Aaron's Rod Turned to a Serpent
I must begin this paper by stating that this represents more virgin territory for me. I have no knowledge of the subject of witchcraft but it has been brought to my attention given my recent personal experiences as outlined in the previous paper ‘Doves and Serpents’. In that paper I referred to the experiences with an individual whose actions towards me were nothing short of demonic in my eyes. Let me now state that as a result of this experience plus other previously unattributed local activities, I now believe that I may be living in a street in which part of a witches' coven may reside and may indeed surround my own home on three sides by three colluding households. At the start of this research project I do not even know if there is such a thing as a witch but, as always, I will look into God’s Word to assist me in this endeavour.
The first step, therefore, will be to try and establish if witches existed in biblical times and what their modus operandi was and to determine if such beings could exist today.
Well it looks as if this research has already been carried out very effectively already. In my initial search I came across the following erudite piece of work of nearly a half century ago:
The above referenced paper certainly believes strongly in the existence, in modern times, of witches’ covens and equates them to magicians and sorcerers as described in both Old and New Testament scriptures. These ones were able to perform apparently supernatural acts by calling on false gods or demons for their assistance. Given the comprehensive analysis in the above work, there is little point in my reiterating the basic biblical evidence for witchcraft. I will, instead, restrict the remainder of this paper to my own personal circumstances and relate them back to the above paper or the scriptures as appropriate. I think the interested reader should acquaint himself with the above referenced work prior to continuing.
The Power of the Light
So what can/should we be doing about these insidious manifestations and in my case, infestation!? Well as the learned tome referred to above is at pains to point out, whilst the witches spells do carry considerable power they, nonetheless, do not come with the level of power that comes from our divine Lords:
16 And Jehovah said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and let it become lice in all the land of Egypt.
17 And they did so, and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth. And the lice were on man and on beast. All the dust of the earth became lice in the land of Egypt.
18 And the priests performed with their secret arts to bring forth lice, and they could not. And the lice were on man and on beast.
19 And the priests said to Pharaoh, It [is] the finger of God. And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as Jehovah had said. (Exodus 8 GLT)
So, whilst the power of Pharoah’s magicians was able to match much of what Aaron had previously performed, they could not bring forth the lice and they acknowledged to Pharoah that Jehovah’s power exceeded their capabilities. Also if we once again turn to Simon of Samaria in New Testament times:
9 But a certain man named Simon had long been conjuring in the city and amazing the nation of Samaria, claiming himself to be some great one.
10 All were paying attention to [him], from small to great, saying, This one is the power of God, which [is] great.
11 And they were paying attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them [with his] conjuring.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the gospel, the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8 GLT)
Notwithstanding the Samarians’ being in awe of Simon’s powers, when they encountered the power of Philip’s preaching, which presumably included the powers of healing and exorcism, they perceived that Philip’s message and powers were the greater since they did indeed come from God.
So how are we to deal with witchcraft and demonic possession today? The answer is to be found in the New Testament:
9 For this cause also, from the day in which we heard, we do not cease praying on your behalf, and asking that you may be filled [with] the full knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
10 [for] you to walk worthily of the Lord to all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work and growing into the full knowledge of God;
11 being empowered with all power according to the might of His glory, to all patience and long-suffering with joy;
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit for a share of the inheritance of the saints in light,
13 who delivered us out of the authority of darkness, and translated [us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (Colossians 1 GLT)
So protection will be afforded to us believers in Christ through the power of prayer to call on the First New Covenant Saints to deliver us from the powers of darkness. As I have previously stated elsewhere, I do not know if/when we Second New Covenant Kings will be given the powers of healing and exorcism. If not, all we can continue to do is pray to the powers of light in ‘long-suffering patience’ until the time of our rescue from this doomed planet. As to why God is allowing the dark forces to attack those ones in the Second New Covenant, I can only point to His faithful ones in scripture who suffered in their faith in God. Jesus Christ himself and Job (The Trials of Job) come immediately to mind as outstanding examples of ones who retained their faith in extremely trying circumstances. I can only hope that our forbearance will stand us in good stead for the leadership roles we are to play in the coming Kingdom. Amen! (However, I would not be completely honest with myself if I was not privately harbouring the wish for a very local passover by splashing blood around my door lintel and looking for some physical tragedy to occur in the three households of evil surrounding my own. May God forgive me; vengeance is His.):
22 And take a bunch of hyssop and dip in the blood in the basin. And touch some of the blood in the basin to the lintel and on the two doorposts. And you shall not go out, anyone from the door of his house until morning.
23 And Jehovah will pass through to strike Egypt. And He will see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and Jehovah will pass over the door. And He will not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. (Exodus 12 GLT)
17 returning evil for evil to no one; providing right things before all men. [Prov. 3:4]
18 If possible, from you being in peace with all men;
19 not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath, for it has been written, "Vengeance [is] Mine," "I will repay," says [the] Lord. [Deut. 32:35] (Romans 12 GLT)
Notwithstanding the above, whilst we are no longer under the Law of Moses (see  The end of the Law, the Ark of the Covenant and its heavenly equivalent) we are allowed to defend ourselves and our families and households against physical threats (see [89i] 2 Swords are Enough but those that live by the sword will die by the sword). So woe betide my 'neighbours' if they continue to wish harm upon me and my family and do not repent of their evil ways. If my prayers do not disarm them, they had not better try a physical assault on my household since I am prepared for either a spiritual or a physical war.
Interestingly, when Philip turned the Samarians away from the magic of our old friend Simon there was one other highly significant effect of Philip’s teachings:
13 And Simon himself also believed, and being baptized was continuing steadfastly with Philip. And seeing [miraculous] signs and mighty works happening, he was amazed. (Acts 8 GLT)
Simon, the erstwhile witch, also accepted Philip’s powers for what they were, gifts from God, and moved from being a practitioner of the dark arts to one in the light. What a wonderful conversion!
The Reality of Witchcraft
Firstly the above investigation into the black arts as recounted in the scriptures confirms, for my purposes, the reality and existence of witchcraft through the ages. This from Old and New Testament times through to the present end times. Scriptural examples of this are:
8 And it happened in the morning, his spirit was troubled. And he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dream, and [there was] no interpreter of them to Pharaoh. (Genesis 41 GLT)
9 But a certain man named Simon had long been conjuring in the city and amazing the nation of Samaria, claiming himself to be some great one. (Acts 8 GLT)
21 And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9 GLT)
These three scriptures clearly indicate through example, to believers in the truth of the scriptures, that witchcraft existed in ancient Egypt in the form of the Pharoah’s magicians, in the first century AD through the example of the conjurings of one Simon of Samaria, and in the present end-times by the inclusion of sorcery amongst the evil workings of mankind today.
So I think it fair to say that witchcraft is a very real evil in the world today. This tells me, therefore, that I am not completely off my trolley to think that I may have found myself in the midst of a witches’ coven literally in my own backyard.
Jewish Lords' Witness
Images provided by www.BiblePictureGallery.com
In considering how I should deal with my very own local witches' coven, as I had hoped, my actions going forward on this matter have now become clear to me as a direct result of this exercise. Since I currently do not appear to have the powers of Philip, I am in no position to tackle the dark forces head-on. If and when I receive those powers then that may well be in my remit. Otherwise, both now and through the remainder of the end-times, I must rely on the power of my prayers through Christ to the works to be carried out in these end-times as appropriate by the First New Covenant Saints. I pray these times will not last too much longer.
All scriptural references in this paper are taken from Jay Green’s Literal Translation (GLT).
The Power of Witchcraft
So what are the powers of witches? Clearly they were capable, in ancient times, of real acts invoking supernatural or magic forces:
11 And Pharaoh also called wise men and the sorcerers. And they, the priests of Egypt, also performed by their secret arts.
12 And they each one threw down his staff, and they became snakes. But Aaron's staff swallowed their staffs. (Exodus 7 GLT)
So Pharoah’s sorcerers were at least able to match the power of Jehovah God by turning their staffs into snakes.
The New Testament interestingly does not appear to contain any explicit example of the workings of the black arts. However, there is no reason to believe that 1st Century magic was any less graphic than that practised in ancient Egyptian times. Indeed the very fact that Simon of Samaria was so successful in beguiling the locals, makes it reasonable to believe that his conjurings would have been a match for Pharoah’s magicians of old.
It is interesting, however, that the workings of Elymas were described as deceitful and acting against all righteousness:
8 But Elymas, the conjurer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
9 But Saul, who [is] also Paul, being filled with [the] Holy Spirit, and looking intently on him,
10 [he] said, O son of the devil, full of all guile and of all cunning, hostile [to] all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the right ways of [the] Lord? (Acts 13 GLT)
I believe that this is marking out the path for witchcraft into the present times. We should not expect to see blatant miracles of rods being turned into snakes. But we should expect more subtle acts to deceive and act against the righteousness in the world:
1 But the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, cleaving to deceiving spirits and teachings of demons, (1 Timothy 4 GLT)
The deceit associated with practitioners of the dark arts is not only exposed in the New Testament. The lies coming from Satan's sorcerers was also recognised in Old Testament times:
9 As for you, do not listen to your prophets, or to those divining to you, or to your dreams, or to your conjurers, or to your sorcerers, those who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon.
10 For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, that I should drive you out, and you should perish. (Jeremiah 27 GLT)
As I often have to remind myself when I have eliminated the impossible explanations of the reality around me and only the highly improbable but cogent explanation is left that fits with the facts then the latter must be the truth regardless of how contrary it might be to one's everyday common experiences. So I find it wholly unsurprising that what is uncomfortably obvious to me in what I see around me as lies and deceitful and injurious behaviour, in the street in which I live, is treated with much scepticism by those with whom I discuss these matters. The deceivers rely on being able to fool the majority of unsuspecting or unquestioning people; those with little or no faith. They prefer to believe a comfortable lie than an uncomfortable truth. This is with the notable exception, of course, of my brothers in Christ baptised into the Fourth True Christian Church. These ones, like myself, are totally unsurprised by what I recount to them on this topic.
While none of my brothers, as far as I am aware, can see a witches’ coven in operation as clearly as my own situation is allowing, several of them are suffering from lengthy streaks of ‘bad luck’. You may recall my earlier recounting of some of the stressful events leading up to my demonic confrontation (Doves and Serpents)? It is worthy of the telling that that set of occurrences seems to be continuing. Apart from several other worrying happenings, my car problems are continuing with new issues. Currently I have an exhaust problem for which my car is now in for its fourth repair visit!! This for a car that had been previously reliable to a fault in not letting me down for the previous ten years of my ownership. Actually, now that I think about it, the start of these problems, the blowing of my head gasket, began around the time of the arrival of my new 'neighbours'. Clearly my local coven declared war on me at that point by starting their spells against my household.
Some of my brethren seem to have much bigger issues to worry about however. Serious illness, physical injuries, issues with the social services. The list goes on. It sounds like its open season on the Second New Covenant Kings. I have little doubt that these happenings/circumstances are the result of the chantings, incantations and spells of witches who have been led to the doors of the Second New Covenant Kings by their familiar demons to carry out mischief upon us in the hope of turning us from God’s mission:
9 When you come to the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you, you shall not learn to do according to the hateful acts of those nations.
10 There shall not be found in you one who passes his son or his daughter through the fire, one that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or one divining, or a whisperer of spells,
11 or a magic charmer, or one consulting mediums, or a spirit-knower, or one inquiring of the dead.
12 For all doing these things [are] an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these filthy acts Jehovah your God is dispossessing these nations before you. (Deuteronomy 18 GLT)
God's Punishment of Witches
Again the paper, referenced above, covers numerous examples of God's punishments or prophecies related to the eventual fate of witches or nations that supported such practices:
18 You shall not allow a sorceress to live. (Exodus 22 GLT)
Well the above scripture from the Law of Moses is quite unequivocal. Sorcery is a capital offense requiring the death penalty. However I am musing somewhat over this law appearing to be aimed purely at the feminine gender in such practices. I can only think that witches were exclusively female in Old Testament times? As if to emphasis this assumption on my part, Israel's Northern Queen Jezebel was singled out for severe punishment for her sorcery:
22 And it happened, when Jehoram saw Jehu, he said, Peace, Jehu? And he said, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of your mother Jezebel and her sorceries [are so] many?
31 And Jehu came to the gate. And she said, [Was it] peace [to] Zimri the slayer of his lord?
32 And he lifted his face to the window, and said, Who [is] with me? Who? And two [or] three eunuchs looked down to him.
33 And he said, Throw her down! And they threw her down. And some of her blood was splashed on the wall, and on the horses. And he trampled her.
34 And he came in and ate and drank, and said, Now look after this cursed [woman] and bury her, for she is a king's daughter.
35 And they went to bury her, but did not find [any] of her except the skull, and the feet, and the palms of the hands.
36 And they came back and told him. And he said, It [is] the Word of Jehovah that He spoke by the hand of his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel, the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel.
37 And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel, so that they shall not say, This [is] Jezebel. (2 Kings 9 GLT)
I provide the full text describing not only Jezebel's violent death but also the finality of the treatment of her remains. God clearly wanted her soul totally destroyed and all recollection of her, apart from that in the scriptures, wiped from the nation's memory. A final solution for Jezebel but one that was not meted out upon her nation since the sorcery was purely for and of her own making. (Actually now that I think about it, whilst the abusive treatment I received was from the male next door 'neighbour' on our left-hand side, I believe that the ring-leader of the coven is the wife on our right-hand side.)
The above punishment being meted out to individual witches, God's treatment of nations was equally final:
12 For all doing these things [are] an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these filthy acts Jehovah your God is dispossessing these nations before you. (Deuteronomy 18 GLT)
This edict effectively meant or lead to the destruction of whole nations. And this was not ultimately intended to exclude His chosen people:
12 And I will cut off sorceries out of your hand, and there shall not be ones divining.
13 And I also will cut off your graven images and your pillars from your midst. And you shall not any more worship the work of your hands.
14 And I will pluck your shrines from your midst, and I will destroy your cities.
15 And I will execute vengeance in anger and in fury [on] the nations, such as they have not heard. (Micah 5 GLT)
Now just to confound my earlier thought of the feminine nature of witchcraft we then have similar traits entrenched in King Manasseh's reign over Judah:
6 And he made his sons to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and did magic and divined, and used sorcery, and used mediums and conjurers; he multiplied the doing of the evil in the eyes of Jehovah, to provoke Him to anger. (2 Chronicles 33 GLT)
The punishment this time, however, was meted out to the whole nation of Judah. It was not just restricted to the death penalty on the monarch but would bring about the total destruction of his kingdom. This since he had managed to inculcate his evil ways, notably of idol worship, within his subjects:
10 And Jehovah spoke by His servants the prophets, saying,
11 Because Manasseh the king of Judah has done these abominations, doing more wickedly than all that the Amorites did before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols,
12 therefore so says Jehovah, the God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing evil on Jerusalem and Judah, so that whoever hears of it, his two ears shall tingle.
13 And I will stretch out over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and shall wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish (he wipes and turns [it] on its face).
14 And I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance, and give them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall be for a prey and for a spoil to all their enemies, (2 Kings 21 GLT)
My final comment on the gender of sorcerers is provided by the following edict from God:
27 And a man or woman, when there is among them a medium, or a spirit-knower, dying shall die; they shall stone them with stones; their blood [is] on them. (Leviticus 20 GLT)
Clearly here both men and women can be equally susceptible to the sin of sorcery and suffer the due death penalty. So why the earlier scripture from Exodus restrains itself to the feminine form I can only guess at. Perhaps then, as now, witchcraft is seen mainly as a domain of the female of the species. The 'popular' image of the female witch with her legs astride a flying broomstick would seem to substantiate that notion. If any of my readers has a definitive position on this I should be very pleased to hear from you.