Spirits in the Church
Kenneth E Hagin
My wife and I were in a town visiting her relatives one time, and the pastor of the church there said he wanted me to preach. I was on the field in evangelism, and he kept asking me. Finally I told him I wasn't going to do it. He asked me if there were something wrong with him and his wife. I told him there wasn't. But I explained I didn't want to preach in that town unless God definitely told me to. I told him the town was full of reserved, conservative people, motivated by stingy devils and demons. I told him these demons had gotten into his church and that the people wouldn't support me if I went there. His eyes got big and his mouth fell open, and he asked me if anyone had been talking to me. I told him no one but the Lord.
Whatever kinds of spirits are in a city will get into the church, because there will be someone who will let them in. For instance, look at the Church at Corinth. Corinth was one of the most immoral cities of the East. This im- moral devil got into the church. There was a man cohabiting with his father's wife. It had to be dealt with.
First Corinthians 5:1 tells us, "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife."
Whatever spirits are predominant in a city will get into the church unless individuals and the church as a whole learn to stand against them.
This minister decided to tell me some things. He said he had taken that church without promise of any set salary. Whatever came in as tithes and offerings on Sunday morning was to be his. The Sunday night and Wednesday night offerings would go for payments on the church building and utilities.
When he first came, he didn't have enough money to get by on. But he believed God and sacrificed, and the church started growing. He had been getting about $80 a week, but he began getting around $200, which in that day was a large amount.
At this time the board had a meeting without him and decided, "That's just too much. Let's use some of this money for improvements on the building. Whatever is left over we'll give to him."
The Bible says, ".. .Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Tim. 5:18). Paul said that, and he's quoting the Old Testament, talking about the ministry. In one sense, this church was stealing the pastor's money!
I told him, "That's why I won't come." Unless God tells you to, there's no use going to a group like that. They can't be blessed too much anyway. They are motivated by evil spirits.
When Jesus was talking about going to the cross and dying, Peter took hold of Him and said, "Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. " Jesus said, "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." He wasn't calling Peter Satan, but He knew Peter unconsciously was yielding to the devil.
The board in that church didn't yield unconsciously to the devil. They had the new plan down in writing. That's just being crooked. People wonder why God isn't in some churches and isn't blessing them. He can't bless people like that. It won't work.
One time I traveled to hold a meeting in another state. When I drove up to the parsonage, the pastor said he had something he wanted to tell me. He said he was leaving that church and taking another one. He added, however, that we would go right on with the meeting, as he was supposed to be there 30 more days. He was a good pastor and his people loved him, but they were so spiritually dead. After one service I told him I wasn't going to have a revival there. I told him I was leaving.
The next day his brother came over and asked me where I was going. (I had about three free weeks.) He in- vited me to come to preach at his church, so I told him I would. When I got there he told me his church wasn't as large as his brother's and that they couldn't support me as well. His board felt $70 or $80 a week was the most they could give me. I needed about $150 to meet my budget, so they decided to take up an offering for me every night except Monday.
On Tuesday night of the second week, the Spirit of God suddenly came upon me and I ran off the platform and sat down beside a man. I looked him right in the face and told him some people were trying to steal my money. I said if it came in for me, it belonged to me. I then ran back to the platform and finished my sermon.
The pastor later told me the man I talked to had told the church board too much money had come in for me. He had suggested they keep half of it. The Holy Spirit told on him, because I noticed when I spoke to him he turned every color but white. If I had known what he had done, I wouldn't have had enough nerve to say that to him. It was a wrong spirit that he had. I believe the man was saved and had the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but I don't believe he yielded unconsciously to the devil. He knew what he was doing. These spirits are here on earth.
Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." It wasn't just the man who had to be dealt with; it was the spirit behind the man. That kind of spirit controlling the church will give the devil a right-of-way. It will hinder and grieve the Spirit of God. We must realize we don't have to listen to the devil.
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