By ordinary definition perilous times consist of times of grave risks or perils, hazardous or dangerous voyages, etc. For example, having a kiss, hug or handshake with a neighbour in this coronavirus pandemic era is becoming a grave risk. Similarly, looking after a sick mother or father or a son, who may just be returning home as usual from China, USA, Italy, the UK, or just from any foreign country is now a risk. The social distancing advocators may have their merits but the Christian principle encourages us to love our neighbours as ourselves unconditionally and not to neglect meeting together. Hence, whereas we must be living in perilous times or the last days when violence is in every headline, Christians should turn to the Bible for understanding.
From Isaiah 2:2 or Micah 4:1 it is written that “…in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established …..; and people shall flow unto it.” We notice the flow of people to Zion (also called Jerusalem), and they are coming to the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos Nigeria of Prophet TB Joshua. The last days will symbolize also the fulfilment of prophecies, not just the prevalence of violence, fear and panic. What we see building up in SCOAN is a prophecy fulfilment. You may wonder, why Nigeria of all places, or why TB Joshua?
As we read from John 7:37-38 the last day was that great day of the feast when Jesus stood and cried, saying, “… If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Hence the world is passing through a moment when thirsts and hunger can only be cured by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; on an individual basis coming to Jesus. This 2020 Easter, surprisingly the streets of Jerusalem have become empty of Hossan or Halleluyah shouting Christians, as it is also in many congestions across the globe, including in SCOAN. But at the individual levels, we should look into Jesus, the Lamb of our sacrifice, our salvation and Saviour. Jesus left for us some words through His disciples in John 12:46-48. Jesus said “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hears my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth, not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
Therefore notice that there is a big difference between the last days and perilous times. The last days are usually for accounting, assessments and passing judgements. In Genesis 49:1 Jacob called his sons together to tell them what would happen to them in the last days. The lessons and teachings we are getting from SCOAN and Prophet TB Joshua are to prepare souls for the last days. Perilous times are dangerous times. Apostle Paul said, in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 “… that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ….. They are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Yes, these are the times the Church is passing through.
Hence at this Easter Time, it seems the world is passing through either a perilous time or the perilous times. Hitherto many individuals take satisfaction and comfort in Church gathering and worship, for whatever reasons. In this particular period, everyone is on his or her own because of the general lockdown and yet Christ must be preached and worshipped in every heart and home. Individuals are the embodiment of the Church of Christ and not the big ceremonial fanfare with all its regalia and rituals. Jesus has risen and individuals must experience this resurrection in the heart to live triumphantly from thence. Meanwhile be warned of scoffers that shall come in these last days (2 Peter 3:3-4), walking after their lusts. Please be careful.
Already there is a big controversy in the global internet and several Church leaders are in different camps; for which Christians must also be warned. The controversy is the prophesied beast’s number 666 in Revelation 13:18. Currently, a vaccine is being developed to immunize individuals against the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. Even Christian scientists, people who should work to find a vaccine, are clamouring for the rejection of western world vaccine believing it’s a plot to the beast number insertion. Whereas each nation could work and find a vaccine, the society prefers to reject incoming western vaccine thinking that their conspiracy theory is scriptural. We agree with Prophet TB Joshua alluding to the possibility of COVID-19 being a scientific experimental error, possible known to some world leaders and some scientists. This he said during a question and answer time. Let us, therefore, read the Bible, believe the Bible and live by the Bible because it is the Word of Jesus, the risen Christ, the Way the Truth, and Light. In SCOAN our prophet will pray and God from heave will answer. Jesus is risen, yes He is risen indeed.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.