I sincerely apologise for the formatting error in these 2 articles that I am not technically competent to resolve.

 

Article 1: Joseph Prince’s out-of-context & sloppy exegesis & reading his theology into John 21:18-22, ‘Follow me’ – By Rev George Ong (Dated 28 Nov 2023)

 

Article 2: Joseph Prince should apologise to the late Joseph Chean, the latter is genuine, the former a fake – By Glenn Fong & Lindsay Lim (both were Ex New Creation Church members) Dated 28 Nov 2030

 

Announcement 1

 

Note that Joseph Prince didn’t preach last Sunday on 26 Nov 2023.

 

Word has it that he is currently on holiday.

 

Announcement 2

 

Don’t miss Appendix 1

 

My sermon on John 21:15-19 – the stirring stories of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and David Livingstone,

 

who bounced back from their failures to become a celebrated success.

 

The early failures of Abraham Lincoln did not stop him from becoming the President, the foremost leader of a nation.

 

The early shortcomings of Winston Churchill did not stop him from becoming the Prime Minister who saved the British Empire from the Nazis.

 

The early blunders of David Livingstone did not stop him from becoming the pioneer missionary leader who made such an impact in Africa.   

 

And lastly, don’t miss the story of Adonijah and his wife Nancy, who were called to be missionaries to Burma (Myanmar).

 

Adonijah’s life of suffering and sacrifice for the sake of souls will never fail to move us to tears and inspire us.

 

In obedience to God’s call as a missionary, he had to lose all 3 children and his own wife.

 

Imagine the grief and pain of losing his entire family, his precious wife and all his beloved children.

 

Did he give up?

 

No.

 

Adonijah did not give up.

 

He did not leave his missionary calling.

 

He was not a quitter.

 

He was a finisher.

 

He persevered to the end of his call.

 

Glory be to God in the Highest!

 

(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.)

 

Joseph Prince’s out-of-context & sloppy exegesis & reading his theology into John 21:18-22, ‘Follow me’ – By Rev George Ong

 

This article is related to the previous one that was released 3 days ago.

 

If you have missed reading the previous article,

 

Joseph Prince, who preaches against Jesus’ discipleship & ‘follow me’ is also preaching against salvation – By Rev George Ong (Dated 25 Nov 2023),

 

Please click on the link below:

 

https://www.revgeorgeong.com/rev-george-ong-joseph-prince-who-preaches-against-jesus-discipleship-follow-me-is-also-preaching-against-salvation/

 

Please click here

 

to view the entire video.

 

In a Sunday sermon, Joseph Prince said;

 

Please click here to view the 1-minute video:

 

“Peter turned around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved.

 

Who is that?

 

John, following.

 

What was John doing?

 

Following.

 

John was already following

 

Peter seeing John said to Jesus,

 

‘But Lord what about this man?’

 

Jesus said to Peter,

 

‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?

 

You follow me. You follow me.’

 

John practised the Lord’s love.

 

He was conscious of the Lord’s love for him, therefore.

 

He was conscious of the Lord’s love for him,

 

therefore, he was following.

 

But he was following unconsciously.

 

One more time, when you are conscious of the Lord’s love for you,

 

you are following already.

 

But Peter, who always boasts of his love for the Lord, had to be told,

 

‘You follow me.’

 

Pastor Prince, why don’t you teach your church more some imperatives?

 

Because my people are following.

 

Maybe you have to do for yours,

 

but my people are following.”

 

First, Joseph Prince’s teaching on the meaning of John’s and Peter’s following Jesus is blatantly false.

 

Joseph Prince deliberately deceives by using the NKJV:

 

John 21:20 NKJV

20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following…

 

So, Joseph Prince argues from John 21:20 NKJV that John was following Jesus spiritually.

 

But I will show from 36 other translations to prove to you that the word ‘following’ in John 21:20

 

does not mean John was following Jesus spiritually.

 

But what really transpired was that John was following Jesus physically,

 

in that, he was merely walking behind not just Jesus but also Peter.

 

To prove my case, I am featuring 36 translations.

 

6 translations are featured below, while the rest of the other 30 are found in Appendix 2 of Article 1:

 

John 21:20 ESV

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 NET

20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 VOICE

20 Peter turned around to see the disciple loved by Jesus following the two of them…

 

John 21:20 NCV

20 Peter turned and saw that the follower Jesus loved was walking behind them…

 

John 21:20 NLT

20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved…

 

John 21:20 WE

20 Peter turned around. The disciple whom Jesus loved was coming with Jesus also…

 

So, Joseph Prince has read one of his pet theologies into the text of John 21:20

 

– that because John was conscious of Jesus’ love for him,

 

that’s why he has continued to follow Jesus and did it unconsciously.

 

Joseph Prince has done the forbidden thing

 

– he has ridiculously stretched something so mundane about John walking behind Jesus and Peter

 

into a so-called deep spiritual truth about John following Jesus.

 

Next, according to the context of John 21:18-22,

 

Joseph Prince has also failed to highlight the real significance of what it means for Peter to follow Jesus.

 

For Peter, following Jesus does not merely mean to follow spiritually.

 

It means that Peter must be willing to follow Jesus even to the point of martyrdom,

 

and it was none other than Jesus who revealed that in John 21:18-22:

 

John 21:18-22 NIV

18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

 

If you have read the passage of John 21:18-22 in context,

 

when Jesus asked Peter to follow Him for the first time in John 21:19, it was in the context of martyrdom:

 

John 21:19 NIV

19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

 

And when Jesus asked Peter to follow Him the second time in John 21:22, it was also in the same context of martyrdom:

 

John 21:22 NIV

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me,”

 

After Jesus had revealed to Peter in John 21:19 that he will be martyred,

 

John 21:19 NIV

19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

 

Peter was curious about the destiny of John vis-a-vis his in John 21:21,

 

John 21:21 NIV

21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

 

Jesus’ answer to Peter in John 21:22 was that it was His job to decide, not Peter’s, but Peter should focus on his destiny. 

 

That was why Jesus said to Peter in John 21:22:

 

John 21:22 NIV

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me,”

 

Allow me to paraphrase John 21:22:

 

Jesus answered: “Peter, you may wonder if John would go the same way as you do (die). But if I want John to remain alive, that ought not to be your main concern. But as for you, my destiny is that you will die for me. Peter, you must follow me all the way even if that means you would have to die for my sake.”

 

So, as we can see,

 

the “Follow me” in John 21:19

 

and You must follow me” in John 21:22,

 

are both set in the context of Peter’s martyrdom.

 

But why didn’t Joseph Prince surface this important fact

 

about the significance of “Follow me” in the case of Peter?

 

The simple reason is Joseph Prince is dead against martyrdom.

 

His reasoning is that since Jesus died on the cross for us to give us the abundant life

 

(abundant life, including the fact that every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be very wealthy as Abraham was),

 

there is no reason why we should die for Him – as his teaching forbids premature death.

 

Second, Joseph Prince’s interpretation is that because John was conscious of Jesus’ love, he followed Him;

 

and because Peter was more conscious about his love for Jesus, he had to be told by Jesus to follow Him.

 

(This is based on Joseph Prince’s grace teaching that under the Old Covenant, the focus is we loving God,

but in the New Covenant, the focus is God loving us.

So, according to his teaching, New Covenant believers are to focus on God loving us (John) and not we loving God (Peter).

This is pure nonsense and a deadly doctrine that could lead one to hell, which I have already demolished in an article or two on my website.)

 

Joseph Prince’s reasoning goes against the context of the passage of John 21:15-22.

 

There is no evidence whatsoever in the passage that it was because John was conscious of Jesus’ love,

 

and that’s why he followed Jesus unconsciously, as Joseph Prince would have us believe.

 

This is because I have already proven that ‘John following Jesus’ in John 21:20

 

has nothing to do with John following Jesus spiritually,

 

but merely the mundane fact that John was physically behind not just Jesus but also Peter: 

 

John 21:20 VOICE

20 Peter turned around to see the disciple loved by Jesus following the two of them…

 

John 21:20 NCV

20 Peter turned and saw that the follower Jesus loved was walking behind them…

 

Furthermore, it can be shown from the passage that because Peter has proven to love Jesus to His satisfaction in John 21:15-17,

 

Jesus felt Peter was now ready to follow Him all the way to martyrdom

 

(Peter had boasted in the flesh that he would die for Jesus previously but failed)

 

in John 21:19 and 22:

 

John 21:15-22 NIV

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

 

18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

 

If you remember, a few weeks before, in Peter’s lowest moments, he denied Christ to save his own skin. 

 

But praise be to God that Jesus didn’t give up on Peter even though he had denied Him.

 

Jesus gave Peter another chance to prove his love for Him; and that he would face the challenge of the cross again and triumph over it.

 

Jesus was confident that Peter would die in utter faithfulness for His sake and glory this time after He restored Peter in John 21:15-17.

 

I want you to note the significance of “Follow me” in the case of Peter.

 

It was a few years before Jesus called Peter to follow Him in Matthew 4:18-19.

 

Now, in this dramatic and climatic moment in John 21:19 and 22, Jesus once again gave these words to Peter to follow Him.

 

Peter, of course, now knew that in his continuing journey to follow Jesus, would mean certain death – his ultimate death on the cross.

 

Three times, after Peter had declared that he loved Jesus in John 21:15-17,

 

Jesus restored and reinstated His call to Peter to feed the sheep and the lambs.

 

Not only that, Jesus re-issued His call for Peter to follow Him twice in John 21:19 and 22,

 

after Peter had pledged his love for Jesus in John 21:15-17.

 

So, it was the fact that after Peter had pledged his love to Jesus that He re-issued the call for Peter to follow Him.

 

That being so,

 

Joseph Prince’s teaching that because Peter boasted of his love for Jesus,

 

and that’s why he had to be told (off) by Jesus to follow Him.

 

is pure rubbish!

 

Joseph Prince was still operating in the ‘old’ context of the past of Luke 22:33-34,

 

when Peter didn’t live up to his promise regarding his love for Jesus and his willingness to die for Christ

 

when he denied Christ 3 times.

 

But we are now not in the ‘old’ context of the past of Luke 22:33-34,

 

but we are in the context of John 21:15-22, a few weeks later,

 

in which Jesus gave Peter another chance to prove his love for Him.

 

And because Jesus was now satisfied that Peter really loved Him that He gave Peter another chance to die for Him, which Peter did many years later when he was older;

 

and that’s why Jesus called Peter to follow Him.

 

So, to Jesus, asking Peter to follow Him in John 21:19 and 22 was a positive thing,

 

but Joseph Prince, for his own agenda of proving one of his pet theologies,

 

has turned the thing upside down into a negative thing. 

 

Hence, Joseph Prince’s interpretation of John 21:15-22 is clearly out-of-context,

 

simply because he was trying to impose Luke 22:33-34 (the past which Peter had failed)

 

onto John 21:15-22 (the present which Jesus had restored Peter and his love for Him).

 

This means the restoration of Peter’s love for Jesus was seen as necessary in the eyes of Christ in view of Peter’s call to follow Him even to martyrdom,

 

instead of something (Peter’s love and our love for God) which is to be obliterated because it is under the Old Covenant as viewed by Joseph Prince.

 

Third, Joseph Prince hits his critics with the fact that his people are following – an arrogant and empty boast.

 

Joseph Prince said:

 

“Pastor Prince, why don’t you teach your church more some imperatives?

 

Because my people are following.

 

Maybe you have to do for yours,

 

but my people are following.”

 

Following who?

 

Following Joseph Prince or following Jesus, the Prince of Peace?

 

If Joseph Prince is not even following Jesus as biblically understood by “Follow me”,

 

how can he bring his congregation to follow Jesus?

 

Charles Spurgeon said:

 

“To follow Christ

 

is the picture of Christian discipleship in every form.”

 

Edmund Chan said:

 

“The following the Lord

 

is at the heart of discipleship.”

 

If Joseph Prince is even against the teaching of Jesus on discipleship,

 

and the essence of discipleship is “Follow me”,

 

how can he claim that his people are following Jesus?

 

And the greatest joke is that Joseph Prince himself isn’t following Jesus.

 

Rev George Ong

 

Appendix 1

 

The following is a sermon of mine. Hope this will be an encouragement to you:

 

From Remorse to Restoration (John 21:15-19)

 

Point No 1: Restoring the Love for the Christ

 

Point No 2: Restoring the Leadership to the Church

 

Point No 3: Restoring the Legacy of the Cross

 

From Remorse to Restoration (John 21:15-19)

 

Introduction

 

A story was told of an American mistress who employed a foreign maid who wasn’t that proficient in English.

 

One day, the mistress told the maid,

 

“My guest will be coming for dinner tonight. So, I want you to prepare some salad to serve the guests. I want you to serve the salad without dressing.”    

 

When the guest arrived, the maid quickly came out of the kitchen to serve the guest.

 

But the mistress was shocked to discover that the maid was clad only in her undergarments, carrying the salad bowl.

 

The mistress was furious and asked why she was so scantily dressed.

 

The maid innocently replied,

 

“Ma’am, I thought you said you wanted me to Serve the Salad Without Dressing, but this is as far as I can go!”

 

The maid had made an embarrassing mistake because she had misunderstood her mistress.

 

But the mistake that the maid had made is nothing as compared to Peter’s mistake.

 

He made the grave mistake of denying his Lord and betraying the very person who loved him and died for him.

 

How would you feel if you were Peter?

 

I’m sure you must have felt a deep sense of remorse and regret for betraying the very person who poured out his all for you.

 

That’s why Peter wept when he denied Christ.

 

I’m sure those tears of remorse didn’t stop from that day

onward.

 

They must have continued to flow each time he thought about the incident.

 

That incident of betrayal must have continued to haunt him.

 

It must have been too much for Peter to bear.

 

But Jesus was too gracious to allow Peter to remain and rot in that remorseful state.

 

From a state of remorse, He began to bring him to a state of restoration.

 

How did Jesus bring Peter from Remorse to Restoration?

 

Number 1: Restoring the Love for the Christ.

 

1. Restoring the Love for the Christ (V15a, 16a, 17a)

 

John 21:15-17

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 

 

Though the conversation between Jesus and Peter was brief, it was one of the deepest and most moving in the scriptures.

 

The questioning of Jesus, “Peter do you love me?” must have searched Peter to the depths of his being.

 

What Jesus was really doing in that poignant encounter was that he was giving Peter another chance to pledge his love for him.

 

He wanted to obtain the genuine confession of love from Peter, not the self-righteous love that Peter had professed the first time before the crucifixion.

 

What Jesus really wanted was to obtain from Peter a true confession of love that was broken by failure, emptied of self-effort, and one borne out of genuine humility.

 

And when Peter said the third time, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you”, there was now no more self-righteousness in Peter’s response.

 

All the old self-confidence and cockiness in Peter must have crumbled like a ton of bricks.

 

Peter can only appeal to the fact that the Lord knows everything and, therefore, knows his heart. “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” (V17)

 

When Jesus asked Peter 3 times, “Do you love me?” Peter was hurt.

 

The purpose of Jesus was not to hurt but to heal.

 

But in the process of healing, Jesus had to hurt.

 

He had to confront Peter over the sin of denial.

 

Proverbs 27:6 says,

 

“The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy.”

 

Peter was hurt because he was asked the same question 3 times. 

 

Have you ever been asked the same question 3 times, especially when you have already given your answer the first two times when the same question was asked?

 

When our wives or children asked us something more than once, we would impatiently say to them,

 

“Why are you so long wintered? I’ve already answered you. Are you deaf?”

 

Talking about deafness – there was a husband, Bobby, who complained to the doctor that his wife was going deaf.

 

The doctor asked him to do a hearing test on his wife.

 

First, he stood a distance away from his wife and asked her a question.

 

If she didn’t answer, he was to move a few feet closer and closer and repeat the question until his wife answered.

 

That way, he’d be able to assess how bad her hearing was.

 

So, the first thing Bobby did when he got home was to call out his wife,

 

“Darling, how are you doing?”

 

He didn’t hear a reply, so he moved a few steps closer to her.

 

“Honey, how are you doing?”

 

Still, he didn’t hear any answer from the wife.

 

And for the third time, he moved until he was standing just two feet away from his wife and said,

 

“Honey, how are you doing?”

 

Finally, his frustrated wife took Bobby’s ear by her hand and shouted into his ears,

 

“For the third time, Bobby, I said I’m fine!”

 

It was Bobby, the husband, who was deaf, not the wife.

 

And Jesus wasn’t deaf either when he asked Peter 3 times because Jesus knew what he was doing.

 

When Jesus asked the question 3 times,

 

“Do you love me,

 

He was bringing Peter back to the place where he had failed.

 

He was bringing Peter back to the scene when he had denied Him 3 times.

 

So, Jesus had to ask him 3 times,

 

“Do you love me?”

 

Jesus knew what Peter was going through.

 

He knew that Peter was gripped by a deep sense of guilt, shame and remorse.

 

Peter longed for the chance to put right what he had done wrong and declare his love for Him.

 

Jesus wanted to help Peter deal with the deep sense of guilt hounding him, and He did it so tenderly.

 

And for 3 times, He said,

 

“Peter, do you love me?”

 

For each of the 3 times Peter said,

 

“Yes, I love you?”

 

Jesus was blotting out the sin of each of those three denials.

 

So by the third time, Peter was made clean and whole again.

 

By the third time, Peter was fully restored.

 

And Jesus tenderly wiped out those 3 denials of cowardice with Peter’s 3 declarations of love.

 

Jesus was a counsellor par excellence.

 

Just like a counsellor, He had to bring Peter through the process of healing, from where he had failed, to where he could be restored.

 

Both Judas and Peter had gone the wrong way when they betrayed their Lord.

 

Both had the chance to get back to the right way and be forgiven.

 

Both had the chance to be restored.

 

One accepted it, while the other rejected it.

 

Though Judas was stuck in the state of remorse, Peter moved on from remorse to restoration.

 

Peter died gloriously of martyrdom, but Judas died tragically in shame because he tried to pay for his own sin by hanging himself.

 

We mustn’t go on ‘hanging ourselves’ anymore.

 

Come to Jesus and be fully restored for all the sins you have committed.

 

A girl told her boyfriend,

 

“Would you please be more romantic? Would you please whisper those sweet nothings that make me walk in the air?”

 

Then the boyfriend sarcastically replied,

 

“You want to walk on the air. Simple, Go and hang yourself.”

 

That’s how some people deal with failures.

 

They ‘hang themselves’.

 

There is no need to ‘hang yourself’.

 

That’s where Judas went wrong.

 

He hung himself.

 

He was trying to pay for his own sin.

 

But Peter realised that he didn’t have to hang himself.

 

No matter how deeply he had hurt Christ and how far he had gone wrong, Christ could still forgive and restore him.

 

There was no need for him to pay for his own sin and wallow in the pain of self-pity and self-rejection.

 

If Christ had not rejected him, why should he reject himself?

 

John Chrysostom said,

 

“The danger is not that we should fall but that we should remain on the ground.”

 

Confucius said (one of the less confusing things he said was – just kidding),

 

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

 

In other words, falling doesn’t make you a failure, but staying down does.

 

And we can rise even after we have fallen because Jesus would never reject us when we fail, but he is always waiting to restore us.

 

The area that needs most to be restored is our love for him.

 

Our love for Christ must take top priority over anything and everything else.

 

It must take priority over our career, calling and even over our loved ones.

 

And nothing must come between us and our love for Christ.

 

Our love for Christ is so important that the scriptures put it as the first commandment – to love the Trinitarian God with all our heart, mind and soul.

 

Jesus said,

 

“Peter, I can cope with life’s weaknesses and the failures. I can even cope with the fact that you publicly denied me and betrayed me, not just once, but 3 times.

 

I can cope with all that, but provided, Peter, I am sure of one thing. Do you love me? Peter that is the most important thing that will matter to me. Do you love me?”

 

And it was so important to Jesus that he repeated 3 times,

 

“Do you love me?”

 

Jesus is asking us as he had asked Peter,

 

“John, do you love me? Susan, do you love me? Jimmy, do you love me?”

 

“Do you still love me as much as you did when you first came to know me?

 

Do you love me more than your career, possessions, calling, spouses, children and even your life?

 

Or have your love for me grown cold over the years.”

 

The key point that Jesus was trying to obtain from Peter was the pre-eminence and the depth of Peter’s love for Him.

 

The one thing that must never be compromised was Peter’s pre-eminent love for Christ.

 

If your love for Christ has cooled, if you have lost your first love, you need to allow Jesus to restore it again.

 

How did Jesus bring Peter from Remorse to Restoration?

 

Lesson No 1: Restoring the Love for the Christ

 

Lesson No 2: Restoring the Leadership to the Church

 

2. Restoring the Leadership to the Church (V15b, 16b, 17b)

 

John 21:15-17

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him,

“Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 

 

In lesson No 1, we learn that Jesus, in his graciousness, went out of his way to reach out to Peter and restore Peter’s love for Him.

 

However, the crucial question remains:

 

would Jesus restore Peter as the shepherd leader of his flock?

 

Or would Jesus reject and replace him just because he had failed Him at a critical moment?

 

Talking about failure – a story was told of a young man who flunked his exams.

 

His father sent him overseas to study, but he didn’t study at all.

 

He didn’t dare to write directly to his stern father to break the news of his failure because he knew he wouldn’t be able to accept his failure.

 

So, he sent an email to his brother with just four words:

 

“Failed exams. Prepare father.”

 

The reply that came back from his brother also contained just four words:

 

“Father prepared. Prepare yourself!”

 

Thank God, Jesus is not like some earthly fathers who are overly severe when we fail them.

 

But He is always ready to forgive and restore us in our failures.

 

And in response to Peter’s 3-fold confession of love, Jesus gave Peter the 3-fold commission of leadership.

 

The 3-fold commission of leadership:

 

First, to feed my lambs (V15).

Second, to take care of the sheep (V16).

And third, to feed my sheep (V17).

 

Although they are put in different phrases and forms, they essentially say the same thing.

 

Jesus was saying to Peter,

 

“Peter now that you had repented, been restored; now that I know that you really loved me, because you had pledged your love to me, I’m going to restore my original call to you to be a fisher of men when I first met you on the shores of Galilee.

 

I’m going to restore my call to you as a shepherd of my flock when I revealed to you, Peter, that you would play a crucial leadership role in the destiny of my church (when I said upon this rock, you Peter, I will build my church, Matt 16:16-19).

 

So Peter you can continue to feed my lambs, V15. You can continue to take care of the sheep, V16. You can continue to feed my sheep, V17.”

 

3 times, Peter denied Christ.

 

3 times, Peter pledged his love for Christ, and

 

3 times, Peter was reinstated as the shepherd of God’s flock.  

 

I’m glad Jesus didn’t say,

 

“Peter, how I wish you didn’t deny and fail me. How I wish that you had lived up to my expectations.

 

Peter, you knew very well that I had earmarked you to be the lead apostle in the early church, to be the first amongst equals.

 

Peter, everybody knew you were my pick for the top job and I had destined you for greater things.

 

But Peter, you blew it. Peter, you really disappointed me, and you have really let me down.

 

And I’m afraid now you’ll just have to settle for something much less than what you were destined for.

 

Perhaps something like giving out the hymn books before Sunday worship services. Or maybe arranging the chairs for Sunday school classes.

 

And perhaps the best post I could offer you, Peter, is to be the chief janitor of the church instead of the chief apostle. That’s the best I could do for you.”

 

Was that what Jesus said?

 

That’s the kind of thing we may say when someone fails us.

 

But thank God, that’s not what Jesus said.

 

But Jesus said,

 

“Peter, cheer up; your days are not over. Peter, I know you have walked through the valley of shame. I know you have been down in the pit of despair. I know you have gone through the death of the vision.

 

But Peter, your vision need not continue to die. Now is the time that I am going to resurrect your vision. Peter, you can live for your dreams again.

 

The devil thought he’d got you when he tried to sieve you as wheat. But Peter, I prayed for you that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (Lk 22: 31-32).

 

When you have repented, feed my lambs; when you are reinstated, take care of my sheep; when you are restored, build the church. That’s my calling for you, Peter.

 

And I am giving back the calling to you. I’m not going to take it back just because you have failed. But I am restoring my call to you, to be the leader of my church, and the shepherd of my sheep.” 

 

After Peter’s denial, he must have felt that it was all over.

 

He must have concluded that his calling to be a fisher of men, and, more importantly, his calling to be the shepherd of God’s flock was now but a pipe dream.

 

But it was not to be.

 

There is always the hope of restoration.

 

Just because you have failed once, doesn’t mean your days of usefulness are over.

 

Just because you have made a mistake (a major one, though) in life, it doesn’t mean that you are finished for the rest of your life.

 

By all accounts, Abraham Lincoln was a failure.

 

His mother died when he was a baby.

 

He had little opportunity to finish school.

 

He ran for a seat in the state legislature and lost.

 

He started a business and went bankrupt.

 

He fell in love with a girl, and she died.

 

He served in the Congress but was defeated for re-election.

 

He ran for 6 other offices, including Senate and Vice-President, but was defeated every time.

 

But he became the 16th President of the United States.

 

And He was the most respected President of all time.

 

There was a young boy who suffered from depression most of

his early life.

 

For most of his childhood years, he cried himself to sleep.

 

He had to sleep in silk pajamas because linen would bruise his skin.

 

In the sixth grade, he failed.

 

He was in a prestigious boarding school in England.

 

He would run into the woods and hide because the boys teased him because of his funny body and big head.

 

One day, his schoolmaster sent home a note to his very famous father,

 

“This young man shows a conspicuous lack of success.” 

 

But Years later, Sir Winston Churchill would wave that letter that the school master sent to his father, when, after age 70,

 

he became the great leader, the Prime Minister of England, that saved the British Empire from the Nazis. 

 

A young Scottish man was brought up in the highlands of Scotland.

 

He went to the seminary to become a clergyman, a pastor, and was assigned to his first preaching appointment in a little church in the mountains of Scotland.

 

He climbed up, trembling.

 

For the first time, he was going to preach a sermon in the pulpit of the church of Scotland.

 

He got to the top opened his Bible to get ready to preach.

 

But unfortunately, he forgot his text.

 

That’s the greatest nightmare of a preacher.

 

Forgetting what you are supposed to preach, he was totally humiliated.

 

He turned and fled from the pulpit; he ran out of the door and was heard to be screaming as he ran down the street,

 

“I will never preach, ever. I will never preach again!”

 

Do you know who that person is?

 

David Livingstone.

 

The man who failed early in life, the man who fled the pulpit because he forgot his text

 

was the same man who God so mightily used as a pioneer missionary in Africa, Dr David Livingstone.

 

The early failures of Abraham Lincoln did not stop him from becoming the President, the foremost leader of a nation.

 

The early shortcomings of Winston Churchill did not stop him from becoming the Prime Minister who saved the British Empire from the Nazis.

 

The early blunders of David Livingstone did not stop him from becoming the pioneer missionary leader who made such an impact in Africa.   

 

Just because you have failed once doesn’t mean it’s game over.

 

Just because you have made a mistake in life doesn’t mean you are finished for the rest of your life.

 

Because there is always a second chance, there is always the hope of restoration, there is always the possibility of bouncing back.

 

It was General George S Patton who said,

 

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces (back) when he hits (rock) bottom.”

 

My friends, when you hit rock bottom like Peter did, that’s the time you can bounce back and live your dreams again.

 

How did Jesus bring Peter from Remorse to Restoration?

 

Point No 1: Restoring the Love for the Christ

 

Point No 2: Restoring the Leadership to the Church

 

Point No 3: Restoring the Legacy of the Cross

 

3. Restoring the Legacy of the Cross (V18-19)

 

John 21:18-19

18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

 

After restoring the love and leadership of Peter, Jesus went on to say,

 

“Now, Peter, I want to tell you something about your future. The real trouble with you, Peter, is that there has been too much of self-will all along.

 

You’ve always done what you wanted to do. You’ve always gone where you wanted to go.

 

When you were a young man, you just decided what you wanted to do, and you did it.

 

Peter, that has been the problem. Every time I try to do something for you, you tell me what to do.

 

When I wanted to wash your feet, you wanted me to wash your head and your hands as well. Peter, you always tried to tell me what to do.

 

But Peter, there will come a day when you are a bit older, when they will make you do what you humanly don’t want to do.

 

They are going to tie your hands up, and they are going to carry you somewhere where you humanly don’t want to be carried to.”

 

Peter knew in his heart what that meant.

 

There is only one conclusion that could be described in those words,

 

and that is this that one day, Peter was going to be crucified on a cross.

 

And for the rest of his days, Peter had to live with the knowledge that he was going to die on the cross like his master, Jesus did.

 

You remember Peter had wanted the privilege to die as a martyr for Jesus.

 

He boasted in Luke 22:33 that he was ready to go to prison and that he was ready even to die for Jesus.

 

Did he succeed the first time?

 

No, he didn’t because he did it out of his own strength.

 

But after Jesus had restored Peter’s love for Him and to be the leader and shepherd of God’s flock,

 

Jesus finally granted Peter’s wish to die as a martyr.

 

Church tradition has confirmed John 21:18-19 that Peter was crucified on the cross as a martyr.

 

In fact, he requested to be crucified in an upside-down position because he didn’t consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same position as his Lord.

 

Peter continued the legacy of the cross started by his master, Jesus.

 

Like his master, Jesus, Peter was crucified on the cross and gloried God (V19) by his death on the cross.

 

Every religion has its visual symbol.

 

The symbol of Buddhism is the Lotus flower.

 

The symbol of Islam is the crescent.

 

The symbol of Judaism is the Star of David.

 

Do you know what the symbol of Christianity is?

 

It’s the Cross.

 

The symbol of Christianity is not the empty tomb.

 

The symbol of Christianity is not the baby Jesus in a cradle.

 

But the symbol of Christianity is the Cross because the Cross more than any other symbols, has characterised Christianity.

 

What do you think of when you think of Christianity?

 

You think of the Cross.

 

That’s why there is a Cross in almost every church.

 

Jesus, more than any other person who changed the face of world history, is remembered not so much for his life but for his death, the death on the Cross.

 

The legacy of Christianity has always been and will always be the legacy of the Cross.

 

The legacy of the Cross didn’t die with Christ.

 

It didn’t die with Peter, the early Christians and our church fathers.

 

The legacy of the Cross continues to be passed on to us.

 

Those who follow Christ must follow him, and if necessary, they must follow him all the way to the Cross.

 

Jesus himself said in Luke 9:23,

 

“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

 

Further, He said in Matthew 10:38, “and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

 

Even the great apostle Paul said in Galatians 6 said, “May I never boast except in the cross of Christ.”

 

A wife on a holiday alone in Italy saw an art piece in an antique shop.

 

She fell in love with the art piece and wanted to buy it, and she called her husband for his opinion.

 

“How much is the antique?” her husband asked.

 

She replied, “$30,000.”

 

The husband said, “No! Price too high.”

 

When she returned from her trip, she showed her husband the antique she had purchased.

 

The husband was furious.

 

“I thought I told you, ‘No! Price too high’,” shouted the husband.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said the wife. “I thought you said, “No price too high.”

 

When it comes to the Cross there is No price too high to pay.

 

That’s the high price a missionary to Burma (former name for Myanmar) Adoniram Judson, paid to walk the way of the Cross.

 

Let me relate what By Michael L. Brown related in his book, “How Saved Are We?”

 

“Adoniram Judson was born in Massachusetts on Aug 9, 1788.

 

He was America’s first foreign missionary.

 

While preparing for his departure for India and Burma in 1810, he fell in love with Ann (Nancy) Hasseltine. Soon Nancy and Adoniram got married.

 

And they went to Burma as missionaries.

 

The Judson’s laboured for almost seven years before winning their first convert.

 

Just imagine, after seven long years but only one convert.

 

And after nine years, they had baptized only eighteen people.

 

Because of the harsh conditions, several of their fellow missionaries died. (Others gave up and left the work of the ministry.)

 

The Judsons, Adoniram and Nancy were not spared either.

 

They went through much pain when their first baby was stillborn died during their initial voyage from Calcutta to Burma.

 

The worst was yet to come.

 

Their second baby, Roger, passed away before reaching his ninth month.

 

Adoniram himself was brutally imprisoned for seventeen months during a crackdown against all foreigners, barely surviving the horribly inhuman treatment.

 

One night, while his raw and bleeding feet were hanging in elevated stocks, swarms of mosquitoes settled on his bare soles, producing excruciating torture.

 

Then, not long after his release from prison, Adoniram’s beloved wife, Nancy passed away.

 

Her constant life of sacrifice and service had finally taken its toll.

 

Just a few weeks later, little Maria, their third baby, and their last remaining child, was suddenly taken from this world.

 

Adoniram Judson was left utterly alone in a hostile Buddhist land, almost shattered with grief and pain.

 

Before him lay the prospect of tiger infested jungles, bat infested houses, and a fever infested climate – for life.

 

Behind him lay an almost unimaginable trail of hardship and loss.

 

Imagine the grief and pain of losing his entire family, his precious wife and all his beloved children.

 

But Adonijah did not give up.

 

He did not leave his missionary calling.

 

He was not a quitter.

 

He was a finisher.

 

He was determined to finish what he had started at all cost.

 

He did not abandon his Bible translating work or his preaching and teaching labours.

 

How could he?

 

Eternal souls were at stake.

 

Who else could reach the Burmese as well as he?

 

So he remained for over 20 more years, returning to America only once.

 

And when he did return, it was only by necessity, not by choice.

 

Adonijah and his family knew what the legacy of the Cross means.

 

Adonijah loss his entire family to walk the way of the Cross.

 

But for all the sufferings and all the pain and all the loss that Judsons went through, it was worth it all.

 

Because today there are more than one million Burmese believers worshipping the true and the living God.”

 

Adonijah and his wife Nancy knew what the legacy of the Cross means.

 

But they did not avoid the Cross.

 

Jesus knew what the legacy of the Cross means.

 

But He did not avoid the Cross.

 

Peter knew what the legacy of the Cross means.

 

But he did not avoid the Cross.

 

And we shouldn’t avoid the Cross either.

 

But take heart.

 

You will never lose even if you go the way of the Cross.

 

You will never lose even if you are martyred one day like Peter was.   

 

One of the old martyrs said to his persecutors as they were leading him to his death,

 

“You take a life from me that I cannot keep and bestow a life upon me that I cannot lose.”

 

Ultimately, those who walk the way of the Cross will never lose because the legacy of the Cross is the legacy of life.

 

But above all, the way of the Cross is the way to bring glory to God.   

 

John 21:18-19

Then, Jesus went on to say, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead to where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him, “Follow Me!”

 

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death,

 

(what kind of death, the death on the Cross,)

 

by which Peter would glorify God. 

 

Appendix 2

 

John 21:20 AMP

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 CSB

20 So Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 CEB

20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them.

 

John 21:20 CEV

20 Peter turned and saw Jesus’ favorite disciple following them.

 

John 21:20 DLNT

20 Peter, having turned around, sees the disciple following them whom Jesus was loving…

 

John 21:20 EHV

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 ERV

20 Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them…

 

John 21:20 ESVUK

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 EXB

20 Peter turned and saw that the follower [disciple] Jesus loved [John] was walking behind them [following]

 

John 21:20 GW

20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved. That disciple was following them.

 

John 21:20 GNT

20 Peter turned around and saw behind him that other disciple, whom Jesus loved…

 

John 21:20 HCSB

20 So Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them….

 

John 21:20 ICB

20 Peter turned and saw that the follower Jesus loved was walking behind them…

 

John 21:20 ISV

20 Peter turned around and noticed the disciple whom Jesus kept loving following them…

 

John 21:20 PHILLIPs

20-21 Then Peter turned round and noticed the disciple whom Jesus loved following behind them…

 

John 21:20 MSG

20-21 Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind.

 

John 21:20 MEV

20 Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved…

 

John 21:20 NOG

20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom

Yeshua loved. That disciple was following them…

 

John 21:20 NASB

20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them

 

John 21:20 NCB

20 The Beloved Disciple. Peter looked around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 NIRV

20 Peter turned around. He saw that the disciple Jesus loved was following them…

 

John 21:20 NIV

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…

 

John 21:20 NIVUK

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…

 

John 21:20 NRSVA

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 NRSVACE

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 NRSVCE

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 NRSVUE

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…

 

John 21:20 NTFE

20 Peter turned and saw, following them, the disciple that Jesus loved…

 

John 21:20 RSV

20 Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved…

 

John 21:20 RSVCE

20 Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved…

 

 

Article 2: Joseph Prince should apologise to the late Joseph Chean, the latter is genuine, the former a fake – By Glenn Fong & Lindsay Lim (both were Ex New Creation Church members)

 

Glenn Fong, an Ex New Creation Church member for 15 years

 

quoted what Joseph Prince wrote under Meditate Devotional:

 

You can also click on the link below to read:

 

https://www.josephprince.com/meditate-devo/is-there-no-suffering-for-the-believer

 

“Is There No Suffering for the Believer?

 

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29

 

Is there no suffering in the body of Christ today?

 

My dear reader, none of the protection truths found in God’s Word negates the fact that we are called and given the privilege to suffer persecution for His name’s sake as the apostle Paul states in today’s scripture.

 

Furthermore, Paul tells his protégé, Timothy, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12 NLT).

 

Jesus Himself said that those who follow Him will be persecuted for His name’s sake (Matt. 10:22).

 

Be clear that this persecution doesn’t involve terminal illnesses, tragic accidents, or premature death.

 

But Pastor Prince, wasn’t Job a righteous man who experienced terrible suffering?

 

I have preached a full message on Job and it is not the focus here to cover the full spectrum of Job’s suffering. (You can find this audio message in your Joseph Prince app library as a free sermon.)

 

For now, I want you to see that what happened to Job is not something that will happen to you who are IN CHRIST today.

 

You see, one of Job’s complaints was this:

 

“If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together” (Job 9:33 NLT).

 

Now, read these powerful words spoken by Elihu in Job 33:23-24, which describes this mediator:

 

“If there is a messenger for him, a mediator, one among a thousand, to show man His uprightness, then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom.’”

 

Elihu’s description of a mediator foreshadows what 1 Timothy 2:5-6 tells us,

 

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

 

Job experienced his sufferings because he didn’t have a mediator.

 

But today, you and I do – in the person of our Lord Jesus, who died at the cross to atone for our sins and made us righteous before God. He became our ransom (the Hebrew word for ransom comes from the root word kaphar, which means “to make an atonement”).

 

Beloved, the atoning blood of Christ has canceled all the legal rights that the enemy had against you and your family.

 

When you receive all that His perfect sacrifice at the cross has accomplished for you, you don’t have to live afraid that you will be like Job.

 

Unlike Job, you have a mediator – Christ Jesus.

 

In Him you can look forward to a future full of His promises, blessings, and protection (Ps. 23:6)!”

 

Glenn Fong’s comments:

 

Joseph Prince wrote:

 

“Be clear that this persecution doesn’t involve terminal illnesses, tragic accidents, or premature death.”

 

First of all, Joseph Prince seemed to be leading his followers to think that persecution

 

does not lead to accidents and calamities, such as terminal illnesses, tragic accidents, or premature death.

 

But if we just think about it, what has persecution got to do with terminal illnesses, tragic accidents, or premature death?

 

The base point of his argument does not make sense at all!

 

Secondly, even if we divorce his logic from his conclusion,

 

so what happens when believers suffer from terminal illnesses, tragic accidents, or premature death?

 

Did they suffer because they did not have enough faith?

 

So how many faith muscles does one need to flex in order to get deliverance or healing?

 

Or is God so weak that He is helpless to save someone from such disasters?

 

Joseph Prince should apologize to Singaporean Missionary Joseph Chean, who died in a traffic accident in Turkey,

 

because according to Joseph Prince’s god, Christians should not suffer accidents!

 

God must be either so blind or so weak that he is unable to thwart the work of the devil!

 

Joseph Prince’s quote on Job 9:33 is also out of context!

 

Job’s request for a mediator is to clear him of Bildad’s accusation of his Sin, not his suffering!

 

Joseph Prince clearly operates from a weakly out-of-context theology,

 

and is misleading his followers to a feel-good Christian journey that is unrealistic and unbiblical!

 

Glenn Fong

Ex New Creation Church Member for 15 years

Attending Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore

 

 

Lindsay Lim, an Ex New Creation Church member for 18 years, wrote:

 

Recently, I came across the Telegram Group Chat, a condolence message

 

sent by Joseph Prince and New Creation Church:

 

Lawrence Lim:

 

We are deeply saddened by the sudden departure of Mr. Joseph Chean, a man after God’s own heart, a champion in the faith, and a beloved brother-in-Christ.

 

His unwavering commitment to spreading the gospel to the nations and reaching the last, the lost, and the least was truly exemplary. His legacy will continue to inspire us.

 

Our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to his family and loved ones. 

 

May the Lord’s peace and comfort surround them during this difficult time.

 

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Joseph Prince and the New Creation Church family

 

It is rather clear that Joseph Prince and New Creation Church

 

are using the opportunity

 

to identify themselves as part of the true Body of Christ

 

when they are in fact propagating false teachings.

 

Two share the same name, Joseph.

 

While one (Joseph Chean) is genuine and obedient towards God’s Word.

 

the other (Joseph Prince) is a fake who twists God’s Words to suit his heretical teachings.

 

Lindsay Lim

Ex New Creation Church Member for 18 years

Attending Bedok Methodist Church, Singapore

 

PS: Though we do not know Joseph Chean personally,

 

Glenn Fong, Lindsay Lim and I send our sincere condolences to the family of Joseph Chean.

 

 

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