Another enlightening interview with Prophet TB Joshua, where he talks more on his early life and education, as well as his passion for compassion…
Looking at the growth of your church across the world today, would you say you ever thought that you could take evangelism to this level when you started Synagogue’s ministry?
Since it is a vision from God – a vision from God always materialises. You may not understand how it happens. There is always a driving force which no one can resist. When that vision comes, which is God’s purpose, and when that purpose manifests in our lives, it changes our actions and our location. Those who have vision concentrate on their aims and their goal.
But in between your vision and the purpose of God, kindly tell us how you were able to weather the storm in those times when your church was facing series of criticisms from some sections of the Christian fold?
The vision is from God, like I told you. He is the one that plans the future. That is how we know people of God.
Are you telling us that you don’t feel it, particularly when some prominent clergymen were kicking against you and your church? What informed your calmness and your refusal to reply your critics?
Well, in the book of Psalm 91, when you continue reading from verse 15, it says, “I would see you through.” That does not mean you would not encounter trials, like persecution – but God promised to see you through. Therefore, anything that is close to Jesus receives attack, even if it is a pen.
Okay, can you tell us about yourself. Who is Prophet TB Joshua?
(Laughs) The man TB Joshua is a man like you. If there is any difference, it is the grace of God and that grace is not worked for. The word ‘grace’ means after we must have done everything humanly possible, we must leave the issue with God. That is grace.
Several great men of God like you have told the stories of their divine calling. Can you share yours with us?
I have told you I am a man, just like you. Except for the grace of God, I would be nobody – and that grace is the opposite of merit – human labour, education or human wisdom. Your papers are marked when you go to school, but you can’t mark the character. In the case of God, after you must have done everything humanly possible, you have to leave it for God. You have no choice than to leave the issue for God to mark it. That is grace. So, let no man boast.
Remember, I asked about the story of your calling…
I think I have answered that TB Joshua is just a man like you. If there is any difference, it is just the grace, and that grace, one should not boast of it.
Your church has been dolling out millions of naira to the aged, widows and several less privileged people in the society. What is the motivation behind this?
The Bible says ‘Watch and pray’. When the Bible says ‘watch’ – this is where charity comes in. So, the acts of charity and righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus go together.
The Synagogue Church Of All Nations has been able to break the barrier of colour across the world by bringing white and black people together. How did you do it?
It is Christ. Don’t say ‘Synagogue’ please – the church is all about Jesus. Synagogue is just a name. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. What Jesus gave us is not limited to certain areas. The Bible says, if you can believe, all things are possible. The capacity in our Lord Jesus Christ is not restricted by time and distance.
If you say everything is all about Jesus, you have been able to perform several unprecedented miracles and set up committees that reconciled sworn enemies in Liberia, particularly Samuel Doe’s family. Does that mean Jesus loves only Prophet TB Joshua to have been able to do all these?
It is not man’s business at all. The way and manner Jesus executes His plans in our lives differs. Some prophets use their talents for their immediate localities while others are endowed to move round the globe. Don’t also forget that some also operate within their nations. The book of Corinthians says some were given different gifts like prophecy, deliverance power, healing etc. – while some have all. It is just by His grace and no one should boast.
From the way you preach and teach, you sound as if you were a lecturer before you took up a pastoral job. What is your academic background?
(Laughs) Lecturer? No. Well, I have a primary school certificate. That is all. That is where I stopped. Whatever you see me doing now, may be like an enlightened person, it is by the grace of God.
You mean you never attended secondary school or university?
Eh! University? That is too much. I tried to get admission into form one in those days after completing primary school. I attended almost ten secondary schools in an attempt to get admission into secondary school in Lagos State. I had to sit at home on my own for extramural lectures without a teacher for many years before I was able to sit for GCE. But all efforts to secure secondary school admission failed. I have my papers which I cannot boast was on merit. The grade I made on merit was my primary school certificate.
What were you doing after acquiring your primary school certificate? Did you attend any Bible or Pastoral college?
After my primary school education, I started gathering little children by visiting parents to ask if they wanted somebody to care for their kids by teaching them the Bible. I have never attended any seminary school or Bible college in my life.
So, that was how you started evangelism. But at least, you must have been part of a church before you started your own ministry?
I was a member of the Anglican Church before I founded The Synagogue. In fact, I was made the Chairman of the Children’s Harvest committee twice or thrice in my village. When I came to Lagos, I never attended any church.
You have been prophesying for several countries and all your prophecies came to pass. I remember you did call for prayers before Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan. But does your silence on prophecy concerning Nigeria mean God has not been revealing to you things about this country?
It is in our record book. Come to our church on Sunday and you would be given a record of prophecies about your country. If you are not backed up by heaven, you cannot just see things on your own. Prophecy is not just a mere thing like that.
How do you spend your leisure periods?
As Mr TB Joshua or Prophet TB Joshua? Because I think you have been talking to Prophet TB Joshua.
Well, both if you don’t mind?
The way Prophet TB Joshua unwinds? I have no life of my own. The only life I have is for Christ. Christ is my joy and everything. The life I live is not my own, but in Jesus Christ.
Does that mean that you spend 24 hours meditating about the Word of God without any relaxation moment?
I am a full time pastor. Since I am not into part time evangelism, all my life – i live for Christ. That is me for you. Even during my birthday, I don’t understand what people are doing by celebrating. I don’t know, because I am not involved. It is all about Jesus.
SOURCE: National Outlook – Vol. 1 No. 33