Greed and a hunger for power are partly to blame for the performance of counterfeit miracles and delivery of heresy messages in churches. Indeed, these are perilous times, for witchcraft is dangerous. Dangerous for the receiver, and dangerous for the practitioner. Both face demonic oppression that opens a door to death. The Scriptures are very clear when it comes to sorcery and witchcraft. It says in Revelations 21: 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. And also … “Revelations 22: 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
The word witchcraft in Greek is derived from Pharmakeia, from where we get the word pharmacy, pharmaceuticals and pharmacists. Pharmakeia basically speaks about the use or the administering of drugs; poisoning; and sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it. If we read Revelations 21 and 22 about the punishments of those who deal with witchcraft in whatever form, as well as those who are fornicators, or murders as described in these passages, one can therefore see what the plan of the devil is. The more people Satan can corrupt, the further they move away from God and His intention for us all to dwell with Him in New Jerusalem. The occult has been spread through teachings of dark knowledge that is destroying people. But God has always been against such teachings and practices.
It says in “Isaiah 47: 10 For you [Babylon] have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart and mind, I am, and there is no one besides me. 11 Therefore shall evil come upon you; you shall not know the dawning of it or how to charm it away. And a disaster and evil shall fall upon you that you shall not be able to atone for [with all your offerings to your gods]; and desolation shall come upon you suddenly, about which you shall know nothing or how to avert it. 12 Persist, then, with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries [Babylon], in which you have labored from your youth; and see if perhaps you will be able to profit, if you will prevail and strike terror! 13 You are wearied with your many counsels and plans. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and make known to you and save you from the things that shall come upon you [Babylon]. 14 Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them. They cannot even deliver themselves from the power of the flame [much less deliver the nation]. There is no coal for warming or fire before which to sit!”
1 Timothy 4 verse 1 speaks of doctrines being taught by demons. The church has been open for these seductive doctrines and devious practices, simply because we have moved further away from God, from His Truth, His ways and His holiness. We seek after greater influence, and spiritual leaders are willing to engage in the occult, such as marine spirits, to acquire demonic power. In some translations you will find 1 Timothy 4 reads as seductive spirits. To seduce someone is to make them want to engage in immoral activity, especially in a subtle or manipulative way. Seduce is also commonly used in a more general way meaning to tempt or influence someone to do something, especially something bad or something someone wouldn’t normally do. This is the work of demonic forces. Reality is that men and women within the churches are being seduced, thus manipulated into drawing into the dark world of the occult, seeking after power.
We read in Matthew 4: 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Yes, even the devil tried to seduce and tempt Jesus to bow before him! He promised Jesus power in the form of miracles, protection and great wealth. Today nothing has changed. People are still deceived and mesmerised by fake signs and wonders. Again it says in “Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” The devil still seduces people with the promises of power in the form of miracles. Jesus, however, said in “Mark 16: 5 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who [d]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Yes, there is a very well real difference between the power of God and the tricks of the devil.
The devil has succeeded in his seductions as some in churches run more after signs and wonders than God himself. If God does not move for some people, then they engage in devilish powers to see their carnal desires fulfilled. Those associated with great signs and wonders, fake or demonic, draw a great following and thus become famous and popular. Such practices we see all around us in churches. And yes, the devil still promises protection by his hand and demonic hordes, and he still promises great wealth. Sadly, a number of spiritual leaders have become rich and powerful in terms of wealth because of their manipulation and demonic exploitation of congregants and believers.
We read, however, in Psalm 91 that it is God who truly protects: 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you.”
God does protect, yet there is still a tendency to fall for the devil’s lies and tricks that he is the true source of power. And one may wonder why those, who supposedly serve the Lord, will ever think of falling for the trap of engaging in demonic powers. It boils down to carnal desires. It says in “Galatians 5:24: And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Indeed, if we are in Christ we bear much fruit (OF THE SPIRIT), yet if remain fleshly, thus carnal, we produce the work of the flesh. And such work according to Galatians 5 includes sorcery. So if we remain caught between carnal and waking in sanctification, we will fall prey to dark seductions.
After all, it says in “James 4:1: Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” Question therefore is, are we truly walking in the light or do we still struggle with desires for this world? If this is the case, then the devil knows how to exploit such desires. And so it says in “James 1:14: But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” And this is what is happening in churches, where some are drawn away from God and pulled into the satanic realm because of carnal desires. It says in “Ephesians 2: 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Being enticed by the devil should be part of our old life, yet it seems for some they would choose to continue dancing around the golden calf, entertaining the flesh and lustful needs.
Indeed, as the church moves closer to the exaltation of the Self, to the secular, to the material and the unholy, it has allowed itself to be subjected to demonic oppression and influences. At the time when the Lord spoke about destroying paganism and witchcraft I knew there was a problem of witchcraft in the church, but over the years this understanding of the gravity of the situation only deepened. We often consider witchcraft to be only black magic or conjuring the dead. We have to understand, for example, that rebellion, word curses and works of the flesh also fall into the realm of witchcraft. Rebellion against God is like the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). However you define it, practicing witchcraft is a serious sin, and far more Christians are experts at sorcery than you may realize. Even witches these days are calling themselves Christians, evident of how the line has been blurred between right and wrong! Yes these Christian witches are a stark example of how the devil has bewitched his way into the minds of people and even into the minds of Christians!
Consider again how easily we can fall into the snares of the devil, especially rebellion, which is sparked by disobedience. Think of King Saul who was ordered to utterly destroy the Amalekites and everything they had: man, woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Saul found victory in battle against Israel’s enemy by the grace of God, but failed to obey the voice of God when the dust settled. He spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites, and kept the best of the livestock (see 1 Samuel 15:1-9). Saul proposed that his intention was to sacrifice the animals to the Lord, but there’s no excuse for disobedience. Saul was so stubborn that he at first refused to admit his disobedience. He actually justified his actions. Only after Samuel rebuked Saul did he catch the revelation that obedience is better than sacrifice (see 1 Samuel 15:22). In that rebuke—and in Saul’s response—we find one way Christians are practicing a sin that’s in the realm of witchcraft: through rebellion that arises when the fear of man is greater than the fear of the Lord. Indeed, the true Gospel these days is sacrificed because the fear of man is greater than the fear of God, because we just don’t want to offend, upset or anger anyone in the church anymore.
Still today there are many forms of witchcraft and paganism to be found throughout the churches of the world. Witchcraft is deeply rooted in churches. It dates right back to the days of Constantine – the Roman Emperor who worshipped the sun god – who turned Christianity into a religion of the Roman masses. Every time we for example preach, teach or give a word which is in the flesh or by the imagination or by a different spirit (thus demonic), therefore not in the Holy Spirit, it is a form of divination, fortune telling, and therefore a form of witchcraft (sorcery). After all, if we operate not in the Spirit, we are vulnerable to the whispering and seductions and deceptions of the devil. The early church during the Roman Empire sadly adopted a number of pagan practices to please man, yet failed to fear and obey God.
Every time we prophecy a false word, teach a false word or embrace a false doctrine, we rebel against God’s Truth, thus rebel ourselves. Even worse, what we are actually doing is sowing death, because only God’s True Word brings life. Everything else is from the devil, and by that design anything that we sow through speaking which is not from God will only cause harm, destruction and death. For this reason Paul said very clearly in Galatians 1 that any other gospel except the true Gospel of Jesus is accursed. The Greek word for accursed is Anathema, which also speaks of a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, thus something doomed to destruction. Such gospels – born of demons or of man – are doomed and only hold destruction, and I thus perilous by nature and intent.
We often do not realise that we deal with the supernatural, and that there are very real consequences to our actions. We can fool people, but not the Lord or the devil. We shall reap what we sow. So often we only think of this in terms of material things, but the truth is what we sow spiritually we shall reap spiritually. If we sow death, we shall reap death. Sow life, reap life. We sow death through our disobedience and rebellion, when we engage in witchcraft, and when we constantly embrace lies, deceptions and demonic teachings. We need to wake up and wake up fast.
Demonic doctrines are sadly taught to appease the masses. It happened time after time in the old days of Israel (see for example Ezekiel 8). Reality is that the devil is very good at seduction. He knows how to manipulate and make promises to tempt man to abandon God’s ways. He after all tried with Jesus and He continually tries with His followers, and yes, still today some have exchanged the light for darkness even though they think they are still in the light! All that we are doing is to sow death and not life. And yes, when we embrace such a lie without checking it with God, we embrace death and not life! We need to wake up and wake up fast. We cannot continue to speak the devil’s lies and think there are no consequences. The blood will be on our hands ultimately!
Let us also consider Acts 8:9-11 (NIV): Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” They followed Simon because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic! And just so in the churches there are false operators who are allowed to operate and succeed and thrive because the demonic, the occult and the witchcraft holds this ability to seduce, charm, beguile and to draw people’s attention away from light to the darkness.
There are still plenty of false prophecies given for the purpose of pleasing the ear for own enrichment and benefit. Again the warning of 1 Timothy 4 highlights how teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.