To contribute his humble quota to the spiritual anointing already reverberating through the length and breadth of the auditorium as a direct consequence of the tunes from the choir, Wise Man Christopher proceeded to unravel his message.
Citing the game of football as the best way to explain the philosophy of life, he harped on the concept of ‘stopping intervals’ for self- assessment. During the break, he went on, the teams assess themselves and prepare for the challenges ahead because, as he put it, life itself is a mission. We need to stop at intervals to assess our relationship with God. What does God say about us?
The wise man aptly tagged his message, A Mere Stopping Interval and supported it with John 16:16 and 19 to 22 as his proof texts. A mere stopping interval, he elaborated, is a short break in life. In the spiritual walk with God, we have both good and hard times alike. Conceding the congregation a moment of reflection, he asked, ‘What time are you in now as a child of God?’ As a child of God, he added in a consolatory tone, your hard time is as good as your good time. Your hard time is for the glory of God. It is not like others’. Referring to Job, as one who understood the purpose of life, he said Job never saw his hard time as a result of sin; he saw it as a mere stopping interval. He reckoned there is time for everything. God allows it to happen to us not out of hatred but out of love. He gives and denies in love. If God granted all our desires, it would appear that we are unwilling to taste of Christ’s cup.
Joseph recorded stopping intervals as he went through the pit to prison and finally to his throne. In Luke 18:18-25, the young ruler refused to go through the season of pain to enjoy eternity. He never realised that those who have the greatest impact on society never concerned themselves with riches. Money is but a small slice of life. The blessings of Jesus enrich the soul eternally. Many people seek short cuts and so their long breaks become short and vice versa. No matter how close you are to Jesus, you cannot change the steps of fate because there is no short cut to spiritual maturity. There are unchangeable events that our prayers cannot change. This offers an opportunity for mind management.
The greatest mistakes happen because of impatience. In haste to achieve something in life, you are bound to make a mistake that might pull you down. Your purpose must be clear for your life to have meaning. We overcome by keeping our purpose, mission and vision in the forefront of our mind. A resolve to do whatever proper thing it takes, separates the strong from the weak. To turn your hard time into a good time, you must stay true to your purpose. The purpose of life sees beyond the pains of life. The purpose of life is to glorify the Creator; but not the created. A stopping interval enables us to redirect our progress. Broken focus is the reason why many people fail. Those who stay focused through their trials will be blessed by their trials.
WORSHIP HIM IN BOTH GOOD AND HARD TIMES
Describing the wise man’s message as wonderful, Prophet T. B. Joshua, adhering to the same tack, referred the congregation to Job. Using Job as a standard, the prophet gave his exhortation which he entitled: Discovering Your Purpose. Job’s purpose on earth was clear. When our purpose is clear, our life will have meaning, the prophet reaffirmed. The devil, according to him, wants you to curse God while under pain. That is why the devil takes delight in inflicting pain on people. Satan enjoys anything that can make you see God in a bad light. However, those who bless God in their trouble prove their sonship.
The purpose of life is to glorify God in both good and hard times alike because God does not change. It is not our hard work or skill that enriches us; it is by God’s blessing. That is why people without fast legs or smoothness of tongue should be grateful to God. The same that gives also takes away at will. In our walk with the Lord, there are good and hard times. We must adore Him all the time and fall down to worship Him. Weeping must not hinder sowing or worshipping. Drawing his listeners’ attention to Job 1:21, he recalled the quote: ‘Naked I came and naked shall I return.’ No one, he added, can be so poor as he was at birth. Are you poor or in need? You must eye not only the hands of God but also the name of God. To know God is not only to see His work but also to learn His way.
Matthew 6:33 says but seek first the Kingdom of God and all other things shall follow. However, this is not the turn of mind today, when people have reversed the priority. A man may be poor but yet be a candidate of Heaven. There is no reason for faith which is as good as the Word of God. If we receive some comfort, shall we not receive some pain? Why should we not be contented with that which pleases God? Satan uses our desires as a bait. Who knows what would have happened to us, if our desires, which often tempt us and our prayers had been answered? You must find room in your heart to bless God, even when He takes away. We must give His holy name honour by our willing submission, the prophet enthused.
MAN DELIVERED FROM FOUL DESIRES
Some major events of the previous service were revisited on video and in one of them, the prophet prophesied to a man who made love to chickens. In course of his verbal interaction with the prophet, the young man disclosed his name as Karo of Delta, Nigeria. Coming out into the open to confirm the prophecy, the young man narrated how he developed affection for chickens for years. He said he had the habit of sleeping with chickens; at least one every day since 1999. In answer to the prophet, he further disclosed that his affection for chickens would well up as soon as he saw one and some of them would not even cluck or cackle as he caught them. Contrary to his thinking, the urge for chickens never waned even after his marriage. It was that behaviour that prompted his visit to The SCOAN, he disclosed. Delivered by the prophet, Karo overcame the negative spirit. Thanks be to almighty God for using HIS anointed one mightily.
The next clip revealed the prophet speaking to a woman in whose stomach, he said, he could see something. The prophet also added that he saw earrings and asked the question, “Is it a man that wears earrings or a woman?” This question by the prophet brought to light the object of their interaction. Accompanied by her husband, Mrs. Ibrahim confirmed the prophecy. On the verge of losing her four-month pregnancy, Mrs Ibrahim said she rushed to The SCOAN to seek the face of God. She was however, surprised that the prophet could identify the sex of the baby even at four months. After receiving prayer and assurances from the man of God, Mrs Ibrahim went home. When the time came, she delivered on her bed. She delivered a baby girl as prophesied by the man of God. The prophecy, according to her, made her husband give his life to God. In his contribution, Mr Ibrahim underscored his wife’s testimony and also confirmed giving his life to Jesus after that incident. Talking on Mr Ibrahim’s conversion, the man of God averred that no one can convert except God. Man preaches and God converts.
SAFE DELIVERY AFTER PROPHECY
The next video clip revealed the Wise Man in a spirited dialogue with a pregnant woman. ‘Madam, can I talk to you? What did the doctor say?’ ‘Operation’, the woman replied. ‘In the arena of liberty, Jesus provides solutions and you will deliver your baby girl safely’. After this assurance, the Wise Man prayed for the woman and told her that the baby was in the wrong position and that that was the reason for the bleeding. Coming into the open to confirm the video clip, Mrs Celesta Ikeh told her listeners that in March, she came to The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations to seek the face of God where the Wise Man prayed for her and told her that her baby assumed a wrong position in the womb, assuring her that all was over as the Lord was in control. She went home light-hearted after that assurance and when the time came, she delivered her baby girl in the hospital without an operation. Her husband, Ugochukwu confirmed his wife’s testimony and thanked God for His mercy and blessing.
FROM SACK LETTER TO AFFLUENCE
The clip after that displayed the Wise Man as he told a man that he could see a letter, a sack letter with him. In confirmation of the prophecy, the man took a few paces to where he kept his briefcase and brought out the letter. Prophesying further, the wise man urged him to be happy as something positive was about to happen in his life. ‘This is your year, rejoice, it has happened!’ the wise man assured him after his prayer for him. The video clip over, Mr Tony Mgbeakwe stepped out to confirm the prophecy, adding that after the prophecy he began to receive many letters and emails with offers of jobs. Among these was his former work place, an oil company in Congo that wanted him to come back for a new offer. Assuring them of his readiness to come back given better conditions of service, Tony was advised to tarry a while. Sooner than Tony ever imagined, they wrote to state their new conditions and salary which, to God be the glory, was thrice his salary of old. Tony accepted the new condition and received an email with a flight ticket to Congo to resume work on the 14th of March. According to him, he now enjoys a better condition of service where his salary runs into millions of naira. To God be the glory for the turnaround in the life of Tony.
Another clip revealed the case of a child whose very existence was threatened by an anus cancer which caused the anus to bulge out. The cancer had so disfigured that part of the body that the doctor in charge called for an operation, which itself, might put the child’s life at risk. The doctor himself described his chances of surviving the operation as fifty-fifty. As they were about signing to go for the operation, the parents thought of The SCOAN and opted to come here to try their luck. At the prayer line, Wise Man Daniel prayed for the child stretching his hand towards him in the name of Jesus. At home, according to the mother who gave the testimony, healing started immediately and to the glory of God the child is completely healed.
ANOINTING WATER OPENS WAY TO BREAKTHROUGHS
Pastor Obaseki of Divine Grace of Glory Church, Benin and his wife with a baby mounted the platform for an enthralling testimony. He started his own church in a wooden kiosk in a location where his few followers and himself worshipped. As soon as he erected the structure where they worshipped, an old man of experience told Pastor Obaseki that the piece of land on which he had established his church had an ugly history of not only frustrating evangelical efforts but also causing untimely deaths to pastors who used it in that way.
Buoyed by the light of the Lord that he served, Pastor Obaseki remained undaunted in defiance of historical facts and glued himself to his mission. As a pastor, he knew of Prophet T. B. Joshua but doubted his genuiness because of his unique style of prayer and the negative rumours surrounding him and openly spoke of his disbelief of the ministry.
However after watching so many miracles and wonders on Emmanuel TV Pastor Obaseki decided to go into a retreat and fasting for three days during which he hoped to hear from the Lord about who T.B. Joshua really was. It was only on the last day of the fasting that he dreamt and saw Prophet T. B. Joshua stretching his hand to pray for him. Reassured by this dream, Pastor Obaseki decided to make a visit to the SCOAN. At the end of the service, Prophet T. B. Joshua asked all the pastors present to proceed to the Mountain for prayer. When Pastor Obaseki got to the Prayer Mountain, he witnessed enough to bring him to remorse over all the obscenities he had issued against the prophet. He asked God there and then to forgive him. He had often wondered aloud how the prophet delivers those with contrary spirits by simply shouting and the affected person would fall down in deliverance. To Pastor Obaseki, that feat is unprecedented in the history of deliverance.
The hallmark of the visit was his personal interaction with the prophet in what he described as his unbelievably small office compared to the fame and big name of Prophet T. B. Joshua. At the end of the meeting, he had a gift of the Anointing Water from the prophet. At home he prayed with his wife who had been barren for five years and sprayed the Anointing Water on her and himself. He also went to his church and did same with the Anointing Water. The result is that the barrenness was broken and today the wife is a mother of a bouncing baby girl. The sprinkling of the Anointing Water in the church premises heralded a huge breakthrough in his ministry. A three-floor building is now under construction in place of the old wooden kiosk that served as the church. According to the pastor, men and women of wealth, name and fame now patronise his church to seek the face of God.
Confirming her husband’s testimony, the wife added that she delivered her baby on October 7th 2010. Joyous like everybody else, the prophet promised to teach the pastor new habits as he called for the reading of Daniel 6:10.
We praise the name of God the almighty for the wonderful feats of deliverance and salvation happening weekly at The SCOAN. To God be the glory!