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The Bible, Witchcraft, Magic, Divination, Sorcery, Mediums, Familiar Spirits, Necromancy, and Soothsaying

Updated on November 11, 2019
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Narcissism: Echo Apologetics seeks to provide information to disentangle abuse victims from the tangled webs abusers often weave.

Echo Scapegoat Recovery Tactics is now Narcissism: Echo Apologetics. Daniel 2:27
Echo Scapegoat Recovery Tactics is now Narcissism: Echo Apologetics. Daniel 2:27 | Source

Introduction

The creation of this article is in part prompted by a casual conversation with a cashier at a well-known general store. In response to a comment made regarding a piece of jewelry the cashier wore, she stated that she is a "Christian witch." While always trying to keep in mind that one never knows exact what it is that one might not know, the comment rendered me speechless.

It is known that cults redefine terms, and based on experience you can ask ten people who claim to be Christians what makes them Christians, and receive ten different answers.

"I went to church when I was a child."

"My parents were Christians."

"I believe in God."

Since the Bible rather sarcastically responds to that by stating you do well, even demons believe in God and shudder (James 2:19), we will look at the text the Christian faith is based on, the Bible, for the definition of a Christian.

Then we look at three accounts in the Bible of God trumping the practitioners of such practices demonstrating Himself superior, as follows:

  • Joseph Interprets Pharoh's Dream;
  • Moses and Aaron v. the "Egyptian Religious Experts"; and
  • Daniel as Opposed to the Magicians and Diviners.

Then we turn our attention to various practices considered not only forbidden, but dangerous and even occultic in the Bible, such as:

  • Magic
  • Sorcery
  • Divination
  • Astrology
  • Channelling
  • Necromancy
  • Soothsaying
  • Witchcraft

Also note these are definitions from biblical resources and Bible dictionaries. We are searching for the original meaning or as close as we can get to the meaning of the original language as it was translated, not any particular definition by any group.

The terms are listed in alphabetical order, along with Bible scripture references in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some of the translated terms are less obscure than others, and there is cross-referencing.

The Bible is very clear on these topics, and what it has to say is certainly nothing to scoff at if you respect the Bible. Also recall as you read that idolatry is coined or considered spiritual prostitution or harlotry in the Bible.

John 3:16
John 3:16 | Source

What is a Christian?

As discussed in Hypocrites: How to Spot Pharisees, "if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." (Galatians 2:21) The law was given, not that any man or woman can keep the whole of the law, but without the law there would be no sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23).

Where sin abounds grace much more abounds, so should I sin more in order for grace to abound more? May it never be! (Romans 5:20) Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to perfect it (Matthew 5:17). Not one jot or tittle will fall from the law until it is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18).

There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22), but Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), though He was without sin became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), taking our punishment to satisfy the justice of God upon Himself, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:15)

No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6) When Christ was crucified the veil to the Holy of Holies ripped from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51), signifying that Christ, as our Great High Priest forever (Hebrews 4:14-5:10), cleared the way for us to have a personal relationship with the Father through the Son. That is a Christian according to the Bible, saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8).

The author does not particularly care for the Protestant, Catholic distinction, but using it this is the Protestant view. Note the Catholics have at least two outstanding online voices with Sister Renee of Luke 17:3 Ministries and Anna Valerious of the Blogger blog Narcissists Suck, both of whom we have promoted for years on our pages.

Joseph Interprets Pharoh's Dream

In the very first book of the Bible, Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers. Among the patriarchs are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this is the son of Jacob, later called Israel.

Joseph makes it clear that what his brother's intended for evil, God used for good, (Genesis 50:20) and was indeed in control the entire time. Indeed Joseph's own prophetic dream as a young man (Genesis 37:5-7) came true as he became second in command in Egypt and saved many, including his own brothers, from starving to death.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, in chapter 41 Joseph is still imprisoned. Potiphar, the second most powerful man in Egypt, had purchased Daniel and put him in charge of his entire estate. However, Joseph was a good looking young man, and Potiphar's wife repeated tried to get him to sleep with her. Joseph fled immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18) so quickly that his garment was left there in her hand. When she realized this, Potiphar's wife decided to play the victim while vilifying the true victim. She accused Joseph of trying to rape her and he was imprisoned.

Joseph was imprisoned even though he was innocent, but is called out to interpret Pharoh's dream, since had had accurately interpretted the baker's and the cupbearer's dreams while in prison. The cupbearer promised to remember him, but doesn't do so (Genesis 40:23) until Pharoh has his dreams and is looking for someone who can interpret them for him (Genesis 41:9).

Joseph is quick to give God all the glory as he informs Pharoh that it is God, not him, who will give Pharoh a favorable answer (Genesis 41:16). Joseph accurately interprets the dreams, but is only called after Pharoh calls all the magicians of Egypt, and they were unable to.

The dreams were a warning of seven years of prosperity, followed by seven years of famine, for which the people can now prepare through Joseph's leadership, awarded by Pharoh for the accurate interpretation of his dreams (Genesis 41:41-43).

Moses and Aaron v. Egyptian Religious Experts

Then we see another overt challenge by God as He frees the Israelites from more than 400 years of slavery in Egypt in the Book of Exodus. The Egyptian "religious experts" (CEB) are able to duplicate the first few things God gives Moses and Aaron to do.

  • Aaron's staff is turned into a serpent or snake, and "Egypt's religious experts did the same thing by using their secret knowledge." (Exodus 7:11) However, "Aaron's rod swallowed up each of their rods." (Exodus 7:12) CEB
  • Moses and Aaron turned water into blood beginning in Exodus 7:14, and the religious experts of Egypt did the same thing with their craft.
  • Moses and Aaron created a plague of frogs, and the "Egyptian religious experts were able to do the same thing by their secret knowledge." (Exodus 8:7) CEB

Swarming Lice (Gnats, NASB): The Lord told Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out his shepherd's rod and hit the land's dirt so that lice appear in the whole land of Egypt. The religious experts tried but were unable to mimic this, and in fact told Pharoh, "This is something only God could do!" (Exodus 8:18-19) CEB

Sick and Dying Animals: "All of the Egyptian livestock died, but not one animal that belonged tot he Israelites died." (Exodus 9:6) CEB This was the same with the rest of the demonstration: hail and thunder, invasion of locusts, and then the final disaster is to kill all the firstborns (some translations "sons") in the land of Egypt including the first offspring of the animals (Exodus 11). This leads into the first passover, where the angel of the Lord passed over the Israelites, but struck down the firstborn, or first fruits (of the womb), in the land of Egypt.

Daniel as Opposed to the Magicians and Diviners

In the first chapter of Daniel it is overtly stated that in all the matters the king inquired of them, he found God's servants Daniel and his friends, "ten times better" than all the magicians, echanters, astrologers, conjurers in his whole kingdom.

In the second chapter of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him. The king gets the idea that the "wise men of Babylon" (magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, Chaldeans, diviners) have decided to deceive him, so he insists they tell him the dream he had in order for him to trust their interpretation.

They are unable to and the king orders the execution of all of the "wise men of Bablyon," which includes Daniel and his friends since they had been taken captive from Jerusalem when King Nebuchadnezzar captured it as articulated at the opening of the Book of Daniel.

God gave his servant Daniel the dream and the interpreation, and Daniel is brought before the king to deliver it (Daniel 4:9). In Daniel 2:27 Daniel is careful to give God all the glory.

Divination Definition and Bible References

The practice of consulting beings (divine, human, or departed) or things (by observing objects or actions, that is omens) in the attempt to gain information about the future and such other matters as are removed from normal knowledge. There were various modes of divination:

  • by reading omens;
  • dreams, both involuntary and those induced by what is called "incubation" (i.e., by sleeping in some sacred place where the god revealed his secret to the sleeper) Note as New Testament Christians, the Holy Spirit is responsible for leading us into all truth.
  • the use of the lot; (Proverbs 16:33)
  • hydromancy or foretelling from the appearance of water;
  • astrology or the determination of the supposed influence of the heavenly bodies on the destiny of a person or nation;
  • rhabdomancy or the use of the divining rod (Hos. 4:12; Ezekiel 8:17);
  • hepatoscopy or divination by an examination of the liver of animals;
  • necromancy or consulting the dead;
  • and the sacrifice of children by burning.1

Divination was highly developed by all ancient peoples - the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc. -- and even the Hebrews practiced it, though it was severely condemned by Moses and the prophets. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 is the classical passage on the subject.2

Divination Old Testament Bible References

The first listed reference under divination is found in Numbers 22:7, an account of Balak summoning Balaam, whom the Israelites later kill in Joshua 13:22.

Balak Summons Balaam

Balaam "loved the wages of wickedness." (2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 11) Just as God's people, freed from more than 400 years of Egyptian slavery, were on the brink of entering the Promised Land, after 40 years of wandering in the desert due to their disobedience and idolatry, Balak calls for this false prohphet or seer, who curses for fees, to curse the Israelites.

The angel of the Lord opposed him while he was enroute on his donkey, and makes a vivid point of how spiritually blind he is. The donkey sees the angel of the Lord with his sword drawn, and in their path three times, but Balaam does not see a thing so he beats the donkey for getting out of the way. Finally, God opens Balaam's eyes to see the angel of the Lord, who informed him the donkey, or ass, saved his life by getting out of the way.

Balak is paying Balaam to curse the Iraelites, but Scripture makes clear that He is uable to because the Lord forbid it, and can only speak the words God puts in his mouth. So, after three tries at cursing the Israelites, it turns out that Balaam actually confirms the tenants of God's blessing promised to Abraham. God's blessing was irrevocable and the account makes clear God trumped this deadly enemy of Israel's, who actually ends up confirming the blessing (Numbers 22:1-20).3

Note that Balaam is mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the letter to the church in Pergamum in Revelation 2:14-15, see below in the Divination New Testament Bible References.

Numbers 23:23 - There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel.

Deuteronomy 18:10 - There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer. NASB

2 Kings 17:17-18 - Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. NASB

Jeremiah 14:14 - Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds." NASB

Ezekiel 12:24 - For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. NASB

Ezekiel 13:6,7 - Under the heading of False Prophets Condemned: "They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, 'The Lord declares,' when the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, 'The Lord declares,' but it is not I who have spoken?" NASB

Ezekiel 13:23 - ..."therefore, you women will no longer see false visions or practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the Lord." NASB

Ezekiel 21:21-23 - For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver. Into his right hand came the divination, 'Jerusalem,' to set battering rams, to open the mouth for slaughter, to lift up the voice with a battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up ramps, to build a siege wall. And it will be to them like a false divination in their eyes; they have sworn solemn oaths. But he brings iniquity to remembrance, that they may be seized. NASB

Divination New Testament Bible References

The account referenced in the New Testament regarding divination is the story of a demon-possessed soothsayer or fortune-teller, who Paul sets free.

Paul Casts Out a Demon

Acts 16:16-21 - It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation." NASB

She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment. NASB

But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, and are proclaiming customs which is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans." NASB

Balaam in Revelation

Revelation 2:14-15 - Nevertheless, I have a few things against you [the church in Pergamum]: you have some people there who are clinging to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap and a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, [to entice them] to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and to practice lewdness [giving themselves up to sexual vice]. [Numbers 25:1, 2; 31:16] You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people which thing I hate. - Amplified Bible

The story of Balaam, a notorious Old Testament prophet for hire, is found in Numbers 22-25. Fearful of the Israelites because of what they had done to the Amorites, Balak, king of Moab, hired B alaam to curse them. After trying unsuccessfully three times to curse Israel, Balaam came up with another plan. Since he was unable to curse the Israelites, he decided to corrupt them by teach Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.

He plotted to use Moabite women to lure the Israelites into the behavior of the godless world around them -- sexual immorality and idolatry (Numbers 25; 31:16). That blasphemous union with Satan and false gods would debase the Israelites and destroy their spiritual power. Balaam's plan succeeded, though not to the extent that he had hoped. God intervened and severely chastened Israel, executing twenty-four thousand (Numbers 25:9), including many of the leaders (Numbers 25:4-5). That drastic action halted the Israelites' slide into immorality and idolatry.4

NASB Zondervan Study Bible
NASB Zondervan Study Bible

While attending a Christian university in undergrad the college gave me my first NASB Student Study Bible. I could not put it down. It so deeply enriches Bible study that it has been my preferred Bible ever since - and that is nearly 30 years!

 

Necromancy and Familiar Spirits Definitions and Bible References

Necromancy: The practice of conjuring the spirits of the dead to inquire about the future.5

Familiar spirit is the language used by the King James Version,...which modern versions usually translate "medium." The Hebrew word appears to refer to the spirit of a dead person, which a medium, in the form of magic known as necromancy claimed to summon to consultation.6

The Mosaic law forbade the consulting of familiar spirits, and mediums were commanded to be put to death (Lev. 19:31; 20:6, 27; Deut. 18:11).7

Necromancy and Familiar Spirits Old Testament References

Leviticus 19:31 - Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. NASB

Leviticus 20:6 - As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. NASB (CEB translates spiritist in this verse as spirits of divination).

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 - There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. NASB

Saul and the Spirit Medium

1 Samuel 28:3 begins the accounts of King Saul consulting a medium to bring up Samuel who has died. King Saul sees the Philistines army encamped and his heart is filled with terror. The account states that God did not answer him, so he turned to a medium in Endor to raise Samuel in order for Samuel to tell him what he should do.

In order to do this King Saul disguises himself, and is actually behind enemy lines trying to call up Samuel. When the medium calls up the spirit of Samuel, Samuel verifies that the Lord is fulfilling the prophecy He delivered through Samuel regarding removing the kingdom from Saul and giving it to David. (Recall the jealousy and treachery Saul has had toward David, trying to kill him many times since the day that the women singing ascribed thousands to Saul, but tens of thousands to David (1 Samuel 18:7). The conversation then adds a prophecy, that Saul and his sons will be with Samuel by the following night. King Saul dies in 1 Chronicles 10, by leaning on his sword.

Whether God allowed Samuel himself to reappear or whether some spirit took the form of Samuel, so far as Saul was concerned, he saw Samuel and he heard the voice of Samuel. This voice repeated and confirmed Yahweh's rejection of Saul and choice of David. Verse 19 adds a new prediction, about the outcome of the battle the next day.8

2 Kings 21:6 - He [Manasseh] made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger. NASB

2 Kings 23:24-25 - Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him. NASB

1 Chronicles 10:13 - So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of the Lord. Therefore He killed him and turn the kingdom to David the son of Jesse. NASB

2 Chronicles 33:6-13 - He [Manasseh] made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sigh of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. NASB

Isaiah 8:19-20 - And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you, Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? [Direct such people] to the teaching and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is surely because there is no dawn and no morning for them. Amplified Bible

Isaiah 19:1-4 - The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: And the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, And the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians; And they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; City against city, and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; And I will destroy the counsel thereof: And they shall seek the idols, and to the charmers, And to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. KJV

Isaiah 29:4 - And you shall be laid low [Jerusalem], speaking from beneath the ground, and your speech shall come humbly from the dust. And your voice shall be like that of a ghost [produced by a medium] coming from the earth, and your speech shall whisper and squeak as it chatters from the dust.

Magic Definition and Bible References

Magic concerns itself with the future by trying to know what the future holds in advance, or the casting of spells to impact the future in the desired manner. A "magician" is defined as one who seeks to hurt or help mankind by way of "superstitious ceremonies."9

Magic is based on the assumption that one can achieve desired results through the recitation of proper formulas or by performance of certain prescribed actions. In most cases, the effect sought is something that will either harm others (especially an enemy or one who is a potential threat) or ward off harm that an opponent is plotting. The essential feature for success is to repeat the formuliac words or actions exactly.10

Thus magic came to mean all occult rituals or processes designed to influence or control the course of nature; to dominate people or circumstances by the alliance, aid, or use of supernatural powers; and generally to tap and to employ the force of an unseen world.11

Wherever these activities are labeled as "magic," "witchcraft," or "sorcery" they are usually related to the deception and misfortunes of God's people. (1 Samuel 28:7; 2 Kings 9:22; Jeremiah 27:(; cf Acts 13:10) Practitioners of such activities will be subject to divine judgment. (Mic. 5:12; Mal 3:5; cf. Rev. 21:8, 22:15).12

The Philistines were practitioners of divination (Isaiah 2:6), reading omens to get guidance from the gods. All such attempts to read or manipulate the future, or to make contact with the dead or spirit-word, or any kind of "magic" - divination, sorcery, omen-interpretation, witchcraft, spell-casting, consulting mediums and spiritists - are unequivocally abhorred and warned against in the Bible as dangerous (e.g., Deut. 17:9-13; Acts 8:9-24).13

Magic Old Testament Bible References

Exodus 22:18 - You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery.

Leviticus 19:31 - Turn not to those [mediums] who have familiar spirits or to wizards; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. - Amplified Bible

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 - When you come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of these nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all tho do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and it is because of these abominable practices that the Lord you God is driving them out before you.

Magic New Testament Bible Reference

Book Burning

Acts 19:19-20 - Any many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver (about $9,300) - Amplified Bible

Galatians 5:20 - Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill-temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. - Amplified Bible

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practitioners of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) -- [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death [Isaiah 30:33.] Amplified Bible

Soothsaying Definition and Bible References

Dictionary dot com lists the following words as synonyms for the word Soothsayer:

  • Augur
  • Clairvoyant
  • Diviner
  • Medium
  • Oracle
  • Psychic
  • Crystal Ball Gazer
  • Fortune Teller
  • Palm Reader
  • Channeller


Soothsaying Old Testament Bible References

Isaiah 2:6 - You have abandoned your people, house of Jacob. they are full of sorcerers from the east and fortune-tellers like the Philistines. CEB

Daniel 2:27 - Daniel answered the king, "Sages, enchanters, dream interpreters, and diviners can't explain to the king the mystery he seeks. But there is a God in heaven, a revealer of mysteries, who has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the days to come!

Daniel 4:7 and Daniel 5:7, 11 - See Daniel as Opposed to the Magicians and Diviners above.

Micah 5:12 - I will demolish the sorceries you perform; you will have no more diviners!

Soothsaying New Testament Bible References

Paul Casts Out a Demon

Acts 16 shows the biblical attitude toward diviners as obtaining their capacity by being possessed by evil spirits. However, the Apostle Paul also set the young woman spiritually free from the evil spirit. Paul orders the spirit out of the young lady. Then, those who were profiting from her condition responded with malice toward Paul and Silas due to the loss of their profits they were making from her condition.14

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 - There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. - Amplified Bible

Sorcerer Definition and Bible References

One who practices the arts of the magicians and astrologers, by which he pretends to foretell events with the assistance of evil spirits. (Isaiah 47:9, 12; Acts 8:9-11). In its broader sense, a sorcerer is one who practices in the whole field of divinatory occultism (Exodus 7:11; 22:18; Jeremiah 27:9).15

Sorcery "was a form of soothsaying, where omens were read from the clouds, since the verb was associated with the Hebrew noun for "cloud." Thus the forms, movements, and positions of the clouds, along with other heavenly bodies, were believed to give information and omens about the future.16

The cutting of one's body on behalf of a dead person ( Leviticus 19:28), presumably to appease the demons from tormenting the corpse when they saw the bloodshed, is equally reprehensible. Attempts to consult the dead spirits by way of necromancy are prohibited (v. 31).17

The bible gives stern prohibitions against all forms of "wizardry" and "sorcery" (Exodus 22:18; Lev. 19:26; 20:27; Deut. 18:10-11). 18

Sorcery Old Testament Bible References

Exodus 7:11 - See Moses and Aaron v. Egyptian Religious Experts above.

Exodus 22:18 - You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery. - Amplified Bible

Leviticus 19:26 - You must not eat anything with its blood. you must not participate in divination or fortune-telling. CEB

Leviticus 20:27 - If someone, whether male or female, is a medium with the dead or a diviner, they must be executed. They will be stoned; their blood is on their own head. CEB

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 - There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. Amplified Bible

Jeremiah 27:9-10 - As for you, don't listen to your prophets, diviners, dreamers, mediums, or your sorcerers who say to you, "Don't serve the king of Babylon." They are lying to you, and their lies will lead to banishment from your land. CEB

Daniel 2:2 - See Daniel as Opposed to the Magicians and Diviners above.

Malachi 3:5 - I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers, the adulterers, those swearing falsely, against those who cheat the day laborers out of their wages as well as oppress the widow and the orphan, and against those who brush aside the foreigner and do not revere me, says the Lord of heavenly forces. CEB

Isaiah 47:9, 12 - But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: loss of children and widowhood. They shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of the multitude of [your claims to] power given you by the assistance of evil spirits, in spite of the great abundance of your enchantments. [Rev. 18:7,8] Amplified Bible

Isaiah 57:3 - But come close, you sons of a sorceress [nursed in witchcraft and superstition], you offspring of an adulterer and a harlot. Amplified Bible

Sorcery New Testament Bible References

Acts 8:9 - But there was a man named Simon, who had formerly practiced magic arts in the city to the utter amazement of the Samaritan nation, claiming that he himself was an extraordinary and distinguished person. Amplified Bible

Acts 8:11 - And they were attentive and made much of him, because for a long time he had amazed and bewildered and dazzled them with his skill in magic arts. Amplified Bible

Note: Simon Magus became a Christian but attempted to buy the Holy Spirit's power from Peter!19

Acts 13:6, 8 - When they had passed through the entire island of Cyprus as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain Jewish wizard or sorcerer, a false prophet name Bar-Jesus. Amplified Bible

Revelation 9:21 - Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. NIV

Revelation 18:23 - And never again shall the light of a lamp shine in you, [Babylon] and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in your again; for your businessmen were the great and prominent men of the earth, and by your magic spells and poisonous charm all nations were led astray (seduced and deluded). Amplified Bible

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practitioners of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) -- [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death [Isaiah 30:33.] Amplified Bible

Revelation 22:15 - [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating). Amplified Bible

Witchcraft Definition and Bible References

Witchcraft is defined as:

"...an apparent communication with demons and a pretended conversation with the spirits of the dead by means of which future events were revealed, diseases cured, and evil spirits driven away."20

If witchcraft is practiced by a female, the name given is "witch." If practiced by a male, he is given the name "Wizard."21

Several Hebrew terms are associated with the English word "witch" These can also be translated "sorcerer," "sorceress," "medium," or "necromancer." Most appear in references to prohibited practices (e.g., Deuteronomy 18:9-11; 2 Kings 23:24) and seem to be concerned with divination or necromancy.22

Witchcraft Old Testament Bible References

Exodus 22:18 - You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery. Amplified Bible

Leviticus 19:26 - You must not eat anything with its blood. you must not participate in divination or fortune-telling. CEB

Leviticus 19:31 - Do not resort to dead spirits or inquire of spirits of divination--you will be made unclean by them; I am the Lord you God. CEB

Leviticus 20:6 - I will also oppose anyone who resorts to dead spirits or spirits of divination and faithlessly follows those things. I will cut such an individual off from their people.

Leviticus 20:27 - If someone, whether male or female, is a medium with the dead or a diviner, they must be executed. They will be stoned; their blood is on their own head. CEB

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 - There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. Amplified Bible

1 Samuel 15:23 - For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he also has rejected you from being king. Amplified Bible

2 Kings 9:22 - When Joram saw Jehu, he said, It is peace, Jehu? And he answered, How can peace exist as long as the fornications of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? Amplified Bible

1 Chronicles 10:13 - Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and hadn't followed the Lord's word. He even consulted a medium for guidance. He didn't consult the Lord, so the Lord killed him and gave the kingdom to David, Jesse's son. CEB

2 Chronicles 33:6 - And he burned his children as an offering [to his god] in the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom], and practiced soothsaying, augury, and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and wizards. He did much evil in the sigh of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. Amplified Bible

Isaiah 8:19-20 - And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you, Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? [Direct such people] to the teaching and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is surely because there is no dawn and no morning for them. Amplified Bible

Isaisah 19:1-4 - The mournful, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up) concerning Egypt: Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the hearts of the Egyptians will melt within them. And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, every one against his brother and every one against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of the Egyptians within them will become exhausted and emptied out and will fail, and I will destroy their counsel and confound their plans; and they will seek counsel from the idols and the sorcerers, and from those having familiar spirits (the mediums) and the wizards.

Isaiah. 47:9, 10, 12 - Therefore now, hear this, you who love pleasures and are given over to them, you who dwell safely and sit securely, who say in your mind, I am [the mistress] and there is no one else besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children. Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all you potent spells. You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, 'No one sees me' Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me.'...Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!Let you astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.

Micah 5:12 - I will demolish the sorceries you perform; you will have no more diviners!

Nahum 3:4 - All because of the multitude of the harlotries [of Nineveh], the well-favored harlot, the mistress of deadly charms who betrays and sells nations through her whoredoms [idolatry] and peoples through her enchantments. Amplified Bible

Witchcraft New Testament Bible References

Acts 8:9 - But there was a man named Simon, who had formerly practiced magic arts in the city to the utter amazement of the Samaritan nation, claiming that he himself was an extraordinary and distinguished person. Amplified Bible

Acts 8:11 - And they were attentive and made much of him, because for a long time he had amazed and bewildered and dazzled them with his skill in magic arts. Amplified Bible

Acts 19:17-20 - This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, and alarm and terror fell upon them all; and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled and magnified. Many also of those who were now believers came making full confession and thoroughly exposing their [former deceptive and evil] practices. And many of those who had practices curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver (about $9,300) - Amplified Bible

Galatians 5:19-21 - Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you before hand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. - Amplified Bible

Revelation 18:23 - And never again shall the light of a lamp shine in you, [Babylon] and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in your again; for your businessmen were the great and prominent men of the earth, and by your magic spells and poisonous charm all nations were led astray (seduced and deluded). Amplified Bible

Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practitioners of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) -- [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death [Isaiah 30:33.] Amplified Bible

Narcissism in its most basic sense is a tendency to self-worship. Eleanor D. Payson, MSW, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists
Narcissism in its most basic sense is a tendency to self-worship. Eleanor D. Payson, MSW, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists | Source

The Holy Spirit

After Jesus chose the 12 disciples, even they were instructed to wait until they be endowed with power from on high, the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49) As New Testament Christians, it is the Holy Spirit's responsibility to lead a Christian into all truth, to tell you what you need to know when you need to know it. Another example, do not worry about what you will say, for in that very hour the Holy Spirit will instruct you what you are to say (Luke 12:12). Anything else, God wants you to simply trust Him.

Conclusion

Please do not believe that you are a "Christian witch" in the plain meaning of the words. The Bible makes no distinction between "good witch" and "bad witch" or white and black magic, being the intention of the person, but designates magic, divination, witchcraft and the like as deception (often for profit), and as accessing demonic powers.

Satan is a powerful created being according to the Bible, who took even one-third of the very angels of heaven with him in his rebellion. The Bible says that even the very elect would be deceived, if that were possible. Satan sought to raise his own throne above that of God's, and everything God does Satan tries to imitate. The Bible calls him the adversary and a deceiver, who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Footnotes

1. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 366.

2. Ibid.

3. New Bible Commentary, p. 189.

4. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, p. 88.

5. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 1006.

6. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 465.

7. Ibid.

8. The New Bible Commentary, p. 319.

9. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 1039.

10. The Oxford Guide to Ideas & Issues of the Bible, p. 335.

11. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 877.

12. The Complete Bible Handbook, p. 379.

13. The New Lion Bible Encyclopedia, p. 71.

14. The Oxford Guide to Ideas & Issues of the Bible, p. 335.

15. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 1043.

16. The New Interpreter's Bible, Volume I, p. 1135.

17. Ibid.

18. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 877.

19. The Complete Bible Handbook, p. 379.

20. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 1044.

21. Ibid.

22. The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 805


Bibliography

The Complete Bible Handbook, John Bowker, 1998 by Dorling Kinderslay.

The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Revelation 1-11, 1999 by John MacArthur, Jr.

New Bible Commentary, edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer, 1970 Intervarsity Press.

The New Lion Bible Encyclopedia, Mike Beaumont, 2012 Mike Beaumont, this edition 2012 Lion Hudson.

The New Interpreter's Bible, Volume I, Robert K. Feaser, President and Publisher, 1994 by Abingdon Press.

The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Bruce M. Metzger, Michael D. Coogan, editors, Oxford University Press, 1993.

The Oxford Guide to ideas & Issues of the Bible, edited by Bruce M. Metzger, Michael D. Coogan, 2001 Oxford University Press, Inc.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 2007 Hendrickson Publishers.

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, J.D. Douglas and Merrill C. Tenney, revised by Moises Silva, 2011 by Zondervan.

Proverbs 6:12-15
Proverbs 6:12-15 | Source

© 2019 Kelly Ann

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