15 Tishri ~ You Can Know the True Day of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Birth

We can truly know the correct day of the nativity of the God-man our Lord Jesus Christ, if Christians who hold to Sola Scriptura and who live by every Word of God will only read and trust the Scriptures as they say they always do.

Those who say they celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25 each year should go back and examine, study and search out the Scriptures that speak of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who exegete the Scriptures and know much historical accounts of the Word of God, choose to reject the historical evidence presented in God’s Word. To say God reveals every other detail of His story, but remains silent on the incarnation – the birth – of His only begotten Son is to be downright naive. The only possible reason that this might be the mindset of many Christians is that they do not wish to surrender their desire for the heathen day with all its pagan traditions. Too many people – family, friends, children and grandchildren are going to be affected by this change in their life. If there is no change, is this not going to be a compromising of the Word of God?

What we should realise is that daily Christians should be thankful for God coming to this world in the Person of His Son in order to redeem sinners to Himself. I do not think that any Christian denies the birth of our Saviour. It is just a matter of understanding when our Saviour was born into this world. In order to find out we should understand that our Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world still under the Jewish Levitical system and every detail revealed in Luke chapters 1 and 2 are of pertinent importance. Every Word is God breathed and has a real reason why God has revealed it in Scripture for our instruction and teaching and His clear revelation.

At any given time, we have at some time dealt with and made the complex calculations of the Daniel prophecy dealing with the 70th Week, without any problems it would seem, but when it comes to making the calculations surrounding the birth of our Saviour, Christians who are “Daniel experts” have found it a problem to tie up the information given to us to calculate the time of Christ’s birth, even saying we cannot be sure of His birth, but yet how can you then be sure of the complex Daniel prophecy? Is it not a choice to want to speak with authority on the Daniel prophecy, but neglect the birth of the Saviour out of a choice to be wilful ignorant holding to the “Christmas” tradition of man? Whilst some might look into dictionaries to find the meaning of “Christmas” or the “mas” portion of the word, we should in fact look to the very Word of God, examining the law and prophets, the historical events and the translations from the original Hebrew and Greek autographs, if possible. This will reveal the Truth; but we have the added benefit of Bible helps by being able to look into lexicons and concordances without being experts in the Hebrew and Greek tongues.

The Gospel of Luke is the foundation from where we can start our study leading to the calculation of when our Lord Jesus Christ was born. To start from the course of Abia (Abijah) cross referencing the Holy Scriptures to see that it was the eighth course according to 1 Chronicles 24:10 and that the Hebrew calendar was a 360-day lunar calendar that had 51 weeks (357 days) and that due to the priests appearing twice in the year according to the 24 courses of 1 Chronicles 24 plus the three festivals when all the males had to appear before the Lord in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:16, “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles,” we end up with 51 weeks = one year. We also know that the feast of unleavened bread was on the fifteenth Nisan (Leviticus 23:5-8) and the feast of weeks (Shavuot/Pentecost – Leviticus 23:15,16) appear in the early part of the year, therefore the course of Abia (Abijah) would be in effect week ten (2+8) and the feast of tabernacles (Booths – Leviticus 23:33-43) would appear in the Hebrew seventh month starting fifteenth Tishri (i.e. September/October). We learn that after an angel appears to Zacharias in the temple confirming that his wife Elizabeth would conceive and the child to be born would be named John (the Baptist) (see Luke 1:13) we are also told that John would be a forerunner to the Messiah who “shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias” (Elijah) (see Luke 1:17). We are then told that:

Luke 1:23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. Luke 1:24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Luke 1:25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. Luke 1:26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, Luke 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

So Elizabeth conceived, possibly after her monthly menstruation in accordance with Leviticus 15:19,25 which was after two weeks to comply with the purity laws which would then bring the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was then born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later then John’s birth would take place at the Passover during or just after the fifty-first week (12+39=51). Also remember that Elizabeth’s cousin Mary also conceived in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. In Luke 1:31-36 we read:

Luke 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Luke 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: Luke 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Therefore, from these calculations that there is a six month gap between the conception of John and the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ we know that six months would take us from the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) to the Hebrew month of Tishri (September/October). Therefore, if John the Baptist was born at the Passover (Nisan), the Son of Man Jesus Christ was born six months later at the feast of tabernacles (Tishri). But how do we confirm these two dates. Well we need to look at what Scripture tells us. Let God speak to confirm His mandate and revelation.

In Jewish tradition of celebrating the Passover here is an extensive quote from a book penned by writer titled The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ which reads as follows:

The Jewish tradition during the Passover feast has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at Elijah’s place at the seder table each year awaiting his arrival.

The word seder is:

Hebrew for “set order”; the ritual Passover meal that is observed in specific order. (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, page 10 under definitions)

A quote from the book titled Christ in the Passover will also set out the setting of a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times. The Mishnah [Hebrew for the collection of oral law that forms the basis of the Talmud; compiled by Judah ha-Nasi (c. AD 135 to 220) – page 9 under definitions] teaches that, according to two authorities, Rabbi Yohanon and Rabbi Benayah, these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66) (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83)

More will be discussed later in this book under the Passover section dealing with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, during the Passover traditions, a child goes and opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and as he is not outside the door, tradition has it that the Jewish Passover celebrators keep his place open awaiting the “arrival” possibly next year! This goes on year after year. Now let us read what Scripture says about John the Baptist coming in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John. And this is recorded in Matthew 17:10-13 ~

10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33]”

We also read about the account of our Lord Jesus Christ that also confirms why He was born at the feast of tabernacles. A very important Scripture that reveals the Word of God who was with God and who was God becomes flesh and “dwelt” on the earth as we read:

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Let us examine the word “dwelt” that appears in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance as Greek word 4637 skēnoō, skay-no’-o; from 4636, to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God did in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion): – dwell. The Greek word 4636  skēnos, skay’-nos; from 4633; a hut or temporary residence, i.e. (figurative) the human body (as the abode of the spirit): – tabernacle. The first word skēnoō is the only time it appears in the New Testament. It is also a fact that when “a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed” (see Luke 2:1) took place it was at the time of the feast of tabernacles. For Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem for he was of the house and lineage of David (see Luke 2:4) and the place would have had also all the house of Israel to present themselves before the Lord in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:16 and as determined beforehand that our Lord would be born in the month of Tishri, there would have been an overcrowding where no place would be found in the inn. However, in accordance with the requirements of the feast of tabernacles, all Israelites were to dwell in booths as we read in Leviticus 23:39-43:

Lev 23:39  Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. Lev 23:40  And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. Lev 23:41  And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Lev 23:42  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: Lev 23:43  That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

We therefore see that they stayed in a tabernacle – a booth for the duration of the feast as commanded by God, which then would dispel the notion of a stable, for the Holy Scriptures do not speak of a stable. The angels said the sign would be, as we read:

Luke 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

There is nothing that dispels this sign, as in booths mangers were found. We read in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance the Hebrew word 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair – booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A feminine singular noun meaning a booth, a thicket. This term is used for temporary shelters used to cover animals (Ge 33:17); warriors (2Sa 11:11); and the prophet Jonah (Jnh 4:5). It is used poetically to refer to the clouds (Job 36:29; Ps 18:11[12]). A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Le 23:42,43). The festival was known as the chag hassukkôwth (2282), the Feast of Booths (Dt 16:13,16). This was to remind the Israelites that they lived in booths when the Lord brought them up from Egypt (Le 23:43).

The feast of the tabernacle also fits with our Lord Jesus Christ being born on the first day, being fifteenth Tishri which was a Sabbath and He would have also been circumcised on the eighth day which was also a Sabbath. See also the significance that God rescued His people out of Egypt, a type of the world, and our Lord Jesus Christ was born at the festival to rescue sinners out of the world, too. Another quote from the text of The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ reads as follows:

If Jesus was born on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Leviticus 23:34), then He would have been circumcised on the “eighth great day” a festival following Sukkot. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is a festival observed immediately after Sukkot (Tabernacles), i.e., on 22nd Tishri (i.e. the seventh month), as laid down in the Pentateuch: “On the eighth day you shall observe a holy occasion … it is a solemn gathering (Atseret); you shall not work at your occupations” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret (lit. “concluding festival”) is also applied to the last day of Passover (Deut. 16:8) and, by the rabbis, to Shavu’Ot (RH 1:2; Shev. 1:1). This day was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) {n. Judaism A festival celebrating the Law of Moses and the completion of the year’s cycle and subsequent new beginning, observed on the 22nd or 23rd day of Tishri (September/October) – which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. [Hebrew śimhat tôrâ, rejoicing in the Torah, Simchat Torah: śimhâ, joy (from śāmēah, to rejoice) + tôrâ, torah.]} (www.answers.com/topics/shemini-atseret).

For a moment stop and consider this, that our Lord Jesus Christ who as a growing boy would have celebrated all the feast days as His Father God Almighty had commanded in the Torah, and most specifically whilst appearing before the Lord at the feast of tabernacles, as all the males had to appear as commanded in the law, our Lord Jesus Christ would have celebrated the holy convocation of how God had delivered His people Israel out of Egypt (bondage). He most probably also heard the account from Joseph and His mother Mary of His first nativity, that He was born at one of the feast of tabernacles and He would most probably have heard how He was laid in a manger and that the shepherds had come to see this wonderful event (see Luke 2:8-14). The people present would have also known about the birth of the Saviour in and amongst them, for the shepherds – the first evangelists – went about broadcasting the news to those present (see Luke 2:15-20). As a young child, in a house, with His mother, later He would also have experienced the wise men from the east coming to worship Him and giving Him gifts (see Matthew 2:11). Our Lord Jesus Christ would have understood that He was the Saviour who was born into this world to redeem His people just as God had redeemed His people. There would have been great celebration to God in heaven by the people, whilst right in their very midst was the Saviour, the Messiah who, too, would redeem His people, Jew and Gentile, one day in the future with His own precious blood as a sacrifice and an atonement, when our Lord Jesus Christ would fulfil another feast celebration at the feast of Passover/unleavened bread. There would have been no “Christmas trees, boughs of holly or mistletoe” in His booth or any booth for that matter. There would have been no intention to celebrate as such, for God had not commanded these particular practices, and certainly there would be no fat-man with a white beard in a red-suit named Satan Claus making his rounds from booth to booth delivering gifts to those in attendance, for the attendees were celebrating and remembering their journey in the wilderness and how God delivered and kept them and lead them into the promised land. And our Lord Jesus Christ fulfiled the feast by delivering and keeping His people and leading them into heaven. Besides, the Jews would have known what the prophet Jeremiah had spoken about “Learn not the way of the heathen” (see Jeremiah 10:2).

You see, the a foregoing Scriptures and many others, confirm the true birth day of our Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no other way, for Christ knows when He was born. Therefore, how can man, Christian or heathen, say the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ was on December 25th? Why would anyone remember and celebrate the birth of God’s Son on a day He has not commanded in Old and New Testaments. In fact, it is clear that God’s Word speaks of another day in which the anointed of God took on human form, as we read:

Galatians 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

In “the fulness of time” was at the feast of tabernacles, no other time. We are to be witnesses for Christ in this world sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are given a command how to remember our Lord Jesus Christ, by everyday, or as often as we partake in it, “this do in remembrance of me,” as we read:

Luke 22:19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

1Cor 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 1Cor 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 1Cor 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Ten Shekels and a Shirt by Paris Reidhead

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Audio at Sermonaudio.com

Psalm 33

There is no other God, but the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob who is the One and Only Living God our LORD JESUS CHRIST!

1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.

15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.

21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Burry Stander ~ Obituary

Burry StanderBURRY WILLIE STANDER, son to Charles and Mandie Stander, brother, husband to Cherise Stander (nee Taylor), friend, competitor, entrepreneur, champion MTB rider, a double South African Olympian, was born September 16,  1987 – died January 3, 2013 aged 25.

It was saddening news that greeted many the world over that Burry Stander had been tragically killed by a collision with a mini-taxi on a training ride, cut down in what many determine to be the prime of his life, in his prowess. From learning of the news of his death much has been written in way of condolences that have steadily poured in from here at home and from abroad, and there has been many memorial rides organised at various places around South Africa in memory of his passing. Whilst many convey words of sympathy to his parents and Cherise, wife of Burry, it is heart rending that parents should be burying their son, and a married life was cut so tragically short after just six months – are there any words that can be spoken to ease the pain and heartache at this time? The bereavement of the loss of this life is painful just as many others have also experienced the loss of a family member, or a close friend at some other time before!

Whilst many messages pour in through the social networks and the public media, many obituaries have been written from specific points of view, most noticeably from the point of view celebrating Burry Stander – “humble celebrity, gentleman, world champion mountain-bike legend, athlete, icon, hero” – whilst these accolades describe this South African son known affectionately as Africanmtbkid, not much has been written about the normal man – the man Burry Stander.

While people the world over give much praise and homage to this celebrated life, many do not pause to ponder what lies ahead after one dies. If Burry could now speak from eternity, for death is not the end of a soul, what would he tell you? If he could speak to you, dear reader – the words would most probably be: “Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” While many people live life fast, hard and large, they fail to examine themselves and see where they are ultimately headed. The question that should be posted to you, dear reader, is: “Are YOU Ready?” (Gospel tract). People tend to downplay what awaits them after death. Many truly believe that they will “go to a better place”, “go to heaven”, and many will even say in sympathy statements: “My prayers are with the family” and “God bless!” But what do these sentiments really mean? Do all believe in a Creator God? Do all believe in salvation through Jesus Christ alone? Are all living truly Christ-centred lives? Or, are people just trying to soften the impact of death – as they do not really want to offend people by speaking the Truth. Is it that they don’t want to deal with the real issues of the after-life, eternity? Jesus said what is in the abundance of the heart is what a man really is.

I do pray and hope that the pastors conducting the church service on Thursday January 10, 2013 will be faithful to Almighty God, YHVH, and proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (not the ear-tickling gospel of today in the Ecumenical system), and will not withhold the real TRUTH of what awaits a person once they die. There is bound to be many in attendance, some professing believers who need to be reminded of the surrendered life we are to live for our Lord Jesus Christ and many others who are unbelievers who need an urgent wake-up call to the frailty of life. Funerals are not for the deceased. The deceased’s soul has already departed and moved into eternity and the corpse is an empty shell that is lying there lifeless. Funerals are there for the family and friends that are left behind, who have been tardy or who have neglected to make preparation for the day when they too will die and meet their Creator. For God tells us in His Holy Word, the Bible, in Hebrews 9:27 ~

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

If God says there is a judgment after death, are you prepared to meet the Creator of all the universe at that judgment?

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (see Genesis 18:25)

We are also reminded ~

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

So: Are you ready? Are you prepared? And are you making preparation? Scripture warns that we are to prepare to meet our God (see Amos 4:12). Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God(see John 3:3). If any person dies outside the covering of our Lord Jesus Christ they will not enter heaven. So then what happens to them?  So what do you think will happen to YOU when you die and stand naked before your Creator? Do you think God would find you innocent or guilty before His Judgment Seat? God tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith and whether we will pass the test, which is the judgment. You can examine yourself to see your condition before God Almighty by looking into the ‘mirror’ of God’s Holy and Moral Law, which are the Ten Commandments (the full version can be read at Exodus 20:1-17):

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (v3)
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [idols](vv4-6)
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [blasphemy](v7)
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (vv8-11)
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother (v12)
  6. Thou shalt not kill (v13)
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery (v14)
  8. Thou shalt not steal (v15)
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour [lie](v16)
  10. Thou shalt not covet (v17)

Now that you know God’s standard of holiness and perfection, “we know that the law is good, if a man  use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient” (see 1 Timothy 1:8-11) and we are reminded in Romans 3:23 that:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

So let us take a quick test to see your true condition. If you should die today, what will be your condition before God on Judgment Day? Listen to your conscience and answer honestly. The ninth commandment says you shall not tell lies (bear false witness) (Exodus 20:16). How many lies have you told in your lifetime? Fibs, half-truths, white lies – they are all lies. A lie is deception and someone always gets hurt by lying. Jesus tells us that if a person speaks lies he speaks the language of the devil, Satan, “for he is a liar, and the father of it” (see John 8:44). The eighth commandment says you shall not steal (Exodus 20:15). Irrespective of the size or value of the object, have you ever stolen something – taken it without someone’s permission. This also includes piracy which is buying, downloading or copying CDs and DVDs that belong to other people without their permission.

Then there is the seventh commandment that says you shall not commit adultery. Have you cheated on your spouse? But listen, you do not have to be married to commit adultery. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Have you looked with lust? Roving eyes, lustful intent, leering at pornography; have you broken this command? This command would also include fornication (sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage) either heterosexual (mf) or homosexual (mm / ff) sex. Are you ‘living together’ out of wedlock as partners?

What about murder? Have you broken the sixth commandment? Have you murdered anyone? You do not have to pick up a gun, or knife or rope to kill someone to commit murder. If you hate someone you have committed murder in the heart:

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Gossip is also considered murder of the heart by God’s standard.

The second commandment deals with idols and idolatry. Do you worship and bow down to things made of wood, stone, plastic, gold, silver and any other material? God has warned that no person is to fashion or make any idols or “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:” (Exodus 20:4). God also warns that those who worship and make these idols are just like them – DEAD! It also includes people who make a god to suite themselves in their own image, a god they are more comfortable with, someone who won’t punish sin. Idols can also be placing your love, devotion and worship in things of this world – money, material possessions, sports and their athletes, celebrities in the film and music industry, family members, sex and pornography, alcohol and drugs, your work, studies and all other manner of activities, even your religious practices including your idolised favourite pastor / teacher – these are all idolatries. Vanities of vanities.

God tells us in James 4:4 that any friend of the world is an enemy of God and according to His Word no enemy will R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) for any person that does not have the Son does not have life, but has the wrath of God abiding on him (see John 3:36).

Now consider that we have only looked at five of the Ten Commandments – and if God judged you by this Holy standard and sees you as a lying thief, adulterer, murderer and idolater, do you think you will be innocent? Or guilty? You see the law is a schoolmaster, a teacher that teaches us that we have transgressed God’s Holy Commandments; it shows that we are in need of a Saviour – Someone to save us from the wrath of God. Scripture tells us:

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

God’s Word tells us that transgressors of His law will be guilty and that:

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Therefore you would be guilty and God warns that all guilty persons are condemned (see John 3:18) and will end up in Hell for all eternity. This is what Hell is described as in the Holy Words of God:

  • A devouring fire and everlasting burnings – Isaiah 33:14
  • A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth – Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30; Luke 13:28
  • Where the fire is never quenched – Mark 9:44, 46, 48
  • Where they can never repent – Matthew 12:32; Mark 3:29
  • Where they don’t want their loved ones to come – Luke 16:28
  • A bottomless pit – Revelation 9:1, 2, 11, 11:7, 17:8, 20:1, 3
  • Where they scream for mercy – Luke 16:24
  • A place of sorrows – Psalm 18:5
  • A place of outer darkness – Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
  • A place of torments – Luke 16:23
  • And many, many more verses …

On that Great Day at the Great White Throne Judgment, this is the Revelation of Jesus Christ of Judgment Day:

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

If you should stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ know this that transgressors will end up in God’s prison – Hell for all eternity. On that Day there will be no Court of Appeal against your sentence, there will be no Constitutional Court to appeal to for a lesser sentence or an acquittal. There also will be no extenuating circumstantial pleas heard on your behalf. No, my friend, the judgment will be final and binding. Your only hope is – will you have the Lord Jesus Christ as your advocate (see 1 John 2:1) on that Day. If God is not your Father on Judgment Day, then He will certainly be your Judge. And Scripture warns that:

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Matthews 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The bad news is that Hell awaits all unrepentant evil and wicked sinners who have not repented towards God. But, O yea, there is Good News. And this is what a Good and Loving God did for you about two thousand years ago. God the Father took on human form – and became flesh (John 1:14) to take upon Himself the sins of the whole world so that redemption can be granted to His people. God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (see 2 Peter 3:9). Scripture tells us of God’s great love for us:

John 3:16 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.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Christ – God in human form – became the sin offering – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – for you when He went to the cross to die in your place taking the wrath of the Father upon Himself:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

If God is speaking to you, do not harden your heart in the day of His visitation.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jesus Christ took your punishment upon Himself so that He can legally commute your death sentence upon the Day of Judgment if you would believe upon His Name and be clothed in His Righteousness.

Scripture tells us that when Jesus died He was laid in a tomb (grave) and on the third day raised to life. Jesus has overcome this world, death and sin for all those who would believe in Him.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Know this, that:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for His mercy and grace for there is no other that can save you:

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

And Jesus said you must be born again, born of the Spirit of God, not of man or his will:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

So this day, your repentance must be toward God and your faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:21) and let God work repentance in you and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour by faith:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Come to Jesus:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Find a quiet place and go before the Lord God Almighty and do business with Him today, for you are not guaranteed of tomorrow. Then get yourself a KJ Bible, read and obey what is written in it. Live it out. Get into a Bible believing assembly of believers and follow Jesus. For God commands Perfection, Holiness and Obedience. What is the cost of being a disciple of Christ?

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

You never know when your time will be up and you will die. Are YOU Ready?

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Amen.

__________________

Related items

Obituary written by an evangelist who has attended at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships held in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal to reach competitors and spectators alike with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Possibly, you too, have received a Gospel Tract. Consider this – Are YOU Ready?

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

The Face of Evil and Wicked South Africa

This is the sad face of evil and wicked South Africa. When a nation is sold out to the devil and serves no longer the Creator God exclusively, this is what you get – interfaith debauchery. On 28th November 2012 the President of South Africa met with the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA) which has been dissolved and is now known as the National Religious Leaders’ Council (NRLC). Here are two news articles for the NRLC meeting [(1) and (2)] that took place. They want to resolve “poverty and general social upliftment” together with other issues through an ecumenical system by bringing all faiths together – it will never work! God will not be mocked by having His Son Jesus Christ riduculed with such blasphemy! This is the type of debauchery that we are talking about. Look at some of the other websites here in South Africa that make a mockery of the One True Creator:

I wonder if the “reverend” Ray McCauley seazed the opportunity at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and actually preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbelievers who were present at that meeting – or is that possibly asking too much? This is what our Lord Jesus Christ said:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

It is an abomination in the sight of a Holy God that man can blaspheme the One True God who revealed Himself as the Lord Jesus Christ who is LORD of all:

Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Here are the other blogposts (and a few historical posts) that have called on our President and peoples of South Africa to Repent and Believe the one and only Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ – the ONLY WAY God our Creator has given us:

Scripture warns us:

Proverb 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

And South Africa can learn from the Ugandan President who Publicly Repented! He did not just say he is sorry to the people – his prayer was directed to GOD!

“Christian bias on calendar” – The Witness

On Monday June 11, 2012 an article appeared in our local newspaper The Witness under the heading “PUBLIC INQUIRY LAUNCHED: Complaints over Christian bias on calendar – New look at public holidays” (by Philda Essop).

In the report the following statements appeared, quote:

“In a press statement issued last week the commission said a number of complaints and requests “have been received about the fact that public holidays recognise only Christianity and discriminate unfairly against the holidays of other faiths.”

“Afrikaans Handelsinstituut CEO Christo Van der Rheede said on inquiry yesterday that South Africa has too many holidays.

“”Holidays have a negative impact on productivity and economic growth. If we carry on like this, we run the risk of no longer being regarded as a productive country.” …

“I know that companies make internal arrangements with their staff during Jewish and Muslim festivals. Two Christian holidays, Good Friday and Christmas, are important, but some of the Christian holidays can be abolished,” said Van der Rheede, who was speaking in a personal capacity.”

There are three issues that need to be addressed and the record must be set straight. The press is a powerful media, that needs to be fair and should give honest reports, even exposing all corruption, fraud and lies, so we do need the freedom to report and know what is going on locally and internationally, but the press can also be misleading, corrupt and keep people uninformed and in bondage in their sin.

Firstly, whilst the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, No. 108 of 1996 respects and grants freedom of religion, and the choice of affiliation to all religions or none at all, God does not share the same view of man by respecting and granting a freedom to worship Him as they please through various religious practices. Jehovah, God Almighty has revealed Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Israel) (see Exodus 4:5) and He gives commandment in His First (v.3) and Second (vv.4-6) Commandments to His created beings that:

3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou 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: 5Thou 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; 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6

Although what might be interpreted as a bias toward Christian public holidays, there is no problem with this in that the God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, the God who reveals Himself in Isaiah 33:22 –

22For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

He is the same God that is the Saviour of the world “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8) and He is the God who His disciples followed, “… And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Therefore, there is no discrimination against other faiths. In man’s wicked and evil understanding and his idolatry against the one true God of Creation Jesus Christ, who has always been from eternity past to eternity future:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. ~ John 1:1-5

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. ~ 1 John 5:7

8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. ~ Revelation 1:8, Jesus Christ

12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. ~ Revelation 22:12, 13, Jesus Christ

The problem here is not whether there is a bias of Christian public holidays against other faiths, but rather other religious faiths have turned from their Creator God and have blasphemed Him by worshipping false gods. The God who created you is Lord of you, whether you believe it or not!

Secondly, Mr Van der Rheede does not show wisdom at all with his statements, “Holidays have a negative impact on productivity and economic growth. If we carry on like this, we run the risk of no longer being regarded as a productive country.” The reason why this country is not blessed is that the crime and corruption by politicians and society is a result of following their wicked hearts and turning from their Creator, God Almighty. Holidays do not impact negatively on productivity and economic growth. Days do not control the markets, men do! If days control productivity then we have a real problem on our hands for we have too many weekend days – Saturdays and Sundays (104 per annum)! This is folly and shows the devoid of understanding of learned men. True wisdom comes from:

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. ~ Psalm 111:10

The problems that South Africa experiences with the lack of productivity, a ridiculously poor currency, inflated prices of petrol and groceries is as a direct result of mismanagement in government and ineffectual parties appointed to key positions that require an honest work ethic, no wonder international companies do not want to invest in a country where there is nepotism, fraud, corruption, stealing, lying and embezzlement of state and public funds, and in an environment where workers are given carte blanche to strike at any opportunity where greed for money dictates. The ‘downing-of-tools’ and striking bring cash flow and productivity problems. No-one works as unto the Lord as the Bible dictates:

3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. ~ Proverbs 16:3

And we are warned in Scripture that:

17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. ~ Psalm 9:17

11God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11

26He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. 27He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. ~ Proverbs 28:26, 27

2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2

South Africa truly is mourning because the wicked beareth rule. Put religious public holidays aside for a moment and let us address “public holidays” that keep heroes of the past, dead and alive, continually being worshipped and glorified. This is idolatry and God says all idolaters will end up in Hell. Citizens of South Africa are continually being brainwashed into remembering the past which keeps them under bondage under a so-called democracy. As long as people are remembering the past, like June 16, 1976 – where were you on that day? – and having past events dramatized every year and every other occasion using the apartheid-card, there will be no healing and true forgiveness. Our Lord Jesus Christ says:

14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~ Matthew 6:14, 15

This is not a democracy; this is socialism / communism disguised as democracy! Citizens are not free; they are slaves to another man-made system. And they also are slaves to their sin. This country needs a Theocracy. God tells us that if we want to be free then we need to be obedient to His Word:

31b… If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:31b, 32

36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:36

Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). What God is saying is that there is no other way, no other truth, and no other life besides Him, as it is written:

19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. ~ Deuteronomy 8:19, 20

Man is not in control of anything. God controls all things and even destroys nations that turn from Him. South Africa, you are warned. God will be glorified in your destruction. Just because a religion calls on “God”, it does not mean it is the True God of Creation. And that goes for professing Christians, too! Joining with other faiths or following schism doctrines in denominations and cults does not make you true believers in your worship of God Almighty.

Thirdly, dealing with the “two Christian holidays, Good Friday and Christmas,” do you not know that these days are man-made and pagan in origin? Have you never read the Holy Word of God, the Bible, properly and received revelation from the Holy Spirit, God Almighty? This world is duped into believing ‘a lot of stuff’, but sadly God’s people are perishing for lack of knowledge. True believers, born-again (John 3:3) children of God are commanded to worship God in spirit and truth:

24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24

Our Christian faith does not rest on whether a public day is given during a year or not. We do not need a day to be set aside by man to worship God. But then again, even if a “Christian day” had to be taken away, how many other faiths who do not worship our Lord Jesus Christ enjoys the benefit of taking the holidays set aside for the Christians? Should they not remain at work during those times? It shows the hypocrisy of those faiths! Maybe you need to read the Bible first and only then, I would suggest reading:

The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

It is also not understood which “some of the Christian holidays can be abolished” is referred to by Mr Van der Rheede. Here are the South African “public holidays” which total twelve days (as it appears in 2012):

 1 January  New Year’s Day
 21 March  Human Rights Day
 6 April  Good Friday
 9 April  Family Day
 27 April  Freedom Day
 1 May  Workers’ Day
 16 June  Youth Day
 9 August  National Women’s Day
 24 September  Heritage Day
 16 December  Day of the Vow / Day of Reconciliation
 25 December  Christmas Day
 26 December  Day of Goodwill

A break down of category of days shows the following revealing statistics:

 Public Holidays (12 days)

12/365

3.29%

 Government Instituted (10 days)

10/365

2.74%

 “Christian” Holidays (3 days)

3/365

0.82%

 Includes Day of the Vow, Dec. 16
 Weekends (104 days)

104/365

28.49%

 Striking days (average of 20 days p.a.)

20/365

5.48%

 This is a conservative estimate

One can see where the problems lay from a man’s perspective. From God’s perspective, the biggest problem idolaters have is that on the Day of Judgment when God will hold His Court, all unrepentant sinners will receive a just reward, equitable for their sins against their Creator God and be sent to Hell for all eternity. If guilty, you will receive a payment for the wages of sin is death. The only way that you can escape God’s anger and burning wrath against you is to flee to the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Righteous. South Africa, and any other national reading this, you are called to Repentance – Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). That is your only hope!

20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. ~ Isaiah 45:20-24

Glorify thyself O Heavenly Father,

SOLI DEO GLORIA

________________________

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Idolatries – An Evil Abomination – Part 3

This is the third part that deals with the remaining idols and idolatries.

Idol

(1.) Heb. aven, “nothingness;” “vanity” (Isaiah 66:3; Isaiah 41:29; Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Psalm 31:6; Jeremiah 8:19, etc.).

(2.) ‘Elil, “a thing of naught” (Psalm 97:7; Isaiah 19:3); a word of contempt, used of the gods of Noph (Ezekiel 30:13).

(3.) ‘Emah, “terror,” in allusion to the hideous form of idols (Jeremiah 50:38).

(4.) Miphletzeth, “a fright;” “horror” (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16).

(5.) Bosheth, “shame;” “shameful thing” (Jeremiah 11:13; Hosea 9:10); as characterizing the obscenity of the worship of Baal.

(6.) Gillulim, also a word of contempt, “dung;” “refuse” (Ezekiel 16:36; Ezekiel 20:8; Deuteronomy 29:17, marg.).

(7.) Shikkuts, “filth;” “impurity” (Ezekiel 37:23; Nahum 3:6).

(8.) Semel, “likeness;” “a carved image” (Deuteronomy 4:16).

(9.) Tselem, “a shadow” (Daniel 3:1; 1 Samuel 6:5), as distinguished from the “likeness,” or the exact counterpart.

(10.) Temunah, “similitude” (Deuteronomy 4:12-19). Here Moses forbids the several forms of Gentile idolatry.

(11.) ‘Atsab, “a figure;” from the root “to fashion,” “to labour;” denoting that idols are the result of man’s labour (Isaiah 48:5; Psalm 139:24, “wicked way;” literally, as some translate, “way of an idol”).

(12.) Tsir, “a form;” “shape” (Isaiah 45:16).

(13.) Matztzebah, a “statue” set up (Jeremiah 43:13); a memorial stone like that erected by Jacob (Genesis 28:18; Genesis 31:45; Genesis 35:14, 20), by Joshua (Joshua 4:9), and by Samuel (1 Samuel 7:12). It is the name given to the statues of Baal (2 Kings 3:2; 2 Kings 10:27).

(14.) Hammanim, “sun-images.” Hamman is a synonym of Baal, the sun-god of the Phoenicians (2 Chronicles 34:4, 7; 2 Chronicles 14:3, 5; Isaiah 17:8).

(15.) Maskith, “device” (Leviticus 26:1; Numbers 33:52). In Leviticus 26:1, the words “image of stone” (A.V.) denote “a stone or cippus with the image of an idol, as Baal, Astarte, etc.” In Ezekiel 8:12, “chambers of imagery” (maskith), are “chambers of which the walls are painted with the figures of idols;” compare Ezekiel 8:10, 11.

(16.) Pesel, “a graven” or “carved image” (Isaiah 44:10-20). It denotes also a figure cast in metal (Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 27:15; Isaiah 40:19; Isaiah 44:10).

(17.) Massekah, “a molten image” (Deuteronomy 9:12; Judges 17:3, 4).

(18.) Teraphim, pl., “images,” family gods (penates) worshipped by Abram’s kindred (Joshua 24:14). Put by Michal in David’s bed (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14, 17, 18, 20; 1 Samuel 19:13).

“Nothing can be more instructive and significant than this multiplicity and variety of words designating the instruments and inventions of idolatry.”

Idolatry

Image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25 : men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (Romans 1:28).

The forms of idolatry are,

(1.) Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.

(2.) Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature.

(3.) Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes.

In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of Rachel stealing her father’s teraphim (Genesis 31:19), which were the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban’s progenitors “on the other side of the river in old time” (Joshua 24:2). During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it (Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 20:7). Many a token of God’s displeasure fell upon them because of this sin.

The idolatry learned in Egypt was probably rooted out from among the people during the forty years’ wanderings; but when the Jews entered Palestine, they came into contact with the monuments and associations of the idolatry of the old Canaanitish races, and showed a constant tendency to depart from the living God and follow the idolatrous practices of those heathen nations. It was their great national sin, which was only effectually rebuked by the Babylonian exile. That exile finally purified the Jews of all idolatrous tendencies.

The first and second commandments are directed against idolatry of every form. Individuals and communities were equally amenable to the rigorous code. The individual offender was devoted to destruction (Exodus 22:20). His nearest relatives were not only bound to denounce him and deliver him up to punishment (Deuteronomy 13:2-10), but their hands were to strike the first blow when, on the evidence of two witnesses at least, he was stoned (Deuteronomy 17:2-7). To attempt to seduce others to false worship was a crime of equal enormity (Deuteronomy 13:6-10). An idolatrous nation shared the same fate. No facts are more strongly declared in the Old Testament than that the extermination of the Canaanites was the punishment of their idolatry (Exodus 34:15, 16; Deuteronomy 7; Deuteronomy 12:29-31; Deuteronomy 20:17), and that the calamities of the Israelites were due to the same cause (Jeremiah 2:17). “A city guilty of idolatry was looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death.” Jehovah was the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state offense (1 Samuel 15:23), high treason. On taking possession of the land, the Jews were commanded to destroy all traces of every kind of the existing idolatry of the Canaanites (Exodus 23:24, 32; Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 7:5, 25; Deuteronomy 12:1-3).

In the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate covetousness (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13; Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5).

Jupiter

The principal deity of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He was worshipped by them under various epithets. Barnabas was identified with this god by the Lycaonians (Acts 14:12), because he was of stately and commanding presence, as they supposed Jupiter to be. There was a temple dedicated to this god outside the gates of Lystra (Acts 14:13).

Mercurius

The Hermes (i.e., “the speaker”) of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a heathen god represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the “chief speaker.”

Moloch

King, the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In Amos 5:26, “your Moloch” of the Authorized Version is “your king” in the Revised Version (Compare Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7) erected a high place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and from that time till the days of Josiah his worship continued (2 Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of Jehoahaz it was partially restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared. He is also called Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5, 33, etc.), and Malcham (Zephaniah 1:5). This god became Chemosh among the Moabites.

Necromancer

(Deuteronomy 15:11), i.e., “one who interrogates the dead,” as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (Compare 1 Samuel 28:7).

Queen of Heaven

(Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17, 25), the moon, worshipped by the Assyrians as the receptive power in nature.

Satan

Adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word so rendered has the article “the adversary” (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7). In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.

He is also called “the dragon,” “the old serpent” (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2); “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; John 14:30); “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2); “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4); “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). The distinct personality of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He is “Beelzebub, the prince of the devils” (Matthew 12:24). He is “the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom, of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every possible way.” His power is very great in the world. He is a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Men are said to be “taken captive by him” (2 Timothy 2:26). Christians are warned against his “devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11), and called on to “resist” him (James 4:7).

Christ redeems his people from “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Satan has the “power of death,” not as lord, but simply as executioner.

Shrines, Silver

Little models and medallions of the temple and image of Diana of Ephesus (Acts 19:24). The manufacture of these was a very large and profitable business.

Sorcerer

From the Latin sortiarius, one who casts lots, or one who tells the lot of others.

In Daniel 2:2 it is the rendering of the Hebrew mekhashphim, i.e., mutterers, men who professed to have power with evil spirits. The practice of sorcery exposed to severest punishment (Malachi 3:5; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15).

Stargazers

(Isaiah 47:13), those who pretend to tell what will occur by looking upon the stars. The Chaldean astrologers “divined by the rising and setting, the motions, aspects, colour, degree of light, etc., of the stars.”

Stoics

A sect of Greek philosophers at Athens, so called from the Greek word stoa i.e., a “porch” or “portico,” where they have been called “the Pharisees of Greek paganism.” The founder of the Stoics was Zeno, who flourished about 300 B.C. He taught his disciples that a man’s happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. They were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. Materialism, pantheism, fatalism, and pride were the leading features of this philosophy.

Tammuz

A corruption of Dumuzi, the Accadian sun-god (the Adonis of the Greeks), the husband of the goddess Ishtar. In the Chaldean calendar there was a month set apart in honour of this god, the month of June to July, the beginning of the summer solstice. At this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat “weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14).

The name, also borrowed from Chaldea, of one of the months of the Hebrew calendar.

Tartak

Prince of darkness, one of the gods of the Arvites, who colonized part of Samaria after the deportation of Israel by Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:31).

Teraphim

Givers of prosperity, idols in human shape, large or small, analogous to the images of ancestors which were revered by the Romans. In order to deceive the guards sent by Saul to seize David, Michal his wife prepared one of the household teraphim, putting on it the goat’s, hair cap worn by sleepers and invalids, and laid it in a bed, covering it with a mantle. She pointed it out to the soldiers, and alleged that David was confined to his bed by a sudden illness (1 Samuel 19:13-16). Thus she gained time for David’s escape. It seems strange to read of teraphim, images of ancestors, preserved for superstitious purposes, being in the house of David. Probably they had been stealthily brought by Michal from her father’s house. “Perhaps,” says Bishop Wordsworth, “Saul, forsaken by God and possessed by the evil spirit, had resorted to witchcraft); and God overruled evil for good, and made his very teraphim (by the hand of his own daughter) to be an instrument for David’s escape.” –  Deane’s David, p. 32. Josiah attempted to suppress this form of idolatry (2 Kings 23:24). The ephod and teraphim are mentioned together in Hosea 3:4. It has been supposed by some (Cheyne’s Hosea) that the “ephod” here mentioned, and also in Judges 8:24-27, was not the part of the sacerdotal dress so called (Exodus 28:6-14), but an image of Jehovah overlaid with gold or silver (compare Judges 17:1-13, 18; 1 Samuel 21:9; 1 Samuel 23:6, 9; 1 Samuel 30:7, 8), and is thus associated with the teraphim.

Witch

Occurs only in Exodus 22:18, as the rendering of mekhashshepheh, the feminine form of the word, meaning “enchantress” (R.V., “sorceress”), and in Deuteronomy 18:10, as the rendering of mekhashshepheth, the masculine form of the word, meaning “enchanter.”

Witchcraft

(1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Galatians 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture. The “witch of En-dor” (1 Samuel 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with “a spirit of divination” (Acts 16:16) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, “having a spirit, a pithon.” The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.

Wizard

A pretender to supernatural knowledge and power, “a knowing one,” as the original Hebrew word signifies.

Such an one was forbidden on pain of death to practice his deceptions (Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6, 27; 1 Samuel 28:3; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 19:3).

Worshipper

(Gr. neocoros = temple sweeper [Acts 19:35] of the great goddess Diana). This name neocoros appears on most of the extant Ephesian coins.

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Source Information: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

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