Last Sunday, TB Joshua addressed the issue of John Atta Mills’ death. TB Joshua prophesies a lot about the death of politicians. He claimed to prophecy the death of Mutharika, the late Malawian president, and Saitoti, the Kenyan minister who died in a plane crash, to name two recent ones. TB Joshua had a long relationship with late Ghanaian president. But he gave no such prophecies concerning his demise.
What did we learn from the sermon?
1) Atta Mills was good, but TB Joshua is great
The sermon was not really about John Atta Mills. It was about TB Joshua. We learned that Atta Mills was a good man, and modest in his leadership, but that was about it. ‘A good man cannot succeed alone,’ TB Joshua said. And then the rest of the sermon was about how he had helped Atta Mills, he had healed him in the past, and he knew what was going to happen all along. Despite failing to heal Atta Mills of his illness or even prophecy his death (both gifts he claims to have), there was not a lot of humility on display.
2) TB Joshua had a revelation about Atta Mill’s ‘whole journey’, he just didn’t tell us about it.
He challenged those who said he had failed to predict Atta Mill’s death by saying that when Atta Mills became president, he prayed for him to have ‘the spirit of a finisher’ (around 34.17 on the video). ‘At that moment of celebration, there was nothing to call for that kind of prayer point,” he said. He claimed that God had given him a revelation about Atta Mills’ journey ‘from beginning to end’, and this prayer point was a sign of this.
“The prophecy I received from God was the same prophecy I used that day as a prayer point.” he says, looking very pleased with himself. “But you would never know.”
Too right, Temitope. We would never guess that a vague meaningless statement like ‘spirit of a finisher’ was actually a prophecy concerning the president’s death.
“But now, when you go back to that prayer point that I raised, you will understand what I was talking about.”
Umm, actually, no. We still have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
3) Atta Mills did not die of his illness, according to TBJ.
“It was not a disease or sickness that killed him,” said TB Joshua, “but God’s time.’
Actually, Atta Mills died after a long struggle with throat cancer. In the last year he had made three trips to the US for treatment. Atta Mills would have probably died long ago without medical treatment. Of course, TB Joshua does not mention his cancer or the efforts of medical professionals to prolong his life. This is significant; it reflects his attitudes towards medical treatment, as does the next point.
4) TB Joshua urged Atta Mills not to have an operation
TB Joshua told the story of when Atta Mills told him he was going to have an operation on his eye (around 27.00 on the video). TB Joshua told him he should not have the operation, based on some revelation he’d had, but Atta Mills went ahead with it against his advice. The operation left Atta Mills blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, which appeared to prove TB Joshua right. After the operation, he went to SCOAN and after three days his sight and hearing was restored.
It would be interesting to hear Atta Mills’ doctor’s side of the story. Many operations result in temporary after-effects which heal over time. But the significant thing is this: TB Joshua told Atta Mills not to have an operation, without any medical knowledge of his situation.
This is typical of TB Joshua and SCOAN. We have written about SCOAN’s suspicion of medical interventions and the twisted theology of healing that is preached there. In SCOAN, continuing medical treatment after receiving prayer for healing is often seen as a sign of doubt. Sky News recorded disciples telling AIDS victims to stop taking their medication. We have published several testimonies of people who have been encouraged to stop medical treatment, with disastrous consequences. In this post, we explored how unbiblical this teaching is, not to mention dangerous and irresponsible.
5) There will be ‘unexplainable political unity’ in Ghana following Atta Mills’ death
That would be nice, certainly. Only time will tell if this prophecy is correct.
6) John Atta Mills nearly cost TB Joshua his ministry
“The journey nearly took my ministry away from me,” he says at 35:35. What he says here does not make a lot of sense. Even the guy doing the subtitles appears to have given up on him.
But here’s my attempt at a translation. He said that God had told him that Atta Mills’ death was an ‘unchangeable’ event, but he pleaded and pleaded with God to ‘push it forward’, or postpone it. He appeared to be saying that he had spent so much energy praying for the healing of Atta Mills, that he had little prayer power left for anything else. That might explain his poor track record of prophecies over the last year.
But it leaves the question: if God had told him that Atta Mill’s death was ‘unchangeable’, why did he keep this to himself, only to boast after the event that he knew all along?
John Atta Mills was not just a good man and a modest leader. He was an intelligent and highly respected statesman, a former law professor and academic. It is hard to believe he took TB Joshua’s rambling nonsense very seriously. He was certainly smart enough not to rely on his healing. But as a savvy politician, he would certainly see the value of courting a pastor who was so popular among the Ghanaian electorate.