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“However, when He the Spirit of truth...”
That’s one of the titles of the Holy Spirit. And notice that He’s a he. Brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit is not an it, He’s a he, He’s a person. And He wants to be treated as a person.
“...when He the Spirit of truth has come He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Now Jesus is speaking, He says:
“He will glorify me [Jesus], for He will take of what is mine and declare it [or reveal it] to you.”
Then He says:
“All things that the Father has are mine. Therefore I say that He [the Holy Spirit] will take of mine and reveal it to you.”
So everything the Father has is invested in the Son. And all the wealth of the Father and the Son is disposed of by the Holy Spirit. He’s the steward, He’s the keeper of the storehouse. Let’s make friends with him, it’ll pay us.
Now I want to say one thing. I realize that in the present state of the church, riddled as it is with so many spiritual problems and so much unbelief, there will be very wonderful sons and daughters of God who do not receive healing. Let’s be honest and face that fact. I’ve seen thousands of people healed over the years but I’ve seen some of God’s choicest children who didn’t receive their healing. I want to tell you I can’t explain that. All right? There are things I can’t explain. But as I’ve pondered over this and sought God about it, God gave me a Scripture and I want to read it to you, it’s Deuteronomy 29:29. That’s an easy text to remember.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever that we may do all the words of this law.”
There are two kinds of things. There are the secret things that belong to God and there are the things that reveal that belong to us that we may do them, that we may act on them. Now God has called me to be a minister of His word. I don’t pry into God’s secrets. The things that God keep secret I don’t try to get to know. But the things that are revealed, it is my responsibility to minister to God’s people and to act on them. That’s what, with the help of the Lord, I’m going to do tonight.
Over the years in ministering to the sick I have discovered—and Ruth and I have been made particularly conscious of this over the last few years—if there are any barriers they are not on God’s side. When Jesus died the veil of the temple was rent in two from top to bottom, and every barrier on God’s side was removed. But we have learned by experience that there are often barriers that remain within the hearts and lives of God’s people that are barriers to healing. And in order to be able to minister effectively we have to deal with these barriers. So in my teaching this evening, before we begin to minister, I’m going to work systematically through the common barriers that prevent people from receiving healing. I’ve discovered that this saves endless time when we come to minister to individuals. We, as it were, clear the ground first. We don’t have to check with each person that each person has met these conditions because we’re going to do it with all of you collectively. And so far as we’re able we’re going to remove all the barriers before we begin to minister.
I’m going to give you now a list of about—it so happens that I’ve got seven in my list but there could be more—common barriers to receiving healing. And the first is ignorance. Ignorance of God’s word and God’s will. I’m sorry to say that this is a tremendously common barrier in the church today. Multitudes of Christians do not know the clear simple truths and teachings of the word of God. In Isaiah 5:13 God says:
“Therefore my people have gone into captivity because they have no knowledge.”
No knowledge of God’s word, no knowledge of what was accomplished by the death of Jesus on the cross. Ignorance.
And then in Hosea 4:6, the Lord says something very similar.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Now we can’t educate you tonight in one service but I believe last night and in what I’ve recapitulated tonight I have laid a basis of knowledge of the word of God and the provision of God that should help to dispel your ignorance. So I want all of us collectively to confess to God our sin and ignorance, the fact that we haven’t sought God, we haven’t studied His word, we haven’t taken the time to find out what God is saying. And we want to ask God to forgive us tonight. And we want to commit ourselves so far as is possible to seek, to know the will and the word of God. Will you join me in that? All right, I’m going to invite you to say a short prayer after me. Will you say these words?
“Oh, God, we acknowledge that in many ways we are ignorant of your word and of your will through our own fault. Tonight, God, we confess this as a sin. We repent of it. We ask you to forgive us, and to help us to seek the truth from this night forward more diligently, in Jesus’ name.”
All right. The next barrier is also fearfully common in the church, it’s rather related. It’s unbelief. In many of our churches we regard unbelief as a kind of harmless weakness. “Well, I don’t believe but after all, does God really expect me to?” The New Testament doesn’t call unbelief a harmless weakness, it calls it a sin. And when we see that we’re ready to get rid of unbelief and to open the way through believing God to receive what He has for us. I want to read from Hebrews 3:12–13. This is addressed specifically to Christians. Hebrews 3:12–13:
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another while it is called the day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
You notice what the writer calls unbelief? He calls it evil and he calls it sin. So I want to ask you to join with me in asking God’s forgiveness for our unbelief. And, proclaiming our faith. You see, in dealing with these spiritual conditions what we have to do is replace the negative by the positive. So first of all we ask God to forgive our unbelief. And there’s not one of us here tonight, myself included, that doesn’t need to ask for forgiveness for unbelief. And then we’re going to proclaim our faith very simply. We’re going to proclaim our faith in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit and in the word of God. And this can change the entire atmosphere in this auditorium. From this moment onwards there can be an atmosphere of faith. So, I’m going to ask you to join me again in a prayer, we’re going to go through this. Let me just say this is a little bit like when you go to the doctor nowadays. In the old days he just tapped you on the chest and said, “Open your mouth and say ah.” And stuck something down your throat and reached up and gave you lots of pills. But that’s not the way it is now. Now when you go he takes your blood and he takes various other things from various spots of your body and he sends them all to the laboratory. And after awhile when they’ve been through the tests they come back. This is where the problem area is. Well, what we’re trying to do is do that, as it were, go through all the tests and eliminate the problems. See what I’m saying? I told you that we were very practical. They’re just on a different basis but we’re just as practical as the doctor or the dentist. So, we’re going to confess the sin of unbelief and we’re going to ask God to forgive us, we’re going to renounce it and we’re going to proclaim our faith. Are you ready?
“Oh, God, we come to you in Jesus’ name, and we confess our sin of unbelief. We do not try to excuse it. We are responsible for it. We are sorry for it. We ask you to forgive us and to deliver us from it, and impart to us your faith. Tonight we want to declare, each of us individually, I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ His Son, I believe in God the Holy Spirit, and I believe in the Bible—the true, authoritative word of God. I believe, Lord Jesus, what you said, ‘God’s word is the truth.’ Amen.”
All right. Do you feel better now? I tell you, there’s a different atmosphere in this place. A lot of nasty little demons of unbelief had to sneak out of the back door.
We come to the third barrier which is not in every life but in many, it’s unconfessed sin. Proverbs 28:13 lays down a principle. Proverbs 28:13:
“He who covers his sins will not prosper...”
You may try desperately to succeed in life and you may seek many things, but if there is covered unforgiven sin in your life you will not prosper.
“He who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
I don’t know but in the lives of many of us I suspect there are sins that have not been acknowledged, they’ve not been confessed, they’ve not been repented of. We’ve covered them up, we’ve hidden them away. You know, in dealing with people about the confession of sin, which is so important, I’ve discovered that a lot of people think this way. Well, if I don’t confess my sins to God He’ll never know about them. Really, I’ve found lots of people who think that way. Let me tell you God knows already. And God is not asking you to confess in order to find out what you’ve done. God is asking you to confess because when you do that He can help you, you see? It’s for your good, it’s not for His information.
And let me tell you, too, when you’ve told Him the worst about yourself you haven’t shocked Him and He knew it all before you told Him. And I tell young people there are things you might never be able to tell your parents because you’d be too embarrassed and too ashamed. But you can tell God and God is never embarrassed. Isn’t that wonderful?
So, I’m going to give you and each one of us here tonight an opportunity in the presence of the Holy Spirit to see if there’s any unconfessed in our hearts and lives. And then very simply, very quietly, not out loud, confess any sin that the Holy Spirit shows you. The Bible says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So if you will confess, God has committed Himself in His faithfulness and His justice to forgive you and to cleanse you. And no matter what there might be on your conscious or in your heart tonight, if you in faith in God’s faithfulness will confess those sins or that sin, you can go out of here later this evening just as if you’d never committed a sin in your life. Because when God forgives our sins He blots them out. He doesn’t hold them against us ever again.
This we’re not going to do publicly, we’re just going to take just a few moments. I invite each one of you just to shut yourself in for a moment with God and let God show you is there something that I have done or said. Maybe some years back. The Holy Spirit brings it to your remembrance. And you respond by saying, “God, I acknowledge. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Cleanse me in the blood of Jesus.” Just take a few moments of quietness.
Now, I don’t want anybody raising their eyes or their heads. If you want to just proclaim triumphantly that you’ve confessed something and you know God has forgiven you, you feel so good about it, would you just raise one hand for a moment in testimony. God bless you, God bless you, that’s right. Now remember, you’re not only forgiven, you’re cleansed. There’s nothing between you and God from this moment onwards in that respect.
Let’s just say out loud to God, “Thank you, God.” “Thank you, God, thank you, God. Thank you for forgiving me, God.” Can you say that? “Thank you for forgiving me, God. I receive your forgiveness.” And one more thing you may need to do, you may need to forgive yourself. Sometimes that’s the hardest. Say this:
“God, because you’ve forgiven me I forgive myself. Amen.”
Now we’re going on with the next barrier which is closely related. It’s an attitude of unforgiveness to other people. This is terribly common in the body of Christ. I want to show you what Jesus said in Mark 11:25.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
All right. This is when we are in the attitude of prayer, Jesus says before you start to pray, check. Is there anybody you’ve got something against? Why does He says that? Because if you pray with resentment and unforgiveness in your heart, that resentment and unforgiveness are a barrier to the answer to your prayer. So Jesus says if you want a clear communication channel with God and openness to receive what you pray for, before you pray if there’s anything in your heart against anyone—and that leaves out nothing and no one—forgive. Then pray.
I want to tell you that forgiving is not an emotion, it’s a decision. It’s a decision of the will. I’ve explained to people sometimes it’s like having IOUs from somebody else. Forgiving is tearing up the IOUs. That’s what it is. I was teaching once in a place and I was speaking particularly to wives who had been mistreated or abandoned by their husbands. And I pointed out that even though they might have been very wrongly treated they had to have an attitude of forgiveness toward the husband. And I said to some such imaginary wife, “You may have in your hand a handful of IOUs from your husband to you. I owe you love, I owe your support, I owe you care, I owe you provision in many areas—which he hasn’t provided. Those IOUs are legal, they’re absolutely legal. You can hold onto them. But before you decide to do that, remember that God up in heaven has in His hand a lot of IOUs from you to Him. And God says in so many words, ‘Let’s do a deal. You tear up your IOUs and I’ll tear up mine. But you hold onto yours and I’ll hold onto mine.’” Well, in one of the parables the proportion that Jesus gave is somebody owes you $17, you owe God 6 million. So, you know, forgiving people isn’t being super-spiritual, it’s enlightened self interest! I mean, anybody that won’t let $17 go for the sake of being forgiven 6 million just hasn’t any business sense, that’s all.
So I said, “If you want God to tear up His IOUs from you, you tear up your IOUs whether it’s from your husband or your parents or whoever it may be.” Well, at the end of my message I just finished preaching and I didn’t quite know what I was going to do next. And down the middle aisle came a very smartly dressed young lady, I would say about 30 years old, very sophisticated and self possessed. She marched right up to me, looked me full in the face and she was radiant. She said, “Mr. Prince, I just want to tell you that while you were preaching I got rid of about $30,000 worth of IOUs,” turned around and walked out. She got the message, she didn’t need counseling, she didn’t need prayer, she’d done the right thing.
All right. So we’re going to take a few moments now to deal with resentment and unforgiveness in our hearts. This is the way we’ll do it. We’ll just take a few moments and I’m going to pray for the Holy Spirit to show you if there’s some hidden root of bitterness in you. The Bible says if there’s a root of bitterness and it springs up, it will defile many. And then you’re going to make a decision to tear up those IOU’s. Many of you young people may feel that your parents haven’t treated you right. Unfortunately, that’s very true in many circumstances today. But let me point out to you that the first commandment that carries a promise with it is honor your father and mother. So again, it’s a question of enlightened self interest. You don’t have to agree with everything they do but you have to have an attitude of respect toward them. I have never known a Christian truly blessed in God who had a wrong attitude to his parents, never. It is an essential requirement for the blessing of God. I’m not speaking only about a wrong attitude to parents or husbands or wives, but those are some of the commonest.
So I’m going to pray now and ask the Holy Spirit to show us if there are areas of unforgiveness in our hearts and lives. Then I’m going to lead you after a few moments in a prayer for forgiveness.
“Holy Spirit, we ask you now in Jesus’ name to speak to the heart of each one here. Show us if there are areas of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness, and make us willing to forgive.”
Now the Holy Spirit may give you a specific name or names or a specific situation. Now I want you to say this prayer:
“Lord, if there has been any resentment in my heart, any unforgiveness, any bitterness, I renounce it now. I lay it down. If anyone has ever harmed me, or wronged me, I forgive them now as I would have God forgive me. Lord, I forgive them in your name, Lord Jesus, and I believe you forgive me. Thank you, Lord, in Jesus’ name.”
All right, we’re going to go on. The next, which is terribly common today, the next barrier is occult involvement: being in some way or having been involved in the occult. In things like fortune telling or Ouija boards or horoscopes or any of the innumerable different ways in which superstition and satanic cults have invaded our contemporary culture. Those are invariably a barrier to healing. And Ruth and I have experienced this innumerable times. People come for healing but there’s some dark shadow of the occult still over their lives and it comes between them and the healing they seek.
There are many forms of the occult. A lot of contemporary music, hard rock and so on, is really satanic. It has demonic power in it. And if we’ve exposed ourselves to it we could need deliverance from it. Drugs. I cannot take time tonight to make a list. I’m going to trust the Holy Spirit to show you. But let me just tell you one story.
Ruth and I were in a certain place; we came to the point of ministering to the sick. And a young woman of about, I suppose, 18 came up for prayer. And as we looked in her eyes we saw that glazed look which nearly always is the outcome of involvement of the occult. And so we wanted to help her before we prayed for her. I said to her, “Have you been involved in the occult?” She said no. I felt she was being honest. But I wanted to probe. I said, “You haven’t been to a fortune teller, haven’t played with a Ouija board?” No, none of those. “Have you had your horoscope read?” No. And still there was this barrier. And then God gave Ruth a word of knowledge. And she said rock music. And the girl went flat on her back without her praying for her. That was the barrier, you see. After that she could be healed.
So we are going now to do the next stage, we’re going to renounce every contact with the occult. Before we do that let me read to you from Exodus 23:24 and following. Now these are instructions from Moses to the children of Israel as to how they were to deal with the forms of worship and religion that had been in the land of Canaan before they came there. And Moses warned them they were to have no part whatever in such satanic practices. So he says in verse 24:
“You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works. But you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars.”
In other words, there was to be no association with any of those kinds of occult practices. Now, on the basis of that, Moses gives them these wonderful promises.
“So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from the midst of you. I will fulfill the number of your days.”
What wonderful promises. No barrenness, no miscarriages, no female problems, no sickness; a guaranteed full life span. Who wouldn’t want that? But brothers and sisters, don’t detach it from the context. It’s only for those who break totally with the occult in every form.
Let me give you a very simple example. Years back I was in a typical Charismatic house prayer meeting. I found myself next to a young man who was actually, I discovered later, from a Catholic background. And I was just talking to him. I said, “Are you baptized in the Holy Spirit?” And he said, “Yes, but...” Now, when anybody says yes but to that question, you know what that but is, don’t you? “But I don’t speak in tongues.” So I said, “Another trunkless elephant!” I didn’t discuss this with him and I didn’t have no plan. I just said, “Did you ever go to a fortune teller?” “Oh,” he said, “yes, once when I was a boy of about 15. But I just did it as a joke, I didn’t believe it.” I said, “You did go.” He said yes. I said, “Would you be willing to acknowledge to God that that was a sin and ask Him to forgive you and release you from its consequence?” I don’t think he was impressed by my arguments but more or less just to get me off his back he said okay. I led him in a little simple prayer, “Lord, I confess that I went to a fortune teller. I should not have done it. I realize it was a sin, I ask you to forgive me and release me from its consequences, in Jesus’ name.” Then I put my hand on him and prayed for him and he spoke fluently in tongues. See, that was the invisible barrier.
It’s not just a barrier to the gifts of the Spirit, it’s a barrier to healing. So tonight if you will cooperate, and I can’t do anything against your will, not even God can do anything against your will. If you will cooperate we will renounce all occult involvement. All right, are you ready? I would guess that will cover 50 percent of the people in this auditorium. That would be my estimate, I may be wrong. But this is so subtle today. There are so many different ways. You can go into a souvenir shop and pick up some little idol and take it home as a little ornament.
I think I have to tell you one other story because I’m not sure you’re convinced how serious this is. Some years back in the United States I ministered to a lady who was a lady judge. She was a member of the supreme court of the state of Virginia. She had had some kind of intestinal problem for 10 years. She’d had surgery, she was never free from pain. I was ministering to people in a Methodist church and I was putting people in the chair and praying for them, as I sometimes do. She was standing there and God’s power was coming on them. I said to her, “Are you ready?” She said, “No, I don’t think so.” I said, “Well, when you’re ready, let me know.” About ten minutes later she said, “I think I’m ready.” I sat her in the chair, held her legs; one leg was shorter, it grew out and God’s power zapped her. I mean, she was out of this world for 45 minutes. She told me this personally. When she came to, for the first time in 10 years she was free of pain. Later she discovered this. When they operated on her surgically on her intestines, they put metal clips in to hold things in place. When God healed her He removed the clips. There was no further evidence of clips.
Well, after that her lady friend in some competition won a free trip to Mexico for both of them. So they went down to Mexico for a vacation, came back and the friend phoned my wife and me desperate. She said, “This lady has just tried to commit suicide. Come over and help us.” So we went over posthaste and we started to talk to them. Apparently nothing had changed. I said, “You’ve been down to Mexico.” They said yes. I said, “Did you bring any souvenirs back with you?” And this lady said, “Yes, I brought one circular image.” I said what was it an image of? The sun god. I said, “That’s your problem. You’re under a curse because you’ve brought an accursed thing into your home. The Bible says if you bring an accursed thing into your home, you are accursed like the thing.” She was woman of action. She got up, went down into the basement, broke it in small pieces and put it in the rubbish can. That was the end of that, she never had another problem. But it nearly cost her her life. That’s how real this is. See, God has an intense hatred of idolatry. I don’t think we appreciate how the Lord hates idolatry.
So, we’re going to give you an opportunity. If you have ever been involved in the occult and you’ve never dealt with it in your life—if you’ve dealt with it, you’re free. That’s all right. But if you’ve never dealt with it we’re going to give you this opportunity. We’re going to let the Holy Spirit rest upon us for a moment and speak. He’s got a very wonderful memory, He can take you back 20 years to something that happened.
All right. Now I’m going to help you. I’m going to lead you in a prayer. But it must be on the basis of your own acknowledgment. I want you to say these words:
“Lord, if I’ve ever been involved in the occult, even ignorantly, whatever it was, I confess it as a sin and I renounce it. I ask you to forgive me and I commit myself now, that never again will I be involved in those things. Forgive me, Lord, and release me from their influence. Right now, in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
All right. Very closely connected with that in the same chapter of Exodus, 23, verse 32. Exodus 23:32, we come to another related problem.
“You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.”
It is possible for people to enter into some kind of a covenant with people who have false gods. And if you do that you become involved in the guilt of those people and their false gods. This may seem remote and abstract to you but I’m going to specify one particular common case. Some of you may be offended but I say this in love because I know it to be true. There is a very common covenant group, a secret society that prevails throughout the English speaking world which is Freemasonry. And if you are involved in Freemasonry you are under a curse. Not only you but your family and your descendants. I speak this from experience. Ruth and I have encountered this, we’ve dealt with it, we’ve come to the root of it. Freemasonry is a false religious system. Whatever you may say, it’s not a secret. That’s bluff. The main ceremonies of freemasonry are known and have been published by people who are not Freemasons.
To take simply one example, the royal arch degree acknowledges a god whose name is Jabulon. J-A-B-U-L-O-N. Ja is short for Jehovah, bul is short for Baal, and on is short for Osiris. And any system of worship that combines the true God with Baal and Osiris is abomination in the sight of the Lord. No matter who practices it. Even if it be an Anglican bishop. Or the archbishop of Canterbury who previously was a Freemason. Not the present one. It makes no difference, God is no respecter of persons.
We have seen the most terrible consequences in lives and families because of this curse. I’ll give you one brief dramatic example. In Australia when we were last there we had a healing service one morning and one of the people who came forward was a young woman who’d obviously been in the subculture but had apparently just come out of it. And she had what appeared to be a little newborn baby in her arms. We said, “What do you need prayer for?” She said, “My baby.” It looked about six days old. She told us it was six weeks old. We said what’s the problem? She said it just won’t take any nourishment. “I can’t get it to take more than a spoonful of milk.” So, Ruth and I laid hands on the woman as she was holding the baby in her arms. The power of God came on her and she went down on the floor and Ruth caught the baby out of her arms and held it. And then God gave Ruth a word of knowledge. She said the girl’s father is a Freemason. And the people who were ministering to the girl on the floor came against that spirit of Freemasonry and it came out with a loud prolonged shriek. But the dramatic thing was exactly the same shriek came out of the baby in Ruth’s arms at the same time.
Six hours later the girl came back in the evening service with the little baby. She said, “I just want to tell you between the morning and the evening she’s taken three full bottles!” Thank God for that. But that little child would have never been healed if the curse of Freemasonry had not first been broken.
Now if there are any here tonight who are involved in Freemasonry either directly yourself or through your husband or father or some other relative, I want to lead you in a prayer of renunciation. There may be other similar cults, secret societies, satanic organizations. There are many of them in the world today. If you are involved in any of those things I want to ask you now in the name of the Lord Jesus to renounce them. Could we please be quiet and settle down? I’m not going to embarrass anybody individually, I’m just going to say a prayer. If you need to say it, you say it to God in your heart. All right? You say these words:
“Lord Jesus Christ, I want to serve you and love you. If there is in my life, or in my family, a curse of Freemasonry or any other cult, I ask you to release me and forgive me and break its power over me right now, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
God bless you.
We’re getting near the end. You may see this as somewhat lengthy but if we do it for everybody collectively we don’t have to do it for each person individually—which takes ten times longer. The final barrier that I want to speak about is the effects of a curse. We dealt with that a little bit last night. I just want to read the list of common indications of a curse over a person’s life or family. If several of these things apply to you or your family, there’s probably a curse over you. Now, the good news is Jesus was made a curse that we might be redeemed from the curse and receive the blessing. But, most times we need to renounce the cause of the curse and claim the release.
Very quickly and briefly, here are the common indications of a curse. Number one, mental and emotional breakdown. If there’s a history of that in your family.
Number two, repeated and chronic sicknesses, especially hereditary because the mark of a curse is that it goes from generation to generation.
Number three, repeated miscarriages or female problems. And as far as Ruth and I are concerned, when we have that kind of need to pray for we just simply automatically treat it as a curse. And we have seen many barren women able to conceive and bear children, and we have seen many women with female problems delivered. Tumors and other things on the female organs disappear when the curse is lifted.
The next is the breakdown of marriage and family alienation. If a family has a history of marriages breaking up and different branches of the family at war with one another, you can be almost sure there’s a curse.
The next is continuing financial insufficiency. You never get out of the poverty syndrome.
The next is accident prone. You’re one of those people that accidents just look for. You step off the curb and you break your ankle. You close the car door on your fingers. And you know what I’ve observed with such people, it’s just when they’re getting near the point of deliverance that they’re tripped up. It’s just amazing. I’ve held deliverance services in the past and people have wanted to drive as much as 100 miles to come but the car broke down on the way, they never got there. Why? It was a curse.
And finally, a history of suicides or unnatural deaths.
Now, we’re not going to take a lot of time about this but we’re all going to say once again:
“Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you were made a curse that I might be redeemed from the curse.”
All right. And as you say that let it be lifted from you. Something can happen to you right now. You can walk out of this place a different person. That dark shadow that’s been over your life that’s followed you up—when I try to describe to people what a curse is like, it’s like a dark shadow from the past that just always seems to hover over you. Or it’s like a hand that reaches out from the past. And every time you’re about to make it and succeed, it trips you up. If I were to choose one key word the word would be frustration. I’ve dealt with many, many people who had all the qualifications for success and time and time again they were on the verge of success and something went wrong. It’s a curse.
All right. Now the Holy Spirit is big enough to deal with every single situation of that kind here tonight. You can receive individual attention not from Brother Prince but from the Holy Spirit. Just take a moment to ponder on your life. Look back over it. Consider if it has the marks that I’ve described. All right. Now we’re going to say it, you say it after me.
“Thank you, Lord Jesus, that on the cross you were made a curse that I might be redeemed from the curse and enter into the blessing. And because of what you did, tonight Lord Jesus, in your precious name I release myself from every curse over me and my family and I claim the blessing that you purchased for me with your blood. Thank you, Lord Jesus.”
Let’s give Him a little praise, shall we?
Now that’s the last of the barriers. There’s one other thing you need to be aware of. When we come to pray for the sick sometimes sicknesses are caused by or associated with the presence of evil spirits. And the ministry of healing frequently includes the ministry of driving out evil spirits. It isn’t done in some churches, but I’ll tell you someone who does do it and did do it, Jesus, that’s right.
Let’s look just at one example. I say this so you come mentally prepared. Luke 4:40–41:
“Now when the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them. And demons [or evil spirits] also came out of many, crying out.”
Notice that associated with the ministry of laying on of hands of the sick for healing there was the driving out of demons. Because when the supernatural power of God comes into operation, evil spirits just can’t stand it any longer, they have to come out.
There are two different main ways in which evil spirits are associated with sickness. The first is they are direct causes of sickness. There are spirits of infirmity, of pain, of crippling, and of death, to name only four that we deal with commonly. For instance, many people who have some kind of spinal curvature or deformity of the spine, that is caused by a crippling spirit. And for that person to receive full release it is necessary for that crippling spirit to be driven out.
Jesus encountered a woman who was bent double and couldn’t stand up straight. He didn’t treat it as a physical sickness, he said this woman has been bound by a spirit of infirmity 18 years. He loosed her from the spirit and she immediately straightened up.
We have dealt with all these many times. I don’t think I can go into details now. Except perhaps the spirit of death which is very, very common. And the way this works is to cause a person to be infirm and weakly and ultimately to die untimely. And such a person somehow tends to have a morbid outlook on life. They’ll tend to look on the dark side of things. They may tend to wear dark clothes. There’s something morbid about them. I’ve had to say to several young ladies, “I suggest you don’t wear black any longer.” You may think this is strange but there’s association between—I’m not saying people should never wear black. But there are just some people for whom it isn’t altogether wise to wear black.
Ruth and I probably have dealt with hundreds of cases of people who need deliverance from the spirit of death. And I think we’re going to do something that I didn’t plan. We discovered as always the right thing to do is replace the negative by the positive. See, one way the spirit of death comes in is you get discouraged, disheartened, oppressed and you say, “I might as well be dead. I wish I were dead. What’s the good of living?” When you say that, that’s an invitation to the spirit of death to come in and take over. And it doesn’t need many invitations. One of the most dangerous things a person could ever say is “I wish I were dead.”
Well, we’re going to unsay that. We’re going to give you an opportunity to revoke the negative things you’ve been saying about yourself. Psalm 118:17, the psalmist says:
“I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
That’s a positive decision. All right? You say that after me the first time and we’ll say it together until we make this place full of positive faith. Now, don’t try to say it with me to start with but after me.
“I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
Now you’ve got good memories, you can say it with me this time.
“I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
I suggest you stand up and say it, there’s something about being in a standing position. I’m not going to lie down under the devil, I’m not going to let him trample over my emotions and my attitudes. All right. For the third time, are you ready?
“I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
Now, it’s wonderful to say it into the air and say it to me. I’d like to suggest that every one of you turns to somebody next to you, looks them full in the eyes and says to them:
“I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
Let’s make a proclamation of praise on the basis of that. “Praise you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Glory to your name. Victory, victory, victory through the blood of the Lamb and through the name of Jesus. Amen and amen.”
Now feel free to be seated if you can. We’re going to come to the actual ministry to the sick. There are many different scriptural ways to minister to the sick. But we are going to follow Mark 16:17:
“These signs shall follow them that believe. In my name [Jesus said] they shall lay hands on the sick [and what happens?] and they shall recover.”
What shall they do? Recover. It doesn’t say that all of them will be instantly healed. Sometimes healing is instant, sometimes it’s progressive. But it comes. When I met Ruth in l977 and she was virtually an invalid on her back. I laid hands on her and prayed for her and said, “Now, keep the plug in. Stay with your plug into God’s power outlet.” And I said the way to keep the plug in is keep thanking Him until the healing is completed. That was in June. She kept the plug in till November and in November her healing was instantly completed. She had a ruptured disc in her spine and a spine that had been curved from childhood. Now she has no ruptured disc and she has a straight spine. But, she didn’t get an instant miracle. She got a progressive work. Jesus says they shall recover but He doesn’t say how long it will take. Sometimes it’s instantaneous. Praise God, but not always. Some of you will be instantaneously healed. Some of you will get a healing that begins. If it begins, keep your plug in. If you say as you walk out of the auditorium, “I didn’t get healed, nothing happened,” do you know what you’ve done? Pulled the plug out and nothing more will happen after that. If you say, “They laid hands on me, God touched me, I’m going to keep thanking Him till it’s complete,” it will be complete.
Now, the way we’re going to do it, and it’s rather difficult, well let me just check something out first. Of all the people in this auditorium how many here tonight would wish to be prayed for? Well, you see that brothers? We’ve got a busy evening ahead of us. I told you it would be like that. Alright, but we’re going to do our best. More than our best we cannot do. Ruth and I are here to minister to you and we have seven other teams. Either couples or threesomes. All of them called to the ministry with proven ministries and anointing of God. And they and we together are going to minister to the sick by the laying on of hands. We’re going to lay hands on you in the name of Jesus. Now this is not going to be a counseling session so don’t come with your life’s story or even a medical history. All we want to know is: arthritis, a weak heart, a bladder infection, I can’t have children, menstrual cramps, whatever it is. Try and say it in one short sentence. After all, we’re not going to heal you. God is. And God knows your problem even before you state it.
Come with this attitude that with coming to these ministers of the Lord, I’m obeying God’s Word, I’m doing what He told me to do and I’m not looking to Brother Prince and Ruth or to any of the other teams for my healing. I’m looking through them to Jesus who told them to lay hands on the sick.
Please don’t focus on human personalities because they can’t do much for you when it comes to healing. Jesus can do everything. Now, we’re going to seek to maintain an atmosphere of prayer and worship. If you’re a child of God I don’t want you to be just a spectator. I want you to be prayerfully involved. Have the same attitude as if it was your brother or your sister or your parent who is up here being prayed for. And we will with the help of our worship leaders from time to time have periods of praise and worship. We’ve learned by experience that in an atmosphere of worship it is much easier for people to receive healing. So please let there be no spectators. Don’t any of you get involved with a lot of idle conversation with your neighbors. Although the preaching is coming to an end, the real part of the service is beginning. And we are not too time-conscious. If you need to leave at any time feel free to go without embarrassment but we’re going to go on as long as we feel God would have us to continue. Usually speaking, including the teaching, it’s very rare that my healing services last less than five hours. We’ve had some that lasted eight hours. And let me tell you that’s very short with those in comparison with Jesus because some of his lasted three days.