There are two ways we can follow in life: the way of YHVH or the way of the nations. YHVH has given us free will so we choose which way we follow. However, even if we think we follow YHVH’s way, we might, unknowingly, be following the way of the nations. The way of the nations may inadvertently have infiltrated our lives in some form. In order to determine what this means and if my statement is true or not, we need to define “the way of the nations.” It can be defined as anything contrary to YHVH’s word or ways.
I made the statement that even people who think they follow YHVH’s way, may unknowingly be following the way of the nations. Let me give you a few examples of this. YHVH said in Exodus 20 ” keep the seventh day sabbath”, but the nations say ” Sunday is the day of rest.” YHVH said in Leviticus 23 “these are My appointed times, ” but the nations say “let’s celebrate Christmas, Halloween and Valentines day”. YHVH says in Leviticus 11 “ this is good for food” the nations say “we can eat anything.” These are a few examples, there are many, many more. Each culture has their own “feast days” and traditions. These are all accepted as good because it is tradition. Traditions are rarely questioned. People observe these days and traditions not knowing the roots of it. The issue is not with traditions, but, the origins thereof.
It is the same with popular symbols. Many Christians wear a cross as a piece of jewelry or use it as a symbol of their religion. The question is where did it originate from and does YHVH want us to wear or use a symbol like this? What is the reason behind wearing or using it? Is it worn as in early times to ward off negative forces or demons and to protect the wearer thereof? Amulets were worn in ancient times around the neck to be close to the heart and the purpose was protection from evil forces. Do your own investigation into this. Determine for yourself if this belongs to YHVH’s way or the way of the nations.
Another example of a popular symbol is found in Judaism. This is the symbol of a hand, called the Hamesh or Hamsa hand. It is used as a universal sign of protection and as a good luck charm. Most Jewish people have this symbol on keyrings, mezuzahs or other household or religious objects. This originated in ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Carthage and is linked to idol worship.
These are a few examples of feasts and symbols which are traditionally used in Christianity and Judaism. The roots of these feasts and objects are often not considered. The purpose of this article is not to go into the detail of these symbols or feasts. We believe it is each person’s responsibility to search these things out for themselves and make the necessary changes. We want to show you how YHVH views it when we participate in this and what the spiritual impact is when we do.
How YHVH sees this
With regards to symbols and objects YHVH said the following:
26 â€œYou shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.
The word abomination is defined as follows:
9359 ×ªÖ¼×•Ö¹×¢Öµ×‘Ö¸×” (tÃ´Â·Ê¿Ä“Â·á¸‡Ä(h)): n.fem.; â‰¡ Str 8441; TWOT 2530a
1. LN 25.186â€“25.188 detestable thing, abomination, repulsion, i.e., an object which is loathsome and abhorrent (Dt 7:26), note: the object may be a concrete â€œthingâ€ or a â€œwayâ€ or â€œpractice,â€ as lifestyle behavior;
2. LN 6.96â€“6.101 idol, formally, repulsive thing, i.e., a worship object, with a focus that it is an item to be rejected (Dt 32:16; 2Ch 34:33; Jer 16:18; Eze 5:9; 7:20; 11:18, 21; 16:36)2
When we bring things into our homes that is in any way linked to idolatry, we bring a curse over ourselves. It is said in Deuteronomy 7:26 “and like it come under the ban” To be under the ban means to be set apart for destruction. When we bring an abomination into our homes, we become like it – set apart for destruction or cursed.
What we do is important to YHVH. He gave us instructions on how He wants us to live. He also told us what He doesn’t want us to do. When YHVH gave the ten commandments, He first identified Himself.
2 â€œI am YHVH your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
He then stated in no uncertain terms that we shall have no other gods before Him. YHVH is to be first in our lives. We are not to worship or revere any image, even if the image is a representation of Him or anything related to Him.
3 â€œYou shall have no other gods before Me. 4 â€œYou shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 â€œYou shall not worship them or serve them; for I, YHVH your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
The punishment for this goes on for four generations. This is also referred to in Scripture as the iniquity of the fathers. What does it mean? It means that if your great grandmother was involved in any false worship, you may still be suffering the consequences of it and so will your children. This still stands today. If we have anything to do with idol worship, our childrenâ€™s children will be affected by it. The roots of the tree of idolatry are sexual iniquity, bloodshed and occult involvement. If the fruit of any of these are present in your family line, you can be sure that some form of idolatry was practiced. These fruit show you that the curse is operating in your family.4
For Israelâ€™s own protection against these curses, YHVH repeatedly warned them not to follow the way of the nations.
2 Thus says YHVH, â€œDo not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them;
3 â€˜You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.
Egypt and Canaan were well known for idol worship. YHVH does not want us to follow in their ways.
YHVH detest this
Certain customs have the result that YHVH detest the doers thereof. In Leviticus YHVH said this in so many words. He warned the Israelites not to follow the customs of the nation He was going to drive out before them, for it actually resulted in Him abhorring them and driving them out.
23 â€˜Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.
29 â€œWhen YHVH your Elohim cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, â€˜How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?â€™ 31 â€œYou shall not behave thus toward YHVH your Elohim, for every abominable act which YHVH hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
These things that YHVH finds detestable, is part of our culture and traditions too. Another example from Judaism and Messianic Judaism is the tradition to celebrate the first of Tishri as Rosh Hashanah or the New Year.
Our son has a love for history and we were reading a book with him about the Eugaritic culture and archeological finds3 that attest to their way of living. This was really interesting. Did you know the start of the year in the seventh month (Tishri) is a Caananite fertility rite. The agricultural season starts in autumn in the middle east and for this reason the seventh month is observed as the beginning of the year. So the tradition to call Yom T’ruah Rosh Hashanah, is based on this. We have written an article about this: Yom Tâ€™ruah is not Rosh haShanah. This is also linked to the Babylonian Akitu which we tell you more about in this article. The bottom line is YHVH said that Aviv is to be the beginning of months to us (Ex 12:2), yet we go a different direction. When we choose to go according to a tradition contrary to YHVH’s word, we reject YHVH’s way.
We see this tendency to follow after other gods from the beginning. Even after the Israelites were freed from the slavery in Egypt, they continued to practice idolatry in the wilderness and it was not limited to the golden calf.
41 â€œAt that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 â€œBut Elohim turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, â€˜It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel?
25 â€œDid you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26 â€œYou also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.
5 and say to them, â€˜Thus says YHVH Elohim, â€œOn the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am YHVH your Elohim, 6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. 7 â€œI said to them, â€˜Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am YHVH your Elohim.â€™ 8 â€œBut they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
As we follow the history of Israel through scripture, we find more of this. At times Israel worshiped YHVH and idols. We do the same. Idolatry is part of our culture too. Both Israel and Judah went into captivity for their idolatry. We will likewise be taken into captivity for our idolatry and that of our forefathers. This captivity may be spiritual and/or physical.
1 The word of YHVH came to me: 2 O mortal, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of YHVH Elohim! Thus says YHVH Elohim to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I, I myself will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense stands shall be broken; and I will throw down your slain in front of your idols. 5 I will lay the corpses of the people of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6 Wherever you live, your towns shall be waste and your high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense stands cut down, and your works wiped out. 7 The slain shall fall in your midst; then you shall know that I am YHVH. 8 But I will spare some. Some of you shall escape the sword among the nations and be scattered through the countries. 9 Those of you who escape shall remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I was crushed by their wanton heart that turned away from me, and their wanton eyes that turned after their idols. Then they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. 10 And they shall know that I am YHVH; I did not threaten in vain to bring this disaster upon them.
When this happens, we will remember YHVH and understand what we have done and loathe ourselves.
YHVH is crushed by our idolatry
YHVH detests it when we practice any form of idolatry, because He knows what it does to us. The heart of our Father is love and He is crushed by our idolatry. It breaks His heart. Idolatry is often figuratively referred to as spiritual adultery. Adultery destroys marriages and breaks hearts. It crushes people, it tears them apart. This is what we do to YHVH when we practice any form of idolatry. We crush Him and break His heart. If we participate in idolatrous festivals, traditions or wear symbols linked to idolatry, we do this to YHVH. YHVH loves us dearly and wants us to return to Him. For this reason, He will act upon our faithlessness. He is just and will and does punish sin, transgression and iniquity.
As we said before, our idolatrous practices bring a curse upon ourselves and our descendants. This is the spiritual captivity we referred to earlier. We have written more about this in the article “Free from captivity“
YHVH wants us to come out from among this.
45 Come out of her, my people! Save your lives, each of you, from the fierce anger of YHVH!
This godless system Babylon will fall. We are called out of it. We are called to be set apart to YHVH, following His way.
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, â€œCome out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and Elohim has remembered her iniquities.
It is time we return to YHVH in purity of heart or we will be a part of Babylon’s judgment. We are to consider our ways and let go of all symbols, traditions and days which are part of Babylon. All that is contrary to YHVH’s word is part of the system of Babylon. We are to cleanse ourselves, our ways and our homes.
We are to repent of and renounce all this. Through the blood of Y’shua we can be free. We are also to break the curses associated with this and send any spirits associated with this away in His name. Through the blood of Y’shua, we have authority to do this.
Our choices determines our outcome. We can choose YHVH’s way, which is pure and righteous and according to His word or we can go the way of the nations. There is no in-between. In-between equals luke-warm and Y’shua said the following about that:
16 â€˜So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
21 â€œNot everyone who says to Me, â€˜Master, Master,â€™ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 â€œMany will say to Me on that day, â€˜Master, Master, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?â€™ 23 â€œAnd then I will declare to them, â€˜I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.â€™
We are to be critical of our own lives and remove that which grieve YHVH’s heart. He loves us dearly and has sent Y’shua to make it possible for us to break free from the captivity we are in. In His name we can be free. The first step however is ours to rid ourselves of symbols, traditions and days contrary to His word and repent of it. We are to return to Him and live our lives as His set apart people. When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (Jam 4:8).
13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear Elohim and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For Elohim will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Yâ€™shua for Jesus
- Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- Ras Shamra Eugaritiese Cultuur p130
- Amanda Buys www.kanaanministries.org
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