Hyatt International Ministries
Taking Spiritual Awakening & Biblical Thinking to the Nations
with Drs. Eddie & Susan Hyatt & Friends
THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUTThe Stronghold of Deception
THE STRONGHOLD OF DECEPTION
Guarding Against Pride During Times of Revival
by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min., M.Div., M.A.
It was during the praise and worship service just before I was to preach in a very lively "revival" church. Suddenly I heard the Holy Spirit say, The stronghold of deception is pride. I immediately knew that I was to address the fact that, during times of revival, pride often creeps in because of the power and blessing of God. Individuals get an inflated sense of their own importance because of God’s hand on their lives. This pride then becomes a stronghold for demonic deception.
By the time I finished my message that morning, a solemn quietness had settled over the congregation. It was such contrast to the festive atmosphere before I delivered my message. I shared with the pastor that I hoped I had not squelched the enthusiasm of his congregation. He replied, "Oh no, you were right on target." "In fact," he said, "I may be accused of bringing you in a hired gun today." He then shared how that very thing had been happening within his congregation.
God Resists the Proud.
Thousands attended his crusades because of the prominence of signs and wonders. These giant crusades were organized by Lindsay who also emceed the meetings and taught in the morning sessions.
When the time came for Branham to preach in the evening services, Lindsay would introduce him in a low-key manner while at the same time acknowledging that God was using him in a remarkable way.
Branham then began to surround himself with individuals who fed his ego with ideas about being a special end-time prophet of God. Lindsay sought to warn him but his advice was not heeded and he later withdrew from involvement in Branham’s ministry.
This was the beginning of a sad departure from the simple humility in which Branham’s ministry had begun. He eventually came to believe that he was the fulfillment of the promise of God in Malachi 4:5 which says, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Branham believed that in the same way John the Baptist fulfilled this Scripture before the first coming of Christ (Mk. 9:11-12), that he was the fulfillment of the same Scripture before the second coming of Christ. He believed that he was, in reality, Elijah preparing the way for the coming of Christ. In spite of this bizarre self-concept, his ministry of signs and wonders continued. God is merciful!
Kenneth Hagin’s Prophecy
Two years later, Lindsay received a call from out-of-state asking him to come and pray for Branham who had been in a car accident and was in serious condition. Because of his previous experiences, Lindsay felt that he was to leave the situation completely in the hands of God and so he did not go. Branham died shortly thereafter and it was reported that his head was swollen to twice its normal size from the injuries of the impact.
Though sad and tragic, Branham’s experience is not unique in the annals of Church history. Again and again as God has visited His people in answer to their prayers, pride has crept in and the revival has been squelched.
Pride in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Camp
No wonder the world does not see Jesus. They cannot see Jesus for us. No wonder we are not seeing a national spiritual awakening! The first condition for such an awakening, according to 2 Chrn. 7:14, is for the people of God to "humble themselves." The Church in America, particularly the Pentecostal-Charismatic segment, seems to be doing the very opposite.
God Is Calling Us to a New & Different Posture
If we want to see an increase of the flow of God’s River in our midst, then we must remember that the River is not about us, it’s about Him. As we bow down and acknowledge Him, His power and truth will continue and increase until all the earth is filled with knowledge of the Lord.