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What is an Idol by: Frances M. McCrory-Meservy September 30, 2008

The reward for not worshiping an idol is you will receive blessings from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

We can accidentally sin by doing what is forbidden.  We may not know we are sinning and the people around us may not know we are sinning; but God knows and it is still a sin.  Therefore it is important to know what an idol is.  Only then can we be sure not to worship them unawares.

When Jesus' ministry started there was a lot of demon activity.  There was also a lot of idol worshiping.  The two seem to go hand in hand.

I saw a room full of idols in a home in the north east and it really surprised and disillusioned me.  I just did not expect to see idols in the USA.  From what I've heard lately, idol worship is on the rise.

When we moved to Wichita KS in 1990, I was surprised by the amount of demon activity there.  When I found out there was an Indian reservation in Wichita, I realized they were from the witch doctors practicing their sorceries and the totem pole idols found there. 

Is the increase in idol worshiping and demon activity a sign we are in the end times?

I have heard that if we sin and don't know about it, it is not a sin.  The Bible says it's a sin even if we don't know it and as soon as we know we should repent and ask for forgiveness.  God will forgive us.

Since it's a sin to worship idols and people don't realize they are doing it, there is a need to inform people about things that constitute an idol. 

The Bibles says to flee from idolatry.  That includes abstaining from food or anything else sacrificed to idols.  It also includes not being married to a non-Christian.  The Bible says that being unequally yoked is agreement with idol worshipers (they may turn you to their idols).  God will kill you, your children, people who associate with you and destroy your idols.

Know that idolatry is a sin unto ones own flesh.  That usually means we will pay the price for this sin in our flesh through demon possession, insanity, or some other illness and/or death.  God will expose everything that we have ever done wrong.  God will fight against us.  The ultimate punishment is to not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven and be thrown into the lake of fire which is the 2nd death.

It goes without saying that God is a jealous God and worshiping idols is a sin that will make God angry.   But what is an Idol?

1. statue or carved image: a representation or symbol of an object of worship ; broadly : a false god; a likeness of something obsolete : pretender , impostor a form or appearance visible but without substance <an enchanted phantom, a lifeless idol — P. B. Shelley> an object of extreme devotion <a movie idol> ; a false conception : fallacy; An image made of gold, silver, bronze, wood or metal that we bow down to, pray to and worship.  We are not even to carve an idol for someone else.

2. Sacred pillar: a firm upright support for a superstructure : post; a usually ornamental column or shaft ; especially : one standing alone for a monument; a fundamental precept <the five pillars of Islam>;

Asher poles were on hills around Israel.  They would be considered sacred pillars.

3. Covetousness: marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another's possessions;  having a craving for possession; synonyms covetous , greedy , acquisitive , grasping , avaricious mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions. covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions <covetous of his brother's country estate>. greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire <greedy for status symbols>. acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep <an eagerly acquisitive mind>. grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means <a hard grasping trader who cheated the natives>. avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess <an avaricious miser>

We need to be content with what we have and not constantly looking for something new.  Cars, clothes, televisions, movies, etc. can become a god to us.  When we obsess on something, it is at least for the moment a god to us.  There is nothing wrong with getting new things on occasion.  But if we are greedy, covetous or avaricious, we are making things a god.  I believe obsessive compulsive disorder is related to this definition.  It may be a demon. 

4. Stubbornness: unreasonably or perversely unyielding : mulish (2): justifiably unyielding : resolute b: suggestive or typical of a strong stubborn nature <a stubborn jaw>; performed or carried on in an unyielding, obstinate, or persistent manner <stubborn effort>; difficult to handle, manage, or treat <a stubborn cold>; lasting <stubborn facts> synonyms see obstinate

The interesting thing I found about stubbornness in the Bible is that it always is in the same context with rebellion.  Rebellion is part of witchcraft and witchcraft is associated with demons.  Look it up - do word studies on rebellion and witchcraft in the Bible.

The Bible says not to sacrifice your children to an idol.  Why did you get an abortion?  Something became an idol and you loved it so much that you aborted your child.  Whatever that was, it became an idol to you be it lifestyle, freedom from responsibility or to preserve your looks. 

5. If you are obsessed with the anointing of God, the anointing (gifts) can become an idol and people do worship the anointing. 

The Bible says "Do not set up Idols in your heart."  What do you obsess on?  What in your life do you have to obtain?  What do you own that you can't live without?  Do you have an idol in your life that you need to repent of?  I gave you basic information; but only you can answer the hard question. 

Do not raise up or build an idol or bow down to it or hold it (love it/worship it) in your heart

Lev 4:13 "'If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty.

Lev 5:2-4 "'Or if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean--whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground--even though he is unaware of it, he has become unclean and is guilty. "'Or if he touches human uncleanness--anything that would make him unclean--even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty. "'Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil--in any matter one might carelessly swear about--even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it he will be guilty.

Lev 19:4 'Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.

Jonah 2:8 "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

What is an idol?

Col 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Lev 26:1 'You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

1 Sam 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king."

Exo 13:15-16 'And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.' "It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."

Deu 21:18-21 "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, "then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. "And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' "Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

Judg 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.

Psa 78:7-8 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psa 81:11-12 "But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.

Isa 46:12-13 "Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

Jer 6:28-29 They are all stubborn rebels, walking as slanderers. They are bronze and iron, They are all corrupters; The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire; The smelter refines in vain, For the wicked are not drawn off.

Ezek 2:4 "For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.'

Hosea 4:16 "For Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn calf; Now the LORD will let them forage Like a lamb in open country.

1 Cor 14:26-33 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

James 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Ezek 14:3 "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

Punishment for idol worship

Hosea 4:14 "I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, Nor your brides when they commit adultery; For the men themselves go apart with harlots, And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot. Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

Jer 50:38 A drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up. For it is the land of carved images, And they are insane with their idols.

Ezek 16:36-37 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children which you gave to them, "surely, therefore, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved, and all those you hated; I will gather them from all around against you and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness.

Ezek 6:5-7 "And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. "In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. "The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Rev 2:14-16 "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. "Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 'Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

Rev 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Rev 21:8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Rev 22:14-15 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Forgiveness for turning away from idols

Isa 43:25 "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

Ezek 14:4-6 "Therefore speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, "that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols."' "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.

Ezek 37:23 "They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

Reward for not worshiping idols

Psa 24:3-5 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

2 Cor 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."

Do not assemble yourself with idol worshipers

1 Cor 10:13-14 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Acts 15:19-20 "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:28-29 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

Psa 26:2-7 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your loving-kindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O LORD, That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works.

1 Cor 5:10-11 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; not even to eat with such a person.

2 Cor 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."

When a person worships idols, they are worshiping Demons unawares

Lev 17:7 "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations."'

Deu 32:16-17 They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.

2 Chr 11:15 Then he appointed for himself priests for the high places, for the demons, and the calf idols which he had made.

Psa 106:37-38 They even sacrificed their sons And their daughters to demons, And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with blood.

Mat 7:22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

Mat 8:31-32 So the demons begged Him, saying, "If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go." So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.

Mat 10:8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Mark 1:34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.

Mark 1:39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.

Mark 3:14-15 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:

Mark 6:13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

Mark 9:38-39 Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.

Mark 16:9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

Mark 16:17 "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

Luke 4:41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!" And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.

Luke 8:30 Jesus asked him, saying, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," because many demons had entered him.

Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

Luke 8:38-39 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you." And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Luke 9:49-50 Now John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side."

Luke 10:17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."

1 Cor 10:19-22 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

1 Tim 4:1-3 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe; and tremble!

Rev 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Rev 16:13-14 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!

Do not sacrifice children to idols (abortion is wrong).

Ezek 16:20-21 "Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, "that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?

Ezek 23:37-39 "For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour them. "Moreover they have done this to Me: They have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and profaned My Sabbaths. "For after they had slain their children for their idols, on the same day they came into My sanctuary to profane it; and indeed thus they have done in the midst of My house.

Deu 18:10-12 "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, "or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. "For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.

 

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