“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1
“Prove all things, hold fast that which is good”– 1 Thess. 5:21
“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” – 1 Tim. 5:22
I have touched on this issue before but I am compelled to put out this warning again. In the past several months many more people have contacted me for deliverance prayer who got demonized, which we believed came about via the transference by the laying on of hands. They were part of churches that were involved with the New Apostolic Reformation – churches associated with likes of Bethel in Redding, California. Or they were involved with other hyper-Charismatic churches.
What do I mean by transference? Transference is when someone is demonized lays his hand on someone to pray for the person but the demons inside the prayer transfer into the person who was prayed for.
This demonic transference seems to be growing rapidly in ‘churches’ these days. Many of them believe they are imparting God’s Spirit but are actually imparting another spirit. In this video, John Torrell, who is a Pastor, testifies how he received demons from laying of hands by someone who was demonized in a ‘church’.
In the Bible, there are instances where God uses the laying on of hands:
Deuteronomy 34:9 “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.”
Acts 19:6 “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Acts 8:17 “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
Hebrews 6:1-3 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, ad of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”
Luke 4:40 “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.”
James 5:14 “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:”
As we can read, the laying on of hands is scriptural. One can be truly be blessed by it!
But one should have discernment about who to allow to lay hands over for prayer when the enemy has seriously infiltrated ‘churches’ with a counterfeit Holy Spirit. Just because a Christian uses the name of Jesus doesn’t mean it is the Jesus of the Bible. The Bible warns about another Jesus that is preached (2 Cor. 11:4).
Satan imitates and counterfeits a lot of what God does. He has used the pattern established by God for transferring the Holy Spirit to transfer evil spirits between men. In the world of the occult that is exactly what happens!
Christian author Kurt Koch (1913-1987) wrote:
“A young man told me he had once had three black magicians lay their hands on his head and murmur some magic charms over him. He had afterwards possessed magic abilities which astonished even the family doctor. The doctor had investigated his powers and had to acknowledge that they were genuine. The laying on of the hands of the magicians would again be a counterpart to the scriptural laying on of hands” (pg. 65, Between Christ and Satan).
John Ankerberg and John Weldon wrote:
…many of the gurus (e.g., siddha or power yogis), such as the late Rajneesh and Muktananda, or Sai Baba, Nityananda, and Da Free John, have induced the transmission of occult power into their disciples solely by touch, thought, or glance. Of course, Western occultists can do this as well. Nevertheless, the spiritual dynamics of this ability indicate it as a spiritistic phenomenon. Transference often occurs during ritual occult initiation or standard initiation into Eastern sects where it is known as shaktipat diksha. Here the guru or leader transfers occult power into the initiate for purposes of occultic energizing. (This is also a common phenomenon of psychic healing, which is, in effect, a similar transference of occult power.) In some cases, the effect is to spark interest in the psychic realm or to develop psychic abilities. But in many cases something more profound occurs: a complete religious conversion or a form of possession. Some of the gurus make regular converts by this method, almost as if it were a spiritual counterfeit to biblical regeneration and/or laying on of hands. One converted psychiatrist provides an illustration of the occult power involved:
“Suddenly I start shaking all over and experiencing inner reactions…. A glance and a wave of his hand, and I just fell apart… stunned… all I could do was sit on the floor for some time to regain my composure. I’m still amazed to witness myself break up like this, although I have heard that many people have such reactions as they draw closer to Baba…. It seems the closer I get the less control I have.”
Johanna Michaelsen reports that when touched by the psychic surgeon with whom she worked (who was then under the control of the spirit guide), “A strange shock ran through my body as his hands touched me.”
When Swami Muktananda initiated Albert Rudolph (Swami Rudrananda) into his spiritutal tradition (Vedanta), Rudrananda:
“Immediately felt within me a surge of great spiritual force which hurled me against the stone walls and allowed a great electric shock to send a spasm of contortions through my body. Movement similar to an epileptic fit controlled my body for almost an hour. Many strange visions appeared and I felt things opening within me that had never been opened before.”
Rudrananda observes the relationship of this energy transfer/possession and later speaks of the normality of the student being spiritually “possessed by his teacher.” He described his own experience of this phenomenon when he felt his own guru enter and possess him in a spirit form.
“Slowly Swami Nityananda came toward me and entered into my physical body…. It was a terrifying experience.”
Carole Carmichael describe a typical experience while under the tutelage of Swami Rama:
“The energy was shaking my being and filling my body…. The force was engulfing me; I felt as if I were caught in the violent wind of a tornado– it was surging through my head, heart, lungs and spine down through my legs, surrounding my entire body. The force was filling my body with air and moving my lungs rapidly. My heart beat faster than I thought possible. My breath was being drawn in and out so rapidly that I could hardly breathe; in fact, the force was breathing for me.”
(The Coming Darkness, pgs. 215-217)
Occultists have known to transfer their occult energy, which are really demons. They would transfer their powers to someone else at death. If they don’t do it they often undergo an unbelievable death agony.
Koch observes from his experience that “a very difficult and terrible death struggle [is] a symptom which has emerged in every case of occult practice within my knowledge” (Christian Counseling and Occultism, pg. 41). Dr. Unger comments that such a situation may become “a nightmare of suffering [for the occultist] when children do not wish to receive the occult power” (Demons in the World Today, pgs. 81-82).
The woman who got demonized from David E. Taylor said there were times when David didn’t even physically touch her, but instead, just whirl his jacket and blow on her and she would feel overwhelmed by some power – she would experience what they call “slain in the spirit.” This power, of course, is not the power of God. This shows to me that one doesn’t even have to receive the laying on of hands to receive another spirit that the Bible warns about.
Here you can see false teachers Benny Hinn, Joshua Holmes, Todd Bentley, David E. Taylor, and Chris Oyakhilome at times seem to impart another spirit in instances without even touching the person:
Koch recalled an experience he had with the late Kathryn Kuhlman, a supposed “healer”, who would draw large crowds and pray over people to supposedly heal people and they would fall to the floor unconscious:
“She held her hands about six inches above my head. At once I began to pray in my heart, “Lord Jesus, if this woman gets her power from You, then bless both her and me. If she has gifts and power which do not come from You, protect me from them. I do not want to come under an alien influence.” While Kathryn was praying, two ushers came and stood behind me to catch me as I fell. I felt nothing, however, and stood like a rock without losing my consciousness in the least. Then came a second surprise. Kathryn nudged me gently, probably in order to make me fall. She did not succeed.” (Occult ABC, pg.133).
Are the people in these churches imparting a counterfeit Holy Spirit know they are doing it? I believe some are deceived and are unknowingly do it, while others know what they are doing.
If someone wants to lay hands on you to pray for you and you are unsure if the person is really of God, and what spirit is operating in him or her, I would pray to God in Jesus’ name for protection.
Again, test every spirit! There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus said you would know them by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-19). One indicator to know if he or she is not a true teacher is there will be a lack of teachings on repentance or turning away from sins. I believe God would rather have people on the ground because of sorrow for their sins and weeping over their sins and asking God for forgiveness, rather because they were “slain in the spirit.”
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”