What is the Occult?

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  • What is the Occult?

    by Leonard G. Goss

    The English word “occult” come from the Latin “occultus,” which means things that are hidden, esoteric, concealed, or mysterious. For occult practitioners, the occult represents interference with physical nature by using hidden knowledge (gnosis), such as non-conventional practices including reciting formulas, making gestures, mixing incompatible elements, performing healing spells, or performing secret ceremonies attempting to alter physical nature. What is the hidden knowledge? According to occultists, it is the force at the base of the universe, and it is obtained only through secrete communication with that force. Is this hidden force God? Or the devil? Or the soul of the universe? That depends a good deal on what particular source their gnosis has tapped into, but one thing the force is not: It is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    For those dabbling in the occult, such activities are considered harmless and fascinating-- a real source of spiritual knowledge. For Christians, however, the wide range of practices making up the occult is destructive and spirit-threatening. Christians view as deeply evil things like alchemy, astrology, casting runes, crystals and crystal balls, divination, dowsing, ESP, fortune-telling, horoscopes, the I Ching, levitation, Ouija boards, paganism, palm reading, the paranormal, pendulum divination, psychic phenomena, reading Tarot Cards, ritual abuse, Satanism, séances, secret societies, sorcery, spiritualism, talking to dead spirits, Wicca (so-called White Witchcraft) and Witchcraft (Black Magic). The extent of occult involvement is universal. Spiritual warfare is all around us by drawing us into deception. The Enemy is a deceiver, liar, tempter, and devourer of human souls.

    Why the interest in the occult? First, many churches have “watered down” the gospel of Christ, rejecting the church’s central teaching of Christ’s divinity and other essential truths. When this happens, a spiritual vacuum invites people to go to the occult to be satisfied, swinging the door to occultist practices wide open. Second, there is a certain mystery about the occult which appeals to our curiosity. Many, thinking the occult is harmless, go deeper and deeper and deeper until they can’t get out without any bad effects. Third, we all want ultimate answers to life’s basic questions, and the occult offers a sort of “reality” by providing these answers. Actually, occultist practices are a counterfeit of God’s power, and as such they do reveal some amazing things-- but these things are not the ultimate truth. Fourth, an increase in demonic activity is to be expected as a sign of the end times (see Ma 13:22; 1 Tm 4:1).

    Often, there is deliberate faking in the lucrative field of the occult. There is money to be made. There is also inaccurate reporting. When some people find a theory fascinating, they often care less about the facts. In addition, there is self manipulation. When it suits their wishes, some believe anything they want. There is, however, true demonic deception. The Bible teaches that there is a deceptive, dangerous spirit world which distorts reality and ruins human lives. Despite outright fraud, all Christians need to know that the occult or paranormal is real. The Bible is clear it is real, as Saul discovered upon meeting the medium of Endor (1Sm 28), and we must not dismiss it. If God is real, his chief adversary is also real.

    First John 3:8 says, “The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.’ Involvement in the occult is involvement in the devil’s works, and as it can lead to very serious outcomes spiritually and psychologically, we must remember that the Bible denounces all occultic practices. (see Dt 18:9-14; Ac 13:6-12). The road to the occult is broad and always destructive. The way of Christ is narrow but always leads to eternal life.

  • #2
    This is like the teachings of "The Secret", I believe they come from the occult. What bothers me is that some teachings of the occult can be woven into the bible, specifically things like ask, believe and receive. I am not positive, but I believe witchcraft has something to do with performing acts while having a strong conviction that you WILL see the desired results. Unfortunately I see this as similar to having Faith in the Lord answering your prayers.

    Another thing that confuses me is astrology. Not the two line horoscopes in the paper, but the volumes and volumes of information regarding planets and their movement, placement, and it's meaning on earth. I am a person who searches for information and looks for patterns. I have seen that there are patterns and truths in astrology, and it bothers me because I know it is against the Bible. But I have to believe this is God's plan and design, not satan's, so again I am confused.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Marie View Post
      This is like the teachings of "The Secret", I believe they come from the occult. What bothers me is that some teachings of the occult can be woven into the bible, specifically things like ask, believe and receive. I am not positive, but I believe witchcraft has something to do with performing acts while having a strong conviction that you WILL see the desired results. Unfortunately I see this as similar to having Faith in the Lord answering your prayers.

      Another thing that confuses me is astrology. Not the two line horoscopes in the paper, but the volumes and volumes of information regarding planets and their movement, placement, and it's meaning on earth. I am a person who searches for information and looks for patterns. I have seen that there are patterns and truths in astrology, and it bothers me because I know it is against the Bible. But I have to believe this is God's plan and design, not satan's, so again I am confused.
      Just for fun, I followed the short horoscopes for a sign other than the one I was born under and found that it fit just as well.
      The problem with LOOKING to find patterns is that human beings are pre-wired to find them whether they are there or not.
      Have you ever been waiting for someone to arrive and every noise sounds like a car? Same concept.

      The problem with Astrology, is that those tracking it are trying to know the future to control their lives. By definition, that means that they are taking control rather than trusting in a soverign God. If God wanted you to know something, you could have a dream like Joseph or John or an Angel like Mary or a burning bush like Moses. God does not need to rely on pagan soothsayers to deliver his messages in codes that you decipher yourself.

      Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else that you have need of will be provided. So you have nothing to worry about, God has you covered. It will all work out exactly as He planned it ... for your good and His glory.

      Shalom (which means both peace and well being),
      Arthur
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