Spiritual Science and Occultism
|By: Dave Hunt; ©2000|
|Is the power of God a force that works according to scientific laws? Can any normal human being harness this power for his own use? Dave Hunt explains.|
Spiritual Science and Occultism
(from Occult Invasion, Harvest House, 1998)
If the power of God is a force like gravity that works according to scientific laws (as Peale, Hagin, Copeland, Cho, et al. claim), then anyone (Christian or atheist) who follows these laws scientifically may utilize God’s miraculous power. Hagin declares that even non-Christians can receive miracles by applying God’s “laws of faith.”46 Charles Capps (a leader in the Positive Confession movement) writes:
- God’s Word is spiritual law. It functions just as surely as any natural law…. Words governed by spiritual law become spiritual forces working for you….
- THE NATURAL WORLD IS TO BE CONTROLLED BY MAN SPEAKING GOD’S WORDS…. This is… spiritual law. It works every time…. (Emphasis in original.)
That the Positive Confession movement is a form of Christianized science (naturalism as opposed to supernaturalism) cannot be denied. No one disputes the fact that the laws of science govern the natural world. Anyone may apply the laws of physics and chemistry. It is heresy, however, to teach that God’s supernatural power is also governed by laws and can thus be released scientifically.
The Bible teaches that God grants miracles by His grace; and by very definition grace can neither be merited nor elicited as an automatic response to the application of any law. Yet in contradiction to Scripture, David Yonggi Cho writes:
- There are three spiritual forces in the earth. The Spirit of God, the spirit of man, and the spirit of Satan… can hover over the material third dimension and exercise creative powers….
- The Holy Spirit said, “My son, man still does not realize the spiritual power I have given to him.”
- Yes, I said, realizing what God was referring to… False prophets had power in the realm of the spirit because they had come to realize their potential.
In summary; the so-called “Faith teachers” are teaching a Christianized form of naturalism similar to Christian Science and Science of Mind. Their system works (so they say) by “laws” scientifically applied: God’s laws of faith for Kenneth Hagin, the laws of the fourth dimension for Yonggi Cho, the eight laws of the secret kingdom (including the Law of Miracles) for Pat Robertson, etc. They claim to have received such heresies from the Holy Spirit.
Occultism: Satan’s Counterfeit “Miracles”
The laws of the physical sciences do not apply in the spiritual realm. So what are these laws to which the Positive Confession leaders refer, laws which govern the realm of spirit and seem to work? We find them in the world of the occult: for example, the “law of manifestation,” which declares that thoughts held firmly in the mind, spoken aloud, or visualized will “manifest” in the physical world. This law was taught to Napoleon Hill by the demons who posed as Ascended Masters from a School of Wisdom on the astral plane. Leaders in the Faith movement refer to this law as well.
Occultism counterfeits the power of God. One clear example is found in the confrontation between Moses and Aaron and the sorcerers and magicians in Pharaoh’s court: The latter were able, by the power of Satan, to duplicate (but only to the degree allowed by God) what God did miraculously through Moses and Aaron. Thus when God told Aaron to “cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent,” we are told that “the magicians of Egypt did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods” (Exodus 7:10-12).
And so it was with the first two plagues that God brought upon Egypt at the command of Moses and Aaron. Following each one we read, “And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharoah’s heart was hardened” (Exodus 7:22; cf. 8:7). But following the third plague we read, “And the magicians… could not…. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:18,19).
The power that Samson evidenced (Judges 14-16) was no display of naturally acquired muscular strength. It could only have been supernatural Holy Spirit power manifested through flesh and blood.
The demoniac in the New Testament “had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces…” (Mark 5:4). Again we have the manifestation of a paranormal nonphysical power revealed through flesh and blood for which there is no physical, scientific explanation. We are clearly told by Christ Himself that the power came from unholy spirits invading the physical world and possessing a human body—spirits which Jesus cast out of this enslaved man to free him from their bondage.
The young woman in the city of Philippi “brought her masters much gain by soothsaying” (Acts 16:16). She was a fortune-teller who seemed to have access to a paranormal source of information. Her source of knowledge and power was a “spirit of divination”; and when the apostle Paul, “in the name of Jesus Christ… command[ed] [the spirit] to come out of her… he came out” and the woman lost her occult powers (Acts 16:16,18).
Beyond Psychic Power
Naturalism seeks to explain all such powers, whether of a Samson or a demoniac, saint or sinner, as within the capabilities of ordinary human beings—if only one can learn the secrets. An editorial in Gold Prospector magazine suggests that dowsing (which is representative of all occultism) is simply a way of “ask [ing] nature a question to which she (through your instrument) will answer….” One might as well pray to an approaching tornado.
In another work we quoted Fordham University professor John J. Heaney, a Catholic theologian. Heaney provides numerous examples of psychic powers and attempts to prove their validity. He then asserts that these powers are innate within everyone, that “certain kinds of paranormal healing… visions, levitations, stigmata, and in general the manifestation of parapsychological powers… [are] natural human powers….”
Heaney’s naturalism reduces Christ to a psychic. Although Heaney claims that he “accepts the unique God-manhood of Jesus,” he suggests that Jesus manifested “some remarkable powers of telepathy and clairvoyance” such as an exceptional psychic might naturally display. Heaney also suggests that the alleged “telepathic feats of some saints and holy people” and the ability of Padre Pio and others to apparently “read the minds of their penitents” are normal human abilities which do not “seem to require any unique and different intervention by God. “
In support of his naturalism, Heaney refers to a number of famous psychics, mediums) psychic healers, and those manifesting psychokenesis whose powers seem to have withstood the scrutiny of science and who are not religious. These psychics claim no spiritual connection. He writes:
- Dr. Dolores Krieger of NYU has trained many nurses in touch therapy. In controlled experiments this technique has been shown to change hemoglobin content in the blood. It has been introduced into many hospitals in the United States.
It is quite apparent that psychic powers are not normal human powers, but spiritual powers that do not emanate from the brain or body. Even the secular researchers admit these are “paranormal” powers. The very investigation of these powers is called “parapsychology” and is related to “transpersonal psychology,” which goes beyond the human to something “higher” There are only two possible sources of paranormal power: God or Satan.
According to the Bible, the only legitimate paranormal powers are gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). Clearly distinguishing them from human capabilities, these gifts are distinctly described as “the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit” (verse 7). These miraculous gifts are attributed to God alone: “All these worketh that one and the selfsame [Holy] Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (verse 11).
That “psychic power,” though just as surely not of human origin, is something entirely different from the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be clear. Satan wants to fulfill his ambition to be a god (“like the Most High”—Isaiah 14:14) through humans who have been seduced by the same impossible aspiration. The power he channels through them is the proof he offers that they too can become gods. In fact, “psychic power” enslaves those through whom Satan manifests it.
- Charles Capps, The Tongue—A Creative Force (Harrison House, 1976), pp. 8-9, 17, 130-36.
- David Y. Cho and R. Whitney Manzano, The Fourth Dimension: More Secrets for a Successful Faith Life, vol. 2 (Bridge-Logos Publishing, 1983), p. 38.
- Gold Prospector, April 1987, p. 15.
- Heaney, Sacred, p. 26.
- Ibid., pp. 25-84.
- Ibid., p. 43.
- Ibid., p. 21.
- Ibid., p. 66.