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An explosive interview with Pastor TB Joshua of The Synagogue Church Of All Nations by Lagos Weekend, published by the historic Daily Times of Nigeria Plc…

You’ve come under severe criticism recently and in the past years from other pastors and your former aides, but you never replied them. Why? 
It is only when you don’t know where you are going you will reply them. When you don’t know where you are going, anything can overwhelm you, anything can provoke you. Look at what happened to Joseph in the dry pit; because he knew he was going to the throne, he was not overwhelmed. When he was on the floor, instead of looking at the floor – you know the prison floor is not smooth – the Bible said he opened the window and looked at the beautiful sky and he said to himself, “I know where I belong!” So when you know where you belong, nothing can overwhelm you, provoke you or discourage you. Therefore, if you know that there is a higher hand leading you and you know the protection you are under, you don’t fight for God, rather God fights for us. There are two ministers of God, those who fight for God and those whom God fights for. For me, God fights for me. You don’t fight for God, so when you are doing the work of God and people are fighting you, they are fighting God. Apart from healing, prophecy and Synagogue, if I withdraw now, nobody will talk about me. Definitely, it’s God in me they are fighting. So when somebody says you are this and that, it’s just a matter of time. Those persecutions, hatred and intimidation – you will realise that God uses them to prepare us and strengthen our desire for Him. When you are being persecuted, it’s time to praise the Lord. Time of intimidation is time to draw closer to Him. Therefore, it’s a tonic for our anointing. The persecution we suffer in the hands of our detractors causes us to be known.

Some Pastors claim that you are evil. Is TB Joshua evil? 
You know what happened to Peter and our Lord Jesus Christ. You know how close Peter was to Him and the question He asked in that Matthew 16 – “Who do people say I am?” Peter’s first answer was improper and Jesus said you are a tempter; you are a snare, get out of my sight. You should ever think of the things of God, not things of the world. You can imagine somebody who is close to Jesus and the Lord asked him, who do people say I am – and he could not see Jesus from God’s point of view but from a human point of view. Perfection eludes everyone. Because you bear pastor… what informs that word pastor? The issue of pastor is all about the anointing of God. So because somebody said I am a pastor, that does not mean his vision cannot be blurred – and when his vision is blurred, you will not see clearly the things of God. There are pastors that actually receive the message of God by mental assent. The actual message of God comes from the heart. It renews our strength. The one that comes from our heard you memorise the message, just like you go to school. What you have studied is in your heard and the moment you are not practicing what you studied in another two to three years, you have to rehearse it again, but the Words of God are always in our heart.

For Nigeria to develop, they should exchange oil for technology

For Nigeria to develop, they should exchange oil for technology

Lagos State Government is talking about wealth of churches and they want to tax churches. Do you support this move? 
The wealth of the church is the strength of the church, and the strength of the church is the Holy Spirit – so what are you talking about? How would you now tax the Holy Spirit? When you are out there looking at the church, it’s a place of refuge for everybody when there are economic crises. People are jobless; when you are given a sack letter, the next place you think of is the church, when you are sick, you run to the church. Somebody who receives a sack letter from his office, is the Pastor still expecting money from such person? A pastor that does that is receiving a curse. I will advise the government not to share a cruse from any minister of God that is collecting money from people they are supposed to give money to. Government should not join them in sharing the curse. People are being sacked and that’s what’s happening in the country today. If you are sacked, the Pastor is supposed to restore hope and strength to you, give you money to invest, go to their store and give you at least a bag of rice that will sustain you until you get another job. These people are a burden to the church – but when you are looking at the church from a distance, you will think they are bringing money… So, if any Pastors sees it as a means of extorting money from the under-privileged people, that Pastor is receiving a curse. There is no need to tax churches because they are not making money, and if anybody starts making money at the expense of other people, the person is getting a curse – and I don’t want government to share in that curse.

You have other arms of the church like charity, deliverance, reconciliation, prophecy, healing and others. What has it been like over the years handling all these responsibilities? 
This is the problem the country has brought to us; that is what we are talking about. Here we have a foundation for the youths, a football club. There are about 4000 of them that come from across the country, and we have a bus for them. We are also involved with the destitute in Oko-Baba, you saw the buses given to them and how they are being taken care of and we are giving them scholarships. We have people in Leeds University in London, which is one of the best universities in the world. There are also the widows, the physically challenged – and we have a warehouse where we keep the rice which we give to these people. Each trailer is N5million and we have about four trailers. There are also the aged people – we look for them and take care of them, even the ones that are sick. Of course, you know that to run a football club costs a lot of money. Even the PHCN where they train, we paid heavily to secure it. These are some of the challenges we are facing. So when you now talk about the issue of tax, does it means that we will withdraw all these and use it to pay tax? We are dong more than paying tax. I don’t operate any bank account, not to talk of keeping money here. These people are my bank account. I believe so much in this so that in the nearest future, people can stand and say, ‘I am now this through the grace of God in the life of TB Joshua’.

Is that the basis for grooming these young ones around you from abroad? 
I will not answer that now, let me finish the issue of leadership. Let’s move forward. One of the key issues why we are having problems, especially in Africa, is that there is no way Africa can develop without taking this pattern I am going to talk about now. In developed countries, they exchange their mineral resources with another one – but in our case, we exchange our mineral resources with money. Look at our oil; the Western countries come to take our oil and give us pounds and dollars. For Nigeria to develop, they should exchange oil for technology. Go to Russia, whatever mineral resources they have there, they exchange with American technology and whatever America needs from them, they exchange it with technology; the same thing happens in other developed countries all over the world – but our own is money. The gift of God to us, our inheritance, to develop people’s skills, we keep exchanging for dollars and pounds. And when we collect the money, we will not keep it in our banks here. We will still carry it back to the banks of the people that gave us the money, and they will say they are keeping it for us. They will say they are keeping it in foreign reserve, and that actually has kept us in the level we are today. So tell me how we can develop? From the beginning of this Niger-Delta crisis, if these boys had seen that their oil is being exchanged for technology instead of money, I tell you, there will be employment, light, improved telephone service, and good quality education – do you think they will fight? Look at our universities today. People go overseas to study. Well, it’s not too late because we have mineral resources and they should exchange it for technologies and other things we don’t have, not money. Don’t give us fish; teach us how to fish.

Prophet TB Joshua - when you know where you belong, nothing can overwhelm you, provoke you or discourage you.

Prophet TB Joshua – when you know where you belong, nothing can overwhelm you, provoke you or discourage you.

With healing happening on a daily basis, on the average, how many people get healed here? 
Since the healing is from God, do you need to test or examine and mark God’s work? The credit is for God. No matter how many people that are healed, you cannot mark God; it’s man we can mark. After we must have done everything humanly possible, we still need to leave it for God. For just coming here today, you have received healing.

From a spiritual angle, how do you think the world wide economic meltdown will have impact on Nigeria? 
I think what is happening concerning the economy is a normal thing, because where the voices are not one, you expect things like this to happen. God is only very merciful – by now, we are supposed to be crying. Nigeria is not counted out of this. You are in this country; you know what is happening and you know the mismanagement. If you mismanage your product you’ll get a shortage – that’s exactly what is happening.

But you said in one of your prophecies that we are yet to see anything concerning this economic meltdown? 
Yes, have you seen anything? What have you seen? You are only seeing the flame. When you see fire, you see flame – but we are yet to see the fire. There is no solution, there is nothing we can do – it’s a matter of time. But we will pass through it with a lesson. God wants to use it to strengthen our desire for Him.

Has any of the world leaders called to ask you for a way out of this economic crises? 
You want me to begin to mention the names of Presidents in your Newspaper (General Laughter)! My friend, when you talk like this, I know where you are going. I want to tell you that it is part of the gift; the anointing God has given to me. The way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. Some He sent them to the village to minister, some to the community and some among his own race, some to another race and colour, while some anointing touches Kings and Queens, Presidents. Therefore, by our fruits you know the kind of anointing we bear. We are anointing carriers, but when you look at us you know the kind of anointing we carry. So it’s not for us to begin to tell you – ‘this is what I am doing’.

When is Nigeria going to have a leader that will take us to the Promised Land? There is poverty in the country…
Well, what do you mean by Promised Land? Until what they inherited from their past predecessors is no longer burdensome. Like the issue of administration, the person in power is still battling with what he inherited, he has not started a new thing. Some may continue battling with theirs throughout their tenure. I hope you understand what I am saying. It’s like somebody’s father dying and there is a huge debt to settle. You realise that either you denounce that father or carry the responsibility. You begin to pay the debt for his house and other things – and that may take your time and career.

I think the problem is that we have many leaders, but we fail to take time to develop people’s skills – they have no disciples. No one can go it alone, even Jesus Christ knew this and that was why He had disciples. But we have leaders without disciples in every area. Not in the political circle alone, but churches too. Take your mind back to some late great men of God in Nigeria, how many of them had disciples? Look at the political circle; take your mind back to the olden days – how many of them had disciples? It takes time to develop people’s skills, but how many people will do that? You will be persecuted and hated even among the people you are developing. Many of them will be Judas and in the process of developing them, they will go out and say all sorts of things against you, they want to bring you down- but at the end of the day, you still see one or two of them that are good. Of course, you know what happened to Jesus because He was developing skills, making disciples. People are afraid to develop skills, because in the process of developing people’s skills, you look at the repercussion. When you weigh the disadvantages and advantages, one would be afraid to go into it – but the future is great because you will live forever if you take time to develop people’s skills and make disciples out of them.

The possibilities of a bright future await Nigeria - if only leaders take the time to develop people's skills

The possibilities of a bright future await Nigeria – if only leaders take the time to develop people’s skills

This is what the Bible said. It says – God ye into the world and make disciples. Look at everywhere – even in your journalism circle. You know of great journalists, editors, publishers – but where are their disciples today? Those disciples either turned around to become senators, governors or others things, or they just abandoned their profession. Even if you become a senator tomorrow, that does not mean you should abandon your profession. It is your profession; you should establish it, employ people to manage it while you supervise. Look at farmers. Go to the village you hardly see anybody in the village today, all of them are coming to the city. We have leaders without disciples – and no one can go it alone. We need good people, inspired people and informed people to achieve our dreams and objectives – and Jesus knew this.

Presidents have visited you from other countries and you’ve visited them also. Here in Nigeria we’ve not had a situation where any Nigerian President has visited. Is it a situation of a prophet not being recognised in his homeland? 
A point of correction – to be conferred with the OFR is a recognition. I’ve never had any honour like that. That is appreciation, but the manner of approach differs. So I think it’s still normal. Everything big starts little. If something big starts big, it calls for concern.

You appear too simple. Why? 
It’s because I am in the midst of people. If you go out there, you will pity the people. People are there at the bus stops waiting for vehicles and they can stand there for hours. Sometimes I ask myself where these people work. What kind of job will you go to at anytime you feel – that means a lot of them keep changing jobs. So how can their lives be stable – and success demands a stable character. When your character and attitude is not stable, you are far from success. You say ‘it’s good’ today, tomorrow you say ‘it’s not good’, you are far from success. God’s Word is constant; He is still the same yesterday, today and forever. What you need to do is to seek the things from above so that you may be comforted in the face of whatever situation you are in. Just like I said earlier – Jesus has risen. Therefore, let your mind rise and seek the things that are above so that we may be comforted in the face of our situation. You say people are suffering? Jesus has risen – tell your people to seek the things that are above so that they may be comforted in the face of their situation.

How would you want to be remembered? 
The Apostles paid the supreme price to bring the Gospel. Some were stoned, some were crucified upside down – so if you must be one of the disciples of Jesus, you must be ready to follow Jesus, bearing His cross, bearing His reproach. You must know the fellowship of His suffering.

SOURCE: Lagos Weekend – Vol. 2 Issue 38 – May 29-31 2009

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An in-depth interview with TB Joshua regarding his extensive charitable activities and the reason for his passion for the poor, as published in the prestigious Tell Magazine of Nigeria. There are many lessons to learn…

He was born in an unusual circumstance in the rustic and sleepy community of Oosin, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State. His birth was foretold about a century ago by Balogun Okoorun, a great warrior and farmer, who prophesied that from that rustic community would emerge a man who would be powerful, famous and have great followers. Though his biological parents had no inkling about it, his birth was an unusual one as he stayed 14 months in the womb as against the normal nine months. Born June 12, 1963, he was christened Temitope Balogun. He is today better known as Prophet TB Joshua, founder of The Synagogue Church Of All Nations.

Years after his birth, and having been prevented by poverty from having tertiary education, Joshua refused to say die and to Lagos, the city of aquatic splendour, he came. There he put into use the raw knowledge in him by being a private home teacher for some rich kids. As if in line with the prophecy of Okoorun at the back of his mind, he was always telling his pupils that one day he would become a great man. Today, he is not just great, he is helping others to achieve greatness.

Indeed, Joshua is like the proverbial prophet who is not so much honoured at home but highly esteemed and honoured across the globe, including Europe, Asia and the United States of America. His preaching, which is accompanied with signs and wonders, is criticised by many other men of God on the local scene, but this has not deterred Joshua from doing the work of the Master, Jesus Christ. In short, he has taken the message beyond preaching to providing for the weak, the poor, the rejected and the forsaken. “With the increasing rate of orphans and the needy in the society, the church cannot afford to sit on the fence anymore,” he states.

Prophet TB Joshua - You will begin to succeed with your life when the pains and problems of others begin to matter to you.

Prophet TB Joshua – You will begin to succeed with your life when the pains and problems of others begin to matter to you.

In this interview, the man of God sheds light on how God has been using him to cater for both the physical and the spiritual needs of the people. Excerpts:

What are the challenges of being a man of God in a country like Nigeria?
Let us put it this way: what are the challenges of being a child of God? Because if you say ‘man of God’, we are being personal. Well, the Bible says we are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are just passing through. I am a stranger here. So, what do you expect of a stranger? We are in a danger zone.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations regularly caters for the less privileged. What informed this? 
The Bible says we will begin to succeed with our lives when the pains and problems of others begin to matter to us. In the book of Philippians 4:12-14, Paul the Apostle said, “I know what it takes to be poor, and what it is to have more than enough. In verse 12, he said, “I have learnt the secret of being disciplined, so I am content,” content in the sense that before you can become what you want to become, you must know what it takes to be poor and what it takes to have more than enough. If you have not tasted poverty, you will not be able to manage blessing when it comes. If you have not tasted humiliation, you will not be able to manage honour when it comes. It is better to say long in the dark so that we can recognise the light when it comes. Also in verse 13, it says, “I can do all things,” which means I have the strength to take care of everything. It is difficult to take care of the poor if we don’t know what it means to be poor.

What informed your passion for the needy?
The Bible says, “Watch and pray…” – it means you need to look around before you pray. If there are people who need your help, do whatever you can to give them relief: love them. After this, pray – and your prayers would be answered. I know what it is to be in need. I have once been in this situation, asking for help. I know perfectly well what it means to be in need. I have tasted poverty, humiliation. I suffered dejection, neglect and what have you. But today, I am a product of grace. I do not blame anyone for being poor; I should not blame anyone for being humiliated. The fast runner does not always win the race.

How long have you been involved in helping the destitute persons at Okobaba?
I have been involved in this project for 17 years. Today, many of these destitute persons that I helped to school, to the glory of God, are graduates. They are well positioned in their various places of work. Recently, one of them called from Kano and said, ‘don’t I know him?’ I asked him to come down to Lagos and when he did, I discovered he was one of those I assisted to school then at Railway Crossing when he was following his father to beg for money. He is a Muslim. He told me that many of them have graduated and are working now.

The set of people that were given school uniforms are a different set. You could see that majority of them are of primary school age. There are others, a hundred plus, that are with in the age bracket for secondary schools, and their uniforms have been given to them. When I saw that there is no one to take up this responsibility, I charged myself to do more because there is no amount of price one can pay that is enough. We thank God for the privilege to do this. In a month, we spend between N2 million and N3 million to cater for these people. My appeal to the government is to come to the aid of these people by renovating their habitation at Okobaba and providing more accommodation. The children cannot continue to live there. We cannot do it alone. We need good people, inspired people and other corporate organisations to build a future for these children.

There are other projects I have also been involved in. I gave a building to the Muslim College, a school I once attended. There is also the distribution of food items and money for the aged, depending on their conditions and needs. That is also extended to other places outside the country. We begin to succeed with our lives when the pains and problems of others matter to us.

The projects that I undertake have helped me not to live a flamboyant life: having fleet of cars, houses and the rest. It would surprise you that I don’t have a car or house of my own. Even the house in my hometown, I have not been able to complete it for the past 10 years. It is not that I don’t have money to build it, but I consider first the needy around me. My own is to eat, sleep and ensure the work of God is going on. There is nothing to be excited about in life.

What other plans do you intend to pursue apart from what you are involved in now? 
I want to have a standard hospital to help the poor and the destitute, build standard schools for the destitute: primary, secondary and the university. I pray that God will give me the grace to do it.

In achieving your aim of building schools, are you going to acquire hectares of land and centralise the schools, or the schools would be built around where the students stay?
The weak have not hope, but Jesus is their hope. It is not my plan, it is God’s. Man proposes, but God disposes. God will give us the directives to be followed. The whole essence of this is to save our society from hoodlums and other social vices that may result if these people were totally neglected. If you ask armed robbers how they started, you will be shocked at the story of their lives.

Your ministry to the aged, how has it been faring?
The aged deserve all that can be given to them. Some of them are very old, in their 80s, 90s and 100s. Some have lost their children – no one to cater for them. We have made provision for monthly stipends for the aged. Bags of rice and other food items are distributed to them from time to time. This we have done to play our part in making them enjoy their old age. Not only the aged, we also have widows and dwarfs. We have paid school fees for many of them and render assistance from time to time. The widows, as well as dwarfs, have special programmes from time to time. The widows, as well as dwarfs, have special programmes in the church to meet their needs. We have been doing this also for many years.

Many other men accumulate wealth for the future; here you are spending yours on the people. Are you not scared of the future?
I don’t have any money. If I have trillions of Naira today, there would be a trillion people around me to share the money with. I live my life as if there is no tomorrow. I sincerely believe that great man have great habits. This is my habit. I know everybody will give an account of what he or she did on earth. My reason for not being after wealth is because my desire and focus is on my destination. Whatever I am now, whatever I achieve now, I don’t concentrate on it. Therefore, there is no reason for wealth accumulation. Our spiritual walk with God is essential and should be paramount in our heart.

Whatever is your gift, that is what God will use to bless others through you - TB Joshua

Whatever is your gift, that is what God will use to bless others through you – TB Joshua

It is not every man of God that is into philanthropic gestures such as helping widows, dwarfs and the destitute. What are the things you think men of God should be doing for nation building?
Well, a point of correction – I want you to know that every man of God has habits. When you read your Bible, habit is a gift from God. If you are not a copy, you begin to do uncommon things because you take your directives from heaven. It is not what somebody has done before that you begin to do again and again. There is what we call supernatural gift of God and natural gift, and when you look at it, you see that divine wisdom tends to contradict the design of natural events. So, it is not just wisdom in the practical sense of it; it is pure wisdom of God. If you have such wisdom, others can copy; it is not for you to copy. I cannot do anything without the help of the Holy Spirit; I cannot do new things without the help of the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit teaches us new things. His mercies are new every morning. There is no repetition. We are created to change our world. There is no way we can change our world when we keep repeating what others have done. There will not be new things in the world if all we do is repeat what others have done… I think everyone has a calling. Ours is different from others. The way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. If others are not feeding the poor, it does not mean they are not people of God.

Can you shed more light on what the church has done in the area of nation building?
Like I said, if I begin to tell you all these, then it will look as if I’m boasting. I should not boast in what I am doing for God. I should boast in what God has done for me. Let’s give glory to God and thanks to God!

SOURCE: Tell Magazine, No. 52, December 24 2007

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A remarkably intriguing interview with Prophet TB Joshua, conducted by The Sun of Nigeria…

Today, we bring you the conclusion of our interview with Prophet T.B. Joshua, the controversial founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations. He speaks on the misunderstanding between him and some evangelical and Pentecostal leaders in Nigeria. He also reacts to the trend of church leaders in Nigeria owning planes. He was asked one Satanic question: Have you cheated on your wife? Excerpts:

Pastor Adeboye said he would not worship in your church. How do you react to such a statement?
I want to say something. Everybody makes mistake. Everybody. That’s all. Perfection eludes everyone. So, for me personally, I respect integrity. Look at me here. Even if you don’t look at me, look at the so many people of different calibre that believe in what I am doing here. So also, Baba Adeboye has so many people, people that matter in the society that believe in what he is doing, what God is using him for. So if I now open my mouth and begin to speak to such a man, I think it’s uncalled for. It’s unnecessary. It’s not Christ-like. I am not speaking to him, but I am speaking to people that believe in him. I am brought up from a home where we are taught to respect elders. We were taught not to speak against elders, even if elders speak against you. And in the same home too, we were taught that elders should not speak also against the young.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, said you should first of all show him who pastured you before they could consider admitting you into their membership.
As a point of correction, I never applied to be a member of any association. Okay? So that is a point of correction. Two, the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differ. Some He brought them from this direction, some from another direction, some He allowed to go to Theology school, some He allowed them to go to the university, (and) they may not even go to Theology school. After graduation, they would become whatever God wants them to become. Some, they may not even go to school at all. There is the University of God where you would not be promoted, no matter how brilliant you are, until you take every course. Do you understand me?

Prophet TB Joshua - In The University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion. You must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.

Prophet TB Joshua – In The University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion. You must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.

You are saying in effect that maybe they are looking down on what you are doing, because you didn’t pass through the formal process they passed through.
Do you say you understood what I said? I told you that the way and manner God executes His plans in our lives differ. Okay? The direction that God would take you through and when we all become pastors, sometimes God would send some to local level, God send some people to national level, God send some people to minister to the whites and some, their anointing cannot pass beyond the black. Some God sent them to minister to presidents and kings. The way and manner God called us differs. That is why we should not compare ourselves with others. And that is why we should not be measuring ourselves to ourselves.

In the process of building this big institution, have you made mistakes?
You see, everybody has dry pits. And also, everybody has his prison condition. Also, everybody has his Potiphar’s house. So that is my answer in the form of a parable. Let me tell you something: When you wake up in the morning and you discover your hand is free, your leg is free, you are okay, that may likely not encourage you to watch and pray the more. Problems make us to pray more and fast the more. Difficulty makes us to pray and fast the more. And, weakness also… Look at Paul, the Apostle. Three times he came to God. He said: “Lord, this is a thorn in my flesh.” The Lord said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you.” There is reason for that. God used that to preserve him from becoming too proud and begin to see himself that ‘I am this, I am that’.

When you look back, are there areas in your spiritual journey that you didn’t do well and you feel like correcting?
I am not God. I am a servant. And a servant looks unto perfection. God is perfection. So that is it.

You are not making effort to make peace with the other ministers so that there would be no question of T.B. Joshua is not this, T.B. Joshua is not that. Didn’t the Bible say you should pursue peace?
If I can give you the audience I am giving you now – this is a wonderful atmosphere. That is my nature. I love everyone. But I trust only God.

How do you feel over the contempt people have for you? The fact that they don’t speak well of you and they say you don’t belong to their fold. 
Can I ask you a question? If we remove what is not made in Nigeria from your body, you would remain naked. If I say okay, ‘Give me those things on you that is not made in Nigeria’, and you would find yourself naked. So, what are we talking about?

Meaning what?
That is a parable. Put it in the paper like that. What I am saying is that a prophet is not honoured in his hometown. And because you are not honoured in your home, that has nothing to do with the anointing of God. That does not mean you are not honoured.

What is the central focus of your ministry? What is your message?
Salvation. Salvation is the house and when you open the house, you can now see healing, you would see blessing, you would see prosperity. If anybody now begins to ask for healing, healing, healing, it’s like you want God to just give you fridge in the house. What of the whole house?

One of the accusations against you is that you are making yourself God, that you are not submitting yourself to Jesus, that the reason you are called Emmanuel is like you are God Himself.
No, Emmanuel is in the Bible. Emmanuel means ‘God is with us’. That’s our greeting. Like many churches would say ‘Hallelujah’ or ‘Hosanna’. So what is bad about that? You have been here over an hour now – do you see any of that? That is it. That is why you should go and tell the world that this is what you heard and this is what you have seen. How can anybody now see himself as the Master Jesus when all the healing, deliverance, salvation are not brought to pass by anything we have done, except by His name. He who glories must not glory in himself, but in the Lord. So that is it.

It appears that all is of grace because all our spiritual advantages are from God. Our faith, our conversion, our eternal salvation are not the product of any natural gift or any natural ability. So no man should boast. It’s blasphemy for anybody to say he is Jesus. If anybody calls himself Jesus, that person is not normal – he is mental.

Who is your own father in the Lord or mentor?
When we talk of mentor, we mean someone you want to be like or someone you believe you have gained from. After reading my Bible, I give a total salute to Paul, the Apostle, what God wrought through him after his deliverance. Peter and Paul, the Apostle. But I pray for all the ministers of God. They are all my mentors. Okay?

How has not going to a university impacted you?
When there is the University of Jesus… you know Jesus has a university. That is where you can receive His message in your heart. But if you did not attend His university, you cannot receive His message in your heart. While in the other universities you receive the message in your ears, in the University of Jesus, you receive the message in your heart.

What differentiates The Synagogue from any other church?
There is no difference. Whatever happens here in terms of miracles, in terms of salvation – what you are seeing, there is no difference. God is the God of these fingers. Look at these fingers, they are not equal. Look at it.

What differentiates you from other preachers?
Nothing. Nothing differentiates me. Rather, I want to tell you that no matter the level that one reaches, there is always another level to reach.

Prophet TB Joshua - The way and manner god executes His plans in our lives differs

Prophet TB Joshua – The way and manner god executes His plans in our lives differs

Your critics say if you pass a place, people would rush and go and touch the sand and all that. What is the symbolism of all that?
We have said it here that God can use any medium. When we look at what happened in the book of Act 19: 11, it says God wrought extraordinary miracles through Paul. Anything that had contact with him were taken to the sick and they were all healed.

Are you a misunderstood man?
I am a tenant. If the landlord was misunderstood, what’s my position? I am a servant. The head of the house was misunderstood. What people do not understand, they call names. But what they understand they destroy.

Are you an underrated man?
Soul has nothing to do with high people. It is all about a regenerate soul. A regenerate sinner becomes a living soul. So forget about having a big church or whatnot. When you talk about soul, it is not about big, big people.

When I look at the size of your church and the fact that it is still growing, I begin to ask: Is it not possible your vision has become too small for the size of the ministry? In other words, five years from now, can this place contain you?
We have branches all in different countries. Our church is one of the biggest churches in Greece. And I think the one God has established here, we need to have the same size all over the world. It is not that important that it should expand, making it for all Nigerians to come here. No. This is my mission. Like I have told you, the way and manner God executes His plans in our life differs. If I don’t have branches all over Nigeria and I have branches in other countries – that is the way God wants it.

Already, you are running two shifts. Which means if you grow some more, you might have to run more shifts. Where will your people park and so on?
When the situation is such that I would be running three services, then it is better I establish in other countries like say Ghana. People can come there. Eighty percent of my members are not from Nigeria. And anywhere that honey is, insects seek it and find it.

What is the honey here?
It is the anointing; the anointing of God.

How did you meet you beautiful wife?
I think she would be in the position to grant you an interview. She is such a wonderful woman. You too know that behind any man is a woman. No man can go it alone. I salute her. This woman, hmm, is a mother. When you say somebody is your mother, she’s more than a wife. And I don’t know the words. I am short of words to describe her. She is someone that amidst all the noise, noise, noise, she would just look. She’s my counsellor, adviser. She would tell you: it’s a matter of time. And you would never hear her voice. If this woman is not a good woman, I don’t think you would find me in the situation I am today. Because, you cannot have problems out there and have problems in the house. Many that don’t have problems in the outside, they have problems in the inside. And the problem inside is greater, is more powerful and is more dangerous than the outside.

Where are your children?
My children? They are there.

How many?
They are there. They are doing fine. That’s why I have plenty children.

You don’t have biological children yet?
I have biological children.

How many?
I have three.

How many boys and how many girls?
If I begin to say how many boys, how many girls, those who have no boy or have no girl might feel discouraged. As a minister of God, I shouldn’t discourage anybody. If I begin to say I have so-so girls, I have so-so boy, those who do not have at all would feel discouraged. My words should be words of encouragement, to tell them that what a man can do, a woman can do it, and what a woman can do, a man can do.

How do you feel not having a boy?
Ah, ah, how do you come to the conclusion that I don’t have a boy?

As a man of God, can you look God in the face and admit you have not cheated on your wife?
Let me tell you one thing about the situation. What is happening, you are seeing the level of understanding and the obedience in union between me and my wife.

But you are a handsome man. Don’t women tempt you?
You say what?

Don’t you face temptation from women, a handsome man like you?
Like I have said, if you are not tempted with money and you are not tempted with woman, and you are not tempted with pride…I want to tell you that God Almighty has been manifesting His strength in my weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Thank you. Are you okay? (Laughs)

How rich are you now?
Mmmh, this is a question that I think if…I want to advise the whole world. And whatever you hear from me, take it. Because if I am telling you what I am not I am, God is there. Because as a servant of God, we cannot misinform the public. I am not a politician. I have to tell you. If I am telling you something now, you will hardly believe, but I want you to believe. In terms of cash, I am zero. When I have a hundred million today, I have one thousand five hundred people I have given scholarship. Leeds University alone in England, one person cost hundred thousand dollars. It is one of the best universities all over the world. And I have people all over.

I can give you my account number to check. I am zero. But people look at me, I don’t mind. My responsibility is so much that if I have trillion dollars today, I would not be able to save one dollar. It is not enough to care for the responsibility. Are you talking of dwarfs, widows, physically challenged, old age? When we leave here, I would take you to our store opposite here. It’s full of rice. We have five trailers of rice we just brought. Every month, it’s like that. And you know one trailer is five point three million naira. So I want to declare, I want to tell you today, you would find zero money in my accounts. But I am not owing banks and I am free from that. But I am just a zero. But my responsibility, God has been taking care of it.

When are you going to buy your own jet?
When I say I don’t have cash…(laughs); when I say I don’t have money, cash like this, where would I get money for plane? But I want to tell you something: there is nothing bad having a private jet. But the only condition I can have it, if God says I would have it, is for people to give me. And when you give me, you should also be ready to pay landing fee because I don’t know how I would get it. But I want to tell you that if ministers of God have it, there is nothing bad about that. It aids the gospel. I tell you that our fathers that have it, there is nothing bad about that. The way and manner God executes His plans in our lives differs. Some ministers, God says: ‘You, you would not have a private jet, I would send people to give you.’ While some, God says: ‘You, buy it, with your money.’

Adeboye's Private Jet - Matters arising...

Adeboye’s Private Jet – Matters arising…

I am not supporting those who are criticising the ownership of jets by men of God. It is true that there is difficulty in the society, there is poverty everywhere, but trial is the soil in which true ministers of God flourish. But I am not criticising because the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. But as for me, I know, that even every car I have there, there is no single one I used my money to buy. Since I started this ministry, there is never a day I have been able to gather money. If I have one dollar, one responsibility is there to take the dollar. If I have 20 dollars today, 200 people are waiting to take the 20 dollars. It’s like having these things attract responsibility. I even say I don’t want money because money brings responsibility.

Are you planning to build a university?
We put it before God and God says yes, He would give us the grace. But this university would be for the needy; those who are brilliant but cannot afford to go to university. And the physically challenged too. The university would be mainly for the needy whom we are giving the scholarship. But before that, let us send people overseas to attend university there or here. Let us see what we can do to make the existing one better and better.

How do you explain your strategy of inviting heads of states to your church?
It’s you that know that they are heads of states. For me, a soul is a soul. Church is all about those who are being saved, not head of state. Why are you interested in Presidents?

Do you have any message for Nigeria?
My message is that it is high time we became a producing-nation, not a consumer-nation. If we know what it takes the producer that produces what you put on, you would know how you would care and how you would go about having plenty of it. And two, a producer sees whatever he does or whatever he gives as an assignment from God. Giving is an opportunity to reshape our destinies. When you are giving, you are reshaping your destiny. But mind you, what you give does not all that matter to God, but the way we give it.

Did you ever meet President Obasanjo?
President or no President, church is all about soul. Those who are being saved. It’s we that know this one is President, that one is President. So, we pastors should talk about souls being saved more, not the calibre or the class of people.

What are your success tips in life?
The secret is, feel what others feel. Jesus feels what we feel. You begin to succeed with your life when the hurt and problem of others matter to you. So, this is the problem we are facing in this country. When we feel what others feel, the public fund, public money and when you are voted to a position, you would consider the people that brought you there.

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Another inspiring interview with the Punch Newspaper, posted on the official website of Ondo State, the home State of Pastor TB Joshua…

The founder and head of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua has witnessed remarkable changes in the last couple of years. His long robes and full beard have been replaced by designer shirts, suits and a well trimmed beard. But more importantly, he is no longer the clergy that journalists get for a chat anytime they desire. It took VINCENT AKANMODE andADEOLA BALOGUN four days before he reluctantly granted an interview on such issues as his non-admission into the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, his childhood and his relationship with the presidents of some African countries.

What are the fond memories you have of your childhood days in Arigidi Akoko?
My days have been wonderful. You know that in spiritual time with the Lord, there are good and bad times. Each day serves a purpose, both my good days and my hard days. The hard days might have come as a way of preserving me; it may be to prepare me for the challenges ahead or to take me to a new level in life. It may be to strengthen my desire, and God can use anything to do that. It could be persecution, it could be rejection. Remember the book of Mark says the stone the builder rejected has become the chief corner stone. It is the Lord’s doing, it is marvellous in our eyes. That rejection is the Lord’s doing. The Lord allows my rejection to enable Him to take all glory and honour. He allows the persecution that comes our way to bring the best out of us.

TB Joshua - If you are not a graduate of persecution or intimidation, you may not be able to maintain the power or glory

TB Joshua – If you are not a graduate of persecution or intimidation, you may not be able to maintain the power or glory

I read it somewhere that you attended about three or four schools in a year. Why did that happen?
It’s part of what I was saying. God was using that to prepare me for the challenges. If God wants you to know or achieve many things, He can take you to a hundred places or make you experience a series of trials before you achieve that. You know in the college of God, however brilliant you are, you are not going to be given double promotion. You will have to take all the courses in order to excel because each course has a purpose. You know God has his own university too, just like He has his own primary school.

According to a documentary devoted to your growth from childhood to adulthood, you were known as Balogun Francis when you were in primary school. How did that change to Temitope Joshua which everybody calls you now?
No, when I was in school, people called me Francis, Harry and other aliases, together with Ope, Temitope and many other names.

So, it was not as if your parents named you Francis?
No, my parents did not name me Francis. In those days, the name Francis would be too far from their memory (laughs). The foreign names they knew would probably be common names in the Bible, but not Francis.

In the documentary, I noticed that when you were about 17 years, you were wearing glasses. What happened to them?
Ha, you seem to know so much about me (laughs). When I was in the primary school, even after primary school, I believed in working very hard. I would work 24 hours because whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to do my best. I believed that what was worth doing at all was worth doing well. You can see me now, I have been working here since yesterday and you would see me putting on something that would allow me to move freely while I do what I have to do. I cannot put on a tie now because the work I do is so much. What we are doing here is not ceremony; it is work. I attend to thousands of people. So, when I was in school, I used to work very hard and I used to take food that would allow me to do the job. Like today now, all I have taken since morning is tea, because if I had taken any heavy food, by now I would be feeling sleepy. I try to regulate my system in order to be able to do my job, and it shows in my stature. So, in the school, I would read every time – morning, afternoon and night. In fact, my best time to read then was in the night when everyone had gone to sleep, because I was always having many challenges. Then anywhere I was, if I came second and someone else came first, I would feel challenged. I would not envy him but I would ask myself why I could not also come first. Because of the way I took my reading, I ate so much of gari. In fact, I was taking gari 24 hours. I would soak it in water and leave it to swell up. Later, I realised that my sight was becoming impaired because of the effect of gari. Initially, I used to sit at the back. But when I could no longer see the board very well, I had to move forward before I could read what was written on the board very well. Sometimes in order to fight sleep, I would take Nescafe because of the pressure to work hard, and it paid off. In my school days, if I didn’t come first, I would come second. Then, it was only one guy that was beating me. If I came first, he would come second, and when he came first, I came second. He was an Indian; they called him Harry de Shamah, a son of a lecturer at the University of Ife. And anytime he beat me, it would be a headache for me and I would not be able to rest. I knew that with little sleep, the guy would come first. I always found myself being challenged in all I did.

One of your teachers said you started showing the signs of a preacher at an early age. She even said you disarmed a mad man. Did you realise that you wanted to be a preacher very early in life?
Yeah, when the madman came and both the teachers and the pupils didn’t know what to do, I rose to the occasion by talking to him to leave, and he did. What came out of their mouth was ‘Small Pastor,’ because I had a very small stature. They probably thought that it was only a pastor that could do that; that it was beyond human comprehension. And two, I used to have a small fellowship in our school, and I was very good in Bible Knowledge. I used to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. There was a time I was in Ansar Ud Deen School in Ikare. Then I was leading the Scriptural Union and after school hours, I would organise a fellowship. At times, the school authorities would say no. So becoming a pastor had always been my desire before it was confirmed by God.

Prophet TB Joshua - That rejection is the Lord's doing, to bring the best out of me, so that He can take all the glory and honour

Prophet TB Joshua – That rejection is the Lord’s doing, to bring the best out of me, so that He can take all the glory and honour

Were you born into a Christian family?
Yes. My father was the secretary of the Anglican church in Arigidi.

But we have heard it said that your father was a herbalist, that you derived certain powers from him.
No, there was nothing like that. My father was not a herbalist. You can go to my town and find out, they will tell you. My father used to be the secretary to the church.

Is he still alive?
No, he is no more alive.

Why did you want to become a soldier?
You read that somewhere too?

Yes.
Well, just to be a soldier of the Lord. You know, man proposes, God disposes. As a man, you would want to be this, you would want to be that, but God has his own plans for you.

People say you are more popular and more accepted by foreigners than your fellow Nigerians. Why is it so?
Well, I don’t see that as anything strange. Whatever you put on as a person, how many of them were made in Nigeria, including your spectacles? If you remove all these things you are wearing now, you will be naked. Are you then not happy that foreigners accept you because you are using everything that they make? There is nothing you put on that is wholly Nigerian. Is that not what everybody is praying for? Have you not heard that a prophet is not honoured in his home? It is written and you cannot rewrite the Bible. Not only prophets, whatever you are doing, you will be more appreciated outside than your country. We have many geniuses today in Nigeria, was it Nigeria that discovered them? See many lawyers, Nobel laureates, doctors, even army generals – where were they trained? Was it in Nigeria? It is a normal thing to be appreciated and accepted outside your country. When what you are doing is not genuine, your people will accept you while those outside the country will not touch you. See this publication, (he tenders an edition of Time magazine where his photograph was put on the cover and he was described as a faith healer). Time is the leading newsmagazine all over the world, and here is my picture as a man who heals with faith. If a magazine of this calibre can go all out looking for me, why should I bother myself so much about not being more accepted at home?

Are you not bothered that you have not been admitted into the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. Pastor Adeboye was quoted as saying that you have to explain certain things before you could be accepted?
I can only be bothered when I am not a man of God. I am a child of God, okay? You mean I should be bothered that my own biological father rejected me or God rejected me? So what are you saying? I still see no reason why you are bringing up these questions after all what you have seen in Time magazine about me. I want to say something here, for me, I am very busy here. I don’t even have time for the local media, that is why I didn’t want to attend to you people, because there are some certain things I don’t want to hear. Who is supposed to judge whether one is a man of God or not?

The first time we came, we saw you carrying sand with a pan on your head alongside other members of the church at one of your construction sites. Why did you have to do that?
It is because I am being led by the Holy Spirit. You people expected me to be doing what others are doing, that is why you are saying somebody rejected me? When you are being led by the Holy Spirit, you will do something different. It is not necessarily important I build my church the way others built their own. I should do it the way God wants me to do it. I don’t necessarily have to belong to an association; you should belong to the association God wants you to belong to. That I carry cement on my head and worked with my members is no big deal. It is a rare privilege to work with them.

How do you cope with having to attend to hundreds of people on a daily basis?
It is the Lord’s doing. That is why it is very difficult to join any association.

Why have presidents been coming here to see and fellowship with you?
It is the work of God. Is that why you think I should join an association? Since I am not the only person that has not joined an association, I think God’s association is more important and better.

You have also been hosting celebrities?
Forget about celebrities. It is all about the work of God.

You used to wear a long robe when you started your ministry, but now you wear designer shirts and suits. What was responsible for the change?
I was only wearing a long robe when I wanted to pray or when I wanted to go to the mountain, which is a normal thing. And again, you wear a long robe when you want to sleep.

Since you were very brilliant when you were in school, why didn’t you pursue your education up to the university?
Well, I believe God took me to His own university. The way and manner God executes His plans in our lives is different. Again, that has not been a handicap to my job. I thank God for that.

President Yar’Adua is not enjoying the best of health. Why have you not deemed it necessary to heal him?
Did the president tell you that he is sick?

We know that he is not okay because of his many foreign medical trips?
That is where his faith lies, and I have not been approached. For me, I don’t have any problem with people going on medical trips.

If he approaches you, would you help?
I have told you, he goes to where his faith lies. I think as Nigerians, we all have to pray for our president.

What message do you have for Nigerians in this era of economic meltdown?
We should do what is good instead of criticising or condemning. We should pray instead of raining curses. Everything will be okay.

You used to wear a full beard?
The beard is still there (laughs).

Did Time magazine get to know about you through your Emmanuel TV or because so many presidents have been coming here?
This picture (he points to his picture in Time magazine) was taken five years ago. The reporter came here at that time and they still went ahead to release the picture after five years because they still believe we are on course.

Do you suspect envy on the part of pastors that criticise you?
If you are not a graduate of persecution or intimidation, you may not be able to maintain the power or glory. You must know what it is to be persecuted. The Bible has said it that the stone the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. Whatever comment people pass about me, God allows it in order to strengthen me.

Is it possible to estimate how much you spend on charity in a year?
Well, that should not be my assignment. The most important thing is to touch people’s lives.

Do you insist that someone should be a member of the Synagogue before he or she can benefit from your charity?
Synagogue is in the body of Christ. And in the body of Christ, there are many parts.

Why is it that you have only one branch of the Synagogue in Nigeria while others are in Ghana, London and others around the world?
But the single branch is where everybody has been coming to receive blessing. Emmanuel TV is there and some of these questions you are asking me are answered on it.

Each time your church got destroyed by rainstorm, you had it filmed before it was rebuilt. Why were you doing that and what force was behind that?
It was a force I could not resist. It was a force that I know was backed by God. Look at all of you here now, you cannot tell me that you have the record of everything about your life somewhere in tapes. All you probably have is the record of maybe your birthday, graduation, wedding or funeral.

SOURCE: The Punch, Nigeria

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In this intriguing and enlightening interview with The Weekly Spectator, TB Joshua discusses on a wide range of issues, including his prophetic gift, daily routine and relationship with different heads of state…

Prophet T.B. Joshua, founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, is an enigma of sorts. Over the decades, the 44-year-old, bearded “man of God”, as his followers fondly call him, has quietly, steadily lived by his conviction. His life as he revealed to Weekly Spectator in an exclusive interview, revolves around the propagation of the Word of God.

Pastor TB Joshua - Preaching The Word!

Pastor TB Joshua – Preaching The Word!

The massive, beautiful edifice of his church headquarters, The Synagogue at Okota, a Lagos suburb, has sent eyes enviously roving and tongues wagging. As though saying, ‘eat out your hearts’ to the jaundiced critics, heads of states every now and again drop by.
The President of Gabon, Omar Bongo was there a couple of weeks ago. But the portals of the Synagogue are also open to the lowly rejects of the society. Widows and dwarfs throng the place. The church caters for them without reservation.

But the building, according to him, is only 75 percent completed. With its state-of-the-art studio and equipment, he told Weekly Spectator that he would allow the public to use the place for Christian-related activities when completed: “Gospel artistes can come to perform here. Marriages, crusades and seminars can hold here”, he said.

The prophet’s largeness of heart appears to stoke and even weave controversy around him. Late last year, Pastor Chris Okotie, a notable Pentecostal church minister took a swipe at him, saying that Prophet T.B Joshua and his followers will go to hell.

Commenting on that in the interview with Weekly Spectator, Joshua simply said: “Integrity can’t be probed. When it has to do with the name of a person and church… when I begin to be a judge, who will judge me on the last day? God allows persecution to preserve us for redemption. He even allows name-calling to prepare us for a new level”.

Healing and prophecy are perhaps his forte. On Sunday, January 13, 2008, while delivering a sermon that was later telecasted on the church’s T.V channel-Emmanuel, he accurately predicted, the Heathrow plane crash. He told the congregation to rise up and pray on Wednesday and ask God to spare the balloon that flies in the air and its occupants.

He further told them to make sign of the cross on their foreheads and stretch their hands and do same for people not present and ask God to “shelter them under the shadow of His protection”. Few hours after, the British Airways plane, Flight B.A 38 from Beijing, China, crashed. With the exception of three passengers who had minor injuries, the 138 passengers in the Boeing 777 survived the crash. Excerpts of the interview:

Many important persons and heads of states always sneak in here. What do they want from you?
They don’t sneak in. There’s no way they will sneak in here with a presidential jet. The gospel of our Lord Jesus is light. And you cannot light a candle and hide it. It will surely attract both the privileged and less-privileged people. It’s two-sided.

You accurately predicted the Boeing 777, Heathrow plane crash. Would you say the passengers were spared because of your prayer and that of your followers?
I would like you to watch the tape of that revelation. I said: ‘let the will of God be done’. I said it five times. I told members of the church present: ‘rise up for prayers, let the will of God be done’. I saw it and told people to pray to avert what would have been a major disaster.

In the same vein, what’s your forecast for the country this year?
I have the messages. I’m just taking it in bits. By tomorrow morning, I know God will still speak through me to speak to the whole world. I have about 30 messages for the nation but I am taking them one after the other. I even saw the killing of Benazi Bhutto in Pakistan.

Why don’t you bring them out make them public at once?
No. When I get a message, I begin to ask God if we can do something about them. If there are some that prayers can change I say it to the world. As for what God has for people this year, I would have released them since January 1st, but the ones that can be changed is what we are asking God to show us. But very soon the paper will be available. I want to advise the world. When the Bible says, ‘watch and pray’, what it means is before open your lips with faith in your heart, look around you and help those in need.

The heads of state and statesmen who visit you all the time, do you ever advise them to be upright and humane in their dealing with their citizens?
That’s what is exactly expected from a man of God. Anyone who comes to see the man of God should expect to hear the voice of God. And God says live right. Righteousness exalts a nation and sin brings reproach.

How’s your typical day?
Jesus is the world to me, my time, my day, my love, my joy. Without him, I will fall. I don’t have any time I could call my own.

When do you wake up – if you ever sleep?
I‘ve said it all. Jesus is the world to me. Let no man boast. It’s not the work of righteousness which I have done but according to his grace. He manifests his strength in my weakness.

You are a pastor, a husband and father. How do you juggle those roles?
When Jesus sends you to carry out a mission, the people that will help you- your wife and children, your evangelists, He will prepare them for the journey. Once you are a man of the people, not a man of man, he will bring people who will help you.

Nothing is heard of your wife. Is she part of your ministry?
Yes, she is. God’s time is the best. He’s working out the answer slowly but surely. When it’s time, she’ll be on board.

Sometime last year, another man of God, Pastor Chris Okotie was quoted to have said that you and your followers will go to hell. Did you read the story and what’s your reaction?
You know, I respect integrity. Integrity can’t be probed. When it has to do with the name of a person and church… when I begin to be a judge, who will judge on the last day? Let me put this way: sometimes, God allows a controversy. He uses that to strengthen our desire for him. He uses persecution to preserve us for redemption. He even allows name-calling to prepare us for a new level.

Why informs the name of your church –Church of Synagogue of All Nations? Is it that your church will eclipse other churches of the world, or are you convinced that yours is the only church God has ordained for the world?
No (laughing). When we say Church of All Nations, it’s a vision given to me, that the church will touch all the world. A tree cannot make a forest. We have ministers of God that the Lord is using to fulfill that promise. But the Word of God is like a house. Some are sent to lay the foundation, some are sent to lay the bricks, some come to roof and plaster the house. So, no single person can build a house. Everybody needs to know his own portion in the assignment. This is the portion given to me. I’ll carry it to the whole world.

Other Christians call their place of worship ‘church’. Why do you call yours ‘Synagogue’?
If you read your Bible very well, Jesus entered the Synagogue and said to people buying and selling: ‘Get out of my father’s house, it’s a place of worship’. He chased them out of the place.

So, you’re taking it from a Jewish tradition?
There’s nowhere in the Bible that Jesus entered and said: ‘This is my father’s house’, apart from the Synagogue.

This place, Synagogue, is massive. You must be very rich to do it. How did it happen?

Whatever money can achieve must not be glorified. Let’s glorify what money cannot achieve the anointing of God. When you talk of money, unbelievers too have money. Let’s talk about the things we can’t achieve by power and might. That a man built the biggest church in the world is not an issue, not something to be excited about. The people of Satan also have money to build a big place and worship him.

Still on the building-the Synagogue, how long did it to be erected, what’s its cost and is it true it’s only 75 percent completed?
I’ve said it all. Let’s not glorify man. Let’s talk about the source of money-God Almighty.

This is your headquarters, how many branch do you have in and outside the country?
We have it here. We have branches in Benin City, Port Harcourt, Jos, Akure and so on. We also have in South Africa, UK… And there’s hardly a country that is not represented here.

You have a world-class theatre, stage and state-of-the-art equipment. Why don’t you call gospel artistes to come here and perform?
Well, the Synagogue Church of All Nations is not for members of this church alone. The place is still under construction. When we finish, I’ll place it on the Internet that we can use it to conduct Christian marriage. Gospel artistes, men of God who want to do crusade and they are looking for a safe place, they can come and take the key and do what they want. The place is for the propagation of the teachings of Christ.

How much will you charge?
It will be virtually free. How much do you think we would charge to make up for the over-heads? It we ever demand for money, it will be for people to know the value of what they are using. It will be based on the Biblical principle of giving and receiving.

How old are you and how do you keep your youthful look?
When you mirror Jesus, you have a raw appearance. But when it’s the other way round, you begin to look for cream, bleach and so on.

Pastor TB Joshua As You Never Heard Him Speak

Pastor TB Joshua As You Never Heard Him Speak

What is your favourite food?
Well, I take food that will enhance my movements, my journey. You know, I move, I move. You don’t expect me to eat amala, eba and so on. I take food that will allow me to wake up when I want.

If you are taken to an island and dumped there, what is the single most important item in the world you will wish to take with you?
Ah (laughing), I’ll take the Bible. That’s my roadmap. My life depends on reading the Bible.

Does it bother you that there are so many churches in this country, and nearly every street has a church and yet bad things happen?
The work of deliverance is not our work. Jesus never forced anyone to believe him. And Jesus never healed alone. Before he heals you, he will ask you questions. “What do you want me to do for you, what can I do for you? Do you want to get well?” He knows that you need healing but he will still ask you if you want to get well. Man has free will. So, if there are churches everywhere and there are still bad things happening you can’t force anyone to accept Jesus or to stop living in sin.

You are popular, by the way. Are you interested in politics and will you someday get involved in it and vie for election?
There’s nothing wrong in men of God going into politics. It will help them to do what is right. As it was in the time of Jesus, John the Baptist sent his disciples to confirm whether he’s the one to come. Instead of Jesus to say, “yes, I am the one’, He said, ‘sit down’. He went to the blind and made them to see, he healed the crippled-many healings took place and he told them: “Look, you’ve seen it, go and tell your master”.

So, a little example makes a big difference. Men of God should go into politics and do what is right instead of criticising the sick society. Did you ask me if I’d like to go into politics? (Laughing) If I go into politics, what happens to the ministry God gave me? But if God says I should go into politics, who am I to say no? No man of God will go into politics without hearing from God.

During your crusade when you touch people, they topple and fall, some critics say you use supernatural means to do it. Do you use juju?
If you read the Book of John 3, from verse 30 to the end, you will discover where it says, God’s words, his wonder, his miracles are limitless. We have the power to destroy ourselves but we cannot save ourselves. God’s work is unlimited and it is a mystery. No one understands it. Even those who say they understand, they only claim to but they do they really understand it?
Well, the ones that come from the earth, do things that are of the earth and the ones that come from above, do things from above. Heavenly thing can never be comprehended by earthly people. What we don’t understand, we call names. And what we understand, we destroy. In John 7, when Jesus was in the midst of his people, some said he was fake and that he’s not a man of God. Others said he’s a true man of God. So, it happened during the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every minister of God must face a controversy and arguments by his people. They want to know his origin, nature and position. So, what I do is not something to be understood by mortals.

SOURCE: Weekly Spectator, Nigeria

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Nigeria’s leading newspaper, The Sun, published a detailed account of TB Joshua’s journey through life, in his own words…

Prophet T. B. (Temitope Balogun) Joshua needs no introduction. Everybody has his or her reason for liking or hating the controversial founder of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, a Christian religion with a growing fanatical following. T.B. Joshua, the religious leader whom many evangelical church leaders would not want to be associated with, because they believe he should not be in the fold of real born again Christians.

Pastor TB Joshua - Unravelling The Mystery...

Pastor TB Joshua – Unravelling The Mystery…

Of recent, Prophet Joshua has been the butt of renunciations and denunciations by some leading men of God in Nigeria, who questioned his authority and his authenticity as a man of God. Without any doubt, Joshua is an enigma wrapped in controversy. And it was our desire to unwrap this enigma that took us to The Synagogue, tucked away around the Ejigbo and Egbe axis of Lagos.

There we found a huge, unique Cathedral, the type that has not been seen anywhere in the world. Even the legendary King Solomon would marvel at this Temple of God, built by Nigerians, “under the inspiration of God” as we were told.

On our journey of discovery, our family members and even our colleagues were worried about our going to interview T.B. Joshua. So much was their worry that they had to fast and support us with prayers and spiritual “casting and binding.” To them, it was like entering a spiritual lion’s den. But we were not deterred. After all, journalism is all about adventure. It is about venturing into the unknown and to report it.

There to welcome us at The Synagogue on Wednesday last week was a Briton, who serves as the church’s public relations officer. There were so many white faces everywhere, giving backing to the claim that it is an international church. The young man took us on an excursion inside the church that looked like a huge Roman amphitheatre with pews, carpets, altar and audio-visual facilities that combine to give a colourful and mystical ambience to the church. We visited the church’s Emmanuel TV studio, which broadcasts religious programmes around the world. There were all kinds of studio – for recording and making CDs, audio studios and photo studios. In every studio you saw workers behind computers busy editing films or whatever.

After the tour, we were made to watch a short documentary featuring the newly elected President of Ghana paying tribute to God and to T.B. Joshua for helping him to win the election in Ghana. For 30 minutes or more, we watched the Ghanaian President, Prof. Attah-Mills, worshipping at The Synagogue and even going to the altar to share his testimony about how God used T.B. Joshua to make him win the election in Ghana. He told the congregation about how accurately Joshua prophesied that there would be a tie in the Ghanaian election that would drag into January, but eventually he would win. And he won.

Around Joshua’s living room were pictures of Presidents, heads of state, who either met the prophet or came to worship in The Synagogue. There is the picture of General Andre Kolingba, former President of the Central African Republic (who visited in 2003), Frederick Chiluba, former President of Zambia (who visited in 2001), Prof Pascal Lissouba, former President of Democratic Republic of Congo (who visited in 2006), and Sir Orville Turnquest, former Governor General of The Bahamas whom Joshua visited in 2001. Then there is Omar Bongo, the President of Gabon who visited The Synagogue in 2008.

After an hour of the preliminaries, T.B. Joshua sauntered in to welcome us. He was dressed casually in a T-shirt and shorts. He looked amiable. As we started the interview, he grabbed the tape recorder from us and spoke into it directly as we fired our questions at him. It was his own way of ensuring clarity in recording. Our approach was to get something biographical or autobiographical. This is Prophet T.B. Joshua’s memoirs, in his own words, with a little editing here and there. T.B. Joshua, as you have never heard or read anywhere.

Successful people don’t just drift to the top. It takes focus, personal discipline and perseverance to reach the top. As we know, there is what we call man’s natural gift and the supernatural gift of God. This church is the outcome of the supernatural gift of God. Man’s natural gift is a gift one can begin to boast of, telling you how it all happened. The work of breakthrough is not our work. It is our faith. The work of breakthrough is God’s work. All what you are seeing now is God’s work. If it is to be man’s natural gift, then one can begin to say this is how I achieved it; this is how I came about it. Up till now, I look at The Synagogue edifice and ask myself: how did it happen? God just wanted someone to do all these things and He sent me to do it. It is not my work, but the work of God. So let no man boast. All boasting is excluded. The Bible says, there is no room for man boasting of his own ability or power. So glory be to God.

‘My Father’
Every success story started from somewhere. I was brought up from a Christian home. My father’s name is Kolawole Balogun. He was a Christian. He was a farmer who was also the secretary to St. Steven’s church in our village. When the white people came to our village, he served as a translator. He was translating English into Yoruba. He was an educated man. He lived with the white people as well as serving as church secretary. I cannot say much about my father because he died when I was a small boy. I know that he loved me a lot. I was his pet. I was the one who suffered most from the effect of his death. Being the last born, anywhere he is going, he would take me along. He would carry me to the church. As a little boy, I would be running inside the church. I would jump from the choir to the catechist’s table.

Some people used to rumour that my father was a Muslim. I don’t know where they got that from. My father was a Christian and I am a Christian. When I was very small, I could recall him taking me to church regularly. As a kid attending primary school, my dad would make me to stay after school with a Catholic priest whose house was at the back of the church. I did all the normal things kids do, like running around and playing football.

When my father died, my mum’s brother who became the father figure to me was a Muslim. That does not make me a Muslim. I was brought up in a Christian home. And right from childhood, I was passionate about the Bible. Right from primary school, I was well versed in Bible knowledge. It was my favourite subject and I excelled in it. As a primary six kid, I read the New Testament twice. In my secondary school days, I finished reading the Bible on the average of two months.

Prophet TB Joshua - One Life For Christ Is All I Have, One Life For Christ Is So Dear

Prophet TB Joshua – One Life For Christ Is All I Have, One Life For Christ Is So Dear

Every two months, I would have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It was the only subject that I believed so much in. It was as if Bible was the only subject that interested me in primary and secondary schools. In exams, I scored 99 percent consistently whereas I performed woefully in other subjects. My excelling in Bible knowledge affected the other subjects where I performed poorly. At school, I was the leader of the Scripture Union.

Even though I was second in primary school, I didn’t find it easy getting admitted into secondary school. As luck would have it, I got late admission into Muslim College. In that Muslim College, we were restricted from carrying the Bible openly. To read the Bible, we would have to hide under the mango tree or backyard and the Muslim community would begin to chase us. We were all 20 in number then. Like the early Christians, we would read the Bible in secrecy because they never allowed us to do it openly. I was the leader of the Christian team in the school, at Ansar-Ud-deen Grammar School, Ikare. And because of the pressure, I couldn’t finish a year in that school. It was obvious I couldn’t fit into this dominantly Muslim setting. So I left the school. I left because my life was in danger. I could sense that since I was doing this thing secretly, one day something could happen to me. To avoid that I had to leave. From Ikare, I came to Lagos.

‘I spent 15 months in my mother’s womb’
Back to my early beginnings, I was the last born of the family. When I was born a lot of strange things happened. Seven days after I was born, I was told that I was put on a mat and a big stone nearly crushed me but miraculously I escaped. How did it happen? White people used to come to do borehole in our village. And in our village, it’s all stone under. When they are drilling, they would be hitting stone and stones would be flying out dangerously. Before any drilling, they would publicly announce that everybody must stay at home to avoid the danger of being hit by a flying stone. The stone used to fly because of the nature of the machine they use. It was on the seventh day when they wanted to name me that they put me on the mat and a big stone flew from where they were drilling, pierced the roof where people were celebrating and landed where I was placed. But it missed me, narrowly. The stone is still being kept till now. Nobody has ever heard this story from me.

The other mysterious story about me is that a normal pregnancy is nine months. But I spent more than that in my mother’s womb. My mother was taken to Egbe, which had the best hospital in those days. Egbe is in Kogi State. It was probably the best hospital in the whole of Nigeria then. My mother was carried there for operation. After nine months, she started labouring. She ended up spending three months in the hospital. My grandmother had money and my mum is the only child. At the level of the village, granny was a very rich woman. So she could afford the hospital bills for that lengthy period of time. Each time the doctor wanted to operate my mummy, the doctor would say: “I am not comfortable with carrying out this operation.”

My mother told me this story. She remembers that in that Egbe, some Christians used to come to the hospital to preach to the sick. She said she was just lying down on the bed and a pastor just walked in and said she should not be operated. He said to my mum: “God is busy preparing this child. So, please, they should not operate you. Go back home. If you attempt the operation, the opposite would happen.”

My mum called the doctor and the doctor met the pastor who repeated the message to the doctor. My mum left the hospital after three months back home again to continue the labour. She laboured and laboured. Instead of nine months, she spent 15 months labouring. But one night, they delivered me without operation. So this made the villagers and the whole community to say they must celebrate my birth. And they now gathered on the seventh day to name me and celebrate. It was that seventh day they were doing the drilling and the big stone flew like a missile, heading to my direction, but miraculously missed me. Where the stone passed is still there. Where they laid me on the floor is still there. Because I said they should not touch it. The stone that fell is still with them.

The story began to go round the village about this mysterious child that was born after 15 months, a child they carried to Egbe Hospital and they could not do operation, they came back home, they delivered him safely. Now after delivering him, this stone fell and a mysterious hand carried this baby from the mat. Nobody saw me being carried. They only saw me in another direction, crying: Choo, choo, choo.

The stone was supposed to fall on me, but a mysterious force moved me into safety within the same room. It was a narrow miss. The cloth and everything burnt into ashes. And my mummy fainted. And she was carried to hospital. My mummy was in the hospital for good two days. The ram and everything were all there. The rice, they could not eat it. Because everybody was rushing to the hospital to revive my mum. Nobody did any ceremony again. But eventually I got named. I was named Temitope Olutope Oluwasheun Oluwarotimi Opeyemi; I have plenty names. On the day I was named, I was given 30 names. But I just chose Tope out of the plenty names. My mother one day called me and said: “Your names are almost 30 and they are written down.” And I just chose Temitope. I just picked Temitope.

My mummy woke up after two days in the hospital. My mum’s name is Adesiji Kolawole Balogun. Her father’s name is Kolawole. My mummy is late, my father is late. My father died first when I was a kid and my mother was left with the responsibility of training me and sending me to school. But she was handicapped financially. She told me: “You this boy, I cannot finance your education. You would have to wait until your brothers finish their university education. They would be the one to sponsor your education.”

Mum was the secretary to the union of daily savings collector – what it is called in Yoruba: ‘Aya ni lowo fowo pa mo.’ I remember her going out to collect daily savings from her clients. She used those things to train her children. Now that she was no longer into that business, and was hoping my brother, who was attending secondary school in Gbongan would be the one to send me to college. That was the only hope that I had to go to school.

Based on the hostility and the religious intolerance at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, I decided to leave Ikare for Lagos. I met some people who used to carry cassava from the village to places like Ibadan and Lagos. I approached them and explained my predicament to them. They would spend four days on the road transporting the cassava to Lagos on the trailer. The trailer would be loaded with stuff like cassava and cocoa while the owners would sleep on top. I decided to join them. I did not tell my parent I was going to Lagos. I stayed inside the vehicle for four days before getting to Ibadan. From Ibadan we landed in Mile 12 in Lagos. They dropped me there and told me: “This is where we can carry you.”

For five days, I was in Mile 12. It was during the rainy season. The job I was doing was washing the feet of people coming out of the muddy market. I would wash feet and be paid little money with which I fed. I was washing feet until one day I heard two women conversing in my native dialect. I interrupted their conversation and asked if they were from Arigidi, my hometown, and they said yes. I told them I was in Lagos to trace my sister whose whereabouts I don’t know. Luckily, I was able to trace my sister to Egbe area of Lagos. After 10 days, I traced her and started to live with her. That is how I started my life. Today, I have an NGO for motor park boys, because I have also been one myself.

I realized my sister had her own family and I should not be burden to her. I do not like inconveniencing people. If I visit your house and you give me a bottle of soft drinks, I would make sure I put something in the envelope, because I believe we make a living by what we give and we make a life by what we receive. This is what I believe in. In life, you don’t just have to collect and collect. It destroys one’s life. You have to give and give. Because the Bible says, you must see giving as an assignment from God.

‘I carried shit to make a living’
I left my sister to live with a friend. From there, I got a job as a poultry farm attendant. The poultry is still there now. Not long ago, I traced the poultry to somewhere in Ikotun. The job they gave me is to carry shit. Fowl shit. And fowl shit smell is more terrible than human faeces. I was doing this job with many Ghanaians. There were so many Ghanaians in Nigeria then. I was the only Nigerian in that poultry farm. And I never let people know I was a Nigerian. I declared myself a Ghanaian too, because nobody would believe a Nigerian would do that kind of job. I did the job for three days and my body odour changed. When I’m moving about, people would perceive odour and flies would be hovering around me because I was smelling very badly. There was no amount of soap I would bath that would remove this odour from my body. As you are working in the poultry farm, the fowl shit would be dropping on your head. I did this for one good year.

At the same time, I enrolled in an evening school. New State High School is the name of the school. I attended many schools in Lagos. I would attend one school for two months, only to be sent away because of school fees. I attended New State High School, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Isolo, and another school called Metropolitan. Because I was very good in athletics, I was given what looked like scholarship. I won gold, silver and bronze in athletics. But I needed to work to support myself at school. That was why I took the poultry job. I was using it to pay my school fees. In those days, evening schools were like full, normal schools. You could easily attend evening school to do your WAEC and GCE. We even received better lessons in the evening than in the day school in those days. I was sending myself to school and at the same time teaching children Bible studies.

My athletics took me to Baptist Academy. When I was running they picked me. Under one year, I attended 15 schools here in Lagos. And I did not finish one year. I don’t remember the year, because I cannot keep records. But it’s all in the documentary on my life. I was born 1963. At least, I remember that one.

‘I confronted a mad man at school’
My first attempt at discovering God’s spirit in me was when a mad man came to my school. In those days, I used to be called Small Pastor. One morning a madman came to our school with a cutlass and everybody was running helter-skelter. The teachers all fled and the classroom was empty. I came and saw this mad person. The spirit of God spoke to my heart, not to my ear. I hear the voice of God in my heart and not in my ears. I heard the voice of God telling me: “Go there and collect the cutlass. Just tell the madman to bring the cutlass.” When I was moving towards the madman, everybody was concerned for my safety. They were saying something like: ‘This is boy, he wants to die.’ I just went to the madman and commanded him: “Give me this cutlass, in the name of Jesus.” The madman gave me the cutlass. I collected it and gave it to a teacher. It was from there they started calling me Small Pastor.

From there, they would call me in the assembly and ask me to pray for them. Every time I would pray for them. If they want to play football, I would pray for them. They began to come to me individually for prayers. It was pray for me, pray for me, pray for me all the way. They asked me how I was able to overcome the madman and I told them I was surprised myself to see what happened.

You see, God Almighty is awesome. He can use any medium to express Himself. He can use sand, water, stone, rod, he can use anything. When Moses was asking God, what should he do, God asked him: “What is in your hand?” He said rod. Then God said: “Use it to divide the sea.” Or are you talking about Paul and Silas in the prison yard? They were there and they never said: Hey, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus. They just sang praises to God. The used the medium of sound. Or are you talking of Joshua. He said to his people to just shout Alleluia and the walls of Jericho fell. God uses any medium to express Himself.

The ministry started from St. Stevens Primary School where I collected the cutlass from the madman and where I started leading the Scriptures Union, teaching the Bible and everything. This is where the awareness of God’s presence in me started. It continued. Everything big starts little. If everything big starts big, it calls for concern.

I was in Bahamas with the President of Bahamas, very close to Florida when my mother died. This is the picture. I was with him when they called me. Synagogue had already come into being. I was with him when they said my mother was a bit down, that they brought her from the village. They said my mother wanted to see me and have a word with me. Before I came back home, my mummy was gone. My mummy was late. It was too late for me. That was how I missed my mum.

She was a wonderful mother. The only little problem I had with my mum is that she wanted to see everybody succeed in life. I used to tell my mum: success is a two-sided affair. I have a role to play, God has His own role. It is not all up to God and certainly it’s all not up to me. Success is a kind of partnership between man and God. I cannot define failure, because I don’t believe in failure. There is no failure in my book. All I see is success, directed by the spirit of God. But as human beings, we cannot be perfect. Perfection eludes every human being. God is perfection.

SOURCES:
The Sun, Nigeria
All Voices
Modern Ghana
Odili Net

As the Pastor himself says,

“Successful people don’t drift to the top. It takes focussed action, personal discipline and a lot of energy everyday to make things happen.”

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HomeAboutHealingTestimoniesThe TB Joshua BlogThe Best Is Always Yet

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Posts Tagged ‘TB Joshua interview’

An explosive interview with Pastor TB Joshua of The Synagogue Church Of All Nations by Lagos Weekend, published by the historic Daily Times of Nigeria Plc…

You’ve come under severe criticism recently and in the past years from other pastors and your former aides, but you never replied them. Why? 
It is only when you don’t know where you are going you will reply them. When you don’t know where you are going, anything can overwhelm you, anything can provoke you. Look at what happened to Joseph in the dry pit; because he knew he was going to the throne, he was not overwhelmed. When he was on the floor, instead of looking at the floor – you know the prison floor is not smooth – the Bible said he opened the window and looked at the beautiful sky and he said to himself, “I know where I belong!” So when you know where you belong, nothing can overwhelm you, provoke you or discourage you. Therefore, if you know that there is a higher hand leading you and you know the protection you are under, you don’t fight for God, rather God fights for us. There are two ministers of God, those who fight for God and those whom God fights for. For me, God fights for me. You don’t fight for God, so when you are doing the work of God and people are fighting you, they are fighting God. Apart from healing, prophecy and Synagogue, if I withdraw now, nobody will talk about me. Definitely, it’s God in me they are fighting. So when somebody says you are this and that, it’s just a matter of time. Those persecutions, hatred and intimidation – you will realise that God uses them to prepare us and strengthen our desire for Him. When you are being persecuted, it’s time to praise the Lord. Time of intimidation is time to draw closer to Him. Therefore, it’s a tonic for our anointing. The persecution we suffer in the hands of our detractors causes us to be known.

Some Pastors claim that you are evil. Is TB Joshua evil? 
You know what happened to Peter and our Lord Jesus Christ. You know how close Peter was to Him and the question He asked in that Matthew 16 – “Who do people say I am?” Peter’s first answer was improper and Jesus said you are a tempter; you are a snare, get out of my sight. You should ever think of the things of God, not things of the world. You can imagine somebody who is close to Jesus and the Lord asked him, who do people say I am – and he could not see Jesus from God’s point of view but from a human point of view. Perfection eludes everyone. Because you bear pastor… what informs that word pastor? The issue of pastor is all about the anointing of God. So because somebody said I am a pastor, that does not mean his vision cannot be blurred – and when his vision is blurred, you will not see clearly the things of God. There are pastors that actually receive the message of God by mental assent. The actual message of God comes from the heart. It renews our strength. The one that comes from our heard you memorise the message, just like you go to school. What you have studied is in your heard and the moment you are not practicing what you studied in another two to three years, you have to rehearse it again, but the Words of God are always in our heart.

For Nigeria to develop, they should exchange oil for technology

For Nigeria to develop, they should exchange oil for technology

Lagos State Government is talking about wealth of churches and they want to tax churches. Do you support this move? 
The wealth of the church is the strength of the church, and the strength of the church is the Holy Spirit – so what are you talking about? How would you now tax the Holy Spirit? When you are out there looking at the church, it’s a place of refuge for everybody when there are economic crises. People are jobless; when you are given a sack letter, the next place you think of is the church, when you are sick, you run to the church. Somebody who receives a sack letter from his office, is the Pastor still expecting money from such person? A pastor that does that is receiving a curse. I will advise the government not to share a cruse from any minister of God that is collecting money from people they are supposed to give money to. Government should not join them in sharing the curse. People are being sacked and that’s what’s happening in the country today. If you are sacked, the Pastor is supposed to restore hope and strength to you, give you money to invest, go to their store and give you at least a bag of rice that will sustain you until you get another job. These people are a burden to the church – but when you are looking at the church from a distance, you will think they are bringing money… So, if any Pastors sees it as a means of extorting money from the under-privileged people, that Pastor is receiving a curse. There is no need to tax churches because they are not making money, and if anybody starts making money at the expense of other people, the person is getting a curse – and I don’t want government to share in that curse.

You have other arms of the church like charity, deliverance, reconciliation, prophecy, healing and others. What has it been like over the years handling all these responsibilities? 
This is the problem the country has brought to us; that is what we are talking about. Here we have a foundation for the youths, a football club. There are about 4000 of them that come from across the country, and we have a bus for them. We are also involved with the destitute in Oko-Baba, you saw the buses given to them and how they are being taken care of and we are giving them scholarships. We have people in Leeds University in London, which is one of the best universities in the world. There are also the widows, the physically challenged – and we have a warehouse where we keep the rice which we give to these people. Each trailer is N5million and we have about four trailers. There are also the aged people – we look for them and take care of them, even the ones that are sick. Of course, you know that to run a football club costs a lot of money. Even the PHCN where they train, we paid heavily to secure it. These are some of the challenges we are facing. So when you now talk about the issue of tax, does it means that we will withdraw all these and use it to pay tax? We are dong more than paying tax. I don’t operate any bank account, not to talk of keeping money here. These people are my bank account. I believe so much in this so that in the nearest future, people can stand and say, ‘I am now this through the grace of God in the life of TB Joshua’.

Is that the basis for grooming these young ones around you from abroad? 
I will not answer that now, let me finish the issue of leadership. Let’s move forward. One of the key issues why we are having problems, especially in Africa, is that there is no way Africa can develop without taking this pattern I am going to talk about now. In developed countries, they exchange their mineral resources with another one – but in our case, we exchange our mineral resources with money. Look at our oil; the Western countries come to take our oil and give us pounds and dollars. For Nigeria to develop, they should exchange oil for technology. Go to Russia, whatever mineral resources they have there, they exchange with American technology and whatever America needs from them, they exchange it with technology; the same thing happens in other developed countries all over the world – but our own is money. The gift of God to us, our inheritance, to develop people’s skills, we keep exchanging for dollars and pounds. And when we collect the money, we will not keep it in our banks here. We will still carry it back to the banks of the people that gave us the money, and they will say they are keeping it for us. They will say they are keeping it in foreign reserve, and that actually has kept us in the level we are today. So tell me how we can develop? From the beginning of this Niger-Delta crisis, if these boys had seen that their oil is being exchanged for technology instead of money, I tell you, there will be employment, light, improved telephone service, and good quality education – do you think they will fight? Look at our universities today. People go overseas to study. Well, it’s not too late because we have mineral resources and they should exchange it for technologies and other things we don’t have, not money. Don’t give us fish; teach us how to fish.

Prophet TB Joshua - when you know where you belong, nothing can overwhelm you, provoke you or discourage you.

Prophet TB Joshua – when you know where you belong, nothing can overwhelm you, provoke you or discourage you.

With healing happening on a daily basis, on the average, how many people get healed here? 
Since the healing is from God, do you need to test or examine and mark God’s work? The credit is for God. No matter how many people that are healed, you cannot mark God; it’s man we can mark. After we must have done everything humanly possible, we still need to leave it for God. For just coming here today, you have received healing.

From a spiritual angle, how do you think the world wide economic meltdown will have impact on Nigeria? 
I think what is happening concerning the economy is a normal thing, because where the voices are not one, you expect things like this to happen. God is only very merciful – by now, we are supposed to be crying. Nigeria is not counted out of this. You are in this country; you know what is happening and you know the mismanagement. If you mismanage your product you’ll get a shortage – that’s exactly what is happening.

But you said in one of your prophecies that we are yet to see anything concerning this economic meltdown? 
Yes, have you seen anything? What have you seen? You are only seeing the flame. When you see fire, you see flame – but we are yet to see the fire. There is no solution, there is nothing we can do – it’s a matter of time. But we will pass through it with a lesson. God wants to use it to strengthen our desire for Him.

Has any of the world leaders called to ask you for a way out of this economic crises? 
You want me to begin to mention the names of Presidents in your Newspaper (General Laughter)! My friend, when you talk like this, I know where you are going. I want to tell you that it is part of the gift; the anointing God has given to me. The way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. Some He sent them to the village to minister, some to the community and some among his own race, some to another race and colour, while some anointing touches Kings and Queens, Presidents. Therefore, by our fruits you know the kind of anointing we bear. We are anointing carriers, but when you look at us you know the kind of anointing we carry. So it’s not for us to begin to tell you – ‘this is what I am doing’.

When is Nigeria going to have a leader that will take us to the Promised Land? There is poverty in the country…
Well, what do you mean by Promised Land? Until what they inherited from their past predecessors is no longer burdensome. Like the issue of administration, the person in power is still battling with what he inherited, he has not started a new thing. Some may continue battling with theirs throughout their tenure. I hope you understand what I am saying. It’s like somebody’s father dying and there is a huge debt to settle. You realise that either you denounce that father or carry the responsibility. You begin to pay the debt for his house and other things – and that may take your time and career.

I think the problem is that we have many leaders, but we fail to take time to develop people’s skills – they have no disciples. No one can go it alone, even Jesus Christ knew this and that was why He had disciples. But we have leaders without disciples in every area. Not in the political circle alone, but churches too. Take your mind back to some late great men of God in Nigeria, how many of them had disciples? Look at the political circle; take your mind back to the olden days – how many of them had disciples? It takes time to develop people’s skills, but how many people will do that? You will be persecuted and hated even among the people you are developing. Many of them will be Judas and in the process of developing them, they will go out and say all sorts of things against you, they want to bring you down- but at the end of the day, you still see one or two of them that are good. Of course, you know what happened to Jesus because He was developing skills, making disciples. People are afraid to develop skills, because in the process of developing people’s skills, you look at the repercussion. When you weigh the disadvantages and advantages, one would be afraid to go into it – but the future is great because you will live forever if you take time to develop people’s skills and make disciples out of them.

The possibilities of a bright future await Nigeria - if only leaders take the time to develop people's skills

The possibilities of a bright future await Nigeria – if only leaders take the time to develop people’s skills

This is what the Bible said. It says – God ye into the world and make disciples. Look at everywhere – even in your journalism circle. You know of great journalists, editors, publishers – but where are their disciples today? Those disciples either turned around to become senators, governors or others things, or they just abandoned their profession. Even if you become a senator tomorrow, that does not mean you should abandon your profession. It is your profession; you should establish it, employ people to manage it while you supervise. Look at farmers. Go to the village you hardly see anybody in the village today, all of them are coming to the city. We have leaders without disciples – and no one can go it alone. We need good people, inspired people and informed people to achieve our dreams and objectives – and Jesus knew this.

Presidents have visited you from other countries and you’ve visited them also. Here in Nigeria we’ve not had a situation where any Nigerian President has visited. Is it a situation of a prophet not being recognised in his homeland? 
A point of correction – to be conferred with the OFR is a recognition. I’ve never had any honour like that. That is appreciation, but the manner of approach differs. So I think it’s still normal. Everything big starts little. If something big starts big, it calls for concern.

You appear too simple. Why? 
It’s because I am in the midst of people. If you go out there, you will pity the people. People are there at the bus stops waiting for vehicles and they can stand there for hours. Sometimes I ask myself where these people work. What kind of job will you go to at anytime you feel – that means a lot of them keep changing jobs. So how can their lives be stable – and success demands a stable character. When your character and attitude is not stable, you are far from success. You say ‘it’s good’ today, tomorrow you say ‘it’s not good’, you are far from success. God’s Word is constant; He is still the same yesterday, today and forever. What you need to do is to seek the things from above so that you may be comforted in the face of whatever situation you are in. Just like I said earlier – Jesus has risen. Therefore, let your mind rise and seek the things that are above so that we may be comforted in the face of our situation. You say people are suffering? Jesus has risen – tell your people to seek the things that are above so that they may be comforted in the face of their situation.

How would you want to be remembered? 
The Apostles paid the supreme price to bring the Gospel. Some were stoned, some were crucified upside down – so if you must be one of the disciples of Jesus, you must be ready to follow Jesus, bearing His cross, bearing His reproach. You must know the fellowship of His suffering.

SOURCE: Lagos Weekend – Vol. 2 Issue 38 – May 29-31 2009

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An in-depth interview with TB Joshua regarding his extensive charitable activities and the reason for his passion for the poor, as published in the prestigious Tell Magazine of Nigeria. There are many lessons to learn…

He was born in an unusual circumstance in the rustic and sleepy community of Oosin, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State. His birth was foretold about a century ago by Balogun Okoorun, a great warrior and farmer, who prophesied that from that rustic community would emerge a man who would be powerful, famous and have great followers. Though his biological parents had no inkling about it, his birth was an unusual one as he stayed 14 months in the womb as against the normal nine months. Born June 12, 1963, he was christened Temitope Balogun. He is today better known as Prophet TB Joshua, founder of The Synagogue Church Of All Nations.

Years after his birth, and having been prevented by poverty from having tertiary education, Joshua refused to say die and to Lagos, the city of aquatic splendour, he came. There he put into use the raw knowledge in him by being a private home teacher for some rich kids. As if in line with the prophecy of Okoorun at the back of his mind, he was always telling his pupils that one day he would become a great man. Today, he is not just great, he is helping others to achieve greatness.

Indeed, Joshua is like the proverbial prophet who is not so much honoured at home but highly esteemed and honoured across the globe, including Europe, Asia and the United States of America. His preaching, which is accompanied with signs and wonders, is criticised by many other men of God on the local scene, but this has not deterred Joshua from doing the work of the Master, Jesus Christ. In short, he has taken the message beyond preaching to providing for the weak, the poor, the rejected and the forsaken. “With the increasing rate of orphans and the needy in the society, the church cannot afford to sit on the fence anymore,” he states.

Prophet TB Joshua - You will begin to succeed with your life when the pains and problems of others begin to matter to you.

Prophet TB Joshua – You will begin to succeed with your life when the pains and problems of others begin to matter to you.

In this interview, the man of God sheds light on how God has been using him to cater for both the physical and the spiritual needs of the people. Excerpts:

What are the challenges of being a man of God in a country like Nigeria?
Let us put it this way: what are the challenges of being a child of God? Because if you say ‘man of God’, we are being personal. Well, the Bible says we are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are just passing through. I am a stranger here. So, what do you expect of a stranger? We are in a danger zone.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations regularly caters for the less privileged. What informed this? 
The Bible says we will begin to succeed with our lives when the pains and problems of others begin to matter to us. In the book of Philippians 4:12-14, Paul the Apostle said, “I know what it takes to be poor, and what it is to have more than enough. In verse 12, he said, “I have learnt the secret of being disciplined, so I am content,” content in the sense that before you can become what you want to become, you must know what it takes to be poor and what it takes to have more than enough. If you have not tasted poverty, you will not be able to manage blessing when it comes. If you have not tasted humiliation, you will not be able to manage honour when it comes. It is better to say long in the dark so that we can recognise the light when it comes. Also in verse 13, it says, “I can do all things,” which means I have the strength to take care of everything. It is difficult to take care of the poor if we don’t know what it means to be poor.

What informed your passion for the needy?
The Bible says, “Watch and pray…” – it means you need to look around before you pray. If there are people who need your help, do whatever you can to give them relief: love them. After this, pray – and your prayers would be answered. I know what it is to be in need. I have once been in this situation, asking for help. I know perfectly well what it means to be in need. I have tasted poverty, humiliation. I suffered dejection, neglect and what have you. But today, I am a product of grace. I do not blame anyone for being poor; I should not blame anyone for being humiliated. The fast runner does not always win the race.

How long have you been involved in helping the destitute persons at Okobaba?
I have been involved in this project for 17 years. Today, many of these destitute persons that I helped to school, to the glory of God, are graduates. They are well positioned in their various places of work. Recently, one of them called from Kano and said, ‘don’t I know him?’ I asked him to come down to Lagos and when he did, I discovered he was one of those I assisted to school then at Railway Crossing when he was following his father to beg for money. He is a Muslim. He told me that many of them have graduated and are working now.

The set of people that were given school uniforms are a different set. You could see that majority of them are of primary school age. There are others, a hundred plus, that are with in the age bracket for secondary schools, and their uniforms have been given to them. When I saw that there is no one to take up this responsibility, I charged myself to do more because there is no amount of price one can pay that is enough. We thank God for the privilege to do this. In a month, we spend between N2 million and N3 million to cater for these people. My appeal to the government is to come to the aid of these people by renovating their habitation at Okobaba and providing more accommodation. The children cannot continue to live there. We cannot do it alone. We need good people, inspired people and other corporate organisations to build a future for these children.

There are other projects I have also been involved in. I gave a building to the Muslim College, a school I once attended. There is also the distribution of food items and money for the aged, depending on their conditions and needs. That is also extended to other places outside the country. We begin to succeed with our lives when the pains and problems of others matter to us.

The projects that I undertake have helped me not to live a flamboyant life: having fleet of cars, houses and the rest. It would surprise you that I don’t have a car or house of my own. Even the house in my hometown, I have not been able to complete it for the past 10 years. It is not that I don’t have money to build it, but I consider first the needy around me. My own is to eat, sleep and ensure the work of God is going on. There is nothing to be excited about in life.

What other plans do you intend to pursue apart from what you are involved in now? 
I want to have a standard hospital to help the poor and the destitute, build standard schools for the destitute: primary, secondary and the university. I pray that God will give me the grace to do it.

In achieving your aim of building schools, are you going to acquire hectares of land and centralise the schools, or the schools would be built around where the students stay?
The weak have not hope, but Jesus is their hope. It is not my plan, it is God’s. Man proposes, but God disposes. God will give us the directives to be followed. The whole essence of this is to save our society from hoodlums and other social vices that may result if these people were totally neglected. If you ask armed robbers how they started, you will be shocked at the story of their lives.

Your ministry to the aged, how has it been faring?
The aged deserve all that can be given to them. Some of them are very old, in their 80s, 90s and 100s. Some have lost their children – no one to cater for them. We have made provision for monthly stipends for the aged. Bags of rice and other food items are distributed to them from time to time. This we have done to play our part in making them enjoy their old age. Not only the aged, we also have widows and dwarfs. We have paid school fees for many of them and render assistance from time to time. The widows, as well as dwarfs, have special programmes from time to time. The widows, as well as dwarfs, have special programmes in the church to meet their needs. We have been doing this also for many years.

Many other men accumulate wealth for the future; here you are spending yours on the people. Are you not scared of the future?
I don’t have any money. If I have trillions of Naira today, there would be a trillion people around me to share the money with. I live my life as if there is no tomorrow. I sincerely believe that great man have great habits. This is my habit. I know everybody will give an account of what he or she did on earth. My reason for not being after wealth is because my desire and focus is on my destination. Whatever I am now, whatever I achieve now, I don’t concentrate on it. Therefore, there is no reason for wealth accumulation. Our spiritual walk with God is essential and should be paramount in our heart.

Whatever is your gift, that is what God will use to bless others through you - TB Joshua

Whatever is your gift, that is what God will use to bless others through you – TB Joshua

It is not every man of God that is into philanthropic gestures such as helping widows, dwarfs and the destitute. What are the things you think men of God should be doing for nation building?
Well, a point of correction – I want you to know that every man of God has habits. When you read your Bible, habit is a gift from God. If you are not a copy, you begin to do uncommon things because you take your directives from heaven. It is not what somebody has done before that you begin to do again and again. There is what we call supernatural gift of God and natural gift, and when you look at it, you see that divine wisdom tends to contradict the design of natural events. So, it is not just wisdom in the practical sense of it; it is pure wisdom of God. If you have such wisdom, others can copy; it is not for you to copy. I cannot do anything without the help of the Holy Spirit; I cannot do new things without the help of the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit teaches us new things. His mercies are new every morning. There is no repetition. We are created to change our world. There is no way we can change our world when we keep repeating what others have done. There will not be new things in the world if all we do is repeat what others have done… I think everyone has a calling. Ours is different from others. The way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. If others are not feeding the poor, it does not mean they are not people of God.

Can you shed more light on what the church has done in the area of nation building?
Like I said, if I begin to tell you all these, then it will look as if I’m boasting. I should not boast in what I am doing for God. I should boast in what God has done for me. Let’s give glory to God and thanks to God!

SOURCE: Tell Magazine, No. 52, December 24 2007

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A remarkably intriguing interview with Prophet TB Joshua, conducted by The Sun of Nigeria…

Today, we bring you the conclusion of our interview with Prophet T.B. Joshua, the controversial founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations. He speaks on the misunderstanding between him and some evangelical and Pentecostal leaders in Nigeria. He also reacts to the trend of church leaders in Nigeria owning planes. He was asked one Satanic question: Have you cheated on your wife? Excerpts:

Pastor Adeboye said he would not worship in your church. How do you react to such a statement?
I want to say something. Everybody makes mistake. Everybody. That’s all. Perfection eludes everyone. So, for me personally, I respect integrity. Look at me here. Even if you don’t look at me, look at the so many people of different calibre that believe in what I am doing here. So also, Baba Adeboye has so many people, people that matter in the society that believe in what he is doing, what God is using him for. So if I now open my mouth and begin to speak to such a man, I think it’s uncalled for. It’s unnecessary. It’s not Christ-like. I am not speaking to him, but I am speaking to people that believe in him. I am brought up from a home where we are taught to respect elders. We were taught not to speak against elders, even if elders speak against you. And in the same home too, we were taught that elders should not speak also against the young.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, said you should first of all show him who pastured you before they could consider admitting you into their membership.
As a point of correction, I never applied to be a member of any association. Okay? So that is a point of correction. Two, the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differ. Some He brought them from this direction, some from another direction, some He allowed to go to Theology school, some He allowed them to go to the university, (and) they may not even go to Theology school. After graduation, they would become whatever God wants them to become. Some, they may not even go to school at all. There is the University of God where you would not be promoted, no matter how brilliant you are, until you take every course. Do you understand me?

Prophet TB Joshua - In The University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion. You must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.

Prophet TB Joshua – In The University of God, however brilliant you may be, you will not be given double promotion. You must take every course, because each course serves a purpose.

You are saying in effect that maybe they are looking down on what you are doing, because you didn’t pass through the formal process they passed through.
Do you say you understood what I said? I told you that the way and manner God executes His plans in our lives differ. Okay? The direction that God would take you through and when we all become pastors, sometimes God would send some to local level, God send some people to national level, God send some people to minister to the whites and some, their anointing cannot pass beyond the black. Some God sent them to minister to presidents and kings. The way and manner God called us differs. That is why we should not compare ourselves with others. And that is why we should not be measuring ourselves to ourselves.

In the process of building this big institution, have you made mistakes?
You see, everybody has dry pits. And also, everybody has his prison condition. Also, everybody has his Potiphar’s house. So that is my answer in the form of a parable. Let me tell you something: When you wake up in the morning and you discover your hand is free, your leg is free, you are okay, that may likely not encourage you to watch and pray the more. Problems make us to pray more and fast the more. Difficulty makes us to pray and fast the more. And, weakness also… Look at Paul, the Apostle. Three times he came to God. He said: “Lord, this is a thorn in my flesh.” The Lord said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you.” There is reason for that. God used that to preserve him from becoming too proud and begin to see himself that ‘I am this, I am that’.

When you look back, are there areas in your spiritual journey that you didn’t do well and you feel like correcting?
I am not God. I am a servant. And a servant looks unto perfection. God is perfection. So that is it.

You are not making effort to make peace with the other ministers so that there would be no question of T.B. Joshua is not this, T.B. Joshua is not that. Didn’t the Bible say you should pursue peace?
If I can give you the audience I am giving you now – this is a wonderful atmosphere. That is my nature. I love everyone. But I trust only God.

How do you feel over the contempt people have for you? The fact that they don’t speak well of you and they say you don’t belong to their fold. 
Can I ask you a question? If we remove what is not made in Nigeria from your body, you would remain naked. If I say okay, ‘Give me those things on you that is not made in Nigeria’, and you would find yourself naked. So, what are we talking about?

Meaning what?
That is a parable. Put it in the paper like that. What I am saying is that a prophet is not honoured in his hometown. And because you are not honoured in your home, that has nothing to do with the anointing of God. That does not mean you are not honoured.

What is the central focus of your ministry? What is your message?
Salvation. Salvation is the house and when you open the house, you can now see healing, you would see blessing, you would see prosperity. If anybody now begins to ask for healing, healing, healing, it’s like you want God to just give you fridge in the house. What of the whole house?

One of the accusations against you is that you are making yourself God, that you are not submitting yourself to Jesus, that the reason you are called Emmanuel is like you are God Himself.
No, Emmanuel is in the Bible. Emmanuel means ‘God is with us’. That’s our greeting. Like many churches would say ‘Hallelujah’ or ‘Hosanna’. So what is bad about that? You have been here over an hour now – do you see any of that? That is it. That is why you should go and tell the world that this is what you heard and this is what you have seen. How can anybody now see himself as the Master Jesus when all the healing, deliverance, salvation are not brought to pass by anything we have done, except by His name. He who glories must not glory in himself, but in the Lord. So that is it.

It appears that all is of grace because all our spiritual advantages are from God. Our faith, our conversion, our eternal salvation are not the product of any natural gift or any natural ability. So no man should boast. It’s blasphemy for anybody to say he is Jesus. If anybody calls himself Jesus, that person is not normal – he is mental.

Who is your own father in the Lord or mentor?
When we talk of mentor, we mean someone you want to be like or someone you believe you have gained from. After reading my Bible, I give a total salute to Paul, the Apostle, what God wrought through him after his deliverance. Peter and Paul, the Apostle. But I pray for all the ministers of God. They are all my mentors. Okay?

How has not going to a university impacted you?
When there is the University of Jesus… you know Jesus has a university. That is where you can receive His message in your heart. But if you did not attend His university, you cannot receive His message in your heart. While in the other universities you receive the message in your ears, in the University of Jesus, you receive the message in your heart.

What differentiates The Synagogue from any other church?
There is no difference. Whatever happens here in terms of miracles, in terms of salvation – what you are seeing, there is no difference. God is the God of these fingers. Look at these fingers, they are not equal. Look at it.

What differentiates you from other preachers?
Nothing. Nothing differentiates me. Rather, I want to tell you that no matter the level that one reaches, there is always another level to reach.

Prophet TB Joshua - The way and manner god executes His plans in our lives differs

Prophet TB Joshua – The way and manner god executes His plans in our lives differs

Your critics say if you pass a place, people would rush and go and touch the sand and all that. What is the symbolism of all that?
We have said it here that God can use any medium. When we look at what happened in the book of Act 19: 11, it says God wrought extraordinary miracles through Paul. Anything that had contact with him were taken to the sick and they were all healed.

Are you a misunderstood man?
I am a tenant. If the landlord was misunderstood, what’s my position? I am a servant. The head of the house was misunderstood. What people do not understand, they call names. But what they understand they destroy.

Are you an underrated man?
Soul has nothing to do with high people. It is all about a regenerate soul. A regenerate sinner becomes a living soul. So forget about having a big church or whatnot. When you talk about soul, it is not about big, big people.

When I look at the size of your church and the fact that it is still growing, I begin to ask: Is it not possible your vision has become too small for the size of the ministry? In other words, five years from now, can this place contain you?
We have branches all in different countries. Our church is one of the biggest churches in Greece. And I think the one God has established here, we need to have the same size all over the world. It is not that important that it should expand, making it for all Nigerians to come here. No. This is my mission. Like I have told you, the way and manner God executes His plans in our life differs. If I don’t have branches all over Nigeria and I have branches in other countries – that is the way God wants it.

Already, you are running two shifts. Which means if you grow some more, you might have to run more shifts. Where will your people park and so on?
When the situation is such that I would be running three services, then it is better I establish in other countries like say Ghana. People can come there. Eighty percent of my members are not from Nigeria. And anywhere that honey is, insects seek it and find it.

What is the honey here?
It is the anointing; the anointing of God.

How did you meet you beautiful wife?
I think she would be in the position to grant you an interview. She is such a wonderful woman. You too know that behind any man is a woman. No man can go it alone. I salute her. This woman, hmm, is a mother. When you say somebody is your mother, she’s more than a wife. And I don’t know the words. I am short of words to describe her. She is someone that amidst all the noise, noise, noise, she would just look. She’s my counsellor, adviser. She would tell you: it’s a matter of time. And you would never hear her voice. If this woman is not a good woman, I don’t think you would find me in the situation I am today. Because, you cannot have problems out there and have problems in the house. Many that don’t have problems in the outside, they have problems in the inside. And the problem inside is greater, is more powerful and is more dangerous than the outside.

Where are your children?
My children? They are there.

How many?
They are there. They are doing fine. That’s why I have plenty children.

You don’t have biological children yet?
I have biological children.

How many?
I have three.

How many boys and how many girls?
If I begin to say how many boys, how many girls, those who have no boy or have no girl might feel discouraged. As a minister of God, I shouldn’t discourage anybody. If I begin to say I have so-so girls, I have so-so boy, those who do not have at all would feel discouraged. My words should be words of encouragement, to tell them that what a man can do, a woman can do it, and what a woman can do, a man can do.

How do you feel not having a boy?
Ah, ah, how do you come to the conclusion that I don’t have a boy?

As a man of God, can you look God in the face and admit you have not cheated on your wife?
Let me tell you one thing about the situation. What is happening, you are seeing the level of understanding and the obedience in union between me and my wife.

But you are a handsome man. Don’t women tempt you?
You say what?

Don’t you face temptation from women, a handsome man like you?
Like I have said, if you are not tempted with money and you are not tempted with woman, and you are not tempted with pride…I want to tell you that God Almighty has been manifesting His strength in my weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Thank you. Are you okay? (Laughs)

How rich are you now?
Mmmh, this is a question that I think if…I want to advise the whole world. And whatever you hear from me, take it. Because if I am telling you what I am not I am, God is there. Because as a servant of God, we cannot misinform the public. I am not a politician. I have to tell you. If I am telling you something now, you will hardly believe, but I want you to believe. In terms of cash, I am zero. When I have a hundred million today, I have one thousand five hundred people I have given scholarship. Leeds University alone in England, one person cost hundred thousand dollars. It is one of the best universities all over the world. And I have people all over.

I can give you my account number to check. I am zero. But people look at me, I don’t mind. My responsibility is so much that if I have trillion dollars today, I would not be able to save one dollar. It is not enough to care for the responsibility. Are you talking of dwarfs, widows, physically challenged, old age? When we leave here, I would take you to our store opposite here. It’s full of rice. We have five trailers of rice we just brought. Every month, it’s like that. And you know one trailer is five point three million naira. So I want to declare, I want to tell you today, you would find zero money in my accounts. But I am not owing banks and I am free from that. But I am just a zero. But my responsibility, God has been taking care of it.

When are you going to buy your own jet?
When I say I don’t have cash…(laughs); when I say I don’t have money, cash like this, where would I get money for plane? But I want to tell you something: there is nothing bad having a private jet. But the only condition I can have it, if God says I would have it, is for people to give me. And when you give me, you should also be ready to pay landing fee because I don’t know how I would get it. But I want to tell you that if ministers of God have it, there is nothing bad about that. It aids the gospel. I tell you that our fathers that have it, there is nothing bad about that. The way and manner God executes His plans in our lives differs. Some ministers, God says: ‘You, you would not have a private jet, I would send people to give you.’ While some, God says: ‘You, buy it, with your money.’

Adeboye's Private Jet - Matters arising...

Adeboye’s Private Jet – Matters arising…

I am not supporting those who are criticising the ownership of jets by men of God. It is true that there is difficulty in the society, there is poverty everywhere, but trial is the soil in which true ministers of God flourish. But I am not criticising because the way and manner God executes His plan in our lives differs. But as for me, I know, that even every car I have there, there is no single one I used my money to buy. Since I started this ministry, there is never a day I have been able to gather money. If I have one dollar, one responsibility is there to take the dollar. If I have 20 dollars today, 200 people are waiting to take the 20 dollars. It’s like having these things attract responsibility. I even say I don’t want money because money brings responsibility.

Are you planning to build a university?
We put it before God and God says yes, He would give us the grace. But this university would be for the needy; those who are brilliant but cannot afford to go to university. And the physically challenged too. The university would be mainly for the needy whom we are giving the scholarship. But before that, let us send people overseas to attend university there or here. Let us see what we can do to make the existing one better and better.

How do you explain your strategy of inviting heads of states to your church?
It’s you that know that they are heads of states. For me, a soul is a soul. Church is all about those who are being saved, not head of state. Why are you interested in Presidents?

Do you have any message for Nigeria?
My message is that it is high time we became a producing-nation, not a consumer-nation. If we know what it takes the producer that produces what you put on, you would know how you would care and how you would go about having plenty of it. And two, a producer sees whatever he does or whatever he gives as an assignment from God. Giving is an opportunity to reshape our destinies. When you are giving, you are reshaping your destiny. But mind you, what you give does not all that matter to God, but the way we give it.

Did you ever meet President Obasanjo?
President or no President, church is all about soul. Those who are being saved. It’s we that know this one is President, that one is President. So, we pastors should talk about souls being saved more, not the calibre or the class of people.

What are your success tips in life?
The secret is, feel what others feel. Jesus feels what we feel. You begin to succeed with your life when the hurt and problem of others matter to you. So, this is the problem we are facing in this country. When we feel what others feel, the public fund, public money and when you are voted to a position, you would consider the people that brought you there.

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Another inspiring interview with the Punch Newspaper, posted on the official website of Ondo State, the home State of Pastor TB Joshua…

The founder and head of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua has witnessed remarkable changes in the last couple of years. His long robes and full beard have been replaced by designer shirts, suits and a well trimmed beard. But more importantly, he is no longer the clergy that journalists get for a chat anytime they desire. It took VINCENT AKANMODE andADEOLA BALOGUN four days before he reluctantly granted an interview on such issues as his non-admission into the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, his childhood and his relationship with the presidents of some African countries.

What are the fond memories you have of your childhood days in Arigidi Akoko?
My days have been wonderful. You know that in spiritual time with the Lord, there are good and bad times. Each day serves a purpose, both my good days and my hard days. The hard days might have come as a way of preserving me; it may be to prepare me for the challenges ahead or to take me to a new level in life. It may be to strengthen my desire, and God can use anything to do that. It could be persecution, it could be rejection. Remember the book of Mark says the stone the builder rejected has become the chief corner stone. It is the Lord’s doing, it is marvellous in our eyes. That rejection is the Lord’s doing. The Lord allows my rejection to enable Him to take all glory and honour. He allows the persecution that comes our way to bring the best out of us.

TB Joshua - If you are not a graduate of persecution or intimidation, you may not be able to maintain the power or glory

TB Joshua – If you are not a graduate of persecution or intimidation, you may not be able to maintain the power or glory

I read it somewhere that you attended about three or four schools in a year. Why did that happen?
It’s part of what I was saying. God was using that to prepare me for the challenges. If God wants you to know or achieve many things, He can take you to a hundred places or make you experience a series of trials before you achieve that. You know in the college of God, however brilliant you are, you are not going to be given double promotion. You will have to take all the courses in order to excel because each course has a purpose. You know God has his own university too, just like He has his own primary school.

According to a documentary devoted to your growth from childhood to adulthood, you were known as Balogun Francis when you were in primary school. How did that change to Temitope Joshua which everybody calls you now?
No, when I was in school, people called me Francis, Harry and other aliases, together with Ope, Temitope and many other names.

So, it was not as if your parents named you Francis?
No, my parents did not name me Francis. In those days, the name Francis would be too far from their memory (laughs). The foreign names they knew would probably be common names in the Bible, but not Francis.

In the documentary, I noticed that when you were about 17 years, you were wearing glasses. What happened to them?
Ha, you seem to know so much about me (laughs). When I was in the primary school, even after primary school, I believed in working very hard. I would work 24 hours because whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to do my best. I believed that what was worth doing at all was worth doing well. You can see me now, I have been working here since yesterday and you would see me putting on something that would allow me to move freely while I do what I have to do. I cannot put on a tie now because the work I do is so much. What we are doing here is not ceremony; it is work. I attend to thousands of people. So, when I was in school, I used to work very hard and I used to take food that would allow me to do the job. Like today now, all I have taken since morning is tea, because if I had taken any heavy food, by now I would be feeling sleepy. I try to regulate my system in order to be able to do my job, and it shows in my stature. So, in the school, I would read every time – morning, afternoon and night. In fact, my best time to read then was in the night when everyone had gone to sleep, because I was always having many challenges. Then anywhere I was, if I came second and someone else came first, I would feel challenged. I would not envy him but I would ask myself why I could not also come first. Because of the way I took my reading, I ate so much of gari. In fact, I was taking gari 24 hours. I would soak it in water and leave it to swell up. Later, I realised that my sight was becoming impaired because of the effect of gari. Initially, I used to sit at the back. But when I could no longer see the board very well, I had to move forward before I could read what was written on the board very well. Sometimes in order to fight sleep, I would take Nescafe because of the pressure to work hard, and it paid off. In my school days, if I didn’t come first, I would come second. Then, it was only one guy that was beating me. If I came first, he would come second, and when he came first, I came second. He was an Indian; they called him Harry de Shamah, a son of a lecturer at the University of Ife. And anytime he beat me, it would be a headache for me and I would not be able to rest. I knew that with little sleep, the guy would come first. I always found myself being challenged in all I did.

One of your teachers said you started showing the signs of a preacher at an early age. She even said you disarmed a mad man. Did you realise that you wanted to be a preacher very early in life?
Yeah, when the madman came and both the teachers and the pupils didn’t know what to do, I rose to the occasion by talking to him to leave, and he did. What came out of their mouth was ‘Small Pastor,’ because I had a very small stature. They probably thought that it was only a pastor that could do that; that it was beyond human comprehension. And two, I used to have a small fellowship in our school, and I was very good in Bible Knowledge. I used to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. There was a time I was in Ansar Ud Deen School in Ikare. Then I was leading the Scriptural Union and after school hours, I would organise a fellowship. At times, the school authorities would say no. So becoming a pastor had always been my desire before it was confirmed by God.

Prophet TB Joshua - That rejection is the Lord's doing, to bring the best out of me, so that He can take all the glory and honour

Prophet TB Joshua – That rejection is the Lord’s doing, to bring the best out of me, so that He can take all the glory and honour

Were you born into a Christian family?
Yes. My father was the secretary of the Anglican church in Arigidi.

But we have heard it said that your father was a herbalist, that you derived certain powers from him.
No, there was nothing like that. My father was not a herbalist. You can go to my town and find out, they will tell you. My father used to be the secretary to the church.

Is he still alive?
No, he is no more alive.

Why did you want to become a soldier?
You read that somewhere too?

Yes.
Well, just to be a soldier of the Lord. You know, man proposes, God disposes. As a man, you would want to be this, you would want to be that, but God has his own plans for you.

People say you are more popular and more accepted by foreigners than your fellow Nigerians. Why is it so?
Well, I don’t see that as anything strange. Whatever you put on as a person, how many of them were made in Nigeria, including your spectacles? If you remove all these things you are wearing now, you will be naked. Are you then not happy that foreigners accept you because you are using everything that they make? There is nothing you put on that is wholly Nigerian. Is that not what everybody is praying for? Have you not heard that a prophet is not honoured in his home? It is written and you cannot rewrite the Bible. Not only prophets, whatever you are doing, you will be more appreciated outside than your country. We have many geniuses today in Nigeria, was it Nigeria that discovered them? See many lawyers, Nobel laureates, doctors, even army generals – where were they trained? Was it in Nigeria? It is a normal thing to be appreciated and accepted outside your country. When what you are doing is not genuine, your people will accept you while those outside the country will not touch you. See this publication, (he tenders an edition of Time magazine where his photograph was put on the cover and he was described as a faith healer). Time is the leading newsmagazine all over the world, and here is my picture as a man who heals with faith. If a magazine of this calibre can go all out looking for me, why should I bother myself so much about not being more accepted at home?

Are you not bothered that you have not been admitted into the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. Pastor Adeboye was quoted as saying that you have to explain certain things before you could be accepted?
I can only be bothered when I am not a man of God. I am a child of God, okay? You mean I should be bothered that my own biological father rejected me or God rejected me? So what are you saying? I still see no reason why you are bringing up these questions after all what you have seen in Time magazine about me. I want to say something here, for me, I am very busy here. I don’t even have time for the local media, that is why I didn’t want to attend to you people, because there are some certain things I don’t want to hear. Who is supposed to judge whether one is a man of God or not?

The first time we came, we saw you carrying sand with a pan on your head alongside other members of the church at one of your construction sites. Why did you have to do that?
It is because I am being led by the Holy Spirit. You people expected me to be doing what others are doing, that is why you are saying somebody rejected me? When you are being led by the Holy Spirit, you will do something different. It is not necessarily important I build my church the way others built their own. I should do it the way God wants me to do it. I don’t necessarily have to belong to an association; you should belong to the association God wants you to belong to. That I carry cement on my head and worked with my members is no big deal. It is a rare privilege to work with them.

How do you cope with having to attend to hundreds of people on a daily basis?
It is the Lord’s doing. That is why it is very difficult to join any association.

Why have presidents been coming here to see and fellowship with you?
It is the work of God. Is that why you think I should join an association? Since I am not the only person that has not joined an association, I think God’s association is more important and better.

You have also been hosting celebrities?
Forget about celebrities. It is all about the work of God.

You used to wear a long robe when you started your ministry, but now you wear designer shirts and suits. What was responsible for the change?
I was only wearing a long robe when I wanted to pray or when I wanted to go to the mountain, which is a normal thing. And again, you wear a long robe when you want to sleep.

Since you were very brilliant when you were in school, why didn’t you pursue your education up to the university?
Well, I believe God took me to His own university. The way and manner God executes His plans in our lives is different. Again, that has not been a handicap to my job. I thank God for that.

President Yar’Adua is not enjoying the best of health. Why have you not deemed it necessary to heal him?
Did the president tell you that he is sick?

We know that he is not okay because of his many foreign medical trips?
That is where his faith lies, and I have not been approached. For me, I don’t have any problem with people going on medical trips.

If he approaches you, would you help?
I have told you, he goes to where his faith lies. I think as Nigerians, we all have to pray for our president.

What message do you have for Nigerians in this era of economic meltdown?
We should do what is good instead of criticising or condemning. We should pray instead of raining curses. Everything will be okay.

You used to wear a full beard?
The beard is still there (laughs).

Did Time magazine get to know about you through your Emmanuel TV or because so many presidents have been coming here?
This picture (he points to his picture in Time magazine) was taken five years ago. The reporter came here at that time and they still went ahead to release the picture after five years because they still believe we are on course.

Do you suspect envy on the part of pastors that criticise you?
If you are not a graduate of persecution or intimidation, you may not be able to maintain the power or glory. You must know what it is to be persecuted. The Bible has said it that the stone the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. Whatever comment people pass about me, God allows it in order to strengthen me.

Is it possible to estimate how much you spend on charity in a year?
Well, that should not be my assignment. The most important thing is to touch people’s lives.

Do you insist that someone should be a member of the Synagogue before he or she can benefit from your charity?
Synagogue is in the body of Christ. And in the body of Christ, there are many parts.

Why is it that you have only one branch of the Synagogue in Nigeria while others are in Ghana, London and others around the world?
But the single branch is where everybody has been coming to receive blessing. Emmanuel TV is there and some of these questions you are asking me are answered on it.

Each time your church got destroyed by rainstorm, you had it filmed before it was rebuilt. Why were you doing that and what force was behind that?
It was a force I could not resist. It was a force that I know was backed by God. Look at all of you here now, you cannot tell me that you have the record of everything about your life somewhere in tapes. All you probably have is the record of maybe your birthday, graduation, wedding or funeral.

SOURCE: The Punch, Nigeria

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In this intriguing and enlightening interview with The Weekly Spectator, TB Joshua discusses on a wide range of issues, including his prophetic gift, daily routine and relationship with different heads of state…

Prophet T.B. Joshua, founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, is an enigma of sorts. Over the decades, the 44-year-old, bearded “man of God”, as his followers fondly call him, has quietly, steadily lived by his conviction. His life as he revealed to Weekly Spectator in an exclusive interview, revolves around the propagation of the Word of God.

Pastor TB Joshua - Preaching The Word!

Pastor TB Joshua – Preaching The Word!

The massive, beautiful edifice of his church headquarters, The Synagogue at Okota, a Lagos suburb, has sent eyes enviously roving and tongues wagging. As though saying, ‘eat out your hearts’ to the jaundiced critics, heads of states every now and again drop by.
The President of Gabon, Omar Bongo was there a couple of weeks ago. But the portals of the Synagogue are also open to the lowly rejects of the society. Widows and dwarfs throng the place. The church caters for them without reservation.

But the building, according to him, is only 75 percent completed. With its state-of-the-art studio and equipment, he told Weekly Spectator that he would allow the public to use the place for Christian-related activities when completed: “Gospel artistes can come to perform here. Marriages, crusades and seminars can hold here”, he said.

The prophet’s largeness of heart appears to stoke and even weave controversy around him. Late last year, Pastor Chris Okotie, a notable Pentecostal church minister took a swipe at him, saying that Prophet T.B Joshua and his followers will go to hell.

Commenting on that in the interview with Weekly Spectator, Joshua simply said: “Integrity can’t be probed. When it has to do with the name of a person and church… when I begin to be a judge, who will judge me on the last day? God allows persecution to preserve us for redemption. He even allows name-calling to prepare us for a new level”.

Healing and prophecy are perhaps his forte. On Sunday, January 13, 2008, while delivering a sermon that was later telecasted on the church’s T.V channel-Emmanuel, he accurately predicted, the Heathrow plane crash. He told the congregation to rise up and pray on Wednesday and ask God to spare the balloon that flies in the air and its occupants.

He further told them to make sign of the cross on their foreheads and stretch their hands and do same for people not present and ask God to “shelter them under the shadow of His protection”. Few hours after, the British Airways plane, Flight B.A 38 from Beijing, China, crashed. With the exception of three passengers who had minor injuries, the 138 passengers in the Boeing 777 survived the crash. Excerpts of the interview:

Many important persons and heads of states always sneak in here. What do they want from you?
They don’t sneak in. There’s no way they will sneak in here with a presidential jet. The gospel of our Lord Jesus is light. And you cannot light a candle and hide it. It will surely attract both the privileged and less-privileged people. It’s two-sided.

You accurately predicted the Boeing 777, Heathrow plane crash. Would you say the passengers were spared because of your prayer and that of your followers?
I would like you to watch the tape of that revelation. I said: ‘let the will of God be done’. I said it five times. I told members of the church present: ‘rise up for prayers, let the will of God be done’. I saw it and told people to pray to avert what would have been a major disaster.

In the same vein, what’s your forecast for the country this year?
I have the messages. I’m just taking it in bits. By tomorrow morning, I know God will still speak through me to speak to the whole world. I have about 30 messages for the nation but I am taking them one after the other. I even saw the killing of Benazi Bhutto in Pakistan.

Why don’t you bring them out make them public at once?
No. When I get a message, I begin to ask God if we can do something about them. If there are some that prayers can change I say it to the world. As for what God has for people this year, I would have released them since January 1st, but the ones that can be changed is what we are asking God to show us. But very soon the paper will be available. I want to advise the world. When the Bible says, ‘watch and pray’, what it means is before open your lips with faith in your heart, look around you and help those in need.

The heads of state and statesmen who visit you all the time, do you ever advise them to be upright and humane in their dealing with their citizens?
That’s what is exactly expected from a man of God. Anyone who comes to see the man of God should expect to hear the voice of God. And God says live right. Righteousness exalts a nation and sin brings reproach.

How’s your typical day?
Jesus is the world to me, my time, my day, my love, my joy. Without him, I will fall. I don’t have any time I could call my own.

When do you wake up – if you ever sleep?
I‘ve said it all. Jesus is the world to me. Let no man boast. It’s not the work of righteousness which I have done but according to his grace. He manifests his strength in my weakness.

You are a pastor, a husband and father. How do you juggle those roles?
When Jesus sends you to carry out a mission, the people that will help you- your wife and children, your evangelists, He will prepare them for the journey. Once you are a man of the people, not a man of man, he will bring people who will help you.

Nothing is heard of your wife. Is she part of your ministry?
Yes, she is. God’s time is the best. He’s working out the answer slowly but surely. When it’s time, she’ll be on board.

Sometime last year, another man of God, Pastor Chris Okotie was quoted to have said that you and your followers will go to hell. Did you read the story and what’s your reaction?
You know, I respect integrity. Integrity can’t be probed. When it has to do with the name of a person and church… when I begin to be a judge, who will judge on the last day? Let me put this way: sometimes, God allows a controversy. He uses that to strengthen our desire for him. He uses persecution to preserve us for redemption. He even allows name-calling to prepare us for a new level.

Why informs the name of your church –Church of Synagogue of All Nations? Is it that your church will eclipse other churches of the world, or are you convinced that yours is the only church God has ordained for the world?
No (laughing). When we say Church of All Nations, it’s a vision given to me, that the church will touch all the world. A tree cannot make a forest. We have ministers of God that the Lord is using to fulfill that promise. But the Word of God is like a house. Some are sent to lay the foundation, some are sent to lay the bricks, some come to roof and plaster the house. So, no single person can build a house. Everybody needs to know his own portion in the assignment. This is the portion given to me. I’ll carry it to the whole world.

Other Christians call their place of worship ‘church’. Why do you call yours ‘Synagogue’?
If you read your Bible very well, Jesus entered the Synagogue and said to people buying and selling: ‘Get out of my father’s house, it’s a place of worship’. He chased them out of the place.

So, you’re taking it from a Jewish tradition?
There’s nowhere in the Bible that Jesus entered and said: ‘This is my father’s house’, apart from the Synagogue.

This place, Synagogue, is massive. You must be very rich to do it. How did it happen?

Whatever money can achieve must not be glorified. Let’s glorify what money cannot achieve the anointing of God. When you talk of money, unbelievers too have money. Let’s talk about the things we can’t achieve by power and might. That a man built the biggest church in the world is not an issue, not something to be excited about. The people of Satan also have money to build a big place and worship him.

Still on the building-the Synagogue, how long did it to be erected, what’s its cost and is it true it’s only 75 percent completed?
I’ve said it all. Let’s not glorify man. Let’s talk about the source of money-God Almighty.

This is your headquarters, how many branch do you have in and outside the country?
We have it here. We have branches in Benin City, Port Harcourt, Jos, Akure and so on. We also have in South Africa, UK… And there’s hardly a country that is not represented here.

You have a world-class theatre, stage and state-of-the-art equipment. Why don’t you call gospel artistes to come here and perform?
Well, the Synagogue Church of All Nations is not for members of this church alone. The place is still under construction. When we finish, I’ll place it on the Internet that we can use it to conduct Christian marriage. Gospel artistes, men of God who want to do crusade and they are looking for a safe place, they can come and take the key and do what they want. The place is for the propagation of the teachings of Christ.

How much will you charge?
It will be virtually free. How much do you think we would charge to make up for the over-heads? It we ever demand for money, it will be for people to know the value of what they are using. It will be based on the Biblical principle of giving and receiving.

How old are you and how do you keep your youthful look?
When you mirror Jesus, you have a raw appearance. But when it’s the other way round, you begin to look for cream, bleach and so on.

Pastor TB Joshua As You Never Heard Him Speak

Pastor TB Joshua As You Never Heard Him Speak

What is your favourite food?
Well, I take food that will enhance my movements, my journey. You know, I move, I move. You don’t expect me to eat amala, eba and so on. I take food that will allow me to wake up when I want.

If you are taken to an island and dumped there, what is the single most important item in the world you will wish to take with you?
Ah (laughing), I’ll take the Bible. That’s my roadmap. My life depends on reading the Bible.

Does it bother you that there are so many churches in this country, and nearly every street has a church and yet bad things happen?
The work of deliverance is not our work. Jesus never forced anyone to believe him. And Jesus never healed alone. Before he heals you, he will ask you questions. “What do you want me to do for you, what can I do for you? Do you want to get well?” He knows that you need healing but he will still ask you if you want to get well. Man has free will. So, if there are churches everywhere and there are still bad things happening you can’t force anyone to accept Jesus or to stop living in sin.

You are popular, by the way. Are you interested in politics and will you someday get involved in it and vie for election?
There’s nothing wrong in men of God going into politics. It will help them to do what is right. As it was in the time of Jesus, John the Baptist sent his disciples to confirm whether he’s the one to come. Instead of Jesus to say, “yes, I am the one’, He said, ‘sit down’. He went to the blind and made them to see, he healed the crippled-many healings took place and he told them: “Look, you’ve seen it, go and tell your master”.

So, a little example makes a big difference. Men of God should go into politics and do what is right instead of criticising the sick society. Did you ask me if I’d like to go into politics? (Laughing) If I go into politics, what happens to the ministry God gave me? But if God says I should go into politics, who am I to say no? No man of God will go into politics without hearing from God.

During your crusade when you touch people, they topple and fall, some critics say you use supernatural means to do it. Do you use juju?
If you read the Book of John 3, from verse 30 to the end, you will discover where it says, God’s words, his wonder, his miracles are limitless. We have the power to destroy ourselves but we cannot save ourselves. God’s work is unlimited and it is a mystery. No one understands it. Even those who say they understand, they only claim to but they do they really understand it?
Well, the ones that come from the earth, do things that are of the earth and the ones that come from above, do things from above. Heavenly thing can never be comprehended by earthly people. What we don’t understand, we call names. And what we understand, we destroy. In John 7, when Jesus was in the midst of his people, some said he was fake and that he’s not a man of God. Others said he’s a true man of God. So, it happened during the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every minister of God must face a controversy and arguments by his people. They want to know his origin, nature and position. So, what I do is not something to be understood by mortals.

SOURCE: Weekly Spectator, Nigeria

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Nigeria’s leading newspaper, The Sun, published a detailed account of TB Joshua’s journey through life, in his own words…

Prophet T. B. (Temitope Balogun) Joshua needs no introduction. Everybody has his or her reason for liking or hating the controversial founder of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, a Christian religion with a growing fanatical following. T.B. Joshua, the religious leader whom many evangelical church leaders would not want to be associated with, because they believe he should not be in the fold of real born again Christians.

Pastor TB Joshua - Unravelling The Mystery...

Pastor TB Joshua – Unravelling The Mystery…

Of recent, Prophet Joshua has been the butt of renunciations and denunciations by some leading men of God in Nigeria, who questioned his authority and his authenticity as a man of God. Without any doubt, Joshua is an enigma wrapped in controversy. And it was our desire to unwrap this enigma that took us to The Synagogue, tucked away around the Ejigbo and Egbe axis of Lagos.

There we found a huge, unique Cathedral, the type that has not been seen anywhere in the world. Even the legendary King Solomon would marvel at this Temple of God, built by Nigerians, “under the inspiration of God” as we were told.

On our journey of discovery, our family members and even our colleagues were worried about our going to interview T.B. Joshua. So much was their worry that they had to fast and support us with prayers and spiritual “casting and binding.” To them, it was like entering a spiritual lion’s den. But we were not deterred. After all, journalism is all about adventure. It is about venturing into the unknown and to report it.

There to welcome us at The Synagogue on Wednesday last week was a Briton, who serves as the church’s public relations officer. There were so many white faces everywhere, giving backing to the claim that it is an international church. The young man took us on an excursion inside the church that looked like a huge Roman amphitheatre with pews, carpets, altar and audio-visual facilities that combine to give a colourful and mystical ambience to the church. We visited the church’s Emmanuel TV studio, which broadcasts religious programmes around the world. There were all kinds of studio – for recording and making CDs, audio studios and photo studios. In every studio you saw workers behind computers busy editing films or whatever.

After the tour, we were made to watch a short documentary featuring the newly elected President of Ghana paying tribute to God and to T.B. Joshua for helping him to win the election in Ghana. For 30 minutes or more, we watched the Ghanaian President, Prof. Attah-Mills, worshipping at The Synagogue and even going to the altar to share his testimony about how God used T.B. Joshua to make him win the election in Ghana. He told the congregation about how accurately Joshua prophesied that there would be a tie in the Ghanaian election that would drag into January, but eventually he would win. And he won.

Around Joshua’s living room were pictures of Presidents, heads of state, who either met the prophet or came to worship in The Synagogue. There is the picture of General Andre Kolingba, former President of the Central African Republic (who visited in 2003), Frederick Chiluba, former President of Zambia (who visited in 2001), Prof Pascal Lissouba, former President of Democratic Republic of Congo (who visited in 2006), and Sir Orville Turnquest, former Governor General of The Bahamas whom Joshua visited in 2001. Then there is Omar Bongo, the President of Gabon who visited The Synagogue in 2008.

After an hour of the preliminaries, T.B. Joshua sauntered in to welcome us. He was dressed casually in a T-shirt and shorts. He looked amiable. As we started the interview, he grabbed the tape recorder from us and spoke into it directly as we fired our questions at him. It was his own way of ensuring clarity in recording. Our approach was to get something biographical or autobiographical. This is Prophet T.B. Joshua’s memoirs, in his own words, with a little editing here and there. T.B. Joshua, as you have never heard or read anywhere.

Successful people don’t just drift to the top. It takes focus, personal discipline and perseverance to reach the top. As we know, there is what we call man’s natural gift and the supernatural gift of God. This church is the outcome of the supernatural gift of God. Man’s natural gift is a gift one can begin to boast of, telling you how it all happened. The work of breakthrough is not our work. It is our faith. The work of breakthrough is God’s work. All what you are seeing now is God’s work. If it is to be man’s natural gift, then one can begin to say this is how I achieved it; this is how I came about it. Up till now, I look at The Synagogue edifice and ask myself: how did it happen? God just wanted someone to do all these things and He sent me to do it. It is not my work, but the work of God. So let no man boast. All boasting is excluded. The Bible says, there is no room for man boasting of his own ability or power. So glory be to God.

‘My Father’
Every success story started from somewhere. I was brought up from a Christian home. My father’s name is Kolawole Balogun. He was a Christian. He was a farmer who was also the secretary to St. Steven’s church in our village. When the white people came to our village, he served as a translator. He was translating English into Yoruba. He was an educated man. He lived with the white people as well as serving as church secretary. I cannot say much about my father because he died when I was a small boy. I know that he loved me a lot. I was his pet. I was the one who suffered most from the effect of his death. Being the last born, anywhere he is going, he would take me along. He would carry me to the church. As a little boy, I would be running inside the church. I would jump from the choir to the catechist’s table.

Some people used to rumour that my father was a Muslim. I don’t know where they got that from. My father was a Christian and I am a Christian. When I was very small, I could recall him taking me to church regularly. As a kid attending primary school, my dad would make me to stay after school with a Catholic priest whose house was at the back of the church. I did all the normal things kids do, like running around and playing football.

When my father died, my mum’s brother who became the father figure to me was a Muslim. That does not make me a Muslim. I was brought up in a Christian home. And right from childhood, I was passionate about the Bible. Right from primary school, I was well versed in Bible knowledge. It was my favourite subject and I excelled in it. As a primary six kid, I read the New Testament twice. In my secondary school days, I finished reading the Bible on the average of two months.

Prophet TB Joshua - One Life For Christ Is All I Have, One Life For Christ Is So Dear

Prophet TB Joshua – One Life For Christ Is All I Have, One Life For Christ Is So Dear

Every two months, I would have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It was the only subject that I believed so much in. It was as if Bible was the only subject that interested me in primary and secondary schools. In exams, I scored 99 percent consistently whereas I performed woefully in other subjects. My excelling in Bible knowledge affected the other subjects where I performed poorly. At school, I was the leader of the Scripture Union.

Even though I was second in primary school, I didn’t find it easy getting admitted into secondary school. As luck would have it, I got late admission into Muslim College. In that Muslim College, we were restricted from carrying the Bible openly. To read the Bible, we would have to hide under the mango tree or backyard and the Muslim community would begin to chase us. We were all 20 in number then. Like the early Christians, we would read the Bible in secrecy because they never allowed us to do it openly. I was the leader of the Christian team in the school, at Ansar-Ud-deen Grammar School, Ikare. And because of the pressure, I couldn’t finish a year in that school. It was obvious I couldn’t fit into this dominantly Muslim setting. So I left the school. I left because my life was in danger. I could sense that since I was doing this thing secretly, one day something could happen to me. To avoid that I had to leave. From Ikare, I came to Lagos.

‘I spent 15 months in my mother’s womb’
Back to my early beginnings, I was the last born of the family. When I was born a lot of strange things happened. Seven days after I was born, I was told that I was put on a mat and a big stone nearly crushed me but miraculously I escaped. How did it happen? White people used to come to do borehole in our village. And in our village, it’s all stone under. When they are drilling, they would be hitting stone and stones would be flying out dangerously. Before any drilling, they would publicly announce that everybody must stay at home to avoid the danger of being hit by a flying stone. The stone used to fly because of the nature of the machine they use. It was on the seventh day when they wanted to name me that they put me on the mat and a big stone flew from where they were drilling, pierced the roof where people were celebrating and landed where I was placed. But it missed me, narrowly. The stone is still being kept till now. Nobody has ever heard this story from me.

The other mysterious story about me is that a normal pregnancy is nine months. But I spent more than that in my mother’s womb. My mother was taken to Egbe, which had the best hospital in those days. Egbe is in Kogi State. It was probably the best hospital in the whole of Nigeria then. My mother was carried there for operation. After nine months, she started labouring. She ended up spending three months in the hospital. My grandmother had money and my mum is the only child. At the level of the village, granny was a very rich woman. So she could afford the hospital bills for that lengthy period of time. Each time the doctor wanted to operate my mummy, the doctor would say: “I am not comfortable with carrying out this operation.”

My mother told me this story. She remembers that in that Egbe, some Christians used to come to the hospital to preach to the sick. She said she was just lying down on the bed and a pastor just walked in and said she should not be operated. He said to my mum: “God is busy preparing this child. So, please, they should not operate you. Go back home. If you attempt the operation, the opposite would happen.”

My mum called the doctor and the doctor met the pastor who repeated the message to the doctor. My mum left the hospital after three months back home again to continue the labour. She laboured and laboured. Instead of nine months, she spent 15 months labouring. But one night, they delivered me without operation. So this made the villagers and the whole community to say they must celebrate my birth. And they now gathered on the seventh day to name me and celebrate. It was that seventh day they were doing the drilling and the big stone flew like a missile, heading to my direction, but miraculously missed me. Where the stone passed is still there. Where they laid me on the floor is still there. Because I said they should not touch it. The stone that fell is still with them.

The story began to go round the village about this mysterious child that was born after 15 months, a child they carried to Egbe Hospital and they could not do operation, they came back home, they delivered him safely. Now after delivering him, this stone fell and a mysterious hand carried this baby from the mat. Nobody saw me being carried. They only saw me in another direction, crying: Choo, choo, choo.

The stone was supposed to fall on me, but a mysterious force moved me into safety within the same room. It was a narrow miss. The cloth and everything burnt into ashes. And my mummy fainted. And she was carried to hospital. My mummy was in the hospital for good two days. The ram and everything were all there. The rice, they could not eat it. Because everybody was rushing to the hospital to revive my mum. Nobody did any ceremony again. But eventually I got named. I was named Temitope Olutope Oluwasheun Oluwarotimi Opeyemi; I have plenty names. On the day I was named, I was given 30 names. But I just chose Tope out of the plenty names. My mother one day called me and said: “Your names are almost 30 and they are written down.” And I just chose Temitope. I just picked Temitope.

My mummy woke up after two days in the hospital. My mum’s name is Adesiji Kolawole Balogun. Her father’s name is Kolawole. My mummy is late, my father is late. My father died first when I was a kid and my mother was left with the responsibility of training me and sending me to school. But she was handicapped financially. She told me: “You this boy, I cannot finance your education. You would have to wait until your brothers finish their university education. They would be the one to sponsor your education.”

Mum was the secretary to the union of daily savings collector – what it is called in Yoruba: ‘Aya ni lowo fowo pa mo.’ I remember her going out to collect daily savings from her clients. She used those things to train her children. Now that she was no longer into that business, and was hoping my brother, who was attending secondary school in Gbongan would be the one to send me to college. That was the only hope that I had to go to school.

Based on the hostility and the religious intolerance at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, I decided to leave Ikare for Lagos. I met some people who used to carry cassava from the village to places like Ibadan and Lagos. I approached them and explained my predicament to them. They would spend four days on the road transporting the cassava to Lagos on the trailer. The trailer would be loaded with stuff like cassava and cocoa while the owners would sleep on top. I decided to join them. I did not tell my parent I was going to Lagos. I stayed inside the vehicle for four days before getting to Ibadan. From Ibadan we landed in Mile 12 in Lagos. They dropped me there and told me: “This is where we can carry you.”

For five days, I was in Mile 12. It was during the rainy season. The job I was doing was washing the feet of people coming out of the muddy market. I would wash feet and be paid little money with which I fed. I was washing feet until one day I heard two women conversing in my native dialect. I interrupted their conversation and asked if they were from Arigidi, my hometown, and they said yes. I told them I was in Lagos to trace my sister whose whereabouts I don’t know. Luckily, I was able to trace my sister to Egbe area of Lagos. After 10 days, I traced her and started to live with her. That is how I started my life. Today, I have an NGO for motor park boys, because I have also been one myself.

I realized my sister had her own family and I should not be burden to her. I do not like inconveniencing people. If I visit your house and you give me a bottle of soft drinks, I would make sure I put something in the envelope, because I believe we make a living by what we give and we make a life by what we receive. This is what I believe in. In life, you don’t just have to collect and collect. It destroys one’s life. You have to give and give. Because the Bible says, you must see giving as an assignment from God.

‘I carried shit to make a living’
I left my sister to live with a friend. From there, I got a job as a poultry farm attendant. The poultry is still there now. Not long ago, I traced the poultry to somewhere in Ikotun. The job they gave me is to carry shit. Fowl shit. And fowl shit smell is more terrible than human faeces. I was doing this job with many Ghanaians. There were so many Ghanaians in Nigeria then. I was the only Nigerian in that poultry farm. And I never let people know I was a Nigerian. I declared myself a Ghanaian too, because nobody would believe a Nigerian would do that kind of job. I did the job for three days and my body odour changed. When I’m moving about, people would perceive odour and flies would be hovering around me because I was smelling very badly. There was no amount of soap I would bath that would remove this odour from my body. As you are working in the poultry farm, the fowl shit would be dropping on your head. I did this for one good year.

At the same time, I enrolled in an evening school. New State High School is the name of the school. I attended many schools in Lagos. I would attend one school for two months, only to be sent away because of school fees. I attended New State High School, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Isolo, and another school called Metropolitan. Because I was very good in athletics, I was given what looked like scholarship. I won gold, silver and bronze in athletics. But I needed to work to support myself at school. That was why I took the poultry job. I was using it to pay my school fees. In those days, evening schools were like full, normal schools. You could easily attend evening school to do your WAEC and GCE. We even received better lessons in the evening than in the day school in those days. I was sending myself to school and at the same time teaching children Bible studies.

My athletics took me to Baptist Academy. When I was running they picked me. Under one year, I attended 15 schools here in Lagos. And I did not finish one year. I don’t remember the year, because I cannot keep records. But it’s all in the documentary on my life. I was born 1963. At least, I remember that one.

‘I confronted a mad man at school’
My first attempt at discovering God’s spirit in me was when a mad man came to my school. In those days, I used to be called Small Pastor. One morning a madman came to our school with a cutlass and everybody was running helter-skelter. The teachers all fled and the classroom was empty. I came and saw this mad person. The spirit of God spoke to my heart, not to my ear. I hear the voice of God in my heart and not in my ears. I heard the voice of God telling me: “Go there and collect the cutlass. Just tell the madman to bring the cutlass.” When I was moving towards the madman, everybody was concerned for my safety. They were saying something like: ‘This is boy, he wants to die.’ I just went to the madman and commanded him: “Give me this cutlass, in the name of Jesus.” The madman gave me the cutlass. I collected it and gave it to a teacher. It was from there they started calling me Small Pastor.

From there, they would call me in the assembly and ask me to pray for them. Every time I would pray for them. If they want to play football, I would pray for them. They began to come to me individually for prayers. It was pray for me, pray for me, pray for me all the way. They asked me how I was able to overcome the madman and I told them I was surprised myself to see what happened.

You see, God Almighty is awesome. He can use any medium to express Himself. He can use sand, water, stone, rod, he can use anything. When Moses was asking God, what should he do, God asked him: “What is in your hand?” He said rod. Then God said: “Use it to divide the sea.” Or are you talking about Paul and Silas in the prison yard? They were there and they never said: Hey, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus. They just sang praises to God. The used the medium of sound. Or are you talking of Joshua. He said to his people to just shout Alleluia and the walls of Jericho fell. God uses any medium to express Himself.

The ministry started from St. Stevens Primary School where I collected the cutlass from the madman and where I started leading the Scriptures Union, teaching the Bible and everything. This is where the awareness of God’s presence in me started. It continued. Everything big starts little. If everything big starts big, it calls for concern.

I was in Bahamas with the President of Bahamas, very close to Florida when my mother died. This is the picture. I was with him when they called me. Synagogue had already come into being. I was with him when they said my mother was a bit down, that they brought her from the village. They said my mother wanted to see me and have a word with me. Before I came back home, my mummy was gone. My mummy was late. It was too late for me. That was how I missed my mum.

She was a wonderful mother. The only little problem I had with my mum is that she wanted to see everybody succeed in life. I used to tell my mum: success is a two-sided affair. I have a role to play, God has His own role. It is not all up to God and certainly it’s all not up to me. Success is a kind of partnership between man and God. I cannot define failure, because I don’t believe in failure. There is no failure in my book. All I see is success, directed by the spirit of God. But as human beings, we cannot be perfect. Perfection eludes every human being. God is perfection.

SOURCES:
The Sun, Nigeria
All Voices
Modern Ghana
Odili Net

As the Pastor himself says,

“Successful people don’t drift to the top. It takes focussed action, personal discipline and a lot of energy everyday to make things happen.”

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