In this post we want to draw your attention towards a helpful article on The Gospel Coalition website. We quote extensively from it below and encourage you to thoughtfully and prayerfully read it through and consider how it might apply to TB Joshua and SCOAN.
The article starts with a quote from 2 Peter:
“There were also false prophets among the people,
just as there will be false teachers among you.” (2 Peter 2:1)
Peter is talking to the church here about false teachers among them. As the article says, this makes it clear he is “not talking about New Age people on television. He is talking about people in the local church, members of a local congregation.” (Emphasis ours)
The article then compares 2 Peter 1 with 2 Peter 2 where we are shown the difference between true and false believers. These points are summarised into 7 traits of false teachers.
1. Different Source—Where does the message come from?
Peter says, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:16). And then he says the false teachers exploit you “with stories they have made up” (2:3). So the true teacher sources what he says from the Bible. The false teacher relies on his own creativity. He makes up his own message.
There are thousands of myths surrounding TB Joshua. He routinely diagnoses marital problems as being caused by spirit husbands or wives, he heavily edits his prophecies to make them seem more accurate than they are, and his miracle videos are deceptively presented to impress people. When you think of TB Joshua, you think of his circus of deliverances and healings, you don’t think of sound and careful bible teaching.
2. Different Message—What is the substance of the message?
For the true teacher, Jesus Christ is central. “We have everything we need for life and godliness in Him” (1:3). For the false teacher, Jesus is at the margins: “They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them” (2:1).
Notice the word secretly. It’s rare for someone in church to openly deny Jesus. Movement away from the centrality of Christ is subtle. The false teacher will speak about how other people can help change your life, but if you listen carefully to what he is saying, you will see that Jesus Christ is not essential to his message.
It is key that the word “secretly” is emphasised here. We have previously pointed out the outrageous claims of TB Joshua being a messiah, but had replies from supporters telling us they’ve never heard him say this. Of course you haven’t, he’s not that dumb. He spreads this destructive heresy through devoted followers and by dropping hints along the way. Not only this, but TB Joshua’s message is not the gospel, his message is dubious claims of miracles. We challenge any supporter of TB Joshua to point us to a video where he clearly teaches the gospel message.
3. Different Position—In what position will the message leave you?
The true Christian “escapes the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (1:4). Listen to how Peter describes the counterfeit Christian: “They promise . . . freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity, for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2:19). The true believer is escaping corruption, while the counterfeit believer is mastered by it.
According to TB Joshua, every problem in life is caused by a spirit. Every problem in life is solved by a deliverance. Little to no emphasis is put on the fact that many issues are overcome through discipline, hard work and self control. He promises freedom, but at the cost of becoming enslaved to him and his teaching (we have heard many stories of people getting addicted to Emmanuel TV, at the expense of their family relationships and involvement in a local church). Additionally, there is ample evidence that he himself is, as the verse describes a slave of depravity.
4. Different Character—What kind of people does the message produce?
The true believer pursues goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brother kindness, and love (1:5). The counterfeit Christian is marked by arrogance and slander (2:10). They are “experts in greed” and “their eyes are full of adultery” (2:14). They also “despise authority” (2:10). This is a general characteristic of a counterfeit believer.
What kind of people does TB Joshua’s message produce? As a reader once said “those who come on [TB Joshua Watch] to support a man they believe to be a ‘man of God’ have frequently been rude, unbiblical, antagonistic, with no clear reasoning and often downright offensive to those they believe to be against their beloved TB Joshua.” We have had people claim they are praying that our sons and daughters will die in an accident. We’ve had someone else “pray” that Boko Haram would kill us. SCOAN have attempted to blackmail us. Everyone who has used their real names on this site (and some who haven’t) have been ruthlessly slandered on other blogs (with stories that are outright lies).
5. Different Appeal—Why should you listen to the message?
The true teacher appeals to Scripture. “We have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it” (1:19). God has spoken, and the true teacher appeals to his Word.
The false teacher makes a rather different appeal: “By appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error” (2:18). So the true teacher asks, “What has God said in his Word?” The false teacher asks, “What do people want to hear? What will appeal to their flesh?”
What is the lure of SCOAN? Deliverance from poverty, deliverance from spirit husbands, deliverance from marital problems, deliverance from sickness, deliverance from lust, deliverance from eating disorders. Deliverance, deliverance, deliverance. That’s all you need, and your life will be effortless – or so people are led to believe. That’s the appeal of SCOAN.
6. Different Fruit—What result does the message have in people’s lives?
The true believer is effective and productive in his or her knowledge of Jesus Christ (1:8). The counterfeit is “like a spring without water” (2:17). This is an extraordinary picture! They promise much but produce little.
What is TB Joshua’s fruit? Some would point to the “thousands” of healings. How have you heard of these? Ah yes – because Emmanuel TV have reported them. What about the many who have been proclaimed healed and died? What about the broken families? What about the angry and hateful followers (see point 4)? What about the dead and injured Ghanians?
7. Different End—Where does the message ultimately lead you?
Here we find the most disturbing contrast of all. The true believer will receive “a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:11). The false believer will experience “swift destruction” (2:1). “Their condemnation has long been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping” (2:3).
Jesus tells us that there will be many who have been involved in ministry in his name, to whom he will say, “Depart from me; I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21). Who are these people? Surely Peter is describing them in this passage.
We know many who have become involved with SCOAN. In every case, “destruction” is a fitting word to describe the consequences of their involvement. Destruction of relationships, destruction of marriages, destruction of faith, destruction of lives. Here we leave you with a few quotes from those who have seen the destruction first hand. There are many we could have chosen from, but this gives a sample:
“Name Changed” said: “I can’t speak for everyone but the reason I am here is because he is a destroyer. I have experienced that destruction of health and relationships and spiritual life first hand. I won’t describe all the details in case my loved one should see my posts and fly into a rage. But I will say that TBJ is a DISASTER. He is a DESTROYER of spiritual life, of marriage, of family, and of health. [...] I am hated, rejected, despised, and neglected by someone who made a vow before God to love me and cherish me.”
Beth said, after leaving SCOAN: “I gave up hope at times and considered taking my own life. I drove out in my parents’ car several times with the intention of crashing it, hoping to make it look like an accident. But I could not bring myself to do it. What stopped me was not thoughts of my family or friends being upset (despite how loving and accepting they had been), nor even for myself. I couldn’t do it because I knew I would be connected with TB Joshua and SCOAN and that my death could damage their reputation. My fear of them simultaneously kept me alive and made me want to die. That is the terrifying hold they had over me.”
Emma said, on leaving SCOAN: “I have no qualifications, no job reference, no proof of what I’ve done with my life. I’m only beginning to see the effects of many years of sexual and emotional abuse I received from TB Joshua.”
Madelaine said: “I can give examples of lives being changed by SCOAN. Families grieving, relationships broken, Christian faith being questioned. I do not believe that those changes come from God.”
In our last few posts we have focused on TB Joshua’s anointed water, particularly since the tragic death of 4 people in Ghana desperately trying to get these little packets of water.
A point raised several times in the comments is if the anointed water is fake, how is it so effective on hundreds of people? In this post we will consider 3 possible reasons for this apparent disparity.
That the anointed water is over-hyped is a fact, one that sadly left 4 people dead. When people claim the incredible potency of the anointed water, you should first ask what their source is? Most likely Emmanuel TV. In that case we know they systematically engage in deception in their portrayal of both prophecies and healing. How can a few minutes on Emmanuel TV be proof that this water causes marriages to be restored, or people to be delivered from psychological conditions? What state are these people in now?
It is well known that the brain has a hugely important role in a persons physical health. Researchers routinely take advantage of this by using placebos, inert drugs or procedures that the patient believes will make them better. It is well known that this belief that something will make you better is in fact surprisingly effective, even with physical ailments. People who take the anointed water have a huge amount of faith that it will work for them (again, hence the deaths) – therefore it is almost certain that the placebo effect plays a role.
3) It’s real, but….
Maybe in some cases people really are healed or “delivered” through the administration of this water. Does this bring our assertions tumbling down? No, because the bible is clear that it is not only genuine Christian ministers who can do signs and wonders. Most notably the false prophets and messiahs prophecied by Jesus in Matthew 24:24 do “great signs and wonders”. You could also consider Pharaoh’s wise men and sorcerers who performed very impressive signs and wonders in Exodus 7. If you assume TB Joshua is real and the anointed water is of God on the basis of what you perceive to be genuine miracles, then presumably you would also accept that Reiki healers are of God? Or new age healers? Or spiritual healers? Or Traditional healers? All of these, as with TB Joshua, have followers who claim to have been genuinely healed by them. It is abundantly clear from scripture that the appearance of a miraculous sign is not enough to validate a ministry. You have to look beyond the surface, and this is where the picture becomes very clear with the anointed water.
Not only is the anointed water blasphemously called a means of salvation (version 2.0) or even worse “The blood of Jesus” (version 3.0), it sets up TB Joshua as a false christ by leading people to believe that he holds the key (a little packet of water) to their healing, deliverance or even salvation. It appears that even TB Joshua knows this since he recently declared that the only part he played in the process was providing the water, which begs the question why get the water from him?
In conclusion, regardless of whether the apparent effectiveness of the anointed water is hype, the placebo effect or real (almost certainly there are cases of all three) the teaching around it leaves us with no doubt that it is unbiblical, unchristian and ultimately damaging to those who put their hope in it.
- 4 dead, many injured at SCOAN Ghana. This anointed water nonsense must stop! (tbjoshuawatch.wordpress.com)
- Breaking news: TB Joshua admits his anointed water is pointless (tbjoshuawatch.wordpress.com)
- Repost: TB Joshua, a false Christ? (tbjoshuawatch.wordpress.com)
On Saturday the 18th May, in an act of astonishing honesty, TB Joshua admitted that his anointed water is in fact, nothing more than water! All he is providing is water, and not even enough to drink at that! It is God providing the anointing.
If the anointing comes from God, what is the purpose of collecting the water from TB Joshua? Why not just turn on your tap?
Unless you believe TB Joshua is a mediator between you and God (i.e. a false christ), I’m sure you can agree with us that these little packages of plain water are utterly pointless!
It’s good to clear that up, but what a shame these packages of water claimed the lives of 4 people, totally unnecessarily.
TB Joshua has just released version 3.0 of his anointed water packaging. The packaging for anointed water 2.0 boldly claimed that it was “for the salvation of your soul“. Presumably since the release of 2.0 someone explained to TB Joshua that only the blood of Jesus could provide salvation, so incredibly for version 3.0 he labels his anointed water “the blood of Jesus“. You can’t make this stuff up.
Sadly, all the hysteria about the new, upgraded anointed water packaging turned to tragedy on Sunday when a stampede happened at SCOAN Ghana. 4 people were killed and many others injured, according to a police officer at the scene “15 people who were seriously injured, some with broken limbs, many others collapsed but were resuscitated.” (source)
This crush happened because desperate people sincerely believed that the solution to their problems lay in a little bottle of water. Why do they believe this? Because TB Joshua has told them. In a video accompanying the release of the new packaging TB Joshua claims that the water is the solution to your business problems, marital issues, financial constraints, sicknesses and other such issues.
Is there a biblical basis for these claims?
The SCOAN website says there is:
Throughout the Scriptures, we see clear proof that God can use any medium to express Himself:
- In Acts 19:11-12, God used the medium of Paul’s handkerchief and aprons to heal the sick.
- In Exodus 14:16, God used the medium of Moses’ staff to split the Red Sea.
- In Acts 3:6, God used the voice of His servants, Peter and John to raise a crippled man.
- In 2 Kings 5:14, God used the medium of a dirty river to heal Namaan.
- In Acts 2:1-2, God expressed Himself through the medium of sound at the time of Pentecost
- In 1 Samuel 17:49, God used David’s catapult to defeat the giant Goliath.
- In John 9:6-7, Jesus used mud and saliva to heal a blind man.
- In Acts 4:15-16, God used the medium of Peter’s shadow to heal the sick.
But did David start producing anointed catapults? Did Peter start renting out his shadow? Did some enterprising disciple start distributing anointed mud and saliva? No! God spontaneously used these mediums to express himself, but there is zero evidence of a particular medium ever becoming a pattern.
This anointed water is billed as TB Joshua’s anointed water. People believe it is through this medium their breakthrough will come because the water “connects” them to TB Joshua and his anointing. This is has nothing to do with the Christian faith. Christians believe that all mankind is fallen and needs redemption through the blood of Jesus, but that redemption is available to all directly – no man of God, priest or intercessor required.
Perhaps, like Peters miraculous escape from prison God will also miraculously grant you breakthrough in an area of suffering, or maybe like James (who was execulted) your breakthrough will come beyond the grave. Maybe your healing will come instantly, or maybe like the great Apostle Paul you will be tormented in your weakness, but through it you will learn that His grace is sufficient for you, His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
Four people are dead because they desperately wanted this anointed water. Many others are alleged to have died after naively putting their trust in a little bottle of tap water instead of the medication trained doctors had prescribed.
Don’t put your hope in this water, don’t put your hope in a man who sets himself up as a false christ. We encourage you to pray for those who have lost loved ones, and pray that this deception ends swiftly.
If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself the following questions:
If TB Joshua is a prophet with the track record of predicting disasters that he claims, why didn’t he predict this one?
If the anointed water has miraculous healing powers, why did the SCOAN branch in Ghana not bring it out to heal those injured, or to raise the dead back to life?
- If you believe that Jesus is the healer, not TB Joshua – what is the point in this water?
- 4 Die In T.B Joshua’s Church During Stampede For Holy Water (deejaysenator.wordpress.com)
- Repost: TB Joshua, a false Christ? (tbjoshuawatch.wordpress.com)
- The damaging teaching about spiritual husbands and wives (tbjoshuawatch.wordpress.com)
- Four People Dead After Stampede at Ghana Church Service (blackchristiannews.com)
TB Joshua boasts of his gift of predicting football results and the death of politicians and popstars. But when he made a prediction about one of the most pressing and crucial issues facing Nigeria today, he got it completely wrong.
At the end of 2011, TB Joshua confidently proclaimed that bombing and terrorism would no longer be a problem for Nigeria in 2012. This was in reference to the terror campaign of Boko Haram, the northern Nigerian terrorist group.
“The burning and bombing that is happening, by January, February, March, everybody will forget about this.” -TB Joshua, Dec 2011.
This is one prophecy that we wish TB Joshua had got right. But unfortunately he couldn’t have been more mistaken. Since then, Boko Haram have only escalated their campaign of terror, and the death toll has been devastating.
-Boko Haram carry out what was one of their worst actions yet, killing 256 in a string of attacks.
-Boko Haram attack a prison in Kogi, freeing 119 prisoners, including seven of its own members.
When TB Joshua’s prophecies coincide with reality, his followers claim that this is proof of his divine gift. SCOAN release cleverly edited videos bragging about their accuracy. However, they keep very quiet when his prophecies turn out to be completely wrong. This is just one example of this.
TB Joshua, the man who tricked God?
Sometimes I wonder if Jesus was walking the land of Jerusalem today if he would be on TV. Would CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC and the other popular networks broadcast his ministry and miracles live? Would he be like Rev. Benny Hinn, donning a $50,000 Rolex watch or l
ike Prophet T. B. Joshua, with a flashy Nollywood smile and a cool $20 million in the bank? Would the savior of mankind, live in a sprawling 15-bedroom mansion? Would Jesus ride to miracle healing crusades in his own private Jet with all the pomp and showmanship?
I have no doubt millions of eyes would be glued to TV sets as he performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 hungry mouths with only five loaves of bread. Would he prophesy the results of soccer matches and the death of presidents? What would he say about modern prophets like Jesus One Touch? Would he silently ignore them or lash out with the flash of a whip and the sharpness of rebuke?
All humans want to know the unknown, or even the unknowable. We are wired by God to want to know what tomorrow holds. It is probably why we are so fascinated by those who claim to know the future or who claim to possess the gift of prophecy. At the birth of 2013, one of Africa’s popular ‘men of God’, the Nigerian Prophet T. B. Joshua issued his prophecy for the New Year, as usual. My childhood friend, Fiifi, who follows and hangs on to every word the Yoruba miracle worker says, told me about the prophecies. I decided to check them out. Fiifi’s passion was too strong to ignore.
T. B. Joshua prophesied that “many great, famous, rich men and politicians will become helpless and in need of help in matters of sickness, disease, finances and death”. I looked at Fiifi in amazement, as to why he believed this was a prophecy. This is not a prophecy but a generalized statement. There are thousands of famous and great men in the world, so naturally some would get into trouble. Every week some famous person dies or gets into trouble around the world. In the USA alone, for instance, some star or famous person gets into trouble almost every day. If I say there is going to be a storm in the USA that is going to cause destruction this year, it is not a prophecy. It is a simple geographical fact.
Psychics and con artists use these tricks all the time. They tell you there is a man in your family named Mensah trying to harm you spiritually. Of course, they know almost everybody in Ghana has a Mensah in their family or knows one who is close. Do people believe these fake prophets because they desperately want a miracle in their life so badly that a fake miracle is better than no miracle? Well, a fake miracle is no miracle. A fake miracle is like the ostrich solution to problems, it is the alcoholic’s solution to problems. Once you are drunk, the problem disappears. However, the problem reappears when the drunken stupor fades off. This is not a solution, it is denial and lying to oneself.
T. B. Joshua’s other prophecy tickled me blue. He said, “Those in the foodstuff business will have a field day this year. Farming and agriculture will be the order of the day and will help greatly to be the source of solution this year. People engaged in it will be greatly blessed,” Why would anyone consider this a prophecy? Is this over-baked, redundant, recycled financial advice or what? Last year a cargo plane crashed in Accra, the Melcolm building collapsed but Joshua did not see it to warn us. What is the purpose of these ‘prophesies’ if it serves no purpose and helps nobody? Where is the next Tsunami going to be? That’s what we want to know, so we can be ready.
Can Temitope Joshua prophesy the Boston bombing next time before it happens, rather than ‘predicting’ it after it has happened? If he had prophesied the Boston Marathon bombing, his name would be on every major network in the world. Oprah, CNN, NBC,New York Times and all the big networks would be at his door begging for an interview. He did not prophesy the Boston bombing. That is the fact that the whole world knows except the gullible followers of Joshua in Ghana and Nigeria.
People like TB Joshua and their fake miracles thrive in non-questioning, semi-literate societies, where superstition is rife even among the educated. Why would the great omnipotent Jehovah reveal such useless prophecies? These prophecies are definitely not from God. They are from the demented mind of one who seeks fame and money and know how to manipulate a society of gullible zombies.
Joshua did not prophesy the Melcolm building collapsing which would have saved many lives. Neither did he prophesy the crashing of a cargo plane into a bus at Kotoka Airport. When Accra Sports stadium collapsed, he did not see it. Even when President Mills was stricken with cancer and on the verge of death, he did not see it. When a tsunami devastated Japan, Joshua did not see it. God does not show Joshua revelations that would save lives. God only reveals soccer scores, election results and mushed-up general statements that help no one. Attributing these cheap ‘revelations’ to God is blasphemy. Yahweh, the creator of the universe, with billions of stars and galaxies, cannot do better than giving useless financial advice?
Joseph in the Bible interpreted dreams that averted a famine and saved the lives of millions of people. Moses saved many Israelites from the plagues that devastated Pharoah, because his predictions came true and were time specific.
How would such prophesies be received in educated countries like Germany, Canada or Japan? Nobody in any developed, educated world of critically thinking people would see Balogun Joshua’s statement as prophecies. However, among many Africans, these are words from the Almighty Yahweh himself. Joshua is sleek, shrewd and a good stage magician, who can fool millions of gullible, desperate Africans. He has amassed wealth to the tune of $20 million. Needless, to say, he has tricked his way into great wealth. Man can be fooled, but the most sophisticated sakawa, 419 tactics cannot trick God. Just like Obinim, Jesus One Touch, Bishop Eddie Long and all the many false prophets had come crashing down, time would show that Bishop Temitope Balogun Joshua cannot trick God.
What do you think?
- Why does TB Joshua only predict high profile and heavily reported disasters? Why not lesser known, more local disasters?
- Can you point to a single example of lives being saved because of a prophecy of TB Joshua’s?
Credible reports are coming in that TB Joshua’s security guards have illegally detained four journalists reporting on his current visit to Ghana (source). The reporters were apparently filming the mayhem and gridlocked streets caused by TB Joshua’s arrival, when they were detained by his security guards and held against their will for hours, until the police were called and intervened.
Affail Monney, the President of the Ghana Journalist Association is urging investigations into this misconduct.
It is interesting to see how far SCOAN will go to control all their media output. Even in the age of smartphones and compact video cameras, you never see videos from inside SCOAN that aren’t from Emmanuel TV, presumably because of what happens to people who are caught filming without permission. This lack of transparency should concern anyone who has previously been impressed by anything shown on Emmanuel TV. What have they got to hide?