For we are the light of the world, and the salt of the earth.
Introduction to the Occult
Friday, March 23, 2007
This topic is to warn you people of what the occults can do to you.

The word "occult" comes from the Latin word "occultus" and it carries the idea of things hidden, secret and mysterious. Under this designation the occult would include witchcraft, magic, horoscopes, palm reading, fortune telling, ouija boards, tarot cards, satanism, spiritism, demons, crystal balls, ESP, palmistry and more.

A word of warning. By studying this lesson, I do not wish to arouse your curiosity about the occult. Playing or experimenting with the occult can lead to serious consequences that can affect you both spiritually and mentally. You only need to know to the level of some knowledge but not to a level of fascination, involvement or obsession. The bible denounces any or all involvement with the occult. (deut 18:9-14 and Gal 5:20)

1. Astrology and Horoscopes.
a. Astrology is an ancient practice that assumes that the position of the stars and planets has direct influence upon people and events.
b. It supposes that one's life patterns can be charted by determining the position of the stars and planets at the time of one's birth.
c. The problem with astrology is that there is no scientific proof that the stars can fortell events and influence life. Furthermore, astrologers do not interpret a horoscope consistently from one person to another. As such, who is right?
d. Even the Bible has specific verses condemnin the use of astrology in Isaiah 47:13-15, Jeremiah 10:2 and Deutronomy 4:19.
e. Numerology is closely linked to astrology where numbers are understood to be linked to stars and planets ablt to predict a person's future.

2. Fortune Telling and its various appearances.
a. Fortune telling is the art of forecasting the future supposedly by supernatural means.
b. A fortune teller, also knowns as a "diviner" mostly use props to supposedly recieve his supernatural abilities like palmistry, cards, mirror mantic etc.
c. The bible never says fortunetellers can predict the future. But the person, instead of looking to God or the Bible for directions in his life, now consults a fortuneteller who uses occultic means to recieve direction is very deceived.
d. Palmistry is the art of divination by study of the hands. The hand is divided into areas and lines or with graphology, which the study of handwritting analysis.
e. As in astrology, there is no standard way the results are interpreted and neither is there any scientific evidence it work or it is true.
f. Cartomancy forecasts the future by using cards and the most commonly used cards are Tarot cards. There is again nothing scientific about Tarot cards and the majority of the readings are nothing more than guesswork and the diviners ability to guess human nature. However, there are some readings which are genuinely supernatural since it is so linked to the spirit world.
g. Mirror Mantic is the use of crystal balls, rock crystals, still waters etc as "mirrors of the future". In this method of divination, the one gazing into the crystal supposedly enters into a state of clairvoyance where he can see events and things happening in the future of far away.

3. Hypnotism
a. Hypnotism can be defined as a mean of bringing on an artifical state of sleep or reduced consciousness.
b. Hypnotism is used in a variety of ways - some put themselves into self-hypnosis to try and kicik off some bad habits like smoking or to make themselves insensitive to pain.
c. Some doctors use it in an attempt to diagnose or even treat some illness.
d. The occultist uses it to control the behaviour of an individual. The danger is that in hypnosis, you can lose control of your mind and actions and at such times, eveil forces can make you commit actions that are very wrong.

4. White and Black MAgic.
a. By the term magic, we are not referring to the type called "sleight of hand" magic where it is nothing but an illusion and uses tricks as part of show business & entertainment.
b. Magic can be defined as the attempt to master supernatural forces in order to produce visible effects. It consists of spells, potions and charms.
c. White magic is said to be the used of magical powers and abilities in an unselfish manner for the benefit of others. However, it is still the use of powers from an ungodly source so it should in no way be practices. It is not as innocent as Harry Pottr books suggests.
d. Black magic is the use of magic to harm others. Either way, both black and white magic should not be used as it has it origins from Satan.

5. Neucromancy
a. The main idea behind necromancy is that spirits of the dead have the capacity to communicate with people here on earth through mediums.
b. Also with the help of the spirits of the death, the medium supposedly is able to foretell the future. In most sessions, called "séances" the medium is so called "possessed" by the spirit of the dead person and changes his/her voice and is able to so call prove it is the spirit of the dead person by telling thing he/she did in the past.
c. Many people are attracted to neucromancy as they think they can contact or communicate with the spirits of their loved ones who have diead.
d. However, many mediums are nothing but frauds and con men who uses many magic tricks to deceive the public that they are really communicating with the dead.
e. Note that God said in the Old Testament that anyone found to be a sorceress, medium shall be put to death (Exo 22:18, Lev 20:27)

6. Superstition
a. There are many phenomena attributed to the occult which are, in reality nothing but superstition. Superstition is the belief or practice not based on fact but upon fear or ignorance of the unknown.
b. The number 13 is supposed to bring bad luck. To the Chinese it's the number 4.
c. Does sweeping the floor on Chinese New Year mean you sweep away all the good luck?
d. Amulets worn are also an object of superstition. They are worn in the belief they can protect the wearer from dangers, disease or for good luck. An example are using crystals in Fung Shui or even a cross for a Christian

Source: Josh McDowell & Don Stewart, Concise Guide to Today's Religions. This article was written by a Sunday School teacher from my church.

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