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"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
. . .  Acts 4:12  . . .

Primer For Recognizing Occult Doctrines and Practices

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.

There are occult means that people use with the intent of tapping into demonic wisdom. But the Bible warns us that God condemns and forbids seeking after demonic wisdom. This is clearly expressed in Deuteronomy 18:9-12 where we are told not to learn to imitate detestable demonic ways such as divination, sorcery, witchcraft, channeling, necromancy, casting spells and more because they are said to be an abomination to the Lord.

There are three means that occult devotees use in an attempt to tap into occult power


Divination is the old term and fortunetelling is the modern word. They both refer to the same occult practice. Divination is the act of attempting to prophesy (forecast future events) or discern human character through occult means by making use of certain omens or divination tools such as tarot cards, tea leaves, Ouija board, astrology, palmistry, scrying devices (crystal balls, mirrors, crystals, etc.). The methods of divination often changes but the spirit and force behind it remains the samea demon spirit (Acts 16:16-18).

There are hundreds of varieties of divination: Catoptromancy, Hydromancy, Chiromancy, Iridology, Palmistry, Mirror Mantic, Cartomancy, Alectryomancy, Onirocriticism, Numerology, Psychometry, Capnomancy, Geomancy, Pyromancy, Tephromancy, Telenomancy and more.


The magic that most of us are acquainted with is sleight-of-hand magic, like picking a silver dollar out of the air or pulling a rabbit out of the hat. Technically that kind of magic is called legerdemain magic. It is the art of illusion. We are NOT referring to that kind of magic.

Often, but not always, adherents to occult magick differentiate between their magick and sleight-of-hand magic by spelling theirs MAGICK. Occult magick is technically called non-legerdemain magic.

Sorcery or magic is the act of attempting to contact, manipulate or control people, spirits, animals, plants, the elements (earth, air, fire, water) through occult rituals, ceremonies, objects (amulets, talismans, charms, etc.) Though magic may "work," the power behind magic is demonic and those who practice magic are the enemies of righteousness. Here is Gods evaluation of those who practice sorcery or magic

Acts 13:6-10 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

There are hundreds of varieties of occult magic: White Magick, Black Magick, Red Magic, Tantric (sex magic); Blue Magic, Neutral Magick, Liturgy Magic, Sympathetic Magic, Magic Mesmerism, Magnetism, Magical Hypnosis, Lycanthropy, and many more.


Spiritism or necromancy is an occult activity grounded in the belief that through certain persons acting as mediums or channels (psychics, necromancers, channelers, etc.) the dead or the spirit world can be contacted and hidden information can be acquired from those contacted. Trances and seances are often used by the medium. The power behind this activity is demonic. This activity is forbidden by the Lord. 1 Chronicles 10:13, So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it. (1 Samuel 28:7 gives the context).

There are scores of different types of necromency: Seances, Telekinesis, Levitation, Apports, Spiritualistic Visions, Automatic Writing, Spirit Raps, Speaking in Trances, Spirit Photography, Materializations, Table Levitation or Tilting, Ectoplasm and more.

By their own testimonies witches, neo-pagans, Wiccans, Satanists, New Age adherents, etc. without exception, attempt to secure their wisdom and power through one or more of the occult means I have just mentioned.

We are to order our lives by the Wisdom and Power of God. That is the wisdom and power revealed in the Bible. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

We are to reject the wisdom from beneath, the wisdom of the devil, the wisdom of Witchcraft. The wisdom of witchcraft is the wisdom of the damnedRevelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

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"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

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