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Articles by Dr. Cathy Burns


Deuteronomy 18:10-12a states: 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.

Let's look at those abominations a little closer.

1. "One that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire": ¨This is a heathen practice. The heathen would "dedicate" their children to an ¨idol by making a child pass through the fire." Leviticus 18:21 tells us not to ¨"let any seed [children] pass through the fire to Molech." Molech was a god of ¨
the Egyptians and children were his victims. The statue was heated up by an ¨inside fire and then the children were passed through his hot arms in order to ¨receive Molech's blessing. Many children were actually burned alive by this ¨practice (see II Kings 16:3; 17:17, 31; 21:6; II Chronicles 28:3; 33:6).

2. "Divination" is the "art or practice that seeks to foresee or ¨
foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by means of augury ¨[divination or omen] or by the aid of supernatural powers." Divination takes ¨many forms. The letters "mancy" come from the Greek and means "divination." ¨
The Bible mentions divination in many places (see II Kings 17:17; Jeremiah ¨14:14; 27:9; 29:8; Ezekiel 12:24; 13:6-7, 23; Zechariah 10:2; Acts 16:16). The ¨following are some, but not all, of the forms of divination:

Divining Rod

DOWSING--divination by means of a divining rod (usually used ¨to find water, but can also be used to find lost items, criminals, etc.)

ASTROMANCY or ASTROLOGY--divination by the stars

HYDROMANCY--divination by water or any other liquid

NECROMANCY--divination by the dead (see note No. 9 on necromancy)

OUIJA BOARD--foretelling the future by means of the ouija ¨board by certain messages being spelled out on the board

NUMEROLOGY or ARITHMANCY--foretelling the future by numbers

PALMISTRY or CHIROMANCY (also CHEIROMANCY)--foretelling the ¨future by reading the hand

ONEIROMANCY--divination by dreams

I CHING--A Chinese book used to foretell future events by ¨
tossing coins or yarrow sticks. The future is told by the way the coins or ¨sticks fall.

TAROT CARDS--Cards used to foretell the future--regular ¨
playing cards are often used, but the Tarot cards are a special set of cards ¨used for foretelling the future. The Tarot cards are also used for meditation.

Playing Cards

HARUSPICATION--divination by the entrails of birds, animals, ¨
and reptiles

CRYSTAL-GAZING--divination by looking into a crystal ball or ¨
by using a crystal

AXINOMANCY--divination by axe heads

RHABDOMANCY--foretelling the future by rods or wands

BELOMANCY--divining by arrows (see Ezekiel 21:21)

CAPNOMANCY--divination by the behavior of smoke

TEA LEAVES--Divination by looking at the tea leaves in the bottom of a cup after the person, whose future is being foretold, drinks the ¨tea.

HEPATOSCOPY--divination by examination of the liver of an ¨
animal (see Ezekiel 21:21)

SCAPULIMANCY--Divination by setting on fire the shoulder ¨
blade of an animal and watching it crack. The witch doctor would then foretell ¨the future by the cracks.

GRAPHOLOGY--foretelling the future by a person's handwriting

3. "Observer of times": This is another way of foretelling the ¨
future, and means the same as prognostication (see Leviticus 19:26; II Kings ¨21:6; II Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:13).

4. "Enchanter": To influence by charms and incantations; bewitch"; ¨the practice of the magical arts (see Leviticus 19:26; II Chronicles 33:6; II ¨Kings 17:17; 21:6; Isaiah 47:9, 12; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 1:20). In Exodus ¨7:11, 22; 8:7 we see that the enchanters and magicians duplicated the miracles ¨
of Moses and Aaron. This proves that Satan can (and does) duplicate SOME of ¨the things that God does. However, since God is almighty, and Satan is only ¨mighty, we find that Satan cannot duplicate everything that God does. This ¨fact is borne out by Exodus 8:18-19.

5. "Witch": A woman wizard; one that practices the black arts or ¨magic; a sorceress. Witchcraft deals with evil spirits (see Exodus 22:18; I ¨Samuel 15:23; II Chronicles 33:6; II Kings 9:22; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; ¨Galatians 5:19-21).

6. "Charmer": A person who puts a spell on someone else; a magician; ¨same as an enchanter (see Isaiah 19:2-3).

7. "Consulter with familiar spirits": Webster tells us a familiar ¨spirit is "a spirit or demon that serves or prompts an individual" or "the ¨spirit of a dead person invoked by a medium to advise or prophesy." The witch ¨of Endor was such a person. I Chronicles 10:13 tells us: "So Saul died for his ¨transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of ¨the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a ¨familiar spirit, to inquire of it." This should make it clear that one who has ¨a familiar spirit is actually the same as a witch. (See Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, ¨27; I Samuel 28:3-9; II Kings 21:6-7; 23:24-25; I Chronicles 10:13; II ¨Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19.)

8. "Wizard": A male witch; one that practices the black arts or ¨magic; a sorcerer. (See Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27; I Samuel ¨28:3, 9; II Kings 21:6; 23:24-25; II Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 19:3.)

9. "Necromancer": One who foretells the future or uses divination by ¨means of communication with the dead. A necromancer supposedly forces a corpse ¨to speak instead of a spirit. There are also strong warnings in the New Testament about these ¨practices. (See Galatians 5:19-21; I Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 24:24; Revelation ¨9:18-21; 16:13-15; 21:8, 27.) 

--Dr. Cathy Burns

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