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Updated on August 3, 2013




The biblical stance on witchcraft and divination is that it is an evil, rebellious, and loathsome practice which is in direct opposition and rebellion against God.Several passages prohibit various forms of the occult and in the Old Testament witchcraft or sorcery was punishable by death: You shall not permit a sorceress to live. (Exodus 22/18)

Deuteronomy 18 is probably the most representative and important of the many Old Testament passages condemning various forms of witchcraft:

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes a son or a daughter pass through the fire, or who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an auger, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. (Deuteronomy 18/10-11)

Other passages are Leviticus 19/26; 19/31; 20/6; Deuteronomy 18/10-11; Isaiah 8/19 and Malachi 3/5.

Child Sacrifice to Molech/Moloch

To pass children through the fire was to literally sacrifice them by burning them alive to the Canaanite god Molech or Moloch and also to other various Canaanite gods. This terrible practice was forbidden by the God of the Old Testament:

You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 18/21)

The practice of child sacrifice in the Old Testament was invariably associated with other occultic practices. The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him by making their sons and daughters ‘pass through the fire’ and practicing divination and enchantments. (2 Kings 17/17) The book of Jeremiah tells us that children were sacrificed at a place called the Tophet which means ‘roasting place’.

The Israelite king Manasseh, arguably the most wicked king recorded in the Old Testament, committed the sin of passing his own children through the fire: And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers . He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. (2 Kings 21/6; 2 Chronicles 33/6)

Psalm 106:38: they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood.

The Old Testament makes no clear distinction between magic and witchcraft, and rebellion and witchcraft are closely linked as being similar. (1 Samuel 15/23-26) Sorcery is equated to harlotry. (Nahum 3:4)

Astrologers andstargazers are also condemned by God and are probably also listed as sorcerers. This has very real implications for the widespread fascination with astrology and horoscopes in our time.

God rebuked Israel with thesewords: All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who makepredictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. (Isaiah 47:13)

The New Testament is equally condemnatory, putting sorcery together with other works of the flesh: …..idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions….. Galatians 5:20

And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts19:19)

The Resurgence of the Occult

Witchcraft can include things like sorcery, charms, magic, spells, invocation of spirits, Wicca, occult, spritism (demonic spirits impersonating the dead), necromancy (communication with the dead), tarot cards, horoscopes, Ouija boards, fortune telling, runes, astrology, psychics, Reiki etc. The explosion of occult practices is indisputable in our own times. Many people are being deceived and drawn into the occult unwittingly, some at very vulnerable points in their lives, being ignorant of what the Bible says.

…..and some things that should not have been forgotten…..were lost

JRR Tolkien wrote: and some things that should not have been forgotten…..were lost. He went on to say: History became legend, legend became myth, and for two and a half thousand years the ring fell out of all knowledge. Please do not think of the Bible as a story book full of legends, it is deadly serious and has implications for every person on the planet.

The fact that child sacrifice and witchcraft are inevitably linked in the Old Testament should flag up a question and warning in our minds about their source. These things are obviously abhorrent to the God of the Bible. Satan is real and he has a host of lying, evil, unclean or dirty sprits/demons looking to entrap people into the occult. There is only one reason why demons would want to communicate with human beings, that is to deceive and destroy them. (John 10/10) The Bible teaches that there are two kingdoms and two sources of spiritual knowledge and experience. There is a very clear distinction between these two kingdoms: God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1/5)


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