Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What exactly is Witchcraft?

I Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft..."

I was stationed at Dover AFB in November 1978 when the dead bodies came to be placed in the largest mortuary on the East Coast. There were so many bodies the First Sergeants had to wake many of us up at 3 AM to help unload bodies off of the C-5/A aircrafts and move furniture to make room for the bodies. I will never forget the stench of death at Dover that week. I received a Commendation medal for helping move bodies and equipment. That was something I pray to God I never have to experience again. The real tragedy is that it COULD have been prevented if only somebody read their Bible. Before Jim Jones took those people to Guyana, it is recorded that he preached a sermon in Indiana where he uttered these chilling words, “You don’t need to read the Bible anymore, just listen to me”. I don’t know how many left the church after he said that but the church SHOULD have emptied out. How did over 900 people choose to drink cyanide laced Flavor-Aid (It really wasn’t Kool Aid) because their Pastor told them to? Jim Jones was able to take hundreds of lives in Guyana because someone refused to listen to their gut (spirit). I firmly believe in supporting the local church and helping pastors, I want to make that clear. However there is a real epidemic of spiritually stupid "saints" that don't study their Bibles and try every spirit by the Spirit. We were given the ability to discern so we WON'T end up giving our money to crooks and drinking poison Kool-Aid! Many of today's most prominent preachers would be labeled heretics hundreds of years ago because MOST clergymen were devout Theologians and serious students of scripture. Today ordination papers and licenses are given to anyone that say's they are called to preach. I agree that being Spirit-filled and called is the first priority of being a preacher, but ALSO there has to be training…SERIOUS TRAINING! A lack of understanding of just the basic Bible doctrines of the faith can lead to the types of abuses I am talking about. Martin Luther was able to stand up to the lies of Rome because he was filled with the knowledge of the truth. I am a Pentecostal preacher, I believe in the Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit, but that doesn't negate the fact that we must have a scholarly approach to the scriptures and its teachings.
In the summer of 1977, Jones and most of the 1000 members of the Peoples Temple moved to Guyana from San Francisco after an investigation into the church for tax evasion had begun. Jones named the closed settlement Jonestown after himself. His intention was to create an agricultural utopia in the jungle, free from racism and based on socialist principles.
People who had left the organization prior to its move to Guyana told the authorities of brutal beatings, murders and of a mass suicide plan, but were not believed. In spite of the tax evasion allegations, Jones was still widely respected for setting up a racially mixed church which helped the disadvantaged. Around 70% of the inhabitants of Jonestown were black and impoverished. The religious scholar Mary McCormick Maaga argued that Jones' authority waned after he moved to the isolated commune, because there he was not needed anymore for recruitment and he could not hide his drug addiction from rank and file members.[2] Consequently, he lost some of his power over inner-circle members. In November 1978, U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan led a fact-finding mission to the Jonestown settlement in Guyana after allegations by relatives in the U.S. of human rights abuses. Ryan's delegation arrived in Jonestown on November 15 and spent three days interviewing residents. They left hurriedly on the morning of Saturday November 18 after Ryan was shot and killed. They took with them roughly 15 Peoples Temple members who wished to leave. Delegation members later told police that, as they were boarding planes at the airstrip, a truckload of Jones' armed guards arrived and began to shoot at them. At the same time, one of the supposed defectors, Larry Layton, drew a weapon and began to fire on members of the party. When the gunmen left, six people were dead: Representative Ryan, Don Humphrey, a reporter from NBC, a cameraman from NBC, a newspaper photographer, and one defector from the Peoples Temple. The former California State Senator Jackie Speier, a staff member for Rep. Ryan in 1978, Richard Dwyer, the Deputy Chief of Mission from the U.S. Embassy at Georgetown and allegedly an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, and a producer for NBC News, Bob Flick, survived the attack.
Later that same day, 909 of the remaining inhabitants of Jonestown, 276 of them children, died in what has commonly been labeled a mass suicide. However, there is much ambiguity over whether many who died committed suicide or were in fact murdered. While some followers obeyed Jones' instructions to commit "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced grape flavored Flavor Aid[3] (often misidentified as Kool-aid)[4], others died by forced cyanide injection or by shooting. Jones was found dead sitting in a deck chair with a gunshot wound to the head, although it is unknown if he had been murdered or committed suicide. The autopsy on his body showed levels of the barbiturate pentobarbital that could have been lethal to humans who have not developed physiological tolerance. His drug usage (including various LSD and marijuana experimentations) was confirmed by his son, Stephan, and Jones's doctor in San Francisco.

When we think of witches we often get an image of the Wicked Witch of the West or some old crone with a broom and a big nose. Very rarely do we associate witchcraft with our mainstream Christian houses of worship. The verse in scripture that most accurately describes WHAT witchcraft is….is I Samuel 15:23. Saul had never given his heart completely over to God. He was a Follower of God {He knew of God}, but had never given the LORD all of his heart.

Unshakeable faith in the LORD comes from a heart stayed upon God. Rebellion comes from a heart stayed upon self. A self-willed person is actually worshipping himself. This self worship is the worship of an idol. The idol just happens to be self. You can see that to rebel against God, or to stubbornly try to have our way over God's way would bring complete destruction. Saul rejected the perfect will of the LORD, and the LORD in turn rejected Saul.

Saul had not listened intently to the instructions from the LORD before the battle, or he did not believe Samuel was speaking the will of the LORD. His disrespect for the message Samuel gave, was not disrespect for Samuel, but disrespect for God. Part of the statement above is true. He did destroy most of the Amalekites. Saul is like so many people. He tries to justify what he has done. He is like someone who is a Christian most of the time. That other time will keep a professing Christian out of heaven. The actions he takes, which are not 100% what God wants him to do, will cause displeasure from God, as well. He will not do exactly what God says for him to do. It is as if he thinks he has a better plan than God's plan.

There are leaders in Church today that lead not according to the perfect will of God, but according to their fleshly desires and personal aspirations. When a person seeks to guide or direct another human away from God’s will…they are practicing WITCHCRAFT! Yes in Christian churches there is witchcraft going on.

The Bible describes here witchcraft far more dangerous than the occult. It controls more pastors and congregations than any other kind of demonic influence. It is rebellion against the Word of God!
Don’t be quick to sit back and relax, thinking, "Thank God, that can’t possibly mean me. I’m not rebellious against Gods Word. I love the Word, I’m walking in obedience!"
That’s what I thought, too. But then God convicted me of the dangers of falling under the spell of this witchcraft! He showed me the seed of its beginnings -- exactly what erupted in the Garden of Eden! We all have the seed of this sin. In fact, you may unknowingly be under the influence of this evil charm.
Jesus gives us a parable that exposes this witchcraft! Ive read the parable of the evil husbandmen many times. Ive prayed over it. But not until now have I seen in it the witchcraft that Jesus was exposing.
There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more that the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, they will reverence my son.
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons" (Matthew 21: 33-41)
This parable is more than a retelling of how the Jews rejected Gods appeal from heaven -- and how they would be cast aside and the Gentiles made the husbandmen. It is also about a great supernatural battle over an inheritance. It’s about a battle between the power of Jesus Christ and the power of Satan for the souls and allegiance of mankind! Its about who is going to rule and reign in the hearts of Gods chosen! And beloved, you’re either under the power of Jesus Christ or under the influence of Satan!
You see, this parable is about how a people of God can become bewitched by the devil and end up totally possessed by an anti-Christ spirit. Christ was talking here of a most powerful form of witchcraft -- rebellion against the truth!
Here is the Key to this parable: "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance" (verse 38). That is the devil speaking! "Let us create rebellion against the Son! Let us crucify Him! We will take control!"
It is true that when the Pharisees heard this parable, "they perceived that he spake of them" (verse 45). But Jesus is also speaking to His church! In Hebrews 6:5, we find a people who "have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come...." They have rebelled against that good Word they heard, and as a result, "they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (verse 6).
Who is crucifying Christ over and over again, putting Him to open shame before the whole world? Are they witches? Satanists? Homosexuals? Murderers? No!
They are those who heard, tasted and partook of the true Word of God -- and then allowed a spirit of rebellion to take root! Satan moved in, and they ended up possessed -- crucifying Christ!
Believer, I tell you on the authority of Gods Word that as long as you have this spirit of rebellion in you, it is impossible for God to revive or renew you! "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost...if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance" (verse 4,6).
I believe this means that repentance has no affect whatsoever in those who are in rebellion against the Word!

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