Are You A Witch?

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Are You A Witch?

Witchcraft is a subject that most people do not like to talk about. Just the thought of it conjures up visions of black magic, black pointed hats, and broomsticks. There are, of course, many forms of witchcraft. Practicing witches take every form from simple nature worship to casting spells and invoking demons. However, there is a very subtle form of witchcraft which often goes unrecognized even though it is just as evil and dangerous as the stereotypical form. What we will address here is only one of the many types of witchcraft. The purpose of this article is to give you the tools to identify and defeat this enemy.

Let us begin by defining the term witchcraft. The scripture says in 1 Samuel, "(15:22) And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. (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 from [being] king. (15:24) And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. (15:25) Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. (15:26) And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel."

In this setting, we find that King Saul rebelled against the authority of God's command because he was intimidated by the people. The people also rebelled against the command of God when they intimidated Saul so that he would obey their will instead of God. In response to this rebellion, the scripture states that rebellion is "witchcraft."

(See the NOTES at the end of this article for more detail on "is" vs. "is as" in 1 Sam 15.)

It is important to understand that not everything we label as rebellion is actually rebellion. You may have heard someone say, "One man's rebel is another man's freedom fighter." In relation to 1 Sam 15, a rebel is a man who resists the authority of God or a man who resists the authority established by God. Someone who resists unjust or illegitimate authority would be more properly called a freedom fighter even though the dictionary definition of rebel fits him as well. But when someone resists the authority of God or the legitimate authority that God has established, he is rebelling.

When someone is resisting an authority like Hitler, they should not be labeled as a rebel. If a person in authority (i.e. Hitler) abuses their authority or has assumed the position of authority illegitimately, then the one who resists them is not rebelling. In this case, it is actually the person who is exercising the unjust or illegitimate authority that is rebelling.

Rebellion occurs when someone rejects the authority of God or the legitimate authorities established by God. There are many different types (or levels) of legitimate authority. Some of these are: the authority of God Himself, the authority of His Word, the apostles and prophets, teachers, governments, parents, etc. All of these authorities are established by God and should be obeyed to the full extent that they are godly and legitimate.

In their proper context, these authorities benefit mankind. They provide us with guidance, understanding, order, and spiritual covering that can aid in keeping us safe from evils that would try to separate us from God. The benefits of legitimate authority make it clear why we should avoid rebelling against them and why we should avoid the use or influence of illegitimate authority.

The legitimate authority that we will focus on here is the authority of "free will." God has given every man the freedom to make his own choices (whether right or wrong). When a person imposes their will on someone else in such a manner as to cause them to do something against their will, then that person has rebelled against the authority of "free will" that was established by God.

In 1 Sam 15, King Saul rebelled against the authority of God when he was intimidated by the people so that he followed their will instead of God's will. One should have little doubt that Saul would have obeyed the command of God if his will had not been intimidated by fear of the people. This rebellious disobedience is said to be witchcraft.

This is also what happened in the church at Galatia when false teachers used deception to manipulate the Galatians into circumcising themselves in an attempt to complete their salvation in the flesh. Then Paul asked, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, ...?" The truth was that their salvation had been completed by grace through faith. They had no need to circumcise their flesh.

In the book of Galatians this group of false teachers rebelled against the authority of the Apostle Paul and the apostles in Jerusalem by manipulating the Galatians so that they followed an unauthorized doctrine. Paul said that these false teachers had bewitched the Galatians. (Galatians 3:1)

We can see from the examples in 1 Samuel and Galatians that the Scriptures define witchcraft as rebellion. The Bible also refers to divination, fortune telling, necromancy, etc. which are also considered witchcraft; but for the purpose of this article, we will focus on the Biblical statement, "rebellion is witchcraft."

Rebellion is not limited to the common perception of the rebelliously defiant teenager or the dissident military faction. Rebellion occurs any time that there is an act which usurps or subverts the authority of God or the authority established by God. Sometimes rebellion is called illegitimate authority because it takes authority where it does not have authority.

To determine if you have authority in a particular area, ask yourself the simple question, "Do I have responsibility in that area?" Authority and responsibility go hand-in-hand. If you DO NOT have responsibility then you DO NOT have the authority. If you DO have responsibility then you DO have the authority. A person commits an act of rebellion whenever they try to take authority in an area where they do not have responsibility.

This is what King Saul did when he decided to spare certain animals in the battle in order to offer them as sacrifices. He had not been given responsibility to provide for a sacrifice and yet he authorized the sparing of these animals in direct opposition to what he had been told to do. King Saul took authority where he did not have responsibility thereby committing an act of rebellion which is witchcraft.

In 1 Samuel 15, the people also took authority where they did not have responsibility. The people took authority over Saul when they used fear to intimidate him into obeying their will instead of God's command. They committed an act of rebellion against Saul's free will and against the command of God.

Perhaps an even better example of this is the one found in the book of Galatians. (Galatians 5:7-12) Some false teachers went into Galatia and began teaching a doctrine that had not been approved by the Apostle Paul or the apostles in Jerusalem. (Gal 5:7) "You were running the race nobly! Who has interfered and caused you to swerve from the truth?" The false teachers were not in a position of responsibility for the church at Galatia and therefore they were interfering with the legitimate authority. By illegitimately exercising influence over the Galatians, they engaged in rebellion and damaged the church there. Paul wrote to the Galatians and told them that when they became manipulated by the illegitimate authority of the false teachers, they had become bewitched. (Gal 3:1)

Let us look in detail at the mechanism which this type of witchcraft employs. There are primarily three things that indicate the practice of rebellion which is witchcraft. Those three things are MANIPULATION, INTIMIDATION, and DOMINATION. If you remember nothing else from this article, remember those three words. Whenever you see these things being utilized, an act of rebellion (which is witchcraft) is being committed. They cast a spell on you.

When we consider the stereotypical witch involved in the spell casting, we see that she/he uses potions (i.e. chemicals), incantations, evil spirits, etc., in order to force their will on another person. Whether it is a "love potion," "hex," or a "curse" they are trying to override someone else's will. Manipulation, intimidation, and domination act in a similar way to cast a spell on another person. It is more subtle than the stereotype, but the results are the same. A person's free will has been violated.

Manipulation may be the most subtle of the three. This has become such a common practice that it has become socially acceptable, and most people do not even realize they are doing it. Manipulation differs from persuasion in that it tries to override a person’s decision. Persuasion will try to change a persons mind. Manipulation causes someone to do something that they would not do under normal circumstances.

People use guilt, fear, embarrassment, sympathy, etc. to get someone to do something that they would not otherwise do. You may have heard someone say, "They made me feel guilty so I..." did what the other person wanted.

People will also play on the sympathy of others in order to manipulate them. There are legitimate needs and sympathy has a proper place. But when someone deliberately uses another person’s compassionate heart as a means to manipulate them into complying with their will, it is witchcraft.

Even fear can be used to manipulate. This happens all too often in churches when ministers intentionally instill fear of hell or the tribulation into their congregation in order to manipulate them into reciting the sinners prayer or attending church more regularly. Of course, hell and the tribulation are terrible things but the awful truth of these things can be presented without the premeditated use of fear as a means to manipulate people.

Intimidation is another means of employing this subtle brand of witchcraft. Intimidation very often comes in the form of bullying or threats. Just because someone has the capacity to push someone else around whether physically, emotionally, financially, or otherwise does not mean that they have the authority to make that someone abide by their will.

Many people who possess strong and dominant personalities cross the line from a God-given ability to lead into an ungodly intimidation. These people often seem intimidating to others simply by virtue of their personality. But all too often these people abuse their gift and deliberately intimidate others into compliance with their wishes.

Domination is the third and most obvious of the three. This occurs many times in criminal acts such as rape, murder, or kidnapping. Domination is, however, not limited to these examples. Other forms of domination would be spousal abuse, an employer wrongfully terminating an employee, the use of a "date rape" drug, or any abuse of authority that forces someone to comply with the abusers will. You will find that this type of witchcraft is manifested any time that someone forces their will on someone else leaving them absolutely no choice whatsoever.

Let us be careful not to confuse legitimate authority with illegitimate authority. Consider the following when attempting to discern legitimate authority:

(1) Legitimate authority attempts to persuade through presentation of facts or good salesmanship. Illegitimate authority attempts to manipulate in order to get its own way and override someone else's choice.

(2) Legitimate authority is a strong influential leader. Illegitimate authority is a bully who intimidates in order to make someone do his bidding.

(3) Legitimate authority is a police officer who arrests and imprisons a criminal offender. Illegitimate authority is wrongfully and unduly forcing the abusers will on an innocent person. Illegitimate authority is rebellion and it is witchcraft.

One area where people cross the line into witchcraft is in their marriage. They get married with the idea that they can change their spouse. But only God can change people, and even He will not do it against their will. When entering marriage, people need to carefully consider their spouses ways. They will not change unless they want to.

Witch hunts are unacceptable. Do not use the information in this article to seek out witches under every rock. Rather, look for the practice of witchcraft in your own life. Ask yourself if you are manipulating, intimidating, or dominating someone yourself. Or ask yourself if someone is trying to put you under their spell. These are the issues we should deal with. Leave the pagans to their own folly. Their real problem is not being washed in the Blood of Jesus.

You may correct a brother. If you know a fellow servant of the Almighty God who is involved in this type of witchcraft, you may gently correct them in love. But, as it is with any other ministry, correcting a brother must be done with the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit. If you try to correct someone acting solely with your own ability, you will probably do more harm than good. And remember, always "remove the beam from your own eye before you try to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)

Let us look now at the issue of becoming free from the practice of witchcraft. Like all other works of the flesh, (Galatians 5:19-21) witchcraft must be dealt with as the sin that it is.

We begin with salvation by the grace of God through faith {grace demonstrated in the Blood of Jesus}. Without salvation, all other steps to ending witchcraft in your life are meaningless. If you have never been born again, then the experience of salvation is your first step to freedom. If you have been saved for a while, but are just now learning about this bondage of witchcraft, then you will be prepared to take further steps.

One thing you must do is to determine in yourself by an act of your will that you will stop practicing witchcraft. This act of repentance is necessary to achieve freedom. (Luke 13:3)

The Scripture says that as Christians we are named with the Name of Jesus and are given the right to use His Name. (Ephesians 3:15, Mark 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5:4) So then, stand in the Name of Jesus acting as He would act and your repentance will be strengthened. You are free from the bondage of witchcraft.

Then immerse yourself in the Word of God. The Sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon that will build your strength in overcoming witchcraft. (Ephesians 6:17) When you are immersed in the Word of God, your thought processes will begin to change. Your thoughts will become more like His thoughts and this will drive the practice of witchcraft far from your life.

The Scripture also says that the victorious ones overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. (Revelation 12:11) So remind yourself of the Blood of Jesus and what He has done for you. Remind yourself of all the miracles that God has done for you no matter how big or small. And declare that you are free from the bondage of practicing witchcraft.

Not only does witchcraft need to be dealt with when you are practicing it yourself, but it must also be dealt with if someone else is trying to put you under their spell. Of course, you cannot "force" anyone to stop trying to illegitimately influence you because that would be witchcraft on your part. But you can resist them. (James 4:7)

The Scripture says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. So then, refuse to be manipulated. Refuse to be intimidated. Refuse to be dominated. Many times simply saying "No," is enough.

And always you can intercede for the offender praying that the Lord will draw them to Himself (Jeremiah 31:3, John 6:44) so that they may experience salvation and freedom from the bondage to witchcraft. Remember "the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you may have to separate yourself from the one attempting to bewitch you. This should be considered as a last resort. When the offending person is a close relative or spouse, every effort should be made to preserve the relationship and defeat the witchcraft.

Rebellion is witchcraft. When someone rebels against the authority of "free will" in order to override another person's choice, an act of rebellion (which is witchcraft) has occurred. This rebellion manifests itself in the form of manipulation, intimidation, or domination. But thank God or His grace and mercy. He has provided a way of deliverance through the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony.

In closing, let me say that I understand this brief article only scratches the surface of a complicated problem. It is my prayer that you will find enough information here to help you begin to achieve freedom and a more intimate relationship with the Almighty God. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Written by
Reverend Bill McLean



(1) "is" vs. "is as" in 1 Samuel 15

There has been some debate regarding the usage of the term "is" vs. "is as" in reading 1 Samuel 15:23. It is my considered opinion that "is" is the most proper rendering for the modern English reader.

The Young's Literal Translation reads "a sin of divination is rebellion." Many other translations of this passage (including the KJV) say, "rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft." Using the term "is as" instead of "is" minimizes the truth of the passage, so it is better to use only the term "is" for the following reasons.

First of all, we should note that the Hebrew text does not include a separate word to be translated either "is" or "is as." The KJV includes the words "is as" in brackets. This is a device used to indicate that those words were not in the original text, but were added by the translators for clarification or grammatical concord. In fact, the verb in this sentence is implied/derived from the grammar and context.

It is apparent that either "is" or "is as" is permissible as a translation. So we have to decide which one conveys the meaning of the passage most effectively. To do that, let us examine the difference in these words, "is" and "is as."

The phrase "is as" conveys a sense of analogy or abstract comparison. Such comparisons would be expected in a philosophical or theological discussion, but that is not what is happening in this passage of Scripture.

In 1 Samuel 15, we find that chastisement and judgment are being pronounced upon Saul for his sinful behavior. Samuel is not making comparisons between different kinds of sins; he is explaining exactly what sin had been committed. There is nothing philosophical or abstract about that.

Now, the other term "is" conveys a meaning of "identity" or even "equality." The sense of the term as "equality" is a little more than is meant here, but the sense of identifying the rebellious ones (those who reject the authority of God or the authorities established by God) as practicing witchcraft is quite appropriate in this setting.

It may be easier to understand why we should use "is" if we look at the next part of 1 Sam 15:23. "and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry." It is fairly easy to see how a man's stubbornness can make an idol out of his own opinions. But perhaps because the word "rebellion" has been used in military terms and our concept of “witchcraft” has been molded by Hollywood, we have more trouble understanding that witchcraft "is" a fruit from the tree of rebellion.

We avoid the use of the term "is as" because it reduces the meaning of the sentence to an abstract comparison. The use of the word "is" in 1 Samuel 15 is appropriate in translation and best conveys the meaning of the passage.


(2) Discourse with a Wiccan

The following is the content of an e-mail exchange between myself, Bill McLean, and Richard M., a Wiccan.

--- "Richard M." wrote:

Ok, I read your article on witchcraft and to tell the truth, it pissed me off.

As a practicing witch, I know that none of your accusations are true. You base it soley on shit you read out of the bible without looking up any other definitions.

First off, you say that witchcraft is about MANIPULATION, INTIMIDATION, and DOMINATION. This is not true. Witchcraft is a purely spiritual faith, based upon nature worship and the healing of the self and others. From what I heard, it seems that your fellow christians employ the Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination tactics more than us wiccans. That's not to say that just christians employ this tactics, all religions do. It's called Fundamentalism and that is the evil that you should be attacking. During my extensive studies of Wicca, I found that we do not use Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination tactics at all. We do not believe in forcing our beliefs upon the young, as many biblical religions do. We instead give our children reading on all religions and let them choose the path they so desire.

Now that I have that off my chest, I think I should let you in on a few facts about Wicca.

Number 1, we are not satanic or evil. There is no evil deity in Wicca whatsoever. There is just a Goddess and Horned God, who is not related to Satan, but rather Pan, the Satyr god of the forest in ancient Greek mythology.

We are not evil. As I've stated before, we are about spirituality, nature worship, and healing. Ever since I became Wiccan, I've felt my life changing for the better, all thru simple prayer techniques. I've managed to find strength to talk to a girl I like, and my grades in school are terrific. We do not want to hurt people. The Wiccan Rede states that you can do as you please, as long as you don't harm anyone, including yourself.

Unlike many other religions, we are not as close minded. We do not hate gay people and we are more accepting of things. In fact, I have christian friends who do not hate me for being a witch. They ask lots of questions, but they always aren't intimidated by the response. And we are very good friends. I'm not into just Wiccan things. I enjoy reading the bible, because it provides me with a good read and I enjoy the exploits of Jesus, as do any other books on mythology. I study many different religions and many of my fellow Wiccans do as well.

Your attack on wiccans is nothing new. I face many of these things from peers at school, teachers, even my own father. It gets tiring but I want people to know the REAL truth about Wiccans. Thank you for your time and Blessed Be.

-Richard M.


Hello Richard,

Thanks for you comments.

You misunderstood my article as an attack on Wicca. If you notice, the word Wicca was not mentioned. I was basing my article entirely on a Biblical principal; that is, what the Bible defines as witchcraft.

The stereotypical witch which I refer to is the "Wizard of Oz" type. That is what most main stream Americans think of when they hear the word "witch." The fact that Wiccans have adopted the title witch had no bearing on my article.

You are right. Many Christians do, in fact, practice the kind of witchcraft that I described. It is the practice of those people that I was attacking. Their actions are wrong as they violate the free will of others. I called it witchcraft because that is what the Bible calls it.

I applaud the fact that you study other religeons. Only an arrogant fool would assume that he has all the answers and that everyone else is wrong. So, keep up the good work in that area. I highly recommend that you also study the Islamic Koran. Although current world events have made Islam a suspect religeon, the truths that it contains are eternal.

There are, of course, great differences between Christianity and Wicca. Perhaps, one day I will write an article that defines the differences in our chosen religeons. But this was not that article.

Continue your search for truth. May the Almighty God open your eyes that you may see truth.


Bill McLean


Shortly after Richard M. received my answer to his e-mail, he wrote back and apologized for his "rash and harsh" remarks. He explained that he had been a victim of abuse in the past for his beliefs.

I hope that our exchange can be of help to other Wiccans who may have been upset by my article.

My inclusion of this exchange should in no way be construed as meaning that I agree with the principles of Wicca.

Bill McLean