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Exposing witchcraft in the church

By Rick Godwin. Lake Mary, Florida 1997. Summary. There is a strategy for defeating the church and every believer through witchcraft by overt and subtle means of influence. Therefore as believers we should never forget: 1. what God has brought us out of and 2. what He has accomplished with the victory of the cross through the power of the blood of Jesus. These we all too often forget.

Part 1
1. The Essence of Witchcraft
Witchcraft = Satanic power imposed through curses and spells. Divination = Fortune telling, predicting the future, in churches sometimes masquerading as prophecy. Sorcery = Operates through objects like amulets, charms, fetishes, potions, things you drink, drugs and even music, through which the supernatural power of Satan is released. 1. Sam 15:2 Stubbornness = idolatry: A stubborn person makes an idol, a god of his opinions, doctrines, interpretations, which he worships. Stubbornness says: I will do it my way. Rebellion = witchcraft. Witchcraft is described as 1. a work of the flesh and 2. an evil spiritual power, blinding people (Gal 3:1). Rebellion says: I will not do it. A spirit is behind rebellion, and its not the Holy Spirit. One who does not rule under the authority of God uses illegitimate power to enforce his rule. This illegitimate power is called witchcraft. God purposed for man to rule under the authority of the righteous government of God. God planted the desire for rulership within man. But in Eden man rebelled against God. In a fleshly way man expressed witchcraft and attempted to coerce or manipulate people, to rule over other people. Key words in identifying witchcraft are 1. manipulation 2. domination 3. intimidation. Whenever you run into these three things, an evil spirit lurks not far behind. Satan takes authority by using illegitimate means because his authority has been stripped from him by God. In the same way acts the old man in me.

2. Witchcraft in the Family

Discovering and identifying witchcraft is a key to dealing with the resultant fruit, which are the problems in family and in the church (family of God). When we honour our parents, we are honouring God, because God has placed our parents in authority over us. The parent must govern the child, not vice versa, because this would be exercising illegitimate authority of witchcraft.

Manipulation = Using weapons like guilt and fear in a covert way. It says: Ill trick you into doing things my way. When God commanded man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife (Gen 2:24), God released the husband and wife from the authority of their parents. If a parent still tries to control the lives of their children after they are married, they are operating in domination. Husbands can do the same thing. A wife may become completely absorbed into the personality of her husband. This is also called control. Domination = control which is overt in nature. It coerces people into doing something they do not want to do and restricts them from doing what they do want to do. It says: I want to be in charge. People who are driven by control and domination have difficulty submitting themselves under the authority of Jesus Christ. Intimidation = rules overtly by fear of punishment. It says: Ill scare you into doing things my way. Fear has torment, but perfect love casts out fear (1.John 4:18). How do we intimidate another? By destructive child or spousal abuse, because to the child we represent God and to the spouse Christ. Children start viewing God as a harsh taskmaster, just the way they view their parents.

3. Manipulation, Thy Name is Jezebel

We have a blood relationship with Christ. Church = the family of God, the body of Christ. There are countless churches that are held captive to the control of a few. These churches resemble a barren wasteland of dissension and manipulation. This is the work of evil spiritual forces. Jezebel spirit = Jezebel means Baal is husband and inability to cohabitate. Jezebel refuses to partner with anyone because she is allied to Baal. She wears the pants, she rules. The Jezebel spirit is attracted to the prophetic personalities and exhibited more often in the female gender. She can hide in anointed, gifted, hard-working, friendly people. She resents strong male leadership and draws people away from God into fornication and idol worship. She is committing sedition with the intent to overthrow it, which is treason. Rev 2:20-23 Lured into a snare of (spiritual) adultery and fornication, and sacrificing holiness to the idol of (sexual) immorality, they have entered a period of great tribulation. The historical Jezebel was the daughter of a king (of Sidon), she was very evangelical and devoted worshiper (of Baal). She held the office of a prophetess (God did not give her). She killed the prophets of God and replaced them with different ones (prophet of Baal). Jezebel operated from behind the scenes through her spineless husband Ahab. She hungered for control and used any means in order to secure it.

But God demonstrated before the children of Israel that the God of Elijah was the one true God. Elijah brought Israel back to their God and slew the prophets of Baal. The famine was broken as a revival began to spread throughout Israel. The Jezebel agenda is false religion, false doctrine, undermining of authority, church splits, broken marriages and destroyed lives. Anywhere you find a Jezebel you will likely find weak men (men-fearers and men-pleasers) with passive authority. There is often a Jezebel spirit in the church at work, when not the pastor but some other person may be running the church by witchcraft (manipulation, domination, intimidation). Denominations can use this witchcraft by saying: If you dont believe and say everything we say, well cut you off. Jezebel dreves Gods anointed leaders to discouragement, despair, suicide and depression just as she did the prophet Elijah. A person with a Jezebel spirit comes from a dysfunctional family background (alcoholism, abuse, mental illness, parental domination etc.). Sexual uncleanness or perversion are not uncommon for Jezebel. When challenged, Jezebel becomes defensive and reacts with hostility. Other characteristics of the Jezebel spirit: She is very nosy and thrives on information. She must know everything about everybody, with matters that are none of her business. She masquerades as care, concern, intercession, support. She lashes back with guilt-ridden accusations, with aggression, intimidation and tries to make those who challenge her feel inferior. Dealing with Jezebel: 1. Confront Jezebel, using strong spiritual authority to rid yourself of her influence and 2. Live in submission to God as the solution to sedition.

4. Lucifer: Ambition to Position

Lucifer spirit = A divisive, splitting, rebellious spirit. It is most pervasive among people involved in a support ministry: associate pastors, music ministers, cell group leaders, Sunday school teachers, elders, and the like. The spirit steals the hearts of people away from their leader. It is predominant among men and is attracted to strong charismatic, Pentecostal, faith, and evangelical churches. The first progenitor of the first church split was Lucifer. People with a Lucifer spirit lose sight of the fact that they are stewards and suddenly think they are owners: The church wouldnt be anything without me. The blessing is because of me. If you undermine the authority of the person God has placed in leadership, you are operating in the spirit of Lucifer. Ambition = the eager desire to achieve something. Ambition means literally to go around for votes. The rise and fall of Absalom in 2. Samuel 13-20 is a prime example of someone with a Lucifer spirit. The motivation of a person with Lucifer spirit is selfish ambition. Selfish ambition utilizes the arm of the flesh for the purposes of self-promotion, fame, status, influence or power. But God promotes us (Ps 75:6-7). Promotion begins with servanthood. Ambition to serve can easily transform itself into selfish ambition

(e.g. pride, emulations) to position. Then we begin dealing with perceptions (e.g. perceived injury) basing our feelings and reactions not on facts but on assumptions. One verbalizes the feelings to anybody willing to listen. Sometimes persons with a Lucifer spirit will leave the church, taking other members with him. Others remain in the church and operate like a cancer from within. The team members with bad attitudes will act in that church as a barrier to the Holy Spirit.

5. Satans Greatest Weapon

Jesus rose from the grave, conquering death and hell. Although Satan knew he was defeated, he would do whatever he could to keep Gods people from using their weapons by means of manipulation, domination and intimidation. But the more subtle aspects of witchcraft are legalism with guilt and condemnation as the result of it. When the believer is released from legalism, freedom and power abound. Many modern-day churches have one thing in common with the church in Galatia bewitchment. Satans only means of rendering his enemy the church powerless and impotent is to find some way to conceal or obscure the victory the believer has already won. The cross is where Jesus defeated Satan. This victory Jesus accomplished for us. It cannot be earned by works. It can only be received by grace through faith. The moment works are added to grace, grace is no longer grace. When believers lose sight of the cross, they are unable to administer Jesus victory and inevitably go back to the works of the law. Once bewitched by the influence of the enemy, the believer can go back under the law in two ways: carnality and legalism. Carnality = to place the trust in any method (e.g. pressure, using guilt, arguing) or person (e.g. pastor, preacher) apart from God. Its is using the arm of the flesh, which brings one under a curse (Gal 3:10), from which the believer has already been redeemed. Legalism = a variation of carnality. It is to place trust in rules and regulations. Legalism may be the greatest single problem in churches. The tendency among Christians throughout the ages has been to combine grace and works. Grace and works mix about as well as oil and water. There are but two ways we can live either by the law or by faith, but we cannot live by both (Gal 3:11). Righteousness = a person has been placed into a right relationship with God. He has the right to spend eternity with God. Jesus released us from being under the law, the law by which we tried to achieve righteousness, to become better human beings. The Judaizers were trying to pull born-again believers back under all sorts of rules and regulations, dos and donts (sabbath, food, dietary). Most people believe

they have to keep a certain set of rules in order to stay right with God. Many wellmeaning churches impose legalistic practices upon their people. If you wand to keep the Sabbath, go ahead, but dont impose your convictions on your brother (Col 2:16). The more sin they see, the more law they impose. The more law they impose, the more rules they break. The more rules they break, the more sin they see. The vicious cycle results in a defeated, lifeless, impotent, mesmerized, bewitched church. Most churches throw out the law of Moses and replace it with a new set of laws. Churches with binding ordinances are devoid of life. Rules may structure and shapen church activities and ceremonies. When they are used as a measure of righteousness, they have been used to obscure the cross and have become a bewitchment. By keeping the rules I cannot justify my actions and beliefs, nor earn Gods love. When you go under the law, sin always has dominion over you (Rom 6:14). The chief tools of the enemy above any else are guilt and condemnation. Condemnation = accusation from the enemy which asserts that one is no good and never amount to anything. Guilt = what one feels if he accepts and believes that he is no good and never amount to anything. Every condemning voice comes from Satan. And most of the time it comes through the church. Satans job is to accuse and condemn the brethren. When you make a person feel guilty, you become a mouthpiece of the devil. And you will reap more condemnation than you sowed. To overcome the impact of the accusations of Satan, we must immerse ourselves in the blood of Christ, the precious Lamb of God. When Jesus died on the cross, our old man that rebellious carnal nature was crucified with Christ (Rom 6:6). We have to recognize it and acknowledge it by faith for it to do us any good (Rom 6:11). The only thing good you can do about the old man is to make sure hes dead. The only people who can effectively deal with Satan are those who have escaped condemnation through the cross. On the cross jesus administered a total, irreversible, and eternal defeat to Satan. But for centuries, the church has operated like this: living in the defeat of the old man. But there is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). If you are in Christ your sins are covered by His blood. Everyone who believes on Jesus is in Christ, where no condemnation exists.