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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

The Occult and the Bible

The Bible is God's instruction book as to how we are to live our lives. But the Bible doesn't always tell us what the consequences of disobedience will be. And here's one dramatic example.

One of my past clients told me this story. He had this girlfriend. And things were going very well in a secular sort of way. He was a young man, having sex with her and everything was going just fine.

"Was she cute?" I asked. "She was alright" the client replied. It's important to do a thorough clinical assessment.

One day she told him she wanted him to visit a friend of hers so he could cast out "bad spirits." And so he did. After all, why not?

Soon, he found out why not. It was the most incredible case of "hallucinations" I have ever seen. Soon he could feel a snake wrapped around his neck and it would squeeze! That hurt! He could see the snake, feel the snake, smell the snake and the snake would even talk to him. We prayed and used Scripture, but there was nothing that was successful. The snake continued to wreak havoc in this client's life.

I had the client rebuke the demon in the name of Jesus. No impact. The snake would just say: "I love it when you rebuke me!"

Psychotropic medication had no impact on this "hallucination." The snake was unaffected.

I was a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern at the time and I brought the case to supervision. I usually avoided saying too much about my faith: It was safer not to. I was working on getting those all so important clinical hours so I could be licensed. But this time I made an exception and said what I thought: "I think it's demonic."

The supervisor had been slowly warming to Christianity. She was, in most ways, a typical liberal secular mental health professional. But two of her interns were Christians and we were having an impact on her. She did not object to what I had said: I still remember the expression on her face; she knew what I had said was true.

So what just happened? Consider the following Bible verses.

"When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire (i.e. human sacrifice), one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD . . . (Deuteronomy 18:9-12 NASB)." {Old Testament}

"They rejected all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire. They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord's anger (2 Kings 17:16-17 NLT)." {Old Testament}

"Do not practice divination or sorcery (Leviticus 19:26 NIV)." {Old Testament}

"Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars. So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect (Acts 19:18-20 NLT)." {New Testament}

What follows is some basic definitions.

Divination: The practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means.

Sorcery: The art, practices, or spells of a person who attempts to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits, black magic or witchcraft.

Occult: Of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies.

Involvement with the occult is a sin. The client willingly became involved with an occult practitioner. His sin gave the Devil a spiritual foothold and hence the snake.

At the time I was baffled by my inability to make any progress using Scripture. But, in retrospect, there is a pattern that is all too common to many mental health issues. Once Satan acquires a spiritual foothold in your life, it will usually require time and persistent effort to demolish the foothold.

If I had it all to do over again, the first thing I would have tried is to have the client get a group of Christians to pray over him for 6-8 hours straight or until the demon (hopefully) departed.

I have heard that this former client has since made progress in regard to the snake although I don't have any details at this time.

But the point of this article is simple and direct: "Do not practice divination or sorcery (Leviticus 19:26 NIV)." Stay away from the occult.

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