As I explained in a previous article, witchcraft is hydra-headed and it adapts to geographical locations. Western witchcraft for instance differs markedly from the African one. But its influences over individuals, families and churches can be discerned.
This subject is somewhat deep and interwoven, so I may still re-visit it, specifically on how it operates in the church.
– 1Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”
Witchcraft is an expression of man’s corrupt rebellious nature against God. It is man’s attempt to gain what he wants without submitting to God’s law. This is why witchcraft can also be called the universal religion of fallen humanity.
In Galatians 5:20 (KJV) it’s listed along with idolatry among “the works of the flesh.” Rebellion as a work of the flesh opens the door to witchcraft. Whenever you see rebellion at work in a church, family or community, the spirit of witchcraft is working with it. Mass rebellion against godly principles is one of the signs of the last days.
– Domination. It brings human souls under the domination of the person whom it inhabits in order to have his/her way. Jezebel exemplified this in the Bible.
When Naboth refused to give up his vineyard and King Ahab withdrew into his inner chamber like a baby, she declared: “Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite” (1 Kgs. 21:7). She exerted domination over all the men of the city, the elders, the nobles and even the throne itself to achieve her purpose.
Like Jezebel, there are parents that exert dominion over their children; wives over husbands, and pastors over their congregations. Now, it’s never the will of God for any human soul to be dominated by another human soul. It poses a hindrance to complete spiritual freedom and growth.
If you reach a point where you are more tied to a certain person in your life (friend, parent or mentor) more than you are to the Lord, and you can’t think or make any decision without first consulting this person, then you are bound. You are being dominated and you need exercise your authority in Christ and break yourself loose.
A couple of years ago, I was in a Christian forum where a lady sought some advice. She has been married for about 4 years, but she and her husband were still living in her in-laws’ family house. On 3 different occasions they found a house and made plans to move, but his mother would dissuade them with fear, claiming that the house was evil and there were witches out there waiting to harm them.
I perceived something was wrong with that marriage. Why should a grown man be living with his wife in his mother’s house? It doesn’t seem right. Why would a man be unable to make decisions about his own family without first consulting his mother? She wields a domineering influence over her son. I’ve seen that happen to people and they don’t usually fare well.
I weighed in and told her she needs to pray against the witchcraft operating in her in-laws’ family. If she doesn’t fight that battle, they will keep having difficulties each time they make an effort to leave, and it’s going to get complicated when their children grow older. Her husband also needs to be prayed for. A spiritual umbilical cord still joins him to his mother.
There are some churches where this operates, where a “hyper spiritual” figure wields a dominating influence over the leaders and no decision can be made in the church unless his/her opinions are sought. Such people usually appear very religious and their presence alone intimidates others. That’s witchcraft!
– Manipulation. The spirit of witchcraft manipulates people, emotions, relationships and situations. It utilizes deceptive schemes to achieve its controlling agenda.
Most domineering people are also manipulative. When they see that you are breaking free from their control, they quickly switch to a self-pity, victim or even a suicidal mode to make you stay. That’s manipulation.
When Jezebel wanted to have Naboth murdered, “she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them and sent them to the elders and nobles… In those letters she wrote: Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people” (1 Kgs. 21:8-9).
First, she stole Ahab’s identity. This is how witches act; they feign identities. They set up different secular groups as fronts to champion their causes. They work as a network in various organizations (especially the media) to protect their secrets and discredit anyone exposing the true face of witchcraft.
These truth-distorting agents work to dispel witchcraft secrets leaked to the public. In May 2008, the story of a cat which transformed into a woman in Port Harcourt City made headlines. From eye witness accounts, the cat was knocked down by a moving vehicle and after a while, it changed to a woman in broad daylight.
She was immediately apprehended by the people there, and began to confess. They were actually 3 witches sent on assignment to kill three people in Abuja (402 miles away). They succeeded with two but failed with the third who is a pastor. She said the power of God worked against them and they had to flee and while returning to their base, she was hit by a vehicle.
By the time the master truth-distorter swooped on this story, those believing it were made to look like bumbling dolts. But those in the know can see through such efforts.
Witches also manipulate relationships. They can turn you against someone who truly loves you while making you believe they are your allies protecting you from danger. They impersonate others to attack in the dream and also manipulate a person to abandon his God-ordained assignment or divine location.
Second, Jezebel used religion to achieve her ends. She called for a solemn fast and charged Naboth with blasphemy. The accusation was well calculated to inflame the emotion of the religious public. Satan’s servants use false accusations, slander and emotional manipulation to stir up hostility against Christians.
– Intimidation. Witchcraft spirit oppresses, breaks people’s spirit and inflicts terror.
After Elijah displayed God’s supremacy in Israel and destroyed Baal’s prophets, Jezebel sent a message to him, cursing herself in the name of her gods if she didn’t kill him. Elijah fled in terror and even began praying for death (2Kgs. 19:1-5).
The question is, why did the same man who had enjoyed supernatural provision, who had shut and opened the sky and disgraced Baal flee from a woman’s threats? You see, when you are under heavy witchcraft oppression, you won’t remember your previous spiritual victories or how many times God has answered your prayers.
It’s like being in a dark hole of despair; you feel that God doesn’t love you; you feel discouraged, weak and ashamed and even have suicidal thoughts! When you are in this state, know that a host of wicked spiritual forces have been unleashed against you.
Intimidation comes when the enemy sees you refuse to be dominated or manipulated. It’s aimed to make you cower and feel alone like Elijah felt: “I am the only one left” (v. 10). But God made him realise there are 7,000 others. You need to free yourself like a gazelle from the hands of a hunter, like a bird from the snare of a fowler.
– Whoredom. Witchcraft works hand in hand with all forms of sexual promiscuity. The Bible speaks of “the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft” (Nah. 3:4)
Witchcraft spirit wields control over individuals, churches, families and cities through sex. The level of prostitution in a place can indicate the level of witchcraft there. As more people give themselves over to sexual depravity, sexual looseness, degrading entertainment and eroticism, they easily come under demonic influence.
If you observe a spider catching an insect, you will see that it first binds it with a silky web, then paralyses it with a poison and makes sure it is completely weak before it feeds on it. That’s how witchcraft spirit operates. It binds its victims with unclean sexual habits, paralyses their spiritual lives and spiritually kills them.
– The final one is mentioned in Micah 5:12 “I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.”
The spirit of witchcraft casts spells and curses on people, places and objects. A spell or curse is achieved by sending out evil spirits to perform a given assignment (although certain spells are utilized for “good” purposes like healing, fertility etc.) They are used to blind, evoke lust, afflict with diseases, kill, hinder, torment and destroy.
Witchcraft spells are tools used to control, manipulate, punish and terrify. At times, a spell may not directly touch a person but will affect his/her immediate surroundings. Breaking such curses and spells in prayer in Jesus’ name usually takes care of them, but if a Christian is not discerning, they may linger.
Kalu Abosi, a former high-ranking Satanist who later became a Christian evangelist, wrote in Born Twice: From Demonism to Christianity, an operation he undertook in his past.
One night, a satanic meeting he was conducting was supernaturally disbanded (when a Christian prays aggressively, it causes chaos in the demonic realm). He checked up on their monitoring screen and saw a praying Christian man from Benin City causing the havoc. He had seen him before at the New Benin market and he could also see 4 angels with bright swords standing with him as he prayed.
As he schemed on what to do, the screen blew into ashes and he fled. Spurned on to action by his “spiritual mother” (Queen of the coast) the next day, he resolved to destroy him. He crossed his legs and chanted an incantation over a bowl of water and this Christian man’s reflection appeared in it. As Kalu picked up a knife to stab him, he saw two angels extricate his reflection from the water. So he slowly dropped the knife.
He afflicted his 3 children with diseases and they later died. He also “weighed” his wife and saw that she was spiritually weak, so he afflicted her with a mysterious sickness. The Christian man, being a store owner, began auctioning his goods so as to clear her medical bills, but Kalu said he sent fire to destroy his store and a few others.
Yet this man didn’t give up. He rented another shop from a man who happened to be a satanic agent. Kalu ordered this landlord to eject him. Soon, a Christian brother helped him and he found another place. Kalu frustratingly dismissed him as obdurate and let him be.
Years later, as Kalu was visiting a market in Benin, he was shocked to see this Christian man in a store, bigger, better and filled with more goods than the one he had before. Pretending to be a customer, he struck up a conversation and then, to his shock, learnt that God had healed his wife and restored all that he lost.
Satan and his demons have been defeated 2,000 years ago. No angel, nor demons, nor powers nor any principality can separate us from God’s love. But the sober question is, if you and I were in that Christian man’s shoes, would we keep serving the Lord?