Derek Prince - Jesus' Total, Permanent, Final, Irreversible Defeat Over Satan
Alright, now we are speaking to overcomers, to those who are convinced by faith in Scripture and in Jesus that it is possible to overcome. The first thing we need to understand in dealing with these satanic forces is very important and very basic. It is that Jesus through His death and resurrection has already administered to Satan a total, permanent, final, irreversible defeat. If you don’t understand that, you do not have any basis for victory. Let me say those words again: a total permanent, final, irrevocable defeat.
There is nothing that Satan can do that can ever change that fact. When Jesus died, He said, “It is finished.” And it is finished. Nothing needs ever to be added to what He did and nothing can ever be taken away from what He did. This is stated one place very clearly in Colossians, chapter 2, verses 13 through 15. These are complicated statements and I could spend the rest of this session trying to explain what they mean but I don’t intend to do that. I just want to pinpoint certain statements.
Colossians 2 beginning at verse 13: "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He" God the Father, "has made alive together with Him", Jesus Christ, the Son, "having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us and He has taken it out of the way having nailed it to the cross, having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it".
Let’s start with the closing verse. The principalities and powers referred to there are the same as we saw earlier in Ephesians 6:12. Our wrestling match is against principalities and powers, the various levels and orders of Satan’s kingdom. That is what we are fighting against. But we need to understand that Jesus has already ministered a total public defeat. The word used there is “He has triumphed.”
You need to understand what a triumph is. It is part of the culture of the Roman Empire. When a Roman general was particularly successful in war, when he returned to Rome, the senate of Rome voted him a triumph. And in this triumph he was placed in a chariot drawn by a white horse and he was led through the streets of Rome and all the people of Rome lined the streets applauding him and behind him were all the evidences of his victories. The rulers and the commanders that he had defeated were led in chains behind him. Then great numbers of prisoners were led behind him and in some cases even wild animals from the conquered territories, animals maybe that Roman people had not seen.
So this is a triumph. It is not winning the victory, it is the celebration of the victory that has already been won. And Paul in this language is saying that by His death and resurrection Jesus was placed in the triumphal chariot and led through the unseen world and behind Him were all the forces of Satan led in chains. That’s the totality of the victory. Now, to obtain this victory, Jesus did two things for us. I can only touch on them briefly. The first relates to the past. We need to bear in mind that Satan’s great weapon against us is guilt. As long as he can keep us guilty, we are no match for him. But in this victory Jesus dealt with the problem of guilt.
First, in regard to the past, He made it possible for us to be forgiven all our previous sins. It says, “Having forgiven you all trespasses.” That little word “all” is very important. We have to believe that every sin we have ever committed, has been forgiven. If we have even one unforgiven sin, it is a lever that Satan can use against us, to frustrate us and to make us ineffective. The other thing is more complicated but let me just say it briefly: Jesus has abolished the law of Moses as the means to achieve righteousness with God. He has not abolished it as part of the Word of God, or as part of the history of Israel; He has not abolished it as all the lessons that come to us from the law of Moses; but He has abolished the law of Moses as the requirement for achieving righteousness with God.
As long as the law was the requirement, every time we wanted to claim righteousness Satan could stand there and point to some commandment, some ordinance that we had not obeyed and say, “There you are, you have no right to approach.” But when Jesus died on the cross He put an end to the law in that aspect. And the Scripture says it very vividly, “He nailed it to the cross.” So when we go beyond the cross, we are not under the law. Now our righteousness does not depend on keeping commandments, it depends on faith. We are justified, made righteous, by faith. This is always so vivid to me in regard to the dealings of Jesus with Peter.
At the Last Supper Jesus told Peter, “You will deny me three times before the night is out.” Because Peter said he would not, but you know he did. Then Jesus said, "But I have prayed for you", not that you will not deny Me, but, what? "That your faith will not fail". If you can keep believing, your faith will take you through. So never get moved away from your faith. Let no failure, let no accusation, nothing ever move you from your faith that Jesus died in your place, bore your sins, was made sin for you and has offered you the garment of His spotless righteousness.
You know what “to be justified” means? This is not part of my message but it is so important. It is a legal phrase. You have been tried by the court of heaven and the court has handed down its verdict. And the verdict is not guilty. Wonderful! Not guilty! Satan, you can say what you like. You can point out all my sins and all my failings and all my inadequacies and I will agree with you. I even can tell you some you don’t know about... But the court of heaven has said not guilty. I am reckoned righteous, made righteous, justified, do you know what I say? “Just-as-if-I’d” never sinned. That's it. And when you stand on that ground, you are more than a conqueror of Satan in the conquest that Jesus has already won. If we start from any other basis, we will never achieve victory. The only basis is the cross.