Derek Prince - How Do We React To The End Time Birth Pangs
This is an excerpt from: True and False Christ - Part 2
Let's turn back now to Revelation 12 for a moment and I want to point out another aspect of that verse. Revelation 12:9: So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world His primary tool against us and against humanity is deception. The most important thing that we have to guard against is being deceived. I personally don't believe that there's any one of us here that can take it for granted. As far as Ruth and I are concerned, we have become very well aware of the tremendous danger of being deceived. And alas, over the course of the years I've seen men of God who had tremendous ability and great success fall into the trap of deception. I don't believe anyone is immune. Certainly I know I'm not. I believe that Satan has one... Let's look in Matthew 24 for a moment. Before I speak, say what I was going to say. Matthew 24. This chapter really is a picture of the events that will bring the age to a close. We'll simply read from verse 10 a few verses on.
Matthew 24:10. We better begin in verse 9. In fact, we better begin in verse 8. 'All these are the beginning of birth pangs.' All right? The birth pangs of what? A new age. What will be the mark of the new age? Not the New Age movement, believe me! But the kingdom of God established on earth under the headship of Jesus the Messiah. You see, the kingdom of God never comes but by a birth. Whether it's in an individual, or it's in the whole human race, no one can see or enter the kingdom of God unless he has experienced a birth. And what is true of the individual is true of the human race. The kingdom of God is not going to come by organization, it's going to come by a birth. And I believe myself we are already in the throes of the birth pangs. I don't have time to going to Matthew 24 in detail but I believe it's very clear that the birth pangs Jesus spoke about are already taking place.
Now, if you were a young man married to a beautiful wife whom you loved and she was pregnant and the birth pangs began, what would you do? Would you phone the doctor and say, 'Doctor, my wife's going through something terrible! Please come and stop it at once!'? No. You make plans to go to the hospital as quickly as you could. So, how do we react to the birth pangs of an new age? Do we say, 'God, please stop it, this is too much, we can't stand this.'? Or, do we say, 'Praise God, there's a new age coming!'?
You see, we can really diagnose our own spiritual condition by our reaction. If you're clinging on to everything that's familiar at the present time, can't bear to be parted from it, you don't really want the new age. You'd rather stop the birth pangs. Anyhow, let's go on reading here: 'these are the beginning of birth pangs. Then they shall deliver you up to tribulation, and kill you' Who's you? You is: it's bad English but you is us. 'and you will be hated by all nations, for my name's sake.' By how many nations? All nations. 'And then many will be offended and will betray one another, and will hate one another.' Many who? Christians, that's right. 'Then many false prophets will rise, and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.' So, there's going to be a lot of adverse pressures, all of them designed to make us turn away from our faith.
And then Jesus says: 'But he who endures to the end shall be saved.' But the Greek says more than that. It says he who has endured to the end will be saved. When are you saved? When you have endured. You're saved now, thank God, but to stay saved what are you going to have to do? Endure, that's right. Alright. And then it says: 'This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end shall come.' Is it going to be easy to preach the gospel of the kingdom, is the world going to be making it easy? No. The opposition is going to increase. It's going to take people of commitment. I don't want to be negative, I believe that proclaimers of the gospel are going to see victory such as the church has never witnessed up till this time. Tremendous turning of whole peoples to the Lord. Miracles and signs and wonders. But, in the face of tremendous opposition. And only those who endure to the end will be saved.
So, that's in a sense what God uses the devil for. See, God uses everybody, including the devil and the antichrist. God is going to use the antichrist to bring forth a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. See, the Scripture declares that the bride will be glorious, holy, spotless, without blemish. You look at the church today, and see if you can believe that. How is God going to do it? I think God is going to do it by persecution. And only the people that really are committed will stand. That seems very simple, I'm sure there are a lot of other factors but I think that's the central thrust of the truth of the gospel.