Occultism Condemned

occult condemned

Resist The Devil


Deuteronomy 18:10-14
10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer to times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 1!Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
Leviticus 19:31
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Acts 16:16-18
16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Acts 19:18-20
18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Everybody is interested in prophecy. From time immemorial restless men have struggled to peer over the fence into tomorrow. He has used every key at his disposal to try to unlock the door into the future. In modern times, as in ancient days, there is a mad rush to astrology and to the occult, but God’s people should have nothing to do with astrology or any other scheme of the occult.

Psalm 34:7
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

A Christian cannot be possessed by demons, oppressed, yes, but possessed, no!

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

And though the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise up a standard against him. The Bible teaches the reality of angels. Just as sure as there are demons, there are angels. The supermarket checkout counters are the advertising space for the psychics and astrologists by the modern world. Practically every newspaper has its astrology sections with guidance for the day. Churches used to have Halloween parties without seriously considering the implications of the event, but today many churches have come to recognize two things in particular about the popular activity.

First, it is contradictory for the Christian church to participate in a demon-inspired celebration. Secondly, this event, formerly considered a harmless children’s holiday, is now dominated by adults who are serious about worshiping Satan. Modern life has become so complex, fragmented and uncertain that people are looking for quick, easy answers to life. This partly explains the modern rise in astrology. Such activities do not require a commitment of life or mind, but they do cost us our souls.

The reality of the spirit world has always been acknowledged by Christians. Now, it is also recognized by a host of New Age promoters, spiritualists and others seeking to take advantage of vacant human hearts longing for spiritual peace. Our Bible teaches us that occultism is condemned by God and that there is no room whatsoever for a Christian to dabble in the occult. It is the realm of demonic activity and is deadly serious. In 1 Thessalonians 5:22, Paul said

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

These are the last days: days when our adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Deuteronomy 18:10-14 is in our lesson, above.

Back in the 9th chapter of Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy 9:4, 5 specified the reason Israel was able to take the land. It was because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you.

Deuteronomy 9:4, 5
4Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. 5Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When Israel crossed the River Jordan and defeated Jericho, Jericho had become morally bankrupt in God’s sight. The nations of Canaan were so filled with sin that God’s wrath was released upon them through Israel. We must remember there is a limit to how sinful God will allow a nation to become. There is a point where the cup is filled and His wrath overflows to the destruction of the society.

God warned Israel to avoid the abominations of the nations. Israel was warned not to learn or do the things that God abhorred in those nations.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Matthew 24:11, 12 (Jesus speaking)
11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Since life is so short, eternity so long, and the return of Christ so imminent, we should remain in a state of preparation at all times. An end times analysis of the Scriptures and the occult revival provides cause for spiritual alarm and attack in the name of Jesus. The Bible says in

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Christian cannot and must not give any place to the devil.

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Acts 16:16-18
16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Acts 19:13-20
13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

The events described in this passage occurred during the Apostle Paul’s first venture into Philippi to establish the church there. Ordinarily, it was the custom of Paul to go into the Jewish synagogues to preach the Gospel. But unlike many other Gentile cities, there were so few Jews in Philippi that there was no synagogue. But there was a place by a nearby stream where the few Jews and proselytes in Philippi met for prayer on the Sabbath. So, Paul and his friends went there to share the Gospel. One day, as Paul and his companions were going to the place of prayer, a teenaged girl, well known in the area as a fortune-teller, began to follow Paul and his company.

As they went along, she followed them, crying with a loud voice, “These men are servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” But this was not a confession of faith; rather, it was used in the pagan world to refer to the Greeks highest ranking god (Zeus). The expression “shew unto us the way of salvation” most likely referred to the Hellenistic mystery religions. Thus, her statements were confusing and did not come from God. In fact, she was not doing the disciples any service by making these claims. It only brought confusion into the minds and hearts of those who were thinking of following Christ.

Paul was grieved at what she was saying. While Paul felt compassion for the woman bound in sin, he felt nothing but aggravation and annoyance for the demonic spirit controlling her life. It is important to know that Paul spoke to the spirit; he did not berate the woman nor engage in conversation with her. He took authority in the name of Jesus over the spirit and it left her immediately.

Occultic powers are indeed great/powerful, but they are not greater/more powerful than the name of Jesus. He has conquered them at Calvary and He remains the victorious Lord with glory and power.

Seven sons of a Jewish Chief Priest practiced exorcism. When some Jewish exorcists tried, in the name of Jesus whom Paul preached, to cast the demons out of a man at Ephesus, the demon-possessed man attacked them, tearing off their clothes and wounding them. The evil spirit answered, “Jesus, I know and Paul, I know, but who are you?” And they fled, stripped and wounded. News of this event spread among the Jews and Greeks at Ephesus. There came a profound reverence for the Lord Jesus, resulting in revival.

True repentance is always followed by changed lives and lifestyles. The Ephesians, who came to Christ, realized that the occult was sinful and they publicly turned their backs on it and burned the books that instructed them in the ways of the occult.

Christians must be aware of the powers and forces that are operating in our world today. We must be able to give a defense for the Gospel. This defense must not be intellectually only, but must also be spiritually powerful as we come against Satan through prayer, worship and the Word. These are powerful weapons with which to combat Satan in spiritual warfare. (Our golden text)

John 8:32 (Jesus speaking)
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The hymn “America” was written in 1832 by a young seminary student by the name of Samuel Francis Smith. The words go like this, “My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.”

This beautiful song has inspired many to brave uncertain circumstances to reach the land. In America, we are guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America offers many freedoms, yet it can’t give a person freedom from the bondage of sin. This spiritual disease is common to all people and only God has the cure.

We have seen that Satan is alive and a deceiver. He uses the darkness or the occult to entrap souls and lead to eternal damnation. Many are bound and desperately need to know the truth. One of the reasons the occult is so popular today is that the church has proven itself weak in several key areas of witnessing. First, we have not shown the world that we truly love one another. The world sees our infighting and bitterness of heart and decides that we are little more than hypocritical. Thus, sinners reject Christ, not because of who He is, but because of what we are. The world sees our inconsistency and wants nothing of it.

The resurgence of occultism among well-educated and technically advanced people of the western world is proof that education and scientific knowledge alone are not sufficient to protect any society from this evil scourge.

The only sure defense and offense against occultism is found in living by the Word of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

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