Full text of Bible teacher Derek Prince’s sermon titled ‘The Power of Proclamation’ which was delivered at Fort Lauderdale, Florida in October 1990.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Derek Prince – Bible teacher
Ruth and I, when I’m ministering, we always begin this way. God has taught us this, and we’ve discovered that proclaiming the word just in faith at the beginning of a meeting makes a tremendous difference to the atmosphere in the meeting, and to the anointing on the speaker.
THE TREMENDOUS POWER OF PROCLAMATION
We’re going to proclaim Isaiah 55:10-11, which is one of our favorite proclamations. We use it frequently in connection with our radio ministry and its outreach through the earth.
So here we are: ‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ Amen.
Now let me say a little bit about the word ‘proclamation’ or the verb ‘to proclaim’. It comes actually from a Latin word, which means to ‘shout forth’. It’s a strong word.
There are two related words in the language of the New Testament: ‘confession’, or ‘to confess’, and ‘proclamation’, or ‘to proclaim’.
Now, confess or confession means to say ‘the same as’, and for us as believers in the Bible, confession means that we say the same with our mouths, as God has already said in His word. We make the words of our mouth agree with the word of God, and in that way we line ourselves up to receive the full backing and authority of Jesus.
In Hebrews 3:1, the writer says that Jesus is the High Priest of our confession. That’s a very important statement. If you have no confession, you have no high priest. He’s our High Priest in respect of what we confess.
In other words, whenever we say with our mouths, whatever the Bible says about us as believers in Jesus, then we have Jesus as our High Priest in heaven, releasing His authority and His blessing.
But if we remain silent, in a certain sense we shut off His Ministry as High Priest. And if we make a wrong confession, we do even worse. In a certain sense, we invite negative forces to surround us and move upon us.
Now, proclamation is, as it were, confession made aggressive; proclamation is, in the sense a word of spiritual warfare. It’s releasing the authority of God’s word into a situation, into our own lives, into the life of the church, into a political situation, whatever it may be. There are countless different situations that need the power of God released into them.
And there is no more effective way to release the power of God into a situation, whether it’s your own life, your family, your church, your nation, whatever it may be, than proclamation.
Proclaiming is really the activity of a herald. A herald is a word we don’t use very much today, but a herald was a person with authority from a King or a Duke or some nobleman who went to the particular area concerned, and he made a proclamation of the will and the decision of God… of the ruler in that particular place.
In the old days, I don’t know whether you’ve heard this, they used to say, oyez , oyez, and then make the proclamation. When they said, oyez, oyez, everybody sort of stood to attention and knew this is the voice of authority speaking to us.
And in the New Testament, although it doesn’t come out in most translations, the word for ‘to preach’ is the word of a herald. It’s a word that means to proclaim.
One of our favorite scriptures is Matthew 24:14: ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached’, but we prefer to say ‘shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.’
I’ve been a Bible teacher for just about 50 years, and I always felt my duty was to interpret the Bible and explain it and help people to understand it.
But about 12 years ago, the Lord began to impress upon me the word ‘proclaim’. And I felt somehow that He was challenging me to go beyond teaching and do proclaiming. And the result was my radio Bible teaching ministry, which started on 8 stations in the United States in 1979, and is now in 10 languages and really covers most of the globe. And that is really a ministry of proclamation.
I think the key verse that stirred me was Matthew 24:14, ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come’.
I came to see that the age cannot close until we have done our job as the Church of Jesus Christ… His witnesses on Earth… which is to proclaim this gospel in all the world as a witness to all the nations.
And I have learned by experience the tremendous power of the word of God simply proclaimed in faith. It just accomplishes the most marvelous things.
There was a woman in the United States who was everything that a woman ought not to be by Christian standards. She was a Marxist, she was a lesbian, she was a feminist, and she took it seriously. I mean, she was buying revolvers to shoot men with.
And somehow or another, she found herself in a small ship in the China Sea with some of her nefarious companions, and they were going somewhere to do something bad. And it seemed that a storm was coming up. And so the other people said, ‘Go down in the hold, turn on the radio and see what you can find about the weather’.
Well, she turned on the radio and happened to get my Bible teaching or my proclaiming program from Manila in the Philippines and got saved in the hold of the ship. I mean, it couldn’t have taken more than 15 minutes, that the program is only that long. She’s now as totally different and radical the other way as she was the bad way.
So that’s just an example. That was not teaching. I didn’t do a lot of explaining. The word proclaimed did its work.
WORD AND SPIRIT GO TOGETHER
I want to take an example now from Moses. When God called him to go back and be the deliverer of Israel out of Egypt. You remember, God appeared to him in the burning bush. And then God said to him in Exodus chapter 4, ‘Now I’m sending you back to deliver Israel’.
And Moses had lost all his self confidence, which he had at the age of 40; at the age of 80, he had no confidence in himself. He said, ‘Why me, Lord? I can’t do it. I’ve got nothing. What can I do it with?’
And the Lord said to him, as He always is so practical, ‘what have you got in your hand?’
And Moses looked down and said, ‘well, it’s a rod’, just like every shepherd in the Middle East carries. He didn’t think there was anything particularly important about his rod.
But the Lord said, ‘Throw it on the ground’.
And when he did, it became a snake. And Moses ran from his own rod. In other words, there was a potential in that rod he had in his hand, which he had never anticipated or imagined.
Then the Lord said, ‘Pick it up by the tail’. And everybody who deals with snakes knows you never pick a snake up by the tail. But Moses did. I think he was trembling as he did it, and became a rod in his hand.
And God said to him, ‘in effect, now go with your rod. That’s all you need. You can do the whole job with that one rod.’
And if you analyze the rest of that part of the Book of Exodus, the entire deliverance of Israel out of Egypt was achieved by that rod. Every time Moses wanted God to intervene, he stretched out his rod and God intervened.
And the result was in a sense that Moses wrested the rulership of Egypt out of Pharaoh and had it in his hand in his rod.
And the last scene was the passing through the waters of the Red Sea. When the waters needed to be divided, Moses stretched out his rod; the waters were divided.
When the Egyptians were in the water pursuing them, Moses stretched out his rod. The waters returned, and destroyed the Egyptians.
So the only instrument he needed for the entire task, that which God had called him to, was that one shepherd’s rod, which he didn’t think had any significance when he first held it in his hand.
Now, what I want to suggest to you, if you’re a Bible believing, committed Christian, you have a rod. You know what it is? It’s your Bible.
If you’ve got a Bible here, I’d like you to hold it up, and I’d like you to say, this is my rod. Will you say that? My Bible is my rod. With it, I can do everything God tells me to do.
All right, you may put your Bible down.
Now, the first thing that we need to realize from the Scriptures is THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD. We need to realize that this is a supernatural book; just like Moses’ rod, it contains power, which isn’t obvious when you first look at it. But when you begin to understand it, its power actually is limitless.
Just give you a few Scriptures revealing the power of the Word of God.
Psalm 33:6: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.’
But the Hebrew word translated ‘breath’ is the normal word for spirit, ‘Ruach’. So all creation took place through two agents: the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
Everything that exists, or has ever existed or will ever exist owes its origin to just two forces: The Word, the Spirit of God working together.
You see, the Word must work with the Spirit. I think that’s maybe why the Psalmist translated it ‘breath’ and not spirit. Because I don’t know whether you’ve ever studied this, but I had to learn elementary phonetics when I was teaching English as a second language to African students.
And I discovered some interesting things about words. If you think the tremendous power of words, and yet how simple they are: how do you speak? You release breath out of your lungs. It passes through your mouth or maybe through your nose. And the various things that it’s subjected to in your mouth and nose determine the word that comes out.
But the basic truth is you cannot speak without breathing. You have to breathe to speak.
And this is a picture of God. Every time God speaks, His breath goes with His Word. His breath is His spirit. So the Word and the Spirit of God always go together.
The Word and the Spirit of God brought the universe into being, and they sustain the universe in being. There’s a very powerful Scripture in 2 Peter, chapter three, which tells us three things: that the Word creates, the Word maintains, and the Word abolishes.
2 Peter, chapter 3, beginning in verse five.
2 Peter 3:5-7: ‘By the Word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which word, the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.’
So by the Word of God, the heavens, the earth were brought into being; by the Word of God, they are maintained in being; and by the Word of God, when God’s time comes, they will pass away. So the Word of God creates, maintains and abolishes.
I think sometimes when I look at the mess that man is making of this planet, I’m glad that the Word of God can abolish that mess one day. The Word of God brought it into being. The Word of God keeps it into being. And the Word of God will cause it to pass out of being; all that God does by His Word.
Now, a Scripture that Ruth and I quoted at the beginning, we might as well quote it again.
Isaiah 55:10-11, points this out, which I’ve just explained, that the Word must come out of God’s mouth, otherwise it’s not effective. So there we are. How do we begin? That’s right. Thank you.
If I’m in the middle of preaching, I always find it hard to remember what version.
‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ Amen.
Now notice God says ‘My Word out of My mouth’. In other words, My Word when it’s propelled by My breath.
Now, in 2 Corinthians 3, verse 6, Paul says ‘the letter kills’. In other words, the bare word without the breath doesn’t bring life. It has to be the Word and the Spirit together.
So you can get some dry sermon, which is all Scripture, but has no breath in it. And it doesn’t give life, it gives death. See, the two must operate together: The Word and the Spirit.
OUR PROPER REACTION TO GOD’S WORD
Now, I want to parallel with Moses’ experience the way that we can make the Word of God effective by proclaiming it. Proclaiming it is releasing it into a situation. It takes confidence, it takes boldness. It’s not for the timid. You have to make up your mind, I believe this. It’s God’s Word. And when I say it, if I say it with a believing heart and through believing lips, it’s just as effective as if God Himself said it when His Spirit says it through me. Can you believe that? Can you believe that?
It doesn’t have to be God speaking. If the Spirit of God propels the Word of God through your mouth, it’s as effective as it was when God spoke the universe into being.
Now, the first thing that happened to Moses was he got frightened. He threw his rod down on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
And I want to say to you that before we can be effective in proclaiming, we have to learn to be afraid of the Word of God. We have to learn to tremble at the Word of God.
Isaiah says this, or, God says it through Isaiah, in Isaiah 66, the last chapter of Isaiah; the first two verses of Isaiah 66:
Isaiah 66:1-2: ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me, and where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made and all those things exist’, says the Lord.’
In other words, the Lord says, you can’t build Me any temple or building that will impress Me because I built the whole universe. But He says, there’s one thing that does attract my favor. Just one thing.
He says, ‘But to this one will I look: Another translation says, ‘will I have respect’.
Whom will God respect? Whom will He take into account? ‘Him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My Word.’
So you see, like Moses, our first reaction has to be fear and awe at the Word of God. There is far too little fear of the Word of God in the Church today. We are too familiar with it. We band it about and we quote it, but we don’t show real reverence for it, and we have to change that attitude.
Now let me give you two reasons found in the Gospel of John why we should tremble before the Word of God.
The first is in John, chapter 12, verses 47 and 48. Jesus is speaking.
John 12:47:48: He says, ‘If anyone hears My words and does not receive them or keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.’
So Jesus says, I’m not going to be your judge. You’re going to be judged by the Word of God.
Imagine yourself standing before Almighty God, having to give an account of your life, which I believe all of us will have to do one day. You would tremble, you would be very concerned.
What Jesus says is, you should have the same attitude toward the Word of God, for it’s the Word of God that will be your judge. Every time we open the pages of this Word and read it, if we can understand it, we’re looking at the thing that will judge us one day. No wonder we should tremble at it.
And then further on, in John 14, verse 23, Jesus makes another amazing statement.
John 14:23: He says, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’
It’s one of the very few places in the Bible where the plural noun is used about God. We [Father and Son] will come to him. How will We come, through what? Through His Word.
In other words, when we open up to the Word of God if we can believe it, God Himself, (the Father and the Son) is coming into our lives, willing to make His home with us.
If it should ever be that somehow, even in a vision you were to see the Lord Jesus, maybe coming into your home, you would be overwhelmed, you would have a sense of awe. You’d want to fall at His feet.
Jesus says, not only will I come, but the Father will come, ‘We’ will come. Through what? Through the Word of God.
You see, I have to say that most of us today in the contemporary Church have got to change our attitude towards God’s Word. We need to show a reverence, an awe and a fear, and it won’t be effective in our lives in the way that I’m speaking about, until we have learned to reverence the Word of God.
Now that’s trembling at the Word. That’s the first thing that happened to Moses; he suddenly realized the power that was in his rod, and he ran from it. He was overawed.
THE WAY TO RELEASE GOD’S AUTHORITY
The second thing that he did was to take hold of the rod; by faith he gripped it, became a rod again in his hand.
So when we’ve trembled, then we need to take hold of God’s Word. We need to take a firm grasp on the Word of God.
And there’s a Scripture in near the end of the book of Psalms, which to me is really impressive. Psalm 149, the last few verses… Psalm 149, beginning at verse five.
‘Let the saints be joyful in glory. Let them sing aloud on their beds.’ The saints, I believe, is all true, dedicated believers. The word ‘Saint’, Hebrew word Ḥasīd. How many of you have heard of Hasidic Judaism, very ultra-orthodox. It means somebody who trembles at the word of God, who’s totally committed to it.
‘Let the saints be joyful in glory. Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the written judgment. This honor have all His saints.’
It’s an amazing series of statements, if you can identify yourself as belonging to the saints. It says that we have to have the two-edged sword, which is the word of God in our hands, the high praises of God in our mouth, and with it we can execute vengeance on the nations, punishment on the peoples.
Are you seeing yourself in this scenario? Do you realize that this is something God has for you: to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron? I do believe that means in part the Satanic principalities that rule the nations, but not exclusively.
And then it says in the closing verse: ‘to execute on the nations, the judgment written,’ and it says, this honor or this privilege have all His saints.
Have you ever pondered on that? God has given us the privilege of executing judgment on the nations. You see, the prayer life of many of us would be different if we began to see ourselves in that light.
Now it says, ‘to execute the judgment written or the written judgment’. Where is the judgment written? Where do we find the written judgment? That’s right. Hold it up. That’s right. It’s in here (the Bible).
We are not the ones to make the judgments. God has made the judgments, but we have the privilege of executing the judgments on the nations, on their rulers.
In other words, we have a unique and decisive part to play in history. See how important this is, and how I’d have to say how far away many, many Christians are from even beginning to understand all that God has made available to us and all that God expects from us.
But I want to emphasize we don’t make the judgments. We find the judgments in the written word of God, but we execute them.
How do we execute God’s judgments? By what one word: proclaiming. That’s right. We release the judgments of God that are already written in the Scripture. We proclaim them. We are the heralds. We stand in the marketplace of the world and we say, oye, oye and then we announce the decree of God.
Now I think I’m going to try to be very practical and down to earth. We come to the next stage.
After he grasped the rod, what did he do next when he got back to Egypt? He stretched it out. He exercised the authority that was in the rod.
Now I want to suggest to you that we need to do the same. We need to take the written word of God, and we need to stretch it out in any situation where the authority of God is needed.
And one of the ways, I’m not saying it’s the only way, but I think in many ways the most effective way to release the authority of God into a situation is by proclaiming in faith, and under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because, remember, the word must go with the breath.
But when the two go together, when the breath of God, the Spirit of God, propels the word of God out of our mouths, we can release it into a situation, and it has all the authority of Almighty God in that situation.
See, God didn’t step down off the throne, take the rod out of Moses’ hand and say, ‘Moses, I’ll do it’. That’s what most of us, I think, expect to happen.
God says, you’ve got the rod, you do it. But it is called the ‘Rod of God’ in the book of Exodus, it was God’s rod, but Moses held it. Moses stretched it out. Moses and Aaron together, it didn’t make any difference whether it was Moses or Aaron. It was the rod that did the job.
PROCLAIMING UNTIL YOU THINK IT
So I’m going to take now a whole number of potential situations, beginning with those that are purely personal and going on to those that are national and international. And I’m simply going to show you different ways that we can stretch out the rod.
Now I’m going to ask Ruth to come again, stand beside me, and all the proclamations that we’re going to make now are proclamations that we regularly make in our personal devotions.
I tell you, our personal devotions are not always quiet times. Sometimes we shout. After all, to proclaim is to shout out. I don’t say there’s more power in shouting. It just depends how the Holy Spirit prompts you. We probably have somewhere between 100 and 200 proclamations that we make regularly.
And when Ruth was fighting for her life, this was our number one weapon, and we would do it. Some of these proclamations we have made thousands of times. You see, if you’ve got a lot of negative thinking in your background and a lot of negative influences, just saying it once doesn’t change much. Maybe you’ve got to go on saying it until you think it, until when any situation arises. That’s the way you react.
Now, I am British by background, as most of you know, and I tell my British people, so I’m not afraid to say it to Americans. British people tend to be extremely negative. They’re pessimists by nature. And I was a pessimist of the pessimists.
God has been gradually revolutionizing me. It’s taken Him a long while, but one of my strange mental habits, I think it must go back to childhood. When I’m in a situation, I automatically begin to think of all the trouble that could happen, all the problems that could arise. If I get in a car to drive, I think now, if there was an accident, et cetera, et cetera, maybe some of you had the same problem.
And I’ve been using the weapon of the Word many different ways. But there’s a Scripture I can’t give you the exact reference. It’s in Jeremiah 29, and the Lord is speaking to Israel, and He says, ‘I know the plans that I have for you, plans of good and not of evil.’
Another translation says, ‘plans of prosperity and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope’.
So every time I find myself beginning to entertain some negative picture of some disaster, I say, ‘Lord, I thank you that I know the plans You have for me, plans of good and not of evil, plans of prosperity and not of calamity, to give me a future and a hope.’
And I may have to say it several times, but at the end of that, the negative has been dissipated, and I have a strong, confident, positive attitude. Ruth, I don’t think has learned this one, have you? No.
So I’ll say it. I mean, it’s not one of our repertoire, but it probably will be. But anyhow, the Lord says, ‘I know the plans that I have for you, plans of good and not of evil, plans of prosperity and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope.’
You start to say that every time you step into your car, you’re going to have a good journey. You’re going to accomplish the things that you set out to do. Your attitude makes a lot of difference. It makes a difference to the way people treat you.
You walk into a store and you walk in with that positive attitude, and they’ll do something for you. If you walk in expecting trouble or bad service or discourtesy, and that’s probably what you get.
Okay, that’s just by the way. But as I say to people, there’s no extra charge for that.
THE ONLY POWER STRONG ENOUGH TO OVERCOME
Now we’re going to take some pattern proclamations, but first of all, remember, it must be the breath with the word. In other words, it has to be the Holy Spirit.
And secondly, what we do, and I think it’s a very good thing to do is we personalize it. So where the Bible says you, we say ‘we’. In other words, we’re saying this applies to us here and now.
Now we’re going to start with self-defense. What happens when we’re attacked? And I could go on on this, all the rest of this period, but I am tired of moving in the area of needs. So many Christians never get beyond their own needs. So I’m going to go briefly through this area and go on to what I call the ‘area of aggression’, where you’re not defending yourself, but you’re attacking.
So suppose that you have a lot of dark, negative forebodings, and you’re continually thinking about what would happen if I were to die. And I mean, there are lots of people with this attitude, and some of them are here tonight and you’ve been told by the doctor, like Ruth was, well, we can’t guarantee that you’ll come through this. We’ll do our best.
Here’s a Scripture we must have used several thousand times. I mean, Ruth, at certain times just lay in bed and say that, that’s all she said.
Psalm 118:17: ‘I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.’
I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord. Would you like to say that? That doesn’t take much memorizing, does it?
All right, I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.
Now one thing you can do to make sure you’re really bold is to turn and face somebody, look them right in the face and say to them, I shall not die, but live. It takes a certain amount of extra, what the Jews call ‘chutzpah’ or nerve.
‘I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord.’ Amen.
And you feel better now, don’t you? Now, suppose it should happen to you. I mean, preachers are particularly a target for this. A lot of people are criticizing you and speaking against you, and some are praying against you.
So what do you do? Well, our remedy is Isaiah 54:17. If you want to find it in your Bible, we’ll just say, now, we say it in our own particular way, but it’s based on this.
‘No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper. And every tongue which rises against us in judgment, we do condemn. This is our heritage as servants of the Lord, and our righteousness is from You, O Lord of hosts.’
You found it there. You see how we personalize it? We’ll do that once more. I mean, we actually, I’ll tell you the secret, which is no longer a secret. Everybody is going to know it all around the world sooner or later. We say this every night before we go to sleep. All right.
‘No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper. And every tongue which rises against us in judgment, we do condemn. This is our heritage as servants of the Lord, and our righteousness is from You, O Lord of hosts.’
That’s why we can condemn the tongues that accuse us, because they’re accusing God’s righteousness, you see, and that’s always losing.
Now, I’d like to say, just to clear the record; after that, we say, if there are those who’ve been speaking or praying against us or seeking harm or evil to us, we forgive them. And having forgiven them, we bless them in the name of the Lord.
You see, we replace the negative with the positive because the Bible says, if people curse you, don’t curse them back. Bless them.
Paul said, ‘Don’t be overcome by evil. Overcome evil with good’. The only power strong enough to overcome evil is good.
So you have to learn to meet the negative and overcome it with the positive. But it has to be based on this Word. All right.
Now, suppose let’s say our ministry is assailed, or it could be our home or our family. We have one that we’re quite famous for in Deuteronomy chapter 33, verses 25 to 27. We do this in the NIV, which makes it very powerful.
Deuteronomy 33:25-27: ‘The bolts of our gates will be iron and bronze, and our strength will equal our days. There is no one like the God of Jeshurun who rides on the heavens to help us and on the clouds in His Majesty. The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out our enemy before us, saying, ‘Destroy him’.’ Amen.
That really frightens Satan, I’ll tell you that. And we have learned you have to destroy him. God will drive him out. You have to destroy him. You have to put your foot on the enemy’s neck. We won’t go into the details of that. They’re too bloodthirsty.
Now, let’s point out: we’re not talking about human beings. We’re talking about spiritual forces in the heavenlies, when we talk about our enemies. Our enemies are not flesh and blood. Your pastor is not your enemy. Your husband is not your enemy. You might think so at times, but that’s not the way it is.
You have to learn that we’re not fighting human beings. These weapons are very powerful, but they have to be used in the right context.
NEED: FINANCE, STRENGTH, HEALING
All right. Now, suppose you should have any kind of need. None of you do, I’m sure. But suppose it should happen, financial or physical or healing.
We’ve got one proclamation for each. First of all, financial, 2 Corinthians 9:8. And we just changed the words a little. But basically, they’re the King James.
2 Corinthians 9:8: ‘God is able to make all grace abound toward us, that we always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.’
See, it starts with three simple words. God is able. Do you believe He’s able? Yes. it’s important. All right. Then it says what He’s able to do. And that is such a tremendous verse. The word ‘all’ occurs five times, and the word ‘abound’, or abundance occurs twice. It wouldn’t be possible to get more abundance into one verse than Paul got into that. And it’s grace. Notice that.
How is grace received? By what? By faith. By grace you are saved through faith. That’s right. It’s not something we earn, doesn’t depend on our salary, although that may be related. But we receive it by faith in God’s grace. We’ll do it once more.
This is, I would say, the financial basis of our ministry. Whenever we are praying for finance, we start on this basis. Then we have a positive attitude. So we’ll do it again.
‘God is able to make all grace abound toward us, that we always, having all sufficiency, in all things may abound to every good work.’
And then suppose that you’re challenged with something, that you can’t do; it’s too much. You’re just not capable. You don’t have the education. You don’t have the physical strength. It depends what it is. And yet God has challenged you with it. Well, we resort to Philippians 4:13. But this is the Prince version.
I happen to know Greek, and I think the Lord gave me a really good rendering of the Greek that brings out the meaning better than any other version I’ve ever heard. But let me say it’s not in print. I’ve got people coming up to me and saying, ‘Where can we buy it?’ You can’t.
Philippians 4:13: ‘I can do all things through the One who empowers me within.’
I use the word ’empower’ because the Greek word is from ‘Dunamis’, which is normally translated power. So there’s a source of power within you that is released by your proclamation.
I can do all things through the One who empowers me within.
I don’t have the education, I don’t have the strength. But when it’s the will of God, when it’s a task assigned by God, there’s One in me who empowers me from within.
GUIDELINES TO HEALING
And then suppose the problem is sickness. One of our favorites is 1 Peter 2:24: ‘Jesus Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins might live for righteousness, by whose wounds we were healed.’
See, puts it in the past tense. If you notice when it speaks about healing in the Atonement, it never uses the future.
700 years before Jesus came, Isaiah said, ‘Through His stripes, we are healed.’
After the Atonement, looking back, Peter said, ‘by whose wounds you… what… were healed’.
See, that gives you a totally different perspective. Doesn’t mean you automatically cease to be sick, but it gives you a different basis on which to encounter and challenge sickness. And sometimes you have to keep saying it a long while. You just have to decide which is more reliable, God’s word or your symptoms.
INTERVENTION IN NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Now we’re coming into a more aggressive area. We’re going to talk about intervention in national and international affairs. And Ruth and I spend a lot of time praying outside our own needs, praying for various situations, the destiny of nations. Here are some Scriptures that will encourage you and help you.
Now, one of our favorites we almost always end up with is Daniel, chapter 2, verses 20 to 22 and 4:34 and 35. First words were spoken by Daniel, the second by Nebuchadnezzar, but the message is the same.
I’d say that reference again, Daniel 2:20-22 and Daniel 4:34 and 35, ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him.’
‘For His dominion is an everlasting dominion and His kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand, Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
Consider that those words came from an unbelieving emperor Nebuchadnezzar. I think he was a believer by that time. But just think of the tremendous work of God in Nebuchadnezzar’s life. That should encourage us that God can change ungodly and evil rulers, if we learn how to pray.
And then we have two passages from 2 Chronicles, each of them is just one verse. We take them from the NIV, and they are both prayers.
So if we’re going to pray for, say, the situation in the Middle East or whatever it might be, before we pray the particular prayer, we tend to pray these prayers because they get us going. All right, where are we?
2 Chronicles 14:11: ‘Lord, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name, we have come against this vast army. Oh, Lord, You are our God.’ That’s right.
I’m just going to get into rushes. That’s okay. Now we’ve done that. Now it is.
‘Do not let man prevail against You.’
Oh, I didn’t do that. Sorry, I missed the last part out. Let’s do that one again. That was my Booboo.
‘Lord, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord, our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, You are our God. Do not let man prevail against You’.
And then 2 Chronicles 20:6: ‘O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the earth. Power and might are in Your hand and no one can withstand You.’ Amen. Ruth is right and I’m wrong, but anyhow, I’m just doing the Prince version. You got the message.
Now we’ll do Psalm 33, verses 8 through 12. We got to go rather quickly now. This is a tremendously powerful affirmation when you’re dealing with the world situation.
Psalm 33:8-12: ‘Let all the earth fear the Lord. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever; the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance.’
In other words, who’s going to come a winner out of it all? The nation whose God is the Lord.
All the plans of nations and United Nations and governments are just nonsense, if they’re contrary to the plan of God. All right.
Now we’re going to do in closing some things that relate to the Middle East, which is one of the areas that we pray most about. Now, you might not have exactly the same burden, but you can take the principles and apply them in your situation.
I want to point out, first of all, that the Middle East and North Africa is undoubtedly the hardest single area of the earth to penetrate with the gospel. And there’s a very important reason, and it’s a reason that brings out the power of proclamation.
You probably know that from every Muslim mosque, there goes forth a proclamation five times every 24 hours which says, there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet, et cetera. And of course, Allah is not the God of the Bible.
Now, the Muslim calendar started about 627 AD, so it’s been going for more than 1300 years. And that proclamation has been made five times every day from every mosque, for more than 1300 years.
Let me give you a little calculation. If it was made daily for 1300 or plus years, that would be 474,500 days, let’s say rounded off half a million days. And it’s made five times every day. So that’s 2.5 million times that proclamation has been made from every mosque. And you take the number of mosques, and I imagine there must be at least half a million mosques in North Africa and the Middle East. You’ve got billions of times.
Why is there such a tremendously powerful anti-Christian power over that area greater than any other area of the earth? What is the cause of it? It’s that proclamation.
You see, the power of proclamation, negative or positive?
How can we overcome the power of all those negative proclamations? What do we have to do? To make the positive proclamation.
So we’re going to give you an example. And remember, just in case you say, well, it’s a hopeless task.
When Moses was confronted by the Egyptian magicians and they all threw their rods on the ground and they all became snakes, you know what happened? Moses’ snake ate up the snakes of the Egyptians.
So in other words, our proclamation overcomes every negative proclamation if we know how to make it.
So, we’re going to make two specifically in regard to Israel and their land that are biblical. The first is from Psalm 125, verse 3, from the New International version.
Psalm 125:3: ‘The scepter of the wicked shall not remain over the land allotted to the righteous.‘
Okay, what’s the scepter of the wicked in this context? Islam; what’s the land allotted to the righteous? The land allotted to God’s people.
The Bible says, no matter what politicians may say, no matter what they may do, the scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous.
Now you have to say that in faith; when everything looks exactly the opposite, that’s the time to say it. You are stretching out that rod and your snake is going to eat up the snakes of the magicians.
And then Psalm 129:5-6: ‘Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion. Let them be like the grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up.’
And I serve notice on all those who hate Zion, they’ll never grow to maturity. They will never grow to full stature. They will wither before they have full grown. That’s the word of God. And it’s going to come to pass.
And finally, let me give you just one more passage about the restoration of Israel in Jeremiah, chapter 31. And we’re going to act on this. If we have time, we’re going to go through with it. At least we’ll do our best.
Jeremiah 31:7: ‘Sing with gladness for Jacob, shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, ‘O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’
If you take those words, it says, sing, shout, proclaim, praise, and pray.
There are five things: sing, shout, praise, proclaim, and pray; proclaim is one of them and then it says in verse 10,
‘Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the Isles afar off, (and that’s Florida) ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’
That’s what we say to the Middle East at this present situation. The same God who scattered Israel is gathering him and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.