Sunday, April 24, 2016 was another great day at The SCOAN. The power of God radiated the entire atmosphere as congregants expressed their appreciation through testimonies, songs of praise and worship and dance moderated by the choir. The man of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua delivered many through prayer and prophecy and encouraged them to continue serving God in their new-found freedom in Christ Jesus.
The man of God, in a message titled, ‘FAITH RELATES TO THE INVISIBLE’, frowned on the universal propensity of human beings to repose their faith in man and other things that were created by God. He admonished the world to seek God’s face by believing in Him and putting all their trust in Him, stating that faith relates to the invisible. “The challenge we have today is that if we have faith in anything today it is in man. That is man’s experience. Our faith is always based on the experience of man – what man has done – science, works, organisation and the Bible says we must never make the tragic mistake of believing in an experience.” However, in spite of the failings and ineffectual outcome of man’s departure from God’s will through making the wrong choices, the man of God proffers a solution and urges Christians to imbibe it in order to salvage their already fragmented relationship with Him: “There is no logical explanation for every act of God. All we need is the knowledge of the Word of truth concerning the act. The Spirit makes us to know that believing is possessing. The instant you believe, you have.”
Concluding, he urged Christians to remember the promise of God to His children even in the midst of tribulation, stressing that He rewards those who believe in Him: “God rewards those who serve Him when things seem hopeless. That proves our sonship. The Bible says, in this world there will be tribulation but in the midst of that tribulation, I will save you.”
During the message, T.B. Joshua noticed some in the congregation who were exceptionally uncomfortable due to their health conditions. Mr Muluila from South Africa sat with a full body brace and restrictive neck collar, having suffered from multiple back injuries in an accident. The man of God called him forward, prayed for him and declared him free from his affliction. Joyous, Mr Muluila and wife praised Jesus for the instant relief.
Mrs Christy Okoye was sitting awkwardly in the church with a neck collar and knee braces due to scoliosis and arthritis. Inviting her forward, Prophet T.B. Joshua prayed for her and she received instant healing to the glory of God.
Earlier Evangelist Rikhard, in his message titled, FULL TIME, NOT PART TIME, had encouraged congregants to cheer up and put their faith in God, irrespective of their situations: “Whether you are coming from a bed of roses or thorns, God is aware. It is all part of a greater plan of God for your life in order to rearrange you for your future…He knows where you are coming from; He knows where you are right now and where you are going”.
RAW ACID DAMAGE UNDONE!
Little Joshua Nosike gave his parents a serious reason to be worried. He had downed raw acid which affected the tissues connecting his oesophagus to his stomach. The implication for the three year-old, was that he could no longer feed normally. From a local clinic to a teaching hospital, the only solution they could muster was to connect a tube through his nostrils to his stomach to enable him to take in liquids as he could no longer swallow. It was indeed not the best of times for his parents who ran helter-skelter to ensure that their son got the medical attention he needed. Unable to solve the complicated issue, doctors made a further referral to India for surgery but his parents chose to look to God for a miracle.
Having watched a series of great miracles through Emmanuel TV, Mr and Mrs Nosike decided that the best option would be to visit The SCOAN. When they arrived at The SCOAN, they joined the Prayer Line where the man of God was breaking yokes and healing infirmities in the name of Jesus. As the man of God moved about commanding chains to be broken, Mr Nosike screamed at the top of his voice. “Man of God, please help me! Help my son, man of God – he drank acid!” Ministering the Morning Water on the boy, on the exact spot where the damage was done, the man of God declared him free, directing that he should be given solid food immediately. After eating without difficulty to the elation of congregants, Joshua was taken to the doctors in order for the tube to be removed as advised by the man of God.
Testifying in company of Joshua (who is now eleven years-old) and his parents, Dr Emmanuel Kolo who headed the team of doctors that had handled the case, recounted how miraculous the boy’s recovery was after he had received the Morning Water ministration from the man of God. According to Dr Kolo, every empirical fact showed that the boy was healed after visiting The SCOAN. To further cement the surgeon’s faith was the fact that his own son’s skin rashes were healed after they placed his hand on the screen of Emmanuel TV while Prophet T.B. Joshua was praying for the viewers. In spite of the scepticism of the doctors and their reluctance to remove the tube as directed by the man of God, they eventually realised that the boy could eat even crunchy snacks without difficulty. At that juncture, they had to succumb to the reality of God’s miracle albeit against medical advice. Eight years on, Joshua is a picture of sound health.
For Dr Kolo, that episode endeared him to The SCOAN and Emmanuel TV. He is an Emmanuel TV partner and has shared a lot of testimonies in the Arena of Liberty. As an associate Professor, he is optimistic that he would soon share the testimony of his full professorial chair here in The SCOAN. He left the following advice for people – “Jesus remains the same yesterday, today and forever. Doctors treat but God heals.”
A PROSTITUTE AT 13
Miss Emmanuella Amana found herself in an unfortunate corner of life. After losing her father when she was just two years old, her mother’s new marriage to a retired soldier turned the tide of life against her expectations. He would maltreat her at will. He was already married to another woman with whom he had four children before he met Emmanuella’s mother. The way he treated her was very unpalatable even to his own children who took note of the cruelty and decided to take her down to their base in Lagos. She had thought that her coming to Lagos would usher in the dawn of a glorious era, especially in her education but the fate that befell her in Lagos was even worse than her previous experience. Her step-sisters sold her into prostitution.
At age thirteen, she was already been rented out to men by her ‘madam’ who owned a beer parlour. She would sleep with up to three men in a day while her appetite for alcohol became a growing calamity. By age fourteen, she became pregnant and was advised to go for an abortion. Out of fear that she was too young for such, she opted to keep the pregnancy and was kicked out of the house by her sisters. Left with no other choice, she later moved in with the father of her unborn baby. After she delivered her first child, her alcoholic fancies went into a higher gear, encouraged by her baby’s father. She would go to nightclubs in company of her step-sisters and get herself saturated in the unholy beverage only to end up disgracing herself in public.
When she could no longer bear the battering occasioned by her wayward behaviour in the hands of the father of her child, she absconded with her baby and kept the child in the custody of her mother in Adamawa. She returned to Lagos to reignite her horrible lifestyle with careless abandon. She became a slave to her sexual and alcoholic passions and ran into a soldier who after seeing her abort five pregnancies for him, insisted that she kept the sixth one. Though the soldier was already married, he found a way to work his transfer away from Lagos to Kogi State where they lived together. After she gave birth to her second child, her drinking malady took a tempestuous dimension. This time, she consumed an average of two cartons of beer daily.
The disgrace she brought to her partner was untold. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew her as a drunkard. In order to have some peace, her second ‘husband’ opted out of the traumatic union. She left the soldier and took her second child along to her mother. When the drinking problem became too heavy a burden on her life, she made moves to get spiritual help from some churches but none was forthcoming. It was at this point that one of her step-sisters introduced her to some idol worshippers in Kebbi State.
The nature of that idolatry was crocodile worship. The ancient crocodile spirit is said to have existed for over five hundred years. After visiting their shrine, almost naked and presenting her sacrifice of a chicken to the spirits, she witnessed an almost hypnotic event in which dozens of huge crocodiles appeared everywhere, moving in and out of the river surrounding the secret shrine. She wanted money and so entered into a covenant after which she promised to offer a goat when her prayers came to fruition. After her visit to the shrine, her dreams became nightmarish. She would see all sorts of reptiles and dragons.
Having realised that the shrine was far from being a help, she returned to her drinking ways. The more she drank, the more she disgraced herself to the extent that her step-sisters called her names and threatened to stop taking her out. But unknown to her, the mighty hand of God was about to pull her out of the highway of damnation. She had just settled down in a club drinking when she heard a voice urging her to run to The SCOAN. Even though she tried to suppress the voice, it became louder. That was the genesis of her deliverance.
Seated in the auditorium, Emmanuella was fished out through prophecy by Prophet T.B. Joshua who led Mass Prayer under the influence of the Holy Spirit. As soon as the spirit in her saw the man of God, it cried out – “I am her husband… We are three… Dragon… Crocodile.” After her deliverance through the power of the Holy Spirit, Miss Emmanuella Amana told congregants that her life had transformed dramatically. According to her, those unholy urges have been taken over by a steady hunger for God’s Word. She even evangelises to people now. She thanked God for her deliverance and advised the world to run to God because life without Him is meaningless. Now free from her past life of prostitution and drunkenness, she was financially assisted by T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV partners to establish a business and a new life in Christ Jesus.
I WISH I’D NEVER REMOVED MY WEDDING RING
Just because he was experiencing a downturn in business, Mr Godwin Ebhowhimhen turned his back on his wife and three children. His encounter with a so-called man of God influenced his rash decision. They had visited a particular church where the presiding pastor called the couple out and said the wife was responsible for the man’s predicament. Though, Mr Ebhowhimhen was initially confused, he later took the whole thing to heart and started avoiding his very own family. Sometimes, he would leave home for months without caring about them, their upkeep, school fees and rent.
The more he experienced business reverses, the bigger his anger towards his wife became, to the extent that he stopped putting on his wedding ring. After considering several options, he decided he would sell off one of his properties in Abuja in order to abscond abroad with the proceeds. He attempted to manipulate God by coming to The SCOAN to perfect his intentions. He knew that the Morning Water was a great medium for miracles. So, he had hoped to use the medium to get a very good buyer for his property.
It was at the point of being linked with a buyer through phone call that the voice of God came through Prophet T.B. Joshua. “If I may call a brother there, the brother that decided to abandon his wife and children and left home. You left everything for them and ran for your dear life because a ‘prophet’ or a ‘pastor’ told you that your wife was whatever you call her… Come out. You abandoned your wife and you are here today”, said the man of God. Coming out from the congregation, Mr Ebhowhimhen confirmed the prophecy but blamed his business woes and the pastor for his behaviour.
Back to his normal senses, Mr Ebhowhimhen reconciled with his wife and came down with her to The SCOAN for testimony. Introducing her to the congregants as “my lovely wife”, he recounted how God used Prophet T.B. Joshua to reconcile him with his wife whom he had wrongly accused of being the architect of his downfall. He openly begged for forgiveness from his “honey” who could not conceal her tears of joy. The couple advised people all over the world to always seek God’s opinion on matters and not to jump into conclusions on their own.
T.B. Joshua and the The Emmanuel TV Partners help the family whose business had been destroyed get back on their feet with a gift of 100,000 naira.
A MODERN DAY IDOL WORSHIPPER
Mr Godwin Job worshipped a group of deities. His family background was suffused in fetish activities. His father was a member of the Ogboni fraternity, a secret cult that is thought to be very ruthless in its affairs, especially with perceived enemies. After his father’s demise, he inherited the worship of different deities associated with the fetish world. He was a custodian and priest of the Ifa oracle and worshipped Orunmila, the supreme deity of the dark universe.
In his worship of those deities, other demonic gods and goddesses also formed part of the process. To this effect, Mr Job also had in his possession other demon-deities such as Esu Laalu, Aiyeiala and Olokun. All those demon-deities were used to wreak havoc on perceived enemies and provided a communication platform between their worshippers and the demonic world.
Mr Job’s decision to embrace such fetish practice was borne out of certain challenges he had within his family. His wife was barren while he had some mental issues that were affecting him. He was deceived into believing that worshipping those deities would put an end to their family problems. But several years after being initiated into the fetish world, their situation had instead degenerated even after they had parted with so much money. It eventually dawned on them that those people who introduced them into idolatry were only milking them dry. They needed a way out of the demonic entanglement they had found themselves in.
A visit to The SCOAN by Mr Job became the greatest decision he ever took. He was spotted through prophecy by Prophet T.B. Joshua during a Sunday service. “A gentleman there, you have pot in your room. This pot has cowries – these white cowries. They have begun to change colour ”, said the man of God as Mr Job rushed out from the congregation to affirm what God had revealed about him through His Prophet.
Returning to The SCOAN to testify, Mr Job and his wife renounced their attachment to the deities and pledged to follow Christ. Displaying the fetish materials before the congregants, they urged the man of God to pray for them and separate their souls from any ties they had with the fetish world. They admonished Christians to keep faith in the almighty God rather than run after witch doctors and their strange gods that have no good thing to offer. According to them, it is mere deception to worship fake gods.
To support Mr & Mrs Job’s new life in Christ, they were presented with a cash gift of 100,000 Naira from T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV Partners.
IF GOD COULD DO IT FOR YINKA, HE CAN DO IT FOR ME
In her early times at the University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria, Miss Becky Obiyan was not a particularly serious student. She was only interested in passing her exams and nothing more. She would rather exhibit much passion in other inconsequential fancies like attending parties and having the fun of her life. A visit to The SCOAN soon changed the direction of her thinking. Having been inspired by the story of Yinka (an outstanding youth of The SCOAN) who excelled with a First Class Honours from the University of Lagos and is currently tidying up her doctoral degree in the United Kingdom, Becky rededicated her life to illustrious pursuits in her academics. She became more focused and asked God to help her attain the excellent heights Yinka has attained.
Her devotion to studies became very serious. Her prayer life also improved. She studied as if all depended on her and prayed as if all depended on God. She would regularly minister the Morning Water in and out of the class. When her final results were released, Becky graduated with First Class Honours in Science Laboratory Technology (Microbiology Techniques) from the University of Benin, Nigeria. Now a lecturer in the same university, she came to The SCOAN to testify to the goodness of God in her life. She told congregants how the exemplary academic strides of Yinka had influenced her success. She also appreciated the impact of the words of encouragement she had received from Emmanuel TV. Radiating an air of God’s grace and the joy of greater blessings to come, Becky, in company of her mother, advised youths with the following words – “Believe in God, stay focused, read as if it all depends on you and pray as if it all depends on God and excellence will come to you”.
SQUANDERING GRADUATE BECOMES HEAD LIBRARIAN
After he graduated from university in 2011, Mr Bavo Tengio got a job with an NGO but used his earnings for illicit pleasures. He drank alcohol and smoked cigarettes. His squandermania soon came to an end as his working relationship with the NGO was threatened by non-payment of his remuneration. It got to an extent that he became bankrupt and could no longer pay his bills. A pastor introduced him to Emmanuel TV from where he got the motivation to visit The SCOAN.
Visiting The SCOAN in 2014, he received prayers from the man of God and also got the Morning Water which he ministered with expectant faith. Sooner than later, an employment opportunity came up and he applied. After a while, a friend saw his name in the newspapers as one of those shortlisted for an interview and informed him. On the day of the interview and against the odds of ill health, he ministered the Morning Water and prayed fervently for God’s grace. As he was being interviewed, he felt a strange sense of calmness and confidence and answered all the questions thrown at him with ease. During The SCOAN Live Cross-over service of 2014, he had keyed into the prayers of the man of God that jobs would be waiting for him.
About three weeks after the interview, his name appeared in the newspapers again. He had been selected from the long list of candidates who sat for the interview. Checking his mail, an employment letter had already been sent to him. As he resumed at his work station (The College of African Wildlife Management, Tanzania) as a Librarian, he was received by a woman who ushered him into a big office. But the Tanzanian was sceptical thinking that the office was too big for him going by his qualification. But after conferring with the authorities, it was confirmed to him that he would work as the Head Librarian. He was shocked because it is rare to find someone being promoted on the very first day he resumed work. But with God, nothing is impossible.
Testifying before The SCOAN congregation, Mr Tengio said God had been good to him. He has received a lot of motivational packages from his employers including a trip to Belgium for training among other incentives. He has also been confirmed as a permanent staff with a pensionable status. His life has changed dramatically. He has stopped drinking and smoking and no longer mingles with bad company. Thanking God for his breakthrough, he advised people all over the world, especially youths, to believe in God and never give up.
BRETHREN, NO MATTER THE CHALLENGE WE FACE TODAY AS CHRISTIANS, GOD IS AWARE AND ALLOWS IT FOR A PURPOSE THAT WILL GLORIFY HIS NAME IN FUTURE. MAY HIS GRACE AND MERCY CONTINUE TO ABIDE WITH US FULL TIME, AND NOT PART TIME, IN JESUS’ NAME.