In a few remarks of advice before opening the topic of his message, Wise Man Racine reminded the congregation of the protection the righteous man enjoys in the hand of God. In his words, the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. He advised them to be happy whereas there is nothing to be happy about on the outside. Some people, he went on, complain, lament and murmur in spite of being Christians. The cause, according to him, is that they are centred on what they are doing. Taking a cue from this, the wise man entitled his sermon, ‘See Beyond Your Situation’ and opened to Psalm 91:14 as his proof text. The Lord, he said, has given assurance to all believers of His protection. Troubles, he continued, do not require any invitation before they come. However, when they come, we should be determined because we are not alone. The devil uses our situation to tempt us. Temptations to sin are the most grievous because they are messengers of satan. You should not listen to them because you are not alone. Situations make people act out of character. How do you handle temptations? God, according to him, uses foolish things to prepare us for new things in life. He first humbles those he intends to honour so that they will not be conceited. He cited Daniel in the lion’s den, Joseph and his travails and Anna’s barrenness for years as Biblical cases to buttress his point. He assured his listeners that their problems were meant to prepare them for the blessings of God. He also echoed Prophet T.B. Joshua’s advice to listeners to be careful when entering temptations allowed by God so as not to think it strange and doubt their Guard. When temptations come, there is a purpose. They are meant to draw you closer to God. As a man of faith, victory is yours. A man of faith is led by an indwelling Spirit of grace that is greater than him. He does everything out of a heart of peace, not for sheer popularity. He believes that when he is weak, he is strong. Any confidence that is based on the outside cannot stand the test of time. Jesus is my Healer whether he heals me or not. This is confidence based on faith. With the Word of God in our heart, our confidence is settled and nothing can change us. The heart must be grounded and rooted in the Word of God. If you must speak, you must think first and in accordance with the Word of God. The words we speak create the curses or blessings that come our way. Your words dominate your life because they express your thoughts which are the seeds of your life. You cannot be above your words. A poor man acting poor and enjoying the company of poor people will remain poor. My words need cleansing because my heart needs cleansing. Our heart is cleansed by focusing on the Word of God. Faith focuses on God, not on the situation. Your faith is your personal situation focused on God and His sufficiency. When difficult times come your way, examine all things in the light of God’s Word and listen to the testimonies of your conscience. God’s Word points you to life though your situation may point you to death. The answer to your situation is the Word of God. The Word of God is sure, eternal and cannot fail. You should see beyond your situation where there is God’s purpose for your life. Your situation is meant to draw you closer to God. Once you believe the Word of God, success is yours, the wise man concluded.
OVERCOME YOUR DOUBT
After commending the message given by Wise Man Racine, Prophet T.B. Joshua turned to the viewers under the influence of the telecast and assured them that once they listened; their prayers would answer, adding that distance was no barrier. The prophet gave a sermon, which he entitled, ‘Overcome Your Doubt’ and told his listeners that the best saints have need for the help that can make their faith stronger. He drew his listener’s attention to some Biblical characters to make his point. According to him, Abraham in Genesis 15:6, Gideon in Judges 6:36-37 and John the Baptist in Matthew 11, needed signs to make their faith stronger. Though he believed, John the Baptist wanted concrete signs to make his faith set that Jesus was the expected Messiah. Many people in the Bible who we consider pillars of faith had moments of doubt. This however, does not mean that they had less faith but that their faith was challenged in a new way. Moments of doubt arise when unusual things come one’s way. If you are genuinely seeking salvation from God in the midst of doubt, He will not mind because at the end, your doubt will move you closer to God. When situations in life challenge your faith, they should move you closer to God, not farther away from Him. In situations of poverty, sickness and the like, one seems to be tempted to doubt His ability or desire to help. When one’s faith is challenged in a new way, what one has not experienced before in one’s life cropping up will generate panic, anxiety, worry and doubt in one’s faith. John the Baptist, Peter and many Biblical heroes struggled with many doubts. However, doubt can become a sin if it leads you away from God to scepticism, cynicism and then to hard-heartedness. As you move closer to God, you will find the strength to trust God. One of satan’s strategies or tactics is to get you to doubt God’s goodness. One should be patient because God’s time is the best. Satan tries to make you forget all that God has given you and focus on what you do not have. If you spend your time thinking about what you do not have, you may be slipping into unhealthy doubt. Today, we only acknowledge the immediate goodness of God when we receive and thereafter, we never mention that miracle or blessing. The sickness you had in the past, others had it and died while many others are still on the sickbed. You may think it was an ordinary sickness but people die of the sickness every day. Do not doubt God’s desire or ability to help you. When David, a rustic boy (1 Samuel 17:37) was brought to the king to defend his cause, he simply testified to how God delivered, saved and rescued him from the mouth of lion and bear at his tender age. Today, people will mention only the immediate ones and forget those at their tender age. God gives everyone plenty of evidence to believe in Him. Doubt comes when we fail to stop long enough to observe all the evidence. Once in a while, we should create time to reflect over God’s track record in our lives. Many who are from poverty-stricken and sickness–ridden families are able to live above all that today. We are like a man who prayed that he had no shoes and when God gave him money, he went to the market and met another man who had no legs. You should review God’s track record in your life and you will realise that many of you have come from nowhere to somebody. When you take time to review God’s track record, it would grow confidence that He would work in your present situation. Your situation is not like others’ but for the glory of God. You will grow confident that a solution is forthcoming and that God will never fail or abandon you because He never did so in the past. Be patient and let God answer your questions on His own schedule, not on yours. God’s time is the best. At His time, it is all good.
WOMAN DELIVERED FROM INSATIABLE SEXUAL URGE
At the instance of the prophet, some of the striking incidents and prophecies of the previous Sunday service were visited on video. In course of the mass prayer, the prophet issued a message that there was a woman in the congregation whose sexual urge remained unsatisfied after she had a love encounter with a dog in her dream and he asked the woman in question to come out for deliverance. The woman having been delivered the previous Sunday, re-emerged accompanied by her husband as directed for a testimony. In her testimony, the woman who went by the name Tina Ekezie, narrated her encounter with a dog in her dream after which her marriage was destroyed. She had prayed and fasted but all to no avail. Her marriage after that lacked love for her husband and witnessed much quarrel and hatred. She however, added that after the deliverance her admiration for her husband fully surfaced again. In his testimony, the husband, Eugene Ekezie told the congregation that the radiance displayed by his wife was the function of his money when he was doing well as a kerosene dealer. Since his downfall however, his wife’s attitude and affection for him had become zero, causing a cat and dog relationship between them. Mrs Tina Ekezie knelt before her husband in apology for her past misbehaviour and promised a positive change. The man of God however promised to counsel them on their economic downturn, which seemed to have partially dissipated Tina’s affection.
ABANDONMENT LED WOMAN TO PROSTITUTION
Another clip revealed the prophet issuing a prophecy to a Kenyan lady as he laid hands on the congregation. In the prophecy, he saw the woman living where men were coming to her for sex. She was living as a harlot. The prophecy also added that her father abandoned her as a child and that frustration had led her to that style of life. It concluded that her father owed her an apology for all that. The lady who bore Nelly Wangari as her name confirmed the entire prophecy as true and she was delivered. She retold the prophecy and recounted all the hardship and name calling she went through because of her father’s behaviour. The man of God consoled her, told her that all was past, that God was her Father and that she would soon know why God allowed that suffering in her life.
MAN SENT HIS WIFE PACKING BECAUSE OF RUMOUR
The next video clip unfolded the prophet as he issued a prophetic message to a man who sent his wife away on the rumour that she was enjoying an extra-marital relationship. The prophecy ended in two questions. The man was asked whether he was sure he had not sent an innocent woman away and how had his life been since he ejected his wife from the marital home. A man who called himself Emmanuel and the suspected wife emerged from the congregation to say the prophecy referred to them. In his testimony, the man said that neighbours used to tell him when he came home that his wife had developed the habit of going out often and coming in late and that she might have a lover outside. That was the basis of his action. The man of God however, told him that the wife was innocent and that the husband was to blame for the challenges that made her go out. In her testimony, Janet, the suspected wife said her husband sent her out because he suspected her with one man. The prophet confirmed her innocence and promised to reconcile them.
MAN RECEIVED ONE MILLION NAIRA FOR HIS BURNT HOUSE
A fairly aged man, Kayode by name, mounted the platform with a photograph of his burnt building and started by apologising to the man of God and the congregation that he had not been paying his tithes. He then added that his house was burnt because of the carelessness of one of his tenants with a generator. The entire roof of the storeyed building was burnt and needed rehabilitation. The man of God blamed him for his failure to contribute to the growth of the church in spite of his wealth. A cash gift of one million naira was given to him to put the building in order.
A couple who named themselves as Mr and Mrs Oghobo mounted the stage to say they had been barren for twelve years before they received the Anointing Water. They prayed over the Anointing Water after fasting and met as a couple. That very month, according to the man, the woman missed her period. They had gone to many places and medical doctors in search of a pregnancy but without success. The man of God commended them for fasting before ministering the Anointing Water quite unlike many who would just gulp it as soon as they received it. Thanking God for His mercy on their lives, the couple wished their listeners the same fortune in the hand of the Lord.
MIRACLE BABY CAME AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS OF BARRENNESS
Mrs Linda Chinwe and her miracle baby mounted the podium next for their testimony. According to her, she had been barren for fifteen years. Her sister in-law brought her to The SCOAN to collect the Anointing Water. It was that, according to her, that ended her infertility because as soon as they met as a couple, she became pregnant. At the time of the testimony, her baby was five months old. She thanked God for His mercy and advised her listeners to have faith in God.
ANOINTING WATER ENDS A SEASON OF MISCARRIAGES
Mr and Mrs Ani-Nweke climbed the platform to tell their listeners about their ugly experience with miscarriages. They said they came to The SCOAN to meet the man of God for that very reason and he gave them the Anointing Water. They met as a couple after ministering the Anointing Water and the wife became pregnant. They thanked God for His mercy in their lives.
WOMAN DELIVERED SAFELY AFTER PROPHECY
The video clip revealed a prophecy given by Wise Man John Chi to a pregnant woman in which he reminded her of her unpleasant experience with her earlier pregnancy and her recent dreams in which she used to eat and see dead people. He told her that a similar misfortune might befall her, if she was not delivered. After delivering her, the wise man told her to go home and enjoy a safe delivery. At the end of the video clip, Mr and Mrs Chukwuma climbed the platform to say that the clip was about them. Mrs Chukwuma retold the story as already told on the clip and added that it was on the 14th of August, 2011 that she was in The SCOAN. Her husband added that she delivered her baby safely on the 6th of September, 2011. Both thanked God for His mercy and advised their listeners to take time to remember the way God had worked in their lives.
ANOINTING WATER CHANGED MANY LIVES IN INDIA
The next clip revealed how the Anointing Water worked wonders in the Church of Signs and Wonders, India where Pastor Narula ministered it. Practically everybody who received a spray of the Anointing Water fell down in deliverance. Many cases of healing and deliverance were recorded there, like in the other places where it had been ministered.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR CHILDREN OF WIDOWS AND PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
Widows and their children of school age trooped to the platform to receive cash gifts from the prophet to pay their fees for the term. Their spokespersons praised the man of God for making it possible for them to enjoy formal education without tears despite being orphans and seized the opportunity to appeal to other well-to-do Nigerians to emulate the good gesture of the prophet. Among those who spoke were Ebele, Ossai and Caroline Akinpelumu. One Alfred R. among them had physically challenged parents. A total sum of 6 million naira was disbursed to them. As usual, we always have cause to praise the Lord for His marvellous blessings in our lives. May His mighty name be extolled forever!