- Beyond the bounds or ordinary knowledge, mysterious, not disclosed, covered and concealed.
- Esoteric (communicated only to the initiated, private, and confidential)
- Recondite (obscure, hidden, or little known)
- Beyond the range of ordinary knowledge
- Involving the supernatural
The following lists just some of the subjects that fall into the above categories: Theosophy, Spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, Gnosis, Alchemy, The I-Ching, Sorcery, Astrology, Numerology, Tarot, Divination, Watchtower Society, Latter Day Saints, Sevent-Day Adventism and so on. These and many others are known collectively as “the occult” simply because they are, in fact, hidden from the majority of people.
Throughout history the cults and the occult has been present in every generation. There is nothing new about them. Occultism has grown like a weed in the garden of mankind for thousands of years. The Word of God speaks against such practices, for God sees them as “loathsome and disgusting” (see Deut. 18:9-13).
Many would see things occult as nothing more than delusion and fraud, indulged in by simple-minded tricksters seeking material gain. This attitude, no doubt, has resulted from the stage presentations of magicians and conjurors who employ sleight-of-hand.
The phenomena resulting from practising in the occult is too well-documented and researched to be dismissed as illusory or imaginary. What may initially appear as being harmless, or fun, has become devastating and horrific for many who dabble in the occult.
Occult phenomena and secret religions are the “in-thing” in the world today. In the USA there are now over 10,000 full-time astrologers. Here in Australia there is an ever-increasing tide of occult “filth” being foisted upon us, particularly via the media and trashy periodicals. Even one of our largest banks has promoted the occult with their stationery emblazoned with astrology symbols.
The occult holds a tremendous fascination for the uninformed. Those who have Jesus Christ as Lord, and who understand and adhere to the Christian standard of living, have little problem with the occult because they live in harmony with their Maker’s instructions. Those who are outside of Christ are often devoid of true peace and happiness, and so therefore, are easily seduced and deceived by the offer of the occult to meet and fill these gaps.
Because the occult appears to offer a way in which one can change one’s circumstances or situation by manipulating or changing the environment, the unwary are easily deceived. Another reason people become ensnared is that there is always an element of mystery involved with any branch of the occult. An “element of mystery” can often have its own appeal, and this can tend to lure the unwary into the occult.
Without Christ one may feel he has no identity or sense of belonging, and this is where the occult fills the gap, by providing the seeking individual with a means of identification in a world of anonymity.
Do not be fooled by those who would have you believe that there is a difference between “black magic” and “white magic”, or “black witches” or “white witches”. Some will tell you that black witches practice magic for their own purposes, in order to gain for themselves, whereas a white witch practices magic only to help others. This may be so, but manipulation is still the goal. The only difference between the two is PROFIT.
Once ensnared and deceived by the occult, a person is generally involved in religious-type activities or rituals based on certain beliefs, and which includes an official and organised ‘priesthood’. The ‘priesthood’ will eventually try to have total control over all underlings.
In many such groups, the unashamed acknowledged source of their help is none other than the devil himself. The writer believes that the occult, therefore, is without doubt, used by Satan to deceive and confuse people in order to replace that which God freely offers to all who would come to Him.
Remember, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching … for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Remember the warning also given by Paul to Timothy, “The Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1Tim 4:1).