Posts Tagged ‘Ayo Oritsejafor’

A remarkably intriguing interview with Prophet TB Joshua, conducted by The Sun of Nigeria…

Today, we bring you the conclusion of our interview with Prophet T.B. Joshua, the controversial founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations. He speaks on the misunderstanding between him and some evangelical and Pentecostal leaders in Nigeria. He also reacts to the trend of church leaders in Nigeria owning planes. He was asked one Satanic question: Have you cheated on your wife? Excerpts:

Pastor Adeboye said he would not worship in your church. How do you react to such a statement?
I want to say something. Everybody makes mistake. Everybody. That’s all. Perfection eludes everyone. So, for me personally, I respect integrity. Look at me here. Even if you don’t look at me, look at the so many people of different calibre that believe in what I am doing here. So also, Baba Adeboye has so many people, people that matter in the society that believe in what he is doing, what God is using him for. So if I now open my mouth and begin to speak to such a man, I think it’s uncalled for. It’s unnecessary. It’s not Christ-like. I am not speaking to him, but I am speaking to people that believe in him. I am brought up from a home where we are taught to respect elders. We were taught not to speak against elders, even if elders speak against you. And in the same home too, we were taught that elders should not speak also against the young.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, said you should first of all show him who pastured you before they could consider admitting you into their membership.
As a point of correction, I never applied to be a member of any association. Okay? So that is a point of correction. Two, the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differ. Some He brought them from this direction, some from another direction, some He allowed to go to Theology school, some He allowed them to go to the university, (and) they may not even go to Theology school. After graduation, they would become whatever God wants them to become. Some, they may not even go to school at all. There is the University of God where you would not be promoted, no matter how brilliant you are, until you take every course. Do you understand me?

Prophet TB Joshua - In The University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion. You must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.

Prophet TB Joshua - In The University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion. You must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.

You are saying in effect that maybe they are looking down on what you are doing, because you didn’t pass through the formal process they passed through.
Do you say you understood what I said? I told you that the way and manner God executes His plans in our lives differ. Okay? The direction that God would take you through and when we all become pastors, sometimes God would send some to local level, God send some people to national level, God send some people to minister to the whites and some, their anointing cannot pass beyond the black. Some God sent them to minister to presidents and kings. The way and manner God called us differs. That is why we should not compare ourselves with others. And that is why we should not be measuring ourselves to ourselves.

In the process of building this big institution, have you made mistakes?
You see, everybody has dry pits. And also, everybody has his prison condition. Also, everybody has his Potiphar’s house. So that is my answer in the form of a parable. Let me tell you something: When you wake up in the morning and you discover your hand is free, your leg is free, you are okay, that may likely not encourage you to watch and pray the more. Problems make us to pray more and fast the more. Difficulty makes us to pray and fast the more. And, weakness also… Look at Paul, the Apostle. Three times he came to God. He said: “Lord, this is a thorn in my flesh.” The Lord said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you.” There is reason for that. God used that to preserve him from becoming too proud and begin to see himself that ‘I am this, I am that’.

When you look back, are there areas in your spiritual journey that you didn’t do well and you feel like correcting?
I am not God. I am a servant. And a servant looks unto perfection. God is perfection. So that is it.

You are not making effort to make peace with the other ministers so that there would be no question of T.B. Joshua is not this, T.B. Joshua is not that. Didn’t the Bible say you should pursue peace?
If I can give you the audience I am giving you now – this is a wonderful atmosphere. That is my nature. I love everyone. But I trust only God.

How do you feel over the contempt people have for you? The fact that they don’t speak well of you and they say you don’t belong to their fold.
Can I ask you a question? If we remove what is not made in Nigeria from your body, you would remain naked. If I say okay, ‘Give me those things on you that is not made in Nigeria’, and you would find yourself naked. So, what are we talking about?

Meaning what?
That is a parable. Put it in the paper like that. What I am saying is that a prophet is not honoured in his hometown. And because you are not honoured in your home, that has nothing to do with the anointing of God. That does not mean you are not honoured.

What is the central focus of your ministry? What is your message?
Salvation. Salvation is the house and when you open the house, you can now see healing, you would see blessing, you would see prosperity. If anybody now begins to ask for healing, healing, healing, it’s like you want God to just give you fridge in the house. What of the whole house?

One of the accusations against you is that you are making yourself God, that you are not submitting yourself to Jesus, that the reason you are called Emmanuel is like you are God Himself.
No, Emmanuel is in the Bible. Emmanuel means ‘God is with us’. That’s our greeting. Like many churches would say ‘Hallelujah’ or ‘Hosanna’. So what is bad about that? You have been here over an hour now – do you see any of that? That is it. That is why you should go and tell the world that this is what you heard and this is what you have seen. How can anybody now see himself as the Master Jesus when all the healing, deliverance, salvation are not brought to pass by anything we have done, except by His name. He who glories must not glory in himself, but in the Lord. So that is it.

It appears that all is of grace because all our spiritual advantages are from God. Our faith, our conversion, our eternal salvation are not the product of any natural gift or any natural ability. So no man should boast. It’s blasphemy for anybody to say he is Jesus. If anybody calls himself Jesus, that person is not normal – he is mental.

Who is your own father in the Lord or mentor?
When we talk of mentor, we mean someone you want to be like or someone you believe you have gained from. After reading my Bible, I give a total salute to Paul, the Apostle, what God wrought through him after his deliverance. Peter and Paul, the Apostle. But I pray for all the ministers of God. They are all my mentors. Okay?

How has not going to a university impacted you?
When there is the University of Jesus… you know Jesus has a university. That is where you can receive His message in your heart. But if you did not attend His university, you cannot receive His message in your heart. While in the other universities you receive the message in your ears, in the University of Jesus, you receive the message in your heart.

What differentiates The Synagogue from any other church?
There is no difference. Whatever happens here in terms of miracles, in terms of salvation – what you are seeing, there is no difference. God is the God of these fingers. Look at these fingers, they are not equal. Look at it.

What differentiates you from other preachers?
Nothing. Nothing differentiates me. Rather, I want to tell you that no matter the level that one reaches, there is always another level to reach.

Prophet TB Joshua - The way and manner god executes His plans in our lives differs

Prophet TB Joshua - The way and manner god executes His plans in our lives differs

Your critics say if you pass a place, people would rush and go and touch the sand and all that. What is the symbolism of all that?
We have said it here that God can use any medium. When we look at what happened in the book of Act 19: 11, it says God wrought extraordinary miracles through Paul. Anything that had contact with him were taken to the sick and they were all healed.

Are you a misunderstood man?
I am a tenant. If the landlord was misunderstood, what’s my position? I am a servant. The head of the house was misunderstood. What people do not understand, they call names. But what they understand they destroy.

Are you an underrated man?
Soul has nothing to do with high people. It is all about a regenerate soul. A regenerate sinner becomes a living soul. So forget about having a big church or whatnot. When you talk about soul, it is not about big, big people.

When I look at the size of your church and the fact that it is still growing, I begin to ask: Is it not possible your vision has become too small for the size of the ministry? In other words, five years from now, can this place contain you?
We have branches all in different countries. Our church is one of the biggest churches in Greece. And I think the one God has established here, we need to have the same size all over the world. It is not that important that it should expand, making it for all Nigerians to come here. No. This is my mission. Like I have told you, the way and manner God executes His plans in our life differs. If I don’t have branches all over Nigeria and I have branches in other countries – that is the way God wants it.

Already, you are running two shifts. Which means if you grow some more, you might have to run more shifts. Where will your people park and so on?
When the situation is such that I would be running three services, then it is better I establish in other countries like say Ghana. People can come there. Eighty percent of my members are not from Nigeria. And anywhere that honey is, insects seek it and find it.

What is the honey here?
It is the anointing; the anointing of God.

How did you meet you beautiful wife?
I think she would be in the position to grant you an interview. She is such a wonderful woman. You too know that behind any man is a woman. No man can go it alone. I salute her. This woman, hmm, is a mother. When you say somebody is your mother, she’s more than a wife. And I don’t know the words. I am short of words to describe her. She is someone that amidst all the noise, noise, noise, she would just look. She’s my counsellor, adviser. She would tell you: it’s a matter of time. And you would never hear her voice. If this woman is not a good woman, I don’t think you would find me in the situation I am today. Because, you cannot have problems out there and have problems in the house. Many that don’t have problems in the outside, they have problems in the inside. And the problem inside is greater, is more powerful and is more dangerous than the outside.

Where are your children?
My children? They are there.

How many?
They are there. They are doing fine. That’s why I have plenty children.

You don’t have biological children yet?
I have biological children.

How many?
I have three.

How many boys and how many girls?
If I begin to say how many boys, how many girls, those who have no boy or have no girl might feel discouraged. As a minister of God, I shouldn’t discourage anybody. If I begin to say I have so-so girls, I have so-so boy, those who do not have at all would feel discouraged. My words should be words of encouragement, to tell them that what a man can do, a woman can do it, and what a woman can do, a man can do.

How do you feel not having a boy?
Ah, ah, how do you come to the conclusion that I don’t have a boy?

As a man of God, can you look God in the face and admit you have not cheated on your wife?
Let me tell you one thing about the situation. What is happening, you are seeing the level of understanding and the obedience in union between me and my wife.

But you are a handsome man. Don’t women tempt you?
You say what?

Don’t you face temptation from women, a handsome man like you?
Like I have said, if you are not tempted with money and you are not tempted with woman, and you are not tempted with pride…I want to tell you that God Almighty has been manifesting His strength in my weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Thank you. Are you okay? (Laughs)

How rich are you now?
Mmmh, this is a question that I think if…I want to advise the whole world. And whatever you hear from me, take it. Because if I am telling you what I am not I am, God is there. Because as a servant of God, we cannot misinform the public. I am not a politician. I have to tell you. If I am telling you something now, you will hardly believe, but I want you to believe. In terms of cash, I am zero. When I have a hundred million today, I have one thousand five hundred people I have given scholarship. Leeds University alone in England, one person cost hundred thousand dollars. It is one of the best universities all over the world. And I have people all over.

I can give you my account number to check. I am zero. But people look at me, I don’t mind. My responsibility is so much that if I have trillion dollars today, I would not be able to save one dollar. It is not enough to care for the responsibility. Are you talking of dwarfs, widows, physically challenged, old age? When we leave here, I would take you to our store opposite here. It’s full of rice. We have five trailers of rice we just brought. Every month, it’s like that. And you know one trailer is five point three million naira. So I want to declare, I want to tell you today, you would find zero money in my accounts. But I am not owing banks and I am free from that. But I am just a zero. But my responsibility, God has been taking care of it.

When are you going to buy your own jet?
When I say I don’t have cash…(laughs); when I say I don’t have money, cash like this, where would I get money for plane? But I want to tell you something: there is nothing bad having a private jet. But the only condition I can have it, if God says I would have it, is for people to give me. And when you give me, you should also be ready to pay landing fee because I don’t know how I would get it. But I want to tell you that if ministers of God have it, there is nothing bad about that. It aids the gospel. I tell you that our fathers that have it, there is nothing bad about that. The way and manner God executes His plans in our lives differs. Some ministers, God says: ‘You, you would not have a private jet, I would send people to give you.’ While some, God says: ‘You, buy it, with your money.’

Adeboye's Private Jet - Matters arising...

Adeboye's Private Jet - Matters arising...

I am not supporting those who are criticising the ownership of jets by men of God. It is true that there is difficulty in the society, there is poverty everywhere, but trial is the soil in which true ministers of God flourish. But I am not criticising because the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. But as for me, I know, that even every car I have there, there is no single one I used my money to buy. Since I started this ministry, there is never a day I have been able to gather money. If I have one dollar, one responsibility is there to take the dollar. If I have 20 dollars today, 200 people are waiting to take the 20 dollars. It’s like having these things attract responsibility. I even say I don’t want money because money brings responsibility.

Are you planning to build a university?
We put it before God and God says yes, He would give us the grace. But this university would be for the needy; those who are brilliant but cannot afford to go to university. And the physically challenged too. The university would be mainly for the needy whom we are giving the scholarship. But before that, let us send people overseas to attend university there or here. Let us see what we can do to make the existing one better and better.

How do you explain your strategy of inviting heads of states to your church?
It’s you that know that they are heads of states. For me, a soul is a soul. Church is all about those who are being saved, not head of state. Why are you interested in Presidents?

Do you have any message for Nigeria?
My message is that it is high time we became a producing-nation, not a consumer-nation. If we know what it takes the producer that produces what you put on, you would know how you would care and how you would go about having plenty of it. And two, a producer sees whatever he does or whatever he gives as an assignment from God. Giving is an opportunity to reshape our destinies. When you are giving, you are reshaping your destiny. But mind you, what you give does not all that matter to God, but the way we give it.

Did you ever meet President Obasanjo?
President or no President, church is all about soul. Those who are being saved. It’s we that know this one is President, that one is President. So, we pastors should talk about souls being saved more, not the calibre or the class of people.

What are your success tips in life?
The secret is, feel what others feel. Jesus feels what we feel. You begin to succeed with your life when the hurt and problem of others matter to you. So, this is the problem we are facing in this country. When we feel what others feel, the public fund, public money and when you are voted to a position, you would consider the people that brought you there.

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The issue of the mentor of Pastor TB Joshua has been the subject of much confusion in Nigerian christendom. Especially in the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), the fact that TB Joshua cannot point to a minister of God who raised him up and released him into the ministry has been a mjor argument in their doubts and suspicians of his authenticity and divine calling. However, in this enlightening article, Ihechukwu Njoku highlights the fact that having an earthly mentor is not necessarily a prerequisite for God’s anointing…

Whatever stance one has taken on the credibility of TB Joshua, the famous (or infamous?) pastor of The Synagogue Church of All Nation’s in Lagos, Nigeria – one fact remains indisputable, his is an incredible journey surrounded in mystery and being written in history. Joshua is easily the most vilified pastor in Africa, yet by far the most sought after. He is the hope of multitudes and yet the headache of religious bodies, who have vehemently disowned him but can’t seem to ignore him. It is a living drama being watched world over, as time’s steady course continues its revealing discourse on truth and authenticity. But what is it about TB Joshua that has actually engendered such outright denunciation and renunciation by his fellow labourers in the vineyard?

Upon perusal of the apparent grouses and grudges of the Pentecostal Leaders of Nigeria against the enigma and personality of Prophet TB Joshua, high up on the list is the issue of his mentorship. “Where was he when he was called to ministry? Who are the men of God who can point at him, that we raised him into ministry, laid hands on him and sent him forth into the ministry?” says Paul Adefarasin, the charismatic founder of House of the Rock, Lagos. “We don’t know Joshua’s Pastor; we don’t know where he was raised from. He has no testimony from where he got born again. So, we cannot accept that he is one of us… There is no proof of his salvation,” explains Matthew Ashimolowo, the prosperity preacher and founder of KICC in London. “There are only two questions Ayo Oritsejafor (President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria) asked us to ask Joshua or anybody who comes from him: When were you born again? Which church did he attend and who was his pastor or mentor?” fumes Bishop Abraham Olaleye, a vice chairman of PFN. “Who were his contemporaries when he gave his life to Christ? What led to his confession of Christ? How did it happen? Where was he baptised? Who baptised him? Who are his pastors? Where did he train? Who is the Paul of his Timothy?” asks Bola Akin-John, a Pentecostal church growth expert.

That miracles and commendable charitable works are happening in his church is attested to by almost all, but such leaders can’t seem to fathom how a man so mightily gifted could have attained such a level without human tutorship and training. As such cannot be explained by the logic and lectures of theological training, they readily write him off as demonic and diabolic. Surely, a man of God of such stature and status could not just spring up without the approval and appraisal of some top-notch Christian leaders? Thus, they have proclaimed to all willing to listen that anyone who associates with TB Joshua does so to their own folly, be him a president or pauper, simply because they have adopted a strong position without investigating its foundational validity.

Prophet TB Joshua - In the University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion - you must take every course because each course serves a purpose.

Prophet TB Joshua - In the University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion - you must take every course because each course serves a purpose.

However, the phenomenon of men being used by the Almighty without human tutelage is not isolated to the instance of Pastor TB Joshua. Thorough biblical exploration would reveal many of God’s generals with no record or register of human mentorship. Who was the mentor of Jeremiah, who the Bible says God called right from his mother’s womb? Who was the mentor of John the Baptist, sent from above to prepare the way for the Saviour? Who was the mentor of Apostle Paul, who was blinded on the road to Damascus while intent on the destruction of Christians, subsequently to become a leading figure in New Testament Christianity? What about Moses, Elijah or King David? Human backing and tuition are clearly not a qualification for divine assignments.

What then is the premise for church leaders today to demand proof of mentorship as a seal of apostleship? Can this assertion be attributed to the application of biblical principles, or to personal misgivings and prejudice? Why has the Nigerian Pentecostal church chosen to adopt a stance on a particular person that contradicts and conflicts with scriptural authority and experience? It appears to be a case of addressing private qualms and jealousies under the guise of Christian comradeship and censorship, misguiding and incensing millions of followers against TB Joshua and projecting the image of a warring and divided church in the process.

The current president of PFN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has consistently remained one of Joshua’s most vocal critics, even expelling any PFN members who attempt to fraternise with him. He makes his stand known clearly on the pulpit and in the pages of newspapers: “T.B. Joshua is not a Christian. If T.B. Joshua can show me his pastor who pastored him before he said he was called into the ministry; if T.B. Joshua can tell me when he got converted and how he got converted, then we would consider him.”

Yet, T.B. Joshua’s own website recounts the extraordinary tale of his calling into the ministry, available for all to read and dissect: “I was in a trance for three consecutive days, then I saw a hand that pointed a Bible to my heart and the Bible entered my heart and my former heart seemed to immerse with the Bible immediately… I heard a voice saying, “I am your God; I am giving you a divine commission to go and carry out the work of the Heavenly Father… I would show you the wonderful ways I would reveal myself through you, in teaching, preaching, miracles, signs and wonders for the salvation of souls”. So, is it a crime for God to call one for His service without consulting certain people or meeting certain manmade criteria? Are we mere mortals in a position to query God’s wisdom and ways?

Chiji Okafor, the celebrated Nigerian columnist and artist, wrote of such a disposition and demeanour: “It is amazing that anybody who lays claim to being a pastor of God should be talking about mentoring in matters of the faith as if talking about some rookie artisan being shepherded into ‘freedom’ from his master’s workshop. Such drivel simply speaks volumes of the man who utters it. It reveals the depth of vulgarity to which our ‘modern’ men of God have allowed the gospel of Jesus Christ to sink.

“Anybody who boasts in God’s vineyard about his mentor and such other inane subjects as earthly endowments has simply not imbibed the lessons of Christ’s personal life. Jesus Christ the Son of God could have been born a prince, if He so chose. On the contrary, God made man, decided to come into this world, the son of a wretched carpenter born in, of all places, a manger and side-by-side animals! He had neither an earthly mentor, nor did the Bible tell us that He had doctorate degrees in sacred theology and dogmatic philosophy.

“In His divine wisdom, God chooses whom He crowns king and decides whom He endows with any gift He likes – and we all have our different gifts. Anybody who challenges this wisdom of God Almighty blasphemes against Him, by querying His authority. So, why would God choose a humble, even innocent, or bucolic Temitope Balogun Joshua for the enormous anointing he has received? Why didn’t He pick one of those blue-blooded, Oxford-trained peers of the realm?”

Bolu-Olu Esho, a journalist with The Sun Newspaper further wrote on the issue: “Pastor T.B Joshua has a simple background that could tempt one to ask questions about how he achieved the feat he’s known for today. But minds of history would be at ease, as they would consider him as another manifestation of the mystery assigned to God Almighty. The question of academics in the work of God is inconsequential, as God does not consider this as a criterion for choosing people for His work…The stance of these ministers of God against Pastor Joshua makes one question how versed they are in the Word of God. Is it not written in the Bible that God used the foolish things of this world to confound the wise?”

Clearly, the question our revered gentlemen should ask is not, ‘Who is your mentor?’ but ‘By what authority are you acting?’ in conjunction with the biblical standard: ‘By their fruits, you shall know them.’ The attributes and qualities a person possesses speak volumes of their source of strength. The steadfast consistency, prophetic insight, charitable disposition, healing gifting, practical teaching, heavenly wisdom and childlike simplicity of T.B. Joshua cannot possibly be the product of illusion, sorcery or man’s acumen. The testimony of Ghana’s new head, Prof. Atta Mills, alone is enough to confirm the genuineness and greatness of Joshua’s ministry and calling. Has history ever heard of a sitting president visit a church and publically testify that the pastor accurately predicted the outcome and specific details of the election to him? His testimony echoes the tens of thousands who rush to Joshua’s church on a weekly basis to receive a touch from God.

Sadly, the gap between the accusers and the accused is ever widening as many leading pastors in Nigeria are becoming more embroiled in the pursuit of money and material gain than the essence of Christ’s gospel and work. Kingdom business seems more like worldly business, with pastors making headlines for expensive acquisitions, lavish living and political speeches as opposed to solving problems, meeting needs and changing lives. Ilobi Austin, a catholic in faith, wrote, “While God is ordering his (T.B. Joshua’s) counterparts to acquire more automobiles and in some cases, private jets with cost in the billion bracket, the same God is asking him to love humanity like himself and consequently, improve their earthly and heavenly fortunes. He is today, father to the fatherless, mother to the motherless, friend to the friendless and government to the government-less. Little wonder then, that the good Lord magnanimously found him worthy for the arduous task of delivering his people from the vice grip of the devil. Such powers in the hands of such ministers, who have made the criticism of his ministries their pastime, would have seen deliverance going to the highest bidders.”

Who Is TB Joshua's Mentor?

Who Is TB Joshua's Mentor?

So what has TB Joshua to say on all this? Here is his own response when asked about his non-admission into PFN in a recent interview with The Sun: “As a point of correction, I never applied to be a member of any association. Okay? Two, the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differ. Some He brought them from this direction, some from another direction. Some He allowed to go to Theology school, some He allowed them to go to the university and they may not even go to Theology school. Some, they may not even go to school at all. Yet they would become whatever God wants them to become. There is a university of God – and in the University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion – you must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.”

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The conclusion of Chiji Okafor’s rousing reflections on Prophet TB Joshua at 46, as published by The National Life…

It is absolutely impossible for a man to be ‘upright’ and ‘evil’ at the same time, just like we are yet to see one who I tall and short all at once. Also, while we may not be able to easily fathom the machinations of the human mind, we can see a man’s actions and hear his utterances.

Reflections On Prophet TB Joshua At 46

Reflections On Prophet TB Joshua At 46

We can therefore reasonably gauge an individual’s personality from his traits and utterances or what we may generally call his or her character from the consistency with which those tendencies would have persisted over the years. If a man has maintained a certain stance all his life, it would indeed be difficult, if not impossible, to ‘learn an old dog new tricks’ as the Americans would say. “Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit… a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit… “(Matthew 7:17-18)

It could thus be inferred that those who indulge in running down Prophet TB Joshua do not seem to have seriously pondered nature and the several basic principles that govern it. Their reason for criticising that which they apparently do not understand, appears to be either simple ignorance or sheer malice.

All of these people that bandy false tales about the man and his church have apparently never been to The Synagogue Church to investigate the rumours they have heard. Anybody who does so, or even merely follows the activities of the church, beamed to audiences worldwide through Emmanuel TV, would see the glaring truth. No evil man would be capable of faking the personality of Prophet Joshua – his self-denials, his love for man and nature, his charitable disposition, his prophecies and healing and the fact that he does them in the name of Jesus Christ – and above all, his highly inspired interpretation of the Gospel.

Like I have said here before, apart from his amazing miracles, two striking qualities mark Pastor Joshua out as you encounter him are his disarming humility and childlike simplicity, as well as the depth of wisdom in his preaching and interpretation of the Bible.

The man’s entire life is a study in humility. Despite his enormous capabilities, you sometimes even catch him in excitement as he himself watches with the rest of the congregation when some of these miracles happen. He would often remind you that he is only a medium of communication, a servant. “I am not the healer, but I know the healer: Jesus Christ is the Healer.”

Down to even his private life, I doubt if there is any PFN pastor in this country who can meet the very high standard of discipline that Prophet Joshua has set for himself, for all to see. The man lives right inside his church and hardly step out of the premises because 24 hours, seven days a week, he is always available to thousands of people that throng the Synagogue Church from all over the world – the sick, the distressed, the widowed, the poor, everybody, people with all kinds of personal and communal problems, even financial problems.

Only last week while I was with him, his aides came to tell him that a batch of over 100 South African who he had hurriedly spent all day ministering to so they could return home, had missed their flight. They were caught in the notorious Isolo traffic. When he told me he would have to cater for these people fro two days, I was surprised – but that’s the kindness of the man we are talking about. At first, I could see he was a little disturbed, but then he shrugged it all off in his usual ‘God will provide’ manner.

Instead of collecting and amassing fortunes like those who accuse him of evil, Joshua the pastor, the father figure, keeps giving away. If that man were after money and the material things of this world, I doubt if any human being alive today would be half as rich as he could get, given the capabilities of a man with his healing powers and ability to prophesy for the whole wide world as well as individuals, with pinpoint accuracy.

On one particular occasion, I had been at The Synagogue Church all day, going through archival material at the Emmanuel TV studios while waiting to see him. There were hundreds of visitors from around the country and the world over, with various pressing needs to whom he must minister, individually. He still eventually made out time to see me quite later in the night, with his usual apologies.

When I returned the following day to continue my work where I stopped, he was already down in his office. When I asked after the army of visitors of the previous day, I was told he saw them all and only retired to his private quarters by about 7am! This kind of timetable is routine for a man who has no life of his own. When I expressed shock when I first found out where he lives, he resignedly asked me: ‘Where do you want me to leave my people and go?’

In his tiny office that may not even be big enough for the personal assistants of some of our ‘funky pastors’, the prophet, too busy to even stand up sometimes, eats his meals, prepared from the same source that he serves – even street beggars. The man who lives by example is yet to outgrow the standard he set for himself in the very early years of his ministry when he had to do everything by himself. Till date, he still joins his disciples and staff in manual work like carrying bags of food meant for the needy.

This same discipline runs right down his family. His unassuming but very graceful wife is often seen at the church’s supermarket, queuing like everyone else, to buy her needs. I very much doubt if any General Overseer’s wife would do that elsewhere. (Hm! ‘General Overseer’!) Meanwhile, his first child, an undergraduate law student in the United Kingdom– now a grown young lady – shares the same traits as her parents and runs the same errands as the rest of his disciples, when on vacation. By their fruits, ye shall know them…

It is important to point out these facts because no man who is possessed of negative forces would radiate the kind of peace and harmony that Prophet Joshua does, which affects everybody and everything around him, even little children. His uncommon and very large capacity to forgive cannot flow from an evil soul, and this appears to be one loophole that some of the people who were once close to him now exploit to try to run him down. Unfortunately for them, Prophet Joshua, a man of vision, is a meticulous keeper of records.

As is well known to all, every action in life exacts its own reaction. This is a fundamental law of nature, perfectly captured by Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion and summarised by the third law: “Action and reaction are always equal and opposite.”

Those who associate Prophet TB Joshua with occultism certainly do not know what they are talking about. Every occultist pays a high price as he ascends the ladder in his hierarchy and lack of genuine peace is one of those great prices. Two occult masters who went through deliverance at The Synagogue Church, Mozambique’s Agostinho Jefue (pronounced Jack) and ‘Professor’ Nathan Chukwudi Okakpu of Nigeria, who described himself as a grandmaster of science beyond material, both confirmed this.

On the other hand, a holy man achieves that bond with the Holy Spirit such that he becomes part of everything. Nothing can escape his eyes or ears, for every part of His being – his eyes, his ear, his hands, his thoughts – become God’s tools. With God’s tools, you can only do good things, for the benefit of man and to His glory.

This is what is very difficult for the prophet’s critics to understand what Eliphas Levi, a grandmaster of the 19th century and one of the greatest occultists of all times, tries to describe in the AXIOM 9 of his second principle of the ‘Theory of Magic’: “The will of a just man is the Will of God Himself and the Law of Nature.”

It should be more worthwhile for these critics of Prophet Joshua to humble themselves and study his life and learn from his wisdom, rather than listen to the folly of their own minds. What God has bestowed upon His chosen servant, no man can take away, no matter whom.

At 46, this writer wishes Prophet TB Joshua many, many more years of service to God and to humanity – ad multos annos!

SOURCE: The National Life

To read the full article of ‘Reflections On Prophet TB Joshua At 46, it was published on Modern Ghana

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Chiji Okafor adds more reflections on Prophet TB Joshua at 46, as published in today’s edition of ‘The National Life’…

It is amazing that anybody who lays claim to being a pastor of God (like Pastor Oritsejafor of the PFN does) should be talking about mentoring in matters of the faith as if talking about some rookie artisan being shepherded into ‘freedom’ from his master’s workshop. Such drivel simply speaks volumes of the man who utters it. It reveals the depth of vulgarity to which our ‘modern’ men of God have allowed the gospel of Jesus Christ to sink.

Anybody who boasts in God’s vineyard about his mentor and such other inane subjects as earthly endowments has simply not imbibed the lessons of Christ’s personal life. Jesus Christ the Son of God could have been born a prince, if He so chose. On the contrary, God made man, decided to come into this world, the son of a wretched carpenter born in, of all places, a manger and side-by-side animals! He had neither an earthly mentor, nor did the Bible tell us that He had doctorate degrees in sacred theology and dogmatic philosophy.

TB Joshua At 46

TB Joshua At 46

In His divine wisdom, God chooses whom He crowns king and decides whom He endows with any gift He likes – and we all have our different gifts. Anybody who challenges this wisdom of God Almighty blasphemes against Him, by querying His authority.
So, why would God choose a humble, even innocent, or bucolic Temitope Balogun Joshua for the enormous anointing he has received? Why didn’t He pick one of those blue-blooded, Oxford-trained peers of the realm?

One cannot exactly tell and neither can anybody else, for that matter. However, having watched Pastor Joshua very closely these past few months, followed with keen interest, the documentaries of his early ministry and his teachings and other activities on Emmanuel TV, physically witnessed his Sunday healing and miracle services at the Synagogue Church and had numerous private audiences with him, I have been privileged to glean a few facts and to learn a very important lesson about faith, from this soldier of Christ.

As humans, we usually crack in the daunting face of adversity. In fact, at some point, many of us not only give up on God, we even dare to turn against Him. In the case of Prophet Joshua, the harder the battle to survive, the greater his loyalty to his God appears to be. I have never seen anybody with such unshakable faith in what he believes, such optimism that may even look to an observer during those his ministry’s early years as mere folly.

Anybody who has seen that documentary on his early ministry, of his first church (a miserable looking shack, with about 20 worshippers) and the optimism with which he prophesied how the whole world would soon come to Synagogue Church, would simply be awed by the power of the living God and testify to His glory. A little later during those early years, Prophet Joshua who leads by example went down to such fine details as personally cleaning the toilets of the church for three long years. As he says, “In order to be able to manage success, I had to first learn how to manage poverty”. As bad as things were then, Pastor Joshua was always seen ministering to his flock with a broad smile, even as his first, second and third churches, drowned in flood waters.

In contrast to those humble beginnings, today’s Synagogue Church of All Nations is an intimidating edifice that has become one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations! If there is anything I have learnt from the story of Pastor Joshua, my interactions with the prophet and his church, it is the humility and faithfulness of God Almighty Himself, towards those that maintain abiding faith in Him, in the face of all odds. This is what Prophet TB Joshua always teaches: “Of all graces, FAITH honours Christ the most; of all graces, Christ honours FAITH the most.”

Those who today want to give Christianity a highfaluting image and discriminate against their fellow men either do not know, or simply forget its humble beginnings. The cross, the banner under which all of Christendom gathers derives from an ancient mystical symbol, which many may refer to as (sorry for that derogatory word) pagan.

The Celtic cross, a religious symbol seen all over Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, has a long history that presages Christianity itself. Its four arms are interpreted as the four elements of earth, wind, water and fire. It also represents the four directions of the compass – north, south, east, west – and the four parts of man – mind, soul, heart, and body.

This is also the basis of the Jewish Tetragrammaton, represented by the Hebrew letters, Yod, He, Vau, He, with the last He, bearing a dot, symbolising completion, just like the shoot of a dormant seed. Those four Hebrew letters, together, spell out Yahuvah, or Jehovah, the elements that emanated from the Divine Essence at the point of Creation, as documented in the first chapter of Genesis. I had written extensively about this in the past and the correlation between this Biblical account of the beginning of space-time and the Quantum Theory in particle physics is indeed amazing!

One and the same concept runs through most major mystical-religious concepts of all civilisations, worldwide, from ancient, so-called primitive African and Amerindian cultures, to Indo-Chinese, European and Arabic cultures and more. This universal symbolism is seen in the Popol Vuh, the Holy Book of the Quiche Maya of South America. It is the Yin and Yang of Taoist China, also symbolised by the Dance of Shiva, in the Indian Sanskrit.

Back here, in Africa, this same symbolism is seen in the ancient drawings of the Dogon of Mali, as it is in Ghana’s Adinkra culture. It is the Creation Snake that Wole Soyinka talks about in his “Idanre and Other Poems”, which the Igbo celebrate in the New Yam festival, the basis of their four market days and their lunar calendar, depicted by the Uli motif of the kola nut head.

Ancient Egyptians equally celebrated the feast of Eostre in honour of the goddess of fertility and the endless cycles of the death of winter and the birth of spring. The Romans borrowed the same practice and baptised it Saturnalia. It is this very old belief, depicted by the image of the Egyptian Ankh or the Crux Ansata, which found its way into Judaeo-Christian theology, that the first Christians adopted and celebrated as Easter, directly borrowing its name from the goddess: “Unless the grain falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it brings forth much fruit.” (John 12:24).

To think that the symbol of the very basis of the Christian faith, the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary and the power of New Life in the Risen Christ, had its humble beginnings in the faiths of peoples we would now rather turn up our noses at, as pagans, is a lesson in God’s own humility and mysterious but wise ways. It teaches us never to look down on anybody but rather, to embrace all. From the high priests of quantum physics, to the lowly African chief priests and sages, to our modern, “funky pastors”, we should have nothing but respect for our fellow man, for it is only God Himself who can tell who worships Him in truth and in spirit.

This is another major lesson that Pastor Joshua teaches everyone with his unique ministry. At the Synagogue Church, you find people of all races and creeds. You find the very rich and the very poor, the homeless, beggars, everybody, side-by-side. You even find grandmasters of the occult that have come to receive deliverance. Nobody discriminates against anybody and people are actually encouraged after receiving their healing, to go back to their respective churches or mosques.

I am yet to see this in other Pentecostal churches and this ecumenism, I believe, is the message of Christ’s mission while on earth.

SOURCE: Chiji Okafor – The National Life

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