because as he is so also are we in this world. - 1John 4: 17b
I have written extensively about Pastor Joseph Prince. I do so because I honestly feel that he is the most dangerous preacher alive today, luring hundreds of thousands of people down the broad path that leads to destruction. Jesus often taught that he who has ears let him hear. You can listen to a Joel Osteen and hear the dripping heresy, if you truly wanted to hear. You can listen to a Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, or any other number of false teachers and hear so much that is unbiblical; if you truly wanted to hear. What makes Prince dangerous is that he is not always as obvious. He too presents a gospel people want to hear. It obviously scratches itching ears but unless you are grounded in the Word and do the work of a Berean, so may miss the leaven running throughout his sermons.
As I have written before, Prince is the king of eisegesis, which is a fancy term for reading your own bias into the biblical text. Joseph Prince makes no bones about it. He claims divine revelation. He claims God talks directly to him. He claims that God gave him his "gospel of grace" even though the Bible makes clear that any man preaching a different gospel let him be accursed. Thoroughly trained in the word faith heresy by his admitted mentor and renowned heretic, Kenneth Hagin, Prince has created a movement of apostasy unseen before these times. The heresy Prince favors is known as antinomianism. This is another fancy word, simply meaning someone who does not believe the law applies to Christians. That grace covers everything. It is essentially a license to sin. Because Prince feels so passionately about his false gospel, he no longer approaches the Bible to hear from God. Instead, he approaches the Bible to prop up his gospel at all costs. As he has had to go deeper into the biblical texts, he has become more and more sloppy and obvious however. Let us look today at the eisegetical master at work in a sermon entitled, "You Stand Permanently In The Favor of God." It can be found here:
There is a butchering of two different portions of Scripture here to support his false grace message. The first is taken from Romans 5. What was interesting was his own PowerPoint said verses 1-9, yet he only showed verses 1 and 2. I wondered immediately why that was. Here are verses 1 and 2:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. - Romans 5: 1-2 (ESV)
He uses these two verses to support his teaching that the work of the cross covers our past, present and future. This is exactly why he is so dangerous. The work of the cross does cover our sins; past through future. That however is in regard to our eternal position when we stand before Christ for judgment. Prince applies it to us today though. He correctly uses the portion that says we have been justified through faith to show that God has forgiven whatever we did in the past. Next however he uses the portion that reads, "we have peace with God" to explain that this means our present position is one of irrevocable favor with God. Huh? Is that what the Apostle Paul was trying to convey here? Absolutely not. This is the quintessential example of eisegesis. Prince theology says that we never stop being blessed by God. That His favor never ends for us as believers. Heck just look at the title of this sermon! So he approaches Romans 5 looking for a way to support his pre-formed opinions. The full context of Romans 5 however shows this is talking about our eternal sin problem being resolved by Calvary. The peace we now enjoy with God is peace from His wrath; not an all access pass to Temporal Blessing Park. In fact, simply progressing to verse 3 reveals why Prince stopped at verse 2:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. - Romans 5: 3-5 (ESV)
Sufferings? You will never hear that word escape the lips of Joseph Prince. He once mangled the story of Ananias and Sapphira, pretending they were not saved because God would never punish His children. He once preached that the flood was not an act of wrath but rather, mercy. Similarly, Prince would tell you we are exempt from sufferings because of the work of the cross. Remember - we stand permanently in the favor of God! As if this were not enough however, Prince goes on to say that the portion reading, "we rejoice in hope of the glory of God" means that our future is secured with blessings as well because "hope" always speaks of the future. While it is true that Prince found two verses that deal with a past, present, and future scenario, that does not mean what he reads into the text. The remaining context destroys the transparent arguments Prince was trying to make:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. - Romans 5: 6-9 (ESV)
Beloved, only Joseph Prince can take a set of verses meant to describe the sacrifice God made of His only Son and turn it into a teaching on unrelenting blessings. Only Prince can take a teaching that should be about our eternal position in Christ and make it out to be about temporal blessings here on earth. This is what happens when you approach the Bible with pre-drawn conclusions. To try and further bolster his arguments, he turns to the Genesis story of Joseph. Pastor Prince tries to make the argument that because the Bible says that God prospered Joseph in Potiphar's house, that he was one of these "permanently favored" folks. Moving past the notion however that being sold into slavery by your brothers, serving as a slave, being falsely accused of rape, spending 11 years in prison and an additional two more after being forgotten is not exactly "favored"; Prince crosses the line again when explaining why Joseph resisted the advances of Mrs. Potiphar.
"When you feel called to the higher things you don't go down to the lower things. That's why he was able to say no to Potiphar's wife." - Joseph Prince
Say what? Now it is important to understand what Prince is trying to do here. What he is trying to sell. He is selling the notion that we are always under favor from God. That there is never any rebuke or reproach. He has lifted Joseph up as an example, which is biblically inaccurate but now he must try and defend it. Here is the problem Prince runs into. Joseph did not refuse the advances of Potiphar's wife because she was beneath him. He was a slave and essentially, she was his owner. So what was Joseph really thinking?
And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" - Genesis 39: 7-9 (ESV)
Does this show us that Joseph considered himself to have a higher calling and not want to "go down to lower things?" No beloved. This shows that Joseph was sin conscious. He did not want to sin against God. Keep in mind that he was but a 17 year old boy. Yet he still considered God before he would commit such wickedness. So what is the problem for Prince? That runs opposite to his grace message! Joseph Prince routinely preaches that we should not be sin conscious! As we will soon see, even in this very message he implores his listeners to not even ask if they are pleasing God! So instead of performing sound exegesis of this story he is forced to perform eisegesis to prop up his false gospel. The most egregious Bible mangling was yet to come and is found in our key verse snippet today. I say snippet because it is only part of a verse. Yet it becomes the tag line for this sermon as Prince repeats it over and over again. Prince refers casually to 1John 4:17 and claims that God says that as Jesus is, so are we. Let the Bible mangling begin: