Some thousands of years after the Israelites walked around the impregnable Wall of Jericho seven times to cause it to crumble, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Thursday led members of his church in a symbolic replication of the exercise.
He said the reenactment was targeted at breaking the hold of the devil during a prayer session at the Redemption Camp in Lagos.
Members of the Mission in over 195 countries are participating in the convention through viewing centers, television, the Internet and on radio.
Despite doubts in some quarters, findings show the wall existed and was destroyed under mysterious circumstances.
In the 1930s, an archaeological team lead by John Gars Tang excavated the walls at Jericho that were thought possibly to line up with the biblical account, and what they found was amazing. The bottom of the wall was made of stones set into the hillside.
On top of that was a mud-brick wall. When it was excavated, sections of the mud-brick wall were found collapsed on the ground outside the lower stone wall. And, on the archaeological layer immediately after the layer of the collapsed wall was found erosion that suggested that the city had been abandoned for some time before it was rebuilt.
According to experts, the two findings seem to corroborate the biblical account. The walls of Jericho were said to “fall beneath themselves,” which is a really weird construction, but it describes exactly what Gars tang’s team found with the mud-brick wall collapsed beneath the stone wall that it had originally sat on top of.
And the evidence that the city was abandoned after the walls fell corroborates the biblical account that Joshua was said to have put a curse on the Jericho such that no one could live there for a generation after the city was conquered.
But well aware that the exercise would sound childish to church members and others, Pastor Adebayo took some time to explain it.
He started by saying, “I know you trust me, but I have to assure you about what God has asked us to do. Initially, I wanted us to sing praises to the Lord and dance to end tonight’s service, but He told me we should do something special.”
Leaving the congregation in suspense, he reminded them of a testimony in which God asked him to do something which sounded ridiculous, but because he has always obeyed Him, he did what turned out to generate many miracles here in Nigeria and overseas.
The 7 Miracle Agbada
His testimony: “Many people may recall when God told me to wear seven different garments (agbada), dance for five minutes, lay the garments on the altar and ask people to come and touch them to receive their miracles.
People know I don’t like wearing agbada, and nowhere is it written in the Bible that thou shall wear seven garments and shall dance for five minutes and then lay them on the altar, but He spoke to me and I heard Him. So I had to obey. I did what He asked me to do. He also gave me specific instructions to tell the people to only touch and not hold the clothes.
“Do you understand?” I asked members of the congregation.
“Yes,” They answered
A certain young man among the crowd went contrary to the instruction and held the garments. He must have thought, “My problems are many, touching will not suffice.”
What happened after was that the power of God grabbed him. He began to shake from that point in the morning till 5pm. It wasn’t until I was summoned to pray for him that God released him.
Months later, I took the permission of God to take one of the agbada for ministration overseas. I laid it on the altar and urged people to touch it for miracles.
There was a white man in the congregation who thought it was childish, but later he decided that since everybody was going to the altar he better join them. He did, touched the agbada, and according to his testimony later, the back pain he had for years disappeared.”
Assured that the congregation was convinced, he asked that people did a circular walk in the limited spaces they had as he counted from one to seven. After the seventh, the church’s music instrumentalists were to blow trumpets for the church to shout Halleluyah as the Israelites did.
For most people, that was not going to be a problem so long as Pastor Adebayo, noted for signs, wonders and miracles, led them.
Promptly, the exercise begun, but at the sixth round, some people shouted Halleluyah. He let it pass for the exercise to be completed, after which he explained the premature shout of Halleluyah was from the devil inside the few people who shouted that came out.
He then asked for a repeat of the seventh round after which the trumpets blared for a thunderous shout of Halleluyah and continuous praise of the Lord by a joyous congregation, which at the Redemption Camp alone, numbered thousands. The auditorium was full to capacity.
What was called a deliverance service, started as usual, with praise singing. Pastor Adeboye’s ministration dwelt on destiny, which he defined as God’s plan for individuals. Citing Bible back-ups, he explained that God’s plan is a good one, and like every good builder, He builds or develops individuals according to the plan which was made even before their parents met.
Using the example of Joshua, whose assignment, according to the Bible, was to continue from where Moses stopped, take the Israelites to the Promised Land and share it among the people, but had to face the Wall of Jericho, he explained that for every major assignment in life there is a Wall of Jericho.
According to him, the Wall of Jericho in life is anything blocking one’s way to their destiny. Moses has to face the Red Sea: Joshua the Wall of Jericho; David, Goliath who wanted to take his kingdom before he was formally crowned as the king of Israel.
Reminding the congregation that praise pulls down walls, he explained that God knows the end from the beginning so people shouldn’t be rattled when Walls of Jericho spring up as they head for their respective destiny.
“God knows about all that. He had foreseen the wall, when you will face it, and how you will overcome it. When something great has been planned by God, whatever is blocking it will be removed.”
But as he has always said, he reminded the congregation that God will only play his part in one’s destiny if the individual retains a healthy relationship with Him, or ran back to him when he has strayed.
Hundreds of people responded to his alter call for salvation.
The day had begun with a visit to the various department of the church by Pastor Adebayo. It was followed by two plenary sessions in the morning, a special seminar in the afternoon and a service of songs.
As at 6 pm Thursday, a total of 61 babies -35 boys and 26 girls – had been born at the church’s medical facility on the Camp.