WINNING WITH THE WORD
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
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PODCAST: “THE DANGERS OF THE OCCULT”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
With Halloween just around the corner, I think it appropriate today to discuss the dangers of the occult. While occult practices are widespread in our country throughout the year, they become particularly intense around Halloween, since Halloween is considered a religious holiday, if you will, among those involved in the occult.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the occult as “matters involving the action or influence of supernatural agencies.” I’d like to clarify this definition a bit by saying that the occult involves the action or influence of demonic supernatural agencies. Angels are supernatural agencies, but they have nothing at all to do with the occult.
Many people today are involved in the occult and don’t even know it. Perhaps you are one of them. Let me ask you a few questions.
- Do you start your day by reading your horoscope?
- Do you call the psychic hotline when you’re facing a problem?
- Have you gone to a fortune teller, attended a séance, or spoken to what you thought was the spirit of a dead relative?
- Have you played with a Ouija board or experimented with levitation?
If you’ve done or are doing any of these things, then you are involved in the occult, and you are in serious danger. So, listen very carefully.
If you’ve experimented with the occult to any degree whatsoever, even if just once, you’ve probably encountered forces outside the natural realm. Most likely, these forces, also called evil spirits, have produced fear in your life, perhaps even nightmares or panic attacks. In some cases, these evil spirits may have even taken over your personality. If so, I want to encourage you today, for there is a way for you to be delivered from the influence of evil spirits.
The Bible God’s instruction manual for man, in Deuteronomy 18: 9-12, has this to say about the occult: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist, or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.”
If you are involved in the occult, you are on a road that will surely lead you to destruction and death unless you make an about-face. Why? Because the occult is the realm of Satan and his demons, and involvement with Satan and his demons always leads to spiritual and often physical death. Demons are fallen angels that sided with Satan when he rebelled against God. As a result of their rebellion, they were thrown out of Heaven and now roam the earth enticing unsuspecting people into their evil traps.
The primary goal of demons is to get you to doubt what God says in the Bible. In other words, to get you to doubt God. This is exactly how Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. He got her to doubt the truth of what God had said to her.
Let’s take a look at this passage in the third chapter of Genesis: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?'”
Let’s stop here for a moment and notice the key to Satan’s strategy of deception. Satan tried to plant a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind as to the integrity of God’s character. Satan asked, “Did God really say?” Up until this point, Eve had never questioned God. She simply believed everything He said.
But Satan’s question to her planted a seed of doubt in her mind, a seed that Eve chose to receive. In so doing, she shifted her focus from what God said to what Satan said. In other words, she chose to question God’s integrity.
Satan has not changed since he tempted Eve. He still uses the same trick to get us to fall into his trap. For instance, he’ll say to you, “Can it really hurt to play the Ouija board just this one time? After all, it’s only a game.” Or, “How bad could it be for me to go to the séance with my friends? After all, I’m just going to watch. I don’t plan to participate.”
Getting back to Eve in the Garden, now that Satan has planted a seed of doubt in her mind as to God’s integrity, he brazenly contradicts what God said to Eve. Listen, as I read, beginning with Genesis 3: 2: “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die.”
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Here, Satan makes an outright attack on the integrity of God’s Word. He says to Eve, “You won’t die. God told you not to eat the fruit because He doesn’t want you to be like Him, knowing good and evil.” In his craftiness, Satan tried to make Eve think that God was holding out on her, that He was keeping something good from her. Satan tried to make God look bad, and Eve fell for Satan’s deception.
Satan hasn’t changed his tactics since Adam and Eve’s day. He still tries to get us to doubt the truth of God’s Word. He still tries to make us think that God is holding out on us, that God wants to keep something good from us, that God wants to keep us from having fun or from enjoying life. Satan still tries to make God look bad, and people are still falling into Satan’s wicked traps.
One of his most subtle traps is the trap of the occult. Satan sets this trap by preying on a person’s desire to know the future. He presents the occult as a seemingly fun way to determine what lies ahead. What Satan does not tell you is that once you’ve bitten his bait, you are trapped and poisoned for life unless you turn to God and repent.
We mentioned that the primary goal of demons is to get you to doubt the truth of God’s Word. Their primary weapon in attempting to achieve this goal is deception. How do demons deceive? They deceive primarily through your thoughts, through what you think.
You see, demons talk to you. They talk to you by planting thoughts in your mind. Thoughts that put God and His Word in a bad light. Thoughts that question the good character of God.
For instance, regarding the occult, demons will try to convince you that involvement in the occult has no serious consequences. They may tell you that playing the Ouija board is only a game or that reading your horoscope just helps you to make wise decisions about your future. But, beware! Like Satan, their leader, demons are liars by nature. And speaking of Satan, the Bible tells us in John 8: 44 that Satan is “a liar and the father of lies.” In other words, there is no truth in Satan, nor is there any truth in his demons.
So, whenever demons speak to you, you can be sure that they are deceiving you.
But, you may ask, “How can I know when a demon is speaking to me? That’s an excellent question. Here is the answer. You can know when a demon is speaking to you when the thought in your mind contradicts what God says in the Bible. So, you see how critically important it is to know what God says in the Bible.
The Bible is the voice of God speaking to you. In order to recognize the voice of a demon, you first have to know the voice of God. And the way to learn the voice of God and to recognize it is by studying the Bible.
Bank tellers learn to recognize counterfeit money by handling only real money. They’ve become so good at recognizing real money that when they pick up a counterfeit bill, they can immediately feel the difference. The real money that they’ve handled is the absolute standard against which bank tellers determine whether what they are handling is real or counterfeit money.
Likewise, the Bible is the absolute standard against which we measure the truth or falsehood of a thought. When we fill our hearts and minds with the true thoughts found in the Bible, we will immediately recognize a false thought that enters our mind. We will immediately know that it is a thought put there by Satan and that it is a lie.
Remember, if a thought or a statement does not line up with the Bible, then it is false. Get rid of it, put it out of your mind immediately and replace it with a true thought from God’s Word.
If you are involved in the occult or have only tried it once, here are some things you must do:
1. Run to God and repent of your sin. God is full of mercy, and He will gladly forgive you. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do so. In a few moments, I will show you how.
2. Read the Bible every day. The Bible is your spiritual food. Just as your body needs food in order to function properly, so does your spirit. The Bible is food for your spirit.
3. Find a church that teaches the Word of God without compromise. Sad to say, there are some churches today where the pastor preaches what the people want to hear. Stay away from that kind of church. Go to a church where the pastor boldly preaches the full Word of God.
4. Seek deliverance from evil spirits if you are oppressed by fear, nightmares, panic attacks, etc. Involvement in the occult opens doors for evil spirits to enter your life. While in most cases, these evil spirits oppress your soul and your body, in the case of someone who is not born again, these evil spirits can actually possess the spirit of that person.
A born again believer in Jesus Christ can never be demon possessed. He can, however, be demon oppressed.
So, the first step in being delivered from evil spirits is to be born again by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Then you may need to seek the help of a pastor or a born again Christian who has experience in casting out demonic spirits. If you have trouble finding such a person, please contact me, and I will point you in the right direction. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In wrapping up today’s program, I’d like to assure you that no matter how deeply you may be involved in the occult, God can and will set you free. Even if you are a high priest of Satan listening to this broadcast, God can and will deliver you.
You see, God is far greater and far more powerful than Satan. In fact, God originally created Satan as the beautiful Lucifer, the leader of praise and worship in Heaven. Lucifer, however, chose to rebel against God, and, in so doing, became Satan.
When Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead, He regained for mankind the legal right to the earth that Satan had stolen from Adam and Eve. So, today every born again believer in Jesus Christ has been restored to the same position of authority over the earth that Adam and Eve originally had. Moreover, every born again believer in Jesus Christ has been given power and authority over Satan and all his demons.
In Luke 10: 19, Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Wouldn’t you like to have that power today? Wouldn’t you like to be able to drive Satan and his demons out of your life? You can by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. When you receive Him, you receive His power. But not only do you receive His power, you receive everything He earned for you by dying on the Cross for you.
You receive forgiveness, healing, prosperity, love, joy, peace, restoration and so many other wonderful benefits that I don’t have time to mention them all. Truly, if you’re looking for good benefits, there are none better than what you receive when you receive Jesus Christ.
So, pray this simple prayer with me now and break Satan’s power over your life. Repeat after me:
Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I believe that You are the Son of God, that You died for me, and that You rose again on the third day. I invite You now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and as the Lord of my life. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.
If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born again follower of Jesus Christ. I invite you to write to me at email@example.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help get you started in your Christian walk. In addition, I invite you to visit me at my website, maryanndiorio.com.
Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, your virtual life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word!
Now, it’s YOUR turn: What about you? Have you been involved in the occult? Do you want to get free? Please share your comments in the Comments Box below. Thank you!
Click below to listen to the podcast of today’s post:
PODCAST: “THE DANGERS OF THE OCCULT”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
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