Joseph Prince Is Unrepentantly Preaching His Prosperity Gospel Doctrine Again – by Rev George Ong (Dated 3 May 2022)
“‘Our barns may be full, Supplying all kinds of produce; That our sheep may bring forth thousands And ten thousands in our fields;’ (Psa 144:13) You see that? That means what? Prosperity. I don’t know how else to describe this.
‘Pastor Prince, you said that word, the ‘P’ word. What word? The ‘P’ word. You don’t say that in church or else they will call you a Prosperity Cult.
Okay, I didn’t say, okay, I revoke that word, ‘Prosperity’. I just tell you this lah. That God wants your barns to be full; supplying all kinds of produce, your sheep, don’t bring one, two, three, four; thousands. And, not only thousands, also ten thousands in our fields.”
1. What Joseph Prince said in his 1 May 2022 sermon, 2 days ago, only Proves that he has Lied in the 28 November 2021 sermon.
Last year in a weekly sermon aired on 28 November 2021, I caught Joseph Prince lying when he claimed in public that he has never preached or said that Christians will be very wealthy. For those who missed the following article, you must read it by clicking below:
With what Joseph Prince has said in his most recent sermon on 1 May 2022 that based on Psalm 144:12-15 (especially V13) believers will experience prosperity,
“I just tell you this lah. That God wants your barns to be full; supplying all kinds of produce, your sheep, don’t bring one, two, three, four; thousands. And, not only thousands, also ten thousands in our fields,”
he simply means they will be very wealthy.
This only confirms that Joseph Prince has indeed lied on 28 November 2021 when he claimed in public that he has never preached or said that Christians will be very wealthy.
What is worse is that Joseph Prince isn’t just a heretic but he is also a serial-lying heretic.
For the life of me, how can such a man be a true teacher of God’s word?
2. Joseph Prince hits his critics in a veiled sarcastic way & makes fun of them on the Holy Pulpit in front of his congregation and the world.
Joseph Prince is clearly hitting his critics who preach against his Prosperity Gospel in a veiled sarcastic way and making fun of them in front of his congregation. Amongst the most ardent and outspoken critics of the Prosperity Gospel doctrine are John Piper, John MacArthur, Justin Peters, Paul Washer and many others.
But I thought Prince said recently more than once on video in his Sunday sermons (and I have the video to prove it) that he ought to love his critics by loving his Saviour and praying for those who criticise him.
So now I see – that’s what Prince really meant by loving those who criticise him – it is by sarcastically hitting and making fun of them in front of his congregation on the Holy Pulpit and making fools of them.
No wonder many of Prince’s adorers and supporters have followed his atrocious example when they encounter critics of the Prosperity Gospel.
3. Half-Truth Poison of Joseph Prince: Habakkuk 3:17-19, not just Psalm 144:12-15.
Let me give Prince a taste of his own medicine by asking him in a sarcastic way, is Habakkuk 3:17-19 found in his Bible?
If so, why is Prince highlighting only Psalm 144:12-15 (especially V13) and ‘hiding’ Habakkuk 3:17-19 from the audience? He seems to be giving people the impression that Habakkuk 3:17-19 is missing from his Bible and hence he isn’t preaching it?
If Prince has no time preaching on Habakkuk 3:17-19 last Sunday, he should seriously consider preaching it this coming Sunday or any available Sunday and tell us what that passage means vis-a-vis Psalm 144:12-15.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NASB):
17 Even if the fig tree does not blossom, And there is no fruit on the vines, If the yield of the olive fails, And the fields produce no food, Even if the flock disappears from the fold, And there are no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will triumph in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like deer’s feet, And has me walk on my high places.
It seems Joseph Prince is so ignorant that he isn’t aware that the Old Testament does not only mention the prosperity of believers in Psalm 144:12-15, but it also touches on poverty that believers could be faced with in Habakkuk 3:17-19.
There are times in the Old Testament when poverty is even seen as an occasion for victory and rejoicing in God (Hab 3:17-19).
What Habakkuk had stated in the Old Testament is in line with what Paul said in the New that even famine cannot separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:35).
According to Paul, can New Covenant believers be faced with famine?
Of course! If not, Paul wouldn’t have mentioned it.
The greatest test of our faith and trust in God is not during prosperous times when we are perpetually wealthy and when our bank account is constantly increasing, but during trying times when there is no money in the kitty and there is no food in the fridge.
I am most apologetic to say that most Christians in Singapore (including myself) have not even experienced that which Habakkuk had but that doesn’t mean other believers around the world haven’t.
In fact, as we all know, believers in Sri Lanka and Ukraine are going through the worst economic, social and political crisis in their countries.
About a month ago, I received an email from a friend who is an insightful thinker, a sought-after speaker, a leading Christian writer, who has written many commentaries and books, and a highly respected leader in both the Sri Lankan Church and around the world:
“Dear friends, readers outside Sri Lanka may not know that Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy. The lack of foreign currency has resulted in the halting of imports. People stay in cooking gas and vehicle fuel queues for many hours and often go away disappointed. Many essential items such as certain medicines and food are not available. There are daily power cuts of 10 hours which will probably become 12 hours a day from tomorrow. This is the hottest time of the year and staying without fans is very trying. Building projects have come to a halt or are being scaled down owing to high prices and the shortage of materials. The highest rate of inflation in Asia has resulted in prices skyrocketing. The tempers of the people are at boiling point resulting in daily protests all over the country.”
(This friend of mine is such a godly man whom I highly respect. Instead of leaving Sri Lanka for greener pastures in the First World, which he could easily have done, he chose to stay in the country; to identify with his people and also because of God’s call).
By trumpeting his Prosperity Gospel Doctrine again and sarcastically hitting his critics in the most recent sermon on 1 May 2022, Joseph Prince is totally insensitive towards believers in countries, such as Sri Lanka and Ukraine who are suffering the lack of the most basic needs of shelter and food.
Which preacher has greater faith? – Joseph Prince who teaches that we must have the faith to believe God for prosperity or those who encourage us that we can rejoice in God even in the midst of poverty.
The deep lesson of Habakkuk 3:17-19 is that when everything around you seems to be going wrong; when the fig tree stops blossoming, when the vine has no grapes, when there are no sheep in the fields, no cattle in the store; when there is economic disaster due to an outbreak of a major war, when everything is going wrong and you don’t know when your next meal is coming from, how does a believer respond?
Well, if he has really seen God as Habakkuk did, (and not been corrupted by the Grace Doctrine of Joseph Prince), he or she can still rejoice. Everything a believer sees may be depressing; everything around him may collapse, but he can still rejoice in God his Saviour.
Friends, this is real and tough Christianity and not the soft and sentimental Christianity that Joseph Prince is dishing out – that every believer has the covenantal right to be very wealthy as Abraham was.
A strong believer who could rejoice in the midst of adversity ‘doesn’t care’ what his circumstances are going to be like. They may have crumbled before his eyes. Yet, he can be sure-footed, having the feet of a deer that moves quickly and lightly. They just go leaping up and up to the heights (Hab 3:19). And Habakkuk says that’s where he is now and that’s where we can be if we are ever faced with the same dire situation.
Habakkuk began as a depressed man way down in the valley; he was frustrated and angry. But now, he is a deer jumping up on the heights. He’s got deer’s feet. Instead of being in the valley of doubt and despair, Habakkuk is now leaping from rock to rock, rejoicing in God even though the fig tree does not blossom, there’s no fruit on the vine, no food in the fields and no cattle in the stalls.
A mature believer does not only know how to thank God for prospering him but, more importantly, he must also have the strength to rejoice when everything is falling apart in his life and when stark poverty stares him right in his face.
4. Joseph Prince told the Lie that Poverty belongs to the Realm of the Cursed.
Since I have mentioned how Habakkuk could thrive in the midst of poverty and we must do too, Joseph Prince is bound to object ‘violently’.
This is because in ‘Unmerited Favor’, Pages 227-228, Joseph Prince wrote,
“Don’t they realize that sickness and poverty belong to the realm of the curse?”
Not only does what Joseph Prince writes go against Habakkuk 3:17-19 that we can rejoice even in poverty, Prince also teaches that poverty belongs to the realm of the curse.
This simply means according to Joseph Prince, believers especially in Sri Lanka and Ukraine, who are facing poverty are under a curse.
Joseph Prince, by making the above statement, only shows how insensitive, ignorant and simplistic he is.
One needs to note that not all the poor in the Old Testament are cursed by God for their disobedience in Deuteronomy 28.
There are many other reasons for poverty. Some are poor because of their own doing – slothfulness – and they deserve it.
Others are poor not because of their own fault, but because they are exploited by the rich, and also due to natural calamities or wars. These people are poor, not because they are under a curse for disobeying God.
For this group of poor people, God has a great heart for them. God demands that the rich provide for the needs of the poor and the needy. There is a humongous amount of scriptures that prove that God is a protector of the poor in the Old Testament.
Next, in the Old Testament scriptures, especially Proverbs, is the recognition that there are poor people. But whether they are poor or rich, they belong to the Lord:
“Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all” (Prov 22:2 NIV).
Please peruse the following passages:
Proverbs 16:8 CEV
8 “It’s better to be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich.”
Proverbs 16:19 NIV
19 “Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.”
Proverbs 19:1 NIV
1 “Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.”
Proverbs 28:6 NIV
6 “Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.”
Are all the poor people cursed by God and out of favour with Him in the above passages under the Old Covenant?
Are all the rich people blessed by God and in favour and right with Him?
Are the poor in the above passages reprimanded by God because they are cursed?
Joseph Prince may do that as his Prosperity Gospel doctrine declares that all poor people are under God’s curse.
Did the Old Testament scriptures in Proverbs curse and castigate them?
On the contrary, the scriptures in the Old Testament recognise there are the honest poor (Prov 16:8) and the blameless poor (Prov 19:1; 28:6). Not all poor people in the Old Testament are lazy or under God’s curse for their disobedience to God’s commandments. Many of these poor people are blessed by God because they are humble and blameless.
Joseph Prince, by saying that all the poor are cursed, only goes to show his gross ignorance about the issue of poverty and total insensitivity towards the poor in the Old Testament and believers who are suffering from poverty in countries, such as Sri Lanka and Ukraine.
If Paul teaches that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of poverty and thus assuring our wealth and prosperity, as what Joseph Prince teaches, Paul would have contradicted himself in the other parts of the scriptures.
If Christ has come to redeem the New Covenant people of poverty and to bless us with riches, why was Paul, a New Covenant believer himself, not a recipient of it, when he said:
“To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless” (1 Cor 4:11)?
If the teachings of Joseph Prince that every New Covenant believer is redeemed from the curse of poverty, and every one of them ought to be wealthy and prosperous is correct, how can Paul, being a New Covenant believer himself, be hungry and thirsty, was barely clothed and homeless (1 Cor 4:11)?
If the Apostle Paul himself doesn’t even embody the truth of Prince’s Prosperity Gospel in the New Testament that he is very wealthy, Joseph Prince’s teaching on such a doctrine must be patently false.
Such prosperity teachings of Joseph Prince that every New Covenant believer is redeemed from the curse of poverty would also contradict the teachings of Jesus.
If what Joseph Prince teach were true that we are redeemed from the curse of poverty, and wealth is the inheritance of every believer, why would Jesus mention the following:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matt 25:34-40)
What are the lessons that we can draw from what Jesus said in Matthew 25:34-40?
First, if believers who are, indeed, redeemed from the curse of poverty and are enjoying the blessings of wealth are true, why are there still poorer and needier New Covenant believers, who are hungry and thirsty, and who need clothes in Matthew 25:34-40?
Did Jesus reprimand them for remaining under the curse of poverty?
Did Jesus rebuke them, as Joseph Prince may, for not having enough faith to pray themselves out of the curse of poverty?
No, Jesus has a great heart for the poor, and He takes care of these poor believers, by asking those who have more than these poor brethren, to take care of their needs.
Instead of looking down on our poorer brethren, or rebuking them for their lack of faith to get out of the poverty trap as Joseph Prince may do, Jesus teaches that believers who are richer and have more than they need, must exercise their responsibilities to meet the needs of their poorer and suffering brethren.
Taking care of these poor believers is so important to Jesus that anyone who does will enter the kingdom of God (Matt 25:34-36 NIV). But anyone who fails to provide for their needs will be banished to the fires of hell (Matt 25:41-43 NIV).
This is not about earning salvation through good works. This is about the fact that the evidence of true faith must be seen in and through one’s good works. That is why James said faith without works is useless, dead, and cannot save (Jas 2:14,17,20,26).
The wealth that God has blessed us with must not be used in a self-indulgent fashion, but it must be shared with those who are needy.
This is also true in the Old Testament. Abraham provided employment for the plenty of others that supplied their needs (Gen 14:14). Job, too, used his wealth to care for the poor widows and orphans (Job 29:12-13; 31:16-22).
So, the attitude of Jesus towards the poor in the New Testament is totally different from that of Joseph Prince. For Joseph Prince, the poor are under a curse. If the poor are under a curse, why didn’t Jesus mention it in Matthew 25:31-46 as He is speaking about them?
Instead, Jesus took special pains to make sure their needs are taken care of. Jesus, indeed, has a great heart for the poor, and He insists that the rich must take care of the poor.
Next, Jesus Himself did not say,
“Cursed are the poor,”
but He says,
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20).
Jesus, in Luke 6:20, is not talking about the spiritually poor in Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus is talking about the materially poor in Luke 6:20.
Joseph Prince has once again openly defied the teaching of Jesus.
When Jesus says,
“Blessed are you who are poor…” (Lk 6:20),
Joseph Prince has the unholy guts to defy Jesus by his teaching that every poor person is cursed by God.
That is why I have said time and again that Joseph Prince isn’t preaching the Jesus’ Gospel but his own false grace gospel.
Even if Joseph Prince is right when he teaches that since Paul wrote, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law” in Galatians 3:13, any New Covenant believer who is in Christ has also been redeemed from the curse of poverty – he has falsely applied it.
Prince’s definition of poverty is different from that of the scriptures.
The scriptures indicate that if one has his basic needs taken care of, such as food and clothing, one isn’t living in poverty.
That is why Proverbs says,
“…but give me only my daily bread” (Prov 30:8).
That is why Jesus asks us to pray,
“Give us today our daily bread” (Matt 6:11).
That is why Paul instructs,
“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Tim 6:9).
Did Paul write the way Joseph Prince has said in his 1 May 2022 sermon,
“Pastor Prince, you said that word, the ‘P’ word. What word? The ‘P’ word. You don’t say that in church or else they will call you a Prosperity Cult.
Okay, I didn’t say, okay, I revoke that word, ‘Prosperity’. I just tell you this lah. That God wants your barns to be full; supplying all kinds of produce, your sheep, don’t bring one, two, three, four; thousands. And, not only thousands, also ten thousands in our fields.”
What Jesus and Paul teach is that every Christian has been delivered from poverty in the sense that his basic needs are met, and Christ has assured us that our basic needs will be taken care of in Matthew 6:25-34.
Anyone who lives below that line of having his basic needs met would be considered as living in poverty. But, that’s not how Joseph Prince sees it.
To Prince, just having our basic needs met isn’t acceptable, as he teaches that every New Covenant Christian must be wealthy; not only wealthy but we have the covenantal right to be very wealthy as Abraham was.
So, to Prince, whether he admits it or not, to be delivered from poverty means to be delivered to become not only rich but very rich.
Both Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings that having our daily needs met as the definition of living above poverty is nowhere in Prince’s conception. To Prince, to have our daily needs of food and clothing met is as good as living in poverty.
That is why Joseph Prince has abused Galatians 3:13 – with the teaching that since Christ has delivered you from poverty, you must never remain in the state of just having your needs met, but you must not only be rich but very rich as Abraham was.
The teaching of Joseph Prince that every believer ought to be very rich as Abraham was is way off tangent, and totally against the teachings of the New Testament. What is worse is that Prince sees the poor as being cursed by God.
Though being poor is not the desired state to be in, Jesus and the scripture writers of the New Testament never speak ill of the poor. Jesus never cursed the poor in the New Testament, but Jesus blessed them instead.
Those Jesus cursed are the rich.
“Blessed are you who are poor” and “woe to you who are rich” (Lk 6:20,24 NIV).
Many believers aren’t aware that the New Testament scriptures have more unfavourable things to say about the rich than the poor.
5. Why didn’t Jesus reprimand the Church of Smyrna for being Poor but instead commended them?
Joseph Prince has to explain to us that if every New Covenant believer in every church is supposed to be prosperous and very rich as Abraham was, why is the church of Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11), a New Covenant church in a state of poverty?
And did Jesus reprimand the church of Smyrna for being poor? Did Jesus rebuke them for not praying with enough faith; to pray themselves out of the curse of poverty?
Joseph Prince may have done that, but never once did Jesus reprimand them for their poverty. Conversely, Jesus affirmed and commended the church in Smyrna:
“I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich!” (Rev 2:9a NIV).
Jesus is well aware that they are living in a state of poverty, yet, Jesus never told them they had to get out of their poverty because they are cursed.
Jesus is not as concerned whether they are materially rich or poor, but He is utterly concerned whether they are spiritually rich.
Listen, people – for those who are still blindly supporting Joseph Prince or trying to protect him, tell me – why is the teaching on wealth and poverty so different between Joseph Prince and that of the Lord Jesus?
Joseph Prince teaches that no Christian or church should ever be in a state of poverty, and he may even reprimand those who are poor for having no faith to pray themselves out of their poverty.
But Jesus didn’t even rebuke the church in Smyrna for finding themselves in a state of poverty; He praises them for being spiritually rich.
Why? – Because the Prosperity Gospel Doctrine of Joseph Prince was never in the mind of Jesus.
Can you now see that Joseph Prince is not preaching the real Jesus; He is preaching his version of Jesus – the counterfeit Jesus!
The late Leonard Ravenhill, a man of God I highly respect, said:
“The Early Church was married to Poverty, Prisons, and Persecutions. Today, ‘The Church’ is married to Prosperity, Personality, and Popularity.”
The quote of Leonard Ravenhill aptly describes the ministry of Joseph Prince as Prince who is constantly preaching about prosperity and the ‘success’ of his church, is indeed, based on his personality and popularity.
But is the true New Testament church based on prosperity, personality and popularity?
6. There are many who are poor even in The Old Testament & not rich as Joseph Prince has falsely portrayed.
The amount of verses that deal with the poor and the needy in the Old Testament is humongous. Please don’t take my word for it; go and do a study for yourselves.
The basic idea of these numerous verses, all point to the God who is the protector and defender of the poor and the needy.
What does this tell us?
This indicates there are many poor Israelites in the Old Testament.
This lie of Joseph Prince that every or most or many of the Old Testament people are rich people is thus exposed.
Even though God does not want his people to live in poverty, He is well aware that because of sin and the selfishness of the people, this goal will not be accomplished until Christ returns.
In the meantime, God demands and commands that His more well-to-do people must do their part to alleviate the plight of the poor.
Here is just a sample list of verses about the poor:
Proverbs 17:5 NIV
5 “Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.”
Showing contempt against God is a serious sin. The fact that God would equate such contempt to anyone who mocks the poor shows how much God values them (Prov 17:5).
God’s loving and thoughtful consideration for the poor is heartening and cannot be missed in the following passages (Lev 19:9-10; 23:22; 14:21):
Leviticus 19:9-10 NIV
9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 23:22 NIV
22 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”
Leviticus 14:21 NIV
21 “If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of oil.”
God also promises to bless those who take care of the poor and feed them (Isa 58:10-11; Deut 14:28-29; Prov 22:9):
Isaiah 58:10-11 GNT
10 “if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. 11 And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.”
Deuteronomy 14:28-29 NIV
28 “At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
Proverbs 22:9 NIV
9 “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
On the other hand, those who refuse to alleviate the plight of the poor will not go unpunished:
Proverbs 21:13 NIV
13 “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.”
Proverbs 22:16 NIV
16 “One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich – both come to poverty.”
Proverbs 22:22-23 NIV
22 “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23 for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.”
Proverbs 28:8 GNT
8 “If you get rich by charging interest and taking advantage of people, your wealth will go to someone who is kind to the poor.”
Amos 4:1-2 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!” 2 The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness: “The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks.”
7 “You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, 8 though you were a powerful man, owning land – an honored man, living on it. 9 And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. 10 That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you.”
1 Samuel 2:8 NIV
8 “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.”
Joseph Prince has been telling everybody that all the poor are under God’s curse! But this isn’t the picture in all the above passages, and particularly in 1 Samuel 2:8, as God honours the poor and treats them as princes.
God is indeed a stout defender and faithful protector of the poor:
Deuteronomy 24:10-13 NIV
10 “When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not go into their house to get what is offered to you as a pledge. 11 Stay outside and let the neighbor to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you. 12 If the neighbor is poor, do not go to sleep with their pledge in your possession. 13 Return their cloak by sunset so that your neighbor may sleep in it. Then they will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.”
Psalm 34:6 NIV
6 “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.”
Psalm 69:32-33 NKJV
32 “The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. 33 For the Lord hears the poor, And does not despise His prisoners.”
Psalm 132:15 NIV
15 “I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.”
Isaiah 41:17 NIV
17 “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”
Joseph Prince gives the impression that all the poor are cursed, and it is dreadful to be poor. He also teaches that since every believer is called to be rich, they have no reason to be poor, and they ought to come out of their state of poverty through the prayer of faith.
But as you read through the above passages, is this the picture that is painted?
Did God say all the poor are cursed?
Did God reprimand the poor for finding themselves in a state of poverty?
Did God insist that every of the poor must get out of their state of poverty and be rich through the prayer of faith?
God may have cursed those who deliberately disobeyed His commandments into poverty, but for the vast majority of the poor, He took great care of them by commanding the more well-to-do people to take care of their needs.
This is because God is realistic enough to accept the fact that there will be poor people in the land (Deut 15:11) on this earth, even in the Old Testament, until His Kingdom finally comes.
This has exposed Joseph Prince’s false teaching that everyone or most or many people in the Old Testament were, perhaps, as rich as Abraham was.
Joseph Prince just selectively picks a few individuals, who are rich, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Solomon, and give the false impression that, just as they are wealthy, so is every or most or many Old Covenant people. The truth is most of the ordinary people in the Old Covenant are not wealthy, and many are even poor.
So, for Joseph Prince who has selectively used several rich individuals in the Old Testament, such as Abraham and others, and applied that to New Covenant people – that every single New Covenant believer is to be as rich as they are, is to overly stretch and grossly distort the truth.
For example, Abraham probably employed hundreds of people to man his possessions (Gen 14:14).
Are all these people as rich as Abraham was?
Not at all.
If these people were as rich as Abraham, why would they have to be employed?
If they are rich, they would be employing people just as Abraham did.
Why didn’t Joseph Prince pick the hundreds of employees of Abraham, who is the ‘average Joe’ in terms of wealth, to be examples for New Covenant people?
Why did Joseph Prince pick Abraham as representing the norm of what the average Old Covenant people would possess, and apply that to New Covenant people in terms of wealth – when Abraham isn’t the norm?
Why did God spend so much of His efforts talking about the poor and the need to take care of them in the Old Testament?
It must be that the poor comprise quite a big portion of the Old Covenant Israelites.
If poverty and the poor isn’t a pervasive and prevalent issue, God wouldn’t have devoted so many verses in the Old Testament talking about them.
7. The Prosperity Gospel of Joseph Prince is a False Gospel.
Joseph Prince preaches that following Jesus will bring you success.
In ‘Destined To Reign’, Page 1, Joseph Prince wrote,
“You are destined to reign in life. You are called by the Lord to be a success, to enjoy wealth, to enjoy health and to enjoy a life of victory. …He has called you to be the head and not the tail.”
That’s the false gospel that Prince is preaching.
Joseph Prince says,
“If you follow Jesus, He will make you successful and rich!”
“… Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23 NIV).
“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Lk 14:33 NIV).
We have to remind Joseph Prince that to “take up your cross” does not mean to “become successful and rich.”
We have to educate Joseph Prince that to “leave everything and follow Jesus” is not the same as “get everything by following Jesus.”
Joseph Prince is no more than catering his version of the get-rich gospel to the carnal crowds. No wonder he can get such a great following.
The prosperity gospel is not the gospel, but it is a distorted and perverted version of the true gospel.
Joseph Prince has diminished or even obliterated the purpose of suffering and self-denial. He has reduced the gospel to a pursuit of our materialistic desires and wants and the accumulation of possessions.
Joseph Prince says that to be a Christian is to be a success and enjoy the blessings of wealth and health. But Jesus calls us to be ready to suffer for Him. Jesus calls us to be willing to give up everything, including our life, to follow Him.
Joseph Prince loves to quote Romans 5:17 to push his point that believers will reign in life and be successful and be blessed with wealth and health.
In Destined To Reign, Page 2, Prince quoted Romans 5:17:
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
But Joseph Prince has conveniently hidden from you that the same Paul, who wrote Romans 5:17, that believers “will reign in life” (Rom 5:17) was often beaten, shipwrecked, persecuted, and finally martyred.
To Joseph Prince, reigning in life has to do with success, wealth and health. But, to Paul, if one has gone through the severest suffering and persecution, and even death for the sake of Christ and the gospel, which he did, one has indeed reigned in life.
If Joseph Prince’s Prosperity Gospel teaching is right, I will have to say to Paul:
“Paul, you must be a very poor and lousy Grace teacher. Joseph Prince claims that he has learned the Grace doctrine from you, and he is booming with success. How come you have so much failure? When Joseph Prince is preaching that we’ll reign in life in all areas when we come under the Grace teaching, why are you persecuted everywhere, and worst, you have to die for your faith.”
What Joseph Prince is teaching is that once the gospel is received by the poor, they don’t have to be poor anymore as every believer has the covenantal right to be very rich as Abraham was.
But is it biblical?
I can’t think of any example in the gospels where Jesus tells the poor once you receive the gospel, you do not have to be poor anymore. If you can find one such example, please let me know, and I stand to be corrected.
Jesus did promise that He will provide for the needs of believers (Matt 6:25-33). But He never promises that any believer will not be poor, and that all of them will be very rich as Abraham was.
Joseph Prince teaches that Jesus died on the cross to make every believer financially rich is a false doctrine. A gospel that promises earthly riches to every believer, and they ought to prosper and be financially successful is biblically erroneous.
The right teaching ought to be that we, as believers, have no lack in God as God is rich enough to supply our every need. Whether God blesses us with much or little, we are to be content.
Let me end with a quote by Jim Bakker. Many older Christians will know who Jim Bakker is.
Jim Bakker, a preacher of the gospel, went to prison many years ago over some major indiscretion. At that time, he was preaching the Prosperity Gospel.
After he was released from prison, he repented of his Prosperity Gospel doctrine.
This is what Jim Bakker said:
“The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet.”
The reason why Joseph Prince is still alive today is not because he is preaching the true gospel but because of God’s matchless and abounding grace – the same grace that God has shown to Jim Bakker when he was preaching the false Prosperity Gospel.
Let’s hope and pray that Joseph Prince would not test the limits of God’s grace too far and to breaking point. If that happens, that would indeed be a sad day for Prince, his family and church.
Rev George Ong