I remember the account vividly. I was in Jr. High on a school bus that was taking the track team to the meet that we were about to run in. During this trip, a young Catholic girl turned toward me and asked me a question, “Does the Bible say anything about ghosts?” This may seem like a strange question, but at the time the show “Ghost Hunters” was popular and this young lady was afraid because of the episode she had watched the night before. She was trying to assure herself that there was nothing to be afraid of and certainly the bold young man who carried a Bible with him everywhere he went would give her the assurance she desperately sought. To her surprise (and to the surprise of those around) I strongly proclaimed that the Bible actually gives an account of a ghost. You can find this account in 1 Samuel 28:3-25, but I want to bring to your attention to verses 8-12
So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a seance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.” Then the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?” And Saul swore to her by the LORD, saying, “As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”
Needless to say, after I recounted this Bible passage, the young girl was not comforted, she was afraid. I start off this post with this story and Bible passage all to say witchcraft is not all make-believe (though there is a lot of that). There is some power behind it and witchcraft is dangerous.
As stated in the first blog post in this series, I come from a line of witches. This has allowed me to hear some interesting stories concerning witchcraft. One of these stories had to do with my grandma and holding a seance to bring back the ghost of a man who had recently been killed and eaten by pigs. I did not get much detail on the seance itself as my grandmother was ashamed that she had once participated in the wickedness of witchcraft. However, several people that lived in that home accounted that for the next year or so there were sightings of a bloodied man who would sit in a chair and moan.
Another account that was passed down to me was about my great-great-grandmother. She was a woman who was very natural to the craft, in fact, she was said to be able to simply look at people and tell their fortunes. She stopped practicing witchcraft for a while, unfortunately, not because she found a Savior in Jesus Christ, but due to the ramifications of witchcraft. As the story goes, she had a customer come to her whose husband had recently died and she wanted to know if there was a message that he wanted her to know. As it turns out, he had actually written her a letter and my great-great-grandma called upon the “spirits” (demons) to show this lady where the letter was. Sure enough, my great-great-grandma gave this lady perfect directions to the letter and a week after reading this letter the woman committed suicide. This caused my great-great-grandma to quit witchcraft as she knew the effects it could have on people. Several of my aunts even recall her telling them that the powers didn’t come from God, rather they came from the devil.
The stories above may seem innocent enough and seem like there is no cause for concern, but I do want to bring two more to your attention. The first was an account from my grandma. Though my grandma would rarely open up about her days when she practiced witchcraft, on one occasion she did open up and told me a story of her cursing a man. The man that she cursed was a bill collector and he had come knocking on my grandma’s door to collect a bill that she couldn’t afford. My grandma was a hard worker, but she didn’t live a godly lifestyle and had seven children; this led to her often not having enough money to pay the bills. This bill collector came on the wrong day and it set my grandmother off! She was so upset that right then and there she started cursing the man and pushed him out the door. The curse she put on the man was a death curse as she threatened the man’s life for trying to collect upon a bill, by the end of the week the man had died.
The other account of witchcraft I would like to point out happened in Sioux City, Iowa; an area that is quite similar to the Cedar Valley. In Sioux City, there were two little girls by the name of Kendra and Alysha Suing who were murdered during a witchcraft ritual. Their stepfather, Lawrence Douglas Harris Sr., was “casting a spell that had gone bad“. Sadly put, these two girls (ages 10 and 8), were tortured and brutally murdered in the name of witchcraft. I say once again, witchcraft is dangerous! It is dangerous for an individual, it is dangerous for a family, and it is dangerous for our community.
Though I do believe there is power in witchcraft, it is my desire to finish this post on a positive note. I want to share two truths that are a driving force in confronting witchcraft. The first is that God has more power than witchcraft. I want to remind you of my grandma who placed a successful death curse on a man, called up spirits, and told people their future. When I was ten years old she accepted my parents’ invitation to come to church and hear a man preach the word of God. This man was an apologist who went around preaching and teaching on creation and giving proofs of how the world was created by God. This touched my grandmother’s heart and she accepted Christ as her Savior! She knew Christ had come and died on the cross for her sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day. She believed that Jesus was the only One who could save her and she “called upon the name of the Lord” and as God’s word promises, she was saved from that day forward! No matter how strong or powerful witchcraft had taken root in her life before, Christ uprooted it and changed her life! Christ turned her into one of the sweetest (even though she was still a bit ornery) and most hospitable people to ever live! She became a great prayer warrior who you would have a hard time recognizing that she once walked in darkness!
The second truth I want to end on is that Christ can save to the uttermost! Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” No matter your sin, no matter how great your offense before God is, God can and will save you if you accept Christ as your Savior!
To see the first article in this series click here