I remember when I was in the Word of Faith (health, wealth and prosperity cult), I was always questioning things and being reprimanded for it. Due to always doubting my God-given intuition that something was terribly wrong, I would feel crazy most of the time and try to convince myself that it was just me or my overactive imagination. Besides, I always have the tendency to give others the benefit of the doubt, even when they don’t deserve it.
In the beginning I was encouraged by two different WoF “preachers” from two different churches to let go of all I learned in college because my intellect was supposedly getting in the way of what “God” wanted to do in my life. I realize now that they were trying to get me to suspend my reasoning abilities so that their god (Satan) could deceive me. I was even told by them that the “Holy Spirit” had supposedly showed them that I had a “reasoning addiction.”
When I really became concerned about being deceived, they’d tell me I needed to trust in God’s ability to keep me, more than Satans ability to deceive. In fact, they made it sound as though a “mature” Christian could no longer be deceived and that correct doctrine was overated (big red flags). They say to follow “fathers” rather than doctrine.
At the time, it seemed biblical because they would twist Bible verses out of context. I was on a regular diet of false doctrine, not to mention the all famous “Daniels 21 day diet” that Rick Warren is so blasphemously into. I would have severe heart palpitations while on that fast. One day, I counted up to 8 palpitations per hr. I know it’s a miracle of God that I lived through all of the garbage they would feed me while I was starving to death for the truth.
I thank God for sparing me through that rebellion. I even thank Him for giving me that horrible sense that something wasn’t right, for it never completely leaving me….. for now I know it was the Holy Spirit of truth and that they were of the spirit of error.
They felt so threatened by my questions (and by the Holy Spirit who was obviously with me)that they resorted to one of the worst forms of spiritual abuse—-demonizing my discernment. “Seers” began seeing demons in me, religious demons, demons of fear, demons of reasoning, demons of perversion, witchcraft (ironic I know) and every other atrocity imaginable. And usually it was proclaimed before the entire congregation, along w/ the “excorcism.” I became their regular freak show to entertain and to be the guinea pig so they could exhibit their “spiritually elite power.”
This form of abuse resulted in me being ostracized to the point of feeling like a complete failure because the “exorcisms” never worked (of course). But who got the blame—-you guessed it—me, my lack of faith, my involvement w/ “hidden sin,” my lack of everything that they supposedly had, but I didn’t. When I’d say I didn’t know of any hidden sin in my life, I was accused of having a split personality for not remembering!! I thought I was going insane!
This was the main way that those leaders kept anyone else in those congregations from listening to me and my concerns—–they made a fool out of me, so the congregation began to shun me, pity me, not include me in outings, etc. The leaders completely discredited me to all who were in those churches. My children and me would walk in through the church doors and they’d immediately begin whispering, staring, laughing under their breath, etc. I regret I ever put my children through that. I even brought a friend with me one night, and she said—–“Lee Anne, the preacher just made fun of you in front of the whole church!” I remember being in denial. For one, I still thought I was the problem and that they could teach me something. So I actually gave into their tactics. Oh, they taught me a lot alright!!!
To make a long story shorter, one night I went up to the altar and collapsed in a literal puddle of tears, screaming out to God to help me. After breaking me down, they then began “building me up” in the Word of Faith indoctrination by telling me to constantly speak “positive confessions” and to constantly rebuke the devil, bind demons, sprinkle prayed over salt, holy water, and anointing oil, to vocally declare into the heavenlies that I had been imparted with the “breaker anointing.” I was to constantly claim my family for the kingdom of God, to name and claim everything imaginable. I had to renounce masonic rituals 3 times (even though I’ve never been a mason!), break every kind of “generational curse” imaginable, etc. etc. etc. I’m exhausted just writing about some of the legalistic bondage I fell into. wheeeeew!!!
I finally had a complete nervous breakdown, sinking into severe clinical depression, kundalini symptoms, the whole works. I had to drop out of the prayer group where I was finally told that I wasn’t spiritually strong enough to perform spiritual warfare, etc. I took a long break, didn’t even go up for prayer or let anyone lay hands on me for months. I finally got some relief…… God was bringing me out.
However, I began working at the local Pregnancy Center a few months later, where the director was in to all this. I was slowly being reeled back in. They would lay hands on me and pray, etc. and like clock work, all the sypmtoms rushed back in with a vengeance. I began to seriously look into all of it, I began to regain my reasoning “addiction,” left the Word of Faith church I was in, started throwing away Word of Faith books, burning most of them and gaining strength to stand against it at the Pregnancy Center. Of course, the director then began all the same tactics of ostasizing me and discrediting me to the staff, but I was finally wise enough by the grace of God to know what was going on and to shake the dust from my feet. It’s been a long, hard road, but God has graciously delivered me and I realize it’s so I can warn others and encourage people to reason, question, study Gods word in context, etc.
Now I’ve often wondered—-since these “preachers” are not of God, how could they get away with trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name, without being attacked like the sons of Sceva were in the New Testament??———I believe God has given me the answer——those spirits they are led by, really want to target those who truly are born again Christians because Christians cannot really be inhabited by demons, since they are inhabited by the Holy Spirit———-therefore, these false prophets are not in danger of any demons leaping upon them and attacking them!!! Makes complete sense huh?
But the sad thing is—–Christians are still capable of being deceived AND hypnotized!!
I will be posting soon on all the spiritual abuse I experienced at the Pregnancy Center and how clients are at severe risk in any Pregnancy Center in Amercia, due to the fact that most are ecumenical organizations that have made way for this type of spiritual abuse, where the most vulnerable families in society are being targeted.
13 thoughts on “Demonized Discernment”
Thanks for posting.. I can relate to most of what you’ve written, from the made up “problems” I was informed I had that prevented me from being healed (or what have ya) their way, to the excessive legalism… I was told I was a Pharisee for trying to stick to what the Word says (when I opposed what I witnessed at TACF, the day after returning from a conference – UGH), when they are the ones who will scold you for not praying loud enough, adding on more laws to their laws (one fellow even had a book of curse-breaking prayers he felt he needed to pray every day, “just in case” – but didn’t Jesus already break every curse..?), and they are seen as elite and spiritual for doing so. It’s scary how manipulative these people are, and heartbreaking how many lonely people have THAT as their only family/friends, even more so that they believe that is Christianity. Amazing how simple life and faith becomes when you leave that circus.. So simple even a child can understand.
Yes, I was told to “plead the blood of Jesus”—legalistically of course—-3 times a day! I was to the point of being afraid not to. I was so weary.—–because THAT “Jesus” was becoming a burden to me. I would have to literally fight thru mental fog, just to get my mind to focus on the vs. where Jesus says, “My burden is light, my yoke is easy” and so it went for 2-3 years.
I can truly rest in Jesus now and God has restored my ability to reason. But it was a long, hard road to recovery. I used to wake up literally feeling like something was trying to take over my mind—-I would panic and have to fight thru w/ evry ounce of strength God would give me—- reading God’s word just to overcome the dark feeling I would get. I slept w/ my Bible every night at one point.
My mind had become so passive. A few years ago I started to take the advice of Jesse-Penn Lewis in her book “War on the Saints”—-to remember Jesus prayed to the Father IN HEAVEN—-not to the “presence in the room” that I was so brainwashed into believing was God. The book helped me to remember to pray to God in heaven, rather than saying—-“Come Holy Spirit”——-or the pray to the “God within”, “power within” etc.
Now years later, I praise God that He never left me nor forsook me thru all the mess I got myself into!!! Hang in there girl and God Bless
I sympathize with you, and thank God for never having to go through that. But, I believe that more than anything, they would have tried to stop you from reading the Bible, from experiencing God for yourself. And that is what I encourage all those I teach to do. Seek out God for yourself, Know Him for yourself, do not depend on second hand narrations, live the life for yourself. And most importantly, I tell them that they must always crosscheck what they hear, even from me, and not accept it as truth until they see it for themselves in God’s word. God’s word is not open to some elite group of Christians, or super believers. It is open to any one who seeks God out with all diligence. Unfortunately, a lot of them do not listen to me. I pray an experience like yours is not what it would take to wake them
True, “they would have stopped me from reading the Bible”—-in context anyway. But as far as outright discouraging Bible study—no—-because once they brainwash people into filtering God’s word thru their lofty lens, they feel they don’t have to worry about you reading God’s word anymore.
I actually had to become brave enough to look at the writings of those they would call Pharisees—–those they always discouraged us from listening to.
I actually went to one of the pastors w/ “The Kingdom of the Cults” book by Walter Martin, because the Word of Faith movement is in there. I was told to burn it because it was putting doubts in my mind against God’s word. I would have, but it was my husbands book!!! Thank God, because I finally got brave enough to look seriously into it. I also mentioned “The Different Gospel” by D.R. McConnell—–same thing—-they told me to burn it. Once again, I couldn’t —-it was my husbands!! And I finally ended up reading it because he kept talking to me about it. I was hoping to sift it like wheat and prove him wrong. But instead, I ended up “eating crow” so to speak. I’ve had a lot of repenting to do since then—to God. I’ve also had a lot of apologizing to do toward my husband—- and my children who would even tell me they sensed something was wrong….”out of the mouth of babes!!!”
A guy that really helped me grow as a Christian was Zac Poonen. You can get his messages on cfcindia.com for free.
Excellent, God bless you much!!! I will certainly be sharing this in our facebook group. Blessings to you
I do pray this will be of some help to others. It’s taken me a while to finally be able to come out w/ this much info. It’s hard to write about it because I almost have to relive it again, but it’s worth it if it can help others to recognize the spiritual abuse and the severe damage it causes.
Thanks for the encouragement. God Bless.
godlee my friend, our experiences are quite similar. I can tell you it does get easier over time and as we continue to give ourselves over to the Lord in study and in prayer and in fellowshipping with those who are like minded, the whole thing just becomes more clearer.
I will say that I believe Christians can be overtaken by demons – yes, even possessed – when they give themselves over to these doctrines and practices. We say “true Christians” cannot, but those are the ones who stay pure and are not seduced by others. It is a praise to the Lord for bringing us out of the darkness we once called light.
Blessings and peace to you my friend. 🙂
True, the Lord is to be praised for bringing us out of the darkness, but He is also to be praised for keeping us, for He alone is able to do that. We can’t possibly keep ourselves. It’s obvious because you and I both have fallen for all this mess before and may again if God permits.
When all my boys were little, they never could keep themselves from getting filthy. I would have to constantly clean them up again —(truthfully, all my “little” men, husband included, still seem to have a high tolerance for dirt)!
But I truly don’t believe those saved and possessed by God can simultaneously be possessed by the devil.
Jesus purchased us by His blood, but obviously still allows Satan to effect our flesh because God’s word says we will still have the struggle between the flesh and spirit like Paul did in Rom. 7, so we can learn to walk in the Spirit without fulfilling the desires of the flesh Gal. 5:16.
Our flesh seems to have a high tolerance for spiritual filth—-perhaps until we get tired of God’s cleansing process which can be just as painful to us as a bath is to my spoiled rotten, waterphobic 8 year old beagle!!
All I know is I don’t want to go through that again!!
I’d like to point out that Romans 7 is not the normal Christian life, Romans 8 is. Romans 7 describes the battle we had with sin before being free from the law. Once he became a Slave to righteousness, he no longer battled with the sin of the flesh, and neither will we. As you know, Paul was a law keeper before he was a follower of Jesus. But in both, he had fear of God.
Since we are continually being cleansed by the blood of Jesus that he sprinkled on the mercy seat in Heaven, I don’t quite understand your statement that Gods cleansing of us can be painful…
Are you saying that we can reach sinless perfection this side of heaven?? Because that’s what it sounds like and that’s not biblical.
The mere fact that Jesus must constantly intercede and plead His blood for His people before the Father in heaven—-is proof enough that we still sin even after we become a mature Christian. Or else the act of Jesus’ intercession (still being performed) would not be necessary.