GOD'S KINGDOM SOCIETY (GKS)
The Church of the Living God
The God’s Kingdom Society is purely a Christian Organisation founded by JEHOVAH, the Almighty God through the instrumentality of Saint Gideon Meriodere Urhobo, of the blessed memory. Saint G. M. Urhobo, the first President of the GKS, was the instrument or vessel of honour chosen by God through Jesus Christ, according to the election of grace, to accomplish His purpose – Matthew 24:31; Acts 15:14-18; 10:9-35; James 1:18.
The history of the God’s Kingdom Society is linked with the biography of her first President, Brother G. M. Urhobo, in respect of his career as an astute preacher of the gospel. He hailed from the Urhobo ethnic group and was the second son of a kind pagan gentleman, the Late Ukoli of Otovwodo, Agbassa in Warri, who was the grandson of Urhobo. He was educated at the Government School Warri and taught in Roman Catholic School as well as the Government School, Warri, in the 1920s. In June 1930, he joined the Posts and Telegraphs Department as a postal clerk and telegraphist after completing a two-year teacher’s training programme in 1929 in Asaba.
Undoubtedly, his strong inclination for divine knowledge fired his interest in the Holy Bible which he spent most of his time to study. The most significant experience of his life came when he fell into a trance and received the Lord’s commission. It was this remarkable occurrence that brought about the radical change in his life from a civil servant to an adroit preacher of the gospel! There was never a time he equivocated with regard to his spiritual calling; rather, he ever so well made open declarations about the grace the Lord bestowed upon him – and he lived up to it. Here is his own testimony:
“After three and half years diligent and prayerful studies of the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ revealed himself to me in a vision and commanded me to go and proclaim the good news of God’s Kingdom (or ‘Gospel of Peace’) to all nations as the only remedy for all human sufferings and woes; to expose all the false doctrines which Satan had used to deceive the people and to keep them in ignorance of God’s Kingdom and purpose of creation; and to pronounce God’s written judgment against all wickedness”.
Under the circumstances, it was virtually impossible for him to continue to serve under the Nigerian Colonial Government. He had no other alternative than to obey the Lord’s command, like St. Paul of Bible fame (Acts 26:12-20), and devote his life wholly to Christ’s Ministry as “the Lord’s freeman”. So, in February 1933, he resigned from the Government Service and became a full-time Minister of the gospel of Christ. This was quite in harmony with the biblical injunction, which says: “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price: be not ye the servants of men” – 1st Corinthians 7:22,23.
The resignation of Brother G. M. Urhobo from the civil service for no other reason than that he, being anointed by the Lord, was going to give his whole time to God’s Kingdom service, gave cause for his own relatives and many of his colleagues and friends to view his sanity with suspicion. It was really difficult for the unspiritual to appreciate his decision and course of action in throwing to the winds, “for the love of preaching” as some said such an enviable post in the Government Service in those days when men of his social rank were regarded as the elites of society!
Right from the start of his career as a preacher, Brother Urhobo became an object of hatred and reproach as Christ truly said would happen to the chosen ones. (John 15:18,19; 17:14-16). His relatives and friends forsook him. Some said he was mad; others called him a devil and deceiver. Many false reports about him were published and circulated by certain people and the Watchtower Society warning the people to avoid him because of his teachings, which they considered to be revolutionary.
Some of Saint Urhobo’s Sermons:
- “The Bible is the only authorized law book of God which contains all the facts about the Creator of the Universe…”
- “Many persons who now claim to be Jehovah’s Witnesses are part and parcel of the false Christs, prophets and teachers mentioned in the Bible”
- “Facts about Good Friday and the Origin of Easter”
- “Hell fire”
- “Purgatory and Limbo”
- “Fixing of Dates of the Battle of Armageddon”
- “Preaching from house to house”
- “Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?”
- “Hitlerism must be destroyed, when and by whom?”
- “Hitlerism is Demonism”
- “Christmas Exposed”
- “Unmarried Priests are sinners against God”
His worst antagonists were among members of his family, some members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and the Roman Catholic Church. He was driven from his father’s house by his elder brother, Augustine Ukoli, who attacked him and tore his clothes. He left the house and sought refuge in Onitsha for seven months with his family.
Before this time, in Warri, he was fiercely opposed, attacked and stoned by members of Watchtower calling him a Judas, thief, debtor, mad man, “withered branch”, etc. With these unrelenting attacks, in 1933, he left his home land for Sapele, about 30 miles from Warri. There, too, it was not all roses for him. His expository lectures in which he criticised the false doctrines of “churchianity” stirred great enmity of the clergymen against him. In 1948, Watchtower members assaulted him and his family at 98 Aggrey Road in Port Harcourt. In the fracas, some of his children and members of the GKS sustained severe injuries. It took the intervention of the police to quell matters.
Urhobo vs Brown:
In October 1934, Brother Urhobo went to Lagos where, owing to his interest in the publications of the Late J. F. Rutherford – former President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of America – he came in contact with the Late W. R. Brown, the local representative of the Watchtower Society in Nigeria.
Later on, there was a disagreement between Brother Urhobo and Mr. Brown over the issues of doctrine. Brother Urhobo had in a biblically constructive argument for the purpose of correction (2 Timothy 3:16,17), called the attention of Mr. Brown to certain errors in the teachings of the Watchtower Society about “Marriage”, “Jehovah’s Organisation”, “Selection and ordination of the 144,000 Anointed Christians”, “Leadership”, “Memorial Supper”, “Women Preaching” and their fixing dates for “Armageddon”.
Instead of Mr. Brown to allow the Spirit of Christ to dominate his reason as to consider the correction of Brother Urhobo from a scriptural stand-point, he lost his temper. Yes, King Solomon said, “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly.” (Proverbs 14:17) And St. James stated, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” – James 1:20. The honourable course open to Brother Urhobo was to part company with Mr. Brown whose teachings, he pointed out, were inconsistent with the Scripture. It is those doctrinal issues that are the bases of the vast gulf still existing between the God’s Kingdom Society and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, whose members call themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses”
It was in Lagos in that same year 1934 Brother Urhobo, through his soul-stirring public lectures, attracted a handful of adherents whom he, through the Spirit of God, organized into a group of Bible students. He called the new group the Lagos Division of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But following protests from Mr. W. R. Brown that the name of Saint Urhobo’s group was similar to his, the name of the Church was changed to Lagos Company of Christian People in 1939. By the following year, 1940, the Church was established in Port Harcourt in the old Eastern Region by Saint Urhobo himself. By 1942, the name of the Church was reviewed to accommodate the brethren in Port Harcourt who had complained that the name “Lagos Company of Christian People” was exclusive to those in Lagos. A new name was adopted as Nigerian Christian Society. By 1943, some members of the Church who had been transferred to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) clamoured for another name change to include them hence it was changed from the Nigerian Christian Society to GOD’S KINGDOM SOCIETY (GKS). Still in 1943, Saint Urhobo adopted a new name for himself GIDEON MERIODERE URHOBO. Urhobo, was his great great grandfather’s name.
Another remarkable event of 1943 was the introduction of the Theocratic greeting Hail JEHOVAH and Jesus Christ by Saint G. M. Urhobo in response to the prevailing Nazi salute of “Heil Hitler”. Saint Urhobo said Hitler was not going to win the Second World War (WW2). That “Hitler is a direct agent of man’s greatest enemy Satan the Devil, a demon in human form”.
Prior to these developments, Saint Urhobo had established branches of the Church in Lagos (1934), Port Harcourt (1940), Warri and Sapele (1942) and later in Onitsha (1946) and Aba (1948). And it was that little group that has grown steadily by God’s grace, into thousands of Christians all over Nigeria and abroad, in spite of stiff opposition and tribulations of the devil, and become a mighty Christian Organization known, today as GOD’S KINGDOM SOCIETY. This precisely fulfils the Bible: “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” – Isaiah 60:22. See also Mathew 13:31,32.
The success of Brother Gideon Urhobo is no longer in dispute. Today the God’s Kingdom Society reflects the glory of God and stands as an everlasting monument, by the grace of God, of Brother Gideon M. Urhobo – an illustrious son of Africa!
With regard to the mission of the GKS, the following extracts from her constitution are explicit enough:
- To declare God’s Kingdom of righteousness and peace on earth and to express this doctrine in every conceivable way and form, within the bounds of law, order and human decency and to do so at any time or place, to the best of our knowledge and understanding of Bible interpretations and symbolism.
- To vindicate, admonish, preach and impart to mankind irrespective of colour, creed or caste the wholesome idea of service, fear, adoration and reverence to God Almighty, the Maker of man, the Author of Life, and the Great Ruler and Architect of the Universe, and for this purpose always to organise meetings and gatherings in any corner of the street, road, house or premises, in any township, village or locality without harm, violence nor damage to any person or property and without infringement of any laws or regulations of any constitutional authority of Government.
- To excite the interest of Africans and all peoples of the earth to the study of the Holy Bible, the Christian ethics and theology and to promote all means and measures conducive to the propagation of this knowledge for the eventual peace and realisation of harmony and tranquillity among all people of the human race in accordance with scriptural ideology.
We have published this in the interest of the readers who have been asking to know more about the God’s Kingdom Society. Yes, the GKS is planted by God; it is not the work of man. Therefore, anyone persecuting her is “fighting against God”. – Acts 5:29-42; Luke 10:16; Mark 9:41,42; Hebrews 10:31; 12:29.