Matthew 3:10“And even now the axe of God’s judgement is poised to chop down every unproductive tree. They will be chopped and burned”.
All unproductivity is due to idolatry. Within the body of Christ there are many calf worshippers today. God is ready to bring judgment and His Holy fire. God is a jealous God. His love is a consuming fire. To know the heart of God, we need to embrace also the holy fire of God. For our God is a consuming fire.
Hos 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made themselves a molten image of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen. They say of them, Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves.
The problem of idolatry directly relates with the problem of people leaning on their own understanding and not trusting in the Lord with all their hearts.
Pro 3:5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.
Modern western people tend to think in their hearts, that idolatry is something that they would never do and feel rather appalled by these Israelites for their clearly unintelligent behavior and ungratefulness towards God so shortly after He lead them through the waters of the red sea.
But halt right there! You may be doing exactly the same, and may not even know it!
The Old Testament speaks to us in shadows. We will be looking deeper into these shadows and will highlight some of the deeper meanings and hidden messages that is concealed in here for the modern church of today.
What was true of the physical Israel in the Old Testament is just as true of the Spiritual Israel today:
Hos 8:4 They have set up kings, but not by Me; they have made rulers, and I knew it not. They have made themselves idols with their silver and their gold, so that they may be cut off.
In Eze 6:5 Yahweh says: And I will put the dead bodies of the sons of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars.
What does He mean with bones?In the bible when there is spoken about flesh, it represents the body.Blood represents the soul.And bones represents the spiritual calling.
Therefore when a persons “bones” gets scattered or burned it is quite a serious judgement.
It is the will of God for us to cast away our idols of silver, and idols of gold, which we have made ourselves and to worship only Him.
Isa 31:7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your hands have made for you, a sin.
We proceed now to have a closer look at what is meant by “kissing the calves”.
And we will see how “kissing the calves”, and “leaning on our own understanding”, worshipping and living predominantly from the “soulish” realm and not in the spirit and “eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil” is how we end up falling away from the calling and destiny that God has for our lives as His beloved children, and how spiritual “bones” ends up being burned.
May the bride become clean and start bearing the fruit of God’s Spirit, flowing from a life of worship in spirit and in truth!
Hos 14:8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him and watched him; I am like a green fir tree. Your fruit is found from Me.
A life lead by the spirit or the soul
The message for todayWe all develop mindsets about things, about how things are supposed to be. And it is unavoidable to use these mindsets to derive at some conclusions about matters as we walk through life. For example, a parent teaches the child that it is good to eat vegetables and that sweets is bad for the teeth. The child goes to school and sees some children that only eat sweets and eats no vegetables, and draws the conclusion that they eat unhealthy. This is not necessarily a spiritual judgment. This is a soulish judgment. But it is not necessarily a destructive soulish judgment that he made in his soul. What could be destructive would be his reaction. If he decides to go scream at that children telling them that they are bad as they are not eating the way young children should eat, and puffing himself up because he is a better and healthier eater displaying his higher morals, that would be very destructive. If however this child, in simple faith, tells Jesus what he observed and asks Jesus if he should do something about the situation because he is lovingly concerned about his friends teeth that would get rotten that is quite a different thing.
Jesus will always show us the best way to react towards others when we see them error in a way (according to our understanding) and feel heartfelt concern, bringing it to Him in prayer.
This is one kind of Judgment. But what about when it becomes more personal. What about for example this child is minding his own business, eats his carrots during breaks instead of sweets, and the other children start to insult him and make jokes about him while they are nibbling away on their lunchboxes filled with sweets. The issue is now not about having heartfelt concern about the other children’s health, but it is about how to respond to this “attack” in a way that will glorify Jesus.
Well. Left up to ourselves, our natural reaction is usually to feel hurt, rejected and offended and to then react from that hurt, rejection and offense by judging and condemning those who we perceive to have hurt us. The child may for example react by saying you mean fat kids and to insult them back for hurting him or her. Another kind of reaction would be to shy away, to feel deeply hurt and then to judge them in the heart as being unkind and inconsiderate and rude mean and terrible kids and the world as being a cruel and terrible place and licking wounds with a touch of self pity.
Neither of those reactions would be glorifying to Jesus.
Again, if this is a Spirit filled Child, he could react by saying, Jesus, I don’t know why they are acting this mean towards me, will you please help me how to handle this situation? And then to simply trust in Jesus to help and to go to Him for comfort, support and refreshment, and praying also for those who tried to hurt and offend without taking offense and harboring bitter root judgments in the heart.
There is another kind of judgment. And that would be judgment that has totally nothing to do with a soulish reaction. For example, there is a girl that is at the verge of getting sugar diabetes, but nobody knows this. This young child feels somehow incredibly disturbed when he sees his friend eating these sweets, but do not understand why. He reacts by telling the child, I don’t know why, but I just feel you shouldn’t eat those sweets. That would be a spiritual judgment. Such a spiritual judgment which are received by a soulish friend may often be condemned as being nosy, judgmental, prideful, prescriptive or whatever. But it wasn’t. It was simply a young child perceiving something in his spirit and reacting from it, not understanding with his soul even why he finds this so disturbing.
The examples brought are simple. Spesifically in such a way that even a child can understand it. But what applied to these young children applies to all of us, in many levels and in many ways.
Are we living from the spirit, or are we living from the soul? And why does it even matter?
Some biblical examples:
In the Old Testament, Hannah goes to the temple. God has destined her to have a child, and somehow her spirit realizes that. She cries out to God and engages in a spiritual battle. Her husband might have judged her as emotional unthankful for all that she has, even being over emotional. And Eli in the temple then judged her as being drunk.
When we judge from the soul we don’t see things the way God sees them, and we can become a great hindrance in the work of God.
Even when Eli judged Hannah from his soul, Hannah didn’t allow herself to get down with him to a soulish level and to react offended in the soul because of his inaccurate interpretation of what is going on. We can learn a lot from Hannah.
Another example is Sarah. She used to always honour her husband, even calling him lord. But then one day she commands him to throw out the slave sun because he should not inherit with her son. She was speaking in the spirit and from the spirit. Had Abraham judged her reaction in the soul, he may have taken deep offense. He may have felt disrespected – who is she to order him around about his son. He may have felt that she should rather have asked and discussed it with him rather than to demand and instruct him. Yet Abraham was wise, he took it up with God, and realized that this was from God and obeyed the Spirit.
Another example is the woman with the Alabasterjar that poured out her precious perfume in worship to Jesus, wiping his feet with her hair. This caused a few eyebrows to rise. Firstly the Pharasee that knew what kind of woman she is. He judged Jesus for not judging her. And secondly there were Judas that rather would have wanted her to sell the perfume so there could be money flowing to his purse. But Jesus was thrilled.
Sometimes when we are upset about something, Jesus is thrilled about it.
Our soulish judgments can make us enemies of God for that time! This is clearly illustrated when Peter from a soulish judgment tried to get Jesus to rid of the idea to go to His crucifixion. Jesus told him to get behind Him and called him satan!
When Jesus was a young child He was focused on the Fathers business firstly, not on the soulish emotions of his parents as a number one priority. And Jesus was like that all his life. We can see when as a young child his parents were so disturbed when he stayed behind at the temple and did not join them as they traveled. A soulish person could have judged Jesus as being disrespectful, inconsiderate, even unloving for his reaction.
A soulish person could even have judged Jesus for being bloodthirsty and unloving when He said that he did not come to bring peace but the Sword. When He explained how the effect of His Word would cause family members to rise up towards one other. Our soul wants to establish relationships and sees everything that contributes towards that course as being loving and everything that looks like a divide or a piercing as being unloving.
We even take these wrong mindsets with us when we approach God. When He doesn’t express His love to us in the soulish way we demand, we judge Him silently as not truly being loving and may even harbour judgments against God in our hearts. Some people even pull away from Him because of such deep offense because he doesn’t express love within the paradigm of their understanding.
A change of mind
We need to develop a total change of mind. The mind of Christ needs to become established within our mindsets, so that the life of Christ can become manifested through us.
While holding on to soulish living, we are unproductive towards the true spiritual work that God wants to do and are unfruitful towards spiritual things.
It is a time that we perceive God wants to bring a divide within His body of believers, between what is of the spirit and what is of the soul. What is of Him and what is not of Him. And many people will be surprised when they discover that the Jesus they thought to be the Jesus from scripture is so different from the way He reveals Himself to be.
The New Age ideology of love and Jesus has influenced many people from within the church and sadly many do not even realize it.
We need a shaking! The axe is at the tree!
Exodus 32 : Golden calf worship (Idols of gold)
(Exo 32:1) And the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, and the people gathered themselves to Aaron. And they said to him, Up! Make us gods who shall go before us. For this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.
Today there are those who are on the mountain of God, meeting with God personally. They are those who are seeking God’s face and who worships Him in spirit and in truth.
There are others who are not living in the presence of God. They have had encounters of the glory of God (like the Israelites had when God split the red sea and moved out before them). But still they do not know Him.
They see the ones who do walk with God as responsible to be mediators between God and them and hold them responsible to look after their needs.
As I am writing this, I hear in the back of my mind the church goer complaining because a man of God had not been visiting him lately, or a sister complaining that her pastor isn’t there when she needed him to hear from God.
There is a sense of accusation, condemnation and a judgment undertone detected in their tone of voice when things are not working out the way they want them to. The do not like to be uncomfortable and they do not like things to be not under their control.
(Exo 32:2) And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.
But why did God allow Aaron to answer them like this?
Eze 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face. Should I at all be inquired of by them? Eze 14:4 Therefore speak to them, and say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I Jehovah will answer him in it by the host of his idols; Eze 14:5 so that I may capture the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are estranged from Me by their idols, all of them.
(Exo 32:3) And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
Aaron was clearly a people pleaser. Instead of standing up from the spirit man towards this horrible unrighteousness that the people is planning, and defending the honor of Almighty God in his capacity as leader, he rather tries to accommodate them.
He is more concerned about what they think and what they want than about what God wants. He is more concerned about the honor of man than about the honor of God.
It is as if to them (including Aaron) God was there for them, they were not there for Him. And when God doesn’t pull his part they way he “aught” to, based on their understanding, it is time to do “adjustments” to God, to reduce Him to a more manageable image.
Aaron proceeded to ask the people of his “congregation” to bring him their gold. And without protest, the people brings the gold to him, that which God blessed them with for the purpose of later building a place of worship to Him glory, they would now be using for idolatry, thinking that it has something to do with true worship.
Also note that it was all the people that participated in this. Not only some of them.
They took what they wore close to them and brought it as a sacrifice to what they considered to be “god”. They truly wanted to worship God. They wanted to live for One Greater than themselves. But they wanted this god to serve them on their terms.
Psa 135:15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
God wants us to polute his holy name no more with our gifts and with our idols.
Eze 20:39 And you, O house of Israel, so says the Lord Jehovah: Every man go and serve his idols, and do so from now on if you will not listen to Me. But never again defile My holy name with your gifts and with your idols.
(Exo 32:4) And he took them from their hand, and fashioned it with an engraving tool. And he made it a molten calf. And they said, These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
So people create mental constructs about who God is in their minds. They craft the molten calves still today, in their mental constructs of who god aught to be and they give these constructs glory and honour for the things that the true God had blessed them with and the wonders and powerful works He had done.
Did God not say:
Lev 19:4 Do not turn to idols, nor make molten gods to yourselves. I am Jehovah your God. Lev 26:1 You shall make no idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a memorial pillar. And you shall not set up any image of stone in your land in order to bow down to it. For I am Jehovah your God. Lev 26:30 And I will destroy your high places and cut down your images, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols, and My soul shall despise you. 1Ch 16:26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but Jehovah made the heavens. Isa 2:8 And their land is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
Hab 2:18 What does an image profit, for its maker has carved it; a molten image, and a teacher of lies? For does the maker trust in his work on it, to make dumb idols?
Their idols were a snare to them.
Psa 106:38 and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was defiled with blood.
(Exo 32:5) And when Aaron saw, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, Tomorrow is a feast to Jehovah.
Note that they were so deceived that they actually thought that this feast was for Jehovah. The thought the calf represented Jehovah.
(Exo 32:6) And they rose up early on the next day and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.The applied their pagan worship principles and brought it into worship to what they thought was worship of Jehovah. They had no comprehension of the holineness of God.
(Exo 32:7) And Jehovah said to Moses, Go! Get down, for your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, are corrupted.
(Exo 32:8) They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Eze 20:16 because they despised My judgments and walked not in My sabbaths; and they profaned My sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.
(Exo 32:9) And Jehovah said to Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.
Types of IdolatryRev 9:20 And2532 the3588 rest3062 of the3588 men444 which3739 were not3756 killed615 by1722 these5025 plagues4127 yet repented not3777, 3340 of1537 the3588 works2041 of their848 hands,5495 that2443 they should not3361 worship4352 devils,1140 and2532 idols1497 of gold,5552 and2532 silver,693 and2532 brass,5470 and2532 stone,3035 and2532 of wood:3585 which3739 neither3777 can1410 see,991 nor3777 hear,191 nor3777 walk:4043 Gold idolatry : When we turn to a false image of who God is and worship that. We make mental constructs of what we think God is like and bow down to that. We call this god Yahweh. (See exodus 33). Gold idolatry has to do with false worship that we think is pleasing to God but which He considers to be an abomination. Often it comes with the blessing and even support or initiation of spiritual church leaders (see Aaron in example above)Silver idolatry : When we do whatever is right in our own eyes and we think that Yahweh is comfortable with it. We establish our own priestly order (See Judges 17-19). Silver idols were also made to the queen of heaven. Much worship of the queen of heaven have slipped into organized religion (churches) without people even realizing it. False prophecy (Jezebel) relates. When people have idols in their hearts they will attrackt prophecies which are not from the living God, but will tend to be what they want to hear. Brass idolatry: When we take holy things of God and we worship that instead of God. For example, people worshipped the bronze snake that was made to illustrate Christ on the pole for their sins and worshipped that. Some people today worships the book of the bible. Or they worship saints. Or Mary. The idol Molech was also from brass. It was an idol of fire, reminding of the strange fires that Aaron burned in the holy place which God judged as unrighteous. (Much of this can be seen in Catholic churches).Stone and wood idolatry : When we get into occultism which we do not even associate with Yahweh anymore. (See crystal healings or ancestral worship ceremonies).
Mark 24:14“And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” (KJV) http://bible.cc/mark/12-24.htm
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