Deliver Us From Evil, Part 8
April 19, 2019
Several years ago, I was prompted to do a study on witchcraft and discovered that there are a host of words and applications in Scripture that spell out in great detail the nature and character of witchcraft and its tentacles.
This is a study that I can’t even begin to share in a week or even two weeks, so we will likely spend the next three weeks talking about it. My objective is not to focus on something that is so dark and negative — even if I have to for a short time — but rather to open up your understanding to the invasiveness of these spirits (and there are many!) to help you understand what we are battling in these transitional days before the thousand year reign begins.
It is critically important that Christians see clearly how the Enemy operates in this realm so that they are not fooled by his deceptions and manipulations.
During the next few weeks or so, I’d like to take you into a discussion of something that has been a real problem in the body of Christ, something that has led many men and women astray for century after century after century: witchcraft, or as it generally applies to men, sorcery.
We generally think of a witch as an old hag of a woman who casts spells, does incantations, and performs magic tricks. A sorcerer is regarded as a man who essentially does the same thing, but has even more evil power than a witch.
These are impressions that go back as far as the first-century BC Roman poet, Horace, who described witches as hags who invoked spirits of the “underworld.” Second-century AD Roman philosopher, Lucius Apuleius, refers to sorcerers as those “forcing compliance with their wishes or commands” through the invoking of spells, incantations, or placing of certain animal objects or images in or outside their homes in order to achieve certain results. Apuleius refers to sorcerers “nailing images of owls to the entrances of homes in order to ward off storms.”
These are the more traditional concepts of witchcraft or sorcery, and of course most folks are aware of witchcraft as it is practiced in our society today under the guise of the so-called “white witches” or wiccans, astrologers, palm-readers, tarot card readers, necromancers and “spiritualists” or mediums.
We need to all be on the same page, however, as to the purpose and objective of ALL witchcraft, sorcery and so-called “magic.”
Take a quick look at God’s command to Israel.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Amp. Bible: “There shall not be found among you any one who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination (or astrology), or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
“For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord; and it is because of these abominable practices that the Lord your God is driving them out from before you.
“You shall be blameless (and absolutely true) to the Lord your God. For these nations, whom you shall dispossess, listen to soothsayers and diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.”
Brother! The Lord was STRONG on this subject! There was no compromise whatever!
There are two issues here that I would like to address – and they are the two primary reasons why I believe that God is so adamant on witchcraft, sorcery, etc.
The first issue is based on the very first of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
The rich young ruler summarized this commandment when talking to Jesus, and all of the rest of them this way:
Luke 10:27: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
Got the picture? The reason one doesn’t have any other gods beside the Lord God Jehovah is because one is faithful to Him from a complete and total love for Him.
The issue that governs all witchcraft, sorcery, astrology, augury, necromancy, wizardry, or divination of any kind is the search for answers to all of life’s needs or problems FROM SOME OTHER SOURCE THAN GOD!!!
One cannot engage in witchcraft without seeking for answers from something other than God’s Word. One cannot engage in sorcery without attempting to place someone under YOUR control, thereby supplanting God as THE authority. One cannot engage in astrology without attempting to divine one’s future (and thereby protect oneself from some unknown evil) by taking guidance from the stars instead of the Word of God.
I can’t even begin to count the number of Christians I’ve run into throughout the years who think nothing of reading their daily horoscope, (they think it’s harmless fun!) and making judgments and decisions concerning their daily affairs accordingly. Then they wonder why their lives are in such confusion, why nothing works right, why they can’t get answers from the Lord when they pray, why they are weak and sickly, why they live in perpetual need, and on and on and on.
Astrology isn’t some harmless pursuit! It is taking your direction from demons who’ve deceived you into thinking they can safely govern your lives through the position and orbits of the stars and planets.
Talk about insanity! Demons didn’t create the Universe. Demons had nothing to do with Creation. Creation comes from God! What kind of irrational stupidity is it to take the governance of your life from the position of stars or planets when the Creator of those stars and planets wants to give you governance Himself through a personal love-relationship with you?
There is no love in astrology. There is no love in witchcraft. There is no love in sorcery. There is no love in enchantments. There is no love in necromancy or using mediums.
There is no love in divination. There is no love in soothsaying or charming or augury. ALL OF IT is rooted in fear! All of it is rooted in the rejection of the Word of God. All of it is rooted in the rejection of Jesus Christ!
You can’t have direction from the Lord Jesus Christ AND astrology. It doesn’t work that way. The Lord doesn’t guide people’s lives and unfold His Love, Mercy and Grace through astrology! Jesus does not provide a future for you with Him through enchantments, or witchcraft, or sorcery. He does it through a personal love-relationship between Him and you!
Do you realize that it is nothing short of adultery for you to claim you have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ – that you are betrothed to Him – while at the same time going to a tarot card reader, a medium, or an astrologer? They don’t take governance in their lives from Jesus Christ. What makes you think the counsel and direction they give you is going to be anything that comes from the Will of God in your life?
The second issue that governs all witchcraft, sorcery, enchantments, speaking with the dead (using mediums) (we know this a necromancy) or augury (the use of psychic power) is FEAR! The Fear of Evil is the principal driving force, but all spirits of fear are at work in the demonic so-called supernatural (I prefer to call it “sub-natural”).
Well, I can see that I’m not going to even begin to scratch the surface with these topics today. I want to take you into all of the Greek and Hebrew words that are used throughout Scripture that get translated witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment), charming, etc.
It’ll shock you! You’ll be astounded at some of the commonly accepted practices in the body of Christ today that are absolutely rooted in witchcraft and sorcery.
Enchantment, for example. (And we’ll get into this in more depth after a bit.) You have words that are translated as “enchantment” – both in Hebrew and in Greek – that literally mean, “to enchant with drugs,” or “to enchant with music.”
Most folks think of enchantment as the product of “spells” cast by speaking certain words over a person. That’s partially true, but only partially. The broad concept of enchantment is to cause a person to make decisions or to alter previously made decisions, using an outside controlling substance or emotional force, thereby controlling or specifying an outcome or result in their life.
Let me give you some examples.
I’ve shared with you in times past some of my experiences when I was teaching classes in broadcasting and dealt with the topic of subliminal programming.
I had one class in particular take apart some of the popular music of the day — some of the recordings of the Beatles, for example — in which messages which seemed harmless in and of themselves. Nevertheless, the purpose of those messages was to get people to spend money on the Beatles recordings, thus hyping them and their sales so that they were selling incredible amounts to people who might have otherwise not crossed the street to buy them.
Then there were the AC/DC recordings with backward masked messages invoking the worship of Satan and leading the people who purchased those recordings into a dark, demonic realm.
Back in the early 1980’s, a certain mother came to me because her son was beginning to display violent characteristics, at times exploding into a rage without warning. She told me that this behavior was totally at odds with his normal character. She couldn’t understand what was happening to him. I asked her to show me the records he was listening to. He had been listening to Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Prince and a host of other like recordings.
I spoke with her son about what he was listening to and he wasn’t about to hear what I had to say. Because of his age, and the fact that he was under his parents’ subjection, I recommended that they bring those recording to me and allow me to burn them in our furnace. At an appropriate moment when their son was not home, they did so. I went downstairs to the basement and opened up the furnace, throwing all of the recordings into the fire. When I closed the furnace door, the Spirit of Death emerged visibly from the furnace and followed me up the stairs. It sent cold chills down my spine. I rebuked that spirit and commanded it to get out of our house and stay out!
Sharing with the boy’s parents a bit later, they assured me that they would watch their son’s record purchases more closely from the day forward. By the same token, his behavior changed, and they later told me that he was once again the normal, rational, well-behaved son they were used to.
These are examples of cases where the individuals were being “enchanted” by the music they were listening to. The programmers and recording engineers had a deliberate agenda in mind when they programmed these recordings.
Let’s take this another step.
The music in the body of Christ, while improving, has often been a case of very subtle enchantment. Now don’t go throwing rocks at me before I explain!
Believers have been lulled to sleep spiritually with some of the music that has become a staple of Sunday morning services throughout the years. Much of it has been what I like to refer to as “feel good” music while it lacks in any specific direction towards the Lord. You KNOW that I’m going to accentuate this because of the calling to real praise and worship, and the reason for that is that we are not supposed to be gathering to feel good, to listen to preaching, etc., but rather to minister to the Lord. There’s nothing wrong with testimony songs. There’s nothing wrong with singing songs that are instructional and invoke the Word of God. Our music just cannot consist of messages which do not offer to the Lord directly, real praise and real worship.
OK, I’ll get off this rabbit trail and back on topic!
There are seven specific words that occur in Hebrew or Greek to define the various characteristics under which we categorize “witchcraft.” We won’t get into all of them today, but let’s begin with the first. This is a word we all easily recognize, and it perhaps the most easily recognizable in today’s culture.
This first definition comes from the NT Greek where the primary word used throughout the New Testament for witchcraft is pharmakeia. It translates literally to: to enchant (or cast spells) using medication, drugs or potions.
Drawn from pharmakeus, which comes from pharmakon, it draws a picture of using drugs and medications to poison a person without killing them (at least immediately) for the purpose of putting them in a kind of hypnotic state where they become susceptible to the seductions of demons.
Before we get too far along, I know that the word conjures up visions of pharmacists – and it is the word that “pharmacist” comes from. Let me say that I’m not suggesting that pharmacists are sorcerers who practice witchcraft – not all of them, anyway.
(Hehehehehehe……….) I have very close friends – committed Christians – who have been in the pharmaceutical world for many years, and they are anything but sorcerers.
That said, there is much of the medical industry today that people overly rely on that falls into the category of sorcery. This is a personal opinion so take it for what it’s worth.
Next week, I will give you an illustration of an application.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video using ZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-only call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
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