Ghana Skeptic

Investigating superstition and paranormal claims

Football Predictions from God (via TB Joshua!)

God has taken time out of his busy schedule to predict the results of football matches, according to Nigerian, Temitope Balogun Joshua, also known as T.B. Joshua. This surely confirms that God has to be a man as only men can put aside more trivial matters and find time for such important pursuits!

TB Joshua claims to be the mouthpiece of God. As evidence of this claim he maintains that he’s able to prophesise future events. He is a multi-billionaire with his own TV station that maintains and reinforces his brand image as prophet of God. Perhaps his real danger lies in the support and advice he gives to African leaders: advice that cannot be questioned if it is God’s word.

The Ghanaian president, Atta Mills, says he’s a close friend and regular attendee of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN). He attended a thanksgiving service at SCOAN after winning the presidency of Ghana. The message was clear – he believes TB and God had something to do with it.

TB conducts child birth in his church (an unhygienic environment) and claims he cures HIV and cancer. In 2007, Former Springbok rugby player Ruben Kruger received an emergency operation to remove a “massive tumour” on his brain that TB had claimed to have cured him of.

TB has recently come to the attention of the media again as he claims to have predicted the results of football matches and that Ghana won because he prayed for them. This, of course, negates the efforts of all the other religious leaders who were also praying for Ghana to win and sets TB up as the only authentic power in West Africa.

There has been much discussion about whether his powers come from God or Satan but few are asking the obvious question – does he really have powers? As he proudly advertises his predictions of evidence of his special friendship with God let’s look at what he said and how it relates to what really occurred.

Predicting scores of games and lotteries are techniques well-known to magicians. What is surprising about the predictions written on TB’s website is how vague and non-descript they are. Perhaps, his followers will claim this indicates that he’s genuine.

Sunday 6th September 2009:

Yesterday, I kept hearing, football, football, football. I said, “God, what is this football all about?” I said, “What is this football all about?” And the Lord showed me everything from the beginning to the end. It came to a stage that the host of Heaven were the ones playing football. Because the whole thing was tough. So, both sides – nobody played ball again. But who are these people playing football? I could not see any players again because it was tough to decide.

So, both sides that were playing football – it got to a stage – the whole thing was just – here is balanced, here is balanced but decision. What is decision? It’s like, both sides left the field.

They could not take a decision – who is the most powerful among the two. So, it got to a stage, okay, go and sit down, go and sit down. I will not say more than that.”

To summarise he said there is going to be a football match and there will be a draw. He cannot name the date this will take place or the teams that will be playing.

This prediction was made during the FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament. We are supposed to be amazed that he found himself thinking about football! To make a prediction that there will be a draw is hardly surprising. What are the statistics on there being a draw during a football tournament?

He was not able to state the draw was between Nigeria and Tunisia nor the day and time of the draw. This prediction is so vague that anyone could have made it.

Sunday 11th October 2009 he makes another prediction. The relevant part of his ramblings is:

Because this man was heading ball like a footballer. I quickly remembered that you have ball today. We need a goal to lead the other people. If you can have just one goal to lead them. We need a goal ahead of these people. It’s not every time they will beat us. I said how can everybody come here and beat us. Draw, draw, draw, draw. A goal!

In this prediction he claims that he sees a man heading a ball and that a goal is needed to win. He finds a game that he corresponds with his vague claims – Nigerian v. Mozambique. No one had scored but the game was won by Obinna Nsofor who headed the ball into the goal.

TB claims he not only predicted the win but predicted the game would be one by a header. Not so. His actual prediction says he saw someone heading a ball. Not unusual during a football match! He doesn’t state that the game will be won by a header. He simply states that an unknown team will win by being a goal ahead. Again, a very likely situation during a tournament!

TB Joshua’s football predications are hardly impressive. More accurate and convincing predictions are made by magicians and mentalists using trickery. As proof that he is receiving information direct from God, it’s not compelling. Maybe some information got lost on the way down?

On his website he does what all self-proclaimed psychics do – reinterpret his words after the event to attempt to make them fit the past event. Maybe TB he can do all the other miraculous things he claims, but from these two examples of ‘prophesy’ I’m not convinced.

Of course, none of this will deter the fan club of TB. As they say, “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.

October 23, 2009 - Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. I am amazed at how some Ghanaians are behaving. I was in Ghana in 2006 when most Ghanaian so called prophets, witch doctors, fetish priest and so many people claimed that the match between Ghana and Brazil will be won by Ghana.when Brazil scored us 3-0 nobody talked about the so called prophesies, and predictions by the so called prophets of God and Fetish priest. when Prophet T.B Joshua was consulted to seek the opinion of God concerning the match between Ghana and Brazil and he told the coach the mind of God concerning the match, I now see people coming out to condemn the man because he told us Gods mind concerning the march. i plead that don’t allow yourselfs to be used by the devil to bring down the Man of God Prophet T.B Joshua

    Comment by Emmanuel | November 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Emmanuel,
      Thanks for your comment.

      I hope I am not simply condemning the man. I’m attempting to analyise his prophecies and to see whether they really predict the things he claims they does. My conclusion is that they do not predict anything. If this is what he offers as evidence that God is speaking to him, then it is not very good. If God really were communicating with TB I think He would do better than this.

      I would be interested to know what convinces you that the prophecies are really ‘Gods mind’. Why do you believe that he is a ‘Man of God’.

      Comment by ghanaskeptic | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. people who are destroying TB JOSUA shouid be careful for the bible says touch not my annointed;.from ghana klikor

    Comment by franklin dzorvakpor | July 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for your comments Franklin but I wonder why on earth you would believe that TB is ‘annointed’? The whole point of my article is to show that this particularl set of predictions show no supernatural source. Do you agree with the points I have written?
      Like Emmanuel, who also made a similar comment, it is not enough just to state something and expect people to believe it. You need to give some details to back up your claim that TB is the real thing.

      Comment by ghanaskeptic | July 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. ghanaskeptic, Im a skeptical mind myself and like you my default state is skeptism and until I have discovered good enough reasons to believe a thing I will continue to have misgivings about it. Regarding T.B Joshuas miracles and prophecies, although my disposition, owing to my skepticism, is to downgrade them as outright chicanery, I cant because there is no outright deception or trickery in the miraculous occurences in his church. There simply is no evident deception. You pointed out the case of the rugby players tumor that regrew, yet for such one case there appear to be a dozen more cases where a sincere veracious healing appears to have taken place. It is the successful cases that should be of more interest to the skeptical inquirer, seeing as if he is a quak there shouldnt be any success stories. As to why this gentlemans tumor grew back, it could explained in various ways, perhaps the healing was nullified through some fault of the healed, that is the gentleman who received the healing, or Joshua was mistaken, there could be other reasons apart from the ones I mentioned above. moving on, I looked up his other prophecies and realized that many of them although not every single one of them lack or only slighty have the vageness that permeate the one you have given in your article above. Im not asking you to toss out your skeptical brain, I wouldnt toss mine out either, Im simply asking you to curtail the bias you approach this matter with, take a long good hard look at the evidence with as little bias as possible before you condemn T.B Joshua as a fraud. I have and have realized that I cant simply group him along with other fake miracle men, as many as my doubts and questions are about this mam theres something truly amazing going on at his church that I cant just write off in an eyeblink.

    Comment by carlos | July 31, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Carlos,
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Your principle of keeping skepticism as a default state of mind is something I would agree with.
      I hope you will agree that I have not condemned TB as a fraud. I merely wanted to present him on his own terms and examine their validity.
      I would love to see more of TB because he has managed to convince many people of his powers. I want to see and make my own judgment. His YouTube clips are inconclusive and unconvincing. I need to be present to see exactly what is going on. The ‘miracles’ I have witnessed so far from others were clearly no more than magic tricks. That doesn’t mean the real thing does not exist although I consider it unlikely based on the research that is out there and my own understanding of the world. But I do genuinely want to see something amazing!
      But I would add that when religion becomes a series of sensational spectacles and where any personal experience becomes validated as reality, we have to question its validity.

      Comment by ghanaskeptic | August 1, 2010 | Reply

  4. his youtube clips are not all as you describe them, I have seen a couple and I must own up that I have been dazzled by what my eyes have witnessed. This man is in a league of his own as far as his healing and prophetic ministries are concerned, I have never seen anything like it. please note the following 1. Genuinely sick people make up his prayer line section. 2. He prays for them or his helpers do in the glare of onlookers and many testimonies follow soon afterwards. Today I watched his live healing service on his Emmanuel TV and was not suprised to see, not suprised because its a routine, disabled people toss aside their aids and walk freely without them for the first time in a long time. Some limped, some ran or jogged but nonetheless without the support of their various aids. I really cant think of natural explanations for these happenings, can you? today there were so many sick people, easily numberimg in the hundreds, that while one group of sick people were being prayed for in the prayer line section, another larger group waited outside in a section dubbed the overflow for their turn. I find it most curious that despite so many sick people going there for healing hardly any cases of unsuccessful healing can be found, shouldnt such cases be widespread and well-known if these healings were no more than elaborate magic tricks. still stranger is that a good number if not all of T.B Joshuas detractors do not accuse him of staging his wonder works rather like the detractors of Jesus they attribute his power to the devil, if T.B Joshua employed hocus pocus and trickery it would only seem logical that his many critics would attack him from that angle, they would point to the many failed healings that should exist and use that to defame his character, yet for some reason they dont use this line. I think they would be more effective accusing him of staging than saying that he is the devils agent, dont you agree?

    Comment by carlos | August 1, 2010 | Reply

    • Dear Carlos.
      Your recent post sounds less skeptical than your first but let me address a couple of points.
      Your statement, “I really cant think of natural explanations for these happenings, can you?” only tells us about the limits of our imaginations. Just because we cannot think of a natural explanation does not mean there isn’t one. I actually can think of many explanations but I doubt you would accept any of them as you appear to already be convinced.
      The spectacle of the lame or disabled people appearing to walk or limp for the first time has been discussed in detail in the literature about faith healers. There is not necessarily anything supernatural going on.
      In my experience, West Africans are not well-versed in trickery of the David Copperfield, David Blaine type. When I perform magic, I often get accused of having ‘powers’ and it is impossible to persuade otherwise. This may be one explanation why people have not discussed TB as a trickster but instead believe he has real powers – either of God or the Devil.
      I should also say that TB is not well-known outside Africa and is not one of the ‘big players’ on the faith healing scene. He has not been investigated to my knowledge as have none of his alleged miracles. There have, however, been convincing exposes of the tricks of the big names who do similar things.
      The great shame is that we do not have access to skeptical literature in West Africa and that the discussion we are now having is rare.

      For further reference you could try to find The Faith Healers by James Randi which covers the points you have raised.

      Comment by ghanaskeptic | August 3, 2010 | Reply

  5. Well done for daring to question the “mighty Man of God”. It doesn’t matter how logically you examine his so called miracles, his devote followers will still attack you, blindly ignoring your points.

    We run a site examining the ministry of TB Joshua from a skeptical point of view, you might be interested to read some of our articles. We have contributions from several people who were once devote followers and intimately involved in his ministry. They confirm the numerous tricks and deceptions employed to make his miracles look as they do on TV. This includes clever editing, TB Joshua’s voice over dubbed in post production to change the narrative of the piece, insisting a person with a limp sits in a wheelchair for prayer so they can be shown limping out of it (in reality, no improvement) etc. etc… That’s all before starting to look into the numerous accusations of sexual abuse….

    http://tbjoshuawatch.wordpress.com

    Comment by TB Joshua Watch (@tbjoshuawatch) | August 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for that and I will surely check your site. Watching TB Joshua, I see the typical tricks of many of the “faith healers”. Getting someone to sit in a wheelchair as they arrive they asking them to get out as if it’s a miracle is as old as the hills!

      Comment by ghanaskeptic | August 10, 2011 | Reply


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