“As He is, so are we in this world”, Teaching of Joseph Prince is Debunked – by Rev George Ong (Dated 16 Oct 2021)
(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, NCCS office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)
(Don’t ever miss the last and final point of this article.)
One of the most well-known teachings of Joseph Prince is found in 1 John 4:17 (NKJV), “As He is, so are we in this world.”
Please click to view the one-and-a-half minute video of what Joseph Prince said,
“As He is, so are we in this world. So I used to take this and you know I would say, preach, ‘As He is righteous, so we are righteous in this world. As He is under God’s unclouded favour, so are we in this world. As He is far beyond Satan, He’s out of reach from Satan, so are we in this world. He can be prowling around but a thousand can fall at our side, 10,000 at our right hand, it will not come near us.’ That must be our attitude. As He is, so are we in this world. And then the Lord whispered to me one day many years ago and said, ‘Son, push it, who says it’s just your position with me. It does not qualify the statement. As He is in His health, so are you in this world because the Lord says you’re sharing His life. Health is actually life. Take away the life, there’s no health. Your body is just an empty top. So I began to preach that.”
“And the Lord said to me recently, ‘Son I want you to emphasise this in the area of healing. More of my people need to hear this.’ I said more of my people need to hear this, 1 John 4:17 in light of our healing. Can I have a good Amen. So that was a commission that came from Him recently.”
1 John 4:17 NKJV
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
1 John 4:15-18 NLT
15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
What is the context of 1 John 4:15-18 in general, and 1 John 4:17, in particular?
According to the NLT version, it plainly says that those who are afraid of being punished on the day of judgement have not truly experienced the love of God (V18). But those who have truly experienced God’s love will not fear the day of judgement (V15-17a). They can face God with confidence not just because they have truly experienced God’s love (V 17a) but also “because they live like Jesus here in this world” (V17b).
Let me unveil to you 4 other translations of 1 John 4:17 and they are basically saying the same thing as the NLT version, with only slight and minor variations.
1 John 4:17 ERV
17 If God’s love is made perfect in us, we can be without fear on the day when God judges the world. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like Jesus.
1 John 4:17 ICB
17 If God’s love is made perfect in us, then we can be without fear on the day God judges us. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like him.
1 John 4:17 NCB
17 This is how love is made perfect in us, enabling us to have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because even in this world we have become like him.
1 John 4:17 NCV
17 This is how love is made perfect in us: that we can be without fear on the day God judges us, because in this world we are like him.
Now, let’s peruse 16 translations of 1 John 4:17b and compare that with the NKJV employed by Joseph Prince, “As He is, so are we in this world”:
“live as Christ did in this world” (CEV)
“While we are in this world, we are exactly like him” (NOG)
“because even in this world we have become like him” (NCB)
“because in this world we are like Jesus” (ERV)
“For we know that our life in this world is His life lived in us” (NLV)
“because, during our time in this world, we are just like him” (ISV)
“because in this world we are just like Jesus” (EHV)
“because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s” (GNT)
“While we are in this world, we are exactly like him” (GW)
“because in this world we are like him” (NCV)
“We are like Christ in this world” (WE)
“because in this world we are like him” (EXB)
“when in this world we are like Jesus” (NIRV)
“because in this world we are like him” (ICB)
“In this world we are like Jesus” (NIV)
“because we live like Jesus here in this world” (NLT)
So the essence of V17b is that we will never be afraid on the day God judges us because living like Jesus in this world only proves that we are true believers.
In other words, the focus of V17b is – do our lives represent Christ in this world? Are we Christlike in our behaviour in this world? Are we becoming more like Christ in this world?
Hence, the emphasis of 1 John 4:17b (“As He is, so are we in this world” in NKJV) is not about performing exploits as Christ did or expecting miracles or healings as Christ performed – which is the wrong emphasis of Joseph Prince because it is out of context.
Secondly, you have to ask yourself honestly, where is healing mentioned in the text of 1 John 4:15-18, and particularly, 1 John 4:17?
According to 1 John 4:17, there is confidence or fear in judgement, love for God growing to become more perfect, living like Jesus in this world, but healing is completely absent in the text.
Here, Joseph Prince has taken a text out of its context again. How many times have I told you this? You are probably getting tired of this. How many more times must I tell you that Joseph Prince has the persistent and unrepentant habit of taking a text out of its context before you are convinced that he is, indeed, a habitual hypocrite, who tells others not to take a text out of its context, when he is the real culprit who keeps doing it?
Where does Joseph Prince get the idea that just as Jesus had perfect health, we can have it too? He simply imposed his healing agenda on the text by forcibly reading into it.
Third, let me show you how ridiculous Joseph Prince’s teachings on 1 John 4:17 can lead to.
If Joseph Prince can, based on 1 John 4:17b, say,
As Christ is seated with God with power and might, so are we in this world – meaning we can have Christ’s power and might to perform miracles in this world (not that there is anything wrong with this but it is out of context).
What is to stop an off-key preacher based on the same text of 1 John 4:17b and following the same pattern of Joseph Prince to say,
As Christ is still single, so are we in this world.
As Christ is risen from the dead, so are we in this world.
As Christ has a resurrected body that is incorruptible, so are we in this world.
As Christ holds the universe together, (Heb 1:3 CEV), so are we in this world.
As Christ is God, so are we in this world.
Madness! A whole new heresy could just be churned out, out of such ‘out of context’ teaching by Joseph Prince!
Fourth, Joseph Prince teaches that believers can experience perfect health even today.
In “Eat Your Way to Life and Health,” Pages 107 and 114, Joseph Prince wrote,
“Whatever condition you might have, whether it is irritable bowel syndrome, an ulcerated stomach, cirrhosis, chronic lower respiratory disease, or pneumonia, see Jesus on the cross smitten with your disease and receive His perfect health in these areas.”
“This means that as Jesus is without any disease, and as He is in complete divine health, so are we in this world.”
Yes, indeed, God still heals today. I’ve shared my own personal experience about how God healed me of a stroke in 2010 and from bleeding in the brain, blood clots and double and blurred vision in 2012. Please click to view my 2 testimonies.
But none of us, as Joseph Prince falsely teaches, can live in perfect health – that God is expected to heal everyone from every disease and every time. This is because we are still living in a fallen world, a world where diseases abound.
In Romans 8:19-23, the Apostle Paul teaches that in a fallen world, the whole creation, including our bodies, is in the process of decay:
Romans 8:19-23 NIV
19 “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 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.
The decay of our bodies will continue until when? – until “the redemption of our bodies.”
Until we receive: “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23), which refers to our bodily resurrection when Christ returns.
Though Christ died on the cross to give us a resurrected body that will one day be totally free from all diseases, we can’t have it entirely now in this decaying body.
Yes, we can have a foretaste of it. Yes, we can experience the healing power of God every now and then. But as long as we are in this decaying body, a body which is decaying and headed for physical death, a body which is not fully redeemed, we are groaning.
Groaning for what?
Groaning for the resurrection and the full redemption of our body, which includes perfect health.
But can we have perfect health now? No! Perfect health can only be obtained in the future in our resurrected bodies.
So, it is totally wrong to say that we can have perfect health in this life, ‘in the now’ as Joseph Prince falsely teaches.
Now, this is not only bad theology but this is also giving people false hope.
What is worse is that when anyone isn’t healed, Joseph Prince would conveniently lay the ‘blame’ or cause squarely on the person, whom he says, “Doesn’t have enough faith to be healed.”
Or, as Joseph Prince also ever says, “They don’t have enough revelation to receive healing, and that’s why they aren’t healed.”
You see, when one isn’t healed, instead of admitting that his theology of healing is false, Joseph Prince heartlessly push the blame onto the sick.
To insist that every believer must always be in perfect health and always healthy; and if they aren’t, they lack faith, or don’t have a revelation of healing, is to put undue pressure and guilt on believers. It may even leave them with a guilt complex that could be so damaging that it could ruin them. Friends, Joseph Prince’s teachings will ruin you. So, flee from him and his heresies.
Finally, I want to once again expose Joseph Prince’s chief ploy of deception – he constantly uses testimonies to distract people from and to cover up the falsity of his teachings.
Every Sunday, he will belt out the testimony of this person who got healed and that person who got delivered.
Well, let’s say Joseph Prince were to share a testimony of someone who got healed of Covid-19 under his grace teaching. For one person who got healed, I’m sure there are many in his 34,000-member congregation who may have contracted the same disease and aren’t healed. Is Joseph Prince going to broadcast this in the weekly Sunday service and say,
“Well, let’s pray for 5 of our members who have been infected with Covid-19, and unfortunately, one even died from the disease.”
Will he? Dream on!
Regarding this same issue, let’s hear what Glenn Fong, an Ex-New Creation Church Member for 15 years had to say:
“I heard of cancer patients in New Creation Church who denied medication and treatment and died believing they will be healed (Will Joseph Prince take responsibility for such cases? What is worse is that he often transfers such guilt to the people themselves by saying through his sermons that they don’t have enough faith). I also heard of cancer patients who Positive Confess their way to their grave (Joseph Prince will take pains to hide such incidents from the public). The healing testimonies we hear on Sunday in New Creation Church are just a probability game; he only publicises the successful cases. Ultimately, God heals whoever He wills, and it has nothing to do with his grace doctrine or Confessing ‘I am the Righteousness of God in Christ’.”
If you have missed reading Glenn Fong’s testimony about how he came out of New Creation Church, please click here to read.
Glenn Fong was in New Creation Church for 15 years and so he knows what he is talking about.
This is the kind of man (Joseph Prince) you are dealing with – one who will go all the way to claim credit for the healing of people, due, supposedly, to his teachings.
But he will never take responsibility for people whose lives are wrecked or who even died because they have followed his teachings. Instead, he will try, all ways and means, to hide such cases from the public and keep it a closely guarded secret.
For one testimony that he shares about people who are healed, supposedly, because of his teachings, there are many others who have been ruined by the same teachings that he will never dare to tell to the public.
Friends, when people get healed, this has nothing to do with his teachings on 1 John 4:17 or many of his other false grace teachings, but purely because of the true grace of God.