It may be that a person has a hobby of performing tricks that have nothing to do with real magic or demonism. It may be that one simply employs sleight-of-hand tricks or those involving illusions. So if one were merely showing how adroit a person may be with his hands, with no pretense of any magic, there may be no objection to such entertainment. However, whether a Christian will be involved in things of this nature or not is something that should be thoughtfully considered. One might start out performing simple tricks, but this could lead into practices that, knowingly or unwittingly, mimic the magical arts. One might duplicate by trickery real magical feats that are performed by demons, such as levitation, moving objects mysteriously, ectoplasmic materializations, and so forth. Such could lead into involvement with wicked spirit forces because it is playing at what the demons actually do.
Illustrating the danger of playing at anything that resembles demon activity is the experience of a woman in London. Her experience is described by Nandor Fodor in the book The Haunted Mind. This woman was fascinated by magic and hypnotism, and she had an extensive library on magical arts. The report says:
“I had a young boy staying with me who was a good hypnotic subject. I drew a magic circle, put him inside and sent him into hypnotic sleep. Then I commanded him to bring up the Devil! The boy writhed and cried. He was afraid. . . . Nothing happened in the first five hypnotic sessions. But the sixth time something did, and it frightened me out of my senses. In the magic circle a light appeared. Out of a luminous haze two eyes—as big as eggs—looked at me with an awful, penetrating look, a horrible expression. I asked hoarsely what it was. The boy answered—in a totally different voice—’the Evil that you conjured up speaks to you’. . . . I was so scared that I shrieked, ‘Go back, never come again! I will not permit you, I don’t want you!’ The light disappeared with a rushing sound, and things returned to normal. But I was white as chalk and for days afterward I felt that all the strength had gone out of me. The boy felt the same. Four or five times he felt that a power had tried to gain control of him.”
Toying with magical practices, even though one may be faking them, is highly dangerous, and is inviting the demons to put in an actual appearance, as they did in the case of a man who put on fake seances, only to discover that sometimes he actually performed mediumistic phenomena.—Clock Without Hands.
Sometimes those who perform tricks try to cause others to believe that they are doing something supernatural, magical. Thus they may, in fact, lay themselves open to real difficulty with the demons. Certainly no Christian would want to make any claim to having supernatural powers or leave any impression that he is a practitioner of Babylonian magic, which is condemned by God. (Deut. 18:10, 14) A Christian should also keep in mind that persons who know him and that he is a minister of God might look unfavorably on magiclike tricks; some persons might be stumbled. So the Christian may well find the pursuit of a hobby in so-called “magical” tricks is not advantageous.—Phil. 1:10; 1 Cor. 6:12.
Jehovah God has provided everlasting good news that is today being proclaimed to all peoples, and it is the privilege of his servants on the earth to share in this proclamation. During October, Jehovah’s witnesses will continue to do this by giving brief Bible sermons to the people in their homes, by conducting free home Bible studies with those who manifest interest, and by offering the Awake! magazine on a subscription basis; $1 for a year.
MAKE THE BIBLE A NEW BOOK FOR YOU
Libraries contain the recorded wisdom of contemporary writers mostly, although unusually wise men of past generations are represented also. But do you realize that many homes contain a complete library of sixty-six books, none of which are much less than two thousand years old? Yet this collection of rare old books is generally recognized as the greatest source of wisdom to be found. It is the Holy Bible. Do you consult this “library” often? How well acquainted are you with its excellent advantages? Read “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial.” It is not a book of interpretation. But its intensive examination of each of the Bible’s sixty-six books will make the Bible a new book for you. Send only $1.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
November 8: “Peace Among Men of Good Will” or Armageddon—Which? ¶1-29. Page 621.
November 15: “Peace Among Men of Good Will” or Armageddon—Which? ¶30-57. Page 627.