Friday, January 6, 2017

Abominations in the Sight of God

Boa Constrictor Snake
In the Church today, we rarely ever hear the word "abomination", if at all, unless it is in reference to something that applied only to the Israelites under the law of Moses. But we need to be reminded once again that abominations still exist for the saints today under the New Covenant in Christ's blood. The holy people of God must still avoid abominations, so it's important to know what things are considered abominations.

Abominations in the New Testament
Let's begin with the Greek word for abomination in the New Testament, which is “bdelugma,” meaning “a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.” To put it very simply, an abomination is something God utterly hates and finds disgusting. Idolatry in its various forms is the chief of all abominations and perhaps the most common, but there are many other kinds of abomination, as you shall see.

Jesus spoke about the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel, which will stand in the holy place (Mat 24:15; Mar 13:14). It will probably be some sort of idol set up in the temple by the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition doomed to destruction. The apostle Paul said he "opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (2Th 2:4). So the idol would be the son of perdition himself or his image.

The revelation given to the apostle John states that a false prophet will arise who will tell those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast (Rev 13:14), and he will give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed (Rev 13:15; also see Rev 14:9,11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4)

The Lord also said, that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable to God (Luk 16:15), so that means the things men value greatly are abominations in God's sight. In the context of that passage, the Lord was speaking specifically about wealth, which is at the top of the list of things that men cherish. This is why the prosperity gospel is so dangerous. However, there are many other things that men value highly like status symbols, big titles, political power, business prowess and success, intelligence, educational achievements, physical strength, athletic ability, muscle-bound bodies, perfect outward physical beauty, sex appeal, fashion, fads, and the like.

Abominations are part of what fills the gold cup of the woman on the beast (Rev 17:4), who is known as Babylon, the mother of the abominations of the earth (Rev 17:5).

Abominations in the Old Testament
Tarantula spider
Now that we have seen that abominations still exist under the New Covenant, let's look at the Hebrew Scriptures for more insight. The Hebrew word for abomination is "to‛ebah", meaning "something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: - abominable (custom, thing), abomination." This is the same meaning as the word for abomination in the New Testament, so there is no difference. In fact, in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, this Hebrew word is translated with the Greek word “bdelugma,” which is also used in the New Testament for abomination.

Here is a list of people and things God considers to be an abomination, according to Scripture:

  • Homosexuality (Lev 18:22,26,29,30; 20:13; 1Co 6:9-10)  
  • Approaching any blood relative to uncover nakedness or have sexual relations (Lev 18:6,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your mother or step mother (Lev 18:7,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your sister or step sister (Lev 18:9,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter (Lev 18:10,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your father’s sister, or your mother’s sister, which is your aunt (Lev 18:12-13,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with the wife of your father's brother, which is your aunt (Lev 18:14,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife (Lev 18:15,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your brother’s wife (Lev 18:16,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter, or with either her grandchildren (Lev 18:17,26,29,30)
  • Marrying a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness (Lev 18:18,26,29,30)
  • Approaching a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity (Lev 18:19,26,29,30)
  • Having intercourse with your neighbor's wife (Lev 18:20,26,29,30)
  • Having intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it (Lev 18:23,26,29,30)
  • A woman standing before an animal to mate with it (Lev 18:23,27,29, 30)
  • The silver and gold of the pagan idols (Deu 7:25)  
  • Graven images (Deu 7:26)
  • An idol (Deu 27:15; Isa 44:19; Eze 7:20; 8:6; 14:6; 16:36; 1Co. 12:2; 2Co. 6:16; 1Th. 1:9; 1Jn. 5:21) 
  • Making idols (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Idolatry (Eze 16:43; 18:12). Likewise, the New Testament Scriptures teach us that no one who practices idolatry will enter the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:20), so we must flee from idolatry (1Co. 10:14). Let's not forget that even covetousness is a form of idolatry (Col. 3:5).  
  • The acts that the pagans did for their gods like human sacrifice, burning sons or daughters in fire, inquiring after the gods. Giving any of your offspring to offer them to Molech (Deu 12:31; Jer 32:35)  
  • He who chooses false gods. (Isa 41:24)  
  • Sacrificing to Baal, and walking after other gods. (Jer 7:10)  
  • Burning sacrifices and worshipping other gods (Jer 44:4)  
  • Burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings and making cakes in her image. (Jer 44:22)  
  • Adulterous hearts which turn away from God, and eyes which play the harlot after idols (Eze 6:9,11)  
  • Women weeping for the false god Tammuz (Eze 8:13-14)  
  • Worthless men going out and seducing the inhabitants of a city to serve other gods. (Deu 13:14)  
  • Serving and worshipping other gods, including the sun, moon, heavenly host. (Deu 17:4; Eze 8:15)  
  • Making your children pass through the fire, divination, witchcraft, interpreting omens, sorcery, casting spells, mediums, spiritists, those who call upon the dead (Deu 18:9,12)
  • Those who make their son or daughter pass through the fire, who use divination who practices witchcraft, who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (Deu 18:12)
  • Burning incense as well as burning sons in fire according to the abominations of the nations. (2Ch 28:3)  
  • The false gods Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom were the abomination of the Sidonians, of Moab, and Ammon respectively. (2Ki 23:13)  
  • The things that the Hittites, Amorites,  Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites did for their gods. (Deu 20:18)  
  • Sacrificing to demons, neglecting the Rock who “begot you”, forgetting the God who “gave you birth” (Deu 32:16)  
  • Building high places, erecting altars to false gods, worshipping and serving the host of heaven, building altars for all the host of heaven in the house of the Lord, making your children pass through the fire, practicing witchcraft and divination, dealing with mediums and spiritists, setting the carved image of a false God in the house of the Lord, seducing God’s people to do evil (2Ki 21:11; 2Ch 33:2)  
  • Ahaz walked in the ways of Israel’s kings, even makings his sons pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations. (2Ki 16:3)  
  • Evil deeds committed by King Manasseh, according to the nations. (2Ki 21:2; Also see 2Ch 33:2)
  • Kings committing wicked acts (Pro 16:12) 
  • Sacrificing blemished/defective animals (Deu 17:1).  
  • The person who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex (Deu 22:5)
  • Practicing ritual prostitution, as in the work of cult prostitutes (1Ki 14:23-24)  
  • Sacred female prostitutes and sacred male prostitutes (Deu 23:18)  
  • To bring the wages of a female or male prostitute into the Lord’s house (Deu 23:18)  
  • For a man to take back his former wife after having sent her away (since she has been defiled). (Deu 24:4)  
  • Those who act unjustly and those who have differing weights and measures (Deu 25:16)  
  • Those who justify the wicked and condemn the righteous (Pro 17:15)  
  • Differing weights and measures (Pro 20:10, 23)  
  • A false balance (Pro 11:1)  
  • That which fills the heart of the man who has hatred (Pro 26:25) 
  • The devious (Pro 3:32) 
  • Haughty eyes (Pro 6:16)  
  • Those who are proud in heart (Pro 16:5)  
  • A lying tongue (Pro 6:16; 12:22)  
  • A false witness who utters lies (Pro 6:16)  
  • Hands that shed innocent blood,  (Pro 6:16)  
  • A heart that devises wicked plans (Pro 6:16)  
  • Evil plans (Pro 15:26) 
  • Feet that run rapidly to evil (Pro 6:16)  
  • One who spreads strife among brothers. (Pro 6:16)  
  • Wickedness (Pro 8:7)  
  • The way of the wicked (Pro 15:9)  
  • The perverse in heart (Pro 11:20)  
  • The prayer of the person who turns his ear away from listening to the law (Pro 28:9)  
  • The sacrifice of the wicked (Pro 15:8; 21:27)  
  • Pompous and costly devotions of wicked people, such as incense offered with hands full of blood (Isa 1:13)  
  • The acts of Sodom and Samaria, which were arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but not helping the poor and needy. (Eze 16:47,50)  
  • Lending money on interest and taking increase (Eze 18:13,24)  
  • Stealing, murdering, committing adultery, swearing falsely (Jer 7:10)
  • Shedding blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Treating father and mother lightly (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Oppression of the alien (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Wronging the fatherless and the widow (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Slanderous men shedding blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Eating at the mountain shrines (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Committing acts of lewdness (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Uncovering your fathers' nakedness (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Humbling her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Committing abomination with your neighbor's wife (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Lewdly defiling your daughter-in-law (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Humbling one’s sister (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Taking bribes to shed blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Taking interest and profits (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Injuring neighbors for gain by oppression (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Forgetting the Lord (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Despising the Lord’s holy things (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Profaning His Sabbath (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests hiding their eyes from the Lord’s Sabbaths (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests doing violence to God’s law and profaning His holy things (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests making no distinction between the holy and the profane;  priests not teaching the difference between the unclean and the clean (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Princes shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Prophets covering up for such evil rulers, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD has not spoken; practicing oppression and committing robbery, wronging the poor and needy and oppressing the sojourner without justice (Eze 22:2-12)  
  • Bringing in uncircumcised foreigners to be in the Lord’s sanctuary to profane it, thus making His covenant void, and appointing these foreigners to keep charge of the Lord’s sanctuary." (Eze 44:6-7)
  • Giving daughters to sons of the “peoples of the land” and taking their daughters for your sons (Ezr 9:14)  
  • Profaning the Lord’s sanctuary by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. (Mal 2:11). The New Testament still teaches us this is evil. "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. (2Co 6:14-18) 
  • Food-related abominations, regarding the consumption of unclean animals and creeping (swarming) things that go on their belly or walk on all fours or on many legs (Deut 14:3-21; Lev 11:41-43). This one is now apparently obsolete under the New Covenant, since the Lord Jesus declared all food clean (Mk 7:19). And the Lord said that what He has made clean, we must not declare unclean (Ac 10:15). You must not let anyone judge you with regard to what you eat or drink (Col 2:13). Nevertheless, just because you are allowed to eat them does not mean it is healthy to do so either physically or spiritually.
Putting it All Together
Aside from this last one about unclean animals, God still detests all of the abominations listed above. He detested them then and He still detests them now. What was an abomination to God thousands of years ago is still an abomination to Him today. He did not change His mind and decide that He now likes these things or that He does not mind it when people do them. At no point in Scripture does it say that God's grace means we are free to do these things. There are still Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven. It's important that we know about these things, so we don't miss heaven.

While the apostles clearly stated that circumcision is not required for believers, they did reaffirm that believers must avoid certain things that God hates. They set forth the following decree for Gentiles: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Act 15:28-29). This decree states that, in addition to abstaining from fornication, we must also still abstain from eating food sacrificed to idols and from blood and from the meat of strangled animals. The New Testament warns us not to touch what is unclean.

In the revelation given to John, the Lord Jesus indicated that He still hates it when believers commit acts of sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. He said, 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." (Rev 2:20)

And the Scripture is clear that no one who practices what is detestable will enter the Holy City. It states, "And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev 21:27). The Greek word for "abomination" in this verse is “bdelugma,” meaning “a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.” All who do these things are offensive to God, since their conduct excites Him to disgust and abhorrence. Anyone who is practicing abomination, it doesn't matter how good of a Christian they or other people think they are, the Bible says they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Nobody is allowed into heaven who does such things.

Therefore, based on Scripture alone, we have certainly established who and what God considers to be an abomination. “Thus says the Lord God, 'Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations." (Ez 14:6). Let's take heed of these warnings and repent, if you have done these things. Let's walk the straight and narrow path, avoiding all abominations, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness as we wait eagerly for the coming of our Lord Jesus from heaven on the day of God. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ and of God the Father abide with His saints forever.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
Author's note: You are invited to read Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Aim for PerfectionGodly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Tattoos and Body Piercing, Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine RevelationsMessages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular MusicIs Contraception a Sin? -- A Divine Revelation, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Led by the Spirit, Called to be Blameless, Holy Living in a Perverted World, , Separation from the World, and Fruit in Every Season. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

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Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

1 comment:

  1. wish you could have done a sermon about abominations, but youroutline is very helpful


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