Good morning, Frank. Well done!
I took time to read through your piece on TB Joshua because you are the author. I do not like getting involved in controversies and name calling especially when it has to do with the Body of Believers in Christ.
However, I personally and sincerely believe that T. B Joshua practised exorcism laced with the garment of Christianity. My opinion is not based on hearsay but a strong witness in my Spirit that it is what it is – Exorcism.
I am not a know it all believer but I know that there is a “Discerner” in me that bears witness in my heart at certain crossroads, times and occasions. Sometimes I miss it but most times it is precise.
No doubt, the man, TB Joshua accomplished so much in his life time but as believers are we to go with Sergey Nechayev philosophical assertion of the end justifies the means? NO! It is not about the results but about the “How”.
The Bible did not leave us in the dark about some of these things. In the words of Jesus the Christ Himself, Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) captured it thus: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
We must not be deceived by the evil craftiness of men manifested through signs and wonders. Unfortunately, it is easy to deceive even the deeply spiritual if care is not taken. Satan himself has been the master in transforming black into white and darkness, light.
For whatever God did and still does, there is a matching counterfeit (fake). If at all there is an original, the fake MUST exist side by side. There are true and false prophets. There are genuine and strange acts and works of God in operation today. There is also “magic”. It will take a person who has developed intimacy with God and His Holy Spirit to discern: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works
II Corinthians 11:13-15 NKJV
Here are just very few of my observations that put a question mark on the credibility bof TB Joshua as a gospel minister:
1. There is high level of secrecy around him. He was not an open book. Even in his death, the secrecy has been sustained. Nothing has been said about what led to his death… There you don’t say much nor ask questions… Adherents just follow as in a cult.
2. His method of “casting out” demons are typical of an exorcist. There are always too many strange dramatic displays in the process… The Lord Jesus spoke simple words and the demons obeyed. No drama!
3. If he did not collect tithe and offerings, how was his ministry funded? Who was bankrolling him? How come he had so much money, gave out so much money and there are no chains of thriving businesses connected to or with him?. Occultism is synonymous with strange and stupendous wealth, as well as unrestrained and profuse giving.
4. I never heard him speak in clear unknown tongue in line with Mark 16:17. Rather he mutters and with a hissing sound like that of a snake. Watch any of his ministration videos, you would not hear him speak in clear and distinct tongue.
5. It was all about him. He is the only “medicine man” so to say. Thats why he could not have any branches but one in 34 years. This is what he had to say about branches, which to me confirmed that the whole thing is centered on him: “I would have loved to have branches all over the world because people want T.B. Joshua everywhere. But it is not yet time because it will be too much for my character. When the load is too heavy for you, it will become a burden”
As i watched the confusion and wailing at the news of his death and as he was interred I perceived the apprehension and hopelessness among the people because the only medicine man is gone. Adherents are pointed to him for their answers and solution and not to Jesus Christ. Adherents sometimes see him appear to them in their dreams and subconscious moments. It is not Jesus they see but T. B Joshua. That is a sign and display of occultic and metaphysical powers the kind Olumba Olumba had.
In conclusion, I doubt if any genuine man of God in Nigeria saw him as a competitor or envied him because they knew him for who he was; an exorcist.
The journey of faith and walk with the Lord is not much about the physical but the unseen world. It follows therefore that though it may seem that the notable men of God appear physically silent over this matter, however, I am tempted to believe they have been speaking not to our hearing but to Him that matters in all things. And if any of them decides to go public I think Ephesians 5:11 NKJV provides for that: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them
May I also point out that the Bible is clear about believers judging those who claim to be believers but are either sinning or in error. So there is a place for a believer to judge another, it is not out of place according to the words of Apoatle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:12 English Standard Version (ESV) – What have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 1Cor. 5:12 ESV
In all of these, we know in part…
Joe Ukairo, Nigerian Lawyer, Public Relations Practitioner, Public Servant & Tent-Maker Pastor, writes from Abuja