Tag: witchcraft in the church

Is there witchcraft in the Church? (part three)

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God has placed within the church not only ministry gifts (specifically Apostles, Prophets, etc.), but also gifts of the Spirit to equip the various ministries.

One group of gifts is what many refer to as the utterance gifts: tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy.

Another group is known as the revelation gifts: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits.

The third group is the power gifts: gift of faith, gift of healings, the working of miracles (all found in 1 Corinthians 12).

What happens when a person is desirous of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31), but doesn’t take the time to study the word, or have the humility to allow others to judge what they say or the spirit behind their utterance?

Confusion and every evil work.

Sometimes it may not be the minister who is operating with a false spirit, but a person who is so hungry to hear a “word” (for guidance, assurance, or whatever), they open themselves to all kinds of issues.

Many years ago I attended a Full Gospel Businessmen’s meeting where a guy from Dogpatch, Arkansas ministered. The man taught (don’t remember the message at all), then had those who desired “personal prophecy” to form a line along one side of the room.

About half of the hundred or so in attendance followed the preacher’s instructions, including myself. I wanted to hear something from God, something pertaining to my job and financial situation.

I remember telling a friend, who was also waiting in line, “I don’t know why I’m standing here. God has been showing me what I’m supposed to be doing.”

But I stayed in line, anyway.

When it was finally my turn, the man of God placed his hands on my head, closed his eyes, and prayed a short prayer.

Immediately following the prayer, with eyes still closed, he said to me, “I don’t why you’re even up here. God has shown you what to do, so go do it.”

I about fell over.

I was at a critical point in my life. Greatly desiring to be used of God, I could have been told just about anything and would have probably believed it.

“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” (Proverbs 27:7 ESV)

I was looking for something sweet.

But the scriptures don’t for a second teach we’re supposed to rely on personal prophecy for life’s direction. No, we have the privilege and responsibility to hear and know God’s voice, and follow His lead.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 ESV)

If we don’t study God’s word and actively participate in a local church (for starters), we may wake up someday and realize we’ve been hoodwinked by the spirit of witchcraft. We’ve settled for the spectacular and missed the supernatural.

And it’s happening to many, many people.

In the next post, I’ll list at least 10 ways witchcraft has found its way into the Church.

Remember, witchcraft isn’t necessarily something involving omens and black cats. It’s much more deceptive than that.

To be continued…

Is there witchcraft in the Church? (part two)


Really.

Throughout the New Testament we are taught the reality of the spirit realm, the power of the Name of Jesus, the miracle working power of the Spirit, and the need for the Body of Christ to know the difference between true and false manifestations.

But witchcraft in the Church? That should be easy to detect, don’t you think?

Yeah, you’d think so. 

But not if you’re unaware of how it’s manifested.

Witchcraft is listed in Galatians 5 with a long list of “now the works of the flesh are…” It’s translated from the Greek word, “pharmakeia” which means to administer medication, magic, and sorcery. It refers to manipulation and deception, in connection with idolatry; the worship of man or things.

Witchcraft camouflages, or conceals, hides, the spirit behind the manifestation’s true identity. In other words, it medicates people so they can’t discern truth from error.

We understand how people, not walking in the Spirit, can yield to such things as sexual immorality, envy, even murder; things listed as the works of the flesh.

But we somehow skip over the notion that witchcraft is among those “works” listed.

The man or woman “performing” can become so dependent upon the performance (because they have a reputation as a prophet or miracle worker), they become the focus of trust, adoration and worship.

Which, of course, is exactly what the devil is after. 

And if and when their performance begins to weaken, i.e. the excitement wanes, the temptation to “help God” can become too great to resist.

Yielding to temptation always results in walking according to the flesh. Which could include witchcraft.

Philip performed many miracles. So did Peter and John. But they never seemed to be enamored by them.

In awe, yes. Enamored, no.

Luke wrote of God working special, unusual, extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, “so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11,12 ESV).

Not only were miracles wrought, but they were extraordinary miracles! 

But Paul didn’t act as though the miracles depended entirely on him.

In Acts 28, while shipwrecked on an island, God used Paul to bring healing to many.

“Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.” (Acts 28:7 – 28:9 ESV)

But Paul always remembered Who the miracle worker was.

He told of a time to come when people would give heed to seducing spirits, doctrines of demons, and lying wonders (1 Timothy 4).

A time much like today.

I’ve noticed something happening in the Church over the last, say, twenty to thirty years; even in “Pentecostal” churches.

There’s a separation, a dividing taking place. Three groups are emerging: those who have moved away from allowing (or seeking) any “manifestation” of the Spirit in their worship service, those who allow anything and everything (as long as it’s God – their words, not mine), and those who attempt to follow Paul’s admonition: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 – 5:22 ESV).

The first group can end up missing out on what God wants to do or say because of their rigidity and misunderstanding of the Word.

The third group is one I believe the Lord wants each of His local churches to be like.

The second group, the subject of this series, can open the door to much confusion and guile within a local church.

To be continued…

Is there witchcraft in the Church? (part one)


Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Witchcraft? In the church?

“Man, you’re crazy! First of all, God wouldn’t allow it. And even if there was such a thing, we’d spot it right away.”

That sounds wonderful, but it’s a lot of ignorance and pride mixed in with a ladle full of hot air.

I didn’t say there are witches in the church, but then again, why wouldn’t there be?

Couldn’t there be?

Witchcraft, manipulating and controlling others by the use of familiar spirits, doesn’t have to be performed by some green skinned, large nosed woman the size of a toothpick, dressed in black, who rides a souped up broom to the neighborhood convenience store every night. No, that’s primarily for the cartoons.

Witchcraft, the kind the church should be concerned with, isn’t found so much in covens or satanic worship. And although it really happens, and people get sucked into that mess, it shouldn’t be an issue for the church.

Why? Because Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me; go therefore…” (Matthew 28:18,19 ESV). The Lord has raised the church, the Body of Christ, to the same place as the Head; far above ALL principalities and powers…(Ephesians 1).

If we’ll remember Whose we are, and that He lives in us, the devil and witchcraft are a non-issue. Curses and hexes cannot affect us if we walk with Jesus, in the power of His Spirit. 

However, there’s a way for the devil to affect believers, without using the Halloween costumes and special effects.

All he has to do is find someone who is more interested in signs and wonders than they are in holiness and integrity.

And, unfortunately, there are a number of men and women who’ll oblige him.

To be continued…

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