Like the ‘Mustard seed’ and the magnificent feats which usually begun in very little and modest ways, Temitope Balogun Joshua, is a global brand of ‘a clergyman in the vineyard of the Lord Jesus Christ; that has taken the good news about the world. Being an accurate soothsayer; carefree giver and role model
etc. TB Joshua came from sheer obscurity to become a man ‘heavily loaded with God’s anointing’, spreading the news of the Holy Bible to all the races and corners of the world.
The rise and rise of Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua (fondly called TB Joshua), happens to be identical with that of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a ministry he established many years ago and has nurtured from ‘scratches to splendour glory’. Remarkably, from the isolated swampland and rustic vicinity of number 1, Segun-Irefin Street, Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria, the ministry’s international headquarters, the ministry has undergone meteoric changes. It has turned around a once deserted land to a hospitable and enriching land, an ‘Eldorado’, now a world centre-stage of tangible happenings.
TB Joshua: When a Rare Leader is born and being Brought- up
The birth and early development of Prophet TB is like that of very rare leaders that are known to have come to shape the world and its people. Often mystified in extraordinary situations! Such was the supernatural ]happening that surrounded the birth of TB Joshua to his parents at Arigidi, Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria on June 12th 1963. We are also told how he spent 15 months in his mother’s womb, contrary to the usual 9 months as with normal conception. And at a tender age of seven, Baby Joshua also escaped untimely death when a quarry explosion near his father’s house sent rocks through its roof, which landed closed to him.
TB Joshua, with the simplicity and puzzled circumstances of birth and upbringing, showed greater dramas than most of his mates earlier in life, like Albert Einstein, the renowned scientist once declared; ‘‘To attain greatness and achievement in creativity, never you forget your childhood”.
Still with the same puzzle, Temitope Joshua, as a boy attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School in his hometown of Arigidi-Akoko, between 1971 and 1977, but failed to complete one year of secondary school education after that. “At school, he was known as “small pastor” because of his love for the Bible”.
Under miserable circumstances, he did some casual jobs after his schooling was ended, including carrying chicken waste at a poultry farm. He organized Bible studies for local children and attended evening school during this period. Joshua attempted to join the Nigerian military but was thwarted due to a train he missed, that left him abandoned en route to the military academy.
That again was a divine detour to enable him realise his present mission on earth ‘to raise millions of souls for God’s work and to do God’s work himself’ TB Joshua, a man known for his witty remarks is recorded for having said as thus;
“If you want peace, take only a middle step, thereby avoiding extremity in one’s life; be modest”.
“Our reward in life (in Jesus) depends on how many people you helped and how many problems you solved”.
“There are the jobless, be their provider, the fatherless, be their father and the lonely, ours is to be their companion”.
“When I was a small boy, I used to ask myself the kind of young man I would like to be. Now I am a young man, I continue asking myself the kind of old man I would like to be because I have the opportunity to see the success and failure in other people’s lives”.
To the politicians he tells in admonition;
“It is not enough to amass wealth for selfishness, but to use it to help people in the troubled world”.
TB Joshua and SCOAN; A Lasting Testimony retold
According to a recent assessment reports by the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC)
released recently, SCOAN has become one of the most visited Christian missions and faith-tourism destinations on mother earth, such that, six out of every ten foreign visitors to Nigeria are usually destined for its Lagos international headquarters.
‘’The ways of the Lord isn’t the ways of humans’’, retorted Chiamaka Nwadinobi, a devotee of the Four Square Bible Church, one of the leading Pentecostal ministries in Nigeria. Nwadinobi, a lecturer of a newly-establish federal universities in the northern part of the country, also told Society Celebration that she made the tedious 16 hours road journey purposely to attend a Sunday service at the Lagos SCOAN. She praised TB Joshua and SCOAN for ‘’bringing a rejuvenated salvation and worship to the Nigerian and global Christian flock’’.
Alhaji Suleiman Sahid, a Pakistani of American upbringing recently told Society Celebration during a Sunday service at SCOAN, Lagos Nigeria. ‘’Visiting here, the Synagogue church, one does not need to be told that the wonders of God is present amidst His flock, through the ministration of Prophet TB Joshua, and other SCOAN’s disciples like the Wise Men. God continues to perform real miracles, deliverances and send accurate prophecies through TB Joshua, His anointee to the entire world.
From here in SCOAN new revelations and wonders of Christ Jesus are coming from Nigeria to Africa and the rest of the world like Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. where the good message of the gospel has never been fully accepted’’ Sahid, who is a clinical psychologist said further; ‘’In Pakistan, my origin, like in some other countries of Asia, TB Joshua and SCOAN are changing fast the face of Christianity, judging from the ways they are winning multitude of converts for the Lord. Now, lots of the Asian converts often visit SCOAN’s headquarters in Lagos, to have first-hand experience with God. Unfortunately, Nigeria does not seem to know what they have in TB Joshua and SCOAN, who are household words in my country and in Asia, especially in the religious circle. For instance, I was shocked to see that there are no good roads to SCOAN. A longer stretch of the road from the Lagos airport is a hell of traffic jams’ in which visitors for hours sweat it out trying to get here. What is the country’s government doing to reconstruct the road leading to this world destination of pilgrims’ delight?’’ Of course, in a class conscious Nigerian society where aristocracy holds sway and the supposedly Christians’ family is squirming with deep-seated hatred, a Temitope Joshua with a scanty education and a nativity of an obscured Arigidi village in Ondo State, would hardly have been recognised. And so nobody will give him a chance to succeed.
He was obviously written off. It is like the ‘stones once rejected by the builders and the same later becoming the cornerstones’’. Deacon Olimilua Segynola, a Togolese reminded Society Celebration at SCOAN. Deacon Segynola, who came from Canada said again; ‘’The Lord God does His things in very simple and divine forms. Before choosing His men He doesn’t have to consider wealth and family background. Our Lord Jesus Christ was chosen from a very poor home as the son of a poor carpenter and born in the manger’’. Segynola, the civil engineer based in Ontario, Canada may have referred to the low parentage of TB Joshua, a rural boy, who had a great difficulty upbringing, and had to do many odd jobs to survive with.
Yet, James Asafo, a Ghanaian national and a visitor to SCOAN uttered to Society Celebration accordingly; ‘’Like the Noah’s ark of the Genesis chapter of the Bible’s Old Testament, not many people gave the SCOAN and its initiator, Prophet TB Joshua any encouragement that they will succeed.
They would call him names and try to reduce his personality and blacklist the Synagogue church. Thank God that He has made true His earlier divine prophecies that the Man of God and SCOAN were going to greatly support the global church as they are now doing with the fast spread and revalidation of the Christian gospel’’.
TB Joshua’s 50th Birthday shows his Worldwide approvals Although TB Joshua had been well acknowledged globally, for his numerous healings, deliverances, care-giving and earth-moving prophecies, the lots of visits to the SCOAN location in Lagos, by presidents, world leaders, notable businessmen, religious leaders, politicians, entertainers and others gives a credence.
Like the other memorable events that occasionally take place in the SCOAN Lagos headquarters, TB Joshua’s 50th birthday happened to have been distinct, featuring a long parade of attendees from the diverse backgrounds and from nearly all the countries of the world. Official sources at SCOAN said that the spectacular three-day event was impromptu, and independently organized by some friends and volunteers of SCOAN. For days nonstop the hype of the event was beamed to the teeming worldwide audiences by the Emmanuel TV and other internet streams.
Joshua’s Shocking 2014 Prophecy
Renowned for making prophecies with pinpoint accuracies, Prophet T.B. Joshua’s professies for the year 2014, was proclaimed in a charge atmosphere in the Lagos headquarters of the Church where a teeming flock ushered in the new-year. For Nigerians, he declared 2014 a year of ‘Crossing the Bridge’, giving further hints that corruption would be modified and many ‘’corrupt leaders would go down in 2014’’.
Through his global television network, Emmanuel TV, in which the messages continued to be relayed, he as well told believers to remain committed in their faith despite the challenges that would arise in the coming year. “We are tempted so that we may pray the more. Afflictions are meant for our spiritual benefit”.
“This New Year 2014 is not like any other year in the past. It is a year of crossing bridge. To cross the bridge, you need to grab onto faith. This is not going to be easy for the mighty. Many of the mighty will fall. Pray for them. The rich, famous and popular people – many will fall this 2014 because crossing the bridge is not going to be easy; they need God. Many of them believe it is their own making to be great in their own area of expertise.”
Prophet TB Joshua also prophesized that the ‘fall’ would affect businesses as the affected men and women are owners of about “98% of businesses and companies’’.
He stressed that the airline industry would face critical challenges, with extraordinary rise in ticket prices, and that African airlines would be most affected. A prolonged and deafening ovation followed when he hinted on what God has in stock for the political situation in Nigeria, for the year. “There will be a leadership tussle on who will lead and who will be presidential candidate in the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), which will affect them as a political party. They should be vigilant. Many are with them in flesh but not with them in spirit’’. He also prophesized for the ruling People’s Democratic
Party (PDP), which continued to be in a crisis situation; ‘’They would pay any price to unite’ but that the issue of who would be the presidential candidate would cause challenges. Many of the key leaders in political parties will go down in 2014,” Prophet TB Joshua also predicted about the 2015 election, which is already causing fears in the country, to the audience who became sober. “If many key leaders go down with 2014, what will now happen in 2015? Pray for 2015 to be fulfilled. The beginner is not the owner but the finisher.”
The SCOAN spiritual leader particularly declared 2014 as ‘a year of destiny for those who follow the ways of the Lord. Many people that are not known will rise by destiny. Your destiny cannot be changed. This New Year, your destiny cannot be tampered with. I command your dream to come true; your dream to come to fulfillment”. He then prayed for the multitude that lit candles to symbolize the dawn of the New Year 2014 and reemphasized; “God has promised that 2014 is the year of destiny”.
The Controversies surrounding TB Joshua
There are few spiritual leaders seen as ‘global treasures’- some voices and great actors who are so revered that nations believe and listen to them. In the United States, the Rev. Billy Graham comes to mind, as he had been the unofficial spiritual counsel to presidents and the American society. He received in audience at his Virginia church, countless number of leaders, kings and queens and other men and women of influence.
Prophet T B Joshua, instead of being celebrated by all as a blessing to Nigeria and Africa, is wrongly persecuted for his rare gifts and commitments. Said to be more gifted than the Billy Grahams of the world, TB Joshua, the son of a peasant, is largely begrudged for his great work and that of his SCOAN ministry, that is usually centred on prophetic healings, deliverances, prophetic pronouncements etc., which similarly attract to him presidents, prime ministers, governors and top people in different ventures from the world over. Numerous respondents of Society Celebration and some other who commented on the issue lend a voice to it that the TB Joshua’s critics are only envious that; ‘’Men and women of influence, would leave their respective nations, and visit a third world Nigeria’s country for private visits to a private citizen, speaks volume about the sheer trust and faith these leaders have in Prophet T. B. Joshua, and his ministry’’.
Society Celebration also learnt from its many respondents that one commendable area of Prophet T B Joshua and his ministry that the world only came to know about recently, is the charitable work of free-giving and the rendering of assistance to those in need. Pointing out that this is a deviation from the modern day practices of churches, youths and the less privileged of the Nigerian and other nations are usually beneficiaries.
Pastor TB Joshua is a Mentor to Pastors and others
The Nigerian church is beaming with clergymen eagerly doing the work of God. Of the lots are young men who wish to take after (and are taking after) Prophet TB Joshua. Leading the crop of clergies in the Synagogue of All Nations Church (SCOAN) is the ‘Wisemen’. All together five, but before now he also predited that one out the five wisemen would not make it, in few years it came to pass.they are now four dedicated men who have been groomed to assist in the Church’s ministration. Regarded as one of the fastest growing churches in Nigeria, is the youthful spiritual leader of the Shiloh World Chapel - Abuja,
Prophet I.O. Samuel, a TB Joshua’s lookalike in the ‘physical and in the supernatural’.
Asserting that the ‘Man in the Synagogue church’ is his mentor, Samuel actually ‘breathes and lives’ Joshua, as he gives free donations of Emmanuel TV decoders and its installation and other SCOAN information materials to people. Pastor Peter Israel, General Overseer of the Benin-based Voice of Divine Grace of Glory Church, is also an acolyte of TB Joshua, who readily narrates to others how the Lord God has used him to turn around his family and his church. Elder Dominic Asia of the Benin area of the Living Faith Bible Church (Winners’ Chapel) is a 72 years old man, who in spite of his older age sees TB Joshua as his mentor. The things which he said endear him to the 50 years old TB Joshua, is his meekness, gifts of healing and prophecy and care-giving. During Joshua’s 50th birthday Elder Asia called him; ‘’A seed sown 50 years ago, which the wicked world poured acid on because they did not want it to grow. Only for the seed to grow into a big tree, that also give fertilizer to the other trees’’