yet come forth from the tangled disaster of which I am made up of.

The song that arrested your heart, “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest,” is taken from Christ’s own words in Mt.11. There He continues in v.29, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” What is it that we are to learn from Christ? Meekness. Vine’s Dictionary describes meekness as an inwrought grace of the soul consisting of that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting: as even receiving the insults and injuries of evil men as employed by Him for our chastening and purifying. 

Think of all the contradiction of sinners against Himself that Christ endured with this disposition of heart. Truly we need to learn from Him; and surely this will bring rest to our souls.

Love, brother Steve

Yinnkah’s 5th Missionary Journey

YINNKAH DUROJAIYE’S FIFTH BENUE MISSION TRIP

January 7th to April 9th 2010

On the 7th of January this year 2010, bro Yinnkah came down to Idoma Land, Otukpo, Benue State for the gospel ministry and he was received by me, Bro Amos Agbochenu and my family. During his three-month stay [his longest so far], we saw the hand of God at work even like the fellowship of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16). I mean God was gracious to us as we lacked nothing!

YINNKAH’S ITINERARY

Throughout his stay, bro. Yinnkah devoted his time to teaching at a local church at Sabongeri in Otukpo every Friday evening of the week from 4 PM to 6 PM, and on every Saturday from 9 AM to 12 PM and then again from 3 PM till 6 PM. The book of Romans chapters 1-3 was the subject of his teaching.

Other brethren from different denominations were blessed too, among whom are elder Denis Obiabo from the Cherubim and Seraphim movement [Editor: This is one of the so-called “White Garment” “churches” led by West African “prophets” some of whom practice polygamy and all of whom employ traditional occultist methods and rituals], bro. Simon Abi and bro. Crescent.

OJALI, OHIMINI LOCAL GOVERNMENT: At this local government, the different denominations interested at his Bible teaching agreed to meet twice a week, Mondays and Tuesdays, at one of the local churches’ meeting place. However, because of the intense heat, we later had to be meeting under the nearby Cashew trees [Editor: A much more pleasant arrangement – out from under the sweltering corrugated tin roofs, out in God’s open air].

At this venue bro. Yinnkah focused his teachings on “The Church which Jesus is building” (Mt. 16:18), a summary of which he penned down in a pamphlet he freely distributed to all. He spoke on many aspects of the church such as the headship of Christ over His church, the need to study the Scriptures, the right giving in the church according to the Bible, the Christian woman’s ministry in the Church and at home (Titus 2:1-5), etc.

The number of those in attendance was above fifty with women in the majority, especially during his teachings on the women’s ministry. There was joy in these meetings as people’s eyes were being opened spiritually through the unfolding of the Scriptures by our brother.

Throughout the three months, we rode on motorcycle form Otukpo to Ojali, about a seven- mile distance, every Monday and Tuesday, and the meeting commenced from 3 PM till around 6 PM. I can see that when there is a teacher teaching the truth, God’s people will be built up and comforted.

We thank the Lord for liberating elder Sunday Atuh, his sons Elisha and Michael (who have shown interest in the Discipleship Experience by Steve Phillips introduced to them by bro. Yinnkah) and others as well. The Ojali brethren are still thirsty for more of this kind of ministry. They prayed the Lord will help our brother to revisit them soon and for yet a long stay too.

OTUKPA, OGBADIBO LOCAL GOVT. On hearing the teaching ministry of brother Yinnkah, the General Overseer of the Faith Church of Christ [Yinnkah: not affiliated with the Church of Christ denomination] Otukpa [Editor: Otukpa is about 50km from Otukpo], Andrew Akor came down to invite him to their Workers’ Retreat which was held on the 19th to 21st of February. Bro. Yinnkah honored the invitation in company with brother Simon Egwu from Sabongori Church at Otukpo.

At the retreat he taught and preached on the salvation of the soul and how our works as believers, including how we do church and ministry, will be evaluated at the judgment seat of Christ. He pointed out that our denominations of today and their leadership have erred from the truth of the New Testament and that there is an urgent need for the church to return to the standard of the New Testament.

Many trooped out to the pulpit with tears of repentance, including the G.O.’s [Editor: General Overseer, a common title of the person who “owns” and operates a particular church/ministry] wife who was indirectly corrected for usurping authority over men. May they bring forth fruits of repentance.  The brethren there wished to be informed when bro Yinnkah visits Benue again that he may minister among them once more.

THE MINISTRY AT ST. DANIEL HOSPITAL, OTUKPO

This meeting was held at the newly completed conference hall of the hospital every Thursday of the week throughout the three months. It was the same book of Romans that bro. Yinnkah repeated with them. Dr. Daniel himself and one of his chief Nursing officers, brother Jonathan, organized the meeting. Those who attended were mostly staff of the hospital. They testified of being blessed by our brother’s ministry and expressed their joy while praying for his next visit to them. Since some of his teachings were recorded on cassettes, some took further advantage by dubbing [copying] them for personal study.

THE CHURCH AT OBAGANYA: On the Lord’s day, 7th of February, we fellowshipped with this church where we met bro. Peter Igoh who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and has been standing for His truth. There bro. Yinnkah spoke on Christ, the willing sacrifice, based on Heb. 10:1-10 before we broke bread. After the breaking of bread he was again called upon to further speak to the church.

He continued unveiling the life of Christ with probing questions of whether we are like Him. For example, from Lk.2:49, Jesus was even being about his Father’s business in the Carpenter’s workshop for eighteen years ever before His public ministry. He was found faithful and approved of God even before He preached His first sermon and before He preformed His first miracle! God’s people being edified, prayed for his coming to minister among them again.

UGBOKOLO AND ENUGU EZEKE (10TH & 11TH APRIL 2010)

On the 10th of April, bro Yinnkah journeyed to Ugbokolo to fellowship with bro Christopher (Uche) and his family. The following day being the Lord’s day, the two brothers traveled on motor bike to Enugu Ezeke, Enugu State [Editor: bro Titus has often ministered the Word here], where they fellowshipped and broke bread with the brethren there who had been looking forward to receiving him.

Bro. Yinnkah preached on “Your first Love” from Rev. 2:4 as he challenged the brethren to guard their love for the Lord and for the brethren by which all men will know that we are Christ’s disciples indeed (John 13:34, 35); and without which we are nothing by God’s assessment of our lives and works (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

Immediately after the meeting, bros. Christopher and Yinnkah travelled back to Ugbokolo where some brethren whom bro Christopher has been encouraging gathered at his house to fellowship. Some of them came after a long time because he informed them of our brother’s visit from Ibadan. Bro. Yinnkah spoke on “Gathering unto the name of Christ” (Mt. 18:20) while bro. Christopher exhorted on “The old Path” (Jer. 6:16). Let’s keep praying that the Lord would establish the feet of these brethren on the narrow path and that bro Christopher will also be granted more grace to strengthen them.

THE YOUTH CONFERENCE AT SABONGIRI (2nd – 4th April)

As the work progresses, the Lord is uniting the hearts of both brother Height Inyiama, a professor in Computer Studies at the Federal University of Technology, Awka, Anambra State, and bro. Yinnkah. They are both teachers and preachers of the Word of God with special interest in the younger generation as they fortify them with the truth against “Apostate Pentecostalism.” They were both speakers at the first bi-annual youth [Editor: Youth, here, refers to college-aged young adults] conference for this year.

The conference is a vision of brother Height and the last session was the third of its kind, and the second time bro Yinnkah participated as a guest speaker. The thrust of bro. Yinnkah’s teaching was on identifying the difference between the old and the New Covenant with emphasis on the superiority of the latter. According to him “if Christ’s blood was shed to establish a new and better covenant, why do we want to be yoked to the old in counting the blood of the covenant by which we were sanctified  a common thing, which is an insult to the Spirit of grace?!” (Heb. 10:29).

It was indeed a revealing and exciting time for these young people numbering over a hundred! They were freely given magazines, tracts and pamphlets written by bros. Height and Yinnkah. The next conference comes up in October, 2010.

FASTING AND PRAYER MEETING (19th – 22nd March, 2010)

Bro Yinnkah also taught alongside bro Height during fasting and prayer sessions organized by bro. Height and some brethren in Otukpo. The Lord used the two speakers mainly to warn and prepare God’s people for the imminent coming of the Lord. The first message of bro. Yinnkah was on the present global warming. According to him, “the present global warming is a global warning of the nearness of the Lord to judge the world.” The message has been written in a tract form and freely distributed to people in Benue to warn them of the judgment to come that they may turn to Christ by faith.

Brethren, it is only the omniscient Lord who knows what has and is being accomplished by this three-month ministry. But surely we know that the Lord’s Word “that goes forth from My mouth… shall not return to Me void [empty, without fruit], but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11), says the Lord.

FINAL WORDS

God’s people need to be awakened from their sleeping post of denominational and empty religious programs to obey Christ’s command (Mt. 28:19,20) and the leading of His Spirit (Acts 8:29; 10:19,20). That spirit of itinerant ministry needs to be revived in the church of Jesus Christ because it is one of the practical ways of uniting local assemblies in true fellowship, establishing and building them up in their most holy faith (Acts 8:14, 15; 11:22-26;14:21-25; 3Jn 5-8; Jude 20).

In any part of the globe you may be, may the Lord make you ready and willing to be a co-labourer in this noble work. “Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven” (Ezra 7:23); “for the king’s business required haste” (1 Sam.21:8).

Thanks to our God for those of you who have been supporting this ministry in prayer and giving. For instance, the means of our transportation for the three months was the sacrifice made by a few brethren at Ibadan in purchasing a brand new Jincheng motorbike last year October for the gospel work in Idoma land. Thanks be to the Lord for this gift and for safety on the dangerous roads. Brethren, may the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of His Church, give you more grace to continue (1 Cor. 15:58; Heb. 6:10).

For the sake of the brethren in Benue, Bro. Yinnkah, at his own expense, recorded and left some of his messages  and teachings on over twenty cassettes with us. Similarly his printed messages – “Good News: Free Salvation,” “Global warming: Global warning,” and “The Church Jesus is Building” – are also available free of charge. We hope copies of these messages will soon be available for all to read on this site.

Love,

Amos Agbochenu (with Yinnkah Durojaiye)

Divisions

The following was a reply to an inquiry about whether it is “divisive” to follow the patternof Christ and practice the simplicity of gathering together according to New Testament directives.

Dear bro Yinnkah and bro Sunday, We send our love and greetings to you and the brethren with you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I will attempt to address your concerns regarding truth and the divisions that attend fidelity to it.

The testimony of our Lord Jesus is that He was despised and rejected of men, not for His deeds of kindness and benefits to the sons of men, but for the cause of righteousness and truth. Specifically, He was hated on three accounts: [1] He set aside the humanly devised traditions of men and brought the light of truth in its stead, [2] He steadfastly refused to participate in bankrupt religious practices that had no validity from the Word of God, and [3] He unflinchingly exposed the folly of both the doctrine and practice of those who held to them.

In short, “You are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God” [Jn.8:40].  And, as a result, “A division occurred in the crowd because of Him” [Jn.7:43] and “A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words” [Jn.10:19]. Thus it is that Christ’s words that “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” have their fulfillment; the sword being that of the Word of God which causes such division [see Mt.10:34-36 and Heb.4:12].

There is no division when the flock hears and follows the voice of the Good Shepherd [see Jn.10:4,5,27]. Division occurs when other voices intermingle to urge travel along divergent paths and they are heeded. The voice of the Lord Jesus contained in the written Word of God is what we must hearken to. Thus insistence upon truth is never divisive; it is rather our only legitimate grounds of true unity. Those teaching otherwise introduce division by causing the sheep of Christ to depart from His way and leave off following Him.

Now, while it is evident that God’s purpose is that “you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” [I Cor.1:10], it is also evident that “there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you” [I Cor.11:19]: the latter being regrettable though seemingly unavoidable entirely.

And so, my brothers, a gentle and kindly firmness about truth will necessarily arouse resistance and even retaliation from among those not persuaded by it. That being the case, we should not be surprised when intimidations, sanctions, threats, ostracism, banishment, and slander attend us for sake of the truth.

We, however, should studiously avoid being drawn into a carnal conflict of fleshly reaction. Wisdom is vindicated in her children. And so we are accorded numerous directives on our behavior and deportment when so suffering. We are to be “in no way alarmed by our opponents” [Phil.1:28], to “deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since [we] are also beset with weakness” [Heb.5:2], and to “not be quarrelsome, but kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with meekness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God might grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” [2 Tim.2:24,25].

These are a brief summary of how we are to conduct ourselves in the midst of conflict. Dear brothers, let there be no wrangling over words, unkind and harsh railing; show every consideration for every man; speak the truth in love [Eph.4:15] knowing that a soft word turns away wrath [Prov.15:1].

I am well familiar with the history of contention that has prevailed among many there in Benue and Kogi. Be those blessed peacemakers extolled by Christ in Mt.5. Do not be drawn into the fray; it bears no fruit identifiable as from the Dove of heaven.

I am no stranger to controversy and the reprisals of men. In Benue State at the statewide convention of Deeper Life, my books were publically held up and all members of that denomination were warned to never read them or attend any teaching sessions of mine or they would we excommunicated. In Okpoga, 13 brethren were thrown out of their church for attending a study I taught. In Enugu-Ezike, an entire denomination held “prayer” meetings to decree my death on the 15th of December. In Eme near Onitcha, an “apostle” tore my book to pieces and marched on the shreds from his pulpit on Sunday morning. In Otukpa, a brother wrote a letter to every member of PFN citing me as “the father of all heresy.”

I have been charged with being a secret cult leader posing as a gospel preacher, one who abducts children and drinks their blood. In Ibadan I have been black-listed among the most powerful Pentecostal ministries in that city. Throughout Benue and Kogi the warning of “Mnago” has been repeated far and wide against me. In Sierra Leone I have been called a false prophet and antichrist by an assembly of some 50 Pentecostal pastors.    

Brethren, let none of these things move us. Love those who are in opposition. Do not retaliate; hold no bitterness. Let your forbearing spirit be known to all. Be identified by what you are for, not for what you are against. Let all that you do be done in love, for love is the distinguishing mark of a true disciple of Christ.

Our love and prayers are with you all, your loving brother and servant, Steve

Editor: Mathew’s trip to Sierra Leone

Editor: Brother Thomas Mathew and his wife Jijie contacted us from our website several months ago about their interest in contributing to the work of the Lord in Sierra Leone. They are originally from India and are currently working in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. They have just concluded a 7-day trip to SL where they were hosted by the brethren and had a fruitful time of sharing the Word of God. Pray that the Lord might direct their steps about serving the Lord Jesus in that land. The following is a letter from them re: their trip. 

Dear Brethren

In Philippians 2:13 it says that “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” When we look back now, we are amazed at the way things happened. Before we started from here we had no clue as to what and how the Lord was going to minister through us. But in reality now when we look back, all glory and praise goes to Him alone.

Personally , I experienced the most powerful presence of God those days we were there and also we never felt out of place. All of you were like our own family members!!. Even the land itself resembled very much like my native place in Kerala, India. The Climate was conducive and the food was excellent!

Though we have travelled to many places in India to do ministry, we never felt the kind of deep attachment that we are experiencing now towards Sierra Leone. Because India is such a very big country, going to another State and especially to North India is like going to another Country. Though we had wonderful men of God from our native place everywhere we visited and were eating our native food mostly in all those North Indian trips,  we never felt so deeply attached to those places.

All the brethren out there in SL, even though none of you were known to us earlier, loved us just as one among your own household. May God bless you abundantly for this love shown towards us; It is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.

We are committing all our future plans to the Lord as we would like to take every step according to His divine plan.

It is really encouraging to know from Brother Simeon that they started the preparation of the mud bricks. I am sure that the Lord will bring it to pass for the completion of the worship place.

Let us continue to communicate through e-mails and exchange our thoughts.

Bro.William:  You were like a brother to me. May God bless you abundantly for your sacrificial love in accompanying us everywhere, even missing your classes.

Bro.Emmanuel:  Thank you so much for your hospitality; Love to Sis.Liz and your children. Attending the Church worship was a very pleasant experience. We still watch those videos and we loved your singing!!

Bro.Simeon:  We still fondly cherish the time at your house. Love to your Mum and brothers. If you get a chance please convey our regards to your principal Mr. Ibrahim. The good work that you do in and around Lunsar is great, may God bless you for it.

Bro.Mohamed Paul Ngegba:  You challenged us. We still remember the Cassava and Fish curry in your house and that was yummy!!! It is my favourite food and a typical Keralite food. Love to your wife and children.

Bro.Foday:  Thank you so much for your love; I still remember the service at the local church where you translated the message. You were flowing with me!! Love to your wife Gladys and child.

Bro.Steve & Sis.Patti:   A big thank you to both of you, the numerous mails that we had in exchanging information really helped us to be prepared better. Your lives out there have challenged us very much. Love to all your children.

We had sent a few snaps of our SL trip to the brethren out here. I will be sending them to all of you. All the brethren here did a wonderful job in keeping us in their prayers continuously.

May the Lord Almighty fulfill His plans in our lives according to His will.

Love,  Thomas, Jijie, Joshua, Samuel & Deborah Mathew

Kunle Ogunjinmi House Church Report

[Editor: Kunle Ogunjinmi is a faithful brother who has been discipled by Titus Agbeniga, Steve Phillips, and Yinnkah Durojaiye who, along with his good wife, Dupe, host the church in their home in the University of Ibadan district of Ibadan city. Kunle is a very capable translator from English to Yoruba and often assisted bro Steve Phillips when he taught in Nigeria]

Now unto the King immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory forever. He alone is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving for His enabling grace upon our lives. It is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness that has commanded light to shine in our lives until the day dawn and the day star arises in our lives. 

Oh, what the good God used you for in our lives- my wife and I, cannot be over emphasized. Thank you for allowing Him to use you.

The church in my home, Bro David Adaso’s house, and Alabata greet you. We give thanks to God for His immeasurable gift and grace upon His Church.

The ministry [Bible teaching] meeting we hold in Bro Yinnkah’s house fixed a date for a marriage seminar on the 24th to 27th of December, 2009. There is also another seminar with the villagers on the 11th to 13th December, 2009. Please, pray along with us.

Regards to my dearest mummy [Patti Phillips] and the children. NB: Bro Titus will travel this Saturday to Benue and Enugu Ezike.

Yinnkah: 4th Benue Mission Trip – Gift

Bro. Amos’ new motorcycle – 1st Oct.

As I shared in my last report, I was so burdened of the Lord to raise money to get bro Amos a new motor bike to ease his gospel work. My judgment of him was that he is an elderly man in his 60’s who is truly fully devoted to the Lord, His word, and His work. I have been touched many times with his faith and prayer concerning the work of the gospel in Idoma Land.

Few, are faithful men [Prov. 20:6], but I think this old subsistence farmer and brother is one. He is not a babe in the faith and as I have earlier said, the Lord Himself through the ministry of dear brother Steve Philips, David Dyer and other Christian writers, has been revealing to him and bro Simeon, the NT pattern of the church ever before his Macedonian call to us in Ibadan!

As soon as I returned to Ibadan last July, I gave a report of my mission trip to the brethren at Ibadan and other believer friends; and I informed them about my burden for bro Amos’ care, notifying them of my plan to return to Benue in October. The Lord touched the heart of some brethren who were freely willing [2 Cor. 8:3] and they joined me in giving towards the ministering to the saints [2 Cor. 9:1].

The targeted amount was N65,000 [about $520], but at the end of the day we gathered the sum of N71,300 [about $570]! It was more than I expected, but it was exactly how much we needed in the wisdom of God. On getting to Otukpo on the 30th of Sept., I informed bro Amos’s two dumbfounded sons about the secret plan, but it was only bro Amos’ youngest son, Sam, and I who went to make the purchase the next day.

The bike was more expensive in Otukpo than in Ibadan where it is about N65,000. We eventually succeeded in purchasing the bike at the sum of N70,000, thanks to a mechanic neighbor of the Agbochenu’s who helped us beat down the price from N71,000.

How glad I was when we were eventually given the receipt and the red Jincheng AX100 motorcycle. Bless the Lord! Assembling the motorcycle took about six hours, so that by the time Sam and I got home the family had left for the venue of the youth conference at Sabongiri.

It was eventually at night when we all returned home that I gladly let the cat out of the bag in the presence of the whole family. With the exception of Emmanuel and Sam, the love gift from the brethren at Ibadan was a huge surprise! Bro. Amos burst into a song of praise: “Lord You are so good, Lord You are kind, Lord You are wonderful, my Lord You are excellent. Excellent is Your Name, excellent is Your power, Lord You are merciful, my Lord You are excellent!” And a hymn: “Though we pass through tribulation, All will be well. Ours is such a full salvation, all, all is well. Happy when in God confiding, fruitful if in Christ abiding, holy through the Spirit’s guiding, All must be well.”

Emmanuel topped the family joy with a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His care and for the love of the brethren at Ibadan. I have chosen to give this last full report about the motorcycle to enlighten some of my brothers in the Lord, that what I have done is not a Gospel of Technology [Editor: See chapter by that name in Steve Phillips’ book Christ: Head of His Church] as I have been sadly accused.

This is simply a ministering  to the saints [2 Cor.9:1] which according to apostle Paul not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God [2 Cor.9:12]. The left over from the original sum, I used in also buying him a brand new bag, to carry his Bible and hymn book, at the cost of exactly N1300. Below is bro Amos’s personal letter of appreciation:

Christian Fellowship Ameh Street, Behind Central Primary School

P. O. Box 800 Otukpo, Benue State. 8th October 2009

To The Faithful Saints at Ibadan, c/o Brother Yinnkah Durojaiye

A LETTER OF APPRECIATION II COR 9:9-15.

Beloved brethren, Greeting to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This letter is to acknowledge your gift of a brand new motorcycle, Jincheng Ax100. Engine N0. JCLE50FMGPB1005255, Chassis N0. LYCPAGLH085D36771, Costing the sum of Seventy Thousand Naira, through your minister/brother Yinnkah Durojaiye, for the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to let you know that the saints here are rejoicing because of your sacrifice of giving. And I myself being surprised and short of words, employ the words of the Holy Spirit in II Cor. 9:9-15 for your edification, exhortation, and comfort. Whenever Yinnkah returns to you, you will see my joy expressed through his face. If the Lord tarries, we shall see each other face to face.

Farewell.  Signed, Amos S. Agbochenu Apprentice/Servant

Yinnkah: 4th Benue Mission Trip – Sobongiri & Titus

The Church at Sabongiri – 8th, 9th, 14th & 15th Oct.

As the Lord would have it, it was with the brethren at Sabongiri that I spent most of the time in Bible study. I deemed it fit to revise and re-emphasize the teaching on Christ: the Pattern for the Church with them. It was not a strange doctrine to them, but from observation, this truth was yet to be fully experiential to them.

Bro Amos and bro Simeon, the pillars among these brethren, have greatly come to an understanding of this truth – the major reason why my ministry is fully welcomed among them – but like Paul would say of his little children, “we labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” [Gal.4:19].

The Lord has never committed the building of His dwelling place among His people to man’s discretion and inventions. Moses had to build His tabernacle according to God’s pattern shown to him on the mount [Heb.8:5]. As beloved and wise David and Solomon were in the sight of God, Solomon’s Temple had to be built according to divinely revealed plan [1 Chron.28:12,19], not according to their own wisdom.

The returnees of the Babylonian captivity in the days of Ezra had no thought of improving on God’s blueprint for His house with imported Babylonian design; not at all. They rather built to the Lord’s absolute standard of the plumb line that measured all from above [Zech.4:9,10].  Even the future Temple revealed to Ezekiel has a carefully revealed and measured pattern [Ezek.40:4; 43:10-12]!

Today, even from the day of Pentecost, the church as a people has become the Temple or the House of God. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” [1 Cor.3:16]. “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” [1 Pet.2:5].

“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you [collectively] are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they shall be my people’” [2 Cor. 6:16].

Today, the Lord does not dwell in a temple of stones with walls built with human hands, but rather, in Jesus Christ, “the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom [Christ], you [the church] also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” [Eph.2:21,22].

Equally important to note is that, as there was a divine pattern for God’s tabernacle and temple in the dispensation of the Old Covenant, so is there a pattern for the church, God’s temple, today in the New Covenant. This revelation was given to the early apostles and prophets of Christ: “for we are members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” [Eph. 2:19,20].

In the inspired words of apostle Paul, “I write to  you…so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” [1 Tim.3:14,15]. And, “if anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” [1 Cor.14:37].

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the pattern of the Church [see 1 Cor.3:9-17; 4:17; 7:17; 11:16; 2 Thess. 2:15; 2Tim. 1:13,14]. He is the “foundation” [1 Cor.3:11] and the “chief cornerstone” [Eph.2:20] of the church. He is the only High priest and one Mediator for all believer-priests [Heb. 4:14-17; 7:25].

He alone is our King and Lord [Phil.2:9-11]; our True vine from which all fruitfulness [Jn.15:5], life [Col.3:4], direction [1 Cor.2:16], enabling [1 Cor.1:24] and gifts [Eph.4:7,8] flow to the church! The Lord Jesus has preeminence in all things among His people. He is the only “Head of the body, the church” [Col.1:18].

And where the head is, there is the headquarters! The headquarters of the church is above, “where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” [Col.3:1]. We have no earthly Headquarters! Therefore, no local church has authority over the other. Every local assembly is directly under the control of Christ and it is to Him they are directly responsible and accountable.

No single man is THE Pastor, THE General overseer/Apostle/superintendent, or THE Pope/Archbishop/Bishop over the church or churches. The eldership of the NT. Church is in plurality [Acts 14:23; 15:6,22,23; 20:17,28; Phil. 1:1; Tit.1:5; 1 Pet.1:1; 5:1; Jas 5:14,15] with no official superiority of one over the others.

Christendom has gone astray in this pivotal truth! When shall we return to Christ, “THE Pastor and Bishop of your souls” [Emphasis added. 1 Pet.2:25]? “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider THE Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus” [Emphasis added. Heb.3:1].

Bro. Titus’ Visit – 12th Oct.

It had been the heart cry of bro Amos to also have some quality time of fellowship with bro Titus. He had been serving among the brethren in Enugu Ezike for about three weeks before I journeyed to Benue. After sending him a series of text messages making known our longing to see him, he eventually came around on the 12th of Oct., few hours before my time of ministry at Ojale village.

It was a wonderful time of fellowship. It was the first time we would be together in Benue [Editor: Titus and Yinnkah live not far from each other in the Ibadan area and are often in fellowship together there]. You can imagine how elated and animated he was at his first sight of me and bro Amos. His greetings were at such a high octave that the neighborhood wondered at our brotherhood!

He came along with one brother Uche on whose bike [motorcycle] they journeyed for about two hours from Enugu Ezike. Bro Amos’ wife, who was there “in the tent” [Gen. 18:9] served us some Benue-made pounded yam and egunsi soup [Editor: Yam in W. Africa is a large potato-like tuber, sometimes 2 feet long, that is boiled and then pounded in a  mortar with a pestle into a stiff consistency. Egunsi is made from melon seed and vegetable greens].  Over the meal, bro Titus relayed the encouraging work in Enugu Ezike.

Bro Amos also exhorted from 1 Cor. 7:29-31 that the time is short, hence the need for us to be “steadfast, immovable, [and] always abounding in the work of the Lord” [1 Cor.15:58]. He also expressed his desire for bro Titus to join him in some evangelistic outreaches to some remote villages in Idoma land come December to which bro Titus was affirmative.

We had to round up our fellowship because of the phone calls from the waiting Ojale brethren; and earlier than bro Amos had wanted, bro Titus and Uche had to leave too to visit a brother at Umbokolo where he would pass the night before heading for Ibadan the next day.

Yinnkah: 4th Benue Mission Trip – Ojale

The Church at Ojale – 12th & 13th Oct.

We had a wonderful time in the Word for the two-day teaching ministry among the church as Ojale. My exposition was from Matthew 16:15-18 with the theme, “Becoming a Member of the True Church.”

Whatever the world says about the Lord Jesus is not as important as what you say of Him as one who claims to be His disciple. Your conviction and confession of Christ determines your membership in His church.

However, Peter’s confession of Christ as the Messiah was by revelation of the Father to him [v.17]. The Lord says, “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by my Father” [Jn.6:65]; Knowing who Christ is and coming to Him is by grace.

“Messiah” means, “Anointed One.” In the Old Testament, the “anointed” is the one who had the oil poured upon him for the service of God. This was characteristic of the priests and the kings of that age [Ex. 30:30; 1 Sam.15:1; 16:13].

It was revealed to Peter that Jesus is the One Mediator between God and man [1 Tim.2:5]; not Mary, a sinner saved by grace [Lk.1:46,47; Eph.2:8,9]. Christ is our great High priest [Heb.4:14-15], sinless and sympathizing. He is the Ruler/law Giver of God’s people, the One we are to obey.

“Hear Him” [Matt.17:5]! He is the only way to the Father [Jn.14:6], the only Word of the Father [Jn.1:1; Heb.1:2] and the only Judge from the Father [Jn.5:22]. He is the Son of God, “the image of the invisible God” [Col.1:15]; “for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” [Col.2:9]; “Who is over all, the eternally blessed God…Amen” [Rm. 9:5].

What you understand, confess, and are committed to about this Jesus is what will determine your salvation and true membership in the true church!

Roman Catholicism is not Christianity. [Editor: There is a higher percentage of Roman Catholics in Benue than in Yinnkah’s Ibadan area]. That Church of Rome is exactly what it claims to be: of the paganism of Rome, not of Christ! Christ is the foundation of His church, “for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” [1 Cor.3:11].

He is the Bedrock and chief cornerstone [Matt.7:24,25; 1 Pet.2:4, 6-8; Eph.2:20]. Peter is a “living stone” with other believers who are also “living stones…being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” [1 Pet.2:5].

The humble and true confession of Peter himself was, “I myself am also a man” [Acts.10:26]. Peter, being a man in his weakness, was withstood “to his face [by Paul], because he was to be blamed” [Gal.2:11]. At that point in time, along with some others, God’s word about him was that he was not “straight forward about the truth of the gospel” [Gal. 2:14]!

How can Peter then be the foundation of the church as taught by the creed of Roman Catholics? “Come out of them my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” [Rev.18:4]! Christ said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH” [Emphasis added: Matt. 16:18]. When those words were spoken, the Church was not being built. Christ was talking of something He would do in the near future.

The church is a new dispensation apart from the Israel of old [Eph.3:1-6 cf. Lk.5:36-39], hidden in God’s mind from creation [Eph.3:9,10]. Therefore, we may not directly apply everything said in the Old Covenant to ourselves as Christians in the literal and physical sense that Israel could.

The Church is the “new wine in the new wine skin.” Christ ALONE is the OWNER and FOUNDER of the church. He called her, MY CHURCH [Matt. 16:18] which He purchased with His own blood [Acts 20:28].

Any organization called “church” with another president, prelate, primate, archbishop, founder, General Overseer/Superintendent, or presiding Bishop/Pastor/Reverend, is just another man-made organization different from the organic body of Christ of which He alone is the “Head of the body, the church,  who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” [Col. 1:18]!

Simply put, installing another head in the church apart from Christ, is making a rivalry of anti-christs [instead-of- Christ] in the church; “even now many antichrists have come by which we know that it is the last hour” [1 Jn.2:12].

The word “church” means “called out ones.” They are “called to be saints” [ 1 Cor.1:2], called out of the world by God as “a people for His name” [Acts 15:14]. Members of this church belong to “the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” [Heb.12:23 cf. Lk.10:20; Rev.3:5].

Their register is not here on earth. Heaven keeps their record; and how many names there are in man’s denominational organizations which are not recognized in heaven!  Members of Christ’s church are only those He has saved from the slavery of sin. It is only “those who were being saved that the Lord added to the church” [Acts 2:47].

Are you a heaven-recognized and registered member of this church? If you are a member of this church that we are talking about, “Blessed are you” [Matt.16:17]!

“All authority has been given to Me [Christ] in heaven and on earth” (Matt.28:18). We can therefore be sure “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against us” [Matt.16:18]. All the accumulated wisdom, power and entirety of evil cannot prevail against the church of Jesus Christ, and death will never be able to hold down those regenerated by the Spirit, for “Christ is the firstborn from the dead” [Col. 2:18].

“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” [Rom.8:11]. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Cor. 15:35, 57].  Amen.

Yinnkah: 4th Benue Mission Trip – Ameh Street

Ministry of Prayer at Ameh Street – 7th Oct.

We thank the Lord for the life of bro Amos. He is an elderly man with balanced commitment to the ministry of the word and prayer. His prayer life refreshes and encourages me. It reminds me that “unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” [Ps.127]. Paul may plant while Apollos waters, but God alone gives the increase [I Cor. 3:6].

“Without Me, you can do nothing,” says the Lord.  Hence, “if you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you” [Jn. 15:5,7].

On the 7th of October, about 10am, bro Amos, a sister and I gathered in the name of the Lord to pray with thanksgiving concerning the gospel work in Idoma Land.  We prayed the Lord to send more laborers, and we also pleaded for Him to bless the ministry of His word in the hearts of the hearers.

Brethren, let’s pray that the Lord would secure this land for Himself.

Ministry of the Word: the Church at Ameh Street  5th & 11th [Mon. & Sun.]

I was with the church at Ameh Street, Otukpo, on the 5th and 11th of October. My brief teaching on the evening of the 5th was based on the topic “Till I Come” [I Tim. 4:13]. The message was in view of the Lord’s return.

He knows we will be distracted with many things before His coming, so He has given us many spiritual exercises to be occupied with which will surely help us in faithfully waiting for Him. Out of these many instructions [Phil.1:10; 1 Tim. 6:14; Jas. 5:7; Rev. 2:25; Heb.3:14; 1 Cor.4:5; Mt.24:13; Lk.19:13], I pointed out three which the church should give attention to: reading, exhortation and doctrine [1 Tim.4:13], persistent prayer [Lk.18:8], and “the breaking of bread” [1 Cor.11:26].

Above all, we should keep in mind that the Lord Himself is keeping us until He returns [Phil.1:6; Eph.1:14; 2 Cor. 5:5; 1:22; 1 Pet.1:5]; “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” [Phil. 2:13]. The 11th of Oct. was the Lord’s Day, and it was with the brethren at Ameh Street that I broke bread.

The meeting was opened with prayer at 9am as we spoke to one another in hymns and spiritual songs. I couldn’t participate in some, as they were in the Idoma dialect. Brother Amos admonished us to keep awake spiritually because it is the dark hour of the night in Egypt. The Lord is about to visit the world in His fury and to set His church free out of this wicked world [Ex.12:12,29-31].

“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober…putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Thess.5:6,8,9].

I also led the brethren through a devotional reading of the book of Haggai as I paused to apply some of the verses to the brethren. The main thrust to all was that “the time has…come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built….Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruin?” [Hag.1:2,4].

The church is the temple of the Lord [1 Cor.3:9.16]; we are the house of God [1 Tim.3:15] that must be built according to divine pattern [Heb.8:5; Zech.4:10]. The Lord is displeased with us when we do not
care about the state of the church [Hag. 1:6,9-11; 2:12,13,17].

We are to seek first God’s kingdom; not our own comfort. We should have a sense of indebtedness to the Lord for all He has done for us and so be concerned to see the church built up as His holy habitation.

King David was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around [2 Sam.7:1]. Similarly in our own time and life, “what do you have that you did not receive?” [1 Cor. 4:7]. How many times have our spirits being troubled to say, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains” [2 Sam.7:2]?

Where are men and women after God’s own heart today? The Lord was pleased with David for his desire to build Him a house, “so He made a lasting covenant with him” [2 Sam.7:4-16]. He also took pleasure in the children of Israel when “they obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet” [Hag.1:12]. Therefore the Lord promised them, as He does to us today, if we will yield to His word, “from this day I will bless you” [2:19].

There are yet untold blessings untapped by God’s people in bondage to men’s denomination and ecumenism. The Spirit wants to reveal these to us, but only in “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” [Eph. 4:3] experienced in the New Testament gatherings of the brethren.

“’The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts” [Hag.2:9]. When the resurrected and glorified Christ becomes the center around which all things revolve in Christian worship, and His life-giving death on the cross is why we gather to often remember, He will take His place of Headship in our midst and bestow His peace to gladden our hearts [Read Jn.20:19-20].

May the Lord give His people understanding.

Yinnkah: 4th Benue Mission Trip – Women’s Ministry

Women’s Meeting at Ojale – 9th Oct.

This was my second visit to Ojale village. The purpose of the meeting that morning was to speak to the handful of sisters who gathered [Tit.2:2-5]. The Lord helped me to teach them what their ministry is and what it is not to be assisted by bro Amos’ interpretation into Idoma.

It is not for any Christian woman “to teach or exercise authority over a man” [I Tim.2:11,12; I Cor.14:34,35].   And contrary to the opinion of some today, this scriptural injunction is addressed to Christian sisters of all ages and in every generation [I Cor.1:2; 4:17; 7:17; 14:37]. The biblical teaching  was not limited to those in Ephesus and Corinth alone.

“The command is to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord [1 Cor.1:2]. The position of “Mrs. Pastor” is a blunder, an absurdity in the context of the qualifications of a pastor being “blameless, the husband of one wife” [I Tim.3:2]; There is no such thing as a woman who is a husband!

The Scriptures, Gen.2:18; I Cor.11:9; and I Tim.2:13, reveal to us that from creation, the woman is to be a follower, helper, and responder. She was not created to lead, initiate, or direct! Although she is indeed “a fellow heir of the grace of life” [I Pet.3:7], she is not to be a fellow minister in the church as men are.

That “there is neither…male nor female” in the body of Christ [Gal.3:28], refers to our salvation in Christ and the blessings thereof as the previous verse indicates. We may be one in Christ, but we don’t have equal roles to play; and the role one plays in the church does not diminish nor maximize the value of one’s position in Christ [I Cor.12:20-22].

The sphere of a godly woman is here, “in the tent [home]” [Gen.18:9]. Her loving ministry is to her husband and children [Tit.2:3-5] as she brings the latter up in the fear of the Lord [I Tim.2:15; 5:14]. She is to be the home manager where she devotes her time and energy so that God’s word be not dishonored [Tit.2:5].

I made it clear to those sisters how crucial their roles are in bringing up their children in the way of the Lord. It is so unfortunate that we labor and spend fortunes to train our children in western education or the knowledge of this world, while we take with levity their training in the fear of God and of His Word.

With the little emphasis we give to their spiritual upbringing, we only raise them to be enemies of God and of His Christ. The near future we train them for is nothing to be compared with their condition in eternity!

May Christian parents have the judgment throne of God in view with respect to the training of their children. May we not be ashamed at His coming, “for He seeks a godly offspring” [Mal.2:15]; “but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” [Prov.29:15].