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Bible verses about Occultism
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Leviticus 19:31

The Bible is not in the least ambiguous about what God thinks on the subject of the occult. It plainly condemns the practice of witchcraft and similar sorceries. Notice Leviticus 19:31, for instance, which condemns consulting mediums: “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” A few verses later, God adds, “And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people” (Leviticus 20:6). This is as good as a prophecy of Saul's demise. See also Deuteronomy 18:9-14, which names practitioners of witchcraft, soothsayers, interpreters of omens, sorcerers, conjurors, mediums, spiritists, necromancers, and diviners as abominations to the Lord.

The New Testament is just as condemnatory as the Old. However, instead of legislating against sorcery and the like—except where Paul lists sorcery as a work of the flesh, mentioned between “idolatry” and “hatred” (Galatians 5:20; see I Samuel 15:23)—the writers recount experiences of Jesus and the apostles battling against it. For instance, on the island of Paphos, the apostle Paul stood against Elymas the sorcerer, really a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus, saying, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10). The episode in Acts 16:16-18 reveals that a slave girl diviner, who greatly annoyed Paul by following him around for many days, was in fact possessed by a demon, “a spirit of divination.” The second-to-last chapter of Revelation states plainly that sorcerers will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8; see also 22:15).

This is sufficient proof that God considers the practice of all forms of occultism to be a moral outrage. He is not by any means involved in them and wants His people to avoid them, forbidding them to consult them or dabble in them in any way. This most important point indicates that God had nothing to do with the events at En Dor, except to allow them to move His purpose along, removing Saul to place David on Israel's throne.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
What Happened at En Dor?


 

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

God considers these things to be idolatrous; they honor demonic spirits, and thus He calls them abominations or detestable things, things that He hates. Interestingly, He says these practices are a reason why He sent Israel in to dispossess these people. We do not want to practice customs that ultimately bring on God's wrath and destruction.

In Leviticus 20:6, God likens spiritism to prostitution, the physical counterpart to spiritual prostitution, idolatry. To God, witchcraft and occultism are similar to sexual immorality, but one is physical and the other is spiritual. Which is worse—physical or spiritual prostitution? Both defile the purity God desires in our flesh and in our spirit (II Corinthians 7:1). This linking of spiritism with sexual sins and idolatry occurs elsewhere (Exodus 22:16-20; I Samuel 15:22-23). Witchcraft is equated with them because it is both prostitution and idolatry.

When a Christian meddles in spiritism of any kind, whether witchcraft, sorcery, divination, consulting a medium or fortune-teller, or even reading a horoscope, he undermines his relationship with God—just as a man who visits a prostitute damages his relationship with his wife. Someone else is coming between the two covenanted parties, causing division. Occultism puts a wedge between God and the Christian; he might as well bow to an idol. It produces the same result: to drive him away from God.

The New Testament takes the same approach as the Old:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, . . . of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

The apostle Paul speaks of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and licentiousness—all with at least overtones of sexuality—then he mentions idolatry and immediately thereafter sorcery! It cannot be just a coincidence that they all fall in this order. Those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God because they are not fulfilling their covenant with God.

"Sorcery," intriguingly, is pharmakeia in Greek, from which we derive our words "pharmacy" and "pharmaceutical." Diviners, enchanters, witches, and sorcerers employed drugs and other potions to put them or their clients "in the spirit" so their "magic" would work. The drugs, then, came to stand for sorcery of all kinds. For the same reason, drug use is part of the celebration among the more serious Halloween devotees today.

The Bible's teaching on this is consistent. Spiritism, the occult, is a form of idolatry, a kind of spiritual prostitution. Its end is separation from God and eventual destruction.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Halloween


 

Isaiah 47:12-13

Modern, end-time Israel, like ancient Babylon, is deep into the occult and spiritism, both in terms of worshipping demons as a matter of religious observance, as well as high-ranking political figures seeking their guidance in national affairs. It was published in the United States that President Dwight Eisenhower consulted astrologers during World War II about such things as the timing of the Normandy invasion. Also circulated were accounts of Nancy Reagan consulting astrologers and then advising her husband, the President. If it is done in the White House, it is most assuredly done elsewhere in government.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beast and Babylon (Part Ten): Babylon the Great Is a Nation


 

Ezekiel 8:5-12

In verse 5, he sees the "image of jealousy" that had been set up in the Temple, an image that had caused God to go far away from the sanctuary (verse 6). This is probably some type of abomination that makes desolate, a pagan idol that had actually been set up in the gate of the Temple courtyard in Jerusalem.

At the end of verse 6, God tells Ezekiel he will see "greater abominations." He spies a hole in a wall in the court of the Temple (verse 7) and obeys God's command to dig around that hole (verse 8). Behind it, lo and behold, he finds a doorway. The door admits him into a very private, hidden inner chamber, the walls of which are engraved with pagan idols, which are, as it says in verse 10, "all the idols of the house of Israel."

In this idol-bedecked room are seventy elders of Israel, "each man had a censer in his hand." Ezekiel is witnessing some kind of pagan worship service going on behind closed doors right there in the Temple! It is very clandestine. Note that the worshippers are not extremists on the fringes of Israelite society, but they are the elders, the leaders of the land! They might be considered the preachers of Judah.

Did Ezekiel witness the movers and shakers of American society in a satanic Skull-and-Bones-type service attended by the President of the United States? That would be a modern, contemporary version of this type of vision, for the leaders of Ephraim and Manasseh today are deeply involved in the occult, witchcraft, and pagan practices to this day. They are all abominations, all very furtive, secret, and surreptitious.

Charles Whitaker
The Torment of the Godly (Part One)


 

Nahum 3:1-4

God directs this prophecy against Nineveh, not Israel, but it gives us insight into the way God perceives matters and their uses. He considers as harlotry their military power and its use against others. In addition, God repeats His earlier statement that dealing in the occult, sorcery, is harlotry.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beast and Babylon (Part Nine): Babylon the Great


 

2 Corinthians 11:14-15

The Bible does not typically portray practitioners of the occult and the demons behind them in a particularly macabre way. We moderns have been conditioned to imagine Satan, his demons, and their human minions as dark beings of pure ugliness, bearing attributes of horror and death. We have swallowed this deception from our historical culture and from the images presented by the media to entertain the masses and make millions of dollars.

Yet, while God's Word warns us against Satanic deceptions, it does not provide the standard horror movie images. In fact, it often does just the opposite, cautioning us with the fact that the Devil and his demons do their best to appear as appealing to our senses as they can be. From what we see in Genesis 3, the serpent did not repulse Eve; to her in her innocence, he was logical and quite convincing. In Ezekiel 28, the description of the king of Tyre, a type of Satan, lauds him as “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (verse 12). It describes a creature whose beauty and magnificence turned his heart proud and corrupt (verse 17).

Though he and his demons have been cast down, at least some of their beauty remains, for Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11:14-15: “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [servants] also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” Demons do not always look like snakes, dragons, gargoyles, or goblins but have the ability to appear attractive to us when it suits them. If accosted by a ghoul, we would shrink in horror and flee. Demons, though, are all about deception, and appearing as good and beautiful is far more subversive. People are far more likely to trust a physically appealing person than an old hag or troll.

Thus, while the tone of I Samuel 28 is at times stressed, suspicious, and fearful—as one would expect when encountering demonic powers—there is nothing blatantly horrifying or even ugly in the narrative. This tells us that a demon, being manipulative to the extreme, will appear to a person in a way that he thinks will work best for his purposes. A demon will stoop to whatever trick he deems necessary, even to appearing as a minister of righteousness.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
What Happened at En Dor?


 

 




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