I Samuel 15:22-23, ““And Samuel said, “has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying
the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the
sin of divination (witchcraft in KJV), and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the
word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.””

When final judgment was pronounced by God, Saul had no idea what that meant. He must have understood that he
would perhaps someday no longer be king over Israel, but that did not seem to upset him. As was spoken earlier, the
main thing that bothered him was that he might not receive the honor of the elders and the people. Even though he
was told that he was rejected by God from being king; even though his sin was compared to that of divination
(witchcraft), Saul was apparently not disturbed about this. He was not aware of what the words rebellion, iniquity,
insubordination, idolatry, and REJECTION ultimately implied. His shallow, people-pleasing mind could not
comprehend how his actions had been viewed by God. Saul apparently did not see his actions as rebellion. He did not
seem to get the point of God’s word through Samuel. We hear no cry from his heart to “take not Thy Holy Spirit from
me.” He seems to feel no great loss. Perhaps he felt that things would go along much as they had previously. After all,
when he was told that his kingdom would not endure, nothing much really seemed to change. Saul was not aware of
the terrible chain of events that would begin to happen over the years to come, as the evil spirit came and tormented
him because of his rebellion.

Chapter 16:14 of I Samuel contains one of the most terrifying verses in the Bible: “Now the Spirit of the Lord
DEPARTED from Saul and an EVIL SPIRIT FROM THE LORD terrorized him.” We see Saul for the rest of his life
function under the double judgment of God. First, the Holy Spirit of God leaves him. Second, he is sent a demon (an
evil spirit) from Jehovah God Himself. We watch Saul, paranoid and conniving, try desperately to hold on to what he
knows he is losing. We see Saul scheme against God by trying to destroy a man whom he knows now possesses the
anointing of God that he once possessed. The last days of Saul’s life were a mocking commentary on Samuel’s
pronouncement. I Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of divination (witchcraft).” Saul’s sin was compared
to witchcraft and, at the end of his life, in a desperate attempt to obtain supernatural assistance after failing to contact
God, and with apparent total ignorance of the implications of what he was doing, he seeks and finds a medium or a
witch to help him. I Samuel 28:6-8 says, ““When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by
dreams or by Urim or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek for me a woman who is a medium that I may
go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “behold there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor.”
Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two other men with him, and they came to
the woman by night; and he said, “Conjure up for me, please, and bring up for me whom I shall name to you..”” He
named Samuel and when Samuel came, he prophesied the final defeat of Saul’s kingdom, and he prophesied the
death of his sons and Saul’s own death. All of this was fulfilled the next day when Saul commits suicide by falling on
his sword so the Philistines will not humiliate him. I Samuel 31:4 says, ““Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “draw
your sword and pierce me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and pierce me through and make sport of
me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it.””

The consequences of rebellion have been slowly unfolding for the Charismatic church of the last generation. In many
Charismatic churches most healings are now not even real. More and more we are hearing such things as, “you lost
your healing”, or “you are healed, it just hasn’t manifested yet.” Some even feel they were healed for a week or so, but
then they are as afflicted as they were before they “got healed.” They are counseled that “the symptoms have
returned but you are still healed.” There are some legitimate healings but most are now phony. Gone are the glory
days of Smith Wigglesworth and others. We are psychologically hyped into an expectation that never is fulfilled.
Healings are called out and nobody responds. Unseen cancers are declared healed, the crowd cries and praises God,
but six months later the poor misled cancer victim drops dead more confused than before he/she encountered “the
power of the spirit.”

In countless churches dozens of people ritualistically go forward to be prayed for, claim their healing amidst cheers
and shouts of “Praise the Lord”, and keep coming back, time after time, never having truly received their healing.
Preachers lie and say, “God told me you would be healed.” The poor seekers lie when they say they know God
healed them. Both lie because they believe their “confession of faith” pleases God. Abomination in the House of God!
Lies are called faith. Many Charismatic churches now emphasize an even more unproveable kind of healing: the inner
healing. Once again the same, seemingly tireless group, on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, goes forward for an inner
healing or deliverance. Always thirsty, never filled, continuously deluded, but are satisfied with experiencing the
tingling sensation of hands being laid on them as they are “slain-in-the-spirit.” This swoon however never really seems
to change anything. They always say it does, but they are seldom any different and they keep coming back. Time after
time. They claim, they testify. But there is no change. Later the pastor comments that the services were tremendous.
He says “The presence of God was so thick; you could have cut it with a knife.” Everybody cheers. Everybody “gives
glory to Jesus.” Very few of the announced 100’s are really changed by God. Perhaps some are, but only a few. Many
are too embarrassed to admit that nothing happened. Others are content to be phonies, understanding that their
pastors know they are phonies, but that they do not want them to tell the truth because it “might hurt someone’s faith.”
People are “delivered from the bondage of Satan.” Again and again. The same crowd. The same bondages. Time
after time. The same claims. The same unspoken failures. The same clenched teeth smiles, “praising God.” The same
lies. The same unspoken encouragement to lie. But nothing really changes. Unbelievers come to visit these churches
and in many cases, their greatest suspicions are confirmed: this “Christianity” is totally phony.

Several decades ago we began to see another manifestation of the deteriorating Saul Church. I Samuel 16:14 says,
“Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and AN EVIL SPIRIT FROM THE LORD terrorized him.” The
aforementioned Oral Roberts made the startling and well publicized announcement that he heard a supernatural being
tell him that he had to raise $4,000,000 in a several month period or this being (which claimed to be God) would kill
him. To any discerning individual, spiritual or not, this remark was absurd. Many felt that this was a clever way to raise
money. Others felt it was really God. But the answer is simple and very sad. This was NOT the Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit does not need the money. The voice he heard was an evil spirit. The voice really threatened him. This being
really wanted this man to raise millions, but the voice was demonic. The voice brought shame to the Real Jesus Christ
because many undiscerning people really believed this was the character of our loving Savior. They actually believed
that God would terrorize a man into pleading for millions of dollars so his life could be spared. Publicly, this gentleman
was the first gross manifestation of what has been happening in the whole Saul Church. When his television ministry
was established and began to use peace-filled, “nice” preaching and entertainment to attract people to Jesus, we
could discern the sickly sweet odor of strange flesh being offered. But when he pled for money the unmistakable
stench of the Evil One was present with the threat of death if money wasn’t given to placate this spirit. The Spirit of
God was gone, and a new, terrible spirit came to be in charge of this man’s ministry.

Evil spirits have entered other lives where the Anointing is gone, and have found a willing ear that will listen to any
new ideas that might enlarge their kingdom. They whisper doctrines of demons into these empty hearts and fill them
with their lies. I Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying
attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” The Saul Church has embraced the demonic lies of psychology
and sorcery, including: visualization, name it and claim it without any real faith, some kinds of inner healing, and the
power of self, and have been terrorized into believing that if they abandon these ungodly pursuits, they will lose their
success. Some of our churches and ministries have become the dwelling place of the demonic.

Years ago, I asked a more experienced pastor friend of mine if it was possible for a demonic spirit to heal. He told me
about a personal encounter he had with a man that he knew. This man at one time had a very successful healing
ministry but lost it after he got involved in adulterous relationships and became quite backslidden. He said that this
man had been out of the healing ministry for about ten years and had greatly desired to once again minister healing to
God’s people. One day this man was talking to my friend and asked him if he still had one arm shorter than the other.
My friend said that he did, but also mentioned that he really didn’t want his arm lengthened because then he would
have to have all his shirts and coats altered. The man insisted that my friend give glory to God and allow him to pray
that his arm would be lengthened. Under a lot of urging my friend finally submitted to the man and let him lay hands on
his arm and pray. His arm immediately began to grow out of his sleeve. But as this continued he became very
uncomfortable in his spirit and prayed under his breath “God if this is not of You, let my arm return to the length it was
before.” Immediately his arm shrunk back to its former length. I asked him what had happened and he said that the
man was so desperate to minister the miraculous gift of healing that he didn’t care where the power came from. He
said that he believed that his arm was being lengthened by a demonic power.”

Saul didn’t care where the supernatural guidance came from; he just wanted to know what was going to happen! As a
last resort he called for a medium or a witch to give him supernatural counsel. I am concerned today that many in the
Saul church similarly don’t care where the power comes from. They just want to see power.

In the 18th century during the Great Awakening in America and England, under the ministry of George Whitfield, John
Wesley and others, MANY of their hearers fell down under the power of the Holy Spirit. These people were under
tremendous conviction because of their sin against God and fell to the ground without being prompted by the speaker,
especially under the ministry of George Whitfield. Often they were dealt with by God for hours and cried out for His
mercy and forgiveness. Others would come to these people who were in great distress and prayerfully counseled
them concerning the relief that Jesus Christ could give for their sin and despair. These people preached the gospel to
those in spiritual agony and MANY became born-again and experienced real conversions that changed their lives
forever. Hundreds of preachers were born-again during these meetings and consequently ministered to tens of
thousands of people whose lives were miraculously changed in both America and England.

Many today go to Charismatic meetings so they can be prayed for, fall over and have an experience. Many do have
experiences. Some feel light headed, some tingle all over, some laugh uproariously, some feel exhilaration. Very few
experience conviction of sin, or an increased love for their Savior Jesus Christ. They just want to experience a kind of
“spiritual” high. I am concerned that they want an experience, any pleasurable experience so badly, that it might not
always be the Holy Spirit that they experience.

Another example of evil spirits at work with Charismatics that I have witnessed occurred at a home meeting that my
wife and I attended a few years ago. The leader of the group turned the meeting over to his wife who had just been to
a woman’s conference where the theme had something to do with “Taking the City for Christ Through Spiritual
Warfare and Worship.” She was excited to share with us the new teachings that she had just learned. She had been
taught the importance of using drums in worship and in warfare. She told us that for thousands of years heathen
peoples have used drums to drive away evil spirits and to contact their gods. She said that it was time for God’s
people to take advantage of this powerful spiritual weapon. We Christians in America have been far too subdued in
our warfare and needed to become deeply involved emotionally. Drums were said to be a very effective way of stirring
our emotions and allowed us to become much more involved in worship and warfare. She said loud voices, singing or
praying along with the loud rhythmic drums helped focus our minds and hearts in worship to God and warfare against
Satan. She gave us an example of this technique by rhythmically beating on a tom-tom. She cried out in a sing-song
way that was strangely reminiscent of American Indian chanting that I had seen in Western movies. Soon many in the
meeting were crying out and chanting to the beat of the tom toms and were marching around single file. As she
chanted and sang she went around the room praying for people in both English and in an unknown tongue. When she
came to me I felt very strange and uncomfortable. As she prayed, I prayed in tongues in opposition to her prayers
which I felt strongly were not of God. As I prayed, God assured me that this experience was not of Him, but was a
demonic spirit attempting to recapture the hearts and minds in a geographical area where this demon had once held
many hearts captive. My wife and I abruptly left the meeting. Several days later we contacted the couple and spoke to
them our views. At first they were reluctant to listen and the husband strongly defended his wife. After repeated
warnings the wife acknowledged that what we had said was probably true, and indicated that she would give the issue
much prayer. Church Listen! THIS IS MORE THAN JUST FLESH! This not merely the spirit of unregenerate man!
This is SATANIC! This is an EVIL SPIRIT that comes to confuse and capture the hearts of God’s people. We do not
need drums or volume to contact the Lord for His favor in battle. The scene I just related is much more representative
of the priests of Baal that battled Elijah and cut themselves and shrieked out to their god and worked themselves into
a fervor of religious “ecstasy” but were totally unsuccessful. Elijah meanwhile, dug trenches and poured water over
the sacrifice and merely called to God to show whose god was real and whose god was phony. Fifty years ago
Christians would have immediately recognized that the drum beating warfare was not of God. But our world culture,
because of its own demonic quality, has infused the same heathen spirit into parts of the Church.

The Anointing of God is gone completely now in some Saul Charismatic churches. In others, it is fading fast. I Samuel
16:14 says, “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.”

Many Charismatic churches have responded to the emotional silliness of people like we just discussed and have
decided that they will put an end to all of these machinations. In these churches, the pendulum has swung fully to the
other side. They are highly suspicious of any message in tongues or prophetic utterance. In fact, because they have
seen or heard about abuses of the gifts, they have decided that they will oversee the delivery of the gifts. They will
screen the prophecy to be delivered if it is not from someone they trust to deliver a word that would be uplifting and
positive. Typically they will weed out any negative references because they believe that prophetic utterances are
always to be encouraging and edifying in a positive way. They do not follow the scriptural injunction to listen to the
prophecy first and then to judge whether it is of God or not. Unfortunately, this position has led to a virtual stifling of
the gifts of the Spirit in both community churches and denominational charismatic churches. These same churches are
concerned about any negative utterance that might come forth. Some churches are also concerned that messages in
tongues might confuse new Christians and unbelievers and suggest that they be delivered only in small groups or
home meetings. The Scriptures, however, clearly state that “…tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to
unbelievers…” (I Cor 14:22).

Many Evangelical churches never believed in, or depended upon, the supernatural manifestation of the gifts of the
Holy Spirit through God’s people. Many have believed that God no longer gives His people supernatural gifts as are
recorded in the New Testament. But they have believed and relied upon the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and reveal
Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in a way that would forever confirm their faith and grant them supernatural power to
preach and teach the Gospel and the rest of Scripture. Many Evangelicals were touched by God in such a mighty way
that they were literally floored by His Presence. George Whitfield, Charles Finney and D. L. Moody are just three of
many evangelicals who have been mightily filled with God’s Holy Spirit and preached anointed messages of conviction
that persuaded people supernaturally. Most non-Charismatic Evangelical Saul Church leaders believe that they were
filled with the Holy Spirit when they were born-again and consequently most of them do not seek for any subsequent
empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s leaders major on learning church growth principles, having talented worship leaders and appropriate
psychological counseling techniques. Also Christian self-help books are quite popular. Often they do not view unsaved
people essentially as sinners, but they view the unsaved as hurting people who need Jesus to make them healthy and
whole. Consequently, a fervent love for God, a raging hatred of evil and lukewarmness, and a power to deeply touch
the spirits of their flock is for the most part gone.

The Anointing of God is gone completely now in some Saul Evangelical churches. In others it is fading fast. I Samuel
16:14 says, “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.”

The leaders of the Church of Saul have pursued the kingdom of God and gathered people to populate their versions
of it for decades now. They have exhausted virtually every worldly method. They are losing the Spirit very quickly -
from the head on down. Even as the anointing oil poured down over Aaron from the head to the body (Psalms 133), so
the anointing has been leaving the Saul Church from the leaders on down. Because of double-minded, half-hearted
obedience, the anointing is virtually all gone. Already we see the evil presence of Satan and his demons being
manifested in some of the leaders and people. The Christian leadership scandals that were front page news in the
1980’s and 1990’s exposed great sin and terrible problems that existed in high profile ministries that had huge
followings. Even into the 21st century we have seen unthinkable sin exposed at the national leadership level in the

In the late 1990’s we saw Charismatic churches and denominations lose millions to scam artists because of their
greedy foolish hearts. We must remember that most of the people who were scammed were men of prayer who really
believed they heard from God regarding their participation in these phony money making schemes.

God has sent an evil spirit to the Saul Church even as Saul was similarly plagued by the Lord. There is a terrible price
to pay for ministering in the flesh in the Name of Jesus. There is a terrible judgment that comes from God upon those
who lose sight of the real issue of being a Christian which is, ““Jesus answered, “The foremost (commandment) is,
STRENGTH.’ ‘The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other greater
commandment other than these”” (Mark 12:29-31). When God and His whole Word is the focus of God’s people, we
will be strong. When man’s desires and apparent needs are the issue, we will be desperately weak. The evil spirit that
now is coming upon the Saul Church IS a judgment from God Himself.

The victories that Saul gained were for the most part temporary victories. In I Samuel 31:7, “And when the men of
Israel who were on the other side of the valley with those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had
fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; then the Philistines came and lived in
them.” We see that in one battle the Philistines took back much of what Saul had fought for and won over the
previously forty years. And so today we are beginning to see the Saul Church lose much of what it has fought for and
won. Even as the victories of Saul were for the most part lost when Saul died, so the victories of the Saul Church will
prove to be, for the most part, temporary victories.

Losing the Anointing of God, losing hard fought victories, and ultimately being turned over to an evil spirit, are terrible,
but just compensation to a man or a people with an unrepentant, rebellious heart. The manifested evil of the spirit of
extortion, demonic healings, heathen worship, and falling victim to scams that rob God’s people of millions of dollars
have been present for years in the Saul Church. In the decades to come, as in the final days of Saul, God will tear it all
down and begin to build a Church that is after.
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