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Tape No. I-4210Page
Witchcraft Obscures the Cross
We’re going to begin again this morning with a little review. I trust that won’t shock you, or surprise you, or take you aback. We’re going to review some of the basic material that we covered. I don’t imagine that all of you as yet appreciate what you’ve received because you have to discover in experience what it means to have these truths imprinted on your hearts and in your minds. But I got a little letter of testimony yesterday from one of the ladies here on Monday, that’s the first day we began this, in the evening about 5:00 o’clock. She said her little son of about five fell headlong onto a concrete walkway and she really felt that he had suffered some quite severe injury. But before she could think or do anything, she rushed up to him, picked him up in her arms and began to thank Jesus that Jesus had borne his pains and taken his sicknesses, and with his wounds the little boy was healed. And the result was really a miraculous healing.
Now I tell you that story so that you’ll realize how important it is to have these truths inside you. It’s no good when your little son is injured to go looking for a concordance and thumbing through the pages to find out where the passages are. You have to have it inside you. That’s why we are somewhat repetitive. I don’t apologize for it, it’s to imprint these truths deep in your heart.
So we’ll begin now, and this is a test for me as well as you, by going through the ten aspects of the exchange; the evil on the left hand, the good on the right hand. Now I’m not looking at my outline and it could be that I’ll need your help. It may be that you’ll need my help or some of us will need to help one another. Are you ready? The first one was:
He was punished that we might be forgiven.
He was wounded that we might be healed.
He was made sin with our sinfulness
that we might be made righteous with his righteousness.
He died our death that we might share his life.
He was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.
He endured our poverty that we might share his abundance.
He bore our shame that we might share his glory.
He endured our rejection that we might have his acceptance.
He was cut off that we might be joined to God.
And, our old man was executed in him
that the new man might live in us.
Then I pointed out that there are four simple steps to appropriating what the Bible calls salvation. Salvation is everything that was provided by God through the death of Jesus. So see if you can remember what the first step is? Repent, that’s right. The second one is believe. The third one, confess. And the fourth one, act. Okay. That’s good. Just be sure you hold on to that.
Now I’m just going to remind you of what we dealt with mainly yesterday which was what the cross did to Satan. And we saw from the scripture that through the cross God inflicted a total, eternal and irreversible defeat on Satan. There is no way that Satan can ever undo that defeat. Jesus went into the strongman’s castle, defeated him and then took away his weapons and released his captives. So not merely did God defeat Satan but he also stripped him of his weapons. That’s tremendously important.
Furthermore we saw that God gave us the spiritual weapons with which we can administer the victory of Jesus over Satan. I see it this way: Jesus won the victory, it’s up to us to administer the victory. Right at the end of his earthly ministry in Matthew 28 he said to his disciples, “All authority is given to me in heaven and in earth.” And then he said, “Go ye therefore...” My understanding is, “I’ve gained the authority, it’s up to you to administer my authority in my name.” So the victory has been won but its outworking is our responsibility.
Now suppose for a moment that you were in the position of Satan. You had endured this terrible defeat. What made it all the more terrible was you thought you had won a total victory. You put the Son of God to death and you thought, “That’s finished.” Then on the third day the whole thing was totally reversed; he came out of the grave and you began to realize that all your pride, your power, your arrogance and your wickedness had been defeated. And the weapons of victory are now in the hands of the people you hate and the people you want to destroy.
Suppose you were in that position but you didn’t want to give up. You’re stubborn, rebellious, you never bow willingly before God—what would you do? What would be a way out? My suggestion which I believe is scriptural is, Satan determined that since he’d lost the battle and the weapons were now in the hands of God’s people, the only thing he could do was blind their eyes to the defeat that he had suffered and keep them from using the weapons. I believe that’s precisely what the Bible says that he did do.
I want to turn now to Galatians 3 and you’ll find this outline at the bottom of Page 3. This is a passage which over the last two or three years has become extraordinarily meaningful to me. I read this passage many, many times for many years and just said, you know, well, so... Then gradually it began to take on a very significant, personal application. Not just for me but for the church of God. So I’m going to read Galatians 3:1.
“O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you, as crucified?”
Now some of you have got a modern version which has less words in it. Don’t let that confuse you. Do you understand? There are many different texts of the New Testament and they’re not all in precise agreement. And it’s the responsibility of scholars to determine which are probably the most reliable texts. And so, the version that I read is based on one text, the version that you have in the NASV or the NIV or maybe others is based on an alternative text. There is on significant difference in the meaning. I think I prefer to deal with the shorter version because I think it brings the issues out more clearly. The shorter version goes like this:
“O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed, as crucified?”
Now, you can read that and really not be surprised at it. But it’s a very surprising statement. Paul is writing to Christians. Christians who were born again, who were baptized in the Spirit and who experienced the gifts of the Spirit and the miracles of the Spirit.
Just to prove that to you, let’s read the next few verses. We’re going on in Galatians 3:2.
“This only I want to learn from you, did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
So he says you’ve received the Spirit. That means in New Testament terminology that they had been baptized in the Spirit. Verse 3:
“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain, if indeed it was in vain? Therefore, he who supplies the Spirit to you, and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
Not merely had they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they also had miracles being performed amongst them. And yet, Paul said they were bewitched.
I think this is absolutely outside the thinking of most contemporary Christians. Now God has led me through a process of experience and time to a place where I think I understand at least in some measure what this is about. I’ll go back a little in my personal experience because I learned a very vital lesson on which my survival depended.
In l963, the first year I was in the States, toward the end of the year I was invited to become pastor of a Pentecostal congregation in Seattle, Washington. I was very naive in those days, I didn’t know a lot of things that go on in American church life. The invitation said that all twelve members of the Board had agreed unanimously to invite me. So my first wife and I took the journey from Minneapolis where we were, out to Seattle. When we arrived there I discovered that the twelve members of the board were the only people left in the church! Furthermore, after one month all of them had resigned except one. And my first wife, Lydia, and I found ourselves in a very extraordinary situation. The congregation that met numbered 200 or 250 people. They were good people, they were very good Pentecostals. They were baptized in the Spirit, they wanted to do right, they were not backsliders, they were not wicked, they were very respectful toward me. But it was like they were dazed. It didn’t matter what I did, there was no real response. It was a baffling situation.
My first wife was a tremendous woman of prayer and together we prayed. I said, “God, you’ve got to show me what’s wrong with these people.” He very clearly directed me to Galatians 3:1. “Who has bewitched you...” That staggered my theology. I thought, Pentecostals? Speaking in tongues, baptized in water, bewitched? But I investigated and I discovered who had bewitched them.
Now this is an unusual story, I’m not suggesting it’s typical. The wife of the previous pastor had fallen in love with one of the Board members and he had fallen in love with her. They engineered a scheme by which the pastor’s wife divorced the pastor. The Board member divorced his wife and the pastor’s wife married the Board member. Her former husband moved off the scene, he became a backslider. She became in effect the pastor of the church—until I came. I just have to say she controlled those people just with her eyes.
They told me afterwards every time there was an issue in the church she’d say, “Now, how many of you are for me, put your hand up.” And anybody that didn’t raise his hand got one of these awful, penetrating stares. And she really had them, I would say, mesmerized if I could think of a word.
Well, once we saw the problem we knew what to pray about. We prayed through, God broke through and some very wonderful things happened in that congregation.
But that made it very real to me in personal experience that when Paul said, “Who has bewitched you?” he wasn’t using a figure of speech. He was talking about spiritual reality. Interestingly enough, the Greek word that’s used means “to smite with the eye.”
And some years later a Greek Orthodox priest who had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit came to consult me personally and I said, “What’s your problem?” He said, “Somebody has put the evil eye on me.” And he gave me the Greek word which was ?vaskania? which is precisely the noun from the verb that Paul uses here. Somebody had smitten him with the eye. I don’t know whether I was able to help him because I really was somewhat out of my depth still at that time.
I just want to introduce this this way in order to show you that we’re not dealing with some abstract figure of speech.
Now, what was the result of their being bewitched? It’s very clear when you see it, it’s there in verse 1. They had lost the vision of Jesus crucified. “Who has bewitched you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed crucified?” What had witchcraft done? It had obscured the cross. Why does Satan want to obscure the cross? Because that’s where he was defeated. That’s the basis of his defeat and the church’s victory. But once he can obscure the cross he gets back in control and the church loses the victory.
What are the results in the experience of these people of witchcraft? What was the evidence? How did Paul understand that they were bewitched? You’ll find it in the next few verses. I would describe it by two words: legalism and carnality.
My wife has been reading a book by George ?Verwer? who’s the founder of Operation Mobilization. She just read to me a sentence in which he wrote that he found the greatest single stumbling block for new converts in the church was legalism. I would be inclined to agree with that. I think probably the greatest single problem in the western church is legalism.
The other thing that went with it was trusting in the flesh. Verse 3:
“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”
You understand that legalism is an expression of carnality. It’s an expression of relying on the flesh. It’s very deceptive because it seems so good and so religious. But every time you go back to trying to justify yourself by keeping a set of rules, you’re back in the flesh. The law and the flesh are married to one another. Through the death of Jesus our old man died that we might be delivered from the law and married to the resurrected Christ. We saw that yesterday. But if we once lose sight of the cross, almost inevitably we’ll go back to legalism.
There are only two possible forms of religion. One is grace received through faith. The other is do it yourself work. And if you don’t have one you do have the other if you have any religion at all. There are no other versions of religion but that.
And legalism produces bondage or slavery. It brings people back into slavery. It also brings people under a curse. Going on in Galatians 3, beginning at verse 10:
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
You see, if you once seek to be justified by the law, you have to keep the whole law all the time and if you don’t, you’re under a curse.
“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident, for the just shall live by faith.”
There are two ways. You can live by law, you can live by faith. They’re mutually exclusive. We saw that yesterday. Paul said, “sin shall not have dominion over you for you’re not under law but under grace.” Going on, verse 12:
“And the law is not of faith: but the man who does them shall live in them.”
You don’t need faith if you’re doing the right thing all the time and keeping every correct requirement of the law, faith is not necessary. Verse 15:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.”
You understand what Paul is saying? If you lose the vision of the cross you go back into legalism, you trust in the flesh, you come under a curse.
There’s a scripture in Jeremiah which says it so succinctly. Keep your finger in Galatians, we’ll be back. Jeremiah 17:5:
“Thus saith the Lord, Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength [or his arm], and his heart departs from the Lord.”
That’s legalism. It’s speaking to people who have known the grace of God but then they go back to trusting in their own fleshly ability. As a result their heart departs from the Lord, they come under a curse.
Now I try not to exaggerate. I ask you to consider what I say. But my observation is that describes the majority of professing Christian churches in the United States. They are under a curse. They have known the supernatural grace of God but they’ve gone back to trusting in their own ability, their own organization, their own efforts, their own plans, their heart is departed from the Lord and they’re under a curse. I sometimes observe that if you walk through the door of a church which has the name “grace” over it, they’re probably the ones that know least about the grace of God.
Now this must not be interpreted as applying to everybody. Basically you can be pretty sure they’re very legalistic. But they’ve got their own set of rules, you understand. They’ve thrown Moses out of the window but they’ve made their own rules. The Baptists have one set of rules, the Pentecostals have another and other groups have others. Basically most of those people think that they’ve got to keep those rules to stay right with God. Is that right? We don’t smoke, we don’t drink, we don’t do this, we don’t do that. Now I’m not recommending smoking or drinking, but the fact that you don’t smoke or drink doesn’t make your righteous with God. There’s only one way to be made righteous with God and that is by what? Faith.
Let me just point out something else about the law and again we’ll probably be back in Galatians, we’re probably going to have a lot of visits to Galatians in the next few hours. Turn to Hebrews 9:9–10. It’s talking about the tabernacle of Moses and the different compartments. The writer of Hebrews says:
“It [that’s the tabernacle and its ordinances] was symbolic for the present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience.”
He’s talking about the gifts, sacrifices, regulations and ordinances of the law. And then he says in verse 10:
“Which were concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances, imposed until the time of reformation.”
What he’s saying is none of those things change a person inside. They’re all carnal. The regulations of the law about what you might eat, the clothes you might wear—if you were in the priesthood you had to have a perfectly whole body, you could not have one eye blind, or a crooked nose, or a bent finger. They’re all carnal regulations. They concerned the flesh. That’s the nature of the law. So when you go under legalism you go back into the flesh. You become carnal.
I don’t in any way want to be cynical but at the same time let me point out to you that probably the people who fight most in the Christian church are the legalists. When you get into a battle between legalists, you’d better walk out because there will be corpses. That’s carnality. Religious carnality sounds very good, people are very proud of it but it is not the Holy Spirit, it’s not the life of faith, it is not grace. They are deceived. They’re very sincere, many of them, but sincerely wrong. How are they deceived, who deceived them? Satan. By what? By witchcraft.
Now we’re going to make a little study of the nature of witchcraft. Please note I’m not primarily talking about old ladies riding around on broomsticks. Or even about Halloween, although that is a celebration of witchcraft which should have no place whatever in the church. But let me say I’m talking about something that affects the life of the Christian church. It’s very much in the church.
There are three main English words that we use for this whole area: witchcraft, divination and sorcery. In various Bible translations they tend to be used interchangeably. That’s where one translation says witchcraft, one says divination and another says sorcery. I don’t want to get involved in the details of translation. I want to point out the essential nature of each and then give you the overall picture.
Witchcraft is really a form of Satanic power. It’s a way by the use of Satan’s power of imposing your will and enforcing things on people which they wouldn’t want. And it operates maybe mainly by curses and spells. I mean, there are many other types or words that could be used.
Divination is essentially fortune telling, predicting the future. It also includes telling people where to find lost objects and where the man is who may have been murdered, all that.
Sorcery operates through things. The essence of sorcery is finding things that you can use to release the power of Satan like charms, amulets, potions [things to drink], drugs. The whole modern drug culture is sorcery. One more thing, music. If you’ve been in Africa for any length of time you’ve seen all that with the witch doctors. It’s not new, it’s gone by way of South America I understand, and come to the United States and the rest of the “civilized” world. But there’s nothing new about that. It’s as old as witch doctors. The essence of the witch doctor’s craft is to know what potion to give somebody to make somebody else love them, to make a man fall in love with a woman or a woman to fall in love with a man. Or how to get your enemy out of the way by poisoning his food surreptitiously. Don’t tell me it isn’t real, I just don’t want you to imagine that.
Listen, I’ll tell you a story. I don’t like to advertise Satan but this was told me firsthand by a missionary in Zambia. He said there were two elders in an African church and the one elder was jealous of the other. He couldn’t get on with him so he went to the witch doctor and said, “I want you to put a hex—you know what a hex is? A spell. The word hex is the Scandinavian word for witch. To put a spell on this other elder. So the witch doctor said to him, “Bring me a mirror.” And he brought him a mirror. Then he went out in the bush, got some soil and other things together, smeared them together, covered it over. Then he said to the elder, “Now, wipe the mirror clean.” And when he did, to his astonishment the mirror showed the picture of the man that he had asked the witch doctor to deal with. So he said, “Now I’m going to break the mirror.” He broke it in two and the other elder died. Now that is a true story that happened within the last decade.
Don’t go to places like Africa and say that Satan has no power because they love it. They know full well he has power. They’ve cultivated his power for centuries. What you have to tell them is there is somebody who has more power than Satan. That’s the message that they need.
That, I would call witchcraft. That’s by curses and spells.
Fortune telling is another way that Satan drags people into his net. There’s a tremendous desire to know the future in most people. It absolutely permeates contemporary Israeli society because of the tensions they live under. And the occult flourishes in contemporary Israel.
Now we’re not going to give a study in all that but I just want to say that for purposes of communication, we’ll use witchcraft when we’re talking about this whole area of the Satanic occult. If you want one contemporary word, that’s it. The occult is all of that.
I want to explain to you how witchcraft operates. I don’t like to spend time dealing with Satan’s activities but it is absolutely vitally important that we know what we’re dealing with. God has led me into this truth stage by stage. I find that often when I’m dealing with problems it’s like dealing with a tree that you want to cut down. You start with the twigs and then you get to the smaller branches. Then you get to the main boughs. Then you get to the trunk and after that there’s only one more thing to get to and that’s the roots. When you’ve got the roots, you’ve dealt with the tree.
So it was when God thrust me into the ministry of deliverance from evil spirits. I began by getting people delivered from things like addiction to nicotine and things like that. But I came to see that’s really just the small branches. Let me say this about an addiction. I think without exception, an addition is a branch that grows on a frustration. So you don’t solve the person’s problem if you merely deal with the addiction.
To take an example, you’ve got two wives, each of whom has a husband who runs around with other women, spends more than he earns and gives no respect to his wife. So the first woman is an Episcopalian, she’s got to find an outlet for her frustration so she goes to the cocktail cabinet, she becomes an alcoholic. The second wife is Church of God. Now for her to get to a cocktail cabinet would be a Sabbath day’s journey! Where does she go? To the refrigerator, that’s right. What does she dip into? Ice cream. She becomes a food-aholic, just as much enslaved by ice cream and things like that as the other woman is by alcohol.
Now, you’re not going to solve the problems of either of those women properly if you deal merely with their addictions. What you’ve got to deal with is the problem of the husband. You’ve got to teach them to forgive their husband, to lay down bitterness and resentment because frustration is the branch that supports the addiction.
How many people do you know who gave up smoking and started overeating? Isn’t that true? What happens? They just switched addictions but they never dealt with the basic frustration.
So what I’m trying to do now, I’ve broke my way through the branches, I’ve got down to the trunk and I can tell you what the root is. The root is rebellion. It always is. That’s the root of all human problems is rebellion against God. And you never really solve the person’s problems unless you’ve dealt with rebellion.
I want to turn to 1Samuel 15:23. This is a statement made by the prophet Samuel to King Saul. King Saul had been sent on an errand, a mission by God to destroy the Amalekites. He disobeyed, he only destroyed some of them and kept the rest. Samuel was sent again to tell him that God had withdrawn his favor from him because of his disobedience. We don’t want to go into the background but we’d better read verse 22 and 23 of 1Samuel 15.
“And Samuel said, Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”
Now here’s the statement:
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he also has rejected you from being king.”
Now Samuel makes two statements there. Rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is like idolatry. I don’t want to deal with stubbornness but let me just explain the difference between rebellion and stubbornness. Rebellion says “I won’t do it.” Stubbornness says, “I’ll do it, my way.” Personally I’d rather deal with rebellion because they don’t even pretend they’re going to do what they were told.
Now the Bible says stubbornness is idolatry. You know what a stubborn person does? He makes idols of his own opinions. That’s idolatry.
However, we’re going to deal with the other statement. Rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft. Rebellion and witchcraft are twins. I’ve discovered in the ministry of deliverance that wherever you find one you better look for the other because they’re seldom separated.
Witchcraft in the New Testament is described in two different ways. First of all, it’s described as a work of the flesh and secondly it’s described as an evil spiritual power. We’ve already seen it described as an evil spiritual power in Galatians 3:1. They were bewitched. An evil spiritual power had come upon them and blinded them to the cross. But in Galatians 5:19–20 we read:
“The works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery [and so on].”
Notice sorcery, and I’m going to say witchcraft, is also a work of the flesh. It’s an aspect of the behavior of unregenerate, fallen humanity. That’s a work of the flesh.
Now in what way is it a work of the flesh? I believe God has shown me the key to understanding this. Rebellion is the rejection of God’s legitimate authority. That’s the essence of rebellion. However, if you’re going to keep things going at home and get anything done, you have to have some kind of rule, some kind of ruler. But the ruler who is not ruling under the authority of God is an illegitimate ruler. And he uses illegitimate power to enforce his rule. What is the illegitimate power he uses? Witchcraft. Do you understand? That’s why rebellion and witchcraft are twins. Let me say that again because I see some of you are a little confused. The essence of rebellion, first of all, is the rejection of the righteous, legitimate government of God in your own life or wherever. Then in order to keep things going there has to be some kind of rule, some kind of order, some kind of government. But if it’s not submitted to the righteous government of God, it’s an evil government, it’s an illegitimate government. But it needs something to enforce it. And the power that illegitimate government uses to enforce it is witchcraft, have you got that?
Now let’s take a few examples. In essence, witchcraft as a work of the flesh is something to which any one of us could be exposed. Do you understand that? I’m not talking about something demonic, I’m just talking about something in the same category as losing your temper, or entertaining lustful thoughts, or committing immorality, or whatever it may be. It’s a work of the flesh.
Now, keep your finger in Galatians, we’re going to be back there, and turn for a moment to Genesis 1:28. This is God’s original plan for man and woman as he created them.
“Then God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea...”
Notice “subdue” and “have dominion.” That was part of man’s destiny to be a ruler. God’s purpose for him was he would rule under the authority of God as God’s vice regent, as God’s representative authority on the situation.
But man rebelled against God’s authority, rejected God’s government, became a rebel. But that rebel still has in him the implanted desire to subdue and to exercise dominion. But now, if he does it in the fleshly nature, it’s an expression of witchcraft, it’s an illegitimate way of getting people to do what you want in simple language. That is amazingly common. The whole of contemporary society is filled with it. Once you’ve begun to recognize it, it’s frightening.
Let me give you a few examples. First of all, let me give you the three key words that I have found. Manipulate, intimidate and dominate. And wherever you run into any of those three things, behind them is the devil. God never manipulates, he never intimidates, and he never dominates. So as soon as you encounter those three things, back off— whether it’s in yourself or in others.
Now we’ll look at a few different areas in which this operates. Let’s take family relationships first. I realize some of the things I say could be challenged by certain contemporary social movements, but I’m just based on the Bible. It is Biblical for parents to have authority over their children. I doubt whether there’s anybody here who would question it but there are a lot of people in some places who do today. So, the parent should govern the child, not the child the parent. If the child governs the parent, that’s illegitimate. And to govern his parent the child will use illegitimate means which means witchcraft. Okay? Little children can be experts at manipulation.
Little Johnny doesn’t get what he wants from his daddy so he goes to his mommy. He circumvents daddy and says, “Mommy, I would like...” and gets her to promise and then goes to daddy and says, “Daddy, mommy promised.” What’s that? Manipulation. What’s making him do it? The desire to get his way.
You see, whenever I want to get my way I’m exposed to Satanic activity.
Or, little Johnny doesn’t get his way in something else so he throws himself on the floor, kicks his legs in the air and screams. Well, there’s a neighbor lady visiting and mother is terribly embarrassed to have little Johnny on the floor kicking and screaming so she gives him what he wants. He was smart enough to know that if he did it in front of one of the neighbors he’d get his way. What’s that? Manipulation.
And, parents, if you let your children get away with that they’ll become master manipulators and they’ll go through life manipulating. When they get married they’ll still be manipulators and they’ll probably spoil their marriage.
I want to say incidentally, witchcraft is a female word. That’s an accident. There is a male word, it’s wizard. But nobody ever uses it. But I want to make it very clear that witchcraft is not confined to women. I hope I make that clear. It’s much more dangerous when it’s in men. Then it’s really dangerous.
Let’s take the mother and the wife. There’s a book that was published in the l960s by a Jewish writer entitled How to Be a Jewish Mother. And the introduction was written by his mother who said, “I haven’t read this book but I know it’s good because my son wrote it!” But one of the chapters in the book is “How to Get Your Son to Play the Violin in Public Using No Other Motivation But Guilt.” “You know, your father and I have paid all that money for your lessons and here’s Auntie. She’s just here one day...” What’s that? Manipulation.
There are, I would say, millions of women in the United States today who know no other way to get what they want. They’ve grown up with that. That’s what their mothers did, that’s how they got what they wanted from their fathers. They don’t know there’s any other way to get things. It’s a work of the flesh.
Now don’t imagine for a moment that it’s confined to women. Men tend to manipulate other ways. For instance, one of the ways that a father manipulates his children is by being intensely critical and getting his son, let’s say, to the point where he just can’t please daddy no matter what he does. It suits the father’s ego but it wrecks the son’s character. I’ve had to pick up some of the pieces from that mess.
A father may want to get his way, he’ll throw a fit of rage, he’ll stamp and shout and maybe throw the crockery around. In the end people give way to him because they just can’t stand the pressure any longer. What’s that? Manipulation, witchcraft. Intimidation, you could say that.
There’s these relationships in many areas. Teachers and pupils. Teachers are often in danger of exercising a wrong kind of influence over their pupils. Teachers can ridicule pupils or overcorrect and ruin a personality. You see, the problem with witchcraft is it destroys human personality the way God intended it to be. Teachers can pronounce curses on children. There’s a little nervous girl of six who doesn’t make any headway with her reading, “You’ll never learn to read, you’re just not smart.” That can go through life with her. What’s that? It’s a curse. It’s witchcraft.
You take the pastor and his congregation. You see, I believe a pastor has authority in some respects. What if a man says to one of his members, “If you ever leave this church, you’ll never succeed. You’ll miss God for the rest of your life.” Have you ever heard that? I don’t have any particular person in mind but it’s very common. What is it? Witchcraft.
There’s the other way. If this is a Pentecostal church, there’s two spiritual ladies in the church. The pastor is young, somewhat timid and inexperienced. Every time he starts to do anything that they don’t approve of, one of them gets a message in tongues and the other gets an interpretation and tells him not to do it. What’s that? Witchcraft. Some Pentecostal churches are run by witchcraft.
We’re going to have to stop at this point, we’ll continue with this interesting subject in our next session!