Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Should Christian celebrate Chinese New Year?

 Feb 7, 2008

Today is the first day of Chinese New Year. This major celebration celebrated by Chinese all around the world, Chinese New Year is marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends. These visits are often accompanied by food hampers and oranges as wishes of prosperity and good fortune. Many companies send Chinese New Year Hampers to their clients as a gesture of appreciation for successful business transactions.Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese Calender. The Chinese Year 4706 begins on Feb 7, 2008.
Chinese months are reckoned by Lunar calendar with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of month and continue until the fifteenth, when the month is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

By the way they said this is year is a ratty year.
Legend has it that in ancient times. Buddha asked all animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.
As Christian people do you believe with that kind of thing?

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
How about that , should Christians believe with this supernatural things according to Chinese custom?

**The Lantern Festival

In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however many early Chinese Immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-Americans neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

Chinese New Year ends with the lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon which stretch a hundred feet long is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held a lot of by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United states where the New year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.

Although I live in Kansas, in recent years there are more and more people celebrate Chinese New Year. Well, it seems more and more Americans like to celebrate this Holiday although they are not Chinese. I guess they just like doing that as more Chinese Immigrants do that and more Americans are become accustomed to it! Of course Americans not celebrate Chinese New Year like really Chinese people do, usually they just like to watch the Chinese New Year parade, join Chinese Ethnic Festival things and eating Chinese Food!

I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but I'm Chinese descendant, my dad had a full blood of Chinese (he already died 2 years ago) and my mom is half Chinese and half Indonesian. My family is from several generations of Chinese ancestors, we don't speak Chinese and both my grandparents from my mother and father side can't speak Chinese either, my grandparents were Christians already, they're not Buddhist or no have religion close to Chinese Ancestors.
I don't have a Chinese name like most my Chinese Indonesian friends, most of them, they have one other than they have Indonesian name.
So most of my family more like Indonesian than Chinese, even though we're still Chinese ethnic in Indonesia. That's why during my life in Indonesia since I was a little girl my family never celebrated Chinese New Year and I never got red envelope with "the lucky money" in it!

There are still Chinese people who already become Christian still celebrate this BIG DAY I mean Chinese New Year, even they have one too at their Churches!
Well, Chinese New Year is not any different with the other Holidays that originally from Pagan Holidays. Chinese New Year is Chinese Tradition and rooted by Buddha, we should avoid all this.

Chinese New Year tidbits and traditions

Before the New Year, people give their home a thorough cleaning, sweeping out the bad luck of the preceding year and making their homes ready for good luck. They wash their hair and get a new hair cut. On New Year's Day, you're not supposed to wash your hair or clean the house for fear that good luck will be washed and swept away.
All debts must be paid by New Year's day and nothing should be lent on this day. It's believed that anyone who does so will be lending all year long.
References to the past are avoided as everything should be turned toward the new year and a new beginning.
Shooting off firecrackers on New Year's Eve is the Chinese way of sending out the old year and welcoming the new year.
At Chinese New Year celebrations, people dress in red clothes, decorate with poems written on red and gold paper and give children little red envelopes filled with money. This symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the coming year. Red symbolizes fire which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten the evil spirits.
During the New Year, death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are taboo. People also shouldn't use bad language, unlucky words or negative terms.

What do you think?
True Christians Live by God's word, not by "Tradition of Men" True Christians know that they must live "by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). They know that man cannot rely on himself to determine right from wrong, good from evil. Why? Because "the heart (mind) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9), and "the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jer. 10:23). God's ways are higher, better, than man's ways (Isa. 55:8-9). He designed us and gave us life. Wouldn't He knows how are supposed to live?

God (your creator) has given you (His creation) an "instruction manual" to help you live with your life the way He originally intended (Joh 10:10). That "manual", the Holy Bible is God's Word and His Truth (John 17:17). It is filled with spiritual laws, statutes and judgments guided by perfect spiritual knowledge, understanding and Wisdom. II Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All scripture is given by inspiration God and is profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness that the man of God maybe perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Only God's Word can accurately distinguish right from wrong, righteousness (obedience to God's commandments-Psalm 119:172) from Sin (breaking God's spiritual laws-I John 3:4 and Romans 7:17)

True Christians understand that as the only real standard of truth man can live by, God's Holy Scriptures "cannot be broken" (John 10:35).

But most people even most professing Christians love to follow the ideas of men. Jesus recognized this warning. "This people honors Me with their lips, but their  heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men... Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition...making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition, which you have delivered" (Mark 7:6-9, 13 )
God commands His people not to follow pagan practices.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Do you believe in Ghost?

"Who is Satan? If you did meet one how would you know?"
As a Christian believer I don't believe in Ghost (the spirit from dead people who was left behind and stay in the earth) but I do believe Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost who dwells in my body or any Christian believer. Why? Let me tell you about Holy Spirit (holy ghost) first before telling the Ghost.

**Holy Spirit/ Holy Ghost for Christian Perspective.

A faithful Christians have the Holy Spirit.

When one is baptized (immersed) into Christ (Gal. 3:27), one receives "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Just what is the "gift of the Holy Spirit"? Is the Holy Spirit Himself "the gift" or does it mean a "gift" that the Holy Spirit will give? If the Holy Spirit Himself is "the gift," that is, the personal indwelling in each Christian, why did Peter use the word "gift" at all? Why didn't Peter simply say: "You shall receive the Holy Spirit," rather than "the gift of the Holy Spirit"? In John 20:22, Jesus said to His apostles, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Definitely the promise was that they were to receive the Holy Spirit Himself in some way and not some "gift" that the Holy Spirit would give. On Pentecost the obedient believers were promised a "gift" that the Holy Spirit would give them as a result of their obedience to the gospel message, what was the "gift" they received? The forgiveness of their sins! Salvation! Redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ!
**How The Holy Spirit dwells within us?
Indeed Scripture teaches plainly that the Spirit dwells in the faithful Christian in some sense or way. The only point at issue is HOW the Spirit dwells in us. In my view, the Spirit dwells in the Christian in the same way that God dwells in us. In 2 Cor. 6:16, Paul wrote: "For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among them.'" In 1 John 4:12, John affirms that "God abides in us." In 1 John 4:15 we read: "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he [abides] in God." Surely the reader can see the use of figurative language here. It is clearly stated that God Himself abides in the saint. Also, it is clearly stated that the saint abides in God! Surely no informed disciple takes these statements to be literal.
Christ also "dwells" in us. Eph. 5:17: "... so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith..." In John 6:56, Jesus said "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." Clearly we can see that this is not a literal personal indwelling with reference to God, Christ or the saint. Do you literally indwell or dwell in God? Or, in Christ Jesus? Do God and Christ literally indwell the saints? Surely you can recognize this as figurative language.
Why can't believers all understand that the spirit dwells in us in the same manner that God and Christ do? In Rom. 8:9 Paul wrote: "However, you are ... in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." Here again we are said to be "in the Spirit" and that the Spirit "dwells in us." Clearly this is not a personal, literal indwelling of either the Spirit or the saint "dwelling" in each other. In reality it is a representative indwelling of the Spirit in us through or by the word of God.
In what may have been his second sermon, Peter proclaimed to the crowd who gathered as a result of the healing of the lame man, that they should "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord ..." (Acts 3: 19). On Pentecost, Peter promised those who would obey that they would "receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." It seems clear that Peter preached the same thing in both cases, just used different words. Hence, "the gift of the Holy Spirit" means the same thing as "times of refreshing". The "gift of the Holy Spirit" was the forgiveness of their sins. The "times of refreshing," which is figurative language, is an equivalent term. What a "refreshing" it is to be forgiven of our sins, redeemed and made heirs of God.
**The simple truth

The simple truth is that whatever the Holy Spirit does for anyone today is accomplished with and through the revealed word of God. At least, no one can prove that the Spirit works in any other way. Paul said that we are to "take ... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Do you recall how Jesus defeated the temptations of Satan with the "It is written," as He quoted the word with its power? Paul urged Timothy to "preach the word" (2 Tim. 4:2). "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). Peter told the saints that they had "in obedience to the truth purified your souls" and that they had "been born again ... through the living and abiding word of God" (1:21, 23). He declared that "newborn babes" should "long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation ..." (2:2). James wrote: "... in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls" (1:21). Paul told the saints to "be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). Compare that to what he wrote to the Colossian saints: "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (3:16). Compare these two passages. To be "filled with the Spirit" is the same as to "let the word of Christ richly dwell within you".
Every act of the Holy Spirit upon man is affirmed also of the truth, the word of God. Today, what the Holy Spirit does the word of God does. The only way the Spirit works today is in and through the word of God. That word is this written word, the Holy Scriptures. All that we can know about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin and salvation, and man's responsibility, we must learn from the record God has given and preserved for us, that blessed old book that we call the Bible.
**My Perspective on Ghosts.
The Most Haunted television program is kind of interesting, but this shows is misleading people to believe in Ghost, and another show that still in the air on TV is "Ghost Whisper".
The Most Haunted series Derek Acorah is taken to famous buildings which have a reputation for being haunted. Derek has no prior knowledge as to where he is being taken to in advance, but despite this, he quickly picks up on past events as he makes his way around each building, getting information from the spirits that inhabit these places. Many people watching this (especially those with a previous predisposition towards belief in ghosts) would conclude that the information being given here is indeed being received from ghostly spirit entities.
We heard and saw on TV the similar experience like this, seeing ghost from people who already died in the past, heard it many many times and we are interested and curious about that.
The Bible speaks about the reality of a spiritual realm inhabited by many supernatural spirit entities:
what such spirit entities actually are and what their purpose is.
Many who are interested in ghosts and hauntings often assume that whenever these spirits speak, the claims that they make about themselves are truthful. Why is such an assumption generally made and rarely ever questioned? Can these spirits be trusted to speak truthfully? Author, Douglas Groothius has observed that even some prominent spiritualist practitioners themselves have recognized the potential of being deceived by untruthful spirits:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12).
The Bible also has a lot to say about exactly

"Emanuel Swedenborg, the famous seer of the eighteenth century, was well acquainted with the spirit world, having experienced detailed visions recorded later in book form. Nevertheless, he cautioned those courting the spirits: "When spirits begin to speak with a man, he ought to beware that he believes nothing whatever from them; for they say almost anything. Things are fabricated by them, and they lie... they would tell so many lies and indeed with solemn affirmation that a man would be astonished...if a man listens and believes they press on, and deceive, and seduce." (Samuel M. Warren, A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg ( New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1977, p. 618. As quoted in Douglas Groothuis, Revealing the New Age Jesus, p. 210.)

Interestingly, the Bible tells us that the ruler of dark spiritual world, Satan, is the author of lies. Jesus said of this spirit:
"He [the Devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

The real truth is that the Devil does indeed exist. The Bible declares this as do countless people through history who have encountered him and the evil spirits that serve him. Are we really to conclude that all these people were simply lying, or maybe hallucinating? Indeed many of these people did not come from a Christian world view and so the concept of a Devil or demons were not at the forefront of their minds prior to these experiences. However, for those who have become Christians, their faith, and what the Bible says about the Devil and the spirits which are under his command, has enabled them to make sense of their experiences (see, for example,"Stories of Freedom" on this site).
The real story below: There's a demon loose in a Connecticut home, and 12-year-old David bears the brunt of its wrath; he sees an old man with hooves and horns, gets punched and thrown around, and ultimately is possessed; only an exorcism will save David's soul.

People who have ever seen ghosts, experience with demonic possession, and receive messages from spirit or dead people are indeed involved with Satan or demon.
With the above information in mind, those who sit at the feet of spiritualists mediums, and indeed those who claim to receive messages from the spirit world, need to seriously ask themselves exactly who or what it is that is trying to communicate with them. The Bible warns of the very real danger of seductive spirits that will come to deceive people and draw them away from God and into bondage:
"But the Spirit [the Holy Spirit] explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons..." (1 Tim. 4:1).

"...for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14, emphasis added). The Bible explicitly forbids attempted contact with spirits that pretend to be spirits of the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). The Bible states that the dead do not have contact with the living (Luke 16:19-31). The reason for this is because such spirits are not spirits of the dead but rather deceitful spirits under the command of Satan. The Bible calls such spirits "demons", "evil spirits", and "unclean spirits". These demonic spirits are familiar with the departed dead whom they seek to imitate. This is why they are able to supply people with intimate details of names, places, and facts. Indeed, Isaiah 29:4 calls such a spirit a "familiar spirit" (KJV).
The bigger plan of demonic spirits is to draw people to become interested in their activity and the signs and wonders they perform. In doing so, they successfully blind people and influence them further away from a relationship with God. It is no accident, or coincidence, that many people who become interested in ghosts and the paranormal will often be led to go on to experiment with other spiritualities such as: tarot cards, astrology, fortune telling and so on. Even Derek Acorah’s own website promotes some of these spiritualities. From these, some people continue their quest for spirituality by going on to deeper and darker forms of occultism. It is a slippery slope downwards (rather than upwards, as people seem to think). This was certainly some other people experience prior to becoming Christians themselves. It is a very subtle and gradual process. Before a person realizes what is happening, they are immersed in occult practices and are influenced by the same spirits to become hostile or indifferent to Christ and Christianity. The Bible states that Satan has...

"...blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Cor. 4:4). The good news is that people do not have to remain blinded in the darkness. The Bible tells us that we can come into a relationship with Christ who is "the light of the world" (John 8:12) and be free from the fear and control of dark supernatural forces.

Ghost Whisper series on TV, the story about Melinda Gordon is a young girl married to a paramedic. She has the unique ability to communicate with the earthbound spirits of people who have died, and who seek her help. Melinda uses her gift to relay significant messages and important information to the living, but sometimes the messages she receives are intense and confusing. As a result, she is often met with questions and skepticism by the survivors. But when Melinda is able to help both the lost souls who contact her and those who are still alive, she knows that her unique talent is an asset and not a liability. Melinda helps the ghost who has unfinished business in the earth and then after it was solved, usually the ghost could cross over and go the other world (usually heaven).
Although this show is fiction, it could be harmful for people's mind, why?
The Bible is very clear on the subject of "ghosts" and uses that term (from the original Greek) as referring to the spiritual world. God Himself tells us that he is "spirit" and not flesh. In the Bible, God reveals that there is a spiritual realm where He and His angels reside, including where Satan and the fallen angels reside. This spiritual realm is not a place where man lives (at the present), although since man (and woman) are descendant of Adam (a Son of God), we all possess an eternal spirit. In essence, we are spiritual creatures living in physical bodies in a physical world. The spiritual world is not observable to us, and we cannot get there nor easily interact with it. Christ was very clear when he discouraged people from seeking others who claimed to have contact with the spiritual realm. Why? Doing so puts a person in direct access or possible contact to the fallen angels or "demons".
People who claim to have contact with spiritual beings, including space aliens, space gods, angels, ghosts of dead relatives, etc., are in fact contacting and interacting with fallen angels. Christ is very clear on this point as are the Apostles, who declare and remind us that Satan often disguises himself as an "angel of light" and is the "father of all lies and a murderer" who seeks to "deceive the entire world, including the elect (Christians)".
According to Old Testament scripture, fallen angels have the ability to "polymorph" into anything they wish (like a snake in the Garden of Eden), and can possess physical bodies (or produce them) when they choose to interact with our known physical world. God's angels, those who have not sinned or fallen, can also do this but only when God commands it. As has been told in both New and Old Testament readings, Holy angels appear most often as physical men (as when Mary went to Jesus' grave only to be told that he had risen). Its important therefore to recognize that ghosts do exist, but the one's people claim to have interacted with are in fact nothing more than false images created by demons seeking to disrupt a person's faith or thoughts regarding the truth concerning the afterlife - and of course the reality of Christ as savior. The devil himself would have you believe that God allows people to drift between this world and the next with no clear hope of being rescued. However God's Word proves otherwise.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

My dreams or visions of end times

I'm writing this not to be judged or a thoughtless person especially for the people who don't believe it. This is only to express my feeling and telling my dreams that Jesus gave me last night. I don't know why he gave that vision to me! I'm not lying or making up this, its only God knows if I'm telling the truth or not. Jesus gave me dreams, he knows I believe in Him as my Savior deeply entire my heart, besides recently I'm interested to know more about Him, God's word and end times in the bible prophecy.
Here are my dreams: (I don't know why God gave me these short dreams each times)

Last night as usual sometimes before my bed time, I watch TV and reading daily newspaper, well because I was a bit tired and sleepy, I fell sleep and I had a vision or short dream, that I saw the fire flamed intensely, it's very large fire all redness and dark orange color fire! And then I woke up, well I thought it was only a dream and at that time I was thinking that fire likes the fire in the hell. You know in the hell a lot of fire burning, even larger than the fire you have ever been imagined!

And then I was trying to read more the newspaper while I was watching TV, I was drowsy again and I got another dream/ vision, I saw some angels and they hold their trumpets, and I got up! I thought it was only dream again, okay I want to finish reading the paper, although I was already sleepy! Again  I have another dream, I saw Jesus was crucified on the cross!  I saw him on the cross a bit far away, it's not very close, so I did not see his face clearly, I know Him on the cross!
I got up again! I was thinking "How's in the world I have a dream like that, each dreams were short and every time those dreams were finished, I got up right away!

Frankly, sometimes I fell sleep for a long time, 2 or 3 hours before I can get up again. I have a little bad habit, mostly from reading than watching TV makes me fell sleep before my bed time. I don't do that all the time it's only once in a while!

Finally I decided to go to bed and sleep, shortly after I slept I saw another vision (dream) that God was giving a cross to each people! I only saw a big hand in my dream, so I assume God's hand, he was handling the cross to each person. The cross that I saw was pretty big, it's about 1 foot or 30 cm length, that is just my guess!
It's weird I woke up again. I have a lot of dreams but I never have too many dreams in one night! Besides after I have these short dreams I woke up right away! Some my dreams I remember some not! I'm sure the other people have the same experience like I do! But Sure it is, I remember all the pictures of these dreams, I don't know why!

Wait, I have another dream after that! I think I slept through the night this time and then I have my last dream. This is not like the other dreams that I had last night it happened at closer time to each other, short dream and then I got up right away and then I fell slept again within short time, but my last dreams!
In my last dream I saw the same angels like my second dream or the first angels like I saw before, this time they blew their trumpets loudly, I think I can heard it, and then I woke up again. I got up right on time in the morning like usually I get up every morning!

Although my dreams were not vivid, but clearly I can picture and remember all of them! They are strange and it's unusual experience happened to me. I'm sure a lot of people disbelieve with my dreams last night, more or so for them who don't believe Jesus, don't know much WORD OF GOD or not reading too much the bible and luke-warm Christian people!

My self, I believe Jesus delivered his message through these dreams. I don't care if people think It was only hallucination or I'm too preoccupied for my mindless dreams! I'm writing this only to testify and telling my dream, last night. I'd like everyone whom I know to get to know more about Jesus so they can be saved! That's it! Who knows my testimony will give some inspirations in Jesus Christ to a lot of people including you.

The large fire burning endlessly that I saw in my dream last night was indeed it means something old is passing and something new is entering my life. My thoughts and views are changing, the fire that I saw, it was in particular of the fire is under control or contained in one area, it is a metaphor of my own internal life and inner transformation, it also represents my drive and motivation.
I found out this information from the dream interpretation at one web site!
I agree with this interpretation, and makes sense and connected with the other dreams that I had last night!
So it was not represent a hell like the first thought. From the meaning of my first dream related with the other dreams that I saw at 5 different times at only one night!

The second dream I saw angels ready with their trumpets and they don't blow their trumpets. I think it tells angels in heaven are ready for the rapture, the tribulation and Jesus second coming! Just like it says in Matt 25: 31-33 (KJV)  "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall He sit upon the throne of his glory.
And before him shall be gathered all nations and he shall separate them one another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.
And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
It does not mean that every member of one nation will be among the sheep and every member of another among the goats.
The Lord will separate His true followers from hypocrrites and unbelievers.
See Joel 3: 1-2, 9-14; Revelation 21:24.
What we really believe and who we are and whether we've trusted in Christ for salvation will be shown by the way we live. How we treat others is also important to God (Matt 7:12).  I assume this is during the rapture Jesus will take away his true believers and let untrue believers left behind.

The other dream I saw Jesus was crucified on the cross is for the salvation! The salvation is internal life that we receive through Him! John 3:16-18 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not, is condemned already, because he hath not beleived in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

My fourth dream God was handling a cross to each person, I think it's still related with my dream  that Jesus was on the cross, it means the people who believe Jesus died on the cross and become the Savior, they will be saved! I think at rapture time Jesus will take away and save the people who believe in Jesus as their Saviors and follow Jesus daily. For them who have been adopted as God's children. Unfortunately the ones who are not, will be left behind in the earth! And also this dream represents the judgment seat of Christ when Jesus give some rewards to the believers after the rapture and the dead in Christ is resurrected.

How come we can be adopted as God's Child? This is for those who not believe in Jesus as a savior yet!
According to Galatians 4:5, we have now received "adoption of sons." And because we are children of God, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." As adopted children of God, we have all the rights and responsibilities of the original Son, Jesus. To follow Jesus means to learn and keep our responsibilities as God's children. You can learn your responsibilities by starting to read the New Testament, and by finding a church home where the Bible is preached clearly. I recommend starting your Bible reading with the Gospel of Mark.

Go to a Christian pastor and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is an essential part of the process of receiving Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. In the first sermon that Peter ever preached, he concluded with these words: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Baptism is our first response to the grace of God. After Philip led the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ, the Ethiopian did not wait to be baptized. "See, here is water;" he said, "what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). As Colossians 2:9-15 explains, we participate in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in holy baptism, putting off the sinful nature. In John 3:5

In my last dream some angels blew their trumpets very loud! I don't think I saw too many angels in my dream, I think no more than 10 angels I know that! It's true after I read in the chapter of revelation says that God will send 7 angels to blow the trumpet and open 7 seals!

This fifth dream tells what God tells in the bible.
Matt 24:31 (KJV) And He shall send His Angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Revelation 8:1-6 (KJV)
1And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
 2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
 3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
 4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
 5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
 6And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Revelation 11: 15-19, the seventh trumpet

15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.  17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
 18And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
 19And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Everything  I'm telling you about my dreams are really true, I do not make up this story, anyway look at
signs of times and Bible Prophecy.
Did you know that almost 30% of the Bible is prophetic in nature? More so, did you know that many of these prophecies have yet to be fulfilled? A lot of churches give only basic lip service to the prophecies of the Bible; I believe that they are doing their congregation a disservice. Most of the prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled deal with the End Times, the coming rise of the Antichrist and the Judgments of God. One thing I want to make clear, this is in no way an attempt to put a date on the End Times. Scripture clearly points out to us to NOT try.

Jesus told us "Of the day and hour no one knows, no not even the angels in heaven, but My Father only. It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority."

So, know that, anyone who tries to put an exact date on the End Times and the Return of Christ is wrong. BUT, the Lord did say that we could know the general time of His coming if we are aware of events and are mindful of the signs. Again, I want to make clear that in no way am I saying that the Rapture and the Second Coming will occur in our generation, but I do believe the time is growing near and COULD occur.

There are two periods that Jesus taught about the end of times. During the first period we will experience the "birth pangs" , , and which are setting the stage, so to speak of things to come. The second period will be the actual "signs" of the end. Here are the "birth pangs" (again, NOT signs of the end):

Israel becomes a country again. In 1948 Israel became a nation again for the first time in 1500 years. In 1967 after the 6-Day War, Israel regained control of Jerusalem. Many people will claim to be the Christ (the Messiah) since 1900 alone there have been over 1100 public figures claiming to be Christ.
Among them Sun, Myung Moon, Maharaj Ji and countless others. People will be deceived by these fakers.
Wars and Rumors of wars, revolutions.
Since World War II there have been over 170 limited scope conflicts.
Famines, earthquakes, pestilences.

Billions of people go to bed hungry each night. Just view the happenings in Africa. The number of earthquakes has increased in both numbers and intensity within the recent years.
Nations and kingdoms at war.

It seems that on any given day somewhere in the world there is an ongoing-armed conflict.

Believers in Christ persecuted and killed.
The persecution of Christians has been ongoing throughout history. Of late the numbers of Christians persecuted and martyred has increased. Look at the "cleansing" in Indonesia and the Sudan. Believers will witness of Jesus to kings and governors. Believers will be hated due to loyalty to Christ. Many will turn away from the faith and betray others. With the advent of Humanism and Occult Religions many have rejected the Word of God.

Betrayals by parents, brothers, relatives, friends.
False prophets will deceive many people.
Increase in wickedness, causing love to grow cold.
To me this points out the increased availability of pornography and violence in the popular media and movies. What impact may this have on the psyche of anyone?
Fearful events and signs from heaven. Keeping in mind the writers who wrote the bible were from the 1st century consider the advent of Supersonic Transports and Space travel to include landing on the moon and how those writers might view those events.
The rise of the Revived Roman Empire (European Union)
An increase in knowledge.
The increase in technology has enhanced the availability of resources. High-speed computers and the Internet provide accessibility to endless information.
Increased global mobility.
We are a mobile society. Planes, trains and automobiles allow us to move distances in days and even hours that years ago would have taken months or may not have been possible.

This brings us to the actual "signs" (Please note that these are not in any specific order):
Jerusalem surrounded by armies and enemies and her allies attack Israel
Jesus will appear in the sky, the trumpet will sound.
Angels will gather God's elect.
Believers will be snatched away and those who are not ready will be left behind.

It is obvious that the recent wars and the Rapture are the two primary end times events. What is not obvious is which occurs first, and an argument can be made both ways. What follows these first two events are "stage-setting" events leading to and then finally the Tribulation. The (7 Mystery Years) discusses these in a bit more detail.
The rise of the Antichrist,
The two witnesses,
The 144,000 Jewish evangelists.
The 7 Seal Judgments.
The 7 Trumpet Judgments,
The desecration of the Temple. (2 Thes 2:4)
The Mark of the Beast.
The 7 Vial (or Bowl) Judgments.
The Second Coming of Christ. 

Just additional knowledge and to find out more end times, rapture, Jesus second coming you can visit my previous articles:
Are end times near?
The Rapture what is it? and when will it occur?
One world religion.
New world order in bible prophecy.
The next superpower.

It might be some more will come!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Sin of Idolatry.

I decided to write this article today, regarding the idolatry is sinful!
Before I write any further, please for them who don't like this article just leave, and no leave any comment!
I will not answer any hateful and angry comment! I'm writing this only
give my truthful testimony, not because of my religion, it's only my belief as a Children of God, Jesus is only my savior and I'm practicing my belief according to the BIBLE or THE WORD OF GOD not HUMAN DOCTRINES!

I'm writing this not to offend anyone but to save the lost soul! I love
everyone no matter, their religion, their belief, their status, their race, poor or rich anything! Like Jesus loves us! I'm sure it's hurtful to read the negative thing about their religions, especially for the people who really believe in their religions for very long time! It's very difficult to believe this and change their belief, because they already blind with their belief which is rooted in their mind!

Why I'm criticizing these false religions? I'd like to everyone whom I know to be Jesus Follower not Satanic Follower! One note from me, before you (the person who don't believe me and upset at me), I'd like to say: You can believe anything you want, but if your going to teach heresy to other people...I'm going to expose your darkness with the light of God's Word.  So what it boils down to is whether or not you believe the Bible.

Unfortunately there are still too many idolatry is practiced in this modern times at certainly religions, such as some certain Christian denominations, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Baal religion, etc. Indeed it has been practicing for very long time since the Tower of babel was built, read at this site "The tower of Babel and the confusion of the languages.

The essence of Babylonianism, as we understand from Scripture, is the attempt to gain earthly honor by means of religious authority. That is Babylonianism, and it has pervaded Christian churches, Hindu temples, Buddhist shrines, and Mohammedan mosques. Everywhere it is the element that marks falseness in religion-the attempt to gain earthly power and prestige by means of religious authority. That is what Nimrod began and what God will ultimately destroy, as we read in the book of Revelation.

I think there are more false religions in this world than the true belief, I'm talking about the person who believe Jesus as the savior (Jesus Followers ) in this world are not as many as the ones who not.
It seems more fake/ untrue religions these days than the true one!
The source, it must be coming from
It's sad though a lot of people who don't realize that!
Even when I was a child I can tell the religions who practicing this idolatry (paganism) and worshiping statue for their praying, it's a lie!

It doesn't make any sense to me, I've got the feeling there is something very wrong with these religions. Even is more or so when I learn and study the bible and know more God's word, and this is really true.
I know some people don't believe it, it's not just their religions even they against it with history, mind, knowledge, technology and medical terminology!

Yes, we have our mind, thought, wisdom, soul, spirit and our body, it is the image like God, why? Because God who created us, He made us just like HIM (He has 3 forms in one GOD)!
1. God is soul just like our soul.
2.  Son of God, Jesus Christ who died for us to save us from our sins and   connected us back in order to have relationship with God like the first Human being (In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve) before they fall in sin!
 Jesus' image physically just like us a human being when he was still walking on the earth!
3. Holy Spirit, is the bridge to God within you. It is the part of your mind—the part of your Spirit—that is joined with the Mind of God. The Holy Spirit is the voice for God and acts as a reminder to all of God's Children of the unconditional love that God has for them including us!

Unfortunately our mind, wisdom, knowledge etc were twisted around by The Father of Lies (Satan), even through the religion!
We want to get salvation, there is nothing else other than through Jesus Christ Himself, not a good deed, religion, human belief etc!
Praying and asking the redemption just ask God through Jesus Christ alone! Not worshiping man, other god, statue and idolatry!

Let's see what the consequences of Idolatry!

By Cavin Cauley

The Sin of Idolatry (Part 1)
When the word "idolatry" is mentioned, most religious folks probably call to mind a debunked religious system that is outdated and not generally practiced. Why ought the worshipper of God be concerned with the sin of idolatry? The truth is that there are many in the religious world today practice idolatry. People of the Hindu religion have various wooden and stone carvings and manifestations of their deities. Buddhists typically have a "Buddha" statue to which they give offerings of one kind or another. And in recent years there has been a revival of paganism which goes hand in hand with idolatry. Even some who profess Christianity have unwittingly substituted idol worship for the worship of the living God. The fact of the matter is that idolatry is still alive and well in our world today.
From reading the Old Testament, one would think that the sin of idolatry would be clearly enough defined that those who believe in the Bible wouldn't have anything to do with practicing it today. Leviticus 19:4 states, "Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 26:1 says, "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God." And in the Ten Commandments God says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" ( Exodus 20:3-5). We get the picture from these verses that an idol is any carved, fashioned, or molded image that is in the likeness of anything that exists in heaven or earth which has been erected for devotees to serve or worship.
What kind of service or worship would one offer to an idol? The scriptures are clear. One is not to make an idol ( Leviticus 19:4, 26:1). One is not to follow an idol ( 1 Kings 21:26). One is not to bow down to an idol ( Leviticus 26:1). One is not to pray to an idol ( Isaiah 44:17, 45:20). One is not to offer sacrifices to idols ( Hosea 13:2). One is not to seek idols ( Isaiah 19:3). One is not to bless an idol ( Isaiah 66:3). One is not to set up an idol ( Leviticus 26:1). One is not to lift up one's eyes to idols ( Ezekiel 18:6, 12, 15, 33:25). One is not to praise an idol ( Isaiah 42:8). Any kind of religious devotion that one may consider is forbidden in the concepts of worshipping or serving an idol.
Unlike the Old Testament writers, who give us multiple detailed descriptions of idolatry, New Testament writers expect one to understand the definition of the term from the Old Testament ( Romans 15:4). What we find in the New Testament is the simple prohibition of idolatry. The Apostles commanded Gentile Christians to abstain from the pollution of idols in Acts 15:20, 29. Idolaters are people with whom we are to have no fellowship ( 1 Corinthians 15:11). Those who practice such will not inherit the kingdom of God according to 1 Corinthians 6:9. Idolatry is listed among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:20. And in 1 John 5:21, John says, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Idolatry is explicitly forbidden under the New Covenant.
Between the Old Testament and the New, there isn't much room for one to practice idolatry. However, when people want to do something, they will think of all kinds of excuses, rationalities, and justifications. In the next article, we'll take a look at one major religion's "rationale" for what amounts to nothing more than idolatry.

The Sin of Idolatry (Part 2)

One would think that those who profess to believe in the God of the Bible wouldn't practice idolatry; however, it is commonly practiced among the Catholic Church. Not too long ago, I visited a Cathedral in Brazil. In this Cathedral, there was a carved wooden image of "Mary" that had been found in a river several hundred years ago (evidently someone had made this statue and then tossed it into the river as rubbish). The entire Cathedral was built near the site of this image on account of this event. Inside the Cathedral, the image had an honored place. Members of the Catholic Church there had placed on its head a crown and a robe. There was a security guard near the image to protect it.
The whole scene reminded me of the words of the Old Testament prophets as they exposed the folly of idolatry. Habakkuk wrote, "Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it" ( Habakkuk 2:19). Isaiah said, "They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed … And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?" ( Isaiah 44:9-19).
There are also those who seek to defend such practices. They suggest that they are not actually worshipping these things, merely "venerating" them. Indeed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states regarding these idols:
The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it." The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone … Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.
Evidently the Catholics need to learn the second commandment because that one states, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." And they also need to learn the second part of the second commandment because that states, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" ( Exodus 20:4-5). Did God say, "except if your worship is REALLY directed toward me?" Did God say, "except if the image is of me and you're not really worshipping it in your own heart?" Did God say, "except if your worship doesn't terminate in the image?" In fact, he said just the opposite in Isaiah 42:8, "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." God does not give His glory to graven images, ever!
What did the prophets say? Hear Isaiah: "They that make a graven image are all of them vanity" ( Isaiah 44:9a). All graven images are VANITY! "Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?" ( Isaiah 44:10) All graven images are profitable FOR NOTHING! Hear what Jeremiah has to say, "Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them." ( Jeremiah 10:14 and 51:17). They are falsehoods! Hear Habakkuk, "What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?" ( Habakkuk 2:18). They are no profit; they are teachers of lies. What does Paul say? "… we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one" ( 1 Corinthians 8:4). They are nothing! There is only ONE God. The plain teaching of scripture utterly refutes the Catholic rationalization for having "images."
So why have graven images at all? There can only be one reason. To satisfy the fleshly desire to have something that one can see and touch. This is exactly what the people of Israel desired after they came out of Egypt. When Moses was up in the mountain for forty days, Aaron made a golden calf. Exodus 32:4-5 state, "And he received [the gold] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD." Aaron made an idol. He proclaimed that idol the gods that brought them out of Egypt. He then said that the next day there would be a feast to the LORD. Aaron did exactly what the Catholics claim to do today. He made an idol and then proposed to worship God through the idol. But what did God say about this? God said that they had corrupted themselves ( Exodus 32:7) and that they had turned aside from the commandment ( Exodus 32:8). It was sinful then and it is sinful now.

The Sin of Idolatry (Part 3)

In looking at the sin of idolatry, we've noticed some of the more brazen forms of such activity. However, idolatry doesn't have to be in the form of a carved image or statue. Idolatry is anything that monopolizes our attention away from God. It could be television, fishing, golf, family, our jobs, the Internet, and any other thing that would interfere with our relationship with God; anything can be an idol. It is important, therefore, that we identify anything that would hinder our relationship with God and take appropriate steps to remove that stumbling block from our life.
Ezekiel prophesied to individuals who were guilty of setting up idols in their hearts in Ezekiel 14:1-11. These individuals appeared to be seeking God by coming to inquire of God's will ( Ezekiel 14:3). However, God told Ezekiel that they had come hypocritically. They really had not abandoned their idolatry; it was still foremost in their own minds. So while their external actions appeared to be correct, their hearts were still wrong because they had not abandoned their idolatry in their thinking. They were placing something else before God in their own minds.
Let's note that some attitudes are inherently idolatrous. Colossians 3:5 makes it clear that covetousness is idolatry. Covetousness is a desire to gain something, anything, to the point that we would be willing to abandon what is right to get whatever it is that we desire. When we are Covetous, in essence, we are placing something in the world (whether it be an object or a person [i.e. Exodus 20:17]) above God; we are desiring some thing more than we desire God and such is the essence of idolatry. Consider as an example of such behavior the rich young ruler ( Luke 18:18-23). He had placed God high up in his priority list. He had kept God's commandments from his youth. However, when Jesus told him to sell all of his goods and give them to the poor, he went away sorrowful. God may have been high on his priority list, but God wasn't number one. He loved something more than he loved God.
Idolatry can be either external (outward display of worship to a graven image) or internal (putting God in second place in our heart) or both external and internal. This is in essence why we have what Jesus calls the first and great commandment. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…" ( Mark 12:30). If God is first in our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, then both the internal and the external are focused upon loving God instead of other things. Jesus made it clear that even physical concerns such as food, clothing, and shelter ought not to take priority in our mind. It is His kingdom and righteousness that always comes first ( Matthew 6:33).
Physical idolatry is still a problem in many parts of the world today, and even among some who profess to be Christians. However, spiritual idolatry is likely the bigger temptation in our culture. We are surrounded by a society that places a high value upon possessions and bombarded each day with appeals to pursue such possessions. In such a society we must constantly be aware of the condition of our heart to ensure that we do not become complacent and succumb to putting God less than first in our lives. By understanding our priorities and analyzing our decisions through a Christ centered perspective we can maintain the kind of relationship with God that He desires for us to have with Him.

The First and second commandments, God prohibit idolatry!

Exodus 20:1-17:

The First and Second Commandments - Idolatry

The Ten Commandments #1 and #2.
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at the first and second commandments.
Objectives: That we would be familiar with the ten commandments and know more about them and specifically in this lesson the commandments against idolatry.
1. Read: Exodus 20:1-17
2. About the Text:
1) The background of this text is the exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt.
2) They were camped at the base of mount Sinai.
3) And God speaks directly to them from heaven these “ten commandments.”
4) They are referred to as such in Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:3 and 10:4.
5) These commandments were the basis for the rest of the Mosaic law.
6) They form the nucleus of God's desires for men to live a moral and godly life.
7) God wanted to impress upon Israel the seriousness of these words.
8) And he did so; the children of Israel asked Moses to intercede for them upon hearing God's words.
9) The commandments are introduced with a statement of identification by God.
11) The two verses emphasize to us the identity of the one giving the commandments.
12) They are not to be taken lightly.
3. The then commandments today.
1) Today, we see the ten commandments politicized.
2) They are a symbol to many for morality and righteousness.
3) But do we know what they are and what they mean?
4) Let's take a look at the ten commandments in an effort to understand them and how they apply today.
4. The first two commandments.
1) We will look at commandments #1 and #2.
2) The two go together since they both concern idolatry.
5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
I.   Idolatry is a reality.
1. The children of Israel knew the reality of idolatry.
1) They came out of Egypt where there were hundreds of idols.
2) The 10 plagues each demonstrated God's superiority over idols.
3) The pharaoh of Egypt was himself considered a god.
4) The land of Canaan also had hundreds of idols.
5) Chief in their idolatry was Baal and Ashteroth.
6) Polytheism was the dominate religion of the day.
7) Idolatry was still a problem for Israel.
8) While Moses was in the mountain, they turned back to idolatry ( Exodus 32).
9) Aaron made a golden calf out of their jewelry and said that it was the gods that brought them out of the land of Egypt.
2. Idolatry was a problem in the time of Paul.
1) Acts 17:16 – the whole city of Athens was given to idolatry.
2) The church at Corinth still had problems with idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14 – flee idolatry.
3. Idolatry is still a reality in the religious world today.
1) There are those who worship idols in the east.
a. Hinduism
b. Buddhism
2) And there are those who call themselves Christians who worship idols as well.
3) Catholicism, for example, is heavily involved in idolatry.
4) Islam: Meteorite Worship of the black stone, the best known is the black stone of Ka'Bah at Mecca which became the central shrine object of Islam. 
5) We also have the problem of idolatry of material possessions as well.
II.  Idolatry replaces God.
1. Idolatry undermines God's authority.
1) It is a competing standard to God's word.
2) Consider the confrontation of Elijah and the priests of Baal.
a. The contest was to see who the people would follow.
b. 1 Kings 18:21 – halting between two opinions
3) Consider Joshua's challenge to the children of Israel.
a. Joshua 24:15 – choose whom you will serve.
b. They could serve Jehovah or the idols of the land, but not both.
2. Idolatry steals God's glory.
1) We have an obligation to glorify and worship God alone.
2) Revelation 19:10, 22:9 - “worship God.”
3) Romans 1:23 says that the gentiles sought to give God's glory to man made images.
4) Isaiah 42:8 is a key verse in this regard. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
3. Idolatry erodes morality.
1) Once God's standards are removed, they can only be replaced with man made standards.
2) When that is done, morality is soon undone.
3) We learn this lesson in the book of Judges.
4) In the darkest of times when morality was almost non-existent, the writer says of the people, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” ( Judges 17:6, 21:25).
5) We learn what happened to the morality of the gentiles when they embraced idolatry.
III. Idolatry takes many forms.
1. Part of the command is not to have any graven images.
1) Any object fashioned by men's hands as an object of devotion or worship.
2) Deuteronomy 4:15-19 – no manner of similtude.
3) Deuteronomy 27:15 “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.”
2. There is also idolatry of the heart.
1) Consider Ezekiel 14:3-4 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;”
2) Ephesians 5:5 “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
3. Anything that comes before God becomes our idol.
1) Matthew 6:33 gives us our priority.
2) Matthew 22:37-38 – loving God is the first commandment.
3) Jesus said that we can't serve/worship God and mammon ( Matthew 6:24).
1. Are there consequences to worshiping idols?
1) Yes, God says that those who do so, “hate Him” and that He will deal with them accordingly.
2) Idolaters will find themselves in the lake of fire and brimstone ( Revelation 21:8).
2. Let us understand there are good reasons for the 1st and 2nd commandments.
1) Idolatry is a reality.
2) Idolatry replaces God.
3) Idolatry takes many forms.
3. Invitation