Thursday, September 11, 2008

Review of Joseph Prince's Destined to Reign

Updates (29 Oct 2008): Go here for a deeper look into Joseph Prince's 'Destined to Reign'


Warning: Those who worship Joseph Prince may not want to read this post as they have other better things to do.

Kenny (a.k.a Blogpastor) has posted TTC's OT Lecturer Gordon Wong's generous, thoughtful, and gracious review of Joseph Prince's book 'Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness, and Victorious Living'.

Gracious review? Yes, very gracious indeed.

I love to see caliber scholars giving public review of such fuzzy books. These efforts, at least, help to uncover the fact that God's Word is not up for confused authors/preachers to domesticate according to their whims.

Terms such as 'grace', 'ten commandments', 'St. Paul', 'Jesus', and 'destiny' being applied in the book. To draw a wider theologians' review, I've speculated what these theologians have to say concerning how each of these big words being used in Joseph's book.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, reading the expounded grace in the book, shakes his head and says, "Cheap 'grace'."

Robert Jenson and Stanley Hauerwas, reading the expounded nature of the ten commandment in the book, shake their heads and say, "Cheap 'god'."

John Piper, reading the title, shakes his head and says, "Cheap 'destiny'."

James Dunn, reading the portrayed St. Paul's view on issues about grace and law in the book, shakes his head and says, "Cheap 'St. Paul'."

James Charlesworth, reading the portrayed Jesus, shakes his head and says, "Cheap 'Jesus'."

St. Francis of Asisi, reading the subtitle of the book, shakes his head and says, "Cheap living."

OK, perhaps it's too harsh to place these renowned heavyweight scholars on Joseph's book. So, I've decided to seek the opinion of a non-theologically-trained lay person about the book:

Bill Gates: "Cheap book."


Steven Sim said...

Barak Obama: Cheap Hope

Malaysian Christian: Ciplak (lit. pirated - fig. for cheap stuff)

Steven Sim

Sze Zeng said...

LOL!! That's a good one, Malaysian :)

ChenHuaiZhi said...

Singaporean Christian: Cheap Cheap! Must buy!

;-P said...

Cheap or not...does it matter?

Wouldn't you agree he is just the most handsome, charismatic, cool, gorgeous, telegenic pastor you'd have ever seen?

Joel Tay said...

LOL. Name me one heretic in church history that was not Charismatic in speaking.

Kar Yong said...

LKY: Cheap meh? When I can I have a free review copy so that I could write my review? :-)

Stephanie said...

This is what Lord revealed to my sister when I commented about what you have quoted from various people their comment on Pastor Prince. Lord said those who come against Pastor Prince will be judged.

Regarding honoring the Authority given by God, you could watch last week sermon on Kenneth Coperland ministry site. John Bevere had talked about Honor the Authority given by God. Those who dishonor will be cursed.

Stephanie said...

From my 2 years siting under Pastor Prince and the other pastors, I know that Lord Jesus Grace did not come cheap.

How can it be cheap when Lord Jesus had to suffer so much to remove our sins, curses and sicknesses? He was hanged on the cross from 9am to 3pm. If those "caliber scholars" could say it's cheap. I could only shake my head and say that they don't what Lord Jesus has done for the whole human race.

What Pastor Prince shared is the beauty of Lord Jesus and how much Daddy God love us.

Through this revelation, Lord, the Holy Spirit come to walk with me a close relationship and talk to me and my sis.

I thank Pastor Prince for being such a faithful son of God. Holy Spirit even asked me to write a thank you note for Pastor Prince for being a faithful son of His in my testimony to be submitted soon, when I receive my great blessing from the Lord!

I am so grateful to Lord Jesus for suffering all the stripes, the shame, that in Isaiah 53 said that He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.....Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushes for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.

How can this be cheap??? Our peace and wholeness all came from Lord Jesus doing so much to open the way to Heaven to us. It's the beauty of Lord Jesus. Jesus = Grace.

In the burning bush, Lord said He is I am...

What ever you lack, you could pray to Lord that He be your whatsoever lack. You believe, you get it.

He is so good to us, how can this be cheap!!!

All I could say is their eyes are blinded.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Stephanie,

Whether Joseph Prince is God's authority or not is subjected to those who regards him as such. Just as whether Joseph Smith is God's authority depends on whether are you a Mormon or not. Hence our perception whether is he really God's authority or not is subjected to our own inclination.

After reading your comment on Bonhoeffer's use of 'cheap grace', i can't help but to wonder do you actually understand what does Bonhoeffer means by that term?

He uses the term in his book titled 'The Cost of Discipleship'.

So perhaps, you want to re-read it again (given the fact that you commented on it, i assume you had read it).

Thank you for your comments.

Thy Word Is Truth said...

Personally, I don't like the term cheap grace. There is no price to God's Grace, it cannot be valued.

It is obvious that NCC mix and match the true Gospel of Grace together with many false and un-biblical teachings on wealth and health teachings and other heresies. It is so subtle, many people are deceived.

Just read the following from the NCC and compare it to the scriptures on why Christ came for His sheep. Did Christ suffered and died on the cross so as to give His sheep "the power to get wealth, all good things you can think of and more" !

Amazing Heresy !

"Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour will not only save you from sin and hell, but also give to you health, joy, peace, love, hope, unconditional acceptance, favour, the power to get wealth, all good things you can think of and more."

But why do people continue to go to NCC and says "amen" to all the false teachings? Because they like the NCC's version of "God" and the "Jesus Christ", they really prefer a "god of fortune", a false idol or "golden calf" who can promised them health and wealth.

"Believe right and you will live right" ? Well true, but you got to feed the sheep: TRUTH.

xer2003 said...

To Stephanie: do not fall into a devil's trap when you see one. They were ex-buddhist. You don't response if you don't believe or agree what they wrote.

Thy Word Is Truth said...

Joseph Prince does teach strange views of scripture and unorthodox theology. According to Stephanie, who commented and also blog on a Joseph Prince's sermon, Joseph Prince teaches that the rider of the white horse (Rev 6:2) is a false christ teaching false doctrines?

"Matthew 24:4-5 ‘Jesus answered:’ “watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in name claiming, “I am the Christ”, and will deceive many.’ – This is the white horse mentioned in Revelation 6:2 ‘I looked and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest’ – This evil spirit tries to impersonate Lord Jesus on the white horse! This false doctrine/thinking attacks towards the west of the tribe of Judah, which had the banner of lion."

One just need to go a good commentary such as Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown (1871) or Matthew Henry (1714):

"We have the vision itself, Rev 6:2. (1.) The Lord Jesus appears riding on a white horse. White horses are generally refused in war, because they make the rider a mark for the enemy; but our Lord Redeemer was sure of the victory and a glorious triumph, and he rides on the white horse of a pure but despised gospel, with great swiftness through the world. (2.) He had a bow in his hand. The convictions impressed by the word of God are sharp arrows, they reach at a distance; and, though the ministers of the word draw the bow at a venture, God can and will direct it to the joints of the harness. This bow, in the hand of Christ, abides in strength, and, like that of Jonathan, never returns empty. (3.) A crown was given him, importing that all who receive the gospel must receive Christ as a king, and must be his loyal and obedient subjects; he will be glorified in the success of the gospel. When Christ was going to war, one would think a helmet had been more proper than a crown; but a crown is given him as the earnest and emblem of victory. (4.) He went forth conquering, and to conquer. As long as the church continues militant Christ will be conquering; when he has conquered his enemies in one age he meets with new ones in another age; men go on opposing, and Christ goes on conquering, and his former victories are pledges of future victories. He conquers his enemies in his people; their sins are their enemies and his enemies; when Christ comes with power into their soul he begins to conquer these enemies, and he goes on conquering, in the progressive work of sanctification, till he has gained us a complete victory. And he conquers his enemies in the world, wicked men, some by bringing them to his foot, others by making them his footstool. Observe, From this seal opened, [1.] The successful progress of the gospel of Christ in the world is a glorious sight, worth beholding, the most pleasant and welcome sight that a good man can see in this world."

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown (1871), what does it says?
"Evidently Christ, whether in person, or by His angel, preparatory to His coming again, as appears from Rev 19:11-12"

Rev 19:11-13
"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God."

Advice to all adorers of Joseph Prince, be like Berean Christians, check and compare scriptures to see if the teachings are indeed truth.

Christ did gave many gifted men to His Church in the last 2000 years, which is long NCC and JP came to the scene.

There is no new theology under the sun.

xer2003 said...

What's your name? "Thy Word Is Truth"? ..pute..pute..sorry. Do you read your bible often? Deut 8:18 "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. ". You sound learned but real empty ...

Thy Word Is Truth said...

Oh Yes, the God of the Bible will supply all my NEEDS.(Phil 4:19)

The God of the Bible is also SOVEREIGN meaning He is free to make His own decisions, He is free to make some of His sheep rich and some ....poor.

For some reality check, visit here:

Luk 12:15 And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Mat 6:19-21 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Gee....have you ever wonder WHO said these wise words

JP's and NCC's Health and Wealth teachings from "those who have transformed the gospel into a product to be sold and sinners into consumers who want to buy, to others who treat Christian faith as being true simply because it works."

"God does not exist to satisfy human ambitions, cravings, the appetite for consumption, or our own private spiritual interests."

Jamie said...

Religous people were the problem in the bible days and they still are the problem today. Joseph Prince is one of a few preachers who preach the true gospel. Which is the Gospel of Grace. There is no other gospel. It is what Paul preached and it came with the new covenant after the cross. View the bible in two parts, old testament is the old covenant with pictures of the new to come, new testament which starts after the cross is the new covenant. It clears everthing up. Just listen to Prince and if you really want the truth God will show you. He loves you and paid a great price for the new coventant of grace. The old one depended on us, the new covenant depends on Jesus' finished work. Makes since. You know you can't do it. Those who say it is cheap don't know Jesus or understand the finished work of the cross..What a slap in the face to Jesus....

Stanley Wong said...

St SW to St SZ: Cheap Shot!

I did not expect this mocking attitude (you and some others may think it is humour but I do not) from you judging from your review of Pastor Prince's book.

You are free to disagree with Pastor Prince but your mocking stands in stark contrast to Mr Gordon Wong's graciousness.

While you may also mock at those who support Pastor Prince as those who "worship" him, you do give me the impression that you worship all those famous names which you like to sprinkle all over your blog.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi SW,

Yes, this is a humor. No offense is intended. So I apologize if it appeared otherwise to you.

Yet I also have to agree with you that you have the impression that I worship these people in the same way I have the impression that there are people who worship JP. So that's not really an issue.

Kit Fan said...

Cheap grace? is that it, your review of the book which accurately expounded the grace of God as cheap grace?


Galatians 5:4
King James Bible
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

no wonder you dislike Pastor Prince's teachings! Like the law guardians (namely, old pharisees), you will never be happy to see churches BLESSED completely out of this world by Jesus. Like Jesus turn around and blessed the poor in the bible, healed ALL who come for healing. The only ones unhappy are the law guardians.

And of cos, Christ is of NO EFFECT unto you. HAHA. Have a good life without Christ! Suffer more ok?

a mark of ur self effort - poorer, better. More diseases and deaths- best sia! How bout everyone in ur household dying? that's good news - Jesus must have done it, so that you learn how to be without ur family. independence.

Or perhaps it's sins? Cos if we dig each others' sins, it will take like years and years. Good grief. It's sad really, when Christians do not know the true value of Jesus. Who died to make you a policeman?

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Kit Fan,

Have you really read any of my review of JP's book?

Truth Prevail said...

Could anyone please explain the scriptures below in relation to Prince's teaching?
Hebrews 6:4-6, For it is impossible to keep on restoring to repentance time and again people who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of God's word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, as long as they continue to crucify to themselves the Son of God and to expose Him to public ridicule. And again in Hebrews 10:26-31, For if we sin willfully (voluntarily, willingly) after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He who despised Moses' Law died without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy of punishment, the one who has trampled the Son of God, and who has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who has said, "Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, says the Lord." And again, "The Lord shall judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

John Rimestad said...

the book of Hebrews was written to the Hebrews between the time Jesus died 34 AD and the destruction of the temple 74 AD. The fiery indignation that Paul referred to happened when the temple was destroyed 40 years after the crucifixion of our Lord.
If you read the book of Hebrews carefully it becomes apparent that God gave the jews 40 years to repent but they refused and the temple was destroyed. This is analogous to the 40 years the children of Israel were wandering in the desert. The first generation after the Exodus never reached the promised land, but died in the desert. Paul expounds on this in his letter/s to the Hebrews.

John Rimestad said...

The reason the fiery indignation came was because the Hebrews as a whole didn't accept Jesus as their Savior and therefore - like the children of Israel - they couldn't enter the promised land of peace

Yawn said...

John Rimestad,

Don't try to con-text the truth away. Hebrew 6 was not talking about the unbelieving Jews but believers who have once believed. Jews were NEVER partakers of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Heb 6.

Did you notice that JP deliberately left out the portion, " ...who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have become sharers of the Holy Spirit..."

If Paul was talking about the Jews as a whole who reject Christ for 40 years and thus cannot be saved, then the present Israel nation has rejected Christ for almost 2,000 years. That would make them 50 times impossible for them to come to Christ. Yet the Bible says in the end time ALL Israel will be saved!!!

perlan89 said...

Israel saw Jesus in the flesh with their own eyes and saw his works, just like the Israelites saw God's works in the wilderness, therefore the judgment was so harsh. They saw with their own eyes, yet they didn't believe.
Jesus said that he wanted to gather the Jews under His wings, but they would not. As a result, the temple was burnt down, as prophesied.
Now however the Jews haven't seen Jesus in the flesh, nevertheless they have to believe in Jesus for salvation just like all people do.
How can I context the truth away? The only way to pervert the truth is to take verses out of context and read your own interpretation into them. Let scripture interpret scripture.
And yes, it is possible to partake of the heavenly gift without being saved. Judas was one of Jesus' disciples and he cast out demons and healed the sick. We also hear of a man who was a jew, and not a part of the disciples, how he tried to cast out a demon. (Mark 9:38) He had seen how the disciples exercised authority over the demons and healed people through the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples tried to stop him, but Jesus rebuked the disciples.
Moreover the disciples who followed Jesus weren't Christians, not yet. How can they be, since Jesus hasn't shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins? They were saved when Jesus, later on after the resurrection, breathed on them, then they received His Spirit.

perlan89 said...

You can taste something without eating and enjoying it. Just like some people, like e.g. non-Christian motivational speakers, attend a service where a preacher is preaching to hear his message. They only taste the sermon, they don't accept it as truth. They could get some ideas and some inspiration, but if they're atheists they will most likely be cynical when it comes to Jesus and the Cross.

Yawn wrote: "If Paul was talking about the Jews as a whole who reject Christ for 40 years and thus cannot be saved, then the present Israel nation has rejected Christ for almost 2,000 years. That would make them 50 times impossible for them to come to Christ. Yet the Bible says in the end time ALL Israel will be saved!!!"

The Jews COULD be saved, if they believed, but they rejected their Saviour. Some got saved of course, but not many. I didn't say they could never be saved. Salvation was offered to them, but their trust was in their offerings. Their trust was not in Jesus, the only acceptable offering that takes away the sins of the world, and they never accepted Jesus as their Savior, as a result there was no remission of sins, and just a fiery indignation remaining, which I've already written about above.
There is no other Saviour but Jesus.
But if the Hebrews had come to faith in Jesus, then they of course had been born again and escaped the fiery indignation. Those Jews who got born again heeded Jesus' advice: They fled to the mountains and escaped the fiery judgment, when the Jerusalem was attacked and the temple burnt down.