Joseph Prince’s Unscriptural Ideas About Dealing With Temptation

In the videoclip below, Singaporean megachurch pastor Joseph Prince advised his church to “rest” when tempted.

Even if you are tempted, you don’t try to overcome it. Let Jesus handle it,” said Prince.

Although the advice sounds “spiritual”, it is actually unscriptural and adverse to one’s spiritual well-being if put into practice.

According to our Lord Jesus Christ, this is how we are to handle temptation – PRAYER!

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41; NIV)

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mark 14:38)

On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:40)

“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:40)

Also, the bible teaches us that true believers do overcome:

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because YOU HAVE overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:13; emphasis added)

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and YOU HAVE overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:14; emphasis added)

YOU, dear children, are from God and HAVE OVERCOME THEM, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4; emphasis added)

Indeed, the ability to overcome is the hallmark of a true believer:

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4a)

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:5)

A believer who does not overcome, but who is instead overcome, is in a spiritually perilous place:

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. (2 Peter 2:20)

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Beautiful Pastor’s Wife Succumbs to Temptation and Crosses the Point of No Return

This is an interesting story that appeared in Pastor Rony Tan’s (Lighthouse Evangelism) book Clearing Cobwebs, highlighting how important it is for believers to watchful over temptations that are projected into their minds by demons:

Once, an evangelist was shown an open vision of a pastor’s wife. This lady was someone whom the evangelist knew.

The reason why the Lord had shown this evangelist a vision of the lady was because He wanted him to learn how demons operate. It wasn’t just for the fun of it.

In the vision, the evangelist saw a monkey-like creature sitting on the shoulder of the lady. This creature began to whisper to her, “You are so beautiful. You are too beautiful to waste your time with your husband in this church. With your beauty, you can go out into the world, make a name for yourself and earn big bucks.”

At first this pastor’s wife rejected the evil thoughts from the devil. The evangelist then saw the monkey-like creature fall off and run away. But then it came back on her shoulders again.

Temptations never completely go away. As long as we’re living in this world, the devil will always involve us in a guerrilla warfare. He attacks, then retreats whenever there is resistance, but he will come back to attack again. He attacks our minds in this manner.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He soundly whipped the devil by the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. When the devil left Him, it was recorded that he left for a season.

That means he returned to tempt Jesus again and again. Jesus encountered every temptation with the Word of God and Satan was defeated every time.

The pastor’s wife rejected those devilish thoughts time and again. Every time she took authority, the devil fled. But the devil continued to return.

Then came the day when she began to listen to what the devil had to say. She began to pay more attention to those thoughts. She began to entertain and dwell upon them.

In that vision, the pastor’s wife suddenly became transparent and that monkey-life creature became a black dot in her mind. Now harassment had become obsession. It is easier to get rid of harassment than obsession.

Now the grip of the devil was tighter. Even at this stage, she could have rebuked and cast out the devil’s idea. But instead, she continued to feed on those thoughts.

Finally, the evangelist saw how that black dot in her mind went deeper into her heart. This time it became possession.

The lady went astray and led a promiscuous life. Still, the Spirit of God continued to strive in her heart, she stubbornly refused to repent. In fact, she deliberately and decisively rejected the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and told the Spirit of God never to bother her again. She consciously and conscientiously spurned the Spirit’s wooing and rebelled against God. She chose to serve the devil.

The Lord then spoke to this evangelist and said, “Don’t even pray for her because she will not repent!”

This lady had crossed the line to the point of no return. She was beyond redemption.

In this case, it was more than backsliding and denial of Christ out of a moment’s weakness. It was a deliberate and consistent choice to turn from light to darkness, and from Christ to Satan.