latent power of the soul part II

Soul Power V Spirit Power 

“Soul force’ versus ‘Spirit force’ is the battleground today. The body of Christ is by the  energy of the Holy Spirit advancing heavenwards. The atmosphere of the world is thickening with psychic currents behind which are massed the aerial foes.” (Mrs Penn-Lewis – ‘Soul and Spirit’)

In part I we saw that many miraculous phenomena in religion and science are the manifestation of man’s latent soul power which is in turn used by Satan. These phenomena follow on from one common aim;to break through the bond of the flesh and release the power of the soul. This explains why certain people are successful in such things as clairvoyancy, hypnotism, telepathy etc. and why miracles of healing are not restricted to Christian environments.


Satan is a defeated enemy yet he is intent on causing as much destruction as possible in the time he has left (1Pet. 5:eight). Even now he is filling the world with this latent power of the soul. Take a look around you. Do you not see it? Soul power is flooding the world and more and more people are being deceived. Just look at the tremendous growth in the New Age movement in recent years. People are clamouring for all sorts of spiritual experiences and are joining spiritist churches; consulting mediums; communicating with the spirit world and following many other forms of paganism and witchcraft. Can you not sense this acceleration of opposition from evil spirits? We are living in the ‘end times’ right now and Satan is causing the world to be filled with the power of darkness in his last and final preparation before the appearance of antichrist (Revelation 13).

If you despair please remember that God is in control and that these events must come to pass before Jesus takes us all home (Mathew 24:6).

Jesus told us that before He returns miraculous signs (not of God) will greatly increase and deceive many

‘Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; inasmuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.’ Mathew 24:23-24

Christians can be protected only by knowing the difference between spirit and soul and by trusting the Holy Spirit to guide us.


The difference between us Christians and the others is that our miracles are performed by God through the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is done through man’s spirit; but the work of the enemy are all done through man’s soul. The Holy Spirit moves the human spirit while the enemy spirit moves the human soul.

At the time we believe in the Lord Jesus we are born again – a real organic change occurs in us.

‘Therefore, if anyone man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

God puts His life into our spirits and quickens it.

‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.’ Ezekiel 36:26

‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (Eph 5:18) indicates that our spirit should be filled with the Holy Spirit- God fills our spirit with His.

In other words the Holy Spirit works in man through the human spirit; but Satan forges in man’s soul many phenomena similar to the workings of the Holy Spirit, causing men to experience FALSE REPENTANCE; FALSE SALVATION, FALSE REGENERATION; FALSE REVIVAL; FALSE JOY and other counterfeits of Holy Spirit experiences.


You can see soul power in action in many Christian gatherings. A key to spotting this soul power is when leaders follow a certain formula or programme of events that they know will lead to ‘souls being saved’.  The leader will have an assurance that his or her message will cause people to weep, cry out and seek repentance.   

To understand this deception we need to look at the threefold work of the Holy Spirit.  1) He regenerates us (2 Corinthians 5:17), 2) He lives in us so that we may produce the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and 3) He comes upon us so that we may have the power to witness (Act 1:8)

The enabling which the Holy Spirit gives us is outside of us – we cannot be sure of it! Therefore at a revival meeting, for example, there is no assurance whatsoever that people will be saved – for the power of the Holy Spirit is beyond our control!   

‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’  John 3:8

If we work with soul power we can feel it in the same way that hypnotists do when they know what results they will get by doing certain things. It seems that many preachers do not know that they are using psychic force. They think that they have power but they are in fact employing psychological power to win people over.  


‘Jesus answered, ‘No-one can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draws him’. John 6:44

In the work done by the power of the Holy Spirit man does not need to exert his own strength nor do anything by himself. If a work is done by soul strength one has to exert lots of energy and use numerous methods such as weeping, shouting, screaming, standing with eyes shut/hands out or the incessant singing of choruses etc. – as all these do is stir up the audience. Some leaders will just have to get the atmosphere just right before the meeting begins – the lighting, seating music etc. as if these things matter.

Is any of this familiar to you?

The power that comes from the Holy Spirit is never affected by outside environment. Our God can do absolutely anything – we don’t need to try and make Him look good!!


“Anyone who wishes to know what preaching in soul power is need only attend a big meeting packed with people and provided with the finest equipment, and just listen to the people singing and watch the movement of the audience. You will be able to sense that there is a special power in a crowded place. What power is this?” (Watchman Nee 1933)


‘The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 15:45

This verse shows the different effect between the operation of the spirit and the soul. The soul is itself alive and has life in itself. The spirit, however, is able to give life to others and cause them to live. Only the spirit is capable of quickening people into life. The soul, no matter how strong it is, cannot impart life to others.  

The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. John 6:63

We must lay down our soul power for it cannot save or help people. We must ask God to bind our soul life. We should lay down our talents and our strong points.

Tell God, ‘I don’t want to rely on my own talent and power. I ask You to do the work for by myself I can do nothing’.All power must come from God. By using our own wisdom, method, strength or abilities, we can block the manifestation of God’s power.

Many miraculous phenomena are performed by soul force instead of by God.

Many revival meetings may appear successful at the time but what happens afterwards is the key. A person may be ‘slain in the Spirit’ and fall to the floor but it is what happens in that person’s life when they get up off the floor that is the real test of what power it was.

Is their life changed? Does their life bear fruit?


If you want to be used in God’s service do not speak of power. We should not seek power rather our responsibility is to fall to the earth and die. If we die then bearing fruit is very natural.

‘Verily, verily, I (Jesus) say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall unto the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.’  John 12:24-25

Whoever loses his own soul life, just as a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, shall grow in the life of God and bear much fruit – lasting fruit!

We must be helpless and hopeless before the Lord. Tell Him, ‘All that I have is Yours, I myself have nothing. Apart from you I am helpless and hopeless.

Ask and allow the Holy Spirit to bring you to a place where you can do nothing by yourself.We must learn to deny all that which comes from our natural selves. God will then display His power to accomplish His will.

Jesus gave us an example,

‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.’ John 5:19

We can achieve absolutely nothing in our own strength (John 15:5) but the victory is ours through Jesus. He lives in us!

‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.’ Galatians 2:20




  1. I deeply appreciate your write up. Today is International Day of Prayer for the persecuted, and Watchman Nee had many deep & mature revelations that I have benefited from. This matter of soul power vs. Holy Spirit power is on my heart and I’d sought the Lord in prayers, so He led me here! Now I am encouraged to continue seeking discernment, because like several others who posted, it is very difficult to avoid an unseen reality. It’s not that we need to cave in, but a wise mature believer who suffered in prison helps our lack of knowledge. This makes me all the more avoidant of the ‘feel-good’ gospel & grateful for a Pastor who sticks to scripture.

  2. One of the most insightful books I’ve read in a long time. I have witnessed people enforcing their wills on others in the guise of prayer. I call it religious witchcraft. True prayer is always concerned that God’s will be done in our lives, and in other’s lives too. prayer is not a soulish manipulation device. This type of praying is a selfish manipulation of others. It feels like oppression.

  3. Dear Tony,

    Many thanks for this article. The Lord told us that deception would be the distinguishing mark of the last days and you have hit the nail right on the head. How hard it is though, for those who have not seen the church system for what it is, to discern the difference between soul and Spirit. Especially when ‘results’ are apparent. Speakers learn to rely on a method rather than on the Lord, and forget that with the Lord, slow growth, often imperceptible to the outside eye, is usually the way, rather than quick miraculous fixes, which impress an audience and result in following and finances.
    Bless you!

  4. Hi I am cj….i attend a meeting once in a while….last week, while there, a woman fell down, ? under power of God? The problem was that when she fell down, she landed on an older woman who was tiny and that older woman broke her hip….I do not think that the spirit of God was in operation here. I heard people say, oh yeah, the holy spirit just threw me across the room. I question this, because when holy spirit touches me, he is very gentle and i fall back wards gently. Please, any thoughts? I have been questioning this for a very long time……

  5. I am very excited to come across this write-up by watchman. But I am a little confuss talking about soul, spirit and the man.
    The seat of the spirit is the soul and the seat of the soul is the flesh. Can the spirit act without the soul for when the soul act, there is the exaction of physical strenght.
    Ps 103 vs1,2 has anything to go by. Can the soul be absence in praise and worships to God?

  6. Hi Ajtony. Thank you for your article. The soul is part of man. When a person receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, the whole personality comes under the Lordship of Christ.

    It is right and proper to be sober and vigilant in our walk with God. However, our actions and thoughts need to be guided by knowledge, otherwise we may find ourselves acting out of fear.

    I think it is true to say that the Holy Spirit does not bypass the soul as He uses a person. When a person is anointed to sing or preach or teach, the soul is full engaged, in all its powers, in whatever the person is doing as led by the Holy Spirit.

    Without the soul the Holy Spirit CANNOT find expression through a person.

    In a worship service people do not leave their souls behind and come as spirits only. The whole person, body soul and spirit attends service.

    A spirit does not need a seat, a spirit does not need the musical instruments, it can and does make its own melody to the Lord. But the soul needs the musical instruments, the body needs the seats. The soul needs the orderly arrangements, the flowers, the colors, the lovely designs etc.
    These things are not for the spirit, they are for the soul and the body.

    Yes there is a power at work in the meetings, and yes it is soul power! But it is soul power under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit energizes the soul to praise and worship God. What does He energize if not the powers or abilities of the soul?

    • Hey Arthur, I agree with you IF and this is a BIG IF – all of the people in the worship service are born again believers, filled with the Holy Spirit! But, it must be said that there are many people attending ‘churches’ and worship services who are not ‘born again’ believers and then soul power, NOT UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, becomes evident. And if not under the direction of the Holy Spirit, one must ask what ‘spirit’ is acting on these people?

    • I’m blessed by your summation on the subject of spirit, soul and body.
      More grace.

  7. Tony, I read Watchman Nee’s Latent Power of the Soul years ago, and it rang true to me. Recently, I had a friend who telling me that she was receiving craniosacral therapy for her blindness (physical not spiritual). I immediately recalled Nee’s teachings on soul power and a red flag went up. My friend said that her therapist claims to be a Christian who even prays for her clients as she practices this type of therapy. Are you familiar with craniosacral manipulation? If so, do you think it is envoking soul power?
    Thank you in advance for your response.

  8. Ajtony, I read the article as well ans must compliment you on the strong message. I must ask though, is it a sin to seek power? I don’t mean to try and overcome God, I don’t hold myself to be that high. However, I am trying to seek control of my own soul, the power God gave me. Is it a sin? (please say its not, I’m feeling kind of down lately)

  9. Hey Archie, thank you for reading and making a comment on my blog. I do not want to give the impression that I believe that God has no influence on our souls, only that Satan can have an influence if we are not on our guard (1 Peter 5:8). This can be particularly true for new Christians if they are taught to chase emotions and feelings etc. This happened to me when I was a new Christian and it was the Holy Spirit who drew me back to the truth. ‘He will guide us into all truth’ and that is why I say in the article that we must trust the Holy Spirit to guide us. Blessings to you.

    Love in Jesus, Tony

  10. You give the impression in a very strong way that God has no influence on our souls even when saved.
    When a person gives their life to Christ does He not take complete control of the entire component parts of their being, including the soul also?
    Many thanks

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