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USING GRAVEN IMAGES IN WORSHIP IS IDOLATRY

11.30.16 | Biblical Study Of God's Word | by Bishop Lonnie Henderson

USING GRAVEN IMAGES IN WORSHIP IS IDOLATRY

    2 Corinthians 5:16King James Version (KJV) 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

    Colossians 2:8King James Version (KJV)

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    Corinthians 5:16King James Version (KJV)
    16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

    Romans 1:21-25King James Version (KJV)
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    Whenever one uses images in their worship of the Almighty God, it is the image that they have been deceived into worshiping and not the invisible God who is Spirit.

    You see, no one who has conceived these images has actually seen God or the theophany of God in the face of Jesus. Therefore, these images are based on the self-exalting thoughts of man influenced by demons:

    Genesis 6:5King James Version (KJV)
    5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    Such imagination are commanded by God to be immediately rejected; not to be meditated upon because it uplifts itself against the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Knowledge:

    2 Corinthians 10:5King James Version (KJV)
    5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Demonic spirits will always contend with the word of God. This is not about the Catholic doctrine (of which I have been delivered, having once not only practiced the faith, but was a lay teacher of the doctrine as President of the CCD at Saint Martin's Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. over 50 years ago), but of all doctrines, even those practiced outside of the Catholic religion that is contrary to the word of God. Satan will always try to rationalize, intellectualize and popularize in an effort to institutionalize philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    Acts 17:29-30King James Version (KJV)
    29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
    30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    Now let us not focus on the label of Catholic, because it is not about Catholics, but about doctrines and practices that circumvent and distort the word of God and are influenced by the deception of satan, about .

    2 Corinthians 11:14King James Version (KJV)
    14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    Such doctrines and practices are demonstrated among men, regardless of their religion or professed oneness with God. We see influences of demonic spirits in non-Catholic churches as well. It may not be in the form of praying to and worshiping those who have transitioned (and even that is evident on fb, for example when people transition we see the common acronym R.I.P. for Rest in Peace), but in the form of other rituals such as the common way of celebrating Christmas, using images of corruptible man in the form of art and other graven symbolism and calling it the incorruptible God, the embracing of perverted sexual behavior and other prohibitions against the Holy Spirit.
    We error when we revile people for the sin they commit, rather than expose and denounce the sin in accordance with God's word and example. We don't know if it is arrogance, because those who reject the word of God are doing so intentionally, for whatever reason or excuse; or ignorance because they have been spoiled by philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. We error because we are judging the character and not the behavior or we are attributing the behavior to the character. We error because we are wrestling with people and not with the demonic spirits that are tempting us to disparage those who have not received God's truth, this was one of the errors practiced in the churches of Ephesus, and God admonished these churches through the writings of the Apostle Paul:

    Ephesians 6:12King James Version (KJV)
    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Even if one does not understand that when they use images in worship, it is the image they are worshiping and not God, they give the appearance of idol worship which is evil and God's word clearly says to abstain from every appearance of evil:

    1 Thessalonians 5:22King James Version (KJV)
    22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    If one can not find support for their doctrine in Scripture (without trying to twist the word of God to conform to their ideology, or challenging one to prove that God's word applies to their specific transgression ), then it is heresy. It is not about where in the word of God does it specifically say your doctrine is prohibited or in the transgression,but rather it is about where does God say in His word that there is an exception to the transgression and that His expressed word and such exceptions to such transgressions are sanctioned. God will not be mocked, there are eternal consequences to making up one's own doctrine and attributing it to the word of God.

    Again, let us not upbraid one another. That is not glorifying God, it is not a manifestation of the righteousness of God, it is not edifying and it is not helpful. It only serves the spirit of pride who will convince the person in error to cleave to their own understanding all the more. Those who disregard God's word regarding disparaging other's are guilty of sin because we are not genuinely admonishing in love.

    Finally, there is no support in Scripture where other images or other means of worship are blessed by Jesus Christ. The Bible warns us that such deviation from God's word is offered as strange fire.

    Leviticus 9:23-10:2King James Version (KJV)
    23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.
    24 And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
    Leviticus 10:1-2
    1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.
    2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.

    Strange fire is the worship of God in a way other than God's way. God expressively tells us how to worship Him:

    John 4:23-24King James Version (KJV)
    23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    Using images which are natural or imagined, is not worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Using images natural or imagined is idol worship because God is Spirit. As with Nadab and Abihu who took upon themselves to worship God in a manner that they saw fit, which was contrary to the will of God, such worship is as strange fire to the Lord.

    God will not be mocked...

    One other point. It was Elizabeth who in greeting Mary called her the mother of God. If one studies the gospels they will see that Jesus did not acknowledge Mary as His mother:

    Matthew 12:49-50King James Version (KJV)
    49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
    50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

    That is because Jesus preexisted Mary and all creation as the preincarnate God:

    John 1:1-4King James Version (KJV)

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    John 14:6King James Version (KJV)
    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    John 8:12King James Version (KJV)
    12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

    Mary was the birthing vessel of the incarnate Jesus. Elizabeth greeting of Mary was just a description of that vessel. As a matter of God's truth, the only Mary that Jesus acknowledged as worthy of remembering was the Mary who anointed his feet with oil, and that was not the same Mary that was honored of being the birthing vessel of the incarnate Jesus:

    Matthew 26:6-13King James Version (KJV)
    6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
    7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
    8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
    9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
    10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
    11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

    12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
    13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

    One must not take a verse of scripture out of context and make a doctrine out of it.....