The service on Sunday, June 3, 2012 began with Wise Man John Chi speaking on the need to experience God. "Most people would believe that it is a great tragedy to be separated from their possessions and social relations," he began. "However, very few people understand that the greatest tragedy in the world today is to be separated from God. Satisfaction in life is not all about having children, money or other worldly possessions - you need to experience God. Until you experience God, there will be dissatisfaction in your life – a sense of hunger to know what life is all about, a desire to know what happens after life is over," he said in his introduction.
Continuing, he stated that many Christians only choose certain areas of Scripture to focus on, stressing that we need the whole counsel of God to develop spiritually. "Those people who choose to pick out a few words from the Bible and live by them are not eager about such other areas as holiness, consecration, judgement, evangelism and the love of God," he added.
Talking on the futility of merely pursuing worldly fame and possessions, he explained, "Treasures on earth have their habit of disappointing their owners as they don't offer permanent security. Only treasures stored up in Heaven are permanent and secure. They retain their value because they are under God's own security." He used James 1:10-11 for further illustration.
Concluding, Wise Man John Chi referred the congregation and viewers worldwide on Emmanuel TV to Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7 - Scriptures that enjoin us to 'cast our burden upon the Lord'. He said, "The best remedy against anxiety is to cast our burden upon God believing His divine will to calm our spirit. To cast our burden upon God is to rest our trust in His providence and promise. If we commit our ways and works to Him, He promised to carry us in the arms of His power, as a nurse carries a child and will strengthen our spirit by His Spirit. Why don't we trust Him and let Him prove Himself? After all, He is the Governor of our future. I mean, He owns our future."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AT 49!
Following Wise Man John Chi's message, a glorious time in God's presence in praise and worship ensued, before Prophet T.B. Joshua came out. "If you rely on the strength that comes from our Lord, Jesus Christ, He will not allow the enemy of your soul to overtake you," he said, encouraging the congregation.
Using the opportunity to address his upcoming 49th birthday on June 12th, Prophet T.B. Joshua thanked the people for their prayers. Explaining the way and manner God wanted him to celebrate this year, he stated, "My birthday shall be dedicated to prayer for the Church of God, for its unity. It is also an occasion that calls for persistent giving, especially to the needy," he continued, stressing that people should give every good thing the Lord had given to them.
EVERYONE NEEDS DELIVERANCE
A video was replayed in which Mr Gideon Ibitoye was remarkably delivered after prayer from Wise Man Christopher during last week's Monday Service. The evil spirit had spoken through him, saying that it was a warrior who had come to cause suffering and poverty in the family.
Addressing the importance of deliverance, Prophet T.B. Joshua said that it was necessary for everyone to pass through deliverance. Referring the congregation to 1 Corinthians 10:13, he explained that even after deliverance, a Christian would still face challenges and trials but that they would lead to his improvement. "When you are delivered, strength will come from above so that the enemy of your soul will not overtake you," he said.
In his explanation, Mr Ibitoye narrated that he is a youth pastor in his church and never had any inclination that he would be the one to be delivered when they came to The SCOAN. On the contrary, he believed his wife was the one responsible for the problems and expected her to be the one to manifest when the Wise Men prayed. This belief came as a result of a number of pastors who had pointed out that his wife was the architect of their downfall, telling him to beg her for forgiveness and adorn her with gifts of clothes so she would release him from the cage he was in.
Confused, his wife explained that she too ended up suspecting that she might be possessed, after all the pastors had pointed her out to her husband. Mr Ibitoye explained that during the Sunday Service, his entire focus was on his wife during the Wise Men's prayer, expecting her to react and manifest. Disappointed after nothing seemingly happened, he resolved to return home. His wife, however, insisted that they return for the Monday Service. During the Monday Service, Mr Ibitoye said, after listening to a message from Prophet T.B. Joshua, he began to ask God for a touch from Heaven. As Wise Man Christopher prayed for him during that service, he explained that he just saw light and became very afraid, losing all consciousness and control. "I am not the type of person who believes in that type of thing," he confessed, adding that he was astonished at the deliverance he received.
Members of the congregation spoke out on the lessons learned from the couples experience and Prophet T.B. Joshua commended Mrs. Ibitoye for standing by her husband despite the accusation and insisting on his return to the church on Monday.
DELIVERED FROM THE SPIRIT OF PROSTITUTION
Miss Pauline, a 5th year Student of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Benin returned to The SCOAN with three friends following her confession in the church last week. After her deliverance from the spirit that had pushed her into prostitution, Prophet T.B. Joshua called on her to bring some of her colleagues who were also involved in the same lifestyle and desired deliverance.
Her three friends, all schooling in university, somberly told The SCOAN congregation that they were involved in prostitution and this was how they paid their tuition. Prophet T.B. Joshua promised that the church would assist them financially with scholarships to carry on their education without continuing their past lifestyle. The young friends were moved to tears at the announcement, Pauline thanking God on their behalf for rescuing them and providing for their needs.
HEALED FROM PROSTATE CANCER
In his faith building testimony, Mr Alex Okodua said he visited The SCOAN in October 2011 suffering from prostate cancer. At that stage, his condition was critical as he had lost a lot of weight, saw blood in his urine and experienced swelling in his groin. He explained that at this stage he would be going to the toilet 5-6 times in a night alone. The medical doctors advised him to go to India for an operation and even then, the chances of recovery were 50-50.
However, in the midst of his deteriorating condition, one of Mr Okodua's sons advised him to visit The SCOAN and use the Anointing Water. After receiving and ministering it, he explained that he immediately began sleeping well. Soon, the blood-filled urine had normalized and he was regaining weight again. Amazed at the miraculous work of God in his life, Mr Okodua returned to the hospital for another check. Marveling at the miracle, the doctors confirmed he was free from prostate cancer. To God be the glory!
As Mr Okodua testified, Professor Robinson, the Chief Medical Director of Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, attested to what he was saying. He explained that, as a medical doctor, he had referred many of his patients to The SCOAN for healing and had even ministered the Anointing Water in the hospital. He cited the case of a woman whose arm was to be amputated because of a large open wound that had refused to heal. However, after ministering the Anointing Water, the wound closed up and the woman was completely restored.
BARRENNESS OVER AND BREAKTHROUGH RESTORED
Engr. Ugwu and his wife came to The SCOAN with many testimonies to share to God's glory! Firstly, he explained that he had initially come to The SCOAN with the problem of bedwetting for a long and painful 34 years. At this stage, he and his wife were childless and he was also experiencing setback and disappointment in his business. However, after coming to The SCOAN and ministering the Anointing Water, the Ugwu's lives were completely transformed!
His bedwetting ceased and shortly afterwards his wife became pregnant, later safely delivering a baby girl named Mary. Employed in a petroleum company, abundant blessing started coming for Engr. Ugwu and he was able to buy a new car and move into a new house. To cap it all, his wife is now pregnant for a second time!
Following the testimonies, Prophet T.B. Joshua led the congregation in a powerful time of mass prayer. "Your appointment with God is Divine. During Jesus' earthly ministry, everyone was healed. God has sent me to you to give you something," he told the excited congregation. He then moved in the midst of the congregation, giving words of prophecy to hundreds of individuals present. We thank God Almighty for what He is doing every week in The SCOAN. Indeed, a million thanks are not enough for what Jesus Christ has done!