cultural · Drugs · holiness · Uncategorized

What does the Bible mean when God forbids the use of sorcery?

The Breakdown: Pharmakeia and Mind Altering Drugs 06/24 by Minister Fortson | Religion

I’ve had several discussions, and arguments over the years about the use of marijuana by Christians. I’m sure you have heard all the arguments, and perhaps you were even the one making the argument for it. If that is the case, I’d like for you to consider the list of sins that sorcery is included with, and the context of its prohibition, as well as what it actually is.
Many of us have discovered, or have been taught that the Greek word translated as sorcery in the New Testament is, “φαρμακεία.” (pharmakeia) It is where we get our modern words, “pharmacy, pharmaceutical, and pharmacist” to name a few. The Latin derivative means, drugs. It is a simplistic definition that did not carry the original Koine Greek meaning with it fully.
In context to the time, language, and the entirety of scripture, the meaning becomes clear. Sorcery was the practice of using naturally occurring compounds alone, or mixed to make one feel a certain way, or to see visions, (hallucinations) or to poison them, or to simply get them high. It was often in conjunction with witchcraft, and ritual sexual immorality.
We know sorcery isn’t the work of a physician as Luke was a physician. The Greek word for physician was, “ἰατρὸς.” (iatros) it meant, a practitioner of medicine. The word for medicine was, “ἴαμα.” (iama) and it meant, healing, curing, or remedy. Being a physician (healer) was an accepted practice. They would use medicines in their practice. The negative social connotation of a sorcerer was more akin to the modern drug dealer, and occultist, than a pharmacist, or doctor.
Pagan religions would use, and some still do, potions, plasters, and bolus’ in conjunction with sexual immorality, including orgies, and bestiality, to either worship their false gods, or have spiritual experiences. One might say they were pseudospiritual, but I think it would be more accurate to classify them as demonic spiritual experiences.
It is true however, that the English word, “sorcery” when used in the Old Testament to translate the Hebrew word, “ וְֽכִשֵּׁ֔ף” (wə·ḵiš·šêp̄) didn’t specifically state that it was drugs, but it was still associated with witchcraft, enchantments, evil mysticism, and paganism outside of the one true faith, and it shared same connotation that was understood in the New Testament. It has always been an abomination to God, and forbidden to His people.
It is obvious from scripture that having a sober mind is a good thing. If we are sober minded, we can pray, and be on guard against sin, and evil in our lives, but if we are not sober minded our inhibitions against sin are reduced, and so are our faculties. Engaging in drug us is not the same as using a prescribed medicine from a doctor to bring about healing. We can see that the abuses associated with sorcery, and witchcraft are abominable. If you truly seek to fight sin in your life, then you will not purposefully subject yourself to sorcery, substance abuse.
Marijuana is one of those drugs that we as Christians should not take. It is a drug that people take to get high. They take it for the express purpose of dulling their senses, and not being sober minded. Some might protest, and argue about how they have other reasons they take it, but there are other ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, or other problems, that don’t involve using drugs. Drug users will always have an argument, but if you seek the truth, and righteousness, stay away from drugs. You can take medicine from a physician, but not drugs from a drug dealer, even if they have made it legal in your state. Legal doesn’t mean moral. As always, repent of your sins, and trust Jesus Christ’s justifying work on the cross, and not your own works.

After all, what does living for God’s glory look like?  Does it look like someone who loves pot more than Christ?  Does it look like someone who has been defiled by being stoned out of their gourd?  This doesn’t just apply to drugs.  Whatever it is that you can’t live without, drugs, porn, booze, adultery, a pet false teaching, anything in your life that dishonors God is sin.  We have to come to the realization, and understanding about these things so we can be honest about them, and fight them, instead of justifying them away.  It is impossible to come to God in repentance, if you are minimizing your sins, or justifying them away.  Ask Jesus to forgive you based on who He is and what He has done to make you right with God.  Then, fight against these sins.  Don’t give up.  You may be fighting for a long time.

7  The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 1 Peter 4:7
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
[Deu 18:10 NASB] 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,
[Exo 22:18 NASB] 18 “You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
[Isa 57:3 NASB] 3 “But come here, you sons of a sorceress, Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute.
[2Ch 33:6 NASB] 6 He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him [to anger.]
[Gal 5:20 NASB] 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
[Rev 18:23 NASB] 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.

5 thoughts on “What does the Bible mean when God forbids the use of sorcery?

  1. I completely disagree. Marijuana comes from God and does not require sorcery. Eating it is no different than eating any other God given herb, such as oregano or sage.
    On the other hand, pharmaceutical drugs are man made. God tells us to trust in Him, not man. I trust what he has provided for us, I do not trust that man has decided to take a God given plant and make it illegal.


  2. This article is erroneous to the hilt. Snyder, you destroyed yourself from the very beginning with your definition of sorcery. You defined it as using substances to make you feel a certain way to avoid certain suffering or states of reality. But that is exactly what doctors do when they prescribe certain pain relief medications, like opioids and opiates, derived from the natural psychotropic poppy plant. They prescribe drugs to alleviate symptoms of disease and various illnesses. The Bible says to give strong drink (intoxicant) to those about to die and wine (intoxicant) to those of heavy heart.
    Using marijuana (intoxicant) to cope with depression, anxiety or PTSD – regardless of human illegality – is self-medication, not Occult witchcraft, demonic invocations, or etc. (I used to practice witchcraft; such drug use is even discouraged by many in that community as well)
    Human legal status is irrelevant. There is nothing wrong with medical cannabis, or recreational for that matter. Paul said that all things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial, nor would he be enslaved, or addicted, to anything. Conservative and moderate use without dependence are key to personal freedom. And I don’t do drugs either, so don’t waste time trying to attack me from that angle, like you did the other commenter. That was cheap and pathetic of you.


    1. Let’s answer this comment point by point.

      1st He makes an assertion about the article being erroneous.

      2nd He makes another assertion that I destroyed myself from the beginning with my definition of sorcery. His assertion shows either he did not understand what I wrote, he didn’t read it, or he is being dishonest. The Koine Greek word is most definitely translated as, “sorcery.” I did not define it that way. He should be arguing with Bible translators. Here is how I defined sorcery in my article, “Sorcery was the practice of using naturally occurring compounds alone, or mixed to make one feel a certain way, or to see visions, (hallucinations) or to poison them, or to simply get them high. It was often in conjunction with witchcraft, and ritual sexual immorality.” It is evident that he made no effort to actually read, and understand what I wrote.

      3rd He conflates therapy, and healing, work performed by a doctor, with elicit or recreational drug use. This is odd because if he had read the article, he should have seen the distinction I made between sinfully using substances, and righteously using them. A good Doctor doesn’t prescribe you pot to go get high on indiscriminately. Righteous use of organic, and or synthetic compounds is not considered sorcery, nor is associated with witchcraft. However even the same synthetic or organic compounds used illicitly is sinful. For instance, take the thc out of the marijuana, and control the dosage, and make it uniform, prescribe only the amount necessary to accomplish the therapeutic effect, and only provide enough for that therapeutic effect. That is a righteous way of doing it. Going down to dime bag dirt bag on the corner, buying as much pot as you want/need to get high, and toking up is sinful. Your entire purpose at that point is to make a provision for the sinful flesh, and defile yourself.

      4th I think he might have misunderstood my use of the word, “pagan” due to his confession of practicing witchcraft at some point in his past. Pagan-Pertaining to the worship of false gods.

      5th He makes a citation and fails to see the obvious, that Paul was not condoning sin. If I used this man’s argument to the absurd, I guess a little murder now and then is acceptable. All things in moderation… Well, except for sinful things. Getting stoned is not righteous or glorifying to God. Just like getting drunk isn’t either. As far as I know nobody smokes pot solely for the flavor, nor are they able to smoke a bit without getting high. A person can have a beer, or a glass of wine without even being buzzed.

      6th He falsely states that I accused another commenter of using drugs, and that was cheap and pathetic of me. I don’t see anywhere that I did that. Again, he either didn’t read my article, doesn’t understand what he read, or perhaps is dishonest? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he misunderstood what I meant by, “Water hemlock is natural… natural deadly poison… that is a horrible argument to justify one’s own pet sin.” This argument of it being natural gets used often. So my response was not directed at the commentor necessarily being a pot-head, but rather a generic response to the tired old argument, and the people in general who use it.


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