Summary: When Christians play around with the occult, they set themselves up for spiritual attack and oppression.
Free Indeed #1
1. Illus. of Patricia
• I knew a precious Christian once named Patricia. Married to a great husband, had a precious little boy.
• Referred to me by another Christian young woman. She had many of the symptoms of spiritual oppression.
• Fear and anxiety would overwhelm her for no reason. She felt worthless. She was bombarded by thoughts like, “your family doesn’t love you, and neither does God.”
• There was a constant dialogue in her head, accusing and condemning her for every failure and poor choice.
• She couldn’t pray or read the Bible without being bombarded with distracting or blasphemous thoughts.
• She was in constant bondage to a secret physical sin.
• There was no joy or peace at all in her relationship with God.
• After a two hour truth session with her, she left my office singing and laughing and saying over and over, “I’m free, I’m free!”
2. Need: Her name was Patricia, but her name could have just as easily been legion, for her brothers and sisters are many- too many. They are in every church, including this one. Some exhibit the same symptoms she did, some other symptoms she didn’t have. All have one thing in common- they are suffering from spiritual oppression and bondage.
3. “Tim, how could this happen to a Christian?” When we become Christians, we are taken out of Satan’s kingdom and translated into the wonderful Kingdom of the Son of God. We are set free from the power of the evil one by the shed blood and empty tomb of Jesus. Think of it this way: it is like we were living in the house with a villain who systematically hurt us. Then Jesus rescued us, and took us to live in a house that belonged to Him, a place where the villain had no access to us.
4. However, Satan can regain a measure of control if he can deceive us into bringing certain practices into our life. See Ephesians 4:27. The word "topos"= place, ground, opportunity, or foothold. When we take something that obviously belongs to the devil and bring it into our life, we surrender ground to him. We have given him a beachhead in our life from which to operate. Think of it this way: its the spiritual equivalent to giving the old villain we talked about the key to your normally locked front door, and telling them, “come in anytime and do whatever you want to me and my
5. What are these practices we can bring into our life that open the door to satanic oppression? The Bible mentions at least 7. I want to start with an easy one: the occult. When we bring occult practices into our life, we give Satan authority to oppress us!
6. Ask and answer three questions about the occult.
I. HOW CAN WE TELL IF SOMETHING IS OCCULT OR NOT?
1. See Acts 16:16. In our world, there is natural power and knowledge and supernatural power and knowledge. The Bible says that there are only two possible sources for supernatural power and knowledge: God, and Satan. Any attempt to tap into supernatural power or knowledge apart from God qualifies as occult activity.
2. Illus. of Jean Dixon
• Psychic of last generation.
• Was asked in a television interview how her psychic powers developed.
• Responded that they came from God. He appeared to her in the form of a huge serpent with glowing red eyes. He wrapped himself around her, stared her in the eyes, and said that from this day forward she would speak for him!
• She acquired some supernatural power all right, but it was NOT from God!
4. Wise Christians will not seek:
Supernatural power through: witchcraft, Wicca, sorcery, spells or curses, incantations, crystals, objects of worship other than the Lord Jesus, Satanism in any form, and etc.
Supernatural knowledge through: psychics and mediums, Ouija boards, astrology, séances, spirit guides, Tarot cards, New Age books and conferences, secret religions that promise hidden knowledge, and etc.
6. How can we tell if an activity is occult in nature? By asking, “Does it involve supernatural power or wisdom that does not come from God?”
II. WHAT’S WRONG WITH A CHRISTIAN BEING INVOLVED WITH THE OCCULT?
1. “Tim, I really don’t see anything all that wrong with a Christian dabbling in some of these things. What could possibly be wrong with having my horoscope cast, or with attending a séance? After all, it’s just for fun!” The Bible says there are at least two things wrong with it.
A. See Deuteronomy 18:9-14. It is an abomination to God when His people seek supernatural power or knowledge apart from Him. God is the source of supernatural power and knowledge for His people. When we seek it from some other source, it’s like slapping God in the face!