This is the sixth and final post dealing with witchcraft in the Church. Some of these points could probably be lumped together, but I felt it was important to be as clear and defining as possible.
At the end of this post I’ve listed seven things a person should do if they believe witchcraft is operating in their church.
8. Above correction (not above reproach).
There are times when a person acts as though they’re infallible; they’re incapable of making a mistake. That should be a warning sign to everyone else.
It is a controlling spirit that demands submission even if clearly in the wrong. “Do as I say, not as I do” is not in sync with kingdom principles.
9. Word of knowledge/wisdom.
The gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) are given to benefit people. There are people who may tell you some secrets about your life, but that information isn’t necessarily an indication of the Spirit of God.
What else is going on? Does the “word” bear witness with your heart? Is the minister demonstrating the love, compassion, and character of Jesus?
A good safeguard? Make certain you are actively in fellowship with the Lord. Seek Him above everything. Don’t go around hunting for a “word from the Lord”. You can find that for the price of a Chinese meal.
10. Discerning of spirits.
Is someone always telling you about the demons and evil spirits they see? Maybe they are, but maybe not.
According to my understanding of the Word, there are numerous angels in the spirit realm, as well.
A preoccupation with the spirit realm is an open door to deception. Although a person may be able to have such a vision, it is always as the Spirit wills; I’ve not seen anything in the scriptures that indicate it’s okay to seek a vision.
I may be wrong, but the only time someone was seeking such a thing was King Saul. That didn’t turn out so well for him.
Witchcraft, or seeking to manipulate through fleshly means, is something evil spirits love to accommodate.
11. Idolizing a leader, doctrine, etc.
Here’s where people like you and I can push someone toward witchcraft. How? By demanding so much from them, and not checking their message with the scripture.
Paul said to, “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good”(1 Thessalonians 5).
Regardless of how wonderful a person preaches, or how many miracles they may perform, they are still human. They can miss the mark, just like the rest of us.
Esteem them highly for their works sake, but keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
12. Misinterpreting the Spirit’s direction.
One Sunday, probably ten years ago, while we were singing and praising God, I was at the piano feeling all frustrated. It was as though God was locked out of the room.
Suddenly I sensed the Lord saying, “Call brother Francis to the platform and have him lead in the shout.”
I called Francis up, and told him what I thought I heard the Lord say. He looked at me kind of funny, but started shouting praise to God.
In almost no time the whole church was shouting, and the dryness and frustration left. God’s presence filled the place that day.
Never happened before or since. I had learned not to do something simply because it “worked” before.
Here’s where I learned it:
At a previous church the Lord directed me to have a tent meeting. We rented a tent, called an evangelist, and had four wonderful meetings. People were saved and healed.
Well, it worked so well, I planned a meeting for the next year. Bigger tent, same evangelist, but I planned it all in the flesh.
What a flop! I was wrong, and operating by a wrong spirit, in the flesh.
I had to repent and yield to God’s direction.
13. Counterfeit spirit.
In Acts 16 you’ll read the story of the girl possessed with the spirit of divination; a lying, death dealing spirit. She said the right things, but was “inspired” by the spirit of darkness.
I knew a man twenty some years ago who had a terrible battle with depression; and I believe he was specifically bothered by evil spirits.
I had ministered to him a few times, and one evening he stopped by the house to give me a “praise report”. It was late when he stopped by, so the rest of my family was in bed.
He wanted to thank the Lord, so I took his hand and began thanking God rather quietly, so as not to wake up my household.
He started getting real loud, saying, “Praise the Lord, Pastor Grace. Praise the Lord, Pastor Grace!”
All of a sudden I sensed something evil and I said, “I rebuke you lying spirit!”
At once, he changed into a crazy man, walking wildly around the house, yelling and screaming.
I told him to sit down and shut up in the Name of Jesus, and then called my next door neighbor who was a believer.
When he arrived, as soon as I opened the door, the man stormed past me and took off.
Unfortunately, the man never was able to get free and ended up taking his life a couple years later.
14. Forcing a word from God, rather than relaxing and resting in His grace and ability.
Sometimes people think there has to be a demonstration of a spiritual gift or two in order to “have a good service”.
Those who believe that are apt to be duped into operating in the flesh; i.e. witchcraft.
Why not simply seek the Lord, whether at church or not, and follow His direction? As long as His will is accomplished, what else really matters?
Besides, if we’re too busy looking and waiting for something “spectacular”, we just may miss the real supernatural move of God.
15. Desiring the show rather than the grow (Simon – Acts 8).
If you desire “the show”, rather than “the grow”, you will be fooled. If you’re only satisfied with hype, you’ll never be grounded in truth.
Paul said, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:1 – 12:3 ESV).
Throughout the New Testament Paul tells us to put away the old man. The old man is easily deceived, can be manipulated as well as manipulate others. It loves to be caught up in the excitement, attributing everything happening to God, even if it doesn’t pass any scriptural litmus test.
Witchcraft, misuse and fraud, which lead to deception and ultimately broken lives and churches, is breaking out in churches.
Is it breaking out in yours?
No, I’m not on some witch hunt, but I am hungry to see the genuine move of God I read about in scripture.
I’ve given a number of examples of where witchcraft could be showing up in the church, as well as reasons why.
But what should we do if we suspect things aren’t exactly right?
Try these seven things…
1. Examine the scriptures.
2. Examine your own heart.
3. Pray for the leadership.
4. Speak to leadership (pastor, elder).
5. Confused? God is not the author of confusion, but we don’t always see things God’s way. Give the leadership the benefit of the doubt.
6. Still unsure? Maybe it’s time to speak with another spiritually mature person.
7. Truth or error? When you’ve settled the question, act accordingly.
Please let me know if any of this helped you. I’d love to visit more with you, so please drop me a line.