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The Nature of Witchcraft (Part 2)

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Part 7 of 20: The Enemies We Face

By Derek Prince

You're listening to a Derek Prince Legacy Radio podcast.


Today we look at the first of three aspects of witchcraft and its working within the church. The operation of witchcraft as a work of the flesh has three key action words. It seeks to manipulate, intimidate, and dominate. Derek begins by giving examples of how these work in everyday life.

The Enemies We Face


Now I want to give you a little picture of what witchcraft is like. This is something that God has given me when I took what I think I could call a post-graduate course in. I didn’t apply for it. I just got enrolled. Ruth and I got enrolled together. As a matter of fact, I’ll tell you briefly how it happened. We were in a conference in the center of the United States in 1979 just about a year after we married, less than a year, and it was a family conference. And the theme essentially was dealing with family relationships and so on. But in the middle a young man stood up. I don’t think I ever met him and I don’t know who he was, but he gave a tremendously powerful prophecy which was fortunately recorded on tape so that I have seen the written version. And in this prophecy God said that all that He had been doing against witchcraft up to that time was merely preliminary skirmishes. But from that point onwards, 1979, He was declaring total war on witchcraft. And He said the reason is this, “because witchcraft has millions of men bound who I need in my end time army.” And then He also told us something else which we didn’t really understand at that time. He said, “If you will join Me in this war... (and we understood that He was calling us to join Him, and we did), He said,  you will encounter people who are under curses that have been passed down through families from generation to generation. But you do not need to be afraid, you will be able to release them.” Now at that time that was just a statement to Ruth and me. But in the subsequent period, we have encountered thousands of people under curses passed down through families and God has given us, by His grace, the ability to release them. This confirms to me that this prophecy was from God, because it contained a prediction which we did not know anything about, which has been absolutely fulfilled.

So that is how I have come to know something about witchcraft. As a matter of fact, I had gotten involved somewhat earlier in brief encounters with witchcraft. At a certain point I think I could say I was a kind of pioneer in the ministry of deliverance. And I was a very controversial figure at that time. Some people loved me and some people hated me, but very few people were indifferent. And a lot of the cases that I dealt with, the person who needed deliverance had a spirit of witchcraft.

Now I was a pretty orthodox Pentecostal at that time, and I am still a Pentecostal, but maybe not quite so orthodox, and the people that needed deliverance were somebody like, you know, the pastor’s daughter or the deacon’s wife or the church soloist. I mean the last people who ought to have needed deliverance. And I really became concerned about this. I said, “God, I do hope I’m not getting into something that’s not right. So please,” I said, “would You tell me what is witchcraft?” And I believe this is the answer He gave me: “Witchcraft is the attempt to control people and make them do what you want by the use of any spirit which is not the Holy Spirit.” And then He said, as a kind of corollary: “If any person has a spirit which he or she uses, it is not the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is God and no one uses God.” I’ll say that first part again: Witchcraft in its essence is the attempt to control people and make them do what you want by the use of any spirit which is not the Holy Spirit.

And when my eyes were open to that I saw why the church was full of witchcraft, because there are a lot of people who feel they want people to do something and they use any means they can do to get them to do it. Most of them don’t realize what they are doing.

Now I want to take three aspects of witchcraft. First of all, as a work of the flesh, which many people don’t realize; second, as an evil spiritual power; and thirdly, the working of witchcraft within the church.

Let us take it, first of all, as a work of the flesh. Turn to the list of the works of the flesh in Galatians chapter 5, verses 19 and 20. Now I want to say that in various translations different words are used. Some translations say witchcraft, some say sorcery, and so on. In just a little while I’ll give you a delineation of the three main branches of witchcraft; that’s witchcraft, divination and sorcery. But you will find here in this passage some translations say witchcraft, some say sorcery. Let me say they are really just different names for the same power. So Paul says in verse 19 of Galatians 5:

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery... [but the old King James says ‘witchcraft’]”

So there right in the middle of the list of the works of the flesh are idolatry and witchcraft. That is, they are the expression of man’s carnal fallen nature and I say that’s the way the flesh, the fallen human nature, is. We in our fallen nature desire to control people. We desire to get people to do what we want and very often we use illegitimate means to get that.

Now this kind of operation, I say, has three key words and I want you to listen carefully, because wherever you encounter these operations, you are encountering witchcraft. And it may be you have never realized it up till now. The three key words are manipulate, intimidate and dominate. Now the end purpose is dominate, control people, make them do what you want. There are two alternative routes: and it depends on the situation and the purpose which route a person will follow. But whether they use manipulation or whether they use intimidation, the end purpose is control, it’s domination.

Now in the natural—we’re not talking about anything supernatural yet—in the natural, witchcraft, as a work of the flesh, operates really in every area of society. Some of you are going to go out of here and you are going to see things in a very different light. I hope the first thing you’ll do is to look in the mirror before you point out your husband or your wife or your grandmother or your mother-in-law, whoever it may be, just check on yourself. Okay?

Let me give you a few examples. For instance, in the family life. Now, whether people like it or not, God has ordained a certain order in the family. The husband is the head of the wife. People can stand the family up on its head, but God hasn’t changed the order. And beneath the authority of husband and wife there are children who are, in God’s order, subject to the authority of their parents. Now, what witchcraft will do is use either manipulation or intimidation to set aside the divine authorized order.

Let’s take children first. Children are master-manipulators. You don’t have to be old. A child of five can be a master-manipulator. All right. Suppose mother has guests to tea or coffee, depending on the social situation. And there are biscuits or cookies, depending on your vocabulary. And the little child of five knows that Mamma does not want her to have cookies, biscuits. But she knows that when guests are there, it is very difficult for Mother to say no. So when the guests are there, she comes in and says, “Mamma, may I have a cookie?” And you know, what is the mother going to do? Well, she probably gives way. She has been manipulated.

Years and years ago my first wife and I lived next to a Pentecostal family—father, mother and I think the daughter was about three years old. Now in those days people used to go grocery shopping on Saturday night. So when they dressed up to go out grocery shopping on Saturday night, the little girl was a little angel, you see; she toddled along happily. When they wanted to go to the Sunday school on Sunday morning, that little creature would lie on its back and scream with her legs in the air to prevent the parents getting to the place where they needed to be. Now that little girl did not reason, but there was a force in her that had no objection to the parents going to the grocery store but strongly rejected the parents going to the place where they could hear the Word of God.

So you begin to work that out. A fellow preacher of mine said: A little baby of six weeks is in its cot and it is wet and it needs to have its diaper or its nappie changed. So it cries. Along comes mother, picks up the little baby, changes it and then cuddles it, which of course the baby loves. Well, next time the baby wants to be cuddled, it cries, even when its nappy is not wet. You see, what’s that? Manipulation. You see, this is something natural to fallen man.

It’s not only children, it can be mothers and fathers. Now the normal way for a woman to operate is manipulation. The possible way for a father to operate is intimidation. But each of them has the same aim: control the other. So if the wife does not get her way, she throws a tearful fit, burns the food and makes her husband’s life miserable. So in the end, what does he do? He gives way. Or it is the husband. Now, there’s many different ways it can happen, but the husband may be a brute. He may be a strong man with a bad temper. And if he does not get his way, he shouts and becomes violent and threatens. And the whole family tiptoes around. The one thing they want to avoid is another fit of temper by Daddy. What is he doing? He is intimidating them. What is his aim? To get his way.

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