By Gbenga Osinaike
A few years ago when Apostle Psalm Okpe, Senior Pastor of Fresh Oil Ministry ordained Eucharia Amunobi, a nollywood actress to pastoral ministry, many thought it was a ploy for the pastor to come to limelight. But that seems to be far from the truth. A recent encounter with Apostle Okpe revealed that he is a man with strong international clout. He consults for the UN and has been actively involved in ministry work preaching from one country of the world to another. He told our correspondent that he spends close to N49 million naira every year on foreign trips ministering from one country to another. In all he has been to 61 countries of the world.” I was just opportune to ordain Eucharia to ministry. She is my spiritual daughter. And for your information I was not the one who led her to Christ. She had been born again 10 years before she was ordained a pastor.
Born to parents who were pastors in the Gospel Faith Mission, Okpe came to know the Lord at a very young age. Though he had his university education in the US his love for Nigeria is simply incredible. He told our correspondent that he would not trade Nigeria for anything. He stressed further that Lagos will always be his base. “For me to leave Lagos, God has to speak to me in double voice” he said.
A friend to a number of Nollywood artists, he says, “many of these artists have a heart for God but people take them for the roles they play which is unfortunate.” I meet a lot of elite people. I speak to the UN Assembly, I speak to senators and a host of other eminent people. “The person who did the sound track for the passion for Christ is my close friend. I have met a lot of dignitaries all over the world. I used to minister in New York where celebrities all over the world minister in gospel song. I want to break the barrier between the elite and the gospel. They could have all the paraphernalia of office around them but they still need the love of God. They need God to sustain their wealth and to live in peace.
Okpe who began full time ministry in 1994 observed there is a lot of pollution in the body of Christ. “For instance many churches believe in the use of the mantle and the anointing oil which is good but some people have taken those things to the extreme.”On the miraculous, he states, “We have had series of the miraculous in our church. There have been people who walked out of the wheel chair during ministration. And the Lord has used us to raise close to 12 people from the dead. The healing of the mind is very important. I believe in making the wounded come back to life and be strong. Our mandate is to let children grow to sons and sons grow to fathers.”
On whether those who came back to life in his ministry shared experience of after life, he said, “none of them shared what they saw and many of them had not been dead for long before the Lord used us to bring them back to life.” But is a man judged immediately after death? He offers, “It is not that you are being judged as soon as you die. It does not mean that when you die and your eyes are closed you are being judged but when you die your soul waits for the great white throne judgment and that is well explained in the book of revelation.
“Those who claimed to have been to heaven and come back to tell us fabulous stories are not helping the gospel because they came up with stories that were not balanced. The Bible says in Hebrew 12v29 that after death Judgment and that does not mean the judgment is immediate. But the point is that there is no repentance in the grace. The faith of a person who dies is sealed but there is a white throne judgement where everybody will be judged according to his deeds here on earth.”
He recalled the case of somebody who reportedly died but came back to life and said “God told him that the super eagles would win a particular match and I kept wondering what God has got to do with soccer. There were some who claimed that they saw Benson Idahosa in hell and that people like Adeboye and Oyedepo would not make it to heaven. I keep wondering where they got those stories from. These people that they are talking about have set landmarks and I want to believe that though God is not a respecter of person he will not allow those who labour genuinely for him to slip into hell.” Okpe however declined further comments on eschatology i.e. the issues of life, death and judgement. “Anyone who wants to know what happens after death should come and sit in our Bible study sessions.”
Has he made mistakes in ministry? I have had setbacks in ministries and have seen a lot of disappointments. I have opened church for six times and I have closed for six times. I have stepped on people’s toes. Satan himself attacks the church but I have known many ways how not to run a church.
One of the bitter experiences I had in ministry was when a prophet came to our church and I was really carried away and He gave a word of prophecy to me and said God wanted me to be in Abuja. I did not take my time to pray I just obeyed and packed my things and went to Abuja but I burnt my finger.
It was a big setback for me. I became a taxi driver before I ran back. Right now there is temptation from my friends in the UK and US that I should come over. But I’m not going to fall into the same mistake I fell into years back. For me to Leave Lagos, God will not send angels to tell me he would have to talk to me in a very loud voice that people around me will hear.