Relationships of the Believer
LESSON THIRTEEN – EVIL SPIRITS AND MAGIC
Lesson Goal: Our goal in this lesson is to better understand what Allah’s attitude towards evil spirits and magic is and what a believer’s relationship to them should be.
1. Magic, sorcery and witchcraft.
a. Read Leviticus 20:26,27–26 You are to be holy to me because I, Allah, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. 27 ” `A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ ”
1) Because Allah is holy, what does he desire of his people?
2) What activities are forbidden in this passage?
3) What is to be the punishment for those who disobey this command?
b. Read Deuteronomy 18:9-12–9 When you enter the land Allah your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to Allah, and because of these detestable practices Allah your God will drive out those nations before you.
1) What activities are mentioned in verses 10 & 11?
2) What is Allah’s attitude towards all such works?
Why does Allah hate and forbid any contact with magic, sorcery and witchcraft? The main reason is because Allah wants his people to trust in him and to depend on him only. Allah alone controls all situations and happenings of the past, present and future. If we ignore Allah and look to a fortune teller, astrologist, or palmist to tell us our future, or to magic or witchcraft to change our situation, then we show that our real trust is in those things rather than Allah. And we show that we really don’t believe Allah loves us and is able to lead us and bless us. Rather, we make it clear that we want to have control over our own lives and our own futures.
It is also clear from Scripture that Satan and demonic influences abound in all aspects of magic and witchcraft. And Allah wants us to stay totally separate from all contact with Satan and his forces. Thus, to dabble in magic and such activities is to turn our backs on Allah and to be seeking aid and special knowledge from Satan. Doing such may seem to bring good results initially, but its final end is always very much to our own harm. Those who turn to Satan for special power and knowledge are inevitably led down the same path of evil and desruction that Satan himself is on.
c. Which of the forbidden activities in Deuteronomy are practiced in your area?
d. Have you ever personally done any of the things mentioned? Describe briefly.
e. Are you presently involved in any of those activities? If so, what do you feel you should do about it?
2. Evil Spirits.
a. Read 1 John 4:4-6–4 You, dear children, are from Allah and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from Allah, and whoever knows Allah listens to us; but whoever is not from Allah does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
1) Who dwells inside each believer? (See 1 Corinthians 3:16–Don’t you know that you yourselves are Allah’s temple and that Allah’s Spirit lives in you?)
2) Who have overcome all evil spirits and the forces of Satan?
3) Through what means are they overcomers?
Since the Holy Spirit dwells within us, we should never fear evil spirits and the forces of Satan. Rather than living in fear of them, with Allah’s help we are able to drive them away and defeat them.
b. Read Mark 5:1-17–1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Isa got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Isa from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Isa, Son of the Most High God? Swear to Allah that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Isa had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Isa asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Isa again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Isa, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Isa, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man–and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Isa to leave their region.
1) What was the initial condition of the demon possessed man?
2) Whose command did the evil spirits obey?
3) What was the final condition of the man? (See vs. 15)
c. Read Matthew 10:1– He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
What power over evil spirits did Isa give to his disciples?
d. Read Luke 10:17-20–17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
1) Why were the disciples rejoicing?
2) According to verse 20, what does Isa say should be the disciples cause for greatest rejoicing?
e. What attitudes and ideas do the people of your area have about evil spirits and ghosts? For example, where do they live, what do they do, how can we escape their attacks, etc.?
f. As a disciple of Isa, do you feel that such practices as wearing an amulet or painting a black mark on a baby’s forehead to avoid the evil eye is proper and right? Why or why not?
g. Before becoming a believer what was your attitude to ghosts and evil spirits? How has that changed since coming to faith?
TO MEMORIZE – 1 JOHN 4:4
4 You, dear children, are from Allah and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.