What is the Occult?

While the word occult (from the Latin occultus) literally means “hidden” or “secret,” the world of the occult is clearly out of the closet. It has been glamorized as New Age, but its genesis is as old age as the hiss of the serpent: “Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3: 5). The objective of occultism is self-deification through sorcery, spiritism, and soothsaying. Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the 𝘉𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘈𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘯 broadcast and the 𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘜𝘯𝘱𝘭𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 podcast, says that through sorcery (magick), occultists seek to harness paranormal powers for private purposes. Using ritualistic formulas, spells, and incantations, occultists seek to harness what they perceive to be the natural and spiritual powers of the universe in order to satisfy their own desires. God warned the ancient Israelites that these very practices would inevitably lead to their downfall (Deuteronomy 18:9–14; cf. 2 Kings 17:16–18). Likewise, He rebuked the ancient Babylonians for supposing that they could bypass His power through their “many sorceries” and “potent spells” (Isaiah 47:8–15). Occultists seek to access secret or hidden information about the future through soothsaying (divination). Among the most common tools of the soothsayer are Tarot cards, astrological charts, horoscopes, and tea leaves. The Lord’s command is emphatic and explicit: “Do not practice divination” (Leviticus 19:26).


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