FIRST BIBLE LESSON: MATTHEW 19:14
"But Jesus said, Suffer children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
SECOND BIBLE LESSON: EPHESIANS 6:4
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
GOLDEN TEXT: LUKE 9:48
"And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me; for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great."
Brethren, that is the theme of our revelation. To a great many of you, this gospel seems a parable. It is said, "Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven." Now, when you examine what is happening in the world concerning the manner in which children are treated, it is more than anything imaginable. At times, because of the way you treat your child people will be forced to question whether the child is yours, whether you gave birth to the child or whether you begat the child. You will answer in the affirmative and you add that he should die if he wants to die, since in your estimation the child is so bad.
PARENTAL CONTROL OVER CHILDREN:
You do not create a congenial atmosphere for the child to speak, you do not allow the child to contribute his ideas, to tell his dreams, to say his visions. You will intimidate him and call him different names. When your child sits by you, you will drive him away. Is it evil for your brother to stay together with you? Your child is your brother from the same Father. If you speak and the child joins in the conversation, you will flare up and call him a thief. You will argue that you never communicated with your father in such manner when you were young. That is true because there was no freedom in the days of your father.
A CHILD IS THE GLORY OF THE MAN:
Do you know that the baby who has just touched down on the ground is greater than you? Do you realize that those children are sent to wipe away tears from your eyes? Those things you cannot practise are what the children have been sent to practise. Do you come to the realization that the children had long been in existence before you? Do you know that the children have better expression of love than you, and that they are more truthful than you, and that they are more virtuous than yourself, and that they have come with more blessings than those bestowed on you? Do you realize that the children are your own glory?
It is said, "I, THE LORD THY GOD, I AM VISITING THE INIQUITIES OF THE FATHERS UPON THE CHILDREN, UNTO THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION OF THEM THAT HATE ME AND SHOWING MERCY UNTO THOUSANDS THAT LOVE ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS." IF YOU SERVE GOD DILIGENTLY FOR A GREAT MANY YEARS, DO YOU KNOW THAT HE COMPENSATES YOU? GOD BLESSES YOU THROUGH THE CHILDREN.
All the children you see are sent to help us and to deliver us from bondage, to vindicate us from the calumnies, to remove us from the pranks and foolishness of death. For we are already swallowed up in death. But for the children, the world would not have been in existence. Besides, the world would not have been good for man to live in. Do you realize this fact? Do you know the exact nature of the child that is delivered today? Do you know what his mission is? I do not wish to be tedious unto you. For if I should go further, many of you would weep, and you will realize that you are worthless.
LEAD AN EXEMPLARY LIFE THAT THEY MAY FOLLOW AFTER:
If you critically analyze the situation, you will realize that it is the fathers and mothers who help to spoil their children. Do you not know that it is what you do that your child does? IT BEHOOVES US TO NURTURE THEM WITH LOVE, TRUTHFULNESS, HUMILITY, AND ACCORD THEM WITH HONOR. If you beget a child and you do not say woe to him, if you do not disgrace him or beat him up or tell lies to him, if you do not perpetrate evil before him, he will grow up with the virtues of God. You are to take him to church, teach him about the word of God, TEACH HIM ABOUT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, ABOUT GOD AND HIS VIRTUES AND OTHER GOOD VIRTUES. You are to show him the good behavioural pattern you are leading. This is precisely what we are to accomplish. We are to receive them and do all good things to them. You should not snuff or smoke when a child is present, and you are not to be exasperated in his presence. You are not to commit fornication in his presence, and do not take him along to prepare concoctions. This is the foremost thing that we should accomplish. And that is: Have love, practise love with children. Be humble with children, be truthful, and do whatever you are capable of doing in bringing them up in the love and fear of God. Your main aim should be to put them on a path of God. If you are a person who was given to drinking, after having children, you should refrain from drinking. If you were a thief, steal no more. If you were given to snuffing and smoking, forsake such acts and do not commit any evil act again because when you are given to such tendencies, the children will in turn be affected.
YOUR CHILD IS YOU:
He is your own brother. He is your friend and he is your father, mother and everything to you, he is your family. Therefore you are to keep them in love, peace, honor, and in reverence of God. Brethren, this is what has ruined the entire world - if children are not accorded any regard. Now many of us here can testify about the sufferings we underwent from youth, many of us know little or nothing about parental love. Recall how your father and mother did not take you for anything of importance. As a result your heart is embittered and you are set on retaliation. Such is the repercussions of ill-treating children.
It is said that out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. If you nurse your children in the proper manner, showing them good behavioural patterns, they are bound to be prosperous. They are bound to do what is good, to pronounce good utterances, in line with all the good tendencies they experience daily. To honor the parents by a child does not consist in his prostrating on the ground the moment he sees you, or for him to keep silent or to run and hide. That is not the symbol of the honor concept here. Rather it is by his leading a good life style by not stealing, committing fornication, engaging in the preparation of concoctions, by not cursing and causing trouble in the family. That is the significance of a child honoring his father and mother.
If you do not keep your children close to you, settle with them, love them, be truthful to them, have a common interest for them, if you do not honor them, how will they know what is good and honorable? If you fail to honor your children, how will they know what is good and honorable? If you fail to honor your children how will they respect you? If you do not love the children, how will they reciprocate such love to you? If you are not truthful to the children, how will they speak the truth? If you do not exercise patience with the children, how will they have patience? If you do not receive the children how will they receive you in reciprocity. They are strangers and you had come into the world before them. THE FATHER HAD SENT THEM TO COME AND HELP YOU, TO UNITE WITH YOU IN ORDER TO BUILD THIS KINGDOM, TO LIVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL MEN.
EQUALITY SHOULD REIGN SUPREME:
But on their advent, you choose to coerce them. You forbid them from touching one thing or the other. You order then to stand aloof from you, and you even regard them as stupid persons.
You have heard Our Lord Jesus Christ saying: "I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE," "ALL THAT BELONG TO MY FATHER ARE MINE." In the same vein, all that you have are for your children. Therefore, you have equal rights with them. You are not greater than them even by a pin. They have the right to hold a dialogue with you, to give you advice, sit at the same table with you and exchange views. They will bring their own opinion while you contribute your own quota. You will correct them whenever they err and they too must in turn correct you. If you do not allow your children to come closer to you, to know everything transpiring in the house of the family, who will look after those things you call yours in your absence? If you do not allow your children to know you when you are young, at what age do you wish them to know you?
Brethren, I have always intimated you that I have many things to tell you, for the crooked things of the world are so uncountable. You will pray God to give you children; you argue that you were begotten of a man and it was a woman that delivered you. But when you are given these children, you become fastidious, you cook them in a pot, you pound them in a mortar. Did God commit evil to send the children to you that you should remain in oneness to accomplish His work?
DO NOT SUBJECT YOUR CHILDREN TO VIOLENT TREATMENT:
No person has the right to use a cane on any child. Man is not given the prerogative to say to a child. "Woe unto you." You have no right to disgrace a child. Whether the child is so young, if you encounter a child along the road, it is incumbent upon you to love him, to honor him, to do all manner of good things unto him, because such is the kingdom of God. You have heard what Our Lord Jesus Christ said, "He that is greatest among you should be your servant." (Matt 23:11). In the morning of each day, you pick up the broom and sweep. And when you do so, your children will also pick up their bundles of broom and sweep. When you pick up your hoe, your children are bound to pick up theirs and when you pick up your machete, all of them will follow suit, they will emulate you. Whatever behavioural pattern you exhibit, they will practise same. That is the correct thing for all humanity to accomplish.
REAR YOUR CHILDREN IN THE LOVE AND FEAR OF GOD.
Do you think that it pleases a child if you bring a harlot into your house, or if you drink, commit fornication, quarrel, tell lies, disgrace yourself in the public? It is not a pleasant thing for even a little child to see you wallow in such evil tendencies. You will shout at the little child to shut up because you did not put up such behavioral pattern with your father. It must be noted that the difference between your age and that of the child's age is of no consequence. The fact that you are older than the child does not give you any undue advantage over the child. Now if you commit sin your child will point out to you that you have erred. Everybody has to practise the word of God. You have always heard that there are no infants in this kingdom. There is therefore no adult, or woman, or man here but Our Lord Jesus Christ is all in all.
You are not greater than a newborn child in this kingdom and you are not smaller than a newborn child delivered here twenty years ago. Therefore you are to show the little children the same love you have for our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same love that you must express to a woman or man or anybody else. For it is said, "Honor all men, Love the Brotherhood." Our duty in this kingdom is to receive children wherever you find them. Whenever you find yourself, be it along the road, you are to express all the love in you toward them. Take them unto you and you should not forbid them to come unto you.
PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO CHILDREN:
You can realize this truth here in this kingdom. The children go on blessing first. In all arrangements, they must first be attended unto because they are the hope of our future. Your two hands are soaked in oil. And which of them can you use to manifest a good thing. But the children have come to wipe away our tears so that through them, we might be saved. Do not train the children to become hard-hearted. We should not drink in the presence of little children when we do acknowledge that wine is an abominable thing. We should not quarrel in the presence of children or tell them lies in their presence when we have the realization that by so doing we are teaching them bad conducts. You are the people who spoil the children by beating them up, cursing them, calling them thieves, refusing them food, disgracing them, drinking in their presence, taking them before shrines, and by forcing them to do abominable things whether they like to do so or not.
CREATE AN IDEAL ATMOSPHERE:
It is said, "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." This you do by leading an exemplary life, having love, telling the truth, exercising patience, honoring them, doing that which is good at all times. That is the ideal situation of bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
It behooves us to respect them more than the adults. We should love and honor them above the elderly ones. In all things, we should surrender ourselves to serve them because through them salvation will come unto us. Take Moses as a case in point. What did his father and mother accomplish? When Pharaoh decreed that all children from three months or less should be killed, what did the mother of Moses do? She did not kill her child. Rather she put the little baby inside a basket and dropped it by the river side. In cognisance of the prettiness of the baby, the love she had for him, the respect she accorded him, she never killed the child. Did she in particular and the entire people of Israel realize that he was the one sent by God to remove the Israelites from the bondage perpetuated by Pharaoh? Can you not realize the truism that children are the Kingdom of God? His father and mother could not salvage the children of Israel. But it was the little Moses who came to vindicate them from the whims and caprices of slavery in Egypt.
Remember also Hannah, the mother of Samuel, what did she do with the little child she gave to Eli? In the end, Samuel metamorphosed into the king and the person who brought them closer to God. If her mother did not know God, if she did not surrender him to Eli, the prophet, how could Samuel have known God and the Israelites get saved in the end? You can realize that where we put our hope and expect our salvation to come from is not where it usually comes from. Our deliverance will come from these little children. Our salvation is upon the children, born and yet to be delivered. Let our first lesson be read.
FIRST BIBLE LESSON: MATTHEW 19:14
"But Jesus said, Suffer children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
ADULTS ARE ALREADY ADULTERATED:
Have you heard that? Our Lord Jesus Christ said, "Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." Can we have one hundred and forty-four thousand virgins from the adults anymore? By a virgin, we mean a woman who has never known a man or a man who has never been intimate with a woman. What can an adult avail in this light when he is wallowing in all forms of corruption? Is there any avenue to purify them? Such a task is a mirage. Rather, it is your children who are to make up this number. It is easy for your children to fulfill this condition.
ELECTION IS BY MERCY AND NOT PERSONAL WILL:
It is said, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy." (Rom 9:16). By teaching these little children the ways of God, by leading them to know God, by their parents having the knowledge of God's existence, it is easy to have the one hundred and forty-four thousand virgins from amongst them. Now you accord your honor on the president, the governor, the commissioner, permanent secretary, head of department, the rulers of this world and other esteemed persons in the society. That is erroneous. Your respect should be for these little children. Put your thoughts on them and let us come back home. You are to love the little children and nurture them in the appropriate pattern. You receive the millionaires. Your pride is in becoming a pastor, or a bishop. Where lies your happiness? It is the little children who deserve to be received for they are the only hope for mankind. Whatever we can do, we must do for them.
SERVICE TO CHILDREN ATTRACTS BLESSINGS:
It is not easy for an adult to enter into the kingdom of God. Your wisdom notwithstanding, and in spite of your wealth, your status in life, it is hardly possible for you to gain admission into the kingdom. They have no difficulties. They will stretch forth a cup to you and you will proclaim that they are your children. Through them you are saved. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that the little children give their souls unto Him but the old men are always searching for Him in life. I do not imply that you are the person doing that thing. You are to receive these little children whenever you see them and give them all the help you can afford. You have to love the little children from generation to generation in this kingdom. We must do all the good things possible unto them. Do not say that he is not your child. He is your own child. From day to day, you are to be told stories of the benefits accruing from loving little children. Even if you do not have a child or a brother or a sister, if you do not have a husband or a wife, if you have no money, if you do not possess anything in life, remember that in the children lie the kingdom of God. They are Our Lord Jesus Christ, they are gods. If you will nurture them properly by honoring them, loving them, being truthful unto them, taking them unto yourself, you will see the manifestation of God's glory.
Brethren, let us come to realize that this kingdom is not entered into by wealth but by faith. That is why the foremost thing that you must accomplish is to have love. You are not to forbid them. DO NO BEAT THEM UP OR RAIN CURSES ON THEM. DO NOT TRAMPLE THEM UNDER YOUR FEET. They are the best part of you. Provide good raiment for them, teach them good behavioural patterns and RESPECT THEM. If you were a thief, for their sake, you must abhor stealing. For their sake, you should forsake all wicked tendencies because they are your future.
Do you not realize all that you do to these little children are done to Our Lord Jesus Christ? Whatever you do unto little children are done to God. The honor you accord them signifies love for God. The truth you speak is meant for God. In all that you accomplish, you are not serving man but God Himself. And you will not fail to receive your due recompense for them.
ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCES A CHILD:
A child is spoilt at infancy through the house he lives in, the things he sees around him. Therefore, where a person prepares concoction, snuffs, sends letters to certain women or men, prepares food which he packs into containers for particular people, the person is spoiling the child in such an environment. You are teaching the child prostitution. You do not realize that the children see better and they are more knowledgeable than you are. The child is more powerful and better than you in all ways. Many times, you profess that a child is not knowledgeable because he is an infant. Do you know the number of times he has come into this world? He has come for a special assignment, to help you in your weakness. If you receive him, in effect, Our Lord Jesus Christ does everything towards his progress in life. Brethren, I do not want to belabor you. Let our second lesson be read.
SECOND BIBLE LESSON: EPHESIANS 6:4
"And, ye father, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
DO NOT MALTREAT CHILDREN:
Have you heard that? Let the "woe unto you" come to an end now. Beating children, forbidding them and the act of cursing them, should not prevail any longer. CAN YOU USE FIRE TO QUENCH FIRE? CAN YOU USE EVIL TO CHANGE AN EVIL DOER? IN THE SAME TOKEN, WE CANNOT USE EVIL TO TRANSFORM CHILDREN. The first requirement is for you to realize that the children and you are one, that you are equal. The Father who begat you is the same Father who begat your children. The Father who owns the heaven and the earth and the fullness thereof also owns all of you. Let nobody deceive you, because before the children manifest on this earth plane, their files are sent down with them. All the things they must fulfill, all that they must have are stated therein. Some of the facilities we enjoy here come from the children. For the Father realizing that we are lacking, that we are incapable of earning a living has sent them to us to salvage us. But we choose to beat them up, disgrace them and restrict and restrain them, that is why we suffer many things.
YOUR BEHAVIOURS AFFECT CHILDREN:
Some children decide to return to the world beyond because of such ill treatment. ALL THE PUNISHMENTS YOU IMPOSE ON THEM ARE KNOWN BY YOUR FATHER, AND THEIR FATHER WHO WILL SURELY PUNISH YOU IN TURN.
YOUR BEING A BROTHERHOOD SHOULD NOT END IN PUTTING ON YOUR WHITE RAIMENT OR BY SINGING AND DANCING. BUT LET US BRING CHILDREN UP IN THE NURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD. You the parents refuse to attend church services but you force your children to go to church. Who should accompany them to church? You, the father and mother, are not even at peace with each other. What behavioral pattern are you showing when you had before you attended such a church service you started to quarrel which culminated in a fight along the road to church. ARE THE CHILDREN NOT CAREFULLY BUT INTENSELY OBSERVING YOUR EVIL WAYS IN SUCH SITUATIONS. IS THAT HOW TO BRING THEM UP IN THE NURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD? If you do not respect an adult it is because he is a thief, a murderer, and they are wallowing in such evil tendencies. Both of you are carnivorous. But with little children, it is incumbent upon you to honor them. YOU ARE NOT TO COMMIT ANY EVIL IN THEIR PRESENCE BUT LEAD A GOOD AND BEFITTING LIFESTYLE. The eyes of the children are sparkling and the spirit abiding in them cannot be described. They see things that are both far and near, FOR THEY HAVE COME TO SERVE GOD. You have heard the testimonies of the Deaconesses returning from India on ministry work that immediately they arrived, little children gathered together to receive them and even celebrated a feast with them. Their fathers and mothers refused to show up. Wherever you go to, it is the children who must first respond because of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let not our hearts condemn us because GOD SURPASSES THE CONSCIENCE OF MEN. AND SO LONG AS YOU DO NOT HAVE AN OPEN MIND WITH THE CHILDREN, YOU DO NOT LOVE CHILDREN, YOU DO NOT TELL THE TRUTH, YOU DO NOT PRACTISE THE TRUTH, IT TANTAMOUNTS TO THE FACT THAT YOUR CONSCIENCE MUST CONVICT YOU. Of a truth, you will not realize this kingdom anywhere else except in the little children.
It is elusive in adults. No matter the extent of your preaching the adults cannot symbolize the kingdom of God. ANYTHING PLANTED BY GOD CANNOT BE UPROOTED BY ANY MAN. SINCE CHRIST MADE THE STATEMENT, "SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN AND FORBID THEM NOT TO COME UNTO ME: FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN." IT SHALL REMAIN SO FOREVER.
GOD'S WORD IS ETERNAL:
Remember that statement: "There shall be a root of Jesse." It did not mention Jesse per se, but that, "There shall be a root of Jesse." Jesse begot seven sons. They were all mature people but David was the eighth and the youngest of all. No person knew who he was. When he was in the field keeping his flock, he tore an attacking lion into pieces. This he achieved as a young boy. At another instance, Goliath, well-adorned and backed by the armies of the Philistines, boasted that nobody in Israel could challenge him. Even King Saul ran to hide himself. All the people in the army took cover. But David who was taking food to his brethren fought and won. It must be noted here that according to the customs of the land, at that time, you must attain the age of twenty-one in order to be enrolled in the army. But David had not yet attained that age, yet he took the challenge to fight Goliath despite the rebuke of Goliath and the people. Even king Saul constrained him not to fight because even the adults could not achieve such a feat. But with a sling, he killed Goliath. He achieved this as a little child.
THE ELECTION OF DAVID:
When God revealed to Samuel that, "There shall be a root of Jesse," he departed to Jesse and told him to gather together all his male children in order to choose the one who was to become their king. The prominent military men came out but they were not chosen. All his seven elderly children came out but the spirit did not chose the one who was to become their king from among them. He then asked him whether those were all the male children he had. He answered in the affirmative, claiming that the remaining son was just a little boy. His hopes were in any of the older sons. Samuel demanded that the little boy be brought. On his arrival, the spirit of God caught Samuel and he proclaimed that David, the little one, was the chosen one of God who was to be the king of Israel.
YOU ARE BORN WHAT YOU ARE AND NOT MADE:
You are not a millionaire when you are an adult. When a person becomes a millionaire, that is not the precise time he was millionaire. When you are a governor, that is not the time you are crowned a governor. But the truism remains that you were born as a governor. YOU ARE BORN AS GOD or an angel. Therefore, it behooves us to receive little children. ALL THAT IS PERPETRATED BY THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD IS MEDICINE AFTER DEATH. A PERSON WHO HAS DIED CANNOT RECEIVE ANY MEDICINE. HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ATTENDED TO WHEN HE WAS ALIVE.
When a prophet is an infant, you curse and forbid him, you beat him up and ill-treat him any way you like. When a governor is an infant, you treat him disdainfully. When a president is a little child, you treat him roughly, but when he ultimately manifests, you call him wonderful person. With all the evil you perpetrated against him, how will he regard you? Brethren, I do not wish to overload you. Let the Golden Text be read.
GOLDEN TEXT: LUKE 9:48
"And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me; for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great."
JOHN THE BAPTIST, A REWARD FOR ZACHARIAS' SERVICES:
Brethren, have you heard that? "Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you shall be great." Take the case of John as a case in point. His father and mother were made to know at a time he was yet unborn that he will be great in the sight of God. It is said, "And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers." (Luke 1:16-17) Our Lord Jesus Christ testified saying, "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater prophet than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he." (Matt 11:11). Why was John the Baptist great? His father Zacharias was a priest and his mother was also serving God. For this reason, in recompense, God ordained it that he should come out there to turn the hearts of the men unto God.
Consider also the case of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mary was constantly in the temple serving God. All of them were in the service of God. Before He was born it was prophesied, "HE SHALL BE GREAT, AND SHALL BE CALLED THE SON OF THE HIGHEST, AND HE SHALL REIGN OVER THE HOUSE OF JACOB FOREVER; AND OF HIS KINGDOMS THERE SHALL BE END." (Luke 1:32-33). A goat cannot give birth to a ram, and a cow cannot give deliver a kid. All of you are looking for money, children, but there is no person who is prepared to serve God and please Him. Your prayer is God should give you a child, money, car, and other things. WHEN HE GIVES YOU THESE THINGS, OF WHAT USE WILL YOU PUT THEM INTO SINCE YOU DO NOT KNOW GOD?
GOD CROWNS YOUR SERVICES BY GIVING YOU A PROPHET:
You can realize how Zacharias and Elizabeth served God throughout their life-time. For God had made the promise to them that they will have a child. They lived for God and served Him at all times, yet they had no child. There is nothing impossible with God. Sequel to what they did, God blessed them with a son whose name will never be forgotten throughout all the ages.
Abraham served God until his old age and Sarah was well stricken in years yet they had no child. God had His own plan for them. In the end, He gave them a son named Isaac and he was great before God. In your own case, if three months elapses without any pregnancy, you will consult all the necromancers on earth, you will offer sacrifices everywhere, you will weep, you will have sexual relationship with little children, all in a bid to have a child. You will lie with old men and the husbands of other women. You will completely defile yourself.
GODLINESS IS PROFITABLE UNTO ALL THINGS:
Many people will query you why a person of your calibre should remain without a child? Women will be lined up for you in order that you might beget children. You will flirt about, you will offer sacrifices unto idols, and fulfill any conditions in a bid to have children. Is that the way to beget a reputable child? It is said, "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having a promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:8).
It is beneficial for us to lead a reputable life, that is pleasing to God. This can be done by showing reverence to God, not committing fornication and adultery, not telling lies, not indulging in the preparation of concoctions, not hating people, but loving everybody. Forget about money, or children, or any such things. If you have the Spirit of God and the divine love of God, continue to serve Him and you will realize the glory of God. The gifts prevailing here on earth connote death, sufferings, foolishness, but the gift of God is eternal life and everlasting glory.
THE EXAMPLE OF MARY AND JOSEPH:
You have heard that, "For if by one man's offense, death reigned by one, much more they with abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, JESUS CHRIST." (Rom 5:17). It is not mentioned that a thousand people brought salvation unto the entire world, but only Our Lord Jesus Christ who forgot about money or children or wife or husband or any other thing but He led a life which was pleasing to the Father. Let us emulate our Lord Jesus Christ, and we will realize a major event that we have never experienced in life. Take note of the conduct of Joseph, Mary's husband. When it became known to him that Mary was pregnant whereas he had had no intimate relations with her, if he were not a devoted man of God, would he not have divorced Mary or even killed her? Who is that person in this world that would like to claim such a child? One cannot imagine the punishment Mary would have faced. She would have been told to part with that child she got from prostitution. You all know precisely the significance of such a thing in your tradition.
Who is that woman who when faced with such a situation will not consult doctors in a bid to abort that child and save her face from shame? All this you do without knowing that the little children are the symbols of the Kingdom of Heaven. Did Mary realize that her little child is sent to redeem the entire world? Did Joseph come to this realization either? When Christ was born in a manger at Bethlehem, did those highly esteemed persons in the inn realize that the newborn child was the greatest of all and the one who was to bring salvation unto the entire world?
THE WISE MEN RECEIVED THE INFANT JESUS:
The three wise men had set a typical example for you and me that we should not fail to receive the little children. You can realize how they came to worship the newborn baby and presented gifts to him. Has this not proved to you the exact pattern expected of you with little children? After the presentation of the gifts by the wise men, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and warned them that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country by another way.
He also told Joseph to rise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be there until they would be told to come back, for Herod was seeking the young child to destroy Him. That same night they took him and fled into Egypt. You remember that the thief who was crucified alongside with our Lord Jesus Christ to whom Christ said, "Verily, I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43). That thief was the person who came from the direction in which Joseph and Mary, with the little baby were heading to. The soldiers met him on the way and asked whether he saw anybody going towards where he came from. He was not a thief by then. He told them that there was no person on that route even though he had seen the little baby with his parents on the way. And this he did because of the love he had toward the little child. If he did not misdirect those soldiers, the little child would have been killed. It was on this basis that he was saved on the Cross, even though he was a thief.
YOU ARE ALL BROTHERS:
I always use a live tortoise to consult my oracle. As I am standing here, no person has ever forbidden me to discuss with anybody as brothers and sisters. There is no point in time when a person used a cane on me. What I am telling you is nothing but the truth. And I have never beaten anybody up. We are all brothers and sisters. In your own case, the situation is different. I do not believe in the contention that unless a person is forced, he cannot lead a reputable life.
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT DOES NOT CHANGE A MAN:
You argue that a child should be forced by being beaten up, thrown outside, and made to undergo various kinds of punishment. What useful purpose does it serve to pursue such a line of action? You are teaching the child evil acts and in the final analysis, he becomes evil. It is said that out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45). At present, how will I beat you up or rain curses on you, or pray that God should punish you. What I received is the precise assignment I am bent on accomplishing, your actions notwithstanding, for I am not bothered in anyway. I have never witnessed somebody being beaten up, or cursed, and therefore, there is no woe unto you on my side. Can you not realize that glory here?
Brethren, it is said that one stroke of the cane is sufficient to the wise. I do not wish to be tedious unto you. He who has ears let him hear. May God bless His Holy Words. Amen.
THANK YOU HOLY FATHER.
A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE DELIVERED BY THE HOLY FATHER, THE SOLE SPIRITUAL HEAD, LEADER O.O. OBU, DURING THE CHILDREN'S DAY CELEBRATION, SUNDAY MORNING APRIL, 6, 1986.