As I write this newsletter, we are in the middle of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, General Assembly (GA). There are many intercessors associated with PRMI who have been either on site in Pittsburgh or at a distance praying for this GA. I am struck by the reports about the awareness of spiritual darkness that is being experienced by evangelicals who seek to offer a biblical and Jesus Christ exalting witness.
I have read posts on a number of confidential on-line forums. Below are examples of July 4 posts.
“Can anyone else sense the cloud of Spiritual darkness that hangs over General Assembly? I could actually feel the armor of God surrounding me today keeping the darkness at arms-length. As I sat there any prayed, I could tell that God heard my prayers but chose not to answer. Has anyone else had similar experiences?”
“Some of the intercessors praying for us Tuesday night had a sense that the darkness is being revealed. There are times when the Lord allows that to happen for a reason. I’m having to trust that he knows the reason.”
To Brad Long: “Have you heard others observing that they sense God withdrawing His Spirit from the PCUSA? I admit I have sensed that being true since the time 10A was approved. I believe I see it in the presbytery here and in reports I read from around the country. But I could be wrong and haven’t said much about it and I have wondered if anyone else has said this. Have you heard anyone else say they sense this happening?”
I want to respond to the question about God withdrawing His Spirit from the PC(USA). I want to offer a wake-up call and an invitation to pray against the demonic stronghold that is taking over the PC(USA) as experienced by those engaged in this prayer battle. My response: Yes, there has been the awareness of the Lord withdrawing his Holy Spirit from the PC(USA) for the last 22 years.
Starting in 1991, PRMI launched a major prayer mobilization for the PC(USA). We had intercessors at the GA who would keep a 24-hour prayer vigil. Often we would pray and fast for as long as nine days. We experienced many wonderful answers to prayer. There were many experiences of Jesus Christ overcoming the darkness. Then a decisive event took place, which shifted everything. There was a spiritual oppression that started to increase. With the oppression came an awareness that the Holy Spirit was withdrawing from the PC(USA) as a denomination. The shift did not occur when the GA approved A10 (a rejection of biblical standards for sexual morality), but earlier—in 2001.
In 2001, the GA was in Louisville, Kentucky. We were dealing with the fallout from the PC(USA) peacemaking conference in the summer of 2000. At that conference, sponsored and paid for by the denomination, an ordained Presbyterian Minister preached a sermon entitled, “What is the big deal about Jesus?” Basically the message rejected the Biblical claim that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life and the Only Way to God the Father. There was much more as well in the speech, but basically it was a rejection of our Christian faith.
Despite a major wave of protest from congregations throughout the denomination, the leaders of the denomination did not see this as a problem. In response, PRMI joined with Montreat Presbyterian Church and launched a judicial action to the Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) of the PC(USA) calling the GA into account for not upholding our faith. The Presbyterian Lay Committee greatly helped us. The action was completely rejected by the PJC. In fact, the action was not given a hearing.
As part of the strategy to counter this blatant apostasy, the Rev. Garret Dawson, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir, developed an overture that was approved by our mostly evangelical Presbytery. The overture called for the GA to affirm the “Singular, Saving Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
I will never forget that GA! The GA debated for over three hours and finally could not make this basic affirmation of our faith; it was sent to a study committee. The liberal progressive group, including leaders from the Presbyterian Seminaries and many past GA moderators, in one voice objected to affirming Jesus Christ as the Lord.
What happened in the PRMI high level intercessory prayer room was awful. It was like the authority that we had to hold back the presence of darkness in the name of Jesus was suddenly diminished. There was a demonic counterattack against the intercessors; the group was overcome by the darkness. A number of intercessors went into deep depression for many months. Many were so wounded by the demonic powers that to this day they have not been able to go back into high level intercession.
Once the GA did not affirm that Jesus Christ is the Lord, we discerned that the Holy Spirit was calling us no longer to engage in the onsite, high-level intercessory prayer for the GA and the PC(USA). When our leaders withdrew the affirmation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ we no longer had a basis for our prayers to have effect. I resisted this guidance and tried to send another team to the GA the following year, but that was a disaster too; the darkness deepened. The Holy Spirit was being withdrawn from the PC(USA) as a denomination.
The Spirit’s withdrawal from the denomination did not mean that He withdrew from individuals, congregations, or presbyteries that were faithful. His withdrawal from the GA did result in a growing awareness of demonic deception that is experienced for many as an awareness of spiritual oppression. Since that time, there has been a deepening of that spiritual darkness and deception that people now experience at the GA. The withdrawal objectively verified by the decisions that the GA is making that do not give glory to Jesus Christ, do not advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are no longer consistent with biblical revelation.
Currently, PRMI has a few constituents who are called to the work of intercession. For example, Christian Zebley, a member of the Dunamis Fellowship International, is at the GA in Pittsburgh. Christian is doing the work of intercession with a few other called individuals. No longer is intercession an engagement with the high level demonic spirits who have been welcomed by the liberal progressive leaders of our church and their formal actions, but prayer for and to support the remnant still faithful to Jesus Christ.
The darkness continues to grow. Unless there is a miracle of God’s direct intervention (certainly that’s possible), I expect that the GA will continue to go away from biblical revelation—the deception will grow more impenetrable to our prayers, efforts, and faithful witness to Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life, and the Only Way to God the Father.