Halloween and witches go hand-in-hand. Parents dress their kids up as witches, adults dress up as witches and witch hats, brooms and black cats decorate storefronts and house porches. Nowadays people treat the idea of witches as just silly costumes and customs to ‘celebrate’ Halloween. Halloween and witches are not something to be celebrated.
It wasn’t all that long ago when accusations of being a witch were a deadly matter, but those witch accusers are not all that innocent themselves. What we have here is a case of the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ that has resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Witches, sorcerers and those who practice witchcraft are in fact real people, although their ‘witchcraft’ is not based on reality, just a figment of their imaginations. Ironically, pointy hats are involved, just not the ones you’re thinking of.
In the US, the most well known ‘witch hunt’ is the Salem Witch Trials. Between 1692 and 1693, 20 so-called witches were hung or crushed to death out of 200 accused witches. Within 10 years of the the trials ending, they were declared unlawful and the convictions were overturned. However, it wasn’t until August of this year, 2022, that the last victim was officially exonerated. In general, the victims were ‘marginalized’ residents of the town. Essentially this was extreme bullying sanctioned by the town’s legal system, justified by the church, resulting in the hanging of innocent men and women.
In Europe, a fear of witches or sorcerers was not a new thing. Prior to the Inquisitions, there had been Papal trials against accused sorcerers and witches, as well as multiple Papal Bulls written to address sorcery, witchcraft and magic. These trials and Bulls essentially provided justification for the existence of such myths. In the 1480’s two Dominican inquisitor’s Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger looked to expand their authority for investigating, torturing and condemning heretics to include accused witches. In support, Pope Innocent VIII wrote a Papal Bull addressed to the two Dominican Inquisitors titled Summis Desiderantes affectibus in 1484. The Bull gave authority to the two Dominicans to “decree and enjoin that the aforesaid Inquisitors be empowered to proceed to the just correction, imprisonment and punishment of any persons, without let or hindrance…”
The ensuing ‘Witch Craze’ was a Papal mandated witch hunt. The two Dominicans proceeded to write a lengthy and detailed book called the Malleus Maleficarum, or the ‘Hammer of Witches’, published in 1487. The Malleus is a guidebook for identifying, interrogating and condemning witches. The full text of the Papal Bull was included in the introduction. In his Bull, Innocent VIII writes:
“…many persons of both sexes, unmindful of their own salvation and straying from the Catholic Faith, have abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offenses, have slain infants yet in the mother’s womb, as also the offspring of cattle, have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, heard-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, meadows, pastureland, corn, wheat, and all other cereals; these wretches furthermore afflict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, heard-beasts, as diseases, both internal and external; they hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands; over and above this, they blasphemously renounce that Faith which is theirs by the Sacrament of baptism, and at the instigation of the Enemy of Mankind they do not shrink from committing and perpetrating the foulest abominations and filthiest excesses to the deadly peril of the own souls, whereby they outrage the Divine Majesty and are a cause of scandal and danger to very many…”Papal Bull Summis Desiderantes affectibus, Innocent VIII, 1484
There are varying histories on the immediate acceptance of the Malleus. Some say it was put on the forbidden books index by the Catholic Church several years after publication. It’s use and distribution shows otherwise. Between 1486 and 1600 twenty-eight editions of the book were published and distributed to both Catholics and Protestants. The Witch-Craze spread far and wide.
From the European ‘Witch Craze’ comes the proliferation of the ideas that witches fly around at night on broomsticks, have sex orgies with the devil and are associated with black cats. The cats were originally beasts of various black-furred animal forms that were said to be the ‘demonic servants’ 1The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual by Jonathan Kirsch, page 149 of witches. Did any of this really happen? No. The ‘witch hunt’ manuals like the Malleus Maleficarum became self-fulfilling prophecy because, through leading questions, the crimes of the witches were detailed out for them. They could agree under torture that they committed such and such crime or suffer immense torture and often death. A confession of being a witch also led to death. Estimated murders of accused witches or sorcerers range from 200,000 to one million.
In both the Salem Witch Trials and the Inquisitions, the Bible was used as justification for these murders. There are witches addressed in the Bible, so what is a witch according to God?
Witches in the Bible
The first mention in the King James Bible of a witch is in Exodus 22.
“You shall not suffer a witch to live.”Exodus 22:18
This verse was specifically referenced in the statute of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Court that went after so-called witches in Salem as well as the Malleus Maleficarum. These women accused of being witches were often the local healers and herbalists, midwives or simply a single women that lived alone. Are these the so called ‘witches’ what God had in mind? No.
The word ‘witch’ in Exodus is the Hebrew word כָּשַׁף pronounced kaw-shaf (Strong’s # 3784) and it means to whisper a spell, to enchant or practice magic. This same Hebrew word is also translated sorcerer in other places. But who were these sorcerers and what was this so-called magic or witchcraft at the time of Moses and the exodus from Egypt?
Earlier in Exodus we have the following verse.
“Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.”Exodus 7:11
The word for sorcerers in the verse above is the same exact word later translated as witches. Who were theses sorcerers or witches? We can find out their names by going to the Book of Jasher which recounts this same scenario.
“And when they (Moses and Aaron) had gone Pharaoh sent for Balaam the magician and to Jannes and Jambres his sons, and to all the magicians and conjurors and counselors which belonged to the king…”Jasher 79:27
Keep these names in mind and go back and read Exodus 7:8-13 and Jasher 79:20-52. In summary, Pharaoh asked for a sign or indication from Moses and Aaron that their God was God. So Aaron cast down his rod on the ground and it became a serpent. Pharaoh called for his sorcerers or witches, the magi of Egypt to do the same. Then the rod turned serpent of Aaron swallowed up the rods turned serpents of Pharaoh’s sorcerers. All the serpents became rods again and Aarons rod swallowed up the sorcerer’s rods.
On the surface, one could say this sounds like witchcraft with rods turning into serpents and back again. But consider that the rod represents the Word of God and Aaron represents one who has grasp of it or understands it. Meanwhile, the sorcerers rod is also the Words of God, but with a false interpretation, or in the hands of those who don’t understand it, yet teach it as if they do. So a sorcerer is someone who teaches a mystical fantasy interpretation of God’s Word.
When Aaron’s rod of truth swallows up the sorcerers rods of lies, we have the truth consuming lies. When one comes to understand the truth in God’s Words, they can no longer be fooled by the lies of sorcerers, false prophets or religious teachers with no understanding. This is exactly what this scenario represents as confirmed in 2nd Timothy.
“This know also, that in the last days, tribulation shall come. For men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters (arrogant), proud, blasphemers, disobedient to the Father (God)…false accusers… despisers of those that are righteous… having a form of godliness, but denying (contradicting) the power (authority) of it: from such turn away… Always studying but never able to come to the full knowledge of the Truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the Truth: men of corrupt (defiled) minds, reprobate concerning the Truth.”2 Timothy 3: 1-8
The sorcerers, witches and magi at the time of Moses were religious leaders teaching a doctrine about God that contradicts God. The doctrine includes ‘magic’ and witchcraft which are lies taught as if they could actually happen.
To make this even more specific, the word for sorcerer in the New Testament Greek is magon or magos (Strongs #3097). It is a word given to Babylonian priests, teachers, astrologers, soothsayers and sorcerer. It means a false prophet or a Babylonian priest. Examples of such magical teachings that are accepted as facts are numerous and the basis of most ‘Christian’ beliefs.
Immaculate conception is a pagan Babylonian belief that a human can be impregnated by a god or spirit. It is the basis of the ‘Virgin Mary’ doctrine grafted onto Mary the mother of Jesus. The trinity is a Babylonian pagan belief that a man can be both a physical person, a spirit or ‘ghost’ and a god at the same time. It is the morphing of a polytheistic belief that God is three as opposed to one and a complete contradiction to Isa 46:9 and Malachi 2:10. Again, this is a magical lie created by men. Transubstantiation or the turning of bread and wine into the physical body and blood of a ‘man-god’ is another belief promulgated by sorcerers that has nothing to do with God or His Word. Exorcism or the idea the a demon can enter a human body and make them do bad things is another belief that amazingly still exists today. The lack of exorcists has been raised as a real issue in the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Francis has blamed the sexual abuse crises on the devil more than once. The list goes on and on and on.
The Witches Hat
The word religion is synonymous with superstition, literally. The Greek word translated superstition (Strong’s # 1174 & 1175) also means religion. Many modern religious beliefs originate from Babylonian sorcery and superstitions resulting in accepted and ‘normalized’ witchcraft. From the few examples above such as transubstantiation, immaculate conception and the trinity, you can see the connection. Consider also the use of ‘holy water’ in a physical Baptism and the vain repetition (Matt 6: 5-7) of the Lord’s Prayer. These have become like the penance of reciting the rosary as if repeating a special phrase has mystical powers to absolve you of some sin.
Who teaches that vainly repeating something has ‘magical’ powers? That sprinkling special water will impart a blessing or the lack of sprinkling is a curse? Who teaches that Jesus physically walked on water, brought someone physically back from the dead or could make a physically blind person see? Those who teach such things are the same as Jannes and Jambres, the false prophets in the time of Moses. When you’ve come to realize the so-called ‘Christian’ practices have their root in Babylon, then look no further than the Babylonian hat. It is still worn today by modern sorcerers, referred to as Bishops. You can tell a tree by it’s fruits and in this case a Babylonian Sorcerer by his hat, you could call it the modern day witches hat. This hat is unlike the black witches hat in that bishops proudly put it on in full regalia. The black witches hat is related to the dunce-hat. It was an indication of an accused criminal and just like the scarlet letter was not something voluntarily worn.
The witch hunts of the past primarily targeted women. The inquisitor’s torture obtained obscene confessions prompted by the sick minds of a misogynistic organization of actual sorcerers and witches as identified by God.
Which Witch is Which?
So which witch is which? The women and men killed in the witch hunts were innocent people. They were accused of devil worship and witchcraft with unjust imprisonment, torture and trials. The use of torture to force false confessions is the actions of actual sorcerers. When you look to God’s Word, the truth will set you free from the lies of the real ‘witches’ you should stay far away from.