“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6
In our last discussion on this topic I mentioned that superstitious beliefs, idol worship, witchcraft, fortune telling, divination, astrology and white magic are practices that act as doorways to facilitate Satan’s hold on the lives of those who dare to take part in any of them. Focus was particularly on superstitious beliefs and idol worship.
In the following we will look at spiritual gifts as well as fortune telling, magic/magick (black and white magic) and spiritism; all under the umbrella term ‘the supernatural.’ The term supernatural refers to events beyond the physical which cannot be scientifically tested. There are two types of supernaturalism—holy and evil. The Kingdom of God and The Kingdom of Satan.
In his book, The Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Martin points out the earliest display of magic sorcery in the Holy Bible is in Exodus Ch. 7 vs11 & 22, 11“But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so, the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.”
22“Then the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said;” and Ch. 8 v 18, “Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not…” Remember, this was when Moses presented himself before the Pharaoh to demand that he let the Israelites go. Pharaoh refused so Jehovah God sent ten plagues to mainly show His power and humble the arrogant Pharaoh. “The Pharaoh’s priests called upon their demon “gods” to duplicate the miracles of Moses” which only added to their distress. The point is magic or magick as some spell it to differentiate from sleight of hand entertainment, has been around for a very long time.
The power the practitioner thinks he possesses is from evil sources. Specifically, Satan, demons and evil spirits.
Supernatural manifestations by the Holy Spirit are labelled “Spiritual Gifts,” as listed in 1 Corinthians, Ch. 12 vs. 1-11 below:
1“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
Those who put their faith in people who practice fortune telling, divination, necromancy, astrology, witchcraft and white magic erroneously believe their abilities are a gift from God (or their gods). Paul, recognizing their ignorance proceeded to enlighten them concerning the truth.
2You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
Idol worship was trendy among the Gentile nations but Paul was reminding them that their idols were nothing but lifeless sculptures. God’s demonstration of His power to Pharaoh, as mentioned before, was also to expose the nothingness of their idols. Exodus Ch. 12 v. 12 says, “…against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.”
3Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
Several non-believing charlatans had set out to negate the person and work of Christ. Paul is letting them know they are liars and do not have within them, the Spirit of God.
4Now there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit.
5There are differences of ministries but the same Lord.
6And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
8for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
9to another faith by the same Spirit,
10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Similar to other religions with polytheistic beliefs (belief in more than one god), the Gentile nation made idols to represent all that they worshiped. However, Paul, from verses four to eleven, states that spiritual gifts are not sourced from different man-made idols which are lifeless; therefore, powerless. Spiritual gifts are from the true and living Almighty God, “distributing to each one individually as He wills,” by His Spirit. People practicing white magic especially, believe they have a ‘gift’ from God but that will be explored later in the blog.
The scripture above describes three specific types of spiritual gifts. They are revelation, power and inspirational gifts. Revelation gifts reveal past, present and future events. They are word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits. Power gifts speak of working of miracles, gifts of healings and gifts of faith. Inspirational gifts are prophecy, different kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues.
In contrast, supernatural manifestations under the power of Satan is called the occult. There are three aspects to the occult. They are fortune telling, magic/magick and spiritism.
In his book, Foundations of Faith, Dr. Robert Wahl defines the occult as “the practice of magic arts usually involving contact with evil spirits, demons and/or Satan.” Fortune telling is the occult method of foretelling future events. Other definitions are the art of foretelling the future supposedly by supernatural means and the art of forecasting future events and reading human character. A fortune teller, according to Webster’s dictionary, is a person who claims to foretell one’s destiny.
Fortune telling comprises of divination and astrology. Divination is the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers. Some sub categories of divination are as follows:
Palmistry/chiromancy: the art of divination from the shape and markings of the hands and fingers.
Cartomancy/cardlaying: the art of forecasting the future by the manipulation and placing of cards. There are two types of cards (a) Tarot/Major Arcana – 22 cards; (b) Minor Arcana – 56 cards.
Psychometry: consists of a person holding some material object of another in his hands and having the ability to make statements and identify characteristics of the owner of the article. He may also foretell part of the future of the owner.
Mirror mantic: the art of divination using anything which has a reflection, i.e. a crystal ball, mirrors, rock crystals or still water.
‘Prophetic’ dreams and visions: Interpretation of dreams and visions as predictions of future events.
Teacup reading: this sort of divination interprets the shapes and relative position left by tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.
Pyromancy: divination by the use of fire configuration.
Aeromancy: divination by observation of atmospheric conditions or ripples on the surface of an open body of water.
Arithmancy: divination by numbers, especially attaching mystical significance to the numbers associated with a person. Especially those numbers associated with the letters of the person’s name.
Rhapsodomancy: divination based upon the line in a ‘sacred book’ that strikes the eye when the book is opened after the diviner prays, meditates or invokes the help of spirits.
Rhabdomancy: the art of divination which involves the use of a rod, wand, staff, stick or arrow. (An example of rhabdomancy is found in Ezekiel Ch. 21 v.21, “For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the images….”)
The other type of fortune telling, astrology is divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects. Strategically placed right next to the comics in the daily newspapers is the horoscope—a prediction chart based on astrology. Before being educated about this practice, I religiously read my horoscope right after reading my favorite comics. I was unaware of the fact that I was defiling myself by reading opinions based on the positioning of the sun, moon and stars.
In the book of Isaiah, Ch. 47 vs. 13-14, Jehovah God had been forced, once again, to deal harshly with the children of Israel as they were placing their trust in not only idols but astrologers also. He said, 13“You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators (predictors) stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you. 14Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!” They kept consulting with the astrologers for advice and guidance but it was a waste of time and energy. Jehovah God was fed up with their stubborn determination to be guided by the position of the sun, moon and stars instead of the Creator Himself. In case I’m not being clear, God does not like it when we read horoscopes. It is a forbidden practice. So, it will be in your best interest to desist from doing so and ask God for forgiveness.
Everyone loves a magic trick. You know, the sleight of hand type of illusion. However, for some, magic takes on a whole new meaning. Magic/Magick is defined as the use of means (such as charms, spells or other techniques) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces. Magic can either be black or white. Black magic entails enforcing satanic agencies to get some supernatural results. A prime example of black magic is found in the scripture verse we looked at in the beginning of the blog, where Pharaoh had his sorcerers attempt to duplicate the miracles performed by Moses through the Spirit of God. Incidentally, there are several books written on the art of black magic. Black magic practitioners are extremely ritualistic and incorporate blood, incantations, candles (usually black or white but sometimes red ones are used), amulets and other things that are thought to have magical properties. They also prefer to work in dimly lit locations.
White magic utilizes magical abilities with the intentions of “benefitting” someone. Recall earlier in the blog I mentioned, people who practice white magic think it is a gift from God. This is so because scriptural verses are used to carry out this type of magic. The Psalms are usually the scriptural ‘weapon’ of choice. I once read somewhere a list of Psalms to read if you desired prosperity, love, vengeance on your enemies, safety etc. White candles are lit at times for effect.
I remember when I was younger and being taught to “cut the bible” (opening the bible on a random scripture verse) and whatever scripture my eyes landed on was the word God had for me. Sometimes I would “cut” two or three times because I did not understand what a scripture was saying. Some of us who are guilty of practicing bible cutting may not have even read the scripture. We just opened the bible and left it like that above our heads at night, under your pillow or wherever you thought it could release its power. A most laughable and ludicrous act but also a display of white magic.
Saints, the Holy Bible is not a magical book. It is the Word of God and incidentally, the words of the bible are powerless until they are spoken in faith.
Friends, I know that you may think it a trivial matter to consult a scripture verse or two for gain. However, there are certain specifics in the bible that guide our requests for material as well as spiritual and physical attainment. Jesus, in John Ch. 15 v. 7 says, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.”
In Luke Ch. 6 v. 38, He says, “Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your bosom…”
Paul, reiterates in Hebrews Ch. 10 v. 38 what was originally declared in Habakkuk Ch. 2 v. 4, “The just shall live by faith.” Not by consulting horoscopes and fortune tellers or practicing any type of magic. I make mention of this because I know of a few born again believers who participate in white magic and daily horoscopes.
Saints, the final topic which is spiritism will be discussed in part three of this blog. Until then, stay strong in the Lord.