Occult Practices.

(Jeff Unsworth)

Deuteronomy 18: 9 – 12  "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 

11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 

12  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 
 

Occult practices are numerous and varied, they cover many different forms of practices including things like:

Palm reading, Astrology, Clairvoyance, Fortune Telling and Soothsaying. Ghosts, Poltergeist, Hypnotism, Meditation, Spiritism, (Spiritualism) and many more.
There are levels of involvement in the occult, which can be described as being like a spider’s web. A spider’s web is made with main strands and radial strands which are not sticky.  After the radials are complete, the spider fortifies the centre of the web with about five circular threads. It makes a spiral of non-sticky, widely spaced threads to enable it to move easily around its own web during construction, working from the inside outward. Then, beginning from the outside and moving inward, the spider methodically replaces this spiral with a more closely spaced ones, made of adhesive threads.

The outer threads entice the victim in and once on the web it gets stuck and the spider then drags its victim in.
The outer strands are like the occult practices that do not on the surface appear harmful. Palmistry, Horoscopes, Tea leaf reading, Tarot Cards etc. However the nearer to the centre are the more dangerous occult practices which are waiting for the prey.

Satanism with all its many facets. (Recommended reading, Occult ABC by Kurt Koch) which covers a multitude of occult practices with many examples..
This blog deals with only the practices mentioned in the text
Deuteronomy 18:9 – 12.

Here is a list of things that are strictly forbidden in the Bible text by God.
To actively take part in any of these practices is in fact consulting with demons.

 

The Bible speaks of demons, evil spirits, familiar spirits, impure spirits, sometimes referred to as malevolent spirits.

The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy points out that the Holy Spirit says that in later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 41 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
 

The evil spirits would rather go into pigs rather than be sent to the pit.

Matt 8:31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
Matt 12:45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.
And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Acts 19:13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 
Mark 1:23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 
Luke 4:33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 

 

A familiar spirit is a demon that is summoned by a medium with the intention that the spirit summoned will obey his or her commands. Often, familiar spirits are believed to be the spirits of people who have died.  However, biblically this is not the case. Such appearances are demonic forces imitating people in order to deceive.

Familiar spirits:


Lev. 19:31, "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."
1 Chron. 10:13, "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."
2 Chron. 33:6, "And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
Leviticus 19:31 - Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I [am] the LORD your God.
Isaiah 8:19 - And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
Isaiah 19:3 - And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
Leviticus 20:6 - And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Acts 16:16-18 - And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:   
 2 Chronicles 33:6 - And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
2 Kings 23:24 - Moreover the [workers with] familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
Leviticus 20:27 - A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.
1 Samuel 28:3-25 - Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.   
2 Kings 21:6 - And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke [him] to anger.
1 Chronicles 10:13 - 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 enquire [of it];


Where did demons originate?

There are a number of theories concerning this question.
Some believe that demons and fallen angels are one and the same.

Others believe that demons are the disembodied spirits of the hybrid Nephilim, the result of the sons of God (angels) copulating with human women that can be read in Genesis 6.
When the flood destroyed the Nephilim, it was only their bodies that died. The spirit part of these hybrids continued on and this is why they seek to occupy bodies of men and animals.

This is why, when Jesus cast the legion of demons out of the demoniac, they asked for Jesus to cast them into the swine, rather than the pit.

Whether they are the fallen angels or the disembodied spirits of the hybrid races, one thing is certain in the light of scripture, they are the source of evil in the world, working on behalf of the god of this world, Satan, the devil, Lucifer, the prince of the power of the air.

Demons, the spirit part of the Nephilim survived the deluge of Noah, as the Bible tells us that they re appeared.

 

Gen 6:4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
 

We  read in Numbers 13:32-33, where ten of the Twelve Spies report that they have seen fearsome giants in Canaan: And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
 

Demons continued to show up as we see in the times of Jesus and the Apostles.
Jesus and the Apostles cast out many demons, as did the seventy that Jesus sent out.

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

So, we can see what is the source of demon activity, the source is the devil, Satan.
 

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 

11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 
 

What are these practices and are they still going on today?
The answer is definitely yes and they are still an abomination to God.

The word “abomination” is the Hebrew word “Tow`ebah”. It means: “a disgusting thing,” “an abomination,” “unclean” (as in idolatry), “wickedness”.
God cannot use any stronger language to describe the wickedness of these practices.

In the strongest terms used in the entire Bible, God condemns and forbids the occult as He warns the Israelites to avoid and abhor it. Pronouncing it as “towebah,” God, in His wisdom, lays out the Nine Forbidden Practices. They are:

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire.

This refers to the practice of child sacrifice, a practice of offering sacrifices to Molech.
Leviticus 18:21 "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD."
 

Deut 18:10 Human Sacrifice:

This practice has gone on, not only in Old Testament times but throughout the ages in many pagan religions. It has been practiced in China, South American Indians, the Aztecs, Inca and Mayans. The ancient city of Ur (Iraq), Egypt, Greece and Rome and many more practiced human sacrifice. It has been reported that this practice still goes on today in some Satanist groups. We may think that this only happens in extreme religious groups but is that true?
What about abortion? Aborting babies for economic reasons. Is this not idolatry? Is this not the worship of Mammon?


Quote from:

Parallels of Child Sacrifice and Abortion (Andrew White MD)
 

At the risk on the one hand of pointing out obvious parallels and on the other hand of suggesting parallels which some may say are forced, we compare the ancient practice of child sacrifice with the modern practice of abortion.
However, before going any further it should be noted that the parallels between the two have been recognized for centuries. Tertullian, for example, commenting on the Roman practice of infanticide by comparing it to the Carthaginian practice of child sacrifice, admonishes:

There is no difference as to baby killing whether you do it as a sacred rite or just because you choose to do it.
In the same context Tertullian describes the Christian attitude towards both abortion and infanticide saying:
For us murder is once for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother's blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is 
not lawful to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no  difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man, the fruit is always present in the seed.[30]
The most obvious parallel between the rite of child sacrifice and the practice of abortion is the sober fact that the parents actually kill their own offspring. There are however many other parallels. At Carthage the main reason for sacrificing a child was to avert potential dangers in a crisis or to gain success through fulfilling a vow. Today many times when a woman faces an unwanted pregnancy, abortion seems to be the only way to resolve the crisis she finds herself in. The potential danger to reputation, education, career, etc., become overwhelming. To avert the seemingly terrifying consequences of carrying a pregnancy to term, the woman may turn to abortion as a means of escape. Another woman may experience much less of the anxiety and fear that accompany a crisis. She may simply see the pregnancy as an intrusion into her self-serving lifestyle and an obstacle in the way of the road to her success. Sadly this woman's offspring must be sacrificed so that she can continue uninterrupted with her plans for the future.[30b]

It is no secret that in American society extramarital sexual intercourse (fornication and adultery) is the cause of most pregnancies that end in abortion. Pregnancy is a risk many are willing to take knowing that any undesired consequences can be eliminated by abortion.[30c] The theologian Carl Henry recognizes this fact in calling abortion "the horrendous modern immolation of millions of fetuses on the alter of sex gratification."[31] As suggested earlier, child sacrifice in Canaan may have been a convenient way to dispose of the consequences of the illicit sexual practice of temple prostitution associated with the cult of Molech. If so, the modern practice of men irresponsibly engaging in sexual intercourse with women to whom they do not intend to commit themselves and provide for parallels the wayward Israelite man engaging in extramarital relations with a temple prostitute. In both cases the men leave the women to bear the consequences of their aberrant sexual practices. New England Christian Action Council executive director John Rankin rightly calls this irresponsible behavior of men towards women as "the ultimate male chauvinism."[32]
 

Deut 18:10 One who practices witchcraft.

Divination – The Heart of the occult. Manipulation from demonic sources.
This is referring to practices such as Tea leaf reading, Palm reading, Tarot cards, Horoscopes, Astrology, Casting Runes etc.
Trying to determine the future by occult means.


Deut 18:10 Astrology.

Horoscopes, Star Zodiacs, Determining future events by these methods.

 

Deut 18:10 Enchanting.

The use of incantations. is a magical formula intended to trigger a magical effect on a person or objects. The formula can be spoken, sung or chanted. An incantation can also be performed during ceremonial rituals or prayers. Other words synonymous with incantation is spells, charms or to bewitch. In the world of magic, the incantations are said to be performed by wizards, witches and fairies.


Deut 18:10 Soothsayer,

A Soothsayer is, literally, a “truthsayer;” one who speaks the truth. It is, by extension, a person who foretells future events. Shamans, seers, Astrologers, tarot card readers, chiromancers, and sibyls are all soothsayers in that sense, because they provide information about what they perceive to be the truth of coming events. A soothsayer also deals in the interpretations of dreams.


Deut 18:10 One who interprets omens.

A phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the
advent of change. People in ancient times believed that omens bring a divine message from their gods. ... They had specialists, the diviners, to interpret these omens.

 

Deut 18:10 Sorcerer.

CharmerconjurerenchantermageMagianmagicianmagus, necromancer, voodoo, withes and wizards.

 

Deut 18:11 One who conjures spells.

This would cover magic, not the stage magic that are merely tricks but things like Jannes and Jambres in the Exodus account, or using incantations to summon demons, familiar spirits.


Deut 18:11 Medium. Consulter with Familiar Spirits 

One who gleans knowledge from demonic contact.

 

Deut 18:11 Spiritist.

This also covers many aspects of the occult.
Visions, prophecies, Ouija boards, Trances and ventriloquism, Automatic writing, mediums speaking with spirits,

 

Deut 18:11 One who calls up the dead. (Necromancer).

Summoning the spirits of the dead, Conversing with the dead.

 

All these are linked with many other practiced and very often overlap.
These practices should be avoided and Christians should warn others not to be involved in any of these things.


Deut 18:12  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 

The object of the exercise from Satan’s point of view is to entice believers away from the faith.
To get them tied up with other things other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
His objective also is, as we read in scripture, is to keep blind the mind of the unbeliever, to keep him from seeing the glory of the Gospel.


2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Notice: that the unbeliever is already blind and in the hands of their father the devil.

John 8:44-45  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
 

As Christians, we must cling to the Word of God, it is only this Word that we need to counteract the attacks of Satan and his occult practices. It is also the only way that an unbeliever can be delivered from the grip of Satan.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

The Devil knows the Word, he used it when tempting Jesus in the wilderness. The Devil wishes to destroy the Word. He misquotes it, he twists it, just the way he first did in the garden of Eden. His tactics never change.
Jesus quoted the scripture back at him and he departed.
It is our sword of the Spirit, our weapon against the enemy. We must hold on to it.


Ephesians 6:11-18  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against
spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
 

Jesus Christ defeated Satan at the cross. Whilst he still is working his evil in the world, harassing believers and keeping men in darkness, he is a defeated enemy.
However, we have the Gospel of peace and it is our commission to spread that Gospel wherever we are.

If we encounter someone that is involved with occult practices, it is important that we point out that there is no relief from doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists or any other medium. The only answer is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

They must repent of these practices and trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Then destroy all the books, icons, idols and whatever else they have and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This happened in Ephesus when the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel.

 

Act 19:18  And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 
Acts 19:19  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

 

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.
 

Ephesians 5:11-12 King James Version (KJV)

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

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