“Who is the LORD….? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” Pharaoh.  (Exo 5:2)

Right from the go, we knew COVID-19 would provide globalists their long-awaited opportunity to push hard for a global government. 

As aptly described in the second Psalm, the heart cry of this humanism-based global government is to change the existing “old” order, casting off God’s “restraints”, values, and systems.  The intolerable concepts include the insistence that there can be only two discrete stable states allowed for gender (strictly male or female); ascribing superiority to Man over other life forms co-habiting the planet earth; considering the earth itself as an estate made for man’s well-being, rather than a goddess whose well-being trumps man’s existence; and at the bottomline, holding that all of creation is the completed product of the ingenuity  of a benevolent omnipotent Creator-God, rather than a still-evolving self-existing purposeless entity.

The two institutions promoting and tenaciously upholding the values blocking the emergence of the “new world order” are the Church, and somewhere in the wings, the State of Israel.  The battle to supplant the existing godly Judeo-Christian values with those of the New Age movement is therefore a direct conflict primarily with the Church.  Unfortunately very many members of the Church are totally unaware of the magnitude of this unfolding final clash, dulled by a philosophy that sees “nothing new under the sun!”

As soon as the COVID-19 lockdown measures came rolling out, it was clear to us that they had little to do with maintenance of public health but more about asserting authoritarian control over the people, and subtly changing the values by which society is run.  This led us to conclude straightaway that the farcical local rules being churned out in Nigeria (and elsewhere) were inspired by globalist new age agents out to curtail their ancient foe, the Church. We hesitated to make this latter point reasoning that so long as the rules apply uniformly to all the sectors in society, government could be given some benefits of doubt in that regard. 

Now the jury is in.

Having stretched society to breaking point via the various lockdown measures, and having exhausted all options that could somehow be covered by reason, government had no choice but to start opening up the various sectors. While the government in Nigeria adamantly stuck to the timelines specified in the global template, elsewhere various adjustments were being made.  The Ghanaian president for instance threw in the towel after three weeks of partial lockdowns and said his people could no longer bear the draconian “one-size-for-all” measures handed down by globalists. Similarly, mindful of approaching summer and the lucrative tourism industry, Europe also announced that tourists could start flying in as from mid-June.  This is a big quantum jump in the re-opening protocols and brings in view a near normalization of society which is not supposed to happen until, according to the globalists, there has been a COVID-19 vaccine developed and produced for every one of the 7 billion of us living on the planet.

However, as we also warned, it would be naïve to expect that the globalists would give in so easily in a battle they had spent decades preparing for, even if things are not turning out exactly according to their well-rehearsed plans. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently limping following America’s ongoing withdrawal of her membership (with at least two other countries, Brazil and Madagascar, threatening the same action).  All this will considerably erode the credibility and authority of the organization which is then exposed as essentially just another Bill Gates institution. Similarly the spooky agenda to sneak in mandatory vaccination and with it chip implants, is now out in the public domain, and is being massively denounced all over the world.  Laughably, Mr Bill Gates is averring that the nanochip-based vaccination project ID2020 does not exist.  Yet, launched with boisterous funfair last September, details about the Project are still conspicuously displayed for all to see on the internet  with Gate’s signature all over it!  (https://www.biometricupdate.com/201909/id2020-and-partners-launch-program-to-provide-digital-id-with-vaccines). Another spanner in the wheels of the envisaged new world order would be the report that the COVID-19 virus is disappearing so fast in the UK that Oxford scientists fear they may not have enough infected subjects to trial their vaccine when it eventually becomes ready!  These and many other setbacks for the globalists, yet we knew the battle is still far from ending. Not the least in Nigeria!

We have often explained that Nigeria is the ideal launch-pad and soft target for globalists’ pet new world order projects.  This is predicated on her attractive large population size, weak central government, wavering commitment to nationhood on the part of the component ethnic groups, cynical easy-to-manipulate selfish elites, and not the least, the tremendous influence – formal and informal – Nigeria exerts on other countries on the African continent.  All these mean that there could be no retreat from the desperate plans of the globalists until the battle has been decided in Nigeria. 

And the point we are trying to make here is that this battle in Nigeria is specifically against the Church!

One of the aces in the globalists’ war chest as they systematically prosecute the current conflict is their reserving to themselves the right to ascribe “essentiality” to various sectors in society.  In line with their desired changes in societal values and mores therefore, they declared health (dubiously defined to exclude mental and emotional health) together with such sectors as agriculture and the economy as the high priority ones which must be opened up as soon as possible. Not surprisingly, religion is relegated to the very bottom of the ladder and could as well remain locked down perpetually!  The education sector apparently had to be co-joined with religion so as to douse any outcry from the public on the classification given to the latter.  Moreso that the lockdown in the education sector would bite less on the elites whose children, (where they are at all resident in the country), have continued to receive educational instructions through various online platforms.

So, at long last, it became the turn of the religious sector to be opened up, and the utter contempt with which the globalists and their local pawns hold the Church can hardly be hidden.

It is not at all difficult showing that in Nigeria, the lockdown measures directed at the “religious sector” are actually primarily directed at the Church.  In a video that went viral on social media, a government official was seen respectfully appealing to an Islamic cleric to comply with lockdown measures at his mosque; while in another scene later,  the same government official, who incidentally claimed to be a Christian, was shown lambasting a Pastor caught flouting the same lockdown regulations.  The Pastor was later whisked away for further interrogation.  Stories of such double standard abound here and there, all across the nation.  However making the front pages of several national dailies was the flagrant defiance of the Presidential Task Force’s directives by hundreds of moslems in Kano and Nasarrawa States as they gathered to mark the end of the Ramadan with the traditional prayers on Sunday 24th May. There was no recrimination at all of any sort.

The traditional religions are of course an absolutely off-limits zone for the authorities.  Why, here in Ile-Ife, Osun State, traditional religionists actually gave notice that everybody (presumably including government security agents) should be off the streets while they go around doing their rituals, lasting all day on Thursday April 2. That was right in the midst of a supposed “total lockdown”.  In like manner, it is highly doubtful that the Lodges, Freemasons, and other occult spiritual groups are using Zoom for their meetings and rituals even at this period!

So, the lockdowns against “religion” are actually directed against the Church; and as we approach the climax of the current battle, the camouflages are off, and the bare-knuckled bashing of the Church in Nigeria has begun!

In the newly released guidelines, Churches are now required to buy infra-red thermometers (costing about N25,000) with which they must monitor every one desiring to come worship God.  Even more outrageous is the requirement that anyone with elevated temperature (cited at 38oC) must be turned away and advised to go find a doctor!  Apparently, healings are not to be sought in the Church anymore!  In fact, in handling down the protocols for re-opening religious centres at the FCT, the authorities actually stated that its supposed magnanimity in allowing Churches to re-open is in recognition of “the importance of places of worship in our social and cultural way of life.” Pointedly robbing religion of any claim to spiritual value.

The rules declared that Church services are to be concluded within one hour: worship, prayers, teaching/preaching, fellowship, everything must end within sixty minutes!  Of course, Sunday School is proscribed.  So also are night vigils. The question is what has all this got to do with public health, knowing that the same population who come to Church mix together endlessly in the market, on public transportation, and of course on social visits, as most of them are neighbours!  In the FCT, Pastors are actually “discouraged” to pay “religious visits” to their members in their homes!  Thus, a Pastor may visit in some other capacity, but not as a cleric!

While most states in the federation largely endorsed the bad-enough guidelines from the Presidential Task Force (PTF), the sister Southern states Osun and Lagos felt tougher measures were needed!  Shifting the subject from “public health” to “safety of lives and properties” Lagos insisted that Churches must first be registered with the State Safety Commission before they could be considered for post-coronavirus re-opening.  Then congregation size at any time is pegged at 40% of the building’s approved occupancy limit, and in any case cannot be more than 500 no matter how big the auditorium is.  Under the instructions of her globalist handlers, Lagos State government declared that people under 15 years, and those above 65 years are not to be allowed in Church; eerily replicating Pharaoh’s insistence that Israel could only be allowed to go serve the LORD if they went without their “..young and (their) old” (Exo 10:10-11). 

There are other nauseating conditions in the general guidelines, such as the designation of the “Midweek service” as a “non-worship” activity (Guideline 9a) - which apparently does not apply to Moslems who are recognized as needing to meet for corporate worship 5 times a day, 7 days a week!  Similarly, regulation 9c requiring that “food offerings (communion)” are not to be “shared from common dishes” amounts to a technical proscription of the Holy Communion – a fundamental element of the Christian faith.

The Lagos regulations are to be in place for up to 6 months before they would be reviewed. By that time, the dubious COVID-19 vaccines currently being mass-produced even while testing is only just beginning, would be ready.  If the globalists can get away with the nauseating measures they are ramming down the Church’s throat at the present time, it will require special miracle to stop our folks from rushing to embrace the vaccine in 6 months time, if offered as the single condition for getting back their right to freely worship the Almighty!

It is difficult for the government to convince anyone that all these stifling prescriptions are really meant for public health sake, and not really to please the globalists who are probably wielding both carrot and stick to force government in line.  The earlier lockdown measures for the general society had been full of ingenious absurdities and contradictions.  For instance, following general outcry and tumultuous social situations, government “magnanimously” permitted “lockdown-free days” that permitted unfettered public interactions to be followed by other “full lockdown days” each week.  Did the authorities actually expect that the COVID-19 virus would observe a “ceasefire” on those designated free days simply because government authorized it? Would the feared community transmission of the “deadly pandemic” be suspended even as the masses thronged themselves in over-crowded market places and other public spaces, as they jostle to complete some essential transactions before the “full” lockdown resumed? Of course not!  It’s like bringing out your growing yam for a brief inspection once a week, immediately covering it back with soil thereafter for the rest of the week, and still expecting to get a good harvest after 8 months, simply by citing the number of hours the yam had cumulatively spent in the soil! 

There was actually the hilarious informal report of COVID-19 patients at an Isolation Centre in one of the northern states being released to go celebrate the Eid el Fitr festival at home, and to return to continue their quarantine thereafter!  The story is quite plausible, in the prevailing circumstances. However the global dimension of COVID-19 lockdown hypocrisy is well captured by the factual story of CNN’s Chris Cuomo who took an extended break from his well-advertised COVID-19 lockdown to spend time and drive around with his family at Easter. And the CNN covered for him even while furiously lambasting people who were complaining about the harshness of the lockdowns!

Well, given the above background, isn’t it outrageous that the government in Nigeria would insist, with a straight face, that the “deadly coronavirus” situation, (and presumably government’s utmost concern for the welfare of Church members) has given it the right to prescribe how the Church may now practice her faith?  Yet, what all this boils down to, in our opinion, is that the Church is being challenged to prove that she is essentially different from the other organizations she is being lumped with:  Event Centres, Night Clubs, and others in the “Entertainment Industry”. Donald Trump made the case for the Church in the United States, while John Magufuli did the same in Tanzania.  The Church in Nigeria is being challenged to prove her essentiality!

And this would seem to us indeed a legitimate challenge! As the Prophet Elijah would probably have put it, it is time the Church in Nigeria stopped vacillating between two opinions and settled the question of whether or not she is actually under the commission and authority of the Living God!  If indeed the Church in Nigeria has a Divine Head to Whom she is answerable, then answering the essentiality challenge would be trivial.  Summoned to the king in an insulting manner by an army captain, Prophet Elijah had retorted:  “If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.” (2 Kings 1:10).

If the Church be a servant of God, truly transforming lives, healing bodies, souls and spirits as well as families and communities; if the prayers of the Church indeed count for anything in holding back the hordes of hell in our nation, then notwithstanding that she is bearing her valuable treasures in “earthen vessels”, we should expect something to break in the coming weeks or even days as the showdown begins.

Naturally, many sections of the Church have already indicated that the Lagos re-opening rules are not acceptable to them.  Church Arise! hopes this situation could be the eye-opener for the Church as she breaks the satanic spells that has kept her divided so far.  As we wrote earlier, one of the tragedies of the Church’s formal representative in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria, is the abject neglect of the numerous Christian resources that ordinarily should be harnessed to defend and promote the interests of the Church in Nigeria. Being not “Church-based” should not preclude bodies like the Nigerian Christian Elders Forum/Nigerian Christian Social Movement, the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship, the Intercessors for Nigeria, the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship, and dozens of other Christian Fellowships – Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, and so on, from having a formal channel to contribute to CAN’s businesses.   Afterall none of them is spared in the ongoing globalists’ assault on the faith.

Beyond a re-working of the external structure for the Church in Nigeria through a re-engineered CAN however, the ongoing assaults should make the Church re-evaluate her priorities viz-a-viz Kingdom values and the reality of the soon-coming of our Lord and Master, Jesus.  How come Christians should suddenly begin to fear diseases to the point of relinquishing our core values and commission?  Why, we are mandated to destroy all the works of the devil on the planet, while we remain here as salt and light!  Diseases are certainly not excluded from the list.  Similarly, it is disheartening to see the Church considering enslavement as a “prudent” option to avoid bloodshed.  Why do nations go to physical wars if not to preserve their cherished values?  Why did Bishop Andini give his neck to the Jihadists’ scythe if not as a fight for the truth, for liberty and conscience? Why indeed is teenage Leah Sharibu not at home with her parents and peers at the present time if not to maintain her religious convictions?  We make a mockery of these and countless other saints who have and who continue to pay the price for religious liberty, when we go into panic mode over the 324 people who supposedly have succumbed to coronavirus in Nigeria since the beginning of the “plandemic”.  This could be compared with the 790 Nigerians (fathers, pregnant women, babies, and the elderlies) that have been brutally slaughtered during the same period by those who would have us give up our Christian faith and liberties. The same liberties we are about handing over to the globalists on a platter of gold over COVID-19 spell-fueled panic. Presently in the UK, the authorities have conceded that the street protests in sympathy with the human rights violation in far-away United States merits the suspension of COVID-19 social distancing and lockdown regulations.  Here in Nigeria, we are conceding to throw away our most-cherished liberties under the bogus threat of COVID-19. Tragic!

Yes, our faith requires us to be law abiding as much as is possible.  But certainly not at the expense of that faith itself!  The Bible is full of several examples, such as Daniel and his three friends, Mordecai and Esther, and countless others who by clinging to their faith “changed the king’s word (Dan. 3:28), subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, and stopped the mouths of lions” (Heb 11:33).  As the Apostles aptly put it to those trying to shut down the Gospel by appealing to “God-given authorities”:  “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye” (Acts 4:19).

In concluding this article, we emphasize again that though the Church is eminently deserving of a special status on account of the invaluable tangible and intangible contributions she sacrificially makes to Society, she should actually not be asking for such.  Our request should be a call for a level playing field with fixed goal posts, even if we are to be treated as no different from Night Clubs or Shopping Malls.  If for instance, the 30,000 capacity auditorium of the Deeper Life Bible Church in Lagos is not to have more than 500 people at a time (and none outside the 15-65 age bracket) for a maximum of one hour, the same should apply to the Novare Lekki Mall. If it is all about public health and nothing else, what is good for the goose should be ok also for the gander.

As for the question of the Church’s “essentiality”, Church Arise! believes that can safely be left to the Head of the Church to answer.

Church Arise!

Ile-Ife, 8th June, 2020