As usual, the session of opening melodies emanating from the choir gave way to Prophet T.B. Joshua as he spiritedly lifted up the congregation in faith, hope and courage for the service. In his words, if God is with us nobody can be against us. As Christians, we do not need to worry about satan or be frustrated by his tactics. He, in fact, urged the Church to challenge satan boldly in Jesus’ name. We have the power of Jesus’ name at our command, he reassured the Church. We have the power to command the enemy to leave. Our combat is not against flesh and blood, he maintained, and consequently urged listeners to stop fighting their brothers. Our target is the principalities, demons of all kinds and authorities and other satanic powers. You have the power of Jesus at your command. You do not need to worry about satan, the prophet encouraged his avid listeners.
“MAN’S REJECTION” BY WISE MAN CHRISTOPHER
In consonance with the prophet, Wise Man Christopher eulogized the need to take the same side as God. In response to his rhetorical question: if God be for us who can be against us?, the Church chorused , ‘Nobody’. Declaring that he had good news for the Church which would change their thinking, philosophy, attitude and imbue them with new perspectives, the Wise Man proceeded to unroll his message spiritedly. At certain periods in life, we are persecuted because of the presence of God in our lives. At such times, we ask ourselves many questions. He however, admonished his listeners not to be perturbed because, in his words, uncommon blessings attract uncommon challenges. New things attract persecutions. Many people are run down because of their achievements. He however, reassured the Church that integrity cannot be broken down.
The Wise Man reminded the Church that life is in stages. A time to be born, a time to grow, a time to be persecuted, a time to overcome… What stage in life are you in? What purpose does it serve you? In the world today, according to him, many people hide under the warm arms of their parents rather than go into society. Man cannot make new discoveries without the spirit of adventure. A genuine spiritual experience, he emphasized, needs to be tested. Citing 1 Cor. 10:13, he assured the congregation that no temptation beyond them would be meted out to them except what is common to man. Even at that, God will provide a way out for you. Are you ostracised by the members of your clan or community because of your integrity? Remember, Christ was rejected. In times of suffering we must not be dismayed by the fact of our friends avoiding us. In rejection and suffering, please run to God. Man’s rejection provokes God’s direction he concluded.
T.B. JOSHUA’S EARLY MINISTRY
Mounting the altar for the second time, Prophet T. B. Joshua drew attention to the video clip of the previous Sunday which captured the mediums of miracles in the early stages of the Church. Instructing that the clip be reactivated, he took time to clear the air that the intention was not to show off but to encourage the congregation that no condition is permanent, among other lessons. But referring to his personal figure on the clip in a mood of dawn after darkness, he reminded the Church that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. He added that your little capital invested now, can become a trillion dollars tomorrow. Continuing, he said, ‘Landlords, tenants, no condition is permanent. From wilderness he has come to city. T.B. Joshua, don’t forget where you are coming from. Now, you are in the city, don’t forget you came from the wilderness.’ On a more serious note, he informed the assembly that many people, at success, run after their blessings rather than after the source of their achievements i.e. the Holy Ghost. Like in the previous Sunday, the clip revealed the prayer on sand, and later, another prayer on water flowing from taps. As water flowed from taps, Prophet T.B. Joshua sanctified it in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As soon as the prophet left, members of the congregation representing many nationalities, thronged to the taps for their share of the sanctified water. Many used their palms to fetch the water into their mouths; some, cans and cellophanes and many others splashed the water on their bodies and heads for immediate relief. Right there on the spot, miracles were recorded. A lame man brought in a vehicle was carried inside the Church where the taps were flowing. The man, as the story went, fell in his bedroom and sustained the injury. His sister who brought him to the Church left him and went for the sanctified water to splash on him. This she did in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. A while later, the lame man stood up and began to walk.
Another was a woman with a spinal cord injury who was wheeled to the scene by her son. Her son took the water to her to drink and bathe her body. After this simple ritual, the son raised her from the wheelchair and she began to walk there and then. The third miracle was that of a woman who excreted a big worm after drinking the water! The fourth was a woman who had experienced delayed delivery. As soon as she swallowed the sanctified water, her delayed delivery was over. She had been to a hospital for surgery but was luckily brought back to the Church to experience this miracle. The reaction to her drinking the water was her new baby crying on the floor of the Church. Many Nigerians and international visitors drank from, bathed with and bottled much of the sanctified water for future use.
BROKEN HOMES AND RECONCILIATION
A number of broken homes were reconciled. The first among them was that of Vera Chukwuma and her family, all from Kwale in Delta, Nigeria. After introducing members of the family numbering not less than ten, Vera recounted how the Anointing Water she had collected from the Church and given to her family members after a prayer session worked. According to her, her problem was witchcraft. Her brother had been sick for seven months, but the cause of the ailment had defied identification even in hospitals. After the administration of the Anointing Water, a member of the family (a son of the sick man) began to confess, according to her. In his confession, Vera told the Church, the boy said that he was the cause of the father’s sickness, that he had been asked to kill him and that in fact, spiritually the father had died. He, in Vera’s words, had been told to kill members of the family one after another. Soon after the confession, according to Vera, the father died. The aggrieved family members threatened to bury the boy alongside the dead father but Vera appeased them saying that she would bring the entire family to the Synagogue for deliverance. That, in her submission, was the reason they came. The voice of God, in the words of the prophet, was that the boy in question was using a borrowed voice for the confession—-that satan had given him a voice to confess what he never did or knew about. The boy was therefore declared innocent. The prophet referred to him as a mere scapegoat but delivered him all the same.
The second case was that of a woman who brought her granddaughter forward and said that the granddaughter had confessed that she was initiated into witchcraft by her paternal grandmother and got many devilish powers from the experience. According to the story teller, in their family prayer, the man of God who conducted it picked out the granddaughter and rubbed his hand on her face while uttering repeatedly the words, ‘This giant you are seeing, you won’t see again’. Soon after that, according to the grandmother, the girl began to confess. She mentioned her paternal grandmother as the one who gave her the food which she ate and found herself in coven that night. In his submission, the prophet said that a prophet of God would not identify a witch and not deliver the witch, if he was a true man of God. Failure to do deliverance means destroying the home in question. The girl’s case was an affliction. It was not witchcraft, the prophet concluded.
The next family was that of Mr Omoigberale who claimed that he had lived in bondage for the past five years as he could no more drink, eat or sleep in comfort in his home. He held his wife as being responsible because his case always became worse when he quarrelled with her. The prophet however told him that it was not his wife, but a woman whom he met some time before that caused it. He then advised him to bring his wife to the Church on the very Sunday of reconciliation. In her defence, his wife stated that she had left the entire matter with God praying to Him to reveal the culprit as she knew she was innocent. She added that she had stuck to the marriage because of her children and that she had not enjoyed her husband in the marital relationship. Declaring both man and woman innocent, the prophet reconciled them.
The second half of the service opened with a heart warming testimony delivered by one Mr Eze and his family. Earlier, Mr Eze had been spiritually arrested in the Synagogue as a cultist who wanted to exchange his son to members of his cult for money. He had actually donated the son to the group in exchange for money. By this exchange, his commercial ventures began to thrive and he was making about 40% gains on each item he sold. The secret of the seeming business success was the donation of his son to the cult. Consequent on the donation, his son was programmed to die from convulsion on the 28th of September 2010. As his spiritual arrest was prior to this date, the man of God delivered him and the child and the family was made to stay in the Church till the 24th October which was the date of the testimony. The date of September 28th came and went by without pronouncing death on the child. In addition, all the nightmares hitherto being experienced by the father himself were no more, thanks to the deliverance. He had also started to enjoy his sleep and meals. It was indeed a happy moment for the family and the Church.
Following this was the appearance of a widower, Mr Jonathan and his three children on the dais. As a widower, Jonathan had been experiencing much financial stress to the extent that his landlord threatened to eject him from his house because of his inability to pay the rent. The man of God responded that part of his problem stemmed from a woman who carried him somewhere. The prophet handed to him a cash gift of N200,000 to settle himself in addition to a promise of scholarships for his children.
HEALED OF MENTAL DISORDER
In course of the Mass Prayer, the man of God came across one Mr Uzama, a man who had been traumatized with mental disorder for the past nine years. He was sent back from Germany by his relations because of the recurrent ailment. He was brought in chained both feet and hands and made to sit in the Overflow Congregation where he continuously attracted attention of others because of his restiveness and aggressiveness. When he however, saw the prophet around him, some momentary sanity visited him and he called the man of God for help. In reciprocation, the man of God exchanged some pleasantries with him, promptly delivered him and unlocked the chain by which he had been restrained. In his newly acquired freedom, he hugged the prophet, calling him a friend and thanked God for the deliverance.Following that, he was treated to a sumptuous meal of rice and chicken for which he displayed concentrated relish.
Allaying the fear of a possible recurrence of the mental disorder like had been experienced by Uzama in the past, the prophet told the assembly that when God heals, He does so effectually. In substantiating his stance, he cited the case of one Mrs Mercy Moses who was brought to the Synagogue in 2001 with a case of violent mental disorder. Mrs Mercy Moses, a nurse by profession, was healed at that time, and had since gone back to her place of work and even been promoted. She had not relapsed into another state of insanity. In confirmation of this, Mrs Mercy Moses, who coincidentally was present in the Church, ran out raining praises on the Lord for her deliverance. Immediately following her was one lady by name Chinwe, who went literally naked in her insanity. She, too, was healed in the Church and joined Mrs Moses to glorify God.
As the Mass Prayer went on, the man of God expressed the feeling of discomfort induced by one of the visitors. One of the international visitors, got up and confessed to acquiring some anti-Christ power somewhere in India. Arrested by the Holy Spirit, the woman began to twitch visibly in manifestation of her evil powers. In course of time, she fell down due to the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit and she was delivered. Delivered, she enjoyed a hug from the man of God. The Church service, miracle-packed and mind-boggling as usual, glued members to their seats and rendered them unwilling to call it a day.