Joseph Prince’s Pre-tribulation view that the Holy Spirit is taken out of the world is refuted by Michael Brown & RC Sproul – By Rev George Ong
Don’t miss the 1-minute video each of Michael Brown and RC Sproul.
Don’t miss the 830 Rapture Testimonies of Pastors, Elders, Leaders and Church Members who have written their testimonies and comments after they had attended my Rapture and Great Tribulation Seminar, some time ago.
The vast majority of these 830 testimonies have not only affirmed the truth of Post-tribulation rapture but they have also confirmed that Pre-tribulation is false.
To view, kindly click on the link below:
Note that Joseph Prince didn’t preach in the worship services for the past 2 Sundays: 20 and 27 Nov 2022.
“In fact, what is restraining the Antichrist from appearing… You know what is holding back the antichrist?… But what is holding him back, what is holding evil back is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. So the moment the (Pretrib) rapture happens, that’s when evil runs unhindered, unrestricted on this earth. That’s when the antichrist appears.”
“No, Friend, the mark of the beast cannot appear because we are here. The Holy Spirit is here. And he’s the one that holds back evil. But the day that we are raptured, the church is raptured, then and only then, can all this happen. Then you see the 7 years tribulation kicks in, like the world has never seen since the beginning of time until now. Trouble like never before. Then Jesus will return at the end of 7 years with all of us and He will rule from earth. Hallelujah.”
Joseph Prince states that what is holding the Antichrist (who personifies evil) from appearing is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church because the Holy Spirit is the one who holds back evil.
But once the Pre-trib rapture of the church happens, the Holy Spirit will be taken out of this world with her.
Although Joseph Prince didn’t state explicitly that the Holy Spirit is taken out of this world together with the Pre-trib rapture of the church, it is clearly and strongly implied.
This is because the teaching that the Holy Spirit will leave this world together with the Pre-trib rapture of the church is a common doctrine of Pre-trib theology, which Joseph Prince subscribes to.
Joseph Prince also states that the Pre-trib rapture of the church will occur before the Antichrist appears – who will come to institute the great tribulation.
The view of Joseph Prince that the rapture of the Church occurs before the appearing of the Antichrist,
and that the Holy Spirit will leave this world together with the Pre-trib rapture of the Church
is contradicted by Michael Brown who said;
“What I can say categorically is that it cannot be that the church is taken out (in 2 Thess 2:6-8) because Paul has already said explicitly (in 2 Thess 2:1-3) that’s at the coming, the appearing of the Lord, the revelation of Jesus for the world to see.
And that’s the time when he destroys the Antichrist as Jesus says in Matthew 24, the coming is after the tribulation of those days. That’s when He gathers his elect from one end of the earth to the other. There’s the gathering word again.
And it can’t be that the Holy Spirit in the Church is now taken out of the world (2 Thess 2:6-7), because, allegedly with the Pretrib scene, we’re going to have the greatest harvest of all time, of people coming to faith, Revelation 7, according to the Pre-trib view, the multitudes to come out of great tribulation, those are the people on the earth, getting saved during the great tribulation. How are they getting saved when the Holy Spirit has left the earth? How are they getting saved when Jesus tells His apostles, you can’t go anywhere to go on your mission without the power of the Holy Spirit?
So, it’s completely contradictory, aside from being an interpretation of the verse that no one ever heard of until relatively recent times. How can believers endure, how can they endure and overcome without the Holy Spirit?”
Joseph Prince’s view that the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the world together with the Pre-trib rapture of the Church is also contradicted by RC Sproul who said;
“Now, one of the most fascinating – and I think frankly bizarre arguments that dispensational scholars bring for their view of the Pre-tribulation rapture – the view that the church will be taken out of the world before the last tribulation.
The arguments I’ve read have gone like this – that the only one who really can operate as the restrainer of evil in this world is the Holy Spirit. So, the first assumption is that the restrainer of the 2 chapter of 2 Thessalonians is the Holy Spirit.
And then the speculation goes like this. Since the Holy Spirit indwells Christians, the only way the Holy Spirit could be taken away, and the only way the full restraining power of the Holy Spirit could be removed from the planet would be you have to remove every Christian from the planet.
So they see this as a sort of disguised teaching of the Pre-tribulation rapture, which I think is really unwarranted speculation.”
1. Joseph Prince’s teaching that the Pre-trib rapture and Christ must come before the Antichrist is a fallacy.
What Joseph Prince is falsely teaching
is that the Antichrist will come after Pre-trib rapture,
or the rapture of the church happens before the appearance of the Antichrist.
But in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, it clearly states that
regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him (rapture),
the day of the Lord will not come
unless the apostasy comes first,
and the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) is revealed,
1 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit, or a message, or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
He promised them that the Lord would not come to gather the Church in the rapture,
until she finds herself in the great tribulation when the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist is revealed
because the Antichrist will institute and reign during the great tribulation,
and the church will be around to face it, and not to escape from it.
The words of Paul are so clear and plain that anyone with an average level of intelligence could understand.
How could they be any plainer?
Show these words in the passage to any person who is not prejudiced by preconceived ideas or interpretations, and he will say,
“These verses say that Antichrist is going to be revealed before Christ comes to gather the Church in the rapture.”
So how can Joseph Prince teach that Jesus will come to rapture the Church before the Antichrist,
when Paul had warned the Thessalonian Church in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 not to be deceived,
as the day of the Lord or Christ to gather us in the rapture will not come
until the Antichrist is revealed!
Joseph Prince is clearly teaching against Paul as Paul reminded the Thessalonians that before the rapture could happen, two events must take place:
First, apostasy, presumably on a massive scale will occur, and,
second, the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist will be revealed.
Paul’s point was that the Church will be around during the great tribulation to face the Antichrist.
If the Pre-trib rapture theory is true – that the Church would be raptured before tribulation,
why would Paul talk about and instruct these Thessalonian Christians (and us) to look for events that are supposed to happen during the reign of the Antichrist in the tribulation?
It is obvious that Paul presupposes that the Church will indeed be present on earth during the great tribulation.
Both the Apostles Paul and John taught that the Church must be prepared for the coming of the Antichrist before the coming of Christ.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Thessalonian believers in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9,
goes into a fair amount of detail describing about the coming of the Antichrist,
and explicitly warns the Thessalonians
that the Antichrist must come before Christ:
2 Thessalonians 2:3-9 NASB
3 No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that he will be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is removed. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will eliminate with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and false signs and wonders,
The Apostle John, in 1 John 2:18, also warns;
1 John 2:18 NASB
18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
Why would Apostle John warn the Church about the coming of the Antichrist in 1 John 2:18,
if she isn’t going to come under his persecution during the great tribulation?
Why did the Apostle John go into great detail in describing the Antichrist in Revelation chapters 12, 13 and 17
if the Church isn’t going to be persecuted by him?
If God intends to remove the Church through the Pre-trib rapture before the great tribulation and before the Antichrist is revealed,
why do Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9
and John in 1 John 2:18 and Revelation chapters 12,13 and 17,
provide so much information about the Antichrist in the scriptures?
Written for an imaginary audience?
Far from it!
The reason is plainly obvious ─ to warn us about the kind of enemy we will be facing
so that we are spiritually and mentally prepared to fight the end-time battle and overcome Satan and his cohorts.
Think with me, if Christians in the Church are not around in the great tribulation,
who is the Antichrist going to ‘anti’?
This is a simple and down-to-earth but a penetrating question one must answer.
If the Church is not around, “God will have a lot to answer to Satan” who will blame Him for not giving him any work to do and he will be bored to tears and even to “death” during the great tribulation (half in jest)!
The Bible repeatedly warns us about the signs of the times, specifically about the rise of the Antichrist
to forewarn the Church that he is the arch-enemy that she will face.
For Joseph Prince to teach that the Church will disappear from earth to heaven and will not have to face the Antichrist,
even though the Bible has devoted so much space warning us about the Antichrist,
is plainly illogical.
In their defence, Joseph Prince and the Pre-tribbers argue that the hope of the Christian
is about the second coming of Christ,
and not about the horrors of the tribulation that will be experienced with the arrival of the Antichrist.
They further argue that if we focus too much on the Antichrist, it would take our focus off on Christ.
This criticism is easily countered with the following illustration.
A young couple discovers that the wife is pregnant!
They are eagerly expecting the arrival of their new baby.
The gynaecologist says to them,
“Well, it will not be all that easy. In fact, just before your baby arrives, you will go through some pretty intense time of labour, and you need to be prepared for that.”
Now, do you think the couple would quit looking forward to the birth of their baby because they are so focused on the time of intense labour?
Will they be so focused on the labour that they would lose the excitement about the “blessed hope” of the baby to come?
Of course not! They are excited! Their baby is coming!
Sure, there may be some tough times between now and then, but the awareness of difficult times to come would in no way diminish their sense of anticipation of their coming baby.
By the same token, our watching for the signs of the Antichrist, and the tribulation that comes with it,
would in no way, take our focus off on the coming of Christ.
A student who is about to graduate from varsity does not stop looking forward to his graduation just because he has to sweat it out to take his final exam first.
Therefore, for Joseph Prince and others to contend that just because we are going to encounter the Antichrist,
we can’t be looking towards Christ’s coming, is a simplistic and a lame argument.
Such arguments are not even worth considering
as they are concocted just to protect their Pre-trib doctrine from being exposed.
Some, such as Joseph Prince, even mockingly say something like,
“If you like to meet the Antichrist, please go ahead but as for me, I would prefer to meet Christ rather than the Antichrist.”
2. Joseph Prince’s teaching that the Holy Spirit would leave believers in this world, is erroneous.
Joseph Prince and the Pre-tribbers have no answer to the crystal clear teaching of the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
that the church will see the Antichrist before the rapture and Christ’s second coming.
So they came up with a distraction by trying to prove a Pre-trib rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NASB 1995)
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (NASB 1995)
6 And you know what restrains him (Antichrist) now, so that in his time he (Antichrist) will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he (Holy Spirit?) who now restrains will do so until he (Holy Spirit?) is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
(Note that ‘Antichrist’ & ‘Holy Spirit’ are put in by George Ong in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 to make Pre-trib view clearer.)
So Joseph Prince and Pre-tribbers explain that there is someone restraining the man of lawlessness,
and the one restraining the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, is the Holy Spirit,
and until the Holy Spirit is taken out from this earth, the Antichrist cannot be revealed.
Once the Holy Spirit is taken out of this world together with the raptured church, the Antichrist will be revealed.
This, obviously, is their backhanded way of proving the Pre-trib rapture of the Church before the Antichrist is revealed.
However, Pre-trib teachers have taken the forbidden liberty to equate ‘taken out of the way’ to ‘taken out of the world’:
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (NASB 1995)
6 And you know what restrains him (Antichrist) now, so that in his time he (Antichrist) will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he (Holy Spirit?) who now restrains will do so until he (Holy Spirit?) is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
Just because “The Holy Spirit and the Church are taken out of the way” in 2 Thessalonians 2:7,
does not necessarily equal to
“The Holy Spirit and the Church are taken out of the world” by Pre-trib rapture.
The words “way” and “world” are two different words and they aren’t synonymous.
This proves that Joseph Prince and Pre-tribbers, have
dishonestly, read into the scriptures in order to prove their doctrine.
But the greater problem Joseph Prince and the Pre-tribbers have to deal with
is simply that 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 had already established that before our gathering together to Christ or rapture can occur,
the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, must appear:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 NASB
1 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit, or a message, or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
This means the Church will be around during the great tribulation and that our gathering together to Christ, the rapture,
cannot take place until the Antichrist is revealed.
Paul clearly states in verses 1-3 that the Antichrist must appear before the rapture can happen,
meaning the Church will see the Antichrist.
But Joseph Prince and the Pre-trib’s interpretation of verses 6-7, which is a mere hypothesis,
says rapture must happen first before the Antichrist appears,
meaning the Church will NOT see the Antichrist,
as the Holy Spirit will go out of this world with the raptured church, before the Antichrist appears:
2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 NIV
6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
This clearly puts verses 1-3 and verses 6-7 into a stark contradiction.
One moment Paul says in verses 1-3 that the Church will see the Antichrist.
And the next moment, Joseph Prince says in verses 6-7, that Paul switches gear and says the opposite that the Church will not see the Antichrist.
Since the word of God never contradicts itself, the Pre-trib’s interpretation of verses 6-7, which is a mere hypothesis, has to be ruled out.
Next, Joseph Prince’s Pre-trib’s argument is theologically unsound.
The Holy Spirit can certainly work in any place and any situation.
And to believe that the Holy Spirit can only stop restraining the Antichrist when He is out of this world
is to believe God’s power is limited in some way.
Furthermore, there is hardly any biblical precedent or historical incident
that the Holy Spirit in the Church restrains wicked and evil people from rising to power and seizing control in the world.
Many Antichrists have risen to power and slaughtered millions of lives: Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler, are just some examples.
Were these Antichrists restrained from committing atrocities by the Holy Spirit that indwells the Church?
Did God have to remove the Holy Spirit and the Church in order for them to rise to power?
Then why would Joseph Prince assume that the Holy Spirit and the Church must be removed for the final and last Antichrist to rise to power?
To believe that the Holy Spirit must completely leave this world, thus, taking all Christians out of this world in the rapture,
so that the Antichrist will not be restrained and be free to work out his evil plan,
is not only bizarre but unscriptural.
We would have to ask Joseph Prince that if the Holy Spirit is not present in the world after the Church is raptured,
how are the Tribulation saints
(which, according to Pre-trib theology, that after the Church is being raptured, there are multitudes of Christians who will be saved during the tribulation)
saved in the first place?
Since the Holy Spirit is God’s agent of salvation (Tit 3:5),
no one can be saved without the Holy Spirit.
If the Holy Spirit does come back to save the Tribulation saints, will He begin to restrain the Antichrist again and disqualify the Pre-trib theory?
And if He does return, why was He removed at all in the first place?
What the foregoing arguments have shown is that there is, therefore, no time when the Holy Spirit is not present during the tribulation.
For God, the Holy Spirit to vacate this world and desert His own covenant people during their critical time of need and during the most terrible persecution of all time in the great tribulation is unthinkable.
This is clearly unbiblical.
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit, who is God himself, is omnipresent.
This means He is everywhere at all times.
It is literally impossible for the Holy Spirit not to be present on planet earth at any one time.
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there:
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
This falsehood about the Holy Spirit not being present during the great tribulation that is churned out by Joseph Prince
has to be exposed, because the Holy scriptures tell us an entirely different story.
assures us that the Holy Spirit will abide with the Church forever;
John 14:16 KJV
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
promises that the Holy Spirit will be with us “to the very end of the age;”
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The prophet Joel, Hosea, and many others spoke of the coming Holy Spirit’s outpouring of massive proportions that will power up right through the three and a half years of the great tribulation.
The biblical fact that we can count on is that the Holy Spirit and Christ Jesus will never leave us and will always be with us to the very end of the age (Matt 28:20).
In summary, Joseph Prince’s Pre-trib’s view that the Holy Spirit would leave this world together with the raptured Church
in order for the Antichrist to be unrestrained to institute his evil during the tribulation
is totally unbiblical and resoundingly demolished.
And what’s more, both Michael Brown and RC Sproul have refuted the Pre-trib rapture view of Joseph Prince.
Who would you choose to believe?
Michael Brown and RC Sproul,
who are both credible Bible scholars and well-regarded across denominations,
the serial liar, serial hypocrite, serial double-talker and serial slanderer?
Rev George Ong
Article 1: Lindsay Lim, an Ex New Creation Church member for 18 years, briefly shares on Joseph Prince & Olivia Lum, founder of Hyflux – By Rev George Ong
Article 2: Joseph Prince’s Health & Wealth Gospel is demolished by the renowned Gordon Fee & eminent John Piper – By Rev George Ong
For Article 2:
Don’t miss John Piper’s 1-minute video.
Be sure to read excerpts of Gordon Fee’s book, “The Disease of the Health & Wealth Gospels,” which are appended in this article.
Gordon Fee’s (who is a Pentecostal scholar and an Assemblies of God ordained Minister, is very well regarded as a Bible commentator across denominations), view that healing isn’t primarily in the atonement, has destroyed Joseph Prince’s stand that healing is in the atonement.
Lindsay Lim, an Ex New Creation Church member for 18 years, briefly shares on Joseph Prince & Olivia Lum, founder of Hyflux – By Rev George Ong
Lindsay Lim wrote;
“When I was in New Creation Church, I recalled how Joseph Prince boasted in a Cell Group Leaders’ meeting
that someone gave her first million to church and the person was Olivia Lum.
Joseph Prince’s exact words then were;
‘How often do you get $1 million in tithes?’
Joseph Prince also boasted during service that he needed to have lunch with this person
who gave her first million to church.
Of course, being the shameless pastor that he was (and still is),
he bragged that Hyflux succeeded because Olivia Lum followed his teaching.
So, tell me now that Olivia Lum has broken the law,
is it the result of Joseph Prince’s teaching too?
Perhaps, it’s time to edit his books where Hyflux’s success was used to glorify Joseph Prince’s teaching.”
If you have missed reading Lindsay Lim’s testimony about how she came out of New Creation Church, please click on the link below;
Joseph Prince’s Health & Wealth Gospel is demolished by the renowned Gordon Fee & eminent John Piper – By Rev George Ong
“One of the things he carried for us; of course, first and foremost, He carried our sins, praise the Lord. But the Bible also says He carried our diseases, Amen. Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. With His stripes, we are healed (Isa 53:5). But He also carried our poverty…”
Joseph Prince said;
“With His stripes, we are healed (Isa 53:5). But He also carried our poverty…”
These 2 key Health and Wealth gospel teachings of Joseph Prince can be stated as follows:
First, because Christ has “carried our poverty” and redeemed us from poverty (and also based on other passages in Galatians), every new covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was.
Second, based on Isaiah 53:5, “With His stripes, we are healed”, Joseph Prince argues that healing is in the atonement, and since that is the case, every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to experience perfect healing.
The Health and Wealth gospel, and especially, the perfect healing teaching of Joseph Prince is refuted by John Piper
in a one-minute video (to view, see below, after my article, for the link).
It is also completely demolished by Gordon Fee in his book,
“The Disease of the Health & Wealth Gospels,”
which you will have the opportunity to read it as excerpts are appended in this article (see below).
Most of you may know who John Piper is, but some of you may not be familiar with Gordon Fee.
But if you check with your Pastor, particularly the older ones, they are most likely to have heard of Gordon Fee’s name and even read his books and studied his writings.
Though Gordon Fee is a Pentecostal, who hails from the Assemblies of God, he is an accomplished scholar, who is well-respected across denominations.
Here are his credentials:
Gordon D. Fee (PhD, University of Southern California) is a Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, and an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God.
Considered to be one of the foremost experts in textual criticism of the New Testament of the Bible, Dr Fee was a member of the editorial board that composed both the New International Version (NIV) and Today’s New International Version (TNIV) translations of the Bible.
He is also the author of numerous commentaries and books on biblical interpretation, including the popular introductory work, How to Read the Bible for All its Worth (co-authored with Douglas Stuart).
Before I unveil what John Piper said in the one-minute video and what Gordon Fee had written in his book,
here are my thoughts about one key area of Joseph Prince’s Health and Wealth gospel – perfect health – that has gone wrong.
Joseph Prince believes that healing is in the atonement. From that belief, he asserts that every believer can enjoy perfect health.
The truth is, while we can experience a foretaste of perfect health,
we cannot experience the full measure of it simply because creation and our bodies are not yet fully redeemed.
Even if it is true that healing is in the atonement (which I am sympathetic with), we are still living in a fallen world, where diseases still abound.
Paul teaches that in a fallen world, the whole world, including our bodies, is in the process of decay:
“that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21).
“The decay will continue until we receive: “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23).
So, regardless of whether one believes healing is in the atonement (which Joseph Prince believes in),
we have to remember this
– that while we can have a foretaste of that total redemption, including the healing of the body right now,
we cannot have it all now.
Though Christ died on the cross to deliver my body from physical death,
I still have to die physically.
Though I have everlasting life and that includes my body,
it is in this body that I am groaning with Paul, waiting for the full and total redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:19-25 NIV).
Though Christ has purchased the total healing of my body from sicknesses on the cross,
I can’t have it all yet.
Though Christ died on the cross to give me a body that one day will be entirely healthy and free from all diseases,
I can’t have it entirely right now.
But I can have a foretaste of it.
I can experience the healing power of God every now and then, and even in increasing measures in my personal life.
But as long as I am in this body,
I am groaning, waiting for the resurrection and the full redemption of my body,
which includes perfect health, and which is a future thing (Rom 8:23-25).
So, it is definitely wrong to say that I can have perfect health in this life, and ‘in the now’ as Joseph Prince falsely teaches.
This is because the day when we can have our new resurrected bodies that will be totally free from sicknesses and diseases
is at Christ’s return and in the new heaven and a new earth, which is at a future day.
So for the moment, I can claim a foretaste of this in this life.
Believers should pray for healing each time they are sick.
But that does not mean every single disease on every believer’s body will be healed – given the reasons I’ve already explained.
As long as I am in this life, I am groaning in this body, waiting for what?
– The redemption of my body
– which is the same as the resurrection of my body in 1 Corinthians 15
– which is a future thing (Rom 8:23-25).
My perfect health is what Christ has accomplished on the cross, and I will inherit it one day when I have a new and perfected body in a new heaven and a new earth.
And we look forward to having our new perfect body with no sicknesses or diseases.
At the moment, I can have installments, and a foretaste of that.
But I can’t have perfect health now,
as this body is still part of this old and unredeemed world, and as we are still living in the period of the ‘already but not yet’.
One day at Christ’s return, Christians will be completely saved – both body and soul.
Yet we must remember we are living in the present state and the present world of decay and death. Our body is part of this decaying nature.
But one day, God is going to make, not just my soul but also my body, everlasting.
One day, nature will be recreated. It will be free from decay.
Nature and our bodies will be recreated and perfected by God.
And creation and nature have got to wait for our bodies to be put right.
That’s why creation and nature are eagerly waiting and groaning for the revealing of the sons or the children of God:
“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom 8:19-22 NIV).
Creation and nature were cursed, and decay set in at Adam’s sin.
But there will come a day when creation and nature will be renovated and transformed.
This is what creation and we are groaning for, like in the pains of childbirth for the birthing of a new and superior order.
Creation and nature are groaning in tension like a woman in labour to be recreated, and for the bodies of the sons of God to be perfected.
Creation and nature are not the only actors that groan for this glorious future where death and decay will be done away with.
But, we too, are groaning, because we live in the same tension as they are, between what they/we are, and what they/we can become:
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Rom 8:22-25 NIV).
We, who have already experienced “the firstfruits of the Spirit” (Rom 8:23), and tasted the healing power of God now,
are groaning for the resurrection, the redemption and perfection of our bodies in the future.
From Romans 8:22-25, we learn that not only does creation ‘suffer’ this tension of living in the ‘already but not yet’, but all Christians experience this tension as well.
The redemption of creation and nature is tied to the redemption of man’s body.
The last act of adoption to sonship, which is yet to be fulfilled, is in the redemption or resurrection of our bodies:
“Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23).
We are just groaning and longing for the adoption of sonship, the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:23).
Though our souls are redeemed,
our bodies are not ‘totally’ redeemed and saved as it is still part of the old nature of decay and death.
One would have to admit that no matter how many times one can experience the healing power of God on our bodies,
they are decaying, and we will die one day.
But, praise God, one day, our bodies will be resurrected with a new body.
Though our souls are saved, our bodies are not totally saved – waiting and groaning for a future day in which they will be redeemed (Rom 8:23).
And one day, both our souls and bodies will be ‘totally’ saved.
The redemption of our body is the resurrection that Paul also talks about in 1 Corinthians 15.
Our salvation will be complete when our bodies are redeemed and resurrected at a future day.
Paul did not view the body as a separate entity from the soul.
He viewed it wholistically – that on the final day of glory, the whole of man – body and soul will be saved.
The resurrected and redeemed body will no longer be subjected to sin and disease.
Paul is not only talking about the full redemption of creation and nature, he is also talking about the full redemption of man – and that includes the redemption of the body.
There will come a day when we will have new and perfected bodies that will be totally free from all sicknesses and diseases.
It will be a new and recreated body. It will be an immortal body that is totally free from decay and death.
This is what we are groaning for.
And when that day dawns, the tension of the ‘already but not yet’ will be over.
The tension that though we groan after this full redemption of our bodies, and yet we are still living in this old nature that is subjected to disease, decay and death, will finally be resolved.
Then our souls and bodies will be completely saved.
Then, our bodies will be perfected, free from every sickness and disease.
This body that is free from every sickness and disease is what we are groaning after.
The older we get, and as our bodies are afflicted with diseases, decay and death, the more we groan for this new and fully redeemed body that is free from all sicknesses.
And this is the hope that you and I are waiting and living for:
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” (Rom 8:24).
Hope, in the biblical language, doesn’t mean wish. It means confident expectancy. You know you are going to have it.
But, just in case we get over triumphalistic and unbiblical like Joseph Prince,
Paul has to remind us that this hope that we groan for a body that is free from all sicknesses and diseases, is yet in the future.
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Rom 8:24-25 NIV).
We must not be too anxious about wanting to have a perfect body or live in perfect health all in one go in the now.
We must wait patiently for the total fulfillment of it, which is set in the future.
And when we were saved, we were saved in this hope that not only will God save our soul, as He has already done but that one day, He will save our body too.
Though we can’t have our bodies completely healed and free from all diseases because our bodies are not resurrected and redeemed, we can have a foretaste of it by experiencing the healing power of God from time to time in the ‘now’.
But what Joseph Prince has unbiblically done
is to transfer all that will take place in the realm of the ‘not yet’ into the dimension of the ‘already’.
I believe I have exposed Joseph Prince’s false teaching that believers can experience perfect health and expect to be healed every time in this day and age
to be false.
While we can claim healing on the basis of what Christ has done for us on the cross,
we cannot expect to be healed every time and be in perfect health in this life.
But, one day, when our bodies are redeemed and resurrected, our hope for the perfection of our bodies that will be free from every sickness and disease, would be attained, finally.
Then and only then will perfect health and a body that is free from every sickness and disease be our portion forever and ever.
“One of the essential biblical problems with the Prosperity Gospel is an over-realised eschatology, meaning, the things that are promised, gloriously for us; we’re all going to be rich; we’re going to own the world; we’re going to judge angels.
Paul used that argument in 1 Corinthians 3 – ‘don’t you realise that you are going to inherit the world; the world is yours, power is yours, life is yours, death is yours?’ And the conclusion he drew was, why would you boast in man?
In other words, why won’t you take that as a means of enabling you to suffer, be lowly and kind and servant-like, and walk on this calvary road. Take the pain of being a Christian. That’s coming.
But what they (Prosperity Gospel preachers) do, instead of say, ‘Ah, we have to wait for that and pour our lives out through many tribulations here,
they say, ‘Bring in now, bring in now. The kingdom is already here, right. Jesus brought the kingdom.’
And it’s the overlap of these 2 ages, they don’t understand. The new age is a beautiful age. And there are healings that happen in this world, I don’t deny that. I just deny very vehemently everybody is going to be healed.”
Next, ‘The Disease of the Health & Wealth Gospels’ – By Gordon D Fee.
Quite a fair bit is taken from this book and appended as follows:
1. THE ‘GOSPEL’ OF PROSPERITY
“The fault (of Prosperity Gospel), of course, lies not with such isolated truths, but with the bottom line, which always comes back to one continual reaffirmation: God wills the (financial) prosperity of every one of his children, and therefore for a Christian to be in poverty is to be outside God’s intended will; it is to be living a Satan-defeated life.”
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Of this text Copeland says, “John writes that we should prosper and be in health” (p. 14).
(George Ong’s interjection: Joseph Prince teaches the exact same thing as Kenneth Copeland).
But is this what the text actually says? Hardly! In the first place, the Greek word translated “prosper” in the KJV means “to go well with someone,” just as a friend in a letter two days ago said, “I pray that this letter finds you all well” (cf. 3 John 2 in the KJV, GNB, NEB, RSV, etc.).
This combination of wishing for “things to go well” and for the recipient’s “good health” was the standard form of greeting in a personal letter in antiquity.
To extend John’s wish for Gaius to refer to financial and material prosperity for all Christians of all times is totally foreign to the text.
John neither intended that, nor could Gaius have so understood it. Thus, it cannot be the “plain meaning” of the text.
We may rightly learn from this text to pray for our brothers and sisters that “all will go well with them”; but to argue from the text that God wills our financial prosperity is to abuse the text, not use it.
One may well argue that all subsequent Christians are out of God’s will who do not go to Carpus’s house in Troy in order to take Paul’s cloak to him (2 Tim. 4:13), or that all Christians with stomach ailments are not to pray for healing at all, but rather to stop drinking water and to drink wine instead (1 Tim. 5:23). For these, too, are what the texts actually say, in (Kenneth) Copeland’s sense.
It should be noted further that “abundant life” in John 10:10, the second important text of this movement, also has nothing to do with material abundance. “Life” or “eternal life” in John’s Gospel is the equivalent of the “Kingdom of God” in the Synoptics. It literally means the “life of the Age to Come.” It is the life that God has in and of Himself; and it is his gift to believers in the present age.
The Greek word perrison, translated “more abundantly” in the KJV, means simply that believers are to enjoy this gift of life to the full” (NIV). Material abundance is not implied either in the word “life” or “to the full.” Furthermore, such an idea is totally foreign to the context of John 10, as well as to the whole of the teaching of Jesus.”
(George Ong’s interjection: Joseph Prince teaches that John 10:10 contains material blessings of wealth for New Covenant believers.)
“It should be noted further that this “gospel” is also not biblical in the larger sense of that word, in that it reflects a truncated view of the whole of Scripture. The selectivity of these (Prosperity Gospel) evangelists allows them not only to espouse a view not taught anywhere in the New Testament, but also carefully to avoid hundreds of texts that stand squarely in opposition to their teaching.”
“Granted that often in the Old Testament – but never in the New – possessions are frequently related to a life of obedience. But even here (New Testament) they are seen to have the inherent double danger of removing the eye from trusting God and of coming to possess the possessor.”
“According to Jesus, the good news of the inbreaking of the Kingdom frees us from all those pagan concerns (Matt. 6:32). With His own coming the Kingdom has been inaugurated-even though it has yet to be fully consummated; the time of God’s rule is now; the future with its new values is already at work in the present. We have been “seized” by the Kingdom; our old values, the old way of looking at things, is on the way out; we are joyously freed from the tyranny of all other lords.
In the new order, brought about by Jesus, the standard is sufficiency, and surplus is called into question. The one with two tunics should share with him who has none (Luke 3:11); “possessions” are to be sold and given to the poor (Luke 12:33).
Indeed, in the new age unshared wealth is contrary to the Kingdom breaking in as good news to the poor. Therefore, if one has possessions (precisely because they have no inherent value) he can freely share them with the needy.
But if one does not have possessions, he is not to seek them. God cares for one’s needs; the extras are unnecessary. The rich man who seeks more and more is a fool; life does not consist in having a surplus of possessions (Luke 12:15).
It is precisely this new age attitude that one finds reflected in the early chapters of the Acts. The early church was not communal. But they were the new community – the new people of God. Hence no one considers anything owned to be his or her own possession. The coming of the Spirit that marked the beginning of the new order had freed them from the need of possessing. Hence there was sufficiency, and no one was in need.
This same carefree attitude toward wealth and possessions also marks all of Paul. He is a free man in Christ, who knows contentment whatever the circumstances. He knows both want and plenty, both hunger and being well fed. He “can do all things” – which in this context clearly refers to being in need! “– through Christ who gives [him] strength” (Phil. 4: 10-13).
Thus he (Paul) tells those who have nothing to be content with food and clothing. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap” (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
But then he (Paul) remembers those who happen to be rich. They are to treat their wealth with indifference; they must not put any stock in it. Rather they are to be “generous and willing to share,” for this is true wealth (6:17-19).
The point is in the New Age, prosperity is simply of no value at all. How, then, can God will such a zero value for all His children? The cult of prosperity thus flies full in the face of the whole New Testament. It is not biblical in any sense.
2. THE ‘GOSPEL’ OF PERFECT HEALTH
“The second part of the “wealth and health Gospel,” that God wills our perfect health, differs from the cult of prosperity in several significant ways. In the first place, the physical and mental healing of human life is part of the redemptive activity of God.
In contrast to the cult of prosperity, the “gospel” of perfect health is a distortion of something which in fact is biblical, since the New Testament stands squarely on the side of healing: It is part of Jesus’ and the apostles’ ministries; gifts of healing are part of the church’s charismata; and at least one text (James 5:14-15) specifically enjoins believers to pray for the sick with the promise of answered prayer.
Furthermore, whereas material possessions are irrelevant to the people of God (they freely give if they have them, but they do not seek them), the same is not true of the human body. At least one of the reasons Christians pray for the sick to be healed is their conviction that the body, though still subject to decay and death in the present age, nonetheless belongs to the Lord and is destined for resurrection (1 Corinthians 6:13-14). A body healed – or healthy – because of God’s gracious activity on our behalf is a sign of the future already at work in the present age.
If this is true, that both Scripture and theology support our praying in faith for the gracious healing of the sick, then wherein lies the problem?
What is the “disease” nature of the “gospel” of total health for Christians?
Basically, it lies in some biblical and theological distortions which insist:
(1) that God wills perfect health and complete healing for every believer, and
(2) that God has obligated Himself to heal every sickness for those who have faith (unless the sickness is the result of breaking God’s “health” laws).
(George Ong’s interjection: Joseph Prince teaches exactly what Gordon Fee has listed in the above 2 points.)
Integral to this theology is the insistence that faith can claim such healing from God, and that any failure to be healed is not the fault of God but of the one who has not had enough faith.
Very often claiming healing means to confess it as done, even though the symptoms persist, so that at times one meets a blind, or diseased, person who claims to have been healed, even though the blind continue to grope in darkness and the sick still are riddled with pain.
Since l am obviously on the side of miraculous healing, I hesitate to try to combat this distortion, lest I sound like one who is against it altogether. But not so. I firmly believe that gifts of healing belong in the church.
(George Ong’s Interjection: Critics of Joseph Prince’s Health and Wealth gospel have the same stand as Gordon Fee. We believe that healing belongs to the church, but we are against the teaching of perfect health by Joseph Prince that every New Covenant believer will be healed on this side of heaven.)
But I also believe that this overzealous attempt to bring glory to God is in fact a distortion of truth that has created a number of neurotic believers (because they don’t seem to be able to muster up “enough faith”), and has kept the church as a whole from being open to the gift of healing.
Therefore, although my sympathies lie with the evangelists here, I must protest the bad biblical interpretation and theology of this movement.
As with many such half-truths, the “gospel” of perfect health seeks (commendably) to base itself entirely on Scripture.
However, the use of Scripture by evangelists of this (Prosperity) gospel is faulty in precisely the same three ways as with the wealth side of their “gospel”:
(1) some poor, or flat-out wrong, interpretations of key texts,
(2) selective use of texts, and
(3) failure to have a wholistic biblical view of things, especially a failure to understand the essential theological framework of the New Testament writers.
As a result, they tend to repeat the Corinthian error and are unable to hear Paul’s answers in 1 and 2 Corinthians as over against themselves – although these (Prosperity Gospel) evangelists are the unwitting descendants of the false apostles of 2 Corinthians 10-13.”
“The arguments for full and complete health as God’s only will for all believers are based on three sets of texts:
a) Paul’s statement that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:14) coupled with Deuteronomy 28:21-22, where disease is one of the curses of disobedience to the law. It is argued from these texts that sickness is a part of the “curse of the law” from which Christ redeemed us.
b) Isaiah 53 and the citation of 53:4 in Matthew and of 53:5 in 1 Peter 2:24. It is argued from these texts, and especially from the change to the past tense in 1 Peter, that healing is in the atonement in the same way as forgiveness.
c) A whole host of texts that remind us that God honors faith; e.g., Matthew 9:29; Mark 11:23-24; John 14:12; Hebrews 11:6; James 1:6-8. Space does not allow a thorough investigation of all these texts, but a few suggestions are in order.
a) The first set of texts may be quickly set aside. This is a typical example of a totally faulty “concordance” interpretation, which finds English catch words in various texts and then tries to make them all refer to the same thing. There is not even the remotest possibility that Paul was referring to the “curses” of Deuteronomy 28 when he spoke of the “curse of the law.”
And “redemption” in Galatians has to do with one thing only: how does one have right standing with God – through faith (= trust in God’s gracious acceptance and forgiveness of sinners), or by works of the law (=acceptance by obedience to prescribed rules)? Thus the Holy Spirit could scarcely have inspired a meaning of the text that is so totally foreign to the point Paul is making in this context in Galatians.
b) It is also questionable whether one can rightly argue that the Bible teaches that healing is provided for in the atonement. Such a doctrine has in fact been the position of historic Pentecostalism. However, the “position paper” on divine healing adopted by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God (dated August 20, 1974) makes it quite clear that the historic position does not see healing in the atonement in the same way as salvation. Healing is “provided for” because the “atonement brought release from the… consequences of sin”; nonetheless, since “we have not yet received the redemption of our bodies,” suffering and death are still our lot until the resurrection.
It would seem, therefore, that only in a circuitous way is it really possible to argue for bodily healing in the atonement. While there are scores of texts that explicitly tell us that our sin has been overcome through Christ’s death and resurrection, there is no text that explicitly says the same about healing, not even Isaiah 53 and its New Testament citations. Matthew’s use of Isaiah 53:4 does not even refer to the cross; rather he clearly sees the text as being fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly ministry. This is made certain both by the context and by his choice of Greek verbs in his own unique translation of the Hebrew (elaben= he took; ebastasen = he removed).
The citation of Isaiah 53:5 in 1 Peter, on the other hand, does not refer to physical healing. The usage here is metaphorical, pure and simple. In a context in which slaves are urged to submit to their evil masters – even if it means their suffering for it – Peter appeals to the example of Christ, which Christian slaves are to follow. This appeal to Christ, beginning at verse 21, is filled with allusions to and citations of Isaiah 53, all of which refer to Christ’s having suffered unjustly as the source of the slave’s redemption from sin. Thus Peter says: “He himself bore our sins (Isaiah 53:12, cf. 53:4 in the Septuagint)… that we might die to sin.” He then goes on: “By his wounds you have been healed (53:5), for you were as sheep going astray (53:6).” The allusions to both verses 5 and 6, joined by for and referring to “sheep going astray,” plus the change to the past tense, all make it abundantly clear that “healing” here is a metaphor for being restored to health from the sickness of their sins. Such a metaphorical usage would be natural for Peter, since sin as “wound,” “injury” or “sickness” and the “healing” of such “sickness” are thoroughgoing images in the Old Testament (see, e.g., 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 6:2; Isaiah 1:5-6; Jeremiah 30:12-13, 51:8-9; Nahum 3:19).
Furthermore, the Old Testament citations in 1 Peter rather closely follow the Septuagint (the pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament), even when this translation differs from the Hebrew; and the Septuagint had already translated Isaiah 53:4 metaphorically (“He himself bore our sins,” rather than “our sickness”).
My point: Matthew clearly saw Isaiah 53:4 as referring to physical healing, but as a part of the Messiah’s ministry, not as a part of the atonement. Peter, conversely, saw the “healing” in Isaiah 53 as being metaphorical and thus referring to the healing of our sin sickness. Thus, neither New Testament reference sees the “healing” of Isaiah 53 as referring to physical healing in the atonement.
But what did Isaiah himself intend? Almost certainly his first reference is metaphorical, as the Septuagint, the Targums, and Peter all recognize. Israel was diseased; she was grievously wounded for her sins (Isaiah 1:6-7). Yet God would restore His people. There would come one who himself would suffer so as to deliver. In grand cadences of Hebrew poetry (note the synonymous parallelism), Isaiah says of him: “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” In the context of Isaiah, that refers first of all to the healing of the wounds and disease of sin. Yet, since physical disease was clearly recognized to be a consequence of the Fall, such a metaphor could also carry with it the literal sense, and this is what Matthew picked up.
The Bible, therefore, does not explicitly teach that healing is provided for in the atonement. However, the New Testament does see the cross as the focus of God’s redemptive activity. In this sense (and in the sense that sickness is ultimately a result of the Fall), one may perhaps argue that healing also finds its focal point in the atonement.
c) The “faith” passages are in fact the crucial ones for the total health movement. After all, other Christians have used the two previous sets of texts as a biblical basis for healing. The argument for perfect health, or healing on demand, lies finally in the joining of healing as a part of the atonement (the basis of the demand: God has provided for it, therefore He must heal when asked) with all the texts on faith (since it is fully provided for by God, it may be secured by the correct formula of faith). Thus the great emphasis in this movement is on “raising peoples’ faith.”
“On the other hand, there is a way of interpreting these texts that can make a mockery of the divine will. “God promises us whatever we ask,” is the battle cry.
Fortunately, however, God does not grant everything we ask. For our asking is based on our own limited knowledge, and all too often it is colored by our self-interest. We can only praise God that He does not answer every prayer “prayed in faith.”
Hezekiah, after all, had his prayer answered and was granted fifteen more years, but it was during those years that Manasseh was born!
The real issue, therefore, when it comes to these texts, is not how “to get them to work for us,” but how we are to understand them in the light of the full biblical revelation. How do they relate to the reality of God’s sovereignty and His overall purposes with mankind?
For the concerns of this paper, the crucial question is whether God specifically wills all Christians to know perfect health. If that were true, and there is not a text that supports it, then “failure” to be healed miraculously would indeed be a failure of our faith. But if it is not true, and it does not appear to be so, then faith not only believes specifically for healing, but also knows how to trust God when the effects of the Fall continue to be very much with us.”
“Tied to this is the insistence on conventional wisdom as biblical. It is argued that every child of God should enjoy perfect health simply because he or she is a child of God; if they do not experience healing, then, of course, it is due to their lack of genuine trust in God.
All of this simply refuses to take the Bible, the Fall, or common grace seriously. From their perspective Christ has redeemed us from the curse, therefore these (Prosperity Gospel) evangelists will not allow the biblical view, which sees the Fall as permeating the whole fabric of the created order. The Bible itself is much more realistic – and much more genuinely hopeful.
God is revealed to have limitless power and resources; He regularly shows Himself strong on behalf of His people. Yet His people still live out their redeemed lives in a fallen world, where the whole creation, including the human body, is in “bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21), and will continue to be so until we receive “the redemption of our bodies” (8:23).
Thus the Bible records many of Elisha’s miracles, including healings; yet quite matter-of-factly, without judgment, it also records that he “was suffering from the illness from which he died” (2 Kings 13:14).
In a similar manner, it records that James was martyred and Peter delivered (Acts 12) – and Peter’s deliverance was surely no direct result of his or the church’s great faith!
Above all it is the Apostle Paul who presents problems for this point of view. On the one hand, his ministry was accompanied by “signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 15:19); yet neither he nor his associates always experienced perfect health. And never is their sickness attributed to lack of faith, nor their recovery to great faith.
Epaphroditus fell ill and nearly died, and in his case “God had mercy on him” (Philippians 2:26); yet Trophimus is left sick in Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20). For the sake of his frequent stomach disorders, Paul does not tell Timothy to pray or exercise faith for his healing. Again very matter-of-factly, he urges him to take wine for his sickness (1 Timothy 5:23). Why is it, one wonders, that the (Prosperity Gospel) evangelists do not make this Scripture a part of their healing ministry?
Some have argued that in all these cases, and especially the latter, Paul was exhibiting a lack of faith. But such an approach must be vigorously resisted, because it means to sit in judgment on the Holy Spirit Himself. If we believe all of Scripture to be inspired of the Spirit, then He inspired “wine for the stomach” in Timothy’s case, just as He inspired the laying on of hands and oil in James 5:14- 15.
More troublesome yet are Paul’s own physical illnesses and sufferings. His own body was weak, or sickly (2 Corinthians 10:10). Indeed, he says he always carried about in his body the death of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:11), and the context makes it clear that he is referring to his bodily weaknesses. Outwardly, he groaned (4:16), longing to replace his present earthly tent with the heavenly dwelling (5:1-2).
He preached in Galatia as a direct result of illness (Galatians 4:12-15), which almost certainly was some kind of ailment of the eye. Whether or not this was also his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7), there can be little question that the problem for which he thrice sought deliverance was a physical one. Some, to be sure, have suggested that the “flesh” here is Paul’s sinful nature and that some “person” (=messenger) from Satan was attacking his sinful tendencies. But that is to play havoc not only with this text and its context, but also with Paul’s theology of life in the Spirit (Galatians 5; Romans 8).
The most common way to “get around” these texts has been to argue for a distinction between suffering and sickness. Suffering is something external to us, which comes as the result of our following Christ. This, it is argued, is what Paul suffered, and we may expect to as well. Sickness and disease, on the other hand, are a part of the Fall and the curse, and these have now been overcome by Christ.
But this is a distinction that cannot be sustained biblically. It is not that the biblical writers did not, or could not, know the differences; they simply do not make such distinctions.
The clearest evidence of this is the fact that in both the Old and New Testaments the most common word for sickness is in fact the word weakness, so that frequently only the context alone tells us what kind of “weakness” is involved. (Compare, for example, the differences in the NIV and the NASB on 2 Kings 1:2-3.)
The obvious reason for this usage is that all evil is seen to be the result of the Fall, not just sickness. And God can and does deliver from all evil, not just sickness. But in neither case does He always
Just as Satan was responsible for Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” so also Paul was hindered by Satan from returning to Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:18), yet there is no hint in either case that he or God “failed.”
Sickness, therefore, is not some unique part of the Fall, deliverance from which is ours on demand; it is simply a part of the whole of fallenness. We are promised healing; yet there is also a place in the present age for “a little wine” for one’s frequent ailments.
3. The third area of weakness in the biblical interpretation of this movement is closely related to what has just been said. It is the failure to have, or to construct, an adequate biblical theology. The essential framework of New Testament theology is eschatological; that is, it has to do with the coming of the End. By the time of the coming of Jesus, Jewish hopes for salvation had become totally eschatological. The present age was seen as under Satan’s dominion, and thus totally evil. Evil men ruled, and they oppressed the righteous. The Jews had therefore come to give up on any salvation within history. They looked for God to vindicate them by bringing an end to the present age; He would do this through His Messiah, who would judge evil and usher in the New Age, the Kingdom of God.
It was into this kind of hope that Jesus came. He announced the Kingdom as present in His own ministry and proceeded to demonstrate it by healing the sick, casting out demons, and freely accepting the outcasts. Eschatological excitement reached fever pitch. But instead of ushering in the glorious New Age of their expectations, Jesus was crucified – and the lights went out. But no, there was a glorious sequel. He was raised from the dead. Surely now is the time for the Kingdom, his disciples thought. But instead, He returned to the Father and sent the promised Holy Spirit.
Right here is where the problems come in, both for the early church and for us. Jesus announced the coming Kingdom as having arrived with His own coming. The Spirit’s coming in fullness and power were also signs that the New Age had arrived. Yet the End of this age apparently had not yet taken place. Evil and its effects are still very much in evidence. How were they to reconcile this?
Very easily, beginning with Peter’s sermon in Acts 3, the church came to realize that Jesus had not come to usher in the “final” End, but the “beginning” of the End, as it were. Thus they came to see that with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and with the coming of the Spirit, the blessings and benefits of the Future had already come.
In a sense, therefore, the End had already come. But in another sense, it had not yet fully come. Thus, they saw the Kingdom, and salvation, as both already and not yet. The early believers, therefore, saw themselves as a truly eschatological people, who lived “between the times” – that is, between the time of the beginning of the End and the consummation of the End.
At the Lord’s Table, they celebrated their eschatological existence by proclaiming “the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Already they knew God’s free and full forgiveness,
but they had not yet been perfected (Philippians 3:7-14).
Already death was theirs (1 Corinthians 3:22),
yet they would still die (Philippians 3:20-22).
Already they lived in the Spirit,
yet they still lived in the world where Satan could attack.
Already they had been justified and faced no condemnation,
yet there was still to be a future judgment.
They were God’s “future people.” They had been conditioned by the future; they knew its benefits, lived in light of its values. But they still had to live out these benefits and values in the present world.
The problem in Corinth, and that which the wealth and health gospel is repeating, was to emphasize the “already” in such a way that they almost denied the continuing presence of the world. They saw Christ only as exalted, but not as crucified. They believed that the only thing that glorified God was signs and wonders and power. Because God heals, He must heal everyone. There is no place for weakness or hunger or thirst for this kind of eschatological existence. This false theology lay at the very heart of the Corinthian rejection of Paul. His bodily weaknesses did not commend him to their view of apostleship. An apostle should be “spiritual,” eloquent, living in glory and perfect health. They rejected Paul and his theology of the cross (with its ongoing suffering in the present age), because they saw themselves as “spiritual,” redeemed from such weakness. In their view Paul looked like anything but an apostle of their “glorious” Jesus.
Paul tries everything in his power to get them back to his gospel. In I Corinthians 1:18-25, he reminds them that the gospel has as its very base a “crucified Messiah.” For the Corinthians that’s like saying “fried ice.” Messiah means power, glory, miracles; crucifixion means weakness, shame, suffering. Thus they gladly accepted the false apostles, who preached a “different Gospel” with “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4), and condemned Paul for his bodily weakness (10:10).
In 1 Corinthians 4:8-13 he tried irony. “Already you have all you want! Already you have come into your kingdom – and without us!” he tells them. Then, with absolutely brilliant strokes, he annihilates them with the stark contrasts between himself and them, with himself as the example of what it means to live out the future in the present age.
In 2 Corinthians 3-6, he tries to explain the true nature of apostleship, which has a glorious message but is proclaimed by a less-than-glorious messenger. “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us,” he explains (4:7).
Finally, in 2 Corinthians 10-13, he attacks their false teachers head-on. To do so he plays the role of the “fool” as in the ancient dramas. Paul is forced to boast (because of his opponents), so in what does he boast? In all the very things the Corinthians are against – Paul’s weaknesses. In total irony he finally sets himself alongside the boasts of the false apostles, with their great visions and miracle-stories. However – in keeping with his point – his vision turns out to have no great word of revelation (12:4; he was not even allowed to tell its content!), and his miracle story had no miracle! All of this because he was a true disciple of the Crucified One. God’s strength is perfected not in His delivering His Messiah from crucifixion, nor in delivering His apostle from physical suffering, but is seen in the crucifixion itself, and in the apostle’s weaknesses.
Thus the “perfect health” evangelists simply repeat the Corinthian error. They find it impossible to live in the tension between the already and the not yet. Because God has already brought the Kingdom, they demand all of the future in the present age – except for the final resurrection. But 1 and 2 Corinthians stand over against this over-realized eschatology of theirs.
Paul lived out a free, joyous existence in the already (in both want and plenty, in both sickness and health),
because he knew that God had secured his life for the future
– even though it was not yet fully realized.
“Death is ours,” Paul says, yet we still die.
So with healing. It is ours; yet our bodies are not yet perfected.
And in this present age, even some of God’s choicest servants continue to be perfected through suffering, as was the Son of God Himself (Hebrews 5:8-9).
4. A final theological word. Again, as with the wealth side of their “gospel,” the preaching of perfect health tends to put the emphasis on the wrong syllable. Healing ultimately resides in God, they will affirm. Yet in actual practice, it is the result of man’s faith. Indeed, they see God as under obligation to us in this matter.
Healing, therefore, instead of being a gracious expression of God’s unlimited grace, is something He has to do – at our bidding. By way of contrast, the first sentence of a sound biblical theology may well be, God must do nothing. God is free to be God. He is sovereign in all things and is simply not under our control.
The second sentence of a sound biblical theology will be: Although God must do nothing, in grace He does all things. No healing has ever been deserved; it is always an expression of God’s grace. Some have asked, If God must do nothing, then why pray at all? Why not simply wait for Him to act sovereignly? The answer is simple: Because God answers prayer. The mystery of faith is that there is a wonderful correlation between our asking and trusting, and what goes on about us. God doesn’t have to answer prayer, but He does. God doesn’t have to heal, but He graciously does. Healing, therefore, is not a divine obligation; it is a divine gift. And precisely because it is a gift, we can make no demands. But we can trust Him to do all things well!”
3 THE NEW TESTAMENT VIEW OF WEALTH AND POSSESSIONS
“… Rather it is my hope to indicate what the New Testament itself teaches about wealth and material goods, so as to provide a biblical frame of reference for discussion and decision making.
Anyone with even a surface acquaintance with the New Testament has come to recognize that the Christian faith is decidedly on the side of “the poor”
and that “the rich” seem regularly to “come in for it.”
Thus Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are poor” and “woe to you who are rich” (Luke 6:20, 24, NIV). His messianic credentials are vindicated by the fact that “the good news is preached to the poor” (Matt. 11:5; see Luke 4:18),
while of the rich He says, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eve of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25).
In his parable of the Sower He warns of “the deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things” that choke out the Word of God (Mark 4:19), while elsewhere He says that one cannot serve God and money – they are mutually exclusive masters (Matt. 6:24).
Such an attitude toward wealth is reflected further in James and Paul, not to mention John’s Revelation (18:16-17: “Woe, Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin”).
James shames the church for showing favoritism to the rich (2:1-7) and especially in 5:1-6 condemns the rich for their oppression of the poor (“Now listen, You rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming up on you”).
And Paul warns that the rich who eat their “lovefeasts” and Lord’s Supper with regard to the poor are coming under God’s judgment (1 Cor. 11:17-34): elsewhere he warns those who want to get rich that such people “fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
In the light of such texts, it is no wonder that affluent Christians sometimes experience guilt, as though wealth, or being wealthy, in itself were evil. But such is not the case. As we shall see, it is the abuse or accumulation of wealth while others are in need that is called into question.
It is possible of course, to argue – as some have – that these texts merely reflect the sociology of the early Christians, whose Founder was a peasant carpenter, and whose early adherents were “not many wise, nor influential, nor of noble birth” (1 Cor. 1:26) and who had sometimes experienced the confiscation of their property (Heb. 10:34). Blessing the poor and condemning the rich was simply their form of making a virtue of necessity.
But such a sociological reading of the New Testament is a thorough misunderstanding of the deeply theological motivation of New Testament ethics, which ultimately derives from the Old Testament revelation of God as the One who Himself champions the cause of the poor.
It should be noted here that “the poor” in both the New and especially the Old Testaments, refers not merely to those in economic poverty. The “poor” are the powerless, the disenfranchised, those whose situation forces them to be dependent on the help of others. Thus, it includes especially the widow and the orphan, as well as the alien, and even the Levite. The Old Testament Law, therefore, is filled with statutes that protect such people from the aggrandizement of the powerful, who of course are people with authority and money.
Interestingly enough, it has been the Old Testament that has often been seen as the “balance” to the New with regard to personal wealth and prosperity. For here indeed one regularly finds prosperity (especially lands and children) as evidence of God’s favor (e.g., Deut. 28:14; Psalm 112:1-3; 128:1-4). So much is this so that Sir Francis Bacon could write: “Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.”
But what is often overlooked in such texts is that they are invariably tied to the concepts of God’s righteousness and justice. It is only as one is righteous – i.e., walks in accordance with God’s Law – that one is promised the blessing of abundance and family.
But to be righteous meant especially that one cared for, or pleaded the cause of, the poor and the oppressed. Such a concern is so thoroughgoing in the Old Testament that it is found in its every strata and expression: Law, Narrative, Poetry, Wisdom, Prophet. Thus in the so-called Book of the Covenant (Exod. 21-23), right in the midst of laws about seducing a virgin, sex with animals, practicing magic, and sacrificing to foreign gods, Israel is told not to mistreat or oppress an alien (22:21) and not to take advantage of a widow or an orphan (22:22). If they do the latter, they are warned, “My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless” (22:23-24). In the same context they are commanded to lend to the poor without interest and to return a poor man’s coat taken in pledge by sundown, because “I am compassionate.” In Exodus 23:10-11, the Sabbath year was instituted expressly for the poor, as was the Jubilee year in Leviticus 25 and 27.
This same concern for the disenfranchised is thoroughgoing in Deuteronomy (e.g., 10:17-19; 15:1-4, 7-11; 24:14-22; 27:19) and in the Psalter, which especially extols God because He cares for the poor and comes to their rescue (e.g., 9:8-9, 12, 18; 10:9-14, 17-18; 12:5; 22:24-26; 35:10; 68:4-5, 10).
In the great messianic Psalm 72, the “royal son” above all else, “will judge your afflicted ones with justice” (v. 2); “He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy” (v. 4; see vv. 12-14).
Precisely because God is like this, and His Anointed One will be like this (see Isa. 11:4; 42:1-4; 61:1), it is required of His people that they too plead the cause of the poor. This is especially true of those in authority. Thus it is only after he has murdered and stolen Naboth’s vineyard that God’s final judgment is pronounced on Ahab (2 Kings 21); and a strong part of Job’s defense of his own righteousness was that he had in fact cared for the Poor (29:11-17; 31:16-23).
All of this comes to its focal point in the prophets, whose condemnation of Israel repeatedly has three elements: idolatry, sexual immorality, and injustice to the poor (see Exod. 22:21-27 above). It is because “they sell into slavery honest men who cannot pay their debts, poor men who cannot even repay the price of a pair of sandals” (Amos 2:6-7 GNB), and because they “twist justice and cheat people out of their rights” and “prevent the poor from getting justice in the courts” (5:7, 12) that God condemns Israel (see Isa. 1:17, 23; 3:15; 5:8, 23; 58:1-12; Micah 2:1-2, 8-9; 3:1-4, 11; 6:8- 12; Zech. 7:8-14; and many, many others).
Righteousness in the Old Testament, therefore, calls for fair treatment of the poor. This is the way God is; this is the righteousness He demands. The poor are not to receive better things, or to be treated differently, but to be treated justly – and mercifully. Since the powerful and wealthy controlled the judges, the poor had only God to plead their cause.
Thus it is not surprising that in messianic passages the needs of the poor are going to receive God’s special attention. It is within such a context of “fulfillment” that one must view the ministry of Jesus.
But there is an added dimension. With Him the Kingdom of God had made its appearance. This meant for Him – and the early Christians – that in His own person and ministry the messianic age, the “blessedness” of the future, had dawned in human history. Jesus, therefore, is the beginning of the End, the inauguration of God’s final rule. Thus He came with good news for the poor, which for Jesus meant not only the time of justice for the economically deprived, the vulnerable, but also the time of the gracious acceptance and forgiveness of sinners.
Precisely because with Him the New Age had dawned, this meant that the overthrow of the old order with its old values and injustices had begun. Because God’s Rule had come, people were freed from the tyranny of self-rule and the need “to get ahead.” One cannot serve God and Mammon. Because God accepts and secures us, we need no longer be anxious about material things (Matt: 6:24-34). And because God thus accepts and secures us, we can freely sell our possessions and give to the needy (Luke 12:32- 34) and freely love our enemies and lend to them without expecting to get anything back (Luke 6:32-36). Indeed, the apostle John later says, if one has material possessions and cares nothing for the poor, such a person knows nothing of God’s love (l John 3:17-18: see 4:19-21).
It is within this twofold framework – the revelation of God as the One who brings justice to the poor and the inauguration of God’s Rule in the ministry of Jesus – that we must view the New Testament texts on money and possessions.
Poverty per se is not being glorified, nor is wealth condemned. In the new age a whole new order has been inaugurated, with a new way of looking at things and a new value system.
It is clear that Jesus sees possessions in the old age as doing the possessing, not being possessed. Possessions tend to tyrannize or lead to a false security. Hence some of His strongest words move in this direction. “Woe to the rich, the full,” He says (Luke 6:24-26), not because there is evil in wealth, but alas, because the rich “already have received their comfort.” They see themselves as “in need of nothing,” including God.
Like the rich fool, they seek more and more because they think life consists in having a surplus of possessions. but they are “not rich toward God” (Luke 12:13-21). “How hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom,” Jesus says. Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Jesus’ point is that it takes a miracle for the rich to be saved, because they are secure in their possessions.
But it is equally clear that Jesus did not have an ascetic’s eye toward property. If He had “no place to lay His head” (Luke 9:58), He and His disciples were in fact supported by the means of well-to-do women (Luke 8:2f.); and Peter owned a home in Capernaum to which Jesus repaired.
In reflecting on the fourth commandment, He says that parents are to be supported from their children’s possessions (Mark 7:9-13). In requiring money to be lent without hope of return there is the presupposition of money. Jesus went to dinners with the rich as well as the poor. Zacchaeus was not required to give up all his possessions: that he made a surplus reparation was the evidence of his salvation.
All of this is true because for Jesus wealth and possessions were a zero value. In the new age they simply do not count. The standard is sufficiency: and surplus is called into question. The one with two tunics should share with him who has none (Luke 3:11); “possessions” are to be sold and given to the poor (Luke 12:33). Indeed, in the new age unshared wealth is contrary to the Kingdom breaking in as good news to the poor. Thus, as Martin Hengel has so eloquently put it:
Jesus was not interested in any new theories about the rightness or wrongness of possessions in themselves, about the origin of property or its better distribution; rather he adopted the same scandalously free and untrammelled attitude to property as to the powers of the state, the alien Roman rule and its Jewish confederates. The imminence of the kingdom of God robs all these things of their power de facto, for in it “many that are first will be last, and the last first” (Mark 10:31; Matthew 19:30, 20:16; Luke 13:30). Of course, Jesus attacks mammon with the utmost severity where it has captured men’s hearts, because this gives it demonic character by which it blinds men’s eyes to God’s will – in concrete terms, to their neighbour’s needs. Mammon is worshipped wherever men long for riches, are tied to riches, keep on increasing their possessions and want to dominate as a result of them (Property and Riches in the Early Church [Fortress, 1974], p.30).
It is precisely this new age attitude that one also finds reflected in the early chapters of the Acts. The early church was not communal. But it was the new community – the new people of God. Hence no one considered anything owned to be his own possession. The coming of the Spirit that marked the beginning of the new order had freed them from the need of possessing. Hence there was sufficiency, and no one was in need.
This same carefree attitude toward wealth and possessions also marks all of Paul. He is a free man in Christ, who knows contentment whatever the circumstances. He knows both want and plenty, both hunger and being well fed. He “can do all things” – which in this context clearly refers to being in need! – “through Christ who gives him strength” (Phil. 4:10-13). Thus, he tells those who have nothing to be content with food and clothing: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap” (1 Tim. 6:6-10). But then he remembers those who happen to be rich. They are to treat their wealth with indifference: they must not put any stock in it. Rather they are to be “generous and willing to share,” for this is true wealth (6:17-19).
It seems to me that this is the biblical framework within which American Christianity must once again begin to move and have its being. For many of us this will mean the adoption of a simpler way of life – not as Law, but as gratitude to Grace. For many it will also mean courage – courage to withstand the paganism of our materialistic culture and courage to give time and money to “unpopular causes,” such as prison reform and world poverty. Such programs as Bread for the World, John Perkin’s Voice of Calvary in Mississippi, the Catholic Worker Movement, and Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship are leading the way for us in these matters. God’s call to us is for a return to biblical faith and to a radical obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. This does not require poverty, but it does require righteousness, which in this context means to use our wealth not to manipulate others, but to alleviate the hurt and pain of the oppressed.”
End of Gordon Fee’s book (excerpts).
What John Piper has spoken and Gordon Fee has written, totally demolished the Health and Wealth or Prosperity Gospel of Joseph Prince.
Who would you choose to believe?
John Piper and Gordon Fee, who are both accomplished Bible scholars and well-respected Bible teachers across denominations,
Joseph Prince, the serial liar, serial hypocrite, serial double-talker and serial slanderer?
Rev George Ong
Article 1: Joseph Prince’s Prosperity Gospel leads you to destruction as Olivia Lum, founder of Hyflux, was charged in court, yesterday – By Rev George Ong
Article 2: Joseph Prince’s talk on financial generosity is great – but are there hidden motives to our generosity? – Rev George Ong
Joseph Prince’s Prosperity Gospel leads you to destruction as Olivia Lum, founder of Hyflux, was charged in court, yesterday – By Rev George Ong
I thought I could relax for a while and pay attention to my other commitments in the next 3-4 weeks, until I read about Olivia Lum, founder of Hyflux, who was charged in court, yesterday.
If you do not know, the initial success of Olivia Lum was once used as a poster boy for Joseph Prince’s Prosperity Gospel doctrine.
Are you aware that Joseph Prince said about 2 Sundays ago in his sermon,
that he was going to preach his Prosperity Gospel doctrine strongly and with a vengeance in the coming days?
The reason is Joseph Prince shared that many young people in his church have been influenced by his critics’ stand and social media against his Prosperity Gospel doctrine and have gone to the other extreme – as poor as a church mouse.
Prince further said that if many of these young people don’t hold on to his Prosperity Gospel doctrine, which he said is biblical, they would swing to the other extreme, and seek after wealth using worldly ways, and would in the end, be destroyed.
What kind of sick argument is that – when Joseph Prince’s Prosperity Gospel is itself a worldly way of seeking after wealth,
simply because there is no basis for such a teaching in the New Testament scriptures – that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was?
You could imagine the damage that Joseph Prince’s Prosperity Gospel teachings that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was, to poison the minds of believers.
Believers, who aren’t rich, would think that something is wrong with them, and they would try all ways and means to be very rich to fulfil their covenantal right.
Those who are already rich, and in their desire to be very rich, may start to invest their riches in, perhaps, ‘attractive and big returns but highly risky ventures’.
Some may even be pressured to resort to underhand and dishonest means to either get richer or maintain their riches in order to fulfil their covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was.
This could be the start of the dangerous spiral downwards into ruin and destruction, all because of Joseph Prince’s teachings, that it is the covenantal right of every New Covenant believer to be very rich as Abraham was.
Joseph Prince has already brought one, Olivia Lum, to destruction,
and now, Prince, by his plans to preach the Prosperity Gospel message strongly and with a vengeance in the coming days, would bring more young people into the same destruction through the same Prosperity Gospel and grace doctrine.
Just imagine the evil Joseph Prince is planning to do.
You had better stay away from the Prosperity Gospel of Joseph Prince, lest you become another Olivia Lum.
Yesterday, it was reported in the Straits Times that Olivia Lum, chief executive officer and founder of Hyflux,
and a member, or former member of Joseph Prince’s New Creation Church,
was charged in court “with violations of the Securities and Futures Act.”
The Strait Times reported:
“Lum, 61, was also charged with an offence under the Companies Act for her failure in ensuring Hyflux’s compliance with accounting standards. She is out on agency bail of $100,000.”
“The company’s liquidation likely left about 34,000 investors of perpetual securities and preference shares, who had sunk in a combined $900 million, with nothing.”
“Analysts also said that Hyflux might have taken on too many capital-intensive projects with long gestation times, borrowed beyond its means and was too optimistic with its projections.”
Joseph Prince’s talk on financial generosity is great – but are there hidden motives to our generosity? – Rev George Ong
“Let me tell you this, it seems like the Bible is saying those who are generous, those who are magnanimous, those who have prosperity with a purpose in mind, these people have, their bodies, if you are generous, that means your body is healthy.”
“Are you stingy because I am generous? Amen. So those who are full of grace are people who are generous.”
Joseph Prince said;
“… if you are generous that means your body is healthy.”
What kind of perverted Health and Wealth teaching is that?
That being generous can give you a healthy body.
As Christians who speak the Malay language would say, “Suka Suka Theology” and “Any how Hantam theology”.
In English, it is teaching in any way as Prince fancies and a theology that is totally farfetched.
But I would just leave this as that as this is not my focus of this article. My focus is what is written below.
Generosity is indeed a great virtue that is taught in the Bible and we should all work towards being generous to others.
I have met people who are full of grace (true grace, not the false grace taught by Joseph Prince), and their graciousness can be seen in their generous giving.
Yes, by all means, be generous.
But there is something which you and I ought to be wary of – our motives.
Is there a hidden motive to our generosity?
Do we give generously because we want the whole world to know about our generosity?
Are we generous because we are buying favours from others?
Do we give to others generously because we want to win more people over to our agenda?
Am I magnanimous to others because I want to lessen the opposition that they have against me?
Do I give generously because I wish the other party could do the same favour to me?
Do I give generously to others so that they can be beholden to me and support my hidden agenda?
Do I, as a Pastor, give generously to other churches which are against my doctrine, hoping that from henceforth, they would not speak against what I teach?
Whether it is me, or Pastor so and so, or Joseph Prince, we had better be searching our hearts to see if there are such self-seeking and ungodly motives that we harbour in our hearts.
This is especially crucial when our giving comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Why do I give so much money when the other party doesn’t really need it?
If there are hidden and ungodly motives to our giving, no matter how generous our giving is, it is an abomination to God.
Let’s suppose if I teach a certain doctrine that is not acceptable to most churches, and they even fight against my doctrines; and I give generously to many churches hoping that they would not be vocal about their opposition, and with the eventual aim that they will be beholden to me, is my generosity pure?
And if I target key people and senior leaders in the church hierarchy to give expensive gifts so as to secure support from them about my doctrine, then my giving is certainly a scandalous act to God.
So we must be careful about our call to give generously.
Be generous, by all means, but always make sure our motives are right and pure.
If you haven’t, you may wish to view these 2 articles;
by clicking on the links below;
Rev George Ong
Article 1: Joseph Prince implies that the Singapore PAP Government, by prosperity, means they promise every citizen to be very rich – By Rev George Ong
Article 2: Joseph Prince is so vain that he wants his skin of a little child to be known to the whole world – By Rev George Ong
Article 3: Joseph Prince’s sick logic that those who rebut his doctrine cannot bring their child to see doctor – By Rev George Ong
Article 4: Why has Joseph Prince not gone to the poor Third World nations to preach so they can become rich? – By Rev George Ong
Article 5: Why is Joseph Prince talking so much about heaven when he isn’t going to be there, anyway? – By Rev George Ong
Note that 4 of these 5 provocative articles are very short articles. All 5 articles, combined, are about the same or lesser in length as compared to the length of one typical article.
For the next 3-4 weeks, I will be occupied with my other commitments. So, less articles would be released during this period.
Joseph Prince implies that the Singapore PAP Government, by prosperity, means they promise every citizen to be very rich – By Rev George Ong
“Do you want your child to prosper?
You know these people who advocate, you know, health, wealth, the kind of thing, I don’t know if they are Singaporeans; how they take the National Pledge. Because our National Pledge says what, ‘To achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.’ So I guess that part, they have to stay mum.
It’s funny how we think, like for example, when we are citizen, we think differently. When we are in church, we change; we become religious.”
“If you preach health and wealth, it cause a lot of religious people to be angry, Amen. You find them getting angry, just know, confirmation, Amen, until today.”
This is the second time that Joseph Prince has blatantly abused the Singapore National Pledge,
a National and sacred icon of the nation of Singapore, to support his erroneous Prosperity Gospel doctrine.
Joseph Prince has strongly implied that by ‘prosperity’ in the Singapore National Pledge,
the Singapore ruling PAP government is obligated to make every Singaporean very rich.
This is because Prince’s Prosperity Gospel doctrine clearly states that every New Covenant believer
has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was.
So when Joseph Prince equates the word, ‘prosperity’ in his Prosperity Gospel doctrine, to the Singapore PAP government’s meaning of ‘prosperity’ in the National Pledge,
he must mean that
just as his Prosperity Gospel doctrine states that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was,
so it is the case that every Singapore citizen has the right to be very rich.
If that is not the case, and if there is not this parallel,
then why is Joseph Prince bringing in the Singapore National Pledge, particularly, with regards to the word, ‘prosperity’,
to illustrate and support his Prosperity Gospel doctrine?
Second, by berating his critics that they are acting incoherently
– that if they don’t agree with Joseph Prince’s meaning of ‘Prosperity’ that every believer is to be very rich as Abraham was,
then why are they saying the Singapore Pledge that contains the same word ‘prosperity’,
is the second proof that Joseph Prince is making this correlation.
What is the correlation?
The correlation Joseph Prince is making is that
just as every New Covenantal believer has the covenantal right to be very rich,
every Singapore citizen, too, has the right to be very wealthy.
This is maligning the Singapore PAP government as they have never promised this to the Singapore citizenry.
I hope that the PAP government gets wind of this and bring Joseph Prince to task
for making such wild and irresponsible statements, and frivolously getting the Singapore Pledge, a National and sacred icon, unnecessarily involved.
In fact, the Singapore PAP government, and for that matter, every ruling government anywhere in the world, would be utterly foolish to promise that every citizen would be very rich.
And yet, this is the promise that Joseph Prince makes to every New Covenant believer
– that every one of them has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was.
This is unbelievable!
Just imagine how foolish Joseph Prince is for promising that which is impossible to be fulfilled,
and worse, such teachings cannot be supported at all from the scriptures.
And when believers were to confront Joseph Prince about why they are still not very rich as Abraham was, after all these years,
Joseph Prince’s typical reply is, they don’t have enough faith or revelation yet.
What nonsensical reply is that?
This is the kind of man you are dealing with
– one who gets all the credit for teaching this grandiose doctrine and gets everybody excited,
and then blaming others that it is their fault if they don’t receive the promise.
Next, Joseph Prince is falsely accusing and slandering his critics
for not possessing integrity as Singaporeans, and not having loyalty to the Singapore Pledge when he said;
“… I don’t know if they are Singaporeans; how they take the National Pledge… So I guess that part, they have to stay mum.”
Joseph Prince is so vain that he wants his skin of a little child to be known to the whole world – By Rev George Ong
“The Bible says when he (Naaman) came out, his skin was like a little child (2 Kgs 5:14 NKJV). And I’m telling you, it’s truth okay. When I take communion, almost every day, right, I claim this. Now, don’t look at me. The manifestation is still happening. Okay. But I tell you I claim it. Why not? If God can do it for Naaman, Amen, God can do it for me, Amen. All the promises of God is yes and amen.
Imagine, how old is he? To be a commander, usually he’s probably in his 50s. He command other people to do the leg work. He’s probably in his 50s and all that, and yet his skin became like a little child. So, I can believe God for that, Amen, Amen.”
I’ve heard from the grapevine that Joseph Prince and his pastors go for facials very regularly.
Perhaps, Joseph Prince would like to confirm whether this is true?
If true, how often does he go for a facial and how much does he spend weekly or monthly going for a facial?
If it is true that Joseph Prince is a habitual goer for facial treatment, then why didn’t he declare it first.
(I have never gone for a facial a single time in my life. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going for a facial.)
If it is true that Joseph Prince regularly goes for facial,
then at least we know that it is not only by taking the Holy Communion
that results in his skin appearing like that of a little child (not that his critics believe this),
but it is also because of his frequent facial treatment.
Joseph Prince must give the whole truth and not part of the truth, so people would not be misled.
To present a half-truth is tantamount to telling a lie.
If it is true that Joseph Prince goes for facials, he should not selfishly keep it to himself, but he should also recommend this particular facial company that he regularly goes to, to others, so that his church members too can benefit from it.
And does Joseph Prince also regularly take special supplements like expensive pills that promise smooth and good skin?
If he does, he must also declare so people are given the whole truth – that is it not only through partaking the Holy Communion, but it is also these expensive pills that are partly responsible for his smooth skin.
Oh yes, another thing – plastic surgery!
In the last few years, I have so many people who have asked me whether Joseph Prince has gone for plastic surgery.
I have to tell them frankly and honestly, I don’t know.
I don’t think he has, but since this is a perennial question that many are asking, which is of public interest, and also because Joseph Prince himself has brought this matter up about his skin that appears like that of a little child, perhaps Joseph Prince could clarify on pulpit whether he did go for plastic surgery, or he did not.
Next, it is easier for people to be convinced that Joseph Prince’s skin is like that of a little child because of his regular partaking of the Holy Communion,
if he could, one day, preach without all the thick makeup that he puts on every Sunday.
Joseph Prince said;
“The Bible says when he came out, his skin was like a little child. And I’m telling you, it’s truth okay. When I take communion, almost every day, right, I claim this. Now, don’t look at me.”
When Joseph Prince said, “Now, don’t look at me,” what do you think he is asking you?
To look at him!
It is so typical of Joseph Prince who pretends to be humble, “Now don’t look at me,” when he is such a proud guy who actually says in his heart,
“Now, what I really meant is look at me.”
Because the vain and proud Joseph Prince wants the whole world to know that he has the skin of a little child.
Joseph Prince said;
“Imagine, how old is he? To be a commander, usually he’s probably in his 50s. He command other people to do the leg work. He’s probably in his 50s and all that, and yet his skin became like a little child. So, I can believe God for that, Amen, Amen.”
Why the need for Joseph Prince to mention that Naaman was probably in his 50s, not once but twice?
It is to set up the correlation between the ages of Naaman and himself. This year, Prince is 58 or 59-years-old.
His congregation knows how old he is, as his birthday is always mentioned and celebrated yearly in the worship service.
By mentioning that Naaman was in his late 50s twice, Prince wants to make sure everybody knows that when he talks about Naaman, he is also referring to himself.
But how does he know Naaman is probably in his 50s?
By merely reading his age into the text.
Why does he pick the age of late 50s, and not late 40s or late 60s or late 70s?
It is because Joseph Prince is in his late 50s.
Can you see how vain Joseph Prince is – that he is prepared to read his age into a text (this is eisegesis not exegesis) just to make sure people are aware that when he talks about Naaman, he is also referring to himself.
To me, this is called exegesis, or more accurately, eisegesis by vanity!
For the sake of argument, let’s stretch it a little bit.
Naaman was stricken with leprosy and he had to dip into the river 7 times before he had the skin of a little child.
So – did Joseph Prince contract leprosy and did he dip into the river 7 times before he starts to claim the same promise?
I believe this is probably the only time that such an incident has happened (correct me if I am wrong).
So Joseph Prince has made this blessing that is specific to Naaman that he didn’t ask for because it was God who granted it to him, to become a universal blessing that all could enthusiastically claim.
The whole point in Naaman’s case, is to illustrate that God can heal and He healed Naaman’s leprosy so thoroughly that his skin became like that of a little child.
So the key lesson is for us to praise God for He is indeed a God who heals and heals thoroughly, and not for us to start focusing on the trivial, such as our external looks.
Let me give Joseph Prince a piece of advice from an older brother like me, who will be 65-years-old in January 2023 – stop being vain about your external looks, and start preaching about the inner qualities that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:3-12).
Joseph Prince said;
“The Bible says when he came out, his skin was like a little child. And I’m telling you, it’s truth okay. When I take communion, almost every day, right, I claim this. Now, don’t look at me.”
Joseph Prince is teaching something outlandish – about a formula that he says is bound to work – that if you want to have the skin of a little child, you should follow him – take Holy Communion every day.
I can guarantee that many of his naive followers will take to his advice and start to take communion every day, not so much to remember what Christ has done for them on the cross, but to have the skin of a little child.
What an abuse of the Holy Communion!
Let me sound a word of caution by alluding to what Daniel Tay had written.
Daniel Tay, a former member of New Creation Church wrote;
Finally, if one exercises common sense, one will never be bought over by Joseph Prince’s quick-fix formula, that the regular partaking of the Holy Communion, will result in one’s skin to be like that of a little child.
Obviously, those who fall for such trickery are people who lack common sense.
That’s the reason why Joseph Prince is able to deceive them because Prince’s congregation is filled with people without common sense.
Joseph Prince’s sick logic that those who rebut his doctrine cannot bring their child to see doctor – By Rev George Ong
“The funny thing is that they themselves don’t believe it. When their child fall sick, alright, the first they do, after they pray for their child is what, bring them to see the doctor. Amen. You don’t have to ask them; do you want your child to be well?”
“So your child is sick, do you want your child to be well? Put aside your doctrine. Speak from your heart. You are made in God’s image. Do you want your child to be well? Yes. When it comes to healing, ‘Oh, we got to be careful, some healings, you know, God wants us sick to teach us a lesson.’ Amen. But you don’t believe that about your child.”
Joseph Prince has again deliberately and repeatedly, confused the issue
between his false health and wealth gospel, that every believer has the covenantal right to enjoy perfect health, which is what his critics are dead against,
and the fact that God still heals today, which is what his critics believe in, and they praise God for that.
And because Joseph Prince’s critics reject his perfect health doctrine but believe that God still heals today, is it a sin or is there something wrong that Joseph Prince tries to insinuate, when they bring their children to see a doctor?
What his critics reject is the health and wealth gospel of Joseph Prince – that every believer will experience perfect health – that God must heal every one of them of every sickness and disease.
Yes, God can heal, but He does not heal every time, for all His sovereign purposes unknown to man.
So, if God chooses not to heal, even when it comes to our children, do we throw tantrums at God?
Is the welfare of our children more important than God’s sovereign will and purpose?
Of course not. As a mature believer, we should accept it.
Only immature people, like Joseph Prince, who is acting like a kid, would demand that God must heal every one of our children’s sicknesses.
In Joseph Prince’s health and wealth gospel, there is no such thing as God won’t heal.
He must heal because Prince believes that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to experience perfect healing.
Joseph Prince, indeed, possesses the logic of an immature child
– that just because his critics refuse to accept his perfect healing doctrine that every believer will be healed,
they have no right to bring their child to see a doctor?
What childish and evil logic!
Why has Joseph Prince not gone to the poor Third World nations to preach so they can become rich? – By Rev George Ong
“And Jesus stood up and He read from Isaiah, where it says the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. Now, that’s the first thing the anointing is for, to preach the gospel to the poor.
What do you think is the gospel to the poor? No hope for you. Remain poor. Is that good news? Gospel means good news, okay. What is the gospel to the poor? What is good news to the poor? You don’t have to remain poor. Jesus says, I have come. I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly (meaning, according to Joseph Prince’s teachings, to become richer).”
Joseph Prince needs to quit talking and start acting by going to the third world nations to prove that his Prosperity Gospel doctrine really works.
If Prince really believes in his Prosperity Gospel doctrine, why isn’t he focussing his ministry efforts on the Third World nations such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Laos, Cambodia, etc.
These are the countries that need his secret on how to be prosperous and be healthy and wealthy, and not places like America, Australia, Europe and England that he is constantly focussing his preaching efforts on.
Joseph Prince is wasting his time going to the First World, such as the USA and Australia – they are already prosperous and wealthy, and they have a much more advanced level of health care as compared to those in the Third World – so they don’t need his Health and Wealth gospel.
The poor Third World nations need Joseph Prince and his ministry of prosperity, wealth and health much more than the USA and Australia do – so please go there.
Go and preach in Laos, Myanmar, Ethiopia, etc, and start to deliver the people there from poverty, and make them wealthy.
Please go and bring your Abrahamic doctrine that every believer has the covenantal right to be very wealthy to the Bangladeshi churches.
Could Joseph Prince tell us when was the last time he went to a third world nation to preach so they don’t have to remain poor but they would become rich and so that they could be healed of their diseases?
I am not asking his pastors but Joseph Prince, since he is making the claim that the gospel would make the poor rich.
With the sure promise that the poor would become rich that he espouses in his Health and Wealth gospel, he is most needed in the Third World.
Even if he has not done so, would Joseph Prince commit to give more time to preach to the Third World nations, rather than rich America and Europe, from henceforth?
And would Joseph Prince dare to tell these village and bare-footed folks;
“Just enjoy the grace of God, you will prosper like the first world. Just receive grace into your life and your poverty will stop and your diseases will be healed.”
Do you wish to know the reason Joseph Prince is focussing on the First World instead of the Third World?
The open secret is that Joseph Prince’s Prosperity and the Health and Wealth theology can only ‘work’ in the First World.
If the Health and Wealth theology only ‘works’ in one context and doesn’t in another, its authenticity is immediately called into question.
If Joseph Prince Prosperity Gospel theology can only ‘work’ in the First World and not the Third World, then something is fundamentally wrong with his teaching.
No wonder Joseph Prince is so afraid of putting his Health and Wealth doctrine to the test in the Third World nations.
No wonder Joseph Prince never or hardly goes personally to preach the Prosperity Gospel doctrine in the Third World nations.
This is because Prince is sorely afraid that his deceptive Prosperity Gospel doctrine would be uncovered.
Even if Joseph Prince dares to go to the Third World nations, what message is he going to preach to them?
Is Prince going to tell them that because of their poverty, poor health, and the prevalence of diseases, they are cursed? – Which he wouldn’t dare to even though this is what he believes in.
Or, would Prince be telling the people in the various Third World nations they will become prosperous, healthy and wealthy, after attending his conference? – Which he wouldn’t have the guts to promise that too.
In other words, Prince has no message to offer to the poor.
Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor, but why is Joseph Prince focusing his preaching efforts on the rich?
If Jesus were present in our world today, I’m sure He would focus his preaching efforts in the Third World instead of the First World.
If Prince claims to be Christ-centred, then why is he not following the example of Jesus?
Come on, Joseph Prince, it’s time for you to go to the Third World and prove to the whole world that your Prosperity doctrine really works there.
Why is Joseph Prince talking so much about heaven when he isn’t going to be there, anyway? – By Rev George Ong
“Anyway, that’s the future. And some of you have problem with prosperity, you got a problem walking on the streets of gold (in heaven). If I walk too much on this, I’ll feel like I’ll be corrupted. Then you see God’s throne – wooff, you know. And then you say, ‘God, tone down.’ Amen. No, no, you know, if gold and silver is evil, and the Bible says God put them here, right, then heaven will be, because it’s full of all these things. Amen. These are not the things, friends. But please don’t go on the other hand, saying, these are evil.”
“We walk on streets of gold. Something is very wrong with heaven. You won’t feel comfortable going there. You’ll tell God, ‘God, I think this is a bit grandiose, tone it down. We don’t want people to say of you, God, that you believe in a health and wealth gospel.’ Okay, something is wrong.”
Joseph Prince claims that his critics wouldn’t feel comfortable in heaven when he said;
“We walk on streets of gold. Something is very wrong with heaven. You won’t feel comfortable going there. You’ll tell God, ‘God, I think this is a bit grandiose, tone it down.’”
The truth is, while his critics would feel perfectly at home in heaven, Joseph Prince is the one who would feel extremely uncomfortable in hell.
This is not what I say but what Father God, the Lord Jesus, and the Apostle Paul had stated in the scriptures (Matt 23:15,33; Lk 13:3,5; Gal 1:8-9; Rev 2:20-23; Deut 13:1-11)
And I have to be truthful to the scriptures.
Why is Joseph Prince talking so much about heaven?
As a heretic, and if he continues to remain unrepentant, he won’t be there, anyway.
So why is Joseph Prince wasting his time fantasising about a heaven that he isn’t destined to.
If he remains unrepentant, his destiny will be in the lake of fire.
When Joseph Prince claims that his critics treat gold and silver as evil;
“And then you say, ‘God, tone down.’ Amen. No, no, you know, if gold and silver is evil… But please don’t go on the other hand, saying, these are evil,”
any right-minded believer will know that he is slandering his critics.
Who in his right mind would say the gold and silver per se are evil?
By now, you ought to know how many times Joseph Prince has slandered his critics.
Joseph Prince will henceforth be known not only as a serial liar, a serial double-talker, a serial hypocrite, but also, a serial slanderer.
Rev George Ong
Joseph Prince who said he loves & blesses his critics, then mocks them, is a shameless hypocrite – By Rev George Ong
Joseph Prince uses Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Church Mouse to mock his critics. This is getting interesting. Joseph Prince must remember; mocking goes both ways.
If you are wondering why I am that harsh and sarcastic with Joseph Prince – I am only following the example of Prophet Elijah, the Apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus & Father God.
They were unapologetically tough and sarcastic with heretics.
Prophet Elijah, in particular mocked and ridiculed false prophets and practised prophetic sarcasm on them.
Don’t miss the details of the above which are found in the article.
“And to all my critics out there, I love you, and all that, I love you, I really do. In fact, sometimes I take communion for you.”
Wah, so touching ah, so sentimental ah – Joseph Prince said he loves his critics twice, some more, you know (Singlish).
Chin Ah Keh Eh (hokkien)?
True or not (Singlish)?
Well, let’s see if he is sincere.
In the same sermon on 16 Oct 2022, Joseph Prince said;
Bo Iea Bo Chea; Keh Eh Lah (Hokkien).
What Prince said that he loves his critics isn’t true at all; it’s all a bluff.
How can Joseph Prince say he loves his critics, then in the same sermon,
mocks them by saying that just because they don’t believe in his Pre-trib rapture, he would look down on them
– meaning as Prince would be enjoying himself in heaven, and looking down from heaven, his critics would be suffering on earth during the great tribulation.
Let’s give Joseph Prince another chance to redeem himself.
“Because it will invite a lot of criticism, it will invite a lot of people, who are people who are just out to get me. Anyway, there are always around one lah.
You know God bless them. Amen, I take communion for them also sometimes. Right and ah, but I bless them. I bless them.”
Wah, Joseph Prince said in his sermon on 6 Nov 2022, last Sunday, that he blesses his critics, twice some more, you know (Singlish).
Wah, Wah Chin Kum Tong Leh (Hokkien).
But Oo Iea Bo Iea? Chin Ah Keh Eh (Hokkien)?
But true or not (Singlish)?
Let’s see whether he means what he says.
In the same sermon on 6 Nov 2022, last Sunday, Joseph Prince said;
There will be people who will be jealous of you. There will be people who looking at the church and try to find ‘uh this church, manipulate the people for money must be one.’ They look at a big house of a celebrity; they don’t say anything, alright, or big house of businessman, don’t say anything. If they see a house, even average size lah ha, alright, he must be doing something wrong.
That’s the mentality, or a church must be small and poor. As the saying says, ‘as poor as a (church mouse).’ How can you say that? Why is the church mouse different from other mouse? Oh, there is a difference. Compare church mouse with Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is prosperous. No one says that Mickey Mouse believes in the health and wealth doctrine. Nobody says that. But I tell you, I tell you, you need to cancel someone, you must cancel Mickey Mouse.
No, of course not. Don’t blame Mickey, don’t blame Minnie. Don’t blame Donald (Duck). It is the flesh. The flesh doesn’t like God’s people to prosper. They can prosper but you cannot.”
Joseph Prince, Li Kong Si Mi Kwee (Hokkien)?
What is Joseph Prince really saying?
One moment, Joseph Prince says he blesses his critics, then, the next moment,
Church mouse, Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck, Long Chong Chow Chook Lai (Hokkien).
Church mouse, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, all came to be mentioned by Joseph Prince.
How can Joseph Prince say he blesses his critics in his sermon on 6 Nov 2022, then, in the same sermon,
makes fun of them with Church Mouse lah, Mickey Mouse lah, Donald Duck lah?
How can Joseph Prince say that he blesses his critics, then go on to say that his critics are jealous of him?
Joseph Prince is so vindictive that he sure knows how to rub salt into his critics’ wounds
by getting his whole congregation to participate in the mocking and fun-making exercise
– through their scornful and gleeful laughter and cheering their chief fun-maker, Joseph Prince on, with their enthusiastic hand-clapping.
Friends, this is the real Joseph Prince that I’m unveiling for you. This is the kind of guy you are dealing with.
Love here, love there. Bless here, bless there – all spoken by Joseph Prince, the Toa Sian Tao (big deceiver).
So confirmed Liao Lah; Keh Eh Lah, Pian Lan Eh Lah (Hokkien).
So, it is confirmed that what Joseph Prince said that he blesses his critics, is all a bluff.
In both his sermons on 16 Oct and 6 Nov 2022, Joseph Prince said;
“And to all my critics out there, I love you, and all that, I love you, I really do. In fact, sometimes I take communion for you.”
“You know God bless them. Amen, I take communion for them also sometimes. Right and ah, but I bless them. I bless them.”
Joseph Prince said that he takes communion for his critics!
Is Joseph Prince okay or not (Singlish)?
Doesn’t he know that partaking in the Holy Communion isn’t to remember his critics who are alive, but to remember the death of Jesus for our sins and be grateful for what He has done for us.
This is the first time I have ever heard someone taking communion for people – his critics.
Chi Pai, double confirmed Liao Lah, Pian Lan Eh Lah (Hokkien).
Now, it is doubly confirmed that Joseph Prince, who is a bluff and a fake, is the deceiver.
Prince must now realise that in making fun of his critics, he is only making fun of himself because of his hypocrisy, insincerity and playacting.
Joseph Prince said;
“And this is the problem, ‘for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.’ (Gen 26:14)
There will be people who will be jealous of you.”
First, in making fun of his critics, Joseph Prince can’t even get the context right.
He has always been saying time and again that we must interpret a passage by context and the joke is, he has again not treated Genesis 26:14 in context.
The context is, the Philistines are pagans, and not Old Covenant believers.
So Joseph Prince ought to apply the Philistines who were jealous to unbelievers, instead of to his critics, whom he considers as New Covenant believers.
If he is aware of that, then why didn’t he qualify that first, but he went straight to make the wrong connection between the Philistines, who were pagans, and his critics, who are New Covenant believers.
Who are the Philistines?
They were Israel’s (Old Covenantal people) enemies. So, now I get the idea – that Joseph Prince is treating his critics as enemies, and not as fellow brothers and sisters.
Second, Joseph Prince said his critics were jealous; and of course, by that, he means they are jealous of him and those who embraced his Health and Wealth doctrine.
But what did 1 Corinthians 13:4 tell us?
1 Corinthians 13:4 NASB
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
How can someone who claims to love others and not be jealous, be accusing others that he loves for being jealous of him?
Joseph Prince said;
“That’s the mentality, or a church must be small and poor. As the saying says, ‘as poor as a (church mouse).”
Joseph Prince has slandered his critics by implying that they value poverty over prosperity.
That just because they opposed his Health and Wealth gospel, they are opposing the prosperity of every believer.
Joseph Prince said:
“The flesh doesn’t like God’s people to prosper. They can prosper but you cannot.”
Again, Joseph Prince has slandered his critics with his baseless accusation that they don’t like believers prospering.
A. Prophet Elijah, the Apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus & Father God were unapologetically tough & sarcastic with heretics.
1. If you are wondering why I am that harsh and sarcastic with Joseph Prince – I am only following the example of Prophet Elijah who mocked and ridiculed false prophets and practised prophetic sarcasm on them:
1 Kings 18:27 ESV
27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”
1 Kings 18:27 JUB
27 And it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them and said, Cry aloud, for he is a god; peradventure he is talking or he had to go to the latrine, or he is on a journey, or he sleeps and will awake.
1 Kings 18:27 TLV
27 Now when it was about noon, Elijah mocked them and said, “Shout louder! After all, he is a god! Maybe he’s deep in thought, or he’s relieving himself, or he’s off on a journey, or perhaps he’s asleep and must wake up!”
1 Kings 18:27 CEV
27 At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he’s day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.”
1 Kings 18:27 CJB (Complete Jewish Bible)
27 Around noon Eliyahu began ridiculing them: “Shout louder! After all, he’s a god, isn’t he? Maybe he’s daydreaming, or he’s on the potty, or he’s away on a trip. Maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.”
1 Kings 18:27 NOG
27 At noon Elijah started to make fun of them. “Shout louder, since he is a god. Maybe he’s thinking, relieving himself, or traveling! Maybe he’s sleeping, and you have to wake him!”
1 Kings 18:27 NIRV
27 At noon Elijah began to tease them. “Shout louder!” he said. “I’m sure Baal is a god! Perhaps he has too much to think about. Or maybe he has gone to the toilet. Or perhaps he’s away on a trip. Maybe he’s sleeping. You might have to wake him up.”
1 Kings 18:27 ISV
27 Starting about noon, Elijah began to tease them: “Shout louder! “He’s a god, so maybe he’s busy. “Maybe he’s relieving himself. “Maybe he’s busy someplace. “Maybe he’s taking a nap and somebody needs to wake him up.”
If a modern Prophet Elijah were to ‘make fun’ of false teachers over the pulpit by remarking that they are uselessly relieving themselves in the toilet in today’s church, don’t be surprised that he may be ushered down the pulpit and prevented from any further preaching (1 Kgs 18:27).
2. If you are wondering why I am that harsh and sarcastic with Joseph Prince, I am only following the example of the Apostle Paul:
Galatians 5:12 MEV
12 “I wish that those who are troubling you would castrate themselves!”
Galatians 5:12 NIRV
12 “So then, what about troublemakers who try to get others to be circumcised? I wish they would go the whole way! I wish they would cut off everything that marks them as men!”
Just as Paul was downright uncouth and sarcastic with false teachers for preaching a false gospel plus circumcision, Joseph Prince, who preaches a false gospel minus sanctification, has placed himself to be treated in the same manner too (Gal 5:12).
Who of the modern prophets or preachers of today would dare to say over the pulpit with the same daringness that Apostle Paul did – that false teachers should castrate themselves (Gal 5:12)?
How would the modern church respond if a preacher would dare say the same thing as Paul did that false teachers should castrate themselves?
The likelihood is that he would never be invited again for uttering words that are offensive to the modern audience.
3. If you are wondering why I am that harsh and sarcastic with Joseph Prince, I am only following the example of Jesus:
Matthew 23:33 NIV
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”
Luke 13:31-32 NIV
31 “At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.”
John 8:42-44 NIV
42 “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Christ uses prophetic sarcasm Himself to make the point biting and piercing to hearts that are close to becoming irreversibly hardened (Matt 23:33; Jn 9:39-41; Lk 33:31-32; Jn 8:42-46).
By placing their untouchable traditions above the commandments of God, the Pharisees have deviated from the truth.
As such, they have become false teachers themselves, who are teaching their traditions rather than the word of God (Matt 15:1-6; Matt 23:23; Mk 7:8-9).
“If one could only appreciate the amicableness of Christ but is repulsed by His cutting sarcasm against the Pharisees – then obviously, he is not ready to follow the real Jesus.” (Matt 23:33; Jn 9:39-41; Lk 33:31-32; Jn 8:42-46) (George Ong)
“‘Sarcasm is sprouted from a bitter man, such as George Ong’ as some may naively generalised – and if so, then Christ and Paul who used biting sarcasm in their ministry must have been the bitterest of all men.” (George Ong)
“The empathetic Christ who cares is also the same eccentric Christ who violently overturned the tables in the holy temple.” (Matt 21:12; Lk 19:45) (George Ong)
4. If you are wondering why I am that harsh and sarcastic with Joseph Prince, I am only following the example of God, the Father:
Amos 4:4-5 NIV
4 “Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. 5 Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings—boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do,” declares the Sovereign Lord.
Amos 4:4-5 GNT
4 “The Sovereign Lord says, “People of Israel, go to the holy place in Bethel and sin, if you must! Go to Gilgal and sin with all your might! Go ahead and bring animals to be sacrificed morning after morning, and bring your tithes every third day. 5 Go on and offer your bread in thanksgiving to God, and brag about the extra offerings you bring! This is the kind of thing you love to do.”
Prophetic sarcasm was resorted to even by the holy God Himself to jolt His unholy people who have grown callous and unresponsive to his voice (Am 4:4-5).
B. The Neglected Crucial Prophetic Role.
1. The Eccentricity Of Prophets.
Prophets are often counter-establishment people not because they want to but because establishments have a way of becoming frequently wayward and need to be confronted and overhauled.
Prophets are often commanded by God to perform eccentric prophetic acts to grab the attention of His people who have become callously unresponsive.
Ezekiel was made to lie down for more than 14 months to prophesy (Ezek 4:4-8).
Isaiah was asked to go naked (whether it is half-naked or totally naked, I’m not sure. I tend to think it is half-naked. But even if it is half-naked, it is eccentric enough) for three years to prophesy (Isa 20:1-4).
Hosea was instructed to do the most eccentric of all acts – to marry a prostitute to drive home the message that God is extremely hurt and grieved over Israel’s unfaithfulness (Hos 2:1).
Sadly, the eccentricity of prophets is often mistaken for plain madness and is thoughtlessly rejected by the people at their own peril.
If the people of God were to reject prophets based on eccentricity, then they would have to reject the eccentric Prophet Jesus who forcibly drove the people and animals out of the temple courts with a whip and did the violent table-overturning act in the holy temple (Matt 21:12; Lk 19:45; Mk 11:15; Jn 2:15).
If there is a contemporary Prophet Isaiah who preaches with a half-naked body, or an Ezekiel who tells the church that he is not supposed to mourn for his deceased wife, or a John the Baptist who is dressed in a beggarly way without a tie, the modern church without waiting a second, will stigmatize them as eccentrics to be totally avoided.
Only those with prophetic acumen will be able to discern between an eloquence that is of the devil and an eccentricity that is of the Lord.
2. Priestly & Prophetic Leaders.
“Priestly leaders who comfort will always be appreciated; prophetic leaders, who confront will always be resented.” (George Ong)
“While many will crowd around the priestly who has come to heal their wounds, few will mingle with the prophetic who has come to prick the hardened.” (George Ong)
If there is an imbalance in today’s church, any sensible person will have to admit that there is clear over-emphasis on priestly leadership and an under-emphasis on prophetic leadership.
The imbalance of priestly over prophetic leadership has resulted in a weak and compromised church and one that will be wiped out during a time of persecution.
While the main role of the priestly in the army of God is to heal the wounds, the role of the prophetic is to rally the troops to battle and to brave the storms of persecution.
The current situation of a largely priestly-led church will not be able to weather the storms of the Great Tribulation that will be sweeping through the earth before Christ’s glorious coming.
In dealing with heretics, the priestly cannot be depended upon to lead the charge, as they are too polite to rebuke and too nice to be combative.
Even when a gun is being pointed at their head, a fair bit of coaxing is still required before a single word of scorn is uttered against the heretics.
In dealing with heretics, the Apostle Paul is clearly acting in the role of a prophet when he commanded the church to rebuke sharply and to silence them, and he was even prepared to curse them to hell (Tit 1:10-14, Gal 1:6-10).
When one begins to realise how much of the other half of the truth in the entire Bible, like the prophetic, is being neglected, one will start to realise that we are only babes in our understanding of the word.
3. The Tough Road Of The Prophetic.
“Anyone who has the raw courage of Prophet Nathan to tell the King ‘he has no clothes on’ at the risk of having his head chopped off, is a true prophet in the making.” (2 Sam 12:1-15)
“Those who are called to move in the prophetic must be prepared to hold his funeral any time – from the track record of the scriptures – while false prophets are warmly embraced, true prophets are coldly murdered.” (George Ong)
Matthew 23:29-31 NIV
29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!
“The prophetic, for their own sanity, must always take the long and eternal view – for with the cruel stones the people throw at the prophets to kill them, will be the same stones they will use to build a grave to honour them.” (Matt 23:29-31) (George Ong)
“The prophet must, out of necessity, learn to move alone, not because he wants to, but just the mere exercise of his prophetic call will simply drive the masses away.” (George Ong)
“This maxim has a sober ring of truth: ‘If you want to be appreciated, be a priest; if you want to be rejected, be a prophet.’” (Lk 4:24, Mk 6:4) (George Ong)
“If there is an imbalance in the contemporary church, it is the imbalance of priestly and political correctness over prophetic eccentricity.” (George Ong)
“The contemporary church can’t even speak of an imbalance – the real picture is that of an overpowering presence of priestly and political correctness over the near-total absence of the voice of the prophetic.” (George Ong)
“The overbearing passion for political correctness in the church has stifled and even silenced the eccentric voice of the God-sent prophet.” (George Ong)
“The stinging words of Prophets, which are delivered to demolish heretic wolves and penetrate callous sheep, are often being falsely accused of wounding the hearts of the faithful.”
“Old Testament prophets were killed by the sharpness of the sword; New Testament prophets are killed by the tongues of fire.” (George Ong)
“While the many who are too afraid to tell the bare truth will escape trouble, the few who bravely do will be castigated and persecuted.” (George Ong)
“The fact that not even one of the 850 false prophets were left alive by Elijah, simply means that the ‘take no prisoner’ policy must be ruthlessly applied in our fight against the devouring false prophets of today.” (1 Kgs 18:19,40; 19:1) (George Ong)
1 Kings 18:16-18
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.
“When the true prophet of God acts on his prophetic calling, he will always be accused not by the false prophets, but by his covenantal people for whom he is prepared to die for, for being a trouble-maker.” (1 Kgs 18:16-18) (George Ong)
“True prophets were not killed by the false prophets, but by their covenantal people to whom they were divinely sent to speak to prophetically.” (George Ong)
1 Kings 18:18-19 NIV
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
“The fact that it was the True Prophet Elijah who initiated the battle against the false prophets serves as a severe reprimand to the laid-back church who is doing nothing to contend against the false prophets of today.” (1 Kgs 18:18-19) (George Ong)
“If Prophet Elijah had actively taken the initiative and set the terms in his battle against the false prophets, why are today’s Elijahs who try to do the same, opposed and stifled as misplaced zealots by the church?” (1 Kgs 18:19-40) (George Ong)
4. Self-Denial Needed To Fight Heretics & Heresies.
“When a man has already died to himself, no one can ever succeed in killing him.” (George Ong)
“No threats will work on and no harm can scare a man who has already conducted his funeral in his heart.” (George Ong)
“No one who has ever died to himself will ever die for Christ.” (George Ong)
“Unless we first die to the Lord, we can never truly live for Him.” (George Ong)
“The Christ who died alone as a ‘dismal failure’ is the same Christ who succeeded in creating a whole Movement of the Faith after he dies.” (George Ong)
“If diplomacy and social elegance is the art of leadership, then the straight-talking and table-overturning Jesus must have failed terribly as a leader.” (Jn 8:44; Matt 12:34; 21:12) (George Ong)
“If you are put off by confrontation, denunciation and provocation which Jesus exemplifies, perhaps you are following the wrong Jesus.” (George Ong)
5. Can’t You See That I Am Moving Prophetically Against Joseph Prince?
If you are still wondering why I am so fierce with Joseph Prince, you are probably quite ignorant about the prophetic.
And no wonder that when one starts to move in the prophetic, many believers think he is an alien from outer space.
The time for ‘sweet talk’ with Joseph Prince is over.
The time has come to deal with him prophetically.
Diplomatic silence and nonchalant inaction by the church will only further embolden him.
The local and universal church is purely led and monopolised by the priestly – and no wonder she is weak, especially when it comes to battling with false teachers.
We need both the priestly and the prophetic in the Church of Christ.
The prophetic is needed even more in the end-time Church.
We need the pure guts of Prophet Nathan to confront King David, “You are the man” (2 Sam 12:7).
We need the politically incorrect Prophet John the Baptist to castigate the Pharisees, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath” (Matt 3:7 NIV)?
We need the eccentricity of Prophet Elijah to mock and defy the 850 false prophets and ‘slaughter’ them all (1 Kgs 18:27,40; 1 Kgs 19:1).
We need the Holy boldness of Prophet Jesus, who pronounced seven woes on the Pharisees, the false teachers of His day, and denounced them as children of the devil (Matt 23; Jn 8:44).
“If Jesus comes disguised and exercises His prophetic ministry in the contemporary church today, I can assure you He will never be invited back again.” (George Ong)
D. God Calling People Names Of Animals – An Unusual & Unpleasant Prophetic Aspect of God You Haven’t Discovered.
In case you aren’t aware, let me surface a discomforting fact – that God could call people with offensive animal names: cows, beasts, dogs, horses, monsters, lions, wolves (Amos 4:1; Isa 56:9-11; Jer 5:8; Ezek 32:2; Zeph 3:3):
Amos 4:1 NIV
1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!”
Isaiah 56:9-11 NIV
9 “Come, all you beasts of the field, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest! 10 Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute