[Home] [How to Measure Your Beliefs] [The Man-Made Church] [Misc]

[Home]>[The Man-Made Church]>[16. Personal Relationships]


This is the 16. Chapter of "The Man-Made Church."


16. Personal Relationships


by Frank L. Preuss


In the following we want to take a case and look at it from different angles. This case shall serve as an illustration of how family problems can occur in a spiritual relationship.

We have two people and we want to give these two people names. They are Maggie and Fred. Maggie and Fred are both Christians and both are active Christians. And both work together and are doing things for God. They complement each other and God is using these two people and they bring help, the good news, healing and encouragement to many people. Maggie is a single person and childless and Fred is also single but has two children. Maggie spends most of her private time working in God's vineyard and so does Fred. Quite a considerable part of this time they are doing things together. They are friends and they also come together in the same assembly of believers. Often these meetings take place in the home of Fred and sometimes in Maggie's home. Maggie knows Fred's children well and they are quite fond of her.

Maggie and Fred are both eager to grow as Christians and they are helping each other in this aim. Fred would like to get married again and Maggie wants to stay as she is; she wants to remain in the situation she was in when God called her. She things that it is better for her. She has studied the Bible in this respect and is quite familiar with the seventh chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians. She does not want to marry because she does not want to face many troubles in her life. She wants to be free from worldly concern and wants to be concerned about the Lord's affairs - how she can please the Lord. Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. She wants to live in a right way in undivided devotions to the Lord.

Fred is used to have a wife and enjoys married life but is not too happy now not having a wife. He would like to get married again. He also thinks of his children and that it would be good for them to have a mother again. He has asked God to give him a wife and a mother for his children. And now since he knows Maggie he believes that she is the woman that God is giving to him - that Maggie will be the ideal partner for him and a good mother for his children. He also things that their work for God will even become more effective when they will not just be friends and co-workers but when they will be a married couple. And he feels that there will be a lot of practical advantages when they are married. At the moment one of them always has to drive to the home of the other to pick her or him up and also time has to be spend on the phone to prepare things and to discuss spiritual problems of the people they work with and he thinks that this time could be shortened or even cut out completely. And there are quite a number of other advantages when they would have only one household. They, for example, could help each other spiritually much more when they would have more time to be together.

Fred makes no secret of the fact that he likes Maggie and Maggie herself also likes Fred and enjoys his company and the company of his family. Fred starts to intimate his intention and when there is the right moment he drops a hint and signals his interest to get married to Maggie. Maggie is a woman and this has some effect on her and in a way she might even enjoy his positive attitude towards her, also because it helps their work they are doing. She knows that a dislike would not further their aim. But she has sorted out her priorities in her life and does not pay much attention to Fred's advances. She might also think that his behaviour is typical for men and that men think they have to behave like this. She is very much interested in all the aspect of their ministry and does not spend much time on Fred's hints.

But after some time Maggie starts to notice that Fred's way of acting creates problems in their ministry. An example might be that she ministers to a man and this man responds quite positive to her and to her ministry and that Fred behaves in a uncooperative way. She thinks about this and can't avoid feeling that Fred is jealous. After several of such experiences she feels that Fred should come to the same insight that she has and that he also should be free to minister and not be hindered by marriage. She does not want him to get married because she does not want him to face many troubles in his life. She wants him to be free from concern. So when they discuss spiritual things she brings the subject to the seventh chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians. Fred is used to get new insights in the word by listening to others and is quite open to Maggie ministering the word to him. But after some time he realizes that this teaching has personal implications and that it is actually contrary to his aim in his personal life. He has quite a battle in his mind.

He comes to a typical point in the life of a Christian: is he going to make the word of God final authority in his life or not. Is he going to renew his mind? He has been thinking family life - the life of the natural family - all his life and that has not changed when he became a Christian. He might have read the relevant parts of the Bible in this respect but they never really became alive to him - probably because he was not very much inclined that way. Another reason was that he never really got any teaching on this subject. Quite on the contrary. All the way the Christians around him lived and were taught was a worldly way of family life. Church weddings were the normal thing and happened regularly.

Is he going to renew his mind to the word of God? Is he going to give up his carnal way of thinking? This is the way he should choose as a child of God.

His one option might be the following: He starts studying the word and determines to apply it in his live. He starts to take control of his thinking. Everything that draws him to a sensual way of thinking he recognizes as such and replaces it with thinking which is in agreement with God's word. He systematically works on this change. He stops a lot of his carnal behaviour patterns and he stops feeding his mind with sensual reports and discussions.

His other option of reaction could be that he does not change - that he carries on in his old established way of thinking and behaving. He still wants to get married and his thinking and planning continues in this direction. After a while he realizes that Maggie is not going to change her mind and he starts searching for another suitable woman. This option will not help his ministry because it is basically a decision to stay carnal - to continue to live a worldly life. His interest in spiritual things will remain divided and he will fail to have victory in life. He will try to serve two masters: the flesh and the Master. And that does not work. But his main problem is that he will not grow. He has refused to be obedient in this one step God had shown him and which was necessary for his advancement and now God will wait until he learns this lesson and he will not show him much more. He will become stagnant. And that is equal to backsliding. The only way to go is to go forward and progress in the things of God.

But there is also a third way. He decides that Maggie is the person he should get married to and he believes that God has send her his way and that it is now a matter of getting Maggie to realize this and to become obedient to the will of God. That this is not the will of God at all we know already from the word of God we have studied in this connection. But as Fred is not prepared to accept God's word as God's will he will not be able to see this truth. He has chosen a way of destruction. He is interfering with the will of another person and not only that, he is also interfering with the will of God. He himself will probably think that he loves Maggie and that he just wants the best for her and help her to get on the right road. But the first condition to love another person is to respect that person. If we claim to love another person but are not respecting that person, we will not convince that person of our love. God created us with a free will and he respects our free will, even when we are not in his will or are acting against his will.

God leaves the decision to us - due to the fact that he gave us free will - to decide to be free or to decide to be a slave. Our freedom makes it possible for us to be free or to make ourselves a slave. We even have the freedom to make others to our slaves. It is a sign of a low spirit when one wants to take away the freedom of another person - or his own.

We are coming here to the fundamental difference between the way God deals with his creation and the way the devil acts. God will be open and let us choose if we want to do his will. His law does not force us, it is just guiding us. The devil will use deception and will bend the truth and lie to us in order to get us to do his will. He will try to force his will upon us.

God has given us a free will and he will respect that free will of ours. When we make a decision to make Jesus the lord of our life then we decide out of a free will to become obedient to God's will and do what he says. This can be compared to a situation where I decide to learn something and go and serve an apprenticeship with a master. I then make a decision to be obedient to a master - to a master of that trade I want to learn. That master then has the right and even the duty to teach me and to guide me and to tell me what to do. But he does that because I have asked him to do it - because we have made an agreement accordingly. If this master would try and get me to do things without us having made this agreement - without me having asked him to be my master - then this master would be wrong in his behaviour - he would be trying to override my free will. He would assume authority that he has not got - that I have not given to him. And this is exactly what the devil does. He tries to get us to do things that he wants us to do and that we don't want to do. He wants us to behave as he dictates. He tries to be our master without us having appointed him to that position. And when we are clear about the situation and the ways the devil works then we will recognize what is going on and we will do something against the devil - we will resist him and he will flee from us. And a person who acts evil is doing the same what the devil does. And a person who tries to get us to do things we don't want to do and things we think that they are wrong to do is also doing the same - the same what the devil is doing. The fact that this person is not aware of what he or she is doing - doing something evil - is another thing. It is still evil even if all the intentions are seemingly so good and even if this person only wants the best for us.

The aim of the devil is to get us to worship him - to become devil worshippers. This aim of his is clearly stated in the Bible. The devil says to Jesus in Matthew 4:9, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." So his aim is clear. He would like that everybody bows down to him and worships him.

But most of the people are not doing it - they do not want to become devil worshippers. And the devil is quite aware of this.

And now comes the big difference between him and God. The devil will try and use every means he can think of to get us to worship him without us making a decision to do so, without us being aware of doing it. Worshipping the devil means listening to the devil and doing his will. And that is witchcraft. And that is why it is something like witchcraft trying to bring another person to do one's will - especially trying to get that other person to do something that that person does not want to do and thinks it to be wrong to do. And that is why prayers in that direction are not getting answered. God is not going to override other peoples will.

Let us look at such a prayer. In Luke 10:40 we have such a prayer:

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

There are quite a number of things wrong in this prayer. But one of them is that Martha wants to get her sister to do her will. Let us look at Jesus' reply. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

So Jesus is clearly telling Martha that he is not going to tell her sister to help her, quite on the contrary, he is telling Martha that her sister is doing the right thing. And he is telling her that she is doing the wrong thing, that only one thing is needed: sitting at his feet listening to what Jesus said.

What is wrong what Martha is doing? Firstly Martha is worried. To worry is to sin. It means not to trust God to do everything necessary. Martha is worried about many things. She is worried about all the preparations that had to be made (Luke 10:40). But it was not really necessary to make these preparations. We know this because when Jesus was teaching great numbers of people it was also not necessary to make preparations. Jesus fed them without making preparations. He fed 5000 and then he fed 4000 (Matthew 16:9-10). Jesus could easily provide food for the company of believers meeting in the home of Martha. The Bible says in Luke 10:40 that Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She was distracted from the really important thing. And the really important thing was to sit at the Lord's feet listening to what he said (Luke 10:39). Fred is distracted from the really important thing. The really important thing is to sit at the Lord's feet listening to what he says. That is what he should do. Instead of doing this important thing he is busy with worldly things, trying to build a worldly family without realizing that he has a spiritual family and that that spiritual family works very well, works better than his anticipated worldly family. We have here again the word "better." It is "better" not to marry. Mary has chosen what is "better." Fred has got the believers meeting in his home. He has got the body of Christ in his house. Christ is visiting him in his own home and instead of sitting at his feet listening he is distracted with worldly things - trying to set up a worldly family.

A number of females come to these meetings, young and old, and they are every one of them in a certain way a mother to Fred's children, especially the older ones. Many older women are just ideal for bringing up children. And one of the younger women is Maggie and she is even more close to his children and has specific contact with them and spends time in their house and has them as guest in her home. The assembly plays at least a good role as mother as a wife could do.

Now there is a second prayer where a person wants another person to do his will. In the first prayer we had two sisters and in this second prayer we have two brothers. So we see already that this business of trying to get another person to do our will is often a matter between brothers and sisters - between siblings.

In Luke 12:13 we have this second prayer, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." It is a wrong prayer. This man tries to override the will of his brother. And in addition to this he is also doing something else wrong: he is greedy. And Jesus tells him so. Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me judge or an arbiter between you?" then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And then Jesus told them the parable about the rich fool. So this man was greedy. He was trying to get things. He really should have first sought his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things would be given to him as well (Matthew 6:33). The same situation applies to Fred. If he would first seek his kingdom and his righteousness, then all these things would be given to him as well. Fred then would receive a complete family. Actually he already had a complete family, it was only up to him to recognize it as such. He did not recognize the family he had - his spiritual family - because he only saw his natural family.

Jesus said to the man, "Man, who appointed me judge or an arbiter between you?" What is an arbiter? An arbiter is a man who is appointed from both sides. Both sides are giving such a man the job to decide in their difference. But Jesus had only the wish of the one man. He did not have the authority of the other man - the brother - to make a decision. If Jesus had made a decision he would have done so without having the agreement of the brother. He would have violated the brother's free will. And only the devil is doing things like that. Only people who are guided by the devil will do things like that. It is a devilish way of acting - trying to get you to do their will - wanting you to behave as they dictate.

So we see that this prayer was wrong and that Jesus did not answer it. Jesus did not grant this man's request - his prayer request. Jesus said to the man, "Man, who appointed me judge or an arbiter between you?" Jesus did not have the authority to do what the man wanted. Here we have a very good example of the fact that God created man with a free will. God has limited himself. When our prayers are aimed at changing the will of another person then God can't act - he is powerless. God has to respect his own principles and his own word. If he would not do that then he would become untrustworthy. But God is very trustworthy - he sticks to his rules.

Coming from a basic view, this prayer simply contradicts the tenth commandment: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s" (Exodus 20:17). So this man should simply obey God's basic requirement: the ten commandments. His prayer violates the tenth commandment: he covets his neighbour's belongings.

May be we start to check up on our prayers and find out why some of them do not receive an answer. Are we violating some basics? And we should especially check if we are trying to get things done against the will of other people?

If we prayed similar prayers we should start to search why they have not been answered. May be we realize that we did not pray the will of the Father and that we also tried to change the mind of other people. And then it might be a good idea to study the answers Jesus has given to the two prayers we have discussed here and find out if we have similar wrong attitudes and aims. May be there is some correcting to do be done.

There is something else to learn from these two prayers. When people come to us for guidance, help, counselling and prayer we should watch out if there is a similar attitude as we found it in Martha and in the man who wanted his brother to divide the inheritance with him. If they want us to get involved in a dispute with a third person, if they want us or if they want God to get a third person to do something, we should learn from Jesus and react as he did. We should not yield to their request. We should may be label their wish - tell them what they are actually trying to do - and even teach them about what it means to try to influence other people. And we should also do the same what Jesus did and get their focus off the other person and guide them to focus on themselves - on their attitude. Because the problem does not actually lie with the other person but with themselves.

What are these problems? They are actually quite serious. It is the sin of complaining. It is the sin of not being content. It is the sin of speaking negatively - slandering another person. It is the sin of wanting worldly things. It is the sin of trying to bring another person to leave the right way. It is the sin of being greedy. It is the sin of being a hypocrite, because when such people are religious they say, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," and when they are normal then they want - they want their sister to do their will, they want their brother to divide the inheritance with them, or they want to marry another person against this person's will.

It is the sin of not seeking the kingdom and his righteousness. It is the sin of trying to interfere with the free will of another person. It is the sin of trying to become that person's lord and not letting the Lord be lord of that person.

We actually have to do something when another person tries to get us to do something we do not want to do. We have to stop that person. If we do not stop that person we run the risk of getting into a situation where that person becomes something like a lord in our life. We could get into a position where somebody else runs a part of our life.

They want to influence us to do things we don't want to do. And that is not just some not so good manners, or bad manners. It is sin. And not only that; it is a decisive sin. It is such a bad sin, because it was the first sin that was committed. With that kind of sin all trouble started on this earth. Adam was influenced against better knowledge to sin. It is a terrible thing to try to get other people to do things that they don't want to do. Why did Adam fall for this? Because he could not say "No."

Adam should have simply rejected Eve's request. The best way would have been to say to Eve, "God has commanded me not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Why didn't he do it? Why don't people do it today? Why does something like this especially happen in families? Why does something like this especially happen between husband and wife?

We want to be nice. We want to grant a wish a person close to us has. The only person that is really close to us comes with a request - in Adam's case the only other person that existed on earth - and we want to grant that person her wish.

Solomon's mother came to her son, the king, with a request. And how did Solomon, the king, react? Solomon stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand. That is the way we also want to treat somebody close to us, our mother, our wife, somebody close in our family. And Solomon even went further. He went so far to grant his mother her request before he had heard it. He said, "I will not refuse you." But his attitude completely changed after he had heard her request - requesting him to jeopardize his reign. What did he do? He gave orders to kill the problem immediately (1 Kings 2:13-25).

And that is what we have to do: kill the problem immediately. Solomon immediately saw the significances of that request. It was an attempt to get him off his throne of his own life. But it was more. It was an attempt to get him off the throne of Israel. And that meant that the children of God - the assembly of believers - would not have any more a leader chosen by God but a leader chosen by the devil. The whole community of the children of God would suddenly be in the hands of the devil.

We have to kill the problem immediately. What is the problem? It is not really the person that speaks to us. It is not really Eve, or Adonija, or Bathsheba, or Peter or Fred. It is the unseen opposition of satanic forces. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).

God gave us the command to rule in life - to rule under his authority. If we allow anybody else to sit on that throne of our life - may it be the devil or another person - we are committing the crime of high treason. Do not abdicate from self-responsibility. No one is in charge but you. Fight against the intrusion of any outside source.

To have Jesus as Lord in my life means that I will not allow anybody else to lord it over me. This is not even a matter of priority or order of precedence, of what comes first and what comes next and what is more important and what is less important. It is either Jesus Christ who is my lord or it is the devil. There is no other alternative. Adam yielded to Eve's request, that is how it may look on the surface, but the spiritual significance was that he handed over the dominion over himself to the devil. And that meant sin and death reigned from that moment on (Romans 5:12-21).

If we study Jesus then we will see that he uses strong language when it happens to him, that someone wants to tell him what to do; that someone wants him to do things that are completely wrong; things he does not want to do. So if we would do the same - use words that are highly upsetting - we would be on good ground. Jesus said for example, "Get thee behind me, Satan" when Peter told him what to do (Matthew 16:22-23).

So who was really behind Peter, Jesus's closest brother? It was Satan. Who was really behind Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and behind Adonijah, Solomon's brother? It was Satan. Who was really behind Eve? It was the serpent. So it is always Satan who is really after the throne of your life. The people who surface in your life are just used by him and he seems to prefer members of your close family - even members of your close spiritual family.

We have taught other people in the past how to treat us. If we become dependent on others then this happens because we chose to do so. It does not matter if we are conscious of that choice or not. When we are dealing with domineering people - and we can't always avoid that - then we make a choice: Either we let them have their way or we don't. So we are teaching such people all the time how to treat us. If we yield to their attitudes then they will carry on. If we resist, then we teach them that their way does not work with us.

Let us look at another example. A person makes plans without asking me and just assumes I will go along. This is a typical situation in a family. And it is not just a typical situation in a natural family but also happens in the spiritual family. If something like this happens I should recognize it as such - especially if these plans are not in agreement with the word of God. And I should label it - I should call it what it is: "Please don't make plans without asking me and just assume I will go along." Or I should just not go along when the other person starts going and gestures me to follow. It is a disrespectful attitude. It is making a decision over my head. If two people want to do something together they first have to come to an agreement about that matter. If this is not done then a situation is created that easily leads to serious relationship problems. This is especially the case when both parties don't realize what is happening - when they don't recognize that one of them is doing it. The person to whom it is done will consciously or unconsciously be unhappy about it and can develop a negative feeling towards the person doing it. If that happens regularly then a reason is established for a serious relationship problem.

There must be agreement before something can be done together: "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" Amos 3:3. So another way of labelling the behaviour of such a person is to quote this scripture and ask this person, "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? This is from Amos chapter 3 verse 3. Don't you think you should first come to an agreement with me?"

A typical example would be when another person wants you to go with him but does not ask you and does not discuss it with you. He takes it for granted that you will have to go along. He just talks about the place to go and about the people to see and about when to go as if it all was agreed between you two. If you would go along with him just because you can't say "No" but actually you don't want to go with him then you would allow that person to make you behave as he dictates. You should simply observe his behaviour and see what he does when the moment of departure comes and you are not making any move. And may be when he asks you why you are not making a move you don't answer him. You don't discuss it with him. If two want to talk together they have to agree to do so.

And there we are at another typical example: talking together. If two want to talk together they have to agree to do so. You don't have to talk just because somebody wants to talk with you. If somebody approaches you with the wrong attitude - for example with the attitude that you have to talk to him - then the best way to handle such a person is to not talk to him. You simply don't respond - you keep quiet - you practice the vocabulary of silence. When you start practising this you will perhaps not feel too happy about it. You are not too happy to ignore another person's wish to communicate with you. But you will learn to sense when someone approaches you with the wrong attitude because his reaction to your silence will reveal his attitude more clearly to you.

If someone asks you for the time and you feel that he is not politely asking you but is actually rather demanding it from you and you then ignore his wish, your estimate of his attitude will most probably be confirmed by the way he responds to your silence. If the response comes as a complaint, then this complaint is a sign that someone just tried to manipulate you.

This is the most common case of manipulation. Someone wants something from you or demands something from you and when you consent he is happy. He has successfully manipulated you. If you do not do what he wants or demands - if you for example ignore him - then he will complain about you, he will accuse you of having done something wrong or even insult you. And this reaction to the fact that he was not successful with his attempt of manipulating you, confirms your feeling that he was trying to manipulate you. If he does not complain, we can assume that he probably acted respectfully. If an apportioning of blame takes place then the whole thing can get classified as an attempt of manipulation. If this apportioning of blame, this guilt induction, does not take place we can assume that the person was genuine and acted in a respectful way. The more experienced we become in this the more we will know in advance if a manipulation attempt is going on. If we want to test ourselves, then we just have to observe if the apportioning of blame is our way to react to people who do not allow us to manipulate them. If we have a complaining attitude - an attitude of apportioning blame - then we know that there is something wrong with us.

The more experience we have in observing manipulation attempts, the more relaxed we will become about it. Before we really start to observe and recognize manipulations, we are not too concerned about them, because we do not really know what is going on. But then, when we start to realize that someone actually wants to manipulate us, we are getting quite upset about it and it might let us feel used by others and mistreated. And we might develop negative feelings towards such a person. But we must not allow that to happen. We must always walk in forgiveness. The more we practice forgiveness and the more we continue to observe this phenomenon of manipulation attempts the more we get relaxed about it and realize how common it is and just accept it as a way of life of many people. Many people simply have the need to receive a reaction from other people, a need to tell other people what to do, a need to manipulate others.

If you are travelling with another person and that person starts talking to you but you are busy concentrating on your driving, the traffic, the weather, the darkness, the steaming up of the windows and the road conditions and you don't respond to his talk and remain silent you will soon find out about his attitude. If his attitude is right he will stop talking and when his attitude is wrong he will carry on trying to start a conversation with you, he will try to force a conversation onto you. He wants you to behave as he dictates. He displays a domineering attitude. He wants to be your master. And there is only one way to react to him: you do not yield to his demand. When you find the right words to speak to him explaining to him that you are resisting his demands then that might be appropriate. But the important thing is that you don't do what he wants you to do. The main aspect of resisting the devil is to not do what he wants you to do.

So we have to kill the problem immediately. If we don't, then the problem will become bigger and bigger and will become a stronghold that arrests us and puts us into bondage. And when such a problem has carried on for a long time - for many years, may be for a whole life time or for the complete time of a marriage or of a friendship or a family relationship - then it becomes much more difficult to get out of it. Imagine while you are reading this you become aware of the fact that for many years there is this person in your life that is very close to you and that has once started to and is since then continuing to make plans without asking you and just assumes you will go along. And you did not really realize what was happening and what was going on. And now you become aware of the situation and you want to stop it. And you think, "How am I going to do it?" After all these years of accepting this behaviour you now suddenly want to change this person approach towards you. You probably have to really consider the situation and it might require quite an effort to devise a plan that suits the situation and will bring results. And will you be able to do it in love? And what if the relationship suffers? What if the relationship breaks? What if that person tells you that you don't love her or him anymore?

These are situations where we have to be without compromise regarding our convictions - on one hand - and - on the other hand - walk in love. We have to become like Jesus. He always did that what he wanted to do and what agreed with his principles. And he did it in love. Even when he rebuked someone he did it in love.

Think of a situation where since many years you were invited at a set day of the year to go and visit a person close to you. And you went there every year but since a long time it has become a tradition and you don't really enjoy to be together with that person on a traditional meeting day. And now you realize that you actually went there every year just because you could not say "No." But now you want to say "No." How will you do it? How will that person react? May be one way could be to break the pattern by visiting that person some time before that day and to do it unannounced and simply tell that person that you are - as from now on - going to visit when you feel like it and when you want to see the person.

Let us look at a situation where manipulation is obvious. You are walking in the street and a person approaches you and starts talking to you and maybe he wants something from you. May be he wants to sell you something or he just wants some money from you. But now he approaches you in a highly offensive way: he steps directly in front of you. By putting his body exactly in that spot where you were to go he forces you to stop. This person not only wants you to act as he dictates he is also using physical means to force you into his wishes. That is deprivation of liberty, especially then when afterwards he still tries to prevent you from carrying on walking. In such a case you should just walk around that person. At least one should not yield to his request.

If that person however goes so far to use further physical means to really arrest you in your movements or to take things away from you and forces you physically to do something then you should apply Matthew 5:38-41. But as long as a person just wants to dictate to you - wants to mentally force you to do his will - you should not do what he wants.

We want to have a look at this exception Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:38-41. It says there in verse 39, "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person." Now in the original Greek the word "person" is not there. So we have a case where Bible translators add to the word of God because they think they have to clarify what Jesus wants to teach us. But Jesus clarifies his statement immediately afterwards by giving us examples of evil that we should not resist. The examples he gives us are cases where physical force is used - physical force is used in order to get us to do something. It goes beyond mentally influencing us to do something - it is forcing us to do something and enforcing it with military power - that is with weapons - or with the power of a court of justice, which in its effect is also a decision backed up by public force - by the police or by the prison service - armed law enforcement agencies. But the examples Jesus gives us are not evil things we are forced to do. The things we are forced to do are not evil at all. All the things Jesus mentions are actually good deeds. They are all completely in line with the rest of Jesus' teachings. What is evil is the fact that a person is forcing us to do them - forcing us directly or indirectly by having a weapon with him. So when we are not forced - not forced with physical means - then we do not do what these people order us to do. We only comply with their demand when the force of weapons is employed and - and this is important - when that what we are forced to do is something good. If it is something bad that they want us to do then we do not do it - even when they enforce it by means of weaponry.

So this teaching in Matthew 5:38-41 can't be used as an excuse to do evil things because someone forces us to do them. If someone forces us to do something that is evil then we don't do it. It does not matter if we are just mentally forced or if this demand is backed up by physical means, we do not comply with such demand. If then physical means are used with the aim to harm us or to kill us then we are quite prepared for that situation: we do the same what Jesus did in such situations. We just escape their grasp (John 10:39), we hide ourselves, slipping away (John 8:59). Jesus got out of such situations quite regularly. Jesus was persecuted with the aim to be stoned, to be caught, to be killed. Only once did he not escape and that was when he had decided to allow the persecution with the aim to kill him to take place. But the normal situation was that Jesus escaped and this he has commanded us to do as well: "When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another" (Matthew 10:23). So we only yield to force when that what we are compelled to do is something good. If it is something bad then we don't yield. And if we are just mentally compelled to do something we don't yield. So when it is something bad we are forced to do then we definitely don't yield.

So one aspect of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5:38-41 is that it is evil to try to get another person to do one's will.

Let us look at Jesus' third example. It is in Matthew 5:41, "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." There is nothing wrong to go with someone one or two miles. In principle it is a good thing to do. Even when we are forced to do such a thing it remains a good deed. The thing that is wrong is that a person forces another person to do so. This applying of force is wrong. It is the thing that is evil. This trying to get another person to do one's will is what Jesus calls evil. There is actually an example in the Bible of this forcing to go with someone. In Matthew 27:32 and in Mark 15:21 we have the report that a man from Cyrene, named Simon, was forced to carry the cross. The soldiers persecuting Jesus forced Simon to go along. So Simon was forced by soldiers using their weapons. The word translated "forced" is the Greek word "aggareuo", which is pronounced ang-ar-yew'-o and is the word with the number 29 in Strong's Concordance. This word "aggareuo" is only used three times in the Bible and these three cases are the ones we have just mentioned: Matthew 5:41, Matthew 27:32 and Mark 15:21. So from the case of Simon we know that this word "aggareuo" means soldiers impressing a person into service. And this "pressing into service" is what Jesus calls evil in Matthew 5:41. The deed of pressing into service is evil; the service itself is not evil. It is evil to try to press someone into service and it does not matter if it is done by using force or if it is done by manipulative means.

So there are different ways how a person can approach us and we should start noticing these and choose a reaction that suits the situation. Start to observe how people approach you: What does a person do when he wants something from you while you are walking in the street? It is a difference if that person speaks to you and joins you while you are walking or if that person expects you to stop to listen to him or if that person actually tries to stop you by blocking you up - by placing his body right in front of you, so that you have to stop. The first case is fully acceptable, the second might be and the behaviour of the person in the third case is wrong.

If a person asks me in the right attitude I am very much willing to help and to be of assistance. It is this attitude that we should try to sense by observing a person in his approach.

What do you do when you are invited but you don't want to follow that invitation? You say "No" in a more or less polite way. What do you do when that "No" is not accepted and the person inviting you keeps on pressurizing you. You immediately should realize that you are dealing with a person who wants you to behave as he dictates. He wants to become your master. This is such a serious matter because you have only one master and that is the Master. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and your Master then a change takes place on the throne of your life. Your self steps down and Jesus starts occupying the throne of your life. Your self is not any more on the throne. But if you let your self again master you then Jesus is not any more the Master. The same happens when you let another person become your master. When you yield to a person who wants you to behave as he dictates then Jesus can't be on your throne anymore because this person is sitting there.

If you would follow that invitation because you can't say "No" you would most probably put yourself in a situation where you will do several more things you don't want to do but you do because you cant say "No." The person who invited you will come up with more things where he wants you to behave as he dictates and you will end up doing things you hate to do and know that they are not in line with your convictions.

You should also notice what kind of attitude the person has who invites you - in what way is the invitation expressed. May be this person has got the attitude that you have to come. From the way he formulates his invitation you can deduct that he is actually not giving you a choice to come or not to come. He is not asking you if you would like to come, he just assumes that you will come. He makes you feel as if there would be something wrong with you when you don't come, when you decline his invitation.

The fact that he thinks you have to come also means that when you then would be at his place, there would be other things he expected you to do and again if you did not do them then he would display an attitude that there is something wrong with you. So he does not respect you in the first place, by having the attitude that you "had to" and he will not respect you thereafter. He is also not content. He should be content with you coming and he should be content with you not coming. He should be happy either way. If he has this attitude then you would be happy to be in his presence. But you would not be happy in the presence of people who want to run your life.

You will most probably get a confirmation of your feeling when you say "No" to his invitation. If he does not accept your "No" and does not take your "No" as the end of the subject you have the confirmation that he thinks you have to come, that he is pushy. He probably wants to know why you are not coming. May be you then ask him, "For what purpose do you need this information?" This is a hint for him that you find his question tactless - that with his question he is trying to find out about your personal feelings towards him.

When you start to observe situations where people get invited and they decline the invitation, they seem to think that etiquette requires them to tell the inviting person why they are declining. Especially when the invitation is for a certain day and hour, they seem to think it necessary to explain what they are doing at that time and that that is the reason of their negative reply. We do not have to give explanations for our decisions; we must free ourselves from such bondage.

So when you respond to a question with a question then your question should be a hint for him to change the subject. If he does not change the subject you have a further indication that his attitude is wrong, that he is obnoxious. But not to reply with an answer and to answer a question with a question is a way you could always use. Jesus did that (Mark 11:29). We do not have to allow other people to determine how and what we speak. They are not our masters.

If he then answers, "If the date does not suite you we can change that," we can see that he is still trying to find out the reason why you said "No." So he is pushy and stays that way. May be a polite way to answer him would be, "Please accept my 'No,' I don't think that you really need a reason for my 'No'." A more direct reply would be, "You don't need this information," or even, "that is none of your business."

In this connection it is quite important to realize that we do not have to give reasons why we do things. We do not have to give a reason why we decline an invitation. We should practice this - not giving a reason. One reason is that often a lie is given as a reason. It would be completely wrong to lie. But it also would be wrong to give the true reason when this will hurt the person. There, where there is no love, the truth is not more than a dead letter without value. We have to act true to our convictions and we have to do it in love. So to not give a reason is the right thing to do. Another reason for not giving a reason is that we should not let another person determine our conversation.

If this person who is inviting you still carries on you should tell him, "I have given you my answer. Please, accept my answer and let us not talk about it anymore." If he does not give up you should start practising the vocabulary of silence. You could also label his behaviour by asking, "Please, don't be pushy." But that is already criticising his behaviour and you might not want to do that. So it depends on the situation.

Another possibility would be to explain to him that the way he invited you did not make you happy and that you thought that he is pushy and that you therefore would not be happy in his presence.

We should always act in love. We should not forget that it is not the person that is evil - it is the evil satanic influence behind that person. The person is not evil, it is just his doing.

It is Satan who wants you to behave as he dictates. He wants to be your master. The person he is using displays a domineering attitude. And there is only one way to react: you do not yield to his demand.

If you would yield to the demand, especially to the first demand, then it becomes difficult to stop later. It becomes a pattern and the more you keep putting off to say "No", the more difficult it becomes - the more you become a slave. If a person like Fred behaves already pushy in the beginning of a relationship, then there is no reason to assume, that he will not do the same all the time. A wise person like Maggie should already see from these first indications that such a marriage would be heading for the rocks. The wife of such a man would feel more and more unhappy getting pressurized and would resent living like a slave. Such a marriage would be doomed right from the beginning. So it would be a good idea to practise saying "No" at small occasions - when for example one gets an invitation which one does not really want to accept. To recognize a manipulation attempt is important. But to react to it the right way is also important. Both are important in order to retain one's freedom. But in both cases the right handling of such situations will very much enhance personal relationships. It is an open and honest way of dealing with people - and with one's own self.

And we should not forget that the discovery, that so many people are actually trying to manipulate us, is quite disturbing and annoying in the beginning, and we will react indignant towards manipulation attempts. But we should then also begin to practice patience and forbearance and learn to walk in love and just take it as a way many people grew up with. They simple do not know better. Most of the relationship patterns in their families are knit that way and they are not really conscious of this web of slavery. That they are acting like slaves and like slave holders is not known to them and therefore we should walk in love towards them. It is not really us who have a problem - of being manipulated -, it is rather them having a problem - of being manipulating - and creating for themselves many situations, that just keep them from success. People will avoid them because of their manipulating attitudes. They will have problems getting jobs, keeping a job, getting promotion, making friends, getting good business deals etc. So we should keep on loving them. And to remember our own attempts to manipulate others will obviously also very much help us to walk in love.

To be upset about people who are trying to manipulate us might also be a sign that we ourselves have this problem, that we tried to do it and perhaps are still doing it. What about a situation where you are hindered by a person on your way and you let the person know that you want to pass and this person does not react immediately. Is your polite wish to pass genuine? Do you really give that person the choice to move out of your way or to remain? What would your reaction be if that person, irrespective of his reason, just remains where he is? Do you have the expectation that he must move? Would you get upset if your expectations are not met? Remember the main reason why people get furious is because their expectations are not met. Was it really a polite request you uttered or was it actually just polite words but in reality a command to move? How you react if your wish is not met will show you how genuine it was. A facial expression of disapproval shows a lot. Words expressing a complaining attitude reveal the real situation. Pushing the other person aside discloses much. Pushing the other person slowly aside might be a practical solution, because this person might be so absorbed in an activity, that he does not become aware of your move. Whatever happens in such situations, they can nicely be used to test one's own manipulation habits. We should become more aware of what we are doing in cases like this so that we get more familiar with our own behaviour. So to reflect on one's own manipulation habits can help a lot to be more tolerant towards manipulation attempts by others.

The best way to determine if a manipulation attempt was made is to assess the situation after it has failed. Normally a person will react negative if he experiences a failure of his manipulation attempt: he shows his disapproval, gets angry, becomes pushy, etc. If this happens, then we can be pretty sure, that he was trying to manipulate - insisting on his way. If the reaction is not negative, then it is most probably a sign, that the person acting was genuine, was equally happy with whatever outcome occurred. So we can judge our own actions by observing our reactions. It is quite a nice thing to watch a person - perhaps ourselves - wanting something, not getting it and still being content.

How do we have to judge - assess - a situation where we want somebody to move in order that we can continue on our way and that request is not granted? What do we do if something negative happens to us? How do we really know if it is negative? May be it just seems to be negative. May be it is not really a barrier, may be it is not an obstacle in our path but a stepping stone, an opportunity, a good chance, a chance of something happening to us, that would be really great. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Even if something appears to be negative at first, it might develop into something quite pleasant, into something that works together for good. Let us remember this when it looks again as if something does not go the way we would like it to go.

In such situations it is good to remember an extreme case - to remember what happened to the three companions of Daniel who refused to do evil - to worship the image of gold - and were thrown into the blazing furnace. In the end they not only survived and remained unharmed but they even got promoted. They had already been set by the king over the affairs of the province of Babylon and after this extreme event they got promoted by the king. And what is even more important, because of their fearless attitude they were able to demonstrate God's power in such a dramatic way, that the king completely turned around and proclaimed the power of their God to the whole World. All things worked together for good to them that love God. Here we have a direct example where soldiers are actually using force, tying them up and throwing them into the blazing furnace. So something bad was done to God's children because they refused to do something evil. And they did not worry about what would happen to them, but God saved them. So when someone tries to manipulate us then we don't respond and when someone forces us to do something good then we oblige but when we are forced to do something evil, worship an idol, then we refuse completely. The result of such a refusal might be terrible, but it might be so only on first sight, on second sight it might be quite something that is very good.

We ourselves are determining the attitude and the meaning we want to assign to a situation we find ourselves in. And this our attitude creates the effects that will manifest in such a situation. We then trust that whatever comes our way will work together for good to us that love God. We take whatever comes as something that can serve us and we don't assume that it is negative. We understand that every situation has the potential to be positive in its outcome and can serve us on our way. So we start to view every situation as positive - that every situation can create positive effects in our lives - and it will help us very much when we remember the three companions of Daniel who refused to do evil: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel chapter 3).

We should start to observe situations where somebody wants something from us and look out for details. The more we practise watching such situations the more we will know already at the beginning of such development if somebody tries to manipulate us. Our senses will become more sensitive to details like tone of voice, the way things are getting expressed, we will observe body movements, facial expressions, etc. and so pick up the psychic intent of a person. We will know if our assessment is right, when the reaction to our "No" is out.

When our "No" gets accepted without complaint then we are dealing with a person that is content either way. Even if he does not get it his way he accepts the other person's decision. He is at peace. The outcome of a situation is not as expected but he does not get upset about it.

It is all about not to interfere in the free will of another person. And it is about not to allow that other people interfere in our free will. When we pray for another person, then we should remember this principle. Our prayer should respect that person's free will. We should not try to change people through prayer. It is something else when we expressively have been asked to help somebody in his effort to change a certain aspect of his life and we then do it and support him with prayers. But we should not try to attempt to make things in other people's life the way we think they should be. If there is no clear request for support we should pray that God will bring love and life and wellbeing to that person.

If Fred keeps on pressurizing Maggie to marry him then Maggie should not yield to his demand. And that might not be easy. The devil will also try to work in Maggie. What about something like this, "Give up your idea of not marrying. That is completely unrealistic. You don't want to live the rest of your life alone. You are a woman. You want to be fulfilled. You want to have a man. You want to have children of your own. And don't forget you are getting on in years now. This is the last time somebody asks you to marry him. If you reject this offer then there will be no more. It is your last chance. You are just selfish. You do not consider the needs of Fred. And what about the poor children? You just want to live the life of a single person. How self-centred."

There is only one thing to do for Maggie, to stand on what the Word of God shows her to do.

Let us look at some possible relationship problems that could occur between Maggie and Fred and that might affect the assembly.

One of the aims of the devil will be to do harm to the assembly of the believers. Maggie and Fred are two workers and therefore key people. If he is successful with them then he will get at the whole assembly.

Maggie knows a man who needs to be ministered to and Maggie feels that Fred would be the right person to help this man. But as she is contemplating asking Fred to help she also realizes that when she is going to introduce Fred to this man, Fred - or this man - might think that the other man is interested in Maggie and is therefore competition. She has experienced Fred's uncooperative behaviour before and now she is hesitant to ask Fred. She might decide to rather not do it. A problem has developed in their ministry. The devil is working successfully.

There is another problem developing in the assembly. Fred starts to behave as if he and Maggie are more than friends. Fred starts to act as if Maggie is his girlfriend - his future wife. If people are asking him he might react in that way or he at least is quite pleased that people are thinking in that direction.

Here comes to mind the advice Paul gives Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:2. Paul admonishes Timothy to treat younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

For us as servants humility is required. We must have this desire to serve and therefore must forget our self. Wrong thoughts can act like poison and contaminate the life of an individual and of the community. The life of such an individual can become disastrous when he continues to harbour wrong thoughts. Such thought forms are: a strong aversion to something or to somebody, or a continuous annoyance about something, or jealousy in personal relationships, in business relationships or in relationships in the community, or a persistent restlessness combined with a lack of peace and a longing for something or for somebody. We have here especially considered the latter, but all these destructive thought forms can poison the life and can render worthless the service. They can especially have a negative effect on the relationships to other people and can even destroy them. The harmony between friends, between business partners, or in the natural or spiritual family can get spoiled by a wrong attitude - an attitude that is controlled by an obsession. The spiritual growth comes to a halt and spiritual progress is blocked due to unhealthy and poisoned thinking. The outlook on life is blurred and personal relationships are hindered.

We now want to put ourselves in someone's thinking who is used to manipulate. Such a person will often regard oneself as not genuine. He wants that his surroundings align themselves to him. He wants to manipulate others and he entrenches himself. And when things don't go as he wishes them to go then such a person feels uneasy in his entrenchment. A person who wants to grow will not be against changes. He will use them in order to learn - to absorb new things. But a person who does not want changes will be hurt when changes are required. The key for such a person is to simple first become aware of the situation. A person who reads these lines and for whom manipulation is a way of life can get saved by recognizing his lifestyle. Only when he becomes aware of the situation has he done the decisive step. A change can't really occur as long as he remains unconscious of this. Only when this understanding comes can changes take place. Only when such a person grasps that he is trying to manipulate do the basis of such behaviour patterns disappear. The recognition that these attempts are so fruitless will be of help.

Has he been successful with his manipulation attempt then he really has not achieved anything, quite on the contrary; the other person may have been manipulated and has done what was the aim of the attempt, may be even consciously, but will not like what he has done and he will be cross on account of it and he will harbour negative feelings against this person who caused him to do what he did not want to do, and sooner or later he will try to avoid this person and exercise caution in future. Manipulation is therefore a useless thing and often nothing really is achieved.

When a manipulation attempt was successful nothing of worth is really achieved and when it is not successful then this person is frustrated, he is cross, and probably vents his irritation by the apportioning of blame. So whatever is the result of a manipulation attempt the frustration comes as an outcome and it comes sooner or later.

Such a person can only continue with such behaviour when he is not conscious of it. He is busy with an unconscious process. The aim of such a process varies. It can be the longing for love. It can be the urge for law and order. Often is it the wish to help. The better the aim sounds the better the person feels justified. The aim is that behind which the person can hide.

The recognition of what actually takes place will set such a person free. He will see his fake behaviour and at his next attempt he will recognize the truth that lies behind it. And this recognition will cause him to drop the whole thing. The understanding of the falseness will cause it to disappear. The next attempts will lead him to feel this falseness. When he then tries to consciously manipulate someone he will experience and recognize one day that he lost the ability to manipulate others.

The most important reason to stop manipulating is that if one is trying to manipulate, that all the people witnessing this manipulation attempt are shown that one is a slave and has a slave mentality. And who wants to be described as such?

The falseness in manipulation attempts is the fact that one digs a pit for somebody. If the other person recognizes this and avoids it then this other person was successful in walking around the attempt. He did not get caught. He was clever. But now he has to be careful and he must be prepared that almost every case of an unsuccessful manipulation attempt is followed by a guilt induction. That is the real pit. The person who digs the trap depends very much on these feelings of guilt. When he manages to get the other to feel guilty then this other person got caught in the trap. He walked right into his trap. Religions and religious organizations are experts in this kind of trap setting. They depend on feelings of guilt. And they create a guilty conscience in others. And when they have been successful in giving rise to a guilty conscience in someone then this person needs their help. And then such organizations and such people are gracious to offer such required help and also grant it - when such a person changes course in their direction.

But they just seem to grant help, in reality it is fictitious help. They promise heaven and avoidance of hell, if one becomes a member of their organization. But this step has the exact opposite effect, separation from God.

It is the old story: without noticing the victim first gets made sick so that it then has to depend on help. The victim gets talked into believing being cursed and then deliverance is sold. The victim is taught about original sin and then is talked into salvation through membership. It is the old trick of many organizations and many a profiteer: First a demand gets artificially generated and then a solution is offered. Insurance companies are a good example; to start with, a demand is created, fear is a good means. Before this demand existed nobody had any use for this supply. There was no person who wanted it.

Such people are depending on feelings of guilt. They want that others are feeling guilty. It is important not to get impressed by such attempts. A guilt induction should be recognized as such. One also should recognize that the person issuing the guilt induction has a problem; he has a problem, not oneself. Most important is to recognize, that when one accepts this guilt induction - when one feels guilty -, resentment against the originator occurs. Worse than resentment is, when one feels guilty and then acts out of this feeling of guilt, and wants to take revenge on this person who pronounced one guilty. Then, but only then, does one have a serious problem. When one starts to work on plans to take revenge then one has got a real problem. All other problems are relatively unimportant.

We simply don't feel guilty. We don't take the responsibility upon ourselves from a sense of being guilty. We are not letting ourselves being put into prison. If we take responsibility upon ourselves then we do it because of sympathy, but not because we feel guilty.

Quite often of course a guilt induction comes together with a manipulation attempt. A manipulation attempt is issued and with it the guilt induction. For example a person wants you to do something, wants you to make your seat available to her, and accompanies this wish with sighing, pouting, sulking. This would mean that if you don't do what she wants she would have to carry on suffering - not being able to sit - and this, her continuation of suffering, would all be your fault. This attempt becomes even more obvious when you sit at that end of the bench which she is approaching, but the rest of the bench is empty. She wants to sit there where you are sitting now. Why? Because it is not important to her to sit or to sit where you are sitting; important to her is to manipulate you. So in such a case it is obvious that a manipulation attempt is happening. You don't even have to use your inner senses to smell it, you just have to use you common sense. Just listen and don't react.

Instead of sighing, pouting and sulking these other activities are quite successful: criticizing or frowning or browbeating or raising voice or threatening or door slamming or name-calling or fist pounding or screaming or many others.

To get another person to do something against his will is always something bad. It is something that is like witchcraft, like sorcery.

Let us look at an example how sorcery works.

A man comes to a witch doctor and tells him that he must get rid of Johannes because this Johannes stays between him and the girl of his interest. The experts call it the "removal of unwanted people." The witch doctor is dismissive but after the man offers him a goat and a chicken the witch doctor consents. The witch doctor now starts an elaborate ceremony in order to attract an audience involving dressing up, dancing, enchantment, preparing a doll that gets killed and so gets quickly the attention of the people. He behaves mysteriously and the people get to know in an indirect way that it is the death of Johannes that is forecast. The sensational message spreads like wildfire and quickly reaches Johannes. Johannes is frightened to death by this message. This bad news has a terrible effect on him. His emotional state is devastating and his physical state follows suit. The dreadful fear paralyzes the defence reaction of the body. Aggressive microorganisms are not getting killed anymore but now start to kill their host. Only a few months later the funeral takes place and Johannes is not anymore. He was literally scared to death.

Now we want to look at a second story.

The phone rings in John's office. He picks it up. It is his doctor telling him that the laboratory results have come in and that he wants to discuss them with John. An appointment is made and at the agreed time John appears in the doctor's office. First the doctor tells him the good news, that John has still got five month to live, and then follows the bad news, what is all wrong with his body and how it is disintegrating. John's reaction is accordingly. His whole world collapses. Fear grips him and begins to consume him. His emotional state is one of total anxiety and his physical state is soon accordingly. This stops his immune system to protect him against infection by hostile invaders and this has a dreadful effect on his body. His body is on its way out. Half a year later the death of John is announced in the papers. He was literally scared to death.

Now what is the difference between the witch doctor and the medical doctor?

The difference is that the witch doctor knows what he is doing and the medical doctor does not.

Both killed a man. But the medical doctor is completely unaware of it. He would be highly upset if someone would accuse him of killing a person.

The witch doctor has and applies knowledge of nature and of spirit; his approach is whole - holistic. This is not the case of the medical doctor. The medical doctor also has knowledge of nature but his knowledge of spirit is very limited. The witch doctor might not always try to heal; he might also do the opposite - consciously. The medical doctor might not do so consciously - to kill somebody. But what difference does that make to the patient? Will the patient be less dead because the doctor did not consciously attempt to kill him?

Both "doctors" use the ability to harm or attack another person, they use a curse or psychic attack or black magic or sorcery, or psychological terrorizing, or spell, whatever you want to call it. One knows what he is doing; the other does not know what he is doing.

This does not mean that a medical doctor might not be tempted to consciously kill a person. If he gets a victim of a motor accident who is an organ donor and he has removed an organ but then realizes that the donor is not really dead he might be tempted to change that situation. If he did not change that situation his professional reputation would be gone, so he might think that he did not really have a choice. So to be an organ donor might be a temptation to some medical person.

Such medical doctors need not be many and witch doctors which not only heal likewise.

A sorcerer might in a given situation tell a victim that he is cursed, that somebody cursed him and that he, the witch doctor, uncovered this for him. When the sorcerer then perceives that the victim believes that it is cursed and tries to avoid the perceived consequence, the sorcerer will offer a cure. If the victim comes over with a nice amount of money or some acceptable goods then the sorcerer will insure that the curse is gone. The medical doctor actually does the same, only that also here he does not know what he is doing: he first curses the victim and then he cures him, or tries to cure him, and sends him an impressive bill. People who believe that there is a curse will do much to get out of it and invest heavily in a cure. Witch doctors and medical doctors know of the perceptions of their victims when it comes to their powers or abilities. The victim's lack of knowledge and understanding of their culture, and especially their fear, play an important part in the influence the "doctors" have over their victims. So it is a psychological thing and all depends on the beliefs of the victim. The "doctors" take advantage of their victim's beliefs. Just fear alone does cause plenty of harm.

Fear is mainly what builds big insurance palaces. People pay insurance because of fear. What some people pay per month for medical aid - a health insurance scheme, can feed whole villages in some parts of the world for a whole month. They are in this health insurance scheme and then they wonder why they get sick. They get sick because they believe in getting sick. If they believed they would not get sick, then they would not be in this scheme. How much more prosperous could people be if they would not be insured. Firstly they would save money and secondly they would be healthy. And this applies to other insurance schemes as well. How many people have accidents because they are insured against accidents? And why do they have accidents? Because they believe they should. And when the accident happens then they feel like they are prophets, people who knew it would happen, but now they are insured and therefore okay. They created their own accident.

Both "doctors" can harm and they can heal. The mind of the patient has the power to harm or to heal. It is the mind-set of the patient that causes harm or good. If the person is open to some kind of sickness, to suffering, then this can affect the body negatively. A Christian, a real believer, should therefore believe that he can comfortable live without every kind and form of sickness and suffering and that such things will not come near him. It should be his basic approach to life. He is not open to these things. He decides not to have them. He is never playing the role of victim. We don't have a slave mentality, we don't have a worry mentality, we are not accident prone and we don't have a victim mentality.

Both victims, Johannes and John, are the victims of their beliefs. They believe in their system. John would probably look with contempt on the naive attitude of Johannes and think of himself being completely above such superstition. But he is really doing the same thing that Johannes is doing. Johannes looks at the witch doctor as the powerful, all knowing person in his society and John looks at the medical doctor, at the medical profession and at the world of science as the determining facts of life.

Johannes believes in the ancient power of sorcery, in mysterious rites and in an artefact like the ritual doll. And John believes in the accomplishments of science and in academic education, in its devices and in the lab report.

Both men believe that things outside of their sphere of influence are determining their future and their life. Both are susceptible to witchcraft. Both are victims of a lethal diagnosis. Both think themselves into illness and death. Both fall ill and die from autosuggestion. Both let other people determine what is happening in their life. Both are getting manipulated.

Johannes believes a man dressed up in a strange way, representing the ancient way of life and John believes a man in a white coat, representing modern science.

Now let us look at John's case. First of all the diagnosis of the medical doctor could have been wrong. A mistake could have been made. For example somebody could have taken the wrong sample. But let us assume the diagnosis was correct. Maybe John really is a bad case of cancer. Now how would John know that he has not had cancer before and that his body healed itself? May be John had cancer several times and in each case his body simply reacted and healed itself. Our bodies are extremely capable creations that can heal themselves and that can produce their own medicines. Our physical bodies are incredible efficient chemical plants. Our bodies will do whatever we decide they should. And there are cures for cancer. There are many books in our libraries and bookshops about people who got rid of this terrible disease. There are all kinds of ways how to stop putting toxic things into our body and how to stop putting toxic things into our mind and get rid of cancers of the body and of the mind. Especially get rid of unforgivingness.

One just has to stop these disabling practices and start filling body, mind and spirit with whole - and holy - things. One just has to evaluate his situation and has to react to bad news the right way - take bad news as a challenge. Take it as a challenge to practise what one has learned and react responsibly and in the knowledge that everyone determines his future and his life himself.

If John would not have been given the lethal diagnosis his body would probably react as it has done before: healed itself.

Other people can only then influence us if we allow them to do so. If someone makes a lethal diagnosis then it is their business and it is our business to agree with it or to reject and ignore it. Witchcraft can only have an effect on me if I allow it to do so.

Every person is capable of self-healing and it is also capable of self-harming. It is matter of choice. We decide what we do with our body. And as our body is the temple of spirit - a whole spirit - we decide to have a holy body - a whole body.

It must be quite clear to me that there is no kind of acceptance in my mind, unconscious or conscious, of psychic attack of any kind. No attack will have any effect on me.

I can decide to be willing and I can choose to permit the symbolic act to have an impact in my life. And I can choose not to do so. I can choose to let the ritual doll, and it getting killed, influence me and I can choose not to do so. I can choose to let the academic credentials of the medical doctor, the graphs and figures on the lab report and the lethal diagnosis of the man influence me and I can choose not to do so. It is my choice. The power of beliefs is here important. That is why it is so important to check one's beliefs, to measure one's faith, and to look at these beliefs and to compare them with the truth. And then I have to decide what the truth is for me. Is the lethal diagnosis my truth or is it the word of life? Am I going to die in a few months or in a few days or am I going to live and be healed by His stripes?

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day of the curse and of the lethal diagnosis whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served in the dark ages in the jungle - the witch doctors -, or the gods of modern men - the scientists, the medical doctors, the "experts" -, in whose land you are living now. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Are you going to believe the statements of the "doctors" and are you going to accept them as being true? Whom will you serve?

So if you hear a lethal diagnosis, may it be from a medical doctor or from witch doctor, you have got a choice. You can believe it and die or you can reject it and live.

It is one of the best things a person can do in his life: to be an example of healing, to be a living example of what others can become. To show them that they are limitless. If you are known to be a person who has healed himself and you are introduced to a person who is chronically ill, you give hope to that sick person and it gives that person a licence to become well. The most powerful effect you can have on others is through what you are. Not so much of what you do, but much more of what you are. Your example is what counts. It is contagious.

The personal contact is influential. Healing then works best, when the healer really believes and knows what he has experienced and when he can let the suffering person have part in his confidence and conviction.

It is not the disease that kills a person, it's the diagnosis. If a doctor tells a man he has cancer, even if he doesn't, the effects can be deadly. Even if someone has been misdiagnosed, he still might decide to die because that is what he has been told and what he now believes. He will see to it that his worldly affairs are all in order, he will say goodbye to friends and family, he will make preparations for the funeral, he will get sick, go to bed and die.

The important thing is what he has been told. He believes what he has been told. The medical doctor told him - diagnosed him; a lethal diagnosis. And the witch doctor does the same. But he might have the problem that the victim does not come to him to receive his lethal diagnosis. So he has to bring it to him. The victim is sent some kind of message: the curse is on. Gossip or rumour might be used, friends or family or employees might be used, some of them might even do it consciously because they also have a grudge against him, some dead animal may be put at his door or parts of it, or a symbol gets painted at the house.

The victim has been told the curse is on. The victim has become aware of the curse. The other day I was in the building of a local government department. All over the place there where placards telling people to be aware of a certain disease. It was an awareness campaign. People should become aware of this scourge. The curse is on. Then I remembered that I had seen somewhere else big public advertisements making people aware of a new sickness that befalls infants. The curse is on. At the beginning of winter I have seen newspaper headlines telling the readers that the flu season is coming and the same day I overheard a gentleman telling another that he now has to prepare himself for this bad news. The victim has been told the curse is on. It is always the same, people start talking and thinking about sickness and so create their own reality - they create a sick world for themselves. We should become aware of this - this system - recognize it and stay away from it.

Healing should be initiated by a believer or by the assembly of the believers. If a doctor gets involved in healing then there is always the monetary problem. If the flu season is on, then the medical profession might not be so unpleased about it and might find it to be a break in a dull period and the pharmaceutical industry is also bound to see the positive side of it. And for the newspaper to have a catching headline is just normal business. So we should be aware of the system - watch out.

When we are dealing with witch doctors, with medical practitioners and with clergymen, then we are dealing with people who are doing their work in order to get paid for this work. In all these cases is money involved: the diviner's fee, the doctor's bill or the salary of the pastor or his collection he is taken up at the service. When a person requires healing and goes to one of these three, then this money business might be more important than to get the person healed. The "expert" might for example find an excuse not to act, simply because the "client" has got no money. Or he might prolong the procedure in order to get more money out of the sick person. A psychiatrist might be tempted to suggest many sessions in a case where a person should simply be told to stop creating problems by talking about them, by creating them again and again with their words. A pastor might not pray for a person because he is not a member of "his" congregation - does no put any money in the collection bag of "his" church. We all could think of many such reasons. So to avoid all these possible problems one should simply go to people who do not want to get paid, who are prepared to get involved in healing, but don't take money, refuse to get paid. And these seem to be rare creatures. Where would one find such people? The solution is of course simple and straightforward. These people are our sisters and brothers. As individuals or as aggregate. The assembly of the believers is the ideal body to deal with sickness. The true church is the best place to go for healing and as a matter of fact to go to for any kind of problem. When we start to recognize the true essence of the true church, then we will know that most of the problems of the world could be solved in that togetherness of people. Disease, poverty, to be orphaned, loneliness, hunger, old age problems, parenting, and whatever we could think of, could find a solution in the midst of the believers. Most of the institutions established by churches and worldly authorities could become unnecessary if the true churches were in operation. And this successful operation again in one place would cause these real churches to get established all over the place. The answers to most of our social ills are readily available. We just have to become aware of the solution and begin the Church of God as we are told in the Book.

The work of the witch doctor is much supported by the people talking about the event. His main aim is to get his victim to receive the news, but the more people talk about the curse the more effective this talking will be. A group of people has much more spiritual power than an individual has. This does not just apply to positive things like prayer. The spiritual momentum of all the people talking of the event is much in the sorcerer's interest.

Let us just assume that nobody would have talked about the witch doctor's activities, how would that have affected Johannes? Johannes would probably never have heard about the curse and therefore not be affected by it at all.

When in a daily situation, driving on a motorway or walking in the street or being in a place of business, somebody uses abusive language, curses us or insults us or swears at us, then we simple don't react to that. Not outwardly and also not in our thinking and with our emotions. Such a practice does not just prevent us from an argument or even a fight or physical attack but is the best preparation for a more serious attack, a real psychic attack, a curse. The same applies when somebody wants to talk us into sickness. If somebody wishes us a happy birthday and wishes us good health but then adds, "but well, you know everybody has some little complaints," then be aware and don't accept it. Don't agree with such a subtle statement, separate yourself from it or may be even from such a person. Be very wary of all such seemingly innocent talk. Or somebody wishes you good health and then he adds, "even if it surely already hurts everywhere." Such a statement is already a curse, recognize it as such. Don't have anything to do with such witch doctors. Such a person might even add some very holy other phrases like, "and God bless you."

If you go for a walk and then take a rest in a park on a bench and some other people come and join you and start to talk about their ailments, then just get up and leave. Separate yourself from all kind of unhealthy communication. If somebody in your house starts talking about his or somebody else's medical history then tell him not to practise the worship of the devil in your place. Be consequent. Don't allow the evil things in your life. Don't memorise names of illnesses and don't use them. If you start practising in these small daily exchanges then it will be easier when you sit in the consulting room and the professionals pronounce their verdict: the lethal diagnosis.

Maybe you feel to be above the rituals of the natives or find them primitive or pagan. And after you have done this you sit down and unconsciously practise some witchcraft yourself and write letters to your relatives or email them and tell them that John is unfortunately not well, he has cancer and his children fear that he will not make it and that all are very concerned and that John just started with new activities and now he had to give it up. Is there really a difference between the participation and the spreading of the rumour of the activities of the witch doctor and the participation and the spreading of the verdict of the medical man? Who is practising what witchcraft? Two thousand years of man-made church influence has created a pagan society. They seem to be all pagans practising witchcraft. They don't know what they are doing.

Let us also assume that John would not talk about the lethal diagnosis, may be because he makes a conscious decision not to accept it. His family members, his friends, his neighbours, his business associates, his colleagues, all these people, because they never hear about the lethal diagnosis, do not talk about it. The whole thing could not grow, not in John's mind and not by the talking of the people around him. How often do people die because all the people around them talk about the terrible sickness he has. He might be struggling to fight against the attack of the illness, or better against the attack of the mind, but the people who actually should help him in this, do the exact opposite: they talk him to death. Talking about sickness is a terrible habit, a deadly habit.

Actually a person who talks about sickness is not much better than a witch doctor. A person who talks about sickness is bewitching the person who is sick, is practising witchcraft, is cursing that person that is sick. And this sick person might be an enemy, he might be a friend and relative, but he also might be himself. Especially now that you have read this and know how it works, you become guilty of witchcraft if you talk about something like illness in a person, in yourself or others, and you are casting spells. You are practising witchcraft. You yourself have become a witch doctor.

So if somebody gives you a deadly diagnosis, the best way to let it come to pass, is to talk to other people about it. Just think about all the sympathy you will get and all the attention. And you also can feel very important and the harbinger of sensational news. Once in your life you have the opportunity to be the centre of attention. It is the chance of a lifetime. This sounds very sarcastic, but for many people it seems to be very important, more important than to be well. They spend much time of their life to talk about their symptoms, the operations they have had and they are going to have, about the doctors, specialists and university professors they are dealing with. If somebody comes and tells them that suffering is not necessary they get highly upset.

In Hosea 4:6 God says that his people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Since 2000 years so-called Christian teachers have taught everything but the truth and what are the results? Millions in the Western world, a world that is supposedly Christian, go to the doctor and believe his lethal diagnosis. They are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Who would be interested in such a Christian religion? Instead of being holy they all seem to practise witchcraft.

When a medical man declares a case as incurable then he is a witch doctor and a killer. Human history is full of reports of healings of every kind of disease. Such a person is acting irresponsibly and can never claim to be a scientist. A true scientist will know science. He will know natural science and he will know the science of the spirit. If someone has a blind faith in science - in natural science - then he should not call himself a scientist. He is simply unscientific.

If you now - after reading this - go to a medical doctor then you know something about these things. Evaluate the man and act accordingly. Listen to his words and measure his scientific ability and his faith. If he is making a lethal diagnosis then realise that he does not know what he is doing. Be aware that a doctor easily can be a killer. Be in charge of such situation and know what witchcraft is all about.

I am the result of my thoughts. I just have to think how I want to be and so I will be. I can think that I want to be happy, healthy and prosperous and I will be so. And I can think that I will be depressed, sick and poor and so I will be.

There are people who are knowledgeable about witchcraft and who have experienced it. They can talk about this subject and they can report of cases of witchcraft. And they believe that witchcraft is real. And they are right - it is real. But what is decisive is not the knowledge that witchcraft is real but why it works and how it works. And how to make it ineffective.

If somebody considers himself to be interested in the art of witchcraft it might be helpful to check the underlying motives of this engagement. There might be something like wishing to get other people to do what one things they should do, like trying to dominate others, like trying to override other's own free will.

People knowledgeable in witchcraft sometimes like to be known as experts in this field. And they like to impress others with their expertise. But their problem is often that they would not recognise witchcraft when it appears in modern, western, educated circumstances. The underlying effectiveness of witchcraft is always a belief system. It can be a belief system of blind faith in natural science. It can be a belief system where local traditions and native cultures are relevant.

So some people might recognize witchcraft in the jungle of Africa but they might not recognize something similar when it happens in the well-informed western culture because they miss the whole point - that it all depends on their beliefs.

So it is quite important to know and realize what one's beliefs are. One has to be able to measure one's beliefs. Only when that is clarified can the power of witchcraft get assessed.

So what should we do when we find ourselves in situations of witchcraft? Let it be witchcraft in a setting where it is known as such and where it is named as such or let it be witchcraft which is not known under such a term but practised anyhow - like in a doctor's office.

First of all we have to remember that when we walk in the light then darkness has no hold over us. The power of darkness does not exist.

Let us see how powerless darkness really is.

Imagine a room completely dark - no light at all in it. And then imagine another room that is full of light - all lamps are on and the room is as bright as daylight. Now the dark room is on the left and the bright room is on the right. Between the two rooms is a wall. This wall is common to the two rooms. This wall has a big sliding door and this door is closed and no darkness and no light can go through it. The dark room is on the left, it is full of darkness, and on the right is the room that is full of light. Now what happens when we open the sliding door, make it wide open? What flows into which room? Does darkness flow from the left to right room? Or does light flow from the right room into the left room?

The light from the room on the right hand side streams into the room that was dark. It just floods the other room with light.

The darkness from the dark room does not flood into the room that is full of light and it does not extinguish the light. The darkness from the dark room on the left does not even diminish the brightness of the room on the right. The darkness cannot even influence the light and has no power over light.

It is obvious that the light of the room on the right fills the dark room with light. The light flows from the right room into the left room and the amount of light in the right room still stays the same - it does not become less. Despite the fact that the same amount of light that filled the room on the right hand side now has to fill both rooms, the amount of light in the room on the right hand side stays the same.

No darkness flows from the room on the left side into the room on the right side.

Darkness does not really exist. Darkness is just the absence of light. Light shows us things, makes them visible for us, gives us information about things and about spiritual matters, but darkness withholds information, we can't see things, we remain spiritually ignorant.

Darkness has no real power. Only when we thing it has power can it achieve something and then this power is not really the power of darkness, it is our own power. Light always overcomes darkness. When we are in the light then darkness cannot harm us. Our light will draw light from somewhere else to us, it will attract other light, but it will repel darkness. Only darkness attracts darkness from somewhere else.

So light conquers darkness.

It is the same with love and fear: love conquers fear.

If there is fear then activate love. Fight fear with love. The presence of light dispels darkness and the presence of love dispels fear. The presence of love becomes the absence of fear as the presence of light becomes the absence of darkness.

So when there is fear in you then just take it as a reminder that you should remember love. It is just a sign given to you to activate love.

So do not fear fear. Enjoy it when it comes because it will be a reason for the Holy Spirit to remind you of love.

When love comes then fear will simply disappear as darkness will disappear when the doors are opened and light is let in into a dark room.

This is the principle of duality. There are two poles. But the positive pole is the real reality. The negative pole is just there to let you know that the positive is the good one, is the one you want. If the negative pole would not be there, you would just know the positive one and forget the negative one and take the situation for normal and for granted and you would not know anymore how nice the positive pole is and would stop to grow.

This duality is it what allows you your freedom, allows you to make choices and to make decisions. You have the freedom to have darkness or to have light. You have the freedom to have fear or to have love. Only when you have this choice can you really enjoy your life, because you know that you have chosen the positive side.

So whenever you have a problem remember the two rooms and what happens when you open the door between the dark room and the room full of light. Darkness cannot conquer light. But light overcomes darkness. You just have to open the door and the rest will happen by itself. The light will just flow in where there was darkness.

If there is fear then just open the door, become open to the Holy Spirit and open the door to him and love will come in.

Darkness is powerless against light, so is fear powerless against love.

The room full of light loses nothing of its lightness but the dark room loses much of its darkness when the door between them is opened.

So we should not fear evil. We should not fear witchcraft that might be directed at us. The best way to react to evil is to resist it and to be unafraid. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Use this verse and say, "Devil I resist you, go away."

Or you can use Psalm 112:7 and say, "I have no fear of bad news; my faith is strong, trusting in the Lord."

It is even better to use a scripture that directly deals with witchcraft. Say, "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come" from Proverbs 26:2. I can't prevent the devil from flying over my head but I can prevent him from building a nest on my head. Wrong thoughts may come into my thinking but I can put a stop to it that they consolidate there and become a citadel. I let them wander off like a bird; I let them fly away like a swallow. I say, "the curse causeless shall not come. A curse will not harm me who am innocent. It will be like sparrows and swallows that fly around and never land."

And from Deuteronomy 23:4-5 and from Nehemiah 13:2, "My God turns every curse into a blessing." I turn the tables and let the bad intended for me become something good for me.

Curses do not affect us, we are protected.

I confess Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgement I shall condemn. This is the heritage of me, the servant of the Lord, and my righteousness is of him, the Lord."

We are safe. We are saved. That is the whole meaning of salvation. We are save and saved here and now.

And we don't allow anybody to rule over us. We do not give our birthright away. We do not worship idols. We do not allow others to be our gods - to manipulate us. Only we ourselves are allowed to determine our future and our life. Only our self - our higher self, our from God and the Holy Spirit indwelled self - is ruling.

So what do we do if somebody wishes us something bad - if somebody curses us? We ignore it. We do not react. If we would react we would give that person power over us. We would give that person the power to determine our wellbeing. We are inviolable. They cannot hurt us. If we would get cross because somebody curses us, we would show them - and ourselves - that we believe we are violable. We are still as God created us and we are still whole. Somebody else's opinion about us does not change that status. So if a manipulator tries to belittle you then just ignore it. Don't try to justify yourself.

So what do we say when the medical doctor presents us with a lethal diagnosis? We leave him and we go away and say, "My God saves me from all trouble." We quote the truth. We speak like a conqueror, like a king, like King David. We might even say it in his presents, maybe he is also a believer or a believer in the making or he might become one because of our confession.

When I wish somebody a good morning or a good day or a good afternoon or a good night or a "keep well" or a happy birthday or if I pray for somebody to get well then this willing and this wishing has an effect. Our will is very powerful. And to some extend this also applies in the negative. So a witch doctor's spell on somebody can have some effect. But if a person walks in the light this effect is annulled. The darkness coming from the witch doctor, perhaps via telepathy, cannot flow into our room that is full of light, it is just the other way round, our light will influence that negative person. And we can strengthen our protection by reminding ourselves of this and quote appropriate scripture. But the fundamental protection is to walk in the light. And this is the reason why it is so important to become a doer of the word. When I am doing what I know I should do then I am walking in the light - in the light that I have at a particular point in time. So to study the word of God, to know it and - and this is important - to also do it, is vital for my protection. It is this doing that is the real thing.

The important thing is that one needs two people for an agreement. If somebody wants to harm me, he needs my acceptance. And I can only be harmed, psychically and physically, when I allow it. And this I will never do. I take mentally control of such situation and kick negative, worrying, fearful thoughts out of my mind and bring forth thoughts of power, health, wellbeing, protection, freedom and peace. I have the right mental attitude.

I must watch my beliefs. People can do no harm to me; no psychic or magical force from someone else can do any damage to me. My mind is the battle field, is my defence system. My mind is capable to fend off any attack. I do not fear an occult attack. Any fear of such a thing would just indicate that I believe such psychic attack could harm me. I do not fear such an attack, not consciously and not unconsciously.

I can only then get hurt when I put myself into a wrong position. A group of believers - the real church - can only get harmed when it allows herself to get into a position of wrong doing - sin. Achior in the book Judith told the enemy of the real church that they could not harm the children of Israel and should leave them alone. The enemy did not believe Achior and did not listen to him and therefore got defeated because Israel was sinless. Balaam knew this as well but he used this knowledge to defeat Israel by causing them to sin.

But this defeat was only temporary. Israel fell on their feet again and had victory over their enemy and over Balaam.

Balaam did dig a pit for Israel but in the end he fell himself into this pit. "He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made" (Psalm 7:15). We could go to the witch who has put a spell on us and tell her, "The holy scripture says in Proverbs 26:27: Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein. You better stop this business of cursing me because you are just going to harm yourself but not me. I can't be hurt because I am a child of almighty God. God will defend me and you will be disgraced before the whole world." A witch is likely to understand such reasoning because she is experienced in spiritual things. She will especially notice that her chosen victim has no fear and does not seem to believe in her power to do evil. She might make a decision that prevents her to fall into the pit she digs for herself. She might even turn completely from her evil ways.

But what about the medical doctor? For him spiritual things are probably quite foreign. But also to him we can talk and explain to him what is actually going on. But it could be a waste of time. Even Jesus had people around him who saw the mightiest works of God and did not believe. So a doctor might have to diagnose a complete healing and will still just remain an unbeliever. For him this miraculous healing will just be a mere coincidence.

So we should never practise witchcraft, that means also to never have negative words or thoughts against anybody. It prevents us to fall into our own pits. To always walk in forgiveness must become a must for us.

Whenever we have a negative thought against another person, may it be just a small one, some anger, or may it be a big one, a thought that the man had who went to the witch doctor, "You stole my love, now die!" so that the "stealer" would become "an unwanted person that gets removed," we have to cancel it and we have to replace it with the opposite.

Our communication should be direct and honest. Manipulation flourishes in an atmosphere that is indirect and dishonest. An indication of a manipulative intention is there when we sense disguised purposes and hidden agendas, coercion, intimidation and tactics of threats, persuasion, pushiness, guilt induction, an air of patronizing, of pity, superiority.

What an experience to meet a person that is not patronizing, does not act out of pity, does not have a sense of superiority, is beyond friendship and comradeship and affection. What we encounter too often are people who open their mouth in order to manipulate. They have this need to feel a sense of power and superiority in relationships with others. They have a need to draw energy away from their victim, because they themselves are lacking energy. They seek validation and acknowledgement and they get it when others react positively to their tactics of manipulation. This need of theirs reveals what they actually are: people of inferior feelings.

The western world has been taught the Christian principles - it seems - for 2000 year and the result is not impressive. We have the best teachings imaginable and nobody seems to practise them. Why is this? Because there are hardly any people who live lives in accordance with them. Especially if we look at the leaders - or the so-called leaders. This is the big problem of Christianity and this is the reason why we should keep on bringing up details and try to show the real face of the teaching of Christ because only if we go back to these teachings will we cause the second coming.

Why are the leaders not living the life? The reason is simple. They get initiated into the first few secrets of the faith and then they stop. Why do they stop to get through all the required initiations? An initiation into the next step can only take place when the teaching of the previous step has been received. And after the teaching of the previous step the absorption has to follow. And after the absorption the application has to follow. The person has to become a doer of the word. Only if a life lived in accordance with the new found truth follows the revelation of the new truth can an initiation into the next level take place. If this applying of the teaching of the previous step does not occur then the teaching of the next step might be brought to the student but he will not really understand it. He will not grasp it. The meaning remains hidden to him. He can't see through the veil. Further growth does not occur and the person stagnates. The next initiation does not happen. The whole process has come to a hold.

The process of initiation is like the process of learning about computers. When I look over the shoulder of somebody working at a computer and I notice how unnecessarily complicated her proceedings are then I am more advanced than she is. But if I don't know what she is doing, and she is doing her thing successfully, then she is more advanced than I am. If I wanted to come up to her level then I would have to learn more and I would have to practise what I have learnt. If I wouldn't do this then I couldn't talk to her about it because my ignorance would be revealed if I would try to engage her in conversation regarding this matter and she therefore is protected from me trying to discuss matters that I don't master. My initiation process has come to an end. Advancing in computer practice is much like advancing in spiritual life. If I don't learn and practise my spiritual lessons then I come to a hold.

This is an automatism that prevents the wrong people reaching higher spiritual levels. It prevents people who are on higher spiritual levels to be disturbed and hindered by such individuals. The spiritual make-up is visible in the spirit realm and acts like a guardian of the threshold or the guardian of the threshold recognizes it and prevents the advance. So this automatism very much is a protection for me, protecting me for example from the influence of witchcraft. If I am not only knowledgeable about spiritual things but also a practitioner of them then evil thoughts and intents don't reach me. The guardian of the threshold acts as a road block, as a sentinel.

I therefore have two protection systems. The first one is my belief system, that I for example know how witchcraft works and that it can have an effect on me only if I believe that it can have an effect on me and I therefore believe that witchcraft can never harm me. And the second one is just this automatism, the guardian of the threshold.

So if someone sends me the message "the curse is on" then I simply ignore it and carry on enjoying being a child of God and continue to praise my heavenly father, and if someone wants to harm me with evil thoughts and words and directs black magic against me then this automatism prevents it reaching me - my position of not only being a hearer of the word but also being a doer of it is a safeguard against any evil intent and any wicked machinations. So I am save - my God protects me from all trouble.

So advancing spiritually has tremendous advantages. Use white magic and black magic is powerless.

I am protected from a curse that is made known to me and I simple don't play the role of the victim and I am also protected from curses unknown to me by my position as a son of God Almighty.

I am righteous - I am in right standing with God - I am blameless and I have not caused anything bad and therefore the curse causeless shall not come (Proverbs 26:2).

There is another automatism which is connected with this. Beings like us, who develop themselves spiritually, also develop their powers. They recognize God's law. Their recognizing and acquiring of eternal principles lets them become rulers in the realm of lower laws. It simply turns out this way. It is a step in the development. But instead of having a desire to take advantage of this dominion they will strive to develop further in spiritual matters and reach higher levels. They only take advantage insofar as they know how to protect themselves against all kinds of mischief. They simply take the shield of faith, wherewith they quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16).

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to a curse I don't know about and that is intended to bypass my belief system, and when it comes to a curse I do know about then I am protected by my intelligent, on wisdom based, belief system. I can only win.

White magic is by far superior to the black one.

The swinging and vibrating of my body, my physical body and my spiritual body and my mental body, is at such a high frequency that it can't be reached by the low frequencies of black magic. It is immune to negative influences. It is unreceptive to black magic.

Secret organizations make a big thing out of their initiations and keep their details secret. But this is not really necessary. The revealing of these secrets would not cause any problems because they would not be understood by people who have not undergone any initiations. The Bible is full of all these details and it is the most distributed book in the world, but all these details can only be used by people who not only read and understand them but who also apply them. A secret organisation is very similar to a man-made church. Both are an organisation, not an organism. Both are interested in influence and money. Their keeping their secrets a secret is simply business practice. It attracts customers by making them mysterious. There is certain knowledge in such organizations but the power and the wisdom seems to be missing.

If a person reads in the Bible that no Christian there ever used a title for another Christian - or for himself - and this person carries on giving titles to other sisters and brothers, or if he allows others to give him a title - if he accepts that others call him pastor so-and-so - then he does not apply what he knows to be the truth. He will not get initiated into the next step, not as long as he does not apply this lesson in his life. He might get taught the next step but it will remain a mystery to him. He will not advance spiritually. He has become stagnant. He is now a backslider, because we only can go forward and never come to a standstill.

If a person reads in the Bible that he should not ask for money whenever he does something for God, but he keeps on taking an offering at the meeting - asking for money -, then he simply has stopped himself from growing. He cannot receive more revelations because it would be useless to let him have them. He has not applied the last one and as long as he refuses to put into practice the last one, any new ones will not be given to him because he will also just ignore them.

If a person is aware of the unity of the body of Christ, and this is one of the most basic things of the teachings of Jesus, and he keeps on dividing the body of Christ by remaining a member or an organizer of a denomination then he refuses to do what Jesus says he should do and he is not really a follower of Christ.

It does not matter what a person is or calls himself, if he calls himself - or is - a brother or a sister or a pastor or a pope or a bishop or an apostle or an evangelist, he will remain on level three and not go to level four if he does not put into practice the present lesson of his life, the lesson of level three.

The lesson of level three, the present lesson of his life, must get accepted, and he must be willing to be changed by this lesson. If this willingness to change is not present the lesson of level four will remain clouded. If the willingness to change is there then this change will affect spirit, soul and body and this again will open the person to receive the next initiation.

So just look at all such people and observe where they are not following the teachings of the word of God and you will know why they are so powerless and uninspiring to the world around them. They are not really Christians - not really people who are like Christ, who live like he lived. They are not really initiates. They started to get initiated into the first or second initiation but then the whole process came to an end because they refused to apply the next lesson and do what the book told them to do. So Jesus will just tell them that he does not know them. And they might be people who do mighty works, operating in an impressive way in the gifts of the spirit. God will probably not withdraw these gifts; he will let them use the gifts also in the future. But Jesus teaches clearly in Matthew chapter 7 that it is not the gifts that makes one a follower of his, but it is the fruit. "By their fruit you will recognize them," he says in Matthew 7:16. The antichrist will be a so-called Christian, he will do mighty wonders and miracles, and many will take these as signs that he will be the Christ they are expecting. These people are looking for the gifts. But Jesus did not say that we will recognize them by their gifts. These people will be misled because they never trained themselves to look at the Christians around them and check them for their fruit. Is this man accepting and giving titles? Is he a divider? Does he ask for money? Is he a merchant of the word of God? Does he give the assembly a name that is different from the name the Bible gives it? Does he go to meeting places that are not in line with the meeting places that were used by the early church - the homes of believers? Does he like to be greeted in the market place? Does he wear outside signs that he is an important person which will allow other to recognize him as such? Jesus gives all these and many other details exactly for this purpose of learning to recognize antichrist. But nobody teaches them. Why not? Because these people who are supposed to teach them are themselves antichrists. They themselves do all these things or some of them or one of them. So nobody has any idea how antichrist should be discovered. And the books written about him are written by followers of him. So people will read these books and will be misled. Nobody seems to pay any attention to all these individual pieces of information given by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament.

When will Christians start to pay attention to all these details from the word of God? When will they stop paying attention to all the people who don't teach these things, who keep them in the dark?

So if there is this famous evangelist and he (1) puts the word Pastor in front of his name - if he uses a title and lets other people call him Pastor so-and-so - and (2) if he takes up offerings in his services - collects money, asks for money - and (3) if he guides the new converts into denominations - because one of the reasons he holds his crusades is the fact that they are organised and supported by the local man-made churches so that they get more members - what do you do then? You have three facts to measure his fruit, three facts that indicate that he is an antichrist. Are you ignoring them - because the traditions of men tell you that all this is normal? Are you going by the traditions of the elders, the church rules? And are you going to ignore the observable fruit and say, "But he does such great miracles, so many healings are taking place, see all the signs and miracles that God does in his ministry." How do you assess a man, by the fruit or by the gifts? Somebody might have developed fantastic and apparently magic abilities, but this does not mean that his spirituality is developed or that he has spiritual inclinations. So you might worship somebody because it looks like he performs miracles and the greatest event in world history takes place, but if you would be aware of Jesus' teachings you would simple recognize him as an antichrist. It is quite possible that a person becomes a master in manipulating matter and reality, without understanding spiritual matters.

What about a religious leader whose image appears all over press, television and web and shows his impressive headgear, his bishop's staff, his robe, a big cross hanging from his neck, his ring and his raised hand blessing the multitudes? Are you saying, "Yes, but this man has such a great influence in the world, on world peace and the well-being of men" and ignoring all the visible details? What are the visible signs? "They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments." They wear outside signs that they are something important.

Learn to look for the fruit. There are plenty of details given to us in the New Testament to choose from. Even if it is only one detail, it might be enough.

There is an aspect that is common to religious people and to many scientists, and that is fear. The religious guy from the man-made church fears that if he does not control people then they will run away and when he does not work for money, does not do "fulltime work", then God will not be able to provide for him. And if he is not a "real pastor" but only one who does this work after hours, then people will laugh. And many scientists fear that if they research something that is not considered to be scientific and if they say or write something that is not normally accepted in scientific circles then somebody might laugh. The giggle factor has a very strong hold on people. The fear of ridicule is a common reason for not being a true scientist, not to be a true believer. That is the reason why manipulators use laughing when they don't get their way. They know that the disapproval of others is something most people try to avoid.

Fear prevents a medical doctor to help a person suffering from a deadly disease. He will rather give a lethal diagnosis than help that person and direct the patient to a healthy way of living and to advise him, to react to this situation the right way by taking it as a challenge, because he fears to not find the approval of his peers or of the public or of the medical council.

Manipulators try to establish a link between your behaviour and social incompetence. If you don't behave as they want you to behave then they try to let you look like a person that is incompetent in social circumstances. This applies to a doctor trying to manipulate you and it also applies to certain parts of the medical profession or the scientific community trying to manipulate the doctor. If manipulation is not successful then the person not complying with the attempt is in an enormous social disadvantage. Such a person is portrayed as one of such unimportant people who believe something which is silly. They try to embarrass their victim. Embarrassment is a powerful agent of suppression. It could be academic embarrassment or social embarrassment or any embarrassment. So look out for this giggle factor. If somebody wants you to look silly, to be afraid of ridicule, then you most probably are dealing with a manipulator. They want you to be socially and academically toxic.

A medical doctor can easily become a sorcerer. But his influence depends on our co-operation. It is an unconscious co-operation. This co-operation lies beneath our conscious control. Sorcery is trying to access responses of which we are not aware.

So stay in control. Be in control. Do not let other people manipulate you. Resist manipulation. Resist witchcraft. There is nothing wrong with you if you react angrily to such attempts. You will have problems resisting an attempt of a witch to bewitch you or an attempt of a medical doctor to talk you into dying if you don't practise resistance to manipulation attempts on a much smaller scale. Start to recognize manipulation in the daily play of relationships. Don't react to them. Recognize them and don't move. Don't react. Don't react the way they want you to react. React the way you decide is the best - may be no reaction at all. Stay in control. Don't let them control you. When you start practising this and gain some experience then you start to know even before such an attempt becomes noticeable to the senses - to the natural senses - that it will happen. Your inner senses - your supernatural senses - will tell you. You will know in advance - telepathically. You will just start to smell such people, even against the wind. Start practising; don't wait until the lethal diagnosis is announced. Don't wait until a ritual doll is prepared as your image - until someone declares you his enemy, starts a lethal ritual, creates a mental image of you and points a bone at it. Be hardened. The more you practise the more you will be able to handle your negative reactions. You will stay cool; you will not get angry; you will not judge and condemn; you will just observe and the power to choose - to choose right - will remain with you. You will more and more realize that it is a normal, daily occurrence. It happens all the time.

If someone indicates the slightest disapproval of your doing, or not doing, then don't make this disapproval yours. Let it remain his. And when someone uses abusive language towards you then don't take it, don't absorb it. Let it remain with him. And when someone puts a curse on you or issues a lethal diagnosis about your state of being then let this just show you what kind of person he is and what problems he has got. Don't make it your problem. Let it remain with him.

Start learning to react the right way with small things and grow stronger as you go along. And then become as strong as Jesus.

Take Jesus as an example. He had no problem with confrontations. If somebody accused him of doing the works of Beelzebub, trying to manipulate him into submission of the ruling class's opinion, into their system and into not opposing their status, then Jesus just did exactly the opposite, he rebuked them and attacked them full scale. He called them a brood of vipers in Matthew 12:34, adding, "how can you who are evil say anything good?" He called evil by its name.

Study how people tried to manipulate Jesus and how he reacted. His relatives, his mother Mary, his disciple Peter, his friend Martha, his petitioner, the man who wanted his brother to divide the inheritance with him, his enemies the Pharisees, his disciple Judas, the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law, who got him arrested, the politician Pilate, the king Herod, who plied him with many questions, the crowd, the soldiers who mocked him, those who passed by and hurled insults at him, the chief priest and the teachers of the law mocking him, the criminal who hurled insults at him. Study how Jesus handled these situations.

When you are in a phase of learning to react to manipulation attempts it might be best to counter with the vocabulary of silence and simply ignoring it and to start only later to practice an intelligent and explaining approach. To try to teach full-grown manipulators is quite something and we should always keep in mind that such people have a serious handicap in their life. So we should make an effort to try to prevent that somebody becomes a fully-fledged manipulator by doing something about it when we can, in situations where we are in a certain way responsible for people. If I have a child, or a youngster, or a young person in my house, or an apprentice, or an employee, than it might be very advisable to direct and teach such a person and explain the facts of life to such a person - the facts of a life of a manipulator and of one being manipulated. Such a teaching can be very fruitful, fruitful to the one being taught, and also to the one doing the teaching.

If you discover tendencies in a child to manipulate others it is probable a valuable effort for both of you to teach this child not to be manipulative. A good method is to teach by example. And to let the child know that to have a manipulative streak is something like having bad breath or a contagious disease. Both will earn the rewards. The child will not have this hindering habit and the parent, when old, will not be bullied by his own now strong offspring. It is disgusting to see an old lady being terrorised by a child, maybe to hand over her possessions to him. It is a case where the child has not learned not to manipulate, but also a case where a parent has not learned not to be manipulated.

Having a clerk at one's counter dealing with one's customers, who is polite and does not try to manipulate, is a blessing for all concerned. How many businesses suffer because the people who deal with their customers, the clerks at the cash register, the receptionist, the person at the telephone exchange, the person in the office dealing with clients, might cause them to never come again and to never bring any business again. So train them, wake them up to the facts of life and prevent those who want to carry on manipulating your customers from doing so. The more you succeed in this the more you will attract customers, especially those customers who rather pay a little bit more but get a reasonable treatment. And those customers are normally also the ones who are more financially prosperous and buy more. Gain something from your knowledge about what manipulation is all about. And let the people around you gain from it, your own people and your clients. This also applies when you are a worker or an employee. In a basic sense you are then a businessman as well. So treat you employer like a client. Be polite and don't manipulate him - and his customers and clients.

What will happen if you are not experienced in fighting manipulation and the big manipulator appears on the scene? The big manipulator takes over your country. And instead of leaving that place, you stay. Why do people stay in a dictatorship? Because they are slaves. For example somebody has bought property. Now he is not very keen to leave that place. That is the reason why Christians in the New Testament sold their property, they did not buy property. It says in Acts 4:34, "Possessors of lands or houses sold them." Paul did not buy a place in Rome to stay in and welcome all who came to see him, he rented a home. He was mobile. Now if somebody has bought a house and he bought it with somebody else's money then he is even more a slave. He has debts, he has a bond, he is bound. He is not really the owner, the bank is. Because of this bondage, and many others, such a man will start to accept the commands coming from the dictator. And one day he will receive a piece of paper telling him to appear on a certain day in the barracks. And he will not resist this manipulation because he never learnt to do it. He will go there, put on the uniform, take the gun, get trained, attack the neighbouring countries and start to shoot the people there. The dictator wants to conquer the world and make everybody a slave and he will be a willing part in the whole thing. He might even help to round up some of his own people because the dictator tells him that they are bad and must be exterminated. He might even help with that and become the exterminator. A slave does what he is told.

What will happen if you are not experienced in fighting manipulation and the big antichrist appears on the scene? You have never learnt the details how to recognize an antichrist, you have gone to church every Sunday and are so used to the ways of the little antichrist who preached there, that the ways of the big antichrist just appear normal to you. You will just follow him as you followed the small one. And when the big antichrist does all his big miracles and signs and wonders then this will be just a confirmation for you that this must be the second coming of Christ. As you did everything they told you on Sunday in church you will do everything the big preacher is now telling you. And when you get the invitation to help to fight the "heretics" you will be glad that you are allowed to take part in "this great work of God." You will find yourself persecuting and exterminating the real believers, killing Christ and his body again.

So start in relationships with people that are close to you. Start to become honest. Reject immediately every attempt of manipulation. Expose it. Resist it. Be assertive.

The whole life of the body of Christ - the real church - will depend on this. It is essential that the members practise in resisting manipulations. They should practise it in their daily lives and especially of course in the assembly. If this becomes second nature to them then a Diotrephes will have a hard time. It then will be easy to expose the attempts of clergy type people to take over and rule and quench the spirit.

This is the end of "Personal Relationships"

Next chapter: [17]


[Home]>[The Man-Made Church]>[16. Personal Relationships]

[Home] [How to Measure Your Beliefs] [The Man-Made Church] [Misc]

The address of this page is: