This morning a newspaper report pointed me to the blog above. Within, the blogger had an entry “Deception, Witchcraft & Sorcery” and appended material from Derek Prince. (There was another sad entry – that’s how I came across this blog – about a dear brother leaving his church. It is also about other dear brothers who are covered and cleansed by the blood of Jesus.)
My take on this – we must be vigilant not to let the ‘birds’ infiltrate into the church, influence our thinking and teaching, our values (next blog on ‘The minister, his motives and methods’). This dear brother wrote –
‘what I’ve been seeing and tolerating – wrongful labelling, quick to take credit and to pass the buck, betrayal, slander, ingratitude, denial and lies, manipulation and control, greed, pride, hypocrisy, abuse of authority, practice of favoritism and different standards. it is exacerbated when it is perpetrated by top leaders, including those who taught us that the Word is supreme and that obedience to the Word equals loving God. Leadership cannot be measured by words but by action. Nobody qualifies to lead, or to preach what he cannot practise in real life. More than anything, these are foremost issues of spiritual and moral significance. I realize these are strong words, but nevertheless I do believe no one has to be afraid of speaking the truth. Otherwise we are in bondage to man and their man-made rules.’
I further googled and found 4 pdf by Derek Prince on the same subject. Deception comes from within the church! It is so easy for us to be naive and gullible when scriptures are quoted by qualified, gifted and dedicated believers. I don’t doubt that there is truth spoken by all, but I just need to be discerning. (This reminds me of a 3 part sermon in print given by D Prince warning his fellow workers in 1996 on ‘Protection From Deception – Navigating Through The Minefield Of Signs And Wonders”. I can forward it to any who writes in to Pilgrimgoinghome@gmail.com)
The birds of the air
I have heard and read (even from foremost theologians) that the “birds’ which came to rest in the mustard tree (parable of Jesus) are needy people who take shelter within the church. It was not until I read from a Messianic Jew that the key to understand this parable had already been given by Jesus in the first parable of the Sower, the seed, the soil, and the serpent (deceiver). The birds have come into the church!! People who make decisions for the believers can be the source of doubting God (not of faith), distraction (anything else apart from Jesus), distortion (of God’s true teaching in His words), and deception.
Once, someone said that his church pastor felt that people might get jaded if they partake of the Communion memorial of bread and wine weekly. Hence they do it monthly, and because of the packed program list for the Sunday Service (worship singing, announcement, message etc). So I asked “How often does your pastor speak?”; “How often does the church pass the offering bag?” I wondered aloud “It would be great then if the offering is made once in a while, people will definitely give wholeheartedly and not grudgingly, and if the pastor speaks once in many weeks, people would always look forward eagerly to the freshness of the sermon, instead of feeling jaded by the same speaker.”
No, when we keep Christ central in our church life, He brings freshness in all ways, always. His life and death, His imputed righteousness, His abundance of inheritance etc is for us to remember and appropriate. That is why He only spoke about this (in the first person, directly) many many years after he ascended, to the Corinthians about remembering Him in the memorial feast.
Keep the birds out. Beware of distortion and deception from within the community of God’s people.