Covid-Immune Hype Debunked – By Dr Chris Kang (Ex New Creation Church Member) (Dated 22 Sep 2021)
I have published a new essay debunking the prosperity pseudo-gospel’s hype of victory over sickness and death in relation to the covid-19 pandemic. In particular, I question the credibility of so-called prophetic statements and the escape route of pre-tribulation rapture theory. I conclude that the health and wealth hypergrace teaching of “victory over sickness and death” and “reigning in life” especially as it pertains to the pandemic is unbiblical, deceptive, delusional, hyperbolic, and spiritually damaging.
Prosperity gurus boast of a kind of triumphalism that asserts premature victory over sickness and hyper-optimism amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Joseph Prince, a hypergrace prosperity guru, is a prime example of this absurdity that overpromises and underdelivers.
I intend to critique this Covid triumphalism in three ways:
first, by refuting the prosperity hypergrace doctrine of victory over sickness via hypergrace performances such as positive confessions and taking the Holy Communion (in the distorted hypergrace style);
secondly, by refuting the pseudo-prophetic hype of supernatural abatement of the Covid-19 situation from June 2021;
and thirdly, by debunking the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine as the hope of escape from worldly vicissitudes in the event things (including the pandemic) get much worse.
In my view, none of these hyped-up claims are biblical.
These gurus are known for “name it and claim it” teachings that promise all kinds of supernatural results. For one, a current theme is that believers will have “victory” over sickness and “reign in life,” which can be taken to mean not suffering and dying from Covid-19. The power of positive confessions particularly of their righteousness in Christ founded upon the (hyper)grace of God is thought to confer that victory. Prosperity hypergrace guru Joseph Prince has this to say about reigning in life and over sickness and disease:
You are destined to reign in life! You are called by the Lord to be a success, to enjoy provision, to enjoy health, and to enjoy a life of victory. I want you to know that it is not the Lord’s desire that you live a life of defeat, poverty, and failure. He has called you to be the head and not the tail. … My friend, when you reign in life, you reign over sin, you reign over the powers of darkness, and you reign over depression, over perpetual lack, over every curse, and over every sickness and disease.
Again, Joseph Prince offers a way to experience this victory over sickness through the Holy Communion, misconstrued and misapplied as a supernaturally potent means of faith healing. Apart from the contemptuous abuse of a sacrament in Christian faith, such prescriptive rhetoric and advice is accompanied by decontextualized readings of Scripture that are patently false.
For example, Prince cites 1 Corinthians 1 verses 27 and 29 as scriptural basis for his warped reading and usage of the Holy Communion, but conveniently leaves out verse 28. I cite 1 Corinthians 1: 27-29 in full as follows:
27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (ESV)
Now, a careful examination of the context of 1 Corinthians 1 verses 27 to 29 shows that these verses pertain to believers in Corinth who were considered by the educated elite at that time as “foolish” (not educated and competent), “weak” (bereft of power or influence), “lowly” (of lowly birth and unimportant), “despised” (regarded as unmeritorious or unworthy), and “things that are not” (devoid of substantial being or impact).
In this context, Paul was encouraging these believers to take heart that God in His grace and mercy has chosen precisely them to come to faith in Christ and receive the riches of His grace (see 1 Corinthians 1: 4-5).
Thus, God is in effect shaming and nullifying the “wise” and “strong” elites by choosing the “foolish” and “weak” believers of Corinth. As you can see, these verses have nothing to do with the Holy Communion at all, much less with healing and victory over sicknesses!
Moreover, by omitting verse 28 that says “… God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are …”, could it be that Prince is effectively admitting that the descriptors “low” and “despised” do not fit into his preconceived misguided theological box as he sought to re-interpret these verses for his purpose?
In other words, knowing that “low” and “despised” as descriptors cannot be suitably applied to the Holy Communion, it seemed like Prince had conveniently left out verse 28 as it did not fit his agenda of refurbishing these verses for his theological sleight-of-hand.
In short, based on the foregoing discussion, it is clear that the Holy Communion has nothing to do with victory over sickness nor does it function as a prescription for faith healing. The scriptural verses (1 Corinthians 1:27 and 29) used to support this view have been read and applied out of context.
All this rhetoric is, of course, in line with the over-realized eschatology of pseudo-grace teachings comprised of deceitful hype and a biblically unhinged view of reality. The warped idea that no Christian would have to suffer disease or death from Covid-19 finds no basis in the biblical texts.
Dr Roland Chia has written an essay that cogently establishes the biblical teaching that Christians still and do suffer sickness, even unto death (see https://www.revgeorgeong.com/dr-roland-chia-no-more-to-suffer/).
The three salient examples cited by Dr Roland Chia – Francis Jane Crosby, Joni Eareckson Tada, and the Lang family – not to mention the countless pioneers and missionaries of gospel evangelism who suffered in more ways than one including sickness and death, offer more than sufficient evidence of the ludicrous triumphalism and facile vacuity of the health and wealth pseudo-gospel.
The prosperity cult teaches that naming and claiming health is our portion and that words spoken in faith can do anything (even stop a tornado in the more extreme of cases, based on what I have heard). A fairly recent iteration of prosperity cultism can be seen in dominion theology where a central tenet is Christian domination over every sphere of human society and culture.
Taken together, they are all variants of heretical teaching stemming from the Word of Faith movement connected to Kenneth Hagin, having more in common with the new-age law of attraction than with biblical faith. What is sinister is the Christian gloss put over these deceptions to give a cloak of respectability. What are also sinister are the possible agendas for societal control, wealth generation and multiplication, and pretensions to spiritual superiority.
Despite all the hype surrounding health and immunity to death by Covid-19, quite the opposite is the case. As of the time of writing this essay, more than 225 million people have contracted Covid-19 in the world and about 4.65 million have died from it. Among those who have fallen ill and died are believing Christians, in all probability. As a case in point, 2020 data from the United Kingdom showing death occurrences involving Covid-19 by age, sex, and religious group is ample proof that Christians do indeed get sick and die from Covid-19.
In Singapore, the first local patient to die from Covid-19 was from the Life Church and Missions Singapore sub-cluster which had 10 patients; while the Grace Assembly of God sub-cluster had 23 patients. If the prosperity cult teachings are true, why then is this the case? Why do Christians get sick and die from Covid?
One way to reconcile this fact of Christian morbidity and mortality with Joseph Prince’s hypergrace ideology is to shift the blame onto the believer in question. Whether this is actually done or not, be it in public or in private, is a moot point. For the nature and content of hypergrace claims on health and healing imply certain logical conclusions that warrant interrogation.
One possible attempt at justifying this factual anomaly is by making the spurious claim that Christians who fell seriously ill or died from Covid-19 have somehow failed to confess positively in faith or have fallen short in one aspect or another of hypergrace performances (e.g. taking holy communion multiple times a day; praying bold prayers with blessing-grabbing faith; or applying anointing oil over oneself everyday etc.). To me, this rationalization would be patently false and blatantly insensitive, bordering on slander. Biblically speaking, individual sickness is not to be glibly correlated with sin, as Jesus himself has shown (See John 9:3). Thus, it is equally preposterous to claim that failure to positively confess (as if it is a sin) results in sickness.
While this rationalization of hypergrace prosperity teachings vis-à-vis Covid-related sickness and death may or may not have been asserted publicly, it is certainly implicit and implied in the positive confession theology. For if positive confessions bring health and protection from death, then the converse is also true – that failure to positively confess will not bring health and protection from death, which means sickness and death are possible. In the end, the sick and dying (or dead) become the ones shouldering the blame for their predicament. This is not only uncharitable, but also positively hurtful and offensive.
On this facile doctrine of positive confession for victory over sickness, well-respected Bible teacher and pastor John MacArthur has this to say:
Joseph Prince argues that physical healing is the right of all believers – something they can simply “confess” into reality … describes a potential atonement that requires our activation. That’s a cruel doctrine to inflict on Christians who have sought healing but continue to spend their lives in wheelchairs, on respirators, and under medication. The belief that Christ’s physical suffering somehow guarantees our physical healing in this life isn’t merely an abuse of Scripture – it’s a form of mental and spiritual torture to those who sit under such false teaching. It’s a lie that has left many churchgoers disappointed with the gospel. Rather than longing for their heavenly home, they are gripped by unrealized expectations in the here and now. The sickness they struggle with leaves them feeling like failures who lack the necessary faith to claim the healing that’s rightfully theirs. The fact that everyone still dies should be proof enough that on this side of eternity all people are still subject to Adam’s curse. Sickness is a very real part of life in this fallen world, and no amount of claiming divine health is going to change that. Even the disciples of the early church didn’t rebuke their physical ailments into oblivion – they dealt with them as best they could like everybody else. Paul left Trophimus behind during one of his missionary journeys because of illness (2 Timothy 4:20). He recommended wine to Timothy for his “stomach and [his] frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23). Epaphroditus got so sick he nearly died (Philippians 2:25–27). And sometimes God sent sickness to discipline members of His church (1 Corinthians 11:29–32).
Secondly, I would like to refute so-called prophetic statements often made glibly by prosperity preachers who frequently give themselves the mantle of a ‘prophet.’ As a continuationist, I am not theologically against the Spirit’s gift of prophecy in the present-day church. Rather, I would urge mindful care and vigilance in discerning who is a credible prophetic voice as opposed to who is a religious charlatan capitalizing on the fear and greed of the masses.
In a sermon dated 3rd of January 2021, Joseph Prince apparently prophesied that the pandemic situation would dramatically improve as we see a divinely-appointed dawning of a “brightest” time of “greater release” in June 2021. Watch this short video clip (55:43 to 56:31) (click to view) where Joseph Prince spoke prophetically (seemingly though rather vaguely, as is typical of most alluded prophecies) about this supposed act of God in the middle of the year 2021:
(55:43) Based on this story, is God going to do something, (pause) amen, concerning this social distancing thing? Will God cause something to happen that, you know, that everyone will agree that we don’t need that kind of social distancing anymore? Could it begin this year, middle of this year, because twelve hours, and it was noontime, when God gave him the vision. Could it be something’s going to happen, middle of this year, something’s going to happen middle of this year or towards the middle of this year; something’s going to happen that will precipitate a greater release. I’m telling you church, I’m so excited when I saw this, amen. Let God’s will be done, amen. Not my interpretation but God’s will; but when God began to show it to me, amen, and said he was going to do something (56:31).
Again, the same message but in different words is repeated in this written passage:
Notice that Peter had his vision the next day (2021, prophetically speaking) at the sixth hour or noon, when it was brightest. I’m pretty excited as I write this because I believe we are entering this brightest time soon! We are stepping into a kairos moment, an appointed time of favor. The Lord is going to open heaven to His people. The world will get darker, but the Lord will rise upon His people and shine His light upon them (Isa. 60:2). You’ll see heaven open over you and your family this year.
This claim was made in connection to an idiosyncratic allegorical reading of the name ‘Cornelius’ and the timing of ‘noon day’ or the ‘sixth hour’ as depicted in the scriptural narrative of Acts 10. Ex-NCC member Asher Chee, now doctoral scholar proficient in Greek and Hebrew, has cogently demolished Prince’s allegorical game and exposed his deceptive misuse of Hebrew and Latin in the text in question (see Asher’s video by clicking here). From Asher’s analysis, it is evident that contra Prince, the name ‘Cornelius” has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘corona’ (or crown). The error and falsity of Prince’s allegory game in relation to biblical text is laid bare for all to see.
Furthermore, June 2021 has come and gone, with no dramatic change or resolution of the Covid-19 situation that is evident as far as I know. The Covid situation is far from being resolved. Cases in Singapore continue to climb despite high vaccination rates. Evidence from highly vaccinated countries like Israel and the United Kingdom do not tell a pretty story either. High case numbers continue and may still pose a risk to the capacity of healthcare systems of these countries, if and when more serious illnesses and more deaths occur even though hospitalization rates are currently low. In many other countries with less pandemic preparedness, the situation remains dire with health systems collapsing or edging close to collapse under the weight of Covid morbidity and mortality. Easing restrictions and opening borders may boost economic activity for the short term but a long-term sustainable solution remains elusive. Mental health issues are unlikely to abate regardless of economic recovery, for the underlying roots of mental dis-ease lie much deeper than state narratives would suggest.
In short, in the three months since June 2021, what we see in advanced relatively well-vaccinated countries is a turn towards living endemically with the SARS-COv2 virus based on assumptions that may not eventually hold water, given the dynamic mutations and rapid often unforeseen changes in the situation on the ground. In the majority world where access to vaccines and healthcare infrastructure and equipment remains a knotty problem, I am not sure just what sort of “brightest noon” is to be found. To me, this is hardly an “open heaven” of the “brightest time” and “greater release” touted so highly in Joseph Prince’s so-called ‘prophesy.’
Once again, it seems to me that Joseph Prince has uttered empty words from the pulpit into the public space with little to show for them. All in all, from where I stand, Joseph Prince’s prophecies appear to carry more hot air than real substance.
Thirdly, the fantasy and fallacy of Joseph Prince’s pre-tribulation rapture doctrine may, to some, seem to offer an escape route for hypergrace devotees. Caught in the grip of a potentially endless pandemic debacle, with certain probability of things worsening into the future, it is not unreasonable to cling to some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a pre-tribulation rapture. Yet, the lack of credible biblical attestation for this pre-tribulation rapture theory makes it more an agent of despair than a beacon of hope. I will not go into details regarding Joseph Prince’s rapture theory here, pointing readers to the many articles and teaching videos of Rev. George Ong who has, in my opinion, argued cogently and convincingly against the pre-tribulation doctrine held by Joseph Prince and other ‘pre-tribbers.’
I have written elsewhere that my own perspective is one of post-tribulation pre-millennialism, a perspective that I believe is theologically most consistent with biblical textual evidence and a sound reading of that evidence. This is notwithstanding my, and I suspect, many people’s desire that the pre-tribulation rapture for believers be true, given our instinctive recoil from pain and suffering and attraction to pleasure and ease. But personal feelings aside, one has to surrender to the weight of biblical evidence and I believe that the evidence in this case is clearly in favour of post-tribulation rapture concomitant with the second coming of Christ.
Hence, I see Joseph Prince’s escape route for his hypergrace fan club to be a vacuous promise that is unsupportable biblically and potentially damaging psychologically and spiritually. If anything, there is no incentive for urgent and important spiritual training for confronting the trials and persecutions of the imminent tribulation to come, rendering the church ill-prepared in body, soul, and spirit for the momentous quakes that are still to come.
The Covid situation that we are currently in will not find any lasting blissful resolution in some chimera of a pre-tribulation rapture, if this is indeed what is sought after as a final solution. I do not think such wishful magical thinking is biblically sound or psychologically healthy. A false hope is no hope at all. It is time to get real and get grounded on the gospel of Christ beyond legalism and antinomianism, for only in the whole gospel (not truncated one) and the real Christ (not false genie) can we find true lasting hope.
It is my prayer that exponentially greater numbers of people will awaken to the deception and destruction of pseudo-grace cultism, forsake and leave the false to run unequivocally towards the gracious truth that is found only in Christ; that in the testimonies of the saints contending against false teachings like hypergrace and prosperity ideology, we may see surging and mighty waves of radical return, in large quarters of the global church, to time-tested and transformative biblical truths that take us beyond shallow waters of unhinged belief into the fathomless depths of trinitarian communion in Christ: our Lord and Saviour, and our soon and coming King. Amen.
If you have missed reading Dr Chris Kang’s testimony about how he came out of New Creation Church, please read it here (click).
 See “Reigning Is God’s Will For You” in https://www.josephprince.com/meditate-devo/reigning-is-gods-will-for-you
 See “Power to Utterly Destroy Diseases” in https://www.josephprince.org/blog/daily-grace-inspirations/power-to-utterly-destroy-diseases
 See “Coronavirus (Covid-19) related deaths by religious group, England and Wales: 2 March to 15 May 2020” in https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/coronaviruscovid19relateddeathsbyreligiousgroupenglandandwales/2marchto15may2020#religious-group-differences-in-deaths-involving-covid-19-adjusted-for-socio-demographic-factors
 See “Coronavirus: First patient to die in Singapore was from Life Church and Missions sub-cluster” in https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/covid-19-first-death-in-singapore-was-from-life-church-and-missions-cluster
 See “Are We Physically Healed by Jesus’ Stripes? Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24” in https://www.gty.org/library/Print/Blog/B160817
 See “The Year of Hazon Vision” in https://www.josephprince.org/blog/theme-of-the-year