Guest post: Weighing up TB Joshua’s prophecies

In this post, guest author Claire looks at what the bible says about the nature and purpose of prophecy.

Over the last three years, TB Joshua Watch has publicised aspects of TB Joshua’s ‘ministry’ that to some of us raise concerns. This sites has raised concerns about particular aspects of Mr Joshua and SCOAN – in particular ‘healings’ that have not been proven to be the case, the apparent cult like nature of SCOAN and prophesies that are not all that they appear.

Some of those commenting on this site accuse Mr Joshua of being a ‘false prophet’ whereas others fervently support him and claim him to be a ‘man of God’. In this article, I want to look at prophecy and what the bible actually says about it.

In many of the videos that this site has linked to, Mr Joshua is shown predicting some terrible event (a plane crash, a mass shooting) and asks the audience to pray. These videos are re-publicised after an event to show that he did indeed forecast the event (although often this site contends that these videos are edited or vague and therefore cannot be said truly to forecast anything).

So what does the bible say about prophecy – is Mr Joshua actually prophesying? Many commentators on this site on both sides of the argument point to Deuteronomy 18 v 22 – ‘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.’ Presumably this is why SCOAN puts out videos after tragedies that appear to prophesy the event in question – a sort of ‘Here you are! It happened! It was true! It was from God!’

But while the Bible tells us to test prophecies to see if they are true, it also gives us some broad principles that we can use to understand whether what Mr Joshua does is prophesy even if it does come true (or could be perceived to be).

Firstly, the clearest instruction is in 1 Corinthinans 14 v3 ‘But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort’.  Do Mr Joshua’s ‘prophecies’ do this? Well the ones I have seen (and I am no expert) don’t. They seem to focus on a potential tragedy and ask people to pray, but I do not see how this causes strengthening, encouragement and comfort.

In John 16 Jesus talks to his disciples about the Holy Spirit: ‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.’(v13,14) A prophecy should tell you what is to come and should bring glory to Jesus.  Even if you believe that Mr Joshua does indeed prophesy the truth, I do not see how his predictions of tragic events bring glory to Jesus.

Deuteronomy 13 v1-3 encourages us that the prophecy should lead us to God:

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.

Now I am sure that there will be some people who fervently trust Mr Joshua and who will feel strongly that Mr Joshua is not encouraging them to follow other gods, but these people should accept that these verses do at least show that the fact that a prophecy comes true does not mean it comes from God. I dispute that Mr Joshua’s ‘prophecies’ come true, but those who believe they do cannot rely on this to ‘prove’ that these ‘prophecies’ are therefore from God. Deuteronomy 18 v22 tells us that if it doesn’t come true it can’t come from God, Deuteronomy 13 v1-4 tells us that that doesn’t mean the opposite is true; if a prophecy does come true, that alone doesn’t mean it comes from God. If it comes from God it should lead us to God. I’m not convinced that Mr Joshua’s ‘prophecies’ do this.

And surely if a prophecy comes from God, it should reflect the nature of God. God is love. The most famous description of love is in 1 Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

How do Mr Joshua’s prophecies match up to this? And how does Mr Joshua himself match up to this? The Kingwatch website makes the point that it is often easier to test the prophet rather than the prophecy:

‘Testing individual prophecies can often be difficult. What every Church needs is a prophet who has a proven track record, a person who is known for speaking the word of the Lord. It is easier to test prophets than individual prophecies. A prophet can be watched over time to see if his life is bearing fruit for the Lord (Matthew 7:15-20). Every church needs a proven prophet who can be trusted to bring a reliable word when one is required.’

Having said that, it is also important to make sure that we do not reject what may be a prophecy through a hardened heart. All prophecy must be tested and tested vigorously on a range of measures including:

  • Did it come true?
  • Did it provide strength, encouragement and comfort?
  • Did it bring glory to Jesus?
  • Does it lead us to God?
  • Was it brought in love?

It is up to all of us individually to test Mr Joshua’s ‘prophecies’ vigorously. Those who are sceptical must not test with a hardened heart, looking for evidence that they are not true; and those who believe should remember to test properly and not simply accept each ‘prophecy’ because it falls from the lips of Mr Joshua.

SICK: False prophet TB Joshua claims to have predicted MH17 disaster

Before the world has stopped reeling at the horror of 295 innocent people being senselessly killed while flying over Ukraine, Nigeria’s most popular false prophet hurriedly puts out a video claiming that he predicted it. The video doesn’t spend a second offering condolences or prayers for the victims of this atrocity, it just proudly brags that their “prophet” knew it was going to happen all along.

The main theme of TB Joshua’s prophecy was that Russia should protect their airspace, and make sure security is tight because he sees an attack coming. How this relates to the MH17 tragedy is beyond us, this attack happened over Ukraine airspace, not Russian, and it was not an attack on Russia it was an attack BY Russia on a Malaysian airlines plane (ok, it’s a little more complicated than that, but the weapon used is almost certainly of Russian origin). It would appear the person linking this event to the prophecy spent little time considering how much the facts fitted.

For once there is very little significant edited out of the final prophecy (see unedited versions below), but the prophecy was so vague it would have been of no use whatsoever. All we have here is another sickening example of human tragedy being senselessly exploited to promote a false prophets ministry.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of MH17, may God grant you peace and healing as you come to terms with this tragedy. As Christians we want to loudly and clearly state that TB Joshua does not speak for us, and we’re ashamed and embarrassed that he behaves like this in the name of our Lord and Saviour.

Prophecy video (original, unedited clips below):

Original, unedited (part 1)

Original, unedited (part 2)

Repost: Hattie’s story, part 3. Thought process

From the archive: In part three of her story, Hattie explores the thought process she went through which ultimately led to her severing her allegiance to SCOAN.

Who am I to question this man who is performing all these miracles and has such supernatural knowledge? He knows God better than I do and I had better listen to him.

TB Joshua appears to have such power in the supernatural realm and such knowledge about people. I wonder what he knows about me? I wonder if he will say anything about me? I am such a sinner.

TB Joshua seems to have “confrontation” with evil and often casts out demons. I don’t and am not even aware of that side of things much. I had better watch out/pray more/read my bible more/learn from TB Joshua more. (It indirectly made me acutely aware of evil at work and probably fear it more if I am honest)

A realisation

Some time passed and I simply carried on with my busy life.

Slowly I began to notice changes in people I knew that were involved with SCOAN closely. Most definitely these changes were for the worse and certainly not in keeping with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It became more and more obvious with time. The people I knew were becoming increasingly hard, unloving and arrogant. They were disinterested in and withdrawing from relationships  and obsessed with all things SCOAN. It wasn’t just one person, I saw it happening across the board.   Within the families I knew who were involved, there was relationship breakdown, depression, isolation from the wider Christian community and rejection of family not involved in SCOAN.  All as a direct result of SCOAN involvement. I began to see that there was something very very wrong here. There was a deep discomfort within me. These people seemed to be burdened yet denied that burden completely. There appeared to be a real inner conflict going on, again denied. It seems strange to say it but there was something about their eyes. They seemed so hard.

A revelation

As a direct result of these concerns I began to pray and pray diligently and daily. In a way I never had before. I also went to pray with another Christian who I knew and respected, having seen many good fruits in their life and ministry. I still at that point totally believed SCOAN was a genuine move of God. That the problems were in the failings of the “men” involved for which SCOAN was obviously not responsible. I had purposefully never read any negative publicity about SCOAN. I just prayed and this fellow believer prayed for me, for discernment and understanding and that God would show me what was going on.

Amazing things began to happen to me. Over a period of a few days, I woke up in the night with Scriptures echoing in my mind. My heart would beat fast and I know that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. It was like I was waking up from a long sleep. I could see in colour and my spirit soared. It happened in the day too that I would just be reminded of Scripture and I would write it down.

The most poignant dream of all, I liken to an experience where quite literally the scales fell from my eyes. I remember that moment of revelation and it was so beautiful.  I was reminded of conversations I had had in SCOAN whilst visiting and they stopped me in my tracks in this dream.

The first one was with someone I met there. I said “this really makes me question whether I am really a Christian” (i.e. I don’t see these things happening in my life..I must be nothing.)

The second was an inner conversation. I remember the incredible burden I felt and incredible condemnation and awareness of sin. Things I had long since repented of. I remember being petrified that thoughts would be broadcast to the audience too, (because this is what happens there!) I knew I was saved when I went and I knew that my sins were forgiven but somehow I didn’t quite believe it. I remember saying over and over to myself the scripture “for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” I now know that this was my own little spiritual battle going on.

So when I awoke in the middle of the night, heart pounding, I was so aware of God’s overwhelming love for me. That Jesus had died for me. That He had paid the price and He had made me and He loved me for me. It was all finished. It was like I was hearing the Gospel for the first time. Indeed there is no condemnation!  I was shown very clearly in that moment that it was the Deceiver ( making me question my salvation) and the Accuser (making me conscious of past sins) that was at work here.

I was utterly astounded. It was as if my world just turned upside down. It was from then that I began to look at the quotable quotes and see how they were twisting scripture. Very subtly but very significantly.

I remember one example in particular. One of the quotes on a SCOAN card read “Jesus is reachable” and I thought to myself “NO! Jesus was God’s way of reaching us! That is what sets Christianity apart from all other faiths..”It’s subtle but it implies there is something you have to do, or somewhere you have to go to reach Jesus (e.g. SCOAN)

It was only at that point that I began to look at some of the internet publicity that was around at the time.

I looked at the allegations (and was horrified but did not simply take then at face value) I knew that regardless of whether those allegations are true or false that this was not of God.I looked at the definition of cults (and was horrified that it ticked every single box: certainly where the disciples are concerned) What the visitors see is a careful showcase of propaganda to portray a genuine and very exciting Christian church. It was very carefully orchestrated and I was a ready victim for the psychological techniques employed. I am not alone.

What I believe SCOAN is doing is deceiving and distracting and enslaving many precious children of God. Deceiving even the elect. It totally undermines our individual relationship with God through Jesus by adding in another intermediary. It points us off course.

To anyone reading this: Please don’t just take my word for it. Seek God with all your heart and be prepared for His answer and not just what you want to hear. Jesus is the Saviour, Redeemer and Restorer. He really is the answer but you have to seek Him and Him alone.

Repost: Hattie’s story, part 2. Returning to the UK

From the archive… This is part 2 of Hattie’s story. Follow the link to read Part 1 “Visiting SCOAN, first impressions“. Part 3 will be published tomorrow.

When I came back to the UK I was excited about it and told everyone about it. I was more evangelistic than I had ever been before. I had more courage to pray for people and I thought I had the magic formula now. Funnily enough, I never saw any results and when talking about it, TB Joshua and Jesus usually occupied the same sentence. I know now that my faith was in what I had seen in Lagos and not in God. I hardly ever read my Bible and preferred to watch TB Joshua videos. They seemed more exciting to me.

Deep down I thought I was inadequate and that I was too sinful and too much of a failure to be of any use to God.

If anyone spoke against TB Joshua, I would however become quite angry and defensive. I would think to myself “who are you to say that? You are not much of a Christian! Who are you to judge? At least I am accepting God’s prophet and can recognise a move of God when I see one!”  If pastors questioned it then I would think to myself “You are just scared that you are getting it wrong and you don’t want to be confronted by that. It is because you feel threatened by it and that it might undermine you that you won’t accept it/visit Lagos”

I had developed an incredible spiritual pride and was very judgmental about others depending on whether or not they “recognised TB Joshua”. This was the same for the others I knew that were involved.  Yet I now realise that my own spiritual walk was faltering hugely…I was feeling incredibly spiritually undermined, hugely inadequate and that I was a nobody in God’s kingdom…I have since likened it to a spiritual bone marrow transplant. My very lifeblood  (Christian faith) was being suppressed and then replaced with something different (doctrine of SCOAN and TB Joshua).

I really believed that you had to go to Lagos and meet TB Joshua to have any basis for criticism and this is an argument that is used frequently by those in SCOAN. But I now realise that to put yourself in that position is to subject yourself to an environment where you are programmed to believe. You are subject to a profound deception on both a psychological and a spiritual level.

Repost: Hattie’s story, part 1. Visiting SCOAN, first impressions

A post from the archive, part 2 and 3 to follow.

Why am I writing this? I have a unique viewpoint. I have been to SCOAN as a visitor and have been entranced by it. I have watched many videos and I have watched Emmanuel TV.  I was for a long time a sympathiser, never deeply involved but certainly deeply affected. I have known disciples (very well) both before, during and after their involvement and I want to bear witness to the truth, to share my story. I will also share my perception of the psychological and spiritual processes at work.

Continue reading

Fake deliverance at SCOAN

A reader recently made us aware of a video of the ex-Pastor of SCOAN Athens being delivered over a year ago from a “spirit of lust and anger that caused him to be disgraced”. This is the same man who is now the subject of allegations of sexual abuse from 4 young women, and was recently described by Wise Man Harry as a “rude, disobedient, disrespectful and full of anger man”.

Two things should be observed here:

1) SCOAN are allowing “demon possessed” people to lead their branches

At the time of the deliverance, SCOAN Athens was still a fully functioning official branch. The man being delivered from demons was the pastor authorised by TB Joshua to lead this branch of his ministry. There are videos online of nearly all the foreign SCOAN leaders and disciples being dramatically delivered from demons, which leads you to wonder why they were ever chosen to lead within SCOAN? Who wants to be part of a church who’s leaders are crawling with demons? As it happens, the people who we know who have dedicated their lives to SCOAN were exemplary Christians, the fact they sacrificed successful careers, education and many other things to pursue full time ministry at SCOAN is testament to their desire to serve God with everything they had. These were exactly the kind of people you would be happy to see in church leadership…. nothing like the crazed, staring, demon-manifesting people we see after years of service to SCOAN. If this is what SCOAN does to you, keep as far away as possible.

2) Deliverance at SCOAN does not work

Or at least it didn’t seem to work in the case of the ex-Athens pastor, and this is far from the only deliverance fail we are aware of. Many years ago TB Joshua conducted a crusade in Australia. There was a well broadcast deliverance of a woman during this crusade, culminating in TB Joshua proclaiming her free, and even bizarrely claiming that her deliverance resulted in 5000 other people being set free. Giles was a disciple at the time, he says that “she later came to Lagos, and I was surprised to see her no different. She had come for more deliverance, and she was behaving the same way. Obviously she was not delivered in Australia.” There are also the well publicised cases of Nigerian celebrities such as Tonto Dike and Jim Iyke who TB Joshua has famously delivered, but without resulting in any visible change in lifestyle.

This is more evidence that you can’t trust anything you see on Emmanuel TV.

I wonder why today’s men in religion like publicizing deliverances and even bringing shame on those being delivered. Is this the way and will of God? Is it a way of attracting people for business or what? I would rather watch someone preach the word on TV and the rest should be done off TV or off screen. We need the word of truth on TVs more than deliverances and miracles. In fact Satan is more scared of the truth than miracles/deliverances. The truth liberates and the pure word of God is like fire.

 – goyethereforeblog

 

Jeremiah’s story: The shocking truth behind SCOAN Athen’s closure

A member of SCOAN Athens has got in contact with us to tell the shocking inside story of the closure of the SCOAN branch. You will read in his story that SCOAN are now denying that Athens was ever an official branch. This is a blatant lie, as proven by the screengrab from Emmanuel TV below, and the screengrab of the SCOAN website in our previous post.
Proof that SCOAN Athens was once an official SCOAN branch

Proof that SCOAN Athens was once an official SCOAN branch

My name is “Jeremiah” and I have been a member and worker from the beginning at SCOAN ATHENS BRANCH. As some of you may have heard this church exists no more. It closed down on June 1st 2014 after wise man Harry announced that it NEVER was a SCOAN branch as it had never received official approval. Yes, Harry came to Athens to close down a church that actually, was stated to never had belonged to SCOAN. Being present myself, what we were told was that this man-the pastor- was a “rude, disobedient, disrespectful and full of anger man” who left SCOAN LAGOS as he and his wife were undergoing discipleship. According to Harry, this man opened the church on his own together with some other people with whom he had been sharing his teachings.

Can you imagine the shock for all of us who had belonged to and had invested in this church for all these years? Now, whether this church was or not an official SCOAN branch, let the fact be known that until last Wednesday it was under the category of “branches” on their official website, not to mention the numerous healings and deliverances with the anointing water broadcast on Emmanuel TV, where the church was clearly stated both audibly and subtitled as the SCOAN ATHENS BRANCH, speak for themselves.

One may ask rightfully, then why did all this happen? Well….the truth of the matter is this: for the last couple of months allegations had been made against the pastor, who actually had left in January to go to SCOAN LAGOS, for “training” as we were told. During that period, his wife had taken over when the above allegations came to light. No more, no less, four female members/workers of the church accused the pastor of sexual abuse for the past three years. When this first broke out, the church was divided into two: those who believed the girls and those who didn’t. I, myself, was among those who didn’t. And never would have, if God Almighty had not orchestrated things in such a way that everything was exposed. You see, the leadership of the church and we who were for the pastor began to accuse these girls as liars, traitors and destroyers, and this led to extensive emails to LAGOS from those who were against, the girls themselves and their families, in which horrific details of emotional, religious and physical manipulation were mentioned. Finally, under the pressure of it all, the man was sent back to confess his sins. And indeed, being notified personally of his return we, who were closest to him were told the truth. A workers’ meeting followed in which he confessed in front of the workers and victims, of his sins. And I state here “he confessed” NOT repented. The full truth and the magnitude of this abomination had not been yet revealed, and until this day has not been yet, as more and more elements of this obscurity have been coming into light.

If I continue writing, it will never end….so there will have to be a part 2 or even 3. For the time being all I wish to say is this: we have been deceived, manipulated, extremely hurt and disappointed….anger, pain, sadness and coming to terms with all that has been light and all that has been darkness, has been my portion for long….knowing that a place where God led you, restored you and saved you has now turned into an abomination, is not something one can easily perceive…having to maintain the balance between Love and Forgiveness and the Truth, is something you can accomplish ONLY by a steadfast look of faith on the Cross of Calvary. ON CHRIST ALONE. I have  forgiven this man, as I clearly can see now that he is disturbed and is in dire need of both mental and spiritual help, himself….however I cannot and will not ignore the fact that the truth must shine, as our God is Light and Righteousness…and even more so, because there are STILL people who are actually under the veil of deception, in denial of the truth, brothers and sisters of mine, whom God loves so much and painfully desires they be set free.

IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeremiah, all those left confused and demoralised by this branch closure and particularly the young ladies who have been abused by this pastor. We plead with the remnant of SCOAN Athens to ensure that criminal charges are brought against this pastor to protect any potential future victims. Anyone with further information can email tbjoshuawatch@hotmail.co.uk