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What the Bible says about Spiritism and the Occult

 The influence of Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), seem to be everywhere.  Entertainment and music promote themes of immorality, magic and violence.  If your parents were shocked when the TV show Bewitched first hit the public airways in 1964, just imagine them rolling over in their graves today.  Perhaps you can watch movies and TV shows with sorcerers, witches and magic and realize it is just entertainment and go back to your Bible studies.  But impressionable kids and young adults not grounded in the word of God may find the idea of magical powers quite enticing.

The purpose of this article is to provide some basic summary of the subject of spiritism and the occult, primarily what the Bible has to say on the topic.

Check out this talk radio program for the archived audio going back over ten years.  Look for the subject of Halloween (around Oct 31 of each year).  Click here:  Christian Question Radio Programs

Click below to listen to Bible Student Elders discuss the topic of Spiritism:

Panel Discussion_Spiritism


2 Cor 4:4:  the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel

1 Jn 5:19:  We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the powere of the evil one.

Jn 12:31:  Now judgement is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.

Eph 2:1,2:  And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Col 1:16:  For by Him all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authourities–all things have been created by Him and for Him.

Eph 3:10:  the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places

Eph 6:11,12:  Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devi.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.


Lev. 20:6 As for the person who turns to medums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

2 Kg. 21:1,6:  Manasseh…became king…And made his son to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists.  He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger.

Isa. 19:3 Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy.  So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead, And to mediums and spiritists.

Speaking against Babylon, God says in Isa. 47:12,13:

Stand fast now in your spells

And in your many sorceries

With which you have labored from your youth;

Perhaps you will be able to profit,

Perhaps you may cause trembling.

You are wearied with your many counsels;

Let now the astrologers,

those who prophesy by the stars,

Those who predict by the new moons,

Stand up and save you from what will come upon you.

Lev. 19:31:  Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them.  I am the LORD your God.

Deut. 18:9-12:  When you enter the land which the Lord your God give you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who makes his son or his daughter pass thorough the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.

Ex. 22:18:  You shall not allow a sorceress to live.

Lev. 20:27:  Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death.  They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

Read Acts 19:11-20  Paul healed sick, books burned.


Eccl. 9:5:  “the dead know not anything”

Job 14:12-15,21:  So man lies down and does not rise.  Until the heavens be no more, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.  Oh that Thou wouldst hide me in Sheol, That Thou wouldst conceal me until Thy wrath returns to Thee, That Thou wouldst set a limit for me and remember me!  If a man dies, will he live again?  All the days of my struggle I will wait, Until my change comes.  Thou wilt call, and I will answer The; Thou wilt long for the work of Thy hands… His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it; Or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.

Psa 13:3:  Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

Ps. 146:4:  “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thought perish.”

Rom. 6:23: “the wages of sin is death”

Gen. 2:17:  for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.

Gen. 3:4:  “Ye shall not surely die,” (Satan’s claim, i.e. spiritism).

If Lazerous was in heaven, why did Jesus call his soul down from bliss to raise him from the dead?  Wasn’t he better off in heaven?  Jn. 11:1-46:


Does this story prove that mediums can communicate with dead people?

If the Lord would not answer Saul through dreams, prophets or Urim (vrs 6), how could a medim force Samuel to disobey God and speak to Saul.  Samuel would not even see Saul any more while he was yet living (1 Sam.15:35).

vrs 12  – demons revealed identity of Saul.

vrs 14 – Saul believed it was Samuel from the mediums description.  Saul never actully saw Samuel.

vrs 15 – Samuel did not actually speak.  Mediums always speak for the spirit.

Samuel was brought up: nominal christians believe he would have come down from heaven.

How could he have communicated if the resurrection wouldn’t take place till the kingdom? “the dead know not anything.” Eccl.  “no one has ascended into heaven” Jn 3:12.

God said not to communicate through mediums (Deut 18:9-12; Isa 8:19:20).

vrs 19 – Tomorrow Saul and his sons were to die and Israel woud be defeated.

The well informed demons knew of the Philistines military strength, that Saul was panic-stricken, that God was against Saul, and that God would soon make David Sauls successor.  It wasn’t difficult to figure out that Saul and some of his sons would soon die in battle.

1 Sam 29:1 is the next day.

1 Sam 29:11; 30:1:  is third day.  (The demons were wrong.  Saul’s sons died three days later.)

Three of Sauls sons were killed.  1 Sam 31:2;  Yet, Saul had more than three Sons.

1 Chron 8:33. Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab & Eshbaal

2 Sam 21:8: Armoni & Mephibosheth


Divination:  the art of forecasting the future with a view to avoiding its perls and pitfalls… the use of drugs, charms, or magic words… inspired by demon power (NI Dictionary, pg 612,1067, 718)

From the Latin divus, “pertaining to god,” meaning that information received is from the gods.  “Divination” embrasces generally the whole scope of gaining secret knowledge, especially about future events, through the aid of spiritistic occult powers.  (Aid to Bible Understanding, pg. 456)

Sorcerer:  One who practices the arts of the magicians and astrologers, by which he pretends to fortell events with the assistance of evil spirits. (NI Dictionary, pg 726)

Witch:  Woman (man = wizard) who practiced “witchcraft.”  There was an apparent communication with demons and a pretended conversation with the spiritis of the dead by means of which future events were revealed, diseases cured, and evil spirits drivend away.

Omen:  Anything viewed as giving some indication about the future;  a situation or occurrence thought of as portending good or evil. (Aid to Bible Understanding, pg 1252)

Astrologers: (Also called soothsayers).  This astrological cult consisted of those who, from the position of the stars at the hour of birth by various arts of computation and divining, determined the fate of individuals… a different god was believed to rule over each section of the heavens… All matters, both public and private, were believed to be controlled by these gods of the heavens.  – Aid to Bible Understanding, pg. 155

Magic & Sorcery:  Secret arts and uncanny powers presumably used to accomplish things beyond what are natural, and which are associated with spiritistic, occult powers.  “Black” magic is said to consist of spells, special curses and “the evil eye” that brings harm to ones enemies.  “White” magic, on the other hand is said by its practicers to produce good results by breaking the spells and cancelling the curses… The Bible… forbids every form of spiritistic magic.  By the use of magical formulas, said to be obtained through supernatural knowledge and wisdom, the practitioner attemps to influence people and alter future events.  In this respect, magic differs from divenation, which attempts only to discover future events rather than influence or change them.  – Aid to Bible Understanding pg 1093.

Charm:  … a magical formula spoken, sung or written as a spell, or an object kept or worn by a person in the belief that it has occult power either for good or for protection against evil

12 comments to What the Bible says about Spiritism and the Occult

  • God has revealed his truths by means of his holy spirit through the apostles. The one person who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Acts 3:13-26; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:1,2), by means of His Holy Spirit, especially led the apostles into all the truths concerning Christ and what he said, and thereby the faith was delivered to the saints in the first century. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:2; Jude 1:3) The truths revealed to the apostles and made available to us are recorded in the Bible itself. (Ephesians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:25,26; 1 John 4:6) Of course, without the holy spirit, these things that are recorded will still be a mystery to us. — Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10.

    Without the Bible, we would not know that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is Jesus himself who sent the God’s spirit to lead his apostles into all truth.

  • Marjo

    As a parent, it is hard to tell a child what they can watch. Most cartoons are full of magic, mystic powers, dark powers, violence…I have tried to do my best to explain to them where they come from. So far everything has gone great. I have these good old children tv shows that came out in my time when I was kid. Like Maya the bee and Alfred J Qwack. Spiritism is everywhere and this Satans world is trying to make it look innocent and harmless fun in a form of cartoon or a tv series or movie.

    My husband told me that his aunt has this very bad hobby with spirit board. Once when my husband was kid, this woman forced her children including my husband to place their hands on the glass. Which is horrible thing to do. She had this habbit to ask names for her baby from that board. That is a thing what is bothering me. After that they have had bad luck in their lives. Im telling this because it is not harmless fun in any form.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Marjo, I agree that the occult is not HARMLESS. It can be an invitation to allow them into your life and your home. They don’t have the power to harm us if we don’t in some way extend an invitation. There are various ways that can be done, however. I had an experience in my home where another family member was inciting to such a harassment. You and your husband are right to inform and protect your children to God’s glory, being on his side only. Take care.

  • What is this insistence that we be concerned about “What the Bible says …” with regards things? Should not our concern be with what “Christ says about a matter?”

    Before anyone says, “But how else can we learn about Christ or the mind of God unless we consult the Bible?” I say to you that you have completely missed the boat.

    While it is true that God and Christ a quoted in the Bible, so are many others; to include the Devil (Serpent). So, does that make his (the Devil) words the Word of God? I think not.

    I believe that it is a mistake to make a book that appears on the scene some 1500 years after Christs ascension, something those claiming to follow Christ holy, scripture and the Word of God.

    When people use expressions such as “What does the Bible say about this and that or What does the Bible teach about this and that,” they have not carefully thought through what they are saying. What are they saying?

    They are saying (and acknowledging) that the Bible is our Teacher, holy, The Word of God, the way, the truth and the life and that it is the authority. That a book has usurped all that Christ is.

    Never should expressions “What the Bible say about this and that” leave the mouths of those who claim to follow him. Rather, it should be what does Christ say or teach about a matter. Did not the Most High God command @ Luke 9:35 that we listen to his son?

    Did Christ not say concerning himself that “he” is the way, the truth and the life and no one come to the Father but by him.

    No book by any name is the way to the Father.

    God does not hear or answer us through books. If He did, then those things would be “the way.” No! God hears and answers us only through ONE authorized channel: His Son. There is no other way.

    So, how does one gain any of God’s wisdom, understanding and knowledge? By doing exactly as Christ told us: Pray to Him in his name. And, since God answers us through his son, then we should be concerned about what “Christ” says about a matter, not what a book says.

    The Bible has really become an object of idolatry when it is consulted as an authority. (The same applies to religious organizations).

    When one clings to a book for answers, then one is really saying Christ is dead and unable to teach us today via Holy Spirit. They become faithless persons who put their trust in that which they can see (a book).

    More is to be gained simply by asking the Father – in Christs name (office as Word of God and the way) than consulting a book for answers.

    Man “authorized” and made a book holy and the Word of God. This is at odds with what the Most High did: He authorized His son, made holy and His spokesman, The Word of God.

    Are you really obeying God and listening to His son?

    If you are using expressions such as “What does the Bible say about this and that” then you are NOT obeying God’s command concerning his son. “Listen to him.”

    • Lee Anthony

      What would I know of Jesus without these words that have been written? Very little is know of him and his teachings from history outside of the bible letters and book of the law. Jesus refers to the law and prophets multiple times in the books of matt. through john, all of these times he answers from what had been written by men from God long ago as if it were the only authority. Yes now God has spoken through Jesus, (Hebrews 1:2) and yes his words are the only authority, and it is by holy spirit that we can learn the will of God but it is also by that same spirit, the very one that led Moses and others to pen the writings Jesus himself cited, that we still have all the words Jesus spoke and more. These have been written and kept under inspiration of holy spirit (2 tim. 3:14-17) just as they were in times past. The writers of the new testament simply wrote as did Moses and others in their day, under divine inspiration (Rev. 1:1-2) Jesus should be our model to imitate, yet without the written words we have that speak of his teachings and life we would know very little when it comes to being a follower of christ. He is the way the truth and the life yet had John not written that down and had God not allowed those writings to be saved so many thousands of years would we even have that understanding today? Perhaps, or maybe not. I know many lives which has been literally transformed by God through the pages of that old book, some of them worthless drug abusers, convicts, people without a life or hope yet they changed for Jesus, and as a result of what Jesus did for them, without that old book they likely would have died in their misery like many others. Many believe in the bible many do not, but my personal opinion that I have formulated based on my own experiences, any person who is a follower of Jesus and Knows about the God of the Jews and of the christians is one today because of learning about all these things through an old book.

      • A anonymous

        I don’t listen to this man. Talks about titles yet has “R” behind his name. He’s more of a Pharisee than anything.

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Lee Anthony, sometimes people just post on the site and we only allow them So much copy and paste. If they have a website they should just drop the link. You, my dear brother will wear yourself out if you try to reply to or read those long comments. You take care of you. R Jerome is just copying and pasting on websites.

          • Lee Anthony

            Yea, I understand now… Saw it as an opportunity to attempt to preach as I dont get much of a chance but i didnt realize he wasnt actually interested in real conversation about the bible. Now i know who he is. Thanks..

            • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

              Lee Anthony we have a Facebook page with the same name as the site. There are many oportunities to discuss with non JW and some who are looking for more truth.

              • Lee Anthony

                I just started the page, I have no one on it at moment but will check it out. I am learning how to use it, never been a fan of social media.

  • Alex

    Peter, the penalty still exists! As Paul says in 1 Cor. 9, the law is Christ Jesus! All the law has been fufilled in him. If we don’t proclaim him as our Lord and Master, with mind, and spirit, then we will be guilty and condemned.

    God is not like a man, who can change his mind. That’s why Jesus is the propitiation for us. He satisfied God’s wrath, so the punishment still stands for those who don’t enter by the narrow path. God does not change like you imply.

    And if the dead just sleep, why does Paul say to be dead is to be with Christ?

    And how about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus? Sure seems likne he was aware of his punishment doesn’t it?

    As Jesus said, heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will never.

    Glory to Jesus in the highest, Hosanna in the highest, all blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the Lord of Lords.

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