In the Bible, Jesus Christ was always in the Synagogue, teaching, healing and delivering people that were brought to him; people afflicted with all manners of evil spirits. People who had the opportunity to listen to the teaching of Jesus were astonished at His teaching because His message had authority. But one day Jesus found a man possessed by an unclean spirit that had been described as “The Man in the Synagogue”, on his right. “In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon. He cried out in a loud voice, “Ha! What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God, (Luke 4:32-34). Ordinarily, a Jews Synagogue was probably only a ceremonial and a canonical routine worship Centre every Saturday. Jesus who was always there taught with authority, healed the sick and performed miracles. It was a radical departure from routine teaching that we should worship God in Spirit and Truth.
Today there are still many Jews Synagogues all over the world but the SCOAN, founded by Prophet TB Joshua is the most popularly known Synagogue of our time. The man in the Synagogue is Temitope Balogun Joshua. Only the name Balogun is his family name, Temitope (mine case merits praise) was his mother’s response to the miraculous deliverance of her son at his naming ceremony, and Joshua his prophetic calling. Jesus has many names beyond Jesus Christ and they are all prophetic. The prophet will soon be 57 years old this June 12, 2020, and our motivation is that more people should know him. His teaching is quite radical to a generation that wants to address and worship God in the comfort of their fleshly today’s language; prosperity gospel peddlers. Today’s language, though a crowd puller, is empty and lacking spiritual powers and only motivating the worldly celebrating audiences.
When we say that Prophet TB Joshua of SCOAN is a man of God, we are equally saying that he is totally sincere and allowing God to completely have His way in his ministry. He has a genuine commitment to humanity believing that to claim to love God is to also express same love for one’s neighbour.
We are not surprised that Prophet TB Joshua has much opposition especially from the so-called other Christian Ministries and even the Christian Association of Nigeria. These are places where you rise by promotion through the ranks using academic qualifications, years of service in the Temple, and similar parameters. A number of the Bishops in Ministries that teach about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church of Christ love silently to be able to do what TB Joshua is doing in SCOAN but only find their ministry opening more branches and having more members. Many congregations give no room in the church for any prophecy, speaking in tongues, performing miracles, or the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. This group puts more emphasis on avoiding false teaching, which the Bible warns us to do, but hesitating to read that by their fruit everyone would be known, if they are of flesh it would fail, or the counsel of Gamaliel. Gamaliel said, “…Refrain from these men (TB Joshua and his team), and let them alone. For if their counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought”, (Acts 5:34-38). For the last thirty years prophet, TB Joshua has been consistent and growing in the Lord.
If we emphasis Church Unity so that the entire Christ Bodyworks in one accord, that call is not that TB Joshua faces less persecution or be more acceptable in some quarters, but it is that Jesus Church and the Holy Ghost is fully manifested in the Church. Satan may want the different congregations to work in opposition to each other but every true apostle of Jesus should resist the devil and look for the promise of the Father to grow their ministry. Prophet TB Joshua, the man in the Synagogue, is a blessing carrier, a healer to the sick, a teacher to the new generation, and a blessing for our generation. We shall continually pray for him and pray along with him even as he grows in age. Emmanuel!!!
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria