What Does The Bible Say About Magic?

Should a Christian practice or support magic? In a world that is rapidly growing in the acceptance of the dark art, here are a few things you should know about magic from the Bible.

What Does The Bible Say About Magic

Magic, according to Wikipedia, is the application of beliefs, rituals or actions employed in the belief that they can manipulate natural or supernatural beings and forces.

In modern occultism and Neopagan religions, many self-described magicians and witches regularly practice ritual magic; defining magic as a technique for bringing about change in the physical world through the force of one’s will. Since that time, other religions (e.g. Wicca and LaVeyan Satanism) and magical systems have adopted it.

Today, magic is portrayed through entertainment shows, movies and music, but the word of God remains constant: No true Christian should practice it.

What Does The Bible Say About Magic?

All through the Bible, God is clear on the subject of magic. In fact, magic is one of the subjects or practices that God deals with explicitly.

From Biblical records, we discover that the practice of magic dates back to ancient times; ever since, it has evolved, delving deeper into more and more darker manifestations.

However, from the very same beginning, God outrightly condemns and judges any believer who practiced and/or supported the practice of magic.

The Bible associates magic, witchcraft, sorcery, and all other such related practices as one. In the Law of Moses, no one who practiced these should live. The punishment was death, both for the one who practiced and the one consulting.

What Does The Bible Say About Magic KJV?

Here are a few verses from the KJV that says a thing or two about magic:

(Note: All scripture quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (KJV)” 1John 4:1
“And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (KJV)” 2 Kings 21:6
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)” Colossians 2:8
“Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (KJV)” Acts 19:19
“Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. (KJV)” Isaiah 47:12-14
“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 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. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (KJV)” Deuteronomy 18:9-14
“And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards. (KJV)” Isaiah 19:3
“Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. (KJV)” Ezekiel 13:20

Biblical Definition Of Magic

Every biblical definition finds its root in God. Therefore, let us understand that our definition of things must be subject to the way the Bible defines them. This way, we show that we are subject to the principles and the constitution of the Kingdom of God found therein.

Although we do not find a specific definition of magic from the Bible, based on everything we read however, the following pointers help us have a biblical view on what magic is:

  • Manipulates through illusions, sleight of hands, false philosophy or show of power
“All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by.” Isaiah 47:13-14
  • Has its power source from satan or demons
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2Cortinthians 11:13-15
  • Leads people to idolatry and/or occultism
“Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery” Acts 8:9-11
  • Aims to deceive people through signs and wonders and turn their hearts from God
“So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.” Exodus 7:10-13
What Does The Bible Say About Magic

What Does The Bible Say About Magicians?

The Bible is explicit about magic and magicians. In some portions of scripture, they are called sorcerers, deceivers, false prophets, men and women who consulted with devils, etc.

Find below three specific things that the Bible says about magicians which sums up every other thing we will see from God’s word regarding them:

  • It shows us what they do
“When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” Isaiah 8:19
  • It warns God’s people not to associate with them.
“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:31
  • It reveals their eternal end
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

Examples/Stories Of Magicians In The Bible

Here are some examples or stories of some magicians in the Bible:

  • Moses Versus Pharaoh’s Magicians (Exodus 7:10-22, 8:1-20)
  • Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and the magicians of Babylon (Daniel 2)
  • Simon the sorcerer of Samaria (Acts 8:9-13)
  • Elymas, the sorcerer versus Paul, the Apostle (Acts 13:6-12)

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