Derek Prince

B. Childress
Nov 7 2008 08:00AM

This weapon of attack is related even more directly and specifically to God's Word.  It is solely and exclusively the
preaching of God's Word.  It in no way applies to the preaching of other things, such as human philosophy, political
ideologies, or even elaborate theology.

We begin with the solemn charge of Paul to Timothy in II Timothy 4:1-4:

    1 "I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at
    his appearing and his kingdom;

    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and

    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
    themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

I(Derek Prince) want to point out certain important things.  First, the solemnity of the charge.  It is given in the presence
of God and Christ Jesus, in the light of the fact that Christ will judge the living and the dead and in view of His appearing
in His kingdom.  It is one of the most solemn charges ever given to a servant of God.

Second, the charge is to preach the Word.  It implies the accountability of the preacher for what he preaches.  The
reference to the fact that Jesus will judge the living and the dead indicates the preacher will answer to the Lord for the
messages he preaches.

It is a warning not to accommodate the desires of self-pleasing rebels who do not want to hear the truth and will look for
preachers who will preach the kind of thing they want to hear.  There is a warning that not all will receive the truth.  
Nevertheless, in spite of opposition and criticism, the charge is to preach the Word of God.

Scripture has much to say about the effectiveness of God's Word.  In Isaiah 55:11, God said,

    11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish
    that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Again, in Jeremiah 23:29, God said,

    29 "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

Then, Hebrews 4:12 states,

    12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the
    dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
    the heart."

There is tremendous power in the preached Word of God.  Its results are guaranteed.  It will not return empty.  It will
accomplish God's pleasure.  It is a hammer that will break in pieces every rock that opposes the purposes of God.  It is
like a sharp sword that pierces to the innermost recesses of the human personality and lays bare the secrets of men's
hearts and minds.

Acts 19:8-10 is an example of this power of the preached Word of God from the ministry of Paul in Ephesus:

    8 "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading
    the things concerning the kingdom of God.

    9  But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed
    from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

    10  And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord
    Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."

There are three adjectives that describe this preaching of Paul:  intense, continuous, and extensive.  Daily, for two
years, he taught the Word of God.  It was extensive in the sense that his teaching reached out to the whole of the large
province of Asia.  We often fail to realize that Paul spent over two years in the city of Ephesus, every day preaching the
Word of God.

The results were rather like throwing a stone into a pond and then watching the ripples go out from the place where the
stone fell, extending wider and wider in every direction until they reach the margin of the pond.  The first result was
supernatural attestation.  The Scripture says that God will confirm His Word.  (See Mark 16:20.)  He does not confirm
human theories or philosophy, or even denominational tags.  He will however, confirm His Word.  So He did for Paul.  In
Acts 19:11, we read the following:

    11 "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:"

I(Derek Prince) love those words: "
extraordinary miracles."  Do you know what that implies?  That some miracles were
ordinary, but the ones that happened here in Ephesus were extraordinary.

I have asked myself this question: "In how many of our churches today do we have even ordinary miracles, let alone
extraordinary miracles?"  These extraordinary miracles are then described:

    12 "So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from
    them, and the evil spirits went out of them."

I(Derek Prince) can testify from personal experience that I have seen miracles like that happen in my time.  This practice
is not out of date.  The key factor is preaching the Word of God.

The first results of Paul's preaching in Ephesus was supernatural attestation to his message by miracles.  The second
result was  evil spirits being driven out into the open. Acts 19:13-16 says,

    13 "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the
    name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

    14 And there  were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

    15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

    16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so
    that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."

One of the important things in the ministry is to bring Satan's secret agents out into the open.  Demons, or evil spirits,
are Satan's secret agents.  It represents a great stage of progress in the ministry of God's Word when these evil spirits
are brought right out into the open.  That is what happened here.  I am impressed by what the evil spirit said: "Jesus I
acknowledge, Paul I know about."  To me, it is a kind of backhanded compliment when the representatives of Satan can
say about a preacher, "I know about him; he is achieving something."

The third result of Paul's preaching was that the occult domination over an entire city was broken, as described in Acts

    17 "And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the
    name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

    18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

    19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men:
    and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver."

You see, a lot of people were believers but they had been dabbling in the occult; there is a similar situation in the
church today.  They had one foot in God's kingdom and one foot in Satan's camp.  But when they saw this fearful
demonstration of the reality of Satan's power, they decided to commit themselves totally to God and turn their backs on
Satan.  As evidence of this, they brought the books, or the scrolls, which contained the occult knowledge, magic, and
sorcery.  All these books were publicly burned in the city of Ephesus.

The value of the books was fifty thousand drachmas.  A drachma, at that time, was about a day's wages for a working
man.  If you estimate a day's wages in the United States at about ninety dollars, fifty thousand drachmas corresponds to
$4,500,000.  That is a large sum of money.  The same thing needs to happen in almost every major city of the United
States today.

Let us look at the Scripture's explanation of all this in Acts 19:20:

    20 "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

The power behind all this was the Word of the Lord.  Paul's ministry of the Word for over two years produced dramatic,
powerful results.  Satan's kingdom in that area was rocked to its foundations; his fortresses were overthrown.

Acts 20:20 and following is Paul's own account of his ministry in Ephesus:

    20 "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you
    publickly and from house to house,

    26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

    27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."

Paul summed up his ministry as one having no reservation and no compromise.  That is the kind of preaching of the
Word of God that accomplishes similar effects.  We need that type of preaching today.


Spiritual Warfare, by Derek Prince, Copyright 1987, Whitaker House.