In Deuteronomy 18:10-11, some 9 abominable practices were listed: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”
Here, the Israelites had just left Egypt – the home of occultism – after over 400 years. They were already familiar with Egyptian pagan beliefs and practices, so there was no need for Moses to start explaining these stuffs to them in details. The “passing children through the fire” was an ancient rite in which children were sacrificed to pagan deities such as Molech:
“Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD” (Lev. 18:21)
“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelites or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him” (Lev. 20:2)
“They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech…” (Jer. 32:35)
These rites to Molech were so abominable to God that He placed a death sentence on the Israelites who practiced it. The Nelson’s Bible dictionary explains that, “Molech was the national deity of the Ammorites (Lev. 18:21, Jer. 32:35), whose worship was accompanied by the burning of children offered as a sacrifice by their own parents. The god Molech also appears in the Old Testament as Milcom (2 Kings 23:13, Zeph. 1:5) and in the New Testament as Moloch (Acts 7:43).”
Child sacrifices and licentious rites were also offered in worship to Baal (Jer. 19:5), Chemosh (a pagan god associated with the heavenly bodies) and Ashtoreth (Molech’s consort and fertility goddess) were grouped together in 1 Kings 11:33 “…they have forsaken Me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molech the god of the Ammonites…”
Smith’s Bible Dictionary says: “Fire gods appear to be common to all the Canaanite, Syrian and Arab tribes who worshipped the destructive element under an outward symbol, with the most inhuman rites.” The priests who presided over these evil sacrifices were called “Chemarim” (Hosea 10:5, 2 Kings 23:5). From a historical account, Molech’s image was of a metallic bull in a sitting position, with outstretched arms. A furnace was set up within it and a child to be sacrificed was placed on the red-hot arms. Loud drums and flutes were used to suppress the screams of the child- and the parents looked on with frenzy.
Other ancient pagan cultures also had deities like Molech. Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain, was placated with rites which required young people to shed tears. The priests ensured the children cried before being sacrificed. Skeletons of newborns or unborn infants have been found at the El-Manati sacrificial bog. In 2007, the remains of 24 children (aged 5-15) sacrificed to Tlaloc were discovered, dating back to 950-1150 AD.
The ancient Mayans also sacrificed their children. A mass grave of 1-2 year old sacrificed children was found in the Maya region of Comalcalco in 2005. The Incas were not also far behind. In 1995, archaeologists uncovered the bones of 42 male adolescents in Peru who had been sacrificed to pagan gods. Sacrifice of babies (especially twins) was also practiced in Africa for centuries. History is a witness that ancient paganism was not as “sweet and cool” as neo-pagans today are trying to paint it.
It’s easy for us to dismiss these evil practices as barbarism of a primitive era. Well, that’s true. We all want to think we have become more humane and civilized in our era. But the deities to which these people sacrificed to are demon spirits (Ps. 106:37, 1Cor. 10:20). These demons are still alive and well in the 21st century, though their activities are modified to adapt to modern civilization. Molech still operates on 3 major fronts:
1. Human sacrifice
Human sacrifices are not restricted to the past, they are going on today in Satanism, witchcraft and pagan cultures around the world. The Daily Mail (October 2013) reported the case of an Indian father who sacrificed his 8 month old son to Kali, the Hindu goddess of power and death. A case is currently brewing in the US about quarry workers alleged to practice human sacrifices. Satanists believe the younger and innocent their victims are, the more power is released through their sacrifice. This is why they have “breeders” – women who are frequently impregnated to produce babies for sacrifice.
Western satanists have ways of “cleaning up” their sacrifices and using alternative methods. Rather than physically kidnapping and sacrificing people, they perform demonic rites to cause accidents or mass destruction. These victims are the sacrifices. In Africa, some people can be physically kidnapped and ritually slaughtered. Several shrines where such evil acts were been performed have been exposed in the media.
The central purpose of all human sacrifices is to gain the cooperation of demons for power, wealth or protection. In the occult, blood sacrifices are the quickest means of invoking powerful demons for operation. In 2 kings 3:27, a Moabite king, seeing that the Israelites were defeating him, sacrificed his firstborn over the city wall and Israel lost that battle because a demonic energy was raised against them through that sacrifice. Some other evil kings in the Bible also sacrificed their children (e.g 2Chr. 33:6).
2. Child abuse
Every act intended to traumatize or break a child’s spirit – child slavery, child cruelty, sexual abuse – are forms of passage through fire. The International Labour Organization estimated that 8.4 million children worldwide are in slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, forced labour, forced recruitment and pornography. By implication, many children today are being exploited, abused and forced to give up their childhood.
Like the parents of old who threw their children to fiendish idols, some modern parents throw off their children into the streets, onto strangers or family relatives where they are physically, emotionally and sexually abused, while the parents are given money, Italian shoes and French perfumes in exchange. They sacrifice their children’s well being, sanity and future on the altar of materialism.
In Africa today, child sexual abuse has become an elephant in the room. In a certain country, 1 out of 3 women has been sexually abused as a child. This act is so rampant that it now makes the news almost weekly, and it seems the Nigerian society has evolved a level of tolerance to it. A reporter once questioned a father why he raped his daughter, he replied: “I gave birth to her and I’m having sex with her, how is that your business?” Now that’s a demonised man! This is a malaise we must fight with everything in us.
This same trend prevails in Hollywood where parents sacrifice their children for pay cheques and glitz. Perhaps this explains the similar degenerating trend of celebs like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus. There are some Hollywood elites who specialize in sexually preying on young actors. Amy Berg has produced a documentary interviewing many of these abuse victims in Hollywood.
Child marriages and prostitution is another. In Islamic enclaves, many girls are given over to older men to be abused all in the name of “marriage.” Their hopes and productivity for a bright future are immolated on the altar of a twisted 7th century tradition. Wasila Tasiu, a 14 year old bride who poisoned her 35 year old rapist (“husband”) to death is a case in point. Boys are also victimized. The “bacha bazi” custom prevalent in islamic nations involves boys (mostly from poor families) being bought by a master, dressed up like women and made to entertain men at parties. They are often sexually used by the male customers.
One former warlord boasted of having up to 3,000 boys over a period of 20 years- an outrageous hypocrisy coming from regions that claim to be strictly opposed to homosexuality (The Guardian, April 24, 2010). God has a special love for children; they are a heritage from Him, and it’s the duty of every adult to protect them. People who mistreat children in any form have the judgement of God hanging over their heads (Luke 17:2).
Apart from Molech, another principality that controls infant destruction and feminism is a female demon named Lilith. These two “strongmen” are worshipped in witchcraft. In the book, The Sacrament of Abortion, Ginnette Paris, a Wiccan, wrote: “In most Goddess religions a similar reasoning is applied to the fetus and the newborn. It is morally acceptable that a woman who gives life may also destroy life under certain circumstances … It is not immoral to choose abortion; it is simply another kind of morality, a pagan one” (pp 53, 56). These wicked rhetoric also plays out in the liberal world and some apostate churches.
Although abortion may not be carried out to appease an actual deity, but it’s a form of human sacrifice – taking life on the altar of convenience to appease the god of self. Abortion is a sacrifice at the hands of other gods. The gods of “pleasure” and “convenience” being appeased with the death of human lives just the same way as ancient pagan cultures appeased their blood-thirsty deities. The difference now is that these rites are performed in hospitals instead of high places, and doctors – who are supposed to save lives – have become the high priests of death. Now, they use medical instruments instead of the arms of a flaming idol.
According to an estimate, there have been 31, 410, 429 abortions worldwide in 2015 alone and over 1 billion since 1980. Has our generation not outdone the savage pagans of the past? A lack of natural affection is one of the signs of our time (2Tim. 3:3) There is a stream in the city I grew up in South Western Nigeria, where women frequently dumped unwanted babies. Even as I type this, I still remember the awful sight of a baby thrown in that stream in 1997. The motherhood instinct in every woman prompts her to nuture a child, but the demon of Molech removes that nature and replaces it with cruelty.
I read about a newborn baby in India dumped in a place by her mother but was rescued by a dog who heard her screams while searching for food. Even an animal had the compassion that a human mother didn’t have. Truly, humanity truly fallen. At a Texas court protest in July 2013, while pro-lifers were singing “Amazing grace,” pro-abortionists were chanting “Hail Satan!” This evil trend appeases the devil and we must stand against it. If you have participated in it or supported it, I want to tell you that there is forgiveness at the Cross. The Lord will forgive you if you ask Him.