Fact a Day: October 11th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: October 11th

The Facts on Halloween (Harvest House, 1996), p. 19

What biblical principles apply for discerning this issue? (con’t)

 

The apostle Paul knew that an idol was nothing and that there was no actual god associated with the idol. He knew that demons, not gods, were the unseen objects behind idol worship. Therefore, in his first argument in 1 Corinthians 10, he warns God’s people that if they did eat meat sacrificed to idols they should not eat it with pagans in their temples because then they would become “participants with demons”:

Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. (1 Cor. 10:18-21)

That which is sacrificed is unavoidably related to that for which it is sacrificed. “When the people of Israel ate part of the sacrifice made at the altar (Lev. 7:15; 8:31; Deut. 12:17-18), they participated in the worship of God, who established the sacrifices and whose altar it was.”* Thus, the apostle knew that to participate in the ritual observances associated with feasting was to participate in the worship of the actual spiritual reality behind the altar. In the case of Israel, it involved the one true God; in the case of the pagans, it involved demons. Therefore, it was impossible to actively participate in pagan feasts in their temples without participating with demons. Since all the gods of the Gentile world were really demons, the essence of idolatry was seen to be demon worship and, for the apostle Paul, this was certainly something to be avoided.

*For full documentation, please see The Facts on Halloween.

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