Discovering the Root Cause - Part 2
We have learned in the previous blog that the root cause of religious OCD is legalism empowered by the illegitimate power of witchcraft. The good news is, the moment we confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us, He forgives us immediately. It is very important for us to grasp that. We must understand that even though we have repented from legalism and are forgiven, it does not necessarily mean all of our obsessive thoughts and fears will go away instantly. It simply means that we have entered into a journey toward recovery in which we cooperate with God to renew our belief system until all of the lies and deceptions of the Enemy have been exposed and replaced with the truth. The more the truth of the Word of God abides in our heart and mind, and the more we learn to live a life of dependency upon Christ, the more peace we will experience. As we ask Jesus to deliver us and to uproot the root and replace it with Himself; fear and anxiety will eventually dissipate and be replaced with the abiding fruit of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (see Romans 14:17). And even though it is a process, we are forgiven and accepted by God through faith in Christ’s work on the cross. It is of utmost importance for us to realize that the righteousness that God prescribes is a righteousness that is of faith (see Romans 1:17). Otherwise, condemnation will keep us tied to legalism and we will not be able to completely walk away from it or make lasting progress. I am planning to teach in future blogs on the difference between the righteousness that is of faith versus the righteousness that is of works.
But for now, let us go back to the witchcraft part. How did Derek Prince draw his conclusion that witchcraft was the illegitimate power behind legalism? He drew it from Galatians 3:1:
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
—Galatians 3:1 NKJV
We see in Galatians 3:1 that the apostle Paul used the word bewitched to describe the state of the Galatians. Derek Prince pointed out in Lucifer Exposed that wherever we encounter legalism, somewhere behind it is witchcraft. As I studied his book along with the Scriptures and my own experience, I learned that the supreme objective of witchcraft in the church is to hide the reality of the work of the cross, Jesus Christ crucified. We know from the Word of God that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (see 1 Samuel 15:23). Prince stated in his book that “the illegitimate power that supports rebellion is the power of witchcraft.” In addition to 1 Samuel 15:23, Galatians 3:1 also makes the connection between witchcraft and rebellion, “Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth”. And the last part of the same verse completes the puzzle, “before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified” We see here that the apostle Paul describes not believing the truth about Christ crucified as disobedience. Therefore, if we believe the message, we are regarded as obedient; but if we won’t believe, we are regarded as rebellious. I am planning to elaborate in future blogs on the righteousness that is of faith since understanding this foundational truth is key to our victory.
I began to comprehend what Derek Prince meant when he highlighted that what makes witchcraft so dangerous is the fact that it is within the church and is working against the people who are unaware of its presence. God had also shown me this sort of witchcraft could easily be dismissed as innocent and inoffensive. Thus, witchcraft was the main problem in the Galatian church; they had returned to fleshly endeavors to please God; “they had reverted to keeping all sorts of rules as a way of achieving righteousness with God.” Witchcraft is not only an evil supernatural power, but it is also a work of the flesh (see Galatians 5:20). Wouldn’t you agree that trying hard to please God seems harmless and even righteous? The question is, are we trying hard in our own might or in God’s might? Are we serving God to get saved or because we are already saved through faith in Christ?
I believe it was a year before God showed me legalism was my problem, but I can’t be certain on the timing. Paul had decided to fast for me three days due to the seriousness of my situation. As a result of his fast, God revealed to him three things. One of them came through a dream. In the dream, we were in church. I was sitting in a pew in the row in front of him, which allowed him to see better what was happening to me. There were some suspicious church people who were administering a questionable medicine to me, and I was visibly in a daze as though under a spell. Even at that time, God had been revealing the evil power of witchcraft that was at work in my life. But during the time I was under the spell of legalism, I was not able to grasp the revelation of what it really meant to us that Christ was crucified to pay the price for our sins. I was constantly studying the Word, but I had a hard time coming to the true knowledge of it (see 2 Timothy 3:7). The extreme torment of it became unbearable. Legalism is a cruel master.
Although legalism empowered by witchcraft was a new idea to me, years before I fell deep into legalism the Lord had spoken to me very clearly about the satanic powers behind witchcraft. It was during the time my mother was involved in the occult and was a tarot cards apprentice (she later gave her heart to the Lord and repented from her involvement with the occult and witchcraft). In a dream, the Lord had shown me my mom’s dog. The dog was crazy, running aimlessly across the street. He looked like he was in a daze; he looked like a zombie. His eyes wide open, he was running without clear direction—on the street, off the street, on the street, off the street. As I watched this disturbing scene, the Lord spoke to me and said, “They torment you, and they give you no rest.”
Now that I understand witchcraft as the illegitimate power behind legalism, this dream from years ago holds even more meaning for me. Certainly, after having suffered under the hard taskmaster that legalism is, I can testify the spirits of witchcraft torment you and they give you no rest for your soul. As far as what we are talking about in this page, you become obsessed with your spiritual performance and with your need to meet “God’s expectations”. You find yourself constantly under a death sentence because every day your failures make you worthy of hell. You keep thinking about how you need to change, how you don’t measure up; and it seems like the more you try, the worse you become. . . .
The Lord willing, in the next blog, I will share with you a tremendous revelation God gave me when I asked Him what I needed to do in order to get better.
Until then, take heart. I am sure you are now beginning to see for yourself that there is hope, and that there is a way out.
 See Prince, Lucifer Exposed, 80, 113-114.
 Prince, Lucifer Exposed, 91.
 Prince, Lucifer Exposed, 79, 98.
 Prince, Lucifer Exposed, 81.