ACTS 13:8-10; "But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9) Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10) And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
The goal of all witchcraft is to turn a person away from "the faith" by perverting the truth to bring them into bondage. Most witchcraft, especially in church, isn't blatant but subtle like Satan and creates division between spouses, families, friends, or saints by planting suggestive subliminal thoughts in a person's mind to draw them away from their covering to bring them under control by painting false images based on the facts in real life. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field..." (GENESIS 3:1). To be "subtle" means to be cunning or crafty most often in a devious and sinister way with an evil intent that's hard to detect. Satan's been doing this for a long time and he did it to the first family of all mankind.
JOHN 8:44; "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
1st JOHN 4:1; "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
How you try the spirits is by the Word of God. It is a false concept that you "try the spirits by the spirit". The spirit realm is too tricky to be navigated without the spiritual road map of the Word of God. If a person has a lot of spiritual impressions, dreams, visions, or prophecy but can't back it with God's word or rebels against the word and God's order, and justifies themselves that is a sign they may be under the influence of witchcraft and may even be unaware. They really believe they're hearing from God and are deceived. Things brought out of the "soul" seem a lot like the things brought out of the "spirit" by God. The "soulish" realm is emotional and attached to the flesh which makes it worldly and carnal; not heavenly and godly.
JAMES 3:14-15; "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish."
Witchcraft causes rebellion against God which results in one's rejection by God. 1st SAMUEL 15:23; "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee..." The LORD sees "rebellion, witchcraft, stubbornness, iniquity, and idolatry" as one and the same. Idolatry is the worship or commitment of one's self to self, another being, or object as a source of power other than God alone. The penalty for witchcraft and idolatry was death. The subtlety of it all is the mark and work of the "serpent". He slithers in and waits in ambush.
1st PETER 5:8; "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour".
The term "devour" infers to consume or swallow whole like a snake. The appearance of a lion represents the false appearance of a spiritual person and is an imitation of "The Lion of Judah" which is Christ Jesus. Satan works his greatest schemes through carnal Christians and unsound, spooky, so called prophetically gifted people. The goal is to separate you from your designated place, purpose, or spouse. Being in proper alignment through the word of God you see much more clearly. Constant accusations, justifications, lack of self examination and transparency increases the enemy's grip and drives a wedge between a person and others as well as between them and God. Doing wrong because you "feel" (soul) right is still wrong (sin).
1st TIMOTHY 3:6; "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil."
1st TIMOTHY 5:22; "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure."
Be extremely careful when dealing with novices in ministry or those who are young in the Lord. They are still inexperienced and delicate. To much exposure early can do more harm than help. Don't share your deep spiritual, emotional, private, or marital issues or anything that would make them feel as your spiritual equal or put them in a position of authority over you where they feel like they're ministering to you. You're the one that is suppose to be ministering to them. They're not as strong as they think. The spirit of comparison and competition is subtlety masked but is there. Don't weaken them with what they're not strong enough to carry, and don't take this lightly. The worst case scenario is that you could be talking to a witch or demonic person sent on assignment by Satan.
2nd CORINTHIANS 11:13-15; "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
1st THESSALONIANS 5:12; "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you"
If you examine things more closely and ask God to show you the Lord will reveal what and whom is working against you if you're under attack. Oppressive, usurping, out of order, and seductive prophecy is a sure sign of a witch at work or an ignorant novice who is the best candidate for Satan to manipulate and work witchcraft through unknowingly to them. Most saints don't believe or realize they're under attack until long after its too late many times. Don't make the mistake of focusing solely on the person or situation from an intellectual or emotional viewpoint. That's what the enemy is counting on. He knows it will be easier to get to you or them through actual life issues such as money, financial hardship, sex, arguments & disagreements, division, judging, shame, gossip & slander, lying & dishonesty, lack of compromise, and so forth. Focus on the power behind the person or situation; that's the true enemy.
EPHESIANS 6:12; "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."
The closer the relationship the harder it is to see the enemy because of your emotional (soul) attachment. When you lose faith it becomes fear and fear turns into doubt, and then to anger, and then accusation, and then self righteousness, to condemnation, to ungodly justification, and then into the "gall of bitterness" which goes on to become a "root of bitterness" which is a real demonic stronghold. This puts Satan on the throne of your life and gives him the power to rule over you. This can result in demonic possession, or severe demonic oppression which looks almost identical to possession.
ACTS 8:23; "For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."
Notice in the above scripture how the "gall of bitterness" is attached to the "bond of iniquity". Bitterness always leads to bondage in sin. In the book of ACTS 8:9-24, from which this verse is extracted, the Apostle Peter is talking to a man called Simon the sorcerer. Simon had converted under the ministry of Philip and witnessed the miracles and wonders worked by the apostles. Upon seeing this he too desired to do the same but cheapened the grace of God by trying to purchase the power with money. He wanted power for selfish reasons. Simon had a misplaced desire to be great for the wrong reasons, and wanted to be equal with the apostles because of his own personal dissatisfaction and envy. This is a major cause how prophetic people can miss it; "the spirit of preeminence" (Read: *3rd JOHN 9-10).
HEBREWS 12:15-17; "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16) Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17) For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."
As HEBREWS 12:15-17 shows, the "root of bitterness" leads to defilement of one's self, others influenced by them, and ultimately to rejection by God. Some sins are literally a "once in a lifetime" thing that can permanently cost you your place in the Kingdom of God. The "gall of bitterness" is a spiritual and mental state where the mind (spirit) is now influenced by the human soul (emotions) rather than by the Holy Ghost (Spirit). "Gall" is meant to deaden the senses. It was a mixture of bitter and acidic wines sometimes blended with poisonous plants and was often drunk by Roman soldiers. They used it to make a person delirious and kill their pain when they were torturing them so they could endure the torture longer. This is what they tried to give Jesus to deaden his pain but he refused it. When the "gall of bitterness" becomes a "root of bitterness" it gives Satan complete access and control over that person. Satan uses his gall to try and deaden your spiritual senses to the Holy Ghost so he can more easily deceive you and eventually destroy you.
Satan's Only 3 Weapons:
1st JOHN 2:16; "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1) LUST OF THE FLESH: going by how you feel over God's Word.
2) LUST OF THE EYES: going by what you see over God's Word.
3) PRIDE OF LIFE: a false sense of identity that causes self righteous comparison to others and rebellion to God.
Everything sinful, evil, wicked, and out of order is a direct result of one of these three things. Satan knows how to use them because they're what he used to cause mankind's fall in the "Garden of Eden". GENESIS 3:6; "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." Notice in GENESIS 3:6, the presence of all three elements: 1) "saw that the tree was good for food" (lust of the flesh). 2) "it was pleasant to the eyes" (lust of the eyes). 3) "and a tree to be desired to make one wise" (the pride of life).
Eve believed the lies of Satan and changed God's word. The Lord told them through Adam in GENESIS 2:17; "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Satan made her question whether or not God had actually said what Adam told her, and create doubt in her mind that lit the spark for rebellion against her husband in an attempt to supplant and ursurp God's established order.
The Bible shows Satan speaking as the Serpent in GENESIS 3:1; "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" In response Eve said in GENESIS 3:3; "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." The Lord never said "neither shall ye touch it". She may have just been meaning it was off limits, but God's word doesn't need our help by addition to or subtraction from it for it to stand.
1st CORINTHIANS 14:33; "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
JAMES 3:16; "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
Satan further increased the confusion he introduced to her mind by making her forget and become dissatisfied with who she was, and doubt God. He gave her his "gall" in GENESIS 3:4-5; "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." God had already declared in GENESIS 1:26; "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." They were already as gods on the earth made in both the image and likeness of God Almighty, and given the power and authority to rule on Earth as God did in Heaven.
2nd CORINTHIANS 2:11; "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
DON'T ENTERTAIN A CONVERSATION WITH THE SERPENT! THE DEVIL IS A LIAR! KNOW GOD'S WORD AND BELIEVE WHAT THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY SAYS, ESPECIALLY ABOUT YOU. Be on your guard and repent quickly if you fall to one of these three devices of Satan. God's grace can pick you back up.
JAMES 1:14-16; "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16) Do not err, my beloved brethren."
The "lust of the eyes" and "lust of the flesh" draws a person away from God towards sin. The "pride of life" makes a person believe a lie and justify themselves as right when they are wrong, bringing them into the bondage of sin. Sin leads to death both physically in this life and spiritually in the afterlife by being eternally seperated from fellowship with God Almighty, and in eternal torments. Placing ones desires over God's word and manipulating things or people to do so is "rebellion", and it only leads to spiritual darkness and eternal damnation. The scriptures call it "WITCHCRAFT".
ACTS 13:11; "And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand."
The above scripture used out of ACTS 13:11 is the conclusion of the confrontation between the Apostle Paul and Elymas the sorcerer in the scriptures as we know it. God's power will always prevail over all things. The attack of the enemy, aka "the Devil", is so sophisticated most people don't realize when its actually happening, and are shocked when they trace its beginning. Satan's greatest deception is to make the unbeliever dismiss his existence while simultaneously making the believer dismiss his activity. Be prayerful, be righteous, be holy, be focused, and stay alert. Its always easier to keep a devil out than it is to have to put him out. Don't be deceived. - I.J. West
REVELATION 20:10; "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."