THE FORBIDDEN PRACTICES OF THE OCCULT
Deuteronomy 18 contains the most powerful biblical passage outlining the occult. In verses ten and eleven we find the Forbidden Practices of the occult:
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 When you come into the land which YaHuWaH your Elohim gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination to YaHuWaH: and because of these abominations YaHuWaH your Elohim drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be perfect with YaHuWaH your Elohim. 14 For these nations, which you shall possess, listened to observers of times, and to diviners: but as for you, YaHuWaH your Elohim has not allowed you to do so.
Let that sink in. In the strongest terms used in the entire Bible, YaHuWaH condemns and forbids the occult as He warns the Yisraelites to avoid and abhor it. Pronouncing it as “towebah,” YaHuWaH, in His wisdom, lays out the Forbidden Practices. They are:
1) Human Sacrifice – We call that abortion today!
3) Astrology – We either trust YaHuWaH or the Zodiac but not both!
4) Enchanter – Someone satanically endowed to produce seductive spells.
5) Witchcraft and Witches – Includes its modern, organized counterpart, Wicca.
6) Charmer – One who manipulates objects or beings via demonic power.
7) Consulter with Familiar Spirits – One who gleans knowledge from demonic contact.
8) Wizards – Practitioners of magical arts
9) Necromancers – Those who claim to be in contact with the dead.
The word “abomination” (v.9, 12) is the Hebrew word “Tow`ebah” (Strong’s number 08441, pronounced “to-ay-baw”)
It means: “a disgusting thing,” “an abomination,” “unclean” (as in idolatry), “wickedness”
This is the strongest condemnatory language used by YaHuWaH in the entire Bible!
Please note that nine is also the biblical number of Judgment & Rebellion!!!
Divination = lot, divination, oricle, reward of divination, divine sentence, witchcraft
(s# 7081 mqw) (keh’-sem)
Divination. Divination is a “foretelling future events, or discovering things secret by the aid of superior beings, or other than human means”. It is used, in Scripture, of false systems of ascertaining the divine will. It has been universal in all ages, and all nations alike, both civilized and savage.
Numerous forms of divination are mentioned, such as divination by rods, Hos_4:12, divination by arrows, Eze_21:21, divination by cups, Gen_44:5, consultation of teraphim, 1Sa_15:23; Eze_21:21; Zec_10:2, see Teraphim.; divination by the liver, Eze_21:21, divination by dreams, Deu_13:2-3; Jdg_7:13; Jer_23:32, and consultation of oracles. Isa_41:21-24; Isa_44:7.
Moshe forbade every species of divination, because, a prying into the future, clouds the mind with superstition, and because, it would have been an incentive to idolatry. But YaHuWaH supplied his people with substitutes for divination which would have rendered it superfluous, and left them in no doubt as to his will in circumstances of danger, had they continued faithful. It was only when they were unfaithful that the revelation was withdrawn. 1Sa_28:6; 2Sa_2:1; 2Sa_5:23, etc. Superstition, not unfrequently, goes hand in hand with skepticism, and hence, amid the general infidelity prevalent throughout the Roman empire at Yahusha’s coming, imposture was rampant.
Hence, the lucrative trade of such men as Simon Magus, Act_8:9, Bar-jesus, Act_13:6, the slave with the spirit of Python, Act_16:16, the vagabond Jews, exorcists, Luk_11:19; Act_19:13 and others, 2Ti_3:13; Rev_19:20, etc., as well as the notorious dealers in magical books at Ephesus. Act_19:19.
DIVINATION, n. [L., to foretell. See Divine.]
- The act of divining; a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means. The ancient heathen philosophers divided divination into two kinds, natural and artificial. Natural divination was supposed to be effected by a kind of inspiration or divine afflatus; artificial divination was effected by certain rites, experiments or observations, as by sacrifices, cakes, flour, wine, observation of entrails, flight of birds, lots, verses, omens, position of the stars, &c.
- Conjectural presage; prediction.
Observer of times = to cloud over, covertly, practice magic, enchanter, soothsayer, sorcerer,
observer of times, Meonemin (s# 6049 okr) (aw-nan’)
1) (Piel) to make appear, produce, bring (clouds)
2) (Poel) to practise soothsaying, conjure
2a) to observe times, practice soothsaying or spiritism or magic or augury or witchcraft
2b) soothsayer, enchanter, sorceress, diviner, fortuneteller, barbarian, Meonenim (participle)
A primitive root; to cover; used only as denominative from H6051, to cloud over; figuratively to act covertly, that is, practise magic: – X bring, enchanter, Meonemin, observe (-r of) times, soothsayer, sorcerer.
Enchanter = to hiss (as a snake), whisper a magic spell, enchanter, learn by experience
H5172 נחשׁ nâchash
1) to practice divination, divine, observe signs, learn by experience, diligently observe, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen
1a) (Piel) 1a1) to practice divination 1a2) to observe the signs or omens
diligently observe (s# 5172 ygp) (naw-khash) H5172
A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate: – X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe.
Witch = to whisper a spell, to enchant or practice magic, sorcerer, witch (s# 3784 syw) (kaw-shaf’
H3784 כּשׁף kâshaph BDB Definition:
1) (Piel) to practice witchcraft or sorcery, use witchcraft
1a) sorcerer, sorceress (participle)
כָּשַׁף kâshaph kaw-shaf’ A primitive root; properly to whisper a spell, that is, to inchant or practise magic: – sorcerer, (use) witch (-craft).
- A woman who by compact with the devil, practices sorcery or enchantment.
- A woman who is given to unlawful arts.
- A winding sinuous bank.
WITCH, v.t. To bewitch; to fascinate; to enchant.
Ill witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
Witch is the rendering, in the A.V., at Exo_22:18, of מְכִשֵּׁפָה (mekashshêphah, Sept. φαρμακοί,-Vulg. malefici), and in Deu_18:10, of the masc. form of the same word (מְכִשֵּׁ)? , mekashshêph, Sept. φαρμακός, Vulg. maleficus), which is elsewhere rendered “sorcerer” (Exo_7:11; Dan_2:2; Mal_3:5).
Charmer = to join by a spell, couple together, league, to fascinate (s# 2266 xag) (khaw-bar’)
חָבַר châbar khaw-bar’ A primitive root; to join (literally or figuratively); specifically (by means of spells) to fascinate: – charm (-er), be compact, couple (together), have fellowship with, heap up, join (self, together), league.
BDB Definition: 1) to unite, join, bind together, be joined, be coupled, be in league, heap up, have fellowship with, be compact, be a charmer
1a1) to unite, be joined
1a2) to tie magic charms, charm
1b1) to unite with, make an ally of
1b2) to unite, join, ally
1c1) to be allied with, be united
1c2) to be joined together
1d) (Hiphil) to join together, pile up (words)
1e) (Hithpael) to join oneself to, make an alliance, league together
CHARMER, n. 1. One that charms, or has power to charm; one that uses or has the power of enchantment. Deu 18:11.
- One who delights and attracts the affections.
Consulter = to inquire, to request, to demand, beg, borrow (s# 7592 l`y) (shaw-al’), One who consults, or asks counsel or information; as a consulter with familiar spirits. Deu 18.
Translation:+Enquire Definition:+To ask about; to search into; to seek to understand
what is not known. The hiphil (causative) form means “grant.”
shâ’al shâ’êl shaw-al’, shaw-ale’ A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand: – ask (counsel, on), beg, borrow, lay to charge, consult, demand, desire, X earnestly, enquire, + greet, obtain leave, lend, pray, request, require, + salute, X straitly, X surely, wish.
שׁאל / שׁאל shâ’al / shâ’êl
1) to ask, enquire, borrow, beg
1a1) to ask, ask for
1a2) to ask (as a favour), borrow
1a3) to enquire, enquire of
1a4) to enquire of, consult (of deity, oracle)
1a5) to seek
1b) (Niphal) to ask for oneself, ask leave of absence
1c1) to enquire, enquire carefully
1c2) to beg, practise beggary
1d1) to be given on request
1d2) to grant, make over to, let (one) ask (successfully) or give or lend on request (then) grant or make over to
דָּרַשׁ dârash daw-rash’
A primitive root; properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship: – ask, X at all, care for, X diligently, inquire, make inquisition, [necro-] mancer, question, require, search, seek [for, out], X surely.
Necromancer = one who seeks to speak to the dead (s# 1875, 413, 4191 zen l` yxc n. [See Necromancy.] One who pretends to foretell future events by holding converse with departed spirits; a conjurer. NECROMANCY, n. [Gr. Dead, and divination.]
- The art of revealing future events by means of a pretended communication with the dead. This imposture is prohibited. Deu 18.
- Enchantment; conjuration.
(Heb. דֹּרֵשׁ אֶלאּהִמֵּתַים, one who inquires of the dead; Sept. ἐπερωτῶν τοὺς νεκρούς). In many ancient nations there were jugglers who professed to be able by incantations to call up the dead from the underworld, chiefly to consult them on the mysteries of the present or future. Already in Homer’s time this practice had been introduced (see Odys. 11:24 sq.); and the belief in such enchantments, notwithstanding the mockery of the better instructed few (Cicero, Tusc. 1:16, 37), kept its ground among the common people in pagan lands down to the latest times (comp. Plin. 30:5 sq.; Herodian, 4:12, 8; Dio Cass. 77, 15; Tertullian, Apol. 23; De Anima, 57). Particular places were commonly supposed to be, as it were, entrances to Orcus (νεκυομαντεῖα), where, on invocation, the shades would actually appear; for example, at Lake Aornos in Epirus and Lake Avernus in Lower Italy (Cicero, Tusc. ut sup.; Heyne, Excur. 2 sq., ad Virg. En. 6); and at Heraclea on the Propontis (Herod. 5:92, 7; Diod. Sic. 4:22; Pausan. 9:30, 3; Plutarch, Cim. 6; Strabo, 5:244). The Eastern Magi were especially famed for necromantic skill (Herodian, lit sup.; comp. Strabo, 16:762). Necromancy (אוֹבוֹת; Talm. דרשיו אל המתום; see Othonis Lex. Rabb. page 171) had also found an entrance among the Israelites, especially when idolaters were on the throne (2Ki_21:6; 2Ch_33:6; Isa_8:19; Isa_29:4 comp. 19:3, where the Egyptian enchantments arm mentioned). In the Law the consultation of these men was forbidden as a heathen superstition (Lev_19:31), and they who disobeyed were threatened with death (Lev_20:6; Deu_8:11). Saul, in his distress, caused the shade of Samuel to be summoned from Sheol by an enchantress (1Sa_28:7 sq.; comp. J.C Harenburg in Iken. Nov. Thesaur. 1:639 sq.; E.F. Schmersahl, Nat. Erklar. der Gesch. Sauls mit d. Betrugerin zu Endor [Gera, 1780]; Hensler, Erlaut. des 1 B. Samuel page 88 sq.; Exeget. Handbuch. A.T. 4:251 sq.; Bottcher, De Inferis, 1:111 sq.).
Dathe believed in the actual appearance of Samuel by a miracle (comp. Doderlein, Theol. Biblioth. 3:331); and the conception the people formed of this apparition, which was not essentially altered by the poets and prophets, afforded a very natural basis for such superstitions. To the spirits thus evoked the enchanter lent a low, soft. almost whispering voice (Isa_8:19; comp. 19:3), as seemed natural for such shades; just as the Greeks and Romans also applied the wordsτρίζειν (τρύζειν; Iliad, 33:101; Odys. 24 sq.; Lulcian, Menip. or Necromant. 11) and stridere (Statius, Thebais, 7:24; Claudian, In Rufin. 1:126; Petronius, Sat. 122, 17; comp. Virgil, AEn. 3:39 sq.) to the returning manes. It is by no means proved that the necromancers produced this muttering and whispering by ventriloquism, although the Septuagint usually renders the Hebrew אוֹבby the Greek ἐγγαστρίμυθος (according to Galen, the ἐγγαστρίμυθοι are so called because, speaking with the mouth closed, they seem to speak from the belly; comp. Josephus, Ant. 6:14, 2). The meaning of the word has been much discussed’ (see Thenius, On 1Sa_28:3; Knobel, Prophetism. d. Hebr. 1:241 sq.; Bittcher, De Inferis, 1:101 sq.). Ventriloquism was certainly one of the arts of ancient jugglers (Aristoph. Vesp. 1019 sq. See also Leo Allat. De Engastrimytho, also in the Tractat. Bibl. of the Critici Sacri, 6:331 sq.; Dickinson, Delph. Phoeniciss. page 91 sq.; Gesenius, Comment. on Isaiah 1:605 sq., 853; Van Dale, De Idolat. page 608 sq.; Millii Dissertat. Sel. No. 12, also in Ugolini’s Thesaur. 23; Tjeeuk, in the Commentat. Societ. Scient. Vlissing. 1:546 sq.; Potter, Greek Archeol. 1:758 sq.; Heyne, Excurs. 1, ad Virg. AEn. 6).
In most parts of Greece, necromancy was practiced by priests or consecrated persons in the temples; in Thessaly, it was the profession of a distinct class of persons called Psychagogoi (“Evokers of Spirits”). The practice of it in that country was ultimately connected with many horrid rites, in which human blood, half-burned portions of bodies from funeral piles, the immature foetus cut out of the womb, etc., were employed; sometimes human beings were slain, that their spirits might be consulted ere they finally passed into the lower world. The establishment of Christianity under Constantine caused necromancy to be placed under the ban of the Church. There are evident traces of necromancy in some of the older Norse and Teutonic poems. The medieval belief in the evocation of spirits belongs rather to sorcery than to necromancy.
Once we see and understand YaHuWaH’s standard on the occult, several more Scriptures immediately come to mind that give direction, warning and clarity concerning the various deceptions.
Ephesians 5:10-11 instruct what we must do concerning evil in any form.
Proving what is acceptable unto YaHuWaH. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
II Corinthians 6:14-18 leaves no doubt that YaHuWaH wants His children to steer clear of any fascination or involvement with the occult.
“Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya‛al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. ” Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. “And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty.”
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 serves as YaHuWaH’s warning to His own that those who endear themselves to false teachings and false teachers (that includes the occult) are indeed “returning to “Egypt” – entering again into satanic bondage!
“When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’ do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being. “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him. “And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה your Elohim – who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim and ransomed you from the house of bondage – to make you stray from the way in which יהוה your Elohim commanded you to walk. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst.”
Notice verse three, which relates that our acceptance or rejection of these false teachers and their works will be a test of our allegiance to YaHuWaH!
No wonder the Scripture very clearly and concisely instructs and warns of YaHuWaH’s will (blessings or judgment) concerning the occult and related issues. Make no mistake: when we fail to reject and expose any and all of the occult practices and various entertainment modes that now endorse them the Bible clearly says that we have failed the test and have commenced to following “other gods.”
Furthermore, Romans 1:32 declares that those who entertain themselves with the images of evil, including the many brands of occult-based entertainment, are under the same judgment and curse as those who actually perform the occult deeds! Wow!
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of YaHuWaH, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of YaHuWaH, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Doesn’t that sound exactly like our culture today; having pleasure in or being entertained by the very things that YaHuWaH condemns?
IGNORANCE IS NEVER BLISS!
Many would be content to stay ignorant of the seriousness of the occult in the sight and mind of YaHuWaH. However, to do so is to invite curses and demonic activity to infest our homes, families and land. At very least we cannot expect YaHuWaH to bless and enrich our lives and loved ones if we persist in walking in darkness, making acceptable what He disdains.
Hosea 4:6 speaks to those who walk in ignorance and also to us who know the truth that we must herald it clearly!
“My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.”
It is a sad and tragic fact of these end-days that many in the body of Messiah follow after “strange gods” entertaining themselves and their families with movies, books, television programs and more that do nothing more than glorify the Nine Forbidden Practices of the Occult!
Need we wonder why YaHuWaH doesn’t answer our prayers and fill our lives with boldness, power and miraculous authority? We may only need to look as far as the entertainment that many believers so willingly allow to rob them of not only precious time, but of their sensitivity to YaHuWaH’s Word and standards for His children. As we continually implant Satanic occultism into our minds and lives through “harmless” entertainment venues it won’t be long before we accept what YaHuWaH calls evil as good and reject what He calls good as evil, pridefully becoming wise in our own eyes.
If what I have described here hits a nerve in your life then the good news is that YaHuWaH’s word clearly lays out the remedy. I highly suggest you follow the pattern of the believers at Ephesus from twenty centuries ago after they heard the Apostles message on this very issue. Acts 19:18-20 reads:
“And many who had believed came confessing and declaring their deeds. And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together, burning them before all. And they reckoned up the value of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Master was growing mightily and prevailing.”
Isn’t that what we all want?
You shall not learn to do the abominations of nations! Don’t learn what they have done. This means we do not need to make a study of the religions of the world so we can understand them. Truth comes from YaHuWaH ‘s word only, everything else is a plot of hasatan to pull us away from the truth. Also don’t waste time learning about denominations or other titles that people put on themselves. Seek to understand what YaHuWaH’s word is saying and obey.