[b]Do Not Fear The Counterfeits -
When preparing for the worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the return of Christ[/b]
[i]by Elmer G. Klassen[/i]
The return of Christ and a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit in preparation for it are as sure as the promises of God. The many books written about the return of Christ and the increased awareness and preparation for a worldwide revival among evangelicals confirm that God is preparing His people for an intervention from heaven such as this world has never witnessed. The church will soon by prayer usher in Gods judgments upon His enemies and witness the victory of God upon this world.
The Church is destined to conquer by praying in the Spirit for the saints. They are more than conquerors as they intercede for the saints in accordance with the will of God.
Romans describes praying in accordance with the will of God when we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with Gods will.
We need not fear counterfeits when praying as the Scripture teaches. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:26-39). God will not give a snake when we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:11).
In his book, The Masters Indwelling, Andrew Murray writes about praying in a manner which has become a fearful venture by some evangelicals for a number of reasons. Human psychology has discouraged serious Christians to intercede for the saints in the Spirit of God. They have been warned against intercessory praying by Christians who know little about praying in the Spirit and consider such praying as strange and foreign. Praying in the Spirit has been taught by revivalists for more than a century. They all tell us the same truth: There is no revival that is not preceded by intercessory praying in the Spirit. Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit which has been given from heaven because Christians prayed as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
What Murray wrote at the turn of this century about intercessory prayer and of victory over sin has been accepted by evangelical Christians for generations. There is no reason to fear now that these messages, even though much criticized, misinterpreted as being New Age and even warned about as of being cultic, are to be feared. This has always been so since the ministry of Jesus and in the millenniums of the New Testament age that followed.
Fear to pray as the Bible teaches has caused evangelicals to lose the art of praying for the lost and has brought intercessory praying in many churches to almost a standstill. Praying scripturally always has been strongly resisted by the enemy of our souls. Any fear that Satan can plant in Christian hearts he will be most zealous to accomplish. Whoever Satan can find as his instrument to discourage biblical praying he will do so in a very deceptive manner through people respected in evangelical circles.
For this reason western evangelicals have not in recent time been known as praying people. Intercessory prayer has not been encouraged because it has not been understood.
The prayer life of evangelicals, however, is changing. In fact, the prayer life of Christians worldwide is expected to change radically and powerfully in the years to come. One of the signs that genuine Holy Spirit inspired praying is to be expected is the counterfeit work of the Holy Spirit that is now being promoted by the enemy of our souls universally. A counterfeit is always a counterfeit for the genuine and often brought into dominance just before the genuine comes to fruiting. Signs point to a development of Christians praying in unity for a genuine worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
When God begins to move upon His people to pray to Him under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we can be sure that Satan will rush ahead to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit. An increased interest and desire for spiritual counterfeits seen on TV and promoted in schools are a sign that a genuine, promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit is on its way. Satans counterfeits are given for the purpose to instill fear in the hearts of Gods people when praying for a genuine work of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him. The major counterfeit that Christians need to be warned about today is what Christians have learned from Sigmund Freud as I explained in the February Herald.
Christians who are taught to improve their self-confidence are in danger of accepting Satans counterfeits for the Spirit of God. Andrew Murray writes that self-will, self-confidence and self-exaltation are what God has cursed. He writes:
It was self that ruined and brought destruction upon this world, and all that there has been of sin, darkness, wretchedness, and of misery. All that there will be throughout the countless ages of eternity in hell will be nothing but the reign of self, the curse of self, separating man and turning him away from his God. If we are to understand fully what Christ is to do for us, and are to become partakers of a full salvation, we must learn to know, and to hate, and to give up entirely this cursed self.
What are the works of self? I might mention many, but let us take the simplest words that we are continually using--self-will, self-confidence and self-exaltation. Self-will and pleasing self is the great sin of man. It is the reason why there is much compromising with the world, which is the ruin of so many.
Later Murray writes that we are rather to put our confidence in God. If we are to enter into the rest of faith and to abide there, if we are to live the life of victory in the land of Canaan, it must begin here. We must be broken down from all self-confidence and learn to depend absolutely and unceasingly upon God as Christ did
He will lead us into the rest in which we are saved from self-care, self-seeking, self-trusting, self-loving and the rest in which we do not think of ourselves.
Striving to please self is what opens our minds and hearts to counterfeits which will mislead even Christians to miss the genuine work of the Holy Spirit of our day. The psychology that promotes love to self opens hearts to the counterfeit work of the Holy Spirit. It is Satans practice to rush ahead with his counterfeits before the genuine is given by God.
When God promised a blessing to Abram and to his seed, which was Christ, Abram wanted to be satisfied with Ishmael.
When God gave His people Moses as a leader the people had to first accept Aaron and worship the golden calf before Moses was confirmed and accepted by all the Israelites as the leader of Gods people.
When God wanted to give His people a king after His own heart the people wanted to be satisfied with Saul.
Rather than pray and wait to accept the Apostle Paul as one of their fellow twelve apostles Matthias was counted as one of them (Acts 1:23,26).
Rather than wait for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days upon the believers in Jesus Christ many Christians accept todays nation of Israel as Gods miracle of promise.
Satan will continuously push people to accept a substitute to Gods choice in order to frustrate Gods plan.
Christians who accept the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin reject the Gods genesis. Christians who practice the Godless socialism of Karl Marx do not know The Way in the book of Acts. Christians who are looking for self in themselves according to Sigmund Freud do not find the Spirit of God who rules from within.
If Christians want to pray for the salvation of the lost, if Christians want to be a praying people, we must reject the thoughts of Charles Darwin and not be fearful in trusting the Scriptures to be our source of knowledge, must reject the socialism of Karl Marx and accept the unity of believers in Jesus, and must reject the philosophy of Sigmund Freud and learn to pray in the Holy Spirit. We must watch and pray with confidence in Gods Word, in unity with Gods people, and give freedom to the Spirit until the genuine outpouring of the Holy Sprit is given.
It is imperative that we Christians learn to pray! May we send you Andrew Murrays book, The Masters Indwelling. Please also order extra Herald copies to give to friends in your prayer group. We must be bold in our praying and obedience to insure great victory on this earth. May Gods kingdom come and His will be done on this earth as it is in heaven!
Lord Jesus, reign in me until You reign everywhere!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon