In view of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the reference Jude makes to them in relation to false teachers, I feel to make this public – even if only a few will read it. Hopefully, it will be my children, friends and interested brethren in the Lord Jesus. One has to say unequivocally, that Joseph Prince, who reaches hundreds of millions of believers and others weekly, has a habit that greatly disregards the truths of the gospel.
He uses verses of Scripture, mostly from the Old Testament and backed up by him in his personal use of the New. Each verse used is taken out of context. This gives him ammunition to seemingly give scriptural support to what he preaches. The reverse is the truth. When he uses scripture out of context, he places a meaning on the verse that is not at all what the meaning is when read in the Bible. Most of his listeners would never think to turn to their Bibles to read the verses preceding and following such that he uses.
Therefore it can be said that what he is preaching is not the truth of the Word of God. If it is not the truth, then he is preaching lies. This occurrence is so prevalent that it happens in every sermon. In fact, what he is actually preaching is not even found in the gospel. His platform is “success, prosperity and such health that sickness does not come – a person will live to old age disease free”. May I ask how these millions of listeners, if they believe the fantasies, will be able to die? Paul said in one of his sermons in Acts that it is appointment unto men to die and after that the judgment. That is the common human lot.
All those who imbibe what he preaches should note the following verses out of Holy Writ that give warning to his kind of preachers – and thus to those who pay attention and follow, into the ditch of lies and unbelief. Jesus did warn that certain leaders would go themselves along with their followers into ditches.
The following portion of Scripture tells us the story of destruction sent by God in centuries past. Positivity thinkers and speakers should be able to notice that the Bible is not full of positive stances, rather the opposite. Here is one instance of warning to believers: ‘Lety us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, making hgoliness complete in the fear of the Lord’ (2 Cor.7:1). The real translation stating ‘fear’ is ‘terror’. Yes, in terror of what the Lord could or may do!
“Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.’ ESV (Gen.19:24-29).
Archaeologists have often looked to unearth the sites of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just lately, one archaeologist just followed the directions in the Bible and commenced a dig under the delta of the Jordan River as it enters the Dead Sea. He discovered underneath layers of earth the remains of the terrible destruction that came on these cities, probably about five thousand years ago. He discovered fragmented skeletons, just pieces of bone, charred on one side with a glaze. If a potter were to use glaze such as that, he would need to have a furnace fire of 2000 degrees. The whole area looked as if it had been hit by a nuclear bomb. Also, the fact that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, is indicative of the fact that the area being close to the Red Sea, would have affected it in such a way that spumes of salt apparently erupted, one encasing this wife who refused to obey God.
From another report, we know that two scientists investigating Arabian charts of the universe, followed ancient charts of the heavens by clever astronomers from that era and carrying forward many centuries. After much research and intensive mathematical calculations, they were astounded and excited to find out that there had been an asteroid that went right across the heavens in a north-north easterly directions. It landed on a certain mountain in Switzerland. There it caused a massive removal of the material from the top of a mountain that was sliced off. They estimated this mammoth amount had been shot up into the sky to travel and land exactly where they considered the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah to have been.
These matters should be viewed with much sober fear and indeed terror, as the Greek word indicates : “Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” RV (2 Cor.7:1). Two sources of the dictionary meaning of the word phobos translated here as “fear” is also “terror”. This is somewhat contradictory to the positive gospel that overlooks all of the negative words in the Bible. It is different from their preaching about the confessions of positive Bible verses and human platitudes. This is done with a sense of such positivity that it really places all of us who hear, if we do not take care, in the position of being like an ostrich that puts its head in the sand. It is blind to the realities around.
The New Testament gives us warning as to terrible disaster and destruction that fell on the cities and people of Sodom and Gomorrah about three thousand years ago, as recorded by Moses. We read it here:”Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (v). Jude, the brother of James and of Jesus (sons of Mary and Joseph) recorded it for you and for me. Let us take note.
Jude also prophesied about our day. He did not cast blame on those who stand for the truth. Rather he showed the evils of those who do not follow and preach truth: “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit” (Jude 17-19)..
Then he gives us hope and a wonderful promise of how to escape these delusions and not be influenced by them: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit” v.20. This holy faith is the truth of the gospel. It is the body of beliefs set out in the Gospels and the Epistles. It is holy because it has been given by God. It is holy because it shows us we are to walk a holy walk with holines ever increasing in our lives. this accords with “perfecting holiness in the fear (or terror) of the Lord.
It is our privilege to obey this verse. It means we fill our hearts with the word of the gospel and obey the Lord Jesus. We are also required to pray in the Holy Spirit. This is praying in other tongues. It edifies us personally and we are fortified to follow the faith.