Stargazers and Monthly Prognosticators

Why are so many church leaders seeking to divine God’s will and the future by using astrology and calendrical calculations? 

Where in the New Testament do I find Jesus or Paul teaching us how to divine “spiritual” insights or even the future from Hebrew year numbers or month names? And increasingly, Christians are seeking omens in perfectly natural events, including lunar and solar eclipses, the appearance of a comet, and even unusual cloud formations.

Every month we are entering a “new season” when God will begin to operate in new and different ways. Apparently, God works on the clock and keeps to a strict schedule.

Frankly, this is shamanism, and the arts of divination are alive and well within western churches. But this is not part of the biblical faith. For example, when pronouncing the downfall of Ancient Babylon, Isaiah chided her for relying on the dark arts:
  • (Isaiah 47:1-13) - “Down and sit in the dust, O virgin Daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground, throneless Daughter of the Chaldeans; for you will no more be called Tender and Dainty… Take your stand, I pray you, with your spells, and with the throng of your incantations wherein you have wearied yourself from your youth. Peradventure you may be able to profit, peradventure you may strike me with terror. You have worn yourself out with the mass of your consultations. Let them take their stand that they may save you, the dividers of the heavens, the gazers at the stars, they who make known by new moons, some of the things which shall come upon you.
In the passage, “make known by new moons” or “monthly prognosticator” represents the Hebrew words for “moon” and “know” (chodesh, yada‘), and refers to soothsayers who divined the future from lunar phases, and especially from the new moon that marked the start of each month in both the Babylonian and Hebrew calendars. And “dividers of heaven” translates a term derived from Mesopotamian astrology, the practice of dividing the night sky into what became the zodiacal constellations.

In contrast to many popular preachers, Paul warned believers that reverting to calendrical observations amounted to regression, a return to enslavement under the “elemental spirits” (“You narrowly-observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain”).

But “stargazing” and “monthly prognosticating” only scratch the surface of the church’s pursuit of the occult. For example, some pastors now promote mysticism and meditation under the name “contemplative prayer.” Thus, the occult is repackaged with Christian-sounding window dressing and peddled to unsuspecting Christians.

“Christian” songs promote the mystical adage “As above, so below; As below, so above,” a mantra borrowed directly from Hermeticism with its so-called “Principle of Correspondence,” an old occult philosophy linked to the Egyptian god Thoth.

Charismatic “leaders” seek new revelation into God’s “mysteries” from extra-biblical and mystical sources, including the Kabbalah, 1 Enoch, the book of Jasher, and the Zohar. Never mind the New Testament claim that all God's mysteries have been revealed in Jesus!

This is done for the sake of acquiring deeper “spiritual experiences,” to peer into the “spirit world” to obtain new understandings and revelation. But, as the saints in Thyatira were warned, the day is coming when we will discover that such things do not constitute revelation, but instead, they are the “deep things of Satan” - (Revelation 2:18-24).

The replacement of Scripture by divination and mysticism is no surprise. The Apostle Paul warned of a proliferation of “doctrines of demons” that would cause “some to fall away from the faith.” “Evil men and sorcerers (goétes) will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” - (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:13).

Paul uses “sorcerers” in the same context in which he compared deceivers with the Egyptian soothsayers who withstood Moses – “Jannes and Jambres.” Having “itching ears," many Christians are now "heaping up to themselves teachers after their own lusts. They will turn away their ears from the truth and turn aside to fables.”

The irony is that many Christian practitioners of divination whine constantly about “spirits of witchcraft and Jezebel,” yet they then engage in sorcery, astrology, and calendrical calculations. Paul warned that two things must precede the “Day of the Lord” – The “apostasy” and the “Man of Lawlessness.” Clearly, the first is upon us already. Can the second be far behind?



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