THERE has been so much controversy surrounding Nigerian prophet TB
Joshua, a man renowned world over yet most vilified over for his miracle healing
services and predictions.
The controversies have been raging ever since
TB Joshua’s ministry stormed into the public domain bringing into question the
legitimacy of his works.
In talking about legitimacy, I am referring to
the standards as set forth in the scriptures, which would help us, identify a
Who then is TB Joshua?
TB Joshua, whose full
names are Temitope Balogun Joshua ,was born on June 12, 1963, in a village
called Arigidi, in Ikare Akoko, Ondo State of Nigeria. He is married to Evelyn
and has four children.
TB Joshua, the founder and pastor of the Synagogue
Church of All Nations is said to have sparked controversy starting with his
mysterious birth. He allegedly remained in his mother’s womb for 15 months
before he was born.
He attended primary school at St Steven Anglican
school from 1971-1977, but failed to complete one year of secondary
But as he was growing up, he was known as a “small pastor”
because of his love for the Bible and ability to predict things to come in his
He further gained reputation for spiritual prowess after
confronting and disarming a madman who was wielding a machete in the school
While in school he was the leader of a scripture
When Joshua started the Synagogue Church of All Nations in 1987,
he just had a handful of members but since then the church has grown far beyond
the shores of Nigeria.
More than 15,000 members attend the weekly Sunday
service. Numerous videos have been produced documenting the healing of incurable
sickness, cancer, paralysis, AIDS, showing people’s conditions before, during
and after prayer.
Medical doctors have examined the patients before and
after and have testified to a supernatural activity beyond medical science. TB
Joshua does not even claim to be healer but says, “I am just God’s
TB Joshua has made phenomenal predictions in full view of a
global audience on the satellite Christian Television, Emmanuel TV and all of
them have come to pass.
He predicted the death of president Levy
Mwanawasa a month before it happened, the disastrous cyclone in Myanmar, the
attempted assassination of the prime minister of Lesotho Pakalitha Mosisili,
resignation of Pakistan president Pervez Musharaf, the comet slam into planet
Jupiter which caused quite a fray in the scientific community and more recently
the death of American pop star Michael Jackson.
On Michael Jackson’s
death, the prophet was seen by a global audience via his television network
saying, “I see a star being rushed to the hospital but he wont come back home,
the whole world will be shocked. He is a great star in his world”.
mystery to this prediction, TB Joshua sent a message through the pop star’s
associates to let Michael come for prayer and deliverance in Nigeria.
associates thought the message a bit misplaced, because Michael was declared
medically fit by his doctors and he was billed for a world concert tour
beginning July 13. But alas! That was not to be, he died on June 25 before
seeing prophet TB Joshua.
Despite all these happenings prophet TB Joshua
has come under heavy attack from many, some of whom have labelled him a false
And the debate about the authenticity of his ministry
unfortunately has been orchestrated by a section of the clergy within the
charismatic Pentecostal brand of Christendom.
This has left many lay
people unfamiliar with scriptures, let alone issues of Christian theology
confused, as reverends or bishops are keener to criticise prophet TB Joshua than
providing Biblical counsel.
Since the beaming of Emmanuel TV on free
channel stations in most parts of Zambia, we have witnessed an unprecedented
following of TB Joshua’s programmes. As a result, emotive debates have emerged
from the pulpits to the pews, between clergy and lay people. The man has arrived
on the scene, should we dismiss him or his utterances as the ravings of a
madman? How do we know for sure that we have a prophet among us?
article is written on the assumption that the readers hold to the sacredness of
the Bible as the inspired scriptures from whence we would draw our authority in
judging a matter as heresy or sound doctrine. It is against this background that
we seek to examine the ministry of this man, in the light of
There are fundamental rules in the scriptures, which must be
used to judge whether something is of God, or not.
In the absence of this
knowledge, one would easily find themselves opposing God or abetting apostasy.
To begin with, if one does not subscribe that the Bible is the inspired word of
God, they will have nothing to do with this subject at hand because there would
be no basis by which any meaningful discourse can rest upon.
But if we
want to find out if he is a fraud as some are claiming, or a true servant of the
Lord, we can only do so with the aid of scriptures. Let’s examine for example
the standards used in the scriptures to test a prophet. Deuteronomy
“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have
not commanded him to say, or prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must
be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘how can we when a message has been
spoken by the Lord? If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not
take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet
has spoken presumptuously, do not be afraid of him”.(New International
The precise knowledge of the future according to this scripture,
is a preserve of the Most High God, and only God can reveal detailed events to
happen in the future to His servants. Therefore, if a prophet speaks in the name
of the Lord and the events take place, then you need to pay heed lest you find
yourself opposing the Holy Spirit.
In the book of 1 John 4:2 :“This is
how you can recognise the Spirit of God; every spirit that acknowledges Jesus
Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not
acknowledge Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the anti-christ which
you head is coming and even now is already in the world”.
authenticity of any ministry is tested by how they profess about who Jesus
From all accounts, TB Joshua proclaims Jesus Christ to have come
in the flesh hence his motto “Emmanuel” which translates God with us. His
messages and sermons lift Jesus as the Christ! And what more?
wonders are a daily phenomena in his ministry, just the way it was as recorded
in the book of Mark16:20: “then the disciples went and preached everywhere, and
the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by signs that accompanied
It is amazing that some of the most fearsome critics of TB Joshua
have no signs and wonders in their ministry and they want to take it upon
themselves to persecute this great man of God.
Is it not surprising, that
even Jesus in his earthly ministry was accused of casting evil spirits by the
powers of Beelzebub? Can these same critics who call themselves bishops,
reverends, pastors and all manner of description show us one thing they are
doing in their ministries that can fit into God’s compassion for
TB Joshua’s humanitarian effort touches the needs of widows.
The physically challenged and orphans have benefited in his educational support
Recently the federal President of Nigeria, Musa Yar’Adua, a
Muslim himself awarded him with “Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic”
in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.
Most people who persecute
Joshua, particularly clergymen are moved by jealous and envy as he seems to
expose fake ministries by his tremendous charities without begging for
Anyone who is a true seeker of truth can know in the light of
scriptures that for sure there is a prophet among us.