South Africans Deceived

In accordance with the latest statistics on religious denominations in South Africa, one must go as far back as the Census 2001 to find out what you are looking for. The Census 2011 questionnaire did not even include any questions about religion due to what is perceived as low priority [a]. A 2012 poll indicated that the number of South Africans who considered themselves religious decreased from 83% of the population in 2005 to 64% of the population in 2012 [b]. It is estimated that in the world there are approximately 41 000 “Christian denominations” alone. This blog posting will show that this nation is NOT Christian as the vast majority of the South African population would like to think and believe they are. There is only a remnant of truly born-again disciples of the one and only True and Living GOD Yeshua Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, in South Africa.

Census 2001

Hereunder are the statistics of the vast denominations and religions within the South African demographics. It makes for some interesting reading of how the people groups classify themselves within the religious framework in South Africa.

Denomination

Adherents

Dutch Reformed churches

3,005,697

Zion Christian churches

4,971,931

Catholic churches

3,181,332

Methodist churches

3,035,719

Pentecostal/Charismatic churches

3,695,211

Anglican churches

1,722,076

Apostolic Faith Mission

246,193

Lutheran churches

1,130,983

Presbyterian churches

832,497

Bandla Lama Nazaretha

248,825

Baptist churches

691,235

Congregational churches

508,826

Orthodox churches

42,253

Other Apostolic churches

5,627,320

Other Zionist churches

1,887,147

Ethiopian type churches

1,150,102

Other Reformed churches

226,499

Other African independent churches

656,644

Other Christian churches

2,890,151

African Traditional Religion

125,898

Judaism

75,549

Hinduism

551,668

Islam

654,064

Other beliefs

283,815

No religion

6,767,165

Undetermined

610,974

Religion

Adherents

2001

%

Adherents

2007

%

Christianity

35,750,641

79.77

29,684,861

73.52

Non-religious

6,767,165

15.10

3,262,428

8.08

Other

283,815

0.63

Buddhism/Chinese folk

12,113

0.03

Islam

654,064

1.46

985,460

1.45

Undetermined

610,974

1.36

Hinduism

551,668

1.23

504,707

1.25

African Traditional Religion

125,898

0.28

6,056,487

15.00

Judaism

75,549

0.17

68,640

0.17

Kindly bear in mind that from the aforementioned statistics which appear at Wikipedia the grouping of all “denominations” that include the Roman Catholics, Zionist churches, Orthodox churches and other churches (that include the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and other cultic churches) are misrepresented as being ALL Christianity! They ALL certainly are NOT Christians holding to the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ as contained in the Holy Bible’s Old and New Testaments which also exclude the Apocryphal books of the Roman Catholic church. This shows the deception that South Africans believe when they “agree that all who name the name of Christ are Christian”. This is not so! [*]

Overall, there has been a general decline in the religiosity of South Africans and it shows that even in the latest Census 2011 no questions were asked about religion. The South African Constitution still has in its preamble “God bless South Africa”, but since the democratically elected South African government of 1994, the ANC government has NOT governed this nation in accordance with Romans 13. We are told that the ‘rulers,’ which is the government, are not there to be “policing” good works, but to those that do evil. The Scriptures read as follows:

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

From what will follow, we will see that the ruling government has not ministered for God and eradicated evil from our society. In fact they are not the solution to godly rule, but has become the problem in not executing proper justice and by their promulgating ungodly legislation that pampers to the depravity of evil and wicked men. The latter part of the following Proverb is a true reflection of life in South Africa:

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

The tyranny of the Marxist socialist government is using the term “democracy” as a front in an otherwise communist state. The laws are ungodly and corruption, fraud, and lawlessness is the order of the day, so how can the government rule with justice? South Africa has the highest rates of murder and rape in the world. According to a factsheet compiled by Africa Check for the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013, quote: “the violent crimes that cause the most fear and trauma amongst the public has increased. For the first time in six years there is an increase in both the number and rate of murders and attempted murders. Murder is an important indicator both because it is the most accurate of all crime categories and because it is internationally seen to be an indicator of a country’s stability. There was also a small increase in the number of sexual offences recorded by the police.

“The facts about the increases in inter-personal violence are as follows:

  • Incidents of murder increased from 15 609 murders in 2011/12 to 16 259 murders in 2012/13.
  • This means that there was an increase of 650 murder cases or a 4,2% increase when comparing the total numbers of murders with the previous year.
  • This works out to almost two additional murders per day on average during the 2012/13 financial year.
  • Consequently our murder rate increased from a total average of 43 murders per day to 45 murders per day.
  • Using the correct census data for 2011, the murder rate in 2011/12 was 30,3 per 100 000 population and not 30,9 as reported by SAPS in the last reporting period.
  • The murder rate for 2012/13 stood at 31,3 per 100 000 population which reflects an increase of 2,8% in the rate of murders (not 0,6% as presented officially).
  • South Africa’s murder rate is therefore about four and a half times higher than the global average of 6,9 murders per 100 000. [writer’s emphasis]
  • Attempted murder cases increased from 14 859 to 16 363, an increase of 10,1%.
  • Attempted murder rates increased by 8,7% in the past year.
  • Sexual offence cases increased from 64 514 to 66 387, an increase of 2,9%.
  • Sexual offence rates increased from 125,1 per 100 000 to 127,0 per 100 000 population, an increase of 1,5%.

The crimes above are not easy to reduce through policing alone. This is because most (around 60% to 70%) of murders, attempted murders and rapes, occur between people who know each other and occur as a result of a mix of particular social and economic factors. These crimes are often referred to by the police as inter-personal violent crimes. Only between 15% and 20% of murders and attempted murders are the result of aggravated robbery while inter-group conflicts and vigilantism make up the rest. …”, unquote. The remaining crime statistical data can be read at this link: FACTSHEET South Africa: Official crime statistics for 2012/13. [c]

The South African nation shows the depravity of man in this evil and wicked society. And whilst this nation is ecumenical in faith and belief systems worshipping all manner of gods, the blood of the murdered cries out from the soaked earth for revenge, and as a Christian I am comforted knowing that Almighty God will execute perfect justice come the Day of Judgment. Whilst the majority of the population are GOD-hating atheists, agnostics, environmentalists (a.k.a. evolutionists), custom and tradition ancestral worshippers, cultists, and false “christians” – those that are secular humanists, new agers and lukewarm compromising believers involved in a false-gospel, prosperity-teaching, easy-believism religion; the real believers at times seem to be asleep in the pews while this generation spirals out of control walking on the broad way to Hell (see Matthew 7:13,14). Christian soldier, forget about all the dainties of this life and the various church programs that make you feel good – Stop it and report for duty!! If necessary, Repent and seek God’s forgiveness.

Statistical data gives a reflection of what is taking place in any society. Given that in 2007 73,52% of the population were following the “Christianity” faith, it would therefore be expected that at least two-thirds of the population would vote for a Christian party in the 2014 General Elections that took place in South Africa on May 7, 2014. Well, let the truth be known – as with all denominations, there is no unity; and besides, the voters’ true hearts were revealed – they would rather vote for an ungodly communist government dictated by their Marxist ideology, a totalitarianism government that enforces their ungodly agendas that violate every command of YHVH (Yehovah God), as those professing christians agree in principal and by their conscience they have exercised their free speech that they accept the practices of abortions, homosexuality, same-sex marriages, co-habiting partner relationships (fornication), idolatry, alcohol and substance abuse, pornography, prostitution, human-trafficking, the destroying of Biblical family-life, the decline in education and moral values, as well as witchcraft! [d]. In fact as a Christian we are commanded by our Master and King Jesus Christ from His Word,

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

In fact, the government and majority of the population hold to the other extreme and call evil good and good evil, but hear the rebuke to such wickedness through the prophet Isaiah:

Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isa 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Isa 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
Isa 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Isa 5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

From a Christian worldview perspective, the political results below show a sinful outcome that is certainly not God honouring. As a follower of The Way – a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, my conscience would not allow me to vote for any political party due to their many corruptions that are the work of darkness and the Devil! Even the two “Christian” parties have difficulty in finding unity! They might be Christian-based and Bible-believing, but I would truly love to see them preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ from the political platform from which they have an opportunity to do so. Sadly, most of the opportunities are lost. As Christians we are called to “earnestly contend for the faith” as we read:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Results of the 2014 General Elections

Party

Votes

%

+/−

Seats

+/−

African National Congress

11,436,921

62.15

-3.75

249

-15

Democratic Alliance

4,091,584

22.23

+4.65

89

+18

Economic Freedom Fighters

1,169,259

6.35

New

25

New

Inkatha Freedom Party

441,854

2.40

-2.15

10

-8

National Freedom Party

288,742

1.57

New

6

New

United Democratic Movement

184,636

1.00

+0.16

4

0

Freedom Front Plus

165,715

0.90

+0.07

4

0

Congress of the People

123,235

0.67

-6.75

3

-27

African Christian Democratic Party

104,039

0.57

-0.24

3

0

African Independent Congress

97,642

0.53

New

3

New

Agang SA

52,350

0.28

New

2

New

Pan Africanist Congress

37,784

0.21

-0.07

1

0

African People’s Convention

30,676

0.17

-0.04

1

0

Al Jama-ah

25,976

0.14

-0.01

0

0

Minority Front

22,589

0.12

-0.12

0

-1

United Christian Democratic Party

21,744

0.12

-0.26

0

-2

Azanian People’s Organisation

20,421

0.11

-0.11

0

-1

Bushbuckridge Residents Association

15,271

0.08

New

0

New

Independent Civic Organisation

14,472

0.08

New

0

New

Patriotic Alliance

13,263

0.07

New

0

New

Workers and Socialist Party

8,331

0.05

New

0

New

Ubuntu Party

8,234

0.04

New

0

New

Kingdom Governance Movement

6,408

0.03

New

0

New

Front National

5,138

0.03

New

0

New

Keep It Straight and Simple

4,294

0.02

-0.01

0

0

Pan Africanist Movement

3,815

0.02

-0.01

0

0

First Nation Liberation Alliance

3,297

0.02

New

0

New

United Congress

3,136

0.02

New

0

New

Peoples Alliance

1,671

0.01

New

0

New

Total

18,402,497

100.00

400

Valid votes

18,402,497

98.65

Spoilt votes

251,960

1.35

Total votes cast

18,654,457

100.00

Registered voters/turnout

25,381,293

73.50

Source: IEC

Combined, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) (0.57%) and the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) (0.12%) achieved less than 1% (0.69%) of the General Election population’s vote. So in reality, the census figures are skewed, for there is only a remnant of believers. Kindly also bear in mind that from these statistics we are not guaranteed that all who voted for the ACDP and the UCDP are truly born-again believers who hold to the Judeo-Christian doctrine of the Holy Bible. [**] We are reminded in Scripture how we are to conduct our lives for the sole glory of God alone as we read in Second Corinthians:

2 Cor 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 Cor 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Cor 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2 Cor 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

As we read from Matthew Henry’s commentary on the preceding verses, quote:

“The best of men would faint, if they did not receive mercy from God. And that mercy which has helped us out, and helped us on, hitherto, we may rely upon to help us even to the end. The apostles had no base and wicked designs, covered with fair and specious pretences. They did not try to make their ministry serve a turn. Sincerity or uprightness will keep the favourable opinion of wise and good men. Christ by his gospel makes a glorious discovery to the minds of men. But the design of the devil is, to keep men in ignorance; and when he cannot keep the light of the gospel of Christ out of the world, he spares no pains to keep men from the gospel, or to set them against it. The rejection of the gospel is here traced to the wilful blindness and wickedness of the human heart. Self was not the matter or the end of the apostles’ preaching; they preached Christ as Jesus, the Saviour and Deliverer, who saves to the uttermost all that come to God through him. Ministers are servants to the souls of men; they must avoid becoming servants to the humours or the lusts of men. It is pleasant to behold the sun in the firmament; but it is more pleasant and profitable for the gospel to shine in the heart. As light was the beginning of the first creation; so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is his first work upon the soul. The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels. The ministers of the gospel are subject to the same passions and weaknesses as other men. God could have sent angels to make known the glorious doctrine of the gospel, or could have sent the most admired sons of men to teach the nations, but he chose humbler, weaker vessels, that his power might be more glorified in upholding them, and in the blessed change wrought by their ministry.” [e]

To GOD be the glory alone!

Act 5:20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

____________________

Resources:

[a] “Census 2011 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” statssa.gov.za. Retrieved 22 October 2012. ~ Wikipedia

[b] “Fewer religious people in SA – survey”. news24.com. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. ~ Wikipedia

[c] Africa Check a non-partisan organisation which promotes accuracy in public debate and the media. www.africacheck.org

[d] It would have been prudent for Christians to have consulted “A Voter’s Guide for 2014” before going to the polls.

[e] Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, e-Sword.

[*] and [**] represent amendments included on July 25, 2014 to clarify the position surrounding true “Christianity” in accordance with the Judeo-Christian faith as contained in the doctrine of the Holy Bible.

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Nelson Mandela and the Iconic man

130610Madiba46664jpgIt is with a grieved heart that we pen this article. It is day seventeen (17) since June 8, 2013, when ex-president of the Republic of South Africa Mr. Nelson Mandela was admitted to Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria for a recurring lung infection. The medical prognosis does not look good at all, in fact it looks very bleak even with all the professional medical practitioners at hand, whilst the presidential administration has also given us news that ‘Madiba’ now finds himself in a critical condition. An article that appeared in The Witness newspaper today reads: “Zuma: Madiba’s condition is critical”. Other press reports: “Zuma: Mandela remains in a critical condition” and “Presidency: Mandela in critical condition“.

Whilst the South African President Mr Jacob Zuma has called on the local and international communities to pray for Mandela, which we would understand that in this request it is for a “healthy recovery,” the question arises: How is that going to help? We need to see what God says about this!

Firstly, the tens of thousands upon thousands of religious groups, sects, cults, organisations, et al, do not all pray to the same God – NO! Not at all! This is confirmed and reflected in each of their religious practices, belief systems, ideologies and faiths that the gods of religion, to which the world over are requested to pray to, are not the One True God of Creation. ALMIGHTY GOD, YHVH, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Israel) is not the One True God that all will be praying to!

We also read of the One True God in Exodus 3:6; 6:2,3; as follows:

Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Exodus 6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:

Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

This is where the problem lies. God gave commandment that His creation should have no other gods before Him and that they are not to make any graven image in the likeness of things in the heaven, of things on the earth and of things under the earth, and they are not to worship and bow down to them – that would be gods in deity and idol form and image. This is the case throughout the world today with all these religious practices – idolatry prevails. It is also an abomination that not only will wicked and evil mankind adopt praying to these false gods thinking they are praying to the ecumenical ‘God’ – the TRUE God of Creation will not hear these blasphemous prayers, and in fact He will turn His ear from the babbling of the masses. Here is a clear indictment that God brings against His people when Israel did not want Him to rule them, but they wanted a king to rule them. In 1 Samuel 8:18 we read, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures which is God’s Word:

1 Samuel 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

This is sadly the case what we have today where governments rule through presidents, prime ministers, monarchs, emissaries and the like, governed by man made customs, traditions, commandments, laws, statutes, edicts, acts and decrees, instead of living and abiding in the Commandments and the Way of GOD ALMIGHTY! You see, be it an individual or a people group, hear the Word of God you stiff-necked generation:

Jeremiah 7:16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

Jeremiah 11:14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

Do not be blaspheming GOD ALMIGHTY with your ecumenical debauchery, for HE will not hear your pleas in prayer. You have been warned! You have done ill in your doings in the sight of God. You think by your much speaking you will be heard. Oh foolish generation of vipers. Let HIM speak:

Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

Secondly, you the worldly enemies of God have made Nelson Mandela an idol, an icon that has been worshipped and raised upon a pedestal, you have bowed to him and worshipped and revered him as a god. GOD ALMIGHTY has this to say to your idolatrise behaviour that not only includes the person of Nelson Mandela, but the graven images made by men’s hands fashioned out of gold, silver, stone, wood, plastic and many other materials:

2 Kings 17:8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.

2 Kings 17:9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

2 Kings 17:10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

2 Kings 17:11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:

2 Kings 17:12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

2 Kings 17:13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

2 Kings 17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.

Thirdly, whilst prayer can be made to the One True God in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for physical healing, this can only be done through the One mediator who makes intercession between God and men by the man Christ Jesus, as we read:

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

If one does not believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God and God in human form, then you are condemned already as we read, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures:

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

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.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

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

Our prayers are to be first and foremost for the saving of the soul of a person. If God so wishes to heal a person physically according to HIS will and purpose, so be it! All Glory belongs to GOD ALMIGHTY and physical healings is not something mere mortals can demand of God. Whilst God can heal as HE pleases, we should be praying for God to grant HIS grace and save a soul. That is the greatest miracle any person can receive is receiving eternal life. As the Apostle Paul was speaking about true believers in God, we read in Romans 14:7-9 the following:

Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Fourthly, if all religions, differ in their theology, customs, traditions and commandments, and have rejected GOD ALMIGHTY’s way which is bringing glory to and through HIS Son Jesus the Christ, be assured GOD ALMIGHTY does not hear your feeble attempts of trying to be heard with your much speech. In the end times, which we are clearly in, the ecumenism that prevails where all the man-made religious systems of the world that are controlled by the

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5)

the whore of Babylon the Roman Catholic ‘mother church’ can not reach God as it is idolatrise before GOD ALMIGHTY and HE will not hear you. This is what we see continually on the SABC news that the popish men of the cloth are pushing their agenda to no avail on their part. God will be glorified even in the destruction of wicked men, women and children for every knee should bow and every tongue should confess Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father:

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We, my brother Lungisa Zondi and myself (Eastern Cape Mission and South Africa: Hilary Clinton pops in for lunch), have on a few occasions tried to have an audience with Nelson Mandela to make sure he understands the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to call him to repentance towards God and his faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, as we are still aware that he needs to repent for the ungodly laws that he promulgated as the then President of South Africa, which includes acts that allow abortion, homosexuality (same-sex marriages – The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees equal protection before the law to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation) and idolatry (religious freedom). Mr Mandela, true repentance will show a brokenness over one’s sins and a recanting of past abominations. These are three abominations that are leading citizens of South Africa straight to hell should they die before Judgment Day and ultimately into the lake of fire. You have been forewarned. Here is a further indictment against South Africa and the world community at large:

Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

South Africa, Repent and Believe upon our Lord Jesus Christ – it is your only hope! Penduka!!

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!

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.

________________

Source Information: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Idolatries – An Evil Abomination – Part 2

We will look at the various idols and gods that were worshipped during the Old and New Testaments with extensive quotes from Easton’s Bible Dictionary and some references to the idolaters. The idols of today find many of their beginnings from the idol worship referred to in the Bible.

Asherah

Plural Asherim in Revised Version, instead of “grove” and “groves” of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols (“groves”) are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Exodus 34:13; Judges 6:25; 2 Kings 23:6; 1 Kings 16:33, etc.). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone (2 Kings 21:7; “the graven image of Asherah,” R.V.). (See GROVE [1].).

Ashtoreth

The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judges 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:4; 1 Samuel 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jeremiah 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Samuel 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel’s 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the “queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 44:25).

Baal

Lord. The name appropriated to the principal male god of the Phoenicians. It is found in several places in the plural BAALIM (Judges 2:11; Judges 10:10; 1 Kings 18:18; Jeremiah 2:23; Hosea 2:17). Baal is identified with Molech (Jeremiah 19:5). It was known to the Israelites as Baal-peor (Numbers 25:3; Deuteronomy 4:3), was worshipped till the time of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:4), and was afterwards the religion of the ten tribes in the time of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33; 1 Kings 18:19, 22). It prevailed also for a time in the kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 8:27; compare 2 Kings 11:18; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:2). Till finally put an end to by the severe discipline of the Captivity (Zephaniah 1:4-6). The priests of Baal were in great numbers (1 Kings 18:19), and of various classes (2 Kings 10:19). Their mode of offering sacrifices is described in 1 Kings 18:25-29. The sun-god, under the general title of Baal, or “lord,” was the chief object of worship of the Canaanites. Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals were summed up under the name of Baalim, or “lords.” Each Baal had a wife, who was a colourless reflection of himself.

Baalim

Plural of Baal; images of the god Baal (Judges 2:11; 1 Samuel 7:4).

Baal-peor

Lord of the opening, a god of the Moabites (Numbers 25:3; Numbers 31:16; Joshua 22:17), worshipped by obscene rites. So called from Mount Peor, where this worship was celebrated, the Baal of Peor. The Israelites fell into the worship of this idol (Numbers 25:3, 5, 18; Deuteronomy 4:3; Psalm 106:28; Hosea 9:10).

Baal-zebub

Fly-lord, the god of the Philistines at Ekron (2 Kings 1:2, 3, 16. This name was given to the god because he was supposed to be able to avert the plague of flies which in that region was to be feared. He was consulted by Ahaziah as to his recovery.

Beelzebub

(Gr. form Beelzebul), the name given to Satan, and found only in the New Testament (Matthew 10:25; Matthew 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22). It is probably the same as Baalzebub (q.v.), the god of Ekron, meaning “the lord of flies,” or, as others think, “the lord of dung,” or “the dung-god.”

Bel

The Aramaic form of Baal, the national god of the Babylonians (Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2; Jeremiah 51:44). It signifies “lord.” (See BAAL.)

Chemarim

Black (Zephaniah 1:4; rendered “idolatrous priests” in 2 Kings 23:5, and “priests” in Hosea 10:5). Some derive this word from the Assyrian Kamaru, meaning “to throw down,” and interpret it as describing the idolatrous priests who prostrate themselves before the idols. Others regard it as meaning “those who go about in black” or “ascetics.”

Chemosh

The destroyer, subduer, or fishgod, the god of the Moabites (Numbers 21:29; Jeremiah 48:7, 13, 46). The worship of this god, “the abomination of Moab,” was introduced at Jerusalem by Solomon (1 Kings 11:7), but was abolished by Josiah (2 Kings 23:13). On the “Moabite Stone” (q.v.), Mesha (2 Kings 3:5) ascribes his victories over the king of Israel to this god, “And Chemosh drove him before my sight.”

Daemon

The Greek form, rendered “devil” in the Authorized Version of the New Testament. Daemons are spoken of as spiritual beings (Matthew 8:16; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 12:43-45) at enmity with God, and as having a certain power over man (James 2:19; Revelation 16:14). They recognize our Lord as the Son of God (Matthew 8:20; Luke 4:41). They belong to the number of those angels that “kept not their first estate, “unclean spirits,” “fallen angels,” the angels of the devil (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). They are the “principalities and powers” against which we must “wrestle” (Ephesians 6:12).

Dagon

Little fish; diminutive from dag = a fish, the fish-god; the national god of the Philistines (Judges 16:23). This idol had the body of a fish with the head and hands of a man. It was an Assyrio-Babylonian deity, the worship of which was introduced among the Philistines through Chaldea.

The most famous of the temples of Dagon were at Gaza (Judges 16:23-30) and Ashdod (1 Samuel 5:1-7).

Devil

(Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the arch-enemy of man’s spiritual interest (Job 1:6; Revelation 2:10; Zechariah 3:1). He is called also “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10).

In Leviticus 17:7 the word “devil” is the translation of the Hebrew sair, meaning a “goat” or “satyr” (Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14), alluding to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship among the heathen.

In Deuteronomy 32:17 and Psalm 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew shed, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a “demon,” as the word is rendered in the Revised Version.

In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the “casting out of devils” a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession (Matthew 12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:35; Luke 10:18, etc.).

Diana

So called by the Romans; called Artemis by the Greeks, the “great” goddess worshipped among heathen nations under various modifications. Her most noted temple was that at Ephesus. It was built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. “First and last it was the work of 220 years; built of shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad; supported by a forest of columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred museum of masterpieces of sculpture and painting. At the centre, hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine, stood the very ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to have fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as in ‘the safest bank in Asia,’ nations and kings stored their most precious things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted till A.D. 262, when it was ruined by the Goths” (Acts 19:23-41). Moule on Ephesians: Introduction.

Easter

Originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Hence the name came to be given to the festival of the Resurrection of Christ, which occurred at the time of the Passover. In the early English versions this word was frequently used as the translation of the Greek pascha (the Passover). When the Authorized Version (1611) was formed, the word “passover” was used in all passages in which this word pascha occurred, except in Acts 12:4.

Epicureans

Followers of Epicurus (who died at Athens 270 B.C.), or adherents of the Epicurean philosophy (Acts 17:18). This philosophy was a system of atheism, and taught men to seek as their highest aim a pleasant and smooth life. They have been called the “Sadducees” of Greek paganism. They, with the Stoics, ridiculed the teaching of Paul (Acts 17:18). They appear to have been greatly esteemed at Athens.

Eth-baal

With Baal, a king of Sidon (940-908 B.C.), father of Jezebel, who was the wife of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31). He is said to have been also a priest of Astarte, whose worship was closely allied to that of Baal, and this may account for his daughter’] zeal in promoting idolatry in Israel. This marriage of Ahab was most fatal to both Israel and Judah. Dido, the founder of Carthage, was his granddaughter.

Familiar Spirit

Sorcerers or necromancers, who professed to call up the dead to answer questions, were said to have a “familiar spirit” (Deuteronomy 18:11; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 29:4). Such a person was called by the Hebrews an ‘ob, which properly means a leather bottle; for sorcerers were regarded as vessels containing the inspiring demon. This Hebrew word was equivalent to the pytho of the Greeks, and was used to denote both the person and the spirit which possessed him (Leviticus 20:27; 1 Samuel 28:8; compare Acts 16:16). The word “familiar” is from the Latin familiaris, meaning a “household servant,” and was intended to express the idea that sorcerers had spirits as their servants ready to obey their commands.

Graven Image

Deuteronomy 27:15; Psalm 97:7 (Heb. pesel), refers to the household gods of idolaters. “Every nation and city had its own gods. Yet every family had its separate household or tutelary god.”

Grove

(1.) Heb. ‘asherah, properly a wooden image, or a pillar representing Ashtoreth, a sensual Canaanitish goddess, probably usually set up in a grove (2 Kings 21:7; 2 Kings 23:4). In the Revised Version the word “Asherah” (q.v.) is introduced as a proper noun, the name of the wooden symbol of a goddess, with the plurals Asherim (Exodus 34:13) and Asheroth (Judges 3:13).

The LXX. have rendered asherah in 2 Chronicles 15:16 by “Astarte.” The Vulgate has done this also in Judges 3:7.

(2.) Heb. ‘eshel (Genesis 21:33). In 1 Samuel 22:6 and 1 Samuel 31:13 the Authorized Version renders this word by “tree.” In all these passages the Revised Version renders by “tamarisk tree.” It has been identified with the Tamariscus orientalis, five species of which are found in Palestine.

(3.) The Heb. word ‘elon, uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by “plain,” properly signifies a grove or plantation. In the Revised Version it is rendered, pl., “oaks” (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:13; Genesis 18:1; Genesis 12:6; Deuteronomy 11:30; Joshua 19:33). In the earliest times groves are mentioned in connection with religious worship. The heathen consecrated groves to particular gods, and for this reason they were forbidden to the Jews (Jeremiah 17:3; Ezekiel 20:28).

Idolatries – An Evil Abomination – Part 1

This is an issue that needs to be discussed at length and a warning must be given to the millions upon millions of idolaters the world over who bow to and worship false gods in the name of their religion. Just recently, by the Grace of God, a Gospel Tract titled “Your Life: God’s Solution to Your Religion” was completed and this tract gets straight to the point of religion being idolatry before the One True God – the God of Creation who came to this world in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ to set sinners free – which includes their idolatries.

Idols take on many forms. Which ever form it takes, it still remains an evil abomination before our Creator – God Almighty, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. This post will deal with the various gods worshipped and idols mentioned in the Bible. It will also look at the historical account of these vile deities that are worshipped which provokes our God to jealousy:

16They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. ~ Deuteronomy 32:16

58For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. ~ Psalm 78:58

We will look at Scripture and much more Scripture as God’s Word is True and will never pass away. Let us see how God’s Word speaks out against idols, gods, graven and molten images, which are worshipped in idolatry. God commands that it is forbidden. We read, as it is written:

2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. ~ Exodus 20:2, 3

7Thou shalt have none other gods before me. ~ Deuteronomy 5:7

This consists of the following practices:

  • Bowing down to images

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; ~ Exodus 20:5

9Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto 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, ~ Deuteronomy 5:9

  • Worshipping images

17And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. ~ Isaiah 44:17

5That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 10Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: 15Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? ~ Daniel 3:5, 10, 15

  • Sacrificing to images

38And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. ~ Psalm 106:38

41And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. ~ Acts 7:41

  • Worshipping other gods

17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; ~ Deuteronomy 30:17

9There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. ~ Psalm 81:9

  • Swearing to other gods

13And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. ~ Exodus 23:13

7That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: ~ Joshua 23:7

  • Walking after other gods

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. ~ Deuteronomy 8:19

  • Speaking in the name of other gods

20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. ~ Deuteronomy 18:20

  • Looking to other gods

1Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. ~ Hosea 3:1

  • Serving other gods

4For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. ~ Deuteronomy 7:4

19And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours. ~ Jeremiah 5:19

  • Fearing other gods

35With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: ~ 2 Kings 17:35

  • Sacrificing to other gods

20He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. ~ Exodus 22:20

  • Worshipping the true God by an image

4And he received them 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. 5And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. ~ Exodus 32:4-6

19They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. 20Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. ~ Psalm 106:19, 20

  • Worshipping angels

18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, ~ Colossians 2:18

  • Worshipping the host of heaven

19And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. ~ Deuteronomy 4:19

3And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; ~ Deuteronomy 17:3

This form of worship is done daily by millions of “stargazers” when they consult their horoscopes – looking to the stars and relying on planetary positions to determine their “luck” or future. They rely on gods known as clairvoyants or astrologers to predict the future for the individual. This is known as sorcery, which is witchcraft.

  • Worshipping demons

9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. ~ Matthew 4:9, 10

20And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: ~ Revelation 9:20

  • Worshipping dead men

10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. ~ Deuteronomy 18:10, 11

A necromancer is someone who speaks to the dead and even worships them; this practice of ancestral worship is also found in the Shembe church in South Africa.

28They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. ~ Psalm 106:28

  • Setting up idols in the heart

3Son 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? 4Therefore 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; ~ Ezekiel 14:3, 4

  • Covetousness

5For 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. ~ Ephesians 5:5

5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: ~ Colossians 3:5

  • Sensuality

19Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) ~ Philippians 3:19

In the Holy Scriptures, God also warns that people are just like the idols that they worship and that the idols, graven images, are no gods. We read as follows:

1Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. 2Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. 9O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 10O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 11Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 12The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. 13He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. 14The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. 15Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. 16The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. 17The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. 18But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD. ~ Psalm 115:1-18 (my emphasis added, and hereafter)

26Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: ~ Acts 19:26

8I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 17They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. ~ Isaiah 42:8, 17

In Parts 2 and 3 we will look at the idols and idolatry worshipped that is referred to in the Bible – which is against what God our Creator commanded! This is a warning to the idol worshipping religions of today, especially Hinduism, Buddhism, and Roman Catholicism. In fact, every religion on earth that worships another god other than the God of Creation Jesus Christ, is an idolatrise religion.

Persecuted for Jesus Christ

Today I met up with Brother Lungisa Zondi to go and reach the lost souls with our Lord Jesus Christ. The opportunities abound in Pietermaritzburg for there are many evil and wicked practices that the enemy, that ol’ serpent the Devil, has many people practicing idolatry openly upon the streets.

This would be another day of proclaiming the Truth to the many people groups in the ‘City of Choice’, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Recently Brother Lungisa and I have been encouraged of our Great King Jesus Christ to be bold and operate in His strength by handing out literature and preaching the Word of Truth to many races and religious groups. Again, today would be no different, but today persecution would come in another form. The Name of Jesus Christ truly is the Name above all names and there truly is power in the Name of Jesus. We learnt first hand from experience and it was a joyous occasion.

The preaching of the Word of God would be Light confronting darkness in the form of a main-honcho songoma selling his evil and wicked muti concoctions upon the sidewalk in Church Street near the main taxi rank outside Freedom Square and opposite the High Court. While Lungisa used a borrowed loud-hailer and preached Jesus Christ and His Righteousness in isiZulu and English, I went across the street and walked on the fringes of a gathered group of cultists and curious onlookers that pointed at the yellow python on the sidewalk while the songoma sat amongst his devilish muti as his assistants solicited business from the crowd. I rebuked and proclaimed that judgment will come upon all who partake of this evil and wicked practices of ancestral worship and bowing the knee to idols and other gods other than their Creator Nkulunkulu (God) and that those buying the muti are selling their souls to the devil. Many looked, some ignored, and some responded and took tracts and left the scene. A stir was being caused and the devil’s business was being disturbed, praise Jesus.

There were some Christian brethren that encouraged the Word of God standing against the works of darkness and two sisters joined me ‘prayer-walking’ the fringes of the crowd gathered, who started to dwindle as we proclaimed Christ and took a stand to reclaim the ground and souls gathered there for our King. Satan’s workers were not happy – one worker went across the road to interrupt Brother Lungisa from preaching the Word to get him to tell me to leave the area, whilst another of the workers of darkness tried to draw me away to speak to me. I refused and said if he wants to speak to me he could do so there as I was going nowhere and I was standing on that ground for my King Jesus. It all happened so quickly. Whilst facing up the road in the direction of the City Hall I was bumped off my feet and knocked to the ground by the main-honcho sangoma who deliberately drove into me with his black VW Polo (Reg. No. ND 347 528) as I had not heeded his request earlier to leave the area. It was amazing, being knocked to the ground, no fear, no panic, no pain, but a bit surprised by the whole incident. As I picked myself up from being seated on my backside against the front bumper of the vehicle, the songoma beckoned me to his driver’s window. I approached him and he threatened me that if I do not leave something worse would happen to me. My response was that I would not be leaving and had he not just witnessed that my Jesus had protected me from harm. It was then that he made an unlawful turn over a double solid line and made his way towards Brother Lungisa across the road. Two sisters witnessed me being knocked down and they even voiced their concern that the action was premeditated from their vantage point. Glory to Jesus for Him being magnified this day.

I had warned Brother Lungisa as I was concerned this madman would go for him, but he drew the car up and started warning him that something would happen to my Brother in Christ if I did not stop. He also told Brother Lungisa that he would “kill me and bury me and nothing would come of his vehicle” possibly implying that he has ‘friends in authority’. Brother Lungisa also warned the songoma that he does not know the God we serve who is greater than him. I had joined Brother Lungisa across the road and whilst he confronted the devilish man in the black VW Polo, I took the loud-hailer and continued preaching repentance of their evil and wicked works. It was at that time that our Lord had other Saints join us as we raised our voices in worship of our Great King and Lord Jesus Christ calling on the workers of darkness to repent and come out of their devilish worship of Satan. We noticed that the crowds decreased around the songoma’s workshop on the sidewalk as Christ’s Name was raised in unison and that is also when the two eye witnessing sisters joined us in prayer giving God glory for His protection and showing Himself Mighty amongst men. They then also confirmed to Brother Lungisa the knock down. We give Glory to God that we were found worthy of persecution for Jesus’ sake. We are encouraged and rejoice at Jesus’ Words:

10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. ~ Matthew 5:10-12

Whilst there I shared with Brother Lungisa and the two Sisters the incident when Stephen was martyred by stoning and he looked up to heaven, and Christ was standing at the right hand of the Father. At that point in time Jesus stood up (see Acts 7:55,56) for Scripture reveals that Christ is seated at the right hand of God (see Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:34; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; and many more).

I also shared that during my prayer time before leaving home earlier today that I felt the presence of God and I felt crushed and burdened for the lost. I truly believe that what you have just read was God preparing me for the events that unfolded today upon the streets of ‘Maritzburg. All Glory to God.

After leaving that area God gave us opportunity to witness to some young children outside the Public Library, again, and to preach His Words of Truth. Another wonderful day out there with our Lord Jesus Christ calling men to repentance. All Glory to God, and thank You Lord for giving us experience in suffering for Your Worthy Name. Praise be to Jesus the Christ.

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