PRAYER CIRCLES - Small Groups : Witchcraft in CharismaniaMany take-overs of Biblical churches begins by breaking the "assembly" into small groups or prayer circles. This destroys the unity of the collective assembly and makes the members accountable to the group leaders. In time, the most popular but perhaps least Biblically qualified, charismatic leaders take over and the quiet, Biblically based leadership gives way to fun and games in the name of public worship. Prayer groups can meet to pray because they believe in massed prayer. However, others clearly believe that if you can put enough power into prayer you can appease or even threaten (in ancient paganism) God into doing something He would not do with a simple request as you might ask of your earthly father. The Baal - Elijah contest is a good example of forced prayer as an act versus the quiet request of Elijah.
We do not assign guilt by association; we just point out similarities between modern religious movements which attempt to add "punch" to the Words of Christ and ancient systems which used the same methods and even the same words:
According to our link, Promise Keepers claim that:
"The spirits are energizing the "revival" through a sense of love, joy, peace, compassion and the need for accountability" through small groups. The pronounced method of changing a group from where they want to be to where you want them to be
is to upset their equilibrium by "moving them out of their comfort zone."
People get nervous when the "traditional" church services are broken up into small groups for the explicit purposes defined by "cutting edge" methods of church growth such as to "move you out of your comfort zone." These are identical to the prayer circles and prayer partners of yesterday's "new" methods we once enjoyed, tolerated and then repudiated with the coming of age.
Therefore, when asked about prayer circles we are left with a wide-eyed stare because such groups can do some good or great harm. Therefore, we will let Ed Tarkowski, an early Catholic developer of such schemes, catalog many of these groups -- with emphasis upon Promise Keepers -- and tell you what he thinks and the dangers posed. Then make up your mind. It is important to understand that group prayer (contrary to the example and command of Jesus) has a powerful way of establishing a group mind which is important in neo-paganism. You are not likely to question your "praying partners." Almost a half century of experience with such groups more than hints that those who don't join the circle are simply outside of the circle. Those inside the circle "flock together" and true body life is destroyed. -- Some bodies are more equal than others. Because the group mind makes people more susceptible to non Biblical beliefs and practices, it is not surprising that the trained elite of the surviving circles take over churches and do things they believe have been revealed to them by God because of the prayer-created consensus.
While we are not asked to agree with any writer, the following site fills in a lot of information about some small groups which divide the church for the purpose of indoctrination and control. Click for Ed's The Circle Movement to see a catalog of modern "me too" prayer groups:
Jesus warned about "Lord, Lord" sayers or those who believe that long public prayers carry magical power. Jesus did not model such "prayer services," did not preach them and specificially assigned the closet (or cloth) big enough for one as the location of prayer. The belief in the magic of massed prayers has been called white witchcraft. Decide what you would do in the literal presence of Jesus and let your conscience be your guide because He said He would be there.
One group asks:
What is a Cell Group?
In biological terms, a cell is the smallest building block of life. In spiritual terms, a cell group is the building block of the church. It is not a new concept. At various times , cell groups have been called Bible study prayer circles, contact etc. The function of a cell group really depends on what the members make of it. Some goals of our cell groups are:
To study God's word
To build a sense of community
To provide Christian fellowship
To hold each other accountable
To support each other in our daily struggles
To learn from each other
To minister to our members beyond the Sunday gatherings
There are many forms of prayer circles or prayer groups ranging from the good to the bad to the ugly. I have found the following links leading to material which catalogs the flood of such groups since the beginning of the neo-charismatic movement.
A Study by Ed Tarkowski -- Shortened. PRAYER CIRCLES: Tools of Empowering Accountability Groups By Ed Tarkowski
The following is in the form of two letters from Ed Tarkowski to a questioner.
"Have you ever been in a circle of prayer in a Christian meeting and something bothered you about it? Your agitation in spirit is well-justified, and you should have felt bothered - it was a witches circle. We did it in the old Community days of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and after the Community fell apart, I found that this circle was where the demon of power was. We had it all: PRAYER CIRCLES, accountability, the body parts of 1 Corinthians 12, all of it, and we were called the Light of the World Community. We were eventually led into buying land for ministry buildings and group housing in which people lost so much its unbearable to think back on. But, it's all a carryover from the early "outpouring of the Spirit" in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. It looks spiritual, it sounds spiritual, it feels good and spiritual, BUT ITS DEMONIC ACTIVITY. I am not saying this through discernment alone.
"I've been through it, and in fact, helped people get out of the Community when God finally judged it, sort of like the angels leading Lot out of Sodom before God's judgment fell on it. There wasn't any visible fire and brimstone, but 500 people's lives were destroyed in part, if not totally. I myself still have $5,000 in debt from it and that was 23 years ago.
"The Prayer Circle is prevalent today, and it is one place where the spirits are energizing the "revival" through a sense of love, joy, peace, compassion and the need for accountability. Here, for instance, is a quote from the Promise Keeper's Small Group Agenda:
"Another thing we have done every week is to pray for one another; for our families; for specific needs of the men, especially in areas of personal integrity; for the church and its leaders; and for the leaders of our country. Our prayer time has been powerful. WE HAVE STOOD HOLDING HANDS IN A CIRCLE on the front porch of the host's home, praying together boldly and unashamedly" (CAPS MINE)
"Prayer Circles are everywhere, and in your meeting now, and you are in grave spiritual danger. In the manipulative PK Washington gathering, of which Catholicism had a strong voice of unity and accountability, PRAYER CIRCLES were center-circle (no pun intended) to the assembly and were used to energize the unity-consciousness of all present:
"'Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men' wasn't scheduled to start until noon. But when I arrived on the Washington Mall a little after midnight on the morning of October 4th, the first PRAYER CIRCLES had already started. Early arrivers were camped by the center stage that had been erected in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The participants huddled close together, bowing their heads forward and raising their palms in the air. As with everything else in Promise Keepers, this CIRCLE was composed entirely of men. "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," they sang in unison over and over again. "I've decided to give my life to Jesus." Dead See Scrolls Translation Psalm 41
They have overtaken me in a narrow pass (gap) without escape
........... And there is no rest for me in my trial.
They sound my censure upon a harp
........... and their murmuring and storming upon a zither." Ps.41:11
"Sound good? Absolutely? Accountability? Between families, men and denominations? Based on Jesus? Well, wait a minute on that one. Sounded Christian? Looked Christian? Absolutely, but following THE SAME CATHOLIC PATTERN from the beginning of the Ecumenical Catholic/Protestant Prayer meetings I was part of in the early days of God's outpouring of love and unity: Prayer Circles energizing spirits to bring people into the Accountability / Shepherding movement in a community situation.
"The same is very evident in the church growth movement now covering the globe, and this quote openly says they are manipulating people, no less, on a global basis:
"One way to create new units is to subdivide, but don't tell anyone what you are doing. Do not dare tell them you are dividing the class. Tell them you are subdividing into PRAYER CIRCLES, OR DISCUSSION CIRCLES, CARE OR SOMETHING INNOCUOUS LIKE THAT. I have found this to work effectively on three occasions. One was a group of young married adults that grew to around 20 or 25 average attendance. Discussion was suffering. People were slipping through the cracks. Our magnetic appeal--being a warm, close, loving fellowship--was killing us by destroying the warm, close, loving fellowship. I could have said to the group: 'OK, we are going to divide. Everyone over age twenty-seven go to this room, everyone twenty-seven or under to that room.' But this inevitably produces disastrous results."
"Yes, it sounds familiar. It's the same demonic stuff I am very familiar with. It's basically white magic, which is what is prevalent in the Catholic Church manifestations and phenomena. PK and Wimber, who was noted for calling up demons in his meetings when the Kansas City Fellowship split occurred, are tied to the Catholic movement through the Word of God Community in Ann Arbor. Wimber brought in the idea of "kinship groups" or what are now known as "house churches" or "cell groups" from David Cho, and when in those cells churches, which we had in the community called "households," the Prayer Circles were introduced to participants.
Out of these also came the tie-in of the Shepherding movement,
which brought in the accountability idea and is now evident in Promise Keepers as well. We all know James Ryle came from Wimber's organization and is McCartney's pastor, so the Prayer Circle as an energizing practice of unity among all men is self-explained.
"The Charismatic Renewal brought Prayer Circles into Protestant Pentecostalism through the ecumenical prayer meetings back in the 60s (Note: We remember it well but each generation has to go through it. Thank God that He has a Juvenile Court. ks) right after Vatican II, and it was part of the early empowering of those who were used to get this whole thing headed in the "right" direction. The Shepherding Movement was then brought in by Mumford, Simpson, Garlington, Tomczak and the likes of them, and they would come to our town to hold huge meetings at the all-girl's Academy here to instill the idea of accountability within the small groups that had started across the country.
"Now we had demon energized groups being brought into accountability while the word of God was twisted, laid down, compromised, and changed, and what took center stage was "the Testimony" of each of us of what God had done.
Leadership of whatever denomination was put down through abusive denunciation, oppression, lies and deceits,
and the new leadership was put in place which offered people "the freedom of the Spirit," while the opposite was true. It reminds me of what Charles Spurgeon, once wrote:
"[Some] will not submit themselves to the authorities which God Himself appointed. ... He says, 'Obey them which have the rule over you.' Brethren, I warn you, there is a spirit abroad which would pull down the men whom God Himself has appointed. ... We enter our solemn protest against that spirit which, under pretense of liberty to all, sets aside the instrumentality by which the Lord works. ... Where is there a single church which has existed for fifty years where God's chosen instrumentality of ministry has been despised or rejected. 'Ichabod' is written upon their walls. God rejects them because they reject God's chosen way of working" (C.H. Spurgeon).
"The churches basically no longer exist and truth is trampled in the streets because God's appointed ministers in the denominations have had their authority usurped because all they did was preach the "dull," simple gospel.
"It was all planned out by the Catholic Church, and energized by the "New Pentecost" of the Pope at the time.
"People's lives and minds and spirits were now being controlled, and that is what we have today: a Zombie like, controlled global Church who just loves one another, brought about through the tactics of spiritual manipulators and mind control agents energized by hell. Looking back at it, it is amazing after what I learned concerning verbal abuse and control .
"The same 15 points were used to control all the denominations by drawing people out of them "into the new exciting things God was doing" in order to control them. Today they are just that, and that's why many can't hear the truth when you give it to them.
"The Prayer Circle Origins: Witchcraft
"The PRAYER CIRCLE is not found in Scripture. It's origin is not from the word of God. But, from this Witch's web page of definitions, we see the primary place of the Prayer Circle:
"Q. What form does the practice of Witchcraft take? The form and context vary from group to group and between each ritual, and may run the gamut from elaborate ceremony to spontaneous ritual to simple meditation. Generally the practice is to consecrate a sacred space, the "circle" and then work magic and worship the Goddesses and Gods within it according to the forms agreed upon by that particular group of Witches."
"CIRCLE: Sacred space wherein all magick is to be worked and all ritual contained. It both holds ritual energy until the witch is ready to release it, and provides protection for the witch."
"You also need to understand the basic structure of rituals. Casting circles, calling quarters, invoking the Goddess and God, raising and directing energy, grounding and centering and closing the circle."
In many cases, the people themselves form the circle and are the circle, and they are "invoking God and/or the Goddess" when they stand to form it. But the circle is where the spirit passing himself off as the Holy Spirit manifests in bringing about the consciousness on spiritual unity .
"Here is where you can become personally involved with your healing request(s). Enter this section and follow the simple steps to linking with God and your Spirit loved ones, for healing and prayer. Truly, a remarkable experience!
"When you go to the next page, you 'll see this graphic and this explanation of the prayer circle [Begin quoting page]:
"Greetings! You have entered this page because you wish to become more personally involved in your healing prayer request, and you wish your request to be a request from the heart, not just from the pen.
"The circle above represents a circle of spirits, joined in prayer, standing around a healing light. Half are in body; half are in Spirit. They have joined hands, forming a bridge between the two worlds. Our faith tells us that once you entered this page, a link with Spirit has, indeed, been established.
"Just follow these simple instructions and know that you have joined this circle of Spirit in your healing request:
"Call on God, and invite your loved ones, in Spirit, and all those who lovingly join you in prayer at this time. Remember that you are Spirit.
"In your mind and heart, join into the circle where the hands are illuminated -- representing the bridge between those in body and those in Spirit -- and place your prayers into the central Healing Light, bringing meaning, life and action to your healing request.
"Pray for those for whom you have requested healing and comfort. Pray for your own needs as well. Feel the wholeness of yourself, as Spirit, and all that you are a part of.
"Ask God and Spirit to receive your healing prayers, as you sit for a few moments in silent meditation and prayer.
"And always remember: you are Spirit. With God's help, you can step beyond your problems. It is to your SPIRIT -- the eternal you -- that God had made this promise.
"The concept of holding hands to form the circle is "representing the bridge between those in body and those in Spirit," the connection to the spirits in the center of the circle. This is occultism to make contact with spirits not of God, leading to a sensation of oneness and love. This is a replacement of the Christian faith, that we are connected internally by the Spirit according to our walking in God's word in its proper context, and out of that comes our testimony to Jesus Christ as individuals.
"Wherever you have a group of Christians, the Holy Spirit in each should be sufficient for them to experience their oneness in Christ by the testimony to Him in our hearts. Holding hands is not necessary for that. And using an occult tool, the Prayer Circle, opens one up to demonic spirits. This isn't a perfect analogy, but it is the same as using a Quija Board in ignorance of the spirit in back of it and thinking it is just natural muscle reflex that causes the pendulum to move. It's done in ignorance, but the spirits don't really care whether you know about such things or not. If you touch Occult tools, you'll get occult manifestations.
"It's all spiritual control through a consciousness that gives the "feelings" of unity in "the Spirit," but it is just plain witchcraft. Its ritual, and its demonic, and its promise is love, joy, peace, healing of self and relationships, etc. There IS ABSOLUTELY NO PRECEDENT FOR PRAYER CIRCLES IN SCRIPTURE. But there is plenty of evidence where it came from: from spirits not of God through the Catholic Church into every aspect of Christianity today. It bothered me back in the Community days, and the Lord showed me why He checked me on it back then, but today it is obvious to me.
"How has this gotten into the Church? Scripture says:
1 Sam 15:23 FOR REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
"Rebellion is as the SIN OF witchcraft, and we know control tactics are used in witchcraft. It is the very essence of witchcraft. Control is an aspect I learned more about the past few years, it is an important piece the Lord showed me to add to all of this. The need to control another's mind or person through ritual, verbal abuse, oppression, lies and deceits is usually associated with Black Magic, but apparently it is associated with white magic as well.
"The Catholic Church does practice white magic, and though I have had experiences in the past as a Catholic until I met the Lord, it has used these tactics to lead the denominations back to itself. When you put it all together, the following scenario emerges that goes something like the following. I have tried to word it so you can apply it to the Catholic Church and the "Revival," as well as any group you might be associated with:
1. Witchcraft: A usurption of leadership
2. Witchcraft: Drawing away people into a new group with new leadership
3. Witchcraft: Tactics to control the group with perversions of the word, taking the center off of Christ and putting it onto man
4. Witchcraft: Promises of peace, healing, etc. Witchcraft and Satanism always promise you the world, which appeals to the flesh
5. Witchcraft: A system of accountability to maintain control of individual lives.
6. Witchcraft: The prayer circle to demonically energize the group and give it a sense of community and unity-consciousness
"I will close with this Scripture:
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, . .
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
End of Ed's comments
"As we can see by these verses from Ephesians, because of the spirit in back of this, every wind of doctrine is now coming in. (Note: we need to resist, not navigate the winds of change. ks) Remove Biblical leadership and add man-centered and not Christ- centered, and sin is a demon waiting at the door. Sleight of men and cunning craftiness? Yes. I think so. But we must understand who the enemy is in the proper context of Scripture, to understand men as sinners and the workings of evil through us as sinners.
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