Joseph Prince’s twisted interpretation of Ephesians 1:3, is exposed by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Derek Prince, John Stott, Warren Wiersbe & FF Bruce – By Rev George Ong (Dated 12 June 2023)


Note that besides the above article,


there is at least one or 2 more articles to be featured


based on the same sermon that Joseph Prince preached this morning.


I had to send out this article (together with YouTube) at an unearthly hour at about 11 pm this evening on 11 June 2023,


as I am rather tied up with other matters for the next few days.


This morning, Joseph Prince uploaded a pre-recorded sermon in the worship service of New Creation Church.


Although New Creation Church did not dare to make this explicit,


this sermon was most definitely preached and recorded during his current sabbatical.


Obviously, Joseph Prince doesn’t seem to be able to take his sabbatical peacefully.


He is probably worried that his congregation may get so used to not having him that he may become redundant.


So, he had better ‘come on the pulpit’, perhaps once every 4 weeks or so, even though he is on sabbatical.


Excerpt in the Article:


George Ong’s comments:


Notice the completely opposite way in which


both Derek Prince and Joseph Prince see Abraham.


Derek Prince teaches that we should aim to become Abraham,


who has an unearthly perspective and a heavenly outlook.


But Joseph Prince teaches that


every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be,


not just wealthy, but very wealthy as Abraham was.


By today’s standards,


Abraham could be considered a multi-millionaire anytime.


This is because millionaires in the first world are so ‘common’ nowadays.


In today’s context,


for Joseph Prince to teach every New Covenant believer


has the covenantal right to be multi-millionaires,

is not only outrageous, but pure madness


and an ‘out of this world’ impossibility.


(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.)


Please click here


to view the entire video.


In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube, this morning on 11 June 2023, Joseph Prince said;


Please click here to view the one-and-a-half-minute video:


“And I believe that many a times


because of our wrong believing in this area,


we are not able to receive some of the;


what we called, earthly blessings.


You know for the most part, the Body of Christ today


believes that the blessings of the believer


is only in the area of spiritual things


because of that verse in Ephesians that says


‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.’ (Eph 1:3)


But you see the spiritual blessing


means that the word there


is that it’s of a spiritual source.


It is a spiritual in nature. It is permanent. It is eternal.


Because whatever is of the Spirit is eternal.


That’s what it means.


And when you think about it, everything that you have in life;


before you can see it tangibly, even finances,


it is preceded by the wisdom, which is spiritual blessing.


It is not tangible.


It’s a real heavenly materiality, if you would.


But it’s not perceived by your 5 senses.


And as a result, people don’t see that.


But many a times, it’s the wisdom of God that comes in


that translates later on into a physical manifestation,


like the money you have in your hands


and success in your career or your ministry.      


But the thing is this, people, and if we forget


that spiritual blessings


produces things that are material.”


In his book, ‘The One Thing, 31-Day Devotional,’


Joseph Prince wrote;


“If you are financially barren, start planning for what you would do when your finances increase.”


“You may say, ‘Pastor Prince, you don’t understand, the banks are chasing me!’


God says, ‘Rejoice because you are well provided for in Christ.’


In Christ, you are already blessed


with every spiritual blessing,


including financial provision. (Ephesians 1:3)”


Joseph Prince has sinfully added the word 


‘financial provision’ to Paul’s mouth.


This is because when Paul lists down the blessings;


in the entire chapter 1 of Ephesians,


every single one of them are spiritual blessings.


Never once did Paul include the 2 words ‘financial provision’ 


that Joseph Prince has added:


Ephesians 1:3 NIV

 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 


Ephesians 1:4-23 then talks about all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ,


as mentioned in Ephesians 1:3,


and none of them are physical or material blessings,


such as ‘financial provision’


that Joseph Prince has daringly added


to Paul’s mouth and to the biblical text.


Please go through Ephesians 1:1-23, verse by verse,


and see for yourself if what I said is true.


What I have just written is backed up


by 5 credible and renowned Bible teachers and commentators:


Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Derek Prince, John Stott, Warren Wiersbe and FF Bruce.


1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


In ‘An Exposition of Ephesians 1, God’s Ultimate Purpose,’


and in his exposition of Ephesians 1:3,


Martyn Lloyd-Jones said:


“All Spiritual Blessings in Heavenly Places.


‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Ephesians 1:3)


We must next proceed to look at the actual character of these blessings.


The first thing the Apostle tells us about them


is that they are ‘in heavenly places.’


‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’


When you have read this Epistle to the Ephesians


have you stopped to consider that expression


– ‘in heavenly places’?


Did you think it was Paul’s eloquence carrying him away?


If so, you failed to realize that these are solid definitions, words


which must be analysed and examined point by point.


Every single expression is full of meaning.


The blessings we enjoy are


‘in heavenly places.’


There is no doubt but that in that expression


the Apostle has in mind the contrast we have already seen


in the way in which he describes God as


‘The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’


rather than as


‘The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.’


Paul reminds us that


as the covenant and the representative are different


so, the blessings are also different.


In the Old Testament,


the blessings came very largely, indeed mainly,


in a material and temporal sense.


It was estimated then


whether a man was blessed or not


by the number of cattle he had,


the number of sheep and goats,


and the extent of the land he possessed.


God’s way with men in Old Testament times


was more pictorial.


He frequently acted in a visible manner.


He was then teaching the people as infants,


as it were,


so He gave external, obvious blessings which,


being mainly earthly,


could be seen here on earth.


But as we enter the New Testament,


we come into an entirely different realm.


Here the blessings are ‘in heavenly places.’


We must look for these blessings,


not so much here on earth,


but ‘in the heavenly places’ beyond sight.


Here, clearly, we are face to face


with a very important New Testament Principle.


Let me state it quite categorically;


the Christian faith is frankly and openly




I state the matter boldly because I know that this principle


is not popular today


when the emphasis is on the ‘here and now.’”


“The modern man, we were told,


is not interested in an other-worldly view.


But whether we like it or not,


the fact is that the blessings we enjoy in Christ


are ‘in heavenly places.’


We must understand, however,


that this does not mean something completely and exclusively other-worldly.


It does not mean that


we are automatically to become monks or hermits or anchorites;


but it does mean that


we have a right view of this world


and our relationship to this world.


The Christian, according to the New Testament,


is in a very strange and wonderful position;


he is still in this world but he does not really belong to it.


This same Apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians, says:


‘Our conversation is in heaven’, or as James Moffatt has translated it, ‘we are a colony of heaven.’


Our real citizenship is in heaven.


The Apostle frequently employs this idea of citizenship


and says that we do not really belong to an earthly city or state.


We are simply resident here, away from home;


our citizenship is not here but in heaven.


A well-known hymn states it very well – 


I’m but a stranger here,


Heaven is my home.


The Apostle Peter likewise expresses the same idea when he writes:


‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts’ (1 Peter 2:11).


We are but ‘strangers and pilgrims’ in this world;


we do not belong to it.


Christians are like people away on holiday;


and they should remember the country from which they have come,


and the realm to which they belong.


This is the teaching of the New Testament throughout.


A Christian is a man who is passing through this world.


That does not mean that he despises it,


for it is God’s world,


and we should see the marks of God’s handiwork in the world.


We should enjoy the creation;


we should enjoy all the beauty


and everything that is a manifestation of God’s handiwork.


‘The heavens declare the glory of God’


and Christians of all people should realize that and enjoy it.


Nevertheless, we as Christians know that,


though this is God’s world,


it is a fallen world;


we know that sin has entered into it,


and therefore, though it is still God’s world,


it can be dangerous to us.


We must never ‘conform’ to its outlook and mind and mentality.


The mind and outlook of the world


is controlled by ‘the prince of the power of the air,


the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.’


In other words, the Christian looks at this world


in an entirely different manner from the non-Christian.


He sees it as his Father’s world, a world of glory and wonder.


It is not the world of the Sunday newspapers; it is God’s world.


The Christian does not conform to it,


but becomes ‘transformed by the renewing of his mind.


It is very difficult to translate all this into language


but this is what the New Testament writers keep on saying.


The Apostle Paul at one time was having great trouble in this world, but he says:


‘Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17).


‘And if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved,


we have a building of God,


a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens’ (2 Corinthians 5:1).


That is typical of his other-worldly view.


Again, in his Epistle to the Colossians he says,


‘Set your affection on things above,


not on things on the earth’ (3:2).


The Christian’s relationship to the world is, that he realizes that it is God’s world,


and he can enjoy it and all that God has given him in and through it;


but he never sets his affection upon it.


For this reason, the attitude of the Christian towards the things of this world,


and towards the discussions and the striving that go on between men and women,


is always one of detachment.”


“The Christian, by definition,


does not get excited about these things;


he rides very loosely to them because heaven is his home.


He is a citizen of heaven,


and his blessings are there,


not on earth.


Although he receives many temporal blessings


while he is here on the earth,


the real blessings


are in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.


Whether you rejoice in such teaching, or are disappointed,


and have a dislike of this other-worldly religion


depends upon the view you take of yourself and your soul.


If you have seen yourself for what you really are,


namely, as a journeyman passing through this world,


you will not only not complain about the other-wordly view,


you will thank God for it,


and you will know something about that inheritance which is


‘incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,


who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Peter 1:4–6).


‘In Heavenly Places’


‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Ephesians 1:3)


“Many go wrong in their entire thinking of Christianity, as we have seen,


because they start with a wrong standpoint.


They have a materialistic conception of Christianity,


and fail to realize that the Christian faith is positively other-worldly.


The result is that they are constantly in difficulty.


There are many people who say that they cannot be Christians


because of the state of the world and the things that are happening in it.


Their argument is that, if God is a God of love, who promises to bless all who come to Him,


then Christians should not have to suffer


– to be taken ill or suffer adversity.


There we have an example of one of those initial misunderstandings


resulting from a failure to realize


that the blessings that come to the Christian


are ‘spiritual’ and are ‘in heavenly places.’


But we must look into this subject in a more detailed manner.


The Apostle never rises to greater heights in this Epistle or elsewhere


than in this particular verse,


where he lifts us up into the ‘heavenlies’


and shows us the Christian standpoint in its greatest glory and majesty.


In many ways the expression ‘in heavenly places’


is the key to this particular Epistle,


where it occurs no less than five times.


It is found in this third verse,


and again, in the twentieth verse in this first chapter (Ephesians)


where Paul writes about Christ being set at God’s right hand


in the heavenly places.


Some commentators do not like the word ‘places’


as they feel that it tends to localize the conception.


Yet merely to say ‘heavenly’ is not enough.


The same expression is found again in chapter 2, verse 6,


and in the tenth verse of the third chapter (Ephesians).


The last reference is in the twelfth verse of the sixth chapter in the statement


‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high (or heavenly) places.’


Obviously, the Apostle would not repeat this phrase


unless it possessed some deep and real significance;


and it is, I repeat,


one of the most glorious representations of the Christian truth.


If we could but see ourselves as we are in Christ in the heavenly places


it would revolutionize our lives, and change our whole outlook.”


2. Derek Prince


In ‘Protection From Deception,’ Derek Prince wrote:


“What does it mean to be earthly?


From a Christian standpoint,


earthly individuals focus on our earthly life


and nothing more – nothing beyond.


If an earthly individual is a Christian,


he expects God to provide blessings


applicable only to this lifetime:


prosperity, healing, power, success,


and other soulish pursuits.


To gain a better understanding of the earthly individual,


it is useful to recognize individuals


who were decidedly unearthly.


One such example is Abraham:


By faith, he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:9–10)


Abraham accepted the temporality of earthly life,


dwelling in a tent instead of building a residence in the Promised Land.


By contrast, Lot, who separated from Abraham and turned toward the wicked town of Sodom,


lived in a house and abandoned an eternal mind-set for a mundane one.


God expects us to adopt Abraham’s mind-set.


This world is not our home.


When we forget that, we become soulish.


A second example of an unearthly individual is Moses,


described in Hebrews 11:27:


“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”


Moses endured because he looked past the present hardships


to a certainty of future fulfillment.


In 1 Corinthians 15:19, Paul wrote,


“If in this life only we have hope in Christ,


we are of all men the most pitiable.”


If the purpose of our Christian faith


is to receive blessings in this earthly life alone,


we are to be pitied.


Many have forgotten the fact that we are foreigners


passing through this world,


and consequently, their thoughts and ambitions lose proper focus.


They become earthly.”


George Ong’s comments:


Notice the completely opposite way in which


both Derek Prince and Joseph Prince see Abraham.


Derek Prince teaches that we should aim to become Abraham,


who has an unearthly perspective and a heavenly outlook.


But Joseph Prince teaches that


every New Covenant believer has the covenantal right to be,


not just wealthy, but very wealthy as Abraham was.


By today’s standards,


Abraham could be considered a multi-millionaire anytime.


This is because millionaires in the first world are so ‘common’ nowadays.


In today’s context,


for Joseph Prince to teach every New Covenant believer


has the covenantal right to be multi-millionaires,

is not only outrageous, but pure madness


and an ‘out of this world’ impossibility.


3. John Stott


In ‘The Bible Speaks Today, The Message of Ephesians,’


and in his exposition of Ephesians 1:3,


John Stott wrote:


“For the origin of the blessing is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also ‘our Father’ (verse 2); its sphere is God the Son, for it is in Christ,


by virtue of our union with him, that God has blessed us; and its nature is spiritual, every spiritual blessing…”


“What Paul stresses here is that the blessing God gives us in Christ


is spiritual.


A contrast is probably intended with Old Testament days


when God’s promised blessings were largely material.


Perhaps the most striking example is to be found in Deuteronomy 28:1–14,


where the blessings promised to an obedient Israel


were many children, a good harvest, an abundance of cattle and sheep, and leadership among the nations.


It is true Jesus also promised his followers some material blessings.


For he forbade them to be anxious about food, drink and clothing and assured them that their heavenly Father would supply their needs if they put the concerns of his rule and righteousness first.


Nevertheless, the distinctive blessings of the new covenant


are spiritual, not material;


for example, God’s law written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, a personal knowledge of God, and the forgiveness of our sins.”


“In order to put this beyond doubt


Paul adds to his adjective ‘spiritual’


the clause in the heavenly places,


or better – since no geographical location is implied


– ‘in the heavenlies’ (en tois epouraniois).


This is the first occasion on which he uses this remarkable expression,


which occurs five times in Ephesians and nowhere else in his letters.


What does it mean?


The word ‘heaven’ is used in Scripture in several different senses.


Ancient authors used to distinguish between ‘the heaven of nature’ (the sky), ‘the heaven of grace’ (eternal life already received and enjoyed by God’s people on earth) and ‘the heaven of glory’ (the final state of the redeemed).


But ‘the heavenlies’ is to be understood differently from all these.


It is neither sky, nor grace, nor glory, nor any literal spatial abode,


but rather the unseen world of spiritual reality.


The five uses of the expression in Ephesians


indicate that ‘the heavenlies’


are the sphere in which the ‘principalities and powers’ continue to operate (3:10; 6:12),


in which Christ reigns supreme and his people reign with him (1:20; 2:6),


and in which therefore God blesses us


with every spiritual blessing in Christ (1:3).”


4. Warren Wiersbe


In ‘Be Rich, Gaining The Things That Money Can’t Buy,’


and in his exposition of Ephesians 1:3,


Warren Wiersbe wrote: 


(Most Pastors and mature believers would know the credentials of Warren Wiersbe. He was a prolific writer, who wrote more than 150 books, and he was at the same time, an excellent Bible commentator.)  


“The scope of our blessings.


We have “all spiritual blessings.”


“In the Old Testament, God promised His earthly people, Israel,


material blessings as a reward for their obedience (Deut. 28:1–13).


Today, He promises to supply all our needs


“according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19),


but He does not promise to shield us


from either poverty or pain.”


“The spiritual is far more important


than the material.


The sphere of our blessings.


Our blessings are “in heavenly places in Christ.”


Perhaps a clearer translation would be “in the heavenlies in Christ.”


The unsaved person is interested primarily in earthlies,


because this is where he lives.


Jesus called them “the children of this world” (Luke 16:8).


The Christian’s life is centered in heaven.


His citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20);


his name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20);


his Father is in heaven;


and his attention and affection ought to be centered


on the things of heaven (Col. 3:1ff.).


Evangelist D. L. Moody used to warn about people who were so


“heavenly minded they were no earthly good,”


but that is not what Paul was describing.


“The heavenlies” (literal translation)


describes that place where Jesus Christ is right now (Eph. 1:2)


and where the believer is seated with Him (Eph. 2:6).”


5. FF Bruce


In ‘The New International Commentary on the New Testament, on The Epistle to the Ephesians (including Colossians and Philemon),’


and in his exposition of Ephesians 1:3,


FF Bruce wrote:


“God is to be praised, then, because he has bestowed on his people “in Christ” every spiritual blessing.


Spiritual blessings are to be distinguished,


probably, from material blessings, which are also bestowed by God


– such blessings as are promised in Deut. 28:1-14, for example,


to those who obey his commandments.


The nature of the spiritual blessings here referred to


is not in doubt:


they are detailed in the following words of the berakhah.


They include election to holiness,


instatement as God’s sons and daughters,


redemption and forgiveness,


the gift of the Spirit, and the hope of glory (Eph 1:4-13).”


In conclusion,


Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Derek Prince, John Stott, Warren Wiersbe and FF Bruce,


have all clearly stated


that the blessings mentioned in Ephesians 1:3


are spiritual in nature,


and has nothing or little to do


with the material blessings under the Old Covenant.


Joseph Prince has twisted God’s word when he said


that material blessings are also included in the spiritual blessings


in Ephesians 1:3.


But isn’t it clear that the words spiritual blessing in Ephesians 1:3 meant spiritual blessing? 


How in the world did the words ‘material blessing’


get into the verse?


This is another clear example of Joseph Prince twisting the text


to support his Prosperity Gospel doctrine.


Please read through the entire Ephesians chapter 1 yourself


and see if you can detect any material blessings


that are mentioned in that chapter.


The answer is none.


All the blessings that are mentioned in Ephesians chapter 1


are spiritual blessings


of sonship, redemption, forgiveness, experience


and assurance of the Holy Spirit, etc.


None are material blessings.


Yet, Joseph Prince has the spiritual dare


to twist and distort God’s Holy word


in order to fit his Prosperity Gospel doctrine.


How can such a man with no respect for the Holy scriptures


be a true teacher of God’s word?


Let’s be aware that earthly wealth is only temporary.


The material wealth of the Old Covenant 


was a shadow of the New Covenant’s greater spiritual blessings and heavenly treasure,


which cannot fade, perish, or spoil (1 Pet 1:4).


There is absolutely nowhere in the New Testament scripture


that promises that every New Covenant believer


will be very wealthy as Abraham was,


as Joseph Prince teaches


Rev George Ong