The Bible clearly condemns any form of sorcery, including spells, divination, involvement with spirits, and other dark spiritual activity. The admonitions against such practices are consistent in the Old and New Testaments.
What is a biblical view of sorcery?
In Deuteronomy 18:10–12 the nations near Israel were condemned due, in part, to practicing sorcery. In 2 Chronicles 33:6, a list of reasons is given for the condemnation of King Manasseh. Included, along with burning his sons as an offering, is fortune-telling, omens, sorcery, and consulting mediums and necromancers (those who say they communicate with the dead).
Other Old Testament references to sorcery include Exodus 7:11, Isaiah 19:3, Jeremiah 27:9, and Daniel 2:2. The final Old Testament prophet, Malachi, also warns sorcerers of God's judgment (Malachi 3:5).
In the New Testament, Galatians 5:19–21 includes sorcery as a work of the flesh: "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
The Greek word for sorcery is pharmakeia —where we get our word for pharmacy. In New Testament times, sorcerers often used drugs as they practiced their dark arts.
In the end times, nearly the entire world will be deceived by sorcery (Revelation 18:23). The result, for the sorcerers themselves, is a lake of fire and the second death (Revelation 21:8; 22:15).
Dabbling in or practicing activities that step into the spiritual world without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is condemned and is dangerous. James writes that an earthly wisdom that is unspiritual is from the enemy of our souls (James 3:15). Instead, Christians should seek wisdom from God, which is pure and is something He gives generously when we ask (James 1:5; 3:17).
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