Joseph Prince Dishonoured Stephen, the First Martyr of the Christian Church by his Twisted Doctrine – By Rev George Ong (Dated 29 August 2022)
Joseph Prince didn’t preach yesterday (Sunday) on 28 August 2022 but one of his staff did.
I’m not sure whether it is because Prince is probably finding the going unsettling, having almost every of his Sunday sermon and every word that he speaks scrutinised by someone, and then having his false teachings, double-talks, hypocrisies and lies put on YouTube and this website for the public to view and judge.
For Joseph Prince to invoke the argument that this someone has taken him out of context or misrepresenting his message may suffice to convince his supporters, if we are talking about just a few of such videos and articles that are put up against him.
But against the backdrop of an endless stream of such videos and articles that are put up week after week after week after week… and immediately after Prince has preached his most current sermons (not just his past sermons in cassette tapes and video players 15 years ago as ignorantly, foolishly and falsely claimed by Lim Lian Neo in her sermon yesterday when she preached for Joseph Prince), he knew this is a different ball game altogether.
Perhaps, Prince is now thinking hard about how best to deliver his sermons so that he would not be caught with his pants down again and again and again… for saying the wrong things.
Perhaps, he needs a longer break to recover, recuperate and restrategise that one of his staff, Lim Lian Neo, had to preach for him instead (yesterday).
Let’s see if he has recovered enough to preach this Sunday and I will see what I can do with what he will deliver.
So, because Joseph Prince didn’t preach last Sunday (yesterday), I have nothing to comment on his preaching.
However, all is not lost.
I was supposed to feature this article and the video excerpt (see below) last week, but because of last week’s article length, I had to do it this week. So, in a sense, this is Part 2 to last week’s article:
You can read it by clicking below:
“Let me just tell you this – Paul was stoned, Paul didn’t die. Paul lived to see another day. Stephen was stoned – the first martyr, Stephen died. But did he die because of stoning? Watch, Acts 7 (Acts 7:59-60 NKJV) and we’ll bring this to a close.
59 ‘And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God’ and Stephen was ‘saying, ‘Lord Jesus’, what did he say? ‘receive my spirit.’
Now Paul was stoned by those same experts. These people, they know how to stone, okay. When they stone, you are dead. But Paul was stoned and Paul got up and walked back into the city and preach. Some people believe Paul died momentarily. Whatever the case was, he lived to see another day.
But he (Stephen) died because ‘Lord Jesus’, he says, ‘receive my spirit’. Look at the style by which he died:
Acts 7:60 NKJV
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
I want to tell you something. Proverbs 18:21. You know what it says: 21 ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.’
If you love death, you talk death, hey, you will eat the fruit. That’s what it says. You love life, speak life, you will eat the fruit of life.
We are so quick to say ‘die’ in our culture, and I believe also internationally. Death has been programmed into the language. Why is it? So the devil knows that he cannot, you know the devil can speak words into your mind, the devil knows he has no power. His words has no power because the devil is not sitting on the throne. It is only where the word of the king is, there is power. We are seated with Christ. So the devil can suggest a lot of things but don’t you say it. The devil needs you to say it. Amen.
And while we are on this, we can see that even Samson did not die because of what he did to the walls. This is what he said:
2 Samuel 16:29-30 NKJV
29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. 30 Then Samson said, let me what? die with the Philistines! And he pushed with all his might. He pushed down the pillars – and the Bible says ‘the temple fell on the Lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.’
But notice again, he (Samson) spoke his life out. Watch what you say. Death and life in the power of the tongue.”
In the article that was featured last week, I included what Glen Fong, (an Ex New Creation Church member for 15 years) had written regarding what Joseph Prince said about Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian Church.
Some of you may wonder, is there any truth to what Glenn Fong had related? Or did Glenn Fong merely cook up a false accusation against Joseph Prince? If what Glenn Fong said was true, is there any proof?
Yes, I have laboriously combed through many of Joseph Prince’s videos/audios and have managed to dig up one.
If you have viewed the above excerpt in the said video, you do not need any more evidence to be convinced that that was what Joseph Prince actually said about the Martyrdom of Stephen.
Specifically, Prince teaches that Stephen needn’t have to die because he didn’t die from stoning. He died only because of what he uttered “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59 NKJV)
And because Stephen uttered “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” that was what actually killed him because of Joseph Prince’s doctrine in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
By Joseph Prince’s teaching, he has grossly dishonoured Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian Church because Prince is actually saying that Stephen needn’t have to die as a martyr and he could have lived (like Paul who was stoned too) if he didn’t utter the prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59 NKJV)
This is to support his teaching that New Covenant believers can never die as martyrs (because Christ has already died for them on the cross) and Stephen’s case does not support the martyrdom of believers as he wasn’t killed by the stoning of his persecutors but by his own doing when he uttered “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Joseph Prince is tantamount to treating Stephen (and Samson) like fools and idiots, as under normal circumstances, no right-minded human being (not just believers) would choose to die when they could live.
How Joseph Prince has interpreted Acts 7:59 and Proverbs 18:21, are a gross twisting of scripture.
Acts 7:59, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” has also been interpreted by Joseph Prince out of the context of Acts 7:54-60.
Haven’t I told you time and again and again and again… that Joseph Prince is a serial hypocrite, who keeps harping that we must interpret a passage in context, when he himself had broken the same rule repeatedly and shamelessly without battling an eyelid.
This is because it is so clear that against the backdrop when Stephen uttered the prayer in Acts 7:59,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59 NKJV),
the prayer was prayed by a man (Stephen) who was full of the Holy Spirit who had a glorious vision of both Father God and the Lord Jesus in Acts 7:55-56:
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55-56 NIV)
What a glorious truth that Stephen had the Trinitarian God backing him up as he faced the greatest crisis of his life before he laid his life down as an obedient martyr of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as he prayed the prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59 NKJV)
In other words, this prayer “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59 NKJV) is a prayer that is divinely approved by the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus and Father God.
So levelling such an accusation against Stephen that he had brought death upon himself when he could have lived, and who willingly gave his life for the sake of Christ and the gospel is appalling and abhorrent.
Joseph Prince is not only maligning Stephen for praying the ‘wrong’ prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59 NKJV), but he is also slandering the Trinitarian God for backing Stephen up and answering a prayer that Stephen shouldn’t have prayed.
Is this kind of behaviour consonant with a true teacher of God’s word?
This evil behaviour of maligning Stephen for killing himself before his time is up and for slandering against the Trinitarian God for answering the ‘wrong’ prayer that Stephen had prayed, must certainly come from a heretic.
Words cannot describe such detestable behaviour that is committed by a so-called Grace preacher.
Only an evil man such as Joseph Prince would dare to utter such a repulsive accusation against Stephen and the Trinitarian God.
What’s more is that it was because of the martyrdom of Stephen that had brought about the conversion of many unbelievers:
Acts 7:57-8:4 NKJV
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
Stephen’s death not only resulted in the scattering of believers to Judea and Samaria, but it also brought about the conversion of many precious souls, as believers “who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” (Acts 8:4 NKJV)
Stephen had the opportunity of preaching only one sermon. Yet it was through that one sermon (Acts 7:2-53) that he fulfilled God’s calling and purpose for his life.
Just one sermon that brought about his death was all it takes to spark off the evangelisation of the then known world.
Because the persecutors were offended by Stephen’s uncompromising sermon (Acts 7:2-53), he was stoned to death.
But did the legacy of Stephen end with his death? Praise the Lord, it didn’t.
Acts chapter 7 ends with the death of Stephen. But Acts chapter 8 begins with the death of Stephen.
Yes, Stephen died in Acts chapter 7. But Stephen did not die in vain in Acts chapter 8.
His sacrificial death as the Church’s first martyr in Acts 8:1, brought about something glorious.
It brought about the fulfilled scattering of the Church of Jesus Christ from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria to preach the gospel.
With the benefit of hindsight, Luke the writer of the Book of Acts sees great significance in the martyrdom of Stephen:
Acts 11:19-21 NKJV
19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Stephen’s death sets off a chain of events that resulted in the scattering of the Church bringing the message of the gospel to the uttermost parts of the then known world.
It sets off a rippling effect that brought the gospel not only to the Jews but also the Gentiles.
Stephen’s sacrificial death resulted in the fulfilment of Acts 1:8, that the gospel will be spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world as the believers were scattered.
If God could not scatter the believers by persuasion in Acts 1:8, he would do it by persecution in Acts 8:1. And that was exactly what happened through the martyrdom of Stephen.
Stephen’s martyrdom and sacrificial death opened the door for world missions in the early church.
His death even impacted a place as far as Antioch, a place whose missionary zeal was later to set the world aflame with the gospel.
How did all these come about?
It came about because Stephen was willing to lay down his life as a martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Stephen’s death brought about the scattering of the saints and the spreading of the gospel to the then known world.
Stephen had the distinction of being the first martyr of the Christian Church, and his death as a martyr had indirectly and greatly impacted the spread of the Christian gospel.
Acts 8:1 NASB charts how God had used persecution as the divine strategy for the evangelisation of the then known world:
Acts 8:1 NASB
… And on that day (the day of Stephen’s murder) a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.
Up till now no one had moved out from beyond Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria to preach the gospel in spite of what Jesus had commanded in Acts 1:8:
Acts 1:8 NASB
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.”
So God had to invoke Acts 8:1 on them by persecution so that they can be scattered to preach the gospel beyond Jerusalem.
It is no accident that these are the very two regions – Judea and Samaria to which the persecution sends the Church.
What obedience in Acts 1:8 will not achieve, persecution in Acts 8:1, will.
To confirm this divine missionary purpose of the persecution, which started from Stephen’s martyrdom, Luke refers back to it in Acts 11:19.
Acts 11:19 NASB
19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.
In Antioch some spoke to Greeks also. In other words, the persecution not only sent the Church to Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1), but also beyond the nations to “Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch.” (Acts 11:19).
Given what I have expounded about the ripple effects of Stephen’s martyrdom in the above, Stephen’s death was undoubtedly orchestrated according to the plan and purposes of the Lord Jesus and the will of Father God.
How then could Joseph Prince posture the view that Stephen’s death was needless – that he shouldn’t have died because it wasn’t those stones that killed him, but his death was due to his own doing when uttered the prayer “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” (Acts 7:59 NKJV) which he shouldn’t have uttered?
By posturing such a view, Joseph Prince has not only grossly dishonoured Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian Church, but he has also spoken against and mocked the plans and purposes of the Lord Jesus and Father God:
Acts 7:54-60 NIV
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Before Stephen was killed, he saw a heavenly vision of both the Lord Jesus and Father God in Acts 7:55-56.
I believe the heavenly vision which Stephen saw was to strengthen him for the martyrdom that he was about to face.
In the vision, Stephen saw the glory of God. He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Why was Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father instead of sitting? Many passages in the scripture showed Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father. But why in this instance was Jesus standing?
Possibly, the explanation that Christ was seen standing was because it was a symbolic act of acknowledging Stephen for standing up for Christ. It was Christ’s way of acknowledging Stephen who fearlessly stood up for Him in the hour of testing. By standing, it was Christ’s act of welcoming the first Christian martyr home.
It was as if Jesus was saying, “Stephen, since you stood up for me as a faithful witness even unto death, I am standing by you to honour you, and welcome you home.”
Regarding Acts 7:55, FF Bruce, a renowned Bible scholar wrote,
“Stephen has been confessing Christ before men, and now he sees Christ confessing his servant before God.”
Because Stephen was fearless for Christ unto death, Christ was faithful to Stephen by acknowledging him and welcoming him home upon his death.
When Christ has displayed such honour to His servant Stephen to welcome him home, Joseph Prince has starkly dishonoured him by his teaching that Stephen needn’t die as a martyr as his death was due to his own doing, when he uttered the prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
To me, this is nothing but sick theology.
It is unimaginable that Joseph Prince would teach that kind of doctrinal rubbish that is fit for the dumps.
As I think about Stephen, tears begin to well up within me as I stand in honour of one who gave his life for the sake of Christ and the gospel. Stephen deserves our smartest and most respectful salute.
Compare that with the hard-heartedness of Joseph Prince who, instead of honouring him for sacrificing his life for the sake of all of us, had even accused Stephen of dying a needless and worthless death.
This is shameless ungratefulness of the highest order!
Such repulsive behaviour of a so-called grace preacher, who is a wolf in sheepskin, cannot and must not be tolerated by the Church of Jesus Christ.
And yet the spiritual leaders of the Singapore Church, for their own self-preservation, still choose to be silent over the matter.
It is unimaginable that the spiritual Leaders of the Singapore Church would act out of self-preservation, instead acting as responsible shepherds – protecting the sheep from being deceived and destroyed by heretics!
Their silence over the stark and blatant display of heresy by Joseph Prince in their own backyard will be judged by Father God on the day of reckoning!
A double-talker is no different from a liar because if the first assertion that he makes is true, the second, which is a contradistinction, must be false and a lie as both assertions cannot be true at the same time.
Joseph Prince said in the video:
“We are so quick to say ‘die’ in our culture, and I believe also internationally. Death has been programmed into the language. Why is it? So the devil knows that he cannot, you know the devil can speak words into your mind but the devil knows he has no power. His words has no power because the devil is not sitting on the throne. It is only where the word of the king is, there is power. We are seated with Christ. So the devil can suggest a lot of things but don’t you say it. The devil needs you to say it. Amen.”
Joseph Prince specifically said in the above that the devil has no power; that he has no power to speak words of death over you because he is not sitting on the throne, but he can only get you to say the words of death to yourself to damn you.
Yet, in another weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube on 5 September 2021, Joseph Prince said the following;
please click below to view excerpts in the one-minute video,
“I think the COVID-19, one thing good that has come out of it. I know there’s a lot of bad in it. And it’s not from God, it’s from the devil.”
“We are right now seeing those signs coming to pass. Never before in modern times, the time of this day that we live in where we have the advent of computers and all that, have there been such a global pandemic of such magnitude as the one we are living in. For sure, this is definitely one of the pestilences that Jesus talked about. Jesus mentioned about pestilence coming before He comes again. Now some people quote, if that’s happening that means the Lord is sending all these things to usher in the coming of Jesus. No, no, no, no. He’s telling us that these are the signs. He didn’t say that He send them. These are the signs, when all these things happen, it’s only the beginning, which means the devil knows his time is short. And that’s mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev 12:12b). The devil knows his time is short. And he’s angry. He knows Jesus is coming back. And he’s causing all these wars and rumours of wars and pestilences and plagues and earthquakes and diverse earthquakes. This is not the work of God. It’s the work of the devil.”
One moment Joseph Prince said the devil is not sitting on the throne, and the next moment he said the devil has dominion over the world.
One moment Joseph Prince said the devil has no power to speak words of death over you in order to kill you.
The next moment, he said that the devil is the cause of COVID-19 and “all these wars and rumours of wars and pestilences and plagues and earthquakes and diverse earthquakes.”
In other words, what Joseph Prince is saying is that the devil is the cause of all the deaths that are linked to all earthquakes and pestilences, such as Covid-19, that resulted in the deaths of 6.5 million deaths, including thousands of believers.
One moment, Joseph Prince said the devil has no power with his words of death over you, and the next moment, he said it was the devil, not God, who is the cause of all the millions of deaths through the earthquakes and pestilences such as COVID-19.
If this is not blatant double-talking, I don’t know what is.
Joseph Prince is indeed confusing everybody, and we are left wondering what really is Joseph Prince saying – saying at one time that the devil is very powerful, and at another time that he has little power or no power at all.
Joseph Prince uses an Old Testament text in Proverbs 18:21 under the Old Covenant to prove his ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’ for New Covenant believers.
But didn’t Prince frequently say and
to prove his ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’ for New Covenant believers.
If no one can trust a blatant double-talker, how can anyone trust Joseph Prince who is a serial-double talker to be a true teacher of God’s word?
And by the way, if what Joseph Prince teaches is that important, why didn’t he use a New Testament text under the New Covenant to prove his case?
You know why?
As far as I know, there isn’t any New Testament text that could prove his case.
Joseph Prince said in the video:
“I want to tell you something. Proverbs 18:21. You know what it says: 21 ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.’
If you love death, you talk death, hey, you will eat the fruit. That’s what it says. You love life, speak life, you will eat the fruit of life.
We are so quick to say ‘die’ in our culture, and I believe also internationally. Death has been programmed into the language. Why is it? So the devil knows that he cannot, you know the devil can speak words into your mind but the devil knows he has no power. His words has no power because the devil is not sitting on the throne. It is only where the word of the king is, there is power. We are seated with Christ. So the devil can suggest a lot of things but don’t you say it. The devil needs you to say it. Amen.”
Rev George Ong