[and thank you JD! Your special talent and craftsmanship is a blessing and comfort to many, many I know!]
At large . . . a reminder and word of warning. . . . It is mostly hidden, and the operators are deliberately stealthy and masters of disguise--but there is a broad, organized occult effort to destroy true Christian churches, fellowships, families. . . . They are everywhere now, organized into covens and cabals--of course in the big cities, but also especially strong in the rural areas and small towns. They seek out and target Christian groups and infiltrate with the purpose to sow dissention, chaos, adulteries, jealousies and all manner of diabolical spiritual fruit. If a church is having some positive effect in a community, you can be sure that the witches and warlocks will be targeting it with spells, ritual magic and direct infiltration. You might be shocked at the high levels of position some of these make it into within the church governing bodies--ie., worship leaders, teachers, deacons, elders, youth leaders etc. They know the Christian lingo and concepts and get a particularly devilish thrill speaking and acting "as a believer", all the while desecrating and mocking the same in the process.
Also, do not underestimate the power of their magic. They are sworn to secrecy, and the powers and abilities they are able to achieve would be astounding and unbelievable to someone naïve to the occult works . . . and, because they are under strict discipline and (dark) supernatural control . . . they are very careful not to reveal or ever let slip to unwelcome eyes . . . their capabilities. Their power and effectiveness lies in secretiveness, hiddenness. . . . Those who attempt to escape or "blow the whistle" on the covens' activities . . . are usually killed, injured or direly threatened quickly . . . so that their dark works can remain in the shadows where they are most effective.
Of course, the great achievement and weapon of the demonic realm in its war on mankind and especially Believers . . . is to have convinced the majority of people that this stuff is not real--that THEY are not real.
In this time of (obviously) ramped up attack on the Body, coming from all fronts, the occult side is managing to stay relatively disguised and hidden in the overt battle. But they are there, condoning, supporting, empowering . . . all of this demonic onslaught from behind the scenes. And they believe they are tasting victory at last! So much seems to be going their way--the destruction of the Christian culture, the re-writing of history, the destruction of the traditional (Biblical) family design/purpose, the dividing of the races, the sexes, the profaning of marriage, the perverting and corrupting of children and . . . on and on. So, like a wolf becoming frenzied with the taste of blood--energized with bloodlust--they will be stepping up their ongoing business of infiltrating and disrupting Christian fellowships, churches, parachurches, families etc.
One of their key ploys is to "whisper" and suggest . . . and sow discord, doubt, division amidst faithful families, between spouses and friends--to subtly malign, divide, sequester and isolate from one another those of wholesome fellowship. They are patient and will work over periods of time to separate righteous alliances, corrupt and undermine them. . . .
Not to become unduly paranoid or fearful, of course. . . . But, as the Word advises, to be "wise as the serpents" themselves, savvy to their ways, to protect and warn the flock--we should be watchful and alert and smart about what is actually going on. We should not be lazy or deluded or too comfortable in our "Christian" habits and rote practices. Very quickly, our lives and fellowships can be poisoned by the efforts of the determined, purposeful, God-hating minions of the evil one. He has his own just as our Lord has His own. And we are not to be unequally yoked or share communion with these sworn enemies.
They see most of us as fools, naïve, weak, lackluster, pathetic, easy pickin's--and for the most part they are correct. Here in the West our churches and church leaders have fallen woefully short on preparing the lambs for the depth and energy and quantity of those who relish seeing such destroyed.
I am suspicious of those who cavalierly shrug such warnings and realities away, acting as though they are so solid in their faith and beliefs that they cannot be close to touched. Many times just such people are already under the influence and control of these evil forces and persons. . . .
In Christ, we have the victory, of course. But we are to "occupy" and to expose and stand against the evil of the day, for we are His very means here . . . now . . . expected to witness and fight the forces and soldiers of darkness; otherwise what good are we to the cause, to the glorifying of His kingdom, His Person?
Beware. Be smart, be awake, alert . . . wise and gentle, fiercely loving--loving truth over lies, openness over secrecy, declaration over agenda. . . .