Strange, Unbiblical Practices by Joshua
By Bill Randles (excerpts from a letter to a South African newspaper on 02.05.01)
Abstract: The theology and practices of T.B. Joshua deviates radically from evangelical tenets.
In the light of the fact that we believe we are living in the last days before Jesus' return, and that one of the warnings Jesus gave us was that immediately before that time there would arise on the scene "false prophets" who would be able to perform "signs and wonders...so that if possible they would be able to deceive even the very elect", It is extremely important that we be all the more discerning... We must "try the Spirits to see whether they be of God"(I Jn. 4:1). There are several caveats I offer to those who are seeking discernment of these phenomena:
Born with the gift of healing. On a French television interview, Prophet Joshua said that he had received this ‘gift' at birth. The true Gifts of the Spirit of God (see I Cor. 12-14) are not bestowed at birth to anyone, one must be converted to Christ, and even then the gifts are distributed "As the Spirit wills".
Transubstantiation. On videotape distributed by the Synagogue of all Nations, A "Blood of Jesus" Service was shown. It consisted of the Prophet Joshua blessing a huge tank of water, touching each of twelve running spigots, proclaiming them to now be "the blood of Jesus". The congregation was then shown rushing forward, pushing and pulling among themselves seeking to get to those spigots first, that they might drink, splash, and in some cases even shower in "the blood of Jesus". This is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of it all, as it turns the Biblical doctrine of the blood of Jesus (His vicarious death) into a sensuous, superstitious experience. No Priest or Prophet can turn any substance into the blood of Jesus. That is more akin to paganism and magic than Christianity. The blood of Jesus was shed as a sacrifice to God the Father, not as a potion to be slashed and bathed in!
False separation between the Sheep and the goats. In addition to the other antics at the blasphemous "Blood of Jesus " service, as the people pushed, pulled and shoved forward to participate in the so called blood, those who had "agents of Satan", were put into a demonic frenzy, rolling on the ground, through the muck and mire (more on that next) screaming and moaning in agony. There is demon possession indeed, but one would look in vain anywhere in the scriptures to find any deliverance service remotely resembling this so called "Blood of Jesus" service. Joshua proclaimed this as the" separation of the sheep and the goats", which actually takes place at the Judgment day.
Undignified practices. There is also a very undignified and even degrading aspect to these healings. When Christ healed it was all so dignified. True man is below, God is above, but man is not "Nothing", He is made "In the Image of God". In the Joshua videotape, released by the Synagogue, men with rectal cancer are asked to take down their pants, before others, both before and after the healing. A woman bares her breasts, one showing cancer, and stands before a mixed assembly in the agony of her pain. As the healing progresses, her breast is seen oozing puss and yellow bile into a pool on her dress and flowing into a puddle on the floor. People are seen "Vomiting their troubles away" on the floor, some vomiting blood, some rocks, shells, large worms, live insects, Where did Jesus or His apostles ever do any such things? Yes these stains can be seen on the floor, the very spots where people vomited blood, and where women are seen on camera passing bloody "fibroids" from between their legs! On this same floor, people are put into trances, laid out on that same floor, (One can see the spots) and in those trances many are seen rolling about among those spots.
Remote control. T.B. Joshua uses a technique called "remote control", in which by hand motions, standing ten feet or so away from "patients" he manipulates their motions. By scooting his hands to the left, the patient seems irresistibly drawn to the left, and to the right, the patient goes to the right, by circling his hands, Joshua send the patient into a circle, often until they spiral out of control, falling into a dazed heap! This method once again is more akin to occult healing practices, than it is to the Majestic healing gifts of Jesus Christ. Another similar technique is called "point of contact". For example, the bare breasted woman suffering in agony before the congregation, of a cancer, for her Joshua stands about 15 feet away, and rubs his chin vigorously, this is evidentially affecting her cancerous breast, by remote control. (See the healing of the woman with a blood problem for years, she only touched Jesus and was healed)
Calling Fire from heaven. Joshua has the power to call fire from heaven upon the body parts of sinning members of his congregation! A woman in the video is seen clutching her private parts in agony, (it seems to the mild amusement of others) as Joshua's fire cleanses her of the sin. We are told in the book of Revelation that the false prophet calls fire from heaven to the amazement of those under the delusion
Strange beliefs. Joshua has strange beliefs, for example he is a vegetarian because he told an interviewer that many of the people he ministers to in the area of deliverance are "Half fish and half man". In another interviewer he said that "the divine person" within him can appear to thousands simultaneously, even coming to them in their dreams! This is not Christianity!
Final remarks. In closing, I don't pretend to know Joshua's motivation; by all accounts he seems to be a very sincere man. However sincerity is no safeguard against deception. I am sure Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon and countless other prophets, who by Christian, Biblical standards would have to be regarded as False, were equally sincere and unassuming. There are countless warnings in scripture about the emergence of False Prophets and teachers who, like Pharaohs magicians, withstood and hindered the true gospel by means of signs, wonders and miracles. Just because Joshua seems to be able to produce "results"," He seems to have the goods", it doesn't mean we should go there, for the ends do not justify the means. Even the idea of having to go to Nigeria to receive a healing, or a miracle, or a Word from God, is unscriptural. "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever." He is as close to us today as our breath, for "Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved".
A response to Bill's letter dated 26/2/01 titled: Rebuke of TB Joshua.
The following comment on a paragraph of Bill Randles' letter (the one on remote control) was made by Alistair Mc Donald:
"This control in question is called ‘Mesmerism'. Certainly God's word is true in Ecclesiastes 1:9 "...there is nothing new under the sun." Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) an Austrian physician termed this ‘animal magnetism' He believed the human nervous system to be magnetized. He would wave his hands in front of the patient, believing that a magnetic force emanated from his hands. Other actions by Mesmer were laying on of hands or staring fixedly into the patient's eyes. These methods enabled him to direct the movements and thoughts of his patients.
"‘Mesmerism' has developed into modern hypnosis. Mesmer has been accredited as the father of hypnosis, as well as the father of the Christian Science church. I believe what brother Bill is commenting on is related to Mesmerism. Mesmer's patients show similar characteristics of Joshua's namely uncontrollable laughter, falling into trances, spasmodic jerks, rapid blinking, tears and hiccups."
"Mesmer was accredited with many healings through his methods namely fever, partial paralysis and various diseases. Note no patients left behind wooden legs, toupees or glass eyes!"
"What has happened in the church today is that the watchmen have let the carnival showmen into the House of God. The showmen have entered with bibles in tow, preaching a different Jesus and are gaining masses through their lying signs and wonders."