Deuteronomy 18:10-12 - Occult Practices Condemned.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 - Occult Practices Condemned.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (KJV) There shall not be found among you 
any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the 
fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an 
enchanter, or a witch,  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, 
or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all that do these things are an 
abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy 
God doth drive them out from before thee.  

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NIV) Let no one be found among you who 
sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or 
sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or 
who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who 
does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these 
detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before 

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NLT) For example, never sacrifice your son 
or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people 
practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage 
in witchcraft,  or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, 
or call forth the spirits of the dead.  Anyone who does these 
things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have 
done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them 
out ahead of you.  

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (TLB) For example, any Israeli who presents 
his child to be burned to death as a sacrifice to heathen gods must 
be killed. No Israeli may practice black magic, or call on the evil 
spirits for aid, or be a fortune-teller, or be a serpent charmer, 
medium, or wizard, or call forth the spirits of the dead.  Anyone doing 
these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord, and it is 
because the nations do these things that the Lord your God will displace 


Occult Practices: Deuteronomy 18:9-13.

This is one of the strongest warnings in Scripture against 
occult practices, and it must be heeded today. Israel did not obey this 
command, and the land was defiled and the nation disciplined. [Chapter by 
Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe] 


  Child sacrifice and occult practices were strictly forbidden 
by God. These practices were common among pagan religions. Israel's 
own neighbors actually sacrificed their children to the god Molech 
(Leviticus 20:2-5). Other neighboring religions used supernatural means, 
such as contacting the spirit world, to foretell the future and gain 
guidance. Because of these wicked practices, God would drive out the pagan 
nations (Deuteronomy 18:12). The Israelites were to replace their evil 
practices with the worship of the one true God. 
  The Israelites were naturally curious about the occult 
practices of the Canaanite religions. But Satan is behind the occult, and 
God flatly forbade Israel to have anything to do with it. Today 
people are still fascinated by horoscopes, fortune-telling, witchcraft, 
and bizarre cults. Often their interest comes from a desire to know 
and control the future. But Satan is no less dangerous today than he 
was in Moses' time. In the Bible, God tells us all we need to know 
about what is going to happen. The information Satan offers is likely 
to be distorted or completely false. With the trustworthy guidance 
of the Holy Spirit through the Bible and the church, we don't need 
to turn to occult sources for faulty information. [Life Application 

  The Babylonians had grown arrogantly confident not only in 
their military power but also in the supposed insight of their false 
prophets. People today still try to discern the future through false 
methods. They sit in darkened rooms with tarot cards and crystal balls, 
or use other occult methods. Such activity is playing with demonic 
powers--a dangerous, sinful thing to do. It is also futile--the only one 
capable of telling what the future holds with 100-percent accuracy is 
God himself. 
  Seeking knowledge of the future through the occult is evidence 
of a lack of trust in God. Believers should have nothing to do with 
such practices. You can be sure that God will wisely and lovingly 
direct history according to his plans. You cannot know your future, but 
you can entrust yourself to the One who knows all things. He is Lord 
and will bring all things to pass according to his timetable. [The 
One Year Bible for New Believers re Jer.50:35-38] 

  Ephesus was a center for black magic and other occult 
practices. The people cooked up magical formulas in search of wealth, 
happiness, and fertility. Superstition and sorcery were commonplace. Many 
Ephesians engaged in exorcism and occult practices for profit. The sons of 
Sceva were impressed by Paul's work, whose power to drive out demons 
came from God's Holy Spirit, not from witchcraft, and was obviously 
more powerful than theirs. They discovered, however, that no one can 
control or duplicate God's power.  
  One of Satan's schemes is to make demonically influenced 
activities seem normal, commonplace, or even "good." Even today, demonic 
activities are masked as harmless fun, and too many people are falling for 
it. Christians have no business going to fortune-tellers, putting 
trust in horoscopes, channeling people who lived long ago, or getting 
involved in Wicca activities and casting spells. God clearly forbids such 
practices (Deuteronomy 18:9-13, April 1). Moreover, they are harmful to 
the soul. There's no fooling around when it comes to Satan. [The One 
Year Bible for New Believers re Acts 19:13-20] 

  For many people today, reading your horoscope while standing 
in line at the supermarket may not seem like a big deal. Television 
shows have mediums who consult with the dead and psychics who solve 
crimes. All this has the appearance of harmless fun and games. However, 
God takes these things very seriously indeed and he does not want us 
to play around with them. He says very clearly that his people must 
have nothing to do with anything from the occult (Deuteronomy 
18:10-12, April 1). 
  It comes down to a matter of trust. God has told us to trust 
in him and him alone. Consulting a medium, using a palm-reader, or 
even just looking at a horoscope implies that our trust is actually 
not in God. When we lose our focus on God, we end up like Saul. Fear 
and doubt creep into our hearts and we have a tendency to want to 
take matters into our own hands. 
  Don't let desire to know the future or the belief that 
superstition is harmless lead you into condoning occult practices. They are 
counterfeits of God's power and have at their root a system of beliefs 
totally opposed to God. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re 1 
Samuel 28:1-3] 

  Most believers readily recognize that the Bible forbids the 
occult practices of Satan worship and witchcraft. They might not, 
however, so quickly identify other practices as satanic or occultic. 
  While the Bible forbids and rebukes the practice of astrology, 
including the use of horoscopes and predicting events by the alignment of 
planets (Deut. 18:10; Is. 47:12, 13), many Christians consider it 
harmless fun to consult their horoscopes in the daily newspaper. God says 
it's not. 
  Another practice, divination (fortune-telling), is forbidden 
in many places (Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:9-14; Is. 44:25; Jer. 27:9; 
Ezek. 13:8). Other Scriptures could be included, but the Scripture 
makes it abundantly clear that the practice of fortune-telling is 
occultic in nature and therefore forbidden. 
  The Bible also condemns other practices, such as enchantments 
(sometimes referred to as incantations, spells, or charming; see Deut. 
18:11 and Is. 19:3). God forbids the practice of magic (Ex. 7:11, 12). 
Of course, there is a considerable difference between one who 
practices magic by tapping into supernatural forces, and those who perform 
acts of illusion that depend on sleight of hand, not supernatural 
powers. A friend of mine is a master illusionist. He is great at doing 
tricks, but he explains to his audience that his tricks are just 
that--tricks, illusions--and that they have nothing to do with magic or 
supernatural powers. His ministry enables him to talk about the occult, but 
he makes it clear that what he does is sleight of hand, no matter 
how amazing it appears to the onlooker. 
  Probably you have enjoyed an illusion or trick performed in a 
show and never considered it dangerous. As children, many had their 
"fortunes" told at Halloween parties at school. Some consider the use of 
Ouija boards a harmless form of entertainment, in no way connected to 
supernatural powers--but we need to remember that the practice of attempting 
to contact the dead through the use of a medium is strictly 
forbidden in the Bible (Deut. 10:10-12; 2 Kin. 21:6; Lev. 19:31). No 
believer should ever play with the occult. [Life Principles SB By Charles 
Stanley re Deu. 18:9-14] 

When Karen came to Ron, an elder in our church, she was 
frustrated. She had an important decision to make. And her friends all gave 
her conflicting advice. So Karen decided to come to church and ask 
Ron to tell her what to do. No specific "thou shalt" or "thou shalt 
not" applied. So Ron showed her several Bible passages with 
principles that might apply. Finally he told her to pray and ask Jesus what 
she should do. Angrily Karen burst out, "But you're the elder. 
You're supposed to tell me what to do." All of us have times when we 
feel a need for special guidance--for someone to tell us what to do. 
In the ancient world people commonly turned to sorcery or 
divination, or cast spells, in a search for supernatural guidance. Some 
moderns do the same thing, turning to palm readers, spiritists, or 
astrology. In this passage Israel is bluntly informed that such practices 
are "detestable." God's people are not to engage in any of them (vv. 
9-14). Then immediately, God made a promise. Yes, situations will arise 
which are not covered by Scripture. Yes, there will be times when 
people need special, supernatural guidance. But, God said, then "I will 
raise up for you a prophet." God made a commitment. He Himself would 
provide any special guidance His people might need through prophets. 
Israel would never need to look to any source but God. Karen was 
furious when Ron wouldn't tell her what to do. Ron explained that God 
has given His Holy Spirit to each believer. Karen needed to pray 
about her situation and let God Himself guide her. "I'm not God," Ron 
explained. "I don't know God's best for you, but He does. And if you 
listen, God will show you what to do." Karen stayed angry for two days. 
But finally she decided to do what Ron said. Later she came back, 
excited. God had guided her, and she had found a solution neither she nor 
any of her friends had thought of. Ron, as a good servant of Jesus 
Christ, had helped another person learn that she truly could depend on 
God. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary re Deu. 18:9-22] 

No believer should ever play with the occult. [Life Principles 
SB By Charles Stanley] 


Leviticus 20:6 (NLT) "I will also turn against those who commit 
spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who 
consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. 

Galatians 5:19 (KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, 
which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, 
seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such 
like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time 
past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of 

If Saul had banned all mediums and wizards from Israel, why did 
he turn to one for counsel? Although he had removed the sin of 
witchcraft from the land, he did not remove it from his heart. Saul, after 
God's Spirit left him, in desperation sought help from the medium at 
En-dor in order to find the will of God. Saul hoped Samuel might help 
him if only he could speak with him. But God had strictly forbidden 
the Israelites to have anything to do with black magic, fortune 
tellers, witches, wizards, or anyone who claimed to bring forth spirits 
from the dead (Dent. 18:9-14). [The One Year Bible Companion re 1 
Samuel 28:3-8] 


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