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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

The Gospel in Galatians

Bewitching Spells
Bewitching Spells

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Galatians 3:1).

“Those who present a doctrine contrary to that of the Bible, are led by the great apostate who was cast out of the courts of God. . . .

“Paul said to the Galatians, ‘Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?’ Satan has a masterly mind, and he has his chosen agents by which he works to exalt men, and clothe them with honor above God. But God is clothed with power; He is able to take those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and by the operation of the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead, transform the human character, bringing back to the soul the lost image of God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are changed from being rebels against the law of God into obedient servants and subjects of His kingdom. They are born again, regenerated, sanctified through the truth.”1

“He who holds the truth in unrighteousness, who declares his belief in it, and yet wounds it every day by his inconsistent life, is surrendering himself to the service of Satan and leading souls to ruin. This class holds intercourse with fallen angels and is aided by them in gaining the control of minds. When Satan’s bewitching power controls a person, God is forgotten, and man who is filled with corrupt purposes is extolled. Secret licentiousness is practiced by these deceived souls as a virtue. This is a species of witchcraft. The question of the apostle to the Galatians may well be asked: ‘Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, ‘before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?’ There is always a bewitching power in heresies and in licentiousness. The mind is so deluded that it cannot reason intelligently, and an illusion is continually leading it from purity. The spiritual eyesight becomes blurred, and persons of hitherto untainted morals become confused under the delusive sophistry of those agents of Satan who profess to be messengers of light.”2

The bewitching power of Satan

“It is the purpose of Satan to make the world very attractive. He has a bewitching power which he exercises to allure the affections of even the professed followers of Christ. There are many professedly Christian men who will make any sacrifice in order to gain riches, and the more successful they are in obtaining the object of their desires, the less they care for the precious truth and its advancement in the world. They lose their love for God, and act like men who are insane. . . .

“It is alarming that so many are deluded by Satan. He excites the imagination with brilliant prospects of worldly gain, and men become infatuated, and think that before them is a prospect of perfect happiness. They are lured on by the hope of obtaining honor and riches and position. . . .

“It is often found that the change from godliness to worldliness has been made so imperceptibly by the wily insinuations of the evil one, that the deceived soul is not aware that he has parted company with Christ, and is His servant only in name.”3

Rebellion and witchcraft

“Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23).

“Rebellion originated with Satan, and all rebellion against God is directly due to satanic influence. Those who set themselves against the government of God have entered into an alliance with the archapostate, and he will exercise his power and cunning to captivate the senses and mislead the understanding. He will cause everything to appear in a false light. Like our first parents, those who are under his bewitching spell see only the great benefits to be received by transgression.”4

“I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable. . . .

“Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by it unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles?”5

“Every man, woman, and child that is not under the control of the Spirit of God is under the influence of Satan’s sorcery, and by his words and example he will lead others away from the path of truth.”6

“My brethren, God is grieved with your envying and jealousies, your bitterness and dissension. In all these things you are yielding obedience to Satan and not to Christ. When we see men firm in principle, fearless in duty, zealous in the cause of God, yet humble and lowly, gentle and tender, patient toward all, ready to forgive, manifesting love for souls for whom Christ died, we do not need to inquire: Are they Christians? They give unmistakable evidence that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. When men reveal the opposite traits, when they are proud, vain, frivolous, worldly-minded, avaricious, unkind, censorious, we need not be told with whom they are associating, who is their most intimate friend. They may not believe in witchcraft; but, notwithstanding this, they are holding communion with an evil spirit.”7

“Rebellion against God is as directly due to Satanic influence as is the practice of witchcraft. Like witchcraft, it exerts a bewitching, deceptive power almost impossible to break. . . .

“No stronger evidence can be given of Satan’s delusive power than that many who are thus led by him deceive themselves with the belief that they are in the service of God. The Jewish scribes and elders in the days of Christ professed great zeal for the honor of God, and yet they rejected his Son. . . .

“He who could cause all the glories of earthly empires to pass before Christ in His hour of temptation, exerts a wizard-like power upon the minds of all who do not implicitly trust and obey God.”8

Demonic influences

A demon power is struggling in every soul, striving for the mastery; but Jesus came to break the power of Satan and to set the captives free.”9

“[Christ] can give us help to conquer even this terrible demon of intemperance.”10

“Christ came to a people who were deceived and deluded by the demon of ambition.”11

“If the law of God is obeyed, the demon of strife will be kept out of the family, and no separation of interests will take place, no alienation of affection will be permitted.”12

“Selfishness contracts the heart; benevolence expands it. Selfishness is a demon whose name is legion; in every age it has seemed that this demon would drive Christ and the spirit of self-sacrifice out of the world. Through its influence the church is weak when it ought to be a power.”13

“Judas, angered at an implied rebuke and made desperate by the disappointment of his ambitious dreams, surrendered his soul to the demon of greed and determined upon the betrayal of his Master.”14

The demon of jealousy entered the heart of [King Saul]. He was angry because David was exalted above himself in the song of the women of Israel.”15

“Some who profess to be servants of Christ have so long cherished the demon of unkindness that they seem to love the unhallowed element and to take pleasure in speaking words that displease and irritate. These men must be converted before Christ will acknowledge them as His children.”16

The demon of heresy has mapped out the world, and has resolved to possess it as his kingdom. Those who are in his army are numerous. They are disguised, and are subtle and persevering.”17

“Jesus is rich in grace. Draw, constantly draw from Him, for you may have rich supplies.”18

1 Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 331, 332.
2 Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 142.
3 Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 213-215.
4 Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 635.
5 The SDA Bible Commentary (E. G. White Comments), vol. 1, p. 1114.
6 Messages to Young People, p. 278.
7 Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 224, 225.
8 The Signs of the Times, September 14, 1882.
9 My Life Today, p. 300. [Emphasis added.]
10 Child Guidance, p. 401. [Emphasis added.]
11 Lift Him Up, p. 135. [Emphasis added.]
12 The Adventist Home, p. 106.
13 The Bible Echo, February 12, 1894. [Emphasis added.]
14 Education, p. 92. [Emphasis added.]
15 Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 650. [Emphasis added.]
16 The Sanctified Life, p. 16. [Emphasis added.]
17 The Upward Look, p. 275. [Emphasis added.]
18 Ibid.