Ask Your Preacher
(This is a follow-up to “Laban’s Luck”)
I have another question similar to the last question about divination. According to Genesis 44:5, Joseph uses a cup for divination. Again the Bible doesn't give much information about this. So far I can think of two possible methods: hydromancy (which is divination using water or maybe other liquids) and/or scrying (which is an occult practice by means of seeing physically on anything clear such as glass, gemstone, crystal, and water or anything that reflects such as mirrors and, again, water). The most popular object is a crystal ball. If scrying is it, then either Joseph filled the cup with water and scryed, or if the cup can reflect, then he can scry on the cup. But I don't know. Do you know exactly what method he used? If not, then do you know where I can get more information about this?
Crying For Scrying
Dear Crying For Scrying,
The Bible gives absolutely no details on how Joseph used that cup for divining… it doesn’t even say that he does – it just mentions that Joseph’s steward was supposed to say that to Joseph’s brothers (Gen 44:1) as part of his ruse to get them to come back (Gen 44:14). The proof that Joseph actually did use the practice of divining is tentative at best. Regardless, divining is wrong today. Though God spoke to the prophets in various forms in the past, today God speaks to us through His Son’s Word (Heb 1:1-2). When we become christians, we throw away all occult practices (Acts 19:19). There is nothing to divine that the Lord hasn’t already taught us in His Word (2 Pet. 1:3).
Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by witches. I am a christian; I always have been. I believe in God (as well as love Him). I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that He rose from the dead. I have my doubts about other things but never this. I've never read the Bible, but I know that witchcraft is evil in His eyes. I have NEVER practiced it. I merely find it interesting, but I do NOT follow it nor believe in it. I love the Harry Potter books, but again, as you can see, I'm in the same boat. I like witches, but I'd never practice the craft. I want to know if I'd end up in hell. I feel the same way about astrology. I even wear a Capricorn necklace that I got for my sweet sixteen. But again, I don't believe in any of it… just as a hobby. It's been driving me crazy, and I don't know what to do.
Toil & Trouble
Dear Toil & Trouble,
Astrology, mysticism, séances, horoscopes, palm reading, witchcraft, etc. are all sinful. God condemned that behavior in the Old Testament (Isa 47:13-14). King Saul was put to death by God for seeking a woman that practiced divining (1 Chr 10:13). Any Jew that was found visiting a ‘medium’ or ‘spiritist’ would be cut off from His people (Lev 20:6). In the New Testament, astrology is just as roundly condemned. Paul cast out an evil spirit that was fortune-telling (Acts 16:16-18). When someone became a christian, they confessed sorcery as evil, and many of them burned their books of the magical arts (Acts 19:18-20). If we want wisdom, we should seek it from God (Jas 1:5).
You mentioned that you haven’t read the Bible. All faith in Christ is dependent upon the Bible (Rom 10:17). It seems like you have an honest heart and a real desire to know what is right – two things that matter a lot to God (Lk 8:15). Please feel free to ask any more questions as they come up, or if you would like us to set up a Bible study for you with a faithful church in your area, just let us know.
When kids are psychic, and they claim they do not have anything to do with the devil, are they lying? Or is the devil using them?
Dear Weirded Out,
People that claim they are psychic are lying and are meddling in the occult. Astrologists, those who claim supernatural powers, palm readers, etc. are not from God (Mic 5:12, Isa 2:6, Jer 27:9). Every lie is from the devil (Jhn 8:44), and the devil uses us when we promote false teaching (Matt 16:23). The only way to properly serve God is to throw off all pretenses of these dark arts and wholly serve Jesus in truth (Acts 19:18-20).
I have pondered about the idea of a messiah. It seemed to me that all cultures and religions have a savior. It seems to me quite possible that God sent His son, or Himself, or the third iteration of Himself (however one interprets the messiah) to all different peoples to lead them around the same time, essentially. And presently, Satan exploits this to make humans fight each other because we all worship the same god. So any theism works… that is what I'm trying to say and what I think.
Is Jesus Christ special, or was Isus the Egyptian messiah, or Allah, or Krishnu, or Jehovah just as good?
Dear Open Minded,
Jesus is special, and He left no room for other gods. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jhn 14:6). Jesus was either the one and only Messiah – or He was a crazy lunatic. Jesus teaches that we can only have one Master (Matt 23:10) and that serving anyone else is a sin. Jesus taught that we either confess Him as the Christ, or we will be denied before God (Lk 12:8-9). Jesus cannot coexist with other gods. The Bible is clear – there can be only one (Eph 4:4-6). Isus, Allah, Krishnu, etc. are all false gods.
What is panthiesm religion?
Pantheism comes from ‘pan’, meaning ‘all’, and ‘theos’ means ‘god’. Pantheism is the idea that there is no one all-powerful God. Instead, Pantheism teaches that a god is simply representative of all the universe and natural laws. Pantheism places its trust in the natural world and the structure of the physical universe. Pantheists find solace and peace in nature and find all their purpose in this world only. Pantheism teaches that this life is all there is… no eternity, no heaven, no hell, and no Judgment Day. Pantheism is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Scripture. From as early as Gen. 1:1, the Bible teaches that there is an all-powerful God and that we are accountable to Him. When we die, we shall all face the judgment of a just and supernatural God (Heb 9:27).