The immediate past Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah (Rtd.), has disclosed that real revival begins from the almighty God himself and not from any act of perspiration.
Speaking at the opening of the Greater Accra Regional session of the 2021 Ministers and Wives’ Conference on Tuesday, January 25, at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC), Gomoa Fetteh, on the topic, “The Significance of Israel’s Conquest of Sihon and Og to the 21st Century Church,” the former Chairman advised church leaders to find the source of revival in their quest to revive the church.
“Revival is when a person begins to know who the Lord is and acknowledges him as such, there comes a change in the life of the person,” he said, adding, “It is the Holy Spirit who quickens the knowledge of God within us. As we acknowledge the greatness of God and honour him, something changes in us and the result is what people see as revival.
“The actual revival is within you – if you listen to the Holy Spirit who helps you to know God – certainly, there is going to be a change/revival in you.
He implored church leaders to find contemporary ways of doing things in order to be effective. According to him, when leaders become used to the methods and principles of doing things in the church, they can perfectly perform them without being inspired. “We need to find out the spirit behind everything we do as a church, because revival is not just doing things as the old people used to do it,” he stressed.
According to him, true Pentecostal spirituality is about spontaneity (allowing the immediacy of the Holy Spirit to take over the affairs of the church thereby resulting in the variety of spiritual giftings/activities working in the church), orality (the ability to share spiritual things with the brethren), and then simplicity, saying, “When the Holy Spirit takes over our services, people see it because the atmosphere changes; people feel his presence and they are satisfied and revived.”
Taking his key texts from Nehemiah 9:22-23; 35-37; Deuteronomy 2:24-25; Joshua 2:10-11; Philippians 3:10, he revealed who Sihon and Og were, how the Israelites came across them and why the Israelites kept referring to the duo anytime they told their children of their story from Egypt to the Promised Land.
He said that both Sihon and Og were kings of the Amorites nations, and were related. They were both descendants of Esau and therefore brothers of the Israelites. He said that the Israelites had to pass through the land of the Amorites to get to the Promised Land, so Moses sent a peace message to King Sihon, to allow them pass through his land peacefully without being attacked since they were relatives.
However, he stated, Sihon, thinking that he was very power and had built a strong nation, refused Moses’ request and rather attacked the Israelites, but he and the Amorites were conquered.
He added that Og, the last of the giants after the flood, instead of learning from what had happened to Sihon, decided to fight the Israelites, but he was also conquered.
Apostle Prof Opoku Onyinah stressed that the Israelites from time to time told their children about their experience with Sihon and Og, to indicate the power of God which delivered them from the hands of strong enemies.
Drawing some lessons from the passage, the astute theologian related it to the importance of the family to God. He, therefore, challenged believers to do whatever they can to help their nuclear and extended families to believe in what they have subscribed to, thus Christ. In dealing with family members, he entreated believers to be very careful, looking at how Noah’s curse worked on Canaan after his father Ham had watched Noah’s nakedness.
He stressed the fact that God sees things differently from human beings. “The Lord is greater beyond our imaginations; we have not been able to comprehend him well. He is far above our understanding, so he sees things completely different from the way we see it.
“Looking at the descendants of Lot – the Moabites and the Ammonites – their background was very bad, but for the Lord it does not matter how somebody joins the family, so far as the person has joined the family, he is a family member. That is why as leaders we must respect all persons who come to church – whether they are old, young, children, experienced or inexperienced – no matter where the person comes from, you must respect him and see him as one of your own.”
He also revealed that it is the Lord who owns everything including the land and he gives it as he wants it.
He further advised believers, especially ministers not to take anything that the Lord has not given to them. “If you take it, it will slip off from your hands and the consequences can be disastrous,” he pointed out.