The 21st century preacher must beware of flatteries .
Acts 16:16-18 (KJV)
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
When Paul came to Macedonia, having been brought there supernaturally by a night vision, he and his travelling team met a damsel with the spirit of divination who followed them as they moved around and cried saying ‘these men are servant of the most high God which shew unto us the way of salvation .
What she said was accurate and consistent with Paul’s mission to Macedonia, they came to show the city the way of salvation indeed:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
She was spot on but the source was wrong. it was a perfect imitation of the gift of the spirit , it was very accurate but the channel which she assessed this perfect information about Paul’s apostolic mission to the land was by the spirit of divination.
What is divination?
Divination is a satanic imitation of what is divine in expression and nature. We were told that she did these for many days ! why many days ? because demons are attention seeking spirit! They love to seek your attention and they can use flattery words to wear you out and get it.
The question here is, why was this not dealt with the first day? Why was the spirit of divination not detected by the apostle the first day? Why did it take the apostle many days before he knew this wasn’t the spirit of God?
The flattery was getting into them!
Keep this in your spirit always…… Our discernment comes under pressure when we are hungry, when we are impressed and when we are flattered as well .These are moments in life you must be on guard .
You must guard against human praise and flatteries because it will put your discernment under pressure.
Divination flatters. . We have known satan as an accuser but we can see from here that he also has the weapon of flattery.
Other preachers of the gospel hearing what the damsel was saying “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation’ will be carried away by the flatery especially an ovation loving preacher:
38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love #salutations in the marketplaces,39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:
With what the lady was saying , an ovation loving preacher who feels important and draw strength from human accolades will turn to his team and say… did you hear that ? can you see God confirming that we are in the right place ?
All of a sudden, paul’s discernment kicked in ; he became grieved in his spirit and turned to the lady …..verse 18. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Why did satan met paul with flatteries under the spirit of divination ? he did that to go undetected in that region. Secondly, he did that to bring paul and his team under his control! If the damsel continue to cry openly before the populace at the team saying “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation, they could get carried away and seek more guidance from her since she sounded like bearing witness to the holy Spirit. Some preachers will bring her into the team or wherever they went to tell them more of what she saw about their mission! They could have called her and say, “madam you got it! Flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you but our father in heaven “
Severally, during the course of deliverance, demonic spirit knew Jesus mission:
And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
It was an irony that all through the ministry of Jesus, demons everywhere knew him as the son of God but the Pharisees hated him and denied that he was the son of God:
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Ironically, demons knew his deity! Yet religious folks didn’t. Jesus could have used the testimonies of demons about his mission and deity as a witness against the pharisees but he still shut them up even when their testimonies were right and accurate because as far as Jesus was concerned, if I will receive a testimony, it is not from a demon. A demon remains demon.
A LYING SIGNS AND WONDERS.
A lying wonder or signs doesn’t imply magic as many think. It doesn’t necessarily mean stage-managing or falsehood in most cases; the miracles could be real, blind eyes could see indeed, and the lame could walk of a truth, but if the Spirit of God is not behind those manifestations, it becomes a lying wonder even though they are real.
A lying spirit could access accurate informations about people and places. Like I said earlier, Divination is a satanic imitation of what is divine in expression and nature What she said about the apostle and his team was accurate but because the Holy Spirit was not the source of the information, it makes it altogether a lying wonder. We shouldn’t celebrate accuracy, we should be more concerned with their source. Babes in the Lord are easily carried away sensationally with accuracy, but matured men are concerned with their source.
In the case of Paul’, it was a damsel who followed them and flattered them continually …. These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Today, we don’t have a damsel doing it to us but the social media . beware of social media flattery, demons could influence those praises! Beware of flatteries from church members, team members, colleagues in the ministry, spiritual fathers, spiritual sons and daughters, government etc.
We cant stop people from celebrating and prasing the work of our hand , it is impossible but we can choose to receive those flatteries or not. neither receive human praise or crititcism.
Richard Femi Bolaji is an endtime prophet /teacher and a vessel of real Holy Ghost revival privileged to have ministered across major denominations of the body of Christ in Africa and other parts of the globe .
Dr Bolaji’s ministry is thrilling , lively ,and tremendously encouraging and impactful .He has been anointed by God this hour to bring to the body of Christ ,one of the most important, one of the most anointed, and timely prophetic revelations and truth .
His inspirational teachings and ministrations imparts fresh faith , courage , hope and strength and they also attack spiritual forces and break through spiritual barriers. Atmosphere shifts, The spiritual Climate changes , things changes, And growth comes .