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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Do This To Guard Yourself Against Deception In Church

Derek Prince - Do This To Guard Yourself Against Deception In Church

Derek Prince - Do This To Guard Yourself Against Deception In Church

This is an excerpt from: Take Heed That You Are Not Deceived

Now we come to what I call the positive part of this message. How to be free from deception. And I have nine recommendations. So this is the positive part. I’ve given you some of the negatives, some of the warnings, some of the examples of people who didn’t escape from deception. Now I want to give you what I believe are nine principles.

Number one, it’s only by God’s mercy that we can be faithful. I was impressed years ago by a statement of Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter 7:25: He said: I give my opinion as one who has obtained mercy of the Lord to be found faithful. And I realized then, and I think I’ve never forgotten it, that it’s only through the mercy of the Lord that we can be found faithful. It’s not our cleverness, it’s not our spirituality, it’s not the number of verses of Scripture that we can quote. We are dependent on the mercy of the Lord. And as long as we live that way, He will not withhold His mercy from us, but when we become arrogant and self-confident and think we can do without God’s mercy, we are in terrible danger.

Second, we need to cultivate humility and the fear of the Lord. And I’ll read one of my favorite passages from Psalm 25, Psalm 25:8–9: Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. What kind of person does God teach? The humble, that’s right. So, if we ever cease to be humble, we are in danger of passing out from under God’s protection. And then in says in verse 12 and 14: Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall [the Lord] teach in the way He chooses. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

So what’s the condition there for receiving truth from God? The fear of the Lord. In other words, humility and the fear of the Lord are our protection. And I quoted this morning, but some of you weren’t here, two passages about wisdom and knowledge. I was talking with Ruth and we were praying and I said, "I really would like some way to know what is true wisdom and what is true knowledge". And out of my mouth came a prayer, which I realized was God’s answer. And I said, "All true wisdom and all true knowledge proceed out of the fear of the Lord. Anything that does not come out of the fear of the Lord is not true wisdom and is not true knowledge". And the Scriptures that God gave me were Proverbs 9:10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom [the first part, the foundation of wisdom]" and Proverbs 1:7: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge".

So anything that does not begin in the fear of the Lord is neither true wisdom nor true knowledge. We had a prophetic utterance that said God was teaching His people to walk in the fear of the Lord. I have to say that He’s teaching me. I would be afraid not to be in the fear of the Lord. If you ever want a blessing, get a concordance and look through all the promises in the Bible attached to the fear of the Lord. And I think you will find that there is nothing to which God attaches more promises of blessing than the fear of the Lord. "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life". "He who has the fear of the Lord will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil". What more could you ask than that?

All right. Number three. Base everything on the Scriptures. First, general revelation, which is in the Scriptures, then we can seek for personal revelation. Now the Bible doesn’t tell me that I am to go as a missionary to India. If that is to be true, I have to get a personal revelation. But I’m not entitled to expect personal revelation if I’m not living in the general revelation, which is true for all Christians. You see, that’s laziness. I would say this: A person has no right to go to a prophet for a word from God if he’s not living in the revealed truth of Scripture. If you live according to the general revelation, then you can expect personal revelation when you need it. But if you ignore the general, I think you're almost insulting God to say, "God, give me a special word". God says, "Why don’t you read My Bible"? I’ve written this: A Christian who ignore his Bible has no right to hear from God. And many times when he thinks he’s hearing from God, he isn’t.

All right. Number four. Very, very important: Focus on Jesus. Revelation 19:10 tells us the essential nature of prophecy and it’s in a very short, succinct verse. Revelation 19:10. The revelatory angel said to John: "Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy". All true prophecy, in one way or another, points us to Jesus. That’s true of every biblical prophecy in the Old Testament and it should be true of every kind of prophecy given by the Holy Spirit in the church. It should point us to Jesus and exalt Jesus. And Jesus said in John 16: verses 13-14: "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come [that’s legitimate. But it goes on:] He will glorify Me [Jesus], for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you".

The supreme function of the Holy Spirit in the church is to glorify Jesus. That’s what He comes to do. And I’ll tell you, as a little secret for meetings, if you want the anointing and blessing of the Holy Spirit, concentrate on glorifying Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be happy to be there. But anything that diverts people’s attention from Jesus and turns them off into secondary issues and does not give glory to Jesus is not from the Holy Spirit. That’s a pretty sure test. Now I’ve been a Pentecostal for 49 years. I’ve been amongst Pentecostals, God bless them, who made all sorts of strange statements and wild noises and said it was the Holy Spirit. But Jesus got no glory from it at all. They were deceived, poor people. But they’re not the only ones. We’ve got now a smarter set of people called Charismatics, and they get deceived, too.

The next suggestion I have is leave the initiative with God. Don’t worry God for revelation. Sit there quietly and let God give it to you as, and when, He pleases. Jesus said, "My judgment is true because I do not judge of Myself but as I hear I judge". Try and follow that pattern. Hear, and then judge. Don’t preempt God. Don’t worry God with your problems especially theological problems. There’s a beautiful Scripture that I love in Psalm 131. Psalm 131. I’ll read just two verses. David, of course. Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. [Notice what he’s guarding himself against in one word: Pride.] Nor do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Beware of being concerned with things that are too profound for you. There are lots of things you couldn’t understand if God told you them. Let God keep them to Himself.

Now this is the Scripture: Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. This became very vivid to me years ago when I used to preach to Africans in Kenya. And if there was a congregation, say the size of this middle section, the front three rows would probably be taken up by mothers nursing their babies. And every time a baby squealed, the mother would take out the breast and give it the breast. Well, I got used to directing my eyes beyond the third row! But, you see, that’s an unweaned child. Every time it wants something, it squeals. But a weaned child waits for mother to prepare the appropriate food at the appropriate time. So don’t go to God squealing like an unweaned child. Be weaned. Accept God’s meals when He provides them. Be disciplined. You see that?

All right. The next warning I would give is: Beware of fantasy. There is a spirit of fantasy. And it’s taking millions of people over, mainly through television. And, honestly, a lot of young people today don’t know whether what they’re seeing is real or fantasy. Now I’m going to give a little personal illustration. I hope I can make it vivid. Because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this for some time. And I have a very vivid imagination. I think it’s part of my gifting as a writer. And my imagination easily takes over. I can hear something and my imagination goes into high gear, and I’m off. And I can be miles away in a few seconds.

Now, there is a good side to that, but it’s very dangerous. And one day I was kind of meditating on the greatness of God and all that He’s done, and on His calling and I felt like I was at the top of a very rugged, beautiful mountain peak. And I could look out in different directions and see glorious vistas. And I was getting carried away with the beauty and the exhilaration. And I looked one other way and I saw a very steep precipice, going down sheer, hundreds of feet, and I wasn’t far from it. And I was really gripped with fear. I felt the fear in the pit of my stomach. And I thought, "God, where’s the guardrail"? And I got this answer: "The guardrail is the Scriptures. As long as you stay inside them, you’re safe! But if you get outside, you’re headed for disaster".

So, if you have a vivid imagination, yield it to the Holy Spirit. You see, this is a terrible thing to say, but if I wanted to be a false prophet, which God forbid, I would be a very successful one. Can you understand what I’m saying? I know I have the gifts that could fascinate people. You know what the word fascinate it comes from a Latin word that means "to bewitch". That’s exactly what it means. So anything that’s fascinating, in a certain sense, is potentially bewitching. So, use your vivid imagination. Let God give you glorious vistas, but, my dearly beloved brothers and sisters, stay inside the guardrail. Why should you be another casualty? There are plenty before you. Never go outside the Scriptures and you’re safe. The next one is: Keep it simple and plain. Don’t be super-spiritual. Don’t use a lot of high-flown language. Stick with simplicity. I always like the thing that dear Corrie ten Boom used to say, I’m sure some of you have heard her: Kiss. K-I-S-S: "Keep It Simple, Stupid"! Believe me, I take that to heart. If I ever get outside the simplicity, I get nervous.
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