Someone recently asked me if I had any information on Joseph Prince. I don’t normally do posts on pastors/teachers. I have two reasons for this:
A) there are plenty of them out there, and
B) not every one of them needs a public post.
However, I do take requests and I evaluate them carefully.
After running a search on Joseph Prince, I determined that a post on him is appropriate. He pastors a church with over 30,000 members. That same website states Prince has a broadcast program that “currently reaches millions of homes across North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Israel on both secular and Christian networks.” That is quite an amount of territory. In fact, this website states that Prince’s religious television program “Destined To Reign” currently airs “in 150 countries.” That is definitely significant. Prince has over 710,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel and over 513,700 followers on Twitter. He has also authored a plethora of books. It should be obvious from those statistics that this is far from a Matthew 18 issue. Public teachings warrant public critiques. After all, it really does not get more public than both having a religious program airing in 150 countries and authoring a plethora of books (among other things). Christians are commanded to test all teachings against the Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; see also Jude 3). This post offers a biblical critique on Joseph Prince.
WHO IS JOSEPH PRINCE?
Born in 1963 (although certainly not looking like it), Joseph Prince founded New Creation Church in Singapore in 1983. He eventually became senior pastor in 1990. The church ended up growing a hundredfold. He now serves as the senior pastor there on a voluntary basis.
I found the following quote from the New Creation Church website to be interesting:
Having built and established the leadership and congregation of New Creation Church on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ, Pastor Prince is now actively fulfilling, around the world, the mandate that God has given him to preach God’s unmerited favour without compromise. He heads Joseph Prince Ministries, Inc., an international, non-profit organisation that seeks to build, encourage and inspire people with the gospel of Jesus Christ through television broadcasting as well as new media technology. Pastor Prince’s ministry as pastor, teacher, conference speaker and author continues to transform many lives, setting people free from the heavy yoke of the law, guilt and condemnation by pointing them to Jesus and His finished work at Calvary.
The above is quite the claim; the leadership and congregation of Prince’s church in Singapore is apparently founded on the “sure foundation of Jesus Christ.” Moreover, Prince apparently got the mandate from God to “preach God’s unmerited favor without compromise.” I test that soon enough.
Because Joseph Prince is a pastor, I show some biblical texts about the qualifications of a pastor. As a pastor, Joseph Prince is subject to stricter judgment (James 3:1). Furthermore, certain things are expected of a pastor. In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (said book being written to young Pastor Timothy), the apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:16-21), gives this exhortation to Timothy (NASB):
4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
This charge Paul gives to Timothy is a serious one (verse 1). Paul is giving this charge in the presence of Jesus Christ, the only way by which mankind may be saved (Acts 4:12; Isaiah 43:11; John 14:6). That charge is to preach the Word always, reprove, rebuke and exhort with great patience and teaching (verse 2). The job of a pastor is to preach the Word.
This pastor must also exhort in sound doctrine and rebuke those that contradict. In the pastoral epistle of Titus, Paul writes the following in Titus 1:5-16 (NASB):
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
The same themes of exhortation and reproof shown in the 2 Timothy passage also manifest themselves in the above Titus passage. A pastor is to preach the Word, exhort in sound doctrine, refute that which contradicts sound doctrine, and silence the false teachers via a sharp rebuke. Since Prince is a pastor, one would expect him to do that.
In my next section, I look at some sermons by Joseph Prince. Since this will not be an exhaustive review of all his sermons, I want to look at both the most recent Easter sermon I could find and his most recent Christmas message. I have heard it said that if time does not allow to listen to about 7-12 regular sermons by a particular preacher, then it suffices to look at the holiday sermons. Therefore, I choose the route of the holiday sermons.
As I was searching for an Easter sermon done by Joseph Prince, I came across the above one that he gave at New Creation Church in Singapore. I could not find the year he gave this sermon. Based off this list, I think this was from 2017. I could be wrong. Nevertheless, it is clear it is an Easter one because he calls the service “Resurrection Sunday.”
Before I analyze some of the content of this sermon (which was 1:27:35 in length), I have to note no less than three stylistic things. First, Prince has neither a physical Bible nor any notes at his pulpit. Instead, he basically speaks without notes for his entire sermon. When he quotes from the Bible, he puts all his verses on the big screen of the large megachurch. Sometimes he will talk about passages in the Bible without referring to the Bible outright. That makes his sermon hard to track. He is an excellent speaker without a doubt (and his accent is cool). However, as a preacher, he is somewhat hard to follow.
Second, Prince can be quite the psychological manipulator. Throughout this sermon, he was constantly beckoning for an applause line. Sometimes after he would finish a sentence, he would both lean toward the crowd and put one of his hands towards his ear as if he was expecting to hear something (see the 14:35 mark, the 15:45 mark, the 17:38 mark, the 18:12 mark, the 20:27 mark, the 21:12 mark, and the 21:50 mark for examples). Other times he would say “Amen?” after finishing a sentence (see the 32 and 48 second mark, the 4:30 mark, the 4:43 mark, the 4:52 mark, the 5 minute mark and the 5:24 mark for examples). He also engages in the psychologically manipulative “Turn to your neighbor and say X” routine (where “X” equals a word or phrase; this happens around the 1:04:00 mark). My friend Steven Kozar has written an article about these “stupid pastor tricks.” Prince certainly does no less than two of them.
Third and finally as it pertains to style, Prince does not read from a single biblical text. Instead, he strings together a bunch of verses out of context. These verses include but are limited to Romans 4:24-25, 1 Corinthians 15:17, Genesis 3:24, 2 Corinthians 11:5, Daniel 6:7-9, Proverbs 17:15 and Isaiah 54:13-15. While doing such a thing is not automatically a recipe for disaster, one ought to pay careful attention to the context of those verses if a pastor is stringing many verses from different books together.
I now turn my attention to the sermon. I won’t analyze every little word given the long length of the sermon. Instead, I just bring up the highlights. I bring up no less than seven. These are not necessarily no less than seven issues. They are simply no less than seven highlights (good, bad or ugly).
The sermon begins with both sappy music (an emotional manipulation technique) and Prince’s explanation of Easter. Conveniently, the first few minutes of the sermon are transcribed. The transcription has about 95% accuracy. The transcript allows one to see a bit of a problem right out the gate as seen in the following quote:
Christmas is the Birth of Jesus, but hey, when He rose from the dead as you are about to hear not only death is conquered, all your problems that afflict you whether sickness or disease, it is all conquered. Amen.
That is not exactly true on this side of eternity. If sickness/disease is conquered on this side of eternity, why do I still need to wear glasses? Why do I still need to use nasal spray when allergies go crazy? In this sermon, Prince does put some emphasis on health in the here and now. The problem with that is it is not always God’s will to heal. If it was the case, then Paul’s thorn in the flesh would have been taken away (see 2 Corinthians 12). Moreover, Paul would not have suffered as many afflictions as he did (see 2 Corinthians 11:16-33). What Prince says above likely would not fly in a third-world country.
Another subtle issue with Prince is his tacit denial of Sola Scriptura. Conveniently, the transcript part of this sermon shows the quote:
I want to announce to you the Lord spoke to me and said many are casting their net on the wrong side. Jesus told his disciples of fruitlessness, cast your net on the right side. I have a hebrew new testament in greek, I have a hebrew one where Jesus said cast your net on the right.
What biblical text says many are casting their net on the wrong side? And who exactly are the disciples of fruitlessness? You will also notice that Prince claimed direct revelation from God here. It is important to understand that God’s Word is all true, all powerful and without error (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; Psalm 12:6; John 17:17; Titus 1:2). Furthermore, God’s Word equips the believer for every good work, for it is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-9). Scripture is sufficient. Scripture alone is one’s authority for the faith and practice of a Christian. Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB) states:
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB)
Who is “His Son”? That would be Jesus Christ, God in human flesh (John 1:1-14). Jesus is the Word incarnate. Moreover, He has already revealed all the Christian needs to know as it pertains to life and godliness. As a result, we do not need Prince’s direct revelation. It should be noted I am 3:09 through this sermon and already I have no less than two issues with it. That is…..well, an issue.
The rest of the highlights noted will not be a part of the transcribed portion.
Communion begins at about the 5:45 mark. Without reading from the text, he speaks of Exodus 12 as of taking communion with loins girded. At about the 8:25 mark, he defines what it means to partake of the cup unworthily. He says,
You partake with sin consciousness, that is not partaking worthily. What did LORD say? This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which is shed for what? For the forgiveness of sins. He didn’t say for the consciousness of sins or for the reminder of sins, which the blood of bulls and goats in the old testament cannot take away, but the blood of Jesus has removed it. Amen? So let’s partake worthily. And by the way, if you don’t want to be stronger than you really are, don’t partake. Because this one can also retard your aging, alright? So turn to your neighbor and say, “Not retard.” But, it will retard your aging. Say it will retard your aging, Amen? Amen!
Prince’s accent is so thick that I could be wrong with the word “retard” in that transcript. It might be “retire”, but it sure sounded like “retard.” Webster states “retard” means “to delay the process of.” Prince is already wrong about what it means to partake unworthily (more on that later). Communion does not delay the process of aging. While Prince does mention the forgiveness of sins, it is not really the highlight of his communion segment. In fact, before he has the congregation partake in the bread, he has his congregation say the following (9:43 mark):
Now say Lord Jesus, I thank you. I discern Your body that bar away all my diseases at the scourging post and on the cross. By your stripe I am healed.
Now quietly just say by Your stripe I am healed of this condition. Tell the Lord, by Your stripe I am healed. See, see the disease on the Jesus’ body. And say LORD by Your stripe, I am healed and made every way whole. Say by Your stripe my youth is renewed like the eagles, and by Your stripe, with a long healthy life, You satisfy me. Thank you LORD. Now partake.
I might have gotten a couple words wrong in the above transcript due to Prince’s heavy accent (particularly the “every way whole” part). Notice that the focus is on diseases and conditions. There is no mention of sin in the above quotes. Instead, this is basically a demonstration in positive confession.
Here is the cup portion (10:50 mark):
Lift up the cup. Say LORD Jesus. This cup is the new covenant in Your blood shed for the forgiveness of all my sins. Thank you LORD. Now partake. Amen! Praise the LORD! Now, expect that whatever symptoms you had, amen, before, is no longer the same.
Had he ended that part after the word “partake”, it would not have been so problematic. However, he went to tell his congregation to expect the symptoms they had to no longer be the same. Moreover, he stated one should “never partake without expectancy.” This borders on blasphemy (if it is not blasphemy outright) because it basically makes promises for God that God did not make. Partaking in communion does not alleviate symptoms of a disease. In fact, communion needs to have some seriousness to it. In order to see the seriousness of communion, I show 1 Corinthians 11 in full. While the entire passage does not directly address communion, the context shows how important it is that order be maintained in the church. The apostle Paul is the one writing here under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:16-21). I show the NASB version of the passage:
11 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.
When Prince explained what it meant to take communion unworthily, did he mention anything above? He did not. In fact, he basically added to the text by promising symptoms and diseases going to the cross. This is not a good thing (Proverbs 30:6).
Prince continues his emphasis on health when he states, at the 12:51 mark, “The Father’s love plan is for man to be strong, healthy, young, forever, with no death. So death is foreign to God.” What biblical text states this? Also, how does he explain Hebrews 9:27? This verse states it is appointed for man to die once and then face judgment. Since Prince continues his emphasis on youth, health and strength, I will now show a text I mentioned earlier. The text is 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 (NASB):
16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.
But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.
Sounds like the Apostle Paul had it really rough. According to Prince, the Father’s “love plan” is for man to be “strong, healthy, young, forever, with no death.” Either the Apostle Paul did not fulfill God’s “love plan” or Joseph Prince is lying.
Another text to consider is the great “Hall Of Faith” chapter; that would be Hebrews 11:1-40 (NASB):
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac yourdescendants shall be called.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
Prince states it was God’s “love plan” for man to be “strong, healthy, young, forever, with no death.” How does he explain those put to death by the sword in Hebrews 11:37? How about those sawn in two in the same verse? What about those stoned in the same verse? Either the authors of Scripture are out of their minds or Joseph Prince is lying. Who are you going to believe?
It is pathetic that I am 12:51 through the sermon and I have already written so much about what is wrong with it. Keep in mind that this is an Easter sermon. So far, we have seen false doctrine, a bad Communion, a claim of direct revelation from God, a demonstration of positive confession and blasphemy. This is not good.
Leading up to and at about the 28:34 mark, Prince reads from Romans 4:24-25 and 1 Corinthians 15:17 in trying to explain when one was made righteous as a result of Christ’s raising from the dead. Prince says, “God raised Him from the dead when you were declared righteous.” I find this language confusing. First, how does he reconcile that statement with one’s being dead in trespasses and sins?
Ephesians 2:1-10 explains:
2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
The Bible is clear that people are born dead in trespasses and sins (2:1-3). God’s being rich in mercy makes one alive in Christ (2:4). Furthermore, it is by grace through faith that one is saved (2:5-9). It is not based on works (2:9).
If you do not believe what Ephesians 2:1-10 states, I would ask you please look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even if it was small? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Jesus said that whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus also said that if you ever get angry at someone, you’ve committed murder in the heart (Matthew 5:21-26). Just the mere thoughts of adultery and murder make you guilty of the very acts themselves.
Please understand that it only takes one murder to be a murderer, one lie to be a liar and so forth. David said in Psalm 51:5 that he was conceived in sin. Genesis 6:5 states that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. Clearly, man has a sin problem. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Man is in big trouble with God because of his sin. This is more amplified by the fact that perfection is the standard (Matthew 5:48). Prince’s language suggests one has already achieved perfection based on Christ’s raising from the dead independent of any human decision. It almost borders on universalism.
Now, some people try to justify their sin by trying to balance it out with the good deeds that they have done. However, if you were to try that in a court of law, the judge would throw the book at you. A good judge would not accept a bribe. He would cast you off into jail. God likewise will not accept a bribe, for there is no partiality with Him (Deuteronomy 10:17; Ephesians 6:9).
Thankfully, Jesus came to solve the sin problem over 2000 years ago (Isaiah 53:1-12). You and I broke the law. Jesus paid the fine (Matthew 26:14-28:20). This means that the judge can do what’s legally right in dismissing your case. He can say, “This person has broken the law, but someone has paid his fine. He’s out of here.” This is good news.
There are two things a person must do. He must repent. This means to turn from his sin (Mark 1:16; Luke 24:36-49; 2 Timothy 2:19-26; Acts 17:30-31). He must also put his trust in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31, 17:30-31; Romans 4:1-25, 10:1-17; Galatians 3:1-14; John 6:26-29). These gifts of repentance and faith are granted by God (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:22-26). If you repent and put your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ, He will forgive you of your sins and grant you everlasting life (John 6:47). Oh may you know His mercy and grace today if you have never repented and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
The language of repentance is absent from Prince’s sermon sans one time when he states 2 Peter 3:9 without verbatim referring to the verse (58:58 mark). The way Prince talks about one’s being righteous sounds like a human is already declared righteous based on Christ’s rising from the dead. This is confusing and problematic.
At about the 53:20 mark and even a little before that, Prince is telling the story of Daniel 6:6-9. It is at the 53:20 mark that he says the words, “And you know the story.” While this is a small amount of words to analyze, it tells me one thing; Prince assumes his congregation perhaps is full of believers. I have a bit of a problem with this. First, his megachurch is awfully huge. Second, I have a hard time believing that everybody in that congregation is saved. I would not assume it, but that is just me. Third, I can tell you for a fact that I am not all that familiar with Daniel 6, so I technically don’t know the story all that well. Recall that Prince is a pastor. As I mentioned earlier, the job of a pastor is to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-2). While Prince has been reading verses from various passages by this time, his assuming people know Daniel 6 is troublesome to me.
Think of it this way; imagine you are a person who has been going through a bunch of medical tests. The latest test is not a good one. In fact, you are told to get your affairs in order and you have a week to live. You are not a Christian. In fact, you’ve lived the life of an unrepentant sinner. You need some Good News, for you will be dead in a week.
Say you come to Prince’s church on this Easter of 2017 (I presume it is from 2017). You’re in need of hope. The pastor has been reading verses from various books. Now he says, “And you know the story.” But does this guy really know the story? He is going to die in a week and he has been an unrepentant sinner all his life. Explain the story to him. Give him some good news. Preach the Gospel. Call him to repent and be forgiven. After all, it is the pastor’s job to preach the Word, right? Why can’t Prince explain the story? I think it would be dangerous to assume a whole congregation knows stories about the Bible. Moreover, it is more dangerous to assume all in the congregation are saved. You never know who might be in the building (or watching online).
At about the 1:01:23 mark, when discussing John 8:1-11, Prince says the following:
Jesus says, “There is no condemnation. If you receive this, He will empower you to go and sin no more.”
It is hard to state from this short snippet that Prince is arguing for sinless perfectionism here. Nevertheless, this statement above is still problematic enough to warrant some cleanup. In fact, at about the 1:08:00 mark, he states, “When you were a sinner, you cannot say you are righteous. That’s hypocrisy. But now you are righteous. You cannot say you’re a sinner. That’s hypocrisy. So we believers. I’m sorry. Our actions are not perfect but we are righteous.” This warrants some cleanup.
Christians sin daily and sin much (I know I do). Christians are both sinners and saints. They are simultaneously righteous and sinners (also known as the phrase Simul Justus et Peccator). The apostle Paul explained this concept best in Romans 7:1-25 (NASB):
7 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I wouldlike to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Prince should perhaps familiarize himself with the concept of Simul Justus et Peccator. It is not hypocrisy to state that a blood-bought born-again believer is simultaneously a sinner and righteous. Instead, it is simply biblical.
At about the 1:16:00 mark, Prince twists Isaiah 54:13-17 out of context. He applies the text to your children, your business, etc.. However, that text cannot be applied universally. God is speaking to Israel in that passage (see Isaiah 49:1-57:21). This is not the first time a Word-Faith preacher (which is what Prince is) has twisted this passage. It cannot be applied to one’s business.
Shortly after making a shameless plug for his messages around the 1:20:00 mark, Prince closes his sermon with a prayer beginning at about the 1:21:25 mark. At the 1:21:35 mark, he says something for a second that sounds like tongues. If you blink, you will miss it. It is not actually tongues; it is gibberish. Worse, it is flagrant disobedience against God’s Word, for one should not speak in tongues unless there is an interpreter (see 1 Corinthians 12-14). I actually wrote an article about speaking in tongues here. I want to share a relevant section from that article that will refute Prince’s disobedience of Scripture in this area. It covers 1 Corinthians 14 in whole. This section spans many consecutive quotes. My commentary on the section begins when the quotes stop.
Prophecy a Superior Gift
14 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7 Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. 11 If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.1 Corinthians 14:1-12 (NASB)
In these first twelve verses of chapter fourteen, Paul regards the gift of prophecy as greater than the gift of tongues. The reason for this is because speaking in tongues edifies one’s self unless an interpreter is involved. Prophecy needs no interpreter to be edifying. If a believer is zealous for spiritual gifts, the believer should seek to abound for the edification of the church. Tongues without an interpreter only edifies the self.
13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.1 Corinthians 14:13-19 (NASB)
Paul again continues the idea that speaking in tongues should have an interpreter. In fact, tongues without an interpreter is essentially so useless that 10,000 words spoken in a tongue without an interpreter isn’t even better than five words spoken with the mind (see verses 18-19). That’s a 1:2,000 ratio. That is a significant ratio. One could even say that 2,000 words spoken in a tongue is not even greater than one word spoken with the mind. That is quite significant.
Instruction for the Church
20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent.31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.1 Corinthians 14:20-33 (NASB)
Tongues are a sign for unbelievers (verse 22). Paul states that if anyone speaks in a tongue, one must interpret (verse 27). If there is no interpreter, then nobody should be speaking in tongues (verse 28). God is not a God of confusion (verse 33). If unbelievers walk into a church that has everybody speaking in tongues and nobody interpreting, those unbelievers will think the people have gone mad (verse 23).
34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.38 But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.1 Corinthians 14:34-40 (NASB)
One should not forbid speaking in tongues (verse 39). If it is to be done, it needs to be done orderly and properly (verse 40).
Joseph Prince’s epic fail of speaking in tongues (actually gibberish) for a split second violates Scripture because there is no interpreter. Prince is basically edifying himself (more like making a fool out of himself) with that split second epic fail. That instance was simply the icing on the cake of what was a mediocre sermon. He should repent and be forgiven of violating Scripture in that regard.
Overall, I found this sermon to be a wreck. While Prince is quite the orator, he says much that can be easily refuted. Moreover, his hop-scotching from one passage to another made his sermon hard to track. While Prince did mention the concepts of forgiveness of sins and Christ’s righteousness quite a bit (something false teacher Max Lucado failed to do in an Easter sermon of his), his sermon was a mix of little truth and much error/blasphemy.
Prince gave the above Christmas sermon presumably in 2019 based on the link above. Conveniently, this sermon is transcribed in full. I did view it in full to verify the transcript’s authenticity. I can say it is about 99% accurate.
Stylistically, it is somewhat similar to the aforementioned Easter sermon from 2017. Prince has neither notes nor a physical Bible at his pulpit. This once again makes his sermon hard to track. He also strings together a number of out-of-context verses shown on the big screen of his megachurch. He was nowhere near as psychologically manipulative in this sermon as he was in the Easter sermon. While he continued his “Amen?” and “Can I get a good Amen?” lines, he hardly ever leaned in for an applause line in this sermon. Keep in mind that this sermon took place presumably over 2.5 years (at least) after his Easter sermon. He might have implemented many changes since then (although I could be wrong).
I want to note another significant thing; Prince talks a lot about Bible stories throughout his sermon without referring to any passages in particular. This makes his sermons rather highly advanced to review. If you know your Bible well enough, you can readily spot when he is inaccurate in his retellings. If you don’t, you can get caught up in his exemplary oratory skills. As a result, you can be prone to simply take what he says at face value.
Since this sermon was transcribed in full, I can do better, in-context analysis compared to the Easter sermon above. What I do is take long snippets for analysis.
Every time someone turns to the Lord, the future is always secure. In other words, when you turn to the Lord, you find that their future, there’ll be success, there’ll be abundance ahead, there’ll be God’s divine intervention of favor and breakthroughs for them. Every time they’ll turn to themselves and trusting in their own smarts, there’s nothing much they can expect in their future, amen? Jesus said it like this, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but he lose his own soul”?
No biblical text states that when one turns to the Lord that there will be success, abundance, divine intervention of favor and breakthroughs “every time.” Those are far from a guarantee. Prince is basically making promises for God that God did not make. This is what it means to take the name of the LORD in vain. It is blasphemy. Read the Hebrews 11 passage I cited earlier in this article. Moreover, 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV) states, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Prince is slick in his, without quoting it, mentioning of the Matthew 16:26 verse that talks of gaining the whole world and losing the soul. It is true that people who do not repent and believe the Gospel will forfeit the soul (see also 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12). That does not necessarily mean that those who do will gain success, abundance, divine intervention of favor and breakthroughs “every time.” The above paragraph has truth mixed with error.
When God made man, when God made you and I, God made us with a free will, a free choice. There’s something that God gave man that he himself, the giver himself will not touch. In other words, if God gave you a free choice, God will not use his power to influence your free choice. God will not use his almightiness to affect your free choice. You are free. You are truly a free moral being. In fact, you came here freely, right? The fact that you are here today, you came here freely.
“No, Pastor Prince, my wife forced me. She said, you know, unless I do this, she won’t be doing something or whatever. You know, I am arm twisted to come here”. No matter what, amen, you allow yourself to be arm twisted, you are here now, you still allow yourself, amen? You are a free moral being. You are free to stand up right now, you are free to sit down. You are free to turn to the right, turn to the left. You are free, God gave you that freedom. God didn’t make robots because God didn’t want robots to worship him. God didn’t want robots to love him. God chose to give man the free choice so that man, when man loves him, it’s truly out of his own volition. That’s what God desires.
Now, God said with a free choice comes the consequence of your choice. That you cannot choose. You can choose, you have the freedom to choose, but you don’t have the freedom to determine the outcome. For example, if I choose to put my finger in the fire, I cannot choose no burn. Amen, fire and finger equals burn. I cannot choose the outcome. The outcome is a given. The outcome has been established. How many are with me so far, amen? But you can choose what you want to choose.
It is clear from this sermon and even the Easter sermon that Prince is a big believer of free will. The problem with overemphasizing free will is that the will is in bondage to the nature. I mentioned earlier that man is born dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). Dead men cannot lift a finger for their salvation, for they are dead. Moreover, they have to be regenerated. Prince does seem to briefly allude to regeneration later in this sermon. However, he places more emphasis on free will than he does regeneration and the need to be born again. This is slick.
Death is something that is foreign to God. God never created man to die. Today, it is expected that once you hit a certain age, all right, 90, 100 and all that, there’s something in the future called death waiting for you, right? People expect that this is norm, but this is not God’s norm. God never designed for man to die. In fact, the Bible used the word “death” as an enemy. Now, you know enemy is a very strong word, right? God considers death as an enemy. God never created man to grow old, to be decrepit, to have sickness, to have disease, and then to die. All these are enemies of God.
One thing that makes Prince’s sermons weak and yet dangerous is his usage of the phrase “The Bible X” (where X equal “says”, “said”, “used”, etc.) without a clear chapter and verse to support whatever claim he is making. I mentioned earlier that man is appointed to die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). It is true that God considers death an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:25-26; see also 2 Timothy 1:10 and Revelation 21:4). Had Prince stated those texts verbatim, his claim would not have been weak. What Prince should understand is that God actually does send pestilence and disease. A text to consider (in addition to the ones in the hyperlink from the previous sentence) is 2 Corinthians 7:12-22 (NASB):
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’
19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”
God does send pestilence. He even sends locusts. Prince would be wise to correct his false doctrine. Man could get disease. God can send it as a judgment.
And how many know that when you follow God, you always win, amen? No outlaw spirit, no Satan cannot beat God. Where did Satan come from? Well, long before man was created, long before the earth was created, the Bible tells us there was a battle royal in heaven. Lucifer was one of the created archangels, created mind you. Rebelled against God, wanting to be God himself. And one-third of the angels followed him, and Lucifer became Satan. And the Bible says he was cast to the earth, where? To the earth, long before man was created.
Now watch this, this is a drama of the entire redemption story. And when he was cast to the earth, in other words earth became his domain, and that’s why he was very jealous, of course, when God created another being called man and God made man in his image, and God would give the entire earth to man. Notice that God told Adam, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth”. When I tell you something like this, “Can you replenish this glass for me”? That means it was filled with what? Water just now, right? Can you replenish, re means what? It was plenished once. Can you replenish for me? So, God told Adam to replenish the earth. So, obviously the earth was plenished at one time.
Prince continues his weak claims in the first paragraph of the above quote by not citing a chapter and verse to support his information on Lucifer. I had mentioned earlier that Prince’s sermons are somewhat advanced to review given his telling of Bible stories without citing texts. However, if you are familiar enough with the Bible, you can spot when he is off. In his retelling of the Genesis account (Genesis 1:26-31 although it was not cited outright), he adds to the text via the word replenish. The word “replenish” complicates things here. Before I go on with the issues on the word “replenish”, I show Genesis 1:26-31 (NASB):
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
GotQuestions.org offers a good explanation on why the word “replenish” is problematic as it pertains to the pre-Adamic Race theory. Here are a couple paragraphs from the relevant article:
The Ruin-Reconstruction interpretation takes a somewhat different approach to the pre-Adamic race theory. According to the Gap Theory, an unspecified amount of time passed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, during which God created a pre-Adamic race of men who lived upon the earth until God destroyed them in judgment. Other extinct creatures, like the dinosaurs, are said to have also lived during this time. Afterwards, the theory goes, God remodeled the earth in six days. He created Adam on the sixth day, and the rest is history. Some say that Satan’s fall occurred at some point during the ambiguous gap.
A “mistranslation” has contributed to the case for this misinterpretation. In the King James Version of the Bible, God says to Adam, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Proponents of the Gap Theory emphasize the word “replenish.” They interpret the text as saying that Adam and Eve were to refill the Earth. They were to fill it again. The problem with this view is that, regardless of what it says in English translations, the Hebrew word is mâlê’, and it simply means “to fill” or “to be full.” Moreover, the English translators of the King James Version knew the word means “to fill.” They chose “replenish” because, in 17th-century Elizabethan English, “replenish” meant “to fill” (similar to how in modern English the word “replete” doesn’t mean to “abound again,” it simply means “abundant” or “abounding”). Language is not static, but dynamic. Words change meaning over time. Today “replenish” means “to fill again.” It didn’t mean the same thing in 17th century England. Nearly all modern translations translate mâlê’ as simply “fill” in the passage in question (Genesis 1:28).
Proponents of the Gap Theory respond by pointing out that God said to Noah after the flood, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill [mâlê’] the earth” (Genesis 9:1). It is evident that Noah was meant to refill the earth after the flood. Can’t we then interpret the same command to Adam to mean the same thing—that Adam was to repopulate the earth after God’s judgment? The fact is that, regardless what the condition of the planet was before Noah’s flood, God didn’t tell Noah to “refill” the Earth. He simply said to fill it. God chose the words He chose and no others. If He said “refill,” that would have been something, but since He just said “fill,” that argument falls flat.
The real problem with the Gap Theory is that it places human mortality (pre-Adamic human mortality) before Adam’s sin. The Bible is quite clear that death entered in through Adam’s sin. “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Regardless of whether or not we believe in animal mortality before sin, the Bible is quite explicit about human mortality before Adam’s sin. There wasn’t any. To deny this is to deny a central Christian doctrine.
Prince’s use of the word “replenish” perhaps infers that there was human mortality before Adam. If he indeed does believe that, then that is an issue.
So, the same thing. So, when he observed, Satan observed these two sons of Adam and Eve. And Abel offered to God a blood sacrifice by saying, “I’m a sinner. Only the blood, an innocent blood can wash me clean”. And God showed him favor. I do not know how God showed him favor. Maybe you find there’s a light that comes on him and he’s blessed, and the brother saw it. But the brother did not bring a blood sacrifice, the brother brought the works of his hands. He was a farmer and he brought salad dressing, lettuce, broccoli, and things like that, and there’s no blood. It’s as if he’s saying, “You know, I’m not a sinner. I don’t need the blood to wash me. I can bring the effort. As long I have good efforts, God will accept me”.
And the Bible says God rejected him. Maybe it was like a dark cloud that came and he had to cover himself and all that. I do not know, but obviously he knew. Satan saw this and Satan saw that Abel, who offered the blood sacrifice, had favor with God, the other one did not. So, what did he do? “This must be the woman’s seed, I’ll kill him”. So, he got his brother Cain to murder, the first murder in history, got Cain to murder his brother. Again, Abel wasn’t the seed. That tells you that Satan is not all-knowing. God is all-knowing.
In the above snippet, I highlight a couple sections for a reason; Prince is adding to the biblical text. Without referring to the text outright, Prince is retelling the account of Cain and Abel. I now show Genesis 4:1-15 (NASB). In the process, I highlight all sentences showing Abel’s name:
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.12 When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! 14 Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.
Nowhere does the text state Abel was a sinner as Prince claims. Moreover, nowhere does the text state Satan got Cain to kill Abel. What Prince does is something called eisegesis. This practice involves reading something into the biblical text that is not there. It is a form of Bible-twisting. Moreover, Prince’s eisegesis is slick because he never refers to Genesis 4 in his retelling of the account of Cain and Abel.
You cannot explain the divine God. But one God, you don’t say three God, one God. God the Father loved. And the fact that the Bible says Christ made everything, and by everything was held together, all things are held together by Christ himself. When Christ comes into your marriage, he will uphold your marriage. Your marriage needs a third party, his name is Jesus. All things are held together, and the miracle of incarnation is that the one who held everything together is now held by his mother, and yet holding all things together.
Prince once again blasphemes by making a promise for God that God did not make. It is possible that if Christ comes into a marriage, division may happen. What if one person is a believer and the other is an unbeliever? Consider Matthew 10:24-42 (NASB):
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
One should also consider Luke 14:25-35 (NASB):
25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
34 “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35 It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
There is no guarantee that Christ will uphold a marriage if He comes into it. Depending on the relationship of the couple, He may divide it. Jesus will have no rivals. Prince does not do any favors by continuing to make his claims without “chapter and verse” biblical texts to support them.
From the virgin womb to the virgin tomb, where no man had laid. He was born to die. Why? Because all of us have sinned. So, when Jesus became the final Lamb of God at the cross, Christ on the cross bore your sins and my sins. Your judgment and my judgment, everything, because God lives outside time. God can see your sins from the beginning to the very end. And God took all your sins, nothing passes his eye. God cannot pass by sins, but he can forgive them. He took all your sins and he placed it on Jesus Christ. And God punished Jesus, and Jesus looked up. He who knew no sin became sin with your sins and my sins, and he shed his blood.
That blood that God says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins”. That blood is holy blood. That blood is sinless blood. That blood is royal blood, even from the throne of David. That blood is divine blood. And you are washed with nothing less than the blood of Jesus from all your sins. And today, when God looks at you, God cannot see sin in your life. It’s washed out by the blood of Jesus. Not that you don’t sin, not that you have lost your capacity to sin, but God doesn’t see sin when you believe on Jesus Christ because his blood washes away your sins whiter than snow.
I had mentioned earlier it was unclear to me if Prince was arguing for sinless perfectionism in his Easter sermon. Based on the above quote (particularly the bolded section), I don’t believe Prince preaches sinless perfectionism. He obviously mentions forgiveness of sins often. However, he universally applies this forgiveness to his entire audience as if they are all already saved. I mentioned how that type of language was problematic in his Easter sermon. He will not call people to repent and be forgiven. It is almost as if he is subtly promoting cheap grace. It is good to know he does not promote sinless perfectionism, for that would be bad if he did that.
Now, if Jesus is not God this would be blasphemy, but he is God. The Bible says: “Unto us a child is born”. That is humanity. He must be born. But as the Son, he cannot be born. As the Son, he’s always pre-existent with God. As the Son, he’s given. That is Deity. Well, you all understand this. We went through the entire Bible, you know. By the time you all leave this place, right, you don’t have to go to a Bible seminary or whatever, you know. You actually covered… and some people go to Bible seminary, they don’t even know the why. They see the what? They study the what. They do the exams on the what. But you get to see the why. We are caught in this epic drama, this redemption story, this battle of the ages, between evil and good. Is it “Star Wars” of “Star Wars”.
I mentioned in the Easter sermon that I believe Prince assumed his audience was full of believers. I think he does the same thing here when he says, “Well, you all understand this.” I find his referring to Bible seminary strange. When he said, “We went through the entire Bible, you know”, I do not know if he meant in the sermon or as a church as a whole for the year. Given his often not citing Bible texts when he says “The Bible says”, I doubt anybody who goes to his church actually gets fed the entire Bible rightly handled. I also cannot help but notice the dualistic language (good and evil) at the end of the above snippet. Dualism is not in alignment with what the Scriptures say. GotQuestions.org states the following from the hyperlinked dualism article:
According to Scripture, there is no dualism, no two opposing forces of equal power called good and evil. Good, represented by God Almighty, is the most powerful force in the universe without exception. Evil, represented by Satan, is a lesser force that is no match for good. Evil will be defeated every time in any head-to-head match with good, for God Almighty, the essence of good, is all-powerful, whereas evil, represented by Satan, is not.
Whenever any doctrine portrays good and evil as two equal opposing forces, that doctrine contradicts the scriptural position that good, represented by God Almighty, is the dominant power in the universe. Since Satan was not, and never will be, equal to God, any doctrine that says he is can be marked as a false doctrine. The fact that Satan was thrown out of heaven for trying to rise above God does not mean Satan has given up trying to be equal or superior to God, as evidenced by the basic tenets of “dualism” that have come down largely through the philosophical stem of human wisdom.
There can be no dualism existing in any corner of our universe. There is only one power that is overriding, and that power is God Almighty as revealed to us in the Bible. According to the scriptural evidence, there is only one power that is omnipotent, not two. Thus, any doctrine of dualism which contends that there are two equal powers opposing each other (good and evil) is a false doctrine.
Prince’s statement on “good and evil” is not in alignment with what the Scriptures say. This is simply more evidence of his being a false teacher.
The sermon concludes with a sinner’s prayer that has no mention of repentance and faith. Prince’s son actually comes on the stage. Prince then invites the rest of his family to come on stage. Here is the concluding dialogue of this message:
Wendy Prince: Hello. Blessed Christmas.
Joseph Prince: Get a mic? You can say that again.
Wendy: Hello, everyone. Blessed Christmas to you. I just wanted to share a simple thought. Just know that the Lord has gone ahead to prepare the way for you. In Jeremiah, the Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. And I think in these times that we live in, this is a very strong assurance for us. The world outside may go through disaster and calamities but we, as the children of God in this house, we will always be cocooned in his promise and his protection. God bless you.
Joseph Prince: Amen. Want to say something? How about you? You wanna say something? Oh, he has something?
Justin Prince: Merry Christmas to all of you and have a happy New Year.
Joseph Prince: Praise the Lord. Lift your hands all across this place. The Lord bless you and your families with the blessings of Father Abraham, the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, and the Lord keep you. When the Lord keeps you, you are kept. The Lord keep you and your loved ones and protect you and your families throughout this week from every harm, danger, accident, from every disease, from all the powers of darkness, through his Son’s blood. And the Lord favors you. Smile on you and grant to you and your loved ones his shalom peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said, “Amen”. God bless you.
Prince has a beautiful family. What is not beautiful, however, is the misuse of Jeremiah 29:11 by his wife, Wendy. Moreover, Prince himself does not specify the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. I’ll get to the Deuteronomy passage shortly. However, it is necessary to see Jeremiah 29:11 in context to prove that Wendy, like it or not, twisted that passage. For context, I look at Jeremiah 29:1-32 (the entire chapter in the NASB):
29 Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 (This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the court officials, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.) 3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying,4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce.6 Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.
10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
15 “Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon’— 16 for thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who did not go with you into exile— 17 thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am sending upon them the sword, famine and pestilence, and I will make them like split-open figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness. 18 I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with pestilence; and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse and a horror and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they have not listened to My words,’ declares the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the Lord. 20 You, therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
21 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying to you falsely in My name, ‘Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will slay them before your eyes. 22 Because of them a curse will be used by all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon, saying, “May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire, 23 because they have acted foolishly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken words in My name falsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who knows and am a witness,” declares the Lord.’”
24 To Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak, saying, 25 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 “The Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be the overseer in the house of the Lord over every madman who prophesies, to put him in the stocks and in the iron collar, 27 now then, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who prophesies to you? 28 For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, ‘The exile will be long; build houses and live in them and plant gardens and eat their produce.’”’”
29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter to Jeremiah the prophet.30 Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 31 “Send to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite, “Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has made you trust in a lie,” 32 therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am about to punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants; he will not have anyone living among this people, and he will not see the good that I am about to do to My people,” declares the Lord, “because he has preached rebellion against the Lord.”’”
Jeremiah 29:11 is not about you. It is also not about me. It was written to the exiles in Babylon (see verses 1-4). It was written to a particular people at a particular time. Sadly, this has not stopped many from narcigeting the passage. In fact, this type of narcigesis with the passage has done incredible damage to no less than one person. What Wendy Prince did there is no light matter.
The final item of analysis in this sermon review is Prince’s praying the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 over the congregation. One thing (among many) I have noticed in the two high-profile sermons I have reviewed from Prince is the cheap grace he seemingly (if not outrightly) offers. While Deuteronomy 28 makes no mention of cheap grace, Deuteronomy 28 is more than just blessings. To prove my point, I show the entire chapter. That would be Deuteronomy 28:1-68 (NASB):
28 “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4 “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you bewhen you go out.
7 “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. 9 The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.12 The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
15 “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you bewhen you go out.
20 “The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. 21 The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it. 22 The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish. 23 The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. 24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 “The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten themaway.
27 “The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; 29 and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. 30 You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and will not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you will have none to save you. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 33 A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. 34 You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see. 35 The Lord will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36 The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lorddrives you.
38 “You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it. 39 You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off. 41 You shall have sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity. 42 The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground. 43 The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail.
45 “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.
47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.
49 “The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young.51 Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. 52 It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the Lord your God has given you.53 Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you. 54 The man who is refined and very delicate among you shall be hostile toward his brother and toward the wife he cherishes and toward the rest of his children who remain, 55 so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children which he will eat, since he has nothing else left, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in all your towns. 56 The refined and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and refinement, shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter, 57 and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in your towns.
58 “If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, the Lord will bring on you until you are destroyed. 62 Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 It shall come about that as the Lord delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the Lord will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it. 64 Moreover, the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known.65 Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. 66 So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see.68 The Lord will bring you back to Egypt in ships, by the way about which I spoke to you, ‘You will never see it again!’ And there you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.”
This chapter has significantly more content detailing the consequences of disobedience than it does the results of obedience. For Prince to simply pray the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 on his congregation without making any mention of the rest of chapter is slick at best and dishonest at worst. As I have mentioned before, problems do not just go away when one follows Christ. Those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).
Before I move on to the next section of this article, I want to offer my closing remarks on the two high-profile sermons. It is clear Prince is quite the orator; he can speak without notes with the best of them. He also can be manipulative (see the Easter sermon). What makes him hard to track is the fact he can give accounts of various Bible stories while hardly referring to a biblical text. As I showed in my analysis of the Christmas message, if you know your Bible well enough, you can spot when he is telling nonsense. Finally as it pertains to stylistic remarks, I do not like how Prince never uses a physical Bible at his pulpit; he instead refers to small pieces of Scripture from various books on the big screen of his megachurch. Given how I mentioned one can spot when he is telling nonsense, that style makes me not trust him either as an exegete or as a pastor.
As it pertains to the content of his messages, Prince leaves so much to be desired that marking and avoiding him without doing further analysis is not a bad idea (Romans 16:17). First, he preaches salvation without repentance or even faith (see the sinner’s prayer of the Christmas sermon). While he mentions the concept of forgiveness of sins much more than a LOT of sermons that I have reviewed personally from the seeker-sensitive movement, his omissions of repentance and faith make what he teaches a cheap grace. Second, he speaks often of strength, youth and other “health and wealth” type of characteristics for the here and now in his messages. While he is not as blatant as Kenneth Copeland or Joel Osteen, he is so slick that I would consider him perhaps the most dangerous “health and wealth” prosperity preacher out there. Third, his handling of Scripture is bad. The fact he eisegetes in his retelling of biblical stories makes him a liar. When he does cites texts, he does not do it well (see his handling of Isaiah from the Easter sermon). Finally, his speaking in “tongues” (it was really gibberish and totally unbiblical since there was no interpreter) for a literal second in the closing of his Easter sermon makes me wonder if he does that in any of his other sermons currently. If he does, he is in further flagrant disobedience to God’s Word if no interpreter is involved in those instances.
It should be established by now at length that Joseph Prince is a false teacher: he twists Scripture, he preaches cheap grace, and he is arguably the slickest “health and wealth” prosperity teacher out there. What I want to do in this section is briefly look at two additional areas that show he is not qualified to be a pastor. What I have shown in my analysis of his sermons alone disqualifies him from being a pastor. These two additional vantage points simply add more evidence. They will not be “at-length” reviews like my sermon reviews (at least that is the goal). Instead, the analysis attempts to take somewhat of a midpoint between a birds-eye view and an at-length review.
One thing popular (does not always mean biblical) preachers do is preach at other popular preachers’ pulpits (pardon the alliteration). As I mentioned in my introduction, Joseph Prince has quite the following. He is not unnoticed by much of mainstream American evangelicalism. I believe that is a reason he gets invited to preach at other popular preachers’ pulpits.
One of those popular preachers is Joel Osteen. Joel Osteen is, safe to say, the poster child of the prosperity gospel. Moreover, he has no theological training and he himself has blown interview opportunity after interview opportunity (38 minute mark) as a pastor. People like my friend Steven Kozar, the Polite Leader (whom I have chatted with briefly on Twitter) and pastor John MacArthur have refuted him. Furthermore, Osteen’s 2009 Easter sermon was voted as the “Worst Easter Sermon of the Year” by the listeners of the biblical discernment program Fighting For The Faith (start at the 1:33:00 mark of this episode). It deserved to win; it was a nonsensical, narcissistic bible-twisting “sermon” without any mention of sin or repentance. Dangerously, Osteen used the phrase “I repent of my sin” in a pathetic sinner’s prayer at the end to treat salvation as a flu shot. Simply put, Joel Osteen is a heretic.
In a message dated October 27, 2019, Prince had the opportunity to preach at Osteen’s church. I actually have no problem with Prince speaking at Osteen’s church like I had no problem with false teacher Max Lucado’s being interviewed by heretic Jen Hatmaker. As I mentioned in an article I did on Lucado, I’ve heard the phrase, “If I had an opportunity to preach the Gospel in hell, I’m going.” I don’t have a problem with a person with the title of pastor speaking at another preacher’s church. He just has to make the most of the opportunity. After all, Osteen’s church, Lakewood Church, has shown it can attract millions of online viewers for its weekend services. This would clearly be a prime opportunity for Prince to both preach the Gospel and refute Osteen’s false gospel that contradicts sound doctrine (Titus 1:9).
Prince’s time starts overall at about the 41 minute mark when Osteen, Matt Crouch and Laurie Crouch (all three, including Prince, promoted by TBN) partake in an introduction for Prince. Prince officially starts talking at about the 46:41 mark. Apparently this is not the first time Prince has spoken at Lakewood Church.
Joseph Prince absolutely biffed his opportunity at Osteen’s church. There are no less than four reasons for this. First, you will notice he actually has something noticeable at the pulpit he uses (unlike the two sermons I reviewed earlier). Unfortunately, it is not a Bible. Instead, it is his book Eat Your Way To Life And Health: Unlock The Power Of The Holy Communion. He makes a few shameless plugs for this book throughout the sermon. I’m not the biggest fan of a pastor’s making some kind of plug for his book. It is definitely unacceptable in a sermon context. If a guy does write books to make ends meet though, I think (and this is just my opinion) he can certainly make mention of them in conversations (not sermons) to help himself. However, as mentioned earlier, the job of a pastor is to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-2). Pastors are not to preach themselves (2 Corinthians 4:5). In fact, the apostle Paul warned of those who would draw people after themselves. Consider the text of Acts 20:17-38 (NASB):
17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them,
“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.26 Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38 grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
As you can see in the text above, being a pastor (shepherd) is a big deal. Pastors can get blood on their hands by not declaring the whole counsel of God (which includes repentance and faith, two things substantially absent from Prince’s sermons). Savage wolves are those who both speak perverse things and draw disciples after themselves. In light of that passage, one has to ask the question: is Joseph Prince in this message declaring the whole counsel of God, or is he preaching himself, speaking perverse things (which I will get to) and drawing people after him instead of Christ? The multiple shameless plugs for his book suggest he is the latter.
Second, Prince never calls Osteen to repent and be forgiven of his heretical doctrine. Perhaps this is a reason Prince has been brought back to speak here over and over again. As mentioned earlier, a pastor is to both promote sound doctrine and refute that which contradicts it (Titus 1:9). Instead of refuting Osteen, Prince butters him up, butters up the Osteen crowd, and even (and I’m paraphrasing here) calls Osteen inspiring, uplifting and someone to listen to if “the enemy” is attacking you (between the 48:30 and 50 minute marks of the sermon). However, as I showed earlier, Osteen is quite the heretic. Prince’s complete omission of warning the sheep is the behavior of a hireling shepherd. John 9:1-10:21 explains (NASB):
9 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. 8 Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9 Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” 10 So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is He?” He *said, “I do not know.”
13 They *brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they *said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, 19 and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” 20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.”25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28 They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” 30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.”38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Often, I have seen various pastors twist John 10:10 to promote the abundant life. The reality is the thief in John 10:10 is the false teacher. It is not Satan. This is why I started at John 9:1 for context. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd who cares for the sheep. The hireling see the wolf and flees, for he cares nothing about the sheep. Joel Osteen is a clear wolf. However, instead of warning those under the influence of Osteen, Prince does absolutely nothing but affirm him in this sermon. It is safe to say he does this without apology; why else would he keep getting invited back here? Prince’s complete omission of warning the audience about Joel Osteen is the behavior of a hireling shepherd.
Third, Prince’s behaviors I noticed in his Easter/Christmas sermons showed up in this sermon in no less than four ways. The first way is his being a psychological manipulator. On no less than three occasions (the 1:11:37, 1:19:35 and 1:20:20 marks), he beckons for an applause line. He also drops his “Can I get a good amen?” line a few times throughout the sermon. Second, he claims direct revelation from God at around the fifty-two minute mark and around the 1:13:55 mark. I explained earlier why doing such a thing is a tacit denial of Sola Scriptura. Third, his retelling of Scripture without reading from a Bible exposed him when I knew he was not telling the story of Mark 7:24-29 accurately. He puts much power in the crumbs of the children’s bread as he is talking about communion. However, the text makes no mention that there is any power in that bread. This brings me to the fourth and final behavior from Prince’s Easter/Christmas sermons that showed up in this message. Prince puts much power in the bread and wine taken in communion. The same blasphemy of positive confession he engaged in in the Easter sermon is the same blasphemy he engages in in this sermon but worse; he made mention that communion can cure cancer and even scoliosis, the liver, the bladder, the pancreas, the prostate, one’s youth, etc.. He also states that the LORD’s supper is available for everybody. While that may be true in the same sense that salvation is available to all sinners, it does not mean that everyone, whether believer or unbeliever, should simply take the LORD’s supper willy-nilly. I explained earlier how communion should be observed. Prince’s teachings on communion are heretical.
The final way I discuss how Prince biffed his opportunity is his frequent claims of healings from both his book and even in the audience itself. Prince boasts much of the healings from the teachings in his book. However, where are all the medical records to back his boasts? He even shows a 3-minute testimonial video on the big screen that points to himself. Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins are noticeably absent from that video.
Things get really out of control at about the 1:29:00 mark. Prince boasts that as he is speaking, people are getting healed. Despite those boasts, I still saw people wearing glasses, in wheelchairs and with gray hair. I counted at least 5 people in my brief perusing of this wreck of a sermon that wore glasses. Moreover, was there any investigation shortly after that sermon that produced a load of medical records that proved people got healed as Prince was speaking? He blasphemes by slapping Jesus’ name on the alleged healings. Sadly, people cheer this. In his closing, he claims Jesus redeemed all of us from the curse of sweat at around the 1:33:45 mark. If that is the case, why do I sweat every time I exercise? Moreover, why does it stink so bad? His sermon is just nonsense.
I titled this section Shepherd or Something Else for a reason; Joseph Prince had a prime opportunity in front of a big audience both near (Lakewood Church) and far (online) to both preach the Gospel and call Joel Osteen to repent and be forgiven of his false doctrine. He did neither. Instead, he preached heresy, played the hireling by buttering up Osteen, played the wolf by drawing people to himself, and blasphemed by perverting what it means to partake in communion. Joseph Prince cannot be called a shepherd. Instead, he is a wolf and a hireling who both shamelessly preaches heresy and blasphemes Jesus Christ.
On March 24, 2020, Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith posted a video exposing Joseph Prince as a false prophet. Rosebrough used a Joseph Prince video from March 4, 2020. In that video (which was from a sermon on February 16, 2020), Prince claims he “sorta” prophesied about COVID-19 on August 19, 2018. The website that has the sermon in full shows the following transcript for his claim to prophesying (the bold words in the second paragraph refer to the August 2018 sermon):
Now, where we are at, I’m so glad because the year has been thrust on us with this crisis of this virus, but God is always ahead of the devil. In fact, two years ago in one of my messages, I actually… sometimes when I preach, it’s in the spirit of prophecy. I’ll prophesy about the future. And you know, this virus thing happened towards the end of last year, which is still 2019, that’s why they call it COVID-19, all right? But in 2018, I sort of prophesied, and I talk about a new strain of virus coming. Sit back, watch.
Amen, so obviously God has done something in the spirit world, God has released a healing anointing. A new strain, if you would, of healing. It’ll perform such feats that we have never seen before. The devil is afraid and he’s playing catch up, he’s trying to create a new strain of virus that are like Ebola and other kinds of strains of flu that is viral and against medical treatment and all that. But just let you know that we are in the best of generations. The Rapture can happen anytime. We’re in a generation that believes that we don’t have to depend on the ways of the world. We are that generation that delights in God’s Word.
So, God never plays catch up, the devil plays catch up. So, even two years ago, I prophesied not just here, but in other times as well, not in just this sermon, but in other sermons, I preached that there’ll be a new strain of virus. And I mentioned a flu-like virus which will be virulent against, you know, medical science and what they can handle in the natural. That something unseen can cause such devastation, huh?
On an interesting note, Joseph Prince’s website, josephprince.com, has his August sermon available for $7.99 as an MP3 and $14.99 as a video stream. On a more interesting note, the website sermons.love has this sermon both on video stream and with a written transcript…for free. I just have to access the site. Now, I have already explained earlier how God sends pestilence and disease. Did you see anything about COVID-19 in this alleged “prophecy”? As Pastor Chris notes in his video, Prince’s alleged “prophecy” is extremely vague.
To counter Prince’s nonsense, Pastor Chris refers to several prophecy texts that were right on the money. These include Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14, Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 40:3, Zechariah 11:12-13 and Psalm 22:16-18. The prophets from the Old Testament were anything but vague in their prophecies; they had 100% accuracy.
Being a false prophet is no light matter. No less than two texts will help in this discussion. The first is Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (NASB):
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Justin Peters did an incredible video in March 2020 showing how “20 of the top names in the charismatic prophetic movement” could not see COVID-19 coming. If they could not see it coming, what makes Prince think he did? What he gave was a vague prophetic onesie. Moreover, he blasphemed by attaching God’s name to it.
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 is another text worth considering (NASB):
“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.4 You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
I explained earlier how Joseph Prince showed he was a wolf drawing people to himself in his “sermon” at Joel Osteen’s “church.” Consider how false prophets in the Old Testament were those who attempted to get people to go after other gods. Is Joseph Prince not doing the same thing by trying to draw people to himself with his alleged “prophecy” of COVID-19? People put false prophets to death in the Old Testament. Falsely prophesying is no light matter.
In closing this section, Joseph Prince is a false prophet. This situation of his falsely prophesying COVID-19 is more evidence that he is a wolf trying to draw people to himself. This is not characteristic of a pastor. Pastors preach Christ and Him crucified for their sins (1 Corinthians 2:2). Prince seems to be preoccupied with drawing people to himself with his pathetic (not prophetic) nonsense.
LIMITATIONS TO THIS POST
This post did not critique any of Joseph Prince’s books or devotional material. It is possible that Prince could be more orthodox in his devotionals and books than he is in his sermons. However, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Moreover, given the nonsense from Prince’s sermon at Lakewood Church that made shameless plugs for his book, I doubt his books are orthodox. I am sure they are as problematic as his sermons. This post has already showed much information explaining why Prince is one to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17).
As an orator, Joseph Prince holds his own with the best of them. Moreover, the accent makes him more interesting than the average orator. However, the job of a pastor is not to be an orator (although being a good orator can help); the job of a pastor is to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-2). Moreover, the pastor is to promote sound doctrine and refute that which contradicts it (Titus 1:9). Prince does neither. Instead, he preaches heresy, he does not warn the sheep about wolves, he prophesies falsely, he blasphemes, he teaches a cheap grace and he perverts communion (among other things). While he mentions the concept of “forgiveness of sins” much more than I hear in the works-righteousness cult of the seeker-sensitive movement, he is a prosperity word-faith heretic who should be marked and avoided at all costs (Romans 16:17). Pray he repents and receives forgiveness for his not fulfilling his pastoral duties, for Jesus Christ has even bled and died for those sins.
NOTE: I sent this post to Joseph Prince’s website josephprince.com. I also tweeted this post. I tagged Joseph Prince in it.
Again, this post was done at the request of another. I don’t do these posts regularly (otherwise these posts would be all I would do, for there are a PLETHORA of teachers/pastors out there). I do believe it is biblical to compare what people are saying in the Name of God to the Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1). Above all, pray for those I critique. Pray for me as well. If you disagree with anything I have written, please make your case biblically. If I am wrong, I will repent and I will hope you forgive me.
Thank you again and God bless.