This man is simply an enigma wrapped in mystery. Temitope Balogun Francis Joshua means different things to different people. Some see him as an angel of light and to others; he is a servant of Lucifer. But one thing is abundantly clear: He is a man of power and influence. Even the most retarded imbecile cannot deny this fact. His success is remarkable in the light of the fact that he could not complete one year of secondary school education. He is refreshingly different.
He has the full eccentricity of biblical Prophets . Those Prophets were just ordinary and imperfect men that God chose to use and eventually elevated them above the ordinary run of men. The Prophets of old were all involved in the statecraft of Israel; courageously speaking truth to power. Therein lies the different: Joshua is not in the habit of openly criticizing those in government. Most front line pastors in Nigeria act the same way.
He is the most abused and castigated pastor in Nigeria.
A lot of people are still questioning the source of his power. Pastor Chris Okotie firmly believes that T.B. Joshua is a practitioner of an occult science called Docetic Gnosticism and Cerinthian heresy. He said this is the type of an ancient Asian yoga-like sorcery called Shamanism.
Anselm Madubuku of the Revival Assembly Church in Lagos also said that Joshua is an occultist. The same view is shared by Ayo Oritsejafor of Life Bible Church in Warri. The Pentecostals have roundly rejected him. But has God rejected him? That is the question that begs for an answer. T.B. Joshua is an engaging personality and I find him completely attractive. It is better for me to leave the question of the source of his power to those who understand deep spiritual things. I claim not to be an expert in that field.
Joshua is refreshingly different because he passionately cares for the poor . The Prophet is a cheerful and powerful giver and God said he is unwillingly to do without such people. Amassing wealth is not part of the Kingdom principle. In Luke 12:33, Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is among the hard sayings of Jesus. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to hear a pastor preach on this.
In another passage of the bible Jesus also told a rich young man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” He never told him to bring the money to His ministry. When the Apostles recognized the grace that had been given to Paul, James and Cephas and John only advised him to always remember the poor. And Paul said this is the very thing that he was eager to do. In Ephesians 4:28,Paul admonished Christians that anyone who had been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
And our Lord and Master also spelt out the criteria of going to heaven when he said” Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Given money to God is majorly given to the poor and needy.
Prophet Joshua has brought smiles into the lives of the most depraved people in the land. He has helped the destitute and the neglected. In 2012, it was widely reported that Joshua sponsored a Nigeria student doing PhD in Oxford University at a cost of $100,000. In over a period of three years, this Man of God has spent over $20 million on charity and humanitarian work. When he started his church with the ‘bogus’ name of Synagogue, Church of All Nations, we all thought he was a dreamer. But before our very eyes, this has come to pass. He made a claim that he had received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry. Today, more than 15,000 members attend his weekly Sunday service.
The Guardian once wrote that The Synagogue Church of all Nation attracts more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. This church has hosted a lot of African leaders: These include late Ghanaian President, John Evans Atta Mills, late Zambian President, Frederick Chiluba, Zulu King, and Goodwill Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu. Others are Winnie Mandela, Richard Kingston and Julius Malema. His miracle crusade in Cali Colombia attracted over 100,000 people while over 200,000 people were in his crusade in Estadio Azteca, Mexico.
T.B. Joshua is truly a source of inspiration to many youths around the world. This amazing story of grass to grace is one of a kind and over the top. The man obviously deserves a Noble Peace Price for his humanitarian work. Ultimately, time will reveal if this remarkable man is a saint or sinner.
By Ikechukwu Orji
Orji is a Journalist and Media Consultant