“Forewarned is forearmed,” is an old and wise saying. Thus, the relevant message to believers is that we should always be aware of what is going on around us in our culture from a spiritual perspective. That’s the very thing that the Apostle Paul warned of in 1 Timothy 4:1. “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.” God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, made it clear that from Paul’s day on down to the very end of time, followers of God must be on their guard against seducing spirits and the things they—demons—teach. At stake is our salvation.
There is an article on the Ancient-Origins.net website entitled, “Rapidly Closing American Churches are Shadowed by the Meteoric Rise in Witchcraft.” The title speaks for itself in terms of concern and alarm. In the article, a study supported by Trinity College is mentioned which indicates that between 1990 and 2008, the number of Wiccans in the United States grew from 8000 to 340,000. That is a huge rise, but today, a decade later, the number is about 1.5 million. The author of the article mentioned above writes, “What is interesting in this is that the catastrophic decline in American churches loosely matches the astronomical increase in online witch covens and joiners of Wiccan religious systems.” Thousands of people are being drawn to seducing spirits and their beliefs.
One of their main beliefs is in the divinity of nature. In an article titled “Introduction to the Wiccan Religion and Contemporary Paganism,” the author writes: “The Wiccan religion and other forms of Paganism are pantheistic in that the Divine is seen as everywhere and in everything. They are also animistic in that every human, tree, animal, stream, rock and other forms of Nature is seen to have a divine spirit within.” And from a piece entitled “Difference Between Witchcraft and Sorcery,” comes this: “The witchcraft followers worship Mother Nature.” In short, they revere Mother Earth, rejecting the God of creation. That rejection brings with it a rejection of unchanging truth. From “All About Religion,” comes this, “Despite this proscription against harming others, Wiccans hold that moral and religious truths are ultimately relative.” In other words, truth is what they want it to be.
Paul went beyond warning of seducing spirits, to a graphic description of the meteoric rise in witchcraft that we see today. “Professing to be wise, they became fools…. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:22, 24-25). The whole demonic deception here is to entice the unsuspecting to worship the creation rather than the Creator. If that can be done, all truth becomes relative, and a severance from God ensues. We need to realize that witchcraft and rebellion are very closely related. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king” (1 Samuel 15:23). Samuel said this to King Saul after he had become important in his own eyes and had willingly ignored God’s clear instruction to him. Witchcraft and rebellion are both products of seducing spirits. Their easiest targets are those who have become important in their own eyes.
We need to be mindful that the warning Paul gave us in 1 Timothy 4:1 (quoted in the first paragraph above) is preceded by its antidote in chapter 3 of the same book. “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14). There is no possibility of a believer being seduced into witchcraft or paganism in any of its many forms if we are grounded in God’s truth. Through it, we know what godliness really is. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). Our minds have been opened to what is yet a mystery to most of humanity today. Their minds will one day be opened to see what we see now. Namely, there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved. It is not mother earth or some god or goddess. It is not some deception regarding our inner self. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ.