“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).
What do you treasure in this life? Is it wealth, possessions, fame or relationships? If you look around, you will agree with me that treasures on earth have a habit of disappointing us because we do not know if we will be around tomorrow to enjoy them.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:20-21 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Many may ask, “How can I store up treasures in Heaven?” Possessions and money alone cannot bring contentment but giving them to help others can. The reality of our salvation will be judged by our willingness, cheerful eagerness to part with our possessions for the good of others. That is how you can seek first the Kingdom of God. This is how you can build up treasures in Heaven.
So, take time to draw closer to God. In this uncertain world, amidst the twists and turns of life, the only way you can be safe is if your treasure is in the hands of God.
As the protests over police brutality engulfing the nation of Nigeria steadily grow in momentum, a video of TB Joshua prophesying a ‘revolution’ instigated by Nigerian youths has resurfaced on social media.
The video, which was originally aired seven years ago on July 14th 2013, shows Joshua sharing a revelation to the congregation of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which he titled ‘Carry Your Youths Along’.
“I am seeing a revolution,” the cleric bluntly began, adding that “every revolution starts by protests”.
“I’m seeing people taking to the streets,” he continued, adding that the authorities would attempt unsuccessfully to quash the protests with police.
“You can stop protests but you cannot stop revolution. When it becomes a revolution, everybody is ready to die, so you can’t stop it,” he stated.
“It might be stopped at the beginning. Eventually, it will become so big that it cannot be stopped. This I see happen. Nigeria, pray,” he stated in the clip.
The cleric, however, proffered a solution, calling on the Nigerian government to actively engage its young people, recognising they are the “leaders of tomorrow”.
“God has given us the way out. The way out – job creation for the youth and the creation of a new social value system,” he said.
“No matter the education the youth have, they feel they have no place in politics and there is no job to keep them busy,” he continued, calling for a “new orientation” especially in the political sphere.
“In politics, the youth should be considered for important positions such as assistants to elders. While the elders are ministers, the youth should be junior ministers,” he advised. “By doing this, we are training them to take over tomorrow.”
The prominent cleric further reiterated his ‘shocking’ vision. “Revolution is a weapon of change that is coming. This is the vision I saw – revolution is coming when people will take to the streets because life has no value anymore to the people,” he said, adding that the “coming ominous signs are disastrous”.
Joshua appealed to those in leadership to “carry your youth along” in “politics and administration, especially in ruling your country”, adding that Nigeria’s young people “want to see themselves represented in every area of life.”
“When we carry the youth along, whenever there is a revolt, they will be available to readily speak to their colleagues,” he also noted.
The cleric insisted the revelation was “the voice of God” and “none of this will go without being fulfilled”.
“As sure as God lives, I, TB Joshua, will tell you only what God says. If I am hated, persecuted or intimidated because of my accurate prophetic messages, blessed be to God who gives the prophecy. The day will declare who is in the right and who is in the wrong, says the Lord,” Joshua concluded.
Since the outbreak of #EndSARS protests, Joshua is yet to make a public comment and his official social media handles have not referenced the unrest.
The protests, which have drawn huge crowds throughout Nigeria’s major cities, have morphed from insistence on the abolition of the notorious SARS police unit to impassioned calls for good governance and accountability among Nigeria’s politicians.
“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
In our hearts, we are made to be like Jesus. Are you a man or woman after God’s own heart? When you are a man after God’s own heart you will have a ‘hugged’ heart with God; your heart will agree in relationship with God. If your heart agrees in relationship with God, what is seen, what is heard, whatever may happen, will not affect your relationship with Him.
As a Christian, you may not always get it right but always remember that God loves you and values your relationship; you are His temple – where His Holy Spirit dwells.
We are known by our fruits. Only our character can testify to our confession of Christ. To be like Jesus, we must live in Him. To become God’s person, a Christian, born-again, you must be remoulded. It is essential to serve God with a willing heart, for the love of the heart is the only genuine principle from which a genuine relationship with the Lord can spring.
You are a work of art. The Holy Spirit wants to be Lord of your life so that you will no longer be in command of the little vessel in which you sail. Are you ready for Him?
Fifty-one Nigerian deportees from Algeria, Libya and Niger unexpectedly thronged The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations on the 16th of October, 2020, seeking refuge after nearly losing their lives on a dangerous illegal journey to Europe for greener pastures.
Among them was Abdulrazak, a Law degree holder from Kano State who described his ordeal during the journey. According to him, after seeing the lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous on television, he decided to leave his nation believing that once he arrived in Europe, his problems would be solved. He sold everything he owned to make the long journey by road but even that was only enough to get him to Algeria. It was while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach his final destination that he and his colleagues were rounded up by the police.
Consequently, their journey ended in a deportation camp. Having lost virtually everything, with no means of survival, the returnees made their way to The SCOAN and upon learning of their arrival, T.B. Joshua blessed them with a total cash gift of ₦3 Million. With their hopes rekindled, shouts of joy filled the air as the unexpected cash gift was announced and handed over to them. As Christians, we are called to respond to all human needs for that is what love entails.
In the midst of life’s uncertainties, we tend to look back to our family background, poor education and some other unfavourable circumstances around us. We are so busy with our past that we are unable to look at the other side and hear what God says in Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Upon all the promises of salvation she received, Lot’s wife looked back and behold, she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). Answering the call of God, Peter walked on the water and yet the moment he looked back at his surroundings, Peter sank (Matthew 14:30).
Indeed, we cannot look at two different directions at the same time; broken focus is the real reason men fail. Brethren, Jesus calls you to look forward to Him so you can discover new strength, new courage. Discovery is for forward lookers – it is by looking forward that you discover new things, new horizons and new opportunities you would not have ordinarily dreamt of.
Today, look forward to Jesus and discover a new beginning, in Jesus’ name!
President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan has written an official letter to Prophet TB Joshua, thanking him for the role he played in bringing peace to the nation and inviting him once again to South Sudan.
After receiving this letter, when asked by journalists why he was valued more abroad than in Nigeria, Prophet TB Joshua responded: “If I am appreciated in my country more, then I am not following the footsteps of my Master Jesus. He was despised by the same people He came to liberate. I am happy that I face the same persecution as Jesus.”
Here is the contents of the letter:
Dear Man of God,
REF: Invitation Letter
With due respect and honour, I am privileged to write to your highly esteemed prophetic office in reference to the above-mentioned subject.
First, I would like thank you, humble servant of the Most High God, for the higher grace and anointing upon your life, and for your love and humility by coming on your prophetic and historic visit on 12th November 2019 when the nation was in a desperate situation after experiencing civil war violence for many years.
The world organisations tried to negotiate peace but where human wisdom failed, God has the final answer.
You prophesied that it shall be a new beginning for the nation and we, the leaders, should overcome our divisions and differences to develop our youngest nation in the world
Hence, we the government and opposition have come together to implement the revitalised peace agreement and now the nation is at peace followed by the formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), which signifies a new beginning indeed!
“For I am the Lord, I speak and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed…” (Ezekiel 12:25)
Secondly, based on the above-mentioned reference, I want to take this opportunity to invite you again to the Republic of South Sudan to harvest what you planted. The whole nation of South Sudan is ready to receive you once again.
“Being confident of this proverb, He who began the good work will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Please accept, dear Man of God, the assurance of my best regards.
The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit has dispatched a special invitation to Prophet TB Joshua to come to his country for the prophetic intervention of peace.
The invitation is coming on the heels of the brokered peace in the once war bedeviled country in which TB Joshua prophetically intervened last year and from that encounter, the hopeless rebellion and chaos engulfing the new nation which regional and world organizations had tried to mediate without success dramatically took a turning point.
According to Mayardit, the world organization tried to negotiate peace but where human wisdom failed, God has the final answer.
“As you have prophesied that it shall be a new beginning for the nation and we the leaders should overcome our divisions and our differences and come back to develop our youngest nation in the world.
“Hence we, the Government and the opposition have come together to implement the revitalized Peace Agreement and now the nation is at peace followed by the formation of Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGONU), which signifies a new beginning indeed.’For I am the Lord, I speak and the word which I speak will come to pass, it will no more be postponed’. Ezekiel 12:25
“Secondly, based on the above-mentioned reference, I want to take this opportunity to invite you again to the Republic of South Sudan to harvest what you planted. The whole nation of South Sudan is ready to receive you once again.”Being confident of this proverb, He who began the good work will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6” Pls accept, Dear man of God, the assurance of my best regards,” he said.
Mayardit further thanked the Prophet for his love and humility for coming on his prophetic and historic visit on 13th November 2019 when the Nation was in a desperate situation whereby the country was experiencing civil war violence for many years.
“The world organization tried to negotiate peace but where human wisdom failed, God has the final answer,” Mayardit adds.
The single remedy that cures every case in this world emotionally, physically or spiritually, and which has never been known to fail, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Exodus 1:26 says, “I am the Lord that health thee”. Jesus continues to use His healing power as an effective entry point to helping us to understand His Good News Message of Salvation and freedom from sin power. Even whilst Jeremiah (22:18) was questioning his people saying, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” Jesus has always been the Balm in Gilead and the Healer. Before He ascended into heaven, He spoke to His followers that “they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). This anointing was so strong on the Apostles that “many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles . . . believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed, (Acts 5:12-16). God’s will is for us to walk in divine healing and health, physically and spiritually. The Ministry of Prophet TB Joshua of the SCOAN Lagos Nigeria represents the Apostolic Ministry of our day, tapping into the promises of God. Jesus is making Healing a component of SCOAN’s teaching and activities across the globe.
Who are the people getting healing from Jesus in the Bible? One of them was a woman having an issue of blood for twelve years, (Luke 8:43-48). The woman had spent all her living upon physicians but couldn’t be healed of any of them. She came behind Jesus and touched the border of His garment. Immediately her issue of blood stanched. At that level, she obtained what we want to described loosely here as physical healing. But Jesus questioned, “Who touched me?” All denied and Jesus said, “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me”. Eventually, she came trembling and falling before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for why she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. Jesus said unto her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace”. She was brought to the full knowledge of Who Jesus is. Knowing Jesus is the spiritual aspect of healing. If Jesus had allowed her to go back to the crowd she might have run away with the impression that Jesus is also a super physician in town, whereas He is our Saviour, our Healer and by His stripes, we are healed. It is a complete package of emotional, physical and spiritual healing that we get from Jesus and which must be maintained by following Jesus.
Jesus also heals a Man Born Blind as another example of the people receiving this divine grace. “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth”, (John 9). This healing was done so that the “works of God might be displayed in Him” (verse 4). Also to reveal the person of Jesus, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world”, (verse 5). The blind man’s faith and obedience must be acknowledged. He had never known or heard of Jesus before, but somehow believed and obeyed Him. The Pharisees investigated the healing only to display their spiritual blindness.
Incidentally, many people coming to SCOAN for healing belong to one or other groups; such as, “I don’t go to church”, “This is my first time in SCOAN”, “I have been to all over the places for healing to no avail”, “My pastor discouraged my coming earlier”, “I have been watching Emmanuel.tv”, etc. The Lord Jesus and His followers ministered healing even to those with little or no understanding of the things of God. Hence healing and all other God’s divine interventions in our circumstances must be that “His mercy brings both miracles and salvation”. This mercy healing is available to everyone. On the other hand, religious leaders are confused thinking of getting to the Healing Ministry by some rigorous academic research, going to a College of Divinity for a PhD degree programme, etc.
We perceive that this generation, like every other before it, consists of different minds when it comes to Who Jesus is, His disciples and the teaching of healing. In particular, the contemporary society is filled at one end with men and women of simplistic minds thinking that all there is are the only things their eyes can see. On the other end are the spiritualists, the rituals, the demons, the cultists where many religious leaders probably belong. Our Lord Jesus Christ heals because He is full of compassion towards mankind and He knows that healing belongs to God’s children. Jesus heals us from all our infirmities to fulfil God’s promises and to glorify His heavenly Father. Furthermore, Jesus heals to confirm His Word, demonstrate the power in His blood and to expose the devil’s defeat and the devil’s failure. Peter explained to Cornelius that “Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”, (Acts 10:37-38). Jesus knows all our needs even the number of hairs on our heads, (Matthew 10: 29-30), even our infirmities, and weaknesses.
We recall the parable of Lazarus and the unnamed Rich man told by Jesus in (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus was described as a beggar with sores, looking for what to eat and dogs coming around him to lick his sores, whereas the Rich man was in luxury every day. The time came when Lazarus died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s bosom. The Rich man also died and was buried in Hades, where he was being tormented; he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side, (verse 24). Lazarus reclined at Abraham’s bosom, a position for the guest of honour at a banquet. We read in the gospels that John had that position next to Jesus, (John 13:23). Those who trusted in God’s Word were promised to be with Abraham in God’s kingdom. This is spiritual healing and our hope.
Hence as we continue to watch and pray with Emmanuel.tv, with Prophet TB Joshua and his SCOAN team, with other Christians, or individually, for healing, for blessing, for a breakthrough, the sole aim should be to encounter Jesus Christ and His awesome power. It is a big privilege and God’s divine mercy to be healed either through prayers, medication, diet or exercise. It becomes spiritual when it leads to the source and the Healer. In this generation, we have been blessed to have a Prophet like TB Joshua who is not just doing miracles but can live by the Word that leads to salvation. TB Joshua’s Ministry is “Healing the Christian World” today, turning it from serving the god of Marmon, the god of raising supermen who can build so many branches and raise so many funds but the people are not edified and made to encounter Jesus. TB Joshua often says that reward is not necessarily the result of faithful prayer. Lazarus must have prayed but his result came to him when least expected in the bosom of Abraham. What Prophet TB Joshua and his Ministry have contributed to how the public should see Christ is in the “Returning to the Apostolic Age” rather than the “Transaction Christianity Approach”. The Transaction Christianity Approach is to claim that because you sow an amount of seed you reap so much because you pay your tithes you are blessed more because you fasted for seven days you are blessed more than when you fasted only three days, you pay so much and you are prayed for that much. TB Joshua and SCOAN have left such schools through the power of Jesus, and now seeing Christ as He is. Of course, we need to pay our tithes and labour for Christ every moment. Nevertheless let us know that by grace we have been saved, through faith and this is not from ourselves. It is the gift of God and not by works so that no one can boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9). Hence be healed physically and spiritually in Jesus’ mighty name. Emmanuel!
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
“Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2-3)
When you open your mouth to pray, do you ever stop to think about who you are praying to? The Creator of Heaven and earth. Sadly, today most of our words that we say in prayer only entertain men but do not reach God.
The greatest achievement on earth is to pray as God wants us to pray. But prayer is not saying words; the Spirit of God is the Word on our lips. When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He left us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to help us to be faithful, obedient to Christ, to help us to pray because He is the Word on our lips. But have we received any comfort from Him?
If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that much of our conversation, prayer, preaching and teaching is nothing more than empty talk because it is not affected by the Holy Spirit.
Let us ask God for the grace to shut our mouths and open our hearts to the Spirit of God so that when we come before Him in prayer, we will let our words be few.
In Matthew 2:1-12 we read about the wise men that came from the east to Jerusalem saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” When they saw the young child Jesus with Mary His mother they fell on there kneels, and worshipped Him and presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. In Luke 2:43-50, Joseph and Mary the parents of Jesus had to turn back again to Jerusalem, seeking and looking for their son Jesus because they had disconnected from Him. Some people who love Jesus may have got disconnected. They ought to turn back to restore their relationship. You’d probably find Jesus in the temple, sitting amid the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. But be very careful because in the temples today some are merchants, fame-seekers, religious leaders who wouldn’t enter into Jesus’ kingdom nor allow others. In Sunday school, we had been routinely taught to find Jesus through confessing our sins, repenting from them, praying and reading the Bible. Yes, we can also find Jesus in the scriptures, the Bible.
Nicodemus a Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews also came looking for Jesus by night. Nicodemus probably had watched Jesus, (as many have been watching Emmanuel.tv all over the places). He would have listened to His teaching and His power and came to the conclusion that “no man can do these miracles that thou does, except God be with him”. Jesus taught us many lessons from this night visit. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. We need a rebirth and that God loves the world and gives His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Jesus should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Zacchaeus a Chief Tax Collector also wanted to see who Jesus was. Zacchaeus being a short man in status could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus since He was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly, (Luke 19:1-10). The religious leaders mocked at Jesus saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up to the call for repentance and becoming a changed man.
Today many other individuals or groups of people are looking for Jesus, but each for very different reasons. Most of these are looking for Him for the very wrong reasons. Just like in Jesus’ day, the Jews were looking for Jesus so they could kill Him. Jesus spoke in very simple but authoritative language, He reached out to hurting people. He was also known to be a friend of sinners. Jesus’ basic message is “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”. We are supposed to, “Keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”, (Jude 1:21). Instead of that, the teachings of Jesus irritated the Jewish leaders and they regarded Him a threat and a Public Enemy Number One. They got Him arrested and nailed Him on a tree. Today, some people also hate Jesus Christ, and by extension true Apostolic prophets like Prophet TB Joshua of SCOAN. The teaching coming from SCOAN is very simply, bringing people out for confession, deliverance and receiving a new life in Christ Jesus, almost always immediately. SCOAN’s altar call is unique, effective, excellent and real and not a ritual of it.
Another group of people was looking for Jesus because of the great signs He had performed. They sensed that something big was about to happen. But it was not what these people thought. They thought Jesus would free them from the tyranny of Rome. Whilst Jesus came to conquer sin and death this group thought Jesus had come to conquer Rome. He did not come to make war with Rome; instead, He came to make peace between God and man. These people misunderstood His mission. They were looking for Jesus, but they wanted Him on their terms. Many groups are in this class looking for Jesus they can use quickly as magic or charm, prosperity gospel teachers, measuring rewards as answers to prayer people. Yes Jesus is rich but He will tell us to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”, (Matthew 6:33).
The Christmas Jesus seekers can also form another class of their own. At Christmas, many people will celebrate Jesus’ birth with decoration and funfair, but live the rest of the year as though He never came. They want God in their lives, but they want Him on their terms. They are looking for the plastic Jesus they can hang around as part of the furniture in the house. When they lose their Jesus the police can assist them to recover such property. Christmas also brings high sales to some people and the only reason to look forward to it.
Peradventure we are still undecided about who Jesus is and need to read more of Him in the scriptures. Jesus has many names and many titles, each for unique purposes and His roles. For example, in Revelation chapter 1 Jesus is Christ, the Faithful Witness, the First Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty, the First and the Last, etc. He is also called The Word of God, the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,(Revelation 19:13, 16). That Jesus “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself. . . God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”, (Philippians 2:6-13).
Hence, beloved, you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling by looking for Jesus to follow Him. God shall work in you both to will and do of His good pleasure. In John Chapter 6 a great multitude followed Jesus because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased. Jesus also fed them. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world”. Jesus perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king. Hence He departed into a mountain Himself alone. The people of this world are looking for a champion, a leader, a celebrity, a worldly figurehead to build another city, to fight their wars, to rescue them from the consequences of their own mistakes, etc. Some others asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent”. Jesus is the one looking for us. He told Apostle John, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me”, (Revelation 3:20). Emmanuel!!!
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
“He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations…” 1 Chronicles 16:14-15
If God has not promised anything, how do we know that He is faithful? From age to age, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has shown Himself as a God who keeps His promises. You cannot separate God from His will, promises and time. Without God’s promises, your faith is not real faith.
Yet you seem to forget when you are facing a challenge that you are what God says you are. You seem to forget that you have what God says you have. You seem to forget that you and God together can move mountains.
No matter what you think, feel or do, what matters is what God has said. There is nothing more ridiculous than to allow your present situation to cause you to doubt the fulfilment of God’s promises for your life.
How do you know that promise? We know God by the Word He speaks and the Word He speaks represents His heart’s desire. His Word is filled with promises for every matter; insert your name where the message is personal and by faith, believe, receive and confess His promises daily.
Let God’s Word continue to run in your heart. Let His Word continue to run in your spirit.
No matter what happens, no matter what comes, let nothing take you from His covenant.
Who is Jesus to you? Is Jesus alive and near in your life? Believing in Jesus is it an option or a necessity for individual salvation? Until we know who Jesus is His place in the universe, why He became flesh and blood, why He died and resurrected, why He ascended to heaven and promised to come back again, His entire message and the work of His Holy Spirit, one may not see Jesus as He truly is. Until we have Jesus forming Himself within us and we accept Him fully we may never be able to operate in the full level of our possibility and capacity. Presently the level of relationship individual Christians have with Jesus can vary greatly from person to person, even from sect to sect. Just because one has been converted, and become a Christian, doesn’t necessarily mean that one has a deep and intimate relationship desired with Jesus. It is necessary to walk out your salvation, build and maintain a loving intimate relationship with Jesus on a moment to moment basis, and continually. The concern of Prophet TB Joshua on this issue of “Building and Maintaining an Intimate and Deep Relationship with Jesus”, he has expressed in multiple ways using several faith-building materials. The latest is SCOAN’s ongoing programme captioned, “Distance is not a Barrier for the Move of the Holy Spirit”. Prophet TB Joshua, the Bishop of SCOAN, is a man of God full of dynamic and living faith in Jesus. He takes challenges like COVID-19, and all others, to grow his ministry. This is an excellent example of having a living relationship with Jesus.
A relationship with Jesus would require more than reading the Bible, praying to God and going to church every Sunday. It goes beyond taking Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is our example to follow, and we should do our best to live as He did depend only on His Holy Spirit. For example, under the exposition of SCOAN’s “Distance is not a Barrier” we are brought to the fact that despite that Jesus is in heaven and we are here, our different relationship with Jesus isn’t “distant”. The Bible, however, speaks about an intimate and dynamic relationship with Jesus. Jesus is, after all, a Person, the Son of God, He has an earthly mother, He is not someone who once lived on the earth and now is far away, but a person who is alive and can be very near. “He, Himself, was tempted in all points just as you are, but overcame sin and death”, (Hebrews 4:15; Romans 6:8). Because of His faithfulness, He has all the power and grace to help us to overcome the sins in our life. Therefore our relationship with Him can be full of life, (not something lifeless and stagnant), because He Himself is alive, (Revelation 1:18). Hence believe that an intimate relationship with Jesus is possible and enter into such a relationship for everything spiritually speaking. This is a product of one’s faith.
A relationship with Jesus is not one-sided. Jesus makes this clear when He says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him”, (John 14:23). It is the relationship that Jesus and the Father want to come and make their home within us individually. This is the relationship that we ought to have with Him. Again Jesus says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him”, (John 14:21). Have you ever thought that Jesus wants to manifest (reveal) Himself to you? That promise is given to those who love Him and keep His commandments. So it is clear that such a revelation of Jesus is meant to occur throughout our lives as Christians and not only at the beginning of our Christian life.
Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me”, (Revelation 3:20). He says “anyone.” Doesn’t that include you? When we build a close relationship with Jesus, we begin to see things through His eyes. It is a bond that is forged in love and nurtured through continual communication and trust. By putting our complete faith in Christ Jesus and the outcome of all of our affairs, we are inviting Him into our life with loving trust and friendship. As this relationship deepens, we begin to see how God truly does oversee our growth, how He steers our course as we navigate our way through this lifetime.
Many people still confess about the “problem that has brought them to SCOAN”. Rather we want the world to see Jesus as the first thing to have for a deeper and successful close walk with God. A close and intimate walk with Jesus is the only way a prophet like TB Joshua can accomplish effectively the mission of Jesus in this era of carnality and unbelief generation. Prophet TB Joshua is not alone on this journey. God is there to oversee and lovingly direct his path. Similarly, as we build our relationship with Christ Jesus, our trust and faith are rewarded with spiritual strength, love, knowledge, and peace. We shall find ourselves emulating the very characteristics that God displays toward us including a significant capacity to extend love, forgiveness, understanding, and compassion toward our self and others. May your heart find great peace through your relationship with Jesus and be transformed in ways you never even dreamed were possible. Emmanuel
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
God will provide rest for His faithful followers who are troubled, those who are being persecuted, and for us also when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and His glorious power. When Jesus comes on that day, He will receive glory from His holy people, and praise from all who believe. This fellowship includes everyone who must have given their life to Jesus, for they have believed what the scriptures and the prophets of God have told them about Jesus, the Saviour of all mankind.
This is why SCOAN, led by its Bishop, Prophet TB Joshua, keep on praying for you, asking God to enable you to live a life worthy of Jesus’ calling. May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honoured because of the way you live, and you will be honoured along with Him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 1:7-12).
Specifically, our love and prayers continually go to those who unfortunately lost their lives on September 14, 2014, within SCOAN guest house premises. The Almighty and all-knowing Sovereign God, from whom nothing is hidden, shall reveal the truth at His time. Meanwhile, we warn every Christian to expect some persecution, especially these perilous times. Such persecution may take different forms such as discrimination, religious bias, killing, and every other systematic mistreatment either on basis of an individual or a group of individuals, because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Every follower of Jesus ought to remain focused on our ordination and calling that we should go and bring forth fruit and that our fruit should remain. In accomplishing this glorious commission Jesus commands that we should also love one another, working for Him in one accord. Peradventure the world hates us in the process that we need to remember that it hated Jesus also and nailed Him on the cross. Secondly, if we were of the world, the world would love his own. Since we are not of the world, but followers of Jesus, therefore the world hates every true Christian. Jesus said, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also”, (John 15:16-20).
Therefore as we continue to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on that fateful day, Christians who had clung to their faith to their deaths. Our condolences go to their families, their loved ones, SCOAN families, Emmanuel partners and Prophet TB Joshua. Unfortunately, there is a growing Christian martyr now. Stephen was the first Christian martyr in the New Testament. The blood of these martyrs, (witnesses for Jesus), and all those who continue to give their lives for Christ, represent a powerful and attractive witness for Christianity and a curse for the adversary Satan. We pray that their souls rest in perfect peace. Finally, brethren, we should always remember the word of Jesus to His disciples when He said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God and believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”, (John 1:1-3). Emmanuel!
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth… he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16).
Many of us still want to be in charge of our own lives. We already know what we want to wear tomorrow, we plan our timetable and iron our clothes for the week but how do we know we will be here tomorrow? We own today but God owns tomorrow. Many believe we can do it all alone without any reference to God but we are His greatest product, created to be under His influence.
The Holy Spirit wants to be Lord of your life and He wants to possess you so that you will no longer be in command of the little vessel in which you sail. On this great voyage of life, you are to be a passenger on the boat or one of the crew but definitely not in charge.
Decide today to give up the command of your vessel. Ask God’s Spirit to take up residence in your heart. When the Holy Spirit is residing in us, we have His kind of freedom (Romans 8:10).
Oh Holy Spirit make a way Make my heart a place for You to dwell
Jesus was not the kind of person to be led by others. He did not labour to appear truthful; He simply was a man of truth. He said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). And it is the truth of His life and message that has saved us today.
We are living in a world surrounded by lies. No one has to teach us to lie because by nature, man is rebellious. If you tell lies, you are speaking your father’s language for satan is the author of lies (John 8:44).
Truth becomes our protection against the lies of the adversary. But if you do not take time to find out the truth, you shall never come to the knowledge of the truth. The Holy Spirit is true for He is the Spirit of truth. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart to see yourself in the truth of God’s Word. “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).
If you are pretending today, you cannot pretend forever; if you are lying today, you cannot lie forever. The only thing that will last forever is the truth of God’s Word.
If lying goes on for 100 years, truth one day will reach it (Psalm 94:15). So decide today to say no to lies and be on the winning side. As truth was older than terror, so it will survive it. It got the start and it will get the race.
We all cry sometimes but as the tears roll down your cheeks, have you ever stopped to ask yourself what gave birth to your crying? Is your cry born of self-pity or victimhood because you are looking for attention and lamenting over your present situation? Or is your cry born of faith because you want to receive from Jesus Christ?
In Matthew 15:22-28, the Canaanite woman cried out to Jesus for her daughter’s deliverance. In verse 26 Jesus replied “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
This response was capable of discouraging any other woman in her position from pressing on with her request. She was not only ignored; she was also equated with a dog. But because she truly believed that Jesus was capable of meeting her needs, she knew that this seeming harsh treatment would soon pass away. She simply pressed on, saying, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Jesus saw this as a cry born of faith.
What are you crying about? The Lord may be taking His time to consider your request in order to test your faith just like the Canaanite woman. If your cry is born of faith because you want to receive of Jesus then you would respond with humility, modesty and perseverance. So be calm and determined and make sure your cry is a cry born of faith.
The spies that were sent to the promised land of Canaan came back to tell of the great giants that were there and fear filled all who heard them (Numbers 13:31-33).
What is your giant today that seems to stand in the way of God’s promises for your life? Is it sickness, joblessness, hatred, rejection, depression? When God commissioned Joshua to possess the promised land, He said, “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:5-9). God knew that the biggest enemy Joshua would face would not be the giant in the land but the little voice inside saying, “Whom do you think you are?” “You are not able!”
In the same vein, our biggest enemy is not the challenges we are facing but the little voice inside driving us, saying, “You can do this, you can do that and get away with it. You can kill, destroy and steal and get away with it – you are different.” But we are not. We all have feet of clay to some extent.
Why are you thinking you are ‘out of touch’ when the Bible says that in this world there will be trouble? You can never live and be ‘out of touch’ until the end of your days. Whatever giant you are facing, don’t listen to the voice of your situation – the voice of doubt, the voice of temptation telling you to react badly. Whatever may be your ‘feet of clay’, let it draw you closer to God.
There was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, (please read John chapter 5). The Pool of Bethesda was in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate (John 5:2), surrounded by five covered colonnades. The Sheep Gate was doubtless the gate through which the sheep travelled on their way to be sacrificed in the temple. During Jesus’ time, the Pool of Bethesda lay outside Jerusalem city walls. The name of the pool, “Bethesda,” is Aramaic. It means “House of Mercy”, “House of Grace”, or “House of Love”, and it is also a place where “a great number of disabled people used to lay; the blind, the lame, the paralyzed” (John 5:3). The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos Nigeria is called by many as “Arena of Liberty”, also having this same dual meaning, being regarded by some as a place where the infirm, the sick, the invalids, come seeking from Jesus. SCOAN is also a place of Grace where many receive healing, deliverance, the new life and freedom.
In the case of Bethesda legend had it that an angel would come down into the pool and “stir up the water.” According to the legend, the first person into the pool after the stirring of the water “was made well from whatever disease with which he or she was afflicted” (John 5:4). The Bible does not teach that this actually happened; rather, the superstitious belief probably arose because of the pool’s association with the nearby temple.
On the day that Jesus visited this public pool of Bethesda, there was a man there, possibly amongst scores of others, and he “had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” (John 5:5). Jesus interacted with him twice, before his physical healing at the public pool and afterwards in the temple. Jesus asked the man “Do you want to be healed?” Jesus knew that not every sick person would want to be healed, and that some could be so discouraged that they put away all hope. Jesus was dealing with a man who might have his heart withered as well as his legs. Hence Jesus started by building up the faith of this man. The man replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred, (verse 7). He was probably saying to himself, “if only I was able enough, fast enough, strong enough, have someone else to help me then I could have been healed”. Or he was basically saying, “Yes, I want to be made well, but I don’t see how this can happen”. The paralytic was in need of saving but there beside him was the Saviour of all mankind. When Jesus spoke to him, he heard the word of a mere man whilst he kept gazing at Bethesda for superstitious healing, expecting healing by work and not by faith or by grace.
Jesus swept aside all superstition and bypassed altogether the need for magic water with one command: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (verse 8). The man was instantly cured, and “he picked up his mat and walked” (verse 9). The sick man limited God’s help to his own ideas and did not dare promise himself more than he conceived in his mind. We create a small God in our heads, a God who is limited by whatever box we try to put Him into, a God we limit by what we have heard, out thoughts, or what we read in the newspapers.
Amazingly, not everyone was happy about the man’s miraculous healing. The day Jesus healed the man at the poolside happened to be a Sabbath. As the man left Bethesda, the Jewish leaders saw him only carrying his mat and didn’t see him walking and healed. They stopped him. “It is the Sabbath,” they said. “The law forbids you to carry your mat” (verse 10). The man told them that he was simply obeying orders. The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk” (verse 11). The Jews inquired who would so brazenly promote Law-breaking, but the man who was healed had no idea who He was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd, (verse 13). The contrary men of the world see only criticism and not the healing, or the changed life, or the restored sanity. The reaction of the Jewish leaders shows that, no matter how much proof God provides, there will be some people who refuse to see the truth. Jesus was an awesome Miracle Worker, but the religious leaders couldn’t see the miracle. All they could see was that someone had violated a rule. The issue was not the breaking of God’s command, for Jesus fulfilled all the Law and was completely subject to it (Matthew 5:17). The only thing being broken was a pharisaical interpretation of one of God’s laws. Therefore, a blessing meant to increase faith only increased the blindness of those who refused to acknowledge the blessing.
Jesus knew that the man who was physically healed still needed some spiritual healing. In fact, the religious leaders would have created more confusion, doubts and more unbelief in him. Just like in our days sponsored oppositions keep discouraging many not to visit SCOAN and be healed or to come and know more about Jesus. Hence Jesus traced him to the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (verse 14). Jesus’ words are a rebuke of unnamed sin. The man was probably living contrary to God’s will somehow and he received a warning of “something worse.” What could be worse than thirty-eight years of paralysis? May be an eternity in hell (see Mark 9:47). Thus Jesus healed him both physically and spiritually.
The Bible listed a few of the people fortunate to have this same direct encounter with the Lord Jesus for our benefit. Jesus healed people and told them, “Your faith has made you well”. He healed 10 lepers (Luke 1:11-19), the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20-22), a blind man (Mark10: 46-52). In this particular case, it was at Jesus’ compassion. Other cases of people who encountered Jesus include the twelve apostles, Nicodemus (John 3), the woman at Jacob’s well in the town of Samaria called Sychar (John 4), Mary and Martha (John 11), the Apostle Paul on his way to Damascus, and many others. An encounter with Jesus would often not be exactly what we expect but it will bring out our true needs, revealing who we truly are, get to the true heart of the issues and sending us out to the field to tell others all about Jesus. Jesus will be known for Whom He truly is, The Son of God, The Messiah of the world, the Prophet of the world, the Spring of Living Water. This is how SCOAN is changing lives and changing nations by leading people to have an encounter with Jesus so that we are both physically and spiritually healed. Emmanuel
Prof R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24)
Do you know what you need to run life’s race? It is not fast legs, it is not intelligence, it is not good connections or shortcuts.
In this world, fast runners do not always win the race. The brave, the strong do not always win the battle. The wise do not always earn a living and intelligent people do not always rise to high positions.
As believers, our life is a race. Jesus knew the troubles in this world would rob His followers of peace and tempt them to give up – that is why He said in Luke 22:32, “I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail.”
If you have faith in God, then joy is a fruit of that faith – true joy is something only believers have! “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:1)
There is one thing that will get us through this journey, that will strengthen us to finish the race, that will equip us to fight this battle – and that is joy. That is God’s promise for you – to give you joy for the journey.
“In Jesus’ name” can be heard coming out of the mouths of many in Church today but how many actually believe in His name in their heart? If we speak with our mouth what we do not believe in our heart, we are using the name of Jesus as a spell or charm. If we think we can resist satan by using Christ’s name as a spell or charm, he will prevail against us. This is what happened to the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13-16).
The seven sons of Sceva were confessing what they did not believe. Because Paul said, they too said. There is a difference between in His name and on His name. When I say on His name – I mean, the imitation of man – looking to others for direction. Because you see me pray in the name of the Lord, you begin to pray, not that you believe.
The belief in your heart is released by faith out of your mouth. It is God’s Word coming out of your mouth that produces an overcoming spirit in you. God’s Word must be the foundation of faith confession. If your heart and mind are filled with God’s Word, you will speak that Word. He is the Word on our lips: In the name of Jesus Christ! The Spirit of God is the Word on our lips (1 Corinthians 12:3). It is definitely God’s desire to bless you – but you must believe His Word, speak His Word and obey His Word before you can receive His blessings.