“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft” (Deuteronomy 18:10, NIV). “I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells” (Micah 5:12, NIV). “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23, NIV).
Last year, my sister Tammy Priest from Tribe of Judah Motorcycle Ministries and Renee Branson, missions director for Lakewood Church, came to Hope Harbor to minister during our women’s conference. They both shared with me the impression they had that a witch had joined them for the meetings. Tammy was very specific saying that she did not mean that the individual was simply manipulative (desiring to thrust her will on others) but the real deal – an actual practicing witch – showing up no doubt to disrupt the meetings or the church itself. From what I understand, this individual was boldly given the opportunity to repent and get right with God but chose not to respond to the mercy of God.
It really shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to the believer that witches would venture into Bible believing Holy Ghost churches because the church witch is demonically (although often they don’t even realize it) inspired to infiltrate and disrupt the church vision, mission, and leadership structure. They often hang around ministries that manifest the glory of God and the operation of the Holy Spirit waiting to seize upon any spirit operating in someone delivered during a service or meeting. In fact, they are often sent into the ministry with the goal of either controlling the ministry and if that does not work they will settle for holding it back or destroying it. It’s never been more important for the people of God to be discerning and be quick to identify this spirit and move to protect themselves, their church, and their church leadership from this marauding spirit.
As I have listened to godly pastors and spiritual leaders around the country, there are certain marks or characteristics of the church witch that are consistent from church to church, town to town, state to state, and nation to nation. These are not offered so you will be afraid or so that you can embark on a modern day “witch hunt” but so that you can avoid the trap yourself and pull away from anyone engaging in these behaviors. Witchcraft is an abomination in the eyes of God and the Word equates witchcraft with the sin of rebellion (tracing all the way back to Lucifer’s rebellion). There is almost always a measure of rebellion and sedition in the behavior of the church witch or by those that are taken in by the influence. Often, the strongest indicator of the influence of the church witch is more general than specific – it just seems like something is off or that a wall is being hit in the ministry. So how can you identify the church witch? Well, as you can imagine, they don’t look anything like they are depicted in Hollywood and bear no resemblance to the Halloween costume you see at the department store. Actually, the church witch will seem quite functional, relational, and, well, normal. But, you can judge this sneaky demonic influence by its fruit and by its method of operation.
1. They use the huddle and whisper (chit chat) mode flowing just outside of the authority structures of the church to accomplish their objectives.
2. They engage in Absolom like activities drawing the hearts away from the vision of the house and ordained leadership.
3. They tend to be super spiritual claiming often to see, perceive, or dream things that others are missing (and esteem these over the authority of the Word) and because of poor discernment some church folks confuse the Holy Spirit for this familiar spirit. More effort is spent in divining the experience than in receiving revelation from the Word.
4. They tend to be hyper emotional often crying at the drop of a hat (and they’ll even drop the hat) so they can open up an avenue to be heard and garner sympathy or support.
5. They prey upon the young in the Lord, the disgruntled, the confused, the biblically illiterate, and those easily influenced.
6. They will often use redemptive language and piety in an attempt to convince others that their motives are pure and that they are acting for the good of the ministry.
7. They often make baseless accusations against strong Christians in an attempt to neutralize the influence of anyone they deem a threat.
8. They are effective in pitting unsuspecting Christians against one another so that they can divide and conquer (often urging them to keep their “sharing” private and confidential – light, just like for the mythical vampire, is their nemesis).
9. They are very skilled at the art of subtle negativity and birthing a critical spirit in anyone that gives ear to them.
I want to encourage you in these end times we live in to stay strong in the Lord. You can avoid the influence and domination by the spirit of witchcraft (often called inspirational or magical influence) by keeping yourself immersed in the Word of God. Refuse to submit to the intimidation of this spirit and guard your heart for fear. Fear of the opinions of others is a major weapon of the church witch used deliberately to marginalize or control you. Pray in the Holy Spirit like you have never prayed before. Listen to how people talk in the church. Do they talk more about ecstatic experiences, visions, and dreams than they talk about the Word? Often these folks will begin to make their experiences more authoritative to them than the Word which is exalted above God’s very name (Psalm 138:2). Use your God-given binding and loosing authority (spiritual veto power) in and out of the church – veto their manipulation and chicanery. Boldly declare that this will not be allowed in your heart, in your home, in your church, in your workplace, on your street, or in your nation. Finally, whenever you witness or discern this activity turn on the light, lift the rocks, and make a bee line to your local church leadership.