Derek Prince - When Man Fell, He Got Shot Up In His Little Ego Box
This is an excerpt from: Why Should We Be Longing for Jesus' Appearing?
One more reason why we should be longing for the Lord’s appearing. This is going a little bit beyond our personal situations. Which is embarrassing for most Christians because we live in the little circle of our own needs and problems. And we hardly ever lift our eyes to the horizon. To put it another way, I’ve said that the Charismatic movement is somewhat like astronomy before Galileo. You remember, in the Copernican system they believed what they saw which was the sun going around the earth every 24 hours. So their astronomy was earth centered. The sun just was something that revolved around the earth. Galileo said, That’s wrong, it’s really the earth that goes around the sun. And when he said that, he was about to be burned at the stake until he recanted.
It’s interesting the church couldn’t bear that revelation! I think there’s a lot more to it than just the fact that it changed our ideas. I don’t think the Church likes to feel it’s anything but the center. See, the truth of the matter is: Jesus Christ the Son of righteousness does not revolve around us. We revolve around Him. What’s important is not what we want or what we think. What’s important is His will and His purpose and His priorities. And I want to tell you that there’s got to be a mental revolution in the Charismatic movement, just as great as the transition from Copernicus to Galileo. We’ve got to learn to think differently about ourselves. The world doesn’t rise and set on us. Jesus is the sun that never sets. I’ll tell you something else. As long as you are preoccupied with your own needs, you’ll live in them. The way out of need is not to get all your needs answered. The way out of your need is to be involved in something bigger than yourself.
Then, surprisingly you find your needs aren’t that important. In fact, they’ve disappeared. I think Charismatics are the most need oriented group of people that has ever crossed the stage of history. Is that right? You can gather a crowd anywhere if you’ll preach to people on how their needs can be met. You can be healed, you can prosper, you can have all you want and more. Well, there’s a certain truth in it but it’s out of bounds. What really matters is what God wants, His purpose. The first petition that Jesus ever told us to pray was what? Thy kingdom come. All right? Further down the prayer we come to our needs. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses, deliver us from the evil one. But you’ve got to get the order right. You’ve got to lift your eyes from your need of daily bread or your need of deliverance or your need of forgiveness. To the supreme overall purpose of God which is very simple. It’s the coming of His kingdom. When you’re looking for His kingdom, your corns stop aching.
As long as you focus on your aching corns, they’ll ache. Is that right? Self-centeredness is a prison that Satan has imprisoned man in. My friend Bob Mumford says: When man fell, he got shut up in his little ego box. And it takes the grace of God to break that box and liberate us from it. The people who are happy are not the people who are living for themselves. They’re the people who are living for others. So we’re coming to something that’s greater than us. This won’t put more money in your bank account. It may not even get you a new Cadillac. It might not even solve the economic problems of Midland. But it's exciting! What I want to say is the appearing of Jesus will bring about the redemption of all creation. Now we’re looking beyond ourselves, understand? It’s not me and my need. You’ve heard, I’m sure, the standard prayer of the church member. Which goes like this: God, bless me and my wife. My son John and his wife. Us four, no more. And if you’re Pentecostal you add Acts 2:4. Is that right? It’s very near the truth.
So we turn to Romans 8. Which is really the picture of the Spirit controlled life. Romans chapter 8. I want to point out to you – and if I get into this I won’t get out of it, so I’ve got to be cautious. There's a doorway to Romans 8. You cannot live in the Spirit filled life unless you go through the door, and the door is verse 1, logically enough. What does verse 1 say? There is no condemnation. As long as you live under condemnation you cannot live in Romans 8. The previous 7 chapters of Romans are designed to eliminate every possible source of condemnation for those who believe in Jesus. But you have to work through them to get into chapter 8. So we’re going to assume we’re all in chapter 8. And we’re going to start reading at verse 18. Romans 8:18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. It’s very obvious that Paul didn’t write without some experience of suffering.
If you read the list of all he’d endured, none of us have experienced anything comparable to what he experienced. But he said it isn’t worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. Who are the sons of God? Us, that’s right. The whole creation is waiting for the Church to get it together. That’s embarrassing, isn’t it. Especially when you think how far we are from getting it together. Verse 20: For the creation was subjected to futility – or vanity – not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope. When you read the word vanity or futility it should take you back, above all, to Ecclesiastes. You know how Ecclesiastes begins? Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, all is vanity. Vanity of vanities. That opening verse has the word vanity in it five times.
If I remember rightly, the word occurs 27 times in the book of Ecclesiastes. You know why? Because he was only dealing with the things under the sun, in the visible, temporal, material world. And even though he was the wealthiest and wisest man of his day, in the end it was all futility. There is no permanent answer or satisfaction merely in the things of time. If anybody could have had satisfaction, it was Solomon. But he said, It’s all vanity. That statement is not merely a matter of man’s subjective experience, it is actually in line with physics. For the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, states simply in unprofessional language the universe is getting progressively less and less well organized. There is less and less power available for useful work. Unless some power is at work to maintain a system it will gradually go into vanity, futility. That’s amazing because that’s an established, accepted law of physics.
I never have understood how scientists reconcile that with the theory of evolution. To me, it sounds like the two things are directly opposite. I never have believed the theory of evolution. I hope you don’t think me naive. But I was a professional student and teacher of philosophy and I studied it. And even when I was totally alien to Christ and to the Church, I couldn’t believe the theory of evolution. It bristles with inconsistencies. That’s just by the way. But, as a matter of fact, it can be a real obstacle in the minds of some of you from seeing what the Bible says. So, the creation was subjected to vanity, to futility, because of man’s fall. See? The Lord said to Adam: Cursed is the ground for your sake, thorns and thistles will it bring forth. There never were any thorns or thistles until man fell.
See, man was answerable to God. He was God’s authorized representative over the whole earth. And when he fell, his domain suffered. That’s an extraordinary fact but it’s true. I don’t know whether you’ve ever thought about Jesus when He was brought before Pilate. They had put on Him a purple robe and pressed a crown of thorns on His head. He stood there with the thorns on His head and the purple of the thistle on His garment. As a testimony that He was bearing the curse that man’s sin had brought on the earth. So because Jesus was made a curse the earth ultimately will be redeemed from that curse. But only when the sons of God come into their own. Let’s go on reading. Verses 20 and 21. Usually nowadays it’s translated at the end of verse 20: In hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. So when we get into glory, creation will be liberated. For we know, verse 22 – the problem is most of the times when Paul says we know, most of us don’t know.
Just as when he says, Brethren, I would not have you ignorant be sure 9/10 of the church are ignorant. It’s ironic but that’s the way it is. Verse 22: For we know – or we hope we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs, together until now. That’s an amazing statement, isn’t it? Let me ask you honestly: Were you aware of that fact before now? Did you realize that our fault has brought this agony on the whole creation? And the whole creation is in the process of birth pangs to bring forth a new age, the Messianic age. Do you hear the groaning? Paul says in the next verse: Not only they, but we also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit. That should be Charismatics. And others, let me not limit it to Charismatics.
Even we ourselves groan within ourselves – is that true of you? Eagerly waiting – Notice that phrase again: eagerly waiting. We’ve had it about three times this evening. Always for the same event. Eagerly waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body. We got back where we started. What’s the goal? Redemption of our body, nothing short of that. When our bodies are redeemed, when we are come into our glory, when we receive our resurrection bodies, the whole creation is going to experience a dramatic and glorious change. Isn’t that exciting? If you’re not excited, there’s something wrong with you. I don’t want to criticize you, but, I mean, you couldn’t believe that without getting excited.