This study will begin with clarification of certain items within The Doctrine of Angels, under the sub-heading The Ministry of Angels. As discussed in previous sessions, the scriptures reveal the angels to be divine messengers. They’re often revealed, especially in the New Testament, as spokesmen for God and they repeatedly appear in that capacity.
In past discussions it was mentioned that the angels appeared to Joseph, Mary, and Elisabeth revealing what was shortly to come to pass. They appeared again to Joseph telling him to take the child Jesus and flee into Egypt because Herod was out to destroy His life. The angel appeared to the apostle Philip when he was ministering in Samaria and told him to go to Gaza and preach in the desert. That’s where God pointed the Ethiopian eunuch to Philip and as a result, the Ethiopian people received the gospel.
An angel also appeared to Cornelius (Acts, chapter 10) and told him to send for Peter. Consequently, Peter revealed the gospel to him so that Cornelius and his family were saved. It is significant that Cornelius, a Roman soldier, had a heart to know God. He regularly prayed, fasted and gave alms. God dispatched an angel to Cornelius and told him to send for Peter. It’s interesting that the angel himself didn’t preach the gospel to Cornelius. One would be inclined to think that an angel could do a much better job of presenting the gospel than a mere man like Peter. Consider what a message such a glorious being as an angel could present. That wasn’t the case, however, for the angel said, Go send for Peter. Go send for a man to come preach the gospel to you — an earthen vessel. Go send for him and he will come and preach the gospel to you.
Peter was no stranger to human frailty and weakness. Peter was human and knew what it was to have to repent and on more than one occasion. The angel directed Cornelius to send for Peter so that Peter could minister the gospel to Cornelius and his family. This event illustrates some of the things contained in the scriptures. For example:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [2 Cor. 4:7]
One would be inclined to think, “Let the angel do it; he’d do a better job of it anyway.”
Another passage is:
27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. [1 Cor. 1:27-29]
Men are so imperfect, so weak compared to the angels. One would think that God would use the angels, but God chose to have His perfect message preached through imperfect vessels. That’s the way God chose it to be. Let the imperfect vessel preach this perfect message — this glorious gospel, and through that, God is glorified. All the human vessel can say is, Magnify the grace of God. That’s all the human can do, simply magnify God and His grace. That’s a point worth considering.
Also previously discussed was how the angels minister to the saints. Remember the passage from Hebrews:
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. [Heb. 1:14]
As ministering spirits, the angels offer protection, bringing aid and assistance. Their ministry includes protection as pointed out in these verses:
10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. [Ps. 91:10-12]
God gives His angels charge over men. They minister to the heirs of salvation in the areas of protection, deliverance, preservation, etc. The angels preserve, keep and protect God’s elect.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [Ps. 34:7]
Without question, God has sent His angels to keep, protect and preserve His elect.
An important point should be noted and that is: believers are not to pray to angels. Although God sends angels to protect and assist His own in crisis, one should never pray to the angels. Even in times of emergency when one is facing imminent danger, one doesn’t pray, “Angels, help me!” That’s just not the way Christians are to respond in time of trouble. For whom does one call? One calls for Jesus and only Jesus. His is the name on whom His children call for that’s the name where there is power. It’s in the name of Jesus that demons are cast out, that the sick are made well. Jesus is the name on whom the believer calls. No one should be confused into thinking that believers are to call to the angels for assistance or aid. The believer does not call for angels; the believer calls for Jesus. It’s “the blood of Jesus!” or “Jesus!” and that’s where there is protection, deliverance and preservation. God can respond in any way He chooses, in whatever manner He wishes to respond, in whatever way He chooses to preserve His child. It just may be by sending an angel, but the believer is to call on no other name than the name of Jesus.
Another significant point is that men don’t command the angels to do things for them. Man does not have the power to command angels. There is not one instance in the Bible where believers are told to pray to angels or ask angels to provide assistance or help. Man is not supposed to tell the angels what to do. Men don’t call to angels for help. Men call on their savior, Jesus. Men simply don’t tell angels what to do. One must come to realize that the angels serve God, not man.
Now God sends the angels to minister to man, but the angels are God’s servants, not the servants of man. One should never get the idea that one can say to the angels, “Angels, go do this or that!”
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. [Heb. 1:14]
Sadly, there are those who confuse passages like this one and wrest it to their own destruction, thinking that the angels have nothing better to do than to stand around and do man’s bidding.
Even Jesus didn’t command the angels. Most are familiar with the passage in Matthew, chapter 26, when the authorities had come to arrest Jesus. Peter impetuously took out a sword and cut off someone’s ear. Jesus responded:
52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? [Matt. 26:52-53]
In response to Pilate’s questions:
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. [John 18:36]
Even Jesus did not presume to command the angels. While still clothed in His humanity, Jesus shows that it is God who commands the angels, not men. Men don’t tell angels what to do. That dominion belongs only to God for the angels are His servants. Although Jesus created the angels and most assuredly commanded them before His incarnation and now in His risen state, He did not command the angels in His humanity. As a man, He showed His people that it is God who commands the angels.
15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. [Col. 1:15-16]
These things are mentioned in order to clarify some of the strange ideas promoted by some. Believers simply call on God to meet their needs. If He chooses to send angels to minister to those needs, that’s entirely up to Him. Believers pray and believe God. Believers don’t tell angels what to do. Praise the Lord!
The Bible is filled with references to the invisible beings known as demons. These creatures have a variety of powers. Demons have the ability to communicate with men and influence their lives. The demons are also the instruments used to bring disease, sickness and oppression upon people. The demons wreck people’s health, emotions and mental stability. They both oppress and possess. Demons even influence the course of nations. Numerous references in both the Old and New Testament attest that the demons are quite powerful beings.
It’s unfortunate that the King James Version
translators chose the Greek word devils, which appears more frequently in most scripture passages, when the word demons would be the better translation. The term demon is the transliteration of the Greek daemon and also daimonion. They both signify demonic beings. Just as the angels are messengers and servants of God, the demons in the Bible are messengers and ministers of Satan, the prince of devils, i.e., demons. While the KJV translates the words devils, i.e., saying, Go cast out devils, one would do well to remember that there’s only one devil, i.e., Lucifer or Satan, but there are many demons.
A. The Fact of Their Existence.
The existence of demonic beings is no fantasy. As soon as one receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it becomes obvious that demons exist. All one needs is the Holy Ghost to make one aware that demons exist. One may have questioned whether or not there was such a thing as demons before having received the baptism, but once one receives the Holy Spirit, the reality of demons becomes factual. Contrary to what the devil and the world would have one believe, demons are not imaginary creatures. The world has characterized demons as harmless ghouls, ghosts and goblins such as are depicted in the fantasy books of children. They are depicted as belonging to the land of fantasy and make-believe. The Bible is very clear in revealing the fact that demons exist. Things do go bump-in-the-night. There are ghosts, but the ghosts are demons and the fact of their existence is revealed in both the Old and New Testaments.
1. Demons as revealed in the Old Testament.
Most people think of demons as having a role or having made an appearance only in the New Testament. That is not the case however, for the groundwork is all laid in the Old Testament, insofar as revealing their existence, their reality. The people of the New Testament knew of the reality of demons because of the foundation of their existence having been made in Old Testament times. By the time of the New Testament, Jesus simply says, Go cast out demons. The scriptures reveal Jesus talking to demons and casting them out. There’s no explanation as to where these beings came from in the New Testament. That’s because the groundwork was laid back in the Old Testament, thereby assuming that one is knowledgeable regarding what is contained in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is actually filled with references to demonic beings, demonic creatures. Israel had quite a bit of knowledge about these creatures, the demons. As a matter of fact, apostate Jews worshipped demons.
16They provoked him (God) to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17They sacrificed unto devils (demons), not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [Deut. 32:16-17]
This passage in the Old Testament confirms that the Jews sacrificed to demons. There’s also a passage in the New Testament warning the Jews about having fellowship with demons.
19What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? 20But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils (demons), and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils (demons). [1 Cor. 10:19-20]
The Gentiles sacrificed to idols, i.e., demons. Sacrifice to idols was part of their worship and the Bible says that is tantamount to sacrificing to a demon. The Bible assumes that one realizes the idol represents the invisible demon. That’s what an idol is — a visible symbol of an invisible being. The idol is representative of the demon being worshipped and demons are the inspiration for the idols. During deliverance sessions demons have been known to reveal that when people pray to idols or burn incense, demons come to inhabit the statues. This is true even in the case of the statues of saints in the churches. As people worship and pray to the statues, the strength of the demon is actually increased. Those believers who operate in the gift of discerning of spirits have even seen those things come to pass. The demons will actually be drawn to inhabit the statues as people worship them.
Demon worship is not just something that occurred in ancient history. It is ongoing still today. People all over the world, including America, still worship demons. Many times people are just not aware that when they worship idols, they’re worshipping demons. Demon worship is quite common among the Hindu and Buddhist worshippers. The ancient Jews were no strangers to demon worship, and the Old Testament reveals their existence, their reality in numerous scripture passages.
In one Old Testament passage, God spoke of demons and called them lying spirits. The context here is that God was going to draw Ahab, a wicked, depraved king of Israel, into battle where he could be killed. Ahab had been rebellious toward God, having participated in every type of sin imaginable.
And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up (die, be killed) at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. [1 Ki. 22:20]
Micah the prophet is prophesying of an event that took place in heaven. As God said this, the spirits are coming, responding to God’s question.
21And there came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. 22And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? (How?) And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, thou shalt persuade him and prevail also; go forth, and do so. 23Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. [1 Ki. 22:21-23]
Lying spirits were going to inhabit Ahab’s prophets and they would prophesy lies to Ahab, telling him, “Go fight at Ramoth-gilead and you’ll win, you’ll survive.” God’s man, Micah, says, “If you go down to fight, you will die.” Lying spirits, i.e., demon entities, were dispatched in order to deceive Ahab.
14But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15And Saul’s servants said unto him, behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
[1 Sam. 16:14-16]
Saul directed his servants to do just that, and David, the son of Jesse was sent for.
…Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. [1 Sam. 16:18]
Continuing … Saul sent for Jesse saying,
…Let David…stand before me; for he hath found favor in my sight. [1 Sam. 16:22]
This passage from the book of 1 Kings offers further description:
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. [1 Ki. 16:23]
In reviewing 1 Samuel, chapter 15, one sees that Saul had sinned to such a degree that God was going to take the kingdom away from him. God had given him clear directions, clear orders, but Saul continually disobeyed God. He spared King Agag alive instead of killing him; he spared the prime sheep and cattle instead of destroying the whole city as God had commanded him to do. Saul had disobeyed and God said, For that, I’m going to take the throne away from Saul.
Verse 14 (1 Samuel, chapter 16) tells how the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. One can see the contrast where the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and when that occurred, an evil spirit came upon him. This evil spirit from the Lord is a spirit that God sent. This is a case of God sending a demon spirit to oppress Saul. Even here, one begins to see the sovereignty of God. Even the demons can’t do things without God’s permission. God’s sovereign over everything. When an individual sins as Saul did, they open themselves up to oppression, deep oppression. That is clearly seen here in the case of Saul who continues in his sin and God dispatches this demon to oppress him.
God sometimes sends demons to punish the wicked. God will send these demonic beings to bring judgment and punishment upon those who habitually sin, upon the wicked. The troubling that occurred in Saul’s mind and heart was not some mere depression or moodiness. It was an attack of a demonic power where God sent an evil power that took possession of Saul’s mind. It drove him mad, into fits of insanity. The demonic power kept Saul stirred into a frenzied state of mind, consistently tormenting his thoughts.
In this tormented state, Saul’s imagination ran out of control. When an individual opens his mind and heart to sin, oppression comes. One should not think this is some strange occurrence for the Bible teaches in numerous other places how that God will use the demonic beings to accomplish His purposes. God is sovereign.
Examination of several scripture passages revealed: (1) How God sent the lying spirit to accomplish His purpose by deceiving wicked Ahab. (2) How God judged Egypt when Pharaoh refused to release the children of God. Despite the many plagues and pestilence, Pharaoh stubbornly reneged on his word to the point that God sent the angel of death to kill all Egypt’s firstborn. This is another instance where God sent evil angels to accomplish His purposes.
49He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. 50He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; 51And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham.
One must bear in mind that the evil angels or the demon spirits are so wicked they even hate the people who serve the devil. The demons will even destroy them if given the opportunity. God will use the demons to accomplish His own purposes and He does, as confirmed throughout the scriptures.
…God shall send them strong delusion (to those who don’t love the truth, to those who don’t abide in it), that they should believe a lie. [2 Thess. 2:11]
Another passage speaks of those who depart from the faith because they listen to demons:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. [1 Tim. 4:1]
These seducing spirits are lying spirits and the Word says that God sometimes sends them. When people stubbornly reject the truth, refusing to have anything to do with it, God will send them a spirit of deception. He will send the lying spirit or deceiving spirit to deceive them. These will not be heirs of salvation if they reject His truth. Here is seen the total sovereignty of God. The devil doesn’t act independently as many are deceived into believing. Satan can’t do a thing without God’s permission. God sent this evil spirit as punishment upon Saul for his sin, to trouble and vex him. Those who doubt this should search the scriptures for they will confirm this to be true.
The following verse brings out an interesting point:
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. [1 Sam. 16:23]
The Bible refers to David as the sweet psalmist of Israel. David wrote over seventy of the psalms or songs. His psalms were sung to the melodies he played on his harp. David was an anointed musician, a singer of songs. The Bible says David even invented musical instruments. Not only did David play, but he also actually invented musical instruments. He’s the one who set up an elaborate worship system with the harps, musicians, singers and the praise and worshippers. It was quite elaborate!
Even in ancient times, the people were knowledgeable regarding the value of music. They saw the effect that music had on the lives and emotions of people. It is common knowledge today that music is mood altering. Certain types of music will actually drive listeners into a frenzied state, the driving beat causing them to become nervous, anxious and fearful. Those who work around that kind of music have to battle nervousness. It’s a spiritual warfare and the believer realizes it. At the same time, music can cause people to become depressed. Listening to a steady diet of depressing country music will result in people becoming moody and depressed. Music is known to be mood altering. At the same time, songs of victory, praise and worship can lift the heart and spirit, edifying, building up, and strengthening one’s faith. One can sing one’s way to victory in times of trial and distress. Look at this verse! Now the ancients realized that.
Ancient Greek literature also mentions that the treatment for mental oppression was listening to soothing music. The Greeks realized that music had a powerful stimulus on the human mind. Soothing music was their prescription for the mentally ill.
It should then come as no surprise that the ancient Hebrews had this knowledge. Their suggestion for Saul’s mental oppression was to have someone play the right kind of music in order to soothe him. It was then that David was sent for, the singing shepherd boy. David had a heart for God from his youth and as he sang and worshipped God, the demon left Saul. Demons won’t hang around where God is worshipped. Where there is an atmosphere of worship, singing, glorifying and praising God, the demons won’t hang around. They just won’t listen to that!
It was mentioned in a previous study that the worship of believers actually attracts God’s angels. I really believe that’s true because they are beings that worship God continually. Their voices of praise and worship are heard in heaven continuously and I believe that when saints on earth worship God, the angels join in. I believe that worship attracts them like a magnet. Many, many times, people here in this congregation have said that God showed them angels worshipping, filling the place. As God’s people worshipped, the angels were present worshipping, joining in. I’ve heard that in many other cases where the Lord has allowed them to see angels worshipping the Lord with the voice of the chorus of the congregation, the angels had lifted their voices and joined right in God’s divine worship. David was a worshiper; the angels of God worship and when God’s people worship, the demons flee.
When one goes through times of trial, distress, and tribulation, it’s time to sing. One needs to worship, to rejoice, to count it all joy when going through divers trials and tribulations. It’s possible for one to sing one’s way to victory! When the devil torments the mind with fear, doubt and thoughts of uncertainty, etc., one can respond by singing songs of victory, songs of praise, songs of worship. Consequently, the oppression breaks and the demons flee.
a. Occult Contact With All Types of Spirits.
10When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination (a person that’s a diviner, a fortuneteller of any sort who in whatever way tells one’s fortune–there’s to be no one who uses divination), or an observer of times (the ancient soothsayers, those who were the psychic type of prophets, foretellers of future events, etc.) or an enchanter (the magicians), or a witch, 11Or a charmer (the hypnotist, the one who charms people or serpents), or a consulter with familiar spirits (the spiritualist medium, the person who has the demonic spiritualist medium guide–they go into trances, etc.), or a wizard (a psychic), or a necromancer (a person who conjures up the dead). [Deut. 18:10-11]
The last straw occurred when Saul consulted the witch at Endor. This woman was a necromancer. Saul had made mistakes; Saul had sinned. His problem? Saul never repented. David sinned, but David repented. He had a heart for God. Saul, on the other hand, refused to repent of his sin, and continued in his sin. Finally, he went to this witch and had her conjure up the dead, which was an abomination in the eyes of God.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…. [Deut. 18:12]
God hates occult sins. Saul’s final and fatal mistake occurred when he consulted with the dead. Saul directed the witch to call Samuel from the dead in order to give him some direction.
15And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. 16Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 17And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David: 18Because thou obeyest not the voice of the Lord, nor executest his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day. 19Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. [1 Sam. 28:15-19]
These occult practices were prevalent in ancient days because occultism had its source with the pagans and their rituals and superstitions. Many tend to think of psychic phenomenon as modern. To the contrary, occultism and the worship of demons go back to ancient days. The pagans were quite familiar with occult practices and unfortunately, the Jews were too. Even though God forbade the Jews to have anything to do with occultism, they backslid and became involved with the superstitions and gods of the pagan nations surrounding them. Consequently, many began worshipping the same demons and idols, becoming involved in all the occult sins of their pagan neighbors. God hates the occult and told the people, If you get involved with those things, those who do it are an abomination to me.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. [Ex. 22:18]
In the KJV suffer means to allow. Do not allow a witch to live. They were to be put to death, usually by stoning.
Saul paid for his sin and the context in the following scripture is that the Lord killed him.
13So 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; 14And inquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
[1 Chron. 10:13-14]
The Lord brought Saul into battle where he could be killed. Why? Because he didn’t obey God. Because he was disobedient. The Bible says, …because he sought counsel…. from the witch at Endor instead of seeking counsel of the Lord. Saul consulted with the dead and all that do so are an abomination unto God.
The Bible reveals that demons are a reality and existed in the Old Testament, and the Jews were very much aware of their reality. Many of the commands in the Mosaic Law had reference to occult practices. Most today are unaware of the implications and meanings behind a great many of the Mosaic Law prohibitions. For example:
…Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. [Deut. 14:21]
Today one would be inclined to think, “A kid (young goat) is not to be boiled in the milk of its mother; that’s interesting.” To the Jew, however, it had significance in that the sacrifice of a kid having been boiled in its mother’s milk was an occult practice. The pagans made this type sacrifice to their fertility gods. God forbade the Jews to have anything to do with such practices. Such explanations enable one to better understand the significance of God’s prohibitions of occult activities for the Jews.
Other forbidden practices in the Mosaic Law concern funeral practices. The pagans incorporated many occult practices and symbolisms into their occult observances, rites, rituals, worship of demons, etc. For example, a passage in Leviticus, chapter 19, forbade certain funeral practices because they had their origin in these pagan rites and rituals.
27Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28Yet shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you (tattoos): I am the Lord.
These scriptures have to do with these funeral practices. The heathen, in their funeral practices and worship of their pagan deities, would literally place bowls over their heads and any hair that hung over the bowl was shaved off. This was their expression of grief as unusual or bizarre haircuts were a sign of demonic worship. These bizarre haircuts were actually a sign of demon worship. Now there are a lot of unusual haircuts today and it just might be that those people might also worship the same gods. Marring of the beard as well as the unusual cutting of the hair was forbidden of the Jew because such acts were demon inspired.
Tattooing is forbidden as its origin is also in pagan worship. The believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and as such, one’s flesh is not to be marred, cut or otherwise marked. Marring and cutting the flesh was another rite of pagan worship. To confirm this, the incident of Elijah challenging the priests of Baal is cited. Elijah told the priests, “You call down fire within such-and-such time. After you try it, then I’ll call down fire. We’ll see whose God answers by fire.” When Baal did not respond, the priests began cutting their flesh as part of their worship ritual. Such practices of disfigurement have their origins in demon worship and the tattooing of the flesh is included. Even today, within isolated societies in Africa, the Amazon and other secluded locations, it is common practice among the tribes to self-mutilate with tattoos and other forms of bizarre markings. This has its origin in demon worship, and is strictly forbidden by God.
God also forbade such acts as bestiality, i.e., sexual relations with animals, and homosexuality.
13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them…. 15And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. 16And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. [Lev. 20:13, 15-16]
These acts are still prevalent in occult circles today. God said all such are an abomination to Him. The punishment was death to all parties involved, human and beast. The Bible says their blood is on them.
One would likely be surprised to realize how much sexual immorality had to do with occult worship. Most of the occult gods were fertility gods. Fertility was the primary focus in ancient days. The people wanted their crops to be fertile and they wanted fertile land. The people also desired that their women be fertile. Consequently, they worshipped fertility gods who supposedly insured fertility through sexual rites. That’s why they had the temple priests. In order to worship his god, the individual had intercourse with the priest or the priestess at the pagan temple. It was all a part of their worship system.
The entire ethics of worship was an abomination in the sight of God because sexual immorality and depravity prevailed throughout the pagan worship rites. Modern archeology has revealed that the people were so eaten up with disease through their sexual degeneracy that God had entire villages, cities and races annihilated. God did not want their depravity to spread even further so He had them killed. God told Israel not to have anything to do with those people. Don’t marry them; don’t trade with them. I don’t want you to be influenced by them. Sadly, sexual immorality just appeals to people’s fleshly nature and when mixed with worship, it puts a stamp of approval upon the acts of immorality. How appealing those religions were! God said, Stamp them out; eradicate them! It’s an abomination in my sight. God is holy and simply wouldn’t put up with such nonsense. The same practices prevail in modern society. The only thing that’s missing is the heathen temples.
There were also other prohibitions made by God because the origin of certain practices and rites had its roots in the occult realm. Demon worship was quite common in Old Testament times, and the Jews were well aware of it.
Other prohibitions existed against eating certain foods because of their close occult connection. God forbade the Jews to eat snakes because snakes have always been associated with the occult, with demons, with the devil himself who appeared as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. Swine were forbidden because swine were often associated with demons and demonic beings. When Jesus cast the demons out of the Gadarene demoniac, they wanted to go into the herd of swine nearby. Many times I’ve heard people testify that the devil has appeared to them as a pig or hog, an unclean, vile being. Consequently, God forbade the Jews to eat swine. Frogs, another symbol of demons, were also forbidden as a food source.
13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils…. [Rev. 16:13-14]
Storks were also considered to be unclean and were forbidden because of their occult connection. Other creatures that habitually inhabited ruins, i.e., the ruins of ancient cities, were also forbidden as sources of food. The Bible reveals that it is a practice of demons to inhabit ancient ruins and places of desolation. Other birds such as the crow, the owl, and others were all forbidden as food because of their close occult connection. God pronounced them to be unclean.
All that has been discussed is to emphasize that in Old Testament times, Israel was well aware of the existence and reality of demons. Demons were not entities found only in the New Testament, but as with so many Bible truths, demons had their basis in the Old Testament.