BY SOLA OJEWUSI
“And he came to Nazareth where he has been brought up…”
That is a quote from The Bible, recalling the time in Jesus’ life when he returned to the town where he grew up as part of his destiny-fulfilling moves that culminated in his TRIUMPH.
Well, another child of God whose master is Jesus Chris is in Nazareth and the nation of Israel is in joyous uproar! The anticipation has been there for long and now it is happening. The world-acclaimed Prophet, Televangelist and Miracle worker, T.B. Joshua is in town! He is physically present at a programme on Mount Precipice Amphitheatre tagged Nazareth Meeting with Prophet T.B. Joshua and, believe, it is already the talk of the town throughout the State of Israel and beyond.
The crowd was stupendous for an event that had been allegedly opposed by a few locals in the days leading to the meeting. Some have even wondered how easy it would be for TB. Joshua to hold the meeting in such a place known for its volatility and sensitive ethno-religious sensibilities over centuries. Worried by the opposition, people waited to know how T. B. JOSHUA would again overcome a testy situation the way he had always done over the years.
When our correspondent spoke with the Prophet about reports that some organizations were not happy he was holding the event, he simply smiled:
“If there is no opposition,” he responded. “How can the glory of God be seen? Anything good must surely be opposed.”
From his tone, it was obvious he was unperturbed by whatever opposition the meeting was purportedly having. His focus clearly was on holding another spirit-filled, successful and highly beneficial event that would bring succor, healing and joy to many. Well the Prophet’s words have come true. Nazareth is a huge success for T.B. Joshua, for Israel, Nazareth and for the world!!!
By the time the event started in the afternoon of June 23 in the Amphitheater of Mount Precipice in Nazareth, ancient hometown of Jesus Christ, it was clear that once again, T. B. JOSHUA had triumphed over another of life’s obstacle, doing it in a big way.
Despite the sun, with a lot of umbrellas in sight, the crowd milled into the venue. They came from many nations of the world, bringing a huge boost to the tourism industry of Nazareth and environs.
The world came to Nazareth from all regions: Europe, America, Asia, South America, Africa and from areas as far flung as Australia and New Zealand.
One of the star witnesses from Nigeria was Chief Dele Momodu, Ovation Magazine Publisher who had travelled all the way from England to witness the epochal event. Congregants flew the flags of diverse nation. It was as if the United Nations had been brought to Mount Precipice. The magnificent set and backdrop was also unique, convincing the world that this was no ordinary but unique Meeting.
Right from the word go, attendee of this special meeting knew that this was going to be a day to remember. An atmosphere of divine worship was soon created by the choir, a conglomeration of various nationalities churning out songs composed by T.B. Joshua himself. The soul lifting songs and ministrations that were conducted in English, Hebrew, Arabic and other local languages pulsated and reverberated from atop the mountain called Precipice down into the surrounding neighborhoods and through the power of television to all nooks and crannies of the globe. This evening, even locals would admit that for once, something extraordinary had come to Nazareth! It was not difficult for even sceptics to transform to believers!
Even before the Man of God, T.B. Joshua mounted the dais to speak, congregants had begun to manifest the presence of the Holy SPIRIT IN MANY WAYS. This began to escalate when the song, “Sin’s Power over me is broken” was sung. Men and women began to vomit poisonous substances, obviously triggered by the spirit-led atmosphere of pulsating gospel and edification songs.
Then it was time for testimonies galore. Many of the congregants, amongst them Pastor Alcir Silva, a Brazilian living in the US, came on the podium to testify to the miraculous blessings they had received while either at the SCOAN on visits or praying along with T.B. Joshua while watching Emmanuel TV etc.
You could see the enthusiastic reception that greeted these testimonies and it provided a clear atmosphere of expectations for the crowd waiting for the time T.B. Joshua would come onto the altar to preach and conduct ministrations.
Then came the much anticipated hour! As he walked rather quietly onto the altar, dressed in simple shirt and trousers, a huge applause greeted T. B. Joshua and, when he introduced himself, “My name is T. B. Joshua,” (as if he needed introduction) the cheering skyrocketed to a crescendo.
The atmosphere of grace and solemn dignity that always surrounds Joshua on the altar became manifest instantly and he began to utter the alluring, soothing words of edification. The crowd on Mount Precipice, like the good old day when Jesus preached on Mount Olive, listened with rapt attention and great expectation as the words reeled out of the Prophet’s mouth:
“You are in a place where you have read so much about in the Bible.”
“No other place would have been better for Jesus to come from because it was God’s design”
“Nazareth is a humble place filled with hardworking people. What a wonderful people!”
“We are known by our life and our practice, not what we say only.”
“How you feel does not matter because faith is not a feeling.”
Every statement was met with a huge applause. And when he went into the message proper, titled, WE ARE KNOWN BY OUR LOVE, and quoting Matthew 5:1ff, etc., the anointing became even more momentous, sending the huge crowd into great ecclesiastical frenzy.
The crux of T.B. Joshua’s message was the virtue of love. “The word love has been watered down today. Love has lost its original meaning. Today we shall talk about the love of God. What does love of God mean? Quoting Matt 14:15: “If you love me, you would keep my commandments,” he went on to edify the crowd with examples of many ways the love of God could manifest. He urged the people to demonstrate their love to God by doing what God wants. According to Joshua, “What makes us human is not our ability to think but our ability to love. Love is life. If you miss love, you miss life. Missing love is missing life… Is your love a truly interceding love? Let us love one another irrespective of race and religion… God is love.”
Even those who opposed the event were certainly wowed that Joshua came with love. With resilience, determination and love, Joshua won millions of hearts.
He must also have confounded the skeptics back home in Africa who thought the event would never hold. What happened in Nazareth is the story of Joshua’s life. Despite the persecution, he always triumphed. And if the events of June 23 in Nazareth were anything to go by, T.B. Joshua surely triumphed in Nazareth. And his strategy? Love, despite hate; courage in the face of fear and progress in spite of the spirit of retrogression.
After the short message, due to time constraints, and a walk round the stands to interact with congregants, the cleric then went into the much-awaited prayer session and, as usual, works of stupendous miracles began. The event truly recalled the Biblical times when miracles highlighted the love of God. The event recalled the times of Jesus when miracles were real.
And when he went to sit among the people, the applause was huge. At the very sight of Joshua, a man on the Prayer and healing line began to shake from head to toe. Joshua, as he moved among the afflicted, giving succor, reminded the people that the source of sickness, disease and affliction was not God but Satan. Then he began to heal the sick and cast out demons.
The first woman to be healed was from Britain. Her stiff neck requiring a brace was promptly healed and she moved her neck without the former visible pain.
There was also an Asian from Germany having problem seeing with his left eye. He left seeing with the eye and identifying colors easily. “I can see now,” he shouted.
Not to mention the woman who could not move her hand but returned home thanking Jesus for her healing and ability to use her hand again. The atmosphere was soon filled with the joy of seeing people with hopeless ailments singing hallelujah again! One of the lucky crowd was a man from Nazareth who after receiving his healing shouted in Arabic: “Shokran Yeshua!” meaning, “Thanks, Jesus!”
Following him was an old woman who could not walk and depended on a walker but left the mountain without her Walker, dancing and flailing her hands in a manner that would make even the healthiest souls green with envy. Such was the atmosphere of miracles in Nazareth!
As the Day 1 of the Meeting came to a close, against the backdrop of the ancient monuments of the city, and more soul-stirring songs from the choir, Nazareth will surely not forget happenings on Mount Precipice in a hurry. Everything manifested the divine presence and the effect of this Meeting with T.B. Joshua would reverberate beyond Nazareth for years to come.
The event continues on Monday June 24, promising to bring even greater manifestations. We shall bring you stories of Day 2 in our subsequent reports.