Athens: the latest disapearing international SCOAN branch

In 2012, 4 branches were listed on SCOAN's site, today there are only two

In 2012, 4 branches were listed on SCOAN’s site, today there are only two

A few years ago, there were 4 SCOAN international branches in addition to the mothership in Lagos. Today, only two branches are listed on the site. Capetown quietly shut down around two years ago without any public explanation, and recently the same has happened to Athens.

Just over a year ago, a former member of SCOAN London reported that due to a crisis in the branch, TB Joshua had “taken emergency action by ordering the closure of the London branch and recalling all his workers from London to go and operate from Lagos only”. The branch is still listed on SCOAN’s site, so officially it has not been closed, but it is true that many workers were recalled to Lagos, and the branch only meets now on a monthly basis (at most). Presumably this branch is being kept on “life support” due to the strategic value of the city.

From SCOAN’s website, it appears that it is only Ghana that still meets on a weekly basis, although curiously no venue is listed. It was this branch that hosted the terrible anointed water crusade that resulted in the deaths of four people. After that it was rumoured that the authorities banned them from meeting in their venue, but we’ve been unable to confirm this.

All of this certainly puts paid to the myth that TB Joshua’s kingdom is experiencing continued and unstoppable growth. There have been no new international branches for years, and half of the original ones have now closed. TB Joshua’s stunts are becoming increasingly outrageous and desperate, high profile leaders have left and setup new ministries, and his world prophecies are now nothing more than a scrambled mess of patched together statements. SCOAN is very clearly a kingdom in decline, let’s hope and pray that those we love escape from this mess before they go down with it.

If you know anything about the latest situation in London, Ghana, Capetown or Athens, please post in the comments or email, there are many people with unanswered questions.

What about all the people the anointed water works for?

Anointed water packaging version 2.0 (left) and 3.0 (right)

Anointed water packaging version 2.0 (left) and 3.0 (right)

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.

1) Over-hype

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?

2) Placebo

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!

Update: Now the BBC are reporting on the story too (now one of the most read stories on the site)
Update 2: The police have now banned SCOAN from holding meetings in their Spintex venue.
Anointed water packaging version 2.0 (left) and 3.0 (right)

Anointed water packaging version 2.0 (left) and 3.0 (right)

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)

An example of the confusion the anointed water causes

An example of the confusion the anointed water causes

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:

  1. If TB Joshua is a prophet with the track record of predicting disasters that he claims, why didn’t he predict this one?

  2. 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?

  3. If you believe that Jesus is the healer, not TB Joshua – what is the point in this water?