Astrology

After months of kindly feeding Christopher Columbus and his crew on their fourth voyage to the Americas, Jamaica's natives decided to discontinue the gesture. So when Columbus learned from the astronomical almanac he used for navigation that there would be a total lunar eclipse on the evening of February 29, 1504, he told the Jamaicans that God would cause the moon to be "inflamed with wrath" to show His anger at them. The Jamaicans became terrified as the eclipse began and begged Columbus to make it stop. Columbus then told them he would pray about it in his cabin, where he waited for the eclipse to end before going back outside to say his prayers had been answered. All the Jamaicans had to do to keep God happy was supply him with food again. At least that was what they were deceived into believing, much like people are deceived by astrology.

In a previous post called Celestial Signs, I mentioned I was one of several Christians who believe some recent eclipses of the moon and sun were God's way of getting out attention. I hope you understand this isn't astrology, which is the doctrine that celestial bodies can be used to foretell the future. Jesus said that before His second coming and the end of the world there would be signs in the sun, moon and stars (Luke 21:25), letting Christians know the end is near (Luke 21:31). No specific date can be determined and whereas astrology is alleged to foretell previously unknown events, we already know the end will come. Don't listen to anyone who says these eclipses mean a certain event will occur on a certain day. Jesus warned "there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:24).

Unlike the real science of astronomy, astrology is useless mythology the Bible speaks poorly of. It records Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar exposing the magicians, astrologers and sorcerers of his time as frauds when they said they would reveal the meaning of a dream he had told them about, yet they were unable to tell him what the dream was that they claimed they could interpret (Dan. 2:1-10). The prophet Daniel, on the other hand, told the king his dream and its interpretation after God had revealed that information to him (Dan. 2:24-45). God is able to reveal secrets to people, but He will never do so with the aid of astrology. Scripture forbids all forms of fortune telling in addition to trying to communicate with the dead (Lev. 19:26, 31; Deut. 18:10-12).

I won't close without commenting on necromancy, since I brought it up. Mediums are as fake as astrologers. God alone has the power to call up spirits of the dead and would only do so under extreme circumstances, such as letting King Saul know he was doomed for his wicked behavior (I Sam. 28:3-20). As a fraud, the medium who called up Samuel's spirit at Saul's request obviously didn't believe she could really do it, because she was shocked when she got results (vv. 11, 12). I'm not surprised that the magician Harry Houdini did such a great job exposing mediums as frauds. Although I can't deny with 100% certainty the possibility of a demon being able to imitate a spirit of the dead, I'm confident that in most cases, if not all, the medium is the one doing the imitating. Either way, a dead person isn't going to communicate with the living, apart from a divine act of God.

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