ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE
A two session Bible Class on the Biblical position on astrology and other secular methods for investigating the future. The class will also take a broader (but brief) look at the stars as an instrument of God in preserving the message of the Gospel. This little known position on the efficacy of God in preserving the message of salvation is based on Psalm 19:1 and the insights provided by E. W. Bullinger in his 1893 book, "The Witness of the Stars.
Astrology and the Bible
All of us have a desire to know what the future holds. Fortunately, perhaps, the future remains a mystery, except to God. Would we really want to know, for example, when a major tragedy would strike, or when our life on this earth would end? Not likely! Yet, many will seek daily, the advice of an astrological forecast to help in the decisions we are required to make every day on the conduct of our lives.
Donít raise your hand, but do you read your horoscope occasionally to help you decide what you might decide to do that day? (Just for fun, of course.)
You may have read your horoscope "just for fun," but if you see something like "Do not make important decisions today," or "This will be a lucky day for you," does it have an impact on how you behave?
What does the Bible say about Astrology?
The word "astrology" does not appear in the Bible, but the book of Daniel makes mention of "Astrologers":
Dan 2:1-2 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. (NIV)
In this instance, the astrologers were to assist in interpreting the Kingís dream. In the broader sense, the astrologer is associated with telling the future, and especially in connection with the position of the stars and planets.
What would you say is the main reason people seek astrological advice?
Read what Jeremiah has to say about interpreting the "signs in the skies":
Jer 10:2 This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them." (NIV)
What does the Bible say about Astrology?
A more common term employed in the Bible for those who assist in seeking the future is a "medium." Read Leviticus 20:6.
Lev 20:6 I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. (NIV)
Judgment for the medium/spiritist is more devastating:
Lev 20:27 A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.(NIV)
Deut 18:9-12 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.(NIV)
How would you distinguish between seeking the future through astrology vs. seeking the future through consulting the dead, or omens, etc.?
The Bible explicitly speaks of those who seek information from the dead. Read Is 8:19.
Isa 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? (NIV)
What Biblical example do we have?
A good example of the Lordís attitude toward fortunetellers and those who seek them is found in 1 Sam. Read of Saulís misfortune when he went to the Witch at Endor. Note that Saul was responsible for enforcement of the law of Lev 20:27. Read 1 Sam 28:7-9.
1 Sam 28:7-9 Saul then said to his attendants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her." "There is one in Endor," they said. So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. "Consult a spirit for me," he said, "and bring up for me the one I name." But the woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?"(NIV)
It is held by many, that the woman expected to "call up" a demonic spirit, a follower of Satan. Her shock at seeing other than her expected spirit is described in 1 Sam 28:14-14.
1 Sam 28:10-14 Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for this. Then the woman asked, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" "Bring up Samuel," he said. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!" The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?" The woman said, "I see a spirit coming up out of the ground." "What does he look like?" he asked. "An old man wearing a robe is coming up," she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.(NIV)
Why do you suppose the Lord allowed Samuel to appear to Saul, and how can we be sure that it really was Samuel?
Check 1 Sam 28:15 to see what Scripture says
1 Sam 28:15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"(NIV) (The underline has been inserted.)
And how do you think Saul felt about the information he was so anxious to determine? Look at 1 Sam 28:19.
1 Sam 28:19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."(NIV)
What did Samuel mean by, "will be with me?"
And what were the consequences to Saul for seeking out a medium? Read 1 Chr 10:13-14.
1 Chr 10:13-14 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.(NIV)
Saulís seeking of a fortuneteller heavily contributed to his death!
What Conclusions Can Be Drawn?
Is it OK to say that these examples were Old Testament, and no longer apply? Why or why not? Give a Scriptural reference.
Is the Christian under condemnation if Astrology is a way of life? Some Bible references to consider and discuss:
1 Cor 10:23 "Everything is permissible"-- but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"-- but not everything is constructive.(NIV)
1 Cor 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.(NIV)
1 Cor 10:9-12 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did-- and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did-- and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!(NIV)
Luke 6:46 "Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?(NIV)
Astrology and Astronomy
What is the difference between Astrology and Astronomy?
It is clear from Scripture that The Lord does not want the Heavens utilized for foretelling the future. However there is a possibility that the Lord has a far greater purpose for the heavens which is contaminated by Astrological exploitation.
The Gospel in the Heavens
Read and discuss Ps 19:1-5.
Ps 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.(NIV)
How do the heavens pour forth speech? (to all the earth and to the ends of the world)
Consider the following, and discuss the implications:
The 12 signs of the Zodiac are the same in all the ancient nations of the world. The meanings of the names of the stars in the Zodiac are so similar as to be easily recognizable from one language to another.
Read the following Passages and discuss the possible relation to the above.
Ps 147:4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.(NIV)
Isa 40:26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.(NIV)
How could these verses shed light on the meanings of the names of the stars being the same in all ancient languages?
Could God have named the stars in such a way as to contain the Gospel message? Consider the following verse.
Deut 31:19 "Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. (NIV)
Deut 31:21-22 And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath. "So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.(NIV)
What mechanism did the Lord employ here to have the Israelites "remember?"
Could God have the names of the Constellations and the stars to save a message?
Fortunately for us, we have an amazing peace of research available for our study in The Witness of the Stars. The following is a small sampling of that material:
The Arrangement of the Constellations in the Heavens
There are 12 "signs along the ecliptic. Each of these signs has three constellations associated with it, which brings the total count to 48 constellations. The titles of the Groupings are from Bullinger:
THE REDEEMER (His First Coming)
Virgo - The Virgin
Libra - The Scales
Scorpio - The Scorpion
Sagittarius - The Archer
Capricornus - The fish-goat
Aquarius - The Water-Bearer
Pisces - The Fishes
Aries - The Ram or Lamb
THE REDEEMER (His Second Coming)
Taurus - The Bull
Gemini - The Twins
Cancer - The Crab
Leo - The Lion
A Closer look at Virgo:
The constellation of Virgo is depicted as a woman with a branch in her right hand and ears of corn in her left hand. Read Gen 3:15, Is 40:1-3 and Matt 1:23
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."(NIV)
Matt 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-- which means, "God with us."(NIV)
Isa 11:1-4 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth(NIV)
With these verses in mind, consider the meaning of the names involved in Virgo:
Virgo Latin for virgin
The stars in Virgo in order of brightness:
|Alpha||Al Zimach, Arabic||The Branch|
|Beta||Zavijeh||The Gloriously Beautiful|
|Epsilon||Al Mureddin||who shall come down|
Astronomically unidentified stars include:
|Subilah||who carries (Is 46:4)|
|Al Azal||The Branch|
|Subilon||corn (Jn 12:21-24)|
Isa 46:4. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.(NIV)
John 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.(NIV)
A Closer look at Centaurus:
Read the following verses and consider how they relate to Centaurus:
Isa 53:2-3 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.(NIV)
Ps 69:7-8 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother's sons;(NIV)
|or Asmeath in Hebrew||sin-offering|
The key star in Centaurus is:
alpha Toliman the heretofore and hereafter(Rev 1:8)
Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."(NIV)
A Closer look at Libra:
Read the following verses and consider how they relate to Libra:
Ps 49:7 No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him(NIV)
Ps 62:9 Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.(NIV)
Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."(NIV)
1 Pet 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.(NIV)
1 Cor 6:20 you were bought at a price.(NIV)
With these verses in mind, consider the meaning of the names involved in Libra:
|or Mozanaim in Hebrew||the scales|
|or Al Zubena in Arabic||redemption|
|Alpha||Zuben al Ginubi||price deficient (Ps 49:7;62:9)|
|Beta||Zuben al Chemali||price which covers (Rev 5:9)|
|Gamma||Zuben al Akrab||price of the conflict.|
The search for the original names for constellations and stars has produced amazing results There is little doubt that god named the stars and laid out the constellations in such a way as to provide mankind with the Gospel in the stars. (Ps 19:1) Where was it lost? The message is still there, but few would know of it today, and many are striving to remove evidence of the Gospel from the world today. (e.g. keeping the bible out of Russia for decades, etc.)
They will fail!
"The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
Bullinger, E. W., The Witness of the Stars, Kregel Publications, 1967, Reprint of the 1893 edition.
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