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.

42 thoughts on “Guest post: Weighing up TB Joshua’s prophecies

  1. Now this is a post that mirrors my mind.
    How was the church in Nigeria edified by a predicted Russian ‘airspace’ attack that happened over Ukraine and had nothing to do with Russia? ( the jet was not Russian nor were the passengers)

    • Words of prophesy are not limited to Nigeria alone. Nigeria image has been saved by TB Joshua. Now y have someone who doesn’t go around doing 419, but contributes to the Health and welfare of Nigerians and many Nations around the world. The plane was shot in Russian Territory, was shot be Nigerians, and it edified the words of all God Loving people of Nigeria .

      • Nigeria image has been saved by TB Joshua

        If you read the thousands of shares and comments against the Independent article covering the anointed water Ebola solution, you might rethink that statement. When TB joshua speaks up in one of these worldwide crises, he makes himself a laughing stock, and certainly doesn’t improve Nigeria’s image.

  2. members of tb joshua watch why is it that you  want to take GODs place LET HIM JUDGE,HE IS WATCHING . STOP ARGUING THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT STOP OR

    HELP. STOP WRITING ME ,PROPHET T.B.JOSHUA IS MY PROPHET ,GOD SENT

    SERVANT.

    PLEASEEEEEEEE STOP WRITING ME

    • @ Kelvin Ndhlovu
      You may not be in a position to condemn a man to eternal damnation and if that is your definition of ‘judging’ I haven’t seen no judging here. Calling out deception in the body of Christ is every believer’s role. And there are innumerable precedents of this in the scriptures chief among them being Ananias and Saphira

    • The word, Jesus, should not be used as a token of distraction or personal comments. Men have no authority to proclaim knowledge nor do we have the authority to criticise . The Bible says clearly that if the works are not of or from God, they will die down and disappear . Here we know true prophesy’ For the past three years, has TB Joshua church grown or not? For the past century which other prophet from Nigeria is known or respected in the world like TB Joshua.? Jesus did not build a Church, but he left the principles under which a Christians should live and guided. Did TB Joshua ask you to steal (419) to cheat people or to let the rich steal the oil while the rest of the country is poor? Did he ask you to let Boca Haram run your country and to create fear amongst the people? To kidnap the youth and so forth? Let sleeping dogs Lie. Spend more time to unite Nigerians . Spend more time to pray and ask the Lord for forgiveness . There is very little time to repent Jesus said ‘ Now is the appointed time” to do good to others and not otherwise, to Love one another and not criticise . Nigeria Army are champions to do Cout-D’etat, but they cannot find a way to overcome Boca haram? what a people?

  3. I agree totally with this placement of the truth:
    The Word of God says:
    15 Meditate on these things (that is written by tbjw); give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you – 1 Timothy 4:15-16.
    10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe – 1 Timothy 4: 10.
    3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions and 5 useless constant friction sof men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself – 1 Timothy 6:3-5

  4. To tbjw,
    (A Good Servant of Jesus Christ)
    6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.
    Because
    4:1 Now the Holy Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith (The Great Apostasy), giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry . . 1 Tim 4:1-6
    Tbjw keep on instructing the brethren in these things.

  5. When you see people stoop so low as to set up blogs and websites just to slag one particular individual, then know that there is something right that the victim is doing. As far as I recall, TB Joshua has never claimed to be holier than anyone. TB Joshua never claimed that he is not without sin. TB Joshua never claimed that he is 100% correct in everything he does. So why all the hot air, why all this criticism and hatred against a person who does not owe you anything? Even as I am writing now, I am listening to TB Joshua teaching his congregation that anyone can be tempted and the fact that you are born again does not mean that you can no longer be tempted. He even went on to teach people what to do when tempted . . . . run back to God, the Creator.

    • @Charles Moyo
      “TB Joshua never claimed that he is 100% correct in everything he does.”
      It is not accuracy in what he does BUT in what he says especially when he purports to speak from the mouth of God. In other words, prophecy

      You display extreme ignorance when you equate criticism as evidence of doing ‘something right’. This site http://www.answering-islam.org/attacks Islam so that by your logic means Islam is right? 😉

  6. TB Joshua is not a prophet. The man has been deceiving people since the mid eighties and unless Christians begin to re-examine the fellow and resist his gimmicks, he will continue to dupe the world. First and foremost TB Joshua is a liar. A person that speaks lies or engages in deceptive mechanisms cannot be trusted to deliver a message from heaven. TB Joshua is also very dodgy when it comes to answering questions. A genuine servant of God is expected to be transparent and truthful about all facts of his life and work. He should not provide vague responses when questioned about anything and all information provided by him should be investigated and verified. Everything about TB Joshua is very sketchy and unverifiable.

    Looking at his background, TB Joshua has made claims that a hundred years prior to his birth, it was prophesied that “a young man would emerge from the poor Oosin quarters and that God would use him mightily”. We all know that Joshua was born in 1963 so if the prophesy given about his birth was made a hundred years prior, that would be about 1863. Missionaries began to take the gospel to the inland villages in the 1890s and at that time there were no prophets in Nigeria so what person prophesied about TB Joshua? Was it a native practitioner or a Muslim Sheikh?

    Speaking of Christianity, Joshua’s biography says that he grew up in Arigidi where he attended St. Stephens elementary school before moving to Lagos to pursue secondary education. We can assume or estimate that he joined secondary school at age 14. Now, TB Joshua himself has stated that he never attended any church from the time he came to Lagos (about age 14) until the time he founded his ministry (about age 27). If he never attended any church how did he become born again? He is the one who always says that everybody needs deliverance. What about him, who delivered him? Who baptized him? Who led him to Christ. It is not enough to tell people that he saw a hand and a bible entering his heart. It is not enough to compare himself with Elijah. We need concrete answers. Those pictures of TB Joshua on what he calls a prayer mountain are deceptive. How did he know that the Lord was going to speak to him that he decided to film himself on a rock wearing a white garment? Who in his right mind films himself when he is engaged in deep prayer, communicating with God. All these gimmicks were staged to lend credibility to future deception.

    Jesus Christ himself said that one must be born again. He set an example by going to John the Baptist to be baptized even though He was not a sinner that needed to repent and be baptized. John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you …” but Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness. Multitudes of people witnessed the Lord’s baptism. The Lord was always at the temple having fellowship with other worshippers. What about TB Joshua? Nobody witnessed his repentance, nobody knows how he was converted and if I may ask, who ordained him prophet? TB Joshua is not greater than the Lord Jesus Christ. He must be born again.

    • You just reminded me of the same words used against Jesus Christ. May the Temple of the lord that you carry around teach you more about the scriptures. the Lord said ‘ judgement is mine. he who judges shall be Judged” U will have your day in Heaven.

    • What u do not understand u call names what u understand u destroy. God will never allow u people to understand His servant, for this is how u killed d prophets of old. Wicked people never appreciate God’s work, always seeking evidence and yet never believing, u are doomed to destruction if u don’t make a u turn and seek for forgiveness from all these ur blasphemous character and unrepentant attitude. U brood of vipers.

  7. The true prophet – identified through good fruits (Mt 7:15-23), always acknowledges the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ (1 Jn 4:1-3) whose word is not for personal gain but rather for the building up of the Church (1 Cor 14:37).
    The false prophet – does the prophet compare to the biblical prophets in person and in message? has absence of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:20) i.e. immorality, impurity, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outburst of anger, acts of selfishness, dissension. Illegitimately claims charismatic authority within a religious group or uses the gift of prophecy for evil ends or personal gains? Is there deception (MT 24:10)? claims to do great signs (Rev 16:13, Rev 19:20)? Acts 13:7 a magician parading as a false prophet
    It’s your call on tbj

  8. Yes, we know already the wordly system is crazy, but is there any-one who knows where we can find the true Gospel preached and seeing it coming alife? We know already what does not works, and what the poisson is for the humans-existence, , but where do we find the way out? Who has the Original blue-print for the solution too all this madness.? There is as much as madness in the world as in Churches. Where is the real Gospel of Christ and who represents this lifing revelation?

  9. People have such short memories. Their “prophet” predicted the end of the Boko Haram activities what, in 2013?

    It’s 2014 and Boko Haram is strapping bombs to little girls, in order to blow people up.

    And funny how the kidnapped girls are *not* back home, as he predicted.

    • If Jesus said he has forgiven the sins of the world, does that mean that if you continue to sin you will go to Heaven? Does it mean that Jesus is a liar because not all men will go to Heaven? Prayer is not to stop sin, Kidnappings nor relieve Evil people from their atrocities . Prayer is a Weapon of God , coupled with Gods Spirit and used for edification, and proclamation of God’s presence in out Lives and communities. if the Army and Police that is supposed to protect the communities , help or let 10-120 pickups trucks to drive through 100km of Police and Military road blocks with 200 girls, is it TB Joshua’s fault? What did the Nigeria Government do to assist the girls? Share Money? Which is better? The Humble prayer and words of prophesy of a Man of God, or the nonchalant attitude of the Nigerian Government. If the Military can plan coup d’etats (champions of Africa in that) why cannot they capture 20-50 militant criminals?

  10. PROPHECY OF GREAT DISTRESS COMING TO NIGERIA – PROPHET – DR. OWUOR

    Judgment is coming to Nigeria, because the churches are not repenting. They are full of immorality, corruption and are profiteering on the word of God. A very interesting prophecy. Boko Haram is part of God’s judgment on Nigeria, but tbj said; “Not to worry about them”.

    Let us not forget to stay in repentance ourselves!

    • Just wonder, this is a very strong profhesy, and i gues we all agree with it. It is the opposite of the future-predictions of TB Joshua, who says that Nigeria is a land full of great people and a bright future. TB is a warned man.

      • Jamie says:
        July 30, 2014 at 10:53 pm

        …”Where is the real Gospel of Christ and who represents this living revelation?…”

        I guess, that the real Gospel of Christ, will only be found in the Bible (and a correct translation at that), on your knees in your inner room. All the churches etc. have already been infiltrated by the devil and his agents. Remember the Bible speak of a remnant that will be saved. It is not the masses or mass production of anointed stuff or the mega ministries and churches where you will find the truth.

        Jer 3:14 (NIV) “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you–one from a town and two from a clan–and bring you to Zion.”
        Luke 13:23-24 (NAS) And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
        Mat 7:13-14 (NKJ) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
        1John 3:6, 9-10 (NIV) No one who lives in Him, Jesus, keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him…. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God….

  11. Ebola in Nigeria- What You’re Not Being Told

    StormCloudsGathering

    He said, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
    15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you: …
    20 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.[a] 21 The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish
    Deuteronomy 28:15 and Deuteronomy 28:20-24

  12. In my country i see the real revivals, in litle groups in home-situations, where the Holy Spirit is fully present. I worshipped even in cold barns , with a vew people, in the midst of the winter. , without any outer garment. It is beautifull worshipp.

  13. Yes, Jamie – that is Biblical –

    For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” – Mathew 18:20

  14. TbJ’s false prophecies are putting peoples lives in danger. Now he is claiming that he predicted the outbreak of ebola in West Africa. As if that was not enough he intends to send his anointing water to Liberia to distribute to people suffering from ebola. He is claiming that he can cure ebola, giving HIV / AIDS as an example of a deadly disease he has been curing……

    • Oh crap. I knew that was coming, but I hadn’t seen his claims yet. Is it on video? Link?

      He is so DISGUSTING. What a vile, greedy, selfish man. These countries don’t need “anointing water”. They need to get a handle on the social practices that make quarantine difficult. They don’t need MORE superstition and stigma, they need LESS.

      How many more will die after being declared healed of ebola and going back to their family and community as agents of infection? Truly there is no word for him other than DISGUSTING.

    • Now TB Joshua is behaving like a conspiracy theorist who has more than 100% accurate grasp of PAST events, he can connect all the dots and successfully prophesy past events

      Very useful indeed

  15. Yes, but only when the governements are involved. TB is realy a confused man. or just very smart buzziness-man.

  16. MAGIC WRISTBANDS & MAGIC SCARVES FOR FALSE PROPHETS TO HAVE POWER OVER PEOPLE’S LIVES

    Quoted from GNB

    Eze 13:17 The LORD said, “Now, mortal man, look at the women among your people who make up predictions. Denounce them
    Eze 13:18 and tell them what the Sovereign LORD is saying to them: “You women are doomed! You sew magic wristbands for everyone and make magic scarves for everyone to wear on their heads, so that they can have power over other people’s lives. You want to possess the power of life and death over my people and to use it for your own benefit.
    Eze 13:19 You dishonor me in front of my people in order to get a few handfuls of barley and a few pieces of bread. You kill people who don’t deserve to die, and you keep people alive who don’t deserve to live. So you tell lies to my people, and they believe you.”
    Eze 13:20 Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I hate the wristbands that you use in your attempt to control life and death. I will rip them off your arms and set free the people that you were controlling.
    Eze 13:21 I will rip off your scarves and let my people escape from your power once and for all. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
    Eze 13:22 “By your lies you discourage good people, whom I do not wish to hurt. You prevent evil people from giving up evil and saving their lives.
    Eze 13:23 So now your false visions and misleading predictions are over. I am rescuing my people from your power, so that you will know that I am the LORD.”

  17. I remember right before elections in America Tbj asked everyone to pray for Obama as it was a tight election. I was perplexed as Obama is a Democrat and anti God and Israel. He for four years was destroying the country. All Christians should vote the bible which would be for the Republican. Pro life. Pro traditional marriage. Obama is pro abortion and pro gay marriage as nearly all Democrats. Yet Tbj asked everyone to pray for Obama to win the election. After he one he claimed he prophecied Obama would win and he absolutely did not. He took a little bit of his prophecy and then lied about it.
    I really was so concerned when he asked everyone to pray for North Korea. I don’t know much about what’s going on all over the world but it is very clear and we’ll known he persecutes Christians and is a big threat to the America and to the rest of the world. Yet Tbj was asking me to pray for him. I believe Tbj said something about a war. Yet in any way North Korea would be the enemy.

  18. I find disturbing how when America announced it was sending help to look for the girls kidnapped Tbj said that Nigeria did not need any help. They could handle it.
    These girls are being raped and forced to pray and worship Allah and yet Tbj doesn’t want America’s help. It seems that he hates America as so many people do because it is a strong, wealthy country.

  19. Thank you Jesus for the gift of Prophet T.B JOSHUA to our generation, may you continue to manifest your power through him, strenghten him, protect him and bless him.

  20. Whilst u r busy persecuting TB Joshua he is on his knees praying for u. . Its sad when acclaimed Christians don’t even read the bible. . Maybe you should take trips there to video and publish more evil. . And I promise all of you who critisize hime will come out delivered. . Pray for your enemies as Christ did. . Who are emulating now? Our egos or the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. . Its sad the energy some of you put in here to critisize these men of God. . Hollier than thou attitudes and quoting the bible that most of you read as a book not God’s word. I pray for all of you. . I hope u quote all the verses that talks about vilifying the prophets and annointed men of God. . . God loves u. . . Stop the attacks and leave it to God. Its obvious none of you here can stop him. REPENT!!!

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