Emmanuel Gbogwu, Goodnews Whyte and Leke Beecroft
A review of the event with a full transcript of the message.
The night was a bit breezy in December 1998. A 56 year old Pastor Enoch Adeboye climbed the pulpit and spoke into the microphone, “Can somebody shout hallelujah” and over 7 million people chorused with one voice, like the sound of a mighty rushing wind “Hallelujah”, their voices rising to the heavens as the whole world stood still in awe of what was happening at Lekki Beach along the Atlantic ocean.
The day Lekki 98 was conceived was like every other day. Pastor Adeboye was in a vehicle passing the Lekki Beach when he asked himself why people couldn’t gather at the Beach for Christ as it was in the Bible.
From that moment, the seed of the greatest gathering of believers in the world was sown. It was difficult to imagine the magnitude of what God was going to do through Lekki ‘98 when Pastor Adeboye mooted the idea of an all night prayer by the ocean to some Senior Pastors in The Redeemed Christian Church of God. The initial reaction was an admixture of curiosity and doubt.
They had neither experienced nor heard of anything of that magnitude before then.
If the world had believed the promise of Pastor Adeboye, the soft spoken General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the shock that the crowd that thronged Lekki elicited would have been minimal. It was interesting that even media projections that over four million people were expected to participate in Lekki ‘98 were not well comprehended.
In its 16th December, 1998 edition, Tempo Magazine reporter, Bamidele Johnson reported, before the event, that 4 million people were set to march for God at Lekki .
The whole of Lagos was agog for the Mother of Christian Outreaches, as one writer once put it, not only in conduct but also in preparation of what was tagged Lekki ’98. The length and breadth of Lagos metropolis saw a horde of vehicles that it had never seen before scurrying towards Lekki via Victoria Island from the dawn of Friday 18th December, 1998.
Those who were not prepared to attend the event scheduled for the evening of that modern Day Pentecost in Nigeria thought the traffic jam on the Third Mainland Bridge and Eko Bridge respectively was the usual Friday morning traffic jam.
The traffic and Police authorities in Lagos, although mobilized, could not in any way have been adequately prepared for that upsurge of human and vehicular traffic trooping from all the nooks and crannies of Lagos to Lekki. Apart from those who were resident in Lagos, everyone who needed a divine visitation found his or her way to Lekki from outside the State. All the gateways to Lagos State primarily; Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja, Lagos Island and Epe, became entry points literally leading multitudes towards Lekki Peninsula, the venue of Lekki ‘98.
Then came the D-Day. The Heaven opened indeed and there was divine visitation. There were astonishing testimonies of healing, deliverance and above all, salvation of souls. The venue was 2 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide – an unprecedented, large venue for an open air Christian outreach in this part of the world.
“I was there physically. RCCG announced conservative estimates of 6.5 million while CNN said it was more like 7.2 million. From Lekki Beach to Mobil in V.I (near 1004) was blocked. It took me and my friends 2 hours of jogging to get there.” – Leke Beecroft
By the time the programme was over in the early hours of 19th December, 1998 people were not ready to go back to their respective homes.
Lekki ‘98 was the event that indicated the new move of God in Africa. The theme of the unprecedented all night prayer meeting was “Divine Visitation”
Lekki ‘98. It not only changed lives, it changed the way Pentecostal churches in Nigeria related with one another. Previously, the closest to this was the million man crusade by Archbishop Idahosa in March 1985 which brought Lagos to a standstill during the military era. Lekki 98 was aiming to triple that effect.
During the programme, all the major Pentecostal churches excitedly collaborated with the Redeemed Christian Church of God. It was seen and embraced as the programme designed by God for the revival of the end time church in Nigeria.
An indication that the revival was for all Nigerians was evident in the diverse nature of those who attended the programme. People of different faiths from all over Nigeria, different nations of Africa and I dare say from all continents attended the Lekki ‘98 Revival Service.
Before Lekki ’98, the global media had never been known to report any good news about Nigeria. However, Lekki ‘98 changed all that. Just as the dawn broke over Africa on the morning of Saturday December 19, 1998, CNN and BBC broke the first good news from Nigeria to the world. Breaking News: There was an unprecedented gathering of over 7 million ( 7,000,000) Christians who prayed all night in Lagos, Nigeria. And there was no stampede during and after the event!
CNN was absolutely right. The efficiency of the organising team that coordinated Lekki ‘98 was astounding. There was no theft. Every missing item was recovered by the owner after the programme through the Redeemed Information Bureau. Security operations were at their best. Pastors in the mission coordinated the joint activities of officers and men of Nigeria Police, Nigerian Army and other security outfits.
Sanitation was given priority consideration as hundreds of mobile toilets were positioned in designated areas at the venue.
Those who could have lost their excitement due to hunger were put into consideration by the organizers as corporate and individual food vendors were not in short supply.
For the first time, corporate Nigeria was conspicuously involved in a church programme through Lekki ‘98. The multinational giant, Nigeria Breweries branded the venue of the programme as its popular brand of soft drinks, Crush and malt drink, Maltina were made available to those who needed to quench their thirst.
Many lives and many sordid tales were changed during Lekki ‘98. The over two thousand joyous people who eagerly gathered around the altar area to share their testimonies were the witnesses of the transformation that happened in the Body of Christ that night around the Atlantic Ocean. The Choir was a 1,500 man choir and the ushers were 80,000.
Notable men of God who attended the event like Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Pastor Moses Aransiola, Pastor Francis Wale Oke and Bishop David Oyedepo had to be flown in by helicopter because the roads were blocked.
The theme of the event was Divine Visitation.
The largest independently verifiable Christian gathering by CNN was Lekki 98,
Below is a reproduction of that generational message
WHEN GOD VISITS YOU, HE TURNS YOUR FAILURES INTO SUCCESS, YOUR SORROW INTO JOY.
GOD WILL VISIT YOU WHEN THE STORM IS FIERCEST, THE PROBLEM IS TOUGHEST AND WHEN THE FURNANCE IS HOTTEST. ,
GOD WILL NOT VISIT YOU UNTIL YOU ARE CLEANSED BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
- Pastor E.A. Adeboye at Holy Ghost Congress 1998 (Lekki’98)
There is someone here tonight, whose joy is going to overflow. If you are the one shout Hallelujah. There is someone here tonight who will weep again, If you are the one shout Hallelujah.
There is someone here tonight who is surely going to see the new year, If you are the one shout Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Let us go before the only One who can bring this kind of crowd together and meet the needs of everyone. Let’s just worship Him because He is worthy to be praised.
🎶 Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy Holy, Holy is the Lord. Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy Holy, Holy is the Lord.
🎶 Mighty, Mighty, Mighty, Mighty is the Lord. Powerful, Powerful, Powerful is the Lord.
Go ahead and bless the name of the Lord, bless the King of Kings, magnify His Holy name, He is worthy to be adored, there is no one like Him. Worship Him, glorify Him for He is worthy to be praised. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, The Ancient of Days.
In Psalm 115:3 the Bible says our God is in the heavens and He does as He pleases, there is nobody who can query Him so when He decides to give you a miracle tonight, nobody can query Him. Whether the enemies like it or not, whether the witches in your village like it or not, tonight is your night.
The God who brought you here tonight is going to surprise you, the fact that you are here tonight means that the devil has lost the battle. In Daniel 6:27 the Bible calls him the wonder working God, the one who can perform wonders, that is why I know tonight that there will be wonders because the wonder working One is visiting us.
In Psalm 24:7-10, the Bible calls Him the King of Glory that is why I am sure tonight that all your shame is changed to glory. Not only is He called the King of glory, He is also called the Lord of Hosts, the one who has never lost a battle and He is going to fight for you tonight. When you read Psalms 33:8-9, the Bible says let all the earth fear the Lord because He spake and it came to pass.
The moment He speaks, that is a settled matter. He has already spoken to someone here, He has already said your joy will overflow, because he has spoken, it is done. I say it is done.
The Lord said there is someone here tonight, your head is always shaking like a leaf, my Daddy says you can tell your neighbour to look at it now because it is already steady. No more shaking.
What Happens when He visits?
We are going to run very quickly through the Bible and select some people that received a visit from the Divine. We will see from their lives what happened when God visited them so you can know what to expect when God visits you tonight.
Let’s begin with Abraham, in Genesis 18:1-5, Abraham received a visit from God and that very day the barrenness that has being with his wife all these years disappeared, that is why I know that all barren women who are here tonight by the time we are meeting like this next year, your children will be 3 months old.
He visited Abraham, and the man who had already lost hope suddenly found out that his hope was renewed because the One who visited him is the Hope of Glory. He visited Abraham and suddenly laughter came into his home because the One who came to visit him is the fullness of joy. I am sure when my Daddy says that someone is going to cry for joy tonight, It is because the fullness of joy is going to visit that fellow.
When you get to Genesis 19:1-22, you find the same God visiting a man called Lot and when He did several things happened but one of them is that all the enemies of Lot that wanted to kill him were blinded. So all your enemies that have been pursuing you all these years they shall be blinded today in Jesus name. Because God visited Lot, the destruction that was supposed to come upon the town where He was living did not affect Him.
- There is someone here tonight, destruction will never enter your house again.
- The Lord said there is someone here tonight you have tested positive to HIV and you are on your way to having AIDS but the Lord asked me to tell you to go back straight to the doctor for another test, He has already cleared you.
When you read Genesis 32:24-30,
God visited a man called Jacob and that day, the one who is known as the Unchangeable Changer changed the name of Jacob to Israel. Today he is going to change the names of some people from children of sorrow to children of joy.
- The Lord said there is someone here, the meaning of your name is ‘Wait’ and God said for a long time you have been waiting for blessings. He asked me to tell you that He has changed your name from waiting to blessing.
When God visited Jacob, he changed his destiny. Jacob was to die the following day, His brother Esau was coming to meet him, he had promised that the day he saw Jacob again after he stole his blessing he was going to kill him but God visited Jacob and changed his destiny, when he met Esau the following day, instead Esau killing him, Esau embraced him and kissed him.
- There is someone here tonight that the enemy has planned that you will not see the new year, the Lord is telling you, that the enemy has lost the battle.
In Mathew 21:12-17, God visited the temple and that means God visits you because you are the temple of the Holy Ghost, when He visited the temple, He chased out all those who were buying and selling.
- So because he is visiting you tonight, all those things buying and selling in your body, all those plants that my father did not plant shall be rooted out in Jesus name.
Every sickness, every disease, every demon shall go out today in the name of Jesus.
When He visited the temple, He said “My house shall be called the house of prayer”. Whenever God visits you one thing is certain, all your prayers will be answered because the one you are praying to has come to visit.
So tonight every prayer that you have prayed and the prayers that you will yet pray, all will be answered tonight in the mighty name of Jesus.
When He visited the temple, the Bible says children began to praise Him, and people said “why are you praising Him?”, they even came to tell those children to keep quiet. He said out of the mouth of babies and sucklings, thou has perfected praise.
- Tonight there will be perfect praise coming out of your mouth.
There are all kinds of praises but there are some praises that come from the bottom of your heart because of the wonders He has performed in your life. Tonight he is going to do something perfect for you so that your praise will be perfected.
- The Lord said there is someone here tonight, you ran away from the hospital because the doctors told you that you have leprosy, the Lord said you should check because that leprosy is already gone.
In Mark 5:1-15, God visited a man who was a mad man, He was a very special kind of mad man. Among mad men, he was a mad man. When men saw him coming they ran away. One day God visited him and every power of darkness in his life was chased out because He is the light, that is why every power of darkness that has been following you will be chased out tonight.
This mad man was a very lonely man because he was living in a tomb, there was nobody who could live with him, the issue of marriage could not arise. But because God visited him, his loneliness was sorted. I know there is someone here tonight who is very lonely. God is going to visit you and your loneliness will end in Jesus name.
This man was living in a continuous storm because the enemies were not giving him rest day or night but the One who visited him is known as the Prince of peace. From the day God visited him, peace came into his life.
- There are people here tonight who are facing one kind of storm or the other because God is going to visit you tonight there will be peace in your life forever.
In Mark 5 when we read the story from verse 21 to 24, 35-42 you find the story of a man called Jarius who lost his only daughter.
- The Lord said there is someone here tonight who was carried in, Daddy asked me to tell you that you can stand up now and continue to walk because you are already healed.
God visited Jarius and when God visited him, the first thing he did was chase out those who were enemies pretending to be friends.
They were weeping before God came in, but the moment Jesus came in they began to laugh, they changed from weeping to laughing so fast that everyone knew their weeping was crocodile tears.
- Tonight all enemies who are pretending to be your friends, God will expose them.
The second thing that God chased out of his house was death. Death had come to swallow the only child of Jarius but the one whose name is The Life chased out death. – Tonight every form of death, whether physically, mentally or financially or marital or spiritual that are in your house, by the time you get home you will meet them gone. He chased out sorrow from the house of Jarius and replaced it with joy, so shall it be for you in Jesus name.
In Mark 10:46-52, the Bible tells us of a man called Bartimaeus who was begging, he was blind, there was no way he could be cured but one day the Divine One came visiting, by the time he finished with Bartimaeus suddenly his eyes were opened, the one who was incurable became cured. If you are here tonight and doctors have told you that your case is incurable, I have great news for you that the Great Physician is going to visit you tonight.
Bartimaeus was a beggar and that automatically means that he was number one when we are talking about poverty. But because the divine one visited him, from that day he never begged again.
- There are some of you here tonight who are deeply in debt, I tell you in the mighty name of Jesus that by this time next year you will buy your own car. All your debts will be paid off in Jesus name.
There is something also about Bartimaeus, when God visited him there was a crowd there but God heard his cry, even though he was a poor man, God heard his cry. I am sure there is someone here tonight whose cry God is going to hear.
In Luke 5:1-11, there is the story of a man called Peter who fished all night and caught no fish. Early in the morning, God visited him and suddenly failure became success. There are some people here tonight that if we are to write your story what we will put there in Capital Letter is FAILURE, but because God is going to visit you tonight, today will be the beginning of success in your life.
Brethren the Lord is healing so fast I can’t tell you all, for example He has just healed someone here of tuberculosis, there is someone here with a child who is mentally retarded, the Lord asked me to tell you that child is going to become very brilliant because He has changed the brain. He visited Peter and changed his failure to success and gave him a brand new beginning, because he is going to visit you tonight you also will have a brand new beginning in Jesus name.
In John 2:1-11, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee and Jesus was invited and He accepted invitation
- All those who are yet to marry, next year Jesus will attend your wedding.
When the wedding was going on, they ran out of wine and shame came but because Jesus was there, the divine one was in their midst, their shame became glory, so shall it happen to you in Jesus name. The mother of Jesus went to Him and said they need wine, Jesus said “Woman, my hour has not come yet” but that very day the hour of miracles came. For someone here tonight who has been expecting miracles for a long time, your hour has come.
- There is someone here, a woman, whose womb has been considered dead. The Lord asked me to tell you that that womb which has been considered dead will soon produce a set of twins.
In Acts 16:13-39, the Bible tells us about two brothers Paul and Silas, they were thrown into prison and then God paid them a visit and because God visited them every one’s chain was broken.
Every yoke that has bound you, whether it is a curse that is upon your family, whether a covenant your parents made with one idol or the other, your yokes will be broken. The Bible said prison doors were opened, there are some people who have been imprisoned by forces of darkness, some of you have been kept imprisoned by poverty and sickness, tonight prison doors are opened.
Because God visited Paul and Silas in prison, those who started off as prisoners suddenly became the commander of the jailer, in other words when God visits there will be supernatural promotion, there are some of us who need that kind of promotion, get double promotion from now on in Jesus name.
I am just trying to give you some samples of people that God visited, let’s ask another question, when is God likely to visit a person he can come anytime but He comes for sure when the furnace is hottest.
They threw Shedrack, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace and he came there. When the storm is fiercest is the time He loves to visit. When the disciples were in a storm and it was the darkest hour of the night, Jesus came walking on water. Whenever there is trouble within and trouble within, God will visit.
- Another baby has been born, that is good news for the barren because it means God is interested in the barren and is going to give you babies very very soon. It is also good news for those who are yet to be married because you can’t have babies without a wedding so Jesus is going to attend your wedding this year.
When the problem is toughest, that is when God will visit. So those who are having problems now, you can be sure that God is sure to visit you, you are the reason why he set up this program. The question comes ‘who will God visit?’
- The Lord said there is someone here whose back is bent, you couldn’t walk straight. God asked me to tell you that you can walk straight now because he has loosened your bones.
Who will God visit? Deuteronomy 23:14 says if you want God to visit you, you must be clean because the God we are talking about, the Bible says His eyes are too holy to behold iniquity.
In any place when He wants to visit, He will look at the person and say “No! This fellow is dirty. I can’t go there”. You can only be visited after you are purified by the blood of the lamb. If you are still living in sin and you want God to visit you, God cannot stay where there is sin. But if he who is living in sin is willing to repent and change his ways and begin to live in holiness, God is willing to visit the fellow.
In Luke 19, the Bible talks about a man called Zacchaeus, who was a short man but he was a devil. But deep within him his heart was crying out to God, he wanted to see Jesus. The Bible said he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus saw his heart that even though he was a sinner he loved God. He wanted to be a child of God so Jesus called him down and said “Come down Zacchaeus, I am going to have lunch in your house today”.
If you become born again, Jesus is going to have breakfast in your house tomorrow morning. Why? Because Zacchaeus was willing to change, as soon as Jesus got to his house Zacchaeus began to confess “ I know I have robbed some people, I have defrauded some people, I have taken money I should not take, but I will change” and Jesus said “today salvation has come to this house”.
My brothers and sisters, if you are here tonight and you took all the troubles to be here, some came here since morning and you sat in the sun because of a divine visitation, let go of the sin in your life so that God can visit you.
In 1 John 1:7, it says the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sins. If you will come to Jesus tonight and surrender to Him, His blood will cleanse you from all your sins, it doesn’t matter how many sins you have committed in your past, he is willing to forgive you, he is willing to allow you become a child of God so that He can visit you from time to time.
So that all the miracles you want can come and meet you at home. Thank God for all the miracles that have happened already but I know that greater ones are yet to happen. In order that you do not come in vain, I want to pause for a while and give you an opportunity to surrender to Jesus.
In the mighty name of Jesus, today is the day of your visitation, please visit your people in the name of Jesus, all their prayers let it become testimonies in Jesus name. All they have asked for now, let it become testimonies even before they leave this ground, everything they need to ask for that they forgot, do it for them anyway in Jesus name. Thank you Father, Glory be to your name in Jesus mighty name we have prayed.