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Devotional - Joseph Prince; The King Of Eisegeses

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, May 9, 2014.

  1. Sanctify themin the truth; your word is truth. - John 17: 17 (ESV)

    It seems in the church today the truth has become a malleable property. Something we can mold and shape to look as we want it to look. Like spiritual play-doh, Christians simply treat the holy Word of God as if it were a toy. Something to self-justify their own carnal leanings while still maintaining a veneer of piety. The key verse for today are the words of Jesus Christ in prayer to the Father. As such it should be taken very seriously when we consider how the Word should be viewed. Here Jesus is praying that we be separate from the world. That we not be corrupted by the world. That we are sanctified - which means set apart for His service. Yet how do we achieve this sanctification when there are so many worldly influences all around us? How do we defend ourselves from becoming more like the world instead of more like Jesus? God always gives us the answer beloved. We are set apart unto the service of God through His Word. Thus it becomes vital that we approach the Word of God in a serious manner. Not seeking to prove ourselves right or righteous. Instead we should approach the Word of God to hear what sayeth the Lord. As long and often complex as the Bible can appear, we make it far more difficult than it ought to be simply by our own biases. I have heard seemingly well intended Christians claim that the truth cannot be gleaned because everyone can have different interpretations. Or because we cannot understand the cultural influences on the writers. As if the Word of God, which has been sufficient throughout all time has suddenly become obsolete. To that I say nonsense. We always take cultural influences into account when interpreting the Word but we start from the understanding that it is all God-breathed. God inspired every single word written in the Bible and He sees all time. It is just as relevant today as it was 1000 years ago. But we have to approach it understanding that it is our plumb line. It is how we measure everything in our lives. It must not only have sufficiency for our lives but it must have supremacy. It is the truth and it sets us apart to God - but only if we handle it correctly.

    Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. - 2Timothy 2: 15 (ESV)

    The New Testament is filled with warnings to us about false teachers. These people will be the true cause of division within the body of Christ. With smooth words and flattery they will deceive the hearts of the naive. Smooth words are nice sounding words. Comforting words. Seeker friendly words. Flattery is designed to butter us up. To scratch our itching ears. To tell us what we want to hear. About how great we are instead of how great God is. In order to accomplish this however, the false teachers must approach the Word of God falsely because the Word will always glorify God, not man. One such common tool of deception is known as eisegesis. This defined as"The process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text." So this means the person approaches the Bible not to hear what God has to say but instead to try and prove what they want to say is supported biblically. The truth is when you look throughout history we can see that the eisegeses approach distorts the Bible. It perverts it into something it was never saying in the first place. The Bible was used to justify slavery and segregation. It was used to promote discrimination against women. It was used to justify the crusades, the slaughter of the American Indian, and the Salem witch trials. Today it is used by some in the church to create their own religions ignoring clear moral instruction from God, to excuse their sin. It is used by false teachers today to build their own personal empires and fortunes, fleecing the poor and naive in the name of God.

    When it comes to modern false teaching the king of eisegesis is Joseph Prince. He is the master of what is commonly referred to as hyper-grace heresy. It is a most insidious false teaching because it takes something so vital to our faith, the grace of God, and it perverts it to ends it was never intended to go to. It seeks to remove sin from the collective consciousness of believers and turns God into a cosmic blessing machine who is always infinitely pleased with us. When Prince first rose to power he had a lot of Bible verses about grace from which to preach, which made the falseness of his theology difficult to spot. Still, many respected preachers and theologians expressed their discomfort with it. What we have seen recently is that he has run out of the old stand by Scriptures because he has preached them all. Now he is reduced to scouring the Bible for stories and verses he can read hyper-grace into. Do we understand that today? He does not approach the Word of God to hear from God but rather to prove that his gospel, which he readily admits is a different gospel (claimed it has been delivered to him by God Himself) is correct. We have highlighted many glaring errors already. He once preached that the verses in Revelation 3 about the warnings to the church at Laodicea were about law and grace - an absolute absurdity when you read the verses. He once preached that Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 were unbelievers. Another absurd claim when one reads the full context, which stretches back into Acts 4. He once mishandled the Parable of the 99 and 1 to conclude that repentance should be defined as merely, "consenting to be loved." There are plenty of other examples but one must understand what we see here. There is a false notion out there that every Bible verse can have multiple interpretations. There is only one Spirit beloved. God certainly did not intend for their to be confusion, since He is not the author of confusion. There is only one correct interpretation. Which is why following rules for interpretation are critical. You do not read into the text with presuppositions what is clearly not there . When you read Revelation 3 and Acts 4 and 5 there is absolutely no question that the assertions made by Joseph Prince are flat out wrong.

    So why does he make them? Because he has a pre-supposed gospel that does not match the actual truth in the Bible. He needs Revelation 3 to be about grace and law because that is all he preaches about. He needs Ananias and Sapphira to be unbelievers because the truth lays waste to his entire false gospel. We will examine another example today taken from this sermon:

    In here Prince correctly condemns the movie made recently about Noah. I agree with him that it was a travesty and not even close to the Biblical record. Unfortunately, he then goes on to preach, where he usually finds himself in trouble. We see early on his agenda when he claims that the movie maker made God out to be angry and mean and he hates that they "misrepresent his god." Realize as we pointed out that this is at the heart of the hyper-grace deception. It seeks to candy coat God. That He is all puppies and rainbows and that he is always pleased with what we do. Well, let's see what the Bible actually says:

    The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. - Genesis 6: 5-8 (ESV)

    Gee, that sure seems like God is angry. Some might even view His decision to kill every living creature on earth except one family and one pair of each species as being mean. The movie Noah was so wrong on many things but I think when God decides to wipe out the entire human race it can be safe to say He was displeased. But again realize that Prince is setting up his theology, not dividing the Word of God as an approved worker.

    Prince starts to discuss Cain and Abel and once again we see his pre-formed bias when he claims that the first murder was over "religion." This is a common staple among many new preachers. They embody religion but openly condemn it as evil. If you dare speak against the teacher it is because you are "religious." It is an intellectually and Biblically vacuous position to hold. Prince also reads the devil into Cain's decision, which is nowhere in the text. What is in the text is that Cain was angry with God for accepting his brother's offering and not his own. Anger as Jesus would teach us later, is the root cause of murder.

    Moving along, we see Prince begin to teach the fallen angel interpretation of the "sons of God" verses in Genesis 6. Then he jumps off a theological cliff by proclaiming that all of the people on the earth were eventually these hybrid creatures, the Nephilim. That the only pure bred humans left was Noah and his family. Really? This is eisegesis on steroids. As I was wondering why he would make such a silly claim Prince brought this false teaching around full circle to support hyper-grace. He claims that because Noah was the only pure-bred human left God actually sent the flood to preserve humanity; not to punish wickedness! His assertion is that the flood was a display of the grace and mercy of God to preserve the human race instead of being a display of His wrath against wickedness. Wow. only in the world of hyper grace can the flood be perverted into an act of God's love for man. Let us again allow the Bible to be our plumb line for refuting this heresy:

    When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. - Genesis 6: 1-8 (ESV)

    God is pretty clear here. The offspring of the daughters of men and the sons of God are called the Nephilim. When He is speaking about man in general, he is equally clear. So what did the Lord see that grieved Him in His heart and made Him decide to send the flood? The wickedness of MAN. He regretted that He made MAN. The thoughts of MAN were evil continually. Not only that beloved but who does God say He will blot out by the flood? Man whom I have created! God did not create the Nephilim - they were the offspring of the fallen angels and the daughters of man. There is no question that the conclusion drawn by Prince, that Noah was the only pure bred human left, is simply not supported by the Biblical text. So Prince doubles down on his heresy by perverting the next verse as well:

    These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. - Genesis 6: 9 (KJV)

    Prince claims that because the word used here for perfect mean unblemished, that it must mean that he was the only pure breed left. Never mind that this is nowhere in the text and the surrounding context debunks this notion completely. Never mind that the commentators throughout history have deemed this to men perfect in the sense of integrity. No beloved, when you are seeking to prove your own version of the truth instead of allowing the truth of God to speak to you, nothing matters except being able to say you were right.

    This is the textbook definition of eisegesis. Joseph Prince needs Noah to be the last pure bred human in order to turn a story about the wrath of God into a story about His grace and mercy. The sad thing is he didn't have to do it. The ark itself is a type of Christ. He could of exposited this story correctly and still discussed the great love and mercy of God. The problem is in order to do that you also must address the wrath of God and the wickedness of man and that is simply not part of hyper-grace. Just like he must read into Acts 5 that Ananias and Sapphira were really unbelievers when it is clear they were believers. Just like he must read into Revelation 3 that lukewarmness must mean mixing law and grace when there is nothing to support such a silly notion. Because his goal is not to hear from God and allow God to speak to him. It is so he can prove that his gospel is true; even at the cost of the true Gospel. That should be enough to make any discerning believer steer very clear of Joseph Prince. I understand that a lot of what he preaches sounds so right and scratches our itching ears. I get it. But if you delve into the Word of God like the Bereans to test everything you will discover that his gospel is false to the core.

    Reverend Anthony Wade - May, 9, 2014

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