The actual word for astrology in the Hebrew language literally means, ‘divining the heavens’. Divination is the act of foretelling future events, or of revealing secret knowledge by means of signs and omens or another supernatural agency. The practice of pagan divination is prohibited by God.
One more point about Babylon before we close and look at the positive side of thing.
Astrology, I haven’t time to really go into this in detail but I have got a paper I’ve written on Astrology in the Bible which is on the table there so you can take that afterwards.
12 “Stand now with your enchantmentsIsaiah 47.12-15
And the multitude of your sorceries,
In which you have laboured from your youth—
Perhaps you will be able to profit,
Perhaps you will prevail.
13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels;
Let now the astrologers, the stargazers,
And the monthly prognosticators
Stand up and save you
From what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble,
The fire shall burn them;
They shall not deliver themselves
From the power of the flame;
It shall not be a coal to be warmed by,
Nor a fire to sit before!
15 Thus shall they be to you
With whom you have laboured,
Your merchants from your youth;
They shall wander each one to his quarter.
No one shall save you.
In this passage in Isaiah which we’ve just read, it speaks about your astrologers your stargazers and your monthly prognosticators. And he says that these people are going to lead you astray because they’re not going to save you. They’re going to lead you into deception.
You find that is actually the first mention of astrology in the Bible.
It is connected with ancient Babylon. Researchers have discovered cuneiform tablets depicting horoscope charts going back to the 5th Century BC coming out of Babylon.
So, astrology is connected with ancient Babylonian religion.
Is astrology okay? Or is it something which is not good? Should you read your horoscope in the newspaper or not?
A lot of you are shaking your heads, that means you’re well taught. But a lot of people do, including a lot of people who call themselves Christians.
They think it’s just harmless, a bit of fun.
Astrology is the art of divination which teaches that the relative position of the sun, the moon, and the planets has an influence upon individuals, upon the course of human affairs. And that it depends when you’re born, what is your star sign is, that’s going to affect your character, your behaviour, and even your destiny.
People read their astrological charts and they think that that’s going to tell them how they could, how they should live.
The whole thing becomes quite fatalistic because, if you believe it, then you’re going to try and make it happen. And, if you try and make it happen – let’s say you’re looking for a husband – if you’re a young lady and you read that you’re going to meet your husband on the horoscope if you go on a boat down the Thames, you might go down the Thames and try to meet your husband.
Of course, these things won’t happen unless people try and make them happen according to what their astrological chart says.
Now, this is what the Bible calls divination which means, trying to understand God’s works or the powers of supernatural powers applyied to your life.
It is forbidden by God who says in the Torah that you should not practice divination.
In Leviticus chapter 19.26 it says,
26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.Leviticus 19.26
Deuteronomy chapter 18 it says,
9 “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.Deuteronomy 18.9-14
Therefore, divination, trying to sort out your destiny through any practice other than prayer and reading the scriptures is forbidden in the Bible. You have to leave these things to God to work out for you, and trust God to lead you day by day.
You have this fascination with astrology and these practices in our time. We read in the Book of Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar tried to find the answer to a dream he had from the astrologers. He asked them to tell him both what the dream was and what it meant.
Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. 2 Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”
4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”
5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. 6 However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honour. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.” …
10 The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
12 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.Daniel 2.1-13
The astrologists said, ‘We can’t do that, it’s impossible!‘ Which, of course, it was unless God reveals it to you.
26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: 29 As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30 But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.Daniel 2.26-30
So, Daniel said, ‘There’s a God in heaven who can reveal these things to me‘, and he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
This fact is quite instructive to us. It tells you that you can’t understand spiritual things by occult means, by anything to do with the occult or astrology, but you can through the God who made you. And He is revealed in the Bible.
Like Daniel, we can turn in prayer to God for help, and trust our future to Him to work it out for us.
There’s also another concept in astrology which has to do with the fact that there are astrological ages which change about every two thousand years.
According to the astrological charts, the last two thousand years have been what they call the Age of Pisces and the Age of Pisces (which means ‘the fish’) is going to change to the Age of Aquarius which means the ‘water bearer’.
The Age of Pisces is associated with individualism and with spiritual darkness. According to astrology, the Age of Aquarius is associated with a New Age of ‘enlightenment’ and of ‘coming together’ into a kind of communal society in which we will understand one another.
If you were around in the 60s, you may remember the musical ‘Hair’ which was on in the West End which lead song went: ‘This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius…’.
In many ways, what was happening in the 60s with the development of kind of New Age occultism, drug taking, ‘free love’ and that kind of collective ideas of society was the beginning of what is meant by the astrological age which is pushing us towards the modern times.
It is also interesting, that Age of Aquarius promotes a view of a New Age Jesus. One of the ideas behind this is that Jesus may have been the Christ or the Messiah for His time, for the time of Pisces, but that we now need a new Messiah for our time.
And there’s a statement from a New Age writer called Helen Schucman. She says:
Can you see that is a pretty dangerous sort of thing to be looking for? You need a new Messiah for our time.
This is also tied up with the Hindu idea of the ‘avatar’. The avatar who is the coming of god into humans at certain times. For example, some of them will say that Buddha was an avatar, that he had the Christ Spirit in him, or Krishna just as did Jesus they say. So now, we need a New Age Messiah for our time.
I see a lot of people shaking their headset. I’m not telling you that’s what you should believe. I’m telling you that it’s what they believe, and that when you look at the astrological view, you can see that it fits in with this mentality that ‘now we need a new Messiah for our time’, we need a New Age Messiah because Jesus has had his day. The Age of Pisces has passed now, we have to have move into the Age of Aquarius which will bring the new Messiah.
There is an occultist called Benjamin Creme who written about this. He said,
The new Messiah will come for Our Generation
And he says,
Otherwise, he’s saying that this new Messiah is going to bring together all the religions. He is also going to show you that God is in everything. That is the definition of pantheism.
From that, you can understand God is in you as well, because you are a ‘potential little god’ and you can come to this Christ Consciousness yourself, and become yourself ‘a little messiah’ for the world.
In effect, what this is doing is separating the historic Jesus from the ‘title of Christ’.
And that leads into what we call the New Age Messiah which is another concept coming out of Babylonian religion.