Jeff Williams (from Canada)’s email to me, regarding what he called, “the Satanic Blasphemous LIE (of Joseph Prince) of staggering magnitude that is offensive to the core.”

(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

Rev George Ong’s Comments:

 

On 15 June 2022, about 2 weeks ago, Jeff Williams from Canada wrote an email to me castigating Joseph Prince for preaching lies and making Jesus a liar!

 

His email was in response to and after he had read my article dated 10 June 2022, entitled,

 

“Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ died & resurrected.”

 

For those who have missed reading the article dated 10 June 2022, please click the above to view.

 

I first got connected to Jeff Williams and his wife, Elizabeth, when they both wrote to me about 3 months ago, regarding the heresies of Joseph Prince, which had deceived their family members after they had chanced upon my website.

 

If you haven’t had the chance, don’t miss what they wrote which was featured in this website on 12 April 2022, by clicking below to view:

 

“A Canadian Christian Couple Shared that Joseph Prince’s Heresies Had Kept Their Family Members in Bondage (Dated 12 Apr 2022)”

 

Then, Jeff Williams wrote to me again on 15 June 2022, 2 weeks ago.

 

Here is what Jeff Williams wrote:

 

Pastor George Ong,

 

My wife and I have recently read your article entitled,

 

“Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ died & resurrected.”

 

You have my permission to publish this email and to use my name should you desire. 

 

My email is addressed to you, other Biblical Pastors and to those who have been seduced into Joseph Prince’s and others’ false teaching(s).

 

This email is my opinion based on many scriptural references.

 

Pastor George Ong, I commend you for speaking Biblical TRUTH as you are unwavering in your agape love for those “Christians” who are ensnared in the devil’s schemes (2 Timothy 2:26) through the seductive lies of Joseph Prince and all the faith money preachers worldwide. 

 

Thank you for preaching/teaching the Word in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 4:2) 

 

I encourage you to continue to stand, immovable in the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and upon the written Word of God, (2 Timothy 3:16) no matter what the personal cost, even if it be unto death. (Matthew 24:9-12)

 

Elijah stood all alone against 850 false prophets of Israel. The God of the Bible, Yahweh Elohim vindicated him. (1 Kings 18)

 

Sadly, today it is no different WITHIN the church.

 

The church today is full of false teachers and false prophets, exactly as was prophesied by Jesus and several Apostles.

 

The church is also full of “fearful” ministers who will NOT inherit the kingdom according to Revelation 21:8 KJV.

 

The vast majority of “pastors and ministers” worldwide who are preaching Biblical truth will also NOT stand for the truth of the written Word, nor will they stand with you, for FEAR of losing their career, their pensions, their benefits, their positions, etc, etc. 

 

I encourage you to put on the whole armour of God, so that you will be able to stand in these days of gross wickedness, intense spiritual deception, and exceedingly great compromise resulting in being lukewarm because we know that soon the night cometh that no man can work. (John 9:4)

 

Brother, let it be known that apostasy, the falling away, the turning away from the true Biblical Gospel spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is well underway as evidenced by Xenonamandar Jegahusiee Singh known as Joseph Prince and the myriad of other lying “Faith Money Preachers”. 

 

This global pandemic of false teachers WITHIN the true Body of Christ is THE spiritual plaque of our times.

 

The personal “vaccine” for this pandemic within the true Body of Christ is found in 2 Timothy 2:15-16 below:

 

“Study to show THYSELF approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

 

Every person who names the name of Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour is commanded to study the written Word for themselves.

 

When a true follower of Jesus Christ studies the written Word for themselves they can easily discern ANY false teaching(s) and any false teacher(s) because you will know them by their fruit. (Matthew 7)

 

Joseph Prince and all these faith money liars continue to spew out more and more “profane and vain babblings” as THEIR man-made “ministries” crumble around them as they literally fulfill prophetic scripture found in 1 Timothy 4. (See below)

 

Thousands upon thousands, perhaps millions, of scripturally ignorant people have departed, fallen away, turned away from THE faith, or they have NEVER been “Born Again” (John 3) as they have given heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, through these wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15), liars who speak lies in hypocrisy because their consciences have been seared with a hot iron:

 

1 Timothy 4:1-2 

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”

 

For Joseph Prince to deceptively teach that not even Jesus Christ’s disciples/Apostles were saved during Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry is a Satanic blasphemous LIE of staggering magnitude that is offensive to the core.

 

According to Joseph Prince’s latest doctrine of devils, then I must assume that Noah, Enoch, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, King David, all the Prophets, etc, etc, etc who lived and died BEFORE Christ’s death and resurrection were NOT saved???

 

Please refer to Rev George Ong’s article dated 10 June 2022:

 

“Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ died & resurrected.”

 

What about the “thief on the cross” spoken of in Luke 23 in the New Testament? 

 

This man was being justly crucified for his own criminal activities according to the Roman law of that time period.

 

Two thieves hung on their own crosses on either side of Jesus on the cross.

 

The unrepentant thief mocked Jesus, just as the people AND the rulers AND the Roman soldiers had mocked Jesus. (vs 35-37)

 

The unrepentant thief mockingly said,

 

“If you are the Christ, the Messiah, save yourself and us.” (vs 39)

 

The repentant thief rebuked the unrepentant thief stating, 

 

“Do you not fear God, seeing that you are receiving the same condemnation/punishment of death?” (vs 40)

“We have justly received our reward for our deeds, but this man has done NOTHING wrong!” (vs 41)

 

The repentant thief cried out to Jesus,

 

“Remember me when you come into your kingdom” (vs 42)

 

JESUS RESPONDED TO THE REPENTANT THIEF,

 

TRULY I SAY TO YOU, TODAY YOU SHALL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.” (vs 43)

 

Had Jesus died and been bodily resurrected yet?

 

NO, He had not.

 

Did Jesus state emphatically that the repentant thief would be with Him TODAY in Paradise?

 

YES, He did!!!

 

Did Jesus save the repentant thief from eternal torment and eternal damnation?

 

YES, He did!!!

 

Did Jesus state that the repentant thief would have to wait three days until Jesus was bodily resurrected, THEN AND ONLY THEN, could the repentant thief be with Jesus in Paradise?

 

NO, He did not.

 

Jesus emphasized the FACT saying,

 

“TRULY, I” (me, THE King of Kings, THE Lord of Lords, THE Jewish Messiah, THE Saviour of the world) state “to you (the repentant thief), TODAY, you shall (with absolute certainty) be with me (your Messiah, your Saviour) in Paradise.”

 

One question remains for every reader to answer.

 

Who is THE liar?

 

Is Jesus Christ THE liar

 

Or is Xenonamandar Jegahusiee Singh known as Joseph Prince THE liar?

 

Your answer to this question is critical to your remaining in THE true Biblical faith of Jesus Christ or your deliberate choice of apostatizing, falling away, turning away (2 Thess 2:3) from THE true Biblical faith of Jesus Christ by accepting Joseph Prince’s outright lie. 

 

Joseph Prince is calling Jesus Christ a liar through his recent blasphemous teaching that the disciples/apostles were NOT saved until Jesus was resurrected.

 

Romans 3:4…

 

“let God be true, but every man a liar;”

 

You CANNOT follow, attend, listen to, or watch Joseph Prince and/or the numerous lying faith money preachers with their endless doctrines of devils which operate through seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1) and remain in THE true Biblical faith of Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus Christ Himself states in Matthew 6:24 & Luke 16:13

 

“No man/servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (money).”

 

Do you “hold” to Joseph Prince and/or the faith money preachers’ doctrines of devils?

 

Or do you hold to the Biblical Jesus Christ by knowing, believing AND obeying the written Word of God? 

 

YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!

 

If you “hold” to ANY false teacher, you despise Jesus Christ according to the scripture you just read.

 

ALL the faith money preachers teach that Jesus is a liar and their followers love it so.

 

Jesus Christ stated

 

“Ye cannot serve God AND mammon (money),”

 

yet the faith money liars justify their lusts (1 John 2:16) with their personal multiple mansions and vacation homes, personal private jet(s), personal luxury cars, personal riches, personal millions of dollars embezzled from their deceived followers, under the lie of tithing to THEM, their self-deceived fame, their self-deceived personal prominence and pre-eminence on so called “Christian” TV as they visit each other’s mega “churches” while they brag about, boast and promote each other, providing the Satanic illusion that they MUST be men/women of God as they spew out more and more doctrines of devils.

 

These liars contradict the very words of Jesus Christ Himself in the previous scripture (Matt 6:24/Luke 16:13) when Jesus said “You CANNOT serve God AND money.”

 

The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit prophesied concerning the millions of deceived “Christians” who would deliberately choose to turn away (fall away, apostatize) from sound Biblical doctrine BECAUSE of their own lusts. 

 

BECAUSE of these “Christians” various lusts (1 John 2:16) and these “Christians” itching ears, these “Christians” deliberately surround themselves with an endless parade of false teachers and/or false prophets.

 

These “Christians” have deliberately turned their own ears away from the TRUTH of the written Word and have chosen to follow the faith money preachers’ fables, myths, stories, false prophecies and false dreams because of their own lusts.

 

These “Christians” choose to believe the lie of the faith money preachers that YOU CAN serve two masters, despite the very words of Jesus Christ Himself that you will “hold” to the faith money preacher and despise Jesus Christ Himself by the very fact that these “Christians” prefer the false teachings of Joseph Prince and the myriad of faith money preachers than the actual written Word of God.

 

The Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 tells Timothy the following prophesy of what is to come:

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

 

The Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:2 emphatically tells Timothy what he and any true preacher/teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to do:

 

2 Timothy 4:2 

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine”.

 

Pastor George Ong, I commend you for being an obedient servant of the Lord Jesus Christ by following this scripture in 2 Timothy 4:2 to the letter:

 

A true man of God preaches/teaches THE WRITTEN WORD. 

 

A true man of God preaches/teaches Jesus Christ FROM the written Word. 

 

A true man of God preaches/teaches what Jesus Christ SAID in the written Word.

 

A true man of God preaches/teaches what the Apostles SAID under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

 

A true man of God does NOT contradict or lie about one single written word in the Bible. 

 

A true man of God does NOT “cherry pick” scriptures that justify any false and/or unbiblical doctrines.

 

A true man of God preaches/teaches the WHOLE counsel of the written Word because in 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul clearly states:

 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

 

Scripture IS TRUTH. 

 

Anything that contradicts scripture is NOT truth.

 

Anything that contradicts scripture is NOT from the Holy Spirit; it is a lie, masquerading AS truth.

 

Jesus Christ IS the Word made flesh, living among the Jewish people and He was full of grace AND TRUTH. (John 1:14)

 

Jesus Christ IS TRUTH itself. 

 

Jesus does not simply possess TRUTH, HE IS THE TRUTH.

 

John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

ANY so-called “teaching” by anyone that does not align itself 100% with the written Word is a false teaching.

 

Jesus taught us in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, would guide us into ALL truth, therefore ANY teaching that does NOT agree with the whole counsel of scripture or contradicts scripture is NOT truth, therefore the “teaching” CANNOT be from the Holy Spirit.

 

John 8:44 makes it abundantly clear that Satan, the Devil, IS the father of lies. Satan is the father of lies and liars.

 

Jesus speaking to the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:2:

 

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:”

 

How do you “try” or “test” false teachers/false prophets/false apostles/false teaching/false preaching?

 

You compare what they say and teach, by and through the written Word, the whole counsel of God.

 

These men in Revelation 2:2, said they were apostles but the church of Ephesus “tried them” because the church “could not bear their evil”.

 

In Acts 17, we are told that the Bereans received the word with all readiness of mindand searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

The Bereans used their God given minds as true followers of Jesus have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

 

Why do so many “Christians” NOT use this “mind of Christ” to “try” all teachings and teachers, through the written word like the noble Bereans did?

 

Why do so many deceived “Christians” NOT use their minds to study the written word for themselves, but instead simply accept and believe every word that comes from so many false teachers, such as Joseph Prince?

 

Friends, it is time to wake up and study the scriptures for yourself to avoid being deceived by Joseph Prince, the heretic.

 

Be warned that Joseph Prince through his Satanic and blasphemous heresies will damn your soul for eternity, if you do not repent and continue to follow him and his false teachings instead of the truth found in the written Word of God.

 

Maranatha,

Jeff Williams (Canada)

4 Short Articles:

 

Article 1: Joseph Prince’s Use of Half-Truth & Twisted-Truth to Cast a bad light on Jesus’ 12 Disciples & Discipleship – By Rev George Ong

 

Article 2: Joseph Prince Has Lied Again that the Holy Spirit Replaced the name ‘Disciples’ with ‘Christians’ in Acts 11:26 – By Rev George Ong

 

Article 3: Joseph Prince’s False Dichotomy Between Sonship and Discipleship – By Rev George Ong

 

Article 4: Joseph Prince Justifying His Holiday Based on the Lamest Reason – By Rev George Ong

(These 4 articles were also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

Article 1: Joseph Prince’s Use of Half-Truth & Twisted-Truth to Cast a bad light on Jesus’ 12 Disciples & Discipleship – By Rev George Ong

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 19 June 2022, last Sunday (not a live but pre-recorded sermon), 4 days ago, Joseph Prince said the following;

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the one-and-a-half-minute video:

 

“And intimacy is important because the disciples were with Jesus, 3 and a half years, and yet, remember, in the Upper Room, Philip would ask a question, ‘How do we know the Father?’ How do we know? And Jesus would turn to him and say, ‘You have been with me so long, and yet you ask me this question?’

 

Many a times, He would say that kind of thing. At the end, He would say to them, ‘I have many things to say unto you but you are not yet able.’ (Jn 16:12) Three and a half years!

 

And sometimes you have glimpses of a certain one here and certain one here; they were intimate with Jesus but they were not with Jesus like the disciples. So you can be a disciple and not be intimate with a heart and the thoughts of the Lord.

 

For example, the Centurion; he didn’t walk with Jesus the way the 12 walked with Him, day in day out. But he had an intimacy with Jesus. Now the 12, they had familiarity; they were familiar with the Lord but the Centurion had intimacy.

 

Somehow, the Holy Spirit penetrated into His heart. And he told the Lord, ‘You don’t have to come to my house to heal my servant. I know you; you only have to speak the word and my servant would be healed.’ Jesus was so impressed.

 

The Lord turned around to the crowd, the Jewish crowd and He says, ‘Truly I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.’ (Matt 8:10) And the Roman Centurion is not a Jew. He is a Gentile, yet the Holy Spirit revealed to Him about Jesus. So it is more important to be intimate with Jesus.”

 

In the excerpt of the video, Joseph Prince has again cast a bad light on discipleship by comparing Jesus’ 12 disciples with the Centurion in Matthew 8:5-10.

 

He asserted that though the 12 had familiarity with Jesus, he strongly implied that they didn’t have intimacy with Christ as the Roman Centurion did.

 

Though this isn’t a major doctrinal point, it is pertinent for me to highlight this in order to expose Joseph Prince’s use of half-truth and twisted truth (which he resorts to very frequently and is infamous for) to support his grace doctrine and censure discipleship.

 

1. Joseph Prince’s Use of Half-Truth to Deceive

 

Yes, Jesus had said negative things about His disciples – the half-truths that Joseph Prince highlighted, but Christ had also said positive things about them – the other half-truths that Joseph Prince has hidden from you.

 

First, doesn’t the Apostle Peter possess a fair amount of intimacy with both the Lord Jesus and Father God that the Father had chosen to reveal such sublime and glorious truths about the Messiahship of Christ to him in Matthew 16:15-18 that many have still not seen yet as follows:  

 

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

 

Peter, for all his impulsiveness, has at least a certain insightful and intimate knowledge (revealed by Father God Himself) about the real person and ministry of Christ, that many aren’t privy to.

 

Second, isn’t the Apostle John whose intimacy with Jesus is well-known and frequently taught by the multitudes of Bible teachers and written by the vast array of Bible commentators throughout the centuries of the Christian Church?

 

And what has happened to Joseph Prince’s own favourite disciple, John, whom he himself always used to illustrate and support his gospel of grace and love, and most of all, regarding John’s intimate love and his intimate relationship with Jesus?

 

Has Joseph Prince changed his mind about how John was intimate with Jesus, whom he has so often preached about in his sermons and written in his books?

 

One moment Joseph Prince says John is a disciple whom Jesus loved and one who is intimate with Jesus in his many sermons.

 

The next moment, he says the 12 disciples, including John, are only familiar with Christ and strongly implied that they are not intimate with Him.

 

You see the shameless self-contradiction in Prince’s teachings!

 

How on earth could people ever trust this fellow unless they themselves have chosen to be blinded and deceived?

 

2. Joseph Prince’s Use of Twisted-Truth to Mislead

 

Is the Centurion in Matthew 8:5-10 quoted by Joseph Prince praised by Jesus for being a man of faith or one who is intimate with Him?

 

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 

 

After reading the passage, isn’t it crystal clear that Jesus didn’t commend the Centurion for being intimate with Him but for having great faith?

 

Never in the text of Matthew 8:5-10, nor the only parallel text in Luke 7:1-10, did Jesus ever say that the Centurion was intimate with him.

 

Yet, Joseph Prince has the audacity to twist God’s word to teach that the Centurion was intimate with Jesus as compared with the 12 disciples who were only familiar with Him.

 

What is worse is that in the video excerpt, Prince added that the Centurion said “I know you (Jesus)” – implying that the Centurion knew Jesus intimately in order to set this up for his twisted teaching:

 

“And he (Centurion) told the Lord You don’t have to come to my house to heal my servant. I know you (Jesus); you only have to speak the word and my servant would be healed.’ Jesus was so impressed.”

 

The words, I know you (Jesus)” were never reflected in Matthew 8:5-10 nor Luke 7:1-10.

 

Can you see the evil extent to which Joseph Prince would go to twist God’s word by daringly adding his own words to the scriptures in order to disparage discipleship by casting a bad light on Jesus’ 12 disciples vis-à-vis the so-called intimacy of the Centurion with Jesus?

 

 

Article 2: Joseph Prince Has Lied Again that the Holy Spirit Replaced the name ‘Disciples’ with ‘Christians’ in Acts 11:26 – By Rev George Ong

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 19 June 2022, last Sunday (not a live but pre-recorded sermon), 4 days ago, Joseph Prince said the following;

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 5-second video:

 

“It was the Holy Spirit who replaced the name ‘disciples’ into Christians.”

 

Based on Acts 11:26 in this particular sermon, Joseph Prince asserted that the Holy Spirit is the one who called disciples Christians, and hence, He has replaced the name ‘disciples’ with ‘Christians’:

 

Acts 11:26 NIV

26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

 

I have already thoroughly refuted the above bogus claim of Joseph Prince in my previous articles.

 

But let me add that Bible scholars have different opinions as to how believers in Acts came to be known as Christians.

 

Some said that they were called Christians by others, while others opined that it was the believers themselves who took on the name ‘Christians’.

 

Let me quote what Thomas A Tarrants wrote:

 

“It (Christians) could have been a term devised by the Gentile believers to distinguish themselves from the local Jews. The renowned New Testament scholar F.F. Bruce recognizes the possibility “that it was the disciples who first began to call themselves Christians, meaning thereby ‘servants of Christ’.”

 

However, he also suggests, as John Stott and many others do, that the name may have been the natural outgrowth of the believers speaking so much about Christ that Gentiles began to describe them as “the Christ-people, or Christians.”

 

John Stott sees this as positive, since “it marked out the disciples as being, above all, the people, the followers, the servants of Christ.”

 

C.K. Barrett comments, “the new designation was probably needed when it first became apparent that the believers, who had left their old Gentile way of life, were no more Jews than heathens – in fact, a third race, Christians.”

 

Others have suggested that Christian was a term of derision bestowed by nonbelievers, that the term stuck and was subsequently embraced with honor, as were the names Puritan and Methodist many centuries later.”

 

You would notice that even though these renowned Bible scholars have different opinions about the origin of the name, ‘Christians’, none has ascribed its origin to the Holy Spirit as Joseph Prince has. To me, this is simply because the phrase, ‘the Holy Spirit’, is completely absent in Acts 11:26.  

 

In the light of the differing views of renowned scholars, such as F F Bruce, John Stott and C K Barret and others of how the name ‘Christians’ came to be used to address believers, and the fact that the phrase, ‘the Holy Spirit’ isn’t found in Acts 11:26 at all, Joseph Prince’s stand that it was the Holy Spirit who called the ‘disciples’ ‘Christians’ is based on mere presumption and his wild adding into God’s word.

 

In order for his view that it was the Holy Spirit who called ‘disciples’ ‘Christians’ and that it was the same Spirit who replaced ‘disciples’ with ‘Christians’ to stand, Prince had to add the words, ‘the Holy Spirit’ into the text of Acts 11:26.

 

Adding into God’s word is a forbidden sin that any true teacher wouldn’t even dare to venture in – yet, Joseph Prince has committed this audacious act again!

 

But even if it was true that the Holy Spirit was the one who called ‘disciples’ ‘Christians’ in Acts 11:26 as Joseph Prince has postured, there is never anywhere stated in Acts 11:26 and the entire scriptures that the Holy Spirit has replaced ‘disciples’ with ‘Christians’.

 

Please take another closer look at Acts 11:26, and tell me whether you can find the word, ‘replaced’ or its equivalent in the text?

 

Not an iota!

 

The text in Acts 11:26 plainly says:

 

“… The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

 

Joseph Prince has magically transformed and twisted the words, “were called” to “replaced by” in the text.

 

Indeed, Joseph Prince has daringly lied against the Holy Spirit by putting his words into the Holy Spirit’s mouth when there isn’t a single piece of evidence in the entire scriptures that the Holy Spirit has replaced ‘disciples’ with ‘Christians’.  

 

Again, assuming if it was true that the Holy Spirit was the one who called ‘disciples’ ‘Christians’ as Joseph Prince has asserted, plain logic, let alone Bible exegesis, would dictate that that doesn’t mean ‘Christians’ has replaced ‘disciples’.

 

Let’s take our former and late Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as an example.

 

Many of us would know that Mr Lee Kuan Yew was also known as Harry, and some of his friends called him ‘Harry’.

 

However, the fact that others called him Harry doesn’t mean he is no longer called Lee Kuan Yew, or that Harry (his ‘Christian’ name) has replaced Lee Kuan Yew (Chinese name).

 

He was known as Lee Kuan Yew as most have addressed him, or, alternatively, Harry, as some have called him.

 

This simply means that the former Prime Minister can be called either Lee Kuan Yew or Harry, depending on who called him, and they would all be right because they were referring to the same person.

 

Similarly, Acts 11:26,

 

26 The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch,

 

doesn’t mean that ‘Christians’ have replaced ‘disciples’; but that disciples, which is the most common word for denoting believers, are also now called Christians. Whether people called them ‘disciples’ or ‘Christians’, they are referring to the same people.

 

Joseph Prince has deceptively hidden this important fact from you that even though ‘disciples’ were called ‘Christians’ in Acts 11:26, they were still called ‘disciples’ in many other later passages in Acts:

 

Acts 13:52; 14:20; 14:21; 14:22; 14:28; 15:10; 16:1; 18:23; 18:27; 19:1; 19:9; 19:30; 20:1; 20:30; 21:4; 21:16.

 

This clearly indicates that the word ‘disciples’ has not fizzled out after Acts 11:26, and provided concrete proof that the name ‘Christians’ has not replaced ‘disciples’ but that both were synonymous names used for New Covenant believers in Acts.

 

Prince has also hidden another fact from you that while the word ‘Christians’ appeared only 2 times in Acts and a mere 3 times in the entire New Testament, the word ‘disciples’ was mentioned 28 times in Acts and a hefty 280 times in the New Testament – clearly indicating that disciples was a far more common term used to denote believers, rather than Christians.

 

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, those who believed in Him and chose to follow Him were called disciples.  After Jesus’s death and resurrection, the term ‘disciples’ was still used in Acts and didn’t disappear from the scene.

 

Whenever the word disciple is used in the Book of Acts, it refers to believers without exception. All believers are called disciples.  Those who believed in Jesus and were saved in the Book of Acts, are called disciples. One becomes a disciple when he decides to become a believer. In other words, the terms ‘believers’ and ‘disciples’ are synonymous. They refer to the same person.

 

Furthermore, there are many other synonyms used to refer to those who are believers in Christ: ‘disciple’, ‘Christian’, ‘saint’, ‘brethren’, ‘the elect’, ‘people of God’, etc. These have not replaced one another but, generally speaking, they can be used in place of one another.

 

Disciples are also called ‘Christians’, in the same way that they can also be addressed as ‘saints’ or ‘the people of God’ or ‘the elect’, because they are synonyms, and not because ‘disciples’ has been replaced by ‘Christians’ as Joseph Prince has falsely alleged.

  

Disciples and believers/Christians are terms that are used interchangeably in the Book of Acts – definitely implying they are synonymous and have the same meaning.

  

In the Book of Acts which documents the history of New Testament Christianity, and arising from the church’s obedience to Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples, those who repented and believed in Jesus were still called disciples:

 

Acts 6:7 NKJV

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

 

On another occasion, Luke, the author of Acts, reported another increase in converts. But this time instead of using the term ‘disciples’, he used the word, ‘believers’:

 

Acts 5:14 NKJV

14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,

 

On yet another occasion, Luke also records that the disciples were called Christians:

 

Acts 11:26 NIV

26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

 

From these 3 passages (Acts 6:7, 5:14 & 11:26), it is rather clear that Luke treated these 3 terms: ‘disciples’, ‘believers’ and ‘Christians’ as synonymous.

 

They have not replaced one another but they, if used in the context of the Body of Christ, can be used in place of one another.

  

To say that the name ‘Christians’ is another way of addressing ‘disciples’, which I have proven to be so, is totally different from saying that the name ‘disciples’ has now been replaced by ‘Christians’.

 

But this is what Prince has falsely asserted when he told a blatant lie that the term ‘disciples’ has now been replaced by ‘Christians’ by the Holy Spirit Himself.

 

This is plainly using, or more correctly, misusing and abusing the name of God, the Holy Spirit, in vain.

 

 

Article 3: Joseph Prince’s False Dichotomy Between Sonship and Discipleship – By Rev George Ong

 

What Joseph Prince has been trying to portray in the few previous sermons, especially the last sermon dated 19 June 2022 (not a live but pre-recorded sermon) is that we must appreciate our sonship – that we are the privileged sons of God and Father God is our loving Father who cares for us.

 

No one will disagree with that. All Christians subscribe to this magnificent teaching – that as sinners being saved by His grace, we are given this glorious privilege to be God’s sons and daughters, inheriting all that He has for us. And we can all shout a big Amen and loud Hallelujah to the Lord.  

 

But what is malicious is that in Joseph Prince’s teaching to amplify sonship, he berates discipleship.

 

In his assertion that privileged sonship (New Covenant) and costly discipleship (Old Covenant) do not go together, Joseph Prince is effectively pitting sonship against discipleship.

 

It is as if, if we see ourselves as the privileged sons of God, we must discard costly discipleship.

 

Or, just because we see ourselves as committed disciples who obey Christ to pay the price of giving up everything to be His followers, that will automatically cloud our perspective and impede our inheritance as the sons of God.

 

The scriptures never set up this false dichotomy between privileged sonship and costly discipleship. It is a false dichotomy that Joseph Prince has deceptively created to poison the minds of believers in order to get them to reject discipleship.

 

On the contrary, the Bible teaches that both sonship and discipleship are equally important. One does not cancel out the other as though they are mutually exclusive.

 

One must not be emphasised (sonship) at the expense of pushing the other out of existence (discipleship) as Joseph Prince did:

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 22 May 2022, Joseph Prince said,

 

“You are not a disciple anymore. The disciples are now called Christians.”

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 19 June 2022, Joseph Prince said,

 

“It was the Holy Spirit who replaced the name ‘disciples’ into Christians.”

 

Both sonship and discipleship are not antithetical precepts that Joseph Prince has deceived many people with, but both are complementary teachings as revealed in the scriptures. Both are New Covenant truths taught by the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul, and both must be strongly emphasised.

  

 

Article 4: Joseph Prince Justifying His Holiday Based on the Lamest Reason – By Rev George Ong

 

In my last update dated 16 June 2022, I wrote:

 

“Joseph Prince has not appeared to preach live in the worship service again on 12 June 2022, last Sunday. One of his pastors preached for him instead. This means he has not preached for 3 consecutive Sundays, which is rather unusual.

 

Grapevine has it that he is probably on a few weeks of holiday, perhaps, overseas, even though this was never announced to his congregation at the worship services (as far as I know).

 

Because this was strangely never made known publicly, many in his congregation are wondering and second-guessing about his physical whereabouts.

 

If it is true that Joseph Prince has gone on a holiday, Prince needs to know that for a ‘public figure’ like him to go on a vacation is no sin that his congregation needs to be kept in the dark, as though this is a top secret that Prince doesn’t want anyone to know.”

 

Finally, last Sunday on 19 June 2022, 4 days ago, Joseph Prince revealed the reason for his strange absence for a continuing 4 Sundays from the pulpit.

 

Prince has again not preached live (now for 4 consecutive Sundays) but aired a pre-recorded video sermon instead.

 

In that pre-recorded sermon aired on YouTube on 19 June 2022, Joseph Prince said the following;

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 20-second video:

 

“By the time you see this, church, and you are wondering about where I am and all that, I’m probably somewhere enjoying myself with my family during the school holidays. For 2 years, we have not gone for any holiday. We have been confined in Singapore because of the Pandemic. This is our first holiday abroad.”

 

But what does Prince mean when he says

 

“For 2 years we have not gone for any holiday. We have been confined in Singapore because of the Pandemic. This is our first holiday abroad.”

 

Is Prince giving the impression that he is the only one who has not gone for a holiday for 2 years because of the Pandemic?

 

Doesn’t he know that this is the typical experience for most people in the whole of Singapore, not just Christians?

 

Isn’t Prince aware that this is the common experience for most people in the entire world, not just Singaporeans?

 

If so, why the need for Prince to use this lamest reason to justify his need for a holiday?

 

Why doesn’t Prince just go for a 4-week holiday (or more) with a clear conscience and announce it to the congregation at the earliest opportunity on the first Sunday of his absence during the worship service when he is on vacation?

 

Why the need for Prince to drag this out and announce it at such a ‘late hour’ and only on the 4th week of his absence and, probably, the final leg of his holiday – and keeping his entire congregation completely in the dark for a whole month – resulting in many wondering and even gossiping about his whereabouts – when it could have been more wisely done at the earliest opportunity on the first Sunday of his absence?

 

Is Prince trying to keep or hide something from his congregation that he only knows?

 

And why is Prince seemingly trying to justify that which he doesn’t need to justify at all; and when he did justify, he offered the lamest reason,

 

“For 2 years we have not gone for any holiday. We have been confined in Singapore because of the Pandemic,”

 

when this is the common experience of almost everyone in the world – not just him – that most did not go on a vacation in the last 2 years during the pandemic?

 

Rev George Ong

(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

 

Before I dive into this article…

 

Joseph Prince has not appeared to preach live in the worship service again on 12 June 2022, last Sunday. One of his pastors preached for him instead. This means he has not preached for 3 consecutive Sundays, which is rather unusual.

 

Grapevine has it that he is probably on a few weeks of holiday, perhaps, overseas, even though this was never announced to his congregation at the worship services (as far as I know).

 

Because this was strangely never made known publicly, many in his congregation are wondering and second-guessing about his physical whereabouts.

 

If it is true that Joseph Prince has gone on a holiday, Prince needs to know that for a ‘public figure’ like him to go on a vacation is no sin that his congregation needs to be kept in the dark, as though this is a top secret that Prince doesn’t anyone to know.

 

Joseph Prince’s Assertion that Jesus in the gospels was operating under Old Covenant Law is Sacrilegious as it Blatantly Contradicts Christ’s Teaching – By Rev George Ong 

 

(Don’t miss the last point, Point Number 9, and the Conclusion in this article.)

 

This article is a sequel to the previous one,

 

“Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ died & resurrected”, dated 5 June 2022.

 

In that previous article, I had written about Joseph Prince’s assertion that no one can be saved during Jesus’ earthly ministry until the death of Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection – which I have proven to be fallacious.

 

If you have not read the previous article, please click on the link below to view:

 

https://www.revgeorgeong.com/rev-george-ong-joseph-prince-makes-jesus-a-liar-as-he-asserts-that-disciples-arent-saved-until-christ-died-resurrected/

 

For this present article, please click here to view excerpts in the 5-second video in a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 22 May 2022:

 

“… Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is Jesus still under the law. All his disciples were under Law.”

 

The main reason for Joseph Prince to declare that people, including the disciples/apostles of Christ weren’t saved in the gospels before the cross (which I’ve covered in the previous article), is that Jesus’ earthly ministry under all four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is under the Old Covenant of Law, and that the New Covenant of Grace only began after the cross and resurrection of Christ (which is covered in this article).

 

In ‘Unmerited Favor’, Page 97, Joseph Prince wrote,

 

“However, the new covenant does not actually begin with the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as these books deal predominantly with the life of Jesus before the cross. In fact, the new covenant begins after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hence, the cross is our clearest marking point of where the new covenant begins.”

 

In ‘Destined To Reign’, Page 92, Joseph Prince wrote,

 

“The new covenant only begins after the cross, when the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.”

 

From what Joseph Prince said and wrote in the above, do you know what that means?

 

That means the teachings of Christ and the words of Jesus in the gospels are under the Old Covenant of Law and are not applicable to New Covenant believers.

 

What that means is, all the blood, sweat and tears that Jesus spent in teaching His disciples (and us), and all that He did in His three years of ministry in the gospels, have all gone to waste as they are not relevant to New Covenant believers.

 

This is an absolutely horrendous doctrinal error that must be exposed and confronted.

 

The truth is Christ’s teachings in the gospels are under the New Covenant of Grace and not under the Old Covenant of Law as Joseph Prince falsely alleges.

 

The demarcation between the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of Grace is not after the cross as Joseph Prince falsely teaches, but from the beginnings of John the Baptist’s ministry and the ministry of Christ Jesus in the gospels (which I will deal with in the ensuing discussion). 

 

Although the death of Christ on the cross must still take place for the terms and promises of the New Covenant to be fully and finally effected, the New Covenant of Grace has already been inaugurated and implemented at the beginnings of Christ’s ministry in the gospels.

 

As you track with me in my ensuing arguments, you must never misunderstand my intention (which Joseph Prince would quickly capitalise on and accuse me of preaching against the finished work of Christ or the cross).

 

I am definitely not playing down the importance of the cross. The cross is the central doctrine of our Christian Faith. Without the cross, there is no Christianity. None of us should ever try to make light of the cross, lest we come under the severe judgement of God.

 

All that I am doing is to expose the ploy of Joseph Prince regarding his heretical doctrine that since the cross marks the separation of the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of Grace, all that happens before the cross, including the teachings of Christ in the gospels are under the Old Covenant. Hence, according to Prince, they are not applicable to New Covenant believers.

 

What Joseph Prince has sacrilegiously done is that he has degraded all that Christ said and taught in the gospels as Old Covenant stuffs that have been superceded by the New Covenant.

 

This is absolutely dishonouring to Christ, who came to personally announce the New Covenant salvation or gospel (Hebrews 1:1-2a and 2:1-4) and implement it during the three years of His earthly ministry:

 

Hebrews 1: 1-2a NIV

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…

 

Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

 

Hebrews 1:1-2a and 2:1-4 compare the Old Covenant which was given through the prophets and angels, and the New Covenant which God directly revealed through His Son, Jesus (Heb 1:2a).

 

The New Covenant which Christ came to personally announce and inaugurate (Heb 2:3) was authenticated by signs, wonders, miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will (and to the Church) (Heb 2:4).

 

Hence, what Christ said and taught in the gospels are not under the Old Covenant of Law but the New Covenant of Grace that is binding for New Covenant believers.  

 

The attempt by Joseph Prince to dismiss the very words of Jesus, particularly in all or most parts of the gospels as under the Old Covenant Law and not under the New Covenant Grace, is evidently the most disturbing of them all.

 

It basically ‘wipes out’ all or most parts of the four gospels from the Bible – since they are placed under the Old Covenant and are no longer binding on New Covenant believers.

 

The hidden agenda of Joseph Prince in spewing such heresies is because there are many things that Christ said and taught in the gospels that contradicted his grace teachings.    

 

The Sermon on the Mount, the cost of discipleship, and obedience to the Ten Commandments (are just some examples) that threaten Prince’s easy gospel and feel-good Christianity. So, Prince has to find a way to get rid of them.

 

When confronted with the many parts of what Jesus said and taught in the gospels that threaten his grace theology, you can expect Joseph Prince to say,

 

“These are not for New Covenant believers, as they were spoken by Jesus under the Old Covenant Law.”

 

1. Jesus Himself Establishes the Point of Transition from the Old Covenant to the New – Luke 16:16.

 

When did the Old Covenant Law end and the age of New Covenant Grace begin?

 

Was it after the cross and His resurrection when the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost that Joseph Prince declares?

 

The point at which the Old Covenant Law ends and the age of New Covenant Grace begins is certainly not a point to argue about, because Jesus has already settled the question beyond doubt in Luke 16:16:

 

Luke 16:16 NASB

16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”

 

Luke 16:16 TLB

16 “Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in.”

 

Christ Himself has revealed the specific time when the Old Covenant of the Law was concluded and when the New Covenant of Grace was initiated. Jesus Himself said in Luke 16:16a,

 

“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John…” (NASB)

 

“Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides…” (TLB)

 

So John the Baptist was the point at which the Old Covenant ends and the New Covenant begins.

 

In Matthew 11:13 (NIV), Jesus said the same thing as in Luke 16:16a that the Old Covenant Law came to an end at John the Baptist’s ministry:

 

“For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.”

 

So according to Christ Himself, the Old Covenant proclamation of the Law ends at John the Baptist’s ministry.

 

From the point of John the Baptist who came to pave the way for Jesus’ three years of ministry in the gospels, a new age – the New Covenant of Grace was begun. If the New Covenant of Grace has already started, then the Old Covenant of Law must have ended.  

 

Everything that came before John the Baptist’s ministry is the Old Covenant Law. And everything from John the Baptist onwards is the New Covenant gospel of the kingdom or the gospel of grace that was already being preached by Jesus, during His three years of earthly ministry. 

 

This goes to show that from Christ’s ministry (when John the Baptist paves the way for the ministry of Christ), and the ministries of His disciples in the gospels onwards is the New Covenant of Grace.

 

Joseph Prince needs to understand that he is not the authority to determine which is the dividing line between the Old and New Covenant. Christ, the Prince of Peace, not Joseph Prince, must be the authority.

 

Joseph Prince said that the dividing line is after the cross of Christ. Yes, there is no doubt that Christ had to die on the cross for the sins of the world.

 

But did the scriptures or Christ ever say that the cross was the point that demarcates between the Old Covenant Law and the New Covenant Grace as Joseph Prince has asserted?

 

No!

 

Christ said the point of demarcation between Old Covenant Law and New Covenant Grace was from John the Baptist and the beginning of His three years of ministry in the gospels onwards.

 

The glorious truth is, the promises of the New Covenant have already been declared, preached and implemented by Christ and His disciples in the gospels before the cross.

 

Even before Christ makes the New Covenant formally with His disciples at the Lord’s Supper, the day before His crucifixion, and even before the shedding of Christ’s blood at the cross, Christ has already inaugurated and implemented the blessings of the New Covenant of Grace in the gospels.

 

People were already saved by grace and through their faith in Christ in the gospels before the cross in the New Covenant way the same way as people are being saved today.

 

There is plenty of evidence in the scriptures that people are already being ushered into the New Covenant of Grace during the three years of Jesus’ ministry in the gospels before the death of Christ on the cross.

 

Just from Luke 16:16b alone, we are already seeing people flooding into the kingdom of God,

 

“since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” (NASB)

 

“But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in.” (TLB)

 

John the Baptist indeed forms the transition from the Old Covenant of Law to the New Covenant of Grace. Because of that, everyone is pressing in wanting to get into this New Covenant kingdom of Grace (Lk 16:16).

 

They are so excited about the New Covenant message that they just plunged right into it. They run headlong into the kingdom with great eagerness. They are now entering the kingdom by faith in Christ.

 

In other words, people were already experiencing the kingdom life of the New Covenant before the cross and Pentecost. They were experiencing the forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance from evil spirits, and other New Covenant blessings.

 

Though the death or the cross of Christ was necessary to effect the New Covenant, the terms, conditions and promises of the New Covenant were already inaugurated and implemented in the gospels well before the Cross during the three years of Christ’s ministry.

 

2. John 1:14-17 is Another Concrete Proof that the New Covenant of Grace came through Jesus Christ in the Gospels.

 

The Apostle John wrote in John 1:14 NIV:

 

14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 

According to John 1:14, it is Jesus in the flesh during His ministry on earth in the gospels and the pre-cross Christ and the pre-resurrection Christ who is “full of grace.”

 

Out of the fullness of grace in His whole being in the flesh, Christ preached the grace message to the many in the gospels during His ministry on earth before the cross and before His resurrection.

 

It would be absurd for Joseph Prince to suggest that Christ, who is full of grace”, was preaching the law in the gospels during His three years of earthly ministry.

 

How can Jesus, who is “full of grace”, be ministering law to others?

 

But there’s more in John 1:16 NIV:

 

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

 

This simply means that during Christ’s earthly ministry in the gospels before the cross, those who heard Him and believed in Him have received “grace upon grace,” (Jn 1:17) from the pre-cross Jesus who is “full of grace” (Jn 1:14) as He is the very embodiment of the grace of God.

 

How then can Joseph Prince tell us that Jesus’ earthly followers in the gospels received law upon law from Jesus when the truth is many have received “grace upon grace” from Him (Jn 1:16)?

 

How can Joseph Prince claim that the gospels are not part of the New Covenant message of Grace but are part of the Old Covenant of Law when the people have received grace upon grace” from Jesus (Jn 1:16) in the gospels before the cross?

 

So, what this means is that the words of Jesus that were spoken in the gospels before the cross are most certainly for us, just as they were for His disciples, as both they in the gospels and we in the here and now are under the New Covenant.

 

The Apostle John in John 1:17 further says,

 

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

 

The Apostle John didn’t say grace came through Jesus after the cross, but he said grace had already come in the ‘human’ person of Christ in the gospels before the cross.

 

And out of that fullness of grace in Christ that was recorded in John 1:14, Christ has already started preaching the New Covenant message of grace, not after the cross but before the cross in the gospels.

 

As a result of the fullness of grace in Christ in John 1:14 and 16, the people have received grace upon grace” in John 1:16, not after the cross but before the cross in the gospels.

 

This is an undeniable proof that the New Covenant of Grace, and not the Old Covenant of Law, was already started and preached by Jesus before the cross and His resurrection. 

 

3. Christ describes His message as the gospel of the kingdom of God and this same gospel was preached by Christ’s disciples both before and after Pentecost.

 

Christ’s predominant mission was to preach the good news or the gospel of the kingdom of God, which is the New Covenant gospel:

 

Luke 4:43 NIV

43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

 

Luke 4:43 JUB

43 “And he said unto them, I must announce the gospel of the kingdom of God to other cities also because for this am I sent.”

   

Christ personally instructed His disciples to preach this same message:

 

Matthew 10:7-8 NIV

7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

 

In other words, the very same message of Christ about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God found in the gospels was going to be preached after Pentecost by His disciples.

 

Christ did not send them to preach the Old Covenant Law. Christ sent His twelve disciples and commanded them to preach the kingdom (Matt 10:7-8) just as He had been doing (Lk 4:43).

 

Luke also records Christ sending the Twelve in a similar fashion. They were to proclaim the same message of the kingdom that they heard Christ proclaim:

 

Luke 9:1-2 NIV

1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

 

Again, the twelve disciples were not sent out to proclaim the Old Covenant Law but to preach the New Covenant gospel of the kingdom of God.

 

So, Joseph Prince’s accusation that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant Law in the gospels has, absolutely, no basis.

 

4. The Theme about the kingdom of God’s Grace in the Gospels before the Cross has not changed after the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus.

 

The New Covenant gospel of the kingdom inaugurated by Christ before the cross, was the same gospel that Christ’s disciples preached after Christ had risen and after Pentecost.

 

Luke records that the risen Christ spoke to His disciples about the kingdom of God:

 

Acts 1:3 NIV

3 “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”

 

Before or after the cross, the message of Christ has not changed but remained utterly consistent. The risen Christ was still talking to His disciples about the kingdom of God or the gospel of grace.

 

I made a special effort to highlight this to counter the false view of Joseph Prince that while Jesus preached the Old Covenant of Law before the cross, His disciples preached a different gospel – the New Covenant of Grace after Pentecost.

 

This is one big lie as the gospel of the kingdom of God’s grace preached by Jesus before the cross was the same gospel preached by His disciples after the cross and Pentecost.

  

The risen Christ commanded His disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom, which He had introduced before the cross, to the whole world:

 

Matthew 24:14 NIV

14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

 

The message that Christ expected His disciples to proclaim to the world is the gospel of the kingdom, the same gospel that He preached before the cross and the same gospel we have it today:

 

It was the same message that Christ and His disciples preached in the gospels before Pentecost (Matt 10:7-8; Lk 9:1-2). Christ’s disciples knew this message well because they had heard it for three years.

 

Christ intended for His three years of the earthly ministry of grace in the gospels to continue after Pentecost in Acts and thereafter through the ‘Church age’.

 

His disciples through the apostles (Peter and John) and deacons (such as Philip) obeyed Christ and preached the same message of grace and the kingdom as Christ did before the cross:

 

Acts 8:12 NIV

12 “But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”

 

Acts 8:25 NIV

25 “After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

 

“The good news of the kingdom of God” that Philip proclaimed in Acts 8:12 is the same gospel of grace as and when Peter and John came “preaching the gospel” in Acts 8:25. 

 

In other words, the same gospel of the kingdom that was initiated by Christ in the gospels was preached after Pentecost by His apostles and deacons.

 

5. Paul too preached the same message as Jesus did – the message of the Kingdom of God or the Gospel of God’s Grace.

 

Joseph Prince had stubbornly insisted in his many sermons in the light of little evidence that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant Law in the gospels, and then, the New Covenant Grace was proclaimed by Paul and the apostles after Pentecost.

 

Prince falsely teaches that the message of the Apostle Paul was distinctly different from the message of Christ in the gospels.

 

But the bare facts of the scriptures would debunk Prince’s view:

 

Acts 19:8 NIV

8 “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.”

 

Acts 20:24-25 NASB

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.”

 

Acts 19:8 clearly states that Paul was preaching the kingdom of God, which is the same gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached in the gospels.  

 

Furthermore, Paul says in Acts 20:24-25 that he testified to

 

“the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NASB).

 

In the next sentence, he describes this activity as

 

“preaching the kingdom” (Acts 20:25 NASB).

 

In other words, Paul declares that “preaching the Kingdom” is the same thing as preaching “the gospel of the grace of God.”

 

This means Paul is preaching the same message of grace that Jesus Christ preached before the cross and Pentecost.

 

Joseph Prince falsely alleges that the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached is about Law and is different from the gospel of grace that Paul preached.

 

To say that the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus is not about grace, but about law, would be to contradict the Apostle Paul as he preached what Jesus preached – the gospel of the kingdom – which is the gospel of grace.

 

The gospel of the kingdom found throughout the four gospels is always about grace and has never been about the law.

 

Even when Paul was placed under house arrest in Rome, that did not stop him from preaching the kingdom of God: 

 

Acts 28:23 NIV

23 “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.”

 

Paul’s message was about the kingdom of God, the same gospel of grace that Jesus Christ preached in the gospels.

 

Paul preached the kingdom of God consistently for two years:

 

Acts 28:30-31 NIV

30 “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ – with all boldness and without hindrance!”

 

Paul’s message about the kingdom of God in Acts is the same as Christ’s message in the gospels.

 

Luke, who is the writer of both the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke and a close companion of the Apostle Paul, never draws a distinction between the message of Paul and Christ in the gospels. He calls the message of both Paul and Christ “the gospel of the kingdom” repeatedly in both books.

 

How can Joseph Prince claim to have learned his grace theology from Paul when he did the opposite of what Paul did – by denigrating the gospel that Christ preached as under the law and no more relevant to New Covenant believers.

 

The kingdom message that Christ preached in the gospels is not under the Old Covenant of Law that Joseph Prince falsely alleges but under the New Covenant of Grace. In fact, it is the gospel of grace.

 

The theology and the gospel of grace did not originate with the Apostle Paul but with Jesus Christ Himself, which then got passed on to Paul. Jesus and Paul preached the same gospel.

 

Don’t you ever believe Joseph Prince, who tells you that Jesus preached the Old Covenant of Law, and Paul preached the New Covenant gospel of Grace.

 

God forbid!

 

Not only did Jesus and Paul preach the same gospel, but they both also associated it with the kingdom of God.

 

In other words, when Paul preached the gospel of grace, he was proclaiming the kingdom, and when Jesus preached the kingdom, He was proclaiming the gospel of grace.

 

Hence, Joseph Prince’s claims that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom under the Old Covenant Law to the Jewish people who lived at that time and that only after His death and resurrection was the message of grace released to the Church through Paul, Peter, and the other apostles, is absolutely untrue and patently false.

 

6. Christ’s Ministry in the Gospels is Based on New Covenant Faith, not Old Covenant Law.

 

The Apostle Paul writes,

 

“The Law is not based on faith…” (Gal 3:12 NIV)

 

In other words, faith has nothing to do with the Old Covenant Law but everything to do with the New Covenant Grace.

 

Since the Law is not based on faith”, the strong emphasis on faith in the teaching and ministry of Christ in the gospels before the cross reveals that He is not operating under the Old Covenant Law but under the New Covenant Grace.

 

Christ’s emphasis on faith is filled throughout the gospels. The gospels record Christ saying, “faith” plenty of times, and “Your faith has healed you,” or similar wordings, about eight times.

 

Faith is a very important subject to Christ, and there are well over 100 references to ‘faith (noun) and believe (verb)’ in the gospels.

 

If Christ was teaching law or was operating under the law, then there should not be so many references to faith in the gospels.

 

Each reference to Christ healing by faith or saving by faith is a contradiction to Joseph Prince’s teaching that Christ was operating under or preaching the Old Covenant Law during His three years of ministry before the cross. In fact, it amounts to more than 100 contradictions.

 

Since there are so many times ‘faith and believing’ appears in the four gospels, how can Joseph Prince say the gospels are under the Old Covenant Law just because they came before the death or the cross of Christ.

 

The great number of times that Christ says something about ‘faith or believing’ in the four gospels reveals that He is not preaching the Law in the four gospels, but rather, He is preaching a strong, New Covenant message of grace.

 

Christ preached a ‘grace through faith’ gospel message before the cross, the same message that His disciples preached after the cross and Pentecost, and the same message that we have today.

 

Therein lies the strong evidence that Christ’s gospel message in the four gospels is about receiving grace through faith and has much more in common with the other New Testament letters of Paul and other scripture writers, who preach the same message of grace than with the Law of Moses (ceremonial and civil laws, not moral laws).

 

7. Each time Christ Forgives sins, He Forgives on the basis of Faith, and this certainly shows that the New Covenant Grace is being demonstrated and implemented in the Gospels.

 

In the gospels, people have already been forgiven of their sins through faith by Christ before the cross and before Pentecost.

 

If Christ were under the law or promoting the law, He would not do this, but He would tell these people to receive forgiveness by offering sacrifices according to the ceremonial laws.

 

But He didn’t.

 

Believers were cleansed of sin even before the cross. Christ declared to His disciples: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (Jn 15:3 NIV). The disciples were already forgiven of their sins and spiritually clean before the Lord’s Supper, the Cross, and Pentecost.

 

In Luke 5:20, Jesus not only healed a paralysed man in Luke 5:24-26 but He also forgave his sins as well,

 

Luke 5:20 NIV

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

  

The Old Covenant Law required certain sacrifices to be offered for the covering of sins, but Christ didn’t ask the people to offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins, but He forgives sins under the New Covenant through faith before the cross.

 

Hence, Christ is certainly operating under the New Covenant of Grace in the gospels before the cross.

 

What Joseph Prince said that “The new covenant only begins after the cross,” is therefore, one big lie.

  

8. Christ has already Forgiven Sins for Salvation in the New Covenant Way in advance of the work of the Cross.

 

At the time of Jesus’ 3 years of earthly ministry, has the blood of Christ been shed yet on the cross?

 

No.

 

Going by Joseph Prince’s argument, Christ cannot forgive sins in the gospels because He has not yet shed His blood on the cross as the New Covenant has not started yet – and that is why as Prince has unthinkingly reasoned, not a single soul was saved in the gospels during the 3 years of Jesus’ ministry until Christ was crucified on the cross.

 

But Christ did forgive sins in the gospels before the cross even though His blood was not yet shed:

 

Luke 7:47-50 NIV

47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 

What is happening is that Father God is granting forgiveness of sins not only on the basis of the cross, but also before the cross, not just after the cross.

 

This means the New Covenant, which is supposed to have officially started after the cross, had already been inaugurated and implemented in the three years of Jesus’ ministry in the gospels before the cross.

  

Christ not only forgave this woman for her many sins (Lk 7:47-48) but said that it was her faith that had saved her (Lk 7:50).

 

So, according to Jesus, when was the woman saved?

 

After the cross as Joseph Prince has asserted?

 

No!

 

Jesus categorically said she was saved by her faith at that time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and at the very moment of time when Jesus spoke to her, and not sometime after the cross.

 

Joseph Prince’s assertion that not a single person was saved in the gospels before the cross, is a direct refutation and rebuke to Jesus’ own declaration that the woman was saved in the gospels.

 

How was the woman in Luke 7:47-50 saved in the gospels?

 

In the New Covenant way through her faith when Jesus said to her, “Your faith has saved you.”

 

The New Covenant gospel that is through faith that Jesus preached during the three years of His ministry in the four gospels before the cross is the same grace through faith New Covenant gospel that Paul preached after the cross in Ephesians 2:8,

 

Ephesians 2:8 NIV

8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,”

  

This woman in Luke 7:47-50 was justified by faith and forgiven of her sins through her faith in Jesus Christ in the same way as Paul taught in Romans 5:1,

 

Romans 5:1 NIV

1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

If that is so, why is Joseph Prince asserting that “The new covenant only begins after the cross”?

 

This is a lie that has deceived the unsuspecting many.

 

People in the gospels like this woman in Luke 7:47-50 were being saved by faith in Jesus Christ in the New Covenant way before the cross, before the resurrection, and before Pentecost.

 

They were saved in the same New Covenant way that people are being saved today.

 

9. Ironically, Joseph Prince himself uses the Gospels (such as John 3:16 & John 1:17, etc,) which he teaches belongs to the Old Covenant of Law, to support his New Covenant Grace Doctrine – a Blatant Self-Contradiction to his own doctrine.

 

Come to think of it, if what Joseph Prince wrote,

 

“The New Covenant only begins after the cross,”

 

everything in the gospels which is before the cross is under the Old Covenant Law, then, why did Joseph Prince, on many occasions, use many passages in the gospels to teach and support his own New Covenant grace doctrine: such as John 3:16 and John 1:17.

 

(Other examples include the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32), the woman who was forgiven much (Lk 7:36-50), Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10), and many others.)

 

According to Prince’s own doctrine, he is not supposed to as he has said so many times that Old Covenant Laws in the gospel don’t apply to New Covenant believers.

 

Specifically, Joseph Prince who frequently preaches on John 3:16 as the New Covenant gospel is contradicting himself,

 

John 3:16 NIV

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

For Joseph Prince to be consistent in saying that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant Law in the gospels and only the words of Jesus after the cross apply to us today, he would have to say that John 3:16 which is before the cross, is not the New Covenant gospel of Grace but the Old Covenant of Law.

 

But why is Prince quoting John 3:16 so often in his own sermons as the gospel message to support his New Covenant grace teaching?

 

And why is Prince using John 1:17 (NIV)

 

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,

 

so frequently as one of his key texts to support his own New Covenant Grace Doctrine? 

 

How can Joseph Prince, who keeps using John 1:17, that grace came through Jesus Christ to promote his own grace doctrine, and say at the same time that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant law in the gospels, including John 1:17?

  

This is nothing but a blatant and shameless self-contradiction that serves to totally discredit himself as a so-called grace teacher and his own grace doctrine.

 

In conclusion, let me recap – the New Covenant of Grace did not start from the cross that Joseph Prince has deceived many with.

 

What Jesus said and taught in the gospels are not under the Old Covenant Law as Joseph Prince has falsely taught, but under the New Covenant of Grace.

 

Though the death of Christ was required to fully and finally effect the New Covenant, the terms, conditions, and promises of the New Covenant were already inaugurated and implemented in the gospels well before the cross during the three years of Christ’s ministry.

 

The New Covenant of Grace that Jesus initiated in the gospels has continued in the apostolic preaching of the gospel by His apostles after Pentecost and even by New Covenant believers to this present day.

 

As a result, many were saved by faith in the gospels before the cross in the same New Covenant way that many are being saved by faith in the world today. 

 

Many had their sins forgiven in the gospels before the blood of Christ was shed on the cross in the same New Covenant way that many today have their sins forgiven because they have been cleansed by the shed blood of Christ on the same cross.

 

Hence, what Christ said and taught in the gospels before the cross are not related to the Old Covenant Law, but they contain the message of the gospel of the kingdom, the message of New Covenant grace, that are absolutely relevant and binding on New Covenant believers even today.

 

Let me put it bluntly – only the theologically foolish who are lacking in common sense, such as Joseph Prince, would declare that all the teachings of Christ in the gospels are under the Old Covenant, and they are no longer applicable to us as New Covenant believers.

 

Think with me – why would Jesus pour His whole life into the three years of His ministry, investing in teaching His disciples, and only for Him to undo all that He did by placing everything of what He said and taught under the Old Covenant that have no applicability to New Covenant believers?

 

Do you honestly believe Jesus would do that – that He would be that foolish in wasting all His three years of ministry, the only kairos moment He had on earth and throwing them down the drain?

 

Joseph Prince, by his teachings, is actually insulting the intelligence of Christ, who is God Himself – that He would do such a foolish thing by placing all He said and taught in the gospels under the Old Covenant, and hence, possessing little or no value to New Covenant believers!

 

What is worst is that by asserting that “The new covenant only begins after the cross,” Joseph Prince is blatantly going against the clear teachings of Jesus, when Christ Himself has already declared that the Old Covenant ends and the New Covenant begins at the point of John the Baptist’s Ministry (and the beginnings of His 3 years of ministry in the gospels before the cross) in Luke 16:16.

 

For someone like Joseph Prince to go against the clear and plain teachings of Christ, not once, not twice, but many times, as I have demonstrated in my many previous articles, proves that Prince is an Anti-Christ, and an Anti-Christ is no different from a wolf in sheepskin.

 

Finally, Joseph Prince repeatedly said that the cross is the dividing line between the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of Grace. Again, what he means is that everything that Christ said and taught in the gospels before the cross is considered to be under Old Covenant Law, and hence, it is irrelevant to New Covenant believers.

 

Do you know what that means? What that means is:

 

We can disregard the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations.

 

We can disregard Jesus’ command to take up the cross and deny ourselves.

 

We can disregard Jesus’ call to leave everything behind and follow Him wholeheartedly.

 

We can disregard Jesus’ teaching that we are to seek first the Kingdom of God.

 

We can disregard our call to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

 

We can disregard Jesus’ warning to avoid the broad way that leads to destruction.

 

We can disregard Jesus’s exhortation to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

 

We can disregard Christ’s teaching that we are to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbours as ourselves.

 

We can disregard all the parables filled with profound and insightful lessons that Jesus came to teach us.

 

We can disregard the warnings of Jesus about greed and covetousness that would lead to destruction.

 

We can disregard Christ’s warnings about hell even to believers.

 

We can disregard Christ’s teaching that if we don’t forgive others, our Father won’t forgive us.

 

We can disregard Christ’s declaration that He is the resurrection and the life and all who believe in Him shall never die.

 

We can disregard Jesus’ claim that He is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him.

 

For a Christian to disregard all these would be pure madness!

 

Why would any true Christian want to disregard the words, teachings and commands of our Lord Jesus in the gospels? 

 

And isn’t denying Jesus’ words, teachings and commands also the same as denying Him as a person?

 

How can a so-called Christ-centred preacher like Joseph Prince ‘wipes out’ all or most of Christ’s teachings in the gospels?

 

Only an Antichrist like Joseph Prince would do that, but a Christ-centred person would always honour all the teachings of Christ, which are given in the gospels before the cross.

 

If Joseph Prince has the audacity to ‘wipe out’ all of Christ’s (who is God Himself) teachings and commands in the gospels before the cross, how can he not be a heretic and a wolf in sheepskin?

 

Rev George Ong

 

Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ died & resurrected – By Rev George Ong

(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

 

Before I take you through my latest article…

 

Joseph Prince has again unusually ‘absented’ himself from preaching live last Sunday on 5 June 2022 and Lawrence Lim preached in his stead.

 

Prince has done this for 2 consecutive Sundays. For the previous Sunday on 29 May 2022, he uploaded an old sermon in place of his live preaching.

 

With the recent resumption of worship services for mega churches, which have been put on hold for more than 2 years because of COVID-19, Prince should eagerly be looking forward to preaching more to his congregation, not less.

 

I am not sure whether the strange absence of his pulpit ministry for 2 consecutive Sundays has anything to do with his frustration about his loss of popularity where he sees his four worship services at Star Vista (venue of church meeting) being reduced by about 50% to two.

 

The fact that New Creation Church has recently announced that people no longer have to book or reserve seats in the worship services, which is a sudden departure from what was previously practised, is a clear sign that the attendance at the Church’s worship services has dropped drastically and that Joseph Prince’s popularity has suffered a severe beating.

 

Because Joseph Prince didn’t preach live last Sunday on 5 June 2022, this article (see below) isn’t based on that sermon but a sermon on 22 May 2022.

 

 

Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ Died & Resurrected – By Rev George Ong

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 22 May 2022, the same sermon that Joseph Prince preached against the costs of discipleship of Jesus in Luke 14:25-35, and when he mentioned one of his most infamous statements, “You are not a disciple anymore,” Prince said the following;

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 30-second video:

 

“… Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is Jesus still under the law. All his disciples were under Law. In fact, let me tell you this. None of the disciples (Joseph Prince was referring mainly to the disciples/apostles of Christ) were saved or born again. How can they be saved? Nobody was saved. They were followers. Yes. They were disciples. Yes. But they were not saved. Why? How do I know that? Because Jesus has not yet died. He has not risen again. So they were followers of Jesus. Were they Christians? No. They were disciples. Put that right. He has not yet died. He has not yet risen. How can they be saved?”

 

First, Joseph Prince said,

 

“… Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is Jesus still under the law. All his disciples were under Law.”

 

What Joseph Prince is saying is that Jesus in the gospels was operating under the Old Covenant of Law and not under the New Covenant of Grace.

 

This is a very serious and false allegation that Prince has made against Jesus Himself.

 

As this would require a separate and thorough retort to his allegation, it would be covered as a sequel to this article to be featured next week. Don’t miss it!

 

Second, Joseph Prince also said,

 

“None of the disciples (Joseph Prince was referring mainly to the disciples/apostles of Christ) were saved or born again. How can they be saved? Nobody was saved.”

 

“Were they Christians? No. They were disciples. Put that right. He has not yet died. He has not yet risen. How can they be saved?”

 

Joseph Prince categorically asserts that no one, including Jesus’ disciples/apostles were saved, during Jesus’ earthly ministry until the death of Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection.

 

What Prince teaches does seem to sound correct on the surface – and that’s why he is able to deceive so many people, including pastors and even bishops.

 

But for those who know the scriptures, this teaching of Prince goes starkly against Jesus’ own words in the scriptures.  
 

There is no denying that believers are saved by the blood of Christ which He shed for us on the cross. This is a foundational doctrine in Christianity that cannot be compromised.

 

However, there is a special period during Jesus’ earthly ministry where people who placed their faith in the Lord Jesus were saved even before His death on the cross.

 

Notwithstanding that they were saved in the gospels even though Jesus hadn’t died for them by shedding His blood on the cross, it is evidently assumed that they would have readily accepted it was the blood of Jesus that cleanses them of their sins, once the death of Jesus on the cross becomes a known fact to them at a later stage. If that was not so, this only proves they weren’t genuine believers in the first place.

 

This means that once they genuinely believe in Jesus as the Saviour of the world, and even if they were to die before Jesus was crucified on the cross, they would still be saved and are heaven-bound, based on what Christ would have done for them on the cross.

 

During the three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, even before His death on the cross and resurrection, believers were already entering into the Kingdom of God. One cannot be said to enter the Kingdom of God and not be considered saved or a believer.

Christ Himself has revealed that many were entering God’s Kingdom as the good news or the gospel is being preached by Him even before the cross and His resurrection:

Luke 16:16 NIV
16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John
. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.”

 

Luke 16:16 MEV

16 “The Law and the Prophets were preached until John. Since then the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”

 

Luke 16:16 NLT

16 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.”

 

So believers were already entering the Kingdom of God from the time of Jesus’ preaching.

The fact that many were saved by grace through faith was already happening before the Last Supper, before the death and resurrection of Christ, and before Pentecost.

In other words, the New Covenant’s promises and conditions to be saved were not only revealed but also inaugurated and implemented during the three years of Jesus’ ministry before His death on the cross.

 

To put it in another way – although the death of Christ on the cross must still take place for the terms and promises of the New Covenant to be fully and finally effected, the New Covenant of grace has already been inaugurated and implemented at the beginnings of Christ’s ministry in the gospels. (This particular issue would be covered in greater detail in the coming article to be featured next week.)

 

Because people were entering the kingdom of God before the death of Christ (and that certainly includes the disciples/apostles of Jesus) they must be people who were already saved by faith.

 

It is an undeniable fact that people were being saved by faith in Jesus throughout the gospels, well before Jesus was crucified on the cross.


Joseph Prince’s teaching that the disciples of Christ were not born again or saved during Jesus’ earthly ministry as His death on the cross has not happened yet, is a deceptive teaching that is calculated to mislead the naïve and uninitiated. The sad thing is even mature believers have fallen prey to this doctrinal ruse.

 

What about Zacchaeus?

 

In Luke’s Gospel, Christ met a man named Zacchaeus, who makes a distinctive commitment to Him by repenting of his sins of covetousness and cheating.

 

Christ responded very favourably to this man and said to him:

Luke 19:9-10 NIV

9 “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

Didn’t Christ say to Zacchaeus that today salvation has come to his house?”

 

When did salvation come to Zacchaeus? – only when Christ died for Him on the cross?

 

Did Jesus say that to Zacchaeus?

 

No!

 

Christ said to Zacchaeus, “today salvation has come to his house” when he believed in Christ and repented of his sins.

 

It was ‘today” that salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry and not sometime after His death and resurrection.

Salvation came not only to Zacchaeus but to many others in the gospels during the 3 years of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
 

Zacchaeus was already saved by faith in Jesus well before the cross.

 

This means that if Zacchaeus were to die the day after he had received Christ as Saviour and Lord, he would still be heaven-bound even though Jesus had not yet been crucified on the cross.

 
Joseph Prince has also conveniently forgotten that believers, including the disciples/apostles of Christ were cleansed of sin before the cross and Pentecost because their names were written in heaven.

Christ declared to His disciples:

 

John 15:3 NIV

3 “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

 

In other words, the disciples were already spiritually clean because they were forgiven of their sins even before the Lord’s Supper, the Cross, and Pentecost because they believed the word that Christ had spoken to them.

 

This is confirmed by the fact that when the disciples returned from a ministry assignment, they were told by Jesus Himself to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven,” in Luke 10:20:

 

Luke 10:17-20 NIV

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

 

When Jesus asked them to rejoice that their names are written in heaven, He was clearly saying they were born again and were already saved at that moment in time, not after the cross or His resurrection or Pentecost.

 

This is confirmed by Hebrew 12:23 NIV:

 

Hebrews 12:23 NIV

23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 

 

The unmistakable characteristic of those, such as Christ’s disciples/apostles, who belong to the Church of the firstborn” is that their “names are written in heaven.”

 

So according to Jesus’ own words, the experience of God’s grace for the salvation of many, including Zacchaeus and the disciples/apostles of Christ, had already taken place in the gospels, well before the cross.

 

Joseph Prince by asserting that no one, including Christ’s disciples/apostles is saved during Jesus’ earthly ministry before the cross, is not only a direct and blunt contradiction to the words of Jesus, but it is also tantamount to making, Jesus, who is God the Son, a liar.

 

How can Joseph Prince be said to be Christ-centred when he has such unholy guts to go head-on against the plain teaching of Jesus? This shows that Prince is more anti-Christ than Pro-Christ.

 

Friends, let it be known that Joseph Prince, who is anti-Christ, isn’t teaching the real Jesus of the Bible. He, being a wolf in sheepskin, is unveiling his own version of Jesus – the counterfeit Jesus.

 

The teaching of Jesus in Luke 10:20, Luke 19:9, John 15:3 and the scripture in Hebrews 12:23, simply means that if anyone, including the disciples/apostles of Christ and Zacchaeus, were to die from the point of their faith commitment to Jesus even before the death of Jesus at the cross, he would stand to inherit the promise of eternal life that is already bestowed by Jesus.

 

Conversely, the grotesque implication of Joseph Prince’s false teaching is that since no one, including the disciples/apostles of Christ could be saved because Jesus hadn’t died for them on the cross and if any one of them were to die before Christ was crucified for them on the cross, they would have died as unsaved unbelievers and would have been banished to hell.

 

This is unthinkable! 

 

Last, but not least, if we go by Joseph Prince’s argument, we would end up with a ridiculous and false conclusion – that all Old Testament saints were not saved because Jesus hadn’t died yet when all of them died.

 

Put it in another way – going by Joseph Prince’s argument that those during Jesus’ earthly ministry weren’t saved as Jesus hadn’t died for them on the cross, all the Old Testament saints who had all died before Christ had the chance to die for them, would mean that these Old Testament saints would be headed for hell because Christ had not died on the cross for them in their time.

 

If Joseph Prince now realises the utter folly of his salvation doctrine and if he is now forced to change his stance and say that the Old Testament saints are saved, then, by the same token, he has no right to assert that the disciples/apostles of Jesus weren’t born again during Jesus’ time because Christ had not yet died for them.

 

Thus, Joseph Prince’s claim and lie that the disciples/apostles of Christ could only be saved after Jesus had died for them on the cross is resoundingly refuted.

 

Finally, let me reiterate that Joseph Prince is effectively making Christ, who is God Himself, a liar, when he contradicted Jesus’ words by his teaching that no one can be saved before the cross, during the 3 years of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

 

Making God (Christ Jesus) a liar must have been one of the worst sins of humankind. And unimaginably – this is committed by Joseph Prince, the so-called grace teacher, who has influenced much of the Christian world with his grace doctrine.

 

Imagine the massive amount of deception that has befallen upon God’s people! And yet, the leaders of the Singapore Church are still keeping mum about it as if nothing has happened!

 

(Don’t miss the next article which is a sequel to this write-up. It will address one of Joseph Prince’s worst heresies – that Jesus in the gospels was operating under the Old Covenant of Law and not under the New Covenant of Grace.

 

Think about the implication of this horrendous doctrinal error – that if Joseph Prince was right, then all of Jesus’ (who is God Himself) teachings and His words in the gospels can be ignored and disregarded as they are no longer applicable to New Covenant believers.)

 

Rev George Ong 

Joseph Prince’s Veiled Reply to My Criticism of his Teaching against Discipleship in Luke 14:25-27,33 – By Rev George Ong

(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

 

Crucial Concluding Point in this Article:

 

Believers, (including the Apostle Paul and 11 of Christ’s Apostles) throughout the centuries of Christianity under the New Covenant, knew what costly discipleship that Jesus preached in Luke 14:25-35 meant and had given up their lives for the sake of Christ.

 

These godly men and women were willing to pay the ultimate price of discipleship – giving up everything and even their own lives in order to follow Christ.

 

Yet, these are the very godly men and women that Joseph Prince is mocking when Prince teaches that the costly discipleship teachings of Jesus in Luke 14:25-35 are under the Old Covenant Law of demand and no more applicable to New Covenant believers (His own words in a Sunday sermon on 22 May 2022: “You are not a disciple anymore”) – implying that these courageous martyrs have suffered and died for Christ and the gospel FOR NOTHING!

 

Two Tuesdays ago, on 24 May 2022, I featured an article in this website, titled,

 

Joseph Prince Lied against the Holy Spirit & Preaches against the Costly Discipleship of Jesus.”

 

In that article under Point Number 3,

 

“Joseph Prince teaches against the Costly discipleship of Jesus,”

 

I showed a 30-second video excerpt.

 

On 29 May 2022, last Sunday, surprisingly, Joseph Prince didn’t preach live in person but showed an old sermon on YouTube instead.

 

The old sermon Prince showed on 29 May 2022, last Sunday on YouTube, titled: “Understanding Grace and Discipleship – comparing Luke 14 and Luke 15is the same sermon that I had taken from to show the 30-minute video excerpt as the basis of my criticisms against his ‘anti costs-of-discipleship’ teachings on 24 May 2022.

 

This is no coincidence!

 

Did Joseph reply to me regarding my article on 24 May 2022 and the 30-second video excerpt?

 

No, Prince didn’t reply to me directly. But, presumably, he did, indirectly.

 

Probably, after reading my article dated 24 May 2022 and viewing the 30-second video excerpt on my website which contained my criticisms against his teachings, Joseph Prince’s hidden reply to me, is perhaps, as follows:

 

“George, you had not done me justice by showing only a 30-second video clip (on 24 May 2022) from the one-hour sermon to make your point. So, let me show my congregation and the world the entire one-hour sermon which I did on 29 May 2022 on YouTube (in place of a live sermon by me that Sunday) so that your taking me out of context and the fact that you have misrepresented me in that sermon would be exposed.”

 

Why do I write it this way? This is because from the plenty of Joseph Prince’s sermons that I have personally viewed, he has frequently (falsely) accused his critics in this manner.

 

Please understand that for copyright reasons, I am not permitted to show the entire one-hour sermon on my website even if I wanted to; only Joseph Prince has the right to as he is the originator.

 

Second, for practical reasons due to limitation of space, and also because I cannot show the entire one-hour sermon, it is impossible for me to critique the whole sermon that Prince showed last Sunday on 29 May 2022.

 

But to give Joseph Prince no lame excuse or reason to accuse me for quoting him out of context or misrepresenting him, may I invite you to view the entire one-hour sermon which Prince showed on 29 May 2022 on YouTube yourself.

 

This can be viewed only about 3 weeks later from 29 May 2022 (from today on 4 June 2022, it is about 2 weeks later). This is because it is Joseph Prince’s practice to show what he preached on a given Sunday only about 3 weeks later on this given link:

 

https://www.youtube.com/c/JosephPrinceOnline/videos

 

I wish you could view this sermon on the above link yourself. After viewing the entire sermon, you can come to your own conclusion whether I have quoted Joseph Prince out of context and whether I have misrepresented him.

 

To me, this is a sermon that is built on one presumption after another. I can almost title this sermon of Joseph Prince as, “Bible Exegesis through Mere & Baseless Presumption.”

 

Let’s not talk about Bible exegesis, even basic logic is sorely lacking in his arguments as I shall show you in the ensuing discussion.

 

Despite this, Prince has the cheek to call this sermon of his a ‘classic sermon’ (these 2 words that Prince reflected in the sermon video). This is an embarrassment for him!

 

Let me move on to several issues I want to focus on about Joseph Prince’s teachings in this sermon.  

 

Kindly note that you would have to read Luke chapter 14 to appreciate my criticisms against Prince’s teachings.

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 1-minute video of what Joseph Prince said:

 

“There are a lot of questions that believers are asking. Pastor Prince, ‘What about discipleship? What about taking up the cross, denying yourself, forsaking all that you have to become Jesus’ disciples?’ Well, all that will be answered in today’s lesson.”

 

“Jesus shared a parable of a hundred sheep, of a shepherd and one sheep was lost and the shepherd left the 99 to look for that one lost sheep. And then comes the woman with the 10 coins; she lost one piece and the woman lit a candle and sought that piece out until she found it. Then came the story of what we call the prodigal son, the father had 2 sons and all that. All these 3 parables of grace (parable of lost sheep, lost coin and Prodigal son in Luke 15) is to be compared with the 3 parables of demand in Luke 14 (verses 25-35 when Jesus talks about the costs of discipleship). Let me explain, grace supplies (Joseph Prince is referring to Luke 15), law demands (Joseph Prince is referring to Luke 14, particularly verses 25-35).”

 

In his exegesis, Joseph Prince has clearly separated the Jesus of Luke 14 (particularly verses 25-35) from the Jesus of Luke 15 by pitting salvation in Luke 15 against discipleship, (which he sees as under law, and hence not applicable to New Covenant believers), in Luke 14 (particularly verses 25-35).

 

What Joseph Prince is saying is that when Jesus talks about the costs of discipleship in Luke 14 (verses 25-35), He is speaking under the law of demand of the Old Covenant. But when Christ talks about salvation in Luke 15, He is speaking under grace of the New Covenant.

 

Joseph Prince is effectively pitting discipleship in Luke 14 (verses 25-35) which, he says, is under law, against salvation in Luke 15 which is under grace – as he sees discipleship (under law) and salvation (under grace) as mutually exclusive.

 

The truth is both salvation by grace (Luke 15) and the costs of discipleship (Luke 14:25-35) are given by the same Jesus Himself, and they are presented by Christ as one and the same package which cannot be divorced from each other.

 

As I’ve already covered this particular issue in sufficient detail in my last article, titled,

 

Joseph Prince’s Teaching that you can be a Christian without being a Disciple can send you to Hell – By Rev George Ong (Dated 29 May 2022)

 

under Point Number 2,

 

The Great Commission of Jesus Proves that Salvation & Discipleship cannot be separated,

 

I shall not belabour on this point here.

 

Furthermore, when Joseph Prince says that Luke 15 talks about salvation by grace under the New Covenant, it is contradictory to his own grace doctrine.

 

In ‘Unmerited Favor’, Page 97, Joseph Prince wrote,

 

“However, the new covenant does not actually begin with the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as these books deal predominantly with the life of Jesus before the cross. In fact, the new covenant begins after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hence, the cross is our clearest marking point of where the new covenant begins.”

 

In ‘Destined To Reign’, Page 92, Joseph Prince wrote,

 

“The new covenant only begins after the cross, when the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.”

 

Joseph Prince contended that since, “The new covenant only begins after the cross”, it means all that Jesus said and taught in the gospels are under the Old Covenant Law because they all took place before the cross, and hence, are not applicable and not binding on New Covenant believers.

 

Yet, in the gospel of Luke chapter 15, Joseph Prince said that Jesus was teaching on salvation by grace under the New Covenant.

 

If Joseph Prince said all the gospels, including the gospel of Luke, are under the Old Covenant Law, then how can he say that the gospel of Luke chapter 15, is about salvation by grace under the New Covenant?

 

You see the stark self-contradiction in Joseph Prince’s grace doctrine.

 

Let me move on to the next issue.

 

Please click here to view excerpts in this one-and-a-half-minute video of what Joseph Prince said:

 

“Now the great multitudes that came after Him… These were the people (great multitudes in Lk 14:25 NKJV), the company that came from the house of the Pharisee (Lk 14:1 NKJV). And they came up to Him (Jesus), alright, with all the different reasons  predominantly, self-righteousness. ‘I can do it; I just have to learn what you did’. They are not seeing Jesus as a Saviour. They are seeing Jesus as an example. Look at Jesus’ thoughts – is He comfortable? He turned around, the Bible says He turned around, He turned to the multitudes and said, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, his own life also, cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.’” (Luke 14:25-27)… So likewise whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:33)” (Joseph Prince read the entire Luke 14:25-35 in his sermon but not all verses in this passage are reflected in this video excerpt).

 

“And the context I’ve just shown you, I took pains to show you the context, it is actually Jesus, not comfortable at all in this world of men. And then turned around and said, ‘If you want to see me as a pattern, you want me as an example, do what I did – give up everything. I gave up heaven to come to buy that pearl of great price, that treasure hidden in the field. Can you do it? And we take this whole thing and say, ‘This is what we must learn to do, count the cost.’”

 

“And the context is that He, (Jesus), turned around, no one can deny, these are hard words. Why? Because if you don’t see me as a Saviour, you see me as a pattern, you see me as an example. This is it, shiooo.”

 

“And Jesus says, if you want me as an example, you come after me as a pattern, you gotta give up everything.”

 

One of Prince’s main arguments is that the great multitudes in Luke 14:25, came from the same house of one of the Pharisees in Luke 14:1:

 

Luke 14:25-27 NKJV

25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

 

Luke 14:1 NKJV

Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

 

So, from the viewpoint of Prince, the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 are of the same kind as the Pharisees in Luke 14:1-24, who are self-righteous. Therefore, they came to Jesus with a self-righteous attitude not to be saved but just to learn from him as an example.

 

Hence, according to Prince, what Jesus said in Luke 14:25-35, and particularly Luke 14:26-27,33 to give up everything, He is not saying to genuinely communicate the costs of discipleship per se but to hit back at the great multitudes for their self-righteousness – that if they come to Him in a self-righteous way and want to see him as an example – then they must give up everything – just to spite them or to teach them a lesson.

 

Joseph Prince said,

 

“Now the great multitudes that came after Him… These were the people (great multitudes in Lk 14:25 NKJV), the company that came from the house of the Pharisee (Lk 14:1 NKJV).”

 

How does Joseph Prince know that the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 are those who came from the Pharisee’s house in Luke 14:1?

 

This wasn’t stated in the text at all. Since this wasn’t reflected anywhere in the text, Prince, as usual, has sinfully read into it – and added his own words in the word of God. 

 

His overall game plan was to tar the great multitudes and the Pharisees with the same Pharisaic brush in order to craftily set it up for his twisted and false interpretation.

 

So Joseph Prince has to assume that Luke 14:1-24 and Luke 14:25-35 form one and the same continuing and unbroken episode.

 

Specifically, he has to presume that the people Jesus was talking to in Luke 14:1:24 is the same group of people He was talking to in Lk 14:25-35 (specifically, the great multitudes in Luke 14:25).

 

He has to presuppose that both categories of people from Luke 14:1-24 and Luke 14:25-35 are one and the same, both possessing a self-righteous Pharisaic attitude. 

 

This is a terribly weak argument because it is based on mere presumption and nothing else.

 

How can a so-called world-renowned grace teacher build an interpretation of a text based just on such flimsy assumptions?

 

This presumption is critical to Joseph Prince’s interpretation. Once this is torn down, which I will in just a moment, his whole position and interpretation of the issue will go down the drain.

 

To me, Luke 14:1-24 and Luke 14:25-35 are two separate episodes/incidents. Also, the people that Jesus was talking to in Luke 14:1-24 are different from those in Luke 14:25-35.

  

By assuming that these great multitudes in Luke 14:25 came from the Pharisee’s house in Luke 14:1, (the one who invited Jesus to a meal), showed that Joseph Prince’s imagination had gone berserk.

 

How could such great multitudes have come from the Pharisee’s house?

 

When the gospels use the word, ‘multitudes,’ it connotes a big and gigantic crowd of people.

 

Two clear examples are the feeding of the five-thousand and four-thousand:

 

Matthew 14:19-21 NKJV

19 “Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”

 

Matthew 15:33,38-39 NKJV

33 “Then His disciples said to Him, ‘Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?’ 38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.”

 

No matter how big the Pharisee’s house is in Luke 14:1, it is impossible to contain such great multitudes amounting to thousands in Luke 14:25:

 

Luke 14:1 NKJV

Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

 

Luke 14:25 NKJV

25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,

 

Let’s not talk about Bible exegesis, even from the test of simple logic, Joseph Prince’s interpretation of the text has failed miserably.

 

Even if the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 could somehow be magically defined as referring to a much smaller group of people, there is still no concrete proof in the passage that the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 came from the house of the Pharisee in Luke 14:1.

 

Joseph Prince has to wildly presume and read his own fanciful ideas into the text – the word of God.

 

Prince will go to any lengths, even at the expense of posturing an impossible and foolish presumption, just to prove his grace theology and disprove the discipleship teachings of Jesus in Luke 14:25-35.

  

I have studied the issue and referred to many commentaries, and so far, I have not yet come across any commentator who says that the people mentioned in Luke 14:1-24 are the same as that of Luke 14:25-35.

  

This goes to indicate that an interpretation based on silence and mere conjecture like what Joseph Prince did is at best amateurish and cannot be conclusive and even deceptive.

  

Joseph Prince said,

 

“And they (the great multitudes in Luke 14:25) came up to Him (Jesus), alright, with all the different reasons  predominantly, self-righteousness. ‘I can do it; I just have to learn what you did’. They are not seeing Jesus as a Saviour. They are seeing Jesus as an example.”

 

What evidence does Joseph Prince have to conclude that the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 were self-righteous in their attitudes and that they were not seeing Jesus as a Saviour but only as an example?

 

Joseph Prince’s interpretations are incredibly built on one presumption after another.

 

Joseph Prince has to again read into the text and add into God’s word in order to support his position.

 

He certainly possesses great imagination when it comes to Bible interpretation – the trouble is, it is based on no fact but all imagination – so how can we trust this fellow’s exegesis!

 

Joseph Prince said,

 

“And the context I’ve just shown you, I took pains to show you the context, it is actually Jesus, not comfortable at all in this world of men.”

  

This is getting ridiculous!

 

This is the first time I have ever heard a teacher of God’s word locating or justifying the context of a passage by presumption after presumption, and psycho-analysing Jesus about how he really felt on the inside without any concrete fact and evidence to back it up.

 

Joseph Prince said,

 

“… it is actually Jesus, not comfortable at all in this world of men.”

 

How did Joseph Prince know Jesus was not comfortable with these great multitudes in Luke 14:25?

 

Where is his proof?

 

If one has read through Luke 14 and 15, the texts that Joseph Prince used to preach this sermon, nothing was explicitly mentioned that Jesus was uncomfortable with these great multitudes in Luke 14:25.

 

Yet, Prince has the cheek to say,

 

“I took pains to show you the context.”

 

Even if Jesus really felt uncomfortable with the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 and even if the great multitudes are self-righteous as Joseph Prince has tried to posture, SO WHAT!

 

Does that mean that Jesus’ words on Luke 14:25-35 should be discounted – that Jesus wasn’t genuinely speaking about the costs of discipleship?

 

Regardless of whether Jesus was comfortable or not and whether the great multitudes in Luke 14:25 were self-righteous or not, the point is that when Jesus laid down the costs of discipleship in Luke 14:25-35, he meant every word that he said.

 

It was Joseph Prince who twisted it and implied that Jesus didn’t mean what He said at all because He had another intention.

 

Joseph Prince also said in the video,

 

“And we take this whole thing and say, ‘This is what we must learn to do, count the cost.”

 

“And the context is that He, (Jesus), turned around, no one can deny, these are hard words. Why? Because if you don’t see me as a Saviour, you see me as a pattern, you see me as an example. This is it, shiooo.”

 

“And Jesus says, if you want me as an example, you come after me as a pattern, you gotta give up everything.”

 

Joseph Prince is effectively saying what Jesus meant was something like this,

 

“Okay, since you (great multitudes) are so self-righteous and since you asked for it, I will teach you all a lesson. I am going to ask you to do something. And that something is everything that I did for you. I gave up heaven. I went to the cross. I gave up my life for your sake. I bought that pearl and treasure in you (Matt 13:44-46). I am totally aware that this is something you cannot do, and it is impossible for you to do. Nevertheless, I am only doing this just to teach you a lesson about your self-righteousness. Since you did not come to me to seek after salvation which is by grace and prefer to go by law, I will give you the demands of the law of discipleship that amongst the many demands of the law of discipleship you must fulfil, you must give up everything.”

 

So Prince is clearly saying that Luke 14:25-35 is not teaching that we must count the costs of discipleship because Jesus was not sincere about what He said, or Jesus did not mean what He said.

 

Do you think Jesus would do such a thing in Luke 14:25-35?

  

The truth is when Jesus laid down the costs of discipleship, He was absolutely sincere about His intention. His intention was not to use it to hit back at the great multitudes with the demands of the law of discipleship for their self-righteousness as Joseph Prince has tried to sneakily imply.

 

For the rest of my critique on Joseph Prince’s ‘anti costs-of- discipleship’ teachings, you can read these 2 previous articles by clicking them below (if you haven’t):

 

https://www.revgeorgeong.com/rev-george-ong-joseph-prince-lied-against-the-holy-spirit-preaches-against-the-costly-discipleship-of-jesus/

 

https://www.revgeorgeong.com/rev-george-ong-joseph-princes-teaching-that-you-can-be-a-christian-without-being-a-disciple-can-send-you-to-hell/

 

My final point is that the costs of discipleship is a core teaching of Jesus not only in Luke 14:25-35 (Lk 14:26-27,33) but also in many passages in the gospels.

 

Even if Joseph Prince can get away with his twisted interpretation of Luke 14:25-35, he can never wriggle his way out for the following 3 ‘costs of discipleship’ passages:

 

Let’s first examine the first ‘costs of discipleship’ text in Matthew 16:21-25:

 

Matthew 16:21-25 NIV

21 “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

 

There is no way that Joseph Prince can twist this text to advance his ‘anti cost-of-discipleship’ agenda as Jesus is portrayed as clearly saying in Matthew 16:21-25 that He expects his disciples to be willing to suffer, take up his cross and die for His sake, similar to that of Luke 14:25-35.

 

When Peter tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross to suffer and die, Jesus said to His disciples:

 

“…Get behind me, Satan! (Jesus said to Peter) You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matt 16:23).

 

Didn’t Jesus identify Satan as the one who inspired Peter to say, “Lord, You will never go to the cross” (Matt 16:21-22)!

 

So shouldn’t we recognise as satanic the teaching by Joseph Prince that as disciples/believers, we have no business to take up our cross and suffer and give up our everything including our own lives for the sake of Christ – these being the costs of discipleship that we may have to pay?

 

“Since the mere avoidance of suffering for both Christ and us is severely reprimanded by Jesus as being satanic – Joseph Prince’s ‘no-suffering, no-sacrifice and no-martyrdom’ dogma is even a worse form of treachery.” (Matt 16:21-23) (George Ong)

 

Joseph Prince has to let us know what his take on this text is. If Prince disagrees with what Jesus plainly said in Matthew 16:21-25 as he did to Luke 14:25-35 on the costs of discipleship, what are his reasons?

 

Now, let’s look at the second ‘costs of discipleship’ text in Luke 9:57-62:

 

Luke 9:57-62 NIV

57 “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

 

In the gospels, and in particular Luke 9:57-62, Jesus is again speaking about the costs of discipleship. Jesus is never in a hurry to accept disciples. He placed ‘obstacles’ in front of them as He wanted them to count the cost of becoming His disciple. 

 

Isn’t that what Jesus was sincerely trying to convey to these three men in Luke 9:57-62 to count the costs of discipleship as He did to the great multitudes in Luke 14:25-35?

 

The cost of discipleship is such a crucial doctrine that is inaugurated and taught by none other than Jesus, the Son of God Himself that any responsible and sensible teacher of God’s word would uphold it at every opportunity.

 

Instead of affirming such a crucial doctrine, Joseph Prince deliberately chooses to demean and degrade it as he did to Luke 14:25-35.

 

Let’s look at the third and final ‘cost of discipleship’ text in Mark 8:34-38:

 

Mark 8:34-38 NIV

34 “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

 

In Mark 8:34 as in Luke 14:25-35 (particularly verses 26-27,33), Jesus makes the point that paying the price to be His disciples is non-negotiable:

 

34 “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

 

Jesus is clearly teaching whether a disciple gives up his life or not for Christ’s sake in Mark 8:35,

 

35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

 

can have eternal consequences in Mark 8:36-37,

 

36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

 

This simply means that the failure to pay the price to be a disciple of Christ by not denying himself and take up his cross to follow Christ in verse 34 and the giving up one’s life for the sake of Christ and the gospel in verse 35, is the same as not accepting Him as Saviour and Lord – as both will lead to the forfeiting of one’s soul in verses 36-37.

 

This strongly implies that salvation and discipleship cannot be separated. One who is saved has to count the cost of being a disciple and one who isn’t willing to pay the price to be a disciple isn’t saved to begin with.

 

Jesus is also probably teaching that if one fails to deny himself to save his own life instead of giving up his life as a true disciple would for Christ’s sake and the gospel, it is tantamount to being ashamed of Jesus, and Christ will be ashamed of Him on the day of reckoning in Mark 8:38:

 

38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

 

Joseph Prince, by teaching and deceiving his congregation that there is no cost of discipleship – no suffering, no sacrifice and no martyrdom for Christians or disciples, has failed to prepare them for such an eventuality.

 

And when it comes to the crunch, they are likely to fail the test of suffering and martyrdom, and Christ will be ashamed of them on the day of judgement.

 

This simply means that instead of preparing his flock for heaven, Joseph Prince is setting them up for hell.

 

Is Joseph Prince going to say that these 3 ‘costs of discipleship’ passages in Matthew 16:21-25, Luke 9:57-62 and Mark 8:34-38 are under the Old Covenant Law of demand and no longer apply to New Covenant believers as he did to Luke 14:25-35?

 

In conclusion, Joseph Prince, by teaching that the cost of discipleship teachings of Jesus in Luke 14:25-35 is under the Old Covenant law of demand, and no more applicable to New Covenant believers, simply means that all that the Apostle Paul, Peter, the rest of the disciples in the early church and throughout the centuries of Christianity, who did to live out their costly discipleship by suffering, being imprisoned, and even martyred, were all done in vain.

 

Had not Paul given up his everything to gain Christ?

 

Philippians 3:8 ESV

8 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

 

Had not Peter given up his everything to follow Christ?

 

Matthew 19:27 NLT

27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you…”

 

Had not the disciples given up their everything to follow Christ?

 

Luke 5:11 NIV

11 “So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

 

In the first 300 years of Christianity, what the early Christians had to go through was brutal.

 

Those who refused to say Caesar is Lord because the only Lord they know and would acknowledge is Christ were brutally martyred.

 

Even in the present day (several years ago), believers have been martyred during the ISIS reign, in Syria and Iraq.

 

Believers, throughout the centuries of Christianity under the New Covenant, knew what costly discipleship that Jesus preached in Luke 14:25-35 meant and had given up their lives for the sake of Christ.

 

These godly men and women were willing to pay the ultimate price of discipleship – giving up everything and even their own lives in order to follow Christ.

 

Yet, these are the very godly men and women that Joseph Prince is mocking when Prince teaches that the costly discipleship teachings of Jesus in Luke 14:25-35 are under the Old Covenant Law of demand and no more applicable to New Covenant believers (His own words in a Sunday sermon on 22 May 2022: “You are not a disciple anymore”) – implying that these courageous martyrs have suffered and died for Christ and the gospel FOR NOTHING!

 

Rev George Ong

Article 1: Joseph Prince’s Teaching that you can be a Christian without being a Disciple can send you to Hell – By Rev George Ong

Article 2 (short article): The Pandemic (COVID-19) is a Judgement on Joseph Prince – By Rev George Ong

In Article 2, don’t miss the short testimony of one who has been with New Creation Church for almost 20 years, but has since come out of the heretical teachings of Joseph Prince.

 

Article 1: Joseph Prince’s Teaching that you can be a Christian without being a Disciple can send you to Hell – By Rev George Ong

 

(These 2 articles were also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

 

This write-up is a follow-up and continuation of last week’s article:

 

“Joseph Prince Lied against the Holy Spirit & Preaches against the Costly Discipleship of Jesus” – By Rev George Ong

 

If you have missed reading the above article, you can view it by clicking below:

 

https://www.revgeorgeong.com/rev-george-ong-joseph-prince-lied-against-the-holy-spirit-preaches-against-the-costly-discipleship-of-jesus/

 

1. Joseph Prince’s teaching that you are not a disciple anymore” mocks the Trinitarian God-head.

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 30-second video:

 

“And the disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch. What are you? You are not a disciple anymore. The disciples are now called Christians.”

 

“So He (Holy Spirit) renamed the disciples for the first time. In Acts again, He (Holy Spirit) named them what? The disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch. So which is more important? The disciples, the names are changed to Christians. We should be calling each other sons of God or Christian.”

 

First, in the previous article (see above), Joseph Prince teaches that You are not a disciple anymore,” (in Prince’s own words) even though Jesus has categorically given the Great Commission to the Church in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples”.

 

So, Joseph Prince has downrightly rejected and mocked the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 of the Lord Jesus, the second person in the Holy Trinity.

 

Second, in the same previous article, by saying that it was the Holy Spirit who has renamed and replaced ‘disciples’ with ‘Christians’, Joseph Prince is literally putting his words into the Holy Spirit’s mouth as there isn’t a single piece of evidence for such an assertion by the Holy Spirit.

 

Hence, Joseph Prince has mocked the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinitarian Godhead.

 

Third, by declaring that Acts 11:26 states ‘disciples’ has been changed to ‘Christians’ when it isn’t stated in the verse at all, it clearly indicates that Joseph Prince has added his own words into God’s word.

 

Therefore, Joseph Prince has mocked God the Father, the first person in the Holy Trinity.

 

If Joseph Prince has the audacity to mock the Great Commission of Jesus, the integrity of the Holy Spirit & the Holy word of Father God, the 3 divine persons in the Trinitarian Godhead, how can he not be a wolf in sheepskin?

 

2. The Great Commission of Jesus Proves that Salvation & Discipleship cannot be separated.

 

What did Jesus mean by “make disciples” (Matt 28:19a) in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20?

 

Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…

 

First, it is simply about bringing the lost into God’s kingdom by “baptizing them” (Matt 28:19b) when they become Christians.

 

But that is not all.

 

Second, it is also aboutteaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt 28:20a).

 

In other words, as far as Christ’s Great Commission in the making of disciples is concerned, baptizing believers when they come to faith in Christ (salvation) and teaching them to obey every of Christ’s commandments (discipleship) comes in one package and cannot be divorced from each other.

 

What this means is receiving Jesus as Saviour by placing our faith in Him and acknowledging Him as Lord by obeying every of Christ’s commandments, are integrally connected. 

 

This is why the scripture says:

 

Hebrews 5:9 NIV

9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

 

Hebrews 5:9 clearly states that eternal salvation is only given to those who obey Christ.

 

“Salvation is never earned by our obedience to God but neither can we finally be saved without the presence of it.” (George Ong)

 

In other words, to be saved, a Christian/believer as a disciple is expected, not just to believe in Christ but to obey Him in everything.

 

Those who merely believe that Jesus has come to save them aren’t necessarily genuine believers.

 

There are many who believe that Jesus came to save us by dying on the cross for our sins and that He resurrected, and yet they believe that Christ is only one way to God.

 

Do you consider them believers of Christ?

 

Certainly not!

 

There are also those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and yet, they choose to be faithful to other religions. 

 

This shouldn’t be a surprise as even demons believe and admit that Jesus is the holy Son of God (Mk 1:24; Mk 5:7).

 

So who are the true believers of Jesus?

 

They are disciples who have not only believed in Him as the only way to God to be their Saviour but have also committed to obey His commandments and follow Him as Lord – as contained in the Great Commission of Christ.

 

One Bible scholar puts it so well:

 

Why use the term ‘make disciples’ then? Why not simply command that we evangelize the world? The reason is that Christianity is more than a decision to trust in Christ as Savior. It is not enough to invite men to believe in Christ as Savior. In the Gospels, our Lord invited men to follow Him, not just to believe on Him. Christianity is more than a moment-in-time conversion; it is the radical transformation or conversion which leads to a whole new way of life. It implies the forsaking of our former way of life, and our commitment to live as God requires, by His grace. In other words, discipleship is used because it compresses conversion and Christian living, salvation and sanctification, into one term. Conversion to Christ, in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, was inconceivable without a commitment to follow Him in life. That is why our Lord persistently challenged would-be followers (unbelievers) to count the cost…”

 

So, it is almost impossible to make a distinction between salvation and discipleship as the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 testifies.

 

Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…

 

The call to discipleship – make disciples’ is also the same call to faith – baptizing them’.

 

Another way of putting this across is that since the main verb is make disciples’ while the subsidiary one is baptizing them’, this means we make disciples by baptizing them.

 

This indicates that discipleship includes salvation or salvation is an integral part of discipleship.

 

Salvation and discipleship come in the same one package. One cannot choose one and reject the other.

 

Concomitantly, it is also not possible for one to say that he wants to believe in Christ to obtain salvation but he’s not willing to be a disciple.

 

In other words, one who has true saving faith is also one who embraces discipleship.

 

Though discipleship does not produce salvation, one cannot be saved without embracing it. Though discipleship does not contribute to salvation, it is a non-negotiable and concomitant by-product of salvation.

 

This means that while one is saved by faith in Christ, no one can be a true believer without being a disciple of Christ.

 

Also, in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus did not command the Church to make believers who later may become disciples as if they are 2 different persons. But He called her to make disciples because they are the same as believers.

 

Making disciples is the same call to make believers or Christians who are disciples. The call to be disciples is the same call to be Christians or Believers.

 

Hence, it is untenable for Joseph Prince to argue that one can be a believer or Christian without being a disciple.

 

Yet, today, there are many teachers out there who teach that a disciple and believer or Christian are two different persons.

 

They teach that a believer or Christian is saved by faith in Jesus, but is not ready or even willing to be a disciple.

 

On the other hand, a disciple is a believer, who is committed to a greater loyalty and devotion to Christ.

 

This means while every disciple is a believer, not every believer is a disciple.

 

This is unbiblical!

 

Does Jesus offer 2 different levels of commitment: one for believers or Christians and another for disciples?

 

Does Jesus offer two different sets of demands – one relatively easy and less demanding to a mere believer and another more exacting and costly for a committed disciple? One is for salvation while the other, which is optional, is for discipleship?

 

Evidence from the scriptures, especially that which is given in the next point, Point 3, points to the contrary.

 

3. The Call to be Disciples is issued to Unbelievers, not Believers – Luke 14:25-27,33.

 

The life of a Christian is no different from the life of a disciple. The call that Jesus issues for discipleship is the same call to faith. Jesus’ call to be disciples is the same call to be saved:

 

Luke 14:25-27, 33 NIV

25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” 33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

 

The large crowds that Jesus was speaking to in Luke 14:25 about the possibility of becoming His disciples were unbelievers or believers?

 

They were all unbelievers!

 

Jesus was laying down His conditions to unbelievers, not believers, before they could be accepted by Him to become His disciples.

 

Jesus was not asking believers, who are more fervent or more committed to consider to be His disciples.

 

Jesus was asking unbelievers to consider to be His disciples by being willing to carry the cross and give up everything, including their own lives in Luke 14:26-27,33.

 

In other words, the call to be a Christian is the same call to be a disciple.

 

There is no such thing as I want to be a Christian, but I am not ready to be a disciple.

 

If one rejects the call to be a disciple, one rejects the call to be a Christian.

 

If one rejects the call to discipleship, he rejects the call to salvation.

 

If a so-called Christian is unwilling to be a disciple of Christ, then he isn’t a believer to begin with.

 

So do not fall into the deception of Joseph Prince that you can be a Christian without being a disciple of Jesus and embracing the costly discipleship of Christ (Lk 14:26-27,33). If one isn’t a disciple, then he isn’t saved to begin with.

 

That is just one of the many reasons why I have concluded that Joseph Prince is a wolf in sheepskin.

 

This is because Prince’s heretical teaching of salvation can, indeed, lead people to hell.

 

Multitudes have been deceived by Prince that they are saved when they aren’t.

 

They are being deceived by Prince that they can be Christians or believers without being disciples of Christ.

 

A disciple and a Christian are the same person; they are not two different persons.

 

“Discipleship is not advanced Christianity but the essence of being a Christian.” (George Ong)

 

For unbelievers to qualify to be saved as Christ’s disciples, they must be willing to give up their everything.

 

The oft-repeated statement we have heard so often that salvation is free is only half the truth; the whole truth is – salvation is both free and costly.

 

Salvation is free because it cannot be earned by works and it cannot be purchased with money because it’s all about what Christ has done for us on the cross.

 

But it is costly because it is only given to those who meet the condition of being a disciple of Christ, who is committed to obeying Christ’s commandments and embraces Him as Lord (See Point Number 2).

 

The free gift of salvation can ironically be the costliest as it requires nothing less than the giving up of everything, even your own life for the sake of Christ (Lk 14:26-27,33).

 

The great deception is for people to think that they can enjoy the benefits of a Christian without the costs of a disciple.

 

Becoming a new member in God’s Kingdom will cost you nothing (Eph 2:8); remaining a life member in the same Kingdom will cost you everything (Lk 14:26-27,33).

 

Many preachers would readily preach on the one half of the truth that salvation is free, but few would dare to preach on the other half of it that salvation is at the same time costly.

 

“The Church has been deceived for too long that just because our salvation has cost Christ everything, it wouldn’t cost us anything.” (George Ong)

 

“The cost of salvation is high to the one who achieves it – Jesus; but to the one who receives it – Us – it is nowhere any lower as it may even involve the giving up of our lives for the sake of Christ.” (Lk 14:26-27,33) (George Ong)

 

Jesus said it in such clear and stark fashion that no one can misunderstand Him:

 

“If anyone does not give up his own life (Lk 14:26), does not carry his own cross (Lk 14:27), and does not give up everything (Lk 14:33), he cannot be my disciple.”

 

Luke 14:25-27,33 NIV

25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” 33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

 

Joseph Prince may say to George:

 

“George, here you go again. You are clearly an unrepentant negative preacher. You sure thrive on negativism.

 

Don’t you have something more positive to say – other than stressing on those negative words: ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’ – and you sure know how to rub salt into the wounds by highlighting them in red letterings and underlining them some more?

 

You have the special gift of loading people with burdens that are too heavy for them to carry. You have the talent of demanding commitments from people that are impossible to accomplish. You are doing exactly what the Pharisees have done! In fact, you qualify to be the Chief Pharisee!”

 

George would say to Joseph Prince:

 

“Hello Joseph, you are barking up on the wrong tree again. You are falsely accusing me again.

 

But what is worse is that you are accusing Jesus for placing ‘unreasonable’ demands that are too burdensome for people to carry. Don’t you know it was Jesus who said those ‘negative’ words, ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’ in Luke 14:26-27,33?

 

I thought you are the Super Christ-centred preacher. You keep boasting about the fact that you talk so much about Christ in your sermons. But what happened? How can you be Christ-centred when you are criticising Christ for His no-nonsense and exacting approach to discipleship?

 

How can you be Christ-centred when you disagree with Him on the use of ‘negative’ words, ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’?

 

And by the way, you are fiercely teaching against the cost of discipleship, which is a cornerstone of Christ’s teachings. So how can you be Christ-centred when you are teaching against His core teachings?

 

Jesus Himself repeated three times in a few short verses: ‘Cannot, Cannot, Cannot’. If Jesus says, ‘Cannot’, it means Cannot lah! Period!

 

If you cannot even agree with Jesus’ simple instructions, and had to go head-on against what He taught, how can you ever be Christ-centred?

 

You are so deceptive that you have succeeded in deceiving the multitudes that you are Christ-centred when the truth is you are such an ego-centric man who is prepared to go against and sacrifice the words of Christ in the word of God for the sake of your pseudo-grace theology.” 

 

Jesus said that you cannot be His disciple if you are not committed to doing those things that are mentioned in Luke 14:26-27,33.

 

This simply means if you are not willing to give up everything, including your own life, you are not His disciple because Jesus said, ‘You cannot’.

 

Even though you can declare to the whole world you are a disciple, but if you haven’t met the requirements or demands of Jesus that are clearly stated in these few verses in Luke 14:26-27,33, you cannot be a disciple of Christ, and you are not His disciple.

 

That’s not what I say; that’s what Jesus said. 

 

If Jesus says, ‘Cannot’, it means Cannot!

 

Is that simple and plain enough?

 

There would be preachers who would give in to the temptation of trying to play down on the ‘harsh’ demands of Jesus.

 

They may say,

 

“Jesus didn’t really mean what he said in Luke 14:26-27,33. What he meant is that you just try to give up everything. And even if you can’t eventually give up everything, He would understand. Jesus is very understanding even if we don’t meet the discipleship demands that He has clearly laid out for us.”

 

But that’s merely twisting scripture for the sake of pleasing the flesh.

 

Joseph Prince would say something far worse:

 

“That’s being legalistic. Don’t ever allow Pharisaism to make a comeback in the church. That’s an insult to the finished work of the cross. That’s nothing but trying to earn your salvation by works, and those who insist on going that way would have a double-curse (Gal 1:8-9) being invoked on their lives.”

 

Whenever we stress on the cost of discipleship that Christ Himself has laid down for us, Joseph Prince will never fail to throw his comeback argument at us – that we are earning our salvation by works.

 

But we need to understand that while salvation by grace through faith is free, it is not unconditional.

 

Just because no one can earn his salvation, doesn’t mean there are no conditions that are attached to it.

Imagine someone makes an offer of free diamonds, but with the condition that they have to be collected between 1-2 pm on a Monday.

 

If one has obeyed the condition of collecting them at the stipulated time, are the diamonds still free? 

 

Of course, they are.

 

Has one earned the free gift of diamonds?

 

No, he hasn’t.

 

Has one worked for the free gift of diamonds just because one has met the condition to collect it at the stipulated time, which Joseph Prince and gang would want to deceptively accuse us of?

 

Of course, the answer is no.

 

In the same way, meeting the conditions of salvation – Christ’s costly discipleship doesn’t mean that one has earned the free gift of salvation by his works.

 

But if one doesn’t obey the condition to collect the free gift of diamonds at the stipulated time, the diamonds are not for him to claim even though they are totally free.

 

Similarly, if one doesn’t meet the condition of salvation – Christ’s costly discipleship, the salvation that one claims to possess is only a delusion.

 

Let’s come back to the conditions that Christ has laid down for us in Luke 14:26-27,33.

 

Jesus was always making it difficult for people to become His disciples; it is the modern church that has made it far too easy.

 

I know this is a tough message. But Jesus never sugarcoats His tough demands on us.

 

Jesus makes radical demands on us not to make us miserable. It is for our sake and our good that He makes such tough demands on us.

 

Because He is the one who created us, He knows that our true fulfilment comes when we learn to release our everything to Him. 

 

But if we have not reached the point where we are ready to give up our everything and be committed to do all the things that are mentioned in Luke 14:26-27,33, we cannot be disciples of Christ and we cannot call ourselves Christians.

 

Luke 14:25-27,33 is merely stating a basic theology that we must all hold on to – that Jesus must be accepted not only as Saviour but more importantly as Lord.

 

And as Lord, He must have total control over our lives: over our money, our possessions, our parents, our spouses, our children, and even our life.

 

And unless we are ready to give up everything and the dearest to our lives, Jesus is not Lord at all. And if Jesus is not Lord, He is not our Saviour.

 

“It costs you nothing to receive Jesus as Saviour but it will cost you everything to receive Him as Lord.” (George Ong)

 

(This related issue that Jesus must be accepted as Lord and not merely as Saviour will likely be covered in another article to be featured on this website in the near future.)

 

But sadly, that’s not what is taught in most evangelical churches in Singapore, Malaysia, America and many parts of the world.

 

Most churches teach the wrong doctrine that once you have accepted Jesus as Saviour, you are already saved. The issue of Lordship comes later when one is more ready to decide on it. But even if he eventually does not accept Jesus as Lord, he is still saved.

 

That is certainly unbiblical!

 

Yes, what Jesus is calling us to give up everything because He is our Lord is absolutely radical; it’s absolutely tough, but it is not impossible.

 

Please think with me – would Jesus ask us to do anything that is impossible?

 

It may be impossible to the flesh, but it is absolutely possible through the Spirit.

 

That is why He has given the Holy Spirit to empower us, to do that which seems to be impossible.

 

It also doesn’t mean that after we have decided to give up our everything and recognise Jesus as Lord, we will not fail Christ. I guarantee you and I will fail Him many times.

 

After we have made that decision of accepting Jesus as Lord of our life by giving up everything, we may have our victories, and we may have our failings. Even though we have failings, it is through our failings we will learn and grow.

 

Jesus has never promised that the Christian life would be easy but He promises His grace that would see us through our struggles and failings.

 

Yes, we would stumble and fall every now and then. But the bountiful and matchless grace of God and Christ Himself are sufficient to help us in our failings and weaknesses, as we strive to obey Him.

 

God and Christ Jesus will never abandon us to our own struggles but, with the empowerment of the Spirit, enable us to live the supernatural Christian life in total commitment and absolute obedience to His Lordship and for His glory.  

 

Jesus never promised us a rose-garden Christianity – that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was that Joseph Prince promised in his Prosperity Gospel.

 

But Christ promised His empowering grace and loving patience that will see us through in our difficult and joyous journey to follow and obey Him.

 

And Jesus is not a hard task-master.

 

While Jesus boldly and unapologetically asked for our everything, and even our life, at the same time, he is also the gentle and patient shepherd, who will also allow us to grow through our failings.

 

We can be rest assured that Jesus certainly knows the difference between one who is insincere and only talks about giving up everything but does not act on it, and another, who, in the giving up of his everything, may fail, but is sincere about learning from and growing through his failures and presses on to be a disciple of Christ. 

 

Christ does not expect perfection from us but sincerity is all that He requires.

 

Since Jesus issues the call to discipleship in Luke 14:25-27,33 to unbelievers, and not believers, it is only logical to conclude that His call to follow Him and be His disciples is also the same call to believe in Him and be saved. 

 

Hence, a disciple and believer are one and the same person.

 

It is therefore a fallacy to teach that while every disciple is a believer but not every believer is a disciple.

 

There is no such distinction between a disciple and a believer – in which a disciple is more committed whereas a believer does not have to take his Christian walk that seriously and holiness and devotion becomes optional.

 

Discipleship is not a badge of honour of having made it to the next higher level or an optional extra but the evidence of true saving faith.

 

Yet, there is this serious wrong teaching not just by false teachers like Joseph Prince, but by the vast majority of the evangelical church, not only in Singapore but around the world – that you can be a Christian without being a disciple. 

 

4. Disciples as taught & produced by Jesus in the gospels continued in New Testament Christianity after His death.

 

Discipleship of Jesus’ kind didn’t die out with the death of Christ but continued in the Book of Acts.

 

The Book of Acts describes the activities, ministries and life of the early church, which is a community of disciples or believers.

 

These early disciples carried out Christ’s Great Commission (after Stephen’s martyrdom) to make disciples by calling people to repent and be baptised into a wider community of disciples:

 

Acts 6:1a, 7a NIV

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing… 

7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly…

 

What is our picture of New Testament Christianity? As portrayed in the Book of Acts, it is a church that is full of disciples.

 

Many words are used to describe a person who is saved in Christ in the New Testament: ‘believer’, ‘Christian’, ‘saint’, ‘brethren’, ‘the elect’, ‘the church of God’, etc, but ‘disciple’ (referring to a disciple of Christ) appears about 280 times in the New Testament and 28 times in the Book of Acts – beating them all.

 

As we can see, the most common name for describing those who came to faith in Christ both by Christ Jesus and the early church in Acts is the word ‘disciple’.

 

These many passages in Acts in which the word ‘disciple’ appears have revealed that throughout the Book of Acts, disciples are not a group of specially committed believers (apart from another group of ordinary believers) but Christians who have placed their faith in Christ and committed to follow Jesus.

 

The fact that the word ‘disciple’ is still used in the early church in Acts, proves that continuity is maintained.

 

What this means is that what and how Jesus had defined and described a disciple – that he must give up everything to follow Him in Luke 14:26-7,33, is the same as that of the early church – where the early believers, including 11 of the 12 disciples, gave up their everything, including their own lives for the sake of Christ.

 

To put it another way, how disciples are seen and perceived in the early church is no different from how Jesus regarded them in His earthly ministry in Luke 14:26-27,33.

 

That being the case, a Christian, who is a disciple is not just called to be saved but to live a life of costly discipleship and total commitment to the glory of his master, Jesus, as according to Luke 14:26-27,33.

 

This means that if a so-called Christian is unwilling to be a disciple of Christ, then he isn’t a believer to begin with.

 

5. Disciples & Believers/Christians are Synonymous.

 

Disciples and believers/Christians are terms that are used interchangeably in the Book of Acts – definitely implying they are synonymous and have the same meaning.

 

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, those who believed in Him and chose to follow Him were called disciples.  After Jesus’s death and resurrection, the term ‘disciples’ didn’t disappear from the scene.

 

In the Book of Acts which documents the history of New Testament Christianity, and arising from the church’s obedience to Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples, those who repented and believed in Jesus were still called disciples:

 

Acts 6:7 NKJV

7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

 

On another occasion, Luke, the author of Acts, reported another increase in converts. But this time instead of using the term ‘disciples’, he used the word, ‘believers’:

 

Acts 5:14 NKJV

14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,

 

On yet another occasion, Luke also records that the disciples were called Christians:

 

Acts 11:26 NIV

26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

 

From these 3 passages (Acts 6:7, 5:14 & 11:26) it is rather clear that Luke treated these 3 terms: ‘disciples’, ‘believers’ and ‘Christians’ as synonymous.

 

Luke didn’t try to differentiate disciples from believers or Christians. He didn’t attempt to clarify that while most are believers or Christians, some, who want to be more committed and devoted, are disciples.

 

Disciples referred to in Acts in the New Testament Church are always believers with true saving faith – the exceptions being the disciples mentioned in John 6:66, who were either false believers or true believers who chose to walk away from their faith.

 

But throughout the Book of Acts in the bulk of the many passages, all believers are referred to as disciples (see Acts 6:1-2, 6:7, 9:1, 9:19, 11:29, 14:20, 14:22, 14:28, 18:23, 18:27, 19:9, 19:30, 20:1, 20:30, 21:4).

 

Whenever the word disciple is used in the Book of Acts, it refers to believers without exception.

 

In other words, the terms ‘believers’ (and Christians) and ‘disciples’ are synonymous.

 

John MacArthur, in ‘The Gospel According to Jesus,’ Page 221, wrote:

 

“The word disciple is used consistently as a synonym for believer throughout the book of Acts (6:1, 2, 7; 11:26; 14:20, 22; 15:10). Any distinction between the words is purely artificial…”

 

No distinction was ever made between what a believer or Christian is and what a disciple is in the Book of Acts – as every Christian is a disciple and every disciple is a Christian.

 

This means if one isn’t a disciple, then he isn’t a Christian as salvation cannot be seen apart from discipleship.

 

In conclusion, let me reiterate that in Luke 14:26-27,33, Jesus isn’t speaking to believers and challenging them to be more committed as disciples.

 

Christ is talking to unbelievers about the cost of discipleship and the high commitment that He requires in following Him as Saviour and Lord.

 

When a person comes to Jesus to obtain salvation, he must be prepared to be a disciple ready to follow Christ. If he isn’t prepared to be a disciple, then he isn’t ready for saving faith.

 

A ‘believer’ or ‘Christian’ is always a ‘disciple’. Disciples are Christians and Christians are disciples.

 

There is no difference between a disciple and a believer or Christian. The Bible never attempts to differentiate them. One can be used in place of the other. But one thing is common between them – they are both followers of Christ.

 

Disciples and Christians are not different persons, but they are the same person.

 

And if you are not willing to be a disciple, then you are not a Christian and you do not possess saving faith.

 

Indeed, Joseph Prince’s teaching that you can be a Christian without being a disciple can send droves of those who are deceived by him to hell!

 

Rev George Ong

 

Appendix A

 

What essentially is a disciple?

 

Joseph Prince has defined it as a learner. He has said that in many of his sermons. Prince’s hidden and deceptive agenda for doing it, is to posture the view that since a disciple is a mere learner, costly discipleship of suffering and even martyrdom (which he fights against), isn’t what defines a disciple. In fact, he teaches against the costly discipleship of Jesus in Luke 14:26-27,33.

 

Defining a disciple as a learner isn’t incorrect, but it is incomplete. This is because the meaning of words, such as disciples, cannot be just decided by their definition.

 

A fuller understanding of the word, ‘disciple’ must definitely take into account how it was used by Jesus and the four writers of the gospels in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

 

For a proper and accurate understanding of the word ‘disciple’, it must take into the contexts and setting of how Jesus and the gospel writers use it.

 

That being the case, a disciple can thus be defined (one of the definitions) as one who comes to Jesus for salvation, and is willing to pay the price of total allegiance and loyalty to Jesus, and be engaged in a lifelong learning to be like His master, Jesus.

 

This definition can be backed up with many passages of scriptures in the gospels. Luke 14:26-27,33 is just one example, in which the call to be Christ’s disciples is issued to unbelievers.

 

Therefore, there are no two levels of commitment that Jesus is offering: one for ordinary believers and another for disciples. Jesus has only one set of offers to anyone who wants to be his disciples (Lk 14:26-27,33).

 

What defines a disciple is what would also apply to a Christian or believer as they are the same person.  

Article 2: The Pandemic (COVID-19) is a Judgement on Joseph Prince – By Rev George Ong

In my most recent article, “Joseph Prince Lied against the Holy Spirit & Preaches against the Costly Discipleship of Jesus” that is featured on YouTube, one kind soul wrote a comment on YouTube (deliberately unedited):

 

“Hahahaha! I have been in ncc (New Creation Church) for almost 20 yrs. In 2019 during COVID-19, I stay at home and read my Bible and the lord show me the scripture. I found out that Joseph prince has twisted and turned the gospel upsidedown to suits him. I believe the whole congregation didn’t even bother to read the bible. My advice is to stay away from jp (Joseph Prince).”

 

CK Choy

 

This is just one among the many who have written to me through my website that the Pandemic has indeed opened their eyes to the heretical teachings of Joseph Prince.

 

It gave them time to reflect on the scriptures and Joseph Prince’s teachings. Many came to the conclusion that much of what Prince teaches are false.

 

You may wish to read a related short article “Has Joseph Prince lost much of his Popularity?” by clicking below

 

https://www.revgeorgeong.com/rev-george-ong-has-joseph-prince-lost-much-of-his-popularity/

 

I have also written many other articles on this website – that COVID-19, has indeed, uncovered and exposed the falsity of Joseph Prince’s Health and Wealth Theology or Prosperity Gospel.

 

In Singapore, to date, almost 1.3 million have contracted the disease. This is not counting the very many that go unreported.

 

Let’s be honest and admit that many of our Christian relatives and friends in Singapore, and even ourselves have contracted COVID-19.

 

This is what I myself have learned from my own circle of Christian relatives and friends. And I believe it is no different from your own circle of close contacts either – Joseph Prince included.

 

Though my wife and I have not succumbed to the disease, my 3 children have. But thank God they recovered quickly.

 

With so many Christians contracting COVID-19, not just in Singapore but also around the world, this only indicates that Joseph Prince’s off-quoted line, “No virus can come near you” is nothing but a scam.

 

Prince himself is so embarrassed that he has not dared to repeat that phrase “No virus can come near you” for a long time. 

 

Another clear sign that the Pandemic is a judgement on Joseph Prince is that he went ahead to purchase Star Vista (the physical locality of New Creation Church) in Oct/Nov 2019 for a hefty sum of almost $300 million.

 

Then COVID-19 hit one month later in December the same year, resulting in the newly-purchased facility costing such a huge sum of money sitting there idle and unused for more than 2 years.

 

So much for God speaking to Joseph Prince to purchase Star Vista and so much for Christian stewardship when the Star Vista was purchased for an enormous sum of almost $300 million and for how many years? – 60 years or at most 99 years! (If I am wrong on the number of years, I stand to be corrected and will apologise at the earliest opportunity).

 

And one begins to wonder whether Joseph Prince is building God’s kingdom or his own kingdom?

 

Rev George Ong

 

Joseph Prince Lied against the Holy Spirit & Preaches against the Costly Discipleship of Jesus – By Rev George Ong

(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 22 May 2022, last Sunday, 2 days ago, Joseph Prince said the following;

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 2-minute video:

 

“I challenge you to look in the scriptures. Look at all the Spirit-inspired epistles of Christ through the Apostle Paul. All the letters to the church through Peter, James, Paul. Paul wrote most of it. Jude, John. In all the Spirit-inspired letters to the church, after the book of Acts, you don’t find one single mention of ‘disciples’ anymore.”

 

“So the word ‘disciples’ are there throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And the word ‘disciples’ are there in the Book of Acts throughout. But something happened in Acts 11. Look at this. This is interesting. (Acts 11:26). Acts 11, when he had found, Barnabas found Paul. Paul just got saved. He brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year, they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch. What are you? You are not a disciple anymore. The disciples are now called Christians.”

 

“So here the disciples in the book of Acts; and by the way the Book of Acts is the one that ends the word ‘disciples’. You don’t find them anymore.”

 

“Not one instance in the epistles, did the Holy Spirit choose the word, ‘disciple’. Be it in the noun or the verb. You don’t find it.”

 

“Back to this again. Why did the Holy Spirit not use the word, ‘disciples’ in all the Spirit-inspired letters to the church? Because He knows that sonship has come. So He (Holy Spirit) renamed the disciples for the first time. In Acts again, He (Holy Spirit) named them what? The disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch. So which is more important? The disciples, the names are changed to Christians. We should be calling each other sons of God or Christian.”

 

In another Sunday sermon preached at a different time, on the same issue of discipleship (Luke 14:25-27) Joseph Prince said,

 

Please click here to view excerpts in the 30-second video:

 

“He turned around. He turned to the multitudes and said, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, his own life also, cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.’” (Luke 14:25-27)

 

“And then turned around and said (Lk 14:25-27), ‘if you want to see me as a pattern, you want me as an example, do what I did – give up everything. I gave up heaven to come to buy that pearl of great price, that treasure hidden in the field. Can you do it?’”

 

“And we take this whole thing and say (Lk 14:25-27), ‘This is what we must learn to do, count the cost.’”

 

From what Joseph Prince said in the video excerpts, he made 3 key points:

 

First – though the word ‘disciples’ is found in the gospels and Acts, it is not found in the epistles a single time. Since ‘disciples’ is not found in the epistles at all and you are now called a ‘Christian’ in Acts 11:26, you are not a disciple anymore.

 

Second – it was the Holy Spirit who renamed disciples to Christians. Hence, the word ‘disciples’ has been changed to ‘Christians’.

 

Third – Joseph Prince is fiercely against the costly discipleship that Jesus teaches in the gospels, such as Luke 14:25-27. This was why Prince completely turned around and grossly distorted Jesus’ teaching and intention on costly discipleship in Luke 14:25-27 (in the last video excerpt).

 

1. Argument from Silence to Deceive

 

Joseph Prince is indeed a veteran at using the argument from silence to deceive – that since ‘disciples’ is no longer mentioned in the epistles, we should not be called disciples.

 

Let me use the argument from silence back on Joseph Prince.

 

I’m sure Prince is aware that the word, ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned a single time in the entire Bible.

 

So would Prince teach that the concept or theology of Trinity is never taught in the Bible at all?

 

Just because the word ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned in the entire Bible doesn’t mean that there is no evidence of the Trinitarian God in it.

 

On the contrary, the Bible is full of evidence about the Trinitarian God: God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit – so it is the case with disciples or discipleship as I will later show.

 

Does Joseph Prince know that the word ‘church’ is absent from 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 & 2 John, and Jude?

 

So going by Prince’s argument from silence, he would have to argue that the church is absent from these epistles and that they were not written to and for Christians!

 

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

 

That cannot be the conclusion as all these eight books are clearly written both to and about the church, even though the word ‘church’ isn’t mentioned at all in these epistles.

 

Does Joseph Prince know that the word ‘God’ is not mentioned in the Book of Esther?

 

Because God is not mentioned in Esther, and going by Prince’s argument from silence, he would have to conclude that God is not there at all in the Book of Esther. But does Prince or anyone have the audacity to say that God is not there in Esther?

 

Is Joseph Prince aware that Jesus never mentioned the word ‘grace’ a single time in the entire Bible?

 

If he is aware, why doesn’t he go around and spread this piece of ‘juicy news’ to everyone as he did to the word, ‘disciples’?

 

He wouldn’t dare to as that may affect the perception of people towards his Pseudo-grace theology.

 

And I would be foolish to use that against Joseph Prince’s Pseudo-grace theology.

 

Though Jesus didn’t use the word ‘grace’ we are well aware that Jesus Himself is the personification of grace (Jn 1:14,17).

 

Christ’s dealings with many people in the gospels are based on grace (not only grace, but also law as He can be pretty severe in many other instances too).

 

Just because Jesus never mentioned ‘grace’ in the Bible, doesn’t mean He doesn’t show grace or teach grace.

 

Can you see now how the use of the argument from silence which Joseph Prince deceptively uses on discipleship can lead to?

 

This argument from silence, if consistently applied, leads to an incredibly absurd conclusion.

 

I am belabouring this issue about the argument from silence because this is one deadly tactic that Joseph Prince uses to deceive and confuse people.

 

I do use the argument from silence too.

 

In my opinion, the argument from silence is permitted only if there is already concrete evidence to back up one’s position. The argument from silence can then be used as complementary evidence to strengthen one’s position.

 

But it cannot be used as Joseph Prince has done as the single and only argument to prove one’s position, and more so, when there are already facts and evidence that point to the contrary.

 

What’s more is that there are loads of evidence to prove that although the word ‘disciples’ is not mentioned, costly discipleship of  Jesus is alive and kicking in the epistles (Please see Appendix A at the end of this article for more details). 

 

Although Paul and the other apostles didn’t use the word, ‘disciples’ in the epistles, that doesn’t mean they didn’t talk about discipleship.

 

In fact, their lives (and particularly Paul) throughout the Book of Acts and the epistles were an excellent example of a self-denying, self-sacrificing and a suffering disciple of Christ whose life of costly discipleship (which Joseph Prince teaches against) ended up in the glory of martyrdom.

 

So, just because the word, ‘disciples’ doesn’t appear in the epistles doesn’t mean discipleship is not evident or important in the epistles.

 

In fact, these epistles are pulsating with the evidence of costly discipleship (Please see Appendix A at the end of this article for more details). 

 

Regarding why the word, ‘disciples’ is not used in the epistles, one insightful teacher wrote the following:

 

“Some suggest that the lack of the use of the term ‘disciple’ after Acts in the New Testament suggests that the latter writings of the Bible show that the term had “died out” in use.

 

This is a distorted reading of the evidence since the book of Acts covers history of up to between 62 AD to AD 70, a time period when many of the epistles were already written.

 

While Paul never uses the term in his epistles, it is not foreign to him as he used it in Acts (Acts 20:29-31).

 

Acts 20:29-31 NIV

29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”

 

It was also not foreign to Luke, his (Paul’s) companion who wrote both Luke and Acts.

 

If there was a change in emphasis of discipleship in the early church, Luke would have learned it from Paul. He would have exclusively used terms other than ‘disciple’ in the Book of Acts.

 

As it