Why is it important for Christians to remove all occult objects from their home? Can objects be possessed by demons? Let’s investigate the scriptures & see what God has to say.
Our media-saturated culture gets a lot of things wrong, especially in the areas of theology. We’ve seen or read about movies that center around a possessed doll that brings terror to a family, or a Ouija board bringing about the Devil during a query into the spirit world. To be sure, there is a lot of misinformation about objects of the occult. With that in mind, let’s sift through the chaff and get to the truth.
Accursed, not possessed.
Let’s begin with a passage from Deuteronomy, which uses a couple of words that will help us answer the question of possessed objects.
“Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” ~Deuteronomy 7:26 KJV
The phrase “an abomination” (H8441 – תּוֹעֵבָה) means a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable. In a ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages (not speaking of race, but of separation of the Jewish people from Gentiles)), or in an ethical sense (of wickedness, etc). The phrase “a cursed thing” (H2764 – חֵרֶם) means a thing that is usually appointed for utter destruction. This phrase has its root meaning found in the word “ḥāram” (H2763 – חָרַם), which means to ban, devote, destroy utterly, completely destroy, dedicate for destruction, exterminate.
In a nutshell, the passage refers to an object that is so utterly detestable in the eyes of God – an object that was used in ritual occult practices – that it is specifically set aside by God to be destroyed.
But God went on a little further.
Defeat at Ai, Achan’s trespass & the consequences.
Before the children of Israel destroyed Jerico, an instruction was given to them.
“And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” ~Joshua 6:18-19 KJV
So, from the instructions, God wants Israel to stay away from any and all objects that are used in occult practices, and if you touch them, you are also accursed (see definition above). Stay away from the bad stuff, but all the silver, gold & vessels of brass and iron are “good” in the eyes of God and to be set aside in the treasury. In the next chapter, we see that Israel didn’t do what they were told, or, to be more specific, one man decided that things looked too pretty to leave alone, so Israel suffered defeat at the battle of Ai. Joshua didn’t know what was going on and was quite upset (Joshua 7:6) and cried out to God (Joshua 7:7-9). God set him straight (Joshua 7:10-13). When a thorough search was done throughout the entire camp of Israel, one man, Achan, took a few things that he shouldn’t. Achan was brought before Joshua and this is what he said:
“…Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” Joshua 7:20-21 KJV
Because of this, Joshua – by the laws of God – had Achan, his family & his livestock killed and burned (Joshua 7:24-26).
Now, wait, the gold thing confuses me.
Yeah, I was confused by that as well, especially when God Himself told Joshua that the gold and silver were ok to keep & put in the treasury. Well, a word study unveils that the “wedge” of gold wasn’t just a hunk of metal as we might consider it to be today, it was literally a tongue used to speak to their gods by Jerico’s spiritual practitioners. “Wedge” (lāšôn – לָשׁוֹן – H3956) literally means a gold piece shaped in the form of a tongue that was used as a conduit to talk to the spirit realm, (demons). The tongue (of man or animals), used literally (as the instrument of licking, eating, or speech), and figuratively (speech, an ingot, a fork of flame, a cove of water):— babbler, bay, evil speaker, language, talker, tongue, wedge. The 200 shekels of silver and the cloth were used as “payment” for services and literal dressing (the cloak) for the person(s) or ceremony.
You see, the gold, in and of itself, was not bad, but when it was formed with the intent of doing occult things, the gold became accursed (a thing meant for destruction), which, in the eyes of God was an abomination and ANYONE that touched it became an accursed abomination, hence the destruction of Achan, his family, and his livestock.
Containing “spiritual contagion”
The reason why God takes a dim view during the time of Joshua and during the entire time of Israel in the Old Testament is that He (God) knows how tempting these objects, as well as practices, were for this newly formed nation (Deuteronomy 12:29-31). Even the objects would have ensnared and caused the nation to be accursed through one person’s defiance against the Will of God through the Law. Basically, God wants to “nip it in the bud” with regard to spiritual contagion, which includes occult objects.
Ok, great history lesson, but I’m a Christian, what does this all have to do with me?
The whole thing with possessed objects is false! There are no demons living in creepy dolls, or old coins, or anything tangible, BUT God does look on these things as accursed abominations. Because of this, a Christian should not have any occult object inside of their home. Thankfully, we have Jesus as our most excellent High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), so we don’t have to suffer the stoning that Achan suffered, but we can suffer in another way.
Keeping an accursed object does make God angry, and His Wrath will come in the form of allowing demons to run amok in your life. This can take on the form of illness (physical/mental) torment, trouble happening to your entire household, groups you’re associated with (think churches), work-related issues, and countless other despair (think the book of Job). So, what do you need to do? Simply put, get rid of any and all occult objects from your home, turn away from any and all occult practices and ask for forgiveness.
Occult objects & practices that Christians have and do
I think we all know of a few objects and practices that we should stop, but seem innocent enough. Listed below are just a few that I’ve seen in many Christian homes.
- statues of other “gods” (Buddah, Kali, etc.)
- dreamcatchers or other native-American items used in spiritual rituals
- crystals or other gems/rocks with the sole purpose of healing or collecting energy
- checking horoscopes
- occult media (books, movies, music)
- lucky coins or other items
Basically, anything that is dedicated to the occult would be considered an accursed abomination to God. The above list are just a few things I’ve seen, but could include much more.
When I’ve done deliverance on Christians – freeing them from demonic forces – I would ask if they had anything having to do with the occult in their home or on their persons, along with asking them if they had any unforgiveness in their lives. Usually, I would have to walk them through items that would be considered “ok” by American Christian standards, but were, in fact, an abomination against God.
Most of you reading this might think, “Well Robert, we’re Christians, not Jews. We have a New Covenant, so that doesn’t apply to me”. While the New Testament doesn’t speak about the area of accursed objects, it still applies along with other “Old Testament” commands. I can speak from personal experience that accursed objects within the home of a Christian are nothing but trouble, and if you know that you have one, it’s time to get rid of it. If you have problems getting rid of it (“I can’t part with this”), then there is something defiantly going on. Get rid of things that are accursed, an abomination, and purify yourselves and your life.