Magic & Sorcery- Part 2

I took quite a bit of heat over a series of posts that I wrote on my then-default-blogging-platform Xanga back when movies like Harry Potter were coming out because I tried to warn Christians about the ensuing flood of darkness that was overtaking my generation; I asked Christians to stand by God’s command to have nothing to do with magic.  Our Father in Heaven is all wise and knew that these kinds of things would usher in a generation of increasingly dark movies to feed my generation’s increasingly dark appetite.

However, on WordPress, I have only written one post on Magic and Sorcery, which addresses this topic on a more basic level, so I would encourage you to take a moment to go read that short post to help get a grasp on some of the fundamental issues that pertain to this topic.

But today my intent is to address this topic from atop a more targeted and precise vantage point.

CONFUSION:

I want to clear up some confusion first: I don’t think most people can see clearly when it comes to this particular topic because they narrow their perspective to only one element of what composes “magic”.  For example, some people only address the topic from the perspective of drugs (taking advantage of a portion of insight that is given to us by the Greek word Pharmakia), while others only understand it from the Hollywood perspective of wand-waving, potion-conjuring, broom-riding, figures of pop-culture.  And because of this last perspective, there are many people that dismiss the subject entirely as nothing more than fantasy and imagination.  Indeed, I might even go so far as to say that Hollywood’s portrayal of magic is actually working to Satan’s advantage by blinding us to how extensive sorcery actually is in the world today.

So it’s very important that we understand how extensive this topic really is and take the time to understand the many different aspects of this topic.

A WORK OF THE FLESH

Galatians 5:20

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Sorcery should not be viewed as a matter of nothing more than fantasy and imagination.  It is a very real work of the flesh.  The Babylonians used a particular form of sorcery known as “divination” that was viewed in their society to be a very sophisticated and advanced science to guide their internal policies and foreign affairs (Myers, A. C. (1987).

Sorcery is very much a work of the flesh driven by the sin of rebellion (1st Samuel 15:23).  We sometimes want to make sorcery sound very mystical and elusive, but we must not forget that it is worked by the flesh.

In many occult circles, sorcery is also referred to as “manipulation”; physical elements can be used for various purposes and to various ends.

This should bring in two important dimensions of this topic that we need to consider: first, although sorcery seeks to tap into unusual power, forces, and influences, it does so as a work of the flesh, and is, therefore, not divine- this is why it is often referred to as manipulation, and, although it can offer power that we may otherwise think of as “miraculous”, it is not the power of the Almighty Creator God.  Sorcery is portrayed in Hollywood in “flashy” Harry Potter style, but we shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that it doesn’t also come disguised in modern and sophisticated wonders, just as it was in the days of the Babylonians and Assyrians.  Secondly, another dimension of this practice is drug-use.  Drugs are used world-wide to manipulate our natural physical state, and enhance various aspects of our flesh.  In fact, millions of people worldwide are “held under the sway of drugs” in a perpetually altered mental state that often times renders them “safely out of the reach of the gospel”.   In other words, millions and millions of people worldwide are in a mental state that has little hope so long as they remain under the control of an unnatural “drug”.

PRESENT IN THE END-TIMES

Another dimension of this topic that we need to be aware of is that God tells us that sorcery will be prevalent world-wide in the end times.   We condescendingly believe ourselves to be too enlightened for sorcery in our developed 1st-world countries because we have accepted Hollywood’s veiled picture of sorcery.  But God sees the world differently:

Revelation 9:21

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to 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; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

God sends great plagues to punish the world and wipe out vast multitudes of people because of their great sins; at this time the earth is full of demonic worship, idols of wealth, murder, various immoralities, thefts, and… sorcery.   After God’s punishment is enacted upon the world, He sends out the call to repent for these sins and the world still refuses to acknowledge God and repent!

Sorcery is very widespread according to God’s Word, and deeply ingrained in the peoples of the world.  This alone should tell us that our modern definition of “sorcery” is fatally flawed.

We need to understand that sorcery is a work of our flesh and includes (but is not limited to) much of modern-day pharmaceutical practices.

For example, modern pharmaceutics have the following attributes:

  • the pharmacy industry boasts that they have extended human life expectancy beyond 100 years of age, the specific limit God put on mankind (here the sin of rebellion to God manifests itself)
  • pharmaceuticals try to make ourselves immune to diseases and viruses that were put here as part of the curse (again, defying God’s punishment).
  • many athletes look to illegal pharmaceutical concoctions to enhance their physical performance (which is an example of how drugs are connected to the works of the flesh).
  • And in many foreign cultures (and more discreetly in the American culture), pharmaceuticals are used in various religious and sexual practices (again, connecting itself to the works of the flesh and immorality).

Inevitably this discussion will incur the wrath of many who will rush to defend our use of modern medicinal pharmaceutics.  With outrage many people’s first reaction is to force an extreme position upon anyone that begins to consider what I’m talking about here in order to paint the whole concept as extreme.

I’m not condemning with a broad stroke all medicinal practices; there are many natural remedies that have proven themselves in study after study to be more effective than many modern drugs (although many of these natural applications are quickly dismissed by the big pharmaceutical companies).  And I’m aware that there are many medications that can help alleviate pain and save lives.

What I think is important is that Christians broaden their perspective on this subject and begin exercising discernment, because, as many beneficial medications that there may be, there are that many and more that we should have very serious concerns over.  An example can be found in a recent analysis of modern medication that found over 88% of modern medication is psychotropic in nature, and we know that various sources are now indicating that these drugs are having devastating effects on people’s mental faculties.

So I hope my purpose in writing this is not lost; my intent is to encourage us to broaden our perspective, not to apply blind prohibitions on all medications period.  That would not help us because there are elements of sorcery that go beyond the pharmaceutical realm as well.

ALL THE NATIONS DECEIVED

The book of Revelation contains the word “sorcery” 4x more than any other book in the Bible, 30% of all references to the word in the Bible: whereas we view sorcery as a thing of the past because of our warped understanding of it, God reveals it as very much a thing of our time!

In the Revelation of God’s judgment upon Babylon, we find the following scripture:

Revelation 18:20-21, 23-24

“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.

And the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.  And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

 

The Bible makes reference to Babylon as the “Great City” in which all the various wealth, immoralities, idolatry, and spiritual harlotry come from; her archetype is the ancient nation of Babylon who was the seat of the deceiving spirit of Babylon that Revelation talks about.  Babylon claimed “I AM, and of my increase there shall be no end”.

The scripture tells us that Babylon deceives all the nations by her sorcery; it is important to understand that one element of sorcery is that it deceives people to give worship to demons, and, ultimately, to the anti-Christ.

The following article written by Russ Wise takes an in-depth look at the rapidly growing occultism among the American youth.  He looks at everything from the cult and occult practices of white and black magic, to Satanism; Russ Wise looks at various ways in which openly overt forms of sorcery have already taken root in American society.

Jeff Harshbarger, who wrote “Dancing With The Devil”, is an occult member who was saved by the Lord; he wrote that “Our society is submerged in the occult; Harry Potter has filled the minds of our children for a decade and vampirism meets our teens with the illusions of grandeur. Witchcraft went mainstream decades ago, and Wicca is its offspring”.

I am very grieved because we can see our children being openly led captive by these abominable sins and our parents are the ones that have abandoned them to it!  It seems’ Satan has run an extensive TV, movies, video games, and music PR and recruiting campaign; even some of the most popular musicians, like Jay-Z, and other actors are unabashedly involved in the occult, and are actively promoting these things with their music.

One of the most in-depth articles to address this issue is written by Jason Barker.  I encourage you to read it.

LYING SIGNS AND WONDERS

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

~2 Thessalonians 2:9–10

For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”

~Revelation 18:23–24

 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.  Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.  The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.  I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.  And all the world marveled and followed the beast.  So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’.

~Revelation 13:1-4

 

The culmination of sorcery will be in the coming of the anti-Christ; his rise from the midst of the people will be surrounded with many great and powerful signs and wonders.

Unlike Jesus who would not accept Satan’s offer to give Him his throne and authority over the nations of the world, the anti-Christ will receive from Satan power, a throne with dominion, and great authority.  He will strike fear in the hearts of the people so that they will say “who can make war with the Beast”, and when he receives a fatal wound, he will be healed.  This is the culmination of his sorcery, and it is the deceiving sign and wonder that causes all people (except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life) to worship Satan and the Beast.

This is one of the problems that I have with today’s teaching regarding the power of the anti-Christ.  We often diminish the signs that he performs: many teachers latch onto the word “lying” signs and wonders and change that word to mean “counterfeit” signs and wonders.  I disagree.  I believe they are deceiving signs and wonders that will cause the world to worship the beast and Satan, and that is exactly what the Bible tells us here.

The end result of sorcery is rebellion against God and worship of Satan.  And that is the end result of the Anti-Christ’s lying signs and wonders.

THE LAKE OF FIRE

Revelation 21:8 & 22:15

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

“Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

 

God saw fit to include those who practice sorcery in the list of people that will have their part in the lake of fire that burns forever.  He has reserved a kind of special judgment that we cannot speculate on in any other way right now than to say that they have been named for eternal punishment.

SUMMARY

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to 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; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

~Revelation 9:21

 We have an extremely narrow view of sorcery in the modern era, thanks in part to Hollywood.

It is important that we understand that God called them to repent for their “sorceries“.  There are many forms of sorcery.  And when we look at scripture we see that sorcery is quite extensive in the end times.

My exhortation is to encourage you to carefully consider what the scripture teaches about sorcery because it is important that we know and understand what these things are.

 

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