Derek Prince - Churches' Declining The Spirit's Gifts, Can Never Be His Bride
This is an excerpt from: True And False Church - Part 2
And then we look in Revelation 19 in verse 8, a picture of the Church ready to be married. And notice all heaven is excited. I think heaven is much more excited than the Church at the moment about the prospect of the marriage. It's like all the relatives of the bride are excited and the bride is almost indifferent. Tragic. Anyhow, it says this: To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. You see, when we receive Jesus as savior, His righteousness is imputed to us. But this is not imputed righteousness, this is outworked righteousness. It's the righteous acts of the saints.
I always think that our wedding garment is made up of many linen threads. And every thread is one righteous act that we've performed. And then I wonder to myself whether some of us are going to have much material to make a wedding garment out of. Some of you are pretty skimpy. If you don't change I think you're going to be embarrassed. And then the Church is going to be beautifully adorned with jewels which are the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, Paul thanks God, for the Corinthian church. Some people say the gifts of the Holy Spirit have been withdrawn.
That wasn't Paul's thinking, listen to what he says. 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, beginning at verse 4: I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus. That you were enriched in everything by Him, in all utterance [that's the gifts of utterance], in all knowledge [the revelatory gifts]; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you through the gifts, so that you come short [or you are lacking] in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice, they're going to be adorned with the gifts while waiting for the appearance of Jesus. who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul envisaged a Church that was beautifully adorned with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, waiting for the return of the bridegroom. Let me ask you this. A young man falls in love with a young lady. Ruth and I have just had a letter from a young lady that's very close to us to whom this has just happened. She's just accepted his proposal of marriage. But generally speaking, if he really loves her, in our culture, he's going to buy an engagement ring. He's going to get some diamond or other stone and set it in gold and present it to her.
Can you imagine the young lady saying, George, I like you, but I don't think much of your ring. I don't want it. Do you think they'd ever get married? I don't believe the church that says to Jesus, I don't want your spiritual gifts could ever become the bride of Christ. It's totally contrary to all sense. We need to put on all the gifts. We need to be fully equipped. We need to be beautifully adorned. Listen to what Isaiah says in Isaiah 61, verse 10, one of my favorite verses. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall be joyful in my God, for He has clothed me in the garments of salvation. That's wonderful but it's not all. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness Some Christians have got the garment of salvation on, they've never put on the robe of righteousness.
You see, when you get saved Jesus righteousness is imputed to you. He cover you up with a robe of His righteousness. If you don't get excited about that there's something wrong with you, I think. Then he continues: as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. So it's expected of a bride that she will adorn herself with her jewels. And if you'd like to look in Genesis 24 in your own time you'll find a beautiful parable of Abraham getting a bride for his son Isaac. And there are four main characters in that. Abraham who is a type of God the Father, Isaac who is a type of Jesus Christ the Son, the bride who is a type of the Church, and there's one other main character. The servant who is a type of? The Holy Spirit.
And if you notice it wasn't the father and it wasn't the son that picked out the bride, it was the Holy Spirit. And when he arrived he had with him ten camels laden with gifts And brothers and sisters, I've lived in a country with camels. Camels carry a lot. I mean, he was not stingy. And when he thought that Rebekah was perhaps the right young lady he said, if she is, when I ask her to give me water to drink she'll give me water for my camels. Now, that is faith and works because camels drink 40 gallons. And he had ten camels, that's 400 gallons, you understand? When she responded he took out the first jewel and put it on her. And that marked her out as the chosen bride. From that moment she was set apart. Then he gave her other jewels.
What would have happened if she refused that jewel? She would have never married Isaac. Once he put the jewels on her he became responsible for her teaching, her guidance and everything that followed. And she set out, woman of faith, on a long journey to meet a man she'd never seen, and marry him. And all she ever knew about the man she was going to marry and his father she learned from one source, the Holy Spirit. That's the place of the Holy Spirit in the Church. And finally we just have time to look at one other feature in Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 28. Hebrews 9:28. Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time without sin for salvation. For whom will He appear? I didn't hear you. For those who eagerly await for Him.
Can you imagine a bride twiddling her thumbs and yawning when she hears the bridegroom is one the way? How eager are you in waiting for the bridegroom? It's an essential mark of the true Church. A friend of mine who is a preacher said, when Jesus comes back He'll expect to hear from the Church something more than: Nice to have you back. There's another passage in Titus, chapter 2, which says the same thing. Eagerly awaiting the appearing of the Lord. Just for a moment ask yourself: Do I bear the marks of the true Church? Not just as an individual but am I part of a body that is the true Church or a part of the true Church? It's an important decision.