While witchcraft is very real, its greatest strength lies in the power of deception. For those who accept it, that deceit always ends in disaster. An example is King Saul who died tragically after seeking the witch of En Dor for spiritual guidance. God had become silent to him. In the "seance," Saul thought he was speaking with the dead prophet Samuel. He was not. The witch had no power to raise Samuel from the dead. Resurrection comes only through Jesus Christ who warms against sorcery. What the witch had power to do was to perform a seance in which a demon visibly appeared in a convincing imitation of the prophet. Some would argue that the "being" in the vision spoke truth. Correct. Satan’s strategy is to mix truth with lies. Saul was deceived by the mixture, believed the message and died the next day. 1 Samuel 28:14-20.
In the seance, Saul never saw what the witch described. He "perceived" the vision to be the prophet. Such deceptions are common in our day. Seances amaze their victims with powerful demonic manifestations and a sprinkling of truth. When the seance began, the witch suddenly cried out, "An old man is coming up and he is covered with a mantle!" And "Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down." When Saul reverenced the demon by bowing to it he submitted himself to its full power and deception. Scripture explains: "Now Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up? And Saul answered, I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore neither by prophets nor by dreams."
Question: Would the real prophet–Samuel–have disobeyed God’s silence to Saul by responding to him? No! It was not Samuel who appeared but a demonic impostor. We have an even greater confirmation of this truth when Jesus told about a rich man and a beggar who each died . The rich man went to Hell; the beggar went to Heaven. The rich man begged that Lazarus might return to earth to warn his brothers about their escaping future torment. Jesus’ instant reply was: "Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us." Luke 16:26. According to Jesus’ teaching, the phantom speaking to Saul could not have been God’s true prophet.
Scripture carefully records the scene as Saul perceived it. Saul said to the imitation Samuel: "I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do. Then Samuel said: So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? And the Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, and was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day or all night."
Someone argues that demons would not give such an accurate prophecy that the Bible would quote it. Not so. That is part of the deception--devil worshipers happily mix truth and error. The Bible is honest in reporting it Also remember that the prophecy that brought Wise Men from the East to the manger of Jesus came from another false prophet: Balaam. This pagan was hired by a heathen King to curse Israel. Instead, from the top of a mountain overlooking the Jewish encampment, Balaam announced: "A Star shall come out of Jacob; A scepter shall rise out of Israel ..." Numbers 24:17. It was this message, kept alive among the Gentiles for centuries, that brought Wise Men from the East. They knew the "scepter" spoke of a King’s authority, the Star announced His birth, and they happily came seeking Him who was "born King of the Jews." Matthew 2:2. Balaam tried to curse the people of God–but blessed them instead. Even so, Moses knew of his danger and had him killed.
I knew nothing of the threat of demons and their work until my eyes were forcibly opened. That occurred in 1977 when an inmate in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary laid-hands on me to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That awesome day he quoted Ananias’ words to Saul of Tarsus and I was dramatically "baptized in the Holy Spirit." Acts 9:17. Jesus promised this in Acts 1:8, when He told the disciples "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." To my amazement–I began experiencing power like I had never known before and started teaching congregations about 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 site where it would happen. The message, which claimed to be from God, further warned him not to tell anyone--not even his wife. When he reluctantly shared this 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 looked at 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 from my mouth–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 a month-long psychic foreknowledge I had which was identical to this young husband and father. But, unlike him, no one told me how to stop it. I told him of a youthful Baptist pastor in a similar hotel room several years before who 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.
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. Later, as I stood at that man's casket, 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. More than twenty years ago God took me from pastoral work, sent me into the field, and said, "Go wake up my Church!"
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 engagement 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 own booth, and distributed tracts entitled Is It Dangerous To Consult Psychics? The leaflet contained Scripture quotations expressing God's warning against those who practice divination and those who receive it. Understandably, the psychics were outraged, called the police and reporters with photographers soon arrived on the scene. My friend and I were portrayed by the newspaper as the real villains.
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, turned slowly toward me, wide-eyed, mouth open. I will never forget his stare or the terror 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 asking God’s forgiveness, and sincerely praying the salvation-prayer.
Someone asks, "How can Christians, such as the ones I described, experience such dark dreams and devilish messages?" Answer: Our minds and bodies have not yet been through the Resurrection–our "corruptible has not put on incorruption," nor has our "mortal put on immortality." I Corinthians 15:53,54. Until then, we are 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 root deeply into a family and harass it for generations.
Another asks: Does not the Holy Spirit’s "word of knowledge" warn us about dangers? Absolutely. 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 that! I laid-hands on the aircraft, spoke the power of Jesus’ Name on the equipment, personnel, circumstance, and everything 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 premonition 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! Jesus said, "I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions , and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19-20
If you’ve ever attended a seance, had your fortune told, studied horoscopes, and participated in any occult activity, I urge you to repent, pray, ask the Holy Spirit to thoroughly cleanse you from all defilement. Know the difference between God's "words of knowledge" and the devil's "psychic deceptions." Your life depends on it! Don't repeat King Saul’s tragedy. You need not become another victim of Hell's deceit!
— Charles Carrin