I preached on witchcraft as we broke our fast going into this revival. When I preach on this subject, I want the church to understand that witchcraft is universal, not just an issue in Zambia. This night I shared one of my drug memories. When I first used LSD I came out of the experience convinced that there was no God. I had a friend from high school that I was keeping correspondence with. I told him in a letter about the experience and the conclusion. As my letter was in transit to him I received a letter from him describing the exact same experience and he had come to the same conclusion: There was no God. Years later I watched as an intellectual friend of mine take LSD for the first time. He was a graduate student in Anthropology and he entered the experience with notebook in hand. He started the night off at my house. He was writing things in his notebook while he was under the influence of the drug. Was I surprised that the first thing he wrote was: “There is no God”? I think some leading Americans are still under this demonic influence and only salvation can break the chains and open their eyes.
Witchcraft or sorcery is translated from the Greek word “pharmakeia”. The combination of drugs with spells and incantations was normal when trafficking in occult power. “…Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” so spoke Samuel to Saul. Witchcraft, drugs and trafficking in the occult manipulate your mind and generally turn you away from God. Looking at modern day American I am led to believe that the drug use may not be as widespread as it once was. Now I notice all of the advertisements for Viagra. It can’t be that all of the sudden half of American men can’t have sex. I think it is rather an indication of the power of witchcraft in American society as more and more men are having their minds manipulated by pornography and finding themselves unable to act naturally in the bedroom.
I am living in a society that is inundated with various forms of witchcraft. Yes, it is different from what I described above, it may be considered more primitive yet it is the same spirit of witchcraft in operation in both societies. We had a sketch put on by some 8 to 10 year olds when we first opened up in Nakambala with the tent. This man bought a potion to give to the wife of his friend so that she would like him. She did. Then she bought a potion to give to her husband that killed him. She then went to be with him and he rejected her because she would probably kill him also. How did these young children get these pictures engrained into their lives so as to give this sketch in church thinking this is the normal way of life? You can buy potions, charms… for whatever ails you, anytime. Feeling bad, it is because someone has bewitched you and there is always a friendly witch finder who for the right price will tell you who has bewitched you so you can take appropriate actions against them. The charms used by a famous rebel to avoid the police are on display in the national museum of Zambia. I might have shared this story before but here goes again. I went to a gravesite for the burial of a relative to one of our church members. People were crying and all of the sudden the tempo and form of the crying changed to screeching. A young man with two children had showed up to the burial. It was his wife who was being buried. The screeching was obviously aimed at him and the people I was with told me that they are accusing him of bewitching their daughter and that is why she died. I preached a short altar call. People responded. This is normal. Most people here will have a small scar at the base of their throat on their chest. When the baby is born the witch doctor cuts into the baby’s flesh and inserts some herbs to keep the evil spirits away. I am talking about a society that is in bondage. We won’t even go into the issues of sexuality and witchcraft. People are living in fear of supernatural powers that can be unleashed upon them at any time. Witch doctors and witch finders to an excellent business 24 hours a day.
So I preach God is alive and greater. “Perfect love casts out fear”, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of a sound mind”, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” I use this scripture frequently but not this night:
Ezek 13:18-21 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? 19 And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?" 20’Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. NKJV
Witchcraft is aimed at the soul. Our job is to preach the truth. “They shall know the truth and the truth shall set them free”. Jesus came to set the captives free. That is why the gospel is needed to be preached.