This year’s Summer fast of the Embassy of God for All Nations Church differs from previous events of this kind. The Senior Pastor of the central church presented a topic which was studying Christian principles in the close relationships between people and the basic doctrine of God’s truth. Today our church was visited by guests from 14 countries.
On the third day of the fast the Holy Spirit led everyone in prayer in a special way. God wants to wash us clean us of offences and teach us how to forgive. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins”, Mark 11:25
Pastor Andrey Belonozhkoinvited everyone to make a graph in their notebooks and label it “My decisions” and to record all new decisions that come to mind during the Summer Fast. For example, do not to offend, do not judge anyone, etc. During the fast, sermons and worship God reveal something new for us. Do not leave it only in your mind, write it down!
Pastor Andrew said: “From the personal observations of my church I should say that the most difficult task is “do not judge”. Try not to judge anyone for a day, then for a week, and you will know how difficult it is, but at the same time howl very important”.
The topic“Son seeks the glory for his father” was presented today in an unusual way. There were two speakers on stage at the same time: pastor Oksana Madudya and her husband, God’s servant Andrey Sidorenko.
Pastor Oksana asked everyone to ask themselves: “Does the glory of my father annoy me?”. People very often try to compete with their father. But everyone should take his place. Father has existed long before his son. Pastor called us to confess our hearts, and if we felt any annoyance, we need to repent.
People often search not for the glory for their father, but to use the father’s glory in order to build a kingdom of their own.
“To begin with, – said the pastor – you need to figure out who the father is, who is the son and what the son seeks”.
Father– the one who gives life, raises up, helps build character and opens the way into life
Son– a formed individual. He belongs to the One who formed him. Son
is very active in his quest to glorify his father. He does not wait for a special opportunity, he glorifies his father all the time.
Andrey Stepanovich testified how he came to church. It began with meeting a “son”, who very sincerely and lovingly talked about his church and pastor Sunday. After that Andrey S. started to dream of visiting such a wonderful church and getting to know pastor Sunday for himself.
Pastor Oksana asked her husband: “What makes life worth living?” and received the answer: “The only thing worth living for on earth is to glorify the Father!”.
They explained the importance of fully identifying ourselves with the Father. When we lose our son-father relationship, than problems come. Therefore searching for the father should be in the number one priority in life. And God will give us people, situations and opportunities to show Himself and continue His work.
At the end of the sermon Pastor Oksana shared her thoughts, observations and a revelation: “I’ve always wondered why some people get everything effortlessly, and others trough titanic work? After reading Genesis 26:2-5 I realized the reason of the success. is that there are fathers who have earned the blessing already and it automatically comes into the lives of children. Behind the children’s blessing there is the fathers’ blessing!”.
The people in the audience thanked the two speakers for the teaching with loud applause.
Evening events of the Summer Fast are very exciting. Those who come to hear pastor Sunday Adelaja’s teaching about father-son relationships, get blessed knowledge, and answers to difficult questions that reveal the essense of Christ’s deep views on various aspects in the relationships between parents and children, leaders and ministers, etc.
In the Holy Spirit and awe the church glorified the living God. Then, after a number of testimonies of Holy Father’s glory in the life of believers, Pastor Sunday continued to teach one of the sermons, that was called “Jesus – is a man of honor”
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life”, John 5:19-24
Pastor Sunday explained that Jesus, as the Son of God, could do anything he wanted on earth. But he resisted the temptations of the devil and did not act willfully, as he understood well that despite the fact that he was a free person, he was carrying the will of His Father on earth. Therefore he did not even hesitate about His choices.
Pastor reminded that he became independent in a very young age. He had no father and he used to live alone. At nineteen he left his country to achieve his goals. And it seemed to be going well, except one thing: when things are going well, you stop noticing self-confidence and there is a fear that anybody could take off your own birthright. “Your self-centeredness – is your own worst enemy,” – said pastor – ”listen to God directly, so no one can position themselves to be higher than Him in your life.“
After a some time passed in his life, Pastor Sunday Adelaja received a revelation from God – he must learn humility, obedience and accountability, and find a person to whom he will obey. But the sad experience of many friends who used to live under repression of dictatorship and manipulation stopped him.
Sometime later pastor realized that his success would not last long if he does not obey the will of God. “When you begin to trust God, you will move up to the next level and get freedom from your far-fetched fears. Father – is the protection, the right direction and a kind of correction. He tells you where the light is at the end of the tunnel. You lose nothing, if you follow your father.”
“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed”, John 17:4-5
These Bible verses are the basis for the relationship between father and son, which meant that son should seek the glory of his father and do his father’s work. There will always be moments when we need the blessing of our father and his support. God says that He does not bless the legacy captured quickly and any man who seeks the fame for himself will fail. Pastor Sunday called the Church: “The promise of the entire world must seen unimportant to us, without the father’s blessing!”.
The principles (the truth) of these bases:
1. Show me whom you honor, and I’ll tell your future.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do”, John17:3-4.
The glory of whom we honor, and his future, will come into our life. If we honor none, we have no future.
2. Each of us is a reflection of someone’s glory.
“And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed”, John17:5.
The honor should be given to the one for whom it is intended, rather than assigned to ourselves.
Jesus’ examples of honoring His Father are following:
- Son cannot do anything on his own, he does the will of his father. All that he achieves he owes to his father.
- True son watches how his father responds, because he trusts his son, loves and wishes a good life for him.
“If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear?”, Malachi 1:6
How much do you seek your father’s will, his visions and revelations? Do you appreciate his teachings?
Father never takes anything from his son and always wants to give him more. Father does not judge anyone. When he finds a worthy follower, he shares his experience. Father’s work – is to observe the prosperity of his son and enjoy it.
Thoughtful son would try not to lose but to get more than he had, because a true father always wants his son to have more than his father. Who seeks the glory for himself, does not have the glory of his father. “Let our hearts lament, and the pride be tamed, realizing the importance of this truth,” – said the pastor. He who seeks his own glory, has no glory of his father. “Let our hearts lament and our pride be tamed, realizing the importance of this truth,” – said the pastor.
3. Jesus consciously devoted his life to one purpose – to glorify His Father, carry out His projects and put His teachings into practice.
“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do”, John 17:4.
4. Son never assumes his achievements only for himself, realizing that he was not alone on that.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word”, John 17:6.
All your achievements – are the result of your own work. But you should not arrogate all the glory to yourself, because all the knowledge you have, you once got from someone. Fathers and sons never fight with each other for a bigger “piece” of honor and glory – it would make no sense, because the father’s blessings and glory cover his child anyway.
5. A man of honor never arrogates all the glory to himself.
“That all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him”, John 5:23.
Honest man knows that all the glory was given to him by others. The real glory is given by the father, teacher or mentor.
At the conclusion of the sermon Pastor Sunday gave some parallels between the concepts of “honor” and “respect.” Respect – is a person’s internal state, expressed in words, but not in actions. Honor – it is an external practical action, carried out for the individual. It is a sacrifice for the sake of someone else, whom he considers special.
Honor is always more than respect. Senior pastor called all the present to honor each other, their relatives and, above all, the Heavenly Father.
Thus, today’s sermon ended in such an important word.
Here are Pastor Sunday’s answers to some of the questions from the members of the Embassy of God Church
What to do when your father does not like your spiritual father?
Answer: You need to honor your father, because this is your commandment and duty. But you should also defend your spiritual father in a tactful way.
Where is the difference between following a leader and following God?
Answer: If we can not obey a man, and it is easier for us to obey the invisible God, then we have a problem. Our worship of God should be manifested in the worship and obedience to the leader. The only way to know whether you follow God or not is to look at how you follow the man. When we cannot obey a man, we are far from obedience to God.
If the problem is not in my father, but in my brother, should I behave myself with him the same way?
Answer: Yes. Your biological father does not need to be the only father figure you may have.
I caused my family a lot of pain. My father does not want to see me. I am unable to restore the relationship.
Answer: Your parents do not communicate with you because of the past, but it does not mean that you cannot restore the relationship now. Pastor told me a story of a man who transferred money to his parents every month and provided for them with another help, showing his desire for reconciliation with his actions.
How to behave when a person who brought you up curses you today?
Answer: There is no father or mother who curses his children for no reason. You may need to reconsider your behavior.
My mother in law says bad things about her husband in the presence of my children and me. How to behave myself, should I continue to honor her?
Answer: Your must continue to honor all, but take your children away when the mother in law starts to talk negatively about her husband. Do not let the problems of your mother-in-law become a curse for you.
What does it mean to adore?
Answer: To adore – means do not even allow a thought of condemn about a person whom you adore. To love and respect someone so much that no negative thoughts come close.
What to do when the pastor left the church and condemns the Senior Pastor? If I stay in the church, weather I sin against my pastor or not?
Answer: No, you don’t, because the pastor sins against his spiritual father.
What to do if the pastor says one thing and my husband, believer and servant, says the opposite?
Answer: Listen to your husband in domestic issues, and to your pastor in spiritual issues.
Should parents continue to communicate with their daughter if she left the church and married a Muslim?
Answer: Yes, of course they should.
On what level I should honor the parents of my husband?
Answer: On the level you honor your own parents.
How to teach sons to honor their dead father?
Answer: There is a spiritual father. You can teach them with his help.
Can I deny my ex-husband of parental rights, because he fails to comply with his parental duties?
Answer: You can, if it will give you something. But if it’s just to settle scores, then it is better not to do.
To raise children without a husband is not a sin, isn’t it?
Answer: If you gave them birth to without being married, just repent and continue to bring them up. The very process of bringing up children without a husband is not a sin.
The Summer fast of the Embassy of God Church
August 1, 2012, Kiev
Press center of the Embassy of God Church
Translated by Yevheniya Pustova
Edited by Natalia Ioffe