According to the late bible teacher, Derek Prince, death and hades are persons. Below are excerpts from the book The Spirit-filled Believer’s Handbook.
Just what is the true nature of Death and Hades as revealed in the New Testament? John’s famous vision of the four horsemen sheds light on this question. Concerning the fourth horseman, John says:
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him (Rev. 6:8).
It is obvious from this account that both Death and Hades were revealed to John as being persons. Only a person could sit on a horse, and only another person could follow along with this first one. This passage therefore casts light on the nature of Death and Hades as revealed in the Scriptures.
In one sense death is a state or condition. It is the cessation of life, the experience which results in the separation of the spirit from the body. However, Death is also a person. Death is the dark angel, the minister of Satan who claims the spirit of every unrighteous person that is separated from his body when he dies.
A similar truth applies also to Hades. In one sense Hades is a place of confinement for departed spirits. In another sense, however, Hades is a person. Hades, like Death, is a dark angel, a minister of Satan, following close upon the heels of Death. Hades takes charge of the spirits of the unrighteous which have been claimed by Death and conducts them to the realm of departed spirits from which he receives his name – that is, Hades.
Thus Death and Hades are both dark angels, ministers of Satan’s infernal kingdom. But the difference between them is this: Death first claims the departing spirits of all who die in unrighteousness; Hades receives them from Death and conducts them to their appointed place of imprisonment. For this reason John saw them moving among men in that order: first Death, claiming the departing spirits, then Hades, taking them to their prison in the lower world.
This scene from Revelation casts light on the words of Jesus.
Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death (John 8:51). ·
Jesus does not say here that the believer will not experience physical death. He says that the believer will not “see death.” He is not referring to the physical condition of death which results from the separation of the spirit from the body. When He speaks of “seeing death,” He is referring to the person of the dark angel whose name is Death, and to the other dark angel, his companion, whose name is Hades.
Jesus means that the spirit of the true believer, on departing from the body, will never come under the dominion of these two dark angels, Death and Hades. Rather, like the poor beggar Lazarus, the departing spirit of the true believer will be met by God’s angels – the angels of light – and by them be escorted to Paradise.
With this in mind, too, we can understand Paul’s statement that “the last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26); and also John’s statement that “then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14).
In each of these passages the primary reference is to Death and Hades as persons, as dark angels, ministers of Satan and enemies of God and the human race. The last of all God’s enemies to receive the judgment due him will be Death. Together with Hades he will be cast into the lake of fire, there to join their master, Satan, and all the rest of Satan’s servants and followers both angelic and human.
By this final act of judgment, the last of God’s enemies will forever have been banished from His presence.
Have you received partial deliverance but not complete healing of your sickness. According to the late bible teacher, Derek Prince, this is what you should do. Below are excerpts from the book The Spirit-filled Believer’s Handbook.
It quite often happens that a sick person who is ministered to by the laying on of hands receives a measure of deliverance but not complete healing. The reason for this usually is that the sick person did not exercise active faith for a long enough period of time to allow the process of healing to be completed. When the person’s faith ceases to be active, the process of healing is then arrested.
For this reason it is important to give scriptural instruction to those seeking healing through laying on of hands and to warn them in advance of the necessity of holding out in active faith until the process of healing is complete.
Experience has convinced me that in every case where genuine faith is exercised by laying hands on the sick in the name of Jesus, the process of healing begins to operate. However, if the sick person then loses faith, the healing may be either completely lost or at best never fully consummated.
There are two main ways in which a sick person may exercise active faith after hands have been laid upon him for healing. The first is by thanking God continually for the measure of healing already received. The other is by maintaining a consistent testimony of faith in the truth of God’s Word – even in the face of negative symptoms.
At this point, there is a delicate balance between faith and realism. If a person continues to experience obvious symptoms of sickness even after the laying on of hands, it is unrealistic to pretend that the symptoms are no longer there or to claim that complete healing has taken place. It is better to acknowledge the symptoms but to focus on the Word of God.
Such a person may say, “I recognize that I still have symptoms of sickness, but I believe that God’s healing has been released within my body through my obedience to His Word, and I trust Him to complete what He has begun.”
It is also perfectly reasonable for such a person to ask for continuing prayer.
There are thousands of people, alive and well today, who have received healing through these scriptural means.
Outer darkness and hell are real places.
Matthew 25:30 (NIV) warns us that outer darkness is reserved for servants who are worthless:
“And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
In March this year, this Christian man experienced outer darkness and hell. He shares his terrifying experience in this video:
Many Christians struggle with the question of whether it is alright for them to see a doctor when they are sick. Below are excerpts from the book The Spirit-filled Believer’s Handbook, where the late bible teacher, Derek Prince, provided helpful counsel on this subject:
First, God expects every sick Christian to seek Him first, for healing through faith and by spiritual means. This does not mean it is necessarily unscriptural for a Christian who is sick to seek the advice or help of a medical doctor. But it is absolutely contrary to Scripture for any professing Christian who is sick to seek for human medical aid without first seeking for divine help from God Himself, through the appointed leaders of the church.
Today the great majority of professing Christians who fall sick automatically call for their doctor without giving any thought to seeking help from God or from the leaders of the church. All Christians who do this are guilty of direct disobedience against the ordinances of God as set forth in the New Testament. For the Scripture says plainly, without any qualification: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church …. ” In the face of this, any Christian who falls sick and calls for the doctor, without calling for the elders of the church, is guilty of open disobedience.
The implications of this act are plain enough if we pause to consider them. It amounts to saying to God: “God, I do· not need You. I do not really believe You can help me or heal me. I am content to accept the best that man can do for me without seeking You for guidance or help.” This prevailing attitude among professing Christians is one main reason why so much sickness also prevails among them.
For the most part, Christians today have simply set aside the claims of God to heal the body and have closed the doors of their homes and churches against Christ the healer.
The second important lesson contained in this passage from the epistle of James is that God expects all Christians to associate themselves with a church and that the leaders of this church shall be ready to minister in faith, according to the Scripture, to the physical needs of their church members.
The phrase “let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14) carries both these implications: 1) that every Christian shall be associated with a church in such a way that its leaders both know him and are known to him; 2) that these leaders shall be ready to minister physical healing to their members in faith, according to the ordinances appointed by God for the church.
There is considerable debate among Christians whether spiritual manifestations, like uncontrollable screaming, shouting or shaking, are from God. In his book The Spirit-Filled Believers’s Handbook, bible teacher Derek Prince weights in on this subject
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints (1 Cor. 14:32-33).
In other words, any spiritual evidence that is directed and by God will produce peace and harmony, not confusion and disorder.
Any person responsible for an evidence that leads to confusion or disorder cannot excuse himself by saying, “I couldn’t help myself! The Holy Spirit made me do it.” Paul rules out this line of defense by “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” In other the Holy Spirit never overrides the will of the individual believer and compels him to do something against his own will.
Even when a believer is exercising a spiritual gift, his spirit and his will still remain under his control. He is free to exercise that gift or to exercise it. The responsibility for exercising it remains with him. As we have said earlier in this study, the Holy Spirit never plays the part of a dictator in the life of a believer.
This is one of the main features which distinguish genuine manifestations of the Holy Spirit from the phenomena of spiritism or demon possession. In many phases of spiritism or demon possession the person who plays the part of the medium (or other vessel of satanic power) is obliged to yield complete control of his whole will and personality to the spirit which seeks to possess him or to operate through him. Very often such a person is then obliged to say or to do things which of his own free will he would never have agreed to say or do.
In some phases of spiritism the person who comes under the control of the spirit loses all understanding or consciousness of what he is saying or doing. At the end of such an experience, the possessed person come to himself again in entirely strange surroundings after a lapse of many hours, without any knowledge or recollection of what has happened in the intervening period. In this way, both the will and the understanding of the demon-possessed person are entirely set aside.
God the Holy Spirit never acts in this way with the true believer in Christ. Among the most precious of all the endowments which God has bestowed upon man are will and personality. Consequently, God never usurps the will or the personality of the believer. He will operate through them if He ls permitted to do so, but He will never set them aside. Satan makes slaves; God makes sons.
We see, then, how wrong and unscriptural it is for Spirit-baptized believers to say concerning any spiritual manifestation: “I couldn’t help it! The Holy Spirit made me do it.” To speak like this is to represent the indwelling Spirit of God as some kind of despot and the believer as a slave in bondage. Believers who speak like this have not yet come to understand their privileges and responsibilities as sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage [slavery] again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15-16).
We are thus brought face-to-face with an important principle which holds good in all human affairs whether political or spiritual: True liberty is impossible without good government. The kind of liberty which seeks to set aside all government or control of any kind ends only in anarchy and confusion. The final result is a new form of slavery, far more severe than the previous form of government which was set aside.
We have seen this happen time after time in the political history of the human race, and the same principle applies equally in the spiritual life of the Christian church. True spiritual liberty is possible only where there is spiritual government. The government which God has appointed for the church is that of the Holy Spirit.
We come back then to the statement of Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:17:
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
If we desire to enjoy the Spirit’s liberty, we must first acknowledge the Spirit’s lordship. These two operations of the Holy Spirit can never be separated from each other.
We must also bear in mind another important fact about the Holy Spirit which we established earlier in this study. The Holy Spirit is both the author and the interpreter of the Scriptures. This means that the Holy Spirit will never direct a believer to say or do anything contrary to Scriptures. If the Holy Spirit were ever to do this, He would be illogical and inconsistent with Himself, and this we know is impossible.
But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us – by me, Silvanus, and Timothy – was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes (2 Cor. 1: 18-19).
Paul is saying that God is never inconsistent with Himself. Concerning any particular matter of doctrine or practice, God never says yes at one time and no at another. If God has ever said yes, then His answer always remains yes. He never changes to no later on. He is never changeable or inconsistent with Himself.
This applies to the relationship between the teaching of Scripture on the one hand and utterances and manifestations of the Holy Spirit on the other. The Holy Spirit, being Himself the author of Scripture, always agrees with Scripture. There is never a possibility of yes and no. Wherever the Bible says no, the Holy Spirit says no. No utterance or manifestation that is inspired and controlled by the Holy Spirit will ever contrary to the teachings and examples of Scripture.
However, as we have already emphasized, the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is not a dictator. He does not compel the believer always to act in a scriptural way. The Holy Spirit serves as interpreter and counselor. He interprets the Scripture; He offers direction and counsel. But the believer still remains free to accept or to reject the Holy Spirit’s counsel – to obey or to disobey.
This imposes a tremendous responsibility upon every Spirit-baptized believer. Every such believer is responsible to acquaint himself personally with the mind of the Holy Spirit as revealed in the Scriptures and then to direct his own conduct and behavior in regard to the exercise of spiritual gifts or manifestations – as in all other matters – so that these harmonize with the principles and examples of Scripture.
If through laziness, indifference or disobedience a Spirit-baptized believer fails to do this and, as a result, exercises spiritual gifts or manifestations in a foolish, unscriptural way, the responsibility for this rests solely upon the believer himself, not upon the Holy Spirit.
In this connection, a special responsibility rests upon every minister called by God to lead the worship and service of a Spirit-baptized congregation. Not only must such a man direct his own spiritual ministry in line with the teaching of Scripture, but he must also allow himself to be, in God’s hand, an instrument to direct the worship and ministry of the whole congregation in accordance with the same scriptural principles.
To do this successfully requires, in a high degree, special qualifications: first of all, a thorough, practical knowledge of the Scriptures, and then wisdom, authority and courage. Where these qualities are lacking in the leadership, a congregation that seeks to exercise spiritual gifts and manifestations will be like a ship at sea in the midst of powerful winds and treacherous shoals with an ill-trained and inexperienced captain in charge. Small wonder if the end is a wreck!
I have now been associated with full-gospel ministry for more than fifty years. During those years I have observed two things which have done more than anything else to hinder the acceptance of the testimony of the full gospel. The first is the failure to exercise proper control over the public manifestation of spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of tongues; the second is strife and division among Spirit-baptized believers, both among members of the same congregation and between one congregation and another. Each of these has its origin in one and the same error: the failure to acknowledge the effective lordship of the Holy Spirit.