Participation in the Feast of Tabernacles Brings Blessings
By Brother Alfred Nwabuikwu, Assistant Station Minister, GKS Warri, Uvwie, Udu, and Ughienvwien zones
The Feast of Tabernacles was an annual event God Almighty instituted while the Jews were travelling from Egypt to Canaan. Those who take part in the Feast will have His blessings by His grace. – Leviticus 23:33-43
Why is the event being held by us in December instead of in the seventh month? It is on point of discretion, weather consideration, as it would not be wise for us to hold outdoor activities in October when the rainy season is still on. See 2 Corinthians 3:6,7, to the effect that we follow the spirit and not the letters of the law.
Also, during the Feast, the children of Israel were to offer burnt sacrifices. But this is not necessary in this age. – Leviticus 23:35,36; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:10-12;
What are the blessings that accrue to people who celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? The first blessing is that of hearing the word of God, called water, wine, bread and so on. – Isaiah 55:1-5; Deuteronomy 31:10-13; Psalm 19:11; Revelation 1:3.
The Feast affords us the opportunity to do thanksgiving to God and this brings blessings. In Deuteronomy 16:13-17. Compare Leviticus 26:3-7; Deuteronomy 28:12-13.
The speaker also made reference to the prophecy through the prophet Zechariah to the effect that observance of the Feast will bring blessings symbolized by rain. – Zechariah 14:16-19. See also Ezekiel 34:26.
Second Sermon: God’s Kingdom – the only place of Eternal Peace – Brother Andrew I. Okocha, Minister, GKS.
God’s kingdom is the universal empire or government of righteousness and peace to be inhabited by spirit brings and humans under the control of Jehovah the Almighty God. Peace is synonymous with quietness, calm, rest, a state free from war, sickness, oppression.
When God created man he placed him in the Garden a placed of peace harmony, concord and tranquillity. Regrettably, man sinned against God Almighty and so the privileges were withdrawn. It is only the Almighty God through Jesus Christ that can bring peace to man. – 1 Corinthians 14:33; John 16:33.
As long as human beings seek peace by their own efforts without reckoning with God, they will not attain peace. (Isaiah 8:9,10, Jeremiah 8:8, 9) In Isaiah 59:1-12 the Bible says that God does not hear the prayers of people who are sinners. That is why there is no peace. There is so much oppression, injustice, lie-telling in the world today. Leviticus 26:3-6 tells us that it is when we obey His laws of God that we shall have peace. – See also Psalm 29:11; Jeremiah 29:11
The beauties of God’s Kingdom are many. (1 Corinthians 2:9,10) There will be no more war. (Micah 4:3,4; Psalm 46:9) In the kingdom of God the inhabitants will no longer say I am sick. (Isaiah 33:24; Jeremiah 17:14; 33:6) There will be concord among men and animals. (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:17-25) In God’s Kingdom there will be no more death or pain or any distress. – Revelation 21:1,2 4, 5.
The peace in the kingdom of God will be for ever, – Haggai 2:6-9; Isaiah 32:17, 18:
Monday, December 16, 2019
The Bible says all that die go to hell – Brother Daniel Ikpuri, Station Minister, GKS Calabar Zone
Satan the devil, the arch enemy of God and man has spread the doctrine that there is hell fire, where the wicked will be tormented for ever and ever. This is in order to keep people in ignorance of God’s purpose of creation and His kingdom. Indeed Jesus Christ identified the devil as the father of lies. – John 8:44.
In the account of creation as stated in Genesis 1:1-31, there is no where it is stated that God created a place called hell fire. If there is a place called hell fire then Adam and Eve are still languishing there. In Genesis 3:4 the devil deceived Eve that she would not surely die, giving the impression that when they die they will still be alive one way or the other.
God Almighty is most compassionate and loving and so will not throw people in fire and allow them to be tormented for ever. See Ezekiel 18:23-25; Psalm 103:8-11.
Jeremiah 7:30,31 says that God lamented the actions of the Jews in throwing their children as sacrifice in fire and said such thing never came into His mind.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke of hell fire, not as a place God prepared for punishment of the wicked but as a picture or parabolic language to show that the wicked will never go unpunished. They will be punished while they are living, not when they are dead. – Isaiah 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:14, 21:8.
Hell is taken from the Hebrew word sheol and Greek word hades, the condition of the dead or the place of the dead. It means the grave, pit, tomb, sepulchre, the heart of the earth. King David made prophecy concerning Jesus Christ in Psalm 16:10 “For thou will not live my soul in hell neighther will thou suffer thine only one to see corruption.”
Job, Jonah, among others used the word hell to mean the grave. – Jonah 2:2. Matthew 12:40; Job 3:17-19; Job 17:1,16, 17; Matthew 27:60; Mark 15:46; Jeremiah 31:15
Anyone who goes to hell cannot do feel or do anything. So the idea of people suffering in hell after death is not Biblical. – Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10
What the Bible says is that all who die will be raised to life. The unjust for judgment, the just for life. – Hosea 13:14;Revelation 1:18; John 11:25; Jeremiah 31:15-17; Matthew 2:16-18.
In his revelation to John the apostle in Revelation 21:8 and 20:13-15 the understanding is given that no matter the circumstance one dies, such will come back on the day of resurrection. But those who persist in disobedience will die everlastingly, which is known as the second death. Christ spoke of the resurrection in John 5:28,29. See also 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14, 18.
Second topic Why did Jesus Christ say only few people will be saved?
Brother Abraham A. Erha, member Executive Board, GKS..
God Almighty created man perfect and gave him laws to keep. But man broke the law and the consequences, by way of distress, labours, sickness and death. – Genesis 2:7,15-18; 3:16-19
While the children of Israel were travelling from Egypt to Canaan, God directed them to avoid sin – Leviticus 18:1-5; Deuteronomy 4:5-11.
But in spite of these clear admonitions, the children of Israel, seeing that Moses delayed in coming back to them from the mount, made Aaron to make a molten calf for them which they worshipped as a god. (Exodus 32) Few people will be saved because majority of mankind are given to wickedness. – Matthew 7:13,14
In the days of Noah, only few people were saved because most of the people were living in sin. – Genesis 7:5-22
The people of Sodom and Gomorra were also destroyed with Lot and his two daughters being able to escape with their lives by the power of God. – Genesis 19.
God Almighty declared through Zechariah the prophet that the world will be divided into three parts, only one part will be saved because majority of people on earth are given to sin. – Zechariah 13:8, 9.
The gospel is now being preached so that no one can say he had not heard the warning so as to repent and be saved. Those who persist in evil will go into destruction. (John 3:16-19) “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.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:19-21
Comments by the President. Quoting Matthew 7:13, 14, he said the way of salvation is narrow but that the broad way accommodates all kinds of people. The way of God is said to be narrow because it is the way of truth, judgment, discipline, order. Many people do not like judgment.
Few will be saved because of sin, iniquity, atrocities. – Isaiah 24:5-6.
TUESDAY December 17, 2019
The danger of false prophets
Brother Theophilus Iwoh, Minister in charge of Rivers State Branches
A false prophet is one who makes bogus claims, giving himself a status which he does not in the least deserve. False prophets are dangerous and injurious to society.
It would be recalled that our Saviour, prophesied that false prophets would flourish after he had ascended to heaven. He declared: “…Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” – John 12:35.
The trade mark of false prophets is the doing of miracles, signs and wonders. But these are no proofs that such one is sent by God. Jesus Christ also said that in the last days false prophets will flourish and that they would be known by the miracles they advertise. (Matthew 24:5,11,24) They are very loud and boastful, like frogs, in making their false claims and advertising their miracles: but they are spiritually empty. What many people do not know is that God does not use human beings anymore to heal His people as He does His works Himself. (Malachi 4:2)
False prophets are known for their false visions and dreams. (Jeremiah 23:31, 32, 28) Their concern is how to make money from the people. (2 Peter 2:1-3) In the words of Jeremiah the prophet what the Jews were doing was “wonderful and horrible”. – Jeremiah 25:30,31.
In their manner of praying, false prophets say repetitive prayers. They make open show of their prayers contrary to what our Saviour enjoined us to do in Matthew 6:5-8. They revel in saying holy ghost fire prayers, asking for the death of their enemies, which the Bible no where supports. – Matthew 5:43-48
False prophets preach false doctrines. For instance, they teach that the soul can never die. But the Bible shows that the soul that sins would die. – Ezekiel 18:4,20; Acts 3:23.
They teach that the Father, Son and the holy spirit are one and the same person, co-equal, co-existent, co-eternal. But the Bible says no one can be compared to God Almighty. (Isaiah 46:5; Malachi 1:6) And in John 14:28, Christ said “My Father is greater than I”. – John 14:28.
For the fact that it has been prophesied that some come in the last days, preaching holy ghost fir prayers. Our Saviour has enjoined us not to pray for the death of our enemies. “Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.” – Jeremiah 6:30.
“Why is Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God” – Brother Benedict Hart
There are several references in the Bible to the effect that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God. These include Psalm 2:7 where it is written: “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. “ – Psalms 2:7 See also Acts 13:32,33; John 3:16,
The word begotten is derived from the word beget which means to be the father of a child. The word son means a male child. But spiritually a son means one who receives life, one who is procreated, one who is given life. The word father means one who gives life.
Jesus Christ himself asserted that he was created by the father. (John 5:26. See also Revelation 3:14; Proverbs 8:22-25, 30) Again in Colossians 1:15,16, Christ is called the first born of every creature and that he is the Creator of everything by the power of God. See also Ephesians 3:9.
Being the first born of every creature means that he is competent to declare or explain to everyone who is willing to learn everything about God and His purpose of creation. John 1:1-3; John 1:14,18. Isaiah 55:4; Revelation 1:5; 3:14.
From earliest times, the first born had been given pre-eminence in the scheme of things. When the priesthood had not been set up, the first born sons were priests, Judges, teacher, inheritor of the family estate. This trend in the affairs of men, applies with greater force and wider dimension in the spiritual realm. God Almighty adopted the first born of the Israelites for Himself. In course of time he replaced first born sons of the Hebrews with the Levites who were, as it were, the first born sons of the Israelites before God. See Exodus 13:2; Numbers 8:15-17. Jesus Christ being the first born of every creature is priest of God Most High, he is the inheritor of all things, he is the Judge of the nations, and the teacher of God’s people, the Mediator between God and men. (Colossians 1:15,16; Hebrews 5:5,6) As Priest of the most High God he appeared to Abraham as Melchizedek and he gave him tithes of all.
Those false prophets who claim to be the only begotten son of God are committing blasphemy and put themselves in danger of God’s judgment. – 2 Peter 2:18,19, 17; Hebrews 1:4-8,13;
It is only through Christ the only begotten son of God that we shall get salvation. – John 3:17,18, 1 John 4:9.
WEDNESDAY – December 18, 2019
WHO ARE THE SAINTS OF GOD – Brother Patrick Ekireghwo, station minister of Warri, Uvwie, Udu, Ughiewien zones.
This question is coming up because some people claim to be saints or refer to others as saints. According to the Bible a saint is a holy or sanctified person, who has received the spirit of anointing and therefore set aside for holy uses.
They are called apostles, (Luke 6:12,13); anointed Christians, (2 Christians 1:21); Little flock, (Luke 12:32); Church of the first born. – Hebrews 12:22,23.
Owing to the looseness with which the word saint is being used by many people, some people in the Christian religion have misapplied the word to people who are not called or chosen by God. Some people are even pronounced saints, 50 years after they had died. Also some notable women are now called saints. We have St Mary, Theresa, Cecilia, Philomena and all of that.
These errors are due to the influence of the devil who is out to corrupt the truth.
The saints of God are foreknown, pre-destinated, chosen before they are born. (Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 8:27, 29,30) They are taught in spirit. They do not need to go to seminaries to acuire academic qualifications ot be known. – Galatians 1:11-17.
When Jesus Christ came he chose 12 apostles. They were taught by Christ. (John 15:27; Acts 4:13) Their principal duty is the preaching of the word of
God to the people. – Matthew 28:19, 20; John 12:48; Psalm 149:5-9.
The saints are privileged to see the visions of God. Saints are known when they are alive not when they are dead. – Acts 10:10-16; 11:5; Revelation 1:10.
The principal mark is the preaching of the truth. – 1 Thessalonians 5:21; John 8:31,32.
We thank God that St. Urhobo is one such saints. He had the marks of a saint and was inspired when alive. Even some church leaders now accept the truth St. Urhobo preached. These include the doctrine that there is no fire in hell. Another doctrine beginning to get acceptance is that Christ was not born on Christmas day. Another is the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.
We the members are proof that St. Urhobo is a saint of God. St. Paul stated: “Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord…” – 1 Corinthians 9:1-3.
Second Sermon: Did Jesus Christ Come For The Jews Only? – Brother Joshua Chukwudi, member Executive Board
It is on record that when Jesus Christ sent out the 70 disciples he directed them to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:5, 6) Some hold this to mean that he came for the Jews only.
Also when the woman whose daughter was possessed appealed to Christ to heal her daughter ”he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs”. This is interpreted by some also to mean that he does not want the grace of God to be extended to the gentiles. However, the account shows that when they woman replied “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table”. “Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour”. – Matthew 15:25-28.
The issue about the scope of Christ’s mission is however laid to rest by virtue of the commission he gave the apostles after his resurrection that they should go out and preach the gospel to the “uttermost part of the earth”. – Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:6-8.
The promise of God to Abraham when he passed the test of faith, was that in him and in his seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 22:15-18) “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, is seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. – Genesis 22:15-17; See also Genesis 26:1-4; Genesis 28:1-5.
The seed of Abraham through whom all the world would be blessed is Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:14-16) The Bible clearly shows that several prophets in time of old prophesied that Jesus Christ would be the light to the gentiles. – Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 42:6, 7; Luke 2:25-32.
Even though the Jews did not relate with the Samaritans, Christ preached to them and a number of them believed on him. (John 4:39-43) On the day of Pentecost so many people heard the truth in their languages. So the gospel was declared beyond the confines of the Jewish nation. – Acts 2:6-11. See also Acts 28:28.
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts 10:34, 35.
However, the point is that whoever comes must do the will of God in order to enjoy peace and life in the end. Anyone who does otherwise will suffer tribulation, anguish and death. – Romans 2:6-10.
SUMMARY OF THURSDAY LECTURES
First sermon: Thy people Shall Be willing in the day of thy power
By Brother Joseph Amadi, Vice Chairman, Administrative Committee, GKS Rumuokoro Branch
This sermon is drawn from Psalm 110:3 “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…”
“Thy people” refers to those who have come to serve God. They are known as a “holy nation” in Exodus 19:4-7; “people of the saints of the most high” in Daniel 7:27 and as a peculiar people in Titus 2:14. The prophecy says these people of God “shall be willing”. This is future tense meaning it did not apply at the time it was written. The people will work willingly without being forced or coerced. This will be at the last day when Jesus Christ will take up his power to reign among men. The children of God will be ready to carry out God’s will when Jesus Christ will take up power to reign among men.
Kingdom set up
In Psalm 110:1 it is written: The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” (Psalm 110:2) When Jesus Christ rose from the dead he said all power had been given to him in heaven and on earth. See Matthew 28:18. See also Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 3:35. After 40 days and nights Christ ascended to heaven and sat at the right hand of God until time came for him to be crowned. (Psalm 110:2; Daniel 7:13,14) after which war broke out in heaven and the outcome was that the devil was driven out of heaven, as stated in Revelation 12:7-12. In frustration satan plunged the world into World War 1. called the Great War because there had been no war like that. But for the fact that Christ shortened the war, no one on earth would have been saved.
After the war, Jesus Christ came in spirit to raise the dead saints and secondly to establish God’s Kingdom here on earth, using the remnant of the saints from the four corners of the world. (Matthew 24:31) One of the remnants came from this part of the world in person of St. Gideon Meriodere Urhobo, whom God used to found the God’s Kingdom Society.
God wants us to serve Him willingly. There is the example in the time of Moses when God directed them to build a tabernacle as stated in Exodus 35:21-,29; 36:5. At the time of David he mobilised people to bring materials for the building of the temple. (1 Chronicles 29:1-19. 9,14) When we have the opportunity to contribute to the work of God we should do it happily, because all we have are the Lord’s. We have seen how those in time of old did the work, how are we doing the work now? We thank God that members are showing strong faith in God in various ways. But there are still several other ways members should work to show willingness in the work of God. This will attract blessings of healing, fruit of the womb, abundance, etc. and so on. -1 Kings 17:8-16; John 6:l1-14; Matthew 14:14-21; Luke 7:1-10
We should work willingly and readily now because when death comes we cannot do anything. (Ecclesiastes 9:10) In Philippians 4:8 it is written: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
The second sermon The Parable of the Unjust Judge
by Brother O. D. Akinwale
This is one of the parables which Jesus Christ gave to instruct Christians to learn to pray always. It is drawn from the book of Luke 18:1-8. It is about a man who was a judge but he had no regard for God or man and so refused to help her. But the woman did not give up, was not discouraged but continued to go to the Unjust Judge time and time again.
“And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:1-8.
The Lord there refers to Jesus Christ. He stated that God will certainly show favour to his children who call upon him day and night. The Bible says God is a present help in time of trouble. – Psalm 46:1; Nahum 1:7
God knows His children and he expects us to seek Him persistently like the widow to the unjust Judge. He is always there for us. But we should seek Him and look for Him in prayer and thanksgiving at all times, prayer being a solemn petition or request to the Almighty God. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” – Matthew 7:7, 8.
If we pray continuously like the widow, without wavering, what we ask of God He will give to us. Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, said we should pray without ceasing. In Psalm 55:17 David declared: “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”
But prayer should be based on faith. In Matthew 21:21,22 the Bible states: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
The question put by Christ as to when the son of man comes whether he would find faith shows that in the last day the love of many will wax cold. Faith is therefore very important. See Hebrews 11:6. In Philippians 4:6, 7 it is written:”Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It is therefore crucial that we learn the lessons from the parable of the Unjust Judge and be prayerful. We should not be discouraged even if our hearts desires are not immediately met. We should note that our time is not that of God Almighty. See Isaiah 55:8,9.
The children of Israel were in captivity for 430 years and when the time came no second passed and they were freed. (Exodus 12:40-43) Isaac got married to Rebecca but for many years they had no child. They waited patiently and their prayers were answered. (Genesis 25:20-30) In GKS some had been married for some time without fruit of the womb but because they were persistent in prayers, they got their hearts’ desires. A certain family in GKS recently gave birth to triplets whereas they had been looking for a child for several years.
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were considered barren for many years but in their old age they gave birth to John the Baptist, the for-runner of Christ. We should be patient and continue to do the will of God while we wait. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14
St. Paul says: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. – Hebrews 10:35, 36, 38, 39.