Pastor Emmanuel Taiye Olayemi, the amiable general overseer of Ever Increasing Anointing Ministries, Egan, Igando, Lagos, has charged fellow preachers to focus on raising kingdom of God-minded followers in the new year 2024 instead of laying unnecessary emphasis on doctrines and practices associated with Christianity.
Speaking with Christian Benefits on the new year 2024 and the yearly practices of first fruit offering, new year resolution, yearly message declarations and New year prophecies by many preachers at the beginning of every new year, Pastor Olayemi says preaching the message of the kingdom of God should be the primary concern of preachers instead of practices associated with Christianity, saying Christianity was not from God. His words: “The gospel is the kingdom of God. We (preachers) are not called to preach Christianity. Christianity is a name given to us by the world; not by God. It was given to the followers of Christ by the people of Antioch, and not by God.”
Olayemi, a sound teacher of the scriptures by calling, further advised fellow preachers to move beyond preaching salvation, saying salvation is not the ultimate goal of the gospel of the kingdom of God. He explains: Salvation is not the ultimate goal of the gospel of the kingdom of God. It is not the end but a process to the end. We are called to do what Jesus Christ came to do, which is preaching the kingdom of God. Jesus brought the heaven to the earth. He brought the government to the earth. That should be the pattern we follow. It is not about being born again. It is about bringing Christ into the hearts of the people. Other teachings are secondary. Jesus came to establish the heaven on the earth. He brought the kingdom of heaven to the earth, which is the kingdom of Christ on the earth. This should be our primary focus as preachers.”
The general overseer of Ever Increasing Anointing Ministries said the introduction of different doctrines by churches into the gospel has made many preachers focus more on the doctrines of their churches than on the gospel of the kingdom. He feared that only God can bring most of the preachers of the gospel back to the consciousness of the kingdom message.
“It’s only God that can do that. It’s an encounter that brings consciousness. A preacher will continue preaching the doctrine of his church until he has an encounter. A preacher in a doctrinal church will teach the doctrine of his church. Doctrine is a means of keeping and controlling people instead of preparing them for heaven. We are called to preach the kingdom of God. Knowing about eternity requires divine encounter and enlightenment, which has to do with knowledge. Knowledge does not come when you are not informed. You have to be informed to have knowledge, and this takes an encounter with God,” Olayemi emphasized
He also played down the yearly offering of first fruit as insignificant except the first fruits were returned to the givers. “I don’t believe in the way it is offered today. Jesus deserves our first fruit being the first born from the dead. He is the first that seated with God. When you believe in Christ, you have offered your first fruit through him and in him. When people come to me with their first fruit, I collect it, pray and give it back to them. I’m not in the ministry to collect first fruits. Abraham demonstrated the practice of first fruit. God collected it from him and gave it back to him. Offering first fruit shouldn’t necessarily be at the beginning of a new year.”
The kingdom-minded preacher of the gospel from Kogi state also dismissed the yearly new year resolutions by people as a practice that does not work, saying people cannot change from their old habits by their own strength except by the grace of God. He pointed that making new year resolution leads the people making them to fall into guilt and self-condemnation when they break such resolutions barely few weeks after.
“New year resolution doesn’t work. You can’t change by your own strength. It is the grace of God that brings about changes in the lives of people. I don’t encourage people to make new year resolution so that they don’t fall into guilt or self condemnation when they break it. What people need is an encounter with God to bring about the changes in their lives. Our teachings alone cannot change people without the grace of God through an encounter with him. I believe in people having an encounter with God onto genuine changes in their lives at any time of the year instead of making new year resolution that doesn’t work or last. A new year can still be an old year. So, instead people should be passionate about their intimacy with God every day. Their focus shouldn’t be on earthly things but on the things of God year in and year out,” he admonished.
Pastor Emmanuel Taiye Olayemi however recognizes the importance of the yearly message declarations by pastors to their church members. He said such declarations help the members focus and avoid careless living in the new year. “It serves as a guide and helps give focus. If you don’t have focus, you will live a careless life. A focused life is one that is disciplined. So, the new year message or prophetic declarations by pastors to their church members helps to give focus. However, pastors shouldn’t make any declaration except they hear it from God. Don’t make any declaration outside of God because it will never come to pass in the lives of the people.
“Prophetic declarations should be received from God and not by flesh. One thing that makes people get frustrated is unrealistic hope. It usually backfires. At the beginning of every new year our major aim at Ever Increasing Anointing Ministries is to seek God with the whole of our hearts and trust Him to do what He does at different times. At times we put benefits before the work, which is very wrong. When our work pleases the Lord, we will receive the benefits. Don’t give your church members false or an unrealistic hope in the name of prophetic declaration when you never heard from God. Declarations without God’s leading often backfire.”