The Bible and Witchcraft: What the Bible Says
By Sherif Michael
In the past forty years, there has been a resurgent interest in witchcraft in all its multifaceted guises. The main thrust has been presenting witchcraft as an innocent, entertaining subject in literature and in movies.
As usual 95% of Christians fail to use discernment, yield to media manipulation, and embrace this “sugar coated” siren of witchcraft along with the deluded mass of the population little heeding a wide array of Biblical admonitions not to open the door to Satan who comes to devour as a roaring lion. Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have you, to sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31) and that’s exactly what Satan will do if we don’t ask before reading a book, watching a movie, entering a relationship or pursuing any course of action “What would Jesus do?”
Witchcraft involves the manipulation of the demonic host, through incantations and the casting of spells. Witchcraft can also involve communication with demonic spirits impersonating the dead. The Bible clearly teaches that the dead cannot communicate with the living as there is a great chasm separating the dead from the living (Luke 16:26). As discarnate spirit entities, these demons possess knowledge regarding the activities of humans and have a limited ability to foretell the future.
Here are a few of the scriptures regarding witchcraft:
The Old and New Testaments treat witchcraft as an evil, rebellious, and loathsome practice. Those who practiced it were not tolerated.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, Exodus 22:18
Moses cautioned the children of Israel:
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable way of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord has not permitted you to do so. Deuteronomy 18:9-14
With respect to the evil kind Manasseh who reigned in Jerusalem fifty five years the Bible states: “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, followed the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Chronicles 33:2). “He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger” (2 Chronicles 33:6).
When Samuel reproved King Saul, he compared rebellion to the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Witchcraft includes both divination and idolatry. “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel 23). If Saul was rejected by God for rebellion and arrogance so will a modern day person who practices or permits himself or herself to be entertained by witchcraft and idolatry.
The Living Bible clearly addresses the fate of those who delve or as C. S. Lewis labeled “lust” for the occult: “The Lord has rejected you because you welcome foreigners from the East who practice magic and communicate with evil spirits” (Isaiah 2:6). “Crawl into the caves in the rocks and hide in terror from his glorious majesty, for the day is coming when your proud looks will be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted. On that day the Lord of Hosts will move against the proud and haughty and bring them to dust…All the glory of mankind will bow low; the pride of men will like in the dust, and the Lord alone will be exalted. And all idols will be utterly abolished and destroyed” (Isaiah 2:10-18).
Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 ascribes witchcraft as a deed of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” It is interesting to note that Paul’s warning is to the churches of Galatia whose members are already Christians. They are warned that by engaging in sinful conduct they would not inherit the kingdom of God. The warning is to those who have accepted Christ. The modern day Christian who is entertained or allows his or her children to be entertained and/or participate in the works of the flesh, which includes witchcraft, should give serious heed to this warning.
White magic and black magic are not acceptable in Christianity and there is no such thing as “cheap grace”. Christ died on the cross to forgive us for our sins, yet there is no excuse to take sin lightly. Engaging in any sin including sorcery opens one to demonic oppression and with persistent sinful conduct possession.
One cannot rationalize that one is not engaged in witchcraft but merely being entertained by books or movies whose characters participate in witchcraft, even though the protagonists are “good” witches.
The protagonist Harry Potter in the best selling Harry Potter series of books and current movie attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to become a wizard. Harry and his friends are taking classes in casting spells, magical drafts and potions, transfiguration, history of magic, magical theory etc… They are learning to become “good” wizards and witches. Evil is represented by the “Dark Side,” reminiscent of the “Dark Side” of the Force in “Star Wars,” and embodied (or disembodied and seeking to re-embody) in Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed Harry’s parents.
Harry is characterized as an average boy who has been oppressed by his very normal aunt and uncle and his cousin, reminiscent of Cinderella’s oppression at home. The very normal family members are exaggeratedly oppressive.
From a Christian paradigm, the problem with Harry is that salvation from his predicament comes from leaving home learning witchcraft, a condemned practice. Children interact with ghosts such as the Friar and Professor Binns, a ghost who teaches the History of Magic. Professor Binns was a very old professor who had fallen asleep by a staff room fire and went to teach the next morning, leaving his body behind.
Christianity teaches that witchcraft, even charming, candy coated witchcraft, is evil and that redemption only comes through Jesus Christ and certainly not from the occult. Communication with the dead is actually communication with demons or “fallen angels.” Casting spells is prohibited.
In Christianity, salvation does not come through witchcraft but by accepting the Son of God. Good is what is of God and comes from worshiping Him. “Innocent” or “mechanical” witchcraft is still witchcraft and as such dark. Exposing one’s children to a heavy dose of the supernatural, even if portrayed through the activities of appealing characters, is not acceptable. The siren call of the occult in children’s movies and cartoons can be appealing. Poltergeists, ghosts, flying broomsticks, werewolves, vampires, witches, giants, bats, goblins, haunted hallways may be captivating but they can instill a spirit of fear. They can certainly be “dark and heavy” and exposure to the occult can be addictive. This writer is a case in point having been involved in séances, palmistry, astrology and eastern meditation prior to accepting Jesus Christ. Interest in the occult started with late night “Chiller” movies and supernatural comic books.
Aside from a dark supernatural dimension there is the good supernatural dimension represented by the Heavenly Kingdom (God, His cherubim and the angelic host). For the most part this good supernatural dimension is rarely portrayed in children’s cartoons or recent popular literature. How often do we see angels on Saturday morning cartoons? The elves in the “Lord of the Rings” are such angelic type beings who frighten Sauron’s Black Riders pursuing Frodo.
Parents have a responsibility to screen what their children watch. Studies have shown that children and adults who watch regular violence on the screen become desensitized to it. The same applies with intensive exposure to the occult. Jesus said, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2).
So what can be said of the Christian entertained by the occult? The analogy can be drawn to the person who is not engaged in immoral sex but is being entertained by pornographic books or magazines. There is no such thing as a Christian “voyeur.” What is sinful to a child is sinful to an adult. Christ does not respect the “adult” bookstore nor the “adult” voyeur. Those who deal in darkness will be engulfed by it. Poison is poison. A little recreational poison can be as lethal as a lot of poison from the hand of an assassin. There is no such thing as a recreational séance (channeling session).
For all those who have engaged in sinful conduct including occult or sexual voyeurism, there is only one avenue for cleansing, nothing less than the atoning blood of Jesus. Both the non Christian and the Christian need to repent of their sins by asking God to forgive them. The non Christian needs to invite Jesus through a simple prayer to take charge of his/her life (“Jesus I accept your sacrifice for me on the cross. Forgive me for my sins. Please come into my life and take charge. Help me walk in your light”).
Take a lesson from the sorcerers and witches who came to a saving knowledge of Christ in Acts 19:19: “And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” All occult objects should be destroyed as these items are vehicles or “windows” for occult activity and oppression. They are literally magnets, which draw the demonic host.
God is not an evil God. He is not vengeful, but in the Bible he has given us a mechanic’s manual for our well being. If we insist on placing lemonade in our engine instead of oil we’ll destroy it. If we don’t obey God’s admonitions against witchcraft, sexual conduct and promiscuity, rage, envy, and substance abuse we’ll destroy our bodies and condemn our souls for eternity. You may not believe in God, but violation of his principles will nevertheless bring destruction. Witchcraft may be very alluring and comforting for you. It may give you success and power. It may give you the “warm fuzzies.” Nevertheless, it’s evil and dangerous just as the serpent was to Adam and Eve in the Garden.
For those who have had extensive occult involvement including the actual practice of witchcraft, it would be advisable to seek the counsel of a pastor of a spirit filled Christ centered church involved in the deliverance ministry. Keep in mind that you have power over all demonic principalities in the name of Jesus once you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior and are covered by His blood.
Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. Luke 10:17
In the 1950’s, Science replaced God. There was an ensuing spiritual hunger, which sought expression in the counterculture of the 1960’s and 1970’s through drugs, Eastern religions, and sexual promiscuity. This led to materialism and the cult of the self of the 1980’s and 1990’s. None of these substitutes can replace man’s deep spiritual hunger. The absence of God can only be replaced with the presence of God, and certainly not by a counterfeit such as witchcraft. Witchcraft is like illicit sex, it may offer thrills and gratification for a time but only a personal relationship with the God of the Universe through his Son Jesus Christ will satisfy, bring joy, and life eternal.
Sherif Michael practiced mantra yoga (meditated silently on a supposedly “meaningless” sound which was really the vehicle that drew him into a “Hindu” deity or really a demon from our Christian perspective). He was in bondage to this, in combination with hatha yoga for six years. According to his testimony, this was a horrible experience for him. Yoga involvement is really an exercise in a demonic activity which is portrayed as “fun” and “healthy” that can lead to demonic possession. He experienced different states of sensory consciousness which were dark and sterile until Jesus set him free. Since then he has written many articles, exposing the works of darkness and New Age philosophies. You may read them at his website: www.earthharvest.org
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Topic: What the Bible Says about Witchcraft
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