First Lesson: Matthew 5: 23-24
" Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
Golden Text: Luke 17: 3-4
"Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
You Need Peace In Your Life If you could recall, you would realise that it was on a Wednesday that Pilate and Herod reconciled their differences and consolidated their bond of friendship as a result of the trial of their common enemy, Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is just a reminder of what I had taught you. It is said that, it is not a difficult thing to go to church, pray, preach or even offer gift, rather, what is really difficult is peace making and reconciliation. You have been advised in our first Bible lesson that if you had any quarrel or grudge against your brother or sister while you are before the altar to present your offer, you must first of all go back and make peace with the person before you return to make your offer to God. Right now, as you are receiving this message, whether you are a member of Crusaders Fellowship or not, as far as you are a member of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, go back and make peace with all your adversaries. You have been duly informed by God to first of all make peace with whomever you had a grudge with before you make your offer. Whether it is your child, wife, husband, brother, sister or neighbour, you must reconcile with him or her before you approach God to make your offer.
Peace Making Is The Most Important Thing. Your Offer Is Secondary While The Primary Thing Is Your Reconciliation With Your Enemy
The whole world is to be pitied. Take for instance, after a bitter quarrel at home with his wife, a man would pick his Bible and go to the church for service. What is the essence in this? You pick a quarrel with your landlord because of your refusal to pay the backlog of rent, amounting to hundreds of Naira. If he approaches you to ask for his money, you rebuff him and with the Bible in your hand, you abuse him before heading for the church. Which church are you actually going to? I will continue to teach you until you know that man is the most precious thing before God and that man is god. Man is the most valued thing both on earth and in heaven.
You must take particular note of this mandate given to you today, that you should make peace with everybody. Do not say to yourself, after all I am a Christ student, a pastor, or
deaconess; if you confront me I will pay you back in the same coin. Indeed true to your words, at the slightest provocation you go all out to avenge the person. After that you console yourself that you are still one with God not knowing that you have
departed completely from God. God does not want any of us to perish nor does He desire that any of us should fail to enter into this Kingdom. It is for this reason that He admonishes the whole world to desist from hatred. He told Sodom and Gomorra
that He was not happy with their sacrifice, because of their disobedience. He further told them that because of their disobedience and iniquities, He had hidden His face from them. However, in order to reconcile with Him, they should come to Him
and be reconciled, no matter how great their sins were, He would forgive them. He advised them to live in peace and love with one another, and should not suppress the poor and the needy in their midst. He assured them that, if they complied with
His instructions, their ways would be open and His face would be straight with them. Whenever you come to the realisation that both God and man are one, and you start to live in God, your ways will be opened. You should recall that Our Lord Jesus
Christ Himself and the Father are one, and He lived in the Father and the Father in Him. Whenever you come to this realisation you will no longer commit sin, bear malice or curse anybody. All the words, which Christ spoke, were not from Him but
from God. Therefore, everything created by God must adhere very strictly to all the injunctions of God. God is one and we are all one in Him. Do not quarrel with anybody nor begrudge any one.
It has pleased the Father to use this chance to make known to you, that you should make peace with one another. Choristers, Children of God, Christ Students, Christ Servants, Elders and the Spirited Children and the entire world should be in peace. No matter your position in life, you should be at peace with everyone. This is what God need from us. Whatever you wish to do for God is secondary, the most important thing is peace making. He made known to us that whatever you do to a little child, you are doing it directly to Him. If you do evil to anybody, you are doing it to God, and if you do good, you are also doing it to Him. It is for this reason that we have been advised to always forgive our brothers and sisters in order that He may forgive us our transgressions. It is said that: Blessed are the peace makers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew: 5: 9) Therefore, go and reconcile with your adversaries, make peace with your father, mother, husband, wife, brothers and sisters. Live in peace with all and sundry. God does not require anything from you, apart from being in peace with everyone.
Brethren, you would recall that David had procured all the necessary materials to enable him set up a befitting temple for the Lord but God Himself instructed him to stop the project because he (David) was bloody. Nevertheless, He promised him that his offspring whose hands would be free from blood would eventually execute the building project. In our present age, many people have ignorantly copied the bloody nature of David with the belief that in spite of David’s bloody acts, he was still addressed as God’s beloved. Have you seen the act of human folly? This of course has led to the destruction of many. That time had passed; this is the time of a new covenant. Right from the time when Christ came down to earth to shed His precious blood and also reveal Himself, all such things had passed. This is the time of love, the time to be at peace with everyone. If anyone offends you, you should forgive him.
Do not go to file a lawsuit in the court or harbour anyone in your mind. God is carrying man as an egg because man is part of God. There is none who hates himself; we are all part of this body. If you begrudge anybody, you have blocked your way. Read
our first Bible lesson once again.
First Lesson: Matthew 5: 23-24
"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."
The above passage is an everlasting law, which cannot be revoked. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13: 3) Therefore, you should hold fast to what is good and refrain from all evils. God does not require anything that is evil or defiled. He does not permit annoyance, division, rancour or fight. But He wants all to remain at all times in peace with one another.
Our Lord’s Prayer You should always recall the prayer that Christ taught us: "Father forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors". In your dealings with people, do not mind whether or not a person is a baptised Brotherhood, but always go by the words of Our Lord’s prayer. If you fail to repent, if you harbour anyone in your mind, you have not yet been baptised. Many people in this fold are not yet baptised; they have only succeeded in taking their bath in the water and not getting baptised. In the real sense, if you have surely been baptised, you will never have cause to quarrel with anybody. Whosoever says that he is a true member of Brotherhood, can never have trouble with anyone because he cannot go back to eat his vomit like a dog. The First Steps to God is for one to forsake all the things of the world. If you had anything like juju, you must first of all do away with it before you are dipped into the water. After your baptism, you should not go back to bear malice towards one another. The church denominations undergo baptism without first confessing their sins. I am telling you that they are all rebels in that they fail to confess their sins before baptism. You claim to have been baptised, yet you keep on quarrelling, taking drugs and judging others. It means you are yet to be baptised. A baptised person is one that has refrained from all forms of unrighteousness. If you were a fornicator, a prostitute, a thief, a juju priest, but you decide to refrain from all these vices before getting baptised. That is what is called baptism.
It was for this reason that, when Peter asked Christ, how many times he was to forgive a brother who sinned against him, Christ told him: “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18: 22) This means that from the day you were baptised, you have been separated from vices. Therefore, you have no association with sin anymore. Do not get annoyed anymore, refrain from bad ways of life; be plain and polite. If you see anyone committing sin, in a peaceful way you have to remind him of his faith as a Christian and do not impute sins on anybody. Rather, simply tell him that the Bible forbids that. If the spirit of God leads him, he would repent of his sins and plead for forgiveness. That is all. Christ told us that: "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him
his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect
to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matthew 18: 15-17) Whoever has wronged you, instead of taking vengeance against him, you should draw his
attention to it. But if he fails to plead for forgiveness, do not avenge but if he pleads for forgiveness that is fine. Do not even backbite or mention what he has done against you to anybody. In the same vein, if you offend someone, go and plead
for forgiveness. That is exactly what God wants us all to do.
We should be in love and in peace with every one for the salvation of our souls. Whenever you know that you have offended anyone, do not be ashamed to approach him to appeal for pardon, even if you had stolen his property. You should be bold enough to go and confess before him and plead for forgiveness. It is said that the only acceptable sacrifice to God is a broken and a contrite heart. Whenever you commit sin and then confess and ask God for forgiveness, He would surely forgive you. That is why it is said that: The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished. (2 Peter 2: 9). It is also said that He will make blind their eyes and will seal their ears and harden their hearts lest they ask for forgiveness and I forgive them.
Whenever a man confesses his sins, God would forgive him. When you come across any man who does not count himself as a sinful man, leave him alone, for his cup is filled and because of that God has placed him there. But whoever goes contrary to the ordinances of God, confesses and asks God for forgiveness, is promptly forgiven. He has no problem at all. Even if you offend God for five times, and ask God for forgiveness, He forgives you. But if you fail to confess, that is where the problem lies and you must surely be punished for that sin. God is never happy over the death of a sinner; He does not want us to suffer nor does He want us to be in lack of anything. Whatever suffering we encounter is a problem to God, but we are often the cause. Remember the promise which God made to the Israelites saying that: " For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. " (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
From now on, do not brag about your sin. Do not say to yourself I will never forgive such a person even if God happens to come down from heaven. What has he done to you, which you have never done to another person? Do not, as a result of shame, fail to confess before someone. If you commit adultery, simply confess, even if you steal or involve yourself in evil practice. It is indeed a good thing for you to be made to understand the benefit derived from confessing your sins. This is the luckiest generation because, right from the creation of mankind, God has never wanted us to perish. Therefore, it is only here in Brotherhood that a person would be courageous enough to confess his sins openly. But elsewhere, people always
claim to have never committed any sin. People keep on asking the reason why God should love Brotherhood so much. Why should God not love Brotherhood when the members all admit to be sinners? The confession of sins by members of Brotherhood is quite in
order and acceptable to the Father. It opens the way to salvation.
Do Not Judge To count sins on others is the worst sin. Members of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star are saved because we do not count sins on anyone. Many of us are involved in one business or the other, which should have fetched us profit, but because of having a case against your brother, your chances are blocked. For the mere fact that, you oppress your fellow brother and sister and refuse to pay your debt, your problems or illness persist. If you should refrain from all those things, your ways will be opened. Read our golden text once again:
Golden Text: Luke 17: 3-4
"Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
Have you not seen the difference between the teachings of Christ and that of Moses? All the problems you find in the world today are traced to the doctrine of Moses. If the people were to live according to the teaching of Christ, things would have been better. But since the people seek justification through the law, they are perpetually plagued. If we were to practise the injunctions of Christ, there would be no hospitals, courts of justice, police, the army nor customs and excise because everyone would have been guided by love.
Malice, The Source Of Problems If anyone offends you, make known to him because malice is the chief source of problems. All the problems we encounter are as a result of our misdeeds. Penitence is a master key that can unlock any door. Whenever you find yourself in difficulty no matter the situation, if only you confess your sins to people and plead for forgiveness, it would be over. If you fail to forgive others of whatever offence committed against you, your own transgression will not be forgiven. But if you keep forgiving others in like manner, your way will be very clear and straight. It is said that there is no disappointment in God. Apostle Eke once testified that when he wanted to go to India in 1990, he lost his yellow card and therefore, wanted to stop the journey. People advised him to stay back till he got it, but the Father ordered him to go ahead. He was instructed that whenever he was asked on the way about the missing travelling document, he should speak only the truth by saying that he had lost it. On reaching there, he told them that he had his yellow card but he lost it. As he was still explaining to them, a superior officer came to the scene and inquired what was happening. When he was briefed, he simply asked the Apostle to go, and that was all. There is nothing as good as telling the truth, no matter the type of crime and the gravity of the offence, you should speak the truth. There is no disappointment in speaking the truth. The Apostle who spoke the truth finally got the yellow card that he spent much time and energy in search of. While he got another there, the one at home was finally located and posted to him. It is good to tell the truth.
Whenever you offend anyone, you have equally offended God. Speak the truth to God because God is truth and He will save you. Whoever counts sins on others is indeed to be pitied and has already perished. The woman who was caught fornicating was brought
before Christ to speak on what should be done to the woman. In their attempt to convince Christ to condemn the woman, they quoted from the Law of Moses that according to the law, if a woman was caught in such an act she was to be stoned to death.
Then they asked Christ of His opinion. In the process, He bent down and began to write on the sand. As He wrote, He looked at their faces one after the other and put down their names with the many sins committed by each of them on different days.
At last, He ordered any of them who had never committed a sin to cast stone on the woman. As they looked on the ground they saw their names with all the sins they had been committing even worse than that of the woman. Then they left the scene
one after the other.
If you read from the book of 1 Corinthians 6: 1-10, you would realise your nakedness. Whoever judges another or takes his fellow man to court is the worst sinner. "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
You cheat others but refuse to be cheated. You plan evil but resist wickedness. You steal, but do everything to avoid others to steal your property. You sue others to court at the slightest offence but do not want to be sued. A lawyer does not believe in the truth. The court and the government do not believe in the truth. Do you not know that the children of God shall judge the angels and human beings? Therefore, as a child of God, do not bear malice against others. Do not sue to court and do not consult necromancers for any reason. Brethren, this is indeed a homework for you; who amongst you is a thief? Who amongst you is a fornicator or a liar? For as a result of all the sins we have committed, we are all debtors. We deceive people and speak ill of others. Now tell Me, what a person has done to you that is too great to be forgiven? You always have to forgive and make peace with him because your sins are much greater than his. Have you known that those that will inherit this Kingdom are those that don’t impute sins to others? The Israelites had wanted to be justified by the law and for that, they failed woefully in the sight of the Lord. On the other hand, the Gentiles lived according to the dictates of their minds. They were not preached to because the Jews had a tradition that did not permit them to mix with non-Jews.
The Importance Of Confession Two pregnant women at the point of delivery were taken to a prophet of God who told them to confess all their sins. One of them confessed all her sins and immediately after that, put to birth. The other woman was unable to
deliver. The prophet further instructed her to confess all her sins to enable her deliver safely. To confess your sins privately in your room has no effect. Open confession works like magic. No matter the type of sins you might have committed,
once you confess it openly before your brethren, you are saved. Christ said that whoever is ashamed of Him on earth, that He too would be ashamed of him before His Father in heaven. The other pregnant woman failed to confess her sins because a
friend to her husband who had illicit affair with her was present. So, she thought of the shame of exposing herself and the man before her husband and others. So, she could not summon the courage to confess and for that reason she could not deliver
despite the pleading by the prophet. Even the husband pleaded with her to confess, even if his very friend who was at the scene was involved, that he would forgive but she refused. She finally died.
Testimony There was a brother who was indebted to by some people. One of the debtors was to pay him ten thousand Naira and the other twenty thousand. When he heard about the gospel of forgiveness of all what a person had done to you and your debtors, he decided to put it into practise. He forgave those debtors. He told them that they were no more his debtors. All his business ventures, which had been blocked for some time, were once again fully opened and his creditors also wrote off all his indebtedness. His business flourished greatly as more and more customers came to him. In America, there was a fraternal society called "Mother of the Armament". Later, it became defunct. Even Dr. Azikiwe was one of the members. Have you ever seen Azikiwe suing people to court? Even if someone has greatly wronged you either by killing a relation of yours or stealing your property, you should make peace with him. You are not to take any one to court. A one-time leading politician in Nigeria, Chief Awolowo was said to be a member of that society too. If you want to be saved, you should forgive anyone that offends you.
Forgive One Another Beloved, this teaching is the key and the way to eternal life. That is the reason why it is said that if your brother offends you, you should rebuke him, and if he repents and pleads for forgiveness, you should forgive him. If he offends you for seven times a day and he comes back to plead for forgiveness, seven times you have to forgive him. This is the kind of life God wants us to live and once you abide by it, your ways will be opened. There is no other way apart from this and your salvation comes from this gospel.
At 26 Mbukpa Street, during the Bible class, one policeman testified how a thief went to his house in the police barracks. And that as he was in the office, he decided to go to the house and when he got there, he discovered that there was a thief in his house. He arrested the man who was later jailed. But on the next day, another thief was found in his house. With this, he was shocked. He then asked the thief what he wanted, but the man asked him to arrest him and get him jailed as he did to the other person. Finally, he gave the man some food and money and allowed the thief to go. If the policeman had ventured to jail him, another thief
would have gone to his house because that was their plan and eventually, they would have killed him. This is a lesson for others.
Emulate the Brotherhood members at Owutu Eda. The people of Owutu Eda decided to burn the Brotherhood Bethel there. They beat up the members mercilessly and also deprived them of their land. The police were called in to settle the situation. At the end, the chiefs of that area were jailed and the police also decided that they should build another Bethel for the members. If I had agreed that it should be so, would the members live there peacefully? They even agreed to pay Brotherhood half a million Naira. The deputy Governor was strongly behind the Brotherhood members, but when the Leader’s Representative, Bro. Okafor related the incident to Me, I told him to reject their offers. I further said that the chiefs arrested should be released; when this news got to the people of Owutu Eda, they were shocked, the government functionaries and the chiefs could not believe the news.
You are told to feed your enemy when he is hungry and give him water to drink when he is thirsty. You have seen the usefulness of these things but you still keep to the laws of Moses, which will lead you to perdition. The Crusaders who went to Akono Ohafie are here. When twelve of them went on outing there, the native doctors shouted that the Crusaders have destroyed their juju and they threatened to kill the crusaders. They finally decided that if they should refuse paying them six hundred Naira, it would be bad with them. Dominic, the state (Cross River) chairman of the Crusaders Fellowship was among those whom the people confronted. They tried their best to convince the people that Brotherhood of the Cross and Star is a peaceful organisation but to no avail. They did not even want to hear anything about Brotherhood. There was a necromancer who was demented and he was healed by Brotherhood and so, the native doctors became annoyed because they felt they would be deprived of their daily food. They know quite well that with the presence of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star in the area, they cannot operate successfully any longer. When the case was reported to Me and the amount they needed was mentioned. I gave one thousand Naira to Pastor Essah in the company of Pastor Etop and Akwang to take to the people. Four hundred Naira to be given to the chiefs and six hundred Naira to be given to the necromancers. And the brothers also added one thousand Naira and the money amounted to two thousand Naira. When they got there, the chiefs wanted all the money and the necromancers also wanted all the money. The real owners of the land could not be known in that case. As such, all the indigenes of the area met and eventually resolved that the land should not be sold to Brotherhood members. But as the Father would do His things, it was finally resolved that six hundred Naira should be given to the necromancers since they were bent on receiving the amount while the rest of the money should be returned to Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. The people then called for freedom of worship in the area.
Can you now see how Brotherhood operates? We do not make trouble before we are free to operate. “I do not only preach but I practise the gospel.” But most of you here are so hardhearted. What has somebody done to you, which you cannot forgive and remain in peace at all times? You have been told that you should make peace with your brethren. And remain in peace at all times. If you offend somebody, plead for forgiveness. If somebody offends you, forgive. Even if the person refused to plead for forgiveness, forgive him and remain in peace.
If you are conscious of the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ died for your sake and that you are a sinner, why can you not forgive another? Leave your brethren to their ways for both of you are sinners. Our Lord Jesus Christ brought peace unto us and He
also gave His peace to us. Therefore, we have to remain in peace and harmony amongst ourselves. There should be no indifference amongst brethren. Let us all remain in oneness. Do not complain that somebody has eloped with your wife or husband.
When you remain in peace, your testimony shall be great.
Live Peacefully With One Another It is said that a city that is divided against itself can never stand. If the Crusaders should fight against themselves, they would fall and God would have nothing to do with them. You should not have any problem about anything. Whether somebody attends a meeting or not, do not bother yourself. Whatever a man is able to do let him do. You all should live in peace for you are one in Christ. There is only one sheepfold and one shepherd. Any city that divides against itself cannot stand; it is bound to fall. Since Brotherhood is one, it endures forever. All the fellowships in Brotherhood are important. Whichever Fellowship you find yourself, do not bother yourself, but try and contribute to the upliftment of the glory of God in one way or the other. It could be in cash or in kind. Nobody should bother others over the activities of the Fellowship. Try and make people happy in one way or the other.
All the churches and even the governments are members of this Fellowship. All the trees and animals are members of this Fellowship and it is therefore your place to bring everybody together and make known to those who do not know that we are all one. Each person has his own duty, under the control of one shepherd. The government needs help. The government of United Kingdom has recently awarded two certificates of recognition to the Youth Fellowship in London. This Fellowship is to help the government, churches and individuals know the truth. But the question is how will you render help to them when you are still at daggers drawn with each other? You struggle for positions here and there, is that how you will help others? The Moslems and the Christians are always at war, and even churches are at war. How can you teach them the truth when you fight against one another? Now if a man of God should behave that way, what do we expect from people who do not know God at all? So, it is imperative that we abide in peace, and then take this peace into all nooks and crannies of the world, so that everybody may be in peace.
It is said that one with God is majority. Since we are in peace, love, unity, truth, humility, etc, it is therefore very easy for the whole world to unite. One man cannot accomplish all the tasks in this Kingdom. God is the chairman while all of us are co-workers in His vineyard. So, let us refrain from hatred and discrimination. The ability to do anything does not come from man but from God. All the animals and other creatures of God must remain in peace. If you do not believe in any person, how about the works he has done? When God sent a message to King Hezekiah that he would soon die, he turned his face to the wall and cried, and asked God to remember what he did while he was young. God remembered his previous good works and extended his life for 15 years. Can you not learn from this and repent? Why do you continue to nail Christ on the Cross a second time? YOU ARE SO LUCKY BECAUSE THE LANDLORD IS HERE. THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLYs
SPIRIT ARE HERE. What exactly do you think should bring problems to you? During the advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ, He did not give power to the disciples and when He departed from them, they formed a team. However, in the advent of the Holy Spirit,
everything is complete.
Like one of the Christ’s Student Choir song goes, 'two thieves struggling for something and the owner is at a corner, watching’, what exactly are you people struggling for? What do you think you can do on your own? Even if you are asked to be the chairman of the Fellowship, you cannot do anything. Therefore, you have to humble yourself. You have been sent by the Father to all nook and crannies of the world to enlighten the world on what they did not know. He directs that all the instructions regarding evangelisation should be documented, so that you all may know how you operate. Nobody is expected to be authoritative about anything. Since you all are messengers; you are only expected to operate with love, truth, patience and obedience. The work does not require any politics. This is no church, it is the New Kingdom of God, and therefore nobody is expected to behave the way he likes, for we are one flock, under one shepherd.
A stroke of cane is sufficient for the wise. Let those who have ears hear what the Holy Spirit has imparted to the entire world. May God bless His Holy Words, Amen.
Thank You Good Father!