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What is the biblical teaching on astrology?

John MacArthur

AnswerWhat is the biblical teaching on astrology?

My wife and I stopped to get a sandwich on the way home last night.  We went in and, as I walked in this little place to get a sandwich, there was on the cash register a little sign that said, “The June Horoscopes Are In.”  And I thought, “The June horoscopes, like all the rest, are definitely out.”  But anyway, the sign said, “The June Horoscopes Are In,” and I thought, “Well, where do you get them?”  I turned around and there was a dispenser on the wall where you put in a quarter and you get a horoscope.  That’s about the most impersonal way I’ve ever seen it done: drop a quarter in and they’ll tell you about your destiny. 

What about these astrological charts?  What does the Bible have to say?  Well, we covered that in a tape on “Demons and Magic” and if you want a full understanding of that, you can get that.  But, let me just mention a couple of Scriptures that help us.  Deuteronomy 17:2.  Deuteronomy 17:2: “If there be found among you within any of thy gates”—and this is part of God’s instruction for Israel—“If there be found among you within any of your gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman who hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant, and hath gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven”—that’s the stars—“which I have not commanded; and if it be told thee and thou hast heard of it and inquired diligently and, behold, it is true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel, then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman who hath committed that wicked thing unto thy gates; even that man or that woman and shalt stone them with stones until they die.”

If Carrol Righter had been alive in the day of Israel, they would have stoned him to death.  That’s how strong the Word of God speaks against anything connected with worship or seeking to know the revelation of some divine mind through the sun, the moon, or the stars of heaven.  It was an offense that constituted an abomination to God and I would hasten to add that anything that used to be an abomination to God is still an abomination to God because whatever was abominating to his character is still abominating to his character because his character has not changed one bit.

So, that’s a very, very clear word.  I would add to that, Isaiah 47.  Isaiah 47:12—and here he was particularly judging the Babylonians who were really involved in this: “Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou hast labored from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels.  Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators”—that’s the June horoscopes—“stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.  Behold, they shall be like stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: they shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before it.”  They’re going to be so consumed, they won’t even smolder is what he’s saying.  They won’t even be worth a coal to get warm over, they’re going to go up so fast in smoke.  That’s God’s attitude towards astrology, stargazing, monthly prognostication. 

Now, that’s fairly clear.  No Christian has any business, in any sense, under any circumstance, fooling around with that.  That simply opens your mind to demonic suggestion.  If you listen to that suggestion, it isn’t that the horoscopes will tell you what you’re like; they will simply make you into what they want you to be.  People who listen to that begin to pattern their life after that thing until, literally, they become transformed into their horoscope, if you will.

There are others in Acts 7 where it mentions “the tabernacle of Molech” and “the star of your God, Rephan.”  This is the worship of Saturn and it’s again, mentioning the worship of the stars.

So, this was something that was completely and totally forbidden in the Word of God and the reason is because the stars can’t tell your future, they can’t tell your present—no way.  That’s the revelation of God alone involved in telling the truth; that’s just a demonic way to capture the fancy of people so that the demons can persuade them toward a certain behavior.  In Daniel 1, it says, “In all matters of wisdom and understanding, the king of Babylon inquired of them.  He found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in all his realm.”  When he consulted God’s people, he found them ten times better!  And that’s an understatement.

Verse 2 talks more about the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers and shows that they were inadequate, they were in error, they were helpless, they were hopeless.  In Daniel 2:27, it talks about soothsayers, astrologers, and magicians again.

So, no Christian is to have anything to do with them at any time, at all.  Don’t even fool with that, don’t even play around with it—it just opens up an avenue for Satan to influence you.

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