During the 1960s and ’70s, a show aired titled Bewitched. The show was about a married couple. Darrin is a mortal human; his wife, Samantha, is a witch with powers. She does not divulge to him about her witchcraft until their honeymoon night. At this point, she has already enticed him. Today witchcraft has become a booming business. But what about the Body of Messiah? Are we too involved in witchcraft? And I am not talking about disobedience but Tom Foolery.
Bewitching is defined as capturing someone or casting a spell on them—enticing a person or people. We say people are under a spell when they have been hypnotized. We can become mesmerized by social media, politics, or people who sit in seats of authority. Some are bewitched by Biden or Trump–Fox News or CNN. Some have become bewitched by the things of this world, but witchcraft is not just something that happens in secret around a cauldron with women dressed in pointy hats with black cats—no, this is going on today. Bewitching is right in the open.
Yeshua said, “At that time (tribulation/ Jacob’s trouble), if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it.” (Matthew 24:23, 26). Yeshua continues: if they say, He (Messiah) is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.”
Going deeper: Look, here is the Messiah–let me describe the Messiah to you!
if I describe the Messiah as throwing out His Father’s commandments and changing the Sabbath, and say, “Look, here He is, do not believe it for Yeshua kept all His Father’s Commandments. If I say He is in the wilderness, and the scriptures tell us He came out of the wilderness with great POWER after He used the Word of the (Torah/ Old Testament) to defeat the enemy–then do not believe me. If I say He is in the inner rooms–a secret chamber, no, no, do not believe me, for He is coming as a Lion. “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:27). He will not be hidden, but roaring.
Yeshua said, “Do not believe them”– why would one believe this if they did not admire or trust the source they were getting it from? One would have to be BEDAZZLED!
Paul said, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” These Believers had fallen under the influence of man-made traditions, yet they saw miracles.
“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law (Oral law), or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians, 3:5).
Rabbi Sha’ul continues: “This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law (oral/traditions), or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:2-3).
Traditions aren’t wrong. They can be good.
“Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.” (1 Corinthians 11:2 NASB). Yeshua endorsed both the written and oral Torah – and he upheld both in His actions. However, some of the leaders did things for show and wanted to impress men. It is a matter of inner intentions versus outer actions. Some of the leaderships added heavy burdens onto the Father’s commandments.
When we remove Yeshua, Messiah, we are bewitched. Yes, there are multiple ways to be deceived or drawn into strange apocalyptic tales, but what about the things we would never suspect. After all, a person who realizes they are being bewitched usually leave the cult or remove themselves from the power of the bewitcher. Yeshua says that these men could even deceive the elect. We say, “Oh, that could never happen to me.” But we would be wise to meditate on this.
We were never meant to remove the Instructions (Torah) of Elohim from our lives. The Torah is holy. Paul desires the Galatians to follow Torah through the Spirit. He longs for them to get rid of pagan traditions and traditions some Jews were bewitching them with—they were trying to work for salvation. In Messiah’s time, the Jewish people followed the Torah according to the Rabbinical interpretation (Oral Torah, the tradition of the elders, works of the law). The expressions “works of torah” and “under torah” are not found in the Tanakh (Old Testament). The Torah is instructions for a blessed life–It is holy and good.
Today, I see people working for knowledge. And we all need knowledge, but more knowledge can create less humility and love. Sometimes we can get our eyes off of the Holy One and become caught up in falseness, fear, or some strange enticement with leaders or people.
What is a troll? A person who intentionally antagonizes others through mocking, sarcasm, and causes disruptions and arguments. “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11).
We need to be immersed in the Spirit. Picture a head that weighs so much its body topples over. A person with a head so large they cannot see their feet or how they are walking. Knowledge puffs up.
The man Sha’ul (Paul) was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was from the tribe of Benjamin. He said, “I have applied in a figure to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you might learn not to think beyond what is written, so that none of you be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
For who makes you to differ? And what do you have that you did not receive?” (I Cor. 4:6-7).
What is Paul talking about here? Ego inflation. It is causing division. It is everywhere today. Do not think beyond what is written. We may be learning but are we producing the good fruit of the Spirit? Are we taking care of the weightier matters such as orphans, widows, poor, sick and those of our household? Or are we getting a weightier head?
Ezekiel 13 talks about witchcraft and deception. Who was Ezekiel’s audience? Wiccans? World leaders? No, Abba’s own people. One perplexing verse in Ezekiel 13 describes women in leadership who make souls fly like birds. Before we get to that verse, I want you to meditate on being airborne. Being air/ born of the Spirit. Oh, Nicodemus, can’t you see, we must be reborn? We must worship in Spirit and Truth.
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). Are we taking time to be in His presence or just learning, and learning, yet never coming to the knowledge of the truth?
Many have thrown out the gifts of the Spirit, the prophets, the five-fold, and have become caught up with teachers who profess to have knowledge no one else has, and perhaps they do. Paul did but his words are so full of humility. Humble Sha’ul said, “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Yeshua, Messiah and Him crucified. (I Cor. 2:1-2).
“My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s POWER.” (I Cor. 2:4).
Oh, the power of the Ruach–the Spirit’s power!!
Corinth had professional orators, Greek philosophers, and the majority of the people were wealthy. He was bringing a simple gospel that I feel has been lost. Do we have love and simple words for those who may not see what we do? Are we busy trying to correct those who may be way wiser than we are? Have we grown so busy in our learning that we scarcely pull up a chair and spend time with our Savior?
O, who has bewitched us?
When a person goes to the airport (air– port–Ruach (Holy Spirit) portal), their “baggage” is checked in. All items are looked at— hidden objects that may be dangerous are removed. Think about what some of these hidden things in our luggage could be. Are we carrying a religious spirit, arrogance, falseness, slander, lust, low self-worth, pride or fears, etc.? At the airport, our shoes are taken off and inspected. Hands and feet may be checked for gun powder. A person must have a passport to fly to other territories and higher heavens. One must have their identity in check. A picture I.D. or photo reflects our outward appearance, but what about our insides or heart condition? What’s in your wallet? Are we more worried about how we appear to men?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-33-53).
Dr. Moen, in his blog, titled Pay Day, explains how we can be hypocrites who practice our righteousness before men to be noticed by them:
“If we are motivated by self-interest, does that self-interest align with the Father’s will or are we seeking recognition from another source? This is not a simple matter to determine. The yetzer ha’ra is quite clever, capable of tinting even our purest motives with a hint of self-satisfaction. That’s where the instruction and guidance of our Rabbi Yeshua become essential. He pushes us to take the deepest look. And he does so by revealing a truly frightening possibility—that God will not acknowledge what we would use for self-glory. Think about the last act of righteousness you preformed. Think about your motivation. Was there any desire for recognition except from God? If you find something amiss, maybe that act will be a zero on the record and you will have to start over.” (Dr. Skip Moen—Pay Day)
Yeshua said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”
This is an extraordinarily strong word. These religious leaders appeared to be righteous. Yeshua continues:
“Because of this, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and others you will flog in your synagogues and persecute in town after town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”
You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, just as your fathers did. Which of the prophets did your fathers fail to persecute? They even killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One. And now you are His betrayers and murderers— you who received the law ordained by angels, yet have not kept it.”
They had not kept the Torah in Spirit and Truth.
Have we been resisting the Holy Spirit? They had. Have we stoned His prophets and wise men? Have we thrown out the five-fold structure, becoming unbalanced–with big heads. Have we gone so far with our knowledge that we don’t even realize we have become numb. Lacking oil? Teachers, prophets, and wise men with big heads and no love, empathy, compassion, or power of the Spirit– just looking spiffy to everyone outside while inside we are dead?
Yeshua said these Torah scholars had uncircumcised ears and hearts? Say it isn’t so? Is it so today? The Spirit longs to be intimate with us. The prophetic is not just witch hunters snatching people and holding them captive like those in Ezekiel. There was not just Moses and Yeshua on the mount of transfiguration; Elijah was there too. Elijah must come and tear down the false altars. He must come and say, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” If Adonai be God, serve Him, if Baal be God, serve him, but Baal is alive and well today and so is witchcraft.
We repeat our mistakes.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Messiah Yeshua (Philippians 2:3-5).
Oh, Abba, have we become like dead men with dry dead bones. Can we come together and live? A whole army? Unified? Can You do CPR on us? Oh, Abba, may we become like little children. May we be servants who wash feet. May we be about our Father’s business not looking for accolades or to be seen by men. May we not prophesy smooth itching ear words or fear. May our words be Yours and draw people to YOU and Your Spirit.
All our ways seem right to us, but You, Oh, Father weigh the hearts of all. May we wake up out of our slumber. May we find balance, walking in Spirit and Truth with great humility.
Part Two HERE
Photos by Unsplash: Lion by Robert Thieman
Johan Van Wambeke
Dove–Joshua J. Cotten