Many years ago, my family attended a magic show in Florida. I forgot the city or the name of the show but it was very appealing to watch. We were able to see things “vanish”, we seen someone entering a box only to “disappear”, as well as many other fascinating exhibits. Magic is deception and illusion. America has an idiom for this type of deception called “Smoke and Mirrors”. The purpose of this, in the context of a magic show, is to rob our attention from the truth. We get fascinated in the magicians’ abilities to deceive us while we are staring straight at them; the illusion. Common sense tells us that there is no such thing, this is not truth, but we still get mesmerized by the fact it is “cool” to watch and see.
Magic, in Scripture, alludes to a demonic ability to use sorcery. Sorcery is found throughout the Old Testament, Egyptian’s turning sticks into snakes with Moses (Exodus 7:10-12) as well as with King Saul summoning the prophet Samuel from the dead. (1 Sam. 28:3) Not only is sorcery found in the context of the Old Testament but the ability to look into the future; a “seer”. (Joshua 13:22) A seer had the ability to look past tomorrow and tell one what to expect; as the gift of prophecy is to a Christian. For this reason, in Deuteronomy 13, a false prophet was to be stoned to death. Why is it important to understand the difference between a Godly prophet and a demonic counterfeit? We do not need to follow a person in whom their spirit is subjected to unclean habits. This type of life-style is just not healthy.
1 Corinthians 14:32, “Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit… (NLT)
1 Corinthians 12:3, “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.” (ESV)
I have learned over the years, if uncertain, challenge! I do not challenge people but the spirit people subject themselves to. I expect trickery when attending a magic show; that is what I paid for, to be deceived. However, I am not going to place my hope and trust in a lie. I also must understand that a magician can sometimes subject themselves to demonic activity in order to enhance their skills. For this reason, they are able to levitate things in mid-air, they are able to mimic the power of the Holy Spirit (become counterfeit agents). (2 Cor. 11:14)
How can we challenge a spirit? First, ask God to rebuke any unclean spirit which does not confess Jesus as their Lord. (Although angels are exempt from salvation they are still subject to the authority of Jesus; Jude 1:9).
If an unclean spirit is identified, then chaos will soon ensue because they do not like being exposed. They create disruption in the attempt to gain the upper hand; invoke fear. (2 Tim. 1:7) Then I just allow God to handle the situation with the understanding it is not my battle but the Lord’s, I just get out of the way.
May I say this is why allowing people to publicize their personal testimony is so important. For people to publicly verbalize Jesus as their Savior takes the advantage away from the enemy and spiritual wickedness cannot prevail. At the baptism of John, people openly confessed their faults. (Luke 3:7-8) Throughout the book of Acts there was a public testimony of what God did while one is being baptized. We have so lost the art of sharing public testimony and the result has been a subtle deceit which has robbed us our blessings.
Let us be challenge to share our faith openly. Thus taking the advantage away from the enemy; no more smoke and mirrors.