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Now the purpose of this meeting this morning is to minister healing—physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual healing, whatever kind of healing people may need. We want to be practical, we want to focus on that.
I’m going to be teaching first, but the purpose of my teaching will be to help you to receive whatever God has for you here this morning. If you were to be admitted to a hospital for an operation, you’d probably have to go in the day before, you’d have to have various kinds of preparatory treatment, they wouldn’t just wheel you straight into the operating room. In other words, there’s a process of preparation. This is true also in the spiritual. Many people do not receive healing because they have not been through the preparatory process, which makes them suitable and capable to receive healing. For this reason I’m going to teach, first of all, about the barriers that need to be removed before healing can flow.
My dear brother, Danny, here, said that Jesus never refused anybody. And that’s very true. Praise God for that. But I think sometimes we don’t observe that He set a lot of very tough conditions for those who wanted to be healed. This is something that has been borne in on me in the last few years.
Normally, Jesus did not heal just at any time or any place that it suited anybody to come to Him. People sometimes expect that of a minister. Sometimes in a meeting somebody will come to me at the end of a meeting and say, “Brother Prince, I’m sick. Would you pray for me?” Now, it’s perfectly legitimate to do that, but many times it isn’t God’s time. Sometimes I’ll say, “Well, if you just want me to go through a religious ritual, I’ll do that, but I don’t think anything is going to happen.” If anything is going to happen we have to be in God’s timing, we have to be in His place, we have to be flowing in His purposes.
It is true that Jesus did heal individuals here and there at different times, but much the greatest part of His healing was conducted in times and places of His choosing with large numbers of people and once He started, He went on until the job was finished and sometimes that meant three or four days. I’ll give you three examples from the gospel of Matthew. You see, our contemporary picture of a healing ministry or service is really not very much like that of Jesus. In Matthew 12:15, it says:
But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there [wherever “there” was]; and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.
Notice, He only healed those who followed Him. He only healed them when He came to the time and place of His choosing. We don’t know, or at least I don’t know, from this particular record how far they had to go, but it could have been a considerable distance and taken a considerable time.
Then in Matthew 15:29–32 we do have a specific record of the time that a healing meeting lasted. Matthew 15, beginning at verse 29:
And Jesus departed from there [which was south Lebanon], skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there.
Now, how many of us would hold a healing service on the top of a mountain? You understand? Lame people, blind people, cripples—all sorts—and they had to get to the top of the mountain. I ask myself, “Why was there so much faith in Jesus’ meetings?” One reason was the people with unbelief had dropped out. They never made it. If you didn’t have a lot of faith, you wouldn’t have somebody carry you, a cripple, several hours up a mountain. That’s not our logic to hold a healing service on the top of a mountain.
Not merely the location, but listen to the time:
Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them those who were lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. [Now don’t stop there.] Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.”
How long did that meeting last? Three days. Was there any buffet? Refreshments served? How many of you would stay in a healing meeting that lasted three days with nothing to eat? You understand? Their faith was tested. Only the people survived who had a total commitment to seek Jesus no matter what. They had no alternative. That’s true of people in the Third World today. They’ll come a hundred miles to a healing meeting because they don’t have an alternative. They can’t go to a hospital. There isn’t a doctor. We in the Western world, we have alternatives: “Well, if Jesus doesn’t do it, I’ll go to the hospital.” I mean, there’s nothing wrong with going to the hospital, but I’m pointing out to you there was a total difference of commitment in these people.
Look in Matthew 19:1–2:
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. [I asked a Jewish guide in Israel some while back how long that would take on foot. He said two or three days.] And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there[italics mine].
So they had to follow Him for two or three days before He held His healing meeting. Do you see that? I think you’d agree that’s a very different picture from what most of you had. You see, God is totally sovereign. He never lets the initiative pass out of His hands. He has an arm that is untwistable. Many Charismatics view God as if He were an automatic vending machine. You walk up and put the right coin in the right slot and you get out a particular kind of soft drink you want. There’s a sovereignty in God which we have to recognize. We can’t do it. Ruth and I can’t heal anybody. We can only flow in the purposes of God. If we’re out of the purposes of God, we could just as well close this meeting. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t move, it’s a waste of time to be here. We do not dictate to the Holy Spirit.
At a certain period in my ministry, I encountered so many cases of witchcraft in the church that I was troubled and I said, “Lord, what is witchcraft? Why do I keep having to deal with it?” And I believe the answer He gave me was this: “Witchcraft is the attempt to control people and get them to do what you want by the use of any spirit which is not the Holy Spirit.” And then He added, “And if you have any spirit in your life that you can use, it is not the Holy Spirit. Nobody uses the Holy Spirit.” You see. That’s a different attitude.
Now, having laid that foundation and thoroughly discouraged you all, which is probably what you needed, we’ll go on to the principles of healing.
Now, many Christians have come to me over the years and said, “Brother Prince, how can I know if it’s God’s will to heal me?” Now, there are areas that I do not understand in God’s dealing. I’m the only person here, I’m sure, who doesn’t understand everything that God does, but that’s the way it is with me. But I answer this way, as a rule, “If I rightly understand the Scripture, you’ve asked the wrong question. The question is not ‘How can I know if it’s God’s will to heal me?’ but ‘How can I appropriate the healing which God has already provided for me?’“ Now that makes your approach entirely different. You don’t have to persuade God that He should want to heal you. If you are a child of God. Jesus said, “Healing is the children’s bread.” It’s for all the children. In a family there are some things that the father may not provide. He may not provide desserts, he may not provide soft drinks (if he’s wise, he won’t), but he does provide bread. That’s for all the children. And healing is the children’s bread. If you turn to Isaiah 53 for a moment, verses 4 and 5, this is the prophetic preview of the sufferings of Jesus and what they were designed to accomplish for us.
Surely He has borne our griefs [But the literal translation is “pains.” Some of you have a version which says pains. How many do? The NIV has the literal translation. It’s a word that has gone through the Hebrew language since the days of Moses to the present time. It’s never changed its meaning.] ... and carried our sorrows.
It should be “sicknesses.” Let’s put it this way: “Surely He has borne our pains and carried our sicknesses.” One version says, “carried them away.”
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes [or wounds] we are healed.
That was seven hundred years before Jesus died on the cross. But Isaiah did not say, “we will behealed,” he said, “we arehealed.”
Literally, in Hebrew, if I can translate it, it says, “By His wounds it was healed for us.” In other words, healing was provided for us by His wounds.
The wounds came upon Him, His body, that health might come upon our body. It’s very logical.
Now that’s quoted twice in the New Testament, lest there should be any doubt about its interpretation. In Matthew 8:16–17:
When evening had come [why did they wait till evening? Do you know why? Because it was the Sabbath. So they were not free to move until the sunset.] When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”
He’s quoting Isaiah 53:4. And you’ll notice both words are physical: infirmities and sicknesses. And then in 1Peter 2:24, speaking about Jesus dying on the cross, Peter says this:
. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes [or wounds] you were healed.
Not even “you arehealed,” but “you werehealed.” It was finished. When Jesus died, that settled the sickness question.
Now, I am fully aware that there are many wonderful Christians, sometimes perhaps the most consecrated and dedicated and faithful, who don’t get healed. In a healing service just a little while back, a young woman came up to Ruth and said, “You minister healing and you’re wearing glasses! How come?” So Ruth said, “I can’t explain it.” Do you realize there are some things even preachers can’t explain.
But I do have a scriptural answer which I think can help you. I’m very aware. I don’t want my teaching to leave any sick Christians feeling that he or she is a second-class Christian, because that’s not the way it is. There’s one Scripture that’s helped me tremendously. Deuteronomy 29:29:
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.
So there are two kinds of things: there are secret things and things that are revealed. Now, as a teacher of the Scripture it’s not my job to pry into the secret things. My job is to teach the things that are revealed. But there are secret things. Why some people are not healed. God doesn’t choose to let us know. We just have to rest in His sovereignty. That’s a word that’s hardly ever used in the charismatic movement is the word sovereignty. Would you agree? That God has never abdicated. Do you know what “sovereignty” means? It means that God does what He wants, when He wants, the way He wants and He asks nobody’s permission. And if you don’t see God that way, your Christianity is going to be very incomplete.
Now, having said that, let me share with you as briefly as I can certain common barriers to healing. They’re not the only barriers, but they are the ones we encounter most frequently. And in many cases, if these barriers can be dealt with, people will receive their appointed healing.
I think I need to point out something else. God has got a lot of different ways of healing people. Now, if God has appointed for you to be healed in this service through Ruth and me, then you’ll miss it if you don’t get healed that way. But if God hasn’t appointed for you to be healed, then you won’t get healed—this way. There’s lots of ways. My little book out there, God’s Medicine Bottle, shows how I was healed after a year in hospital—not with anybody laying hands on me or praying for me, but through taking God’s Word as my medicine. You see? You cannot dictate to God what way He will heal you. You have to find out what way He is working and cooperate with Him, yield to Him, open up to Him.
However, we will deal with these barriers. I’m in a mood of extraordinary frankness this morning. I’ll tell you honestly, I would be agreeably surprised if all the sick people here this morning got healed. I’m not saying it won’t happen. But I’d be one of the surprised people if it did happen. Let’s be realistic. OK? I’ve discovered the most realistic person on earth is the Holy Spirit. He tells it like it is. And we are really not candidates to flow with the Holy Spirit until we face the truth. All right.
The first barrier that I want to mention is unbelief. We’re not going to just mention them, we’re going to deal with them. If you look in 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 daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
You see, unbelief is not a harmless weakness, it’s a sin. And an unbelieving heart is an evil heart. We have to face that fact. Now God has provided us a remedy for sin, but He doesn’t apply the remedy until we acknowledge the need.
Let’s also take into account Romans 10:17:
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
You see, when I lay in the hospital, one year on end, I was newly saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit, I knew the Lord and I believed the Bible. And as I lay there week after week, I said to myself, “I know God would heal me if I had the faith.” And the next thing I said was, “But I don’t have the faith.” And when I said that, I was in what John Bunyan calls “the Slough of Despond,” the dark valley of despair. And I spent many, many weeks in that dark valley. But one day there came a piercing ray of light into that valley, and it came from Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh....” If you don’t have it, you can get it. It comes. How? By hearing the word of God. So I set myself to acquire faith. I devoured the Bible. I’ll tell you what I did, as a matter of fact. I decided to read the Bible through from beginning to end, underlining in blue everything that had to do with healing, health, physical strength and long life. Those four things: healing, health, physical strength and long life. It took me a few months, but I read through, underlining in blue. Do you know what I had in the end? A blue Bible! I mean, if anything could ever have convinced me of the truth of healing, that was it. But I had to get it for myself. I had to put in the work, I had to do the plowing before I could do the reaping. You know the two books that had the most blue? It’s interesting. Proverbs and the gospel of Matthew.
Now, brothers and sisters, listen to me gently. Healing does not normally come by sitting in front of the television. Faith doesn’t come. I know there are Christian programs, praise God for them, but basically the television will feed you much more unbelief than it will feed you faith. If you’re taking this thing seriously, you know what you’ll do? Some of you? You’ll just change two things around: the amount of time you spend in front of the television and the amount of time you spend with your Bible. And you’ll become a super-Christian. Now, that’s not true of all of you. But you see, many of you want a dividend but you’ve made no investment. Two or three hours a day would be very reasonable to spend with your Bible if you’re sick and you want to be healed. You say, “I can’t read that long.” All right, get the Bible on cassette. Play it to yourself all the time. If you’re a lady in the kitchen, have the Bible talking to you all the while. There’s what they call subliminal understanding. You’ll get a lot from it that you don’t realize intellectually at the time. You see, how seriously do you take your need of healing?
All right. We’re going to deal with unbelief as far as we can this morning. What we’re going to do is renounce unbelief. And we’re going to say, “We believe.” And now you don’t have to do this any more than you have to let the doctor give you an injection before you have surgery but you’re unwise if you don’t. OK? We’re going to make a statement of faith and we’re going to renounce unbelief. And some of you will change the moment you do this. Something will happen to you. All right. You say this after me.
I believe in God, in God the Father, in Jesus Christ the Son, in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the Bible. It’s the Word of God. It’s totally true. I believe it all. If there’s any unbelief in my heart, I confess it as a sin. I ask God to forgive me, to cleanse me from it, to release me from it. In Jesus’ name.Amen.
Now just thank Him.
The next common problem is unforgiveness. Let’s turn to 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.”
Jesus says what’s the use of praying if you have unforgiveness in your heart? Because God won’t hear you. So He says “whenever,” at any time when you’re praying. If you have anything against anyone. That leaves out nothing and no one, doesn’t it? What do you have to do? Forgive. You don’t have to wait for them to come and say, “I’m sorry I treated you that way.” You may have to wait forever if you wait for that. Forgiveness is yourinitiative. And you’re not forgiving them primarily for their sake, you’re forgiving them for your sake. Because your unforgiveness is a barrier that keeps God’s blessing from flowing into your life.
Furthermore, forgiving people is not an emotion, it’s a decision. You can make it whenever you will. Let me illustrate this with a little story.
A good many years ago, I was preaching on the need to forgive people and I was specifically dealing with wives who had been mistreated by their husbands, which unfortunately is very common in America. And I imagined myself talking to a wife whose husband had mistreated her and then deserted her and didn’t pay her alimony and so on. And I said, “Now, listen. You have in your hand a sheaf of I.O.U.s from your husband and they’re perfectly legal. I.O.U. Love. I.O.U. Respect. I.O.U. Care. I.O.U. Support, etc. Every one of those is a legal debt. You’re entitled to claim them. But pause for a moment and consider that God up in heaven has a much larger sheaf of much larger I.O.U.s from you to Him. In fact, the proportion in a parable that Jesus said is the difference between $17 and $6 million.
Now, if you want to hold onto those I.O.U.s, you can, but as long as you hold onto yours, remember that God holds on to His. But God says to you, “Let’s make a deal. You tear up your I.O.U.s and I’ll tear up mine!”
You see, forgiving people is not being super-spiritual, it’s just enlightened self-interest! You are dumb if you won’t forego $17 for the sake of being forgiven $6 million. You get the message?
Well, what happened at the end was, a lady of about thirty, I would guess—very sophisticated, smart looking lady—came marching right up the center aisle to me and she stopped in front of me and said, “Mr. Prince, I just want to tell you that while you were speaking, I got rid of about $30 thousand worth of I.O.U.s.” Turned around, and walked out. She had got the message. She didn’t need counsel. She didn’t need prayer. She had solved her problem. All right.
So we’re going to forgive. It’s obvious from the context Jesus doesn’t want you to run and tell the person. He just said before you go on praying, forgive. So we’re going to go through a decisive act of forgiveness. This is not an emotion. It’s a decision. If you like, you’re going to tear up your I.O.U.s. So I want you to say these words:
Lord, if there’s anyone who’s harmed me, or has wronged me, or whom I have bad feelings against, by a decision of my will I forgive them all now. I lay down all bitterness, all resentment, and all hatred. I forgive them as I would have God forgive me. In Jesus’ name.
Let me just illustrate that with another story, just to show you how real this is. I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, some years back, in an Assembly of God church praying for the sick on the platform and I was going around from chair to chair, praying for the people as we’ll probably be doing here later. And there was this man with a back injury. And I was just about to pray for him, and the Holy Spirit seemed to check me. I said, “Wait a minute. Is there anybody you need to forgive?” Well, he thought for a moment and he said, “Yes, I guess there is.” So I said, “Who?” And he said, “The insurance company that wouldn’t pay my claim.” I said, “Are you willing to forgive them?” Well, he had a real struggle. I mean, he found that difficult. Eventually, he said yes. “All right,” I said, “will you say this prayer after me?” and I led him in a prayer and I got to the sentence, “Lord, I forgive that insurance company.” And when he said those words after me, the power of God hit him, he was healed, I didn’t have to pray for him. The barrier had been removed. All right.
Let’s go on to the next, which is just as common as the ones I’ve spoken of. Occult involvement. Being involved in some way with the satanic supernatural—with horoscopes, clairvoyance, fortune tellers, mediums, yoga. I would say probably science fiction books, the whole realm of the spooky, which has an uncanny attraction for some people. Well, it’s not uncanny, it’s demonic. Let’s turn to Exodus 23. And I mean I’ve only given just a little list. You could make fifty items on that list if you wanted to. Astrology, astral projection, a whole host of things.
Now, Exodus 23:24–26. The Lord is telling Israel how they are to deal with the false gods that they would find that had been worshiped by the Canaanites, and He said in effect, you have to do nothing whatever with them. You must obliterate all trace of them. And these are the actual words, beginning 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. [You have no contact with them. You destroy anything that’s connected with them. Then listen to the promise that follows:]
“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.
“No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”
What’s that? It’s a promise of complete health, long life, and fruitfulness. What’s the condition? The condition is in verse 24: breaking all contact with the occult. You cannot come to God with your right hand, with your left hand still held out towards Satan. You have to sever every contact and connection. If there’s any books in your house that deal with these things, burn them. If you have any charms, any images, any relics of superstition, any horseshoes, dispose of them totally so that not a trace of them is left.
One thing I’ve discovered is, some people have problems in their homes. Their homes are visited by evil powers. Sometimes it’s the children that are disturbed, sometimes it’s what they call a poltergeist, (moving things around). In my experience, in nearly every case, the reason those evil forces have access to that home is either the conditions on which it was built, it was built under a curse, or else there is something being kept in that home which is an invitation to Satan. Like a book by Jeanne Dixon, for instance, just to take that one example. You cannot afford to give the devil your little finger because he grabs above the elbow before you’ve turned around.
I dealt with one man who was a Methodist minister and he came because his house, his manse, was haunted. I asked the history of the house. The minister who had the house built was a total modernist. He denied all the basic truths of the Christian faith and scoffed at the blood of Jesus. Well, I said to that minister, “As far as I’m concerned, you just can’t live in that house. I don’t think God is going to lift the curse from that house. Why should He? Find another house.” I may have been wrong, but that’s my interpretation of what God was saying. You cannot compromise with anything satanic.
We’ll deal with this. Are you with me? We’re going to renounce all occult involvement. This is your decision. You don’t have to do it. It will help you, if you’re sincere. Now say these words:
Lord, if there’s any occult background in my life, if at any time or in any way I have been involved with the occult, whether I knew it or whether I did not know it. Lord, I confess it as a sin. I ask you to forgive me. And to release me from all its evil consequences. I declare to you now that I hate all the works of Satan, every form of occult. I hate it. I renounce it. I will not be involved with it again. Forgive me and release me. In Jesus’ name.
Now sit there and thank Him a moment. Because some of you are going to be different. Some of you are going to be different right now. I should have done this before we prayed, but let me give you a simple example.
Years back, I was in a typical charismatic house prayer group. I found myself next to a young man (I suppose he was about 20 at the time). I said to him, “Are you baptized in the Holy Spirit?” He said, “Yes, but. Now when anyone says, “Yes, but. . .” in answer to that question, you know what the “but” is, don’t you? “. . . But I don’t speak with tongues.” So I said, “Another trunkless elephant.”
I didn’t argue with him but I said, “Did you ever go to a fortune teller?” “Oh,” he said, “yes, once, when I was a boy of 15, I did go. But just for a joke. But I did go.”
So I said, “Would you be willing to confess that as a sin and ask God to release you from its consequences?” I don’t think he was persuaded, but he really wanted to stop me talking to him, so he said, “All right.” So I said, “I’ll lead you in a prayer and you say it after me.” So I led him in this prayer confessing this sin, and asking God to release him from the consequences. I didn’t say any more. I put my hand on his shoulder, prayed for him, and he immediately began to speak in tongues. So there was the invisible barrier that kept the tongues away. All right.
The next one is the effects of a curse, which is something that over the last five years or so Ruth and I have encountered more and more and more. Now I cannot teach you on the whole issue here this morning because it would take a couple of hours, but I have three cassettes in a series called “Curses: Cause and Cure.” If you want more teaching, it’s available. It’s very thorough. It teaches how they come and how to get rid of them. And whole churches and communities have been changed by the application of that teaching. But I will just point out to you that in Galatians 3:13–14 it says
that Christ has redeemed us from the curse, being made a curse for us that we might receive the blessing.
That’s an abbreviated version. If you think curses are not real, let me just tell you curses are so real that Jesus had to be made a curse on the cross that we might be redeemed.
Now, I don’t think Ruth and I can calculate the number of people whose lives that have been affected by being under a curse. Some good many years back, the first thing that alerted me to this was I was teaching in a Presbyterian Church, it was a deliverance meeting, and they felt it appropriate to hold that in the basement, so I was in the basement. And I came to the end of my message, I was standing behind the pulpit just like I am here now, but it was all on a level floor and I noticed on the front row on my left a father, a mother and a teen-aged daughter. And it seemed to me that the Lord said, “There’s a curse over that family.” Well, I didn’t expect that. I wasn’t thinking about that. So I stepped up to the father and I said, “Sir, I believe the Lord has shown me there’s a curse over your family. Would you like me to release you from it.” And he said, “Yes.”
Later on, I discovered things had been happening in his life that had convinced him that there was a curse. I didn’t know that. So I stepped back behind the pulpit and I said a very simple prayer breaking the curse over that family in the name of Jesus and when I did that I saw a visible physical reaction in each member of the family, although I was not touching them. Then I saw that the girl had her left leg in a cast from above the thigh to the bottom of the foot. So I went back and I said, “Would you like me to pray for the healing of your daughter’s leg?” He said, “Yes, but you need to know she’s broken the same leg three times in 18 months and the doctor said it will not heal.” Well, I heard that statement today, I wouldn’t need any other evidence that there was a curse over that family. To break the same leg three times in 18 months is totally unnatural.
Well, since the leg was in a cast all I could do was just pick it up, hold it in my hands and pray for it. That’s all I did. The whole thing was very simple, very unemotional. I got a letter from the father some little while later saying they’d gone back to the clinic, x-rayed it, the leg was healed, the cast was taken off.
Now, when I pondered that situation, I thought, “Why did God tell me to break the curse first?” And my conclusion was: because until the curse was broken she couldn’t receive the healing of her leg.
Now fairly recently, in South Africa, Ruth and I were together with a Jewish lady who had come to believe in Jesus as her Messiah, a very committed burning Christian. She told us this story first hand.
She, under the influence of certain teaching that had come from the United States, she decided she was going to get the best paying job in her profession in Cape Town. Now she was a very highly skilled executive secretary. So she prayed for it and she got it. She found herself working for a man who had his own firm and one of the things the man asked her to do is type out a list or a series of blessings that had been pronounced on him and his fellow executives by a certain woman whom I would call a woman guru. So when this Jewish believer began to type she discovered they were anything but blessings by her standards. So she went to her boss and she said, “I’m sorry, but I’m a committed Christian and I don’t feel free to type these things up.”
So he said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. If it was against your conscience, I wouldn’t have asked you.” And he very graciously released her.
My guess is this got around to the lady. And she either put a curse or a blessing on that executive typist. And whichever she did it would work out the same.
Well, within a few days or weeks, this Jewish lady’s fingers began to curl up and stiffen and became totally rigid. The pain became excruciating. She couldn’t sleep at night. She couldn’t follow her employment. She was incapacitated. She was diagnosed medically by a Jewish specialist as rheumatoid arthritis. That was within a few weeks.
Well, a Christian lady who was a friend of hers had heard my teaching on these three tapes, “Curses: Cause and Cure,” and said, “You need to listen to these.” So she brought the tapes and she played them, three cassettes, and the lady listened. Well, they got to the end of the third cassette, where I lead people in a prayer of release from any curse, and the cassette jammed. Now listen. It wouldn’t go forward, it wouldn’t go backward, and it wouldn’t eject. That’s supernatural. So this Jewish lady wasn’t really convinced about this whole thing. She thought it was a kind of medieval superstition. She said, “Well, then I can’t say the prayer.” “Oh, yes,” her friend said, “I have it typed out. You can read it.”
So her friend fetched the typed version and persuaded the Jewish lady to read it. Now, it certainly doesn’t take five minutes to read. I would guess it takes about three minutes. As she read that, her fingers uncurled, were released, and by the time she finished reading it, she was completely healed! She did not pray for healing, all she did was to release herself from the curse.
Now, examples like that could be multiplied endlessly. This is one of Satan’s last secret barriers which are just being revealed to the Church today. I want to read you a little list that I made out of observation over some years on probable indications of a curse. Now I will not say they’re certain, but they’re probable. And bear in mind that curses and blessings tend to go on from generation to generation to generation. That’s a specific feature of them.
Just to give you one example of an amazing curse, in 2Samuel 1, David cursed the mountains of Gilboa because Saul had been killed on them. He said, “Let there be no dew, nor... rain..., nor fields of offerings.” Three thousand years later, Israel cannot make trees grow successfully on the mountains of Gilboa. They can grow on every other mountain. That’s three thousand years, that curse has controlled the destiny of those mountains.
I dealt recently, in the last couple of years, with two people from Scotland—one in Australia, one in Scotland. In each case, when I gave this teaching, they immediately told me that a curse had been pronounced on their families in the 1600s, the seventeenth century, and it was still at work.
I’ll tell you how the one curse came, because really this is interesting. You know, in the 17th century the Scots were a pretty wild breed. They were divided up into clans which were very important to them and most of the clans were fighting one another—that was their favorite occupation. When they weren’t making raids into England across the border and carrying off the English people’s cattle.
Well, one clan had defeated another clan and they were just systematically killing them off—all of them, men, women, and children. And as they were killing a pregnant woman, she cursed them. And I think she, in a certain sense, if you have a right to curse, if you can say that, she had a right to curse.
Well, I met this man last year. He’s a member of an aristocratic Scottish family. They’re still struggling with that curse. That’s three hundred years. You see, that’s why some of you have problems in your lives that you can’t find the cause of because the cause goes back a long, long way. OK.
Now here are the probable evidences. And bear in mind, I’m not talking so much about your individual life, but your family or some larger group.
Number 1. Mental or emotional breakdowns. If that kind of feature of your family recurs again and again.
Number 2. Repeated or chronic sicknesses. And especially with two qualifications: one, if they’re without any clear medical diagnosis; or two, if they’re hereditary. You see, any time I encounter something hereditary now I think in terms of a curse immediately.
Number 3. Repeated miscarriages or female problems. And Ruth and I have come to the point when we pray for that we just automatically break the curse over their life.
Number 4. The breakdown of marriages and family alienation. If that is common in the history of a family, you’re probably under a curse.
Number 5. Continuing financial insufficiency. Especially where the income appears sufficient. Let me tell you this quick story because there are certain things that just tickle my sense of humor.
I got a letter from a lady who’s married to a very distinguished man in the sporting world whose name I will not reveal. And she said she’d heard my tapes and she said, “Brother Prince, I think there’s a curse over my husband’s family.” So I wrote back and I said, “Well, tell me why you think there’s a curse.” She wrote back and said, “Because, my husband’s estate runs into hundreds of millions of dollars, our annual income is a million dollars, and we never have enough money!” I said, “I’m convinced!”
You see, a little with blessing on will do you much more good than a lot with a curse over it. Very significant fact. How many of you agree poverty is a curse? All right.
The next one is: Accident prone. Now this is statistically determinable. Because insurance companies will try to find out if you’re accident prone and if you are they’ll increase your premium. I knew a lady once who wanted to be employed by the U.S. Post Office, but when she filled in her forms and applied, they turned her down because they decided she was accident prone. Every time she stepped off a curb she broke her ankle or did something. That’s absolutely objective, you understand? I mean, I’ve seen this in my own family. I had a son-in-law who was the most accident prone person you could imagine. He was an expert driver, but he gave up driving his own car and let his wife drive because every time he drove he had an accident. Now, I don’t want to go into the details. I didn’t understand it. If he were alive today, which he is not, I would know how to help him, but, unfortunately, in those days we didn’t understand—and he died of cancer at the age of 40. That’s not natural either.
One more. I’m not saying this is complete, but if in your family background there is a history of suicides or unnatural deaths, there’s almost certainly a curse.
Now, the good news is you don’t need to go on living under a curse. The basis is Jesus was made a curse that we might be redeemed from the curse and receive the blessing, you see that?
You see, the essence of what happened on the cross is all the evil came on Jesus that the corresponding good might be made available to us. He took our infirmities that we might be healed. He took our sins that we might be forgiven. 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. That’s the whole principle of the cross. But one of these things that the church has hardly touched on—He was made a curse that we might be redeemed from the curse and receive the blessing. Now that’s all there potentially, but you have to avail yourself of it personally to receive the full benefit.
I think this time, just to change the order of things, we’ll stand up, if you don’t mind. Now, you don’t have to, it’s voluntary. If you can’t stand up don’t be in the least bit embarrassed. There’s no need for you to stand up if you can’t.
Now, we’re going to release ourselves from the curse. I’ll give you the prayer to pray and when we come to the end I’ll probably add a prayer that I’ll pray for all of you breaking the curse. If there is a curse. And after that, just take a little while to thank God and enjoy your liberty. Some of you will experience something. You will know something has lifted from you. But even if you don’t experience anything, receive it by faith. Say these words:
Lord, Jesus Christ, I thank you that on the cross You were made a curse that I might be redeemed from the curse and might receive the blessing. Lord, if there’s any curse over me or over my family or connected with me in any way, I believe you bore that curse and because you bore it for me, I can be released. And through faith in Your Word, and the authority of Your Name, I now release myself from any curse over me or over my family or associated with me. In Jesus’ name I release myself now.Amen.
Now, just begin to thank Him. Thank you, Lord, that every curse has been revoked in Jesus’ name. Amen. Thank you, Lord.
Why don’t you turn to the person next to you and say, “I’ve been released.” Everybody find someone to say it to: “I’ve been released.” All right. You may sit down again. We have a little more to go through. This is the pre-surgery procedure, you understand?
Now, one more thing I need to say is: Many times when we minister to the sick, evil spirits manifest themselves. This is not new, it happened in the day of Jesus. Luke 4:40–41:
Now when the sun was setting [this is the same scene as described in Matthew 8 that we read earlier.]
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 also came out of many, crying out and saying....”
He wasn’t holding what I would call a “deliverance service,” but when He ministered to the sick and laid hands on them in many cases, that brought the evil spirits out into the open and He drove them out. The same happens with us frequently. I would say normally, at least one out of every four sick persons we pray for, a demon manifests itself in some way or the other. And again, it’s like a curse. The healing is hindered by the presence of the demon. When the demon is out, you’re open for the healing.
There are perhaps two main types of demons. There are those which actually cause infirmities. In Luke 13 there was a woman who was bent double, she couldn’t straighten up and Jesus said, “Thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” And then He said that Satan had bound her with a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. Her problem was purely physical but it was caused by a spirit of infirmity. There are many, many such cases today.
Perhaps I should mention some that are common: arthritis, asthma. Another very common spirit is the spirit of pain—it just causes unnatural pain. And it tends to shift from one part of the body to another. When that goes out the pain ceases. When it comes out the pain is usually excruciating at that moment. I’m telling you that because if it happens, don’t give way because of the pain. Hold on.
Another very common one is a crippling spirit that twists people’s bodies out of shape. Many people who have scoliosis, spinal curvature and those things. There’s a crippling spirit that has twisted their bodies.
Let me pause here and say when I first met Ruth personally, she was virtually crippled, with a ruptured disc in her back and she had spinal curvature since childhood. Today, she has no ruptured disc and she has a straight spine. So, I just want to tell you this is up to date, it didn’t cease in the first century.
Then, there are what I call the “emotional spirits” that don’t directly cause sickness but they cause an attitude in you which makes you incapable of receiving your healing. Much the commonest is rejection, which is the sense “nobody really loves me,” “I never was wanted,” “my parents didn’t care for me,” “my husband deserted me,” “when I walk into a room everybody stops talking.” That sort of thing. I would say about 50% of people in modern America have a problem with rejection. Because American parents have failed their children. And American husbands have failed their wives. And American wives have failed their husbands. You see, this is emotional healing. And sometimes when a person comes for physical healing, God is more interested in the emotional healing than the physical.
Then there’s a spirit of grief, which is common. It usually comes out of some personal tragedy. I could give you some examples but I don’t want to waste time.
There’s a spirit of depression. None of you know anything about depression, do you?
There’s a spirit of tension. Many times when people have back pain, it’s caused by a spirit of tension. When they’re released from the tension, the pain tends to go. And there are many others, but that’s just examples.
So, we are not going out after demons, but if demons manifest themselves, we’re going to deal with them. We do not allow the representatives of Satan to challenge the living God without being dealt with.
Then Hebrews 3:1 says Jesus Christ is the “High Priest of our confession.” You know what your confession is: You say with your mouth what the Word of God says about you. Confession is making the words of your mouth agree with the Word of God. Now, if you have no confession, you have no High Priest. Because He’s the High Priest of your confession. If you say the wrong thing, He can’t operate on your behalf. If you’re continually talking negatively about yourself, you just tie the hands of your High Priest. So you need to replace a negative confession, if you’ve made one, with a positive confession.
Now, one of the commonest problems we find is the spirit of death, which comes in and causes people to become morbid, depressed, kind of imagining death scenes and with a sense of hopelessness and a lack of vitality—and ultimately, if it’s not dealt with, it will cause a person to die without sufficient physical cause. I shared this with a doctor who has his own medical center. He said... after we’d talked about it, he said, “Now I understand why some of our patients die, because there is not sufficient physical cause or medical reason for them to die.”
Now, there are various ways the spirit of death can come in, but one way is by people inviting it in. And I expect some of you have done that. For instance, if you say, “What’s the good of living?” “I wish I were dead!” “Life doesn’t hold anything for me.” And that’s very common with teenagers. There’s something about the teens where life sometimes seems just hopeless, especially in our present world.
Ruth and I were dealing just recently with a daughter of a pastor who had this problem. She really thought it would be nicer to be dead. Well, you don’t have to say that many times before the spirit of death accepts the invitation.
Or you may have been in a serious accident, or you may have had a prolonged illness or you may have had prolonged surgery and it may have entered in that period of weakness.
Now, we have a confession which is very short. It’s totally scriptural, but it’s a way of revoking the claims of the spirit of death. It is Psalm 118:17. If you have your Bible, find it. Psalm 118:17. And I think it would be good if we all stood to say this. There’s something about standing up that makes it more determined. Now, I’m going to say it in the King James Version and you say it in whatever version you’ve got. But you’ve got to say it for yourself, you understand. This is a declaration. It’s not really made to the people around you; primarily it’s made to the unseen world.
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
All right. Once more: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Once more: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Amen. Praise God!
Now you may sit down and Ruth and I will do a little performance.
My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit; redeemed, cleansed and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness, yielded to God for His service and for His glory. The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me. All has been settled by the blood of Jesus. I overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony and I love not my life unto the death. My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body.Amen.
Now, it would be unfair for us to get all the blessings and you not have any. So, we’ll allow you to say it after us. So we’ll say it phrase by phrase and you say it after us. I think it would be good if you stand up again. Keep your... whatever it is... your lymph system circulating. Now, we’ll say it—don’t try to say it with us—say it after us.
My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit; redeemed, cleansed and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness yielded to God for His service and for His glory. The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me. All has been settled by the blood of Jesus. I overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony and I love not my life unto the death. My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body.Amen.
Let’s give Him a clap offering. Amen.
All right. You may sit down. We will now start to minister to the sick. If there are any sick.
Now I’m going to need some cooperation. We need, if we could get about eight chairs. Ruth, would you show him how to put them? I think we’ll operate on this side of the ...
Now, while they’re doing that, which is putting the beds out in the clinic, I will give you a little explanation. How many of you have been in a healing service conducted by me before? All right. We have some who have seen the strange way I do this. I didn’t choose this way of ministering to the sick, the Lord led me into it. I don’t do it because it’s strange or dramatic, I do it out of obedience to God.
In 1970 the Lord gave me the gift. It took me a little while to recognize what it was. But He gave me a gift of faith—supernatural faith. Not the faith you need to be a Christian, not the fruit of faith, but supernatural faith. God’s own faith, imparted at a specific time for a specific purpose. The faith that God gives me is primarily for people who are lame or who have back problems. Now I want you to understand that doesn’t mean we don’t pray for other people, but that’s where we start. Once we’ve started with that and God begins to move and people begin to see miracles...
Once we’ve got going, we pray for all sorts of people with all sorts of complaints and I suppose we can say now honestly that we’ve seen every major type of physical problem or illness healed. I can’t think of any. I used to say well, we don’t see many blind people healed, but when we were in Pakistan this past September we saw a significant number of blind people healed. In fact, I think the most outstanding healing in a way that was not the least bit dramatic, was a woman of about 60, born blind, who received her sight. We also saw many deaf and dumb healed.
Now Pakistan was different. We didn’t put people in chairs. You couldn’t control them. We just—most of the time—we just prayed a collective prayer for everybody. And sometimes we laid hands on people. The women were so disorderly that I got provoked with them. So one morning I said, “Now just to punish you, we’re not going to pray for any women this morning.” And we didn’t. We had prayer for two or three hundred men. Well, there were seven of us all together—three couples and one brother on his own. And so there we were: very hot, very dusty, didn’t understand the language. And I found myself in front of this man and he points to his ears and he points to his tongue and I understand he’s telling me he’s deaf and dumb. So, my theology rises up and I know what to do. I mean, it’s easy to know what to do. I said, “You deaf and dumb spirit, come out, in the name of Jesus!” So then I said to him, “Say hallelujah!” And he started to try to copy me. So I realized he’d been healed. I don’t know whether he was more surprised or I was!
Well, after that it clicked. And I went around looking for deaf and dumb spirits. Because I knew they were going to be healed. And I think in the next 10 minutes about 10 of them were healed. So, I don’t think there’s any major disease now that we haven’t seen healed. But it’s totally dependent on God what happens.
There was a woman with bone cancer in Jacksonville, Florida, last spring. Just came up. I mean, I don’t know whether she even told us what her problem was. But the pastor wrote and told us a month later that there was not a trace of cancer anywhere in her body. But you see, we don’t get there in one jump. We start with the kind of case that God has given me this special faith for.
Now, what happens is this: I will find out those people here with back problems (and there’s never a shortage of them! Never. I mean, I didn’t know there were so many people with back problems until I came into this). And I will talk to you and find out what your problem is and I will invite the ones I select up onto the platform, I’ll seat them and I’ll kneel in front of them and Ruth will stand behind each one of them. Since she was healed of that back problem she has tremendous faith and tremendous compassion for people with back problems. Then I check your legs. Now most people with back problems have unequal legs. It’s very surprising to find a person with a back problem who has equal legs. I’ve done this for chiropractors, I’ll tell you. They admit it works. And if your legs are unequal, now here’s the faith—the short leg will grow out. You’ll see it, you’ll feel it, you’ll know I didn’t pull it, you’ll know you didn’t push it. So the logical conclusion is God did it. And incidentally, one of the things about this is whenever a person is really touched, their focus is always on Jesus, never on me.
Now, this is important. When this happens to you, I tell you in my simple language, “You are plugged in to God’s supernatural power outlet. Okay.” Now, that’s a vital moment for you. It’s my ministry to plug you in. Even if you don’t believe. I prefer it if you do believe, but I’ve seen people sit in the chair, watch their leg grow out, and say, “I don’t believe it!” My answer is: “That’s sure proof it isn’t your faith that did it.” It’s the faith God gave me—supernatural faith, a gift. But, at that point, as they say in tennis, “The ball is in your court.” How you respond is going to determine a great deal of what you experience. How should you respond? First of all, relax. Don’t try to have faith and don’t quote all the Scriptures back to God that you’ve memorized on healing. All right. Because that’s a lot of self-effort. I’m not against memorizing Scripture. But that isn’t the way faith operates. Relax. You can’t do it. Give God a chance to do it.
Many times I say to people with serious problems, “Well, let’s see what God will do.” I don’t know, but let’s see.
Second, very important. When God touches you, respond by thanking Him—out loud, immediately. Don’t be like a pump that has to be primed. So that Ruth and I have to say three times, “Now start thanking Him.” Immediately start saying, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus.” And don’t ration Him. Don’t be stingy with your thanks. Every one of us here owes God about half a billion thanks. Let’s start paying off. The more you thank Him the more you get from Him. You don’t thank Him for that reason, but that’s a fact. Thanking Him opens you up to receive all that He has for you.
And after that, who knows what will happen. We have no more game plan. You may end up on the floor. You may start to laugh uncontrollably. Who knows what will happen. But whatever happens, it’s all right. God is in charge. Jesus is Lord.
Then we just go on from there. After awhile, we’ll probably stop putting people in chairs, but just call them up and pray for them. But we do this because I’ve discovered in America and most Western countries people don’t have that faith for miracles that they do in some very simple countries. Like Pakistan—we never had to do this. But once people see and feel miracles, then they’re open to anything that God has to do.
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