Ministering to those in the New Age and Occult by Heather Marsten

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ministering to those in the New Age and Occult by Heather Marsten

Thought you might like to see what I have been working on these past few days – besides a research on the harvest, I gave a speech at our local Woman’s Aglow about my past, and wrote the following to hand out to the people for their reference.  Please feel free to use this if it is helpful to you.

MINISTERING TO THOSE IN THE NEW AGE AND OCCULT

SIMILARITIES/DIFFERENCES

Most of the people you meet who are in the occult will tell you that they are good, moral, upstanding people, and they are.  They are caring, loving, and seeking the truth the best way they know how to seek the truth. They feel that their beliefs and Christian beliefs are not inconsistent, but we know that their beliefs do not line up with the Word of God. Yes, both Christians and those in the occult have a good concept of stewardship of the earth, most care about people and those in need.  Both are seeking a meaningful experience and relationship with God. But there are some real differences.

1. Christianity is Monotheistic – there is one God.  Most occultists feel that there are many gods and each person should be able to worship the god or gods that they are comfortable with.  That there is a vast pantheon of gods and you can pick and choose not only gods, but also what you want to believe and practice.

2. Christianity is Exclusive – Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him.  But pagans will feel that your spiritual path may not necessarily be my spiritual path.  They often feel that whichever path you take will lead you to God, even though the paths could be diametrically opposite.

3.  We need salvation from our sins – Many in the occult do not feel that they sin or that they need to follow a list of do’s and don’ts.  They have no idea that what they do is sin.  Many will say that they follow the three-fold law of return, that what you do will come back to you three-fold – that if you do good you will get three times more good, if evil, three times more evil.  Their main law is, “an it harm none, do as ye will.” But most in the occult do not want to follow a prescribed set of rules such as the 10 Commandments, for those “rules” are considered to be patriarchal and repressive. They believe in the inherent good of mankind.

4.  God’s Authority.  While Christians know that God is sovereign, those in the occult feel that each person is god and can determine for themselves what is right or not.  They feel that they are master of their destinies and can control what is going on in and around them.

MINISTERING THE WORD TO THOSE IN THE OCCULT

Remember – people are going to watch you.  What you do will say far more than any impact your words will have.

1. Pray – pray for the person, for the right words to say, for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

2. Love the people – your love will break down more barriers than any other thing. Don’t rush things, keep the friendship open and love the person even if they don’t accept Christ as fast as you would like them to accept Him – it took me two years of talking with Pastor Don Moore before I accepted Christ into my life.

3. Listen – listen more than you talk, you are trying to locate the person and where they are coming from.  You want to know what kind of occult spirit you are dealing with, what caused the person to seek the occult in the first place. That will help you find the right method to reach them.

4. Minister in the right environment – sometimes a person’s house with all of their paraphernalia may be the wrong environment – get them out to a coffee shop, a Christian outing that is fun like a picnic or concert, or somewhere away from the influence of the occult.

5. As passionately as you believe Jesus, they believe their gods and tenets are true.  They are searching for God, but may not know that it is God that they are really seeking as they go from one new age belief system to another.   Gain some knowledge about what they believe – remember Paul in Acts 17 spoke to the Athenians using their gods and worship practices to preach the Gospel. Acts 17:22-24 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Those who do worship other gods will pray and receive answers to their prayers, but what is the source of the answer? Satan, disguised as an angel of light, may give a healing or deliverance from a situation, but the source is not God, and any time satan chooses, he can remove the healing or deliverance.  We need to seek the truth of God, knowing that Jesus won the battle, and His Word is truth.  The deceptions of satan will wilt with the light of truth – the Word of God will not come back void.  Trust the Holy Spirit to minister to the person, and listen to how the Holy Spirit wants you to minister to them.

6.  Know that satan is an experienced deceiver.  It is ok to readily admit that there is good in what your new age friends are doing – satan will seek to give people a good portion of truth, with just a tiny lie/deception in the midst (think of how satan misquoted the Bible to Jesus during the temptation in the wilderness – giving a partial scripture but not the scripture in context – Luke 4:1-13) – no one would accept a bold faced lie – so much of the new age literature can easily be mistaken for Christian literature unless you look closely.  Examples are A course in Miracles; Conversations with God; The Secret, etc.  On the surface there are many moral truths in the new age literature, but there is always a lie, a misdirection that will take a person away from the truth of God.  When a person is in agreement with what the Word of God says, let them know that that is also what is written in the Bible.  But also let them know where what they are saying differs from the Bible. Ask God to reveal to you where the lie is and then you can lovingly point out the errors.

7. Ask questions and listen to their answers, and when appropriate and led by the Spirit consider asking a question that will get them to think about what they are believing or saying.  An example – if a person tells you that each person should be able to determine what is true for them, and that your truth may not be the same as my truth.  Try to find out if they believe that two truths that are opposite in nature can both be true. For example can you have as true that there are multiple gods and one God?  How can both be simultaneously true? But remember, this has to be done in love at the right time – sometimes when you “win” a debate you lose the person.  It is far more important to keep the conversation going than to win the debate.

8. Find out what caused the person to turn their back on God.  Where is the father wound?  Often a broken relationship with their father, a father figure or an authority figure causes the break with God. Find out what happened that makes it hard for a person to accept Father God in their lives.  When you know where the wound is, then you can find ways to pray for the person, counsel them, and help them sort out those areas.

9.  Speak in simple language, not peppered with Christianeze.  Some of the words that we use as Christians will make no sense to a nonbeliever – such as Washed in the Blood of Christ, etc.

10.  Teach them the truth about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  Speak in terms of how your life is improved by having a relationship with God. Let them see your relationship with God, share your testimony – let them know how you dealt with tough things in your life with the help of God.  Give them the Gospel message with love. Let them know there is a Heaven to be gained and a hell to lose. Recommend a good book to read about the deception of the occult – such as The Beautiful Side of Evil by Johanna Michaelson.

11. Answer their questions honestly – remember they have probably met hypocritical Christians, have had things said to them that have pushed them away from Christ, have seen Christians not walking the Christian walk.  Share strengths and weaknesses, and how no one is perfect. Let them see that life with Jesus is far better than doing things their way.

12. Share the truth in love – offer little bites of truth, not bashing them over the head with scriptures to where they turn you off – but scatter the seeds of truth a bit at a time.  Keep the door open for discussion. Discussion needs to be a two way street – you can learn a lot from the person. As time goes by, you will be getting lots of the Word into the person, and the more Word in, the more the erroneous thinking will be pushed out, but if they shut the door on the first meeting you won’t get too far. Drop seeds of the truth and the Word. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

13. They may resent the fact that they need to be converted, as if they have done something wrong.  It will take time and loving conversations to get them to the point where they feel the need for a savior.  It is very easy to make excuses for what you did and rationalize your sins away, and it takes the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin.  Be patient and know that the Holy Spirit will reach them.

14.  Have patience, know that you may make two steps forward, three back, but be persistent and faithful and loving and you will make inroads.

15. Know that satan will try to put obstacles in your path, to keep the person from you, to distract them and you from the goal.  That is why you need to stay prayed up and aware of any distractions.

16.  Once you have brought a person to Christ, respect them – don’t show them off or parade them as a trophy – “Look at who I got saved.” Know that it is the Holy Spirit who brought the person to Jesus, you were just the instrument.  They will be fragile and need to build their relationship with God.  When they are ready to testify, they will testify about what GOD has done in their lives.  If they feel that you are using them as a trophy it may drive them away from God, not closer to Him. Also, satan will be trying to get the person back and if you expose them before they are ready to share their testimony, it also opens up a way for satan to attach.

17.  Make sure to disciple the person, keep them in the Word.  Get them hooked up with a good Word-based church, and stay with them until they get established.

18.  Make sure that they remove all paraphernalia from their new age participation from their house.  I kept our church’s burn barrel busy for months.  This includes books, tools, dream catchers, statues that were dedicated as idols, ceremonial clothing and anything else that the person has that would keep them tied to their past.  These materials should be completely destroyed, not sold to others.

SOME SCRIPTURE REFERENCES SHOWING GOD’S VIEW OF THE OCCULT.

As you share these scriptures with those in the occult and new age they will probably remark that some of these scriptures seem unnecessarily harsh.  You need to explain to them that God wants His children to have no contact with mediums, sorcerers, witches, etc. because this can open up the doors to the spiritual realm when a person has no controls or discernment.  The supernatural realms contain both evil and good, and an unprotected person can easily be deceived. Evil can and does wear a mask, and satan imitates what God does.  There is a war that is going on in the heavenlies, and a person not rooted or grounded in the truth of God, can very easily be deceived, satan does not play fair.  God does not want us mixing with satan and those who are his minions.  The Commandments and rules that God has given us are not given to us to keep us downtrodden or oppressed, but rather there is great freedom in living life the way God wants us to live life – God knows that His way will bring righteousness, peace, and joy into our lives.  We all can use righteousness, peace, and joy.

Exodus 22:18 You shall not permit a sorceress to live.

Leviticus 19:31 Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20:27 A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them

Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

1 Samuel 28 – the Witch of Endor

Psalm 97:10 You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints;  He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.

Ezekiel 13:23 Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD

 Micah 3:7 So the seers shall be ashamed, and the diviners abashed; indeed they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer from God.

Zechariah 10:2 For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.

 Malachi 3:5 And I will come near you for judgment;  I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against perjurers, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien— because they do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

 I included both the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in the following passage to show you the contrast between evil and good.  God’s way is far, far better!

Galatians 5:19-23 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

I looked up “Sorcery” in Bible Gateway and they gave this list:

(Divination by an alleged assistance of evil spirits)

  1. Forbidden  (Leviticus 19:26-28, 31; 20:6: Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
  2. Denounced (Isaiah 8:19; Malachi 3:5)
  3. To cease  (Ezekiel 12:23,24; 13:23; Micah 5:12)
  4. Messages of, false (Ezekiel 21:29, Zechariah 10:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:9)
  5. Diviners will be confounded (Micah 3:7)
  6. Belongs to the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20)
  7. Wickedness of (1 Samuel 15:23)
  8. Vainness of (Isaiah 44:25)
  9. Punishment for (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 13:5)
  10. Divining by familiar spirits (mediums or spiritualists) (Leviticus 20:27; 1 Chronicles 10:13; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3)
  11. Practiced » By the Egyptians  Isaiah 19:3, 11, 12)
  12. Practiced » By the magicians (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18)
  13. Practiced » By Balaam (Numbers 22:6; 23:23)
  14. Practiced » By Jezebel (2 Kings 9:22)
  15. Practiced » By the Ninevites (Nahum 3:4,5)
  16. Practiced » By the Babylonians (Isaiah 47:9-13; Ezekiel 21:21,22; Daniel 2:2, 10, 27)
  17. Practiced » By Belshazzar (Daniel 5:7, 15)
  18. Practiced » By Simon the Sorcerer (Magus) (Acts 8:9)
  19. Practiced » By Elymas (Bar-Jesus) (Acts 13:8)
  20. Practiced » By the girl at Philippi (Acts 16:16)
  21. Practiced » By charlatan Jews (Acts 19:13)
  22. Practiced » By sons of Sceva (Acts 19:14, 15)
  23. Practiced » By astrologers (Jeremiah 10:2; Micah 3:6,7)
  24. Practiced » By false prophets (Jeremiah 14:14; 27:9; 29:8,9; Ezekiel 13:6-9; 22:28; Matthew 24)

As a member of Living Word Chapel, West Hurley New York:  http://www.livingwordchapel.com  I am privileged to sit under the teachings of Pastor Don Moore.  I post notes from his teachings on my blog: http://www.wondering2004.wordpress.com

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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