Derek Prince - War In Heaven and Earth - Part 1
Thank you so much for that welcome. Thank you, brother Hagee, it's a real privilege to be with you again. We've had some exciting times together, I think you'll agree. I esteem brother Hagee as a great man of God. I think what he's achieved here, in this place, in these people, is tremendous, and I'm honored to be here and to minister to you all. So, let me turn to an initial text for the theme of warfare in the heavenlies. Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. If I may, I'll give you the Prince version which is a little bit more literal.
I started learning Greek when I was 10 years old and I became a professor at Cambridge University so, I do know something about Greek. Nobody knows everything about Greek. Let me tell you that. It's a very elaborate language with a long history of a nearly 3,000 years. So, anybody tells you he knows it all he's mistaken. But this is the Prince version of Ephesians 6, verse 12. For our wrestling match is not against flesh and blood. And the Living Bible says, persons with bodies, which is a good rendering. Our wrestling match is not against persons with bodies but against rulerships, against authorities, against the world dominators of this present darkness, against spiritual hosts of forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. It begins here in my text: We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Unfortunately, many Christians have got it punctuated wrong. For we do not wrestle, period.
In fact, I would have to say, from my observations, most Christians have got it wrong. There are not many Christians who are really wrestling, and you know wrestling is the most intense form of conflict between two persons. A boxing match, that are certain blows you're not allowed to land on a pub sub body. Wrestling, and all in wrestling, as they call it, is total combat and that's the word that Paul uses here. We are involved in total combat against spiritual forces, persons without bodies, against rulership and authorities. I will come back to that phrase later on. Against the world dominators of this present darkness, against spiritual hosts or forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Now, we need to ask ourselves how it came about, that there are spiritual hosts or forces of wickedness in the heavenly places? Let me say first of all, that from the first verse of the Bible, the word heaven is always plural. In the beginning God created the heavens, plural and the earth, singular. So, there is more than one heaven. In actual fact there are three heavens. This is stated very clearly in 2nd Corinthians, chapter 2, chapter 12, verses 1 and 2 and following. It is doubtless not expedient for me to boast, but I come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
So, Paul is now speaking about a man who had a very unique vision and revelation. I don't believe that man was Paul, some people do. I think it wasn't but let's not argue about that. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows, such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows, who was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible, or unalterable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter. So, Paul is speaking about somebody, a believer who had a very wonderful experience and he was caught up to the third heaven. Paul says he doesn't know whether his body was caught up with him or just his spirit, but there he was in the third heaven and he was caught up into Paradise and heard unutterable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.
Now, before I became a believer I was a professor of logic and I still believe in logic, and my logic tells me if there is a third heaven there must be a first and a second. You cannot have the third of anything without the first two, and I believe that's the way it is. So, in the third heaven this man heard God himself, he was in Paradise obviously, this is the highest point where God Himself dwells. So, the third heaven is the top heaven, if I may put it that way. The first heaven I believed to be the visible heaven, the one we look at, the Sun, the Moon, the stars and so on. Now, between the first and the third there must be a second, and there I believe is the area where the conflict takes place. I don't believe there's any conflict in the heaven where God dwells. There isn't that kind of conflict on Earth, but there is in this intermediate heaven, between Earth and the throne of God.
Now, how did this conflict come about? What's its origin? The Bible tells us certain things, it doesn't tell us other things. It's a mistake to try to know more than the Bible tells, but it's very important that we do find out what the Bible has to say. So, I'm going to turn now to Isaiah, chapter 14, and in my particular translation the passage I'm looking at begins at verse 12, and it's entitled or headed: The Fall of Lucifer. So, these are prophetic words described to a certain angelic being who turned in rebellion against God. How are you fallen from heaven. That's the heaven of God's presence. O, Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
Now, we get the motivation of Lucifer's rebellion. Let me say of course Lucifer's present name is Satan. Satan means the adversary. The Greek word the devil means the slanderer. So, Satan is the adversary of God and man, the slanderer. Remember that anybody who slanders is doing the devil's job and unfortunately it does occur in churches. Now, let's look at the motivation because this is very important, we learn something extremely helpful for each of us and all of us. For you have said in your heart.
This is the motivation of Lucifer's rebellion against God, and five times it starts with the words: I will. So, the root of rebellion is the will set in opposition to the will of God. He says: I will ascend into heaven. And he's planning to go higher. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit in the Mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. But when the English says like, the Hebrew can equally well be translated, I will be equal to the Most High, so, the origin of Lucifer's rebellion was personal ambition and pride and I would like to point out to you that is the main source of trouble in the church today. It's personal ambition.
I often ask myself, how many ministers in the church are motivated by passion for souls, and how many are motivated by personal ambition? To have the biggest church, the largest mailing list, all the largest meetings and so on. And I can tell you from personal experience and observation over a long period of time many sections of the church are riddled with personal ambition. In my personal opinion, this is the greatest single problem in the church, personal ambition in the ministry. And we find that its origin was in the heart of Lucifer, or Satan himself. Five times he set his will against the will of God. Five times he planned to exalt himself. I have a little radio series about the whole problem of pride, which is called: The Way Up Is Down.
If you want to go higher you have to go lower, it's very interesting because this has been circulated in various countries. It's translated into German, I'm sorry to tell you good Americans that on the whole the response has not been enthusiastic. The thing that surprises me is in Germany it's been a best-seller. I can't explain it, but we need to take heed to that fact The Way Up Is Down. If you want to go higher you have to go lower. And you see, Satan has implanted his personal ambition, his self-promotion, in the hearts of all who will accept it. And that doesn't mean that the church is excluded. In fact, the church is the place where Satan most desires to implant this kind of personal ambition. And then it says: yet you should be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. It really is true, the way up is down. If you want to go up, go down. The lower down you go, the higher up you end. Don't let Satan deceive you by planting personal ambition in your heart because it was his downfall and it can be your downfall too.
Now, I want to take a picture of the interaction between the heavenlies and the earthly realm, an example of what we could call: Spiritual conflict. I'm going to turn to Ezekiel, chapter 28. Now, this chapter portrays two persons, the king of Tyre... I'm sorry, the prince of Tyre and the king of Tyre, and they are quite different persons but both of them are involved in the destiny of a very important city in the ancient world called Tyre. And this revelation brings out the fact that there is an interplay between earthly rulers and heavenly rulers, evil heavenly rulers, and that brings out the fact that one of the most important things we can do to change the situation is to deal with the evil heavenly rulers.
So, now we're looking a little of what it says in Ezekiel 28 beginning at verse 1: The word of the Lord came to me again saying, Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God’. So, this is addressed to the prince, the second half of the chapter is addressed to the king, who's a totally different person. Because your heart is lifted up. What one word would you use to describe that? Pride, that's right. You see, consistently the Bible wants us more against pride than any problem. Because your heart is lifted up and you say, ‘I'm a god I sit in the seats of gods in the midst of the seas,’ yet, you are a man, and not a god though you set your heart as the heart of a god.
So, this prince of Tyre is a human being who claims to be God, as many other human beings have done. We'll go on. Well, we're going to... Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! With your wisdom and your understanding you have gained riches for yourself, and gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up. What's that? Pride. Because of what? Your riches. How many people would recognize that wealth is often a source of pride? All these things have very important practical lessons for us. And here is a man, a human ruler who claims to be God, that's not by any means the only case. In fact, we know there is coming and Antichrist who will claim to be god, and sit in the temple as god so, these are things that have happened continually throughout history.
Therefore, thus says the Lord God; because you have set your heart as the heart of God; you know therefore I will bring strangers against you, the most terrible of the nations: and they should draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and defile your splendor, they shall throw you down into the pit and you shall die the death of the slain in the midst of the seas. Will you still say before him who slays you, I am a god? But you shall be a man and not a god in the hand of him who slays you. So, here is a picture of this human being who's very clever, very wise, very successful, very wealthy, a ruler, but he claims to be a god and God disposes of that claim by sending enemies against him who kill him and God asked: will you say in the hand of the one who slays you I am a God not a man? Now that's the first one.
Now we come to a totally different person in the second half of Ezekiel 28. This person is the king of Tyre and it's very clear from much that said he's not a human being so, we see something that's very important. In the whole spiritual realm there is a relationship between evil forces in the heavenlies and human rulers, and they seek to gain control of human rulers and use them to carry out their purposes, and the same thing is happening right now in the United States of America. So, this is not a remote story from some other age, this is very relevant to where we are in the United States today.
Now I'm going on about the king of Tyre beginning in verse 11: Moreover the word of the Lord came to me saying, son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him: thus says the Lord God you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. you were in Eden, the garden of God. That was never true of any human being. Every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz and diamond, beryl, onyx and Jasper, sapphire, turquoise and emerald with gold. the workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. So, here's a created being who was in Eden, the garden of God, who walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. He's not a man but he's not god.
Then it says in verse 14: you were the anointed cherub who covers. Covers what? Well this is my belief, covers the throne of God with his wings. So, this cherub was outstandingly beautiful, outstandingly wise, and he had a unique position in heaven, he was the cherub who with his wings covered the throne of God. An interesting little footnote from that time onwards, as far as I can understand, God never put one cherub anywhere He always put two face to face so that each of them will know there's someone just as beautiful as I am. Verse 16: by the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within.
Now, trading can mean going around selling wares, this is my little picture. I believe Lucifer went around coveting and obtaining the allegiance of the angels who were under his authority. And I pictured him, this is totally imagine, he's saying to some of the Angels: now, you know God doesn't really appreciate you, you're so beautiful and so wise, if I were God I'd give you a much higher position. Do we ever see people talking like that today? And there's very little that's new. Going on in verse... you were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. See, he's a created being, he's not God, he's a seraph or a cherub, he's angelic, he's outstanding for his wisdom, his beauty, his power. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Obviously, this is not a human being, isn't that true?
Now, let's go back to the motivation. You, see? it's emphasized again and again and again Your heart was lifted up. what's that? Pride. I mean, I cannot say this too often, undoubtedly, pride is the most common temptation, the thing that most liable to cause us to fall is pride. And it didn't start on earth, it started in heaven. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, and so on. Now, that's a picture of the situation in time. Tyre has passed away, it's just history, the prince of Tyre died like a man, the king of Tyre never died. He's an angelic being, very proud, very powerful, very wise, full of beauty and in total opposition to God. Now, I'll share with you my own little idea. He said, I will be equal to God, that was what he claimed.
Now, I believe there's God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And this is simply my impression. I believe God the Father is so awesome so inimitable, so completely unique that Lucifer did not aspire to equality with the father. But there was this beautiful being, who represented the father, the son. And what I believed myself, Lucifer said, I can be like Him, and there started at that point a conflict which has continued ever since, between Lucifer and the one who was manifested in human history as Jesus of Nazareth. And really, when Jesus came to Earth in the form of a man, Lucifer said: now I can get Him. And he pursued Him, turned the people against Him, and obtained His death, and said: now I've got Him. But he was wrong because at the third day, Jesus came forth, a total victory, Amen.
But the conflict is not yet ended because Satan still fights in every way he can against God, the purposes of God, and the people of God. 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. Let me say is something very exciting has happened to me, 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, So, we're back here.
Now, it's verse 13: the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days. Now, that's quite a conflict. Three weeks of spiritual conflict in the heavenlies because the angel from God was coming with the answer to Daniel's prayer and the angel of Satan in the heavenlies, in the mid heaven, was resisting. So don't underestimate the power of Satan. And then it says: behold, Michael, one of the chief Princes, Archangel, came to help me for being left alone there with the kings of Persia.
Now, if you read in Daniel, chapter 12, verse 1, it says: at that time Michael is sure to stand up, the Great Prince who stands watch over the sons of your people. Who are the sons of your people when it's addressed to Daniel? Come on tell me, who are the sons of your people? The Jews, that's right, it's not a popular word, but there it is, the Jews, they are the sons of Daniel's people and whenever you see Daniel in the scripture you know the Jews are center stage in history because he stands up for the people for whom he's been given charged by God, and then it goes on to say: I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. So, one angel couldn't break through, it took two, this angel and Michael.
Now I've come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come. When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. and suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, "My Lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I retained no strength. For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me". So, he went through with any powerful spiritual experience and not all spiritual experiences are enjoyable. If only one is enjoyment you're going to miss out on a lot of things. Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, "O man greatly beloved" I like that, "O man greatly beloved".
That's a message from heaven to Daniel, "fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong"! So, when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, "Let my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me". Verse 20, then he said, "Do you know why I've come to you? And now I must return to fight with the Prince of Persia". So, the battle wasn't over, he'd broken through, but on the way back he had to deal with this satanic angel in the mid heavens, the Prince of Persia. "And when I have gone forth, behold the Prince of Greece will come". The Prince of Greece is not a human being, it's another satanic angel, So, we found two countries, Persia and Greece. Each of with had a satanic angel put over them to work out Satan's plan for them. Why were they so significant both to God and to Satan? Because the destiny of Israel was being settled there.
Now, he goes on, "And I will tell you what is noted in the Scriptures of Truth. No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince. Talking to a Jew, Michael, your Prince. So, here's a very vivid description of conflict between angels, God's angels and Satan's angels, not on earth but in the mid heavens. See how real that is? Alright. Then it goes on. Also, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up not to confirm strengthen him". Now, Darius was a ruler raised up by God to bless Israel. Can you see how Israel is the central theme of all of this? And we see that because of Darius's influence with Israel he was supported by the angels of God.
So, this is... There has been a whole different scenario from what we used to. Daniel set it all in motion. It's very important to remember that Daniel took the initiative, the initiative was not with heaven, it was with earth. Daniel started to pray and fast that set heaven in motion, God sent an angel with the answer, but the angel was intercepted in the mid heavens by a satanic angel called, the Prince of Persia, and it took the angel plus Michael twenty-one days to break through. Can you see, when we're talking about wrestling it's not a little parlor game. It's serious business. If I can leave anything with you, I would like to leave with you the reality of the fact that it's going to take a lot more than most of us are doing to break the power of Satan over this nation. If he can destroy the United States, he will, and I have to say, I hope, I say it kindly, the great majority of American Christians are not in touch with reality, they're playing their little religious games, having a nice time in church, and they're totally unaware that deadly conflict in the spiritual realm is taking place, and that the church on earth has a vital function to perform.
Our wrestling match is not against persons with bodies but against rulership and authority. The world dominators of this present darkness, dear brothers and sisters, that's not a little assignment, that's not something you teach us in a Sunday School lesson, that demands total commitment, it demands facing the realities of the spiritual situation, it demands coming to grips with selfishness, and self-centeredness, and self-indulgence, and saying, away with them. This is too important for my little petty personal interests to interfere with what God wants me to do. All right, we have spoken to that picture. Let's go back to Ephesians chapter 6. I hope I've succeeded in showing you that there is a real conflict taking place in the heavenly realms and we've got part to play. It's not going to come to success without us doing our part. Have you grasped that? Say yes or no. I hope you have because if you haven't, I've been wasting my time.
Now, let me point out something to you which another preacher pointed out to me this recently. If you read Ephesians every statement in it is in the plural, there's not one statement to an individual it's all to “you” plural, to you, the church, to you, the believers. This whole scenario does not leave room for the lone ranger, he has no part to play in this, it's going to be a corporate action by the people of God or it's not going to work. So, we come back, through Ephesians 6, going on in verse 13: Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. So, Paul's picture is taken from the equipment of a Roman legionary, what was called his panoply, his full armor, or his full equipment. And he gives it a spiritual application. I wish I knew a way to blow my nose without getting it recorded.
All right, we're in Ephesians 6, verse 13: Therefore, now you've heard the famous Prince saying, haven't you? When you find the therefore in the Bible you want to find out what it's there for. And verse 13 is there because of verse 12, because we're involved in this life-and-death conflict with it satanic forces in the heavenlies take up the whole armor of God. And let me say, this is the most urgent importance, for all of you who are involved in spiritual warfare, don't go into it unarmed. And Paul lists six pieces of armor, and the first five are all weapons of self-defense of equipment. I want to go through them briefly and I want you to check how much do you have on. It's verse 14: Stand therefore having your waist... Having girded your waist with truth. The first piece of equipment is the girdle, the belt.
Now, you need to understand, in those days, most often, both men and women wore long garments that stretched below the knees, and you'll find a phrase that is quite often in the Bible, gird up your loins, because to do anything active the first thing you had to do was get your long garments up above your knees so that you could freely move your legs. So, what you did was you put the girdle on you pulled the long garment up and you tucked it into your girdle. after that, you were ready for action, before that, you couldn't go into action. Your long garment would have impeded you. Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth. I think that's very important, I think it means being ruthlessly honest, with ourselves and other people. The pastor was talking about my first wife Lydia, and she was a person who told it like it is. He was reminding me, somebody said to her: how are your children? So, she said do you really want to know? The man said yes, well, sit down and I'll tell you. And she went through all eight children one by the one and told him exactly, see?
In other words, she took words seriously, she did not use idle speech, she didn't use religious cliches, they are a terrible hindrance if you want to be a real committed Christian. You cannot hide behind religious talk, you've got to be sincere, you've got to tell it like it is. When I got involved in the 1960s with that generation, they were saying, tell it like it is, and I said to myself, and my fellow preacher, whatever could we ask better than that? Let's tell it like it is, let's tell it the way it really is, let's not mince some words, let's not pin pretty pictures, let's really come down and tell them the facts. And I thank God that I saw hundreds of young people radically changed. You know why they got changed? Because they were radical. I was radical, a generation before them, but there were no hippies so, I didn't know what to be.
I tell this story because people sometimes are an incredible witness. While I was still at Eaton and then in Cambridge, I had the impression that you could make money at Roulette, if you had the right system, and I thought we'd discovered the right system, my friends and I. So, I would go to Monte Carlo or Cannes, on the south coast of France, and play roulette. By a miracle of God's grace I never really lost anything. Then I discovered, later, that the man who invented the system, whose name was Labouchère, died a pauper. But why I'm trying to tell you is living in Monte Carlo or Cannes in warm weather, I would walk around in sandals which is pretty normal. But what is not normal about me was, I colored my toenails red. I've often said to myself, why did I do that? I really don't know, but, I think it was a kind of protest. Well, I mean, I think it is a protest.
You see, why does a girl color her hair blue? What motivates her? I don't criticize her. I can't cast the first stone, if I colored my toenails red she's got the right to color her hair blue. But I asked myself: What is it motivating young people to new things like that? And I think it's a wordless protest against the fact that there's something phony, and you know what they think about the church? Many of them think we're phony. And you know what? They're often right too. I believe myself there's a deep hunger in the young people of this generation to get to reality, but it doesn't occur to them to go to the church to find reality. I'll speak about that more on Sunday evening if God wills that we live.
So, we're talking about the girdle, in other words, tell it like it is, don't use religious cliches, don't use sweet language, be like my first wife, and also, my second wife to say the truth. I've never been married to an insincere woman. I've never been married to one who played a role, they were real, they were what they were, with all their weaknesses and failings, they were real. And that's what I believe is getting up your loins for the girdle of truth. It's getting all this fancy religious talk, these religious cliches. When I first became a pentecostal pastor, which was in Britain, and the slogan of the pentecostals was, we've got it all, saved, baptized in water, baptized in spirit, speaking in tongues. Well, then I read the journals of John Wesley and I said to myself, if we've got it all, what did John Wesley have? because he had a lot more than we did.
See we had the language, we spoke in tongues, but how far does that get you? It doesn't get you very far, you can just be a freak, a religious freak, and gather with the other freaks every Sunday morning. I'm not being malicious, I'm just trying to get you face to face with reality. I thank God I'm in a church now, in North Carolina. I really enjoy going to church on Sunday morning, that's unusual. Most often I go because it's a duty, but we got in the church which really tells it like it is, up to a certain point, and I know it, I'm having so much enjoyment, I want reality. I don't know how many more years I'm going to live, only God knows, but I don't want to... I don't want to fool around. To me time is precious, my strength is precious, I want to use it for the right things, I'm prepared to make sacrifices.
You know, I'm going to celebrate my 85th birthday, God helping me, if God wills me to live. I'm going to be flying back from Benin, where I'll be going to preach. You know where Benin is? No, you don't. I don't blame you. I didn't either. But it's just next... West to Nigeria. And there's a conference of French-speaking Africans from all over the... that part of Africa. And it's like a challenge to me, I want to get my teaching into French, I want to be able to reach the French speaking world. You know, there are 500 million people who speak French and they're not being reached, basically. France is a desolate land spiritually. So, why did I say all that? Because I want to get rid of these long religious garments. I want to tuck them up in the girdle of truth, and tell it like it is, amen? Well, we're going on Ephesians 6, verse 14: having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Now, the breastplate, what part of the body does it protect above all others? The heart, that's right, so it protects your heart with the righteousness, which is not a righteousness of works, but it's a righteousness received by faith in Jesus Christ. And it's a transforming righteousness. It changes you, it brings you into harmony with God, it's not a set of rules, it's a change in your heart. That changes everything you think and say and do. How many of you know that's possible? From your own experience. If you haven't had a life-changing experience I really question how much of a Christian you are. I don't want to be unkind. You see, you can join the church and stay the same, you can say a prayer and stay the same, you can sign a decision card and stay the same, but you can't meet Jesus and stay the same. So, do you have on the breastplate of righteousness? Is your heart protected? Are you a changed person?
We're going on, we don't have much longer, verse 15: your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Now, Roman legionaries had very strong sandals with thongs which laced up nook the calf. And they could march long distances, forced marches, because of their sandals. So, your shoes with the preparation of the gospel of peace, to me speaks about being available, being anywhere, at any time that God wants you. It's not having a set routine that you have to stick to, it's being adaptable. Also, it's a gospel of peace. So, you go to the supermarket to do your shopping but you've got on the shoes of the gospel so, you meet this precious soul who's deep trouble and distress and you do what? You impart peace.
See, it isn't so much what you say, it's what you are, it's what you have to give. People are desperately crying out for peace, they long for it, and they don't know where to find it. When you contact them, they're not so much interested in your doctrine, they want to know, do you have it? Because if you have it, you can communicate it, and that means being adaptable. You are in the supermarket, you're busy, you've got a shop for all sorts of things, and you meet this precious soul who's on the verge of tears, and you have to stop and talk to her, and you have to impart peace to her. That means having on the shoes of the gospel, of the preparation of the gospel of peace. Going on. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you'll be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Now, the Greek word for shield is directly related to the Greek word for a door. Because the Roman legionary had a long sort of oval shield which was narrow and it was his protection. And a really trained soldier could so get behind the shield that no part of him was vulnerable. It took training and it took being in condition, and you need it because Satan is going to fire arrows at you, which are flaming arrows, they're not just arrows, their flaming arrows. You want a shield that will stop them, you have to learn how to crouch, how to get down, how to leave no part of your body exposed. That has spiritual application, you have to come to the place where no part of your life is exposed, where you're fully protected. I said to somebody the other day, I said, the shield doesn't protect our luxuries, it just protects our essentials. I mean, I've nothing against indulging yourself up to a certain point, but remember, it's not protected by the shield, the shield protects you, as you are, just a person.
And then we're going on taking the helmet of salvation. What part of you does the helmet protect? The mind, that's right, and I suppose the mind is the place where we had the most spiritual battles in all our experience, is that right? And so, we need a protected mind. After I was saved and became a pastor I had a tremendous ongoing conflict with depression, and I traced it back later to my father, it was something I inherited from him. I don't want to go into that. Then I discovered that God had provided me with protection. First of all, I was delivered from a spirit, a demon. I was a good pentecostal preacher, but I was delivered from a demon. What do we call it? The spirit of heaviness was what God called it. And then I thought, now, how do I stay free? And I said, I need to protect my mind. I'm always giving way to negative thoughts and entertaining possibilities that are... They don't build you up.
So, I said, I need the helmet, so, I found it here, the helmet of salvation. Then I said to myself, well, I am saved, I know I'm saved, does that mean I have the helmet? Then I said to myself, no, because Paul was writing to Christians who were saved, but he said, take the helmet of salvation, so, I said to myself, what is the helmet of salvation? And I make no extra charge for this, but it's priceless. I mean, actually you cannot put any value on what I'm going to tell you.
Well, my Bible had cross references, and the cross reference was to first Thessalonians 5, verse 8: But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. And it absolutely kindled something within me. I said, my problem is pessimism, my shield is hope. I've got to cultivate scriptural optimism all the time, and I had an ongoing battle because the devil tried to put back depression, and every time he did, I had to thrust at him with the sword, tell him to stay at distance. I had to have a scripture that would answer every suggestion, when things were not the way they should be. And really what got me out of it mostly was Romans 8:24: All things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. So, I would say to myself, do I love God? Yes. Am I called? Yes. Then whatever happens is working good for me. Can you believe that?
Very, very important. I've passed through a tremendous personal crisis in the last two years with the past passing of my wife, and I would not have survived if I had not believed Romans 8:24. No matter what happens, the question is not, is God working together for good, but, am I walking in God's purpose? And I said yes, I am. I believe I'm doing what God has called me to do. I believe I'm in my calling, I don't enjoy it, it's painful, but, nevertheless, it's doing me good because God works all things together for good. If you can believe that, you'll never be depressed again. I don't make no extra charge for that, but I mean, I'm giving you advice which will save you, a lot of time of the psychiatrist. And I noticed, I don't know whether you've noticed the same thing, that depression is becoming more and more common? Have you noticed that?
People talk about depression today in ways I never heard when I was a boy. I mean, people are actually hospitalized with depression. We need to have protection, it's there, it's in the helmet. Take the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Now, it's very up-to-date now to point out that that word there means a spoken word, Rhema, so, the sword of the Spirit is not the Bible on your bookshelf or even on your nightstand, the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God when you take it and quote it to the devil. And that's exactly what Jesus did, he didn't use any other weapon, three times when Satan tempted him, he answered what? It is written, it is written, it is written, and the devil has no answer when you quote the written Word of God. He backs off, so, that's the sword of the Spirit.
Now, all those, except the last, are really weapons of defense. It's only with that that you pass into the realm of attack, but even there, your sword will only reach as far as your arm reaches, you still have nothing to reach out, and there are only six pieces of armor. And then, when you've got six good things in the Bible you can be absolutely sure, there is a seventh. Where is the seventh? It's in verse 18: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. What chance was it called the weapon of all prayer? And that is our intercontinental ballistic missile, it'll reach anywhere, at any time, with amazing accuracy. So, that's a list of the armor. Let me just go through it again: the girdle of truth; the breastplate of righteousness; the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; the sword of the Spirit; praying always. That's the ultimate weapon, is all prayer.
I just want to take one simple example from the book of Acts. Acts, chapter 4. The Apostles have been told by the religious and the civil authorities not ever to teach, or preach again, on the name of Jesus, you see how smart they were? Because there is no salvation in any other name but the name of Jesus. If you can't use the name of Jesus, you can't offer salvation. The gospel has no meaning. And they were forbidden by the authorities over them, the religious and the civil authorities, not to preach any more on the name of Jesus, what do they do?
It says, in Acts 4:23: being let go they went to their own companions. It's good to have your own companions, isn't it? Don't be a lone ranger. Reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So, when they heard that they raised their voice to God with one accord, that's the weapon of all prayer. It's all God's people praying together with one accord, and that changed the whole situation. The way was open for them to continue to preach the gospel, but that was a major crisis in the development of the church. If they haven't won the victory then, the church could have gone no further, if they were not free to use the name of Jesus.
So, this is how the church overcomes strategic opposition from Satan. When there is a closed door, when there is a closed nation, when there's a closed group, how can we break through? With the weapon of all prayer. And I believe that's what we need today in America, it's the weapon of all prayer. You know, I just want to give you a picture of the climax, the victory. Revelation, chapter 12, verse 10: Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down".
Who is the accuser of the brethren? Why does he accuse us? What does he want to make us? In one word? Guilty. That's right. We have to learn to deal with guilt. And they overcame him. They, the believers on earth, overcame him, Satan. By the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. So, how do we overcome him? By the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, in other words, we testify to what the Word of God says, the blood of Jesus does for us.
Can I say that again? We testify personally to what the Word of God said, the blood of Jesus does for us, and you have to know what the Word of God says, you have to testify. It's when it comes out of your mouth that it has power. You can believe it all you like, but it doesn't, until you speak it, that it works. They, the believers on Earth, overcame him, Satan, by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, and let me point out just one thing, from the example of the Passover, you know, the story was that they had to kill the lamb gather its blood in a basin and that was protection available, but it didn't protect anybody, they had to transfer the blood from the basin to the place where they were living, and what they use was a little bunch of a herb that grows everywhere in the Middle East, called hyssop. They dip the hyssop in the blood, struck it against the middle and the doorpost, and they were protected.
Now, to apply this analogy, the blood is in the basin, Jesus has shed his blood but the blood in the basin doesn't protect you, you've got to get it to where you live. How do you get it there? What's the hyssop? The word of your testimony, it's when you testify personally to what the Word of God says the way that Jesus done, that you're sprinkling the blood where is protects you. Amen, now, I think I'll lead you in a little proclamation, which is on one of our cards. But I think we got to be able to stand to your feet, you sat a long while, you've been wonderfully patient, and standing is an attitude of victory.
So, I'm going to make the proclamation that I make several times a day. I take the hyssop and I sprinkle it whatever I am. I'll say it once through and then we've say it together, okay? And this is the end. This is what I say: My body is a temple... Alright, okay, if you're going do that, it's fine. Start again: My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleanse, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. How do I go on? The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettle claims against me, all has been settled by the blood of Jesus. I overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony and that's not the end. Hold on. And I do not love my life to the death.
Say that again. How will you express that in one word? Self-denial is a good one. I would say commitment. And you see, uncommitted Christians can use the blood as much as they like, it doesn't do anything. You have to be committed, you have to be willing to lay your life down. How willing are you? I was preaching on this the other day and I said something which rather surprised me but I am prepared to say it again. And this is my personal testimony. For me it is more important to do the Word of God... To do the will of God than to live, to stay alive.
So, I'm not asking you to say that. But that's what is commitment. The devil is not the least bit afraid of uncommitted Christian. We can go through all our religious activities, emotions, and sing and do whatever we do, but it's only when you come to the place where you don't love your life to the death that your testimony has supernatural power. Amen, shall we say that once more and then you're released? You've been wonderful.
And now I have to remember what I said. My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness yielded to God for His service and for His glory. The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettle claims against me, all has been settled by the blood of Jesus. I overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony and I do not love my life to the death. My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body. Amen, God bless you.