Derek Prince - The Key To Continuing Revival
This is an excerpt from: Orphans, Widows, The Poor And Oppressed
And then in Isaiah 58, this is what David Wilkerson calls the "key to continuing revival". Isaiah 58 beginning at verse 6: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bond of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke"? Last night to the best of our ability we sought to do that and I believe many yokes were broken and many oppressed were set free. That's what God wants the church to do. And then he goes on: Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out: When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? I think that applies to the United States. I'm an American citizen by choice. I chose to take American citizenship, and I'm grateful for all the privileges that it's brought to me. But I want to ask you, who are "your flesh"?
When God is speaking to Israel, whom is He speaking about? He's speaking about their fellow Israelites. When God is speaking to you in the terms of this language as Americans, what is He speaking about? Your fellow who? Your fellow Americans. How much do you care, how much do you really care, for your fellow Americans? I'm British and you can get offended with me, and Britain has nothing to boast of, but I would like to say that the inner cities of America are a crying shame to this whole nation and to the church in this nation. And if the church is not concerned about them I think God has the same attitude toward the church in this time as He had toward Israel. Stop all your religious activity, do something! I always think when this happens...
Years ago I was living in Florida in a house with a swimming pool, and I have a large family. I'll tell you how I got the family later. And a few of my daughters and their husbands and some of their children, who are my grandchildren, were in the home and they were running around and playing by the swimming pool and a little boy of about four fell into the pool. So they fished him out and he stood their dripping wet on the edge of the pool, he looked at us all and he said, "Do something somebody"! And when I look at the church I want to say, "Do something somebody! Please do something". I mean there's somebody who agrees with me.
So let's look at this what David Wilkerson calls "The key to continuing revival". Isaiah 58 verse 6: Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? I believe that's what we were doing last night in our deliverance service. It wasn't very dignified, but I believe it was what God wanted. I'm not sure that God is much impressed by religious dignity, especially if it covers up secret problems and sins.
Now what is it God is asking? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; What do we call them today? The homeless isn't that right? How many of you are doing that? When you see the naked that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? [Your own fellow Americans.] Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, Has it ever occurred to you that there's a key to healing?
Sometimes we have to do something to release God's healing. God says, "If you'll do what I ask of you, I'll release My healing. It will come speedily". Your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, And the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, "Here I am". In other words, God guarantees answered prayer on the basis of our doing what He requires. And then in Ezekiel chapter 16, and this is really one of the most remarkable statements in the Bible because it's a statement about the sin of Sodom, and if you or I as Bible literates were to be asked what was the main sin of Sodom, we would answer homosexuality. It's remarkable that when the Lord lists the sins of Sodom He does not mention homosexuality.
We're looking in Ezekiel 16 verse 49. These words are addressed to Jerusalem and the Lord calls Sodom a sister of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 16:49: Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness: neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. There's not a mention of homosexuality. Isn't that remarkable? It's very, very much like contemporary American culture. Am I right? "Pride, fullness of bread, abundance of idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy".
Now I would suggest to you, and this is a deduction, that that kind of culture will always produce homosexuality. And I believe it's that kind of culture in the United States that is the root cause of the tremendous upsurge of homosexuality. That kind of lifestyle will produce homosexuality. But homosexuality is not the root sin; it's the fruit of the sin. The root sin is "abundance of food, and idleness, and not caring for the poor and the needy". The conditions in Sodom that produced homosexuality, exactly the same conditions are producing homosexuality in contemporary America. Please understand I'm not justifying homosexuality. It is a terrible, horrible sin, but its root cause is a kind of selfish, self-indulgence which is, to say the truth, characteristic of contemporary America. Am I right? I don't think you can argue with me, but you're welcome to do so if you want to.
And then just one from Daniel chapter 4. Daniel, chapter 4, and... verse 27. Now you have to know the background to this. Nebuchadnezzar, the king, had had a terrible dream in which he saw a tree cut down with only the stump left in the ground, and he went to his friend and advisor, Daniel, and Daniel said, "King Nebuchadnezzar, you're the tree. If you don't change you're going to be cut down". And then Daniel offered some very simple advice to Nebuchadnezzar. "How can you avoid the disaster that's coming"? Daniel 4 verse 27: Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, The Hebrew says "by righteousness". You see, that's repentance. It's not some gradual slow process. It's breaking off sin and replacing it by righteousness. That's repentance. And then he says: And your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.
So how could Nebuchadnezzar have prolonged his prosperity? By showing mercy to the poor. He didn't do it. The tree was cut down, and he endured the judgment that was revealed in the dream. Could that be true of contemporary America, that we can postpone or set aside God's judgment by righteousness and showing mercy to the poor? After all, we are a wealthy nation. We can afford as individuals to be generous. And I thank God, and I have to say the American people have been wonderfully generous to me.
I'm not speaking out of any sense of need or want or any complaint, I'm concerned that America is headed for judgment and for disaster and there's only one way we can avert it and that's the way that Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, "Breaking off your sins by righteousness. A complete change from sin to righteousness, from dark to light, and by showing mercy to the poor". Did it ever occur to you that that could be the way we could either avert or postpone the judgment of God upon the United States? Not some political institution, but we, the church of Jesus Christ, by showing mercy to the poor. I'm going to speak briefly from personal experience at the end, and then you can challenge me if you wish.