“Sorcery” (Gk. “pharmakia”) primarily signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells; then poisoning; then witchcraft. In sorcery, the use of drugs, whether simple or potent was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provisions of various charms, amulets, etc. professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer (Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 1065).
The attempt to control people or circumstances through power given by demons (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, p. 296).
A sorcerer/witch professed to have power with evil spirits (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 683).
“Spell” is an incantation (formula) or words which properly chanted/spoken/uttered are held to have magic power or a strong compelling influence. It often involved the demonic (The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, p. 955).
“Witchcraft” is sorcery or magic by incantation practiced by a witch through the medium of a demon (Webster’s, p. 1129).
“Charm” is an incantation/spell/formula supposedly having a supernatural power against evil. It can also be an object worn to avert danger by magic (Webster’s, p. 166).
It is a confederacy/alliance with the spirits of the other world. A charmer is one who binds other people by magical knots or mutterings (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 682); (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, p. 296).
“Amulet” is an ornament or gem worn on the body as a protection against evil spirits (Webster’s, p. 31).
“Soothsayer” (Gk. “manteuomai” for soothsaying) is one whose profession was telling the future (Webster’s, p. 947).
They were energized by evil powers (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 683).
“Divination” (Heb. “qasam”; Gk. “puthon”) or fortune-telling is the art that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge, usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers (usually demonic) – Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 331. It is the pagan parallel to true prophecy. It is seeking after the will of the gods, in an effort to learn their future action or divine blessing on some proposed future action (Josh. ). It seems probable that the diviners conversed with demons (1 Cor. ). The practice of divination might involve offering sacrifices to the deity on an altar (Num. 23:1f). It might also involve the use of a hole in the ground, through which the diviner spoke to the spirits of the dead (1 Sam. 28:8). At other times, a diviner might shake arrows, consult with household idols, or study the livers of dead animals (Ezek. , 22) – Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, pp. 99, 320, 1064.
In scripture, the diviners were false prophets, and divination was allied to witchcraft and idolatry, and energized by demon power (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 682).
Divination or fortune-telling can include:
palmistry/chiromancy, tarot cards, astrology, mirrormantic, psychometry, numerology, tea cup reading, geomancy/dot reading, arithmancy/interpreting the configuration of fire, dice reading, bone reading, liver or entrail reading, lead pouring, selenomancy/moon divination, sun divination, sleep reading, tephromancy/ash reading, divination by rod & pendulum (radiasthesia, phabdomancy, dowsing), aeromancy/divination by observing atmospheric conditions or ripples on the surface of an open body of water, augury/interpreting the flight of birds.
“Palmistry” is the divination which claims to forecast a person’s future by interpreting the distinctive shape and markings on the hands and fingers.
“Tarot cards/cartomancy” is a practice which attempts to predict the future by the manipulation and placing of colorfully illustrated tarot cards containing symbolic pictures.
“Mirrormantic” is divination through the use of such objects as crystal balls, mirrors, rock crystals, or bodies of still water.
“Psychometry” is the predicting of a person’s character, fate, or future by means of holding some article belonging to that individual.
“Numerology” is fortune-telling in which the numeric value of names and birth-dates reveal a man’s destiny and character (W. Kimball’s Christianity versus the Occult, pp. 13, 14).
“Astrology” is an art and pseudoscience which teaches that the fixed positions of the stars, moon, and planets exert a mysterious and decisive influence upon people, places, events, and things. It’s also the art of foreknowing the future from the position of the sun, moon, and planets (John Montgomery’s Principalities and Powers, p. 108).
“Dreamer of Dreams” or divination by dreamers or “oneirocritics” is a person who pretends to have prophetic dreams and to foretell future events (which may even come to pass). He undertakes to explain the dreams of others as well. Dreams were looked upon as premonitions from idol gods to future events (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 682).
“Enchantment” is the practice of conjurers/magicians/wizards and exorcists in employing incantations/spells or magic rigmaroles in enlisting the aid of demons to effect some design or in purportedly setting free the demonized from their torments (Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 682).
“Necromancer” (Heb. “darash”) is one who pretends to be able by incantations to call up the dead to consult them respecting things unknown to the living. He was supposed to be the possessor of a spirit with which the dead were conjured up, for the purpose of making inquiry concerning the future (Lev. ) – Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 683.
“Magic” (Heb. “heret”) is the art or science of working wonders beyond the ordinary powers of man. Magic can be divided into two classes – nature/scientific and supernatural/spiritual. The first were performed from a knowledge of the mode in which nature acted. The supernatural magic, however, relied entirely on the powers of spirit beings (demons) – Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 683.
It is the attempt to gain control over nature by supernatural means through spells, charms, etc. (Kimball’s Christianity versus the Occult, p. 19).
“Medium” (Heb. “ob”) is a person or conjurer held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 708). This person has a divining demon in him (Unger’s Biblical Demonology, p. 144).
“Wizard” or “spiritist” (Heb. “yiddeoni”) is a person or medium who supposedly communicates with the dead but who actually communicates with demons (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 296). It is nearly synonymous with necromancy.
“Omens” are signs supposedly to tell the future based on things such as the movement of birds, fire, or rain (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 296).
“Séances” are meetings in which a spiritist/medium allegedly loses consciousness, drifts into a trance-like state, and comes under the control of some external force for the purpose of transmitting communications from the dead, usually to the living loved ones (Kimball’s Christianity versus the Occult, p. 15).
Rev. 9:20, 21 After the rapture (when Jesus returns in the clouds to take up all the Christians to heaven – 1 Thes. -17) and during the seven year tribulation period (between the rapture and Christ’s 2nd coming – -16), God will send plagues on the earth to punish wicked mankind by killing over one third of them. Yet, what won’t mankind repent of (change their thinking about and turn from) – vs. 21?
Why do you think that wicked mankind won’t change and turn from their sorceries (Rev. 19:20; 12:9)?
Rev. 18:21-23 Why will the great city of
How do you think God views sorcery, and why?
How do you view sorcery, and why?
Gal. 5:19, 20 Sorcery/Witchcraft is labeled/listed as a what?
Have you ever been involved in sorcery/witchcraft of any kind? If so, when, and why?
If not, would you ever, and why?
Acts -18 What was this slave girl, who had a spirit/demon of divination able to do?
What did Paul do to the demon within this girl?
Have you ever commanded a demon to come out of a person in the name/authority of Jesus Christ? If so, what happened?
[The ability to cast out demons from Christians is an authority every Christian has in Christ since demons don’t have a right to be in Christians. But to cast out demons from non-Christians seems to be an authority that Jesus gave to only certain people during the Apostolic Era of the 1st century.].
Jer. 27:9, 10 Whom did God’s prophet Jeremiah tell the Israelites to not listen to (pay attention to and/or believe), and why?
Have you ever listened to a (false) prophet, a diviner, a person who had a dream about you and told you about some future thing happening to you, a soothsayer (Heb. “anan”), or a sorcerer (Heb. “kashshaph” – wizard)? If so, when, and why?
Ex. 7:10, 11 What did Pharaoh use sorcerers (Heb. “kaspaph”) for?
What does this tell about Satan’s power and strategy?
How do you feel about this, and why?
Dan. 2:2, 3, 5, 11 What did king Nebuchadnezzar use sorcerers for?
Could they? What does this tell you about Satan?
Ex. What weren’t the Israelites to let a sorceress do?
Does this tell you how serious God thinks the sin of sorcery (Heb. “kashaph”) is?
How serious do you take it, and why?
Deut. 18:10-12 Who is detestable to the Lord?
Have you ever participated in going to a tarot card or palm reader, reading a horoscope, contacting a psychic, or playing with a Ouija board, and why?
Are these things detestable to you, and why?
2 Chron. 33:1, 2, 6 What abominations did King Manasseh commit?
How did God react to this (vss. 6, 11; 2 Ki. , 12)?
Have you or anyone you know ever dealt with mediums or spiritists? If so, when, and how?
Do you fear God’s anger to the point where you won’t be tempted with these sins?
Isa. 47:9-14 In spite of the Babylonian’s sorceries (Heb. “keshaphim”) and spells, what will happen to them suddenly in one day (vs. 9)?
What won’t the Babylonians be able to charm away (vs. 11)?
Who has become like stubble (dried stalks of grain that burn quickly) and won’t be able to save the Babylonians from God’s judgment (vs. 13)? Do you see what God thinks about sorcery, spells, astrology, and that He’s more powerful than Satan?
Mal. 3:5 For what reason will God draw near to these Jewish sorcerers?
Are you convinced yet that God hates sorcerers/witchcraft and will judge those who participate in it?
Acts 8:9-11 How had Simon’s practicing magic (Gk. “mageuo” –
sorcery, the ability to exercise control over nature and/or people by means of
demonic power) in the city of
Have you ever been fascinated, astonished, or captivated by someone’s sorcery/magic arts (Gk. “magia”)?
If so, has it ever led you to believe in, trust, or revere that person as though he or she was a spokesperson from God?
Acts 13:6-11 Who was Bar-Jesus?
What did this magician (Gk. “magos”) try to prevent?
What did Paul call Bar-Jesus (vs. 10)?
Is this what you think about sorcerers, and why?
Rev. 21:8 What will happen to the sorcerers (Gk. “pharmakos”) who never accept Jesus Christ as their Savior?
Will you be going there, and why?
Rev. 22:15 Sorcerers are going to be outside of what (, 11, 22, 23)?
Do you know of anyone who will be excluded from heaven for this sin, if that person never trusts in Jesus Christ as Savior?
Lev. ; Deut. What command is given?
Have you or any of your friends or relatives ever practiced divination or soothsaying?
What can a person do to stop (Jn. ; 1 Cor. ; Eph. ; 1 Jn. , 15; Jas. 4:7)?
Isa. Whom should people consult rather than mediums and spiritists?
Do you consult God for answers to your questions rather than occultic people? Why?
What if God doesn’t seem to give you an answer, what do you do then? Do you consult tarot card or palm readers, Ouija boards, horoscopes, or psychics, and why?
Dan. 5:5, 7, 15 What couldn’t the conjurers and diviners
do for King Belshazzar of
What does this tell you about conjurers and diviners?
1 Sam. 28:7-19 The woman medium from Endor was accustomed to drawing upon the demonic powers of necromancy and having apparitions of the dead appear. How can you tell that she was expecting a satanic imitation or no image at all to appear rather than the real Samuel to rise up (vs. 12)?
[This shows that mediums or necromancers have no real power over the deceased, especially the righteous, but can only produce counterfeits, if anything, because Samuel’s appearance was not the medium’s expected result, as seen by her startled reactions to Samuel’s appearance. Samuel’s appearance here is explained by the intervention of the Lord who graciously permitted Saul one last encounter with the prophet.].
Jer. 10:2 What
does the Lord tell
Are you ever terrified by eclipses, comets, or other heavenly occurrences, or comments by astrologers, and why?
Matt. 24:24 What will false christs and false prophets be able to show/do?
Just because someone is able to do/perform supernatural things, does that necessarily mean that they are from God?
Why (2 Thes. 2:9)?
Lev. What were the Israelites to do to the mediums or spiritists?
What does this communicate to you about God’s attitude toward mediums and spiritists?
What is your attitude toward them, and why?
Deut. 13:1-5 How were the Israelites to view dreamers of dreams who had their signs or wonders come true, but who were trying to lead the Israelites away from the one true God?
Do you ever listen to people who claim to have prophetic dreams and predict future events (even if those events come true), but who teach things contrary to the Bible or take passages out of context from the Bible to mislead others?
Instead, what were the Israelites to do to him (vs. 5)?
Lev. What does God command?
Have you ever seen/gone to a person who claimed to have the ability to communicate with the dead, and why?
Lev. 20:6 What were the consequences for someone who did turn to/go to a medium/spiritist?
How serious does God view consulting mediums/spiritists?
Ex. 8:6, 7 What were the Egyptian magicians (Heb. “charton”) or soothsayer priests able to do that Aaron (Moses’ brother) was able to do?
What does this tell you about the power of demons that magicians use?
Ex. 8:16-19 What couldn’t the magicians do?
What does this tell you about the power of demons that magicians use?
Does Dan. 2:26-28, 47 teach the same thing?
Realizing that God is greater than demonically empowered conjurers, magicians, and diviners, who should we worship and serve?
Are you? Why?
Jer. What did the Lord tell His prophet Jeremiah regarding the other so-called prophets in the land?
Do you know of any mediums, spiritists, or diviners who claim to be Christians or to speak for God, yet obviously are not?
Why do some occultic practitioners try to paint their demonic practices as being good (2 Cor. 11:3, 13-15)?
Are you easily deceived? How do you know?
Ezek. 13:1, 2, 6 Whom did the Lord tell His prophet Ezekiel to prophecy against?
And what does God say about them (vs. 6)?
What can false prophets/diviners do to the righteous, if allowed to influence them (vs. 22)?
Have you ever been disheartened because you allowed yourself to be influenced by occultic practitioners who claimed to be speaking on behalf of God?
Do you think Charismatics [especially preachers and teachers that promote or teach that speaking in tongues, the gift of healing, and getting direct revelations from God (i.e., prophecies) are still happening today – rather than just in the 1st century] are really false teachers dabbling with demonic powers? Why?