According to the Five Books of Moses, Abraham is revered as the one who overcame the idol worship of his family and surrounding people by recognizing the Hebrew God and establishing a covenant with him and creating the foundation of what has been called by scholars "Ethical Monotheism". The first of the Ten Commandments can be interpreted to forbid the Children of Israel from worshiping any other god but the one true God who had revealed himself at Mount Sinai and given them the Torah, however it can also be read as henotheistic, since it states that they should have "no other gods before me." The commandment itself does not affirm or deny the existence of other deities per se. Nevertheless, as recorded in the Tanakh ("Old Testament" Bible), in defiance of the Torah's teachings, the patron god YHWH was frequently worshipped in conjunction with other gods such as Baal, Asherah, and El. Over time, this tribal god may have assumed all the appellations of the other gods in the eyes of the people. The destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the exile to Babylon was considered a divine reprimand and punishment for the mistaken worship of other deities. By the end of the Babylonian captivity of Judah in the Tanakh, Judaism is strictly monotheistic.
There are nonetheless seeming elements of "polytheism" in certain biblical books, such as in Daniel's frequent use of the honorific "God of gods" and especially in the Psalms. Jewish scholars were aware of this, and expressed the opinion that although the verse can be understood wrongly, God was not afraid to write it in the Torah. However, the word God in Hebrew (Elohim) is also a plural, meaning "powerful ones" or "rulers". This is true in Hebrew as well as other related Canaanite languages. So "Elohim" could refer to any number of "rulers", such as angels, false gods (as defined by Torah), or even human holders of power including rulers or judges within Israel, as described in Exodus 21:6; 22:8, without violating the parameters of monotheism. Some scholars[who?] believe that Exodus 3:13-15 describes the moment when YHWH first tells Moses that he is the same god as El, the supreme being. This could be the recounting, in mythical form, of Israel's conversion to monotheism.
God - The creator of the world and an all-powerful being. God calls himself the only true deity worthy of human worship. As the figurehead of Israel and the force behind every event, God acts as the unseen hero of the Old Testament. God reveals his intentions by speaking to people. Physical manifestations of God are always indirect or symbolic. God appears in many different forms, including an angel, a wrestler, a burst of fire, and a quiet whisper.
First things First.......
"When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you. But you must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the LORD your God forbids you to do such things." (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
Child sacrifice and occult practices were strictly forbidden by God. These practices were common among pagan religions. Israel's own neighbors actually sacrificed their children to the god Molech (Leviticus 20:2-5). Other neighboring religions used supernatural means, such as contacting the spirit world, to foretell the future and gain guidance. Because of these wicked practices, God would drive out the pagan nations (Deuteronomy 18:12). The Israelites were to replace their evil practices with the worship of the one true God.
The Israelites were naturally curious about the occult practices of the Canaanite religions. But Satan is behind the occult, and God flatly forbade Israel to have anything to do with it. Today people are still fascinated by horoscopes, fortune-telling, witchcraft, and bizarre cults. Often their interest comes from a desire to know and control the future. But God tells us all we need to know about what is going to happen. With the trustworthy guidance of the Holy Spirit through the Bible and the church, we don't need to turn to occult sources for faulty information. Instead we can live by faith in God who knows the future and controls it all.
God so detested the practices of demon worship through the various idolatrous religions that He brought Israel back to Canaan to wipe out the nations there because their cup of iniquity was full. Pathetically, the Israelites were seduced by these gods and began worshipping them, even to the point of sacrificing their children to them. How sad that God's image and plan for His people had become so distorted. On account of their prostitution to these foreign gods, the Lord ended up punishing the Israelites and uprooting them from the Land. In a modern parallel, as mankind continues to worship idols of various forms through channelers, astrologers and false prophets, God again will uproot and cleanse the world. For the world's cup of iniquity has just about full.
A growing number of people are becoming engrossed in various forms of Spiritualism, and its varied forms such as magic, astrology, sorcery and astrology. From as apparently innocent sources such as Disney studios with all its animated withcraft and scorceries, to cartoons depicting the Smurf dad being a wizard, children have been drawn into the occult at an amazing speed. The Ouija board, a game of communication with the dark spirit realm has now outstripped Monopoly as the leading board game. A quick glance at games in a software shop will lead to the horrifying conclusion that most games involve wizards, witches, spells, violence, killing, and the outright presence of demonic spirits and characters.
Witches, as they used to be known, have taken on the guise of New Age channelers, acting as intermediaries and mediums between the spirit realm and the tangible world. The higher levels of most secret societies such as the Masons, Illuminati and their front organizations, actively, and perhaps ignorantly, practice forms of demonic worship, preparing the world for the coming of Lucifer as the "light bearer," Satan, the beast from the Abyss as he attempts to impersonate Jesus Christ. The New World Order falls neatly into the plans of these organizations.
Astrology is everywhere today. Millions of people follow the teachings of various astrologers. Many will not go to work in the morning unless they have read their horoscope in the morning paper. Tabloids are full of the predictions of various psychics which have a miserable success rate in their predictions of less than 5%. A child could do better.
Soon after the Flood, and accelerating with Nimrod's empire at Babylon, teachings of various demonic agencies began to permeate culture and religion. These Babylonian mysteries were passed down from generation to generation and have arrived in today's society as strong as ever.
The coming of the Jewish Messiah is the focus of the Old Testament. There are over 300 separate prophecies about the "Holy One of Israel" found there. They are so specific as to predict the city of Jesus' birth (Micah 5:2), His nature (Isaiah 7:14), His works of healing and miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6), His betrayal for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13), His suffering (Isaiah 53), His style of execution (Psalm 22) and His resurrection (Psalm 16:10, Acts 13:35) amongst other things. These prophecies were written anywhere from 400 to 1000 years before Jesus' birth, yet they describe His life with the accuracy of an eyewitness. The odds against a living person meeting even a few of these predictions is so astronomical it is considered an impossibility.
With prophecy, God gives the faithful hope by promising better things in the future. Likewise, the wicked are warned of impending judgment if they don't change their ways.
It’s scary for us to be so open and trusting of God. It’s like letting go and trusting that someone will catch you. No wonder our default state is to have an un-circumcised heart. We think that we are safer that way, but the opposite is true. It is only when we open up to God that He can take care of us, protect us, and guide us on the proper path.