Acts 19:11-20 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
Have you ever thought about what the Ephesian believers would think of Christians today reading books like Harry Potter and Twilight? Or what would they say to modern Christians who celebrate Halloween?
These Ephesians believers were delivered from evil spirits, v. 12. They knew the power of the Satanic forces, v. 14-15. They knew that deliverance came only from the Lord Jesus, v. 17. They confessed their deeds of witchcraft and occult powers and forsook their “curious arts”, v. 18-19. They burned their occult books, which were very valuable, v. 19. They turned to the word of God instead, v. 20.
There is so much in scriptures about the “curious arts” (witchcraft, wizards and many satanic devices), that it’s hard sometimes to imagine why so many believers today justify entertaining themselves and their families with something that God clearly defines as evil (2 Chronicles 33:6). And, just to be clear on what “evil” is, it is “Profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, esp. when regarded as a supernatural force.” God also calls such things an abomination, Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Oh, there are lots of excuses. Regarding Halloween it might be: “It’s just innocent fun.” “It doesn’t mean that to us.” How people today can claim this when the evil side of Halloween has been so promoted over the last years is a bit of a mystery. All the “Houses of Horror”, the monsters, the witches, the gruesome movies and entertainment, the zombies, the werewolves and vampires and other unmentionables and you still can’t figure out what it’s about? Really and truly? Besides that, what makes Christians think that they can answer something that is blatantly devilish with a simple “it doesn’t mean that to me”? Do you really think that Satan cares that “it doesn’t mean that” to you? Do you think that he is going to drop all his intentions and meanings just because you refuse to see it? 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith…
Another line of excuse is, “but good wins out over evil in the end.” This has been given to justify Harry Potter. The problem is that it is Satan’s “good” that wins out over Satan’s evil. It is not God’s good that prevails! Think about that and be honest with yourself. 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
As for Twilight, the excuse may also be added that as long as it’s “just for entertainment” purposes it’s “O.K.” to read about vampires, werewolves, etc.; and besides, there are “good” vampires in the story. But, again it isn’t God’s kind of good!
If you think that vampires can be transformed into “good guys” (angels of light? 2 Corinthians 11:14) do some research on Vlad the Impaler of Transylvania, the inspiration for Dracula and modern vampires, and then tell the Lord that vampires are wholesome entertainment. [BEWARE: Some sources of information involve extremely gruesome material. I strongly recommend that you do not read this material while children are present and that you do not read it merely out of idle curiosity.] Ephesians 5:8-12 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
And, lest ye think that God holds the viewers, readers and party goers to a different standard than He does the actual doers of such deeds, you need to read the end of Romans chapter one and especially this last verse: Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
More on the “good wins” idea, though – the scripture clearly tells us that “there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:18) So, if it isn’t God’s good that wins over evil, it is not “good” at all. It is evil entirely. Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Added to this is the fact that we are told what we should be thinking on, and it isn’t witchcraft, vampires, zombies, satanic devices, etc. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Frankly, that excludes Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and even allegedly Christian books of this genre. The implication is that it’s not even good to read books that dramatize spiritual warfare in a spooky, horrifying way for entertainment.
Imagine those Ephesian believers of old visiting a modern “Christian” home and finding children’s books about witchcraft and vampires, horror movies, Halloween decorations and parties, Ouija boards, witchcraft based computer games, etc. How appalled and shocked they would be! I can’t help wondering if they would even believe these modern Christians could really be saved. Not that I’m questioning anyone’s salvation here. But, strictly viewing it from the perspective of those ancient believers who were saved out of all that and burned those books, I can’t help but wonder.
More than that, how must it grieve the heart of God and the Lord Jesus Christ to have believers bringing “curious arts” into their homes, lives and minds as entertainment. God’s business and desire is to deliver people from this evil and torment as we see in Acts 19. The Lord Jesus stated God’s plan to Paul, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18 It cannot possibly please Him in any way to have His children call evil “good” and to justify the wicked!
Isaiah 5:20-21 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
To see what a modern day man who was saved out of witchcraft does think about such things, please read the following links.
Halloween and the Forces of Darkness (By the way, in case you don’t read his testimony in the first link, David Meyer came from five generations of witches. There is a lot of modern drivel and “explanations” as to what things “really mean” that are quite simply lies. Beware of justifying yourself based on these inventions intended to deny and deceive. I think that a man with five generations of witchcraft in his family probably knows whereof he speaketh.)
This author also addressed the subject of Harry Potter: Harry Potter?What Does God Have To Say?
For further reading: [Disclaimer on Bible versions other than the KJV and possibly some other content.]
Further information on Twilight.
Also a few thoughts on The Hunger Games.
And, just to make a complete address of the subject, let’s not forget the two most powerful witchcraft writers to indoctrinate and soften the minds of Christians in the past decades. I feel that it was largely through these men’s work that the church has come to the point where Harry Potter and Twilight are now considered “good reading” for children.
A Former Witch Looks At The Lord Of The Rings (Re: J.R.R. Tolkien)
C.S. Lewis – The Devil’s Wisest Fool (this article is written by me)
Some parents may hesitate about taking a stand on these subjects because they are afraid that either their kids will rebel or, perhaps even worse, ask embarrassing questions of their friends who still enjoy the “curious arts” for entertainment. From personal experience I can say that kids will understand a whole lot better than some parents think. My own brother and I didn’t have much trouble giving up Halloween after our parents explained the basic reasons to us. We also understood when they explained to us why The Chronicles of Narnia needed to be discarded, though that did take longer and more teaching was involved.
One parting thought: It is interesting what the Lord said to the Ephesian church in Revelation. This was the same church that had loved the Lord so much that they had willingly cast their magic books into the fire and confessed the curious arts that they used.
Revelation 2:1-5 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
What about you? How is your love for the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you willing to forsake the “curious arts”, and being entertained by them, for the Lord who gave His very life for you? Or, are you determined to continue in the way which you should not go in order to satisfy the flesh or to avoid conflict with your kids, family, and friends?
Titus 2:12-14 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.