(A Parable For The Anti-Christ)
A "parable" could be described as a story, the true meaning of which is often not easily understood. This expose is itself a parable about a parable. This is an expose about a writing by Joseph F. Girzone entitled, "Joshua, A Parable for Today." (*With the exception of this note, this text was written many years ago as an expose on the book, however, it has been re-posted because it serves as an applicable expose on the 2002 movie, "Joshua" which is based upon the same book.)
P.18"Most people's problems are of their own making and making people more aware of themselves would frequently provide the key to the solution."
Joshua frequently uses what the Apostle Paul called an opposition of science to "minister" to people. Through the application of "psychological principals" Joshua helps people to "find" themselves or become more aware of "themselves."
P.111 "Each person's question he answered differently, as if he understood what each needed to hear, and each one responded accordingly. His mastery of the dynamics of group psychology was easy and graceful; He
seemed to empathize with people's anguish in trying to understand life."
According to the author of "Joshua" this applied psychology is supposed to provide a solution to their ills. NOTICE that it is psychology, a science of the mind of man that is man's solution.
It is applied psychology, NOT Jesus, NOT God that brings the solution. The problems are "diagnosed" as emotional. Sin is never the problem and repentance is never the answer.
P.18 "Most people's problems are of their own making..."
[This statement reeks of the Hinduistic belief in "karma." In Hinduism, one's problems in this life are of their own making, one chooses one's own karma.]
P.18 "But it was tiring for Joshua to give so much of himself, and when evening came he needed to be by himself to recharge his energies."
[New Age "Christ consciousness entities" such as "Joshua" have "energies" that must be recharged, believer's in Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit!]
P. 19 "All these will I give you, if only you will fall down and worship me" crossed his memory as if it were only
yesterday. He reminisced as his mind crossed the centuries..."
P.162 "(Joshua is invited to speak in the synagogue) "Joshua beamed his delight. Tears came to his eyes as
his thoughts went back to a similar invitation so very long ago."
[To say that one is "reminiscing" indicates one is rethinking past experiences. Joshua is reminiscing Jesus'own temptation on the temple in Jerusalem. It is JESUS' experience NOT Joshua's experience.
By his choice of wording, the author of "Joshua" clearly intends to portray "Joshua" as Jesus Christ reincarnated in a modern time.]
P.19 "It is memory that conditions and shapes responses to life and determines patterns of growth."
[Although our past experiences may AFFECT how we respond to situations in life, IN CHRISTIANITY, it is NOT our emotions that shape us nor are they to govern our behavior. It is the hand of God that shapes us. How we respond to Him determines our growth, NOT memory.]
And they will say to you, Lo here is the Christ...
P.19 "Joshua ... intermittently envisioned his own place in the long-term plan his Father had laid out for him
eons ago ...His Father's will would ultimately triumph."
P.23 "Where are you from Mary asked Joshua. "From Bethlehem," Joshua said simply.
P.29 "Are you Jewish?" "My family was, a way back."
P.32 "He thought of a day long ago , when his mother and her relatives were looking for him, concerned about
his health. ...He had been preaching all day long and had not taken time to eat"...(His mother came looking for him) "He blushed as he thought of his response." "Who are my mother and my brothers? They who do the will of my Father in heaven are my mother and my brothers and my sisters."
[Here the author clearly identifies Joshua as an avatar, a reincarnation of Jesus Christ because the scripture quoted above, which "Joshua" is remembering as his response is attributable ONLY to Jesus Christ himself.]
P.38 "The old robes, he thought, were a lot cooler, but their sheer weight was oppressive."
P.41 "I'm just God's son, he answered simply"... "We're all that," Pat responded, but there is something
different about you."
P.42 "mystery surrounding his appearance"..."it was important to keep the secrecy of his identity and his mission intact."
P.43 "You will get to know me more and more as the days go by and, in time, you will come to understand what you have seen....This is because your faith is simple,...and you see what others cannot see." "All I do is bear witness to the goodness and love God has placed in creation."
P.45 & 46 "Mailbox/boat with a keel brings back "memories" "What do you mean memories? You're hardly forty years old!" "They didn't make that kind of boat in your lifetime."
P.54 Joshua speaks Hebrew with an authentic accent.
P.56 "Are you Jewish, by any chance?"...Joshua smiled and answered cryptically, "Yes, I am very closely
P.63 " I want it (the statue of Moses) to be a permanent testimonial of my love for my people." "Your people?" "Yes, my people, Joshua answered, "I love them deeply." "You are Jewish, then?" the rabbi asked. "Yes."
P.81 "Joshua, who just looked deeply into the eyes of each as if peering down into their very souls..."
P.84 "...he looked over at Joshua, who was looking directly at him with a look that seemed to pierce his soul."
P.85 "He knew Joshua was looking into his very soul..."
[In the Book of Hebrews it states that it is the word of God that pierces the heart, divides the spirit and soul,and exposes the thoughts and intents of the heart. In scripture it is also written that only God knows the intents
of the heart!]
P.103 "Joshua, who are you really?" "As you said this morning, you already know who I am. ..."One day you will
understand," Joshua continued, "and your heart will rejoice."
P.108 "(Joshua speaks a form of ancient Hebrew or Aramaic, the form of Hebrew spoken almost two thousand
P.111 "It was as if each person in some way belonged to him, as if he had known each one long before he met them."
P.143 "As he (Joshua) lay in bed that night Joshua's thoughts drifted across the centuries to the synagogue in Nazareth that he knew and loved so well. The whole scene passed so vividly before his mind: the attendant handing him the scroll, the dead silence of the audience, the nervous reading of the text, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...to bring good news to the poor...to proclaim release to captives and sight to the blind; to set at liberty the oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of recompense."
[Rabbinical teachings on this passage of scripture were that this text referred to "the Christ" and could only have been fulfilled by the Messiah. Here Joshua clearly claims to be a reincarnated "Jesus." It was Jesus Who was driven out of the synagogue after He read this scripture aloud because He had claimed its fulfillment in Him.]
P.192 (In reference to the blind girl who was healed at the synagogue) "It happened right after you put your hand on her head." ..."You touch her, and she immediately begins to see. And she has been blind from birth."
[In Jewish/Rabbinical teachings, ONLY the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One of God, could open the eyes of one who was blind from birth. This "miracle" by Joshua is another subtle claim that Joshua is the reincarnation of Jesus and is "The Christ."
All of the above statements by "Joshua" are meant to establish the character in the mind of the reader as a reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Once the author establishes in the mind of the reader that Joshua is Jesus, then the author can teach through "Joshua/Jesus."
Through the character "Joshua," the unsuspecting reader is taught New Age/Hinduistic philosophy, by successfully disguising these teachings as the "true" teachings of Jesus.
The character Joshua is what is called an "avatar." An avatar (as defined in the Webster's New World Dictionary) is a god (in Hinduism) which comes down to earth in bodily form, an incarnation of a god.
"Joshua," is clearly supposed to be what New Ager's would call "a Christ consciousness." Joshua is a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, an avatar through whom the author subtly re-writes the teachings of Jesus.
In keeping with a New Age cosmic "Christ" the author of Joshua puts emphasis only on the "love" aspect of Jesus and even goes so far as to state that Jesus is the manifestation of that "facet" of God.]
P.112 "...his (God's) simplicity is beautiful in that it can be seen in many facets and is capable of limitless
expression. Every beautiful creation expresses some facet of God's beauty. Every prophet expresses some facet of God's presence. Jesus possessed in himself a unique reflection of God's infinite love for his people."
Jesus Christ did NOT "possess" in himself a "reflection" of God's love. Jesus Christ is NOT a manifestation of an aspect or a "facet" of God's character or nature. Jesus was NOT a "prophet" who came to "express" some "aspect" of God's presence!
Jesus IS God, and the FULLNESS of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him, according to scripture.
By cleverly reducing Jesus to a physical manifestation, expression, or reflection of the "love" of God in the flesh, the author attempts to deny the deity of Jesus.
Through "Joshua's" teachings, the author attempts to negate the salvation message. By His repeated emphasis on what Joshua defines as the sole purpose of Jesus' life, he reduces the purpose of Jesus' life to a manifestation of an aspect of the nature or character of God.
It is well worth noting that absolutely NOTHING is mentioned about the REAL purpose for Jesus' incarnation, to die for the sins of men, to provide a means of salvation (by His death).
Absolutely NO MENTION is made of His resurrection. Jesus' resurrection from the dead is the proof that He is God made flesh. He is the only Anointed One of God, the Messiah, the Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
Joshua is clearly an avatar, a supposed "Christ consciousness" made flesh, a "way-shower," a NEW AGE CHRIST!
He is charming, harmless, lovable, kind to everyone, respects everyone and everyone's beliefs.
The author of "Joshua" bends, twists, and perverts the word of God and the teachings of Jesus. He negates the true "mission" of Jesus on earth. He leads readers to believe they can obtain salvation by their own efforts,
by "loving God" and being kind and loving toward one another. The author teaches that this is all that really matters to God.
Never once does Joshua mention sin, or that it is God's requirement that sin be atoned for. Joshua ignores that man would face eternal separation from God without repentance for sin and instead, the author makes it sound
like or implies that the conviction for sin that leads man to repentance is a guilt trip laid upon people by tyrannical church leaders.
There is never any indication in Joshua's attitude or his teachings that anyone has a need for, nor does he ever even hint that, God REQUIRES repentance, or that there is any need for salvation through Jesus.
Joshua portrays Jesus as being so loving and kind that He would NEVER, EVER want anyone to feel guilty for sin. Conviction for sin and a call to repentance towards God is clearly NOT part of this "Christ's" mission.
In Hinduism there is no "sin" and so no need for a type of Christ such as the real Jesus, a sacrifice for sin, a Savior! In Hinduism you create your own karma, you just need to come to a higher awareness of self in order to
work out your own problems.
In Hinduism there is no heaven or hell only a never ending circle or wheel of life, there is only an endless series of reincarnations.
Joshua is even portrayed by the author as being grateful that this time around (in this reincarnation of Jesus)his fate (karma) is improved, the people in the synagogue are more accepting!
Jesus said many would come, in His name but that we are NOT to follow them. That many will say look here is the Christ or there, but Jesus warned us not to follow after them. "Joshua" represents the epitome of the "New Age Christ"
P.43 "Jesus taught that people are free, free to enjoy being God's children, free to grow and become the
beautiful people God intended. (same phrases are repeated on p.73) But that is impossible in the presence of rigid authority that needs to control people's thinking and their free expression."
[In New Age philosophy, being "free" and finding "happiness" through self-satisfaction is a primary life goal. To "be all you can be" Jesus did not come to teach us how to have freedom to grow so that we could be all that we could be. Jesus came to deliver mankind from the bondage of sin, to redeem us by His death, to purchase us with His blood.
P.44 "the law is ruthless and unbending, and breaks people under its weight. A kind shepherd will put people
before the law, like Jesus did." "The sabbath is made for people and not people for the sabbath, " is the way Jesus put it."
[Jesus NEVER put people or Himself "before the law" -He did put people before the "letter of the law" but NOT before the Spirit of the law. The scripture states that the word of God, the "law" was given in order that man may be confronted with his sinfulness. The Apostle Paul identified this as the purpose of the law.
The law is meant to be unbending, to break us and turn us towards God. To cause us to realize that we cannot be good enough to effect our own salvation and that we are in need of a Savior!
Jesus said anyone who fell upon the stone would be broken but he whom the stone fell upon would be ground to powder. If we will not "fall upon the stone" and allow ourselves to be "broken" then, the "weight" of the law is
meant to crush our self-will (grind us to powder), so that we will surrender to Jesus and find rest for our souls!]
P.73 "Jesus gave the apostles and the community as a support to provide help and guidance and consolation."
[The scripture says that Jesus gave gifts to the church, He gave some apostles, some prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the express purpose of preparing the saints for the work of the ministry.
P.122 "God made people free. They are his children. It is the function of the apostles and those who succeed them to guide the flock gently and to offer what Jesus taught. But it is not their place to dictate what people must believe or bully people into submission. That deprives people of their freedom as human beings. Nor should they demand more of people than God himself."
[The "work of the ministry" according to scripture, includes the work of the Apostle to govern the churches and instruct the people in doctrines of faith. The Apostle Paul was very clear in his writings to the churches, what
the doctrines of faith were; he was so "rigid" about the gospel that he said anyone who preaches anything more or less should be accursed! The author of "Joshua" calls this work, ruling the people and telling them what to think!
The work of the prophet is to interpret God's will for the people, to admonish, rebuke and call people to repentance. The author of "Joshua" calls the work of the prophet, making people feel guilty and telling them what to do!)
The pastor is to lead and guide (not push and shove) the flock of God. And the teacher is anointed of God to teach, to instruct God's people in the ways of the Lord. The author of "Joshua" calls this telling people what to
P.77 "He thought, with a twinkle in his eye, that few have yet grasped the reality that time is not real but only a
figment, an illusion, that there is no past or future, only the present. The human mind invents the past because it can experience the present only in small, momentary slices. We catalogue experiences and call them past and place them in various time frames. To the human mind the future is blank, a void. Though it is already present to God...Will the mind ever be able to understand that the past is still present and that the future
[In New Age thinking, time is an illusion and all things are relative. If it were true, as "Joshua" suggests, that the past and the future were "present" then, all of the "past" would be constantly reoccurring. If the concept of
"past" is only a figment, an illusion, then everything in history would all still be happening simultaneously along with the future.
The "past" would be currently (always) taking place, Hitler would presently still be killing Jews, Jesus would be forever dying on the cross and since (as "Joshua" claims) the "future" already is, then we (Christians) would
already have our resurrected bodies.
Only God Who is, always was, and always will be, is without beginning or ending and is therefore "timeless".
Time (past, present and future) is NOT an illusion or a figment of the mind of man. In scripture, it is written that God placed the sun and the moon and the stars in the heavens and appointed them for TIMES and seasons.]
P.99 "Everyone has imperfections. That's the way God made them, and as long as people are striving to love God and care for one another, they are pleasing to God."
P.99 "...so one's perfection is measured not by success in attaining a measurable goal but in attitudes constantly changing to ever more perfectly reflect the mind of God."
[Hindus and New Ager's do not believe in sin, the "sin nature" or fallen state of man. In "Joshua," the author leads the reader to believe that man is just the way he is. Perfection becomes an evolutionary process of the
mind (attitudes) of the individual.
According to Joshua, man is NOT imperfect because of sin but because that is the way God made man. Scripture, the written word of God, states however, that man's condition is a result of sin, as a result of mankind's fallen state.
In man's fallen state it is impossible to please God, irregardless of how hard you try to love God or one another. Faith in, and acceptance of, Jesus pleases God.
Our perfection does NOT rest in "constantly changing attitudes which more perfectly reflect the mind of God." Our perfection, our righteousness, rests entirely in our position in Jesus Christ.]
P.113 "I think, Marcia, that you can best find God if you look within yourself. The most powerful revelation of God's presence and His love lies within you." "He will reveal himself to you, and in possessing him you will
understand all else."
[In Hinduism, you look within yourself to find god. The deeper you delve into yourself, the greater the
"revelation" of god. Once you come into the "awareness" of "god within you" and "possess" this enlightenment
of him/god, you will understand "all else."]
P.153 "The earth is where all life originates,..."
[God is the creator/originator of all life, NOT the earth. In Hindu philosophy, "Mother" earth is the originator of all life.]
P.67 "Each person looks at life through a different vision." (3 men looking at a tree all see the tree differently)
According to Joshua, "What we live for determines what we see in life and gives clear focus to our inner vision."
[Here the author subtly introduces the New Age/Hinduistic philosophy that life is not reality, life is what you view or perceive it to be, that it is your inner "vision" that shapes your reality.]
P.161 "Only an open mind is capable of developing the attitudes necessary for peace."..."Even God's people
must realize that each people is chosen by God to fill a different role in the destiny of the human race, and only by accepting other peoples as equal partners in God's plan can they hope to find acceptance by the rest of the human family."
[We, the people of the earth, are NOT equal to God in anything, nor are we equal partners in God's plan. Jesus is God's only plan for the "human family." The "heavens" is God's throne and the earth is God's footstool. He is above all and is equal to none!]
P.71 "We're all Jews, spiritually, you know."
P.72 "I feel at home wherever people sincerely honor my Father."
[Notice that Joshua feels "at home" wherever people honor the "Father" (not Jesus). Jesus MUST be the basis of faith. Not a generic god, Father figure or otherwise. The New Age will honor a "Father" god, a generic god, ANY god EXCEPT, JESUS CHRIST as GOD.
In order to have one-world government, all the political "walls" must come down, hence the movement toward a unified Europe without the Berlin wall.
In order to have one-world religion under the control of the anti-Christ all faiths must be homogenized into the New Age "religion." This will be done under the disguise of unity and brotherly love.
Ecumenicalism is a major thrust of the New Age movement, the blending of all faiths is essential to a one-world religion. This "religion" is to be controlled by the New Age Christ, who will probably be quite like "Joshua."
P.139 "When they tried to pin him down to which religion..." "I feel drawn to all those people who are trying to bring love and unity back into the human family, wherever I find them."
"He looked upon religion as people rather than structures and saw no contradiction in being part of all believing people."
Many "Christians" are being drawn into New Age One-World religion. Like Joshua, they too will see "no contradiction" in being part of all "believing" people. Many will follow the New Age Christ in the name of "love," "unity," and "brotherhood" right into the one-world faith of the "human family."
The ecumenical movement is to one-world religion what a unified Europe is to one-world government. Unity in Christ, without compromise of the faith, is NOT the same as the ecumenical blending of all faiths.]
The acceptance of Jesus (as Savior and Lord) is God's plan for humanity. Acceptance of Jesus is the key to God's plan, NOT the acceptance of other peoples.
P.165 "He thought about the synagogue and others he was familiar with. They hadn't changed much through the centuries."..."He thought of the man who had accosted him at the synagogue last night and reminisced
about the man with the speech impediment from who he had driven the devil." "Devils were more visible in those days."
["Devils were not more "visible" in those days; people were just not as naive about the devil and his works then as they are now. Satan has been very successful in deceiving people into believing that there IS less demonic
activity in people's lives today than there was then.
Today, many people don't even believe that Satan is real or that demons even exist. The author's subtle comment is just another attempt to further the myth that the works of Satan or demons are different or less now than in biblical times, when in fact his works are on the increase (because as the scripture says, he knows that he has but a short time...)
In man's fallen state it is impossible to please God, irregardless of how hard you try to love God or one another. Faith in and acceptance of Jesus pleases God.
P.171 (Speaking to Father Kavanaugh) "Joshua was visibly angry. "They are not your people," he said sharply.
"They are God's children, and as God's children they are free. It is shepherds like you who have stripped God's people of the freedom to follow their own consciences, or to listen to their inner voices, or even the voice of God." "It is shepherds like you who are so taken up with their own authority that you resent people even talking to others about the things of God without your permission."
[The author through "Joshua" suggests that there are three ways that "free children of God" ought to be led: by their own consciences, by their inner voices, or even the voice of God.
Christians are not to be led by their consciences (what seems right in their own eyes) nor by inner voices but by the word of God and by His voice, the still small voice (singular NOT plural) of His Spirit.
The scripture warns that there are many "voices" and that we are NOT to follow them. Jesus said that His sheep know His voice and another's voice they will not follow.
The voice that speaks through "Joshua" is clearly one of those many voices that are NOT to be followed!]
P.170 "Jesus was free and preached to the people that they are God's children and that, as God's children, they are free." "They are not slaves. Jesus also intended that his leaders be humble men and allow people to enjoy being free.'
P.172 (Talking to the children) "You are God's children," he told them, "and you are free. Let no one on earth
take that freedom from you."
["Joshua" constantly referred to the people as God's children, as if everyone is a "child of God." Joshua even asserts that Jesus taught that the people were all God's children.
The scripture says of Jesus, that to as many as received Him, to THEM gave He the power to become sons of
God. Not to everyone, but to as many as RECEIVED HIM.
Jesus made it quite clear that some are children of God but that some are children of the devil. He said of the scribes and the pharisees that they were of their "father the devil." Jesus said they did not believe Him and that
His word had no place in them! Not everyone is a "child of God."]
P.197 (Speaking to the Jews in the synagogue assembly) "...when you love the things of this world you lower yourselves to the level of those things."..."They have a value only as reminders of the world where God lives. To love them in themselves is to drink from the polluted well Jeremiah talked about."
[The polluted well of which Jeremiah spoke was not materialism but, forsaking the Living Water, the revelation of the word of God by the Spirit of God, and exchanging it for the muddied water, -the logos or the letter of the
law according to the "wisdom" and understanding of men.]
P.198 "Even though man is, in a way God's image, the image is reflected in man's soul."
[Here the author would have you believe that MAN is God's image! Man was created in the image of God. Man is NOT the image of God, but was created IN THE image of God. The image of God is NOT reflected in MAN'S soul! Man is fallen and his soul is lost without Jesus. When we become born again, the spirit of man is born anew but scripture says that the soul must be "washed with the water of the word" -that we must be renewed by the word of God.]
P.198 "Do not try to find you Messiah or your salvation in a worldly kingdom. God alone is your Messiah, and
only in him will you find peace and fulfillment of your long-sought destiny."When Joshua finished there was a deafening silence, then the whole congregation arose and clapped their wild applause."
[It is written that what is approved of men is an abomination to God! If the entire Jewish congregation, who have not accepted and do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior wholeheartedly approve of "Joshua" and his "message" -then, there is good reason to closely examine that "message" for error. If it is that readily
"approved of men" one must suspect that the content is "an abomination to God."]
[* Notice also that to reinforce the err in the teachings in this book, the author always sandwiches each error between two layers of truth and then follows each "profound new truth" that "Joshua" teaches with the
overwhelming approval of those who are amazed by "Joshua's" wisdom.]
P.197 "...it is important for you to remember that God is so far above you and his being is so far removed from
anything you have ever experienced that you should not be shocked when he manifests himself to you. His love for you is so tender and so intimate that should he manifest himself to you in a personal way, in a way that expresses his desire to be present in your midst, you should not be scandalized. He is, as Isaiah said, your "Immanuel," God in your midst. If this forces you to alter your understanding of the nature of God,..." ... "Your minds must not be closed to a deeper and wider understanding of God than you may have known before."
P.199-200 "I can easily imagine God taking on a form that we could understand to assure us of his love. He has
done it in the past."
[God did not take on a "form" He became man...God did NOT send Jesus merely "to assure us" of his love. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life." (Jn. 3:16)
Yes, God was motivated out of love to send Jesus (God so loved the world) but, God did NOT send Jesus to die just to assure us of His love. He sent Jesus TO SAVE US from ETERNAL separation from God. He sent Jesus to call ALL men to REPENTANCE because (as scripture states) God is not willing that any should perish
but calls ALL men to repentance.
He sent Jesus, as SAVIOR, because we cannot save ourselves by any effort of our own; no matter how "kind, loving, tolerant, forgiving, or charitable we are, it won't get us saved.
Yes, once we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we ARE to strive to be Christ-like but, without FIRST accepting GOD'S CONDITION FOR SALVATION (through JESUS) then, no matter how much "like Christ" or like "JOSHUA" we become, it WILL NOT save us. Salvation does NOT come by being "good"; if that were possible, we could save ourselves and Jesus did not need to die.
Salvation comes ONLY through the shed blood of Jesus in atonement for our sin AND through our acceptance of His death as the only perfect and acceptable sacrifice for our sins. This is why Jesus said, "No man comes to the Father but by Me."]
P.201 "In whatever form he (God) uses (to manifest his presence) we should be careful not to prejudice ourselves and say, "He can't come in that form, or in this form," because if we do, then we reduce God to our own limited image, and in doing that we run the risk of rejecting him if he comes to us in a way we don't expect."
[Here again, as on p.197, the author sets up the reader to accept the New Age Christ in whatever "form" even
though he may not be "traditionally" what we would expect Jesus to be!
He prepares the reader to be willing to accept this "Christ" irregardless of the form he (as "god") choses to manifest himself by telling the reader he must be open-minded about whatever "form" God may choose to
The author also sets the reader up by telling him that to expect God to manifest himself one way, (according to scriptural guidelines, for example) would be to "limit" God to our "image." This makes the reader feel he would
be narrow-minded not to accept "the Christ" in what ever "form" he appears!]
P.217 (Regarding Father Pat) "...Joshua did so much for him, in helping him to understanding himself and his
work, that out of friendship he had sworn off the bottle. He no longer needed it."
[Notice that it is "Joshua" that did so much for Pat, not Jesus or Father Pat's personal relationship with Jesus. Throughout this "parable" people are drawn to "Joshua" as a type of Christ.
Joshua helped Father Pat and the others through applied psychology, by helping them to "understand themselves" better. From "Joshua" they didn't learn to look to Jesus but to look with themselves for a "better understanding" which would bring the solution.
Understanding yourself better becomes the solution to your problems, not Jesus. Also, by an act of Father Pat's will power he swears off the bottle out of friendship for Joshua.
The scripture teaches that we cannot deliver ourselves from these things without Jesus and the grace of God. The futility of attempting to "clean ourselves up" by will power (without Jesus) is illustrated in the parable of the
man who is delivered from one spirit (his house is clean and swept but without Jesus it is empty).
Once that spirit was evicted (by will power, in our own strength) did leave (temporarily) but returned with SEVEN MORE which were WORSE THAN ITSELF and the latter end of that man will be worse.]
P.221 (In saying good-bye to Pat and Joe) Joshua told them to be true to themselves and follow their convictions..."
[Being true to yourselves and following your own convictions excludes God and makes you the ruler of your own destiny; another hallmark of the New Age/Hinduistic beliefs.]
P.237 "When we pray God hears. When we need God grants. Faith is like the helpless look on the face of a deer in hunting season. God can't refuse."
[Faith is not the helplessness of a deer in hunting season. Scripture says that Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
As for the statement that "God can't refuse" -He can and does refuse whenever, what we seek, is not in His Sovereign will. God is Sovereign and does as He chooses. What God chooses is ALWAYS in our best interests, whether we think so or not!]
P.237 (Joshua speaking to the ship's doctor) "His (God's) healing power courses through your fingers every day, and you have never taken the time to sense his presence. You are God's hands. His very closeness has hidden him from you."
[This declaration reflects the Hindu philosophy of "All is god, god is all and god is in all. Scripture states that God is to be our ALL in ALL. Jesus is God and in Him is the fullness of the God-head bodily (Father, Son and
Holy Spirit). God is, in Jesus, present within those believers who have accepted Him into their hearts as Lord and Savior.
God's healing power is IN JESUS, Jesus alone is the healer, by His Spirit. As God chooses He manifests His healing power through Jesus/Holy Spirit in or through individual believers.
The presence and power of God is not IN all and does not work THROUGH all.]
P.246 (Joshua's interview at the Vatican) "I (Joshua) tell them (people) that Jesus came to bring meaning into people's lives and that his message should give them peace and joy. They should not be confused and fearful and filled with guilt because of Jesus' message."
[Again, the author insinuates that guilt for sin is inappropriate and that the real Jesus would never have wanted people to feel guilt for sin.]
P.246 "Jesus told people they are free and that they should enjoy their relationship with God and find joy and peace in their lives."
[Contrary to what "Joshua" would have you believe, Jesus did NOT tell people that they were "free." Jesus told people that they were in bondage through sin, He told them to repent or they would "all likewise perish"
(Luke 13:3 and Luke 13:5)
Jesus did not teach that people are "free" - He DID teach the people not to submit to ungodly leadership, that they should not allow themselves to be brought into bondage by the TRADITIONS of men .
P.128 "...he (Joshua) saw to the very core of what religion should be, an expression of people's healthy growth as human beings inspired by a deep love of God and humanity and all of God's creatures."
[According to "Joshua" the core of religion is NOT one's relationship with God through Jesus Christ but, our own personal growth as human beings!
Jesus did teach that people were to be free from the condemnation of unrighteous leadership that oppressed God's people and who set traditions and commandments of men before/above the word of God.
He did not teach that people were "free" in the sense of being without boundries or without rules. This type of "freedom" is rebelliousness and leads to anarchy.
Not only did Jesus NOT teach that kind of freedom, He taught we belong to God and are subject to Him in all things. It is written: "you are not your own, you have been bought with a price." We are to be free from the rules of MAN in order to follow the law of GOD.
The constant emphasis "Joshua" places on "freedom" and being "free" gives the reader the idea that Jesus taught His followers that they should be "free" to be "themselves." Joshua suggests that Jesus taught that we should "let our conscience be our guide." Nothing could be more misleading.
P.87 "Jesus preached a message of freedom, the freedom of God's children.
P.88 "...the central point of Jesus' teaching was the freedom he came to declare to mankind."
P.89 "...they should take this message of freedom to heart and should enjoy being the children of God and should feel free."
P.109 "He (God) wants them (people) to understand their lives and to find happiness. He wants nothing from them except that they allow themselves to grow. God's law is not a code arbitrarily imposed on people to restrict their freedom unreasonably. It was intended as a guide to happiness."
[It is ridiculous to claim that Jesus taught God wants nothing more from us than to allow ourselves to grow. The focus of "Joshua's gospel upon "freedom" and upon developing our "growth potential" is New Age, the "gospel of self."
P.109 "Over the centuries religious leaders have twisted the law into a code that is irrelevant to man's nature
and thereby restricts the natural freedom people should enjoy."
P.109 "This arbitrary restriction of freedom has given religion its bad name and, in fact, has given religion its name. The word "religion" means to "bind up," ...
P.109 "God created people to be free and to enjoy the existence he gave them. All God wants is that we love him and love one another and in doing that, find happiness. It is all so very simple."
[In "Joshua" the author constantly equates the limits God places on man's behavior as being oppressive arbitrary rules of tyrannical power hungry religious leaders.
Jesus did not come to make void the "law" of God but to fulfill it! Jesus walked at all times in perfect obedience to the word of God. To the Spirit of the Word, NOT the "letter" of the law! Without the guidance and authority of the word of God as the measure of truth and error, right and wrong, we would have anarchy. The further society departs from the word of God, the more amoral man becomes and unless God intervenes, anarchy will eventually rule and man will self-destruct.
To reject or depart from the guidance of God's word as the only absolute of right & wrong, as the final and only authority in our lives, is rebellion in God's eyes.
Substituting guidance by our own conscience, judging for ourselves what WE decide or perceive is right or wrong, is to do "that which seems right in our own eyes."
Some people (even Christians) call this "freedom" but God calls it wickedness.
Many Christians do "their own thing" under the guise of "liberty" they have in Christ Jesus. They do according to "what seems right in their own eyes" and expect God to bless "their" will because it is done, prayed for or claimed "in Jesus name."
This rebelliousness /self-will is "witchcraft" in God's eyes. (Which is why it is written, "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.")
Although in "Joshua" sin or repentance is never mentioned, the Gospels tell us that from the time Jesus first began His ministry He preached REPENTANCE and warned that the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Mt.4:17)
The "KINGdom" of God is the rule of God. "Joshua" never mentions either obedience to God or the authority of God's word. "Joshua" equates "freedom" with being an "open-minded" "free-spirit." By so-doing "Joshua"
deceives the reader and misrepresents the teachings of Jesus.
"Joshua" is correct in condemning (as did Jesus) the tyranny of hypocritical or, even sincere but misdirected, leadership. "Joshua" is also accurate when it states that Jesus did teach against the bondage of traditions,
ritual religious practices and oppressive commandments of men.
From all these, Jesus did come to preach deliverance but He did NOT advocate "freedom" from the "rules" of God in the lives of men as "Joshua" subtly suggests.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Mt.11:18-30)
Jesus was speaking to a primarily Jewish audience. In Judaism, God is King of the Universe. In rabbinical teachings, for a Jew to accept the Kingship of God was to take upon himself the "yoke of obedience" -Accepting this "yoke" of obedience to the rule of God, was for the Jew, a joy.
In the same way, to become a servant, a "love" slave or bondservant of Jesus Christ, is to willingly accept the "yoke of obedience" to God, through the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you," the "yoke" to which Jesus referred was the "yoke of obedience" -to the KING-ship of God.
When Jesus said "take My yoke upon you," He was calling for the absolute submission of the believer to Him, as Lord.
In context, in Matthew, chapter 11 beginning at vs.20, Jesus tells of the judgment that Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, Sidon and Capernaum will receive because they had not believed His works nor Who He claimed to be (and is), -because they rejected Him as Lord.
Just as Jesus was obedient/submissive to the will of the Father (obedient even unto death), He calls for that same obedience from "whosoever will follow Me." Just as Jesus "rested" in the Father and just as Jesus had "liberty" in His absolute submission to the Kingship of the Father, Jesus offers "rest" and liberty in Him, to those who would choose to follow Him as Lord. (not just accept Him as Savior).
Take My yoke upon you, is an invitation to find rest for our souls, through obedience, through submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is merciful and rules in Righteousness, not tyranny. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
"Joshua's" concept of freedom is "wordly", it is clearly New Age. Although peace and joy, true liberty of the soul can only be found in Christ, in submission to God, through the Lordship of Jesus (the "lover" of our souls)the world and those with a "world-view" (aka, New Age thinkers) can not comprehend such peace, joy and "freedom."
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you..." (Jn.14:27a) The Apostle Paul understood the "liberty" he had in Christ Jesus, -Paul often referred to himself as a "bondservant" of Jesus Christ.
This is the "freedom" Jesus taught, not the so-called "freedom" that "Joshua" and other New Age advocatesteach.
P.51 "Being free is the secret of peace and happiness. Always be free, and not possessing things is part of being free."
[New life in Christ Jesus with peace and love and joy in the Holy Ghost IS the secret of lasting peace and true happiness.
Although being free from bondage to materialism is part of what Jesus taught, the fact, that true freedom comes only in submission to Jesus, as Lord, would obviously not occur to the author of "Joshua". The things of God are indeed foolishness to the natural man!
P.262 "Joshua claims that talking about the things of God does not take a degree in theology. (True enough.)
But, then Joshua adds: "They flow as naturally from the human spirit as the air we breathe. As God's childrenthey are our common heritage, and indeed, our very life."
Scripture states that spiritual things are NOT natural to the human spirit. The natural man receives NOT the things of God neither can he for they must be spiritually discerned. Spiritual things DO NOT flow "naturally" from man.
What "Joshua" describes is the Hindu belief of a natural oneness with the spirit realm, a "union" supposedly achieved through god-consciousness.
During "Joshua's" interview with the Pope, Joshua constantly refers to the Pope as Peter. Joshua even tells the Pope (calling him Peter) that he (Peter) has not changed much. Joshua seems to be insinuating that not only is He the reincarnated "Christ consciousness" but that the Pope was, whether the Pope knew it or not, the reincarnation of Peter.
For the author of "Joshua" to even suggest that Joshua could be the reincarnation of Jesus is blasphemy. Reincarnation is the core of Hinduism and New Age beliefs.
Jesus Christ died and rose again, in His own body. He is not dead, He cannot be reincarnated. He is ALIVE. He is GOD and NOT man. He is NOT a "Christ consciousness". He is not an avatar, or a "way-show-er" to be re-cycled throughout history.
Jesus is not one of many "enlightened ones" nor is He one of many "lights" in the cosmos. He is not "a" christ or just one-of-many paths to God. Jesus is THE Christ, the ONLY Way, ONLY Truth, and the ONLY Life. NO ONE comes to THE Father, except through Him. God honors faith in Jesus alone.
Jesus is the ONLY provision of God for the redemption of man and there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven by which men might be saved. It is for this cause that God manifest himself in the flesh, in the form of Jesus Christ.
It is by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus His only-begotten Son that we are saved and not ever ofourselves, by works.
Joshua claims that all faiths which "honor the Father" are acceptable to God but, according to God's word, God Himself has ordained otherwise. Salvation is only through His Son.
"Joshua" suggests that through an avatar, an incarnate Christ-consciousness, perhaps some day soon, 2000 years since the last time, we may be given "a second chance..." (See back cover of "Joshua")
"Joshua" advocates a blending of the East and the West, a merging of Eastern mysticism and Hinduism with Christianity. Joshua's "Jesus" is the other "Jesus" and his "gospel" is the "other gospel" that the Apostle Paul warned about.
Paul warned that perversion of the faith and such pollution of the gospel would be prevalent in the last days and that it was NOT to be tolerated. In fact, Paul said that if any man or an angel (or even an avatar!) come preaching another gospel, "Let him be accursed."