Angelic Conflict part 196: Human history (idolatry) – Eph 1:9-10; 3:8-10; Col 1:25-2:4; 2:13-15; Isa 40:12-22; Deu 4:15-20; Hos 4:10-19; Isa 44:6-22.

Class Outline:

Title: Angelic Conflict part 196: Human history (idolatry) - EPH 1:9-10; 3:8-10; COL 1:25-2:4; 2:13-15; ISA 40:12-22; DEU 4:15-20; HOS 4:10-19; ISA 44:6-22.


In the evening of the Last Supper, in the upper room and in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord used the word "world" (Gr. kosmos) 41 times. Beyond any question the word is chosen by Christ to represent the sphere of satan's activities in this earth: this is the world of which satan is called the prince, by the Lord Himself, in JOH 14:30. Yet this world is the same place or kosmos that God said that He loved so that He gave His uniquely born Son. Satan is the prince of the kosmos, but Jesus Christ is the Savior and Light of the kosmos. In that same night Christ divided the world into two camps that are irreconcilable unless a person from one camp moves over to the other camp. Satan was the prince of one host and that host would hate the Prince of the other host and therefore hate the host that were under the Prince's dominion. The thought that was uppermost in the mind of the Savior was not His own impending cross, but the terrible struggle that would face His loved ones when He left them alone as His representatives in the alien province of earth. The first phrase given concerning this night of nights shows this to be true:


John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.


Satan, possessing Judas, was not there as the Lord had commanded him to leave before He began to teach them of the coming age and so satan was left in the dark as to what was occurring in the months following our Lord's resurrection. How he must have anticipated judgment during every day until he realized that a whole new age, not spoken of by the prophets of the OT was upon the earth and he would come to realize that the believers in this new age were being given surpassing power, far and above anything ever witnessed before. Moses, Job, Daniel, etc. were tough opponents, but these common believers were ridiculously blessed with power.


There is only one thing to do against an enemy that has superior power. You must convince him that he doesn't possess it.


So satan ramped up the propaganda machine, using the same techniques that worked on deceiving mankind before, for the essence of the flesh had not been changed from the OT people, but that propaganda machine was now targeted at something new, the doctrines of the mystery that was kept secret from long ages past, but now has been graciously revealed to the saints. He is using idolatry and religion as he did before to distract the Israelites from the heart of the Law and the doubt of the covenants, but now these are used to convince the believer that he is not what God says that he is in Christ.


EPH 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him


EPH 1:10 with a view to an administration [dispensation] suitable to the fulness of the times [everything after the Church is the "day of the Lord" all prophesied beforehand], that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.


EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,


EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration [dispensation] of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;


EPH 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.


COL 1:25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,


COL 1:26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints,

COL 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory [includes all that the indwelling of Christ signifies].


COL 1:28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete [mature or realizing the fulfillment of your election] in Christ.


COL 1:29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.


COL 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,


COL 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, ["of Christ"]


COL 2:3 in whom [singular - Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


COL 2:4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.


What arguments persuade the knowledge of Christ? None. I am the way, the truth, and the life - period. The truth of Christ, the mystery of Him that has now been revealed does not blend - is not miscible - with any persuasive argument.


And so satan's propaganda machine spreads lies about Him so that a false christ will be blendable with all satan's other lies, like idolatry or religion.


Yet Christ in His victory has completely defeated satan and his host while God allows their propaganda machine to keep going for a time.


COL 2:13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,


COL 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.


COL 2:15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.




There is nothing sinful or evil in the things of the world as long as the believer understands the truth behind them.


1CO 6:12

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.


A master is someone or something you look to for fulfillment. Knowing the truth behind all things puts them in their proper place and therefore they do not become your masters and therefore will not become your idols.


Religious Christians who want to clean up the devils world have an erroneous belief that eradicating the things that people use for sin will somehow stop the sinning. This is exactly what John Calvin attempted in Geneva in the 16th century and it only brought more evil. They erroneously believe that putting Christians in government will fix Washington. The government isn't the problem. It's the populace who believe the lies and who desire an entitlement society so that they can pursue their idols with security. But there is not security in tyranny and eventually their idols are forced upon them so that the tyrant or tyrants can maintain power and wealth.


To desire to worship God and idols simultaneously or in the same way in essence places God on the level of creation as if He is only as important as the cosmos or any material thing in His creation.


To put God on level with the physical is to greatly dishonor Him and with that fail to experience the wonderful changes that are enacted in a man who worships Him from a humble heart.


ISA 40:12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,

And marked off the heavens by the span,

And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,

And weighed the mountains in a balance,

And the hills in a pair of scales?


Notice the articles mentioned which were areas of idol worship; water, the heavens, the earth, the mountains and hills where alters and temples were built.


ISA 40:13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,

Or as His counselor has informed Him?


That nullifies the worship of any man.


ISA 40:14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, And informed Him of the way of understanding?


ISA 40:15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,

And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;

Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.


ISA 40:16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,

Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.


ISA 40:17 All the nations are as nothing before Him,

They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.


This does not eliminate patriotism, but it does eliminate worshiping your nation or any other.


ISA 40:18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?


ISA 40:19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.


That's the metal idol that the wealthy could afford and now we have the wooden idol, the only option for the poor. The fact that the better idols needed to be purchased with money should open up the eyes of the fool.


ISA 40:20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter.


The fact that wood rots and that idols totter unless they are made skillfully by a craftsman should easily show the folly of worshipping such a thing. A wooden idol has to be carefully planed at the bottom, made significantly heavier on the bottom then the top in order to lower its center of gravity, and it can only be put on a level surface, or it will fall over. A craftsman has to make sure that your idol won't fall over and then you bow down and worship it. Logically, shouldn't you be worshipping the craftsman?


[I, pencil]


Money buys stuff. Should one worship the money or the stuff? If so should they not be worshipping the man who prints the money or the man who manufactures the stuff? Maybe he should worship the job that gives him the money that buys the stuff? Then shouldn't he be worshipping the marketplace that brings customers for his trade, or maybe he should be worshipping the customers who pay for his services?


ISA 40:21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?


Chiastic construction: know, heard, declared, and understood.


When Israel failed to acknowledge the absolute distinctness and unequalled supremacy of Jehovah its God, it hardened itself against the knowledge which it might acquire even in a natural way and shut its ears against the teaching of revelation and tradition, which had come down from the very beginning of its history.


ISA 40:22 It is He who sits above the vault of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers [we became like grasshoppers in their sight; NUM 13:33], Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.


The heavens represent the worship of stars and planets in astrology, which was also in a lot of ancient cults as well as modern. God spreads out the heavens and He likens it to a tent. Why would anyone worship a tent?


How often I have heard an unbeliever tell me that they have never seen God and that if He showed up in front of them then they would believe. What form would He take? How could they see omnipresence? If He took the form of a man and did many signs and wonders, would they believe in Him?


He already did that. And that man changed the world, changed Israel, changed any man who would believe in Him into a new creation, regenerated, and possessing eternal life.


If people don't believe through what has been written then they will not believe if He would return to them as a physical witness.


LUK 16:31

"But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'"


Isaiah points to the impossibility of likening anything on earth to God and thus roots his argument against idolatry in the spiritual nature of the deity.


At the heart of Isaiah's theological argument is the fact that God cannot be likened to anything that is finite or temporal (Deut 4:15).


Since the idol always represented something that was needed, desired, or important to the people the image itself will only become silly once the person comes to believe in God and His Messiah that only God can fulfill these things.


In the present age, many of these physical manifestations of idols have been camouflaged, while the needs, desires, and priorities of the flesh are still promised.  


By camouflaged I only mean the magic of modern marketing where plenty of symbols are used to trigger the passions of the flesh to greed, power lust, sexual lust, monetary lust, chemical lust, social lust, approbation lust, criminal lust, revenge lust, etc.


Because God is pure spirit, any attempt to represent Him in symbolic form is a distortion of His person and hence a falsification of truth.\


DEU 4:15 "So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,


DEU 4:16 lest you act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,


DEU 4:17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,


DEU 4:18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. 


DEU 4:19 And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.


DEU 4:20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.


Isaiah also points his hearers to the attributes of Yahweh and then contrasts Yahweh and His glorious attributes with the brooding idol of stone or wood, incapable of thought, speech, or action. He speaks of the Lord's ability to declare future events, and denounces the idol as "empty wind" (41:26,29; 44:7). The idol cannot stand before the inexorable progress of God's will in history (41:5-7; cf. vv. 8-16).


ISA 41:29 "Behold, all of them are false;

Their works are worthless,

Their molten images are wind and emptiness.


ISA 41:7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter,

And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, "It is good";

And he fastens it with nails, That it should not totter.


/Samuel places disobedience to God and idolatry in the same category. In the final analysis idolatry was rebellion, for it constituted a violation of God's commands.\

ISA 44:6 "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.


ISA 44:7 'And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.


ISA 44:8 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'"


ISA 44:9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.


ISA 44:10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit?