Joseph Prince Twisted Jesus’ Words In Revelation Chapters 2-3 & John 15:2 – By Rev George Ong (Dated 16 Oct 2021)
Joseph Prince Twisted Jesus’ Words In Revelation Chapters 2-3 – By Rev George Ong
This article focusses on the daringness of Joseph Prince in twisting the words of Jesus in Revelation chapters 2-3. He does that only to prevent the falsity of his Grace Theology from being uncovered.
Joseph Prince contradicted the Lord Jesus many times in Jesus’ message to the seven churches in Revelation.
First, Joseph Prince teaches that all our sins are forgiven, and there is no need for confession and repentance of sins.
But Jesus unambiguously warns five of the seven churches to repent of their sins, failing which, there would be serious repercussions.
Second, Joseph Prince teaches that God would never get angry with New Covenant believers and that He would never judge and condemn them.
But Jesus warns the church of Thyatira that He could even strike both the false teachers and believers dead if they failed to heed His warning to repent. This only indicates that God is more than angry with them, and He has already judged them.
Third, Joseph Prince teaches that God is always pleased and will never be displeased with New Covenant believers.
But the stern tone and language that Jesus uses to warn five of the seven churches indicate Jesus is utterly displeased with them.
Fourth, Joseph Prince teaches that we must only give and receive positive teachings, and reject negative teachings.
But Jesus not only positively commended them, He also negatively reprimanded them, and severely, in some cases. This goes to show Jesus was not only dealing with them, positively, by His compliments. If Jesus has to be ‘negative’ in rebuking and disciplining them, He was prepared to.
Because of the massive contradictions to Joseph Prince’s grace doctrine posed by Jesus Himself in Revelation chapters 2-3, that threaten to throw his Grace Theology into disarray, he has to find a way to explain away these passages. He has to come up with an explanation to account for such contradictions in his theology.
In his defence, Joseph Prince argues that Jesus was only addressing the pastors, and not believers of those churches, and that’s why His speech was unusually harsh.
Please click to view the 30-second video of what Joseph Prince said,
“I submit to you that all the seven stars of the seven churches are the leaders that God has appointed over that church. The pastors, so to speak.”
“Now, seven churches. He is addressing the angel (pastor) of the church; he is not addressing the people.” “But he is not addressing everyone; he is addressing the pastor of the church. For example, he says, ‘You allow that woman to teach – Jezebel – to teach – so he placed the responsibility on the pastor, not on the people.’”
In ‘Grace Revolution’, Page 332, Joseph Prince wrote,
“So what is the Lord saying? First you need to understand that these two verses (Rev 2:5; Rev 2:14) were written to pastors, so they are applicable only to pastors. If you are not pastoring a flock, these verses are not for you.”
In both the video and the quote, Joseph Prince postured the view that Revelation chapters 2-3 were not written to believers but only to pastors of these churches.
The argument is that pastors are expected to be held to a higher standard of accountability, and so Christ had to be firm and tough with them.
Because Christ wasn’t addressing the church but the pastors, He could not have said to be tough or displeased or angry with
church members but only the pastors.
What a flimsy and twisted argument!
Joseph Prince thought he had done a clean job of hiding the inconsistencies and contradictions that his Grace Theology has created, and preventing it from being exposed.
His cover-up job would never be a clean one because all he has done is to use the second lie to cover up the first lie. Using the second lie to cover up the first lie, would result in the need to create the third lie to cover up the second lie, and the never-ending process of lying continues.
First, using pastors as the whipping boy to cover up for his doctrinal contradictions has revealed further loopholes.
Think with me – according to his Grace Theology, aren’t pastors also part of the New Covenant people? Of course, they are! It makes no difference even though they are pastors.
One can be the president of a company or a road sweeper; nonetheless, they both are part of the New Covenant people, and are equally entitled to all New Covenant privileges that Joseph Prince has laid out.
Being pastors or leaders of churches doesn’t mean they are any lesser than the rest of the New Covenant members, and they shouldn’t be discriminated against.
Pastors have every right like every New Covenant member to inherit all the covenant promises that Joseph Prince has laid out – such as God will always be pleased with them, and He will never get angry with them and judge and punish them.
But what Joseph Prince has done is to discriminate against the pastors. He is forced to discriminate against the pastors in order to protect his Grace Theology from being exposed.
But in so doing, he has created a loophole.
By his view that Revelation chapters 2-3 were written to pastors, and the fact that Joseph Prince said God had to be tough with them, Joseph Prince is effectively saying these pastors are not entitled to the full privileges of New Covenant believers.
If one were to peruse some portions of what were written in Revelation chapters 2-3, Jesus was more than displeased with these pastors. He was harshly reprimanding and warning them with severe punishments if they don’t repent:
Revelation 2:5 NIV (Ephesus)
5 “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
Revelation 2:15-16 NIV (Pergamum)
15 “Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
Revelation 2:22-23 NIV (Thyatira)
22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead…”
Revelation 3:3 NIV (Sardis)
3 “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
Revelation 3:16,19 NIV (Laodicea)
16 “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” 19 “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”
How can Pastors, who, according to Joseph Prince’s teachings are also New Covenant believers, be subjected to such impending harsh punishments by Jesus.
If Joseph Prince wishes to maintain the credibility of his theology, then he ought to make a qualification to his teaching in the following manner:
“The New Covenant blessings that God will always be pleased with us, and He will never get angry, judge and punish us – apply to every member of the New Covenant community – except the pastors.”
Joseph Prince has to make this clear publicly – about the exception clause of the pastors. If he refuses to, then he is a blatant liar, saying one thing at one time that everyone qualifies for such New Covenant blessings, and another at another time, in Revelation chapters 2-3, that God can get angry, be terribly displeased and even severely judge these pastors, even though they are New Covenant believers.
Second, by posturing that the seven letters were only directly written to the pastors of these seven churches and not the members in these churches is a direct contradiction to the text.
Here again, Joseph Prince is engaging in half-truth. He gives you the half-truth that Jesus was speaking to the angels or pastors of those churches.
But the other half of the truth he hides from you is that Jesus was speaking to these pastors on behalf of the people in each congregation.
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches,”
was repeated 7 times by Jesus in Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13 and 3:22 (NIV).
Jesus did not say, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the pastors of these churches.”
But Jesus says, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
So, Revelation chapters 2-3 were written to every believer, including the pastors of these churches. The leaders or pastors were to deliver the messages to the believers in the churches, whom Jesus was ultimately addressing.
Perhaps, if it appears once, Joseph Prince could have missed it.
How could Joseph Prince ever miss reading the same message that was repeated seven times,
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22)?
So, the unmistakable conclusion is that Joseph Prince is fully aware of it, but he is deliberately hiding it from you just to protect his doctrine from being uncovered.
Even in the final chapter and closing words of the book in Revelation 22:16, Jesus again states who the audience of the Book of Revelation (which includes Revelation chapters 2-3) was written to, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches…”
Revelation 22:16 NASB
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches…”
So it is undeniably clear that the message was meant not just for the pastors alone but for every single member of these seven churches. Jesus was addressing the church through the pastors, pure and simple.
Has it dawned upon you that Joseph Prince is such a rebellious fellow that he dares to distort and misrepresent what Jesus is saying to His churches in Revelation – just for the sake of saving his Grace Theology?
It is clear that the message was written to each of the seven churches in Revelation, including the pastors. And yet, Joseph Prince has the unholy dare to twist Jesus’ own words and said the message is only for pastors as Jesus was not addressing the believers.
It is so obvious that saving his Grace Theology from being exposed is even more important than honouring the teachings of Jesus.
If Joseph Prince dares to twist the words of Jesus, who is God Himself, in such a blatant manner, how can he be a Christ-centred preacher and a true teacher of God’s word? That he is a heretic – is the only sound conclusion I can make!
Joseph Prince Twisted Jesus’ Words in John 15:2 – By Rev George Ong
Joseph Prince’s deceptive use of Greek words to twist Christ’s words in John 15:2, is best seen in this video you are now watching.
Please click to view the one-and-a-half minute video of what Joseph Prince said,
“Go back to John 15:2. ‘Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away.’”
“Now we have more and more people realising the truth. And I’ve shared this down through the years – the word ‘takes away’ in the Greek is the Greek word, ‘airo’ which actually is to ‘lift up.’”
“The reason why many believers cannot bear fruit is because the devil has cast them down, and they are depressed. They are wallowing in the dust.”
“But if a branch is not bearing fruit, God does not kick the branch. God does not slap the branch – ah too bad, you fell. No, what the Lord does to help it bear fruit is the Lord lifts up.
Isn’t the Lord Jesus always lifting up? He lifts up the woman of Samaria when no one bothered to care for her. She came alone to the well. He cared for the woman of Nain when her son died. He cared for the tears of Martha and Mary. He’s always lifting. The Bible says he went about doing good, healing all. Always lifting up. Always restoring. And he raised Jairus’ daughter. He lifts her up. And he raised Peter’s mother-in-law. He raised her up. He’s always lifting up.
And the boy fell to the ground, and the demon was foaming. And Jesus says, ‘Leave him alone, come out of him and enter no more into him.’ The demon left, and Jesus lifted up the boy. He’s always lifting up. When you don’t bear fruit, He lifts you up. Not He takes you away.”
“It is not take away. It is – lifts you up. A sermon from God should lift you up, not throw you down the dust. Make you feel sin-conscious.”
Joseph Prince has yet again broken the rule of interpreting a text in its context in John 15:1-6.
Joseph Prince said,
“The reason why many believers cannot bear fruit is because the devil has cast them down, and they are depressed.”
Where, in the context of John chapter 15 and John 15:1-6, in particular, is the devil even mentioned? Where, in the text, did it say that it was the devil who was responsible for the believer, not bearing fruit?
Joseph Prince’s feel-good teaching sounds like sweet honey to those listening because by falsely concluding that it is the devil who is responsible for our failure to bear fruit, he takes the responsibility away from the people.
Isn’t it a feel-good teaching that I am not responsible for my failings, and even if I am really at fault, I can conveniently blame it on the devil as a scapegoat? No wonder so many people love to hear Joseph Prince’s sermons because he really knows how to make them feel good.
John 15:1-6 clearly says that the reason for not bearing fruit has nothing to do with the devil but is due to the failure of the believer himself to remain or abide in Christ.
By mentioning the devil is the one who is the cause of believers for not bearing fruit when it is silent in the text, means Joseph Prince is interpreting the passage out of context.
He has also transgressed the rule of reading something foreign, ‘the devil’, into the text to support his view when he is not supposed to.
By breaking this same rule about interpreting a text in its context yet again that he has frequently warned other preachers from transgressing, it means he is the real super con man and an unrepentant hypocrite (so far).
Joseph Prince said,
“And I’ve shared this down through the years – the word ‘takes away’ in the Greek is the Greek word, ‘airo’ which actually is to ‘lift up.’”
“But if the branch is not bearing fruit, God does not kick the branch. God does not slap the branch – ah too bad, you fell. No, what the Lord does to help it bear fruit is the Lord lifts up.”
This is yet another example of Joseph Prince’s feel-good teaching that endears him to many. Now, can you see now what’s his secret of Church growth? Preaching feel-good sermons that people love to hear. Who doesn’t want God to help us when we are down? And there is nothing wrong for every Christian to desire such help.
But what Joseph Prince said in the video is not true in the context of John 15:1-6. As a matter of fact, it contradicts the context – as the fruitless branch will not be lifted up as Joseph Prince falsely teaches but cut off in John 15:2 and thrown into the fire and burned in John 15:6.
John 15:2,6 NIV
2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
6 “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
Many would be deceived by Joseph Prince because half of what he said in the video about God helping us when we are down, such as the woman of Samaria or Jairus’ daughter, is the truth. They may be true only in their individual contexts but not in the particular context of John 15:1-6.
What Joseph Prince has dishonestly done is that he is reading what is true in other contexts into the passage of John 15:1-6, and John 15:2 in particular. He is deceptively using examples that may be relevant in other contexts, but irrelevant in the context of John 15:1-6.
Jesus in John 15:2 clearly says that the branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off by Father God. But Joseph Prince has the audacity to twist Christ’s words and the interpretation of John 15:2 into something totally different from what is intended by John, the writer, and Christ the Vine.
That’s the modus operandi of Joseph Prince – by reading into texts, twisting texts, interpreting a passage out of context – and that’s why anything can be proven by him.
“Going by Joseph Prince’s frivolous approach to Bible interpretation of interpreting a passage out of context, reading into texts and twisting texts, literally anything can be proven by him – even a dog can be proven to be a cat.” (George Ong)
Any teacher such as Joseph Prince, who consistently, frequently and blatantly interprets a passage out of context, reads into texts and twists texts, would straightaway be recognised by any Bible teacher worth his salt, as a heretic.
Don’t ever let Joseph Prince deceive you with his knowledge of Greek. I’ve discovered that that is his usual ploy by alluding to something which most people are unfamiliar with.
To ‘lift up’ is just one possible way to translate the Greek word, ‘airo’. Joseph Prince is giving you the false impression that that is the only way ‘airo’ should be translated.
But according to Strong’s Concordance and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, there are many other possible ways to translate the word, ‘airo’ that Joseph Prince has deliberately hidden from you.
Some of the other possible meanings of ‘airo’ are:
To take off or take away what is attached to anything.
To take away from another what is his or what is committed to him, to take by force.
To take from among the living either by natural death, or by violence.
To cause to cease.
Did Joseph Prince tell you what I just told you? Of course not!
He doesn’t want you to know there are many other possible ways of translating the Greek word, ‘airo’.
By not letting you know about such information, he wants you to be deceived that ‘lifts up’ is the only way of translating ‘airo’.
This is the deceptive trademark of Joseph Prince – just showing you one side of the truth while hiding the other side of it from you.
And here in John 15:2, he is employing the same trick as an unrepentant trickster – by showing you just one possible meaning of ‘airo’ which means ‘lifts up’ but shielding you from the many other possible meanings to it.
The proper way I believe is after listing all the possible ways in which the word ‘airo’ could be translated, the next step is to see which one out of the many should be chosen that does fit into the context of a given verse or passage.
Considering the passage in context, the NKJV, then decides that the right word to be translated for ‘airo’ is ‘takes away’.
John 15:2 NKJV
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away (airo); and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
NKJV would probably have considered the words ‘lifts up’ which Joseph Prince mentioned. But it didn’t decide on that word as it must have felt, and rightly so, that ‘lifts up’ is totally out of place with the context of John 15:1-6, and ‘takes away’ ought to be the right rendering.
So NKJV eliminated the words ‘lifts up’ that Joseph Prince falsely claimed ought to be how ‘airo’ should be translated. Joseph Prince emphatically disagreed with NKJV when he said in the video, “It is not take away. It is – lifts you up.”
Joseph Prince not only disagreed with NKJV, but he also disagreed with 57 other translations that I have personally combed through.
I have checked 58 translations, including NKJV, and I’ve found that none of them translates the Greek word, ‘airo’ as ‘lifts up’, the view that Joseph Prince asserts.
28 translate ‘airo’ as ‘takes away’:
KJ21, AMP, ASV, BRG, DARBY, DLNT, DRA, ESV, ESVUK, GNV, Jubilee, KJV, AKJV, MEV, NABRE, NASB, NET, NKJV, NLV, NMB, OJB, RSV, RSVCE, TLV, WEB, WE, WYC, YLT.
17 translate ‘airo’ as ‘cuts off’ or ‘cuts away’:
AMPC, CJB, CEV, ERV, EHV, EXB, ICB, ISV, MSG, MOUNCE, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NIVUK, NLT, NTE, VOICE.
11 translate ‘airo’ as ‘removes’:
CSB, CEB, GW, HCSB, Phillips, LEB, NOG, NRSV, NRSVA, NRSVACE, NRSVCE.
One translates ‘airo’ as ‘breaks off’: GNT.
The last translates ‘airo’ as ‘lops off’: TLB.
While about half, 28 of the 58 translations have chosen ‘takes away’ the same words used in NKJV, the other half have settled on equivalent words such as: ‘cuts off’ or ‘cuts away’ or ‘removes’, or ‘breaks off’ or ‘lops off’, which is just as close to the meaning of the words, ‘takes away’ as chosen by NKJV.
So Joseph Prince is the only one who tries to push the view that ‘airo’ should be translated as ‘lifts up’.
Do you know what he is saying?
Joseph Prince is saying that not only NKJV, but all the other 57 translations of the Bible are dead wrong for not translating it as ‘lifts up’.
He is effectively saying that all the hundreds of Bible scholars who work behind all these 58 translations have wrongly translated the word, ‘airo’ and he’s the only one who has it right.
How presumptuous and arrogant of him to think that way!
Think with me – for Joseph Prince to disagree with 58 translations and the hundreds of Bible scholars who are responsible for these translations, it is either he is the brainiest theologian or the most brilliant trickster.
He is indeed the most brilliant trickster who has grown his church, surpassing the 30,000-mark, and the great following he has amassed from around the world, even though he is dishing out theological rubbish to them.
Why is he posturing that the word, ‘airo’ should be translated as ‘lifts up’ that none of these 58 translations has banked on?
It is simply to protect his false grace theology from being exposed.
If he accepts that ‘airo’ is to be translated as ‘takes away’ or ‘cuts off’ or ‘cuts away’ or ‘removes’, he would then have to explain why a branch, which refers to a believer, who is attached to the vine that doesn’t produce fruit can be taken away or cut off by Father God from the vine which represents Christ Himself.
This would place his ‘you are forever saved or righteous and your salvation can never be lost’ doctrine in serious jeopardy.
I have studied Joseph Prince, his personality, his strategy and his heresy enough to come to these conclusions:
– Joseph Prince is driven primarily by the fact that his grace theology has to be protected at all costs rather than the sincerity to accurately interpret a given passage for the benefit of the audience.
– The real passion and motivation that drives Joseph Prince is not Christ Jesus but his grace theology, which has become his god.
– The ‘Grace of God’, not the ‘God of Grace’ is the real master and driving force behind every of Joseph Prince’s impulses and actions.
Finally, one significant thing that Joseph Prince deliberately leaves out is John 15:6, as he is well aware that it would contradict his choice of the word ‘lifts up’ as it wouldn’t fit into John 15:6 at all.
John 15:6 NKJV
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
John 15:6 clearly states the branch that was described by Joseph Prince as being ‘lifted up’ by Christ in John 15:2 would end up in the fires of judgement.
How can something that is valued by Jesus because he ‘lifts up’ in John 15:2, as postured by Joseph Prince end up in the fires of judgement in John 15:6?
From that angle, Joseph Prince’s view that ‘airo’ should be translated as ‘lifts up’ is totally out of place and out of context in John 15:1-6.
But the greater indictment against Joseph Prince is his unholy daringness to twist the words of Christ yet again, this time in John 15:2 just so that his Grace Theology can be protected from being exposed.
“After meticulously studying how Joseph Prince frequently, consistently and blatantly interprets a passage out of context, reads into texts and twists texts to deceive – that he is 100% a heretic is the only sound conclusion I can make.” (George Ong)
In conclusion, Joseph Prince is only interested to present his own version of Jesus – a sentimental Jesus who only comes to lift you up. But his Grace Theology has no place for the stern Jesus who can cut you down and throw you into the fires of judgement.
He is basically presenting a half-truth, a half-Jesus. Believing a half-truth or a half-Jesus is more detrimental than believing a whole lie because it gives people the impression that they are worshipping the real Jesus of the Bible when it is the counterfeit Jesus that they are really worshipping that Joseph Prince has concocted out of his own imagination.