Good morning, Reader! It’s a cold sunny day and I love how the sun’s warmth through a window disguises the actual temperature outside. It IS deceiving and one may go outside without a jacket only to turn right around to put one on! This may be a simple analogy of deception but it gets the point across. It appears to be nice but it’s actually not! As we look at today’s sin, we see that it is one that will send a person to Hell and the Lake of Fire. This sin is full of deception. It’s disguised as “good” but it will deceive even Christians!

The definition of sorcerers in the Old Testament is what one would think it means:

A primitive root; properly to whisper a spell, that is, to inchant or practise magic: – sorcerer, (use) witch (-craft).

The word “sorcerers” appears only twice in the New Testament: Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 22:15. The Greek word used for sorcerers here is not necessarily dealing with only witchcraft and sorcery. It is the Greek word “pharmakeus.” It actually means something a little different:

From φάρμακον pharmakon (a drug, that is, spell giving potion); a druggist (“pharmacist”) or poisoner, that is, (by extension) a magician: – sorcerer.

Pharmakeus is where the English word “pharmacy” comes from. I find it interesting that it is used only twice in the New Testament and both times it is found in the Book of Revelation; this Book reveals the end times! We have seen drugs destroy lives of users and those closest to them. Witchcraft uses drugs in its casting of spells, etc. These things are not from the Lord, Reader. We can also see scientists who delve into areas that are demonic – such as doing a surgery on a person to change their gender! It takes drugs to make the transition and definitely falls into this category! God condemns this, witchcraft and sorcery and always has. Have you heard of the “principle of first mentions” in the Bible?

The law (or principle or rule) of first mention is a guideline that some people use for studying Scripture. The law of first mention says that, to understand a particular word or doctrine, we must find the first place in Scripture that word or doctrine is revealed and study that passage. The reasoning is that the Bible’s first mention of a concept is the simplest and clearest presentation; doctrines are then more fully developed on that foundation. So, to fully understand an important and complex theological concept, Bible students are advised to start with its “first mention.”

The first time witchcraft is mentioned in the Bible is in 1 Samuel 15:23. Saul’s repeated disobedience to God’s commands progressively worsened throughout his reign. When he disobeyed God, his reaction was to put the blame on others. The prophet and priest, Samuel, told Saul:

1 Sam 15:22-23  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  (23)  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

The sin of witchcraft is rebellion against God, plain and simple. Just what does witchcraft involve? There are many categories to witchcraft: off the bat, I can think of tarot cards and fortune telling, communicating with the dead, casting spells, etc. But there are also nuances of these that have crept into society of which we must be leery, especially as born-again believers. Those popular today involve teachings from New Age, Paganism, Native American and Middle Eastern Indian cultures. Adopting their teachings to Christianity is no worse than adopting false doctrine into our churches. Catholicism says it’s OK to worship Mary and kiss her feet. However, Matthew 4:9-10 and Revelation 22:8 say that we are to worship the Lord God only, and that includes bowing to Him.

One of the up and coming things that “Christians” are partaking in is something called smudging. It is done to “purify” a house to remove bad energy or evil spirits from it. One takes a smudge stick (made up of a bundle of herbs like sage, cedar, etc.) and lights it with a candle. Then the person moves around the entire house waiving it in the air ritually cleansing the house to remove negative “energy.” The person moves clockwise and then exits the door and extinguishes to stick. This is paganism and Christians should have no part of it. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 that the Lord keeps us from evil so why do we need smudging? He keeps us from all harm and watches over the believer’s comings and goings FOREVER. (Psalm 121:7-8)

The devil is a liar and the father of lies! (John 8:44) He will deceive the world into thinking that God does not have power here on earth but that he (the devil) does! You may not think of it in those terms but heeding to this type of “spiritualism” is not of God. You are doubting God’s ability to take care of you. The devil has no power over believers and we should not be delving into areas that are pagan in nature. We cannot be a light to the world if we are doing the same things they are doing! Now I’m not saying that it is wrong for us to pray over every area of our homes. We should be dedicating our homes to the Lord and asking His blessings upon it. We should be praying for His protection over anything evil that is innocently brought into the home and asking His guidance to open our eyes to remove it. But, Friend, we are not to expose our homes and families to pagan rituals! Be careful and ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance into anything that will “open” you, your home or family to evil influences. A believer cannot be possessed by the devil because the Holy Spirit dwells within us. But the devil can and will deceive you. That is his main priority! It started in the Garden of Eden and continues today! (Matthew 24:5, Matthew 24:11, Mark 13:6) Don’t be one of them. He will deceive even more in the end times and will deceive even the born-again believers. (Matt 24:24)

Do your research, Reader! My sister delved into transcendental meditation and recited the mantras taught to her. She experienced demonic visions which scared her to death! She immediately stopped! She was not born-again and opened herself up to much evil influences in doing so. Be careful not to adopt Eastern religious doctrines like yoga. Yoga is a spiritual practice that is connected to the worship of Hindu gods. However, in the West, it has been used in exercise and to help manage stress. Christians cannot “tweak” yoga in order to make it more spiritual.

Yoga revolves around “self first” and Christianity is all about God and self last. There are churches that have “holy yoga” and they have “Christianized” it but they are mimicking a false religion! Why would they want to do this!! When we are born-again, we receive and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God. We have direct communication with God! So why do we need to practice some form of pagan ritual in order to get closer to God? You are already close to God because you are a child of God and a member of His family once you are saved! (Eph. 1:5, Eph. 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 1:21-22, Rom. 8:9, 2 Tim. 2:19) God is the One who renews us day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). We don’t need any form of ritual to do that for us! But you can only claim this if you are born again!

God made it perfectly clear that Israel should not bring in practices from nations they conquered. He said this because He wanted to protect them from this very thing!

Deut 18:9-14  When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.  (10)  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,  (11)  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  (12)  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  (13)  Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.  (14)  For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

Smudging has nothing to do with burning a candle or diffusing to make your home smell nice. Smudging goes deeper than that. The purpose of smudging is to remove negative energy/forces. This is totally based on pagan rituals. A Christian should do research before trying something new. We have so much knowledge at our fingertips but our Bibles should be our first stop in our research. Then if you don’t find what you’re looking for, do a quick search on the internet. Wikipedia gives a great description of smudging here. I have a friend with whom I’ve been sharing the Lord whose sister does smudging. The stories she tells me are creepy and this has forced me to study this matter out so I can be a light to my friend. Don’t be deceived Christian!

There are so many more types of sorcery that Christians should stay away from but this post would go on and on! But the best counsel I can give believers is to do your research before you try something new or that is popular within your circle of friends. Just because they do it doesn’t mean it’s right. To you who are reading this post and have not receive Christ as your Saviour, please know that this sin is directly related to Satan and he will do everything he can to cause you to think it’s of God. It is NOT!

With God, 99% obedience is 100% disobedience! Gary Hamrick

I want to be sure that anyone who reads the posts on this blog can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are going to Heaven. Have you received Christ as your Saviour? If no, your sins are not covered by His sacrificial offering of Himself. You have not been redeemed by His blood. It is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!