This is the transcript of Derek Prince’s sermon titled ‘War In Heaven & Earth (Part 1)’
Listen to the audio version here:
Derek Prince – Bible Teacher
Thank you so much for that welcome. Thank you, brother Hagee. It’s a real privilege to be with you again. We’ve had some exciting times together. I think you’ll agree. I esteem Brother Hagee as a great man of God. I think what he’s achieved here in this place, in these people, is tremendous. And I’m honored to be here and to minister to you all.
Where The Spiritual Conflict Takes Place
So let me turn to an initial text for the theme of warfare in the heavenlies. Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
If I may, I’ll give you the Prince version, which is a little bit more literal. I started learning Greek when I was 10 years old, and I became a professor at Cambridge University. So I do know something about Greek. Nobody knows everything about Greek, let me tell you that. It’s a very elaborate language with a long history of nearly 3,000 years. So anybody tells you he knows it all is mistaken.
But this is the Prince version of Ephesians 6, verse 12. “For our wrestling match is not against flesh and blood.” And the Living Bible says, “persons with bodies,” which is a good rendering. “Our wrestling match is not against persons with bodies, but against rulerships, against authorities, against the world dominators of this present darkness, against spiritual hosts or forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
It begins here in my text. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.” Unfortunately, many Christians have got it punctuated wrong. “For we do not wrestle.” Period. In fact, I would have to say from my observations, most Christians have got it wrong. There are not many Christians who are really wrestling.
And you know, wrestling is the most intense form of conflict between two persons. A boxing match, that’s certain blows you’re not allowed to land on the parts of the body. Wrestling, and all in wrestling as they call it, is total combat. And that’s the word that Paul uses here. We are involved in total combat against spiritual forces, persons without bodies, against rulerships and authorities. I will come back to that phrase later on. Against the world dominators of this present darkness, against spiritual hosts or forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Now we need to ask ourselves how it came about that there are spiritual hosts or forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Let me say first of all that from the first verse of the Bible, the word “heaven” is always plural. “In the beginning, God created the heavens” (plural) “and the earth” (singular). So there is more than one heaven.
In actual fact, there are three heavens. This is stated very clearly in 2 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 1 and 2 and following. “It is doubtless not expedient for me to boast, but I come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” So Paul is now speaking about a man who had a very unique vision and revelation. I don’t believe that man was Paul. Some people do. I think it wasn’t, but let’s not argue about that. “I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago, whether in the body I do not know or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows. Such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. How he was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible or unutterable words, which is not lawful or not possible for a man to utter.”
So Paul is speaking about somebody, a believer who had a very wonderful experience, and he was caught up to the third heaven. Paul says he doesn’t know whether his body was caught up with him or just his spirit. But there he was in the third heaven, and he was caught up in paradise and heard unutterable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.
Now before I became a believer, I was a professor of logic. And I still believe in logic. And my logic tells me if there is a third heaven, there must be a first and a second. You cannot have the third of anything without the first two. And I believe that’s the way it is.
So in the third heaven, this man heard God Himself. He was in paradise. Obviously, this is the highest point where God Himself dwells. So the third heaven is the top heaven, if I may put it that way. The first heaven, I believe, to be the visible heaven, the one we look at the sun, the moon, the stars, and so on.
Now between the first and the third, there must be a second. And that, I believe, is the area where the conflict takes place. I don’t believe there’s any conflict in the heaven where God dwells. There isn’t that kind of conflict on earth. But there is in this intermediate heaven between earth and the throne of God.
How Did This Conflict Come About? What’s Its Origin?
Now how did this conflict come about? What’s its origin? The Bible tells us certain things. It doesn’t tell us other things. It’s a mistake to try and know more than the Bible tells. But it’s really important that we do find out what the Bible has to say.
So I’m going to turn now to Isaiah chapter 14. And in my particular translation, the passage I’m looking at begins at verse 12. And it’s entitled or headed “The Fall of Lucifer.” So these are prophetic words described to a certain angelic being who turned in rebellion against God.
“How you are fallen from heaven?” That’s the heaven of God’s presence. “O Lucifer, son of the morning. How you are cut down to the ground? You who weaken the nations.” Now we get the motivation of Lucifer’s rebellion. Let me say, of course, Lucifer’s present name is Satan. Satan means the adversary. The Greek word “the devil” means the slanderer. So Satan is the adversary of God and man, the slanderer. Remember that anybody who slanders is doing the devil’s job. And unfortunately, it does occur in churches.