*The demons that give him money
*Why his predictions should not be believed
+More, much more
In Calabar, Cross River State where she is based, Lady Apostle Helen Ukpabio is very big. As a matter of fact, her church, Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries is the biggest in that part of the country. With about 250 branches scattered all over the world and still counting, the influential minister of the gospel does not shy away from controversies. Especially those that concern the Body of Christ.
Married to Dr. Elijah Ukpabio and blessed with three children (Iniobong, Mfonido and Imaobong), the woman of God who started out as a nurse recently celebrated what she dubbed Festival of Sweet Victories. The one-week programme which was immensely successful attracted leading men of God like Bishop N.E Moses…
YES International! Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE, took her up at the end of the programme in the course of which she pointed out some areas she doesn’t agree with Prophet T.B Joshua of The Synagogue Church of All Nations. She also spoke on other issues. Come with us…
This Festival of Sweet Victories, what is it all about?
Yeah! In recent times, I have been enjoying a lot of victories over those who accused me of one thing or the other. First, it was the Censor’s Board that took me to court and for four years they made me to stand trial as an accused or as a criminal. But at the end God saw me through. I was discharged and acquitted. I was not even cross-examined or anything. While I was still pondering on what to do next, the atheists came in with this heated blackmail and again, God gave me victory.
So, it’s worth celebrating because I don’t want to be indebted to God; that He’s doing so much for me and I’m pretending and swallowing it up. And the victory you don’t celebrate, the devil will think you’ve been defeated. So, that is why I am celebrating the Festival of Sweet Victories – a one week festival, just for God, morning, night and just to say thank you God for what you have done.
You chose about ten pastors for this event, was there any special reason for settling for them?
Yes! Most of them shared with me in those moments of sadness. Some of them will say, don’t mind them, they tried to encourage me to move forward and some are friends, personal friends and some are people I admire their ministries.
Is Festival of Sweet Victories going to be an annual event?
No, no, no, no…It’s not, because I don’t know what lies in stock for me, so I don’t want to unnecessarily crowd my years with repetitions.
You lost three brothers and a sister months back, what is the latest on the issue?
The latest now is that the police in Akwa Ibom had arrested one of the suspects who admitted and told us those who sponsored them and they went and saw the SSS man, Noel Nduka who also admitted that yes, he was in the team. But that he was not the one who opened fire. So, with all these admissions, before we knew it, they said order from above and they were released from the cell. Not even on bail. And the young man has been given a councillorship position that he never stood in for. So, I am not relenting. I believe that something will come out of it because we want to take it beyond these shores and when we do that we will let the press know.
Your aged parents, how have they been coping losing four grown up children in one fell swoop?
They’ve been crying, crying…Like my mother, three days ago, she was crying throughout. She cried and cried. I just brought them close to me, because there’s nobody again. You know those two boys lived with them, assisted them, fetched water for them. Now the place is like a grave yard and these two aged people can’t go to the stream, they can’t do anything. So, I just brought them here for treatment, attention. They are not themselves and more. They used to be strong, but now you see them being very weak and fragile. But I still believe that if a little justice is done, it will give them strength, instead of everybody to just die like that. And in my own family, people don’t die young. The youngest person that has ever died in my family died at 115. Yes, my father’s elder brother. They don’t die at 90, they don’t die at 100. They must put something on top. My father’s eldest sister died at 132 years; from the same father but different mother. So, it is the first time our family, our compound is experiencing untimely deaths and four people at a go. Four!
You launched a new book and some CDs and VCDs during the Festival of Sweet Victories, can you tell us about that?
Yeah, we launched my two albums – Superlative Jesus and Not As They Thought. Those are inspirational albums. I don’t know how to express the power of God, the faithfulness of God towards me so I just called one of the albums Superlative Jesus. He has done much more than I ever imagined. Then, Not As They Thought. It’s not the way people are thinking about me. It is what God is doing in me, through me and by me; my relationship with God. Whenever they think I would have died, that is when God will give me more life. So, my life doesn’t depend on what people think about me, and it’s also a song of victory. I’ve won them. They fought, my enemies were multiplied, but God gave me power over them and that’s just that.
How about the book?
The book is about my encounter with the atheists who claimed they were fighting for child witchcraft that never
existed. They were fighting for a non-existing cause and made noise and generated money from the world. I marvel at the way people can easily use their demonic wisdom to kill, murder and slander another person to be brought forward and to be able to make it. So, I had to write the truth and let people see the truth. So, the book is very rich by way of its exposition on the individuals involved. Every chapter is about an individual and the extent the person was involved in the child witchcraft saga.
Why do you have too many people fighting you?
I think it’s because I preach the truth (Laughs). Because I don’t compromise and people don’t like that. So, people want to see me fall, people want to see me compromise, people want to see me change doctrines, people want to see me be like the world and I’ve refused. That’s No 1. No 2, because they know that I came out from Satan’s stronghold to be a believer and it will not be easy. Then, No 3, I don’t want to just follow the new wave of Christianity. I want to stay on Biblical Christianity and that makes me an enemy, so to say, by those who truly want to use this Word and abuse it. I want to use this Word, but I won’t abuse it. Whatever I’m doing, I want Christ to be seen in me for real.
You have fought a lot of battles already, which would you describe as the toughest?
Ah! I have never fought a mild battle o. With Olumba Olumba people, it wasn’t easy – and for how many years now? Olumba’s fight has been on now for nearly or more than 30 years and it’s still on. At every point they are tough. Then, the one of these atheists – very tough. Very tough! Then, the Censor’s Board. It was tough because they thought they could shut me down. Because I would send films to them, they would refuse to censor and I would release. And in the court, because they couldn’t co-ordinate their lies, they lost the case. So, all the battles were tough in their different ways.
The strength to fight all these battles, where do you draw it from?
Those ones are the ones you know. There are a lot of internal battles that I also fight. I’ve been fighting and will continue to fight. The strength is one – the truth. Jesus says you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. So, when something comes that I’m fully persuaded of, that what I am doing is right, the Bible is true, this, this, this, ah, you can’t push me down. You cannot! I will stand on the truth and I will not close my mouth because I understand spiritual rules that if you close your mouth and leave, it’s accepting defeat. So, I have to say it the way it is.
I have to oppose it the way I should oppose it. So, that’s how it is because I don’t want to build a church that everybody comes to the church, but they are not saved, they are not born again, they do whatever they like and they claim to be born again. They just profess it with their mouths, but their lifestyles don’t reflect it. No! So, because of that I can defend this faith anywhere.
How do you feel about certain things happening in the Body of Christ like the predictions and so on?
Did God really call us in these last days for predictions? We don’t need predictions; all we need is to use the Word of God to change people’s lives and affect people for the kingdom of God. What prophesy are we giving? The Bible is a whole lot of prophesy. What do people want to hear? You will die or you won’t die. Like T.B Joshua who said God showed him the crash, the plane crash before it happened. That is not God! Did he see a plane crash, yes! But was it God that showed him? No! Now, where was he seeing it from? From the scope of the master he’s serving. The testimony does not agree with the scriptures. If God reveals anything to His servant, any calamity that would have happened, God is saying this calamity would have happened, but because I have revealed it to you, it won’t happen. Intercede, pray.
But to come and say that God showed you, is God a murderer? So, it’s not God. Inside that plane were men of God and women of God; inside that plane were innocent children, so what was God gathering all of them from different places to come and kill them for? Now, if God told him like he’s claiming, what did he do to prevent it? Because the prophets of God in the Bible would say ‘something has happened’. That’s what Elisha would say. Why? Because if God reveales it to me, then it won’t happen. So, when God shows a servant…Like me, God will tell me pray for this country, there will be so much bloodshed, this, this, this. But I will preserve my own. Pray that my own be preserved. We pray and you just see things happening because things must happen in the world. But you will see the thing come through – that those who serve the Lord are preserved. Not that they won’t feel the general impact, but to be directly involved, no! God does not allow it. Because He has said that those who worship Him shall not see reproach. So, when somebody is seeing from the scope of a witchcraft realm called Tam and Oma. Tam and Oma are like the demonic springboards that transmit visions to their agents, so that their agents will say it and the things will happen. For example, towards the end of the year, you see a lot of predictions. Oh, two prominent Nigerians will die, oh, this, this will happen. And after, those things will happen. The Bible calls it familiar spirit. So, the demon, before he does anything, must transmit it. It’s just like us watching television. Before we see the pictures, it’s already being transmitted somewhere. So, that aspect of transmission is what these people who have familiar spirits in them will see and it doesn’t stop the things from happening. But the Bible says anything that is brought to light is done away with. So, if it is God, God will show you that two people would have died, but because I’ve shown it to my servant, He honours His own. So, they won’t die. I remember somebody who was to fly in my church and the Lord showed me that there will be an accident which He will permit for various reasons. This was during that Abacha time; that He was angry with Abacha. I called that man. I said look, I was told that you are going to be in a flight tomorrow, he said yes. I said the Lord said you should not travel. He said no Ma, what I want to go for is very important, pray for me Ma. I said don’t join the ADC flight. That man still left Uyo, came to Calabar, but instead of going to the airport, he came to my office and was telling me, are you still telling me I should not fly? You see, I have this, I have that to do. I said well, I won’t be able to tell you any other thing. I had a revelation when I was praying at night and I called you and told you.
So, the man now said well, let me stay with you small. We were there and he said he would go by 12. Around 11, breaking news, breaking news. The plane that took off from Calabar to Port-Harcourt to carry some people had crashed! God said He’s permitting it because He’s angry with the leadership of Nigeria. And He showed me. That’s what the scripture says. He won’t allow the righteous to be part of them. And a lot of people missed that flight. So many people said I would have been on that flight and that is how God releases the righteous. So, what I’m trying to say in essence is that when God gives a revelation, He gives victory. So, for T.B Joshua to see all those people crash and they crashed into where he didn’t see; they crashed into buildings and still killed people on ground, it’s unfortunate. Look at even the former President of Ghana (Prof. John Attah Mills) that used to come to him, the man died and he didn’t see that o! So, let’s stay on the Word. The fact is that he doesn’t know the Word. If he knows the Word, he will know that there are too many worded Nigerians that are servants of the Most High God and that those drama, those things he displays are nothing. I’m not looking for adonai money, because I also can consult adonai and have money. But I’m not looking for adonai money. Adonai is a group of demons that if you serve them, they can give you money. They only demand worship, they want to be worshipped like God and most preachers, that is what they are doing. They are just going after money, going after this and they want to make a name; you know the spirit of the last days. So, they can go to any extent and acquire any power just to draw people in. But at the end only the truth will stand. A time is coming, the Lord showed me, very soon, there’s going to be a wind of revival that will blow and all these churches that are just doing gra-gra, without foundations, they will all be blown down and only what is done for Christ will endure.
Why do most preachers find it difficult to speak out in spite of all the ills plaguing the Body of Christ?
They keep quiet, one, because everybody is entitled to his faith and belief and message. You can preach your materials. Moreso, you don’t have control over them because they are not submitting to you or to any authority. Like T.B Joshua is not submitting to PFN. It’s PFN that would have called him to order. So, he’s building an empire. But anybody that is for God must come under leadership; covering. Look at me doing a programme, I’m bringing top men of God whom I submit to. So, they in turn will tell you that thing you are doing is not good; this thing you are doing is good. That’s what they will do.
Why do we still have too many fake preachers around?
We have too many fake preachers around, one, because of unemployment in Nigeria. Somebody who doesn’t have any job would think the church is easy, so go get it. That is one. Two, some people are fake because they are deliberate agents of the powers of darkness. The devil is also increasing his scope. Then, three, many people are fake because they never knew the truth and yet you find them now coming to serve God. You must have an encounter with Jesus to be able to have a foundation that will endure; where you are well taught in the scriptures the first principles of salvation. You know them. Restitution. People just get born again, they don’t even know what restitution is, they don’t make restitution. People get born again and nothing changes. Their dressing is still the same, their language is still the same, only in the church. So, because of these, they say they are born again, but actually they don’t have the experience. Tomorrow they will now say they have a calling. So, what would you expect from such? They begin to preach heresies. There are a lot of heresies they preach and people take them to be revelations.
Why do we still have too many sinners in the world in spite of the fact that we have too many churches and preachers of the gospel?
Yeah! You are looking at the Nigerian environment. In the UK, the churches are actually owned by the blacks and a few white churches. In fact, some are waiting for the money people had donated for the future of that church, once that money finishes and they can’t pay the pastor, the church is offered for sale. So, it is so because where there is no foundation anything goes. The Bible says there was a time in Israel when no man actually wanted to know the true God and to serve him. Every man doeth that which was right in his own eyes and that is what this generation is actually getting into. Everybody doing what they think is right. Nobody to tell you it’s wrong. People would rather come and support the wrong thing as if it is the right thing and the Bible says those who would turn things upside down, call white black, call black white, it says they put evil for good and put good for evil. God would come after them. That very soon, judgment would begin. So, it’s just that we have to be patient, God is not blind, He’s not dead, He would react at the appropriate time. But you know, He has to give people room.
For a very long time, people have been saying the world will soon come to an end, when will the world come to an end and what is delaying it?
Ah! Jesus says no man knows the time. You know Jesus is our elder brother, He loves us. He would have told us the time, but He said the time is kept with the Father. God says a thousand years is like one day. So, spiritual timing is not the way it is in the material world, and we are judging it by the material world. If God had created this world and this world was up to two hundred and something million years before human beings came to inhabit it, that God that has been there, what haste is He in to come and destroy a world of 7000 years? This world is not older than 7000 years. In fact, this is the 7000th year we are entering. So, I don’t see any wrong in waiting, when God had been there for over two hundred and something million years before He created man. Man is only 7000 years, so who should be in a hurry, man or God?
Is there really anything called heaven and is there anything called hell? A lot of people say those things do not exist…
They will say it in order to use it to close their minds, maybe to have small peace or confidence or temporary peace to shield themselves from guilt, because the Bible says in Isaiah chapter 5 that hell has opened its mouth wide and it’s swallowing. And in the book of Mathew chapter 9, God makes us to understand that hell is real, so, it is better to enter into life. It says if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better to enter into life maimed than to get into hell where the fire does not quench and the worm does not die. So, I don’t know how somebody will now come and say there is no hell fire. There is heaven; the heaven of God. But that is not where the Christian goes when he dies. He goes to paradise. From paradise he will be raptured if the trumpet sounds. The dead in Christ shall rise first. That’s from paradise. So, God is not taking us to heaven to bring us again from heaven for rapture. No! Jesus said to the thief on the cross, today thou shall be with me in paradise. Not in heaven. But then there is hope of going to heaven, with the sounding of the trumpet, according to Thessalonians, with angels and the heavenly choir singing and blowing trumpet. Rapture will be taking place first in the quarters where the dead in Christ are kept, which is paradise. Then, to the general earth where Christians are scattered here and there.
So, rapture is real and the Bible is telling us – therefore comfort yourself with this. We have to know all this truth and know that it is so. But the book of Revelation, chapter 15 and chapter 20 talk about those whose names shall not be found in the book of life. They shall be cast into eternal hell where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Now, somebody is saying there is no hell, there is no heaven. There is heaven. But which heaven? That should be the question. There is the hemisphere, the heaven of clouds. There is the second heaven which is the firmament where the stars are placed and there is the third heaven which not even any scientist can go there. If they want to go there they will bounce back or they roast. Now, scientists want to go and see God in the sun and in the moon. How can God that created the moon and the sun be seen inside His creations? So, it doesn’t make sense. The Bible says His throne stretches over the entire heaven and that heaven is as large as the size of the earth, if not more. Because the earth is just a planet. The heaven is where God is and the Bible says He fills the entire heaven and if it is so nobody can say there is no heaven. Heaven is real. And Jesus says except you strive to enter it, you won’t go in. So, people who must go to heaven must prepare their minds and labour for it, if not they won’t go.
Is God a man or a woman?
God is a spirit. A spirit has no form. God can manifest as a man, as a woman, but it is worth noting that God does not have a form. So, nobody can imitate Him. That is why He said you should not make any graven image and compare it to what is in heaven, because it is an insult. It is an insult! So, God is not a man, God is not a woman, God is a spirit and God is not limited to sex. Once He becomes a man, He has a lot of imitations.
How about Satan? Is Satan a man or woman?
Well, because the Bible has given us the history of Satan. Lucifer. He calls him son. He didn’t say the daughter. So, Lucifer himself is a man; Shetane, what they call Satan. That is the spiritual language for Satan. Now, Shetane is a male. Because when the Bible describes him, it personalizes it as something with sex. Why? Because they are creatures, they are not god.
Has any man seen God before?
If you listen to one of my songs, I said your name Boku. ‘Your name Boku, your name plenty, your name no dey finish’. God is a divine being that you can only know Him by revelation. I can see God. Like in what I’m going through, I saw God! Now, whatever I saw cannot be used as a fixed thing for God. You can’t say I saw Him, He resembles this. No! Because He can reveal Himself differently. No man has ever seen God. Even Moses! When God said He wanted to talk to him mouth to mouth, Moses only felt a feeling and an impression of a man. Then God located his hand and put something that looks like a hand inside, but he saw no face and God told him that if somebody sees my face he will die.
How about Lucifer, do people see Lucifer?
Yeah, you can invoke Lucifer. As one of the angels, he’s a spirit. But it’s highly limited. And it must appear taking a form of any creature. It depends at what level and for what it’s being invoked. So, it depends on what it’s being invoked for.
What is the best way to worship God?
The Bible says worship God in the spirit and in the truth; John chapter 4. Now, the Bible is saying stay on the Word. To me, that is the best way. Not vision! You see all these visions they are giving on this and that, it will perish, it will end. But what will abide forever is the Word of God. So, the best way to worship God is to study the Word. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a work man that need not be ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth. That is the best way to worship God. Stay on the Word. Then, serve God. Don’t just worship God. You know Him, you cram everything, but you don’t render service. Then, labour for the kingdom. You must deliberately, whether you are a pastor or not; even if you are a member, you must deliberately labour for the kingdom. All the parables Jesus taught, He was teaching us on how to worship God. The worshipping of God, what can I compare it to? It’s like a certain rich man who decided to travel and he gave out talents to three of his servants. Go and use this, I will come back and when I come back you will render account. How will I compare the kingdom of God? It is like ten virgins who took their lamps to go and wait for the groom. They waited o! Then, the other five, when they heard the sound of the groom, they said oh, we have no oil, we are going t look for oil. So, all what Jesus is saying is service, showing service, commitment, having the consciousness that you must labour for the kingdom and that the kingdom of God definitely is coming.
Who is a good Christian, what makes a good Christian?
A good Christian is somebody who is genuinely saved. He knows the date and he knows the message he heard. A good Christian is not somebody who was healed and he joined the church. He’s not somebody who they cast out demons from and he joined the church. He’s somebody who heard a message and the message touched him, he cries until the Holy Spirit convicts him of sins and he confesses his sins. Not every day or every Friday, but once and for all. He confesses it, he forsakes it and begins to walk with God. He starts fellowshipping, he enjoys the Word of God and whatever the Word of God says, he does not wrestle with it; he hands over. He keeps submitting, submitting, submitting and surrendering until he becomes a very spirited fellow. That is a good Christian.
Why do some people get born again and back-slide?
No 1, Jesus said it’s because of the affairs of this life. Many under pressure. Somebody is born again, he can’t get certain kinds of jobs because his faith will not allow him and he stays, he sees real raw hunger and he doesn’t see anybody to help him, you can backslide to do any work. And some others were not truly born again. They were excited when they heard the Word of God. Very, very excited. Now, as they heard the Word, because they could not yield to be trained, to allow the Word of God to reign in them, they soon fall by the way side. Then, others simply backslide. The simple reason they backslide is maybe they want to be like the world, to be like them or see Christianity as a burden. So, even a truly saved soul can backslide.
What is the best way to guard against backsliding?
If you focus on the Word, and you believe the Word that it is true and you also understand that you have to wait patiently…I have a song where I said ‘I’m still waiting for answers from God’. Because this generation, they don’t like waiting at all. Everything is like magic. What they don’t know is that magic is a power outside natural source, whereas miracle is supernatural power. So, most people, that’s why when they go to churches, those who practice elementary magic, they now see it as God’s power. But elementary magic has expiry date. Whatever is done will only be sustained for a few days and expires and at the end they won’t do anything. So, if people come to God and they just stay on the Word, they won’t backslide. And constant fellowship. I know that you can pray in your house, but if you don’t fellowship, you have missed it because Jesus stayed 40 days and He established a church. It’s not for nothing. The church is the only gateway where heaven deals with humanity. Any other thing like government, this, that is God providing opportunity for circular leadership. But when it has to do with heaven and kingdom matter, it’s the church and the church is the highest body. That’s why the Devil attacks it. The Devil wants to clamp it down, kill it in the U.K, kill it in Europe, kill it in Canada, come to America, kill it, enter Africa, destroy it.
As a woman of God, do you also get tempted? If yes, how do you normally overcome that?
Temptation is at every corner, because you can’t control whatever can come to tempt you. But then what keeps us away from temptation is the Word. It’s the Word of God. What does the Bible say? That’s what I mean by being worded. What would Jesus have done in such a situation? But sometimes we fall off, like David. But you must quickly come back and say God, I’m sorry, I purify myself once again and if possible you will go to a senior person, a pastor, and tell the person, look, I’ve fallen, this, this, this. And if you are a man of God, look for a superior man of God that you trust and tell him the extent you’ve fallen. Let them help bring you up. So, that is it.