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Can God’s Word be acted?

In recent times, Prophet T.B. Joshua’s major sermons, at The SCOAN, have centred on the power of the Word, the real source of connection between man and his God; the bearer of the signature of this relationship through which the meanings of spiritual events are interpreted.

In one of these sermons titled “Acting on God’s Word”, the prophet has gone ahead to explain that the http://thetbjoshuafanclub.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/tbj1.jpg?w=300&h=232knowledge of the Bible is not sufficient for those who seek closeness to God; those who particularly seek favour from Him. The right knowledge of God settles peace – as he had preached before now. This knowledge is one route to pass through in order to experience the presence of God and enjoy the abundance of true life. The knowledge of God, however, is better absorbed through the heart, and not the brain. In the brain, it has to contest right of place with many other issues, particularly of academic interest. This might make it difficult to easily remember and be recalled in a situation of need. It could be unstable in form and essence. Moreover, when it is in the heart, the Word becomes permanent and powerful. Knowledge, therefore, becomes an integral part of one who has the Word in his heart rather than in the head.

This Word is what Joshua has perpetually explained as the essence of serious relationship in Christianity between Christ and the followers. Those who are not having the Word in them will only call on God without getting results. The prophet said, “When you say ‘in the name of Jesus’ and He does not hear you, satan will hear you”. Definitely, you cannot be calling on Jesus when the Word is distant from your heart; when satanic presence is much in place by virtue of one’s inability to master the characteristics of God’s presence.
In the message being referred to – Acting on God’s Word – Prophet Joshua has insisted that “Believing demands action, creates action. It requires performance because God’s Word reflects His character…. Acting on the Word is letting Christ act through you because Christ and the Word are one. Letting the Word have right way in your life is letting Christ have right of way”.

Christ is the Word; the relationship with Him cannot be operated on distance. Knowing, and identifying with Christ, should be done through a correct, progressive understanding of His Word which is true and powerful; the Word which cannot be disputed, rubbished, challenged and abused. The “right way” through which to absorb Christ into our lives is the Word. There is truth in his assertion that “it is the Word dwelling in you which is equivalent to Christ personally being in you. Acting on the Word then gives God an opportunity to save us, heal us, deliver us and bless us”.

The implication is that without a correct interpretation of the Word, and our inability to experience it, we have simply refused to act on what God has recommended. By our refusal, God has not been provided the opportunity to expose us to the merits of truly knowing Him; and what is life without being saved, healed, delivered, and blessed?
The Lordship of Christ according to Prophet Joshua, is expressed through “giving the Word its place”, especially because “the problem of believing is made simple when we know that it is acting on what God has spoken”. Wisdom is about doing the Word, while the mental assenter feels otherwise – “he responds to reason instead of the Word” and “he believes strongly in his reasoning faculty and not on the Word. If he has faith in anything, it is man, what man has done; science, works, organizations, etc”.

The mental assenter believes in what he sees and touches; what he sees around himself as a product of man. He wants to introduce logic in explaining situations; he thinks more of the knowledge of the Word in its “original Greek or Hebrew” or its “history”, without knowing that the Word must be lived and acted upon, if it must have meaning and relevance. The man of God has said: “Studying the Word alone cannot bring Jesus on the scene. What a grave danger if there is no corresponding action”. This means that though God has a work to do in our lives, we also have a role to play. That role is symbolized by “Corresponding action”. Partnership with Christ is partnership with His Word, which is bound to give on a true fulfilment in life. Integrating the Word in our hearts will guarantee that whenever He is called upon, “Jesus will hear us”. If the contrary occurs, we will only hear ourselves “but Jesus will not hear us”. He has added that “It is the doer of the Word that receives things from God. Idle words may entertain men but they do not reach God”.
The Word of God is not about entertainment it is the real essence of life which has to be lived in bountiful fulfilment of Christ’s expectations for mankind. And such cannot be enjoyed unless Jesus is treated as the ultimate force in the world by men. Men can do the Word, but this shall “be according to the ability of God that is at work within us”. It is God that energizes men; He is the redemption from their “weakness and failure, lack of ability and ignorance”. It is in the Word that are located “exact knowledge, perfect knowledge, complete knowledge”.

Today, darkness has covered the human society; quite a lot of disobedience, disbelief, unholiness, curses, impurity, tension and idolatry exist, desecrating man’s heart and threatening their destiny. Man’s refusal to race towards a perfect understanding of God’s Word has been his undoing. Prophet Joshua has advised in his sermon that every time is good enough for getting involved in the Word: “If you are looking for a convenient time to read your Bible, that time will never come. But you can have time to read literature or history”. Man must live in light, in the Word, in Christ Jesus.

Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.

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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Are spiritual advisers necessary?

It has been repeatedly established that prophets are people with special gifts of vision; people who are endowed by God to know the unusual, to discover the hidden, and to redirect men’s actions in consonance with the demands of the Holy Spirit. The gift of prophecy is a special one from God, and only very few are actually blessed by God with such powers. This is not to say there are many others claiming to be prophets but whose sources of power are questionable (and thousands of such are found in many countries of the world). These are people with counterfeit powers (photocopied powers) who try to do and achieve what true men of God are doing.

Prophets are known for the truth of their prophecies – the believability, timeliness, punctuality and permanence of same. Though satanic agents often try to out-do true men of God in making prophetic proclamations, these true men of God often win the day as seen with prophets Micaiah and Elijah, in their days, even when the leaders and the led did not necessarily believe in them.

Every age needs a true prophet. Every period in human history has its peculiar character. Today, the world over, are different trials which people and nations face – political, economic, and cultural and traditional. These challenges make life impossible; poverty and want rule people’s lives; ruler-ship is topsy-turvy; the land is poor and unproductive; the leaders are much used to greed, graft and corruption. Because of these factors, horror, earthquakes, moral disequilibrium, accidents and sheer deaths are forced on people, and dangerously empowered by occultism. There is much uncertainty, hopelessness and helplessness. Life is so tragic in orientation. Kidnapping, rape, drug-addiction, murder and ritualism have destroyed the foundation of many homes. People live in fear; their gifts are buried in the sand of meaningless commitments. People also lack the fear of God because satanism has swollen the ranks of unbelievers.

To avoid many evils which plague the world, it is important for people to listen to the tested prophets, which is why they should know the difference, which exists among the prophets. According to Prophet Joshua, there are two types of prophets. The first are the “General Prophets”. These have the ability to communicate the saving will of God. They teach because they have general knowledge of the Bible. They are aware of things both announced and known; they are general practitioners who have mastery of understanding of the bible chapters from Genesis to Revelation.

The second group of prophets are those who “receive direct and specific message from God and about man”. These people have the ability to predict and foretell the future, and can tell what the situation is, now. Prophet Joshua says that such spies on God’s plans, and reveals same to the world to know of some hidden truths which could serve their purpose.

Both groups are not necessarily antagonistic to one another, for they both belong to God. However, people do not understand the prophetic ministry; they little know the role of prophets in society. Equally, people are better used to pastors, some of whom are only obviously self-called. People are used to pastors who pray for them and recommend moments of fasting, even when such pastors themselves are very much in need of deliverance. Quite a lot of people had suffered in the hands of less-trained and less-gifted ‘men of God’.

The mistake most people make is to the effect that when they need the doctor, they go to the farmer, and vice versa. When they need the accountant, they move toward the farmer, and in the process, their problems remain unchallenged. Specialization, which is highly treasured by the Holy Spirit, is often neglected by people. They see every pastor as real, sensitive and prayerful, even when satan has won the souls of such people for himself.

Prophet T.B. Joshua had, for instance, prophesied in February 2012 to the effect that there was going to be an airplane crash in Nigeria, and that the people should pray with him to avert the looming danger.  Characteristically, nobody gave him an ear. In early June, 2012, there was a Dana plane crash on a Sunday at the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, killing some 160 people. While some people had kept writing through social media to the effect that it was because the voice of a true prophet was disregarded, others felt otherwise. But what is particularly true is that such was not the first time Prophet Joshua had made similar prophecies which occurred, yet the unbelieving have remained unyielding that he is a true man of God. His prophecies within 2012 alone had come to pass, as well as hundreds of other prophecies made in the years past, yet some people keep expressing fears that Joshua, the Man in the Synagogue, is ever in company of satan!

Obviously, one of the challenges of modern times is disbelief in prophets and prophetic statements. We remember that in the church, that Sunday when the Dana air plane was to occur, Joshua was quite uncomfortable in service; he was busy checking his watch as if to leave the place at about 12.00 pm. He later told the congregation that he tried as a “prophet to see that the situation was rescued” through prayers, but he was rather lonely! The same was true of the previous prophecies he made; people never ever bothered with the implications and relevance of joint prayers. Some people later turned to be his adversaries, calling him a prophet of doom for not warding off the bad repercussions! But he had prophesied on governments, functionaries in government, lives of artistes and other professionals, etc. He has never hidden the truths revealed to him by God, yet he is disbelieved; he is even called reckless names.

Now, why should there be spiritual advisers to governments, corporations, private establishments? The answer should be obvious to strong believers: God should be involved in every major decision taken! This means, the God factor cannot be pushed aside in all business transactions, governmental programmes and community projects. Spiritual advisers are prayer warriors and visionaries to whom God reveals His secrets and plans. What is hidden from the ordinary eye cannot be hidden from true men of God. True prophets will tell people God’s mind on every issue. Owners of airplanes, for instance, will need prophets to let them know of dangers in the air, and how to ward off same. There are available calamities, even when God does not say Christians are free from trials. Prophets are endowed with visionary powers to know the unknown; they are allowed to spy into God’s plans and schemes. Many has wondered that if Nigeria knew that T.B Joshua is a prophet, why they should not agree with him.

A spiritual adviser is the mouthpiece of God. A prophet answers someone with the words of the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost is true. No wonder, Prophet Joshua says that every time, we should talk scriptures in any situation (whether good or bad). A spiritual adviser is needed to guide people’s moves and strategies in performance; provide spiritual illumination and enlightenment when most needed, and ensure that common human mistakes are avoided in life. He prays and ensures stability, confidence, security, and progress of those concerned. For example, the fact that most national leaders neglect spiritual advisers is responsible for their wishy-washy policies, programmes and commitments. Unnecessary conflicts are avoided and credible appointments go to the rightful people. Leadership in most communities of the world would have been enriched spiritually only if spiritual advisers have been reckoned with. Interestingly, T.B. Joshua is known to have a lot of leaders, business gurus, politicians, professionals, etc from all over the world who see him as a spiritual adviser, and for whom he prays and delivers God’s messages. The prophet has easy facility in the Word (which is an integral part of him) and he talks Scripture in every situation. Moreover, his voice is one of confidence; he said, “If you know where you belong, you will talk like a victor”. The miracles performed by God through him are engineered to help people’s faith and make them stronger than they are. It takes the voice of an authentic prophet to correct mistakes in families, jobs, relationships and religious life. For instance, many people were called witches and wizards in the past, only for them to reclaim their true identities in The SCOAN, though they confessed what they were not. The prophet encourages people to move closer to God instead of accusing people by their confessions. Thousands had also been delivered from the grip of evil forces which made them mad; eat anthill soil and chalk and paper; misbehave to others and commit suicide. Spiritual advisers are certainly needed at domestic, national and international scenes.

Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TB Joshua, Upthegrove and the rest of us

His sheer presence in The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) headquarters to fully participate in the affairs of the Easter celebration on Sunday, 8th of April, 2012, created much interest. As he was introduced, thereafter, by Prophet T.B. Joshua to the congregation, the 83 years old cleric still full of vibrancy and spiritual power, moved to the pulpit, where he was to speak on elements of vision which was revealed to him over 40 years ago, on The SCOAN.

Naturally endowed with spiritual grace and self-assuredness, Pastor C.S. Upthegrove was filled with the spirit of happiness as he looked around and asked the enchanted congregation to praise the Lord.

A man called to preach the Word of God from age 15, this respected American served with the likes of A. A. Allen, Oral Roberts and Robert Schuller in the work of the ministry, moving from one part of the world to the other. He has always been happy and fulfilled doing what he has been called to do and he is determined to remain faithful to His grace and work till he breathes his last, so he told the congregation.

Pastor Upthegrove had come to share that significant moment of grace with T.B. Joshua, the General Overseer of The SCOAN, and to make it known to the world that he was told in a vision that T.B. Joshua is one of the twelve end-time prophets anointed by God, to perform His service. While doing that, the seasoned minister of God provided a short speech, followed by the handing over of some of A.A. Allen’s personal mementoes, suggesting confirmation of the continuity of service in the Lord, on T.B. Joshua.

Referring to the 1960s when the world was yet to know scientific technology, especially the internet, this father of four said serious ministry work involved movement from place to place, and it was then A.A. Allen had prophesied to him, while driving in a car, that a prophet would soon emerge, greater in impact and spiritual strength than all of them; and that the prophet would preach to a multitude of people all over the world, and be widely accepted.

The prophecy came to be confirmed to him a few years back, when God had told him in a vision that T.B. Joshua was the man referred to, earlier, by A.A. Allen – himself an outstanding, and universally acknowledged God’s General. God had made it clear, as he prepared to leave America for Nigeria on this unique occasion of Jesus’ resurrection, that he was actually going to a Holy land, and this was repeated to him as he landed in the Synagogue premises. He had prayed earnestly to personally come to the church to see things for himself; that God would make provision for him to be personally there. But he had also been encouraged with what he encountered on Emmanuel TV over the years, where unusual deliverances and prophecies happened, and being watched by millions of people across the globe – men and women, young and old, the rich and the poor.

The writer and well-travelled Minister of God said, “T.B. Joshua is from God”; God had told him: “This is my prophet,” and that was why he picked up the challenge to personally visit Nigeria. He had narrated his personal experiences over the years in his ministry, his encounters with angels, and the resultant spiritual empowerment, occasioned by his ‘changed’ hair. He had fasted and prayed, and God has listened to him, quite extensively on many issues; he has received tremendous inspiration in which God has promised to always make way where there seems to be none. He has been privileged also to have his hands so anointed, supernaturally.

If T.B. Joshua has been using water for prayers and deliverances, according to the revered man of God, it is God’s own unique gift to him, especially as the Creator has been known to use sticks, stones and dead men’s bones to save people in moments of distress, wake up the dead, and restore lost hopes. He referred to the experiences of David (and his encounter with Goliath) and of Elisha (whose bones were used to raise the dead). He had added that God could show his mysterious self through a shadow, or through the stretching of hands (as done by T.B. Joshua). It could also be through the ‘now faith’ and ‘touching faith’ as “the answer to your problem could be within yourself” as seen in the example of the woman with the issue of blood. God can, to prove that He has power, “use me and you” – the old man said. He added that God can use anything to achieve His purpose in the life of people.

The man of outstanding spiritual performance, honour and exemplary virtues also spoke on the fact that God wants his people “to go above the snake line” because the lower portion of same is governed by aches, pains, troubles, frustrations, tribulations, tears, fears and discontentment.  To Pastor Upthegrove, T.B. Joshua is “living above the snake line and he teaches on how to live beyond the snake line”. And that “Anything between you and God is your god. When you get into the glory realm, everything is forgiven. You are free”. This credible personality of enviable versatility said God had mandated him to present some of A.A. Allen’s articles to T.B. Joshua to remind him always of the need to hold on fast to the faith and be more exemplary in performance and character. These included the symbolic personal stamp of Allen, used on every letter especially between 1965 and 1968; the “Miracle Magazine”, (published in 1960) and photographs of the Miracle Valley in Arizona, USA. Though personally handed over to C.S. Upthegrove by A.A. Allen, it was his desire to pass the “seal of authority” to another prophet of God.

The Easter celebration, 2012, was thus of dual significance. It was to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord as a symbol of God’s acceptance of man and for His salvation. In The SCOAN, it was a season of authentic confirmation of T.B. Joshua as a strong tool fashioned by God to be one of the twelve end-time prophets/ apostles, and it was significant that the message was delivered to a God’s minister in a far-away land.

Of course, The SCOAN is not a strange name among thousands of widows, widowers, the physically challenged, the poor, the helpless, the sick, the needy and orphans within Nigeria and beyond. Joshua has been massively honoured for his limitless and unsolicited philanthropic acts through award of scholarships and assistance to the homeless, bereaved, lonely, famished and abandoned, regardless of nationality, ethnic particularity and religion. Emmanuel TV has been a source of hope for the sick and hopeless; people have received healing and deliverance by placing their hands on its screen! Sharp-edged, truthful and instantaneous prophecies had been made (and still are) in the church, which is why the crowd is always tumultuous in the vicinity of the church’s headquarters in Lagos. It is the church for the leaders and the led; men and women with fervent hope of spiritual liberation. Various organizations have sprung up, in the name of Emmanuel TV Partners across the globe, and are doing well in the area of philanthropy and mass mobilization for Christ – the awards to Joshua will not end, really, and this may be confirmed with the recent proclamations by C.S. Upthegrove, the irrepressible man of God!

Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The “unusual eaters” and The SCOAN

People who are not used to the system of spiritual deliverance in The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) will always want to criticize it for the simple reason that what people do not understand, they call names; what they understand, they destroy!

The deliverance and healing methods in The SCOAN may look quite unfamiliar to the unwary, but that does not make the system a statement in crudity; it is not one in which people in the grip of satanic influences would be asked to put their hands in the pocket and be forced to buy items some of which names are even suspected; items worth several thousands of naira (or other currencies) even when the afflicted, the helpless, and the poor cannot afford to feed or house themselves.

In The SCOAN, sources of afflictions are revealed and attacked with potent prayers. Such sources are exposed to the afflicted, who in most cases do not really realize where such afflictions came from. More often than not, people struggle to cure headaches with drugs which should be applied in curing stomach troubles and pains, and for many years, the afflictions remain and gain momentum, making life practically impossible for the afflicted.

Diseases and afflictions are met, at The SCOAN, with the desired prayer; in the name of Christ they are nullified, cured, removed. And thousands of such exist in women and men, young and old, tearing people’s lives asunder and poisoning their humanity with devastating consequences. However, there are afflictions which are not popular in the world of medical science, but which have reared their heads in the spiritual realms, and leaving many people confused and perplexed on their sources and destructive characteristics. Diseases and afflictions which are uncommon have the tendency to keep destroying masses of people until such a time in which solutions are found. The world knows that despite efforts to curb cancer and HIV/AIDS, for instance, these diseases keep spreading their evil impacts, and brutally destroying more and more lives. But do you realize that even these (cancer and HIV/AIDS) could be spiritually afflicted on people?

Today, there are “unknown” diseases and afflictions which can only be explained spiritually. Let us pick on a few instances. Some people do consume, as regular meals, soil particles, chalk, papers, ice cubes, soaps, raw rice, foams, kerosene, clothes, raw maize, and pen’s ink, (the latter may be drunk like water)! Sand, for instance, could be obtained from people’s environment and from the anthill – both of which have been known to satisfy the taste of some people.

For those in the category of consumers of the listed articles, regular meals are often discarded; these articles must be found, wherever located, to be consumed with passion. Secondly, as discovered from the various testimonies given by those delivered at The SCOAN over the years, such afflictions may have remained with them for many years, ranging from one to 25 years! A soap consumer said she had done so for some 19 years; and ice cubes consumers spoke of 9 and 12 years! Raw rice eaters had spoken of some 12 to 20 years! Moreover, these people are from diverse parts of the world – Africa, America, Europe and Asia.

A very shocking example, recently, was the man who had, for 16 years, consumed with relish his own sperm, faeces, and urine – and those of others! An evil spirit had spoken to him, while in jail, that those ‘articles’ would empower him beyond the human level, and he would be the most powerful man around. He visited public toilets in Germany and Nigeria, for that number of years, to search for human faeces and urine which he allegedly enjoyed like ‘apu’ and ‘eba’ (local Nigerian delicacies)!

To those who are distant from The SCOAN, it is hard to believe that these are human beings who should have common human tastes and interests, but who had been tormented by satan and his agents. In the same way, many people are in hospitals now, who should be free; are in prisons for manslaughter, armed robbery, fraud, etc; are experiencing marital, social and occupational failures (which should not be so).

People who eat ‘unusual’ articles did not do so out of their passion for the unusual; they did not engage in destroying their system just for the fun of it, but had been forced, against their own will, to behave abnormally. Enemies use various wicked arrows against people, turning lives into nightmares. Principalities and powers had menaced some people with afflictions and curses which can only be cured spiritually. These agents do not often give up easily, when the effort is made to expel them from people; they resist and struggle to live on, tormenting the helpless folks.

It shocked the congregants in The SCOAN to witness examples which had been previously named. They could not easily understand why a human being could eat his own faeces, sperm and urine for 16 years (and had to struggle to forget the affliction, following his deliverance, as he openly said he felt ashamed to be so maltreated by an evil agent!), or why people should eat chalks, raw rice and paper! Such people also came with different diseases associated with their consumption pattern. For instance, the restless consumers of ice cubes confessed that pneumonia, and other diseases afflicted them. For those consumers of raw rice and chalk, problems of digestion and accumulated destructive bacteria and viruses had grown in them. The same was true of sand and soap eaters. Women among them suffered from fibroid. Unexplainable sicknesses had troubled the lives of some of these people for many years.

Some of such people had seen agents of evil in their dreams who commanded them to wake up and start eating those abominable delicacies! Some did not understand how they came to admire the ‘meals’ from hell! In most cases, curses pushed them into these acts, reducing them to idiotic and robotic actors and actresses.

But in the same way, there had been those who did not consume, physically, these articles. The satanic agents rather chose to drop such in their bodies, and thus resulted in cancer, fibroid, rare infections, lunacy, and spirits of destructive vampires, lust, crocodiles, snakes, lions, tigers, etc. Demons have been known to be responsible for acute poverty, sickness, hopelessness, helplessness, darkness, backwardness, stagnation, marital insecurity, mental vacuity, lack of promotion, impotence, childlessness, hatred, envy, jealousy, psychological terrorism, disunity among family members, and purposeless living. Failures have been major weapons used by the devil to instigate other people against a decent living and morally sane lifestyles.

In all of these, the truth stands out that it is only in The SCOAN that instant solutions have often been found to these troubled lives. God has kept using a giant spiritual leader, in the person of Prophet T.B. Joshua, to set people free from the unusual plagues which had threatened their good lives; and today, they have been restored to normalcy. Infections and diverse afflictions have been known to cripple people’s dreams and ambitions; have been known to fling terrible experiences into people’s plans. It is only in The SCOAN, and some truly living churches, such deliverances and healings take place, to set thousands free. Miracles happen with clear-cut possible consequences, yet the unbelieving stick to the idea that evil spirits operate in these churches as agents of light! This is rather unfortunate in a soiled world of much spiritual messiness, fear and troubled living. When would the living church become respected for what they are truly worth?

Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Prophet T.B. Joshua On The Concept Of Christianity

Ezekiel Fajenyo and Sunday Patrick

Attempts to define the true meaning of the church and its relevance constitute an event which started centuries ago, as seen in the Holy Bible. Many remarkable writers, preachers, Bible expositors, thinkers and psychologists, prophets and religious leaders have not stopped working on it. The great works of AA Allen, Oral Roberts, Myles Munroe , Upthegrove, TD Jakes, Beth Moore, JC Ryle, Kenneth Hagin, Dallas Willard, D Campbell, FB Meyer, CS Lewis, GJ Morgans, Arthur Wallis, Bob Roberts, Juan A Monroy, Robert Schuller, Osward J Sanders, SM Leigh and Norman V Pearle have been geared towards explaining the deep concept of Christianity and its role in the world.

From different perspectives, they have perpetually established that Christianity has to do with Christ-likeness; it has to do with people’s unique relationship with God, their ability to relate with the attributes of Jesus Christ, and their mastery of the codes of morality which are acceptable to God and His only son, Jesus. A deep knowledge of God and absolute expression of love and intimacy with the works of his qualify one to be a Christian. But such a person is expected to practicalise such attributes as love, affection, understanding, fellow-feeling, and concern for the poor, the needy, the helpless. Also, obedience to His Word, prayerfulness, unquestionable belief, faithfulness and shared responsibility anchored on the need to assist people to grow and reach their destination in life; all are part of the Christian life. Jesus is the main platform around whom all appreciative attributes revolves: forgiveness, forthrightness, righteousness, expression of truth, discipline, sincerity, etc – all of which should not be alien to a true Christian. Salvation, deliverance and healing are ever assured such a Christian. Of course, this is one term  which will continue to be a special interest to all Christians in the world.

T.B. Joshua, founder of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) has spoken at different times on who is a Christian, and what Christianity is all about. To him, “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.” The religionising of Christianity, in modern times, is responsible for acts of misdemeanor, misrepresentation, mismanagement and corruption of it; quite a lot of people do much disservice to it than true service.

As a relationship, Christianity should emphasize love, affection and good neighbourliness, according to Joshua. Therefore,” every true Christian should resist the temptation to isolate himself/herself; you must attend living churches and mix with living Christians”, he preached. He sees the relationship as an avoidance of doubt and a dereliction of loneliness but as a kind of fruitful togetherness which is saliently projected in such a way that the true image of God is emphasised among humanity.

Christianity is therefore, physical and spiritual. Spirituality becomes emphasised through the strength of the physical property for instance, when doubt is removed from the mind of man, salvation is assured. Joshua insists,” Satan can never snatch you away from God if you are a Christian. He would try but not succeed”. He is of the opinion that hard times is meant to strengthen their desire for God and to prepare them for the challenges ahead.

A true Christian’s mind should not accommodate doubts, he/she should never be associated with “murmuring, crying  and lamenting’’

Referring to the experience of Stephen in the hands of his persecutors, a Christian should pray and fast, and especially ‘’pray for their enemies” because “Stephen prayed harder when he was being stoned”. He/she should believe and have faith in Christ, and see Jesus as Lord and Savior and the more the troubles faced, the more the commitment to the believe in the power of the Holy Ghost.  He has particularly used 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 6, to establish his argument.

A Christian is not expected to be lonely or be in isolation because he should praise God in association with others who do not know of doubts and temptation. Such association is best practicalized in the Church has been much bastardized, abused, misrepresented and soaked in poisonous idolatry. Most Churches are not “living” but dead _____________Holy Ghost does not exist in them; worldliness and spiritual hollowness and impotence have conquered  the Church.

A true Christian _______________contrary to the lousy spirit of born againism___________should be truly anointed, blessed, faithful, peaceful, hopeful and obedient; ; he/she should not identify with falsehood, sorcery, rebelliousness, disobedience, envy, pride, cheating, gambling, lust, covetousness, greed, and adultery. Christians must speed away from carnality and devilishness; we must truly love Jesus with mind and soul, and extend such love to our neighbours.  A Christian, according to Joshua, should see his “pain as a reason for believing”; his/her “poverty affliction and insults should be a reason for believing”

Joshua is of the opinion that  a Christian “should never doubt God’s desire or ability to help you” and “When you are struggling with doubt, think of what God has done in your life, because He gives you new hope and strengthens you”. He says that “One of satan’s strategies is to get you to doubt God’s goodness, make you forget all He has done and given you, and to focus on what you do not have”.

A good Christian, he added “should say thank you as a response of a joyful heart, even if there is nothing to be happy about. This should be the attitude of every Christian”.

Joshua says, “Our life, our focus is changing lives and society” because this world is a centre of competition and “whatever you do must be done excellently”. We are, he has added, “in the world without faith, without hope”.

A thorough understanding of Joshua’s stance is to the effect that every Christian should be conscious of God “who is constantly watching us” since he/she should have the ability to change for good. Significantly also, a Christian should not boast of his born againism, especially when he/she has not been delivered. Many of the “Christians” who recently attended service at The SCOAN were discovered to be very far from Christ, deliverance and salvation;’ the evil spirits in them exposed their life of dubeity, unfaithfulness, adherence to ancestral spirits, temptations, violence and other destructive tendencies. Even international evangelists had to confess to a life of lies, lust, witchcraft, idolatory and hypocrisy; yet “God is God of Justice” though the “devil can use you in many ways”_____he preached. To be born again is not to be mouthed, but acted in total commitment to the approved way of Christ.

“No matter how close you are to Jesus, you can still be tempted”, he said; making use of the temptation of Jesus by satan, for illustration. A Christian, he has added, should also refrain from the odious attitude of pompous self-righteousness associated most often with those who boast that they are born again. The gift of righteousness is a far cry from the spirit and expression of self-righteousness, he preached.

Christianity is still being explained by world-acknowledged practitioners of the faith. But the preaching and sermons of Joshua have done a lot to explain the wealth that is contained in the concept of Christianity.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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T.B Joshua’s Engaging Emphasis On Love

Sunday Patrick and Ezekiel Fajenyo

Love is one word that is very much misunderstood or limited in daily use. To many people it is the experience of shared responsibilities or common interest between two or more people. To some other is serves the same purpose as infatuations, affection and feelings of familiarity. Of course types of love such as agape, phiko, eros, storge, etc. have been commented on through recorded time in the scriptures and literature, psychology, medicine etc.

Love is the fact, all embracing, and not limited to self but every sequent of humanity. Its creates distance from all obscenities and abnormalities; it has power of renewal and charges one’s spiritual battery. It is recommended by God and draws one closer to Him.

Love has to do with good neighbourliness built on understanding, fellow feeling, reliable relationship, and spirit of forgiveness; love is creative and innovative and rooted in the receptivity of the vast mind. It is the opposite of hatred, envy, troubles, mischief, pains, misunderstanding, discontentment, harshness, discord, selfishness and myopic orientations. It is pure, noble, assured, positive, progressive, humane, and attractive. It is about beauty and the practice of same. God recommends it; Jesus practicalised it; the church is expected to share in its fulfillments; the human race should imbibe its ethics and aesthetics.

Jesus Christ emphasised how important it is that his followers express and show deep love for one another. He said to them: “I am giving you a new commandant, that you love one another ……..By this you will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves” (John 13:34-35). What the two expressions – one another and among yourselves” connote is that Christians should come together in one group. For it is written in the Book of Romans 12:25 and Ephesians 4:25 “just as there are many parts of our bodies, so it is with Christ body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So, we belong to each other and each other needs all the citizens”.

The identification of this group would therefore, be based on the love its members have for one another.

Surely, if a man does not love his fellow man, everything else is useless (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

It would be recalled that the early Christians were persistently reminded to have affection for one another, welcome one another, slave for one another, be kind to one another, be tenderly compassionate, continue to put up with one another freely if anyone had a cause for complaint against another, forgiving one another, keep comforting one another, building one another up, be peaceable with one another, have intense love for one another (Roman 12:10;15:7; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; Peter 4:8 1 John 3:23; 4:7-11; Colossians 3:13-14:1, Thessalonians 5:11-13).

This does not imply that Christians are not required to shower unfettered love to non Christians. They are mandated to lover others as well. In fact, the Bible admonished all Christians to increase in love to one another and to all (Thessalonians 3:12;16:15) Apostle Paul had written in Galatians 6:10 “let love work what is good towards all but especially towards those related to us in faith” While Christians must therefore, love all including their enemies, they must especially love their fellow members of God association, their spiritual brothers and sisters (Matthew5:44) It is heartwarming, today, that despite the challenges of our existence or the vagaries of life, many Christians all over the world are well known for  the love that they have for one another. according to the second century writer. Tertullian, “people would say of them, look how many they love one another , and how they are ready to die for one another:

 Man’s Inclination To Do Wrong.

The imperfection of man is rooted from our original parents – Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). And that explains why we are persistently inclined to doing wrong. The Holy Bible says in James 3:2; Romans 3:23 that “we all stumble many times”. Many Christians all over the world, despite their looking up to God’s promises and for mercy, they err persistently, consequently, eroding the virtue of love.

The problem between Apostle Paul and Barnabas clearly demonstrated such imperfection of man.  The Bible says in Acts 13:13, “When they were about to leave on their second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take along his cousin Mark. However, Paul did not want Mark along, since Mark had left them and gone home during their first missionary journey. The Bible says, “ At this there occurred a sharp burst of anger, so that they separated from each other”  (Acts 15:37-40). The anger expressed by the twosome would have questioned how true they loved each other.

Also worthy of note was the refusal by Apostle Peter to continue associating with the Gentiles because of the “fear of being viewed with disfavor by some of the Jewish Christians who were wrongly looking down on their Gentile brothers” (Galatians 2:11-14). Apostle Paul was furious when he saw what Peter was doing, He therefore, rebuked him in strong terms for such perceived misconduct, in the presence of the people that were present. Peter was calm as his looks showed (Hebrews12:11).

THE STRENGTH OF LOVE.

We are however, of the view that anger, like other negative attitudes of man, such as jealousy, hatred, mordant criticisms, falsehood, sadism, etc  are innate, but could be curtailed when love is made to fully permeate all aspects of our lives.  “Human love is but a shadow of God’s love” to quote Prophet T. B. Joshua.

Love can be used as a strong reason to solve most of human troubles. The Bible is fully replete with instances of this.

Peter was not bemused or flabbergasted when Paul condemned him in the presence of the people. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:8,9, that Peter was humble; he accepted the correction and did not allow it to cause his love for Paul to wane. Peter later referred to Paul in a letter of encouragement to fellow Christians, captured in 2Peter3:16 in the following words: “Consider the patience of our Lord as Salvation, just as our beloved Paul, according to the wisdom given him, also wrote you”.

Indeed Peter “allowed love to cover over the difficulty, which in this case had resulted from his own wrong conduct (Proverbs 10:12).

It was also love that settled the misunderstanding between Paul and Barnabus . When Paul wrote to the Corinthian congregation, he graciously referred to Barnabus as a close fellow worker which clearly signified that he still loved him (1 Corinthians 9:5-6).

Albeit, Paul’s grudge over Mark’s involvement in the journey seemed justified , Paul later wrote to Timothy when he observed that Mark had become matured: “Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministering” (2 Timothy 4:11).

These are just two instances. Basically, we have to take cognizance of the fact that God did not give us His conditions which must be fulfilled before He loves us. Therefore, our expression of love for our fellow man should not be anchored on some conditions which may be elusive. Anger and hatred, for instance, only serve to distance us from developing true Christian qualities, the greatest of which is love. Yet, they (anger and hatred) should be overshadowed by love.

The Bible says, “God recommends His own love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans5:8) we should therefore, be ready to follow that example of God and show love to those who do bad and foolish things.( Ephesians 5:1,2, Psalm 10:3-10).

Again, based on our imperfection, our lord Jesus Christ thought us not to be critical of our fellow men, saying that as others have faults, we also have. He therefore asked: “why do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the rafter in your own eyes. (Matthew 7:1-5). The need for us to always express mercy and forgiveness which are also rooted in love is very impressive.

Although, there are genuine complaints, the Bible counsels: “continue to put up with one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another” This is also necessary because Christ freely forgave us. And we have to forgive others if we have to receive his forgiveness, Jesus said: In Matthew 18:21, it is also written “God has forgiven us thousands of times so cannot we forgive our brothers a few times?

It is in fact ironical if we treat our fellow man in an unloving manner at the same time claim to be practicing the truth.

T.B Joshua’s Teaching on Love

We are very much impressed with the teachings of one of the greatest prophets of our time – with the gift of the garb and righteousness – Prophet T. B Joshua , particularly on the need for humanity to always express love,  The teachings have redefined the perspective of our relationship with fellow humans and genuinely refocused our attention on the values of such relationship built on love. The prophet had said: There is nothing to compare to love, it is richer than any mineral and warmer that ant sun.

His broad metaphoric view of love are stated below:

“Love can make a king abdicate his throne, that is resign.”

“Love can make a poor boy, poor man, beggar become a prince”

“If spoken from the heart, nothing is as strong as love”

“Human love is but a shadow of God’s love”

“If God loves us, He will hide pride from us and keep us from being exalted above measures’

“God’s love will enable us to press on”

“God’s love centres in His will.”

“If man loves God truly, he is under obligation to love his fellow man”

“God’s love centres on His will. It is His will to give. It is our will to give back and also to receive the gift freely given. Knowing God’s love will enable us to press on till tomorrow. Nothing is stronger than love”.

“There are only three things on earth that will last- faith, hope and love. The greatest is love.

Since the greatest is love, we need to make the greatest sacrifice”.

“If you help your fellow brother, then you help Jesus”

“If you dupe your fellow brother, then you dupe Jesus”

“If you care for your fellow brother, then you care for Jesus”

“If you ignore your fellow brother, then you ignore Jesus”

“Whether you are educated or not, whether you are a farmer or not, whether you are a professor or not, there is hope in loving Jesus i.e loving others”

“If you can give your love, and somebody wants to stand against you, he stands against God”

“I learn to love everyone because love is the greatest Christian virtue and it Is the real nature of spirituality. If you want to know God, you must love yourself and others…..”

“Love cares more for others than for self”

“Love does not belittle anyone”

“Love does not force itself on others”

“Love puts up with anything, meaning that love is tolerant”

“Love looks around to see who is in need”

These statements clearly reflect the extent at which the Prophet considers love as the strought condition of humanity. And judged by his deep sense of commitment to human growth and development, practically reflected in his humanitarian services, the prophet holds that the greatest expression of love is giving. His words: “We should spend more on others and less on ourselves. This is the only way we can commit more faith and love in the society of which we are a part…..we begin to succeed with our lives when the hurt and problems of others begin to matter to us”

He had also elaborately affirmed that “Whatever our purpose may be, we should let love take precedence over all things. If we have all gifts without love, we are nothing. Love is patient___it does not express itself in anger. Love is goodness____it does not express itself in evil. Love is humble___it does not express itself in arrogance. Love is hope_____it does not express itself in despair and self-pity. Jesus wants to express Himself and carry out His mission of love to others through you. Thus giving becomes the very basis of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is no love that does not express itself in giving. God so loved the world that He planted His best seed on the earth so that His peace might abide with men forever. The seed gave Himself up as a living sacrifice for our sake, to heal the broken hearted, give the captives freedom, comfort those who mourn, release the prisoners and defeat their enemies. What a great love! It is in our interest to show appreciation to the Seed on all occasions”

He had further stated that “ I am a solution to one’s problems. I am because you are”.

“No one is created without a gift. And such gift is meant to meet a need. How many lives have you capable of changing”, he asked.

While saying that “There are many people on the sick bed, visit them, pray for them and show compassion on them. That may be the solution to their problems; the prophet believes that love is a way of energising our spirituality and at the same time oiling our philanthropist. He has persistently, in the spirit of love, transformed many lives and permanently enriched them. For example, his ministry SCOAN, has always assisted the widows, widowers, the orphans the physically- challenged, the jobless youths, the indigents, students of secondary and high institution, etc. He has assisted many communities in the country, particularly those that have been neglected for decades and those that faced several disasters.

He gives scholarships to many students irrespective of where they come from A greater consideration is however, always accorded to the depraved, the blind ,the orphans, the deaf, the scholarly- imbued students who had performed excellently well in their studies; the prostitutes, armed robbers, militants who had indicated their interest in going to school or furthering their education etc.

His robust display of love is also glaring in the joyous way he assists the poverty -stricken men and women who troop to the church for financial assistance.

He also extends his giving spirit beyond the chores of the nation. The quick response of the ministry to the Haitian disaster the charity to the poor in Indonesia, the elderly in Pakistan and the elderly in Russia, are mere tips of the iceberg.

Aside all these, the permanent healings and deliverances carried out by the church are quite reflective of the love the SCOAN and the prophet have for humanity.

Today, the responses to such divine gestures have been very impressive, particularly when they are viewed against the backdrop of what the scripture demands of a true man of God.

It is our view that when the virtues of love are concretely understood (as marshalled by SCOAN and the prophet), and genuinely “operationalised the blessings of God will begin to enfold humanity.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A LETTER TO SOME ZIMBABWEAN “PASTORS”

Ezekiel Fajenyo and Sunday Patrick

Dear Sirs,

Christianity, to all those truly concerned with its fate in contemporary context, is not altogether in a perfect form through Christ is perfect. It is a relationship and though should exhibit love, transparency, friendliness and shared responsibility in the pursuit of credible direction and significance as symbolized by Christ, the perfect Master. Except the relationship is perfect and orderly as Christ wants it, it grows only in a debased, questionable and sterile relevance.

Christianity is about truth, the pursuit of excellent mastery of the Word and sincere adoption of Christ-like qualities as life’s guide. It is a privilege to be in relationship with Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith; but it is dangerous to see such relationship as a privilege to castigate His anointed hands, kick against His commandment on love and yet wish Him to continually treat us as sincere partners in holiness.

Christianity in troubled waters for reasons which are best known to Christians and not threats as posed by other worshippers the world over. It is a relationship which has gone sour; it has been soiled by the very attitude of the travails of fellow Christians in troubled spots (as we see in parts of northern Nigeria today or had happened in places like Iraq, Egypt, etc). The relationship is thoroughly poisoned, abused and murderously defined by hatred, mischief, envy, jealousy and witchcraft. Christians – or so we wish to address ourselves – take delight in throwing arrows of disintegration, even in the name of Christ! We cast aspersions and wildly throw around words which betray the faith and wound the true essence of our unique relationship with Christ.

Why did we have to write this letter to all “pastors” concerned? We are only joining voices with many of such voices which had cried out before, asking why Christians should be the destroyers and betrayers of their own faith, an ignoble attitude which is hardly ever found in people of other faiths. Many others, at seminars, workshops, sermons, crusades and media-talk-shows have spoken (and are still doing so) on why Christians are the greatest mischief-makers to fellow Christians all over the world, like several women married to the same husband.

The reactions to an internet material titled, “Churches Rap T.B. Joshua” on May 9, 2012, will go on for some time. And the reasons are obvious. Christians all over the world must feel disgusted at the way and manner Christianity was reduced to sheer meaninglessness and infamy by “pastors” who were reported to have participated in a workshop organized by Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, in preparation for that country’s “National Day of Prayer set for May 25, Africa Day”.

Every African who knew what Zimbabwe went through before attaining her present status should be happy at the development. Zimbabwe is a major historical place in the continent and its development over the years should be a source of pride to every African, regardless of the country. The announcement of its National Day of Prayer in Zimbabwe should also attract Africans because every nation needs prayers to survive with its people, to conquer forces of retrogression and starvation and launch into an experience of socio-political awareness. What is wrong in praying for a land which one loves so much? A land whose independence everyone struggled for with much passion and enthusiasm?

What rather shocked people in the announcement was the issue of T.B. Joshua which completely overwhelmed you – or a few among you – that you completely neglected to talk of the National Prayer Day but how not to allow Joshua into Zimbabwe, though you do not have the immigration powers to ban him.

The tone of your disapproval of the person of Joshua was so acrimonious and sharply condemnatory to the extent that many people were shocked that the whole of Zimbabwean “pastors” would fail to honour African activists and freedom fighters by praying (or organizing to pray) for their country but held meeting only on T.B. Joshua, a man who Zimbabweans had thought prophesied the death of Mugabe (which turned out to be false!)

Joshua, at a moment like this, (National Day of Prayer) should not be an issue among you “pastors” of the Evangelistic Fellowship. First, Christ deserves to be thanked for making Zimbabwe a close-knit country over the years. Second, the prayers should have been directed towards strengthening the political and socio-economic base of the country so that inflation and reductionist trends would leave the land alone (some African countries are in a similar situation. Third, prayers suggest absolute belief in the Almighty God and not opportunities to desecrate the international image of a man of God. National survival, growth of the citizenry and a robust future should be of attraction to you than the personality of Joshua.

In the quoted report, not even a line was written to show the real purpose of the National Day of Prayer but other people in a similar situation would have boldly told the world the glory of the moment, the rare achievements in the land, the way forward by government – all of which God Almighty should address urgently. If the workshop was organized by politicians and political party leaders, people would understand (because Joshua is seen by some Zimbabweans as pro-Morgan Tsvangari while he hates Mugabe) but at least those in “God’s service” should have shown some spiritual maturity, discipline, wisdom, sense of decorum and sincerity of purpose, which members of your cabinet are so distant from. While the former may see Joshua as a foe for political reasons (not fundamental truth), you should have been bold enough (except if motivated with coins) to stay on a neutral ground; you should have left issues in the hands of God in respect of the National Day of Prayer instead of turning your own Synagogue to a centre of political argument. That is why we are bothered. Politicians may wish to condemn Joshua to honour Mugabe but how do we qualify your attack on Joshua, as if he brought terrible inflation and political misgovernance to Zimbabwe?

Rather than speak of the event planned for May 25 (Africa Day), you demeaned yourselves as a body of “over 100 denominations, churches, Para-church movements and individual Christians of the Evangelical persuasion”. In sheer numbers, you should be more than 2,000 people altogether. If Joshua were a white preacher from the West or other places, certainly you would not mind welcoming him at the airport but not Joshua – a popular Nigerian with world-wide followership, just because he is a friend to your Prime Minister. Could this be an act of spiritual immaturity, senility, blindness, impurity? Do we now know why one arrogant leader said he was “luckier than Jesus” not long ago (and to which you said nothing?) Joshua never said he had edge over Jesus, yet he should be maliciously crucified? Are you not asking why a Nigerian should come and pray for Zimbabwe?

The EF2 President and spokesperson of your fellowship (we wonder if this word means anything to your clique) Dr Goodwill Shana pointedly said Joshua was not wanted in Zimbabwe because his teachings were judgemental, partisan and unorthodox and that he may not bring good tidings “to help the country to move forward” and because “he is notorious for issuing death prophecies”.

We are at a loss as to what Dr Shana (we do not understand what goodwill is here) meant by these statements because he was rather terrified by fire of yet unheard prophecies, or he was very afraid of Joshua whose prophecies have kept shaking the entire world. Millions of people have often welcomed his prophecies and prayed to enjoy such when positive or ward them off, if negative. That of Israel was once surrounded by your kind of “pastors” and “prophets” (some 400) who did not want the voice of truth to speak to the man in power. Macaiah, the great, fearless and courageous prophet told the man the truth, regardless of the possibility of jail. Ahab never returned from the war in Ramoth Gilead, as prophesied by Macaiah. The 400 others were brought to shame in his palace. Why should Christian leaders be so robotically inter-twined with power that they will not be identified with truth? Is loyalty to Christ not sufficient? Is the grace of God not sufficient, if we must follow the example of Paul? Is the Zimbabwean Constitution the Bible? Is the Christ in Zimbabwe different from the one the world is used to? Why should you – at your age and experience of many years – dislocate the essence of Christianity by condemning the prophecies of Joshua? Have you equally not been judgemental, ornamental, doggish and paralytically unorthodox? What would any Christian learn from your spirit of intolerance, hatred, envy and blackmail? And how are we able to be sure that the over 2,000 Christians of “Evangelical persuasion” were persuaded along the line of attacking Joshua instead of praying for national deliverance and healing from years of agony, political recklessness and social impatience? Did Joshua constitute a problem for that country? If Africans know not what love is, why are we deceiving ourselves celebrating National Day in any country – after all, different nationals fought (directly or indirectly) for the independence of Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, etc. Africans are proud of their own and will not mind what happens, as long as true freedom is obtained. We are proud of Mandela, Toure, Nkrumah, etc. for this reason. They understood the sacrifice of fellow Africans; they respected fellow Africans and would not have organized a workshop whose subject matter is to deny Joshua entering Zimbabwe!

It should be a moment of sober reflection and gratitude to God; people should be welcomed from all over the world since they are not bombers, kidnappers, ritualists, killers and questionable militants. Zimbabwe should mean much more to Africa than the coldness in the hearts of some “pastors” who want to satisfy the palace at the expense of the salvation of their souls.

We do not understand Dr Shana’s self-inflicted definition of “judgemental teachings”, though it is true that “God is redemptive”. He forgot that even King Hezekiah was told by an angel of the Lord that he was going to die; he had to turn to the wall, wept bitterly and showed mind of total surrender after complaining and his years on earth were increased! Elijah confronted Ahab’s Baal prophets (850 in all) and eliminated them and asked Ahab to go for a good meal – he was fearless, regardless of the fact that he stood before the king. If “pastors” must eat some leader’s shit, what business have they climbing the pulpit? The Disciples of Christ stood their ground and simply moved away from where their evangelical mission was not welcomed. Your “Evangelical persuasion” is something which may take a century to properly analyse and digest!

One Bishop Trevor Manhanga of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe (also a member of this fellowship) could not hide his political persuasion, even when he wears the cassock. To him, Joshua’s closeness to the Prime Minister would not affect the political fortunes in Zimbabwe, despite Joshua’s reliance on “artefacts”. Yet, he also joined in this fellowship against “judgemental preaching” and partisanship! He referred to a burning Nigeria on which Joshua could do nothing and that those who visit Nigeria “should know that the water they are given has no significance here and will not serve as a lucky charm to bring them power, political or otherwise”. Yet this man is a Bishop, who hates the Prime Minister!

Are hatred and envy qualities of a seasoned Bishop in a much politically troubled land? Should he dismiss Nigerians as if he is not an African? Could Nigeria be burning more than Zimbabwe at this hour? If God is “not interested in the outcome of football games”, is He not interested in people’s spiritual edification, deliverance and healing? Is there anything in life God does not know of? Does this Bishop (despite his presence in Zimbabwe) know the number of Zimbabweans who daily visit Nigeria for the salvation of their souls and purification? Does he know people from all the continents of the world make The SCOAN a home? Hasn’t he been watching what happens in Emmanuel TV? If several thousands of people are being delivered of evil spirits and terrible worldly encounters, what has been the contribution of the likes of this Bishop in Zimbabwe or do people have no reason to know? If he spoke so bad-mouthed about Joshua, what would he say of non-Christians in his own country? Yet, we all say Christianity must grow in the spirit of love and as the Lord Himself approves. Has this Bishop ever seen Moslem, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. leaders speak against one another in that manner, especially when talking of a “National Day of Prayer”?

This Bishop spares odious companionship with the likes of Shana even though he does not wish to hear “of the death of Michael Jackson” which does not “assist and mould people to be better citizens”. But the prophecies in the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation – how pleasant are they to him? What impact was made on this rare “man of God” by prophecies made in Books of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Kings? Do some people qualify to belong to where they claim they are? If prophecies are not important to this Bishop and his “fellowship”, what is he doing in the Church of the Lord? We thought what should anger a Bishop was to discover that a prophet has lied? Or that he never said anything good of others? If Ahab had listened to Macaiah, he would have lived some more years. Hezekiah was wiser. So these stories meant nothing to this “man of God” and his “fellowship”?

This Bishop allegedly said Joshua’s presence “will have no bearing on our politics. Our authorities have nothing to fear”. Is this man the Chief Press Secretary to the President? And he was living when the leader said he was “Lucifer than Jesus”? Did he protest that kind of message which may likely be his prayer point on the National Day of Prayer? Is Christianity not in trouble? Are we helping it to grow? Could Islamist militants speak of Joshua the way this Bishop did? Or is there a different Jesus in Zimbabwe?

We are concerned with the faith of the church in contemporary times. A Cameroonian, Erebe Ayissi, allegedly called Joshua “a son of the devil masquerading as a man of God” – is this not judgemental and partisan? Would he have said so if Joshua were a Cameroonian, benefitting the administration he serves? But his uncouth mannerism and lousy disposition may be understood because he is an anxious politician, wishing to make some noise against an internationally reputed Nigerian. One Godwin Chitsinde, a “pastor” in this group who heads the Spoken Word Ministries, said Joshua’s planned visit to Zimbabwe was bad because of his “interest in politics”. Did this not suggest that all of you “pastors” are afraid of Joshua and that his presence will dwindle the quality and substance of your own presence in Zimbabwe (though he is a Nigerian)? Pastor Vukani Dhladhla of Abiding Hope Ministries allegedly said Joshua’s prophecies were wrong because of his flare for “telling someone his phone number or the colour of his underwear” instead of being “about the Word of God”. He also said Zimbabweans “have our own reputable apostles and what rides us is that he is coming on a partisan ticket without consulting the churches”. If not fear, what do we call this, in Jesus’ name? How many pastors from other countries have your “fellowship” invited to share in the glory of the moment? How was the issue of partisanship handled by you? How did you resolve the issue of prophets not dictating “phone numbers” and “colours of the underwear” but yet prophesying “deaths” and doing “diabolical miracles”? How did some of your “fellows” arrive at such names as Spoken Word or Abiding Hope Ministries whose spiritual symbolisms and testimonies are so hollow, myopic, sectional, arrogant and reckless? How do you convert people to the faith in Zimbabwe? What exactly do these ministries and ministers do in the name of Christianity except show pretence and ill-discipline when discussing the faith? How much were some people paid by some Ahab to heap attacks on Joshua when national interest in a universal context should be addressed?

Evangelism is essentially about winning people (souls) for Christ. Do we take it that the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe has no mission than to attack Joshua because of his prophecies on the death of leaders or his partisanship. Must personal and official hatred for the Prime Minister translate to hating and attacking his personal friends, even if they are prophets? Are we not being reminded of the vampish Baal prophets here? Could Joshua be causing more sleepless nights than the diabolical mannerisms of political leaders in that country whose motives in governance are dictated by “agents of satan”? Does Joshua have the power to cast his vote in Zimbabwe?

Could he mount the soap box and proclaim prophecies before Zimbabweans? Does the constitution regard him as a citizen? Why are you “pastors” (and of evangelical persuasion) trying to pick crickets from the hole with teeth? Why call a spade another name? Of what specific political interest could Joshua be pursuing in Zimbabwe which makes some “pastors” want to dig their own graves in fear, before his arrival? How could he be more feared than a million Napoleons if political rascality, greed, disrespect for people’s wishes and pride have not been allowed in politics? Is Joshua the one to make “judgemental preaching” before God does what He wishes for a people?

These were the reasons why we started off by lamenting the troubles of Christianity. People find it difficult (especially some “pastors”) to separate politics from religion; prophecy from earthly endeavours. Joshua is undisputedly respected worldwide because of his total loyalty to God and he has delivered many “pastors” who were yet to be born-again in the true sense of the word. His coming to Zimbabwe or your coming to Nigeria will assist to transform the spiritual life of many of you “pastors” by becoming true men and women of God. What kills people is gloomy ignorance and even God says His people get killed because of lack of wisdom. Joshua, as an African, should be a “material” of whom all of us should be proud. His coming to Zimbabwe if he chose to, would have been a special blessing to that country rather than to himself. Even leaders from more advanced countries are his friends because the glory of God is not about nationality or sex; it is about whom God Himself chooses. When will some notorious African “pastors” learn the rule of the game?

Why fear Joshua if all hands are clean? Why fear his prophecies if occultism has not taken over people’s hearts? Why judge him as an “agent of satan” when there is no solid proof of your being “agents of light”? Why preach spirituality when you speak of authorities having “nothing to fear”? Why should a politician speak authoritatively on a man as not being “a man of God” as if we are talking of endless corruption, graft and ideological impotence of his own country?

We pray for Zimbabwe and all other countries of the world, in the spirit of The SCOAN! We know there is nothing God cannot do for people; He is an agent of awareness, baptism, uprightness, honesty, humility, understanding and of love. Rather than pick on Joshua for attack in a country of millions of people, you should study the Bible aright to know what the disciples of Jesus did when He was removed from them – they preached, suffered bruises, were imprisoned, flogged, molested, yet Christ remains proud of them. A word is enough for the wise.

Happy Celebration to all Zimbabweans!

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in International

 

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