From: Debra Fields
Date: 22 October, 1999 9:22AM
Subject: Witchcraft in the Church
I have been "out" of the
institutional church for about 4 years now. In
March (99), I was invited to attend a "revival" meeting at the church that I
left in '96. The lady that invited me to come was very enthusiastic about
the young man who was brought in for the occasion. He was very musically
gifted, and not your run-of-the-mill Southern baptist. He apparently even
had the "old fuddie-duddies" (her term) lifting their hands and smiling and
praising the Lord. For some strange reason, I felt impressed to go, even
though I had sworn I would never again do the "box thing".
When I got there that evening,
I took a seat in the back of the room, and
watched the proceedings. Truthfully, when this fiery young evangelist "took
the stage", I was taken aback that this conservative small town church would
have invited someone this uncoventional, but the thought crossd my mind that maybe--just maybe--the leadership had some idea that they desperately needed life in this place. This man was really good. He was a very gifted musician, and funny and charming. The truth is, he even had me going, and I am suspicious of almost everything that goes on in the organized church nowadays.
Within minutes, this man
had everyone laughing, relaxed, happy and "into the spirit". Some upbeat
and humorous "praise songs", and then oh, so carefully slowing things down
into the "worship" segment. Following this intense, and obviously touching
worship time, he just seemed to glide right into the "sermon" without missing
a beat--the whole thing really seemed as though the Holy spirit was leading
and orchestrating the entire service. He gave a very personal testimony,
and seemed to open up and share his heart with the crowd, and then gave
a very passionate invitation that had the vast majority of this group practically
running for the front altar. At this point,
instead of my usual "here we go again" attitude, which envelops me from time to time when I see God's people being ignorant and foolish, all I could see was lost and hurting people looking for God to comfort them and heal their spirits. I dropped to my knees in prayer as this man kept begging for people to "come to Jesus", "rededicate your life to Him", and "get back into
fellowship with the Lord"
I went home that night
in tears...wondering how people could go to church
every Sunday and say that they had a relationship with the Lord, and still
be so miserable and hurting. I felt that I needed to go back again the
following evening, and so I did. This night was much the same, and the
people genuinely seemed a bit different. Kind of happier and more
confident, and expecting something more than the previous night.
On the last night of the
revival, I was convinced that this man was sent by
the Lord to do a mighty healing and restorative work among this
congregation, and so I went back one more time. I didn't feel the same,
though, as I watched the show repeat it's performance for a third time. I
seemed to see that the things that I really thought were a spontaneous move of God, were more the result of careful planning and forethought by this man, and that the dimmed lights, and the choice of music seemed to be
pre-determined, when I didn't see this the previous two nights.
This night, the man chose
to focus his sermon on the teenagers. It seemed
that because of the more modern music and almost irreverent and casual style of the preacher, every teenager for 10 miles was present this evening. The man proceeded to focus his talk on the lures of the world--how the enemy would "package" evil in such attractive ways that you would be lured without thinking into a world of drinking, smoking, sex, drugs, etc. He was using a tackle box filled with some of those gaudy, attention-getting lures used by fisherman, and talking about how colorful and interesting they appeared to fish, and so they would "bite", and be hooked.
In an instant of time,
God spoke into my spirit these words: "THIS IS
WITCHCRAFT"; I felt a cold chill run from the back of my neck and down to my toes, as I realized what I had been watching for the past three nights. He
showed me that EVERYTHING--and I mean EVERYTHING--that this man had "done" for the last few nights was nothing more than "soul"--there wasn't a genuine move of God in this, but a counterfeit, emotional manipulation of the people, designed to bring forth "soul babies" that were not ready to be born yet, because God wasn't through dealing with them in their spirits yet. Men were rushing God in the name of "getting people saved", when the deepest internal working of God within them was not complete. It is kind of like either a late-term abortion in the spirit, or a very premature birth. I stood there, having this vision of what God REALLY meant by "fornication" in a spiritual context. I watched in my spirit as I saw this man, sitting with this very young girl (the corporate body of this particular crowd) in a car, and using every kind of sweet talk and manipulative tactic that a teenage boy will use on a young girl to get what he wants from her. The relaxed and happy and casual atmosphere designed to get her to "trust him", followed by sweet words and emotionally pulling music to "get her in the mood", and the passionate words of love and all of the things that a female loves to hear.
I was devastated, for many
reasons. First, I was angry with this man for
having done to God's people what he did, and call it "Jesus". Second, I
ached inside for every one who had been manipulated and fooled by this man, who had "blown in, blew up, and blown out"...a con artist who came to have spiritual sex with as many souls as he could, and then walk off and leave the leadership of the church to deal with fall-out of these "untimely" and illegitimate births of babies who could not possibly be cared for properly by a still underage church-mother who was only a child herself. Lastly, and this may be pride or just flesh, but I was personally in despair that even I--a supposedly "maturing" saint who had certainly gone past most of these people in some forms of spiritual knowledge--could have been on the brink of being taken in by this kind of thing. Were it not for God speaking almost out loud in my ear, I would have fallen for it, I think, much to my dismay.
I realized that this is
God's way of teaching us how to discern the true
from the counterfeit, and most times He WILL NOT just tell us that something is not Him, but He will make us walk through it as an experience. I often tell my friends that you do not "own" what you have as "unshakeable truth" on the inside until you have walked it out for yourself. There is something in have "been through" an experience that simple teaching and preaching cannot get through to you. It is kind of like you telling your kids about mistakes that you have made in your life, and hoping against hope that they will NOT do the same things....after all, you did tell them what happened to you, and you could save them a bunch of trouble if they would just listen to you and obey. But, more often than not, they must go ahead and try and try it for themselves, and then--only then--does the lesson stick (hopefully--some of us it takes several times around that mountain, amen?)
Witchcraft has been far
too long considered a thing that the church was
immune from, because the definition of the term was just too "evil" to be
considered as anything the church would participate in. Images of witches
brew, and incanatations, and magic spells and charms and all of that kind of thing is NOT done in the church--at least in a literal, visible way. But,
as far as manipulation, guilt trips, emotional blackmail, control freaks and
such, the church is better at this aspect of witchcraft than the devil's own
best agents, because she has been at it for so long.
As a whole, the church
has no trouble discerning "evil". The problem lies
in the fact that BOTH "GOOD" AND "EVIL" ARE THE FRUIT OF THE VERY SAME TREE. The church has, like Eve, continually been eating off of this tree, and has not yet been able to discern between that which is "GOOD", and that which is "GOD". Look at the words--good--GOD--there is only one "OH" that distinguishes between the two words, as they almost look alike, don't they? (As in "OH", now I understand).
I hope and pray that others
will ask the Lord for the gift of discerning of
spirits, because knowledge without understanding is a very dangerous thing, and these things without wisdom are even more fatal. The church-at- large is so much under the deception of the anti-christ (the "instead of" Christ--the "instead of" ANNOINTING) that, for the most part, she will not wake up--there is only a remnant left that is beginning to wake and see just how far along into the book of Revelation that we really are.