Reinhard Bonnke, TB Joshua and Overcoming Division in The Body of Christ

bonnke, tb joshua“Let us have a minute of silence for one of God’s Generals – Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. May his soul rest in perfect peace.” The entire congregation rose solemnly to their feet. Respect. Honour. Acknowledgement. A day earlier it had been announced that German Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke had passed onto glory at the ripe age of 79. “It’s all about Jesus, not all about T.B. Joshua. It’s not about Reinhard Bonnke; it’s all about Jesus.”

It was with these heartfelt words that Pastor T.B. Joshua began his sermon at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on Sunday December 8th 2019. Hours earlier, his social media platforms – followed by millions – had published a touching tribute to Evangelist Bonnke, describing him as a “missionary with a burning passion for the Gospel.” Celebrating his ‘life and legacy of harvest’, Emmanuel TV declared, “The character of a true believer is that he finds refuge in the secret place of the Most High God. Heaven is our resting place, our dwelling place. Here Reinhard Bonnke rests – in the precious arms of Jesus Christ.”

I’m sure churches around the African continent and indeed the world offered similar sentiments and shared similar tributes. Reinhard Bonnke was, after all, a colossus in the evangelical world whose mammoth crusades led untold millions to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. However, the significance of Joshua’s poignant tribute lies in the divisive events preceding it, much of which remains shrouded in mystery by the ‘dirty politics’ that unfortunately infiltrated Nigerian Christianity. Indeed, many don’t know that Reinhard Bonnke publicly renounced any ties with TB Joshua – at the specific, urgent insistence of then Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) President Ayo Oritsejafor.

In 2007, Bonnke had been interviewed by Emmanuel TV in one of his public meetings, immediately irking Nigeria’s Pentecostal fold who had denounced Joshua as an impostor who used diabolical powers. Bonnke spoke several weeks later on ABN (African Broadcasting Network) – the channel owned and operated by Oritsejafor – stating he was unaware of Emmanuel TV’s correlation with TB Joshua and renouncing any ‘endorsement of TB Joshua’ suggested by his initial interview. At the period when ‘persecution’ against TB Joshua from Nigerian Pastors was at its fiercest, Oritsejafor was undoubtedly among his chief critics, stating categorically in an interview with the Vanguard in 2009 that he did not consider Joshua to even be a Christian and threatening to ‘expel’ any member of PFN who was caught ‘fraternising’ with him. Oritsejafor’s spiritual father – the late Benson Idahosa – once famously said TB Joshua was ‘below his cleaner’ and defiantly declared he would shortly die. Without jumping to any conclusions, it’s pertinent to note his own passing followed soon after.

In an article from US-based Charisma Magazine in 2002 about the controversies surrounding Joshua’s ministry, Peter Vandenberg, then executive vice president of Christ for All Nations (CFAN), explained Bonnke’s rationale for ‘keeping a distance’ from the Nigerian cleric. “We held a meeting organised by 2000 local pastors and every one of them said that Joshua does things that are occultic and that what he is doing is not doctrinally correct… We stand with the majority of Christians there who have denounced him. Our brothers in Nigeria are on the ground there, and they know best.”

It’s intriguing to note the ministry quoted ‘the majority’ as opposed to ‘seeking God’ for insight. However, years have passed since these controversies raged and time has unequivocally spoken a rather different picture than the ‘majority’ quoted above. Rather than receding away from prominence, TB Joshua has grown leaps and bounds, emerging as Nigeria’s most well-known televangelist with an increasingly large international following. Whilst Oritsejafor has faded into virtual anonymity, Joshua’s ministry has seen exponential, sustained growth (ABN has 1,500 YouTube subscribers and Emmanuel TV has 1,500,000). Prominent figures in Nigerian Christendom who vociferously condemned him such as Mike Okonkwo, Chris Okotie and Matthew Ashimolowo have dipped into ‘relative obscurity’ compared to Joshua’s meotoric rise in influence and acclaim.

Amidst such criticism, Joshua remained silent – letting actions speak louder than words. His sermons are centred on the simple truths of God’s Word, he engages in huge humanitarian projects both locally and internationally and the countless testimonies emerging from his ministry unequivocally give glory to Jesus Christ. Whilst Oritsejafor has been embroiled in the controversy of the Prosperity Gospel – recently caught on camera ‘commanding’ Americans to pay $5,000 each for an ‘anointed mantle’ at Morris Cerullo’s church – TB Joshua has painstakingly made it clear miracles cannot be exchanged with money and openly distanced himself from the excessive greed associated with the ‘Prosperity Gospel’. To surmise the scenario, the advice of Gameliel in Acts 5:38-39 springs readily to mind: “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

I expect Bonnke just listened to what the ‘majority’ said without taking time to personally observe TB Joshua or seek the face of God concerning his anointed ministry. I am sure he – like many others in the Pentecostal fold – realised the truth about Joshua’s genuineness and unique spiritual calling but found it difficult to publicly acknowledge given his past comments. Regardless, this tribute by TB Joshua provides a powerful lesson, especially poignant for those in the vineyard of Christ. Let us forget pain of the past, put aside our differences in the body of Christ and ensure we stand for unity – with Jesus Christ at the forefront of all our actions and attitudes. After all, it’s not about Reinhard Bonnke, TB Joshua, Enoch Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Chris Oyakhilome or any other minister of God – it is all about Jesus! 

Tawia Acheampong is a writer on African affairs based in Accra, Ghana

The Shinning Light from SCOAN of Prophet TB Joshua

tb joshua, scoanProphet TB Joshua, the founder of the SCOAN, Lagos Nigeria, probably needs no further introduction; even as the fearful year 2019 he had predicted is coming to an end. However, the light coming out of SCOAN through the class of prophets, prophetess, preachers, evangelists, choristers and all manners of Church administrators being raised by this prophet of our time would require a study on this enormous illumination. We have no sufficient statistics to back up our explanation on how many miracles, or simply how many families and individuals had benefited from TB Joshua ministries this year 2019 alone. It is simply a phenomenon, awesome, and beyond ordinary scientific explanation. We thank God for all that came out of SCOAN in the year 2019 despite its gloominess and the changing fearful world. Every Church of Jesus Christ needs to be this alive, with the great Jesus Gospel, His power and authority over all the principalities and powers.

Now our God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ, (2 Corinthians 4:6). A lamp could not be hidden under a bowl as it would be rapidly extinguished by its lack of oxygen. In any case, one wouldn’t light a lamp simply to put it out. Hence we wouldn’t attempt to cover the glory of God coming out bright and strong from the SCOAN. If only 50% of those who had received healing, breakthrough, deliverance, and salvation of souls, had been able to maintain what they received, by obedience to the Word of God, every country in our planet would have got a measure of the illumination we are trying to describe. Yet many others had stayed in their different distant communities and only exercised faith in Christ Jesus through Emmanuel.TV and are maintaining the blessings because Jesus is everywhere, and ready to respond to our genuine call to Him for help. If you have received Christ in your heart then let the lamp shine on all who are in your house, within your community, and all those who come into the house or you come across in your daily walk. This seems to be the common message from SCOAN being led by TB Joshua. The prophet has put the message simply as being “God’s channel”.

Meanwhile (John 1:5) “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”. Again this is the message wherever Jesus chooses to operate this season of Christmas. Only one thing is needed from everyone this season, that is a praise of Thanksgiving. Like Mary did in Matthew 26:7,12 “There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat…..(Jesus responded) For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.” This Mary had encountered Jesus earlier in her life, a woman afflicted by many demons. What she did was not only a Thanksgiving but actually timely. The other women who went later to anoint the body of Jesus would have returned home with their equally expensive oil because Jesus had already risen by the time they got to His grave-site.

Therefore if you see the light beaming out of SCOAN today, kindly respond positively to the call of Jesus immediately, because another opportunity may never come. Jesus is alive and the proof is in Prophet TB Joshua’s ministry. Get your soul and body anointed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ before you encounter death to ensure resurrection. Join the disciples of Jesus today and become alive and an effective witness. The SCOAN, an arena of liberty and a platform for us to express our faith, hope and love freely and independently in Jesus Christ.

Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, Unilorin, Nigeria

NIGERIAN FOOTBALLER REVEALS PLOT AGAINST TB JOSHUA!

Sani Emmanuel, the former Nigerian football starlet whose recent social media plea for help to fund an operation for his career-threatening injury made headlines, has revealed a stunning plot against prominent Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua by some ‘big men of God’.

In a tell-all post on Facebook

sani emmanuel, tb joshua

(https://www.facebook.com/emmanuel.sani/posts/10211694606399866)

Emmanuel revealed he received a phone call from “a woman named Bisola Johnson” who spoke to him for over two hours, promising substantive financial benefits if he agreed “to testify against TB Joshua”.

“She spoke on her relationship with some big men of God,” he asserted, adding they would assist him to “raise up to 10 million naira for my surgery” on the condition that he damningly reveal TB Joshua used his “star” for a ritual.

“She said I had to change the name Emmanuel as the name is cursed,” Sani continued, revealing Johnson tried repeatedly “to convince me that TB Joshua is not a real man of God.”

Emmanuel provided evidence by uploading an audio recording of one of his conversations with Johnson onto SoundCloud

(https://soundcloud.com/user-652685043/bisola-johnson-call-to-sani-emmanuel)

where she can be heard coaching him on how to respond if asked about his injury and Joshua’s role in not alleviating it.

Sani’s rise to footballing relevance during the 2009 U-17 World Cup, where he won the coveted Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, was well connected to TB Joshua.

The young footballer played for My People FC, the grassroots football academy founded and funded by the cleric, revealing in interviews then that he worked as an “altar boy” in The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN).

Before Sani and his team-mate Ogenyi Onazi were selected to represent the Golden Eaglets, Joshua also sponsored their trip to Sweden to play for a lower-tier team.

Clearly miffed at Johnson’s smear campaign against the cleric and her attempts to embroil him in it, Emmanuel stated that he “grew up in the Synagogue” and described Joshua as “the best dad in the world.”

“If not TB Joshua, I would have ended up playing street football at a village called Aso Pada in Abuja,” the footballer continued, adding “he raised me from nobody to somebody.”

Sani also revealed that his social media plea for help led to probing questions from people familiar with his connection to Joshua.

“I have received calls and messages from people, asking why couldn’t the man of God help me or heal me,” he stated, explaining that Joshua is just “like you and I” but simply being “used by God”.

“A prophet is not a magician. I believe my time of healing will surely come,” he concluded, before revealing he had been distant from the cleric for a long time and desired to “come back home”.

Days earlier, Emmanuel revealed in an Instagram post that his former team-mate Ogenyi Onazi had paid N1.4m ($4,000) to enable him to undergo surgery for achilles tendonitis which had plagued him since the onset of his career.

After his breakout performances at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Emmanuel had trials with Chelsea and Tottenham before a brief stint at Italian side Lazio but persistent injuries hampered him from making any mark.

Sani’s revelation is not the first-time prominent clerics have been implicated in efforts to publicly discredit TB Joshua.

Earlier this year, a video on Emmanuel TV’s YouTube channel chronicled the confession of an ex-militant named James who admitted he was paid “huge amounts” by a Nigerian pastor to “lie against TB Joshua” and malign his ministry in “a public crusade”.

Bisola Johnson, the initiator of the phone call with Sani, has been a long-term nemesis of Joshua, brazenly accusing him – without evidence – of perpetuating all manner of atrocities within his popular church.

Johnson, who worked in The SCOAN for several years before turning against her former boss, has previously admitted on camera to being mentally unstable and was recently accused of fraud by a US-based businessman.

Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist

Ending This Fearful Year Prophesied By Prophet TB Joshua

tb joshua, scoan, emmanuel tv

Prophet T.B. Joshua

At the beginning of the year 2019, Prophet TB Joshua prophesied that the year 2019 would be fearful. Those of us who had been following him for several years keyed into the prophecy. We knew from his prophecy that 2019 was going to be full of dreadful challenges and only faith in Jesus would see us through. Ordinarily, it had been expected that most of the fear would come from individual attitude to the unknown, all the possible negative feelings and thoughts that would drive our emotions. In short, the prophecy impacted on us that despite the challenges therein living our lives to the fullest was going to be by His grace.

Nevertheless, no Christian should live under any fear, even the fear of the unknown, and expect answers to prayers or joyous living. This is because when we choose to live with the fear of the unknown, the choices and decisions we make would not serve us well nor make us holy in obedience to Jesus. Each Christian should learn that Faith or encouragement in Christ had not been the absence of fear, but our belief and trust in Him is what guarantees our triumph over fear. Every day in the year 2019 had been fearful. In many parts of the world, many had experienced different degrees of political upheavals, terrorism, xenophobia, extreme weather conditions, economic depression, unemployment, food insecurity, and so on. There were physical reasons to have made us living our lives in the fear of the unknown rather than in the fullest potential possible in Christ Jesus. But His grace had been sufficient, making us over-comers.

As we consider the prophecy of TB Joshua, and desire to find a place for our prophet in the scripture, at least two prophecies come to mind. In Daniel 12: 4 it is written,”… ., even to the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased”. This increase in knowledge has given birth to Emmanuel.TV and other Christian satellite broadcasting stations. In Matthew 24:14 Jesus has also prophesied that “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”. Hence though a fearful year, over 500,000 million people worldwide must have listened to the gospel through Emmanuel.TV this year 2019.

Therefore the fearfulness containing in the outgoing year has been beyond mere apprehension of physical and temporal situations around or fear of the unknown. Rather it is becoming more obvious that Jesus is on His way for a harvest of His faithful followers. Jesus made this known in Luke 21:17-20, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh”. There are still a few days left in this year 2019 for each one to let the Word of Salvation go out freely from our mouth, otherwise, they remain only fearful days ahead.

Prof. R. A.  Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Video – TB Joshua’s Message To Bayelsa Governor Elect David Lyon!!!

Bayelsa Governor, David Lyon, tb joshuaDuring the Sunday Service of 1st December 2019, Prophet TB Joshua gave an important message to David Lyon, the newly elected Governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The message delivered is valuable not only for him but indeed for politicians all over…

“Good morning. We cannot leave here without recognising the presence of the Governor-Elect of Bayelsa State, Nigeria – His Excellency, David Lyon. But for your information, this is not the time for testimony. This will come after his inauguration.

“I want to give my brother a message that he will be thinking about after the inauguration. I am not going to say anything that the Spirit of God will not. I will say this and that according to the Spirit.

“He is not a new person to us; he is one of the brethren in this ministry. He is one of us. He has been a hardened believer in the Blood of Jesus.

“Don’t think you are just seeing him… You know me. I always believe in Spirit-politics and I know God will use him.

“Going by the politics in the town today, I want my brother to know that the only way the Bayelsa people will believe that he is the one they voted for is for him to meet the expectation of the Bayelsa people.

“He is banking on your prayer because the best is yet to come. My brother, I am at your service. When I say I am at his service, I mean I am at his service to see that the expectation of the Bayelsa people is executed.

“The only way the Bayelsa people will believe that he is the one they voted for is for him to meet the expectation of the Bayelsa people.

“I want to leave you with a Word of wisdom: It is better to live poorly upon the fruit of God’s goodness than to live to plentifully upon the product of our own sin. Listen to the voice of wisdom but also make use of your brain. Thank you.”

*Mr David Lyon rose from relative obscurity to prominence after the All Progressives Congress candidate ended the People’s Democratic Party’s 20-year reign in Bayelsa State in the recently held governorship election.

Renewed Efforts To “Achieve Peace” In South Sudan In Wake Of TB Joshua’s Visit

tb joshua, scoan, south sudanSeveral new developments in the pursuit of sustainable peace have unfolded in the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, just weeks after the visit of Nigerian cleric TB Joshua. 

Yesterday, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced the recalling of its South Sudan ambassador, Thomas Hushek, in its ongoing “re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan.”

“The United States stands with the people of South Sudan in their pursuit of peace and will work in partnership with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan,” the statement from the Department of State read.

usa, south sudanPresident Salva Kiir Mayardit and his main opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny agreed during a meeting in Uganda early this month to extend the pre-transitional period for three months after a consensus that the steps viable for a unity government formation were not yet in place.

In addition, several South Sudanese opposition factions who in 2018 did not sign the Addis Ababa peace agreement announced they were ready to re-engage in peace negotiations after a meeting held in Rome.

Nine members of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) gathered behind closed doors for three days in the headquarters of a Catholic charity where they agreed to sign a common communique in which they commited themselves to “political dialogue and negotiations to contribute to the peace process.”

In his message on November 12th 2019, TB Joshua publicly prayed for peace at Juba’s Presidential Palace in the presence of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, his cabinet, military representatives and thousands of local residents.

“Time has come to put our differences behind us,” the Nigerian cleric told the nation’s leaders, stressing that “peace has no price”.

His message clearly struck a chord with the public, having been viewed over one million times on the social media platforms of YouTube and Facebook since the video was uploaded by Emmanuel TV.

Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist…

The LORD With The Man In The Synagogue For Our Solutions

tb joshua, scoan

Prophet TB Joshua

As students of the Bible, the former rain refers to the first Pentecost, that is the descending of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after His Accession to Heaven. It was a big breakthrough for the earthly Church. It brought them renewed strength, boldness, encouragement, empowerment and growth. The latter rain refers to a future Pentecost. This message comes to mind when prophet TB Joshua, the Bishop and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos Nigeria, recently prophesied of “a cooling rain” and then the coming of Seraphim. We are waiting for these events because TB Joshua has accurate prophesies and speaking what God sends him to.

The prophecy was probably and primarily meant for Nigeria but the entire global system is in complete chaos and disorder at the moment. We see rioting and protesting everywhere on our TV daily. Only a divine intervention can introduce a new peaceful and orderly system. With a dynamic man of God, Prophet TB Joshua, full of faith and commitment in Jesus Christ, awaiting the fulfilment of the coming calmness is with certainty.

It can be recalled that at a time the children of Israel were in similar distress and eventually God sent an angel to Gideon and empowered Gideon on the deliverance mechanism of Israel from their oppressors, (Judges 6). Whereas Gideon armed himself with 32,000 fighting men only 300 trumpeters were used by God. And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place, (Judges 7: 7).

Already many sections of the societies are taking their deep personal problem to The SCOAN for a guarantee solution because of Prophet TB Joshua. This is a personal achievement of an individual prophet of our time. What we pray for also is that all true believers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to come together in one accord for the arrival of God’s latter rain that will bring calmness and genuine world peace. Just as TB Joshua warned the South Sudanese recently, similarly, “It is also time for all Christians to put their differences behind them”. It is only Jesus Christ, the Creator of the entire universe, that has the solution to all the problems, visible or invisible, imagined or unimaginable.

Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.