Instances In Biblical Narrative
- The Levites made use of the Urim and Thummim and various forms of sacrifice as instruments of divination to determine guilt and innocence in law cases .
- The silver chalice that is placed in Benjamin‘s sack when he leaves Egypt is described as being used by Joseph for divination, which is often taken as a reference to its use for scrying.
- Numbers 5:11-31 describes a practice of making a wife who has been accused of adultery drink a mixture of water and dust from the floor of the Tabernacle in order to prove her guilt or innocence.
Covert Power: Unmasking The World Of Witchcraft
It is true … that the English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives fables I willingly take this opportunity of entering my solemn protest against this violent compliment which so many that believe the Bible pay to those who do not believe it giving up of witchcraft is in effect giving up the Bible.’ – John Wesley
Is witchcraft real? What do witches think they are doing when they engage in witchcraft? Why does the Bible have so much to say about witchcraft, and how does it apply to the typical Western materialist who doesnt believe in witchcraft anyway?Witchcraft is often present in society because it expresses something deep-seated in our broken humanity, namely, our desire to carve out a space where we can make things happen apart from God. The seriousness of witchcraft tends to be overlooked both in materialist societies, such as the UK, that pretend spiritual activity doesnt exist and in societies that actively collude with supernatural powers, such as South Africa. The Bible presents a challenge to both sorts of worldview because it recognises there is a spiritual world but one which is subject to Jesus Christs authority.
The world of shadows
Witchcraft and worldviews
From a biblical perspective, the spiritist and the materialist worldviews are the two basic mistakes which can be made in relation to the subject of witchcraft.
Repercussion Over Witches And Warlocks Over The Centuries
The belief in the existence of magick, is understood as a particular force which, by means of specific magickal rituals, performed by certain particular individuals, , of both sexes, or due to supernatural beings, it is presumed to be able to exercise a particular dominion over the forces of nature and also over a human being, turning them to the will of those who perform these practices, as well as in the existence of witchcraft, closely associated with magick, understood as the exercise of these magickal practices by these special individuals who are presumed to influence both positively and negatively nature and humans, it is present in most ancient and modern cultures.
Christianity began gradually taking over from Greco-Roman religion and culture, inevitably had to confront and clash with this magickal-pagan reality, which would continue for many centuries, especially in rural areas.
For Christianity, pagan religion and magickal practices represent one, because both are idolatrous and are nothing more than the residue and survival of ancient cults and beliefs, so they are considered simply as a set of superstitions.
The pagans believing that they were worshiping the gods actually unwittingly worshiped Satan and therefore also the magickal arts were considered as the work of the devil.
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Samuel A Ghost Or Something Else
Something ghostly did turn up in an incident described in 1 Samuel 28:7-20. King Saul was preparing to do battle against the Philistines, but the LORD had departed from him. Saul wanted to get a prediction on the outcome of the battle, so he consulted a medium, the witch of Endor. He ordered her to call up the spirit of Samuel the prophet.
A”ghostly figure” of an old man appeared, and the medium was startled. The figure scolded Saul, then told him he would lose not only the battle but also his life and the lives of his sons.
Scholars are split over what the apparition was. Some say it was a demon, a fallen angel, impersonating Samuel. They note that it came up out of the earth instead of down from heaven and that Saul did not actually look at it. Saul had his face to the ground. Other experts feel God intervened and did cause Samuel’s spirit to manifest itself to Saul.
The book of Isaiah mentions ghosts twice. Spirits of the dead are prophesied to greet the king of Babylon in hell:
The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet youâall those who were leaders in the world it makes them rise from their thronesâall those who were kings over the nations.
And in Isaiah 29:4, the prophet warns the people of Jerusalem of an oncoming attack from the enemy, all the while knowing his warning will not be heeded:
Examples Of Witchcraft In The Bible
22. Revelation 9:20-21 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and woodidols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
23. 2 Kings 9:21-22Quick! Get my chariot ready! King Joram commanded. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out in their chariots to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of land that had belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. 22King Joram demanded, Do you come in peace, Jehu? Jehu replied, How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are all around us?
24. 2 Chronicles 33:6 Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lords sight, arousing his anger.
25. Nahum 3:4-5 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts. Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
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Where Are Ghosts In The Bible
Jesus‘ disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, but he was not with them. Matthew tells us what happened:
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Mark and Luke report the same incident. The Gospel writers give no explanation of the word ghost. It’s interesting to note that the King James Version of the Bible, published in 1611, uses the term “spirit” in this passage, but when the New King James Version came out in 1982, it translated the term back to “ghost.” Most other later translations, including the NIV, ESV, NASB, Amplified, Message, and Good News use the word ghost in this verse.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples. Again they were terrified:
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Jesus did not believe in ghosts he knew the truth, but his superstitious apostles had bought into that folk tale. When they encountered something they couldn’t understand, they immediately assumed it was a ghost.
The New King James Version translates ghost to spirit, including all references to the Holy Spirit.
What Does God Say About Witches And The Occult
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
God outlawed witchcraft and other pagan practices that appealed to the evil spirit realm for their power. To God, it was an abomination for His people to seek help from Satan and his demons. Still, the Israelites were enticed by these practices again and again.
This was not just an Old Testament concern. The new converts to Christianity also took the subject of magic seriously . The apostle John also warns that those who practice witchcraft must repent or they will end up in the lake of firethe second death .
How did Western, so-called Christian nations get caught up in a holiday like Halloween that dabbles in the darkness of evil spirits, witchcraft and the occult? See our article Halloween: Should Christians Celebrate It? See also our article Wicca: Is It Wrong for Christians?
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When Things Get Real
The Bible condemns all forms of witchcraftwhether its information-based or spell-based, effective or pointless, minor or major. Casting an occult spell is not a harmless thing, even if theres no chance of it really working, because doing so means following the lead of a demonic spirit. This is why God told the people of Israel not to get involved, at all, in such things when they came into the Promised Land .
Just because witchcraft cant allow someone to throw fireballs or turn others into frogs doesnt mean God takes the subject lightly. Under Old Testament law, the penalty for witchcraft was death . Real people attempting to commune with spirits have engaged in human sacrifice, child sacrifice, drug use, and other sinful behaviors in their efforts to contact a spiritual entity. And the only beings listening to that kind of talk are demons who are nobodys friends .
A really important point to keep in mind is that while spells, hexes, fortunes, and such are not real in the sense that they cant actually do what they claim, they should still be considered dangerous because they involve contact with demons. Demonic beings have ZERO interest, whatsoever, in making deals, bargains, or promises. And theyre not interested in helping humanity attain spirituality, knowledge, or power. Quite the opposite.
Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Witch To Live: A Murderous Mistranslation
Not everybody agrees that the biblical reference in Exodus is to ‘witches’ as we understand them.
This quote, found in the King James Version of the Bible, has been widely held responsible for the witch burnings that plagued Europe, and later America, in the Early Modern Period . But the murderous practice may have all been the result of a Biblical mistranslation.
The original Hebrew word used in Exodus, translated as “witch,” is mekhashepha. But what that word actually meant when Exodus was written thousands of years ago, we cannot know, leaving us with only modern interpretations.
The word mekhashepha was translated as “witch” in the Ben Yehuda Hebrew Dictionary. The dictionary was written by Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who is considered by many to be the father of modern Hebrew and who established the Academy of the Hebrew language.
The root of the word, kashaph, is translated as mutterings by the late Merrill F. Unger, Biblical scholar and theologian, in his book Biblical Demonology. He too essentially interpreted mekhasheph as “witch,” specifically, “one who practices magic by using occult formulas, incantations, and mystic mutterings.”
However, Kenneth Kitchen a bible scholar at the University of Liverpool, translates the root as to cut and thinks it might refer to cutting herbs .
The Greek poisoners
Might Exodus refer to herbalists or poisoners, instead of witches?
Exorcised in Mesopotamia
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The Occultwhat Does The Bible Say About It
Today, many people dabble in the mystical, occultic arts. Is there anything wrong with being involved in these practices? Yes, the Bible takes a clear position on this subject, strongly denouncing these practices. God created us and therefore owns us. He has a right to set the rules for our lives. Gods Word indicates that these practices are part of Satans strategy of evil tricks and , designed to lead us astray. Satan and his demons are real beings set on our destruction. Christians are warned to
put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places .
See: What is the occult?
Concerning occult practices, the Israelites were told:
When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire , or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who . For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD Deuteronomy 18:9-12a
So What Does The Bible Say About Witches And Warlocks
It cannot be said that magickal activities are direct and specific diabolical actions and wizards themselves usually do not admit to being connected with the devil. Both in the past and in present times, some witches work in close collaboration with the devil, but these are isolated cases. What the Bible says for certain is that the various forms of magick, facilitate diabolical actions both with regard to sin and with regard to harassment.
Spells alter the filial relationship between man and God, put aside prayer and the sacraments, link the will to superstitious practices, foment hatred, and revenge. Often the advice of witches also incites or approves sexual conduct contrary to the Law of God.
The alleged release from invoices or malfunctions is only an illusion as is the production and launch of invoices against those you want to harm.
For all the above reasons the Bible says that the Word of God cannot be judged against the various forms of magick of excessive severity. The Word of God is just and a source of salvation.
Now, lets take a look at a few specific verses.
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Word Curses: What The Bible Says About Breaking Curses
Today, we think of cursing as someone using foul language, profanity, or perhaps, even blasphemous words against God. Our definition usually is synonymous with swearing. This is a form of cursing, but it is only a small portion of what curses mean in the Bible. Cursing in the Bible is not only speaking evil of someone, but evil coming upon someone. If a person is under a curse, according to the Bible, evil has come upon them in some way. Sickness, tragedy, or bad circumstances are occurring in their lives.
Please Note: This does not mean that every difficult circumstance that we go through is a curse. Sometimes God leads us through circumstances to stretch our faith. This is for our own good, as it is helping us to grow stronger and identify ourselves with Him. However, He is not bringing anything upon us, but rather leading us through a circumstance so that we might experience His overcoming power. For the duration of this article, we are referring to an evil curse that comes not from the hand of God, but from the enemy.
Is This Still Relevant For Us Today
People may wonder if this is still a concern for today, leading them to ask should we be worried about witchcraft now? While there are blatant forms of witchcraft still being practiced today, many times it can be more subtle. This causes many not to recognize the danger or pay attention to the forms that witchcraft takes in our modern society such as horoscopes, tarot cards, etc.
There are two things about witchcraft that we dont think about that can potentially affect us.
1. Rebellion is witchcraft
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry .
The greatest example of witchcraft we see currently comes through rebellion. Remember witchcraft is when you seek to manipulate through spiritual means. Rebellion is like witchcraft because in essence you are following another spirit to do or get what you want. When you are engaged in rebellion, you are following after your own spirit to pursue your own desires. The Bible says this is witchcraft.
2. Witchcraft dwells in your sinful nature
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery idolatry and witchcraft hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God .
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