Later on, from 1957-1962, I was a missionary with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada – dear people, but practically no exercise of spiritual gifts at all. So one day I said to them, “Why don’t we ever exercise spiritual gifts?” The answer was, “The ‘Latter Rain’ had them.” In other words, that has made it impossible for us; we might go the same way. You see, one of Satan’s tactics is to discredit that which is good by its misuse. DEREK PRINCE
Now, the Bible speaks about signs and wonders. It says some things about them that are good, and some that are very frightening. I want to turn to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and read a few verses there, beginning at verse 9. The coming of the lawless one [that is the title of the Antichrist] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So, Paul says here there are such things as lying signs and wonders. There are true signs and there are lying signs. True signs attest the truth. Lying signs attest lies. Satan is fully capable of supernatural signs and wonders. Unfortunately, many in the Charismatic movement have the attitude that if something is supernatural, it must be from God. There is no scriptural basis for that assumption. Satan is perfectly capable of producing powerful signs and wonders to attest his lies, and the reason such people are deceived is because they did not receive the love of the truth. On such people God will send strong delusion. That is one of the most frightening statements in the Bible. If God sends you strong delusion, you will be deluded. I think that is one of the most severe judgments of God recorded in Scripture, sending these people strong delusion. They will be condemned, these people, because they did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (Note: Most churches these days are pleasurable.
They have pleasant entertainments and soothing preaching despite the appalling sinfulness in the lives of those in the padded pews. ES)
In 1994, for the first time, I was brought into fairly direct contact with one of the groups where those manifestations were occurring. A group of leaders went to some of their meetings and returned all excited, saying they had experienced something wonderful and we all needed to experience it. They said, “Now, you don’t test it. You don’t try it out. You don’t examine it. You just open up to it and receive it.” That was the first time that I really began to be suspicious of some of these things, because such a statement is directly contrary to Scripture.
In I Thessalonians 5:21, Paul says to Christians, “Test all things: hold fast what is good.” So, if we do not test things, we are disobeying Scripture, and anybody who tells us not to test things is, himself, not in harmony with Scripture. Our hearts cannot be relied upon to give us the truth. Proverbs 28:26 says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.” So do not be a fool. Do not trust your own heart. Do not rely upon what your heart tells you, because it is not reliable. Again, in Jeremiah 17:9 the prophet says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Mixture Produces Confusion and Division
In Leviticus 19:19, God warns us against mixture. He is opposed to mixture. God says this, “You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.” So, God warns against three things: breeding mixed livestock, sowing with mixed seed and wearing a mixed garment.
Now, I have observed this carefully, and I have had grievous experience of this condition of a mixture of spirits. I find that it is something which the Scripture warns us against. For instance, there is a character in the Bible, King Saul, who had a mixture of spirits. At one time, he prophesied in the Holy Spirit; at another time, he prophesied in a demon. His career is really a warning. He was a king who ruled for forty years. He was a successful military commander. He had a lot of successes. But mixture was his undoing, and his life closed with tragedy. On the last night of his life, he went to consult a witch, and the next day he committed suicide on the battlefield. Surely that offers no encouragement to any of us to cultivate any kind of spiritual mixture in our lives.
The Bible gives us no liberty to tolerate the incursion of evil into the church. We are not to be passive; we are not to be neutral. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” It is sinful to compromise with evil. It is sinful to be neutral toward evil. In John 10:10 Jesus spoke about the thief, “the devil, who comes: to steal, to kill and to destroy”. We always need to remember, whether it is in an individual life or in a congregation, the devil only comes with three objectives: to steal, to kill and to destroy. I can remember many times I have been speaking with a person who needed deliverance from an evil spirit, and I have said to that person, “Remember, the devil has three reasons for being in your life: to steal, to kill and to destroy. You need to take a stand against him, not be neutral – you must drive him out.” What is true of an individual is true of a congregation. It is true for the body of Christ, worldwide.
I believe it is possible to misuse other spiritual gifts – such as a word of knowledge or a gift of healing. This can happen when a person uses a spiritual gift to achieve a result or promote a movement which is not in harmony with the will of God. One obvious misuse would be for personal gain. In such a situation, our safeguard is to be able to recognize the Holy Spirit as a Person and to distinguish between Him and His gifts. This, then, is the first and most important fact about the Holy Spirit: HE IS GOD. And we need to relate to Him and treat Him always as God
FROM PROTECTION FROM DECEPTION
by Derek Prince
Navigating Through The Minefield Of Signs And Wonders