Dr. Wisdom Okotie of the Christ the King Miracle Church in the US is a man of many parts. Besides his commitment and devotion to the Christian gospel, he is also an author. His book, Beyond Dreams, Prophecies, and Visions straddles the supernatural and the physical realms of existence by establishing their inexorable interconnectedness. It advances the narrative that both the supernatural and the physical world intersect and are influenced by each other. The book upholds the sacrosanct spiritual messages communicated from God to man through dreams, prophecies, and visions. No doubt, humanity acknowledges the existence of Almighty God, the Creator and Supreme Being. However, there are contentions in many quarters disputing God’s channel of communication and His interaction with human beings. The Bible, that globally acclaimed Christianity’s didactic manuscript, is replete with many instances where God communicated with man through dreams, prophecies and visions. We are aware of Joseph whom the brothers called the dreamer. We are also aware of Pharaoh who God revealed the impending famine in Egypt through a dream. Certainly, we cannot forget Nebuchadnezzar who God showed the golden image destroyed by a stone which signified the end of his reign in Babylon. From all these instances, God communicates with man to reveal his intentions through dreams, prophecies, and visions. In the same vein, the book maintains that God communicated the future leadership of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) to the author. Through encounters, facts, and events described by the author as incontrovertible, the book diligently and painstakingly chronicles that revelation.
The central message of the book is succession, the handing over of the baton of leadership from one person to another within the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) family worldwide. In this case, through dreams, prophecies and visions, God revealed that after the transition to the eternal glory of the founder of CCC Papa Samuel Bilehou Joseph Oshoffa, a young man will ascend the throne of leadership to steer the church to divine destiny according to His plans. According to the book, the number 38 is significant because it recurs with symbolic consistency which proves its spiritual complexion. Those who are alive to spiritual dynamics communicated through channels like dreams, visions, and prophecies will attest that when a number continues to recur in the supernatural domain, it bears a fundamental message. In the book, the number 38 occurs many times which shows its spiritual significance in the successor tale of the CCC worldwide. The late Pa Samuel Bilehou Joseph Oshoffa received the revelation to establish CCC in 1947 when he was 38 years old. 38 years will become significant again when the founder died in 1985 after the CCC had existed for 38 years. It was that same year that the author received the first message, in fact, a mandate by the Holy Spirit to lead the church. But given his humble, selfless nature, the author decided not to get involved in the leadership tussles in the church. He rather chose to diligently wait for the manifestation of the divine will of God.
The book lucidly narrates the encounter between Papa Oshoffa and the author which clearly shows that the venerated founder of the CCC handed over the mantle of leadership to the author. In a recounted incident, the author communicated his encounter with the Holy Spirit to Papa Oshoffa narrating how God had through a vision revealed that he would be the next leader of the CCC. Upon communicating this message to the late founder, Papa Oshoffa immediately confirmed that the author was speaking the truth. To leave no one in doubt of the author’s divine mandate as the rightful successor of the late founder, Papa Oshoffa laid hands on the author and blessed him. In the Christian lore, the laying of hands is quite significant because it demonstrates the transfer of authority, blessing, and power. The book establishes a correlation between the event that happened between the author and Papa Oshoffa and similar incidents in the Bible. First is the transition of power from Moses to Joshua and from Elijah to Elisha. Indeed, these Biblical examples aptly capture the same transition of power from Papa Oshoffa to the author Dr Wisdom Okotie.
The book recounts a submission by Papa Oshoffa when he was alive regarding who will succeed him. According to the book, the late founder is quoted to have said that “I already have an arrangement. There is a write up that is with me…. When I pass, it will not be the officer that is really close to me in rank that will sit on my seat…it is the Holy Spirit that will choose the one who will sit on my seat…”. In another instance, he is quoted to have submitted thus, “After my death, if Celestians stand in unity and one accord, in seven years a Pastor and true leader will arise and lead Celestial worldwide. But, if there arise deceit and fight for leadership and post, the Church will suffer disunity and segregation, and when it’s thirty years a young man will arise for the unity of Celestial throughout the world”.
The book succinctly queries the reasons behind the continual, never-ending leadership tussles in the church which continue to undermine the celestial principles in the congregation. Intriguingly, the constitution of the church generally known as the famous “Blue Book” has not been able to solve the leadership crises. The crisis in the church may have lingered because factional leaders have completely ignored the voice of the Holy Spirit and the destined, divinely appointed successor in the person of Dr Wisdom Okotie. Perhaps if the Celestial family recognizes the voice of God and respect the wishes of the late founding father, peace will return to the church. In what could pass as a piece of spiritual advice, the book calls on the Celestial hierarchy to seek the face of God through fasting and prayers to get a proper revelation of who God wants to lead the church. It will be a disservice and disrespect to the departed soul of the founder of the CCC to disregard or ignore Dr Wisdom Okotie, someone he already ordained to succeed him.
A more critical approach to the book reveals subtle commentary on the leadership question and succession within the Christendom. All over the world, many churches are always enmeshed in leadership tussles as soon as the founder or founders transit to the eternal glory. This has sometimes led to unhealthy rivalry which most times become very ugly. At other times, many churches fragment to smaller units rendering the original vision of the founder(s) useless. The book enjoins all churches to always seek the face of God to know who should mount the podium of leadership because God is not an author of confusion. Overall, the book glories in establishing many claims with copious quotes from the Bible. Solving the leadership crises in CCC worldwide must take into account the claims made in the book Beyond Dreams, Prophesies, and Visions.
Dr. Adiele is of the Department of English,
Mountain Top Universit, Prayer City, Ogun State