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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Can Satan Minister Death Through True Gospel Preaching?

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Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89

 Can Satan Minister Death Through True Gospel Preaching?

I have been considering this matter recently. I remember vaguely a quote about a vision or dream someone had in which the devil was using a Christian's preaching to minister death to the hearers, because the Christian did not have the anointing of the Spirit. Does anyone have that quote? I know that the Lord sometimes uses false ministers to bring salvation to the lost. But I was wondering if satan can use true believers to minister death, even if the true believer is preaching the true gospel; for lack of prayer and fellowship with God, etc. I look forward to any replies and/or Scriptures in answer to the question.

 2010/3/30 17:30Profile

Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453

 Re: Can Satan Minister Death Through True Gospel Preaching?

It sounds like chapter three of [url=]Power Through Prayer[/url].

III. The Letter Killeth
THE preaching that kills may be, and often is, orthodox -- dogmatically, inviolably orthodox. We love orthodoxy. It is good. It is the best. It is the clean, clear-cut teaching of God's Word, the trophies won by truth in its conflict with error, the levees which faith has raised against the desolating floods of honest or reckless
misbelief or unbelief; but orthodoxy, clear and hard as crystal, suspicious and militant, may be but the letter
well-shaped, well-named, and well-learned, the letter which kills. Nothing is so dead as a dead orthodoxy, too
dead to speculate, too dead to think, to study, or to pray.
The preaching that kills may have insight and grasp of principles, may be scholarly and critical in taste, may
have every minutia of the derivation and grammar of the letter, may be able to trim the letter into its perfect
pattern, and illume it as Plato and Cicero may be illumined, may study it as a lawyer studies his text-books to form his brief or to defend his case, and yet be like a frost, a killing frost. Letter-preaching may be eloquent,
enameled with poetry and rhetoric, sprinkled with prayer spiced with sensation, illumined by genius and yet
these be but the massive or chaste, costly mountings, the rare and beautiful flowers which coffin the corpse.
The preaching which kills may be without scholarship, unmarked by any freshness of thought or feeling,
clothed in tasteless generalities or vapid specialties, with style irregular, slovenly, savoring neither of closet
nor of study, graced neither by thought, expression, or prayer. Under such preaching how wide and utter the
desolation! how profound the spiritual death!
This letter-preaching deals with the surface and shadow of things, and not the things themselves. It does not
penetrate the inner part. It has no deep insight into, no strong grasp of, the hidden life of God's Word. It is true
to the outside, but the outside is the hull which must be broken and penetrated for the kernel. The letter may
be dressed so as to attract and be fashionable, but the attraction is not toward God nor is the fashion for
heaven. The failure is in the preacher. God has not made him. He has never been in the hands of God like
clay in the hands of the potter. He has been busy about the sermon, its thought and finish, its drawing and
impressive forces; but the deep things of God have never been sought, studied, fathomed, experienced by him.
He has never stood before "the throne high and lifted up," never heard the seraphim song, never seen the
vision nor felt the rush of that awful holiness, and cried out in utter abandon and despair under the sense of
weakness and guilt, and had his life renewed, his heart touched, purged, inflamed by the live coal from God's
altar. His ministry may draw people to him, to the Church, to the form and ceremony; but no true drawings to
God, no sweet, holy, divine communion induced. The Church has been frescoed but not edified, pleased but
not sanctified. Life is suppressed; a chill is on the summer air; the soil is baked. The city of our God becomes
the city of the dead; the Church a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is
dead. The preacher and the preaching have helped sin, not holiness; peopled hell, not heaven.

Preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer the preacher creates death, and not life. The
preacher who is feeble in prayer is feeble in life-giving forces. The preacher who has retired prayer as a
conspicuous and largely prevailing element in his own character has shorn his preaching of its distinctive
life-giving power. Professional praying there is and will be, but professional praying helps the preaching to its
deadly work. Professional praying chills and kills both preaching and praying. Much of the lax devotion and
lazy, irreverent attitudes in congregational praying are attributable to professional praying in the pulpit. Long,
discursive, dry, and inane are the prayers in many pulpits. Without unction or heart, they fall like a killing
frost on all the graces of worship. Death-dealing prayers they are. Every vestige of devotion has perished
under their breath. The deader they are the longer they grow. A plea for short praying, live praying, real heart
praying, praying by the Holy Spirit -- direct, specific, ardent, simple, unctuous in the pulpit -- is in order. A
school to teach preachers how to pray, as God counts praying, would be more beneficial to true piety, true
worship, and true preaching than all theological schools.
Stop! Pause! Consider! Where are we? What are we doing? Preaching to kill? Praying to kill? Praying to
God! the great God, the Maker of all worlds, the Judge of all men! What reverence! what simplicity! what
sincerity! what truth in the inward parts is demanded! How real we must be! How hearty! Prayer to God the
noblest exercise, the loftiest effort of man, the most real thing! Shall we not discard forever accursed
preaching that kills and prayer that kills, and do the real thing, the mightiest thing -- prayerful praying,
life-creating preaching, bring the mightiest force to bear on heaven and earth and draw on God's exhaustless
and open treasure for the need and beggary of man?

Wayne Kraus

 2010/3/30 17:40Profile

Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


Thank you wayneman. I'll have to read the whole book after reading this; really speaks to the heart of the issue. It is very similar to the vision/dream i was referring to but not quite. Much appreciated though. Very edifying. May i take it to heart.

 2010/3/30 18:07Profile

Joined: 2008/10/17
Posts: 113
Notts. England.

 Re: Can Satan Minister Death Through True Gospel Preaching?

I would say not.
Scripture warns of 'wolves in sheeps clothing' and states that even the enemy can parade as an angel of light - so how much more his followers - but that is talking of false apostles - not true preachers. I have heard of God using even the false for His Glory - but never the other way around.
Look at Job - God has the final word - God Himself places the barrier and says 'this far and no further' God himself says 'My words will not return to me void' all we are called to do is sow the seed - it is God that grants the increase.
Even if a preacher is suffering at the time - God can use that word to speak for His Glory - it is not of us - in our weaknesses He is made strong.
Any true believer who preaches the true Gospel will recognise his shortcomings and realise what a responsibility and honour it is to preach God's word.
What is so true is that you never preach to a congregation without first preaching to yourself!
If there is a weakness in a personal relationship with God on the part of the preacher, he will know it and will recognise the lack of anointing, but I do not believe that the enemy will then use this to bring death, the power of life and death are in God's hands.
It is amazing that God has placed His treasure in earthern vessels such as us, He remembers that we are but dust.
For a true believer we can fully trust that God will have the Glory and will also complete the work in us.

Ceri Elaine

 2010/3/30 18:21Profile

Joined: 2009/5/13
Posts: 74


I think you may be referring to the vision of Duncan Campbell, where he saw the devil preaching the Gospel on a street corner. Upon asked why he was preaching, the devil told him that one of his most powerful weapons was the proclamation of the Gospel without the anointing of the Spirit. Something like that. I think it is in this sermon:

 2010/3/30 18:21Profile

Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


thanks nearthecross. that's the one.

 2010/3/30 18:49Profile

Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


Ceri, thank you for the encouragement.

 2010/3/30 19:02Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2013
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Can Satan Minister Death Through True Gospel Preaching?

Have you considered Paul's perspective on this?

Php 1:13-18
(13) So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
(14) And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
(15) Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
(16) The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
(17) But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
(18) What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.


 2010/3/31 16:35Profile

Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


Thanks twayneb. I did consider that passage before. So it would seem according to this Scripture, that the devil cannot use the true gospel to minister death, regardless of who it is that is preaching. So I guess Duncan Campbell may have had it wrong after all.

So what about the need for prayer and the outpouring of the Spirit on us before we preach. How do we reconcile that need with this Scripture?

Can it be that if we do not seek the Lord enough we will not see as much of the power of God as we would had we sought Him more. And that the devil cannot then turn that around and use it for his kingdom. So maybe it's just a matter of the level of God's power being demonstrated. Just thinking out loud here.

 2010/3/31 17:56Profile

Joined: 2009/3/17
Posts: 308
Central Alberta, Canada


Have you considered Paul's perspective on this?

Yes I have. I do not like what you try to imply here. Please don't take scripture out of context to mean something other than it does.

Paul may have said about Christ being preached: "I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."

But this does NOT excuse insincerity of some who use the name of Jesus at all! And just because Paul said he would rejoice at Jesus being preached, he was obviously feeling grieved by the insincerity of some, can't you see that?

But know this:

Not all that say Lord Lord...Matthew 7:21

...Now if anyone [b]does not[/b] have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Romans 8:9

Let me ask you a question.

Are most Roman Catholics saved, I mean they hear Jesus preached? How about Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Liberal Gospels that ordain practicing homosexuals and lesbians, and a host of other false gospels...are these saved that have heard Jesus preached by them? But Christ is being preached, and as long as Jesus is being preached that's okay right? maybe not...(maybe some will be saved, God only knows)

Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ without the anointing and conviction of the Holy Spirit is like eating bread with no water to wash it down.

I think it is more dangerous for a person to hear a skewed Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for it to not change you and give you repentance, and to cause you to walk before God, then it is for a person to have never heard the gospel at all. It would be better to have never been born at all then to hear the words of Jesus and then not be saved. Take the gospel of Jesus Christ in the context and in the Spirit in which is was written please, and don't contort scripture to say something it does not.


 2010/3/31 19:23Profile

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