Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church

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Lifestyles of Wealthy Celebrity Pastors And Their Self Serving Shallow Theology

Ch 3. Ed Young, Kevin Gerald and Joseph Prince

By Carol Brooks



Chapter 1: The Investigation: Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer and Eddie Long|
Chapter 2: Joel Osteen, Steven Furtick
Chapter 3: Ed Young, Kevin Gerald, Joseph Prince
Chapter 4: T.D. Jakes, John Hagee, Fred Price, Jesse Duplantis, Juanita Bynum
Chapter 5: Franklin Graham, Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Wendy and Casey Treat
Chapter 6: Jordan and Jordan. Rev. Run
Chapter 7: Others - Here and Abroad
Chapter 8: Conclusion - Where Did The Idea That Ministers Should Live Modestly Come From?
 What Should Pastors Make And Should His Salary Be Kept From His Congregation? And more

Ed YoungKevin Gerald   and Joseph Prince

Tele-Ed YoungEd Young (Edwin Barry Young (born March 16, 1961)
Ed Young, son of Dr. Ed Young senior pastor at Second Baptist Church in Houston, calls himself pastor of his Dallas church but far more resembles a beginning-to-age man about town keen to appear as fun, fashionable, and as modern as possible.

If you visit Ed Young's blog (http://edyoungblog.com) the first thing you see are the words "Ed Young Pastor ofTele-Ed Young Blog Fellowship Church" against a very large picture of him (on the right)- not in any church or even vaguely religious setting, but in shorts on a boat. His website (http://edyoung.com) opens with two pictures of himself followed by Ed Young Designs (socks, T-shirts and caps), Ed Young Resources (Creative Messages & Media), followed by Ed Young Devotionals.

In other words, it's all about Ed Young.

While it is not necessary for any pastor to be a doddering old man with a sense of fashion to match, Ed Young - an apparently unabashed hedonist, takes the cake in many ways. Let's begin with his hair transplant.

Hair Restoration:
Young had a hair transplant at the Alvi Armani clinic in Beverly Hills (Before and after pictures on his Instagram account HERE) I guess baldness would hurt his sophisticated man-about-town image.

Hair restoration is certainly not cheap. I came across a blog on which someone looking into the procedure stated that the price for "2000-2500 follicular units" which would give the person "a full hairline with temple closure and complete coverage in zone 2 for a full look" was 24k which included all medications, follow up appointments and surgical room costs. However, if he signed up in July or August the price would drop to 15k. [01]

"Faith and Fashion Intersect"
Apparently, Ed Young thinks they should. A few years ago Young started a web site called PastorFashion.com that says it ... (Emphasis Added)

    is designed to have some fun with fashion and put it in its proper perspective – its a relevant tool in reaching the world with the hope and love of Jesus. This is a place where pastors (and anyone who shares that perspective) can get some tips on what to wear, how to wear it, and when to wear it. But the ultimate question isn’t "what," "how" or "when?" It's "Who?"  Our fascination with fashion is really just a microcosm of our desire to be clothed in the ultimate designer - Jesus Christ.

BTW the phrase "Faith and Fashion Intersect" is from a video on the last page of the 'welcome' tab on the site on which he goes on to say 

    Most people don't think of the runway leading up to the pulpit. But why not?! Why can't the men and women of God set the standard for the rest of the world in fashion as well as faith? That's why we're launching PastorFashion.com. We want to set the trends. [02]

Although I can hardly believe that anyone can be this shallow and this stupid, It certainly seems like Ed Young is. I hate to tell him that he is wasting his time. Where he is probably going I doubt he is going to give a second thought to what he is wearing.

Tele-Ed Young La MarzoccoItalian La Marzocco Espresso Machine
Young has also posted a Youtube video on how to make the perfect espresso. [03] In his lesson he uses a commercial La Marzocco espresso machine. La Marzocco based in Florence, Italy, specializes in producing high end, hand-crafted professional espresso coffee machines with prices to match.

This particular one owned by Ed Young is their Linea 2 group, the only one pictured on the home page of their international site. [04]. Although I doubt this particular model will be featured very long, this site [https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/la-marzocco/linea-2av ] prices this espresso maker at $13,500.00.

Promotional Antics?
Includes a
24-hour "bed in" on the roof of his Dallas church when he and his wife spent 24 hours in a bed - on the roof of Fellowship Church. This happened in 2012 to discuss his new book, Sexperiment which he wrote after challenging married couples in his congregation to strengthen their marriages through seven days of sex. Even if it wasn't a gimmick to heighten interest in the book, that is exactly what it did. Sexperiment vaulted into the bestseller list on Amazon for an entire day. [05]


An excerpt from an article in the Dallas Morning News reads (The article is worth reading in its entirety).

    In 2010, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) aired reports on Young's finances and travels after investigating what an anonymous former staffer called the minister's "lavish lifestyle that keeps increasing," including the use of a private jet, a $1.5 million estate on Grapevine Lake (now sold) and a $1.1 million luxury condominium in Miami. Reporter Brett Shipp cited unnamed sources who put the pastor's salary at $1 million and said records revealed Young was paid an annual housing allowance of $240,000....

     Young says his salary is set by the church's independent compensation committee in accordance with industry standards, that he uses a private jet leased by the church because it is simply more practical with his unyielding travel schedule and that he reimburses the church for any personal trips. [06]

$3 million Home in Dallas

The real estate website Movoto describes Young's 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath 7,027 square foot house on an acre of land in Lennox Lane in Dallas as Tele-Ed Young House 2"elegant and beautifully appointed". Valued at just over $3 million,

    This classic estate exudes true character and charm. From the gated entry through the stunning wrought iron and glass doors this magnificent home is dazzling! Attention to every architectural detail and designer finishes create this exceptional home. Towering trees and mature landscape frame the property offering privacy and a park-like setting. The main foyer opens to a light filled living area with high ceilings, exquisite moldings, a great canvas for displaying art. The backyard is captivating with a sparkling pool, spa & water falls. A cabana with a full bathroom and the loggia complete with a built-in kitchen and dining area. Timeless! [07]

$4 million Home in The Florida Keys Tele-Ed Young Tavernier Front
I do not know anything about the above mentioned condo in Miami. However, in January 2017 the Monroe County Historic Preservation Commission met to discuss Lisa and Ed Young's application to install a new 10K Neptune elevator boat lift at their beach home in the Florida Keys that they bought. [08] The home in question is a 5 Bedroom, 5 Bath, 5,764 Sq.Ft. luxury oceanfront home in Tavernier Florida at the south end of Key Largo.

An elevator takes you from the garage level to the main floor and then up to the top floor master suite (there are two master suites both with open ocean view). The main floor master suite has a hidden outdoor shower, jet tub, and roomy glass shower. The other two bedrooms each have an en-suite bath. A full bath off the entertainment room, a half bath by the gourmet kitchen, an outdoor pool with a walkway that leads onto the beach turning into the pier, and parking for several cars about completes the picture. After seeing a video of the property HERE I am hardly surprised it is valued at close to $ 4 million.

He attempts to justify his lifestyle by saying they are not  "the ones with the baggage" and claims that the "puritanical bias that ministers must live modestly "stems from monasticism". "It was popularized in the Catholic church". This is a patently false statement. See Conclusion of this article.

While one has to be grateful for even one child whose belly is a little fuller, Fellowship church's outreach program falls a tad short. Both of Young's luxury homes together cost in the vicinity of $7 million yet the church posts that after the 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti that left thousands of orphans in need they,

    Compelled by the love of Jesus, Fellowship Church, and C3 Global partner churches have sponsored orphanages and served over 8 million meals in Haiti. [09]

Except their website is either not kept up very well or they have no idea how many meals they have provided. Under the heading Hope4Haiti, another page on the same site says they provided 1.6 million meals [10] - in how long? Two things to bear in mind is that

1) Children's meals in Haiti cannot cost that much and 2) Fellowship didn't do it alone but in tandem with their C3 Global partner churches. How many churches are there? While I do not know if it the same organization, the Reaching Haiti 4 Christ Ministries Team (www.hope4haiti.net) is trying to dig a well in Bombardopolis - the western most tip of Haiti. It is estimated to cost $10,000. So far as of October 2018 they have only raised $1,215.

    Fellowship church also supports six villages in Guatemala through their partnerships with many different churches and organizations. And through a local church they planted in Nicaragua, they provide a safe and fun place for kids and daily meals. To help provide for these meals they grow watermelon, squash, casaba and melon on our property to insure a proper and full diet for every child. [11] Emphasis Added

Church at Highland Park
It is no wonder that with his expensive tastes, Ed Young is said to have come up with the idea to launch Fellowship Park Cities in Highland Park Village in Dallas after spending time at the busy Starbucks there that "teems daily with affluent types from Highland Park and University Park, and the parking spots around the coffee house are heavy on the Bentleys, Porsches and spotless Suburbans"...

    Young wears a black hoodie with shiny zippers, snug rust-colored pants and chunky lace-up black boots. Later that morning, for the 11:30 service at the mother church, he will don a new outfit: blue oxford button-down, plaid vest, jeans cuffed at the ankles and wing-tips with no socks. (One of Young's side projects is a blog he started, called pastorfashion.com.) [12]

The following excerpts from visit.dallas.com and D Magazine respectively should paint you a picture of this exclusive Dallas suburb.

    Often referenced in conversations about the hit 1980's show Dallas and the newly minted Real Housewives of Dallas, it's easy to see why the area is a popular spot for filming. Beautiful homes line the streets of the elite town surrounded by Dallas on three sides, providing a short three-mile trip to Downtown Dallas. [13]

    Justifiably known as a wealthy enclave that's becoming seemingly wealthier all the time, it's the small-town charms and some of the best public schools in the state that draw residents to its leafy avenues lined by impressively sized houses. [14]

See Ed Young's and Joel Osteen's love fest. HERE

Rev. Run and T.D. Jakes
By the way, several years ago Fellowship church in Grapevine hosted Rev. Run, founding member of the influential hip-hop group Run-D.M.C.

And did I mention that Young preaching at T.D. Jakes' church in, I believe, 2015, bounded onto stage saying it was great to be back "home" at the Potter's House and that you could not find another couple like T.D Jakes and his wife who are "definitely on a another level". SEE

In a love fest aired on TBN's Praise The Lord, Young opined that Jakes was the "poster child" for creativity - the greatest preacher he has ever heard. He added

    The storytelling, how you're so Biblically based, how you're non-linear and yet linear, how you weave in the plot, and at the end - boom! I mean, I have a collection of this guy's tapes in my office. Whenever I get down and depressed, I just pop in Bishop! [15]

End Notes - Ed Young
[01] https://www.baldtruthtalk.com/threads/13127-My-quote-with-Dr-Armani

[02] http://pastorfashion.com/posts/P30

[03] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6z7Merz618

[04] http://international.lamarzocco.com/en/

[05] Matthew Lee Anderson. The Trouble with Ed Young's Rooftop Sexperiment. CHristianity Today.

[06] Christopher Wynn. Dear God: Is Dallas society ready for Fellowship Church's sex-loving, million-dollar minister? Published December 12, 2013. http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/2013_December/pastored/

[07] https://www.movoto.com/dallas-tx/10104-lennox-ln-dallas-tx-75229-402_11983663/

[08] monroecounty-fl.gov/Archive/ViewFile/Item/3045

[09] https://fellowshipchurch.com/global-missions/

[10] https://fellowshipchurch.com/c3-global/

[11] https://fellowshipchurch.com/global-missions/

[12] Christopher Wynn. Dear God: Is Dallas society ready for Fellowship Church's sex-loving, million-dollar minister? Published December 12, 2013. http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/2013_December/pastored/

[13] https://www.visitdallas.com/things-to-do/dallas-neighborhoods/north-dallas/highland-park.html

[14] https://neighborhoods.dmagazine.com/dallas/park-cities/highland-park/

[15] http://apprising.org/2012/06/08/ed-young-jr-with-elephant-room-2s-t-d-jakes-on-tbns-praise-the-lord/


Kevin Gerald
Kevin Gerald is founder and senior pastor of one of the largest non-denominational congregations in the Pacific Northwest and one of the five Board of Overseers who set Steven Furtick's salary. Tele-Gerald Home

Two Church Locations - Two Houses
The church Kevin Gerald leads used to be called Covenant Celebration Church but has been re-named "Champions Centre" that has two locations. The larger one in Tacoma, Washington sits on a 25 acre campus. The other is in Bellevue next door to the College.

Accordingly Kevin Gerald has two homes.

Tele-Gerald Bellevue Tower1) A luxurious custom built 4 bedroom, 4.75 bath home in Puyallup WA. just 20 minutes away from the Tacoma "Champions Centre". It was bought in 2016 and is valued at slightly over a million - the taxes are close to $ 12,000 per annum. The house has a stunning views of the Cascade Range including Mt Rainier with Orting Valley in between. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with a jetted tub, private deck, and an attached sitting area with a gas fireplace. The Basement boasts a large media room and anTele-Gerald Home 3 exercise room. (Note the photographs on the right are stock real estate  pictures)

 2.) Gerald's other home is in the classy Bellevue Pacific Tower (pictured on the left)- a high-rise condominium building in the downtown area. It boasts 171 units on 24 floors, a 6,000+ square foot health club, sauna, hot tub, heated indoor pool, club room, and roof top garden terrace and a 24-hour concierge service. A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condominium rents for about $3500 a month and the purchase prices ranges from $899,000 (2 bdrm) to a 3048 sq. feet, 4 bdrm place prices at $3,299.950. [01].

Champions Centre
According to their web site, Champions Centre is "attractive, confident and committed". In the few lines that describe what the church is about there is not one word about teaching people to be disciples of Christ or how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Much to the contrary they say the church

    "Is so relevant and clear that lives are forever changed and people are transformed into champions". (Golly! And all this time I thought it was Jesus and the Holy Spirit that transformed lives)


    "Is a church we give our lives for" and that they "value excellence in life and ministry as the only attitude that honors God."  [02]

The Bellevue church says it has free wifi and is (Emphasis Added)  "is a perfect place to meet friends and study. Come join this fun community". [03].

His speaking engagements have him traveling quite extensively. In February of 2018 he was in Rockford, Illinois and Houston, Texas. In April South Africa, Birmingham, and the Life Church in the UK. May saw him in Yakima Wa. New Brunswick and Calgary, Canada. Later on this year he is scheduled to speak in California, Ohio and Florida. [04]

The Year of The Lord's Favor - A Lesson on How To Manipulate Scripture.
Because it echoes everything they believe and teach it is hardly surprising that Kevin Gerald's book Good things: Seeing Your Life Through The Lens Of God's Favor, is endorsed by among others,

    Steven Furtick of Elevation (above),

    Dr. Ed Young, senior pastor, Second Baptist Church, Houston (See Chapter 1), Tele-Chris Hodges 2

    'Success Coach Dave Martin'  (on the board of Joel Osteen's Champion's Network . See above),

    Ed Young - senior pastor Fellowship Church (also above),

    Chris Hodges, the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham - Alabama's largest church. In May 2018, Hodges was hosted on TBN by Matt & Laurie Crouch. (Two views of his house on the right)

    Marcus D. Lamb - Daystar Television Network. [05].

Quite obviously Kevin Gerald and the people who endorse his books all share the same poorTele-Chris Hodges theology. Among other things they all believe that God intended them to be wealthy. Chris Hodges bought his 6500+ sq. ft. home in Birmingham Alabama in 2010 for the cool sum of $890,000.

Anyway, I digress. Here is an example of how a momentous announcement made by Jesus can be made to seem that He was saying something He was not. Chapter three of Kevin Gerald’s book Good things: Seeing Your Life Through The Lens Of God's Favor opens with the words

    The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me...
    to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.  Luke 4:18-19

He then adds that in the synagogue that morning, Jesus read a quotation from the prophet Isaiah that he believes "clearly defined his mission and assignment on earth". He goes on to say that "most success coaches recommend that if you want to succeed in life, you need a mission statement" and although Jesus did come to "save the lost" and "give abundant life", proclaiming the year of the Lord's favor was the umbrella over it all. In fact, it was Jesus' "one big, inclusive but clear and very specific mission statement ..e". Gerald then re-quotes Luke 4:18-19.

There is one problem. Kevin left out most of Jesus said. Here is what the Lord said in its entirety in Luke 4:18-19. Note there is nothing about "abundant life".

    "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release (Gr. aphesis) to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free (Gr. aphesis) those who are oppressed, (19) to proclaim the favorable year of the lord." (Luke 4:18-19 NASB)

Eliminating much of Jesus’ statement made it seem that proclaiming the year of the Lord's favor was the primary reason Jesus said He was anointed and sent to earth. Yet, the very first point the Savior made was that He was anointed “to preach the gospel to the poor”. This was followed by release for captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and the setting free those who are oppressed. Only then did He mention proclaiming the favorable year of the Lord.

Isaiah - Setting The Oppressed Free
Here is what Isaiah said in the 61st chapter of his book

    The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (Isaiah 61:1-2 NASB)

However, this statement did not originate with Isaiah, but was based on Leviticus 25:10

    You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.  (Leviticus 25:10 NASB)

When Isaiah referred to the year of Jubilee he did something that was not exactly unknown to many of the Hebrew prophets - He took a past event and applied it to the future. In other words, although he may not have completely understood it himself, Isaiah told us that the total forgiveness of debt in the Old Testament in the year of Jubilee was a 'type', a forerunner of a much larger event in the future - the coming of the Messiah. See Typology

Jesus - Setting The Oppressed Free
After read the text from Isaiah, Jesus added "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." In other words, e was telling His audience that He was the subject of Isaiah's prophecy. He was Israel's Messiah. The acceptable year of the Lord - the year that Jesus began his ministry opening the period when God was willing to receive sinners who came to Him.

However, note that Jesus stopped short before Isaiah's words "the day of vengeance," simply because the ‘day of vengeance’ applied to His second coming. His first Coming was strictly to preach the Gospel and free the oppressed. The day of vengeance is still in the future.

Mission Statement?
Actually, there was something else that Jesus said which He repeated many times. It was summarized by Mark's description of Christ's ministry. (Emphasis Added)

    Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15 NASB)

In fact, Jesus never stopped talking about the "kingdom of God", which phrase is used over 50 times in the Gospels. Matthew, however, used it only four times, apparently preferring the synonymous "kingdom of heaven", which occurs 32 times in his book alone.

Jesus even said that the proclamation of the Kingdom was the reason He was sent to earth.

    But He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose." (Luke 4:43 NASB)

Sounds like a 'mission statement' to me

Ultimately Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19 verse is about God's favor but only in respect to salvation. Sadly, Kevin Gerald interprets it as (Emphasis Added)

    The old "on again, off again" relationship between God and his people was about to be replaced by a never-ending, ongoing commitment of God's favor to all mankind.

Comparing it to the procedure used on 'The Voice', Gerald goes on to say that God's message is

      "I've heard enough! Now I want to go from being your judge to helping you be everything you can be". (Pg. 17)

And then on page 21 he says

    God's favor is forever

    Do not make the mistake of even subconsciously seeing God's favor as having seasons, quotas, terms, and conditions.

When the Scriptures so clearly point out that "the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."  (1 Peter 3:12 NASB) how can anyone say there are no conditions?

End Notes - Kevin Gerald
[01] http://www.bellevuepacifictower.com

[02] https://cc.church/page/champions-centre-basics

[03] Champions Centre. Bellevue. https://cc.church/page/service-times

[04] Champions Centre. Speaking Engagements. https://cc.church/page/kevin-gerald

[05] https://www.tbn.org/people/chris-hodges


Joseph Prince (born 15 May 1963)
Tele-PrinceJoseph Prince was born to a Chinese mother and a Sikh father. His birth name was Xenonamandar Jegahusiee Singh which he understandably changed. Of course why he chose "Prince" as a last name is something I would dearly love to know.

Prince is senior pastor of New Creation Church in Singapore that was founded in 1984 and has grown to more than 30,000 members today. While I have been unable to find out much about his personal finances, the amount of money his church spends is nothing short of staggering. An older article on asiaone.com states that in 2010, (Emphasis Added)

    "members of the megachurch donated an impressive $21.1 million towards its multimillion-dollar building fund". Even more impressively, this was done in less than 24 hours and "breaks the church's record of over $18.8 million raised last February (2009), and $18 million raised in April 2008.' [01]

Six years later in early 2016, The Straits Times reported that "New Creation Church, a fund-raising powerhouse" [02], had fully paid for its 5,000-seat Star Theatre (where the English services take place). The Star Theatre is located within the $500 million Star Performing Arts Centre which is operated by the church's business arm, Rock Productions. [02]

    Motivated to search for a larger venue to accommodate our growing church, our business entity, Rock Productions Pte Ltd, took part in and was awarded the tender to build, lease and operate an integrated civic, cultural, retail and entertainment hub, The Star, in 2007.

    The Star comprises two zones. The retail and entertainment zone from Basement 1 to Level 2, known as The Star Vista, is managed by CapitaMalls Asia Limited. (Note: The mall cost about $477 million to develop)

    The civic and cultural zone, spanning levels 3 to 11 and known as The Star Performing Arts Centre (The Star PAC), is owned by Rock Productions. The centrepiece of The Star PAC is The Star Theatre, a state-of-the-art, 5000-seater auditorium which is used for our English services. Churchgoers at The Star Theatre are seated across three tiers – Stall, Circle 1 and Circle 2. Various other supporting spaces such as The Star Gallery, The Star Studios and The Star Loft house our Rock Kidz classes for children. [03]

In other words, the division between church and business have so blurred that one hasTele-Fand B to wonder if the two can even be separated.

Among other things the 'Amenities page' on the church web site lists the following

     The general Information Counter and Rock Kidz Information Counter are both located within the Box Office on Level 3.

     "Pastor Joseph Prince’s books, CDs and DVDs, and music albums by our church are available at NCC Resource located on level 5."

     "Rock Gifts & Book Centre on Level 2 of The Star Vista "carries a wide range of books, music, sermon CDs, DVDs and gifts".

     And of course, let's not forget that a "wide variety of food and beverage outlets are available for you to enjoy your meal and fellowship at before or after services". [04]

it is a tragedy beyond belief that churches feel it necessary to spend this kind of money on a building and their staff. Asiaone.com also reported that checks from 2009 reveal that

    "the church paid one employee between $500,001 and $550,000 in its previous financial year, but the church did not confirm if the amount went to senior pastor Joseph Prince" . [05] He however, hasn't taken a salary after that year.

Joseph Prince
Joseph has spoken in several different countries around the globe, including Israel, Norway, Germany, Holland, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and Asia. In fact, Grace Revolution Church opened its doors in Dallas, Texas just four years ago in 2014. (Although the web site says Dallas, services are held in nearby Irving).

Apparently, after God gave him the "mandate" to preach pure and unadulterated grace (during a vacation in the Swiss Alps no less) - "without attempting to balance, or mix, it with the law" Joseph is said to have fully embraced the instructions and has not looked back.

    And every week, testimonies pour in telling of hearts and minds liberated, bodies healed and made whole, lives impacted and transformed, marriages rescued and restored, and addictions and bondages destroyed. The Lord has brought about these amazing breakthroughs just by people hearing the unadulterated gospel of grace preached. This is the truth that has changed countless lives — it is no longer about what we need to do or what we have done to earn God's approval, but all about what Jesus has done for us! [06]

"Testimonies pour in"? Who are these people and where are they? Have any of the physical healings or freedom from addictions been verified by a doctor unconnected with the church?  Remember that Benny Hinn also makes some extravagant claims but has only been unable to point to more than a handful of people who were supposed to have been healed and none of those were medically verified.

In The Secret to Great Faith - Chapter 21 of his book Destined to Reign, Joseph Prince expresses his admiration for Kenneth Hagin, saying

    I give thanks to God for my roots in the Word of Faith teachings. It is truly on the shoulders of great men of God like Brother Kenneth E. Hagin that we are able to see further into the Word of God today.” Growing up, I learned a lot about faith from Brother Hagin, who truly has a special revelation of faith from the Lord, I deeply honor and respect him for all that he has taught me".

The Mind of Christ - A Second Lesson on How To Manipulate Scripture

This admiration also come through in an article entitled The Mind Of Christ Doesn't Grow Old posted on Joseph Prince Ministries

    When the late Reverend Kenneth E Hagin was in his eighties, he was still healthy and strong. This amazing man of God would run around the platform as he preached. And those who have heard him preach would tell you that he had an amazing memory with which he could recall specific details such as the day of the week that a specific date fell on and even the time. Even at that age, the man’s memory was superb! [07]

    This teaching is also a powerful demonstration of how faith teachers impose their ideas on Biblical text. The article says "My friend, the Word of God says that you have the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is not old, slow or forgetful! I don't care how old you get. You don't have to become forgetful".

This is supposedly based on 1 Corinthians 2:16, except that the only part of the verse quoted (at the top of the page) is "...we have the mind of Christ". However, what you need to do with this verses as with all others is read it in context,

    (14) But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.  (15)  But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. (16) For who has known the mind of the lord, that he will instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB. Emphasis Added)

It should now be very obvious that the mind of Christ does not mean the believer has perfect memory but has, as commentator Albert Barnes writes, "The views, feelings, and temper of Christ. Because we are influenced by his Spirit we are capable of receiving the teachings of his Spirit which a 'natural man' cannot do.

See Context Is Crucial

Poor and Sick Believers
In his book, Unmerited Favor: Your Supernatural Advantage for a Successful Life, he says Isaiah 40:31 promises this

    But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31) (Emphasis his)

And goes to say

    "there is no such thing as a "prosperity gospel." There is only the gospel of Jesus Christ"... What would you rather I preach about? That God wants you to remain sick and poor? Imagine going to your unbelieving friends and telling them, "Hey, God wants you to be sick and poor. Do you want to be a Christian?" (Pg. 236)

The problem is that there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that can be seen as God wanting us to be sick and poor. Not only were many of the Old Testament players, including Abraham, Job, Solomon, David etc. very wealthy, but the New Testament tells us numerous times that Jesus was "moved with compassion" because the people were sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36), when they were hungry ((Matthew 15:32), when they were sick - blind (Matthew 20:34 ), leprous (Mark 1:41), demon possessed (Mark 5:19) and even dead (Luke 7:13). In fact, He ”went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Matthew 9:35).

We are still burdened with the misfortune of living in a sad and sin ridden world and people get sick.

Which brings me to Isaiah 40:31 that we have to understand as the author intended it to be understood - This means that you first have to think who the message was given to, in what circumstances, and how the message would affect the listeners. Prophetic passages often had a dual meaning. They not only predicted something in the future, but were applied first to the immediate audience.

In this case, the primary reference was to the people who were soon to be exiles in Babylon (See verse 7 of the previous chapter). The prophet God was telling them that they should put confidence in the Father's infinite power. That they needed to believe that He was not only able to save them, but would do so and they should wait on him who alone could renew their strength. (Isaiah 40: 26-31).

Similarly, we can gain confidence and and strength from Isaiah 40. By contemplating the promises of God we

    "will gain new strength.” 

    "will mount up with wings like eagles" soaring above any trials and tribulations we may face in the present time.

    "will run and not get tired.” - which means we will gain endurance.

This was echoed by the author of the book of Hebrews

    Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB)

However, waiting is not a passive do-nothing state. Psalms 37:7-9 says

    Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evil doing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

The earlier verses tell us what is involved in this 'waiting'

    Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. (Psalms 37:3-6 NASB)

Reign in Life? - How to Prove Your Point by Explaining One Greek Word and Neglecting The Other.
In his book Destined to Reign Joseph Prince, echoing the philosophy of all prosperity teachers, wrote

    If you are living a life of defeat, of being defeated by sin, by perpetual guilt and condemnation, by sicknesses, by anxiety attacks, and by broken relationships, you are not living the life that God intended for you. Based on the authority of God's word, you are destined to "reign in life" as a king, to have kingly dominion over all your challenges and circumstance. You are called to be above them all and not be trampled by them. The time has come for you to stop abdicating your right to reign in life!

And adds

     "The Bible states very clearly that we are to reign in life through Jesus Christ just by receiving two things from Him: The abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness."

Prince bases this on Romans 5:17 that says in part that "those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ". He explains his interpretation of the verse by saying

The word "reign" used in Romans 5:17 is the Greek word basileuo where you get the English word "basilica". In ancient Rome, basilicas were used as law courts. So it refers to a kingly judicial rule. In other words, to reign here is to reign in life as a king, to have kingly rule and to possess kingly dominion.

For the purpose of this topic, this is a fair enough understanding of the Roman basilica. (Incidentally, although so many Christian churches have been patterned after this style of building, few ask where the idea of the basilica came from. See * below) However, Prince neglected to explain one other word in Roman 5:17, and that is the word "life" rendered from the Greek zôe - "those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life (zôe) through the One, Jesus Christ"

Zôe occurs over 130 times in the New Testament but here is where Prince's theory falls flat on its face. Virtually every single time zôe is used, it refers not to our few years on earth, but to eternal life.

    "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life (Gr. zoe) crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.  (Matthew 18:8 NASB)

    "I am the bread of life (Gr. zoe) .  (John 6:48 NASB)

    For you have died and your life (Gr. zoe) is hidden with Christ in God.  (Colossians 3:3 NASB)

    but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life (Gr. zoe) and immortality to light through the gospel,  (2 Timothy 1:10 NASB)

    But after the three and a half days, the breath of life (Gr. zoe) from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.  (Revelation 11:11 NASB)

    'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Gr. zoe) .  (Revelation 2:10 NASB)

In fact, zoe is often combined with the Greek word aionios or eternal.

    And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal (Gr. aionios) life? (Gr. zoe)?    (Matthew 19:16 NASB)

    "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal (Gr. aionios) life? (Gr. zoe). (Matthew 25:46 NASB)

    For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal (Gr. aionios) life (Gr. zoe).Galatians 6:8 NASB 

In John's first Epistle, not only does the apostle tell us that "He who has the Son has the life" - pretty much what Paul said in Romans 5:17, but John specifies the life he is speaking about is eternal life.

    And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:11-12 NASB)

And, if we would ever learn to read in context, Paul was also referring to eternal life in Romans 5.

    (16) The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.  (17) For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (18) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.  (19)  For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.  (20)  The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,  (21)  so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:16-21 NASB)

Other verses also tell us that in the world to come, we will reign with Christ.

    And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.  (Revelation 22:5 NASB)

But remember - If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; (2 Timothy 2:12 NASB)

    * In summary, Constantine made Christianity the state religion and built a number of churches fashioned after the Roman Basilicas, which were, in turn, modeled after The Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall. Karnak was the largest religious sanctuary in Egypt's imperial capital of Thebes, and was dedicated to the god Amun Ra. A few decades later another Roman emperor issued an edict forbidding "heretics" to call their "conventicles", churches. In other words, private meetings for religious worship was punishable by law. See Where Christians Assemble


End Notes Joseph Prince

[01] New Creation Church collected S$21 million in fewer than 24 hours. Mon, Aug 30, 2010

[02] Melody Zaccheus. Heritage and Community Correspondent. New Creation Church's $500m centre fully paid for.

[03] The Birth Of The Star. http://thestar.newcreation.org.sg/birth-of-the-star.php

[03] Melody Zaccheus. Heritage and Community Correspondent. New Creation Church dismisses report that Joseph Prince is among top 10 richest pastors. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/new-creation-church-dismisses-report-that-joseph-prince-is-among-top-10-richest-pastors.

[04] Amenities. http://thestar.newcreation.org.sg/amenities.php

[05] New Creation Church collected S$21 million in fewer than 24 hours

[06] The Ministry. How the Grace Revolution Began https://www.josephprince.org/about/the-ministry

[07] Joseph Prince Ministries. The Mind Of Christ Doesn't Grow Old.


Index To The Lifestyles of Wealthy Celebrity Pastors