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Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Pretenders

Charles Spurgeon's False and Blasphemous Doctrines About Magic, Spells, Witchcraft, Magicians, Sorcery, Alchemy, Talismans, Etc.

Charles Spurgeon on Magic, Spells, Witchcraft, etc. Page 2Prolific author and preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) used the subjects of magic. spells, witchcraft, sorcery, etc. to weave syncretism, doubt of God's word, and blasphemy into some of his sermons.

Due to the fact that magic, spells, and witchcraft are of Satan's domain, it is never acceptable to preach that God's power is magic, to claim that Jesus cast spells, to compare a Bible text with a crystal ball, to connect the name of Jesus to a charm and a magician's wand, etc.

God does not grant "artistic license" with the handling of his word, which he has magnified above his name. (Ps. 138:2) He is no respecter of persons and is not impressed with poetic eloquence and outstanding linguistic ability if it is used to subvert hearers from the right way of the Lord. Spurgeon's use of flowery language, simile, metaphor and poetic analogies camouflaged his use of occult terms, syncretism, false doctrines and blasphemybut it does not excuse them. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (See Luke 16:15)


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Spurgeon falsely preached that a witch merely pretends to do witchcraft and that it is superstitious to believe witchcraft can actually accomplish anything evil:

"A great many people make a mistake about what prayer really is. They seem to think that it consists in repeating a form of words, but it does not. The witch of old used to mutter certain phrases and she pretended that she worked great wonders by repeating such and such words backwards! But there was no real power about her words—it was sheer superstition to believe in her incantations." (1) 


He taught that God used alchemy to turn evil into good:

"Furthermore, do not you and I believe that God over rules everything, that even that which naturally might be called evil is turned to good account? The Lord’s goodness extracts the viper’s tooth, and supplies an antidote to the poison. It was evil, but God transmuted it into good by the alchemy of His divine wisdom. Who is he that can harm you? “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn.” 4 unconscious babe, but a real creation, a true life, not fictitious, but actual and operative, and one which is found to reveal itself in righteousness and true holiness." (2)


A Holy alchemy turns your losses into gains (Attributing a magical process of transformation to God):

"Nay, these very privations which you feel so sadly, which so loudly demand our sympathy, may by God's love be transmuted into mercies, by a holy alchemy which really turns iron into gold. He can turn your losses into gains, and your curses into blessing." (3)


Spurgeon compared God's transformation of human hearts with alchemy (Alchemy is demonic and utilizes incantations and rituals):

"You have heard of alchemists who took base metal, so they say, and transmuted it into gold; the Lord will do more than this. “Give Me your heart.” Poor, filthy, defiled, polluted, depraved heart!—give it to Him." (4)


Spurgeon, in reference to alchemy, likened the blood of

Jesus Christ to a universal solvent (Blasphemy!):

"There is a great complaint among sinners, when they are a little awakened, that they feel their hearts so hard. The blood is a mighty melter. Alchemists of old sought after a universal solvent—the blood of Jesus is that. There is no nature so stubborn that a sight of the love of God in Christ Jesus cannot melt it, if grace shall open the blind eye to see Christ." (5)


Grace works by "a wonderful alchemy":

"Again, dear friends, sin abounded to the causing of great sorrow. It brought with it a long train of woes. The children of sin are many and each one causes lamentation. We cannot attempt to fathom the dark abysses of sorrow which have opened in this world since the advent of sin. Is it not a place of tears—yes, a field of blood? Yet by a wonderful alchemy, through the existence of sin, grace has produced a new joy, yes, more than one new joy." (6)


God's alchemy will transmutate your losses into spiritual and eternal gains:

"Wherefore bow your head at yonder crested billow, as though you should be drowned by it? O man, it will only wash your face, it is all that it will do for you, and you shall lift your brow when the spray has cleared it towards heaven, and shall see your God the better because the dirt is washed out of you r eyes. Therefore, look cheerfully for something bright in the midst of the darkness. Out of all this apparent loss, God can bring for you true gain in spiritual things. You may part with things temporal with equanimity, if they are likely to be restored to you transmuted by God's alchemy into things spiritual and eternal." (7)


One day God will use "some strange alchemy" to turn our sorrows into joy:

"Once more, the day will come when all the sorrows of God’s sending will be looked upon as joys. Hear this! By some strange alchemy, known only to “ the King eternal, immortal, invisible,” our sorrows shall be turned into joys." (8)


There is a "real alchemy" and it is a talent to be used for the Lord:

"As the alchemist was said to transmute brass and copper in to gold (though he did no such thing), so there is a real alchemy which can sublime gold and silver into everlasting treasure. These talents are not to be despised, but put out to interest for the Lord." (9)


Exodus 8:7 says, "And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt." Spurgeon contradicted God's word by saying sorcerers only pretended to bring up frogs:

"You know Satan always works by trying to counterfeit the work of the Spirit. He did so in the land of Egypt. Moses stretched out his rod, and turned all the waters into blood; out came Jannes and Jambres, and by their cunning and sleight of hand, they have a large piece of water brought and they turn that into blood. Then Moses fills the land with frogs—the ungracious sorcerers have a space cleared, and they fill that with frogs—thus they opposed the work of God by pretending to do the same work. So will the devil do with you." (10)


Sorcerers only pretend to have dealings with (evil) spirits:

13-15. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to th e tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, Men of a quarrelsome and filthy spirit. 15. And sorcerers, Such as pretend to have dealings with spirits, and who intermeddle with the mysterious things of the unknown world." (11)


Spurgeon falsely defined sorcerers in Revelation 21:17 as "those who have or pretend to have dealings with devils and spirits." Notice that he did not say "pretend to lie" or "pretend to murder":

"Now, take another text, of a positive character, from the Book of Revelation 21:7—“He who overcomes shall inherit all things. And I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the fearful,”—that means the cowardly, those who are ashamed of Christ ; those who dare not suffer for Christ’s sake; those who believe everything, and nothing, and so deny the truth because they cannot endure to be persecuted—“The fearful and unbelieving”—that is those who do not trust the Savior—“And the abominable”— and they are not scarce, some among the poor are abominable, and there are Right Honorables who ought to be called Right Abominables—yes, and greater than that, too, whose vices make them abominable to the nation! And “murderers”—“He who hates his brother is a murderer.” And “whoremongers and sorcerers”—those who have or pretend to have dealings with devils and spirits, your spirit rappers , the whole batch of them—“And idolaters, and all liars,” and these swarm everywhere, they lie in print, and they lie with the voice—“All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Now, these are not words of mine, but the words of God!" (12)


Spurgeon communicated the idea that God's word is absurd. The Bible teaches that sorcery is a reality, not a superstitionmyth or unjustified belief. God wanted us to know that Simon used sorcery and that he betwitched the people of Samaria! See Acts 8:9.)

"You recollect that Paul went to Ephesus, and Ephesus, as a city, was besotted with a belief in sorcery. The people had given themselves up to practice magical arts. What is the right way to begin to preach at Ephesus? Deliver a course of lectures upon the impossibility and absurdity of such superstition? No, sir, nothing of the kind. Preach Christ, preach the Gospel, and as Jesus Christ is lifted up they bring their magical books and make a bonfire of them in the open forum." (13)


The Holy Bible says in Acts 8:9 that Simon used sorcery. Spurgeon falsely preached that he was a "pretender to magic":

"Look again at the church in Samaria. The preaching of Philip had stirred the city, and a pretender to magic who had deluded the people, professed to become himself, a believer. He believed, it is said, and was baptized; but his heart was not right in the sight of God; his faith was not the faith of God’s elect. How solemn were the words of Peter to him, 'You have neither part nor lot in this matter...For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity!'" (14)


The doctrines of grace compared to powers of wizard's magic rod:

"The doctrines of grace put into your hands the keys of heaven, and unveil the secrets of death and hell—are not these things worth grasping? Are not the secrets of these places worth knowing? The doctrines of grace put inside your hands powers infinitely greater than any wizard was conceived to have wielded when he used his magic rod. By their might, you can destroy your troubles; you can see your sins swallowed up; you can behold your enemies defeated; you can see death destroyed, the grave swallowed up, and life and immortality brought to light!" (15)


Spurgeon again casting doubt on the Bible's teaching about familiar spirits:

"It has become a custom, in this evil age, for certain persons to attempt to communicate with familiar spirits. If it can be done, it is strictly forbidden in this Book; yet there are some who try to have dealings with those who are in the land of spirits. Well, if they will trespass on that for bidden ground, it is possible that, one of these days, somebody will appear to them." (16)


The Bible leaves no room for doubt that Manasseh "dealt with familiar spirits and wizards" (2 Kings 21:6)  but Spurgeon had no idea if Satan could be involved with that:

"Moreover, Manasseh proceeded further, for he made a league with devils. There were, in his day, certain persons who professed to talk with departed spirits, supposing that the devil had the means of communicating with them about things to come. Now, whether this fellowship with familiar spirits is a delusion and a lie, as I suspect it is, or whether there may be a mystery of Satan involved in it, I do not know. But certain it was that Manasseh tried to get as near the devil as he could." (17)


Spurgeon renders evil people who consort with devils as  merely pretending to do so:

"Why do the common people appeal to the witch, the pretender? What is their purpose when they inquire of the astrologer and read the books of the pretended soothsayer? Why, it means that man wants to know something about the everlasting council!" (18)


Spurgeon imparted two false teachings and one blasphemous one in this excerpt:

  •  Magicians operated (only) in the "dark days of superstition"

  • magicians only pretend to do magic

  • A Bible text is comparable to a crystal ball:

"In the dark days of superstition, the pretended magician would hold up a crystal globe, and bid his dupe look in it, and when he saw nothing, he would tell him that he had an untaught, unaccustomed eye; but when the soothsayer stared into that ball himself, he pretended that he saw the future. My text is a crystal ball which does not tell you what the future shall be as to facts and minutiae, but it assures you concerning all coming events, what it is far better for you to know, that all things are yours, if you are Christ's—all future things are vested in your name, to be your possession by a covenant of salt to minister to your comfort, and to increase your highest wealth." (19)


Spurgeon preached that the blood of the covenant is a talisman (charm, fetish, amulet, totem): Also note that (even before the "Asuza Street Revival") Spurgeon promoted the "plead the blood" unbiblical doctrine that is commonly taught in the Charismatic movement:

"Praise the blood, too, because when we really trust in it, it gives us liberty. If you get away from the blood of the covenant, you get into slavery. But keep close to that and you are at liberty. In prayer, mind that you plead the blood, for that is the way to get the “double” spoken of in the text. The double blessing comes by the blood of the covenant. If you need more grace, plead the blood for it. There is one talisman that will open every vault in the treasury of God—the blood of the covenant! You cannot be denied if you plead the atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ! (20)


Spurgeon preached that talismans, magic, charms and enchantments are fooleries (foolishness, nonsense, lunacy):

"It is the utterance of the heart that He hears, and you must never imagine that there is any excellence in a certain arrangement of letters and sounds, or that certain men, by the use of these words, can bring down blessings from above! Oh, no! Jacob had no abracadabra, no talisman, no magic, no charm, no enchantment—and God forbid that you and I should ever be such heathens as to believe that there is any power with God in any such things! God is not prevailed upon to grant His blessings by any such fooleries as these—He utterly abhors them!" (21)


Comparing faith in God to an amulet and talisman (Edited:  Upon a closer reading of this quote, I realized that Spurgeon is comparing the doctrine of the resurrection to an amulet and talisman!)

"The doctrine of the resurrection is a precious jewel that Faith wears as a ring on her right hand. “God can raise the dead,” says Faith, and that is a most comforting truth of God! O you bereaved ones, wear that ring! O you who fear to die, wear that priceless jewel! It will be better than any amulet or talisman that the ancients ever wore!" (22)


God "giveth his beloved sleep" by having his angel touch his servants with "the magic wand of sleep:

"And such, moreover, was the sleep of the reputed father of our blessed Lord, when in a vision of the night, an angel said to him, "Arise, Joseph, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." These are miraculous slumbers. God's angel hath touched his servants with the magic wand of sleep, and they have slept, not simply as we do, but slept a wondrous sleep; they have dived into the tenfold depths of slumber; they have plunged into a sea of sleep, where they have seen the invisible, talked with the unknown, and heard mystic and wondrous sounds: and when they awoke, they have said, "What a sleep! Surely, my sleep was sweet unto me." 'So he giveth his beloved sleep.'" (23)


Spurgeon preached: "Prayer is the golden key that can open the wicket." (A wicket is a gate.)

Theosophy has a golden key that opens its gate: "Each Portal hath a golden key that openeth its gate . . . " (24)

"Prayer is a creature's strength, his very breath and being; Prayer is the golden key that can open the wicket of mercy; Prayer is the magic sound that said to fate, so be it; Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscles of omnipotence, Wherefore, pray, O creature, for many and great are your wants; Your mind, your conscience, and your being, Your needs commend you unto prayer, The cure of all cares, the grand panacea for all pains, Doubt's destroyer, ruin's remedy, the antidote to all anxieties." (25)


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Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Pretenders Index of Articles


9. Eternal Life Within Present Grasp

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