SPECIAL CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR MESSAGE
May I sincerely and greatly thank the Almighty God, who through His steadfast love, great faithfulness, boundless grace, divine presence and unending goodness and mercies, has kept us alive to see and celebrate this year’s Christmas despite our shortcomings. I am aware, like you also know, that the year, 2022 has been a very tough one; characterised by several natural and man-made disasters such as flooding, sicknesses, diseases, death, rising insecurity, high-powered kidnappings, banditry, accidents, hunger, hardship as a result of high-level economic backwardness, corruption, bad leadership, poor governance and other evils that have taken negative tolls on human existence yet, it pleased God to preserve our lives. Moreso, irrespective of the plans and strivings of our enemies, God did not give us up to their evil plans. Indeed, there is none like the Lord, who always sustains, preserves and protects us in the midst of these frustrating and heartbreaking situations. Hence, I join King David to say, "Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living and has not let our feet slip." (Psalm 66:8-9). To God alone be all the glory, honour, praises, thanksgiving and power, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
As the Almighty and merciful God has kept us alive to see this year’s Christmas, it is important that we understand what it means, its significance and how best to celebrate it for it to be acceptable before Him.
Christmas and Its Significance: Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, as you already know, is the only begotten Son of the Almighty God, our Creator. The question you may be asking is, '' Why was Jesus born? Or, ‘Why did God allow His only begotten Son to be born into this sinful world?’ The book of Luke chapter 2:11 made it clear that Jesus was born to be our Saviour; for He shall save man from sin as sin brings death. Jesus was born to also bring life to man. To confirm this mission, Jesus proclaimed in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly”. Therefore, Christmas marks the starting point of the salvation of man. It is the expression of God's great love for man which He manifested by giving us His holy and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the GREATEST GIFT ever, since creation. This was captured in John 3:16-17, which says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." Unfortunately, the world does not want to accept Jesus. However, “to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” (John chapter 1:12). God expects us to accept and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we will become partakers of the blessings of salvation, peace, deliverance, etc., that are associated with the birth of Jesus Christ.
THE BEST WAY TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS: Christmas is a sacred event that should be celebrated by every child of God. It does not matter whether the chosen date of 25th December is the accurate day or not as some people claim; what matters is that Jesus Christ was born into the world. Any day chosen by Christendom to mark His birth ought to be hallowed. Honestly, Christmas is a time when every Christian should value and appreciate God for His great love for mankind. It is a season that should be used to reflect deeply on how one has fared in the year. Think about your ways and your doings, and make out time to reconcile with your Saviour for the coming New Year. Let us not be among those who indulge in all manner of atrocities to meet up with the demands of societal celebrations. As a joyous moment, it is important to share what we have with the poor and the less privileged around us so that they too can be happy. Celebrating Christmas by drinking to stupor, committing all forms of immorality and worldly partying are clear misrepresentations and misinterpretations of what Christmas symbolizes. Indeed, God will not accept such. May the new born King be born, not in a manger this time, but in our lives. As we open our gates to people this Christmas, let us also open our hearts to the new born King for the transformation of our lives.
My Sincere Advice to Mankind: My beloved, for this great love God has shown you by sending His beloved Son to save you, you ought to serve Him with all your heart, spirit, soul and body in your own interest. Do not repay Him evil for good, for in Him alone can you have life. “If a man returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.” (Proverbs 17:13). Those of you who neglect and disobey the word of God, Deuteronomy 32:6 asks, “Do you thus requite the Lord? Is he not your father who made and established you?” In the same vein, Psalm 92:7 says that one may be thinking that people are sinning and still prospering and flourishing but they are just like grass, doomed to destruction forever. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will reap.” (Galatians 6:7). In Psalm 1:1, God clearly warns against walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the way of sinners and sitting among the scoffers; in verse 2, the Bible outlines what we should do in order to succeed. God clearly assures us of prosperity in vs. 3. It is now in our hands to choose where we want to belong to.
Do not allow anything to take the place of God in your life instead, put God first in all you do. King David knew that he was created for God’s pleasure, hence, he did everything to please Him. His ambition was not to get money but to teach others, especially the younger generation about God and in so doing, God still blessed him with riches. (Psalm 71:17-18) Also, King Solomon, his son, asked for wisdom with which to lead God’s people and God blessed him abundantly with wealth. Therefore, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other thing shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33). If you make the LORD your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:9-11). Please, endeavour to establish and maintain a good and strong relationship with God and put your whole trust in Him no matter the situation. Always tell Him the truth about yourself, do not sin deliberately, thinking that He does not know or see what you are doing because nobody can deceive Him as He rewards everyone according to their deeds. Moreover, endeavour to love God with all your heart, delight in and make out time for the things of God, especially studying the Bible as this will enable you know God and His will more, and draw you closer to Him. (Psalm 1:2). Do not spend your valuable time on irrelevances and corruptions on the social media or things that do not profit. Avoid indecent dressing because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 3:16, 1st Corinthians 6:19) and bad company which ruins good morals (1st Corinthians 15:33). Remember that to live in the flesh is death but to live in the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
THE ANTI CHRIST ACTIVITIES ARE INCREASING IN THE WORLD: Beloved, times have become very difficult, bad and unbearable. The prophecies in of 2nd Timothy 3:1-end is gradually unfolding. There is prevalence in antichrist activities that will try to draw you very far away from God; please take note of 1st Timothy 6:11 “But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” and 2nd Timothy 3:14-17 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Do not allow yourself be swayed by what you see. Always bear in mind that something considered wrong, can never be right because many people are doing it. If you are of God, no matter the manipulations of the kingdom of darkness you should never be compelled to bow to the beast as recorded in Revelation 13:8 “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain”. Also ask yourself what you have used your God given talents, intelligence, wealth, mouth, health, etc to do in honour of God. The beast in Revelation 13 was given mouth, healed and created by God, yet it used its mouth to curse God, deceive and turn people against God. One mighty point in Revelation 13 is that, though the beast had the power to deceive the world against God, it had no power to manipulate the true children of God. Hence, if you have strong relationship with God, nothing can sway you to believe the lies of unscrupulous miscreants who say there is no God.
On 2023 General Elections to all Nigerians: I urge you not to allow yourself to be bought over with gifts, money or promises but rather, follow your conscience and vote sensibly towards electing credible and God-fearing persons with conscience, who will salvage the country from its present state and make it great again. If we allow ourselves to be influenced with money and gifts, we will indirectly be extending our sufferings for another four years or thereabout. Therefore, obtain your permanent voters card and vote rationally, wisely, conscientiously, responsibly and reputably.
Appreciation/Advice to The Federal Government of Nigeria: I wish to appreciate the Federal government for deeming it fit to honour me with the National Award as Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). I sincerely thank and appreciate this national recognition. However, I urge the federal government to please consider the plight of the people. We are a great nation blessed with enough natural/human resources and endowments that can make our country great again; we know that this is one of the right steps to curb the indiscriminate kidnappings, killings, social ills in the country. Hence, I sincerely appeal to the federal government to please consider the lives lost on daily bases to situations that can be truly aborted. I also appeal to all politicians to please avoid imposing a leader on the people. Politics should not be a do or die affair. Therefore, elections should be allowed to be free and fair. In 2019 elections, INEC performed poorly and I hope it would improve in the next elections in 2023 so as to win back people’s confidence in it. Let the people be responsible for the leader they eventually elect and not being forced to accept one by rigging. The masses are suffering and the hope for the common man is radically being trampled on. The Federal Government, the corrupt politicians and all those who rig elections should know that there is no way wise people will accept any leader imposed on them hence, we should please always remember that political positions will end; therefore you should always do things that will allow you move freely and happily amongst the people you governed.
The Federal and State Governments should endeavour to equip the General hospitals in order to help the less privileged who cannot afford to go to expensive private hospitals.
May I also humbly appeal to the Federal Government to rebuild/refurbish the bad roads in Nigeria especially in the South East. These bad roads have claimed many lives and the Federal Government should not overlook this important situation. Let me simply say that the bad roads are death traps therefore they need urgent attention because any delay will claim many more lives.
I also urge the Federal Government to take education very seriously and settle their disagreement with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as this is adversely affecting the youths especially students. To me, it is wrong to pay the members of ASUU half salaries, they have been owed over 9 months and as things are hard, let the Federal Government remember them so that they will give their best educationally. The Federal Government should know that these lecturers have families to take care of, therefore they must be treated very well and given their due respect.
Condolences: I extend my condolences on behalf of my church, Living Christ Mission Inc., to the Royal family and the good people of England on the death of late Queen Elizabeth II. I pray God to be with them and give them the heart to bear the irreparable loss. I also pray God to give The King, Prince Charles III the wisdom and enablement to pilot the affairs of England. Here in Nigeria, I sympathise with the Federal Government, all the state governments, communities and families that were ravaged by flood recently. I urge governments at all levels, well spirited individuals and corporate organisations to come to the aid of these communities and families. Further, my condolences also go to every family who lost any of their loved ones in one mishap or another. I urge them not to lose hope as it is not the end of everything. Our God is on the throne and tomorrow may be better because with Him, everything is possible. Only put your whole trust in Him. I pray God to console you accordingly.
Advice to the International Community: There is no doubt that the world is faced with numerous challenges and difficulties, especially terminal diseases and illnesses which probe the health integrity of humanity across the globe. Such diseases and illnesses include but not limited to cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, hepatitis B, fibroid, kidney diseases, heart and liver problems, etc. Therefore, it is my candid advice to the international community to place much premium on scientific discovery of drugs that can cure the above-mentioned diseases and illnesses, instead of placing strong emphasis and interests on the production of chemical, biological, bacteriological, nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, including the promotion of abominable, immoral and very unnatural practices of lesbianism, gay, bisexualism and transgender, reckless abortion, intake of illicit drugs, etc. In fairness to truth, these cannot move the world forward, instead, they will continue to spread immoralities/increase moral decadence (decay) in its greater dimension and pose strong threats to future generations. Hence, world bodies like the United Nations, European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the African Union, the Arab League, etc, are encouraged to take these pieces of advice very seriously.
Further, on the nation of Israel, it is very irrational, insensible and practically unreasonable for some major actors in global politics to say and support the irrational fact that Jerusalem should be divided into two capitals; one for Israel and the other for Palestine. The truth is that Jerusalem belongs to the nation of Israel and should not be divided into two capitals. After all, Rome, Moscow, Washington, London, Paris, Benjin, Baghdad, Tehran, Riyadh, etc, are not divided into two capitals. So, why should Jerusalem be divided? It is mere wickedness and greatest inhumanity against the nation of Israel after suffering from HOLOCAUST to propose that Jerusalem should be divided into two capitals. I encourage Palestine to be a sovereign state with its capital at Ramallah. Any nation including America under President Biden and Democrats who encourages the division of Jerusalem is indirectly asking for the destruction of the state of Israel. The World and big Media houses have refused to acknowledge or say the TRUTH. History not only the Bible is there to prove that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews.
My Prayer/Good Wishes: My beloved children, friends and well-wishers, it is my sincere prayer and wish that as you celebrate this Christmas, you will accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour so that you will be saved and live forever with Him after your sojourn here on earth because " ... there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). God will not take it lightly with anyone who spurned His Son, Jesus Christ, hence, the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 3 “... how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" I wish you well, and pray God to be with you, bless and protect you from all your enemies, fulfill the desires of your heart, prosper you and perfect all that concerns you according to His will, to His glory in Jesus' name, Amen.
Commendations: May I use this opportunity to commend all children of God including members of Living Christ Mission Inc., all over the world who, despite the hardship, moral decadence, persecutions and other evils that confront their Christian faith, hold on to God, put their whole trust in Him, do their best to keep His commandments and endeavour to maintain a very strong relationship with Him. I appreciate my fellow servants of God, who preach the sound doctrine of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and also stand for the truth no matter the persecution. In the same vein, I specially thank all those who in one way or another encourage, support and make me happy in my selfless service to God and humanity. May I also sincerely commend the management, staff, students and the University community of Hezekiah University Umudi, Imo State for their efforts to move the University forward. More so, I commend everyone who allow other people to share in what they have by providing succor to the poor and needy even in the least way because things are very hard this year and there is hunger everywhere. While I encourage you not to relent in your good work, I pray God to bless and reward you abundantly in Jesus" name, Amen.
Conclusion: My children, friends and well-wishers, I thank God, who in His mercy, love and kindness has taken care of you all through the year. As you prepare for the New Year, 2023, please, remember that the days are increasingly evil and full of uncertainties. Therefore, "Seek the LORD and live... Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so, the LORD of hosts will be with you..."(Amos chapter 5 verses 6 &14) "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so, you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37 verse 3-4). “Happy is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For he who finds me, finds life and obtains favor from the LORD; but he who misses me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” (Proverbs chapter 8 verse 34-36). “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favour and honour. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84 verse 11).
May the peace of God be with you in Jesus' name. Amen. I sincerely and humbly wish you a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year, 2023.
Yours in the service of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
His Grace, The Most Rev. Professor Daddy Hezekiah OON, MFR, JP, Ambassador of Peace, International Mayor of Peace, Noble Father of Nigeria Youth, The Anointed Prophet of the Most High God, Lion of the Tribe of Igbo (Odum Ebo Igbo), Founder, Leader and Arch-Bishop of Living Christ Mission Inc., Proprietor and Chancellor, Hezekiah University, Umudi, Imo State.