Former Charismatic pastor of 16 years reveals how the Charismatic movement led to a lifestyle of sin, greed, arrogance, church abuse & power, & demonic influence among many ministers & their flocksof how he saw people possessed by demons in the guise of the “Holy Spirit”, and the rampant sin of divorce and fornication in the Charismatic movement.
I was a very ardent Charismatic pastor for 16 years, so I know firsthand about the Charismatic movement. Being aware of the responsibility that falls on me in the face of eternity, I decided to carefully inspect and test the truth that I took for granted over the years. Looking at the life of our Saviour and the life of His apostles, I saw simplicity, which is in stark contrast to the life of the modern “apostles and evangelists.”
Upon studying the Acts of the Apostles and their messages, I could not find a single instance where they lived a wealthy life, or are manipulative, or committed adultery or fornication. None of them succumbed to deception, seduction or sodomy. Moreover, because they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, none of them bestowed the title “anointed one” unto themselves because this title in the New Testament belongs only to Christ (meaning “the Anointed One” in Greek)! To usurp His title is to give claim that you are a little “messiah”!
The apostles did not think to do such a thing, neither did they spend their time on idle chatter. Instead, they preached and witnessed for Christ, who is the Judge of the living and of the dead, who saves us from the wrath of God, which one can be saved only through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, living out the fruit of their salvation in living a holy and righteous life before God. That’s the way I understood about salvation when I believed.
Everything turned upside down when I encountered new teachings springing up from the West. The moment I was “baptised in the Spirit”, I began to feel my spiritual life being oppressed. Guilt-driven and in search for spiritual changes, I joined the Charismatic movement at the beginning of its birth on the open spaces of independent Ukraine. Very quickly, I learned this new “truth,” and went back to my old life of lust and worldly desires. After being “filled in the spirit” and lunging at the floor in another “anointed” event, it was hard not to sin. The “Spirit” that is called holy did not lead to holiness, and vice versa. Struggling with the flesh, I constantly had to fight, fall, get up and pretend that everything is OK. After all, the pulpits painted a merciful God who understands everything and that we’re already forgiven in advance. Such attitude made sinning very convenient.
I went to a #Bible college where occultism and divination were touted as spiritual “gifts” of the word of knowledge, of wisdom, of suggestion, of healing. “God’s power” was exposed through rock and roll, pop, rap, hard rock, dance and trance music as means of worship. Yet, they forget that worldly performers also demonstrate such “power”. “Rock & roll” was originally in reference to sex – there is no rock & roll in heaven, it’s all from hell. After graduating, preaching about miracles and healing became very easy, but to live a pure, pious and holy life – that was hard. What holiness we are talking about if in the church, “Victory” Henry Madhava (pastor) taught that oral sex is permissible within the family of Christians, or to say that if the Bible is silent on certain issues, then its allowed; Sunday Adeladja (African pastor in Ukraine) went further to teach which sexual poses to use to achieve maximum orgasm; Benny Hinn emphasized that you need to love the Holy Spirit and speak to Him or He will be grieved; Copeland says that Jesus = Wealth; the late Aydahosa said: “Whoever touches my ministry will die!”; Ledyaev promoted all the jargon and so on. It’s so secular and impure!
Over 7 years of pastoral ministry, I have observed an abundance of evidence of “miracles”, “healings” and the lack of the fruit of the Spirit in people’s lives. The commands to wear modest apparel, have a meek and quiet spirit, a wife’s obedience to husband, obedience to parents, husband’s love for his wife, meekness and humility to Christ, submission to one another in fear of Christ – are rare among the church. In Christianity, naked pagans are dressed, but in Charismania, the flesh is exposed because that is considered “beauty”, not a disgrace!
Modern churches appoints pastors on the basis of their “anointing” and their ability to say the right phrases, rather than following the instructions as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Many families of these so-called ministers are in such a mess that these ministers fall short the qualifications necessary to shepherd the church which Christ purchased with his own blood according to Scripture. Many pastors’ children adopt worldly lifestyles that are contrary to the Savior’s teachings. In Titus 1: 5-8, the qualities of a pastor/bishop are as follow: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;” People watch closely to pastors’ families and draw their own conclusions! If the minister has a distorted understanding of the Bible’s teachings, it infects like cancer to his followers.
Notice how skilfully today’s preachers recite verses from the Scriptures, placing emphasis on certain texts outside their contexts the authors originally intended. For eg. “disobedience to spiritual authority” is misinterpreted as problems in life faced by backward rebels like Korah, Absalom, etc., yet Matthew 20:25-26 says: “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;” Such twisting of God’s Word leads to the approval of totalitarian power exercised by pastors over the sheep, which is contrary to 1 Peter 5:2-3:”Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” Christ has set the example of simplicity and humility, this is nothing new. The Charismatic church is ruled by false teachers whom all must obey, in defiance of Acts 20:28.
Ministers justify their privileged “anointed” positions based on the misinterpretation of the OT. They are at the forefront, spending resources on private jets, living the high life, counting the money after the service, don’t work, live in grandiose style at the expense of the church and swayed by non-believers! They forget Acts 20:33-35: “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Religion becomes a profitable business, as in times past. Using hypnosis, the preacher convinces his listeners that they have special, unique divine positions. Divorce, remarriages, avarice etc. are rampant. The world is shown such “holy and humble” lives of these so-called shepherds of modern Christianity. Anyone who can’t see through this deception is blind! They can deceive others, but not themselves!
By the grace of God, I saw the light in the midst of such chaos. I remembered the forgotten prayer of the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:9-13) and asked God to deliver me from evil, and the evil spirit departed from me. I was slowly released from the attractions of false signs and wonders of “authority over demons”, “power to heal the sick” and financial greed.
I have seen demonic forces that catch people on their backs, shaking and making them laugh hysterically in “anointed conference services”. All these in the name of “faith” are in fact from the pit of hell. Charismania is like a spiritual drug addiction – one must feel the thirst again and the desire to satisfy it. Therefore, the people can’t properly discern what is really happening to them. I burnt all my books by B. Hinn, K. Copeland, Yonggi Cho, TS Osborne, S. Adelaja, Mr. Madhava, Serrulo M., P. Wagner, Silvoso, Bonnke, Kuhlman etc. and burnt cassettes to renounce such occult. Changes have taken place in my life without outside influence from anyone else. Truly the light of the Gospel showed me the right way.
For almost 1.5 years, I pondered about the New Testament. I realised then how I took everything to the level of feelings, despite the fact that we are called to live by faith and not by sight. The ability to think clearly and wisely analyze what is written in the Scripture was replaced with the ability to search specific revelation and allegories. Compare the occultic teachings of Mary Baker Eddie’s “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”, Science of Mind and Unity School of Christianity – the miraculous seduction of Charismania is based on these 3 pillars.
Declarations like “I am the son of God, I am the anointed of God, I, I, I, I, I, I, I … ” have so much reference to the self that it’s like saying, “I am god.” It’s not very easy to escape the Charismatic spirit. It pretends to be the Holy Spirit, convincing the person that his/her doubts can afflict or blaspheme the Holy Spirit, so the person experiences intense fear, doubt, depression and despondency. Yet 1 John 4:1 says: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” If you resisting this verse, ask yourself why. When I started to expose the works of darkness, I was attacked by the spirit of perversion. Apathy and despondency attacked me, trying to convince me of the “falsehood” of my assertions. The Charismatic spirit is not the Holy Spirit! Ask the spirit that inspires you to speak in tongues if it professes that Christ came in the flesh. Test the spirit. Don’t be afraid, God will not punish you. We should test all things!
I’m not trying to criticize the charismatics and praise others. Among them, I have many friends. Many members of the charismatic churches don’t agree with the teachings of other cults like Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witness etc. Charismatic people themselves are not dangerous but their spirit and teachings are! Just think about what is going on around you and within you. Paul said to Timothy: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Tim 4:16)”.
To those who are seeking for diverse “anointings”, there is only one true anointing from God – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11)”. To those who boast about their long prayers, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, “exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Which is more important: vain prayers or how we spend our lives? You decide!
When our Lord was seized to be executed, false witnesses were called in to “prove His guilt”: “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. (Mark 14:58)”. In fact, Jesus said: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19)”. He referred to the temple as His body. Due to the fact that they did not understand what Christ said, they ascribed to Him words that He did not speak and did not intend to do. Today, we see preachers ascribe to God what they claim He promised but never actually did. Snatching a verse out of context, and having so-called “revelations from God”, some people have stopped reading the Bible, in contrast to 1 Cor. 4:6 – “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”
We do not look for new revelation, but we need to understand the revelation written in the Bible. The prince of darkness will continue to distort the teachings of Christ and cast doubt on the true path of salvation; his deceptive methods have not changed. The world will soon reach a climax – the arrival of the Anti-Christ! Jesus said: “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. (Luke 21:8)” The media tells us about the principles, achievements, healings, miracles that supposedly come from Christ., which attracts so many people.
Let the word “revival” not be confused with the word “seduction”!
Pastor Vladimir Semenchuk I from Ukraine
We thank a reader who took the time and effort to translate the whole testimony. English has been shortened and edited by us – taken from the Russian-language site: http://www.korr.su/2014/09/blog-post_0.html