Prophet TB Joshua granted an interview to several Nigerian journalists at The SCOAN Prayer Mountain shortly before God called him home. Here is a transcript of his final interview which was recently published in This Day Newspapers in Nigeria. Be blessed as you read, in Jesus’ name!
QUESTION: How did you get the vision to lead a church?
ANSWER: I was called right here many years ago. Just a few meters away was the hut where I was staying as the other one is the hut where I pray and meditate and also read in absolute serenity. Vision comes from God through meditation amidst nature. When you are surrounded by nature, you can concentrate. It is like you are talking of good lawyers; you must have a library where you can sit down and do some studying. Without this place, I will not be able to concentrate and speak with the Almighty. So, this is where I started and I must have a library and a place where I can enjoy nature, not air conditioning or fans. Having nature around you is very good. God is nature and without nature, you cannot understand the Bible because the Bible is not history. When you are reading the Bible, you are reading the Holy Spirit. If you don’t allow nature, when you are reading, you will be reading history.
QUESTION: What is your dream for the future of the church?
ANSWER: We intend to build a university of science, which will incorporate our job here. When you talk of science, theology, medicine, these are the areas we will concentrate upon. When you have a student, this is where they should come and review whatever they are taught. You need some place like this where you leave everything outside and come and hear the cocks crow. But outside here, when they are doing that, you can’t hear them because of noise.
This place is very important to me. This is where I live, sleep and do everything. If I want to see people outside here, there is a time for that because the Bible says that there is time to rest and a time to work. Time to rest is time to receive from God and time to work is time to give what you receive from God. When you talk of time to rest, this is the best place to rest, not in the midst of technology or going to New York or travelling about but you rest in the midst of nature.
QUESTION: You said it all started here; how did it start given that this place was a swamp?
ANSWER: This swamp is the rejected stone. God spoke to me and brought me here; I have been following God’s vision and mission. When I am out of God’s mission, I am finished. That is why you cannot see me outside here, you cannot hear me speak outside of here. God’s time is the best and I always follow God’s time. That is why you will not see me preach every Sunday or go on television to preach every day; I must hear from God before saying anything. Every time can be good for you and every time can be the best time for you but for me, I must have a corresponding grace or power because the Holy Spirit must suggest what to do before I do them. If not, I will not be able to have God’s result.
This is why you are not seeing me out there – at weddings, naming ceremonies, and coming to your office to grant an interview. This is the only church – the Synagogue here in Ikotun. There is no other branch all over the world but it touches everywhere in the world. So, I am waiting for God to let me know if there will be branches or not. The important thing is that we should focus on building the people and not the church.
QUESTION: Given what is here, not much is reported. Why?
ANSWER: They will soon get to know; we are just waiting for God’s time. There are many things to be done in this place. Things are at about 80% completion. If people should know about this place now, we will not be able to complete this job because it will cause distraction. So, it remains a bit for us to get to 95%. When we are at 95% we will let people know. It is going to be by grace; it is not something you pay money for. You can come and see people moving and praying. So, people will get to know; we are waiting for God’s time. After you leave here, I will like you to keep that information to yourself.
QUESTION: Why is it that you don’t want to talk about money?
ANSWER: It is not that I don’t want to talk about money – but because there are so many poor people around, if I begin to display what I have, can you imagine how much I will hurt those who are here? But whatever I can do to let them know that I understand what they are going through, I will do it. To give them money, to help them, supporting them, not to display what God has given me but to give them the support that they need.
QUESTION: You are always simply dressed, why?
ANSWER: If I have time to dress well, I will do that.
QUESTION: Not much is known about your wife and family?
ANSWER: I am very happy about this question. I have a wife and I have children, and even my first daughter is doing her Ph.D. and the second daughter is doing her master’s degree. In all, I have three daughters; the last one is still in secondary school. I would have loved my wife to be like me but I cannot make her what I am; it is God. It is not possible for me to anoint her; God is the one that anoints people. So, it is not possible for her to sit here at the same time. This is not a biological issue; it is inheritance from the saints, it is a partaker from the saints. Therefore, I should not use anything in my biological life to stop my spiritual life.
I am a native of Arigidi Akoko but as for my divine nature I am a partaker of the inheritance of the saints, therefore, it is so difficult for me. This is an apostolic ministry. It is not a ministry where you read the Bible, go to theology school, you get it and you start preaching. No! It is purely divine. So, it is so difficult for me to display my wife; she has to be ready for God. As much as you are ready for God, God will display her.
QUESTION: Two things are striking about you. One, you love gigantic projects, and two, you are heavily criticised by many people. How do you take them when you see them say uncomplimentary things about you?
ANSWER: It is always good if at the beginning they don’t see what is good about you. If they don’t see your journey at the beginning they will criticise you. It is good for you at the end. So, if they praise you from the beginning, it is not encouraging. If Nigeria had been accepting me right from the beginning of my mission, I think that would affect my mission to the world. I have gone all over the world, I am the only minister of God that organised a crusade in Israel. I have the certificate which was given to me in Israel. And I also went to Nazareth, where Jesus was born and organised a revival there. I am the first man of God to do that and it was carried in newspapers all over the world. An international cable news network carried it live when I was doing the crusade and a certificate was given to me. That is the greatest joy for any minister of God.
QUESTION: Why was there so much controversy about the crusade?
ANSWER: Because it happened to Jesus, I cannot be greater than my master. A tenant cannot be greater than his landlord. If the landlord is criticised, who is the tenant? That is exactly what happened to Jesus. They said no; the Muslims were on the streets protesting, the Christian, Catholics and all. But I let them know that God sent me to do the revival in Israel. Top government functionaries were present, including Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu who also sent his representative. So, on the second day I finished the revival, it was God that took me out of the place and millions of people attended. So, you can imagine a man like that. You know what happened to my building when almost 200 people died in The Synagogue? The documentary of what happened is out. If they can go to the extent of killing 200 people spread all over the world just to get me… Anything close to Jesus can be attacked.
QUESTION: This is a church and you don’t have a theological school and you don’t have branches. What happens to the church after you? How will the church grow from just this humble beginning to become a church of the world and after you who takes over?
ANSWER: You don’t watch Emmanuel TV? This is a year now or six months since I preached last and the church still continues. There are five prophets and prophetesses; they are working. They have taken over from me already. There is an American, a British, a French, and Nigerians.
QUESTION: One thing we have come to identify churches with in Nigeria, is that you have the man of God, his wife, and the first son in the line of succession but you are not toeing that line. It shows that you are looking at something that is beyond you. Are you not worried that some of them could appropriate the church as theirs?
ANSWER: This is where God comes in; it is not a business venture. If it is God, then it is God and then it is true. The issue of family should not come into the issue of the church – that is it; it is undeserved grace.
QUESTION: You mentioned that you are going to have a university of science, is it in the pipeline?
ANSWER: It is the plan of God to have a university of medicine and you know you can’t talk of medicine without talking of science. So, it is going to be university of medicine and theology.
QUESTION: Where is the location of the University?
ANSWER: You can see the people that are working in the ministry from America, United Kingdom, Nigeria, France – so it can be anywhere. It will be a special grace to be in Nigeria.
QUESTION: If God can use you to do this huge project and your country is falling apart, what do you have to say to that?
ANSWER: A prophet has no honour in his own country. The President of South Sudan sent me a letter.
QUESTION: Many pastors want to be Professor, Doctor, Archbishop and all that, why have you remained just a prophet?
ANSWER: Let me tell you that a university has given me PhD but I don’t want to use it. I have OFR in Nigeria, which was given to me by the late President Yar Adua. I didn’t go but I sent my wife. So, if I now begin to use all that, then, what I am saying is that I am not pleased with what God has given me. God has given me so much, so why should I continue to flaunt it around? I should be happy and content. It is not what you are doing but how long it lasts. Many of our rich pastors – millionaires – their legacy is gone. So, it is not what you are doing now but how it is going to last. Lasting promotion comes from God and that is why we call Him everlasting Father.
QUESTION: You restored peace in some countries, and you have gone to help restore hope in some countries. But hope in this country is fading away; why have you not waded in?
ANSWER: God’s time is the best but I want to assure you that – although there is so many issues of disunity, people want to go, this section wants to leave – nothing will happen. We will continue to be Nigeria. God just wants us to learn certain experiences. Experience is the best teacher. Do you know what we have done so far – we are more of an enemy of God than a friend of God in the past. So, I think what we are going through is a lesson and it will soon be over. And I pray that we will live to see it when it is over. So, there is nothing to be afraid of.
QUESTION: You have all of these and you don’t want to intervene in the situation of the larger society, which is Nigeria?
ANSWER: Let me say this – if you have headache and you are not asking me to pray for you, will I now force myself to pray for you? I gave a prophecy on Nigeria that we will drink our oil. I said, ‘This oil you are seeing now – we will drink it’.