I heard a man who said he was a prophet claims he predicted hurricane Katrina. He says he can see God and predicted God was going to make a lot of changes in 2008. Is he a true prophet?
What does the Bible say about witchcraft and the occult?
First, sometimes using the things they know about the person and their situation they make predictions based on what will probably happen. They ask a lot of questions and then tell the person what will be the out come. Often their predictions are general guesses and can fit a number of situations. Many psychics and fortune tellers have learned how to ask questions which candidly reveal things about a person. I watch a demonstration of that on TV once that showed a man who claimed to contact the dead. He asked questions and told people things about themselves and the deceased which impressed the people in the audience. At the end of the show he revealed how he did it and explained he was not contacting the dead, but using what they said to trick them into believing he was. Interestingly, several people in the audience said they did not believe him and that knew he had contacted the their dead relative?! That was really weird, because he plainly showed them how he has deceived them.
One well known person on TV is John Edward. Edwards cons people into believing he can communicate with the dead by using what is called "cold reading." A cold reading is the "sleight of tongue" procedure that fast-talking artists or so-called "Readers" use (as opposed to a " warm reading", where the Reader has actually acquired information about the subject beforehand). Cold reading has many methods whereby the Reader can get out of a blatantly wrong guess with extreme speed. So fast that, unless you listen very carefully or are able to review a transcript of what was actually said during the reading, few would ever notice. Cold reading is used by such other "psychics" or "sensitives" as Sylvia Browne and James Van Praagh (John, Sylvia and James being the three most popular Cold Readers at the moment). All of whom claim to communicate with loved ones who have crossed over. ( http://www.re-quest.net/entertainment/movies-and-tv/tv/john-edward/)
You can buy a black ball that is suppose to answer questions. It has a number of answers and you shake the ball and then an answer comes up in the window. The answers are often correct...and the reason is that there are general answers to all our questions. The fortune teller so called pyschics are well trained in how to give convincing answers.
Second, there are those called "spirit medians" who are in contact with demons. They have what is called a "farmilar spirit" which means a demon they are in contact with. It is a fact that demons can communicate with some people who let the demon come in and possess them. The demon claims to be a person's relative or friend. The spirit median then tells the person seeking to contact the dead...things that only they and the dead person would know. How is that done....it is simple. Demons are aware of what is happening on earth. They know what has happened in the past and they deceptively claim to be the dead person and reveal what they saw. However, the dead cannot communicate with the living and therefore what happens is that demons deceive people by making them think they are the person's deceased relative.
God strongly warns us against seeking fortune tellers or having anything to do with demons and the occult.
Christians are to live by faith trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our help and will guide the believer through life. We are not told our future, but told the Lord will never leave or forsake us no matter what our circumstances are. We are to live by faith.
God today speaks through His word the Bible. God says, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:1-3)
The man who claimed to be a prophet lied because the Bible plainly states "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1:18) John explains that though we cannot see God He lives within the believer, "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." (1 John 4:12)
God says, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) The Bible says that no man has seen God at anytime....so this man's statement is contrary to God's word and that makes the man a false prophet. Peter said, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)
Some people want attention and they come into churches making false claims to draw attention to themselves. That is their only purpose. The statement the man said was so general it could mean anything. He could claim his prophecy was true if anything in the world changed. There will be great changes this year and anyone who hears the news knows there is a coming election, a possible confrontation with the terrorists, a possible new peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. But this is not prophecy...just understanding what is happening in the world.
WITCHCRAFT is a form of magic; sorcery; demonism; and occultism. For example in Exodus 22:18, God told the nation of Israel not to allow a witch to live. Of course today as Christians we are not a nation and cannot put witches to death, but this shows us how strongly God opposes witchcraft.
The following Scriptures reveal the serious sin of witchcraft.
From the Old Testament: Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:26,31; 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:13-15; Jeremiah 27:9-10; Daniel 2:10; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4.
From the New Testament: Acts 19:19; Galatians 5:20; Ephesians 5:11; 6:10-18; Revelation 21:8.
The Bible makes no distinction between "white magic" and "black magic." Every form of involvement in spiritism is strictly forbidden. The following are the terms used in the Bible to describe this practice:
Charmer--those who cast spells; sorcery; incantations (Deuteronomy 18:10).
Consulter with familiar spirits--attempted communication with the dead whereby the consulter comes into contact with deceiving spirits; seances (Deuteronomy 18:10).
Divination--fortune telling; future telling; divining into the unknown (Nu. 22:7; 23:23; Deuteronomy 18:10,14; 1 Samuel 6:2; 28:8; 2 Kings 17:17; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 14:14; 27:9; 29:8; Ezekiel 13:6,9,23; 21:21,22,29; 22:28; Micah 3:6,7,11; Zechariah 10:2; Acts 16:16).
Enchanter--to use enchantments; spell casting; charms; communication with spirits (Ex. 7:11,22; 8:7,18; Le. 19:26; Nu. 23:23; 24:1; Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 17:17; 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:9,12; Jeremiah 27:9).
Familiar spirits--spirits involved with those attempting to communicate with the dead; deceiving spirits impersonating the dead; spirits participating in witchcraft and those who are in communication with them (Le. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:3-9; 2 Samuel 21:6; 23:24; 1 Chronicles 10:13; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3; 29:4).
Necromancy--the art of revealing future events by pretending communication with the dead (Deuteronomy 18:11).
Observer of times--one who consults the stars; who believes the heavenly bodies have a ruling influence over the physical and moral world (Deuteronomy 18:10; Isaiah 47:13; Daniel 1:20; 2:2).
Prognosticator--one who consults the stars in an attempt to predict the events of men's lives (Isaiah 47:13).
Soothsaying--one who divines, consults the stars; predicts the future; fortune telling (Joshua 13:22; Isaiah 2:6; Daniel 2:27; 4:7; 5:7,11; Micah 5:12; Acts 16:16).
Sorcery--the practice of witchcraft; wizardry; magic; divination; enchanting (Ex. 7:11; Isaiah 47:9,12; 57:3; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 2:2; Mal. 3:5; Acts 8:9,11; 13:6,8; Revelation 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15).
Witch--one who practices witchcraft; worshiper of Satan; nature worshiper; one who practices sorcery and enchantment (Ex. 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10; 1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Ga. 5:20)
Wizard--sorcerer; conjurer; charmer; enchanter (Le. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:3,9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3).
(Material from Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible and Christianity, David Cloud)
It is a serious thing to be involved with the above occult practices. The reason is that it is the Devil and his demons that are behind all these occult practices. The Devil is a master of lies and seeks to destroy people by making them follow him. He deceives people into thinking they are communicating with their dead friends and relatives. This is a LIE....and is demonic activity. No Christian should ever be involved with such practices as it dishonors the Lord and serves Satan.
God wants us to believe and put our faith in Him. Only He has our best interests at heart and wants to save us, forgive our sins and give us eternal life. Further once a person believes and receives Christ as their Savior the Holy Spirit indwells them and guides and directs us through our lives. God protects us and never forsakes us.
A person who has been involved with the occult should prayer and ask God for His forgiveness and them never have anything to do with it again. Many people who lean towards the occult are not saved and first they need to ask God to forgive them of their sins and to save them by putting their faith in Jesus Christ. Only then does the Holy Spirit come into one's life and can one have the blessings of God.