Am I My Brother's Keeper?
Pastor James E. Banks
My precious brothers and sisters in Christ, I felt led at this time to bring a message that my beloved husband penned under
the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and brought to the people many years before God called him to his glorious reward in heaven. This is the second part of this
message, and I believe that it is current for our day and will inspire you to walk closer to Jesus Christ. God Bless you. Sister Banks
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD
said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's
blood crieth unto me from the ground.Genesis 4: 8 - 10
I feel led of God to continue this message on "Am I My Brother's Keeper?" because it is so needed for the Church of Jesus Christ in this
hour. We, who are Blood bought saints of God are BLOOD related. We are all the purchased possession of Christ. We don't belong to ourselves. So often,
groups form and get together, and those in that group have no fellowship with other believers. Then a wall begins to be built and in their mind, it becomes
wrong to fellowship with other saints. My beloved, this is not of Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus only established ONE Church. It isn't your Church and it isn't my Church- It is
His Church. Jesus is the Head. He is to have the preeminence. And ALL who belong to Jesus Christ are members in particular. Therefore, there should never
be a wedge or a schism formed between those who belong to Jesus Christ. As we found out last month, you cannot love God and be an offense to your brother.
We all must keep what God has given to us, but we must also not try to offend another saint of God. When we are at odds with a brother, our
prayers are hindered. We must be reconciled to our brother before anything that we try to do for God can succeed.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Remember that other saints are not the enemy, Satan is. Other saints are your brothers and your sisters who have been redeemed just like you and who serve the same Lord that you do, and will spend eternity in the same heaven as you will. Truly the devil has moved into the hearts of some who would fight other brothers and sisters instead of fighting the devil. I tell you that Jesus is grieved over this.
Some saints are not satisfied with just accepting Jesus as their Saviour. They desire to work for Him. They desire to press on and go higher with the Lord;
walk closer; live in a deeper way than others who seem content not to do anything but walk in the light that they have. The enemy puts walls of division between these
saints and tempts each side to rebuke the other. Let's read about such a man.
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives:
and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age:
and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
Genesis 37: 1 - 4
Instead of Joseph's brothers doing the deeds that Joseph was doing which caused the great love that their father had for him, they simply hated him in their hearts. This exists in the Church today. Some will press closer to Jesus and God will begin to use them. Jealousy and envy will
rise up in others who are not close to God and they will start to entertain very bad thoughts in their hearts toward those whom God is showering His love on. They won't start pressing in to God like their brother because they don't really want to walk that close to God and they get angry with those who do. This is a spirit of hate. It is of Satan and it causes much bitterness and hardship. My beloved, we should examine our hearts and make sure that these spirits are never found in us.
Only by truthfully looking at ourselves can we see how deep these emotions go. Only by the Blood of Jesus can these destroying attributes leave us. I tell you it is time to ask ourselves a question, "Am I My Brother's Keeper?"
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his
brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.Genesis 37:5-11
Joseph's brothers did not like Joseph because he had a closer walk with God than they did. They became offended at his revelation and his contact
with God. This dislike grew into jealousy and from jealousy was born a desire to murder! Be very careful that your objection to another saint of God
isn't simply because you are jealous of that person's relationship with God. When you see God bless somebody, does it make you happy or sad?
Are you envious because God is using another vessel and not you? Beloved, God wants to use everyone. If the One who died to save your soul is not using you,
then there is something wrong with your relationship with Him. Don't be angry or jealous of the one God is using because God is the One that is using him.
We did not call ourselves, and we certainly cannot anoint ourselves. If there is a holy anointing present, then God is the One who gave it.
If a vessel is being used of God, you are fighting God if you are fighting that vessel. God has shown me that the sin of jealousy and envy in the Church
is the most deadly sin that a Church can have in it. And as long as it is present (and it is more common than you think) sons of God cannot be born.
Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery because they hated him for his relationship with God. They would have killed him had it not been for Rueben
who sought to sell him, thus saving his life. As Joseph grew and God blessed him, he became the second most important person in all of Egypt.
The interpretation of dreams that Joseph had in prison began to come to pass. Soon the famine was sore in the land and all the earth had to come to Egypt to
buy corn. One day, Joseph lifted up his eyes and saw his brothers. They had also come to buy food for they had no harvest. Although Joseph knew them, they did
not know Joseph. Joseph then planned to gather his entire family together. When this was done, Joseph stood before his family and revealed himself.
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him,
while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren,
I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren,
Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry
with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land:
and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity
in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father
to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.Genesis 45:1-8
Here is a good example of the true love of those who are brethren. Joseph had every reason in the natural, to be very angry at his brothers and to punish
them for their sin. He had the power to do so. He was correct in seeing the sin, but had he exercised his bitterness, his sin would have far outweighed theirs.
Joseph forgave the wrong that was done to him and God gave Joseph a forgiving heart. A heart that has been hurt by a wrong can be healed; but a heart that has
surrendered to hate and bitterness because of that hurt is one that is in need of forgiveness before it can be healed.
Christians must yield to the power of the
Holy Ghost during times of hurt, or they will react no differently than the unsaved people in the world. But praise God, when we do yield to God, we can see
every situation as Jesus would sea it and not lose our fruit because we have been wronged! Joseph's brothers said, ''We are guilty concerning our brother."
Even though Joseph was alive, his blood was crying out and they remembered their faults concerning their brother. WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO REMEMBER YOUR FAULTS
CONCERNING YOUR BROTHER?
Joseph could have taken the position that he was better than his brothers because he was the one that had been wronged. He might have
thought that God was with him more than He was with them because he was in charge and had the power to kill them. But notice that Joseph never yielded to that.
That would have been sin. Joseph was found to be of an excellent spirit, and was able to recognize that God was the one that caused it all- SO THAT HE MIGHT
Joseph recognized the position that he was in to such an extent that he tried with all his heart to ease the guilt of his brothers even though
THEY had sinned. Truly we need to look at this example of Joseph when a brother offends us. It is not enough to be "RIGHT". Being a Christian has a
lot more to do with our lives than just being "RIGHT". Jesus was "RIGHT" and he was abused and rejected. If you have a conflict with a
brother, you and he are in the worst position you could be in; for you are at odds with a soul that has been bought and paid for with the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Maybe you are ''RIGHT'' and he is ''WRONG''. But if you are not strong enough in the Spirit to work out your problem with him
through prayer and humility, then maybe you are not so "RIGHT" after all.
I tell you there is a danger in having a barrier and keeping a barrier
between you and your brother. Joseph forgave his brothers. Can you forgive your brother? Can Joseph have more power under the blood of bulls and goats than we
have today under the Blood of Jesus Christ? My beloved, it is time to name this sin in the Church and exercise the grace of Jesus Christ to remove it. Listen
to me. There is something wrong with your walk with God if you can't get on your knees and pray with someone who loves Jesus Christ.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations
of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his
sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a
loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?Acts 16:25-30
Paul and Silas were not arguing about what the other had done to get them in such a horrible situation. No! They were their brother's keeper! They were in one mind and one accord and the glory of God came in. Why is it that some can supposedly have all power and authority over the devil, yet can't seem to live in peace with a brother? And why is it that those that say they would love to have victory in their lives feel ill towards those that do? Is this not division? Is this not Satan at work in the Church?
I tell you that there is a glorious realm in the Spirit of God that we can reach where we can live in unity with all our brethren. This will not only bring harmony to the Body of Christ, but will bring more power and anointing to each of us. Then in this blessed spirit of unity, we can pray, weep, and fast together as we learn from each other the great mysteries of God. Let us all reach forth in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus, for in the final analysis, men who are unsaved will NOT know we belong to Jesus because of the abundance of our knowledge of God's Word, or of our revelation, or of our spiritual gifts, or of our mighty deeds, but:
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.John 13:35
I tell you that there is a place that we can walk in that will cause us to never compromise with sin, but will also cause harmony and peace to flow among
all those that love Jesus Christ and serve him faithfully. For we are our brother's keeper. May God richly bless you. Amen.