The Spirit World's Dangerous Dark Side



Strange practices and religions such as Wicca, Santeria, voodoo and channeling are growing in popularity. What's behind them? Are such things harmless, or is there more to them than meets the eye?

As traditional Christianity has lost its appeal for many people, growing numbers have sought to fill that vacuum in their lives in other ways. Some turn to alternate religions popular in other parts of the world. Some turn to witchcraft and pre-Christian paganism. Some seek answers in the occult. A few even knowingly turn to Satanism and evil spirits.

Some are simply curious; others are very serious. But whether they recognize it or not, all are dabbling in dangers that likely are well beyond their limited comprehension. That's why these dangers are often referred to as the occult—things that are secretive, mysterious and concealed.

Maybe you've never directly seen Satan or his demons, but certainly those familiar with the Bible recognize their influence in this rapidly degenerating world. No wonder the Scriptures describe Satan as "the god of this age" (2 Corinthians:4:4).

His influence is not new, but its prevalence in modern society certainly is. What was once banned or very limited in dealing with the dark spirit realm is now mostly out in the open. Satanism is rampant in movies, and movements based on it, such as Wicca, Santeria, voodoo and consultation with mediums, are thriving, especially with the young.

The apostle Paul tells us we should be wary of such practices, "lest Satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians:2:11).

Wicca, Santeria and voodoo

One of the fastest growing movements in Western nations is Wicca, a modern version of witchcraft. Part of its popularity is due to American TV programs such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Charmed. Wicca is so popular that the United States, Great Britain and many other nations now recognize it as a legitimate religion with legal rights.

The term Wicca was popularized in 1954 by the British leader of the movement, Gerald Gardner, who described it as a return to the "Old Religion" popular in Europe before Christianity.

Wicca, from on an Old English word for "witch," incorporates many of the trappings of ancient British witchcraft practices. The satanic pentagram is used as its symbol, and one of its main tenets is adoring nature through different rituals and deities. Some, but not all, covens, or groups, practice casting spells, divination and magic. Wicca is an umbrella group or movement that gathers under its fold very different beliefs and practices—but is at its core a thinly disguised type of old-fashioned witchcraft.

Santeria is a Caribbean religion based on mixing African witchcraft with Roman Catholic beliefs—similar in many ways to voodoo or pure African witchcraft. Its followers practice animal sacrifices and perform feverish dancing during Santerian rituals that can lead to possession of a person by an orisha or "saint" being invoked. The individual then is said to speak and act as that saint. If this is an actual spiritual experience, however, it is nothing more than demonic possession.

All of these practices have this in common: Satan is their originator and they should be absolutely avoided. God, who knows exactly how Satan and his demons work, emphatically warns us not to have anything to do with them. He tells us to not "give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians:4:27, New International Version).

We should not consult with people associated with these practices, in spite of what they claim are good intentions to help us. God says: "There shall not be found among you anyone who . . . practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy:18:10-12, emphasis added throughout).

What are mediums and familiar spirits?

What about mediums and people who use such things as tarot cards and Ouija boards to consult with the spirits?

Mediums—also sometimes called "seers" or "clairvoyants"—are people who may be used by the fallen angels the Bible calls demons. They might appear normal and helpful, but those who are not fakes (and many are) can genuinely have contact with deceitful spirits who seek to attract and use human beings for their own evil purposes. For this reason these evil angelic beings are called in the Bible "deceiving spirits" (1 Timothy:4:1).

A true medium has a "familiar spirit" in him, and the term comes from the Hebrew word obh, meaning "a leather bottle." To the ancient Hebrews, the hollow sound of the voice of a familiar spirit, speaking through a medium, sounded as if it came out of a skin bottle. Just as a skin bottle is a type of vessel, so a person who has a familiar spirit serves as a vessel or a "medium" that contains the spirit.

Familiar spirits, in reality disguised demons, can have an intimate knowledge of people, alive or dead. They have at their disposal an extensive network of information from fellow demons who are more than willing to share their knowledge with the deceived "host." In this way, they will entice many more people to be deceived and hooked—ending sometimes as pawns to these spirits.

This is the grave danger of participating in any of these practices—at first these spirits appear as willing servants, but inevitably they end up as harsh taskmasters.

That is why we should avoid coming into any contact with people who claim they can communicate with the dead. God, who is intimately familiar with this spirit world, warns us that "the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people" (Leviticus:20:6).

The Scriptures candidly admit that legitimate mediums do exist and can establish contact with demons, who disguise themselves as departed loved ones, to attract the unsuspecting into their dark spirit world.

Tarot cards and Ouija boards

Some use manual devices such as tarot cards or Ouija boards to consult directly with these familiar spirits. These objects should be avoided at all costs—they are not innocent "games" but ancient ways of attracting these familiar spirits.

Think of these instruments as potential passports into your mind—possibly opening an entry to the zone that should only be inhabited by your own thoughts and God's Holy Spirit. If you do not invite these evil spirits, they cannot enter. Yet sometimes even an unsuspecting invitation through these devices can give demons a green light! Sadly, many people have unknowingly invited evil spirits into their minds—never to be quite the same again.

As the Scriptures reveal, these spirits need to be cast out by genuine ministers of God. Acts 19 records an instance where some would-be exorcists tried to cast a demon out of a person and the demon turned on them, saying, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" Much to their surprise, "the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded" (verses 15-16).

This is therefore no laughing matter or cute entertainment—it is deadly serious! Scripture records several instances of people falling into such forbidden practices with disastrous results.

Saul and the medium of En Dor

In the Old Testament, we find the tragic example of King Saul going to a medium. He had first tried to consult with God, but because of his multiple sins, especially his slaughter of 85 priests and an untold number of innocent inhabitants of the town of Nob, he did not receive any answers (1 Samuel:22:18-19).

Saul then broke God's law and consulted with a medium at En Dor (1 Sam- uel 28:7). She invoked a figure of one appearing as the prophet Samuel. Yet Saul never saw him; he only heard a voice. This is one reason why God prohibits such consultations—demons are very clever and can impersonate the person being summoned. Notice the Bible had said God would not answer Saul's inquiries "either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets" (verse 6). This clearly was not the prophet Samuel!

The spirit the medium saw ascending out of the earth (verse 13) was in fact a demon. Saul only thought it was Samuel, but this demon had tricked him. As the apostle Paul explains: "For Satan himself transforms himself into [or disguises himself as] an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into [or impersonate] ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians:11:14-15).

It was not unusual, therefore, for a demon to have impersonated the dead prophet Samuel. The Scriptures clearly tell us Samuel was dead, buried and unconscious: "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing" (Ecclesiastes:9:5).

Saul was left with the dire prediction that he would die the next day. He never did turn back to God. That is one of the reasons he is such a tragic figure in the Scriptures.

Paul confronts a spirit of divination

Another case of a medium is found in the New Testament, and it is quite instructive.

We read in Acts:16:16-19: "Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.'

"And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities" (emphasis added throughout).

This passage tells us quite a bit about the dark side of the spirit world. First, it reveals there are some cases where people actually do have the spirit of divination and are quite economically successful at what they do. Nowhere does this section deny the fact that people can tap into this source for valuable information. Also, it shows there are others willing to promote such a business, which can be quite profitable. Today, millions if not billions of dollars are made from this ancient and harmful practice.

One can find many programs on radio or TV, backed by successful businessmen, where people with a spirit of divination can greatly impress audiences with their apparent intimate knowledge of those they interview. Most of the time these persons openly call themselves channelers, psychics or mediums. Of course, not all who practice this profession are genuine mediums, for there are many clever charlatans as well, but some are authentic!

As the biblical case in Acts 16 shows, the slave girl with the spirit of divination was a real medium. We know this because when the demon left her, she could no longer reveal intimate details of a person's life or predict the future.

Another insight from this account is that the message from a spirit can be positive and true. After all, the Bible plainly says the young girl used by the spirit of divination announced that Paul and his companions came from God and preached the way of salvation. This was true, so what was the problem?

The problem wasn't the message itself, but the source of the information. We see here the subtle element of deceit. Many times, the initial message of a spirit of divination, or a demon, can seem positive, harmless and helpful. Just as a fisherman entices fish with succulent bait, so these spirits know they must attract innocent victims with something useful and agreeable. They know, once their victims are hooked, there will be plenty of time later for them to change their message.

Simply say "No!"

We must simply say "No!" when enticed to play with this dark spirit world. Don't fold under pressure from friends, family or anyone else. Put God and His Word first! Literally, your life and your mental welfare could depend on it!

God, who knows exactly how Satan and his demons work, emphatically warns us not to have anything to do with them. We should not consult with people associated with these spirits in spite of any stated intentions to help us. God's Word is clear: "Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus:19:31).

Ask, "Would Christ approve of this?" Certainly He would not! So we should avoid all contact with mediums, fortune-tellers, witches and their devices—and not be fooled by whatever means they might use to try to entice us. GN


mystic

mystic's picture

Hello. I wanted to take a minute here to post a comment here. First, I am a child of God and love GOD. I don't support anything that is negative, dark or anything that is of the enemy.

I grew up in Belzoni, MS. Every since I was 10 years old, I have exp. things that most people and (in MS. especially) would not believe or understand unless they can touch it with their hand or see it with their eyes... My mom is penticostal and stuck her in her ways and thinks that everyone is going to hell unless they are penticostal or speak in tongues... She is so blind and self righteous... that is one reason why growing up, I never shared with her or anyone else .. the things I exp. They wouldn't believe it and they would have tried to do some crazy ceremonies over me thinking I was possessed...WHICH, I AM NOT POSSESSED. I have seen ghosts.. right there in Belzoni and other places.... I have heard whispers in the wind.... I have felt vibrations when touching tombstones, give me a picture.. and I can see things in the picture.. that u or most people cannot see.. there are spirits always around us... always... I have heard things from the higher world... whispers...
Laugh if you want.... I am perfectly sane, never done drugs, don't drink nor smoke... I love GOD and serve GOD only. I don't do magic nor claim to... I don't offer any services or get paid to tell anyone what my abilities are but yes.. I have certain abilities and it is not voodoo, it is not witchcraft, nor is it from Satan. If I Do help someone with what I see.. I don't charge them anything... for this is a gift I was given.... and yes.. I have more than one... I don't charge money or anything for sharing with others what I see and feel.... I don't choose what I want to see or feel either.... It comes to me whenever... These gifts have kept me safe from harm and out of trouble....

I mean no disrespect to anyone out there by my post here.. But, you all need to wake up and stop what you are thinking. This is a real world we live in and yes.. I believe in hell but I also believe in heaven as well. I also know that PENTICOSTALS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES GOING TO HEAVEN. But stop ridiculing and labeling those of us out here who ACTUALLY DO HAVE GIFTS... GIFTS THAT ARE USED ONLY FOR GOOD, NOT TO HARM.... WE DON'T USE OUIJA BOARDS AND TALK TO THE DEVIL OR HIS DEMONS, EVEN WE KNOW HOW DANGEROUS THEY ARE. WE DISCOURAGE SUCH DEVICES AND WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE CONSTANTLY TO TALK TO GOD AND LISTEN TO HIS VOICE. Just because we have been given certain gifts in life that most people cannot understand or relate to... doesn't make us of the dark side! No disrespect to you or all the church going people.... (I go to worship too.. yes.. church) but alot of the world are so stuck in their own little world and they are so self righteous, and think their church, their beliefs... are the only ones going to heaven....

I don't have all the answers and don't claim to... I am far from perfect... I am one lady who loves GOD and I try to live right everyday... I pray before even leaving home each and everyday.... no matter what! I call upon the High angels of heaven... u know Archi-Angel Michael? I call upon God, and the angels of light.... everyday.... I don't owe you or anyone else in this world any explanations or to defend myself to anyone.... Because.. there is nothing wrong with me .... Yes,.. there are ones out in the world who are being deceived and they think they are mediums, can do magic, etc... I am not a medium or physic; not sure what I am but I do know I am normal and I am not of the dark side.

I believe THERE ARE REAL mediums out in the world... and instead of using it all to fight for good... they chose the dark side instead... Well, some of us here in the world... WE DO HAVE GIFTS AND NO.. IT DOESN'T COME FROM THE DEVIL OR DARK SIDE... AND NO.. SOME OF US ARE FIGHTING FOR THE GOOD..... WE LOVE GOD AND FIGHT FOR THE GOOD IN THE WORLD.... WE ARE REAL, PURE, GENUINE AND WE ARE OF GOD....NOTHING ELSE. ....

It does sadden me though when people in the world are so closed minded and so ready to judge and attempt to throw us under the bus because we are different... because some people in the world cannot understand or relate to it... they want to automatically think we are of Satan and some of us are not!

I just had to share this with you..... and I will continue to try and educate the world on this as long as I am living in this world. It is not fair and it is wrong for any of us to judge and throw stones because of some of us are different...

I didn't ask to be this way or have these gifts.... But, I am glad I have the gifts.... because the gifts have kept me close to GOD and out of danger.....

So please.. before you speak.. think.... you don't know so...

Signed.. someone who loves people and GOD more...




fiskyx

fiskyx's picture

Hi Mystic :)

I am a follower of God and I love Him too! :)

Maybe it is the culture or the way you were brought up by this kind of perception from the society which made you feel very defensive of who you are.

You are certainly not possessed because some people are born to see spirits. It is up to these people to follow the dark or the light. :) There are people who cannot see spirits but choose to live their life in darkness and they attract the devil, so it doesn't mean that you can see spirits/ghosts, you are demonic or possessed.

You are a faithful and holy woman of God. :)

God is always gentle and He do not force. :)

Continue to walk in His presence and bring light unto this world :)

I love you too! <3




Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

Hello to you both. I appreciate where both of you are coming from, but the Bible is very clear on a number of subjects, including the subject of spiritual gifts and the spirit world. The following spiritual gifts are specifically mentioned in the referenced passages:
Romans 12
exhortation
giving
leadership
mercy
prophecy
service
teaching

1 Corinthians 12
administration
apostle
discernment
faith
healing
helps
knowledge
miracles
prophecy
teaching
tongues
tongues interpretation
wisdom

Ephesians 4
apostle
evangelism
pastor
prophecy
teaching

Misc. Passages
celibacy
hospitality
martyrdom
missionary
voluntary poverty

Please note that communicating with spirits or "the dead" is not listed. In fact, all mention of mediums or diviners is in a negative context.

Leviticus 19:31
"Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 20:6-8
"And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. 7 Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you."
Leviticus 20:27
"A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.”
2 Kings 23:24
"Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD."
Galatians 5:19-20
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."




fiskyx

fiskyx's picture

Yep,but at least mystic is not seeking unclean spirits or intentionally be a medium. She just can see spirits, that is all she was saying and she only follows God. :)




Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

How can one be following God when it clearly states that this kind of interaction is forbidden by God? God expects us to obey and to worship Him in a specific manner, anything other than what is outlined in the Holy Scriptures is not following Him, it cannot be.




jesmosey

jesmosey's picture

First of all, I’m not saying anything new here; I just want to lay out my train of thought as clearly as possible so that if there are any issues with it they may be clearly addressed…
In the Old Testament the priests of the physical nation of Israel were the ones who were the “middle men” between God and the people (Lev. 1:5-9; Num 15:25, 28; Dt. 17:9; 20:2; 21:5). They were designated, of all the people of the physical nation of ancient Israel, to be the ones who carried the ark of the Lord (Joshua 3:13).
In the New Testament the sacrifices for sin that the priests in the Old Testament had been offering were abolished through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and it became possible for us to go directly to God with our requests, with Jesus Christ as our intercessor (Ephesians 2:11-18). In the Old Testament, the temple housed the ark of the Lord, representative of a type of the house of God; if we can digress for a second, in that context, David wanted to build it, but Solomon was the one who got to (II Sam 7:2, 5, 12-13). In contrast, in the New Testament, WE are the earthen vessels that house the excellency of the power of God (II Cor 4:6-10), provided we allow ourselves to be (Eph 5:15-17) – and we are the limiting factor in this.
So, my bottom line question is, given a choice to communicate directly with God, why choose a subsidiary? What I mean is, sure, one of the jobs given to the angelic realm is to minister to us (Heb 1:13-14), but ultimately, God, the one who made the angels, is the one we have direct access to, and who we should be focusing our time and attention on developing a relationship with.
I don’t negate anything you’ve said for a minute. I completely believe that you are able to communicate with the spirit world. But doing so is rather dangerous on several levels.
First of all, yeah, one can levitate, astral project, communicate with spirits, etc., but ultimately, is this helping you develop a closer relationship with God, or is it just eating up time that could be spent with the Creator, not the creation?
Second, there are two primary spiritual sources in the world. Just to be sure we understood this, God illustrated it on a very physical level for us, in the beginning, in simple, fundamental terms - God separated the dark from the light (Gen 1:4-5, 18). God made everything in this physical world to illustrate something bigger and greater, ultimately so that we could come to understand Him better (Rom 1:20). Throughout the Bible, if you do a search on darkness and light, it’s pretty clear that the contrast between the two is stark, and that these words carry a depth well beyond the physical idea of turning a light switch on or off (John 12:46). The complication for us as human beings is that Satan’s primary mode of deception is to shroud us in darkness, effectively blinding us (II Cor 11:14-15; Rev 12:9 – if you look this up, the Greek for the word deceive literally means to lead away from the truth). By doing this, he exchanges wisdom for folly, truth for error, etc. That means, from a human perspective, it’s pretty easy for us to assume we’re right on track, when, in actuality, we may be hanging out somewhere in the blind category.
How do you tell the difference? In I John 4:1, it says to test spirits to know if they are of God – if you feel like you are communicating with the spirit realm, you cannot be afraid to ask about the ultimate authority that spirit looks to (I Jn 4:2-3) – ask, but don’t be afraid of the answer. What I mean by that is, and let’s just be real honest about it, there is a certain amount of comfort, confidence, and pride that comes along with the idea of having some supreme source as far as understanding what is going on. God offers us this in the Bible. Anything besides that is highly questionable. We have to be really careful not to take pride in thinking we get the bigger picture of things – pride is always just a few stumbling steps away from a fall (Prov. 16:18).




LightenedOne

LightenedOne's picture

Mystic,

I am really happy to hear that some people have good intentions to help others. I am glad I am not the only one that's fighting against the dark side....human beings who have tapped into the spirit world and are creating havoc for other people using evil spirits and evil devices(machines). AND woe to the people who don't have what ONLY GOD hands out via his divine grace.

I am baptised as an old calendarist greek orthodox and I am a laymen. And I can see where you are coming from mystic that never judge a book from it's cover. Nobody knows who is going to heaven or hell ONLY GOD does. The people who have signed a contract with satan know directly where they are going green light full speed ahead.

I just wanted to add what I came across on a youtube clip for people to see where all these warlocks, wizards, sorcerers, mediums, witches are going...in a nutshell all those who have tapped into the spirit world and are creating problems for other people. **Link removed to comply with comment policy**
Check out the clip... this fellow is a very lucky person if that door shut it wasn't only the darkness that he would have encountered.

If the youtube address above doesn't work type in your search engine the words... Mickey Robinson near death experience and click on search.

God bless everyone of you.




Ceeja

Ceeja's picture

i understand exactly where everyone is coming from . But i feel like everyone is discarding what mystic said . She said that at the age of 10 these things started happening . i don't think God would punish her for something that wasn't in her control & if it just started happening , obviously God wants her to use it for His glory some how. Just because God doesn't say in the bible that one of the gifts of the spirit is to see the spirit realm doesn't mean that it's not a gift from God. If she can't help but see spirits, whats wrong with that ?




Steven Britt

Steven Britt's picture

Where does evil come from? Is it not the desires of the heart that result in sin? Lena presented the plain word of God against mediums and familiar spirits - why do any of you persist in fighting against it? When I was 10 years old, I too was subject to influences that I didn't choose to be subject to, but this changes nothing of the commandment of God. Indeed, when I was 10 years old, I naturally and without consideration did many things that were contrary to the commandments of God. But the Word of God alone, not what comes naturally to us, divides the light from the darkness, and the way of righteousness from the way of sin. Lean not on your own understanding, but search out the will of God from the word of God. And the will of God is this: that you keep yourselves from familiar spirits and mediums, and purify your hearts from your own ways so that you may truly seek the ways of God.




mathew

mathew's picture

Hello everyone, hmmm by seeing all comments, i can tell you one thing.
Powers or gifts whatever might be, finally it has to do with the will of God, if not so then it won't b helpful. God wants us to be like him...



Login/Register to post comments
© 1995-2014 United Church of God, an International Association | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All correspondence and questions should be sent to info@ucg.org. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to webmaster@ucg.org.



X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading