Ides of March – Soothsayers

By J. Oliver Jones

The 15th of March is referred to as “the Ides of March,” derived from the time of the Roman Empire.  The word Ides comes from the Latin word “Idus” and means “half division” especially in relation to a month.  It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months.

For those of you who are history buffs, this is the day in the year 44 BC on which Julius Caesar was killed in the Roman Senate, being stabbed over twenty times by his friend Brutus along with some sixty other co-conspirators. This day is likely remembered in our time as a result of the Shakespearean play, Julius Caesar, in which Caesar is warned by a soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.”  Historically it seems that Julius Caesar was indeed warned by a soothsayer that there would be an attempt on his life on or before the ides of March. The question that might be considered is this, “Was that “soothsayer” a man of God sent to warn Caesar of potential danger. If not, how could he possibly have know the future?”

First, let’s discover what a soothsayer is. By definition a soothsayer is “one who claims to be able to foresee events or know the future; also called by many other names such as a fortune teller, a diviner, or a sorcerer.  Now let us see what the Bible says has to say about such things.

Selected from Leviticus 19:26-31(NKJV)“You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying. . . . You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. . . . Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”

In Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (NKJV) we read these instructions to Israel, “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.  You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.  For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

There are dozens of additional Scriptures where God denounces and forbids the practice of such things. Why?  Because it is not of Him.  In the best case it is mere human speculation and deception, and in the worst case it is the practice of demonology and Satanism.  Are there times when a prediction made by such a one actually comes true? Absolutely. Satan has an agenda and is able to communicate what he intends to do. And unless God steps in to forbid it, it very well might come to pass.  But only God is omniscient – all knowing.  Why would we seek the devil to discover what is in the control of God?

One of the leading “psychics” of my generation was Jeane Dixon.  Many of you recognize that name.  She predicted many things that came to pass, making her one of the most sought after ‘seers’ of the 20th century.  Of course there were far more things that she predicted that never came to pass (making her a false prophet according to the Bible).  She was a self-proclaimed Roman Catholic Christian, but that of course does not make it so.  She claimed she had the same spirit as Isaiah, and that she was a modern day prophet of God.  It is possible that she believed this herself, as she was likely deceived even as was Eve in the Garden.  Listen to this report in one of her biographies.  “Jeane was lying in bed in July 1952 when a giant snake coiled itself around her and wordlessly communicated that she must look to the east for ‘God’s wisdom and guidance’.”  She reported that this serpent was very wise and seemed to know all things.

It is too bad this self proclaimed Christian did not spend time in the Word. She might have recognized just who that ‘wise serpent’ really was.  The point, however, is simply this.  Today it is very popular and deemed ‘cool’ to seek help from “spiritual advisers.”  But one who does this is not only defying God, but opening himself or herself up to demonic spirits that will take over and destroy lives.  That is why God has warned against such things.  He knows the danger and simply wants to protect all who will give heed to His Word.  I hope you take heed, and that you will teach your children to do the same!

And when they say to you,

“Seek those who are mediums and wizards,

who whisper and mutter,”

should not a people seek their God?

Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

Isaiah 8:19 NKJV

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