The Illusionist



Introduction   2Cor 11:13-15


The art of deception or magic is realistic but just a slight of the hands. We marvel and are doubt founded about it understanding that it's a trick but believe the illusionist as he performs. The same can be said about day to day life when the trickery performs and many are captivated by the illusionist.


1.      Hocus Pocus  (2Cor 11:13-15)

       We are under the understanding that good and evil are 2 different walks or lifestyle

       Just who is good and who is evil?

       Man interprets both as extremes, evil Satan and witchcraft, God as service and lying down of life

       Understanding this gives us a clue of the craftiness of the illusionist, Satan

        (Eph 4:14) We need to grow in Christ to understand the illusionist

        The Devil comes not as hater of mankind but as a helper (Gen 3:1-6)

  I.    He was crafty and approached Eve to give her wisdom and doubt in God's words

ii.     Satan strength is in questioning God's law as unfair and restrictive

iii.    He plays down punishment (Ex. How can a good God dam souls to hell)

iv.     Reasons with man about the goodness of God and his mercy

v.      Forces a decision of disobedience, the taking of the fruit

vi.     Causes man to sin and rebel against God's commandment

       The illusionist is just that a trickster - deceiver and liar

       (Matt 4:1-11) The illusionist comes in a time of want and appears to meet the need of the hour

       Wants you to test God and offers possessions as a reward of service to him

       (Pro 27-6) Kisses of the enemy, why would your foes kiss you?

       The illusionist comes as your friend and advisor not a roaring lion

       This is his greatest strength becoming a friend and confidant, (ex. religion, teacher, etc.) 

       It's all about misdirection, now you see it now you don't  


2.      Who are you?  (John 8:42-47)

        God breaks it down in this verse, if you don't believe you belong to the illusionist

        It's not open for debate Jesus made it clear, if you can't hear his words you belong to Satan

        Very unpopular style of preaching but none the less truth who are you for?

        Someone said, a lie is an excuse wrapped up in human reasoning

        What you choose to believe determines who you are (Rom 3:4)

        (Gal 6:7-8)  Understand this when trying to justify your sins

        It is not hard to understand  (Pro 3:5-8) & (Ps 118:8)

        We need to be grounded in truth (Eph 3:14-19)

        We can not come into heaven having our beliefs but the Word of God must be our key

        Religion will not cut it, came as a angel of light

        Good person (Rom 3:23) all have sinned

       Do we stand on the Word of God or the illusionist?



3.      God Knows  (Heb 4:14-16)

        God understand the illusionist tactics, he came in the form of man

  i.      Jesus knows his people and the enemy and warns both thru the word

        You can not go astray if you are a people that allows God's word to direct your path (Ps:119:104-105)

   i.  God has made provision against the illusionist and that's the Church

 ii.   This is the reason it is under attack and viewed as unconstitutional

iii.   Truth is being attack like in the Garden of Eden

        (Isa: 5:20-21)  A warning from God don't twist his word and don't think you'll get away with it

       The power of the illusionist is what you believe in the lie or truth?

       We make the decision of what we are going to believe God or Satan

       Let's talk plainly God's laws are written in our hearts we know good and evil (2Cor 3:3)

      The bottom line what will you tell God when you stand before in dirty rags of sin

       Being deceive is not a good answer at least not in our courts, expound

       Live right and live a good Christian life

       Do not trust in lies they will not give you joy or fulfillment

        (James 1:12-15)  To cap it off understand the scriptures, they hold the keys to salvation



2 Cor 11:13-15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Eph 4:14
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Gen 3:1-6
3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Matt 4:1-11
4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Prov 27:6
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

John 8:42-47
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Rom 3:4
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Gal 6:7-8
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Ps 118:8
8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Prov 3:5-8
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Eph 3:14-19
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Rom 3:23
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Heb 4:14-16
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Ps 119:104-105
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path

Isa 5:20-21
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

2 Cor 3:3
3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

James 1:12-15
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.


Plot summary for
Bedazzled (2000)

Elliot Richardson, suicidal techno geek, is given seven wishes to turn his life around when he meets up with a very seductive Satan. The catch: his soul. Some of his wishes include a 7 foot basketball star, a rock star, and a hamburger. But, as could be expected, the Devil must put her own little twist on each his fantasies. Written by MrGreen

Elliot Richards, a socially incompetent technical advisor working at a call-center, has had a crush on Alison Gardner for nearly four years. One evening, which already started particularly bad for Elliot, she ditches him. Elliot wishes for her to be in his life with all his heart - and is heard. An incredibly beautiful young lady addresses Elliot, and after introducing herself as the Devil, Lucifer, the Princess of Darkness, she offers him a deal: Seven wishes for him, his Soul for her. Quickly, Elliot is convinced and accepts. But every wish he gets fulfilled has massive disadvantages as well, and soon Elliot wants to get out of the contract. The only thing that matters to him now is being able to take his chances by himself.

Brendon Fraser

Liz Hurley

LIE. A lie is the utterance by speech or act of that which is false, with intent to mislead or delude. In Scripture the word is used to designate all the ways in which men deny or alter the truth in word or deed, as also evil in general. Good is designated as truth and evil as its opposite. Hence the Scriptures most expressly condemn lies (John 8:44; 1 Tim 1:9-10; Rev 21:27; 22:15). The Bible mentions instances of good men telling lies but without approving them, as that of Abraham (Gen 12:13-19; 20:2-13), Isaac (26:7-9), Jacob (chap. 27), the Hebrew midwives (Ex 1:15-19), Michal (1 Sam 19:11-17), David (chap. 20).
(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

Job 1:6; Job 1:7
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Sons of God - angels (Job 37:7; 1 Kings 22:19). Ps 29:1, margin, "Sons of the mighty." Called also "saints" (Job 5:1): and "angels" or messengers (Job 4:18). "Sons of God" implies their birth from, and likeness to, God: whence man unfallen is similarly designated (Gen 1:26-27; 6:2). "Saints" implies their entire consecration, and relative, though not absolute (Job 4:18; 15:15), perfection. "Angels" implies their function, in which respect also God's human messengers resemble them, and therefore receive the same name (Mal 2:7; Gal 4:14). They present themselves to render account of their "ministry" (Heb 1:14) in other parts of the universe, and to receive God's commands: so their attitude is standing before Yahweh, who sits on His throne (Zech 6:5; cf. Prov 22:29).
The Lord - Hebrew, YAHWEH (OT:3068) (Jehovah) - the self-existing God, faithful to His premises. God says (Ex 6:3) that He was not known to the patriarchs by this name. But, as the name occurs previously in Gen 2:7-9, etc., what must be meant is, not until the time of delivering Israel by Moses was He known peculiarly and publicly in the character which the name means, namely, making things to be, fulfilling the promises made to their forefathers. This name, therefore, here is no objection against the antiquity of the Book of Job.
Satan. The tradition was widely spread that he had been the agent in Adam's temptation. Hence, his name is given without comment. The feeling with which he looks on Job is similar to that with which he looked on Adam in Paradise: emboldened by his success in the case of one not yet fallen, he is confident that the piety of Job, one of a fallen race, will not stand the test. He had fallen himself (Job 4:18; 15:15; Jude 6). In the book of Job first Satan is designated by name: Satan, in Hebrew [Saataan (OT:7854)], an adversary in a court of justice (1 Chron 21:1; Ps 109:6; Zech 3:1). The accuser (Rev 12:10). He has gotten the law of God on his side by man's sin, and against man. But Jesus Christ has fulfilled the law for us, so that justice is once more on man's side against Satan (Isa 42:21); and so Jesus Christ can plead as our advocate against the adversary (Rom 8:33). Devil the Greek name-the slanderer, or accuser. He is subject to God, who uses his ministry for chastising man. In Arabic Satan is often applied to a serpent (Gen 3:1). He is called Prince of this world (John 12:31); the God of this world (2 Cor 4:4); Prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). God here questions him in order to vindicate His own ways before angels.

Job 1:7
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Going to and fro - rather, hurrying rapidly to and fro. The original idea in Arabic is the heat of haste (1 Peter 5:8; Matt 12:43). Satan seems to have had some special connection with this earth. Perhaps he was formerly its ruler under God. Man succeeded to the vice-royalty (Gen 1:26; Ps 8:6). Man lost it, and Satan became Prince of this world. The Son of Man (Ps 8:4) - the representative man, regains the forfeited inheritance (Rev 11:15).
Satan's replies are characteristically curt and short. Perpetual hurry and restlessness characterize himself and his followers. The Hebrew [shuwT (OT:7751)] means to run to and fro (cf. Hebrew, Jer 5:1; Amos 8:12). Umbreit translates, 'from a flight over the earth.' When the angels appear before God Satan is among them, even as there was a Judas among the apostles.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

SA'TAN (sa'tan; Heb. satan, Grk. Satanas, an "adversary, opponent"). The chief of fallen spirits.

Scripture Names and Titles. Satan is also called the devil, the dragon, the evil one, the angel of the abyss, the ruler of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world, Apollyon, Abaddon, Belial, and Beelzebub. But Satan and the devil are the names most frequently given. The term Satan is used in its generic sense in 1 Kings 11:14, "The Lord raised up an adversary [satan] to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite." It is used in the same sense in 1 Kings 11:23; 1 Sam 29:4; Num 22:22 (cf. 2 Sam 19:22; 1 Kings 5:4; 11:25; Ps 109:6).

Scripture Doctrine. Satan is mentioned first in the book of Job (1:6-12; 2:1-7). He mixes with the sons of God (angels), among whom he no longer has any rightful place; he arbitrarily roams about and seeks his own but is still used as a servant by God, on whom he remains dependent. His independent activity in this passage is mainly that of the spy of evil, of the accuser of man to God, especially the accuser of the pious, and he maintains the assertion that even their fear of God stems from personal interest. Job is delivered into the hands of Satan for testing. Satan's intention was to lead Job into apostasy and ruin; but the conduct of Job proves that disinterested fear of God may be a truth. The luster of a fidelity and love that in the loss of all external goods regards God as the highest good is revealed by Job as a triumph over Satan.

Satan is mentioned as a personality in Zech 3:1, where after the Exile he would hinder the reinstitution of the divine worship, asserting that Israel is rejected by the just judgment of God and is not worthy of the renewal of the priesthood. But the filthy garments are stripped off the high priest, and he receives festal garments instead, with the declaration that his sins are taken away. The vision expresses that the restoration of the priesthood after the Exile is a victory of the gracious God over Satan. It also foreshadows the restoration of the nation Israel as a high-priestly nation in the future Kingdom age. Still in the OT Satan never appears openly as the enemy of God Himself. "Though he has his special purposes and aims, he is yet the servant of God for punishment or trial, the asserter or executor of the negative side of the divine justice" (Dorner, Christ. Doct., 3:79).

In the NT mention is made of a plurality of evil spirits, with Satan as their head (Matt 8:28; 9:34; 12:26; Luke 11:18-19). They were endowed with high talents, power, and knowledge (Matt 8:29; Mark 1:24). Although Satan is used in the NT in a figurative sense (Matt 16:23), Jesus said the enemy is the devil (13:19,39; 4:15), and the history of the temptation is no misunderstood parable (Matt 4:10; cf. Luke 22:31). It is declared that Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44), the enemy and falsifier of God's word (Matt 13:19,39); that he aroused hatred to Jesus and put treason into the heart of Judas (John 13:27, cf. 6:70; 22:53); that the prince of this world is already judged by Christ, or, as Luke puts it, Satan falls "from heaven like lightning" (10:18), i.e., is inwardly and fundamentally vanquished. The whole history of the world subsequent to Christ is a struggle against the empire of Satan. Thus the Apocalypse especially depicts the history of Satan, particularly in the future as he affects the church (Rev 2:9,13,24), the Jew, and the Gentiles (chaps. 4-19).
(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

2 Cor 11:13; 2 Cor 11:14; 2 Cor 11:15
2 Corinthians 11:13

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
[For such are false apostles] They have no claim to the apostolic office. They are deceivers. They pretend to be apostles; but they have no divine commission from the Redeemer. Paul had thus far argued the case without giving them an explicit designation as deceivers. But here he says that people who had conducted thus; who attempted to impose on the people; who had brought another gospel, whatever pretences they might have-and he was not disposed to deny that there was much that was plausible-were really impostors and the enemies of Christ. It is morally certain, from 2 Cor 11:22, that these people were Jews; but why they had engaged in the work of preaching, or why they had gone to Corinth, cannot with certainty be determined.
[Deceitful workers] Impostors. People who practice various arts to impose on others. They were crafty, and fraudulent, and hypocritical. It is probable that they were people who saw that great advantage might be taken of the new religion; people who saw the power which it had over the people, and who saw the confidence which the new converts were inclined to repose in their teachers; perhaps people who had seen the disciples to the Christian faith commit all their property to the hands of the apostles, or who had heard of their doing it (compare Acts 4:34-35), and who supposed that by pretending to be apostles also they might come in for a share of this confidence, and avail themselves of this disposition to commit their property to their spiritual guides. To succeed, it was needful as far as possible to undermine the influence of the true apostles, and take their place in the confidence of the people. Thence they were "deceitful dolioi (NT:1386) workers," full of trick, and cunning, and of plausible arts to impose on others.
[Transforming themselves ...] Pretending to be apostles. Hypocritical and deceitful, they yet pretended to have been sent by Christ. This is a direct charge of hypocrisy. They knew they were deceivers; and yet they assumed the high claims of apostles of the Son of God.

2 Corinthians 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
[And no marvel] And it is not wonderful, 2 Cor 11:15. Since Satan himself is capable of appearing to be an angel of light, it is not to be deemed strange that those who are in his service also should resemble him.
[For Satan himself is transformed ...] That is, he who is an apostate angel; who is malignant and wicked; who is the prince of evil, assumes the appearance of a holy angel. Paul assumes this as an indisputable and admitted truth, without attempting to prove it, and without referring to any particular instances. Probably he had in his eye cases where Satan put on false and delusive appearances for the purpose of deceiving, or where he assumed the appearance of great sanctity and reverence for the authority of God. Such instances occurred in the temptation of our first parents (Gen 3:1-6), and in the temptation of the Saviour, Matt 4. The phrase "an angel of light," means a pure and holy angel, light being the emblem of purity and holiness. Such are all the angels that dwell in heaven; and the idea is, that Satan assumes such a form as to appear to be such an angel. Learn here:
(1) His power. He can assume such an aspect as he pleases. He can dissemble and appear to be eminently pious. He is the prince of duplicity as well as of wickedness; and it is the consummation of bad power for an individual to be able to assume any character which he pleases.
(2) His art. he is long practiced in deceitful arts. For six thousand years he has been practicing the art of delusion. And with him it is perfect.
(3) We are not to sup pose that all that appears to be piety is piety. Some of the most plausible appearances of piety are assumed by Satan and his ministers. None ever professed a profounder regard for the authority of God than Satan did when he tempted the Saviour. And if the prince of wickedness can appear to be an angel of light, we are not to be surprised if those who have the blackest hearts appear to be people of most eminent piety.
(4) We should be on our guard. We should not listen to suggestions merely because they appear to come from a pious man, nor because they seem to be prompted by a regard to the will of God. We may be always sure that, if we are to be tempted, it will be by some one having a great appearance of virtue and religion.
(5) We are not to expect that Satan will appear to man to be as bad as he is. He never shows himself openly to be a spirit of pure wickedness; or black and abominable in his character; or full of evil and hateful. He would thus defeat himself. It is for this reason that wicked people do not believe that there is such a being as Satan. Though continually under his influence and "led captive by him at his will," yet they neither see him nor the chains which lead them, nor are they willing to believe in the existence of the one or the other.

2 Corinthians 11:15
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
[Therefore it is no great thing ...] It is not to be deemed surprising. You are not to wonder if people of the basest, blackest character put on the appearance of the greatest sanctity, and even become eminent as professed preachers of righteousness.
[Whose end shall be ...] Whose final destiny. Their doom in eternity shall not be according to their fair professions and plausible pretences, for they cannot deceive God; but shall be according to their real character, and their works. Their work is a work of deception, and they shall be judged according to that. What revelations there will be in the day of judgment, when all impostors shall be unmasked, and when all hypocrites and deceivers shall be seen in their true colors! And how desirable is it that there should be such a day to disclose all beings in their true character, and FOREVER to remove imposture and delusion from the universe!
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Categories of illusions

Although there is much discussion among magicians as to how a given effect is to be categorized, and in fact, disagreements as to what categories actually exist -- for instance, some magicians consider "penetrations" to be a separate category, others consider penetrations a form of restoration or teleportation -- it is generally agreed that there are very few different types of illusions.

Perhaps because it is considered a magic number, it has often been said that there are only seven types of illusion:


The magician pulls a rabbit from an empty hat; a fan of cards from 'thin air'; a shower of coins from an empty bucket; or appears in a puff of smoke on an empty stage-- all of these effects are productions, the magician produces "something from nothing".


The magician snaps his fingers and a coin disappears; places a dove in a cage, claps his hands and the bird vanishes, including the cage, stuffs a silk into his fist and opens his hands revealing nothing, or waves a magic wand and the Statue of Liberty magically "goes away". A vanish, being the reverse of a production, may use a similar technique, in reverse.



A magician pulls a red handkerchief through his fist twice, and then it suddenly turns into a blue one on the third pass. A spectator is shown a penny to hold in a closed fist. After squeezing it tightly, it becomes a dime in the spectator's hand. A magician requests a volunteer to "pick a card, any card" from a deck. With a flourish the magician shows the card to the volunteer and asks "is this your card?" -- it is not the card, and the magician tells the volunteer, "here, hold it for a second", handing them the card and then picking card after card from the deck, none of which is the card the volunteer picked. The magician asks, "will you look at that first card again?" -- whereupon the volunteer finds it has magically become their card.


The cut-and-restored rope is a restoration: a rope is cut into two pieces, the two pieces are tied together, the knot vanishes, leaving one piece of rope. A newspaper is torn to bits. The magician rubs the pieces together and the newspaper becomes whole. A woman is sawn into two separate parts and then magically rejoined. A card is torn in fourths and then restored piece by piece to a normal state. Restorations put something back into the state it once was.


A teleportation transfers an object from one place to another. A coin is vanished, then later found inside a tightly bound bag, which is inside a box that is tied shut, inside another box, which is in a locked box - all of which were across the stage.

The magician locks his assistant in a cage, then locks himself in another. Both cages are uncovered and the pair have magically exchanged places. This is a transposition, a simultaneous, double teleportation.


The magician "puts his assistant into a trance" and then floats him or her up and into the air, passing a ring around his or her body as proof that there are 'no wires' supporting her. A close-up artist wads up your dollar bill and then floats it in the air. A playing card hovers over a deck of cards. A penny on an open palm rises onto its edge on command. A scarf dances in a sealed bottle. Levitations are illusions where the conjurer magically raises something -- possibly including the magician into the air. There are many ways to create the illusion of levitation, such as the Balducci levitation, the King Rising, Criss Angel's stool levitations, the Andruzzi levitations, and the zero gravity or the eight gravity.


One solid object passes through another, as in such old standbys as "the Linking Rings" (a magical effect the magician creates by seemingly passing solid steel rings through one another), the "Cups and Balls" (in which the balls appear to pass through the bottom of an inverted cup to the table below), and the classic "Saltshaker Penetration."


The purpose of a magic trick is to amuse and create a feeling of wonder; the audience is generally aware that the magic is performed using trickery, and derives enjoyment from the magician's skill and cunning. Traditionally, magicians refuse to reveal the secrets to the audience. The reasons include:

Membership in professional magicians' organizations often requires a solemn commitment to the "Magician's Oath" never to reveal the secrets of magic to non-magicians.

The Magician's Oath (though it may vary, 'The Oath' takes the following, or similar form):
"As a magician I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician, unless that one swears to uphold the Magician's Oath in turn. I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic".

Once sworn to The Oath, one is considered a magician, and is expected to live up to this promise. A magician who reveals a secret, either purposely or through insufficient practice, may typically find oneself without any magicians willing to teach one any more secrets.

However, it is considered permissible to reveal secrets to individuals who are determined to learn magic and become magicians. It is typically a sequential process of increasingly valuable and lesser known secrets. The secrets of almost all magical effects are available to the public through numerous books and magazines devoted to magic, available from the specialised magic trade. There are also web sites which offer videos, DVDs and instructional materials for the aspiring conjuror. In this sense, there are very few classical illusions left unrevealed, however this does not appear to have diminished the appeal of performances. In addition, magic is a living art, and new illusions are devised with surprising regularity. Sometimes a 'new' illusion will be built on an illusion that is old enough to have become unfamiliar.

Some magicians have taken the controversial position that revealing the methods used in certain works of magic can enhance the appreciation of the audience for cleverness of magic. Penn and Teller frequently perform tricks using transparent props to reveal how it is done, for example, although they almost always include additional unexplained effects at the end that are made even more astonishing by the revealing props being used.

Often what seems to be a revelation of a magical secret is merely another form of misdirection. For instance, a magician may explain to an audience member that the linking rings "have a hole in them" and hand the volunteer two unlinked rings, which the volunteer finds to have become linked as soon as he handles them. At this point the magician may shove her arm through the ring ('the hole in the ring'), proclaiming: "See? Once you know that every ring has a hole, it's easy!"

See also Intellectual rights to magic methods

Learning magic

The teaching of performance magic was once a secretive art. Professional magicians were unwilling to share knowledge with anyone outside the profession to prevent the laity from learning their secrets. This made it difficult for an interested apprentice to learn magic beyond the basics. Some organisations of magicians had strict rules against members discussing magic secrets with anyone but established magicians.

From the 1584 publication of Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft until the end of the 19th century, only a few books had helped budding magicians to learn the craft. Books remain useful today. For the modern student, a video recording exceeds the power of a book, letting the apprentice mimic the master, following along as the magician dissects presentation and performance of latter-day versions of ancient artistry.

The next step up from a video is joining a magic club or workshop. Here magicians, both seasoned and novitiate, can work together and help one another for mutual improvement, to learn new techniques, to discuss all aspects of magic, to perform for each other sharing advice, encouragement and criticism.