Bewitched

 

In The House Of God

“...Because he had long time bewitched them with sorceries.” Acts 8:9-11

 

To put forth the idea that witchcraft is prolific in the house of God today is not a move that will gain you much popularity among the men and women of renown, who occupy the pulpits across America. Nevertheless, with all the apparitions and supernatural phenomenon occurring (“revivals"), this topic in Scripture needs to be looked at a much more carefully than it has. If you are among the rank which believe that since you became a Christian you're now immune to deception, I must say you are already deceived. Scripture perpetually warns that the believer needs to be always vigilant against the power of deception being put forth as an imposter for Christianity. Gnosticism, Mithraism, and esoterism, all “Christian” imposters rose to popularity in the short time after the resurrection of Christ. In that time true church stayed on track, contending with false doctrine. Jude 3-4a

History shows however, to the discerning student that within 400 years Satan had invaded the church and corrupted it with idolatry, paganism and philosophy many of which persist today repeatedly to create a power- infused group that falls under his dominion: religion. False religion is nothing new; it was the religious (“...that hath the greater sin”) John 19:11. Who delivered Jesus to the executioners of Rome. There has always been a dominant religious force on earth devoid of God, which exercises dominion and intimidation over the people and societies of their day. The paganism, Judaism run amuck, Muslims, Catholicism, pseudo- Protestant religions, Scientology; the list is un-ending. The spirit and author behind these.

"MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”

False religions is ultimately, the devil. John the apostle, when he saw this spirit, the so- called “whore of Babylon”, “wondered with great admiration". Revelation 17:6b. Until the angel rebuked him ("wherefore didst thou wonder"). Revelation 17:7. For getting caught up in the impressive royal display, the decadent expense and lavish adornment of the spirit which has its seat upon the back of the nations of the world. She is the antithesis of all that is Godly. The city of God, adorned as a pure bride and the city of the devil. A whore drunk with filth, nevertheless she has the power to cause men and women to wonder and admire that which is abominable and grotesque. To bewitch! We got a letter once from a “mission field” in Africa, requesting “do you have anything to send to me, like beads, robes, a big cross necklace, a hat or other religious items to help me look more like an Archbishop?" Arrayed with splendor because people judge with their eyes. Deception is a snap. Some smoke, flashy gold, rigid ceremony. All the things that decorate our “churches” today to make it look more holy, more awesome, more religious. Pastors are told during seminary training to develop a mystique that separates you from your congregation, or not to hang out with the people too much or they will lose respect for you.

Strangely opposite the practice of Jesus, who was with those he was called to train constantly. I'll wager that the more people got to know Jesus, the more respect they had for him. I'll bet that a few months or a year on the road with Paul or Peter, or John had the result of increased respect for them. Never mind the impact on the life of a less seasoned believer. No, today it's all about the show, the musical production, the money, 22 minutes to make your three main points, look holy and spiritual for a laying on hands/impartation spectacle at the altar after the service and he’s gone for another week. All the people awed and thinking, "this man is the great power of God". People are being bewitched in the house of God by covetous men who have perfected a system of “full gospel, non denominational” religion. A new gospel heavily focused on tithing, giving, material so-called blessing. With very little attention on the Word of God, the testimony, the law and the love of God. (“The law and the testimony if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them".) It is through our own worries about bills and finances, they have entered in among us and led God's people by droves out of the light and back into the darkness of the world and it’s ways. Ultimately, people turn their back on Jesus and his gospel, to serve the god of these merchandising Christians--mammon. The devil knows because of the word of God what many Christians seem happy to ignore: it is impossible to serve God and mammon. He knows that if we are caught up in the pursuit of wealth and materialism, fame and recognition, that our hearts will cleave to it and stray from Christ. The kingdom of God has nothing to do with the acquisition and possession of material wealth here on Earth. These men have preyed upon the fears that lusts of men and women who have ignored the warnings of Jesus. "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (“For after all these things do the Gentiles seek, for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”) Matthew 6:31-33

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1

We have been bewitched away from the truth of God's word so that we will not hear the gospel of the cross and suffering persecution, endurance, and affliction any longer. But we would rather listen to men who tell of a rich Jesus, who came to give us an abundant bank account, a flagrant attitude towards debt, and a flaunting of material wealth, instead of a life that identifies with a humble suffering savior who thought only of others, and sought only to serve God, in times of plenty or in times of cutting want.

“Blessed are the poor...”

Blessed in spirit. Poor in earthly goods because to them belongs the kingdom of Heaven.”

But these men say, “blessed are the rich” and “blessings are the riches.” 180 degrees opposite the word of God they call "Bible truths" and yet they continue and prosper and persist in drawing away God's would-be children into darkness fear and bondage just so they can be wealthy. Why don’t we see it? Why would we rather listen to liars of men instead of the truth of God? We’re bewitched, duped by the array and splendor the noise and crowds the promise of wealth, the lust of other things. “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19. We can’ t grow, the devil is using “bible truth’s”, all right. He’s using them to kill us! It’s an apostasy- genocide and it’s happening right in the so-called House of God. “Many shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1

You see, church attendance dropping off is not a sign of apostasy. But the church today has meta-morphed slowly and surely. To suit the lust of a lukewarm covetous people. It’s tradition is well rooted. It’s ceremony is polished. It’s bills are paid and it’s departed from the faith, into religious denominations, teachings, and new doctrines. It’s all a show to convince the eyes and mind that is genuine. It’s manipulation and control in the name of Jesus– witchcraft. “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.”. Galatians 5:7-8. Over and over we are warned to stay vigilant against deception and seduction entering into our lives and houses of worship. But the switcharoo is complete. The church is a dark moist breeding ground for deception upon deception and Christians, heart open, are perfect good ground. Taking in the seeds of covetousness, mysticism, pagan occultism, empty religion in place of Christ. Yet Jesus said the end days would be wrought with deception and false prophets performing signs and wonders with all power from the devil. All done “in Jesus’ name”. God has “magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138:2 yet we seem willing to be lied to and led astray. All we have to do is give 10% and we can go about our regular lives without conviction or challenge to change. Repent and believe the gospel has become tithe and attend to get your bills paid. “ Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Acts 3:6-8.

The disciples of old had power but no money. Now we have money but no power. We can take a collection to help pay for a brother or sister’s surgery or chemotherapy. But where is the power to heal? Let me ask you, if Peter and John had each dropped $100 in the cup of the lame beggar, would it have done as much good as having his legs. How about $1000 each? $10,000 each? How much would the operation have cost? Would this man made heaven his home to be singing and dancing in the presence of God? Today we give money, offerings, charity. But where is that power of God that we have been freely given? That we might freely give. Perhaps we’ve been led off course in the pursuit of the bread that perishes. To have earned a temporal, corruptible reward and the meanwhile neglected the bread that perishes not. Which bread the father gives to those who seek it. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” John 6:27

Largely whatever small good I see accomplished by the church today, I see accomplished with money not with the power of God. Orphanages are built and in shelters the poor are fed and clothed but very little seems to get accomplished by the word of God. By faith, by life– changing preaching. We are so ready to cut a check and then pat each others backs and go on with our lives. Even “mission fields” have resorted to financial change and provisions rather than the power of God. “I send you as sheep among wolves”.

AMEN