Part 3: Messing around in darkness

Nothing can throw an entire family into total distress faster than a teenage son or daughter having serious problems. If you have (or had) teenagers or know someone rearing teenagers, you know excactly what I’m talking about. In the area of the occult, our teens are falling into this trap of the enemy in record numbers. That is one reason it is critical that we understand the power and temptation of the occult.

It’s not exclusively a youth problem, however. Large numbers of adults are flocking to the new kinds of spirituality being offered up today. When you hear a Hollywood celebrity gushing with excitement about the “revival” ofinterest in the spirit world, you can probably hold your applause. Most of it is demonic.

In addressing a group of teens one night on the topic about being wholly committed to Christ, there was a young man who started weeping quietly. When asked what was wrong, he answered nothing. This was obviously not the case, because a a young teen would not let girls see him cry. Finally he admitted that hat he had been deeply involved in Dungeons & Dragons. He said “I didn’t just play Dungeons & Dragons, I was a dungeon master. But last year I destroyed all my books and got rid of my computer disc. Something still isn’t right though.

He confessed his involvement and asked God to take back the ground he had yielded to Satan through this demonic game that involves the use of power and diabolical planning. Whilst praying against the enemy, this young man’s chair was thrown bacwards, his head was thrown back, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he began making gurgling noises. When the enemy was commanded to leave in the name and authority of Christ, everything stopped immediately. The heavyness was gone from his spirit, and he went home free in Christ.

“HARMLESS” BEGINNINGS

The dangerous thing about occult activity is that it often begins in a seemingly harmless way. It starts with someone messing around. Most teens don’t say “Let us open up to all kinds of weird experinces and satanic influence so we can have horrible nightmares and compulsive thoughts about suicide”. True enough, there are some who deliberately turn thmselves over to Satan, but they are a very small minority.

One way it often starts are with a sleepover party when kids get bored and someone says “Hey, want to have some fun? Let’s go and get the Ouija-board. It’s really neat! You can ask it all kinds of questions, and it answers you”. This sounds pretty harmless to a teenager, so he or she messes around. I also know of cases where adults remember Oija-board predictions made years earlier and live in great fear of their fulfillment.

The first thing we need to do when someone is having demonic problems is to deal with is that person’s possible occult involvement. Most Christians recognize that the occult is real. God’s Word specifically forbids contact with evil spirits and those who practice what we today would call occult activities (see Leviticus 19:31).

There are two main problems that believers can have with occult activities. First, a Christian may have “blind spots” about the occult, often something from his or her past before they became Christians. Secondly, many Christians, especially young people, are being influenced by music and different kinds of games and other entertainment that has to do with the occult. We will look closer at this later.

REASONS FOR OCCULT INVOLVEMENT

There are basically four reasons why people get involved with the occult:

Power

One young man was experincing trouble in his life came to get counselling. However, when he learned that he had to give up his occult practices, he was unwilling to do so. The reason he gave was that he would have to give up his “power” and become like “everybody. else”. This is the first reason that people are drawn into occult practices. They want power over their own lives and the lives of others.

Once there was a man who practiced “water witching” or “water divining”. He was usin welding rods to find plastic water pipes underground. That happens to be on our checklist of occult activities, but he got reallt upset when he heard that.

“I don’t see anything wrong with it,” he said. “I can find pipes five feet underground. I just walk, and the riods go down.”

It just happens that I have a friend who is an engineer. He commnted “That is scientifically impossible. Water is not magnetic, and neither are plastic pipes.”

I challenge anyone reading this to go out and try to find water in this way. It is not the water. It is not the rods. It is the man who does the divining. He has a special power.

Guidance

A second reason for occult involvement is guidance. This is so popular today that you can look in almost any magazine or newspaper and find a telephone number to a psycich hot-line, pay a few pounds, and have your future told. It’s a modern-day application of very ancient practices (Deuteronomy 18.9-14).

Many people have played with a Oija-board and have had frightening or eerie experiences. One was a student who was encouraged by his parents to get counselling. He had begun to exhibit signs of deep depression. When his parents asked him what was wrong, he told them that all he could think about was comitting suicide. For example, he would think of driving his car off a cliff, hitting another car head-on, or run into an embankment. He was unable to get these thoughts to stop.

Coming for counselling, this man began to shake violently and sweat profusely. He was unable to say what was wrong. Wen questioned about it, he said that his suicidal thoughts had started about three months earlier when he had been playing with a Oija-board with a friend. The message he ha got from the board was allways the same, he was going to die that year.

He confessed that his seeking of guidance through this Oija-board was a sin, and he asked God to take back the ground that he had yielded to Satan. In it’s place he had a deeper inner peace. This was a number of years ago, and he has not had a recurrence of this problem.

Some people use Oija-boards for guidance. Millions of others use horoscopes to tell them what to do.

Healing

Healing is the third reason for occult involvement. We often hear of psychic healers. People all over the world ask for physical healing through occult means.

One mother was told to bring the saliva of her family members on carefully marked slides so that a determination could be made of the vitamins and minerals each family member needed. The woman doing the evaluation asked the mother if she would like to see how it was done. The mother said yes, and went to the back of the store to see how it was done. One of the slides was put under a pendulum, and which immediately swung and pointed to the vitamins that particular familymember needed. The mother made a hasty exit through the door.

That process was demonic. The power that moved the pendulum was not from the scientific world, but from the spirit world. These things take all kinds of forms. I have even been told of a machine that reads a person’s “aura”, the light given off by a person. Based on that reading, a diagnosis is made and the needed medicine is sent to the sick person via radiowaves. If the sick person dies, the machine will know because the aura disappears.

Protection

The fourth and final reason that people are drawn to the occult is protection. Many people who are messing with the occult believe that the pirits can protect them from harm. There are many eye-opening experiences that can be shared from the Native Americans, and I hope to share some more further along in this study.

The story of the great Indian warrior Geronimo is a fascinating study of otherworldly power. Geronimo was not a chief, but a medicine man. Geronimo belived that his potion made it impossible for him to die from the white soliers’ bullets. Geronimo would charge dead-on into the battle, which freaked out the soldiers fighting him. It was said that Geronimo was shot six times in battle, but he did not die of a bullet. But remember: The issue in occult activities is not that these things work. The issue is; who is making it work?

THE DANGER OF OCCULT PRACTICES

There is no denying that Satan has power. We can thank God that the enemy’s power is limited and that God is firmly in control. But Satan and his forces have powers nevertheless, and when someone gives himself over to Satan, his power can be meanifested in that person’s life.

The danger of false spiritualities

A key danger in messing with the occult is that another spiritual power will invade one’s life.

One time, a Dr. Samuelson was telling a true story from his experiences. He always prayed before leaving for the hospital that the Lord would give him wisdom and discernment as he was treating his patiens. One day, the doctor was getting ready to see a woman who had been brought to emergency because she was totally out of touch with reality. As he walked into the room silently praying for wisdom, the woman suddenly sat up, looked straight at him, and said “Stop praying for me!”

That really scared him. How did she know he was praying? She was in such a bad shape that he had to commit her to the pschiatric ward of the hospital.

This woman was probably involved in occult activities. Dr. Samuelson checked up with the psychiatrist for a follow-up report. The psychiatrist – a non-believer – told him she was the worst case he had seen in his ten years as head of the department. The psychiatrist’s assessment was that this woman had trvelled into another dimention and was trapped there by other beings.

This happened on Wednesday, but on Friday she was fine and they released her. When the psychiatrist asked what had happened, she told him that she was a New Age channeler who had been taken over by the spirit she was channeling. When the spirit left her, she returned to “normal”.

The ground Satan gains in a person’s life is not always taken back without a fght. The problem with occult activity is that once you’ve been involved, you can’t just put these things out of your mind. This is why many believers who were heavily into the occult befor they became Christians still struggle,  even years after conversion, with the memories and associations of their former lfe.

The danger of wrong music

I know that many of you will give a heavy sigh at reading this heading and mumble “Here we go again!” The question of what is good or exceptable music will be asked again and again, and it’s easy to cause an argument. I suppose that at the end we need to read Philippians 4:8 where it reads “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoeverthings are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever thingsare of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Can we honestly say the same thing about the music we listen to?

This is what a young man said who used to be a satanist, a worshipper of Satan, for most of his early years. He was in several covens as a teenager, and they used music to call evil spirits to manifest themselves and empower the worshipers to unspeakable evil. He got saved, but still suffered from the effects of music.

“I am asking God to bring healing from my involvement in satanism and the horrors of those early years in my life. Whenever I hear rock music, whether it’s supposedly Christian or not, my reaction is extreme. I can’t handle it. I don’t care what the words say; as soon as I hear the beat, it takes me back to those services where we called the enemy to empower us to do great evil.”

This young man needed counselling to be able to take his first steps in freedom. The point of his story is that he was influnced for years after he got saved because of the music and his past worship of Satan.

No matter what stand you have on music, you must admit that we are affected by the music we listen to. Supermarkeds play easy listening music because they know it makes us in a good mood and take our time as we walk through the isles. Classical music mostly makes us relaxed. Heavy rock gets us depressed, and so called New Age music make our minds float away on big clouds. And when er hear a song, it may be stuck in our minds for our lives.

One missionary kid said: “Regardless what anyone says, these songs stay with a person for the rest of their lives. I havent listened to ‘666’ in over 5 years, or even seen the record, yet I can still sing half of the songs if I want to. It’s a great trick Satan uses to get my mind off God.

We kno that spirits respond to music. David drove the evil spirit from Saul by playing for him (1 Samuel 16:23). Over the years I have seen how music effects different kinds of people. The use of music in ocult spirit worship is worldwide, and the music used is very simular in it’s beat. Much could be said under this topic, but I will conclude by saying that music is one of the tools that the enemy uses to lure people into the occult, and the effects of this usually stays with them long after their conversion to Christ.

The danger of fantasy

We have already seen that fantasy games is another open door into the occult – and many Christian people have entered in there! Some years ago, Dungeons & Dragons were very popular with kids. Today, Dungeons & Dragons and other occult simulation games are available as computer games and virtual reality. Colours, depth, HD resolution and full motion video action draw young viewers deeply into the game, leaving strong images that approach reality.

When speaking to a group of young people one time, warning them about the game, a thirteen year old burst out: “I don’t see anything wrong with it. I play it well, and it’s my favourite game. You shouldn’t be saying those things.”

Well, any game that requires you to rape, kill, put curses on people, and quote from the satanic bible isn’t good for any of us to play. I am not saying that every time someone listen to a rock song or play a fantasy game he will be fighting demons. What I am saying is that all of these things open the door to Satan’s influence and give him a tremendous amount of ground on which to build his strongholds.

What many Christian young people consider to be harmless music or games can be powerful tools in the hands of the enemy.

The danger of occult objects

Before we consider how to break occult bondage, let’s consider a very different way a person can give ground to the enemy in these areas and not even be aware of it: Assosiation with occult objects.

One missionary that had been two years in Taiwan suddenly appeared to have nervous breakdown. He was suffering from debilitating (destructive) fear, insomnia, depression, and a restless spirit. He saw many different counselors and psychologists before he finally got a councelor who was trained in spiritual warfare. He explained that his problems seemed to have started when he travelled around from one idolatrous temple to another, taking pictures.

I wanted to see firsthand the ways and works of the enemy. This was a very foolish thinh to do , as I unknowingly opened myself up to demonic attack. I assumed that as a tourist , I would be unharmed. The Lord has used the book “The Adversary” by Mark Bubeck, to confirm my suspicions. All of my symptoms were listed as having possible demonic origin.

Once he realized what was happening, this missionary and his brother prayed and asked God to set him free. He was liberated instantly and began his long road to recovery.

The danger of curiosity

In this former story, curiosity almost killed the missionary, let alone the cat. We are not to be curious about the things of evil. King David said he would not even take the names of false gods on his lips (Psalm 16:4).

God told the Israel to burn the images of false gods and not take any of the things from pagan lands into their houses, lest they become a curse (Deuteronomy 7:25-26). It’ a very dangerous thingto be an observer of occult thingsor participate in any way in occult practices. But if you go as a rescuer, like missionary Amy Carmichael who went intopagan temples in India to rescue young girls from temple prostitution, you will have God’s protection.

Thuis is why I strongly caution Christians to be careful of what they do and where they go, and what they bring into their homes. One Christian counselor got acall from a teenage son that was a big fan of Stephen King. This boy had a lot of Stephen King books in his house, some his, others from the library.

The parents were not aware of the contentsof the books until their son began having terror attacks. They burned the books he owned, hoping this would stop the attacks. But when they did that, strange things began happening around the house – much as they might happen in a Stephen King novel or movie! Appliances would turn off and on by themselves. They heard knocking on doors when no one was there, and things moved by themselves.

Needless to say, the family was being terrorized by these frightening things. Who wouldn’t be? The boy’s curiosity about evil and the occult had opened him to demonic influence. He was counseled that as a Christian, he had to renounce his involvement in the occult by reading such sinister stories. He did so, and there has been no report of any further problems since.

The danger of family involvment

I will talk more about the subject of ancestral spirits and the passing on of the iniquities of the father “unto the third and fourth generation” (Numbers 14:18) later. This phenomnon is especially powerful when it comes to the occult. It was clearly seen amongst the Native Americans where a medicine man would discern which one of his children the spirits would have selected to inherit his powers. Everyone in the tribe would know who had these powers.

Some people, it could be twins or anyone else, have the power to communicate telepatically. This could be a strong link between two people. Also the “gift” of fortune-telling and divining, as well as healing and other occult powers, can be passed on from one generation to the next.

RENOUNCING THE HIDDEN THINGS OF DARKNESS

It should be obvious now that anyone who enters the world of the occult is on Satan’s territory, his ground. If we give ground to Satan when we sin, imagine the hold he has on these who give themselves to occult practices at whatever level.

1. Renounce Satan’s hold

The steps to freedom for people trapped in the occult are similar to those we use to help those with other problems. The first thing to do is to renounce Satan’s hold ontheir lives. It has to start there if they want to break free.

Point them to to that wonderful passage in Revelation 12 where the people of God overcome Satan by “the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (verse 11). What a mavelous picture! Those people testified that they would rather die than compromise with the forces of evil.

2. Declare your intent

It is vital that the person who renounces the enemy’s work in him or her life. Otherwise, how can we help someone who isn’t sure he wants to take back the ground he’s given to Satan? If you are involved with activitires, or objects, or people that are demonic, you need to declare aloud to Satan your intent to serve Jesus. Make this declaration of intent: “Satan, I don’t want anything more to do with your ways or works in my life. I want to be totally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ!

For many people with occult problems, this may be the first time they have ever stood against evil. My experience is that when a person does this, he can come under tremendous attack. It’s as if Satan says “So, you want to fight, eh?” When people sincerely repent and renounce the work of Satan in their lives, they initially feel better, but many areas may still need to be worked with.

By the way, the people trapped in occultism aren’t the only ones who need to renounce Satan’s influence. All of us as believers are called to say no to Satan each day and be obedient to Christ. I am not talking about anything extreme here, just a daily committment not to yield to the enemy’s ways or works, but to be faithful to the Lord.

THREE IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Allow me to make three observations in closing Part 3 of this study:

First, when a person makes a clean break with the occult, he or she usually has som occult paraphernalia (equipment, books, drugs etc.) that should be gotten rid of. If you have such items, destroy these occult materials yourself. I never do it for anybody. The word is: “You bought it, you burn it!

Second, remember that God never tells us to put away something and then just leave ourselves empty (Matthew 12:43-45). Whenever we remove something, we are to replace it with something. People trapped in the occult need to have that evil influence replaced by the truth of God’s Word.

Third, anyone who has ever had deep occult involvement will tell you: getting into the occult is relatively easy. Getting out, on the other hand, is very traumatic. But it is essential for spiritual health. The result will be freedom and wholeness. None of God’s people has any business messing in this dangerous world. Instead, we can renounce it and find inner peace as a result of obedience to God’s Word.

 

 

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