Dear @Lakshmismehta ,
Let me give you an example what I meant by “legal ground”. An example of this in my case was that even after my salvation I kept reading Harry Potter books (as they kept being published). I had been going over a very challenging, heartbreaking, difficult time back then, and as I always loved reading, and these books pulled me out of my everyday life and feeling of misery, so I kept reading them. I do not remember whether I knew that time that I shouldn’t read these. As these books are about exercising power through magic and witchcraft (=occult), I strongly believe now they are not from God. If something is not from God then it’s from the evil, so I should keep myself away from these things – I should have not read these books. But I did… and by doing this I kept a door open – providing a “legal ground”, until I repented and fully turned away from these. As long as a door is open the evil would find a way to enter. I have a vivid memory of one particular occasion when I was talking to a Christian lady after a church service, who was struggling with a very specific eating problem. I hold her hands while I prayed for her. Few days later I realized I have the exactly same eating issue she had, and I had never ever experienced anything like that before. It was time to pray, ask God for wisdom and word of knowledge, repent and close that door, and God, as always, was faithful and delivered me from what I “got”. There were a few more occasions, even with close friends, when praying for them holding their hands and if any door was open similar things happened.
By oppression I mean that even if they cannot enter, can “circle around” whispering thoughts into my mind, such as feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, condemnation (it is not the same as God’s conviction) – anything that can bring me down, so that I cannot do what God asked me to do, or planting thoughts of insecurity so I do not dare to take that step God asked me to do. And sometimes it is not easy to get rid of these thoughts… but the Word says: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2), and also “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think on these things .” (Philippians 4:8). (emphasis added by me). Which means I have to fight these battles of and in my mind – with Jesus on my side. He is there to help but I must make the first step and start the fight.
Another example – it happened just a few weeks ago. My tummy was playing funny for a few days, wasn’t too bad but wasn’t right, I thought I had eaten something that upset it but lasted too long and nothing helped. The morning came when I had a long planned pre-Xmas lunch with a friend, and I felt terrible. I had an hour left to leave but felt like no way any food stay within me. And I started to sing out loud worship songs about the power of Jesus. It took less than 15 minutes and my tummy was perfectly fine and had a wonderful lunch and chat with my friend.
Ephesians 6:10-18 gives an insight about what we really wresting with and how we should do that “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places . Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (emphasis added by me)
I think the topic of occult practices is mostly discussed in Deuteronomy chapter 28, where the Scripture talks about blessings and curses the Israelites can bring on themselves, depending on how they relate to God’s commandments. As Jesus came to fulfil the Old Testament not to destroy it (Matthew 5:17), I believe these rules are still valid and working today. Being engaged in the occult meant that I was seeking power and knowledge* – outside God**. This represents rebellion (disobedience) against God, therefore the breaking of the first commandment (Exodus 20:1-5 “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; “) which comes with the curses described in Deuteronomy.
*another area of the occult is operating through physical objects – this is how this whole thing connects to this conversation topic
** I have learnt that even truth revealed at a wrong time (too early) can bring destruction. This is I think one of the reasons why it is important to leave timing for God.
Regarding your question about Bible references in these books, all these four books lead the reader into their topic through Bible references, while the writers also share their personal testimonies. Because of the heaviness of the topic I think it is useful to start with the first one, building knowledge about the spiritual realms, the cause and cure of curses, then step into the topic of Ephesians 6. Not easy reads.
I’m sorry for the lengthy answer, I hope it helps.