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Acts 8 recounts a vivid incident in which a sorcerer named Simon follows disciples of Jesus Christ because of the power he witnesses in their ministries.

Act 8:5  Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.  …7  For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.  8  So there was great joy in that city.  9  Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,  …12  But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  13  Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. 
14  When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.  15  When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,  16  because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  17  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18  When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19  and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Because of the powerful miraculous healings he saw at the evangelist Philip’s evangelistic meetings, Simon the sorcerer followed him everywhere. As a result of the miracles, many people believed in the Lord Jesus, including Simon himself. Interestingly, we note that Simon was not tempted to offer Philip money in exchange for this very wonderful ability, as impressive as it was and as potentially profitable as it could be. (Some contemporary “healing evangelists” may have already realized this potential.)
We note that it was not until he later saw the Holy Spirit being given to the new believers at the laying on Peter and John’s hands that he decided to make an investment by attempting to buy this very ability from the apostles. As a commercially savvy and successful sorcerer Simon knew that the source of the power and authority over disease and demons would be a far more valuable commodity than the power and authority itself. 
Of course Peter, seeing the evil motive of greed in his heart, rebuked the sorcerer severely and essentially told him to go to hell with his money.
The point being made here from this incident is that Simon clearly understood that the apostles had something extraordinary that he obviously lacked in his witchcraft, and he was willing to pay handsomely to get it.
Interestingly, a well-known leader in the Church today feels that witchcraft has something to offer to the Church, and is willing to experiment with practices derived from studying “shamans, witch doctors, practitioners of Eastern religions, New Age gurus” (see below for the references), and so forth. Incredibly, this is the motivation and origin of the practice known in many circles of the Church today as “strategic-level spiritual warfare.” In New Testament Scripture the Lord Jesus did not command His disciples or us to address territorial spirits directly, rebuking them and commanding them to leave geographic areas being evangelized. This potentially dangerous practice directly rebuking powerful demonic beings in the heavenlies is not clearly supported by Scripture.

The manual Confronting the Powers was written by the well-known leader mentioned above to explain this type of spiritual warfare. A review of this book was published in the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1997 — Volume 10:18. In THE GOSPEL AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE: A REVIEW OF CONFRONTING THE POWERS, Moody Bible Institute professor Dr. John F. Hart writes:

In Confronting the Powers, spiritual warfare is handled like a Western social science involving case studies, innovative experimentation, and the gathering of data from all sources [italics ours]. He writes: ‘Nevertheless, certain people such as shamans, witch doctors, practitioners of Eastern religions, New Age gurus or professors of the occult on university faculties are examples of the kind of people who may have much more extensive knowledge of the spirit world than most Christians have.’ [This is the position of the author of Confronting the Powers.]

According to Professor Hart at Moody Bible Institute,

…He would have us believe that all innovative methods involving spiritual warfare are amoral. As his defense for experimenting with new techniques for discovering the spirit realm, he cites the debates Christians have over amoral issues such as erecting church buildings, celebrating Christmas, using instruments for music in church, and preaching in stadiums…

The false assumption is made that every NT believer has authority over the demonic world and therefore can investigate and interrogate demons, sifting for profitable knowledge to advance God’s kingdom. No mention is made of God’s commands that seeking information from the spirit world is strictly prohibited…”

…The supposed inadequacy of Scripture becomes the unconscious grounds for appeals for experimentation: “If we are not satisfied with the fruit of our current evangelistic activities, whatever they may be, strategic-level spiritual warfare might at least be worthy of some experimentation” (p. 152, Confronting the Powers).

…One major unit of the first chapter is entitled, “Radical Varieties of Prayer.” “Experimentation” is also a common word he applies to strategic-level spiritual warfare (e.g., pp. 20, 27, 33–34, 152).

Proponents of “strategic-level spiritual warfare”, whether or not they would acknowledge it, have essentially done the very opposite of what Simon the sorcerer did. Simon saw something in the apostles that he didn’t have, and was willing to sacrifice to get it in order to be more successful in his trade. Shockingly, practitioners of “spiritual warfare” have unwittingly acknowledged that sorcerers, New Age gurus, and so forth know something that we believers must understand in order to be more fruitful in our evangelism as part of the Great Commission.

If Simon were alive today, would he be shaking his head or even laughing at us?

But let’s get to the point here. The primary proponent of strategic-level spiritual warfare in the Church today cited in the quote above admitted that the motivation for experimenting with spiritual warfare is dissatisfaction “with the fruit of our current evangelistic activities, whatever they may be.” Yes, we get his point. In many areas of the world (but certainly not all), our evangelistic efforts are not fruitful. In countries dominated by the religion of the prophet, by Hinduism, by Buddhism, and yes, by witchcraft, the Church is not doing well and falling far short of the awesome Church we see in Acts. In India, for example, the gospel had a headstart over the religion of the prophet of about 700 years. Yet today followers of the prophet far outnumber Christians there. In particular among the ten million inhabitants of the city of Hyderabad in the state of Andra Pradesh, only 6% are Christians while followers of the prophet number 40% of the population.

Something is dreadfully wrong with this picture. Now let’s get back to our original point: why are the evangelistic activities of the Church in some regions so clearly dissatisfying that we must study witchcraft for help in making us more fruitful?

Is it because we actually have insufficient power from the Lord to get the job done—as the teaching of “spiritual warfare” would imply—or could it be that we have not understood and utilized the power and authority the Lord already gave us 2,000 years ago?

Please click on The Theology of Helplessness for our answer.

The rebuking of territorial spirits is dangerous: “Do Not Go There!”

  INDONESIA: “strategic-level spiritual warfare” unnecessary and risky

 “Spiritual Trespassing”

Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare Revisited—Is Scripture really INSUFFICIENT as it implies?

“Spiritual warfare” directly against territorial spirits in the heavenly realms: should you engage in it?