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#0262sva – Joseph Prince: Lawless Grace


Joseph Prince3

Entering the local Koorong Christian bookstore yesterday, I immediately noticed a book with an attractive looking young Asian man on the cover. The picture was of Joseph Prince, the title of the book, “Destined to Reign”, and the subtitle went as follows: “The secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living “The secret to effortless success, wholeness .”

Wow!  Effortless Success! Amazing! And this young man can teach me the secret to this! Folks, there’s one born every minute. Even the front cover of this book should tell you that something is wrong.

The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 4 the following, and I used it for the biblical basis of why I would take the time to write an article like this:

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  (2 Timothy 4:1-5) (NKJV)

The apostle Paul tells us here to convince, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching. So by the grace of God we will do that.

Now, Joseph Prince uses the writings of the apostle Paul, in particular verses like Romans 5:17 and other verses about God’s mercy and grace to establish his position. If Joseph Prince and his followers wish to quote the apostle Paul as a source of true inspiration, they should be willing to listen to everything he said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and not just construct something pleasing to the ear out of selected portions of the Scripture. If Prince is a lover of truth, he has to deal with all the New Testament Scriptures and not just some favorite ones.

The warning here is a prophecy given by God. It says that the time will come when God’s people will  begin to heap for themselves teachers  who will speak to them according to their desires, according to what their itching ears want to hear. Now I don’t know about you, but the idea of “effortless success”  kind of appeals to me. And before I learned to love righteousness and hate wickedness, the idea of unconditional forgiveness and acceptance from God while I serve my own desires was also kind of appealing. It was something I could believe in, because I wanted to, and so did many of the people I knew. If you read my testimony, you will know that I thought I was a Christian because I believed certain doctrines about God’s forgiveness being available to me through the cross of Christ – and I thought I could live for myself while still receiving these benefits. The idea of needing to REPENT of sin seemed way to narrow for us. We would have called it “legalistic”.

If you and I can have “effortless success”, then why did Jesus Christ make the following statement?

Luke 13:24:  “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to“. (NIV). In the New King James: the“Strive to enter through  the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will anseek to enter d will not be able.”

Jesus, if I can have “effortless success”( Joseph Prince tells me in a top selling book in a respected Christian bookstore and around the world) then why do you tell me to “make every effort” to enter salvation, or even worse, to “strive”?

And Jesus, if you were so keen to do away with the moral requirements of the law, why did you seem to make it even tougher when you said:

Mat 5:27 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.’

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Mat 5:29  If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Mat 5:30  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Jesus, is that teaching really for us today, or were you just being a bit tough on the Jewish people of the time because they were under the law anyway, and you wanted to rub it in until your servant Paul could come and change the message for you?

There are hundreds of passages which don’t fit in nicely with the idea of effortless success or salvation without repentance, but we live in a biblically illiterate age, where church people are too busy pursuing wealth and material success to have time to study the Bible. [emphasis mine]  So for this reason, people flock to charismatic pastors like Joseph Prince whose theological education is limited to get their feel good message for the week to keep them motivated and upbeat about the week ahead. I understand that, but I see it as idolatrous nonetheless. We MUST study God’s Word for ourselves at some stage in our lives, and heavily, if we are going to avoid being pulled into the Last Day’s Deception which the Bible promises us and which in fact seems to be upon us now also in the charismatic, full gospel church scene.

I first heard about Joseph Prince from my pastor at the time on the Gold Coast who heard him speak at a Hillsong Conference. This pastor told me he considered Joseph Prince to be a false teacher, that he teaches salvation without the need for repentance or godly living, and that to preach the Ten Commandments at all makes you a “preacher of death”. Hearing this report made me lose more respect for Brian Houston, the leader of the Hillsong Megachurch. For you see, Brian Houston must be very appreciative of the teachings of Joseph Prince. This is evidenced firstly by the repeated invitations to minister at the huge Hillsong Conferences, and secondly by the glowing endorsement Houston wrote on the back of the book I just referred to. But rather than focus at this stage on names, I would like to look at the actual ideas that Joseph Prince is promoting, and compare them with Scripture. In the end it will be for my readers to decide which doctrine they will believe, and which doctrine conforms most to the spirit and intent of the Scriptures as they are written.

I hope to write more on this subject later and soon, because the situation can’t be properly addressed in a short blog post like this one. But it should be addressed as it relates to the very core of what our faith is about, and the issue of what God requires for those who wish to be reconciled to Him and saved. And because there is a real dearth of courageous pastors in the Pentecostal movement who are willing to rebuke false teachers, I, even I, will have a go. If the Lord should reveal further truth to myself or others in this process, may His Name be praised. We need a love of the truth to even make it into Christ’s Eternal Kingdom these days. The love of the truth is going to cost us something. Its NOT going to be effortless. Yes, Christ’s grace DOES empower us in the fight, and without Christ’s grace we would be utterly inadequate. It is to the true grace of God I look in order to be saved in these last days.

Let us remember the words of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven”.

Matthew 7:22  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?”

Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;’ depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

—-Mike Fackerell

www.christian-faith.com

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9 responses to “#0262sva – Joseph Prince: Lawless Grace

  1. savedbygrace September 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

    @@Now I don’t know about you, but the idea of “effortless success” kind of appeals to me
    ————————————————————————————–

    this is true to me. I have experienced it first hand.
    I have experienced success in career, health, family
    I have seen broken families come together.

    all this are effortless on my part

    @@Jesus, if I can have “effortless success (…..)” then why do you tell me to
    “make every effort” to enter salvation, or even worse, to “strive”?
    ————————————————————————————–

    ** You mean, If I wanted to be saved I need to

    1. Make every effort
    2. Strive

    ** what happens to what Paul said?

    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES;
    it is the GIFT of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.
    – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

    ** what happen to what Jesus said?

    But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
    – Matthew 10:33 (NKJV)

    ** Peter denied Jesus.. Three (3) times

    70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”
    72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”
    74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

    – Matthew 26:69-75 (NKJV)

    ** Salvation is effortless on our part. You just have to believe.

    ** “Efforless success” is a result of one kind of Work. believing.

    Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
    – John 6:29

    @@And Jesus, if you were so keen to do away with the moral requirements of the law,
    why did you seem to make it even tougher when you said
    ————————————————————————————–

    **Jesus was bringing the law keepers to the end of themselves, to make them realize
    they need “grace”

    **law does not make you righteous, but rather expose your sin (Romans 7:13)

    I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the
    law, Christ died for nothing!”
    – Galatians 2:21

    @@Jesus, is that teaching really for us today
    ————————————————————————————–

    **those words are for the Jews
    Jesus was talking to the Jews, bringing the Jews to the end of themselves

    **Did Jesus died for the Jews only? absolutely not!
    **Jesus died for the non jews also, for what?

    **Because of adam, all have become sinners. they sin because of adams sin

    for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law
    – romans 5:13

    **where there is no law, there is no sin

    For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, THEY ARE A LAW to
    themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the LAW IS WRITTEN
    on their HEARTS, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse
    or even excuse them
    – romans 2:14

    **Gentiles have Laws also. you know what is right and wrong, good and bad. that is law.

    @@This pastor told me he considered Joseph Prince to be a false teacher, that he teaches
    salvation without the need for repentance or godly living, and that to preach the Ten
    Commandments at all makes you a “preacher of death”
    ————————————————————————————–

    **”he teaches salvation without the need for repentance”
    - very interesting. please show me proof about this, so I can blog about it too

    **”and that to preach the Ten Commandments at all makes you a “preacher of death”

    if the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is
    the ministry that brings righteousness!
    – 2 Corinthians 3:9

    **I believe we should more on the ministry that preaches righteousness
    the ministry that preaches righteousness, preaches the Gospel of grace

    For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL, for it is the power of God for salvation to
    everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
    For in it the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from faith for faith
    – Romans 1:16-17

    @@Its NOT going to be effortless. Yes, Christ’s grace DOES empower us in the fight, and
    without Christ’s grace we would be utterly inadequate. It is to the true grace of God I
    look in order to be saved in these last days.
    ————————————————————————————–

    **IT IS EFFORTLESS.

    You cannot even save yourself can you?

    Your part is simple. Believe

    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES;
    it is the GIFT of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.
    – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

    @@Let us remember the words of Jesus Christ:
    Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
    but he WHO DOES THE WILL of My Father in heaven”.
    ————————————————————————————–

    **What is the will of the Father?

    For my Father’s WILL IS that EVERYONE WHO LOOKS TO THE SON and BELIEVES IN HIM shall have
    eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
    – John 6:40

    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.
    – John 3:16

    • sandyvanasch September 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Dear Saved by Grace:

      Joseph Prince isn’t teaching something “new.” This type of teaching has been going on since the early church days. It is called: Antinomianism. Please look into this teaching before you try to defend Joseph Prince. Yes, Prince is a nice looking man and very attractive speaker, however, we need to take into account what he is actually teaching and not what we “think” he is teaching.

      Yours in Christ and in Defense of the Word,
      Sandy

  2. savedbygrace September 29, 2011 at 11:48 am

    so sorry for adding more, here’s the ministry of death

    But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away
    – 2 Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV)

  3. savedbygrace September 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    @@Joseph Prince isn’t teaching something “new.” This type of teaching has been going on since the early church days.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Yes, I believe It was the apostle Paul who was first accused of such.

    @@It is called: Antinomianism.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    **I tried searching the Bible for that word. and found none. but I have found it in the internet

    “Antinomianism is that terrible misunderstanding of grace that says, “Because you are saved, you are always saved and it does not matter what you do.” The first two statements are right – because you are saved, you are always saved – but if you go on to say, “Therefore it doesn’t matter what I do”, then the question is: Are you saved at all?” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (The Banner of Truth, Issue 577, Oct. 2011)

    @@Please look into this teaching before you try to defend Joseph Prince. Yes, Prince is a nice looking man and very attractive speaker, however,
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    **Hey, I never said Pastor Prince is a nice looking man and attractive. ? you were the one who said it.

    **I am not defending pastor Prince. I am defending “Effortless Success”, something I have experience and not heard from anyone.

    @@we need to take into account what he is actually teaching and not what we “think” he is teaching.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    ** everything the guy preaches is from the bible. this guy preaches a LOT about Jesus.

    **why don’t you expose those preachers who does not even mentioned Jesus?
    **why don’t you expose those preachers who teaches the correlation of Judo to Christianity?

    **this guy exposes the Love and Grace of God for the broke, for the poor, for the sinners.

    • sandyvanasch September 30, 2011 at 7:55 am

      Dear Saved by Grace:
      If you have read very much of this blog you will see that I have exposed many other “false teachers” and not just Jospeh Prince. I know you really like this man, but I must warn you that he is also a false teacher. That is why I published the two articles that I did to warn people about his teachings.

      Thank you for your comments and you are definately entitled to your own opinion. We must agree to disagree.
      In His Service,
      Sandy

  4. Mickey Hotten October 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    First time here. Excellent site. Great post.

  5. Michael K October 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I am going to agree with savedbygrace. I have watched Joseph Prince, I have read the scriptures that he points to and I have read the context. If he is a “false teacher” than the entire Word is false. His ministry of grace is clearly from the Word of God. It is the new covenant of Jesus Christ and it is effortless. Attacking those who preach the Word is nothing new in this world. Calling those with a true gift for speaking the message of Jesus Christ false teachers is nothing new. I would urge those who read this opinion blog to read the Word and pray on it. Then ask yourself if God and his grace are too radical for you. Maybe Jesus is too radical too. Joseph Prince is preaching love, grace and favor. Others here are preaching condemnation, sin and casting doubt. Hmmmm which of those sound like the Word of God and which sounds like the words of world (man or woman)?

    Ephesians 2:4-10

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

    8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

    • sandyvanasch October 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Michael:
      Please read my latest blog regarding Joseph Prince and his teaching. I published a letter that was a reply from the Christian Research Institute when I questioned them on Prince’s teachings.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Take Care
      Sandy

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