Interesting Facts From The Temple Of Serapis

 

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist) 

In the writings of Socrates, there is found a very interesting passage about the temple of Serapis.  

We read: 

“When the Temple of Serapis was torn down and laid bare, there were found in it, engraven on stones, certain characters which they call hieroglyphics, having the forms of crosses. Both the Christians and pagans on seeing them, appropriated and applied them to their respective religions: for the Christians who affirm that the cross is the sign of Christ’s saving passion, claimed this character as peculiarly theirs; but the pagans alleged that it might appertain to Christ and Serapis in common; for,’ said they, it symbolizes one thing to Christians and another to heathens.’ Whilst this point was controverted amongst them, some of the heathen converts to Christianity, who were conversant with these hieroglyphic characters, interpreted the form of a cross and said that it signifies Life to come.’ This the Christians exultingly laid hold of, as decidedly favorable to their religion. But after other hieroglyphics had been deciphered containing a prediction that When the cross should appear,’—for this was life to come,’—the Temple of Serapis would be destroyed,’ a very great number of the pagans embraced Christianity, and confessing their sins, were baptized. Such are the reports I have heard respecting the discovery of this symbol in form of a cross.” (AETERNA PRESS, The Ecclesiastical History Of Socrates, Scholasticus, 4156-4165 (Kindle Edition)) 

Several things about this predictions rom Serapis stand out and are worthy of our consideration.  

First, let’s look at the identity of this person “Serapis.” Who exactly was he?

One of the ancient church fathers, Melito, has given us a clue to the identity of Serapis when he writes: 

“The Egyptians worshipped Joseph the Hebrew, who was called Serapis, because he supplied them with corn during the years of famine. (Melito (c. 170, E), 8.752) 

One of the names of Joseph, therefore, was Serapis. This is corroborated, in fact, by several other “church fathers.”

Ken Johnson provides an excellent summary of how the Egyptians understood Serapis: 

“Who was Serapis and how was he able to accurately prophesy? The ancient church fathers relate that Serapis was one of the Egyptian names given to Joseph, son of Jacob. Joseph knew that in time the Egyptians would worship him as they did most of the ancestral kings. So he built a library to house the oracles of the one true God of the Hebrews, and carved the prophecy into the stone walls of the library. In time it was perverted into a pagan temple, and Sarapis became synonymous with the god O s iris. When worshiped under the figure of a bull , he is called Apis.” (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Prophecies Revealed: 500 Prophecies Listed In Order Of When They Were Fulfilled, 76 (Kindle Edition); BibleFacts.org) 

Second, this identification of Serapis with Joseph helps us to understand the powerful prophecy that was here manifest. Joseph was a Prophet of God through whom the Lord revealed the future. For example, we are told:

Genesis 41:25-Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do:

Joseph made it clear that his knowledge of the future and of interpreting dreams came from the Almighty, and not from Joseph himself:

Genesis 41:16-So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”

Jospeh, the Prophet of God, was able to see into the future. This ability was given to the Prophets as an evidence to the people that they were truly serving the one true God:

Isaiah 41:21-24-21 “Present your case,” says the LORD. “Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob. 22 “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. 23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together. 24 Indeed you are nothing, And your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.  

Amos 3:7-Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

The pagans often had knowledge of the Gospel of Christ (as reflected in their writings) because they incorporated the prophecies from the Hebrews.  

“The influence of ancient Judaism is evident throughout different cultures.85 Monotheism and the prophecies of a Savior, born of a virgin, sacrificed for sins, and resurrected can be found throughout the Old Testament documents. The first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, was recorded approximately 1446 BC (oral tradition likely preserving it for countless years prior to that date), and the entire Old Testament was translated into Greek around 250 BC, making it available in the common language of the Hellenistic empire that extended to the ends of the known world. Since the Old Testament prophesied of the virgin-born Messiah, it is not surprising that the story spread before Christ’s first advent. An Egyptian papyrus dated to 340 BC reveals, “Who is the author of Re-birth? The Son of God, the One Man, by God’s Will.”86 And from another source, dated to approximately the same time, “The Lord and maker of all . . . from himself made the second God, the Visible . . . whom he loved as his Son.” Although not in agreement with Christian doctrine as to the nature of the Son, these two writings predate Christianity and point to what can be considered a common knowledge. Old Testament history (both oral and written) provides a basis for the existence of mutual knowledge, since the cultural and religious practices of neighboring and distant nations is referenced several times by different authors. In light of these historical facts, the Savior myth can be seen as a common belief emerging from the similar nature of human beings, a diffusion of knowledge from a central base—the Middle East, and the direct result of the distortion of biblical prophecy. Common knowledge produced generally similar stories whose details were invariably different.” (Walter Martin, Jill Martin, Rische Kurt, Van Gorden, The Kingdom Of The Occult, 112-113 (Kindle Edition); Nashville,, Tn; Thomas Nelson)  

Third, this information about the temple of Serapis reveals to us the fact that Joseph had told the people long before the time of Christ about the religion that the Creator world bring to the world which would herald salvation. What would be the sign of this new religion?

The cross!  

It is important for us to realize that numerous events in the Bible pointed to what Jesus would accomplish at Calvary. It is no wonder that Paul reminds us:

1 Corinthians 1:18-For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

When Jesus died for the sins of mankind on the cross of Calvary, He was paving the way for us to be saved and redeemed.  

Colossians 1:20-and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

The Gospel (Good News) is primarily about the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). What incredibly good news this is for those who are being saved!  

Finally, please notice that the pagans responded in precisely the correct way to this knowledge. Having heard the Word of God, they as believers repented and were baptized into Christ. In Scripture, we are told:

Acts 2:41-Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Acts 8:12-13-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. 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.

Acts 8:38-So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

Acts 9:18-Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

Acts 10:47-48-47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

Acts 16:14-15-14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.  

Acts 16:33-And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.

Acts 18:8-Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

Acts 19:5-When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 22:16-And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

Why not follow their example and turn your life to the Lord friends?  

Or if you are a child of God who has turned away from the Lord, why not repent today and confess your sins to the Lord in prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9)?  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.  

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Aliens: Extraterrestrial Friends Or Interdimensional Foes?

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

Many of the people that I work with in the Hazard area have had experiences with “alien” encounters.

Oh, I am not just talking about strange sightings in the night skies (although there have been many of these).

I am talking about people that I have worked with who have told me about encounters with “aliens” that go something like this… Continue reading Aliens: Extraterrestrial Friends Or Interdimensional Foes?

Overview Of The Book Of Jasher

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

Several times in the Bible, there are references made to a work known as the book of Jasher. However, this book is not found in the 66 Books of the Bible. In this article, I would like to share with you some of the facts regarding this interesting book, and notice some of its’ many valuable gems for the devout student of the Bible.   Continue reading Overview Of The Book Of Jasher

Christianity And The Masonic Lodge: Are They Compatible?

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

In this outline, I want to show you some of the reasons why New Testament Christianity and Freemasonry are incompatible.

I have quoted a great deal of sources in this study, and hope that you will study these things out for yourself. Please do not be deceived by Freemasonry!   Continue reading Christianity And The Masonic Lodge: Are They Compatible?

Studying Wicca: Part Four

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 [463] 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.

Conclusion

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. 

Studying Wicca: Part Three

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)  

In Part One of this series, we studied about the origin and basic beliefs, teachings, and practices of Wicca. 

In Part Two, we learned about some of the commendable traits and qualities of this religion, as well as some of the points of agreement between Christianity and Wicca.  

In this article, we will notice some of the areas of disagreement between these two religious systems in regards to God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ.  

We will then offer some practical suggestions for Christians who are studying with their Wiccan friends and neighbors.  

Looking At God

As we noticed in Part One of our study, most Wiccans are either pantheistic or panentheistic in their worldview.  

Pantheism is the belief that the entire creation is God, and that it has always existed in one form or another. As such, pantheism claims that the universe is eternal. 

However, by studying the universe itself, we quickly see that it is not eternal and that it had a definite beginning (and will have an end someday).   

Investigating how the laws of thermodynamics apply to the the universe, we learn:

“The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed it can be transformed into matter and converted from heat to electricity or to mechanical energy and back again but the total amount of energy always remains constant. The second law of thermodynamics says that, in the absence of any interference, the energy in a system will always tend toward its most probable distribution a hot cup of coffee left to stand will always get colder, it won’t get hotter….The universe is a very non-equilibrium place. The stars are very hot and the rest of the universe is very cold. We live on a warm planet only because we are at a just-right distance from a star much farther out and we would freeze, much farther in and we would fry. We can conclude from this non-equilibrium condition that the universe is therefore not infinitely old. If it were infinitely old then the heat would have become evenly (and randomly) distributed throughout and everything would be cold and dark. Now the second law of thermodynamics says that the tendency of any system is always (on average there may be localized exceptions) toward equilibrium, so we can reasonably ask: “How did our universe get so far away from equilibrium?” This is an important challenge for any naturalistic cosmology, because if we take the present-day universe in its non-equilibrium state, and wind its history back through time, we get a universe that is further and further away from equilibrium. That is, the universe becomes more structured as you go back in time. This is not convenient for atheists because it points to a highly structured universe in the beginning. This is generally acknowledged by big-bang theorists to be an unexplained problem. 18. The biblical model, however, is consistent with the second law. It has the Creator doing the ordering work of creation at the beginning, after which entropy increases according to the second law.” (Alexander Williams and John Hartnett., Dismantling The Big Bang: God’s Universe Rediscovered, 1971-2002 (Kindle Edition); Green Forest, AR; Master Books, Inc).  

From this, it is clear that pantheism cannot be a valid worldview.  

What of panentheism? Panentheists believe that the universe is the body of God, which He inhabits. Since the universe is always in a state of flux, so God (it is reasoned) is always changing.  

However, there are several problems with panentheism. To see some of these problems, simply consider what we learn about the Nature of the Creator from the universe and then compare this with panentheism.  

For example, consider the subject of change. We know from the nature of the universe that the Creator must be completely changeless in nature. This is a simple result of His eternal and timeless nature. Since this Being created time, then it exists outside of it. But since change is simply a byproduct of time, then this Being (existing outside of time) is completely changeless in its nature.  

This is an inescapable conclusion, and one that clearly shows panentheism cannot be accurate (since the god of panentheism is always changing).  

Furthermore, if the god of panentheism is always changing (as panentheists maintain), then how could the changes thereof be identified unless there were not first some ultimate and unchangeable standard of measurement?  

Geisler and Brooks have well explained: 

“A view that is halfway between pantheism and theism is panentheism, also known as process theology. It says that God is to the world as a soul is to a body. As in theism, the world needs God to exist but, like pantheism, God also needs the world to express Himself. So, while God is beyond the world in one sense, He also is the world in another sense. What is beyond the world actualizes itself (makes itself real) in the world. So God is always changing as the world changes. He is in the process of becoming all that He can be….Also, how can one know that everything is changing if there is not some unchanging standard by which to measure change? Because cause we are moving along with it, we don’t notice that the world is rotating on its axis or revolving around the sun. It feels like we arc standing still. The same thing happens if we toss a ball straight up in the air in an airplane. We don’t realize that the ball is really traveling at 500 miles per hour because we are moving at the same speed. We can only be sure that something is moving when we measure it by something that is not moving. So how can we know that everything is changing unless we can look at something that is not changing? Panentheism has no explanation for this because it holds that even God is constantly changing.” (Norman L. Geisler & Ronald M. Brooks, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook On Christian Evidences, 47-51 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

The very moment we begin talking about “change,” we are alluding to the fact that there is a perfect and changeless Standard by which all change is measured. This is one of the reasons why panentheism always fails.

Yet a Wiccan may object, “If God is changeless, then how do you explain the existence of Jesus Christ? Didn’t God become flesh and “change” while He was in the world?”

Yes, it is the case that through Jesus, God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). And yes, while Jesus was here, He changed as He grew and learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8-9).  

Are Christians, therefore, guilty of violating the same principle of changelessness which we have incited against our Wiccan friends? 

Not at all, and here is why.  

When the Bible speaks of Jesus as God being manifest in the flesh, it is teaching that Jesus maintains His complete Divine Nature, while also taking on the nature of man. In His Divine Nature, the Son of God did not change!  

Colossians 2:9-For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Hebrews 13:8-Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The “emptying” that Christ underwent (Philippians 2:5-9) did not involve the forfeiture of His Divine Nature. Instead, it meant that the Son of God (being 100% God), by virtue His omnipotent power, He (at the same time) took on flesh (and “became” 100% human).

As such, the Bible maintains that Christ (being both fully God and fully man) was able to “become” the perfect High Priest and Mediator between God and man:

Hebrews 2:17-18-17  Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15-16-15  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

16  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When we carefully examine what nature itself teaches us about the Creator, we see that it matches up PERFECTLY with the God of the Bible:

“This God Who Exists Is Identical to the God Described in the Christian Scriptures. The God described in the Bible is said to be eternal (Col. 1 :16; Heb. 1:2), changeless (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 6:18), infinite (I Kings 8:27; Isa. 66:1), all-loving (John 3:16; I John 4:16), and all-powerful (Heb. 1:3; Matt. 19:26). But there cannot be two infinitely perfect, changeless, eternal beings. First, there can be only one infinite and necessary Being, as was shown above (p. 239f.). Second, there could not be two beings who have all possible perfections attributable to them. For in order to be two beings one would have to differ from the other; where there is no difference in being there is only one being. But there can be no difference unless one being has something the other does not. But if there is something that an infinite being can have but one lacks, then the one lacking it is not absolutely perfect. Hence, there is only one absolutely perfect being. But if there cannot be two such beings, then the God described in the Bible is identical to the God concluded from the above argument. Therefore, the God Described in the Bible Exists. If there is only one God and the God described in the Bible is identical in characteristics to him, then it follows logically that the God described in the Bible exists. For there cannot be two infinitely perfect beings; there cannot be two such ultimates or absolutes, and so forth. Hence, the God portrayed in Scripture does indeed exist.” (Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics, 249-250 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books House)  

Looking At The Bible

When I study with my Wiccan friends, I always try to move to point out that the Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. This can be demonstrated through several Scriptures (Jeremiah 1:9-10; 2 Samuel 23:2; Matthew 10:19; John 14:26; 16:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:19-21, etc.). 

However, I am also quick to establish that I do not believe the Bible is the Word of God merely because it CLAIMS to be. Rather, I know that the Bible is the Word of God because of the irrefutable evidences which demand this conclusion.  

In my personal experience, I have found this to be a VERY important point to make. Many Christians seem to expect their pagan friends to accept that the Bible is God’s Word simply because it says that it is.  

Some might even proclaim, “I know that the Bible is true because I feel it in my heart!”  

But really, this is pretty bad “reasoning.” Think about it! How many people claim that their religion must be true because of a “feeling in the heart?”  

My Mormon friends tell me the Book of Mormon is true because of a burning in their bosom.  

My Muslim friends tell me that they believe in the Quran because of the sincerity and purity of their “faith.” 

My Wiccan friends often tell me that they accept the teachings of their religion because of unique spiritual encounters with otherworldly beings (who I have no doubt exist, by the way) which touches their heart in a unique way.  

Timothy Paul Jones really does a great job explaining these things:

“Why, then, is this book necessary? If these reconstructions are readily refutable, why spend so much time responding to them? Why not simply ignore the Christ conspiracies? Here’s why the Christ conspiracies can’t be overlooked: The strongest faith is a faith that knows not only what we believe but also why. In the past five years or so, I’ve spoken with thousands of people—most of them firm believers in the biblical perspective on Jesus—about the historical foundations of their faith. In the process, I’ve heard multitudes of well-meaning Christians provide the same two reasons for their faith in Jesus. The first reason runs something like this: “I just know Jesus is alive because I’ve felt His presence—that’s the only proof I need!” The other one is usually stated in these terms: “The Bible is God’s Word; so, if the Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.” I respect these believers’ sincerity; I really do. But may I be blunt for just a moment? These are rotten reasons to believe in Jesus. Just because you’ve felt something that you identified as God’s presence doesn’t mean that what you felt was true. And how do you know that the Bible is God’s Word? Is it simply because the Bible claims to be inspired by God? Unless there’s a firmer foundation for the truth of Scripture than the Bible’s own claims about itself, the fact that “the Bible says it” doesn’t settle anything. Sure, the apostle Paul referred to the Hebrew Scriptures as “God-breathed,” and a letter ascribed to Simon Peter placed New Testament writings in the same inspired category as the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:16-17), but the Quran—the holy book of the Islamic faith—claims divine inspiration for itself too.26 So why couldn’t a devout Muslim make a similar statement about the Quran: “The Quran says it, I believe it, and that settles it”?…What about the inward, personal awareness that Jesus is present and alive?28 Doesn’t that prove the truth of the Christian Gospel? What could possibly be wrong with faith of this sort—a faith that’s based on an individual’s personal experience with Jesus? In truth, this foundation for faith is even flimsier than the first one. Why? Think about it this way: based on supposed personal experiences with God, cult leader Jim Jones claimed that he was the reincarnation of both Jesus Christ and the Buddha (as well as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin!),29 Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda declared himself to be the second coming of Christ as well as the Antichrist, and forty-one Heaven’s Gate cult members committed suicide in 1997 so that their souls could catch a ride on an outbound UFO.30 If the foundation for my faith is my own personal experience with the divine, what’s the difference between my claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and De Jesus Miranda’s claim that he is both Christ and Antichrist?…In the final analysis, our experiences are inadequate foundations for our faith because even if our experiences are indeed real, we don’t always interpret the meaning of our experiences correctly…In the simplest possible terms, I need a foundation for faith that runs deeper than my own less-than-reliable interpretations of my experiences or the Bible’s own claims about itself.” (Timothy Paul Jones, Conspiracies And The Cross: How To Intelligently Counter The Ten Most Popular Theories That Attack The Gospel Of Jesus, 257-305 (Kindle Edition); Lake Mary Florida; FrontLine: A Strang Company)

Our own hearts are NEVER a perfect standard for establishing truth!

Judges 21:25-In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Proverbs 28:26-He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

Jeremiah 17:9-The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

When we study with our friends (whether Wiccan, Muslim, atheist, or whatever the case may be), we need to show them some of the solid and logical reasons why we know that the Bible is the complete and final revelation of God to mankind.  

Some of the evidences which may be used for these purposes come from the topics of prophecy and fulfillment, the scientific foreknowledge of the Bible writers, miraculous attestation (as authenticated by establishing the genuineness and credibility of the Books of the Bible), archaeological testimony, the supernatural unity of the Bible, etc.  

How strong are these evidences? Well, speaking only from my own personal experience, I have seen several atheists, agnostics, Wiccans, Druids, witches, occultists, and satanists converted to Christ Jesus by a study of these “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:1-3).  

By way of contrast, I have asked my pagan friends several times for proof that their gods can (for example) provide examples of prophecy and fulfillment (Isaiah 41:21-24; 42:9; 43:9-12; 45:21; John 13:19). To this day, there have been no takers, while several have quite candidly told me that their god’s CANNOT reveal the future.  
The contrast with the Bible is immediate and astonishing!  

Now keep in mind that your Wiccan friends will most likely hold to numerous conspiracy theories about the Bible. You will probably need to be prepared to answer questions like the following: 

Who made the determination of which books went into the Bible?

Isn’t it true that there are “missing books” of the Bible?

Wasn’t the Bible formed from power-hungry and corrupt politicians?

These questions (and likely many others) will be raised by your pagan friends, and you need to be as prepared as you can be to try and give them a rational defense of what you believe as a Christian, and (just as importantly) WHY you believe what you do (1 Peter 3:15).  

(Note: I have several lessons available on ALL of these subjects and am ready and willing to send them to you at no charge via Facebook or email).  

While I am on the topic, let me also suggest that you need to have a reliable and EASY TO READ translation of the Bible available when you try and teach your friends.  
In using Bible translations with outdated and archaic English, it is possible to unintentionally fuel a common pagan stereotype, I.e.,that Christians want to keep outsiders “in the dark” by controlling the free expression of thought in keeping minds chained to the etymology and wordage of the distant past.  

Looking At Jesus

Wiccans typically view Jesus as a powerful Wiccan magician whose disciples intentionally corrupted His teaching for their own personal gain.  

When studying with Wiccans about Jesus, I always follow the same basic plan.

First, I carefully listen to what they believe about Jesus. I am quick to point out any similarities between their beliefs and the teaching of the Lord.  

Second, I establish the Deity of Jesus by establishing the authority of the Bible.  

There are two basic ways to do this: by using what I call “the Cumulative Approach” and/or “the Historical Approach.” 

The Cumulative Approach 

This method uses the evidences specifically mentioned above (such as prophecy and fulfillment, archaeology, etc.) to demonstrate that the Bible must be the Word of God, and that it teaches that Jesus Christ is Deity. The argument goes like this:

If the Bible contains traits which may only be explained by Divine inspiration, then the Bible is the Word of God.  

The Bible does contain traits which may only be explained by Divine inspiration.  

Therefore, the Bible is the Word of God.  

After the Divine inspiration of the Bible is established, you may use this simple argument to establish the Deity of Jesus:

If the Bible is the Word of God, and if the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is Divine, then Jesus Christ is Divine. 

It is the case that the Bible is the Word of God, and it is the case that the Bible teaches Jesus Christ is Divine. 

Therefore, Jesus Christ is Divine. 

The Historical Approach

Another approach is to specifically establish the genuineness and credibility of the New Testament Scriptures. The argument looks like this:

If it is the case that the New Testament Scriptures are both genuine and credible, and if it is the case that the New Testament Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is Divine, then it is the case that Jesus Christ is Divine.  

It is the case that the New Testament Scriptures are both genuine and credible, and it is the case that the New Testament Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is Divine.  

Therefore, it is the case that Jesus Christ is Divine.  

Genuineness deals with the subject of authorship. For example, how do we know that the New Testament Scriptures were written by their purported authors?  
Several lines of evidence attest to the Apostolic authorship of the New Testament Scriptures (the claims of the Books themselves, the testimony of the early church who meticulously studied these matters, the records of the early sects of Christianity, the resentful acknowledgment of the earliest and most vehement enemies of the church, etc.).  

After establishing the genuineness of the New Testament Scriptures, it is important to then establish their credibility. Credibility has reference to whether or not these Books are objectively and historically true. Did the Apostles report the truth about Jesus? Could they have “fudged the facts?”

 Several lines of evidence may be used to establish the credibility of the New Testament Scriptures (the character of the Apostles, coupled with their subsequent trials and martyrdom, the abundance of witnesses both within the biblical text and outside which agree in overall and minute testimony, the findings of archaeology, the encouragement of the Apostolic eyewitnesses for people to carefully examine the evidences upon which Christianity is founded, the conversion of hostile witnesses, etc.). 

Finally, you may then use the New Testament Scriptures to establish the Deity of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 48:16; 53; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 16:13-19; John 5:32-47).

Both of these approaches may be used to establish the Identity of Jesus Christ. I have had success with both methods over the years.  

When you have successfully established the case for Jesus, you can move on to the greatest evidences of the Divine Nature of Jesus: His atoning death, burial, and resurrection from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  

Conclusion

In our next article on this topic, we will carefully consider some more questions and topics that Wiccans will likely raise, such as:

If Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God, then why don’t you believe in spirits and magic (since the Bible speaks of these things)? 

Doesn’t Reincarnation make more sense then Resurrection?  

Why should Wiccans believe in Christianity since Christians have killed thousands of witches through the ages, and been responsible for so many other atrocities in the world?    

We will also consider more suggestions for how Christians may successfully reach their Wiccan friends with the Gospel (Acts 2:36-47).

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.  

Studying Wicca: Part Two

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

In our last article, we studied about some of the basic facts regarding the religion known as “Wicca.”  

In this article (and possibly in another one devoted to the general topic of helping to provide Christians with some useful insights in trying to reach out to their Wiccan friends), we are going to notice some of the areas in which Christianity and Wicca agree and find common ground.

It will be remembered, of course, that in the New Testament, the Apostles often found and pointed out “common ground” with their religious friends and neighbors when they were sharing the Gospel with them. 

Some Christians are unaware of the Biblical approach of evangelism in this regard, and believe that we must simply approach our non-Christian friends and “thump the Bible” at them. However, this was not the approach of the first century church when dealing with people who did not believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Henry Morris has well pointed out: 

“When we look at the example of the first Christian evangelists and missionaries, as reported in the Book of Acts in the New Testament, we find that they have shown us the best way. When Paul and the other Apostles preached the gospel to the Jews, they invariably preached from the Old Testament Scriptures…Paul could reason with them from the Scriptures because they, like he, already knew the Scriptures and accepted them as the Word of God. With this common ground, he could use the evidence of fulfilled prophecy —especially as centered in Christ’s resurrection from the dead —and many of his listeners believed as a result. This approach was commonly used by the Apostles when they witnessed to Jews who knew and believed the Bible. When they addressed Gentile followers of other religions, or of no religion, however, their approach was altogether different. Such people neither knew nor believed the Scriptures, so it would have been futile to use them as a basis for their case. Instead the Apostles began on the common ground they shared with these atheists and polytheistic pantheists: the evidence of the Creator in His creation….The first method, reasoning out of the Scriptures, is appropriate for many church audiences in the United States and other Christian communities, since these people for the most part still believe the Bible and know something about its teachings, even though they may not yet have accepted Christ as personal Savior. The second method, however, is more appropriate for people brought up to believe in one or another of the world’s great non-Christian religions. Even in the so-called Christian nations the younger generations have been so indoctrinated with evolutionism and humanism that most of them reject the Bible and know little or nothing about its teachings.” (Henry M. Morris, The God Who Is Real, 121-146 (Kindle Edition); Green Forest, AR; Master Books)

This does not mean that the Bible has no place in discussions of evidence. It certainly does! When I study with skeptics of the Bible, one of the first things I share with them deals with some of the evidences that the Bible is the Word of God.
 
Yet even before approaching a person with such evidences, it is wise to point out some of the “common ground” that we have with our pagan friends. The Bible certainly teaches this approach to evangelism.  

The Apostle Paul pointed out that some of the pagan poets and philosophers had gotten many of their religious teachings correct, as demonstrated from the Divine revelation through nature (Acts 14:17; 17:22, 26-28; 1 Corinthians 15:33).  

The Apostle Paul even quoted pagan prophets to establish that some of their teachings were correct (Titus 1:12-13).  

The Prophet Jude quoted from non-canonical books as genuine historical records to help and establish his case (Jude 1:9, 14).  

Luke records that he researched numerous documents when he was compiling his Gospel of Jesus’ life (Luke 1:1-4).  

In all of these examples, we see that the Prophets and Apostles were able to find the common ground between themselves and their readers, even when they were coming from a non-Christian or pagan background, to build their case.  

In much the same way, there are many commendable things about Wicca which Christians can applaud and find common ground on.  

There Must Be A God 

One of the first things that stands out as commendable about Wicca is its’ belief that there must be an original Creator of some kind.  

Both the revelation of the Creator through nature and through Scripture (Psalm 14:1; 19:1; 139:14;Matthew 5:44-45; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-16) reveal that there is, indeed, an eternal Creator of the universe.  

While many in our day and age would rather believe that the universe has always existed, or that it somehow created itself from nothingness, the findings of science are conclusive that there must be an eternal Person Who brought it into existence.  

For example, famous former atheist Antony Flew (after a lifetime defending atheism) published a book in which he documents his “conversion” to the belief that there must be a God. He wrote: 

“I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science. Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature. But it is not science alone that has guided me. I have also been helped by a renewed study of the classical philosophical arguments.” (Antony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese, There is a God How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, 88 (Kindle Edition): HarperCollins E-Books) 

Another researcher, after having studied the science of quantum physics for nearly two decades, has written on the existence of God in these words:

“When I first began laying down the foundation of this thesis twenty five years ago I thought that I had found God in the Physics. However as I began placing the pieces together to form the Mosaic I began to realize that I was wrong. God was not in the Physics God is the Physics. He is the nature of reality and the purpose of existence….I have spent my entire life trying to determine what the nature of reality is, and what is the purpose of existence?…Now I can see all that lies before me clearly and rationally. Everything fits together into a beautiful mosaic of intelligent design. There is no other explanation, the universe is a construct, anyone who denies this is a sim0pleton using theories of a mechanical universe that were debunked 105 years ago, a person who must be pitied and shunned, for they are evil, they choose to embrace the evil that we have created, as such they are useful idiots but must be avoided for the consequences of contamination from the evil that festoons from their soul is the eternal damnation of your soul. They do not know God because they choose not to, and consequently they embrace the hedonism of this universe because they cannot feel the presence of the “singularity” and they are left with only the hedonistic pleasure of this universe.” (Gary Nickolaus, The Physics of God: Quantum Mechanics and All That Is, On Earth As It Is In Heaven, 236-238 (Kindle Edition); Xlibris Corporation)

The True God Manifests As Both Male And Female 

Another area in which Christians and Wiccan can agree is in regards to the “gender” of God.  

Most Wiccans point out that the God which they believe in has revealed itself to mankind in the form of male and female. While some Wiccans that I have studied with believe that there is an actual male God and female Goddess, many others that I have studied with have pointed out to me that these are simply ways in which their God has revealed itself to mankind.  

Interestingly enough, the God of the Bible is in agreement with this teaching of Wicca (at least in some regards). Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear that He is literally neither male nor female, although He communicates through these forms in order to fully relate to humanity.  

“With this basic understanding of the nature of gender, it seems apparent that God, having neither a sexed body nor a human culture, cannot have a gender. Yet does the testimony of Scripture support this conclusion? Although the Bible often speaks of God in masculine terms and even figuratively describes Him as having body parts, God is never said to have reproductive organs (as Baal and other gods had). God has no female god as a counterpart, and He does not produce the world through procreation, but through His spoken word. Moreover, John 4:24 testifies, “God is spirit.” An implication of this verse is that God, being holy and transcendent, has no body and exists as a being wholly outside the realm ofcreaturely existence. Because sexuality and gender are characteristics of bodily creatures, God cannot have gender. Moreover, some Bible texts specifically warn against identifying God with human males and females. Numbers 23:19 warns that “God is not a man [ish: male human], that He should lie, nor a son of man [adam: human], that He should repent” (NASB). Hosea 11:9 is similar: “I am God and not man [ish], the Holy One in your midst.” In speaking of the righteous nature of God’s character, both texts prohibit thinking of God as a man. The clearest teaching on this subject is found in Deuteronomy 4:15-16: “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female” (NASB). In this way, imaging God as male or female is considered idolatry, suggesting strongly that the biblical tradition is against attributing gender to God. Despite the fact that Scripture often uses language for God that is suitable for a masculine person, God is not like a human male in His form or character.” (Ed Hindson & Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia Of Apologetics, 244-245 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House Publishers)  

The Word of God reminds us that both maleness and femaleness are derived from the Nature of God Himself. Male and female mirror and represent different characteristics of the one true God. Erwin Lutzer has well written: 

“When God created Eve out of Adam’s flesh, He made a powerful statement about our sexuality. God separated femininity out of masculinity, forming two separate people. With this separation came a powerful implanted desire in the male and the female to be reunited in an intimate oneness….God gave Adam and Eve different characteristics. Men tend to be aggressive and depend upon a rational analysis of life’s problems. Women have a strong sense of intuition, basic trust, and sensitivity. Obviously, these are generalizations and there is overlapping. The point is simply that both genders mirror different aspects of God on earth. Both genders bear the image of God, though they reflect God in different ways….God gave Adam and Eve different characteristics. Men tend to be aggressive and depend upon a rational analysis of life’s problems. Women have a strong sense of intuition, basic trust, and sensitivity. Obviously, these are generalizations and there is overlapping. The point is simply that both genders mirror different aspects of God on earth. Both genders bear the image of God, though they reflect God in different ways. Then comes the account of Adam and Eve’s marriage. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2: 24–25). That word one should catch our attention. Marriage brings a unity that is unlike anything else on this earth; indeed, it represents a unity found only in heaven—in God Himself! That Hebrew word for one is found elsewhere in the Old Testament, specifically in the words, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6: 4). Yes, the same Hebrew word for one (ehad) is used in the verse quoted above, “and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2: 24, italics added). In other words, marriage is to represent the plurality and unity of God in the Trinity. Just as it is unthinkable that members of the Trinity would operate as separate entities, so a husband and wife should operate together with diversity within unity. The bond that has been formed involves the total personality of each partner. To quote the words of theologian Walter Brueggemann, “Humanity in community is male and female. And one is the full image of God alone.” 1” (Erwin W. Lutzer, The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Must Know About What’s Really At Stake, 668-689 (Kindle Edition); Chicago; Moody Press)

God Does Indeed “Fill All In All” 

Our Wiccan friends generally believe that the eternal Spirit emptied itself into the Creation. As a result, some Wiccans are pantheist and some are panentheistic.  

Pantheism teaches that the universe itself is God, whereas panentheism advocates the notion that God inhabits the universe in the same way that a spirit inhabits a body.  

While these are in some ways different from the teaching of traditional theism (and from Biblical Revelation), there are some areas in which these ideas are similar.  
The Bible teaches that God (in ways beyond our full comprehension) somehow fills all places at the same time.  

Jeremiah 23:23-24-23 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off?

24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.

Psalm 139:7-8-7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
The God portrayed in the Bible is a God Who not only somehow fills His Creation, but also transcends it (cf. Hebrews 4:12-13; Proverbs 15:3; 1 John 3:20).  

Wiccan Devotion To Protecting The Planet 

Let me also suggest that another important area of agreement between Christian and Wicca is found in their shared belief that we must care for the planet.  
The Wiccan belief that the universe is Divine leads to the adherents of this religion to try and care for planet Earth. While the Bible does not teach that the universe is Divine (cf. Romans 1:18-25), it does teach that God has given the Earth to mankind to care for as responsible stewards.  

Several passages of Scripture indicate that God gave the stewardship of the Creation into the keeping of mankind (cf. Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 8:6). Looking at the Hebrew of this passage is quite insightful: 
“In Psalm 8:6, the original Hebrew word used for “rule” is mashal. It indicates that Adam was God’s manager here, God’s steward or governor. Adam was God’s mediator, go-between or representative. Psalm 115:16 confirms this: “The heaven … the Eternal holds himself, the earth He has assigned to men” (Moffatt, emphasis added). God didn’t give away ownership of the earth, but He did assign the responsibility of governing it to humanity….Now, it’s no small task to re-present God. So to help humans carry out this assignment, God made us so much like Himself that it was scary. “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27). The Hebrew word for “image” is tselem, which involves the concept of a “shadow,” a “phantom” or an “Illusion. ,4 An illusion is something you think you see, but on closer observation you discover that your eyes have tricked you. When the rest of creation saw Adam, they must’ve done a double ble take: Man, I could’ve sworn I saw God-oh, it’s justAdam. How’s that for re-presentation? We’re also told that Adam was similar to or comparable to God. The Hebrew word demuwth, translated “likeness” in Genesis 1:26, comes from the root word damah, meaning “to compare.”5 Adam was very much like God! Psalm 8:5 actually says human beings were made just “a little tle lower than God” and that we were crowned with God’s very own glory. The definition of the Hebrew word kabowd that’s translated “glory” literally means “heavy or weighty” !6 It’s linked to the concept of authority. We still use the picture today when we refer to someone who “carries a lot of weight.” Adam carried God’s weight on the earth. I don’t know what Adam weighed but he was heavy. He represented God with full authority! He was large and in charge! The Greek word for glory, doxa, is just as loaded. It involves the concept of recognition. More specifically, it’s what causes someone (or something) to be recognized for who he or she (or it) really is.7 When we read in Scripture that humankind is the glory of God (see 1 Cor. 11:7), it’s telling us that God was recognized in humans. Why? So humans could accurately represent Him. When creation looked at Adam, they were supposed to see God. And they did! That is, until Adam sinned and couldn’t carry the weight of God’s glory anymore.” (Dutch Sheets, Getting In God’s Face: How Prayer Really Works, 16-18 (Kindle Edition); Ventura, CA; Regal) 

Many Christians are not aware of just how much the Bible speaks of man’s responsibility in caring for the Creation.  

“If we abusively exploit God’s creation for the sake of our own self-interest, we will not escape final accountability. Consider John’s warning: “Your wrath has come, and the time for judging the dead, for rewarding Your servants, the prophets and the saints and who fear Your name, both small and great, and for destroying those who destroy the earth” (Rev. 11: 18; emphasis ours). As God rules over us, we expect goodness and fairness and for God to continually do what is in humanity’s best interests. Therefore, if we count upon God’s benevolent rule, why would we ever presume God would approve humanity’s abusive, self-serving reign over creation? Exploitive misuse (Ezek. 34: 18–19) and wastefulness (John 6: 12) are unseemly in God’s eyes. Genesis 9: 12–13 testifies to God’s love and faithfulness toward creation, which God expects humanity to share: “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth” (Gen. 9: 12–13; emphasis ours). God has covenanted with the earth and its life. Consequently, humans, formed in his likeness, must exercise responsible care in ruling what clearly belongs to God….Christians value and love creation because God loves it and intends to redeem it alongside humanity. Those who describe God as only caring about humanity are not describing the God revealed in Scripture. The earth and its resources were created by God and declared valuable (“ very good”) independent of human utility. Deuteronomy 22: 6–7 is one of my favorite biblical texts advocating creation care: If you come on a bird’s nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs, with the mother sitting on the fledglings or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. Let the mother go, taking only the young for yourself, in order that it may go well with you and you may live long. When I took my first wildlife management class in college, the professor said something astonishing that I had never heard before. This Deuteronomic prescription is the oldest known written law about wildlife conservation. In effect, God charged ancient Israel with game warden responsibilities. And there are other examples. In Exodus it says, “But the seventh year you shall let [the crop field] rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard” (23: 11). In Leviticus it says, “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest” (19: 9). Conservation practices—mandated in the Torah—benefited land, people, and wildlife. We have similar agricultural programs in the United States, which pay farmers to leave portions of their crop fields unplanted (fallow) or unharvested to increase soil fertility and to provide food and cover for wildlife. In another passage, God expects those who prosecute wars to protect trees: If you besiege a town for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you must not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them. Although you may take food from them, you must not cut them down. Are trees in the field human beings that they should come under siege from you? (Deut. 20: 19) If ancient warriors were responsible for executing their plans in a conservationist manner, there is little doubt what God might think about modern technological warfare whose collateral damage often results in widespread despoliation of the land.” (John Mark Hicks, Bobby Valentine, & and Mark Wilson, EMBRACING CREATION God’s Forgotten Mission, 2063-2097 (Kindle Edition); Abilene, TX; Abilene Christian University Press)

Conclusion 

In many ways, there are areas in which Christians and Wiccans can find important areas of agreement.  

In our third article on this topic, we will carefully consider some of the specific areas of disagreement between Christianity and Wicca, and especially some more advice for members of the Lord’s church to share the Gospel with our Wiccan friends.  
Our ultimate goal is that each person will learn of the evidences regarding the inspiration of the Bible and the Divine Identity of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 41:21-24; 42:9; 44:6-8; John 3:2; Matthew 11:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  

What every person needs to hear is the saving Message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who came and died for the sins of mankind on the cross of Calvary, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:15), and Who promises salvation to everyone who, believing in Jesus because of hearing His Word (Acts 18:8), will repent of sin, confess Jesus Christ as God’s Son, and will be baptized into Christ (Acts 2:37-47; 8:35-38).  
When we thus become a Christian, God promises that if we will live faithfully to Him to the point of death we will receive Heaven as our Home (Revelation 2:10). When we fall short and sin as Christians, the Lord promises forgiveness when we repent of that sin and confess it to Him in prayer (1 John 1:8-10).  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.