The BIBLE and the OCCULT
Why is the occult such a horrible evil?
Some of the Different Types of Occult Activity that Exist.
What does the Bible say about the Occult? (an outline)
Bible Verses Used in This Study.
Why is the occult such a horrible evil?
God made us, and we belong to him. More than that, he made us unique
among all his creatures, in that he has given us the ability to
reflect his very character. We bear his image in our very being
Because of these things, we owe him our allegiance, our loyalty and
our faithfulness. He alone deserves our worship, our trust and our
devotion. Nothing is to have a greater place in our lives; for to
give him second place is to give him less than what he rightfully
deserves. It is to insult, to offend and to reject him. In fact, it
is a denial of everything he is.
The occult and its practices are viewed by some as being somewhere
between foolish superstition and innocent child play. Others take it
with varying degrees of seriousness. God, however, takes extreme
offense at it; for not only it is a denial of all that he is, but it
exalts a substitute or counterfeit above him, and gives to it the
trust, devotion and place in life that God alone deserves. In
addition, the greater a person's participation in the occult, the
greater its effect on him, distorting his perspective and influencing
his conduct, to the point that everything about him becomes the
opposite of the purpose for which God created him.
God made us with a glorious calling: to reflect the very nature of
the Creator, in all that we do. He made us for living in a way that
is morally upright - the way that Jesus would live, if he were in our
circumstances. The occult, like any other sinful practice, tears this
glorious calling right out of our grasp. It lowers us, sometimes to
the point that we cannot even function like a decent animal.
The occult is, by its very nature, a rejection of all that God is.
Because of that, we cannot go after both God and the occult. Many
have tried, but we must choose one or the other. To try to follow
both is, by definition, a rejection of God. We cannot serve two masters.
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Some of the Different Types of Occult Activity
PART 1 - Some of the Types that Exist Today
[Taken from: A PRIMER ON OCCULT PHILOSOPHY © 1994, by
Bill Crouse. Used with permission.]
Students of the occult frequently divide occult phenomena into three
areas: (1) forms of divination, (2) types of mystical experience, and
(3) magical manipulation.
FORMS OF DIVINATION (also known as fortune-telling,
soothsaying, or augury). A diviner predicts future events, finds lost
articles or people, locates underground water, or reveals hidden
knowledge. Perhaps the most common example of divination in America
today is astrology. Other common types are: palmistry, waterwitching,
ouija boards, numerology, biorhythms, pyramidology, the reading of
crystal balls, auras, tarot cards, or tea leaves, use of pendulums,
interpretation of dreams, and many others. Forms of divination are
strictly forbidden in the Scriptures (see Deuteronomy 18:10-14,20).
The sinfulness of divination lies in the fact that it demonstrates a
lack of trust in the One who holds the future (see Hosea 4:12).
Isaiah 47:13-14 predicts an end of the astrologers, while Proverbs
3:5-6 gives the proper response for the believer (trust in the Lord).
TYPES OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES. These are experiences that
transcend the bounds of the ordinary physical world or the five
senses. Seeing events as they are occurring hundreds of miles away or
an event still in the future, communicating with the dead, and soul
travel (out-of-body experiences) are examples of paranormal
experiences. Other examples of mystical experiences are: seances,
necromancy, telekinesis, some forms of glossolalia, levitation,
automatic writing, clairvoyance, trances, materializations, visions,
psychic healing (including acupuncture), remembrance of past lives
(reincarnation), Eastern forms of meditation such as T. M.
(transcendental meditation) or yoga, altered consciousness, and
mental telepathy. We are not implying that all mysticism is evil.
Christianity has its mystical elements. Our relationship to
Christ is a mystical one. However, the mystical experiences in
Christianity are always tied to the objective word of God. We are
always to try the spirits. (See I John 4:1.) A valid mystical
experience is always parallel to the propositional revelation of
scripture. A red flag of caution should always be raised when one
purports to have received new or additional revelation that is
contradictory to scripture.
MAGICAL MANIPULATION (not to be confused with the art of
illusion). By employing hidden or outside forces in the spiritual
realm, occultists say they can manipulate people or nature to conform
to their will or the will of the gods. Various rites and ceremonies
are often used. Sometimes they are public, but mostly they are
accomplished in private. Often they involve very complicated formulas
and specific materials. Then the rites are carried out according to
One who practices magic is known by many terms, some of the most
common being sorcerer, witch, wizard, or witch doctor. Several
notorious practitioners of magic are mentioned in Scripture: the
magicians of Egypt (Exodus 8); King Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1-9);
Jezebel (2 Kings 9:22); Simon (Acts 8:9-24); and Bar-Jesus (Acts
13:4-12). Involvement in magical practices was forbidden and
punishable by death under the Mosaic Law (see Exodus 22:18;
Deuteronomy 18:10-11; Isaiah 47:9-15), and also in the New Testament
(see Galatians 5:20; Revelations 18:23-24). The city of Nineveh was
destroyed for such abominable practices (Nahum 3:4). When the Messiah
comes again, the occult practitioners and their works will be
destroyed (Malachi 3:5; Micah 5:12; Revelations 21:8; 22:15). Occult
involvement involves giving recognition and allegiance to a power or
force other than God. For that reason Scripture defines it as evil
and condemns it thoroughly.
PART 2 - Some of the Words Related to Occult Activity, That
Are Mentioned in the Bible
[NOTE: This specific list is based on the NIV. These words will vary
somewhat, in different translations.]
- Sorcerer, sorceress, sorcery
- Fortune telling
- Prophecy; (false) prophets; making predictions
- Diviner, divination
- Seeking or consulting spirits; consulting (the spirits of) the
- Dreams; interpreters of dreams; visions; foreseeing
- Interpreting omens; seeking omens
- Astrologers, astrology, worshiping stars
- Chaldeans (in some contexts - mainly in the book of Daniel - a
synonym for "astrologer"; elsewhere simply a reference to
people living in the area of Babylon)
- Secret arts
- Magicians, magic, magic arts; magic charms
- The casting of spells; potent spells; magic spells
- Magi, "wise men" (in some contexts) [The term "wise
men" is also used as a general term for advisers, or for people
who have (or appear to have) wisdom.]
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SECTION 1 - It's Incompatibility with God and His Ways.
[See also Section 3, which focuses
specifically on false prophets.]
A. Its nature: pretentious, foolish, not from God.
- Deceptive, lying, false (applied to dreams, visions, divinations,
prophecies, etc.). Examples - Jeremiah 14:14-15; 27:9-10; 29:8-9;
Ezekiel 22:28; Zechariah 10:2.
- Influenced by what the people want to hear - Jeremiah 29:8.
- An example of how foolish the occult can be: Why consult the dead
in behalf of the living? - Isaiah 8:19.
- Filled with foolish and superstitious practices - Ezekiel 21:21;
whispering and muttering - Isaiah 8:19.
- Not sent by God. Example - Jeremiah 29:9.
- [See also Section 2F (instances in which
occult practitioners may sometimes have accurate results) and Section
3 (false prophets).]
B. Its negative effects and end results
- It leaves the people like sheep without a shepherd (no genuine
guidance) - Zechariah 10:2-3. [In this passage, God said he would
punish the false leaders and restore his flock.]
- It is a worthless, detestable practice that only results in God's
deserved anger. Many verses; two examples - Deuteronomy 18:9, 12 (it
even causes the person to become detestable); 2 Kings 17:15, 17 (vs.
13-20). [The reason for this is further explained in the article, "Why
Is the Occult Such a Horrible Evil?" (at the top of this page)]
- It enslaves people and earns God's judgment. Example: the
destruction of Nineveh - Nahum 3:4 (vs. 1-7).
- Widespread practice of the occult may result in judgment of an
entire nation. Occult practices were among the reasons why God had to
destroy certain nations and drive others out of their lands -
Deuteronomy 18:12; 2 Kings 17:17-20 (context begins at v. 13); 21:2
(see also v. 8); 2 Chronicles 33:2 (see also v. 8).
- [See also the destructive effects of false prophets, Section
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SECTION 2 - God's Surpassing Power Contrasted to
the Occultists Weak "Results." (Examples)
A. God can do what they can't.
- Joseph could interpret the dreams that Pharaoh's occult leaders could
not interpret - Genesis 41:8, 15-16, 24-25. [God revealed the
interpretation to him.]
- God's servants were 10 times better than the occult practitioners
- Daniel 1:19-20.
- Daniel could reveal the dream; the occult practitioners couldn't
- Daniel 2. [The occultists claimed that they couldn't, because only
the "gods" could do it - Daniel 2:1-13; Daniel claimed that
he could, because only "God" could do it (and God had done
so, and had revealed it to Daniel) - Daniel 2:25-28.]
- The occult practitioners could not interpret the dream, but
Daniel could - Daniel 4:6-9.
- The occult practitioners could not interpret the writing on the
wall, but Daniel could - Daniel 5:5-17 (+).
B. God can take control when a person
resorts to occult practices, and can use what they are doing to
accomplish his purposes.
- God took control when the King of Moab tried to use the occult to
destroy Israel - Numbers 22-24. [Balak, king of Moab, was hoping that
he could get Israel cursed, and he offered Balaam a huge reward, if
he would do so. Balaam wanted the reward, but God overruled and would
not let him curse Israel. See also Joshua 24:9-10 and Nehemiah 13:1-3.]
- God used the Philistine diviners' advice, to get the ark back to
Israel - 1 Samuel 6:2 (+ context). [When the Philistines captured the
ark of the covenant, God sent plagues and death to them. So they
asked their diviners (etc.) what to do with the ark. God used their
advice to get it returned to Israel. (See also Section
- Saul and the medium at Endor - 1 Samuel 28:3-14. [Saul wanted her
to bring Samuel back from the dead. When the medium began to
"call up" Samuel (probably a demonic counterfeit who would
pretend to be Samuel), God surprised the medium, by sending Samuel himself.]
- God was going to direct the king of Babylon toward Jerusalem, in
order to bring judgment upon the city - Ezekiel 21:18-23. [God would
use the king's occult practices to influence his decision.]
- The Magi ("Wise men") brought gifts to Jesus - Matthew
2:1-2, 7, 16. [There is some debate as to the exact identity of the
Magi or "Wise Men." God probably used their gifts to help
finance the journey, when Joseph, Mary and Jesus had to flee to Egypt
- Matthew 2:13-15.]
C. God can nullify what they try to do.
- The example of Balaam - nothing he did could stop God from blessing
Israel - Numbers 24:1 (also 23:23 + context). [This event is recorded
in Numbers 22-24, but additional information is mentioned elsewhere
in Scripture. For instance, Joshua 24:9-10 and Nehemiah 13:1-3 show
us that, even though Balaam claimed (in Numbers 22-24) to be willing
to do whatever God wanted, in his heart he wanted the money.]
- God brings their plans to nothing, while at the same time
accomplishing what his own servants have spoken (on his behalf) -
Isaiah 19:3; 44:24-26.
D. They can't change what God purposes to do (even when it
involves his intention to judge them for their occult sins).
- No sorcery or divination can overrule what God has planned to do -
admitted by Balaam, when he tried to curse Israel - Numbers 23:23.
(See also 24:1.)
- An example of a nation that God would punish in spite of their
attempts to prevent it through occult practices - Ezekiel 21:28-29.
- The occultists would be unable to prevent God's judgment from
coming upon the people; and the occultists themselves would be
destroyed - Isaiah 47:7-15. [Verse 12 (+) - God mocks them for their
foolish attempts at preventing God's judgment.]
E. They can sometimes imitate what God can do, but only to a
degree. Example: The occult practitioners in Egypt, when Moses
- Their rods also turned into snakes, but Aaron's rod/snake ate their
rods/snakes - Exodus 7:10-13.
- They could also turn the water into blood - Exodus 7:20-22.
- They could also get frogs to come up onto the land - Exodus 8:6-7.
- They could not create gnats... and they recognized that God was
doing it - Exodus 8:16-19. [Pharaoh wouldn't admit it.]
- They couldn't even try to create the boils, because they
themselves were covered with them - Exodus 9:10-12.
F. God may sometimes allow them to have
accurate results, but only for a purpose.
- The occult is filled with falsehood and lies (see Section
1, about it's incompatibility with God and his ways). But we
must realize that those who practice it do not always give wrong
results. God may allow their predictions to prove right (etc.) in
order to prove whether or not our loyalty to God is genuine -
- God may allow accurate results in order to accomplish some other
purpose. (See the examples in Section 2B, above.)
G. New Testament examples of the occult and God's power over it.
- The false prophet Bar-Jesus: He opposed the proclamation of the good
news (about Jesus), but was strongly rebuked and made temporarily
blind - Acts 13:6-12.
- Paul rebuked an evil spirit that controlled a slave girl, and it
left her - Acts 16:16-18.
- God used Paul to drive out demons at Ephesus; in contrast, some
Jewish exorcists tried to drive out a demon (imitating Paul), and the
demon overpowered and attacked them - Acts 19:11-16.
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SECTION 3 - The Specific Case of False Prophets.
[Many of the Verses in Section 1 Also Apply to Them.]
A. NOTE: Only a limited number of verses are
included in this section of the outline. The Bible says much more
about false prophets.
B. God opposes them, because he did not send them (even
though they may claim that he did).
- God did not send them - Jeremiah 14:14-15; 23:30-32; Ezekiel 13:6.
- God is against them - Jeremiah 23:30-32; Ezekiel 13:8-9.
C. What they say is often influenced by their hearers.
- Often based on pleasant things that the people like to hear, such as
promises of peace and blessings. Example - Jeremiah 14:13-14.
- Often based on what the people are willing to pay. Example: A
sizeable reward may mean favorable prophecies; the absence of reward
may mean unfavorable prophecies against the people - Micah 3:5, 11.
[In contrast, God's prophet has authority to speak judgment against
such false prophets (vs. 8-12) and the false prophets' response
(whether agreeable or not) will have no influence what God's prophet says.]
D. What they say is false,
pretentious and deceptive - especially when they claim that their
words come from God.
- Lies and falsehood; self-made delusions; "tongue wagging,"
etc. - various verses, including Jeremiah 14:14; 23:26, 30-32;
Ezekiel 13:6-8. [Their message often sounds very positive and
affirming, whereas the truth would actually speak about judgment -
- An expression of their own imagination; they follow their own
spirit and have actually received nothing from God - Ezekiel 13:2-3, 7.
- They claim that God has spoken, when he hasn't - Jeremiah 23:31;
Ezekiel 13:6; 22:28.
- Though they speak lies and falsehood, they may even deceive
themselves into thinking that their words will be fulfilled! -
- They often "justify" (excuse) sinful conduct - Ezekiel 22:28.
- A typical illustration of the conflict between false prophets and
God's prophets can be seen in the conflict between Micaiah (a prophet
from God) and King Ahab's false prophets - 2 Kings 22:1-40.
E. What they say has a destructive effect on the people (and
even on themselves).
- They do not benefit the people, but lead them astray - Jeremiah
23:32; Micah 3:5-12 (the end result: God would send darkness and the
nation would be destroyed).
- They ensnare people, like birds are snared in a trap - Ezekiel
13:20. [In the context of this specific verse, God was going to set
free the people they were trying to ensnare.]
- They discourage the righteous, but encourage the wicked to remain
wicked - Ezekiel 13:22.
- They (and their listeners) will be judged and destroyed -
Jeremiah 14:15-16; Ezekiel 13:9; 22:23-31 (they and all the others
who do evil - v. 31); Micah 3:5-12 (God would remain silent - vs. 6-7).
- Sometimes the very things they say cause the judgments that will
fall on them. Example - Jeremiah 27:10.
- [See also Section 4.]
F. The contrast between God's Word and the false prophets'
word - Jeremiah 23:28-29.
- God contrasts the false prophet's word to his own Word, by
contrasting straw and grain - Jeremiah 23:28. [The grain
(representing God's word) has nutritional value; the straw
(representing the false prophet's word) may take up space in your
stomach, but it is worthless for nutritional value.]
- The false prophet's worthless dreams are contrasted with God's
Word, which is like a fire that can burn things to ashes, or like a
hammer that can smash rock to powder - Jeremiah 23:29. [The false
prophets' dreams are powerless. In contrast, nothing can keep God's
Word from accomplishing its purpose.]
G. Those who claim to be prophets must be
tested, in order to determine whether they are genuine or false.
- Any miraculous signs they give (or predict) must occur and they must
direct the people's attention toward the God of the Bible -
- It's not enough that their predictions prove true. God may allow
their predictions to take place, in order to test (or prove) the
genuineness of our loyalty to him - Deuteronomy 13:3-4.
- Those who claim to be prophets, and are not, are preaching
rebellion against the true God, and are worthy of death - Deuteronomy 13:5.
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SECTION 4 - The Sinfulness of Participation in the
Occult; The Attitude We Should Have Toward It.
A. God forbids involvement in occult practices and he
promises severe consequences for those who do.
- Don't do it - Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10-11. [God has driven
nations from their lands, because of such detestable practices.
(Don't forget... God is the ultimate owner of those lands. If the
people refuse to obey him, they have no inherent right to live there!)]
- Those who do it deserve to be put to death - Exodus 22:18;
Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 13:5.
- An example in which God said he would come in judgment against
them - Malachi 3:5.
- An example in which God would come in judgment against them, and
would deliver his people from the snare of their influence - Ezekiel 13:20-23.
- An example of God being against a nation that enslaved others by
means of the occult - Nahum 3:1-7.
- Those who participate in the occult will have their place in the
fiery lake of burning sulfur - Revelation 21:6-8; they will not be
allowed inside God's eternal city - Revelation 22:14-15.
- [See also the examples in Section 5.]
B. God forbids people to seek counsel or advice from those
who are involved in the occult (and he also promises severe
consequences for those who do - consequences which such people bring
- Don't do it, or you will be defiled - Leviticus 19:31.
- If you do it, God will be against you - Leviticus 20:6.
- Don't listen to them - Deuteronomy 18:14.
- Don't listen to them or you will perish - Jeremiah 27:9-10.
- Look to God, instead - Isaiah 8:19.
C. Anyone who claims to have a revelation must be tested
(and, if necessary, rejected).
- Everything the person says must be in accordance with the Word of
God; otherwise he does not have the "light" of truth
in him - Isaiah 8:19 (+).
- [See also the need to test those who claim to be prophets, Section
D. Can we tolerate compromise with the occult?
- Back then, the people often saw no problem with attempting to hold
onto both the occult and the God of the Bible. Examples - Balaam
(Numbers 22-24) and Saul (1 Samuel 28:10). [Today, many people who
call themselves "Christian" still have this attitude.]
- God says that it is impossible for a person who practices such
sins to enter the kingdom of God - Galatians 5:19-21.
- Turning away from any such sins (if they are present in one's
life) is an integral part of salvation - Acts 19:17-20. [This passage
focuses on ways that the people of Ephesus showed honor to the Lord
Jesus. One of the ways they did this was by destroying the things
they once used in their practice of the occult. They not only stopped
practicing this sin, but they also burned their books (rather than
selling them to others), so that they would not become guilty of
enabling others to sin. Compare to Luke 17:1. (See also Section
- Ultimately, God will destroy the occultists, along with everyone
else who does evil and disobeys him. Examples - Micah 5:10-15;
Malachi 3:5. Also a future example - Revelation 21:6-8; 22:14-15.
E. The distorted perspective of an occult practitioner
(examples). Sin - including occult sin - has a destructive effect on
one's view of reality:
- The example of a nation that practiced the occult: They viewed
themselves as an "eternal queen"; God viewed them as a
wanton (sexually promiscuous) creature - Isaiah 47:7-8. [Often in the
Bible, the act of turning away from God and toward idolatry (and the
occult), is compared to adultery or prostitution. (Compare to James
4:4.) Figuratively, we are to be "married" to God, and are
to not go after substitutes and counterfeits. See also Nahum 3:4.]
- A description of the end times, when people will be so corrupt in
their thinking, that even when they know God is judging them, they
will refuse to repent of their occult practices (and other sins) -
Revelation 9:20-21. [God wants them to repent; instead, they want to
continue in their sinful ways, even though doing so will result in
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SECTION 5 - BIBLE EXAMPLES of Those Who
Participated in the Occult & Those Who Opposed It.
A. NOTE 1: This includes people directly involved
in those practices, as well as those who sought counsel or advice
from such people. Examples of those who opposed it are marked out by
the word "AGAINST."
B. NOTE 2: Joseph pretended to have occult powers,
when he (as ruler over Egypt) was questioning his brothers (who
didn't know who he was) - Genesis 44:5, 15.
C. Balak and Balaam: Balak wanted Balaam to curse
Israel. God overruled Balaam's attempts to do so; later Baalam was
killed in one of God's judgments - Numbers 22:7; 24:1 (+ the context
of chapters 22-24); Joshua 13:22.
D. The Philistines - 1
Samuel 6:2 (+ context). [God had already shown his superiority over
their "gods," yet they blindly continued in their ways. God
used the diviners' recommendations to bring the ark of the testimony
back to Israel. (This gold-covered chest was also called the "ark
of the covenant." It contained various sacred items - see
E. King Saul and the medium at Endor:
- King Saul wanted her to bring Samuel up from the dead. God actually
allowed Samuel to return - which terrified the medium and made her
realize that her "guest" was Saul. 1 Samuel 28:3-14 (+).
[Mediums have no genuine power over the dead, and can only
"conjure up" demonic counterfeits. The fact that Samuel was
truly present made her realize that something beyond her control was happening.]
- God judged Saul for this - 1 Chronicles 33:6.
- Note that Saul had originally opposed the practice of the occult
- see 1 Samuel 28:3. [His unwillingness to deal with the sins in his
life led him on a downward path.]
F. Jezebel: Because of her sins, she would be
killed and her body eaten by dogs - 2 Kings 9:22.
G. [AGAINST] Jehu - 2 Kings 9:22. [He arranged to
get Jezebel killed. See v. 30 (+).]
H. King Manasseh
- He sinned worse than the nations God had previously destroyed - 2
Kings 21:1-9; 2 Chronicles 33:1-9.
- The people followed his example - 2 Kings 21:9; 2 Chronicles 33:8.
- God allowed him to be taken captive to Babylon. This humbled
Manasseh, and he turned from his evil ways - 2 Chronicles 33:10-13.
- His sin was so horrible, that God's anger was not removed from
the nation, even after Manasseh reformed his ways - 2 Kings 23:26.
[The events of this verse come years after the events of 2 Kings 21:9
and 2 Chronicles 33:8. When Josiah began to reign, the people were
still following Manasseh's example of participating in these
practices. (His sin involved not only his own practice of the occult,
but also the resulting encouragement he gave to others, to do the
same. After all, he was their leader.)]
I. [AGAINST] King Josiah - he got rid of the
occultists, along with the idols and other detestable things that
were in the land - 2 Kings 23:24. [However, his valiant efforts could
not take away God's wrath: the sins of the nation had become too
great. See vs. 25-26, and the comments about Manasseh's sins, Section
J. Israel and Judah
- They provoked God to anger and he judged them by removing them from
his presence - 2 Kings 17:13-20. [Only Judah was left, and they, too,
- They (Judah) would be humbled and not forgiven, because they
continued to reject God's ways - Isaiah 2:5-11. [If they had been
willing to repent, they would have been forgiven. But they weren't
willing to do so.]
- Their practices would leave them "famished" for truth;
they would experience the "utter darkness" of judgment. Yet
because of God's undeserved kindness, the light of God's graciousness
would eventually shine forth in the darkness - Isaiah 8:19-9:7.
[Chapter 9 is a prophecy about the coming of Jesus Christ. Its
fulfillment was going to begin in the northern kingdom of Israel.]
- They would experience disaster - Isaiah 47:7-15.
- A day would come, in which God would destroy the occult practices
of Israel - Micah 5:10-15.
- God would come against them in judgment - Malachi 3:5.
K. Israel's leaders
- God would "consume" them in his anger, because they used
the occult to "justify" (excuse) their sinful practices -
Ezekiel 22:23-31 (especially verses 28, 31).
- They would be punished, because they resorted to the darkness of
the occult, thus leaving the people like sheep without a shepherd -
L. Babylon - they would experience a type of
judgment that their occult practices would be unable to prevent -
Isaiah 47:7-15 (especially vs. 11-15).
M. Nineveh - they would be destroyed because of
their occult practices, and because of the way they enslaved others
with it - Nahum 3:1-7 (especially v. 4).
N. The Magi - Matthew 2:1-2, 7, 16. [They brought
gifts to Jesus. Without realizing it, they were preparing Jesus'
family for their trip to Egypt (2:13-15)!]
O. Simon - Acts 8:9-11, 18-24. [He liked to amaze
people with his powers, so he wanted to purchase the Holy Spirit's
power. Peter rebuked him and warned him that his heart was not right
before God. (Church history suggests that he refused to repent and
later invented a false religion that attempted to compete with Christianity.)]
P. Bar-Jesus - Acts 13:6-12. [He tried to hinder
the preaching of the good news about Jesus. He was rebuked and made
Q. A slave girl - Acts 16:16-18. [She was
controlled by an evil spirit, until Paul cast the spirit out of her.]
R. [AGAINST] Those at Ephesus, who became saved -
Acts 19:18-20. [They burned their occult books.]
S. People at the end of the age - Revelation 9:21.
[They will refuse to repent.]
T. Prophetic "Babylon," which used the
occult to deceive the nations - Revelation 18:23. [It will be
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SECTION 6 - Other Sins Found in the Context of
A. NOTE: The following list includes sins that are
either directly or indirectly connected with occult practices, or
which are mentioned with them in lists of sins. (The occult practice
itself may be mentioned in a different verse nearby.)
B. A focus on money, fees for services
- Example: Balaam - Numbers 22:7. [Also, his greed for money is
mentioned in other passages - example - 2 Peter 2:15-16.]
- Their "prophecies" are often influenced by what the
people are willing to pay them - Micah 3:5, 11.
- Money can influence their entire perspective - even on how they
obtain their abilities. Example - Simon the sorcerer: He wanted to
buy the ability to give people the Holy Spirit. He was rebuked for
this sin - Acts 8:18-24.
- Contrasted with the attitude of the righteous. An example of
people who, when they turned to God, were willing to destroy their
occult materials, even though they could have earned a lot of money
by selling them - Acts 19:20. [It was not a small amount. The 50
thousand drachmas, mentioned in verse 20, is equivalent to 50
thousand days wages! Today, based on a typical 5-day work week and
working for about 45 years (from 20 years old until retirement), this
would amount to nearly four and a half lifetimes of money!]
- Contrasted with God's prophets, who aren't focused on gaining
wealth. Example - Daniel 5:17. [Also compare to Elisha's attitude,
when Naaman came to him and offered to pay for being healed - 2 Kings 5:15-16.]
C. Human sacrifices - Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings
17:17; 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6. [Back then, people sacrificed
children after they were born; today, people sacrifice them before
they are born. The biggest differences are the time of the sacrifice,
and the fact that most people today close their minds to the
seriousness of what they are doing.]
D. Rebellion, idolatry, the rejection of God's Word, etc. -
1 Samuel 15:22-23 and 1 Chronicles 10:13-14. [Note that, in God's
eyes, rebellion against him is just as evil as the occult. In Saul's
case, he ended-up doing both.]
E. Idolatry; the worship of various "gods"
- 2 Kings 9:22; 17:15-16 (people who follow worthless idols become
worthless people); 21:3-4; 23:24; 2 Chronicles 33:3-4; Isaiah 2:8;
19:3; Jeremiah 14:14; Micah 5:10-15; Zechariah 10:2-3.
F. Self-sufficient security (living as though the God of the
Bible was not needed)
- A focus on their attitude of self reliance - Isaiah 2:5-11
(especially v. 8). [Financial security and military security are
mentioned in this passage, in connection with idolatry and occult
practices. God said he was going to "lower" them in
humility: he was going to destroy their security.]
- Self-made "wisdom" - Isaiah 44:25.
- Lounging (or dwelling) in security - though their lives were
filled with wickedness - Isaiah 47:8-9 (+).
G. Detestable things; detestable practices - Deut.
18:9, 12; 2 Kings 21:2; 23:24; 2 Chron. 33:2.
H. Evil deeds and wickedness (in general) - 2 Kings
17:17; 21:2, 6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:10; Acts 19:18-20.
I. Leaders being encouraged (by the occultists) to sin;
their sins even being excused (or reinforced) by supposed
"revelations," given by the occultists- Ezekiel 22:23-29
(especially v. 28).
J. The people being encouraged to follow the example of their
occult-practicing leader, and themselves becoming involved
in the same kinds of practices - 2 Kings 21:9; 2 Chronicles 33:9.
[The example of people who followed Manasseh's example.]
K. Strong associations and alliances with pagans (and their practices)
- Isaiah 2:6 (clasping hands with them - NIV, or striking bargains
with them - NAS).
L. Going after the pagan ways of the surrounding nations -
2 Kings 17:15; 21:2.
M. Absence of the "fear of God" - Malachi 3:5.
N. Stubbornness, rejecting God (his word and his ways) -
2 Kings 17:13-15.
O. Lists of many kinds of sins - Malachi 3:5;
Galatians 5:19-21 (all are acts of the sinful nature); Revelation
9:20-21; 21:6-8; 22:14-15.
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Most of the Bible Verses Used in This Study.
Genesis 41:8, 15-16, 24-25; 44:5, 15
Exodus 7:10-13, 20-22; 8:6-7, 16-19; 9:10-12; 22:18
Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6, 27
Numbers 22:7; 23:23; 24:1 (also the entire context of ch. 22-24)
Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:9-14
1 Samuel 5:10-6:3; 15:22-23; 28:3-10
2 Kings 9:22; 17:13-20; 21:1-9; 23:24-26
1 Chronicles 10:13-14
2 Chronicles 33:1-13
Isaiah 2:5-11; 8:19-9:7; 19:3; 44:24-26; 47:7-15
Jeremiah 14:13-16; 23:25-32; 27:9-10; 29:8-9
Ezekiel 13:1-9, 20-23; 21:18-23, 28-29; 22:23-31
Daniel 1:19-20; 2:1-13, 25-28; 4:6-9; 5:5-17
Micah 3:5-12; 5:10-15
Matthew 2:1-2, 7, 16
Acts 8:9-11, 18-24; 13:6-12; 16:16-18; 19:11-20
2 Timothy 3:12-13
Revelation 9:20-21; 21:6-8; 22:14-15
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Dennis Hinks © 2002