WHY DO WE WEAR WHITE ROBES?
In most Christian organisations, the officiating minister is usually in a uniform of some sort. This is in form of either a cloak with a collar, or a gown with a sash around the neck. Studying this ‘operative modus’ , one would come to the conclusion that, that individual is in such clothing to identify him distinctly from the others as the officiating minister. In other words, the priest who is going to conduct the service.
In the C&S, we all have the grace and the privilege to be ministers, hence, not only the ministers and the church elders can wear a ceremonial apparel, we All can wear it. Before we look at the biblical background from both testaments(OT & NT), let us ask ourselves this question: DOES THE APPAREL YOU WEAR REALLY MATTER? Beloved, I want you to begin to appreciate one thing, whatever any one, internal or external to the C&S says about what you wear or practise, always weigh it on this major question; DOES IT AFFECT MY OBTAINING SALVATION FROM GOD THROUGH CHRIST? If the answer is YES, you have seriously consider where you stand respectively. Whether you wear a grey suit, or a white robe, your communication with God, has nothing to do with your physical apparel. Your communication with God is of the spirit.(John 4:21-24).
For God has found us worthy, that He has chosen for us to be in uniformity, and be “spiritually” elevated to the rank of His priests, and victors, to clothe us in such a glorious apparel. When God was going to establish His authority on the Levites as His ministering priest, He gave specific orders for Moses to order skilful men to make Aaron and his son’s a robe(Exodus 28:11-31). From the inception of the C&S, as stated earlier, God wanted to replicate without leaving any detail out, of how He is worshipped in heaven, this He did reveal to MOT, and would be explained biblically.
The fourth book of the apocalyptic documentation(Revelation 4), a NT book, (since most of the C&S critics continually base their criticism on our adherence to OT policies), gave the witness of how God was worshipped. This was revealed to John the beloved on the island of Patmos, where he was imprisoned. The twenty-four elders around the throne of God are clothed in WHITE ROBES(Rev. 4:4). If this is such a disgraceful, occultic garment to be seen in or to cause that much controversy, I doubt if God would want such people clothed like that to minister worship to him, not to talk of surround Him. From the biblical deduction, they do this every blessed second of the day, from the conception of the word time, none stop. So tell me, why would God now frown at people wearing what the elders who are sitting in majesty with Him wear.
Also, when John was shown the vision of those who had conquered the tribulation of the world, and had been victorious in the name of the lamb of God, they were clothed in white (Rev.7:9, Rev.19:14). There must have been a special reason for clothing them in white. Why not blue? Why not red, or even black? No, they were clothed in WHITE robes. From the two extracts from the book of Revelation, we begin to appreciate the glorious garment God has clothed us with.
Sometimes, the fuss about why we wear white makes me wonder. If wearing white is so controversial, why don’t we wear black like most of the priest I occasionally bump into in Rome, and see if that would generate any controversy. At least to my knowledge, the Catholics have not been reprimanded by anyone for wearing a colour usually associated with death, doom, or distress(I must stress, I am not trying to challenge or insult the Catholic faith, but I am just trying to put the argument in perspective), but when we wear a colour associated with God, holiness, purity, and peace, everybody wants to condemn.
The white robe signifies the righteousness of God and the saints (Rev.19:8). The purity of the Holy spirit, and the priesthood of Jesus Christ (Rev.19:11). It is of no blemish, no stain, and it is not afraid to stand in the perpetual light of God. We should be proof of it and desist from “staining it” with various immoralities, deception, selfish-position seeking ambitions, and all Adamic behaviours. A lot of people have mocked us, because some of our individuals have failed to epitomise the true spiritual nature of the white robe. I can’t blame them, but I can advise us youths to put a stop to all this mockery, by being a perfect example of Christ in all sectors of life. Let the glory of the white, proudly worn by the 24 elders shine forth from our utterances, actions, thoughts and deeds.
The wearing of the white is also prophetic. This was divinely explained to me as I was writing this particular portion. The white is a prophecy of what is to become the uniform of all who become saved, who have not compromised the truth under severe persecution, and confessed Christ as their saviour on the day of the rapture (Rev.6:9-11). The white is white, because it was washed in the ever precious blood of Jesus. (Rev. 7:14) Imagine our God loves us in the C&S, to continually remind us prophetically, what will happen on the day of reconciliation.
In conclusion, let us wear our white with pride and dignity, but, most important of all, let us keep our whites, spiritually white.
NO SHOES IN THE CHURCH, WHY?
In the C&S, people are asked to remove their shoes in the church. This is just to buttress the fact that the where we worship is a holy ground dedicated and consecrated to serving the Lord God Almighty. Moses, the great prophet and leader of the Israelites had a similar encounter when he met Jehovah on the Mt. Sinai,(Exodus 3:5). The same to Joshua when he confronted the captain of Gods own army(Joshua 5.15).
The taking off of one’s shoes is basically a sign of respect, and an acknowledgement that God is present(Jehovah Shammah). In various cultures in the world, taking off one’s shoe symbolises respect, so, I don’t see why that should be a point of bother for any critic. The Seraphim that were stated in Isaiah’s prophecy were said to have covered their feet with a pair of their hexa-constructed-flying appendages. Though a literal point, rather than a spiritual one, it was not their sandals that was covered by their wings, but their feet. You are allowed to wear your shoes anywhere in the environment outside the church, only the prayer house. Christ had been very adamant about preserving both the spiritual holiness of the temple of God, and it’s physical manifestation. The house of the Lord should be called a prayer house, and kept holy likewise treated holy (Is.56:6-8, Luke 19:45-46).
Again, whether you wear them or not, that does not bar your salvation, BUT, if it is what God has ordered, and we all have agreed to abide by it, and there is biblical evidence for it, let us respect that given to us by God, and do it with respect for Him.
OIL, WATER, LIGHT, INCENSE, WHAT IS THE FUSS?
OIL, the “anointing power”.
In the early parts of it’s rapid expansion, the C&S was subjected to a lot of criticism about the use of the anointing oil. on the forehead of it’s members in the form of the cross. A lot of people were extremely ignorant of the anointing power in-built in sanctified oil. To us was the power, but as Isaiah said in one of his prophesies, “who hath believe our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed (Isaiah 53:1) ? Their ignorance was prolonged, for more than sixty years, those who taught we were doctrinated were themselves spiritually blind.
Recently, in a ‘new awakening’, a lot of “end time” churches (as they refer to themselves) have woken up from deep slumber, to realise the grace empowered to the C&S from the time of it’s inception. Most of them, one must admit, were the fore-front of the criticism(though I am not condemning them in any form or character) have started to realise the power of the anointing in consecrated oil.
Believer, do not succumb to worldly criticism, but verify all things with the spirit, and adhere to that which is right(1Timothy 4:11-13), and hold on fast to it till the day of salvation. In order for you to realise the power in the olive-oil and it’s use for sanctification, a semi-detailed discussion would be necessary.
The first biblical encounter with the olive plant and it’s oil is was during the FLOOD and Noah. The earth was filled with darkness on the surface of the water. That darkness was SIN, and a massive cleansing had to be done. This brings to mind the Genesis of the world as documented in the first chapter of the first book of the Pentateuch(Genesis 1:1-2). God had to bring out righteousness out of unrighteousness. He had to bring out good from extreme evil, and to do this, He had to get rid the of the sin, and sanctify the new earth and bless it.
Noah sent out a dove to check for signs of dry land, but it did not have any resting place. There was still sin on the surface of the earth, hence the dove came back to Noah. After seven days,(the same time it took to create the first earth defiled by the human race), Noah sent the dove out again, this time around he came back with an olive branch between it’s beak(Gen.8:8-11). This was to signify the treaty of peace between God and man, and everlasting blessing on the new world He had created. After another seven days, Noah sent the dove out again, but it did not come back, it’s mission on earth at that particular time had been fulfilled(K&S 368 “Bugbe re ti lewa to”, 2nd stanza).
Now let us derive divine knowledge, the hymn tells us that this dove went back to rest at the heart of the father(God). But through divine inspiration, this dove was the one sent again at the Jordan during the baptism of Jesus Christ, which is the Holy spirit. Analogically, this same Holy spirit was the factor that brought peace to the world in the form of LIGHT, when darkness was upon the face of the deep (Genesis 1:1-3). It dried out sin, and the confusion on the surface of the earth, before bringing light(which ids the anointing power). Hence, if we agree that the dove represents the holy spirit, one would be right to say that the holy spirit chose the olive branch, specifically,(the Holy spirit never does anything by chance, only by specific instructions from God) to continually represent the source of blessing, and a form of light.
As time went by in the history of the Israelites, God had to consecrate those who were not stone hearted amongst them to be His priest, prophets, and conscience. The tribe chosen to serve as the Lord’s priest were the Levites, whom God instructed to be consecrated with the OIL(Exodus 28:41). David, one of the greatest Kings of all centuries, was ordained as a king, prophet, and priest, by Samuel using this same OIL
(1 Samuel 16:11-13).The marking of OIL is a sign of blessing(Ps.23:5), a sign of everlasting preservation, a sign of those favoured by God (Gen.35:10), whom He decreed should not be troubled by any one(Ps.20:6, 105:14-15, 1 Corinthians 16:28). It is used for spiritual healing,( Mark 6:13, James 5:14-15), for spiritual insight, and to honour God and man.(Judges 9:9).
From all that has been stated, we can appreciate that, the marking of oil, or it’s use during the ordination of Kings, Priest, Prophets, or Ministers in the house of the Lord(Eph.4:11), is not doctrine oriented, but holy spirit inspired. Every first Wednesday, of the month, people come for the marking of oil in a protection service, held in the church. Some people wonder why? When God was going to destroy Egypt with the last plague, He(God), commanded the Israelites to mark their door post with the blood of the lamb without no blemish(the blood of Jesus Christ). When the angel of death saw this sign, he did no harm to all the inhabitants of that household, but it “passed-over”(it was from this action that the feast got it’s name till today) such a house. This was well illustrated in the film “The ten commandments”. Even during the time for the approach of the great desolation of the children of Israel, when god was to exit His glory from the temple, Ezekiel was shown those who were marked for preservation (Ezekiel 9:4 ). When John was recording the prophetic compilation in Revelations 7:1-5, a command was made not to harm in any form those who were sealed with the seal of the Most high. Rebecca Brown(author of “He came to set the captives free”, Vessel of honour”), a renowned author of Christian books was quoted(by Pro. S.F. Korode) to have used the anointing oil for protection, sanctification, and for breaking the bond of the enemy. Believer, once again, do not let any one crucify you about the legacies of the C&S, until you have carefully researched it and fully understood the spiritual basis of what you do.
WATER, “the cleansing power of God”.
Water chemically contains hydrogen and oxygen. Biochemically, it forms 70% of the total body mass, and it is mainly one of the required elements for viability. The first encounter of water was in Gen.1, in which we are told God brought forth light, after His spirit hovered across the surface of the water.
In the C&S, we sanctify water to drink, bathe, and also to sprinkle. This was given as a covenant from God to ST. Moses Orimolade (MOT) when he became a subject of scorn to people who mocked him. God told him to pray into water for those afflicted, and as the spirit of Jehovah hovered across the water, to banish and obliterate the darkness from the surface of the deep, so also will all the darkness in their lives flee. This covenant is sacred and special. The Israelites still observe the Pass-over, Feast of weeks, which was given as a covenant to them even before Christ was born. Why should we now begin to discredit what was given to us as sacred because of ignorant criticism which is based on mere putative speculation of doctrine origin. It would probably be nice, if those who choose to criticise the C&S, should take the pain to ask, Why certain things are done in the fold. The water is not cursed, but prayed into, neither is there any incantation repeated in to it. It is prayed into by you the individual, or whoever is leading the prayer, then why all the fuss? This same water has was used to cleanse the world of sin, this same water was used to baptise the Israelites unto Moses (the Law) in the Red sea, and then deliver them from their enemies who sort to kill them. (Ex.15:1-19). Water was also what God used to ascertain His power and dominion over all Kings, when He told Elisha to tell Naman, the chief-of-staff for the Syrian government to bathe in it. Just like most of our critics, Naman could not spiritually comprehend the idea that ordinary water (for at that time, the Jordan was not one of the purest rivers) could be sufficient to perform such a miracle. His leprosy was equated to the darkness on the surface of the deep (Gen. 1:2), but when he went in, the spirit of the lord came in to cleanse him from all infirmities, bringing light to his darkness (2 Kings 4). I hate to sound too much of a C&S jingoist, (only God can advocate for His church) but what is true is true, and would set you free from (John 8:32) all the unfounded, shallow minded criticism about the C&S legacies. Water was already blessed for healing and prosperity, as shown to Ezekiel in one of his later prophecies.(Ezekiel 47:1-12)
In the NT, if water was that insignificant as part of the elements given the power of healing, it would not be given any mention with respect to our Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus was going to heal the blind man, who was blind from birth, he told him (the blind man) to go and wash his face in Siloam (John 9:1-7). Even God used to send an angel down to the pool of Betsida (John 5:1-4), which caused the water to rise, and heal whatever was in it at that particular time. This same water was used to baptise Christ, and ordained the water baptism, which is ecumenical.
When you pray into the water, it is based on the platform of faith, probably that is were we have failed. That is, more emphasis should be made on FAITH, when we pray (Mark 11:22-26) into water, given to us, as a covenant from God. In summary, water is used for cleansing, purification, sanctification and healing.
I know that water is very powerful in the healing ministry, and in the next ten years, a lot of churches would grasp a glimpse of the power God has ordained in water. (just as the oil).
INCENSE, sweet smell to God, or ritual material ?
The heavenly picture Isaiah described the throne of God been filled with smoke. This smoke was from the burning of incense. Some people usually miss-represent the quotation from the first chapter of the book of Isaiah, where God rejected the incense offering of the people(Isaiah 1:4, 13). This doesn’t mean that God rejected the practise due to it being a ritual material, but it was because the Israelites were deep in sin (vs.15), and the heart that offered the incense was filled with sin. God is more interested in the heart with which we perform our services, this is why we must worship God wholeheartedly. A lot of people worship God with their lips and not with their hearts (Matt.5:7-8).
Incense is part of heavenly worship, and also, it is part of priestly worship. If it was an instrument of ritual worship, Christ would not have been honoured by the three wise men with Frankincense(Matt. 2:10-11). The frankincense was given to him to symbolise his priestly background and nature.
Our spiritual incense though, is the praises we render on to the Lord, which rises just like the incense smoke plus our prayers, to make the Lord glad. (Rev.8:2-4).
Therefore, let us try not to succumb to unfounded criticism about the use of incense in our worship.
Let there be ‘LIGHT’.
Most people wonder why do the ‘ALADURAS’ light candles? The Genesis is always the beginning of every step in the life of anyone, and the command was sharp and direct, “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. 1:) The light there symbolises Christ, who is the light of this world(John 1;1-4), who illuminates our lives from the darkness of this world, and overshadows any power of deceit, frustration, failure, antagonism from satanic origin. The book of John accredits the title of the light of this world to Christ (John 1:1-3), whom the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:13-14)can not comprehend, not to even talk of overcoming.
The light represents also, the seven spirits of God (Rev.4:7), which is the power of the Pentecost endowed to those who are conquerors in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (K&S 358, “Baba to da orun meje”, stanza 4). When MOT was in Lagos during the initial period of his evangelical ministry, God told him to light the candle to symbolise the power of light (the holy spirit) over that of darkness (2 Cor. 10:3-6). And with this, he was able to perform great miracles in the name of Jesus.
In the C & S, we light 1, 3, 7 candles usually, all which are symbolic.
1= the trinity i.e. three-in-one (total submission)
3= the Father, Son, and the holy spirit
7= the Father, Son, Holy spirit, and the four archangels (symbol of completion).