Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A "Bewitching" Spirit in the Church

As I sit in the sanctuary this morning during my devotion, I just sat and meditated for a moment on a truth that Paul often wrote of, but it hardly ever gets mentioned from the pulpit. This truth is mentioned in Galatians 3:1-

"Of 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?"

Paul asked the Christians in the church, who has betwitched you? What does this word mean?

The Greek word is baskaino and it means to speak ill of one, to slander, TO CHARM.

The word CHARM means: to influence or control through deception, to subdue or dominate or hold under a spell.

Guys, I am troubled this morning by this verse. Paul was writing to the CHURCH about a BEWITCHING spirit that was charming good people and leading them astray. We have warning after warning in Scriptures about the ease at which God's people can be deceived. We must be aware of the enemies tactics and devices. Listen to some of the warnings in the Bible:

2 Timothy 3:6 (AMP) For among them are those who WORM their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with (the burden of their) sins (and easily) swayed and led away by various evil desires and SEDUCTIVE IMPULSES

Paul warns that there will be people who WORM their way into lives to cause division. You know what the word WORM means in the Greek? To hide their true self or identity. In other words they come among us, looking spiritual, but truly they are bring division and leading people AWAY from Christ and not to Him. They are sheep in wolves clothing, using deception to cause division. Listen to what Jesus said about this:

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as a sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.

The message version says this in the same verse: "Don't be impressed with CHARISMA; look for character."

Then Simon Peter says this:

2 Peter 3:17 But you friends are well-warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers.

Again Paul warns in Galatians 5:7

"You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?"

Then Paul gives direction of where this hinderance comes from in Galatians 5:8

"This evil persuasion is not from Him Who called you (Who invited you to freedom in Christ)"
It is as if Paul, Simon Peter, and Jesus are pleading with us to be aware of this BEWITCHING spirit that is in the church and will become more and more prevalent the closer we get to the Rapture of the Church.

I heard a former Pastor of mine say several times while I was his youth pastor, "Everything that sparkles is not gold" Just because someone looks and sounds spiritual and full of integrity does not mean that they are genuine. We need discernment in the day that we live in. We must BEWARE of who we allow to influence us. If you aren't careful you can find yourself being BEWITCHED. I was talking with someone yesterday that admitted that she had been BEWITCHED by someone who she looked up to greatly. She didn't realize until the past few weeks that she had fallen for the CHARM of this person. We prayed and rebuked this BEWITCHING spirit and believe that she is FREE FROM IT.

One sure way of discerning whether someone is of God or of the devil is by their words and attitudes. If someone is constantly tearing down (maybe in a deceptive way) everyone, including the church and its leaders, then you need to understand quickly this BEWITCHING spirit that is trying to CHARM YOU and to do harm to you and GODS CHURCH.

I love you my brothers and sisters, and will continue on this point tomorrow morning, when I will discuss, "The temptation of Saul's Armor."

My prayer is that you have a wonderful and blessed day! Walk in the Spirit, living by His nudge so you can expose and rebuke this BEWITCHING SPIRIT! God bless!

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,

Pastor Rusty L. Blann


Karateman said...

You made a statement to me while I was preparing a message for a Wed nite several months ago. The message included the 9 gifts of the spirit and you said that the gift discernment when it comes to spirits (to another distinguishing between spirits,...1 Cor.12:9NIV)would be one of the most needed gifts for us in these last days. What you just posted is an area of confirmation to what you said to me several months back. Living with the "gifts" active in our lives would solve a lot of problems we deal with and keep us from situations we should not have to go through.

david said...

I have read all of you post, and
I enjoy your Sunday morning services greatly. Thanks David