Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sin of Idolatry

The Deceit of Idolatry

The online dictionary briefly defines Idolatry as “Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone”.

The Lord has given us a message this morning to WARN you about Idolatry. Before we expand on this subject, let us Scripturally examine God’s warning against such a practice.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:4-5 ESV).

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the Kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me”. Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve’”(Matthew 4:8-10 ESV). 

Also, “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” And He called the people to Him and said to them, “Hear and understand…”” (Matthew 15:8-10 ESV).

As it is, there are countless Scriptures dealing with idol worship, so we will limit ourselves to the above verses. In the Old Testament we read how people made cast images and worshipped these objects (Isaiah 44:9-20). We are further warned in the New Testament to refrain from idolatry (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 5:21). Furthermore, from Augustus’ time, in the first century some Roman Emperors were deified by vote of the Senate. It is also recorded in history that towards the close of the first century, Emperor Domitian attempted to compel his subjects to worship him (New Testament Survey by Merrill C. Tenney). This however, had great value for the Roman state in that it unified patriotism, and worship made the support of the state a religious duty. This was the totalitarianism of the first century. We refer to history to understand the current state of idolatry.

What We Idolize

From the Scriptures, we are taught that the world system is setup and run by Satan (1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 4:8-9). As it is, the devil subtly created a religious system of good works to run counter to the Christian way of life so that people’s conscience may be eased. For example, various bodies have been set up around the world as ‘charities’ to serve the poor and needy in the name of some organisation. This is to rally unity and ultimately totalitarianism. I might sound political but in Jesus’ Name, the devil sits behind the world political system. He controls the wealth of the world and greedy churches and individuals are swept away by this deception. We are taught to look to ourselves or some world figure to make life pleasant for us and our families. The devil, through the world system, has taken Christ Jesus completely out of human affairs. Since the first century, true Christians were and are still severely persecuted for non-compliance. To true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord says, Come follow Me (Matthew 4:19).

Today, through the world system under Satan’s influence, we are led away from the Lord through name brand goods, television, technology, sports stars, celebrities and world leaders. The truth is, many Christians do not follow the Bible teachings anymore, and they only hear the voice of their own appetites and the world (Satan). In the Old Testament we read that people were "imported" to Samaria by Sargon King of Assyria (2 Kings 17: 27-29). An Israeli priest was sent to teach the new immigrants the word of God. They worshipped the Lord, but they also continued to worship their own gods. Equally, Christians are likewise deceived to serve the Lord but also follow the world system.

The Lord showed me that prominent Christian leaders who have been honoured by the world system are being used by Satan as ‘bait’ to lure the unsuspecting masses into the antichrist world system. Furthermore, if you are a born again Christian and you follow the life and lifestyle of ungodly people you are practicing idolatry. I’ll be forthright: you are conveniently, through a worldly attitude, being led astray to idolatry. Subtly, Satan has worked his way into the church through the government. This is at times achieved through some concessions and funding, so that we soften or refrain speaking out on certain evil practices.

In a powerful vision which we shared with you some time ago, the Lord showed Charis how a prominent pastor and an eloquent speaker of the Word stands condemned already, even though he is still preaching and winning souls today. The heading of this vision is Vision of Christians Back-sliding (Apostasy)’, given November 25, 2012. It includes judgement pronounced upon hypocritical pastors.

I wrote to him to warn him about this vision but he never replied. I can only pray for him. He is in the world system and encourages and listens to worldly music. This is idolatry! To God and our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus be the Glory ONLY! Not to man or some brand name or image. I therefore challenge you my brethren, who do you want to follow: the world or Christ Jesus? You choose!

Remember, following Christ attracts ridicule and persecutions, but He sternly said, For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). The Lord calls you and tells you to break faith with the world. We may live in this world and work in this world, but we should follow Christ Jesus as our model and His teachings. If your church leader or world leader does not point you to follow or depend on Jesus Christ, then you are being led astray and encouraged to follow the world system; and if you follow the world system, you essentially follows Satan. If you do, you will join forces with him to persecute those who only obey the Lord. We endure a lot of persecution and scorn as individuals and as a ministry. I would like to humbly add: we will not allow the world to judge us using their standard. We live according to the Scriptures from which the Lord measured out truth for us to live by.

In conclusion, do not fear the devil or those who follow his system. You have the truth, faith and the Lord as your impenetrable shield. The Lord told us that because we choose to follow Him and not the world “They will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22 NIV). If you are a Christian and you obey the world's system more than the Lord, watch out because you have compromised your salvation! We do not just read the Word of God as comfort when we are troubled, but we must DO what the Scripture dictates (James 1:22).

Throw therefore away everything that idolizes somebody or something. I know of some believers who idolize their pastors more than the Lord; they would rather follow every word they say more than what stands written in the Bible. This is idolatry and a faith based on the pastor more than Christ.

If you would like to repent from your sins including idolatry and begin a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Yours in Christ’s service,
Brother Glenn.