Some Errors of Joseph Prince

Joseph Prince promotes many errors in his teaching. Although you may love Joseph Prince, you must love Jesus and His Word more than Joseph Prince. The only sure way to distinguish truth from error will be to compare what Joseph Prince teaches with what the Bible says.

Error One: Prosperity Gospel

Joseph Prince teaches:

“You are destined to reign in life. You are called by the Lord to be a success, to enjoy wealth, to enjoy health, and to enjoy a life of victory. It is not the Lord’s desire that you live a life of defeat, poverty, and failure” (p. 1).

Subtitle to book: “The Secret to  Effortless Success, Wholeness and Victorious Living.”

“You are destined to reign in life. You are called by the Lord to be a success, to enjoy wealth, to enjoy health, and enjoy a life of victory.

“So If you are a businessman, God wants you to have a prosperous business. If you are a homemaker, you are anointed to bring up wonderful children in the Lord. If you are a student, God wants you to excel in all your examinations. And if you are trusting the lord for a new career, He doesn’t just want you to have a job; He wants you to have a position of influence so that you can be a blessing and an asset to your organization!”

“Whatever your vocation is, you are destined to reign in life because Jesus is Lord of your life. When you reign in life, you reign over sin, you reign over the powers of darkness, and you reign over depression, over poverty, over every curse, and over every sickness and disease. You REIGN over the devil and all his devices!” (Joseph Prince, Destined To Reign, 2007, p. 1.)

In contrast to Joseph Prince, the Word of God teaches:

Suffering for the Gospel  (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

Hunger, thirst, homeless, poorly clothed, beaten, reviled (1 Corinthians 4:11-12)

Jesus was homeless (Matthew 8:2)

Physical infirmities (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Stripes above measure, prisons, shipwrecked (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

Many tribulations (Acts 14:22)

Sufferings for the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 1 Peter 4:13; Romans 8:18)

Reigning with Christ in Romans 5:17 is future tense, not present.  Compare 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:5;  2 Peter 1:10-11.

Reigning over the devil and his devices.  Scripture says we should not be ignorant of the devil’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).  We will see “the God of Peace crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20), but that will be when Christ asserts His reign, not now.  Now, Satan pursues believers as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  Satan will use his power to cause believers all kinds of problems through his schemes and attacks (Ephesians 6).

The Christian life takes great effort: Ephesians 4:17-32.

Confessing Your Sins as a Believer

Joseph Prince teaches:

“Beloved, confessing your sins all the time will only make you more sin-conscious. But knowing that you are under Jesus’ waterfall of forgiveness will keep you forgiveness-conscious. And knowing that you are forgiven of all your sins will give you the power to reign over every destructive habit and live a life of victory.” (Destined To Reign,  p.109)

“But if you go and say “I’m going to be sensitive to sin to live holy. … you don’t realize you are doing the opposite. You are going to have more sin manifesting in your life, you’ll be dishonoring God” (program 210 Daystar, Sept 16, 2011).

“For us believers, the moment we received Jesus, all our sins were forgiven. We are not to live from confession to confession, but from faith to faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work. You see, there are no two ways about it. If you believe that you have confess your sins to be forgiven, then make sure that you confess everything! Make sure that you don’t just confess the `big sins’ (`big’ in your own estimation). Make sure that you also confess your sins every time you are worried, fearful, or in doubt. The Bible says that `whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ So don’t just confess what is convenient for you. Make sure that you confess everything.

“If you really believe that you need to confess all your sins to be forgiven, do you know what you would be doing? You would be confessing your sins ALL THE TIME! How then can you have courage before God? How can you enjoy liberty as a child of God? I tried it and it is impossible!” (Destined To Reign, pp. 106, 107).

“People have taken this verse and built a whole doctrine around it when actually, chapter 1 of 1 John was written to the Gnostics, who were unbelievers” (Destined to Reign p. 106)

In contrast to Joseph Prince, the Word of God teaches:

“If we confess our sins, then He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  See also 1 John 1:8, 10.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).

Both individually and corporately, the Bible commands us to confess our sins.  1 John was not written to gnostics as Joseph Prince claims, but to believers, so their joy would be full (1 John 1:4).  Notice the “we” of 1 John 1:10.  John was not a gnostic heretic, but a believer when he wrote “we” in 1 John 1:10.

The Holy Spirit and Conviction of Sin

Joseph Prince teaches:

“For generations, the body of Christ has been defeated and put under a constant siege of condemnation from the accuser because they believe wrongly that the Holy Spirit convicts believers of their sins” (Destined to Reign, p. 139.)

“The bottom line is that the Holy Spirit never convicts you of your sins. He NEVER comes to point out your faults. I challenge you to find a scripture in the Bible that tells you that the Holy Spirit has come to convict you of your sins. You won’t find any! The body of Christ is living in defeat because many believers don’t understand that the Holy Spirit is actually in them to convict them of their righteousness in Christ. Even when you fail, He is ever present in you to remind you that you are continually cleansed by the blood of Jesus. That’s the Holy Spirit. … When you’ve failed, the Holy Spirit convicts you of righteousness, not your sins.” (Destined To Reign,  pp.134, 135).

“My friends, God does not require you to search your heart and locate your sins before you can worship Him.´ (Destined to Reign p.173)

“Stop examining yourself and searching your heart for sin. Remember that when someone takes his sin offering to the priest, the priest does not examine him. He examines the sin offering” (ibid. p.187.)

In contrast to Joseph Prince, the Word of God teaches:

“The Holy Spirit will convict the world of concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).  The Greek word is ἐλέγξει from the root word meaning to convict, prove guilty, condemn, rebuke, reprove.

“If you brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother” (Matthew 18:15).  The word ἔλεγξον means here to convict or show him his fault.

“Preach the word; be ready in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).  The word ἔλεγξον means here to reprove, in the sense of showing the error.  It comes from a different root word ἐλέγχω, but with a very similar meaning.

“But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors”  (James 2:9).  The word here ἐλεγχόμενοι means to convict, refute, to shame, to find fault.

“and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MYSON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHLTY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAITH WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM” (Hebrews 12:5).  Here the word ἐλεγχόμενος also comes from ἐλέγχω, and means that God will reprove His children.

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).  Here  ἐλέγχω means to rerove of their evil deeds.

In all these cases, can you really imagine that God will not be helping the believers to confront evil in other believers?  If believers are commanded to reprove their brothers in Christ, will not the Holy Spirit be helping them?  Of course.

Also, consider the purpose and proper use of Scripture, including the Old Testament: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).  The word for reproof here is ἐλεγμόν and means refutation of error.

Since Scripture plays that role of refuting error for believers, will anyone seriously argue that the Holy Spirit will not use the Word of God to refute error and expose error in believers?

“But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29).  The Scripture actually commands you to examine yourself before you take communion.  In the context of 1 Corinthians 11, the emphasis rests upon your relationships with other Christians.

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves—unless indeed you fail the test” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Repentance and Sin

Joseph Prince teaches:

“Believers are often exhorted to repent from sin. However, in the New Testament we are actually exhorted to repent from dead works. You see, sin is simply the fruit, dead works are the root…. Dead works are not sins. They are the religious things people do, thinking that by doing these things, they are gaining righteousness with God.” (Destined to Reign p.234)

“The word ‘repent’ is the Greek word metanoeo, which according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, simply means ‘to change one’s mind’. … repentance just means changing your minds. But because of our own religious upbringing, many of us have the impression that repentance is something that involves mourning and sorrow. However, that is not what the Word of God says. Repentance just means changing your mind… When you begin to receive the revelation that you are no longer under the old covenant of law, but are now under the new covenant of grace, the bible calls that repentance!” (Destined To Reign, p.233, 234)

“Nevertheless, there are still people who insist that we have to preach on repentance. Well, I disagree! I think that we should do it God’s way – preach the goodness of God and allow the goodness of God to lead people to repentance.” (Destined to Reign p. 232)

In contrast to Joseph Prince, the Word of God teaches:

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.  For the sorrow that is according the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.  For behold, what earnestness this very thing, this Godly sorrow, has produced in you; what vindication, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong!  In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the manner” (2 Corinthians 7:9-11).

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19)

“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45-47)

“solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21)

“but kept declaring to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20).

The Value of the Old Testament and the Gospels Today

Joseph Prince teaches:

“If the church were to obey everything Jesus said in that passage, then it would look like a huge amputation ward!” (Destined To Reign, p. 93).

“So learn to rightly divide the Word of God whenever you read the Bible.  Not everything that Jesus said was spoken to the church.  Paul’s letters were written to the church and are thus for our benefit for today” (Destined To Reign, p. 94).

“God wants us to be able to rightly divide the Word.  He wants us to be astute in rightly dividing and clearly separating what belongs to the old covenant of law and what belongs to the new covenant of grace.  He wants us to be able to distinguish what occurred before the cross and what occurred after the cross, and to understand the difference the cross made.  Many believers today are living as if the cross did not make any difference at all! (Destined To Reign, p. 51).

“There’s one crucial fact that you need to recognize about the two incidents of God’s fiery judgment—they both took place in the Old Testament and before Jesus’ crucifixion” (Destined To Reign, p. 51).

In contrast to Joseph Prince, the Word of God teaches:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).  Clearly, the Bible teaches that the Old Testament remains profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness.  Compare 2 Peter 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20-21.

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).  Compare also 1 Corinthians 10:6 and the entire passage regarding what we must learn from the Old Testament.  See also Romans 4 on Abraham and David, and the entire book of Galatians to understand how the Old Testament helps us understand the New Testament.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).

“Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death” (John 8:51).

“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:” (Luke 6:47).

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Jesus expected us to teach everything that He commanded us to all the disciples until the end of age during which we make disciples.

“But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of  judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7).

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” (2 Peter 3:10-12).

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Some Errors of Joseph Prince