The first thing that’s important to an association is its preservation, expansion is a later focus. On the one hand a Yoruba man should like and feel safe to marry a Yoruba woman. A Hausa girl will hardly marry an Igbo man or Yoruba man. It’s easy for a Hausa man to marry an Igbo woman than it is for a Yoruba or Igbo man to take a Hausa girl. It’s not forbidden! It’s allowed! It’s just the rule of preservation first. That rule seems to have forbidden it. Intra-marrying is as settled and inherent as the acquisition of a mother tongue or first language. Inter-tribal or inter-racial marriage is a campaign; it’s an ideology that is getting global. However, it’s only in principle rather than in practice and in fact there’s usually imposition of conditions from different authorities on either sides of such. Perhaps, that’s the case just in Africa and specifically in Nigeria. It is, however, not the preservation of association in the real sense that is responsible for such ease in intra tribal marriage.
On the other hand, it takes regeneration, a re-processing, a washing, remodelling, a ‘denial of first order of claims and identity’ for any man to marry a Hausa girl. This is not just a truth, it’s the fact. Now, I am coming from a perspective beyond tribe since the Hausa tribe or culture is proudly complexified or simplified with derivations and definitions from the Islam.
In other tribes, the partitioning also exists as Christians wouldn’t allow their children to marry from any other religion. It’s so exclusive and rigid in both Christianity and Islam. Each, however, would be kind, critically though, with anyone who is ready to deny his or first and own religion for that of the intended spouse from the other religion. That’s preservation necessitating expansion. I would not like to emphasise that even in Christianity the Apostolic, who stand against the doctrine of Trinity will not feel free to agree with a spouse from the Trinity sides. Many sides will not stand free with the Holy Catholic Church because as they believed it or think they know it, The Holy Catholic worships the Holy Mary (I laughed). It’s not just for the sake of expansion but for the sake of preservation that each sect seems hostile to others in terms of union. And it is not just for preservation sake either.
If we all see things the same way, if we all have same reaction to issues, if we all speak the same language then there will be peace among us. If we all read the same Book, pray the same way, give the same way then we will enjoy lasting happiness. If we all sing the same way, dance the same way, play the same way, feast the same way, merry the same way then we will all live in joy and peace for long days. If we all think the same way, walk the same way, feel the same way, eat the same way, plan the same way, hope the same way then we will have no conflict amongst us. If we all worship the same god(s) or God or worship the same way, venerate icons the same way, follow the same laws then our world will be the only best world. It’s all about sameness. In sameness there’s peace! In sameness there’s understanding, there’s love, forgiveness and progress. This is because there is no cause for conflict.
The result of sameness is oneness or unity. Everything is just united into one. There is just one essence and one definition in oneness because of sameness. That is why the choice(s) of the husband will (as it should be) affect the wife and vice versa. Both have identified compatibility (sameness) and have transformed it into oneness (marriage) and must, therefore, be one in rewards and consequences, shame and glory, grace and disgrace, pleasantness and unpleasantness, standing by each other not just as a helper but as the one affected or involved. It’s all about one thing- a connection. The connection factor is that which causes a chemical reaction in sameness and makes it turn into oneness. It should be irreversible. That connection factor in marriage is love. For tribe, the connection factor is the culture. For religion, of course, the connection faction in that sameness is not just the god(s) or God but also the mode(s). For example, although there is sameness in Christianity, the connection factor in the sameness among the Protestants or the Pentecostals is different from that among the Catholics or the Celestial Church of Christ or the Cherubim and Seraphim or the Church or Christ or the Church of the Lord. It is true that some, who are not committed to an order, may not mind the connection factor. That connection factor is usually defined and registered by the mind. Thus, the mind is the commander of the icon of oneness. It identifies the “in our likeness” and the “in our image.”
We know that man was moulded from the soil (that’s not sameness) and that God breathed into his nostrils (sameness- the breath of God). Then we know that His creation was in the image and likeness of God (sameness). Man is special. He might have been given an earthen frame or body. That’s necessary because he was to live on the earth and to be visible on the earth. To touch the earthen things and have dominion on them and till the ground and play with or rule the animals, man needed an earthen (or tangible) form (sourced from the earth). Nevertheless, man was divine! His breath was divine. His image was divine. He was in the likeness of divinity. He was a divine creation clothed in earthen frame to function on earth with his divine essence within, fully.
God is Spirit. Anyone who will worship Him must do so in Spirit and in truth. Jesus told us so. The Spirit is divine. The origin of every spirit is divine and good. Man’s spirit was so divine that God would not count it tasking to come to earth to relate or commune with man. Man was so divine that His earthen body meant nothing. In fact, the glory covered that up. Even now, if we are in the Spirit and full of the Spirit, we become so divine that we perceive and enjoy and ‘feel’ the presence of the almighty God with us always. I know we may have the opinion that in the Spirit we don’t feel- feeling is bodily. But if we are in the Spirit and full of the Spirit, God’s presence becomes so real that we feel something we cannot describe.
I Felt Something I cannot Describe
I remember one itunu aawe day. It was the day the Muslims would finish their fasting with festivity. I actually was fasting that day. Now I cannot be specific if I had just begun or was going to finish some days’ fasting. My brother was sick. Oh thank God I now remember the year. It’s 2006. We just packed from Kuto, Abeokuta to a house in Ijeun Titun, Abeokuta. It wasn’t my brother that first fell sick. It was my father, then my mother. Each was sick for about a week. Then it would be me. One day I returned from school and I felt head ache and symptoms of sickness. I just laughed. I said, “Wait, it seems this is in successions. So, now it’s my turn to fall sick? That won’t happen.” I didn’t really pray about that. I just was so sure it won’t happen not because I was in fasting but because I said it (in Faith) in the Spirit. Now, it was my sister, Esther’s turn for about a week. I ought to have stopped that. Then it was my brother, James’ turn. James carried it for about two weeks. Then a boil protruded on his chest. It was not going to heal or soften. It was hard. For about two weeks, it was getting bigger until I got angry and said, “Today is the last day of that boil. It must go!” That day I got angry with the sickness and the boil was the itunu awe day whatever that day or month is I cannot remember. Christ Cares Evangelical Mission was still at Kuto then. So, I went to Pastor David Elgbeleye’s house and collected key and I went to the church building to pray. Of course we don’t feel in the Spirit but when I started praying I didn’t know when I started to speak in tongues. After that day, it would take not less than five years for me to understand or speak in tongues again, at GSFUnilag.
It was as if I opened my eyes but I didn’t. Then I saw the door opened. And he or she came in. The head was full of horns with branches. The hair was thick and standing then turning with curves downward. He or she was really scary. She walked in and approached me. I had no strength to continue the prayer. I knew I shouted and really wanted to scream harder but no one could hear me because the Spirit that helped me didn’t allow that shout to come out of my mouth. It was then I felt something I couldn’t describe. I became full of the Spirit and began to speak in tongues. I really felt the presence of God. Whatever has lost divinity is not allowed to stay where God is. That is why Adam and Eve hid themselves. That thing, did it vanish? Did it just die? After vertiginous staggering and falling and rising, I knew it was no more. And behold after about two hours I just woke up. I had rested my head on the table and slept off. But I couldn’t know when that happened because I was standing and praying when he or she with branches of tusks entered and I was afraid and wanted to scream but I started to speak in tongues and it staggered and was no more. I was declaring my victory and didn’t know when I slept. After I woke up, I remembered the feeling because I still felt it. I then said, “You that boil must dissolve before I get home.” I went from there to Kuto market. When I returned home, it was like a thanksgiving party. Every of our neighbours were already congratulating my brother for “o bo lowo eeo yii, haa, James, o ju e ri too.” They said he was now free from the boils. They pitied him that he had suffered a lot. I shouldn’t have allowed that.
In God’s Image
God’s image and likeness, being the divinity in humanity was the connection factor that made the sameness become oneness. He was in the likeness of the “Let US” make man in OUR own image. Don’t forget preservation and expansion. Don’t forget that connection factor will make sameness to become oneness. Then let us not forget that if we all do and see the same things in the same way there’ll be peace and joy and happiness and love. That was what Adam enjoyed with the Godhead. Jesus would later emphasise, “my peace I give unto you…” because man lost that peace.
Losing the Divinity
What happened was that Adam and Eve now didn’t see or reason the same way with the Godhead anymore. It was now like a man who married a strange woman and denied all his beliefs. Man was deceived. He saw, reasoned and did contrary to ‘sameness and oneness’ with God. There will be no conflict if we think and see the same way but if we do not then there must be conflict. Sin is simply doing contrary to God’s will. It’s a violation of sameness and bastardisation of oneness with God. Adam has thus denied himself of his birth right- divinity. He lost the image and the likeness of God in him.
Not only did Adam and Eve hide themselves. They were to remain hidden. They would not come near God but would answer from their hidden place. Sin cannot stay near God. Whatever is not of the spirit (to be born again is of the spirit)) cannot come near God. Adam was lost! His divinity, the breath of God, the image of God, the likeness of God all departed from him. Satan only stole man’s dominion. He couldn’t steal man’s divinity. Satan wasn’t capable of bearing divinity. He was cursed. He was lost long ago. The breath that man now has is that of mere living creature. Of course he was still higher than other creatures. But he was so brutal that the first child could kill the first brother. The only thing manly and higher was the ‘knowledge’ of good and evil. The divine breath would return when Jesus would breathe on His disciples and say, receive ye the Spirit.” That was before they received the Holy Ghost. He, having finished everything, now returned one of the connection factors of man’s divinity- the breath of God, to man. But before that, man became alienated from God. Oh what a painful experience! The way a Christian feel pained when a brother is married or gone into idolatry is not worth a specimen of how the partition pained God.
No one had Seen God?
No! No, no one had seen God. Actually, we read in John 1:18 that His son declared Him.
Let us read Colossians 1:14 to 18
Verse 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Verse 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Verse 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Verse 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Verse 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
This is delivering from sin. It is salvation. It actually is an act of getting back what was lost or sold. The man God created was Adam. He was the one who was God’s son. He was the one who was created in the image of God. He was the one who was lost. He sold himself to sin and Satan. But in Jesus, a second Adam, the lost Adam was to be redeemed.
Adam was created in the image of God. Christ is the image of God. So, Adam was created in Christ (the image of God). After all, nothing else was created outside of Christ. Only Christ could bring that image of ‘US’ back to man. He is the head and the first born because in Him was even the first Adam created. And in him will Adams be redeemed. That is what it means to be born again. Man was born first (in Adam through the Spirit in the image). In that first birth in the garden, the earthen frame was not of concern. So, to be born again is not a matter of natural birth. It is as spiritual as the first in the image of God (in Christ).
But before that redemption there was a partitioning. It was the loss of man’s sameness and oneness with God. Through sin, man became contrary to divinity and glory. Through sin man lost his connection factor which is ‘the image of God and the likeness of God’
He would be cast out of the garden. In fact, it is like dragging someone out, setting dogs to bark at him, putting a soldier at the gate and forbidding the person from coming nearer. The angels and the circling swords of fire only foregrounded the exclusivity of God’s divinity from anything unholy or not divine. ‘Whatever’ is not divine or glorious is shut out and will in fact, by himself, judge himself unfit to come near God. That was what sin did to man. That is what sin does to man- partitioning.
I’s now 12:47 am 25th May, 2017,
It’s written, not as premeditated. Of course, the focus, penned then as alienation was already an inspired chapter. But even the jotter could not be located. It’s all now as the Holy Spirit gave the inspiration, without any premeditation or anxiety of what to write. It was just one thing, “Trust and Obey” by getting the laptop on. While I write or type, the laptop had auto shutting down for about four times. I was tired and discouraged. But they Devil was a lair. After he realised that I wouldn’t sleep until I had written what the Holy Spirit wanted, he had to resort to his shame (12:53) shutting down. After I shut down the laptop, I thought I needed to edit the message and get Bible verses to explain. But I would only try to edit the grammar. I would not bother to edit what THE TEACHER taught. Most of the references are known. Sin as a cause of separation has always been taught. But THE TEACHER wanted it discussed.
© Samuel O. Kuye (TFW, TER)