Q: Let us start with the most recent development. You were invited to the office of the Lagos State Police Commissioner. Can you tell us what transpired there?
A: The commissioner wanted to make sure that there was no breakdown of law and order in Lagos State. He was concerned about the situation of things between Joshua, Oyakhilome and me in terms of all the things he had read in the papers, the claims and counterÂclaims of different ministers and because of the volatile nature of religious crisis in the country. He called us and he talked to us based on that. He was not getting into the petition that I wrote to the Inspector General of Police, I-G. He just wanted to say that if there was any problem between us, we could discuss it and we did. There was first a roll-call and we discovered that Chris Oyakhilome was not there. And I told them that I wasn’t surprised because he had rather been very evasive recently.
Q: Could you tell us what was really discussed at the meeting?
A: Yes, the first to speak was Joshua who was there with about five of his deputies. He got up and said he did not want any problems and that he was not upset with me. He said I am his brother that he loved me dearly and so on and he sat down. I got up and said I do not want to be hypocritical because the commissioner of police had good intentions and we could not be there to trivialise it, to make it look as if there is no problem when there is one and it is fundamental. The man had threatened my life. He had come to me a few nights after I had published what transpired between him and Oyakhilome. He came about 3 a.m in the morning but the Spirit of God woke me up. In my bedroom there is a door facing my bed – I live alone. As 1 looked towards the door, Joshua walked into my bedroom. I said this in his presence there at the police station because I got the opportunity to talk to him face to face. He walked right into my bedroom, he wore a caftan and I recognised him immediately he came in and I was just watching what he was going to do when suddenly there was an explosion from the left side of my bed, just by my wardrobe and a fire came from my side and lifted him off the ground and threw him back at the door. He fell down and was there stupefied. He sat down there for about half an hour, he didn’t say a word to me neither I to him. When the daze cleared, he got up, took two steps towards me, stretched his neck to look at me, turned around and walked out. If you are not a spiritual person you won’t understand what happened. That phenomenon is possible, it is called a Familiar Spirit, and he is able to do that. Members of his church will tell you that he appears to them at night. At the police station, I recounted the experience and I said to his face that he is evil because he had come to me at night to hurt me and he was sitting down there, telling people that there is no problem. It is a lie and he is a hypocrite. I just wanted to be down-to-earth about this thing. So I said to him, ‘Joshua, several times have I read your interviews in the paper and there you say that you don’t believe that it was me saying those things and I want you to know that I was the one saying them and I want to repeat them in your presence. You are a practitioner of Shamanism, I told Oyakhilome that you are involved in Docetic Gnosticism and he didn’t listen to me because of the connection you people have, and everything I said about you is correct. I told the police that Joshua is a threat to national security. And that the only way the matter could be resolved is for him to pick up his magic box and leave the town. I have to be very direct. In fact, I was speaking to him very directly that the CÂP had to tell me to stop addressing Joshua and rather speak to him (Okiro) directly instead, so that it won’t sound like a confrontation. But I was glad I had that opportunity to talk to him face to face because this demystifies his personality. Joshua is nothing, just a man and the power he has is given to him by spiritual entities and we are connected to the highest spiritual entity which is the Lord Jesus Christ. I wanted to make that abundantly clear to all the people present there. He got up and he said ‘ Pastor Chris is judging me but I love him dearly, he is my brother, he is a father in the faith and all that stuff. He said he wanted to shake hands and forget and I said never, we came from two different realms. The God that you are calling is not the God that I know. The gospel you teach is an alien gospel. The Jesus you are calling is an alien Jesus. There is no connection between you and I to warrant a handshake. And I explained to the C-P that it was not as if I am being difficult or trying to be disrespectful but these things are stated in the scriptures. I have studied the Bible for over 14 years and I know what I am saying. Joshua is not qualified to talk about Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Bible is also very clear when it said that I should have nothing to do with a person like Joshua. I said, ‘you all in this place knew me. I grew up in the presence of all of you. You know my past but do you know this man?’ No one knows his past. All the stories he tells are not verifiable. Joshua claimed that his birth was prophesied, and that he quoted from the scriptures at a very tender age before knowing the Bible. And the only way that can happen is by spiritual impartation. So, he is claiming equality with Jesus Christ. There is no way we are going to sit back and allow him to carry on. We don’t want what he is doing to this country. He is more dangerous than Abacha was.
Q: But are you not judging Joshua, because the Holy Book says judge not?
A: There are too many ignorant people. When Jesus said judge not, it has nothing to do with what we are talking about. Why did he call the Jews children of the devil? People who are in a covenant relationship with God. He said, no, your covenant with God do not subsist because you are satanic at heart. You are thus children of Satan. I pointed this out to the C-P. When Paul had problems in Jerusalem, he appealed to Caesar and I appealed to the C-P because he represents the Caesar of our time and there is precedence in the Bible.
Q: At what point do you think that Joshua could be a threat to churches and even to Nigeria?
A: We have been observing Joshua for many years in the country. As I told the C-P, he has been around for about 10 years. But we were of the impression that the church recognises that he was a charlatan and that the people who were going to him were the people who had made up their minds that they wanted to be involved with him. We refrained from speaking because the Bible says there is a time to speak to a scorner. The only time he became a threat was the time when Oyakhilome began to make his relationship with him public. People need to clearly understand that Oyakhilome is the epitome of what is called Christian deception. The story he is telling you that he just met Joshua not so long ago even by the logic is faulty. It is not possible to stake your whole ministry and your relationship with the Christian body of the whole country over a stranger you just met not so long ago. It is because he is involved with him spiritually and materially. The two have been involved in all kinds of money laundering activities. That is where he gets the money to do all he does. It is not the ministry because there is nothing he has achieved in Christian ministry in this country. It was at that point when Oyakhilome came out to validate the ministry of Joshua, that it became necessary to alert the nation that this man is a potential danger.
Q: Is it true that this conflict between you and Oyakhilome goes beyond Joshua? There is this story that there is a tussle over a plot of land and that envy is involved because he performs miracles and you don’t.
A: There is something called paralogism, that is, the inability to take a logical conclusion from the beginning to the end in an argument, thus it doesn’t make any sense. I have clearly stated from the beginning of our ministry that I don’t believe in the concept of multiple churches. Anyone who has listened to me on television will know that when it comes to preaching the Word of God, Oyakhilome is a non-starter. And I say it squarely within the confines of conventional propriety. If he says he has a gift in the realm of miracle, I am not going to contest that because the word of God clearly tells us that we all have different offices. I am a pastor, I teach the Bible. I don’t go on crusades. There is no way I’ll envy a man who is doing the job that I cannot do and which I am not called to do. The Bible is clear about it; you can’t operate in an office except it is given to you. Look at his church. He does not have more than six plots and you expect me to be envious of him when I have about 10 acres here. If Oyakhilome and I had a problem, why would I open my premises for him to use? Oyakhilome called me a couple of months ago and I thanked God for that. He asked me to grant him access to his church for renovation. And I instructed the people to allow him. It was only after I wrote to him to warn him to stay away from Joshua and he refused that I told my people to seal off the place. It is on record that people have asked me to open other branches of my church in Lagos and I said no. If I want to open churches because of the crowd that he is talking about I would have done so. I am a better pastor than he is. He calls himself a pastor while in fact, he is an evangelist. A pastor is the one who teaches the Word of God and he can’t teach it. Last year, he wrote to me a letter when he saw our GRACE NIGHT saying that he heard things about Jesus that he had never heard before. He can’t deny it. That was how he had the confidence to request that I bring down my fence for him to renovate his church. The truth of the matter is that his friends have asked him why he was putting them through this shame when all he needed do was to have come out to say, ‘Look, I am sorry that Joshua and I have been friends. I see him as a minister, maybe there are things that I don’t know about him that you people know. But please let us talk about it.’ He didn’t do that, rather, he became impertinent and gave the impression that we are all against him while the fact is that he is the one against himself.
Q: Going back to Joshua; you accused him of practising Shamanism, etc. How did you know that?
A: You see, that is my job. I have studied the book, I am glad to hear when Oyakhilome came on the television that nobody laid hands on him. This means that he was not properly instructed. The same thing goes for Joshua. The two of them didn’t study the Bible formally. They just picked up the Bible, felt the call of God in their lives and went ahead to set up their ministries. The Bible is very clear. 1st, 2nd and 3rd John dealt with Docetic Gnosticism. Note that the Bible was written in the Greek language. That word Docetic is from a man called Cerentus in the early church. Books dealing with the church history have this. Cerentus was later to propound what is to be called the Cerenten heresy. He went around telling people at that time that it is true that Jesus Christ came but that the Christ is a consciousness that came at any time in a generation. That is, Jesus is not the only of His kind. It was a very serious problem for the church in Jerusalem. That was why John wrote to the church in Ephesus that anybody who brings that concept is the Antichrist. Christ, he said, had come in the flesh and not an apparition as Cerentus said. Anyone who believes in that philosophy is preaching Docetism which means that Christ is an apparition. It is because the man did not study his Bible, this accounts for why he was on the television saying he doesn’t know the source of my knowledge. Joshua is preaching Docetism. Joshua took the name of Jesus, Joshua is Jesus in Hebrew name. Joshua calls himself Emmanuel, that is, ‘God with us.’ That was what the scriptures said of Jesus who was going to come, that when he comes, he will be Emmanuel; God with us. Joshua now wants to claim that he is another Jesus, he wants to prove that, by asking his people to say ‘Emmanuel’, pointing to him before giving testimony, meaning in other words, that Joshua is the God with us. But people do not know this because there are too many ignorant people in the body. They do not study the book therefore they do not know what is going on. So, I told Oyakhilome that you could have been in big business with Joshua, but you can’t do that now because the man is calling himself God more or less. And he speaks about the finger of God. This is in the Book of Exodus. But Oyakhilome and Joshua are involved in big business and it would be uncovered very soon as long as Jesus Christ is Lord.
Q: There is this accusation that you use extra-biblical text, that you derive all these big words from those apocryphal books.
A: That is not true; they have seen a man who has spent time studying. In the past, people did not take the word of God seriously. They will just pick a verse and try to interpret it. But when I got born again, I had an encounter with Jesus Christ at the peak of my singing career and when I decided I was going to follow Jesus, I made up my mind I was going to give God more than my best and so I took the time to go back and read up the material available. I studied the Bible because the Bible commanded that we should study the word of God to show ourselves as workmen that are not ashamed but rightly interpreting the word of truth. If you want to convey the word of God you have to take time to study the word, that is why our programme on television is called’ Apocalypse,’ that is the first word in the Book of Revelation. It means the unveiling, the revelation. God knew that the Bible would be written in English but then he couldn’t have waited for it. But he chose the Greek language because it is much better, grammatically, in its presentation. And it is very concise. What you would say in eight sentences in English, a grammatical expression says it all in Greek. It is the job of a lecturer that lectures in a university to do the research, so also it is for the preacher. Oyakhilome said the reason why I know all these was because I was reading occultic books. It is such a manifestation of abysmal ignorance. It is all in the Bible.
Q: In the first letter you accused Joshua that he wanted to invade your church on Christmas day and assassinate you and even use blackmail. Can you prove those things and how did you know.
A: The police are investigating the matter right now and we have the information that Joshua is very confused about how we got the information. It is like we already knew everything he is planning to do. The police will tell Nigerians how we got the information and what is exactly going on.
Q: Some people say that this conflict is dragging too long. That only God can judge. Joshua even quoted the speech of Gamaliel in the Bible. Some say you should stop quarreling on the pages of newspapers.
A: The people who say that have neither read the Bible nor are they spiritually informed. I told the C-P that Joshua goes around saying that Gamaliel in the Bible stated that if the work that is being done by the disciples is of God, then no man should try to stop them, lest they seem to be fighting with God and that if it is not of God it will eventually peter out. Gamaliel made that statement but it is not a statement of fact. Experience has shown that if you don’t fight evil, it will destroy you. If you allow evil to thrive, it has the capacity to swallow up good. Gamaliel’s statement was not inspired by God. He just spoke out of sentimental reason to let the disciples go. The Bible is very clear concerning people like Joshua. It says in the book of Timothy in the first chapter, that their mouth should be stopped. When Jude wrote about them, he used some of the most offensive diatribes that you can ever imagine. These are not small matters. If you don’t destroy these people, they will turn into a canker that will destroy the society. It must be clearly understood that I am fighting as a man of God. I am not fighting Oyakhilome, I am not fighting Joshua. I have a responsibility as a Christian to tell them what is going on just as President Olusegun Obasanjo is fighting corruption at his own level. There is a greater corruption in the spirit realm that is worse than you taking bribe or embezzling government fund. This is talking about eternal damnation that will destroy the spirit, soul and body; and the consequences are eternal. We have a greater responsibility to warn our people. We are dealing with men working under mysticism.
Q: Many have testified to going to Joshua and getting healed. Even foreigners and presidents of nations have testified to Joshua’s ability to heal. Could that be a Satan-influenced healing, because many popular members of our society, mostly sportsmen and politicians have testified to Joshua’s healing powers. Can there be satanic healings. If there are, how do they happen?
A: In the book of Acts there is a story when Paul and Silas were ministering to some women. There was a young lady there crying out after them saying to the people â€œThese are the men who come from God to show us the way to the Lord.â€ The woman was pointing at Paul saying to the people if you want to know the real gospel, listen to them. The Bible says she did that for three days. At a point Paul got upset and spoke to the spirit inside her to come out.
It is called the spirit of divination. Yet in its manifestation that spirit was corroborating the ministry of Paul and Silas because she was saying these men are genuine. But the Bible tells us he commanded the spirit in that woman to come out, because it is a foul spirit. What you have in the spirit of the devil are counterfeits. If you have the spirit of healing from God, you have the spirit of healing from the devil. And the spirit of the devil is what Martin Luther called the’ Ape of God’ It imitates God. There are circumÂstances that Satan set up by himself. He is clever, you need to understand that. Satan has this power to cause a sickness and when he places such illness in a man and that man wants to be healed, he will send him to his own man like Joshua. And Joshua will speak to that illness because it was generated from the kingdom of darkness and it will tell it to go. If you are not aware of these things, you will never know that Joshua is not a man of God. I explained in the church that the casting out of devil that Joshua does is called occult pacifism.
That is, Satan does not cast out Satan; he pacifies the demon in such persons. He appeals to them to remain dormant and they remain so. There is an appearance as if the person afflicted is healed but in the actual fact, the demon causing the illness was just lying dormant. But if you take that person to a Bible preaching church, you will see the re-emergence of such a demon in the person. When Joshua stretches his finger the way he does when healing, it is the “finger of God”. It is used to communicate with the spirit. It is an occult term. Some of the people that you say are popular this, popular that, there are many people like Joshua who will show you a case of real healing because they have been planted there by Satan. That is Shamanism. A Shaman is a magician but the difference is that he uses his magic in a healing way in a religious environment. He comes to us like a priest whereas underneath he is a magician. “… When Joshua stretches his finger the way he does when healing, it is the “finger of God”. It is used to communicate with the spirit. It is an occult term. Some of the people that you say are popular this, popular that, there are many people like Joshua who will show you a case of real healing because they have been planted there by Satan. That is Shamanism…”
Q: In the Bible, Jesus commanded evil spirits to come out. In the case of Joshua cant you pray and command the evil spirit in him to come out, instead of engaging in the verbal warfare that some church leaders have described as embarrassing to the church?
A: They are entitled to their opinion and I am not sure they are aware of what danger Joshua is posing to Christendom. You know Joshua is very feared by a lot of people. Because they don’t want to come against him, they make a lot of diplomatic statements that would appear that they are neither here nor there but I don’t have time for that. The Bible says, ‘You the strong ones, you are strong and have overcome the evil one’. There is something about youth that the Lord uses to confront evil. It was a young boy David that God used to confront Goliath.
Q: Can’t you cast out the devil out of Joshua?
A: We cannot do that. Let me tell you why that is different. In the case of the lady in the book of Acts, she was just a medium. She had a master who profits from her divination powers. We are dealing with a man who has a will, who has invited demons to live with him, to enable him achieve his own purpose not somebody who is being oppressed like that lady. We are talking about a man who has consciously accepted the power of Satan in order to work with: the devil. If you go to him and say you demons come out, you are fighting against his will and God doesn’t do that. The only people who are ever delivered or who are ever saved are the people who desire. Jesus said whosoever willeth let him come to me. But he will never come and force you. The day Joshua says ‘I am tired of the devil, I am fed up,’ we can help him.