Updated: Sep 6, 2019
What is Avodah Zarah? and how can this relate in Messianic Judaism and Christianity today? One might be surprised to find that there is a lot more foreign worship and idols in ones life than once realized. In Judaism we would call foreign worship Avodah Zarah. Today many religions and churches unfortunately worship idols in their hearts and have a form of foreign worship rather than biblical. Did you know when you try to control situations and take matters into your own hands that you are worshipping an idol?
For example Polytheism people would serve other gods in their hearts and minds and their ways were for worshipping gods in order to control a situation out of fear! Today many fear of not having enough money, not providing financial security, losing ones house, car, belonging, family, job, spouse cheating on them, and a multitude of other fears. Satan loves to play off the emotions and feelings of individuals. For example in ancient cultures like today; with fearing not having money, you would worship god of money in your heart and work by whatever means to find security without realizing it. With a fear of fertility and not having a child, you would worship a god of fertility as ancient cultures did in belief you would have a child and fear that you won't die in childbirth as many did. Some may actually go as far as just marrying a guy out of fear that they will be alone in order to have a child. In ancient cultures they would give you healers (people who were false prophets to heal), amulets, or perform other pagan rituals and practices. In ancient war if one feared death you would worship the god of war, believing he will make you mighty and that you will overcome death. In trade and commerce if your desire was money, wealth, prosperity, you would worship the god of commerce. If you feared dying at sea on a ship, you would worship the god of water. If you feared fire, you would worship the god of fire that you might not die by fire and the list goes on.
The truth with the God of Israel and Monotheism, there is one God, one worship, one truth, one life and allowing God to be in control! Often times people like to make multiple gods through Jesus/Yeshua himself not realizing he is one God. In the beginning the spirit of God hovered, the word was with him and the word was God, the voice spoke life and light into existence, and the word became flesh. While they try to seek carnal means in order to live a holy life which doesn't equate to holy conduct. This is why it's important to speak of sin. For when we follow sin like sexual immorality, drunkenness, porn, love of money, greed, violence, stealing, theft, mistreating the poor, widow, orphan, love of materialism and riches, fame, popularity, adultery, cheating, etc. Many serve foreign idols in their hearts, after all an idol of the heart and mind is the same as an idol of the hand. You build in your heart and mind the world you want to live in and the god you want to serve. So If your god is success, prosperity, motivational, life coaching, feel good, easy coasting, no self denial, great happy life. You won't find happiness of the true God and salvation, but in fact will follow a foreign god and Avodah Zarah! Many choose to control their own path out of fear of self denial and holy living and what others will think of their self image. Many don't come to a holy living God out of fear of losing ones life and changing ones lifestyle, losing friends, family, judgement, criticism and an array of others personal and moral issues. For serving God is a commitment, relationship, sacrifice unto obedience and denying ones self and the world.
You can't serve God and money, nor god and the world and try to control situations except to rely on God. In the Torah (law) which means instructions, when God commanded to sacrifice an animal dedicated to him, it was to only in one place the temple. But why? There was a purpose, and so were offerings and tithes like we have donations in churches, ministries, and synagogues and it was also for sins.
The reason for this was because outside the temple it had its origins In selfishness and separation from God. People wanting to follow God in their own way! Their own time! Do what they wanted to do, then choose to follow God at their own leisure and pleasure. You see where we're going? Don't many do that today? They believe they worship God and sacrifice their life to them, yet they want to live their life, have fun when they want to, do what they want, give when they want, and read and pray when they want, then give God a few lousy minutes of their time. Their hearts aren't truly devoted to God, but religious attitudes as they spend more time in the world than they have to be alone with God or serving him! In essence millions of people who claim Christian are steering their own life, yet don't want the love and relationship with God. For many know the stats of sports players more than the word of God. People get more excited about weekend football, rushing home from church/synagogue, just to sit in front of TV than they get excited with God. People busy every weekend shopping, hanging out with friends, partying, going to concerts, clubs, hanging out with the boys and girls, golfing, video games, busy working all week and an array of other things and then have the gall to give God a few lousy minutes of their week. Where is the love and relationship in that? It appears everything in the world has become a golden calf than it has become the true worship and praise of our holy God!
What is Priority in ones life? What does one truly desire rather than making church/synagogue, worshipping God, reading and praying a legalistic burden? The whole purpose of his laws and his son dying for our sins is to have a relationship with us and bring us close to him! Without dying on the cross how could his spirit live within us or he write his laws on our heart and mind and cause us to obey? how could God without dying for our sins take an unholy man or woman out of the world, give us a new heart (new desires, morals, values, characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, and life) then put us back in the world and keep us holy? Only an amazing powerful God could do that!
Some judge Adam and Eve but yet don't see they are performing the very same acts! Don't you know hundreds of thousands are taking the bite of the forbidden fruit? God sent his son to restore what's been lost that we only delight in him! When God gave Adam and Eve the garden they had 99% of the world of paradise, yet that 1% they wanted to know good and evil an be like God. They weren't happy with all that God had given them as they became bored. Their attitudes became arrogant and rebellious and the temptation for power and knowledge, more wealth and more of the world crept in. Satan used one powerful statement "Did god really say that"? They lost the love and happiness in God and took the bait and questioned theirselves "maybe God didn't really mean it like that" How many people always want more? They want more in the world and more luxuries and worldly desires? For many fail to enter his rest not only like the Israelite's in the desert, but also as Paul said in Hebrews. How many pastor's use to speak the word of God with a powerful fire, yet something changed? How many people use to be on fire and obedient to God yet it died? It comes down to one issue, they all took the bite of the forbidden fruit that looked appealing. God's son took you to gan eden and people often want more, they want and desire the forbidden fruit. We all should to be satisfied with God and nothing else. Live in the present moment, learn to recognize the good you have right now in front of you. Thank God and be in gratitude in and through all things!
We as redeemed children of God are suppose to be first fruits, as we bring a gift offering to God. Just as we will give gift offerings like a tithe In the 1000 year reign of messiah. You will no longer give tithes to ministries and organizations but to GOD in the temple of Jerusalem. We are to be first fruits to God, and not the second fallen fruits of Adam and Eve. The first fruits are holy picked from the tree and eaten, the second fallen fruits of the forbidden tree is unholy. Are you bearing fruits like the garden of Eden before sin and the falling of holy fruits? Or are you bearing holy fruits? Think about it. Are you grateful for what God has given you? Or are you always desiring more? If God has brought you into the first fruits, be fruitful and don't seek the 1%. Be satisfied and grateful while making sure you are consumed with God and not the world, but rather consumed with God and not your own selfishness. Give glory to God! God ordered Cain and Able to give their first fruit offering, Cain became jealous that God was more pleased over Ables gift. But why was Ables accepted? His heart was pure and circumcised as he gave the best of his best, while Able gave his second best. In the same way, when we were brought into the promised land we were to give our fruits of our best. The same way we were to provide a lamb once a year for sacrifice for sins without spot or blemish. Also the first born lamb! The first fruits are holy, the second best is not. Our God doesn't want your second best, nor does he want to be the last desire in your life while you're busy worshipping the world with all your time. How would you feel if everyone in your life put you last in their life? Even many don't want to be last either right? How want the best seats at a concert, a sports game, best seats at a restaurant, best seats on a plane, best hotel room, best cruise, best vacation, best food, best restaurant? So why do you want to give god your worst? You say "well I do give God my best" but then why is your heart so focused on and in the world?
If eternity was truly stamped on your eyes, you would certainly have different priorities in life. God doesn't want your second offering to him, but your first and your very best! He doesn't want your lousy sins, he wants your heart and life! God said cursed is the one who worships another God, sins, or sets up idols in secret (in your heart.). Sin is not freedom and life, but death! You can never be happy In sin or serving other gods, and you will always look to other things in life to mask your sins and help your tormented emotions and feelings. Make sure your love is in God and that no sin is hidden from his face. Only the law of God and Yeshua the law in the flesh can free you from death! With true repentance and belief you will live for everlasting life, but the one who doesn't believe can not obey nor will they desire to serve God, but rather serve the churches that speak half truths, bring in games, parties, entertainment, block parties, fall festival parties, sports, flashing lights and fog machines, hearing a false grace because the leadership itself is seeking money, fame, success, prosperity, self image, and materialisms. The idols in their hearts just as the people's hearts today is what God will allow you to seek, you choose the living God of Israel, or the western christianity. For the Christianity is decaying and going down the drain because the God of Christianity is not the God of the Bible. Today people want the world, yet believing to serve God, they want to kneel a the cross but not be crucified on the cross. Itching ears seeking how much of the world they can hold onto while treading the depths of hell, while trying to hold onto heaven. I'm here to tell you that there is one way, either all of God or all of the world, the middle is lukewarm sitting on the fence and God will vomit those people out of his mouth.
Today we all have a choice to live for God, or live for the world. Choose life or choose death. All of us must choose which God we will serve, there are thousands of ways into hell, but only one way into heaven. The saddest part is not those in the world who have never come to know Messiah, but those in the church professing messiah and to be saved but their actions show otherwise that they desire the idols of the world more than they do the the saving grace of God and a relationship with him! For many serve whats created rather than the creator of the universe of heaven and earth and all humanity. If more men and women put as much effort into God's kingdom, marriages, and children as they do their jobs, sports, shopping, social media, TV, and all their other hobbies, this world would be a much better place. If the church leaders across America suddenly put down their theological seminary and bible college knowledge, selfish ambition, pride, money, games, entertainment, relevance and success driven self image objective minds, and spoke the law, true repentance, and obedience, revival would happen overnight! In an instant bars, nightclubs, casinos, liquor stores, cigarette companies, porn industries, and all the other lawless societal driven scapegoats would go out of business overnight! But as long as the people and the churches look and blend in with the world, people will get to hold onto their lifestyle while believing they are going to heaven. The churches today have lowered the standard of holiness in order to attract the world by carnal methods, but by the same standard they will have the keep speaking and use carnal methods in order keep carnal people. We are not to lower our standard of holiness and Godliness for the world, but change ourselves and allow people to change themselves for a holy God! The truth is the gospel without the law is no gospel at all! Where one hates the law they hate Yeshua/Jesus the word/law that became flesh. For where one does not hear the truth of the law they can not receive the gospel, they will know a false repentance based on emotions and feelings rather than transformation of the heart, soul, and mind!
Even during the first century churches/synagogues the congregations read from the scroll of the prophets and the law! How did people believe in Yeshua/Jesus and believe yet not have the new testament? I often see churches today twisting the letters and words of grace from Paul because they are unstable in their ways. We see again Avodah Zarah in their hearts and mind! Satan today is not fighting the churches, but in fact he is becoming the churches! You see in Capernaum, Israel where Yeshua use to teach there was only one way to God. If you had any differentiating opinions or beliefs, guess what you had no where else to worship and praise God. It's either you change or follow foreign gods. Today we see the same issue, when someone doesn't like one thing that upsets their lifestyle that revolves around change and self denial they go to another church right down the street. 3 churches on the same block are not birthed by God, but rather divorce, idols, and business. The problem today is, instead of people changing for God, they want to change God to fit their lifestyle. They have made a new god in their hearts and give way for Satan to twist the words of the bible out of context. After all in the Beginning with Adam and Eve it began with rebellion and questioning "Did God really say this? Is this really what he meant?" What happens next? They are handed over to be misled to those false gods and idols of another minister, church leader, or pastor who has the same hearts and rebellion that read the scripture with blinders over their eyes to believe they know the word but rather take it out of context and twist it. Which now presence the next case below.
2 Thessalonians 2: 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already operating; only there is one who holds back just now, until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Yeshua will slay him with the breath of His mouth and wipe him out with the appearance of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is connected to the activity of satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with every kind of wicked deception toward those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a delusional force, to lead them to believe what is false, 12 so that they may be judged—all those who did not believe the truth but delighted in wickedness. [TLV]
Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. [TLV]
1 John 2 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the boasting of life—is not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world is passing away along with its desire, but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
Make sure your eyes are on him, your desire are on in him and that your heart and mind abides with him, in him, and through him. Keep yourself from Idols anything that takes your heart from God and relationship with him 1 John 5:21. The love of money, materialisms, lust, greed, success, riches, fame, sexual immorality, which are idols. (1 Corinthians 6:18, Colossians 3:5) For we know:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.:
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.
Ephesians 5:5 Know for certain that no immoral, indecent, or greedy person—who is really an idol worshipper at heart—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Messiah and God.
Revelation 21:8 But for the cowardly and faithless and detestable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars—their lot is in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [TLV]