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29 March 2019

Stargazers, Monthly Prognosticators & the Great Apostasy

Having booted sound scriptural exegesis out of their midst, today's self-anointed "leaders" of what remains of the Charismatic Movement engage in astrological forecasting, numerology, calendrical calculations, and other forms of divination forbidden in the Bible.
Why consult Scripture or expend energy on research when you can decode God’s "hidden" messages and "mysteries" from the Hebrew year number or the monthly cycles of the moon?  What next? Liver-reading?
Where in the New Testament do we find Jesus or Paul calculating the "spiritual" significance of a year number or coordinating prophetic events with the annual feasts of the Hebrew calendar? Charismatic "seers" seek omens from God in natural events; lunar and solar eclipses, the appearance of a comet, an extraordinarily large migration of butterflies, even in unusual cloud formations.
This is shamanism, not the biblical faith. Divination is alive and well within Charismatic Christianity! The Prophet Isaiah warned ancient Israel not to practice the darker arts:
Let them take their stand, the dividers of the heavens, the star-gazers, the monthly prognosticators, of the things which shall come upon you…” (Isaiah 47:13).
Isaiah’s term rendered “monthly prognosticator” is comprised of the words for “moon” and “know” (chodesh, yada‘). It refers to soothsayers that divined the future from lunar phases, in particular, from the new moon that marked the start of each month. The “dividers of heaven” translates a term and concept derived from Babylonian astrology, the practice of dividing night sky into what became zodiacal constellations.
In contrast, Paul warned that reverting to calendrical observations was regression and enslavement to “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” [Galatians 4:9-11]). Charismatic visionaries and "contemplatives" may be interacting with “angels,” but of what sort?
The Charisma Magazine of today promotes astrology. One article describes how “…the stars of the constellation Gemini (the united) will be directly overhead at the zenith point in the Southern U.S. Gemini is one of the zodiacal constellations and is the 10th chapter of the Star Bible….The bright stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux, are also part of the prophetic calendar that produces signs in the sun, moon and stars surrounding both appearances of Christ….” (Heavenly Sign Reveals PropheticCountdown).
How tragic! A once great renewal movement resorts to mystical practices in its fevered pursuit of a supposedly timeless and immaterial "spirit realm." The occult is repackaged with Christian-sounding window dressing and peddled to unsuspecting church members with nary a peep of protest from pastors and elders! Paul claimed the risen Christ gave his church apostles, prophets, teachers, and pastors to shepherd it to the fullness of the faith. To his list, we now add seers, “life coaches,” and dream interpreters.
Christian” songs promote the mystical adage, “As above, so below; As below, so above,” a mantra lifted directly from Hermeticism with its so-called “Principle of Correspondence,” an old occult philosophy linked to the Egyptian god, Thoth. This has been adopted as its mantra by the Bethel Church of Redding, California, along with the philosophy’s "Principle of Vibrations," the belief that all things are in motion and vibrate in synch with God or whatever force runs the universe. For good "spiritual" health, Christians must learn to vibrate on God's frequency.
Charismatic “leaders” seek new revelation into God’s “mysteries” from extra-biblical 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! As the saints in Thyatira were warned, a day is coming when we will discover that such things do not constitute revelation but “the deep things of Satan” (Revelation 2:18-24). Judgment must begin with God's House!
The replacement of Scripture by divination and mystical experiences 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," too many Christians now "heap up to themselves teachers after their own lusts. They will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables.”
Paul warned also not to heed rumors about the nearness of the Day of the Lord. Two events must precede it: the “apostasy” and the unveiling of the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). The first condition is upon us already. Can the “man of lawlessness” be far behind?

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