There has been no time in history that attempts at fortune telling have not been made by those who claim to be sorcerers, seers, wizards, swamis, necromancers, and clairvoyants. Babylon was the ancient headquarters for the soothsayers, astrologers, and prognosticators who took sacrificial animals and examined their organs in order to find omens of the future. Frequently, in ancient Babylon, a rock was thrown into a pool of water and the rings produced in the water examined to tell the future. Internal organs of dead animals were also examined. The liver was especially prized to determine the future, to tell fortunes, or to give omens. Gazing at the stars, the practice of astrology, has been common since the beginning of man as a means of telling the future.
From the Babylonians, the practice fell into the hands of the ancient Etruscans. They were the seafaring precursors to the Romans, who became the heart of the Roman Empire. Eventually, all Rome gave itself to seeking in the organs of dead animals what the future intended for them and their armies. In Greece, there was no statesman, leader, or businessman who did not seek from the Pythian prophetess at Delphi an answer for what tomorrow might bring.
And today, in America, we are no different than the ancients were in seeking through fortune tellers answers for the future. Even in our land of America, which we see as so enlightened, there are literally thousands of swamis, fortune tellers, and soothsayers who claim to be able to predict the future. Many of them make fabulous salaries by foretelling tomorrow to their wealthy clients. Men of great economic power, magnates in industry, statesmen, politicians, and movie stars, will frequently do nothing without first consulting a psychic or astrologer. Many people who read their astrological forecast in the daily newspaper would not subscribe to any newspaper that did not print the astrology section. We literally see in America today what we might call a "psychic explosion."
There's an explosion of 1-900 numbers that people can call to talk to a live psychic. I am sure that most of our readers have seen this on television--things like, "Psychic Now." A person can dial a 1-900 number and talk to someone on the other end who claims to have psychic powers to give advice for their love life, help then in finding a lost loved one, help them in landing the right job, forecast the financial markets, and give them advice and
omens about investments. These psychics use cards, astrological charts, crystal balls, etc. to tell fortunes. Of course, when many people go to see psychics in person, palm readings take place. In California in 1987, 13 million was brought in from these 1-900 numbers.
Up until last year, most 1-900 numbers involved in sinful activity were engaged in pornography. But today, the 1-900 numbers are being exploited for the purpose and proliferation of psychics.
Many 1-900 numbers are good. For example, sports and weather information can be obtained from these numbers. But what was once good has been turned to evil by those who desire to make money off the sham and mockery of psychics. Literally thousands of people call these psychics every day. Celebrities such as Dionne Warwick, Cher, and Michael Jackson tell people that if th y have questions or concerns about love, money, their job, etc., to call a live psychic for answers and advice.
In France there are more mediums today -- that is, spiritualists--than there are pastors. Someone has said that France has become an occult nation. Unfortunately, in America today, we see the same sad thing happening. Our nation is being given up to the occult. The psychic explosion taking place over television today is one more indication that our nation is being given over to the occult, the fortune tellers, and the spiritualists.
One question we have to ask is, what is the real truth about psychics? Of course, we know the only place we can find the truth is in the Word of God. The primary passage in Scripture that deals with this phenomenon is in the book of Deuteronomy.
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do" (Deut 18:10-14).
We read these words in Exodus 22:18:"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Often the word "witch" is translated "sorceress." "You shall not allow a sorceress to live." We find out from this that trafficking in fortune-telling, astrology, or with psychics is deadly. We read this same idea in Leviticus 20:26-27:
We see in this passage that the nation of Israel was never to inquire of a wizard, soothsayer, astrologer, or a fortune teller. There are eight means of communication with the spirit world that are listed in this passage.
1 . "That useth divination"-- The idea of using divination means to give false prophecy, or to seek to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens.
2. "An observer of times"-- A synonym often used for this is the word "sorcerer," one who casts spells. That is, an attempt to control people or circumstances through power given by evil spirits, or demons. Therefore, we can see that the ultimate source of all of this is demonic.
3. "Enchanter"-- That is, one who interprets omens, who tells the future based on signs--fire, rain, or the movement of birds. We would liken this today to one who is a palm reader, a fortune teller, or an astrologer who proclaims to be able to tell the future by seeing the movement of the stars.
4. "Witch"-- A witch is one who is involved in practicing magical incantations.
5. "A charmer"- -A charmer is one who casts spells, or literally one who ties knots, who binds other people by magic mutterings.
6. "A consulter with familiar spirits"-- This refers to a medium, or someone who is a seance leader. They think they are communicating with the dead, but they are actually communicating with demons.
7. "Wizard"-- This is another word that I refer primarily to a medium.
8. "Necromancer"-- A necromancer is one who consults with the dead. It is an attempt to contact dead people to gain advice or information on the future, or help, somehow, in manipulation.
This passage tells us that all of these forms of fortune telling and astrology are an abomination to the Lord. Because of these things, God drove the Canaanites out of the land of Israel. He forbade the children of Israel f rom engaging in such things. Through this we know that He has also forbidden any person to traffic in this type of thing. Some other passages in the Old Testament and the New Testament tell us God's view of psychics.
"And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death : they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. "
We read here once again that God sees this as something that is worthy of death.
Notice that He also refers to a man or woman "that hath a familiar spirit," which tells us that the source of this is demonic. This is something that is deadly, and something that is demonic, according to the Word of God. We see this same idea again in 1 Chronicles 10:13-14, where we read,
"So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it: And enquired not of the Lord:- therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse."
In Leviticus 19:31, we find that consulting psychics is defiling:
If you remember, near the end of his reign, Saul consulted a medium, often referred to as "the witch of Endor." This passage tells us that for this God slew King Saul and gave his kingdom to David, the son of Jesse. We see from this that not only does God hold the sorceror or the medium responsible, but He holds the person responsible who consults such a person. From this we see that the people who call on these 1-900 numbers are just as guilty as the people who are answering the phones, because they participating in the evil that God has forbidden. We also see that this activity is an activity that God says is deadly and demonic.
"Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them : I am the Lord your God. "
A person who consults with those who have familiar spirits will be defiled by them. We read words similar to these in 2 Chronicles 33:6, where Manasseh, the wicked king of Judah, led the children of Israel into this activity.
In the book of Isaiah we read that those who traffic in fortune telling are in "darkness." In Isaiah 8:19-2 we read these words:
"And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger."
He defiled the children of Israel by allowing these things to take place under his reign.
"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
You notice it says here, "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?" Many Hollywood stars tell people, "Seek these familiar spirits; seek out a wizard; seek out a psychic to tell you your future." But Isaiah says, "Should not a people seek unto their God?" Isaiah tells us that the only one we should seek out for the future is God. He says that if they do not speak according to the Word of God, "it is because there is no light in them." We know from the authority of God's Word that psychics are in darkness. They do not have the light of God, because they don't speak according to the Word of God.
In Isaiah 47 we also read that those who engage in these activities are unable to deliver.
It Is Not Able to Deliver
"Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured . . ."(Isa 47:13-15).
God says that those who are stargazers or prognosticators -- that is, astrologers -- or those who monthly give forecasts for people to lead their lives by, will not even be able to deliver themselves from the time of judgment. Of course, the implication is that if they cannot deliver themselves, how can they deliver anyone now? " They shall be as stubble; the fire shall bum them; they shall not deliver themselves." Friends, if they are not going to be able to deliver themselves, why should we ever put confidence in them to deliver us, or to give us clear guidance about what God would have us to do in life?
Turning now to the New Testament, we see that God has some revelation for us about fortune tellers, and about those who engage in sorcery -- that is, psychics. Galatians 5 gives us a long list of the deeds of the flesh.
We read in four different places in the book of Revelation where the word "witchcraft" or "sorcery" is used. We see that those who practice these things are also deceived. Not only are they depraved, or unable to deliver, or in darkness; not only is this deadly and defiling, but those who practice these things are themselves deceived. In Revelation 18:23, God speaks of Babylon, the great harlot, the great false religious system that will come upon this earth. He says,
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).
The word translated in verse 20, "witchcraft," is often translated "sorcery." It is the Greek word pharmakeia. We get our word "pharmacy" from it. It originally had two primary meanings. First it referred to those who abused the use of drugs by poisoning people. It was the practice of magic or sorcery. Second, it also referred to the use of drugs for medical treatment, also. It developed the meaning of witchcraft because sorcerors often used potions in practicing their evil art. In this passage we read that all of those who are involved in any form of witchcraft shall lot inherit the kingdom of God--and psychics are just merely another form of witchcraft. They traffic with familiar spirits.
These things are called the "works of the flesh." Therefore, we see that these things are depraved. They simply come from the depraved heart of man.
"And in the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth ; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."
We see that those who traffic in sorcery, those who are psychics or fortune tellers, are deceivers. We read this same idea in Revelation 9:21, which says:
The saddest part, however, about those who traffic in fortune telling, astrology, and the like, is that those who practice and who participate in these things are damned, according to the Word of God. Revelation 21:8, speaking about the new heavens and the new earth, says:
"Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
Once again we read that during the last times of the Tribulation period, sorcery is going to be greatly on the increase. Therefore, we see one of the signs of the time s being fulfilled, because Revelation 9 is clearly set during the Tribulation period. There's going to be a great explosion of sorcery and fortune telling during that time. We are beginning to see that fulfilled in our nation even today.
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Finally, Revelation 22:15, one of the last verses in scripture, says:
"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie".
That is going to be the end of those who practice and participate in sorcery and fortune telling. That is going to be the end of those who participate in the psychic explosion in our nation today.
What is the answer for people who are seeking advice, for people who want guidance about the future? Go back to the passage we started with, Deuteronomy 18. In verses 10 through 14 God gave the illegitimate means of seeking guidance, but in verse 15 He tells us the true way to find guidance at the hand of God. In Deuteronomy 18:15-19 we read:
"The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
What God is saying is that the legitimate means of seeing what God would have us to do is to look into His Word. Look into the Word of God where He's spoken to the prophets, and given us the guidance He desires for us to have. We are never to seek recourse in a witch, a fortune teller, or an astrologer, but we are to seek and ask from God Himself, and the prophecy He's given us in His Word, the guidance that we need, if we are a child of God, the guidance that God has given us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. That's the truth about psychics from the Word of God.
*This article was used by permission from "Chapter one" of the mini book; "1-900 Sorcery", by Mark Hitchcock. For information on how to obtain this excellent book see:
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