THE CONNECTION TO THE OCCULT AND DEMONISM
So now that we’ve reviewed the basic doctrines of Christianity, how does this help us to put into perspective the phenomena of demonism and occult practices?
First, let’s return to CREATION. Man is separate from God. Man is always a derivative and subordinate to his Creator. The creature cannot become the Creator. The goal for all occult activity is to transcend the Creator-creature boundary.
Monistic religions, such as Hinduism, believe god and man and all things to be of the same substance.
Man’s goal in life and eternity is to realize his potential and become one with God, to lose his consciousness in the stream of all eternity that is God.
In short, man becomes one with God. He returns to God. He transcends his creaturely nature because he was never just a creature to begin with. These opposing and rebellious doctrines deny a sovereign, personal God.
One of the primary fracturing points is the debate between God’s ultimate sovereignty and man’s responsibility. This is predestination versus free will. Even Christianity fractures along these lines. Paul told us that God predestines, and man has responsibility.
God is not responsible for sin, but it is nevertheless part of his plan (Job 1:12, Job 2:4-6). Rebellious man refuses to accept such things. Man wants to KNOW. If God will not tell us, then we will create our own answers. The response is to become gods ourselves in order to satisfy our satanic quest for absolute, exhaustive knowledge.
Mystical doctrines that rival THE FALL tend to state that there is some deficiency in mankind’s being for our shortcomings. Occult teachings say that we can bridge this gap by undergoing a mystical “leap of being” by learning some secret knowledge or being initiated into secret mysteries.
Christianity tells us that our restoration will come through ethical obedience to God’s word, but mystical religions tell us that we can undergo some instantaneous transformation apart from God’s grace.
They say that man can save himself by his own reasoning abilities or by his good works (such as a commitment to a dualistic philosophy of neo-platonism where the soul has the power to elevate itself to attain union with the “one”).
In regards to the INCARNATION, New Age, occultic ideas again attempt to teach man to become God. Where God took on flesh and died on the cross to atone for man’s sins so that man can eventually attain perfect humanity on the last day, occultic mysticism asserts that man and God are essentially the same.
It’s a common theme in such philosophies that from out of one God came many things (creation), and all of creation is now working to return to God — who is incomplete without them. This kind of idea is visible in Marxist communism: all of man works together as a community to perfect itself and rejoin with God.
NEW AGE, EASTERN MYSTICISM INFLUENCES PRESENT IN MODERN POPULAR NOVELS
These ideas are expressed in popular novels such as The Celestine Prophecy (over 20 million copies sold worldwide since 1993) and Way of the Peaceful Warrior. These books are part of the New Age fiction genre that is really just a modern adaptation of eastern mysticism.
They teach that man can learn of (nine or ten or twelve, etc.) secret principles and undergo a leap of being into a new super-man. Or that man can, through the power of his mind, transform himself and pull himself up by his own bootstraps out of any deep chasm.
It is the ultimate goal of occultic mysticism to avoid the FINAL JUDGMENT. This takes the form of allowing for reincarnation or becoming one with God. This is where you’ll find the idea of karma, where one can pass through endless cycles of life until one perfects their good deeds which will allow them to rejoin with god.
Buddhism teaches that one can achieve nirvana and blink out of existence.
These philosophies assert that man is fundamentally good. Christians know that man is fallen, cursed from birth and redeemable only by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Modern astronomy, coupled with evolution, has adapted these mystical escape hatches by proposing theories of endlessly collapsing-and-expanding universes, or infinite multiverses or parallel universes. Humankind may blink out of existence, but there’s hope that we’ll return sometime in the far-off future through another cycle of spontaneous generation of life at the hands of random forces.
Rebellious man will go to no ludicrous, irrational end to accept the preposterous — just as long as the explanation isn’t a personal, sovereign God.
GOD PROHIBITS OCCULTISM
God knows the hearts of men. He knows of Satan’s lure to men to transcend the Creator-creature boundary. It was ethical rebellion that led to man’s fall — Adam and Eve wanted to test the authority of God’s word. “Hath God said?” If God was lying to them, then perhaps they could run their own show, leave God’s stodgy old rules behind, and strike out on a more progressive journey of self-enlightenment.
They wanted to know all things now instead of gaining progressive knowledge of good and evil by their ethical labors in the garden. This is still an impulse alive and well in men.
Men make themselves more susceptible to occultic persuasion when they are not familiar with God’s law. The further they get from God, the more open they become. They forget that salvation and restoration come by obeying God’s laws. They are tempted by the lures of immediate power and self-transcendence. These temptations pull them even further off of the path of ethical obedience to God’s word. Progress is stalled. This pleases Satan.
This is why God strictly prohibits occultism:
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.“ (Deuteronomy 18:10-14)
God demands stiff penalties for practicing the occult:
“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.“ (Deuteronomy 18:20)
God’s prohibition on occultic practices protects society and individuals from the perversions manifest in man’s satanic pursuits. There would be no “passing through flames” of your children. Government is prohibited from subjecting its citizens to various religious or sacrificial trials in its pursuit of ultimate power and knowledge (think Nazi Germany and their “experiments”).
In a society dominated by rebellious man, God is pushed out of the hierarchy. Without God as the sovereign of history and morality, laws become relative. Morality becomes relative. The longer that such men rule, the further away they deviate from God’s perfect code of morality and justice. They twist these things to their wills.
The state becomes the ultimate manifestation of human power. All things become subordinate to it, including religion. The state replaces God. All things become the property of the state, including all human thought and action.
You can imagine the tyranny under such an establishment. Egypt under the Pharaoh of the oppression (Exodus 1-14) was such a state.
This essay will continue in Part 3, where we begin with a discussion of the character of angels and demons.