Idolatries

ACTS - Published May/June 2013

  

Idolatry is defined as, the worship of (attachment to) a physical object as a god and/or an immoderate attachment or devotion to something;  An overt act idolatry consists of explicit acts of reverence addressed to a person or an object like the sun, a king or other person, an animal, a statue and even a cross. This may exist alongside the acknowledgment of the Lord God.
 

However, a person becomes guilty of a more subtle idolatry, however, when, although overt acts of adoration are avoided, they attach to a creature or thing the confidence, loyalty, and devotion that properly belong only to the Creator.  We read in Exodus 20:3-7, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."  Mankind, from the beginning of Time has been prone to immortalizing people, objects and almost anything imaginable.  This is an Act that does not please our Lord and Saviour Jesus or our Heavenly Father.  Therefore, we disparately need to cease from such.
 

Exodus 20:4: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"  It would seem that mankind has made many such images of an instrument of death; crosses of various shapes, sizes and colors in an effort to symbolize the death of Jesus; they are worn on ones person, they hang on walls and doors and are, as it were, planted in the ground for everyone to see and dote on.  I, for one, do not think that this practice is one that is well pleasing to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.
 

Exodus 20:5:  "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; *And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
 

The whole duty of mankind is to Love the Lord with our whole heart (Spirit, Soul and body) and to be Obedient to His Commandments and Laws with their Judgments, Precepts and Statutes.
 

In 2nd Kings 18:4 we read about Hezekiah the king of Judah that: "He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan (which means a thing of brass, according to the Blue Letter Bible KJV).
 

When the Brazen Serpent was made at the Commandment of the Lord; it had a specific purpose and once that purpose was fulfilled; the Brazen Serpent might have been saved for a Historical purpose or perhaps it should have been destroyed but it most defiantly should not have been used as a thing to be worshiped.
 

We read in Numbers 21:8-9, And the Lord said unto Moses, "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
 

Perhaps not initially intentional, but the Serpent on a Staff is still being looked to today for healing and various medical purposes.  It has become a Symbol of the Medical Profession (two serpents on a staff) worn by doctors and nurses and displayed on and in various medical facilities.  Is this practice a bad thing?  I cannot really say, but I think that some symbolism may be attached to it.
 

The Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:13 wrote, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (cross)
 

Why would anyone want to wear or display anything that symbolizes a curse or death?
 

I realize that people that wear or display crosses are doing so out of what they think is paying tribute to Jesus but I for one think that Jesus would be much happier with individuals displaying the Ten Commandments or even better yet, living a life that Honors the Commandments of the Lord of Creation.  
 

In 1st Peter 4:1-3 the Apostle Peter wrote, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:"
 

Jesus is the Perfect Example of how a Soul (person) is suppose to live therefore, we should Emulate Him.
 

The Prophet Samuel in 1st Samuel 15:23 wrote, "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."
 

Stubbornness can be defined as an unreasonably or perversely unyielding obstinate or persistent manner of behaviour which is also equated to Idolatry.  Way too many souls (people) have rejected the correction and direction of how the Lord would have His Children, the Saints; to live.  Many confess with their mouth that they Know and Serve the Lord however, I am sad to say that way too many of these so called christians are not even trying to Keep (Observe to Do) His Commandments; their actions in life do not support their words or profession of Faith.
 

In Galatians 5:19-21 the Apostle Paul wrote, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
 

Idolatry is one of the Works of the flesh and we disparately need Arrest (that is, capture) these deeds, put them far from us and then, begin to Truly Worship the Lord in Spirit and In Truth according to His Holy Written Word, the Bible; which is our Reasonable Service.  No one that considers himself to be a Believer in and Follower of Jesus would want to be considered as a drunkard or murderer; an Idolater is equated with the drunkards and murderers so, why would anyone want to practice anything that might be construed as Idolatry?
 

The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:5-7 wrote, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them."
 

The word "Mortify)"means that we are to destroy the strength and functioning Idolatry (all sin) to the point that it is obsolete in our life.
 

We do not want the Wrath of God to Fall On us; therefore, it behooves us to Know, Understand and Do His Perfect Will in ALL things at ALL times.  In St. John 4:22 in part we read, "Ye worship ye know not what."
 

Some souls ignorantly say and do thing that should not be said or done.  Therefore, let us - as much as lieth within us - endeavor to Search the Scriptures daily to Know and Understand that Will of the Lord to His Glory, Honor and Praise.  Amen?  Praise His Holy Name! 

 

Derwood Stewart
House of Prayer Sabbath Ministries