The Widespread Belief in Fortune Tellers
Many people today believe in and to go to fortune tellers, who are people who are involved in the practice of predicting information about a person’s life. One source reads “….(41 percent) believe in psychics…. while 29 percent believe in astrology” [Source].
The number of people who see a psychic is a lot more than probably many people think. The psychic industry is huge “… the IBISWorld report analyzes it as such and notes those in the industry — including people involved in palmistry, cartomancy, mediumship, aura readings and astrology — have about $2 billion in revenue a year. Roughly 85,000 people work in psychic services and make about $1.5 billion in total wages a year” [Source].
It is not just in America many people are visiting psychics, “In South Korea, fortune telling is a 3.8 billion dollar industry. There are an estimated 300,000 fortune-tellers in the country, and 150,000 shamans, many of whom provide clairvoyance” [Source].
In the UK, “sales of tarot cards in general are reportedly at their highest level for 50 years.” An “occult bookshop in Bloomsbury, has seen a 50 per cent increase in just the past two years and around half of the store’s customers are under 30 — compared with just 25 per cent in 2010 [source]. In Russia, opinion polls estimate that a fifth of Russians have visited a psychic [source].
However most or some fortune-telling can be regarded as a matter of fraud, fake, and of course the making of money. Of course fortune telling is dismissed by the scientific community and skeptics as being based on quaint superstition. But there really is genuine fortune telling that is dependent on extrasensory powers. What does the Bible – God’s Word – say about this? While prophecy is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is of God; genuine fortune-telling is inspired by the spirit of Satan and is of the devil, and that is the case whether they know it or not. The Bible gives examples of this. In the Book of Acts Ch. 21 exposes a spirit behind fortune-telling. A girl in Philippi was possessed with the spirit of divination (or Python spirit). The Apostle Paul expelled the spirit out of her by the authority of Jesus Christ and she consequently lost her ability. On the other hand there was the prophet Agabus in Acts Ch. 21 who prophesied by the Holy Spirit.
The late theologian, Kurt Koch, who had extensive experience with dealing with the occultly oppressed, wrote: “On being questioned, a fortune-teller said that while she was actually in the process of fortune-telling, she was controlled by a strange power. This spirit would come over her and she was then forced to say things of which she had no previous knowledge. It was feeling as if she was possessed, but after the fortune-telling she was completely normal again.
This example is close to that which is described in Acts 16:6-18. Paul was on a missionary journey at Philippi. A girl with the spirit of divination followed daily. She was continually crying out, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.’ Why was Paul unhappy with this statement? Why did he restrain her? The answer is that the apostle saw immediately that the power of fortune-telling at work in the girl was not of God. He turned on the girl and commanded, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, come out of her.’ Immediately the girl was freed of her powers of divination and fortune-telling. This incident in the early missionary work of the Church is very enlightening.” (Between Christ and Satan, 21)
Dangers Getting Involved With Fortune Telling
As with all forms of occult or sorcery involvement it opens the doors wide open for the enemy to come into a person’s life. Whether the fortune-telling is done through palm-reading, tea-leaf reading, card laying (or tarot cards), crystal gazing, astrological forecast, throwing the bones etc., it all can leave a person demonically afflicted or infested.
Koch wrote, “…any person who has resorted to fortune-telling, or magic, or spiritism in his life, will find it very difficult to turn to Christ at a later date. He will be unable to obtain any assurance of salvation or peace with God. And if perchance he has already become a Christian, he will find that a coldness and a kind of ban will descend upon his Christian life. He will lose his desire to pray and to read the Bible, and will become lukewarm and sluggish in his faith. Or, on the other hand, he may become hypocritical and selfrighteous and Pharisaical as a result of his contact with occultism” (Occult Bondage, 34).
Christian author Merrill Unger wrote: “Whoever resorts to fortune-telling in any form runs the risk of becoming occultly subjected and oppressed. Christian counseling has revealed disturbance to body, soul, and spirit among those who are engaged or connected with any type of divination. The irreligious person who engages in this forbidden art shows extreme callousness and resistance toward spiritual truths. The pious religionist who dabbles in the occult displays spiritual pride, self-righteous pharisaism, opposition to pure doctrine of the Word, and a condition of insulation against the Holy Spirit.
Many weaknesses and vices often go hand in hand with fortune-telling. A very high tendency to addictions (drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or sexual excesses) and to general immorality are present. From the medical and psychiatric standpoint, families bound by fortune-telling show a remarkably high incidence of nervous disorders, mental illnesses, mediumistic psychoses, and many psychosomatic disorders.” (Demons in the World Today, 96-97)
I can attest to this. I have come across people who became heavily demonized when involving oneself with psychics. No doubt about it, getting involved with psychics opens the doors wide open for the enemy to come into one’s life, even demonized.
Getting involved with divination can also affect a person’s descendants. With families of those involved in fortune-telling is the prevalence of such things as nervous disturbances, hysteric symptoms, Sydenham’s chorea (St. Vitus’ Dance), symptoms of paralysis, epileptics, deaf-mutes, mediumistic psychosis, and a general propensity towards emotional and mental illnesses etc. (Between Christ and Satan, 49-50).
Why God Forbids Fortune Telling?
Well, for one it is forbidden is because it is a form of idolatry. One scripture reads (Isaiah 8:19): “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?” The Bible reads God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and He would rather have people seek Him for counsel instead of psychics.
Christian author Merrill Unger echoed something similar: “Because all forms of fortunetelling promote superstition and idolatry, divination of any sort is condemned and rigidly banned for God’s people by the Word of God. Spiritistic fortune-tellers and clairvoyants were subject to the death penalty in Israel (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). Anyone who used ‘divination’ or was a ‘soothsayer, or an augur[fortuneteller], or a sorcerer, or a [magic] charmer, or a medium, or a wizard [clairvoyant], or a necromancer [one who communicated with the spirit-world]’ was outlawed from the community of the Lord’s people (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). The same stringent prohibition runs throughout Scripture (1 Chronicles 10:13; Isaiah 8:19; 44:25; Jeremiah 29:8; Exekiel 21:21; Micah 3:6-7; Zechariah 10:2). the New Testament takes the same firm stand (Acts 16:16-18; Galatians 5:20)” (Demons in the World Today, 96).
You have to ask yourself who do you trust, the living God or fallen spirits?
Koch wrote: “It is also easy to understand that people are afraid of the future and its threatening events. But we must take this fear and anxiety to the right place, to the One who said: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). It is Jesus Christ who has given us the promise: Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20. The Bible contains thousands of promises to encourage us, promises which are strong to take away all our fear. The Psalms, in particular, are a great treasure house from which we can daily take all that we need. Think of the most well known psalm, Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Or consider Psalm 37:5, ” Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him” and he shall bring it to pass.” Read through the Psalms with a red pencil in your hand, underlining all the verses which give courage and strength or which offer protection concerning the unanswered questions of life” (Occult ABC, 74).
Examples of the Consequences Getting Involved With A Fortune Teller
“A minister who saw his mission as fighting superstition had a horoscope cast for the sake of study. He wanted to prove that horoscope casting was just superstition and deceit. He had to pay a large fee because a detailed horoscope was cast for him. He now waited confidently, believing that the horoscope would not fulfill itself. But he was amazed to see that the prophecies were fulfilled. For eight years he observed that all the predictions came true, even to the smallest details. He grew uneasy at this and reflected on the problem. It had indeed been his preconceived idea that it was all based on suggestion and superstition. Yet he knew that as a Christian he had not been the victim of suggestion. Finally he saw no other way of escape than to repent and to ask God for His protection. The thought came to him that he had sinned through this experiment, and had placed himself under the influence of the powers of darkness. After his repentance he discovered to his surprise that his horoscope was now no longer correct. Through this experience the minister clearly understood that demonic powers can be active in astrology. The person who exposes himself to this danger can perish by it” (Between Christ and Satan, 18).
“During a counselling session a student confessed that she had several psychic disturbances. She suffered from a fear of examinations, had symptoms of paralysis and no powers of concentration. It appeared as if her intellectual and emotional faculties were completely divided. On being questioned she admitted that she had often had her fortune told from cards. Her parents and grandparents had also sought the advice of fortune-tellers” (Between Christ and Satan, 22).
“For many years a Christian university graduate practised card-laying for himself, his family, and for fellow members of his church. After his death his wife became an alcoholic. Her whole pension was used on drink. Her house was decorated by a host of bottles. In addition to this the woman started to engage in white magic and thus continued in the occult tradition of her husband. The daughter in turn followed in the footsteps of her parents. She too was caught up in the superstitious customs of her mother. When the girl was seventeen years old, she became mentally ill and was committed to an asylum. Magic and superstition had destroyed the whole family” (Between Christ and Satan, 22-23).
“There was a woman who was a fortune-teller, and rejected everything to do with the idea of God. One day a Christian girl was introduced to her. When the girl heard about the woman’s strange business of fortune-telling, as a joke she held out her hand. She thought that there was nothing in it. The woman read her palm. The girl laughed and could not stop herself making a facetious remark. However, afterwards the Christian girl suffered from depressions and lost her faith. The fortune-teller’s children also exhibited the typical effects. They were ill neurotics, living immoral lives. As I said, here we see the typical characteristics of the effects: depression and loss of moral inhibition” (Between Christ and Satan, 29-30).
“For many years a man was actively engaged in palmistry. In addition to this he practised mesmerism. Over the years he was himself able to feel the destructive influence of his dubious occupation. He later wanted to become a Christian and for several months forced himself to read the Bible, although he felt a strong inner resistance to this. Every time he faced up to the things of God he felt this strange inward defensiveness and resisting pressure on himself.
A new aspect comes to light in this example. Fortune-telling develops the phenomenon of a resistance and an inner defensiveness towards anything to do with God and His Spirit. When a person who has engaged in fortune-telling wants to come to Christ, he finds the way very difficult. Violent and sinister defensive forces appear, which attempt to prevent a decision for Christ. The person who has been infected and ‘immunized’ by fortune-telling is almost insensitive to the Holy Spirit. Such people find it very difficult to become Christians” (Between Christ and Satan, 31).
“A 42-year-old woman had often consulted astrologers and had horoscopes cast for herself in her lifetime. She finally became very depressed and tried to commit suicide twice by taking sleeping pills. She was also plagued by sudden fits of anger. During the course of being counselled she confessed the things of her past life but was still unable to really believe. She had to struggle for months in order to get peace and an assurance of salvation” (The Devil’s Alphabet, 57).
“A woman often visited a fortune-teller and she was also in the habit of consulting a pendulum practitioner. Since she had begun doing this it was as if her house had become haunted. She heard scratching and knocking, and saw shadowy ghostly figures. These experiences were a cause of fear to her and so she sought the advice and help of a minister who was able to lead her to Christ. On becoming a Christian the haunting ceased” (Between Christ and Satan, 51).
“The malicious power of superstition can also be seen in the experience of a minister who, before the last war, became famous for his article against Rosenberg’s book, Myth of the 20th Century. In what he preached and what he taught he was violently opposed to all forms of superstitious and occult customs. One day he decided to get some convincing evidence with which to refute fortune-telling. He had a very careful and detailed horoscope cast for himself, and thereby hoped to prove that this superstitious idea was invalid through watching the prophecies remain unfulfilled over the subsequent years. However, it did not turn out as he had expected. As time went on he had the unnerving experience of watching the horoscope begin to be fulfilled. And this continued for all of eight years. In the end he realised that he had placed himself under the ban of superstition. He thus repented and once more placed his life in the hands of Jesus Christ. Only now did the horoscope fail in its fulfillment. His life at once altered from the course predicted by the ‘cosmobiogram’ or horoscope. Had he previously been the victim of suggestion? Had he subconsciously believed in the horoscope? Had he fallen victim to a fulfillment compulsion? Or had the minister been caught within the claws of a demonic form of astrology? It is impossible to say. But whatever the case, Christ proved Himself to be the great Deliverer. The ever tightening net of superstition had been broken, a feat impossible in one’s own strength, as the man’s previous eight years’ experience had shown” (The Devil’s Alphabet, 135-136).
“A young lady desired to know at the beginning of the war whether her finacé would return home from the field. She went to a card layer, who told her that her wish would be granted. He did in fact return home safe and sound. But from the day of her visit to the fortune-teller, the girl suffered from moods of depression, and ennui. After her fiancé had returned, she one day cut her wrist and elbow veins. Fortunately her life was saved.
…. The girl came from a healthy, solid, Christian family. Nor is there anything of particular interest from the psychical point of view. On the pastoral level we have here the same typical pattern of occult involvement and its effects.” (Christian Counselling and Occultism, 82)
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”