Soon after my Baptism-in-the-Spirit I began teaching congregations how to recognize differences between the Holy Spirit miraculous gifts and the occult world’s counterfeits. Almost immediately a young man came to my hotel room seeking advice about a troublesome "spiritual message" he had received. It was this:

On a specific, named day of the week, he was told that his wife and baby would be killed in a car wreck. He was even told the location where it would occur. The message, which claimed to be from God, further warned him not to tell anyone--not even his wife.

When he reluctantly shared that frightening information with me, I immediately explained that he had received a psychic-prophecy.

What he experienced was not God's "word of knowledge" but a demonic counterfeit, such as fortune-tellers and clairvoyants experience. I explained that genuine "words of knowledge," I Corinthians 12:8, are always in harmony with the Covenant of Grace. No where does the Covenant provide for car wrecks, mangled bodies, and broken homes. Read it for yourself. Jesus came to "heal ... liberate captives ... restore sight ... free the oppressed, etc." Luke 4:18,19. Such psychic-initiated disasters as this husband was told are the works of Satan. I Peter 5:8,9. The devil came to "kill, steal, and destroy," and frequently does that through deception. John 10:10. Jesus brings life "more abundantly."

Since this young man--like many other Christians--was uninformed about the treachery of such a message, his wife and baby were in very real danger. As with most of us, he had probably studied horoscopes, played with a Ouigi Board, had his palm read, or done other things that left an occult shadow over him. Without wasting a moments time, I laid hands on him and took total, absolute, unconditional authority over that prophecy in the Name of Jesus Christ. As a believing disciple, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and speaking the Word of God vocally--and not in any ability of my own--we canceled the devil's forecast. I declared it null and void, powerless and impotent by the blood of Jesus. Do I actually believe disciples have that power? Absolutely. Jesus taught it, the Apostles confirmed it, you and I had better learn it.

As this young man talked, I remembered my own wife's tragic automobile wreck in which she had 13 broken bones and fractures, a collapsed lung, concussion of the brain, and so many injuries she could not be moved. That disaster followed my month-long premonition which was identical to the one experienced by this young husband. But, unlike him, no one told me how to stop it. When the wreck happened it brought total devastation.

People wonder why I am so out-spoken about the Holy Spirit’s gifts. I have reason to be! I know what it is like to "be destroyed for lack of knowledge!" Hosea 4:6. As a minister of the gospel I am now answerable to God and my own conscience. Paul said it--and I am committed to it: "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).

It was this conviction that overwhelmed me when I told my visitor about another young Baptist pastor. In a similar hotel room several years earlier he had wept-out the tragic story of a father in his congregation who dreamed a certain individual would be killed. A short time later the person died tragically. Soon after that, the man dreamed again; this time it was his son who would be killed. He was told to warn the boy about his impending death. The father ignorantly submitted to everything the dream demanded and two weeks later the boy died in a tragic automobile wreck. The church and family were emotionally destroyed and theologically devastated. God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6).

During our visit, I recalled the time in Atlanta when another precious Christian brother was killed in a car wreck within ear-shot of my house a few hours after his wife foolishly obeyed a "message" to make his funeral arrangements. At the time, he was in robust health. Obediently, she carried out every detail of notifying the pall bearers, selecting the soloist and songs, informing the two ministers who spoke--I being one of them--and choosing the Funeral Home. She left nothing unfinished. Without realizing it, she cooperated with Hell and in-effect told the devil, "Go ahead." He immediately did.

Another Christian family came to mind; a mother, father, two grandmothers, who were swept away in a flash flood after a relative had a psychic "warning". Nothing was done to resist the disaster. As a result, lives were lost and children orphaned. That absolutely is not the will of God. It violates every provision of the Covenant.

Later, the person, who had the "warning," received another. She dreamed that her daughter called in the night, shouted her husband's name into the telephone and said, "He's dead!" Again, the omen was ignored; no authority was taken in the Name of Jesus. Soon afterward, the mother's phone rang in the night, exactly as she had been fore-warned, her daughter shouted her husband's name into the receiver and said, "He's dead!" The man had been murdered. He was shot in his office, behind his own desk. Again, there had been no exercise of Jesus' authority against the psychic prophecy.

When I later stood at that man's casket to conduct his funeral, I wondered, "God! What does it take to wake up people to the reality of spiritual war?! How long will the Church continue its’ stupid fight against spiritual gifts?!" I am still waiting. But I am not waiting silently. After my wife’s accident God immediately sent me into the field, and said, "Go wake up my Church!" That has been my constant message: "Church! Wake up!"

Before her death in the Paris car-crash, Princess Diana was told by her psychic that "Happiness will always be snatched away from you." In submitting to that horribly-oppressed Medium instead of God, Princess Diana surrendered her life to Hell's agenda. The night of the crash, her new diamond ring lay beside her on the floor of the bloodied car. It was not even on her hand when she died. Instead, "happiness had been snatched away" from her. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21).

Soon after my return to a pastorate in Delray Beach, Florida, a friend and I went to a Psychic Fair at the local Mall, set up our booth among the fortune-tellers, and distributed tracts entitled Is It Dangerous To Consult Psychics? The leaflet contained Scripture quotations giving God's warnings to those who practice divination and those who receive it. Understandably, the psychics were outraged, called the police, and newspaper reporters came on the scene. Our chief complaint was that the psychics were selling self-hypnosis audio-tapes to children. For half-a-day we were able to keep the Fair shut-down. The newspaper story however portrayed me and my helper as the real villains. The psychics were our innocent victims.

Later, the man in charge of the Fair approached me privately. He had read the tract, was genuinely concerned, but defensive for the fortune tellers. "I've worked with these psychics for eighteen years," He said, "and I know what they say frequently comes to pass." I agreed. Pointing to the parking lot, he explained, "Suppose a psychic tells you that tomorrow at this same time there will be a green car in that spot, a white one next to it, and a red truck speeding by." I listened. "She tells you that a child runs out from between those cars and is killed. You come here tomorrow and it happens exactly like she said ...."

I stopped him. "I know what you are saying is true. Psychics frequently tell things that really happen," I said, "But you don't understand--the psychics are not merely predicting them--they are causing them. Through their evil prophecies, they fulfill the devil's will." When I said that, truth stabbed him like a knife.

He slumped forward, turned toward me, wide-eyed, and mouth open. I will never forget his stare or the look in his eyes. "How do I get out of this?!," He asked. "You need to be saved," I answered. "How?!" "Ask Jesus to forgive you. Tell Him you want to be born-again," I explained, "Commit your life to Him." Standing there in the entrance to the Mall he did exactly that, humbly, sincerely praying the salvation-prayer.

Someone asks, "How can Christians--such as the ones I described in the beginning of this article--experience such devilish dreams and messages?" Please hear my answer carefully: We have not yet been through the Resurrection– our "corruptible has not yet put on incorruption," nor has our "mortal put on immortality" (I Corinthians 15:53,54). Until that happens we are still vulnerable to spiritual attack. Demons can go anywhere sin and disease can go. If a Christian is immune to a demon he is also immune to sin and disease. Such a person does not yet exist.

We are now engaged in constant, unending spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our regenerate spirit is immune to demons--yes--but soul and body, mind and flesh, remain their public battleground. If unprotected, these areas can be penetrated by powers of darkness. Scripture and common sense confirm this fact (Luke 9:55 & II Corinthians 11:4). People with histories of psychic premonitions need deliverance. Such problems can exist for generations in a family.

Another asks: Does not the Holy Spirit’s "word of knowledge" warn us about these dangers? Absolutely. Several years ago a visitor at Central Baptist in Chattanooga warned me about a tragedy awaiting my airline flight that afternoon. I was instructed to "take authority" over the problem when I boarded the plane. Believe me, I did! I laid-hands on the aircraft, spoke the power of Jesus’ Name on the equipment, personnel, circumstance, and every-thing relative to it.

Later, when we tried to take off, an engine failed, the flight was canceled, and everyone ordered out of the plane. But the devil wasn’t through. Within days after that, on a different flight, and after a long-delayed first-attempt to take off, a passenger saw fuel spilling from a broken gas line. Again, at the last minute, the flight was canceled and tragedy averted. Our battle with powers of darkness is ongoing, endless.

Finally. The difference between a psychic pre-monition and the Holy Spirit’s word of knowledge is this: God’s warnings always provide a way of escape. His "word" comes with mercy and grace. Satan’s word is always one of unchangeable, inescapable death and disaster. If you ever receive a dream or message such as I described, do not accept it. It may destroy you or someone you love. God gave you the authority to cancel its effect in your life. Be alert! Be informed! Most important of all, be victorious! Know the difference between God's "words of knowledge" and the devil's "psychic deceptions." Your life depends on it! Don't become another victim of Hell's deceit!



Biblical References:

    Old Testament: Deuteronomy 18:10-12. II Kings 17:17,18. Isaiah 47:12-15. Ezekiel 12:24. I Samuel 15:23.

                                II Chronicles 33:6. Exodus 22:18.

    New Testament: Mark 16:17,18. Luke 10:17-20. James 4:7,8. II Corinthians 10:3-5. Matthew 10:1. Mark 6:13.

                                Galatians 5:19-21. Acts 16:16.

Authority over demons: Romans 16:20. Luke 10:17-19. Mark 16:17-20. I Peter 5:9. Revelation 12:10,11.