LECTURE ON THE TENETS OF CELESTIAL CHURCH OF CHRIST
DELIVERED BY REV A. A. BADA
PASTOR & SUPREME HEAD, C.C.C. WORLDWIDE
CELESTIAL CHURCH OF CHRIST
NATIONAL HEADQUATERS, MAKOKO, LAGOS, NIGERIA
APRIL 4, 1987 Reproduced by the West District, USA
Table of Contents
Lecture Delivered by Rev. A. A. Bada, Supreme Head, Celestial Church of
Christ Worldwide at Celestial Church of Christ National Headquarters, Makoko,
Lagos Under the Auspices of the Bible Class on 4th April, 1987.
It gives me a great pleasure to be here today to share with you what I know and I find
necessary for you to know to enable you to share it with fellow Celestians so that a good
knowledge of what we have and hold tenaciously to the tenets of Celestial Church of Christ
may make us stand firm in the face of wrong perverted teachings which abound around us.
"Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make thee free".
Celestial Church of Christ tenets may mean many things to many People. To me, the
tenets are divine in origin and grounded in the scriptures. Tenets: it should be
noted are not peculiar to Celestial Church of Christ but when one practices what is not
Pedestals, one is open to suspicion and even, attack from other groups. It may be
necessary at this juncture to find a simpler meaning of expression of tenets. Tenets,
according to Oxford Advanced Leaner's Dictionary of Current English means: Principle;
belief; doctrine. And if we break one of the above definitions, doctrine, into smaller
words, we have the following also in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary Of Current
English: Body of teaching; belief and teachings of a church, political party, school of
scientists. I say therefore, that what I do know about the beliefs and teachings of
Celestial Church of Christ and want to share with you is that not only did the Celestial
Church of Christ tenets come through divine revelations to our beloved Saint S.B.J.
Oshoffa, the Prophet, Pastor, and founder of the Church, but also have their basis in the
Bible. In short, the Celestial Church of Christ tenets are mostly part of
God's statutes given to our forebears with the definitive term that they should be kept
from generation to generation.
It is lack of understanding of the scriptures that make many people think that
Celestial Church of Christ tenets art either peculiar or the thoughts of a clever mind, or
even the rationalization of a philosopher-religionist. Our beloved Pastor, Founder,
my father in Christ, saint S.B.J. Oshoffa was but a carpenter whom it pleased God Almighty
to elect for the establishment of Celestial Church of Christ with tenets divinely
dictated, So far for the preamble.
My term of reference - Celestial Church of Christ tenets - has a very wide scope which
I am afraid cannot be adequately covered within the period of a lecture of this nature. I
shall endeavor in this lecture to highlight only the salient ones that are easily
There are no preconditions for admitting any willing person into the membership of
Celestial Church of Christ. However some steps need be taken to ensure a clean break
between the old and the new system of life. Our Lord said to Nicodemus in John 3:3-5,
"No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit".
There are three vital step: Sanctification, baptism, anointment.
Sanctification is the first rite a prospective member of the Church should undergo.
Sanctification in Celestial Church of Christ falls into three categories. The first one is
for new members to remove their filth and stain of darkness in consonance, with the words
of God in Ezekiel 36:25-30, 11:17-20; Exod. 19:10-22; Lev. 10:3. As Adam was driven out of
Eden, because of sin, there was also the restoration of the second Adam through
Sanctification into new Jerusalem in Christ Jesus. Hence the hymn given to Celestial
Church of Christ, a hymn of invitation to a rebirth: 'Jesu lo npe o tantan, ma bo, elese
After sanctification the new member is numbered among the children of promise in the
new faith in Christ Jesus. Materials used for sanctification are spirit-in-word,
water, and fire.
In this first case, the following are needed: water, sponge, soap and a stick of candle
which when lit is symbolic of the spirit of God like tongue of fire which descended on the
first apostles to sanctify them on the day of Pentecost - Act. 2:1-4. Following
immediately the sanctification of a member is the sanctification of the person's place of
abode. A clean man remains clean if he resides in a clean environment; a clean man in a
filthy environment is unclean since man is a product of his environment. Acts 19:18-19
supports the essence of ridding a house of all acts that are not related to the spirit of
God whenever one starts a new life in Christ Jesus.
The second category of sanctification practiced in Celestial Church of Christ is the
purification exercise that a woman undergoes after her monthly period, and after giving
birth to a child. This is very important and God does not take it lightly. Lev. 12, Lev.
15:16-18; 15:19-24; 29-30. Many people discountenance it but Christ established it beyond
reasonable doubt: Mark 5:25-34. The weight of the impurity was so much felt by Jesus
Christ that he could not resist asking who touched him. The Apostles-also warned the
Antioch converts to steer clear of 'blood' Acts 15:29.
The third category of sanctification is consecration into priesthood as it is explained
in Exod. 40:12-15. It should be noted that in Celestial Church of Christ, candle is used
to replace lamb, goat, sheep prescribed in the scriptures Prov. 20:27.
A prospective member may be presented for the rite of baptism only after he has
participated in the worship and adhered to the rules of the church for 12 months Acts
11:26. That length of time is for the person to examine the doctrine and the mode of
worship thoroughly before taking the plunge. Baptism therefore is the first rite performed
to admit formally a worshiper into full membership of the church after which such a member
becomes spiritually equipped and elevated to partake of holy communion and join other
members of the church in spiritual works according to the prompting of the holy spirit.
Baptism in Celestial Church of Christ follows the immersion pattern, the type which Christ
our Lord underwent in Jordan through the hand of John the Baptist - Matt. 3:13-17.
A member is not considered ripe for the rite of anointment in Celestial Church of
Christ until such a person has steadily worshipped in the Church for three years, two
years after baptism. Exod. 30:30-33. By the time a member is being presented for
anointment, there should be adequate evidence that such a person is a committed Christian
worshipping in Celestial Church of Christ. Saul otherwise known as the Apostle Paul was
for several years referred to as "Brother" until he and Barnabas were formally
commissioned to proceed on a missionary journey - Acts 9:17; 13:15.
In consonance with one of the statutes of God to mankind Exod. 23:14, Celestial Church
of Christ tenet gives prominence to three festivals: Christmas, (the birth of Christ at
the end of the year); Easter (Palm Sunday, passion week featuring washing of feet, holy
communion: and Christ's resurrection); and Harvest.
God in his infinite mercy is ever looking for ways of reconciling man to himself.
It was on this mission of reconciliation that Jesus Christ the only begotten son of
God volunteered to go. Christ took it upon himself, put his glory in heaven aside and
came, into the world to save mankind. And when He came, He became the chief priest and
king. No wonder the rite of anointment coincides with Christmas festivities and more
precisely falls on December 25th every year, the day which is throughout Christendom
universally accepted as the day on which Christ was born. For by anointment, in
Jesus Christ, a member of Celestial Church of Christ is made a priest unto the Lord and a
king to reign over the earth. Rev. 5:9-10.
The world Congregation of Celestial Church of Christ assembles annually on 24 December
at an appointed place as directed by the Lord Himself through our Pastor and founder,
Saint S.B.J. Oshoffa to celebrate. It is an event in Celestial Church of Christ which
every committed member looks forward to with fervor.
To Celestians, this is celebrated in remembrance of the Exodus, the time of the
deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage as it is also the time the deliverance
of God comes through our Lord Jesus Christ to humanity. Exodus 13:1-4; 34:18. The
significance is that the Passion Week marks the time when the only begotten son of God
surrendered his life an atonement for the sins of the world. (Jesus Christ is often
referred to as the firstborn of the father) Heb. 1:6. The Passion Week (Palm Sunday night
to Holy Saturday) is an eventful week for all Celestians, the only week when it is
statutory for Celestians to fast. On Palm Sunday, Christendom proclaims the kingship of
Jesus Christ. This is otherwise known as the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem Zech. 9:9-10;
Lk. 19:32-38; Matt. 21:5-9; Mk. 11:1-10; John 12:12-15. One of the events - washing of
feet takes place on Holy Thursday.
The rite of washing of feet in Celestial Church of Christ has a great significance. By
the rite, it is believed that the eternal curse Gen. 3:15 on the descendants of Adam is
removed, John 13:8. All the signs of the curse should be washed off before one can enter
the Kingdom of God.
Here is the story of one Senior Elder Olowoloba a member of Celestial Church of Christ
at Arepo Village in the sixties. For about three years consecutively, he and the entire
parish missed the service of washing of feet. He became seriously ill to the point of
death. In a state of comma he saw a very long white ship into which Celestians were
filing. tie hurriedly put on his sutana and ran to the ship only to discover that there
was a roll call. At the end of the roll call, he did not hear his name. He moved near and
protested since he too was a Celestian. He was asked to show a sign that he was truly a
Celestian. They looked thoroughly at his feet and saw no mark; he was then asked to run
back to Makoko, get his feet washed before he could qualify to enter the ship. When he
came round, he gathered himself up and with all his family and the church members came to
Makoko where the service of washing of feet was coincidentally in progress. He narrated
his experience, washed his feet, and all the members of his family and members washed
their feet too. Eventually he got well soon after; but he died the same year.
A full service and administration of Holy Communion follow washing of feet on Holy
Thursday evening. Mark 14:22-26; Lk. 22:14-20; 1 Corin. 11:23-32. Our Lord Jesus Christ
said, "Blessed are ye if know these things and do them" John 13:17. Again he
said, "This do in remembrance of me "Lk. 22:19. It has become statutory in
Celestial Church of Christ worldwide to administer Holy Communion on quarterly basis -
three monthly exercises.
God ordained the feast of harvest. In obeying this statute of God and to enhance the
fulfilment of God's design for his children, all Celestians - children and adults -
observe the festival of harvest as it is recorded in Exod. 23:16. There are, year in year
out, evidences, and testimonies abound that the observance of this festival brings in its
trail the blessing enumerated in Exod. 23:25-30.
Worship is given a prime of place in the doctrine of Celestial Church of Christ.
"Then the Lord said Unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh and tell him, Thus said the Lord
God of the Hebrews, let my people go, that they may serve/worship me" Exod. 9:1. It
is important to note that what God primarily demands from his people and from generation
to generation is "serve/worship the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy
might." "And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and
he shall bless thy bread etc". Exod. 23:25. The service or worship of God
is a strong deciding factor to show who belongs to him and who do not. Malachi 3:14:18.
The prime of place given worship in Celestial Church of Christ is reflected both in
its frequency, mode, and intensity. It is right to say that we observe three-hourly time
of prayer 6 a.m., 9am., 12 noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m., 12 midnight (psalm 119:164).
Daily - 5.30 am. Morning devotion; 9 p.m. Evening devotion.
Wednesday - 9 am. - Special service for barren women and those who seek job. 6
Friday - 12 noon 3 pm. special service for prophets, dreamers et 3 pm. special
service for pregnant women 6 p.m. worship.
Sunday 10 am. Worship; 6 pm. - Worship.
First Thursday of the month - 12 midnight - New Noon Service Ezekiel 46:1-6.
The new moon service is as important as the Sunday worship. It is a service that is
loaded with meaningful action of reverence and adoration. The shepherd and the whole
congregation in unison lift up their hand (acknowledging the sovereignty of God), then bow
down, and finally kneel down with face to the ground, the forehead touching the ground.
Nehemiah 8:6. The worship is conducted in absolute lowliness before God. There is no
sitting on chairs or benches. There is intense use of incense and perfume.
And, at other services, our act of worship is in kneeling with face to the ground
touching the ground with our forehead when the bell tolls three times and we chorus in
unison, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Hosts Isaiah 6:3; Rev. 4:8.
For Wednesday 9 am. Special service for barren women, participants would have one candle,
one bottle of water, three different types of fruits like pawpaw, orange, mango,
banana, coconut etc. After a short service they are placed before the Lord with
fruits, bottle of water and the lit candle placed a little distance from the head and
covered with alter cloth and sanctified water is sprinkled on them. When each of them
wakes up, she takes and eats one type of fruit and the bottle of water.
For Friday 12 noon - 3 p.m. special service for prophets, dreamers and those seeking
the power of the holy spirit, participants would have one candle and a bottle of water.
After the service, they are placed before the Lord and covered with alter cloth. They take
their water when they wake up.
For Friday 3 p.m. Spiritual prenatal clinic for pregnant women, participants would have
one candle and a bottle of water. After service and prayer for safe delivery, they are
placed before the Lord and covered with altar cloth. They take their water when they wake
It will be reasonable and useful to direct our attention to the following aspects
relating to our worship:
i. Falling on our faces, worshipping God - Rev. 14:6; II Chron. 20:18; Exod. 34:6-8;
Matt. 26:39; Rev. 7:11; Rev. 11:16; 4:10.
ii. Gates of our church open continually - Isaiah 60:11-12; Rev. 7:15.
iii. Altar lamp burns continually - Lev. 24:1-2; Exod. 27:20
iv. Candlestick (seven pronged) - Exod.25:31-37; Heb.9:2 Rev. 1:12; 4:5
v. Table of the Altar - Exod. 25:23; Heb.9:1-3
vi. Communion box - Heb. 9:4
vii. Burning of incense Rev. 8:1-4; Mark 16:1 Lk. 1:9-10; Lk.23: 55-56; Matt 2:11; Exod.
ii. Use of sanctified oil - James 5:14-l5; Mark 6:13
ix. Walking barefoot and not wearing cap in the Church - Exod. 3:4-6; Rev. 1:14; 1:15
x. Loins (Girdle) - Acts 12:8; John 13:4-5; Jer. 1:17
xi. White Garment - Matt. 28:2-3; Rev. 6:9-11
xii. Garment for worshippers and priests - Exod. 39:22-29.
From the above, it can be concluded that most of our practices which relate to our
worship in Celestial Church of Christ are dictates from the Lord as directly in the Bible.
And John in Rev. 1:1-3 did not mince words that he was given the revelation
in order to show God's chosen people what must happen very soon. Christ made these
things known to John by sending his angel to him and he had told all that he had seen.
"Happy are those who obey what is written in this Book": i.e. the book of
Revelation. It is evident that Celestial Church of Christ is the fulfillment of the-vision
of John in the scene described in Rev. 7:9-17.
Our religious obligations in our church are many and varied. The principal ones which
God does not play with are thanks offering, and tithes.
Thanks offering and tithes take a prominent place in our worship in Celestial Church of
Christ. The significance of these in our life is well explained in Malachi 3:6-12. Doing
it is blessings and not doing it is curse. Psalm 100:1-5 relates the message loud and
clear. It is the bounding duty of those who are saved to "serve the Lord in
gladness" and "come to his presence with singing". It is appropriate to
enter His gates with thanksgiving to acknowledge "that the Lord, He is God; it is He
that hath made us and not we ourselves.
Of equal importance are alms, and freewill offering which is popularly known as
collections 1 Corin. 16:1-3. These are sacrifices that are lifted up for blessings.
It is from part of those four types of offerings: thanks offering, tithes, alms, and
freewill offering called collections that the workers receive their stipend.
In Celestial Church of Christ, all the laws given to Moses and the prophets are
strictly adhered to. Malachi 4:4; Exod. 20:1-20 Matt. 5:17-20. Since repetition is a
fixing device, the mosaic laws and Celestial Church of Christ ordinances are brought into
announcements every worship day. Our ordinances are categorized for ease of reference viz
Food, Drink, Morality, Discipline, and Ritual Cleanliness.
It is forbidden in Celestial Church of Christ to eat Pork; Crawling animals like snake,
snail, and species of fish that have no scale. Eating blood is also forbidden Lev.
3:17; Gen.9:4-5; Deut. 12:15-16; 23-25.
It is forbidden in Celestial Church of Christ to take alcohol or wine Lk. 1:15; Number
6:1-4. It is also forbidden to smoke cigarette or snuff tobacco.
Adultery or fornication in any form is totally forbidden. It is forbidden for a man to
hug a woman or stay too close chest to chest to a woman 1 Corin. 7:1-2; Rev. 21:8.
It is forbidden in Celestial Church of Christ
- For women to leave their head uncovered I Corin. 11:5-6; 10
- For men and women to wear transparent dress or use transparent material to sew their
- For women to mount the pulpit to deliver sermon or lead congregational worships 1 Tim.
- For women to adorn their lips or nails (foot or finger) 1 Peter 3; 1 Tim. 2;
- For men to allow their hair to be too long 1 Corin. 11:14; for male and female members
to sit side by side in the temple of God;
- For members to merry-go-round at night.
It is forbidden in Celestial Church of Christ
- To carry a corpse into the temple of God;
- To bury the dead close to the temple;
- For women in their monthly period for the first seven days to move near the temple or
touch any holy thing
- For women after giving birth to children to enter the temple until the time of her
purification 40 days after child birth;
- To eat anything offered to idols.
There are a few general ones. Members of Celestial Church of Christ are forbidden to
wear anything red or black either as underwears or as dresses.
There are a few vital things that can pass for tenets in our marriage and
The aspect I want to highlight in our marriage ceremony is that which shows the union
not only of the bride and bridegroom but also of the two families - the families of the
bride and that of the bridegroom - consummated under the spirit of God. The parents of the
bride will hold the hand of their daughter and place it in the hands of the parents of the
bridegroom giving their daughter not directly to the bridegroom but to the parents of the
bridegroom to be adopted as their own daughter. The parents of the bridegroom will then
take the hands of both the bride (their daughter-in-law) and the bridegroom (their son)
together and give to the elders of the church who then deliver the hands to the
officiating minister for solemnization of matrimony. Held within three pillars - the
families of the bride, the families of the bridegroom, and the church elders - the wedlock
stands a great chance of lasting.
On the eighth day, every child born into a Celestian home is christened. For this
ceremony the following are needed: seven types of fruits, candles (2 packets), incense,
honey, salt, sugar, and water. Seven of the candles, lit, will be in a bowl of water,
which will be placed in front of the prophet who carries the child. At the entrance of the
temple, the child will be sanctified by the shepherd and the prophet carrying the child
with six other members of the congregation will usher the child into the temple dancing.
One of the sidesmen will carry the bowl in which seven candles are stuck out of
which three are lit while another sidesman will be burning incense to lead the child into
the temple. In the process of the service, the spirit of God will descend on the prophet
carrying the child to give the child a name. The name given to our Lord came from an angel
before he was conceived Luke 2:21.
After sermon and collection, seven elders of the church, four men and three women, will
stand round the child who is carried by the prophet. The name given through the holy
spirit will be read out after which water, salt, and honey shall be put into the child's
mouth with words of blessing from the Leader. This is followed by the reading of Deut.
28:1-14 and prayer from the seven elders. When the service is ended after thanksgiving,
the congregation will dance round the child, giving him gifts and taking part of the
honey, salt, sugar, and fruits.
At the end of the ceremony in the temple, the child is led into the waiting arm of his
mother outside the church just as he was led into the temple.