When we think about the Bible, psychics are not exactly the first thing to spring to mind. It would appear that the two ideologies are entirely at odds, promoting totally different ideas, beliefs, and ways of life.
Indeed, the scripture seems to support this position, warning us that we should avoid anyone “who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens…or who is a medium or spiritist.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). It seems pretty clear cut in its condemnation, right?
The main issue is that this is not the whole story. In addition to the quote from Deuteronomy, there are a whole host of other citations which appear to paint a different picture of those who dabble in the supernatural. For a more balanced discussion, we have looked at both sides in an attempt to determine the truth.
What does the Bible say about horoscopes and psychics?
On the surface, it would appear as though horoscopes and psychics were both totally off-limits according to the teachings of the Bible. Translated from Hebrew, astrology literally means “divining the heavens.”
As anyone who has read the Bible will know, divination, sorcery and the like are all against the rules, and so it seems logical that horoscopes are also off-limits if you are working to a literal interpretation of the text. If we take a closer look, however, all is not as it initially seems
What does the Bible say about psychics?
The first thing to remember is that the Bible is very definite about identifying the different types of psychics and fortune-tellers touting their trade. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and Revelation 21:8 both warn against very specific types of prophets who are not to be trusted. These include:
- Medium – one who claims to channel the spirits of the dead
- Soothsayer – astrologer
- Sorcerer – one who claims to be able to contact the spirits of the dead
- Fortune teller – one who practices witchcraft
- Witch (or warlock, depending on your version of the Bible) – a female or male psychic
- One who interprets omens
- One who casts spells or uses charms
- Spiritist – one who claims to talk to the dead
One of the big no-nos seems to be claiming you can communicate with spirits of the deceased— something the Bible is very clear on. Revelation 16:13,14 states that the ‘spirits of the dead’ are devils or evil angels. What seems to be omitted from these descriptions is any mention of telling the future or predicting a fortune and with good reason—Jesus could be said to have taken part in both of these activities.
The fact that the Bible specifically takes the time to name those who are not to be trusted is interesting. We could fill in the gaps by suggesting that other forms of psychic—those who do not claim to communicate with the dead—are acceptable.
The discussion gets even more curious when we take into account the words in Numbers: “If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream…I speak with him face to face.” (Numbers 12:6,8). The suggestion here seems to be that psychics are acceptable, providing they are receiving their visions and messages directly from God.
Interpreted in this way, the scripture seems to be suggesting that rather than denouncing psychics, God will, in fact, encourage this behavior, by sending information and messages to those he has deemed worthy— in other words, psychics.
This theory is heightened by the idea that there are signs of a true prophet—one who is ordained and endorsed by God—and these will help those around them to recognize their authority.
The signs are:
- Will initially lose physical strength (Daniel 10:8)
- No breath in the body (Daniel 10:17)
- May later receive supernatural strength (Daniel 10:18,19)
- Not aware of earthly surroundings (Daniel 10:5-8; Corinthians 12:2-4)
- Eyes will be open (Numbers 24:4)
- Able to speak (Daniel 10:16)
That the Bible has gone to the lengths of outlining the signs by which a prophet–or psychic—may be recognized is interesting if it stands in a position of total condemnation against the practice.
What Does that Mean?
On the surface, it appears obvious that the Bible does everything in its power to condemn the work and practice of psychics, warning them of their inevitable descent into Hell, their crimes against God, and the eternal damnation which awaits. When we look deeper, however, there is another argument.
If we change the terminology from ‘psychic’ to ‘prophet,’ the position changes, and it suddenly appears as though there may not be an open celebration, but a quiet acceptance of those with gifts which extend beyond this world.