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How real are T.B Joshua’s miracles? – Some journalists investigate

Following the Synagogue church collapse, some reporters with Vanguard newspaper decided to find out how real T.B’s miracles are.
Read their report below:


Today, many people still seek to
experience miracles and some will go any length to have that experience. At
Synagogue Church of All Nations, (SCOAN) located at Ikotun- Egbe in Lagos
state, an outstanding edifice structured to contain more than 20,000 worshipers
with a quarter of that population mostly foreigners, it is a destination for
miracles seekers.

People are assured that on seeing
the Prophet, TB Joshua, their load of problems would be solved. Little wonder
that people especially foreigners besiege the church in search of miracles.
Just imagine more than 80 South Africans dying in the collapsed foreign guest
house building at the church on September 12.
Thousands throng into the Synagogue
Church of All Nations for miracles. But how real are these miracles that are
spreading like wildfire world over?
Mr. Michael French, a 45 years old
Cameroonian suffering from acute Diabetes traveled all the way from Cameroun
for more than 13 hours by bus, stool ling and urinating frequently on the way.
Mr. French was insulted by passengers in the vehicle due to his constant call
of nature, but he endured it all hoping that when he gets to Lagos, “it would
be a thing of the past.” He arrived Lagos very late and slept at the park
because there was no vehicle going to the church.
Mr. French was one of the few that
landed at the church the very next morning. He felt that he was already healed
because of the adrenaline of hope and excitement in his body. His feet couldn’t
hold him; he had read and watched the exploit of this man back home in
Cameroun. He knew it was his day to be healed. After all the songs and Sunday
School, the Prophet climbed on the podium and started praying for sick people.
“I prayed so hard to be the first to receive the healing.  I wanted to tell the world what God has done for me
through the prophet. But l didn’t get to give my testimony that day. l didn’t
receive any sign of healing. So many people came out to give testimonies of
their healing and I envied them, but I prayed and hoped that my own healing
would come, perhaps on the second day.
“As usual, l was there early
alongside my sister the following day. We had carried everything we had saved
for this trip. We believed so much that God would settle us that second day. We
went there the second day and it was the same thing, a few others received
their healing, but l still didn’t get any. By the third day, I became worried
because I was running out of money.
I called Cameroun for money to be
sent, but l didn’t received any alert. We were still spending money  on
accommodation, feeding and by then, our faith which was  aflame when we
entered into Nigeria began to die fast just as our pockets were draining fast.
“It got to a point when all we had
was our transport fare back to Cameroun; we approached the church, but they
couldn’t help to sustain our stay. We were so sad and left Lagos utterly
disappointed. I prayed to God for help to survive the long journey back to
Cameroun so that I can manage my health just like l was advised by the doctor
in the first place. I came to Nigeria because l was told l would be healed; l
would say that l spent the worst one week of my life in Nigeria and l didn’t
receive what l came for.”
Again, the story of Awele, a
37-year-old mother is more horrifying. Awele, a breast cancer patient based in
Lagos told Saturday Vanguard her experience at the Synagogue while
searching for miracle. After series of tests, she had been told that her both
breasts would go under the knife or she  goes to join her ancestors in
less than eight months.
She couldn’t believe that she was
going to die so soon. She thought about the possiblity of her only daughter
becoming an orphan at 18. Amidst that awful verdict, she exuded faith and
decided to seek a miracle at Synagogue.
“On visiting Prophet Joshua’s church
I was directed to see any of the four Wise-men. (Saturday Vanguard last week
wrote about the ‘four wise-men’ ). After discussing my case with the Wise men,
I observed there were three other similar cases involving two men and one other
woman. We were all kept in a room. Few days after, we were not attended to and
I insisted on seeing the prophet himself.”
“But after three days, instead of
the prophet, it was one of the wise-men that visited us and nothing was done.”
She said further: “About the fourth
day of our stay in the church, we noticed that one of us died, we screamed for
help!
When the members came, all they did
was to take away the lifeless body of the man; we didn’t know what happened to
him again. Not even a single word of prayer was said in our presence for the
guy. The man didn’t return to the room, but his luggage was still there. Two
days later, they visited the room again to check on us as they usually did that
period. We asked after the man’s whereabouts and we were told that he had been
healed and had left.”
Awele continued: “I sensed a lie
because the man’s luggage was still with us and the man was taken away
lifeless. So, if he was healed, he would have returned to pick his luggage and
would have given testimony of the miracle. But we never saw him again. All this
while, we were feeding ourselves while waiting to be touched by the servants of
the Lord.
“Again, after a few days, one of us
who complained of feeling very bad the previous night died the following
morning. We shouted for help, like we had done in the previous case. The church
members came to see what the problem was and took the lifeless body of this man
away.
They didn’t return to tell us what
had happened to the man, just like they did in the last case. But l knew that
the man had died, as his body was very cold.”
“I felt that the story would be like
the previous one, so, I waited for their next visit. When they visited again, I
asked the whereabouts of the man they took away. They said that the man had
gone home because he had been healed.
So, l asked the impossible question.
“Why didn’t they come back for their belongings when they got healed?” Perhaps
they didn’t believe that we would ever remember to ask because they were not
prepared hence they were caught off-balance. They claimed the church had made
provision for them to go home with new clothes, so, they did not need their old
luggage.
There, l made up my mind to leave
the Synagogue as soon as possible because there appeared not to be hope. I felt
they were only waiting for us to die so that they could do away with our
bodies. To me, I was convinced that the so- called miracle thing going on there
is a big fraud.”
“I have decided to live my life as
though it was the last because surely my end is near as I was told by my
doctors. I don’t understand why some pastors claim to heal people when they
can’t heal anybody,” Awele said.
Awele went back to the hospital for
the breast surgery. She did not live to witness the collapse of Pastor TB
Joshua’s hostel building two weeks ago. She died at the Lagos University
Teaching Hospital shortly after the surgery.
How I was deceived at the
Synagogue mountain”
“I was invited by my sister in-law
in the year 2011 to Synagogue church for healing and deliverance when I was
having some problems which I would not like to tell you. So, when I got to the
church, I was told that mothers whose children were below six years were not
allowed to sit in the main church auditorium with their children.
Their reason was that since the
program was always a live-broadcast, they would not like children to distract
the camera men. They keep mothers and their kids at a separate place. If your
kid is above six, they will register him/her to Children Sunday School. So,
that very day, I went with my little daughter to the church. When we got to the
church after observing all the protocols, we were kept with other mothers. So,
suddenly, one of the wise men came to us and said that the man of God wanted to
see all the nursing mothers and therefore, he ordered that all of us should be
brought into the main church auditorium. When we came in, we were told to kneel
at the alter for a prayer session.”
“While the prayer was going on, I
fell under the power of anointing. After the prayer session, they came to all
of us that fell during the prayer session and said that we would be going to
the mountain for deliverance.
We were all booked for the mountain,
when I told my sister in-law who invited me for the program, she congratulated
me for being lucky saying that as far as I was scheduled to go to the mountain,
all my problems had been solved.
“On that day, we assembled at the
church premises where the bus came to take us to the mountain located in Agodo,
Ikotun, area of Lagos state. The rule while going to the mountain was that,
“you do not talk to each other when you get to the mountain.”
“The mountain is a riverside area
just like a very long street. There were so many animals in the river. There
were huts constructed with planks where people that came for deliverance at the
mountain including the man of God stay. I asked them why did they choose this
kind of place as the mountain, they said that was the place the man of God
first stepped his foot when he was fasting to build the Church. Right there, we
were asked to pick a red piece of paper which was passed round to others
present.
On the piece of paper, some
quotations from the Holy Bible were written on it and you will be asked to pick
your choice for prayer. You will also be asked to buy the Holy water which goes
for N5,000 and pray with it and it ends there. I did not get any deliverance,
neither was there any miraculous changes on the issues that took me there.”
Again, Mrs Ruth revealed that, the
deceit in the church was also discovered by her own brother who was based in
Norway. According to her, one of the major criteria for seeing the man of God,
especially if you are coming from outside the country, is that you will keep
sending e-mail until you get a reply.
“My brother who is a Redeemed
Pastor, based in Norway with his family, has his two children, his son and
daughter, deaf and dumb right from birth. The man being ignorant of the
procedures for seeing the man of God, flew into the country with his family
with the hope of seeing the man of God for a miracle, but he was told he could
not see the man of God since he did not get any reply to his mails. So, they
were asked to go back and keep sending mails until they get a reply. The man
went back and kept sending mails to see the man of God. When they eventually
got the nod to come, they did not go with the kids.
The wife was scheduled to go to the
mountain as well, but after going through all these processes of mountain and
anointed water, the children still remained the same, nothing changed in any of
them,”she explained.
But many worshipers believe miracle
as being taunted by Pastor T.B Joshua is a function of individual faith. A
worshiper who preferred anonymity, at the church recently told Saturday
Vanguard
that: “Just like in every other church, it is your faith that
heals you. I am not a regular worshiper here, I come here once in a while for
prayers and healing, I believe that it is your faith that heals you. No amount
of prayer from a man of God can set you free, if you do not have faith,” she
said.
There are those who attest to the
efficacy of prayers offered by Joshua.
Another eye witness who was met at
the premises of the collapsed building said that the building initially was
meant for just restaurant but because of the high demand of worshipers, they
have to add buildings on top which resulted in the collapse.
“If you watch out, you will see that
the ground floor was used as canteen where worshipers both in the church and
those that lodged in the hotel come to eat. But because of the influx of people
and the demand for accommodation especially, foreigners, they decided to add
additional floors. These collapsed building is for people from different
countries and it costs between N50,000-N60,000 per night including feeding.
While the other one standing not too
far from the collapsed building is for ministers and top government officials
and it costs between N100,000 and above. And if you are lodged in the hotel,
you are not allowed to have visitors until you leave. Everything you want, all
kinds of food will be made available to you in the hotel, so there is no reason
to have visitors,” he said.
He added that only members of the
church are allowed to work in the hotel. “None members are not allowed in the
hotel either as visitor or worker. If you do not worship in the church, forget
about working there. From the contractor to the least person, they all worship
in the church. The church is doing that as a way of empowering their members,”
he disclosed.
Miracles are stage-managed
“A friend told me about prophet T.B
Joshua in 2010 when my late son had swollen penis. He suffered for two years
before I went to T.B Joshua. I took my son there and after a while, I was given
a card to see the prophet. I was among several other people who were having
problems.
In the deliverance and miracle
section, the ailments were categorised into different parts, so, you were
expected to go to your deliverance section.
“It was very tough before we could
see the man. And because of the state of my son, we had to rent an apartment in
the area so that we could keep close contact.
At about the time, there were
about100 people waiting to see the prophet, yet we could not see the prophet
after three months.
“I was helpless but I held on and
believed that once I saw the man, everything would be fine. Everyday, my son
was groaning in pains and we were not financially buoyant. So, we wanted to see
the man at all cost so that my son would be healed.
“One the day, my son was asked to
come for the deliverance, we came as early as 5am. I was anxiously waiting for
the man, but he didn’t show up until 4pm. He was accompanied by his press crew
and other people in his ministry. Ï saw the man, he saw my son, but he didn’t lay
hands on my son. Ï called on him desperately but he ignored me and my son.
Someone close to him said to me: “it seems the prophet wasn’t directed to heal
my son. I was perplexed and asked why. But he later told me to come the next
month. Perhaps, God will direct him to heal my son. I was disappointed and went
back home.
“The next month, I went back to the
church but to my surprise, I was asked to start the process of seeing the
prophet all over again. I was devastated, I did not know what to do. At that time,
my son’s condition had deteriorated. He shrunk and paled. I cried for help but
nobody heard me.
A man told me to go and buy the
anointing water and give my son. I bought the anointing water and gave it to
him but nothing happened. Instead of my son to be healed, he was getting worse
by the day. At that time, there was nobody to help me. I tried all I could to
get to the man, all to no avail. Then, I went back home and started praying to
God to save my son. Unfortunately, the boy died after two weeks.
Since, then, I have decided not to
go back to that man’s church because there’s nothing called miracle there. What
you see are all stage-managed miracles.”
I got initiated in the dream by
drinking green water
One man told us his story this way:
“It all started when I came to Lagos in search of financial empowerment. I was
advised to go to Synagogue Church and that the man of God there empowers people
financially.
One month later, I came in contact
with the prophet. I was told to drink the green water and go home.
When I got home, I started
experiencing some strange things at home. I didn’t know what they were until I
slept off. I saw the man in my dream and in a way, I was initiated and I
started seeing strange things. I couldn’t explain everything I saw but I knew I
was initiated. Then, I left everything, family and came to the church.
I lived in the church for more than
one year but there was nothing like empowerment. I was working as a cleaner.
One year after, I was told to leave
the church environment, that my services were no longer needed. I did not know
what was wrong. I left and went back to my family. It was when I got home that
my father told me how they had been into intercessory prayers for my
restoration, that I was initiated and lost my mind.
Why foreigners believe in Prophet
T.B Joshua
To several others, T.B Joshua is
like a man-of God who is not honoured in his hometown. This perhaps lends
credence to the influx of foreign nationals to the Synagogue.
According to investigation, Pastor
Joshua has good relations with highly-placed foreigners including presidents
both serving and former leaders of some countries in Africa and beyond. They
come in droves from all corners of the planet for spiritual healing and
solutions to different ailments or problems. Saturday Vanguard encountered
an Asian woman from Singapore at the SCOAN recently.
When asked why she chose to travel
so far to attend a church service here in Ikotun, Lagos Nigeria, the woman who
pleaded anonymity said: “Why will I not believe him when I witnessed many
miracles taking place before my very eyes. I witnessed those “wheel-chair
bounds’ getting up on their feet and instantaneously walking after his touch
and prayers.
I witnessed the cancer-stricken
patients getting healed. I witnessed people possessed by the spirit of lizard,
possessed by the spirit of snake, possessed by the spirit of monkey receiving
deliverance and being delivered from the evil spirit living in them for many
years. You are not going to believe this, but you have to. I even witnessed a
HIV infected woman getting cured.”
Another European man in his 50s who
came to Nigeria three years ago said: “When T.B Joshua comes to the pulpit to
preach, his sermons are great. Another thing that fascinates me about this
special man of God, instead of posing himself as another miracle worker and
asking people to donate large sum of money, this man of God preaches with
strong conviction and clear message of holiness.
“Prophet T. B Joshua will always say
“Healing without putting the Word of God as our standard will not stand the
test of time” and I adore him for that. This humble man of God attributes Jesus
as the healer and he preaches about putting the Word of God as the central
principle guiding our lives, one on which through the Word, healing, peace, and
others are built upon. So, tell me what more I need to believe? He is a true
messenger of God,” he queried.
Why many South Africans died in the
tragedy
According to reliable sources, South
Africans are passionate about the Synagogue Church, always coming there on
pilgrimage.
There is a tour package which cost
an average of 10,000 Rands each for one week. The collapsed building was meant
for Southern African groups like worshipers from Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique,
Botswana and the Republic of South Africa.
. Worshipers from Malaysia, Taiwan,
Singapore, Japan also use the collapsed building but investigation revealed
that South Africans were more because Pastor Joshua decided to give more
opportunities for the South Africans who have remained insistent and shown
solidarity to SCOAN. No fewer than 84 South Africans were killed in the
tragedy.
Healing of sicknesses and diseases
also bring nationals from other countries to Synagogue – all for miracles. Holy
water, otherwise called anointing water, is sold to pilgrims between N5000 and
N10,000 per bottle.
Even thousands of anointing water
bottles are exported to some West African countries. Worshipers from foreign
nations are encouraged to stay until after seven days. They are always screened
and registered by the church authorities. Those with financial problems believe
that use of the anointing oil restore their finances.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the
ruling African National Congress, ANC, Youth Wing had warned Pastor T.B. Joshua
not to come to South Africa. He should not enter the country until they know
what happened to their compatriots in Nigeria. According to Bandile Masuku of
ANC Youth League, “we will make sure that Pastor T.B. Joshua is not issued with
a South African visa.”
The influx of foreign nationals into
the church could be explained by the adage that a Prophet is not acknowledged
or recognised in his own country. But with this tragedy, many people are
becoming scared of the Synagogue church and more knowledgeable about what goes
on there.
Strangely, however, several South
Africans, we reliably learnt, are still anxious to return to Nigeria to
patronize the church because of their believed spiritual prowess of Pastor T.B.
Joshua.
He is feared and highly respected by
politicians, including prime ministers, presidents and ministers. Even sports
men come to the Synagogue not only for healing when injured but also for for
success in their outings. Prominent athletes and footballers have gone there to
seek one form of help or another.
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