Pat Robertson is taking flak for his bold stance on—or should I say against—Halloween. The Huffington Post is making a big deal about Robertson's words on The 700 Club Thursday.
What did he say that got the liberal media so up in arms?
"Halloween is a festival for demonic spirits. The whole idea of trick o' treating ... the Druids would go to somebody's [house] and ask for money and if they didn't get any money they would kill their sheep. That was the trick ... and it was serious stuff," Robertson says.
"All this business about goblins and jack-o'-lanterns all comes out of demonic rituals of the Druids and the people who lived in England at that particular time. I think churches can have Halloween parties. You can bob for apples ... and turn it into a Christian festival, and that's what we ought to do. We need to redeem these days, but that day was given over to Satanic things."
It started a little later than usual, but spiritual witchcraft is rising—and rising rapidly—in South Florida this October. My community is home to a large population of witches, pagans, Wiccans and other heathens who practice one form of witchcraft or another. Your community may not have palm trees and beaches, but it's likely got a few witches, pagans, Wiccans and heathens practicing witchcraft.
A quick scan of the latest news reveals that reports of witchcraft-related child abuse are on the rise in London; two children were tortured and dumped on the streets over witchcraft in Akwa Ibom; a pastor who runs several churches in Kiambu and Meru was found practicing witchcraft; authorities have tied Texas drug smugglers to witchcraft, cartels and a house explosion; and seven people accused of witchcraft were burned to death in Tanzania.
When I first moved to South Florida, I battled Jezebel and her witchcrafts (see 2 Kings 9:22) with limited success for at least a year before I learned to discern the attack of this spiritual enemy at its onset, submit myself to God's Word, resist the devil and command it to flee in the name of Jesus (see James 4:7, AMP). Now, I am much quicker to sense witchcraft operating in the spirit, but sometimes witchcraft attacks in your sleep.
What do these three things have in common? I'm discussing all of them on my latest radio broadcast with Pastor Greg Young. Click the headline to get to the broadcast link.
The python spirit is in the cross-hairs of many spiritual warriors, and practical revelation about how this demon operates has surfaced in recent years. Still, there are many who aren't aware of this enemy's devices. I wrote a column called What the Python Spirit Really Wants last week to open the eyes of those who may not realize this coiling spirit could be working to squeeze out the breathe of life (the Holy Spirit) and cut off your lifeline to God (prayer).
Before we go any further, let's do a quick review of last week's column so you can see this spirit at work in the Bible. You'll find it in Acts 16:16 when Paul encounters a girl possessed with a spirit of divination. The word divination in this verse comes from the Greek word for puthon, which translates in English as "python." That's why many call this evil force the python spirit. Here's the Scripture in context:
"Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' And this she did for many days" (Acts 16:16-17).
The prayer-hating python spirit drew attention to Paul and Silas in a hostile land, distracted them from their apostolic mission, and ultimately persecuted them sorely, even putting them in literal bondage. But Paul and Silas didn't stay there. They prayed and praised their way through—and so can you. But not just any type of prayer will root this spirit out of your midst.
Some claim ISIS, or the Islamic State, is God's judgment on the nations, including America. I don't believe that. I believe our nation is under discipline and that God has removed some of His hedge of protection, but it is absolutely not God's will for Christians to be totally eradicated from cities in the Middle East and if ISIS reaches our soil it won't be His perfect will either. We have authority over this behemoth spirit and we need to fight this battle on our knees. Click the headline to access the interview.
I didn't realize how strong is the spirit of python's chokehold on my region until I started to personally experience the effects of its presence. One of the only named spirits in the Bible, the python spirit is a coiling spirit that works to squeeze out the breathe of life (the Holy Spirit) and cut off your lifeline to God (prayer).
To accomplish its deadly agenda, this spirit will remind you of wounds from your past, surround you with ungodly influences that tempt you to compromise the Word of God—or just barrage you with circumstances that knock the wind out of you.
Symptoms of a python attack may include weariness, a loss of passion to worship and pray, feeling pressured, overwhelmed, helpless and even hopeless. The severity of those symptoms depends on how long this enemy has been coiling itself around you and how much pressure it has applied.
Let me show you this spirit in the Bible. You'll find it in Acts 16:16 when Paul encounters a girl possessed with a spirit of divination. The word divination in this verse comes from the Greek word for puthon, which translates in English as "python." Vine's Dictionary explains how Greek mythology believed the Pythian serpent guarded the oracle of Delphi until Apollo slew it (and then took on the name Pythian). The word was later applied to diviners or soothsayers, inspired by Apollo.
Where was the church when prayer was taken out of schools in 1962? Or when abortion was legalized in 1973? Or when same-sex marriage started to gain momentum to the point that Christian businesses are persecuted for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple?
Put another way, when did the church fall asleep? What caused the church to fall asleep? And how can we wake up the so-called sleeping giant? I don't have all the answers, but what I do know is the church didn't fall asleep overnight. I recently penned a column called "When the Enemy Lulls You to Sleep" that recounts how evil Delilah lulled mighty Samson into slumber. Of course, Samson was living in compromise, which opened the door to Delilah's seduction.
Paul clearly warned us not to be ignorant of the devil's devices (2 Cor. 2:11), which implies the Lord will reveal the enemy's devices, schemes, plots and plans if we walk in connection with His heart—and that's where many of us miss it. If we are living in compromise, we're likely to become spiritually drowsy—but we won't fall right to sleep any more than we enter deep sleep the second our head hits the pillow.
Even if the enemy does lull us to sleep through weariness, apathy, compromise or blatant sin that threatens to sear our conscience like a hot iron, the Holy Spirit is simultaneously working to convict our hearts so we'll wake up. Of course, it's easier to wake up when you are just drifting off than when you are in a dream state where reality is skewed.
The enemy has set himself up in high places--and in the church. But we battle not against flesh and blood. Check out my latest radio broadcast in which we discuss spiritual warfare and whether it's right to discuss politics in church. Click on the headline to access the link to the show.
You've heard it said the enemy doesn't fight fair. Well, that's a spiritual-warfare understatement if I've ever heard one. The devil is a dirty fighter—and he's just as subtle as he is dirty. He never sleeps or slumbers, but he works to put us to sleep through apathy, complacency and waves of weariness.
Indeed, Satan has been working since the Second Great Awakening to put the church back into a deep sleep. He had some stops and starts. The Asuza Street Revival, the birthplace of the modern Pentecostal Movement, revived the saints at the beginning of the 20th Century. But that slumbering spirit crept back in unawares.
Although Pentecostals and charismatics are the fastest-growing segment of the church in the 21st century, the enemy effectively lulled much of the church to sleep a long time ago—even Pentecostals and charismatics. We were sleeping when prayer was taken out of schools and we were sleeping when abortion was legalized. Some segments of the church are waking up and fighting in the culture wars but the majority is still like listening to the enemy's lullabies (see Judges 16:19).
I was at the Florida Supreme Court recently praying before I got on the air with Pastor Greg Young of Chosen Generation Radio. We talked about the state of the nation but quickly moved into spiritual warfare principles. What's the difference between power and authority? Why do we have to fight if Jesus already won the victory? Click the headline to listen in to this week's broadcast.