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“As the elect of God, holy and beloved, we put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Even as Christ forgave us, so we also must do. But above all these things, we put on love, which is the bond of perfection, and we let the peace of God rule in our hearts to which also we were called in one body and we are thankful. We let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord. And whatever we do, in word or deed, we do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Amen.”
In a certain sense, I want to say this closing message is a follow on from what I was talking about last night. Last night I spoke about the rise of the antichrist and I sought to give you an overall biblical picture of what kind of a person he will be, how he will operate and what he will do. I also told you that one of his three titles in the Bible is the wild beast.
Tonight I want to speak in that context about another kind of being who is the exact opposite, the Lamb. If you will look at the book of Revelation in this light, I think you will see that it represents a war between the Lamb of God and the wild beast. It’s interesting that the Lamb is mentioned twenty-eight times in the book of Revelation, and the wild beast is mentioned thirty-five times in the same book. In English the exact parallel is not clear but in the Greek of the New Testament there’s a very clear balance between these two titles because the Greek word for “the Lamb” is aleon, and the Greek word for “the wild beast” is here-eon. So they’re exactly similar in form. There’s a kind of balance in the book of Revelation in the revelation of the Lamb and the revelation of the wild beast.
Thinking over what I said last night, I thought I’ll try and think of a list of epithets that describe the wild beast. I came up with ten which I will read out to you. Cunning, deceitful, arrogant, boastful, vicious, cruel, treacherous, murderous, despotic and dominating. I think I’ll read the list again because I think we need to know what kind of a person we’re involved with. Cunning, deceitful, arrogant, boastful, vicious, cruel, treacherous, murderous, despotic and dominating.
I think it’s a little interesting that Yanka has come out with his book. If I can remember the three titles, they are manipulation, domination and control. You know what spirit that is? The spirit of the wild beast. He wasn’t writing his book—I haven’t read it—but he wasn’t writing about the future, he’s writing that book about situations and people that we confront in daily life. And furthermore, many of them are inside the church and not a few of them are in the ministry.
I say this because I want you to understand that we are in the midst of a conflict between two spiritual forces: the spirit of the wild beast and the Spirit of the Lamb. My personal opinion, I believe the Lord has made this clear to me, is that now is the time when we are making our decision. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by the spirit of the wild beast now, when he is actually manifested we will come under him. It will be too late then to say, “No, I don’t want that.” I hope you can understand what I’m saying. If I’m correct, we today by our attitudes and the way we live and the way we relate are determining our destiny because the world is going to be confronted with just a simple choice between the Lamb and the wild beast. And everybody who is not under the Lamb will be under the wild beast. And if you’re under the Lamb you’ll manifest the Spirit of the Lamb now and if you’re manifesting the spirit of the wild beast now, when he appears you’ll be one of his victims. You cannot change then. That’s why the way we live now in this end time is so critical. That’s why I believe it’s so important we understand the issues. One thing I’ve learned about the devil—and I think David (unintelligible) says the same thing—is what he hates most is to be exposed. What I’m seeking to do in the light of scripture is to expose him. I know he doesn’t like me. I’ll get on without his favor!
In Revelation 17:12–14, this war that I’m speaking about is actually described. I can’t go back into what I taught last night about the ten horns, et cetera, you’ll just have to start from there. Revelation 17:12 and following:
“And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are called, chosen and faithful.”
So there is a clear statement of the war. This war is really one main theme of the book of Revelation. There is a war between the beast and those who are associated with him and the Lamb. Who is the Lamb? Jesus, that’s right.
You notice the kind of people that are with the Lamb? Do you see that? Those who are with Him have three descriptions: they’re called, they’re chosen and they’re faithful. You see, Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. A lot of people are invited and they may accept the invitation, but they don’t fulfill the requirements so they’re not chosen.
This is true of missionary calling. Multitudes of people are called but they’re never chosen because they don’t meet the conditions, they don’t fulfill the requirements.
But after being chosen there’s one more requirement which is to be faithful. And so, if we are to be in the army of the Lamb we have to fulfill those three requirements: called, chosen and faithful.
I’ve been a Christian probably longer than most of you here. We talk a lot about the problems of young Christians. I want to tell you they’re nothing compared with the problem of old Christians. Don’t imagine it gets easier. It doesn’t. It gets more complicated and more demanding the further you go. The pressures increase. But, your strength should increase to meet the pressure.
Now, in John 1 we have the Lamb very beautifully introduced by the man sent to introduce him, who was John the Baptist. In John 1:29–34 we have this divine introduction.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him, but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.’ And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit [the Holy Spirit] descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’”
It’s interesting in that critical passage which introduces Jesus there are two creatures of the animal world that are used to symbolize spiritual truth. There’s a bird, the dove, and there’s an animal, the lamb. Scripture says the dove descended on the Lamb and remained on Him. You see, the Holy Spirit was looking for one person who would fulfill the qualifications. He wasn’t looking for a lion, He wasn’t looking for a tiger, He wasn’t looking for an elephant, He was looking for a Lamb. That is the only nature on which the Spirit of God will descend and remain on. You cannot receive the Holy Spirit as a believer unless there is in you the nature of Jesus through the rebirth. He will descend on that nature. He’ll not descend on you because of what you are in your own nature, but He’ll descend on the new nature in you that comes through the new birth, the nature of Jesus.
The very important qualification concerning Jesus as the Messiah was that the Spirit would descend on Him and remain on Him. This is the critical test. It is relatively easy to receive the Holy Spirit today. It’s preached and taught and testified. I have seen thousands of people receive the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen the dove come down upon them. But of those I would say relatively few have the dove remaining on them because He will only remain where the Spirit of the Lamb prevails.
I have to be careful what I say but I could exemplify various men, ministries and movements upon which the dove descended but He did not remain. He is not there today. You and I need to ask ourselves, sure, we were baptized in the Holy Spirit. In my case it was 51 years ago. The question is not what happened 51 years ago, the question is what is my relationship to the dove today? Has He remained on me through 51 years? You don’t have to answer that question for me, that’s my question. But you have to answer it for yourself.
People come to me and they say, “Brother Prince, in 1982 I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.” I say, “Fine, but we’re living in 1992, what’s happened in the intervening ten years? Is He still remaining on you?” I have to say it is tragic the number of instances in which the Holy Spirit descended but did not remain because the people involved did not cultivate and manifest the nature of the Lamb.
I have to be careful what I say because I don’t want in any way to attack other ministries. I suggest that when you are confronted with a ministry that makes claims on you, you should ask yourself is the dove remaining on them? Are they manifesting the nature of the Lamb?
I’ll give you an example from a good many years past, about 50 or more years ago, 60. Between the two World Wars God gave to Britain two of the most outstanding evangelists that this century has witnessed. They were brothers in the flesh, George Jeffreys and Stephen Jeffreys. I know people who knew them, who were in their meetings, who’ve told me personally. I don’t think there’s been another evangelist in this century with a greater or more powerful ministry than George Jeffreys. In those days, Pentecost was a kind of derided little sect. Few people were willing to pay the price to follow. But when George Jeffreys preached, he filled the Royal Albert Hall with 9,000 people without any effort. And as he walked down the aisles to the platform, as he came level with each row of seats, the power of God came on every person in those rows.
George and Stephen were brothers. Both had powerful ministries. But they quarreled. Not merely were they brothers in the Spirit but they were actually brothers in the flesh. Yet they quarreled. They fell out, they could not work together. George Jeffreys was the founder of the Elim movement, but the people through whom I came to the Lord actually were present when they heard George Jeffreys saying, “I’ll crush Elim,” because he had broken away from his own movement.
What is that? It’s a tragedy that grieves the heart of God more than we can ever understand.
One of the things about Pentecost and the Charismatic movement is we focus on power. I believe in power, power is exciting. But there are things that are more important than power. Holiness is one and love is another. We need to ask ourselves is the dove remaining on me? Am I manifesting, cultivating the nature of the Lamb. I have to say the nature of the Lamb is absolutely contrary to contemporary culture. I doubt whether there’s ever been an age in which culture has been so totally opposite to the nature of the Lamb.
I was asking myself how could I briefly depict from scripture the nature of the Lamb? I felt God directed me to the sermon on the mount. Matthew 5, the well known Beatitudes, the eight persons or people of whom Jesus said blessed. And you know, as a preacher I meet scores of Christians who are seeking God’s blessing. I meet relatively few who realize that they have to meet certain conditions. And if you meet the conditions you don’t have to seek the blessing, the blessing will seek you. Moses said to Israel, “If you fulfill these commandments, the blessing of God will come upon you and overtake you.” When I find people simply pursuing blessings I have grave doubts about their relationship to the Lord. Blessings can become a kind of idol.
Let me just briefly go through the Beatitudes with you. Somebody in our house put up on the mirror the words “be attitude.” Attitudes of what you be. It’s a good way to think about it. They are “be-attitudes.” We’ve got so used to them, most of us, through going to church that we don’t realize they were extremely controversial. Jesus called people blessed who in the natural and in the world order would be the last people to be considered blessed. He overturned all popular opinion about blessedness and He came to proclaim the kingdom of the Father. This really is the charter of the kingdom, the sermon on the mount. What He was saying in effect is the citizens of the kingdom are people who behave like this. In other words, if we want to be citizens of the kingdom, this is the behavior that is required of us. Let’s just read them and not dwell on them too long.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Now, very few people think it’s blessed to be poor. It was a startling statement. He did not speak about, I would say, financial poverty but He spoke about spiritual poverty. There are two things in which God is said to be rich in the New Testament. Rich in mercy and rich in grace. The poor in spirit are those who realize how much they desperately need the mercy and the grace of God. They are not rich in their own esteem. The Greek word used means beggars. Let me ask this, are you spiritually a beggar? Or, are you rather satisfied with yourself and you feel you’ve come a long way, you’re doing pretty well and you belong to a good church, your church is somewhat better than most of the others? That is not poverty of the spirit.
There are two churches in Revelation which are an interesting contrast. They’re the last two listed. I believe each of them is a kind of type of a church at the end of the age. First of all, we’ll turn to Revelation 3:15 and following. This is the church of the Laodiceans. Loosely interpreted, the word Laodicea means “people’s rights.” The Greek word for people is laos. Dicea is a right. So, this is the church of the people who are claiming their rights. Jesus says some of the most amazing things. I’ve read these words and pondered on them. He says what He said to every one of the seven churches:
“I know your works [I know what you’re doing], that you are neither cold nor hot; I could wish you were cold or hot.”
Jesus said anything but lukewarm, please. It comes to my mind that a good many years ago, I mean, probably 25 years ago I was invited to preach in a church in Canada. I didn’t really normally expect such an invitation but they told me that before I came they prayed that I would bring them the word of the Lord. Do you know what I preached about? The church of Laodicea. They couldn’t believe that was the word of the Lord. I had no prejudice, no preconception, I simply gave them what I believed the Lord had given me. But, they were incapable of believing that the description of the church of the Laodiceans could possibly apply to them. Listen to this description:
“So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you [or vomit you] out of my mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich [that’s faith that’s been tested], and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
Could you concede it possible that people would be wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked and not even know it? But that’s the condition of the Laodicean church. They had a totally false sense of values. Because apparently they were financially prosperous they considered themselves to be spiritual. Does that correspond to anything that we hear taught today? I think it’s probably one of the main problems of the American church.
Then we look back to the other end time church, as I understand it, Philadelphia. Philadelphia means brotherly love. And to that church Jesus said in verse 7:
“These things, says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: I know your works.”
And brothers and sisters, bear in mind that Jesus knows your work. He knows what you’re doing. He doesn’t merely listen to what you tell Him but He knows what you do.
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door and no one can shut it, for you have a little strength, have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
Really, in a way, their great strength was they had a little strength. They could not rely on their own strength. They had to rely on God’s strength for them. I trust I can say this in the right way. I believe that is true of our ministry. We have a little strength, we’re a relatively small ministry. But, we have kept God’s Word, we have not denied His name and He has set before us a door so amazingly wide that we can hardly believe it.
In 1979 I started a radio program in the United States on eight stations with a budget of $8,000 a month. We didn’t know where the money would come from. I had no thought that that radio broadcast would ever go outside the United States. I didn’t do anything to plan it, I didn’t do anything to arrange it, but that radio broadcast is now in ten languages: four main Chinese dialects, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Mongolian, Tongan, and we’re working on Indonesian. I suppose every day it’s more than possible that millions of people are exposed to that radio broadcast. That’s a great door. But the Lord opened it, we didn’t even ask Him to open it. It didn’t occur to us that that would happen. That’s only a part of our ministry.
There’s a brother here from (unintelligible). He just came up to me and thanked me. He said, “We have been receiving your teaching material regularly for years. We’ve given it out to hundreds of people.” Now, on our list of what we call our Global Outreach program we have about 1700 full-time workers in 120 nations who receive free our Bible teaching material. Part of my books and some of my literature has been translated into about 50 languages. Our video Bible school, which consists of 29 hours of teaching by me on video, is now translated into all the main languages of Eastern Europe, except Polish. It’s in Russian, Hungarian, Czech, Serbian, Romanian, Albanian, German, and others. I don’t say that to boast but if I preach something that didn’t apply, why should you listen to my words? What I want to say is it works. God means what He says. My main prayer is not that we’ll get so many million dollars, it’s that we’ll be faithful to God’s Word and not deny His name. After that, God takes care of the consequences.
I believe really that these two churches represent, in a way, the two main thrusts of what is happening in the spiritual realm in the church today. There are many, many churches like Laodicea and there are those that are like Philadelphia. I think we need to ask ourselves, “What am I involved in? What am I giving my time and my finance to? Is it some little self perpetuating group of people who meet weekly on Sunday morning and when they separate they say, ‘God bless you, brother, see you next Sunday’?” That doesn’t interest me. One thing I find difficult is a congregation that consists of people of all of the same color, the same social strata. I’m really not happy. I like a good mixture. Different colors, different social levels, different languages. That’s where I’m happy.
In 1963 God thrust me into the ministry of deliverance. Some of you have seen some of the things I do. I didn’t plan that but a dear Pentecostal sister who played the piano in our Sunday morning services in Seattle, Washington, threw a demonic fit right in front of the platform. At that moment I was preaching on this theme, no matter what the devil does, God has the last word. I saw I had either to prove it or to stop preaching it. I called my first wife forward and we with two other persons cast the demon out of that woman in front of the congregation. They were Pentecostals but when the demon went out they were pale. I mean, they looked as if they’d seen a ghost. They had never seen anything like it in their lives. And without my intending it, I got plunged into it. I didn’t seek it. If I’d been given an option, I’d have chosen something much more romantic. But something happened. That girl was wonderfully delivered. It took about two hours in the pastor’s office on Sunday morning. About half the time she was tearing her clothes off—which is not the normal procedure for the pastor’s office on Sunday morning! She never came back to that congregation and I realized she was ashamed to be seen by those people. That faced me personally with a challenge. I said, “What am I supposed to be pastoring? Is this a middle class social club that meets on Sunday morning or is it a place where those with desperate needs can come and find help?” I made an important decision. I said, “For me, I’ll go for the people with needs, whether it’s respectable, whether they behave nicely in church, whether we have dignified services, all of those are secondary.” Let’s be real. The theme of this conference is reality. What I’m telling you tonight is reality. Amen?
I thank God for Brother Mahesh. He’s been one of those that have been in the battle with us. He’s been in the battle on his own, too. But we, in a way, started together. We’ve come a long way. Not because we’re great but because we have a little strength, we’ve kept God’s Word and we’ve not denied His name.
So, what kind of congregation do you want to belong to? What kind of activity do you want to be involved in?
Let’s go back to the Beatitudes very quickly.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Nobody considers it normally a blessing to mourn. But Jesus said that’s the ones that get blessed, the ones that are sorry, the ones that grieve, the ones that humble themselves, the ones that empathize with the grief of others. They will be comforted.
The next one:
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Meekness is very little spoken of today. In fact, the word has almost dropped out of contemporary usage. But, it’s still a very real thing. The meek do not appropriate the earth, they do not dominate the earth, they inherit the earth. That’s a test of faith. Are you willing to let God allot you your inheritance without grabbing or it, without fighting for it? It’s a decision.
The next one:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Again, especially in the Middle East that’s an absurd statement, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst.” There are plenty of hungry people and some thirsty people but they did not consider themselves blessed. It was a paradox. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. I meet lots of people hungering and thirsting for healing, for deliverance, but I meet comparatively few who are really hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
In the church that we attend in Jerusalem, the Sunday morning service just a couple of months ago, there was a visiting speaker who preached on this text, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” It was a good sermon, well constructed, good illustrations. He went into a great deal of detail about what it really means to be thirsty. I listened and I thought that’s all right. But I wasn’t moved. Then we went into a period of worship and in the middle of that the worship leader said, “God is here right now. If you have any requests, bring it to Him.” I had premeditated nothing, I didn’t have anything in my mind but without even planning it I blurted out to the Lord, “Lord, all I want is more of you.” I want to tell you, I got it. I got so much I was embarrassed. I thought I’ll upset the service.
Let me recommend that to you. You can’t do it out of your initiative, but if God prompts you, why don’t you say that. “All I want is more of you.”
Then the next one:
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
One thing has always helped me in my walk with the Lord. I’ve always seen that I need the Lord’s mercy. I have never been a day in my life that I was not aware that I need the mercy of the Lord. I’m not by nature a very merciful person but I said I have to be merciful because I want God’s mercy. I need it desperately.
I was impressed by the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:25. We don’t need to turn there but he said about a certain question:
“I give my opinion as one who has attained mercy of the Lord to be found faithful.”
It must have been a good 20 years ago I was struck by the fact that we are not able to be faithful by our own will or by our own effort. It’s only through the mercy of the Lord that we can be faithful. I continually remind myself of that.
Then it says:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
That’s not necessarily so paradoxical. But remember, that without holiness no one will see the Lord. Holiness, I think, is purity of heart. It’s not keeping a little set of religious rules, it’s having a heart that’s pure.
This past Passover season in Israel where they celebrate the Passover, almost everybody is involved in some way, I was thinking about the fact that the Jewish people had to purge out all old leaven. I thought to myself that applied to me. God brought it to my attention that I had a lot of things in my mind that went back even to the time before I was saved: phrases that I would use, images that came to my mind, incidents that had taken place, the kind of language which was used by unsaved people, and various kinds of fears and anxiety. I realized they were all old leaven. I took a stand to purge them out of my life.
Now, I am not free from those pressures but every time they come I say, “I’ve purged you out, I am not taking you back.” I suggest to you that many of you should consider whether there’s old leaven in your thinking, in your attitude, in your reaction. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
It’s a wonderful thing to be a peacemaker.
The final Beatitude:
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake...”
Do you consider that a blessing? Jesus said to His disciples, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
So when people criticize you, gossip about you, tell lies about you, do you rejoice and are you exceedingly glad? That’s the appropriate reaction.
So, those are just little pictures of what I believe it is to have the nature of the Lamb. It’s an incomplete study but let me close this particular section with one glorious fact. In this war it’s the Lamb who wins! That’s contrary to all natural expectation because all the power apparently is on the other side. Everything, in a sense, is arrayed against the people who want to live for God. But we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. I love the passage in Revelation 5 where John saw the Lamb. I’d like to read the first seven verses of Revelation 5.
“I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?’”
There was a tremendous demonstration of strength. A strong angel with a loud voice.
“And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll, or to look at it; but one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and its seven seals.’”
And John turned to look. I’m sure he expected to see a very powerful, glorious, majestic, awe inspiring lion. What did he see? Something quite different.
“And I looked, and in the midst of the throne, and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb, as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. Then He [the Lamb] came, and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
You see, that’s absolutely contrary to the way we think naturally. It’s totally contrary to our contemporary culture. Because, the most powerful being in heaven was a slain Lamb. What is God saying? Let’s look at it this way, Jesus gave up His life, died and was buried. He did not bring Himself back to life. The Father raised Him from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you willing to take the same pathway? To die and stay dead till God raises you back? Because when you’re raised back to life in that way it’s a different life. That’s the overcoming life. That’s the life of the kingdom, the life of the Lamb.
And then all heaven proclaimed the worthiness of the Lamb. It says in the same chapter, verses 11–12:
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand [which is ten million], and thousands of thousands [which is millions], saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.’”
What’s the way to the throne? The way of the cross and the tomb. And resurrection by the will of God, not by our own efforts.
Why are so many Christians struggling in their own strength? Because they’ve never experienced death. They’ve never been willing to let go and let God. They’ve never experienced God’s resurrection power in their life. I’m not talking about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that’s wonderful. But, I’m talking about a level of living where we can say, “It’s not I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
I think it would be good for a moment if we were just to say that simple statement. It’s the expression of our heart’s gratitude and appreciation. “Worthy is the Lamb.” Again. “Worthy is the Lamb.” Once more. “Worthy is the Lamb.” He will be the center of heaven throughout all eternity, and all the mighty angels and the archangels and the seraphim and the cherubim will all bow down and worship that slain Lamb of God. What a lesson! What a picture!
I come back to that thought. There are two super-spiritual powers at work amongst humanity today. The Spirit of the Lamb and the spirit of the wild beast. The spirit of the wild beast is a spirit that grabs, dominates, controls, manipulates and gets everything under its power. It’s the spirit that prevails in the political world, it’s the spirit that prevails in the business world. Which spirit prevails with you and me? The wild beast or the Lamb? I don’t believe there’s anything between the two. I don’t believe humanity is going to have any other option. They’re going to have precisely the same choice that God gave to Israel: Do you want Jesus or do you want Barabbas? At that moment we will have made our choice. If we have been living under the power of the spirit of the wild beast we will not be able to change.
I believe that power is taking humanity over already in the invisible realm. When the antichrist is manifested he will already have his followers. I’m not speaking to you as different from myself. I am continually concerned in my own life to be sure that I will not come out on the side of the antichrist. This is not a theory, it’s for me a very real, practical issue.
I have one more thing to say and I wasn’t sure whether I should say it. I told the people I had lunch with that if I preached this, unless it’s in the anointing of the Holy Spirit it’s totally in vain. I want to talk to you for a moment about revival in a practical sense, revival in Great Britain. In 1953 when I was pastoring a very small congregation in Bayswater, London, one night I woke up about 2:00 am, which seems to be a time that God wakes me up, and God spoke to me audibly. That’s the only time I ever heard His voice audible. I’m not meaning that that’s necessarily more authoritative than any other but it’s unique for me. He didn’t make any introduction, He just made certain statements. The first statement was this, “There shall be a great revival in the United States and Great Britain.” I was not the least bit interested in the United States in those days. It was before the days of jet travel and we had very little money, and as far as we were concerned the United States was a remote country.
Then the Lord spoke to me about my own ministry briefly and I don’t ever feel free to say what He said. But He closed with these words, “But the condition is obedience in small things and in great things, for the small things are as great as the great things.” I went to the Bible and I studied it and I saw that almost everywhere in the Bible when it speaks about small and great it always puts small before great.
I also have read a certain amount about revival and I observed that one condition that God’s people always have to fulfill is obedience. And sometimes it’s doing things that seem very silly or unrelated to the issue of revival. And here I am, 39 years later, I have never forgotten what God said, I’ve always believed it was God who said it, and I in a sense have been waiting to see when it would come to pass. Here I am, 77 years old, and I have the impression I will not be taken by the Lord until I’ve seen it. That’s my personal objective opinion. I am deeply concerned for my own country, Britain. As I said I think last night, there’s no one here more British than I am.
I was interviewed by the USB people last night after the meeting. They said to me, “What do you think about Britain? Is there a possibility of revival?” I said, “Yes, I believe there is.” I used a little example which has become very vivid to me. When I was in South Africa some years back, somebody there told me about an area of South Africa that’s called Namaqualand. There’s a South African here, you probably know where it is. They said this is a very desert area, very little grows on it. And it can stay that way for five or six or more years. But at rare intervals it rains heavily in Namaqualand. And, when the rain falls there’s the most gorgeous display of flowers you could see anywhere in the world. The reason is the seeds have lain dormant beneath the soil but because of the dryness they didn’t germinate. But when the rain fell, all those dormant seeds suddenly burst forth into glorious life.
I believe Britain is like Namaqualand. It is dry and barren but under the surface there are seeds of biblical truth. This nation, as far as I understand it, over its long history has had more exposure to the truth of the Bible than any other nation on earth. The seeds are still there. Once the rain falls we’ll be astonished at what comes up. That’s my belief, that’s my vision.
I want to say we need to distinguish between revival and evangelism. A lot of people talk about revival as if it was evangelism. I believe passionately in evangelism but when we talk about revival, that’s not what we are talking about. Revival means bringing back to life something that has died. Evangelism is presenting the truth to people who have never had life. Revival is bringing back to life people who have had life and died. Evangelism affects the unconverted, revival affects the church. And because the church is the body of Christ and Christ is Lord, ultimately God will not do anything redemptively that He does not do through the body. He will never bypass the body of His Son. So, it depends on the church.
In the great Welsh revival, which is so well known, Evan Roberts used to use this little slogan: “Bend the church and bow the world.” I believe that’s totally true. If the church will bend, the world will bow. But if the church will not bend, God has no other way to reach the world.
I believe the destiny of this nation depends on us. We cannot evade our responsibility.
Let me suggest two ways in which revival will change the church. Very simple. First of all, Ephesians 1:22–23 says:
“God gave Jesus to be head over all things to the church which is His body.”
It doesn’t say God imposed Jesus on the church, it says God gave Jesus to the church to be head. And as I understand, the function of the head is to make the decisions and take the initiative. I would suggest to you that there is very little in the church today in which Jesus is permitted to make the decisions and take the initiative. The initiative has been taken out of His hands. It’s in the hands of human groups, committed and other. Board. I’m naughty, I’ve repented of this because our ministry has a Board. As a young preacher I used to be against Boards. I once said, “After all, the New Testament does say that there is a use for boards, because when Paul and his companions were shipwrecked on the island of Malta, they got to shore, some of boards and some on pieces of the ship.” Well, I’ve repented of that wrong attitude but Boards are not Jesus Christ. In that little book that I’ve just made available, The Destiny of Israel and the Church, I wrote a sentence which arrested me. I thought, did I write that? In essence what I said is this, God only endorses and blesses that which He Himself has initiated. I observed the things that God has initiated, they flourish, they move, they grow, they have life and power. Can you understand, it’s the height of presumption for us in the church to take the initiative out of the hands of Jesus Christ. But really, there is very little serious attempt to find out what He’s planned.
Now, there are groups that do it. I could name some but I think I won’t because it would create problems for them, for one thing. But I believe there has to be a revolution if there’s going to be revival, in which Jesus truly becomes head over all things to the church.
Ruth and I are members of a church, so is Mahesh, in Fort Lauderdale called Good News Church. When you have GNC it can stand for Good News Crusade or Good News Church. About a year and a half ago I preached on this issue of the headship of Jesus and it was one of those occasions when I stepped beyond what I planned. I said to the church, and particularly to the three men in leadership, “You have to decide who’s head. Are you willing to let Jesus in and really make the decisions and form the plans?” And next week in the bulletin they put “Come on in, Lord Jesus.” I wouldn’t say by any means He’s totally head but I believe they’re moving in the right direction.
The other are which will be affected by revival is the bride, the church as bride. I mean, there are many other areas but that’s the one I want to mention. Revelation 19:6–8, it says:
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife [or bride] has made herself ready.’”
Would you notice that the bride has to have made herself ready. Do we today see a church diligently making herself ready? In most places there’s very little evidence of that. This is how she made herself ready:
“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.”
So, the material that we will wear for our wedding dress is our righteous acts. If there’s no righteous acts there’s no material. I hope I don’t sound flippant but I think the contemporary church has probably just got enough for a bikini. That’s not suitable for a wedding. We have got to produce the righteous acts appropriate to our profession of faith.
One righteous act that we’ve spoken about many times is proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom in all nations. If we don’t do that we cannot expect to have the kind of clothing that’s appropriate for the wedding.
As I understand it, when you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, His righteousness is imputed to you. That’s imputed righteousness. But what it talks about here is outworked righteousness. Righteous acts. So, your righteousness imputed has to be expressed in righteousness outworked.
I want to say one more thing about the Lamb and close. To me this is frightening. I’ve no intention deliberately to frighten you but I think in a way sometimes we need to be frightened.
Years ago after a deliverance service a lady came up to me and said, “Brother Prince, you scare me.” I said, “I think maybe you need to be scared.” This personally frightens me. It’s the last verses of Revelation 6. It’s interesting to me because Ruth and I read Revelation through two or three times and we didn’t really get any great understanding. But now I find without seeking it I’m just preaching out of Revelation. You see, if you take God’s Word in, you don’t have to do a lot of reasoning. Sooner or later it’ll come out. I’m going to read Revelation 6:12–17, and this is my closing passage.
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood; and the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.”
That is a major earthquake. I believe it’s going to be the close of the age.
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come; and who is able to stand?’”
How many of you have ever seen an angry lamb? I don’t believe there ever has been such a thing, it’s totally contrary to the nature of a lamb. But in this climax of history, the people who’ve rejected God’s mercy will have a revelation of an open heaven and through it they will look on the most terrible and frightening sight that ever confronted human eyes: the wrath of the Lamb. Because, when God’s mercy and patience have finally been exhausted, then there will be a revelation of Jesus such as no one has ever seen, the wrath of the Lamb. As I understand it, people would gladly be crushed under rocks or mountains rather than have to face this terrible spectacle of the wrath of the Lamb.
I just want to say one thing which is connected with revival, and it’s not unconnected with what I’ve been saying. Don Double wrote to me before we came to this camp and he said, “I’ve been praying about next year’s camp in Malvern. The only word I get is invite Derek Prince.” And normally I don’t make hasty commitments but when I got that letter I felt I had to say yes. And I’ve said yes. God willing, Ruth and I will be here again this time next year. I somehow have an impression that it’s got something to do with revival in Britain. You see, it will be precisely 40 years from 1953 when the Lord spoke to me. I have a sense of anticipation, a sense of excitement.
But let’s remember that revival doesn’t come till we meet God’s conditions. God is sovereign but His sovereignty expresses itself in causing us to meet His conditions. A lot of people are prophesying revival. I’m not sure that that helps because people may have the attitude. “Well, revival is coming, we don’t need to do much about it.” I don’t see it that way. I believe that revival will come when God’s people meet His conditions. I’d like to suggest to you, those of you who are involved with Good News Crusade and come to these camps, that we really take time to seek God and find out what is His plan for 1993. I have a feeling it’s going to be different. I have the impression this year I must teach on the end times because if God’s people are ignorant of that they cannot respond intelligently to God’s program. But next year I don’t know what I’ll be teaching but I believe in some way it will be on what we have to do and to be if we really want revival. If you’re going to be here and we’re going to be here, I ask you to prepare your hearts. Keep this matter before God in prayer because nothing else can save this nation from disaster but a sovereign revival of the church by the power of the Holy Spirit, a revival that will bring back holiness and righteousness and the fear of the Lord and truthfulness.
As I’ve said, I believe in evangelism but the end purpose of evangelism is to bring sinners into the church. What kind of church are we going to bring them into? I don’t want to dwell on this but in 1954 the first time Billy Graham came to Harringate, I served as a counselor in that crusade. I counseled 22 people and I kept a record of each one and we were required to follow them up, to phone, to write, to do everything. I did it as well as I could do but at the end of it all I was forced to the conclusion that probably there were only two people out of the 22 who had remained really committed Christians. It so happened they both joined my congregation. I didn’t ask them, I didn’t want them, but I don’t believe they would have survived if they hadn’t been brought under the teaching of the Word of God.
And so you see, we can be as energetic and active as we please in evangelism but what are we going to bring the sinners into?
At that time in London some rather cynical Christian said, “It doesn’t make sense to put a live chick under a dead hen.” The first thing we need to do is get the hen alive, then the chick will survive. Is that true?
Now, dear brothers and sisters, it could be that some of you are really Laodiceans. You’re poor and blind and miserable, naked and you don’t know it. You’re not really committed to the Lord Jesus, you’re not following the Lamb, you’re not called, chosen and faithful. And if you were to go out of this camp in that condition your future could be very dangerous. I want to do one last thing which is invite those of you who are not really followers of the Lamb—you may be church members but there’s no real serious commitment to the Lordship of Jesus in your life. This is the last chance you’ll have in this camp. I want to ask you to pray right where you sit. Face the truth. As the Bible says, consider your ways. And then if you feel that you would be unhappy to leave this camp in your present spiritual condition, you don’t want to go out into the dark not knowing where you’ll end up, I would invite you to make a decision tonight, a serious decision to commit yourself without reservation to the Lord Jesus Christ and do whatever He leads you to do. Amen.
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