The Occult (Part 2)

The topic of the occult fascinates us.  Are practices such as casting spells, predicting the future, and contacting the dead actually real? Can a Christian be involved in these practices? If not, why not?  Part 2 of this series examines divination, or predicting the future.

There are various ways that people predict the future.  These include, but are not limited to, tarot cards, ouija boards, palm reading, crystal ball reading, astrology, and tea leaf reading.  All of these practices involve interpreting omens to know what will happen in the future. 

However, the question arises: do any of these practices actually work?  Can you really drink tea and look at the leaves at the bottom of the teapot to know what will happen in the future?  Can peering at creases in your hand reveal your future?  While Christians believe in the natural and supernatural realms, the natural world can only tell us so much.  Stars and planets exist, but do their alignment affect you and your future life?

Just examine the track record of people who predict the future.  The success rate is terribly poor.  An assessment of the top ten psychics and their predictions over a four year span yielded a startling fact: only 2% of their predictions were correct!

Yet in the Bible we see a girl who can predict the future, but it is not by natural means like cards and crystal balls.  She is possessed supernaturally by a demon, and when Paul casts out the demon in the name of Jesus, the girl can no longer predict the future.  Acts 16:16-19 says, “Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.  She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.’  She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’  At that moment the spirit left her.  When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.”

Now we can see two reasons to avoid the occultic practice of divination.  One, the natural means to predict the future don’t work.  We can look at palms, cards, and astronomical bodies all day.  They say nothing about the future.  However, there is a supernatural realm. and we open the door to the demonic realm when we do these forbidden practices from Deuteronomy 18: 9-13.  The good news is that Jesus has conquered the demonic world, as Paul demonstrated in Acts 16:16-19.  Furthermore, we can know our future ultimately is with Jesus in heaven by faith in Him as Savior.  Until then we walk by faith with Jesus everyday.

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