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What is a Cult and the Occult? by Jim Bramlett

(The information below is summarized from numerous expert sources on cults and the occult)

The two words, “cult and occult,” sound similar. But while different, they both pose a similar spiritual threat to people by appearing to be something they are not. Both can cause its victims to miss God’s loving and free provision for their lives through Christ, and cause them to face a tragic, Christless eternity. There are many nice, friendly and caring people in the cults and the occult. God loves them, so much that Christ died for them. They are not our enemy. Our enemy is Satan and his deceiving spirits.

Cults

In popular usage, “cults” are religious groups predicted by the Bible (2 Peter 2:1) that deviate from the central, historic truths of biblical Christianity and God’s revelation in Christ. Some cults are offshoots of ancient pagan religions, have no similarity to Christianity, and are easy to identify. Others falsely try to imitate Christianity, often using the Bible and Christian terminology, and are more difficult to distinguish. These latter cults typically exhibit one or more of the following traits:

1. They may consider Jesus Christ as not equal to God the Father, but something less. But Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and Paul said that Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) The Bible is repeatedly clear that Jesus is deity, and when on the earth, He was God in human form. We can be redeemed from our sins only because God’s own perfect blood (in Christ) was shed for our perfect cleansing.

2. They may typically reject the clear biblical revelation of a triune God, sometimes called the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit — one God, not three, but manifest in three Persons. The Bible refers to all three as Persons, yet One. A mystery, but truth.

3. They may have their own “sacred” book in addition to the Bible. And although they usually deny it, these books conflict with and are given precedence over the Bible.

4. They typically reject the wonderful biblical truth that salvation is a “free gift” from God by grace through faith alone (this truth glorifies God and not man). Instead, cults and all other “religions” falsely say that people must “earn” their salvation by certain works and deeds, often works that will perpetuate the cult (this glorifies man rather than God).

5. Cults are often exclusive, centering around a strong leader (or late founder) who has the only “true” interpretation of Scripture. Whereas Christ came to give us freedom, (Galatians 5:1), cult members are in bondage to that cult or leader, with the threat that leaving the cult will cause a loss of salvation.

Thousands of these cults exist, but here are some major ones listed in most cult reference books: Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Unity School of Christianity, The Way International, The Children of God, Scientology, The Unification Church, Unitarianism and the New Age Movement (which is also occult).

If involved in any cult, run — don’t walk — to the nearest exit, and find a Christ-centered, Bible- believing church. Also, apply the four-step process below.

References. There are many excellent books available on cults. Four are: The Kingdom of the Cults, by Dr. Walter R. Martin; The Deceivers, by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart; Cult Watch, by Dr. John Ankerberg and John Weldon; and Larson’s New Book of Cults, by Bob Larson.

The Occult

The word “occult” refers to what is hidden, concealed, or secret. The occult involves the spirit world, but the spirit world of darkness. The occult is particularly deceptive because the spirit world is very real. Practitioners are dealing with reality — but dark, forbidden, and evil reality.

There are two kinds of spiritual reality. The first is God’s spiritual Kingdom of truth and light, where Christ is King, the nature of which is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17), and where God’s holy angels dwell, worship and serve Him. The second is the world of Satan (a fallen angel), a world of darkness and hopelessness, void of God, and where other fallen angels (called demons) who hate God work to advance this evil kingdom under their leader, Satan. This latter world of spiritual darkness is that which is experienced through the sinister practices of the occult.

The Bible does not reveal a “dualism,” or co-equal forces of good (represented by God) and evil (represented by Satan). Satan is totally subject to the sovereign, omnipotent Creator. But God has given Satan certain authority to operate in the earth as a result of man’s sinful fall. He operates through the minds and wills of fallen humanity, and he has constructed a complex web of many evil schemes, including occult practices, even religions, to deceive and snare people by appearing to offer them access to supernatural power and knowledge. The Bible says that such deception will increase in “the last days” before Christ returns (1 Timothy 4:1). But the Bible also says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Those who trust and obey Jesus Christ have protection and victory through Him.

Any degree of occult involvement can produce problems of oppression, depression, despair, hopelessness, and many physical problems, sometimes bringing death, even self-destruction. Demonic influence can produce obsessions, phobias, bizarre behavior, violence, homicide and sexual perversion in its victims. Worse, it can deceive a person into eternal darkness. The occult is a form of idolatry and a sin expressly forbidden by God (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). In the New Testament when the gospel was proclaimed and received, the liberated people gladly burned all their occult materials (see Acts 19:19).

Here are just a few of the many occult practices: astrology, various kinds of “fortune telling,” witchcraft, satanism, ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, seances, spiritism meetings, use of mediums or “channeling,” automatic writing, ouija boards, hypnosis, parapsychology, psychic surgery, eastern religions, reincarnation, voodoo, magic charming, yoga; involvement with psychics such as Jeane Dixon, Edgar Cayce; the Rosicrucians, and the New Age Movement. The New Age Movement is a catchall term embracing many modern occult beliefs and practices. There is even compelling evidence that UFOs are real, but supernatural and often occult manifestations of fallen angels whose ultimate purpose is to deceive humanity into thinking super-intelligent extraterrestrials will help usher the earth into a golden “New Age” of happiness without God. But with God rejected and without His blessings, occult-practicing, lost and depraved humanity will soon bring upon itself the end-time global holocaust prophesied by the Bible.

If you are now or have ever been, anytime in your life, involved with any cult or occult practice, you can be set free of it and any symptoms it may have brought by doing the following: (1) Confess sincere faith in and commitment to Christ; (2) confess the cult and occult sins to God, naming and forsaking each one; (3) renounce Satan, in Jesus’ name, and commanding him and his demons to depart; and (4), receive and claim your liberation by faith, without doubting, trusting in the authority and total faithfulness of God and His Word. If you do this, Satan must obey and release you, by the authority of Jesus’ Name and God’s Word, and any symptoms that Satan put on you must disappear.

References. There are many books available in Christian bookstores on the occult and the New Age Movement, including The Coming Darkness, by John Ankerberg and John Weldon; Inside the New Age Nightmare, by Randall N. Baer; Understanding the Occult, by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart. For information on UFOs: The Omega Conspiracy, by Dr. I.D.E. Thomas; Planet Earth–2000 A.D., by Hal Lindsey; and the outstanding documentary video, UFOs: The Hidden Truth (the video is available by calling 1-800-475-1111).

http://www.choicesforliving.com/spirit/cults.htm

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EXCLUSIVE: Madonna offers Guy an extra £5million ‘if she can dictate access rights to children’ By Richard Simpson
Last updated at 8:54 AM on 23rd October 2008

Madonna has offered Guy Ritchie an additional £5million to dictate his access rights to their three children.

The singer has agreed to increase the lump sum cash payment he will get in their divorce from £15million to £20million if he backs down from a court battle over Lourdes, 12, Rocco, eight, and David Banda, three.

Legal sources said last night that Mr Ritchie would be well-advised to take the offer since Madonna as their mother would be seen as primary carer.

‘Madonna has said to Guy that if she ups the money, then would he agree to her setting out the access for the children until they turn 18. What she is basically saying is that if Guy wants this to go to court, she will get what she wants anyway.

‘Basically she is offering a cash incentive to him to encourage an amicable out-of-court agreement over the children.. Madonna is keen to give Guy good access to the children – but on her terms,’ a source said.

‘Guy wants the children to be educated in Britain – especially his beloved Rocco – but his lawyers will be advising him that if Madonna moves to New York and wants the children with her, a judge is likely to agree.’

Ritchie spent yesterday mulling over the offer with his lawyers.

The offer also contains a clause which will effectively attempt to gag Ritchie and his family from talking about the marriage break-down.

Access to the children is the only area of the split Guy and Madonna are now at loggerheads over.

Money and property have been discussed and all but agreed.

The Mail has learned that Guy finally decided the marriage was over during one particular bizarre exchange with his wife at their Marylebone house where she claimed to be ‘bigger than Jesus’.

Said a friend: ”The argument happened at the Marylebone house. Madonna had been moaning about his lack of support and lack of interest in what she has doing with Kabbalah.

‘She told Guy she did not understand why she was ridiculed by the press for what she was doing with the religion. But Guy just reacted quite sarcastically and told her to “get over herself”.

‘And that’s when it got a bit surreal. Madonna said that her destiny had been mapped out and that she had been chosen to live this life.

‘She said the reason why she is a living icon is that she had been chosen to be a spiritual guru. To which Guy turned around and said ‘Listen love, you’re just a singer’.

‘And it was then she turned around to him and said: “Listen baby, I’m bigger than Jesus'”.
‘Guy was dumbfounded. At that point, he realised that he really had lost her to the Kabbalah. From that point on, Guy felt totally alienated from Madonna. She made him feel that he was beneath her. To make matters worse, that had been one of the few times they had been together in recent months and it was spoiled by that argument.’

The source went on: ‘Guy truly believes that Madonna is deluded and lives in a fantasy world – particularly also when it comes to her age.

‘When Madonna turned 50 for example, she felt her biological age was only 35 so they went ahead as if it was a 35th birthday’.

Meanwhile it emerged last night that Madonna has also fallen out with her family over the divorce.

Said a source: ‘She has been blasted by her father – a devout Catholic – for divorcing twice. He is furious that they did not do more to resolve their differences – especially for the sake of the children.

Relationships with the entire family had already been strained over the publication of her brother Christopher Ciccone’s tell-all book.

‘Resentment has been building up over the years due to Madonna’s high-handed imperious behaviour. When the book was released, Madonna called on the help of her family to try to stop it but they were unable and indeed unwilling to prevent it coming out. The feeling was that had Madonna treated him better, it wouldn’t have happened.’

Further details also emerged last night of the division of wealth between Guy and Madonna in the divorce. As reported first by the Mail, Guy will get Ashcombe – their Wiltshire estate – plus cash of around £15 million. He will also get an allowance for homes in London and New York.

However, although Guy will be able to keep Ashcombe, all of the art and antiquities – in particular two Picasso paintings – will be stripped from the house.

All of the possessions she gave Guy in the marriage, she had told him he can keep. But all of the presents Guy ever gave her, she is putting in storage.

Friends are concerned that the divorce is going to become increasingly acrimonious over the access to the children, in particular the regularity of access and the length of each access period.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1079889/EXCLUSIVE-Madonna-offers-Guy-extra-5million-dictate-access-rights-children.html

 

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Kabbalah – Why the different spellings for Kabbalah?
Kabbalah is found spelled in many different ways — Qabbala, Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Qabala, Qabalah, and Kaballah. The reason for this is because some letters in the Hebrew alphabet have more than one usage in the English alphabet. The Hebrew letter can be written as a K, Q, or C, but the “Kabbalah” spelling is the most common.

Kabbalah – What is it?
Kabbalah is derived from the Hebrew root for “reception and acceptance.” It is an esoteric (occult secret) system of interpretation of the Scriptures based upon oral accounts handed down from Abraham. It is also considered as secret oral teachings with a mixture of Jewish teachings, occultism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism. Jewish Kabbalah uses numerology to interpret the Bible’s message.

Kabbalah concentrates the attention of Jewish mysticism towards the nature of divinity, the creation, the soul’s beginnings and fate, and man’s place in this world. It is considered an esoteric off-branch of Judaism because it teaches meditation, loyalties, and mystical enhancements to a select few. It originated for Jews only, but many non-Jews have studied Kabbalah for the last 500 years.

The non-Jewish version of Kabbalah is called Hermetic Kabbalah. Some Jews have opted for the preferences of Hermetic Kabbalah. For centuries, Hermetic Kabbalah has grown in many directions with influences from Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and its continued input from Jewish Kabbalah. The strongest philosophies of Kabbalah are ideals of religious humanism.

Kabbalah vs. Christianity vs. Judaism

  • Primary Texts: Christianity uses the Bible. Judaism uses the Torah. Kabbalah texts are much like taking notes in a classroom setting, but utilize commentaries from Herchalat, Yetzirah, Sefer Chasidim, Malakh, Bahir, Zahar, Pardes Rimonim, Ets Khayim, and Sulam.
  • Explanation of the existence of evil: Christianity determines evil as a disobedient rebellion against God. Satan, as an angel, of light first exercised it, when the devil tried to be like God. Then, the perpetrator enticed man to exercise the same rebellious disobedience. Judaism understands evil as the same act of rebellion. Kabbalah’s philosophy of evil stems from the belief that both good and evil come from God.
  • An existing need for a Savior (Messiah): Christianity teaches that the Messiah came as the Son of God (Jesus Christ) to redeem man from evil. Judaism teaches that the Messiah has yet to come and redeem Israel. Kabbalah’s philosophy does not include the sinful nature of man, and therefore, there is no need of the redeeming qualities of a Messiah.
  • One God or Ten: Christianity is built on one God, but expressed in the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Judaism believes in One God — Jehovah, no Trinity. Kabbalah’s ideals believe that there are ten parts to God, which they call emanations.

 

Kabbalah – Practices
Some Kabbalahists utilize divination and clairvoyance to foretell events or to know occult events, and some deal with potions and curses. Practical Kabbalah is termed for use in referring to secret sciences (ESP, psychic readings, Ouija boards, tarot cards, reading tea leaves, reading bones, numerology, mediums, spirit guides, channeling, mysticism, etc.), mystic art, or sorcery.

Principals of Kabbalah are intertwined with: Greek and Egyptian deities, the Enochian tradition of angelic mysteries (taken from the “Book of Enus” found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, not written by the prophet Enoch of the Bible), Hindu and Buddhist Eastern ideals instituted within the Masonic-Rosicrucian-Style secret orders, and the occult. The teachings of both Christianity and Judaism prohibit magical means in foretelling the future.

http://www.allaboutreligion.org/kabbalah.htm

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