It Is Finished Audio

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Prophecy vs. Divination

Sharing part of an assignment I did for a class project toward my 2nd doctorate at Liberty University. (27JUL23)


Prophecy and divination have been paramount throughout various religions and faith-based organizations over the centuries. Being able to distinguish between the two is even more important for believers in today’s times, especially when so many people desire to carry the title of prophet. One can call themself a prophet on any given day via social media, and thousands of people will follow in hopes of receiving a prophetic word concerning the outcomes of certain events. For example, when Donald Trump was running for re-election, many of these self-professed prophets stated that he would not only win but return to office.[1] They may have gotten the first part right, but they were wrong about him returning to office at that time. This is not to say that he could not possibly do so in this next election, but their prophecies were inaccurate. However, the question is whether these people are actual prophets or diviners. The Bible says: You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). Therefore, Hilber, in his chapter Prophecy, Divination, and Magic in the Ancient Near East, gives an excellent interpretation of prophecy versus divination.

True prophecy refers to a message received from the Lord given to His servant for His people and/or the nations.[2] For example, God told Noah that He was going to send a flood to destroy all of mankind because of their corruption (DNA was corrupted with fallen angels and human women procreating) and wickedness, so he was commissioned to build an ark (Genesis 6:11-22). Therefore, Noah was given this prophetic word as a word of knowledge for himself and as a prophecy to relay to his family. He obeyed the Lord by building the ark even though it had never rained, and he and his family were saved. The Bible says:  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith” (Hebrews 11:7). However, divination works differently.

Divination invokes the gods (demonic forces) to communicate their will or plans for the future. It involves any process in gaining secret knowledge that can only be received from the spiritual realm.[3] For example, many adults and children watched the Simpsons animated sitcom during its thirty-four seasons – 1989 to 2023. However, some of its predictive programming have been unmusically precise in foretelling the destruction of the Twin Towers, faulty voter machines, Donald Trump as president, the Siegfried and Roy attack, and more.[4] Many people have wondered if the show's writers received direct communications from the underworld; thus, divination would explain their success of being the longest-running sitcom and predictive accuracies over the years.

Hilber draws attention to the description that prophecy can be viewed as a type of divination when God reveals His plans to and through His prophets for conveyance to a third party.[5] This would coincide with the word given through the prophet Amos. The Bible says: Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). Prophecy entails a message being given and received by and through a person’s cognitive operations. Therefore, a message intended only for the recipient is revelation, but a message intended for a third party is prophecy.[6]

In Mesopotamia, the people thought they could receive messages from the gods through astrology for royalty, government, and upper-classmen, while sacrificed animals were used for commoners. The Babylonians and Assyrians believed the sky to be a tablet of the gods’ writings.[7] While this was the belief for the foretelling of things to come and omens through their gods, the Jewish nation knew that God would also speak through signs in the heavens. The Bible says: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25).

Mesopotamia’s use of sacrificed animals involved priests posing yes-no questions to receive an answer through certain parts of the animals’ anatomy. This reminds me of the breastplate that the high priests were to wear to receive answers from God. The Bible says: Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen” (Exodus 28:15). Prophecy as a form of divination was permitted by God, but was different from Near Eastern practices that required knowledge and skills in spells, omens, etc.[8]

[1] Micael Grenholm, "These 12 Church Leaders Prophesied That Trump Would Win the 2020 Election," PCPJ, last modified December 29, 2020,


[2] Jonathan S. Greer, John W. Hilber, and John H. Walton, Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts (Ada: Baker Academic, 2018), 368-374.


[3] John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 581-583.


[4] Megan McCluskey, "17 Times The Simpsons Accurately Predicted the Future," Time, last modified March 9, 2017,


[5] Greer, Hilber, and Walton, Behind the Scenes, 368-374.


[6] Ibid.


[7] Ibid.


[8] Walton, Matthews, and Chavalas, IVP Bible Background Commentary, 581-583.

Sunday, July 23, 2023




“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen"

(Jude 1:24-25).

            The Apostles Jude and Peter wanted the church to stay strong and encouraged. They warned about the wolves who would enter the church to cause division with their heretical teachings. Yet, they reminded believers that the Lord would keep them from falling. The Bible says: For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56:13). The enemy desires for us to get off-balanced in our walk with God. He will use church leaders, family, friends, coworkers, or whomever he can to take our focus away from the Lord. However, the only way to defeat him is by having a personal relationship with the Lord through prayer, fasting, and studying His Word. Charles H. Spurgeon is credited with this quote concerning the Word of God: “Study the Word, that your faith may not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God!”[1] We can take this to mean that man can become compromised, but there is strength and stability in having faith and standing on the Word of God. Peter wrote: “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:17).

            Jude reminds us that Jesus is our High Priest and Mediator who presents us to the Father as faultless, not because of what we’ve done but because of His work on the cross on our behalf. All of Heaven rejoices when one soul comes to Christ and accepts Him as their Lord and Savior. The Bible says:  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

            Jude concludes his book by reminding his readers that only one true God deserves our worship because of who He is through Christ Jesus. Peter said:But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). Jesus is our Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and is the most powerful name above all names throughout the ages, having no beginning nor end. He is our final authority and will return with all power and majesty. The Bible says: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne” (Matthew 25:31). That glorious day will be here soon. Will you be ready?


The Apostles Jude and Peter’s books are short but contain a plethora of valuable information for the body of Christ. Jude and Peter made it clear that they were speaking to an audience that is not unfamiliar with the common nature of their faith. Yet, they encouraged them to contend for the faith because of the challenges that would befall them with false teachers seeking to introduce heretical teachings unbeknown to them. Jude and Peter categorized these people as being similar to the children of Israel who died in the wilderness, the fallen angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah.[1]

The apostles warned of the judgment that would befall the false teachers and those who followed them by associating them with the rebellious sins of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. Jude even used his knowledge of I Enoch to condemn the false teachers and their heretical teachings they attempted to poison the church with.[2] Nevertheless, the apostles encouraged the church by reminding them that the Lord was coming with thousands of angels, and the ungodly will receive their final reward. Therefore, they were to be alert to the secret heresies that entered their midst, for these ungodly people were selfish, despised authority, and full of lust and greed.[3] Similarly, the same issues are still occurring today, and the warnings are just as relevant.

Historically and generally, false teachings have been able to enter the church first within theologian circles, second through pastors, and then through the rest of the church. Unfortunately, when the leadership strays from sound doctrine, the church often follows suit due to following man and not God.[4] Christians need to understand their identity in Christ and what being a follower of His really encompasses. In so doing, they will not be easily led astray, for the biblical writers provided guidance in the matters of faith, obedience, and submission to God.[5] Even though holiness is a spiritual trait, the Lord desires His people to exemplify Him in all areas of their lives in love, justice, moral excellence, and self-sacrifice.[6] For this reason, Jude and Peter encouraged the body of Christ to stay alert and be mindful of apostates in their letters of warning, which has remained timeless for the body of Christ throughout the ages until He returns.  


[1] D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 688-689.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (New York: HarperCollins, 1994), 922.

[5] William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Jr. Robert L. Hubbard, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2017), 592.

[6] William S. Sor et al., Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996), 94-95.


[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, "Study The Word," Charles H. Spurgeon, last modified 2017,