Christian Witches: Real or Not? (Part 2)
I hope you enjoyed and appreciated Part 1 of this two-part series. Today, we’re continuing with Part 2 which really gets down to the nitty gritty.
Witches in the Bible
The aforementioned Deuteronomy 18 passage ends by stating, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear…” God was saying you don’t need to raise up or adhere to witches in your midst. Why? Because I am going to raise up a Prophet that would one day be revealed as Jesus, the Son of God. Prophet of prophets, Apostle of apostles, Evangelist of Evangelists, King of kings, and Lord of lords. And He ascended and gave gifts to men…
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.” …
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:7-16)
Jesus Himself has appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers and raised them up to demonstrate His power as well as train and equip the saints so they’re not falling for every doctrinal deception of the enemy...like Christian witchcraft. These ministry gifts are also governing gifts, namely the apostolic and prophetic offices. They govern (regulate) the gifts and administrations of others. This is necessary because ALL Believers are supposed to know the Word, preach the Word, speak in tongues, prophesy, perform miracles, and the like. (I know, I know...most churches don’t look like this. And let me tell you, the problem does NOT lie with the Word of God, but rather with the church!) So when Christians start practicing abominable things, when those who identify as Believers but aren’t infiltrate the Church, the apostles and prophets and Fivefold in general, is tasked with stepping up, and teaching the truth. Correcting and rebuking when necessary just as much as they affirm, teach, raise up, and send out.
Honest to goodness, some informal and formal witches just do not know any better. And even if some have a bad feeling about something, they do not know why they’re feeling it. If they are truly seeking the truth, then God can send someone to minister that or do it Himself! With that in mind, let’s examine some witchy instances found in the New Testament.
Simon the Sorcerer vs. Peter
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, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 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.
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” (Acts 8:14-25)
Simon was a legitimate sorcerer, hence the title Simon the Sorcerer. But he came into contact with the power of God and was legitimately mind-blown. And he actually became a Believer! The Bible says the man was baptized!! But he wasn’t yet delivered, and because of that, the enemy still had access to his mind to distort the truth and deceive him. Thus, he thought he could purchase the power of God and keep putting on his magic shows. He was legitimately saved, but legitimately in error.
When Simon asked Simon-Peter if he could purchase the power of God from him, a dangerous rebuke was issued: “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.” WHOA!! But Peter didn’t stop there. He continued: “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Simon was legitimately terrified as was appropriate, and repented, I believe, in truth. He very abruptly came to the realisation that witchcraft was NOT of God.
Elymas vs. Paul
Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord. (Acts 13:6-12)
Straightway, after Paul and Barnabas were separated, elevated, and appointed into the office of the apostle, they found themselves on the island of Paphos. There, they encountered a warlock named Elymas who was on a hellish assignment against their ministry. Like Jezebel, he was a false prophet, with a silver-tongue who tried to turn the proconsul against Christianity. The witch openly opposed Paul, so Paul openly opposed him back and pronounced the judgment of God against him: a mist that caused Elymas to be as a blind man. Thankfully, the proconsul was converted by this powerful demonstration of God’s Spirit.
Slave Girl vs. Paul
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers… (Acts 16:16-19)
This particular story is such a wonderful teaching passage! Paul and Silas are doing apostolic ministry in the region of Macedonia and there encounter a slave girl who is demonically gifted in divination. Her masters recognized this and like any other slave master, prostituted her for her gifts and kept the proceeds for themselves. (Presumably, they gave her something for her pains since she kept prophesying, but you get the idea.) She discovers these men of God, and begins to harass the ministry by following them and calling out, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” But, as the above King James Versions says, Paul became grieved in his spirit. Her words were right, but the Holy Spirit in Paul was NOT bearing witness to the spirit prompting her to say those words.
Note: The Holy Spirit Who is the Spirit of Truth will only ever testify of Himself; He only testifies of the truth. Truth is a Person and His name is Jesus. Jesus is the Living Word. The Spirit testifies of Jesus who, in turn, testifies of the Father. Wash, rinse, repeat. Bottom line: if the supernatural demonstration you are beholding does not point you back to God in the end, IT’S NOT GOD. Now, back to our regularly scheduled example…
Paul became grieved in his spirit, recognized that it was not the Spirit of God, but rather, the spirit of divination, then he cast that devil out! It is SO important to understand that just because someone preaches accurately, prophesies accurately, or demonstrates a miracle/sign/wonder powerfully doesn’t mean the motive or the spirit behind it is from God. Paul said that there are those who preach out of selfish ambition, insincerity, and even those who try to harm others (him) by the mere fact that they’re free to preach while others like Paul were not (Phil. 1:16). As we see in Acts 16, it’s possible to prophesy accurately, but to be of another, unclean spirit. And Jesus Himself warned of false Christs and false prophets who, through great signs and wonders, would deceive even the elect (Matt. 24:24, Mark 13:22). Motives and the spirit behind an individual makes ALL the difference!
The Closest Thing to a “Christian Witch” in Scripture
The Book of Numbers gives us the closest picture possible of a Christian witch. Now, obviously, there were no Christians pre-Christ, but there were Believers, and not all of them were Jews or even Semites. In Numbers 22-24, we meet a prophet of God named Balaam. The setting of the story is in the midst of Israel’s Exodus. They have left Egypt, and are making their way through the wilderness toward the Promised Land. Cities and nations have fallen while trying to withstand the Children of Israel, and the kings of Moab and Midian see this. They recognize that the hand of God is, indeed, on Israel, so the Moabite king reasons that if he can get a prophet to curse Israel, then his kingdom and their allies would succeed against Israel. Enter Balaam.
Balak, the Moabite king, sends a coalition of Moabite and Midianite nobles to Balaam bearing a diviner’s fee and a request to curse the Children of Israel. He says no, but asks God, God says no, then he tells the nobles no “for sure.” Balak isn’t happy about this, so he sends another coalition with more prestigious nobles and the diviner’s fee back to Balaam. Balaam says no, asks God, and this time, God says, “Go with them.” Thinking that God actually did change his mind, the silly prophet goes on his way to meet the king and instead, discovers that his donkey can talk. And see angels. Go figure.
Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”
So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”
And he said, “No.”
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”
And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”
Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. (Numbers 22:22-35)
Can you say, “WHOA!!!” The Angel of the Lord made it clear that in no uncertain terms, Balaam’s way - his heart, his motives, his spirit - was PERVERSE, CROOKED, TWISTED before the Lord. What a grievous state to be in! I think Balaam felt sorry, or likely, more scared than anything else. And as the story goes, he went on to meet Balak. Balaam has seven altars built facing Israel, the Lord puts the prophetic word in Balaam’s mouth, and he blesses Israel. Balak gets mad, Balaam has seven more altars built on a different high place, but still facing Israel, the Lord again puts His words in Balaam’s mouth, and he again, blesses Israel. Balak, ANGRY, takes Balaam to yet another high place, Balaam orders seven more altars built, and Scripture says,
Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use sorcery [enchantments], but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. (Numbers 24:1-2)
This passage lets us know that the first two times Balaam took up his oracle, he must have used the sorcery of enchantments to try and prophesy, but God overrode him, and put His own words in Balaam’s mouth. Now, here’s the thing: Balaam did not repent in truth. We know this because in Numbers 25, we see this:
Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel. (Numbers 25:1-3)
Balaam succeeded. Now, we don’t know exactly what [ritual] he did or why he did it. I guess it was a VERY good diviner’s fee to cause him to forget the Angel of the Lord who withstood Him and the warnings of the Lord. The women infiltrated the Israelite camp, seduced the men, and by seducing the men, seduced the people into idolatry which is spiritual adultery. As a result, the anger of the Lord was unleashed on the people, and the Lord ordered Moses to have his leaders strike down all of the guilty parties. The anger of the Lord was only assuaged when Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, took a javelin and thrust it through a prince of Israel and the Midianite princesses he was openly and and sexually cavorting with before the repentant congregation. In the end, Balaam was felled as the soothsayer he was, as is recorded in Joshua 13:22.
If that is not an admonishment against practicing witchcraft in general, but also against identifying as a Believer while doing so, then I don’t know what is!
Burn It Up!
Toward the middle of Acts 19, we learn of the seven sons of Sceva who’d attempted and failed MISERABLY to cast the devil out of a man. When this was “noised abroad,” the fear of the Lord fell on the people in Ephesus, a seat or throne of the Roman goddess, Diana (Greek Artemis, Hebrew Jezebel). The Spirit of Jezebel had made her home in this region; she was worshipped hugely there and the city was more or less dedicated to her...and to her spiritual harlotries. The region was rife with her witchcrafts, so the people received a rude awakening when Paul came with a God greater than their pretender goddess. Luke the Physician tells us,
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. (Acts 19:18-20)
The demonstrations of the power of God awoke the Ephesians to the truth of God and they repented in truth, confessed their sins, and as a token of their new faith, they gathered all of their accursed things, all of their Occultic books, and burned them utterly. Revival was ablaze in Ephesus!
When true revival takes place and apostolic structures are in place, discipleship comes into play and the people enter into true reformation. The balance of power - spiritual, then economic, and so forth - begins to shift, and the resources follow. The key is that transformation takes place. The old cannot contain the new; one of the two must give. The Christian life is full of warfare; the Kingdom of God is suffering violence from the Kingdom of Darkness. Both are forcefully advancing, claiming and reclaiming territories for their respective rulers. This is about displacement; turf warfare. Therefore, if I belong to the Kingdom of God, then I can’t continue to act and live and look like I did when I belonged to the Kingdom of Darkness. This includes witchcraft.
If you practiced witchcraft, sorcery, divination, yoga, channeling, card reading, and so forth while you were in the world, when you didn’t know better, it’s still a sin, but God recognizes that you were innocent in terms of knowledge. But when you claim to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God, submitted to the King of the Universe, led by the Spirit of God, and abiding by the Word of God, then you cannot commit the iniquity - an intentional, habitual pattern of sin - of witchcraft that is blatantly and consistently condemned as an abomination by the God you claim to serve. The two belief systems cannot co-exist, I don’t care what the bumper sticker says! Man may practice syncretism, but it DOES NOT fly in the Kingdom of God.
Stewards of the Mysteries of the Kingdom
And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’” (Luke 8:10)
I’d like to close this topic with an encouragement: Children of God are meant to be stewards of the mysteries of God. The apostle Paul said, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God,” (I Cor. 4:1). If we belong to the Kingdom of God, then we are sons/daughters and invited to be stewards of His mysteries.
Recently, I saw on a popular Christian witch’s website that she has a “Mystery School.” I thought that was very interesting because while God may have hidden the mysteries, it’s only so we can make a conscientious choice to seek them out.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Consider two parables Jesus gives back to back in Matthew 13.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)
In both parables, Jesus likens the Kingdom to precious things - a treasure in a field; a pearl of great price. And the person who got hold of them only did so because they were intentional about seeking and obtaining these precious things; they placed value on what they sought. That is how we must be about God and His Kingdom. If we are intentional about seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness and His face before all else, He will give us treasure untold and that includes mysteries of the spirit realm! But the posture of our heart is EVERYTHING.
If you are seeking for the sake of the seek, if you are seeking because you love knowledge, if you are seeking because you are addicted to chasing supernatural experiences, you will miss the still, small Voice and head straight off of a cliff aided by all manner of off, unbiblical spiritualities. You will go from seeker to mystic, from mystic to witch, and if unrepentant, to hell. God plays no games about this, so we must not either. God has a place for us in His truth, but if we deny it by embracing that which He hates, loathes, and despises, then we reject Him and all that He can offer us. And it will break His heart, but just as much as He is the loving Father, He is the Judge of the Universe. He will not break His word for anyone, not even Himself.
There is no such thing as a Christian witch. Though many will increasingly claim the title, it is a lie devised, launched, and advertised by the pits of Hell. Those who believe it are deceived. I admonish you not to fear them, but to be wise regarding them. These women and men need redemption, inner healing, and deliverance just as all of us do, and my prayer is that they receive EVERYTHING the God of the Universe has for them.