Where do you draw the line between magic and an inate ability provided by God?

I was recently asked, “Where do you draw the line between witchcraft and powers given to us at birth by God?”

After a bit of prayer and reading, this was my answer:
1) It is not an innate ability from God if you have to do drugs/alcohol or spell work of any kind (regardless of type of work, ie. candle/crystal/fire/sex/stone/etc) to access/exercise it,

2) It is not innate from God, if you need some one like an angel/demon/spirit/ghost/person that is not you or some thing to access/exercise it,

3) If it is evil as defined by God then it is not an innate ability from God,

4) If it is an ability that God said to not do (like tell the future, which is different than speaking for God, which is being a prophet, plus God can speak thru a person and have him tell the future, which is also being a prophet), then it is not an innate ability from God,

5) It is possible to have an ability provided by a demon and not know it comes from a demon (an example from scripture is the ability to tell the future – see Acts 16),

6) Scripture gives example after example of priests for demons/false gods being able to deceptively mimic a power God gives (see story of Joseph in Genesis 37-48, story of Daniel in book of Daniel, and story of Moses in book of Exodus), but the power from God is always better quality and/or stronger and/or more powerful and/or more accurate. But it seems all the powers given by God to man occur after the man follows God and man doesn’t get to choose. In fact, when one magician wanted the power Peter had, Peter rebuked him – see Acts 8-9.


The response was:
“Okay what if it’s not specifically mentioned in the bible and uses no ritual to activate or outside source such as healing. Or is that mentioned.”

My response:

Abraham prayed and God healed. Moses prayed and God healed. According to scripture, it is God who forgives and heals or prevents healing, or people are healed by casting demons out of them. Jesus (God) gave power to cast out demons, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, heal. God decides who is healed by whom and when and how.

It seems every biblical example I can find shows God healing after prayer or because of someone’s faith (an evidence of faith) or thru God giving someone the power to heal. Healing is a gift of the Spirit of God. But demons can deceive and emulate many things of God. Certainly since demons can cause sickness (as evidenced by casting out demons causing people to be healed), they can be made by higher demons to stop causing sickness which could appear as healing.

We know that God made people sick and warned them and they repented and God healed.

We also know God has worked with people who are not His. We know God treats children differently than adults.

Here are verses which deal with the particular subject of healing:

Deuteronomy 32:39

‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand

Psalm 103:2-4

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Matthew 8:16

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill

Matthew 10:5-8

5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.

1 Corinthians 12:9

to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit

We must always go to the Word of God to be able to know what is of God and not of God. We can believe something is from God and be mistaken. But GOD tells us what HE has done, and what He calls sin and what He calls good. We must not confuse the influence of a demon for the work of God. Sometimes the only way to know which is which is to pray and read scripture.


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