What I’m going to cover in today’s post is something that should be very plain to the born again Christian who has been instructed on the topic. Yet our culture has been so steeped in magic to the point where many sincere Christians do not even realize they have been deceived into accepting abomination.
Magic, Its Reality and Origins
What is magic? Here is Webster’s definition:
MAG’IC, noun [Latin magia; Gr. a philosopher among the Persians.]
1. The art or science of putting into action the power of spirits; or the science of producing wonderful effects by the aid of superhuman beings, or of departed spirits; sorcery; enchantment. [This art or science is now discarded.] – http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/magic
(Perhaps in Webster’s day, in his civilized society, magic was discarded, but it certainly has been taken up again in our era, sadly.)
In the Bible, magic includes or is directly connected to the following:
- Observing times
Now just to clarify, don’t confuse miracles with magic. Miracles can be good… or evil. Jesus did miracles. The apostles did miracles. But so can false prophets. Now see, miracles are totally different than magic. The only real similarity is that they rely on the use of powers outside of natural law. The main difference is the source of the power. Magic powers cannot, do not, have never and will never come from God.
Magic is one and the same with witchcraft.
WITCHCRAFT, [witch and craft.]
1. The practices of witches; sorcery; enchantments; intercourse with the devil.
2. Power more than natural.
Source: Webster’s 1828 dictionary, http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/witchcraft
Case in point.
Magic is real. This is one that many people get wrong. They think magic is only imaginary stuff written about in mythical stories or the foolishness of old wives’ fables. No, if magic was only imaginary, God would not have bothered to tell us about it in the Bible and caution his people against it.
There are those, even true believers, that will say that idle old crones don’t have the ability to surpass God’s natural laws by their silly rituals, and therefore their magic can never amount to more than a theatrical trick of the eye or mind and is unworthy of any severe punishment. But is it not written that when Moses did his wonders by the power of God before Pharaoh in Egypt, that “the magicians did likewise with their enchantments?” It says not that they feigned likewise, but rather they DID likewise. They were able to turn the water to actual blood, that is, in like manner as Moses did, which is in reality, not in pretense.
The idea that magic and limited only to the imagination of man is entirely false and atheistical in its premise, not Scriptural. Atheists don’t believe in magic because they don’t believe in any higher power than natural law (well, so they say). But we Christians know that there are powers above nature, both good and evil. Jesus rebuked such as held to this foolish idea and affirmed there are indeed powers that operate outside of natural law, and that was testified in the Word:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:30)
God has power:
“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (Psalm 62:11)
Power, that is, power that exceeds natural law. Now, it does not say ALL power is of God. There is power that is of God and power that is not of God. We must not err in believing all power as being of God, as did the bewitched men written of in Acts:
“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.” (Acts 8:9-11)
This man, Simon Magus, had power, even great power, but it was mistaken for the power of God when it was really sorcery – magic. He was rebuked for his wickedness by the apostle Peter (Acts 8:23).
God’s View of Magic
If you’re like me, you probably grew up believing that magic, though not real, could be good or bad, that there is white magic and dark or black magic. And of course, “Christmas magic” was always an important part of the holiday season as a child. Maybe you, as I did, think it doesn’t matter because it’s in the protected zone of “fantasy” that stands out of reach of Bible truths.
Well, today I’m here to burst that bubble and tell it like it is. All magic is of the devil. There is no such thing as good magic, just as there is no such thing as a good witch. Magic is not of God – it never has been and never will be.
And there is no realm that God’s Word cannot touch and where God’s truth cannot apply. Nowhere in the Bible does it imply there is a realm of fantasy where God and His truth has no application. The argument has no biblical ground to stand on.
“Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)
God’s Word DOES intrude into this supposedly exempt sphere of morality, going so far as to name it – and condemn it – specifically. Yes, magic is discussed AND condemned in the Bible. It’s not like God is silent on the subject, somehow giving us room to make our own game and our own rules to go with it. It’s not like magic is somehow ignored by God. We just aren’t taught it in this society. If you grew up like me, you may have had no idea that the Bible even mentions magic.
A magician is one who uses, works, or practices magic. The word “magician” shows up 6 times in the King James Bible, which is not a coincidence, the number 6 being associated with the devil in many places through the Bible. 100% of the time, magicians are associated with pagan nations in the Word of God, including Egypt and Babylon. They do not belong to the people of God. They have their place among the heathen, the idol worshippers, the lost, even those who practice such things. Magic has always been a cursed sin among God’s people. Why is it that not one time we read of a magician in a positive light?
We read that magicians had power to do many of the same miracles that Moses did, up until the plague of the lice. Their power was not as great as God’s power bestowed on His servant Moses. Eventually the magicians were so far from outdoing Moses that they became infected with the plague of the boils themselves (Exodus 9:12). Consistently, the great men of God outdo the magicians. Daniel was found to be “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his” the king of Babylon’s, “realm.” (Daniel 1:20). Why? because the power of God is greater than the power of Satan. Hence, Daniel was called the “master of the magicians” by the king, for though Daniel was far from being a magician himself, his wisdom from God proved he was greater than them and had the mastery.
How does this apply to practical life? Who are the magicians, those that practice magic, in today’s society? They are the fairies. They are Santa and his elves. They are Elsa and Anna from Disney’s Frozen. They are Barbie. They are My Little Pony. They are the characters in fantasy novels and movies like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek and Twilight, as well as in video games and roll playing games like D&D, even The Wizard of Oz. The list goes on and on.
And back to the whole idea of fantasy land where magic is good or bad… God’s Word does mention fantasy and has a lot to say about it.
Definition of fantasy, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th ed.:
fan•ta•sy făn′tə-sē, -zē
n.The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy.
n.Something, such as an invention, that is a creation of the fancy.
n.A capricious or fantastic idea; a conceit.
A genre of fiction or other artistic work characterized by fanciful or supernatural elements.
So fantasy is synonymous with unrestrained imaginations. I have written an entire post about just that which you can read here. I find it interesting that imagination (fantasy) is supposed to be unrestrained. Oh, so we don’t want to be restrained by what God has to say, do we? We don’t want to impose limits on how we think? Whose world is this, God’s or man’s? There is no magic world or magic realm outside of God’s creation. It is a lie to say that there is. It’s weird, people are so obsessed with some fantasy world (be it in video games, books, movies, whatever) that they would say isn’t real on one hand, yet deny that there is absolute truth, telling you that you can make reality whatever you want. To say God can’t touch this fantasy world, that He does not rule there because it isn’t real, is to deny the truth of the Bible. By definition, fantasy is unrestrained imagination, and imaginations are real even if they take place in our mind, and they also have real affect on our lives. Imaginations and what they devise are not outside of God’s dominion. God judges imaginations. God judges what men think. Why do you think God says a man who “looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”? Why does God judge the thought of sin as the act, if it is not real, if it is outside of His laws? There’s no way around it. No matter what kind of a world a man may devise in his mind, no matter how far it may be from the natural world we see around us, man has no power to create a realm where there is no God and where God’s laws are irrelevant, not even in his imagination, though he may say otherwise. EVERY thought is to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:6). Man can either have thoughts that glorify God or glorify the devil. God wants every thought to glorify Him, because all other thoughts tend to detract from His glory. There is no neutral middle ground. There is no thought of man that God does not know or judge.
“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalms 24:1)
“All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3)
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16, 17)
Men are capable of inventing evil things through their own corruption:
“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (Ezekiel 7:29)
If man can seek out to invent many evil things in the flesh, which is one of the evident tokens of them that are of a reprobate mind (Romans 1:30), how much more can he invent evil things with his mind or his fancy. And how much more can that evil be amplified through the mind of a man that is under the sway not only of sin, but of evil spirits (more on that later).
As to conceits, those that come from the heart of men are not good, however highly they may esteem them in their own eyes.
“The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.” (Proverbs 26:16)
What better description is there of one who spends their time in telling or hearing of the conceits of magic? Many times idleness engenders a fascination for excitement, though it be but for that which is forbidden of the Word of God.
And as to fiction…
n.The category of literature, drama, film, or other creative work whose content is imagined and is not necessarily based on fact.
Fiction is imagined content. Isn’t it funny how this is all tying back to imaginations? And imaginations is something the Bible has a lot to say about. Not everything that is imagined is evil, but that which comes of the fallen heart of man is.
What does this boil down to? Fantasy is simply imagined magic. It is pretending wickedness. You may say, I don’t pretend anything wicked when I sit there and watch that movie or read that book or play that video game. That’s absurd. Of course you are. You are living it vicariously. You are letting the imaginations of others penetrate your mind as though you were there. That is exactly what pretending IS. And you can’t say that just because you pretend something means you are outside of the influence of God’s Word. If you pretend to sin, even if you don’t really sin, God’s Word still judges it as sin. If someone sits down and watches a movie where somebody commits murder, even if that person really wasn’t murdered and it was pretend, it doesn’t matter, it is sin. (And how often are sins really committed, not just pretended by those that pourtray it, on the big screen? We don’t know. It doesn’t matter to us, because our heart perceives it as reality whether it is or not. Mine eye affecteth mine heart (Lamentations 3:51).) If Jesus said a man by looking at a woman with lust commits adultery in his heart, how much more do they that delight in watching or reading magic commit the abomination of sorcery in their hearts?
Man Craves Magic
Fallen man desires magic. It is a lust of the flesh. He wants to have magic powers. While researching for this post I found an article with a list of the most common magic powers. I will not link to it as it was of course really dark. It was amazing to me how many people in the comments section were asking “How do I get magic powers?” Many of the commenters disclosed that they were children 13 and younger. There is an unwholesome craving that has been infused into our generation (and the next) for magic. Fallen man already tends to desire evil things without any encouragement, but we are living in a day and age that glorifies it like never before. Magic is thrust at us everywhere and wholeheartedly embraced by our culture. What once was taboo is become mainstream. Look at people today. They embrace magic, and it shows in their lives, how they dress, what they read, the things they do for entertainment. It wasn’t always like this. We didn’t arrive at pink hair and Harry Potter overnight. Witchcraft has become totally mainstream. Christianity is not the religion of the world. Christianity is not even the religion of America. Our nation does not even resemble anything it used to be. But, I digress.
From the beginning, man has been tempted with the words, “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Man wants to be a god. Man wants more than what he has been allowed to have. He’s not content with being how God made him to be. That’s why witchcraft and rebellion go hand and hand. Witchcraft is man’s rebellion against how God made him as he is. It is man trying to “break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:3). It is man trying to exalt himself above the knowledge of God. God wants us to grow spiritually, God wants us to have knowledge, God wants us to be strong for His kingdom with strength that is beyond ourselves, but within His boundaries, and by His power. Sinful, foolish man wants to do things his own way and become powerful without God, exalting himself. Pride is at the root of this matter.
Let’s think for a moment about the goals of devils. Jesus tells us a fearful truth:
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12: 43-45)
What do they want? They want to possess people. They want to inhabit the body and soul of men. That is what they are after. So their designs are to gain access and entry into a man. Man wants power. Devils want souls.
Satan and his devils then take advantage of this desire in man and uses it as a gateway to the soul. Promises of power, self-exaltation, and wishes granted a thousand ways lure man into opening up himself to satanic spirits. But it will be to his hurt. There is always a price to pay. That price is what is left out of the advertisements for witchcraft we see all around us, because it would frighten people away. Sin has wages. Death will come calling. (Romans 6:23)
Magic: Of the Devil
Magic is tapping into the power of devils. Magic doesn’t come from God and it doesn’t come from man. It’s not something a man conjures up from within himself, of himself. This is something else that is often falsely pourtrayed about magic in books and Hellywood movies. They often make it look like the magic is tapping into YOU and your own special “gifts,” like man innately has the power within himself to do all kinds of things that break natural law such as levitate, read minds, cast spells or whatever other power is desired. But that is skewing the truth. The truth is that the magic comes from the devils dwelling within people (or outside of them). It has to be originally acquired from somewhere; God didn’t make man with that ability. Sometimes the people who are into magic are deceived themselves and do not realize they are dealing with devils. Satan will even stoop to deceive his own, he hates men so much. Even children are also a target of the devil. Children can also have magical powers from being possessed. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes, but this is something more common than you think, and something the Bible confirms (Mark 9:21). Just look around us, magic is marketed to children probably more than to any other group of people. Magic is in tons of children’s toys, the children’s cartoons, books, movies and video games are packed with magic, and if you don’t take an active roll as a parent to protect them from it and teach them it is wrong, it’s basically a guarantee they will be influenced by it. When did the evil spirit possess the child whose father asked Jesus to cast him out when the disciples could not? Read the account in Mark and you will see it says “of a child.”
What powers can devils work through men? Here are some that are highlighted in the Bible. Not all of them are specifically mentioned. And this is done in the wisdom of God, as we are to be simple concerning evil. We don’t need to know all the details or be drawn into learning wickedness by learning too much about it. Yet God has seen fit to reveal to us, at least in part, the nature and abilities of the enemies of the souls of men, and as such we are without fault for simply learning that which He has told us in His Word for our instruction and admonition in the way of truth.
1. Devils can impart unto men supernatural physical abilities.
We read of him who was possessed with the legion:
“And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.” (Mark 5:2-4)
For someone to be able to snap chains in pieces goes beyond regular human strength. It was because he had the devils in him controlling his body that he could do that. Now we read that Samson had the ability to break the ropes he was bound with as if they were a thread. His strength was also supernatural, but we read that it came of God. Not all supernatural power is evil, but magic is evil, and this man’s strength obviously did not come from God like Samson’s did.
2. Devils can impart unto men supernatural knowledge.
They can cause them to know the future or declare secret things, things that are not perceived by the average person.
“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.” (Acts 16:16-18)
They who deal with familiar spirits specialize in getting knowledge from devils.
The very same thing is going on today, even among those that name the name of Christ. The charismatics are heavily messing around with magic and devils. Their leaders have the ability to do mighty signs and wonders. Granted, many charismatic leaders are probably just working people up into an emotional frenzy when they perform their so-called “healings” and temporarily make them think they are healed, only to come crashing down to reality later. A good chunk of them are probably hoaxes. But there are some I believe that actually can and do work actual magic in the name of God, as Simon the sorcerer. Some of them do have real supernatural abilities. They and their powers are revered as coming from God by their followers. But it is because they are messing around with satanic spirits and getting power from darkness and from the mountains of devils they are possessed with. They just claim it is of the Holy Spirit.
There is even a number calling themselves “Christian wiccans” if you can believe that. What utter nonsense. They may as well say Christian satanists. It’s just as absurd. Just like “Christian magic.” Just like Christians approving magic and allowing it in their homes and setting it in front of their children.
All Magic to be Rejected by God’s People
“Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” (Deuteronomy 7:26)
If it has magic, it needs to go. Cartoons, books, movies, toys, games, costumes, you name it. You may think that sounds harsh. It doesn’t matter, I didn’t make it up. It doesn’t matter what we think; it matters what the Word of God says. God hates magic and as long as you condone it in any way, shape or form, you are pitting yourself against Him and if you are His child you won’t get away with it. Fear God. His divine judgment is nothing to be tempted. You defile yourself with it, and God’s wrath will come not only upon it, but upon you.
Remember Achan in the matter of the accursed thing (Joshua 7). Not only Achan was destroyed as a result of tampering with the forbidden, but his whole house and all that he had.