Posted in theology

Divination is forbidden! But it always tries to get in…

By Elizabeth Prata

We’re all intensely curious about the ‘other side’ aren’t we? I think it’s natural for people to wonder about the realms we cannot see. The fact that we do wonder is testament to the fact that we believe those realms exist. But the occult is forbidden, and there is a very good reason why.

Some examples of occultism are: astrology, witchcraft (Wicca), the black arts, ghost hunting, aura readings, fortune telling, magic (all kinds), Ouija boards, Tarot cards, mediums/spiritism, parapsychology, and Satanism, for a few.

Before I was saved by Jesus’s grace, I used a Ouija board, went to a Tarot Reading, had my palm read, and had my Aura photographed. I was looking for answers to those secrets I knew were beyond my grasp. But to be honest, each time I felt a little silly. I didn’t think that looking at my own palm’s flesh was going to reveal the secrets of the other side. For that, I needed to look beyond myself. Besides, how could I trust any information I got? What was the source of it? I remained uneasy. 

When I was born again, the messages from the other side became clear, because Jesus sends Holy Spirit to guide us into truth. The scales fell from my eyes, and questions about the other side were answered- in the Bible. Jesus is the only reliable source! 

Any information we get from the other side that’s not from God’s Word is occult and is outside His bounds. Therefore it’s bad for us. 

The Bible condemns such activity in the strongest possible terms. Verses in both New and Old Testament call divination an abomination. Exposing children (or yourself) to realms that God condemned, because He knows to partake of them invites hell into your house. 

If you’re not a Christian and you’re reading this, don’t dismiss it. Divination is not a “harmless” activity. As a parent, if your daughter came home with Tarot cards and books on palm reading, do you say, “Goodie! I hope she makes a career out of it!”? Do you say, “What a relief, this is such a wholesome activity!” You don’t say those things, because in your heart you know that the uneasiness you feel is there for a reason. Kids who get sucked up into occult activity rarely come out the other side without experiencing a downward spiral first. 

Though it is disheartening to me to be on a battlefield that has satanic ammunition constantly lobbed from any direction, at any time, I praise the Lord He gave us His Word, His armor, His Son, and His victory so that we can go forth in confidence and joy in doing His work.

The answer to what is on the other side is Jesus. If there are Christian participants and leaders who are involved in occult activity: Stop. Repent and ask Him to forgive you. He will. Non-Christian participants and teachers who are involved in occult activity: If you ask Him to forgive you of all your sins, He will do that too. You won’t need to read lines on your palm anymore, because you’ll have an eternity to discover the secrets of the other side that Jesus is waiting to share.

Here are some resources on Divination and Spiritism:

Does the bible take a position on clairvoyance and parapsychology?

What kinds of things can open you up to demonic oppression?

Is there demonic activity in the world today?

What does the bible say about palm reading

The End Time Blog Podcast Season 2, Episode 273

Posted in theology

Peeking into ‘the other side’- Two Questions (part 2)

By Elizabeth Prata

EPrata photo

Last week I wrote three times about heaven. What We Have to Look Forward To, Where Is Heaven?, and, The Tree of Life and 12 Fruits each Month? With all the darkness in the world, I needed a spiritual bath and to bask in God’s pureness and His holy habitation!

I’d wondered about two questions. The first was, can the unsaved get a glimpse into the other side by means of divination? They seem to do it all the time. The true and biblical answer of course, was NO. That essay is here.

If the unsaved cannot look up to see what is happening in heaven, then, can those in heaven look down and see what is going on here on earth? This was the second question I’ll address today. The Bible isn’t totally crystal on this, but probably the answer is no.

John MacArthur addressed this question, “Do those in heaven know what is happening on earth?” He dealt with “the rare and unusual occurrence” of Saul’s interaction with the Witch of Endor, (1 Samuel 28), and the issue of the parable with Lazarus in Sheol. He debunked the Hebrews 12:1 issue by placing it in context and explaining it biblically, saying this-

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

The witnesses in that verse are not modern-day loved ones, but the faithful saints in Hebrews 11 who lived victorious lives by trusting God. Those saints are witnesses to us because their lives testify about the value of trusting God no matter what hardships we face. They are active witnesses who speak to us by their example; not passive witnesses who watch us with their eyes.

Consequently, when we understand Hebrews 12:1 in its context, we realize that it doesn’t really support the idea that our loved ones are watching us from heaven. Our comfort comes not from knowing they can see us, but that they can see Jesus and one day we will see Him with them as well-never to be separated again.

GotQuestions asks and answers that question, too, here, and exegetes the verse Hebrews 12:1 to say, no, that is not what the verse is telling us. They conclude with this, “The Bible doesn’t specifically say that people in heaven cannot look down on us, so we can’t be dogmatic. However, it is unlikely that they can. People in heaven are likely preoccupied with other things such as worshiping God and enjoying the glories of heaven.

But, people have asked, doesn’t the ‘silence in heaven for half an hour’ recorded in Revelation 8:1 when Jesus breaks the 7th seal, mean that people in heaven know what is happening on earth? That they are following the events of the Great Tribulation as recorded in Revelation, in real time? GotQuestions muses on three possible reasons, but none of the three reasons indicate a sure knowledge that people in heaven are watching earth as if from a balcony.

Albert Barnes in his Commentary notes explains Revelation 8:1 in a way that makes sense, “The meaning here is, that on the opening of this seal, instead of voices, thunderings, tempests, as perhaps was expected from the character of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12 ff), and which seemed only to have been suspended for a time Revelation 7, there was an awful stillness, as if all heaven was reverently waiting for the development. Of course this is a symbolical representation, and is designed not to represent a pause in the events themselves, but only the impressive and fearful nature of the events which are now to be disclosed.

I’m not sure why anyone would want to watch earth, when they can see Jesus, watch the holy angels, and participate in heaven’s activities! There is no comparison.

If you want to be sure you’re acting in a holy manner pleasing to God, and are curious about the other side, and are saved, read the Word of God to see what He has revealed in it. Then when you depart this life and go to heaven, you will know for sure about the extent to which we can ‘look down’ (or not) and see earth.

We regenerated believers have a duty to those who are so obviously curious, so obviously searching for hope of another life after death. Jesus called us to be His ambassadors and witnesses. We have the HOPE and we have the TRUTH. Let’s share it far and wide. Those whom the Lord will open their ears to hear, He will open. For, how will they believe unless they have heard? Romans 10.

Further resources

John Wesley- (sermon) The Almost Christian

Matthew Mead- (pdf) The Almost Christian Discovered

CARM- (essay) Why Write about Wicca?

Ligonier- (devotional) Two Men, Two Kingdoms (Simon the Sorcerer)

Compelling Truth- (essay) Can People in Heaven Look Down and See us on Earth?

Podcast listing: season 2, Episode 260

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Practical magic’s resurgence

The NY Times published an article titled The modern charm of practical magic. I found it interesting for many different reasons. I was not saved by grace of the Lord Jesus until I was 42 years old. I spent all of my adulthood prior to the salvation moment, searching for the magic key to the magic in life, the unexplainable, explained. I dabbled in lots of different kinds of magic. Ouija boards, Kirlian aura photography, dreamcatchers, sage burning, Reiki, astral projection, summoning spirits & spirit guides, clairvoyance…

We all want to know what’s on the other side. We do enjoy peeking behind the veil, knowing the unknowable. Because, the unsaved person knows there is a higher power. (Romans 1:19-20). They just deny Who it is. ‘Oh it can’t be God. It must be runes…solstice…labyrinths…”

The NYT article says that they notice more than ever, people seeking answers through magic,

You may have noticed it at work. Perhaps your co-worker has ornamented her cubicle with rose quartz crystals? Has a friend uploaded an I Ching app onto his phone? Or maybe your boyfriend blamed his failure to respond to your text messages on Mercury being in retrograde? 

Why magic, and why now? The lack of religious faith so prevalent in our age is an anomaly in history. Magic, which usually does not demand faith in a particular deity, or the sometimes exclusionary imperatives of organized religion, allows people to access a sense of the miraculous on the level of the quotidian.

The article concedes the yearning for a higher power but subtly warns against it actually being God,

There is relief to be found in simply accepting a higher order, in letting go, but what of appeals to reason? Is it not important to disbelieve things that aren’t real? Might faith in the healing powers of a vibratory sound bath lead the next day to outlandish conspiracy theories?

I liked this NY Times article, for many reasons but mainly for its use of my favorite word, quotidian. Where else are you going to read an essay where the author uses such a fancy word which means mundane?

The Christian is bombarded with practical magic all the time. Did you know that? The fads are part of the devilish worming into your home of these magical activities. Labyrinths, Breath prayer, mantras, prayer beads, Mandala coloring books, the false gospel of telling you your words have power, drawing prayer circles, horoscopes, seeking the Presence (which is actually summoning spirits)…and more, are just different kinds of old magic that satan is using to take your eyes off Jesus.

Beware of the charm of practical magic, brethren. The warning is not just for unbelievers, but for believers. Satan insinuates practical magic into our lives under the guise of it being Christian, but it never is. We have the answers. We have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our answers are in the all-sufficient Bible. We do not need additional practices that promise to deliver information, (but never does), or promises to give added insight (but won’t) or gives a special closeness to Jesus (but never does).

Here are some resources about the dangers of Christian magic:

Desiring God:Jesus vs. the Occult

Critical Issues Commentary: Contemporary Christian Divination

GotQuestions: What does the Bible say abut Divination?