Dr. D. K. Olukoya
In Matt. 3, we have the record of a man of God who picked his words carefully and said exactly what he meant. This man, John the Baptist, was the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Matt 3:7 says, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O! generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
John the Baptist called the Scribes, the Pharisees and Sadducees, “Vipers.”
Mark 16:17-18 says, “And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
The five signs in that passage are:
a. They shall cast out devils.
b. They shall speak with new tongues
c. They shall take up serpents.
d. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.
e. If they take any deadly thing, it will not hurt them.
We would be looking closely at the third sign. This third sign is not very clear to many people. It does not mean that we should start carrying snakes on our hands and become like magicians. It simply means that they shall deal with vipers. Jesus made this statement after His resurrection to tell us that we will encounter serpents. John called the people that he preached to a generation of vipers.” We have all kinds of vipers; vipers in the form of human beings and snake vipers. Also the third sign does not mean that believers should start drinking poison, challenging their lives to see whether it will hurt them. That will be foolishness.
Many years ago, a woman was annoyed that her children came to MFM. So, she came with some people to attack me. One of the people who came with her was a herbalist and all the time they were talking to me, he had his hand in his pocket and was shaking something. The women said, “I don’t want my children to come to this church. You people have laid hands on their heads and now they are confused.” The herbalist brought out his hand and shook hands with me saying, “Young man, good morning.” As I was holding his hand I said, “Mr. Man, do you think that thing in your pocket can harm me?” He was surprised and said, “There is nothing in my pocket.” I said “May I put my hands in your pocket and bring it out?” He said, “How can you put your hand inside my pocket?” If you have no fire in you and you shake hands with somebody like that, a viper will enter into your body. If an unbeliever tries it, a viper will enter into his hands. This means that many people have different kinds of vipers hiding in them. People handle a lot of physical materials carrying spiritual power day and night, not knowing that there are vipers in them.
The story on which we are going to concentrate our prayer is in Acts 28. Please, note that the book of Acts of the Apostles can also be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit. The book tells us what the New Testament church should be like. Many churches have now deviated from the Acts of the apostles. In the book, you find the celebration of the triumph of the church over forces of darkness with the arrival of men who gave the enemies headache. They gave the rulers of their time sleepless nights. If you have not read the Acts of Apostles, I advise you to read it. It is a very glorious book. The apostles harassed demons. I was in a dead church before, but the first day I saw what a living church should be like, I thought it was a strange gathering. Somebody was prophesying with the spirit of divination. As he was saying this, somebody from the back suddenly said, “How dare you come here to prophesy with the spirit of divination? I shall strike you with affliction.” Then the fellow who prophesied said, “Sorry O! Forgive me, I did not know that there’s fire in this meeting.” I was shocked because I had never seen that kind of thing before.
Acts 28:1-10 says, “And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: For they kindled a fire and received us everyone, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, no doubt this man is a murderer, whom though he hath escaped from the sea yet vengeance suffereth him not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm. Howbeit, they looked when he should have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly, but after they had looked a great while and saw no harm come to him they changed their minds and said that he was a god. In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the Island, whose name was Publius; who received us and lodged us three days courteously. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the Island, came and were healed: who also honoured us with many honours and when we departed, loaded us with such things as were necessary.”
We can see at the end of this book what satan planned against the apostle. He planned death and defeat for Paul. He planned to terminate his assignment disgracefully. For how would it have been said that the man who raised the dead and healed the sick, was killed by a viper? That is what would have been written in the Bible. “And behold, a viper fastened on Paul’s hand, and bit him and his hand got swollen and he fell down and died.” That was the kind of testimony the devil wanted to write about Paul. The devil had hidden a viper within the woods to bite Paul just as he hides a viper within the woods too to bite believers today. Satan could hide a viper for you as you go about your daily duty.
The viper could be in a person’s soul, it could be in his spirit or body. There was a viper in the life of Gehazi. He did not get rid of it on time. One day, the viper came out, struck Gehazi and that was it. This was a man who would have had four times the anointing of Elijah. He would have become one of the most powerful men in the Bible, but he was covetous. Although he was living in the house of a pastor or prophet, the viper was living there with him. One of the greatest prayer points I think you can ever pray for yourself is, “I refuse to become history while I’m still living, in the name of Jesus.”
What is a viper? What does it represent in the spirit?
The viper is a poisonous creature and its bite spells death.
What is a viper in the spirit? It is a very poisonous and dangerous spirit. Lucifer, our arch-enemy, cannot be found walking about physically. He is busy walking around inside human beings. If you know a little bit of Biology, you will know that the viper feeds on scorpions. So when a scorpion which is a poisonous thing is the food of the viper, it means that the viper’s poison is stronger.
What am I saying? A viper is a power which drains power from lower demons. The viper has a very beautiful skin, but inwardly it is very wicked. Vipers are like people who look innocent and attractive but have poison in them, e.g. poison of lust and error.
I went somewhere to minister and one lady there did almost everything. She led the praise worship and the opening prayer, she set up the microphone, made the announcements and led in the sharing of the grace. My duty was only to teach and leave. After the meeting, she said, “Man of God, man of God, pray for me.” I wanted to pray but the Spirit of God said, “Don’t lay your hand on this fornicator.” I said, “My sister, stand up. Come and see me later. I have no time now.” When she came, I said to her, “Well, you’re a fornicator.” She started crying and said, “Anytime I’m growing in spiritual life, there’s this man in my place of work. The man will just come in at midnight and won’t want to go home. At the end of the day, he forces me to sin and my spiritual life goes down again.” I told her that a viper was in operation. “If you don’t deal with it, it will deal with you and eventually the man will come the day that your household wickedness would have arranged to attack you. They would wait for the man to finish and then launch an attack and that will be the end of your life.” She said, “Sir, what can I do now? I told her, “Don’t open your door when the man comes again.” She said, “The man will keep banging it and neighbours will be embarrassed. I said, “Let them be embarrassed.” She said, “But he may sack me”. I said firmly, “It’s better to be sacked than for you to go to hell fire.”
What is a viper?
Vipers eat their way through their mother’s belly. They have no mercy. They are very dangerous. The female viper is worse than the male. When the male viper bites a person, there will be two holes on the body, but if it is the female, there are four holes. The Lord showed me in a vision that He has exalted many people but serpents and scorpions are surrounding the ladder, so they cannot climb. The disturbing aspect of the vision was that I saw a fellow who, instead of climbing a ladder surrounded by serpents and scorpions, was busy feeding them. Satan has hidden the vipers of seduction, arrogance, pride, anger and strife in the lives of many and they strike at the appointed time. Many have fallen and never rose after being bitten by these vipers.
I know a very powerful man of God. He and his wife were about 50 years old. One day he said, “Well, this woman is not modern, I want a modern woman.” He was told that it was wrong for him to take another woman. He said, “The Holy Spirit asked me to do so.” He did and that was the end of the power of God in his life. What happened? A viper bit him.
There was a sister who was very powerful spiritually. Before her husband got to a crusade organized by his church, she would start singing, and healing would be happening. One day, we learnt that the woman ran away with an unbeliever who was living in their house. What happened to that woman? The viper that was hiding inside her life came out. It is a bad testimony to say that Mr. so and so was on fire for God in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s but now he smokes and drinks all over the place. One of the most powerful men of God who ever lived was one American. When he was preaching, you could physically see the halo of fire around his head. A lot of preachers have to pray and study hard before they can make any headway. But all that this fellow did was to read his Bible and any time he wanted to preach, an angel would be standing by his side telling him what to do. If you attended his meeting, the only way you would go away with your problem was if he was too tired to get to you.
Sometimes, he had to be carried out on a stretcher because he was tired. He was that powerful. But after sometime, he began to preach strange things. He said the fruit that Adam and Eve ate was not fruit but sex. He was preaching things like that. Little by little, this spiritual man backslided and eventually, died as a drunkard. This is why we must be prayerful. When we look at the story of Paul, we can see that the devil carefully selected the kind of audience before whom he wanted to disgrace him. These were:
1. His captors, Roman soldiers.
2. Other prisoners like himself.
3. The barbarians of the Island of Melita.
Remember that in the ship, Paul had preached to them and they had seen signs and wonders. It was before this selected audience of the enemies of God, church members and strangers that Satan wanted to disgrace Paul. It is amazing how Satan plans the kind of places and people before whom he plans to disgrace God’s people. He plotted to disgrace Samson before the same Philistines God had used him to disgrace, and he succeeded. He went to the war-front and died there. The same devil plotted to disgrace Moses before the same people that he led out, and he succeeded. The same person who said, “Let us go to the promised land. Let my people go that they may serve me,” the same man did not enter the promised land. This was what satan tried to do to Paul. But at the end, he was disgraced before the same audience.
The viper lost the battle and Paul carried the day. Certainly, God knows how to turn the table against the devil. The viper must lose the battle, in the name of Jesus. Paul was promoted from what they thought he was; a murderer to a god. When the viper is cast into the fire, all the bad names they have given to you shall change. God brought out Paul as a bait to pull out the viper and then destroyed it in the fire. My prayer is that God will use you too as a bait to pull out the enemies and destroy their power. So, do not wait for satan to act first. When you shake off the viper it will leave you alone and fall into fire. That viper in the passage where we read had been hiding among the cold dead wood. Satan loves to dwell in cold lifeless people and inside the lives of those who lack the fire of God. The fire of God is an expeller. When there is sufficient fire in your life, satan will not be able to stand you anymore because of the heat. If your fire is going out, you will know. When you notice that your prayer tempo is going down, your Bible study is going down, your zeal for the things of God is going down, then the fire is going. If that is the case with you, you better go and gather wood and fan it back to life.
When you look at this passage again, the fire that Paul lit brought life and warmth to Paul but death to the viper. It brought warmth to the child of God but judgment to the enemy. What shall be your deliverance shall be the enemy’s doom because the same Red sea which meant deliverance to the Israelites meant destruction and watery grave to the Egyptians. The night that brought joy to Israel and brought Passover to Goshen brought sorrow to the Egyptians. The den of lions which promoted Daniel disgraced and terminated the lives of his oppressors. The fiery furnace which became an air-conditioner for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, burnt to death the strong men of Babylon who went to throw them into it. Just as the fire brought warmth to Paul and death to the viper, that which is life to you shall kill your enemy. Your blessings and promotion will destroy your enemy, in the name of Jesus. The villagers knew the viper. They knew that people had been killed by that viper, so the viper had fearful credentials, but it was publicly disgraced. A lot of people had a high impression of Goliath when he was coming out for 40 days to intimidate the Israelites until God sent a little boy to publicly disgrace him.
I pray that all evil champions against your life shall be disgraced, in Jesus name. Satan may have vipers but God has dangerous men. Satan’s previous records may want to intimidate us but we have the most powerful power. Your enemies may be calling upon trees and rocks, they may be consulting water spirits, lighting different shades of candles, carrying beggarly powers all over the place, but you have the Living God who will always win the battle.
The viper represents death, opposition, challenge, bondage and Satan. We see that the viper fastened itself around the hand of Paul. Why the hand? Why not the legs? It was because he worked with the hands. The hand which he laid on the sick and they were healed. That hand represents the ministry and effectiveness of Paul. That was where the viper chose to fasten itself around to bring Paul into bondage. This hand would have been of little use to him as long as the viper had it in bondage. Many hands are in chains like that, you may not see it physically. A lot of people walking about in the streets have their legs and hands tied. Some find cobwebs all over their bodies. These are signs of the viper in such lives. There is judgement already waiting for the viper. It must be cast into the fire of judgement.
Why should a viper refuse to leave the hand of a person?
1. Lack of deliverance or incomplete deliverance.
A good deliverance process takes place in six stages:
a. New birth. You must be born again.
b. Detection of the troublers of Israel.
c. Ejection of the unprofitable tenants.
d. Removal of their deposits.
f. Repair of what have been destroyed.
g. Barricade yourself against future attacks and re-entry.
Many people have become the feeding bottles of the enemy. Their lives are drained away slowly and their strength is decreasing. When this happens, it means they are feeding on the blood of their lives. Resurrection of bad dreams that have gone, especially eating in the dream shows that there are vipers to be dealt with. All these sudden and unexplainable depressions – vipers. When you pay little or no attention to scriptural warnings, drinking and smoking, going all over the streets with strange partners, etc. All these are signs of the viper in a life.
The viper is at work in the following situations: When you do not read the Bible regularly or you read it as a duty, maybe once or twice a week. If you have been reading your Bible in order to argue successfully.
When you read the Bible in order to look for contradictions. When you read the Bible to teach others instead of being taught yourself. When you mutter lifeless words during prayer. When you no longer feel bad when you commit sin. When bad things are replacing good ones in your life. You have to stir up yourself today and shake off all these serpents so that they do not have any hold at all upon your body, soul and spirit.
2. Disobedience to the Almighty
God is not looking for illiterates, educated people, rich or poor men, popular men, handsome men, ugly men or people with certificates. He is looking for obedient people. What is it that man has to glory about? Is it popularity, certificates, riches, beauty, influential family? If these are what you display before the Almighty, you have a poor understanding of what God wants of you. Success is finding out the will of God for your life and moving in it. All those who want abundant peace and want to disgrace the viper, must make it a point of duty to obey God. Total, complete and absolute obedience to God. Adam disobeyed God and lost paradise. Cain disobeyed God and lost his salvation. Moses disobeyed God and lost the promised land.
The 600,000 Israelites disobeyed God and only two got to the promised Land. Samson disobeyed God. He lost his eyes and died with his enemies. Saul disobeyed God and lost his throne. Eli disobeyed God and God overthrew His good intentions about his family; he died a shameful death. So, God can change His mind. Jonah disobeyed God and ended up in the belly of the whale. Achan disobeyed God and died a shameful death. But Abraham obeyed God and inherited blessings. Joseph obeyed God and inherited divine promotion. Daniel too obeyed God and received divine promotion. Paul obeyed God and became the apostle to the Gentiles. Why don’t you check your life and see if you are living in obedience or disobedience. Make the necessary adjustments. Then pray the following prayer points with holy aggression.
1. I forgive all who have hurt or disappointed me, in the name of Jesus.
2. Lord, forgive me and I also forgive myself of all my many faults and failures, in the name of Jesus.
3. I break every power and covenant associated with my life and I release myself from their grip, in Jesus’ name.
4. I renounce and denounce any conscious and unconscious association with familiar spirits and spirit husbands and spirit wives, in the name of Jesus.
5. In the name of Jesus, I now renounce, break and loose myself from all demonic subjection or control and from any ungodly soul- tie, in the name of Jesus.
The vipers is a message delivered at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries
by the General Overseer, Dr. D. K. Olukoya
© Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries, Lagos, Nigeria.
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