FIRST BIBLE LESSON: JOHN 4: 21
“Jesus said unto her: Woman believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, worship the Father.”
SECOND BIBLE LESSON: JOHN 14:21
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
GOLDEN TEXT: JOHN 13:35
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.”
This significant gospel is an embodiment of the work expected to be done by every Christian. Be not deceived by any person to visit Jerusalem, or to be called a Christian, a Buddhist or a Hindu. Such nomenclatures are useless. When one claims to be a member of Roman Catholic, Apostolic, Methodist or any of the orthodox churches, then it would be construed to mean that he does not understand the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. At John 4:21, it is said: “….. the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, worship the Father.”
It is ridiculous therefore, to tell someone that you are attending one church or the other, and that the church is located miles away. When one claims that one’s church is located far away, or that Brotherhood of the Cross and Star is about two or three miles away or cannot be found in the area, from whom did one receive such a teaching? If those who worshipped God on the mountain and in Jerusalem had pleased God, then the statement as recorded at John 4:21 would not have been made. Hence worshipping God is neither done on the mountain nor in Jerusalem. This is in line with the scriptural notation that :
“Wherefore, if they say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth, behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightening cometh even unto the east, and shinneth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt.24:26-27).
Just as BCS is wrongfully regarded as a church, most people wrongfully regard 34 Ambo Street, Calabar, as the world headquarters of BCS. However, neither is BCS a Church nor a 34 Ambo Street the Headquarters of BCS. In fact, no place serves as the dwelling place of God, hence worshipping God at any particular place is strongly discouraged.
It should be borne in mind that Our Lord Jesus Christ neither attended any church nor recommended any for people and to clarify this point, He said,
“….I sanctify, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” (John 17:19).
We are the house of God and He dwells in those who keep His commandments. There is no need directing any person to any building; for God does not dwell in buildings. Rather He dwells in every sinless individual. You may recall the statement made by Our Lord Jesus Christ when His disciples drew His attention to the magnificent buildings of the temple at Jerusalem. He said,”Verily I say onto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”(Matt 24:2).
And true to His words those buildings which symbolized the work of darkness, were completely demolished. Therefore, if these buildings were symbolically destroyed, why should other ones be erected? Churches are centers of deceit. No church denomination or prayer house practices the true love of God.
Claiming to belong to one sect or the other is of no importance. The important thing is for one to forsake sin and adhere strictly to the injunctions of God. Therefore, when Our Lord Jesus Christ said that God shall neither be worshipped on the mountain nor at Jerusalem, He implied that everybody should purify himself and get united with God, the Father.
The words of God can be preached at any place. There is no point rebuilding what had been demolished, naming it the house of God. Whoever does this is overshadowed by darkness. Instead of wasting your money in these useless ventures, it is better and more profitable to use it in helping the poor and other less-privileged ones. Remember Our Lord Jesus Christ had instructed that whoever has two coats should give one to the one who has none. Besides, do no evil to anybody, and love all equally.”
JUST AS THE DISCIPLES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DID, EVERY CHRISTIAN IS EXPECTED TO GO FROM PLACE TO PLACE AND DISSEMINATE THE WORDS OF GOD. WHEREVER PEOPLE ARE GATHERED, GO TO SUCH PLACES AND MINISTER UNTO THEM. Do not tell lies, do not steal, do not fornicate, and do not hate or commit any other sin. Our Lord Jesus Christ had been attending feasts and other functions so as to meet with the afflicted and deliver them. As a Christian, you are therefore expected to do the same.
Many people erroneously travel from one place to another in search of where to worship God. Even in this fold, members travel all the way from the Western World to Nigeria, just to worship God. No one believes that man is God’s building, His city, and husbandry. This is one of the reasons why man should not hate another man. Whoever loves another invariably loves God. It however does not consist in going to Jerusalem or any other place before it is done; and whoever does this does not know what he is worshipping. Nevertheless, if we follow the doctrines of Our Lord Jesus Christ, our course will be amplified.
Most churches today are not practicing the doctrines of Our Lord Jesus Christ. People build houses which attract a congregation of people, tax them, and such proceeds go into the pockets of a few individuals. And this is the place they call the house of God, a place that had been demolished by Jesus Christ. Ponder over this. If your child, named Paul died and on having another child, you named him also Paul and he again died, why would you not change the name when next you have another child? Recall that in the days of Adam, Lot, Abraham, Noah and other patriarchs, there were no church buildings. They knew that God dwells in man and so there was no need erecting other buildings.
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT:
God is known to be Omnipresent. And if God is Omnipresent what kind of house can one build for Him? What place does one think can accommodate Him? CALL UPON HIM ANYWHERE YOU ARE, AND HE WILL ANSWER YOU.
If one preaches to the Indians that God dwells in a house built by man, he would be laughed at or scorned. If one says that God exists in the East, the pertinent question is, who exist in the West and other places? It is said,”Howbeit the most high dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstools; what house will ye build me? Saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?”
Solomon built a temple for God and another for a mermaid. With this, he neither pleased God nor obeyed Him. As such I do not want anyone to do anything that is not pleasing to God. What I desire is for all to maintain pure hearts. God does not require any house to be built for Him. A lot of people boast of building churches for God yet they still continue to steal, fornicate, lie, hate, impute sins on others and indulge in other sins. This in fact is a complete falling away from the injunctions of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The death of Our Lord Jesus became necessary so that the worship of God on mountains or at Jerusalem may stop. It is the height of insult and disgrace to name any building the house of God. Would that be construed to mean that God is so small that He can be accommodated in a house? The world is in a pathetic state. People are ignorant about the presence of God. This explains why Brotherhood members travel from different parts of the world to see the Father at Calabar. As people keep coming here from many parts of the world, if I should move from here to Lagos, would people come to Calabar anymore? If I move from Lagos to London, would people visit Nigeria? If I leave London for India, would people visit London? What kind of house then would one refer to the buildings at these different places?
Brethren, I have led you to the accurate wisdom of the truth. That wisdom of the truth is what I am now teaching you. Do not disturb yourself any longer about building a house for God. Do whatever good you can to your neighbor. Do not tell lies. Do not commit fornication. Do not be angry with any person. Live peaceably with all men. Go from place to place and minister to people. These are what Our Lord Jesus Christ expect of us.
It is said ,”Ye are Gods.” This refers to man. If men are gods, then they have to possess the rare attributes of love and truth which could only be found in God. In fact, they are the light of the world. Why then should man seek after another God? Wherever man is, there God also dwells. Therefore, whenever one falls sick, speak and he will be healed. Whoever is in lack, or whoever does not believe in God, minister or preach to him. Show him the light and his problems will be over. Read the First Lesson again.
FIRST BIBLE LESSON: JOHN 4:21
“Jesus said unto her, woman believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain nor at Jerusalem, worship the Father. “
WHERE TO WORSHIP GOD:
Why did the woman not ask Our Lord Jesus Christ where one can worship the Father? Perhaps, it did not occur to her. One thing peculiar with Our Lord Jesus Christ was that He only offered explanations to only the questions put forward to Him. Therefore, if the woman had asked where God could be worshipped, He would have told her that one can only worship God within him. AS EARLIER STATED GOD DWELLS WITHIN MAN. HE SPEAKS TO HIM AND DIRECTS HIM ON WHAT TO DO. IN FACT HE DWELLS IN EVERY PERSON. It is for this reason that you are told not to steal, tell lies, commit fornication, smoke, snuff or take any medication. Such things are filthy and capable of defiling the temple of the Most High God. If you defile the temple of God, where then do you expect God to dwell?
When Our Lord Jesus Christ was repeatedly making mention of the Father, Philip, one of His disciples asked Him to show them the Father and it would suffice them. Reacting to this question, Jesus said unto him,
“Have I not been so long time with you, and yet hath thou not known me Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou, show us the Father? Believest thou that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The word that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”
Those who have been to Jerusalem can attest to the truth that there is no building called church that was built by Our Lord Jesus Christ or any of his disciples. The only buildings there were built by the unbelievers who use such buildings to generate revenue for themselves. Such people had no love. NO truth was found in them. They were not merciful. They disregard other men. The commandments of God were not kept by them. Most of those buildings are now empty. No one is found there. Even in Britain, the magnificent building at Liverpool, built before the 18th Century which is now used by Brotherhood brethren, was abandoned by church-goers. Some of such buildings are side attractions for the sake of generating revenue. There is nothing in any of such buildings or places, because Our Lord Jesus Christ had said that the hour cometh when God shall neither be worshipped on the mountain nor at Jerusalem.
In BCS, we preach total abstinence from sins. Upon the great multitude of people how many have forsaken sins? Therefore, it is expedient that we build the house of God by purifying ourselves thus refraining from every sin. Brethren it is profitable that we watch our steps for it is said that a child who walks circumspectively can always overcome the thing that killed his father.
Brethren, the source of your problem is that, you try to rebuild that which had been demolished. What will you have to preach to people when you indulge in the reconstruction of what Our Lord Jesus Christ had demolished? He had demolished the law and the idea of worshipping at specific places. Church denominations use about one and a half hours for worship yet, they still go about killing, maintaining shrines and sanctum, and offering sacrifices. These are church-goers who profess to worship the true God. Does the worship of God involve killing, stealing and committing other atrocious acts?
You may recall the words of Paul the Apostle as recorded at 1st Corinthians 13:3. He said:
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burnt, and I have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
I am not saying that it is bad for one to build a church and shelter people. If you should build a house and shelter people, you should also” build a house” to shelter God. This is done by refraining from every manner of sin. REALIZE THAT SIN ABOUNDS WHERE MANY PEOPLE ARE MANY. THEREFORE, NO MATTER WHAT ONE DOES IF HE CANNOT BUILD THE HOUSE OF GOD( BY REFRAINING FROM SIN), HE IS MERELY A CHURCH-GOER AND NOT A TRUE CHRISTIAN.
Even in BCS some members still cannot practice the teachings as obtained here. Those who practice my teachings are the true baptized members. A great number quarrel, or get exasperated. They do not help the poor and the needy and try to do good to every person. When John said to Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Master we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us,” what did Our Lord Jesus Christ say to him? He said, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Many people profess that their parents and brethren are Christians, yet, they do not know the meaning of the word Christian. The word Christian connotes one who practices the commandments of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who erect mere buildings and call them churches and ago about committing atrocities are no Christians. They are the anti-Christs.
A church-goer is not a Christian. He only practices churchianity. Also, to be religious does not connote Christianity. This is because to be religious implies the adoration for any object. Whatever you love and adore is your religion. However, many people are truly involved in true religion. It is very pathetic and also disgraceful to find out that people now worship buildings. Where then is the essence of Christianity? Why should people still believe that their churches are either located miles apart from where they live, or they cannot get to their church branches cannot be found in town at all? By holding to such belief, you have contradicted the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ and you are an unbeliever and you are overshadowed in darkness.
Recall what Our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples when they invited Him to dine with them. He said:
“I have meat to eat that ye know not of. The disciples wondered if any man had brought him food to eat. Since Jesus the Christ knew their thoughts, He added,” My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish His work. Say not ye there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are ripe already to harvest.”
Why do you argue that there is no Bethel when you are sent to Russia or to any other place on evangelism? Can you not see how ripe the field is? Many are roaming about without any knowledge of God. There are thieves, liars, fornicators and robbers. They all constitute the field. Man is God’s house. Are there no poor people? Do you not have sick people? Are unbelievers not around? Are native doctors and others not the farm that is ready for harvest? Go to them and minister unto them. It serves no useful purpose staying at man-made houses professing to be worshipping God when the fields are ready to be harvested.
Recall when a certain woman lifted her voice and said to Jesus the Christ,
“Blessed is the womb that bare thee and the paps which thou has sucked.” Our Lord Jesus Christ in reply said,” Yea rather blessed are they which hear the word of God and keep it.” Our Lord Jesus Christ also said he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself unto him.”
There is no other thing which changes a man like the word of God. When you were a thief, or yet an unbeliever, indulging in diabology, initiating into secret cults, bearing false witness, drinking liquor, fornicating, hating people, you were ignorant of these offenses- that benefit of doubt granted. But on hearing the words and putting them into practice, neither committing fornication, adultery nor drinking any liquor. It means then that you love Christ, and the Father will love you, and Christ will also love you and will reveal Himself to you.
I do not teach you that God is in the secret chambers. I do not teach you that God is in the hall, in the cathedral or outside. God is omnipresent and I therefore teach you to love one another. If you love one another you will not steal, fornicate, get exasperated, tell lies, drink liquor, segregate or commit any sin because love is the fulfilling of the law. Read the second lesson again;
SECOND BIBLE LESSON:JOHN 14:21
“He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
WORSHIPING GOD CONNOTES LOVING ONE ANOTHER:
What is God’s commandment? Love ye one another even as I have loved you. This is how to worship God. Going to Jerusalem or any other place does not arise. It does not consist in building a house, furnishing it, keeping flowers and decorating all the rooms with the inscription of Jesus. These things mean nothing. It is only a point to the fact that such a person knows not what he worships.
*If you honor the person you behold, it means you have honored God. If you love the person you see, you are loving God. You are respecting God if you respect the person you see. When you believe in man, you are invariably believing in God. When you tell the truth or do any good thing to another, you are doing it to God. This is how to worship God.
It is said:” Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them. Honor thy father and mother. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covert thy neighbor’s property.”
These injunctions are meant for us to keep. These are what it entails to worship God. Do not wear finger rings. Do not have protective charms. Do not use talismans and amulets. Keep nothing in the bedroom. Do not set aside rooms for sanctum and claim that such belong to God. Do not use particular handkerchief. Do not allow falsehood to overcome you. Respect and love every person. Do not think evil of any person. Minister to any person in lack whenever you are able. These are all the things Our Lord Jesus Christ wants. If you do these things, it means you love Christ and the Father will love you and reveal Himself to you.
Solomon built a temple for God, but married seven hundred wives, and maintained three hundred concubines. He did not harken to the voice of God. He did not only go against God’s instructions by building a house for a mermaid, but also worshipped the mermaid. Similarly, a lot of people boast that they have built a house of God. Yet these same people keep on stealing, fornicating, killing and telling lies. Do they think God dwells there? I do not on the other hand dissuade anyone from building houses. But whoever does not, serve God in the right way is simply wasting his time. What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and he loses his soul in hell? Even our fore-fathers who ignorantly committed various sins did suffer and they also perished. Now that the Holy Spirit has come and enlightened you, do you want to perish as your fathers did?
The money used each year for pilgrimages to Israel, Jerusalem, Mecca and other countries are a waste. But those who go on ministry work for the singular purpose of preaching the word of God, and ministering to the poor, do what God really wants. Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left desolate unto you. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
Now, with this in mind, why should Christians keep on visiting Jerusalem? Does Jerusalem know God, or does God know Jerusalem?
To worship God needs one who respect himself, does not defile his flesh with men or women, does not begrudge any man, does not drink any liquor, does not hate any person, does not get angry, but one who surrenders wholly unto God. He must be merciful, abide by the instructions of God, and listen to the spirit. Such is the man who pleases God.
The second Lesson clearly states that he who has the commandants of Our Lord Jesus Christ and keeps them is the one who loves Him and he who loves Him will be loved by His Father, and He Christ will love him and manifest Himself to such a person. If you read through the Bible from Matthew to Revelation of John the Divine, you will not come across any portion of the Bible in which the Holy Spirit advises anyone to build a house for God or go to Jerusalem on pilgrimage. You are expected to listen to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. Whatever you are directed to do by the Holy Spirit, that you do and whatever the Spirit forbids, that must you not do.
As at now, the different church buildings erected are left empty. Many bethels built here in Brotherhood are looking for members or people to sweep and keep them tidy. They have been built but there are no people to occupy them. What use do they serve after all? What you are expected to do is to go to gatherings, institutions of learning, church congregations, court rooms, streets, hospitals, beaches, market places and everywhere. Announce your mission to the people and you will witness a great crowd. Such opportunities will occur for you to preach and get the people to repent. In the prisons, many are eager for the words of God. In the schools, many are eager for the words of God. In the hospitals, many are anxious for the words of God. The lawyers, magistrates and judges are seeking for the words of God. Many homes are waiting for the words God. Can you not go to these places?
If you start a house to house evangelical tour now, you will come across somebody who is ill and desolate, without any person attending to him. He may have neither bed, plates or clothes to cover his nakedness. That situation calls for the work of God. You may also come across somebody who has five to eight children, all of them sick because of starvation. If you should go and help them, by sweeping their place of abode in addition to giving them money, you would have accomplished a great task. If you like you can go alone. If you prefer doing as Our Lord Jesus Christ instructed, you can go in twos or with a child, and minister to the less-privileged and afflicted, giving them the word and whatever help you can give.
Continue with your farming, trading and use the proceeds to help the poor. Work for the government, do not steal their money, do not offer or accept bribe. Do not commit any sin. Keep the injunctions of God and love one another. Our Lord Jesus Christ said,
“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am with them. He also said where two or three are gathered, ask in my name and I will do it for you.”
What is His name? Is it Jesus, Christ or Jehovah? It is love. Wherever you are, you are with Him. If you have love, you will not tell lies, get exasperated, look disdainfully at any person, or commit any evil. You will rather humble yourself.
Pray to Him wherever you are and He will answer. He will reveal Himself to you wherever you are. The idea of running to a place called Bethel before having your request granted does not arise. The idea of rushing to be on time to attend a church service does not come into estimation. What do you mean by church service in the first instance? Attending church service on Sundays is likened to consulting an oracle.
Whenever you help a person and whoever the person may be, that is your neighbor. Whether you come across a person who is in trouble while walking along the street, if you are better off, help the person. The person is your neighbor and you are rendering services unto God. That is the worshiping of God. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Brethren, I do not intend to belabor you let our Golden Text be read.
GOLDEN TEXT: JOHN 13:35
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.”
LOVE IS THE TRUE IDENTITY CARD:
Have you heard that? This is what He meant when He said that the time is coming when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what. If you congregate in the house you built, without showing the expression of love one to another, you love neither your child, nor your sister, nor your brother, nor your husband, nor your neighbor, nor anything for that matter, can you realize that you worship what you know not.
You may pay your way to America for the sole purpose of learning the word of God and stay there for five years duration to accomplish it. Thereafter, you will come back without loving your brother, or yourself, or your children, or any person. Do you not realize that you were simply wasting your time? You do not even know what you worship. If you love every person, then you are a true disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ. But the orthodox churches proclaim themselves Christians. You who show the expression of love are called non-Christians. How do they know that you are not Christian? Have they read what the Bible says? There is no Church denomination which shows the expression of love to the brethren. Upon the number of prayer houses, service centers and church denominations, there is nobody who loves the other. That being the case, whoever loves his fellow man is the Christian. He is the one God loves and he is the person who does the work of God.
No matter what you do, even if the inscription of Jesus or Jehovah or Christ or God or Savior is written all over you, it avails you nothing. If you do not love the brethren, it means you do not know what you are worshiping. I do not believe in this organ or any other furniture. What I believe in is that whoever loves God is a Christian. If you call yourself a Bishop or Pope, or Arch- Bishop of Canterbury, or reverend gentleman, or Elder, or any other glorious names, they mean nothing to me. The different names of church denominations like Church of God, Church of the Lord, Church of Jehovah are all useless. The basic ingredient in this doctrine is to keep the commandment of love ye one another. Go neither to Jerusalem nor to Oron. Feel free and do your farming and trading and you will still be a Christian.
If you do not love your brother whom you see physically, how can you love God whom you will not see. Whoever loves his brethren loves God. Whoever loves God must love the brethren. That is what I believe in. We must have love. If we have love that is all. If you build a house, you are simply building a place for us to sit in and make noise and disturb others. But do not regard it as having done a great job. Whatever house you build is for man. If you lock up the house after building it, and you do not allow any person to enter, you have worsened the case. Unfortunately, the church denominations have built cathedrals and have them locked up till after seven days, when they spend about one hour thirty minutes. Outside this period no person enters. This is indicative of the fact that they do not know what they are worshiping.
Brethren, let us know and believe in the word of Our Lord Jesus Christ that you shall neither in Jerusalem nor in Calabar nor in Biakpan, or in 34 Ambo Street Calabar, nor in Lagos nor in any other country worship the Father. If we love one another, all will know that we are the children of God.
Brethren, I do not intend to be tedious unto you. It is said that a stroke of the cane is sufficient unto the wise. He who has ears, let him hear. May God bless His Holy Words. Amen.
THANK YOU FATHER.