Here are excerpts from an interview which Prophet TB Joshua had with some journalists several weeks ago at The SCOAN Prayer Mountain. It was published today in This Day Newspapers.
QUESTION: What motivated the vision to create this Prayer Mountain, a ‘wilderness’ in an urban area?
ANSWER: This is where I started. I must have a library and a place where I can enjoy nature, not the air condition or fan, just nature as God created it. So, having nature around you is very good. God is nature Himself 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. So, if you don’t allow nature when you are reading, you will be reading history. You need some places like this – where you leave everything outside and come and hear the cocks’ crow. But outside of here, whatever they are doing, you can’t hear because of the noise. So, this place is very important to me – this is where I live, this is where I sleep and do everything.
If I want to meet people outside of here, I go outside. 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 – How did this Prayer Mountain start, given that this place was once a swamp?
ANSWER – This swamp is the rejected stone. God spoke to me and brought me here. I have been following God’s vision, God’s mission. When I am out of God’s mission, I am finished. That is why you cannot see me outside of here; you cannot hear me.
God’s time is the best and I always follow God’s time. So, I have been following 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, social occasions, coming to your offices to grant interviews. This is the only church – The SCOAN here in Ikotun. There is no other branch anywhere else in the world but it touches everywhere in the world. 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 – Why don’t you open up this place for tourists?
ANSWER – The people will soon get to know about it. We are just waiting for God’s time. There are many things to be done in this place. We are at about a 70 per cent completion rate. So, if people should know about this place now, we would not be able to complete this job because it will cause distraction. When we are at about 95 per cent completion level, 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.
QUESTION – What do you have to say about your family and their involvement in the ministry?
ANSWER – I am very happy about this question. I have a wife and I have children. My first daughter is doing her PhD and my 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. I can’t anoint her; God is the one that anoints people. This is not a biological issue; it is an inheritance from the saints – being a partaker of the inheritance from the saints. So, therefore, I should not use anything in my biological life to stop my spiritual life.
As for my divine nature, I am a partaker of the inheritance of the saints. This is an apostolic ministry; it is not a ministry where you read the Bible, go to theology school, get your certificate 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 you.
QUESTION – How do you take such criticism that your ministry has faced?
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 in the end. So, if they praise you from the beginning, it is not encouraging. If Nigerians have been accepting me right from the beginning of my mission, I think that would have affected my mission to the world.
I have gone all over the world. I am the first minister of God that went to Nazareth, Israel where Jesus was born and organised a revival there and the news was carried in newspapers all over the world. After the crusade, a certificate was given to me by the State of Israel. That is the greatest joy for any minister of God!
QUESTION – But why was there so much controversy about the Nazareth 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 a tenant? That is exactly what happened to Jesus. They said no. The Muslims were on the streets protesting along with Christians, Catholics and all. But I let them know that God sent me to do the revival in Israel. And top Israeli government functionaries came. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also sent his representative.