What's Your Sign?
When you first read the title of this study, what came to your mind? Was it Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius or Pisces? For many people, the chances are very high that it was one of them because astrology (not to be confused with the science of astronomy) is something that many have known all of their lives, or at least known of all of their lives, so much so that it seems a "normal" part of modern society - but in fact it's one of the most ancient pagan activities that God condemns.
Astronomy is Not Astrology
Astronomy is the branch of physics that studies celestial bodies and the universe as a whole, which the Bible refers to as "heaven." There is nothing wrong with the study of the stars, or simply to admire the magnificence of what's above us on a clear, dark night. It's perfectly acceptable to God:
"And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years" (Genesis 1:14 RSV)
Note: "signs" means days (from sunset to sunset), months (new moon to new moon) and years (spring equinox to spring equinox)
"He determines the number of the stars, He gives to all of them their names." (Psalm 147:4 RSV)
"When I look at Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast established; what is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost care for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4 RSV)
Stars are very hot spheres of gas (usually more than 90% hydrogen) that give off various forms of radiation, including light. The sun is an average-size star. Some stars are much smaller than the sun, others are millions of times bigger. Stars vary in color according to their surface temperature, from blue-white (the hottest at about 35,000 degrees) to white, yellow, orange, to red (the coolest at about 3,000 degrees). Stars are "born" from accumulating physical matter, live out their lives according to how much fuel they have, and then "die" - either by going cold and dark, or exploding (a supernova) when they no longer have the gravity to hold together. From the ejected matter, new stars will eventually be born.|
Constellations are merely chance alignments of stars that seem to draw an outline of something - a human, animal or an object. "The Big Dipper" (also known as "The Plow," or "The Wagon") is a familiar example (it is actually part of the constellation Ursa Major - the Big Bear). Some others (there are 88 "official" constellations) are Orion the Hunter, Leo the Lion, and Canis Major. Twelve of the constellations (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) have been perverted for use in astrology, which has nothing to do with astronomy.|
Galaxies are very large aggregations of stars, gas, dust, and physical matter. The "Milky Way," of which the sun is a member, has an estimated 200 billion stars (many of which are now known to have planets). Throughout the universe there are billions of galaxies. The photo at left, while appearing to be just a mist in space, is a very distant galaxy, and the "mist" is actually billions of stars|
Astrology is Paganism
On the other hand, astrology is simply paganism. In The Bible, astrologers were, and are, known variously as conjurers, necromancers, enchanters and soothsayers.
"And beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which The Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven." (Deuteronomy 4:19 RSV)
"There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer,or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to The Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 RSV)
"You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame" (Isaiah 47:13-14 RSV)
"Daniel answered the king, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery which the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries" (Daniel 2:27-28 RSV) (see Prophecy)
"He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:7-8 RSV)
Fact Finder: Just before The Return Of Jesus Christ, will there be great signs in the heavens?
See Signs In The Heavens