The influence of Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), seem to be everywhere. Entertainment and music promote themes of immorality, magic and violence. If your parents were shocked when the TV show Bewitched first hit the public airways in 1964, just imagine them rolling over in their graves today. Perhaps you can watch movies and TV shows with sorcerers, witches and magic and realize it is just entertainment and go back to your Bible studies. But impressionable kids and young adults not grounded in the word of God may find the idea of magical powers quite enticing.
The purpose of this article is to provide some basic summary of the subject of spiritism and the occult, primarily what the Bible has to say on the topic.
Check out this talk radio program for the archived audio going back over ten years. Look for the subject of Halloween (around Oct 31 of each year). Click here: Christian Question Radio Programs
Click below to listen to Bible Student Elders discuss the topic of Spiritism:
WHO ARE THE RULERS OF THIS WORLD?
2 Cor 4:4: the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel
1 Jn 5:19: We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the powere of the evil one.
Jn 12:31: Now judgement is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.
Eph 2:1,2: And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Col 1:16: For by Him all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authourities–all things have been created by Him and for Him.
Eph 3:10: the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places
Eph 6:11,12: Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devi. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
WHAT IS GOD’S ATTITUDE TOWARD SPIRITISM & THE OCCULT?
Lev. 20:6 As for the person who turns to medums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.
2 Kg. 21:1,6: Manasseh…became king…And made his son to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger.
Isa. 19:3 Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy. So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead, And to mediums and spiritists.
Speaking against Babylon, God says in Isa. 47:12,13:
Stand fast now in your spells
And in your many sorceries
With which you have labored from your youth;
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you may cause trembling.
You are wearied with your many counsels;
Let now the astrologers,
those who prophesy by the stars,
Those who predict by the new moons,
Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.
Lev. 19:31: Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
Deut. 18:9-12: When you enter the land which the Lord your God give 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, one who makes his son or his daughter pass thorough the fire, 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 and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.
Ex. 22:18: You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
Lev. 20:27: Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.
Read Acts 19:11-20 Paul healed sick, books burned.
WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF THE DEAD?
Eccl. 9:5: “the dead know not anything”
Job 14:12-15,21: So man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens be no more, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep. Oh that Thou wouldst hide me in Sheol, That Thou wouldst conceal me until Thy wrath returns to Thee, That Thou wouldst set a limit for me and remember me! If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait, Until my change comes. Thou wilt call, and I will answer The; Thou wilt long for the work of Thy hands… His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it; Or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.
Psa 13:3: Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
Ps. 146:4: “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thought perish.”
Rom. 6:23: “the wages of sin is death”
Gen. 2:17: for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.
Gen. 3:4: “Ye shall not surely die,” (Satan’s claim, i.e. spiritism).
If Lazerous was in heaven, why did Jesus call his soul down from bliss to raise him from the dead? Wasn’t he better off in heaven? Jn. 11:1-46:
DID THE WITCH OF ENDOR BRING SAMUEL BACK FROM THE DEAD? (1 Sam 28:4-25)
Does this story prove that mediums can communicate with dead people?
If the Lord would not answer Saul through dreams, prophets or Urim (vrs 6), how could a medim force Samuel to disobey God and speak to Saul. Samuel would not even see Saul any more while he was yet living (1 Sam.15:35).
vrs 12 – demons revealed identity of Saul.
vrs 14 – Saul believed it was Samuel from the mediums description. Saul never actully saw Samuel.
vrs 15 – Samuel did not actually speak. Mediums always speak for the spirit.
Samuel was brought up: nominal christians believe he would have come down from heaven.
How could he have communicated if the resurrection wouldn’t take place till the kingdom? “the dead know not anything.” Eccl. “no one has ascended into heaven” Jn 3:12.
God said not to communicate through mediums (Deut 18:9-12; Isa 8:19:20).
vrs 19 – Tomorrow Saul and his sons were to die and Israel woud be defeated.
The well informed demons knew of the Philistines military strength, that Saul was panic-stricken, that God was against Saul, and that God would soon make David Sauls successor. It wasn’t difficult to figure out that Saul and some of his sons would soon die in battle.
1 Sam 29:1 is the next day.
1 Sam 29:11; 30:1: is third day. (The demons were wrong. Saul’s sons died three days later.)
Three of Sauls sons were killed. 1 Sam 31:2; Yet, Saul had more than three Sons.
1 Chron 8:33. Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab & Eshbaal
2 Sam 21:8: Armoni & Mephibosheth
Divination: the art of forecasting the future with a view to avoiding its perls and pitfalls… the use of drugs, charms, or magic words… inspired by demon power (NI Dictionary, pg 612,1067, 718)
From the Latin divus, “pertaining to god,” meaning that information received is from the gods. “Divination” embrasces generally the whole scope of gaining secret knowledge, especially about future events, through the aid of spiritistic occult powers. (Aid to Bible Understanding, pg. 456)
Sorcerer: One who practices the arts of the magicians and astrologers, by which he pretends to fortell events with the assistance of evil spirits. (NI Dictionary, pg 726)
Witch: Woman (man = wizard) who practiced “witchcraft.” There was an apparent communication with demons and a pretended conversation with the spiritis of the dead by means of which future events were revealed, diseases cured, and evil spirits drivend away.
Omen: Anything viewed as giving some indication about the future; a situation or occurrence thought of as portending good or evil. (Aid to Bible Understanding, pg 1252)
Astrologers: (Also called soothsayers). This astrological cult consisted of those who, from the position of the stars at the hour of birth by various arts of computation and divining, determined the fate of individuals… a different god was believed to rule over each section of the heavens… All matters, both public and private, were believed to be controlled by these gods of the heavens. – Aid to Bible Understanding, pg. 155
Magic & Sorcery: Secret arts and uncanny powers presumably used to accomplish things beyond what are natural, and which are associated with spiritistic, occult powers. “Black” magic is said to consist of spells, special curses and “the evil eye” that brings harm to ones enemies. “White” magic, on the other hand is said by its practicers to produce good results by breaking the spells and cancelling the curses… The Bible… forbids every form of spiritistic magic. By the use of magical formulas, said to be obtained through supernatural knowledge and wisdom, the practitioner attemps to influence people and alter future events. In this respect, magic differs from divenation, which attempts only to discover future events rather than influence or change them. – Aid to Bible Understanding pg 1093.
Charm: … a magical formula spoken, sung or written as a spell, or an object kept or worn by a person in the belief that it has occult power either for good or for protection against evil