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THE STRIFE OF THE TONGUES

Dr. D. K. Olukoya

Psalm 31: 20 : “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

The topic of our message this week is taken from the foregoing. I want you to keep the passage in your spirit as we go to Psalm 141: 3 where the Psalmist prayed a very important prayer point: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

We have read two passages; one talks about God having to hide people in His pavilion because of the strife of tongues. The second talks about setting a watch over our mouths and the Lord keeping the door of our lips.

There is a very dangerous door that has caused destruction in our present world. The strange thing about that door is that it has no lock, and many people could have been a lot better if they did not possess this door. In His wisdom, the Almighty God has designed the human head to have seven openings: two nostrils, two ears, two eyes and only one mouth. God, in His mighty wisdom, restricted the seventh opening to one. That already, is a message. That all other openings are in duplicate but this particular one, which is about a few inches below the nose, is only one, means that God wants you to see double, hear double, smell double but speak once. This single opening has caused us more troubles than the other six put together.

Let us look at a few Scriptures. Psalm 34: 11–13: “Come ye children hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he who desert life, and loveth many days, that he may see well. Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”

The fear of the Lord starts from your tongue. Judicious use of the tongue enables you to see good days. Likewise if you misuse your tongue, you will see evil days. Proverbs 13: 3 says, “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life, but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” Proverbs 21: 23 says, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 15: 14 says, “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge, but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” Proverbs 8: 21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

POWER OF THE WORD

The word is very powerful. There is a powerful secret behind the nature of the word which men over the ages have failed to realize. Words do not just come ordinarily, they are backed up by the personality that is speaking. It means that the words that we speak have spirit beings behind them. They do not exist in isolation. They carry power. When the devil came to Adam and Eve, all he did was to speak words, project his lying nature into the words and the words he spoke to them in the Garden of Eden caused their destruction. Words are far more than the arrangement of letters and alphabets. They are like containers, they may be filled with anger, malice, envy, curses, or destruction. What I am saying is this, your life today is mainly a result of what you said about yourself yesterday, and the totality of what you are now is a combination of what you have been saying and thinking about your life.

You need to seize this opportunity to reverse all the evil words you have said about your own life. Your words will determine your destiny. We need to pause and assess the kind of words we speak. You need to keep quiet a little bit and listen to everyday conversations and analyze them. Many people think that words die. No, they never die. And in the planet now, there is a war of words going on. I am talking about the strife of tongues because words can summon good or bad spirits. A person who always curse is affecting other people. A person who always speaks angry words will always invite violent and wicked spirits. If you see a man who has spirit wives, 99 per cent chances are that he is one who gets angry very easily.

Politicians speak words of deceit. Leaders all over the world now speak words of deceit and chaos. Foolish academicians speak words of blasphemy against God. Demonic musicians sing songs that destroy the lives of men and women. Sometime ago, one musician sang that a certain man would not die but a few months later the same man died. It was as if the musician sang him to his death. False prophets speak prophecies of destruction. Ministers of dry bones in dry churches speak dry words to stony hearts of dying people everyday. Satanic agents speak words of lying and ignorance to receptive souls. That is why the Bible says, “Make a tree good, and the fruit thereof shall be good.”

The Bible says that every idle word that men speak, they shall give account of them on the day of judgment because by their words, they shall be justified and by their words, they shall be condemned. So, the words you speak go to the judgment book. You speak out of the abundance of your heart. A carnal man will speak carnal words and a spiritual man will speak living words. Your words reveal the real you, no matter how you try to cover up. A person cannot be separated from his words, it will show the kind of person he is. You cannot run away from your words, they will reveal who you are.

The Bible says, “Thou shall hide them in their pavilion, from the strife of tongues.” The danger posed by the strife of tongue is so much that God has to hide even His own people in the pavilion so that they will not be affected. For God to decide to hide somebody from something, that thing must be powerful. So the strife of tongue must be a very serious matter. One of the most serious wars that can ever take place is the war of words.

WHAT CAN BE TERMED AS STRIFE OF TONGUES IN OUR LOCAL SETTING AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT PEOPLE’S LIVES?

1. Curses: Unfortunately, curses are so rampant in our environment that some people have termed them play-things. But the greatest headache with a curse is that it goes to the root. When Jesus cursed a fig tree: “You will never bear fruit again,” the next time He passed by, it had dried to the root. The curse went down to the root. That is the trouble with curses.

When there is a quarrel between two persons, and they start to exchange curses or abuses, they do not know the kind of terrible harm they are doing to themselves. When a husband curses his wife or a wife curses her husband, or parents curse their children, the curse goes to the root of the life or lives of the person or persons cursed. This is one example of the strife of tongues. One woman asked her husband for money for soup and the man dropped N20 for her. The woman said, “What will N20 do?” The man said, “That is all I have.” The woman replied, “So that is all you have? You will spend a lot more and you will look for money.” The man thought it was a joke, but the curse had already been issued. The next thing was that he ran into a problem that he could not solve, until he ran to the Lord, all these because of the strife of the tongue. A lot of women traders do not sell anything or do not make any profit because of the curses their husbands put on them.

2. Angry exchanges of words: Angry exchanges of words backed up by evil spirits can cause havoc. That is why when you are angry, it is not good to talk. You must avoid arguing with people who you know have authority over you. For the same reason you should not argue with anointed men of God because they may speak angry words that can do you harm. All those who are filled with the Holy Ghost should avoid hot verbal exchanges. If not, they may be harming the person they are talking to.

3. Incantations: This is the number three thing to avoid. Simply put, incantation is an invitation to demonic spirits to punish a person. When invited, demonic spirits will go into operation. You find that before some people start to fight themselves, the first thing they do is to rain incantations. They invite evil sprits to come and do some assignments for them.

4. Evil reports: This occurs when somebody takes somebody’s case to a herbalist, evil prophet or occult people and say, “Do you see what this idiot did to me? Do you see? I should get rid of this idiot.”

5. Careless abuses of people playfully: Although you are playing with them, those words sent out are not for play in the spirit world. They are used against the people. So, those who play with such abuses as, “Don’t you see his head, don’t you see his leg, don’t you see his mouth,” are causing trouble. The only thing is that they do not know the amount of trouble they cause.

6. External reversal of bad words: This is when somebody knows that what he means is bad, but he twists his tongue and says the good thing. May be some kids are making noise and he says, “Who are those good children disturbing there?” Everybody knows that good children don’t disturb. Therefore what he means internally is what is valid. It is that which he says inside that he has programmed himself to say. He has just twisted his tongue. Whenever you mean bad inside and you say well outside, the devil sees your tongue twisting and knows what you mean. This can cause serious problems.

7. Demonic chants: Isaiah 8:19: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead?

Demonic chanting is the method of destruction employed by many occult people. A long time ago, when I was in England, there was a house I thought that nobody lived in. But one day as I was passing, somebody said, “Daniel, do you know that a Nigerian lives in the top floor of that house?” I said, “But I have never seen him. He said how can you see him? The enemies have dealt with him. He always locks himself in, he does not want to see anybody. “Why should he lock himself in? Why does he not want to see anybody? I asked. He said, “You see, he came to England to study for a Ph.D., and the Ph.D. normally takes three years. But he has been doing it for eight years, but no result. It seems as if the white people did not want to see him through. Anything he said was wrong, even if it was right." I said, “Can I go there?” "He will not see you,” he replied. One day, I prayed and went there. When he saw me, he was about to run inside the room, however, he sat down and said, “Sir, can I help you? I don’t like seeing people, I always hide in the room.” I saw his wife, who was about 25 years old, but she looked like somebody of 50. The burden of life had been so much on her and she was finding it too hard to bear. I started talking to the man, I spoke to him about the power in the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver. He said, “But I go to church," I said, “When last did you go to the church?” He said, “The last time I went there, I saw my enemies, so I decided to stay at home. I was puzzled. Then the Lord revealed to me, that somebody on the ground floor who was demonic was chanting his name day and night to destroy him. So, I prayed again and went to the man at the ground floor and said to him, “Are you a Christian?” He said “No." We started talking and at a point, he said there was a foolish man upstairs, that he dealt with him. I said, “Sir, how have you dealt with him?” He said, “Don’t you know that I belong to so so thing?" He mentioned the name of his cult. I said, “But there is a power that can counter that one.” He said, “Which power?" I said, “That thing you are using, do you know that from where I am staying now, I can nullify it, in Jesus’ name. He said, “Look, let the world rest, and the world will not rest, live me alone.” Then I said to myself, What can I do now? If I say I should hold night vigil upstairs, my friend will run into the room and will be afraid of shouting.” I went and approached his wife first. I began to teach her what to do and how to pray. She started and after sometime her husband came out, and joined in the prayer. The devil is very bad. Every night, for a whole year, somebody just knelt down and chanted the name of a person till day break. And the more he did it the more confused the man got. Then I said, “Well, the baby which says that its mother would not sleep, itself would not sleep.” I said to the man and his wife, “Cancel sleep for sometime now. They slept in the afternoon very well and whenever it was 9 p.m. they woke up and began to pray: “Every chant coming from downstairs, we cancel you, in Jesus' name.”They prayed it everyday and not long the man began to discover that his trouble was fading. Suddenly a letter came that he should come and defend his Ph.D. project. Then the man downstairs warned me that he never wanted to see me again. I said to myself, “Fair enough."

Eventually the man upstairs was able to get himself out. We have many like them in this country. There are men who worship snakes. There are men who wear three-piece suits and work with you in the office but when they get home, they are different kind of beings. They light candles, kneel before the candles and a snake or an idol, and if they don’t like you, they chant your name till daybreak. So, if you hear people calling you and you don’t know where the voice is coming from, you should rise up and begin to cancel the chants. It is a strife of tongue.

8. Self-direct curse or swearing for denial purposes: May be somebody died, and they say, “Who killed this person?” And they bring one idol and say that everybody should swear that he did not kill him. Everybody should say, “If I have a hand in this matter, let this happen let that happen.” Beloved be informed that for those who accept to swear, immediately they say, “If I have a hand in this matter,” the devil will put his two hands in his ears. He does not want to hear that part. But when you say, “Let this happen to me,” he will put his signature. That is why the Bible says in Matthew 5:34, “But I say unto you, swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne.” So all those who swear by pointing their fingers to the sky do something very demonic. That finger you point upwards, if you are not careful, it may not prosper on anything again, because you have done what is against the word of God. Obey the teaching of the Scripture. Don’t swear by heaven. It is God’s throne. Matthew 5:35 says, “Don’t swear by the earth." Don’t say, “I am standing on the ground now. Let the ground do this, let the ground do that,” for the ground is God’s footstool. And don’t swear by Jerusalem. It is the city of the great King. Verse 36 says, “Neither shall thou swear by thy head.” Don’t say, “My head will fight you,” or that somebody’s head will be bad if he is the person that did so so and so." “Neither shall thou swear by thy head because thou cannot make one hair white or black, but let your communication be yea, yea, or nay nay.” So, swearing by your head is a demonic practice. Anytime your tongue utters a statement against yourself, you do yourself a lot of spiritual havoc. It is even worse when you do something wrong, and you swear falsely. When you say, “If I was the one that stole it, let this happen,” whereas you know that you did it. Those people who bite a cutlass or a knife and say, “This is the god of iron, I bite it.” All these practices are evil. It is also evil to stand on the mortar and swear. A man wakes up one morning and says, “It is because of my wife that I am not getting on. Let her come and swear,” and they say the woman should remove her dress, climb on a mortar and swear. It will not favour both the man and the woman.

9. Acceptance of demonic prophecies: Somebody stands up and you know that he has ten wives, and he begins to say Eli, Eli, Eli and after that he says, “My child, hear the word of the Lord, and you accept what he is saying. He will direct curses at the root of your life and will say it is from God. What do you do if you are in a situation of strife of tongues?

The Bible makes us to understand the techniques for cancelling them. I Kings 18:17 says, “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah that Ahab said unto him, Are you the one that troubleth Israel?” What a bad name: troubler of Israel. Elijah quickly rejected it. Verse 18 says that he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house.” So he not only replied, he put an addition. Matthew Chapter 4, talks about the temptation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The devil came and said, “Command these stones to become bread,” Jesus said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” But the devil did not give up, he tried again. He put Jesus on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, “Jump down,” and then misquoted Psalm 91, “It is written, he shall give his angels charge over you, and their hand shall bear you up, lest at anytime thou dash thine foot against a stone.” Jesus said, “It is written, thou shall not tempt the Lord your God.” The devil did not give up. He again asked Jesus to fall down and worship him and he would give Him the whole world. Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan, for it is written, thou shall worship the Lord Your God, and He only shall you serve.”

So, what do you do when you know there is a strife of tongue against you? I have seen a case where somebody jumped out of his car, he was happy, he was strong, but immediately he entered his office in his place of work, he became weak, tired and felt like sleeping. He drank coffee but it was like valium. He slept off even while drinking the coffee. But immediately he jumped out of the office, he was okay again. There was a strife of tongue against him.

When there is a stripe of tongue, there are three things to do:

1. Reject it.
2. Reverse it.
3. Return it.

Reject means that it does not belong to you. Reverse it, that is, return it back to the sender and decree that it will not come back again. It must always have somewhere to go. That is why Jesus said, “If any of you shall say to the mountain, be thou removed and be cast into the sea.” When you say the mountain should go, tell it where to go. “Be thou removed, and be cast into the sea” You reject it, you reverse it and return it to the sender.

The worst of all situations of the strife of tongue is self-directed type of tongue. Even if God wanted to hide you in His pavilion, but you are the one uttering evil words against your own life, there is nothing He will be able to do to help you until you take a padlock and shut your mouth. If you want to continue to talk, it is not your enemies that are harassing you now, it is you destroying yourself. The Bible says that the whole world was framed by the word of God, meaning that words are spiritual messengers. So you must think of what kind of words to speak.

Do you speak words of power or weakness, words of love or hatred, words of bondage or freedom, words of faith or unbelief, words of victory or defeat, words of life or death, words of health or disease, words of joy or sadness? If you do not make a quality decision to watch your tongue, you will certainly limit the miracles of God in your life. Consider the kinds of words you speak. Do I weigh my words? Am I chatting away my anointing? Are people accusing me of being talkative? If you study church history you will realise that the most powerful men of God are very quiet people. The enemies of our souls have learnt the secrets of the evil use of words. They issue curses. They chant incantations. And these curses and whatever they issue are so bad and powerful, that when they hired Ballam to go and curse the people of Israel, God Himself had to intervene quickly. If Ballam’s curse was not very serious, and was not going to function, God would not have intervened. But God knew that it was a serious thing, so He had to intervene. So you must be able to speak words that would neutralize evil words spoken against you. Also you must not support the devil in speaking words against your own life. Don’t speak words of doubt, condemnation or unbelief. Don’t speak about bad health. Don’t speak about disobedience. You must speak the words of deliverance. You must speak the words of healing, of love and of prosperity if you want to overcome poverty. When you ask some people, “How are you?" They say, “Not too bad, thank you,” meaning that it is bad, but that it is just not too bad. When you say what is happening in this company? They would say, “O my goodness, nothing is working, nothing, nothing is working." Whereas the fan is blowing, the air conditioner is there, the legs of the table are still standing, the human beings there are still talking and he says, “Nothing is working here.” And they have come for work. Instead of somebody saying, “I don’t know what I bought from the hand of headache,” let him return what he bought and stop saying so. Such statements as “I cannot allow one child to kill me,” is a statement against yourself. Even if you were in the secret place of the Most High and you are talking rubbish there, God cannot defend you. Some people would say, "Pastor, I am fed up with everything. Since the day I got married everything has gone hay-wire.” Or they look at their husbands and say, “You bastard,” Or, like a mother who used to call her daughter a bastard. Then the day the girl got pregnant and could not differentiate which of three men involved had the pregnancy, the mother began to beat her up. The man of God there said, “Don’t beat her. You have been calling her bastard, bastard, bastard, she had demonstrated the character of the bastard.” Or you look at your wife and say, “You call yourself a wife, you are as useless as your father, big leg, big hand, short ears, useless here, useless there, dunce.” If you have said these words to people, you must ask the Lord to help you today.

Men who lived with God in Scripture learnt the secrets of words and used words effectively. It is the high time to refuse the enemy to trap you with the words of your mouth. God is looking for believers who can control their tongues. There is one proverb, which says, “A closed mouth does not catch flies.” And it is true. Now pray in great boiling anger.

PRAYER POINTS

1. Every curse issued against me to make people ask where is my God, return to the sender, in the name of Jesus.
2. I reject and return to sender, every strife of tongue against my life, in Jesus’ name.
3. (Place your right hand on your head): I release myself from every evil incantation, past or present, in Jesus’ name.
4. Every miss-use of my tongue against myself, I cancel you, in Jesus’ name.
5. Every power and activity of serpentine spirits against my life, be cancelled, in the name of Jesus.
6. Every evil report about me, I cancel you, in the name of Jesus.
7. Lord, surround me with the edge of fire and lay your hands of fire upon me, in Jesus’ name.
8. All the forces that the Lord has scattered on my behalf will not reinforce or regroup, in Jesus’ name.
9. All the enemies of abundance in my life, be roasted, in Jesus’ name.
10. All the good things I have been pursuing, now, begin to pursue me, in Jesus’ name.
11. Power must change hands in my family to the hands of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus.
12. I dethrone every king of sorrow, in the name of Jesus.
13. Every unsettled evil spiritual account, I cancel you with the blood of Jesus.
14. Any satanic agent following me to steal my blessings, be roasted now, in Jesus’ name.