Skip to links to articles explaining how things often thought to be demonic/supernatural/psychic can be done by trickery and in other natural ways.
Deuteronomy chapter 18 (NLT)
10 Do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.
Isaiah chapter 8 (TEV)
19 But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortunetellers and mediums, ... They will say, "After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living." 20 You are to answer them, "Listen to what the Lord is teaching you! Don't listen to mediums-what they tell you cannot keep trouble away."
1 John chapter 4 (TEV)
1 My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere. 2 This is how you will be able to know whether it is God's Spirit: anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came as a human being has the Spirit who comes from God. 3 But anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the Spirit from God. The spirit that he has is from the Enemy of Christ; you heard that it would come, and now it is here in the world already.
Matthew chapter 12 (NRSV)
43 "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none. 44 Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. "
John chapter 14 (NLT)
12 "... anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!
15 "If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you."
Acts chapter 19 (TEV)
11 God was performing unusual miracles through Paul. 12 Even handkerchiefs and aprons he had used were taken to the sick, and their diseases were driven away, and the evil spirits would go out of them.
13 Some Jews who traveled around and drove out evil spirits also tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to do this. They said to the evil spirits, "I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches."
14 Seven brothers, who were the sons of a Jewish High Priest named Sceva, were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit said to them, "I know Jesus, and I know about Paul; but you-who are you?" 16 The man who had the evil spirit in him attacked them with such violence that he overpowered them all. They ran away from his house, wounded and with their clothes torn off.
17 All the Jews and Gentiles who lived in Ephesus heard about this; they were all filled with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was given greater honor. 18 Many of the believers came, publicly admitting and revealing what they had done. 19 Many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in public. They added up the price of the books, and the total came to fifty thousand silver coins.
20 In this powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing stronger.
Acts chapter 16 (TEV)
1 Paul traveled on to Derbe and Lystra, where a Christian named Timothy lived. 6 They traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit did not let them preach the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they reached the border of Mysia, they tried to go into the province of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So they traveled right on through Mysia and went to Troas.
9 That night Paul had a vision in which he saw a Macedonian standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" 10 As soon as Paul had this vision, we got ready to leave for Macedonia, because we decided that God had called us to preach the Good News to the people there. 11 We left by ship from Troas and sailed straight across to Samothrace, and the next day to Neapolis. 12 From there we went inland to Philippi, a city of the first district of Macedonia; it is also a Roman colony. We spent several days there.
16 One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a young servant woman who had an evil spirit that enabled her to predict the future. She earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God! They announce to you how you can be saved!" 18 She did this for many days, until Paul became so upset that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I order you to come out of her!" The spirit went out of her that very moment.
For a very gruesome take on why the Old Testament Law may have had such a harsh penalty against witchcraft, which describes things going on in some parts of the world today, which may or may not have gone on in Bible times, visit:
Here are a couple of testimonies from people who really do believe they had contact with occultic spirits:
Acts chapter 8 (TEV)
4 The believers ... went everywhere, preaching the message.
5 Philip went to the principal city in Samaria and preached the Messiah to the people there. 6 The crowds paid close attention to what Philip said, as they listened to him and saw the miracles that he performed. 7 Evil spirits came out from many people with a loud cry, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
9 A man named Simon lived there, who for some time had astounded the Samaritans with his magic. He claimed that he was someone great, 10 and everyone in the city, from all classes of society, paid close attention to him. "He is that power of God known as "The Great Power,' " they said. 11 They paid this attention to him because for such a long time he had astonished them with his magic.
12 But when they believed Philip's message about the good news of the Kingdom of God and about Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself also believed; and after being baptized, he stayed close to Philip and was astounded when he saw the great wonders and miracles that were being performed.
14 The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter and John to them.
15 When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Simon saw that the Spirit had been given to the believers when the apostles placed their hands on them. So he offered money to Peter and John, 19 and said, "Give this power to me too, so that anyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit."
20 But Peter answered him, "May you and your money go to hell, for thinking that you can buy God's gift with money! 21 You have no part or share in our work, because your heart is not right in God's sight. 22 Repent, then, of this evil plan of yours, and pray to the Lord that he will forgive you for thinking such a thing as this. 23 For I see that you are full of bitter envy and are a prisoner of sin."
24 Simon said to Peter and John, "Please pray to the Lord for me, so that none of these things you spoke of will happen to me." 25 After they had given their testimony and proclaimed the Lord's message, Peter and John went back to Jerusalem. On their way they preached the Good News in many villages of Samaria.
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|Or go directly to the next in the series: The Bible Story Of The Creation Of Everything On The Earth By God And The Flood That Destroyed Nearly Everything In The World.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:
There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:
Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:
If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.
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