Derek Prince - Be Careful Of This When You Join A Church
This is an excerpt from: Take Heed That You Are Not Deceived
Now I would like to give you some thoughts on how deception enters. And I believe there’s only really one door that let’s deception in and that is PRIDE. I believe behind all deception there is pride. Pride is what opens us up to deception. The real pattern of that is Lucifer who was maybe the most beautiful and the wisest of all the angels. But he became proud of his beauty and his wisdom turned in rebellion and ended in deception. And if that can happen to an archangel in heaven as it did how many of us could say "It could never happen to me"! One of the lures of many cults is the attraction that if you join them you are going to join a supergroup. I mean, the real overcomers. The people who are going to get the job done. The church has messed around and not got the job done but now here we are we’re going to get the job done.
What does that appeal to? Pride, that’s right. I mean, let’s take the Manifested Sons teaching which some of you are probably familiar with. That was exactly their teaching. But they went much further because they taught ultimately that you could achieve immortality if you did the right things. It’s remarkable how many cults teach that. The Mormons teach it. It gets taught indirectly through Freemasonry. And it all goes back to what the Bible calls The Lie, which was the first lie which Satan turned on the human race which was "You shall be as gods". And every time, really, that he wants to deceive people he uses the same type of motivation.
So beware when people tell you there’s a super-group that have gone further than others. And they are usually rather critical of previous generations of Christians but I’d have to say as far as I’ve seen they don’t begin to produce the same kind of results that previous generations produced. And I say to people if you ever join a group who tells you, "If you want to be right, you’ve got to join us". When you’ve joined them, you’ll know one thing: you’re wrong! Proverbs 29:5 says: "He who flatters his neighbor with his mouth spreads a net for his feet". Beware of flattery! I think this applies particularly to preachers. Preachers are very susceptible to flattery. And we can become embroiled in things because people give us flattering invitations and suggest that, "If you’ll align with us, we’ll open doors for you".
If you’re not a preacher you probably don’t realize how powerful that temptation is because most preachers in a way, check their effectiveness by the number of invitations they have. I’ve heard more than one preacher admit that. That’s not a very spiritual attitude but let’s be honest, we’re not always very spiritual people. Jesus has a chosen group but it’s not super-group. It’s a different kind of people. Only Jesus would have chosen people like that. It’s stated in 1 Corinthians 1 verses 26 and following: For you see your calling, brethren [or, you see the kind of people that you’ve got yourself mixed up with] . not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty not many noble, are called. But God has chosen. And you remember God will protect those whom He has chosen.
Now, in order to be one of God’s chosen, you have to be in this list because God HAS chosen. He’s not going to change His mind. He’s not going to revise. It’s settled. So as we go down this, just see if you fit: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen and the things which are not to bring to nothing the things that are that no flesh should glory in His presence. You see, God has a motive: to eliminate pride. And so this is the list. I mean, just ask yourself: Do I fit? He has chosen the foolish things; He’s chosen the weak things He’s chosen the base or lowly things the things that are despised and the things that are not. And the reason God has chosen that is that no one will ever be able to boast and say "God has chosen me because I’m so clever, or so strong, or so wise. He needed me".
When I got saved, by a kind of "divine accident," I was serving in the British Army in World War II. I was a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge and had a distinguished academic record behind me and a future in the academic world and for awhile I used to have the attitude: God was pretty lucky to get me. The more I knew about me the more I revised that opinion. My opinion now is, I can’t think whyever God picked on me! Now, truth was, I’d been removed from my fellowship in Cambridge. I was no longer wandering around in a gown in the sanctified courts of King’s. I was a local, acting unpaid Lance Corporal. And my salary was two shillings a day (old shillings) and that’s when God "got" me. Thank God He got me! So, just be careful. If anybody tries to convince you that you can be a special super kind of Christian if you join "our group," it’s a sure warning to stay away from them. All right?