The charismatic movement has digressed considerably from the days of William Branham and Oral Roberts. Those early faith-healing broadcasts were considerably tame and even boring compared to what passes as “sign-gift evangelism” today in modern charismatic led churches. The broadcasts of their day showed these men simply laying on hands, praying over men, woman and children that they may all receive healing through Jesus for a variety of stated aliments; then those people would turn and simply walk off the stage in maybe a heightened emotional state at best.
Video of William Branham
Video of Oral Roberts
Now when we turn the channel to Christian T.V we are confronted with something far different.
Strange Fire before the Lord
In Leviticus 10:1-2 we read about Moses’ brother Aaron’s two eldest son’s dramatic deaths. Nadab and AbihuIn, who were killed by a fire that went out from God during the consecration ceremony of the Levitical priesthood. Scripture tells us they were guilty of kindling their own fires rather than using the fire kindled by God for exclusive use on the Altar of Sacrifice. These two foolish men are an apt reminder there are some forms of worship that are blasphemous and unacceptable to God.
“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Leviticus 1:1-2
We have to ask, are modern charismatic’s offering “strange fire” once again before God in the halls of churches everywhere? And if so what are the consequences of Christians dabbling with “strange fire,” and how do we even begin to define what is, and isn’t acceptable to God.
In “sign” focused congregations we see a myriad of bizarre behavior exhibited. To name a few,
Being Slain in the Spirit: This is where a preacher places their hands on a person’s forehead, or gestures forcefully towards targeted individuals who are then violently thrown back to the ground in often dangerous ways. Often these preachers have men who attend the falls in an effort to avoid disastrous injury during ecstatic episodes by the targeted congregant(s).
Drunk in the Spirit: Being drunk in the spirit often consists of foolish antics, spastic dancing, uncontrollable laughing, an inability to speak, spontaneous songs, etc all of which are attributed to the causation of Holy Spirit by the attending preacher.
Speaking in Tongues: This is the sudden onset of an ecstatic burst of gibberish said to be revelations of God or prophecy in angelic tongues not known to man.
Manifestations of the Spirit: Supposed manifestations of clouds of gold dust in congregations, or feathers falling from the roof, claims of gold teeth being replaced with new teeth, physical healing etc.
Word of Faith: Described as messages from God, that are to be spoken over people in prophetic fashion that come on suddenly as if caught up in rapture.When we look closely at these supposed charismatic signs we see that they are more representative of Jesus’ exorcism ministry than His miracles ministry.
We must first call to remembrance the devil cast out of a man in the Capernaum Synagogue while Jesus taught and read the scriptures to the congregants there.
And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. Mark 1:21-26
In this episode, we see that there is a classification of demons that thrive in the conclaves of religious institution and do not falter at the sound of religious worship and the reading of scripture one bit.
Pulling from the example above, being “Slain in the Spirit” is demonstrated as a person physically convulsing and being uncontrollably thrown to the ground. In the quoted scripture above, in verse 26 we read that Jesus commanded the spirit to come out, and that the spirit “had torn him.” The Greek word for “torn him” is rendered as Strong’s number G4862 which is to convulse in a “spasmodic contraction.”
In the Mark 1 example, the devil’s caused the person to collapse in spasmodic contractions, which we see again in Mark 9,
“And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.” Mark 9: 226-27
So, what we immediately see in these verses is demons violently and spasmodically throwing people to the ground in fits of possession, while Jesus puts a stop to the convulsions, and using His hands, He stands them back on their feet, and most importantly in their natural frame of mind. The exact opposite of what is being demonstrated in charismatic gatherings, these people are being left seizuring on the ground in an embarrassing way.
Charismatic Worship is a Perfect Example of Practical Sorcery
In my experience, having come from a steeped New Age background what is going on in these churches is non-other than practical sorcery.
Sorcery as I define it, is the practiced art of cultivating demonic spirits, then learning to create scenarios of ecstatic human energy to give these spirits the ability to manifest themselves amidst the energetic bursts. This is a common theme in many new age texts, for example famed and very controversial writer Carlos Castenada claimed his sorcerer teacher, Don Juan instructed him on how to control “allies” or what we term demons,
“He said that it was the old seers who found out that allies enjoy animal fear more than anything else. They even went to the extreme of purposely feeding it to their allies by actually scaring people to death. The old seers were convinced that the allies had human feelings, but the new seers saw it differently. They saw that allies are attracted to the energy released by emotions; love is equally effective, as well as hatred, or sadness.
“Don’t you have some allies yourself, don Juan?” I asked.
“As you know, I have my benefactor’s allies,” he said.…
Don Juan then made a strange gesture. He contorted his face as if he were surprised or terrified. And instantly the frightening shape of a strange man appeared at the door of the room where we were. The presence of the strange man scared me so much that I actually felt dizzy. And before I could recuperate from my fright, the man lurched at me with a chilling ferocity. As he grabbed my forearms, I felt a jolt of something quite like a discharge of an electric current. (The Fire from With, Carlos Castaneda)
In this narrative we see that Don Juan, the supposed teacher of Carlos Castaneda, show’s him the form of a demon who manifests itself to Castaneda. The demon sensing his fear then attaches himself to Castaneda who described it as an “electric current” and “jolt.” We can find testimonies of this jolt in other new age doctrines as well, but this explains what is happening best, and serves as a excellent example as to how charismatic antics are no different than demonic activity.
I have looked over many testimonies of people who become enraptured while being slain in the spirit or drunken with the spirit at charismatic gatherings. Here is one in particular where a young girl explains the tingling sensations that enveloped her for a good deal of time after being slain in the spirit.
Video of a Girl’s Slain in the Spirit Testimony
When demons are given the opportunity to physically interact with a human being, the contact produces a feeling, a bodily effect when their energy becomes entangled with our own. That effect can be described as an energetic jolt that takes over their body. This can be a weak effect producing fear causing the hairs on the neck to spike up, or it can be enveloping to the point of completely taking control of the individual. This effect becomes exponential to the degree of power behind the demon, and that power is expressed through a controlling sorcerer who either knowingly or unknowingly is cultivating an army of demons who feed and manifest in situations of intense emotion, panic, hysterics, rage, sexual ecstasy, etc. These creatures feed on these things, and attach themselves to people who have the capacity of creating these intense emotions.
The energy and cult-like atmosphere present in most charismatic churches are perfect for eliciting high-energy outbursts; and even though the name of Jesus is being said and called upon their effects on the congregation can be seen with our own eyes by simply watching people like Binny Hinn any given day on Christian TV.
Now with this all in mind, I want you to watch this video of Pentecostal preacher Rev. Kenneth Hagin feeding his harem of religious demons like fish, and he does this while speaking the name of Jesus in the same breath.
Video Rev. Hagin
For those who do not know what is happening here, or for those who think they do, let me elaborate.
Video Summary: This shows the closing of a charismatic gathering, where Rev. Hagin’s takes the microphone and looks for anyone to come to the microphone and close the meeting. You will notice anyone who attempts to take the microphone and speak, suddenly either goes mute, falls down as if dead, having been slain in the spirit, would fall into fits of laughter being drunk in the spirit, or run around in hysterical fits. All of these things are indicative of being in the presence of a powerful sorcerer and not a man of God.
The power of the sorcerer is their ability to cultivate an atmosphere in which demons can manifest themselves. When rows of people are falling back in waves you can almost picture the demons walking through the crowd, and anyone in contact exhibits extremely energetic and bizarre behavior.
I will say it again, charismatic preachers are really nothing but sorcerers controlling their harem of devils in the church. The evidence is, pun intended, legion itself as we witness their effects on congregants daily on our TV’s, we really have no better example of the real art of demonic sorcery in today’s world than these false preachers themselves.
The first indication of this spirit was in Corinth, a city full of idol worshiping and demons. The Apostle Paul rebuked mightily this false demonic spirit that snuck into the church at Corinth. He clearly admonishes this congregation for the way in which they used the gift of tongues as gibberish, condemned their drunken likes antics, and the outburst by congregants as words of prophecy, etc.
A very import thing to note is the connection this church had to the Judaizers. These people were fake Christian converts from Jerusalem that made it their life-long ambition to drag every church plant of the Apostles Paul back under the law. This congregation at Corinth was thoroughly Judaized as evidenced by 2 Corinthians in which he addressed many accusations leveled against him by these Judaizes who were looking to weaken his position as an Apostle in an attempt to undermine his authority in these churches he himself planted in his missionary journeys. It is no coincidence that the church of Corinth had been enveloped in this false charismatic spirit at the same time Judaizers from Jerusalem showed up. These Judaizers were behind much of it, saying “who is Paul”, all of you have access to the same spiritual power, but we know that spiritual power to be a virulent religious spirit that has always been present with the Jews for eons.
Judaized Christianity, or Christian Zionism is synonymous with the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. The reason being is, Jews as Paul has stated in 1 Corinthians 1:22 demand signs and dramatic displays of power as a foundation of their faith in God’s work on this earth. This is why Pentecostals are infatuated with Israel, signs in the stars, prophecy, and all of the manifestations seen in charismatic congregations. Blogger Charles A. Sullivan writing on this subject note,
“Pentecostals have inherited and modernized the fundamentalist end-time system that believes a number of prerequisites must occur before the end of the world: the establishment of Israel as a geographical entity with borders very similar to what was outlined in the Bible, the return of the Jews from exile, and Armageddon — a final war between Israel and all its enemies.
Persons of Jewish heritage that support the formation and expansion of Israel on religious grounds are called Zionists. Most media outlets define Christians who align with the Zionist movement as Christian Zionists. The greater Evangelical community, Pentecostals in particular, do not use the term themselves. The majority, if asked directly whether they are Christian Zionists, would not even know what the speaker is talking about and would categorically say no, though the overwhelming majority do fit within the definition. Some Pentecostals may even feel insulted with them being identified this way. Most would simply think they are following what the Bible tells them to do.” (Charles A. Sullivan)
I encourage anyone to read this full post by Mr. Sullivan on the connection Pentecostals have with Israel and Judaized Christianity. He correctly notes that Pentecostalism is the fastest growing branch of Christianity. The reason this growth is occurring is so many people are being Judaized today. So many are seeking signs, and experiencing things that they think are Godly but in reality, we see this as a false demonic spirit. They are being usurped by the doctrine of literal devils in the church.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 1 Timothy 4:1
There are many movements today that are fostering this growth of false doctrine, mainly churches like the Bethel Church who hosts a School of Supernatural Ministry where they claim to teach people how to speak in tongues, heal people, slay people in the spirit, speak words of faith into people’s lives, etc. You know, basically, teach them how to become sorcerers and control their own legion of devils to illicit certain physiological responses that can be passed off as a false Holy Spirit. This is the same church whose head Bill Johnson talks about videos of Gold Dust coming down in their worship services.
Bethel Church founder Bill Johnson discussing gold dust in his church
The ironic thing Beni Johnson who is Bill’s wife and co-founder of Bethel church announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer this last August and is seeking traditional treatments.
“When this all began in March and I walked out of the doctor’s office shocked. I asked Jesus, ‘what do I do now?’ I heard Jesus tell me, ‘just love me’. I said, ‘I can do this’. There has been so much peace and at times those decisions that have to be made the peace has helped me navigate through,” Johnson revealed in a series of Facebook posts this week.
She said she is now going through “being healed of cancer” after having tumors removed from one of her breasts.
“In March I was diagnosed with breast cancer. They found two lumps in my right breast. Fortunately they caught it early and remove the tumor diagnosed with breast cancer. Because I watch over my body they were able to catch the cancer early and I had the two tumors removed,” Johnson said in a post on Tuesday.” (Christian Post)
Instead of surgery, why not faith healing by one of their resident healers? Oh, that’s right, all they can do is cause people to writhe on the ground instead of actually heal anyone without an attending placebo effect. For a church that names itself after the School of the Prophets in Bethel founded by Elijah, not being able to perform a healing on their own co-founder has to come off as suspicious right? They are more like Simon the Magus than Elijah in this regards considering the cost associated with these “schools.”
Why not snort some of that gold dust Beni, dance around in an ecstatic state, and ramble off some meaningless gibberish to get God’s blessing of healing?
Could it be there is no healing because all you have really done is offer “Strange Fire” before the Lord and done nothing but incur the wrath of God through the use of sorcery in His congregation? From my perspective and what I see in scripture, this is all any of these people that fall into the charismatic trap are doing, bringing damnation unto themselves.
I encourage all to be fully aware of this doctrine of devils and stop entertaining this false spirit in their churches and own lives. God is a God of order, and reason, and soberiety. Get a dose of that instead of the dose of demonic possession offered to us by Bethel and their ilk.
Article posted with permission from Jason Charles
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