The choir’s renditions created a hallowed atmosphere for collective worship from the auditorium to the several adjourning over-flows where the glory of God remained aglow as was seen on many smiling faces as congregants raised their hands in reverence to the Rose of Sharon. “Holy Lamb my Redeemer. Prince of Peace. There is no one else like you. You are everything to me…,” sang the choir. The SCOAN Sunday service of September 4, 2016 was another glorious platform for an uncommon encounter with God.
The high point of the service was the message of the day. Evangelist Evelyn Joshua in her message titled STANDING IN AWE OF GOD called on Christians to submit to the will of God by picking up their crosses to follow Christ. She urged them to divorce from their hearts all distractive feelings that would only stand in between them and God. “Anxiety and care about your feelings need to be rebuked because it is tantamount to unbelief which is sin. It brings about tension, fear and panic,” she added.
Concluding, she urged believers to live a Christ-like life – a life built around eternity, stressing that God knows our needs and challenges and would take care of them: “Let us live for eternity and we shall secure all that is available in it. God knows the challenges before us, so, He gave us enough grace for each trial we face. God knows our needs and will provide for them.”
BATTERED BY LIFE, REVIVED BY LOVE
After his retrenchment as a medical practitioner in 2013, Dr Sunday Simon picked up the pieces of his shattered hopes and set up a chemist shop. In spite of his lofty professional qualifications, the no-bed-of-roses reality of life soon dawned on him as he sought a way out of his subsistent challenges. As a trained orthopaedic technologist who specialised in making artificial limbs, the Benue State of Nigeria indigene realised that life in retrenchment was a cumbersome experience; hence, aside from his chemist shop, he reached out individually to clients to see if he could raise enough money to bolster his financial status as a breadwinner.
While on a mission to procure raw materials for his work, he was involved in a motor accident along Jos road. He regained consciousness in a hospital and was informed by a nurse about the accident. It was an ironic twist of fate that a man who helped fabricate artificial limbs for amputees had become an amputee himself after that accident. Dr Simon could only shed tears as he watched himself without the ‘luxury’ of a full right limb. He somehow summoned the fortitude to bear what life had thrown at him by philosophising and consoling his inconsolable wife who could not come to terms with her husband’s unfortunate experience.
Leaving hospital, Dr Simon returned home only to face another amputation, albeit a psychological one. Some of his clients who had made advance payment for artificial limbs thronged his house asking for the limbs or a refund of their money. It was a huge embarrassment for a man who needed some rest after spending three weeks in hospital under a very traumatising atmosphere. In a bid to attract public sympathy and financial assistance, he had resorted to the media and was interviewed yet nothing tangible emanated from that angle. He was in a big fix; he had no money to settle his creditors and was also incapacitated to do any work. In the end, he was arrested by the police on the complaints of one of his clients and received the humiliation of his life.
Dr Simon was remanded in police cell while his terribly broken wife ran helter-skelter in search of a way out through his friends and associates who eventually reached a compromise with the police. He was given the grace of a month to settle his client or face further embarrassment. Fresh from the cruel world of a police cell, Dr Simon ran into another trouble. His landlord gave him a Quit Notice with a 30-day clause. Fed up with the unfriendly disposition of life towards his predicament coupled with begging family needs, he relocated to Lagos only to team up with beggars on the streets. At least, he was able to get food, money and clothing from kind-hearted Lagosians who considered the plight of the needy.
For the Benue State-born orthopaedic technologist, life on the streets of Lagos was not without its own sad days. Sometimes, government agencies threw spanners in the wheel of their begging progress. On a particular occasion, he was almost crushed to death after he was beaten blue-black by members of a government task force that prohibited street begging. Somehow, he had an encounter with a woman who shared gifts among beggars. The woman had interrogated him and discovered that he was neither a muslim nor a Nigerian northerner. She advised him to seek help from The SCOAN but in his heart, he had erroneously thought that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a poor beggar to see the man of God. ‘The Good Samaritan woman’, in a bid to ensure honesty and sincerity of purpose, videoed Dr Simon in the midst of beggars and forwarded the clips to The SCOAN. In no time, Dr Simon was invited to the ministry to tell the world the story of his life.
After listening to his emotion-laden story, Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV Partners world-wide gave him and his family the sum of five hundred thousand naira with a firm promise to sort out their accommodation problem. All his children who had been out of school were offered scholarships with immediate effect. Dr Simon and his family shed tears of joy. Those tears spoke louder than words of thanksgiving. They captured the totality of their grateful hearts which had been strangulated by the anguish of an unfortunate destiny until God stepped in to assuage their pains through Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV Partners.
DELIVERED FROM THE YOKE OF EARTH-EATING
Mrs Cecilia Mpofu was addicted to eating anthill soil and crushed stones. For her, they were like appetisers which had to be taken before she could eat any food. She liked them with passion. Her addiction to ‘earth’ was so much so that she kept some in tins inside her room. Sometimes, she would flare up in anger whenever her husband threw the ‘rubbish’ away. As long as she was concerned, nothing or no one could stand between her and her earthy delicacies. But gradually, the Zimbabwean living in South Africa began to realise that something was wrong with her. She traced the problem to a particular day in her past when she sat close to a site where bricks were being crushed.
Mrs Mpofu however visited The SCOAN in 2014 and was at the Prayer Line where she received deliverance. The man of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua, commanded the demon out of her after it had manifested its evil grip upon her life. After that day, her favourite snacks turned offensive to her taste. She has since stopped eating them and has realised that an evil spirit was behind the unhealthy habit. Not even the smell of dust could lure her into it anymore. Thanking God for her deliverance, she told congregants how the habit had caused fracas between her and her husband, stressing that she is now renewed.
SPIRIT OF WOMAN KNOCKED OUT
A friend had initiated her into woman to woman relationship in 2010 and since then, she had lost all feelings for the opposite sex. Mrs Emeson Bright welcomed and accepted only advances from fellow women and even dressed in masculine fashion. Matters got worse after her marriage. Her unsuspecting husband had been unaware of the affection she had for women. In her dreams, she was often harassed by a strange man who always wanted to have sex with her. Whenever she woke up from such dreams, she would feel pains and would have no affection for her husband.
The affection she had for women eventually came to an end after she visited The SCOAN two Sundays ago. During a special prayer session for worshippers by the man of God, the demon in her she manifested and the fire power of God located her. The battle was instant and very brief. There was no breathing space for the demon which confessed. “She is my friend… I wanted to marry her; she refused. I have not started with her. I visited her…,” it said. It was apparent from the demon’s uncoordinated speech that it was under heavy bombardment by the fire of the Holy Spirit. Taking authority in the mighty name of Jesus, Prophet T.B. Joshua commanded the demon out of her life and she was set free.
Returning to The SCOAN for her testimony in company of her husband, Mrs Bright explained to congregants how she frustrated her marriage with lack of affection for her husband. She also told them about the newness of spirit which she now enjoys. According to her, her dreams have changed for good even as she now cherishes her husband and feels so much affection for him. On his own part, her husband told congregants that he knew something was wrong with his wife all along. From his account, it was a friend who encouraged him to bring his wife to The SCOAN for deliverance. He thanked God for setting her free and restoring the warmth in their marriage. He advised people to run to Jesus as He is the final bus stop.
CHAIN OF SMOKING BROKEN. SPIRIT OF CULTISM BANISHED
Growing up for Mr Akpe Barnabas was tranquil. He had great charisma for the things of God and was an altar boy in the Roman Catholic Church. He was the kind of person you would call a good and easy-going boy. But the good side of him would eventually give way to turbulence. As soon as he got admission into a private university in Nigeria, things fell apart. Meeting with a set of guys who belonged to a cult group, he was influenced to embrace one of the campus confraternities – the Supreme Vikings Confraternity. The promise of power was the hook that pulled him in “like a fish doped out of the deep.” From the very moment he was initiated, his life became a playing ground for all sorts of bad spirits, ranging from substance abuse, incest, anger and stealing. The days of piety and innocence were over; the devil and his cohorts were having a field day.
Barnabas would sneak out of the university campus in company of his bad friends and go to clubs where drinking and smoking were the order of the day. Forming a league with other Vikings members from other universities, the young man though he was enjoying life to the brim. He had sworn to an oath to be with them forever and so it was till death do them part. And knowing that there would always be reasons for fighting and clashes with rival cult groups, Barnabas was a regular customer of native medicine men who provided him with the necessary fortification against bullets and other weapons. He had once tested his skin’s impenetrability with a cutlass and was glad the steel could not have its way. That gave him a super feeling about his capacity to go unscathed in the face of trouble.
He became arrogant, unnecessarily violent and troublesome to the extent that the school authorities placed him under close scrutiny until he fell out with them and was listed among those to be expelled. After his second semester examinations, he became a bad morsel in the throat of the school authorities and had to be vomited by force. He was expelled finally, having been a thorn in their flesh for two turbulent years. Back home, his parents were disappointed in him over his expulsion saga, even though they were not in the know about his cult involvement. Forgiving his boyish demeanours, his father intervened and secured his transfer to another private university where he had to start all over again from 100 Level.
When he resumed in his new school, he had tried to stay away from all cult engagements but Vikings members in his former school had already notified the members in his new school about his coming and so, they were on the look-out for him. As much as he tried to conceal his identity, he later let the cat out of the bag after Vikings had a clash with a rival cult group. He had to present himself to the Vikings confraternity in his new school. They fought dirty battles together and did many despicable things. Before Barnabas graduated from his new school, he had become the number-two-man in his confraternity.
After his graduation, Barnabas returned home only to be confronted with the stark reality of his younger brother’s smoking adventure. Even though he was already an expert in the habit of smoking, he did not like the fact that his younger brother was also toeing his line. He vented his anger on the lad who was only seventeen. It was the intervention of his mother that saved his younger brother from the beating of his life. Weeping together, mother and sons agreed to visit The SCOAN, knowing that the matter was beyond physical solution.
At The SCOAN in company of his brothers and parents, Barnabas received his deliverance when an evangelist ministered the Morning Water to him. The demon that had been responsible for all his wayward behaviours spoke out: “I am a Viking. I made him start smoking. He smokes Indian hemp and cocaine… I made him join a cult; he is a cultist. He’s a very brilliant boy. He takes drugs…” Commanding the demon out in the mighty name of Jesus, Barnabas’ back touched the auditorium ground and was set free. When he regained his senses, he burst into tears – an indication that he had been under the influence of an evil spirit all the while. His younger brother was also delivered from the spirit of smoking.
During his deliverance in company of his parents and siblings, Barnabas told congregants that smoking was a thing of the past. He thanked God for saving him from the legion of doom – smoking, cultism, anger and all other irresponsible acts. His younger brother also expressed his gratitude for his deliverance from the spirit of smoking while their father praised God for making him a happier man. According to him, but for their deliverance, he had regretted having the two boys as children due to their disgraceful behaviours. The entire family were unanimous with their submission that a new dawn of joy and peace had set in after the deliverance at the Arena of Liberty. Barnabas advised people all over the world in the following word: “Youths going into university, resist bad company and cults.”
DELIVERANCE WITHOUT LOVE IS A DISASTER
Ms Mary Nenyo was delivered from demonic slavery of the Trokosi caste system in Ghana two weeks ago. Last Sunday, she came to thank God for all he had used the man of God to do in her life. She had also been reunited with her family and now knows her real age. Mary is currently thirty years-old and is happy about it. Recounting how she spent all her life in an evil shrine worshipping a malevolent idol, she told congregants that she would start a new life in Christ. In line with the charitable disposition of The SCOAN, Emmanuel TV Partners and Prophet T.B. Joshua, Mary was given the sum of one thousand and five hundred US dollars to start a new life. Appreciating the gesture from the man of God and his ministry, she urged people all over the world to make Christ their most important life partner, stressing that He had paid the price for their sins two thousand years ago.
SPIRIT OF MAN DEFEATED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD
Mrs Nwabudike was always at the receiving end of a demonic attack through her dreams. A giant man alongside wild animals always chased her in the dream. Her condition became delirious as she had to be taken to the hospital but doctors in their own human reasoning reckoned it was mere high fever. They even advised her husband to stock his house with milk and malt so that she could drink them whenever she was about to pass out. In spite of all their human efforts, there was no respite. Her condition became worse as the attacks intensified unabated. By this time, there was no iota of affection in their marriage. They slept like to worlds apart.
Through a friend’s advice, they visited The SCOAN two Sundays ago when Prophet T.B. Joshua’s trip to Greece, where he prayed at the Paul and Silas Prison was rebroadcast. After praying with the man of God, the couple received the Morning Water and returned home. After one of their midnight prayers, Mr Nwabudike ministered the Morning Water on his wife and received the shock of his life. She manifested the demon which even spoke through her, denying him as a husband and rejecting their little children who were crying for care.
The more Morning Water he ministered to her, the wilder she became, speaking gibberish and renouncing their marriage. Mr Nwabudike was fear-stricken as he ministered the Morning Water to his wife. He knew and heard it clearly that the strange man in his wife’s life was at work and so, he decided to video the whole scenario. A neighbour whom he had called to assist in the deliverance had ignorantly suggested that she be sedated to make the battle easier. But his thinking was a laughable idea in the midst of a serious matter. It was a battle that took a while to settle but in the end, the evil spirit succumbed to the power of God. After receiving enough bombardment from the Spirit of God, Mrs Nwabudike fell down – a sign that it was all over for the spirit-man.
During their testimony, Mr and Mrs Nwabudike gave detailed accounts of their ordeal in the hands of the spirit-man. Congregants were on the edge of their seats as Mr Nwabudike narrated his encounter with a very high sense of humour. Thanking God for the deliverance, Mrs Nwabudike left the following advice for people all over the world: “Anyone that is experiencing the same problem I once had should just trust in God for deliverance.”
MULTIPLE BREAKTHROUGHS/ HEALING AFTER DELIVERANCE
She had come to The SCOAN five years ago with the problems of inability to secure admission and irregular menstruation. However, contrary to her expectations, the man of God dropped a ‘bombshell’ concerning Mary’s life. Even her parents who came with her that day were shell-shocked to hear the man of God prophesy to their daughter. “This is a commitment, think very well. I said she has a commitment. This commitment has to do with a covenant…,” said the man of God. Turning to her mother, Prophet T.B. Joshua said, “Before you gave birth to this child, there is a place you went to. You went somewhere and they gave you something. She is a borrowed child.”
Reacting to the prophecy, Mary’s mother confessed that she had actually gone seeking for help from some idol worshippers who eventually made Mary’s conception possible. Corroborating the prophecy of the man of God, Mary was a borrowed child that would have been retrieved by her real owner had she not come to The SCOAN. After the prophecy that day, Mary was delivered by the man of God. Other children in the family were later delivered by the man of God.
Last Sunday, Mary came to testify to God’s goodness in her life. According to her, immediately after her deliverance years back, she got admission and has already graduated as at today. The problem of irregular menstruation had since been consigned to the dustbin of history. Mary was full of smiles and radiant joy as she told congregants how God had visited her family with His grace and favour. According to her, her parents are better off now as they have been favoured by God with breakthroughs.
Even her elder brother who had been searching for admission is now in school and doing great. According to Mary’s mother, ever since the multiple deliverance in their family, things have been very good to the extent that different schools offered admissions to each of her admission-seeking children. She also testified to her healing from cervical spondylosis after she had ministered the Morning Water. By the grace of God, she also owns a school and is doing very well in the educational sector. Thanking God for all He had done for the family, Mary and her parents urged people to have faith in God and draw closer to Him.