The Occult and How it Operates
Table of Contents
Occult literally means hidden or secret, it comes from the Latin word occultus and usually defines things that are defined as magic, witchcraft, mystical or supernatural practices. It is typically used to describe supernatural forces or philosophies that are associated with anything alternative to religious, doctrinal or Christian beliefs or things that are opposed to God.
Biblical, witchcraft is not a superstitious practice, but it is something very real. The references to witchcraft in the Bible are not explicitly referencing those who practice witchcraft, but rather everyone whom uses what God defines as ‘magic arts,’ which is actually the conjuration of evil and unclean spirits & demons.
Without are the dogs, and those who practice magic arts, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie. – Revelation 22.15
Warning to Christians about Exposure to the Occult
There is a very important reason why you should keep your research in line with Biblical understanding when it comes to the occult; because believers that research the occult will have demons constantly tempting them to ‘look deeper,’ tempting them and can subtly, and in many ways, begin to sucked believers into an occultic type mentality or belief system.
Like all sins, witchcraft appeals to the lust of the flesh, believers must ALWAYS guard their hearts and minds from every attack of the enemy. Besides what information God gives us about the occult, we know it would be exceedingly difficult to receive any other accurate information that hasn’t been potentially tainted by evil spirits.
Believers that are not on guard against the occult can even become confused about what is right and wrong due to the many deceptive gestures the exist in occult philosophies. It is even these philosophies and practices that could be conditioned into the mind of a believers eventually allowing the occult into their lives, or allow their children to become exposed to it.
In a similar fashion, many people do not believe something as simple as a movie will affect our children very much, but if we do not properly educate them on spiritual things, they can very quickly develop a deep fascination with the ‘magic arts.’ This statement is not meant to legalistically ban movies that mention something occultic in it, rather, it is a reminder that we should always be mindful to realize that every obsession begins first with a fascination.
Witchcraft vs. Superstition
For many people, especially in today’s culture who call themselves witches or that are obsessed with some type of occult magic, satisfy themselves very basic superstitions that actually produce no effect. To these individuals, there is no need for demons to give any kind of power or to give them anything additional to satisfy their lusts.
These people enjoy the subtle superstitions and fantasy of the whole idea of magic, and are trapped in a false religion (or false belief system). Although, there are times that these people, deluded by the occult, do look up to a demon possessed leader or someone deeply involved in the occult who may have an evil spirit and are capable of supernatural abilities – like real psychics.
There are many others who call themselves witches who do not really do anything more than worship nature. Even though they believe themselves to fall the same category as a witch, they are really the same as ancient worshippers of nature, or pagan religions. These beliefs may or may not be accompanied by evil spirits. It is a Christians duty to warn and love all people and give them the truth; but as for those whom practice real witchcraft and Satanism, those whom willingly and deliberately opposing God. Christians needs to be aware of them and what they do as revealed in the Bible.
Magic vs. The Bible
When you research information from the new age, or any occult source, the understanding of what magic is, is always very relative to the user and the group that is practicing it. In fact almost every human written book differs in both its meaning and description, this is due to the diversity of religious beliefs in the supernatural relating it to magic. Only the Bible can tell us the true meaning behind magic. Magic is known by many different names in today’s movements:
- Mystic Forces or Powers
- Supernatural Forces
- Cosmic Energy
- Personal Energy
- Magic Powers
- Power Within
Few elude to the true source of the power of magic, but the Bible tells us the truth about all of its source – all supernatural power that doesn’t comes from God is from the devil. Every real supernatural force that is not of God is a demon, performing some act to further the work of the kingdom of the Evil One, or to oppose the Kingdom of God.
Referring to ‘White Magic,’ many are taught that some forms of magic are good, so is it wrong to practice these types of ‘magic arts’. There are many individuals, such as witch doctors, that know special formulas, etc. whom perform seemingly good miraculous or supernatural deeds. In truth, there is no good ‘magic,’ because everything that is classified as magic is not from God but is from the devil.
The devil masquerades as an angel of light, so does his agents and their misleading, supposed ‘benevolent’ deeds, which are used to cause deceit, so that others will believe in them and stumble and fall away from the true God, or even begin to follow some false religion. Demons can make people well, give knowledge for seemingly ‘supernatural’ cures for sick children, etc. but we know that whatever is not form God is sin.
whatsoever is not of faith is sin. – Romans 14.23
For such men are false Apostles, workers of deceit, making themselves seem like Apostles of Christ. 14. And it is no wonder; for even Satan himself is able to take the form of an angel of light. – 2 Corinthians 11.13-14
People Who Practice Magic Arts in the Bible
There are vaguely different classifications of magic practitioners and ‘arts’ mentioned in the Bible, each categorized by the way they are practiced. They are not separately distinct activities, and many times overlap in description or are used interchangeably:
Divination, Soothsaying, Augury, Stargazing (Astrologer)
Divination, also known as divining, is the magic art of gaining knowledge. People used to practice divination in order to gain knowledge of past, present or future events, which is a direct disobedience to trusting in God. There where various methods used in order to divine and predict events inquired by the user. People will put their faith in supernatural revelations through the performance of divination, which is a form of worship towards the process, directly opposing God.
Mediums, Necromancers, Chirping
These are all relatively similar names for those that communicated with the dead. Demons often pretend to be the contact of a spirit of a deceased loved one, and often become the recipient of ancestral worship. This method was used to gain insight into someone’s life or just in attempt to communicate with lost loved ones.
Wizards, Charmers, Sorcerers
The term used in the Hebrew was ‘fate-worker,’ as they where those that would work to change a person’s fate, or change their destiny using magic arts.
Psychics & Psychic Powers
People claim they can sense or detect energies or powers, when they are actually being lead by some sort of evil spirit, or in some cases, gifted on the spiritual dimension by demonic forces. They may not be necessarily possessed, but they are defiantly able to communicate with the spirits or are under dark influence.
Casting out Demons of Witchcraft
The Bible gives us a prime example of casting out demonic spirits of witchcraft.
And it came to pass, as we were going to the place of prayer, that a certain maid having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. 17. The same following after Paul and us cried out, saying, These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim unto you the way of salvation. 18. And this she did for many days. But Paul, being sore troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour.– Acts 16.16-18
Power – Here we can see that as believers, the Lord Jesus Christ has given us authority to cast out demons.
Time – It was within the hour that the demon had come out of her, for some reason God may allow a delay, but by God’s finger and His will; every evil spirit must obey the Name of Jesus.
Example of Witchcraft in the Bible
Egyptian Magicians use Secret Arts – Then Pharaoh sent for the wise men and the wonder-workers, and they, the wonder-workers of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. – Exodus 7.11
Balaam the sorceror – (speaking of Balaam) for it is clear that good comes to him who has your blessing, but he on whom you put your curse is cursed. – Numbers 22.6
Now when Balaam saw that it was the Lord’s pleasure to give his blessing to Israel, he did not, as at other times, make use of secret arts, but turning his face to the waste land, – Numbers 24.1
Medium Calls up the Prophet Samuel – Saul sought out a medium to call the spirit of Samuel from the earth. [1 Samuel 28.11]
We know that when ancient Jews when died, they went to Abrahams bosom, a resting place in center of the earth which was a paradise of waiting until the Messiah, Jesus, died on the cross to free them. Samuel was judged and went to paradise, but it was here that he was called up by the woman who was a medium. [1 Same 28.15] So we see an example of real witchcraft here, even though Saul asked that a godly man be spiritually called and raised up, the action is in direct disobedience and rebellion to God, as it says later on that this action displeased God [1 Chronicles 10.13].
God’s Warning Against Magic Practitioners
God tells us specifically those who practice magic arts are rebellion against Him. The Bible tells us the source of all supernatural powers comes from some type of supernatural authority; it always comes under the influence of either God or the Devil. God’s people are clearly banned from using any type of occultism in their lives, in fact this is the very reason why God’s judgment comes and destroys the lives of other people:
When you come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur (that is, an enchanter, one who looks for and uses omens), or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you. – Deuteronomy 18.9-12
The occult is a term often used as a descriptive term for various types of magical arts, and is synonymous with witchcraft. The occult is a reference used for anything that is in direct correlation with the term ‘magic.’ Demonic spirits often delight in making their followers fell like they have some sort of ‘secret,’ ‘hidden,’ or ‘sacred,’ knowledge only know to those that are enlightened; this is a pattern we find in many satanic and demonically lead cults and secret societies. It is this belief of holding some sort of ‘hidden’ power or secret that makes their followers fell important.
Modern Occult Practitioners & Esoteric Groups
There are a great number of different groups, societies, and organizations that utilize occult teachings as their bases for their belief system or educational process. It is sadly becoming more common for the main stream media to utilize more occult symbols and philosophies in their every day advertisements.
They sacrificed unto demons, which were no God, To gods that they knew not, To new gods that came up recently, Which your fathers did not fear. – Deut 32.17
Just as in ancient times, today we still see these ‘new gods’ that reveal themselves to men are demons, seeking to worship of men, to turn them from God.
New Age Movement & Various Followings
The new age movement is a mass propaganda belief system, with a variety of all kinds of belief systems mixed together. It includes many forms of occultism, paganism, neo-paganism, mythologies, eastern mysticism, religions, etc. It main focus is to gain some sort of supernatural power or harmony with practice.
It seeks to harmonize many different types of belief systems and world religions which makes it difficult to nail down into one specifically defined belief system. Some examples of various belief systems that have their origins or that are mixed up in the ‘New Age Religion’ or reflect such teachings are:
- Paganism – A belief system that returns to ancient beliefs of ancient societies and cultures centered on mythologies and cultic rituals of worship. Druidism is one form of paganism.
- Rosicrucian’s – A medieval belief system that mixes Christianity with many forms of agnosticism and occult belief systems.
- The Arcane School – founded by Alice A. Bailey in New York 1923; involved in psychicism and astralism
- Metaphysical schools – studies in occult mixed Biblical teachings
- School for Esoteric Studies – founded and inspired by the Arcane school
- University of Seven Rays
- Theosophical Society
- Servant of the Light
- General Anthroposophical Society
- School of Ageless Wisdom
- Order of the Golden Dawn
- Universal Tao Healing Center
- Institute of Inner Studies
- And Many More…
Signs of Involvements in the Occult
If you know someone that display some of the following signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are involved in the occult, but if you care about them, it may be a warning or indication you need to become more attentive to their interests and the things they are involved in:
- Alienation from Family & Friends
- Lack of academic or work involvement
- Evidence of increased rebellion against authority
- Cutting and tattooing marks on their bodies, little or middle fingernail on left hand painted black as a dedication to evil
- Heavy involvement in fantasy or role-playing games
- Compulsive interaction with heavy metal, satanic or death music themed on Satanism, death, suicide, drugs, obscene or despairing lyrics.
- Increased involvement in alcohol or illegal drugs
- interest in the occult, Satanism, symbolism; drawing symbol on their hands, arms or book.
- Possession of occult books, magazines, candles, ceremonial knives, cups, magic wands, magic swords, a chalice, altars, robes, animal or human bones, ritual paraphernalia.
- Heavy interest, almost obsession with horror films.
- Fascinated with death
- Fascinated with suicide
- Seemingly takes pleasure in the suffering of humans or animals.
- Dealing with depressions
Signs of Potential Demonic Affliction
- Strong desire to curse God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit
- Hatred or repulsion from the Bible or anything Scriptural.
- Deep-seeded hatred, bitterness and irrational behavior towards another person.
- Continual compulsive force or tendency contrary to the way you want to think or acts, distinctly forcing something on/in you.
- Compulsive desire to destroy the reputation and character of others and lie about them.
- Terrifying, persistent, and overwhelming feeling of guilt and/or worthlessness even after you confess your sins to God.
- Strange physical symptoms that appear suddenly and pass quickly for which there is no medical explanation; choking sensations, pains that move around the body, feeling tightness around the head, eyes or chest, dizziness and/or blackouts or fainting seizures.
- Deep persistent depression
- Recurring dreams or nightmares that are especially horrifying and disturbing, or clairvoyant dreams of things that take place later.
- Sudden unprovoked feeling or rage and hatred, uncontrollable anger and hostility
- Persistent and overcoming feeling doubts about ones salvation, or of failure.
A person who generally becomes involved in the occult typically does so for some or all of the following reasons:
- to gain attention,
- for the supposed promise of power in their lives, or
- because they are interested in spiritual things.
Above all people involved in these kinds of activities are obviously, or at least to some degree, interested in spiritual things, and this can be a perfect opportunity to share with them the Father of Spirits, and the message of how to be revived spiritually – the Gospel!
Drugs are heavily used by occultists to lure people into bondage and to keep people in a place of constant control. Interesting enough the word for witchcraft in the Greek is ‘pharmakeus’ where we get our word for pharmacy or for pharmaceutical drugs. This doesn’t mean that prescribed drugs are evil, but rather the recognition of drugs and witchcraft is correlated from an ancient time.
Doctors are supposed to know how to subscribe to proper dosage based on medical experiments, and use such for the purpose of curing a person’s illness. However for those individuals that use drugs illegally, they do so simply in order to find some sort of excitement in its use, which results in destructive behaviors.
The Bible condemns drunkenness (Gal 5.21) and tells us that we are to live sober lives (Tit 2.12).
Illegal drugs directly lead to physical bondage and dependence. This leads to a dependence on a substance in which some would practically do anything for, because of the effect and control it has on their physical body and can eventually destroys the lives of all those involved. The destructive power that drugs have on a person’s life and the kind of lifestyle that becomes induced shows another form of worldly control over their minds and hearts.
It typically reveals a very demonic influence in their life. Drugs dumb down a person intellect, and keeps them in a state of acceptance. This dependence on illegal substances can lead to control over person’s will; leading them to focus their life on nothing more than a search for getting another hit of that drug; to sustain their bodies dependence.
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Þ see Study on Drugs
Freedom from Drugs
If a person has no desire to be free from their addiction, there is little to no use to try and make them escape from it, as they will always find a way back into that lifestyle. It has captured their will and it has become the focus of their desires. As for those that are willing to repent from it, God is able to take them and free them from their substance abuse and desires, and give them a new heart of dependence on Him.
And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you: I will take away the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36.26
Accountability is one of the most important things you have to do for many those whom are trying to get off of drugs.
Scripture teaches us that demons are able to possess the physical bodies of different types of creatures, both man and beasts (Mark 5). The Bible describes the physical body as a temple and housing for the spirit, and that demonic spirits are able to come and reside in the body of a physical being. (1 Corin 6.19, Matt 12.44)
Signs of Demonic Possession
Demonic possession is when a demon comes to live inside a persons body, speaking through/to them and freely being able to taking over their body anytime it will.
Signs of Potentially Serious Demonic Activity
- Inability to live normally
- An expressed or exhibited friendship with the dead
- Proneness to violence, exhibiting unusual and/or unnatural strength when violent
- Unusual severe personality or behavior problems
- Persistent daily agitation, restlessness, insomnia
- Sense of inner anguish and torment
- Self-inflicted injuries, and/or reoccurring accident (cutting, burns)
- Strange unexplainable marks or cuts on the body
2…. a man with an unclean spirit, 3. who had his dwelling in the tombs: and no man could any more bind him, no, not with a chain; 4. because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been rent asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: and no man had strength to tame him. 5. And always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones.
6. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him; 7. and crying out with a loud voice, he saith, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, torment me not. 8. For he said unto him, Come forth, thou unclean spirit, out of the man.9. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he saith unto him, My name is Legion; for we are many.– Mark 5.2-9
Here we see the story of Jesus encounter with a demon possessed man, Legion. We find that this man had a few signs of demonic possession:
- Unnatural strength – Chain could not even hold him
- Isolation – he was an outcast, living in the mountains and the tombs
- Suffering – he always day and night would cry out and cut himself with sharp stones.
- Vessel – he was simple a vessel and many demons used him to communicate to the world, demonstrating this as they spoke to Jesus.
Jesus cast the demon out, freeing the man. By Jesus power the demons is forced to obey, and Jesus simply spoke the word telling them where to go, so they left the man and possess a group of nearby pigs. Some people put up little resistance to the devil and just simply allow the enemy into their lives and allow him to take over because they have been promised or deluded by the promise of power in exchange for their immortal soul. It is these individuals the devil uses for his purposes.
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Believers : Oppression or Possession
Believers are not able to be possessed by demonic spirits, as demons cannot dwell in the same temple as God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells inside all believers, and will not allow a demon to take possession of any of God’s children (1 Corin 6.19-20). However, believers can be demonically oppressed.
This means that a demon will oppress a person to the point that it feel like they are being controlled because they are not trusting in God during those times of testing in their life, and are disobeying Him, and/or they are being manipulated and/or mislead by evil spirits. God allows us to go through trials to learn to trust in Him, and to discipline us so we learn not to sin against Him.
When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. – 1 Corinthians 11.32
Knowing that the proving of your faith works patience. – James 1.3
Blessings & Curses
Blessings and curses are very real, and are the work of spirits. Evil spirits are the source of all curses. God is the source of all blessings, but He is also the one whom permits the evil spirits to act as a curse. All curses and blessings are in the hands of the Lord, because He is sovereign over all things.
But the Lord your God would not give ear to Balaam, but let the curse be changed into a blessing to you, because of his love for you. – Deut 23.5
Witches are able to perform spell and incantations, which are all simply asking demons to do bad things to people. So therefore those whom perform witchcraft are able to influence the ungodly and people of the world because they already belong to the devil. Curses and bad spiritual influence is caused by evil and unclean spirits that follow people around or that dwell inside of them. As for God’s children, they are in God’s hand and demons have no rights or authority over God’s people, this they can do nothing except by God’s permission.
In the story of Balaam, the prophet who was reputed to curse and bless people, and it was done for him; reveals the way in the spirit world that curses and blessing work, that they come from the authority of God.
How may I put curses on him who is not cursed by God? – Numbers 23.8
he has given a blessing which I have no power to take away. – Number 23.8
Even the Devil himself when asking to tempt Job, had to come to God because God does not allow His children to be touched without His permission.
… Satan said … 10. Have you yourself not put a wall round him and his house and all he has on every side, blessing the work of his hands, and increasing his cattle in the land? – Job 1.9-10
And the Lord said to the Satan, See, I give all he has into your hands, only do not put a finger on the man himself. And the Satan went out from before the Lord. – Job 1.12
Jesus said as believers we are to only bless others, even when they curse us, as we know that is the way that God’s children act towards all peoples.
Bless those that curse you – Matthew 5.44
Give blessing and not curses to those who are cruel to you. – Romans 12.14
Through faith we can overcome curses and cast out those demons and evil spirits that attack people or seek to make their dwelling inside a part of someone’s life.
Family and Heretical Blessings & Curses
Þ see Theology – Sociology Family Generational Blessings & Curses
The curse of the Lord is on the house of the evil-doer, but his blessing is on the tent of the upright. – Proverbs 3.33
APPENDIX A: Questions About Spiritual Authority
Authority Over Demons
Q. If Christians have authority over demons, is it wrong to exercise that authority, or to command demons to do what we desire?
A. First of all, calling on demons to do your desires, no matter how noble the request might seem, is called ‘witchcraft.’ All witchcraft is rebellion against God.
Most importantly, if you are a child of God, why would you want to take your requests to any other being besides God alone; don’t you know and have faith that in God’s hands is infinite value, and all His gifts are without compensation (i.e. without taking them back or without cost)! He has our best interests at heart and anything He doesn’t give is still in our best interest even if we don’t understand why.
It is in God we have authority over demons, and it is to only be exercised when we encounter them to cast out/ down evil works. Demons hate God’s children, and all of humanity as a matter of fact, and at every turn would try to deceive, and twist and request into something evil or that would hurt God’s people.