Winning the Battle of the Ages

A portrait of Derek Prince in black and white
The Battle of the Ages (Part 3)

By Derek Prince

You're reading a top ten Teaching Letter.

In a recently revised edition of the book 'Protection from Deception', now being released as 'Battle of the Ages', Derek Prince warns against the greatest peril Christians will face at the close of the age: deception. 

Jesus is coming again—but Satan has always had schemes to disrupt God’s purposes. To resist him, we must understand his goals for the end of the age. That is the focus of Part 3 of our series, The Battle of the Ages.

Maintaining Focus

I have met many Christians who are easily distracted from focusing supremely on God. There are countless ways in which the devil can divert us from God’s purpose for our lives. With whatever method works, Satan gets us out of line with God’s purposes. Someone may not be a lost soul, but he or she may have a smaller reward in glory than he or she could have had. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi about finishing his course, completing the objective to which God called him:

“I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12–14)

I have done extensive biblical study concerning the requirements for fulfilling our calling in Christ, and I contend that they may be summed up in a single word: single-mindedness. If you become double-minded and allow your thinking to be diverted, you will not fulfill your calling.

The Crooked Man

In the mid-1950s, I was serving as the pastor of a small Pentecostal congregation in the center of London. Three times weekly, we held street meetings at a place called Speakers’ Corner, Marble Arch.

During this period, I had a vivid dream in which I saw a typical street meeting—a circle of people stood and listened to a man in the center of the group. He was preaching with fervor. But as I looked at the man, I did not like what I saw. He was crooked, with a club foot and a hunched back. I said to myself, What he is saying is good, but I do not like the way he looks.

When I woke up, I thought nothing more of the dream until it recurred two weeks later. The repetition made me realize that God was trying to tell me something. I began to pray, describing the scene to the Lord and asking Him to identify the preacher. Who was the man? This question was answered in the same way the prophet Nathan answered David: “Thou art the man” (2 Samuel 12:7, KJV).

The Cross: Our Means of Escape

I realized that God was not criticizing my preaching, but He was looking at me, and He did not approve of what He saw. Meanwhile, I had been saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and could speak in tongues. It was about Easter time, so the image of the three crosses on the hill of Golgotha was vivid in my mind. The middle cross was taller than the other two. As I turned this image over in my mind, the Holy Spirit seemed to talk to me, saying, “About that middle cross—for whom was it made?” And then He said, “Be careful before you answer.” I thought for a moment, then said, “It was made for Barabbas.” He said, “That is right.”

I realized something that had never occurred to me before: the cross was there for Barabbas; it was waiting for him. But at the last moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me, Jesus took the place of Barabbas. “Yes,” I affirmed.

Then it hit me. I was the criminal for whom the cross was made. It was fashioned to my measure. It stood where I deserved to hang. My old man deserved nothing less than the cross, but Jesus took my place. My old man was crucified in Him.

Pressing Upward

I have not become perfect, but I am pressing upward toward the ultimate goal. I am not static or stuck in a rut, nor am I a slave to traditions. I do not care what the world says or thinks—what matters to me is what God thinks. I have been delivered from slavery to the opinions of this world.

Paul said, in effect:

“Through the cross, the world is crucified to me, and I am crucified to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

In other words, when the world looked at Paul, all they saw was a corpse hanging on a cross. When Paul looked at the world, he saw the same thing—a corpse hanging on a cross. That was the value of the world to him; it did not impress him with its wealth, knowledge, or power, all of which are passing away.

Thank God for the cross! If it were not for the cross, we would be slaves forever. The cross is our way to freedom. It is not a pain-free way, but “he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1). We can reach the point where we are so sick of our flesh that it can no longer tempt us to sin.

Our Relationship with Jesus

In the 'Battle of the Ages', in which you and I are engaged, the true church is the great bulwark that protects the world from the Antichrist. But when the false church falls away from the true—when it succumbs to Satan’s deception and breaks faithfulness to God—the bulwark will crumble, opening the way for the Antichrist to be revealed.

Opposition will increase, but those who endure to the end will be saved. God will use the Antichrist’s evil activities to refine the true church and bring forth a pure bride for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Belonging to the true church is not a question of whether we prophesy or speak in tongues or how many Scripture passages we have memorized. Rather, what matters is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Is He the Lord of our lives? Are we completely committed to Him? We prove our membership in the true church when we honor and serve the Lord, taking a stand for Him even in the face of opposition and persecution. We must put aside denominational labels and instead ask ourselves if we will be faithful to Jesus.

We must resist the devil, repent of our sins, and submit to God, thereby thwarting Satan’s dominion. If we love the truth, God will protect us from delusion.

A Closing Prayer

If it is your desire to stay free of deception, and to be victorious in the 'Battle of the Ages', please pray this prayer with me now:

Lord, we commit ourselves to You. We renounce any area in which deception may have gained some ground in our lives. We turn against it and drive it from us, loosening ourselves from its grasp in the name of Jesus.

We embrace the truth that is Jesus, the truth that is the Scriptures, and the truth that is the Holy Spirit. We open our hearts and minds to You, asking You to fill us with Your truth. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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Publication Date: 2024. Code: TL-L157-100-ENG
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