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“There 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 of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
DEFINITION OF THE OCCULT
Occult means ‘hidden’, implying hidden powers or knowledge. (Collins Dictionary). It refers to an extremely varied group of beliefs and practices of which the average person has no knowledge. These include astrology, psychism, spiritism, esoteric religion, cabbalism, freemasonry, channelling, witchcraft and many others.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE OCCULT?
Many think the secrets and powers of the occult are real and powerful forces that have their origin and gain their strength from, an ‘Evil Force’ opposed to God, called ‘The Devil’ and ‘Satan’. We do not have the space here to explain these subjects but there are other ‘Truth About’ studies on them – TA, Fallen Angels, The Devil, The Devil & Satan. There is ONLY ONE GOD in this universe, who created and sustains all - “our Father Who is in heaven”. The Devil and Satan are Bible (descriptive) names for sin in all its forms and for human opponents of God and His Way of salvation for mankind.
The Bible, God’s revealed word, acknowledges that there have been, and still are misguided people who believe in, practice and misguide others in the pagan worship rites of the occult. But the Bible condemns such as “an abomination”. It was because the Canaanites of old practiced such things that God drove them out from Canaan, before the children of Israel, and it was His desire that they should all be ‘accursed’, or devoted to destruction – (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).
WHY AN ABOMINATION?
If God says certain beliefs and practices are “an abomination” we can be sure that is what they are, for God never lies, and in fact, He cannot tell lies. (Titus 1:2). But God always provides reasons for His actions. He is both a Just God and also a Saviour, who desires not the death of any, but that all should come to Him and live. (2 Peter 3:9). The Canaanites proved themselves to be an abominable people over many centuries because they gave themselves over to abominable beliefs and practices. They offered their own children as burnt sacrifices to their so-called ‘gods’ - which were really no gods at all, but figments of their imagination. They indulged in filthy practices with both their own, and the other sex, and even with animals! They were also vicious people who were violent, evil and wicked in the extreme, far worse than animals. They repudiated all the goodness that God showered upon them and followed there own evil ways, (Acts 14:17; 17:24,25). The ‘gods’ they worshipped ‘allowed’ them such conduct – or rather, they created such ‘accommodating gods’ for themselves, that they might indulge in evil practices, and denied our Father in heaven the honour that is due to His great and holy name. God is thrice holy and cannot look upon sin. When people wilfully and determinedly continue in their abominations and refuse to acknowledge Him as the Giver of every good gift, they cannot expect God’s blessing of eternal life. Wickedness brings its own reward - “the wages of sin is death”, (Romans 6:23).
GOD REVEALS THE PAST, EXPLAINS THE PRESENT AND FORETELLS THE FUTURE
Occultists claim to be able to divine the future by means of Astrology, Tarot Cards, Crystal Balls, Numerology, Palmistry and various other omens. But they are all frauds and fakes, which deceive gullible people ignorant of God and His revelation, the Holy Bible. If there was any real truth in their divination, the whole world would know about it, whereas they must practice their crafts ‘hidden’ in secret behind closed doors – and for ‘hidden’ pay’!
Only God has the power to foretell the future and He has many times, in all ages, foretold it. (Isaiah 46:9-13; 48:3-7; Amos 3:7). He foretold and He effected the coming of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to offer the necessary sacrifice for sins, so providing those who will receive it (in God’s appointed Way) a covering for sin, or forgiveness, (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22). In Daniel ch. 2, God foretold the rise and the fall of the world’s four great Empires, the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman, then the coming of Christ (as the stone power cut out of a mountain without human hands) to crush and convert the kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom of God. This latter prophecy is the destiny the world is waiting for – whether many believe it or not. It will assuredly happen. (vv. 44,45).
The Bible is a highly intelligent, accurate historical and eminently moral book, open and available for all to read and see. In it are found many revelations about God, about His wonderful plan of world redemption from sin and death, about ourselves, where we came from, where we are going, what is the way to please God, and about Jesus Christ His Son our Lord, who, in love for us, God has given for our salvation. (John 3:16).
TRUST IN GOD AND DO RIGHT
The best way to combat an error and a delusion is to offer truth – The truth of God that appeals to the intellect, then to the emotions and invites a practical way of life that pleases God. It is the way of faith, of hope and of love.
That truth is to be found in The Gospel, the good news or glad tidings. It is summarised in Acts 8:12 and 28:31, as “the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ”. Write for Truth About Nos. 6, 23,52 for fuller explanation.
To avoid all forms of occult, or false worship we need to ‘trust in God and do the right’. Correct belief and right conduct are essential to please God and qualify for His salvation. (Hebrews 11:6, Mark 16:15,16).
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