There is something terrible going on right under our noses, and it’s been happening on a television screen or movie theater near you. It is the desensitization of our population, beginning with young people. We are and have been bombarded with subtle messages from media and other places concerning magic and the supernatural. The message is that it is all quite harmless; charming and cute if you will.

From an early age we are told and believed that magic was fun and wholesome—unless of course, you used it with bad intentions. There were good witches and bad witches, and there was white magic and black magic. Most of us, on the receiving end of these messages, were fascinated. As a child, I watched in amazement as my favorite superheroes vanquished the bad guys and their evil power, with their own “good power.” Being a child of the ‘60s, I was introduced to cartoons and movies and tv shows which were laced with supernatural themes.

As I watched certain movies made for the young and the young at heart, my mind was transported to another place and time, with me imagining that I was the hero, and that I had the same power that they did. While these things seemed very innocent to me as a child, there was a moment in time when it was obvious that the work of desensitization had done its job. You may say, “Is it all that serious?” Yes it is.

Is Magic and the Supernatural Real?

I remember the day being quite blustery. My friend and I were no more than twelve or thirteen years old at the time. He was a Jehovah’s Witness, I remember that much. Somehow our conversation turned towards demons and evil spirits. He began to tell me through his limited knowledge on the subject that these things were real according to the Bible. I thought it was all a joke. I laughed and made fun of it all because I “knew” that all those types of things were “make-believe.” But that’s not the end of the story.

When we parted ways, I went home to an empty house (I was a latchkey kid at that time). Still thinking about the crazy things my friend told me about demons and evil spirts, I stood in the middle of my living room, looked up to the ceiling and said, “Demons come and get me!” It was done in complete ignorance, but what was I thinking! I ended up running out of the house, because I thought I heard something, and didn’t go back in until my mother got home.

What am I saying? Magic and things supernatural are real, and they can have a lasting effect on the unsaved and unsuspecting of any age. The world would have us believe that there can be no residual effects of being taken in by these things; and because the world is under the sway of Satan himself, they are of course wrong. But what does the Bible say about magic and things supernatural? Let’s open the Bible and see.

What Does the Bible Say about Magic?

Is magic truly evil? Scripture reveals that magic – referred to in Scripture under a variety of names, namely divination and/or witchcraft – encompasses a wide-ranging variety of activity that includes astrology, necromancy, soothsaying, sorcery, enchanters, and the like. Each one finds its foundation in Satan, the prince of the power of the air. Each is dangerous and threatens the heart, mind, and souls of those who become entangled in them. Read this sobering verse from the book of Revelation:

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

The reference to sorcery in this verse is speaking of magic and magicians. Our English word pharmacy and pharmacist are taken from the Greek word for sorcery, which is pharmakeus, which in turn has to do with potions and the casting of spells. This verse makes it abundantly clear that all who partake in such things are destined for a Christless eternity. 

From as far back as the book of Exodus, we are introduced to the supernatural. In chapter seven, we read of a contest of sorts, between Moses and the Pharaoh of Egypt:

“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.’ So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs” (Exodus 7:8-12).

It is most important to note here how the Holy Spirit reveals to us the absolute limitations of Satan’s power against the power of God; there really isn’t any comparison at all.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fergregory

Does Satan Have Power through Magic and the Supernatural?

There is another very interesting and powerful story of the supernatural which we read from 1 Samuel, and it concerns King Saul. In an effort to see into the future to attain information about an upcoming battle, he consults a witch. We read:

“Saul then said to his attendants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.’ ‘There is one in Endor,’ they said. So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. ‘Consult a spirit for me,’ he said, ‘and bring up for me the one I name’” (1 Samuel 28:7-8).

What ensues is an event that most have not been able to fully understand, and raises several questions. We read further:

“Then the woman asked, ‘Whom shall I bring up for you?’ ‘Bring up Samuel,’ he said. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, ‘Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!’ The king said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. What do you see?’ The woman said, ‘I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.’ ‘What does he look like?’ he asked. ‘An old man wearing a robe is coming up,’ she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’ ‘I am in great distress,’ Saul said. ‘The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do’” (1 Samuel 28:11-15).

Does Satan have the power to raise the dead? If we are careful to read the response of the witch, we see that she cries out with a loud voice when she sees Samuel because she didn’t know who he was. It seems obvious that it was actually Samuel, but what is not obvious is how he was raised. Suffice it to say that God’s people were forbidden to consult witches. We read:

“‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God’” (Leviticus 19:31).

“‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads’” (Leviticus 20:27).

Is There an Innocent Way to Practice Magic?

The questions this incident raises are answers that God alone knows, but what we take away from this is that there is no innocent way to practice magic. As it stands, witchcraft is a work of the flesh. We read from Galatians:

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and 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” (Galatians 5:19-21).

It should be remembered that the inclusion of witchcraft in this list takes into account all the demonic practices associated with it. Horoscopes and Ouija boards, which many are familiar with, are to be avoided by the child of God. Along with tarot cards, hypnotism, palm reading, and fortune telling, they are all gateways into the occult. All of these things which presume to tell us our future, as stated, are in direct opposition to God’s Word. We are to receive our leading and direction from the Spirit of God.

As children of God, we do well to keep our minds and hearts fixed on the Lord so that we may retain His perfect peace.

Related articles
Why Does the Bible Warn against Witchcraft?
Should the Reality of Demons Scare Us?
Are Demons Real and What Power Do They Have Today?

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Shaiith

Michael Jakes is an Associate Pastor, Bible teacher, and writer. He is co-founder of That’s The Word! Ministries, a distinctly Cross-centered outreach. He hosts several live weekly podcasts, including "The Bible Speaks Live," and "The Cutting It Right Bible Study." Michael is also the author of two books, The Lights In The Windows, and Churchified Or Sanctified? He and his wife Eddye have been married for over 40 years, and reside in New York. You can follow him on Facebook and Youtube and listen to his podcasts on Spreaker