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

Repost: TB Joshua, a false Christ?

The following article was previously posted on TB Joshua Watch nearly 2 years ago. It examines the warnings from scripture about false christs, and asks whether TB Joshua is one. Since this article was published, some keen followers of TB Joshua have strengthened our case by outright claiming he is a messiah, a message we believe originates from SCOAN themselves.

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matt 24:24)

Most TB Joshua supporters will immediately raise their hackles at the above verse. It has been used against him several times before, most notably in the Deception of the age video. In this post, we will look at several reasons why some may consider TB Joshua a false Christ.

What is a false Christ?

The original greek word used in the verse above is pseudochristos. The first part of the word (pseudo) refers to something that is  false, fraudulent, or pretending to be something it is not. The second half (christos) literally means “anointed one”, and gives us the word “Christ”. A false Christ is anyone who takes the place of Christ as a mediator between man and God. The bible tells us “there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). We believers can have a direct relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we don’t need a priest, a man of God, a deliverer – we have Christ, who is all those things to us and more.

In the following paragraphs we will examine some evidence that we believe shows that TB Joshua’s ministry takes on a “christ like” position in the lives of his followers.

His words are considered equal to the words of God

First of all, have a click through the Emmanuel TV website. It is littered with quotes from TB Joshua (I counted 13), but it has less than half that number of bible verses. The quotes are generally harmless enough, but why the emphasis on TB Joshua’s quotes? There’s not another major ministry we’re aware of that puts such an emphasis on the words of one man to the detriment of scripture. (Editors note: Since this article was originally written we have proven that many of the quotes attributed to TB Joshua are in fact stolen from other authors)

Ex disciple Gareth reports that “A lot of the time in a disciples life is spent studying his “notes”, that is TB Joshua’s writings. Any visitor to the church will testify to seeing disciples reading and copying out these notes into the early hours of the morning. Disciples regard these notes as equal in authority to the Bible”, Giles talks about the TB Joshua’s “quotable quotes” which disciples are expected to season their speech with. In his sermon “With such power”, TB Joshua himself says “In order to exercise such power, the man of God must be infallible. The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives this infallibility. Whatever he says is always complete and correct; whatever he writes is infallibly accurate.” This view is clearly supported by avid supporter and commenter on this site Soe, who tells us that “every word [TB Joshua] speaks is spirit-filled- and words become Gods word when they are affected by the Holyspirit”. (link)

He is the healer

Before his fans cry out “but he is constantly saying ‘I am not the healer, but I know the healer’”, let’s look at the reality.

The big craze amongst TB Joshua fans right now is his anointing water. We get many people stumble upon this site searching Google for ways to get the anointing water. This is being shipped all around the world and supposedly responsible for many healings and deliverances. What this anointing water represents is a dependence on TB Joshua, in place of Jesus. The water is a way of spreading TB Joshua’s anointing, so if it is truly Christ who is the healer, throw away the anointing water!

Finally, consider the title of the official Emmanuel TV blog: “Distance is not a barrier”. Distance from whom? Considering Christians believe that God is Omnipresent, it can’t be referring to God. TB Joshua on the other hand is not omnipresent, he is based in Nigeria and Emmanuel TV is his main vehicle for getting his message across. Now look at the banner image – it is a picture of TB Joshua with his hands raised towards the viewer as if he is praying for them. I think based on these observations it is quite clear that the word distance is referring to distance from TB Joshua. If Jesus is the healer, then distance from TB Joshua is an irrelevant point. It is only if TB Joshua is seen as the healer that this tag line makes any sense.

He is worshiped

The most obvious example of this is the video posted recently on this site of people at his church singing a song of praise to “TB Joshua, the man of God” which includes the line “everything about him is good”. This took place at his church SCOAN, and was proudly shown to a visiting TV crew.

Unfortunately this kind of idolatry is not uncommon amongst his flock. While it’s not fair to hold TB Joshua responsible for all the views of his followers, there is no evidence that these extreme views are being challenged or refuted by SCOAN. Gareth recounts how someone had a dream that TB Joshua was the younger brother of Jesus (which of course makes him the son of God!), far from being corrected for this seriously errant view, the testimony was filmed and played back to all foreign visitors!

A quick browse through the TB Joshua blogs and you quickly come across some real shockers. For example:

TB Joshua as high priest and mediator

what a God we worship through Prophet TB JOSHUA (from here)

Jesus prayed that his executors would be forgiven, but woe betide anyone saying a negative thing about TB Joshua

saying negetive things especilally about a man of God Prophet TB Joshua, is asking for curses. He is an anointed man of God. (from here)

TB Joshua as er, the son of God?

“TB JOSHUA IS JESUS of our time” (from here)

TB Joshua, the perfect man:

Everything T.b.Joshua does is purely christlike (from Doe, a TB Joshua watch commenter)

TB Joshua, saviour of the world:

u can’t change my love for him b’cos his send from God to rescue the world! (another comment on this site)

Finally, most comically – TB Joshua as a country.

I pledge to TB josua my country.
To be faithful, loyal and honest.
To serve TB josua with all my strenght.
To defend his unity.
To uphold his honour and glory
So help me God. (from here)

Finally, consider the blogs supporting his ministry. TB Joshua Fanclub, TB Joshua Fans, TB Joshua Testimonies… Is not this man an object of worship to his followers?

So to those TB Joshua supporters who hang around here, we’d love to know:

  1. How do you regard the authority of his words?
  2. What do you make of the implication of the anointing water and “Distance is no barrier”? (Don’t reply to this with a list of miracles, we’ve knocked that one on the head in this post, and besides – the false christ in Matthew 24:24 performs great signs and wonders).
  3. What do you make of the fan statements above?
  4. Finally, and most importantly – ask youself what would your relationship with God would be like without TB Joshua? Your answer to that question may well reveal to you whether he has become a false christ in your life.

Hattie’s story, part 3. Thought process

In part three of her story, Hattie explores the thought process she went through which ultimately led to her severing her allegiance to SCOAN. Follow the links to read Part 1 “Visiting SCOAN, first impressions” or Part 2 “Returning to the UK

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.

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

This is part 2 of Hattie’s story. Follow the link to read Part 1 “Visiting SCOAN, first impressions

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.

Part 3 of Hattie’s story “Thought process” will be posted on Wednesday 2nd November

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

From the editor: SCOAN supporters often say that to have any basis for critisism you must first visit SCOAN and see what happens there for yourself. Hattie refutes this claim, but has actually been there and done that. We will be serialising her story over the next few days.

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