Our Lord Jesus Christ enjoined us to watch and pray always so as to be counted worthy to overcome the ordeals and adversities that would characterize the last days and be approved for salvation. (Luke 21:36) In line with this injunction, Ministers of the God’s Kingdom Society, (GKS) – The Church of the Living God – in the annual Ministers’ Conference 2016 reflected on the state of affairs in Nigeria and in the world and charged all people of goodwill to hold on to God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ in Truth to get peace and salvation. The Ministers noted that the last few months had been difficult for the generality of Nigerians but thanked God Almighty, Who, in His boundless mercies, had sustained the country from going down the cliff.
The economic condition of the country as well as in the world generally in recent times have been difficult, to put it mildly. It has really been a hard time for many people. We continue to pray God to guide the leaders and the ordinary citizens so that the economic, political and social situation in the country would improve by His grace.
The harsh reality of several months’ unpaid salaries which is now the case in several states across the country is one that should be addressed with utmost urgency and sincerity of purpose by all tiers of government. Just as the salary of one employee has a multiplier effect on the lives of several people, so the non-payment of salaries spreads hunger, depression and distress beyond the persons involved. This is more so in a country like Nigeria where government is the biggest employer of labour. We pray God to give our leaders the wisdom and tenacity of purpose in finding other sources of revenue and rebuilding the economy.
However, it would be a most callous and despicable betrayal of trust by leaders, if they are diverting public funds for other purposes and giving the people excuses. Payment of wages and salaries is the irreducible, non-negotiable minimum condition required of all employers, including the government if they are to fulfil their obligations to the citizenry. Every leader should strive to pay salaries and not tell people to “Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give” when the money is there to pay. (Proverbs 3:28) We should heed the charge from the Scriptures to wit, “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.” (Leviticus 19:13) Is it not true, as recent reports have revealed, that some have built or are building mansions all over the country and abroad whereas the common people are dying and cannot meet their basic needs? The Bible says, “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work.” - Jeremiah 22:13.
War against Corruption
The God’s Kingdom Society wholeheartedly supports the government’s fight against corruption in all facets of our national life. Corruption, which is the abuse of public power for private gain, manifests in many guises, including bribery, misappropriation of public goods, nepotism (favoring family members for jobs and contracts), influencing the formulation of laws or regulations for private gain and so on. Corruption decreases the amount of wealth in a country, lowers the standard of living and eventually leads to breakdown of law and order in society. The effects in Nigeria and other countries are there for all to see. Those who see public office as opportunities to enrich themselves should retrace their steps, and work for the interest of the poor to avert the anger of God Almighty, Who stated through Amos the prophet, “Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” - Amos 5:11, 12.
Insurgencies and wars
Following the reported deployment of military men and heavy weaponry to deal with the spate of bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, it was no small relief to hear that the militants are now ready to accept the government’s invitation for dialogue. We appeal to the militants who have not yet accepted the olive branch extended to them by the government to do so in order to avoid further loss of lives and properties. There is no other way to resolving issues than going to the negotiation table.
We appeal to the government to be sincere and objective in negotiating not only with the militants in the Niger Delta but in addressing the issues affecting all other aggrieved groups and sections of the country. The government must be determined to do justice to all her nationals. While we unreservedly condemn the destruction of lives and property by outlaws posing as herdsmen, we appeal to the government to holistically address the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country, taking the interests of all stakeholders into account, lest the devil uses it as an excuse to plunge the country into another civil war. We should not be ignorant of the devil’s devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11) The Bible encourages dialogue on the basis of honesty by the parties in a dispute. It says, “Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: (Proverbs 25:9) The following Bible references also apply, to wit, “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness” and that “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.” - Proverbs 16:12; 29:14. See also Matthew 18:15-17.
Peace in Columbia
It was because they honestly gave themselves to dialogue with the aim of achieving peace in the spirit of give and take that Colombia’s Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla force have finally signed a ceasefire agreement to end more than 50 years of bloodshed, thus ending one of the world’s oldest wars. The major warring groups have resolved to pursue outstanding issues by legal means in a democratic dispensation. We salute the courage of all the sides to the negotiations in working for peace. Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. - Matthew 5:9.
We also renew the appeal to warring groups in Afghanistan, India, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, Ukraine, South Sudan, and the Middle East, among others, to sheathe their swords, put pride aside and embrace dialogue in the larger interests of their people and for the sake of humanity. The wars in various parts of the world are said to have resulted in an estimated 167,000 fatalities last year, 2015.
As announced during the Last and Great Day of the 2015 Christian Feast of Tabernacles, the 2016 celebration will hold from Sunday, December 11 to Sunday, December 18, 2016 in Salem City, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria, all by the grace of God.
The 2016 GKS Ministers’ Annual Conference ended formally on Saturday, June 25, 2016 by the grace of God. Apart from the Ministers, Lord’s Ministry Sisters and youths were in attendance. The session started with Opening Hymn: TSP 97. Other activities of the session were the reading of the Declaration of Faith read on behalf of all Ministers by Brother O. A. Obelikpeyah; and it was signed by Brother B. T. Hart on behalf of Senior Ministers, Brother P. O. Ayikimi signed for Intermediate Ministers and Brother K. I. Ekewedaye signed for Junior Ministers. Receiving the Declaration of Faith, the President, Brother G. O. Ifeacho thanked God Almighty before thanking the Ministers for the words in the Declaration and prayed the Most High God to help us all live up to expectation and fulfill our devotional vows by His grace.
The President in his closing charge to all members of the Lord’s Ministry present, made reference to the words of Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:8,9, that all members of the Lord’s Ministry should have one mind, work in unity and show love towards one another in furtherance of God’s work. He went on to charge all to continue to run away from sin and always do things that will be pleasing in the sight of God. The Conference came to a successful end by God’s grace at 8.37 p.m. after the rendition of TSP 192 (the GKS Anthem) and saying of the closing prayer by the President.
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