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Witchcraft and Pharmakeia - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Some things never change. God, for instance. "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6. In the New Testament we read "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8. God has always loved His creation and so He gives us rules to live by. God hasn't changed and neither has His rules. Many things don't seem harmful by human reasoning, but because God knows much more than we do He warns us not to participate in them. God doesn't want to ruin our fun, but He wants to protect us. He knows that there's an evil being who wants to destroy mankind. This evil being is known as Satan, the devil, Lucifer, and by many other names. God loves us, but Satan only hates. Satan is the one who tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and is also the one who was arrogant enough to try to tempt Jesus into sin. Satan is also at work today and he uses the same lies that he has always used.
Satan is a liar and two lies he uses to deceive many and open the door to his evil world is witchcraft and pharmakeia. He can make them look tempting, but they are a means of subduing your soul and allowing demons to take control. Horoscopes are just fun, right? Ouija boards are just parlor games and Yoga is just stretching exercises, right? Marijuana isn't harmful, right? Wrong on all counts. These are witchcraft and pharmakeia and they are stepping stones into the evil supernatural world of the occult. It's a short journey from these activities to demon possession, Wicca, and satanic worship. Drugs, aka pharmakeia, are a natural part of these activities used to open your mind to the arena of the supernatural. Vines Expository Dictionary defines "pharmakeia" (translated witchcraft and sorcery in the New Testament) as: "primarily signified as 'the use of medicine, drugs, spells,' then 'poisoning,' then 'sorcery'. In 'sorcery,' the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer". If that's not bad enough, according to the non-canonized book of Enoch, it was the fallen angels who taught mankind to use drugs, and no matter how you feel about this book, drugs are evil. The use of drugs or any occult activity will open portals for demons to enter.
Throughout the Bible drugs/sorcery/witchcraft are equated with pagan cultures, sin, and Satan. Sorcerers are first mentioned when Moses and Aaron petitioned Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Egypt was a demon worshipping nation with a god for everything. To show God's power, Aaron threw down his rod before Pharaoh and it turned into a serpent. "Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments" Exodus 7:11. Satan comes with all signs and lying wonders. He can duplicate some of what God can do, but Satan's works are shabby and designed for confusion. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. Just because something looks miraculous doesn't mean it's from God. The wise men, sorcerers, and magicians in the above verse are all associated with occult practices.
Along with other sins, sorcery is listed many times in the Bible as something we should not participate in. God's judgment will come upon those who practice this sin, as well as others that many purported Christians participate in. "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:5. God promises judgment against those who sin against Him, which includes those who practice sorcery.
This wasn't just an Old Testament warning. In his letter to the Galatians Paul warned them not to give in to the works of the flesh. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21. That's quite a list. You might want to check it twice to be sure you aren't participating in any of these works of the flesh. The word "witchcraft" comes from the Greek word "pharmakeia" which, according to Strong's concordance, means: "the use or administering of drugs, poisoning, sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it". Since the 1960's the use of mind-altering drugs has sharply increased and so has participation in the rest of the activities in the above list. As the use of mind-altering drugs becomes more widespread we see satanic rituals and practices becoming more open. Cannibalism, mass murder, child abuse, child sacrifice (abortion), and other heinous crimes are on the rise. The word "pharmakeia" only occurs two other times in the New Testament (Revelation 9:21 and Revelation 18:23), and the root word "pharmakeus", which means "one who prepares or uses magical remedies; a sorcerer", is only used once (Revelation 21:8). It seems ominous that these Scriptures refer to those who are left on earth after the Rapture and they are headed for the Lake of Fire. It's clear that Satan's lies encourage drug use and witchcraft; they need to be shunned by Christians. As these activities become commonplace, other sins become "acceptable". Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, disrespecting parents, and dishonoring God have become a way of life for many people, even those who say they follow Christ. Satan is quite adept at fogging our minds so we can't see truth; he makes the ugliest things seem beautiful.
Friends, the supernatural is real, both God's pure love and Satan's pure evil. Halloween is swiftly approaching and it is a very important day on the satanic calendar. Many people, Christians as well as the unsaved, find it fun to dress up in hideous costumes that identify with Satan. If you are a Christian, why would you even consider donning a witch costume, a zombie costume, or any other costume that glorifies pure evil? As a Christian your desire should be to identify yourself with Jesus Christ who gave His life to purchase your salvation, not with Satan. What has Satan ever done for you? He has only caused you pain. We live in a physical world, but our fight is supernatural. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12. Demons are real and witchcraft and pharmakeia have helped to open the way for them to get a foothold in this physical world. It takes very little research to understand that the "principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world" are running wild. God is also real. It was His supernatural power that parted the Red Sea, caused the walls of Jericho to fall, gave us prophecy, healed the sick, raised the dead, allowed Him to walk on water and to enter locked rooms. Instead of giving Satan power in your life by defying God, turn to our Lord Jesus Christ and Satan will have no power over you.
God has not left us defenseless. Christians are sealed with the Holy Spirit and His power is available to us. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but might through God;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. We have a choice as to whether we honor Christ or side with Satan. If you study your Bible you will be able to discern how to honor our Lord and eschew evil. Study Scripture and apply it to your life. When tempted to sin, turn to God in prayer. He can change your heart if you let Him. The nearer you draw to Him the more you will be offended by those who chase after witchcraft, sorcery, pharmakeia, or any other work of the flesh that is practiced in defiance of God Almighty.
While most children just like to dress up and go door to door asking for candy, there is a very real occult side to Halloween. Many congregations have a "harvest party" in order to draw children away from the pagan side of Halloween. You need to be sure, though, that you don't allow the satanic practices to enter. "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." 1 Corinthians 6:12. Brethren, be careful. There is freedom in Christ, but there is also responsibility. If you love Jesus then celebrate Him rather than witchcraft and pharmakeia, sorcery and drugs, Satan and demons. Take every thought captive and reject all forms of witchcraft and drug use. What may seem like innocent fun is, in reality, playing with fire...possibly playing with the eternal lake of fire.
Very soon our Lord will call us Home. The Rapture should be on the heart of every Christian and our life should be a living witness for Jesus. As we read the Book of Revelation we see that prior to the wrath of God coming upon the earth (Daniel's 70th week), Christians are called to "Come up hither". "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." Revelation 4:1-2. The call to "come up hither" and the "door opened in heaven" are the Rapture. John is then before the throne of God. In subsequent chapters, John describes the horrors that those who have not accepted Christ as their Saviour will face. Some will come to faith in Jesus during this time of Great Tribulation, and many of those will be martyred. Most people who will face this time will be so rebellious that they will continue in sin. "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, and they should not worship devils, and idols of gold and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." Revelation 9:20-21. You don't want to be among these people. If you have not accepted Christ as your Saviour, then swallow your pride and come to Him now.
The tricks of Satan are not treats. The love of God is eternal. Jesus loves you, Satan hates you. Who do you celebrate?
God bless you all,
Ron Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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