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Idols, Statues, Astrology, Magic, Charms, and The Occult

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As a Pastor I’m often asked: “Why do I need to, or Should I destroy anything associated with idols or with the occult?  Since I’m born again these things have no power over me anymore they are just token representations of something fake, something past, and something that is dead?” 

Wrong!  Why?  First let’s look at Scripture to see what God has to say about such things:

GodExodus 20:4-5 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; {5} you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Deuteronomy 7:24-26 And He shall deliver their kings into your hand, and you shall destroy their name from under the heavens. No man shall be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them.  (25)  You shall burn the graven images of their gods with fire. You shall not desire the silver or gold on them, nor take it for yourself, so that you may not be snared in it. For it is an abomination to Jehovah your God.  (26)  And you shall not bring an abomination into your house, lest you be a cursed thing like it. You shall utterly hate it, and you shall utterly despise it. For it is a cursed thing.

Acts 19:18-19 And many of those who had believed were coming, confessing and disclosing their deeds.  (19)  And many of those who were practicing magic brought together their books and burned them up before all. And they counted up the prices of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Idols, magic and the occult are preached against from one end of Scripture to the other i.e. Genesis to Revelation; i.e., in both the Old and New Testaments as just a couple of verses quoted above show us.  The instructions to Israel were to “utterly destroy” all idols and objects of foreign worship no matter how valuable they were in our monetary terms, and the NT, the Christians in Ephesus burned books worth 50,000 days of wages (a piece of silver was about a day’s wage) or about $5 million in today’s terms!

Idols and magic objects are under a curse from God.  They are an abomination to God (Deut. 7:25) and are why He sent Israel into exile for seventy years in Babylon! Their very presence can bring a curse into the house and upon the owner of the objects (Deut. 7:26).   I have often observed that Christians with idols in their houses experience ongoing misfortune, financial difficulties, poor health, disunity and marriage problems – and these problems vanish once the sin is confessed and the idol destroyed.

Idols Are Spiritual Adultery

woman in sinGod seeks a pure devotion from us. God sees idols as demonic and as ‘spiritual adultery” and they make Him jealous.  It basically is like declaring war on God – so that we have to contend with Him as we see in:

1 Corinthians 10:19-22  (19) What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?  (20)  No, but that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not desire that you should have fellowship with demons.  (21)  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.  (22)  Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Idols Are To be Absolutely Rejected

Idols are often very expensive and superficially attractive objects and the temptation to keep them “just as decorations”, heirlooms, or ornaments is often great BUT we are not to covet the silver or gold on them according to Deut. 7:25.  In the NT this is what Paul the Apostle says:

1 Corinthians 10:13-14  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also make the way out, so as for you to be able to bear it.  (14)  Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

And the Apostle John says:  
1 John 5:21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen.

Idolatry Brings Judgment Upon People

The Ten Commandments tells us that idol worship is punished until the third and fourth generation (Exodus 20:4-5).  In the New Testament idolatry is frequently mentioned in the lists of serious sins that keep people out of the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:20; 1 Peter 4:3, Revelation 2;14,20; 9:20; 21:18;22:15).

In fact in the early church faithful Christians were told “not even to eat’ with another Christian who tolerated or worshipped idols (1 Corinthians 5:11).

In Revelation we read of the severe judgment upon Jezebel was because of idolatry (Rev. 2:20) and the final plagues came upon those who clung to their idols:

Prophet JoelRevelation 9:20-21  (20) The rest of the people who survived these plagues did not repent of the works of their hands or stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk.  (21)  They did not repent of their murders, their deeds of witchcraft, their acts of sexual immorality, or their thefts.

Revelation 21:8  But people who are cowardly, unfaithful, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will find themselves in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death."

What Christians Must Do

Christians must destroy, preferably by burning with fire, all sacred objects of other religions, Buddhas, charms, magic books, Kabbalah books, sacred religious pictures and all objects that are “venerated”, including New Age objects, drug paraphernalia, death metal comics and record covers, occult based computer games and video games, and everything occultic, dark and evil including dream-catchers, idols, masks and pagan statues. If you have any doubt about it, any doubt at all - get rid of it.  Often the Holy Spirit will convict you and make you uncomfortable until you do this.

Some people think that just putting them in the garage is enough – but why hold onto things that will only bring a curse on you and cause you and others to stumble in their walk or in their faith!

Our rational Western minds often do not see much harm in such things, but Scripture is absolutely clear that to play around with magic, the occult, witchcraft and idolatry is to enter into the world of demons and to incur the wrath of God.  The Word of God says YOU must take this seriously and deal with it as soon as possible, not tomorrow, not later BUT now.  All this is necessary to advance in your walk with Christ, in your relationship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  In sum, we are to be ‘salt and light’.  Salt is for flavor and healing.  What does light have in common with darkness?  Nothing!  Light dispels the darkness, it does not ‘tolerate’ or cohabitate with darkness.  To grow into strong in ‘the faith’ --- walk 100% in the faith of Our Lord, Jesus Christ!

In His Love, Pastor John Edmiston, 2011