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We’re going to make our proclamation for tonight. Deuteronomy 33:25–27:
“The bolts of our gates will be iron and bronze, and our strength will equal our days. There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help us, and on the clouds in His majesty. The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will drive out our enemy before us, saying, ‘Destroy him!’”
I want to say that I believe that’s what God is going to do tonight. He’s going to drive out our enemy and give us the power to destroy him.
Yesterday evening Jonathan sang a beautiful song that he had written about building a highway for revival. I want to add another thought along the same line from the Scriptures which came to me as I meditated on his song. The Scripture is Isaiah 62:10, which has the same thought of a highway. It says:
“Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway, take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples.”
I want to comment on that phrase “take out the stones” because I believe over the centuries in the area where God intends the highway to be built, the enemy has planted great boulders that stand in the way of God’s people. And one of the things we have to do is take out the stones so that the highway may be prepared. I’ve been seeking to do some of that. You may not have fully appreciated what I was aiming at but in my last two messages I’ve tried to deal with what I believe to be two of the greatest boulders that hinder revival. The first one was pride, the second one was legalism. I’m not so naive as to suppose that I have totally removed those boulders but I believe that by the grace of God I put a crowbar under then and I’ve loosened them so that from now on it will be easier for God’s people together to remove those stones that block the way to revival.
Tonight I’m going to deal with a third boulder. This is something that’s going to puzzle some of you and maybe shock some of you. I want to assure you even if you get a little offended by what I say about some things, I’m speaking out of deep love and concern for your well being. I’m also speaking from extensive experience. Not from theory but from years of experience of dealing with this particular thing.
The title of my message is “Witchcraft in Disguise.” When God created man He gave him the authority to rule the earth on His behalf. That’s found in Genesis 1:27–28.
“So God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. Then God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
God created man to be His viceroy, if you know what the word viceroy means. Britain doesn’t have a viceroy in India but when I was born in India in 1915 there was a viceroy, the one who represented the monarch in India. He was the monarch’s representative. Man was intended to be God’s viceroy on earth. He was intended to exercise the authority of God in accordance with the plan and revealed will of God. That was born in man. When man fell into sin and rebellion he lost the authority because the authority is only given by God to the obedient. But he didn’t lose the inner urge to dominate. Unfortunately, when man dominates in his fallen condition he doesn’t do it with the authority of God but he does it by an alien spiritual power which has supplanted the place of God. The name for that power is witchcraft. Witchcraft is something that supplants the true authority of God and in its place seeks to dominate and control others.
The key word, I think, in dealing with witchcraft is the word control. Control can be a word that’s used perfectly innocently but in the sense in which I’m using it this evening it’s a bad word. I don’t believe that God ever controls anybody. He has given us all a free will and He expects us to cooperate with Him on the basis of that will. But He does not control us and make us do things even contrary to our will.
I don’t know whether you’ve ever heard people stand up in a meeting and say something silly and then they said, “The Holy Spirit made me do it.” The truth of the matter is the Holy Spirit never makes us do anything. He never overrides human free will because God has given it. Anybody who says the Holy Spirit made me do something is talking about a spirit that is not the Holy Spirit.
Satan will seek to control. He will override human will. He will at times take control of human personality and put us in a state where we absolutely don’t know what we’re doing. So, we may come to ourselves hours later and discover things that we’ve done that we never intended to do.
But, God never deals that way. Wherever you’re confronted by something that’s seeking to control you, basically you’re face to face with witchcraft.
In 1 Samuel 15:23, we get a revelation of the basis of witchcraft. Samuel said to Saul the king:
“Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft...”
Now, in many of your translations the word will be “divination.” But really there are three different aspects of the same evil power. There’s witchcraft which is the power element. There’s divination which is the revelatory element and is seen most commonly in fortune telling. And, there’s sorcery which uses certain things or objects to control people. We’ll look at the three ways that it operates very, very briefly.
Witchcraft is the result of rebellion. Wherever you find rebellion you can look for witchcraft because they are twins. Basically, we’re living in a rebellious society which has deliberately rejected the righteous government of God in the person of Jesus Christ, and the result is our whole society is pervaded with witchcraft. Wherever you find rebellion you may look for witchcraft. And if you’re ministering deliverance to people and a person is delivered from a spirit of rebellion, the next thing you need to look for is a spirit of witchcraft.
Witchcraft is what I call the religion of fallen man. It’s found everywhere on earth in all nations. It takes different forms but there are certain basic similarities that you find in all so-called primitive religions. Its object is to control. There are certain things that it seeks to control. First of all, the forces of nature. In many nations they have what they call rain makers, witchdoctors who get the rain to fall. That’s what they seek to do. Or, they may seek to control the crops and produce fertility in a land. But, the aim is control.
The second thing that they want to control is the course of life, and particularly the ability to bring forth children. Some years ago, I think 1987, my wife and I were in Zambia in a large meeting up in the northwest corner of Zambia, where 7,000 Africans are gathered. I think most of them, nearly all of them, were professing church members. We prayed for many things but one thing we prayed for was any barren women who could not have children and wanted children. About 200 women assembled in front of us. My interpreter who knew his own people very well didn’t let us pray until he asked a question. He said, “How many of you have been to the witchdoctor for a potion to cure barrenness?” And do you know, there were only two out of 200 women who did not put up their hands. That gives you some idea of the influence of witchdoctors in societies such as Africa or Asia. Yanker will know that what I’m saying is the exact truth.
The third thing that witchcraft seeks to control is human beings, to get other people to do what we want them to do. One particular obvious way is to get a man to marry a woman. A woman sees a man she wants to marry, she goes to the witchdoctor, gets a potion and gets the man to take the potion, or does some similar thing, convinced that once he’s taken the potion he’ll fall in love with her.
Those are just three out of many examples, but what I want to point out to you is the aim is always control. The power is always evil. But, it is supernatural. Do not for a moment imagine that God is the only power that works supernaturally. The devil has a lot of supernatural power and much of the power that’s exercised in witchcraft, though it’s evil, is supernatural.
There are many different forms of the supernatural. In a certain sense they tend to counterfeit the true religion based on the covenants that God has made with man, first of all through the Law of Moses and then through the death of Jesus Christ. Here are some of the ways that witchcraft, in a sense, copies true God given religion.
First of all, in sacrifices. Sacrifices are a normal part of most witchcraft. They include human sacrifice. This is not something of the past. I’m not fully equipped to speak about Britain but let me tell you in the United States human sacrifice takes place frequently. It takes place through witches’ covens or cults. What happens is the leader of the cult will impregnate a woman who is under his control and the woman will become pregnant and they will arrange that the birth is never registered. Then they will sacrifice the little baby to Satan. I actually read the account of one young woman who gave birth to a baby and they placed a dagger in her hand, the leader of the cult held her had in his and made her plunge the dagger into her own baby. This is not something from the remote past or so-called primitive lands, it’s taking place widely. I don’t doubt that there are similar examples here in Britain.
Then witchcraft uses oaths, which are biblical, there are many biblical oaths. It uses covenants. There are covenants made between people who are in covens or other satanic groups. It uses curses, it specializes in curses. It’s one of its most powerful instruments. I want to tell you there is real power in satanic curses, don’t laugh at it. Don’t say it couldn’t happen to me. If you take my book, Blessing or Curse, You Can Choose, there are examples in that book of satanic curses that nearly ruined people’s lives. I’m going to read to you a little later on the testimony of a woman that I received here in the meeting today to illustrate the fact that the power in witchcraft is supernatural.
I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, this battle is not being fought on the natural plane. It’s being fought on the supernatural plane. The power of God is supernatural, the power of Satan is supernatural. The servants of Satan have supernatural power and, believe me, the servants of God need supernatural power.
Other things that are used are spells, put a spell on a person. Incantations. About twenty years ago while I was living in the States a man made an appointment with me and came to me and he said, “I want to apologize to you because I’m a wizard [or a warlock].” He said, “I got angry with you because I wanted to speak to you in a meeting and you wouldn’t speak to me. I put a curse on your family. I want to apologize.” I’m not sure that he was speaking the truth by any means. But then he went on to boast about his achievements in witchcraft, and he boasted that he had achieved telekinesis. Do you know what that is? Being able to move objects at a distance without touching them. He described how he had got his name erased from a list in a locked room to which he had no access. But then he said this, “I’ve discovered the most powerful form of witchcraft is incantation, and that’s what I’m specializing in now.” I don’t necessarily believe everything he said but it gave me an insight, the power of singing in the Holy Spirit. That’s the counter move to incantation. Those of you who are familiar with any countries outside of Britain, you’ll know that incantation is very, very common. It’s normally used, it’s a common expression of witchcraft.
Then there are potions, we’ve already spoken about that. Love potions.
Then drugs. Basically, all the kind of drugs that we hear so much about today are all expressions of sorcery. Sorcery uses certain things to gain control of people.
Another thing that witchcraft uses is music. You take the hard rock culture today with its drugs, it is a perfect example of sorcery. As far as I know, Africans forgive me if I’m wrong, most of it came from Africa by way of South America to the West. But it is not new in Africa. The beat of the drum in Africa has been an instrument of sorcery or witchcraft for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. Actually, the real achievement of a witchdoctor is to know how to get people taken over by a demon. They use potions, they use music, they use other things. At one time when one tribe went out to battle against another, the witchdoctor’s function would be to get his tribe so filled with demons that they were undefeatable. One of the main instruments that was used was music.
Parents, wherever you encounter what’s called hard rock and drugs today, you are encountering sorcery. That’s the right name for it.
In the whole area that we’re talking about you will find there is an atmosphere of fear and darkness. It pervades the whole scene.
I want to take examples to prove to you that witchcraft operates supernaturally. Some years ago my wife and I met a Jewish lady in South Africa who had confessed Jesus as her Messiah. She told us this story personally. She said at a certain point she became completely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis in both hands, was in continual pain and could not use her hands. A Christian friend came over and said, “I’ve got three cassettes for you to listen to.” They were my three cassettes entitled, “Curses, Cause and Cure”. This Jewish lady was a rather sophisticated person and she really didn’t believe in curses, she thought they were something from the Middle Ages. But to please her friend she sat and listened to the three cassettes. I came to the end where I lead people in a prayer by which they release themselves from a curse. At that point the cassette jammed, it would not go forward, it would not go back, and it would not eject. Now don’t tell me that’s natural. It’s supernatural. So this Jewish lady said to her friend, “Well then, I can’t say the prayer.” But the friend said, “Oh yes, because I had it typed out and if you can’t listen to it you can read it.” She went and fetched the typed copy and it would not take as much as three minutes to read it. This Jewish lady read this prayer more to please her friend than out of any other motive. It took her, as I said, less than three minutes. She had no concept of seeking healing, she was just reading the prayer of release from a curse. By the time she had finished, her fingers had completely uncoiled, were totally free from pain, and later a doctor diagnosed that she had no more rheumatoid arthritis. But think of the lengths to which the devil went to prevent her saying that prayer. He made the cassette player jam.
I hope you understand why I’m telling you this, because we’re not dealing with a natural force, we’re dealing with a supernatural force that has a measure of control over things that happen It doesn’t have total control but it has a lot more control than most of us are willing to recognize.
What I have been speaking about has been what I would call pagan witchcraft. But witchcraft can also disguise itself in Christian forms. Satan can do more harm to the church from inside than from outside. Bear that in mind, he is always seeking to infiltrate the church. I want to give you a very vivid example from the book of Acts. Acts 16:16–18. This is an incident in the ministry of Paul on a missionary journey in the city of Philippi. Luke is relating it and it’s in the plural form.
“Now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune telling.”
You see the power that’s in fortune telling? It’s witchcraft. Actually, if you want to use the right name, it’s divination. The Greek is very vivid, it says she had a spirit, a python, that’s the actual word. The snake, the python, is particularly associated with fortune telling. It’s not a snake that poisons people but it’s a snake that wraps itself around people and ultimately crushes the life out of them. A very famous medium in Washington, D.C., whose name I do not need to mention, wrote a book in which she declared that the ways he received her gift was that a snake came into bed with her and coiled itself around her. Would you believe that millions of Christians are naive enough to believe that her gift is from God? And one of the best known Charismatic preachers whose name, if I gave it to you, everybody would know here, I happen to know actually went to her. So terrible is the depth of deception in the church in this manner!
Now notice she brought her masters, because she was a slave, much profit by fortune telling. Now friends, brothers and sisters, people don’t pay money for something that doesn’t do anything. Fortune telling, to a certain degree, works. I asked my wife’s permission to tell you this. Before she was saved, while she was still living as an unconverted Jewess, on the recommendation of a friend she went to a fortune teller who had never seen her before, whom she had never seen. This fortune teller told her three facts about her life. First of all, you are not able to have children of your own. Second, you have three adopted children. And third, your husband has left you. Every one of those facts was absolutely correct but they didn’t come from God, they came from Satan. Please do not be so naive as to suppose that every time supernatural truth is presented to you its source is God, it may easily be Satan.
Her masters were angry because they’d lost their source of income. Once the spirit went out she couldn’t tell fortunes. Let’s read.
“This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, ‘These men are the servants of the most high God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.’”
Notice every word she said was true. And, she could not have known it by any natural means, it was by a supernatural revelation. It seemed to endorse the ministry of Paul and Silas but it was from Satan. Why? This is my opinion, because I believe Satan wanted to infiltrate the church at Philippi right from the beginning. And had Paul and Silas been like some modern missionaries, you know what they would have done? They would have made that slave girl a charter member of the church at Philippi.
This she did for many days but Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit...
And notice he wasn’t talking to the girl, he said to the spirit:
“‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And he came out of her that very hour. And then the whole city was in a turmoil.”
Isn’t that extraordinary? The deliverance of one demonized girl threw the whole city into a turmoil.
I spoke to you last night about the angel of Satan that buffeted Saul, there he was, right on the job. He turned the whole city into an uproar and Paul and Silas were cast into prison after being severely beaten, only because they had cast the demon out of a slave girl. Why was Satan so angry? Because his plan had been foiled. Paul didn’t accept this as something from God, he recognized its source was Satan and he totally rejected it.
I have to tell you that I believe many contemporary missionaries confronted by that situation would say, “Isn’t that wonderful? She really knows who we are. Let’s make her a member of the church.”
I don’t know whether you know the phrase “the fifth column.” Do you know that phrase? How many of you know the phrase “the fifth column”? I’m so ancient that I don’t know sometimes whether people—I don’t know whether you know the origin of the phrase. It started in 1936 in Spain. That year I happened to walk from France over the Pyrenees into Spain and I ended up and discovered I was in the middle of a civil war. So I turned back quickly and went back into France! In that civil war when the Spaniards were fighting each other, a certain Spanish general was besieging a Spanish city. Somebody came to him and said, “Tell me, general, what is your plan to take this city?” He said, “I have four columns advancing on the city. One from the north, one from the south, one from the east and one from the west.” Then he paused and said, “But it’s my fifth column that I’m expecting to take the city for me.” The other person said, “Where is your fifth column?” And he said, “Inside the city.” That’s the origin of the phrase fifth column.
But, that’s not the beginning of the fifth column. Satan has had a fifth column in the church for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s his number one way of frustrating the ministry of the church.
I’m going to come to my theme which is witchcraft in disguise. Witchcraft, as it operates in a Christian setting and with Christian language, and is apparently Christian. This may shock some of you but I want to tell you I’m not speaking out of theory, I’m speaking out of at least twenty years of personal experience and observation and dealing with these situations.
Around about the first half of the 1970s in the United States I was very intensely involved in the ministry of delivering people from evil spirits. I became not so much famous as notorious. Anyhow, during this period when I was deeply and intensely involved in this ministry, strange things would happen. I would walk into a congregation and a lady would say to me, “I don’t know what’s the matter with you but when you come near me I tremble all over.” This happened several times in different congregations, Pentecostal and Charismatic. Usually they were people of significance, like the deacon’s wife, the pastor’s daughter or the church soloist. I said to myself whatever is the matter with me? Then I said to God, “What is this?” This is the answer He gave me. “It is witchcraft.” I said, “Lord, what do you mean by witchcraft? What is your definition of witchcraft?” Because, I always think in terms of definitions. The definition that God gave me I believe is “witchcraft is the attempt to control people and get them to do what you want by the use of any spirit that is not the Holy Spirit.” And then He gave me a little extra and He said, “If anyone has a spirit that he or she can use, it is not the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is God and no one uses God.” And brothers, if you will move through he Charismatic movement at this time worldwide you’ll find many people claiming to use the Holy Spirit. I’m so glad that God warned me in advance.
So, I’m going to speak now about witchcraft in the church, in the body of Christ, witchcraft in disguise.
First of all, we need to understand that witchcraft is primarily a work of the flesh. In Galatians 5, Paul lists the works of the flesh. In verse 20 he mentions idolatry and sorcery. The Old King James Version had witchcraft, but as I pointed out whether you say witchcraft, sorcery or divination, they’re just three different aspects of the same thing. So, first of all, witchcraft or sorcery is an expression of the carnal nature of man, because man’s carnal nature desires to control other people and get them to do what we want. That desire never comes from God. It’s an expression of man’s fallen nature.
Secondly, very frequently witchcraft is not just the flesh but it’s an evil spirit, a demon, that has entered through the flesh. Just as you can have lust simply as an expression of man’s fallen nature, but if a man regularly indulges lust he will almost end up a slave to a demon of lust, hatred, fear. All the strong emotions are the same. Basically they’re natural but by yielding to them we almost invariably become the slaves of spirits.
There are three key words that indicate the presence and operation of witchcraft. Number one, manipulate. Number two, intimidate. And, number three, dominate. The goal is always the third one, to dominate. There are two alternative routes: one is manipulation, the other is intimidation.
Now I want to give you some examples. I’m going to try to describe a tiger to you. From now on, even though you might meet a tiger in different circumstances than mine, you’ll know it’s a tiger. That’s my objective.
Manipulation can begin at birth. Psalm 58:3:
“The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.”
Let me give you one very homey example. A little newborn baby is in its cot and its diaper is wet. It cries. Along comes mommy, picks it up, changes the diaper and then gives it a hug and a cuddle. The next time that baby wants to be hugged and cuddled, he cries, though his diaper is not wet. What is that? Manipulation. You don’t have to be old to practice that.
Let me give you a few examples from contemporary culture. First of all, the field of advertising. I want to say much advertising is ethical and honest and serves a useful purpose. But, in advertising there is also a great deal of concealed witchcraft. It appeals to pride and covetousness, very subtly. I’ve talked to some people in the advertising business, you’d be amazed at the psychological expertise that goes into planning advertisements. What are the purposes of this manipulation? Well, here are two of them. To want what you don’t need and to buy what you can’t afford. That is one major motivation of advertising today. What does it produce? Amongst other things it leads to addictions. Nicotine, alcohol. You see that beautiful picture of the man with the cowboy hat on that wonderful horse, they don’t even have to put a name there. But what does it say to you? Marlboro. Why don’t you have a smoke?
Or, you’re going down the street as I was just the other day, I think in Bromley. There’s this vivid picture of a healthy, happy looking man with a tankard of beer in his hand. It doesn’t have to say anything, you just look at him and think, “I’d like a beer.” What does it produce? It produces addiction to nicotine, to alcohol.
There’s another addiction which isn’t so commonly identified. Do you know what it is? Shopping. You men, you say amen! Shopping is an addiction in many people. I was driving some time back in our car behind a lady from our church—and our church is a good church—but her bumper sticker on the rear said “I was born to shop!” I thought to myself what a confession from a born again Christian, “I was born to shop!”
Listen brothers, I have a number of Jewish daughters. I’ll tell you, one of the commonest addictions of the Jewish people is shopping. Ruth is laughing because we’ve been through so many things with this. That’s just one practical example, not in a religious setting.
Let’s take another area, husband and wife relationships. Both of them are frequently taken over by witchcraft. Generally speaking, not always, the man being the stronger will use intimidation. But don’t you get sorry for the woman because she comes back with manipulation. And, she usually wins.
Let’s think about the man—rage; violence; he gets so man, so angry; shouts and disturbs the whole household. All the rest of the family says, “Oh, let’s not let that happen again. Let him have his way, let him do it the way he wants.” What was his motivation? Control.
Or it might be through jealousy. I know a couple in which the man has for at least forty years controlled his wife by jealousy. If she steps outside the boundaries that he had decreed for her he becomes so insanely jealous that she’s afraid.
Then there’s sulking. I know a family, a family very close to me, in fact, my family! My father was a good man, he was a successful officer in the British army. But if certain things didn’t please him he would go into a sulk and for forty-eight hours he wouldn’t speak. You give him a cup of tea, he wouldn’t even say thank you. Well, no woman wants to endure that. If there’s any way to avoid it she’ll do almost anything. What’s the undiagnosed motive in his heart? Control, get my way.
However, let’s look at the other side. The wife theoretically is the weaker vessel. She won’t normally use intimidation. I mean, there are situations. Once a brother came to me for ministry to his wife and my first wife and I drove him to his home and his wife was standing in the doorway with a butcher’s knife in her hand. But that’s not usual. Normally the woman will take the weakness route. Hurt feelings, tears, getting upset, emotionally disturbed, even some kind of emotional breakdown. And, it’s not planned, it’s all in the unseen supernatural realm. For instance, I knew a wonderful Christian family years ago, they were all fine Christians but the wife had a background in the occult. In those days we didn’t know how to deal with that. She also had very strong ideas about how the house should be run. If things didn’t go her way she got a migraine headache. I mean, she was in agony. The message went around the family, “Mother’s got migraine, don’t make a noise. Tiptoe around, don’t disturb her.” What was that? Manipulation. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t conscious. But, it was in the supernatural occult realm.
Another way that wives sometimes manipulate husbands is by guilt. The husband has been mean and unkind, and they cover it up. But every time the wife wants her way she gently insinuates and reminds him of the way he’s mistreated her. What is the result? Guilt. I want to tell you something, in my opinion, the Holy Spirit never makes a person feel guilty. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin but if you are struggling with guilt it’s not from the Holy Spirit. One of the most effective ways to manipulate people is to make them feel guilty.
Here’s something that many of you may find a little hard to accept. I have learned by observation that manipulation, in fact, witchcraft, more frequently affects woman than men. On the other hand, when it does take over a man it makes him a monster, it is incredibly evil and hard to deal with. In women, in many cases—and I wouldn’t be able to give statistics—witchcraft is inherited through the female line from generation to generation. Many females babies are born with a spirit of witchcraft in them. I have to be careful, I don’t want to offend people. I’ll tell you one area of the world where I’ve noticed this, which is what they call in America the Deep South; that is, Alabama, Mississippi and so on. There is a tradition of the southern lady. And believe me, they’re born manipulating. I’m not talking about blacks, they have their own problems. I’m talking about the southern lady. It goes from generation to generation. I remember my wife and I dealt with one pastor’s wife from that background. When we came face to face with the root of her problem, it was a battle. It was almost a physical battle to deal with that thing.
And there are probably some of you ladies here who have that inborn, inherited problem. You’ve got to face it and call out to God for deliverance. It will not be an easy deliverance, it will be as if something is being wrenched out of your guts. And if you have a loving and believing husband, you need to ask his help. If not, probably you need to go to a counselor here in the camp. I’m not saying that God can’t do it without but it is a major conflict.
There’s another way that both wives manipulate husbands and husbands manipulate wives, and that is by withholding the sexual relationship. Brothers and sisters, this is explicitly forbidden in scripture. Let me turn to 1 Corinthians 7. Again, I’m speaking from cases that I myself had to deal with. 1 Corinthians 7, beginning at verse 3:
“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her...”
And that includes the sexual relationship.
“...and likewise also, the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”
Ladies, married women, you have no right to refuse the sexual relationship to your husband. And husbands, you have no right to refuse it to your wife.
Now, I want to add a word of caution. I’m talking about what I would call normal, healthy sex. I am not suggesting that women necessarily have to be subjected to totally perverse and filthy experiences in the name of sex. I hope I’ve made myself clear. I have deep compassion for what some women are dragged through in the name of sex.
Now let’s look at children for a moment. How do children manipulate? Well, generally speaking, by rebelliousness, by temper tantrums. And you know it’s embarrassing for parents, especially if visitors are there, and the child throws a temper tantrum, lies on the floor and kicks his legs in the air and screams. And rather than deal with that in a firm and authoritative way you kind of hush it up and try to push the child out so that people won’t get embarrassed. I know a little girl, in fact, she’s a member of my family, she’s no longer a little girl. Whenever she wanted a cookie or a biscuit she’d wait till my first wife had guests, then she’d come in and say, “Mama, may I have a cookie,” because she knew my wife wouldn’t refuse when guests were there. Do you know what that was? Manipulation.
Parents, do not let yourselves be manipulated by your children. It’s the worst thing you can do for them, you’re starting them on a bad course through life. When they grow up and get married they’re going to be a terror to somebody if you haven’t checked them beforehand.
Then parents towards children, how do they manipulate? I would say possessiveness is a terrible form of manipulation, cultivating the dependence of your child upon yourself. I met a man who must have been at least thirty, he was a minister traveling and preaching. He said to me, “Since I left home at the age of eighteen, no matter where I am in the world I phone my mother long distance every night.” I didn’t need to know any more. He was manipulated, he had been trained in dependence. He would feel guilty if at any time he offended his mother.
Then another way of manipulating children is exploiting affection. If you love mommy, you’ll go down to the store, et cetera. Mothers, it’s sinful to talk that way to your children. If you love mommy, you’ll do this or that. It is manipulation.
Another form of manipulation is letting children believe that your love for them depends on their good behavior. Many of you here look back to your childhood and you can realize that you expected you had to earn your parent’s love by obedience. The love of parents should not be earned, it should be freely given. Every child should feel absolutely secure in the fact that his father and mother love him, even when he’s naughty. That doesn’t mean they indulge his naughtiness but it’s never an issue of “Do may parents love me?”
Now let’s move on to the church. There are many possibilities of manipulating in the church, I will only give you a few. First of all, appealing for money. I want to say that one of the things I respect about Don Double is he never manipulates. He tells it like it is. But many, many preachers, pastors, evangelists, manipulate. Like one technique, you’re holding a meeting of your donors, a banquet. You say, “There are five people here tonight who are going to give five hundred pounds each for this ministry.” One after another, four rather sheepishly stand up. And everybody is wondering am I the fifth. And eventually some poor sap stands up, motivated by what? Guilt, that’s right. Remember, God never motivates by guilt.
This is something I’ve seen in a lot of parts of the world.
And then another way preachers can manipulate is by harrowing descriptions of all the tragic situations that they’ve seen. Like, it wouldn’t be difficult to manipulate people if you could tell them stories about Bosnia at the moment. I believe it’s right that we tell the truth about the situation of the people we minister to. I believe it’s right that we let people know that they need help. But I believe it’s totally wrong to make people offer out of a sense of guilt. It’s a satanic substitute for the right measure.
And then another one, very, very common in the United States. You will receive your healing if you send fifty pounds to this ministry. Or, if you want your family best, sent a generous offering and I will pray for God’s blessing on your family. Liars! And you know where liars end up. It’s always important to bear that in mind.
Then in the church there’s also the motivation of fear and threats. The pastor says, “If you leave this church you’ll never prosper.” There’s a case in my book, Blessing or Curse, where a man actually said that. The man who was a smart businessman never prospered for the next ten years. His pastor had put a curse on him.
Then the demand for unquestioning loyalty. “I’m your pastor, you have to obey me. If you don’t obey me, you’re disobeying God.” That is a lie! But, it’s very common.
Another way of manipulating is to get people into a covenant. I have been associated with a number of churches which started with a written covenant where everybody in the church signed their name and said we will never break up, we will never separate, we’ll always consult one another. I cannot remember a single church that survived. I believe it’s unscriptural because all Christians are united by a covenant in the blood of Jesus and we do not have to make a special covenant. It’s a satanic substitute. And do you know what happens? I mean, I’ve been through this. Eventually you realize I just don’t belong here, I don’t agree with these people, I don’t believe the way they do things, I don’t think they’re totally ethical, I’m leaving. And do you know what you get called? A covenant breaker. How many people want to be called a covenant breaker? But it’s all manipulation.
I would say those are two marks of cults: the demand for unquestionable loyalty and the label of a covenant breaker if you ever separated. Wherever you encounter those two things you’ve encountered a cult, and there are many Christian cults. Some of you are entangled in them. I would say to you have the guts to get out. Don’t remain a slave the rest of your life. Don’t be manipulated by guilt or fears.
Then there are spiritual operations. This is where I become unpopular. For instance, there’s the gift of interpretation following speaking in tongues. I’ve grown up through the Pentecostal movement. I mean, I think I can say I’ve seen it all. I doubt whether there’s anything I haven’t seen. I haven’t actually seen people swinging from the chandeliers, I don’t know whether anybody ever has. But I’ve seen the rest. And I can remember in the days in Britain when the Pentecostal movement was much weaker there would be this little humble, struggling pastor with a congregation of fifty. There would be two strong women in that congregation and they knew exactly what the pastor should do. If he didn’t do it one of them would get a tongue and the other would get an interpretation and they’d straighten him out. Is that right? Do you know what that is? It’s manipulation. It’s got nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.
Then there’s controlling people by prayer. This may shock you but I don’t believe we should ever try to control anybody by prayer. I was in this country a little while ago, I don’t want to give away too many details, and there was a young man who was sick. Certain ladies, I think they admired me, felt that I was the one to pray for this young man. Well, I prayed about it and I didn’t feel I was but I heard that they were compelling me by their prayers to go to this young man. And the more I knew about it the more certain I was it didn’t come from God. I think they were good ladies but they were misguided.
There was a system in the United States, I think it’s more or less gone out, where if you really wanted to get people to do the right thing you got up early in the morning while they were still asleep and you spoke to their subconscious. Were you familiar with that? It was a movement that went on, I could name the name of the woman that led it. And by speaking to their subconscious you got them to think and say and do what they ought to do. That is witchcraft.
Then there is what I call “Charismatic fortune telling.” In Ezekiel 12:24 the Lord says, and He’s condemning the sins which led to the destruction of Jerusalem:
“No more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.”
The church today is filled with false visions and flattering divination. Let me warn you against one thing, being flattered. Proverbs 29:5 says this:
“A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.”
In other words, he’s laid a snare for him. Brothers and sisters, many times people will seek to ensnare us by flattery, especially by flattering prophecy. “You’re going to be a real apostle.” “God has called you to be a prophet.” “You’re going to pastor a large congregation.” What does that appeal to? Pride, that’s right.
I believe in prophecy. Many, many things in my life have been predicted in prophecy and been fulfilled. I believe in the word of wisdom, I believe in the word of knowledge. But, I know that there is a satanic counterfeit for every one of them. I’ll suggest to you just one way to identify the counterfeit. It’s taken from the words of Jesus in John 16:14, speaking about the Holy Spirit Jesus says:
“He will glorify me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it unto you.”
One of the supreme ministries of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus. And wherever glory is being given to someone other than Jesus you can question whether it’s the Holy Spirit. As soon as a human personality is put in the center and lifted up, and your attention is directed to him—”He’s the man of the answers, he’s the man you can go to, he’ll give you the true word of knowledge”—basically it’s very unlikely that it’s the Holy Spirit that’s at work, because He does not glorify man, He glorifies Jesus.
Now, the Holy Spirit is the encourager, He can speak words of encouragement. A word of encouragement was given to me here the first evening when I came to the prayer. I thank God for it. But, it didn’t glorify Derek Prince. Just keep an eye on who is the center and who is being lifted up—in any meeting.
I’ll tell you how to get the presence of the Holy Spirit in a meeting. Shall I? It’s very simple, lift up Jesus. The more you lift up Jesus the happier the Holy Spirit is. You don’t have to force Him, you don’t have to work Him up. He’ll come when you speak about Jesus and the cross. The Holy Spirit is ready to come. But when it comes to putting a man or a movement or an organization or even an experience in the place of Jesus, you’re on dangerous ground. Many, many Pentecostals have gone astray through glorifying the baptism in the Holy Spirit. They’ve put the baptism in the Holy Spirit in the place of Jesus. I told my Pentecostal brothers many times, “Listen, it’s not so important to preach about the power of the Holy Spirit, what matters is to preach in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Well, we’re coming to the end of the list. There’s one more area which is tremendously serious and I need to deal with it. In this matter of manipulation and witchcraft it is sexual seduction. There is a tremendous amount of it in the church today, both males and females can be subjected to this. Male leaders through counseling women, distressed women, neglected women, women who are just crying out for somebody to show them affection. And it may begin with a very innocent motivation but it ends up in sexual immorality. I believe we men in ministry need to protect ourselves. Personally, I never counsel a woman alone. Thank God I have a wife who’s there with me. I had my first wife.
During the period when I was a widower, if I was asked to counsel a lady I would always get some mature Christian woman to come in and sit in the session. I never exposed myself to that temptation. I would advise you brothers to do the same.
Then females are often seduced by males in positions of spiritual authority. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it, but there’s something about a priest in his black robes that appeals to the feminine instinct. Have you noticed that. Women will run after priests. This is not an attack on churches which have priests. But there’s something about it.
There’s a case that occurred even this year in the United States in a very large church in the southeast, a church with 14,000 members. It was discovered that the male leaders were teaching the women under them, who served them, that when you reached a certain degree of spiritual maturity it was a good thing to have a sexual relationship, it was a mark of maturity. This went on to the destruction of many women until one woman who’d been in the church had the guts to blow the whistle on that situation. It was described in all the main newspapers in the United States.
Ruth and I have a dear Christian friend whom I have known for probably twenty years. He’s a mature minister, he’s been forty years in the ministry, established a large successful church with many satellite churches, trained up a whole generation of young leaders. And one day a friend from the States phoned us and he said, “Have you got your seat belt fastened because I’m going to tell you something?” What he told us was this man on a certain day prayed with his wife as usual in the morning, went to his church office, left on his table divorce papers for his wife, walked out, locked the door, took to his car and disappeared. It turned out later he had set a date to marry another woman. We went to prayer. God intervened in a marvelous way, the other woman decided to return to her family. But the shock to that congregation, the shock in that city. I mean, if ever there was a man you would have considered mature, stable, dependable, it was that man. As I meditated on this a passage came to me from Proverbs 7. I want to say nobody is exempt from these temptations, definitely not Derek Prince. I’ll just read the last few verses of Proverbs 7. This speaks about the harlot and her victim:
“With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him...”
Notice the word flattery again. Did you notice that?
“Immediately he went after her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare he did not know it would take his life. Now therefore, listen to me, my children. Pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded and all who were slain by her were strong men.”
And one thing that’s very conspicuous with witchcraft is it goes after strong men. Its number one target is strong leadership. Unfortunately, it is not seldom successful.
So, you say, Brother Prince, you’ve told us all the wrong things, now tell us what’s the right thing. To do that would take me a long while, I don’t intend to try. I’ll give you one scripture in 2 Corinthians 1:12. Paul is speaking about himself and his ministry:
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.”
And I suggest that the positive remedy is simplicity and godly sincerity. My Bible in the margin comments on the word simplicity, it’s the opposite of duplicity. In other words, let’s be absolutely open, absolutely frank, no hidden personal agenda, no concealed motives, no secret relationships. Let us walk in the light as He is in the light.
Sometimes this requires confrontation. I happen to know, being British to the core, that if there’s one thing British people like to avoid, it’s confrontation. Lots of other nations are not like that. I came to see it’s a form of cowardice to avoid confrontation. Let me read you just two verses from Proverbs. Notice how many times we have to turn to Proverbs. The wisdom of Proverbs is really what we need many times in these days. Proverbs 27:5:
“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
It’s better to challenge a person openly than love them secretly.
And then in Proverbs 28:23:
“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterwards than he who flatters with the tongue.”
Notice again that word flattery. Do you see how many times it has occurred?
So, if there’s something wrong in the life of someone who’s close to you, maybe something that’s offending you or offending the church, don’t go through the back door, go through the front door. Challenge them openly.
Let me give you one example from Paul’s ministry in Galatians 2, beginning at verse 11:
“But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed.”
Peter, the leader of the apostles. That took some guts.
“Before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles. But when they came he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision...”
Because Orthodox Jews believe it’s wrong to eat with Gentiles. But in Christ the middle wall has been broken down.
“And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him...”
Notice the frankness of Paul’s language. He called them hypocrites.
“...so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, ‘If you being a Jew live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?’”
That’s the right way to deal with a very difficult situation. Because, in a sense, Paul was junior to Peter. Peter was the great apostle, the leader chosen by Jesus. But when he came and did the wrong thing—do you know what most people would do today? They’d start an anti-Peter movement. They’d go behind his back, they’d start to gather a group of people and say, “You see what Peter is doing is wrong. Can’t you see that?” That’s what I call church politics. Church politics are very fleshly. We, and especially we British, have to learn to be open and frank and honest with one another—in love, not in bitterness.
I’ve talked about the problems, let me briefly suggest to you the remedies.
If anything that I’ve said concerning witchcraft applies to you, if it doesn’t apply to you then you don’t have to take any further action. But if it does apply to you, if as a man you’ve been domineering, used your strength and your temper to inflict your will on your wife and your family; or, if as a woman you’ve been manipulative an not used honest words and honest means but you’ve gone behind your husband’s back and you’ve used certain tricks to get him to do what you want; or, if as parents you’ve tried to manipulate your children—and I suppose if there were children here we’d speak to them but I’ll leave them out. So you have a problem. I have given it a very unpleasant name, witchcraft. I believe God gave me that name, that’s my personal belief. I believe He did because He wanted to shock people. He wanted to show people in the church that what they were doing was totally evil and contrary to the will of God, and out of line with scripture. So He used that dirty word, witchcraft, and I have deliberately used it. I could have thought of some more refined phrase but I didn’t.
So all right. If, on the basis of what I’ve been saying, you acknowledge here tonight to yourself “I have a problem with witchcraft in my life. The way he’s described it in some way or other applies to me.” There are two possible responses. First of all, if you are using witchcraft, repent and renounce it. And if it is being used against you, refuse and reject it. You may have to be in both categories. You may be using it and it may be used against you. That’s very true of husband and wife.
Then, if appropriate, seek deliverance. I will give you an opportunity to acknowledge your need of deliverance here tonight. If you’re ready, you can be delivered here tonight. But if you’re not, and particularly for those women for whom it is an inherited power that maybe has dominated generation to generation, you may have to go for special counseling. You know the best person for a woman to go to for help? Her husband. Do you realize that? That doesn’t appeal to some of you, does it?
You see, your husband is your priest. Let me give you a little incident that happened years ago. I was preaching on deliverance in actually an Episcopal church, and a woman in the back got very angry at what I said, got up and drove out with her husband. On the way God dealt with her, she turned around and came back. When the meeting closed she came up by herself to talk to me and she told me her problem. God gave me certain wisdom, I said, “Where is your husband?” She said, “He’s at the back,” as though she were rather reluctant to acknowledge his presence. I said, “Call your husband forward and tell me your problem.” So she did. All she was saying again was “God told me this and God told me that.” After a while I said, “You know, it must be terrible to live with you because disagreeing with you is like disagreeing with Almighty God.” And for the first time her husband smiled. At last somebody had understood his problems! Then I said, “Now listen, I’m not the one to pray for you to be delivered. Your husband is your priest and you should ask your husband to pray for you.” She looked at me and she looked at him and there was a long silence. Then she said rather reluctantly to her husband, “Will you pray for me?” And the moment she said those words she started to get delivered because she had begun to meet God’s condition. Do you see that?
So, wives, don’t bypass your husbands. If they’re believers and they understand the things of God, go to them first. Then maybe the pair of you together may need to go for further counseling.
Now I just want to give an opportunity for help to people who are here tonight. You don’t want to go on with this problem for another 24 hours. You’ve seen the nature of it, you’ve seen how evil it is, how destructive it is, how contrary to the will of God and scripture. You say, “Brother Prince, I’ve got the problem you’ve described. I don’t want it any longer. Will you pray for me?” I will pray for you. If you want prayer, stand up, that’s all I ask you to do.
The Bible says whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered. All right? So, if you will call on the name of the Lord and meet His conditions, you will be delivered. The way I suggest you do it is this, I’ll lead you in a simple prayer, putting in your mouth the words that you need to say to call on the name of the Lord. When you’ve said the prayer and said amen, stop praying because you don’t get delivered by praying, you get delivered by expelling. I like Phillip’s translation of Mark 16:17 which says:
“These signs shall follow those who believe: in my name they shall expel demons...”
Do you know what to do with demons? Expel them. As long as you’re praying nice, religious prayers or speaking in tongues, the demons cannot get out, you’re blocking the way. So, say your prayer and then expel! Breathe it out. A spirit is a breath. The two words are the same in Greek. Most spirits come out through the mouth. Not all, but most. They don’t always come out in a dignified way. Jesus has never commissioned us to teach demons how to behave, He’s commissioned us to evict them.
This is where your pride could get in your way because you might say to yourself, “I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of those people. I don’t want to attract attention to myself.” Well, I tell people you have to choose between two things: your dignity or your deliverance. My advice is let dignity go and receive deliverance because after you’ve been delivered, dignity will come back, you don’t lose it. Do you understand what I’m saying? Are you prepared to take real strong action against your enemy and get rid of him?
Listen, spirits of witchcraft are very prone to misbehave. They are about as prone to misbehave as any spirits. They will scream, they will throw you around, they will make you shake all over. And in many ways what they’re seeking to do is frighten you. Don’t be frightened. Stick with it and God will give you victory. I hope you’ve understood me.
The rest of you here, if you don’t need help, pray for those who do. Let’s have a spirit of intercession in this meeting. Let’s have no spectators. The number of people standing must be several hundred. Pray for those people.
I don’t want to take any more time, I want to lead you in this prayer. Are you ready? Say these words after me out loud, speaking to Jesus and not to me.
“Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God, that you died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. I now repent of all my sins and I turn from all my sins. I renounce them and reject them. And in particular I renounce and reject the sin of witchcraft, trying to control other people and get them to do what I want. I confess it as a sin and I recognize that there may be a spirit of witchcraft that causes me to do this sin. If that is so, I ask for your forgiveness and I receive it now by faith. I take my stand against witchcraft, I break its hold over my life, I renounce it, expel it, in the name of Jesus.”
Now let it go. Every spirit of witchcraft in this auditorium that has truly renounced, go from these people now in the name of Jesus. Release them and go from them wherever they are. In Jesus’ name. In the name of Jesus. In the name of Jesus. Holy Spirit, move through this auditorium and wherever people have sincerely met the condition, bring deliverance to them now, in Jesus’ name. Lord, you know how they’ve been captives, how they’ve been enslaved. But O God, come to their help, we pray, and deliver them now. You evil spirits of witchcraft, get out of these people, get out of this auditorium. Go from this place, in the name of Jesus. In the name of Jesus. You have to bow before the name of Jesus. You’re subject to the name of Jesus. You cannot retain your captives because Jesus has come to their help, because Jesus is setting them free. In Jesus’ name, witchcraft, we declare you a defeated enemy. We cancel your claims through the blood of Jesus. You have to go.
I think especially of those who’ve been manipulated by their parents, by mothers particularly. I break that hold now, in Jesus’ name. In the name of Jesus. Every one that’s been manipulated by a parent be released in Jesus’ name. Be released in Jesus’ name. Let not that evil domination continue in your life any longer. In the name of Jesus, go. We banish every spirit of witchcraft from this auditorium. Out, in the name of Jesus. Out in the name of Jesus. Out in the name of Jesus. Go, go, go. You have to obey us because we speak to you in the name of Jesus. Not in our own name, not in our own righteousness, not in our own wisdom, but in the name of Jesus, the Son of God. Satan, you have to obey us, you cannot hold onto your captives.