As another Sunday dawned, thousands streamed into the SCOAN cathedral and thousands more tuned into the live service – to receive from the Throne of grace. Week by week, news continues to spread of lives transformed, hopes renewed, sicknesses healed, yokes lifted and families reconciled, through Jesus Christ at The SCOAN and on Sunday 18th July 2010, many believed that it was their day. Welcoming the congregation and viewers to the presence of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua said, “When you get in His presence, you will change, your philosophy will change, your way will change. Hallelujah!”
HAVE FAITH IN GOD The man of God went straight to the heart of the matter in his sermon titled, Have Faith in God. He directed his listeners to Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you” and asked, “Has this been happening?”
Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks, receives, he who seeks finds and him who knocks, it will be opened.”
Explaining the verse, he said that this was Christ’s encouragement to pray and His assurance that your prayer would be answered. But describing the state of this faithless generation, he said this, “When people do not pray, it is because they have no hope of an answer. Unanswered prayer stands between you and your faith. Because it is stated there, all things are possible – you just have faith in God. People do not pray because they are frustrated in their faith. Their hope has been shattered too often. Now, they continue only in the formalities of their religion. The reality has disappeared.” Ripples of agreement were visible in the congregation as the prophet’s words struck a chord. He proceeded to explain that when the Bible says, ask and you shall receive, this is asking out of faith, not feeling. Sometimes people base their spiritual experiences on feelings and emotions. Problems arise when feelings and emotions change. He said that to ask out of feeling is when you are poor and it is time to pray, you pray for blessing, when you are sick and it is time to pray, you pray for healing. When you are blessed and it is time to pray, you say, thank God. And God is good all the time – all the time God is good. The man of God concluded reminding us that all is possible when we ask in faith, saying that communion with Christ Jesus springs from union with Christ Jesus.
The faith of all was raised as they witnessed wonderful testimonies of those who had been healed of terrible ulcers in various parts of their body. Among those who testified was Mr John Achioyame, who joyfully came to thank God for healing him of a leg ulcer. The congregation gasped as the footage showed the terrible state of Mr Achioyame’s leg when he came for healing. He explained that he was unable to walk and the doctor’s only option was to amputate the leg. The footage showed the man of God at the prayer line praying for Mr Achioyame, saying, ‘Thank you for Your power of resurrection’. Mr John Achioyame testified that at these words, his entire body became cool, then the pain completely left and the ulcer dried up and healed. Rolling his trouser leg to show the previously affected calf that was now completely restored, Mr John tapped his leg, with the words, “No more pain, no more crying, no more sorrow. Have faith in God. Jesus Christ is with us for ever!”
LIGHTNING OF GOD
With the atmosphere charged, and the people’s faith lifted, the Wise Men began prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit at the Prayer line. Problems of all types and burdens of all sizes crumbled at the authority in the name of Jesus Christ. Demons and contrary spirits left screaming under the influence of the lightning of God. Surely, where the light of God shines, darkness has no hiding place. Among those who received their instantaneous healing was 53 year old Mr Hart Bibonye who was healed of inability to walk due to fracture of left leg bone. At the prayer of the wise man, Mr Bibonye rose to his feet and took his first steps of freedom for the past 14 years. Also rejoicing in her healing was 30 year old Miss Anthony Osegou from Enugu, who was healed of a multiple fracture of the tibia due to an accident. Miss Osegou who had been dependant on crutches to move around, stood up and walked unaided after the prayer, saying, “Thank You Jesus. I can walk well now!”
DELIVERED FROM SPIRIT OF STEALING
Those who had been following the touching story of Emmanuel who had been delivered from the spirit of stealing after a word of prophecy, rejoiced in the full reconciliation, in which his father who had previously disowned his son because of the terrible vice, came at last to give thanks to God for his deliverance. Prince James Okoeguale,59, from Edo state, came with his wife and son to confirm the prophecy that his son had received about a young boy who still had the marks of handcuffs on his wrists after being in prison because of stealing. Prince James Okoeguale recounted how from the tender age of five, Emmanuel had begun stealing. What they thought was just childish misbehaviour soon turned more menacing however from the age of eight, leading to his detention in different police stations when caught thieving. As if that was not enough, his father explained how as proprietor of a school of almost 1,000 pupils, his business had been thwarted by his son’s habit of stealing his pupils’’ possessions – incidents that led to parents withdrawing their children from the school and the school’s eventual closure. Prince James Okoeguale also painfully told how his name had been disqualified from a chairmanship campaign after he was labelled the father of a thief. On Emmanuel’s last thieving operation, he was arrested and this time, his father refused to bail him out. When his mother did and brought him home, Prince James Okoeguale said that enough was enough, that they should both leave. He told the congregation how his wife had only asked to sleep in the house for one night with Emmanuel before travelling to The SCOAN the next morning for his deliverance. Smiling, he explained how friends had begun calling him and congratulating him on his son’s deliverance which they had seen on Emmanuel TV. “Now, he no longer steals”, said Prince James Okoeguale, “He is free.” I want to thank God for using the man of God to deliver my son and because of that, I want to dedicate this child to God. The crowd cheered as the testimony was complete – a son that was disowned was now being dedicated to God in joy.
The fire of the Holy Spirit knows no colour, or class, or relation. As the mass prayer was taking place and the man of God called on contrary spirits to come out, many who had been sitting quietly worshipping, suddenly began to squirm, writhe and scream, arrested by the Holy Spirit. Brothers looked at their sisters, husbands at their wives, parents at their children – estranged. This was exactly what happened to Mr Kolawole Olagunju from Kaduna state when his wife began to manifest and speak with the voice of a contrary spirit. Below is a synopsis of the dialogue that followed:
TB Joshua to the wife: Who are you?
Wife: I am a king. She is my queen.
TB Joshua to the husband: Who is she?
Husband: She is my wife.
TB Joshua to the wife: Who are you?
Wife: I am a king.
TB Joshua to the wife: A king where?
Wife: Under the river.
TB Joshua to the husband: Did you know you are married to a king?
TB Joshua to the wife: Who is this man?
Wife: I don’t know him.
TB Joshua to the husband: How long have you been married to her?
Husband: 20 years.
TB Joshua to the wife: This man says he is your husband.
Wife: I don’t know him. I don’t know you. I am a king under the river.
TB Joshua to the husband: Where did you marry her?
Husband: I married her on the surface of the land!
It was clearly not a natural situation. The man of God directed Mr Kolawole Olagunju to hug his wife and as he did so, she fell to the floor and was delivered. As she rose to her feet, the prophet asked her, who is this man? He is my husband! She replied. Mrs Kolawole Olagunju proceeded to explain how she had been tormented by a spiritual husband that had destroyed her marriage and rendered her husband’s business useless. She explained how the spiritual husband had begun fighting inside of her when she watched Emmanuel TV and touched the screen. Mrs Kolawole Olagunju said that before, whenever she closed her eyes she used to see this man who would even lie between her and her husband at night but that now, after the prayer, he was gone. The congregation gave thanks to God as Mr and Mrs Kolawole Olagunju embraced and rejoiced in their new found freedom. Deliverance had brought solution to the home – reconciliation indeed.
As the service drew to a close, many who didn’t believe before, now believed that they were in the presence of God where old things pass away and all things become new (2 Cor 5:17).