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From the book, THE WORKS OF THE FLESH: Understanding and Defeating the Works of the Devil.

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Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

       Sorcery is an old reality. No matter which culture of the past one explores, one will find out that each one of them practiced the black arts and that such activities where popular, common, and that it’s practitioners in many cases were held in high regard.

      Tapping into the unseen forces and gaining power over the future and others was something craved after, and the people who were believed to have such powers were looked up to with fear and great respect.

       Has the popularity of witchcraft diminished over the centuries?

       Hard to say.  Reliable statistics are hard to find because of the secrecy that often accompanies witchcraft. Nonetheless a visit to a book store tends to indicate that it’s popularity is quite high.  I visit to a bookstore and the large quantity of books on the supernatural that I saw made evident that interest in the occult is alive and well. In that specific store there are only two shelves dedicated to Christianity and on to the Bible and Bible help. Surprisingly there were two shelves dedicated to Wicca and witchcraft, two to New Age and one to Eastern religions.

       It is safe to assume that the bookstore would not dedicate that much space to an area unless a lot of people are buying those types of books.

        The Bible tells us that witchcraft will be quite prevalent in the end times and because of its prevalence and humanity’s stubborn attachment to it, plus other sins,  God will greatly punish humanity.

Rev. 9: 20 And the rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk:  21 and they repented not of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

       In that end times, therefore, humanity will be greatly involved in witchcraft and will stubbornly refuse to let go.

       In this article we will deal with witchcraft and its related aspects so as to help us become more aware of how Satan uses it as a tool to influence and harm humans and especially young people.

       The word for witchcraft is Pharmakia. It is a very interesting word in that it means both "drugs" (Mind altering drugs) as well as "sorcery." Vine’s Expository Dictionary tells us that it "primarily" means "the use of medicine, drugs and spells." In sorcery the use of drugs was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers.

       The word involves connecting with and relying on demonic forces to impress people and to enslave them.

       We know for certain that the primary meaning of the word Pharmakia is witchcraft, because we have God’s pronouncements in both the Law and in other parts of the New Testament as to His views on witchcraft. 

       Let’s, therefore, first of all read the undeniable condemnations of witchcraft found in the Torah:

Deuteronomy 18:10-  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. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you  the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.  International Bible SocietyNIV at ZondervanZondervan

       Let’s analyze this scripture in depth so as to see how serious and how dangerous getting into such activities can be.

1.  "Let no one be found among you:" Even one is one too many.

2.  Who practices the following variations of involvement with evil spirits:

       Let’s look at all the terms one by one with the help of the Cambridge International Dictionary:

WITCHCRAFT: the activity of performing magic to help or harm other people.

SOOTHSAYER: a person who is believed to have the ability to know and tell what will happen in the future.

OMENS: something that is considered to be a sign of how a future event will take place.

SORCERY:  a type of magic in which spirits (beings that cannot be seen), especially evil ones, are used to make things happen.

SPELLS: spoken words which are thought to have magical power.

MEDIUM: a person who says that they can receive messages from people who are dead.

A SPIRITIST: a consulter with familiar spirits.

The Web Bible Encyclopedia adds,

FAMILIAR SPIRITS: The word "familiar" is from the Latin "familiaris," meaning a "household servant," and was intended to express the idea that sorcerers had spirits as their servants ready to obey their commands.

ONE WHO CONSULTS / NECROMANCER: One who calls up the dead.

       In summary all of these activities have to do with relying on the help of demons to influence the present and the future or to predict the future.

       God sternly warned Israel that they were to steer away from such activities. Not doing so would have meant severe consequences.

       Why would the God of love ever prohibit seemingly "helpful" and beneficial activities?

       Firstly because He and only He was to be their helper and also because evil beings do not give good things without long-term negative consequences.

       One of the great writers of the past who understood this reality was Shakespeare. In the introduction to his masterpiece Macbeth we see two men who are met by witches who prophesy certain future events that are very appealing to the point of totally taking over the mind of Macbeth.

       He is told that he would soon become lord of many more lands and that he would become king.  Soon after the prophecy, he is met by the king's ambassador who announces to him that as a reward for his dedication and his success in war he would become lord of another part of the country as well.

       He is elated. The witches are reliable. Banquo, his friend, who is more cautious and wise than Macbeth, warns him: “But oftentimes, to win us to our harm the instruments of darkness tells us truths win us with honest trifles to betray’s in deepest consequences” (Macbeth, Act 1:2)

       Beware of evil spirits, he says, as they will at times tell you the truth and will give give you something, “Trifles,” to get you hooked but in the end there will be dire consequences.

       And in fact the demons continued giving Macbeth success, but in the end destruction befell him and his wife.

       That warning from arguably the greatest playwright that ever lived stands firm:

       "Beware humans: there are spirits out there who work through objects or people who can show you wonders and will promise you great things. They are powerful and mesmerizing and they have the ability to take over your life. They will amaze you at first, they will give you things that you desire, but the end result can be destructive for you and others."

       What was God’s command in the Old Testament regarding people who get involved in such activities?

Deuteronomy 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, (diviner, augur, necromancer, witch, warlock) shall be put to death, because he hath spoken rebellion against Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, to draw thee aside out of the way which Jehovah thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

       Israel listened at times and rebelled at other times.

       The first king of Israel was one such rebel who turned to evil spirits for help and angered God greatly by doing so.

1 Samuel 28:3-17 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.  

4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa.

 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.

6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.

7 Saul then said to his attendants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her." "There is one in Endor," they said.

 8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. "Consult a spirit for me," he said, "and bring up for me the one I name."

 9 But the woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?"

 10 Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for this."

 11 Then the woman asked, "Whom shall I bring up for you?"
      "Bring up Samuel," he said.

 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!"

 13 The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?"
      The woman said, "I see a spirit
[a] coming up out of the ground."

 14 "What does he look like?" he asked.
      "An old man wearing a robe is coming up," she said.
      Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the              ground.

 15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"
      "I am in great distress," Saul said. "The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do."

 16 Samuel said, "Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy?

17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David.

18 Because you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today. 19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."

       The moral of the story? People who reject God’s way may try to still tap into spiritual power by going to soothsayers. This is a sign of utter foolishness. It is like sealing one’s fate. The result will not be solutions or relief but it is the last step into oblivion.

       Has there been Christians who have left God and fallen into witchcraft. I have no doubt. Some have become atheists, no doubt others have gone into New Age movements or some kind of demonic activity.

       In the church the group which often ends up getting involved in witchcraft or various forms of spiritism the most is the Children of Christians.

       Some out of curiosity. Some out of spite. Some out of foolishness. Some have rejected their parents’ ways and have embraced a new god: Satan. The consequences are always the same: problems on top of problems.

       As we move into the New Testament, we do not find a more tolerant view of sorcery. God’s attitude is the same.

       In reading the NT we find three things:

1.  Witchcraft was very common in the Greco/Roman world.

2.  Leaving witchcraft was a fundamental requirement, before one could get baptized.

3.  Christians had to steer away from any form of sorcery and never again be involved in it.

       In relation to point one, in early New Testament times, witch craft was very common.. 

       In fact, in the The Book of Acts we come across not one but three magicians.


Acts 8:9-24 -- 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. 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.

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none which you have spoken may come upon me.”

       What was the real motive that drove this man: power. He just saw another opportunity to have power of a greater kind and wanted it.

       This is one of the major reasons why people go into sorcery: power. Feeling more powerful and special than others.

   2.  The second sorcerer mentioned in Acts is "BAR JESUS" or "ELIMAS."

Acts 13:4-12 -- So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.  6 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, 7 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. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 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? 11 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. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

       In this example Paul summarizes beautifully the essence of the practitioners of sorcery:

1. SORCERY IS DECEIT: “O full of all deceit and all fraud,"  This is what witchcraft is all about: deceit. They often tell you that it is God that gives them the power and that they only want to do good. They are fraudulent, not only because they practice a lie but also because they often take advantage of others to make money, or to exercise control over them.

2. SORCERY IS FROM THE DEVIL: "You son of the devil," Getting involved in witchcraft makes a person a child of the Devil.

3. SORCERY SEPARATES US FROM GOD: "You enemy of all righteousness." By participating in such activities one becomes an enemy of righteousness—an enemy of God.

4. SORCERY IS A PERVERSION OF THE RIGHT WAY: "Will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?" Sorcery and related activities are perversions of the straight way. How?

a. It leads to the worship of a god -- but not the true God:

b. Sorcery offers power that mesmerizes and controls. The Holy Spirit leads us, it does not control us.              Demons will finally take over and they will control totally.

c. From being ruler one becomes ruled by demons.

d. Rather than solving life’s problems, new, greater problems are created.

e. Rather than giving peace and life, they create turmoil and finally destruction.


  3.  The third person involved in witchcraft mentioned in Acts is A YOUNG LADY WHO DIVINED.

Acts 16:16  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:

 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.

 18And 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.

     The key point here is that while at times people who are involved in sorcery seem to have gained more power, they are, in reality, possessed. Familiar spirits which are taught to be family servants in reality control individuals and the family, as this example shows.

     The above, therefore, are the main reasons why new converts left magic behind. First of all they understood that it involved Satan and demons. They also understood that leaving demons behind was a critical part of true conversion.

       In the end time there will be the greatest magician of al, the greatest magician or warlock of all times: THE FALSE PROPHET.

Revelation 16:13 -- And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and  out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

Revelation 19:20 -- And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

       The man’s power will be mind-boggling. He will deceive the nations and the nations will be in awe of him. His end? Destruction.

       Why are people so attracted to the supernatural world?

1.    It is intriguing:  the thought of seeing supernatural things happen is very attractive.

2.    It is appealing: the thought of connecting to dead relatives is very appealing. Knowing that they are Ok is very reassuring and the assurance that one may see them again is exciting.

3.    It is empowering: Thinking that one may have power over the future and others is magnetic.

4.    It is elevating: People with low self-esteem may conclude that they are superior to others because of newfound powers.

5.    It seems thrilling if bored: Something exciting and out of the ordinary to do.

6.    It is extremely dangerous. Playing with the supernatural is one of the most dangerous things there is.

       Now let me share with you some examples of people who got involved with the supernatural and suffered severe consequences. The first two examples I have known personally the last one is a witness from someone who warns others not to make the same mistake she made.

       Now here are some true examples f people whom I have known who were involved in witchcraft.

        In 1986 I met a young man who wanted to become a Christian. The man looked and acted very tense, as if he had gone through a very unusual experience: he had.

       Rather than asking question about doctrines, he went immediately into a fascinating and troubling story regarding what he and his family had just gone through.

      They were a normal family. Two parents, 5-7 children in the late teens or early twenties. But things did not stay normal. At one point in time His little  sister had dabbled into some toys which were supposed to connect her and her friends with the supernatural. They did. They were able to communicate with spirits which in time joined the young lady and took residence in her home. Not long after, in fact, she started experiencing frightening moments during which these spirits would temporarily possess her and get her to do irrational things. The behaviour that stayed with me was that she would sit in class and she would suddenly lose control and would hit the person who was sitting in front of her.

       The mother who was fairly weak psychologically is the one they started working through the most. In fact they would communicate with her and pass messages on to the rest of the family. The overall message was that they had been chosen to be saved from a coming catastrophe and that they would have been taken onto a spaceship and brought to another location. At first there was scepticism but the various manifestations convinced them that they were dealing with powerful angelic beings.

       Gradually they distanced themselves from friends and relatives. Finally they were told to separate themselves from every one, because, if I remember well, the others were evil and would have tried to interfere with their salvation. They, therefore, separated themselves fully and waited for further orders. The family was therefore fully in the hands of these demons, except for the father, I believe who wanted nothing to do with the whole thing but would not interfere?

       The family was a slave to these angels for months. I believe that all except the father stopped school or work and waited cooped up inside the house. Assurances came that it was a matter of time and they would be taken away. But time went by and nothing happened.

       The salvation of the family came not from the sky but from below. One day the young man who was relating the story to me was going through some objects in the basement and came across a Bible. He was moved to read it and came across passages that made him aware of demons, the supernatural and how it operates. Having realized that the beings that they had been dealing with were not angels but demons, he quickly went to work to save his family. The mother immediately labelled him as an evil enemy who was probably possessed and tried to prevent his from freeing his brothers and sisters. His persistence had paid off though, and as of that day he was speaking to us he had been able to free everyone except his mother and his little sister.

       Not long after He became converted and became one of our finest members. Thanks to his example, a sister and one or two brothers were converted as well.

       How did the terrible nightmare begin? Simply by playing with seemingly harmless witchcraft-related objects.


        I mentioned at the beginning that demons will give you something at first to get you hooked and then they add anguish.

       The next story is that of someone I’ve known for a long time.

       She is a divorced woman with four children. After she left her abusive husband she went to a witch to foresee and influence her future.

       The witch told her that she would come across and marry a rich man. Not long after she met a man at an adult club. The man told her he was divorced. (Lie) He was rich. (True) She became involved but finally found that he was married and had two boys.

       She decided to stay with him anyways with the hope that he would leave his wife. He showered her with gifts in the meantime.

       The witch in the meantime gave her powders she would insert in his shoes which were supposed to make him leave his family and join with her. It worked. He finally left his family and joined with her.

       As this relationship was evolving she spent less and less time with her kids who spent more and more time with the wrong crowd. The smallest was taken over by her grand parents who were unable to stop the situation. The three older ones, now teenagers at first they got in trouble in and out of school. Then they graduated to minor thefts, and then to bigger ones. Drugs were inevitable and then selling drugs. Of course the atmosphere at home was unbearable. So the mother, encouraged by the prediction of the witch, left her kids to themselves and moved in with the man who had left his wife and kids.

       Today she is a rich woman. She is not married to the man but she has much in the way of material possessions. She drives a very expensive car and lives in a fancy house.

       The witches prophecy came to pass, but at a cost. All her four kids detest her. They do their best to use her to get money and when they can’t they reject and ignore her.

       All have been in serious trouble with the law. Some are drug addicts.

       Remember Shakespeare’s warning through Banquo in Macbeth?

“But oftentimes, to win us to our harm the instruments of darkness tells us truths win us with honest trifles to betray’s in deepest consequences” (Macbeth, Act 1:2)

       I have seen the woman in great despair. Yes, she has much and yet she has nothing. She has money, a big car a big house, and messed up kids who hate her guts. In fact she is now terrified that her kids or son in law who sells drugs may try to get rid of her to get their hands on all her riches. Her fear is founded.

       This has been Satan’s gift. Every good and perfect gift is from the Lord. Every evil and imperfect gift is from Satan.

        The last example is a witness from someone who was involved and is imploring all especially young people to steer clear of the supernatural.

      The title of the article is "Escape from the Power of the Ouija Board."

       The moral of the story: Demons are alive and well on planet earth and they are very active. Our culture is actually co-operating with them by making light of the supernatural and by desensitizing our young people to it. Books and movies of children using magic powers for good are Satan’s number one tool for stirring up curiosity in young people and emboldening them to try activities that can lead to demonic possession.

       Young people, there is no white magic. There is no magic that will help people. If it does, it’s temporary. The message that there is good magic out there is a huge dangerous lie from the father of lies: Satan.

       If you have dabbled in anything magical, please stop before it’s too late.

       God, who loves you and that is why he told you thousands of years ago in Deut. 18 stay away from those who practices witchcraft, or soothsayers, or people who interpret omens, or sorcerers, 11 or people who conjures spells, or mediums, or spiritists , or people who call up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are abominations to the LORD.

       And they should be abominations to every one of us as well.

       In the end times demonic supernatural activities will abound and the people of the world will refuse to let go of them and the end result will be catastrophic for most of humanity.

       For witchcraft is a work of the flesh. It means getting involved with the evil side. It means serious consequences in the short and long term.

        Let’s stay away from witchcraft. Let’s be on guard to keep our children away from witchcraft. Let’s discourage any interest in witchcraft, even when it seems innocuous, and lets keep evil out of our lives and out of our kids’ lives.

Download the complete book on your computer or Kindle

from Amazon.com CLICK HERE


       The next article will address the next work of the flesh: Hatred

The Works of the Flesh:  Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lasciviousness, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresy, Envy, Murders, Drunkenness, Revelings.

The Fruits of the Spirit:

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Longsuffering
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faithfulness / Faith
  8. Gentleness/ Meekness
  9. Self-control

© Copyright, Michael Caputo, 2009.