“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, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD;” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
Attempts to contact the dead date back to early human history, with medium-ship gaining in popularity during the 19th century. Such practices were forbidden in God’s word as in the passage from Deuteronomy 18:9-21. As far back as the sixties witchcraft showed up with the TV show Bewitched. The last couple of decades have given rise to an ever rising interest in the occult, in our nation.
In chapter thirteen Israel was instructed to kill any prophet whose signs and wonders came true that would lead the people to follow after false gods. Whether family member, friend, or stranger he was to be put to death.
In chapter thirteen the emphasis is upon the false teacher that instigated rebellion against what God had said, and this in the context of signs that had come true. It is interesting to note that many that are found worthy of eternal punishment on the day of judgment will say to Jesus, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Matthew 7:22
Jesus then goes on to declare, during the greatest sermon ever preached, the unfortunate end of all men who prophesy falsely in the name of God. “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” They call themselves prophets of God but in reality God never called them. Such men break the fourth commandment in the worst possible way, by taking the name of God in vain, or said a different way, they profess to be Christian but their claim produces no result, it is for nothing.
In contrast to Deuteronomy 13 is the true prophet of Deuteronomy 18 that God prophesied He would raise up like Moses, who is an authentic spokesman for the living God. The true prophet is God Himself, having Himself become a man. (John 1:1-3)
“You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so. “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” (Deuteronomy 18:13-15)