By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
In this study of Wicca, we will notice two areas that Wiccans often have a great deal of questions and objections about regarding Christianity: the spirit world and magic.
Do Christians Believe In The Spirit World Or Not?
You cannot spend much time studying with Wiccans and not get into an involved and detailed study regarding the spiritual world.
I remember one of the first conversations that I had with a Wiccan as a young Gospel preacher. As we were studying over a marvelous salad bar, she explained her background in Wicca to me, along with her disillusionment of Christianity.
Having parents who were religiously involved in a prominent Christian denomination and another relative who was a practicing witch, this young lady had been raised in two different worlds. She was especially concerned when, as a very young lady, she discovered that she had an ability to see spirits that others could not see. Being terrified at what she was witnessing, and unable to explain it, she did what most of us would have done: she confided in her family.
The reactions of her family differed quite drastically.
Her aunt told her that this was perfectly natural, and that she had a “gift” from the Lady to discern the spirits in a world that goes much deeper then the physical and material. “You were chosen to be given this wondrous gift,” the relative told the young lady.
What was the reaction of her parents?
They believed that the young lady was either making these things up, or was trippin on acid.
Why did they respond this way?
“Because the Bible teaches that there are no such things as spirits.”
Well, the young lady was adamant that she was not lying and that she had not touched drugs yo that point in her life.
Can you see why she chose Wicca over Christianity at this point in her life?
As we were sitting and talking, she asked me why she should embrace Christianity, since “the Bible is clear that spirits don’t exist,” while that she knows for a fact that they do.
Well, she was in for a shock as we started opening the Bible and studying. What she had been told about the Bible was not true; her parents had been incorrect in their view of the Bible’s teaching regarding the spiritual realm.
Church, let me tell you: sometimes we as Christians are more “materialistic” then our agnostic and atheist friends, and that DEFINITELY needs to change!
Not Against Flesh And Blood…
The Bible is clear (from beginning to end) that there is a spiritual realm, and that spirits are VERY real.
Consider just one passage with me about this. Paul wrote to the Lord’s church at Ephesus:
Ephesians 6:12-For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Look carefully at those phrases “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age,” and “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Want to know something interesting? Every one of these phrases was used in common Jewish society of Paul’s day to have reference to the numberless multitude of wicked spirits who are in league against the God of the Bible!
In the second century B.C., there was a book written entitled The Testament Of Solomon. In this book, a mother brings her demon-possessed son to the wise king for help. Solomon goes to the Lord and is told (through an angel) how to construct a magical ring that will give him the ability to capture spirits. Using the ring, Solomon captures a demonic spirit named Ornias, who then tells him:
“And he answered: “Just as things are fulfilled in heaven, so also on Earth (are fulfilled) the types of all of them. For there are principalities, authorities, world-rulers, and we demons fly about in the air; and we hear the voices of the heavenly beings, and survey all the powers.”. (Testament Of Solomon 114 (Kindle Edition); translated by F.C. Conybeare).
The list of evil spirits that the Testament Of Solomon mentions are nearly the same as those mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 6:12). The only difference between the two is that instead of using the phrase “demons,” Paul uses the phrase “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” showing that he used these terms synonymously.
Interesting Note About Demons
By studying the Scriptural clues (Numbers 25:1-3; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:28), we see that demons are the spirits of the wicked dead. This is also reflected in the first century usage of the word “demon” among the Hebrews, Greeks, and others:
“We have, from a careful survey of the history of the term demon, concluded that the demons of Paganism, Judaism, and Christianity were the ghosts of dead men. But we build not only upon the definition of the term, nor on its philological history; but upon the following seven pillars: 1. All the Pagan authors of note, whose works have survived the wreck of ages, affirm the opinion that demons were the spirits or ghosts of dead men. From Hesiod down to the more polished Celsus, their historians, poets, and philosophers occasionally express this opinion. 2. The Jewish historians, Josephus and Philo, also avow this conviction. Josephus says, “Demons are the spirits of wicked men, who enter into living men and destroy them, unless they are so happy as to meet with speedy relief. Philo says, “The souls of dead men are called demons.” 3. The Christian Fathers, Justin Martyr, Ireneus, Origen, &c. depose to the same effect. Justin, when arguing for a future state, alleges, “Those who are seized and tormented by the souls of the dead, whom all call demons, and madmen.” Lardner, after examining with the most laborious care the works of these, and all the Fathers of the first two centuries, says,
“The notion of demons, or the souls of dead men, having power over living men, was universally prevalent among the heathen of these times, and believed by many Christians. 4. The Evangelists and Apostles of Jesus Christ so understood the matter. As this is a very important, and of itself a sufficient pillar on which to rest our edifice, we shall be at more pains to illustrate and enforce it. We shall first state the philological law or canon of criticism, on the generality and truth of which all our dictionaries, grammars, and translations are formed. Every word not specially explained  or defined in a particular sense, by any standard writer of any particular age and country, is to be taken and applied in the current or commonly received signification of that country and age in which the writer lived and wrote. If this canon of translation and of criticism be denied, then we affirm there is no value in dictionaries, nor in the acquisition of ancient languages in which any book may be written; nor is there any confidence in any translation of any ancient work, sacred or profane: for they are all made upon the assumption of the truth of this law.” (Alexander Campbell, Lectures On Demonology, 136-139 (Kindle Edition).
“Although it would be a rare reader today who would equate the “demons” exorcised by Jesus with ghosts, i.e., spirits of deceased human beings who still exert an influence upon the living, many ancient readers of the Gospels would have done so automatically… To sum up the discussion thus far: it can be argued that the continued presence of the connection between the daimons and the dead in the philosophical literature, alongside the more elaborate emergent daimoniology, may indicate that ‘even these circles to had to orientate themselves by popular ideas, despite combating, or seek to move beyond them… For my purposes, the dating question is not crucial, since the testimony of the papyri and the curse tables combine to show that the connection between the daimons and the dead was made across the several centuries on either side of the NT period… Many of the spells in the Magical papyri show us that the daimons manipulated by the magicians were patently connected to the spirits of the dead… Several passages in Josephus assume the connection between the daimons and the dead. To provide but one example, Josephus says that, despite its tendency to kill the one attempting to pluck it, the plant rue possesses one highly-prized value…“ for the so-called daimons—in other words, the spirits of wicked men which enter the living and kill them unless aid is forthcoming-are promptly expelled by this root, if merely applied to the patients.” Here the daimons are defined in terms of the ghosts of the wicked, bent on human destruction.” (Peter Bolt, quoted in Anthony N.S. Lane, The Unseen World: Christian Reflections on Angels, Demons, and the Heavenly Realm (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 75, 88-89, 95-96.).
In addition to these unsaved spirits, we are told about principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this age. These were all well-known Jewish designations for fallen angels who had rebelled against God and who masquerade as “gods” and “goddesses” among humanity (cf. Psalm 82; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
Speaking of how prominent these terms were in use in several pre-Christian Jewish sources, scholar Clinton Arnold tells us:
“Most scholars believe Paul’s vocabulary for the powers reflects the Jewish demonology of his own day. All of the terms Paul used for the powers can be found in Jewish documents of the Greco-Roman period. riod. The Judaism of Paul’s time had a highly developed angelology, as evidenced by the following citations from Jewish documents that contain many of the same terms used by Paul: And he [God] will summon all the forces [dynameis] of the heavens, and all the holy ones above, and the forces of the Lord-the cherubim, bim, seraphim, ophanim, all the angels of governance [archai], the Elect One, and the other forces [exousiai] on earth and over the water. (1 Enoch 61:10)2 And I saw there [in the seventh heaven] an exceptionally great light, and all the fiery armies of the great archangels, and the incorporeal forces [dynameis] and the dominions [kyriotetesJ and the origins [archaiJ and the authorities [exousiaiJ, the cherubim and the seraphim and the many-eyed thrones [thronoi]. (2 Enoch 20:1)’ There with him [God] are the thrones [thronoi]) and authorities [exousiai]; there praises to God are offered eternally. (Testament of Levi 3:8) While all three texts refer to the angelic hierarchy surrounding God’s throne, the Jews believed the same hierarchy existed in the kingdom of evil. Furthermore, many of these terms were commonly used to refer to various ranks of human leaders in governmental positions of authority. The angelic kingdom was widely believed to be structured in an analogous way to earthly political kingdoms….While “principalities” (archai) and “authorities” (exousiai) seem to be uniquely Jewish expressions for the unseen realm, many of the other words he used were also used by Gentiles to refer to the world of spirits and invisible powers. Words like “powers” (dynameis), “dominions” ions” (kyriotetes), “thrones” (thronoi), “angels” (angeloi), “world rulers” (kosmokratores), “demons” (daimonia), “elemental spirits” (stoicheia) and “rulers” (archontes) were known and used by pagans, as evidenced in their magical and astrological texts.”” (Clinton E. Arnold, Powers Of Darkness: Principalities And Powers In Paul’s Letters, 90-91 (Kindle Edition); Downers Grove, Illinois; InterVarsity Press)
So adding all of these together, we see that the Bible presents a very startling picture that ours is a world that is in a battle with spiritual forces that are bent on our destruction (cf. 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Revelation 12:7-12).
However, it goes even deeper.
You see, the Bible actually teaches that the number of spiritual beings who are opposed to God will be increasingly released from Sheol during the Christian Age. This is made especially clear in the Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation is a series of seven visions which the Apostle John has. Each vision begins with the victory of Christ at Calvary in defeating the powers of Satan, followed by the Christian Age, which ends with the Second Coming.
In each of the seven visions, we see Satanic and demonic attacks against the church increasing between the times of the First and Second Coming. For example:
Revelation 9:1-3-1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Revelation 9:20-But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
Revelation 12:9-So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Revelation 16:13-14-And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. Rev 16:14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Revelation 18:2-And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
Revelation 20:7-8-7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
In all of these passages, we see the Bible clearly teaching that demonic activity will INCREASE during the Christian Age, leading up to the Second Coming.
When you study with your Wiccan friends, be sure and help them to see that the Bible is clear that there are very spiritual powers at work in the world.
Yet even as you point these things out, also share them with the wicked nature of many of these spirits. They can pretend to be “angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
What’s The Word On Magic?
Another question Wiccans often raise deals with the subject of magic and the Bible.
To a Wiccan, the word “magic” can have several different meanings. Some Wiccans believe that magic is the invoking of the primal energy that infuses the universe, while others believe that it is the manipulation of spirits for personal motivation.
Many in our world believe that magic is simply fun tricks and games.however, the Bible when the Bible talks about magic, it has reference to much more then sleight of hand. In fact, during the time of Christ, the religious leaders had strict tests to distinguish between simple street magicians and demonically enhanced sorcerers. In fact, we see this clearly laid out in the New Testament regarding Jesus!
“That is not the record of a bloodthirsty people. Yet in Jesus’ case, certain of them were determined to bring an end to Him. And why? -because they thought Him an illusionist who cleverly gave only the appearance of being a miracle worker? No. Interestingly, Jewish law made a clear distinction between illusionists, conjurors and street-magicians for whom the death penalty did not apply, and sorcerers who employed real spiritual powers and entities to work their ‘miracles,’ and for whom the law did prescribe death. But they made sure first of all by forensic examination that what was being performed was indeed just an illusion, and if any doubt existed then they would commonly assume that it was merely an illusion and give the suspect or accused the benefit of the doubt. 8 Tellingly, when they examined Jesus’ miracles, they found absolutely no evidence of illusion or sleight of hand. His miracles were real and they were profoundly shocked by that fact. 9” (Bill Cooper, The Authenticity Of The New Testament: Part One-The Gospels, 2014-2016 (Kindle Edition)
This highlights another related issue that Wiccans will often bring up. Many are taught that Jesus was a highly evolved Wiccan sorcerer, and that His miracles were simply a form of sorcery which He had learned from pagans in His day and age. How shall we respond to this?
It is true that Jesus was often viewed as a sorcerer because of his incredible miraculous gifts. For example, the Babylonian Talmud says that the Jews accused Jesus of practicing sorcery:
“On the eve of Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!” (Babylonian Talmud)
Thiede points out some surprising facts about “miracle-workers” in Jesus’ day, as well as one of the problems with the idea that Jesus was trained in pagan sorcery:
“To begin with, we have to understand two surprising facts about the time of Jesus. Miracles were the exception, not the rule. First, it is plainly untrue that Jesus was just one of many so-called miracle workers of his time. And secondly, not one of his contemporaries doubted that he performed his miracles…In AD 178, one of the fiercest critics of nascent Christianity, a certain Celsus (Kelsos in Greek), a man who disputed the validity of the Christian message with every philosophical and pseudo-rational argument he could muster, never for a moment doubted the historicity of Jesus’ miracles. They had all happened –but, Celsus alleged, Jesus had learned the art of miraculous healings and other such deeds when he stayed in Egypt as a young boy and was taught by Egyptian magicians. If this was so, it remains to be asked why Egyptian magicians themselves never performed such miracles.” (Carsten Peter Thiede, Jesus, Man Or Myth? 878-948 (Kindle Edition); Oxford, England; Lion Books)
Thiede’s points are well taken. Jesus was in a class by Himself in regards to His miracles! Other ancient sources outside of the New Testament reference the miracles of Jesus, as well as their uniqueness (such as the writings of Josephus, the Acts of Pontius Pilate, the works of Quadratus, etc.).
It also needs to be noted that when those who had been bewitched by sorcery for years were exposed to the preaching of the Gospel and the miraculous gifts of the first century church, they were able to see an immediate difference between the two!
Acts 8:5-12-5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.8 And there was great joy in that city.9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
In fact, even Simon himself saw the clear difference between the miraculous gifts of Christ’s people and the paganism which he practiced!
Acts 8:13-Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
McGarvey has well said:
“Suffice it to say, that this single incident should put to silence forever that species of skepticism which resolves all the miracles of Christ and the apostles into occult art and optical illusions; for here are these arts, in their most delusive form, brought into direct conflict with apostolic miracles; and so palpable is the distinction, that it is at once discovered and acknowledged by the whole multitude.” (J.W. A Commentary On Acts Of The Apostles, McGarvey, 2387 (Kindle Edition)
The miracles of Jesus, His Apostles, and His early church were quite different from paganism, and this distinction was immediately evident to those who were familiar with the two.
Your Wiccan friends may quickly ask why these miraculous gifts are not present today. When I am pressed with this question, I point out that once the Word of God had been so powerfully confirmed, there was no need for those gifts to continue. Paul himself pointed this out (1 Corinthians 13:8-10), and the testimony of clear is that the miraculous gifts did indeed end shortly after the Apostolic Age, after those upon whom the Apostles laid their hand and conferred the ability to work miracles, died (Acts 8:18-19). For example, the testimony of the early church is clear:
Chrysostom-“[Commenting on 1 Corinthians 12:] “This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place.” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Corinthians , 36.7. Chrysostom is commenting on 1 Corinthians 12:1–2 and introducing the entire chapter. Cited from Gerald Bray, ed., 1–2 Corinthians , Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999), 146)
Chrysostom (Commenting On 2 Thessalonians 2:7)-“One may naturally inquire what is that which restrains the man of lawlessness, and in addition, why Paul expresses it so obscurely. What then is it that holds back, that is, that hinders the revealing of, the Antichrist? Some indeed say, the grace of the Spirit, but others the Roman Empire. I agree with the latter position. Why? Because if Paul meant to say the Spirit, he would not have spoken obscurely but plainly, that even now the grace of the Spirit, that is the gifts, hold back the Antichrist. If not, he should have come by now, if his coming was to occur with the cessation of the gifts of the Spirit; for they have long since ceased….But because Paul said this of the Roman Empire, he merely touched the topic, understandably speaking covertly and darkly. For he had no need to create unnecessary enemies and useless dangers.…(Homilies on 2 Thessalonians 4. [NPNF 1 13:388-89*.])
Theodoret of Cyril-“In former times those who accepted the divine preaching and who were baptized for their salvation were given visible signs of the grace of the Holy Spirit at work in them. Some spoke in tongues which they did not know and which nobody had taught them, while others performed miracles or prophesied. The Corinthians also did these things, but they did not use the gifts as they should have done. They were more interested in showing off than in using them for the edification of the church.” (Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians 240. [PG 82:319])
Augustine-““In the earliest times, the Holy Spirit fell upon them that believe and they spoke with tongues, which they had not learned, as the Spirit gave them utterance. These were signs adapted to the time. For there was this betokening of the Holy Spirit in all tongues to show that the gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth. That thing was done for a sign, and it passed away.” (Augustine, Homilies on the First Epistle of John , 6.10. Cited from Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post- Nicene Fathers , 1st series (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2012), 7:497–98)
Gregory the Great-“Is it, my brethren, because we do not have these signs that you do not believe? These were needed at the church’s beginning. The new faith needed to be nourished by miracles to grow. When we plant a vineyard, we must water the plants till we see they have begun to grow in the earth, and when they have once taken root we cease to water them constantly.… But true life cannot be obtained by means of these outward signs by those who perform them. For although corporeal works of this kind sometimes do proclaim an inner holiness of life, they do not bring it about.” (Homilies on the Gospels 29. [Cetedoc 1711, 2.29.4, 5, 4.39; SSGF 2:428*; PL 76.])
I am quick to point out, however, that my God still does wondrous things in response to the prayers of His people (Ephesians 3;20-21; Revelation 8:1-7).
So Why Is God So Opposed To Magic?
Very simply, God warns His people against sorcery because such comes from Satan and the fallen angels, not from Him.
Several Scriptures bear our that all forms of occultism and witchcraft are directly tied in with Satanic and demonic activity (Deuteronomy 32:16-17; Psalm 106:35-40; Acts 16:16-19; 1 Corinthians 10:19-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 16:13-14).
Also interesting in this connection is the fact that several ancient extra-biblical books make the connection between occultism and the fallen angels and demons. The Book of Enoch, for example, is worthy of consideration here. While the book of Enoch is not inspired Scripture, several passages of the Bible make reference to it as a reliable historical account (Ezekiel 28:14-16; Jude 14; Revelation 21:18-19).
Speaking of the activity of the fallen angels and their corruption of mankind, we read:
Enoch 9:6-7-6 You see what Azazel has done, teaching unrighteousness on earth and revealing the eternal secrets concealed in heaven . 7 Semyaza and those he has authority over have taught sorcery.
We also learn from ancient Hebrew history books that James and Jambres (2 Timothy 3:8), the sorcerers that opposed Moses (Jasher 79:27, 36) by duplicating some of the miracles that he did before the Pharaoh, did so with the help of fallen angels (Book of Jubilees 48).
Further, the God of Creation warns His people about magic and sorcery for the simple reason that this demonically driven art is dangerous to mankind, and leads to much suffering. This is made absolutely clear by studying the ancient rites of paganism, as well as the bloody and detestable descriptions in the Old Testament associated with witchcraft.
However, many modern day Wiccans teach that the craft which they practice today is quite different from the dangerous and violent paganism of the Old Testament times. Yet is this true?
From the Old Testament, we see that there were at least nine primary types of paganism that were practiced in the ancient land of Canaan.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11-10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
Investigating the original words from this text in their original cultural context, Ken Chambers provides an excellent description of the practices here enumerated, as well as showing the many similarities between these and modern Wicca and witchcraft:
“From Deuteronomy we can create a list of nine separate forms of Paganism. Once we identify these and learn exactly what the practices are, we will be able to see the form they occur in today….The Canaanites worshiped a g od c alled Moloch with human sacrifice s . Children , ( mainly their firstborn sons ) were burned alive in their sacrifices to this god….“Tophet is Moloch, an idol which was made of brass . T he Canaanites heated him from his lower parts; and his outstretched hands were made hot . T hey put the child in his hands, and it was burnt alive. When the child vehemently cried out the priests beat a drum, so the father would not hear the voice of his son, and move his heart.” Rabbi Rashi’s C ommentary on Jeremiah 7:31…Diviner –“Kesem” “ Kesem ” is t he practice where one gazes at an object until he becomes transfixed by it and forgets the world around him. Once he achieves this great level of concentration, he can predict future events. By this definition, some form of meditation is required to achieve an altered state of consciousness….Observer of Times –“Me’onen” “Me’onen” is Chaldean Astrology. In later times it was confused with the cloud reader and those who divine by observing the flights of birds…The enchanter s ees omens in animals. An enchanter u ses something to charm/control animals (serpents and scorpions) to be passive or to attack. Burning incense is one way of charming…“Sorcerer” is a general term for any occult practice. It m ay include drug use , meditation , or both, but it always has some method t o cause an altered state of consciousness . Compare this to Shamanism. The ancient church fathers used the terms “magician” and “sorcerer” interchangeably….A charmer is o ne who makes charms. A charm is a p i ece of jewelry worn for protect ion or to cause something to happen , such as attract love or money . A protective charm is called an a mulet. Other charms are called t alismans. In Acts 19:19 , Paul ’s new Christian converts in the city o f Ephesus burn ed their magic books. Archeology has unearthed some of these texts. The magic rites of Diana included spells, amulets, and talismans invoking her for aid. This is exactly the same thing found today inside the religion s of Hinduism and Wicca….One with a F amiliar S pirit –“ Ob ” Ob ’s c onjur ed up ghosts and spirits and made them materialize and speak. One kind use d a skull ( t eraphim) and the other kind use d soothsaying. Some r abbis taught that the O b would see the spirit but not hear it speaking; the inquirer would hear the voice but not see the spirit, while bystanders would not hear or see anything…Th e Ob was the kind of Canaanite Sorcerer used by King Saul to conjure the spirit of the prophet Samuel….So the Ob created what is commonly called a necronomic pit . By use of a t eraphim, ( her familiar spirit ) she cause d spirits to appear. This same practice of casting magic circle s on the ground for ritual purposes is still used today by modern w itches. See the chapter on Wicca for details….The Talmud states that the name for a wizard, Yidde’oni , comes from a word loosely translated as an extinct animal. It also states that no one remembers exactly what kind of animal it was. The name carried over to mean those who u se d a bone of this extinct animal by placing it in their mouths and through some incantations can have the dead speak through this bone. This has been translated as a ventriloquist or a m edium. It is quite possible that the term in this ancient passage means, instead of “extinct animal,” a bone from the deceased. Mediums today often ask for an artifact of the deceased in order to try to make some sort of contact with them….A n ecromancer is a little different from the w izard. According to this passage in the Talmud , n ecromancers were said to spend nights in cemeteries in order to invoke the spirits of the dead . They would wear special clothing designed e specially for this purpose and burn incense to attract the spirits. Once the ritual was thought to be complete , the necromancer would go to sleep on the grave of the deceased , expecting them to appear in their dreams and answer their questions….Magician and Soothsayer are g eneral terms for any of the previous practices. A sorcerer uses more ceremonial magic (calling on spirits for aid) , while a magician uses more non-ceremonial magic (relying on the power of the human spirit without asking other spirits for aid.) Biblically, whether the occultist thinks he or she is contacting a spirit or using the i r own power , it is exactly the same demonic manifestation.” (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Paganism: The Sorcery Of The Fallen Angels, 59-63 (Kindle Edition)
When I study with Wiccans, I point out that magic is very real and can produce some very incredible things. The Bible teaches this clearly:
Exodus 7:11-But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Exodus 7:22-Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said.
Exodus 8:7-And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
Yet it is also very important to point out that the power of God was always shown to be greater:
Exodus 7:12-12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Exodus 8:18-19-18 Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast.
19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the LORD had said.
Exodus 9:11-And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians.
In fact, every one of the Ten Plagues of Egypt was a demonstration to the Egyptians that the God of Israel was more powerful than all of the gods of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:12; 18:11)!
It is also interesting to notice that the ancient Egyptians kept a record of these plagues (the famous Ipuwer Papyrus), and that many Egyptians were converted to Yahweh and left with the Hebrews in the Exodus as they were able to see the clear distinction between the God of Israel and the gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:38).
While magic is very real, it is very dangerous…and this is one of the many reasons that we should not mess around with sorcery and occultism.
The spiritual world is very real, and God has set specific boundaries in place for His people in regards to magic and sorcery. The reason for these boundaries is to protect us from the spiritual dangers that we are not equipped to handle by ourselves.
The miracles of Jesus and His church clearly document that He is the Son of God (John 3:2; 20:30-31; Hebrews 2:1-4; Acts 2:22).
He came to provide victory for mankind over the powers of Satan by defeating them on the cross of Calvary (Colossians 2:14-15). In His death, burial, and resurrection on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), Jesus is able to save all who will come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30). Believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31-34) who hear His Word (John 6:44-45), repent is their sins (Luke 13:3), confess Him before men (1 Timothy 6:12-13), and are baptized into Him (Romans 6:3-4) will be forgiven and saved (Acts 2:37-47). If we are faithful to death we will receive Heaven as our home (Revelation 2:10).
When we sin as Christians, God will forgive us if we will repent and pray to Him (1 John 1:7-2:2).
Why not obey Him today?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.