Prophet TB Joshua’s crusade in Singapore was a history-making event, unlike any the Asian nation had previously witnessed. Here is an account of onlookers writing for the Saviour Times, who did their best to depict few of the incredible scenes that unfolded during that historic week in late 2006, a week not to be soon forgotten in the hearts of the countless thousands of attendees…
Prophet T B Joshua’s method of ministering God’s miracle-working power during his National Healing Campaign (27 Nov- 2 Dec 2006) courted controversy. Is that what Jesus would have done? In our natural reactions to his unconventional “style”- turning up at the last hour or even after designated meeting times – how inspired were we, by Our Father?
Sunday, 26 November 2006. 8.15 am.
Member: “Hey, how come no announcement that the car park would be closed? Must complain to Pastor Derek! Eh, why are there so many African people here today?”
The first appearance of Prophet T.B. Joshua in Singapore on Sunday 26 November 2006 at Church of Our Savior (COOS) draws, in the words of the Man of God himself, “an encouraging turnout.” People stream into the premises from as early as 7.30am for the 8.30am service which will last till 1.30 pm – a record-breaking 5-hour-long, single service for COOS. By 8.10am the Auditorium is overflowing with the sick, the deaf, the lame, the demonized, the poor, the broken, the desperate, the seeking, the curious and the unsuspecting. Downstairs, upstairs, eventually on every stair; inside, outside, in the car park, in the plaza – every nook and cranny of COOS is sardine-packed with people. With the onset of clamorous praise and worship, faith begins to rise like a heady incense.
9.30am, 10.00 am. Video testimonies are flashed – Botswana for Christ, raising up the dead – graphic, raw, awesome. 10.30 am and the congregation of the second Sunday service also throngs into COOS. But, of the Prophet, not a sign.
This would become a familiar scene throughout the rest of the prophet’s inaugural healing rallies in Singapore. A whisper begins to circulate that this man of God operates ONLY on the Holy Spirit’s divine timing. The crowd is clearly getting uncomfortable.
Member: “What do you mean? Sit in the car park and watch the screen? No air-con, you know!” Parent with hungry child: “How to sneak out with junior to the hawker centre to eat and still “chope” my seat in church today? The Prophet coming or not?” When he arrives, the scene is like a pop star amidst a sea of a dozen burly black-clad Nigerians encircling him. But when Pastor Derek introduces the Prophet TB Joshua, a deep bond of love and fellow servant-hood is evident, in spite of their stark physical contrasts. The Man of God brings greetings from his church, the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria with a strong African-English accent . “Love one another as I have loved you – John 13:34. Tell your neighbour, “I love you,” the Man of God exhorts.
He preaches on forgiveness – the bridge between God and man – as the powerful voices of his own Nigerian worship team punctuate his plain rhetoric. Another member: “Dear Lord, let my daughter be healed today. She has suffered for seven years already from a weak spine. Lord, have mercy. She is only 15 years old.” Evil spirit: “Man of God, why have you come to torment me? I have possessed this human for nine years. Her father invited me into her. She is mine!” Visitor: “Wait so long already, still no action! Giving up, going home to rest now before I also need healing from falling sick too!”
“Jesus knows who you are and where you are coming from,” the Prophet says. “Jesus knows it is common for people to promise Heaven and Earth when they are sick but to do little or nothing when they have received healing. To enjoy the miracles and blessings of God, you must learn to make God’s Word the Standard for the rest of your lives. Otherwise, there is danger.”
Before you can quite figure out what that danger can be, suddenly, a great emotional outburst: Young Lady: “Prophet! Man of God! Save my mother! Please! She has cancer! Man of God!” Senior Citizen: “Man of God, please help my daughter! She cannot walk.” The Prophet turns to the direction of the commotion. Is this the signal that he has been waiting for? That desperate cry of ‘never-mind-what-others-think’ true faith. Just like the friends of the paralytic in the Bible – so what if they were making a hole in the roof of a stranger’s home? It was the only way to God’s Healing! “In the Mighty Name of Jesus, be healed. Come, walk.” And walk, hop and run, they do. Many are instantly cured of their infirmities and their now suddenly useless wheelchairs, crutches and body braces are held aloft by TB Joshua’s evangelists for all to see and rejoice with them.
Next, that dramatic call for deliverance from evil (snake) spirits. “In the Mighty Name of Jesus, come out!” commands the man of God. At once their humans whose bodies they had been inhabiting begin slithering, writhing, vomiting, foaming, shrieking and fainting! Generational curses are broken and families set free. Spirits of immoralities, ghosts and assorted animals are called out. Sharp words of knowledge are also issued, “You used to beat your wife! Repent and believe in Jesus as your Saviour. Then you will be healed. If you do not repent, then the healing is only temporary. It will not last.”
Throughout the ensuing chaos, the Prophet constantly exhorts that we should “rejoice not that evil spirits submit to you but that your names are written in the Book of Life”. “If you are healed by God’s Word, if you are delivered by God’s Word, you must be ruled by God’s Word. You must make God’s Word the Standard for your life,”
Member: “Good thing I’m outside watching on video! Better not get too near! Is what they’ve got contagious? He won’t come to the car park area, will he?” “I am not the Healer. It is Jesus Christ who heals. I am not the Deliverer. It is Jesus Christ who delivers. I came today not to conduct a big meeting. I came just to bring a greeting. Just to visit my friend, Derek and his church. I promised him when we met in Lagos that I would like to come to this church. I am in Singapore all week this week, at the Stadium tomorrow and Tuesday night. If you are in need of healing or deliverance, come meet me there.”
With that, he moves outside. Outdoors at the carpark and plaza area, onto the rough granite road, hard cement floor and damp grass, under the marque, in the glare of the noonday sun, those he touches falls under the power of God as they are revived, restored or delivered. No need for carpeted flooring, aircon or piped music anymore. And then, just like that, he is gone.
Monday, 27th November 2006. 4 pm
The word is out. A miracle-working prophet is at the Indoor Stadium for two nights. His ministry will jettison the final piece of DNA into place for Singapore’s God-given heritage as an antioch to take off. The first two characteristics of being a community of multi-cultural churches as well as a missions base, have already been fulfilled. All day long, a dreary drizzle. In spite of that, snaking queues at entrances to the Indoor Stadium start to form. The sick have arrived in droves, on their portable beds with waiting ambulances nearby, in wheelchairs, carrying collapsible chairs or leaning in the arms of their parents or friends. Many are not local, having come from a slew of neighbouring countries from Sri Lanka to Sarawak. When the doors finally open at 7 pm, every level except the upper-most level of the stadium, fill up in minutes.
In front of the stage are seated those wearing number tags. They had been interviewed prior to the rally by a ministry team and either their physical or heart conditions had won them their front row seats to the supernatural action. Ebullient praise and strident worship, in four languages – English, Mandarin, Tamil and African-English – begins to rock the stadium. Two hours later, the place is saturated with God’s glory when the Man of God finally sweeps in after 9 pm.
Audience member: “The programme notes says this event closes at 10 pm but the prophet’s just arrived. What time will this meeting end?” The prophet throws his challenge to the Spirit-charged crowd, “Jesus Christ could not perform miracles in his own hometown because the mind of the people there were not at their best to receive. Are you ready to receive?” As the crowd roars in the affirmative, the demons that have possessed some of them begin to jump out of their skins! As the Prophet throws himself into healing the sick first, demons just cannot help but manifest and tremble as he passes by their human hosts.
“NO NO Nooooo, I want you to GO AWAY,” shrieks a lady in yellow who has fallen at the Prophet’s feet. She hisses at him that she is a lizard and flicks her tongue in and out of her mouth. “Who are you? Come here! Get out! Without deliverance we would be wasting time here. We need to arrest these (spirits) and put them into perpetual lock or they will mock us!”. The Man of God explains as he deals with her and keeps on plunging deeper into the milling crowd on the ground. When he eventually slips out, it is 1 am.
Tuesday, 28 November 2006. 5 pm
Usher to queue outside a stadium entrance, “I am sorry to inform you that the doors will only open at 6 o-clock today.” Member of queue: “Come on, brother! Yesterday you announced that the doors would open at 5 pm today. That’s why I’ve brought my auntie, on crutches, at this time. How long do you expect her to stand? Too much!” (The doors eventually open at 5.30 pm.) Member of the audience, 6 hours later: “Hey look, it’s that man who was loudly complaining because of his crippled aunt. Wow! Look at him somersaulting down the steps to the Prophet’s feet. You mean he was possessed? Wah, so loud, his wailing!”
There is no escaping the Man of God who can “see” demons. He is pointing and calling them out from across the stadium even as their human hosts cringe and try to scamper away from him. When they do, his ministry team charges across the venue from left to right and up and down the steps, after them. Eventually they are all carried down to centrestage which has become a war zone of writhing, rolling, foaming-at-the-mouth bodies amidst a tangle of chairs and wheelchairs.
However, it is not everyone who is entitled to that touch from God. Says TB Joshua to the husband of a couple stricken with AIDS, “You see what you have done to your wife (weeping) with your women!” “But, I didn’t know,” objects the husband. Replies the Prophet, “You are a conscious sinner – one who knows what sin is but does it and makes excuses for his actions – and if you don’t repent, you will not receive a lasting healing.” The man who had to go home without his healing had been interviewed, given a number and a front row seat, together with his wife.Yet, he had not received prayer. “It is better to deal with sin, the source of your problem than to run after the Man of God for a solution,” the Prophet had preached earlier in the evening. “If you want a lasting solution, are you prepared to go to the root of your problem and be ruled by His ways?”
Then comes 39-year-old Margaret Tan, who had been possessed by the lizard spirit from the previous evening. With her young daughter in tow, she throws a bag of sleeping and nasal medicines on the ground. She gives her testimony and praises God that the morning after TB Joshua had prayed over her, she had woken up without having a headache or murderous thoughts toward her little daughter anymore! “She’s free” indeed, just as the Prophet said.
Audience member to another: “Phew, finally, he is gone. I have never seen so many people healed and delivered at one time. Quite embarassing, when he accused that old man of beating his wife.” His friend: “This kind of talk can offend some people you know. Will there be more of this type of prophet thing happening at COOS and in Singapore nowadays? Better talk to my cell leader about it. Can take some gettting used to but if this is really a move of God, I had better get started because who can afford to move out of the blessings and will of God? Good night. God Bless.”
SOURCE: Saviour Times – Church Of Our Saviour, Singapore