Occult? That’s something to do with Satan, isn’t it? I’d never do anything like that.
Oh, I read my horoscope every day . . . and my friends and I have played with a Ouija board occasionally. In college, I even got into Dungeons and Dragons. But what’s the harm in that? That’s just a little innocent fun.
The word occult means “knowledge of the hidden” or “knowledge of the paranormal.” Occultism includes magic, alchemy, ESP, astrology, spiritualism, and divination. Religions of the occult include theosophy, Wicca, satanism, and neopaganism. More background is provided by Wikipedia (see occult).
No religion is more directly opposed to the God of Christian faith than the occult. The Bible frequently condemns all occult teachings. The admonition is always the same: Get out and stay out. Evil and good cannot coexist. Light and dark are incompatible.
A common thread runs through the fabric of all occult activity—Satan. Just as surely as there is a God, Satan is an enemy of God. As surely as one kingdom is built on truth, the other kingdom is built on lies.
What kind of being is Satan? It’s not a pretty picture, but we need to know whom we are dealing with. Jesus Christ provided the following x-ray of the master of deceit.
He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Jesus Christ, on the other hand, came to bring us life. He is the Light of the world and always speaks truth.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)
We can choose darkness—or we can choose the Light.
Recently, a woman placed her hand in the cage of a jaguar, and he quickly bit off her finger. She sued the zoo even though there were many signs warning everyone not to touch the cage or the animals. This same warning applies to Christians. God has warned us through His Word. The best advice we can follow is to obey His signs and stay away from anything related to Satan.
What Are the Signs?
The Bible tells us we are to have nothing to do with mediums, spiritists, channeling, astrology, Ouija boards, witchcraft, games like Dungeons and Dragons, or anything other occult activity. These are not innocent pastimes. Participation in them will subject us to Satan’s control and separate us from God’s help. God made this clear when He was preparing the wandering Israelites to enter their Promised Land.
“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. (Deuteronomy 18:9–12)
If we choose to engage in these activities, we are exposing ourselves to grave danger. We are ignoring the posted signs and putting our hand in the jaguar cage.
Don’t Be Deceived
Satan is a master deceiver. Many of the occult practices available in today’s world may appear harmless. When we read the scripture from Deuteronomy, we may say, “I would never sacrifice my son or daughter!” Most of us would not join Wicca. But what about the more subtle things—reading the daily horoscope, being influenced by our Zodiac sign, reading books and viewing movies involving wizards, witches, and magic, or visiting a fortune-teller “just for the fun of it”?
Satan wraps evil in attractive packages. Satan tells us what we want to hear because he is a deceiver. He wants to control us in order to steal from us and destroy us—that is always his agenda. Satan wants to steal our peace, our joy. He wants to destroy our life.
God also wants to control our lives, but His motive is pure and good and loving. He wants only what is good for us. And He never forces Himself on us.
The thief’s [Satan’s] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My [Jesus’] purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10)
Occult pursuits expose us to darkness. Our focus must be on Jesus, not an anything that comes from Satan. Jesus gave us this warning:
“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” (Luke 11:35–36)
Light Outshines the Darkness
If occult activities are part of your past, you need to know that Light drives out darkness.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Admit such participation as sin and ask God for forgiveness. When you confess your sins and put them in the light before God, He will drive those acts of darkness out of your life.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
If you are currently engaged in any of these activities, listen to what Jesus said:
“And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:19–21)
Jesus said others can see when we are doing what God wants. If our deeds are good, they will reflect the character of God. His light and truth will shine through us. But those who are in sin and refuse to come to God for forgiveness remain in darkness.
Satan’s occult world and God’s world are polar opposites. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot live in occult activity and please God. Jesus said, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me” (Matthew 12:30). The only acceptable decision is to renounce Satan and his dark kingdom, repent of any involvement in that world, and ask God for forgiveness through faith in the cross of Christ.
God Gives Us a Choice. What Will Yours Be?
Since Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden, everyone has been born with a sin nature and needs a Savior. We would be forever under sin’s sway if it were not for the love of God. Because of His unconditional love for us, the penalty for our sins was paid through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. Christ’s death paid in full for all sins for all time. Christ canceled the power of hell over us by taking our sins on Himself on our behalf.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:8–11)
We have a choice. We must trust one or the other—the one true God or the impostor. We cannot receive forgiveness unless we place our faith in Christ and ask for it. As long as we refuse to confess, we give Satan power over us. We decide who will run our lives. If our choice is anyone but Christ, we are in rebellion.
God has given you a choice. Will you choose Satan and his occult darkness, his lies, his desire to harm you? Or will you choose Jesus and His light, His truth, His forgiveness, His unconditional love?
Where will you place your trust today? Eternity hangs in the balance.
The Kingdom of the Occult by Walter Martin