There is no better way to solemnly appeal to the Creator to release His avalanche of blessings than to beseech Him through songs of praise and worship just as The SCOAN choir did last Sunday. The atmosphere was animated by the lifted hands of congregants who backed the choir as they doled out soul-lifting songs enriched with bravura instrumentation. The testimonies that followed brought inspiration to the scene as they revived the waning faith of many who had been on the verge of hopelessness.
Prophet T.B. Joshua’s message further boosted the understanding of many Christians concerning expedient principles that bind Christendom together. “The Living church is one, no matter the name you bear. Jesus is the hope of glory”, he declared. The man of God added that Jesus is the Head of all living churches, all over the world. And for Christians to be able to have access to Heavenly resources like blessings, deliverance, healing, they must use their hands and mouths properly, both getting in accord with God’s will and intention for their lives.
In an effort to emblazon the precious faith of congregants and viewers worldwide, Prophet T.B. Joshua addressed a question he is frequently asked: how can I know if I am a real Christian? The simple answer according to the man of God is not measured by the amount or lack thereof of difficult and tempting situations encountered but the resulting force the experience produces. “If you are a real Christian, your situation is to strengthen your desire and determination for God. If you are not a real Christian, situations cannot strengthen your desire for God”. He simplified his explanation by likening the spiritual principle to that of natural thirst, saying, “When you are thirsty, there would be a strong urge for water. In the same way, our situation causes us urge for God”.
The man of God also talked about the fundamentality of relationships, adding that they are of God. He admonished Christians not to destroy their relationships beyond repair because, that person we fight today could be our saviour tomorrow: “If you destroy your relationship beyond repair, that person could be your saviour tomorrow.” He urged parties in a relationship, including husbands and wives who have divorced, to keep praying and wishing each other well even when they are no longer together because of the mystery of tomorrow.
According to the master plan of the Almighty for His creation, we must not join issues with our accusers as Christians. Instead, he advised that we should leave them for the Lord and give ourselves to prayer and engage our hearts to truly love and forgive. Citing this oftentimes neglected pillar of vibrant, active faith, Prophet T.B. Joshua honed in on the importance of a forgiving spirit in aligning ourselves with the tomorrow God has for us: “One thing that many of us lack is the spirit of forgiveness; you may have it but not genuinely. If you had the spirit of forgiveness genuinely, you would forget. You do forgive but you fail to forget”. In his conclusion, the man of God urged Christians to make the Word of God an integral part of them rather than just memorising it: “You need to meditate on God’s Word. You should not just memorise it; it must become an integral part of your being.”
SPIRIT OF LUST SUBMITS TO THE SUPERIOR POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS
The spirit of lust had gripped his life with iron fists and would not let go no matter how hard he struggled to set himself free. The sad reality started when he had to live with his aunt after the death of his parents. He was barely ten years-old then and was found to be gullible by his aunt’s nanny who took away his innocence by sexually abusing him. Having eaten the forbidden fruit, Chinedu became a tool in the hands of the nanny as she continued to use him to satisfy her abnormal sexual appetite.
One day, the lad collapsed after he had engaged in marathon sex with the nanny the previous night. The nanny who was fifteen years older than him, offered him a concoction of malt and milk to drink before he was resuscitated. This abuse continued until Chinedu’s aunt got wind of the mess and sent the nanny packing. But that did not put an end to the immorality on the part of Chinedu. With a new nanny employed, Chinedu continued from where he stopped with the former one. Somehow, he found himself doing the same thing with the new nanny. But the new alliance was also short-lived when his aunt found out. The consequences were dire. Chinedu was sent back to the village.
Back in the village, his problem worsened. His battle with the spirit of lust attained worrisome heights. The urge to engage in sexual intercourse became a persistent longing in his mind. According to him, it was like food. He could not do without it. One day, while in a dilemma as to how to satiate his carnal urge, a spirit spoke to his mind, “Why don’t you try it out with a hen?” Like a robot remote-controlled by that evil spirit, Chinedu stood up, locked the gate to his house and started chasing a hen which he eventually caught and had sex with. That untamed urge engineered by the evil spirit also propelled him to sleep with a she-goat.
The severity of his possession by that malevolent and evil spirit triggered a lot of fleshly reactions. It got to an extent that Chinedu could not even spare his blood relations in his lustful inclinations. In what could be described as induced incest, he once slept with his niece. The spirit continued to use him at will. It had caged his reasoning faculty by setting his carnal nature on the loose so that he could not control both his thinking and actions. As time wore on, Chinedu’s case degenerated. He later developed a desire for married women, especially the older ones. Describing how the spirit of lust had wrecked his reasoning, he told Emmanuel TV, “When the urge came upon me, I would be restless until I made love.”
There was a particular day when he approached a mad woman on the road. He did everything he could to convince the unyielding mad woman but she would not succumb not even with his money. By the time he realised what he was doing, he knew that something spiritually serious was wrong with him. It was his quest for deliverance that brought him to The SCOAN two weeks ago. The man of God spotted him and laid bare the exact problem that had brought him to the church. “There is a brother there. You often meet animals. This is affection for animals – having affairs with animals. You are in the position to tell us the various animals you have met during this time.”
Chinedu received his deliverance after Prophet T.B. Joshua prayed for him at the Prayer Line. Since that Sunday, the spirit of lust has left him. Thanking God during his testimony last Sunday, he revealed how his once thriving business was wrecked by the same spirit of lust and declared that he is no longer under the influence of that demon after that encounter with the man of God: “After the man of God prayed for me, I began to feel so light and no longer have the sensation.” Advising congregants and people all over the world, he said, “Whatever you are passing through, trust in the Lord.”
After his deliverance, Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV Partners supported Chinedu with 100,000 Naira to help him establish his new life in Christ.
HOPE REKINDLED: FROM A BOTSWANAN PRISON TO A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST
His father’s death had opened a new chapter in the story of his life. Optimistic of a bright future, he had hoped that his brothers would help him achieve his lofty dreams but they ended up keeping him at arm’s length, refusing to offer him any form of assistance. But Johnson would not give up. Instead, he demanded his share of his father’s will – a plot of land – which he sold for eight hundred thousand naira. He used the money to facilitate his relocation to South Africa. Though he eventually landed in South Africa, he was left with no papers after he had parted with his money. He soon realised that he had been duped by a cartel which operated from Nigeria but had accomplices in South Africa.
Johnson was virtually an illegal immigrant in every way because he had no papers that empowered him to live in the country and as such the only option for him was to live on the streets. For five years, the Nigerian lived a life of destitution on the streets of South Africa. He slept on bare floors and begged for food. Sometimes, the weather was not favourable but he managed to brave the odds. Even the menial jobs he did would not last as he was constantly being haunted by feelings of inadequacy and insecurity for living in another man’s country without the legal documents. A fellow Nigerian who did not like the level of suffering he was subjected to promised to take him to neighbouring Botswana through the border, illegally.
The journey to Botswana through thick forests and mountains was tedious and risky as they had to run fast to avoid being caught and perhaps shot by soldiers patrolling the borders. There was also the possibility that they could run into wild animals that would have made minced meat of them. In Botswana, Johnson was introduced to working in a car-selling garage where he met a woman from that country who promised to help him get his papers but on a condition that he would marry her. Gradually, he started making money from the commission from car sales. He was always counting big sums of money and his ‘wife’ had seen him do so on several occasions.
Trouble however reared its ugly head when she asked for money and he could not provide it. She had suggested to him the idea of starting an importation business for which she needed some money. She had thought that all the money he usually counted belonged to him, not knowing that it belonged to the owners of the cars who were his bosses. Taking offence, she informed the police about his illegal status as an immigrant without the necessary papers. The police officers thereafter disguised as customers who wanted to buy a car only to come and arrest him. From different police stations, he was transferred to prison alongside other illegal immigrants from Nigeria. It was after one of their prayer sessions in prison that Jesus Christ intervened and made a way for their release to Nigeria.
In a matter of days, Johnson and his fellow Nigerians returned to the country. But Johnson knew that he needed help both spiritually and materially to start life all over again and so, he visited The SCOAN two Sundays ago in dire need of redemption. The man of God guided by the Holy Spirit located him and revealed all he had gone through. “We have a brother here that just came back from prison. You were arrested overseas and deported. It was a messy experience. It was your wife that reported you. I don’t know what you might have done. You have done wrong but Jesus still loves you…”, said the man of God. On hearing the prophecy, Johnson came out from the congregation because he knew it was for him.
Johnson received his deliverance penultimate Sunday and since then, he has been in high spirits, looking forward to the open doors and breakthroughs that lie ahead of him in the coming days. He testified last Sunday, in company of four other Nigerians who were in prison with him, to what God has done in his life using the man of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua right from the Botswanan prison to his deliverance two weeks ago at the Arena of Liberty. “Don’t travel to a foreign land without the necessary document or a means of livelihood”, he advised.
Upon hearing of their harrowing experiences, Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV Partners supported the five deportees with 250,000 Naira to start their lives afresh.
“GOD’S POWER, THROUGH HIS PROPHET, RESTORED ME TO MY FEET”
Since 2012, Mrs Carolina Ozuma had been having difficulty in walking after a domestic accident. She was later diagnosed with lumbar spondylosis and degeneration of the knee. Initially, she did not feel much pain but towards the end of 2016, the pains came with a terrible bang. The medical conditions had been like thorns in her flesh as they made life very unpleasant for her. She could hardly do anything, including the normal house chores. She depended on her children for most things. When she could no longer bear the excruciating pains, she consulted a herbal medicine practitioner who told her that the pains were caused by bad blood.
Another herbal medicine practitioner even drained some blood out of her veins in an attempt to assuage the pains. Unfortunately, that action worsened her situation as the pains increased in tempo and intensity. Yet another drained water from her leg, saying it was the bad water that was responsible for her predicament. But all those claims turned out to be cock and bull stories as the pains kept increasing. It was at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria, that doctors eventually diagnosed her with lumbar spondylosis and degeneration of the knee bones. After assessing her condition, she was given a lumbar corset.
Though the lumbar corset offered temporary relief, anytime she took it off, the pains returned. Tired of the painful routine she had had to endure every day, Mrs Ozuma came to The SCOAN two weeks ago believing that God would heal her. That fateful day, she was in the church auditorium as Prophet T.B. Joshua ministered prayer to congregants. Mrs Ozuma would not allow the healing hand of God to pass her by. And so, as soon as she sighted the man of God, she started screaming, “Man of God help me! Man of God help Me!” The man of God came to her and tapped her leg two times and that was it. “Immediately Prophet T.B. Joshua prayed for me, the pain left me and I started walking again”, she told Emmanuel TV.
Mrs Ozuma was filled with joy as she gave her testimony last Sunday. Discarding the lumbar corset that had become a part of her before the congregation, she told them she no longer needs it, adding that her healing is complete and permanent. She also revealed that Prophet T.B. Joshua delivered her Italy-based son and that he had received his residence permit in the European country.
GOD DEFIED MEDICAL VERDICT AND HEALED ME OF LUMBAR AND CERVICAL SPONDYLOSES
Mr Sekem Pierre’s career as a military officer had been threatened by two debilitating conditions that made it very difficult for him to walk and to function in his official duties. Doctors had diagnosed him with lumbar and cervical spondyloses and had thrown a bombshell at him – there was no known solution to his problem unless surgery. Even the surgery was without a hundred percent guarantee. It was based on probability. The Cameroonian military officer was not in the best of moods owing to the painful toll the conditions took on him. From his neck down to his waist, excruciating pains reigned supreme.
According to him, he had even ‘lost his authority’ as a husband. While battling with the conditions in a military hospital in Douala, he was introduced to Emmanuel TV. For ailments that had sapped most of his energy and resources since 2010, Mr Pierre did not waste time in jumping at the opportunity of visiting The SCOAN.
During the special healing service organised to commemorate the birthday of Prophet T.B. Joshua in 2016, Mr Pierre visited The SCOAN and was among those who proceeded to the Prayer Line to receive the anointed touch of the man of God. His healing was instantaneous as soon as the man of God touched him. According to him, the experience was miraculous in its entirety because the pains that had weighed down his joy disappeared within seconds of that encounter with Prophet T.B. Joshua, in Jesus’ name. Since that day ‘til today, he has never had any cause to complain. He is totally healed and has regained his ‘authority’ at home. He has a baby to show for it.
The anointing that brought about his total healing did not end there. It also paved the way for more glory in his life and career. In the same 2016, he was promoted to the rank of a lieutenant in the Cameroonian Army. The promotion came as a surprise to many, especially those who had thought that he was finished. He has since returned to sporting activities. A lover of football, Mr Pierre has continued to lace his boots for the round rubber game. He was at The SCOAN last Sunday to testify to his healing and promotion in company of his wife and sister-in-law. Having expressed gratitude to God for putting him back on his feet, he told congregants that life without Christ is miserable. “This sickness made me know that with God, all things are possible”, he concluded.