I am preparing to teach this Friday night’s lesson for the youth meeting. I have a request to teach on the dangers of black magic (witchcraft, fortune-telling, tarot cards, horoscope, etc). I want to present the information to you so that I can think through the subject myself. I would love to hear what you think. I hope this lesson will be good for those who call themselves “Christian” yet live by pagan practices (and may not even know it). We will take a look at both the Old and New Testaments to see what the Word of God teaches on this subject. In Moldova, where over 90% of the population claims to be “Christian” many, many people turn to fortune-tellers, tarot cards, and horoscopes to lean what their future holds. Some say that it is just simple fun to read your horoscope on a daily basis. Just remember, what gets into your mind can linger for much longer that you ever planned. If you just crack the door for the Devil, he will remove the hinges and bring an army with him. There are others in Moldova, who also claim to be Christian, yet at the same time practice “black magic”, by casting spells and curses on people, homes, and even entire families. Can a person be a genuine Christian and practice these things? That is what we want to determine. Also, if you have opened this door of evil, is there a way to close it? If someone is casting spells on you and trying to curse you, what can you do to protect yourself?
I. The Bible teaches that Christians, people of God, are forbidden to practice any kind of magic (both black and white magic).
10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium , or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD ; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. 13 “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so. (Deut. 18)
These were the practices of the pagans who lived in the land before Israel entered. They were pagan and lived like pagans, even offering their children as human sacrifices to their deranged gods. God solemnly warns His people before they enter the land. He tells them that they cannot practice these things. He then explains what they are.
1. Divination – Latin origin – divinare- to look into the future with the help of spirits. A diviner is one who claims to see the future (which lies in God’s hand and God’s alone) and will reveal that future to you for a price. Paul gives us some insight into why people practice divination and witchcraft. He does so in Acts 16:16-19. It is practiced out of greed and desire to make a profit at all costs. This can be done through a medium (one who asks questions to the spirits) or through a spiritist (one who is in contact with the spirits) or through one who speaks with the dead. None of these are good actions because they open the door to the negative aspect of the spiritual world which leads to many, many problems.
2. Witchcraft – influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces. This is directly connected to the previous. Once they see the future through divination then they try to change the events, either trying to keep them from happening or benefiting from them. This is usually done by casting spells or incantations. This may be performed by a female (witch) or by a male (sorcerer).
God calls these things detestable (repulsive) and cast judgment on those who practice them.
II. God announces the punishment for practicing witchcraft and it is manifested in 3 forms; 1) personal judgment 2) national judgment 3) eternal judgment.
26 ‘Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy ; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. 27 ‘Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.’ ” (Leviticus 20:26-27)
Personal judgment is the death penalty. During the days of ancient Israel, God commanded the authorities to carry out capital punishment. We no longer live under a theocracy but that does not stop personal judgment for those who practice these sins. Just like immorality, which was punishable by death then, still brings a death sentence with it through the form of many STD’s and specifically HIV/AIDS.
Personal judgment is followed by national judgment. If the people are tolerant to witchcraft and allow it to be practiced openly among them, then they will reap the consequences. Did you notice what God said He was going to do to the nations that practiced witchcraft openly? “God will drive them out before you”. They will be driven out of the land. In another passage the phrase is “spewed or vomited out”. Could it be just mere coincidence that 4 citizens leave Moldova every single day, never to return? This is a nation that claims to be Christian and yet at the same time openly accepts witchcraft.
The worst of all three forms of judgment is the final; eternal judgment, completely separated from the presence of God.
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
The lake of fire awaits those who practice witchcraft and do not repent of their sins. Before physical death takes place, those who practice witchcraft have a chance to repent and be forgiven for their sins. They will not receive the penalty of eternal judgment. This process is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Acts 26:17-18. It happens by believing in Jesus Christ and receiving Him as you Lord and Savior. He becomes the Master of your life. This is mentioned in the Gospel of John 1:12.
III. Do not listen to those who practice witchcraft because they are driven by greed, they will lie to you, and they are actually ineffectual when it comes to changing God’s plans.
We have seen in Acts 16:16-19 that they are driven by greed and the desire to make a profit at all costs. Jeremiah 27:9-10 explains that they will lie to you in order to keep you satisfied and coming back for more (with your hard earned money of course). Finally, Daniel 2:27–28 explains that they are ineffectual, no matter how much you promise them. The king threatened them with death if they could not use their powers to answer something for him about the future. They were unable to do it. The only person who saved them was Daniel, because he appealed to God instead of witchcraft. If you want to be a sucker then throw your hard earned money down the drain by going to psychics and fortune-teller. Just know that not only do you make yourself out to be a fool but you also bring God’s judgment on your head. If you want to throw money away, why not donate it to charity or a good cause instead of supporting evil?
IV. If you are a born again believer then you have nothing to fear from those who practice witchcraft or try to use it against you.
You are protected by God in every situation, even if someone is casting spells on you. God promises to work the evil that is thrown your way for your own good. Let’s turn to Paul once again in his epistle to the church in Rome.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
So my dear friend, do you play around with magic/witchcraft? Do you read your daily horoscope (just for fun of course)? Are you opening yourself up to judgment by appealing to psychics and fortune-tellers to learn about the future? Are you putting your nation at risk by being tolerant of those who practice witchcraft? Maybe it is time for you to repent and turn to the Lord for help so that you can take part in building the future of your nation instead of participating in its destruction. May God help us obey Him fully.