Derek Prince - Two Spiritual Kingdoms At War
Excerpt from "Casting Down Strongholds"
The theme of this session is entitled “Casting down strongholds,” and it’s a session that will deal with spiritual warfare. We need to understand, first of all, why there is spiritual warfare, who is fighting who, which side are we on? So I want to turn, first of all, to Matthew chapter 12, a passage about the ministry of Jesus, which brings out the basic fact, that there are two invisible spiritual kingdoms, that are at war with one another. One is the kingdom of Satan, and the other is the kingdom of God.
Now I imagine most of you will have no problem with the concept that God has a kingdom. Some of you may not be aware that Satan has a kingdom. But he does, and it’s most important for us as Christians, that we understand the nature of his kingdom and how it operates. Because, if we are in the kingdom of God, through Christ, we are automatically at war with the kingdom of Satan. You understand? Suppose I were a citizen of, let’s say, Australia. And Australia was at war, which God forbid, with New Zealand. We trust that such a thing will never even enter people’s minds. But if it were so, then as a citizen of Australia I would automatically be at war with New Zealand. Because I belong to a nation that is at war with another nation. So if the kingdom of God is at war with the kingdom of satan, and we are in the kingdom of God, then we have no options. We are automatically at war with the kingdom of satan. And it’s very important for us to know it, to understand the nature of the war.
Let me read this passage from Matthew chapter 12, beginning at verse 24. Jesus had just healed a man who was deaf and dumb, by casting out the evil spirit that caused him to be deaf and dumb. Do you know that evil spirits cause people to be deaf and dumb? Well, when we were in Pakistan about four years ago, we were ministering to Pakistanis, naturally. And God opened a wonderful door because Pakistan is 98 percent Moslem. We had the freedom to hold public meetings and up to 16,000 people gathered. The reason why they gathered, there was one reason. Because they had heard we would pray for the sick. That was the soul reason that most of them came. And in the course of ministry, Ruth and I plunged into a crowd of men who were standing before us waiting to be prayed for. One man touched his ears and then touched his tongue. We couldn’t speak their language but I understood he was showing us that he was deaf and dumb. So I knew theoretically the right thing to do. And I thought I’ll do it and see what happens.
So I said, “You deaf and dumb spirit that’s in this man,” and I was speaking English and he was deaf and dumb anyhow so it wouldn’t have mattered what language I was speaking. I said, “You deaf and dumb spirit that’s in this man, I’m speaking to you and not to this man. And in the name of the Lord Jesus I command you to come out of this man.” Then I said to the man, “Now, say something.” And immediately he heard. He didn’t understand but he heard and he began to make sounds. So they marched him up to the platform and told people that he’d been delivered from the deaf and the dumb spirit. And I said to myself, this thing works. So I think Ruth is here and I’d like her to check on my accuracy, but I think for the next ten minutes we went around looking for deaf and dumb people. And in Pakistan they’re not hard to find. I think in the next ten minutes we saw at least ten people delivered from the condition of being deaf and dumb when the evil spirit was driven out of them.
So, I just say this because it’s not a theory, it’s not some old fashioned tradition, it’s a very living up-to-date reality. Anyhow, when Jesus did this we’ll read what happened. When the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.” They made a terrible accusation; they said He can cast out demons because He’s in league with the ruler of the demons. Jesus answered and said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?” So Jesus said very clearly Satan has a kingdom. And it’s not divided. Then He went on to say: “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But, if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
There Jesus speaks about the kingdom of God. So in this ministry of delivering people from evil spirits, the clash between the two kingdoms is brought right out into the open. The invisible kingdom of Satan is represented by the demons, the invisible kingdom of God is represented by Jesus and by those who continue His ministry in His name. I believe Satan particularly fears this ministry of deliverance because of two things. First of all, it brings out into the open his invisible kingdom and he’d much rather have it invisible. And second, it shows the victory and the supremacy of the kingdom of God over his kingdom. But I’m just starting with that passage to show you that the New Testament reveals clearly there are two invisible spiritual kingdoms at war with one another. The kingdom of God, the kingdom of satan.