Derek Prince - Very Few Christians Think About This Nowadays
It's suggested, and I'm perfectly, prepared to receive it, on the basis of Revelation 12, verse 4, that it was one third of the Angels who turned in rebellion with Lucifer against God. It speaks in Revelation 12 of about a great fiery red dragon, who is the devil. Revelation 12, verse 3: a great fiery red dragon. Remember, Satan is a dragon, he's also a snake. He can overall you and overpower you, or he can slip in through the drain hole when you don't even know he's there. He's got all sorts of different devices. Anyhow, it says of this dragon: his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Other interpreters besides me have suggested that this means one third of the Angels followed Satan, followed Lucifer in his rebellion against God.
Now, I want to look, for a moment, at the structure of the heavenly beings. I want to turn to Colossians. Let me say, Ephesians is the epistle about the Church of Christ, but Colossians is the epistle about the Christ for the church, and if you're ever dealing with people who have been in a cult, the place to take them to is Colossians because it reveals Jesus so uniquely that no guru, no other person can ever have anything like what He have. And so we see here in Colossians 1, verse 15: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. And notice very carefully, he was not created, he was born, the only begotten Son of God, and He's the image of God He himself expresses exactly the person, the nature, the appearance of God. That's why God doesn't want any idols any images because He has his own image and that is Jesus.
So, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Should be the firstborn before all creation. He was not created, He was born. Everything after that was created, and then it says: for by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth. And what guru ever could lay claim to that statement? You understand? It's ridiculous to convey Jesus with any kind of human occult, figure or power. By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible. So, there are visible things and there are invisible things, and then it lists the invisible things: whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. So, there are four main orders in the heavenly realm of the created being. Thrones is the highest. Then, and I'm going to give you a more literal term, dominions or Lordships, then principalities or rulerships, and powers or authorities.
Let me say that again: thrones lordships, rulerships and authorities. and I say I put them in the abstract because these are offices, they are positions. It's like we have the word president, it's a man, but we have the word presidency, it's a function, it's a position. And these are really describing positions rather than individuals. So, there are four main orders: thrones, dominions or Lordships, rulerships, and authorities. Now, if we go back to Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 12, which is where we started, and I'm giving you the Prince version, for our wrestling match is not against persons with bodies, but against rulerships, against authorities, against the world dominates of this age, against spiritual hosts, of wickedness in heaven. Notice, the top level is principalities and powers, or rulerships and authorities.
So, if you go back to Colossians, you see the top two levels we’re not involved in rebellion. Rebellion started at the level of principalities and powers, or rulerships and authorities. So, the thrones and the dominions never were alienated from God, but we're still dealing with extremely powerful spiritual beings who are called rulerships, or rulers and authorities. That's where we are wrestling, if we are wrestling. How many of you are wrestling? You don't have to answer but you can't do it without knowing it, that's for sure.
Now, I want to go now to an incident in the book of Daniel which very vividly demonstrates that there is a mid-heaven between the heaven of God and this earth which is occupied by satanic angels. So, if you know where to find Daniel turn back. Comes after, what does it come after? Yea, anyhow, Daniel. Daniel, chapter 10. Now, this is a lesson on intercession and it's very, very up-to-date. Verse 2, in those days I, Daniel was mourning three full weeks. Why was he mourning? For the sad condition of his people. Why could you and I be mourning? For the sad condition of our people. He said: I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. That is what we have come to call a Daniel fast. It's not totally abstaining from all food, but it's abstaining from all the things you enjoy the most, such as coffee.
Now, I've stopped preaching in my meddling with people's business, a lot of other things, now, let me tell you this, this just adjust by the way, when I was saved, in 1941, if you can believe people were alive walking the earth as long ago as that. I was saved in the British Army, and I was totally unspiritual. I didn't know that God spoke to people, but I felt that somebody was saying to me, no chocolate, no chocolate, no chocolate. So, I thought that's ridiculous, besides I like chocolate, and later on, I was in charge of the canteen in my unit, in the desert, and I controlled all the chocolate. But later, when I married Ruth she said to me: you're a chocoholic. She said: I had never even seen anybody eats chocolate the way you do. You've eaten the whole Toblerone bar in one sitting.
See, I became an addict to chocolate and I'm free now, thank God, but if I only did God's warning it would have saved me a lot of suffering. The strange thing is, about the mid... Well, we're not in the 20th century now in 21st, but anyhow, the recent period of 50 or 60 years something has dropped out of this Christian vocabulary. You know what it is? Self-denial. Up to that time, almost all people, whether Christians or not, assume that Christians would practice self-denial, but somehow it just slipped through the cracks. Today, very few people, as Christians, even think about self-denial but you know when Jesus said, He said: if you're going to follow me, what's the first step? If anyone will come after me let him deny himself. So, Daniel, denied himself. Daniel was without any pleasant food for three weeks.
Now, on the 24th day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river that is Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with golden Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightening, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words was like the voice of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but great terror fell upon them, so they fled to hide themselves.
I remember the people who led me to the Lord, were friends of Smith Wigglesworth, so, I never had direct contact with him, but I remember him saying once, a lady came to me said Sr. Wigglesworth do you think I saw an angel? Because I had an experience and Smith Wigglesworth said: were you frightened? and she said, no, and he said, then it was not an angel because every time anybody saw an angel in the Bible they were frightened.
So, Daniel was frightened. And we go on verse 8: Therefore, I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. You can't come in lower than that. when I'm about to minister anywhere as for instance here, I always take pains to take time on my face on the floor, because when your face is on the floor you can sink no lower, there's only one way you can go after that, that's up. And if I fail to do it, I've always trembled that their consequences will display the fact, anyhow, verse 10: then suddenly a hand touched me, which set me trembling on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he, this visitor from heaven said: O Daniel, man greatly beloved.
Why is he greatly beloved? I'll tell you why I think so, because he cared enough for his people, to fast and pray for them, Understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you. I didn't finish what I was saying about fasting, the year before last, I spoke at a conference of intercessors for America with Bill Bright, whom you know has introduced fasting to many people, and as a matter of interest I calculated how much time I had actually fasted during my Christian life and I found out it was more than eight years. But not all at one time, and I do not consider any of it wasted time. Wherever I am I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't practiced fasting. And Jesus said to His disciples, when you fast, He didn't say, if you fast, He said, when you fast. He put it on exactly the same level as giving to charity and praying.
Three things, when you pray, when you give arms, and when you fast. And He's a pattern He didn't have it... He didn't have any ministry until He'd spent 40 days fasting, it says in Luke, chapter 4, after He was baptized, He went into the desert full of the Holy Spirit, after forty days fasting it says he came out in the power of the Holy Spirit, there's a difference you are full of the Holy Spirit, maybe, but are you moving in the power of the Holy Spirit? It's another question. Anyhow, we're going back to Daniel, chapter 10, verse 12: Then he said to me do not fear Daniel from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God to do what? - Humble yourself. What's the opposite of humility? Pride. We're going to do one or the other which will it be? Pride is disastrous. Humbling yourself is the way to success. To humble yourself before your God your words were heard and I have come because of your words.
Now, Daniel had been fasting 21 days but the first day that he began fasting the angel was sent with the answer. Why did he take 21 days to get through? Well, he tells you. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days. That's no human being. That's a satanic ruler in the heavenlies and he had a specific assignment, he was in charge of Persia. I've been invited to speak to 1,000 Iranian Christians in the land of Holland they're all refugees from Iran and they tell me that the Iran is on the verge of a spiritual explosion and I'm just telling you this, I hope it doesn't seem boasty.
Our representative in Holland was trying to interest him in me which is, you know, optional, and the man was not interested the least bit, this Persian man, until our representative showed him the book Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting. He said: Did he write that book? Then we want him. You know, there are at least four nations whose history has been radically affected by that book. That's Russia, Czechoslovakia, Persia, and one other nation, and I forget which. And I want to tell, you if you want to see your nation changed, it will not happen without prayer and fasting.
I wrote that book about... Oh, more than 20 years ago. I'm an American by choice, you know that? I emigrated to this nation by accident, not many people emigrated by accident, but I did, because I arrived at the border with my Danish wife and my little black African daughter from Canada in Pembina and off Dakota and they said: what are you coming for? Well, I said: a visit. I had an invitation from an AoG pastor, well, they said, how long is the visit? well, I said, about six months. They said, that's too long for a visit, well, I had learned not to argue with people like that so I said, well, maybe you can help us. So, you can hardly believe this, but they said, come in to Minneapolis and we'll arrange for you to emigrate. And I'm probably the only person who's ever immigrated to the United States by accident.
And I thank God for this nation, the Christians of America have been extremely good to me. I have a debt and I think my way of repaying that debt is writing that book because it demonstrates, out of American history, the unique place that prayer and fasting had in the birth and origin of this nation. And also Illustrated about other examples from my personal history in the Middle East and elsewhere where history has been shaped by prayer and fasting And if you want to see the United States stand back to God I don't believe it will happen until people really pray and fast.
So, you have to ask yourself, how much does the welfare of my nation mean to me? I am deeply grateful to the people of America. They've entertained me, they've received me, they've supported me. I will do anything I can to repay that debt but I know the best thing I can do is to tell them the truth about prayer and fasting. You know the pilgrim fathers, can we call them that? You know, the pilgrims viewed from British perspective were a dropout. I mean, they just sailed west and disappeared out of English history.
When I got here, I was invited to speak at Plymouth, you know, in Massachusetts, on the pilgrim who I didn't know a thing about them, I had to find out. And because of religious persecution in England they fled to Holland, and they gathered the whole company: men, women, and children, in Leiden, in Holland, and they appointed a day of prayer and fasting based on Ezra, chapter 8, verse 21. To humble ourselves before the Lord and to seek from him a right way. Then, they set out from that, stopped in Plymouth, and took the journey to New England.
You can say, in a sense, this nation, or this section of this nation, was born out of prayer and fasting, and was based on the Bible. And I think, it's very stupid to turn away from the Bible to human philosophers. I mean, I was a philosopher, I have no respect for human philosophy, it's a waste of time, and I mean, I'm not saying that because I failed, I was successful. I can hardly believe it, but I wrote a dissertation for King's College scrimmage on this title: The Evolution of Plato's Method Of Definition, can you believe it? And I was elected, so I'm not speaking because I didn't succeed, I did succeed, but when I met the Lord it all became totally irrelevant to me.