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What the Bible Says About Cutting the Body

Taught by Rev. James R. Reynolds, Sr. on Wednesday, December 8, 1999 at the Deliverance Center


TEXT: Leviticus 19:28

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you; I AM the LORD. [Amplified]

Leviticus 21:5—They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they share off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. [King James Version]

Deuteronomy 14:1—Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. [KJV]

  • "Cut" HEBREW "gadad"

  • meaning to cut as of by pressing into; to pierce

Most people do not realize that piercing and tattooing the body has its roots in witchcraft and false religions

I. Cutting in Relation to the Body

READ Isaiah 3:16-24 [Amplified]. From verse 20, "The headbands, the short stepping — chains (attached from one foot to the other to insure a measured gait), the sashes, the perfume boxes, the amulets or charms (suspended from the ears or neck)."

Wearing earrings and, therefore, piercing the lobes, is an ancient practice. Most parts of the body have been pierced and tattooed for various magical and religious reasons throughout the ages.

II. Cutting in Relation to the Dead

This dark rite mentioned in Leviticus 19:28 was performed to mourn or remember the dead. Cutting, piercing and tattooing have their origin in witchcraft practices of communicating with the dead. This is part of what makes this practice spiritually dangerous.

III. Cutting in Relation to Satanic Invitation

Ears may have been among the first, along with the nose, which is still pierced in India for protection of evil spirits. According to magical arts, evil spirits were thought to be able to enter the body through any of its openings and take control. The first earrings were probably worn to bar the way to these spirits.

Satan is a liar and a deceiver instead of these items protecting an individual from evil spirits, they are actually attracting evil spirits. Piercing the body opens the door and is an invitation for Satanic attack.

Hosea 2:13—[Israel] decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the LORD."

Who was her lover? It was essentially satan. She committed spiritually adultery and 'forgot' God.

IV. Cutting in Relation to Witchcraft

Folklore surrounds the practice of piercing the ears. In folklore, pierced ears and earrings in general are often recommended

  • to strengthen weak eyes. (If set with emeralds, they are particularly effective.)

  • Gold earrings are often worn by those wishing to cure headaches, though some say to wear one gold earring and one silver for this purpose.

Concerning pierced ears, a former witch, David Meyer, reports, "I think it is interesting to note at this point that Hillary Clinton said that she did not allow Chelsea to have her ears pierced until she was 13.

It is a known fact among occultists that when a girl is 13, she is taken into what is called the "outer court" of a coven, and the token of this child becoming a neophyte witch is the piercing of the ears."

A former Hindu who knows only too well that body piercing and tattoos are a form of witchcraft stated, "I am from Malaysia…since I was formerly a Hindu, I know tattoo is from Hinduism and also witchcraft. Also, Hindus pierce their tongue with small spears and prick the entire body with little hooks and go in trances. I have witnessed this personally."

V. Cutting in Relation to Bondage

Earrings were also a symbol of slavery. A pierced ear is the sign of a slave who had earned freedom, but chose to remain enslaved. READ Exodus 21:1-6 and Deuteronomy 15:17.

God told Jacob to go to Bethel and build an altar. In Genesis 35:1-4, when Jacob and his household were ready to seek God, got rid of all their earrings and idols. READ Exodus 33:1-6, I Timothy 2:9,10 and I Peter 3:1-6.

VI. Cutting in Relation to Rebellion

God says not to do it; therefore, if you do it then you are in rebellion to God. Today, this practice is widespread because of false religions and pagan influences infiltrating the Church. Christians tattooing and piercing their bodies is not an act of holy worship, but is actually the exact opposite.

I Corinthians 6:19,20—What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. [KJV]

Many are getting piercings and tattoos in every part of the body out of a spirit of rebellion. Many males are also wearing earrings to make a statement of their rebellion by showing that they are "macho" or even "homosexual."


  • God condemns two principles together in the very same verse:

  1. The printing of marks upon your flesh (tattooing) and

  2. The worldly customs of cutting the flesh (piercing).

  • The world itself puts pierced jewelry and tattoos in the exact same category.

When a Christian walks around following the world's customs, does it not show that he/she is a slave to them? No godly woman ever got the idea to pierce her flesh for jewelry from the Bible. She got the idea from the world and the world got the idea from the witchcraft.

I John 2:15 — Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.