Derek Prince - False Churches Are Unfaithful To Jesus
This is an excerpt from: True & False Church - Part 1
Our theme this evening, and it will be in two sessions, is: True and False Church. The most important thing for you to carry away from these sessions is the fact that there is a true Church and there is a false Church. And if you don’t understand that you are liable to be confused and deceived. I will try to give you, out of Scripture, a portrait, first of the false Church and, then of the true. But if you can’t carry away all of the details I trust that you’ll lay hold of this one fact, that there are, in a sense, two Churches on earth today. There’s a true Church and a false Church. I hope that I’ll be able to give you sufficient information that from now on you’ll be on your guard, you’ll not be deceived by the false Church and you’ll know where you are spiritually at any given time.
In 2 Corinthians, chapter 11, verses 2, 3 and 4, Paul explains to us how a false church has come into being. 2 Corinthians 11, verses 2,3 and 4. Writing to the church at Corinth, Paul says: For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy; for I have betrothed you to one husband [that is the Lord Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. If you consider the kind of people that the church of Corinth was made up from, that’s an amazing statement. Paul gives a list of the kind of people they were. Prostitutes, homosexuals, lesbians, drunkards, fornicators, extortioners and all the rest. And yet, through the power of the blood of Jesus and the sanctifying work of the word of God Paul can envisage a congregation made up of people like that, being presented to the Lord Jesus Christ as a chaste virgin.
And Paul, who was the one who founded that church, speaks about having betrothed those people to the Lord Jesus. We need to understand that in the culture of that day, the Biblical culture, there were two steps. First betrothal and then marriage. Betrothal was not just engagement as we understand it today because many times an engagement is broken off without any catastrophic consequences. But in that culture a betrothal was a very sacred, solemn commitment. It did not permit the marriage to be consummated but it was, in a sense, just as sacred a commitment as the actual marriage. And for a person to be unfaithful to the vows of betrothal was treated as adultery, as the actual breaking of marriage vows.
So, there were these two phases. First a woman was betrothed to a man. And in that culture it wasn’t very long before the marriage ceremony would actually take place. After that they were duly and legally husband and wife. So, commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, in a sense, is a betrothal. And each and all of us who have made that commitment have been betrothed to Jesus. But we are not yet married. The book of Revelation, chapter 19, verses 7 and 8 contains a beautiful picture of the actual celebration of the marriage. It says: The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. And all heaven, in fact, the whole universe is excited about the marriage of the Lamb.
I had a personal revelation, a very simple one, just a few months ago. I was awakened in the middle of the night not by plan. And as I meditated I felt, I just got a brief glimpse of the excitement that the Lord Jesus feels about two things. First, that He’s going to be reconciled to His brothers, the Jewish people, after 2,000 years of alienation. And second, that He’s going to take His bride home. What I felt was that when Jesus is excited, all heaven is excited. And just for a few seconds I think I felt a little of the excitement of the Lord and of the beings in heaven. But at the present time we are still only betrothed, the marriage supper hasn’t come.
Now, this is where the true and the false church separate. The true Church remains faithful to its betrothal vows, the false church is unfaithful and through being unfaithful to those vows is thereafter described as a harlot or a prostitute or an immoral woman. And Paul goes on in the next two verses to explain how Christians can be corrupted from their original commitment to Jesus. So, he goes on in verse 3: But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity, another version says, simplicity and purity that is in Christ. So, the process that leads to unfaithfulness is the corrupting of the minds of believers. And Paul says I want to emphasize the simplicity and the purity of the gospel. The gospel, in its essence, is extremely simple.
It consists of certain historical facts, and Paul states them in 1 Corinthians 15. That, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised again on the third day, according to the Scriptures. That is the gospel. I’m always grieved and unhappy when people make it complicated. The basic essential truths of the gospel are so simple that a child of six can easily comprehend them. And very often a child of six understands them better than a grown adult of 20 or 30 or 40 years old. So, beware. Beware when people start to use a lot of psychological jargon and invoke the support of psychiatrists, for the truth of the gospel. The gospel doesn’t need the support of psychiatrists. God bless psychiatrists, they’re doing their job some better and some worse, but they’re doing it.
The Bible stands without the endorsement of psychiatrists or philosophers, or scientists or anybody. It’s based on certain simple, historical facts. It’s either true or its false, but there’s nothing in between. It differs in that respect from all other world religions, because no other world religion is tied that way into human history.
All other religions: Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Islam are all, in a sense, independent of history. Mohammed could have had his visions or whatever he had in any cave at any time, anywhere. It wouldn’t have changed the revelation that he got. Likewise with Hinduism, Buddhism; they’re speculative. They came into history at a certain point in time and Buddhists believe that Buddha received his revelation under a bow tree, whatever a bow tree is. But it could have been any kind of tree. It’s not tied to human history. Christianity is the only religion that fits in to human history. And either the things that it claims happened, did happen or they didn’t. It’s either true or it’s false. But it’s quite different in its content from any other world religion. And as I’ve said, it’s essentially simple