The Occult: Fact Or Fiction?

By Ron Halbrook

The occult includes all modem claims of demon activity, astrology or horoscopes, magic, divination, psychic phenomena, and necromancy or communication with 11the dead. God warned the Jews to accept the word of His inspired prophets and to reject all the false claims of occult powers in the heathen religions. Predictions failing to come to pass is a key sign that such claims are false (Deut. 18:9-22). Isaiah refused the voice of those who “peep” and “mutter” in pretended communication with the dead, and added,

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isa. 8:19-20).

God speaks to modem man through the words of Jesus Christ who completed all divine revelation through his chosen writers in the first century (Heb. 1:1-2; 2:1-4). The genuine miracles of Christ and his apostles have never been matched by anyone. All claims to occult power today are based on fiction – lying wonders which deceive (2 Thess. 2:9-10).

Who promotes this fiction? Nostradamus (1503-66) was a French astrologer who used divining rods and other occult devices and magical delusions common in antiquity. He wrote “prophecies” in almanacs, and then in obscure rhymes of four lines each which were published as Ten Centuries – i.e. 1,000 predictions. He admits writing in “dark and abstruse sentences.” His predictions have been revered, republished, and pawned off on a new generation several times since he lived.

Edgar Cayce (1872-1945) lived in Kentucky and Virginia, offering messages called “readings” while under a pretended “trance.” Published “readings” blend psychology, folk medicine, evolution, Eastern mysticism, Western mediumship, and even a little Bible. He professed to speak with the dead to tell the future, to heal, to uncover reincarnated lives, to interpret dreams, and to reveal new visions of Jesus. Cayce claimed “no less than direct communion with God.” “Ipsab” was a snake oil cure-all he mixed.

Jeane Dixon (1918- ) of Washington, D.C. professes to be Elijah’s intellect reincarnated and is well known for her horoscopes and predictions. Her messages comes from dreams, ESP, touching pictures, reading cards, and peering into crystal balls. Her avowed gifts include “physical and mental healing” – as saving heart patients with “cod-liver oil” -and spiritual guidance. Jesus appears to her often and she has “direct contact with the Lord” through her occult powers, we are told.

Since the occult is fiction rather than fact, why do some of its predictions seem to be fulfilled – such as Dixon predicting President Kennedy’s death?

Can The Occult Really Forecast The Future?

The Bible teaches that false claims to prophecy are exposed when predictions fail to come to pass (Deut. 18:22). Yet, it has been widely publicized that Jeane Dixon claims to have predicted President Kennedy’s death. A number of other psychics made the same claim. Does this mean their powers are real? Popular public figures like Kennedy attract many efforts at prophecy. Before his death, psychics were forecasting several scenarios such as Kennedy will be reelected, will be defeated, will resign, will not run again, or will be assassinated. With so many predictions floating around, someone was sure to hit it right – and then use that circumstance to claim mystical powers! The hit is well publicized before a gullible public.

It takes only one documented failure to expose a pretended prognosticator as a fraud. Jeane Dixon, like all the rest, has failed many, many times, but that is such a common thing that it does not get the publicity. A few of her flops in A Gift of Prophecy include: World War III was to occur in 1958 (p.x); “Russia will be the first nation to put a man on the moon” (p. 186); “racial strife” in the U.S. will end in 1980 (p. 106). From My Life and Prophecies.- Sargent Shriver will be elected Governor and then President (p. 239); a major “natural phenomenon” in 1985 will change history’s course and “interfere with the Soviet plan for world conquest” (p. 168); President Lyndon Johnson will live to be “an elder statesman” (pp. 165-66); Bishop James A. Pike will find a 44new vocation” (p. 165) – but he died in the deserts of Israel before her book got on the news stands!

Consider the differences between true Bible prophecies and fraudulent occult predictions. Notice that the nature of the frauds will permit a few lucky hits:

Occult Prediction Bible Prophecy
Some Written After the Event All Written Before the Event (Matt. 2:3-8)
Failures Not Publicized No Failures – Whole Bible Preserved and Subject to Examination (1 Pet. 1:24-25; 2 Pet. 1:16-21)
Often Use Vague & Obscure Language – Subject to Widely Divergent Applications Use Language of Common Man – Fulfillment Easily Recognized (Mk. 12:37; Eph. 3:3-5; Acts 2:16; 13:33)
List of Predictions So Long That Some Have to Hit Every Prophecy Fulfilled in Its Proper Time Without Exception (Matt. 5:18; Gal. 4:4)
Several Contradictory Predictions Made by Different People – One Will Seem to be “Fulfilled” “All the Prophets” Spoke in Harmony – All, Not Just One or Two, Fulfilled (Lk. 24:25-27, 45-49; Acts 3:24)

The occult is based on fraud and deception from start to finish. The Bible is the only true word of God, containing the only genuine prophecies in all of history as a mark of its divine inspiration.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 14, p. 430
July 16, 1987