Daniel Bodkin's mission is to turn the hearts of the sons and daughters of this generation to the Heavenly Father. 

Surviving the Bite of Python

Surviving the Bite of Python

Many in the body of Christ experienced snake bites in this last season from hidden vipers and cobras to dealing with pythons. Although these attacks are not limited to those who operate in the prophetic, they are the ones who generally experience this warfare on a greater degree than others. The reason is because the prophetic gift and the fire of God always exposes what is in the hidden places of people, ministries, atmospheres, and churches. As the fire of God is stirred up and seers come on the scene, these hidden spirits become nervous as they are afraid of being exposed for the frauds that they are. One major spirit that many in the Body of Christ have experienced, knowingly and unknowingly, is the spirit of python, which is the spirit of divination. The word divination is translated from the Greek word python in Acts 16:16. 

Witchcraft in the church is rampant, whether it be intentional demonic practice or by leaders living in rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23). Not only are there literal witches and warlocks disguised as pastors and leaders in the church, but there are witches that are coming to meetings to release demonic curses inside the ministry. They are also releasing curses from the outside in various ways. To many in the church, this may sound extreme, but when you live in a city that is full of divination, you learn really quick that your spiritual warfare strategies have to go to an entire deeper level than before.

This blog is being written to both encourage those who have been snake bitten that there is healing in the Father’s wings (Psalm 91). You can move on from the poison of the vipers, cobras, and pythons. Although you may have felt alone in this battle, you need to be reminded that there are many others who have had to battle various snakes in this last season, and the good news is that God is bringing restoration to your soul. Even though this last year has been one of the most difficult years, we must also remain grateful for the fruit that we have received. We must count this last year as a training year and learn from the experiences, both good and bad, that we have gone through.

This warfare training has increased your discernment and wisdom and has taken you into deeper dimensions of the glory of God. You have now been trained to see the signs of snakes further off than ever before and can discern witchcraft, control, and manipulation instantly because you went through it firsthand. If you are a prophetic forerunner, often times your spiritual bootcamp will be to experience these things firsthand so that God can stretch your spirit, increase your discernment, and increase himself in your life. Once you have gone through attacks, you know how to look for them in the future and can train others on the revelation that you received from your experience. Although it has been painful, praise God for this season because we are all about to bear much fruit for what we have endured! Praise God because our promotions are here!

I now want to list 8 signs of witchcraft in leaders, ministries, and churches based upon Acts 16:16-24 from my personal experience.

1. False Prophecy to Gain Money (For Personal Gain or to Build/Run a Ministry)

16:1 “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.”

This is why it is important to test the spirits and test the words (1 John 4:1) that are given whether it be from the leaders, guests, or church congregation. Not every word that comes in the name of Christ is from him. Jesus warned us of false prophets coming in his name in order to deceive the masses. Ministers, leaders, and church goers can come in the name of Jesus only, but are truly anti-Christ. They may come out from among you but are not from you (1 John 2:19).

2. Living Off of the Prophetic Words of Others

If your leader mostly uses the words of other “prophets” or leaders and never gets his/her own word, then this is a clear sign showing a lack of intimacy with the Father. Only out of intimacy with the Father will you hear his voice and feel his heartbeat. You should never run a ministry based solely on the prophetic words of others. In general, prophetic words coming from others should confirm what the Lord has already spoken to you about. There are times, however, with trusted people that you are in close relationship with that will give a word of the Lord to you in order to help you see something that you were not seeing yet at the time. This should not be what drives your life, but it is good to have this type of trusted accountability.

3. Praises and Elevation Used For Manipulation

She followed Paul and us, crying out, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.
— Acts 16:17 (NKJV)

A sign of witchcraft in a leader is when he/she compliments, encourages, or elevates you in a fake manner. They will pretend to be close to you but still keep you at a distance. They will praise you for genuine qualities, gifts, and talents that you operate in, but they do it in a "plastic" way. It is nothing but flattery in order to get you to trust them so that they can manipulate you. You may genuinely be a powerful prophetic minister or worship leader, but their compliments come with a hidden agenda. They are trying to hide their true selves behind their flattery in order to later say to you, “Look at what we did for you. Look at the opportunities we gave you.” They do this type of manipulation in an attempt to make you feel like you owe them something. True leaders, true fathers and mothers will sow into you without the expectation that you “owe” them something. Of course you should honor your true spiritual leaders, but it must come from a mutual place of love, respect, and honor. This heart position of love and sowing into one another must come from both parties. If not, then one or the other will operate out of a place of manipulation.

4. False Community: Slaves Not Family

Unfortunately, many serving in the church have become slaves to the CEO Pharoah masked as a pastor. There is a false community, a false family where leaders will say that they want to build a family, but their fruit proves that they are wanting to create bondservants for their own agenda. This is the type of relationship seen with the girl and her owners. They would have manipulated her into believing that she could trust them so that she would serve their vision. Folks, true leaders raise YOU up so that you can follow the vision God gave YOU. This is true sonship and fathership. The church is doing it wrong! Your calling is not to serve the pastor’s vision by being a slave. Your calling is to become a manifest son of God by cultivating what God has called you to cultivate.

Now, please do not misunderstand what I am saying. Yes, a pastor and a church should have a vision collectively, otherwise it will crumble. It is good to serve the overall vision of a ministry as the Lord leads you to do so. However, the main reason we are not seeing this generation impacting the world is because they are too busy being slaves to a system of man and to a leader instead of the five-fold ministers in positions of leadership help cultivating the gifts in the next generation in order to turn the world upside down! Leaders are too busy trying to create slaves to build their own empire instead of being a true father/mother and pouring into sons/daughters so that they can run further than the previous generation.

A genuine family will spend time together and do life together. They will not just meet for a Sunday service and go home like business as usual. A family will stick close to you through the hardest times of your life and through the best of times. They have no hidden agenda. All that they want is to build a true, Godly relationship with you. Both parties will pour themselves into each other and rejoice when the other is blessed.

5. Using Others For Their Gifts

A leader operating in witchcraft will use the gifts and callings of others for their own gain just like what happened to the slave girl of divination. This goes hand in hand with the false family community. Granted, the leaders could either use the true spiritual giftedness of others or actually use counterfeit gifts of others to build their own empire. This is an extreme hidden agenda of a python leader. Not only does this hidden prostitution of gifts occur from the fake community, but it also stems from their false flattery to promote you. They want to promote you in order to make a profit out of the true prophets of God! Remember, control, manipulation, and lying is the core of the python spirit. While it is great to see a leader eager to yoke up with you, especially a “well established” leader, please use caution and discernment for hidden agendas. Folks, there are many well established leaders in local cities and ones who are nationally known that are operating in witchcraft behind the scenes, and God is going to expose this beginning this year as we have recently discussed.

Many of you are sitting under witchcraft and do not know it because it is simply masked normal “church protocol.” While there surely is Biblical protocol for the church, you must test the “protocol” to make sure it is not being twisted. Sadly, there are many churches and denominations going through a system that is not Biblical protocol but do not know it.  They believe it to be Biblical protocal, but it is a system perverting Biblical principles to fit into a man-made organization. When it comes to leaders wanting to eagerly yoke up with you, do not be overly anxious, especially young leaders seeking approval. Give it time and get to know them personally. They may appear to be the nicest people you have ever met, but behind the scenes they are truly a viper just like the Pharisees Jesus confronted. Learn to look past facades and ask the Lord to show you their true agendas. Believe me, he surely will.

6. Secret Worship of Mammon

Next to pride, the worship of money is one of the major underlying keys that feeds a python spirit. The owners were using the girl to fuel their lust and worship of money. This is a hidden worship that most people will not see because, again, the leaders will “appear” to be secure in their finances. You will not see a hidden worship of mammon so quickly unless you start paying attention to some of the tale-tale signs of mammon idolatry.

Behind the scenes, their hearts have been given over to their lust for money. This lust of money fuels their entire ministry in an effort to fill their pockets. Some of these signs of mammon worship are easier to see, such as the 20 minute manipulative tithe/offering sermonttes each Sunday after the worship and before the main sermon; if the minister is always preaching on sowing into their ministry (if their ministry is that anointed they shouldn’t have to beg); and how little money they actually pay people who deserve much more. They will act like they do not have a lot of money in order to keep more for themselves. There will be bribery. Mark my words. There is almost always a form of bribery masked as “generosity” or “sowing into you” with a python leader. There will be a distorted view of desiring earthly possessions. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but what is driving your motive?

7. Accusation Comes When Exposure Comes (or Fear of Exposure)

But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.
— Acts 16:19-21 (NKJV)

This is why the spirit of python attacks the true prophets of God. They begin to see what is truly taking place behind the scenes and exposure of this spirit begins to occur. After Paul casted out the spirit of divination in the girl, her owners became furious because they were found out as a fraud and their source of fraudulent income ceased. When a leader in witchcraft begins to fear that he/she will be exposed for what they are doing, then they will begin to manifest in anger, lies, and accusation. Because of the facade that a python and viper leader puts on, no one else is going to see or believe it when they begin to manifest in these ways. 

The reason why pythons and vipers continue in leadership positions is because they will lie, manipulate, twist everything in order to wrongfully accuse the true prophets of God. They will always manifest in accusation in order to make it look like it is everyone else instead of them causing the problem. If you have a leader who is always blaming others for things being difficult in their life or ministry, then most likely it is the leaders who are causing the problems and not who they claim it to be. A spirit of accusation will always project onto others of what the leaders are actually doing. Wow, I think some of you reading this are having lightbulbs turning on in your head with some of the leaders you are actually sitting under.

8. Lies Are Spread Against the True Prophets and Apostles

The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
— Acts 16:22-24 (NKJV)

Once accusation comes directly to the true prophets of God, the lies and accusations will then be spread into that church community and to the other leaders they are connected to, and possibly within the city they are in. Again, some of you reading this are having something click in your spirit because you have witnessed leaders do this to others. Friends, if strong leaders continually come into a church/ministry and are cycled out like just another number, then that is a tale-tale sign of a python leader. Some of you are thinking back through your church’s history and are thinking about some strong prophetic leaders who would come for a season (usually about a year or so) but unexpectedly leave unannounced. Then after they leave, the python leader will then lie and accuse the true prophetic leaders of operating in witchcraft. Again, they are PROJECTING what they are operating in because that is the sign of a spirit of accusation. Does this sound familiar to some of you? If so, you need to run.

For all of you who have encountered python and vipers (which I will write on later), please know that God is going to begin exposing the truth in 2016. His hammer has and is coming down to expose the hidden agenda of leaders. This is why there will be ministries closing their doors and others just dwindling to almost nothing. God has had enough of his bride being abused by the snakes. The Judge of All Judges is now legislating on your behalf because he will not sit by anymore and watch his prophets be silenced and maligned by pythons. Come on prophets, it is time for the fire revivalists of the Lord to rise up! Dust yourselves off, pick up your weapons, and release the sound of Mount Zion in the earth! It’s time to shake things up and to see the systems of Baal and man come crashing down in this hour! Come on remnant, it’s time to rise!

-Daniel Bodkin

© 2016 All Rights Reserved by Daniel Bodkin

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