You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2013 05 09Article 273300

Opinions of Thursday, 9 May 2013

Columnist: Asempa, Kwame

TB Joshua, the man who tricked God?

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus was walking the land of Jerusalem today if he would be on TV. Would CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC and the other popular networks broadcast his ministry and miracles live? Would he be like Rev. Benny Hinn, donning a $50,000 Rolex watch or like Prophet T. B. Joshua, with a flashy Nollywood smile and a cool $20 million in the bank? Would the savior of mankind, live in a sprawling 15-bedroom mansion? Would Jesus ride to miracle healing crusades in his own private Jet with all the pomp and showmanship?

I have no doubt millions of eyes would be glued to TV sets as he performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 hungry mouths with only five loaves of bread. Would he prophesy the results of soccer matches and the death of presidents? What would he say about modern prophets like Jesus One Touch? Would he silently ignore them or lash out with the flash of a whip and the sharpness of rebuke?

All humans want to know the unknown, or even the unknowable. We are wired by God to want to know what tomorrow holds. It is probably why we are so fascinated by those who claim to know the future or who claim to possess the gift of prophecy. At the birth of 2013, one of Africa’s popular ‘men of God’, the Nigerian Prophet T. B. Joshua issued his prophecy for the New Year, as usual. My childhood friend, Fiifi, who follows and hangs on to every word the Yoruba miracle worker says, told me about the prophecies. I decided to check them out. Fiifi’s passion was too strong to ignore.

T. B. Joshua prophesied that “many great, famous, rich men and politicians will become helpless and in need of help in matters of sickness, disease, finances and death”. I looked at Fiifi in amazement, as to why he believed this was a prophecy. This is not a prophecy but a generalized statement. There are thousands of famous and great men in the world, so naturally some would get into trouble. Every week some famous person dies or gets into trouble around the world. In the USA alone, for instance, some star or famous person gets into trouble almost every day. If I say there is going to be a storm in the USA that is going to cause destruction this year, it is not a prophecy. It is a simple geographical fact.

Psychics and con artists use these tricks all the time. They tell you there is a man in your family named Mensah trying to harm you spiritually. Of course, they know almost everybody in Ghana has a Mensah in their family or knows one who is close. Do people believe these fake prophets because they desperately want a miracle in their life so badly that a fake miracle is better than no miracle? Well, a fake miracle is no miracle. A fake miracle is like the ostrich solution to problems, it is the alcoholic’s solution to problems. Once you are drunk, the problem disappears. However, the problem reappears when the drunken stupor fades off. This is not a solution, it is denial and lying to oneself.

T. B. Joshua’s other prophecy tickled me blue. He said, “Those in the foodstuff business will have a field day this year. Farming and agriculture will be the order of the day and will help greatly to be the source of solution this year. People engaged in it will be greatly blessed,” Why would anyone consider this a prophecy? Is this over-baked, redundant, recycled financial advice or what? Last year a cargo plane crashed in Accra, the Melcolm building collapsed but Joshua did not see it to warn us. What is the purpose of these ‘prophesies’ if it serves no purpose and helps nobody? Where is the next Tsunami going to be? That’s what we want to know, so we can be ready.

Can Temitope Joshua prophesy the Boston bombing next time before it happens, rather than ‘predicting’ it after it has happened? If he had prophesied the Boston Marathon bombing, his name would be on every major network in the world. Oprah, CNN, NBC,New York Times and all the big networks would be at his door begging for an interview. He did not prophesy the Boston bombing. That is the fact that the whole world knows except the gullible followers of Joshua in Ghana and Nigeria.

People like TB Joshua and their fake miracles thrive in non-questioning, semi-literate societies, where superstition is rife even among the educated. Why would the great omnipotent Jehovah reveal such useless prophecies? These prophecies are definitely not from God. They are from the demented mind of one who seeks fame and money and know how to manipulate a society of gullible zombies.

Joshua did not prophesy the Melcolm building collapsing which would have saved many lives. Neither did he prophesy the crashing of a cargo plane into a bus at Kotoka Airport. When Accra Sports stadium collapsed, he did not see it. Even when President Mills was stricken with cancer and on the verge of death, he did not see it. When a tsunami devastated Japan, Joshua did not see it. God does not show Joshua revelations that would save lives. God only reveals soccer scores, election results and mushed-up general statements that help no one. Attributing these cheap ‘revelations’ to God is blasphemy. Yahweh, the creator of the universe, with billions of stars and galaxies, cannot do better than giving useless financial advice?

Joseph in the Bible interpreted dreams that averted a famine and saved the lives of millions of people. Moses saved many Israelites from the plagues that devastated Pharoah, because his predictions came true and were time specific.

How would such prophesies be received in educated countries like Germany, Canada or Japan? Nobody in any developed, educated world of critically thinking people would see Balogun Joshua’s statement as prophecies. However, among many Africans, these are words from the Almighty Yahweh himself. Joshua is sleek, shrewd and a good stage magician, who can fool millions of gullible, desperate Africans. He has amassed wealth to the tune of $20 million. Needless, to say, he has tricked his way into great wealth. Man can be fooled, but the most sophisticated sakawa, 419 tactics cannot trick God. Just like Obinim, Jesus One Touch, Bishop Eddie Long and all the many false prophets had come crashing down, time would show that Bishop Temitope Balogun Joshua cannot trick God.