COMBATING ERRONEOUS DOCTRINES IN 2022
By Akin Ojumu
Although originally preached in 2016, Abel Damina’s “God does not live in Heaven” sermon was one of the most egregious doctrinal errors I encountered in 2022. It ranks among the topmost heinous heresies I have ever heard preached.
Speaking at the 2016 Faith-to-Faith Conference of the House on the Rock Church, Lagos, Nigeria – with the host pastor and his wife, Paul and Ifeanyin Adefarasin, listening in rapt attention and watching in utter awe – Dr Abel Damina, Senior Pastor of Power City International Church, Uyo, Nigeria, declared, with all the chest pumping arrogance he could muster, that:
“God does not live in Heaven. So, that's why your goal should not be Heaven. If your goal is Heaven, it’s a stupid goal.”
Upon hearing that garbage, the congregation went wild. They jumped so high, they almost hit the ceiling. In the ensuing raucous, some rushed to the pulpit just to fall before and kiss the feet of the man of God.
Paul and Ifeanyi Adefarasin, not to be outdone, joined in the cheering, screaming, and rapturous exhilaration. Abel Damina brought the house down with his erroneous theology, and the uninformed audience ate it all up.
What the congregation thought was some “deep revelation” of the Word of God by an oracle of God, however, was nothing more than vacuous babbling that has no basis in Scripture.
That God does not live in Heaven is as outrageous as any erroneous Christian commentary you’ll ever encounter. What makes the sheer ignorance embodied in that theological error particularly frightening is the person that said it, where it was said, and the knock-the-socks-off reception it got from the audience.
With those preposterous comments, Abel Damina demonstrated a lack of understanding of Genesis 1:1, and Scripture, so profound it boggles the mind.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
The “heavens” in Genesis 1:1 does not refer to the “Heaven” where God dwells. The Hebrew word translated heaven is the word “Shamayim.” It’s a word with dual meaning. Shamayim is used to describe both the Heaven where God’s throne is, as well as the sky, atmosphere, visible universe, etc. The context in which it’s used is key to the correct and accurate interpretation of Shamayim.
In 2 Corinthians 2:12, Paul spoke of the third heaven.
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows” (2 Corinthians 2:12).
The THIRD HEAVEN is where God dwells (1 Kings 8:30, Psalms 33:13-14, Matthew 6:9).
“Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” (Isaiah 66:1)
In contrast, the FIRST HEAVEN is the earth’s atmosphere (Deuteronomy 11:11, 1 Kings 8:35, Isaiah 55:10) while the SECOND HEAVEN is the interplanetary and interstellar space (Genesis 15:5, Psalm 8:3, Isaiah 13:10).
The Shamayim created in In Genesis 1:1 refers to the first and second heaven, and not the Third Heaven. The heaven that God created in Genesis 1:1 is not the Heaven of His throne. Rather, the “heaven” refers to the universe, the sky, and atmosphere.
In Genesis 1:1, Jehovah Elohim gives man a peek into His magnificence. That one verse reveals the depth of His wisdom and knowledge and the vastness of His power. Sadly, all of this is lost on Abel Damina and his fellow peddlers of erroneous doctrine and purveyors of heretical theology.
The thing about errors is, they tickle the ear, excite the mind, but leave the soul totally unchanged. Errors lack the power that truth has to transform the hearts of men.
This is the reason why even though there are hundreds of thousands of churches in Nigeria, all of them teeming with masses of hapless souls, the Nigerian society is steaming with filth, sizzling in chaos, and plagued by wickedness.