Forms of Idolatry.

If you don't read it how can you have faith.

Idolatry and forms of it.

Most know using images in our worship is not condoned by God. Many confuse symbols with images. When we start using a symbol in our worship it becomes an idol of worship. So make sure symbols do not become objects of worship. Israel had made that very mistake.

(2 Kings 18:4-7) 4 He it was that removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars to pieces and cut down the sacred pole and crushed to pieces the copper serpent that Moses had made; for down to those days the sons of Israel had continually been making sacrificial smoke to it, and it used to be called the copper serpent-idol. 5 In Jehovah the God of Israel he trusted; and after him there proved to be no one like him among all the kings of Judah, even those who had happened to be prior to him. 6 And he kept sticking to Jehovah. He did not turn aside from following him, but he continued keeping his commandments that Jehovah had commanded Moses. 7 And Jehovah proved to be with him. . .

(Exodus 20:4, 5) 4“You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation, in the case of those who hate me.

There is no image we could use to represent the grandeur and glory of God.

(Acts 17:29) “Seeing, therefore, that we are the progeny of God, we ought not to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and contrivance of man.

(John 4:23, 24) . . .. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.. . .

There is much debate about whether Jesus was tortured on a cross or a torture stake. That is a destraction. What should be mentioned is we should not use an image of either in our worship because it is a form of idolatry which means we are paying homage to Satan instead of God. All it takes to put ourselves under Satans power instead of God’s protection and the future hopes he promises is one act of worship.

(Matthew 4:8-10) 8 Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service. . .

We have to keep focused on the future promises and God’s word. Faith is not based on things we see.

(Hebrews 11:1) 11 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. . .

(2 Corinthians 4:17, 18) 17 For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing weight and is everlasting; 18 while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting. . .

Idolatry and forms of it.

Most know using images in our worship is not condoned by God. Many confuse symbols with images. When we start using a symbol in our worship it becomes and idol of worship. So make sure symbols do not become objects of worship. Israel had made that very mistake.

(2 Kings 18:4-7) 4 He it was that removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars to pieces and cut down the sacred pole and crushed to pieces the copper serpent that Moses had made; for down to those days the sons of Israel had continually been making sacrificial smoke to it, and it used to be called the copper serpent-idol. 5 In Jehovah the God of Israel he trusted; and after him there proved to be no one like him among all the kings of Judah, even those who had happened to be prior to him. 6 And he kept sticking to Jehovah. He did not turn aside from following him, but he continued keeping his commandments that Jehovah had commanded Moses. 7 And Jehovah proved to be with him. . .

(Exodus 20:4, 5) 4“You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation, in the case of those who hate me.

There is no image we could use to represent the grandeur and glory of God.

(Acts 17:29) “Seeing, therefore, that we are the progeny of God, we ought not to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and contrivance of man.

(John 4:23, 24) . . .. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.. . .

There is much debate about whether Jesus was tortured on a cross or a torture stake. That is a destraction. What should be mentioned is we should not use an image of either in our worship because it is a form of idolatry which means we are paying homage to Satan instead of God. All it takes to put ourselves under Satans power instead of God’s protection and the future hopes he promises is one act of worship.

(Matthew 4:8-10) 8 Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service. . .

We have to keep focused on the future promises and God’s word. Faith is not based on things we see.

(Hebrews 11:1) 11 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. . .

(2 Corinthians 4:17, 18) 17 For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing weight and is everlasting; 18 while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting. . .

(2 Corinthians 5:6, 7) 6 We are therefore always of good courage and know that, while we have our home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, 7 for we are walking by faith, not by sight. . .

Forms of idolism and the results of participating in it.

(Jeremiah 19:3-5) . . .“‘“Here I am bringing a calamity upon this place, of which when anyone hears, his ears will tingle; 4 for the reason that they have left me and have proceeded to make this place unrecognizable and to make sacrificial smoke in it to other gods whom they had not known, they and their forefathers and the kings of Judah; and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent ones. 5 And they built the high places of the Ba′al in order to burn their sons in the fire as whole burnt offerings to the Ba′al, something that I had not commanded or spoken of, and that had not come up into my heart.”’

Even customs of man can result in participating in idolism.

(Jeremiah 10:1-5) 10 Hear the word that Jehovah has spoken against YOU people, O house of Israel. 2 This is what Jehovah has said: “Do not learn the way of the nations at all, and do not be struck with terror even at the signs of the heavens, because the nations are struck with terror at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are just an exhalation, because it is a mere tree out of the forest that one has cut down, the work of the hands of the craftsman with the billhook. 4 With silver and with gold one makes it pretty. With nails and with hammers they fasten them down, that none may reel. 5 They are like a scarecrow of a cucumber field, and cannot speak. Without fail they are carried, for they cannot take any steps. Do not be afraid because of them, for they can do nothing calamitous and, what is more, the doing of any good is not with them. . .

(Hosea 13:2) 2 And now they commit additional sin and make for themselves a molten statue from their silver, idols according to their own understanding, the work of craftsmen, all of it. To them they are saying, ‘Let the sacrificers who are men kiss mere calves.. . .

(Jeremiah 7:18) 18 The sons are picking up sticks of wood, and the fathers are lighting the fire, and the wives are kneading flour dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the ‘queen of the heavens’; and there is a pouring out of drink offerings to other gods for the purpose of offending me.

(Colossians 3:5) 5 Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. . .

Disobedience to God can be a form of idolatry. It means we have our eyes set on things of the world instead of spiritual things.

(1 Samuel 15:22, 23) 22 In turn Samuel said: “Does Jehovah have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Look! To obey is better than a sacrifice, to pay attention than the fat of rams; 23 for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as [using] uncanny power and teraphim. Since you have rejected the word of Jehovah, he accordingly rejects you from being king. . .

(2 Kings 23:24) 24 And also the spirit mediums and the professional foretellers of events and the teraphim and the dungy idols and all the disgusting things that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem Jo·si′ah cleared out, in order that he might actually carry out the words of the law that were written in the book that Hil·ki′ah the priest had found at the house of Jehovah. . .

(Jeremiah 23:11, 12) 11 “For both the prophet and the priest themselves have become polluted. Also in my own house I have found their badness,” is the utterance of Jehovah. 12 “Therefore their way will become for them like slippery places in the gloom, into which they will be pushed and certainly fall.” “For I shall bring upon them a calamity, the year of their being given attention,” is the utterance of Jehovah. . .

Paying attention to worldly things more then spiritual can be a form of idolatry. Coveting and the desire for wealth and fame are forms of idolatry.

(1 Corinthians 2:14-16) 14 But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually. 15 However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.

(1 Peter 4:1-5) 4 Therefore since Christ suffered in the flesh, YOU too arm yourselves with the same mental disposition; because the person that has suffered in the flesh has desisted from sins, 2 to the end that he may live the remainder of [his] time in the flesh, no more for the desires of men, but for God’s will. 3 For the time that has passed by is sufficient for YOU to have worked out the will of the nations when YOU proceeded in deeds of loose conduct, lusts, excesses with wine, revelries, drinking matches, and illegal idolatries. 4 Because YOU do not continue running with them in this course to the same low sink of debauchery, they are puzzled and go on speaking abusively of YOU. 5 But these people will render an account to the one ready to judge those living and those dead. . .

We are to flee from idolatry.

(1 John 5:21) 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols. . .

(1 Corinthians 10:14) 14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry. . .

Many who profit from idolatry do not like those pointing out it is not something God condemns.

(Acts 19:23-28) 23 At that particular time there arose no little disturbance concerning The Way. 24 For a certain man named De·me′tri·us, a silversmith, by making silver shrines of Ar′te·mis furnished the craftsmen no little gain; 25 and he gathered them and those who worked at such things and said: “Men, YOU well know that from this business we have our prosperity. 26 Also, YOU behold and hear how not only in Eph′e·sus but in nearly all the [district of] Asia this Paul has persuaded a considerable crowd and turned them to another opinion, saying that the ones that are made by hands are not gods. 27 Moreover, the danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Ar′te·mis will be esteemed as nothing and even her magnificence which the whole [district of] Asia and the inhabited earth worships is about to be brought down to nothing.” 28 Hearing this and becoming full of anger, the men began crying out, saying: “Great is Ar′te·mis of the E·phe′sians!. . .

(Acts 16:16-24) 16 And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain servant girl with a spirit, a demon of divination, met us. She used to furnish her masters with much gain by practicing the art of prediction. 17 This [girl] kept following Paul and us and crying out with the words: “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who are publishing to YOU the way of salvation.” 18 This she kept doing for many days. Finally Paul got tired of it and turned and said to the spirit: “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. 19 Well, when her masters saw that their hope of gain had left, they laid hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the rulers, 20 and, leading them up to the civil magistrates, they said: “These men are disturbing our city very much, they being Jews, 21 and they are publishing customs that it is not lawful for us to take up or practice, seeing we are Romans.” 22 And the crowd rose up together against them; and the civil magistrates, after tearing the outer garments off them, gave the command to beat them with rods. 23 After they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Because he got such an order, he threw them into the inner prison and made their feet fast in the stocks. . .

Idolaters are among those who will be destroyed.

(Revelation 21:8) 8 But as for the cowards and those without faith and those who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death. . .

Some forms of idolatry is not obvious.

(Ephesians 5:3-5) 3 Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among YOU, just as it befits holy people; 4 neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks. 5 For YOU know this, recognizing it for yourselves, that no fornicator or unclean person or greedy person—which means being an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God. . .

(Galatians 6:7-10) 7 Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap; 8 because he who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but he who is sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit. 9 So let us not give up in doing what is fine, for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out. 10 Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to [us] in the faith.

Real faith is what helps us to achieve righteousness.

(Romans 5:1-5) 5 Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have gained our approach by faith into this undeserved kindness in which we now stand; and let us exult, based on hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but let us exult while in tribulations, since we know that tribulation produces endurance; 4 endurance, in turn, an approved condition; the approved condition, in turn, hope, 5and the hope does not lead to disappointment; because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, which was given us.

(2 Corinthians 5:6, 7) 6 We are therefore always of good courage and know that, while we have our home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, 7 for we are walking by faith, not by sight. . .

Forms of idolism and the results of participating in it.

(Jeremiah 19:3-5) . . .“‘“Here I am bringing a calamity upon this place, of which when anyone hears, his ears will tingle; 4 for the reason that they have left me and have proceeded to make this place unrecognizable and to make sacrificial smoke in it to other gods whom they had not known, they and their forefathers and the kings of Judah; and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent ones. 5 And they built the high places of the Ba′al in order to burn their sons in the fire as whole burnt offerings to the Ba′al, something that I had not commanded or spoken of, and that had not come up into my heart.”’

Even customs of man can result in participating in idolism.

(Jeremiah 10:1-5) 10 Hear the word that Jehovah has spoken against YOU people, O house of Israel. 2 This is what Jehovah has said: “Do not learn the way of the nations at all, and do not be struck with terror even at the signs of the heavens, because the nations are struck with terror at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are just an exhalation, because it is a mere tree out of the forest that one has cut down, the work of the hands of the craftsman with the billhook. 4 With silver and with gold one makes it pretty. With nails and with hammers they fasten them down, that none may reel. 5 They are like a scarecrow of a cucumber field, and cannot speak. Without fail they are carried, for they cannot take any steps. Do not be afraid because of them, for they can do nothing calamitous and, what is more, the doing of any good is not with them. . .

(Hosea 13:2) 2 And now they commit additional sin and make for themselves a molten statue from their silver, idols according to their own understanding, the work of craftsmen, all of it. To them they are saying, ‘Let the sacrificers who are men kiss mere calves.. . .

(Jeremiah 7:18) 18 The sons are picking up sticks of wood, and the fathers are lighting the fire, and the wives are kneading flour dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the ‘queen of the heavens’; and there is a pouring out of drink offerings to other gods for the purpose of offending me.

(Colossians 3:5) 5 Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. . .

Disobedience to God can be a form of idolatry. It means we have our eyes set on things of the world instead of spiritual things.

(1 Samuel 15:22, 23) 22 In turn Samuel said: “Does Jehovah have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Look! To obey is better than a sacrifice, to pay attention than the fat of rams; 23 for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as [using] uncanny power and teraphim. Since you have rejected the word of Jehovah, he accordingly rejects you from being king. . .

(2 Kings 23:24) 24 And also the spirit mediums and the professional foretellers of events and the teraphim and the dungy idols and all the disgusting things that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem Jo·si′ah cleared out, in order that he might actually carry out the words of the law that were written in the book that Hil·ki′ah the priest had found at the house of Jehovah. . .

(Jeremiah 23:11, 12) 11 “For both the prophet and the priest themselves have become polluted. Also in my own house I have found their badness,” is the utterance of Jehovah. 12 “Therefore their way will become for them like slippery places in the gloom, into which they will be pushed and certainly fall.” “For I shall bring upon them a calamity, the year of their being given attention,” is the utterance of Jehovah. . .

Paying attention to worldly things more then spiritual can be a form of idolatry. Coveting and the desire for wealth and fame are forms of idolatry. We should imitate Christ.

(1 Corinthians 2:14-16) 14 But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually. 15 However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.

(1 Peter 4:1-5) 4 Therefore since Christ suffered in the flesh, YOU too arm yourselves with the same mental disposition; because the person that has suffered in the flesh has desisted from sins, 2 to the end that he may live the remainder of [his] time in the flesh, no more for the desires of men, but for God’s will. 3 For the time that has passed by is sufficient for YOU to have worked out the will of the nations when YOU proceeded in deeds of loose conduct, lusts, excesses with wine, revelries, drinking matches, and illegal idolatries. 4 Because YOU do not continue running with them in this course to the same low sink of debauchery, they are puzzled and go on speaking abusively of YOU. 5 But these people will render an account to the one ready to judge those living and those dead. . .

We are to flee from idolatry.

(1 John 5:21) 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols. . .

(1 Corinthians 10:14) 14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry. . .

Many who profit from idolatry do not like those pointing out it is not something God condemns.

(Acts 19:23-28) 23 At that particular time there arose no little disturbance concerning The Way. 24 For a certain man named De·me′tri·us, a silversmith, by making silver shrines of Ar′te·mis furnished the craftsmen no little gain; 25 and he gathered them and those who worked at such things and said: “Men, YOU well know that from this business we have our prosperity. 26 Also, YOU behold and hear how not only in Eph′e·sus but in nearly all the [district of] Asia this Paul has persuaded a considerable crowd and turned them to another opinion, saying that the ones that are made by hands are not gods. 27 Moreover, the danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Ar′te·mis will be esteemed as nothing and even her magnificence which the whole [district of] Asia and the inhabited earth worships is about to be brought down to nothing.” 28 Hearing this and becoming full of anger, the men began crying out, saying: “Great is Ar′te·mis of the E·phe′sians!. . .

(Acts 16:16-24) 16 And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain servant girl with a spirit, a demon of divination, met us. She used to furnish her masters with much gain by practicing the art of prediction. 17 This [girl] kept following Paul and us and crying out with the words: “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who are publishing to YOU the way of salvation.” 18 This she kept doing for many days. Finally Paul got tired of it and turned and said to the spirit: “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. 19 Well, when her masters saw that their hope of gain had left, they laid hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the rulers, 20 and, leading them up to the civil magistrates, they said: “These men are disturbing our city very much, they being Jews, 21 and they are publishing customs that it is not lawful for us to take up or practice, seeing we are Romans.” 22 And the crowd rose up together against them; and the civil magistrates, after tearing the outer garments off them, gave the command to beat them with rods. 23 After they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Because he got such an order, he threw them into the inner prison and made their feet fast in the stocks. . .

Idolaters are among those who will be destroyed.

(Revelation 21:8) 8 But as for the cowards and those without faith and those who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death. . .

Some forms of idolatry is not always obvious.

(Ephesians 5:3-5) 3 Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among YOU, just as it befits holy people; 4 neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks. 5 For YOU know this, recognizing it for yourselves, that no fornicator or unclean person or greedy person—which means being an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God. . .

(Galatians 6:7-10) 7 Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap; 8 because he who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but he who is sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit. 9 So let us not give up in doing what is fine, for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out. 10 Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to [us] in the faith.

Real faith is what helps us to achieve righteousness. Idolatry takes away from our faith which cause us to become unrighteous in God’s eyes. 

(Romans 5:1-5) 5 Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have gained our approach by faith into this undeserved kindness in which we now stand; and let us exult, based on hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but let us exult while in tribulations, since we know that tribulation produces endurance; 4 endurance, in turn, an approved condition; the approved condition, in turn, hope, 5 and the hope does not lead to disappointment; because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, which was given us.

God’s great day of judgement is near. Soon those destroying the earth will be no longer.

Bible
How to use.

Jehovah’s great day of judgment is very near. Those ruining the earth will get the reward they have earned. Mountain clearly represents an organization that is exerting authority over the whole earth it will be brought to ruin in the time of judgment.

(Revelation 11:18) 18 But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give [their] reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth. . .

(Jeremiah 51:25) “Here I am against you, O ruinous mountain,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “you ruiner of the whole earth; and I will stretch out my hand against you and roll you away from the crags and make you a burnt-out mountain

(Romans 3:12-18) 12 All [men] have deflected, all of them together have become worthless; there is no one that does kindness, there is not so much as one.” 13 “Their throat is an opened grave, they have used deceit with their tongues.” “Poison of asps is behind their lips.” 14 “And their mouth is full of cursing and bitter expression.” 15 “Their feet are speedy to shed blood.” 16 “Ruin and misery are in their ways, 17 and they have not known the way of peace.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes. . .

Most know the Harlot is those practicing false religion. Just as Israel figuratively prostituted itself to Egypt by putting faith in Egypt to protect them modern day false religion would be heavily involved in the political system thus figuratively prostituting herself to mans governments. All those involved in the ruin of true worship in this way will be judged for their deeds.

(Revelation 18:9-14) 9 “And the kings of the earth who committed fornication with her and lived in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her, when they look at the smoke from the burning of her, 10 while they stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say, ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city, Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’ 11 “Also, the traveling merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full stock anymore, 12 a full stock of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet; and everything in scented wood and every sort of ivory object and every sort of object out of most precious wood and of copper and of iron and of marble; 13 also cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and perfumed oil and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and horses and coaches and slaves and human souls. 14 Yes, the fine fruit that your soul desired has departed from you, and all the dainty things and the gorgeous things have perished from you, and never again will people find them. . .

The parable of Lazarus speak of those who are more fortunate but do nothing to help the down trodden and actually look down on them. It is speaking of the time of judgement when the righteous and unrighteous are resurrected. Those resurrected to a resurrection of judgment will experience the fire of Jehovah’s rage.

(Luke 16:19-31) 19 “But a certain man was rich, and he used to deck himself with purple and linen, enjoying himself from day to day with magnificence. 20 But a certain beggar named Laz′a·rus used to be put at his gate, full of ulcers 21 and desiring to be filled with the things dropping from the table of the rich man. Yes, too, the dogs would come and lick his ulcers. 22 Now in course of time the beggar died and he was carried off by the angels to the bosom [position] of Abraham. “Also, the rich man died and was buried. 23 And in Ha′des he lifted up his eyes, he existing in torments, and he saw Abraham afar off and Laz′a·rus in the bosom [position] with him. 24 So he called and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Laz′a·rus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in this blazing fire.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received in full your good things in your lifetime, but Laz′a·rus correspondingly the injurious things. Now, however, he is having comfort here but you are in anguish. 26 And besides all these things, a great chasm has been fixed between us and YOU people, so that those wanting to go over from here to YOU people cannot, neither may people cross over from there to us.’ 27 Then he said, ‘In that event I ask you, father, to send him to the house of my father, 28 for I have five brothers, in order that he may give them a thorough witness, that they also should not get into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to these.’ 30 Then he said, ‘No, indeed, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”

rage

(Jeremiah 4:3, 4) 3 For this is what Jehovah has said to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Plow for yourselves arable land, and do not keep sowing among thorns. 4 Get yourselves circumcised to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of YOUR hearts, YOU men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; that my rage may not go forth just like a fire, and it certainly burn with no one to do the extinguishing, on account of the badness of YOUR dealings. . .

(Jeremiah 7:20) 20 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Look! My anger and my rage are being poured forth upon this place, upon mankind and upon domestic animal, and upon the tree of the field and upon the fruitage of the ground; and it must burn, and it will not be extinguished.. . .

(John 5:28, 29) 28 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. . .

Clarifying the condition of the dead.

If you don't read it how can you have faith.

Their are a variety of beliefs and teachings on the soul and death. Because of this many are not sure of the condition of dead loved ones. What always made me question this is the bible teaches there will be a resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous. Many are taught that when you die you go to Heaven or Hell. If that is the case then loved ones would not be dead but would be in another place and would not need to be resurrected. When teachings are not based on the bible it makes the bible appear to contradict itself. This is why it is very important to base the teachings on the bible and to look at the whole context of scriptures. It is also important to consider if it is to be taken literal or be taken as symbolism. For example the bible says we are the clay and God is the potter. We know that is not literal but shows how if we are obedient he can shape and mold us for the better.

(Isaiah 64:8) 8 And now, O Jehovah, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our Potter; and all of us are the work of your hand.

Now to rid ourselves of the confusion we need to break down and understand each aspect and focus on what the bible really teaches. The soul is one of the most misunderstood teaching and most teachings on this do not conform to what the original word used in the Hebrew and Greek text meant. The meaning of the original word used was not soul but meant person or living being as a whole. For example when God created the living creatures they became living souls. When he breathed the breath of life into Adam he became a living soul.

(Genesis 1:20, 21) 20 And God went on to say: “Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens.” 21 And God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul that moves about, which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind.

So when the breath of life is present the soul exist.

(Genesis 2:7) 7 And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.

The bible says the blood is the soul not some spirit inside of us. So when we lose blood we lose life.

(Genesis 9:4) 4 Only flesh with its soul—its blood—YOU must not eat.

(Genesis 1:30) 30 And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it came to be so.

So based on what the bible says we can conclude that when the breath and blood are present the soul exist but when there is no breath or blood then you cease to exist.

(Genesis 7:21-23) 21 So all flesh that was moving upon the earth expired, among the flying creatures and among the domestic animals and among the wild beasts and among all the swarms that were swarming upon the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything in which the breath of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died. 23 Thus he wiped out every existing thing that was on the surface of the ground, from man to beast, to moving animal and to flying creature of the heavens, and they were wiped off the earth; and only Noah and those who were with him in the ark kept on surviving.

In the day a person or animal dies their thoughts perish.

(Ecclesiastes 9:5) 5 For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten.

We need to ask ourselves when Adam and Eve disobeyed God what did he tell them would happen. He told them they would return to the earth, he did not say they would live on somewhere else.

(Genesis 3:18, 19) 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.

Even Jesus did not teach such a thing but talked about destruction of the soul not some eternal suffering when judged. Gehenna was a garbage pit outside of the city. They would throw sulfur into the pit to make it burn hotter so things would burn to ash and there would be nothing left.

(Matthew 10:28) 28 And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Ge·hen′na.

So we learned that the dead are aware of nothing and the soul that sins will die. So death means we no longer exist but return to the earth.

(Ezekiel 18:3, 4) 4Look! All the souls—to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son—to me they belong. The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.

Since all sin and we inherited sin from Adam and Eve we are born imperfect and the end result is death. This is why we needed the ransom sacrifice of Jesus.

(Romans 6:23) 23For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.

So those who accept Jesus and the ransom will have the opportunity to live forever. Those who do not will be destroyed and remain dust. Some will have an opportunity to repent when resurrected and what they do during that time will decide if they live or die.

(Matthew 25:45, 46) 45Then he will answer them with the words, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did not do it to one of these least ones, YOU did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.

(John 5:28, 29) 28 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.

This is why some will experience a second death but others will enjoy eternal life.

(Revelation 21:1-8) 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also, he says: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” 6 And he said to me: “They have come to pass! I am the Al′pha and the O·me′ga, the beginning and the end. To anyone thirsting I will give from the fountain of the water of life free. 7 Anyone conquering will inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowards and those without faith and those who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death.

So when did the lie that you do not die but continue to live as a spirit get started. It was one of the original lies Satan told in the Garden of Eden and it has been retold in a variety of ways but is still the same lie that we do not die.

(Genesis 3:4) 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “YOU positively will not die.

Since many fear death, Satan uses this to his advantage and uses it to deceive many just as he deceived Eve. The fact that the dead are aware of nothing makes the teachings about Hell and Heaven contradict the bible.

(2 Corinthians 11:2-6) . 3But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent seduced Eve by its cunning, YOUR minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ. 4 For, as it is, if someone comes and preaches a Jesus other than the one we preached, or YOU receive a spirit other than what YOU received, or good news other than what YOU accepted, YOU easily put up [with him]. 5 For I consider that I have not in a single thing proved inferior to YOUR superfine apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, I certainly am not in knowledge; but in every way we manifested [it] to YOU in all things.

Hell and why it is not what people are taught.

The original Hebrew word for Hell was Sheol which meant grave or pit. The Greek word Hell had the same meaning. So when and how did the meaning of the word change? Many pagan religions teach of an eternal burning and suffering. So over the years some how the meaning of the word Hell has changed from what the original meaning of grave or pit.

(2 Thessalonians 1:6-9) 6 This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for YOU, 7 but, to YOU who suffer tribulation, relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels 8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength.

The false teaching of being tormented for ever most likely came from a misunderstanding of the scripture in Revelations which we must keep in mind much of Revelations is a book of signs so not all of it is to be taken literal. By knowing your bible it will be clear what is literal and what is to be a sign or symbol.

(Revelation 20:9, 10) . . .But fire came down out of heaven and devoured them. 10 And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet [already were]; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Here we see a clue in Jude. The punishment of Sod’om and Mo.mor’rah was everlasting. So it was total and they were never restored so their destructions was everlasting. They were reduced to ashes. The fire is going to consume those who do not obey or know God it does not say it will consume everyone.

(Jude 6, 7) 7So too Sod′om and Go·mor′rah and the cities about them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before [us] as a [warning] example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.

(2 Peter 2:4-9) 4 Certainly if God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tar′ta·rus, delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment; 5 and he did not hold back from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people; 6 and by reducing the cities Sod′om and Go·mor′rah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come; 7 and he delivered righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law-defying people in loose conduct— 8 for that righteous man by what he saw and heard while dwelling among them from day to day was tormenting his righteous soul by reason of their lawless deeds— 9 Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off.

When Israel was burning their children in the fire God said such a thing had not come up into his heart. He is a God of love. To cause eternal suffering would not be something a loving God would do.

(Jeremiah 7:30, 31) 31 And they have built the high places of To′pheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hin′nom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.

So the everlasting torment is an everlasting destruction and the remembrance of that destruction.

What about the parable of Lazarus? Does it teach an eternal suffering in a Hell like place?

We get a clue to this with a statement made by John the baptist. He is speaking of how Jesus and his separating of the wheat and the chaff.

(Matthew 3:7-12) 7 When he caught sight of many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to the baptism, he said to them: “YOU offspring of vipers, who has intimated to YOU to flee from the coming wrath? 8 So then produce fruit that befits repentance; 9 and do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘As a father we have Abraham.’ For I say to YOU that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 Already the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree, then, that does not produce fine fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I, for my part, baptize YOU with water because of YOUR repentance; but the one coming after me is stronger than I am, whose sandals I am not fit to take off. That one will baptize YOU people with holy spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will completely clean up his threshing floor, and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.

So it becomes clear how those who put wealth over love for their neighbor will not fair well when God’s great day arrives. The contrast between those who are being resurrected to a resurrection of life and those who will experience a resurrection of judgment is being shown. Since we know those in the grave are aware of nothing at all we know the torment must be speaking of the experiences of the resurrection of the unrighteous. It also speak of the gap there will be between the wealthy who put wealth over the love for their neighbor. So they convince themselves because of their blood line or because they appear not to be sinful they are fine. To leave others go without when you have the means to help is not taken lightly by God and just as the pharisees looked down on the less fortunate many will fall into this trap.

(Luke 16:22-26) .“Also, the rich man died and was buried. 23 And in Ha′des he lifted up his eyes, he existing in torments, and he saw Abraham afar off and Laz′a·rus in the bosom [position] with him. 24 So he called and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Laz′a·rus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in this blazing fire.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received in full your good things in your lifetime, but Laz′a·rus correspondingly the injurious things. Now, however, he is having comfort here but you are in anguish. 26 And besides all these things, a great chasm has been fixed between us and YOU people.

So clearly it is speaking of a time of judgment. Notice in this time of judgment many things will be revealed about this system and it’s works.

(2 Peter 3:10) 10 Yet Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.

When that day comes none of their wealth will be able to save them.

(Isaiah 13:9) “Look! The day of Jehovah itself is coming, cruel both with fury and with burning anger, in order to make the land an object of astonishment, and that it may annihilate [the land’s] sinners out of it.

(Zephaniah 1:18) Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s fury; but by the fire of his zeal the whole earth will be devoured, because he will make an extermination, indeed a terrible one, of all the inhabitants of the earth

Heaven, and why not all will go to Heaven but have another hope.

Many base their belief that when we die we may go to heaven based on the mention of those who will go to heaven. The key here is they are the first fruits. This indicates there will be others and Jesus himself mentioned the other sheep.

(Revelation 14:1-5) 14 And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound out of heaven as the sound of many waters and as the sound of loud thunder; and the sound that I heard was as of singers who accompany themselves on the harp playing on their harps. 3 And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one was able to master that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from the earth. 4 These are the ones that did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones that keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, 5 and no falsehood was found in their mouths; they are without blemish.

(Romans 8:22-24) . 23 Not only that, but we ourselves also who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves, while we are earnestly waiting for adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom. 24 For we were saved in [this] hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it?

They would be the ones providing true spiritual food and real spiritual healing. They would work very hard to provide for the sheep and not worldly things like fame or fortune. These are ones appointed by God.

(Matthew 24:45-47) 45 “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. 47 Truly I say to YOU, He will appoint him over all his belongings.

They will be resurrected first to rule with Jesus over the earth.

(Revelation 5:8-10) 9 And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”

(Revelation 20:6) 6 Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.

What of those who are not a part of the first resurrection?

What about those who are not a part of the first resurrection? We find clues to that from the proceeding scriptures.

(Romans 6:7) 7 For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin.

We know there will be a resurrection of righteous and unrighteous. What will be involved with that resurrections. As we read the scriptures we see that the righteous will have a resurrection of life and those who were unrighteous will have a resurrection of judgment. So judgment will be based on their actions when they are resurrected.

(Revelation 20:12) And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds

(John 5:27-29) 28 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.

(2 Peter 3:6, 7) 7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men.

What about the other sheep Jesus mentioned?

(John 10:16) 16 “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

We learned previously that those in the first resurrection would rule with Christ over the earth but who are they going to rule over? We find a clue to this in Revelation. Here we learn there will be a new earth just as there was a new earth after the great flood.

(Revelation 21:1-5) 21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.

In Psalms we learn who will dwell on the new earth.

(Psalm 37:10, 11) 10 And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. 11 But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.

Jesus will crush all governments and the easily corrupt and imperfect humans will not cause all the misery that is being caused now. Man lacks the wisdom and foresight to rule ourselves and even if we have good intentions we just do not have what it takes to make the earth what it was originally intended to be and that is like the Garden of Eden.

(Daniel 2:44) 44 “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.

It is then the original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled.

(Genesis 1:27, 28) . 28 Further, God blessed them and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.”

(Genesis 2:8) 8 Further, Jehovah God planted a garden in E′den, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed..

The earth will experience a peace that even man could not achieve , even the animals will be at peace with each other.

(Isaiah 11:6-9) 6 And the wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. 7 And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull. 8 And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. 9 They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.

People will no longer get ill or die.

(Isaiah 35:5-7) 5 At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. 6 At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness. For in the wilderness waters will have burst out, and torrents in the desert plain. 7 And the heat-parched ground will have become as a reedy pool, and the thirsty ground as springs of water. In the abiding place of jackals, a resting-place for [them], there will be green grass with reeds and papyrus plants.

Work will make people happy instead of making profit for others. Prayers will be answered before they are fully stated.

(Isaiah 65:17-24) 17 “For here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. 18 But exult, YOU people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating. For here I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joyfulness and her people a cause for exultation. 19 And I will be joyful in Jerusalem and exult in my people; and no more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or the sound of a plaintive cry.” 20 “No more will there come to be a suckling a few days old from that place, neither an old man that does not fulfill his days; for one will die as a mere boy, although a hundred years of age; and as for the sinner, although a hundred years of age he will have evil called down upon him. 21 And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat [their] fruitage. 22 They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. 23 They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the blessed ones of Jehovah, and their descendants with them. 24 And it will actually occur that before they call out I myself shall answer; while they are yet speaking, I myself shall.