(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)
Before I dive into this article…
Joseph Prince has not appeared to preach live in the worship service again on 12 June 2022, last Sunday. One of his pastors preached for him instead. This means he has not preached for 3 consecutive Sundays, which is rather unusual.
Grapevine has it that he is probably on a few weeks of holiday, perhaps, overseas, even though this was never announced to his congregation at the worship services (as far as I know).
Because this was strangely never made known publicly, many in his congregation are wondering and second-guessing about his physical whereabouts.
If it is true that Joseph Prince has gone on a holiday, Prince needs to know that for a ‘public figure’ like him to go on a vacation is no sin that his congregation needs to be kept in the dark, as though this is a top secret that Prince doesn’t anyone to know.
Joseph Prince’s Assertion that Jesus in the gospels was operating under Old Covenant Law is Sacrilegious as it Blatantly Contradicts Christ’s Teaching – By Rev George Ong
(Don’t miss the last point, Point Number 9, and the Conclusion in this article.)
This article is a sequel to the previous one,
“Joseph Prince makes Jesus a Liar as he asserts that disciples aren’t saved until Christ died & resurrected”, dated 5 June 2022.
In that previous article, I had written about Joseph Prince’s assertion that no one can be saved during Jesus’ earthly ministry until the death of Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection – which I have proven to be fallacious.
If you have not read the previous article, please click on the link below to view:
“… Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is Jesus still under the law. All his disciples were under Law.”
The main reason for Joseph Prince to declare that people, including the disciples/apostles of Christ weren’t saved in the gospels before the cross (which I’ve covered in the previous article), is that Jesus’ earthly ministry under all four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is under the Old Covenant of Law, and that the New Covenant of Grace only began after the cross and resurrection of Christ (which is covered in this article).
From what Joseph Prince said and wrote in the above, do you know what that means?
That means the teachings of Christ and the words of Jesus in the gospels are under the Old Covenant of Law and are not applicable to New Covenant believers.
What that means is, all the blood, sweat and tears that Jesus spent in teaching His disciples (and us), and all that He did in His three years of ministry in the gospels, have all gone to waste as they are not relevant to New Covenant believers.
This is an absolutely horrendous doctrinal error that must be exposed and confronted.
The truth is Christ’s teachings in the gospels are under the New Covenant of Grace and not under the Old Covenant of Law as Joseph Prince falsely alleges.
The demarcation between the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of Grace is not after the cross as Joseph Prince falsely teaches, but from the beginnings of John the Baptist’s ministry and the ministry of Christ Jesus in the gospels (which I will deal with in the ensuing discussion).
Although the death of Christ on the cross must still take place for the terms and promises of the New Covenant to be fully and finally effected, the New Covenant of Grace has already been inaugurated and implemented at the beginnings of Christ’s ministry in the gospels.
As you track with me in my ensuing arguments, you must never misunderstand my intention (which Joseph Prince would quickly capitalise on and accuse me of preaching against the finished work of Christ or the cross).
I am definitely not playing down the importance of the cross. The cross is the central doctrine of our Christian Faith. Without the cross, there is no Christianity. None of us should ever try to make light of the cross, lest we come under the severe judgement of God.
All that I am doing is to expose the ploy of Joseph Prince regarding his heretical doctrine that since the cross marks the separation of the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of Grace, all that happens before the cross, including the teachings of Christ in the gospels are under the Old Covenant. Hence, according to Prince, they are not applicable to New Covenant believers.
What Joseph Prince has sacrilegiously done is that he has degraded all that Christ said and taught in the gospels as Old Covenant stuffs that have been superceded by the New Covenant.
This is absolutely dishonouring to Christ, who came to personally announce the New Covenant salvation or gospel (Hebrews 1:1-2a and 2:1-4) and implement it during the three years of His earthly ministry:
Hebrews 1: 1-2a NIV
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…
Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV
1 We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Hebrews 1:1-2a and 2:1-4 compare the Old Covenant which was given through the prophets and angels, and the New Covenant which God directly revealed through His Son, Jesus (Heb 1:2a).
The New Covenant which Christ came to personally announce and inaugurate (Heb 2:3) was authenticated by signs, wonders, miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will (and to the Church) (Heb 2:4).
Hence, what Christ said and taught in the gospels are not under the Old Covenant of Law but the New Covenant of Grace that is binding for New Covenant believers.
The attempt by Joseph Prince to dismiss the very words of Jesus, particularly in all or most parts of the gospels as under the Old Covenant Law and not under the New Covenant Grace, is evidently the most disturbing of them all.
It basically ‘wipes out’ all or most parts of the four gospels from the Bible – since they are placed under the Old Covenant and are no longer binding on New Covenant believers.
The hidden agenda of Joseph Prince in spewing such heresies is because there are many things that Christ said and taught in the gospels that contradicted his grace teachings.
The Sermon on the Mount, the cost of discipleship, and obedience to the Ten Commandments (are just some examples) that threaten Prince’s easy gospel and feel-good Christianity. So, Prince has to find a way to get rid of them.
When confronted with the many parts of what Jesus said and taught in the gospels that threaten his grace theology, you can expect Joseph Prince to say,
“These are not for New Covenant believers, as they were spoken by Jesus under the Old Covenant Law.”
1. Jesus Himself Establishes the Point of Transition from the Old Covenant to the New – Luke 16:16.
When did the Old Covenant Law end and the age of New Covenant Grace begin?
Was it after the cross and His resurrection when the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost that Joseph Prince declares?
The point at which the Old Covenant Law ends and the age of New Covenant Grace begins is certainly not a point to argue about, because Jesus has already settled the question beyond doubt in Luke 16:16:
Luke 16:16 NASB
16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”
Luke 16:16 TLB
16 “Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in.”
Christ Himself has revealed the specific time when the Old Covenant of the Law was concluded and when the New Covenant of Grace was initiated. Jesus Himself said in Luke 16:16a,
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John…” (NASB)
“Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides…” (TLB)
So John the Baptist was the point at which the Old Covenant ends and the New Covenant begins.
In Matthew 11:13 (NIV), Jesus said the same thing as in Luke 16:16a that the Old Covenant Law came to an end at John the Baptist’s ministry:
“For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.”
So according to Christ Himself, the Old Covenant proclamation of the Law ends at John the Baptist’s ministry.
From the point of John the Baptist who came to pave the way for Jesus’ three years of ministry in the gospels, a new age – the New Covenant of Grace was begun. If the New Covenant of Grace has already started, then the Old Covenant of Law must have ended.
Everything that came before John the Baptist’s ministry is the Old Covenant Law. And everything from John the Baptist onwards is the New Covenant gospel of the kingdom or the gospel of grace that was already being preached by Jesus, during His three years of earthly ministry.
This goes to show that from Christ’s ministry (when John the Baptist paves the way for the ministry of Christ), and the ministries of His disciples in the gospels onwards is the New Covenant of Grace.
Joseph Prince needs to understand that he is not the authority to determine which is the dividing line between the Old and New Covenant. Christ, the Prince of Peace, not Joseph Prince, must be the authority.
Joseph Prince said that the dividing line is after the cross of Christ. Yes, there is no doubt that Christ had to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
But did the scriptures or Christ ever say that the cross was the point that demarcates between the Old Covenant Law and the New Covenant Grace as Joseph Prince has asserted?
Christ said the point of demarcation between Old Covenant Law and New Covenant Grace was from John the Baptist and the beginning of His three years of ministry in the gospels onwards.
The glorious truth is, the promises of the New Covenant have already been declared, preached and implemented by Christ and His disciples in the gospels before the cross.
Even before Christ makes the New Covenant formally with His disciples at the Lord’s Supper, the day before His crucifixion, and even before the shedding of Christ’s blood at the cross, Christ has already inaugurated and implemented the blessings of the New Covenant of Grace in the gospels.
People were already saved by grace and through their faith in Christ in the gospels before the cross in the New Covenant way the same way as people are being saved today.
There is plenty of evidence in the scriptures that people are already being ushered into the New Covenant of Grace during the three years of Jesus’ ministry in the gospels before the death of Christ on the cross.
Just from Luke 16:16b alone, we are already seeing people flooding into the kingdom of God,
“since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” (NASB)
“But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in.” (TLB)
John the Baptist indeed forms the transition from the Old Covenant of Law to the New Covenant of Grace. Because of that, everyone is pressing in wanting to get into this New Covenant kingdom of Grace (Lk 16:16).
They are so excited about the New Covenant message that they just plunged right into it. They run headlong into the kingdom with great eagerness. They are now entering the kingdom by faith in Christ.
In other words, people were already experiencing the kingdom life of the New Covenant before the cross and Pentecost. They were experiencing the forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance from evil spirits, and other New Covenant blessings.
Though the death or the cross of Christ was necessary to effect the New Covenant, the terms, conditions and promises of the New Covenant were already inaugurated and implemented in the gospels well before the Cross during the three years of Christ’s ministry.
2. John 1:14-17 is Another Concrete Proof that the New Covenant of Grace came through Jesus Christ in the Gospels.
The Apostle John wrote in John 1:14 NIV:
14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
According to John 1:14, it is Jesus in the flesh during His ministry on earth in the gospels and the pre-cross Christ and the pre-resurrection Christ who is “full of grace.”
Out of the fullness of grace in His whole being in the flesh, Christ preached the grace message to the many in the gospels during His ministry on earth before the cross and before His resurrection.
It would be absurd for Joseph Prince to suggest that Christ, who is “full of grace”, was preaching the law in the gospels during His three years of earthly ministry.
How can Jesus, who is “full of grace”, be ministering law to others?
But there’s more in John 1:16 NIV:
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
This simply means that during Christ’s earthly ministry in the gospels before the cross, those who heard Him and believed in Him have received “grace upon grace,” (Jn 1:17) from the pre-cross Jesus who is “full of grace” (Jn 1:14) as He is the very embodiment of the grace of God.
How then can Joseph Prince tell us that Jesus’ earthly followers in the gospels received law upon law from Jesus when the truth is many have received “grace upon grace” from Him (Jn 1:16)?
How can Joseph Prince claim that the gospels are not part of the New Covenant message of Grace but are part of the Old Covenant of Law when the people have received “grace upon grace” from Jesus (Jn 1:16) in the gospels before the cross?
So, what this means is that the words of Jesus that were spoken in the gospels before the cross are most certainly for us, just as they were for His disciples, as both they in the gospels and we in the here and now are under the New Covenant.
The Apostle John in John 1:17 further says,
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle John didn’t say grace came through Jesus after the cross, but he said grace had already come in the ‘human’ person of Christ in the gospels before the cross.
And out of that fullness of grace in Christ that was recorded in John 1:14, Christ has already started preaching the New Covenant message of grace, not after the cross but before the cross in the gospels.
As a result of the fullness of grace in Christ in John 1:14 and 16, the people have received “grace upon grace” in John 1:16, not after the cross but before the cross in the gospels.
This is an undeniable proof that the New Covenant of Grace, and not the Old Covenant of Law, was already started and preached by Jesus before the cross and His resurrection.
3. Christ describes His message as the gospel of the kingdom of God and this same gospel was preached by Christ’s disciples both before and after Pentecost.
Christ’s predominant mission was to preach the good news or the gospel of the kingdom of God, which is the New Covenant gospel:
Luke 4:43 NIV
43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Luke 4:43 JUB
43 “And he said unto them, I must announce the gospel of the kingdom of God to other cities also because for this am I sent.”
Christ personally instructed His disciples to preach this same message:
Matthew 10:7-8 NIV
7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
In other words, the very same message of Christ about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God found in the gospels was going to be preached after Pentecost by His disciples.
Christ did not send them to preach the Old Covenant Law. Christ sent His twelve disciples and commanded them to preach the kingdom (Matt 10:7-8) just as He had been doing (Lk 4:43).
Luke also records Christ sending the Twelve in a similar fashion. They were to proclaim the same message of the kingdom that they heard Christ proclaim:
Luke 9:1-2 NIV
1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
Again, the twelve disciples were not sent out to proclaim the Old Covenant Law but to preach the New Covenant gospel of the kingdom of God.
So, Joseph Prince’s accusation that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant Law in the gospels has, absolutely, no basis.
4. The Theme about the kingdom of God’s Grace in the Gospels before the Cross has not changed after the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus.
The New Covenant gospel of the kingdom inaugurated by Christ before the cross, was the same gospel that Christ’s disciples preached after Christ had risen and after Pentecost.
Luke records that the risen Christ spoke to His disciples about the kingdom of God:
Acts 1:3 NIV
3 “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”
Before or after the cross, the message of Christ has not changed but remained utterly consistent. The risen Christ was still talking to His disciples about the kingdom of God or the gospel of grace.
I made a special effort to highlight this to counter the false view of Joseph Prince that while Jesus preached the Old Covenant of Law before the cross, His disciples preached a different gospel – the New Covenant of Grace after Pentecost.
This is one big lie as the gospel of the kingdom of God’s grace preached by Jesus before the cross was the same gospel preached by His disciples after the cross and Pentecost.
The risen Christ commanded His disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom, which He had introduced before the cross, to the whole world:
Matthew 24:14 NIV
14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
The message that Christ expected His disciples to proclaim to the world is the gospel of the kingdom, the same gospel that He preached before the cross and the same gospel we have it today:
It was the same message that Christ and His disciples preached in the gospels before Pentecost (Matt 10:7-8; Lk 9:1-2). Christ’s disciples knew this message well because they had heard it for three years.
Christ intended for His three years of the earthly ministry of grace in the gospels to continue after Pentecost in Acts and thereafter through the ‘Church age’.
His disciples through the apostles (Peter and John) and deacons (such as Philip) obeyed Christ and preached the same message of grace and the kingdom as Christ did before the cross:
Acts 8:12 NIV
12 “But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
Acts 8:25 NIV
25 “After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”
“The good news of the kingdom of God” that Philip proclaimed in Acts 8:12 is the same gospel of grace as and when Peter and John came “preaching the gospel” in Acts 8:25.
In other words, the same gospel of the kingdom that was initiated by Christ in the gospels was preached after Pentecost by His apostles and deacons.
5. Paul too preached the same message as Jesus did – the message of the Kingdom of God or the Gospel of God’s Grace.
Joseph Prince had stubbornly insisted in his many sermons in the light of little evidence that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant Law in the gospels, and then, the New Covenant Grace was proclaimed by Paul and the apostles after Pentecost.
Prince falsely teaches that the message of the Apostle Paul was distinctly different from the message of Christ in the gospels.
But the bare facts of the scriptures would debunk Prince’s view:
Acts 19:8 NIV
8 “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.”
Acts 20:24-25 NASB
24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” 25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.”
Acts 19:8 clearly states that Paul was preaching the kingdom of God, which is the same gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached in the gospels.
Furthermore, Paul says in Acts 20:24-25 that he testified to
“the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NASB).
In the next sentence, he describes this activity as
“preaching the kingdom” (Acts 20:25 NASB).
In other words, Paul declares that “preaching the Kingdom” is the same thing as preaching “the gospel of the grace of God.”
This means Paul is preaching the same message of grace that Jesus Christ preached before the cross and Pentecost.
Joseph Prince falsely alleges that the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached is about Law and is different from the gospel of grace that Paul preached.
To say that the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus is not about grace, but about law, would be to contradict the Apostle Paul as he preached what Jesus preached – the gospel of the kingdom – which is the gospel of grace.
The gospel of the kingdom found throughout the four gospels is always about grace and has never been about the law.
Even when Paul was placed under house arrest in Rome, that did not stop him from preaching the kingdom of God:
Acts 28:23 NIV
23 “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.”
Paul’s message was about the kingdom of God, the same gospel of grace that Jesus Christ preached in the gospels.
Paul preached the kingdom of God consistently for two years:
Acts 28:30-31 NIV
30 “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ – with all boldness and without hindrance!”
Paul’s message about the kingdom of God in Acts is the same as Christ’s message in the gospels.
Luke, who is the writer of both the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke and a close companion of the Apostle Paul, never draws a distinction between the message of Paul and Christ in the gospels. He calls the message of both Paul and Christ “the gospel of the kingdom” repeatedly in both books.
How can Joseph Prince claim to have learned his grace theology from Paul when he did the opposite of what Paul did – by denigrating the gospel that Christ preached as under the law and no more relevant to New Covenant believers.
The kingdom message that Christ preached in the gospels is not under the Old Covenant of Law that Joseph Prince falsely alleges but under the New Covenant of Grace. In fact, it is the gospel of grace.
The theology and the gospel of grace did not originate with the Apostle Paul but with Jesus Christ Himself, which then got passed on to Paul. Jesus and Paul preached the same gospel.
Don’t you ever believe Joseph Prince, who tells you that Jesus preached the Old Covenant of Law, and Paul preached the New Covenant gospel of Grace.
Not only did Jesus and Paul preach the same gospel, but they both also associated it with the kingdom of God.
In other words, when Paul preached the gospel of grace, he was proclaiming the kingdom, and when Jesus preached the kingdom, He was proclaiming the gospel of grace.
Hence, Joseph Prince’s claims that Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom under the Old Covenant Law to the Jewish people who lived at that time and that only after His death and resurrection was the message of grace released to the Church through Paul, Peter, and the other apostles, is absolutely untrue and patently false.
6. Christ’s Ministry in the Gospels is Based on New Covenant Faith, not Old Covenant Law.
The Apostle Paul writes,
“The Law is not based on faith…” (Gal 3:12 NIV)
In other words, faith has nothing to do with the Old Covenant Law but everything to do with the New Covenant Grace.
Since “the Law is not based on faith”, the strong emphasis on faith in the teaching and ministry of Christ in the gospels before the cross reveals that He is not operating under the Old Covenant Law but under the New Covenant Grace.
Christ’s emphasis on faith is filled throughout the gospels. The gospels record Christ saying, “faith” plenty of times, and “Your faith has healed you,” or similar wordings, about eight times.
Faith is a very important subject to Christ, and there are well over 100 references to ‘faith (noun) and believe (verb)’ in the gospels.
If Christ was teaching law or was operating under the law, then there should not be so many references to faith in the gospels.
Each reference to Christ healing by faith or saving by faith is a contradiction to Joseph Prince’s teaching that Christ was operating under or preaching the Old Covenant Law during His three years of ministry before the cross. In fact, it amounts to more than 100 contradictions.
Since there are so many times ‘faith and believing’ appears in the four gospels, how can Joseph Prince say the gospels are under the Old Covenant Law just because they came before the death or the cross of Christ.
The great number of times that Christ says something about ‘faith or believing’ in the four gospels reveals that He is not preaching the Law in the four gospels, but rather, He is preaching a strong, New Covenant message of grace.
Christ preached a ‘grace through faith’ gospel message before the cross, the same message that His disciples preached after the cross and Pentecost, and the same message that we have today.
Therein lies the strong evidence that Christ’s gospel message in the four gospels is about receiving grace through faith and has much more in common with the other New Testament letters of Paul and other scripture writers, who preach the same message of grace than with the Law of Moses (ceremonial and civil laws, not moral laws).
7. Each time Christ Forgives sins, He Forgives on the basis of Faith, and this certainly shows that the New Covenant Grace is being demonstrated and implemented in the Gospels.
In the gospels, people have already been forgiven of their sins through faith by Christ before the cross and before Pentecost.
If Christ were under the law or promoting the law, He would not do this, but He would tell these people to receive forgiveness by offering sacrifices according to the ceremonial laws.
But He didn’t.
Believers were cleansed of sin even before the cross. Christ declared to His disciples: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (Jn 15:3 NIV). The disciples were already forgiven of their sins and spiritually clean before the Lord’s Supper, the Cross, and Pentecost.
In Luke 5:20, Jesus not only healed a paralysed man in Luke 5:24-26 but He also forgave his sins as well,
Luke 5:20 NIV
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The Old Covenant Law required certain sacrifices to be offered for the covering of sins, but Christ didn’t ask the people to offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins, but He forgives sins under the New Covenant through faith before the cross.
Hence, Christ is certainly operating under the New Covenant of Grace in the gospels before the cross.
What Joseph Prince said that “The new covenant only begins after the cross,” is therefore, one big lie.
8. Christ has already Forgiven Sins for Salvation in the New Covenant Way in advance of the work of the Cross.
At the time of Jesus’ 3 years of earthly ministry, has the blood of Christ been shed yet on the cross?
Going by Joseph Prince’s argument, Christ cannot forgive sins in the gospels because He has not yet shed His blood on the cross as the New Covenant has not started yet – and that is why as Prince has unthinkingly reasoned, not a single soul was saved in the gospels during the 3 years of Jesus’ ministry until Christ was crucified on the cross.
But Christ did forgive sins in the gospels before the cross even though His blood was not yet shed:
Luke 7:47-50 NIV
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
What is happening is that Father God is granting forgiveness of sins not only on the basis of the cross, but also before the cross, not just after the cross.
This means the New Covenant, which is supposed to have officially started after the cross, had already been inaugurated and implemented in the three years of Jesus’ ministry in the gospels before the cross.
Christ not only forgave this woman for her many sins (Lk 7:47-48) but said that it was her faith that had saved her (Lk 7:50).
So, according to Jesus, when was the woman saved?
After the cross as Joseph Prince has asserted?
Jesus categorically said she was saved by her faith at that time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and at the very moment of time when Jesus spoke to her, and not sometime after the cross.
Joseph Prince’s assertion that not a single person was saved in the gospels before the cross, is a direct refutation and rebuke to Jesus’ own declaration that the woman was saved in the gospels.
How was the woman in Luke 7:47-50 saved in the gospels?
In the New Covenant way through her faith when Jesus said to her, “Your faith has saved you.”
The New Covenant gospel that is through faith that Jesus preached during the three years of His ministry in the four gospels before the cross is the same grace through faith New Covenant gospel that Paul preached after the cross in Ephesians 2:8,
Ephesians 2:8 NIV
8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,”
This woman in Luke 7:47-50 was justified by faith and forgiven of her sins through her faith in Jesus Christ in the same way as Paul taught in Romans 5:1,
Romans 5:1 NIV
1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If that is so, why is Joseph Prince asserting that “The new covenant only begins after the cross”?
This is a lie that has deceived the unsuspecting many.
People in the gospels like this woman in Luke 7:47-50 were being saved by faith in Jesus Christ in the New Covenant way before the cross, before the resurrection, and before Pentecost.
They were saved in the same New Covenant way that people are being saved today.
9. Ironically, Joseph Prince himself uses the Gospels (such as John 3:16 & John 1:17, etc,) which he teaches belongs to the Old Covenant of Law, to support his New Covenant Grace Doctrine – a Blatant Self-Contradiction to his own doctrine.
Come to think of it, if what Joseph Prince wrote,
“The New Covenant only begins after the cross,”
everything in the gospels which is before the cross is under the Old Covenant Law, then, why did Joseph Prince, on many occasions, use many passages in the gospels to teach and support his own New Covenant grace doctrine: such as John 3:16 and John 1:17.
(Other examples include the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32), the woman who was forgiven much (Lk 7:36-50), Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10), and many others.)
According to Prince’s own doctrine, he is not supposed to as he has said so many times that Old Covenant Laws in the gospel don’t apply to New Covenant believers.
Specifically, Joseph Prince who frequently preaches on John 3:16 as the New Covenant gospel is contradicting himself,
John 3:16 NIV
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
For Joseph Prince to be consistent in saying that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant Law in the gospels and only the words of Jesus after the cross apply to us today, he would have to say that John 3:16 which is before the cross, is not the New Covenant gospel of Grace but the Old Covenant of Law.
But why is Prince quoting John 3:16 so often in his own sermons as the gospel message to support his New Covenant grace teaching?
And why is Prince using John 1:17 (NIV)
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,
so frequently as one of his key texts to support his own New Covenant Grace Doctrine?
How can Joseph Prince, who keeps using John 1:17, that grace came through Jesus Christ to promote his own grace doctrine, and say at the same time that Jesus was preaching the Old Covenant law in the gospels, including John 1:17?
This is nothing but a blatant and shameless self-contradiction that serves to totally discredit himself as a so-called grace teacher and his own grace doctrine.
In conclusion, let me recap – the New Covenant of Grace did not start from the cross that Joseph Prince has deceived many with.
What Jesus said and taught in the gospels are not under the Old Covenant Law as Joseph Prince has falsely taught, but under the New Covenant of Grace.
Though the death of Christ was required to fully and finally effect the New Covenant, the terms, conditions, and promises of the New Covenant were already inaugurated and implemented in the gospels well before the cross during the three years of Christ’s ministry.
The New Covenant of Grace that Jesus initiated in the gospels has continued in the apostolic preaching of the gospel by His apostles after Pentecost and even by New Covenant believers to this present day.
As a result, many were saved by faith in the gospels before the cross in the same New Covenant way that many are being saved by faith in the world today.
Many had their sins forgiven in the gospels before the blood of Christ was shed on the cross in the same New Covenant way that many today have their sins forgiven because they have been cleansed by the shed blood of Christ on the same cross.
Hence, what Christ said and taught in the gospels before the cross are not related to the Old Covenant Law, but they contain the message of the gospel of the kingdom, the message of New Covenant grace, that are absolutely relevant and binding on New Covenant believers even today.
Let me put it bluntly – only the theologically foolish who are lacking in common sense, such as Joseph Prince, would declare that all the teachings of Christ in the gospels are under the Old Covenant, and they are no longer applicable to us as New Covenant believers.
Think with me – why would Jesus pour His whole life into the three years of His ministry, investing in teaching His disciples, and only for Him to undo all that He did by placing everything of what He said and taught under the Old Covenant that have no applicability to New Covenant believers?
Do you honestly believe Jesus would do that – that He would be that foolish in wasting all His three years of ministry, the only kairos moment He had on earth and throwing them down the drain?
Joseph Prince, by his teachings, is actually insulting the intelligence of Christ, who is God Himself – that He would do such a foolish thing by placing all He said and taught in the gospels under the Old Covenant, and hence, possessing little or no value to New Covenant believers!
What is worst is that by asserting that Joseph Prince is blatantly going against the clear teachings of Jesus, when Christ Himself has already declared that the Old Covenant ends and the New Covenant begins at the point of John the Baptist’s Ministry (and the beginnings of His 3 years of ministry in the gospels before the cross) in Luke 16:16.
For someone like Joseph Prince to go against the clear and plain teachings of Christ, not once, not twice, but many times, as I have demonstrated in my many previous articles, proves that Prince is an Anti-Christ, and an Anti-Christ is no different from a wolf in sheepskin.
Rev George Ong