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Signs And Wonders of God or Magic Spells?

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The Old Testament book of Exodus gives the account of when the children of Israel were delivered from bondage in Egypt as slaves. The reader of Exodus learns of the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians as a consequence of Pharaoh's choice to dismiss the word of God to let Israel go free. Only after pharaoh ignored God's word did the Lord respond with hardening his heart. Pharaoh continued to refuse to obey the command to let Israel go and God continued to harden his heart. During this cycle, God worked great signs and wonders through his servant Moses. Such miracles included the plague of the river turning to blood, infestation of the land with frogs, the destruction of crops by locusts and hail, and finally, the killing of the first born of Egypt.

Some have said that it was not by God's power that Moses performed these signs and wonders, but rather that he simply worked the magic spells he had learned in Egypt. Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" told the story of how God caused Moses to be spared from death while he was a young child. The Egyptian government had sent out a decree to the midwives that all Hebrew males were to be killed at birth(Exodus 1:15-16, 22). The order was given in the fear and resentment over the strong presence of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt (Exodus 1:7-16).

Moses was born during the time of this decree. His life was spared by God who allowed him to be hidden for 3 months after his birth and then raised by Pharaoh's daughter as her son(Exodus 2:1-10). It's a logical assumption that Moses would have been instructed in the occult practices of Egypt. However, what does scripture say? An unbiased examiner of biblical passages on this subject would probably agree that the assumption does appear to have scriptural support.

Stephen, a disciple of Christ, before he was martyred, reminded those who were about to kill him, of the words of Moses regarding the prophet that God had promised to raise up in Israel. During his discourse, he went back into history. Stephen said, "In which time Moses was born and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months. And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds" (KJV, The Acts 7:20-22).

The wisdom of the Egyptians was built on beliefs that are associated with the occult in modern times and the practice of magic was prevalent in the land (Genesis 41:8, Exodus 7:22). Therefore, there's no reason to argue against the belief of some that Moses was indeed instructed in esoteric arts and practiced them at one time in his life. Nevertheless, the important question is whether the signs and wonders that followed him in Egypt were of the power of God or of Satan. How can the reader of the scriptures know of a certainty that Moses didn't practice any magic he may have learned in Egypt once he had been called by God to lead Israel to the Promised Land?

First, the reader must possess a full understanding of the high esteem in which the ancients held knowledge and an education. Wisdom was considered to be a treasure. The word treasure is repeatedly used in scripture in reference not only to tangible riches, but also to the treasure and riches of knowledge. The scripture of Proverbs 2:2-4 reads, "My son, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding. If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures".

The aforementioned scripture in the book of Acts plainly declared that Moses was learned in all of the wisdom of the Egyptians. Therefore, he possessed not only physical riches but the treasures of Egyptian knowledge as well.

But, what does scripture say about how Moses responded when given a choice to remain in the treasures of Egypt or abandon them for the treasures of Christ? Hebrews 11:24-26 reveals that, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt...."

No, there are no "lost" books of Moses that supposedly reveal any use of magic on his part. The passage of Exodus 7:9-12 recounts when God sent Moses and his brother Aaron before pharaoh to demonstrate his authority. Scripture says that Aaron threw his rod down before the court of the king and it turned into a serpent, a display of God's power. Pharaoh refused to humble himself and responded by commanding his sorcerers and magicians to do likewise. Therefore, they threw their rods to the ground and watched them turn into serpents also. The scene was one of serpents from Aaron's rod and serpents from the rods of the Egyptian magicians. But, what happened? Exodus 7:12 reminds that, "...Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods". The signs and wonders of God were never performed by the power of the Enemy, but rather by the power of God's Spirit whose authority publicly shamed the magicians of Egypt. Moses, the man who had been instructed in the treasures of Egypt, rejected them for the treasures of Christ.
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