Derek Prince - We Live In An Evil Age
This is an excerpt from: The Cross In My Life - Part 1
Galatians states five deliverances that are provided for us through the cross. I want to go through them in the order in which they occur. The first one is stated in Galatians 1:3-4. And I think it's one... My guess would be 90% of you have never even thought about it. I may be wrong. If I am, forgive me. One of the reasons I say that is, I went a long while as a Christian and a preacher without thinking about it myself, you see. Galatians 1:3-4: Grace to you, and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins on the cross, that he might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of God So, through the cross God has provided deliverance from this present evil age. There are two Greek words that are used in Galatians and it's necessary to separate them. The King James and even the New King James doesn't observe the distinction all the time.
The word used here in Greek is 'aion' from which we get the English word eon. And it means an age, a period of time. The other word which is also used in Galatians 6:14, and we'll come to it at the end of this series of studies, is 'Kosmos' which is translated world. I'll talk about world later. But let's look for a moment at the concept of age. We are living in a certain age. There were other ages before us and there will be ages after this. And this present age is called an evil age. I'll show you very specifically why it's an evil age. But let's, first of all, take note of the fact the present age is going to end. If you live as though it was never going to end, you're living under a delusion. Personally, when I say the present age is going to end do you know what I say next? Thank God! I wouldn't want this age to continue the way it is forever.
Look at the parables of Jesus in Matthew 13. You know, this is the chapter with the seven parables. I don't intend to go into the parables, I just want to take some quotations. Interpreting the parable of the wheat and the tares, in verse 39 Jesus says: 'The enemy who sowed the tares is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age.' And in the next verse He says: 'Therefore, as the tares are gathered, and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.' And in verse 48, in another parable He says again: 'So, it will be at the end of the age.' And you could find many other scriptures. But it's extremely important for us always to remember the present age is going to end. It is not permanent. If we live and think as if it were permanent, we're living under a delusion. The power behind that delusion is witchcraft.
Let's explain why it's an evil age. 2 Corinthians 4:4. You need to read verse 3 to get the context. Paul says: But even if our gospel is veiled [or hidden] is it veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe Who is the god of the age who's blinded the minds of these people? Satan, that's right. So, you understand, Satan doesn't want the age to end. Do you know why? Because as long as this age continues, he's a god. When this age comes to an end, he ceases to be a god. So, he is doing everything in his power to delay the close of the age. And the church should be doing everything in its power to precipitate the close of the age. But if Satan can blind the minds of the church, then the church will not do what God expects the church to do to bring about the close of the age.
And then in Hebrews 6:4-6, the writer of Hebrews speaks about people who've received a series of experience which I think most of us here have received. Hebrews 6, beginning somewhere in verse 4: people who-And you'll notice there are five experiences. who were once enlightened, have tasted of the heavenly gift, have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come Notice that when we taste the Holy Spirit we taste the powers of the next age. We are, as it were, by that experience lifted out of the present age into the next age and we begin to experience in a little way what it will be like to be in the next age. I'll give you one illustration which is a little difficult to explain. Paul says the body we have in this age that's in 1 Corinthians 15 is a soulish body. In other words, it's a body which only operates as the soul directs it.
So, if my spirit wants my body to do something, my spirit has to work through my soul. Like David wanted to praise the Lord with his mouth so, his spirit spoke to his soul and said, 'Bless the Lord, O my soul.' But the spirit couldn't start blessing the Lord without the cooperation of the soul. You see what I'm saying? That's called a soulish body. But in the next age, Paul says we'll have a spiritual body. What does that mean? As I understand it, and I could be wrong time will show, it will mean that our spirit directly controls our body, we don't have to persuade our soul. If I want to fly to the next planet I just take off, I don't have to argue with my soul about the rights and wrongs of the journey.
You see, what I'm leading up to is when you're baptized in the Holy Spirit you taste the powers of the age to come. Because when you speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives you utterance, for the first time probably your spirit is directly controlling your tongue. It doesn't have to go through the bottleneck of your silly little mind. You see that? That's one reason why this is such a tremendously significant experience. For most of us it's the only way at present in which we can experience what it will be like to live in the next age. I don't have to think when I speak in tongues, you understand? My soul has to consent. If my soul says no and a lot of peoples' carnal minds say, 'No, I don't want to speak in tongues, I don't understand what I'm saying.'
So, if your soul holds out, you can't do it. But my soul has capitulated, so when I want to speak in tongues, I can. See? I don't know what I'm saying, but I know it's good because the Holy Spirit gave it. When you speak in the Spirit your tongue does what it's always supposed to do, it glorifies the Lord. You'll never say one wrong word as long as the Holy Spirit is controlling your tongue. So, anyhow, what I'm trying to convince you of is is there's going to be a different kind of way of living in the next age. Our spirit is going to be in direct control of our body. We won't be limited by our silly little minds, our souls. And then, going back to Matthew 13 we find another problem connected with this present age.
Matthew 13:22, interpreting the parable of the sower, Jesus speaks about the kind of seed that fell on rocky soil. He says: 'Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and he becomes unfruitful.' So, this age has cares. I think both the NIV and the NASB use the word worries. I think another good word is cares. When you are too preoccupied with the things of the present age, that preoccupation makes the word of God unfruitful in you. It chokes out the word of God. Thank God we can be delivered from this present evil age. You see how necessary it is. But then in Romans 12:2, Paul has another statement. Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Don't think the way the people of this age think. You've got to learn to think differently. I'll tell you the main difference. The people of this age are essentially self-centered. That's one, almost universal description. Their attitude about anything is what will I get out of this? But the person whose mind has been renewed thinks differently. What will God get out of this? His own life is no longer the center, his life is God-centered. And then finally, and really this is tragic, terribly solemn. A faithful servant of Christ cannot love this present age.
2 Timothy 4, one of the most sad statements in the writings of Paul. Here he is at the end of his life, in prison, awaiting trial and probable execution. He has just a few faithful coworkers that have stuck with him. And one of the ones he is counting on is named Demas. But then he says, and he says it all in one sentence, 2 Timothy 4:10: Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present age. See, in the long run if you love this present age you cannot be faithful to God. As they say, when the chips are down, you'll take the wrong direction. Very, very searching thought. Let me ask you this question. Are you in any way in love with this present age? Are you living as if it was going to go on forever? Have you got all your eggs in the basket of this present age? Because one day the whole basket is going to drop and all the eggs will be smashed.