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Hello everyone! I've waited a long time to write this blog because I wanted to make sure I wasn't seeing things simply because I wanted to see them (a common human problem) or over-exaggerating the prevalence in Christendom. Sadly, I have neither exaggerated this issue nor am I seeing things because I want to see them. I write this blog to evangelical Christians. I also believe it will be invaluable to non-Christians who are looking at various aspects of our faith to determine what is real and what is fake.
I have observed a disturbing trend as of late in the Church. I have noticed over the last two plus years or so that Christians are increasingly chasing revivals, miracles, and worst of all - conjurers. They are chasing these things more than the person and character of Jesus Christ. They are looking to the next sign, wonder, miracle, revival, healer, prophet, and yes conjurer, to inform them about their faith and what God is saying to them and doing in the earth. Wouldn't it be simpler to ask Jesus what he is doing? Wouldn't it be simpler to ask Him what He would like you to do? They seem to have replaced spiritual intimacy with their next “worship experience” (worship service) and the “showmanship” of speakers, healers, prophets, etc. Now don't misunderstand me, worship is important and it draws us closer to the Lord. However, it is not the only means Jesus gave us to commune with Him. He also gave us His Word, prayer, and the Holy Spirit in order to both talk with Him and receive from Him on a daily basis. Both prophecy and healing are also important to the Christian walk (as Jesus did these things himself), however, he did not give us nor require the “showmanship” of “healers”, “teachers”, or “prophets” to receive from Him and learn from Him. I put those particular words in quotations (healers, teachers, prophets) because not all who call themselves healers, teachers, and prophets represent the Kingdom of God. In this age, we must beware of cunning wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15).
You may be curious what I mean by the words “showmanship” and “conjurer” at this point. Showmanship, according to Webster, simply means: an entertaining, theatrical presentation or performance – meaning they come with their cross on and their fancy suit to entertain and wow you, thus distracting you from what they may truly be saying or doing. A conjurer, for the purposes of this blog, is someone who intentionally manipulates the Word of God through scripture, and perhaps counterfeit signs or miracles, to get others to do what they want them to do, to feel a certain way, or believe something in particular. Conjurers can use showmanship, but don't necessarily have to in order to get their audience to believe them and do what they want. Conjurers simply tell hurting, lonely people what they want to hear. As these types of “ministers” are usually predators, they seek out certain people. They can give “a word” (a lie) to someone that they want to manipulate for their own ends. A good example of this is a male “minister” gives a female a “word from God” or “a prophecy” about the fact that she will “marry him” or vice versa. If you don't know someone, and Jesus didn't tell you that personally, run. That “minister” is a conjurer, a charlatan, a liar, and a predator. Run fast and hard!
I have also mentioned counterfeit signs (e.g., healing) and miracles. Before I dive into the counterfeit, I want you to know that healing is very real. I have been healed from the inside out as you have read in my countless blogs and my books. It is a process and Jesus was at the center of my healing. It did not require weird prayers, prostrations, nor prayer cloths. It did not require recitations or incantations. I simply listened to His still small voice, focused on His Word, worked with a therapist, talked to Him, forgave other people and myself, and listened to the wise council of others. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me! My hope (and desire for others) is that all people find true healing from their hurt. Now to the counterfeit.
Wanting counterfeit “healings”, “signs, miracles, and wonders?” Enter the conjurer and showman (the theatrical performer) with his (or her) three piece suit, quick wit, huge cross or multiple crosses, charismatic, and/or down to earth personality. These type of people know how to talk a good game. They know how to use scripture to disguise their manipulation. In fact, they lay the Bible on thick and seem to have expertise in scripture. I can promise you the demon(s) driving them is as well versed as they need to be to manipulate and control the audience. This “preacher” or “evangelist” seems to “just know” all the right things to say – a well rehearsed script. Sounds like some of our manipulative politicians today doesn't it? Alas, I digress. The problem is without their “sign, wonder, or miracle” their performance is honestly empty and self-centered. There must be an end result or a visible, tangible thing their audience must see, in order to “believe.” I have one such example. An area church here in Oklahoma City held a revival (no, I won't name the church). Suffice it to say I was following said church, note I said “was following.” They posted on Facebook about the many miracles and move of the Spirit. Now to be fair, I don't doubt the Lord moved in their church on some level to heal and restore. He loves us and He will meet us where we are in that moment. What got my suspicions up about counterfeit spiritual activity was a photo “miracle and sign” they posted on Facebook. The photo was of a white down feather. They called this feather an “angel wing feather.” Huh. The photo caption read that the “feather came out of someone's mouth.” Huh. The feather looked disheveled and like it had been wet at some point. Yes, you read that correctly. An “angel” put an “angel wing feather” in someone's mouth and they spit it out. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been around the Church and revivals and Spirit-filled church services in general for a long time, 20 plus years to be exact. I have never seen anyone spit out an angel feather, not once. This story smells fishy and counterfeit, as in either at worst, demonic or at best, simply imagination gone wild and worked up emotion. You must remember with the counterfeit, there absolutely has to be a visual product so they can end their performance and their theatrics on a good note – hence the “angel feather.”
You may be wondering at this moment, can evil mimic the works of the Holy Spirit in healing prophecy, miracles, signs and wonders? Absolutely it can! The Bible speaks of this is in 1 John 1:1-4 NIV(parenthesis with emphasis added by me);
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God (and glorifies God), but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God (and does not glorify God). This is the spirit of the Anti-Christ, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
Let us return to our “angel feather miracle and sign” example. An angel feather popping into someone's mouth has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or His glory – not one thing. In fact, it would have everything to do with the person who posted that wanting/getting attention or worse, a counterfeit spirit being given attention and glory (intended or not). I pray this church finds their way away from and out of such things. Do you see the problem with these kinds of counterfeits? They take the glory and adoration away from the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords- the One Who heals, restores, and saves. Counterfeits place this glory on a mortal person or worse, an evil being. I cannot emphasize enough, test the spirits! Test the atmosphere of a place! If there is peace, unity, and confirmation of the Word of the Lord - Jesus is there. If there is confusion, distraction, obvious performance or attention- seeking behavior, and uneasiness – run and run fast! Jesus does not dwell there!
I want to close by calling all of us in love to chase Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith – not the conjurer, not the showman, nor miracles, nor signs, nor wonders. Jesus alone is to be glorified in our lives and in our worship. He alone is to be given our praise and thanksgiving. He alone is our healer! He alone is our miracle worker! He alone is our freedom! He is the center of the Gospel story – not the angels, not the disciples, not the saints, not the pastor, evangelist or teacher. If they don't point you to Him, take your leave and don't look back. Never settle for counterfeits!
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV); You will seek me (the Lord) and find me when you seek me with all your heart.