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  • ECT: Food Sacrificed to Idols

    In Revelation 2, two churches are taken to task by the Lord because of influences that lead people to eat food sacrificed to idols.

    To Pergamos :

    But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
    So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
    Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

    Rev 2:14-16

    To Thyatira :

    Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
    And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
    Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
    And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
    But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

    Rev 2:20-24

    I have underlined some of the key elements (characters named, what they did to the people etc...) and note that both of these involve not only idolatry but stated fornication.

    The questions are these :

    1. What is meant in these instances by eating things sacrificed to idols? (Please give a reasoned answer)
    2. How does that square with Paul's word to the Corinthians (I Cor 8) about eating food sacrificed to idols?
    3. How about with the Jerusalem Council's conclusions for the Gentiles in Acts 15:19-20?
    4. How do the spiritual conditions of these two churches compare?
    If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    Jeremiah 17:9

    Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
    Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

    Isaiah 50:10-11

  • #2
    In I Cor. 8 Paul said that there were Christians who had the knowledge to know that the meat sacrificed to idols was alright to eat. Because idols were nothing. Much of the meat sold on the markets had been sacrificed to idols and people knew it. But because some Christians would be upset by eating meat offered to idols Paul discouraged eating such meat that would hurt them.

    "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall" (I Cor. 8:13).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bradley D View Post
      In I Cor. 8 Paul said that there were Christians who had the knowledge to know that the meat sacrificed to idols was alright to eat. Because idols were nothing. Much of the meat sold on the markets had been sacrificed to idols and people knew it. But because some Christians would be upset by eating meat offered to idols Paul discouraged eating such meat that would hurt them.

      "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall" (I Cor. 8:13).
      While I recognize this is the thing focused on (and I know three of my questions were directly related to it), this is only part of the story. The letters to the two churches that had this charge were very direct and clear that they were being seduced/influenced to eat things sacrificed to idols. Now either Paul is simply wrong in what he said or there is more to what is going on in Revelation. So while I also have wondered at the surface-level contradiction, it seems to be more involved and more insidious than what Paul was talking about. Having said that, one still has to navigate the differences if one is going to understand what was going on in Pergamos and Thyatira.

      So I guess the first question I would ask you is why the Lord was chastising these churches for something the apostle Paul (seemingly) said wasn't a big deal?

      EDIT : And if what the Lord was rebuking isn't the same thing that Paul was talking about, then why is the (English) wording essentially the same?
      Last edited by nikolai_42; August 4th, 2019, 08:39 AM. Reason: Added question
      If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

      The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
      Jeremiah 17:9

      Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
      Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

      Isaiah 50:10-11

      Comment


      • #4
        "There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.'

        "Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols."

        I believe the Lord is addressing the church about people within the church who are not Christians, but spreaders of evil/idolatry.

        Whereas Paul, who also spoke of the sinners within the church, was addressing to eating the meat sacrificed to idols as not being of any harm to eat as long as one knew that the idols were false and meaningless to a true Christian. However, Paul addressed that to care for the new Christians who were upset by the eating of such meat. That it was better for Paul and the senior Christians not to eat it for concern for the newer Chrisitans.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bradley D View Post
          "There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.'

          "Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols."

          I believe the Lord is addressing the church about people within the church who are not Christians, but spreaders of evil/idolatry.

          Whereas Paul, who also spoke of the sinners within the church, was addressing to eating the meat sacrificed to idols as not being of any harm to eat as long as one knew that the idols were false and meaningless to a true Christian. However, Paul addressed that to care for the new Christians who were upset by the eating of such meat. That it was better for Paul and the senior Christians not to eat it for concern for the newer Chrisitans.
          Okay, but if you read it, He is addressing those that tolerate these teachings and speaking of the teaching itself. The teaching causes these things to be manifest. And while there are very likely some who aren’t saved and some who are, Paul’s letter and the letters here in Revelation would have been transmitted the same way (I am assuming) - as a letter to the whole church. So would not Paul’s letter have potentially had the effect of tolerating what Jesus clearly condemns? If what you say is the case, then wouldn’t Paul be guilty of defending idolatry ( in the context of the letters in Revelation)?

          I don’t believe he was, but just breaking it down the way you do (it seems to me) leads to that problem.


          Sent from my iPhone using TOL
          If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

          The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
          Jeremiah 17:9

          Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
          Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

          Isaiah 50:10-11

          Comment


          • #6
            No I don't believe that Paul would ever defend idoltary. He was defending the churches newcomers. We should have more concern for them. Than doing something we know does not hurt us, but may hurt them. As I pointed out much of the meat sold in the markets came from sacrificed animals. Buying and eating the meat was not a sin. However to the new Christian who knew that the meat had been sacrificed to idols may have a guilty conscience if they buy and eat it. Therefore Paul cares more about them than doing something he knows not is wrong.

            Paul does not support idols. Paul often himself pointed out in his letters people who were acting wrongly within the church. Paul that if they did not repent they needed to leave the church. Christ in Rev. was also pointing the evil idol worshippers within the church. It was up to the believers to remove them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bradley D View Post
              No I don't believe that Paul would ever defend idoltary. He was defending the churches newcomers. We should have more concern for them. Than doing something we know does not hurt us, but may hurt them. As I pointed out much of the meat sold in the markets came from sacrificed animals. Buying and eating the meat was not a sin. However to the new Christian who knew that the meat had been sacrificed to idols may have a guilty conscience if they buy and eat it. Therefore Paul cares more about them than doing something he knows not is wrong.

              Paul does not support idols. Paul often himself pointed out in his letters people who were acting wrongly within the church. Paul that if they did not repent they needed to leave the church. Christ in Rev. was also pointing the evil idol worshippers within the church. It was up to the believers to remove them.
              I’m not saying Paul would defend idolatry. But Rev 2 deals literally with people teaching (and seducing) others to eat food sacrificed to idols. That’s the English wording of the KJV. The literal wording of I Cor 8:1 in the same bible is “Now as touching things offered unto idols....” and the rest of the passage goes on to say eating things sacrificed to idols. The chastisement for these two churches had to do with what was being taught more than those who were following the teaching (but they were rebuked as well). Again, I am not trying to advance the view that Paul was promoting idolatry or even that he was the one referenced as Balaam to Pergamos. The fact that this happened in Thyatira but it seems to be a woman influencing others tells me that the idea wasn’t new. As Peter says, Paul wrote things hard to be understood that some misused to their own destruction. My intent is to get past that thought because it really reads these passages superficially. That said, they need to be dealt with and so my question is how to understand the teachings being propagated in Pergamos and Thyatira - what they were, how they were manifested and how it compared with other teachings (Paul here and the Jerusalem council in Acts).

              Since I am on a mobile device I will leave it at that until I can respond on a bigger keyboard (!)


              Sent from my iPhone using TOL
              If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

              The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
              Jeremiah 17:9

              Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
              Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

              Isaiah 50:10-11

              Comment


              • #8
                Rightly dividing per Paul eliminates the problem.
                All of my ancestors are human.
                Originally posted by Squeaky
                That explains why your an idiot.
                Originally posted by God's Truth
                Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Right Divider View Post
                  Rightly dividing per Paul eliminates the problem.
                  I smell a rabbit, but I’m willing to explore...cautiously.

                  How does MADness eliminate the problem?


                  Sent from my iPhone using TOL
                  If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

                  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                  Jeremiah 17:9

                  Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
                  Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

                  Isaiah 50:10-11

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                    I smell a rabbit, but I’m willing to explore...cautiously.

                    How does MADness eliminate the problem?
                    The book of Revelation is completely and totally associated with Israel and has nothing to do with the body of Christ.
                    All of my ancestors are human.
                    Originally posted by Squeaky
                    That explains why your an idiot.
                    Originally posted by God's Truth
                    Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                    Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                    (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                    1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                    (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                    Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                      In Revelation 2, two churches are taken to task by the Lord because of influences that lead people to eat food sacrificed to idols.

                      To Pergamos :

                      But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
                      So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
                      Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

                      Rev 2:14-16

                      To Thyatira :

                      Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
                      And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
                      Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
                      And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
                      But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

                      Rev 2:20-24

                      I have underlined some of the key elements (characters named, what they did to the people etc...) and note that both of these involve not only idolatry but stated fornication.

                      The questions are these :

                      1. What is meant in these instances by eating things sacrificed to idols? (Please give a reasoned answer)
                      2. How does that square with Paul's word to the Corinthians (I Cor 8) about eating food sacrificed to idols?
                      3. How about with the Jerusalem Council's conclusions for the Gentiles in Acts 15:19-20?
                      4. How do the spiritual conditions of these two churches compare?
                      The key to this question of yours is found in the doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel. Study the story of Balaam's interaction with the king of Moab and what he finally told the king to do to remove the protection of God from the Israelites. Then study what Jezebel taught the people of the nation of Israel. That is your clue to the entire list of questions. To me, the answer lies in that both Balaam and Jezebel were involved into leading the people into transgressing God's law both in regard to sexual sins and diet. But it needs to be understood that the key is the seduction of the Israelites into the worship of pagan gods. It was by joining in that worship with the Moabites and with Jezebel that the Israelites sinned sexually and in diet, for both of those sins were integral to the worship of Baal, the god of Moab an the god of Jezebel.

                      Paul was not dealing with the sin of idolatry in the churches which is what both Balaam and Jezebel influenced the Israelites to join in on. The problem he faced was that some of the new converts still regarded the old idols they used to worship as powerful and meaningful, even though they no longer worshiped them. Thus those converts were susceptible to being influenced to go back to their old ways of life by seeing fellow members eating food offered to idols even though those eating that food had no intention of going back to idolatry. To those members the idols had lost all influence in their lives, which was not the case with those with the weak consciences.

                      Hope this helps.
                      “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
                      ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

                      “One and God make a majority.”
                      ― Frederick Douglass

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                        I smell a rabbit, but I’m willing to explore...cautiously.

                        How does MADness eliminate the problem?


                        Sent from my iPhone using TOL
                        Just making sure you realize I'm having a little fun with the jab. While I do not subscribe to the position of Mid-Acts dispensationalism (or dispensationalism, generally), I am not actively hostile to those that hold it. This was intended mainly as a play on words with the understanding I don't agree with the position. Nothing more.

                        Assuming that to be understood, I'll proceed.
                        If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

                        The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                        Jeremiah 17:9

                        Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
                        Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

                        Isaiah 50:10-11

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Right Divider View Post
                          The book of Revelation is completely and totally associated with Israel and has nothing to do with the body of Christ.
                          The only way I can fathom that position is if it's simply because Paul didn't write it that it is understood to be written to Israel. There are other hints, but the main reason I can't accept that premise is the very first verse of the book :

                          The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
                          Revelation 1:1

                          I see no compelling reason to limit "servants" to some category of "Jewish believers" (at least partly in light of there being no Jew or Gentile in Christ).
                          If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

                          The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                          Jeremiah 17:9

                          Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
                          Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

                          Isaiah 50:10-11

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ffreeloader View Post
                            The key to this question of yours is found in the doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel. Study the story of Balaam's interaction with the king of Moab and what he finally told the king to do to remove the protection of God from the Israelites. Then study what Jezebel taught the people of the nation of Israel. That is your clue to the entire list of questions. To me, the answer lies in that both Balaam and Jezebel were involved into leading the people into transgressing God's law both in regard to sexual sins and diet. But it needs to be understood that the key is the seduction of the Israelites into the worship of pagan gods. It was by joining in that worship with the Moabites and with Jezebel that the Israelites sinned sexually and in diet, for both of those sins were integral to the worship of Baal, the god of Moab an the god of Jezebel.

                            Paul was not dealing with the sin of idolatry in the churches which is what both Balaam and Jezebel influenced the Israelites to join in on. The problem he faced was that some of the new converts still regarded the old idols they used to worship as powerful and meaningful, even though they no longer worshiped them. Thus those converts were susceptible to being influenced to go back to their old ways of life by seeing fellow members eating food offered to idols even though those eating that food had no intention of going back to idolatry. To those members the idols had lost all influence in their lives, which was not the case with those with the weak consciences.

                            Hope this helps.
                            I think I agree with most of what you said. In light of what you say, how do you assess the relative situations in Pergamos and Thyatira?
                            If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale

                            The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
                            Jeremiah 17:9

                            Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
                            Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

                            Isaiah 50:10-11

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nikolai_42 View Post
                              The only way I can fathom that position is if it's simply because Paul didn't write it that it is understood to be written to Israel. There are other hints, but the main reason I can't accept that premise is the very first verse of the book :

                              The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
                              Revelation 1:1

                              I see no compelling reason to limit "servants" to some category of "Jewish believers" (at least partly in light of there being no Jew or Gentile in Christ).
                              This is very much "cherry-picking"... to take one verse and ignore the entire rest of the book.

                              First, John was one of the 12 apostles that will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. That's a MAJOR clue right there.

                              Isa 41:8-9 KJV But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. (9) Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

                              Those are the servants that are being referred to there.

                              Secondly, through the 2nd and 3rd chapters you find CONSTANT references to all things Israelite.

                              Things like "he that hath the key of David", etc. etc. etc.

                              TWICE this phrase is used "which say they are Jews, and are not"... That has nothing to do with the body of Christ and everything to do with Israel.

                              There are many, many more of those.
                              All of my ancestors are human.
                              Originally posted by Squeaky
                              That explains why your an idiot.
                              Originally posted by God's Truth
                              Father figure, Son figure, and Holy Spirit figure.
                              Col 2:9 (AKJV/PCE)
                              (2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

                              1Tim 4:10 (AKJV/PCE)
                              (4:10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

                              Something that was SPOKEN OF since the world began CANNOT be the SAME thing as something KEPT SECRET since the world began.

                              Comment

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