The Deeds, Doctrine, and Spirit of Witchcraft and Control In Today’s Church (Excerpt from the Deceivers and False Prophets Among Us book)
“Every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Psalm 39:5
Since man is “altogether vanity” even when he is “at his best state,” the believer must not unduly look to him. Such a truth should compel us to seek the counsel, wisdom, and blessing from our loving, majestic, infinite, and glorious Father in Heaven. The New Covenant is a “better covenant” built upon “better promises.” He has purchased with His very own blood our priestly position and all of its inherent privileges.
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Hebrews 8:6
Do we know and understand these “better promises” upon which the New Covenant is built? Or, will we be destroyed for the lack of knowledge of them?
Saint, when we do not fully follow the LORD, our lives are then relegated to be under the control of mere men and led into deception and ultimately destruction. We are strongly told to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ” alone has made us free from the “yoke” of man’s “bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
Building upon the foundation of man is building on sinking sand, a faulty foundation, promised to crumble. The true disciple of Christ is placed under the control and leadership of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, and such a relationship is never to be usurped by men.
The one who is following Jesus must keep in mind and be on continual alert for the controllers, who seek to spy out and ultimately rob the individual liberty of believers, positioning themselves in such a way as to make people become dependent upon them instead of Christ. God hates this deed and the doctrines which lead to the stealing of His glory and the robbing of His people of the divinely intended blessings.
When we begin to understand the Bible revelation of God and His relationship to men, we will be enabled to discern those deceivers who seek to assume an undue place of control in other men’s lives.
The Doctrine of Man
The doctrine of man is something few Christians understand due to lack of knowledge of the Scriptures. The Bible repeatedly teaches us that “vain is the help of man” and that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” (Ps. 60:11, 39:5) In light of this, we should ask: Is it not presumptuous for arrogant men to think they should unduly run the lives of others when they themselves are “altogether vanity”?
Any man who believes he should control the life of another person does not have his own life in order, because he is not submitted to the LORD. The LORD would never, ever lead someone to control another. This is the defiant evil of witchcraft, and “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13)
This insolent and audacious presumption exercised on the part of evil men is utterly arrogant and foolish at best.
God Covers His People
God’s guidance and covering are all the guidance and covering needed by the believer.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust…He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust…because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation…” Psalm 91
Having available to us a true and genuine, godly group of elders is the will of the LORD. This should be our desire, yet not all Christians in this world have such godly leadership available to them. The Bible informs us that there is a lack of spiritual fathers (1 Cor. 4:15). His ultimate desire would be that each believer is submitted one to another among His people and under divinely-appointed, anointed, Christ-centered leadership (Eph. 5:21; 1 Pet. 5:1-6).
Fear not because the LORD Almighty does not sleep nor slumber (Ps. 121). He, who is called “the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls,” is fully capable to lead, guide, and direct all of His people “beside still waters” and in the exact way He desires for them to go (1 Peter 2:25; Ps. 23). He needs no help from any man or group of men. In light of this, are you beginning to see how much of an evil indictment it is for mere men to be so abominably high-minded that they would dare think God’s people needed their authority? Unthinkable!
Are you seeing just how subtly the affections of the saints of the LORD can be intercepted and diverted from Him?
The true walk with God is to elevate Christ alone and His wonderful work on the cross, His resurrection, heavenly intercession, and soon return – not men and their organizations and supposed merit or authority.
Be not deceived: Those who seek to place themselves over others for the purpose of controlling them are false. The control of other lives is premeditated and insidious in nature, diabolical in intent, and esoteric (elitist) in scope. The Alpha and Omega Himself says that He hates this witchcraft. Be sure that He will eternally punish all who practice this evil.
Modern-day controllers are a reality for now. They refuse to hold Christ as the Head of His Church, as well as the Supreme Ruler of each individual believer (Col. 2:18-19). Instead they replace His glorious majesty with the hierarchies and teachings of mere men. Consequently, the headship of Christ is stolen and so is the individual priesthood of every believer. At best, this is a cultic arrangement where man has taken the place of God and is now receiving the worship and attention due only His holy Name. Isn’t this exactly what the Bible foretells would be the modus operandi of the antichrist?
“Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
The whole reason Christ came was that we might know Him and the Father. and that He alone might reign supreme in the lives of each of His people (Jn. 17:3; 1 Jn. 1:3). Any person or teaching which seeks to interfere with or does not honor and promote such a basic and foundational truth is antichrist and operating under the influence of the enemy who has come to steal, kill, and destroy. Beloved, we must stand fast (remain strong) in the liberty and privileges Christ died to give His people and not allow anyone to rob our blood-bought place.
Upholding Christ as the Only “Head” of His Church
At the foundation of every false teaching is the enemy’s goal of displacing Christ as the Head of His Church.
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head (Christ), from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:18-19
Body growth is stunted when our LORD is not highly exalted among His People. Jesus Christ must of necessity be upheld as supreme Head of His Church. Any leader or so-called ministry that does not truly uphold and preach Christ is not of God (Eph. 1:22, 4:15, 5:23). The deceivers among us are detected because they are “not holding the Head” of the Church, Christ, as the only Supreme Ruler from whom all divine virtue flows.
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:22
Though Scripture does not teach that men should control other men, this doctrine of control is set forth as an essential by those who propagate it. They want their adherents to believe that it is essential, so that they submit to these beguiling leaders. Those who receive and embrace such a teaching will surely come under the bondage of it (2 Pet. 2:19).
People who are under the dark spirit and spell of this witchcraft and its teaching will press you to learn to which human authority you submit. Does anyone know what I mean? Have you ever run into someone like this? You will know it when you do. They want to know your spiritual lineage of headship. These misled people will press you for your pastor’s name, and who he is submitted to, and who that person is submitted to, and up the chain of command….and on and on.
Turning the Table
After personally dealing with this ugly teaching and evil spirit for years, I have learned what to expect and always ask a question in response to their probing and imposing questioning. When they ask, “Who are you submitted to?” I simply answer their question with a question, “Who are you submitted to?” They tell me their pastor’s name, and then I ask, “Who is he submitted to?” They tell me who their pastor is submitted to, and then I ask, “Who is he submitted to?”…. I just keep intentionally backing them up into a corner, strictly for instructional purposes. My next assertion is, “Doesn’t somebody have to directly connect with the LORD? Might as well be you/us right?”
The intended goal here is to demonstrate to them the utter mistake of believing that being under a so-called “covering” of mere human leadership is of no good consequence. Being submitted to men is of no value in the eyes of God, if one is not ultimately and supremely submitted first to Christ and His headship.
When encountering them, you will find that these people are under the deception of a dark spirit of control, and they are very insistent about their position. You may want to load your gun with the verses and texts in this message. You will probably wish you had, if you don’t.
The Vicarious Worship of “Idol Shepherds”
In instituting and executing His redemption of mankind, the central design of the plan of God was that individual believers would be able to come directly and personally to Him with the help of no man, except the God-man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Jn. 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22). It is impossible to vicariously and at the same time properly experience God through a mere mortal or multiple levels of elders. It is not possible to know and experience Him through any sinful man or group of men. The idolatry of this is so very subtle. Men or organizations who set themselves up between God and other men, set themselves up as idols, and are called “idol shepherds” in the Bible.
“Woe to the idol shepherd.” Zechariah 11:17
Seeking to experience God through another mere man is not good. Christ came to give us the reality of a personal relationship with Himself and the Father (Jn 17:3).
“Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 3:1
Did you realize that Jesus is the “Apostle and High Priest” of our faith? Has anyone shared this with you or have you caught this in Scripture? See Hebrews 3:1. Isn’t the kingdom of God all about King Jesus and His kingdom? God wants us to “consider” Him above all others, and anything short of His reign in our hearts and lives He counts as idolatry.
Hint: If someone doesn’t have nail-scarred hands and feet and a pierced side and scarred brow, he is only a mere sinful man and not worthy of our worship. Only Jesus was qualified to redeem us. Only Jesus Christ took the beatings, bruising, wounding, and deep suffering for our sins, and He alone is worthy of our worship. If we are to align ourselves with the LORD, only Christ will reign as King in our lives as we fight the good fight of idol destruction and elevation of the Savior.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17
We are to know and experience God personally and not vicariously through another. Such is idolatry and will preempt one from entering His kingdom.
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in
the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:5-8
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21
When the graven images of mere men are set up to revere with undue honor, it causes God’s people to break the second commandment.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath…for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…” Exodus 20:4-5
Individual Priesthood of Every Believer
God came out to meet us all on a personal basis, when Christ died (Mark 15:38; Jn. 17:3; Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-23). This does not negate the need for godly leadership, and yet true godly leadership will only and always steer people in this very direction – to know God personally and better through the rich blessing of access through Christ’s blood.
We should never under estimate the power of the Almighty who has taken up residence within all who have been born-again. He is able to lead each of His people all by Himself. The LORD needs no help to do so. His individual believers, empowered by His Holy Spirit, are fully enabled to hear His voice (Jn. 10:3-5;16, 27), preach His Word (2 Tim. 4:2), heal the sick, and cast out devils (Mk 16:15-18; Matt. 10:1-8).
Jesus sent the 70 out in pairs (Lk. 10:1). Yet, Philip acted alone – he and the Holy Spirit. The LORD was well able to fill, direct and bless through Philip as He is through those today who are full of His Spirit and prepared by Him. The Almighty needed no help from mere men. No human ministry partner accompanied Philip, but a divine One did. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, was with him and great things were accomplished as a result. (See Acts 8:26-40.) So, to say that one cannot minister alone, or without the counsel of his elder or “covering,” is not biblically accurate and an infringement upon the sovereign power of the Almighty and the liberty Christ died to grant each individual believer.
Not long ago, I had a proselyte of this control movement forcefully tell me that no Christian should be out witnessing alone or before first checking with the elder to whom he should be submitted and accountable. As far as I could discern, there was no love within a mile of this fellow, who was zealously asserting these things. The relationship he was having with his high and mighty elders simply wasn’t enough to produce the fruit of love that only the Holy Spirit can do as we abide in Him (Jn. 15). Only the abiding presence of God the Holy Ghost can produce in the believer “the fruit of the Spirit” which “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance…” (Gal. 5:22-23). Allegiance to men cannot fill us with these blessed dimensions of the fruit of the LORD. We should remember that vertical relationship with the LORD always supersedes any horizontal relationship with mere men.
Any person in a leadership position, who requires others to gain his permission or approval before ministering, courting someone, getting married, etc., has placed himself in the position of headship reserved for Christ alone. These types of non-essentials are individual Christian liberties provided by the LORD to His people, and any leader interfering with such has made himself the enemy of God. Such an evil worker is under the judgment of God.
Always remember, beloved, that we have been bought with the highest price, the very blood of God, and that we are to worship and serve Him alone.
“Ye are bought with a price; be ye not the servants of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:23
Beware of Blackmailing Beguilers
One of the evil devices and practices utilized by these satanic pastors is blackmail. These deceivers use people’s sin that they find out about via personal counseling, etc., to blackmail them. They hold it over their heads in order to keep them under their control. Once these wolves have knowledge of the people’s sin, they file it away in memory or document it, in order to use it against them later, should such a need arise. Or, they will utilize it in order to leverage themselves in their evil dealings. They use this knowledge of another’s past sin as a crow bar to influence, leverage, or pry their way into their desired positioning.
Few things could be more abominable and wicked than this practice. What God forgives is never to be used against the forgiven saint – “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:15) The Bible tells us that only “an ungodly man” would dig up evil or sin that has been plunged beneath the cleansing blood of Christ. – “An ungodly man diggeth up evil.” (Prov. 16:27) So, any leader who uses another person’s sin that he has knowledge of against that person unjustly, is “an ungodly man.” Let’s read the passage in which we find this nugget of divine truth. As you read it, ask yourself if you see manipulation, sowing discord, division, exploitation, conniving, control, and divisiveness.
“An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward (evil) things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.” Proverbs 16:27-30
Our confessed sins are buried to infinity under the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus and are no longer remembered in the mind of God. – “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:12) If this Bible truth is not so, neither is any other! So, to bring back up confessed and forgiven sin, is to work evil, identify oneself as an “ungodly” person, and to bring judgment upon oneself (James 2:13).
In fact, I have personally spoken with many people who are uncomfortable speaking with a pastor or being counseled within an organized local church environment due to the potential threat of those sins being later used against them.
Fear and Trembling
When godly men oversee God’s people, there is peace. When ungodly men are in leadership positions, they are controlled by the enemy who can only operate and bring fear, deception, trembling, and misery (Jer. 3:15; 23:1-40; Jn. 10:10). To illustrate the unnatural and evil effect upon the individual who is placed under bondage via a false shepherd, the following is yet another case in point.
Recently, I spoke at length with two distinguished men in their 50’s that had been a part of a certain local church for over 20 years each. The pastor, who was originally a true follower of Jesus, steadily waned away from Christ, counting his own life and sin more important than Christ. His heart became increasingly hardened, and ultimately he brought the whole congregation under satanic bondage and control. He became one who controlled the laity – a Nico-laitane.
These two men of God, who have since left that local church and are flourishing as God heals them, openly shared with me how they were literally trembling and shaking in fear when they confronted that pastor. This is how under his control they had become and how influential those devils were that controlled that pastor. In speaking to these two men, it was obvious that they were in their natural disposition not prone to fear or intimidation. However, the demon spirit empowering the pastor was very powerful and had brought them under its power through contact and submission to that evil worker.
This writer can personally attest to the trembling that he experienced on several occasions after being prompted by the Holy Spirit to leave local churches. In the early years after Jesus found and saved me, I found myself on several occasions submitted to an ungodly pastor who was exercising an evil control over my life and the lives of the whole congregation. In one case, upon deciding to dare leave a certain local church and go elsewhere, I called the pastor and asked to meet with him. We scheduled an appointment in his office, and, as a younger believer, I timidly and in trembling told him in so many words that I’d be leaving. He became immediately irate and violently asked if I already had another pastor to go submit to right away. I answered “No, not yet.” He rose up and declared forcefully and convincingly that if I left from under his “covering” that I would be out from under God’s protection and most likely be killed. Can you see in this how these men so arrogantly factor themselves in as essential to God’s kingdom? Is this not the height of evil pride? Does this not reveal their blinded and grossly-intoxicated sense of self-importance? This clearly tells us that these men do not believe that Jesus Christ, the very “great Shepherd of the sheep,” the very One who made all things and purchased His very own with His own sinless blood, is not capable enough to take care of one of His people without the help of one of these pastors! If this wasn’t so wicked, sad, and utterly absurd, it would be laughable (Jn. 10; Heb. 13:20).
A Direct Hit on the Enemy
I formerly hosted a weekly Christian television show where I produced a series of shows on the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitanes, both identifying the characteristics of their leaders and specifically and poignantly exposing a ring of several local pastors operating in this abominable manner against God and His people. These men were an organized brood of vipers perpetuating over the people the doctrine of witchcraft and exercising an evil control. Among many things they did which were not consistent with the truth and liberty of New Testament believers, here are a few: These wolves taught a strong tithe-binding control, commanded the people to unduly submit the them, were grossly overbearing, and would keep files on the people in order to track and control them. As each weekly show aired in this series of TV programs, which rightly exposed these errant pastors, the ring leader pastor of this group, who was also broadcasting on that same station, filed a complaint with the owners of the station, demanding that my show be taken off the air immediately (Is it any wonder that this same man was known to be involved in séances/witchcraft?). However, the couple who ran the TV station held true to their principle conviction of upholding the Word of God and exposing evil, and refused to submit to the unjust demands of the ring leader wolf. Not only was the biblical truth in these programs a direct hit on the enemies schemes and camp, but so was the stand for truth by this beloved couple (Ps. 94:16). Blessings be upon this beloved family and all who stand with the LORD in His truth and for the liberty and individual priesthood that Jesus died to grant every believer (Judges 5:24-26; 2 Cor. 1:24; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:24-26). God bless us all in Jesus’ holy name to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free that we become not yet again entangled with any non-ordained yoke (Gal. 5:1). The LORD grants us each the ability to discern and openly rebuke any evil worker who seeks to control God’s people. Jesus Christ came to save, rescue, heal, bless, and deliver and never to bind (Lk. 4:18; Acts 26:18). Those who truly serve Him do the same – they edify, lift up, build up, and exhort as unto Jesus.
More Witchcraft and Manipulation
The believer must remain in the “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1) To do such, we should be aware of how controllers assert themselves (in an evil manipulating manner) as superior through the claim that they hear God for their prey – those who are not able to hear for themselves, because they are not one of the elite. In order to lure them into their net, the controller must convince the people he is seeking to control that God always speaks to people through their leaders. Jesus told us plainly that He causes each and every one of His individual sheep to hear His voice (Jn. 10:3-5, 16, 27).
Some of the pretentious, presumptuous terminology to watch for will sound something like this: “The Lord is showing me things about you…..” New believers, not yet personally grounded in the Word of God, are particularly vulnerable to this deception of the enemy. In their immature state, new believers are in awe that someone could hear from “God” so clearly and are thereby drawn into an unnatural relationship with that person exercising this witchcraft over them.
In order for these manipulators to gain control over another, they must first convince the person they are preying on to believe that they have a more direct line to God and that the Lord has called them to “help.” This is a recipe for bondage and the spoiling of the believer’s liberty Jesus died to procure.
Correct Bible doctrine clears this up. Here is but a taste:
- Jesus is the Leader of the true believer, not any mere man. He is the “Head of the Church.” (Eph. 5:23;
- Christ, not a sinful man, is “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” (Heb. 3:1)
- The Son of God said His sheep (people) hear His voice for themselves (John 10:3-5; 16, 27). God speaks to His
people individually first of all (1 Jn. 2:27). Any divinely inspired word of prophecy would only confirm (never contradict) what the LORD is already revealing to the heart of one of His people. The individual believer needs no human to stand between themselves and the LORD Jesus Christ who is the “one Mediator between God and men.” (1 Tim. 2:5) Christ directs His children. Each blood-bought Christian has total and complete access to His throne of grace at all times (Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25; 10:19-23). Only a deceiver would dare subvert or in any way hinder this relationship (Col. 2:8-19). It is of the utmost importance that the believer spends time in prayer communion with the LORD in order to learn to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.
- All born-again believers are commanded by the LORD to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
- The blood-bought believer is not to be the servant of a mere man or men as far as His highest authority or in any manner that does not align with the spirit and truth of the priesthood of individual New Testament saints. “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” ( 1 Cor. 7:23)
“Forbid Him Not”
Perhaps this next text in Luke 9 will drive a death nail deep into the coffin of lies that bind and steal the glory of God and misplace the glory upon mere men. Jesus rebuked His disciples when they attempted to bring another follower of Christ under their control or guidance (this would be equal to the “covering” teaching or doctrine/deeds of the Nicolaitanes). Those who espouse this evil and rotten “covering” doctrine and practice seek to bring others under their leadership, insisting that such is necessary.
“And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils (doing ministry) in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us (wasn’t under our covering). And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9:49-50
With hands on hips, Jesus’ disciples proudly began to tell Him, “LORD, this guy had the audacity to try to live for you and even minister and wasn’t even submitted under our covering, so we shut him down. How dare him!” Well, the Master shut down this evil pride and rebuked His misled disciples with, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” This is clear evidence that we should never seek to put our understanding of ministry structure on other people or groups in a forceful manner.
God is God all by Himself, and is powerful enough to handle all of His people without our help. The LORD has not called us to police, micromanage, or exercise control over the faith of another (2 Cor. 1:24). We see in this text the LORD Jesus forthrightly rebuking His disciples for seeking to hinder any true Gospel work. Instead, Christ opens the floodgates to ministry – “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Let us be the wind beneath the wings of other believers, all of which have been called to shine the light of Christ in this dark world.
God forbid that we ever hinder His work in our pride. Instead, should we not pray that the LORD use others mightily?
“We saw one casting out devils in thy name…Jesus said…he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9:49-50
Notice that this believer, whom Christ said “is for us,” was operating all by himself and casting out devils, without any “covering” except the Almighty’s. What does this prove? For one thing, like it or not, it clearly shows that God grants kingdom authority without men being involved in overseeing other men. Obviously this man was in obedience to the LORD, or he would not have had the authority and power in the spirit realm to cast out devils. This man, who was operating alone, was submitted to God, and when he resisted the devil, the devil had to flee (James 4:7). Submission and obedience to the LORD of glory are what count. As He would have us submit to men, He will orchestrate the matter without men having to force themselves into people’s lives using manipulation to gain positions of illegitimate authority (1 Pet. 5:1-6).
People do not need us; they need God, their very Maker and Redeemer. So, we should cease from the pride-rooted witchcraft of leveraging ourselves into the picture. Should we not concentrate on what the LORD would do in our own hearts and lives as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling? (Phil. 2:12-13).
May the LORD Jesus forgive us for every time we have been used by the enemy to hinder the flow of the Gospel of Christ.
Be it known that all opposition to the Word of God is of satanic origin (Mk. 4:15). Where will we stand?
“Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” 2 Corinthians 1:24
Paul didn’t take a position of dominion over the faith of other believers who were saved not by Paul’s but by Jesus’ grace and sinless blood. In contrast to Christ and those who truly follow Him, controllers take dominion over and place undue burdens on others. Some of the buzzwords that are often found among these predators among us include the over use of words like submit, submission, commit, and commitment. Controllers are heavy- handed about personal performance instead of balancing personal obedience and the grace of God at work in each believer through faith (1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:12-13, Col. 2:21-23; Ps. 138:8; 1 Pet. 1:5) . When personal performance is overemphasized, it frustrates the grace of God and hinders the fruit of the Holy Spirit being produced in the individual. No person has ever nor ever will be able to do the will of God outside of the work of the Holy Ghost working in him (Rom. 8:13; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 2:13).
Legalism and control stifle joy. Have you ever noticed that there is no joy among the ‘religious’? When people embrace truth it makes them free and fills their hearts with joy. Those who walk in the liberty of the LORD increase the joy of the LORD in others. They are used of the LORD to bring to others the truth that makes men free. True disciples bring the message and blessings of their Master who came to make men free (Lk. 4:18).
Godly servants help promote “joy” in those they serve who “stand…by faith” in their God.
All spiritual authority given by God is given to help, lift up, restore, and edify others, not tear people down, bind or dominate them (Matt. 11:28-30). Paul penned:
“…our authority, which the LORD hath given us for edification (building up), and not for your destruction…” 2 Corinthians 10:8
Paul says here that the divine “authority” invested in him was “for edification” and not for the “destruction” of God’s people. Just as Christ was in His earthly ministry, we are anointed by God to bless and not curse, to uplift and not put down, to loose burdens and not place them on people, to preach the day of the deliverance from the LORD (Lk. 4:18). All who truly follow Christ are burden lifters not burden placers (Matt. 11:28-30).
Love that Liberates
When the eyes of those who are caught up in this cultic environment are opened, they will seek to leave (get free). They will then be accused of being “unsubmitted, rebellious, and unaccountable.” The manipulation and control never seems to stop whether one is coming or going. The attack that is waged when one
attempts to leave the cultic environment only further proves that they were captive under a spirit of witchcraft from which they must get free.
Speaking specifically about false prophets, Peter writes:
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome (by deception and lies), of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19
When men are the source, misery is always the end product.
We must have God’s love filling our hearts yet more and more (1 Thess. 4:9-10). This is the chief purpose of the Word of God (1 Tim. 1:5). Walking in God’s love is a non-negotiable essential for all who call upon His name. Love never fills the hearts of those who submit to the control of mere men. Such an arrangement displaces our trust to men and away from God and nullifies the divine blessings.
“Faith…worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6
Also, love never fills the hearts of those who seek to control the lives of others. The fruit (evidence) of the Holy Spirit is never borne in the hearts of controllers, because He is not at work in them. They are void of His presence, since they are choosing to be in control instead of allowing the LORD to be.
Without love, we are nothing (1 Cor. 13). A lack of love in us clearly demonstrates a lack of relationship with the LORD:
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8
Love is the proof that we are abiding in the LORD:
“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
The blood-bought position and individual liberty of each believer is to be defended and preserved according to the clear teachings of the New Testament. Any teaching or leader that infringes upon the individual liberty and priesthood of the believers is to be rejected. To the Christians at Galatia and all those today, the Holy Spirit would say:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hast made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
For a deeper study of this whole subject, see the book of Galatians. Paul addresses with force, the evil deceivers, legalism, and doctrine of control that added to the true Gospel burdens and requirements, which the LORD never instituted nor intended. As Paul’s posture and assault demonstrates, no mercy is to be shown to unrepentant workers of deceit who perpetuate this evil.
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh (self-effort and works)?” Galatians 3:3
The doctrine of control is dangerous and hurtful and has brought great harm to God’s people. It is the doctrine of devils (1 Tim. 4:1-6). Surely hell is full of people who were submitted to mere men, but didn’t know the LORD personally (Matt. 7:21-23). When we knowingly add to God’s Word (requirements and duties that the LORD never gives in His Word), we are acting as the Pharisees of Christ’s day, and we will be condemned with them if we don’t repent. Or, when we overemphasize a minor truth of Scripture, elevating it to the status of an essential doctrine, we err greatly (Matt. 23:13-14). Christ lambasted the hell-bound religious hypocrites of His day saying:
“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4
We should stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and not be entangled again with any yokes of bondage of men or devils (Gal. 5:1). Jesus came to bless us by lifting burdens not adding any, and all those who truly walk with Him help others get freer and freer to serve their Savior and help others get free (Matt. 11:28-30; Lk. 4:18, Acts 10:38).
One writer of old stated:
“The real test of religion is, does it make wings to lift a man up or a dead weight to drag him down? Is a man helped by his religion or is he haunted by it? Does it carry him or does he carry it? … The Pharisees believed that to do God’s will was to observe their thousands of petty rules and regulations and nothing could be further from the kingdom of God, His basic idea, His love.”
The Lord’s Ministry
Any person or ministry that is adding burdens, such as yoking people with things God never told us in His Word, is working for the LORD’s enemy who has come to destroy souls (Jn. 10:10). This is the clear, outright, and brazen removal of foundational truths that have been in the true Church (people of God) since its very inception. This subversion of truth and authority is being perpetrated by those who have come and set themselves to be served by the ministry, instead of serving God according to His ordained pattern and plan.
In fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah (Isa. 61:1), at the onset of His earthly ministry Christ declared His mission:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the LORD.” Luke 4:18-19
Paul’s whole ministry focus was to connect people to the LORD Himself, and he purposely conducted himself in such a way as to cause them to fully trust the LORD and not Paul or any other man (1 Cor. 1,3). Witness the Apostle Paul’s mode of operation in ministry here:
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. (here’s the reason) THAT your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
“An Holy Priesthood”
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
We can’t go to church because we are the Church. Isn’t it time to be the body of Christ? No need to look for some Mr. Wonderful to come along to lead us. Wouldn’t this be idolatry and asking to be deceived? The Bible declares that Jesus Christ is our “Wonderful, Counselor …mighty God…everlasting Father …Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). “The Shepherd and Bishop of our souls” lives in us to the end and promised to be with us in accomplishing His work until His return (1 Pet. 2:25; Matt. 28:18-20).
If you have been duped into believing and induced with the associated fear of a controller, you should ask the LORD to free you to serve Him.
Abandoned to God
In order to be free from the control of men, we must first give ourselves fully to the LORD who gave Himself fully for us. We must give up our right to ourselves and release to Him the full and total control of our lives. Perhaps the place to begin would be praying as the One who died to grant us this liberty:
“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46
Whether it be a statue, icon, symbol, wooden totem pole, or a mere man, it all falls far short of the glory of the One who inhabits eternity, created all things, and holds all the oceans of the earth in the palm of His hand (Isa. 40:12; 57:15; Col. 1:15-17).
Fear that Frees
“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” Psalm 89:7
In the end, it will be those who truly fear the LORD and not mere men who will be blessed to be triumphant. Fearing men brings the noose around the neck, while fearing God brings the key that unlocks and makes free from all shackles that bind. (See Proverbs 22:4; 29:25; Matt 10:28; Isa. 2:22; Gal 1:10.) We must fear God supremely and intensely and depart from any church or ministry that is not clearly and overtly walking in His Word and Spirit (Eccl. 12:13-14).
PRAYER: LORD Jesus, free me from all bondage. Set me free to serve You supremely. Bless my life to walk in the fullness of Your liberty. Break all yokes of men and devils, which have come to hinder my walk with You. I love You, Jesus, and thank You that I now overcome by the blood of the Lamb and word of my testimony of how You have made me free. Dear LORD, I pledge my full and total allegiance to Thee. I love You, my LORD Jesus. Thank You for the victory of Your cross, blood, and resurrection. I now accept Your full salvation and all the blessings that come with it. May all curses, hexes, vexes, and schemes of Satan be broken off my life this moment in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and by Your holy, precious blood. For it is written; “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11) Amen.
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“Thank you brother. This expose’ on the Nicolaitane deception is a blockbuster. I am so happy to see someone have the knowledge of how it operates. I have researched the Nicolaitianes but I think the RUACH HA KODESH (Holy Spirit) provided you the wisdom to see how it is applicable today and especially now. Praise the LORD! I know people that attend churches right now whose intel is out there and in just about every wind of doctrine you discussed. So I sent it to them.. they have to make the choice to come out .. ” Shalom Marsha