I am writing in regard to your article (02/25/01) on the prophet T.B. Joshua entitled MIRACLE MAN. As a Christian Pastor and teacher I am concerned about some of the aspects of this prophet's ministry which are either unreported or perhaps unappreciated for their significance.
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 "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.
I don't know Pastor Joshua's heart. Indeed, it seems to be that he is a very sincere man living a simple lifestyle. Rather than taking money constantly (as a good many of the celebrated televangelists do) there are stories of T.B. Joshua's generosity to the poor who struggle to come to him for healing. Nonetheless, we are told to be discerning in our evaluation of anything which claims to be "of God".
"Try the Spirits to see whether they be of God" (I John 4). There are several caveats I offer to those who are seeking discernment regarding these phenomena,
o On a French television interview, Prophet Joshua said that he had received this 'gift' at birth. In God's word, the true Gifts of the Spirit of God are not bestowed at birth to anyone - see 1 Cor:12-14. One must first be converted to Christ to have God's Spirit indwelling one - and even then the gifts are distributed "as the Spirit wills".
o 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 Were 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 splashed and bathed in!
o 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 Judgment Day.
o There is also a degrading and even humiliating aspect to these healings. When Christ healed it was in a dignified manner. 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 is made to bare her breasts, one showing cancer, and stands in front of a mixed assembly in the agony of her pain. As the healing progresses, her breast is seen oozing puss onto her dress and flowing down to make a puddle on the floor.
People are seen "Vomiting their troubles away" on the floor. Some vomit blood, others vomit rocks, shells, large worms and live insects. There is no scripture for this. 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! And then on this same floor, people are put into trances, laid out on that same floor, (you can see the spots) and those in trances are seen rolling about in those spots.
Remote control- T.B. Joshua uses a technique called "remote control". Standing about ten feet away from "patients", with hand motions 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 sends the patient into a circle, often until they spiral out of control, falling into a dazed heap! Once again, this method is more akin to occult healing practices than it is to Biblical healing and in the compassionate manner of Jesus Christ.
Another similar technique is called "point of contact". For example, the bare-breasted woman suffering in agony from cancer, before the congregation, Joshua stands about 15 feet away, and rubs his chin vigorously, This then evidently affects her cancerous breast, in some way. In contrast, the healing of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:44, simply touched Jesus and was healed!
o 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 as Joshua's fire cleanses her of the sin. This causes mild amusement of others in the audience. It does not bring fear of God! We are told in the book of Revelation that the false prophet calls fire from heaven to the amazement of those under delusion!
o Joshua has strange beliefs. For example, he is a vegetarian : 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 interview, he said that "the divine person" within him can appear to thousands simultaneously, even coming to them in their dreams! This is not Biblical or Christian!
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 Pharaoh's magicians, withstood and hindered the true gospel by means of signs, wonders and miracles. Just because Joshua seems to be able to produce "results", doesn't make him a man of God, nor should we go there. The end does not justify the means. The very 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 closer to us today as our breath, for "Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved".
We at Moriel Teaching Ministries SA will happily verify these claims by providing access to the video we have cited here today. Any one needing further clarification can contact us.
Sincerely, Pastor Bill Randles
(Reply to YOU magazine following an article. Note: Even Radio Pulpit is promoting him)