Derek Prince - Are You Able To Discern Between The Soulish And The Spiritual?
This is an excerpt from: True And False Church - Part 2
And then in verse 16 of that chapter, as they watched the destruction of this city they say: "Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls" And as I was reading that verse one time it came into my mind to compare this with the attire of the high priest under the law of Moses.
I noticed there was one significant difference. Let me read those words again, and then I'll go back to Exodus 28. She was clothed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. Now, going back to Exodus, chapter 28, verse 8, we have a description of the high priest's ephod, which was the distinctive garment that a priest wore. I want to read this and I want you to see if you can notice just one thing that the high priest had that the harlot didn't have. The harlot had everything except this one thing. And the intricately woven band of the ephod, which is on it, shall be of the same workmanship, woven of gold and blue and purple and scarlet thread, and fine linen thread. What's the extra thing? Blue, that's right. The false church has the purple and the scarlet but only the true priest has the purple, the scarlet and the blue. And blue, I believe, always speaks of the heavenly, the realm of the Spirit.
So this false church operates in the realm of the soul, its appeal is to the soulish in man aesthetic, music, art, all of which are legitimate in their way but it does not touch the spirit of man. There is nothing of the blue in it. There's nothing of the purity of the heavenly. Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2 that it's very important for God's people to learn to distinguish between the spiritual and the soulish. The way you're looking at me tells me I need to read that chapter to you.
1 Corinthians, chapter 2, just reading the latter part. The essence of this is the distinction between the spiritual and the soulish. The word soulish is not used because we don't have the word soulish in the English language. But we simply have to have it to translate the Bible rightly. Let me just say something. The Greek word for soul, writing it in English letters, is psuche from which the adjective is psuchekos. All right? The Greek word for spirit is pneuma from which the adjective is pneumatikos. You can see that, they follow the same form.
Now, how do we translate pneuma and pneumatikos? What's the adjective? From spirit, spiritual. So, to be logical, if this word psuche is soul, psuchekos must be translated soulish. Do you see that? Now, we don't have that word. In the Scandinavian language they have a word that corresponds to that but if you don't translate it soulish, you really miss the point. I think this says the carnal or the sensual. The what? The natural. But whatever it says, I'll say soulish. Okay?
This is the Prince version, amplified. Verse 13: These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. I am always uneasy when people start to use the jargon of psychology and psychiatry to express spiritual truth. Because Paul says we don't use that kind of language. It's all right in its context but it's not suitable for expressing spiritual truth. But the soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God;, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.
You see, you have to have the difference between soul and spirit all the way. The soulish man cannot receive spiritual truth because it's received with the spirit. But he who is spiritual judges [or discerns] all things, yet he himself is discerned by no man. Now, here is the application. One of the essential things for spiritual success is to be able to discern between the soulish and the spiritual. And at the present time, according to my observation, most of God's people cannot do it. I sit in meetings and I say to myself I wonder if these people realize what influence they're under. The soulish appeals to the emotions. It sounds very good. It stirs you up. You can be soulishly motivated to give a large offering. But, it doesn't do the things in you that need to be done. And basically, soulish Christians are very easily deceived.
Being a preacher for many years I understand what it is to put on an act soulishly that will get people crying and get them giving and get them excited but it doesn't change them. A week later they're just the same. I have to say frankly there's a lot of raising offerings in the church which is done in a soulish way. Why I say this is because the false church specializes in the realm of the soul. Everything about it is soulish. And if you're living in the soulish realm you'll be tremendously impressed, it will carry you away. You'll be deceived. But if you're able to discern between the soulish and the spiritual you'll not be deceived. I have seen this because I have the privilege of knowing Greek. I've seen this distinction for years but never until recently have I seen how urgent it is for God's people not to be fooled by the soulish. I'm probably going to leave a lot of unanswered questions in your mind but that is a blessing because if you start asking the questions and asking God for the answers, He'll give them.
What I'm trying to emphasize is... I don't know whether I'm succeeding in communicating. This false church operates in an area of the emotions, of the intellect. It can use very fine language. It can quote poetry. It can have very tremendous music. Whereas, very often the true church has very simple music and may sing the same chorus fifty times. And the aesthetically motivated say that's not for me. I'm not advocating singing choruses fifty times but there are times when it's spiritual. Ruth and I were in a meeting once praying for the sick and God was really breaking through. This was in Australia. And somebody sang a chorus I never heard before, It's the blood, it's the blood, it's the blood that sets me free. I can't remember it but that's all it is. It's the blood, it's the blood, it's the blood, it's the blood. It's the blood that sets me free.
By the time we had sung it about fifty times, you know what? We were set free! See? That's not soulish, that's not aesthetic. I don't mean that God's people can't have wonderful music and that the truth cannot be expressed in fine language, but if its appeal is in that realm, it's not from God. I didn't plan any of this, it's not in my outline. But I absolutely feel pressured to emphasize this point. I've sometimes sat at the back of a meeting, and just thought dear Lord, how long will it be that your people can be so easily fooled?