One of the things that has startled me, as I read about new books in Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, newspapers, and listen to those touted by Oprah, is that the world of the occult is now out of the closet. It’s being glamorized as new age, but in reality its genesis is as old age as the hiss of the serpent, “Your eyes will be opened, you will be like God knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). The objective of occultism, no matter how it’s glorified, is self-deification through sorcery, spiritism, and soothsaying.
The very word sorcery is “magick” through which occultists seek to harness paranormal powers for private purposes. Using ritualistic formulas, spells, and incantations, occultists seek to harness what they perceive to be the natural and spiritual powers of the universe in order to satisfy their own desires. If you go back to the Old Testament you see that God warned the ancient Israelites that these very practices would inevitably lead to their downfall (Deut. 18:9-14; cf. 2 Kings 17:16-18). Likewise, He rebuked the ancient Babylonians for supposing that they could bypass His power through their “many sorceries” and “potent spells” (Isa. 47. 8-15).
Occultists also employ spiritualistic practices, called mediumship, in order to contact non-physical entities including the souls of the dead. In their view, these spirits are believed to be capable of providing cosmic insights into this world and the next. As such, spiritists employ Ouija boards, crystal balls, and the belongings of the dead to conjure up the departed. God’s warning however, could not be more ominous or direct: “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” (Lev. 20:6; cf. 19:31; 1 Chron. 10:13-14; Isa. 8:19).
One final point, occultists seek to access secret or hidden information about the future through soothsaying or divination. Among the most common tools of the soothsayer are Tarot cards, astrological charts, horoscopes, and tea leaves. But again, the Lord’s command is emphatic and explicit: “Do not practice divination” (Lev. 19:26). Indeed, a tremendous insult to the power and providence of the Almighty God that we serve is to seek guidance through the occult. Thus, when the Israelites were about to enter the land of Promise, the Lord warned them not to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord (Duet. 18:10-12; cf. Acts 13:6-11; 16:16-18; Gal. 5:19-21).
Well occultism is being packed and repacked in ever more glamorous ways in our culture today and we need to be forewarned through Scripture and know how to deal with this. This is why we provide all kinds of resources on this subject at our Website at www.equip.org