The Fortune Teller
The incident I am about to tell occurred some ten years ago when traveling
with my friend on a train between Oxford and Reading, England. A group of us
men were seated in a compartment. Five of these men were plainly “card
sharpers” and were trying to induce a sixth man to join them in a game of
poker, without success. Finally, after several refusals, turning to my friend,
their spokesman said flatteringly: “We can see by your sharp eye that you know
the game. Come take a hand.”
“No,” my friend answered, “it is so long since i have touched a card that I
have forgotten how.”
“Nonsense!” they retorted, “you could win all our money if you only tried.”
“Gentlemen, I tell you I cannot play, but there is one thing I can do.” “What
is that?” they asked.
“I can tell fortunes.”
“Capital! Will you tell ours?”
“Yes, if you wish it, and I can assure you that my predictions will prove true
for each of you.”
“What card will you want’!”
“The five of spades, if you please,” and the card was handed to him with
“As my prediction is to be true, it must be founded upon the truth,” my friend
said. “I shall have to have another thing from you.”
“What is that?” they asked impatiently.
“A Bible.” “We have none.” they said.
“I suspected that, but there was a time when you did, and if you had followed
its precepts, you would not be what you are now; however, I have one.” To
their dismay he produced a Bible. Holding up the five of spades, he began:
“Gentlemen, you see these two spots at the top of the cards? I wish them to
represent the two eyes of each of you, the spot in the center to represent
your mouth and the two lower spots your knees. Opening the Word of God at
Revelation 1:7, read these words: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every
eye shall see him,” The speaker is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was once red
with blood shed for sinners like you and me, even so, I foretell that your
eyes shall one day see HIM face to face, Whom you now reject and despise. That
is the future of your eyes.”
“Now,” he continued, “listen to the future of your knees and your mouth, which
is likewise found in the Word of Truth, Philippians 2:10,11 “…at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and
things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” From this I foretell that you will
have to stand before Jesus, as He is seated on His Father’s throne, and be
judged. When you stand there and behold Jesus Christ, in all His glory, His
absolute purity and holiness, your knees will become so weak that you will
fall before Him. At the same time your mouth will confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord of Lords to the glory of the Father. This is the future of your mouth and
Consternation was written on the faces of all five men as they asked, “ls that
“No, gentlemen,” continued the fortune teller, “that was only the first
reading of this card. Now for the second reading, if you please. These five
spades you see on this card represent five actual spades, one for each of you,
that are already made, and will ere long, dig the graves of each of you five
sinners. Then your souls will be in hell, and in torment, as you bewail the
lost opportunities you have had to escape this doom.
“However gentlemen,” continued the fortune teller, “you may escape this
terrible future, and the fortune I have foretold for you will not come true if
you will do what I did, and I was as bad a sinner as any of you. I asked God
to reveal Himself to me and save me. Jesus saved me, as He will everyone who
calls on Him with a contrite heart. I saw Jesus hanging upon a cross for me,
bearing my sins. My tongue confessed Him as my Lord and my knees bowed to Him
in lowly submission. If you will do this I can foretell the very opposite of
what I have told you. Now gentlemen, I have told your fortunes as I promised,
and, as the custom is, you ought to cross my palm with a shilling a piece;
however I do not wish your five shillings. I shall feel well repaid if one of
you will promise to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose blood
cleanses from all sin.”
At this point the train pulled into Reading and the five card sharpers tumbled
off the coach, almost falling over each other in their haste, leaving the five
spades with my friend.
Years rolled by and the incident of this trip was long forgotten until my
friend told me the sequel of the story. He was leaving home one evening, when
a stranger accosted him, saying, “Good evening, sir.”
“It is a good evening, sir, if you know your sins are forgiven,” was the
“Yes, I am glad to say I know they are, and I am also glad you are still at
it,” replied the stranger. “Still at what?” he asked.
“Telling fortunes.” “That is not my line.”
“Well, you told mine over ten years ago.”
“I think you are mistaken,” said my friend.
“No, anyone who has once seen your face can never mistake you,” and he
recalled the ride from Oxford to Reading.
“Ah, I remember now, and that you left without paying the fortune-teller.”
“I am your payment. Your predictions have come true to four of us so far.
Three spades have dug their three graves. I am saved by the grace of God,
while the fifth is seeking God.”
“Tell me about yourself.”
“The day we first met on the train, I was just returning from my Mother’s
funeral. On her deathbed she pleaded in vain for me to forsake my sinful life.
Finally she said, “George, I leave you this scripture, ‘Behold, he cometh with
clouds; and every eye shall see him,…’ (Rev. 1:7). From that day those words
haunted me wherever I went. They kept ringing in my ears. Drink would not
drown them. In desperation I went to America. The first words I heard in San
Francisco were those same words, spoken by a street preacher. That was too much
for me. I saw I was fighting the God of my Mother. I surrendered my will and
my heart to Jesus and took Him as my personal Savior.”
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy
presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in
hell, behold, thou art there.” (Psalms 139:7,8).
Dear Reader: Jesus loves you and every sinner, but He hates the sin in you
(the unbelief which, among many other things, causes you to reject Jesus).
Confessing your sin to Jesus breaks the power of sin (setting you free from
its power and bondage); repenting (abandoning your sins) brings the blood of
Jesus into operation and cleanses you from the defilement of sin; taking Jesus
as your personal Saviour and confessing Him before men brings salvation to
your soul and peace with God.
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