What Does The Bible Say
by Michael Sharif
In the past forty years, there has been a resurgent
interest in witchcraft in all its multifaceted guises. The main thrust has been
presenting witchcraft as an innocent, entertaining subject in literature and in
As usual 95% of Christians fail to use discernment, yield to media
manipulation, and embrace this “sugar coated” siren of witchcraft along with the
deluded mass of the population little heeding a wide array of Biblical
admonitions not to open the door to Satan who comes to devour as a roaring
lion. Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have you, to
sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31) and that’s exactly what Satan will do if
we don’t ask before reading a book, watching a movie, entering a relationship or
pursuing any course of action “What would Jesus do?”
Witchcraft involves the manipulation of the demonic host, through
incantations and the casting of spells. Witchcraft can also involve
communication with demonic spirits impersonating the dead. The Bible clearly
teaches that the dead cannot communicate with the living as there is a great
chasm separating the dead from the living (Luke 16:26). As discarnate
spirit entities these demons possess knowledge regarding the activities of
humans and have a limited to ability to foretell the future.
Here are a few of the scriptures regarding witchcraft:
The Old and New Testaments treat witchcraft as an evil, rebellious, and
loathsome practice. Those who practiced it were not tolerated. “Thou shalt
not suffer a witch to live,” (Exodus 22:18).
Moses cautioned the children of Israel: “When you enter the land the Lord
your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable way of the
nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter
in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in
witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the
dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of
these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive those nations before
you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
The nations you will dispossess listen to those who
practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord has not
permitted you to do so” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
With respect to the evil kind Manasseh who reigned in Jerusalem fifty five
years the Bible states: “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, followed the
detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the
Israelites” (2 Chronicles 33:2). “He sacrificed his sons in the fire in
the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and
consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord,
provoking him to anger” (2 Chronicles 33:6).
When Samuel reproved King Saul, he compared rebellion to the sin of
divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Witchcraft includes both
divination and idolatry. “For rebellion
is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because
you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel
23). If Saul was rejected by God for rebellion and arrogance so will a
modern day person who practices or permits himself or herself to be entertained
by witchcraft and idolatry.
The Living Bible clearly addresses the fate of those who delve or as C. S.
Lewis labeled “lust” for the occult: “The Lord has rejected you because you
welcome foreigners from the East who practice magic and communicate with evil
spirits” (Isaiah 2:6). “Crawl into the caves in the rocks and hide in
terror from his glorious majesty, for the day is coming when your proud looks
will be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted. On that day the Lord of
Hosts will move against the proud and haughty and bring them to dust… All the
glory of mankind will bow low; the pride of men will like in the dust, and the
Lord alone will be exalted. And all idols will be utterly abolished and
destroyed” (Isaiah 2:10-18).
Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 ascribes witchcraft as a deed of the flesh.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord,
jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy,
drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before that those who
live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” It is interesting to
note that Paul’s warning is to the churches of Galatia whose members are
already Christians. They are warned that by engaging in sinful conduct they
would not inherit the kingdom of God. The warning is to those who have accepted
Christ. The modern day Christian who is entertained or allows his or her
children to be entertained and/or participate in the works of the flesh, which
includes witchcraft, should give serious heed to this warning.
White magic and black magic are not acceptable in Christianity and there is
no such thing as “cheap grace”. Christ died on the cross to forgive us for our
sins, yet there is no excuse to take sin lightly. Engaging in any sin including
sorcery opens one to demonic oppression and with persistent sinful conduct
One cannot rationalize that one is not engaged in witchcraft but merely being
entertained by books or movies whose characters participate in witchcraft, even
though the protagonists are “good” witches.
The protagonist Harry Potter in the best selling Harry Potter series
of books and current movie attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to
become a wizard. Harry and his friends are taking classes in casting spells,
magical drafts and potions, transfiguration, history of magic, magical theory
etc… They are learning to become “good” wizards and witches. Evil is
represented by the “Dark Side,” reminiscent of the “Dark Side” of the Force in
“Star Wars,” and embodied (or disembodied and seeking to re-embody) in Voldemort,
the evil wizard who killed Harry’s parents.
Harry is characterized as an average boy who has been oppressed by his very
normal aunt and uncle and his cousin, reminiscent of Cinderella’s oppression at
home. The very normal family members are exaggeratedly oppressive.
From a Christian paradigm the problem with Harry is that salvation from his
predicament comes from leaving home learning witchcraft, a condemned practice.
Children interact with ghosts such as the Friar and Professor Binns, a ghost who
teaches the History of Magic. Professor Binns was a very old professor who had
fallen asleep by a staff room fire and went to teach the next morning, leaving
his body behind.
Christianity teaches that witchcraft, even charming, candy coated witchcraft,
is evil and that redemption only comes through Jesus Christ and certainly not
from the occult. Communication with the dead is actually communication with
demons or “fallen angels.” Casting spells is prohibited.
In Christianity, salvation does not come through witchcraft but by accepting
the Son of God. Good is what is of God and comes from worshiping Him.
“Innocent” or “mechanical” witchcraft is still witchcraft and as such dark.
Exposing one’s children to a heavy dose of the supernatural, even if portrayed
through the activities of appealing characters, is not acceptable. The siren
call of the occult in children’s movies and cartoons can be appealing.
Poltergeists, ghosts, flying broomsticks, werewolves, vampires, witches, giants,
bats, goblins, haunted hallways may be captivating but they can instill a spirit
of fear. They can certainly be “dark and heavy” and exposure to the occult can
be addictive. This writer is a case in point having been involved in séances,
palmistry, astrology and eastern meditation prior to accepting Jesus Christ.
Interest in the occult started with late night “Chiller” movies and supernatural
Aside from a dark supernatural dimension there is the good supernatural
dimension represented by the Heavenly Kingdom (God, His cherubim and the
angelic host). For the most part this good supernatural dimension is rarely
portrayed in children’s cartoons or recent popular literature. How often do we
see angels on Saturday morning cartoons? The elves in the “Lord of the Rings”
are such angelic type beings who frighten Sauron’s Black Riders pursuing Frodo.
Parents have a responsibility to screen what their children watch. Studies
have shown that children and adults who watch regular violence on the screen
become desensitized to it. The same applies with intensive exposure to the
occult. Jesus said, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by
whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his
neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these
little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2).
So what can be said of the Christian entertained by the occult? The analogy
can be drawn to the person who is not engaged in immoral sex but is being
entertained by pornographic books or magazines. There is no such thing as a
Christian “voyeur.” What is sinful to a child is sinful to an adult. Christ
does not respect the “adult” bookstore nor the “adult” voyeur. Those who deal
in darkness will be engulfed by it. Poison is poison. A little recreational
poison can be as lethal as a lot of poison from the hand of an assassin. There
is no such thing as a recreational séance (channeling session).
For all those who have engaged in sinful conduct including occult or sexual
voyeurism there is only one avenue for cleansing, nothing less than the atoning
blood of Jesus. Both the non Christian and the Christian need to repent of
their sins by asking God to forgive them. The non Christian needs to invite
Jesus through a simple prayer to take charge of his/her life (“Jesus I accept
your sacrifice for me on the cross. Forgive me for my sins. Please come into
my life and take charge. Help me walk in your light”).
Take a lesson from the sorcerers and witches who came to a saving knowledge
of Christ in Acts 19:19, “And many of those who practiced magic brought their
books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up
the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” All occult
objects should be destroyed as these items are vehicles or “windows” for occult
activity and oppression. They are literally magnets, which draw the demonic
God is not an evil God. He is not vengeful, but in the Bible he has given us
a mechanic’s manual for our well being. If we insist on placing lemonade in our
engine instead of oil we’ll destroy it. If we don’t obey God’s admonitions
against witchcraft, sexual conduct and promiscuity, rage, envy, and substance
abuse we’ll destroy our bodies and condemn our souls for eternity. You may not
believe in God, but violation of his principles will nevertheless bring
destruction. Witchcraft may be very alluring and comforting for you. It may
give you success and power. It may give you the “warm fuzzies.” Nevertheless
it’s evil and dangerous just as the serpent was to Adam and Eve in the Garden.
For those who have had extensive occult involvement including the actual
practice of witchcraft it would be advisable to seek the counsel of a pastor of
a spirit filled Christ centered church involved in the deliverance ministry.
Keep in mind that you have power over all demonic principalities in the name of
Jesus once you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior and are covered by
His blood (“Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name” Luke 10:17).
In the 1950’s Science replaced God. There was an ensuing spiritual hunger,
which sought expression in the counterculture of the 1960’s and 1970’s through
drugs, Eastern religions, and sexual promiscuity. This led to materialism and
the cult of the self of the 1980’s and 1990’s. None of these substitutes can
replace man’s deep spiritual hunger. The absence of God can only be replaced
with the presence of God, and certainly not by a counterfeit such as
witchcraft. Witchcraft is like illicit sex, it may offer thrills and
gratification for a time but only a personal relationship with the God of the
Universe through his Son Jesus Christ will satisfy, bring joy, and life eternal.
Michael Sherif practiced
mantra yoga (meditated silently on a supposedly "meaningless" sound which was
really the vehicle that drew him into a "Hindu" deity or really a demon from our
Christian perspective). He was in bondage to this, in combination with hatha
yoga for six years. According to his testimony this was a horrible experience
for him. Yoga involvement is really an exercise in a demonic activity which is
portrayed as "fun" and "healthy" that can lead to demonic possession. He
experienced different states of sensory consciousness which were dark and
sterile until Jesus set him free. Since then he has written many articles
exposing the works of darkness and New Age philosophies. You may read them at his website: