The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

November 1991


1) Witchcraft and Magic
2) Filled with the Spirit

Witchcraft and magic

The word of God has a great deal to say about magic and witchcraft, and He speaks in the harshest terms, Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31. The contrast with witchcraft is perfection of the revealed will of God, Deuteronomy 18:9-14. James 1:25, identifies the law of God as the standard of perfection which the Lord commands and for which He provides the grace. (Cf. Romans 12:2; 2 Timothy 3:17; James 2:22.)

The enemy of our soul is no fool! He seeks to convince God's people that magic and witchcraft are always supernatural manifestations. Witchcraft and magic must be seen as any effort to control (take dominion over) any part of God's creation apart from being doers of the word of God. The method which God has ordained to acquire dominion over His creation is His word studied, developed and applied (including its preaching) by the power of the grace of God. Through the applied word the Spirit of God works to subdue creation, including people, to Himself, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5; 15:34.

This method of dominion through the applied law-word of God is not restricted to people. We are given an extensive list of other areas this applies to in Deuteronomy 28: the city (the city will be in anarchy without this control), v. 3; field, v. 4; birth of children, v. 4; fruit of the ground, v. 4; livestock, v. 5; food supply, v. 5; traveling, v. 6; warfare with the enemy, v. 7; weather or environment, v. 12; economy, v. 12; among nations, vs. 1, 13; and every action of the hand, v. 8.

Exodus 23:25, includes physical health. In addition, Leviticus 26 promises peace, security, freedom and safety, v. 6; victory over wild beasts, v. 6; the respect of the Lord, v. 9; prosperity in the storage of food, v. 10; the presence and fellowship of the Lord, v. 11 (this is mentioned two more times, vs. 22, 23 & vs. 27, 28. 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21); emotional health, v. 16; a good profit for the farmer, v. 16 (we could read this, for your enemies, the banker and tax man shall eat our food).

It is interesting that these promises are not conditioned upon sinless perfection, but upon a willingness to be corrected by the law-word of God, v. 23; Jeremiah 5:3. Also here in the law of Moses we are told that the Lord desires obedience, not sacrifice, v. 31. (V. 19, the iron heavens are heavens which do not hear prayer. The brass earth is an earth with no rain. The purpose of which is to break the pride of sinful man.)

In other words, all areas of life and thought are to be controlled by the study, development and application of the law of God in each area. As the new man in Christ applies the law, he accomplishes what Adam failed to do; exercise control, or dominion, over every area (but God is the One who does the actual controlling of them). Adam believed that obedience was not necessary to exercise control. Thus Adam abhored the Lord, Leviticus 26:15.

Example; control of the weather: Find out what kind of action in required by God's law to bring the rain in due season, then do it, Leviticus 26:3, 4. Example; desire for animals to be healthier and stronger: Find out what the law of God teaches concerning animal husbandry and develop this within His established bounds. Example; better plants and fruit trees: Study what God has revealed concerning botany and develop within these limits. Example; civil government: Study God's word concerning the actions of men, the restrictions and requirements, then civil law is to reflect this. What kind of men are to rule? Search it out and place these kind of men in authority (which within our system we do by voting for godly and God-talented men who run for office). Example; physical and emotional health: Physical, find where we have departed from the law of the Lord (Lev. 26:40), then search for God's ordained principles of medicine, work within those principles and apply the results. Emotional, find where the conscience has violated the word of God, then make restitution to God and man.

It is obvious that all these areas are to be developed according to the law-word of God, then applied. Fallen man believes he can take control and have God's blessing apart from obedience to God's word.

Magic and Witchcraft or Occultism:

For every thinking man life consists of knowing the secrets of nature, understanding their meaning and raising the veil of Isis. Those who under the guidance of different influences have deciphered the unknown, form links in a chain. The power that churchmen call 'God', philosophers 'laws', moralists 'precepts' and scientists 'nature', is described by occultist as 'intuition' or 'understanding'. For all those who search for the answer within themselves, the principle is always the same; study the microcosm, man, in order to understand the secrets of the macrocosm, the universe. Occultist proceed in the same way: by examining man they try to discover, by analogy, the laws which control the universe.

Everything that is not yet known or accepted is regarded as occult or concealed. As proof of what it postulates official science admits only experiments which can be made repeatedly to an unlimited extent, in conditions which are always the same. The scientists maintain that everything touched with magic does not fit in with criteria which are identical at all times and in all places. Even if their experiments are sometimes based on erroneous facts, they still regard them as 'positive', until they are proved otherwise.

Knowledge and 'intuition' or 'understanding' are not therefore synonymous. Occultists and magicians are concerned not only with penetration into the unknown, but with producing evidence of it. However, after centuries of effort, about which we know very little, the alchemists reached a decisive stage, passing from the oratory to the laboratory, and bringing initiation close to inspiration. (Introduction to "A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF MAGIC AND THE SUPERNATURAL." The Hamlyn Publishing Group, Hamlyn House, Feltham, Middlesex, England. 1964.)

Observe what is said: First, life consists of learning, knowing and understanding the secrets of nature, especially man. Through applying what is learned from this study of man, the secrets of nature can be known and controlled. Today we identify the one who studies man, not as the occultist which he is, but as a psychologist and psychiatrist. Second, it is not facts which are searched out, but 'intuition.' "This is the way I think it ought to be (we might add, 'I'll find Scripture to support this intuition')." Third, though science at one time only admitted the validity of experiments which could be reproduced many times with identical circumstances, this is no longer the case. Science will use 'intuition' and even erroneous conclusions as truth until proved otherwise. Fourth, science has now taken over this task from the occultists and alchemists.

(The author says this at the close of his book, pgs. 316, 317: "SCIENCE TAKES OVER FROM MAGIC. Science, the substitute for insight, is now producing an infinite number of miracles..")

Thus, the purpose of occultism, Magical rites (including ritual murder, sexual sadism and perversions of all kinds), astrology, meditation and false religion (including devil worship, necromancy and religion under the name of Christ), is to allow man to exercise dominion over the whole earth. This dominion is sought over the environment, weather, crops, fish of the sea, beast of the field, illness, death and life, and other people, including ones enemies. Also involved are efforts to approach deity, understand the unknown, the future and the hereafter, all outside the limits of God's word. (This word dominion is readily used by the occult, yet Christians are fearful of it. Why?)

Another branch of the Occult was/is the Alchemists. Alchemy, developed after A.D. 1000, preeminently proposed the use of the proper natural elements to transmute baser metals into gold. Thus, the alchemist believes that a proper mixture of certain natural elements can be used to exercise dominion over nature. But the purpose of this is to make nature subject to the will of man, or to subdue nature, thus fulfilling man's intuition or ideals. In other words, man dreams of what he would like the world to be, then attempts to use the sciences (chemistry in this case, the proper mixture of the elements), to fulfill his will. Thus, fallen man makes himself and his will the center of all creation through scientific research.

On the other hand, godly chemistry would find what God desires for the world from His word, how God ordained creation (the elements) to work together, then develop ideas within that framework to accomplish that goal. Chemistry outside of God's plan and purpose for man is no more than occultism and alchemy. We could also include modern day genetic engineering with plants, animals and humans in this ungodly effort.

An interesting note: "Amongst the Egyptians, poverty was regarded as a disease." Ibid, pg. 85. This would permit seeking for a scientific cure for poverty. Webster (1828) also ties in the search for a universal remedy for disease with alchemy. Does this differ from modern medicine? Obviously, alchemy reigns in the laboratory today as science is used to escape from the principles of God's law.

When men, even in the name of doing God's work, depart from following the revealed word of God to accomplish their goals, to exercise dominion in their area of occupation and responsibility, they have moved into the realm of magic and witchcraft. witchcraft is basically rebellion against the Lord. It is man's activity outside of the limits established by God's word, 1 Samuel 15:23.

A few things to consider here.

MUSIC: Is it any wonder that we are seeing such proliferation of music which openly glorifies Satan? This satanic music is not the problem, rather it is a natural result. The root of the problem was that first 'soft' song which violated Romans 1:21; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

ART: The same principle applies. The satanic art is only the result of art that separated from God generations ago.

EDUCATION! The proliferation of Satan worship and death education is only a result of removing the education process from the principles of God's word.

SCIENCE: Falsely so called, as well as research in every area, is being used to take dominion over creation; to make creation subject to the will of man. The above, as well as civil government, mental and physical health, welfare, religious activity and numerous other things, if they are being done with the goal of escaping God's ordained order, or working apart from that order as revealed in His word, are no more than an exercise in magic and witchcraft.

The end results are all around us. 60% of the labor force of a national steel company is unable to read past a sixth grade level. Sodomy and abortion are openly practiced and condoned by the public. Perversions of the worse sort, mutilation, murders, corruption in all areas are all openly practiced with little public reaction. Why is there no action taken? Because witchcraft and magic are the religion of our day. Any hope in an answer for the ills of mankind apart from making Christ King and His word law, is a belief in magic.

  • The State as magician.

    The state's effort to control every area, including the future, through political action and law apart from doing the revealed word of God, is magic and witchcraft. Included would be any effort to bring about peace, freedom, safety and security apart from the Prince of Peace.

    When freedom (which could also be identified with liberty and salvation) is made an end in itself, only despotism can result as unholy men attempt to legislate freedom. Freedom must be seen as the end result of the application of the law of Freedom, Christ, the law-word of God, John 8:31-40. Freedom from guilt and the eternal punishment for sin comes from applying the truth of the law of the substitutionary sacrifice; the finished work of Christ. Freedom in every realm of life and thought (including civil government) must come from applying the truth of the law of God as given to Moses.

    This attempt to use political means to do what only the Lord is able do thorough the application of His law, is an attempt in magic and witchcraft. The word from God about witchcraft is quick, sharp, and to the point. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, Exodus 22:18. (I understand that astrologers and soothsayers have a thriving business around D.C. The state desires to control the present and know the future apart from God.)

    But, clearly, this attempt to control apart from the applied law of God, is not restricted to the state. Many professed Christians believe that political action will solve social problems. They may not seek the astrologer or soothsayer, but their attitude is the same. Political action is a Christian responsibility in the society in which we find ourselves. However, if we entertain the idea that such action will solve our social problems, we have fallen into the same error as the state. All problems stem from Adam's sin of believing that he could take dominion apart from God; that he could be as god, The evils around us can only be lastingly dealt with as sin problems.

  • The call to the Godly.

    The Lord is in total control of history, from the beginning to the end. Isaiah 46:9, 10. All of history reflects the counsel of His good pleasure, for He is King over all the earth, Psalms 47:2; Acts 2:23. A denial of this truth is a denial of the Lord God. Even the evil works of man and nations are working an outworking of His divine plan, Psalms 76:10 (note that He only permits the actions of evil man to go so far).

    Moses warns us against seeking to know things which are not clearly revealed to us (the unknown and unknowable on the human level), Deuteronomy 29:29. This prohibits the seeking to know and/or control the present or future apart from what has been clearly revealed to us. His word gives us promises for the future, either good or bad, Galatians 6:7-9. His word is to be searched and applied that the future may be controlled, even to a thousand generations, Deuteronomy 7:9. We can certainly know the future in these terms.

    This also prohibits emphasizing the study of conspiracies. We know there is a conspiracy, yet even that conspiracy is working for the pleasure of our Lord, Psalms 2. Our primary responsibility is to study and apply the word of God which alone will counter conspiracies. If there were as much interest in developing the word of God as there is in studying about conspiracies, we would see revival in our churches. In addition, the rewriting of history is a magical attempt to change the past to conform to the way fallen man wishes it had been.

    This condemns such things as astrology and all attempted 'supernatural' seeking of the unknown, Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Leviticus 19:26 identifies the eating of blood with enchantments and observing times. Then v. 31, condemns those who have familiar spirits and who seek after wizards. In this chapter we are told twice to love our neighbor as ourself. Thus, the Lord is condemning the use of the world's means to try to influence or control our neighbor, or situations in general. This is contrasted here in Leviticus 19 with obeying God's law toward our neighbor. As we love him as ourself, the result will be God working in his heart, Matthew 5:16. (Love is identified as fulfilling the law of God toward him, not as an emotion.)

    I saw a very colorful sign promoting a study in the Book of the Revelation. It said in big bold letters, "Know The Future." This promotes a god for man's benefit; a god to satisfy man's curiosity, bordering on the occult and witchcraft. This desire to satisfy curiosity about the future is seeking after another god, not the God of the Commandments, Deuteronomy 29:29.

    Note the godly purpose of the study of all Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16. It is for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness. Any motive for study other than this would be contrary to godliness. This is the call to godly parents and teachers of the word of God.

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me. All of the commandments are based on this first commandment. There can be no other authority higher than the word of God. There can be no other motive above God's glory, Romans 1:21; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

  • Filled with the Spirit

  • Ephesians 5:18

    The way we are taught, the books we read, as well as the context of Ephesians 5:18, would lead us to believe that the filling of the Spirit is some kind of emotional experience. Then when we read the book of Acts, we are led to believe that being filled with the Spirit will result in great control over other people any time we speak the word of God.

    This can all lead to some very difficult situations as well as corrupt beliefs and actions. This will happen anytime we separate a NT doctrine from the OT law. We cannot do this without destroying the teaching of these passages, John 5:46, 47.

    We find the principle of being filled with the Spirit first mentioned in Exodus. The children of Israel had been redeemed from Egypt in the most marvelous way. Along with the Commandments which Moses received on the Mount, he was given detailed instructions concerning their method of approach to God, the tabernacle and the priesthood, Exodus 31:2-6. We find additional instructions in 35:31-36:8.

    The Lord called Bezaleel by name. One of the major themes of Scripture is this call by name of the child of God, Isaiah 43:1-7. God knows our names and calls us by name, John 15:16. God calls individuals, gives them gifts, abilities, and the responsibility to use those gifts and responsibilities for His glory. God called this man by name, then filled him with His good Spirit for discipline and work. Notice the number of times the word WORK is used. Christianity and the power of the Holy Spirit of God is very practical for every day life, WORK.

    First, this filling was not some emotional feeling for him or for others. Rather, this filling of the Spirit of God resulted in his having wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Second, the purpose of this filling of the Spirit of God, to know how to work, 36:1. It was to enable him to work hard at what God had given him to do using the skills he had been given by God, to work hard at his occupation.

    Exodus 35:32, what he had been given was to be applied in a very real and practical way. God gave him three things to do: 1. devise curious works. This would be to design, plan and apply that designed plan within the area of his abilities and calling. 2. to work.. This is not some emotion. This is sweat. Notice the kind of work, 35:32, 33. Work in design. Work in metals. Mixing (brass, not copper), molding, carving, polishing metals. This would have been hot tiring work. Work in stone, carving, cutting and mounting of all kinds, particularly precious stones. Work in wood and timber. This would have been the skill of a wood carver.

    As we follow through the putting together of the tabernacle, the skill involved in it would be very difficult to duplicate today. In fact, if is not unusual for Archaeologist to discover workmanship in gold from that period of time which cannot be duplicated today.

    Then the third thing he is given to do, that he may teach.. teach others the skills which he had. This presupposes a natural ability and skill that has been acquired over a period of time. And this was not teaching the word of God. It was a result of the filling of the Spirit for a Christian to be able to effectively teach his trade to others from a Christian perspective.

    As we look at this command to teach, we see a direct reflection of it in 2 Timothy 2:2. But let us not fall into the destructive trap of restricting this to a calling into a ministry of the Word. This includes every occupation which can be named.

    Listed are five more points: 1. God instructed him to use the abilities that God had given to him. 2. God provided enabling power to use the skills. 3. The desire to use his natural and acquired abilities came from the Lord, Philippians 2:13-15. 4. Exodus 31:6; 36:2, the desire to learn the skill which Bezaleel had been given, to be taught by Bezaleel, came from the Lord. 5. The Lord had given very detailed instructions here. Thus, God gave the boundaries, then these men were to apply their abilities to design, work and teach within these boundaries.

    The Lord gave these men tremendous natural abilities, then He gave them the desire and power to use those abilities in their occupations. Thus, it was for the glory of God. Then the Lord gave them an additional command. They were to teach others to whom the Lord had also given the ability and desire.

    All through these passages we see a consistent thought: all of this was a work of the Spirit of the Lord: the ability, the desire, the power, the understanding of how to use the abilities, the willingness, IT WAS ALL OF GOD.

    The job of the tribe of Levi, the Priestly tribe, was not to do the work of the ministry. This was the layman's call. The tribe of Levi was to encourage, direct and strengthen them in how they were to use their talents and abilities for the glory of God. The preacher is to encourage the people in the Lord, assuring them of victory over all the enemies of God as they follow God's word, Deuteronomy 20:1- 4.

    And the work of the ministry here in our text was not the ministry of the word, as we think of it. That was Moses' and Aaron's job. Rather it was very real, hard, physical work, which required great skill and effort.

    It is significant that immediately after the command given to Moses in 31:1-11 for Bezaleel to do this work that God had assigned to him, the Lord gave the command to remember the sabbath, vs. 12-17. In this command is contained the principle of rest upon the Lord in the use of the abilities and talents which He has provided.

    The filling of the Spirit of God is very real and is required of every professed child of God. But what is missed today in Christian circles is that this filling is very practical. Sad to say, this filling has been separated from the principle established by God through Moses, allowing it to be spiritualized to the point of total corruption. This has destroyed the Christian's salt.

    This filling of the Spirit can be broken down into four areas:

    First, the natural gift to do some kind of work, or occupation, is from the Spirit of God, 1 Corinthians 4:7. If the gift is in the ministry of the word of God, that gift is from God. If the gift is with wood or metal, that gift is from God. If the gift is with machinery, God gave that gift. If the gift is with paperwork and details, God gave that gift. If the gift is with computers and printing, God gave that gift. If we think that we developed the gifts we have on our own, we are in the first step down into total apostasy, Romans 1:21.

    Second, the ability to work within our gifts is from the Spirit of God. This is the ability to discipline ourselves and sweat within our occupation.

    Third, this filling of the Spirit also includes abilities to do what we have been given to do by the Spirit of God. Bezaleel was given this job by the Lord Himself. This was his responsibility and the Spirit equipped him to work hard to fulfill his responsibility. This would include the areas of homemaking where a woman finds herself a wife and mother. The filling of the Spirit equips her to work hard at that responsibility.

    Fourth, if a person tries to take on something that is not his responsibility, he has forfeited the power of the Spirit. Rather than the blessing of God within his gift, he is cut off from Him. In other words, we might have great abilities, but to try to use them outside of our area of responsibility, we are operating on our own. The results are devastating to us and to those we are around.

    The filling of the Spirit is to be able to work hard within our area of responsibility, which is always within the guide of the written word of God. No matter how great our ability or desire, it must be used within the bounds established by God's word, for it to be for His glory. Otherwise, we are using it to exalt ourselves.

    ['Document Archive']   ['Home Page']   ['The Biblical Examiner']