16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
We can see in this scripture passage that Witches go to prayer meetings too. I remember a young lady who visited my church many years ago. She claimed to have been kicked out of many churches because she recognized the witches in the church. However, I discerned that she was actually the witch. The following Sunday, she showed up again. During the prayer time, I asked the church to pray that anyone gathered with us that is not of God, that the fire of God should torment them. She left and never came back again.
This story in Acts contains a lot of lessons:
Firstly, the individual involved wasn't an elderly woman; she was a young lady. There's a misconception that only older individuals practice witchcraft. I've encountered teenagers, even children as young as five, doing the devil's bidding. A woman in Texas recounted her childhood, when she and other kids were recruited as witches, sent to churches to lay hands on other children and cast curses.
Secondly, this young lady was possessed by a spirit of divination, a form of witchcraft known as the spirit of the python. I've seen this spirit in deliverance sessions, where affected individuals mimic snakes, sticking out their tongues, sounding like them, and sometimes writhing on the floor like serpents. They're often drawn to clothes and shoes resembling snake skins.
Thirdly, these individuals sometimes exhibit supernatural abilities, seeing and knowing things beyond natural perception. They possess "gifts" of prophecy, discernment, and knowledge.
Although what the young lady said was true, it wasn't by the Spirit of the Lord. Acts 16:17 mentions her following Paul, proclaiming them as servants of the Most High God. Nowadays, unsuspecting church leaders might grant such individuals important positions due to their "gifts." Some of these witches even lead ministries and churches. Both uninformed Christians and non-Christians flock to such places seeking prophecy and power, unaware that these leaders use demonic gifts.
Paul, however, wasn't deceived. He discerned the spirit and commanded it to leave in Jesus' name. Today, we need an anointing that discerns false spirits and deals with them in the Lord's name.
These scriptures reveal that witches and wizards aren't confined outside the church; they can operate within it, serving as workers, pastors, or prophets.
Question: Is there a specific time I must pray?
O Lord, sharpen my discernment so I can recognize evil practitioners who are disquising as ministers of God in Jesus name.
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