Idolatry and the Moral Majority in Jeremiah and America Part 1

NOTE:  While the Bad and Destructive Pastors and Prophets of Jeremiah 23 and of America today can “Make you vain” in that you allow them to create idols that substitute for God, Christ, and the real Gospel, accountability in the final analysis for the Christian fables and Falling Away has to fall on the people like in Jeremiah.  Americans above all are pragmatic, that is whatever works keep doing it and grow in functionality even to the creation of idols in the mind and heart.

Idolatry!
Jeremiah realized in Jeremiah 8:18 to 9:6 that “Judah’s idolatry is incurable” {from Sampey in the heart of the Old Testament}, the readers of Jeremiah do not fully comprehend that until the events and dialogue in Egypt as recorded in Jeremiah 44. And that is understandable as this was the first time that the women and their husbands openly admitted that they would continue to worship and burn incense to the Queen of Heaven. Moreover all the Jews in Egypt gave a reply of rebellion to Jeremiah against the Word of God.
“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and famine.” (Jeremiah 44:17,18)
NOTE: It is true that with the committment to follow God comes a cross. It can not always be peace and prosperity, that is not guaranteed as promoters of the false gospel of prosperity claim {see “False Gospel of Prosperity online at http://www.biblecombibleman.com}. At the peak revelation of the cross that comes with commitment, of course in the New Testament, comes, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
16-1: Faith in the Living God Leaves, Confusion Appears.
God’s People, leaders in government and religion, and the people themselves became thoroughly confused once they had secretly while still in Jerusalem and Judah given up faith in the Living God. It was easy for them after forsaking the God of the fountain of living waters, to make may broken cisterns of idols that could hold no water. They didn’t know whether to worship and service all these idols of other countries or Yahweh, so that tried to do both.
1. In the official temple services as described in Jeremiah 7 and 23, they officialited worshiped the Living God, the LORD God, with words like these:
“The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these”, repeating it in a praise chant of worship as worshippers do often today with such repetitive and meaningless words when they are not sure what they believe.
2. Yet secretly throughout the parts of the Temple as Ezekiel witnessed in horror as God took him from Assyria to Jerusalem for a tour of the Temple, there were 4 groups of idolaters worshipping many different idols. Barclay’s commentaries calls what Ezekiel was allowed to see, and recorded in Ezekiel 8:1-18, about the real condition of the Temple, “The Art of Idolatry”.
“The four scenes with which this great vision begins, taken together, form a comprehensive condemnation of Israel’s worship. All were involved, with no exception. {this hasty generalization we must later question in more detail as we know that both Daniel and his three friends of the fiery furnace were once part of Temple and city activity in Jerusalem before captivity in Babylon, and even before that Ezekiel, a prophet in Jerusalem, had been taken captive to Assyria earlier, likewise like in the time of King Ahab, Jezebel, and the Prophet Elijah, we suspect that both the prophets Jeremiah and Elijah were not aware “of the 7,000 which God had reserved for Himself who had not bowed their knees to Baal} The idol of Asherah at the north gate indicated the popular worship of the people. The secret room of sacrilegious murals demonstrated the distinctive failure of the nation’s leaders, the elders. The weeping women illustrated the loss of faith in the Living God. And, in the midst of it all, even the priests ere turning backwards in their misdirected attempts at worship. And not only were all the people engaged in this folly; they were without discrimination in their choice of idols. The idol of Asherah represented the religion of Canaan; the secret murals were drawn from the religion of Egypt. The weeping women turned to a god of Babylon, while the priests worshipped the sun, whose cult was practised in almost every nation of the ancient Near East.”
What shocked Ezekiel most, and the Jewish elders in Assyria to whom he told the visions was how far gone into idol worship 70 of the most prominent leaders in Jerusalem, those he spied through a hole in the wall as they worshipped all kinds of creeping things from murals on the wall. These were some of the best of the best in Judah, and which included Jaazaniah whose father Shaphan had been a large part of the previous reform under King Josiah.
16-2: Idols and Idolatry in America Like In Jerusalem of Jeremiah.
A Little Frank Discussion on Idols and Idolatry: Can this wickedness of idolatry be applied to God’s people of the United States today, in spite of never hearing the names of idols like Baal, Asherah, the Queen of Heaven, and the Sun god, etc?
For example, we were shocked to learn in the message {Advanced Bible Studies in Jeremiah} “Dreamers of Deceit and Delay” that the pecular group of Southern Baptists known before take-over of the SBC as Bible Baptists, and other religious groups today, are guilty of the same kind of deceit on God’s people as the official prophets and priests of Jeremiah’s time; that is, first they contradicted God by saying that Judah would not go into Babylonian Captivity, and then once in Captivity, they said it would be a short time. {This is the same kind of deceit about the immediate future that leads these fundamentalists and others to postulate a fictious rapture before the Second Coming, and one thousand years that delays the second coming of Christ.} In short, since we have a cult or religious body here in charge of a large body of God’s people, the fundamentalists running the SBC, practicing deceit and delay, is it also possible that this same large body is guilty of the most gross of all national sins on the part of Judah, that of idolatry. We don’t want to think so; however, sins like friends are known by their company; and from exegesis we must determine the similarities between most of God’s people at the destruction of Jerusalem, and in Egypt, and similarities to God’s people today. And all of this must be done with both great intellectual honesty, contemporary history, and the sociology of religion today.
NOTE: Surely we are not yet ready to say from our Advanced Studies in Jeremiah, that the fundamentalists are also guilty of idolatry simply because they have been deceivers of deceit on eschatology. The two national sins went hand in hand for God’s people of Judah, but must they also go hand in hand for the fundamentalists. Many of us have known some mighty good preachers who are wholeheartedly committed to the false rapture and fictitous one thousand years of Scoffield, both false doctrines of which tend to delay by deceit in the minds of God’s people the imminice of the Second Coming!
1. First of all, even though many of us got jumpy after Bailey Smith made the statement that God does not hear the prayer of Jews–this being perceived by the extreme tolerance of most Americans as intolerance and discrimination, still it is true, and Jeremiah has the nerve to say so in Jeremiah 2:11, that anytime a god is worshipped in this country or elsewhere obviously not the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, IT IS IDOLATRY, because these others, like in Judah before destruction, are not gods at all. “Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods?” (Jeremiah 2:11)
You know we as Americans and Christians are always faced with two sociological choices: (1) we can practice intolerance toward sound doctrine “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…” (II Timothy 4:4,5), traveling further and more quickly down the road of the Falling Away until shortly within 40-80 years we move into the fourth and fifth stages of the Falling Away, turning away from truth and being turned into fables {yes, much like the confused worship of Jerusalema and the Temple for many idols}; or (2) Allow the American Democratic Faith of extreme tolerance for all gods and religion to dominate over our love of the sound doctrines of the Bible. This latter puts us in the peculiar position of trying to admit the existence of a “god” that does not really exist!
2. We must get back to the seriousness of the first two commandments about “having no other gods before” the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and about “not making for yourselves images of this God or other gods, and not “bowing down to or serving other gods”. You know, most of you preachers and otherwise, probably have not read them in a long time, perhaps because you think they are antiquated in spite of Jesus saying that He came to fulfill them rather than destroy them!
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likenes of anything that is in heaven aobve, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God {and you begin to comprehend how jealous God is as you study Ezekiel and Jeremiah}… (Exodus 20:3-5)
NOTE: Please never forget as such good preachers as Charles Allen in “God’s Pschiatry” and “God’s Pattern of Thinking” and good Christian writers as J.B Phillips in “Your God is Too Small” have made the point that you are in violation of these first two commandments anytime you allow to be created in your mind a “concept” or mental image of God that is so unlike the God of the Bible and the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, the LORD God of Creation. If you do not read, heed, and take seriously these first two commandments from the LORD God of the Universe, then naturally you run the risk of the confusion of idolatry like happened to God’s people of Judah and Jerusalem.
3. In spite of the difficultly of finding any sermon preached, famous or otherwise, on idolatry, likewise a chapter in a commentary on Bible teaching book, still many good Christian preachers mantain that anytime you allow a thing, person, or even status or goal to take the place of first loyalty in your life over the God, you are in violation of the first commandments; and furthermore whatever image of God you must rationalize in your brain to justify such second place in loyalty toward God is a violation of the second commandment in that you make also an image of God. You see it doesn’t have to be a god on a pole, or some entity like, since these gods do not really exist anyway. In fact, if you are honesty about it, you will realize that since these other gods do not exist, and the only other supernatural being is Satan and his fellow demons, that as you worship other gods you are engaged in the milder forms of devil worship, if there is any such thing as mild demon worship. And you see that is exactly what the leading 70 men of Judah were doing in the basement of the Temple; in secret, they were worshipping Satan and his demons.
16-3: Judah’s Idolatry is Incurable, Jeremiah 8:18 – 9:6.
1. Reminders that had to be on the minds of Judah and Jerusalem, especially after the discovery of the Book of the Covenant {the law of Moses or the first five books of the Old Testament} under king Josiah. Quite often “Covenant” and the Ten Commandments or the law were used interchangable.
a. In the “you shall have no other gods before me” of the NIV, the notes state about the word “before”:
“In Genesis 16:12 and 25:18, the Hebrew for this words is translated ‘in hostility toward” which can be the same literal meaning in the second commandment of Exodus 20:3. In any event no other diety, real or imagined, is to rival the one true God in Israel’s heart and life.”
b. Similar meaning is found in Exodus 20:23:
“Do not make any gods to be alongside Me, do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.” (Exodus 20:23)
In double jeopardy of two commandment violation are those rich, or would be rich and prosperous, that make silver and gold to be their priority, effectively make them idols in the place of the God.
c. The danger of being led astray by “the world”, the community and environment around you is in the detail explanations of the 10 in the book of Deuteronomy and in the New Testament.
(1). “Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you…” (Deuteronomy 6:14)
(2). Ephesians 4:17-20.
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ.”
2. Yet in spite of over 163 years of warning and chastisement on the judgment that would be actuated on them in the destruction of Jerusalem, and in spite of so many chatisements that there was no room on their back for more stripes, Jeremiah wrote; and with God gettting up early and staying up late to send prophets to warn them of the consequences without repentance {the words or the Temple Message of Jeremiah was really “change your ways and doings}, they refuse to change their ways and doings, especially on the matter of Idolatry. And of course if you break the second commandment, you must also break the first commandment, once again double jeopardy.
3. God and Jeremiah began to mourn poetically as they realize that the Idolatry of God’s people was incurable, beyond hope; and further that God, having already told the Prophet not to any longer pray for the people, now is ANGRY!
a. First God.
“Why have they provoked Me to anger with their carved images–with foreign idols? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!” (Jeremiah 8:19,20)
b. Then Jeremiah.
“Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging place for travelers, that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, and assembly of treacherous men.” (Jeremiah 9:1,2)
The daughter of the people is like the children of Judah in captivity in Babylon, where the cry of the daughter of my people come from a far country, actually two far country with the captive of Judah in Babylon and the captive of the northern kingdom of Israel in Assyria, some scattered to many other countries as in Joel 3:6,it is mentioned that some of the people of Judah and Jerusalem were sold to the Greeks, far from their borders.
16-4: Cause of the Coming Judgment–Idolatry–Ezekiel 6:1-14.
1. The “Exile” was a process, rather than a couple of single dates, in both the northern kingdom of Israel and in the southern kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem; and Ezekiel agrees with Jeremiah that the single dominant cause of this captivity and exile was IDOLATRY. From 734-722 B.C. the Assyrians made repeated raids against Israel and warfare, some killed and some taken east to Assyria. Tiglath-pilezer first carried the people east of the Jordan and in Galilee captive, and then in 722 B.C. the people of Samaria were taken into the land of the Medes. The Babylonian exile of the southern kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem was similar in that it started as early as 605 B.C., the same year that Daniel and many other of the nation’s finest were carried captive to Babylon; in 587 B.C. Johoichin and many people were taken captive; and then the total destruction of Jerusalem and the temple came in 587 by the Chaldeans, Zedekiah and most of the remaining people were carried also to Babylon. Actually Ezekiel, formerly a priest before becoming a prophet 5 years after captivity in Babylon, was taken captive in the bunch with King Jehoiachin in 587 B.C.
According to Sampey in THE HEART OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:
“Jeremiah and Ezekiel taught their people that the captivity itself was brought about by Israel’s God as a chastisement for their idolatry and immorality. The Exile {70 years for Judah} was Jehovah’s school of discipline for His rebellious people.”
2. While Jeremiah’s messages were primarily for Judah, where Jeremiah remained even after under the land was under the rule of Babylon and with the vassal governor Gedaliah, Ezekiel was first in Judah as a priest then in 587 was taken captive by Babylon to the southern part of the country where after 5 years he began his prophesy.
“On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans {or Babylonians} by the River Chebar…” (Ezekiel 1:2,3)
3. A Preliminary Outline of Ezekiel as given by Block in the NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARIES.
a. PART I: Message of Doom and Gloom for Judah/Israel (1:1-24:27)
(1). Call of Ezekiel to the Prohetic Ministry (1:1-3:27).
(2). Signs and Visions of Woe for Israel/Judah (4:1-11:25).
(3). Collection of Prohecies of Woe Against Israel (12:1-24:27).
4. It is in Ezekiel 6:1-14, obviously in the “Signs and Visions of Woe for Israel and Judah, that Ezekiel makes a strong case of IDOLATRY against the total nation of Israel, Judah and the northern kingdom.
“Then those of you who escape {are not killed initially} will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart {like in the Prophet Hosea and in Jeremiah, lack of loyalty to the LORD God is called adultery also here in Ezekiel} which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols {you know this almost borders on adultery as taught by Jesus when a man looks on a woman with lust in his heart, something quite often not obvious to the Moral Majority}; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations {recall how the Temple message of Jeremiah in chapters 7 and 23 spoke of the abominations in violations of the 10 commandments, of mistreatment of the people in the land, and of idols–you will recall in particular how the people in Jerusalem during temple worship had the nerve to say that “we are delivered to do all these abominations”}. And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.” (Ezekiel 6:9)
16-5: Idolatry in the Chief of Prophets, Isaiah.
Never forget that it was the Prophet Isaiah and Joel and others who made prophetic predictions of the inevitable destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. In fact, you will recall what helped to spark the reformation under King Josiah was the accidental discovery of the Pentateuch in a closet of the Temple as they were in the process of clearnig out all the idols. And this reading of the law shook up the King and the kingdom of Judah as it also predicted a destruction of Jerusalem! A quick survey of the word “idol” in Isaiah will show us how this master of Prophets dealt with Idolatry.
1. In Isaiah 2:8, after in 2:1, “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem” comes words about “The Day of the LORD” because of what the house of Jacob is doing, “filled with eastern ways”, soothsayers like the Philistines, and “their land is full of idols”–
“They worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. People bow down, and each man humbles himself; therefore do not forgive them.” (Isaiah 2:8,9)
NOTE: Much of the idolatry in America today is found where individuals, especially the rich and wealth {for the distinction and proper definition see the last chapter}, are so committed to the inventions and constructions of their own hands {you know the self-made man sort of thing}, that this committment has become more of a worship of “mammon” {man made objects} than of God.
2. In this day of the LORD, a calamity of the second kind that leads to destruction of the whole earth, “when He arise to shake the earth mightily” (Isaiah 2:21), and the people of the world cast away their idols to the moles and bats (2:20) in order to hide in the cleft of the rocks during the world disintegration.
3. Isaiah proclamation against Egypt of 19:1 included both the “idols of Egypt” being tottered, and the heart of Egypt being melted.
4. More about judgment on Egypt in 19:2-4:
“I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers, the mediums and the sorcerers. And the Egyptians I will give into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them,’ says the Lord, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 19:2-4)
Years later, Jeremiah also warned the Judah remnant at Mispah, who desired to escape to Egypt, that (1) God would “watch over them for adversity and not for good” since they went to Egypt against his will and refused to abstain for IDOLATRY, in particular on the Queen of Heaven; (2) even though a small number of Jews in Egypt would escape, most would be devoured by the 2 kinds of calamities of “famine” and “sword”; and (3) God will give Pharoah Hophra, king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies as He previously gave Zedekiah, the king of Judah, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (Jeremiah 44:7-30).
16-6: Cause of Calamities: Worship and Service of other gods.
It is always best to hear it in God’s own words so that you know not only exactly what God said, but you also know what He was thinking. In Jeremiah 44:2,3, God says that all the calamity and destruction that came on Jerusalem and Judah, and all that about to come on the Jews in Egypt {do you realize that this continued chastisement has further implications for the future up until now}, is primarily because of THEIR WICKEDNESS TO WORSHIP AND SERVE OTHER GODS.
NOTE: For more on this subject read the chapter on “Cause, Cure, and Curse of Idolatry” and “Calamities Chase Chastisement”.
16-7: “The Religion of Idols Is Foolish” (Jeremiah 10:8)
Jeremiah 10:1-16 is called by Thompson “A Satire on Idolatry: Yahweh and the Idols.”
NOTE: You will want to read this for yourself straight from the Word of God to get the full impact. Please read it spiritualy.
16-8: Contrast 70 at Sinai with 70 in the Basement of the Temple.
A Contrast between the Faith and Spiritually Filled Nature of the Seventy Proment leaders at Mount Sinai as compared to the shameful 70 prominent leaders in the basement of the Temple confused with allegiance to other gods. The point is, then and now, that is ultimately comes down to a proper personal relationship and knowlege and faith in God with a corresponding filling of the Spirit of God, and then preaching {prophesying}.
These 70 leaders in the nation were secretly in the darkness of the basement of the temple, underground you might say, worshipping 70 distinct images or symbols on the wall, one for each of the towns and villages of Judah. Each had his own little cubicle as if hidden from the rest of the 70 so that he could burn incense in privacy and so worship the image on the wall. Surely there is no need to look for some kind of sexual acts in the privacy of these cubicles, although we do not that many of the idols of Judah and the surrounding neighbors did involve sexual acts. However, primarily these 70 false gods of Judah and Jerusalem were symbols of something like fertility, prosperity, peace, and so on and on in the same manner that Americans today create symbols to represent the prime motivations in their lives.
16-9: Sins, wickedness, or abominations, of America and Jeremiah, start with many words, phrases, and concepts; but eventually come back to just plain idolatry.
1. Jeremiah’s Concept of “den of thieves” starts with Idolatry.
Many times as you look at sin in the Bible, you are inclined to think that it is all IDOLATRY! Take the “Den of Thieves” concept of the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7:11, “Has this house which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes?” The train of thought for this concept from God through Jeremiah starts to flow, with “the ways and doings” of Jeremiah 7:6 {another way to describe a life style of sins}, first consisted of (1) improper judgment between a man and his neighbor, (2) oppression of strangers in the land, fatherless, and widows, and (3) shed innocent blood, and with the bottom line, “walk after other gods to your hurt” (7:6c).
“walk after other gods” , this time with the modification “whom you do not know” (7:9) is repeated again in Jeremiah 7:9, only 3 verses later than above; and preceeded by the sins of 10 commandment violation: steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely…
And the worse part in the sight of God comes in the next verse, Jeremiah 7:10, it would not, it seems, have been so bad if these sins had been committed by God’s people while they were absent from the house of God; but God’s people of Judah and Jerusalem had the nerve to come to church each week with all these abominations behind them, stating, “we do all these abominations, we are still here so that what we are doing must be right”. In worship and service to God, each week at the Temple, they had to nerve to come into the very house of God, dedicated to the Great God of the Universe Himself, and named “as a house and temple of God” after the very name of God, stating as almost a professon of faith, “we are delivered to do all these abominations” (7:10)
2. The concept of “den of thieves” of Jeremiah comes back to Idolatry.
The issue and gist was THE DESECREATION OF THE HOUSE OF GOD AND THE NAME OF GOD. And the second part of the issue according to their God was that they thought they were hiding all these abominations and descreations from God. {Remember how the 70 elders at this time in the temple basement of Jerusalem were worshipping and serving in the dark 70 idols of the cities of Judah, saying, (1) God does not see us, and (2) God has forgotten this land. {Perhaps this is where the term “God-forsaken land” came from.}
“’Behold, I, even I, have seen it’, says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 7:11)
God’s people, just like any den of thieves, desires to do after a robbery, or murder, or some other crime, desired to run for the hills and hide at a known and secure place of hideout; unfortunately what God’s people of the nation during the time of Jeremiah were doing, was making that hideout, or den of thieves, the very house of God! {Enough to make God angry, of course!}
3. Any desecration of a house of God comes back to idolatry, because to have to have in your mind and as part of your worship and service another god who will allow perverted uses of the house of God. You see, our God and the God of the Bible, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, does not allow such desecration.
a. When in Matthew 21:13,13 when Jesus Himself used the “den of thieves” phrase and concept of Jeremiah 7:11 and Isaiah 56:7, it was because religious businessmen had perverted the temple from “a house of prayer” to a “den of thieves”. Specifically what were doing: (1) buying and selling in the temple area {obviously a use of the temple of God for personal gain and profit}; (2) exchanging money for a profit as worshippers needed to purchase with holy coin, also for a profit; and (3) selling doves in the temple area.
b. The other ocassion of John 2:13-17 when Jesus drove out of the temple the sellers of oxen, sheep, and doves, and the money changers {all doing business for profit in the temple area, an obvious desecration of the house of God}, He made it clear that the house of God, in fact “His Father’s house”, was not to be made “a house of merchandise!” (John 2:16)
4. The Apostle Paul, writing Scripture under the inspiration of God, in Romans 2:22, and all in one sentence, makes the jump from “robbing temples” to idolatry; and you see how this was Old Testament based, especially from the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7 and 23, and also based on prior teachings of Jesus as He twice drove the moneychangers out of the temple.
“You who ahbor idols, do you rob temples?” (Romans 2:22)
NOTE: Many Americans and church members have one of their few convictions today, along with the false concept that they like the Jews before Paul and Jesus, were good people, also had the false conviction that above all they did not commit IDOLATRY. In fact, they hated idolatry. Yet the Word of God through Paul is once again saying that if you descecrate houses of God by a misuse of any purpose than for the service and worship of God, then you are an IDOLATER!
5. Okay, we will take it one step further before the conclusion of this section and this chapter on IDOLATRY: WHEN YOU COVET OR LUST AFTER SOMETHING, THAT SOMETHING BECOMES AN IDOL AND YOU ARE GUILTY IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OF IDOLATRY!
Did you notice that in an earlier chapter, when we quoted from Ephesians 5:1-6, the startling phrase, “nor covetous man, who is an idolater”, (Ephesians 5:5) equating the sin of covetousness with IDOLATRY! You know this is a serious sin in the sight of God for this covetous idolater, along with fornicators {notice all these are descriptions of a lifetime of continuous habits}, and unclean person can not have any inheritance in the kingdom of God and Christ. Now, that is serious!
W. O. Carver in THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE CHRISTIAN CALLING, paraphrases this Scripture in the following words:
“For keep this constantly in your practical knowledge; every fornicator, or impure person, or man-of insatiable-passion, who is, in fact, nothing less than a sex-idolater, is barred from having any share in that Kingdom which is founded and constituted by the Christ and which under the dominion of hte Christ, is also the realm of God.”
And translates Ephesians 5:5 in the body of the commentary as:
“For be well assured of this: that no fournicator or unclean person, or sex pervert, who really is an idolater (putting sex before all else) has any place in the kingdom of our (the) Christ and God.”
NOTE: The parenthesis of “putting sex before all else” is from Carver, which really explains how covetousness can become Idolatry; and like any substitute for the worship and service of God, when that habit becomes a priority over service for God, it also becomes IDOLATRY!

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