By Simon Ifeanyi Ezeh

The faith we have in God is more communal than it’s private and God would rather deal with us as a group instead of dealing with us as individuals. Everything about Christ Jesus attests to this fact. From the disciples’ prayer to the injunction on dealing with offence in the church to the apostles’ life style pre- and post- Pentecost, Christ demands that believers live as a group of people, never as individuals but pastors had since recreated the church in their own images and have messed up everything. It couldn’t be sadder!

The reason why the Christian faith is anything but effective is not farfetched – lack of unity is the problem. The scriptures below clearly reveal that the glory of Christ is only manifest in the unity of believers, not in isolated individual believers struggling in vain (and due to pride) to become “champions” or “God’s generals” as unbelievers love to describe them. Christ had the glory of God before the foundation of the world and that glory is the reason he never sinned, fell sick or came under any bondage whatsoever.

That glory ensured he was always heard by God, whenever he prayed. Every single creation of God, including Satan, is subject to Christ because of the glory of God and Christ gave this selfsame glory to his brothers (all of us who believe in him). However, this all-important glory will not be manifest in us as long as we continue in disobedience by refusing to unite as actual brothers and not just “church” brothers.

We may continue to pray, fast, sing songs, quote scriptures, give monies to churches and even build churches with our personal monies, etc. but, unless we’re united as brethren, the glories of Christ won’t be manifest in us and the church will continue to be ineffectual on earth. Unity of believers is the key to fulfilling the words of Christ concerning us, especially his saying that we’d do greater things than he did. We haven’t even done the very things he did, let alone doing greater things.

Pastors shamelessly acquire charms and all manner of witchcraft to bewitch people as evidence of their false claim to have been anointed by God but it’s all rubbish. It’s very easy to see through the fraud of pastors because no one gets healed under their demonic anointing but they could push you down “under anointing”, or see things about you through the familiar spirits of witchcraft they’ve acquired.

The devil can’t heal sickness because he’s the one who makes people sick in the first place. If Satan healed the sick, his kingdom would have been divided as he would be working against his own agenda. Let’s hear Christ in his final prayer for his disciples in John 17 below to see the prime importance he ascribed to unity among believers.

Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

As in this prayer above, the unity of believers would enable conversion of sinners to saints, the manifestation of God’s glory as given to us by Christ, perfection of believers, authentication of the Christ as Messiah, and the overall success of the gospel of God’s kingdom. Unfortunately, believers live like individuals, raising their personal families, running their private businesses with worldly success in focus and not as a group of heavenly visitors whose guiding principle is unity among one another, with focus on God’s kingdom.

The church will prevail over Satan and all his works, only when the members are unified. You might have some successes like little droplets of water as an individual believer but it becomes a deluge or heavy rain when we operate as a group or family of sons of God (NB, God refers to all his children as sons. He doesn’t care about sexes and there won’t be male or female in heaven).

Deu 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

The power of unity operates like geometric progression: one “chases a thousand” whereas two “chase ten thousand”. What could be more profound than that? A united people could achieve anything they set to achieve. The sun is about the greatest source of energy (perhaps greater than the sea) but one walks under the sun without being burnt since the radiation is scattered.

But, if you concentrate the sun’s energy by using a powerful converging lens, it easily sets things ablaze immediately. That’s the power of unity. A broomstick is easily broken but not a bunch of broom sticks. Brethren, how could we ensure unity among believers? That’s the problem we must solve if we’re not going to fail God in our generation.

Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
Ecc 4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Ecc 4:11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
Ecc 4:12 And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

In teaching the disciples how to pray, he never missed the subject matter of unity because unity is at the heart of his kingdom dynamics. He taught them to pray as a people, not as individuals. Let’s hear him in the scriptures below.

Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Did you notice the use of “our” and “us” all through the length of that prayer guide? He said, “Our father”, not “my father”; “give us”, not “Give me”; “Forgive us”, not “Forgive me”; “Lead us”, not “Lead me”; and “Deliver us”, not “Deliver me”. No wonder the church of Christ is in tatters!! It’s not the ‘gate of hell’ but us that are prevailing against ourselves! We’re defeated and dismayed because we’re disunited.

Interdependence is godlier than independence, both in marriages and in the church. Christ says that unbelievers are wiser than believers, sadly. Cultists prosper, not because of some money minting charms in their cupboards but because they are wise and understand the power of co-operation or group action. On the contrary, believers are foolishly operating as lone rangers and failure is the obvious consequence of our rejection of wisdom from Christ.

Unless we’re measuring our successes and failures in terms of material achievements or losses, else, it should be obvious we’re nowhere close to where we should be as the church of Christ and the reason is lack of unity. It would be ignorance for a believer to measure his success in terms of money in the bank or things money could buy because the ideals of heaven aren’t amenable to money. Christ says money is a demon of unrighteousness called mammon; how could a believer in Christ be happy or fulfilled with financial success?

Unity of believers ensures speedy answers to our prayers and lends heaven’s legitimacy to our decrees on earth. I can’t imagine what we have been losing because of lack of unity. It’s unimaginable. How could we fail to achieve anything as a church if we understand the scriptures below? I don’t understand how. For me, it’s impossible to fail at anything once we are taking an action as a group of believers in Christ. It can’t happen. Is it that we never understood the words of Christ below? What could have been the problem?

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Is it that we don’t understand the words of Christ or we don’t actually believe them? I think we have issues at both levels: we lack both comprehension as well as faith in those words. Once we’re united in Christ, all things are possible. Part of our issues is pride and selfishness. We want our names to be heard and not seen as an amorphous group of believers; and we want to own our things alone.

That’s why our problems remain our private problems and never get solved. Believers keep suffering in silence because of lack of unity. That has to stop now. We have to repent and begin to live right. It’s evil for a wealthy believer to take a little out of his abundance and give to a needy believer and assume he’s done the work of God. He’s not done the work of God; he’s done the work of the devil, on the contrary. If we’re brethren, and if all our streams are from God, we should own things in common so that no brother should be in lack while another is in abundance. Let’s see how the disciples lived at the time of the Pentecost.

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
They Had Everything in Common
Act 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Act 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Act 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
Act 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
Act 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Act 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

The scriptures above summarize the message I’m trying to convey which is that contemporary believers aren’t living right because we live not as one united family but as individuals and we don’t own things in common. Believers aren’t living right and pastors are the obvious culprits. How does one explain the fact that pastors carry out Bible studies, search the scriptures classes, crusades, revivals, vigil nights, church services, and write books on the Christian faith etc. but none of them has ever patterned “his church” after the template delivered to us by the apostles?

We struggle as individuals and come to church to testify of ‘God’s goodness’ when we make private material success or when we experience a droplet of God’s glory as individuals, even though we should be drenched in the deluge of God’s glory on daily basis, if we were united as described in Acts 4:31-37.

It’s really up to us to repent and be fruitful in the hands of the Holy Spirit or continue in disobedience, remain unfruitful and perish in the end. Christians who live contrary to the description in Acts 4:31-37 are not born again, haven’t seen the kingdom of God and won’t see it in eternity unless they repent. All the churches you know about today are guilty of this sin of selfishness, self-centeredness, covetousness, disunity among believers and the fecklessness of the Christian faith.

If believers united and owned things in common, the pastors won’t be the emperors they are and, certainly, they won’t have access to the peoples’ wealth to revel on. There’s no group of Christians that’s as deluded and sinful as pastors. How could a pastor understand these things and still fly in private jet planes, move in convoys of very expensive cars, sometimes grander than those of the politicians while the congregants wallow in avoidable destitution?

Unity is the way to go if the church is to fulfill her purpose of bringing down the kingdom of God to the earth. On the contrary, lack of unity would ensure that Christians don’t end up in heaven and pastors would have achieved their agenda of not allowing others in whereas they aren’t interested in going to heaven themselves.

In order to engage the government authorities and the society, we should register our properties in our names, incorporate companies in our names, etc. but we have to know and understand that whatever a believer has belongs to other believers in Christ. This communal life style should be practiced at the level of churches and house fellowships so that no believer is allowed to suffer alone or live in affluence all by himself. The church belongs to Christ and Christ is the only authority over the church. So, this unity agenda is only enforceable by Christ himself.

One may wonder how to enforce this unity ideology since some believers might decide not to comply and hold on to their resources. That’s not a problem at all since Christ himself had taken care of that situation already in Matt 18:15-20. All that has to happen is for the rest believers to report the unrepentant member to heaven and seal his fate. What could be more far reaching than that? Let’s see how he could operate or continue to thrive with God’s judgment upon his head. Ananias and Sapphira would be the case of those who might want to mess with the Holy Spirit in this regard.

Ananias and Sapphira

Act 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Act 5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Act 5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
Act 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Act 5:7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
Act 5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
Act 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
Act 5:10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
Act 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

Even if one were in doubt about the unrighteousness of pastors, the unfortunate lack of unity among believers and the fact of pastors as the reason behind lack of unity among sons of God is enough confirmation that pastors are not of God. If the pastors would repent and become equals to other believers and not lords, ensure that church collections are used to help members and not wasted on brick and mortar or on demonic private jets, the church would unite and become as powerful and effective as God intends.

Christian persecution on earth is exacerbated by lack of unity among Christians. The Nigerian experience says it all. Whereas Christians are methodically and surgically cleansed in the North of Nigeria on daily basis, believers in the Southern parts don’t care a damn. Southern Christians continue with their vain prosperity messages, empty religious services where they sing and dance to their own shame.

This message is by no means a call for physical retaliation by Christians against the violent attacks they face in Nigeria, especially in the North of Nigeria because our kingdom, our God and all our ways are spiritual. If we unite and make the right decrees, things will fall into shape. Christian persecution won’t stop on earth until the end but we could cushion the effect on believers by uniting, helping and encouraging one another.

The lot of Christians in Nigeria is made worse by the evil leadership and membership of CAN. Christian association of Nigeria is peopled by unbelievers and godless politicians whose god is their bellies. So, they will never do the will of God in the face of hostilities bedeviling the church. Instead, they’d visit the political leaders and receive bribes to shut up, or just issue political statements that say nothing in the end regarding the subject matter.

We have to unite, pool our resources as sincerely as the early apostles did and live as one family with one destiny and purpose on earth. This is the ONLY way of fulfilling the purpose of God for setting up his church. Believers should stop referring to their siblings as brothers or sisters while referring to other believers in Christ as “church” sister or brother. If you understand how churches like MFM, Chosen, Redeemed, etc. operate, you’d weep for the body of Christ.

Their gods are mammon, ethnic gods, love of life or their bellies and it’s obvious in the way they react when the people in the crucibles are “Yoruba Christians”, “Igbo Christians”, or “Hausa Christians”. In all these ethnic and mammon churches, the pastoral hierarchy is determined by ethnicity and money. In Redeemed and MFM, Yorubas are in charge whereas in the Lord’s Chosen, the Igbos are in charge. Is that what the church of God should look like?

The bless your hearts, eyes and ears to see and hear him directly. Amen

+234(0)708-187-1082 [email protected]

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.