As if receiving a baton of action from the choir, Prophet T.B. Joshua ecstatically issued prayer to the Lord for His mercies, protection and blessing and reassured the congregation that their past is over. Continuing, he asked, ‘if my past is over who can be against me?’ ‘Nobody’, the congregation reassured him and themselves.
In succession to the prophet, the Wiseman opened his message with a series of questions which he answered himself in one sentence, ‘Jesus is greater than our needs’. In His presence, your life will change. ‘How do you respond to a difficult situation?’ He asked. In his answer, he said the Bible says everyone who works by faith will be tested by the adversary. When Jesus was tested, He did not cry out. However, he went on, many people, today, do not handle their situations like Christ. Christ recognized and used every word in the Bible to handle His situation and He always overcame. ‘What is your confession in times of trial?’ He asked the assembly. Confession, according to him, is real faith talking. What you say in your confession will be a reality in the natural world. If you confess ‘luck’, you will be lucky. While losers talk about negative things, winners confess victory. However, he reassured the congregation, ‘Jesus is here to take you out of failure to success’.
WINNERS ARE SIMPLY EX-LOSERS
Citing Phil.3:12, the wise man urged his listeners to forget what is behind and press on to win the prize. He reminded the congregation that in this world there are two sets of people: losers and winners. However, he quickly added, winners were once losers saying that yesterday’s failure can become today’s success when Christ is involved. A harlot can become chaste by trusting Christ’s suffering. To His power, nothing is impossible. God can change anyone, anywhere, anytime. Faith is the confidence in the Word of God. Hold fast to God’s Word when your faith is tested. Do not doubt or confess failure. Simply believe the Word of God so that it will be realized in your life. As a winner, start talking about your deliverance instead of your yoke. You should start talking about your victory instead of your failure because you are designed to win.
Mounting the altar once more, Prophet T.B. Joshua lifted up the faith of the congregation as he prayed. In his words, my past is over. When your past is over, nobody can be against you.
A gift reception was arranged for some disabled Nigerians who took part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India and won a medal. On this issue, the man of God reminded the congregation that when God said let us make man in our own image, He never meant the physical man. Citing Gen. 1:38, he added that man became a living being when he received the breath of life. He became a living soul and one in accord in love and faithfulness with the Lord. He emphasized that God created man in unity with Him whether poor, rich or disabled. Physical appearance is not the yardstick; don’t let your situation mislead you.
Referring to the Foundation, he stressed that we cannot separate charity from the work of God. He emphasized receiving and giving. If there is no rain, there will be no river. The more you give, the more you receive. If you give in murmur, you will receive in murmur. When you give what your life depends on, you will receive what your life depends on. If one gives according to God’s instruction, the sky will be one’s limit. God specially protects the giver. The needy pray for the giver.
WELCOMED AS HEROES
Comfortably seated by the altar, the disabled athletes who did their country proud by winning one medal or the other were specially appreciated by the prophet. He reminded the assembly of the Foundation’s past efforts to give valuable assistance to the disabled athletes such as sponsoring a squad to Spain sometime in the past. He, as usual appealed to NGO’s and humanitarian establishments all over the nation to appreciate the athletes. He added that it would be ironical for a disabled Gold medal winner of the Commonwealth Games to parade poverty and helplessness in the street. In such a case, he added, he might be tempted to sell the medal for a pot of soup. He however informed the assembly that the gift reception was being organized on behalf of the government, the people of Nigeria, other ministries the world over and all well-meaning people.
The medal winners were honored with self-introduction one after the other during which time they mentioned the nature of their individual disabilities and the games they excelled in. Those who won Gold medals were each given a brand new automatic car, one million naira and a wheelchair. Those who won Silver and Bronze medals were given a wheelchair and half a million naira each.
Yakubu Adesokan one of the gold medallists who was also a regular attendee of the physically challenged meetings said, “I got a gold medal in powerlifting and also set a world record, I came to the house of God to say thank you as God has used T.B. Joshua and The SCOAN to bless me”.
Touched by the champion’s welcome and surprise gifts they received, Faith Obiora a bronze medallist in Table Tennis Women’s wheelchair Open Singles, spoke on behalf of her colleagues. “TB Joshua and The SCOAN welcomed us as heroes and decided to reward us. After our achievement at the Commonwealth Games, we were still struggling but what we have received today has wiped away our tears and encouraged us to press forward”, she said.
DELIVERANCE FROM DARKNESS
Following this, he addressed the witchdoctor who killed six of his children and caused the villagers to flee because of the predatory nature of his gods as revealed in the service of the previous Sunday. The man, named Oforbia Emearibe from Abia State, was asked to come out. The prophet informed the congregation that the witchdoctor was given the grace to go home and open the door of the god’s mansion without harm. The god’s had been enjoying the mansion for 37 years. By that grace, according to the prophet, the god’s mansion had been exorcised and ‘de-demonized’. Now, the prophet stated, there are no more demons in the mansion. What are left there are mere images. The gods are no more there, having been warded off. Referring to the mansion and the mundane property therein, the prophet certified them handy and useful to anybody who has right to them. All the cream and other items of supplication and gratification reserved therein for the gods can be converted to human use without any harm, the prophet psyched up the congregation. As regards the mansion itself, the witchdoctor explained that it was shared into two sections. One section was for the marine spirits and the other for the many idols. There was also a room called secret room, where the witchdoctor personally interacted with the gods. Another of the rooms had a bed where women with marine spirits were attended to. There was a room for women who had spiritual husbands. Another section of the mansion was reserved for empowering girls to hypnotize men of their taste or choice. He said, to achieve this feat, he would tie together the spirit of the girl and that of the man of her fancy. That done, the man in question would surely be a victim. In the same compound, he erected a shrine for the spirits of death which they had enjoyed for twenty years. After educating the Church on his lifestyle with the gods, in response to the many questions by the man of God, the witchdoctor thanked him for enjoying the grace from him to open the god’s mansion. He, according to him, had not had the temerity to open the door and see the gods for four years. He recounted that when he opened the mansion, it was quite calm and peaceful because, he threw in a word, where there is light, darkness runs away, and that, he stated further, was the reason he was not challenged. He said he inherited four of the gods from his fore-fathers and added three by himself as time went on. He added that he used to feed them by sacrifice. He had decided to abandon the gods as he saw no gain but only losses. In reaction to this statement, the prophet echoed John 10:10. He recounted he had lost six children and at the time of taking his decision to abandon them, his wife had been struck down with stroke. He explained that the gods accosted her, in the form of two young men, as she was having her bath and struck her down with stroke leaving her bedridden. He passionately appealed to the man of God to deliver him and his son who was the heir- apparent. He also asked the prophet to extend the deliverance to the villagers, most of whom had fled the village. The man of God revealed to him that but for his coming to The Synagogue, he would have been dead by January 23rd. While the prophet agreed in principle to deliver him, he asked congregation members who had been scared from visiting their villages for the past many years because of reasons germane to gods and witchcraft to come forward for testimonies.
The first person to narrate her ordeal was Mrs Elizabeth Bawa from Cross Rivers State. She informed the Church that her brother invited a pastor to their compound to destroy the idols there. Three months after what was regarded as exorcism, the brother died. It never ended with his death as every three months after that had ushered a male member of the family to death. These four brothers would go to bed hale and hearty but never to wake up to life the following day. he lady in question added she had a mysterious text message in her phone sounding her death-knell as being the next in the vengeance train by the gods. After this terrible revelation, the lady received her deliverance.
The second person who narrated his tale of woe was Mr S. Okafor from Anambra State. He stated that he had deserted his village for the past sixteen years because of an idol that killed his parents and siblings leaving her a lonely way- farer on earth. Even in his loneliness, he had been a butt of nocturnal attacks. He received a blessing of deliverance from the prophet. In addition, the prophet urged him to go back to the village and start a house and another family there promising him financial assistance in the new venture to reestablish his roots.
The third person in the stream of narrators was Joke Odeleye from Ado-Ekiti whose family, according to her, worshipped idols. In 1994, her mother fell and got paralyzed. She, like the rest of the family, developed mental disorder and died. In the case of Joke, herself, the idol had infected her not only with mental disorder but also the spirit of death. She, as she said, could see her victim’s keys however hidden they might be and use them to open his door and steal his valuables. Once, she was caught and disgraced. She also received deliverance from the man of God.
The next person to unravel her tale of agony was Mrs Ngozi Ekun, resident in Kano, but hails from Anambra State. According to her, her family worshipped a python as was the practice in the village. Her problem was that she had, as an aftermath of the ignoble practice, lost her first husband and six children. As a result of the relentless and incessant visits of the python even in her second marriage, she decided to procure the Anointing Water which effectually warded off the python giving her and her husband marital peace. According to her, the pregnancy she had at the time of her tale was the only pregnancy of hers that had enjoyed peace because of the Anointing Water she got in February 2008. Like the rest, she was treated to deliverance by the prophet.
The next person was one Kate from Anambra State who related that once in the past they heard a strange sound on top of their house and since then she had lost eight of her siblings leaving only her alive. She revealed that her swollen stomach was not pregnancy adding that that was the usual symptom of the strange ailment that killed all her siblings. She knew by that, that she was on the death route.
The seventh person, a seventy -four year old man who intimated to the assembly that he had visited his village last sixty years ago but never had the time to give the details of his travail.
The next was Mr Michael who said she was the only survivor in a family of seven, all her siblings having been lost. For refusal to serve the gods, she has been denied marriage and also plagued with mental disorder. She too received her deliverance.
The next person to feature was Mr Daniel Obaregu who hailed from Delta State and who stated he had not gone home for the past ten years because his father who was a herbalist died prematurely. The same fate befell his uncle after his father’s death. Consequently, all the siblings took to their heels for safety and security elsewhere. The two sisters who never had the means to run and decided to stay in the village became mental cases. He therefore appealed for deliverance for himself and both sisters.
A pastor, by name Friday, who had been hosted in the Church for a week, complained about his wife being demon possessed. Her nagging apart, she was in the habit of fighting both in the church and in the market. Her husband also mentioned her refusal to go to church for four years. As a result of her cantankerous nature, her neighbours and church members avoided her and stopped their children from going close to her. They feared she might infect them with her demon traits, if they went too close to her. She also accused her husband of habitually alluding to her in his church sermons, a cause of unending altercations between the two. The man of God delivered both of them after cautioning the wife to be of better behavior towards the husband.
As the mass prayer went on, the wise men were going round and laying hands on the congregation. In course of the mass prayer, many of those who possessed contrary spirits could be seen in fits of manifestation here and there in the church keeping the ushers busy as they tried to keep them around the altar.
His prophecy that he saw a man who soaked himself in fuel and was looking for matches to set himself ablaze but was luckily discovered by his wife, who consequently foiled the suicide attempt was immediately acknowledged by the victim, who said that he had told himself that if the man of God did not see that attempted suicide of his in a vision, he would no more acknowledge him as a prophet of God. He too was delivered before the service came to a close.