Abstain from ALL Appearances of EVIL

Face it, we live in a pagan culture. If you do not see this then you are blind. To please God he commands us to not have anything to do with pagan customs, traditions, or holidays that are so much a part of our common culture today.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23, Paul writes:

“Test all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Five minutes before we accepted Jesus (Y’shua) as our Lord and Savior we were still “of the World.”  Five minutes after our thinking is still mostly of the world.  It is a process of self-examination, with the help and direction of God, to identify and find un-holy things in our lives and rip them out so that we may become pure and perfect according to God’s standard of holiness.

So if you want to really pursue God in open and honest way, to have a pure heart towards him, we have to vigorously purge any pagan customs, traditions, and rituals that we may have unknowingly or not been raised in and adopted – but until now, have never taken a second look at.

GOD TAKES THIS SERIOUSLY and so should you:

First, God says that he refuses to be worshiped in the manner or way that the pagans worship their gods.

Secondly, God states that he is a very jealous God and will not tolerate us having anything to do with any pagan god or anything related to them.

FROM THE 10 COMMANDMENTS (Exodus Chapter 20):

(3)  You shall have no other gods before (above, over, in front of) me.

(4)  You shall not make unto you any graven image(idols), or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 

(5)  You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD י ה ו ה your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

Deuteronomy 12:30-32 (ESV): 

“… take care that you be not ensnared to follow them … and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? — that I also may do the same.’  You shall not worship the LORD י ה ו ה your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD י ה ו ה hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.  “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.”

James 1:21-22 (ESV): 

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

Paul writes in Galatians 4:8-11 (ESV) about followers of Jesus (Y’shua) who do not stop participating in secular pagan traditions and holidays:

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?  You observe (pagan) days and months and seasons and years!  I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.”

Paul continues in Colossians 3:2-10 (ESV):

(2)  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  …  (5)  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  (6)  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  (7)  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  (8)  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  (9)  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  (10)  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Our past life in the world comes with a lot of ungodly baggage, and it is our job to leave that baggage behind us and to step into God’s lifestyle and ways.  When we continue to practice our old ways we become offensive to God damaging our relationship with him and also damaging our witness with others.  Many of these popular customs in our society, knowingly or not, are steeped in pagan origins that are connected to the worship of false pagan gods.  God is asking us to choose between him or them.

AWARENESS OF PAGAN CUSTOMS

When properly reviewed, you may be shocked and sickened about how pagan our culture really is.  Since we are coming out of this pagan and secular world we must learn to identify it and flee from it, removing it from our lives and get aggressive against any appearances of evil.

Owning up to the customs and traditions you keep is a part of growing up and maturing in God.  Whatever customs and traditions you keep, you obey its creator, whether pagan or Biblical.  Like Paul stated in Romans chapter 6, To whom you yield yourself to obey, they are your master.  So do not let anything or anyone besides God ever become master over you or own you.

Researching, discovering, and turning your back and repenting on things that God has stated that he abhors will go a long way in setting you right with God, your witness, and your own personal overall health.  Think of it like being released form many tiny fishing hooks that Satan had in you unknowingly all along, something has steered you away from a Godly life.

In 1 Corinthians 10:20-22 (ESV) Paul states:

“… what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? …”

 

STARTING YOUR RESEARCH

Here are some resources I recommend that will help you identify evil pagan customs and traditions that we have inherited.

To get you started you can easily do an Internet search on these topics.  Use the search words “history of” and “origins of” the following:  Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.  See also Jeremiah 10:1-4 about the Christmas Tree.  If you do a similar search on the website YouTube.com you will also find a good selection of videos.

If you go to our website and look at our Online Store we will try to have a selection of resources available for you under the category “Pagan Customs.”   Visit us at:  www.TheJerusalemRoad.com

If you do not have internet access please find someone with an Internet connection to help you or you can normally go down to your local public library and use one of their computers.

 

CAUTION AGAINST
ANTI-PAGAN EVANGELISM

I will say, please do be careful.  The pagan roots of much of our common cultural practices can be very shocking and sickening at first to understand, and when talking about it with others it can be a very, very hard thing for them to accept.  Once we learn the truth ourselves it is a very common reaction to want to sound an alarm with everyone we know.  While the information is true, it can only be received by a person who is ready, and if not presented in a correct way can do more harm than good.

The process can sometimes be more like having a bad tooth removed with pliers.  While it is necessary for the person’s health to remove the bad and rotting tooth, it can only be done successfully if that person is ready for the process to begin, otherwise you end up fighting them and can become their enemy.  You really need to not burn your bridges with people but maintain a kind and gentle relationship with all.

If asked, feel free (within limits) to answer them.  Do not preach and please do not uncontrollable explode with volumes of information.  Be patient and let them ask questions.  1 Peter 3:15 (ESV):  “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

It is not our purpose to get people out of paganism.  Our main purpose is to get people to a saving faith in Jesus (Y’shua), to help them become connected to, and obedient to God.  By doing this first they should naturally start to remove themselves out of pagan and ungodly ways, although with a little encouragement from us.  While this is a part of God’s perfecting process, to discover if they are ready for this is to see if they have been obedient to God in other areas of their life first.  I will say again, please do be careful.

Faith in Jesus (Y’shua) first.  Living an obedient life unto God second.  Removal of pagan traditions in our lives is down the priority list a little but is definitely important because it is an offense (abomination) before God severely damaging our relationship and also our witness before others.

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