Destined to Ruin – Epilogue
Joseph Prince is known as the preacher of Grace.
David, and others, and of course the best of us have failed!
There is no reference in my article to our successfully keeping the commandments at all times, nor do I advocate it as the way of salvation, yet there is sufficient evidence from the scriptures that we are NOT “destined to remain” under bondage to our sin.
There are a number of points to seriously consider;
1) You have not responded to my previous references regarding the Two Mounts which shows God’s attitude toward such sins as Adultery or Idolatry has not changed.
2) Trying to link me to SDA theology is to not warranted from my writings, nor from the framework of Joseph Prince’s teachings.
3) Although you maybe quite sound in your understanding of books like a Romans and Galatians, that cannot justify your embracing of Prince.
4) You have sought to undermine my article by personal attack, by alluding to your own scholastic pedigree without substantiating why you believe I’m wrong in my theology.
5) You defend Prince without providing sufficient reason as to why you believe his teachings are biblical.
6) My article gives a number reasons to reject much of what Prince says.
– No apparent awareness or need to confess our sins.
– No repentance – repentance is just a change of mind
– ‘Righteous Consciousness’ – is NOT a New Testament principle.
“The more they believe that they are righteous, the more they experience true victory over sin… You see yourself righteous and this gives you the power to rise above the temptation.” (Destined to Reign – p.244, 245)
Prince says: “Knowing that you are completely forgiven destroys the power of sin in your life.” (Destined to Reign, p.100). “It is the gift of no condemnation that gives people the power to sin no more. [” Prince of Grace,” Charisma, Vol. 35, Number 11, pp. 34-38]
Rom 8:1, 4 – The bible actually says there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” In other words being obedient, submitting to God living by the Spirit, this is what gives us the power over sin, not living in a kaleidoscope world of no condemnation!
Paul declared towards the end of his life, and ministry, that he was the chief of sinners (present tense), Prince is promoting word of faith mythology, and nothing else.
– The Holy Spirt doesn’t convict believers of their sin? Nonsense.
Prince: “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.” (ibid. p.134, 135). [this is repeated a number of times and further explained in his book]
Convicts you of righteousness? Chapter and verse?
This is Prince trying to redefine the word ‘righteousness’. This is Prince’s Positive Prosperity Gospel in full flight. This is a compete denial of the work of the Holy Spirit. This is Word of Faith, with ‘Christian’ terminology! The scripture says He convicts of Sin, Righteousness (right conduct ), and Judgement.[John 16:8 – 11 ]
– God wants to give us blessing…True… but blessing comes through obedience, not from a ‘Santa Claus’ God. [See Ps 1 for example.]
“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.” – [ Joseph Prince, Destined To Reign, 2007, pg. 1.]
Really? ….Try being a ‘prosperous’ Christian in Nigeria or North Korea! This is just another prosperity message for the 1st world Christian.
– God will not judge America – false prophecy makes him a False prophet!!
America is under judgement and has been for some years.17 Trillion Dollars in debt, and counting doesn’t sound much like blessing and prosperity to me.
One of the tricks Satan the devil has up his sleeve to deceit innocent and unsuspecting, gullible and naive Christians through “word manipulation.” Satan has confused millions into believing that the apostle Paul taught the “Law of God” is done away with — abolished — terminated — and that we are somehow saved (receive eternal life) through “faith” alone, apart from and without any so-called “works of the law.”
Christians today read the book of Galatians, and the apostle Paul’s comments about “faith” and “the works of the law,” they tend to think about this controversy in the light of Martin Luther’s fight against medieval Catholic dogma, and the doctrine of penance, and earning salvation by physical “works” or acts of penance.
Luther, was influenced by the early Catholic theologian Augustine who taught that by “works of the law” Paul meant the legalistic striving to earn God’s salvation by self-righteous deeds of good conduct.
Is faith in Christ contrary to the Law of God? Are Law and faith mutually incompatible
and exclusionary? Does faith and belief in Christ take the place of “works” or “deeds of the law”?
Does faith work in opposition to Law, and does Law oppose faith?
Did Christ Abolish the LAW?
Why did Jesus state in Matt. 5:17: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
— Certainly we accept the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of our sins, but God’s Law does not miraculously dissolve into nothingness, and disappear; it remains in total effect, just as the eternal laws of chemistry, physics and Nature do.
Homosexuality is just as much a loathsome,detestable sin today, in God’s sight, as it was in the days of Moses, and the time of Abraham when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for going after “strange flesh” (Gen.19; II Pet.2: Jude 7).
Law and Faith Not Contrary to Each Other
True Christians take upon themselves the obligation and desire to OBEY ALL God’s commandments which relate to their lives, spiritually. That is why Paul writes, “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? NOT AT ALL! Rather, we UPHOLD THE LAW” (Rom.3:31).
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
God’s commandments are “holy, righteous and good” But there was a problem in that we have failed to obey. Even the children of Israel who were the ones given the commandments were often in direct conflict with God throughout their history as a nation.
Paul in the book of Hebrews, contrasts the two covenants.
“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with them [the people not the Law!] and said: ‘The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a NEW covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts, I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’ By calling this covenant ‘NEW,’ he has made the first one OBSOLETE; and what is obsolete and aging will soon vanish [disappear]” (Heb.8:1-13, Also Heb 10:16).
Which commandments does the Lord place on our hearts?
Does the New Covenant do away with the laws of God?
We all know the answer by now – GOD FORBID!
Rather, under the New Covenant the LAWS of God are no longer merely written in tablets of stone; now they are written and inscribed upon the tablets of our hearts and our minds!
They are put within our very being, and “internalized.” They are no longer merely external laws; they are INTERNAL — they become part of our very soul, mind, and CHARACTER!
To illustrate, the horse drawn carriage of 19th Century, eventually was superseded by a new mode of transport, the horseless carriage called – The Car. The two forms of transport were to get you from one part of the country to the other, but ‘the car’ became more efficient, and a lot faster. In like manner, the two covenants were founded on the same basis, obedience to God’s laws. The New covenant is the better covenant to achieve this due to man’s weakness.
In other words, the New Covenant is Jesus Christ is the living embodiment of the Law, the Perfection of the Law in action, Christ is being FORMED IN US (Gal.4:19), which means that we, too, as Christians, are to become LIVING EMBODIMENTS OF GOD’S LAW — like Christ Himself!
This is our Goal — our Purpose — our Aim — our Destiny!!!
God is forming His perfection IN us through His Holy Spirit! (Acts 5:32; Rom.8:1-10).
As Christians, we are under the New Covenant. God has written His laws into our minds and hearts by His Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:7-8
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
So what is the glorious New Covenant?
2 Corinthians 3:3
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
For us to try to go back under the “Old Covenant” would be tantamount to a rejection of Christ and the New Covenant!
It would be confusion and folly — putting a physical, fleshly covenant which God made with ancient Israel through Moses, above the new spiritual covenant God makes with us through Christ, our Mediator, High Priest and coming King!
THE REAL ISSUE
The “real issue” in Galatians, then, is NOT “faith versus works,” or “law versus grace,” at all!
The real issue is simply the Old Covenant, with it’s Jewish tradition, and Jewish law. The complete body of rules and practices that Jews are bound to follow, including biblical commandments, the Laws of Harvest, of Sacrifices, of Feasts, materials of the Tabernacle, the Laws of the Priests, of the Sanctuary, of the Sabbaths, of Cleansings, the Laws of death, the dietary laws,the laws of Blasphemy, the laws of justice, and other commandments instituted even by the rabbis, and binding customs versus the New Covenant!
It is Mount Sinai (the earthly, with fleshly obedience) versus the New (heavenly obedience) Jerusalem!
It is physical circumcision and “works” versus spiritual circumcision of the heart and spiritual works!
Paul put the matter this way when he wrote to the Romans:
“A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God” – (Rom.2:28-29).
Getting Worked Up
Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians, saying, “Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation” (Gal.6:12-15).
We become a “new creation” (Eph.4:22-24) by receiving God’s Holy Spirit, through which Christ is formed in us, spiritually (Gal.4:19).
Coming under the yoke of bondage of the Old Covenant thwarts and frustrates God’s purpose in giving us true freedom and liberty in Christ!
The real issue, then, is not the laws and commandments of God, which were ordained forever and ever.
Remember Paul makes it clear the laws were good and spiritual! (Romans 7:12)
The real issue in the book of Galatians is whether we are under the physical Old Covenant, symbolized by Hagar and Mount Sinai, or whether we are under the New Covenant, symbolized by the Heavenly Jerusalem which is above.
Faith without Works?
Romans 4: 1 – 10
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
This is the same as Galatians….
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
At the early part of chapter 3 Paul once again turns to the familiar Abraham story, and the promise of Genesis 15. It should be seen that Galatians 3 is an extended discussion of Genesis 15. The discussion is not about which salvation principle is effective, faith or works. Instead this is an argument about who can be considered a child of God. Being a Jew and a part of the chosen people, Paul needed to demonstrate how non-Jews could be a part of God’s family, so he turns to Abraham.
In this accounting, the heirs of Abraham are not the ones who are circumcised but those who believe as Abraham did. Since the promise of God concerning descendants for Abraham (Genesis 15) came before the law at Sinai (Exodus), Paul asserts believing in Christ supersedes law observance as an entry point into the community of faith. Faith is the fulfillment of the promise that all nations would be blessed through Abraham, as Gentiles are now able to participate in the blessing promised to Abraham.
In his comments about the works of the law, Paul is not condemning a continuing attempt to earn heaven through good works here, but he is criticizing a nationalism that excludes all Gentiles from the promise of God.
Paul then makes the point that the covenant with Abraham was made 430 years prior to the law, so the law cannot supersede the promise to Abraham, which was based on faith.
Faith with Works
In James we read;
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Abraham justified by works?
Genesis 26:1- 5
1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Abraham walked in odedience before God, 430 years before God gave the commandments at Mt Sinai. Yet Abraham also lied [lying] about Sarai, and Pharoah was punished by God with plagues by taking Sarai as his wife [Adultery]. It would have been a sin of adultery if Pharoah had touched Sarah. Of course, Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister; but, nevertheless, the intent was all wrong. It was a lie. (See Gen 12:10 – 20)
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
The point is that every one of the commandments WAS IN EXISTENCE during the time of Adam. It was SIN to break any one of them PRIOR to the time of the law of Moses. The law of Moses, we know, didn’t come UNTIL the time of Moses—430 years after the time of Abraham. But the SPIRITUAL LAW has been in existence from Adam! [ Ex 12:40 ]
Cain and Abel
Consider Adam and Eve’s first son, Cain. In Genesis 4, beginning with verse 6. “And the Lord said unto Cain [their elder son], Why art thou wroth and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well,” God said, “shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, SIN lieth at the door.”
Notice what sin was in those days—in the days of Cain! “Cain talked with his brother, Abel; and it came to pass that when they were in the field Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him.”
He was a MURDERER. Sin did lie at the door.
And the Lord said unto Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” And he replied, “I know not.” He LIED and broke another one of the commandment. That was sin, too. [Gen 4:1-9 ]
Again everyone knew not to murder before the Ten Commandments were ever given!
Paul was not a schizophrenic who one time praised God’s laws, and supposedly another time cursed them! Paul is perfectly consistent in his teaching about the Law. What he spoke against was the twisting, perverting, and wrongful distorting of God’s Law, demanding circumcision, and other things, making it a veritable “yoke of bondage”, like the Judaizers of his day, which no one was ever able to keep!
‘Brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.’ [ 2 Peter 3:16 ]
Just so we are not talking cross purposes, look at the following scriptures;
It Works like this
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For the believer, faith produces good works, not the reverse. It’s always from dead works to good works.
2 Timothy 1:9-10
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake….[These are] they who profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
1 Peter 2:11-12
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Prince says because we are under grace we somehow don’t sin? This is Fisher – Price Theology. He tells us we have won the jackpot, without ever explaining how to claim the prize. Rather the scriptures says;
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. [What is sin? Transgression of the Law – see 1John 3:4] 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, is servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. [Yielding …Is a choice on our part….it’s not automatic sanctification]
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Although we are free from the Law, Jesus himself made it abundantly clear that our freedom does not mean freedom from righteous living. [see Matt 5-7]
That was the point of my article!