By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA
Tell your neighbor that this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
I am very sorry for coming late to this event; it is very unlike of me to come late to event. I wake up at 8:30am and we still there till to 12 till we finally left. I want to tell you that getting here is a miracle on its own but I want to thank everybody that is present here for being patience.
I don’t even believe that I can still met people here but I was surprise still meeting people here praising God. Am glad to be here, I pray God bless you.
I want to appreciate the management of this organization, every one of you that works in this organization God bless you. I don’t know if there are other media organizations that are doing this, if there is God bless them. But I know Vanguard have it because the publicity of this programme is wonderful, a lot of my friends across the country have been calling me and saying “There are people that are in love with things of God like this and I said yes.”
I congratulate you on this wonderful and beautiful fellowship you have here in Vanguard, may God bless you in Jesus mighty name.
Join with me to Psalm 50:5 to 6 “you might be surprise that what has this got to do with showers of blessing. “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.”
My message today is “The power that opens Heaven.”
When you are talking of showers you are talking of something that comes from above. Also blessing is something that is made possible by God. In other words when you are talking about Shower of Blessing you are talking about something that is coming from above.”
“There is a spiritual heaven over every nation, over every individual and every one of us is guilty, now, when God is against you, the gates of heaven are closed.
In Leviticus 20:19 God says I will make your heaven like an iron, and what that means is that there is nothing coming down and nothing going up.
When we are talking about showers of blessings, it has to come from somewhere, when God is with you; it means your heavens are opened.
In Deuteronomy chapter 28 verse 12, God says ”I will open to you the treasures of heaven and He began to name the treasure.
It is important for us to understand that heavens must open for showers to come down. When you read the book of Luke 3:21, the bible said when Jesus prayed the heaven opened.
Under normal circumstances, when you pray, your heaves should open; there are many nations and individuals that are operating and living under closed heavens.
When you look at Nigeria, we have been praying, when you look at this nation today you wonder why is it that it looks like things are getting worst everyday, probably in a sense the heavens are still closed.
I don’t know who you are, I don’t know how long you have been praying, do you know that there could be showers in Apapa and it will not get to Ikeja, you can live in the same house with somebody who is experiencing blessing and nothing is happening in your life.
I don’t know you but God send me to you, as the mouth piece of the church in Nigeria today, God must help us to open the heavens over this nation, it has to open, it’s something that is not hidden.
It is possible to pray and pray and still not experience open heaven, it is very possible.
There are many factors that can open your heaven but I want to dwell on one and that one factor is what I called sacrifice.
If you look at the two verses we have just read, God says “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.”
In the Old Testament sacrifices were usually animals that were killed in the New Testament, we don’t need to kill any animal, In 1 Peter 2 verse 5, the Bibles speaks of spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable unt
Sacrifice in the New Testament means doing something that is not convenient based on that definition; I want to look at three types of sacrifice and how your heaven can open. I prayed that you, your family, Vanguard will not enter 2012 with closed heaven.
The number one is what I called the sacrifice of righteousness, when you read Psalm 4 verse 5 the word of God says ”Offer the sacrifice of righteousness then He says put your trust in the Lord.
How do you offer sacrifices of righteousness? When you look at Romans 12 verse 1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” It says present your body
In Galatians 5; 19-21, the Bible numbers the works of the flesh and the works of the flesh are things that are pertaining to your body. Remember the Bible says we should present our body as a living sacrifice. Many churches today we are presenting a dead sacrifice, to be able to present a living sacrifice, we must take a look at the works of the flesh. And when you look at the works of the flesh in Galatians 5; 19-21, you will discovered that the first four are sexual sins because sexual sins will deprived one of open heaven.
Thank God that with all the problems we are having with the senate, they are able to stand up and say gay marriage is not possible to be legalized in Nigeria, I congratulate them. They have problems but for this one I congratulate them.
There are nations where they are even legislating on allowing human beings to be sleeping with animals. Are you looking at what is happening in nations, the greatest economy and people in the world is collapsing. Look at Europe, you cannot change what God has done, God did not say Adam and Steve but Adam and Eve but man wants to change to Adam and Steve which cannot produce the next generation. These are works of the flesh and it is serious issues. I think the house of representative will do the right thing quickly.
I have to talk like this because as my position I have to address national issues and these are problems.
Please watch yourself, you might be praying quite alright and nothing is happening, probably you are the one that closed your own heaven don’t put the blame on God or devil. If you move from those sexual sins maybe it is Idolatry and it is terrible. It is what has brought black man to where he is and in a sense there is a revival of that thing, the more educated we are it seems we are going back to it.
We are from water side and I always say to my people where are you when the white men came and pull down all your groves and colonized us, the “Juju” is nothing. There are some communities where you cannot wear cap in a particular time because they are doing “Juju” at that time, they said women cannot come out.
There are communities where these things are happening. As president of CAN, I get complaint everyday, people rights are being trampled on in the name of tradition but it goes beyond that, adulatory has put our people in bondage and in other words it has closed the heavens.
One terrible side effect of idolatry is that it hardens your heart because you see blood frequently. The average Nigerian politician is used to taking blood and using blood for all kinds of sacrifice. People kill human being for sacrifice and Christmas: which Christmas?
Is it Christmas that I know about Jesus or something else? In the name of Christmas people are being killed. But the more you get into adultery, the more your heaven is closed. Nigerians, those of us who said we believe let us stay away from this sin so that God can look at us and because of us open the heavens over this nation.
You wonder at times when intelligent and well behave people get into an office it is like they lost their minds. They do some things negligently.
This is the law present your body as a living sacrifice, I don’t know the family you came from but I know the one that I came from, I don’t know what is happening around you, go and study the works of the flesh, the works of the flesh are behind the corruption we are struggling with today.
I was shocked when I went to an embassy and I realized that corruption is not only with government officials. When I finished from an embassy and about going that the security men at the gate surrounded me and said “Oga do something” and I replied what?
Are you not being paid salary and they said “please do something we are here to serve you” and I said that is why you are being pay. The security responded that I will not understand. If someone reports such a thing, he will lose his job and he will say it is the devil but not the devil but self. Corruption we are talking about is everywhere; husband is doing it for the wife and vice versa.
We are looking at why heavens are closed, may your heavens be open today in Jesus name so that showers will flow and in 2012 nothing will hinder the showers. The works of the flesh, if you don’t deal with them, there is no way you can present your body as living sacrifice and God said “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice….”
There are certain things we don’t do not because we don’t feel like doing them, let me be honest with you, do you like a honest preacher, When I see a beautiful women I like a beautiful woman, I am not blind so I can see when I see one but it will end there, I have to let it end there for my own good.
At times you don’t know that heaven is closed because some of those showers will still be dropping and you are excited. You must know your boundary; freedom without boundary is license to kill yourself. There are things you can do but you don’t do them because you know it will close your heaven. You have to talk to yourself, nobody can help you about this matter, and you have to talk to yourself.
Young lady the man you staying with, paying the house rent is he your husband? Young men who are expert in breaking women’s heart that you will promise to marry them and sleep with them, what you don’t know is that your heavens is closing gradually, it will get to a point that you will prayed and your heavens has become iron nothing is going anywhere, it doesn’t go beyond your ceiling.
Jacob said in Genesis 30 verse 33 “So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come…” if you are doing the right thing here in Vanguard it is a matter of time. Let everybody keeps on doing the right thing, when righteousness speaks heaven response don’t worry keep doing good. Those who did the wrong things don’t have time on their side.
The second sacrifice is what I called the sacrifice of giving: greatness is not in what you have but what you are doing with what you have. Your attitude to the poor will affect your heaven. In other words the way you treat people who are not privileged as you are matters a lot. With all the problems you have there are people who are fasting and praying to be like you. What is your attitude towards the poor around you?
In Philippians 4 verse 18 Paul said “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. I said a sacrifice is what you give that is not convenient.
A while ago we are all giving offering and if I asked how much you give, there wont be response because it is not sacrifice. If what you give is sacrifice, your heart will follow it because what you give pains you.
Nigeria will be a better place for all of us if we remember that there are people who are in need out there. We must not wait for government alone; we should find ways to reach out to people to touch their life. If you want your heaven to open reach out to others, giving in form of sacrifice has the power to heaven. January to December may your heaven never closed, may rain of blessing come upon you.
If I give you personal testimony you will be shocked, I have been preaching for over 40 years and I preached for almost 30 years before I build a house not because I couldn’t but I had to meet the needs of people. I build lands that people gave me but Olu of Warri forced the last on me and I am grateful. He picked me one day and he drove me in his car and took me to a land and said “this is your land you must build it”.
There are people who are struggling to survive: on the 26th of every year, I gather people of all religious background, tribe and I am giving out six brand cars with no string attached with it, tricycle about 20, 100 grounded machines. I am saying this so that you can do something.
If you want your heavens to open help open someone else heaven to open. You have been praying and nothing seems to be happening: when you read 1 Chronicle 21 verse 1, David was made by the devil to number Israel in verse seven God was angry in verse 14 thousands of people died, if you keep reading you will see that David keeps on praying but nothing happened, people keep on dying like flies.
In verse 18 an angel talk to a man of God to go and tell David to build alter and in the old testament if you build an alter automatically you put a sacrifice. In verse 26, David build alter; put the sacrifice, three he called upon God and number four God answered him from heaven.
David’s heavens opened because he has put sacrifice on that alter. If you read the chapter, the man who gave David the land wants to give him free but David replied that he will not give God what that cost him nothing.
In verse 27, God stopped the killing, why did it not stop when David was praying it was because
He refused to put sacrifice on alter. Likewise, your giving has the capacity to open closed heaven. Please don’t let people confused you what I am sharing with you is not necessarily on prosperity issues but I am sharing truth with you, the fact that there is fake dollar does not mean that there is no original ones. The truth of the bible is the truth; your giving will open your heaven
Third one is sacrifice of praise:
In a sense some of you have been doing this and it seems nothing is happening but remember that I said sacrifice is something that you do that is not convenient.
When you read Hebrew 13;15 the Bible says let us “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Let me tell you, when there is food on your table, you don’t need anybody to tell you to praise God. When good things happen to you nobody beg you to praise God but the issue is that when there is no food on the table what are you doing?
I heard about a true life experience of a man that was traveling through Ore road coming to Delta from Lagos and arm robbers waylaid him and took his car and when they took his car he went to the middle of the road and started dancing. And people were sympathizing with him that the man has run mad because of his car.
Those who saw him had pity on him and were greeting him ‘pele, on. He has run mad because his car was snatched….’ but the man got up and said I was praising God that my life was not taken away, as long as I have life I know I will get another car, even the car they took I know I will get it back but he said my concern is not about the car but God is a good God.
Can you praise God when it seems everything is against you? The year is ending and some of you are wondering will God still remember me, some of you who are hearing my voice that has stopped going to church saying God has not answer your prayers, if you manage to go you are sad. Lift up your head and voice and give God the praise.
Thanksgiving is an attitude; it is not just about what God has done but what God will do. You must learn and understand that God who did it yesterday will do it today, if not today it will be tomorrow. You don’t serve dead God, He is a living God, He has done it yesterday, and He will do it today and for evermore.
Praising God is always convenient but it opens your heaven. In Act 16, Paul and Silas were preaching the gospel they did not commit any crime they took them into jail and chained them but in verse 25 the Lord interfere in the midnight.
Some of you are in midnight of your life and you are wondering where is God, that is what Paul and Silas faced. The bible said they prayed but prayer did not work and they changed it to praise. And they began to praise God that prisoners heard them and what that was telling me is that they did not see themselves as prisoners.
Have you ever read the scripture where Paul said “rejoice and again I said rejoice?” do you know that he was in jail when he was asking people outside jail to rejoice, imagine prisoners telling those outside to rejoice.
In verse 26 as Paul and Silas were praising God there was an earthquake that the shook the foundation of the prison and the bible said all the doors were opened and every man’s bound were free. Notice these two important words, suddenly, when your heaven opens it happens suddenly when your enemy least expected, when they think it is over thinking you will never marry again.
A lady met me and my wife in a store in Atlanta and he shared a testimony with us, she was from Warri area, she said she was living in Canada but was disappointed by a young man almost three times. She also came home to marry another one but that one disappoints her again.
One day as she was watching television she heard my wife said, “There is a lady here, you came from afar to get married but you have been disappointed, God says there is another appointment for you”. She said three months later, a young man came from America looking for a woman to marry and they introduced her, they both got married, now lives in Atlanta with two children.
God is a God of surprise, He can still do it, don’t rule yourself out, don’t rule your marriage out, don’t rule your job out, don’t rule anything out as far as it is God, it can still happen.
When you have suddenly, you have immediately, immediately tells us that the delay is over. Urgent what was slow received speed, where you have been trying to get to between now and December 25 you will get there. In 2012 God will give you a testimony.