Growth by Divine Revelations
HOREMOW began with Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, which I have written about in my article by that title. At the beginning, it was just Paul Rika traveling and speaking with Michael Sambo.
|Paul Rika, HOREMOW Int'l Director|
It is very obvious that HOREMOW grew by the instrumentality of Divine revelations. At one time everybody that had received a divine revelation spoke at the HOREMOW conferences in Abuja, Nigeria, as well as at meetings in some other locations, and people love to hear such testimonies.
There were certainly genuine revelations that were spoken in those meetings. However, there were clearly fake ones, too, according to my source. They came speaking many words of praise to Paul Rika, who likes the praise of men (Joh 5:41,44;12:43). Whenever anyone says something that praises him, he considers it to be from God, but if anyone says something that does not favor him, then he considers it to be from satan. A man is tested by the praise he receives, and those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet (Pr 27:21; 29:5).
This is how HOREMOW was established initially and later grew. Moreover, some of the people joined because Paul Rika personally invited them to speak in HOREMOW meetings. Many of them later became part of HOREMOW, but when some of them discovered Paul Rika wanted to subject them under his control, they left one by one.
This brings me to my next point, which is that Paul Rika is seeking to control people. For example, he was angry with Mike because he chose to rent a home without his knowledge. Paul had looked for a two-bedroom apartment for Mike, but the one he found was not suitable for Mike, who chose instead to look for a house.
|Michael Thomas Sambo|
Later Mike got a larger, three-bedroom apartment for the same price, which God provided him with the money to pay for. After he paid for this accommodation of his own choice, he informed Paul that he did so, but that it was now a different one. Even though it did not cost any more than the two-bedroom one, Paul got angry.
He was also agitated with Mike for establishing a poultry farm without informing him before doing so, claiming that by establishing the farm, Mike is pursuing money by having poultry, and that he had forsaken preaching the gospel.
This is controlling and manipulative behavior, which is used to lord it over others, and not the loving, tenderhearted, compassionate way we are commanded to treat one another (1 Pe 5:3). We are not supposed to allow people to control us (1Co 7:23).
Moreover, there is no Scripture against a minister of the gospel working for a living. Those who preach the gospel have a right to make their living from the gospel (1 Cor 9:1-11,13-14). However, they may choose not to use this right (1 Cor 9:12,15). After all, even the apostle Paul was a tentmaker (Ac 18:3), who did hard work toiling with his hands (1 Cor 4:12a).
There is also no Scripture against a disciple owning or renting property. On the one hand, the Lord did say in His Word, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luk 14:33). But is all ownership evil? If it were, then when God told the prophet Jeremiah to buy land, that would have been a sin (Jer 32:6-15). What about when Boaz bought the field of Naomi (Ruth 4:1-10)? What about the field he already owned before he bought that one (Ruth 2:3)?
In the New Testament, the disciples all had their own homes. It says, “So the disciples went away again to their own homes. “ (Joh 20:10). Peter and Andrew owned a house, in which it appears that Peter’s mother-in-law also lived, so it could not have been too small (Mk 1:29-30; Mt 8:14). Martha welcomed Jesus into her own home (Lk 10:38). Jesus ate at the house of Matthew (Mt 9:10), and He said to Zaccheus, "I must stay at your house today" (Lk 19:5). He was anointed at the home of Simon the Leper (Mt 26:6). In making arrangements to eat the Last Supper, He instructed His disciples to ask permission from the "owner" of a house to use a guest room (Lk 22:11). He sent out His disciples with instructions to stay in the home of a worthy person, whenever they entered a town or village (Mt 10:11). He referred to a prophet having his own home (Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4). John took Mary into His own home (Jn 19:27). Peter once stayed at the home of another disciple named Simon the tanner, who owned a house by the sea in Joppa (Acts 9:43; 10:6,32). Paul once stayed at the house of a disciple named Judas on Straight Street in Damascus (Ac 9:11). The saints gathered together and prayed at the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark (Ac 12:12). Yet not a word of condemnation is spoken against any of these disciples for owning homes.
If ownership were evil, then stealing would not be a sin. Yet the Lord commands us not to steal (Eph. 4:28). This means that there is such a thing as people owning property.
|Linda Paul Rika|
In other words, she implied that the ground was going to open up and swallow Mike and his family and all his property, because he did not submit to her husband’s indefinite discipline of Mike. Or perhaps she meant to imply that they would soon die suddenly. Either way, that is clearly a form of intimidation, manipulation, or control, which has no place in the Church. And since her words never came to pass, this is another example of one of Linda’s false prophecies.
In addition to the ways that Linda has used false prophecies to attack brother Mike, there are yet other abuses as well.
The HOREMOW coordinator for Ebonyi state in Nigeria shared a dream he had that someone very close to Paul Rika was hurting him and wanted to betray him, and that Paul had been monitoring him for a while. This was shared on 31 January 2015, and that very same night a committee was set up to investigate Michael Sambo. During the investigation, Mike said he was not the one the coordinator dreamed about, and besides he was not planning to betray Paul.
Moreover, Paul separately told Mike’s friend, brother Titus who was then the Gombe state coordinator, that a revelation (i.e., supernaturally) had come forth indicating that Mike had committed adultery, but that Mike did not want to confess because of pride. He also told brother Titus that the women’s coordinator of Gombe state had a revelation that someone working very close to Paul Rika wants to kill him, and that this revelation is also pointing to Mike. He added that the revelations regarding Mike are numerous. Later Mike heard from Emmanuel David that he was even being accused of having a child out of wedlock as a result of this adultery. This slanderous rumor had been spread within Nigeria and the West African sub region with absolutely no evidence. In fact the video crew brother that recorded this false revelation from sister Linda about Mike told him that he was the one that recorded it in Paul Rika's house in the Apo Legislative quarters of Abuja. Mike was in Ghana and Uganda for ministry, and there he was told that this is what they heard her say.
Not a shred of evidence was ever shown to prove this; no woman was ever named as the mistress and there was no evidence of any baby out of wedlock. No witnesses were produced to testify of such things. It was all based on Linda’s revelation and the coordinator’s dream, even though the Scripture says not to entertain an accusation against an elder, except by two or three witnesses (1 Tim 5:19). It does not say we should entertain an accusation against an elder based on two or three dreams or revelations.
On 1 February 2015, a meeting was held to hear the committee's report of their findings from the investigation in connection with the Ebonyi state coordinator's revelation. In attendance at that meeting were Mike Sambo, his wife, brother Mikailu, Paul Rika, and Paul’s administrative Secretary, pastor Nathan. Paul began to tell Mike that he had looked around the entire HOREMOW movement and had not seen anybody to be examined except Mike. He said, “You are the only one to be examined under the revelation of the Ebonyi State Coordinator,” and he began saying, “You are under judgment. I say you are under divine judgment. Your name is not in the book of life. If you die today you will go to hell." This all happened in the presence of Mikailu, Nathan, and Mike’s wife. He also said, "Go and pray whether God will give you another chance in HOREMOW. God will answer us, because He will speak. And whatever God says, I will do it. I will not respect any person." This was said with with emotion. Yet until now Paul Rika goes from place to place stirring hatred against Mike, telling people in the crusade grounds that Mike is under the control of Satan and evil spirits.
And Mike is not the only one in HOREMOW who has been the object of character assassination or mistreatment from Paul and Linda. I am aware of others, including the former Rivers state coordinator, the former Lagos state coordinator Joseph Abueh; a certain pastor Hanson; Danasabe Yakubu; the former Cross River state coordinator Israel Abasi; the former Sierra Leone coordinator named pastor Baimba Sesay; and many more people are victims of Linda’s revelations. According to one of my sources, all of them were dropped, and are no longer in HOREMOW. This pastor Baimba worked tirelessly in spreading and establishing HOREMOW. He was the one that brought Linda and her sister Finda to Nigeria into HOREMOW. But he was labeled, slandered, and dropped. This list will expand as I am given permission to do so.
No good shepherd would even treat his sheep like this. How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! "Paul, Paul, why do you persecute me? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting."
A tree will be recognized by its fruit. "For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:34b-37, NIV).
The Unmerciful Servant
Paul Rika's actions resemble those of the unmerciful servant who was forgiven much, yet refused to forgive the one who owed him a relatively small amount (Mt 18:21-35). Two examples will suffice to make my point.
First of all, Danasabe Yakubu was dropped from HOREMOW in September 2016 simply because he was on speaking terms with Mike Sambo and he lay down holding Paul Rika’s legs pleading on Mike’s behalf that Paul Rika should forgive him. But Paul Rika quoted the case of Solomon, Bathsheba, and Adonijah, and asked why he doesn’t just ask for the kingdom for Mike instead of asking for forgiveness (1King 2:22).
Secondly, after Mike Sambo’s hearing on 22 September 2015, Emmanuel David and Jeff-Zanni went to Paul Rika the next morning to continue pleading on his behalf. Jeff-Zanni pleaded with Paul Rika to allow him to mediate in the matter, but Paul Rika refused saying, "When Mike knelt down and was apologizing, I wanted to forgive him, but something told me 'No, Mike was pretending.' So then I withdrew my forgiveness, because people do all manner of things against me and I keep quiet for a long time, but when I bite the person he cannot recover."
Who was speaking through Paul Rika saying, "When I bite the person he cannot recover."? That is not the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to love one another and not bite one another. "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Gal 5:14-15, NIV).
About two weeks later, Jeff-Zanni met him privately to challenge his decision to discipline Mike, because Paul Rika had falsely denied ever telling Mike that his name was not in the book of life, even though he had shared with Jeff-Zanni in a previous meeting that revelation had been made to that effect. But after a long argument, in which Jeff-Zanni gave convincing proof to him, Paul Rika finally agreed that he had indeed told Jeff-Zanni that Mike had backslidden and that his name was not in the book of life.
Jeff then said to him "But you denied this when you disciplined Mike, and now you have agreed with me that you said so. If this is the case, then Mike was right for not honoring the two speaking engagements, and based on your conviction the discipline you gave Mike is wrong. So what are you supposed to do now?"
Paul Rika replied, "Are you now saying I should do restitution to Mike? No, I will never apologize to Mike."
Paul Rika then asked Jeff what he thought could be the way out. Jeff-Zanni said he should forgive Mike, so that the work of the gospel can continue. But Paul Rika said "No, I will not forgive him."
Jesus said, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Mt 6:14-15, NIV)
Pride and Arrogance
Moreover, Paul Rika is operating in pride and arrogance.
At his hearing on 22 September 2015, Mike read an email he had written to Paul Rika, to which he had never replied. Mike personally read it to the house to justify his reasons for not honoring the two preaching engagements. In response to this, after the meeting, Paul Rika later said, "Who is Mike to command me to go and read my email?” Paul Rika then compared himself to brother William Kumuyi, the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church. He asked, “Can a state overseer [in Deeper Life] command pastor Kumuyi to go and read his mail?”
Moreover, Paul has repeatedly stated that he is a righteous man and “Who is Mike?” He insists, "You cannot compare me with Mike." He also boasts, "I was a national overseer in Deeper Life." At various times he keeps saying that he is the main person within HOREMOW and not Mike, and he does not want people to see Mike but himself in this ministry. He has said, “Michael is just a small boy and was just two or three years old when the Lord called me into ministry. Are you comparing me with Mike?" And, "Mike does not know anything. I wrote that book. It's not Mike that is the leader." He has also said, "You mention Mike's name along with mine?”
Such statements are clearly prideful, because even if Mike actually were a small boy, we are not to look down upon one of these little ones, since their angels continually see our heavenly Father’s face (Mt 18:10). However, Mike is not a small boy, but a 36-year old married brother in Christ with two children, and is a statutory board member of HOREMOW. As the apostle Paul said, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” (Phil 2:3). We must prefer one another in love (Rom 12:10).
Scripture says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Prov 8:13, NIV).
Lastly, Paul Rika in a video recently said Mike's revelation is already old, but his wife's revelation is new every day and people are looking for new things. That is why he abandons Mike and goes about with Linda his wife, because she combines prophecy with revelation. His boastful, divisive statement reveals jealousy and strife, as well as his emphasis on revelations and prophecies, especially those of Linda.
The apostle Paul called it fleshly when he wrote: "For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth." (1Co 3:3-7)
"So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you..." (1Co 3:21)
"Brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one man over another." (1 Cor 4:6, Berean Study Bible). We must not take pride in one man over another, so it is not right to take pride in Linda Rika or Paul Rika over Mike Sambo.
One of the things Paul Rika said in his opening remarks at Mike Sambo’s hearing was, “I saw that the case was evil. God is angry. We must do something to appease the anger of God.” He said this in the context of giving the background of Mike’s case, how Mike had failed to show up at the speaking engagements to which he had been invited, and how he believed that Mike’s “case was evil.” So clearly he meant that God is angry about what Mike had done and we must do something to appease God’s anger about that. When I heard that, I thought it sounded strange.
Then sometime afterward, my son was reading to me from a biography on the life of Samuel Morris. This was a boy from Liberia, Africa, who traveled to the United States. He recalled a witch doctor that once said that the gods are angry and we must do something to appease them. He called for the parents to sacrifice their children to appease the gods. When my son read that, I was reminded of what Paul Rika had said, and I realized that the source of that statement was not the Lord. Paul’s statement was similar to what a witch doctor would say, rather than something a Christian pastor would say.
The apostle Paul said, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:1, NIV). This teaches us that we have peace with God through faith in our Lord Jesus.
Secondly, the apostle Paul said, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1, NIV).
Thirdly, the apostle said, “Then He adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” (Heb 10:17-18, NIV).
Fourthly, the apostle John said, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 Joh 2:1-2, NIV). This teaches that we have an advocate with the Father, if we sin, and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. According to the NET Bible study notes on this verse, “The Greek word (hilasmos) behind the phrase ‘atoning sacrifice’ conveys both the idea of ‘turning aside divine wrath’ and the idea of ‘cleansing from sin.’” Therefore, the sacrifice that Christ made once for all has already turned aside God’s wrath, and there is nothing more we must do to turn it away. Our hope and faith are relying upon that one sacrifice alone, not upon “something we must do” to appease God’s anger, as Paul Rika says.
The final outcome of the hearing was that Paul Rika decided to discipline Mike Sambo indefinitely, forbidding him from conducting ministry, and ordering him to attend all meetings. Therefore, this is obviously what he felt must be done to appease God’s anger, in spite of the fact that Mike humbled himself and apologized on his knees. Scripture does not support Paul’s actions, which are based on his erroneous belief.
I have been in contact with witnesses inside HOREMOW, who wanted their names withheld. Two of them are seasoned pastors in Nigeria, and one of them gave me permission to publish the following statement.
He states, “My first contact with HOREMOW was from Brother Michael Thomas Sambo's book. I personally met Pastor Paul Rika when I invited him to my church in 2013 for my annual December Camp meeting. He later made me to serve as a Zonal Coordinator over nine states, which work I did for about two years. Concerning the crisis in the young group, it’s unfortunate. It is a character problem aggravated by the random collation of false prophecies in place of God's word. I talked directly with Pastor Paul Rika on this issue [the collection of prophecies], but he seemed not to see it as a major assault from Satan. I was one of the last two persons hand-picked to reconcile Brother Sambo and Pastor Rika, but all that failed. The whole mess today in this movement by my understanding resulted from greed.”
This pastor believes the revelation that God gave to brother Mike, and recently had Mike as a guest speaker at his church's retreat. When I asked him to give me his feedback on my first article about HOREMOW, and this present one, and to confirm whether these things are true, he responded, "I've read your materials. They are the very analysis I've made. Thanks very much."
Furthermore, he confirmed to me something that another source within HOREMOW had advised me, which is that nearly everybody who was somebody when HOREMOW began as a ministry, including Michael Sambo the visioner, have disagreed with Paul’s handling of things and left.
Response from HOREMOW
|Paul Rika giving his diatribe|
It is the practice all over the world that the burden of proof is always on the one who alleges, so the burden still remains upon him to prove all the serious accusations he has made against brother Sambo. This should be done before an impartial group of brothers with Mike present. However, since he has no such proof, he records a meeting in which he defends himself before a few men who are still willing to believe him, and uploads it to the internet. Paul Rika stated in the video, "It's like we are in a court of justice and I am giving my statement." At various times during his video, he calls upon certain men to stand up, apparently to prove his statements, and after they begin to say a few words that provide no proof of the accusations he has made against Mike, he tells them when to stop speaking. It is also obvious that certain remarks of his are edited out.
Although the videos are titled “Know the Truth and Be Free,” they contain lies, misleading half-truths, exaggerations, and insinuations, as well as prideful statements, such as his claim that there is no such thing as an assistant General Superintendent of a movement. He said this in his attempt to show that he alone is the singular head of HOREMOW, and he used an unbiblical title to make his point.
Those videos have shown the world his true character, which has only further helped to emphasize the points I have made in my first and second articles exposing his ungodly actions. If he does not repent and make restitution to brother Mike, those videos will haunt him for the rest of his life. He has brought the name of the Lord into disrepute. By going public with such allegations he has demonstrated for the world that some Christians are incapable of settling the least of matters between themselves, and yet he is supposed to be a leader.
Putting it All Together
In summary, I have documented that there is unforgiveness, control, pride, arrogance, and character assassination within the top leadership of HOREMOW. These are serious character issues. Not to mention a false understanding of the gospel and an erroneous belief that we must do something to those who have repented of sin, as a means of appeasing the anger of God. Paul Rika is seriously under delusion. It is a satanic and self delusion, which is one of the main causes of all these problems I have documented.
In case you did not already reach this conclusion yourself, the practices of HOREMOW resemble the mind control techniques commonly used by cults to control their members. If you would like to educate yourself about that, please see the article by Cult Watch entitled "How Cults Work."
I am not saying that everyone who is a part of HOREMOW is evil or that everyone who has had a revelation who affiliates with that movement is a fake. In fact, I believe many of the testimonies that I have heard through this ministry are genuine, such as Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, and many others that I have published on my blog Eternal Destinations. However, what I am saying is the following: This organization has grown by divine revelations. According to Scripture, that is not the foundation of the Church. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church (1 Cor 3:11), and His Word is Supreme. We must not only know what it says, but put it into practice (Lk 6:48-49). The Church is supposed to grow as we go and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 28:19-20), who multiply disciples, not by accumulating people and churches under the banner of any movement or its leader.
Any organization that grows by revelations or by collecting people in this manner can easily be compromised by the enemy. All the devil has to do is to deceptively introduce false prophecies and revelations through some trusted people who have been deemed genuine. And when everything is heavily controlled by one man or one couple, then again it is very easy for the devil to compromise it. All he has to do is compromise that one man or couple, and everyone who follows them will become ensnared in his trap. He can then do a lot of damage this way, using the leadership and the organization to kill, steal, destroy, and enslave people.
"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.'" (2Ti 2:19).
I think there are many sincere people within HOREMOW that love the Lord Jesus, desire to please Him, and seek to live holy lives. And I believe they need to be warned about what is happening at the top of this organization, so they can beware and protect themselves as well as their families from the enemy's schemes before they get seriously hurt. I sincerely hope you will do just that as a result of this article. I also ask that you please pray for Paul and Linda Rika to realize what they have done wrong and repent. May God's mercy, grace, and peace abide with all who love the Lord with an undying love.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB,except where noted otherwise. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted.
Author's Note: This article originally stated incorrectly that the Sambo's wedding was in January 2014, but that was the date of the Rika's wedding. The Sambo's were married April 21st 2012.
I also recommend reading HOREMOW Issues and Concerns, Judging Revelations, Visions, and Prophecies, Grieve and Lament for the Church, The Nature of False Prophets, Leadership Approach Reveals View of God, Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, A Tale of Two Kings, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, Accountable, correctable, and teachable, Loving Deeply, Filled Up to All the Fullness of God, Angelic Escape from Terrorist Assassins, Interview with Brother Michael Thomas Sambo, The Wardrobe of the Saints, Whatever You Do, Do All Like This, How to Treat Leaders, Our Senior Pastor, The Shepherding Role of Elders, Exposing Heresy, Divorce -- Two Divine Revelations, Adultery According to Jesus, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Purge the Evil from Among You, and The Rise of Antichrists. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.