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.

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