The False Teaching of Joseph Prince

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Joseph Prince

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Joseph Prince. I like the guy. He says a LOT of things that I think Christians and non-Christians need to hear. Unfortunately, those good things are mixed in with some very bad, unbiblical, dangerous teachings. I feel the need to caution most believers to avoid listening to Joseph Prince, who is a “Word of Faith” teacher.

The Word of Faith movement is made up of false teachings about God, about what it means to be human, and how the universe works. Here are some of the main beliefs held by Word of Faith teachers:

  1. Faith is a FORCE.
  2. Words are the containers of that force. Words, when spoken in faith, unleash their power.
  3. God used that power to create the universe: He spoke faith-filled words and the universe responded by doing what He said.
  4. You and I have that same power available to us, if we just do what God did… speak faith-filled words. We control reality itself.

The problem, of course, is that that’s totally bunk. It’s also entirely unbiblical. According to this way of thinking, it’s the universe that has the power, and God (like you and I) only tap into that power. Many, if not most of the Word of Faith teachers also teach that you and I are essentially gods… we aren’t just made in God’s image, but we are exact duplicates of God and have the same abilities as God. That too is nonsense.

It’s not for me to say whether Joseph Prince is a Christian. I’m hesitant to even call anyone a false teacher. It’s better, to me, to simply point out the false things that are being taught. Here are a few quotes from Joseph Prince:

“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.”

If that’s true, then Jesus – and all of His disciples except John – were terrible failures, since they were killed for their faith. They weren’t successful, wealthy, healthy, or victorious in the way Joseph Prince means.

“Faith is bringing out of the spirit realm what is already there, what is already true of you.”

This kind of mumbo-jumbo isn’t found in the Bible anywhere. What He means is (more quotes) that “you confess that you are rich because you are already rich” and “you confess that you are righteous because you are already righteous.”

What we find in the Bible is MORE THAN enough for every believer… we don’t need people making up stuff to make Christianity sound better, which is what Word of Faith teachers do. They teach that most Christians, for most of Christian history, have totally misunderstood Christianity. They then go on to teach things that Jesus would never say, and that contradict what He did say.

“You will never find an example of God punishing a believer for his sins in the new covenant.”

When we take a look at Hebrews 12:1-13, we see that Joseph Prince’s words directly contradict God’s Word. Reading 1 Corinthians 11:27-34 shows believers who got sick, and even died, from drinking judgment on themselves during communion.

When criticized for his false teaching, Prince has done what so many others have done. Rather than defend what he teaches with a clear interpretation of Scripture, he says that his teachings are the truth, and that those who criticize him are afraid of the truth, and that they have been duped by the devil.

If you are battling a condition in your body, the way to receive health is through the partaking of the holy Communion often, and with a revelation of what the elements represent.

This isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. What do we find in the Bible? James 5:15 says that the prayer of faith will make a person well. In 3 John 1:2 John says, I pray that you may enjoy good health. If taking communion is the way as Prince claims, wouldn’t John say that instead?

I’m still gathering details about what Joseph Prince teaches. Like I said, I really like him. I think he and I could be friends. If he sat down with me, I would challenge him to examine what he teaches in light of Scripture… one bit at a time. That’s what you and I should do, too: we should make sure that what we believe matches what God has already said.

False Teachers List

Disclaimer

Don’t bother commenting or emailing me about how I’m just wrong. It’s a waste of your time and mine. If you have something to say, include Scripture. I am far from perfect, and I can be wrong… so I don’t do any of this lightly, and I’m open to correction.

Don’t bother telling me how this person or that person helped you. It’s a waste of your time and mine. Nobody teaches lies and falsehoods all the time. In researching these topics, I’ve heard a LOT that I appreciated, and have been inspired by even those who are otherwise far from the truth. The number of times someone is right is irrelevant to the question of whether they also teach false things. We should appreciate anyone who teaches us the truth, but that doesn’t mean we should uncritically follow them when we see significant problems in their lives, in their ministries, and in their teaching. Neither your opinion nor mine matter here. What matters is what the Bible teaches, and whether those who preach and teach in Jesus’ name are teaching falsely.

If you can provide evidence that one of these people has recanted their false teaching, please let me know. I would love to amend their article to show that they have changed what they teach.

Finally: we who follow Jesus should not consider false teachers our enemies. If they’re not saved, we should pray for their salvation. If they are saved, we should pray that God will lead them to teach only the truth.


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36 responses to “The False Teaching of Joseph Prince”

  1. Craig Lipp says:

    What do you mean by Holy Communion? Surely, you can’t mean the host served during Eucharist communion? I’m a former Roman Catholic after learning of their non-Biblical and pagan ways, and their mockery of Jesus Christ during pagan ceremonies. Why are Catholics so adamant that their way is the right way when it clearly is not. When Jesus said “Come out of her, my people,” what exactly did he mean? If the path is narrow and few make into the pearly gates then that surely means a huge population of Roman Catholics are being deceived. I believe it is the end times deception, being a Roman Catholic is that deception. Aren’t vain babblings and repetitions what Roman Catholics do? So much of the Roman Catholic church is unbiblical that I’m stunned in disbelief that more Roman Catholics do not recognize this. It’s as if they have never picked up a Bible other than their Catholic Bible. I’ve said more Rosaries in my life and now I know it was a pure waste of time. Repetitious prayers will not get us anywhere, whereas one deep heartfelt pray with a direct connection to Jesus Christ is extremely powerful.

    • Tony says:

      Craig:

      You may have misunderstood. I didn’t say anything about “Holy Communion.” I quoted Joseph Prince, who said that. I quoted him to show that he says things that the Bible doesn’t say. It seems we agree. Let me know if I’ve missed something important. Thanks!

    • Ben Raj says:

      We should seek Truth and love him. In ln loving him is on loving one another and in obeying Gods commandments.( That is why it is said to be narrow, since very few of us can measure up. Thus only by grace we are saved and not by any merit we claim as our own). Prince message is mainly this although a doctrine of grace alone is dangerous as we must put our faith to work. For Catholics, they are part of the branch of Christ, and we pray the lord will sanctify her in truth(I believe many genuine Catholics who love the lord, inwardly already know the truth), but being bride of christ we let Christ do the judging since she is his wife and God knows best…….In all things let us put love first even when we guide others to the truth that I can assure you even protestants do not know as the very history we believe in has been changed by Rome

      • Tony says:

        Ben:

        First, how do you know ‘the very history we believe in has been changed by Rome’? For anyone to know that, they would need to know either the before and after (so they could compare the two) or have some admission from Rome that it had been done. You have neither. I’m no fan of the Roman Catholic church, but such claims should be beneath a follower of Jesus. We are to love God with our minds, so such claims should be beneath us. If you want to malign someone, all you have to do is tell the truth about them. Because you can’t substantiate your claim, you should not claim it… let alone “assure” us that it is true.

        Also: who told you to ‘let Christ do the judging’? Yes, we should be very careful about such things. No, the Bible does not teach that we are never to judge. Here’s what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5: What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. We need not replace judgement with love, as we can do both. We are called to both, so let us judge those within the church… not hypocritically or self-righteously, but with love for all.

    • susan marie says:

      I am or was a Catholic, I have been listening to J. Prince and I really like the guy, granted I have only listened to a few of his cds. I do not know if I want to convert but what I have taken from his few ministries is that I do not want to be a Catholic or call myself as such, anymore, I feel as though being Catholic is throwing out the carrot and the stick, method so I will be and do good to walk in the fellowship of Christ, whereas Prince teaches thus far that I already am forgiven and good with Christ allowing me to not be bitter or angry because of my past sins and realize i am forgiven, I see many angry very judgmental Catholics who are very self righteous including myself, I do not want to be like this, just after two cds it is as if a weight has been lifted off of me, so to speak but i will take into consideration the comment above that he may twist words, after hooking me in once again, so to speak. I am keeping an open mind in hopes it is not too open. thank you both

      • Tony says:

        Susan Marie:

        Like you, I really like listening to Joseph Prince. Unfortunately, he’s a false teacher… so, no matter how many true things he says, we need to avoid taking his words as a clear reflection of the gospel. Like you, I recognize that Catholicism has many flaws, and that some of what it taught is false.

        When Jesus died for you, He took the full penalty for all of the sins you would ever commit. You deserved judgment for them, but He canceled your debt. Your sins have been forgiven. HOWEVER: that does not mean that you’re going to Heaven. Jesus took all of the sins for all of the people, but not everyone will go to Heaven. We must each be born again, as Jesus describes in John 3.

        Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. That’s from 1 John 5 and is worth your consideration. Being a Christian has never been about going to the right church, or about simply believing the right things. It’s about following Jesus closely, obeying what He commanded, and being made new by God Himself. The Holy Spirit dwells in each believer, convicts us of sin, and guides us into truth. Let me know if you have any questions. I want to be able to call you my sister in Christ!

  2. Fred says:

    Well written article, nice job.

    • susan marie says:

      As i sit here typing my first comment I wonder if Ya all, as J. Prince would say, lol,
      If someone is born and raised in a family where they never new Christ, the bible lets even say God, and throughout their live did good works
      or lets just say were almost Christ like, what would become of them in the afterlife, I feel as though in my renounced faith, especially in grade school teachings, we were told you burn in hell, or don’t go to heaven etc etc, of course it was a pretty strict school, where the nuns would rub my eyes insisting i had mascara on, and mascara was like the antichrist,
      anyhow i just wondered what would become of that person, I would like to think they would be okay and get to know Jesus, or God when they die,
      Before listening to J. Prince, i did give my daughter this advice
      if you can’t accept Jesus, Mary or even Joseph,
      best believe there is a God and believe it to however you wish
      that their are many religions out there and Catholics are not the only ones in a place called heaven. Believe it with all of your heart as it was said, “my house has many rooms” or something along those lines,

      • Tony says:

        Susan Marie:

        Your question is a good one, and a common one. There are conflicting answers (of course) among followers of Jesus. One group says that, to be saved, one must know about Jesus and hear the gospel as spelled out in the New Testament and accept everything that it says… or you can’t be saved. The other group says that, to be saved, one doesn’t need to have heard about Jesus at all.

        I’m in the second group, for several reasons. First, none of those who died before Jesus was born had an opportunity to hear about Jesus, to learn the end of the gospel, or accept what Jesus taught. If the first group is right, all of those people will be in Hell. That, of course, makes no sense. Then we have to think about all of the people who lived and died without meeting a Christian or reading a Bible… billions of people. Right? They would be condemned for never hearing the gospel, which is a dumb idea.

        We know that God will do what is right. We know that however He judges, He will be just. It would be unjust to judge someone for what they do not know.

        Jesus said that the Father draws all people to Himself. Paul said that we are Christ’s ambassadors, speaking on His behalf… and what is our message? We’re to BEG people, if necessary, to be reconciled to God. Reconciliation is the thing… those who are reconciled to God will be saved. So: if the Father draws us to Himself, and if the goal is reconciliation, God must be able to reconcile to Himself those who have never heard the gospel.

        That’s where I stand on the issue. It seems the only biblical response to the question of what God will do with people who never hear the gospel. Everyone will have the opportunity to say YES to God, or to reject Him. That response determines where we will spend eternity.

        Have you been born again, Susan Marie?

  3. Jim says:

    You say:
    “Reading 1 Corinthians 11:27-34 shows believers who got sick, and even died, from drinking judgment on themselves during communion”.

    Where they believers, those described in this verse?
    Wasnt it rather that they where partakers without beliefe that where the issue in this verse?

    • Tony says:

      Jim:

      Thanks for asking! Let’s look at several verses from 1 Corinthians 11, to make sure we get the context of what Paul wrote:

      So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

      When we read this section, we can see that these people were believers. The first parts may not make it clear, but the last parts do. Paul uses “we” and “ourselves” and, near the end, talks about not being condemned with the world. These distinctions show that it was the Christians in Corinth to whom Paul gave this warning.

      Does that make sense?

  4. Jim says:

    Thanks for your answer to my question. I agree in your statement that this verse are talking about people within the shurch.
    However when reading these verses i reflect on the disorderly manner he is adressing. The lack of regard towards the body of Christ. The eating and drinking is a proclamation of Christs death and they where supposed to do this together. It is the very purpose of the meal they where taking lightly on or missing out on. Thats why i suspect their faith was not connected to it, rather they ate the bread and drank from the cup just to fill their stomack.
    So there must be an order in this matter and done with right motives.

    • jD says:

      Actually Jim, in context, the scripture is dealing with neglecting the needier members among us. Paul is rebuking church members for stuffing their faces while the poor among them go hungry. It’s clearly talking about born again believers and how their fleshly behavior brings the judgment of God upon them
      I know what you’re doing because I’ve heard Joseph Prince do the same thing. He says these people weren’t true believers, and he says Ananias and Sapphira weren’t true believers. That is because he’s twisting the scriptures so he has to explain other scriptures away that clearly contradict what he’s teaching.

      • jmack7 says:

        the problem is so prevalent in assembly of God , foresqaure, most of pentecostals, charismatics and even mormons, even catholics and hindus other religions. Some of this founders are decieve and promote different teachings that is not biblical. God is the God of Order, Clarity and not confusions like this babling meaningless words. Me and my wife was introduce and taught in pentecostals teachings and now my wife every time i explain to her, she says always that is my genuine experience tongues but it’s not you can discern false from wrong base on the bible alone. i do not know what to tell her. And she sometimes teach this to other families and friends and kids.

  5. John Graham says:

    Wow… sounds like you love the Bible more than you do the Lord! Are you led of the Holy Spirit? Do you pray in tongues an without ceasing? Well, I’m going to pray you be released from a religious spirit, because your site reeks of it.

    • Tony says:

      Boy, John… you’ve got me nailed, all right. You sure showed me. I owe you one.

      Tell you what: if you want to have a REAL conversation, come back for more. Otherwise, go back to sleep.

    • Jerry says:

      And maybe you love your vain religion, more than the word of God.”in the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God, and the word became flesh and dwelt among men ” . The Lord and the word are one in the same. In fact, the written word is all we know about God. So thank God, for the older versions of the word of God.
      By the way, speaking in tongues in the way God’s word suggested it should be done is a good thing. But, as usual, Satan has also hijacked, and created a counterfeit to the speaking in tongues as well. Most of those who I have seen do it in the wrong way. I believe they are lead by seducing, demonic spirits. So let it be by two or three and let one interpret.

      • JD says:

        Hey Jerry, you said “So let it be by two or three and let one interpret.” That passage is dealing with giving messages in tongues in corporate worship settings. It has nothing to do with people personally praying, singing, and worshipping God in tongues. As a matter of fact, nearly every example in the Bible of people speaking in tongues is done in front of others with no interpretation. Why? Because they were personally praying, worshipping, and glorifying God. They were not speaking to the Church Body in a prophetic meeting where people were giving messages to the church. That one passage requiring interpretation when tongues are spoken as prophetic messages to the Church has been greatly misunderstand and misused by many people who simply do not understand the actual gift of tongues which is mainly for personal edification in worship and prayer.

    • jmack7 says:

      false speaking in tongues are not a genuine basis of truth and experiences you have, tongues are sign to those who do not believe, Jesus never taught this kinds of babbling words without meaning. there is always a purpose when the language of God is use biblically. i used to practice that what they imparted to me but this is wrong way. God spoke to these gallelians in the upper room what Jesus promise to recieve His Holy Spirit from Him. And they began to spoke in other tongues which is a language from heaven. And other people heard them they understand what they are saying not compare to this modern tongues believers. you can discern they are false it is so widespread lies of satan spirit to teach ignorant bible believers. we all have ignorant in some point but we have to search the scriptures and find the truth, Because Jesus hates lies.

  6. Sheryl Rayburn says:

    I am sorry you feel this way about Joseph Prince. Every preacher says something we are not going to like. It does say in the bible Matthew 7:5&6
    New King James Version
    5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. You probably are not perfect with what you say about the bible either. Don’t throw stones at someone if you have sinned yourself. And don’t write me in a E-Mail wanting to argue about this. God Bless you.

    • Tony says:

      Sheryl:

      I hope you have a sense of humor, because I’m about to make fun of you… just a little:

      I am sorry you feel this way about me. Every blogger says something we are not going to like.

      Aren’t YOU being a hypocrite? I’m not. Have you removed the plank from your own eye? I have. Are you perfect with what you say about the Bible? I’m not. Don’t throw stones at me if you have sinned yourself. And I’m not writing this in an email, I’m replying to the comment you left on my website.

      My opinion about Joseph Prince is just about as valuable as your opinion of me. I like him, but that’s not the point. The point is that he claims to preach the gospel, but deviates from the gospel in significant ways. Much of the New Testament was written to correct exactly that. I would love to be wrong about Joseph Prince, but I’m not. It makes me sad to write the truth about what he teaches.

      I understand that you might want to defend him. That’s perfectly fine. What you shouldn’t do is ignore serious errors in his teaching. You should know the gospel, and you should be able to point out those errors on your own. Ideally, every mature Christian would be able to spot the problems, and every less-mature Christian would have a relationship with a more-mature Christian with whom they could discuss those problems.

      You don’t sound willing to discuss this further, but I’ll be here if you change your mind. Have a great day!

  7. Ruth Copeland says:

    Should Christians speak in toungs?

    • Tony says:

      Ruth:

      Thanks for visiting, and thanks for your question. It seems like a strange question, but that may be because there’s so much awful teaching about tongues out there. Because the Bible should be the final word for our spiritual beliefs, it seems wise to take our instruction on tongues from the Bible… and specifically from the New Testament.

      Speaking in tongues is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here’s what 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 says:

      There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

      Here are some of the things we know:

      We may be given more than one gift, and we may temporarily be given a gift for a specific occasion. We can’t exercise gifts we haven’t been given. The idea that every believer WILL speak in tongues – a common claim among Pentecostals – is unbiblical nonsense. We are to seek the gifts, but they are not to be used for our own benefit. There should be no chaos or confusion related to the exercise of the gifts… they can be misused.

      It seems clear that a believer who has been given the gift of tongues should use it to build up the church and serve others. As we see from Paul’s instructions about exercising our gifts, each gift can be misused… so, as with everything else in life, we can exercise our gifts wisely or unwisely. To answer your question: yes, a follower of Jesus who has been given the gift of tongues should speak in tongues.

      Does that make sense?

      • jmack7 says:

        when the perfect is come the in part will be done away. i am not talking about biblical tongues, i am talking about the tongues you are practicing in your congregation, it is not a genuine tongue that Christ gave in acts of the apostles. Now it is the Antichrist duplicate. we can discern tongues are real language like hebrews, chinese, etc. Like in the tower of babel in gen. 11. There is no tongues we can not identify if there is an interpreter in corinth. many people says its different but it is not, it is still the same tongues they speak, they are all langauges. its just different administration for cetain reason and certain purpose. we can quote and quote the bible verse by verse, but if you are not having the understanding or revelation from the Holy Spirit of Truth. we will not able to discern the truth. that is why some are still ignorant till we all come in the unity of the faith to become matured man completely by rightly dividing the word of truth.

        • I'm Right Your Wrong says:

          Some people aren’t perfect yet huh? I’ve never seen a worse explanation of biblical tongues given in my entire life. The Bible never says they are earthly languages. That is only assumed by some because on the day of Pentecost all the different nationalities present were hearing the tongues in their own foreign languages. It never even says the disciples spoke in those foreign languages. It says there was a miracle in the hearing where everyone present was hearing the strange babbling in their own language at the same time. It was a much greater miracle than we even give it credit for being. Paul said that no man understands them, unless of course they are given supernatural understanding or interpretation from the Spirit.
          “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” (1 Corinthians 14:2, NASB)

          Regardless of who’s right or wrong about tongues, it is almost hilarious how we act like we have a corner market on the truth and assume everybody else is wrong because they haven’t matured yet. We assume we’re right and claim Revelation from the Spirit of Truth and think everyone else who disagrees with us just hasn’t matured yet. Yeah that’s it, LOL.

      • Ruth Copeland says:

        Thank you so very much. Yes that makes perfect sense.

  8. jmack7 says:

    ignorance in part till we all come in the unity of the faith ephe.4:13 i like this verse.

  9. Razzy says:

    My back was hurting really badly from waking up wrong for weeks, I went to the chiropractor which actually made the pain worse. One day I heard in the Spirit to take communion and after the first second and third day. The pain was gone completely. That’s been over a year now.

    • Tony says:

      Razzy:

      I’m pleased to hear that your back pain is gone! That’s not a problem.

      A very specific kind of problem often accompanies stories like yours. I have no doubt that you’re telling the truth, of course. The problem is NOT what you said. It’s what Joseph Prince said. You see, you can testify about what happened to you. We all can. What Prince has done is to tell everyone that what happened to you will also happen to them. That’s not usually the way things work.

      We hear lots of stories of healing, and that’s good. Telling someone that they will be healed is often a SERIOUS problem. God decides who will be healed, and who will not. God will not heal everyone… if God healed everyone, nobody would ever die. Right?

      Like I said: I’m glad that your back has been healed. I’m not glad that Joseph Prince has suggested that taking communion regularly is “the way to receive health.” That’s both unbiblical and incredibly problematic.

  10. jj says:

    Oh brother ..

  11. Jeane B. Lee says:

    Do you have a list of teachers and preachers who stick to what the Bible says?

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