Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Seeing The Invisible Is The Key to Endurance

Derek Prince - Seeing The Invisible Is The Key to Endurance

Derek Prince - Seeing The Invisible Is The Key to Endurance
TOPICS: Hebrews Bible Study, Endurance

Let's just look at our outline for a moment. We've looked at the example E.6, now we look at the result. This is our principle, we look at every example of faith in action and then we see what resulted from it. The result: blessing on Abraham; limitless multiplication and blessing on the son he offered. Hebrews 11:20: By faith also Isaac blessed Jacoband Esau concerning things to come [or "things in the future"]. Let's look at our outline, the historical event is described in Genesis 27:1–40. We will not take the time to read the entire passage but one of the things that always impressed me about this incident is Isaac did not know what he was doing. He was blessing Jacob, and he thought he was blessing Esau and he pronounced this blessing and then later he discovered his mistake. But, what has always impressed me is he knew he could not recall his blessing, it was settled forever. He was a spiritual man although he'd had some, I think, rather unwise attitudes.

Years back I was looking through some outlines of messages that I preached in the early 1950s; I still had a few of those outlines. I was absolutely fascinated by the title of one of my outlines which said: How a Wrong Attitude to Food Corrupted the Family Life of Isaac. And for the life of me I couldn't preach that message now, but it is there, I mean it was all centered on his fondness for the venison which Esau could produce. But he was willing to go against the revealed purposes of God and bless the wrong person. Between them, Rebekah and Jacob and the Lord, fixed it and got themselves into a lot of trouble, the first two, not the Lord because of the way they fixed it. Let's just look for a moment, I assume you have some familiarity with the nature of the blessing.

Turn to Genesis 27 and let's read verses 33 and 37. Isaac has discovered he blessed the son he didn't mean to bless and he's so shaken that he actually trembles with amazement. This is what it says in verse 33: Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, "Who was he then that hunted game, and brought it to me, so that I ate of all of it before you came, and blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed". See what he's saying? There's no way to revoke it. He knew that he'd pronounced those words by divine inspiration. He'd been aware, I suppose, of the anointing of God upon him as he spoke those words and he knew that though he made a mistake the Holy Spirit didn't. Then even more emphatic, I think, in verse 37 he's talking to Esau, the one who didn't get the blessing. But Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Behold, I have made him [Jacob] your master, and all his relatives [or brothers] I have given to him as servants; and with grain and new wine I have sustained him. Now as for you then, what can I do, my son"?

Notice it's the perfect tense. "I've made him [Jacob] your master, all his relatives I've given to him as servants, with grain and new wine I have sustained him". The whole thing was entirely set. The course of history was determined by that blessing that he pronounced not aware of whom he was blessing. Going back to our outline, Page 11/3, the result of that was that their future was irrevocably determined. Incidentally, notice that he did it by faith, not knowing what he was doing. He still did it by faith. He blessed Jacob thinking he was blessing Esau, but because he did it by faith it stood. Then principle number 10, P.10 there: Faith can make decrees with divine authority. That's very, very important. It's very important in your spiritual life, it's very important in your prayer life. You can pray a thing which is irrevocable; nothing can change it if you pray it in the Holy Spirit. You can settle your destiny, or maybe you can settle the destiny of the person for whom you prayed. If you grasp this fact that by faith and under the anointing of the Holy Spirit you can make a decree which determines the course of history.

Let's look at the two examples there that I give. Job 22:28. We'll read from verse 26. You need to look into the background because there's a lot of lead up to this. Let's just take from verse 26. "For then you will delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God. You will pray to Him, and He will hear you; and you will pay your vows. You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways". Notice, "you will decree a thing and it will be established for you". I've done that in various situations. I really believe that I had an impact on the course of history by some of the decrees that God permitted me to make by the Holy Spirit and in faith. Then in the New Testament Jesus says something along the same line in Mark 11 after He'd cursed the fig tree and it had withered from the roots.

Note, all Jesus did was speak to the fig tree. Some people might think that it's rather strange to speak to a fig tree, but if you can speak to a fig tree and get those results it's not so strange. We'll read from verse 21. Being reminded [about what had been said to the fig tree], Peter said to Him, "Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered". Don't tell me curses have no effect. They can wither fig trees in 24 hours. For good or evil, curses are fearfully powerful. And Jesus answered, saying to them, "Have faith in God". But the Greek literally is "have the faith of God," which I believe is the key. When God's faith moves in, and takes over through the Holy Spirit, then what you're saying is as effective as if God Himself had said it because it's God's faith.

I have experienced that in my own ministry. One of the things is praying for people with unequal legs. The Lord has given me faith. I tell tall ladies, "You have an option. Do you want to be taller or shorter"? If they say shorter, the long leg grows in. I've seen that happen scores of times. I have that faith; I just know it's going to happen. I don't have the faintest doubt. It's not my faith, it's God's faith. I just decree the left leg will grow in. I did it once to a lady who had had polio as a child and had one leg that was substantially shorter and slightly withered. I said to her, "Do you want to be taller or shorter"? She said, "Shorter". And, her good leg grew in. Ultimately, both her legs were adjusted and became sound. The strange thing was, she really didn't understand the implications of it. About a year and a half later she went to a doctor for a check up. He took her height, and she was one and a half inches shorter than she'd ever been! She argued with the doctor and said, "I know that's not my height". In the middle of the argument she suddenly remembered, "I asked Brother Prince to make me shorter".

So, I'm just using that as an illustration. These are not just abstract theories, these are spiritual realities. Then Jesus takes this incident of the fig tree and goes on, verse 23: "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, [and I suppose that must have been the Mount of Olives because of where they were]... whoever says to this mountain [and that's a substantial mountain, let me point out], 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted to him". Whoever says shall have whatever he says. Really, it's extraordinarily broad in its scope. If you can say it with God-given faith by the Holy Spirit, it's going to happen. Without the Holy Spirit nothing will happen. One thing is to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I've been praying at times when I've prayed things, I've thought, I didn't intend to say that. The Holy Spirit gave me that, therefore it will happen. Now we go on to the next example which is again just one verse and rather similar.

Hebrews 11:21. You see, this kind of thing went in the family line, it went from Isaac to Jacob and then from Jacob we'll see it went to Joseph. Verse 21: By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped upon the head of his staff. He blessed and he worshiped. We won't turn there because if we get into it it's difficult to get out. You find the record there in Genesis 47 beginning at verse 29 and reading through verse 48:22. We'll just look at the one verse which is important, that's Genesis 47:31. This is the scene: Jacob is talking to Joseph, he knows his time has come to die. He said: "Swear to me" [that you'll do what I ask. And] he [Joseph] swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed. The same sounding word in Hebrew is both a bed and a staff. So, according to the vowels which are put in later, it could be either the head of the bed, or the head of the staff. Me-tar is a bed, ma-tay is a staff, but only the vowels are different. You can take your choice, whichever you want, it doesn't make any difference. He worshiped.

Why did he worship? Because he knew it was going to happen. What was the expression of his faith? Worshiping. Let's just describe the incident for a moment. Joseph has two sons, Manasseh the older and Ephraim the younger. He wants his father's blessing on his sons; Jacob wants to bless his grandsons. He's very moved because he thought he'd lost Joseph, that Joseph was dead, and he says now to Joseph, "I thought I'd never see you again. Not only do I see you, but I see your sons". Joseph very respectfully brought his sons out from his garments and he put his left hand on the head of Manasseh and pushed him towards Jacob's right hand because Manasseh was the older. His right hand on the head of Ephraim propelled him towards the left hand of Jacob because the right hand gives the senior blessing. Jacob, whose eyes were so dim he couldn't see what he was doing, crossed his arms.

So, he put his right hand on the son opposite his left hand, which was Ephraim. His left hand was on the son opposite his right hand which was Manasseh. Joseph wanted to correct his father and he said, "No, father, you've got it wrong. You're putting your right hand on the head of the younger". Jacob said, "I know, my son. They'll both be blessed but the younger will be blessed above the elder". What a lesson there is in that, isn't there? Even that it matters which hand you put on. Again, that determined the destiny not just of two men but of two of the tribes of Israel, two of the main tribes of Israel. That was all settled there At the side of Jacob's bed as he was preparing for death, and he worshiped. He worshiped because he knew it was settled. See, one of the ways we demonstrate faith is by worshiping. I think it's important that you see that.

I want to give you two examples. First of all, Exodus 4:31. Moses has come back to the children of Israel in Egypt with the news that God has seen their plight and is going to deliver them. We read in verse 31: So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel, and that He had seen their affliction, they bowed low and worshiped. What was the significance of the worship? "We believe. For us, the LORD has said it, it's as good as done". Many, many times worship is the response of faith to the Lord's promise and for the Lord's mercy. Then again in 2 Chronicles 20:18. This records how a great hostile army had come against Jehoshaphat and Judah and they knew they didn't have sufficient resources to meet the army. But when they prayed, a prophetic message was given by one of the Levites that God would fight for them and they wouldn't even have to fight in the battle.

So when this prophetic message came, the last part of it is there in verse 17. "Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you". And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. Worship was the response of faith to the Lord's promise of intervention. See, when God gives you a promise, faith has to appropriate it before it's fulfilled. When Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh, he worshiped. He didn't wait to see if history was going to prove it true. When the prophetic utterance came that God would fight against this army, they didn't wait to see how the battle went, they worshiped. It's so important to see that worship is one main expression of faith. Let's look at the result. The result of example 8 which is: Jacob on his deathbed blessing Joseph's sons, the result is precisely the same as for the previous example. Their future was irrevocably determined. The principle is the same again as for the previous example. Faith can make decrees with divine authority.

Now we go on to the next example, chapter 11:22. I'll translate it, then we'll look at it. Heebrews 11:22: By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel... It's actually the word exodus which is a Greek word. It means "the going out". ...and gave commandments concerning his bones. So, we will not look at the passage but again, Joseph, like Jacob before him, knew that his time had come to die. He wanted to make the final arrangements and the last thing he did was to make his brothers and his descendants promise that when God delivered them out of Egypt they would take his bones with them. He did not want to be permanently in the soil of Egypt. Having spent two years in Egypt myself lying on its soil many, many nights, I think I can identify with his feelings in that matter. The result was he shared in Israel's deliverance and inheritance. We'll read just two passages there from the Old Testament that speak about the fate of Joseph's bones.

Exodus 13:19, speaking about the moment when Israel began their journey out of Egypt. Exodus 13:19: And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, "God shall surely take care of you. [I prefer the original translation, 'shall visit you';] and you shall carry my bones from here with you". And then when Israel entered their inheritance, this is described in Joshua 24:32. Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of Joseph's sons. Shechem is modern Nablus, where Jacob's well was. Jacob had bought that property from the sons of Hamor and he bequeathed it when he was dying to Joseph.

I think it's something we need to ponder on: how much the Israelites prized the land that God gave them. Where they were buried was extremely important to them. This is something that's characteristic of the Jewish people today. It matters a great deal to them where they're buried. For Jewish people, burial places are completely sacred. There are periodic uproars in Israel because the archaeologists go in and in digging up an old city they dig up graves. And all the Orthodox Jews march out, protest and even protest, I would have to say, violently. So, it's something that's interesting to me because it's stayed with Jacob and his descendants for more than three thousand years. It's still that way today.

Now, the principles. We reiterate principle number 6 and principle 8. Principle 6 says faith inspires hope beyond this life. Principle 8 says faith continues to look forward and upward, not back. This is characteristic of the patriarchs, they were always looking forward to their inheritance. They never turned around and looked backwards. And they had faith beyond this life. It's very important to emphasize, especially for Jewish people, because many Jewish people today, even rabbis, deny that there's any evidence of life beyond the grave. But they're going right against their own Scriptures. We go on to the next example, Hebrews 11:23. Now we are in the life of Moses. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. We could read the account in Exodus 2:1–2.

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. You understand, at that time Pharaoh had made a decree that all the male children were to be put out to die. So, they were going directly against the commandment of Pharaoh. But, they saw something in Moses which indicated that he was special and they would not submit to Pharaoh's decree. I suppose the ladies here would agree that babies can be special. I have to admit in my carnal mind, most newborn babies look alike, but I realize that's not the way it appears to their mothers. You have the Scripture with you, because Moses was so distinctive at birth that they couldn't treat them as they might have treated another child. What was the result? A very important result. Israel's deliverer was preserved because God was going to depend on Moses. He had no one else who could do what Moses did.

The principle, P.11: Faith delivers from fear of ungodly rulers. That is a very important principle. It's very, very necessary for God's people to lay hold of that because behind the Iron Curtain, and in many other places, God's people need the kind of faith that delivers them from the fear of ungodly rulers. And many, many times God's people today are in a situation where they have to refuse to obey the edict of Pharaoh. We need to bear that in mind. It's not always the right thing to submit to governmental ordinances. If they're contrary to God we have to have the guts to disobey, and it takes fortitude. The next example is again from the life of Moses in Hebrews 11:24–26. I will translate and then we'll look at the outline. By faith Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called a son of the daughter of Pharaoh; choosing rather to endure hardship, to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the temporary pleasure of sin...

Some Christians want to deny that sin has any pleasure. Well, I lived long enough in the world to know that sin has some pleasure. And if you tell people there's no pleasure in sin, they're going to laugh at you because they'll find out differently. But, the pleasures of sin are short lived, that's the objective truth. Going on in verse 26: ...he considered the reproach of the Christ [but we need to say "Messiah" or "the anointed"] ...he considered the reproach of the Anointed greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt... Those of you that have ever been in Egypt and seen its archaeological remains would agree that its treasures were tremendous. I doubt whether people could calculate the worth of some of the absolutely gold tombs that there are still in Egypt today. With the modern value of gold, it would run into, I suppose, a billion dollars. Going on in verse 26: ...for he looked away to the reward which was to be given.

The word means literally "to look away". So he looked away from the pleasures offered him in Egypt to the reward which lay ahead in the future. That's enough for this passage. Let's look now at the outline. Moses renounced his position as an heir to Pharaoh's throne. Being the son of Pharaoh's daughter, he would have been in line for the throne of Egypt. Instead, he identified himself with God's people in their affliction. We read about this when he went out to see his brothers, realizing that he was himself an Israelite, he saw an Egyptian mistreating a Hebrew and he took vengeance on the Egyptian, killed him and buried him in the sand. So, although he realized that this could cost him the favor of Pharaoh he chose to take sides with his afflicted brothers.

Now, the reproach of the Christ, verse 26: ...considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt... Have you ever wondered about that? Because, Moses lived about fourteen centuries before Jesus so what does it mean that "he considered the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt"? We need to bear in mind that the Greek word Cristos corresponds to the Hebrew word mashiach, "Messiah," which means "the anointed one". So, it was the reproach for God's anointed one that he considered to be greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. It's not very obvious, but the writer of Hebrews is referring to a psalm and we'll turn to the psalm and look at it. You'll find both the words "the reproach" and "the anointed" in Psalm 89:50–51.

Psalm 89:50-51: The psalmist is, I would say, complaining to the Lord about the mistreatment that the Lord's people are receiving and how they're despised and reviled. Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many peoples... This is a kind of prophetic preview of Jewish history, isn't it? ...with which Thine enemies have reproached, O LORD, with which they have reproached the footsteps of Thine anointed. So you have there the two key words: reproached and anointed. Now, let me suggest to you how I see this. I've put it there in the outline. The great historical purpose of Israel was to give to the world the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ. And, all through their history, identification with them always provoked the opposition of Satan who was the enemy of the Messiah. And so, at any point in their history, to be identified with them was in some way to take on the reproach of the Messiah.

I've commented here probably a similar choice confronts us today. I believe that's true in the current situation in the world. We are confronted with the choice of whether we will still identify with Israel or we will turn away from them. I believe, really, it's the same kind of choice that confronted Moses. Moses looked forward, we look back. But, the people are the same, and the issue is the same. You see, the most controversial single issue in contemporary world politics is Israel. There's very little neutrality concerning Israel. Personally, I believe that as committed Christians, committed to God, His purposes and His people, we have an obligation to be identified with Israel. I want to suggest to you that it's not going to be any easier for us than it was for Moses. It is not really popular today to take the cause of the Jewish people.

So, I would suggest to you, you don't see this merely as a historical incident in the life of Moses because I think exactly the same issue confronts us today. And ultimately, if you take on identification with Israel, you're going to take on all that opposes Israel. I hear people pray, and testify about their love for Israel. I praise God for it, but I have to tell you that sooner or later there will be a price to pay. I think I've had sufficient involvement with the Jewish people to be able to speak out of experience. To identify with them, some of what they suffer will come your way. It won't always be popular and it won't always be easy. But here we have the example of Moses. He could have been heir to the throne of Pharaoh but he esteemed the reproach of the Messiah greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. I wonder if you really esteem the reproach of Jesus' wealth? It wasn't just the inheritance, but it was the reproach.

Peter said, "If you be reproached for the name of Christ, the spirit of grace and of glory rests on you". A lot of us will be identified with Jesus when it's a question of His power and His miracles but I don't believe you can have that either without the reproach. Sooner or later they meet. So here is a real current issue for us, the same issue that faced Moses. Going back to the outline, the result. This is my interpretation. Moses passed his first test to become Israel's deliverer. I want to emphasize, Moses probably didn't realize he was being tested. See, the subtle thing about God's tests is usually they come when we don't even know we're being tested. If God would say, "Now this week you're going to have a real test and if you come through, you'll be promoted".

Well, that would be easy, but sometimes it's just the opposite. We feel powerless. "Where is God? He's not on the scene. He's left us. We're alone. Things are going wrong. What's the use? I might as well give in". We don't know that there's a recording angel watching every move we make, and every word that we speak. The next verse, still in the career of Moses. Verse 27: And again by faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. That's one of my favorite Scriptures. He endured, as seeing him who is invisible. You remember that he had the king against him and instead of trying to placate the king or make his position secure, he left Egypt and he went to what the King James graphically describes as "the backside of the desert" and spent the next forty years looking after a few sheep. He made a real sacrifice when you think he could have been on the throne of Egypt. But, my comment is the result. He passsed his second test Reiteration of principle number 11 which is faith delivers from fear of ungodly rulers.

Notice this is a principle that runs through this chapter. And then principle 12: Seeing the invisible is the key to endurance. Look for a moment at 2 Corinthians 4:17–18. 2 Corinthians 4:17–18: For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Notice affliction does us good. It's producing something that's of eternal value, but only on one condition. What's that? While we continue looking at the things which are not seen. Once you take your eyes off the unseen, you'll become cynical, your faith will dissipate, and you'll be ready to compromise.

The secret of Moses was that for forty years he kept his eyes on the unseen. That's how he endured. And when you're in a test of endurance, believe me, the only way to go through is to keep your eyes on the unseen. I don't suppose most of you spent much time studying the book of Ecclesiastes. Written by Solomon when, in a certain sense, he was backslidden. I don't know whether you'd accept that. The man had had tremendous blessing and revelation, tremendous wisdom, but the book of Ecclesiastes is a very cynical book in many ways. It's very true, but very cynical. Do you know it's possible to be cynical, and yet right? Did you know that? I don't say it pays, but it's possible. What was the essence of the change in Solomon? You'll find it in the key phrase in the book "things under the sun". He had taken his gaze off the eternal, and the invisible and he was preoccupied with the things of time, and of this world. He lost his faith and became a cynic.
Are you Human?:*