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Letter to the Brethren: April 27, 2023

Letter to the Brethren: April 27, 2023

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:

Greetings from the Five Cities region of California.

Can Christians Be Cursed by Witch Doctors or Others Involved in the Occult?

Many in Africa, Haiti, and various other parts of the world believe that witch doctors are powerful and can successfully cast evil spells on anyone. Various ones have succumbed to such superstition.

The Bible opposes the use of witchcraft and casting spells as the following shows:

10 … one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God … (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

Someone recently asked me if true Christians can be blinded by demonic curses from “powerful witchdoctors.” My response was no.

Here are several scriptures in support of that:

6. But He gives greater grace. This is the reason it says, “God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”

7. Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:5-8, AFV)

3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; (Genesis 12:3)

4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. (Psalms 56:4)

“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” (Daniel 10:12)

25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. (Matthew 10:25-26)

32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

7 … You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults. 8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; (Isaiah 51:7-8)

10 … “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” (Judges 6:10)

God’s people do not need to have any fear of false gods–or, let me add, witch doctors who promote or try to conjure up curses from demonic false gods–anyone who teaches otherwise “loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15).

Witch doctors do not obey God, hence do not have the Holy Spirit–but real Christians do (cf. Acts 5:32b; Romans 8:9).

God is more powerful than Satan and his minions:

4 … He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.  (1 John 4:4-6)

6 The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Satan knows this and once even complained to God regarding Job, You made a hedge around him” (Job 1:10). But Satan is a liar and the father of lies according to Jesus (John 8:44), so he does not want Christians to believe that God protects us.

Christians have faith to believe, as the Apostle Paul wrote and Jesus taught:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “… 20 … lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18,20)

5 … For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Witch doctors cannot stop Jesus or the work of God (cf. Matthew 16:18).

Consider also that Jesus said in Mark 11:22, “Have faith in God.”

Yet, instead of believing the words in the Bible, some have been influenced by doctrines of demons. This was prophesied for the last days as the Apostle Paul pointed out in his first letter to Timothy:

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)

It is a doctrine of demons that Satan’s henchman, like witch doctors, can cast a powerful spell over a faithful Christian. Any who suggest otherwise are among those the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy also prophesied about:

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, (2 Timothy 3:13-14)

Do not be deceived that witch doctors, witches, palm readers, etc. can get curses placed on real Christians. Those who suggest otherwise are blaspheming the word of God and need to repent.

Notice also:

2 Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2)

The above is teaching that someone cannot pronounce some curse on someone to do something like deceive them.

Now, notice the following related to a demonically-influenced pagan seer named Balaam, who said:

8 How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? (Numbers 23:8)

So, no, faithful Christians cannot be under some type of curse from demons and people associated with them.

The old Worldwide Church of God put out the following:

 To evaluate the subject of witchcraft and magic properly, we should read the primary dictionary definitions of the following words carefully. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines them with meanings reasonably close to their biblical usage.

Witch — “a. wizard, sorcerer b. a woman practicing the black arts: sorceress c. one supposed to possess supernatural powers esp. by compact with the devil or familiar [spirits].”

Witchcraft — “a. an act or instance of employing sorcery esp. with malevolent intent: a magical rite or technique b. the exercise of supernatural powers: alleged intercourse with the devil or familiar [spirits].”

Magic — “a. the use of means (as ceremonies, charms, spells) that are believed to have supernatural power to cause a supernatural being to produce or prevent a particular result (as rain, death, healing) considered not obtainable by natural means and that also includes the arts of divination, incantation, sympathetic magic, and thaumaturgy: control of natural forces by the typically direct action of rites, objects, materials, or words considered supernaturally potent.”

Sorcery — “the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits esp. for divining: divination of black magic: necromancy, witchcraft.”

One can easily perceive by reading these definitions that these terms are all closely related. … the Bible frankly and firmly condemns these things en toto. …

Does all this information, probably new to many readers, mean that we are to be suddenly in terror of evil spirits? By no means!

It is the person who fears demons who could become susceptible to them. But perfect love, wrote the Apostle John, casts out fear (I John 4:18). The true Christian spirit, the spirit of love and a wholesome and balanced life (expressed by faith, prayer, service and other Christlike attributes) is the best protection against demon influence and possession. (The Occult Explosion. Ambassador College Press, 1973)

When King Balak of Moab sent emissaries to hire Balaam to put a curse on the people of Israel, Balaam asked the emissaries to remain overnight, so he could go aside and pray, and ask God if he might go with them. If he was the chief PAGAN prophet, actually sitting in SATAN’S SEAT, as head of Satan’s religion on earth, WHY would he pray to God about it?

I feel quite sure that most people who have read this account have supposed Balaam to be a prophet of God — not of Satan. Did he not do RIGHT in consulting God? Surely Satan would not do that!

Take just a quick look at the incident.

The children of Israel, under Moses, had pitched camp in the plains of Moab, on the east side of the Jordan river, near Jericho. The King of Moab, Balak, saw what these Israelites — there were at least two or three million of them — had done to the Amorites. He was struck with fear. The Moabites were far outnumbered.

So King Balak sent messengers to Balaam, who lived at Pethor in Mesopotamia — far distant, near the Euphrates River. They took with them the fees for divination, to hire Balaam to curse the Israelites. “They are too mighty for me,” was Balak’s message to Balaam, “for I wot (know) that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.”

When the elders of Moab and Midian, Balak’s messengers, delivered the message to Balaam, notice what he said:

“Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak to me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam” (Numbers 22:8).
God said to Balaam, “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.”

“And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you” (verses 12-13).

Again King Balak sent messengers to Balaam — this time more noble princes of higher rank, and more money. Again Balaam asked them to remain overnight, “that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more” (verse 19). This time God allowed him to go with them, but forbad him to curse Israel.

Yet the angel of God stopped Balaam’s donkey on the way. WHY?

Now doesn’t all this sound as if Balaam were GOD’S prophet, not Satan’s?

Yet, see what we read in the New Testament!

Peter speaks of false prophets “following the way of Balaam.”

Jude writes: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.

Jesus Christ says to the Church of the Pergamos era: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel…” (Revelation 2:14).

So Jesus Christ, Peter, and Jude all tell us Balaam was a FALSE prophet. When we research into his actual identity, we find that Pethor, where he resided, was the headquarters of the highest priest of the pagan Babylonian Mystery religion. …

Later, Balaam said that God had blessed Israel, “and I CANNOT reverse it” (Numbers 23:20). Of Israel, Balaam said, “The LORD HIS GOD is with him,… there is NO ENCHANTMENT against Jacob, neither is there ANY DIVINATION against Israel” (verses 21, 23). Notice, God is the God of Israel — HIS God — not Balaam’s God. Balaam practiced divination and enchantment — and God did not allow it AGAINST ISRAEL.

That is Satan’s way! (Armstrong HW. Personal. Tomorrows World, November 1969)

Scripture shows that God does not allow His people to be truly cursed by those associated with Satan.

That does NOT mean that true Christians cannot sin or be tempted by Satan, but the idea real Christians can be blinded by a demonic curse is false.

That said, those in the world, however, could be as the Apostle Paul wrote:

3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

Those who are not being true Christians can be blinded by Satan, real Christians cannot be.

The Apostle Paul warned:

30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. (Acts 20:30)

It is a perverse thing to suggest that true Christians can be blinded to truth by spells cast by witch doctors.

Brethren, do not let those who speak perverse things deceive you. Do not let emotional appeals separate you from believing the word of God over men.

Our recommended sermonette for the week, Can Witch Doctors Cast Spells on Christians?, is related to this topic.

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and other interested people:

Note: If you have a slow internet connection, you can watch these by starting the video, then below it (and towards the right) look for an outline of a gear–if you click on that, it will allow the YouTube video to be played with lower video quality, but at least it will not stop often–you can select a quality as low as 144p. If your internet connection is still too slow (as my home one is) and/or you prefer audio messages to audio-visuals ones, go to the YouTube link for the message, click on SHOW MORE related to the description. You will then see something that says, “Download MP3.” Below that is a link to an MP3 file. Most computers (and even some cellular telephones) will allow MP3 files to be downloaded and played. This is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to improve that as well)–and, of course, we have written article options. Some people have found that if their internet connections are not fast enough, that they can simply listen to the messages that are found at the Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.

IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel. There are also messages in the Spanish language at the CDLIDDSermones channel.

World News Items

Yesterday was celebrated as the 75th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Many, particularly among Protestants, tend to misunderstand prophecies that they tie in with that formation (see Israel Independence Day and Prophecy?).

With the official announcement by Donald Trump last November and the announcement by Joe Biden this past Tuesday to run for re-election, we may well see them face one another again in 2024 (see Joe Biden and Kamala Harris announce re-election campaign–could the USA end before 2028?). Remember that the lessor of two evils is still evil and do not put your trust in men (Psalm 146:3)–it is better to trust God instead (Psalm 36:7).

The BRICS alliance may expand. Many in it want to bypass the US dollar (see ‘Brazil’s Lula supports trading currency for BRICS countries’ & ‘Nineteen countries expressed an interest in joining the BRICS’). Once the US dollar becomes irrelevant for international trade and reserves, the economy of the US will be worse than most imagine and truly on its way out.

Concluding Comments

The Apostle Paul wrote:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Brethren, strive to think on those things that are true and just and practice love.


Bob Thiel
Pastor and Overseer