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The Persecuted Church

 

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Joseph Prince’s Conflicting Message of grace by his word faith teaching

the exaggerated gospel of grace.

Joseph prince is a word faith teacher, the teachings of Kenneth Hagin, John Osteen and others have severely affected his teachings on grace.

Prince- if you don’t confess your sins to God you are not accountable for what you are doing wrong, you are making excuses for more sin.

We are forgiven fully in a judicial sense, that we will not be judged for sin because Jesus was judged in our place but we still need to confess to God and to people we offend when we do wrong and sin.

The most important teaching of Prince that cannot be overlooked is that he does not believe we are sinners anymore, therefore we no longer need to confess sin to be cleansed of it. He teaches all our sins are forgiven therefore there is no reason to acknowledge them to the Lord.

Ps 51:1-3 “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”

God has always told his people to confess their sins.

Joseph Prince teaches:

We have no need to repent; Nor confession; there is no need for identifying sin or rectifying sin.

Paul continually spoke of walking in the Spirit to not fulfill the desires of the flesh, you can’t do this without being conscious of what you do wrong. We don’t focus on the law to do this but Christ, who is the perfect example as the one who fulfilled the law and Jesus always showed us right from wrong


Prince says we are always righteous, that there is no difference between positional righteousness in Christ and practical righteousness. That we are just like Jesus today.

Let’s get this straightened out. God put all our sins on Jesus, he was judged for them all and paid the price so that we will pass from death to life. We will not be punished for our sins as the unbelievers are punished for their sins. But we will still be accountable for what we do wrong and we can have a loss of rewards later for doing things wrong. We are in need to have the Lord CONTINUALLY cleanse us of sin’s stain that comes from its action when we do it, from not confessing what we do wrong.

How can we know this? The bible says so to the saved, to believer’s.

Eph. 4:22-24 “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Paul explains we have two natures and they are at war in us. Prince’s idea of completed sanctification is wrong. It only ends by when we are completed and glorification is applied.

Rom. 7:18-20 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

So Paul explained what the war was like in himself and he is the one who wrote much of the Scripture on these matters. What of God chastening all those he loves? It is to CORRECT them. God does judge us for our sin, our salvation is not in question (i.e. depending on what it is), but our works will be judged.

It is wrong and presents a counter productive message to say we are without sin. When we sin, confession is needed. Sin is still resident alongside the new nature, we have a battle of whom we will obey each day.

Rom. 7:15-20: "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

Sin dwells in me! Sorry Paul you are wrong because Joseph Prince says… That is what has to be said by those who accept his interpretation of grace.

Paul further explains in v:23-25 "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God-- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."

The law of sin! Sorry Paul you are wrong because Joseph Prince says… If you are one of those who are loyal to man (Joseph Prince) then how are you loyal to the word of God.

James explains how sin is birthed. Jm.1:14-15 “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” The source of sin doesn’t come from the outside but from within, which means we still have sin within us. The temptation to sin t comes from outside and brings life to what is already there.

For Prince to be right it would mean that we have no desire left in us to sin which would make us all just like Jesus already (which is what our future glorification is about), and we would be able to resist sin 100% of the time.

Prince’s message of grace is mixed with estranged word faith concepts that end up being consumed by the listener who welcomes them because he has been choked by law.

Prince states:

"Exactly through grace you are dead for sin and you can stop sinning." If you go and ask for forgiveness, you actually immediately deny grace. You see it is like this; instead of receiving undeserved favour, we earn our forgiveness by asking for it.

Here again Prince draws a unique conclusion: he states that if we ask for forgiveness, we want to earn it ourselves. That “God does not require you to search your heart and locate your sins before you can worship Him.´ (Destined to Reign p.173) then why does James says Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8). He is not speaking to unbelievers for he says in James 3:1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

Joseph Prince is teaching that Christians do not need to examine themselves for sin, therefore the conclusion is that it is already removed or insignificant to God. Does not the Bible tell us to approach him honestly and in truth. What he has neglected to understand is that cleansing and forgiveness are not the same.

Jn.16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.

The truth is that we still sin. If one says we are no longer sinners that means we are perfected, our sanctification has ended and we are glorified which is last transformation the whole church experiences as death is defeated and we are made immortal in OUR BODIES. This becomes a problem as Paul said of himself “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” Phil 3:12. At the end of his life he said he ran the race “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7)

What is there to keep if there is not sin to contend with? As the writer of Hebrews explains of this race “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” something that he could not say if Prince is correct (Heb. 12:1)

To deny any confession of sin shows that Prince does not see the depth of sin in the human condition and how we must have a glorification to resolve this, not just justification or sanctification. In fact this can certainly affect the preaching of the gospel message if one does not understand that to be saved does not mean we are relieved of sin in this life. This has become a popular trend used by neo evangelical (word faith) teachers.

If we are forgiven already we can do whatever we want to, because all our sin is covered? Do the people who follow this teaching of Prince think God will purposely overlook our sins because Jesus died for them already. Then why all the warnings in the scripture of NOT sinning. Prince focuses on certain scriptures that accentuate grace, and ignores those that qualify grace; Christians can and do sin, and sometimes it can bring disaster.

Our mind is also affected by sin. Sin shows its outworkings through our actions (Ps. 58; Job 15:14, 25:4; Eph. 2:3; Rom. 5:12-19), though we cannot see sin express itself all the time, it is still there waiting to come alive. Like a piece of firewood ready to be kindled by a small flame (James explains how sin is birthed Jm.1:14-15). The source of sin doesn’t come from the outside but from within us, even as Christians, it brings life to what is already there on the inside, the old nature, the old man,

V.16 of James 1 ‘Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” That’s Good advice, Godly advice.

In other words for Prince to be right, this would mean that we have no desire left in us to do wrong which would make us all just like Jesus before we are glorified. We would be able to resist sin 100% of the time. Be honest with yourself, do you live like this?

I Timothy 1:15, Paul told Timothy that he, Paul, is the chief of sinners. He did not say, “I was” the chief of sinners. He used the present tense: I am chief. He still considered himself as being a sinner by nature and saw himself as committing acts of sin. Our regenerated human spirit wars against the old sin nature (Gala. 5:16-17 and Rom. 7:15-25.) Rom 7:17 “But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” The old nature is not removed, instead we are given power to exercise rulership over it, control. It is present but it can be ruled over by the Spirit. But one has to be conscious of what it is to rule over it.

Personal sin committed by individual believers may be either willful acts or acts done out of ignorance

Sin is a lifestyle that is constantly practiced with little or no restraint by unbelievers (even those who hold to morality as humanists). As believers we too can sin, but for us it is described as a weakness in the flesh and even a deception as John further explains. I Jn. 1:6-7 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Notice he says cleanse, not removed.

He goes on “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

The Book of I John was written to believers and speaks about believers. John used the pronoun we, he includes himself in this statement. In verse 8, John pointed out the fact that believers still have the sin nature. According to Scripture, there still is sin in the believer's life.

Prince tells people that John is addressing the Gnostics not believers. Read again carefully. He speaks of our fellowship being affected with God and man, about practicing the truth or a lie, walking in the light. (John’s letter basically addresses gnostic teaching that is coming into the church. That teaching is that we do not have sin!)

Confession is needed. As John addressed the body, the church 1 Jn 2:1 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

If we rewrite this from Princes perspective it can say my adults I write to you seeing that you have overcome all sin, therefore we have no more need for an advocate.

The word of God cleanses us from the influence of the world when we submit to it. It brings correction, showing us the way to walk pleasing to the Lord; Eph. 5:26 “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.”

But only the blood cleanses us from sin. And it continually cleanses if we are honest with God (1 Jn.1:6-9). The blood is applied when one is willing to confess and turn from sin. Otherwise we do not have a clear conscience.

2 Cor. 7:1 “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Perfecting is a word that means to undergo change.

On 2 Corinthians 7:1 Perfecting holiness epitelountes (NT:1980) hagioosuneen (NT:41). Not merely negative goodness (cleansing), but aggressive and progressive (present tense of epiteleoo (NT:1980) holiness, not a sudden attainment of complete holiness, but a continuous process (1 Thessalonians 3:13; Romans 1:4,6). (Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)

If what Prince is saying is true then none of the commands of “do not” to Christians have any weight, we don’t need to be concerned about our conduct or our actions because we are forgiven before we offend. In fact there is no offence to be recognized as sin. That is not a good place to be living in.

There are also Old Testament principles that continue for the believer in the new covenant.

Ps 19:12 “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.”

Ps 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” How? By the blood of Christ.

The question for those who follow this kind of teaching is, does God want you to know when you do wrong, something against Him so you can correct yourself? To say we need not know our sin or confess our sins is not practicing Christianity.

Our example is from Paul who taught on grace. 2 Tim. 2:19-21 “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”

Paul is saying there two categories of people in the church, some who are in sin need to separate from the sin they practice so they can be used of the Lord. What does he say to do, cleanse themselves. If we only had this scripture it would be sufficient, but there are so many more.

2 Peter 1:9 “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” What about current sins?

God does not judge us for our sin as he does unbelievers, our salvation may not be in jeapordy, but our works will be judged whether they were done in God or not. 2 Cor. 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (bema) , that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

bema from the base of 939; a step, i.e. foot-breath; by implication, a rostrum, i.e. a tribunal:

judgment-seat, set [foot] on, throne. Clearly the bad is not the actions of a believer before Christ, but since they became a believer.

1 Tim 5:24-25 : “Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.”

Prince states there is no more judgment for the believer, neither on earth or in heaven.

He actually says that he never encountered anyone that said “now I can go out and sin because of grace.” They certainly may not plan their sin, yet this is the very thing Paul addressed in Rom. 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” V.15 “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”

Someone may not say the words Prince said, but the attitude is not to be overlooked. If one thinks they are accepted by God no matter what they do, forgiven, having no consequences they are sorely deluded and ignore some core teachings in Scripture.

“Wrong doctrine is worse than wrong behavior” (“Destined to Reign” by Joseph Prince p.258)

When you believe correctly you will live correctly.” His instruction “Don’t worry about living correctly, worry about believing correctly.” (Daystar network.)

While it is true that right doctrine is to bring right living, we need to consider that Prince does not have right doctrine. His statements are no guarantee of ones obedience which is a matter of surrendering their will to the Lord in each circumstance they face.

Prince says if you believe right you have grace. Anything more than genuine grace is artificial.

Just because someone recognizes some of the difference in covenants and speaks on the Mosaic law not being part of grace does not mean Prince correctly applies grace. He speaks against the law but uses examples of grace from the Old Testament such as Joseph whom God had planned to be a ruler and makes this a general promise for all under grace “everything you touch will prosper” (promotion of unmerited favor video). That’s not grace teaching that is WORD FAITH.

 

pt.2  Joseph Prince and his message of "radical grace" - PLUS his word faith teachings.

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