The Bible warns us against involvement with occult practices, and while it is true that the demonic realm is a danger in such involvement – it isn’t the only one.
Here are other reasons why the Bible instructs us to avoid the occult.
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.”
The occult leads mankind in the wrong direction, away from the truth, and towards a false confidence in one’s own power and abilities.
“God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”
– 1 Timothy 2:3b-5
What the occult, witchcraft, and magic really is
For all their differences, Christians and those involved in the occult, witchcraft, or magic actually share some beliefs.
The first belief that both groups share is that of the existence of a supernatural realm and the powers it holds.
Unfortunately, associations in this realm are on opposing sides, even if one group is unaware. There are those involved in the occult who believe that there exists a type of “good magic,” so-called “white witchcraft,” and those who believe they are “white witches.”
They use this chart on two separate themselves from those who practice “black magic” or “black witches” who are involved in evil practices.
But in truth, all magic is magic, just as all witchcraft is witchcraft. There is no black and white. It is one and the same.
Why the occult, witchcraft, and magic is a sin
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 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.”
–Galatians 5:18-21 (bold emphasis added)
The danger of the occult, witchcraft, and magic is that it is a sinful practice. Why?
There are a number of reasons.
The sin of pride
First, in occult practices, the practitioner circumvents the need for God. They seek to empower their own will to, by way of supernatural means, manipulate their destiny, either by a foreknowledge of the future and/or controlling events.
This is the sin of pride.
This is the same sin that Satan committed and why he was cast out of heaven for seeking to place his own authority above God.
Breaking the Ten Commandments
Second, occult practices violate the first of the Ten Commandments that instruct: “thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and that “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” which is idolatry.
In occult practices, sometimes other entities are called upon for assistance. And even the practitioner puts themselves before God.
Further, sometimes figurines, medallions, and other “graven images” are used to summon and or control spirit entities.
The human mind always longs for “more.” In deeper practices of witchcraft and magic, intoxication and or sexual activity are part of certain rituals, which are further sins according to the Bible.
The occult in the Bible: Some definitions
A few definitions will ensure better understanding. Here are a few definitions for words the Bible uses in condemning and warning against occult practices.
The Bible speaks of “sorcery” in several passages.
In the original Greek text of the New Testament, the word used for sorcery was pharmakeia. (pronounced: “Far” + “Ma” + “Kay” + “Uh.”). And in Greek, pharmakeia could several meanings including: magic, sorcery, witchcraft, enchantment, drugs or medication. Its meaning in the Bible depended on its use in context.
When the pharmakeia is used in various place within the Bible, it most often has these meanings:
- The administering or usage of drugs.
- Magic, sorcery, witchcraft; often found in connection with idolatry. (Galatians 5:20; Exodus 7:11, 22; Exodus 8:18; Isaiah 47:9; Revelation 18:23)
- Poisoning. (Found in Revelation 9:21)
- As a metaphor for the seductions or deceptions of idolatry.
“And when they say to you, ‘Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,’ should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?”
Another word used frequently in the Bible is necromancy, which is the practice of communicating with the dead, typically by summoning their “assumed” spirits.
The reason it is they are “assumed” spirits is because most likely, it is a demonic entity the spiritualist/medium/necromancer is actually communicating with – not the spirit of the deceased person.
Necromancy is a form of divination.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
–1 John 4:1