Bible Study Series

Modern Idolatry

Part 11- Reasons to Care

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Idolatry has always been with us and will be with us right up until the day Christ returns.  Describing latter-day Israel, God says through the prophet Ezekiel: “one king shall be king over them all…They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things…” (Eze. 37:23).

We also find idolatry throughout the book of Revelation.  “The synagogue of Satan,” “the devil,” “Balaam,” and “Jezebel,” are just some of the descriptions of the prototypical idolatry manifested in last days churches.  We are told that at one point, “the rest of mankind did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold…nor did they repent of their murders or sorceries…” (Rev. 9:20-21).  Even far into the future, when kingdom comes, we find that “Outside [the city of New Jerusalem] are the dogs and sorcerers…” (Rev. 22:15).

Throughout this study we have attempted to point out these sorcerers of science and finance and philosophy and politics in the hope that we “be not deceived.”  This will be a rigorous challenge, given the level of deception that we should expect: “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” (Rev. 12:9) and “by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (Rev 18:23).  These propagandists are modern manifestations of the same Pied Pipers mentioned back in Deuteronomy 4:4: “for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods…”  In this article, we list some reasons why we should care enough to identify them.

Know Your Enemy

Are we wiser than Solomon?  Like Solomon, do we think it is acceptable for our enemy to be our friend and lover?  Are we fooled by the “Emperor’s New Clothes” con job that the soothsayers and wisemen make for us in the form of new Babylonish garments?  Do we pay attention (“watch”) enough to spot a fake second coming?   Is our sword sharp enough to silence the false prophets?  Will the dragon’s fiery darts gradually wear us down?  Will the antichrist’s dilution of the truth lull us to sleep?  The war has definitely begun.  If we avoid making a stand now, will God choose us to judge or rule in the near future?  When we look around the world today, we should be asking: who is the dragon, the false prophet, the antichrist, the sorcerers, the dogs, the harlot, the beast, and the image of the beast?  If we don’t know who they are, how do we avoid their deception?  And how will we judge them once we are called up to the political heavens?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

This study can be overwhelming.  “Staring into the abyss” and looking at the horrors of today’s modern world-controller’s operations can be frightening and depressing.  Take comfort, that even Daniel, president over one third of the vast Persian Empire, was knocked out by the visions he had of our day:  “And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it (Dan. 8:27).”  It is natural to be sick when first considering the plans of “the dragon, that ancient serpent.”  But ultimately, we will be grateful that we are living in a time in which God’s word is happening in front of us, live.  Every Bible verse is like the breath of God in our faces, materializing before our eyes.  To use modern vernacular: “It just got real!”  Daniel, Jeremiah, Abraham all longed to see this day, and we get to watch it unfold in slow motion, play by play.  The main purpose of prophecy is not to tell the future, but for the “edification, exhortation and comfort” that today’s events affirm past predictions (1 Corinthians 14:3).

“Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you as a snare” (Luke 21:36).  To say that the last 20 years have caused us to become complacent is an understatement.  Living in oblivion, living on borrowed time, mortgaging the future, maxing out credit, fitting nicely into our predestined lot in life unquestioningly… Watching TV and movies, avoiding the news, avoiding controversy, tolerating everything, we have planted our heads thoroughly in the sand and fallen fast asleep.  Mercifully, God has woken us up!  “How long O simple ones, will you love being simple?  How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?  The simple are killed by their turning away and the complacency of fools destroys them; but he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease without dread of evil (Pro. 1:22, 32,33).”

Prepare

Complacent, oblivious people “were eating and drinking until the day when Noah entered into the Ark.”  Others had to “go and buy oil” because they were not prepared for delay.  Jesus warns “Pray that your flight be not in winter.”  “Watch…lest you be caught unawares.”  The list of verses giving practical advice to the believers at the close of the age is long.  Many Christians say, “I have faith, so I don’t need to prepare for the Apocalypse.”  They will mention the rapture, “coming in clouds,” getting “taken in the field,” and marching from Sinai alongside the rainbowed angel to the Promised Land.  All these future events will certainly happen in some form.  But what of the events preceding it?  Consult Jesus’ prophecy: “there will be famines and earthquakes,” “roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world…and then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud” (Luke 21:25).

Also, in Revelation chapters 1-3, the kingdom is for “he who conquers…” (repeated seven times).  The “endurance of the saints” (13:10, 14:12) is the quality for which the believers are known.  “Conquering” and “endurance” are not words that bring to mind a naive scene of eating a potluck one minute and then being whisked away to safety the next.  We should expect last days trials.  “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).  Noah prepared for the last days all his life by building an ark, Joseph dedicated seven years to prepare the world for the lean years ahead.  Jesus wanted his friends to be so prepared to flee Jerusalem in the “last days” of A.D. 70 that they wouldn’t even have to pack.  These are all examples of practical preparation.

Some religions, like the Mormons, take this advice seriously, making sure that they do not end up like the foolish virgins, missing the Bridegroom because they are caught unprepared.  They store a year of food and savings as part of their religion.  Some might accuse them of having weak faith, but they would say that it is because they have faith in God that they prepare.  They do not place faith in the phony U.S. dollar, the military, the police, or insurance.  They know that the image of beasts is going to get smashed by a stone cut out with no human hand.

Those who have followed the Biblical principles of self-sufficiency, moderation, and conservation will fare much better than those who are standing waist-high in shiny metal devices bought on credit, now useless without the electricity to run them on.  We might be wise to consider: how much money do we spend on paper insurance (which will be utterly useless during the last days) compared to actual insurance (emergency food, water, and supplies)?  Remember, you cannot eat dollars or portfolio statements.  “They cast their silver into the streets and their gold is an unclean thing; their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD; they cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it” (Ezekiel 7:19).

Revelation 13 predicts an economic embargo against anyone refusing to adopt the new state religion.  Even if you believe this prophecy has already played out in the past, history (and therefore prophecy) repeats itself.  If we are entering a phase where “no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark,” we might want to consider learning how to survive without supermarkets and malls.

Everybody Knows “This Is It”

“First of all, you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation (2 Peter 3:3-4).’”  While this verse described our blind friends and neighbors well during the past 20 years, you must be a special kind of fool to still be scoffing in the 2020s!  In fact, preaching just became much easier considering the hubris with which the modern idol-pushers are forwarding their image of the beast agenda.

It is obvious to many who were once asleep, especially Christians, that we are in the “End Times” and the “Last Days.”  As Christadelphians, we are a group who “believe the end of the world to be imminent” (Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis) and this puts us in a unique position to provide answers to a hungry audience who are perhaps not being fed adequately by their pastors.  Instead of truth, many churchgoers are being fed the latest social justice tropes.

Paul writes “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Tim.  4:3).  In this series, we are debunking some of those myths: Utopia, Evolution, Social Engineering, Overpopulation, Climate Catastrophe, and Scientism.  Thankfully, the idol-pushers have finally “broke the camel’s back” and Paul’s scenario is now obvious to all our interested friends who can no longer stomach the propaganda-riddled sermons from the self-censored liberal pulpits.

“Those in darkness have seen a great light.”  Hooray!  We must jump at this opportunity to “convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire” and “have mercy with fear” (Jude 22-23) because we are chosen and therefore responsible watchers on the wall.

Appreciate Every Day

A gratitude list is in order for us.  Unlike some, are not blindly stumbling through the trials and tribulations of the last days.  We are not expecting “things to continue as they always have.”  And we should be grateful for that. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:19-21).

Ignorance is the mother of fear.  Knowing is half the battle.  Knowing what we know, it is almost impossible to be “weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness.”  Complacency in the 2020s would require extreme denial.  “Ignore-ance” would require willful “ignore-ing.”

We can also be grateful to be living (at least temporarily) in a country which still supports Jews.  “I will bless those who bless thee” has included benefits that we share by no effort on our part.  We can also take comfort in living somewhere that still protects religious liberty for fundamentalist Christians.  We are blessed to live under a government designed with a Bill of Rights that are not mere privileges granted by men, but self-evident truths granted by God himself!

No one has promised that this will continue forever, but we can take advantage of our freedom while we have it.  Freedom to share truth in spoken and written form, freedom to assemble, and freedom to worship as our conscience dictates are rights many of us took for granted.  These days, as these rights are targeted by those wanting “hate speech” to be censored and punished, we say a prayer of thankfulness each day they remain!

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