These things are idolatrous to God because they honor demonic spirits, thus He calls them abominations or hateful things, things that He despises. Surprisingly, He claims that these activities are one of the reasons He sent Israel in to expel these people. We don't want to engage in practices that will ultimately result in God's anger and destruction.
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God compares spiritism to prostitution, the physical counterpart to spiritual prostitution, idolatry, in Leviticus 20:6. Witchcraft and occultism are analogous to sexual immorality in God's eyes, but the former is physical while the latter is spiritual. Is it worse to be a prostitute physically or spiritually? Both sully the purity that God seeks in our flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1). Spiritism has been linked to sexual transgressions and idolatry in other places (Exodus 22:16-20; I Samuel 15:22-23). Because it is both prostitution and idolatry, witchcraft is associated with them.
When a Christian engages in any form of spiritism, whether it is witchcraft, sorcery, divination, seeing a medium or fortune-teller, or even reading a horoscope, he is jeopardizing his connection with God, just as a man visiting a prostitute jeopardizes his relationship with his wife. Someone else is causing discord between the two covenanted parties. Occultism drives a breach between God and the Christian, making him as if he were worshipping an idol. It has the same effect: it pushes him away from God.
Now the deeds of the flesh are visible, which include adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, and so on, of which I warn you ahead of time, just as I warned you before, that people who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, NASB)
The apostle Paul talks about adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and licentiousnessall of which have sexual overtonesthen he talks about idolatry and then sorcery! It's impossible that they're all in this order by chance. Because they are not honoring their commitment with God, those who practice such activities will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Intriguingly, the Greek term for “sorcery” is pharmakeia, from whence we get the words “pharmacy” and “pharmaceutical.” Drugs and other potions were used by diviners, enchanters, witches, and sorcerers to put themselves or their patrons “in the spirit” so that their “magic” could function. Sorcery of all types became associated with the medicines. For the same reason, today's more serious Halloween devotees include drug use in their festivities.
The Bible teaches this in a consistent manner. The occult, or spiritism, is a sort of idolatry, or spiritual prostitution. It will lead to estrangement from God and, ultimately, disaster.
What makes a person defiled?
The things that come out of a person's lips originate from his heart, and they defile him. Because evil intentions, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemy arise from the heart. These are the things that make a man unclean, yet eating with unwashed hands does not make a man defiled.”
What is defiling the temple of God?
The apostle Paul remarked in a letter to the church in Corinth, “Do you realize that you are God's temple and that the Holy Spirit dwells within you? If anybody defiles God's temple, God will destroy him; because the temple of God, which you are, is sacred” (I Cor. 3:16-17). The first thing we need to figure out is who Paul is referring to when he says the temple of God is. When the subject of the temple of God comes up, many Bible students immediately think of the temple, also known as the house of God, that David planned but Solomon built. There existed a Jewish temple in Jerusalem at the time Paul was writing to the Corinthians, however it was not the original one that Solomon had constructed. Nebuchadnezzar had demolished that temple in 586 BC. In truth, the temple that stood in Paul's day was the third to be built on that site, and it was demolished by the Romans in A.D. 70. In Matthew chapter twenty-four, Jesus predicted its demise. However, Christians were not the Jewish temple, and Paul was not referring to that temple. The first chapter of First Corinthians starts, “To the church of God at Corinth, Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother…” (I Corinthians 1:1-2). It is the Lord's church that is being told that they are God's temple. It was not a physical temple, as Solomon's was, but a spiritual one, as the Lord had promised (John 18:36).
The desecration of the temple, and consequently the desecration of our Lord's church, is the subject of this article. To begin with, what exactly does it mean to defile something? In certain circumstances, the definition in our English dictionaries differs from the definition of the original Greek term translated; however, this is not the case here. The following are some examples of definitions: “corrupt, destroy, filthy or unclean, pollute” and similar terms. Defining examples can be useful at times. When Dinah, Jacob and Leah's daughter, met Shechem and he laid with her, the scripture says he polluted her (Gen. 34:2). Though the word defiled is not used, another instance of the same thing occurred when David's son Amnon raped Tamar, David's half-sister (II Sam. 13). The term is used and explained by the inspired writer in the New Testament when Mark says that the Pharisees and some of the scribes, “They found fault when they observed some of his disciples break bread with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands” (Mark 7:2). To contaminate or pollute God's temple is to corrupt or pollute it.
The next argument we'll make is to emphasize the gravity of defiling God's temple. If, as Paul stated, “If anybody defiles God's temple, God will destroy him” (I Cor. 3:17). It doesn't get much more solemn than that. That was said by a Hebrew author; “Falling into the hands of the living God is a terrifying thing” (Heb. 10:31), and falling into His hands after defiling the temple will result in destruction. To the Thessalonians, Paul defined it as “punished with everlasting destruction from the Lord's presence and the glory of his power” (II Thess. 1:9).
So, how are we able to corrupt God's temple (the Lord's church)? There are many more options than can be covered in a single post, but here are a few to consider. To begin with, divisiveness pollutes the body of Christ. As the Father and the Son are one, Jesus asked for all Christians to be one as well “so that the world believes thou hast sent me” (John 17:20-21). Unbelief, skepticism, and infidelity are bred through division. Just two chapters before, the apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthian church, “that you all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, but that you be totally bound together in the same mind and judgment” (I Cor. 1:10). Denominationalism is a huge stain on the bride of Christ's lovely white clothes.
False instructors are a thorn in the side of Christ's body. False teachers have always existed (II Peter 2:1), but our Lord advised against succumbing to their false teachings. “, he explained “Beware of false prophets who come to you dressed as lambs but are ravening wolves on the inside” (Matt. 7:15). Others who preach such filthy doctrines, as Peter pointed out, bring ruin upon themselves and those who follow their teachings (II Pet. 2:1). Paul alluded to a “polluted” gospel, warning that people who preach such filthy beliefs will be damned (Gal. 1:6-9).
There are numerous defilements that can and are used to corrupt Christ's lovely bride. As King Solomon once stated, “As dead flies cause the apothecary's ointment to emit a foul odor, so a little folly does him who is known for his wisdom and honor” (Ecc. 10:1). The additions and adjustments to God's original instructions for the church corrupt it, and it stinks in God's eyes, just as dead flies in ointment defiles that perfectly prepared remedy. Let's face it: defiling God's sanctuary is a serious thing!
What does quenching the Spirit mean?
God's people must be vigilant in weighing everything against God's Word and sticking to what is true. When we believe lies, we quench the Spirit. To quench the Spirit is to live according to our own desires rather than believing and obeying God's commands.
Who is the last Adam in the Bible?
In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the Last Adam, also known as the Final Adam or the Ultimate Adam. Second Adam and New Adam are two more titles that relate to Jesus.
A direct parallel between Jesus and Adam is made twice in the New Testament. Paul argues in Romans 5:1221 that “just as many were made sinners because of the disobedience of one man, so many will be made righteous because of the obedience of one man” (Romans 5:19, NIV). Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15:22 that “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive,” and he refers to Jesus as the “last/ultimate/final Adam” in verse 45.
The phrase “Second Adam” was first used in John Henry Newman's hymn “Praise to the Holiest in the Height,” which first appeared in The Dream of Gerontius:
How does the Holy Spirit guide us?
3. He leads us to our Purpose: When we seek God, He will reveal our gifts; the abilities we possess to assist others and carry out our missions. For some, this means teaching, while for others, it means pursuing a lucrative career that allows us to donate extravagant riches to people in need. Some people are called to live among the poorest of the impoverished on mission areas. He empowers us to complete our mission, no matter what He calls us to do. The Holy Spirit was upon Jesus, allowing Him to fulfill God's mission.
What does the Bible say about what comes out of your mouth?
According to James 3:8-10 in the Bible, “No one can control the tongue, which is a restless evil brimming with deadly poison. We bless the Lord and Father with it, and we curse those who are fashioned in God's image with it. Blessings and curses come from the same mouth. This should not be the case, my brothers and sisters.”
According to Jesus, “What comes out of the tongue is defiled because it comes from the heart. Because bad thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, and slander spring from the heart. These are the things that make a person filthy.”
It always amazes me how some people who faithfully attend worship and church functions, who firmly declare their Christian faith in the presence of other Christians, who by their declaration say they willingly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, seem to throw their Christianity out the window when it comes to local and national politics, perceived injustices, or when one feels slighted.
The teachings of Jesus Christ are intended to radically transform our hearts and behavior. It entails expressing our viewpoints without insulting others. It entails agreeing to differ without being judged. While it is completely common and natural to disagree with someone, this does not give you the right to dismiss, denigrate, scorn, or ridicule them. Those are, to put it bluntly, immature replies.
Yes, controlling one's tongue is a challenging task. It can be done, but I'm not sure how many people bother to try these days. How many people count to ten before making a snarky remark? How many people are prepared to think before making a snide remark?
James hit the nail on the head when he said, “We bless the Lord and Father with our tongues, and we condemn those who are fashioned in God's image with our tongues… This should not be the case, my brothers and sisters” (emphasis added).
Just like Jesus said, the words we use express what is in our hearts. And it's because of this that one has to worry about the motives of those who make insulting, sneering, and ridiculing remarks about Jesus' disciples. Such ranting, in my opinion, tarnishes Jesus' character, especially because his followers are expected to represent him today.
Please check your heart, reader. Consider how you react to those who hold opposing viewpoints. Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?
Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview are both led by the Rev. Mark Broadhead.