Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Act 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
DIVINATION: G4436, Puthōn, poo'-thone
From Πυθώ Puthō (the name of the region where Delphi, the seat of the famous oracle, was located); a Python, that is, (by analogy with the supposed diviner there) inspiration (soothsaying): - divination.
1) in Greek mythology the name of the Pythian serpent or dragon that dwelt in the region of Pytho at the foot of Parnassus in Phocis, and was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and been slain by Apollo
2) a spirit of divination
We see that the spirit of DIVINATION is basically a counterfeit of the gift of Prophecy. The Bible has several names for divination including: witchcraft, sorcery, enchantments, wizards, observer of times (astrology), idolatry (devil worship), but the overall definition of all these words is simply a description of a person who courts and interacts with familiar (demonic) spirits.
Witchcraft is a major sin and was a great snare to Israel and was also the main reason God finally drove them from the land just like He drove out the Canaanites before them.
If you, or your ancestors, have ever practiced the occult arts including: reading tarot cards, casting lots (gambling, consulting the I Ching), using mind altering drugs, playing with a Ouija board, practicing witchcraft, soothsaying, worshipping pagan gods, practicing any religion besides Christianity, practicing astrology, palm reading, consulting fortune tellers, etc., etc., etc., there is probably a good chance you have interacted with the spirit of divination.
There are many signs that this spirit is influencing your life but I would like to mention the BIG signs. First, we see from the story of the damsel in the Book of Acts that she brought her masters GREAT GAIN. The influence of this spirit appears to go hand in hand with the LOVE OF MONEY! If you have a single minded obsession with acquiring wealth for yourself, this is a good sign that the spirit of divination is controlling you. If you read anything about the wealthy, you understand that they have a peculiar “knack” for predicting future events.
It is interesting that the Apostle Paul commands the spirit of DIVINATION to leave when he is grieved by this young girl following him and his associates for several days. I believe the reason the Holy Spirit, through Paul, used this tactic is two-fold. First, she was a slave girl. Therefore, she was practicing soothsaying against her will. Second, the Bible says the girl was a DAMSEL.
DAMSEL: G3814, paidiskē, pahee-dis'-kay
Feminine diminutive of G3816; a girl, that is, (specifically) a female slave or servant: - bondmaid (-woman), damsel, maid (-en).
It appears this girl was very young, perhaps even a child. Yes, children can be possessed by demonic spirits. I believe she was inculcated with this demonic spirit, probably at Delphi against her will. If you read about Central Intelligence Agency programs such as MK-ULTRA, you will find that people inspired by Satan are still inculcating children with demonic spirits. Not all the people who work for intelligence agencies understand that they are Satanic organizations but ALL the top echelon of these secretive organizations practice some form of witchcraft.
Make no mistake, any person who belongs to the higher echelons of a SECRET society is interacting with demonic powers and is a practicing sorcerer.
OCCULT', a. [L. occultus, occulo; ob and celo, to conceal.]
Hidden from the eye or understanding; invisible; secret; unknown; undiscovered; undetected; as the occult qualities of matter.
The occult sciences are magic, necromancy, &c.
Occult lines, in geometry, are such as are drawn with the compasses or a pencil, and are scarcely visible.
If you have read my past articles about the Babylonian system, perhaps you remember I said that the City of Babylon was governed and ruled by sorcerers. Our current worldwide Babylonian system is also governed and ruled by sorcerers, and that is why there is such a huge amount of time and resources devoted to acquiring (stealing) wealth.
It is also why the cult of crony capitalism, free trade, and central banking, have blanketed the world. If you look deeply into the background of many of the world’s leaders in government, entertainment, media, business, education, AND religion, you will find that many of them are deeply involved in the occult…many since early childhood.
Many religious people who pass themselves off as prophets of God are actually being motivated and controlled by spirits of divination. When somebody talks more about money than Jesus Christ, it is a good indicator of who and what they love more. Just because somebody seems to be able to forecast the future does NOT mean they are a true prophet of God! Remember that Jesus said we would know them by their fruits.
When the Apostle Paul encounters this young girl possessed by the spirit of DIVINATION, he simply commands the demon to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. However, when he encounters an adult Jewish sorcerer, named Barjesus, Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to curse the man.
Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Act 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
Barjesus was an adult man, free, and Jewish; therefore, he should have been well aware that he was in direct rebellion against God by practicing sorcery.
This brings us to the second BIG indicator of the spirit of divination’s presence… REBELLION. Our best illustration of the gift of prophecy versus the spirit of witchcraft is the story of King Saul and King David in the Old Testament.
King Saul started off NOT wanting to be king of Israel, which is a good thing. When God commanded the Prophet Samuel to anoint Saul king of Israel, like King David after him, he was anointed with God’s Holy Spirit as evidenced by the gift of PROPHECY.
1Sa 10:10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
1Sa 10:11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
1Sa 10:12 And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?
The life of Saul should serve as a warning to all people who God has baptized with His Holy Spirit. We need to constantly strive to be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s instruction and leading. We dare not lean on our own understanding. Apparently, after many years as King of Israel, the power and position began to go to King Saul’s head. On several occasions, King Saul actually ignored or did the opposite of what God told him to do. Therefore, God by an act of His sovereign will, removed His Holy Spirit and it was replaced by an EVIL spirit.
1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
I am afraid this is a common occurrence throughout the Bible and throughout history. Men start out full of the Holy Spirit, the power of God is working mightily through them, and they are obviously anointed to preach the gospel. Then somewhere and somehow they get turned around and they begin spending all their time and God’s resources building massive projects or accumulating wealth for themselves and their families.
Obviously this is a process that does not happen overnight, but steadily, step by step, eventually rebellion leads us to the same place where King Saul ended up, the Holy Spirit leaves and the intentional decision to continually rebel against God takes us to a very dark place.
1Sa 28:6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
1Sa 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
When the Holy Spirit leaves, eventually everything good leaves with Him, and all God’s blessings are replaced by continuous and unremittent evil.
1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
When God took the kingdom of Israel from Saul, Saul sought to keep it with all of his might, he continued to rebel against God until he eventually died by his own hand. How much differently King David handled being rebuked by God.
Although David was anointed King by Samuel, he did not seek to grasp the position for himself, neither did he try to hold onto the position when he believed God had taken it away. King David understood, like Job before him, that everything is God’s and it is His to give or take away as He sees fit.
Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
This is true meekness, when we can bless God no matter what our circumstances because we understand God knows the end from the beginning, while we are limited in our knowledge and in our ability.
There is nothing wrong with seeking the gifts of God, but we must understand that with the gifts we carry a heavy responsibility. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul told us that we should all seek the gift of prophecy.
1Co 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
While the gift of tongues edifies us, the gift of prophecy edifies the Church. I believe that King David may have been the greatest prophet in the Old Testament. Nearly all the New Testament writers refer back to the prophetic messages contained in the Psalms.
PSALM: H4210, mizmôr, miz-more'
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes: - psalm.
In the Old Testament, the gift of prophecy is associated with MUSIC.
1Ch 25:3 Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.
Many of the prophets in the Old Testament have their prophetic songs recorded including: The song of Moses, the song of Miriam, the song of Deborah, the songs of David, and of course the Song of Songs by Solomon. When King Jehoshaphat asked the Prophet Elisha to inquire of the Lord, the Prophet requested a minstrel to play music.
2Ki 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
If you have been drawn to music all of your life, there is a good chance that you were meant to be a prophet of God. It is frankly amazing how many famous secular musicians and singers began performing in the Church. I do not believe it is only coincidental. I believe they were anointed by God and later exchanged it for fame, fortune, and unfortunately for them… the spirit of DIVINATION.
1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.