by Ken Simmons
Every few decades there seems to be an increased interest in the occult by people seeking something above and beyond traditional religion. And, in many of my published articles this writer has pointed out that when Christianity became a “religion” it became an institutionalized system that is completely devoid of its supernatural roots. The Christian Religion of today has been well-schooled in unbelief so much so that it is now an impotent shell of what Christ intended and what the early church experienced. (NOTE: There is a powerful transforming move of God that has begun in many parts of the world that is the polar opposite of dead religion.)
The early church experienced the miraculous because Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe,” (see Mark 16:15 - 18) and those signs included healing the sick, casting out demons, speaking in tongues, etc. The apostle Paul warned of the coming day when religious people would “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof” (see 2 Timothy 3:5)
It is for reasons such as this that it is understandable why many seek experiences outside the Christian faith because they have seen a powerless, feckless “Christian religion” and their response is, “Sorry, it’s not for me. I’ll look elsewhere.”
The gifts of the Spirit are, by their very nature, supernatural. There are nine gifts* as outlined in I Corinthians 12: 4-11. For every supernatural gift given by the Holy Spirit, there are counterfeit gifts given by the Father of Lies. Examples of this are true prophetic gifts from God, and fortune telling, reading tea leaves and tarot cards, etc., all sourced from the dark side. For the counterfeiters some of their prophecies are accurate, otherwise no one would believe them. It's just that their source is other-worldly.
Most people, including Christians, are oblivious to the fact that we live in a spiritual world and that we are surrounded by evil forces trying to influence us.
In Jean Dixon’s book “A Gift of Prophecy” she details her experience in a vision with a large serpent in which she saw “the wisdom of the ages.” And, Ms. Dixon was quick to point out that her “gift” was pointing people to God.
In the Book of Acts, Chapter 16, verse 16, the apostle Paul encountered a slave girl who was possessed with a “spirit of divination” who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. The word “divination” is from the Greek “puthon," or python (there is no "y" in the original Greek text) meaning she was possessed by a spirit likened to a python. Paul was greatly annoyed and he finally turned to the woman and said: “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” and the demon left her and she could no longer make money for her masters using this “gift” from a python.
(NOTE: Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for casting out this demon spirit. )
This writer was once thrown out of the church of a well-known television preacher for casting out a demon spirit. I was a new believer, and prior to the moment that I encountered a young man with a demon I didn't even believe in such things, until that is, I saw with my own eyes what the demon was doing to him. He began to howl like a wolf at the top of his lungs, and then he began to convulse. Next, two voices came out of him at the same time. One voice was howling and screaming in terror, and the other voice said in a deep, guttural growl, "He's mine. I've been in here 16 years and I'm not coming out." I suddenly realized it was real and I had no choice but to cast this thing out. When the pastor heard about what happened he asked me and my family to find another place to worship.
It should be pointed out that the slave woman in Acts 16:16 didn’t tell the people following her, “Don't listen to these men. You should start worshiping Satan,” but instead she said, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation,” and yet she was possessed with a demon spirit.
Many years ago while reading this and discovering that the original word for divination was “python” the Holy Spirit then revealed to me that this was the exact same spirit that gave Dixon her revelations. Both Jean Dixon, and the slave girl, said that their gift was from God and yet both had a demon spirit. Even demon spirits will tell truth from time to time just to pique people's interest and to steer them toward the occult.
On my website www.kensimmonsministries.com there is an article entitled “The Evil That Walks Among Us” it discusses how most Christians are unaware that Jesus spent as much time casting out demons as he did healing people (true), and it clearly demonstrates that we live in a spiritual and unseen world, although most people are totally oblivious to this fact.
Many began their journey into the occult with something as seemingly innocent as experimenting with the Ouija board, often with tragic consequences. My having to deal with many of them later as their lives were shattered by other-worldly spirits made it all too real to them.
Go to most any seaside boardwalk and you will likely see Palm Readers and Fortune Tellers. My advice to these people is, “If your gift is genuine, then you have a demon influencing you and you need to be set free from this evil force, and Jesus is the only one who can set you free from it,” and if their gift is not genuine then they are merely fraudsters.
*The Gifts of the Spirit as found in I Corinthians 12:4-11) are: (1) The word of wisdom; (2) the word of knowledge, (3) the gifts of faith, (4) the gifts of healing, (5) the working of miracles, (6) the gift of prophecy, (7) the discerning of spirits, (8) the gift of (diverse) tongues, and (9) he interpretation of tongues.