A Study by Ed Tarkowski-- We add some of our own thoughts.
The following is in the form of two letters from Ed to a questioner. Sue Webb passed them on to us from Ed's E-Mail newsletter.
Have you ever been in a circle of prayer in a Christian meeting and something bothered you about it? Your agitation in spirit is well-justified, and you should have felt bothered - it was a witches circle. We did it in the old Community days of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and after the Community fell apart, I found that this circle was where the demon of power was. We had it all: PRAYER CIRCLES, accountability, the body parts of 1 Corinthians 12, all of it, and we were called the Light of the World Community. We were eventually led into buying land for ministry buildings and group housing in which people lost so much its unbearable to thing back on. But, it's all a carryover from the early "outpouring of the Spirit" in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. It looks spiritual, it sounds spiritual, it feels good and spiritual, BUT ITS DEMONIC ACTIVITY. I am not saying this through discernment alone.
I've been through it, and in fact, helped people get out of the Community when God finally judged it, sort of like the angels leading Lot out of Sodom before God's judgment fell on it. There wasn't any visible fire and brimstone, but 500 people's lives were destroyed in part, if not totally. I myself still have $5,000 in debt from it and that was 23 years ago.
The Prayer Circle is prevalent today, and it is one place where the spirits are energizing the "revival" through a sense of love, joy, peace, compassion and the need for accountability. Here, for instance, is a quote from the Promise Keeper's Small Group Agenda:
"Another thing we have done every week is to pray for one another; for our families; for specific needs of the men, especially in areas of personal integrity; for the church and its leaders; and for the leaders of our country. Our prayer time has been powerful. WE HAVE STOOD HOLDING HANDS IN A CIRCLE on the front porch of the host's home, praying together boldly and unashamedly" (CAPS MINE). http://www.small groups.com/promises.htm
Prayer Circles are everywhere, and in your meeting now, and you are in grave spiritual danger. In the manipulative PK blip gathering, of which Catholicism had a strong voice of unity and accountability, PRAYER CIRCLES were center-circle (no pun intended) to the assembly and were used to energize the unity-consciousness of all present:
"'Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men' wasn't scheduled to start until noon. But when I arrived on the blip Mall a little after midnight on the morning of October 4th, the first PRAYER CIRCLES had already started. Early arrivers were camped by the center stage that had been erected in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The participants huddled close together, bowing their heads forpiano coversd and raising their palms in the air. As with everything else in Promise Keepers, this CIRCLE was composed entirely of men. "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," they sang in unison over and over again. "I've decided to give my life to Jesus."
Sound good? Absolutely? Accountability? Between families, men and denominations? Based on Jesus? Well, wait a minute on that one. Sounded Christian? Looked Christian? Absolutely, but following THE SAME CATHOLIC PATTERN from the beginning of the Ecumenical Catholic/Protestant Prayer meetings I was part of in the early days of God's outpouring of love and unity: Prayer Circles energizing spirits to bring people into the Accountability/Shepherding movement in a community situation.
The same is very evident in the church growth movement now covering the globe, and this quote openly says they are manipulating people, no less, on a global basis:
"One way to create new units is to subdivide, but don't tell anyone what you are doing. Do not dare tell them you are dividing the class. Tell them you are subdividing into PRAYER CIRCLES, OR DISCUSSION CIRCLES, CARE GROUPS, OR SOMETHING INNOCUOUS LIKE THAT. I have found this to work effectively on three occasions. One was a group of young married adults that grew to around 20 or 25 average attendance. Discussion was suffering. People were slipping through the cracks. Our magnetic appeal--being a piano coversm, close, loving fellowship--was killing us by destroying the piano coversm, close, loving fellowship. I could have said to the group: 'OK, we are going to divide. Everyone over age twenty-seven go to this room, everyone twenty-seven or under to that room.' But this inevitably produces disastrous results."
Yes, it sounds familiar. It's the same demonic stuff I am very familiar with. It's basically white magic, which is what is prevalent in the Catholic Church manifestations and phenomena. PK and Wimber, who was noted for calling up demons in his meetings when the Kansas City Fellowship split occurred, are tied to the Catholic movement through the Word of God Community in Ann Arbor. Wimber brought in the idea of "kinship groups" or what are now known as "house churches" or "cell groups" from David Cho, and when in those cells churches, which we had in the community called "households," the Prayer Circles were introduced to participants. Out of these also came the tie-in of the Shepherding movement, which brought in the accountability idea and is now evident in Promise Keepers as well. We all know James Ryle came from Wimber's organization and is McCartney's pastor, so the Prayer Circle as an energizing practice of unity among all men is self-explained.
The Charismatic Renewal brought Prayer Circles into Protestant Pentecostalism through the ecumenical prayer meetings back in the 60s right after Vatican II, and it was part of the early empowering of those who were used to get this whole thing headed in the "right" direction. The Shepherding Movement was then brought in by Mumford, Simpson, Garlington, Tomczak and the likes of them, and they would come to our town to hold huge meetings at the all-girl's Academy here to instill the idea of accountability within the small groups that had started across the country.
Now we had demon energized groups being brought into accountability while the word of God was twisted, laid down, compromised, and changed, and what took center stage was "the Testimony" of each of us of what God had done. Leadership of whatever denomination was put down through abusive denunciation, oppression, lies and deceits, and the new leadership was put in place which offered people had "the freedom of the Spirit," while the opposite was true. It reminds me of what Charles Spurgeon, once wrote:
"The outcry against a 'one man ministry' cometh not of God, but of proud self-deceit. [Some] will not submit themselves to the authorities which God Himself appointed. ... He says, 'Obey them which have the rule over you.' Brethren, I piano coversn you, there is a spirit abroad which would pull down the men whom God Himself has appointed. ... We enter our solemn protest against that spirit which, under pretense of liberty to all, sets aside the instrumentality by which the Lord works. ... Where is there a single church which has existed for fifty years where God's chosen instrumentality of ministry has been despised or rejected. 'Ichabod' is written upon their walls. God rejects them because they reject God's chosen way of working" (C.H. Spurgeon).
The churches basically no longer exist and truth is trampled in the streets because God's appointed ministers in the denominations have had their authority usurped because all they did was preach the "dull," simple gospel. It was all planned out by the Catholic Church, and energized by the "New Pentecost" of the Pope at the time. People's lives and minds and spirits were now being controlled, and that is what we have today: a Zombie like, controlled global Church who just loves one another, brought about through the tactics of spiritual manipulators and mind control agents energized by hell. Looking back at it, it is amazing after what I learned concerning verbal abuse and control.
The same 15 points were used to control all the denominations by drawing people out of them "into the new exciting things God was doing" in order to control them. Today they are just that, and that's why many can't hear the truth when you give it to them.
The Prayer Circle Origins: Witchcraft
The PRAYER CIRCLE is not found in Scripture. It's origin is not from the word of God. But, from this Witch's web page of definitions, we see the primary place of the Prayer Circle:
"Q. What form does the practice of Witchcraft take? The form and context vary from group to group and between each ritual, and may run the gamut from elaborate ceremony to spontaneous ritual to simple meditation. Generally the practice is to consecrate a sacred space, the "circle" and then work magic and worship the Goddesses and Gods within it according to the forms agreed upon by that particular group of Witches."
"CIRCLE: Sacred space wherein all magick is to be worked and all ritual contained. It both holds ritual energy until the witch is ready to release it, and provides protection for the witch."
"You also need to understand the basic structure of rituals. Casting circles, calling quarters, invoking the Goddess and God, raising and directing energy, grounding and centering and closing the circle."
In many cases, the people themselves form the circle and are the circle, and they are "invoking God and/or the Goddess" when they stand to form it. But the circle is where the spirit passing himself off as the Holy Spirit manifests in bringing about the consciousness on spiritual unity. Here is a paragraph from the Prayer Circle Link of the "The First Spiritual Temple" web site (http://www.fst.org/healsite.htm). In the Prayer Circle Link section it introduces you to the next page (PLEASE BE SURE TO LOOK AT THIS GRAPHIC. IT IS A PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF WHAT THE PRAYER CIRCLE REALLY IS):
"Here is where you can become personally involved with your healing request(s). Enter this section and follow the simple steps to linking with God and your Spirit loved ones, for healing and prayer. Truly, a remarkable experience!
"When you go to the next page (http://www.fst.org/healcir.htm), you 'll see this graphic and this explanation of the prayer circle [Begin quoting page]:
"Greetings! You have entered this page because you wish to become more personally involved in your healing prayer request, and you wish your request to be a request from the heart, not just from the pen.
"The circle above represents a circle of spirits, joined in prayer, standing around a healing light. Half are in body; half are in Spirit. They have joined hands, forming a bridge between the two worlds. Our faith tells us that once you entered this page, a link with Spirit has, indeed, been established.
"Just follow these simple instructions and know that you have joined this circle of Spirit in your healing request:
"Call on God, and invite your loved ones, in Spirit, and all those who lovingly join you in prayer at this time. Remember that you are Spirit.
"In your mind and heart, join into the circle where the hands are illuminated -- representing the bridge between those in body and those in Spirit -- and place your prayers into the central Healing Light, bringing meaning, life and action to your healing request.
"Pray for those for whom you have requested healing and comfort. Pray for your own needs as well. Feel the wholeness of yourself, as Spirit, and all that you are a part of.
"Ask God and Spirit to receive your healing prayers, as you sit for a few moments in silent meditation and prayer.
"Now, look at other parts of this site for links that may help you in your needs and in your quest.
"And always remember: you are Spirit. With God's help, you can step beyond your problems. It is to your SPIRIT -- the eternal you -- that God had made this promise.
The concept of holding hands to form the circle is "representing the bridge between those in body and those in Spirit," the connection to the spirits in the center of the circle. This is occultism to make contact with spirits not of God, leading to a sensation of oneness and love. This is a replacement of the Christian faith, that we are connected internally by the Spirit according to our walking in God's word in its proper context, and out of that comes our testimony to Jesus Christ as individuals.
Wherever you have a group of Christians, the Holy Spirit in each should be sufficient for them to experience their oneness in Christ by the testimony to Him in our hearts. Holding hands is not necessary for that. And using an occult tool, the Prayer Circle, opens one up to demonic spirits. This isn't a perfect analogy, but it is the same as using a Quija Board in ignorance of the spirit in back of it and thinking it is just natural muscle reflex that causes the pendulum to move. It's done in ignorance, but the spirits don't really care whether you know about such things or not. If you touch Occult tools, you'll get occult manifestations.
It's all spiritual control through a consciousness that gives the "feelings" of unity in "the Spirit," but it is just plain witchcraft. Its ritual, and its demonic, and its promise is love, joy, peace, healing of self and relationships, etc. There IS ABSOLUTELY NO PRECEDENT FOR PRAYER CIRCLES IN SCRIPTURE. But there is plenty of evidence where it came from: from spirits not of God through the Catholic Church into every aspect of Christianity today. It bothered me back in the Community days, and the Lord showed me why He checked me on it back then, but today it is obvious to me.
I did a search on the web and there are a lot of witchcraft/New Age sites saying that you can email your prayer needs to their "Prayer Circle." The wonder of it all is that the Christian sites say the SAME THING! If you do a search on the Internet, it will become obvious to you something is wrong, for occultist or "Christian," the basic premise of the Prayer Circle is the same.
I found a very interesting connection that points to what prayer Circles really are and where the Catholic Church was "inspired" to use them. A New Age/Witchcraft/Goddess page titled, "SACRED FIRE PRAYER CIRCLE," had a picture on it of a goddess/witch. What was interesting was this picture of Catholicism's "Mother of God" on the SAME PAGE (http://www.wiseoracle.com/wolfelder/sacredfire.html). I have shared in the past that it is through Mary's "fiery heart" united to her "Son's" fiery heart that unity will be brought about in the year 2000. This, says the current Pope, will be her triumph. On this page, she is tied to witchcraft by the witches themselves, for no wonder, "Mary" adherents use Prayer Circles as well, as this quote from a Marian page shows:
"Followers and servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
"All members are consecrated to Mary with the de Montfort consecration. The center offers a contemplative and intercessory prayer formation program. It promotes a National Intercessory Prayer Network, and sponsors the weekly Our Lady Queen of Peace Prayer Service, days of intercession, all night vigils, weekends of Renewal in the Holy Spirit, intercessory prayer leadership weekends, spiritual piano coversfare leadership seminars, an annual National Conference on Intercessory Prayer, parish missions, and establishes intercessory PRAYER CIRCLES FOR PARISHES, HOMES, OFFICES" (CAPS mine).
Read this list again of what this Marian organization offers, including the Prayer Circles of Witchcraft's origin. It IS all the things the "revival" is doing - to a "T." It all sounds spiritual, and it is, but it is energized by demons not of God. When I think of the Prayer Circles formed at the "Catch the Fire" and "Fire & Reign" conference in the Revival and the "birthing" manifestations within those circles, it scares me that someone would allow this into Christian meetings along with Pk's accountability sessions. It usually ends up wanting to be a community. It's the Catholic agenda I experienced 23 years ago
A Closing Word
How has this gotten into the Church? Scripture says:
1 Sam 15:23 FOR REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Rebellion is as the SIN OF witchcraft, and we know control tactics are used in witchcraft. It is the very essence of witchcraft. Control is an aspect I learned more about the past few years, it is an important piece the Lord showed me to add to all of this. The need to control another's mind or person through ritual, verbal abuse, oppression, lies and deceits is usually associated with piano Magic, but apparently it is associated with white magic as well.
The Catholic Church does practice white magic, and though I have had experiences in the past as a Catholic until I met the Lord, it has used these tactics to lead the denominations back to itself. When you put it all together, the following scenario emerges that goes something like the following. I have tried to word it so you can apply it to the Catholic Church and the "Revival," as well as any group you might be associated with:
1. Witchcraft: A usurption of leadership
2. Witchcraft: Drawing away people into a new group with new leadership
3. Witchcraft: Tactics to control the group with perversions of the word, taking the center off of Christ and putting it onto man
4. Witchcraft: Promises of peace, healing, etc. Witchcraft and Satanism always promise you the world, which appeals to the flesh
5. Witchcraft: A system of accountability to maintain control of individual lives.
6. Witchcraft: The prayer circle to demonically energize the group and give it a sense of community and unity-consciousness
I will close with this Scripture:
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, . .
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
As we can see by these verses from Ephesians, because of the spirit in back of this, every wind of doctrine is now coming in. Remove Biblical leadership that is man-centered and not Christ- center, and sin is a demon waiting at the door. Sleight of men and cunning craftiness? Yes. I think so. But we must understand who the enemy is in the proper context of Scripture, to understand men as sinners and the workings of evil through us as sinners. What can we do? Using the above six points as a starting, I would suggest the following:
1.Christianity: recognize that men have been placed in authority by God for the protection of the body of Christ, such as leaders in the denominations who were Bible preaching pastors centered on Christ
2. Christianity: recognize that when Christ-centered leaders are manipulated out of their position established by God, new ideas that are man-centered will most be implemented, such as the new Age philosophies of accountability and community
3. Christianity: recognize that tactics to control the group will soon follow through perversions of the word, taking the center off of Christ and putting it onto man
4. Christianity: recognize that promises of peace, healing, etc. promise you the world, which appeals to the flesh, knowing that Christ is our peace and healing and promises all of these things when He returns, having peace within in the midst of a world that is escalating topiano coversd tribulation
5. Christianity: recognize that accountability practices, much like the Catholic system of confession and Promise Keepers, robs one of their individuality in the body and the freedom before Christ to be accountable to Him alone
6. Christianity: the prayer circle has its foundation in witchcraft and not in Christ, and that it is the door of power into the realm of spirits not of God
NOTE TO STEVE VAN NATTAN FROM SUE WEBB ON THE FOLLOWING SECOND MESSAGE POSTED BY ED TARKOWSKI:
ED POSTED THE FOLLOWING TO FURTHER DOCUMENT HIS POSITION AFTER MANY MESSAGES HAD BEEN POSTED TO HIS LIST ABOUT PRAYER CIRCLES:
PCs59: CAUTION: Witchcraft described - "Revival" or Witchcraft? (fr. Ed to Larry)
You mentioned whether in speaking about prayer circles I meant just holding hands in a circle or innocently sitting in chairs. One must consider intent when either of these is done, as you will see below, but the prayer circle is an occult tool and if used will eventually, most probably lead to fellowship with spirits not of God because it was designed for spirit contact. I still hold to that, and the following makes me really wonder how blind we have been about this whole revival business.
Revival, if we have to speak of such a thing, is individual out of a personal relationship with the living God through prayer and seeking Him through His word in reliance on His Holy Spirit within us.
To start with, I found this interesting little tidbit in doing research the other day. This is nothing but sheer witchcraft:
CHALK CIRCLE USED IN WELSH REVIVAL
WELSH REVIVAL: "Answering the question, 'how do you have a revival?' Gipsy Smith, a man used by God during the Welsh Revival at the beginning of this century, replied, 'Kneel down and with a piece of chalk draw a complete circle all around you - and pray to God to send revival on everything inside the circle. Stay there until he answers, and you will have revival!'" (http://user.orbit.net.mt/yosgra/teach1.htm, Malta Catholic Charismatic Renewal Teaching Material: PRAYER - THE Ftuning leverT TASK OF THE LEADER by Nikol Baldacchino, Chair. of the Nat'l Service Comm. of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Malta).
Notice in the following definition of a magic circle the same use of chalk to make "something spiritual . . . take place":
"Magic Circle - 1. an imaginary circle drawn with a pointed finger or a real circle made with substance(e.g., string, rock-salt, chalk) around the person, persons, or objects that desire protection; performed with or without ritual or ceremony; belief: NO evil forces can penetrate the circle line; 2. mandala-mudra combination used around an area where something spiritual is to take place; builds energy and isolates the activity in the center of the circle so the individual or group can more easily control the energy generated, e.g., Sufi twirling; . . ."(Donning).
The "something spiritual" that takes place is a change in consciousness, as will be evidenced in the quote below on the revival where people suddenly are "taken out in the spirit" and a sense of unity prevails through which power is released in four directions:
"Where does the power come from? Gross is firm about the fact that it does exist. 'The feminist spirituality movement, more than mainstream religions, understands both that ritual works, and how it works.' And how does Gross think it works? 'By changing the consciousness of its performer [the Wiccan ritualist]'" (Mission: America - Spring 1997, JUNK THEOLOGY: How Goddesses and Witchcraft Are Invading The Church by Linda P. Harvey," <excerpt>, http://www.atgi.com/missiona/past/junk.html).
If anything, those in the "revival" have found that ritual works, such as gathering in circles where people are slain to circling cities by marching around them to stand holding hands. This appears to be true in witchcraft even with people sitting in a circle:
"Psychic Development Circle - (current: mental mediumship circle) a chosen group of people who meet regularly once a week to develop themselves in MENTAL MEDIUMSHIP skills under the guidance of a trained MEDIUM; they sit in chairs in a circle; . . . the circle holds good vibrations and closes out all negative vibrations; persons must be compatible; each one develops his own mental mediumship. . . ."(Donning).
Though the terminology is different, Larry, the above quote describes the expectations of people in small groups. Such events are usually followed with statements such as, "The presence of the Lord was so sweet" or strong or peaceful. This is the place where the devil is supposedly bound and God is present and you can really hear in the voices of the people the sense of power and authoritarianism while in these circles. Accompanying it all is this overall sense of unity, the main spiritual purpose of these circles, bringing about a corporate change of consciousness:
"Others work with the four compass points plus a central point representing unity" (http://www.circlesanctuary.org/aboutpagan/Sacreblipircle.html, Sacred Circle, Sacred Sphere: Mapping Consciousness with Seven Directions by Selena Fox).
"I am Pagan. I know that Divinity has many facets and I experience this through a variety of Goddesses, Gods, and other spiritual forms. I also honor Divine Oneness, the Unity of All." (http://pilot.msu.edu/user/rohdemar/earth/IAmPagan.html, I Am Pagan, by Selena Fox).
"I am Pagan. I attune myself to the four elements of Nature-- Earth, Air, Fire, Water-- and to the fifth element, Spirit, which is the spiritual force that connects all. . . . the Spirit as Divine Unity" (Ibid.)
What makes the theme of Unity very interesting is that Charles Filmore's Unity School of Christianity (offshoot of New Thought) had as the very foundation of his movement a prayer circle called "Silent Unity":
"'We, Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore, husband and wife, hereby dedicate ourselves, our time, our money, all we have and expect to have, to the Spirit of Truth, and through it, to the society of Silent Unity. It being understood and agreed that said Spirit of Truth shall render unto us an equivalent for this dedication, in peace of mind, health of body, wisdom, understanding, love, life, and an abundant supply of all things necessary to meet every want, without making any of these things the object of our existence.'
"The basis of the movement was Silent Unity, a 24 hour a day prayer circle available to all. The educational basis came later in the form of a series of "Lessons in Truth" by Dr. Emily Cady. These lessons became the first Unity textbook. There is some difference between what Fillmore himself believed and what Unity asserts today. He was a product of his times. . . . (Angel Wisdom Publications, "Science of Mind, New Thought, Unity And The New Age Movement," http://www.new-thought.org/suggest.html).
These are very interesting quotes since I know a woman who discerned this very spirit of "Unity" and called it exactly that, and she knew absolutely nothing about prayer circles or their main goal: unity. What is the main drive of the current "revival"? UNITY, and as I said before, the prayer circle breeds a change of consciousness where people come away "feeling" oneness. Real oneness in the Spirit of God is the Spirit and testimony in our hearts that honor and glorify Christ in the likemindedness of the gospel of salvation. Prayer circles do not bring about this sense of true unity of the Spirit.
But what I want to mention are similarities between Brownsville and casting a circles in witchcraft. There are similarities in language and practice, but are practices not found in Scripture. Here are a few examples of sending out power, prayer or energy to the four directions, often accompanied by a release of power within the circle where the built-up "power is 'sent' to a destination":
"In Feminism and Religion, Rita Gross explains how it is more possible to openly practice witchcraft in the twentieth century than in previous times (Feminism & Religion, Rita M. Gross, Beacon Press, Boston, 1996, p. 211). She also outlines a little bit about how it is done. A small group, working in a circle, draws power together, which is called raising energy. Chanting, drumming and dancing can be part of the event. Then when the energy is high enough, the power is 'sent' to a destination. While Gross doesn't say it, obviously this can be used for 'good' (as perceived by the group) or evil" (Harvey).
"I also do rituals elsewhere on the land and at other places, outdoors and indoors. My worship and rituals can be anywhere since my sacred circle is portable. Wherever I am, I can set up a circle around a sacred sphere with seven invocations: to the four compass point directions, to the Cosmos above, to the Planet below, and to Spiritual Integration in the center" (I Am Pagan, Fox).
"The Sacred Circle with its directions is called by some, the "Magic Circle," and by others, the "Medicine Wheel." Some traditions emphasize the four compass directions of the Circle. Others work with the four compass points plus a central point representing unity. Some also include two additional directions in the center, up and down, to create a Sacred Sphere as well as the Sacred Circle. Qualities, images, colors, and other symbolic associations with the directions vary from path to path, but the idea of Sacred Circle as a place of balancing, healing, and wholeness extends across traditions" (Sphere, Fox).
"As we prayed for the captives to be set free from the south, west, north and east, Rev. Dick Reuben sounded the shofar as the prayer banners (Spiritual piano coversfare and Souls) were moved to face these 4 directions in the sanctuary. Members of the Intercessory Team came up and led in prayer as the banners were positioned in the four directions and as Dick Reuben sounded the shofar. Attendees again swept the sanctuary of any hindering spirits that would attempt to rise up against the upcoming revival services for the week." [http://www.brownsville-revival.org/c_news_old3.html]
"We get focused on what we are here for in the initial 20 minutes or so. Next we begin to walk through the entire building praying in the Spirit building our faith and just loving on Jesus. After that we join hands with others (2's and 3's) and we sweep the building with prayers, asking God to clean up anything left behind last week as thoBlipnds were set free at the altars and we ask him to save the lost and bring home backsliders this coming week. We ask him to heal the sick. We pray over every pew, asking that distractions be held down and that the wooing of the Holy Spirit will be felt even in the back row of the balcony and in overflow.
When we have done that a while we split up and gather around the topic banners and pray for what is on our hearts. Some banners represent, family, healing, pastors, piano coversfare, revival, schools, country, children, etc. Around the banners tonight I was gripped with a wave of love for the people praying around them. It is hard to open your our eyes and look at them. My knees would buckle as I stood near some Japanese men. . . .
We took the Souls Banner, the piano coversfare Banner and REVIVAL Banner to the east side of the room and prayed for the Holy Spirit to bring in souls this week from there. We prayed over each the North, South , East and West. Then we turned our eyes to the ceiling and asked God for Open heavens over Brownsville this week before leaving. . . ." (GLOBAL REVIVAL NEWS (excerpt), November 5, 1997, "Pensacola: Preparing For The Meetings" by Cathy Wood, http://listserver.charis.net/archives/global-newswire/38).
An odd term to do with the spiritual life? Not in witchcraft, but why in Christianity? Are there similarities here? Isn't prayer TO GOD, not to "sweep" away evil spirits and "anything" left behind from the past meeting? Doesn't there seem like something wrong with that?
"The Call to Worship is an essential part of worship in many religions all over the world. In Judaism the shofar is blown, in Protestant and Catholic churches the church bells are rung. In Pagan rituals we also begin with some type of Call to Worship, some way to let everyone know that ritual is about to begin. Some traditions sing a song, some read from their Book of Shadows.
This is a way to focus everyone's attention on ritual and all that it entails. In doing ritual we are connecting with everyone who has ever done ritual before. Every ritual action connects us with every time that ritual action has been performed. "Sweeping the circle is a way to clear unwanted emotional baggage, "vibes" and to prepare the circle space for casting. The handmaiden literally sweeps the ritual area with a broom, often called a besom. "Ritual space is defined by walls in churches, by casting a circle in Pagan rituals. Circles are cast using the sword, the athame, or in some traditions, the wand. Usually the Priestess casts the circle. Holding her tool, the Priestess walks about the ritual space, defining the sacred area with that tool. [End of quote - http://www.bwis.com/~dklein/ritual.htm, Elements of Pagan Ritual by Daphne].
"As we prayed for the captives to be set free from the south, west, north and east, Rev. Dick Reuben sounded the shofar as the prayer banners (Spiritual piano coversfare and Souls) were moved to face these 4 directions in the sanctuary. Members of the Intercessory Team came up and led in prayer as the banners were positioned in the four directions and as Dick Reuben sounded the shofar. Attendees again swept the sanctuary of any hindering spirits that would attempt to rise up against the upcoming revival services for the week." [Brownsville Revival, (1 April - 13 April 97), http://www.brownsville-revival.org/c_news_old3.html]
"We get focused on what we are here for in the initial 20 minutes or so. Next we begin to walk through the entire building praying in the Spirit building our faith and just loving on Jesus. After that we join hands with others (2's and 3's) and we sweep the building with prayers, asking God to clean up anything left behind last week as thoBlipnds were set free at the altars and we ask him to save the lost and bring home backsliders this coming week. We ask him to heal the sick. We pray over every pew, asking that distractions be held down and that the wooing of the Holy Spirit will be felt even in the back row of the balcony and in overflow. When we have done that a while we split up and gather around the topic banners and pray for what is on our hearts."
Why these great similarities? And why around the circle or prayer circle? Is a circle always needed? Not according to this statement above:
"Ritual space is defined by walls in churches, by casting a circle in Pagan rituals."
I have found that use of the circle in witchcraft is pretty varied, even to the point of just casting it in one's imagination. That appears to be so and must be considered in what has been described in the revival - though not exact, very similar. It must also be considered that none of this is in Scripture. It at least deserves a grave caution. Al Dager, in his book "Vengeance Is Ours," tried to piano coversn us of what was coming:
"Linda Bonville, a 'prophetic voice' loosely associated with Kansas City fellowship. . . . suggests that by employing certain methods of concentration we can affect the lives of others:
"'When you're doing spiritual piano coversfare on your knees, by His Spirit, you've got to send the Name, and the Spirit and the Word together.
"You direct it like an arrow. When you're doing spiritual piano coversfare or you're praying for somebody, you need to send the name of Jesus, you need to send His seed, which is the Word, you need it to go by His Spirit and do the work, and you need to shoot it like an arrow. That's why you pray for people by name. Because as you are praying the Word, and you are sending it directly to a particular person, it will go right into the soul of the person you're praying for. If you direct it that way, if you speak it as such.(Linda Bonville, video tape of small group meeting in a hotel room, March 10, 1990, untitled).
"What Bonville proposes is to use the Spirit of God to effect one's purpose, while qualifying it with the idea that it must, of course, be done according to God's will. But this is really a form of witchcraft: the invocation of spirits to do one's bidding. Because one calls the spirit the Holy Spirit, and claims to be serving God, doesn't make it any less witchcraft. And does it not stand to reason that the same 'Name, Word, and Spirit' can be shot like an arrow to destroy one's enemies? Prophets have power to speak evil over someone as well as good" (Vengeance, Dager, July 1990, pp. 147-149).
So, in answer to your statement, I guess I did have a little more in mind concerning prayer circles than you did.
Editor: Balaam's Ass Speaks-- Look where the "Circle" turns up:
A witchcraft film: http://www.net1plus.com/users/notelrac/whuups.dir/reviews.dir/full_circle_review.html
A witches' church: http://www.brewich.com/org/sblip/
Metropolitan Community Church (A piano church): http://www.harvestmcc.org/gatherings/gather1116.htm
If you think this is just child's play, think again please: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~pg394/9th_circle.html
Circles Church-- Would you want to hold hands and meditate with these folks? http://www.bossnt.com/596/wich22.html
Check out the use of "circle" in this occult site: http://www.cnw.com/~greenman/nwprd.html
Gaia goddess witches directory: http://www.teleport.com/~aforrest/HFWeb/HFNWResources.html AND: http://www.9houses.org/Directory/
When a coven wants to bring up devils and send them against someone, they draw a six-sided star on the floor inside of a larger circle. They must stand inside the circle for safety, and they are almost always naked. This is the most powerful event in witchcraft.
A fairy ring is a circle of witches, fairies, or pianos who hold hands and dance in a circle.
The May Pole is a circle of dances who wind ribbons around an erect pole. The pole is the symbol of the male phallus of Greek days, and the circle is the vagina. This holds also in Freemasonry according to Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma. It is the symbolism of the obelisk and the always accompanying circle.
There is only ONE verse in the King James Bible with the word circle in it. It is strictly a geographical use to tell where God sits.:
Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Virtually NO case can be made from this verse to justify the mystical occult use of circle prayer etc.