THE ESSENCE OF FASTING AND PRAYING
First Bible Lesson: Galatians 5:24
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
Second Bible Lesson: Acts 13:2
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them."
Golden Text: Matthew 17:20
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Brethren, the texts read to you form the theme of our sermon. The Golden Text reveals the extent the Bible has been tempered with and if God the Father, had not come, the entire world would have been led astray by now.
You heard what our Lord Jesus Christ said, that he who has a little faith, even as the mustard seed shall be able to command a mountain to move from one place to another. But the Lord added a clause to the effect that no one can perform the above feat except through prayer and fasting. No one can acquire any power, no matter how little, unless through prayer and fasting. There are many so called big men and women in Brotherhood who hardly stay from 6.00 a.m. without eating. The majority of members have never participated in the weekly Thursday fasting that is observed from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Fasting and prayer are the keys to this Kingdom. Why orthodox churches have no power and do not even believe that any power exist now is that they do not fast and pray. All their members, both black and white, live to eat like pigs. Sometime ago, a white man came here from Canada to see the Holy Father and requested to know if he would be admitted into Brotherhood after complying with a few of the instructions and injunctions obtainable here. Another white Professor did tell the Father, some time ago, that in their place, they are very selective about the type of gospel they practise. And the Father told him that there was no room for such practise here.
HOW AND WITH WHAT WOULD YOU MORTIFY THE FLESH WITH ALL ITS LUST AND DESIRES? IS IT WITH A MATCHET, A CLUB, A SPEAR, OR A GUN? IT IS THROUGH FASTING AND PRAYER! Many people claim though ignorantly, that only criminals and woeful sinners pray frequently. How can you raise the dead, heal the sick, make the lame walk, cause the rain to fall or ATTRACT THE HOLY SPIRIT TO YOURSELF IF YOU CANNOT FAST AND PRAY FREQUENTLY? If you are easily infuriated and you want God to remove such a spirit from you, how will that be possible if you cannot fast and pray? If you are unemployed, how could you be employed when you cannot fast and pray? How can you conquer your enemy or defeat your rival when you can neither fast nor pray? There is no way you can serve God except you fast and pray.
To claim that you have no money with which to serve God and that you cannot speak the English language fluently to enable you to communicate, are flimsy excuses. Fasting and prayer are not bought with money or exercised through the ability to speak the English language. Even Satan does not relent in his efforts to fast and pray. The lessons I give to you are free and are greater than those given to you for a fee in the secret societies and mystical schools.
Everybody knows that fasting and prayer serve as the key to this kingdom. If you cannot fast and pray, you cannot achieve anything. Even if you can read and recite the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, it will serve you no useful purpose. And there is no way you can refrain from drunkenness, fornication and other vices except you fast and pray.
Therefore brethren, there is no secret power in this kingdom except fasting and prayer. If you are a fornicator, a drunkard, an idolater, a smoker, or one who commits every type of sin, once you fast and pray, you shall be free of sins.
Many of you admit the fact that there is plenty of power in the prayer house. This is because the moment you enter a prayer house for any purpose, the first thing they do is for prayers to be offered for you. Then you will be asked to fast as many days and times as possible, until your problem is solved. When your problem is solved, you will go back to the head of the prayer house with some money and materials as gifts to thank them for solving the problem. BY DOING SO, YOU MAKE YOURSELF A FOOL BECAUSE YOU WOULD HAVE HAD THE SAME RESULTS IF YOU HAD FASTED AND PRAYED IN YOUR HOUSE. APART FROM THE HOLY FATHER THERE IS NO PERSON WHO CAN PRAY OVER YOU AND HAVE YOUR PROBLEM SOLVED. And I have never asked you to hold even a feast. But this is not the case with other prayer houses.
Since our Lord Jesus Christ has said that when the Comforter shall come He will lead you to the accurate knowledge of the truth, I have left everything bare before you. Many people refuse to observe fasting for the very flimsy excuses that they are sick with diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, etc. etc. Realise now that whatever you are sick of, the moment you fast and pray the sickness disappears. Also, if you should go to any prayer house or healing home and you are not asked to fast and pray, you should leave the place immediately. Wherever you go to and you are not told to fast and pray, you should leave the place immediately. Wherever you go to and you are told to fast and pray and you obey, your problems will be solved.
Another important thing beside fasting and prayer is the love feast. If you go to a place and you are not asked to organize some feast, leave such a place. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE FEAST IS EQUIVALENT TO OFFERING A SACRIFICE TO GOD. I am not going to treat the matter of feast today, anyway. The day's topic is fasting and prayer, because many of you owe your existance to food. MY INJUNCTION THAT THROUGHOUT EACH PENTECOSTAL PERIOD ALL MEMBERS SHOULD OBSERVE A DAILY SIX TO SIX FASTING IS NEVER OBEYED. You all eat so indiscriminately that you develop pot bellies. That explains why many of you who come here hardly listen to the gospel; once you sit down and soon within some minutes, you fall asleep.
Has the scripture not said that belly was made for food and food for belly but both of them shall be destroyed? You call yourself a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ but you cannot mortify the flesh with its lusts and affections? I know that these words sound foolish in your ears. YOU SHOULD TAKE A CUE FROM OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF MAN, THE SON OF GOD, AND GOD HIMSELF, WHO AFTER BAPTISM, WAS LED INTO THE WILDERNESS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FOR FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS, HE NEITHER ATE FOOD NOR DRANK WATER. DO YOU NOW DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF HIS POWER? MANY PEOPLE CLAIM THAT THE LORD HAD FASTED FOR EVERYBODY. THAT REASONING IS WRONG. CHRIST FASTED FOR HIMSELF AND HE DID THAT AS AN EXAMPLE FOR HIS FOLLOWERS. HE WAS MERELY SHOWING THE WAY TO THE KINGDOM.
I know that despite this gospel today, the children of perdition will still insist on abstaining from fasting and also point at certain people who have fasted and prayed and yet have no power. Let it be known to you that the fasting observed by Our Lord Jesus Christ, and which is an example unto all Christians, is quite different from what the orthodox churches do. In the latter group they will eat light food like fruits, tea, bread, etc. If they should not eat at all, their fast normally starts from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m. the same morning.
At the end of it, you will see them panting and gulping food hopelessly. Many people, even in Brotherhood wake up as early as 5.00 a.m. and eat seriously enough to tide them over the period of 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. for the Thursday fasting. Those things do not bring glory to God and you deceive nobody but yourself.
Those in Brotherhood who cannot pray are incapable of healing even an ant. This is because they do not fast and pray, and so they lack the power of God in them. If you are in Brotherhood and you fail to realise that fasting and prayer are the way to this kingdom and the source of power, know that you live in the flesh and you have a long way to go. Fasting is not like the payment of the tithe which lend itself to the notice of a third party. It is something that exists in your mind and is known only to God. God is not in Bethlehem, or Galilee, or Jerusalem. He is closer to you than your tongue is to your teeth. But you can feel His presence and closeness only through fasting and prayer. Once you fast and pray, you have all your requests granted.
Fasting means self denial and restraint from snuffing, smoking, fornication, sexual intimacy, drinking, etc. While fasting, you also have to refrain from quarrelling, anger, evil communication, back-biting and the rest of the vices. It is a total and complete surrender of one's self to God. The last enemy to be defeated is food. It is also the greatest enemy of the Holy Spirit. For those of you who wonder how somebody can live without eating enough food, how did John the Baptist live? Orthodox churches claim that John the Baptist ate locust and honey as food. One therefore is left to wonder how possible it was for John to have gotten enough of that type of grasshopper to feed on. But recently, those who came back from Jerusalem say John ate honey and a species of herb called locust bean. That was the reason Christ said that never has there been a being born of woman who is greater than John the Baptist, except the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven. Here, the Lord was invariably referring to Himself.
The Pharisees fasted twice a week, but theirs was different from that of John the Baptist. You do not fast only on food but also on quarreling, on fighting, on back-biting, and all other vices. It were better you never fasted if your heart is not pure.
The assignment of John the Baptist was not to preach the gospel of repentance or to heal the sick. John's duty was to reveal the coming of the Lord to the universe and to make His path straight. That was why he did not eat any other type of food except the one prescribed by God, so that he will be able to recognize the Lord and hail him. Without John the Baptist, the Lord would have come, toured the whole world, and nobody would have recognize Him. Now people eat anything and end up with various sickness to themselves. John the Baptist ate only honey and locust beans and was never reported sick for even one minute. Once you begin to eat very little, even a grain of corn only, you will have no problems.
Initially, John, Peter, James, and others were the disciples of John the Baptist and they worked together to make straight the path of the Lord through fasting and praying. Therefore when you fast and pray, you are purifying yourself for the entry of the Holy Spirit.
This generation is the luckiest of all to have this wisdom of truth. You have to fast and pray wherever you are. If you do that you will have no problem at all because He has called us into the kingdom free. Let the First Bible Lesson be read.
First Bible Lesson: Galatians 5:24
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
Brethren, tell me how one can crucify the flesh with the affections and lust without fasting and praying? You can compare it to the case of the bed-bug that has learnt to adapt to any kind of situation (temperature), whether hot or cold. That is why when you pour hot water on bed-bugs they will bulge up and become motionless as though they are dead. Once the cool air touches them again they become revived and active again. The only way to eliminate bedbugs is to starve them by not making use of whatever thing they live in, such things as bed, chair, mat, etc. The moment they do not have any food, that is blood to suck, they will die.
The same thing is applicable to the spirit of sinfulness that dwells in man. Once you starve those spirits of fornication, adultery, greediness and lust for mundane things, the Spirit of God will be revived in you. If other devilish spirits realise that no attention is paid to them anymore they will die off and vacate the place for God to come and dwell in. That is the work of fasting and praying.
Human beings feel that when they are sick and they take medicine, the drugs will cure them. This is not so. The drugs would rather empower the sickness. If you have the spirit of drunkenness in you, as you continue to drink the more you sustain it. But once you refrain from drinking, and you divorce your mind and self of all vices and concentrate on fasting and praying, you will have the evil spirit expelled from you and you will become a new person entirely. If you commit any sin and you persist in the sin how will the sins be removed from you? It is only when you fast and pray to God that He will remove the sins from you.
We ought to fast and pray everyday. But daily fasting becomes desirable because we offend God everytime of the day. Whenever you are angry, it means the evil spirit has gained entry into you. And if you do not fast and pray it dominates your body. Whenever you drink, if you do not follow it up by fasting and praying to drain yourself of the evil spirit, you put yourself into trouble. Each time you are intimate with your wife and you do not fast and pray thereafter, you are in soup.
You can see that God does not judge His children, but when He does, He only chastises them so that they would not be condemned along with the world. If we care to search ourselves to know that we offend God every minute of the day, we would not be disturbed each time we hear about fasting or whenever we are told to observe fasting. The body, just like other machines, needs servicing in order to function properly. That is why you have to fast and pray as frequently as you commit sins.
Many people complain that they cannot see visions, others say they cannot remember their dreams, cannot pray and they are also unable to sing and preach. The reason is that they do not fast and pray. You also complain of being taken over by sins because you make no effort to fast and pray. You are beset with temptations everywhere you go because you do not fast and pray.
Has the Lord not said that when the evil spirit departs a man it goes and wonders in the deserts? And if it finds no dwelling place, it comes back to its former place of abode with seven more devilish spirits. And the state of such a person is said to become worse than before.
You should now realise that the key to this kingdom is fasting and prayers. Whatever thing you want to achieve, Our Lord Jesus Christ has said you can achieve it through fasting and prayer.
Whoever tells you he acquired his powers without fasting and praying is a great liar. SINCE SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO ACQUIRE DEVILISH POWER DOES SO THROUGH FASTING AND PRAYERS, THE CHILDREN OF GOD WHO WANT TO OBTAIN THE SPIRIT OF GOD ALSO HAVE TO FAST AND PRAY. What the people of the world do when they need anything from God is to fast and pray. Though they normally go back to their old ways, the moment they have what they want.
All powers come from the same source, God who is the owner of them all. The difference lies in the method the power is applied. You may find somebody in Brotherhood who is so dedicated in fasting and prayer, ministry work, etc., and you will hastily conclude that he is so godly. But you may not know that he has only hidden his intention. The moment the person receives what he desires from God he is gone. If you happen to see him some other day and you ask him why he has been so scarce in the fold, he will tell you he is so pressed that he has no time. That of course is not true. He has obtained what he wanted in the first place, and he has departed. If he happens to encounter another problem, you will see him walk stealthily again into Brotherhood.
The various secret societies, clubs, sooth-sayers, juju priest, and the rest of the people do fast and pray seriously when they want anything from God, after which they fast no more. HOWEVER THE CHILDREN OF BROTHERHOOD FAST AND PRAY IN ORDER TO HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. Our fasting is different from the fasting observed by other persons and organizations for the purpose of achieving selfish ends. It is a tradition in Brotherhood to fast and pray for the purpose of spiritual revival. It is for that reason the Lord has said that all those who are His have crucified the flesh with its lust and all its affections. You should not wait until the timely general dry-fasting is observed before you fast. Fast and pray constantly if you want to enter the kingdom of God. The Thursday fasting is to commemorate the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. But that does not prevent you from observing your 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or dry fasting if you want God to dwell in you.
Fasting is something very difficult and uncommon with the rich. If someone eats very little the person becomes spiritually very active and strong and is hardly sick; in fact he becomes young and he has no problems.
Do you know that it is food that kills the spirit in you? THE MORE YOU FAST AND PRAY THE MORE YOU WILL BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE POWER OF GOD. I am taking my time to train you so that you will achieve this feat gradually. Within a short time, you should be able to start eating very little food or nothing at all through the frequent observance of daily and dry fasting. It is this Holy Spirit and the power of God which are achievable through the mortification of the flesh that I will use to change all of you; including the entire world. Let the Second Lesson be read so you will realise that I conduct my sooth-saying with a living tortoise.
Second Bible Lesson: Acts 13:2
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have chosen them."
Brethren, have you heard that? Your brethren outside say there is no more fasting because the Lord has done it on their behalf. BUT THESE PEOPLE FAIL TO REALISE THAT THE DEATH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST MARKED THE BEGINNING OF INTENSIVE FASTING AND PRAYER. HIS DEATH WAS TO MAKE US CLEAN AND TO SET US FREE FROM EVIL, SO THAT WHEN WE FAST THE LORD WILL DWELL IN US AND FILL US WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. THAT IS THE REASON THE SCRIPTURE HAS SAID THAT FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
I am very selective of the instructions I ask you to carry out. Most of them, you are very unripe and incapable of doing. For instance, all the angels around the Father go on their knees with their faces downwards. That is something the various pains and aches in your knees, waist, ankles, and indeed all over your body and some other afflictions cannot permit you to do. I give you such food as you will be able to eat. No angel talks, or moves in and out as you do. This is because you allow the flesh to take dominion over you by your refusal to fast and pray.
The Crusaders in Brotherhood fast and pray each time they have a task to perform. Another group, the vegetarians undertake fasting daily, and they have gone farther. There are some brethren also who eat only once a day, and are never hungry. They form the nucleus of the vegetarian group. The less you eat, the less problems you will have and, when you abstain completely from food, you will have no problems whatsoever. The eggs, the meat, fish and milk and the rest of the heavy food you eat carry with them various set-backs and problems. In any case we are not treating vegetarianism but fasting and prayer which are the tradition of this kingdom of God.
Do not wait until you are given a vision to fast and pray before you do that. IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE THE POWER OF GOD AND YOU WANT TO BE USED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR HIS SERVICE YOU HAVE TO FAST AND PRAY. IT IS ONLY WHEN YOU FAST AND PRAY THAT YOU WILL FEEL THE IMPACT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOU. AT THIS TIME WHATEVER YOU REQUEST OF THE FATHER WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU. Many brethren used to think I give this power to a few members who operate healing homes and hospitals. That is not true. Those are the people who practise what I am preaching to you now. Those who look for the gifts of healing, vision, dreams, etc., fast and pray fervently, and within a short space of time they receive it. But these people will not disclose how they came about their power for fear of losing customers.
Necromancers, occultist, sooth-sayers, metaphysicians, and the rest of the power brokers are never pleased with the Father because He has revealed their source of power and livelihood to the common people on a platter of gold. Therefore, what you have to do, is to fast and pray whenever you or your relation is sick or afflicted and normalcy will be restored. IF YOU ARE TOLD THAT SOMEBODY IS SICK AT LAGOS OR ANYWHERE ELSE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO THERE AND PRAY FOR THE PERSON. STAY IN YOUR HOUSE AND FAST AND PRAY AND THE PERSON WILL BE HEALED WHEREVER HE IS. IF YOU ARE TORMENTED BY THE SPIRIT OF FORNICATION YOU NEED TO FAST AND PRAY SO THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL OVERCOME IT FOR YOU. WHATEVER IS YOUR HEART'S DESIRE, THE FATHER WILL DO IT WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION. BUT IF YOU REFUSE TO FAST AND PRAY YOUR PROBLEM WILL REMAIN WITH YOU. YOU WILL ONLY BE MAKING EMPTY BOAST OF THE POWER TO DO ONE THING OR THE OTHER WITHOUT HAVING THE ACTUAL POWER TO DO ANYTHING.
Certain persons in Brotherhood direct those who approach them for prayer to the Christ Students or the Christ Servants or other persons in the belief that the Holy Father has not given them such power. GOD DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. THE POWER IS THERE FOR ANYONE TO REQUEST FOR THROUGH FASTING AND PRAYER. If you want to have great healing power you have to fast and pray. The greatest enemy of mankind is food. Food causes you to fall sick, quarrel, fight, cause all sorts of trouble and death.
What was the reply of Our Lord Jesus Christ when Satan asked Him to turn stones into bread and eat? He said, "It is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God." Once you fast and pray you will not suffer from any sickness or any affliction. In Brotherhood somebody had observed six days dry fasting. There are others who have done more.
The essence of fasting is to drain yourself of all iniquities and afflictions. The food we eat is like medicine which has to be taken according to prescription. But because of your greediness and lust, before it is dusk you have eaten varieties of food. Too much food depresses and dampens your spiritual growth and otherwise. Food of any kind is a cure for hunger and if you take more dose than necessary, it becomes problematic to the body. If the purpose of food and eating is to cure hunger, when according to the Scripture, there shall no more be hunger and thirst what shall become of it? Food will be useless.
I do not want to delve into that area today. Our topic again is fasting and prayers; the only way to mortify the flesh is through fasting and prayers. If you fast and pray, you invite the spirit of God into you. He takes dominion over you and gets you completely liberated. Man is like a garden. For a garden to bloom with flowers, it has to be tendered regularly.
From the time of Adam, the entire people of world were like sheep without a shepherd. But now the shepherd has arrived to take good care of His sheep and lead them into the promised land. For that reason, you have to fast and pray and refrain from all manner of sins to merit His arrival. Whatever you are sick of and the doctor instructs you not to fast, lest you die, if you heed my advice and you fast and pray you will not die and the sickness will disappear.
If it is hypertension, the moment you fast and pray it will disappear. There is one Deaconess Ulaeto who was sick of hypertension, and she was taken to many places for cure but to no avail. It was here in Brotherhood that she had it cured. Whatever the sickness maybe, once you are taken to Brotherhood and somebody, even a small child stands up to say `let' the sickness disappears immediately. Whatever you may be suffering from, be it affliction, starvation, penury, etc., all you need do is to fast and pray.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR PROBLEMS TO ANYBODY, BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING THAT ANYBODY CAN DO FOR YOU, EXCEPT TO TELL YOU TO FAST AND PRAY. AND THAT IS SOMETHING YOU CAN EQUALLY STAY IN YOUR HOUSE AND DO.
Brethren I do not want to be tedious with you. Let the Golden Text be read.
Golden Text: Matthew 17:20
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Have you heard the Golden Text? I started fasting when I was a kid and I have continued to do same till date. When I grew up and started fending for myself, I never used to eat more than half a cup of gari. I do not know myself and how this thing happened. All I am sure of is that the Holy Spirit does every work. I do not regard food as being important at all.
When some people go on ministry work, they will carry assorted food which is not necessary, if they can have oranges, bananas, groundnut, and other fruits on the way and at their destination. I have taught you everything so that you should be wise by now. Many of you allege that I hide this power from you. Is that true? Have I not revealed the source of the power in this kingdom to you?
When you are fasting and praying do not listen to what people say. This is because many will drum into your ears how lean and skeletal you have become and they would give you diverse prescriptions. Continue with your fasting and nothing would happen to you.
Many of you have become so fat and shapeless. I remain lanky at all times and I grow younger and younger each day. What do you think is responsible for that? In your case, it is too much water and fats, while mine is the handiwork of the Holy Spirit.
I have taught you so much that you should attain the accurate knowledge of the truth. The world accepts the fact that there is power in Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. But the point of dispute is its source. That is why they do not know. Is the source of that power not laid bare before you, and indeed the whole world? There is nothing any person can do, even those who go to Jerusalem and Mecca and come back, the only source of power is fasting and prayer.
Brethren you cannot fast and pray and receive the power of God except you are led by the Holy Spirit and Our Lord Jesus Christ. Many people in Brotherhood have since lost the appetite for food. But they still complain that they are afraid they may die if they continue to fast. The question is why do those who eat alot still die? The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with food, and this matter does not concern food.
When everything shall be made anew in the end, you shall hunger and thirst no more, you shall not experience any sickness, affliction, pains or death. These will only be possible when the Holy Spirit takes dominion over you.
Our brother Paul said he had the power to do anything through the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in him. When the Spirit and power of the Lord dominates you, then you can withstand and conquer any situation. Even if you are thrown into fire, the sea, or a den of lions, nothing will happen to you.
Brethren I do not intend to take you further. A stroke of the cane is sufficient to the wise. Let those who have ears hear. May God bless His Holy words. Amen
Thank You Father.
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