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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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.
1. Every curse issued against me to make
people ask where is my God, return to the sender, in the name of
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
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
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
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.