Word Etymologies: From Etymology Online Dictionary
GOSSIP -- O.E . godsibb "godparent" from God + sibb (relative/sibling in 1300); M.E. any familiar acquaintance esp. women friends invited to attend a birth; (later) anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk (1500's); trifling talk, groundless rumor (1800's); verb to talk idly about affairs of others from 1627.
1. SIBLING -- brother/sister; O.E. relative or kinsman or adjective kinship, relationship; Scottish language included kin, kindred.
2. KINDRED -- condition, rule; related to O.E. raedan --to advise, rule--perhaps encouraged by the work "kind". Note: "incest" means impure relations which includes just not family members but also those who have taken a vow or are to be committed to purity in their relationships (esp. sexual).
3. RELATION -- Latin relatio or Anglo-Fr. relacion --bring back, restoring; word "proportion" if often associated and means: is due relation of one part to another.
4. IDLE -- empty, void, useless, vain.
FAMILIAR -- Latin familia --household; Latin familiaris --domestic, intimate, very friendly. Noun meaning is demon, evil spirit that answers one's call" from 1584. Pythoness-- (1375) woman with the power of soothsaying. Witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7) treated as her proper name (lit.fem.); pytho familiar spirit connected with the title of prophetess of Delphic Oracle.
000I offer these word studies (which are the history of words and their meanings), and the thoughts in response to several aspects of the problem that needs confronted. There is never transformation without confrontation --that is clear Biblically. That is the nature of the ministry of Jesus. He confronted government and religious leaders, religious ideologies, religious spirits, and the "church" culture of the time. He did it all for His Father and the sake of the Kingdom.
000Various thoughts about this particular problem emerge when you study the above words. There are connections and relationships that we never thought through clearly. Incest is an impure relationship or an impure foundation of a relationship. There is a problem when impurity is the "starting point" of a relationship--the devil has access. The very nature of "kindred" or relationship is to advise or to rule with kindness--not control, domination or manipulation.
000Notice the root word of gossip is our word for "godparent"! That is amazing --those who are spiritual parents to those younger in spiritual matters! People want to avoid discipleship or correction by saying others should not talk about them or discuss their "ways". This is "mindless" acceptance of anything. It is demonic. Further, for gossip to exist the talk or discussion of a problem or situation must be groundless rumor, empty, useless, vain or of no value. We should want a course correction, truth and holiness in our work. It is our concern how OTHERS "play out" their role in the Body. It is our concern that a member who is "sick", misunderstanding or giving false "truth" affects other members of the Body and their destinies.
000We are told clearly in Scripture to judge fruit and we are told, "...not to believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 Jn. 4:1) When we acknowledge Jesus in the world, then we put our flesh in submission to our minds, which are to be subject to the Holy Spirit and the perfect Will of God. In word etymologies it is also amazing that the word 'familiar' refers to a demon that was considered a pythoness . More on the python spirit will be discussed on this below.
000We must begin to consider the numerous controlling spirits, which are involved. However, since the greater truth and reality is that these spirits want to destroy the Kingdom this should be a cause for grave consideration for each one of us reading this. It should be of equal or greater concern to us that these spirits have managed in some measure to "march through", mesmerize and "control" several individuals' lives and their ministries. They did it "unidentified". These spirits have used/destroyed God's resources of time, talent and treasure at various times. Some of you are in this group and have incurred serious expenditures or losses to you personally or to your ministries. WHY? Because the goal of these spirits is to destroy and to undo what God wants to do with His sons and daughters NOW in/for His Kingdom.
000Jesus paid a phenomenal price for you and me to be with Him in a relationship both NOW and forever--to establish His Kingdom. The Bible begins and ends in a Garden with the River of God. God intended a Kingdom--a partnership and relationship with His sons/daughters. We are the church which is to be the anointed/commissioned agent of Restoration and Transformation in the earth --His Body and His Bride-- bringing back to fullness that which Jesus won at Calvary through Redemption by His shed Blood. This fullness naturally includes our authority in Christ which He gave at the Great Commission when He ascended.
000Another point of Kingdom is: The Our Father--"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"-- this was the prayer Jesus taught us. Are the words not then the " heartbeat of the Father" and what He wants for His Kingdom? He wants His Will performed and acted upon in every way as it is constantly so in heaven. Just before Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane for His agony and death, Jesus prays for Himself , His disciples and all believers (John 17/NIV). He prays for knowledge, protection, sanctification, unity and obedience to His Word. QUESTION-- ARE YOU AND I DISCIPLES, OR ARE WE BELIEVERS OF GOD, HIS WORD AND HIS SPIRIT?
000God is so omnipotent that it takes all of us humbly working together for His Kingdom. We must be willing to be a team and work together for the good of His Body. We care about individuals but we must not lose sight of the Body, which is the agent of transformation for the Kingdom. God is truly networking, connecting, aligning and bringing together "apostolic teams" because the wisdom and synergy needed in the next several "seasons" for the Kingdom WILL NOT be done by individuals/individual ministries alone. It will be accomplished as the Body of Jesus Christ, HIS Bride working in unity as He prayed in John 17!
BULLET POINTS FOR CHANGE & GROWTH IN OUR OWN SPIRITUAL JOURNEY : Understanding the role of the Python Spirit and Associated Controlling Spirits
My study and time in Congo (3 years living there) has taught me some things about sorcery, witchcraft, and demonic activity. I trust they will serve you in your destiny.
- Please note that the first place for "deception" is the constant use of the word "gossip," to block any exhortation, correction or discussion among friends and those to whom we should hold accountability. Please note the definitions--it has to be groundless, vain, useless, or having no purpose. This is a big trap that gives the python spirit "free reign" to keep moving from ministry to ministry and state to state and nation to nation--unhindered. This is how ministries "fall"--no accountability to one another, nor to apostolic leaders. This is a radical "failure" among charismatic churches and ministries and is currently the subject of much discussion toward resolution. Heading these discussions are Rev. Jack Hayford, Charisma Magazine leaders and numerous other genuinely accountable international leaders of integrity.
- When we don't name things/spirits correctly or we misunderstand--the enemy uses all of it to his advantage. He is very legalistic and knows EXACTLY WHERE HE HAS AUTHORITY IN THE EARTH. When we ourselves walk in even a measure of ignorance and pride--he's right there! Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be protected from the evil one...AND SACTIFIED BY THE TRUTH--YOUR WORD IS THE TRUTH. HOW DO WE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND HIS WORD? TIME SPENT IN WORSHIP AND INTIMACY WITH HIM...TO KINOIA HIM. The Greek verb "to know" is kinoia , which is the kind of knowledge that comes from deep intimacy and time spent with someone (as in marriage). Then, we can't be deceived as we have been. "... not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, expressing spiritual truths with spiritual words" (1Cor 2:13).
- Phil. 3:7-11--this Bible passage addresses the essence and the Call of my life--that I may KNOW HIM as revealed by His Holy Spirit. I must choose to shut everything out of my life and just spend time with HIM and worship HIM! It's a time when we let Him talk instead of always doing all of the talking (or our minds racing).
- We as leaders must recognize our own downfall in this arena of time and intimacy with Jesus. We often get too busy "doing the work of the Kingdom." A simple tithe of our time for prayer and intimacy is approximately 17 hours/week. We can't know and understand what the Holy Spirit wants or expects without spending quality time with Him. As we get revelation, we often go forward on that revelation for way too long when the River of God has turned or taken a bend in the road. Revelation and understanding of God and His Ways is a dynamic process. God shifts direction and so must we. One good example is His chosen people, Israel, who choose even now to stay with what God was doing "before"--2000 years ago. Our God operates out of times and seasons. WE as leaders must recognize this and if they are to be leaders.
Further, God deals with us differently; we often make a program or a project out of our revelation--our agenda--thinking that it will bring others closer to Him as it did "me". True leaders teach Biblical Principles, bring His Presence and they bring others to the Well of Salvation and the River of God. They allow those they are "discipling" to drink of the Holy Spirit themselves and to have their own personal relationship with HIM. True leaders trust implicitly in the ability of the Holy Spirit to reach and to convict and to lead the hearts of His people to Himself. We make disciples by pointing them to the Word and being as Paul said, "a 'living epistle' for others to read."
I boldly say that is why all 53 nations of Africa are still under a type of curse and strangled in a "third world mentality" when there have been thousands of missionaries to these nations! We brought a church structure, programs and a liturgy or format for worship--but we rarely brought His strategy for 'making disciples' of the nations. We did not bring HIS Presence or a true worship--Intimacy. We didn't teach the people HOW to seek His Presence and to establish an atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit could come and not just touch or visit the people as in a crusade--but a HOLY "Habitation" that would literally transform their thinking, their culture and their ability to transform their region or nation!
- Having made a point of the importance of 'intimacy' and spending quality time in the Lord's Presence, I am now going to address the python spirit in the next few bullets . This spirit specifically addresses the mind and our thought processes. It comes in to play dramatically with Elijah at Mt. Carmel where he has just witnessed a most phenomenal power of God and killed over 450 prophets of Baal and then the VERY next day a messenger from Jezebel can make him "afraid". Notice too that Jezebel (intimidation) is a separate spirit from the religious spirit (false prophets) the spirit of divination when they actually "prophesy". They all work together but they are separate spirits. There is another spirit, which often works with these as well called Belial from the Greek belaw --to afflict and or to wear out someone mentally.
- The obvious intent of these demonic spirits is to block the work of God and the timings of God. Daniel 7:25 addresses this (a king of the 4 th beast that will try to wear out/oppress the saints and change the times and the laws of God), as does 2 Samuel 5 when David becomes King over all of Israel after waiting 20 years from the time he is anointed. Who shows up but the Philistines to "wear down" and to try and block this perfect time of God which is coming to fullness for His Will for Israel. Remember too how worn out, discouraged and exhausted Elijah was after the attack of the spirit of intimidation and his running from Jezebel?
- We must stop and consider that God created our souls (MINDS)--therefore, He intends for us to use them with the Holy Spirit's guidance. Too often we as Disciples/Believers are accepting things from "men and women"--mindlessly! That is what the devil wants; but, God is FOR our minds--He intends for us to be and to live and to understand from a perspective of wholeness: spirit, mind/soul and body. We are to think, analyze, ask questions, weigh, meditate, and wait on the Lord. Without our minds, which include our brains, we wouldn't be able to read this article, nor understand the ideas presented etc. Without our minds, we could not receive the "things of the Spirit." That is why the Bible talks about us "renewing our minds" and "thinking on those things that are good right and true". God says in Isaiah and in Job to come and to "consider with Him". This is again a case for the discerning of spirits or the testing of the spirits.
- I believe we need to mention how serious God sees and judges false prophecy/ministry. This is mentioned in various places in the Old Testament. In Matthew when Jesus speaks of the final judgment there are those who say, "...we worked miracles in your name, we cast out demons...." Jesus replies, "I KNOW (KINOIA) YOU NOT!" He is not even willing to acknowledge who they are--as if to say: "I've never seen you before in my life"! God desires for us to prophesy as 1Cor. 12 reads. However, those who prophesy MUST have a "word" borne out of holy intimacy with the Holy Spirit. People who prophesy are stating clearly by their behavior that they are representing God and they are speaking on His behalf. No wonder He will judge severely if this injures someone, derails a destiny, or is NOT what He said. We need to have a Holy Fear of the Lord when we dare to speak in HIS Name! He's watching and judging and He knows just exactly what He's saying and what He is NOT saying!
- As I began the study of false prophecy as it relates to the Python Spirit, I chose to begin with the word, Familiar because it is usually associated with giving "prophetic words" which come from prior knowledge or experiences (which includes the demons knowing this information and putting it in the mind of the person giving knowledge but not a word from the Lord).
- Familiar is identified in this secular research document (Etymology study) as a demon and it is specifically and historically linked to a female soothsayer/prophetess. In Acts 16:16-18 when the slave girl cries out in a spirit of divination to identify Paul, the ILB version uses python spirit. Side Note: this spirit loves atmospheres that are spiritual--prayer meetings, camp meetings, church meetings, conferences etc. The Greek word for divination is "poothone," in reference to Putho which was the region of the Delphi Oracle where people made a pilgrimage to "hear" from this god who had diviners and false prophets.
- Python spirit is a diviner, false prophet /or giving false prophecy. This enemy kills by squeezing the life out of a person, ministry, church etc. There are different thoughts whether python teams with the spirits of intimidation (Jezebel), religious, and Belial (weariness and wearing someone down)--or whether these are other faces of this same demon. Regardless, we are dealing with strong ruling, controlling forces which seek to destroy the work of God, His Body and yes, even the very TIMINGS OF God's Will.
- Part of the strategy of the python spirit is to wrap itself around our thought life and thought patterns. It also will give false words because when people hear these ideas they will start to dwell on them and that has the power to "create" the very thing stated. I'll give two examples of "soulish" prophecy where the python's plan was to block and/or destroy persons and Kingdom purposes. First, was a conference speaker, whom a false prophet prayed for and rebuked a spirit of cancer. If this speaker dwells on this thought or begins to even have occasional fearful thoughts--cancer can develop in this person (there was no medical evidence of cancer)! The book of James states there is power of life and death in the tongue. We are what we think and "behold". As a college Communications professor of 25 years, this is referred to as the "magical theory" of language which creates a power over the psyche. There is much research over the years to back this theory. National Health Institute in Washington, D.C. (NIH) has long had research that indicates that particular types of cancer are often related to unresolved problems and thought processes in the mind!
000The second example of python control of the mind is I myself. A person who did not know me or my ministry prayed to break a spirit of poverty over my life. Now I did not come into agreement with that as I have had needs met supernaturally for years for my life and the missions work overseas. I have made a practice of "throwing out" things that I do not believe are of the Holy Spirit.
000Interestingly, I just returned from classes on my doctorate in Practical Ministry. In the tests given for spiritual gifts, I came out extremely high in the gift of 'Voluntary Poverty'--a willingness to give up jobs, family, houses for the sake of the Gospel. I've held management-level jobs with large corporations including Boeing and United Way of America. I have been a college professor of years, and, I've owned five homes over my lifetime. My "poverty" is a radical choice to live an unencumbered lifestyle.
000This choice was made and directed by the Holy Spirit and under the mentorship of two apostolic leaders and two pastoral teams on my board. The enemy desired to throw this counterfeit so that in the future if there are financial challenges or difficulties in some other area of prosperity, I would think I was battling a spirit of poverty--then, I'd focus on it and breathe life into its grip! It is also possible that if I am concentrating on "battling" a spirit of poverty I am distracted from actually positioning myself to receive new blessings and resources that may be in the timing of God for me now! Regardless, the enemy is trying to position himself to win and to derail my blessings and victories.
Python is a tragic and strong "stealth bomb" when it attacks. It manifests in another aspect to cause discouragement. When I faced attacks and manipulation and destruction of the pioneer work we are doing in Congo and Kenya, it causes weariness. The fight of Faith can be really tough! I fight to control my thoughts: is it worth all the sacrifice and danger; am I making a difference in the Kingdom; or, simply just the thoughts of giving up from discouragement. It is a "fight" to control my mind and my thoughts.
- Taking EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE is the key since it is the primary way the python spirit enters; therefore, none of us are left untouched. Peter is an example when Jesus said, "Get thee behind me Satan!" I certainly don't consider that a very "loving" statement. Yet, Peter was unwittingly operating in the python's camp when he thought he was being a loving person and wanting to protect Jesus! Peter's remarks were set against the timing and the Will of God for the Kingdom. We must be prayerful and vigilant--"Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2Cor.10:5-6). We all fight to control our thoughts and we may think we have the best or correct thoughts. Often, we have too much confidence in what we believe "about" God and His ways.... enter python .
- We also get snagged in forms of pride as we get "caught up" in how God is using us. We even tell others "how God used us". We count numbers. We make our gift/our ministry an idol to be protected. The Truth? We can't make our lungs breathe their next breath, nor can we create a little air for them to breathe! Spiritual pride is the open door.... enter python .
- "You are exhausted by your many plans;" (Is 47:13) Too often we touch the Glory of God, when we are simply a tool in His Wonderful Hand. He loves to partner with us. We bring our love, obedience, availability and" willingness to serve" to the table--BUT HE brings and does everything else in the partnership! Be watchful as the Word says, or.... enter python.
- When we disobey God....it is rebellion. We live part of the Word but not the whole Word. Sometimes I just don't "feel" like doing what I know I should do or it isn't convenient; or, I hesitate because I might "hurt the other person's feelings"--I fear losing a relationship. I don't want others to think badly of me. Rebellion is as witchcraft (1Sam.15:23).... enter python.
- I propose that there are several controlling spirits in operation . They operate for a significant period of time in a person before they MATURE and then I believe you have the spirit we identify as Jezebel. It is in actuality, the spirit of intimidation--with a roar as that of a lion. Both T.D. Jakes and John Bevere have excellent works on the topic. When a lion roars it "paralyzes" its prey! A rabbit can outrun a lion but in the roar "forgets" how to run. The enemy goes about "as a roaring lion seeking whom he will to devour". Note: He is NOT a lion only Jesus is--the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
- I propose further that we are dealing with a python spirit and its power and fruits. It is the "strong man" that Jesus says must be bound up...or the thief enters. Unfortunately, he has entered all of our lives at some time and "stolen" much. He has "squeezed" the life out of Godly people who've given up or gotten off track; churches and ministries that God wanted to use, die or go astray--strangled by python.
- Use your mind to get more and deeper revelation as you spend quiet time with Him in the Word and Worship. Python has many faces and operates in this company of spirits, which I refer to as controlling spirits: pride, arrogance/haughtiness, religion, divination, and familiar spirits.
- Python is the spirit of divination which empowers crystal ball readers, palm readers etc. to see into the future. In Africa this is much more sophisticated sorcery! People truly get sick and die. This spirit has access to us if we expose ourselves to any aspect of the occult through movies, horoscopes, "fun" fortune-telling or even reading books such as Harry Potter. This enemy loves the naiveté of its victims (especially in the American and European cultures).
Python operates off of acquaintances and contacts--there is always a benefit or a gain for the person under its influence (position, promotion, money or a connection to one of these). One way to identify this spirit of divination or false prophecy is by asking a simple question. Will the person gain in some way from having the spirit operate?
We must ask ourselves: What is our motive for what we do? I must be careful even with good feelings as it can tie into my self-worth or how I value myself. I feel better about myself. I may subconsciously be trying to "impress God" or "earn" a spiritual position. I may have a need to feel important, useful or significant in the church. I may subconsciously even be using the gifts as a measure of my spirituality and the "depth" of my relationship to God. All of these ARE possible snares. Another snag is that we become comfortable and almost complacent in our walk with Jesus and with our knowledge and spiritual warfare level. We don't "connect" daily in an intimate manner with the Holy Spirit. Here comes the spirit of Familiarity and the cycle begins!
- A couple of final thoughts in this study. First, please be careful to use spiritual words--our language cannot use evil words for spiritual truths--even when referring to devils and demons. To use a contemporary English language curse word (damn, bastard) in our discussion of spiritual problems or of the devil who is a being created by God Himself --IS A TRAP--it opens the door for the enemy to walk right in...Beelzebub cannot cast out Beelzebub! This power of language gives the devil the right of way into our lives. The Bible is clear that Light and dark cannot dwell together. God Will NOT nor CANNOT be where there is evil or pride lurking in our language and in our hearts.
- Second, in all of this study I mentioned that the false prophet is used to block the work of the Kingdom and to have clear gain for itself. The truth is the slave girl had a master and Jezebel had Ahab. They both stood to gain significantly from this spirit of divination and intimidation. The master went to the leaders to have Paul and Silas put into prison because their lucrative business was over. Ahab gained much because of Jezebel's intimidation and control. If you read the whole story, he gained a vineyard and he could just let her fight his battles. Jezebel wasn't even there at Mt. Carmel. The Word says that Ahab went to Jezebel to tell her everything Elijah had done! Ahab stands to gain a whole lot from the python spirit--that's why they will support the false and deny truth at every turn.
Are we truly willing to confront the truth in love and patiently begin to "row" as ONE BODY, ONE TEAM toward the Glory, for the Kingdom of God--TOGETHER!
Rev. Theresa Cox M.A., C.P.E.
May 10, 2006