Influences of the occult are everywhere today in the world. Horoscopes abound in newspapers, booklets at the grocery store check out racks, on the Internet and in dozens of magazines.
Feng Shui has had a huge impact in the field of interior design and decoration. For some reason, this theory has drawn scores of people to it’s doctrine. A doctrine, I professionally as a decorator can’t agree with, nor personally as a Christian will consider.
There has been a massive influence of the occult with modern music. Such groups as Anthrax, Danzig, Dio, Grim Reaper, Halloween, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metal Church, Slayer, Ozzie Oswald, to name just a few.
Likewise the cinema industry has produced such films as: Prom Night, Halloween, Poltergist, Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, Christine, Nightmare on Main Street, again, only a few of the many that have been produced.
Games have always been popular, and the occult has also made its impact in this area of entertainment with such games as: Prediction Rod, Ouija, D & D (Dungeons & Dragons, Universe Tell Me, Powers & Perils, are just a few of the many now on the market.
Did you know that superstitions are a part of the occult? This may produce a chuckle; we so often think of superstitions as childish sayings. Remember this one: “Step on a crack, and break your mother’s back”? Or one which had me overly cautious about handling the toads in our backyard at night when I was in grade school: “Handle a toad in the dark of the moon and you’ll get warts!” (I handled a lot of toads at night as a child, and I suppose even in the dark of the moon, but I never got a wart!) We have often joked about a black cat crossing our path as being bad luck, and just as unlucky is walking under a ladder.
With the ladder common sense should tell us to look up to see what can fall down on us, before we duck underneath it. As for the cat I have had a lot of black kitties cross in front of me, and I can’t remember ever having any bad luck as a result of it.
Despite the lightness with which many of us regard superstitions, some people really take them to heart. Who? Professional baseball players! Here is a sampling of some of the more popular superstitions baseball players tend to cling to:
- Tapping the bat three times before batting
- Stepping on second base when coming in from the outfield
- Kicking second base when coming in from the outfield
- Not changing uniforms during a winning streak.
Do superstitions work – do they “hold any water”? I would say, no, not a drop! While sometimes it appears these are working, eventually the belief will fold and fall apart.
What Is the Occult?
The occult embraces far more than horoscopes, Feng Shui, strange music, film flicks, games and superstitions, It is a belief system that goes beyond the normal or accepted concept of religion. It has often been referred to as spiritism.
The occult has no belief in God. It is steeped with a sense of mystery; relating to a host of supernatural forces. It is these forces that the spiritist worships:
- The Devil
- Goddesses and gods (as in mythology)
Is There Any Harm to Belief in the Occult?
There are so many branches and forms of the occult, that the list below is very general and only by a close look at each different branch or form can specific areas of harm be ascertained. However all forms will have some negative effective in one or more of these areas:
In today’s world, the most popular forms of the occult are:
- Witchcraft (Wicca)
- Satanic Worship (Satanism, Devil Worship)
- New Age
- Feng Shui
Let’s take each of these four areas individually.
Witchcraft and Satanism
Witchcraft, sorcery, divination, mediums, necromancers, magicians, fortune tellers, are ancient, universal and strongly warned against in the Bible.
“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 “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.” (20:6) NIV
“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 NIV
Witchcraft Shares Common Beliefs with Satanism
Witchcraft has these beliefs in common with Satanism:
- Lust for power
- Lust for knowledge of the future
- Power for control of opposing forces
- There is an appeal to an eternal and “mysterious” source of power.
- The proper rituals, spells, and charms must be followed to produce the desired results
- Members of witchcraft and Satanism see Jews and Christians as their number one
Historical Facts About Witchcraft and Satanism:
During the Medieval Period witchcraft and Satanism died out due to the strong rise of the
Christian church. At the decline of the Medieval Period witchcraft and Satanism saw a rebirth. There are records indicating that within the Catholic church, some of the priests adapted certain pagan practices common to witchcraft and Satanism with Christian doctrines.
Between 1200 and 1700 in England, black magic, Satan worship and various forms of witchcraft were rampant. With the advent of the Renaissance, magicians such as Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus and Giordano Bruno were famous. Much of their powers were attributed to trickery and psychological tricks on the mind.
After this time period, for several centuries witchcraft and Satanism went underground.
This could very well have been due to the evangelical revival which swept across Europe and the United States during the 1800’s.
In the beginning of the 20th century, there was a revival of witchcraft and Satanism. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) made a pact with the Devil, referring to him as the “great” Beast. The term, Beast, for the Devil has many references within the Book of Revelation (chapters 13, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 20). Crowley’s mistresses were tattooed with the mark of the Beast. This refers to the following passage from Revelation (chapter 13:16-18 NIV).
“He (the Beast) also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark which is the name of the beast or the number of his name….His number is 666.”
Crowley and his disciples were heavy into illicit drugs, demonism and sexual perversions.
Currently the interest in witchcraft and Satanism has mushroomed: within the United State and Europe hundreds of witch’s covens have been established.
Becoming A Member
Witchcraft and Satanism uses the “power” they achieve by making a pact with Satan.
I should mention, some may not think of Satan as anything more than a fairy tale. The Bible tells us Satan is real, having enormous powers. As the well known author and Bible instructor, Dr. Henrietta C. Mears, wrote in a current book, “What the Bible is All About”:
“Satan is treated too lightly by the average person. He is mighty! He is the deceiver of the whole world. He fell from the highest place, next to God Himself, to the lowest depths – the Lake of Fire. Christ described it as ‘the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matthew 25:41. The Devil is given a life sentence, (Revelation 20:10).”
All forms of witchcraft as well as all forms of Satanism makes a pact with the Devil. With the power they gain from the Devil they can cast spells and evil thoughts on others.
They can incite demons to inflict pain, disease, despair, suffering, and suicidal situations to their advantage. One form of witchcraft claims to practice only white magic, which is to use their powers only for good reason. But magic is magic and the Bible is clear about those who bow to using magic: “I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.” Micah 5:12 NIV
For receiving these “powers” the member of witchcraft or Satanism, has to do something in exchange. This “something” usually involves killing something: an animal or even a small infant. This “ceremony” is usually brutal to the extreme!
Satanism and Witchcraft: A Perversion of Christianity
Within Satanism and witchcraft, everything they do is an imitation of a Christian belief, ceremony or deity.
Satan is substituted for God, and the members of Satanism imitate and mock Christian practices and institutions. For example, Satanists organize into covens of thirteen – a parody of Christ and His twelve disciples. Special meetings called sabbats are mockery of the Sabbath. During these meetings Satanists confess all the good deeds they mistakenly committed and asks forgiveness of their high priest or priestess. During the course of the meeting, members have a feast in which a blasphemous grace is given, they then over indulge, stuffing themselves in a mockery of the Biblical teaching of moderation. Black mass follows which is an open and degrading renunciation of God and Jesus Christ. A blasphemous sermon follows immediately.
In both witchcraft and Satanic covens missal or “prayer” books are used. These are bound with human skin (usually of a sacrificed infant). Christian hymns are sung backwards or in the name of Lucifer (another name for the Devil). A mixture of wine and blood is used as a mockery of holy communion.
The ending of these meeting is pure gore. A live sacrifice of an un-baptized infant or some small animal is made. The killing is past being brutal.
Other ceremonial acts include orgies, indulgence into alcoholism, illicit drugs. Books of magic are common at these ceremonies. Divination through the use of crystals, Ouija boards and Tarot cards likewise are common place at such meetings.
The Initiation Ceremony
At an initiation ceremony, the person being brought into the coven must do the following:
- Make a formal pact with the Devil. This is sealed in blood
- The new member has his name struck from the Book of Christ, and inscribes his name
into the Book of the Devil.
- This contract is made for life. But some covens may permit a member to leave after
two or three years.
- A perverse baptism is performed (the baptism liquid, is water, salt and sulfur).
- The new member is given a new name.
- Sexual immoralities follow.
- The person is tattooed (on a concealed part of the body) with the Satanic symbol, called
the mark of the Devil (666).
- The Bible warns sternly of involvement in witchcraft and Satanism. Once again as I
said in other articles, God’s love is so great, He does not want His creation to be hurt.
He sees his human creation as His children. Witchcraft and Satanism are destroyers.
- The Bible acknowledges the reality and power behind witchcraft and magic. But these
powers are demonic and importantly, limited, unlike the limitless power of God.
- There is real danger in all forms of witchcraft and Satanism because the powers
that are involved are much greater than what most members of these groups realize.
In order to use these powers a member must DO something. Satan’s gifts are never
cheap. This something often involves murder and suicide. (Even more tragic, suicide
of a satanic member, only means he/she will spend all eternity in Hell. – I buckle at the
thought, knowing what the Bible says about Hell!)
- There is a real danger of demonic control. The New Testament clearly states that
demons can possess people.
- People are attracted to witchcraft and Satanism for these reasons:
- Power over people and things
- Sexual indulgence is approved
- Financial success
- Sense of attaining divine knowledge through divination and communication with
- Pride and intellectual arrogance
- A means of rebelling against the restraints of society
There is no difference between witchcraft and Satanism except that Satanists are very clear and bold in announcing they are followers of Satan. Whereas, witches tend to be more illusive.
Next article will cover New Age and Feng Shui: Many of the practices discussed in this article on witchcraft and Satanism are also a part of these two other forms of the occult.