For many, the word “magician” may only evoke images of someone on a stage performing various tricks, mind manipulation, and optical illusions for an audience as a form of entertainment. However, in recent years, due to the regrettably foreseen explosion of the occult in our nation and world, some may now be expanding their definition to include a more Biblically-based understanding.
In Scripture, we see magicians listed among other occult occupations and practices we’re told to avoid such as sorcery, witchcraft, wizardry, divination, fortune-telling, horoscopes/astrologers, necromancy, mediums, soothsayers, enchanters, charmers, etc. (Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:6, 27, Deut. 18:9-14, II Kings 21:6/II Chron. 33:6, Isaiah 8:19-22, Micah 5:12, etc.).
Some have suggested these practices are “works of the flesh” (sin, Gal. 5:16-21), but don’t actually involve supernatural forces/power. Much of the church’s general lack of understanding about this, coupled with enjoyment of Lewis and Tolkien-type fantasy (due to their Christian authors and themes), has unfortunately led many to join with the world in throwing open the doors to the increased popularization of the occult through seemingly harmless books and movies.
However, in Scripture we see magicians (and other occultists) engaged not just in mere tricks and illusion, but in actual supernatural power – mimicking, counterfeiting, and rivaling in many cases that of the true power of God. In Exodus, magicians performed copy-cat wonders to oppose God’s purpose through His true servants (Moses and Aaron), further hardening Pharaoh’s heart toward God and His people. After the initial supernatural acts of God displayed by Moses and Aaron, we repeatedly see, “But the magicians did the same thing with their enchantments and secret arts.” (Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7) Eventually the true power of God could not be replicated by their magic and they acknowledged His handiwork, yet did not repent. (Ex. 8:18-19)
This account alerts us to the indispensable lesson that not everything supernatural comes from God. Scripture warns that we must “test the spirits” and learn to discern the source behind the supernatural things we encounter and experience. (Isaiah 8:20, I John 4:1-3, Gal. 1:3-9, I Thess. 5:19-22, II Tim. 3:14-17, etc.)
Occult and pagan practices were much more prevalent prior to and during the time of the birth of the church. Thankfully, as Christianity spread, many cultures were eventually transformed to the kind of Judeo-Christian societies that most of us have tragically taken for granted. However, end-times’ prophecy warns not only of the moral degeneration of society, but also alludes to a resurgence of dark spiritual power – informing us that supernatural signs, wonders, and miracles done by the power of satan and his demons will captivate and deceive the world, its leaders, and even cause a great falling away (apostasy) of many Christians from true faith during the time of the lawless one and antichrist. (II Thess. 2:9-12, Mt. 24:24, Rev. 16:13-14)
Perhaps you can see the stage rapidly being set for this to be fulfilled.
During an interview between a former Hollywood actress and a former psychic, both of whom are now born again and living for Jesus, the actress said when she was in Hollywood (10-15 yrs ago), maybe 5-10% of pop culture included some sort of witchcraft, occult, and new age influence. But today it’s completely flipped, so that around 90% of what’s being produced (even children’s programs) includes witchcraft, occult, and new age influence, while only about 10% does not. I don’t know if her stats were based on an actual study, but if you’re familiar with what’s coming out of the entertainment industry, this dramatic increase of occult programing and content has likely not escaped your attention. And its impact on the culture is undeniable. Most of us probably didn’t know anyone who identified as a witch/wiccan or other form of occultist when we were growing up. But today you most likely do, whether you’re aware of it or not.
A 2019 Boston Globe article entitled, “‘Looking for a little magic’: Millennials and Gen Z embrace witchy, New Age spiritualism”, says,
“For these generations, raised on a steady diet of “Harry Potter” and a stable Internet connection, witchcraft and New Age practices are a source of comfort and spiritual fulfillment in increasingly fraught times.”
The article states that often these young people have been disillusioned by organized religion and many are seeking power and control in a world that feels grim and hopeless. Two warlocks who “operate an empire of witch-related enterprises” said,
“Our Number 1 customers are regular, everyday people looking for a little magic in their lives. They don’t necessarily want to become witches, but they want magic’s power to help them change something in their lives.”
The conclusion quotes a woman claiming,
“It’s low stakes. There’s nothing negative in this type of approach to spirituality. It’s all just about like energy and the universe. …What’s the harm in it? It’s just fun.”
On the contrary, this is the highest-of-stakes error when we know from Scripture that it opens the door to demons, deception, and apart from repentance and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, will end in eternal darkness and death. (Rev. 21:8; 22:15)
Just as God’s power is seen throughout Scripture from cover to cover, magicians and those operating in satan’s power are also seen throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Paul indicated that just like the Egyptian magicians, Jannes and Jambres, who opposed Moses, there were and would continue to be those like them, who captivate and deceive people and are hostile to and oppose the Truth. (Acts 13:6-12; II Tim. 3) I believe end-times’ prophecy may be showing us that the parallels between Exodus and Revelation (the final Exodus from this earth and age) extend beyond just the plagues. The parallels also seem to include the enemy using his counterfeit supernatural power through his servants to oppose God’s true servants/messengers and His genuine power, and the refusal of those in the enemy’s kingdom to repent in spite of acknowledging the work of God (in addition to previous citations about supernatural works by the power of satan/demons – Rev 11; 18:23-24, Rev 9:20-21; 16:8-11).
I believe we are truly witnessing the culmination of the ages and seeing the groundwork for the embrace of the antichrist and his kingdom quickly laid. May God help us be prepared to help as many as possible escape the deception overtaking the earth before the point of no return.
Boston Globe article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/ojetIu5fYahXu4…/story.html
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