The occult is everywhere. It has pervaded our culture, even in churches and Christian homes. In fact, few Christians recognize the occult. Most occult practices start in the natural as a sin of the flesh. In it’s basic form it says, “I want to be in charge.” To control your own environment so that you remain in charge is the absence of trust in the Creator-God. At some point the occult becomes supernaturally empowered as a demonic stronghold. It actually invites the spirit realm to come into the individual’s spirit. Then it becomes a much bigger battle than when we were dealing with our own self-control.
I’ve written an experience I had with demonic molestation as a result of Masonic vows of an ancestor here: Masonic Vows. Basis of My Calling also dealt with this subject. This is an issue that pervades our “Christian” society and troubles me. Please read the two posts mentioned above and take a look at these Scriptures below, and may God give you wisdom and understanding as you read.
Bible Teaching about These Supernatural Powers
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc., are condemned without qualification in both the Old and New Testaments.
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 — Every aspect of the occult is here itemized and forbidden as an “abomination.” Specifically forbidden are: one who practices “witchcraft” (NKJV; “divination” — ASV; KJV) or a “sorcerer” (NKJV and ASV; “witch” — KJV), or a “spiritist” (NKJV; “wizard” — ASV, KJV).
Leviticus 19:31 — Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits (“wizards” — ASV, KJV); do not seek after them, to be defiled by them (NKJV).
Leviticus 20:6 — And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits (“wizards” — ASV, KJV), to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. (NKJV)
Leviticus 20:27 — A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has a familiar spirit (“wizard” — ASV, KJV), shall surely be put to death (NKJV).
Revelation 21:8 — But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Revelation 22:15 — But outside [heaven] are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
Acts 13:8-10 — Elymas the sorcerer tried to keep Sergius Paulus from accepting the gospel. Paul rebuked him saying: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?”
Note that the Bible does not distinguish whether the witchcraft is intended to achieve a beneficial goal or a harmful one. It is all inherently wrong because it is an appeal to a forbidden source of power.
[2 Chron. 33:6; 2 Kings 9:22; Ex. 22:18; 1 Sam. 15:23; Mic. 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Jer. 27:9; Mal. 3:5; Isa. 2:6; 2 Kings. 21:6; 23:24; Isa. 19:3]
Specific powers of witchcraft and sorcery are named and condemned.
Exodus 7:11,22; 8:7 — Using their “enchantments,” Pharaoh’s magicians tried to duplicate the miracles done by Moses and Aaron. “Enchantments” refer to the ceremonies or rituals sorcerers and magicians use to accomplish their ends: incantations, spells, magic words (“hocus-pocus”), wearing of charms (amulets), etc.
As the witchcraft website says: “Spells are used by Wiccans, and are a series of rituals and prayers that are conducted in witchcraft to ask for divine help in a certain aspect of life.” But God forbids them all.
Deuteronomy 18:10 also mentions these “enchantments” as part of that which is forbidden (“enchanters” — ASV, KJV).
Isaiah 8:19,20 – When they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? … To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
“Whisper and mutter” refers to the incantations and spells of magicians. These words are supposed to give the user power to induce the spirit beings to accomplish the desired result. If you know the words, you can lead the spirit to do your bidding.
Note that God’s objection is that such practices are a failure to seek after the true God.
Galatians 5:20,21 — Those who will not inherit the kingdom of God include those who practice “sorcery” (“witchcraft” — KJV). This includes the occult in general, but refers especially to the use of drugs and potions brewed by witches in their cauldrons, etc. (Movies and books often refer to the witches’ books of spells and recipes for potions, etc. “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…”)
God condemns, not only the whole practice of the occult, but also the specific methods, rituals, and mumbo-jumbo words used.
[Lev. 19:26; 2 Kings 17:17; Isa. 47:9,12; Jer. 27:9; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chron. 33:6; Isa. 3:20; Rev. 9:21]
Witches and sorcerers cannot duplicate the powers and miracles God did through inspired men.
The Bible often warns us to avoid being deceived by lying wonders [2 Thess. 2:9; Matt. 24:24; Deut. 13:1-5]. Many Bible events involved confrontations between those who did true miracles from God and those who practiced forms of sorcery or magic.
Exodus 7-9; read 8:18,19 — Pharaoh’s magicians and sorcerers tried to duplicate the signs and plagues God caused through Moses and Aaron (7:11,22; 8:7,8,18; 9:11). For a while they seemed to succeed, but soon they failed and admitted Moses had the power of God.
Daniel 1:20 — In all matters of wisdom and understanding the king found Daniel and his friends ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers.
Daniel 2:1-13,27,28 — None of the magicians in Babylon could tell the king his dream and interpret it. But by the power of God, Daniel could both state and interpret the dream accurately [cf. 4:7,9]. Later he likewise interpreted the handwriting on the wall that predicted the downfall of Belshazzar (5:7,11). [Cf. Gen. 41:8,24]
Acts 8:9-13 — When Simon used sorcery to amaze the Samaritans, they believed he had great power from God. But when Philip preached Jesus and did true miracles by the power of God, both the people and Simon himself believed and were converted [cf. vv 5-7].
Acts 13:6-11 — Elymas the sorcerer was powerless to resist the superior power God worked through Paul.
I do not know whether the power of sorcerers can be explained through trickery, which pretends supernatural power but can really be explained naturally, or whether Satan really does possess some supernatural power. But what is sure is that Satan can never duplicate God’s true miracles. By comparing sorcery to the miracles of the Bible, we have proof witchcraft is inferior, so we should not put our faith in it.
Witchcraft, magic, etc., are the occult substitutes for Bible miracles. Where God has done miracles for His people, believers in the occult seek supernatural works by means of spells, incantations, etc. that appeal to other spirit powers.
As stated on the witchcraft website:
Wicca also worships both a male and female deity, a female Goddess and a male God, who had together created the world and everything in it. … Spells are used by Wiccans, and are a series of rituals and prayers that are conducted in witchcraft to ask for divine help in a certain aspect of life.
While many in the occult may not think they are appealing to gods, nevertheless God forbids all such because it is an appeal to supernatural powers other than His. God will never allow His people to follow that which counterfeits His true works.
[Isaiah 47:9,12-14; 1 Kings 18; Acts 16:16; 19:13ff]