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The Bible mentions several people who possessed teraphim, or household idols. These images were used as talismans to bring a blessing upon the household. Two women married to men of God kept family...
Scripture indicates that Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8), until they sinned and God declared his judgments (Gen 3:14-19). They were then cast out of the garden (Gen 3:22-24). After that the only scriptural instances of God speaking directly to man, prior to the flood, are with Cain (Gen 4:6-7, 9-15) and Noah (Gen 6:13-21, 7:1-4). Those 4 instances all involved judgment, and were spread over a time period of at least 1600 years. These facts, when combined with archaeological finds and historical writings have led scholars to conclude that ancient paganism progressed through a series of changes. The first involved the development of individual idols, unique to each home, which involved ancestral worship. For example, Sumerians worshiped Nin.Ti transl "Lady of Life," or perhaps more correctly, "Lady of the Rib," which clearly refers to Eve (Gen 2:21-24). The second progression added the belief that, upon death, men and women could evolve into gods, which is, interestingly enough, very close to the lie Adam and Eve fell for in the garden (Gen 3:4-5). The third stage believed the original Creator God no longer existed, having emptied his entire force into creation. Therefore, in order to get close to God, one needs to get close to nature, which, in turn, could be done through the possession of stone, wood or clay idols. The fourth stage broke from the promise of a redeemer, stating salvation could be accomplished by works, and "by their own strength." As Josephus wrote, "They were despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength" (Ant.1.3.1). Additionally, the idea that magic could speed up this process, was introduced, resulting in fifth, sixth, and seventh stages of progression. These involved the observation of omens in the sun and moon, followed by the charting of their movements through the zodiac, whereby they could predict omens (eclipses), which in turn could determine the very best times to attain “magical energies” for the ritualistic contact of their ancestral gods. Eventually the ritual use of blood and sexual orgies were added, supposedly to bring greater power. According to many of the early church fathers, and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Book of Enoch, Book of Jubilees), these ideas and practices were introduced as a result of the incursion of Watcher (a.k.a. guardian?) Angels, who “left their first estate,” in order to mingle themselves with women. Scripture tells us this occurred, both before and after the flood (Gen 6:4-6, Jude 1:6-7). Jubilees adds that Cainan, grandson of Shem and son of Arphaxad (Luke: 3:36), while traveling to capture a city, discovered “the writings which former generations had carved on a rock…. contained the teaching of the watchers in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the sun and moon and stars in the signs of heaven. And he wrote it down and said nothing regarding it for he was afraid to speak to Noah …." (Jub 8:1-5) Irenaeus, further added that Noah’s grandson, Arphaxad, subsequently taught these things to Nimrod. (Against Heresies 4.16, 27, 36) Thus, people kept family idols because they had no real faith in the one true God and were deceived by angelic and demonic powers. Thinking that God had emptied himself into creation, they accepted the idea His power could exist in the elements (stone, wood, water, wind and fire). Further believing certain of their ancestors had themselves become gods, they fashioned stone and wood into representative images. Ultimately they believed that, through prayers, incantations, incense, sexual rituals, and/or blood sacrifices offered to these idols, especially at the right place and time, they could obtain a supernatural release of power to obtain their desires. "You serve stones… images of gold… stones and clay… and serve phantoms and demons and spirits." (Tertullian Idolatry 1.4) (Source: Ancient Paganism, Dr. Ken Johnson)
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