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Addressing the assembly in the lull of the adoration music, Prophet T. B. Joshua underscored the fact that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and demons of all authorities and rankings. As our fight is targeted at demons and principalities, it is not easy to determine our closing time in the Sunday service. In our case, we react proactively to the attack of the devil as and when observed. Demons attack mankind everywhere and every time and we must react as enjoined in Mark 16:17 where God says, in my name you shall cast out all demons. Opening his message with a series of rhetorical questions,
Wise Man Racine enjoined the assembly to be vigilant if they were not to be caught napping when the Lord would arrive. Are you prepared for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ? How prepared are you to receive Him? Where will He find you when He comes? He advised the church to wake up. He reminded the congregation that what we see on a daily basis on the street are demons at work in various ways and manners. Demons use able-bodied men to perpetrate atrocities of various descriptions and dimensions against their fellow men as orchestrated by the devil whose pre-occupation is to distract mankind from his Creator, God. Demon’s purpose is to distract man from God. There is an unending war between eternity and things which are intrinsically temporal in nature. A war between Christ and evil which is also the war between the Spirit and flesh is unending, according to him. This he maintained would lead to the topic of his message which is:
THE BATTLE OF THE AGES
Ours is a fight with enemies that we can’t see. He referred the congregation to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. The weapons of warfare are not carnal, for ours are enemies without flesh. The first place to be victorious is in our mind, he emphasised. It is a war between knowledge and ignorance. He enjoined the congregation to find security in God’s hands. It is in God’s hands that we have victory and blessing. Freedom from fear is in God’s hands. If God is with you, who can be against you? He further reminded the congregation of the Lord’s promise to set a table before you in the presence of your enemies. He advised his listeners to look up to the Lord for eternal victory. Jesus’ victory is a supernatural victory and we should rise up in heart and mind for things above. Our victory is past victory as Jesus, by His victory over the devil, has conquered the world for us. He gave biblical backing to his point by asking the church to open Matthew 4:3 for the Lord’s temptation. The devil tempted Jesus with bread because he knew that after His forty days of fasting and praying, He must be hungry. The devil tempted Jesus to put on a sensational display of power. Jesus, though had all the power, presumed upon the Holy Spirit. This teaches us that the power given to us is not to be exercised at our own will but at the will of God.

BROKEN HOMES AND RECONCILIATION
Mounting the altar in succession to the Wise Man, Prophet T.B. Joshua x-rayed the various problems challenging the unity in many families today. In many cases, he went on, families don’t go together to church because there isn’t unity enough in the family to justify that. Even in the same church, husband and wife sit far apart to be comfortable. All this, he maintained, is the work of the devil. The nature of the man’s job could be a source of disunity as wife and children will not be happy to wake up at 4am for family prayer to enable the man to go to work early. So, when there is unity on the outside, there might be disunity on the inside. Many of your children might not accept your faith but would embrace your money.

A HOUSE ON FIRE
The man of God directed that the video clip on a prophecy relating to the Nworah family be visited. The clip revealed the psychological turmoil in the mind of Mrs Rose Nworah following a strange phone number she discovered in her husband’s phone. Dialling the phone number in suspicion and anxiety, Mrs Rose Nworah received the shocking news told, with utmost disdain, by a girl her husband nicknamed Baby-Baby. The girl in question had been regaling herself in an illegal sexual relationship with her husband. As Baby-Baby herself put it, in reaction to Mrs Nworah’s phone call, “I have been enjoying your husband for quite some time and in fact, I am now pregnant for him.” What unspeakable effrontery! What a heart-shattering and mind-numbing insolence! What culpable sacrilege of cultural and biblical norms! The reality of the matter, as explained by Mrs Nworah, is that for quite some time the relationship between the couple had gone sour. The man’s amorous yearning for the woman had atrophied. Much to the chagrin of the woman, the husband never relished her meals anymore; they never slept together nor was the man interested in going out together with the wife ostensibly because of his newly discovered Baby-Baby, who incidentally hails from the same village in Anambra, Nigeria as the husband. Rose, the wife felt disadvantaged by this communal relationship between her husband and Baby-Baby as she, herself is a Ghanaian. In spite of the ethnic difference between the couple, the wife cherishes the marriage and had always jettisoned people’s negative comments and wishes about the marriage. She so loves him that she declares her affection for him to be time defiant because, as she says, her love is for ever and for ever she will love him. In his defence, Mr Uchenna Nworah acknowledged the girl as his community girl but denied putting her in a family way. Taking this as an episode for sermonising before giving his verdict, the prophet drew attention to the beauty of the woman and remarked, in confirmation of the Bible, that the battle is not necessarily for the swiftest and that is why, according to him, there are many beautiful women who, in spite of their beauty, live by prostitution in hotels today while many ugly ones are happily married. He added that beauty in the inside is more important than outward appearance. He therefore enjoined his listeners to seek deliverance in this regard. On the issue in question, the man of God declared that their marriage is from God and the so-called pregnancy claims by Baby-Baby were a mere hoax minted out to create bad blood between the couple. In total relief, the woman wore a smiling look and reiterated her yearnings to bear him all her children and love him forever. Hugging each other in their renewed matrimony, both husband and wife were delivered.

The next prophecy mentioned a woman, who in her dreams would see herself cutting the head of a goat which, on completion, would turn out to be one of her children receiving the machete cut. A few days after the dream, the affected child would fall sick and die. No sooner the prophecy was given than a woman emerged to claim the prophecy as hers because she had mysteriously lost three children in the process enunciated in the prophecy. Mrs Janet Peter from Kogi State confirmed the prophecy for herself and added that she had visited many pastors in that regard, in the hope of getting deliverance but all in futility. Developing this strand of the issue, the prophet told the church that it is hardly possible for any pastor to issue deliverance that is predicated on a dream or tale by a victim or sufferer. Deliverance, he submitted, is only possible and efficacious if the issue is revealed to the pastor by the Holy Spirit and the pastor divulges it by way of a prophecy to the person affected. Mrs Peter also disclosed her propensity to eat in dreams. The man of God assured her of deliverance. Many other prophecies, some of intriguing nature, were given and claimed by various congregants after which they were delivered and reassured of a more fruitful life in Christ. God, according to the prophet, has intended that His people should not grope in ignorance and consequently perish. He has, on the contrary, planned that a prophet should be among them. Through the prophet, God has intended to reveal essential information to them for their edification, survival and growth. However, this fact is not appreciated by many people and so, such people deride the prophets of God. The prophet is the only book after all books but which is not available in the market.

The prophet is the mind of God. He thereafter referred to a prophecy relating to Kenya which was issued the previous Sunday in the service. In the said prophecy, the prophet talked of seeing a place in Kenya where people drink and which would be attacked. It was therefore a warning sounded to those who would believe the prophet. This prophecy is confirmed in media reports that a police officer in central Kenyan town went on a shooting rampage killing ten people in different bars. The shooting spree happened late Saturday in Siakago 150 km North East of Nairobi.
The prophet went into prayer with the congregation as the Wise Men laid their hands on members of the congregation. He prayed that the light of God must shine no matter what the devil does, adding by way of more spirited prayer, that every power limiting the congregation must loose its grip.

The first fall-out from the mass prayer was a woman from Asaba, Delta State who in spiritual manifestation, confessed that she was ‘ogbanje’(an agent of satan, often born to die) and had been directed to use her powers to kill her husband. She however, according to her, would not do that because she loved her husband very much.

The second was a prophecy by the man of God in which he saw a royal father or king among the congregation wearing a charm. He therefore asked the unnamed royal father to come out into the open of his own volition. A frail- looking old man in regal attire emerged from the congregation in response to the prophecy and declared himself as the one at whom the prophecy was directed. The royal father declared his willingness to remove the charm and identify with Jesus Christ. However, in recognition of his age and regal status, the prophet never allowed him to be stripped for the charm in the public gaze. The royal father thanked God for pointing him out adding that the charm had rendered him senile and incapable of identifying any of his fifty children. He was however, told that his sickness was the result of a charm he trod on in the past.

Another prophecy was given relating to a witchdoctor who had killed seven of his children and instilled fear in the entire community leading, in some cases, to a pandemonium as the gods were on the prowl in the village. The man, as the prophecy revealed, had taken to his heels to the church to seek refuge. The witchdoctor revealed, in confirmation of the prophecy that his wife had been disabled by the same gods and might die soon if proactive reaction was not in the offing. By the action of the gods, according to the witchdoctor, they had disappointed him and he would disappoint them in retaliation by identifying himself with Christ and annihilating them. He said he inherited the gods from his fore-fathers and had built a house for them. He appealed to the man of God for deliverance so that he would survive the present threat to his life.
The man of God frowned at the old man for killing his children and also endangering the lives of the village people with the gods. As the issue unfolded, it became clear that many people in the assembly had not gone to their villages for the past ten years and more because of evil practices that witchdoctors in these villages had perpetrated on the innocent people. The man of God planned a mass prayer for such people who had been afraid to go to their villages so as to fortify them spiritually and encourage them to re-unite with their families in the village. Following the incessant plea by the witchdoctor who feared he might die if the man of God ignored him, the man of God pitied him and promised to deliver him for the Lord. Earlier, the prophet had intimated to him that he had not included some of his most powerful gods in the train of gods he displayed. The man of God mentioned some snakes and tortoises that constituted some of the most dangerous gods he had. The witchdoctor confessed that those ones were too dangerous for him to toy with.
The Sunday service had too much in package in form of deliverance and healing for one day and so a continuation service was arranged for the following day, Monday 8th November, 2010 beginning at 12 noon.

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In their bad days, they laid siege on highways and streets in Aba, Abia State and dispossessed their victims of cars, cash, handsets and other valuables. The seven-man gang terrorized highways and areas in the eastern part of the country.

Easy life
With easy cash and fat pockets, the young men in their early flush of manhood seemed to be having a jolly ride. Life went on fine for them until the day they dispossessed a pastor of his car and handset. The man of God, Sunday Sun learnt called his phone and warned the gangsters to repent or meet untimely death.

Repentant Robbers...

Repentant Robbers...

Soon after, the car stalled for no discernable reason. The bandits checked it – the car had enough fuel and no mechanical fault. Convinced that the car was cursed, they abandoned it. But one of them, a die-hard, went the next day to take the car. He wasn’t that lucky. He was nabbed by the police and Pastor as he was fiddling with the car.

Death haunted
The arrest of one of them was a major blow. On the heels of that, their members were steadily being depleted at different bungled operations.

Johnson, the gang leader, decided to call it quits. An old disease which almost robbed him of his life in the ’90s resurfaced. He began fretting and searching for help. At last, he returned to Pastor T.B. Joshua – the man he claimed to have healed him in the past. This time, he returned with three of his surviving members.

Salvation
On Sunday, February 10, 2008, 32-year-old Johnson led his boys to The Synagogue Church of All Nations, Ikotun, Lagos. As the Church service progressed, Sunday Sun learnt that Pastor T.B. Joshua walked up to Johnson and told him he is under the curse of someone he had wronged in the past and that he had used dangerous weapons to harm innocent people. Johnson owned up and declared that he and three of his boys were in the church to seek forgiveness and salvation.

TB Joshua prays in the name of Jesus Christ...

TB Joshua prays in the name of Jesus Christ...

Johnson beckoned on them and they came out and confessed of their evil past. Prayers were offered for them.

Life line
Last Sunday, Johnson and his boys who now claim to have repented and forsaken their evil, violent ways and past, were called out to the podium. The video clip of their first encounter with the pastor was played back. The pastor later asked them what they wanted to do with their lives.

They said they were now musicians formed a band and that they needed money to settle down and focus on their hip-hop career.

The pastor prayed for them and gave them N100,000 each, bags of rice and garri and told them “Go and tell others like you to come here. We shall help you start a new life.”

Turning to the congregation, the pastor said: “If we abandon them, they will remain bad, torment the society, and die young. Let’s save them.”

Sunday Sun readily spoke with the former bandits who are now band boys and born again. Excerpts:

Johnson (Gang leader)
I came to Lagos because of my music career. That’s about seven months ago. Since then, I’ve decided to give my life to Christ.
Around 1991 to ’92, I was healed of convulsion by Prophet T.B. Joshua. That’s the main reason I came to Lagos. I know I will get my salvation from God through him. I’m from Ekpoma, Edo State.

They received N300,000 to start a new life in Christ Jesus!

They received N300,000 to start a new life in Christ Jesus!

How we met
Music brought us together. We were living on the same street then. We lived together in Agbala Ukwu Street, Aba, Abia State.
When I decided to give my life to Christ, I decided to bring my friends with me.

Jackson
I’m from Ekpoma, Edo State. We met in Aba, Abia State. All of us were living in Aba together at Agbala Ukwu Street.
When I decided to repent, I decided to come to Synagogue. So I brought my friends with me. We were into highway robbery. We were not really engaged in big time armed robbery. I was just a little boy following them. I used to be the smallest in the group. We were seven in the group when we started.

Turning point
There was one particular robbery. We snatched a car from one man of God. Immediately after, the car broke down. We also took the man’s phone. When we checked the car, everything was okay – the engine, fuel – every thing was okay. The man of God called one of us that had the phone and said that if we didn’t repent, we would all perish.

The man’s words touched me and I told my friends I wasn’t going to be to be in the business with them any more.

I told other boys that we should abandon the car. We left it. But the next day, one of us went to take the car. The man of God and the police arrested him. I really can’t say how they were able to catch him. This thing happened about five years ago and every one of us went our own way. We have never killed anyone, we specialized in snatching cars.

Modestus
I’m from Nde Ezike Village, Ihiala in Anambra State. I’m 29 years old. I stopped school at JSS 3. I used to attend Abbot Boys Secondary School, Ihiala. I was expelled as one of the notorious boys in the school. I used to disobey the school regulations. I came to Lagos to produce my job I’m an artiste. I play music – hip-hop. I have my album titled “When it’s on is on.”

I got into armed robbery out of frustration. And that was two years ago. I didn’t really go robbing with the boys. I used to market what they brought. They normally bring handsets and V-boot Mercedes cars. But I stopped since last year. When we were operating, we didn’t kill anyone, it was only street runs we did in Aba.

As sponsor, all I did was to provide money for others to buy drinks, smoke drugs and be agile in operations. I didn’t buy guns for them. They had their own guns. I also used cocaine that time. Now I am a changed man.

Christian
I’m from Anambra State, Agulu to be precise. I’m now 27. I was born in Aba. I left school in SS1. The urge to make money made one to leave school. I tried going into business without luck. I even thought I could be an apprentice.

I attended Agulu High School, but left in 1995 and came to Lagos the following year – 1996 to be an apprentice. I was at Idumota.
I used to indulge in snatching handsets from people at Aba.

We were using locally made guns. The ones made in Awka by blacksmiths. We got the guns through some bad friends.
I’m now a new person. If I see my old friends now, I’ll tell them to come over to Synagogue. The three of us here are artistes. We shall use the money to release our new album. The group’s name is Moonclan.

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