Prophet TB Joshua
As students of the Bible, the former rain refers to the first Pentecost, that is the descending of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after His Accession to Heaven. It was a big breakthrough for the earthly Church. It brought them renewed strength, boldness, encouragement, empowerment and growth. The latter rain refers to a future Pentecost. This message comes to mind when prophet TB Joshua, the Bishop and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos Nigeria, recently prophesied of “a cooling rain” and then the coming of Seraphim. We are waiting for these events because TB Joshua has accurate prophesies and speaking what God sends him to.
The prophecy was probably and primarily meant for Nigeria but the entire global system is in complete chaos and disorder at the moment. We see rioting and protesting everywhere on our TV daily. Only a divine intervention can introduce a new peaceful and orderly system. With a dynamic man of God, Prophet TB Joshua, full of faith and commitment in Jesus Christ, awaiting the fulfilment of the coming calmness is with certainty.
It can be recalled that at a time the children of Israel were in similar distress and eventually God sent an angel to Gideon and empowered Gideon on the deliverance mechanism of Israel from their oppressors, (Judges 6). Whereas Gideon armed himself with 32,000 fighting men only 300 trumpeters were used by God. And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place, (Judges 7: 7).
Already many sections of the societies are taking their deep personal problem to The SCOAN for a guarantee solution because of Prophet TB Joshua. This is a personal achievement of an individual prophet of our time. What we pray for also is that all true believers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to come together in one accord for the arrival of God’s latter rain that will bring calmness and genuine world peace. Just as TB Joshua warned the South Sudanese recently, similarly, “It is also time for all Christians to put their differences behind them”. It is only Jesus Christ, the Creator of the entire universe, that has the solution to all the problems, visible or invisible, imagined or unimaginable.
God measures our lives by our love for Him and for our neighbour. Anyone who does not love his fellow man, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is His command: whoever loves God must also love his fellow man.
If we have all knowledge and ability but have no love, we have nothing. If we make all forms of sacrifices but have no real burning love for God and our fellow man, we have nothing.
Love for fellow man breaks down all barriers; it melts all hindrances. Love has ears to hear the heart. It dissolves prejudices, misunderstanding and suspicion. Love triumphs over our mistreatment, defilement and persecution.
How do you assess your love for God? By the practical things in our lives. We assess our love for God by the number of times we lovingly think of Him daily, by the degree of hunger we have to read His Word. I mean, the amount of time we save to read His Word. The more we love Him, the more precious His Word will become to us. If we love Jesus enough, we will make it our habit to say, “I love You, Jesus”.
When you walk to another room, say, “I love You, Jesus”. When you sit down in your car to drive, say, “I love You, Jesus”. When you stop at a traffic light, say, “I love You, Jesus”. When you bow your head before you eat, say, “I love You, Jesus”. The first person you think about in the morning and the last person you think of in the night should be Jesus.
To everyone who watched her testify last Sunday at The SCOAN, it must have been clear that 75-year-old Barrister (Mrs) Theresa Amaifeobu was beside herself with joyous excitement over the healing she had received. Struck with cervical and lumbar spondylosis for seven years, as well as osteoarthritis of both knees, the Abuja-based Anambra indigene had felt no relief from the painkillers and neck collar that had been meant to help ease her stiff neck and lower-back pains.
Seeking a divine solution, she had come to church for prayers. As he laid an anointed hand on Theresa, Prophet Chris prayed, “In the mighty name of Jesus, let the power of God flow through your body right now.” He then told her, “Rise to your feet, mama.” And she did, proclaiming God’s goodness and power as she strolled along the aisle. “I am healed; Jesus has done it!” she proclaimed during her testimony last week. Mrs Catherine Okereke, who accompanied her mother to church, thanked God for setting her mother free. Theresa advised people to trust in the Lord, who never fails. “Hold on to God,” Catherine advised.
Remember what happened at the graveside of Lazarus in John 11:38-44. Ordinarily, the situation did not call for thanksgiving but Jesus, being a man of faith was not influenced by the happenings around. What was seen did not influence the direction of His prayer.
When Jesus came to the home of Lazarus, where people were in a mourning mood, where people were crying, Jesus did not allow the general mood to overwhelm Him. In other words, Jesus did not allow the happenings around to dictate the direction of His prayer.
Today, when things are good, our prayer would be that of thanksgiving whereas when things are tough, our prayer would be petitional rather than thanksgiving. Consider the case of Paul and Silas in the prison in Acts 16. Their condition did not call for thanksgiving and praises but as men of faith, the happenings around them did not overwhelm them to murmur and despair.
But for God, what would have been the essence of human life? So had The SCOAN Choir queried when they began their ministration during the Sunday Service. Because God lives, they said, our lives are worth living and we can face tomorrow because all fear is gone. As many Heaven-inspired songs followed, congregants fell under the anointing in ‘The Arena of Liberty’, a demonstration of God’s abiding power on The SCOAN ministry. “Here I am. Send me, Lord,” the choir asked worshippers to say in submission to God.,
Building on his message from last week, “Acknowledge God,” Prophet TB Joshua preached about HOW MUCH WE NEED GOD. The thrust of the sermon was the importance of maintaining our blessings by learning to involve God in our daily activities, even the apparently most mundane ones. He read from Luke 16:10-12, 1 Corinthians 14:15 and John 14:27 as he illustrated what it means to be in a perpetual attitude of grateful prayerfulness. We need Jesus every minute of our lives, he said, so our hearts must constantly make contact with him in meditation and melody, not only in times of crisis. In his words, “If you don’t know how much you need Jesus in small things, you will not know how much you need Him to settle your situation, such as affliction, hardship, career failure, marital challenges, stagnation and joblessness.”
Acceptable prayer, Prophet TB Joshua asserted, does not have to be a noisy show-off but rather an imbibed habit that allows the Holy Spirit to minister directly to our hearts. Christians who pray like that, he explained, would enjoy the privilege of hearing from God even in their waking moments. “Constantly pray in your heart, without ceasing, in hymns, spiritual songs and make melodies in your heart to the Lord. Your heart must be running – melodies to keep your heart busy,” the man of God counselled the church. Stating that “a break in prayer is a break in faith and a break in faith is a break with God,” Prophet TB Joshua concluded by noting that the Spirit of God cannot be resisted once inside a believer.
In the same vein, Prophet Racine read from Romans 12:1-2, Matthew 7:7-12 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 as he urged congregants to STAY IN THE WILL OF GOD. The will of God, he said, should be the only thing true Christians seek in every aspect of life.
He said that God’s will is to deliver and bless us, among other things, hence the need to consult Him always and pray according to His will while pursuing “spiritual union with Jesus” that “establishes a deep sense of intimacy with God.” He therefore advised Christians not to blame God when answers to prayers get delayed but to persist in satisfying “God’s uncompromising demand for faith.” In his closing remarks, Prophet Racine said, “Staying true to your purpose in life is to stay true to Jesus. Jesus is faithful; He will never abandon us.”
How do we ask for forgiveness? We must ask for forgiveness in sincerity and humility of heart. This is what God requires. “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:6-7).
Remember Psalm 51:6 reads ‘inward parts’, meaning the innermost being. This is the heart – the communication point for the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1). If we are to ask for forgiveness, we should ask for forgiveness in the ‘inner part’, not in the form of fasting and praying or waving of hands in worship without a thorough reformation of heart and life.
What David was saying was that it was only after a thorough cleansing that he would be able to experience the joy of salvation. How do we then come before God in sincerity and humility of heart? We can come before Him when we ask Him not to comfort us until He cleanses us from our sin. In other words, we are seeking first the Kingdom of God, which is the salvation of our soul (Matthew 6:33).