In this post, we’ll explore the ministry of TB Joshua in the light of some biblical teaching.
TB Joshua’s disciples often quote Matthew 7:20, “You will know them by their fruit” as a defense for their master, citing the many supposed miracles and changed lives as his fruit. Ironically if you look at the context of this verse, it is actually one of the passages of scripture that most provokes our critical examination of him. Matthew 7:15 starts ““Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves“. The reference to “sheep’s clothing” shows that these false prophets will appear to many as genuine prophets, but in reality they are frauds. A counterfeit has to look like the genuine article in every possible way for it to be effective. So when his disciples pipe up “but he does everything in the name of Jesus!”, we say are you surprised? Would a false prophet of Christ really go around healing in the name of the goat god? Reading on in this passage of scripture it speaks of the day of judgement, saying “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt 7:22-23). This shows us that the fact TB Joshua claims to do things in the name of Jesus is no defense at all.
Regarding fruit, the disciples will point to his many miracles as evidence of the good fruit he bears, but from our perspective the fruit we see couldn’t be more different. The writers of this blog know personally over a dozen people who have served at SCOAN or visited for healing. Of these, we are not aware of a single miracle, but 3 are dead (having died shortly after being proclaimed healed by TB Joshua), one is recovering from sexual abuse allegedly suffered at his hands, another is estranged from his family (who are still SCOAN supporters) and several have dealt with depression and despair since leaving the church. Additionally, a previously thriving UK church has fallen apart, of course there are many reasons for this, but the influence of TB Joshua coming into the church at a vulnerable time is seen by many as the beginning of the end. This is the fruit we see, you judge for yourself – good or bad?
Perhaps there are genuine miracles taking place there; maybe some of them have been medically verified. Does this not validate his ministry? Not according to scripture. As well as Matthew 7:22 (“did we not do mighty works in your name”), a few chapters on in the book of Matthew, it warns that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24). Both of these verses appear to speak of real, verifiable mighty works or signs and wonders. Matthew 24:24 especially should sober us, as it describes signs and wonders as being the means of deception. This not only shows us that genuine Signs and Wonders are categorically not a validation of a ministry. We are even specifically warned to not consider them in this way.