Season: 6 Episode: 075
Is it acceptable to practice sorcery and magic as a Christian? Is there such a thing as Christian witches? Shanda talks about magic in the church, the enneagram, and why witchcraft is not of God. She also talks about the reality of miracles and the power of the church.
“There are only two sources of power: the power of darkness and the power of God.”
“Every evil is subject to the power of God.”
“The devil is an imitator. That is the best he can do in relation to the power of God.’
“Flirting with the demonic realm makes us susceptible to its influence.”
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Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and align them to biblical truth. I have an interesting episode for you today. We are going to talk about the fascination with angels, witches in the church, and why critics believe the validity of the NT documents but they just can’t accept the supernatural events of the Bible.
Before we get into today’s episode I would appreciate it if you’d please scroll down and give this podcast a 5 star rating … if you are an avid listener and love what you hear. It helps propel the podcast and get it in front of others.
Does the supernatural world exist?
Is there any merit to magic and how about witches? What does the Bible say and where do we as Christians stand when it comes to these things?
This is a topic that can take us down a blackhole. I know of people who believe in God but sell crystals and call themselves pagans or witches. I know of Christians who think that when a loved one dies they become angels. There are believers who think they can bless or curse others. Is that true?
We are going to get into all of this today and my goal is that it strengthens your understanding of the supernatural world in regards to what the Bible says about it. I have a book I recommend by Michael Heiser … it’s called “Supernatural: What the Bible teaches about the unseen world – and why it matters”. He goes into the depths of the supernatural realm beginning with Genesis. It’s somewhat scholarly even though he said this is his dumbed-down version. But either way, if you’re interested in knowing more about this topic, read that book. I read it sometime last year. It was interesting.
“We cannot see the supernatural world – and we cannot see the microscopic world – but we are inextricably part of both.” – Michaele Heiser
One of the things we need to keep in mind is that we live in a physical world. We have limited knowledge and insight, and Paul puts it this way .. right now we see dimly. 1 Cor 13:12 says, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
He is talking about our ability to see and understand the things of God. Mirrors in the 1st century were made of polished metal or polished brass. Corinth, the city in which the church Paul was writing to, was famous for its mirrors. And few Christians would have been able to afford a mirror of good quality. A modern parallel to the mirror would be a photograph. We get the essence of what they might be like, but we don’t truly know them.
Scientists say there are at least ten dimensions, although we cannot fully understand them.
Humans live within 4 dimensions … width, height, depth and the fourth is time.
We are on this side of heaven in a physical world, and that’s why we are limited in our ability to grasp the supernatural world. God is spirit. God lives outside of space, time and matter. That means God lives in the spiritual realm and we see spiritual things dimly or in part. Most human beings are drawn to the supernatural. Why is that? Well, because we have a spirit, a soul.
That also means we have to be careful with how we try and interact with the supernatural world. Someone on instagram the other day told me he didn’t believe in hell but he believes in God and heaven. He thinks hell is just a way for Christians to fear monger others into believing in God. When I asked him what his source for this conclusion is, he didn’t answer.
But, many Americans are fascinated with the supernatural world. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
We will get into:
- What does the Bible say about angels and demons?
- How is magic and witchcraft prevalent in the church today and what does the Bible say about it?
- Do miracles still happen today?
What does the Bible say about angels and demons?
As I stated before, many people are fascinated with angels. J Warner Wallace, an apologist and former cold case detective in Southern California, said that many dispute the NT documents. Not because they don’t have valid eyewitness testimony, and not because they don’t have hundreds of valid copies of manuscript evidence, and not because historians don’t believe they are reliable sources from antiquity. They dispute the NT documents because of the supernatural … miracles.
However, in California, we have a law that states if someone dies in your house and you sell your house, you have to disclose that information to the buyer. And it just so happens that when I was 14, my parents bought a house where a woman was murdered by her ex-boyfriend because she was having an affair with the man who owned the house we bought.
My parents didn’t want us to know about it because … let’s face it … it’s creepy.
But my brother let the cat out of the bag when he was talking on the phone to a girl he liked and I’m not gonna lie … it freaked me out. I then understood why their bedroom carpet was different than all of the carpet in our house. And … there was a hole in the wall from a gunshot that was patched with stucco and whatever material they use to fix houses.
My point is that we are leery of the supernatural. We are skeptical when it comes to God performing miracles but freaked out when someone dies in our house because it could be haunted? Why do you think haunted houses do so well at Halloween? We’re fascinated by it and drawn to it.
No one really imagines themselves as demons, but they sure do love a good guardian angel. Am I right?
Are they both real? According to the Bible, they are. Angels are God’s messengers. That’s literally what the word angel means. They are servants of God and they are not meant to be worshiped or praised. In fact, when men in the bible saw an angel and bowed out of fear, the angel would tell them to get up quickly because they are not to be worshiped. You can find this Revelation.
In a 2011 CBS study, 77% of adults believe in angels.
Even amongst those who do not claim a religion believe in angels. 4/10 non church going and non religious people believe angels exist. More women are likely to believe angels exist than men.
In a study by Statista in 2016, 79% of the people polled said they believe in God, 72% believe in angels, 71% in heaven, and then it dropped for the belief in hell and the devil to 61%. What
does this show? People don’t want to believe in something negative like the devil and hell. It’s easier to believe in heaven and angels and happy things.
However, how do we view angels? As fat harp players floating on clouds? As chubby diaper wearers with bows in their hands? Because that’s how they’re portrayed in art, in entertainment, and that’s not an accurate portrayal according to the Bible.
So, what about angels and demons?
Angels and demons are created beings. They are created by God. That means they are limited in knowledge. They are subject to the will of God. Demons are fallen angelic beings. But they still believe in God and tremble, as James 2:19 explains.
Angels are mentioned often in the Bible and we see they also have different ranks. For example, there is Michael the archangel and the archangel Gabriel who was sent to Mary to tell her about the virgin birth.
Angels and demons are spiritual beings. They do not have physical bodies. And contrary to popular belief, and I believe Oprah really emphasized this line of belief … but our loved ones do not become angels when they die. This is not biblical. Our loved ones do not become our guardian angels. I know that may sound comforting, but it’s not true.
Angels have three purposes:
1: The messengers of God
2: Ministering spirits to the people of God
3: Worship God
The Bible tells us there are thousands upon thousands of angels. We do not know how many there are but we do know there are an innumerable amount. We are not to worship angels, pray to angels, try and summon or talk to angels. They are not God.
Demons, on the other hand, are fallen angels. Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-15 mention Satan’s fall from heaven and with him he took 1/3 of the angels. A lot of people think Satan looks like an evil red caped monster with a pitchfork and pointy tail, but the Bible describes him as the most beautiful of God’s angelic hosts. There is nothing in the Bible for us to believe that he lost his beauty. In fact, Paul refers to him as an angel of light.
Satan is good at making evil things look good because to come as a monster is too easy to identify as evil.
Is demon possession a real thing?
The bible talks a lot about demon possession. It is where a demon takes over the physical body of a human being. It is said that many of the mental health disorders today can be demon possession … for example, multiple personality disorders and scizophrenia. Now, let me make clear that you shouldn’t diagnose anyone as demon possessed but we need to be aware of and remember that we are in a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6 explains it all.
Demons are enemies of God, but they are defeated enemies. Jesus encountered many demons in the NT but His power was no match for them. Every demon was subject to His power and still is today.
We don’t need to worry about demonic beings. However, we should not dabble in demonic activities such as ouija boards, taro cards, seances, spells, etc. These things entertain and draw demonic activity because we are looking for it when we participate in things like this.
As moms, be aware of these things with your kids and don’t participate in them yourself.
How is magic and witchcraft prevalent in the church today and what does the Bible say about it?
Here’s the thing about this, I don’t know a lot of what’s going on with magic and witchcraft because I don’t participate in these things. I don’t go to churches that do these things, so unless I read about it, hear about it or am told by someone, I just don’t know it’s happening.
In a one week period, I received several messages about magic and witches in the church and I was dumbfounded. But this is 2021. Should I really be that surprised by this stuff? I really don’t know why I am so surprised by things anymore.
First, let’s look at what some would call innocent witchcraft with things like the enneagram. Yeah, I’m going there. I already did a podcast episode on the enneagram. It’s episode 44 and if you haven’t listened to it, please go back and listen to that one. Women (and some men) are falling for this personality test to help them with their spiritual gifting and it’s rooted in new age philosophy and its origins have noting to do with Christianity.
But we allow things like this into the church because:
1) we know nothing abut it or where it came from and 2) we want something like a test to help route us into spiritual things. It doesn’t make sense.
There are things like witches today, and they also go by the name pagan, or pagan witches.
Crystals, rocks and other stones are becoming popular with witches for energy and healing. They believe these rocks have a metaphysical healing power. These are energy crystals and are extremely popular. It’s a billion dollar industry.
In a recent article by christianpost.com, a reverend who is also a witch says she is ordained in spiritual consciousness, and insists there is nothing wrong with Christians being witches. She says, “Stop thinking you can tell people how to worship. Stop thinking you can tell people how to connect with the divine. I could tell you how may people have told me, ‘You can’t be a Christian witch’ but here I am. See, you can’t tell me how to worship. That’s between me and God.”
She recently opened a school in Massachusetts, where she says she, “inspires, teaches, shares wisdom, and supports magical beings in owning and embracing magic, practicing magic, and utilizing magic as a path to self-realization.”
She also calls herself a minister of the living God.
You can take advantage of one of her coaching programs for only $5,000-$50,000 dollars.
Jennifer Le Claire, founder of Jennifer LeClaire Ministries (i do not know anything about her and am not promoting her …just quoting her), says, ‘I’ve seen a use of Christians practicing
witchcraft. Or maybe they aren’t Christians at all.” She’s studied up on Christians witches where they have released “word curses”, pray against you, and conduct unholy fasts to destroy you.” She said there is a higher level of witchcraft Christians are tapping into and it’s dangerous.
This is not a Christian.
As I’ve stated before, most people are drawn to the supernatural. We want to know the future, or be connected to loved ones who have passed away. We want to drum up or stir up the unseen realm and that is dangerous. But we are part of a spiritual battle, we are being watched by the spiritual realm, but our battles are fought on our knees and in prayer to God. We call out to Him and no other.
There are only two sources of power: God and satan. Evil and Good. The powers of darkness and the power of God.
For some reason, the church is allowing things inside that are completely contrary to the word of God. The church is embracing witchcraft and disguising it as new age Christianity.
There’s a great episode on Bott Radio Network titled “Setting the Stage for an Evil Emperor.” I’m going to quote and give information from a part of that episode and you can find the entire thing in the show notes if you want to listen to it, which I highly suggest to find out more about the new age and occult movement.
The bible tells us that in the last days, evil will get worse and worse.
The church is supposed to be a firewall against the enemy, although according to Jesus we know that the church is a place where we find wolves in sheeps clothing, But why does evil advance and why is it advancing at the rate it is?
My biggest theory is because the church, the people attending, the pastors preaching, aren’t sticking to the word of God. We aren’t in the word of God. We aren’t making disciples like we are called to do.
So, let’s get into some of the things happening in the church according to this podcast episode.
They say 6/10 Christians hold to at least one central new age belief. In some churches, such as Bethel in Redding Ca, they read Christian Tarrot cards. This is from a new age group called Christ Alignment. Bethel approves of Christ Alignment. They don’t come out and call these Tarrot cards, they call them blessing cards or destiny cards, something with a sweet and deceitful name.
Why is Bethel church … a huge mega church … supporting Christ Alignment and their new age movement? This is heresy.
New age is making it’s way in the church and we embrace it.
We nurture it. We condone it and get angry when anyone comes against it. Back to the enneagram … women on Instagram put their enneagram number in their profile. Lisa Tyrkhurst and part of her team has listed their
enneagram numbers in different captions. Why are we so enchanted and infatuated with the new age movement?
The enneagram is all about self. It has nothing to do with the Bible. Again, I have done a whole podcast episode on the enneagram and I highly encourage you to go back and listen to that if you haven’t yet. I know I’m giving you a lot of resources on this episode, but this is important because this is dabbling in the demonic world and it sets the stage for the anti-christ who will deceive with magic and sorcery.
The devil is an imitator.
When we look in Exodus and the plagues that plagued Egypt, the magicians were able to mimic some of the plagues. Their power was limited, just like the power of darkness when it comes to the power of God. But when we allow the demonic into our lives, we open ourselves up to it and make ourselves vulnerable to its influence.
I cannot tell you how real the powers of darkness are. I tried to lay that groundwork at the onset of this episode by explaining that our view of the spiritual realm is limited because we are physical beings with a spiritual part of us. The spiritual realm is obviously spiritual, but able to influence the physical world.
Over the last couple of decades we’ve normalized witchcraft and sorcery. We see it in entertainment, in school, in literature. The “bad guys” have become the heroes. We have Malifecent, Loki, paranormal shows, teenage witch series … I can go on but if you just start to pay attention, you will see it more prevalent. I think sometimes we are around it so much, we either don’t think it’s a big deal or we just don’t recognize it anymore because it is so normalized.
What does God say about it?
The OT warns heavily against witchcraft. Deuteronomy 18:9–12 says, “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their 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.”
Ok, so that’s the OT. Does it apply to us today?
If you go to Acts 16:16-34, you will see that Paul healed a demon-possessed girl who made her owner lots of money with her power. Needless to say, the owner was upset that he couldn’t make money off of her anymore.
The Greek word for sorcery is pharmakeia, from which we get our word pharmacy.
Got Questions says this, “Witchcraft and spiritism often involve the ritualistic use of magic potions and mind-controlling drugs. Using illicit drugs can open ourselves up to the invasion of demonic spirits. Engaging in a practice or taking a substance to achieve an altered state of consciousness is a form of witchcraft.”
To seek spiritual power or knowledge apart from God is idolatry, and per scripture, idolatry is closely related to witchcraft. When we enter into witchcraft in any way, we enter Satan’s realm. And remember, he is good at mimicking God. That’s all he can do and that’s all he knows how to do.
Do we fear Satan? Absolutely not. But I don’t seek him out either. I don’t try and talk to him. I rebuke him by the word of God and call out to the Lord when I feel the powers of darkness overwhelm me. The bible tells me that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Paul said, “The same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in me.”
We have the full armor of God and we, by the power of God, can defeat the enemy because he has already been defeated.
God told the serpent in the garden that the seed of the woman would crush his head, and when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, the enemy is now under our feet.
Isn’t that enough? Why do we flirt with and delve into the powers of darkness and welcome it into the church? God does not condone this behavior.
So you may be wondering … well, Shanda … are there miracles today?
C.S. Lewis said, “If we admit God, must we admit Miracle? Indeed, indeed, you have no security against it. That is the bargain.”
My question to the skeptics of miracles is this: why are we so quick to believe in ghosts, angels, and other supernatural beings but when it comes to God and miracles, we become skeptics?
I’ve mentioned before that the NT documents are highly verifiable and accurate. But when it comes to the events mentioned in the NT, historians say they just can’t understand or get passed the miraculous. How could Jesus do all of those things? How could Jesus have risen from the dead? Is it possible for the disciples to have performed miracles? These things are impossible, aren’t they?
According to one of my favorite apologists and one I’ve had the privilege of being a student of in two classes, Frank Turek says this in his book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”:
- The origin of the universe happened only once. It was a rare, unrepeatable event. 2. The origin of life happened once. It too was a rare, unrepeatable event. 3. The origin of new life forms happened only once. Those are rare, unrepeatable events. 4. The entire history of the world is comprised of rare, unrepeatable events.
Why is it so difficult for people to believe in miracles these days?
Because of post-modernism. Many have become naturalists. Some atheists are materialists. They believe only in the natural, so they cannot accept the supernatural.
The laws of nature are repeatable. They are constant. But when God performs a miracle, He defies the laws of nature. He interrupts them. Only a God who lives outside of space, time, and matter can do that.
Frank and Norman Geisler say this about miracles:
“For an act of God to be an unmistakable sign from God, the act would have to meet certain criteria – criteria that would distinguish God’s acts from any other unusual event.”
What is the criteria:
- “An instantaneous beginning of a powerful act”
- “Intelligent design and purpose
- “The promotion of good or right behavior”
If a natural cause is possible, the sign could not be supernatural.
I have heard of supernatural healings where doctors are stunned. My son’s classmate was stepped on by a horse on the forehead and her skull was cracked. The doctor said it was a miracle because she left the hospital a week later and did not have any lasting effects.
If a doctor tells you it’s a miracle believe it.
I’ve heard of near-death experiences where people have been saved from accidents by a spilt second.
There are thousands of unexplained events where things that should have happened did not.
And do you know another supernatural miracle that takes place all the time but we never bat an eye at it? The salvation of another. We can’t save ourselves and there is no natural remedy for the diseased soul. Only God could do what Jesus did and pay the price for us.
But we don’t celebrate that. We don’t always see it that way. How about the person you’ve been praying for who gets saved? Or the loved one who accepts Jesus on their death bed? That is miraculous because something supernatural is taking place.
John said in his gospel that Jesus performed so many other miracles that if they were to be written down, not even all of the books in the world could hold them. Jesus claimed to be God. Jesus said, “If you don’t believe I am God, at least look at the signs and let them speak for Me.’
What was He saying? He proved His deity by the miracles He performed. Jesus’ body has never been found. The NT document is the most telling evidence we have on the life of Jesus and the disciples wrote about them.
I think part of the problem is that we don’t televise the miraculous. In the olden days, churches used to have testimony night and we would get to hear and celebrate the many wonderful things God was doing in people’s lives. And many of those testimonies were miraculous to the individuals who experienced them.
I want to close this episode today with a couple of warnings and a few words of encouragement.
Be careful what you dabble with and what you allow into your home. I am very careful with what my kids watch and what we allow into our home.
I don’t even let them buy certain trinkets and souvenirs that are attached to the new age movement. It’s important for them to be aware of the spiritual realm, but I don’t want them flirting with it.
If your church endorses the enneagram, divinity cards, or any other new age philosophy, have a talk with your pastor. And if the church sees nothing wrong with it, leave the church.
And finally, there is power in the name of Jesus.
He knows our future, He knows our hearts and thoughts, He holds the keys to death, hell, and the grave. There is no power that can defeat Him. Jesus doesn’t move through new age philosophy, cards, personality tests, or anything else not rooted in scripture.
If you have Jesus, you have the power. Jesus told Peter that upon the rock of his testimony, He would build the church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. If you believe in the confession of faith … that Jesus Christ is the Son of God … then you are the church and the gates of hell will not prevail against you.
Not because of your score on the enneagram, not because of energy rocks or anything else … but only because you hold fast to the name of Jesus Christ. And remember, the name of Christ is the only thing that the demons tremble over. Everything else is just a diversion.
If you have any questions about this or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Instagram @shandafulbright. And you can subscribe to my website shandafulbright.com.
Have a great week and I’ll catch you on the next one!