Do not learn the way of the nations nor do what they do

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19503714_s (1)It matters to YHVH what we do. He is concerned with our traditions and practices. This much is true and is repeated many times by YHVH, yet we still continue in our own way, thinking that it doesn’t really matter what we do. We, as believers in the only living God, are accountable for everything we do. Yet, we justify our actions with sayings like “ test everything and hold on to what is good” or “everything originated with YHVH, Hasatan stole it, therefore, we can take it back.

The first quote is from Scripture, but quoted out of context. Here is some of the context.

1 Thessalonians 5:20–22
20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

The “good” we have to hold on to is NOT anything we consider useful within paganism, Paul is speaking about prophetic utterances. He added that we are to abstain from every form of evil. The next excuse is also a twist of truth. YHVH indeed created everything, we have gone into detail about this in the article To have hope … However, YHVH told us in His Word what we are to abstain from. We cannot say that because YHVH created everything that everything is allowed. For this reason, we cannot take the customs of the heathen “back.” YHVH gave many warnings that we are specifically NOT to learn the ways of the nations, or do it.

Do not learn the way of the nations

In Jeremiah, YHVH gave a description of what the nations did and He commanded that we are not to learn the way of the nations.

Jeremiah 10:2–4
2 Thus says YHVH, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; 3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 4 “They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter.

What is described here is a form of idolatry, the worshipping of trees. Tree worship is something that has been done from ancient times and is still done today. We will not go into the detail here, our focus is much broader, but think about this. Does this Scripture resemble anything you are familiar with?

Before we continue, we need to know who the nations are that YHVH is referring to here. When the word nation is used, it can either refer to the nation of Israel or the Gentiles, also known as pagan nations or heathen. So, when YHVH instructs them not to learn the way of the nations, he tells them not to study the ways of the heathen.

This warning was given much earlier as well.

Deuteronomy 12:29–32
29 “When YHVH your Elohim cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ 31 “You shall not behave thus toward YHVH your Elohim, for every abominable act which YHVH hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

When you carefully read this passage, you will see that we are not to do unto YHVH what other nations do unto their gods. So if their worship of their gods involve certain rituals, we are not to do these rituals and say we do it unto YHVH. We cannot redeem pagan practices. YHVH wants nothing of this!

Leviticus 20:22–23
22 ‘You are therefore to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. 23 ‘Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.

Exodus 23:24
24 “You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces.

Meditation and Yoga

We are not to even inquire after their gods to find out how they served their gods, because it may become a snare to us. So, for this reason, it is not good to study eastern meditation and yoga or any other pagan idea and adapt it to our beliefs. Yoga and meditation is done in Budism, Hinduism and New Age and forms part of their religious practices, we can not loosen it from that. We see many new age and budistic practices being introduced to the faith. People are attracted to “new” things even though these things are not new, but are part of ancient pagan practices.

The meditation mentioned in the Bible is not related to these practices in any way. We have written an article before about Biblical meditation What does the Bible teach us about meditation? Please read this article and stop participating in pagan practices. Dabbling in any form of occult is dangerous. When we do this, we give Hasatan a foot in the door of our lives. Before we know it, we will be drawn into it.

I know, I have been there. Please heed this warning!

You may feel wonderful while doing it now, but it leads to death. First spiritual and later physical death for that is Hasatan’s plan. He wants to destroy you, to render you ineffective for YHVH and make you an instrument to lead others to destruction. Each of us has a sphere of influence and what we do will influence others. So, this “new” trendy practice you are participating in will not only destroy you, but other people as well. The choice is yours. You can be an instrument in YHVH’s hands or in Hasatans, not both. We are to abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:22
22 abstain from every form of evil.

Evil is not some sinister force we are to avoid, evil is anything that is harmful or disfunctional or bad for us spiritually or physically. Also known as the unfruitful deeds of darkness. We are not to participate in this, but instead expose it.

Ephesians 5:11
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;


Reflexology is another example of participating in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, we would like to expose.

Reflexology, also called zone therapy or compression massage, is a technique which involves the massaging of one’s feet at specific points to bring relaxation or relief of pain in another part of the body. Other interrelated techniques are “zone therapy, polarity therapy, acupuncture, Shiatsu, etc.” Other reflexologists include Jin-Shin, Do-In, and acupressure, as well as other methods.

The theory upon which ALL of the above methods is based is called the Five Element Theory. These Five Elements are known as wood, fire, water, earth, and metal. Every part of the body is associated in some way to one of these elements. Also, everything in the world, including our bodies, is divided into one of two energy forces known in the Orient as yin and yang.

Reflexology is presented to the public as a method of relieving one’s aches and pains. That sounds very good. However, there just happens to be a “catch” so that people will become involved innocently and unsuspectingly. You may ask in surprise, “A catch?” Yes! Reflexology, although unknown to many people, is an ancient OCCULT technique! The above theories of yin and yang and the Five Elements are taken right out of ancient OCCULT teachings from China. “But,” you may respond, “how can it be wrong if it helps someone feel better?” Well, should one go into a hypnotic trance in order to be helped of headaches? Should one practice the Hindu OCCULT religion of Yoga for the promised benefits of good health and beauty? Satan also heals, so just because one is made better through a practice DOES NOT mean that God is in it.

We also see that the Antichrist will be able to work many mighty miracles, and DECEIVE many. Many people are convinced by the APPEARANCE of what is accomplished. Acts 8:9-11 tells us about Simon the sorcerer who deceived the people by his sorceries, so that the people said: “This man is the great power of God.” The people were DECEIVED because of the appearance of what Simon accomplished, but his power was not from God, but from Satan. In fact, witches cast spells to heal and people are healed, but this DOES NOT prove that God has done the healing. For instance, in Exodus 7:9-8:25 we find that the Egyptian magicians could DUPLICATE the EXACT miracles that Moses and Aaron did! We know that the devil himself is mighty and can duplicate many (but not all) miracles of God, but always remember that God is almighty.

We must remember that II Corinthians 11:13-15 warns us that there are false apostles that transform themselves “into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is NO GREAT THING if his ministers also be transformed AS the ministers of righteousness.”2

These quotes are from an article by Dr Cathy Burns She also gives proof that reflexology is indeed occult and gives more detail on the practice. Please read the article, it is very informative.

Reflexology is not harmless, we cannot be believers in YHVH and at the same time participate in occult healing practices. There are many more examples of occult practices that are being assimilated into the faith. Many believers are drawn to healthy eating and living and this is probably part of YHVH’s restoration. However, some are taking this too far. Nutrition and natural healing can also become an idol. Be aware! There is an interesting Scripture in Hebrews about this:

Hebrews 13:9
9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

Think about this, we could apply this to our modern time where health has become all important. Here is David Stern’s commentary about this verse:

There are two possibilities for interpreting “foods” here. The more likely, based on the way in which v. 10 elaborates the subject, is that it refers once again to animal sacrifices, this time rather ironically—recall that the animal sacrifices were eaten by those who offered them.

The other is that some members of this community thought that eating certain foods would enhance their spirituality. As a former owner of health-food stores, I suggest that those who find such a notion improbable should spend an hour or two in a health-food store; they will discover that many people believe that eating in such-and-such a way will bring them to a higher spiritual plane. As with most lies, there is a kernel of truth: just as there are psychosomatic phenomena, wherein the body is affected by thoughts and emotions, so also there are “somatopsychic” phenomena, in which one’s thoughts and emotions, and indirectly one’s spiritual condition, are affected by the body. Just as drugs or coffee can affect one’s state of mind, so can food. The most radical way to experience this is to note the difference in one’s thoughts and emotions after fasting a number of days; a change of diet has comparable effects, though usually in reduced degree. But to grant these commonplace facts any great spiritual importance is to displace priorities; one’s spiritual condition of sin is affected by God’s grace appropriated by trusting, not by foods. People who have made these the focus of their lives have not benefitted thereby. Rather, faithfulness to God and to Yeshua should be the focus of everyone’s life; this provides eternal benefits.3

Home décor

Home décor is also an area where “the things of the nations” have become quite popular. It has become very trendy to have statues of Buddha or Baal in homes and gardens. Dream catchers, wind chimes, African drums and masks are also popular. If you have any of these in your home or garden, please go and study the origin thereof. You will find that it comes from idol worship practices and is thus an abomination in YHVH’s eyes. We are not to have this stuff in our homes if we are believers in YHVH.

Every time YHVH gave Israel the instruction to destroy a pagan nation, He commanded them to destroy everything to do with idolatry. He did not allow them to take anything for themselves, not even beautiful pieces of art.

Deuteronomy 7:25–26
25 “The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to YHVH your Elohim. 26 “You shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.

The Complete Jewish Bible translated this verse as follows:

Deuteronomy 7:26
26 Don’t bring something abhorrent into your house, or you will share in the curse that is on it; instead, you are to detest it completely, loathe it utterly; for it is set apart for destruction.4

When we bring things associated with idolatry into our homes, we will share in the curse that is on it. There is a great example of this in Scripture of Achan taking things that were under the ban (Joshua 6:18-7:12) As a result of what he did, the nation was cursed and did not prevail against Ai. The name Ai means the following:

Ai (a’-i) = A heap of ruins; (root = to bend; to twist; to distort; to act perversely; to subvert; sin; to contort with pain as in a woman giving birth).5

Another meaning of the name Ai is “ to commit iniquity or do wrong” or “sin” as we have seen above. So when we look at this as a spiritual picture, we see that when we bring abominations into our homes, we bring a curse upon ourselves. This curse may cause us to not being able to prevail against (Ai) iniquity or sin. We will be defeated like israel was defeated either as a result of our own sin or the sins of others against us. We find these curses described in Deuteronomy 28:16-68. Go and read through those curses. I don’t think it is realy worth having those “pieces of art.

All these we have mentioned have one thing in common, they appear to be innocent. It is either presented as a great family tradition, good for our health, or beautiful art. Do not be mislead by the appearance of these. Hasatan masquerades as an angel of light, he would not entice us with something that is unpleasant or appears to be bad for us or something unattractive. We are to be pure in our worship of YHVH.

It is taught in Scripture that we cannot serve two masters (Matt 6:24.)

Serving two masters

This is not new, this serving of two masters. In the time of Elijah people were also doing it.

1 Kings 18:21
21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If YHVH is Elohim, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.

We find another example in 2 Kings 17:22-41. Before we go there, first a bit of background. The Assyrians, when they conquered a nation, didn’t take all the people into exile. They took groups of people, some (the elite) to Assyria, some to other nations and re-populated the first with people form other nations. In this way they mixed different nations with each other. This is what is described here.

In this passage we see how YHVH sent lions among the people to devour them. They realized it was because they were not serving the god of the land and a prophet was sent to teach them about YHVH. They started believing in Him, but they held on to their pagan beliefs as well.

2 Kings 17:41
41 So while these nations feared YHVH, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.

When we participate in any of this, we are like these people, they believed in YHVH, yet participate in idolatry. YHVH is not pleased with this, He commanded:

Exodus 20:3
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

When YHVH said no other gods, He meant it. We can find many more examples in Scripture. The Israelites were quite fond of mixed worship and did it often. We tend to do the same, but somehow we always find a way to justify it. I am sure they did too.

Joshua had a similar problem in his time. This is what he said about it:

Joshua 24:14–15
14 “Now, therefore, fear YHVH and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve YHVH. 15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve YHVH, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve YHVH.”

YHVH wants us to serve Him only and do according to His commandments.

Leviticus 18:2–4
2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘I am YHVH your Elohim. 3 ‘You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. 4 ‘You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am YHVH your Elohim.

May you be inspired by this and motivated to search yourself to make sure you are serving YHVH only in sincerity and truth. Not doing this, may be a reason why you don’t experience YHVH’s blessing in your life. Or this could be holding you back and prevent you to do what you are purposed to do. It could also result in punishment and will ultimately result in judgment. Make the right choices, it may just change your life!


  1. All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Y’shua for Jesus.
  3. Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary : a companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed., Heb 13:9). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.
  4. Stern, D. H. (1998). Complete Jewish Bible: an English version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) (1st ed., Dt 7:26). Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications.
  5. Smith, S., & Cornwall, J. (1998). In The exhaustive dictionary of Bible names (p. 11). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos.

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3 responses to “Do not learn the way of the nations nor do what they do”

  1. Sue

    It is increasingly difficult to avoid situations that you know are not Godly (can I say that name for Him on your site?).
    I work in a small office where I often hear the now ubiquitous phrase “oh my god”.
    I can’t get away from it and I don’t seem to be able to speak up and ask the others not to blaspheme,
    It’s also very difficult to avoid holiday celebrations that I don’t believe in such as xmas and easter, let alone halloween.
    I even noticed a brand of yoghurt on the supermarket shelf recently named OMG.
    What next???
    Thank you for your information and encouragement.
    God bless you both.

    1. Vaida

      It’s always lovely to see people seeking truth. So to encourage you in your walk I will remind you, that this is the world of satan rather than our Lord God Almighty and we will be always surrounded by those sinning. We are to love on them and show them Christ through out behaviour, it’s not our place to judge. When it comes to other people that do believe in the Lord, we need to lovingly teach them and rebuke them by using scriptures, however even the understanding of those come from prayer, spending time with Him and seeking Him. May he help you in this world to walk it daily in a way that is pleasing to him the most. Much Love, Vaida.

  2. Sherry

    Thank you for this very informative article…
    I was looking for scripture concerning the Easter bunny.
    In the Bible about learning the way of the heathen nations..
    Going into the promised land…
    My concern about the church dragging the Easter bunny and egg hunts to draw people…
    You helped me find the scriptures to share with the Pastor’s allowing that in their congregation.
    God’s Blessings to you..
    Sherry Haines

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