Many believers today do not understand that there is a big difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. Some believers take something they read in the old covenant and want to follow it now even though it contradicts the new covenant law of love. For example in the old covenant, a woman who just gave birth is unclean for a specified period (Lev 12:1-7). A woman was also considered unclean if she was menstruating while a man who has a body discharge was also unclean (Lev 15:1-11; 19-27). When a man has an emission of semen (including when he has sex with his wife) he will be unclean until the evening (Lev 15:16-18). Also, great men like Abraham, David and Solomon married more than one wife.
Other examples of laws in the old covenant include death penalty for anyone who curses or fights with his father or mother and for anyone who serves or worships idols (Exodus 21:15-17; 22:20). We also have the law of an eye for an eye, toothe for toothe, thou shall not allow a witch to live, etc. (Exodus 21:23-25, 22:18). This is why you should not be surprised if you read in the Psalms where David prays against his human enemies. He was simply applying the law as it relates to his dispensation. Other prophets in the old covenant also did the same thing David did and they were righteous for doing so.
One thing you must understand is that in the old covenant, Jesus had not yet died and there was no provision to cast out devils from people who were possessed. This is why God told the Israelites that any witch must not be allowed to live but must be killed physically. Elijah could easily call down fire to consume people because he was applying the law of an eye for an eye. If someone kills your wife or your child, you have a right to kill him for it.These laws do not apply to us in the new covenant as it applied to them in the old covenant. However our society today is governed by a legal system which determines the punishment for those who break our laws. As believers our desire is that these law breakers (as bad as they are) should come to repentance and know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Even when we punish and correct those under us we do so with an attitude of love which aims to help them find repentance so that their eternal destiny can be secured.
The Doctrine of Christ
Jesus Christ the head of the new covenant church gave us direct instructions to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us and pray for them which despitefully use us and persecute us.
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for hemaketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matt 5:43-46)
Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? If your answer is yes, then you must be ready to obey His teaching or doctrine as your head without questioning irrespective of how illogical it may seem. To obey the instruction to pray for our human enemies and love them may look difficult but it is what we have to do if we are true followers of Jesus. He told us that the proof of our love for Him is when we obey His commands (John 14:15, 21, 23,24).
Anyone who will not obey the teaching of Jesus does not love Him (John 14:24). Anyone who will not love his enemies, bless those that curse him, do good to them that hate him and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute him does not love Jesus. This is not a matter to be debated but a statement of fact drawn directly from the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself (John14:15, 21-24; Luke 6:27-37; Matthew5:43-48).
Many believers are not willing to obey these instructions today despite knowing that Jesus Christ gave them. The reason this is so is because the love of God shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit has not been allowed to dominate us (Romans 5:5). We must love those who make themselves our enemies by taking sides with the devil against us the same way we love our friends.
Jesus Himself showed us that there is now a difference in the law as it relates to those in the Kingdom He came to establish. He said this when He was preaching the gospel of the kingdom into which we have been introduced in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 and Luke 6:20-49. The summary of His message in these scriptures was that of applying God’s laws through the eyes of love.
The laws were not down played but were put in a new perspective, hence even when a man has not slept with a woman physically he is found guilty of adultery if he did so in his heart unlike what was the case in the old covenant. On the other hand the law of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, etc., were changed (Matthew 5:38-41). There are several other laws that no longer apply to us today. This is often the case if they are not consistent with the way of love.
When taking what we are told in the old covenant and considering to use it in the new covenant, we must take it through a simple test of love in other to determine whether it still applies to us today. If it fails the test of love, then it is no longer relevant to us in the new covenant because anything outside of love is sin as far as the new covenant is concerned.
David, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. all lived under the old covenant when the law of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, life for life, burning for burning, strife for strife, thou shall not suffer a witch to live, etc. were in place. When studying their lives, what they did and how they prayed we must not forget to take it through the test of love so as to know which of their actions can be copied today and which one we should discard.
This is so because we are living in the new covenant where anything not done in love is sin. For instance David and Solomon married many wives. They could divorce their wives any time they felt like doing so by simply giving her a certificate of divorce. This is not applicable to us today as those under the new covenant as was explained by Jesus in Matthew19:3-9 and Mark 10:2-9.
When David was dying, he gave instructions to his son Solomon to make sure he pays back Joab and Shimei the evil they did to him (David) (2Kings2:1-10). He was actually telling Solomon to apply the law of an eye for an eye; hence he did not commit sin for giving this instruction to his son.
You will agree with me that this is not right for those of us in the new covenant today because we are directly told by Jesus and the early Apostles not to do so because it is God’s responsibility to avenge for us (Matthew5:43-48; Luke 6:27-37, 1John 2:4-11, 3:14-15, Romans 12:19-21, 2Thessalonian 1:4-10, 2Timothy 4:16, Hebrews 10: 30-31). We cannot afford to pass that kind of instruction to our children. If we do that today, it will condemn us straight to hell fire because we will be walking in hatred and unforgiveness; hence we will not be fit to be in God’s kingdom.
Shoot down the rider and recover the horse
Human beings, possessed and being used by the devil and his demons (e.g. witches and wizards, occult men and women, wicked people, etc.) are not our enemies as believers in the real sense of the word. Praying that our human enemies and people possessed by the devil should die is like shooting the horse (our human enemies) instead of the rider (the demons and the devil) in a battle.
The rider will simply find another horse and keep aiming at you. We should bind the devil and his host of demons and set their human captives free so that they can come to know God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The devil is the one who owns the agenda to kill you. He will simply transfer the agenda to another witch or wicked person if the one carrying the first assignment dies just like
God transfers his agenda to another man when the man he gave it before fails him. The devil and his demons are the unseen forces behind these evil and wicked people driving them to continue in their evil deeds against us.
In the new covenant, we must see evil people including witches, extremereligious fanatics, occult men and women, etc., as sinners who are on their way to hell and desperately need God’s intervention to be saved. We must see the devil and his demons at work in them against us and learn to deal with them (the devil and his host of demons) as our enemies or adversaries and not the human beings they are using against us (1Peter 5:8).
God’s word shows us that our first responsibility (whether in our family alter and when we come together in a church service) is to intercede for all men because it is the will of God that all men (including witches and wicked people) should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy2:1-4). I have seen many people become saved after God put a strong burden in my heart to continually intercede for them which I obeyed. In the Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel) where I presently worship, focus has been placed on interceding for the lost by our father Bishop David Oyedepo (Ph.D) since this year 2015 and we are having tremendous conversions of sinners including those possessed by evil spirits and those in occult. Testimonies of breakthroughs which only the hand of God can deliver have become our daily experience. We too were once enemies and alienated in our minds by wicked works, yet God has now reconciled us to Himself (Colossians 1:21).
In the old covenant, you are doing a righteous thing and vindicated when you pray against and seek vengeance on your human enemies (Isaiah 54:17). When applying Isaiah 54:17 in the new covenant, every tongue that rises up against us is condemned in love because everything in the new covenant (including our prayers) is done in love.
In order words, we have the right to rebuke and cast out the unclean spirits behind the evil operation against us and condemn everything spoken against us by declaring who we are in Christ. We are to declare that we are above any curse or oppression and refuse the evil spoken or planned against us from coming to pass. We are expected to make declarations to cancel every evil formed and projected against us. We can also make declarations that will lead those being used by the devil to salvation. We can declare that they should have some terrible experiences that will make them realise their need for God and be saved. This is our heritage and righteousness and vindication in the new covenant.
However those who continue to live for the devil by doing evil against us will one day face the penalty of their evil deeds when their time of grace (as determined by God alone) expires (Galatians 6:7; 2Thessalonians 1:4-10; Revelation 20:14-15).
My personal experience with a witch
In January 2015, I had an encounter which clearly shows that believers should focus on giving people who are possessed by the devil the opportunity to be saved. I entered a room and noticed that the Lady there who was supposed to talk with me could not look straight at me. Perhaps I would not have noticed if I did not need to talk with her. I immediately recognized that she had an unclean spirit which immediately began to manifest in my presence. I took authority over the unclean spirit and commanded it to allow me tell her about Jesus. After hearing about Jesus, she was willing to be delivered and saved. According to her she was possessed with the spirit of witchcraft and I was shining like the sun hence she could not look at me. Before her deliverance she confessed to coming to my house to try to attack one of my Children but saw an Angel who appeared to her and warned her not to try to do the evil she thought to do.
After obtaining her consent and willingness to be delivered, I commanded the evil spirit to leave her. She coughed for about 20 seconds after which shewas set free and could then look at me. I led her through the salvation prayer and immediately laid hands on her to receive the Holy Spirit which she did. Checking on her a few days later she was already speaking in other tongues and having a great time in God. She is still saved and filled with the Holy Spirit today. Indeed greater is He that is in us than the devil that is in the world. I have had several experiences similar to this. We must focus on depopulating the devil’s kingdom and populating heaven instead of sending the devil’s captives to hell.
A witch, a wizard, someone in occult, or anyone possessed by evil and wicked spirits is in bondage. They all desperately need you and me to help them obtain their freedom which Jesus already paid for. Which would have been better: that I killed this witch or helped her to find deliverance, become saved and filled with the Holy Spirit?
Know and take advantage of your divine guarantee of security
Many believers who pray for witches or their human enemies to die do this because they desire to be secure and free from the works of the devil and his agents. I personally believe in and live by the revelation of divine security which is available to all believers in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:3; Psalms 91:11-14; Isaiah 54:14-17).
Every born again child of God has been positioned far above principalities and powers and our lives are hidden in Christ inside God (Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 2:6; 3:10). How can the devil afflict and oppress you who is sitting far above him? The problem with the church is that we have not taught ourselves who we are in Christ and the privileges and rights available to us because of our salvation experience. If we know and walk in the reality of our redemption, we will naturally dominate the devil and his entire demonic host and their human captives including witches and those in occult.
Those who are called as ministry gifts (Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists) to the body of Christ can also stand in their office using the anointing on their lives to undo and bring to an end the works of the devil over the lives of those to whom they are sent. Every believer must know and walk in the revelation of their divine security. They must keep their fellowship with God which means they will be walking in the light. God rules in the light but the devil rules in darkness (John3:19-21; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:13; 1John1:5-7; 2:8-11). If you are walking in love, you are out of the reach of devils because you are dwelling in God and God is dwelling in you.
Any believer who walks in darkness will be ruled by the devil. If he hates people and refuses to forgive them, he will be plunged into darkness and will become vulnerable tothe attacks of those in the kingdom of darkness and will experience their works such as sickness, failure, insecurity, accident, death, etc.
Remember that as anew creature in Christ Jesus you are designed to survive and thrive only in an atmosphere of love. When a fish is taken out of its aquatic environment, it dies because it is not created to survive outside of it. We are designed to live and survive only by staying connected to God by remaining in Christ through our walk in love (John 15:1-12; 1John 2:3-11, 4:16).
I encourage you to allow the love of God shed in your heart by the Holy Spirit to dominate you so that you will live out the love life and truly reflect the character of God. God loves those who hate and reject Him. He demonstrated this love when He gave Jesus Christ to die for our sins. When you love and pray for your human enemies you are demonstrating the character of God and walking in the doctrine of Christ.
Evangelist Oghogho Ikponmwosa Ph.D
President, Save the Lost Gospel Evangelistic Ministry