One can conveniently guess that neither Dr. Paul Enenche of the Dunamis Church or Reverend Chris Okotie may be aware of the symbolic coin they flaunt with the passage of Prophet T. B. Joshua. The two Clergymen had with their responses to the Prophet’s death represented each side of a coin, with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome giving the currency its intrinsic value.
Prophet T. B. Joshua’s remains haven’t stiffened totally nor gone cold, before one of the two Clergymen Chris, the Reverend Chris Okotie released a stinging statement, full of innuendos and sarcasm. He pointedly celebrated the fall of a mystic Greek’s Hupopodion who became Emmanuel.
Pastor Chris Okotie of Household of God International Ministries has taken to his Facebook page to celebrate the death of Prophet TB Joshua, founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations.
In his cryptic post, Okotie referred to late Joshua as “Lucifer and the wizard at Endor who assumed the title of Emmanuel. Hebrews 1:13… Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool (Hupopodion/Greek)
The wizard at Endor who assumed the title Emmanuel has been consumed by divine indignation. And now his disciples bewail his ignominious exit”.
“No marvel, one-third of God’s angels followed the disgraced anointed cherub Lucifer!!
He alleged that Joshua has been consumed by divine indignation with his disciples bewailing his ignominious exit”. The post did not in any flabbergast me. Something like that was expected if one takes into cognizance the several tats between the two Clergymen in the past. Okotie has never hidden his disdain and contempt for the person and even the ministry of the dead Prophet. He lived the sour relationship to the last possible minute. But Pastor Paul Enenche flipped the other of the coin in another cryptic message. He recounted the several Christ Jesus’ activities of the late Prophet. He satirically likened the ‘evil’ in him and challenged the Holy Spirit-filled ‘God’s Generals’ to rise up and point at their good works to humanity. He stylishly reminded them that they fought T. B. Joshua to his grave. T. B. Joshua died few days to his 58th birthday. This got me pondering. But then the Spirit led me further. And lo and behold, some facts were unearthed. I suddenly turned to Wikipedia. Then I found out that Moses Orimolade, Joseph Ayo Babalola, Benson Idahosa, and now T. B. Joshua all died in their 50s. These Maverick miracle workers were further bounded in fate by another fact: They did not speak big and flamboyant English Grammar.
In fact, the Most Senior Apostle Moses Orimolade of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement, (1879-1933) had no formal education at all. So also was Prophet Joseph Ayo Babalola (1904-1959 ) of the Christ Apostolic Church. Bishop Benson Idahosa (1938-1998) too. And the Synagogue Church of all Nations’ Prophet Temitope Joshua (1963-2021).
The value of the T. B. Joshua’s coin was soon to be affirmed by no other person than Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Christ Embassy. He fixed his 3-day ‘Healing Streams’ with Pastor Chris program for the very week Prophet Joshua was to be committed to mother earth. He even gleefully announced in a statement that several thousand have preregistered for the program because ‘where people gathered, God’s Spirit descends there’. Between the two Chris, T. B. Joshua’s passage is non-event worthy of consideration. The balancing act was the Dr. Paul Enenche. He has overtly celebrated the ‘Christ-like virtues which must not be buried with the Prophet’. I simply doff my hat for the trio, regardless of primordial sentiments between them. After all, they openly sneered at the irritation seen around them. But what happens to the fatherly Christian body, Christian Association of Nigeria, and the more definitive Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria? I still can vividly recollect the tension between the two associations and the buried Clergyman. He was denounced severally by the leadership and even the elders of the ecclesiastic associations at the point not too distant away.
Whereas, the holier preachers, till death did them apart have never considered forgiveness and reconciliation, only recriminations and belligerency. Once the news of his death filtered out that Sunday morning, I started preparing myself for the expected drama on his funeral day. I was already imagining the hordes of Ogboni Fraternity members who will come to pay their last respect. I was already thinking of the various Rosicrucian chapters coming to perform their last rites. I even veered off to conjecture the images of local masquerades in full regalia exorcising their Spirit from the departed initiate. But nay. I was grossly disappointed. None of the like showed up. Save the hidden wife and daughters. A family with scanty public visibility. So terse was the information about the family in the public domain that many writers could not write anything of note about them. He had deliberately and successfully kept his nuclear family away from the public view.
The Altar of the SCOAN was solely for the Prophet and his prophetic ministrations. No Daddy GO and neither was there ever was a Mummy GO. He had lived a simple, quiet life devoid of any known flamboyance ostentatious. He spoke so little English grammar, just like Moses Orimolade, Joesph Ayo Babalola, and Benson Idahosa. But he made Gargantua’s impression in the minds of millions worldwide. Yes, his entire life and ministry were thrilled with controversies, but coming out to prove this might be a little tasking. I once met an Islamic Priest a few years ago. He had alleged that his wife absconded from home and took refuge in the Synagogue. I tried investigating the claim. I found out the wife is a first cousin of the man in the Synagogue. She had complained of domestic maltreatment to her cousin who then encourages her to abandon her troublesome marriage and take a permanent residency in the Synagogue. After Joshua’s death, I tried getting the Mallam’s comments, but alas, he has been called home much earlier, before the Prophet. Case close, as the saying goes. Prophet T. B. Joshua was prosperous. He was indeed very rich. He did well to spread his wealth among the needy. The widows, the orphans, the poor, all tasted out of his milk of human kindness. No doubt, like Babalola, like Orimolade, like Idahosa, Joshua too will be remembered for a long time.
Neither the two Chris nor Enenche may have a full grasp of the phenomenon they have helped create. Now it is too fresh. No many will realise the good in ‘Devil of Endor’s treatise, or the power in the ‘Healing Streams’. Not even the lamentation of the Jeremiahic Dr. Paul, crying for the preservation of the ‘good virtues’ of the buried Prophet. But when the heaviness of the heart is lightened, tears properly dried, when growing turns to smiles, the magnitude of each statement will down on all. Yoruba people of South West, Nigeria have a thoughtfully didactic saying: Eda e ma f’orun to eda. Tori gbogbo wa l’anlo (People should not rejoice at others’ death. Because we’re all bound to die). Why would the two Chris and by extension, CAN and PFN mock or rejoice over the death of one of them? This is a very sad and unwelcome development in Christendom. A faux pas has been committed by the two Chris. The modern-day Paul’s Jeremiahic lamentation released as a damage control cannot mitigate the collateral damage already caused by the stiff-neck arrogance of the elders in CAN and PFN. It is crystal clear that the body of Christ in the country is not what Christ would like it to be. Ego-centric thinking and personal vendetta are driving the associations to a perilous heatwave. Sadly, they may not survive the crash.
Committing the remains of Prophet T. B. Joshua to Mother Earth is just to satisfy the biblical injection of returning to the dust where we came from. Otherwise, such remains are giving to the best pathologist available for embalming that will last till the Trumpet will sound for the second coming of Jesus Christ. He deserved such a treat anyway. If the quantum of the work he did in planting and uplifting his Church, Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) is to be considered. He had single-handedly planted the Church and nurtured it to this enviable heights, both locally and internationally. He wrought miracles yet unseen by many. He turned miracles into the most ordinary thing in his Church. Most importantly, he did extremely well to avoid unnecessary controversies about money and women in his life and ministry. He was indeed an enigma. He lived a simple Spartan life, devoid of any known ostentatious. Never seen in flamboyant dresses nor autos. And so did his nuclear family. He kept them off klieg lights. Considering these, if the top hierarchy of the Church and the family had decided to mummified him, no one would have objected. Anyway, he has gone the way of all mortals. The injection from dust art thou, and to dust thou shall return has been fulfilled.
The Prophet died a few days shy of his 58th birthday. He died leaving many riddles for different analysts and opinion-makers to unravel. But while a large section trooped out in shock, dismay, and genuine sympathy to mourn his passage, his primary consistency, his own people, refused him. Not even a word of empathy from the ecclesiastic Associations he ought to belong to. Spiritually, he did not claim to be a Christian or Pastor. He worked it physically and people did tap variously unto his anointing power. His Emmanuel TV was a rhapsody of miracles, deliverance, and revival. His method might be unconventional, yet he was no less a known and acknowledged Christian. Therefore for both CAN and PFN to hide under whatever excuse overlooking his passage, his funeral rites, is commendable. Not many reasonable thinking fellows will give whatever the excuse behind the sacrilegious misdemeanor a second consideration. Copiously, the sermons in many of the Church’s under these associations are centered on how Jesus came for the sinners. Zacchaeus, the tax collector case with the Rabbi, Christ Jesus himself will suffice here. Jesus did not reject nor dismissed him as a sinner. He went and dine with him in his house. If these ecclesiastic bodies could not reconcile their seemingly differences with one of their own, then it put a serious moral burden on them I trying to mediate in political matters in the country.
When the great Rabbi, Jesus Christ was taken before the Pintus Pilate of the old Roman Empire, the maximum ruler knew so well that the offenses the Pharisees and Sadducees alleged the Rabbi, Christ Jesus committed were falsely trumped up. Yet he still had to pander to their wish of having the Rabbi tried. His conscience simply failed. He could not convict Him based on presented evidence. He thus left the decision to the people. Pilate also washed his hands off any recriminations on the conviction and execution of the Rabbi. This test of fact, the two Chris failed. No one could present any trialable accusation against Joshua. Not CAN nor PFN could be dragged before the Pilate. They resulted in fatalistic self-conceited judgments. He was accused on their pulpits. There he was tried, convicted, and with no over-exuberant crowd to affirm the judgment, they resulted in mental execution of their judgment. They all missed it at this point. It is not in any record of public domain that either CAN or its sister association, PFN ever invited the Prophet for questioning over his usual method of Spiritual application. He was different. O yeah, in all ramifications, he was different from others.
I won’t be tempted to conclude that envy could be at the base of the mental torture of the late Prophet by his primary constituency. Otherwise, why would they have treated with so much disdain and opprobrium, even in death? But one gladly fact is that there is no Pintus Pilate today. The Pharisees and Sadducees converging in CAN and PFN have little power and influence over others. And more the people they could have dragged the maverick prophet to are more pliable to his cause. Hence, the failure of the old guard to cut down Joshua. He is late now. No one can gloat over his death. No one ever foresaw such coming or predicted it. It thundered across the nation like a Star in the midday. While the Christendom distanced itself from his death and subsequent activities, his church rose marvelously to give him a befitting departure rite. More they decided to build his mausoleum right in the center of the church’s auditorium. A shinning beauty from afar. No one cares what a Bishop or Papa is saying or thinking in a corner. All efforts were concentrated in giving the dead Prophet a worthwhile exit. And they succeed largely in this regard.
I am most sorry, no one should read any mischief into my categorization of T. B. Joshua with these mighty men of God that died in their fifties. And I am neither advocating for others to start packing their bags and baggage once they reach the golden age of 50. I congratulate the Baba’s who are in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s. They shall still serve the Lord for more years in the land of the living. After King David said in one of his Psalms that no one can praise Him (God) in the grave. May all the Babas live long. Amen. Back to my original line. Joshua may not qualified to be grouped alongside late Moses Orimolade and Ayo Babalola, but his death at the same age bracket has nonetheless conferred some honor belonging to those highly reverend men of God on him. He perhaps did not choose to die at the time he died. He only succumbed to the superior power of death. So that was his fullness of time. His appointed time. So my looking at the coincidences with the great men of God who also departed between age 54 and 59. May the Souls of all the Clergymen continue to rest on perpetual peace. Amen.
Clearly, the buried Prophet is no worst evil or better Saint than his army of critics, both within and outside the Christendom. Many other prophets are equally guilty of the accusations often leveled against the maverick miracle worker. The source of many miracles is suspect. The power behind many alters is suspect. Yet we all droll from one miracle center to the other. Because in our clime, our mindsets have been tuned irredeemably to ‘thus saith the Lord’ mantra of these dubious miracle workers. The high, the low, the challenged are all entrapped in the endless search for a miraculous quick fix which miracle only can promise. Not many believe in the natural order of things. Hence a lot of unsuspecting victims have fallen into the abyss of fake miracle cobwebs. Many have lost it all in the process. Many lost possessions. Some valuables. Yet the congregation of miracle seekers keeps exploding daily. Therefore, dragging the memory of Prophet T. B. Joshua before a Pontius Pilate for judgment now that he is no more is, to say the least, an envious attempt to taint his phenomenal rise. If SCOAN likes they can consecrate the man. That’s entirely their own funeral. It takes nothing away from Chris or even CAN or PFN. They may even deify him. Or turn him to their god to be worshipped. After all, the mausoleum is right there in the center of the Church’s auditorium. Right at the particular spot, he likes oscillating during miracle services. Perhaps, there lies the power of his many unsustainably ephemeral miracles.
Afolayan Adebiyi writes from Lagos, Nigeria
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