During his years of ministry, Derek Prince wrote this teaching article. In the light of Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee, it gives fresh insights to our calling as Christians to reign with Christ.
This year, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 70 years on the throne. In his teaching on the book of Esther, Derek Prince shares his personal memories of The Queen in her childhood, while also comparing her royal calling to our own destiny as Christians to reign with Christ.
It’s a high calling to be a Queen. As many of you know, I come from a British background. And Britain still has a royal family. I’m neither pro nor against monarchy, that’s not my point. But as a British man, I would like to say that, for many years now, the Royal Family in Britain has been a tremendously stabilising influence in that country. Especially the present Queen has gained the respect and the love of almost all her subjects regardless of political affiliation.
I can remember many years ago when I was at Eton College – and Eton is just across the river Thames from Windsor where the castle is where the Royal Family resides.
Many Sunday afternoons, we Eton boys would go up to Windsor Castle and stand there in front and two little girls in pink dresses would come out and wave to us. That was Elizabeth and Margaret.
At that time, there was no prospect that either of them would become heir to the throne. And then, of course, things happened with Prince Edward and his abdication and all that. And Elizabeth acceded to the throne.
But, even in those days, one got an impression of how they were being groomed for royalty. They were taught everything: how to wave, how to stand, how to smile. Especially with Elizabeth, her whole life was directed toward being able to take a place of royalty.
It’s not a little responsibility to be destined to be a Queen. It affects everything about you from your earliest years. I believe all that should be true of the church.
It’s not a little responsibility that we are destined to reign with Christ and share the throne of the universe with Jesus, our Lord, the bridegroom, throughout eternity. It is a staggering thought.
We will not understand much of what happens in our lives as Christians unless we realise we are already being trained to rule.
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” (1 Cor. 6:2)
God has a double purpose in redeeming us. On the negative side, it is to save us from hell – for which we should be eternally grateful. On the positive side, it is to prepare a people for Himself, who will share the throne with Christ.
Before you read any further, pause for a moment and consider what it means to you personally, as a Christian, that you should be preparing yourself to reign eternally with Christ.
“‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” (Matt. 19:28)
“‘And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces.’’” (Rev. 2:26-27)
For this awesome responsibility of reigning with Christ, we are required to make diligent preparation. It is not enough merely to claim to be 'born again'. The following are some main requirements:
“‘But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” (Luke 22:28-30)
Many people started out as disciples of Jesus, but only twelve continued steadfastly with Him to the end, and they alone were counted worthy to reign with Him over Israel. (Judas Iscariot by his treachery forfeited his right to a throne and it was given to another instead. See Acts 1:15-26.)
“For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.” (2 Tim. 2:11-12a)
If we are to share Christ’s exaltation, we must first share His death and then continue steadfast to the end through many trials.
2. Meekness, Poverty of Spirit
“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matt. 5:3)
“‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’” (Matt. 5:5)
God does not offer His kingdom to those who are arrogant or self-assertive, but only to those who recognise that in themselves they are totally unworthy of such honour. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, declared in her song of triumph:
“‘He [God] raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory.’” (1 Sam. 2:8)
A thousand years later, the Virgin Mary – in an even greater song of triumph – proclaimed the same truth:
“‘He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly.’” (Luke 1:52)
“Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:13-14)
The people whom Christ acknowledged as His own are those whom He has redeemed from every lawless deed and purified for Himself. But there are two sides to this process of purification: one divine, the other human.
In 1 John 3:3 the apostle speaks of our hope of being transformed into Christ’s likeness at His return, but then he adds: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure”. Christ will only purify those who respond by purifying themselves.
Furthermore, God has only one standard of purity: “just as He [Jesus] is pure”. 1 Peter 1:22 tells us how we may purify our souls: by “obeying the truth through the Spirit”, resulting “in sincere love of the brethren”. The purified soul is a soul filled with love.
4. Love of the Truth
It was by deception that Satan enticed Adam and Eve into rebellion against God, and this has been his main weapon against humanity ever since. In Revelation 12:9 he is called “that serpent of old . . . who deceives the whole world”.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 Paul warns that this satanic tactic will find its ultimate expression in the antichrist, who will deceive with lying signs and wonders all those who “did not receive the love of the truth”.
Here, then, is our only protection: to receive the love of the truth. All who refuse this will not merely be deceived by Satan. God Himself will send them strong delusion.
Love of the truth is not mere conformity to a religious code, however 'orthodox' it may be. Nor is it even reading your Bible and having 'a quiet time' every day. It demands a total, unreserved commitment to believe and obey God’s Word – one that rules out all forms of compromise.
In the time of Jesus, many Jews recognized that Jesus was the Messiah, but for fear of the religious authorities they did not acknowledge Him, “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43). That is the essence of compromise. We each need to ask ourselves: which means more to me – God’s approval . . . or man’s?
In Proverbs 23:23 Solomon counsels, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it”. Truth is not cheaply obtained. It demands much time given to prayer and study of the Scriptures, followed by practical application in our daily lives. It must take priority over the many forms of cheap entertainment offered by our secular culture. It is a lifetime commitment.
We are also warned not to sell the truth. We can be tempted to purchase popularity at the price of truth by leaving out the 'hard sayings' of Jesus and presenting a gospel that demands no sacrifice but promises an easy way through life. Yet this belies the warning of Jesus: “‘Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it’” (Matt. 7:14).
If you are serious in your desire to share Christ’s kingdom with Him, let me suggest that you read and reflect on the Scriptures quoted, and consider how each one applies to your life. If the Holy Spirit shows you areas in which you fall short, ask for His help to make the changes that are needed. In this way you can make this a year of growth and fulfilment.
We trust this study article by Derek Prince has encouraged you. We also invite you to pray with us for Queen Elizabeth. She actually started her reign with a request for prayer: “Pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life’.
Years later, she referred back to that moment, saying: “In my first Christmas broadcast in 1952, I asked the people of the Commonwealth and Empire to pray for me as I prepared to dedicate myself to their service at my Coronation. I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for His steadfast love. I have indeed seen His faithfulness.”
Let us continue to pray for wisdom and strength for Her Majesty, giving thanks for her life of witness and service, using words from Psalm 72 and 1 Timothy 2:1-3:
Endow our Queen with your justice and your righteousness, O God,
May she judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.
May she defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy.
May we live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
May people ever pray for her and bless her all day long.
Praise be to the LORD God, who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
One of the most basic mandates for the Christian is to pray 'for kings and all who are in authority.' Now, perhaps more than ever before, we need to renew this commitment.
Prayer and fasting, rightly practised, enable you to take your place with Christ on the throne.
Most Christians do not realise their value in God's eyes. This is not humility, but poor self-esteem. It is only when you know your value that you can exercise humility.
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