8 April 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #24, 5934 AM
Temple of Idolatry
A Prophetic Dream
The patriarchal faith of our fathers in the time before Moses consisted, for the most part, of the altar and of prayer with an unwritten moral and ethical standard of behaviour in which fathers were family priests. After Moses and the codification of the written Torah or Law, the true faith continued to consist of the altar and of prayer coupled with a precise moral and ethical code of life that was enforced by a theocratic priesthood for the new nation. It combined religion and politics. In the New Covenant established by Messiah fathers are once again family priests, the altar has become the heart, prayer continues as before, as do the morals and ethics of the original faith. In a way the New Covenant more closely resembles the patriarchal religion (minus the altar of animal sacrifices) than it does the Mosaic system because there is no 'nation' in the physical realm (the claims of Zionists notwithstanding) and won't be until Yah'shua returns. However, unlike the old patriarchal system, it isn't just about independent families but voluntary gatherings of families called assemblies or congregations with one of the family heads being appointed a congregational head or pastor. One of the problems that the New Covenant system has is that, owing to disobedience and apostacy, there are numerous systems of belief and practice so there are different associations of gatherings to maintain doctrinal and practical cohesion - these we call 'denominations'. The conflict between Messianics and Evangelicals are a good illustration of these differences, and then all the differences between evangelicals themselves and messianics themselves.
What, then, is idolatry? In its most basic scriptural representation, it is the worship of, or devotion to, others gods apart from - or in addition to - the true God, Yahweh-Elohim. Pretty much every god was represented by a wood, stone or metal statue anciently so idolatry was associated with these in the first instance because it was to these objects that humans gave their adoration. Not only were these statues religious objects in the ancient world but it seems they possessed legal significance too: whoever possessed the family idols held the right of succession in the family, which would explain why Rachel stole her father Laban's idols (Gen.31:19). This would explain Laban's consternation at his loss as he was not a very religious man - thus he would have viewed the act of theft as a claim to all of his possessions too.
The New Testament reinforced and amplifies the Old Testament teaching about idolatry but adds a new dimension to it. It recognises that statues are non-entities but that they nevertlethess represent demonic powers who are associated with them, who are in fact the entities being worshipped. Romans 1 explains that idolatry is therefore a decline from true spirituality. The New Testament goes even further in declaring that idolatry consists of anything we place a higher price on - whether it is lawful or now - than we do on Yahweh our Elohim. Thus idolatry is linked with covetousness, sexual sins and indeed any deviation in natural affections (Gal.5:19-20; 1 Cor.5:11; Eph.5:5; Col.3:5; Eph.4:19; 5:3; 1 Thes.4:6; 1 Cor.10:10:7,14). Idolatry is any loyalty which belongs to Yahweh alone (Is.42:8).
Any passion, interest, devotion or object of attention which exceeds our passion, interest, devotion or object of attention to Yahweh may be said to be idolatry. If the passion or interest is unlawful (contrary to the rules of Torah) then it is by definition demonic and involves demonic worship whether consciously or unconsciously. If it is lawful it is still idolatrous if we place it before Yahweh in our affections and interest.
Unbelievers obviously simply replace the natural built-in human need to love and worship Yahweh with other things. People (such as lovers), politics, careers, hobbies, and so forth. But is not unbelievers I wish to address today but those who claim to believe in God, and specifically, the God of the Bible, for the vast bulk of Christians and Messianics are idolaters. When we combine worship of Yahweh with the worship of other gods and can't tell the difference we are, in many ways, worse off than your average unbeliever. The combining of true with false worship is called religious syncretism and it was this that led to the ruin of ancient Israel and Judah.
A couple of nights ago I had a prophetic dream about a mother who once walked in the testimony of Yah'shua and the Torah of Yahweh before she apostacised. She and her husband opted for a lawless, feeling-based existentialist form of 'Christianity' and rapidly departed from the apostolic faith, taking all their children with them. They ended up divorcing each other, practicing harlotry, getting involved in kidnapping, family-breaking and much evil besides.
In the dream I was in her living room which was on the upper floor while she, the mother, slept downstairs though she was awake sitting up in bed and aware I was in the house during the dream. I was in this 'upstairs living room' with a strong broom and was furiously cleaning the entire place out. Everywhere was thick with dirt and dust, even in the furniture which I also brushed - indeed there was probably far too much to be cleaned out in the time I had available. Having swept the place out to the best of my ability, I left the house. This corresponds to the time when she was a member of our local congregation.
I returned a while later, not to sweep but to observe. Everything had changed. All the old furniture was cleaned out leaving a bare toom, but the walls and ceiling had been painted white. In the room which I had swept out a HUGE black racing car (which extended across the ceiling and to two of the walls) had been skilfully painted (in real life she is quite a good artist). Out of the car's exhaust pipe was a red fiery flame. I instantly knew that this upper room was an idolatrous temple to fast cars, and to the thrill and sense of power which comes from them, which is one of the family's weaknesses and obsessions.
The stylised red flame, which I have seen in occult drawings, represented the demonic spirit which 'covers' these boys and their sisters. Adjacent to this room (the one which I had swept) was another which I briefly entered and I was aware that it was filled with obsenity. It was very dark in there but I was aware of pictures on the walls and ceiling too. Leading up to this room, with the racing car room to the left, was a narrow staircase, on which were many people queuing up to go in, attracted by the psychic power resident in the idolatrous spirit. They had come to worship and pay respect to this family of former believers.
Upon awakening I was reminded of the parable that Yah'shua taught:
There are many who come mentally to the gospel (the upper room in the dream) but remain the same in the basement (the uncarnal carnal self that must be crucified) so that even if the thinking is swept clean, it makes no difference, because the carnal foundation remains. In the second part of the dream I saw the true state of the owner who is defined by the two rooms and who lives for the admirers who come to partake.
"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first" (Luke 11:24-26, NKJV).
A person who is converted in their minds but not their hearts - who does not present their dead selves for crucifixion in Messiah - remains dead and no matter what you do to teach them - to clean thejm out - more demons will return. The the rooms appeared 'clean' it was an illusion - as is all false religion. One day the admirers will cease and the rotten edifice will crumble leaving bitterness, loneliness and despair.
"Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion (inordinate affection, concupiscence, unkosher lust), evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col.3:5, NKJV).
"Unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5, NKJV).