Breaking Free From Occult Power
LARGE numbers of persons who have dabbled in the occult now find themselves under the control of superhuman forces. They are not sure what these are, but they desperately want to break free. Is it possible?
As they struggle to free themselves, they may encounter severe problems. Some hear threatening voices from the spirit realm. Others are opposed by practitioners of the occult arts.
Centuries ago, on the island of Cyprus, there was a Jew named Bar-Jesus who practiced the occult. He was a sorcerer, known also as Elymas, which is a Greek form of a title given originally to Persian priests of Babylonian sorcery. It appears that Bar-Jesus held the position of court magician and adviser to the Roman proconsul at Paphos. The Bible, at Acts 13:6-12, relates that when the apostle Paul came into the area and taught the proconsul the principles of Christianity, Elymas fiercely opposed, seeking to protect his influential position as “priest” of the divination cult. But the proconsul was freed from that evil influence by embracing “the teaching of Jehovah,” the true God, as conveyed by Paul.
Many thousands of persons in this 20th century have also been freed from the occult by taking to heart the “teaching of Jehovah” as found in the Bible and taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses. One of the things that they learn is the identity of the superhuman forces behind the occult arts. These are not benevolent but wicked spirits, demons. Jesus Christ, who himself came from the invisible realm, knew about their existence and spoke about them. (Luke 4:33-35; 10:18-20; 13:16) To break free from their control, a person must have help from a source with greater power than theirs, from God himself. This is possible only by learning the truth from the Bible and applying it in one’s life, with full reliance on Jehovah God.
Consider some real-life examples of this in recent years. Take note how individuals got involved in the occult, and the kind of practices that draw on occult power. Also, observe what it did to their lives, and how they managed to break free.
A High Priest of Witchcraft Seeks Freedom
Gordon, who lives in England, was a witch (they did not refer to him as a “warlock”). Here is his own story:
“My connection with occultism started when I joined the Psychic Research Society. During subsequent years I observed and participated in hundreds of séances, witnessing most forms of psychic phenomena including direct voice, levitation, ectoplasm and apports [the manifestation of material objects through occult power]. At the same time I discovered my own power to become a diviner, to be clairvoyant and to engage in psychometry [divination of facts relating to a person or thing from contact with an object].
“Seeking to develop my occult abilities even further, I took up transcendental meditation as a member of a Buddhist society. I soon found that Eastern philosophies are a natural steppingstone to fundamental occultism. A new colleague, a skilled cabalist, taught me many fascinating things. A whole field of intriguing mysteries opened up before me. I read and studied deeply.
“As my grasp of ritual and transcendental magic increased, so did my circle of friends all over the country. I became adept at tarot reading and at interpreting the cabala.* I was initiated into the progressive grades of witchcraft until I eventually became high priest of a witches’ coven. I taught these arts to many others, including my wife, who became my high priestess.
“But things were not right with me or with my magical arts. My coven was subjected to bickerings and jealousy. There was rivalry with other covens, one group even working magic against another. Worse still, sordid affairs of a sexual nature (an all-too-common factor in witchcraft) eventually affected me, to the sad detriment of my own marriage.* I started experimenting with ‘soft’ drugs, becoming increasingly unhappy and disillusioned.
“It was at this time that a passing acquaintance, knowing of my connections with witchcraft, gave me a copy of the book ‘Babylon the Great Has Fallen!’ God’s Kingdom Rules! The title immediately captured my interest. I knew full well that ancient Babylon had been the repository of all ‘secret religion’ and that the Bible’s book of Revelation, mentioning ‘Babylon the Great,’ contained many mysteries too. Although I read the book eagerly and carefully, I was still confused, but this turned out to be my first positive step in gaining freedom from the subtle powers of occultism.
“As time passed, things went from bad to worse. In desperation, one night I remembered what the friend who had given me the ‘Babylon’ book had said: ‘If you need help, get in touch with Jehovah’s Witnesses.’ I picked up the telephone directory and rang the nearest address. Although it was late at night, the stranger I spoke to listened carefully. Within the hour he was standing at my door.
“My new friend, an elder in the local congregation, was genuinely concerned at what I had to say. I took him into my magician’s den. Even now I can recall how astounded he was at what he saw! Occult paintings filled the room. My two swords of initiation, beads of incantation and incense burners were displayed with my Arthame dagger—used by witches to draw circles and pentacles when calling spirit forces into human contact. A full-size black model head of Isis (the ‘Mistress of Magic’) was alongside a bright-orange figure of Amon-Ra (the Egyptian ‘King of the Gods’) and model sailing craft, supposed to signify the transporting of souls across the sea of the dead. We stayed talking in that room until the early hours of the morning. I certainly needed much help.
“Our discussion centred around the Bible, a book for which I had always had a natural respect, but of which I knew little. We used a small book, The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, as a guide to systematic Bible study. During the ensuing weeks I learned the simple truth about evil and the demons, and of their power to control and direct men’s minds.
“One thing that greatly disturbed me, I remember, was my first reading of Deuteronomy 18:10-12: ‘There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.’
“I had no idea that such a statement was in the Bible and it shocked me a great deal. In fact, my conscience began to trouble me as I realized my considerable guilt over the things with which I had been involved. On the other hand, the clarity of the truth came sharper in focus as a result, and for this I was grateful.
“Later I was amazed to read that the early Christians had also experienced serious encounters with demonism and magical arts. I had always known fire to be a symbol of destruction and when I read of the course of action voluntarily taken by the people of Ephesus who became Christians in burning their books of magical art,* I saw the need to do the same myself. So it was that after prayer one night I went up onto the moors and burned all my books and paintings. Likewise I broke and threw away the many metal appendages of my arts, despite their value.
“Slowly, but surely, I became free from demon influence. It was not easy. Witches and other former friends did all they could to dissuade me, but I treasured my newly found freedom too much to compromise. The forces of evil are strong, but I soon came to realize that the forces for good are stronger. I have every reason to be thankful for the happiness and security I now have serving Jehovah, the God of truth and of light.—2 Cor. 4:3-6.”
UFO Spotting at Stonehenge
In recent years, reports of sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) have multiplied considerably. Quite evidently many of these experiences can be accounted for by such mundane things as cloud reflections, meteorological balloons, aircraft or, simply, imagination. On the other hand, the Church of England’s bishop of Norwich, speaking in the House of Lords in London’s Parliament, expressed genuine concern, saying about UFO’s: “I have known many cases where people have been very disturbed even to the extent of a form of spirit possession which in many cases is undoubtedly evil.”
Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, is probably the oldest of the 900 or so stone and earth circles to be seen in the British Isles.* It is a popular site to which people gather in the hope of seeing UFO’s.
One young man, Robert, regularly engaged in such “spotting” there and saw many inexplicable phenomena. Pursuing the matter, he became an avid reader of books on the subject, getting deeper and deeper into occultism as a result. Continuing his story, he says: “My personality changed. I started to believe I was a prophet, someone special with a work to do. I developed extraordinary powers and was able to go for days on end without food, drink or sleep. I could even open a pair of curtains simply by looking at them. On one occasion I was taken to the local police station and examined there by the police psychiatrist who thought I was on drugs, but he was unable to help me. Eventually I ended up in a mental home. Upon my discharge I became very depressed and made plans to commit suicide, inner voices goading me on to do so.
“Deep down I still loved life and longed to be released from the evil power that was hedging me in. It was then that I remembered that when I was younger I had sat in on a Bible discussion my mother had had with Jehovah’s Witnesses. So I determined to contact the Witnesses I had met at that time. As soon as I did this I commenced a study of the Bible, using the chapter ‘Are There Wicked Spirits?’ printed in the book The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life. The factual presentation of the Scriptures in these discussions convinced me of the truth and enabled me to gain the freedom I so much desired.”
Since the release of the movie “The Exorcist” some years ago, many reports are on file of the adverse effects it had on many who saw it. Maureen was an atheist. She had heard so much about the film that she decided to go to see it with a friend. The results were dramatic.
“It was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. It was horrible. I could feel something was happening to me. I was shaking all over and could only just manage to pick myself up from my seat to walk out. But this was only the beginning of my troubles.
“Returning home, I was ready to burst into tears. My husband offered me little comfort as he had told me not to go to see the film in the first place. How right he was! I could not sleep that night, dreaming about the film.
“During the coming weeks things went from bad to worse. I was frightened to go to bed and when I did I would wake up in a cold sweat. I knew there was something in my house, as I could feel it with me wherever I went. I felt I was going out of my mind.
“It occurred to me that if there were such evil forces there must surely be good ones too. So I started looking around for a cross that I could wear for protection. I also bought a St. Christopher medal for the same purpose. Each night I would hold them in my hand and pray, hoping that if there was a God he would help me. But things did not improve. In fact, they seemed to get worse.
“One day I was confiding in my friend about my problems when she said she had a book that would perhaps help me. She herself had been given it by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was entitled ‘The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life.’ I immediately started to read it, turning first to the chapter on wicked spirits and then to ‘Who Is God?’
“It was during my reading that I came across Jesus’ statement to Satan: ‘Go away, Satan! For it is written, “It is Jehovah your God you must worship.”’ It then said that the Devil left Jesus.* I kept reading this and thought I would do the same. At first I repeated the words in my heart but later summoned courage to say them aloud. Only then was I able to get to sleep.
“When I saw my friend again she asked me if the book had helped me and said that if I wanted more information I should contact Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I knew a family of Witnesses living nearby and jumped at the opportunity offered to me to study the Bible with them. Slowly, things began to improve as Bible knowledge replaced my former ignorance. But it was only when I finally disposed of all my pagan religious objects and charms that I experienced complete freedom.”
Are you seeking to break free from some form of occult power? If so, get in touch with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are not exorcists, but they know what the Bible says you must do in order for Jehovah God himself to help you.—Jas. 4:7, 8.
The cabala is basically an occult interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible. Its teachings are complicated and obscure, including the reduction of letters within the Scriptures to various numerical values. Students of the occult have spent much time in seeking to understand its mysticism, but few can claim to have mastered it or the numerous commentaries written about it.
It is noteworthy that, according to the Bible, those who became demons are identified with spirit beings who materialized as humans in the pre-Flood world to satisfy perverted sexual desires.—See Genesis 6:1-4, 11; Jude 6, 7.
Read the account at Acts 19:11-20.
These stone monuments called “henges” were used by the Druids in connection with a form of worship that featured magic and belief in the immortality and transmigration of the soul.
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