Coming in cheerfully as usual and joining forces with the choir who, by their songs of praise, created a spiritual atmosphere of worship, Wise Man Daniel unfolded his Sunday message. His introductory remarks were very striking. According to him, successful men do not just drift to the top; they are focused and they deploy discipline and energy to achieve their goal. The journey to the top, the wise man continued, is not a bed of roses but fraught with thorns, snakes and scorpions. To the believer, the wise man went on, every trouble is designed to advance his spiritual cause. The vicissitudes encountered are not meant to derail but calculated to advance his cause. However, many change the course of the history of their lives by taking short cuts. They only claim to be Christians when they enjoy wealth. To a man of faith, Jesus is the Lord when the goings are good or tough. When our troubles seem unyielding, it is in our own interest as Christians to get above our fears by following God.
Entitling his message ‘Follow God; Not Man’, the wise man referred the congregation to Joshua 24:14 -15 as the proof text. After reading the text to the congregation, the wise man proceeded to enlighten them on the importance of the text. In his words, Joshua understood the degree of the religious persuasion of his people. It is one thing to be convinced, the wise man added, and quite another to be converted. When you preach to someone who is not convinced, you do that so that he might be convinced. However, to those who are already convinced, you do so that they may be converted. To those already converted, the goal is to strengthen their faith. The converted man examines things and situations in the light of God’s Word. The merely convinced soul relies on what he sees, reads or what others tell him. He has no independent mind. When you are merely convinced about God, you are bound to follow man; not God. Merely convinced, you are as weak as an unbeliever. You are bound to toe the line of the majority. You will trust in man’s majority rather than in God’s authority. They say, ‘Amen’ not in belief but in mindless response to ‘Hallelujah’ said by someone. They hardly follow the testimony of their conscience or what God puts in their hearts. They are mere copycats. They see God as one of those reasons but not as the only reason for living. When they are disappointed, they stop praying or going to church. They are reminded that Joshua’s statement is difficult or strange. But to those who are converted, Joshua’s statement is meant to strengthen their faith. The wise man then put it before the congregation to choose between God Almighty and powerless gods. If God Almighty is their choice, the wise man averred, their commitment would be genuine and total. When you love nothing in comparison to Him but in reference to Him, then, the wise man said, your loyalty is genuine. If however, your traditional beliefs and your loyalty to Christ conflict, you are bound to be indifferent or sit on the fence. Failure to put Christ where He belongs invites anarchy into one’s life. God is the only reason for our living. If you are truly converted or a genuine believer, you see what you do as an assignment from God which you cannot fail because one day, you will return to Him and rest in Him.
PRAYER IS A SPIRITUAL FORCE
Picking the phone in succession to the wise man, Prophet T. B. Joshua maintained that prayer is a spiritual force, citing Galatians 5:1-6. Faith, he emphasized, acts in concert. It does not act alone or solo. Faith works through love; it is not an isolated spiritual force. Faith was never meant to work alone. Faith works in conjunction with other spiritual forces of God, such as love and patience. Without love, faith cannot work. Love activates and energizes faith. Prayer must be filled with scripture to be a spiritual force. Scriptural prayer releases the power of God. Prayer in faith gives you the answer from God.
It takes faith to energize prayer. The love of God is also a spiritual force. It takes love to make faith operate. All the spiritual forces that God has set into existence: faith, love, patience and prayer must work in concert to accomplish God’s purpose. The natural and the spiritual must come together. Citing Thessalonians 5:23, the prophet averred that we are a culmination of spirit, soul and body. To function completely in the spiritual and natural realms, man’s threefold nature must work in harmony. Man is a spirit being. The real things about man are not his body or flesh. They are of his spiritual body, John 8:36. If the Son sets you free, you are free, indeed. The deliverance is not of physical slavery but of the spiritual. Man’s deliverance is threefold; it is spiritually from the hand of the enemy because born again, you are out of the satanic kingdom of darkness. It is not an idle imagination; it is concrete and factual. It is not something you just hope or wish for. It is a reality; it is a truism. If you have taken the Word to heart, you will find yourself moved by the very life of God in it and propelled to do uncommon things. You will be blessed to bless others; healed to heal others; saved to save others and delivered to deliver others.
God delivers man physically from disease, hunger and want. He delivers man mentally from being ruled by the senses and brings forth His Spirit. The opinions and insights of others dictated your opinion in the past. It was not the testimony of your conscience but the opinions of elders, Sadducees and Pharisees. Romans 14:23 says whatever is not rooted in faith is a sin, the prophet concluded.
PROPHECY REVEALS CROSS PENDANT GIVEN BY WITCH DOCTOR
At the instance of the prophet, some major happenings of the previous Sunday worship were visited on the screen. The first of these relates to the prophecy issued by the man of God himself as he laid hands on congregants during the Monday prophetic service. As he laid hands on a man, the man of God told him that there was a necklace with a cross pendant which he habitually wore and asked the very man the whereabouts of the cross-laden necklace. The man replied that he left it at home. At that answer, the prophet asked why he chose not to wear it in the church, as, according to him, the church was the best place to wear such a necklace in, to among other reasons, get an opportunity to have it blessed by the man of God. Pushed defencelessly to the wall by the prophet’s remarks, the young man admitted that he was afraid to wear it into the church because the cross-laden necklace was prepared for him by a witch doctor. The man of God told him that even though he never wore it in the church at the time of their interaction, the necklace was hanging spiritually on his neck for the prophet to identify. The man of God then asked him to bring the cross to service the following Sunday. The man confessed his amazement at the prophecy and promised to bring the necklace with the cross –brooch to service as directed by the prophet. The video clip over, the same young man of the previous Sunday emerged on the platform to introduce himself as Isaac Sule of Kogi, Nigeria, adding that he was the subject of the prophecy. He then displayed the cross to the congregation. He told his listeners that his life had not been the same since he acquired the cross from the witch doctor because he had turned a debtor among other woes. He seized the opportunity to appeal to the prophet for deliverance and the prophet assured him same.
GIRL DELIVERED EFFECTUALLY FROM EATING SOAP AND CLOTHES
The next video clip reminded viewers of the deliverance of Princess Osuji who was brought to the church by her mother, Lillian Osuji from Owerri, Imo State to seek deliverance from the contrary spirits, which caused her to eat soap, clothes and nets, in addition to the development of sickle cell anaemia in her system. Emerging on the platform to confirm the clip as a true portrait of a live experience they had in their family, the Osuji family, led by the father,
Mr Uche Osuji as the spokesman and comprising the wife, Lillian and Princess their daughter and first child, proceeded to unfold more details about the strange behaviour of their daughter. According to Uche, he asked his wife to bring Princess to The SCOAN for deliverance when they discovered that she had the habit of eating soap and clothes. When the wife told him at first, Uche called Princess, asked her and she admitted that she ate soap, both for bathing and washing dishes. The father then counselled her against the habit and felt it was all over. However, they later discovered that some soap kept for future use was tampered with. The father looked closely at the teeth marks on the soap and became convinced that the marks were those of a human being, not of rats. He called Princess and asked her when she ate soap last and she replied, ‘Yesterday’. At that, the father realized that the problem was beyond any solution, they, as parents, could offer.
It was on the strength of that conviction that he advised his wife, Lillian to bring her to The SCOAN for deliverance as demanded by Princess herself. Mr Osuji happily told his listeners that since the deliverance they noticed much change in her, among which was that, apart from sleeping very well at night, she stopped frequenting the toilet as she used to do in the past. In her remarks, Lillian said that her husband had said it all and thanked God and the prophet for the deliverance of their daughter.
HOUSEWIFE DELIVERED FROM EATING CHARCOAL
Mrs Emiliana Shitindi (48) from Tanzania, accompanied by her husband, took turns on the platform to surprise her listeners that she had come from Tanzania for deliverance in The SCOAN because she was addicted to charcoal as a favourite light food and always carried some wherever she went, to whet her appetite. The habit took roots when she was young and picked stubs of cigarettes to eat.
With time, it blossomed to a stage when charcoal became the irresistible snack. As a housewife, she had decided to change from cooking with charcoal to embrace gas, all in the effort to nip the strange addiction in the bud. To her surprise, that never helped matters. Even in her adulthood, she would carry some charcoal everywhere when travelling. She disclosed that she still filled her bag with some charcoal as she came to Nigeria for deliverance. Asked how she would defend herself if she were intercepted for that by the Customs, she was at a loss for an answer. She threw some quantity into her mouth at the instance of the prophet and seemingly regaled with it until the prophet ordered a halt and proceeded to deliver her. As the prophet shouted, she fell down in deliverance, cried in shame and vomited part of the chunk she threw into her mouth before, cleaning her mouth to free it from the newly abominable taste, which charcoal offered after the deliverance had come.
Asked to eat more after the deliverance, she turned down the suggestion, saying that it was not tasty any more after the deliverance and spat out whatever chips of charcoal that still stuck to her teeth. She, according to the man of God, had been delivered spiritually from the hand of the enemy; it was an evil attack.
She was then treated to a generously garnished plate of fried rice to celebrate her deliverance which she enjoyed under the watchful eyes of her husband, Mr Shitindi, whose joy at the deliverance was clearly in evidence.
5.4 MILLION NAIRA DISBURSED AS SCHOLARSHIP
A horde of students from Nigerian universities thronged to the platform to receive cash gifts from the church in actualization of the scholarship offers extended to them by the welfare ministry of the church. Addressing the church and the students, the man of God said faith without love is bankrupt, adding that we must not wait till we have more than enough before we help our neighbours.
The time to help, he said, is now, and that after the widow had helped Elisha, she had more than enough. The prophet advised the students to take advantage of the scholarship to excel in their various fields of study. A spokesman of the students praised the prophet for being a channel of succour to many students both within and outside Nigeria, who otherwise would not have access to university education. A total sum of 5.4 million naira was disbursed to the students who study in Nigerian universities. Those students in universities outside Nigeria and other levels of study in this country were not among the beneficiaries that day.
WIDOW GOT SCHOLARSHIP FOR CHILDREN BY FRAUD
Mrs Eneh, a widow from Enugu, Nigeria seized the opportunity to confess how she connived with another widow to receive scholarship money to the tune of N101,000.00 for her children and those of her accomplice.
She said that she shared the money with the other woman but added that her life after that fraud had been dogged with misfortunes and misery among which was the burning of her son, Augustine by an electric cable, as he attempted to pick up a sim card that fell close to it. She had been seeking healing for the child fruitlessly for the past five months, she added. She appealed to the man of God for forgiveness and deliverance for her life to be back on track.
ANOINTING WATER RULES THE WORLD
The Anointing Water and the miraculous feats it recorded in the various parts of the world, where evangelists were despatched to minister it for the benefit of those held in many forms of bondage, were displayed on the screen for viewers. It was a tale of joy for viewers as the locations and countries displayed on the screen revealed the triumph of our Lord over satan, employing the Anointing Water. In London, UK; Washington, USA; Texas, USA and Alabama, USA the thread of victory of the Anointing Water over the forces of darkness held the locations in a bond. In Texas, USA, a woman who said her name was Mia shouted uncontrollably in deliverance and while the evangelist shouted, ‘Let there be light’ as he sprayed the Water on her, the evil spirit in her kept on retorting, ‘Why’ and added that she founded the temple she was occupying. She repeatedly shouted, ‘I found it; leave me alone’. She wriggled on the floor like a snake, occasionally bumping up her figure as she struggled with the forces that held her captive. Fully delivered, Mia became still and told her story in joy. She said everything she tried to do before her deliverance was not right. She had the spirit of suicide and added that she made fun of the deliverance at first but became convinced of the power of God in the Anointing Water. Ours is to adore the Lord continuously for manifesting His powers so abundantly in our days.