“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit,
or that is a wizard…”
The term “familiar spirits” (KJV), mentioned only in the Old Testament, comes from the Hebrew word “owb” which originally meant “water bottle”. It was applied to mediums or “spiritists” (as we call them today) to describe those who presented themselves to the spirit world; the reference being the sounds a skin water bottle made when agitated (see below)*. The term “familiar spirit” was translated into the English language due to the means of their expression. They endeavored to deceive those who sought them out by imitating “familiar” tendencies of those who were dead. The term “familiar spirits” were applied to the mediums (not to the family or generational sins of people); deceivers who would by demon power provide accurate portrayals of the deceased though utterly false.
These same spirits can also come to people posing as someone who has passed on, someone with whom the person being deceived is “familiar”. This wickedness is not only deceptive but deadly. The term “familiar spirits” never referred to a family or a generational concept.
The New Testament Greek word for these same expressions uses the phrase “Pythonic spirit” which speaks of the same only it describes the nature of the spirit rather than the expression of the spirit.
In these last days we will see an increase in the activity of these deceiving ones. There will also be a release by the judgment of God a great deceptive power upon those who refuse the truth. They will be given over to the Lie in its diverse forms.
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11
These deceptive expressions are even now invading the people of God to test them and to sift them as to whether they will hold to the truth or follow the Lie. These things will be accompanied by false teachings, pseudo prophesies and supernatural deceptive works. Only those who love the truth, obey the truth and abide in Him will be able to withstand the onslaught of these things.
“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,
and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce,
if it were possible, even the elect”
While many may think these will not be an issue because of their scriptural knowledge, personal associations and pride in their own “discernment”, Jesus said:
“But take ye heed: behold,
I have foretold you all things.”
In the world of security, specialists are taught to discern a counterfeit bill. They study and become so familiar with the real that, regardless of the form a counterfeit bill may take, they know when it is not genuine. So it is in the Spirit. We must live our life clinging to, abiding in and growing in our knowing of Him as our salvation and truth. If there be any reliance upon self, we will not stand in these coming days.
Even now there are those experiencing false visitations in the guise of a “familiar” prophet or teacher. The Spirit of God cries out “beware” and “take heed” to the peril which will follow all those who adhere to such deception.
May the Lord give us the humility of spirit to keep from the pride and self-seeking which leads many down the path to destruction.
“For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.…”
2 Timothy 4:3-4
*Note: “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit (owb), out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust”