The Testimony of My Calling
I was called into full time ministry divinely in September 1996. The dream of my desired military carrier ended as I received a higher calling to serve the Lord’s Army. I was born in 1975 in Ukpom Edem Inyang, a village in Oruk Anam Local Govt. Area of Akwa Ibom State in south-south Nigeria. At age 16, I started a long journey of combining studies and soldiering. Four years earlier I had tried, but failed, to get enlisted into the NIGERIAN MILITARY SCHOOL ZARIA (NMS), where high school cadets were groomed.
Admitted into another
Military secondary school in Lagos, I was selected from the school cadet corps
to be enlisted in the army. This did not come as a surprise, as I was the school
cadet commandant for 2 years. This delayed my college studies for a full year;
I returned to study, under a scholarship, hoping to be commissioned after
graduation, into what is
known as 'Short Service' in the next 4 or 5 years, after college.
THE DIVINE ENCOUNTER
It happened just a week before my trip to Zaria, the heart of the Nigerian Armed Forces. This is where every military personnel must be commissioned in Nigeria. I was seriously preparing, after the many ups and downs, as some of my classmates had gone through this initiation 2 years before now, partly because of my not having a god-father who could push on my behalf.
I was taking a walk on that fateful evening of Friday, 6 September, 1996. However, I walked too far with many thoughts running through my mind. I was actually checking within me if I was really ready for the actual military service and also considering the religious background I had, but above all, I loved it and could desire nothing less to it then.
After a long walk, I decided to take a short rest and then take a bus back home before it became late. Then it began to rain a little, so I took shelter under the roof of a mobile petrol station. There were lots of people and the place was not comfortable because people were pushing to get out of the rain. I crossed the road to an old house (which was under renovation), the Lord’s Club Maryland in Lagos. I stood there with a few others, but the structure caught my attention so I went closer to appreciate the building. On getting there I found a group of people praying, each man on his own, quietly and earnestly. I had never seen such a level of concentration before, and I stood watching until someone came up to lead the meeting. I walked in and sat by a corner, just in a place I could stand up and walk out easily as the building had no walls.
My parents had raised me up in the fear of the Lord but the military school had separated me from everything meant for a weakling, as they often say in the camp “faith and worship are for those who cannot stand the test of life”.
More and more people started coming in for that evening meeting and old hymns were sung. As they continued praying, there came a prophecy. A woman was speaking in an unknown tongue and a man was interpreting it and both had their heads bowed. And unusual feeling ran through me as I sat still. It was some kind of fear that something was going to happen to me in this place. As I tried to get up to go, a man standing by that roll beckoned on me to wait until that exercise was over.
The next thing that happened was that the interpretation described the place where I was, what I was wearing, where I had been sitting and then who I was. A deacon was sent to ask me to stand and the same man that stopped me from leaving came again and lifted me to my feet and brought me to the altar. And the following words were spoken:
“I have kept thee for a purpose and this day I have brought you here to show you the path, you must walk to do that which I have ordained you for. You must not go to Zaria, and all the distractions in the past were to delay you till this hour, and now, that time has come for you to take the word of truth across the world. You do not belong to any group and you must not be distracted as this same voice was echoed at your birth. And for a witness, for I the Lord do nothing without a witness, your father is also in this building; I brought him here too as witness to this great doing of mine. Surrender your heart now and be at peace for that way you were heading was of destruction but you are my servant and my will you must do. You must not get entangled with men, nor be involved in any form of business; wait, and I will show you where to go”
This is a life testimony that many witnesses who were presented on that day have continued to publish as they travel. My father, Mr. Akpan Nice Nkanang, had closed his office and a friend of his compelled him to come and share in fellowship, something he would normally not consent to. He later became a member of that church "The Apostolic Church Maryland". This place was not in anyway near to, either his house or office, but God who controls all things brought him there. Even while I knelt down, I thought it was a game, but everything that crossed my heart was spoken openly.
I wept as within me I could not resist the power of God and my most desired career was slipping off before my very eyes. I was under the control and power of something stronger than the whole of my world. Before this time, I knew very well that I had never tendered an apology in my life, or to even allow the word ‘sorry’ to slip off my mouth. I thought of one thing "finally this people want to make me a bloody civilian" - a term normally used to describe those who had not military experience.
That evening I was asked to share my testimony and as I stood, not wanting to say anything, I flipped over the Bible in front of me and found Joel 2:12-13, feeling too shy to look at their faces I read the verses in my heart. Suddenly a brother stood up from the back of the congregation and shouted "Joel 2:12-13" and immediately the power of God again filled the house and I began preaching from Joel 2:12-13, and the congregation were shouting "amen, amen". This event was so amazing. At the end of the meeting there were notable healings and other miracles, which the Lord performed to confirm his WORD.
THE PENTECOSTAL SYSTEM
I stayed with the ministers a few days, praying and fasting, and listening to their experiences too. I left some time after that to a remote part in Lagos, waiting for the next direction from the Lord. I did not fully understand God’s pattern and was eager to be engaged in what many today call “the WORK of God”. I thought the next direction was to come immediately.
This waiting period was supposed to be my time of study, prayer, and preparation for the ministry. In the following year, after holding a meeting and was with some brethren testifying to the goodness of the Lord, I was opened to the ministry and message of the Seventh Angel Messenger by a young brother. This was in the first quarter of 1997.
I went to my lodging place that night to search the Scriptures on the discussion they had and the Lord confirmed it to me by a flash of light. The next day I was baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Acts 2:38. (Concerning this flash of light, many witnesses can testify to it in my life. Although no one had seen it, but whenever I saw the light, whatever I was praying for comes to pass. Bros. Joseph Amailuk, Sam Lokoro, Matthew Alehu, and many sisters later testified of this light in Northern Uganda while I was praying for the sick in Mathany, Iriiri, and finally Katakwi.)
Immediately after the baptism my uncle, who was a Oneness Pentecostal Bishop (having heard this testimony), came to Lagos to convince me to join the church. The bishop went back disappointed as there was no agreement reached. Later that year an invitation to minister in Akwa Ibom state came. This is the Nigerian state where the many different Pentecostals churches have their administrative headquarters.
Before I left, my father called me and reminded me of the “thus saith Lord” I had received. He warned me not to yield to the offer to join the PAW Inc. or any other Christian organization. And even after I had traveled and had spent a whole month holding meetings in the interior parts of that land, I received yet another letter from my father warning me that any yielding to join the Pentecostals would bring me sorrows, for he was a witness of the prophecy.
MOMENTS OF WOES
I could not hold for long especially with words like: “We have been in this before you, we preach the same thing, and our water baptism is just the same”. My programmes were automatically cut short and I returned to Lagos Assembly of the PAW Inc. under the Western District. A few months later, I planted 3 more churches, and 2 established churches even came to submit to my leadership. Seeing this, the organization quickly licensed me. Then reality started surfacing. Every sentence in my messages were questioned. That was a true situation of a caged eagle.
In the year 2000 I had an open confrontation with all the Bishops over WOMEN PREACHERS and my District Superintendent said to me, "Alas, you have injured those whom God had sent to lift you up".
Despite these fighting, I was systematically engaged with bigger responsibilities by the church authorities until my church was made an Independent District in 2001.
The greatest fight was in the place of the Bible College, as I bluntly refused all their offers and scholarships to study THEOLOGY AND DIVINITY.
Since the PAW Inc. was not a Church in the USA, but an Organization of Oneness Churches, ministers were free to belong to more than one body of their choice. In 2003, by a majority vote, with respect to the amount of churches planted in and outside Nigeria, I was elected by the Governing Body of “New Day Apostolic Fellowship Church” as a Bishop Elect to be consecrated and decorated in the following year.
It was during this waiting period that the Lord screamed at me in a vision on 3 January, 2004 in the figure of the Seventh Angel Messenger, WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM, saying, “Arise now, its time to leave this cage. Go now, fly eastward.”
The vision was confirmed by two other brothers who came from Cameroon to pray with me. One of them told me that I should sell that which I cherished most and go preach the truth. I was at first reluctant, but then messages started coming from every comer that I should follow the voice I had heard.
I returned to the fellowship of the saints of PAW Inc. and when the Pentecostals held their convention, delegates attended - from the United States and other African countries, and I was one of the speakers. This was an attempt to cushion me with more responsibilities, as usual, to tie me down. After my teaching, the American Bishop was troubled; he got home and resigned from the denomination. The following year, I flew eastward to Kenya, in East Africa, to hold a few meetings, then eastward again to India for a whole month, where a church was planted and finally, Far East to Singapore. This was a fulfillment of the vision I saw in 2004.
I am presently building a portion of the body of Christ allotted to me, but with many warring attacks from the denominational world. A Pentecostal pastor who heard of me, reported me to the security authorities in Vietnam, and for this course I was ministering secretly even in the face of the restrictions in the land when I was there in that country.
Back home in Nigeria, there have been fears and fighting, but the Lord has continued to be my defense. More and more Pentecostal pastors have been re-baptized and more doors are being opened for the gospel of the evening light to be preached.
I had been led of the Lord to minister outside Nigeria in Cameroon, Congo DR, Kenya, India, Vietnam and Singapore.
The WORD of God had never ceased to be the ABSOLUTE from the beginning. The WORD had never been lost, but Man has always been in the position of missing it. Tradition has become the masterpiece of deception, for it makes men religious and not spiritual. Tradition is found in Politics, Cultures of men, Education, and Religion. None of this is of Christ, and that was why the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that he wished to know nothing about them except Christ and Him crucified.
Today our ABSOLUTE has not changed “Jesus the same yesterday, today, and forever". Amen. However, our precious brothers in the End Time Message are being caught up by certain traditions and therefore being conformed to those forms, but Apostle Paul said again “… but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewal of your minds”.
Brother Branham said: ‘For That is the only Foundation, is God's Word. And then if God's Word doesn't speak of a denomination, but speaks against the denomination, then we must speak with the Word. Regardless of what bishop, what anyone says, what anyone thinks, what a good man says, what anything says, if it's not according to God's Word, then it's wrong. See, it must be; the Word must be the last thing. God's Word must be the final Amen.’
[58-0927 Why Are We Not A Denomination]
Let not our minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Be blessed.
Bro AKPAN-BLESSING Nice
+234 8025 298072
+234 8058 321533
Updated from email: 27 June 2006
Dear Bro Gan,