... but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear. - 1 Pet 3:15
In the Bible God reveals to us what He loves and what He hates. He shows us what He hates so that we can avoid getting involved in those things. If we do get involved or have been involved in the past in the things that God hates, then we must "confess our sins" and God, through Jesus Christ, will "forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9.
It is a good thing to develop a hatred for the things God hates, repenting and renouncing vehemently these things, casting them out of our lives "hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" Jude 23. "The fear of the LORD [the Eternal One] is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate" Proverbs 8:13. As we learn what God hates, let that teach us to fear Him and humble ourselves before the Living God.
The world, without the knowledge of the true God, leads us and teaches us detestable and abominable ways. In Deuteronomy 18:9, God tells His people through Moses "you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations [that do not know God]". In order to walk in the inheritance that God has for us we cannot be found walking in any of the ways of the world.
"There shall not be found among you anyone...
1. "who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire" Deut. 18:10
To pass through the fire means to be burned as an offering to an idol. No children are to be given as a sacrifice to any god, idol or ideology. The Scripture teaches us that "Children are a heritage from Yahweh, the fruit of the womb is a reward" Psalm 127:3. We are to cherish children from conception and nourish, teach, train and disciple them into mature people. We are not to abort, kill or sacrifice children for any reason as God has given them as a blessing, a reward.
2. "who practices witchcraft" Deut. 18:10
In the King James Version of the Bible this is translated as "one that uses divination". It is a Hebrew word qesem which means a lot (determining a destiny by lot) also divination (including its fee), oracle. This word was used in conjunction with Balaam as someone who could be hired to curse others with the use of his lips, speaking a curse.
One who practices witchcraft is speaking of those who speak curses over people and nations. They use their mouth to speak a demonic destiny, a curse. It is inspired of the devil and is used to destroy others. It acts as false prophecy. In many traditional cultures around the world, people run to those who practice witchcraft in order to curse people with sickness, madness and even to have others killed. It can be powerful. God hates this and it is to be renounced if you have been involved in any such activity.
If you have been the recipient of a curse you must realise that in Christ "no weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue (every spoken word) which rises against you in judgement you shall condemn" Isaiah 54:17. As servants of the Lord we have the ability in Christ to overcome witchcraft and condemn and nullify any curses that have been spoken over our lives. This is one of the works of the devil that the Son of God has destroyed! (1 John 3:8)
3. "who is a soothsayer" Deut. 18:10
In the King James Version this is translated as "an observer of times". It is a Hebrew word anan and means to cover, to cloud over; figuratively to act covertly, that is, to practise magic. This word has the sense of someone bringing illusions and using those illusions to cover over or distract from the truth. They cloud people's minds so that they believe a lie and are then easily controlled.
A modern example of a soothsayer would be a hypnotist. They use methods to cloud people's minds so that they can gain control over the person and use them however they want. This sort of thing is becoming increasingly popular and promoted in society as a way to beat addictions like smoking and overcome problems.
This is a deception and lie of the devil and God hates it.
Other ways that soothsaying may be used in a modern context is through any form of transcendental meditation which includes yoga and mind-controlling drugs. This brings people into a spiritual dimension that is not God's kingdom. It is simply a demonic illusion that draws people away from the true spiritual realm of Jesus Christ.
4. "one who interprets omens" Deut. 18:10
The King James Version translates this as "an enchanter". It is a Hebrew word nachash which means to hiss, that is, to whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate. This is somebody who uses some device to determine someone's future based on the sign or omen that the device tells them.
Some modern examples of this would include: readers of tarot cards, reading palms of hands, reading tea leaves, interpreting personalities and destinies based on astrology (star signs which have been quite popular in newspapers). These are all examples of those who interpret omens. God hates this and is calling His people to not partake in this abomination but to trust in Jesus the Messiah and follow His Word. His destiny for our lives is written in the Scripture so that "we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" Rom.15:4.
5. "or a sorcerer" Deut. 18:10
The King James Version translates this as "a witch". The Hebrew word is kashaph and it means to whisper a spell, that is, to inchant or practise magic. This is speaking of a person who has given themselves to do and practise witchcraft on behalf of others. They do this for money, sacrificing to evil spirits or contacting evil spirits to "fix" problems for people.
Again, in many traditional cultures, people will turn to witches or witchdoctors or medicine men to heal diseases and cure problems with their magic. However, in this practice, there is always some agreement with the devil made that brings the person wanting help (or a member of their family) into bondage.
In the New Testament the Greek word for sorceries is pharmakeia. We get the English words pharmacy and pharmaceuticals from this word. This word was used to describe the use of medicines, drugs and spells. Later the word was used of poisoning, and then of sorcery, accompanied by drugs, incantations, charms and magic. [From Word Wealth in New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p.1829].
A modern example of sorcery can even be the use of illicit drugs to give a sense of euphoria that then brings the person into bondage, connecting them with the demonic magic realm. Also the use of lucky charms and fetishes are acts of sorcery. We are never to trust in objects. Even in Africa many put their trust in "anointed water", "anointing oil", "wrist bands" and other gimmicks rather than being taught to trust the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is sorcery! God hates it and it is to be repented of and renounced.
6. "or one who conjures spells" Deut. 18:11
The King James Version translates this as "a charmer". The Hebrew phrase is chabar cheber. "Chabar" means to join, specifically to fascinate. "Cheber" means a society; also a spell. The words together mean to be joined and fascinated to a society that is under a spell.
This is speaking of someone who causes others to be fascinated in the things that are spiritual but that are not of God. This causes the person to enter a fellowship or society in that spiritual thing they are fascinated by. This can even be seen as coming under the spell of religion as seen by apostle Paul's words to the Galatians who were turning to religious Judaism, "Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth" Galatians 3:1. All forms of religion, even "Christian" religion, that lacks the power of the Holy Spirit, can put people under a spell so that they are bewitched and then do not end up obeying the truth.
Some modern examples of ones who conjure spells include secret societies like Freemasonry that cause people to join a fellowship out of their fascination. These societies are dangerous and curses of sickness, disease, mental illness and death come to family members as a result of those who partake in the societies that are under a demonic spell.
Even societies that gravitate around books like Harry Potter and other fantasy, witchcraft books come into this category of ones who conjure spells as they bring people under a fascination that takes them away from God. God hates this and He wants people to turn from this abomination to the Living God for mercy and salvation.
7. "or a medium"
The King James Version translates this as "a consulter with familiar spirits". The Hebrew phrase is shaal shael ob. The meaning of shaal shael is to inquire or demand. The meaning of ob comes from the word ab which means father and ob has to do with prattling a father's name; properly a mumble; hence a necromancer (ventriloquist).
This is speaking of someone who acts as a mediator, a point of communication, between the spiritual realm and earthly realm. They talk to spirits on behalf of others, receiving and giving messages. Familiar spirits are spirits that generally become entrenched in families for generations and therefore know a lot of information about those families so that when a medium consults those spirits they can tell things about others that would otherwise not be known.
A modern example of a medium is one who calls themself a psychic. Psychics consult familiar spirits, which are actually demonic spirits, getting information about a person who has asked them for help from that spirit and then releasing a negative, demonic destiny for that individual, bringing them into bondage. We are not to consult familiar spirits and are not to act as mediums for them. This is dangerous and is an abomination to God.
The Holy Spirit of God sometimes manifests through a "word of knowledge" revealing something about a person that otherwise could not be known. God does this to bring freedom, it costs no money but it is for "the profit of all". (1 Cor.12:7-8)
8. "or a spiritist" Deut. 18:11
The King James Version translates this as "a wizard". It is the Hebrew word yiddeoniy and it means a knowing one; specifically a conjurer; by implication a ghost. The Bible Dictionary definition is a knower, one who has a familiar spirit.
This is speaking of someone similar to a medium but a person who has actually received, possibly by laying on of hands or through being the "chosen one" in a family, to inherit the familiar spirit to operate in their lives. They receive this familiar spirit from their ancestors and this spirit communicates to them, leading them and guiding them and giving them special "knowledge" and/or "power".
Some examples in our modern society can be a guardian angel or a spirit guide from a guru that tells you things to do and gives you special powers.
Sons of God are "led by the Spirit of God" Romans 8:14. The Holy Spirit is the only Spirit that is to guide us as "He will guide you into all truth" John 16:13.
9. "or one who calls up the dead" Deut. 18:11
The King James Version translates this as a "necromancer". The Hebrew phrase is darash muth. Darash means to follow or to frequent and muth means to die. So this is literally someone who frequents or follows the dead.
This is someone who calls up the spirits of dead people, to communicate with them on behalf of others. Very often the people who want to communicate with the dead are family of loved ones that have died that cannot accept the loss of that family member. It is also those who are deceived into ancestor worship, which has strongholds in many cultures and tribes of the earth, looking to dead ancestors for wisdom, even offering sacrifices to them.
The deception is that really these spirits of dead people are not the dead people themselves but demonic spirits and familiar spirits that may have known the dead people. It seems that in the story of King Saul getting a necromancer to call up the prophet Samuel from the dead, that God intervened and allowed Samuel himself to actually talk to Saul giving him a message from God (1 Sam.28:3-25). This, however, is not the norm and God was still angry with Saul for doing this.
Some other modern examples of calling up the dead are the use of ouji boards and sÃ©ances where spirits of the dead (really demons) are called up.
We do not need to talk to the dead because we have a Living God who is the I AM. He is always present. Jesus is the I AM (Jn.8:58). He is alive from the dead and has destroyed the one who had the power of death, the devil (Heb.2:14). We are to communicate with Jesus only!
All of these abominations are rooted in the realm of demonic, evil spirits and they lead people astray into darkness, away from the true God - Jesus the Messiah.
God said through Moses, "For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh, and because of these abominations Yahweh your God drives them out from before. You shall be blameless before Yahweh your God" Deut.18:12-13.
We are to be a "glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing...but without blemish" Eph.5:27. We have been "chosen in Him...that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love..." Eph.1:4. Jesus died for us and rose again in order to "present us holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight" Col.1:22.
To be a dwelling place for God by His Spirit, we need to "come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters..." 2 Cor.6:17-18.
In order to come out of these abominations, if you have been involved in them, will most likely involve deliverance from demons in your life. To effectively be free you will need to renounce these activities strongly and have the help of a minister to expel demons that have come into your life through the doors that have opened because of your involvement in these activities that God hates.
You can and will be free if you want to be - Jesus will deliver you. "For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be delivered" Joel 2:32.
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" Col.1:13.
As this is a strong word I do not want to leave anyone under a sense of condemnation. While God hates these things, He does not hate you, in fact He loves you and wants you to be free from these things. Many people, myself included, in the past rather innocently got involved in some aspect of these things that I have shared. Some people inherit familiar spirits without consciously inviting them into their life. Some of these things can be generational strongholds that we simply grew up with without any other knowledge.
Through repentance God will lead you to life. Simply confess the areas that you have, intentionally or unintentionally, been involved in, to God. Come to Jesus Christ as He is the Righteous Advocate with the Father and He will forgive you (1 John 2:1). Jesus will deliver you from the guilt of the past and will release you from bondage to the devil.
Remember the gospel has come to us "to open our eyes, in order to turn us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that we might receive the forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus" Acts 26:18.