Topical Sermons                                                                                                          Power Point Show


Scripture Reading:  Psalms 115:1-11


Part 3

Works of the Flesh:  False Gods, False Messages



1.  Second in the list of works of the flesh is idolatry & an associated sin, sorcery (witchcraft).

  a.  Note that idolatry follows sexual sin in this list; idolatry is spiritual adultery (Hosea 2:8-13).

  b.  Apostasy to idols was & is unfaithfulness toward God.

2.  Idolatry & sorcery (witchcraft) are related to each other because both constitute a rejection of God / displacement of God & His will as supreme.

3.  We cannot have fellowship with God & idols simultaneously (1 Cor. 10:14-22).



  A.  Definition of “eidololatreia” …“the worship of false gods” (Thayer, 174); “image-worship” (Strong’s Greek Lexicon).

  B.  The Worship of Idols.

    1.  On the face of it, it seems hard to understand how one could regard with reverence a piece of wood, stone or metal – cf. Isa. 44:12-17.

      a.  Deceived heart – Isa. 44:18-20.

      b.  By understanding why idols were made we will understand idolatry better so we can flee from it.

    2.  Two basic functions of the idol:

      a.  To localize the god it represented – Exo. 32:4; 1 Kgs. 12:28-29.

      b.  To visualize the god it represented – Deut. 4:15-18.

    3.  Eventually, the worship focused on the object itselfNum. 21:5-9; 2 Kgs. 18:4.

    4.  To whom will you liken God? – Isa. 40:18-20, 25-26.

  C.  Here is the Basic Error of Idol Worship (Idolatry):

    1.  The worship of the thing created instead of the Creator of all things!

    2.  Rom. 1:20-23 – Idolatry results from failing to acknowledge God’s power & presence through thankful worship.

      a.  Invisible, incorruptible God (visible evidence) – Known by man – Refused to worship Him – Image of corruptible things.

      b.  Rom. 1:25 – Idolatry is a lie:  False worship of false god(s).

    3.  Idolatry still exists, because it is the worship of things instead of the worship of God!

    4.  A man’s god is that to which he dedicates his time, substance & talents (that to which he gives himself) – cf. Isa. 44:12.

  D.  Some Forms of Idolatry:

    1.  Image worship - Acts 17:29.  (Icons & images to protect, pray to, represent, etc.)

    2.  Nature worship 2 Kgs. 23:5.  Some turn to the starts for guidance rather than the Creator who made them! – Deut. 4:19

    3.  Self-worship Phil. 3:19.

      a.  To satisfy one’s own desires rather God’s – Rom. 16:17-18.

      b.  2 Tim. 3:4 – Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

    4.  Covetousness Col. 3:5.

      a.  Lustful desire of things that gets top priority in one’s life.

      b.  Eph. 5:5 – No inheritance in the kingdom of Christ.

    5.  Christians can become idolaters by letting any­thing consume our time, talents & substance!  (1 Cor. 10:14)


II.  SORCERY (“Witchcraft” – KJV).

  A.  Definition of “pharmakeia” … “the use or the administering of drugs…magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it…metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry”  (Thayer, 649).

  B.  God Completely Condemns Sorcery with its Presumed Power of Imparting Knowledge to Man.

    1.  Deut. 18:10-15 - Witchcraft vs. God’s prophet:  False knowledge vs. obtaining true knowledge from God.  (Lev. 19:31)

    2.  1 Sam. 15:23 – It is rebellion against God’s method of giving man knowledge (revelation from God).  (Exo. 22:18, OT – death)

    3.  Acts 19:19 – When converted, many burned magical arts books.

  C.  Modern-Day Sorcery:

    1.  Astrology:  “The study which assumes & professes to interpret the influence of the heavenly bodies on human affairs.” (Random House Dictionary, 92)  -Isa. 47:13-15 – Cannot save!  (Babylon)

      a.  It is “probably the major divination technique in current use in the Western world” (Charles S. Baden, cited by J. K. Van Baalen, The Chaos of Cults, 20).

      b.  cf. Nostradamus (Frenchman of Jewish ancestry, 1503-1566).

    2.  Modern-day witchcraft.  (Gaining respectability)

    3.  The occult; Satanism.

    4.  Crystal ball reading, palmistry, fortune telling, messages from the dead, etc.

  D.  Why Sorcery is Sin:

    1.  Divination vs. Divine – Acts 8:6, 9-11, 13.

    2.  Pseudo-power vs. God’s power – Acts 8:7-11.

    3.  Pretense vs. prophetic knowledge (Deut. 29:29).



1.  Idolatry includes anything whereby one’s devotion & energy is given to the created rather than the Creator…rejection of God in one’s life.

2.  Turn to God & flee idolatry! – 1 Ths. 1:9-10