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Occult Questions and Answers
For the last several years at conferences, a number of questions have arisen from both Christians and non-Christians concerning the occult, satanism, witchcraft and other related topics.
This page is an attempt to answer some of these questions. They will be presented in a topical fashion. I encourage you to submit your own questions by e mail to me, Gregory Reid, the author of this article: email gregory reid
The Ouija Board
Q: Is the Ouija board actually the devil speaking to you?
A: I think the devil is too busy to make an appearance at every Ouija board gathering. However, make no mistake about it - if you play it, and something responds, it is not God. It is a demon - what the Bible calls a "familiar spirit" - whose purpose is to gain entrance in your life through your own curiosity, in the hopes of being able to take over your body. Remember the Exorcist? It was based on a true exorcism in the Catholic church, except that it was a boy and not a girl, who became possessed because of playing the Ouija board.
How Powerful is the Ouija?
Q: How powerful can a Ouija board be? When my sister was about 17 or 18 she spent the night with a group of girls in a little cabin near one of the girl's home on their fishing boat. I remember her telling they played with a Ouija board and saying they had gotten really scared. I don't remember exactly what they were doing with it. I have wondered if she might have had some spirit go into her that may have caused her to be so extremely ill with the Rheumatoid Arthritis. She has had doctors tell her they have never seen anyone so bad. I realize people get sick with things often, but I also feel unconfessed sin or unawareness of something we have done can keep us from being healed. What do you think?
A: The problem with playing the devil's games - whether one knows it is wrong or not - is that the consequences can be severe, and they also can be unpredictable. I have talked to plenty of people who have played the Ouija once without dire consequences - and even more who have suffered in their spirit, marriages or families, finances or health as a result. I don't claim to know why some suffer more and some seemingly very little. But it is a Russian Roulette in any event, and I wouldn't rule out that your sister's condition may in fact be connected somehow to that incident. I hope she can come to realize how dangerous what she did was and make a full confession of it, receive cleansing and deliverance, and hopefully, healing. I will be praying for her.
I Don't Believe in Demons...
Q; I don't believe in demons and I'm a Christian. What's wrong with that?
A: Well, you have to throw out several passages from the Gospels and the Book of Acts as well as dozens of references to the demonic and the devil in the New Testament in order to form that conclusion. In which case, you might as well throw out the rest of the Bible and stop deluding yourself into thinking you are really a Christian.
Q: How many times has the devil tried to get rid of you?
A: Let me get my calculator.....
....and yet, I am still here. My life belongs to Jesus, and I don't go 'til HE says it's time to go.
Curses and Spells
Q: Should you be worried if someone said they would put a spell on you and you knew that they were involved in witchcraft?
A: If you are not a Christian, worry plenty. Without the protection of Jesus, you HAVE no protection against the power of darkness. Any curse or any spell cast is not just a penny thrown into a well of vague powers of nature that may or may not work. They are in fact messages and instructions delivered into the hands of willing demons who eagerly attempt to carry out those instructions, just because they revel in the destruction of others.
But as a Christian, if you stand on the truth of the Word of God, you have nothing to fear, for the scriptures tell us that "a curse without cause cannot alight (Proverbs 26:2). They can send them to you - and sometimes they can be annoying, distracting, or buffeting - but it CAN'T STICK!
Along that line, I have heard a dangerous teaching among believers that you are to "reverse the curse" on those who send them - in other words, sent it back. Actually that's closer to Wiccan philosophy, and is a totally unscriptural idea. "Bless those that curse you", Jesus said. We are to lead people to Jesus. If you "send back" a death curse and a demon carries it out and the sender dies without Jesus - well, you don't want to live with that on your conscience.
Q: Why is a blood sacrifice necessary in many occult rituals? What purpose does it serve?
A: Many of those involved in true black magick or satanism believe that it is necessary to spill blood for two reasons: One, to appease the demon they are seeking favor from, and Two, to release magickal energy which they then absorb and utilize. Some groups believe that the more pain the victim, whether animal or human, feels at the time of death, the more magickal power is released.
The scriptures tell us that "the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Leviticus 17:11) Those who practice blood rituals apparently believe that too, in a twisted way. Whereas Jews and Christians forbid blood consumption, those who practice blood rituals do the opposite, true to the satanic practice of reversal of everything in Judeo-Christian practice.
Is Witchcraft and Magick Neutral?
Q: A knife if used by a surgeon to cut out cancerous tissues and thus, save the patients life is a good thing. That same knife if used in a violent way to subdue a victim, and steal their money or their life is obviously bad. The knife isn't good or evil, but neutral: It's how its used that determines whether its a good purpose or not. Some say that the occult is the same thing, especially such things as WHITE witchcraft. What is your response to that?
A: A Knife is an object. Objects are neutral. Witchcraft is neither an object nor neutral; it is a spiritual force. It is the source of that force that determines whether it is for evil or for good. And the scriptures clearly define witchcraft as an evil force to be forsaken, with no differentiation between "white" and "black". There are two forces in the universe: the power of God, and the power of darkness. There is no "neutral ground." Although some people who practice "white magick" are sincere and kind people, they have been deceived by thinking the powers they evoke are benevolent. That is what my friend Johanna Michaelsen called, "The Beautiful Side of Evil." Deception works because it appears as something it is NOT. As all of us who have broken away and forsaken magick can tell you, once you make that break, those "good" forces turn on you and reveal their true nature - evil.
Playing With Fire
Q: What if you're not into the devil or anything but you just want to see a demonic movie to see what it is like?
A: "Can one take fire to his breast and not get burned?" (Proverbs 6:27)
Do Satanists Believe in Satan?
Q: Its been said that most satanists don't even believe in a literal satan; that they merely use the title of satanism to oppose the organized church, and use the persona as an ideology of independent thought and liberalism. What are your thoughts regarding this?
A: If you are referring to the modern "Anton Lavey" type Church of Satan member or follower, then this is probably accurate. But that is not "most satanists." The kind of satanists you are referring to are a small group of people that follow LaVey's satanic bible, which does largely represent satanism as self-exaltation and a lifestyle of selfishness. Publicly, at least, LaVey claimed he did not believe in a literal devil. This kind of satanism is in fact a philosophy that seems to be little more than mild atheism mixed with virulent antichristian and antichurch sentiments.
However, the practice of satan worship and black magick has been around much longer than the church of satan or LaVey, and those that practice that kind of satanic worship do believe in the devil, do commit crimes in his name, including animal and human sacrifice. So while I will concede that many that call themselves satanists in this day and age probably are little more than philosophical antichrists, they have only succeeded in distracting from the real and present danger of criminal satanic activity by making us redefine who a satanist is in minute detail.
Are Psychic Powers a Gift From God?
Q: People credit psychic powers as God given, and point out such events to legitimize their belief as when a psychic helps the police track down an abducted child, etc etc. Aren't all spiritual gifts from God?
A: Absolutely not. We have a deluded idea that all "spiritual" events and phenomenon, except for the blatantly evil, must be from God somehow. But if you study scripture, you see that there has always existed a counterfeit spirituality, counterfeit miracles and counterfeit "gifts." Moses confronted them in Egypt; they tried to counterfeit every divine work God did through Moses, and succeeded at all but a few. There were several incidents of those with "psychic" paranormal gifts in the Book of Acts; for instance, the woman who made her living through divination (telling the future.) (Acts 6:16-19) Rather than applauding her gift, Paul cast demons out of her, for that was apparently the source of her "gift". When he did, her "powers" were gone. Psychics are practicing divination. It is a delusion that it is a "natural gift." It is a demonic manifestation.
So why have some people apparently had this "gift" since they were young, even as children? I believe it can be due to several things: If the parents or grandparents practiced the occult in some or any fashion, that gives these demonic forces LEGAL RIGHT to lay claim to that child if the parents are not believers who have renounced such things as sin. And they will do anything and everything to get that child to open themselves up to their "lying signs and wonders." Just because psychic abilities seem to be present from a young age does not legitimize them. Jesus dealt with children who were clearly demonized, through no fault of their own. And He delivered those children.
Psychics have gained some legitimization because of being hired for consultant work by police departments. I'm afraid that comes under the "grasping for straws" department for the police, when they are desperate for leads. Rarely does the information develop into something really useful.
What about when it does? Apparently a few psychics have succeeded in leading authorities to a body, a missing child.
I'm not going to gain any psychic friends by saying this, but it is clear to me that the same demonic world that influences and sometimes produces murders, child abductions, rape, and all other form of criminal atrocity, would just as easily "reveal" information about some of those crimes to a willing, open vessel who believes they are just using their "gift." Why would they do that? Because it presents opportunities for that psychic vessel to convince the unsuspecting and spiritually ignorant that psychic powers are good - and in many cases causing those people to investigate the paranormal, the occult and sometimes more, which can open them up to demonization as well.
Demons, whatever else they may be, and wherever they originated from, are disembodied spirits that are damned to eternal darkness. They SEEK A BODY to indwell, much as people look to own a home. And however they can open up the doors into an individual so they can begin to move in, they will. And psychics have unwittingly been a real tool for them to gain that entrance. This does not take away from the fact that psychics can be some of the most sincere, nice, caring people you would want to meet; it only makes it that much more tragic that they are being used to promote destructive occultism.
What If You Don't Take The Occult Seriously?
Q: How can playing Ouija, or dungeons and dragons, having ones fortune read, or going to see movies like Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings be a bad influence on a person who doesn't take such things seriously?
A: I know a kid in my neighborhood who likes guns. He thinks they are fun. The fact that one might be loaded when he plays with it never occurs to him. He doesn't take that danger seriously. A lot of kids have ignored warnings about guns, and ended up killing themselves or a friend because they didn't seriously believe the gun was loaded or it could hurt someone.
All matters of the occult, from Ouija Boards to D & D, Harry Potter to palm reading, are dangerous and spiritually destructive. It frankly doesn't matter whether you believe that or not. Ignore the warnings, you will pay the consequences somehow. All forms of the occult are forbidden by God - fantasy or not . Whether you believe it is real or not is irrelevant to the consequences you may face as a result. It is a spiritual law. Ignore it at your own peril.
Q: Can God grant your wish or give it to you by something like Magic?
A: God is not a vending machine, contrary to a lot of modern prosperity teachers. And He is not a Genie in a bottle. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) Put Him first; you don't need to manipulate a loving Father into doing good things for His children. He WANTS to.
Paganism As An Older Religion
Q: Wicca and other forms of occult and pagan practices have been around for thousands of years and have a very rich tradition: Far more so than Christianity which hasn't even been around for much more than two thousand years yet. In the minds of some, this validates the legitimacy of these old world beliefs far more than Christianity. What do you have to say about that?
A: The human race began monotheistic and devolved into pantheism. If you detach Christianity from the tree it came from, Judaism, then of course Wicca is older. But "Christianity" is a continuum of a much older and much richer tradition than paganism - the Torah of God and the dealing with His people throughout history.
And, "older" doesn't mean "better." The Aztecs slaughtered infants and cut out human hearts to appease their gods. The Assyrians, Babylonians and a host of other ancient peoples committed human sacrifice in the millions. Druids did the same (despite the claims of some "neo-Druids" who want to revise - and ignore - history.) Generally paganism did not improve a nation but rather filled it with superstition, fear, and the devaluing of human life, especially women and children. (India, for example.) As far as I know, there has never been a pagan nation that has been known for its humanitarianism, scientific, cultural and moral contributions to mankind.
One will argue that Christianity was responsible for the persecution and slaughter of millions in the Crusades and the inquisition, and might also argue that, for example, Mexico remains in poverty despite its overwhelming Catholic population.
To that I would answer that the "Church" that committed those atrocities during the middle ages were merely a political and financial institution who controlled people and owned kings. All that they did, they did in direct violation of the Scriptures, and the teaching of Messiah Jesus. Had they followed the truth of the scriptures, these atrocities would have never happened.
As to Mexico, well, that is a whole different issue. Their brand of Catholicism and Christianity is deeply enmeshed with old pagan practices and superstitions, such as Santeria, Curandismo and the worship of saints over and above the Messiah Himself. In addition, the church there is much like the middle ages - they control the people, they have power, and they are wealthy. I don't see any similarity between them and the true Church of Messiah at all.
Signs of Occult Involvement
Q: What are the signs of involvement in the occult to look for?
A: Specifically, if you suspect a teen is getting involved:
- Change in friends and not wanting you to meet them
- Drop in grades
- Change in sleep habits (sleeping all day, up or out all night)
- Black clothes, occult jewelry
- Hostility toward God, Jesus, church
- Strange writings in notebooks (secret codes, strange symbols)
- Obsession with black metal music, splatter films, occult literature
- Trances, wild mood swings
- Terror nightmares
- Substance abuse
Those are just a few of the basic things that COULD indicate occult involvement. It is vital that parents CHECK their kids' rooms from time to time, especially if they suspect something. (Please don't give me the "violating my kids' privacy" line - you pay the rent, you have the right and the responsibility to make sure they are not in trouble. Several kids have died through suicide or other means because their parents didn't want to "violate their privacy", only finding out too late how deep their kids were involved.)
Also some of these indicators could point to drug or gang involvement, and some kids in the "Goth" crowd just LIKE black and "dark" poetry, etc, but are not in the occult at all. If you have specific questions or concerns about your child, please e mail me and I will try to help.
Q: How are kids recruited by other kids into the occult?
A: Usually through music, satanic or occultic books and literature, and picking out kids who are loners and "including" them in "their" group. We've found a lot of teen satanists that were positioned, or even recruited, by adult satanic groups, for the purpose of recruiting other kids to be used for criminal activity, and on rare occasion, to find a teen that has the "right stuff" magickally to be introduced to and elevated into an adult group. Parties are often used for this recruitment, and usually an adult or older teen is there to "scope out" who is there to see who is "recruitable" or who shows an extra interest in the occult literature, games etc. which are conveniently placed around the home where the party is taking place. If someone fits the bill, they are invited to another smaller party, then another, and finally introduced to the "real" group and the real purpose of it.
TV Shows, Games, Etc.
Q: What T.V. shows, games, toys are occultic? Stores? (I heard, but have not looked into the store myself, that Hot Topics, a store in the mall has occultic stuff.)
A: There's a long list of occultic-type shows, including Buffy, Charmed, Sabrina. Some of the MTV, WB and Fox "reality" shows are also highly occultic, including "Fear", John Edward (I think he really is talking to "the other side" - but not dead people - demons) and of course, Miss Cleo, who by the way, was born in LOS ANGELES to AMERICAN PARENTS. (So much for the faux Jamaican accent!)
Video games are generally packed with occultic symbols and meanings. Of course most kids and parents don't even know what an occult symbol is, so they miss them altogether. But when you know those symbols, you get concerned. Other games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, is packed from start to finish with occult symbols and demonology. The advanced D&D handbook is a virtual who's who of the demonic underground, and nearly all of the entities listed can be found in occult literature and occult magick books dating back centuries. The creator claims he knows nothing about the occult. In which case, perhaps he "channeled" all that sophisticated occult knowledge from the demonic realm himself. Because no one can just "make up" the vast and accurate demonology listed in D&D manuals.
How much affect can this have on the players? It's hard to say. Some kids it seems to effect not at all, some radically. I wouldn't take any chances, and if you are a Christian or a Christian parent, why would you allow yourself to partipate in it - isn't that, as Paul said, partaking of the table of demons? (1 Corinthians 10:21)
Beyond that, there are other concerns about video games. On many of the games, there is a VERY tiny disclaimer (go see for yourself) that states that playing the game MAY cause epileptic seizures in some players. Why is that? No one knows for sure - but it could indicate at the worst, experimental mind games are being put in the games - and at the least, it COULD be unpredictably dangerous and possibly brain-altering.
Remember Pokemon? Besides the fact that the card game contains an unusual amount of occult symbols, including the Egyptian all-seeing eye, the satanic lightning bolt. etc., when Pokemon the cartoon premiered in Japan in the late 1990's, over 700 children were hospitalized with epileptic seizures brought on, apparently, by a few seconds of light and sound that were in the cartoon. Everyone claimed ignorance. Can you say, "mind control experimentation" boys and girls?
As to stores, there are several popular stores that carry some range of occult jewelry, books, and games: Hot Topics, Gadzooks, and Spencer are a few. Anything for a buck, as they say.
What Do You Say To An Occultist?
Q: If you meet someone from the Wicca or occult, what can you say to them?
A: Just tell them about Jesus. Share His LOVE, and try to point out the awesome power our God has. The scriptures are full of miracles and powerful works of God that make Wicca or ANY occult practice pale by comparison. Raising the dead, healing blindness from birth, calling down fire from heaven...you get the idea. Don't attack their beliefs or their character. God loves these people. Just demonstrate the real Jesus to them by your love and your kindness.
What About Healing Powers?
Q: What is your opinion about so called "good witches" who claim to heal the pain in burns, remove moles, warts and corns from people? As a teen-ager, I watched as a neighboring "good witch" rubbed her hand over the arm that had several warts on it--they were gone in a couple days, and I saw her another time blow her breath on a painful burned hand where boiling grease had splashed--the pain was gone and no blisters or redness appeared. The family returned home instead of going to the hospital . I also am aware of numerous corns removed from my father's toes as this woman rubbed her hands over them. What explanation do you have for these so called "good works"? I also heard stories about her casting spells on people---her X-husband --who remarried, had cancer 3 mos. later and died. I was always afraid she was of the Devil, but she once told me that anyone could do these things if they just talked to GOD about it.
She would never accept money in exchange, but would accept
a jar of jelly or food stuff from the garden if you left it on her porch.
A: A friend of mine is fond of saying, "A witch is a witch is a witch." I have no doubt she meant well, and was probably a kind person (except when she cursed people!) but that does not speak to the SOURCE of her abilities. The overwhelming majority of "white light" occultists I have known or read of claim their abilities are from God. But if someone is truly operating in the power of God and the authority of Jesus, they will tell you it is JESUS' power, not theirs. It is not vague. It is not a generic "God." It is Jesus. And those people do not need tricks or potions or curses or anything of the like, they are simply vessels who know if they pray in Jesus' Name, He will heal. Sometimes the way to determine where they are is to ask them if Jesus is the only way of salvation. A negative response automatically tells you they, and their powers, are not from God. We shouldn't be surprised, as the Bible is full of references and even instances where people perform "lying signs and wonders." One incident I recall is when Paul was being followed by a woman who kept yelling, "Listen to these men, they show you the way to God!" One would think that was a good Christian supporter, right? Well there is a small tell-tale difference, only found in the minutiae of the Greek language, where you find what she was really saying was, "They show you A way to God." And Paul turned around and cast a demon out of her, ruining her occult business as a diviner. (Fortune teller - psychic.)
Satan is a counterfeiter. He can counterfeit, sometimes very well, nearly all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When one claims their abilities come from God, ask which one. Anyone that does not acknowledge that only Jesus is the healer, is an agent - knowingly or unknowingly - of satan.
Author Gregory Reid