Editor’s note: As Creation magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this. For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below.

Creation and occultism

By Gary North

Occultism: the art of exploring and communicating with, the secret world of mysterious spiritual forces; the practice of calling upon spirits or mystical powers of nature; the foretelling of future events and discovery of secret things by the aid of superior spirit beings. Whether it be astrology, sorcery, witchcraft, exorcism, fortune-telling or magic, opposition to God as Creator and Saviour lies at the very heart of all that is occult.

Cartoon by Steve Cardno cults-cartoon

Therefore, basic to every reason for opposing occultism is the fact that God is Creator, above His creation and separate from it.

Every form of the occult denies the principle that God is separate from His creation, sometimes implicitly, but usually it is explicit. Even Satan’s original temptation to man hinged on this denial. His claim that man would become as God denies any eternal and unchangeable difference between the Creator God and the created man.

But the Bible is emphatic that such a difference does exist. It begins with the announcement “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. (Genesis 1:1)

By the fiat and absolutely authoritative command of God’s Word, all that exists now was then created out of nothing—creatio ex nihilo.1 Matter and energy are not, and never have been, co-extensive or co-eternal with God, as Aristotle (Physics, VIII), and other pagan cosmologies of the ancient world taught. The Bible does not reveal a God who brought the world into existence and produced order by some struggle with pre-existing chaotic matter. It was the absolute God who commanded the light into existence (Genesis 1:3). It was not God merely using His knowledge of chemistry and physics to make something into something else. It was a fiat act, one which defies explanation by those who are not God. Mankind cannot explain such a fiat act, nor do we need to.

All that is necessary for us to know is what we are told by the One who was there at the time.

It is precisely because God created the universe and all that is in it, that there is a permanent and unbridgeable gap between the Being of God the Creator and those who are His creatures. There is a distinction between the Creator and the creature. Although men were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) they were not and are not God. They do not partake of God’s Being. They are like God, but they are not of the same substance as God. No other doctrine is more fundamental than this. Satan’s temptation to Eve and Adam was they could become like God was and it is this theme that runs through all occultism.

Satan denied that there was a Creator-creature distinction, and those involved in the occult continue to deny any distinction between the created man and the Creator Himself.

Yet the Biblical text over and over again emphasises such a distinction, “For thou Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted above all gods” (Psalm 97:9). Neither is the Creator God simply an impersonal force. He is a sovereign and utterly personal God: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).

To portray God as an evolved man is common in occult circles, yet the Creator God is not that: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8,9). The God who created man revealed that He is close to the man with a contrite heart, yet infinitely removed from the rebellious creature. Neither the righteous nor the unrighteous can be as God, for the Creator God existed before them from all eternity and separate from them.

Not only did God create the universe by the power of His word, He is the One who sustains it. It is because of His continuing provision for His creation that it continues to exist.

Without His active sustaining, it would cease to exist. The God of creation is a God who is sovereign and independent of His creation. He has made man a creature who is responsible to and totally dependent upon his Creator.

Occultism, in direct contrast to the Biblical view of man the creature, and God the Creator, allows no distinction between the creature and the Creator. We are all gods in the making. This is true of any occult system whether it be from the ancient magical sects of the East, to the Gnostics of the early Church period, and from them up to today’s preachers of cosmic evolution or irresistible karma. Their theme is: out of ‘One’ has proceeded the many, and back into ‘One’ are the many travelling.

Eastern mystics, philosophical Hegelians, and followers of the overrated evolutionist Teilhard de Chardin all agree that there is no distinction between the Creator and the creature.

They adhere to this doctrine because of its convenience. It denies that there can be any eternal separation of God and His creation and therefore it denies any eternal separation of saved and lost. It denies any ultimate distinction between good and evil, past and present, structure and change. Such an occultic philosophy has the technical name of monism, to distinguish it from its occultic cousin, dualism, which claims that good and evil are in eternal tension. Neither can triumph. Dualism still receives attention.2

This heresy undergirded many of the medieval revolutionary sects that eventually turned to magic and occultism. Dualism argues that God is not sovereign, for He did not actually create all things, since the evil god existed eternally alongside Him. Often the evil god is deemed to have created matter and to be sovereign over it.

Both monism and dualism deny the sovereignty of the Creator God, for neither allow God to be separate from His creation. They insist there is no Creator-creature distinction. Each ultimately leads to rampant immorality, to the dismissal of earthly affairs and earthly responsibility, and to a mankind which believes it has become as God. That is the essence of the occult. The chief reasons to oppose any involvement with such philosophies are the revealed truths about creation—that God existed before man, that God made man, that He exists separate from man and that only God can save man from man’s own sinfulness.

  • Adapted from None Dare Call it Witchcraft by Gary North, pp 26-29, Arlington House Publishers, New Rochelle, New York, 1980.

References and notes

  1. Sarfati, J., Latin lapse?, Feedback, 2000. Return to text.
  2. Hancox, P., Honest to Satan, self-published, 1980. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Reader’s comments

David L.
After watching a clip from a recent interview between Charlie Rose and George Lucas on the meaning of Star Wars, this is completely relevant. This is exactly what the Joseph Campbell/Star Wars mythology teaches. We must be on our guard!
Joe T.
Thank you for this timely message, God has been directing me down the path of learning about occultism and I was confused to the reason why...until I read this today. It has tied up a lot of lose ends and cleared the muddy waters! God works in so many wonderful ways.

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