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Stephen Yulish was always interested in UFOs and was a member of NICAP and APRO in the 1960s after reading Project Bluebook. He studied astronomy and exobiology at Case Western Reserve University and graduated in 1969. He eventually became a History Professor at The University of Arizona for seven years where he visited Allen Hyneck's Tucson group. He became interested in Bible Prophecy after he had a headon collision with Jesus Christ in 1988. He is presently disabled with MS and writes about endtime scenarios. Email Stephen Yulish. Visit Stephen Yulish's website.

Encounters between Christians and Magicians: Choose Life not Death
by Stephen Yulish PhD

Posted: 12:00 July 17, 2008

Nearly 2000 years ago the physician Apostle Luke wrote of the missionary travels of Saul and Barnabas. In one interesting passage he wrote: "And when they had gone through the whole island as far as Papha, they found a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus who was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus a man of intelligence. The man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to learn the word of God. But Elymas, the magician (for thus his name is translated) was opposing them and seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes, his gaze upon him and said, 'you who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil. You enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? And now behold the hand of the Lord is upon you and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.' And immediately, a mist and a darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened being amazed at the teaching of the Lord," (Acts 13:6-12).

This is one of many examples of encounters between Simon Magus type magicians (e.g. Acts 8) and early Christian apostles. This is of course not surprising given the tremendous stakes is this battle between good and evil. What is surprising and disheartening is that many bible commentators like F.W. Bruce describe these purveyors of evil as mere charlatans and fakes. This is unfortunate according to Dr. Ed Murphy author of The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare because as he rightly states, these magicians were and are real and are the enemy of Christianity. They are skilled in the arts of divination, sorcery, witchcraft and spiritism and lead people way from the faith towards deception and error. It is not that these things cannot be done but that God commanded us not to do them. God was very clear:

"Anyone who practices divination, witchcraft, interprets omens, or is a sorcerer, casts a spell, is a medium, a spiritist or calls up the dead, is detestable to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

While this is from the Torah in the Old Testament, the language is even harsher in the New Testament.

"These people will not inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9) and will "end up in the Lake of Fire for all eternity" (Revelation 21:8).

Therefore we are warned to:

"Stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers of darkness in heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:11-12).

"Our gospel is veiled to those who are perishing by the god of this world who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

There are many false prophets out there so we need to test the spirits to see if they are really from God (1John 4:1).

In the case described above between Paul and Elymas, the Proconsul believed but Elymas apparently did not but there were times when the magicians themselves believed as Simon did in Acts 8:13 when he heard the preaching of Philip and was baptized.

I also described one such encounter between good and evil, between spirit filled Christians and a kabbalistic magician in my first novel The Great Harpazo Deception (pages 292-293). Here, the vicious, demonic, magician is not only foiled by a spirit filled Christian but also finds the truth after a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

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