In the Bible, witchcraft is referenced several times, and its practice is strongly condemned. The Bible takes a negative stance towards witchcraft and occult practices, categorizing them as forms of idolatry and rebellion against God.
You may wonder what witchcraft really entails. Does it still exist in our modern times? Why is the Bible against witchcraft and other occult things?
We will answer these questions and delve further into witchcraft and the Bible in this article.
What is Witchcraft?
The popular perception of a “witch,” often resembling a comic book superhero or villain with supernatural powers, is far removed from the biblical description. Such depictions stem from pagan myths and are not supported by Christian beliefs.
The Bible does not explicitly prohibit actions like turning invisible, shooting fireballs, flying on brooms, levitating objects, or transforming into animals because these are impossible feats.
In the Bible, the concept of “witchcraft” is akin to “divination,” which involves attempting to communicate with evil spirits to gain information or insight. This could involve rituals, chants (spells), or other efforts to persuade spirits to act a certain way.
The Bible’s perspective on witchcraft essentially warns that while interacting with demons is possible, it should be avoided at all costs.
When it forbids “witchcraft,” it is cautioning against attempting to cast spells or communicate with the deceased—not because these actions are achievable, but because they open individuals up to dangerous and evil forces.
Bible Verses About Witchcraft
Throughout history, individuals have sought supernatural encounters that God did not approve of. The nations surrounding the Promised Land were deeply entrenched in such practices, and God strongly warned His people against engaging with them.
In Deuteronomy 18:9-12, God instructs His people not to imitate the detestable practices of the surrounding nations when they enter the land He is giving them. He specifically warns against sacrificing children, engaging in divination, sorcery, witchcraft, and consulting the dead. God considers anyone involved in these practices as detestable.
The seriousness with which God views witchcraft is evident throughout the Bible. Under the Mosaic Law, practicing witchcraft carried the penalty of death (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27). For example, King Saul’s disobedience and consultation with a medium led to his downfall and death (1 Chronicles 10:13).
In the New Testament, the term “sorcery” is derived from the Greek word “pharmakeia.” This word is where the term “pharmacy” came from (Galatians 5:20). Hence, it suggests that witchcraft and spiritism may involve the use of magic potions or mind-altering substances.
There are only two sources of spiritual power: God and Satan. Satan’s power is limited to what God allows, but it is significant (Job 1:12; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:2). Seeking spirituality, knowledge, or power apart from God is tantamount to idolatry and closely related to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).
Witchcraft falls within Satan’s realm, as he excels in imitating God’s works. For instance, when Moses performed miracles, Pharaoh’s magicians replicated them through demonic power (Exodus 8:7).
The core desire of witchcraft is to know the future and manipulate events beyond human control, which are attributes belonging solely to the Lord. This desire traces back to Satan’s initial temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden, convincing her that she could be like God (Genesis 3:5).
Satan’s primary goal has been to draw people away from worshipping the true God (Genesis 3:1). He tempts individuals with the allure of power, self-discovery, and spiritual enlightenment outside of submission to the Lord.
Witchcraft represents one of the avenues through which he achieves this. Engaging in any form of witchcraft means entering Satan’s realm. Even seemingly harmless modern involvements with witchcraft, such as horoscopes, Ouija boards, Eastern meditation rituals, and particular video or role-playing games, can lead individuals astray. Any practice that dabbles in power sources other than Jesus Christ is considered witchcraft.
Witches are included in the list of individuals who will not get eternal life in Revelation 22:15. This passage serves as a warning about the repercussions of engaging in such practices and siding with evil forces.
Being cautious about witchcraft and other similar practices is crucial, as they can open individuals to demonic influences. Any attempt to achieve an altered state of consciousness through rituals or substances is considered a form of witchcraft.
Is Engaging in Witchcraft Considered a Sin?
Indeed, practicing witchcraft is considered a sin, and it is crucial to understand why.
God told the people of Israel not to turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, as doing so would lead to defilement (Leviticus 19:31). The reason behind God’s insistence on abstaining from these practices is that they would taint and contaminate individuals, eventually leading to destruction if allowed to persist in their lives.
God treated this matter with utmost seriousness, making it essential for individuals to do the same. He warned that anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists, prostituting themselves by following them, would be cut off from their people (Leviticus 20:6).
Moreover, God declared that a man or woman who engages in such practices should be put to death by stoning; their blood will be on their own heads (Leviticus 20:27).
God fully understands the danger of witchcraft and its threat to individuals. His strong warning is a cautionary measure to stay far away from such practices for one’s well-being.
Is Witchcraft Still Relevant Today?
People may question whether witchcraft is still a concern in modern times, wondering if we should be worried about it now.
While overt forms of witchcraft still exist, they can manifest more subtly, leading many to overlook the danger or dismiss the various forms it takes in our society, such as horoscopes and tarot cards.
In conclusion, the Bible unequivocally condemns witchcraft and its related practices as idolatry and rebellion against God. It warns against seeking spiritual power and knowledge apart from God, as such endeavors can lead to defilement and dangerous consequences.
While overt forms of witchcraft may still exist today, they can also manifest more subtly, making it important to be vigilant and discerning in our choices.
As followers of Christ, we must heed God’s warning and stay far away from practices that can open us up to dangerous spiritual forces. Instead, we are called to seek God’s guidance and rely on His power and wisdom as the only true source of spirituality and protection. Let us guard our hearts and stay faithful to God’s teachings.