Christian Biblical Counsel: OCCULT, THE

Background

A national newspaper reported that occultism is the most rapidly growing religion in our country. When a spiritual vacuum exists, those who are empty, curious, and gullible are going to fill it with something. Occultism is a disturbing sign of the accelerating disintegration of our culture.

The primary meaning of the word occult is “hidden or concealed.” The specifically religious definition of the word is somewhat ambiguous, covering a wide range of mystical phenomena. In general, the following religious practices are identified as occult:

 

Spiritism: The belief that people can make contact with the dead through a medium in order to receive revelations from the spirit world.

 

Clairvoyance: The belief that certain people possess “extrasensory” powers—the ability to see what cannot be seen by the ordinary five senses.

 

Fortune-telling: The claim of ability to predict the future by reading tea leaves, palms, tarot cards, and the like.

 

Astrology: The belief that the future can be foretold by studying the relative positions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets. The “horoscopes” found in local newspapers and other media offer advice based on astrological calculations.

 

Witchcraft: A “witch” could be defined as a person claiming the ability to contact and utilize powers from the unseen world.

 

The Bible Forbids Involvement in the Occult

“Let no one be found among you . . . who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10–12, NIV).

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19, NIV).

God was displeased when Saul sought the help of a medium: “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse” (1 Chronicles 10:13–14, NIV).

Revelation 21:8 condemns those who practice magic arts. In pronouncing judgment against Babylon in Isaiah 47:11–15, the Lord enumerates a long list of the occult practices of that nation.

From the Scriptural evidence available, we deduce that anything which seeks to detract from an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God and His purposes for human life is to be rejected.

 

Helping Strategy

 

For the Non-Christian:

1. Commend his or her evident desire to know the truth. God’s Word has an answer to the occult.

2. Strongly emphasize that any involvement with the occult is displeasing to God (see “Background”).

3. Invite him or her to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Share the gospel – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD

4. Encourage the inquirer to sever all ties with people involved in the occult and to get rid of any literature and paraphernalia on magic and the occult, including horoscopes and Ouija boards.

5. Encourage reading and studying the Bible – Your New Life In Christ Bible Study

6. Encourage seeking fellowship with committed Christians in a Bible teaching church for worship, Bible study, prayer, and Christian service. Development of new relationships will be a big help in erasing the past.

7. Pray for complete deliverance from the former interest in occult practices and for full commitment to Christ.

 

For the Christian:

1. Explain that any involvement in the occult displeases God (see “Background”).

2. If the inquirer is anxious because of the uncertainties of life, wanting to know the future, offer the assurance that God has promised to “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). We are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The Bible tells us that, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). We can leave it all with Him (Philippians 4:6)!

3. Encourage the Christian to seek God’s forgiveness for his or her involvement. Go over Restoration. Also share about Assurance.

4. Suggest praying especially about the involvement in the occult so that he or she never becomes entangled with it again. Encourage a serious commitment to Bible study. This is a way of redeeming the misspent hours of occult involvement: “. . . redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Offer to help for Bible study.

5. Encourage the inquirer to seek fellowship with committed Christians and to get involved with a Bible-teaching church for worship, Bible study, prayer, and witnessing. As he or she seeks this new identity, all

relationships with friends involved in the occult should be severed, and any books on the occult in his or her possession should be destroyed.

6. Pray with the inquirer for complete deliverance and restoration to the Lord.

 

Scripture

See “Background.” Paul, writing to Timothy, offers understanding about the “spirit of the age” in which we live and advice on how to counteract it:

“But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and abusive, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, reverence and normal human affections. They will be remorseless, scandal-mongers, uncontrolled and violent and haters of all that is good. They will be treacherous, reckless and arrogant, loving what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of ‘religion’ but their life denies truth. Keep clear of people like that. . . . . Their minds are distorted, and they are traitors to the faith. . . . Remember from whom your knowledge has come, and how from early childhood your mind has been familiar with the holy scriptures, which can open the mind to the salvation which comes through believing in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for resetting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, 8, 14–17, PHILLIPS).

The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook; World Wide Publications, 1984, 1996

The Occult

Demystifying the Deeds of Darkness

by June Hunt

Just how old is the occult? And what is its appeal? An appetite for supernatural knowledge and power is the same hunger that brought spiritual death to the inhabitants of Eden. As Satan “channeled” his words through a snake, his subtle seduction of Eve exposed the innate attraction we all have for the unknown. Since that fateful day when Adam and Eve ate forbidden fruit, occultism has flourished. Just as the ancient world was fascinated with numerology, astrology, and witchcraft, our contemporary world is enticed by a smorgasbord of horoscopes, fortune-tellers, spirit guides, séances, and witch clubs. Tragically, deluded followers seeking the secrets of supernatural power and knowledge are still being seduced today.

“I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

(2 Corinthians 11:3)

I.     DEFINITIONS

If someone were to ask, “What exactly is wrong with the occult?” how would you answer? The occult has permeated our society to such an extent that we tend to dismiss it as just another fad. You may disregard some new occult craze, but do you understand its real evil? Make no mistake, involvement in the occult launches you into a realm clearly forbidden by God!

“I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.”

(Leviticus 20:6–7)

A. What Is The Occult?

•     The word occult describes any practice used in an attempt to gain supernatural power or knowledge apart from the God of the Bible. Generally, it refers to superstition, fortune-telling, spiritism, black and white magic, and parapsychology.2

•     The word occult comes from the Latin occultus, which means “hidden, covered up, concealed.”

•     An occultist relies on diverse practices to achieve supernatural power or to acquire supernatural knowledge.

Biblical Example: Manasseh

(Read 2 Chronicles 33:1–20.)

At age twelve, Manasseh succeeds his godly father, King Hezekiah. Over time, this younger King of Judah becomes fascinated with the occult. He follows “false gods” and through astrology seeks to be led by the stars. Manasseh’s descent into the occult knows no bounds. He practices sorcery, divination, and witchcraft. He not only consults mediums and spiritists but also burns his children as sacrifices. Because Manasseh and the Israelites deafen their ears to God, the Lord sends the Assyrian army to overpower Israel. They put a hook in Manasseh’s nose, bind him with shackles and carry him off to Babylon. In great distress, Manasseh turns to the Lord, deeply humbles himself, and prays. As a result, the Lord restores Manasseh to the throne in Jerusalem. Manasseh now knows that his Lord is indeed the only true God. Ultimately, this repentant king destroys all occult objects and stops all rituals and restores the altar of the Lord.

Q   “What is the difference between a cult and the occult?”

A cult is a deviant religion that departs from or rejects essential doctrines of the Bible.

The occult refers to diverse practices forbidden in the Bible.

Most cults do not use occult practices. On the other hand, Wicca—also known as witchcraft—uses occult rituals, spells, and divination in an attempt to gain power over people and nature. Both the cults as well as the occult are equally destructive because their false teachers and prophets promote a misplaced dependence on destructive heresies.

“There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” (2 Peter 2:1–2)

B. What Is Divination?

•     Divination is the attempt to discover hidden knowledge or foretell the future through occult practices.

•     The Hebrew word for divination is qasam, which means “to prophesy or soothsay.”

Biblical Example: Saul

(Read 1 Samuel 28:1–25.)

The heart of Saul, King of Israel, is full of fear at the sight of the Philistine army gathered against him. The mediums and spiritists (witches) have been thrown out of the land. Because Saul rejects the Word of the Lord, God rejects him as king and refuses to answer his prayer for direction. Saul disguises himself and travels to the town of Endor to see a medium. He persuades her to consult a spirit and bring up the dead prophet Samuel. To the terror of the medium, Samuel appears. He reminds Saul that on the day he disobeyed, God had already torn the kingdom from his hand and given it to David. Samuel then foretells the defeat of Saul’s army, the death of his sons, and even his own impending death.

Q   “What is the difference between learning something hidden and studying Biblical prophecy?”

Divination is an attempt to know and control the world apart from the one true God. Leviticus 19:26 says, “Do not practice divination or sorcery.”

Prophecy is the proclamation of the divine will of the one true God. Divination is “the pagan parallel of prophecy.”

“Prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)

C. What Are Doorways into the Occult?

The five primary avenues into the occult are as follows: superstition, divination, spiritism, magic/sorcery, and supernatural phenomena. (Certain occult items or practices can be listed in one category and also overlap into another.)

Openings into the Occult

   Superstition

Superstition is unfounded beliefs—based not on the Bible but on tradition—regarding items or practices assumed to have supernatural power.

Bad luck—assigning supernatural power to and avoiding …

•     black cats

•     breaking a mirror (results in seven years of bad luck)

•     walking under ladders

•     number 13

•     evil eye

Good luck—assigning supernatural power to and trusting in …

•     rabbits’ feet

•     four-leaf clovers

•     horseshoes

•     knocking on wood

•     crystals

•     amulets

•     talismans

•     religious items

Q   “Just to be safe, isn’t it wise to avoid black cats or walking under ladders? Could breaking a mirror cause seven years of bad luck?”

No. Believers must not attribute power to created things but to the Creator. Many cultural traditions are not Biblically based. Even church traditions can cause a misplaced dependence … on an object rather than on Jesus … on a statue rather than on the Savior … on a cross rather than on Christ.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

   Divination

Divination is an attempt to “divine” or foretell the future through the following practices:

Astrology—  The   study of the positions of the stars and planets to reveal their supposed   influence on people and events 
Cartomancy—  Reading   tarot cards or a deck of 52 cards 
Horoscopes—  Forecasting   the future based on dividing the year into twelve sections according to the   signs of the zodiac and determining supernatural influences by time, date of   birth, and the alignment of the stars 
Numerology—  Assigning   power to numbers (the date of your birth) 
Palmistry—  Reading   lines in the palm of a hand, “Chiromancy” 
Psychic games—  Using   games such as the Ouija Board and the Magic Eight Ball for answers 
Rod and   pendulum—  Locating   lost objects or persons or diagnosing diseases 
Scrying—  Gazing   into a crystal ball, water, or mirrors 
Sortilege—  Casting   lots 
Tasseography—  Reading   loose tea leaves on the sides or base of a cup 
Water   witching/dowsing—  Using   a divining rod to locate water, minerals, or oil 

“Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you.”

(Jeremiah 29:8)

Q   “What is the difference between astronomy and astrology?”

Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial bodies (sun, moon, stars, planets) beyond the earth in order to present scientific facts.

Astrology is the occult study of celestial bodies and their influence on the earth in an attempt to present knowledge of the future.

One of the major differences is that the God of the Bible not only forbids astrology, but also promises severe judgment upon astrologers.

“All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame.… Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you.” (Isaiah 47:13–15)

   Spiritism

Spiritism is an attempt to communicate with the unseen world through the following practices:

Channeling—  A   spirit guide or medium channels information from the spirit world of a dead   person to the person seeking communication. This channeler is in the middle   position between both worlds. 
Familiar   spirits—  A   “familiar” (companion) spirit is usually embodied in a small animal and is   held to serve and protect a person. 
Halloween—  The   darkest day of the year for the underworld occurs when spirits of the dead   are believed to roam the earth and commit violent acts and when occult   practices are used for power and protection. 
Materialization—  The   physical manifestation of spirits, ghosts or apparitions. 
Necromancy—  Communicating   with spirits of the dead. 
Psychometry—  Knowledge   gained through contact with personal possessions. 
Reincarnation—  The   belief that a person’s soul migrates from one body into another through   numerous death and rebirth cycles (prevalent in Hinduism and Buddhism). 
Seances—  Meetings   to receive spirit communications. 
Sexual spirits—  Sexual   contact with unseen spirits. 
Shamanism—  Ancestral   spirits. 
Spirit writing—  Automatic   writing under the influence of spirits. 
Spirit   guides/spirit imaginary friend—  A   demonic spirit that appears to befriend and protect a person. 

“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?”

(Isaiah 8:19)

Q   Do ghosts really exist?

Some people believe that ghosts are actual apparitions of the souls of the dead—spirit apparitions. Others explain away reported sightings as hoaxes, hysteria, or hallucinations. And still others believe these manifestations are demonic spirits unleashed by Satan to appear in certain places for certain purposes. Since “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:4), he and his demonic spirits can charade as “good ghosts”—as helpful spirits of the dead. However, the Bible tells of a rich man on earth who was calloused toward a beggar named Lazarus. The rich man later lived in hell in eternal torment. The words of Abraham toward the rich man clearly illustrate that the spirits of the dead cannot return to interact with the living …

“Between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over there to us.” (Luke 16:26)

Q   “Is there any harm in seeking help to communicate with loved ones who have died?”

Yes, this occult practice is not only forbidden by God, but it also opens the door to being defiled by demonic spirits.

“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)

   Magic/Sorcery

Magic and sorcery are attempts to control the natural world by invoking supernatural power from the spirit world through various practices.

Forms of Magic

Black magic—Intended for evil, using spiritual powers “for evil ends, such as selfish gain or to harm rivals and enemies”

White magic—Intended for “good,” using rituals to bring about healing, fertility, and divining information

Q   “What is the difference between a charm and a spell?”

A charm is a spoken incantation intended to protect the person who is speaking—and only that person. Popular use of the word charm has come to include the object itself (an amulet or talisman). The charm is always considered “good.”

A spell is a “ritual for raising psychic power and directing it to a specific and practical purpose.” A spell can be used for good or evil depending on the intended desire of the individual performing the spell. A spell is often used to invoke “evil” on an enemy.

Channels of Magic

Witchcraft—  The   word witchcraft is from the Old English word wicca, which means “witch.”   Witchcraft is the use of sorcery or magic by means of objects or sayings to   control people or forces of nature. 
  —  Objects: voodoo dolls, talismans,   amulets, potions, locks of hair, chicken bones, clothing, shells 
  —  Sayings: chants, charms, spells,   curses, incantations, calling up of spirits 

Q   “What is an amulet or a talisman?”

In many minds, there is no difference between an amulet and a talisman. They are both man-made objects believed to possess magical power of protection to ward off evil, including spells and demons. An amulet is “an object worn as a protective charm against evil.” It is usually a smaller object worn around the neck or wrist. A talisman is “an object similar to an amulet but more specific and often constructive, not merely protective. It is designed for a particular individual and purpose, making the maximum use of appropriate symbols.”17 A talisman is usually a larger object held in the hand, such as a sorcerer’s wand. Both are usually inscribed with a “charm”—magical words that empower them with protective presence.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people.” (Ezekiel 13:20)

Modern Magic—  Books,   video, and computer games with characters that possess magical powers, and in   which the players or leaders call upon these same powers.Modern   magic is rooted in the “Old Religion” or sometimes called the “Craft” of   witchcraft. Many engage in modern magic without realizing they are drawing   from the same power source as that of witchcraft.

 

Satanism—  The   word satanism is from the Hebrew word satan, which means   “adversary.”—  The worship of Satan is marked by mockery of   Christianity or exaltation of the powers of evil and baseness.

—  Satanism is practiced by a broad range of   individuals. Some declare allegiance to a personal Satan and practice black   magic, vengeance, and ritual sacrifice. However, others deny that Satan is a   personal being and practice satanism as a way to live out their desire for   personal power, as well as an outlet for an indulgent and hedonistic   lifestyle. Satanic practices include black magic, dismemberment, sexual   sacrifices, killing of animals and humans, eating human flesh, and drinking   blood.

 

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.… You must be blameless before the Lord your God.”

(Deuteronomy 18:10–13)

Q   “According to the Bible, are some witches good witches?”

No, quite the contrary. The Bible never presents witches as being good. Scripture mentions nine times that witches deserve the most severe consequence—death.

“Do not allow a sorceress [a witch] to live.” (Exodus 22:18)

   Supernatural Phenomena

Supernatural phenomena is the appearance or manifestation of something beyond the natural realm. Parapsychology is a field of study investigating appearances of paranormal psychological phenomena—supernatural mental manifestations. Paranormal means “beyond the norm, or supernatural.”22

“Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death.”

(Ecclesiastes 8:7–8)

Various methods are used in an attempt to give a scientific basis for occult phenomena.

Apports—    The   supernatural power to transfer objects through closed rooms and sealed   containers 
Clairaudience—  The   supernatural power to hear something beyond the senses 
Clairvoyance—  The   supernatural power to see something not present 
ESP/extrasensory   perception—  The   supernatural power to perceive something beyond the senses 
Kirlian effect—  The   supernatural power to see colored auras that reveal information about the   people they surround 
Levitation—  The   supernatural power to lift objects or people so that they appear to be   floating 
Mental   telepathy—  The   supernatural power to communicate from one mind to another without the senses 
Precognition—  The   supernatural power to know something before it occurs 
Psychic   surgery—  The   supernatural power to perform surgery only through the use of the mind 
Psychometry—  The   supernatural power to identify facts about an object or a person through   contact with something a person wore or used 
Telekinesis—  The   supernatural power to move physical objects by the mind (playing a musical   instrument with unseen hands) 

D. What Is the Relationship between the Occult and Evil?

The Bible clearly states that occult activity is real and is the work of Satan and his demons. Even the Pharisees recognized this truth and sought to accuse Jesus of using the demons to heal the blind and the mute.

•     Occult phenomena are real, but the source is not God.

•     Occult power is evil.

•     Occult involvement is progressive.

•     Occult participation brings a person under Satan’s control.

•     Occult practices run counter to Biblical commands.

•     Occult involvement breeds rebellion against God.

•     Occult practices and involvement in them are detestable to God.

“The Pharisees said, ‘It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.’ ”

(Matthew 9:34)

Q   “Should I be afraid of the occult?”

No. There is no reason to fear the occult as long as you avoid involvement and rely on the indwelling power of Jesus Christ to overcome evil.

“God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

II.    Characteristics of Occult Involvement

The alcoholic never begins a “drinking career” by deciding, I’m going to become a drunk! In the same way, involvement with the occult may start with an innocent curiosity but quickly spirals into emotional and spiritual bondage. Like most sin, the longer you leave the door to evil open … the more deeply you become drawn away from God.

“If your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them … you will certainly be destroyed.”

(Deuteronomy 30:17–18)

A. What Are the Three Levels of Involvement?

#1  Innocent

•     Curiously seeking and experimenting, usually teenagers

—  listening to music with occult lyrics

—  looking to horoscopes and astrological signs for guidance

—  playing psychic games: Ouija Boards, Dungeons and Dragons, automatic writing

—  visiting fortune-tellers

—  wearing jewelry with magical powers: amulets, fetishes

—  reading occult literature

“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

(1 Thessalonians 5:21–22)

#2  Indoctrinated

•     Making the decision to adopt an occult worldview

—  relying on astrologers, mediums, spiritualists for information

—  joining organized occult groups, such as a coven

—  making major life decisions based on occult practices

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.’ ”

(Jeremiah 10:2)

#3  Immersed

•     Consciously becoming more deeply involved in black magic and the forces of evil

—  actively joining occult organizations, such as Order Temple Orientalkis (OTO) or the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or other organizations of like mindedness

—  practicing black magic

—  participating in spiritualism and seeking a personal spirit guide

—  participating in ritualistic sacrifices

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.… You must be blameless before the Lord.”

(Deuteronomy 18:10–13)

Q   “How do I handle loyalty to a family member or friend who continually pressures me to become involved in the occult?”

Tell your loved ones that you deeply care about them, but that the Bible forbids such involvement and that you must remain true to the God of the Bible. Don’t shield them from the truth and the consequences. Ask, “Would you like to read what the Bible says?” If the answer is yes, show them the pertinent passages and encourage them to read the Scriptures out loud.

“If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known …) do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him.” (Deuteronomy 13:6, 8)

B. What Are Signs of Occult Involvement

Obsessed

Those caught in occultism experience a change from normal interests to a preoccupied interest in signs and symbols of evil. They become obsessed by an inner craving for several of the following:

Occult material

Black clothing, Gothic attire

Sexual perversion

Exclusivity, extreme secrecy

Stimulants, drugs

Satanic fascination (satanic symbols and items)

Evil, violence, and suicide

Disdain for Biblical truth and authority

“Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God? Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.”

(Psalm 52:1–3)

Q   “Does Satan have the power to affect a person’s actions?”

Yes. Satan can influence a person’s heart to do evil. The Bible says that Satan prompted Judas to betray Jesus.

“The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.” (John 13:2)

Possessed

Those controlled by occultism experience a change from what is normal and often appear to be possessed by—indwelt and controlled by—someone or something unfamiliar. They will exhibit several of the following symptoms:

Persistent headaches

Obscene, profane language

Sleeplessness or extreme sleepiness

Suicidal threats or attempts

Extreme fears

Satanic indulgence

Sudden personality changes (loss of contact with reality, the appearance of mental illness, such as MPD/DID, schizophrenia)

Extraordinary abilities (supernatural revelations and power)

Deeds of violence and desecration

Biblical example:

“When he [Jesus] arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.”

(Matthew 8:28)

Q   “Can a person actually be possessed by Satan?”

Yes. Judas was possessed and used by Satan to betray Jesus. The Bible says that Satan literally entered into Judas.

“As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. ‘What you are about to do, do quickly,’ Jesus told him.” (John 13:27)

Q   “Can Christians be demon possessed?”

No. The Bible never presents even one believer as being possessed by a demon. Christians can be oppressed, but not possessed. Instead, they have been bought by the blood of the Lamb; therefore, their bodies are not their own—they belong to Christ.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

III.   Causes for an Attraction to the Occult

The phrase “The devil made me do it!” is often meant to be a joke … a humorous euphemism in casual conversation, yet Satan, with his demonic influence in this world, is no laughing matter. The temptation to indulge any fascination with the occult leads to courting a deadly danger.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

(1 Peter 5:8)

A. Occult Enchantment

For many years the occult has permeated our society. Shopping centers are full of stores displaying occult crystals, horoscopes, and Ouija boards. Witchcraft walks through the doors of our children’s rooms in the form of occult books, trolls, games, music, cartoons, movies, and Halloween paraphernalia. If God chose to destroy this world today, embedded in the ashes would be overt signs of a world fascinated with the trappings of ungodliness and demonic evil.

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

(1 Timothy 4:1)

The occult invasion is penetrating movies, television, videos, even cartoons—as well as:

•     Books  The   Satanic Bible, Satan Wants You, Sixth   and Seventh Books of Moses(This book, supposedly written by Moses,   attributes his supernatural powers to magic.)—  Sixth   Book describes how to enter into a relationship with Satan.

—  Seventh   Book describes how those with a relationship with Satan acquire power   over earth, heaven, and hell through magic.

—  Grimoiries—a   “how-to” magic textbook with such processes as how to make lore talismans and   how to summon a spirit to do the magician’s bidding.

 

•     Newspapers  Horoscopes,   articles about witches, warlocks, and New Age 
•     Seminars  Self-improvement   seminars that are based on New Age philosophies such as The Forum (formerly   EST), Lifespring, and Momentus, among others 
•     Schools  New   Age educators developing textbooks of indoctrination 
•     Music  Heavy   metal and hard or black rock 
•     Games/toys  Dungeons   and Dragons, Ouija Boards, Quake, Heretic 
•     The Internet  Satan’s   most unrestricted playground 

Q   “Can children be affected or possessed by demonic spirits?”

Yes! Children are a prime target for Satan’s enchantments.

“A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.…’ Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From childhood,’ he answered.” (Mark 9:17, 21)

B. Occult Enticement

Behind the entire realm of the occult is Satan, who constantly seeks to capitalize on our hidden fears and secret desires. The basic appeal of the occult philosophy began at the onset of human history. In Genesis 3:4–5, the serpent offered Eve four temptations that promised to fulfill her three God-given inner needs for love, for significance, and for security. The temptation was more than she could refuse.

1.   Escape from death.… “ ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman.” (Genesis 3:4)

The greatest fear for most people is the fear of death. In many occult rituals, Satan lures his prey with promises of power over life and death. Sometimes he offers immortality through false philosophies like reincarnation. The perceived ability to control life and death provides a false sense of security.

2.   Secret knowledge.“Your eyes will be opened.” (Genesis 3:5)

In different ways, most occult rituals offer hidden, esoteric knowledge reserved for only a select few. Feelings of “specialness” enable participants to feel privileged and to fill their need for significance … at least temporarily.

3.   Become like a God.“You will be like God.” (Genesis 3:5)

Though still just a created, fallen angel, Satan continues the battle to defeat and ultimately become like God. Woven throughout the occult is the New Age mentality, or the old pantheistic mindset that we can become gods. What could be more significant than to “be like God?”

4.   Knowledge of both good and evil.“Knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

Good and evil are experienced through the practice of magic. Use of magic is supposed to harness occult forces to produce powerful results. Seeking supernatural power and knowledge in opposition to the command of God constitutes rebellion.

The occult proves to be more than evil, demonic practices. It parades as counterfeit Christianity. Satan tries to persuade us that God will not provide, tries to tempt us to be self-reliant and to worship him as the ultimate source of power. In the words of the serpent, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). Satan planted the cunning suggestion that God wanted to withhold something good from her and therefore should not be trusted.

“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

(James 1:14–15)

C. Root Cause of Attraction

Of all the underlying appeals drawing people to the occult, the predominant cause is to possess supernatural power. The appeal of personal power provides an enticement that ultimately consumes the practitioner. Possession of power fulfills the need for significance, and the use of power becomes the means of obtaining love and security. This compelling desire for power is the driving force to enter the demonic world of the occult.

Wrong Belief:

“I feel significant when I use occult practices to give me supernatural knowledge and power.”

Right Belief:

I do not need to be involved in occult practices to feel significant. My significance comes through having the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ living within me, reflecting His power and glory through me. The more I am dependent on Him, the more He is transforming me into His likeness.

“We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

IV.  Steps to Solution

C. S. Lewis said in his book The Screwtape Letters, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves [the devils] are equally pleased by both.” Accordingly, we must be balanced … neither sticking our heads in the sand nor being obsessed with demon possession. God wants you to be a lamp that boldly illuminates the darkened world of the occult … not a light that flickers with fear, nor one that becomes dim with denial, but a light that radiates love and demystifies the deeds of darkness.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

(Matthew 5:14–16)

A. Key Verse to Memorize

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

(Isaiah 5:20)

B. Key Passage to Read and Reread

1 John 4:1–6, 9–10

The Spirit Test

“This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”

(1 John 4:6)

#1  Are you willing to take a test to see if your beliefs are of God?

“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” (1 John 4:1)

#2  Are you willing to admit that you could be placing your trust in something false?

“Many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

#3  Are you willing to acknowledge verbally that Jesus Christ, who is God, came in the flesh?

“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” (1 John 4:2)

#4  Are you willing to admit (if you cannot verbally acknowledge Jesus as being God in the flesh) that the spirit residing in you is not from God?

“Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:3)

#5  Are you willing to admit that you may have an evil spirit within?

“This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

#6  Are you willing to overcome the attacks of any evil spirit if you are a Christian?

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

#7  Are you willing to admit that you do not have the Spirit of God living in you to overcome evil?

“We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”(1 John 4:6)

#8  Are you willing to renounce Satan, confess your sins, and accept Christ as your Savior (if you are not a Christian)?

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9–10)

If this is   your desire, repeat this prayer … 
“God,   I admit I have had a rebellious heart and have sinned against You. Please   forgive me for all my sins. I now renounce Satan and all my involvement with   the occult. I recognize that You are the one true God. Jesus, thank You for   dying on the cross for me and for shedding Your blood on the cross to   purchase forgiveness of my sins. Jesus please come into my life to be my Lord   and my Savior. I give You complete control of my life. I reject any and all   demonic works in my life and now announce to Satan that Jesus is my Lord. I   believe that I am saved through Christ and now I belong to You. Thank You for   cleansing me of all my sins. I ask for Your power to resist all evil   influences. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.” 

C. Key Questions About the Occult

Have you even been in a very dark place—one where it was literally black? Perhaps you were in a deep cave or a windowless room on a night without moonlight. In such a circumstance it is of great relief to light a candle for illumination. The candle flame seems to put out very little light at first. However, once your eyes become accustomed to it—the candlelight allows you to increasingly see more and more of your surroundings. Our Lord—Jesus Christ—as the light of the world provides us enough light to take the next step into His presence and find our way to the Father.

Psychics

Q   “Many psychics say their power comes from God. If a prophecy comes true, doesn’t that prove the fortune-teller possesses God’s power?”

The true test of genuine prophets from God is that their predictions must be 100 percent accurate. If any of their prophecies do not come true, neither the so-called “prophet” nor the power is from God.

“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20–22)

Fortune-tellers

Q   “Can occult fortune-tellers possess supernatural power to be accurate?”

Yes, but the information is a result of a demonic spirit helping them.

“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.’ She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment the spirit left her.” (Acts 16:16–18)

Astrology

Q   “Is there any proof that astrological readings are not valid?”

Yes, astrology has three major problems.

#1  The scientific problem: Astrology is based on the belief that the sun circles the earth; however, scientists have proven that the earth circles the sun.

#2  The sociological problem: Since astrological readings are based on the exact date and place of birth, identical twins should have the identical future—but they don’t. One might be a college professor and the other, a high school dropout!

#3  The Biblical problem: Astrology violates the Word of God.

“Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month.… Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up.” (Isaiah 47:13–14)

Channeling

Q   “Is channeling mentioned in the Bible?”

Although not mentioned by name, channeling makes a dramatic entrance in the Garden of Eden immediately following the creation of Adam and Eve. The serpent channeled a message to Eve from Satan himself … but true to his character, it was a lie.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ … ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman.” (Genesis 3:1, 4)

“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:9)

Spiritism

Q   “Can dead ancestors bring either help or harm to the living?”

No. The dead know nothing.… According to the Bible, the dead have no knowledge or feelings about the events on earth, and they have no ability to be involved in this life. A demonic spirit, however, could be a counterfeit of a deceased person.

“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5–6)

Witchcraft

Q   “What is the truth about witchcraft?”

God’s Heart on Witchcraft

•     Witchcraft is forbidden by God.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft.” (Deuteronomy 18:10)

•     Witchcraft angers God.

“He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.” (2 Chronicles 33:6)

•     Witchcraft will be destroyed by God.

“I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.” (Micah 5:12)

•     Witchcraft destroys peace.

“ ‘How can there be peace,’ Jehu replied, ‘as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?’ ” (2 Kings 9:22)

•     Witchcraft enslaves people.

“The wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries … enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.” (Nahum 3:4)

•     Witchcraft is a barrier to entering the kingdom of God.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19–21)

D. Repelling the Deeds of Darkness

To repel means to turn away, fight against, or drive back. Before the invention of the spray can, we would cover ourselves with a sticky liquid to repel pesky insects and to protect our body from poisonous stings and bug bites. An even newer method is the use of a special light bulb that insects will instinctively resist. The demonic is a much more formidable enemy than insects, but you can cover yourself with the blood of Jesus and allow the light of God within you to repel and to protect you from the influences of this world of darkness.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

(1 John 1:5–7)

     Renounce any involvement with the occult.

“Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.” (Acts 19:18)

     Remove all objects related to the occult.

“A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.” (Acts 19:19)

     Recognize your enemy as Satan.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

     Rely on your authority over evil.

“The one [Christ] who is in you is greater than the one [Satan] who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

     Refuse fascination with the occult.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.… You must be blameless before the Lord your God.… As for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.” (Deuteronomy 18:10–14)

     Reside in close fellowship with believers.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

     Realize the truth of Scripture.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

     Read Scripture for wisdom and knowledge.

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:1–6)

     Reap the benefit of earnest prayer.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

     Remain clothed in the armor of God.

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10–18)

Q   “Could my past involvement with demons and the occult separate me from the love of God?”

When you rely on the sacrifice Christ paid on the cross to forgive all your sins and give Him total control of your life, He not only fully forgives you but also places you into His family forever. You can never be separated from His everlasting love.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39)

E. Dispelling the Darkness

One of Satan’s strategies is to engage you in anything that would open the door to ungodly influences … ensnaring you through curiosity, excitement, thrill seeking, trickery, subtlety, peer pressure, and any other possible means. Just witnessing evil practices exposes you to the evil one behind those practices. Therefore, the key to dispelling the darkness is prayerfully renouncing every exposure to evil that comes to mind in order to remove every possible foothold of Satan in your life. Even occult things that seem innocent can leave you open to demonic attack.

“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

(2 Corinthians 4:2)

Inventory of Occult Involvement

Check all the occult powers and practices in which you have been involved—where supernatural power or knowledge was sought apart from the God of the Bible. Then, through prayer, renounce your past involvement in them.

Superstition 
Bad luckassigning power to and avoiding  Good luckassigning power to and trusting 
□    Black cats  □    Four-leaf clovers 
□    Breaking a mirror  □    Horseshoes 
□    Evil eye  □    Knocking on wood 
□    Number 13  □    Rabbits’ feet 
□    Walking under Ladders  □    Religious items 
Fortune-telling/Divination 
□    Astrology/horoscopes  □    Psychic games (Ouija Board, Magic 8 Ball®
□    Automatic writing/speaking in a trance  □    Rod and pendulum (locating lost items or   persons, diagnosing illnesses) 
□    Cartomancy (tarot cards)  □    Scrying (gazing into crystal ball, water,   or mirrors) 
□    Dream interpretation (dream work)  □    Shooting arrows and interpreting their   flight 
□    Fortune tellers, soothsayers  □    Sortilege (casting lots) 
□    I   ching(Chinese book of wisdom and divination)  □    Tea leaf reading (tasseography, patterns   formed inside a cup) 
□    Numerology (power in numbers)  □    Water witching/dowsing (using a divining   rod to locate water, oil, or minerals) 
□    Palmistry (reading lines in the hand,   chiromancy)   
Spiritism 
□    Blasphemous, lustful, or suicidal voices   (demonic, deceiving spirits)  □    Psychometry (identifying persons through   objects) 
□    Channeling (channelers, mediums)  □    Reincarnation/karma/ some regressive   therapy (Hinduism, Buddhism) 
□    Familiar spirits (companions, animals)  □    Seances (meetings to receive spirit   communication) 
□    Ghosts, apparitions, or manifestations  □    Sexual spirits (sexual contact with unseen   spirits) 
□    Halloween (spirits of the dead wandering   on the earth)  □    Shamanism (ancestral spirits) 
□    Materialization (physical manifestation of   spirit)  □    Spiritists/spirit guides/spirit imaginary   friends 
□    Necromancy (communicating with spirits of   the dead)   
Magic/Sorcery 
□    Alchemy/New Age potions  □    Halloween power 
□    Amulets, fetishes, idols, and talismans   (objects of magic power or worship)  □    Jewish mysticism (kabbalah, gnosticism) 
□    Animal and human sacrifices  □    Martial arts power 
□    Astral projection  □    Music exalting evil or Satan 
□    Blood pacts and ceremonies  □    Occult games (Dungeons & Dragons,   Heretic, Quake, Bloody Mary, Magic 8 Ball®
□    Crystal power/candle power/pyramid power/   incense power  □    Odinism/Asatru/pantheism/ panantheism 
□    Cults using the occult (Santeria)  □    Satanic folk religions   (voodoo/hoodoo/Santeria/macumba) 
□    Curses, spells, chants, incantations   (sorcery)  □    Satanism (satanic rituals and symbols) 
□    Cutting the body destructively  □    Secret religious ceremonies (Freemasonry,   The Golden Dawn, Theosophy, Rosicrucians) 
□    Drinking blood/eating human flesh  □    Tattoos of evil, Satanism or the occult or   evil 
□    Gypsy lore  □    Witchcraft (white or black magic) 
Supernatural Phenomena 
□    Clairaudience (supernatural hearing)  □    Mental telepathy (communicating thoughts   without words) 
□    Clairvoyance (supernatural visions)  □    Precognition (foreknowledge) 
□    Drug induced states (psycho-stimulants)  □    Psychic surgery 
□    ESP (extrasensory perception)  □    Psychometry—identifying information   through holding worn or used items 
□    Hypnosis/self-hypnosis (learning   information through altered states of consciousness)  □    Telekinesis (moving objects by the mind) 
□    Kirlian effect (seeing different colors of   auras)  □    Visualization (visualizing something into   reality) 
□    Levitation (lifting objects without touch)  □    Yoga or other religious rituals 
□    Other   

In regard to occult practices, the Bible says, “Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.… [We] must be blameless before the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:12–13). As a Christian, acknowledge your position in Christ and the presence of Christ within you to cancel any and all oppressive powers.

Prayer of Deliverance 
“Lord   God, right now I bow only to Your power and authority. I confess that I have   submitted to ungodly powers and practices. Jesus, thank You for shedding Your   blood on the cross to purchase my forgiveness. Thank You for enabling me to   become a child of God. Through Your supernatural power I totally renounce (name occult influences). Thank You,   that in Christ I am forgiven and free. In His powerful name I pray. Amen.” 

The person drawn into the occult is like the addict drawn into drugs: Both are dependent on a potentially deadly source! To defeat this realm of darkness, make a determined decision: “Lord, I refuse all occult involvement. I will live only in Your light.”

—June Hunt

  Openings into the Occult   
   
Have   you ever gone out of your way to avoid walking under a ladder, or maybe you   read your horoscope in the paper “just for fun”? What seems to be innocent   dabbling in the outer fringes of the supernatural can actually be the first   step into a whirlpool of occult practices. Beginning with seemingly simple   superstition, each of the five levels in the occult is like a magnetic force,   drawing you deeper and deeper into occult involvement. 
 
  Unmasking Halloween   
   
Remember   the fun of roaming neighborhoods and accumulating bags full of candy? Even   though most of our Halloween traditions are still followed in innocence,   Halloween is a serious event in the lives of those who practice witchcraft   and satanism. This most “unholy” night has its roots sunk deep into occult,   pagan practices. The Bible warns us that Satan and his demons are real and   actively behind most of what is wrong with Halloween.“The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons,   not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.”

(1 Corinthians 10:20)

Halloween Beginnings

Originated   with the ancient Celtic (Irish, Scottish, Welsh) harvest festival, Samhain   (pronounced “sow-in,” the “ow” rhyming with “cow”), which means Festival of   the Dead. The people believed that on October 31 the spirits of the dead were   able to move freely among the living people and commit violent acts. As part   of the festival ritual the Druid Priests offered human sacrifices to appease   the dead souls. And tragically, in satanic cults today this practice still   continues.

Druids

Celtic,   king-like chiefs and priests.

Jack-o’-Lanterns

The   tradition came from the Irish, who carved out potatoes and turnips then   illuminated them in an attempt to scare away the evil spirits. Eventually the   Celtic people replaced turnips with carved, grotesque faces in pumpkins.

Costumes and Masks

The   Druids believed that if people assumed disguises, the “evil spirits” would   not be able to recognize their victims. Some believed that demons could be   frightened away if people wore hideous masks. Some even believed that the   identity of one wearing a mask could be changed to whatever was represented   by the mask.

Trick-or-Treating

To   appease the dead troublemakers, people would place food on their doorsteps in   hopes that the evil spirits would be satisfied and pass them by.

Orange and Black

The   traditional color of orange is for the autumn harvest, and black represents   death. Both represent major themes of Halloween’s original purpose, the   Festival of the Dead.

Bobbing for Apples

Apples   were the favorite fruit of Pomona (the Roman goddess of orchards and   gardens), and many games of divination centered around them. Apples are still   a symbol of renewed life for witches. (Remember Snow White?)

Black Cats and Bats

Originally   people thought that witches turned themselves into cats, especially on   Halloween night. The bat symbolizes both the bird (the soul) and the demon   (dweller in darkness). In medieval times it was thought that the devil often   assumed the shape of a bat.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For   what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can   light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?   What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is   there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the   living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and   I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ ‘Therefore come out from   them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will   receive you.’ ”

(2 Corinthians 6:14–17)

 

Selected Bibliography

With grateful appreciation for editorial review by Christian Information Ministries. http://www.christianinformation.org

“Amulet.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 45. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Ankerberg, John, and John Weldon. The Coming Darkness. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993.

Ankerberg, John, and John Weldon. The Facts on the Occult. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991.

Barker, Jason. “Youth and the Occult.” The Watchman Expositor 15, no. 6 (1998).

“Black magic.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 117. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Boa, Kenneth. Cults, World Religions and the Occult. Colorado Springs, CO: Victor, 1990.

Branch, Rick, and James Walker. Halloween: Watchman Fellowship Profile, 2000. http://www.watchman.org/profile/halwnpro.htm. Crowther, Arnold, and Patricia Crowther. The Secrets of Ancient Witchcraft. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel, 1974.

“Divination.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 318–19. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. Farrar, Stewart, and Janet Farrar. A Witches Bible Compleat. New York: Magickal Childe, 1984.

Gomes, Alan W. Unmasking the Cults. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements, ed. Alan W. Gomes. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.

Hunt, June. Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Hunt, June. How to Forgive … When You Don’t Feel Like It. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

Hunt, June. How to Handle Your Emotions. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Hunt, June. Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008

Jordan, Michael. Encyclopedia of Gods. New York: Facts on File, 1993.

Lewis, C. S. The Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast. New York: Macmillan, 1961.

McDowell, Josh, and Don Stewart. Demons, Witches, and the Occult. Pocket Guides. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1986. Michaelsen, Johanna. Like Lambs to the Slaughter. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989.

Michaelsen, Johanna. Your Kids and the Occult. Harvest Pocket Book. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989.

“Occult, the.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 806–7. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Parker, Russ. Battling the Occult. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1990.

Passantino, Bob, and Gretchen Passantino. Satanism. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements, ed. Alan W. Gomes. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.

Valiente, Doreen. An ABC of Witchcraft Past & Present. New York: St. Martin’s, 1873.

Walker, James. “What is the Occult?” The Watchman Expositor 9, no. 8 (1992).

“White magic.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 1131. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

“Wicca.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 1131. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Wise, Russell V. Transformational Seminars: And—the loss of Mental Health (pre-publication edition), 2002. http://www.christianinformation.org.

“Witchcraft.” In The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, edited by Jonathan Z. Smith, 1132. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

York, Frank. “Rescuing the Devil’s Teenagers.” Focus on the Family Citizen, October 1989, 6–8.[1]


[1] Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on The Occult: Demystifying the Deeds of Darkness (1–34). Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.

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