I. The Truth About the Spirit of Python

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The Truth About the Spirit of Python

Series: Unmasking the Python Spirit

Although the “Unmasking the Python Spirit” series goes by a different title, it ties directly into “The Irony of the Church Fathers” series, for the true spirit of Python was a major operator on the earth centuries before the church fathers, or Yeshua for that matter, walked on it. I only changed the title because I wanted the focus to temporarily change from the church fathers to this often referred to (yet seriously misunderstood) spiritual force.

Don’t worry, before this is all over, we’ll tie everything together.

If you’re like me, and are tired of the Elijah List “prophets” constantly bringing up “the Python spirit” in their efforts to “educate” you about yet another demon with a weird label . . . if your eyes have been opened to Charisma magazine’s propaganda . . . it would be really easy to want to skip this topic altogether.

And hey, I’m with you. When I hear of “the Python spirit” being mentioned in yet another blog post, it’s all I can do not to roll my eyes and think, “Here we go again!”

But regardless of how we feel, it would be a very serious mistake to let the flagrant idiocy of the prophetic movement blind us to the reality of the true spirit of Python and its influence in our lives.

So let me start right off the bat with a promise.

I promise that I am not going to take you down some hyper-spiritual road to “deliverance” or ponder the possibility of some hidden race of reptilians (in spite of what the title says).

I promise by the end of this series, most of you will say something along the lines of . . . “Huh, I never saw THAT coming! This actually has some merit!”

Seriously, guys – I wrote this series for you!

Footnotes can be important!

A footnote in history
photo by Pixabay

The true spirit of Python is mentioned only once in Scripture (Acts 16), and you have to be looking at the Greek to catch it. This too would seem reason enough to want to brush aside this information, because it seems to be only a footnote.

But if you understood the spirit of Python’s influence on the Greco-Roman world, you would know that it is anything but a blip in history. Its impact upon society between the 7th century BC and 4th century AD is undeniable and historically verified.

Do not excuse the influence of this spirit because it is only mentioned by name once, in Scripture.

The following greats have no mention in the Scriptures whatsoever, yet their influence on Israel and the rest of the known world during the same timeframe is also undeniable and historically verified.

  • Alexander the Great
  • Socrates
  • Emperor Nero
  • Judas Maccabeus

Are we really naive enough to ignore these influences just because they are not in the Bible?

I hope not.

I want to encourage you to “hang in there” with me, through this series. There will be an abundance of Scripture, but there will also be some historical perspectives to factor in as well.

It’s amazing how the Scriptures will open up when you have a better idea as to what is really going on “behind the curtain.”

In the same way, knowledge of the workings of the mysterious spirit of Python will not only add more depth to your study of the Word, it will also open your eyes to see where “the church” is heading as His return approaches.

The Modern Day Spirit of Python – a Cruel Hoax

Thanks to the prophetic movement and their satellite deliverance ministries, “the Python spirit” has been blamed for a host of physical disorders and spiritual afflictions.

  • Are you depressed? – It could be “the Python spirit.”
  • Do you feel hindered in your situation? – It could be “the Python spirit.”
  • Do you have a constricting feeling around your chest? – It could be “the Python spirit.”

Count on it. False prophets and teachers, as well as their followers – who already have a tendency to blame anything negative on evil spirits – will attribute most (if not all) constricting or restricting phenomena to this spirit.

During the time I worked for the Elijah List, “the Python spirit” was mentioned quite frequently. Well-known deliverance ministers and prophetic figureheads were touting its existence, so it was just a given among Charismatics that this spirit existed.

That was over 7 years ago.

But even in the present day, “the Python spirit” rears its ugly head in YouTube videos, blog posts and mainstream Christian publications like Charisma magazine. This seems to be happening with increasing frequency.

In fact, it almost seems like “the Python spirit” is starting to become in vogue.

But is that really what is at work, here?

Is “the Python spirit” really responsible for the hindrance to our forward momentum? The choking sensation that you wake up to in the middle of the night … is that “the Python spirit”?

Or is there something else going on, here?

When I was given the assignment to research and write on this topic, I was less than enthusiastic. I knew that something was amiss in the church’s understanding of the spirit of Python, but the details were fuzzy and, to be honest, I had other projects that I wanted to work on.

Then I happened upon an article from a next gen Elijah List (and now Charisma magazine) neophyte entitled “Shake off the Spirit of Python Into the Fire” and the realization hit me.

This delusion is being propagated to the next generation with brute force.

I hate it when the youth are taught a lie.

Many young people really want the truth – they just mistake the supernatural, fame and notoriety for Yah’s validation . . . and that’s where things go awry.

So in an attempt to salvage some sort of Scripture-based understanding of the spirit of Python, I made it my mission to find the truth … both for them and for me.

And once I started digging, I was unprepared for what I found.

Misunderstanding Python is Easy

false narrative
photo by Pixabay

Every story that you find in mainstream charismatic publications seems to paint the same picture of “the Python spirit” – a dark, ominous spirit-snake that “chokes” the life out of you, weighs you down and/or hinders your progress.

It can affect you both spiritually and physically.

It can attack you personally or have dominion over a region.

This type of nebulous narrative has been disseminated by big name prophets, teachers and deliverance ministers all over the globe.

But, as much as I would like to come in and lower the boom on some of these hucksters, I have to cut them some slack in this area.

The truth is, unlike the other errors that are being promoted by mainstream charismania, misunderstanding “the spirit of Python” (I’ll refer to it as Python from here on out) is actually a very easy and understandable mistake to make.

After all, as I mentioned before, the term “python” appears only one time in the New Testament and you have to dig into the Greek in order to find it, so from the outset, our understanding is limited to what we can glean from one passage of Scripture. Fortunately, history has much more to say about this spirit.

Act 16:16-18
Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit [G4151 – pneuma] of divination [G4436 – python] [1] met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

In this passage, the Greek words used for “the spirit of divination” is “pneuma python.”

If someone even bothers to dig into the Greek, it’s usually at this point that they will see the word “python” and think . . .

Python = a big snake that kills its prey by constriction

. . . then all other reasoning stops.

False prophets perpetuate the error.

The enemy uses the false prophets and teachers in the Prophetic Movement to take advantage of this “halt” in reasoning and use it as an opportunity to sow trendy yet misleading information into the listener (or reader). The Elijah List prophets have been doing this for quite some time.

In fact, when I went to their web site and did a search for the term “python,” I found results going clear back to 2002, many of them by the late false prophet, Kim Clement.

Kim Clement
Kim Clement

If you’ve been suffocating at night, if it’s been difficult to breathe – how many would relate to that? If anybody has found the last few nights that you’ve had bad dreams, nightmares, you find it difficult to breathe, you woke up anxious . . . I want you to know it’s the end of an era of the spirit of pythos. If you have had bad dreams, if you’ve had suffocation or you feel like you’re suffocating and you’ve woken up anxious, very anxious, don’t worry. It’s the force that is desperate, trying to control your finances, your love, your relationships, your children – and that spirit of pythos is coming down.” – Kim Clement [2]

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz

But then, only in the past few months, I’ve seen unprecedented (and I mean UNPRECEDENTED) misunderstandings take place between churches and their people, and between ministries and their employees. I’ve seen unparalleled misunderstandings between large ministries and small ministries over large and small issues. As people speak to one another, it’s as if one person says something, and the other hears something completely twisted that was never said, and then responds to that—while the devil further twists that response. What a mess!

Some call that a Leviathan spirit or a Python spirit . . . a spirit whose purpose is to contort, wrap around, twist, and change communication in real time, as it occurs. It is a powerful thing when it happens and we, as the Body, must come against it in the opposite spirit. Rather than taking offense, we must OFFER GRACE!” – Steve Shultz [3]

Jennifer Eivaz
Jennifer Eivaz

… I was being attacked by a python spirit. This spirit does a lot of evil things, but a few characteristics of this kind of attack against you is to squeeze the life out of you, suffocate you, constrict you, confine you, and to tightly restrict you into a maddening frustration.

Think of how a python snake behaves in the natural and you’ll get the picture. It also fiercely attacks both prayer and the prophetic, both of which are the antithesis of a python spirit because they breathe the life of God into people and places.” – Jennifer Eivaz [4]

Unfortunately, this disinformation is being further propagated by the next-gen prophets, who, lacking any form of genuine discernment, are just more than happy to parrot what the older prophets have taught them. It’s what they were groomed to do.

Ryan LeStrange
Ryan LeStrange

The Greek word divination here is translated ‘python.’ This girl was possessed by an occultic, fortune-telling demon from Hell called the python spirit. She followed Paul around as he was headed to the place of prayer.

A python is drastically different than venomous serpents because it is not a poisonous creature. Instead of destroying its prey by releasing poison, it is a calculative and deceptive hunter. The python seeks one of the most vital signs of life: heat! It looks for life and then slithers toward it without being discovered until it has already gripped its target.

Once it has its victim in its deadly grasp, it begins to squeeze. A python kills by suffocation. We know that man came alive when God breathed upon him! In the upper room as the Holy Spirit came down, He began to blow as a rushing mighty wind! The wind and breath of God represent the power and presence of His Spirit. The python spirit is an anti-anointing spirit that comes deceptively to choke the breath out! It comes to stifle and shut down the flow of God’s powerful anointing.

This spirit comes after the heat seekers to stop their pursuit! A python spirit is assigned to resist the moving of God’s Spirit. It comes to choke out prayer. It squeezes the joy out of its victims. It creates oppression, robs energy, drains life, and empowers false spirits. Python does not hunt for dead things but living things that are full of heat (life). It comes to choke their breath and then swallow them.

Python comes after ministries to choke the life out of them. It attacks prayer meetings and prophetic ministry. It fights the move of the Spirit of God and partners with religion to create atmospheres void of presence. When python shows up it is a sign of spiritual progress and advance!” – Ryan LeStrange [5]

As you can see, these associations between Python and oppression, constriction, distortion, hindrance, fear, and the feeling that you can’t move are being trumpeted by all the false prophets from Charisma Magazine and the Elijah List. Both young and old have been trumpeting this falsehood for quite awhile now.

And the Charismatic off the street will welcome these associations because they reinforce his long-held paradigm, strengthening the idea of what he thinks the spirit of God has been showing him.

But are their beliefs founded in solid, biblical truth or are they just thinking “big snake?”

You see, there’s a problem with this reasoning, and Charismatic publications and deliverance ministers are either unaware of it or have been purposefully ignoring it, willingly spreading the disinformation because it works in their favor to do so.

But by the time you are done with this series, you will know the truth about Python.

When You Can’t See the Spirits for the Snakes

python
photo by Pixabay

First and foremost, you need to understand that the “big snake that kills its prey by constriction” was not given the name “python” until 1826 by Austrian naturalist Leopold Fitzinger.

Before 1826, the dreaded python didn’t even have a name, it was just “the big snake that killed its prey by constriction.”

Since we know that the term “python” existed in the book of Acts – WAY before the Python got its name (remember 1826 AD) – we are forced to drop the association between “python” and these sensations that our bodies may feel from time to time (real or imagined).

Right off the bat, we need to break this connection.

Charismatics, you’ve been played, and “the spirit of God” didn’t show you these things. “The Python spirit” has nothing to do with a big constrictor. It’s time to deal with the fact that you made a mistake.

Move on.

“OK, smart alec, if the Python spirit doesn’t operate like a big constrictor, what is it and what does it do?”

I’m so glad you asked!

Laying the Foundation

In order for us to correctly understand Python, we must understand it from the perspective of Luke (the author of the book of Acts), Paul and the first century citizens of Philippi.

The city of Philippi (where Acts 16 took place) was located in the region of Macedonia, partially surrounding the Aegean Sea. During the first century (when Acts 16 took place), the region of Macedonia was under Roman rule.

Unlike the modern day Christian, Luke, Paul and the citizens of Philippi were well acquainted with “the spirit of Python” because they knew of (and perhaps had visited) the infamous Oracle of Delphi, located only about 325 miles away from Philippi.

Oracle at Delphi
photo by Pixabay

What’s so special about the Oracle at Delphi?

We’ll answer that question in the next couple of posts.

We’re about to embark into some uncharted waters. I’ve never heard what I’m about to show you taught anywhere, so hold onto your hats and invite your friends to come along . . . things are about to get interesting!

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More to explorer

VI. Prophet Paul Cain – The Madness

Unfortunately, this tale of perversion and pretense is not confined to the late “prophet,” Paul Cain. There are many self-appointed “spokesmen for God” out there who are acting as enablers or participants in the most grievous types of sin. And our leaders open wide the door of the churches so that these wolves can feed off of you: body, soul and spirit.

Paul Cain - the Method

V. Prophet Paul Cain – The Method

Considering all of the evidence of the Paul Cain cover-up, it is easy to see how lies and manipulation of the Word of God play a huge part in fooling the masses. But some of the blame lies in our inability to think for ourselves and look past our own unsustainable doctrine. This “gap” in our reasoning allows for the modern-day prophet to come in and build an empire at the expense of our willful ignorance.

Paul Cain - The MakeOver

IV. Prophet Paul Cain – The Makeover

After confessing to having knowledge of Paul Cain’s predatorial tendencies for the past 15 years, Rick Joyner attempts to salvage Paul’s reputation as a prophet, as well as his own reputation, by appealing to commonly taught misunderstandings of spiritual gifts and spiritual father figures.

20 replies on “I. The Truth About the Spirit of Python”

      1. May you not have too many interruptions and may the Spirit of the Lord quicken your spirit to write speedily and accurately. Blessings Bro.
        Awaiting the next meal.

  1. I came across this doctrine in the late 80’s when my wife and I were assistant pastors and involved with a deliverance ministry with another couple.

    We were using the term Python Spirit in our sessions with individuals in the prayer room.

    At that time we didn’t know much about what the heck we were doing and it didn’t take long to realize that we were off in our super high spiritual understanding of deliverance.

    You began to realize that there is nothing new under the sun.

    Then we brought this false thing up here to Oregon…so glad that our eyes got opened to truth.

    And thank you for bringing this out. I’ve learned even more about this doctrine.

    Can’t wait for the next installment.

  2. Dear Kevin,
    Some years ago I observed a woman slithering along the floor during a prayer and deliverance session until the deliverance minister, who had an awesome ability to discern and see spirits, called out a python spirit and she was set free.
    I do understand what you are saying, however, that today’s usage of the term “Python” spirit and it’s so called manifestations been used inappropriately. Thanks for your article.

  3. Kevin,

    I do remember a teaching from the late 80’s on this. I remembered that it had some to do with the snake cult (Pythios?) where people would go a seek a vision and a snake would manifest to them and show them what to do (if I remember right it had something to do with false prophesying). That was decades ago, but Reagan is no longer president and Apple is no longer a startup– sigh

  4. I love all your writings. Can’t wait to hear this TRUTH!
    I wish you were on NYSTV more. I will have to request
    It! Love my new Truth in TORAH family!! I was the biggest
    Charismaniac out there, thanking YAH everyday
    For opening my eyes. Now praying for my family
    And friends to come out of Babylon.

  5. It’s about time that this false spirit becomes exposed and now we can shed some light on the misconceptions on it.
    Thanks Kevin

  6. Omigosh… wait 1-2 weeks?!?! May your keystrokes be swift and the edits few. 😀 Thanks so much for writing this! Timing could not be more perfect.

  7. When I are pictures of Bill Johnson I see a snake. Can’t describe it exactly but it’s a slimy thing. I never heard of a “Python” spirit until now. With the heavy kundalini influence, I figured it must come from that.

    Conversely, Kim Clement is more confusing to me. It is *super hard* for me to look at picures of him. I see mega sliminess but there is another ickier element. I am not surprised to read from you how perverse his teaching was. I never heard of him until your articles.

    What I believe is happening with all this focus on a Jezebel spirit or a Python spirit or whatever else is out there is that Satan is keeping the focus on him. When I read LeClare’s info on Jezebel Spirit, I do feel she gets a lot correct. It stumped me for awhile because I learned later from you that she is clearly a wolf. I spent a lot of time praying about that and gradually Yahweh began to show me that Satan knows very well what he is talking about and that is why LeClare gets so much correct. What isn’t correct is she makes the topic exciting. People spend so much time focusing on what these spirits are and it leads them gently away from the Word because occult stuff has an intoxicating lure for people.

    I caution you as you approach this topic to be careful of the line between informing us vs. “entertaining” us. Satan loves it when we focus more on his schemes than on Jesus. I am sure it is tough to walk that line when trying to write articles exposing these people and their harmful doctrines. They sure do a lot that makes us what to slap our foreheads!

    Anyway, just my two cents, for what it’s worth.

  8. I must have imposed my comment on some other about moderation, however that happened. I am simply waiting for the next part of this study

  9. Kevin, you have definitely got my attention. I once read The Elijah List. That was 12-15 years ago. Then I stopped because for me, it held no substance. I preferred The Word and what the Holy Spirit would reveal to me, not what man revealed to me.

    Let’s see what you have on this interesting python spirit. I like Truth!

  10. Encyclopedia Britannica explains it this way:
    ” Python, in Greek mythology, a huge serpent that was killed by the god Apollo at Delphi either because it would not let him found his oracle, being accustomed itself to giving oracles, or because it had persecuted Apollo’s mother, Leto, during her pregnancy. In the earliest account, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, the serpent is nameless and female, but later it is male, as in Euripides’ Iphigenia Among the Taurians, and named Python (found first in the account of the 4th-century-BC historian Ephorus; Pytho was the old name for Delphi). Python was traditionally the child of Gaea (Earth) who had an oracle at Delphi “.
    Basically it was a hug serpent that constricts but let’s face it what tempted eve In the garden? ..a serpent…but who is the Serpent ? Satan. What does Satan do, he twists everything God ever intended for good. The Cure …:”seek first the kingdom of GOD and HIS righteousness. LOVE GOD FIRST WITH ALL YOUR HEART MIND AND SOUL…
    I used to wake up to visions of huge snakes slithering through the floor of the bedroom. Once I knew it to be witchcraft and divination, then I knew the only authority that can break that is the power of Jesus and the name of Jesus. But don’t kid yourself, you truly have to have a deep and personal relationship and belief in Jesus and trust in HIS resurrection power and blood to defeat this thing. You know why it annoyed Paul, Spirit recognizes Spirit and it was mocking him. But when he cast it out, he ticked off a lot of people who turned on him. ( Acts 16:16-24)It’s territorial in nature., referenced by you in Alexander the Great and Nero. But by God grace and love Paul overcame not by might but by God’s HOLY SPIRIT! Thank you for clarifying all else but I will disagree on one point, I do believe it was a large snake that constricts. But everything else you wrote I whole heartedly agree. The other thing I agree with you, if you notice how Paul dealt with it. He didn’t go into a whole big deliverance speech. He just knew that he came by the Ultimate authority of Jesus Christ and it didn’t . He knew
    the only true authority and power is in Jesus, all else is under HIS feet. Thank you for your research and Godly and sound approach.

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