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This will be the first in a series of messages on demonology. By way of introduction to my message I would like to read to you a verse from the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 6:14. It is possible that when I first read this verse you will not exactly understand how it applies to the topic demonology, but I’ll read the verse and then I’ll seek to explain how I relate it to demonology. The verse reads as follows:
“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”
This is God’s charge against the religious leaders and priests of his day; that they claimed to offer healing to his people but it was not a genuine healing. The King James Version says “they healed the hurts of the daughter of my people slightly.” This is explained by saying they say, “Peace, peace; but there is no peace.” In other words, they had a religious front, they had the religious language, they had the services at the temple, but they didn’t have the inner real experience which God desired them to have. They didn’t have that deep, settled peace which comes from true faith in God and obedience to his word.
And over the years it has been borne in upon me that this is true of multitudes of professing Christians. They don’t have what they profess to have. They’re not specifically insincere but they’ve been brought up to sing hymns about peace and joy, their church—or their denomination—teaches them that Christians have peace and joy. Some of them are even trained to go out to others and witness that they have peace and joy, but really their hurts have only been healed slightly. There’s a cover-up for something that’s never been dealt with deep down inside.
To give you just a little illustration of this, I was in New Zealand a couple of years back with a Baptist family. The lady in the family was a teacher in the Sunday School, a sort of young adult Sunday School class. They had a trained nurse in the Sunday School class who was not a believer but was there because she was interested and really seeking. They were talking about what the gospel does and how it gives people peace and joy and victory. She stood up one day and said something like this: “Well, when I don’t have to visit the homes of the members of your church and administer sedation and tranquilizers on a large scale, I’ll believe in the peace and joy that you tell me that you have. But when your people are living on tranquilizers and sedation, there can’t be all that peace and joy that you’re talking about.” I think this is a very, let’s say, criticism. Christians are being trained to believe that they have something, they speak as if they have something, they try to look as if they have something, they even feel guilty if they don’t really have it, they still have to put on the front because that’s the way people act in church. If they claim to be Christians that’s how they’re supposed to behave. But, somehow deep inside there isn’t that inner reality that corresponds to what they say they have.
I served as a medical orderly in the British forces in the second World War and I wasn’t too much or an orderly but I learned a few lessons which have remained with me very vividly. One was an incident in the North African desert when a British soldier was brought into the reception station with a shrapnel wound in one shoulder which had come when a bomb had exploded somewhere near him. He took off his shirt and his upper garments and he was naked to the waist and there on his shoulder was just a little sort of black puncture with a little blackness around the edge of the hole. I, being theoretically a nursing orderly, went up to the doctor, the medical officer and said, “Shall I get a first field dressing, sir?” And he said, “No, it’s not good doing that. Bring me the probe.” The probe was a silver stick that he would stick in. So, he had the man down on the chair and stuck the probe in and he wiggled it around gingerly for a little while. Suddenly the man went up in the air. Then the doctor said, “Now, fetch me the forceps.” I fetched him the forceps and he put in the forceps where the probe had touched something in there, pulled it out, cleaned the wound up and said, “Now you can bring me the dressing.”
Then he said to me afterwards, “You see, the piece of shrapnel that caused the puncture was still in there. If you just cover that up with a dressing without removing the shrapnel, it would go on circulating and cause more complications.” I always remember that because I saw how foolish I’d been. But many, many times since then in counseling and dealing with people that incident has come back to my mind and I thought how many times a minister of the gospel puts a first field dressing on, covers it up but hasn’t removed the thing that really causes the problem.
So, as you see in your outline, I’ve stated there before we put the dressing on we’ve got to use the probe and the forceps. We’ve got to find out what it is inside there that’s really causing the trouble, producing the uncleanness, the irritation, the pain, and we’ve got to remove it—even though the person may find it acutely painful just the moment we touch the little thing that’s the source of the problem.
I have seen that this is true in spiritual ministry. A great deal of what is called preaching and counseling is putting on a dressing on a wound that hasn’t had the object that causes the problem taken out. The Lord has shown me over the recent years that the real problem causing agent in spiritual needs and difficulties is an evil spirit. We need the probe of discernment and we need the forceps of deliverance before we can cover that thing up and say it is really healed. I must testify from experience that over the years I’ve seen so much of this covering a thing up that hasn’t really been cleansed and brought to the light and dealt with that I’m sick of it. I can well understand God’s charge against the religious leaders of his day, “They’ve healed the hurts of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace [putting on the dressing] when there isn’t any peace.”
I would say to you this evening that in most Christian congregations you find very little real peace. You find very few people that have a deep, settled inner tranquillity. You find very little real, spontaneous, overflowing joy. You find a lot of people trying to look good, trying to look happy. You find not a few preachers and song leaders trying to make people feel happy. I don’t know how it may be with you, but nothing makes me feel more unhappy than somebody trying to make me feel happy when I’m not happy. I call that just covering the wound up and healing the hurt slightly. I am convinced that God has come to a period in his dealings with his people that he is not going to tolerate that kind of thing any longer.
The real root cause of most deep-seated and spiritual and personal problem is found in evil spirits, demons. In a later study I’m going to try to give a little account of the nature and activity of demons or evil spirits. Let me just say for the present that I’m using the two phrases interchangeably. Demons or evil spirits.
I also notice the words of Paul in 1Corinthians 9:26 speaking about his own ministry. He says:
“I therefore run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air...”
You see, a wild or inexperienced boxer will lash out with his fists, but all he hits is air. He expends a lot of energy. He may even get the impression he’s achieving a lot but he really does his opponent no harm at all. And again, so much of Christian ministry and activity is really beating the air. It’s lashing out with words, sermons and prayers. But, if you don’t know the real nature and whereabouts and activity of your enemy, it’s a happy coincidence when you land a blow on him. And again, the real source of deep-seated, long-standing personal problems in most cases is demons or evil spirits.
Until we come to detect them and realize and acknowledge their presence, now how they operate and know the means to deal with them we’re mainly operating like someone that is beating the air.
I’m going to take a little time to speak from personal experience. The Lord saved me very graciously and wonderfully in the year 1941 in an Army barrack room of the British Army in the middle of the night. Less than two weeks later he baptized me in the Holy Spirit in the same Army barrack room and right at that time—although I didn’t have the religious language to express it—he called me to his service. I knew from then onwards that my life belonged to God, that he had a plan for me and that he would work it out. He immediately began to show me certain parts of his plan for my future in or other of various different ways which I don’t want to go into.
In 1946 I was released from the British Army in what was then Palestine and immediately became what is called a full time minister or missionary to the Jewish people in Israel. Later on I became a pastor. Later on I became a missionary to Africa. But, from 1946 until the present day I have been in what is called full time Christian ministry. I’ve been associated with full gospel or Pentecostal groups from around five different countries: Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, Canada and the United States. I’ve preached in four of five continents so I am not without experience.
Right from the day that I knew about salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit and divine healing, I testified and preached about these things. I preached the full gospel, if you want to use that phrase. I knew about the new birth, I knew about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I knew about healing the sick. I lay for one year on end in a military hospital later in the war and only got out when I found that divine healing worked and that I could trust God for the healing of my body as I trusted him for the salvation of my soul. I also believed that the signs in the world indicated the second coming of Christ and I testified and preached to that effect, also.
I really believed that I was preaching the full gospel. I was preaching all that I knew to preach and I saw results. I saw people saved regularly, I saw many people healed, I saw many people receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I completed with my wife five years of missionary service in East Africa where people would have rated us as successful missionaries. We had the approval of our mission, we had the approval of the British government, the education department with whom we were associated. I still have letters of testimonial from them today.
When we came back to Europe at the end of 1961, and we were in my wife’s native country which is Denmark, for a little while I was not actively preaching and the Lord began to deal with me. I’m not going to actively seek to explain to you tonight exactly how he dealt with me or exactly how God speaks. I know there are different ways that God speaks to different people. But let me say the Lord very clearly spoke to me but not with an audible voice. In essence, what he said was this, and I’m summarizing. “Now, you have preached for so many years. You’ve been a missionary in two countries, you’ve been a pastor, the principal of a college. You’re the member of a denomination. You have a pension...” He went down the whole thing in a very practical way. Then he came up with this question. “Are you satisfied or do you want to go further?” That question really upset me. My first reaction, I’m ashamed to say it, was, “Well, is there anything further? I’ve preached the full gospel, what more is there to preach?” I knew there were many, many things in the Bible that I did not understand but I did not feel that they were urgent, practical truths that a preacher needed to make known every day. But then, as the Lord said, “Do you want to go further?” it obviously seemed to the Lord that there was further to go. I’m somewhat ashamed of my reaction.
Well, I have learned by experience not to speak hastily to God. Never say anything you don’t mean because he’ll hold you to it. I said in so many words, “Lord, give me a little time and I’ll come back with my answer.” About three days later I got back in touch with the Lord, it was on top of a cliff in a lovely place, and I said, “I’m ready with my answer. No, Lord, I’m not satisfied. If there is anything further I want to go further.” Do you know when I said I’m not satisfied, for the first time I realized how dissatisfied I really was.
And with many Christians, particularly preachers, there has to come a moment of truth when you face the fact that the results you achieved are not what you wish to achieve. Many, many preachers come to this place and then the devil tells them, “That’s what everybody does, that’s all there is to it. There’s nothing more and nothing more to know, you just have to go on this way. True, it was different in the days of the apostles but those days are passed.” I didn’t believe that theoretically but sometimes I acted as if the days of the apostles were passed.
Anyhow, I made a sincere commitment to God without having any idea of what I was committing myself to. But I said, “Lord, I’m willing to go further.” And from then on the course of my life began to change under the hand of God. It ended up totally different from what I had been anticipating. Within a year the Lord brought me to the United States without my planning it or having any intention in that direction. I became a permanent resident of the United States and, just recently, I took United States citizenship. That was not in my plan but it was in God’s plan.
I began to realize a few months after I made this commitment that the Lord was putting me through what I call a post graduate course of spiritual training. I must say it was thorough, he spared no time, he spared no expense. He would take me halfway across the continent and back again just to learn one lesson. There were various things in the New Testament that he opened up to me that I had never understood or been able to apply before. One of them was this business of dealing with evil spirits.
As a Pentecostal preacher I’d always believed in evil spirits; they’re in the Bible. Every now and then I’d been backed up into a corner in an unpleasant situation where I had to recognize that what was in front of me was somebody with an evil spirit. Like most people, I used to imagine that if I shouted loud enough something might happen. And every now and then something did happen. But it was a very isolated, unusual and unwelcome experience and I got away from it as quick as I could.
Furthermore, because of my association with Pentecostal people, I had made an assumption which most but not all Pentecostal believers make that once you’re baptized in the Holy Spirit there’s no possibility of having an evil spirit in you and you cannot possibly need deliverance from an evil spirit. I never heard anybody preach a sermon on that or prove it out of scripture but it was an assumption that was generally made and I found myself making the same assumption.
As a result of this, looking back on my past ministry, I can realize that people came to me whose needs I was absolutely unable to meet because I refused to recognize them. I can think of two particular cases. One was a young man who got saved in a street meeting where I was preaching. He had a tremendous conversion, baptized in the Holy Spirit, became a very eager, dedicated worker for the Lord. I mean, he put most other people to shame with his zeal and his dedication. But he had one problem, a very embarrassing one. It was lust in a specific form. He never could get permanent victory over it. He would come to my wife and me and say, “Pray with me.” I remember one occasion we prayed from about 10 o’clock at night till about 2 A.M. and he would say, “It’s leaving me, it’s leaving me. Don’t stop praying, I can feel it. It’s in my fingers, it’s going.” If I heard anybody saying that today I’d know immediately what to do. But in those days it didn’t make sense to me. Though we prayed by the hour, we never got that young man delivered and I met him years later, he still had the same problem. A dedicated, sincere Christian worker but there was one area in his life where he never got permanent victory. It affected, of course, a great deal of the rest of his testimony.
Then, there was another man who came, a Jew, from Germany. I particularly loved the Jewish people and am particularly delighted when a Jew comes to Christ. This man found Christ and made a bold open confession which is not easy for a Jew. I got to know a little of his background. Out of his entire family in Germany, only he and an elder brother survived all the rest of the family: father, mother, uncles, cousins, aunts, every other relative perished in Hitler’s gas chambers. Secondly, he was the second child and his mother had wanted a girl. When he turned up a boy she just wouldn’t accept the fact that he was a boy until he was about 15 years old. She dressed him and treated him as if he was a girl.
Now, if I met anybody with those two facts in their background today I would immediately know even what demons to look for. At that time, no. He was saved, he was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I heard him speak in tongues and I know German, it was not German. Beautiful, anointed tongues. But, at other times he would come to me and say, “Can’t you get this devil out of me?” He would tell me things that this thing made him do. Even to punish himself he would put his fingers in the door and slam the door on his fingers. Though it’s not pleasant to speak about it, he was driven to drinking his own urine as a form of self-punishment. If I met anybody that said that to me today I would know immediately the nature of their problem. He said, “Drive this devil out of me.” I said, “You can’t have a devil in you, you’re baptized in the Holy Spirit. I’ve heard you speak in tongues.”
I could add many to that list. But I realize because of my particular doctrinal preconception at that point, I was not able to see and therefore, I was not able to minister to the needs of these people.
Well, it was in this period of what I call post graduate spiritual training that one of the main themes God dealt with was evil spirits and how to deal with them and he brought me face to face with the fact absolutely in a way that could not be challenged by anybody that’s willing to accept simple, plain fact that multitudes of people baptized in the Holy Spirit still need deliverance from evil spirits.
I’m going to tell you just briefly one or two of the main instances that brought me face to face with this. I’m only going to give a few instances out of many but some that always remain vividly in my memory. In 1964–’64, I was pastoring in an independent Pentecostal church in a certain city in the United States. One day a Baptist pastor phoned me, it was a Saturday morning. My idea of a Baptist pastor at that time was somewhat different from what they are now. This man had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. For that reason, he wasn’t pastoring a Baptist church but he was a Baptist pastor. He said, “I have a lady who needs deliverance from evil spirits.” That was a rather unusual statement for me to hear from the lips of a Baptist pastor in the first place. Then he said, “She’s been baptized in the Holy Spirit.” That was still more surprising. And then he said, “The Lord has shown me that you and your wife are to be the instruments of deliverance and it’s to happen today.” I never had anybody say that over the phone to me before and I don’t let people dictate to me with their revelations. So I sent a quick wire up to the Lord while I was still on the phone, “Lord, is this you? Is this all right? Am I to go along with this?” It seemed to me the Lord said, “Yes, this is right.” I said, “All right, bring the lady around.”
So, my wife and I prepared for this. In the meanwhile a Presbyterian married couple came along who also received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and were just visiting. I said, “Sit down, stay and see what happens.” Well, the Baptist pastor came in with the lady. She was, I would say, about 35 years old. I learned later that she was a mother of three children and a perfectly ordinary looking middle class American housewife. The Baptist pastor got down to business very quickly. He sat the lady down in the chair and said, “She’s been delivered from the demon of nicotine but there are others there.” I sat there detached and observing and deciding not to go along with it and yet, not to reject it.
Then he did something—I want to say emphatically at this point that I’m not recommending everything that was done is a pattern of what should be done by no means. I’m just telling you the way it was. He sat this lady down in a chair and started to stir up the devil in her. That’s exactly what he did. He demanded Satan to manifest himself. After awhile there was a definite reaction from the lady. I was sitting there watching her and her countenance changed. It was as though another personality was beginning to appear. A yellow, sulphurous glare appeared in the center of each eyeball. I knew objectively that there was something there that wasn’t just a good, middle class Baptist housewife.
This preacher, like many people, had the idea—which I must say is incorrect—that demons get impressed if you shout at them. This isn’t true, all you’re doing is wasting a lot of strength and energy that could be better used in other ways. He was shouting at this whatever it was in this woman and, as I say, he got the thing to show its presence but got no further. I thought to myself if he could do it, I could do it. I must thank God that I had a thorough basic knowledge of scripture. I’m glad that I had it before I went in. Everything that I did and everything that happened I checked mentally with reference to scripture. I knew theoretically that if I spoke to this thing in the name of Jesus, it would have to obey me. I knew that, Luke 10:17, there it is. “Even the demons are subject unto us through thy name.”
So, I got in front of the lady and I said to her something like this, “Now, you evil spirit that’s in this woman, I’m talking to you and not to the woman. What is your name? In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command you to answer me.” The answer came immediately. Just one syllable, like a certain hiss. Hate. Everything in the woman’s features and attitude registered pure, undiluted hatred. I had never seen such hatred in anybody’s eyes in all my life.
Well, there I was, I got the name and didn’t know what to do next. I have to say in what follows, I was motivated by one thought. Whatever the devil wants, I want something different. If he would say one thing, I would say the opposite. I want to tell you that this was in the presence of about four or five reliable witnesses, all of whom would be willing to testify today to what happened. I thought what do I do now? I said, “Now, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you spirit of hate, come out of her.” This insolent voice which was not the least bit like the woman’s voice said this. “This is my house, I’ve lived here 35 years and I’m not coming out.” Again I said to myself, that’s right. Matthew 12, Jesus said the unclean spirit calls the person in whom he has resided his house. I said, “You are coming out.” After that it became a kind of psychological warfare. I had to beat this thing down stage by stage. Each stage took quite awhile.
What I’m describing—and I’m going to describe it briefly—actually took five hours to transpire. I said, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are coming out.” It said, “I’m not coming out.” I said, “You are coming out.” I gradually realized the more I quoted scripture and used the name of Jesus, the more ascendancy I gained over this thing. After awhile it began to bargain with me and it said, “If I come out, I’ll come back.” Whatever it said I was going to say the opposite. I said, “No, you’ll come out and you’ll stay out.” We argued that one for awhile and then it came down one notch lower and said, “Well, even if I come out, my brothers are here and they’ll kill her.” I didn’t know anything about his brothers but I was going to argue everyone so I said, “You’ll come out first and your brothers will come out after you.” I picked up the message there’s something more than one in here.
Well, we argued that one and then it said, “Well, even if we come out of the woman, we’ve got her daughter and we’ll kill her.” I didn’t know the woman had a daughter at the time but I said, “No, you’ll come out of the woman first and you’ll come out of her daughter afterwards.” After this argument it changed its tactics and without any warning the woman’s arms rose up, crossed over her throat and she began to throttle herself with her own arms. This was not play, her face was going purple and her eyes were starting to protrude out of her head. So, the Presbyterian man, who was taller and heavier than I am, and I rose up and in our united strength we just succeeded in pulling that woman’s hands away from her throat. Her strength was totally supernatural.
After this I went at this thing again and all this time, in me, there was a tremendous inner pressure like an inflated balloon sort of pushing against this spirit in this woman. At a certain moment something happened, there was a kind of hissing noise out of the woman’s mouth. Her head dropped forward limply, her body relaxed, and this pressure in me relaxed. I knew it had gone out. After a little while the woman became tense again and I realized that there were what the demons had called its brothers. So, we went through this procedure—as I say for about five hours—and it was very tiring. When one of us got tired another one would step in front and more or less, used the same methods. I think, in the course of the day, practically every adult present took a turn in dealing with these evil spirits.
The first one that named itself was hate. The next one, if I remember rightly, was fear. Then there was pride, jealousy and self-pity. That was a revelation to me. Self-pity is a demon. Oh, how many things I began to understand in my own experience and other people immediately when I grasped that fact.
By this time the woman was getting very exhausted and we had spent about four hours. When we got to self-pity I made the next one name itself. It said infidelity. At the time I didn’t understand that so I put it in my pending file. I know now that there are demons that drive women into sexual immorality. I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret that word. Let me say that a demon like infidelity doesn’t necessarily come in because a woman has been unfaithful to her husband, it comes in to make her unfaithful to her husband. Or a husband to his wife.
We still hadn’t finished and I made the next spirit name itself and it said death. Immediately I thought could that be scriptural? Immediately there came to mind Revelation 6, the horse whose rider was called death. I realized death is not just a condition, it’s a personality.
Now, I don’t recommend talking to demons in a conversational way but it is scriptural to ask them questions and compel them to answer. As I say, I’m not saying that everything I did was a pattern of what should be done. I said to this spirit of death, “When did you enter into this woman?” It said, “About three and a half years ago when she nearly died on the operating table.” Later I checked with the woman, it was true. She had major surgery and almost died on the operating table. I’ve learned since then that if a person has a major illness or a major operation, the spirit of death very frequently enters at that time. A person who receives the spirit of death may well die without adequate physical grounds to cause of death. I have confirmed this since then with medical doctors who have been in this realm of experience.
Well, we went against this spirit of death and ultimately it came out. As it came out, her face became like a death mask, there was not one thread of color anywhere in it. It was waxen, cold and when the spirit came out she was stretched on her back on the floor. Anybody walking into the room would have said instantly there was a dead woman on the floor. I remember then how they said about the boy out of whom Jesus drove the epileptic spirit, they said he’s dead. Jesus said he’s not dead and raised him up.
The woman lay exhausted for about ten minutes and then began to praise the Lord and speak in tongues. She had been speaking in tongues before and I had stopped her because God showed me that when she was speaking in tongues the evil spirits couldn’t come out, they couldn’t pass that barrier. This isn’t orthodox Pentecostal doctrine but it just happens to be true. That was it. Five hours and we felt the battle was won.
If this would have happened today I would know immediately that such a woman would need follow up and further instruction on how to protect herself because Satan would certainly not leave her alone. However, we didn’t know this. About halfway through the following week she phoned my wife and me and said, “I think some of them are trying to come back, would you come out and see me?” We went out to her home and began to talk with her and her youngest child, a girl of 6, was there. A thin, unhappy, shy little child who never would look you in the eye. No matter how you looked at her she would not look you in the eye. She was graded at school as retarded. After a little while I said to this mother, “You know, the devil doesn’t always tell the truth but when he said that they’ve got your daughter, I think he must have been telling the truth.” She said, “Would you pray for my daughter?” I said certainly we will. She made an appointment and exactly one week later the following Saturday they came with this little girl of 6.
Approximately the same people were present, the Presbyterian brother and his wife. I don’t think the Baptist minister was there the second time. For about three or three and a half hours we went through the same procedure with the little girl of 6 that we went through with the mother. The evil spirits took over, they took charge of her countenance, they took charge of her gestures and they spoke with their voice out of the little girl’s lips. I turned to the mother and said, “Is that your daughter’s voice you’re listening to?” She said, “It isn’t even like my daughter’s voice.” Several of the same spirits that had been in the mother were in the daughter. Hate was one. I don’t remember all of them but the last one, again, was death. When this spirit of death came out, the little child, like the mother, was stretched out on the floor looking like a corpse.
I have not been able to follow up fully on that but about two years later that child was doing all right at school and was no longer graded retarded. That’s just positive evidence of a change that took place.
This experience really once and for all opened my eyes. I saw the reality of evil spirits, I saw that they were exactly as they were portrayed in the New Testament, that they acted the same way and that the New Testament way of dealing with them was the only really effective way. I was preaching then to my congregation who were good Pentecostals. Real good Pentecostals. I began to look at my congregation in a new light. I saw things and saw forces in work at them that I never understood. I thought they need deliverance, too. I began to kind of preach in a round about way about deliverance. I tell you, it’s no good preaching in a round about way. Never give hints when you preach because the wrong people always take them. You’ll give a hint about being too noisy and the one that’s noisy doesn’t listen but the little shy mousy woman that never would open her mouth is squelched forever. You see, if you’ve got anything to say to an individual, say it to the individual and not to the group.
Well, when I began to talk about deliverance to Pentecostal people, they sat back with an indulgent sort of smile on their face and thought our pastor’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’ll get over it. Who knows what would have happened. But one Sunday morning during the worship service I had chosen as my text Isaiah 59:19: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” I was not aware of it but a tape was being made of this message and it’s preserved and I have it today so everything I say can be verified from the tape. I didn’t hear the tape ’till about six months later and I was interested to hear myself because I realized after about 15 minutes of preaching, the Holy Spirit began to take control of me in an unusual way and I began to say things that I hadn’t planned to say. Furthermore, my voice changed. I mean, I listen to myself with interest. I became unusually bold in my preaching. My theme was no matter what the devil does, God has always got the last word. God began to bring things to my mind. I said, “Egypt had their magicians, God had his Moses. Baal had his prophets, God had his Elijah.”
Then the thought was brought to me that when God wanted to show Abraham what his seed would be like, he took him out in the dark night and showed him the stars of heaven and said, “So shall thy seed be.” I said to them, “We are the seed of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ and we’re like the stars. When all the other lights are shining you don’t see the stars. But when every other light has gone out, then the stars shine brighter than they ever have shone before. This is how it’s going to be at the close of this age. When every other light has gone out, the seed of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ are going to shine like the stars.”
It’s interesting to know there are messages the devil doesn’t like. And I’ll tell you, that one is at the top of his list. I had just got to this climax and the most unexpected thing happened. Sitting on the front pew on my left was a lady who came every Sunday morning specifically to play the piano. She was the daughter of a Pentecostal pastor, she was married to a Pentecostal Bible student. Her brother-in-law was a minister. She had grown up in Pentecost, known salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit from her earliest years. She was a test case. As I reached this point in my message she let out a prolonged, bloodcurdling scream. This is recorded on the tape so there’s no need to exaggerate about it. She threw her arms up in the air and slumped to the floor in a very unladylike action. Here I was, I just preached no matter what the devil does, God has got the last word.
So, I either had to prove it or stop preaching. That’s where I was. I intended to prove it. I tell you, I didn’t feel like backing down for one moment. I thought I’d need a little help so I looked across the congregation and saw my wife, I knew I could count on her. I thought maybe we need one or two more and I looked at my good Pentecostal church members. Honestly, there was not one of them who could say boo to a demon. The Presbyterian couple who’d been with us in the two previous battles were there and I knew they knew what it was all about. I said, “Will Brother and Sister so and so come up and help us?” The four of us gathered around this woman still writhing and moaning on the floor.
This Presbyterian lady—I’ll always remember her—when it came to demons she was like a cat after the rat. She didn’t wait for anything. She started to jump up and down and she said, “Now you spirit that’s in this woman, what is your name?” Out of this woman’s throat there came a harsh, gruff, masculine sounding voice which said, “My name is...” but wouldn’t say any more. Well, I always need somebody to get me going so I thought if this Presbyterian lady can do it, I can do it. I stood in front of this spirit and I said, “Now, in the name of Jesus Christ I’m speaking to you and not to the woman. What is your name?” He said, “My name is...” but he didn’t say any more. I said, “You have to answer me, you’re subject unto me.” After a little of this psychological warfare it suddenly said, “My name is lies.” It said it so loud that everybody in the church went up and came down with a bump. You could have heard it outside the church. I said to myself that’s scriptural, 1Kings 22, “a lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets of Ahab.” I said, “You lying spirit, in the name of Jesus, come out of this woman.” Then began 10 minutes of the most intensive struggle I think I can ever recall in my life. Spiritual, mental, physical, it was total warfare. This thing defied us, it refused to come but I knew it had to. After about 10 minutes it came out of this woman with a loud prolonged, sustained roar like an express train going. As it came out, the woman’s tongue was protruding out of her mouth bluish in color and twisting like a snake. When the spirit had gone the roar subsided and the woman fell to the ground like an empty sack. I knew the Spirit of God but I also knew there were more. God was so good to give me a few private runs before I got launched in public. Otherwise I would have made a fool of myself and said, “Praise the Lord, our sister is delivered.” She was delivered of that but I knew instantly from what I felt inside me that there was a lot more.
However, I thought that was enough for the morning worship service so I said to the church treasurer who happened to be on hand, “Now, if you will take our sister in the office, I’ll continue with my sermon.” The church treasurer and the Presbyterian brother marched the lady off into the office and I went back to the pulpit. I was preaching to round eyes and open mouths and I never had to argue with that congregation again about demons. There wasn’t just any argument left.
My wife went in with the lady and after a little while I heard dull thuds coming out of the office and my wife put her head around the corner of the door and said, “You better come in here quick.” I knew my wife wasn’t given to panic so I realized something was going on there that needed my presence. I said to the people, “I think I’ll close my sermon and you can either stay in the church and pray or go home, whatever you feel like.” I got down off the platform to go into the office and the mother of this woman that had made this strange display, a very godly, saintly woman walked up to me and said, “Mr. Prince, is that our daughter?” Do you know I didn’t know how to answer her. It must have been. There was only one person sitting on that bench. The whole countenance and behavior of that woman had changed so completely I didn’t dare to say yes. I said, “I think it must have been, there was no one else there.” She said, “May I come with you to the office?” I said by all means.
She and her husband, the girl’s father, came in. The husband of the girl came in. When we got in the office it was not like it should have been in a pastor’s office. The girl was being held one on each arm by the church treasurer and the Presbyterian brother. Every time she got a hand free she was just tearing her clothes off. If she couldn’t tear her clothes off she was tearing other people’s clothes off. When I saw this I thought to myself this is where Pentecostal preachers get into trouble. I said to the family—husband, father and mother—I said, “If you’d like to take this lady to a psychiatrist, that’s perfectly all right by me. I will do nothing more unless you all assure me that you want me to handle this case.” They all said instantly, “We’d like you to handle it.” I said, “In that case I think everybody except my wife and the members of the family and myself should leave the office.”
The mother of the girl began to tell me that she’d been seeking to make an appointment for some time to get counseling for the girl and her husband because their marriage had begun to take a very strange turn. I don’t want to go into the details but the woman was a nurse and she was able to express these things very correctly. A strange type of perversion was developing between this woman and her husband which was just totally unlike what you’d imagine a Pentecostal couple would get involved in. Then I began to think I’ll pray again and I couldn’t. Then it transpired that this young woman was infatuated with her brother-in-law, her husband’s brother. They were exchanging letters which could have a perfectly good meaning or could have a somewhat different meaning. She had one of these letters addressed to her husband’s brother in her purse at the time. I said immediately, “This is sin and if you will not renounce it as sin I will not pray for you because I cannot pray for you if you intend to keep up this relationship.” I said, “If you will renounce it you’ll give me that letter in your purse and I’ll tear it up in front of you.” It took 10 minutes to convince that woman that she had to do this. She handed me the letter and I tore it up and dropped it in the wastepaper basket.
Then I thought really, if she’s a woman it would be better if my wife were to pray with her. But somehow God showed me very clearly, “This is your job.” I put my hand on the woman and as soon as I touched her she slumped to the floor in a sitting position. Then again, in a way that I cannot explain, the Lord showed me that there was only one position of her body in which this woman could receive deliverance and that was with her body pressed forward and her head between her knees. I put my hand on the small of her back and pressed her body forward. Something like, I would say, like being in the delivery room of a maternity ward. This will sound extraordinary to some people but I began to command the evil spirit to come out and they came out one after another, naming themselves. Some of them had very unclean, sexual names. This is the thing. As they came out of her body each one registered against the palm of my hand. I don’t know whether you’ve ever seen people dropping airline tickets in and there’s a little beep as each airline ticket goes in and they count them at the gate. It was just like that. It was like an electronic record in my hand each time a spirit went past.
I have no theories about this but it was clear and definite. This happened around about noon and round about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, as far as I was able to judge, the last spirit went out. And when it did, the woman was totally exhausted. She was absolutely like a rag. She just slumped limply onto the floor and lay there for about 10 minutes, then put her arms up in the air and began to praise the Lord for deliverance.
So far as I know, that woman was delivered, as far as I’m able to understand. I’ll tell you one typical and sad thing. She never returned to that congregation. She was too ashamed to come back. To me, this seems to be such an indictment of the church. We’re so respectable that when people really get into trouble they can’t come to us. I am convinced this is true again and again of the Christian church in the United States, it’s like a middle class club. That’s about what it is. And the people that really ought to need help the most just wouldn’t dream of coming to that kind of a place to get help.
After that I never had to convince my congregation that spirit Baptized Christians could have evil spirits. From then on my wife and I were launched into a new phase of ministry. We didn’t choose it, it was like an explosion, it was like an avalanche. People came from everywhere. Most of them did not come to the church, they came to our home. How they knew we were there, it’s hard to say. But for week after week we never went to bed before about 2 or 3 in the morning, we had people in our home counseling and praying with us.
Now, as a result of this my own physical strength began to break down and I got a very serious lesson that if I didn’t watch my own strength and spiritual condition, I wouldn’t be in a position to deliver anybody; I’d need deliverance myself. Also I began to see that this was not really a practical way to handle the situation. I soon discovered that the basis for getting a person delivered is proper instruction out of the word of God. To give a person the instruction they needed would take probably about an hour. To pray with them would take, say, another 30 minutes. In other words, each individual took an hour and a half. If you did 30 people a week, that was 45 working hours which by modern standards is a working week. Furthermore, it was extremely wearing physically for the people doing it.
So, I didn’t know quite what to do but the Lord gradually showed me that this isn’t necessary. As a matter of fact, I really cannot recall exactly how I got into it but I found myself preaching on deliverance, calling people forward and instructing them how to receive deliverance and then seeing them delivered without all this individual counseling and praying.
I remember vividly one of the first situations in which this really happened was the International Convention of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship in Chicago in 1965 in the Conrad Hilton Hotel. I was doing the afternoon Bible teaching each afternoon for five days. One day I spoke on deliverance. There were about 600 people in the Bible class and at the end I made one appeal for those who felt they might need deliverance. Immediately 200 people put up their hands at a minimum. I called them forward and I found 200 people standing in front of me needing deliverance. I thought what do I do now? It really was at that point that I saw that if I gave them the correct instruction and prayed a general prayer, they could get their own deliverance. Many did. I can still meet people over the United States who say, “I got delivered in that service in the Conrad Hilton Hotel in 1965.”
But, I’ll have to admit it was a chaotic scene. There were a couple of epileptics that fell to the floor and were coughing and there were women screaming and some women just rushed out in panic and went up to their hotel rooms and decided they wouldn’t come down again as long as I was preaching. So, I have to agree with my critics—of whom there have been some—that it wasn’t the standard type of service. Really, I suppose the Conrad Hilton Hotel isn’t really the place for that sort of thing.
We had another instance of deliverance in those meetings the last afternoon when I didn’t preach on deliverance. We got landed with a young woman. And again, this is a five hour case. I did not count but a lady who was present counted and wrote down the names of 72 different spirits that named themselves and came out of this one girl. We know this girl today, she’s a friend of ours, she’s living for God. This was not just a temporary flash of emotion, she’s not the type of person who is ignorant or couldn’t express herself or could be misled as to what was happening. Some of these spirits that came out her were fantastic. For instance, there was one that was the spirit of fetishes that understood Swahili which I spoke from East Africa. The girl had never been near East Africa and didn’t understand a word of Swahili. This spirit knew everything about East Africa you’d need to know. It would name politicians, answer questions and so on. In many ways I got objective proof of the validity of this thing.
Then I began to think is it right to do it in public? It embarrasses some people, some people don’t feel it appropriate to a church service and so on. I began to study the ministry of Jesus and it was made very clear to me that Jesus regularly did this in the synagogue. He taught and then he cast out demons in all the synagogues of Galilee. They were not quiet, they screamed and threw people on the ground. They frothed at the mouth, they identified him as the Son of God and so on. It wasn’t done in that decorous, seemly way that some people like to associate it with a synagogue or a church; there was plenty of action. I said to myself—and I still say it today—“If it was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for me.” As far as I’m concerned I have no ambition to improve on the methods of the Lord. If I can attain to that, that will be my ambition satisfied in that respect.
I can only praise God but in the years between then and now, without exaggeration, I have seen thousands of people delivered from evil spirits and I have written testimonies from those who number well over a hundred, physicians, lawyers, teachers, attorneys—not ignorant, emotional, unstable people who don’t know what they’re talking about—who cared enough, without my ever asking them to, to write down and express what deliverance meant and to express their gratitude to God and also to me for receiving deliverance. I will say this. Of all the torment that people endure today, there is no torment that equals the mental and spiritual torment that demons inflict. If you want to have some idea of what it’s like, go to a mental institution. I actually hate to think inside me what it’s like to be inside the doors of one of those places. I’ve gone to those places, ministered to people but it’s very, very hard to minister when a person is under psychiatric or medical care. You can’t cross swords with a psychiatrist.
We had a woman in the meeting here tonight, we had the potluck supper. The last time I saw her she was in a mental institution in North Carolina and her husband took me to see her and said she was apparently a hopeless case. I do not remember what I said but I told her the root of her problem and she came here that Saturday night about four weeks ago and said, “I want to thank you for telling me the truth. You were the one who helped me. That’s why I’m out, because you told me the truth about myself and when I faced the truth I got out.” She’s been out for two or three years now.
So, these are facts about this.
Now, I would like to go back to scripture just in closing this message and I want to line this up with the book of Joel which, as I’ve said in other studies, I believe is an outline of this latter day visitation of the Holy Spirit. I’ve said in previous studies the them of Joel is desolation, restoration and judgment. The desolation is the desolation of the entire inheritance of God’s people. One day when I was meditating on this ministry and what it had brought me into God asked me this question. He said, “You’ve preached on the desolation of the inheritance of my people many times. Did you ever stop to think what caused that desolation?” I said, “No, Lord, but I know it right now. It was an invading army of insects.” And the Lord said to me, “My people have been systematically invaded by the forces of the enemy and these are demons.” It’s not an accident, it’s part of Satan’s strategy. One of the great end products of the present move of the Holy Spirit in the church is to drive out Satan’s fifth column inside the church. The church will never be able to function as God designed it to function while it has a fifth column inside it.
What is true of the church collectively is true of believers individually. You cannot be the kind of Christian that God could make you when you have something inside you taking away your peace, fighting against what is true and good, disturbing and tearing down from within you. You may have outward victory, you may be able to lead a decent Christian life. You may be able to suppress this thing but remember one thing. God’s solution is not suppression; it’s deliverance. Lots and lots of Christians are suppressing something that shouldn’t be there. They make a good job of suppressing it but it isn’t God’s solution.
Now look at the picture here in Joel 1:4.
“That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.”
That’s the invading army and the result of the invasion is summed up in the end of verse 12:
“...joy is withered away from the sons of men.”
That’s what demons do. A Christian cannot have deep-seated abiding inner peace and joy while the enemy is there like an insect nibbling away at the fruit of the Spirit.
Restoration is described in Joel 2:25.
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
This is the promise of restoration. It comes in direct association with the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the close of this age and notice the summation of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The climax of what is achieved in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Joel 2:32:
“It shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”
God has shown me that part of my ministry is not to pray for everybody individually but to instruct people how to meet God’s conditions so that they can call on the name of the Lord and receive deliverance direct from God. This is in direct line with scripture. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”
Let me just state in closing four results in my own personal life and experience which I have traced from being brought into this ministry. First of all, I have proved afresh the accuracy and reliability of the scriptures. Demons are just the way they’re described. They behave the same way and they need to be treated the same way and it works. It’s not a medieval superstition, it’s not ignorance. The Lord didn’t put himself down on the level of people of his day because he didn’t know better and they didn’t know better. This is exactly the way it is and it’s exactly the same today as it was in the New Testament. It’s a fact.
Secondly, God showed me many times through helping others my own need of personal watchfulness and holiness in an altogether new way. So many times I realize how many time people yielding to anger, bitterness, resentment, self-pity had opened the way for evil spirits. God showed me how I had to cover my own life and I’ll tell you. I may not be the kind of Christian I ought to be but I am much closer to the Lord today than I was when I first moved into this ministry. I’ve covered up many, many gaps in my armor.
Thirdly, I’ve understood in a new way the significance of the cross. In the spiritual world denominations amount to nothing. All that matters in the spiritual realm is what Christ did on the cross. His shed blood, his death, his resurrection and what that means to the believer.
And fourthly, I have to praise God and give him the glory that I have been able to help literally thousands of people whom I could not have helped until God showed me these truths which I have been sharing with you.