Worshippers trooped into the Synagogue Church of All nations, for another healing and prophetic service by the world renowned Televangelist and General Overseer of the church, Prophet T.B Joshua. It was just one week before the man of God’s 53rd birthday. Along the broad drive-way into the worship arena, fresh flags of different nations fluttered.
At the entrance to the auditorium, a combined team of dutiful protocol officers and security personnel ensured that no security threat to unsuspecting worshipers gained entrance. Melodious voices from the church’s choir electrified the congregation with glorious songs.
Heaven’s glories practically came down as soulful worship of the God of heaven rented the air. Before the service proper, many who received prophesies and healings during the previous Sunday’s service had opportunity to confirm the prophecies they had received and testified about what God had done for them.
Before Prophet Joshua took the stage for the day’s ministration, an intense worship session that rose to a crescendo heralded the Prophet’s arrival But he first used the opportunity to officially announce to his followers that next Sunday (today) is his birthday.
How to celebrate the birthday
“I need to inform you about the direction the Holy Spirit wants us to celebrate my birthday. I was telling you about the hardship in the country. There is so much oppression. If you look right, you see oppression; you look left you see oppression, poverty, hardship and everywhere is hardship. In a situation like that, you are to use your best gift to bless people around you,” Joshua said.
He continued: “The Holy Spirit has also told me to organise our pray line, for the sick to be healed, the oppressed to be delivered and blessed. The birthday service will be on Sunday, those who have testimonies will share testimonies during the service,” Joshua added. Applause trailed his announcement of the resumption of Prayer Line, a programme that usually attracted lots of foreigners in search of the touch of God, to the SCOAN. The programme was temporarily suspended after the tragic collapse of the church’s guest house which claimed many lives. “My birthday started 53 years ago.
I can’t keep silent about it because I have been receiving happy birthday complements since May. If I remain silent, what you are going to do will embarrass me. And I don’t want you to embarrass me. So, on your own, bless and care for those who are in need of what you have, with your whole heart. Just tell someone I love you. That is the best way to celebrate the birthday. I must say here I am; I am happy.
Happy birthday,” he said beaming with his infectious smile. As fans and followers celebrate Prophet T.B Joshua’s 53rd birthday today, over 5000 expatriates from different parts of the world defied the prevailing state of insecurity in Nigeria to rejoice with one of Nigeria’s most gifted faith healers, philanthropist and servant of the Most High God.
No enemy can overcome the weapon of love
In the course of his message, Prophet Joshua let out his winning secret: “Please, help people who are in need of what you have with all your heart. Tell them you love them. When you say to someone ‘I love you,’ it delivers, blesses and heals someone.
“They may be those who hate you or those who have been persecuting you. Say to them that you love them from your heart. When you love them, bless them from your heart, God will love, help and bless you. If you do that with your heart, God will love and provide for you; that is self deliverance. You need to move ahead
. That is the lesson you are taking away from my birthday – I love you. Continue using that weapon. No enemy can overcome you. Weapon of love will always triumph.” During the service, the prophet delivered a young woman from a life time of bed-wetting. He also used the opportunity to counsel the youths. “Youths need to come back to God
. Their heart is so hardened. They are yearming for new things, and when you tell them about Christ, they say that they have read it in the university. “But you can’t read how to do deliverance anywhere. Turn what you have seen in the case of this girls just delivered over and over in your heart. Here comes faith, he ” stressed. According to Joshua, people keep losing God because they believe that they can’t recieve from God without giving money. “It is wrong. Freely you are given, freely you must give,” he said.
His humble beginning Joshua was born on June 12, 1963, in Arigidi, a remote village in Akoko area of Ondo State. It was learnt that Joshua stayed 15 months in his mother’s womb – which is abnormal.
Another anomaly recorded about him is that when he was three days old, a large boulder crashed through the roof of his father’s house, missing him by a few inches. For that reason his mother called him Temitope, meaning ‘what you (God) have done for me is worthy of thanks’.
Back in his secondary school days, he was called ‘small pastor’ because of his love for the Bible. He led prayers in his school, St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School in Arigidi, Akoko. Unfortunately, he could not complete his secondary school, hence he moved down to Lagos where he survived doing menial jobs.
His inclination toward the work of God led him to organise Bible studies with children while he attended evening school. An act of fate prevented the young Joshua from pursuing a carrier in the Nigeria Army.
He had boarded a train to attend an interview at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna. But the train developed fault on the way and he didn’t have any money to continue. He was stranded on the tracks for six days; he missed the interview and returned to Lagos shattered.
The Birth of Synagogue Church of All Nations
“I found myself in a family background that irritated me. In those early days, I knew I would be blamed for what I gave my attention to. So, I took a different direction in order to achieve a different solution,” Joshua said in hi him autobiography.
He explained that he recognised early in life that victory in Christ was victory assured, and began to take God by His words knowing that nobody is too good or too bad to qualify for His grace. Hence, in 1978, he visited a ‘prayer mountain’ to seek the face of God. There, he fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights.
According to Joshua, he received divine anointing and a covenant from God to start his ministry in a vision at the prayer mountain. Consequently, Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) was founded, with eight members. According to his mission statement, Joshua believes that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life; and that a true Christian should be known by his love.
“As products of love, Christians should follow in the light of love and let love lead – i.e. love that sees beyond hatred, love that sees beyond intimidation, and love that sees beyond persecution.
The emergence of the world renowned preacher and televangelist, Prophet T.B. Joshua on the Nigerian Christian space is not anything natural. This is because, against the conventional method of launching into the ministry work, Joshua rose from a humble background to launch into the scene, becoming an international figure, despite his lowly and seemingly unknown background. It is conventional to rise from either a Joshua youth ministry, and be groomed under a ’mentor’ or a ‘father in the Lord’ figure before getting on the bigger stage.
For Joshua, this was not the case as he gave himself the push through personal spiritual growth involving serious spiritual exercise of prayer and fasting, which today stood him out as one the 50 most influential people in Africa. Without the usual accolade and fanfare that always accompany ministers of his caliber, T.B. Joshua launched into the Christian ministry as a shepherd to lead a people in need of spiritual and physical comfort. An early knowledge about the prophet relays his quest for power seeking prayers.
“T.B. Joshua had been a lover of prayer and knowledge about God for many years before he became known,” said Daniel Ayodele, who claimed to have known the prophet since the 1980s in Ondo State. “T.B. Joshua had been a man of prayer and fasting.
He used to live close to a friend of mine in those days. He was a popularly called Balogun in the neighborhood,” the source said, adding that, “this man could lock himself in the room for several days, praying and fasting. The regular thing people heard from his prayers was for God to give him power for His work.”
One may not wonder too long to know today why and how the prophet actually got answers to his prayers. Today, like the biblical John the Baptist, who operated from his wilderness base while people sought for him from the cities and towns around, Joshua, operating from a Lagos suburb is much sought after by people from all walks of life and from Nigeria and beyond. These seekers seek him for solutions to their physical and spiritual problems.
The SCOAN has also become a church that has huge international following. Arguably, the best organised church in Nigeria, it services are televised for international audience.
Some of the reasons, Joshua enjoys large international following include numerous video tapes depicting his healings, miracles and prophesies which come to pass with startling accuracy. In a recent prophecy released on Novermber 30 last year, the man of God said:
• There will be large scale scarcity of food. As a state, country, continent, we have to go back to the farm to arrest, alleviate the forthcoming situation.
• Some countries will suffer excessive rainfall while others will suffer drought.
• I encourage governments of all nations to invest in agriculture and to grant loans to deserving citizens to augment this effort.
• How African continent has disappointed God. Africa is supposed to be the bread basket for the world. We are supposed to produce a large quantum of food for the world. This is our natural resource base. Food should be our primary export to other continent, food in exchange for technology.
• African leaders should quickly arrest the political situation.
• Pray for President Buhari, he has good intentions. A King’s intentions cannot be carried out poorly without support of his subjects. He needs your support, to lead us out of the vally The president will do everything to reject revaluation of the naira – which is a good idea from a good leader. But there will be overwhelming pressure which he will not be able to resist. Nigerians, support and pray for your leader. The future is crying for help.
Local opposition and how he conquered the world
In spite of Joshua’s high international profile, there are pockets of local rejection, especially among the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). He is kind of ostracized, persecuted and intimidate by members of his own constituency, the PFN.
“I am the most persecuted of all; but I bear no one any grudge,” he said. But hate him, despise him, persecute him, speak ill of and intimidate Joshua, there are still a large number of die-hard local followers who would not take kindly to negative sentiments against the man of God. Locally and internationally, Joshua is considered to be one of those who have submitted to the will of God and embraced every act of the Almighty with love and respect.
Many also see the SCOAN as a place of spiritual refreshing, where the Power of God is mightily at work. Beyond that is Joshua’s exemplary philanthropic work of love.
Charity work, evidence of love
Joshua is known by his uninhibited dedication to showing the love of Christ through charity works that cuts across culture, nations, continent, individual and communities through diverse humanitarian projects.
For this purpose, he put together a high calibre team –Emmanuel TV Team among who are evangelists, pastors, partners, lawyers, teachers, engineers, doctors, nurses, and entrepreneurs. He said: “God has written us into an unprecedented revolutionary story of love – love that overcomes obstacles, transforms communities and rewrites histories. True love has a language that transcends all languages, distances and barriers.
“Wherever you may find the Emmanuel TV Team, there is a need being met, a problem being solved, a skill being developed, a family being reconciled and a life being transformed.”
Locally, some of the team’s mission of love include donation of N10 million to thousands of Internally Displaced Person as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in North Eastern Nigerian; who are camped in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In Gidikanu home for the needy located in a remote part of Agege, Lagos, T B Joshua and his team provided succour for people who have been rejected, cut off by the society due to disability. Trailer loads of rice were distributed by the team though out the community that is largely inaccessible. Internationally, Ghana, Columbia, Mexico, Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, Haiti, USA, Britain and many other nations benefitted from the immense charity of Emmanuel TV and partners.
Besides, the team extended the acts of love to the socially maladjusted such drug victims and harlots in different parts of the globe. A multiple award recipient Little wonder then, Prophet T B Joshua’s ministry is internationally acclaimed. For his distinguished humanitarian activities, the man of God is a proud recipient of many awards.
Late President Musa Yar’Adua, conferred on Joshua a national honour, Officer of the the Federal Republic (OFR) for his outstanding humanitarian services for the benefit and progress of his nation.
The National Police Force of Columbia also honoured Joshua for services to their nation; Ghanaian Police force likewise decorated him for generous donation of Patrol vans and motor bikes for effective policing of that nation. He is also the Yoruba Man of the Year, 2015 for his contribution; the AREWA Youth Forum honoured Joshua as an Ambassador of Peace in recognition of his interfaith humanitarian services.
As the world celebrates the 53rd birthday of the renowned servant of God, it’s time to focus more on the love of Christ which is the driving force behind T B Joshua’s mission of love.