We are once again in the season where heightened interest in the occult is taking place in North America and other parts of the Western Hemisphere. Some people are looking to be frightened for fun whether in seances, haunted houses, or horror movies, while others are seeking more power to manipulate situations and other people through various enchantments. Whether occultists call themselves astrologers, Satanists/Luciferians, witches (“black” or “white”), wizards, warlocks, mediums, psychics, magicians, sorcerers, spiritists, necromancer, shaman, Druid, or Santerian, the God of the Bible who is the one true God has lovingly warned us against such practices. According to Leviticus 19:31, the only thing occultists do is usher in spiritual and mental defilements. But Jehovah wishes much better things for us.
Occultists in the Bible tend to have certain traits we are warned against. Non-occultist unbelievers may have some of the same traits, but these traits tend to be more dominant in occultists and they are:
- Deceptive signs and wonders (Exodus 7, Deuteronomy 13:1-3, Revelation 13:13-14). Pharaoh’s magicians and astrologers were able to mimic some of the things Moses and Aaron did by God’s power, but eventually God’s power surpassed theirs to the point where they had to admit, “This is the finger of God,” Exodus 8:19. This is one reason why Jesus told his disciples, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven,” Luke 10:20. Especially since Judas Iscariot most likely did the same miracles the other disciples did.
- Speaking the truth for ungodly ulterior motives (Deuteronomy 13:1-3, Acts 16:16-17). The girl who had a spirit of divination in Acts 16 was speaking the truth about Paul and his buddies, but she did it to mock them and to get more customers.
- Blatant disregard for human life as they lust for more power (2 Chronicles 33:6). Manasseh burned some of his children to death as he embraced the occult.
- Lust for controlling, self-glorifying power (Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:18-24).
- Subtlety (cunning) to unceasingly “pervert the right ways of the Lord” (Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13; the beast & his false prophet in Revelation). Elymas spoke evil of the Lord’s righteous ways in an attempt to keep his boss from receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
However, for all the occultists’ attempts to promote their power, God through his servants trumped their power each time. Moses and Aaron defeated Pharaoh’s magicians and astrologers. King Manasseh the murderer was brought down to his knees in repentance to God. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ended up being “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers” that served King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon (Daniel 1:20). Peter rebuked Simon the sorcerer and refused to give him what he wanted. Paul cast out the spirit of divination from the young lady in Philippi and cursed Elymas the sorcerer with temporary blindness. And one day, the Lord will send the ultimate occultists–the Antichrist and his false prophet–to a fiery grave.
These examples from scripture let us know just how much power we can really have through humbling ourselves before the Lord. We don’t need to be afraid of the occult as we reject it because the blessed name of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach has truly given us spiritual “power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). We have overcome the world and the wicked one by our faith in Jesus (1 John 5:4), by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11).