Among the heathen . . . ye shall serve gods, the work of mens hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. Deuteronomy 4:27-28.
Those who claim to be the children of God, and yet do not obey His commands, who are hearers but not doers of the Word, are regarded by the Lord as bankers regard fraudulent bank-notes. They are not genuine. They claim the name of Christian, but in reality they are heathen. To those who do not practise it, the Word of God is a dead letter. Christ says of such, I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. If they realized that they were sinners [i.e., open idolaters or god-servers], He could plead in their behalf, and the Lord would arouse them by His Holy Spirit [i.e., and/or by His power]. But He can not present them to the Father; for they are worse than dead [i.e., thus, see the congregation of the dead or heathen discussed below] in trespasses and sins. They hear the Word, but make no application of it to themselves. Instead, they apply the Word to their neighbors. God can be no power to lukewarm Laodiceans. 4ST 50:1:4; or ST August 2, 1899.
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. Proverbs 21:16.
The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of mens hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. Psalms 135:15-18.
Behold ye among the heathen, and
regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your
days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:9.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10.
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object [i.e., thus, please see material objects in the second paragraph below; and, therefore, please remember James 2:10] the first place in his affections or his service. Whatever we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that do we make a god.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [i.e., and/or thou shalt not do vain worship of thyself to them by teaching for doctrines the commandments of men in regards to Gods first and second commandments like the great mass of openly idolatrous or heathen, worse than dead, vain worshiping, lukewarm Laodiceans predictably do and/or like the heathen church of the Laodiceans predictably does], nor serve them.
The second commandment forbids the worship [i.e., the vain worship] of the true God by images or similitudes. Many heathen nations [i.e., to include the great mass of heathen, worse than dead, vain worshiping, lukewarm Laodiceans and/or the heathen church of the Laodiceans] claimed that their images were mere figures or symbols by which the Deity was worshiped, but God has declared such worship [i.e., such vain worship] to be sin. The attempt to represent the Eternal One by material objects [i.e., by material objects like gold, silver, wood, stone, brass, ink, pencil, paint, crayon, felt, and/or by some other visible or material objects] would lower mans conception of God. The mind, turned away from the infinite perfection of Jehovah, would be attracted to the creature rather than to the Creator. And as his conceptions of God were lowered, so would man become degraded. PP 305:4-306:1, written in 1890.
The message to the church of the Laodiceans applies especially to the people of God today. It is a message to professing Christians who have become so much like the world that no difference can be seen [Revelation 3:14-18 quoted]. . . .
Only those who receive the seal of the living God will have the passport through the gates of the Holy City. . . .
Many will not receive the seal of God because they do not keep His commandments or bear the fruits of righteousness.
The great mass of professing Christians will meet with bitter disappointment in the day of God. They have not upon their foreheads the seal of the living God. Lukewarm and halfhearted, they dishonor God far more than the avowed unbeliever. They grope in darkness [i.e., thus, please remember this darkness of the lost, impenitent, openly sinning, great mass of openly idolatrous or gods-serving or idols-serving or forbidden-alleged-images-of God-serving or heathen, worse than dead, worldly, vain worshiping, lukewarm, Laodicean, merely professed Seventh-day Adventists and/or of the heathen or worldly church of the Laodiceans - - right now and even still in the day of God; and, therefore, please see this same darkness and more, as discussed in the next and last quote of this very short study on heathenism] . . . . 7BC 959:2:1 and 7BC 970:1:2, 6-7; or RH August 20, 1903, Letter 164, 1909, Letter 76, 1900, and Letter 121, 1903.
The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to our condition. . . .
I feel grateful to God that He is my helper in every trial, and that He will be your helper if you desire it. He is no respecter of persons. He is just as willing that you should have His consolation and peace as that I should have it. He invites you to walk in the light as He is in the light. Will you do it? Will you separate your soul from all that is unlike Him, from all sin and darkness, and from all associations that lead into darkness? 2RH 320, 361-362; or RH July 23, 1889 and January 28, 1890.
Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Michael O. Hodges
FORERUNNER, self-supporting ministries
Home church (since 1983)
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