The Book of Revelation with commentary by Dr. Henry M. Morris and paintings by Ramona Lowe
The paintings are a work in progress and the finished pieces are highlighted in red on Page 2

Page 71

Stone Hearts and Stone Idols

Revelation 9:20.     And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.

     By this time, those men and women who had not already been converted through the testimony of God’s two witnesses (Revelation 11:3), the 144,000 Israelites (Revelation 7:4-8), and the great divine judgments on the earth (Isaiah 26:9), all perhaps supplemented by the great wealth of Christian literature (not to mention Bibles) left behind when the pretribulation saints were called into heaven (Revelation 3:10; 4:1), had become so hardened against God that (with few exceptions) they were unreachable “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” (Romans 9:22).  They had continued relentlessly treasuring up to themselves “wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5, 6).

     Even though one-third of all such unrepentant rebels had perished in this most recent judgment, the survivors were more hardened against God than ever.  As a matter of fact they had by now become Satanists, worshiping devils.  They knew by now that the judgments were from God (Revelation 6:16, 17), and that Christ was up there in the heavens preparing to return to earth with His resurrected saints (Revelation 12:12; 13:6), but had decided to cast their lot with Satan, believing that they could with him defeat even the hosts of heaven (Revelation 13:4).

     No longer will there be atheists and humanists who deny the existence of God and His holy angels.  They will have seen the latter flying across the sky and proclaiming judgment (Revelation 8:13; 14:6, 7), but will still reject God as true Creator, believing with Satan that even the angels and God Himself are mere evolutionary products of an eternal self-existing universe of matter and energy.  They will thus have become set in their adherence to Satan’s monstrous self-deception that he can become God (Isaiah 14:12-14) and that they, through following him and his demonic hierarchy, will themselves become “as gods” (Genesis 3:5), no longer restrained from anything they wanted to do (Genesis 11:6; Romans 3:18).

     Those sophisticates of western culture who had long deluded themselves in the unscientific sophistries of modern evolutionary humanism will quickly revert to the more satisfying practices of ancient evolutionary polytheistic pantheism, acknowledging the demonic powers which operate in the earth and its atmosphere under “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).  This acknowledgment will be even easier for those multitudes who had been devotees of Asian and African cultures, for these already were either pantheistic or animistic or both.

     For many years prior to Christ’s return for His saints, there will have been a revival of occultism, astrology, spiritism, and kindred “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:13), even in western cultures, preparing the minds of men everywhere for a worldwide return to pagan idolatry in the final days of the cosmic rebellion.  Great worship centers will then be erected, with grotesque images of modern art depicting the various cosmic and terrestrial forces and processes presumably controlled by the principalities and powers of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 5:19), and these will become objects of worship, with men and women in effect thus worshiping those evil spirits which they portray and represent.  Worshiping of idols of gold and silver, brass and stone, and wood is of course the same as worshiping the demons who are associated with them (1 Corinthians 10:20).

     The idols themselves are nothing but inanimate matter, with no life of their own, and it is absurd to believe that such as these can meet the personal needs of their adherents.  Yet nations everywhere have practiced idol worship since the dawn of history.  Modern philosophers and scientists, with all their arrogant intellectualism, believe the even more ridiculous fantasy that inanimate matter in an imaginary primeval formless state has somehow evolved into all the complex systems (even living systems) of the universe.  “In the beginning, Hydrogen...,” they say, with all seriousness.  Somehow, from eternal matter have evolved galaxies and planets, plants and animals, men and angels.

     How absurd!  How can it be that intelligent men, created in God’s image, can put their faith in lifeless matter, “Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth” (Jeremiah 2:27)?

     Once again will they find, in these terrible days that are coming on the earth, that neither evolutionary humanism nor evolutionary superhumanism – neither matter nor men nor angels – can save them.  “But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee?  let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble” (Jeremiah 2:28).  “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?” (Isaiah 8:19).  But they will not!

Revelation 9:21.     Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

     And here is the reason.  Why do men insist on serving the powers of darkness rather than their Creator?  “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20).  Such pagans, Paul says, walk “in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over into lasciviousness, to work all un-cleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19).

     These people who are idolatrous demon worshipers are also murderers and drug users and sexual profligates and thieves, and they do not want to change.

     Ever since the beginning of the tribulation, when the red horse rode forth (Revelation 6:4), there had been violence and anarchy on earth.  The rider had been sent to “take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another.”  Forces for the maintenance of law and order had become ineffectual at best, and men were free to rob and steal and kill as they would, and they took full advantage of such license.  The religious restraints on sexual freedom had likewise been removed, so that adultery, fornication, orgiastic revelries, sodomy, and lesbianism, and every other form of sexual perversion, had become commonplace.

     Associated with all these forms of wickedness, and helping to dull any pangs of conscience which they might engender, there had been a tremendous upsurge in the use of drugs.  The word translated “sorceries” is the Greek pharmakeia, which basically means “druggings.”  It is the source of our English words “pharmacy” (who would have thought a few years ago that the term “drug store” could have sinister connotations?) and “pharmaceutical.”  The Greek word is also translated “witchcraft” (Galatians 5:20, where it is inserted in a long list of fleshly sins right between “idolatry” and “hatred”).

     Stupefying and hallucinatory drugs have been associated with sorcery and witchcraft for ages, yielding to their users strange visions and hallucinations, which they could interpret as oracles for the guidance of their clients.  Also, however, and more important, they divested their users of the control of their own minds, making them easily available for possession and control by evil spirits, who could through them convey whatever corrupting counsel served their purposes.

     The Scriptures have repeatedly warned against all such forms of occultic worship and consultation for this reason.  It is not surprising that the tremendous upsurge of drug use in recent years has been accompanied by a rise in occultism (astrology, witchcraft, spiritism, transcendental meditation yoga, and various Eastern and African religions).

     During the awful days of the tribulation, the breakdown of law and order will mean that there will be no more restraints on drug use. Furthermore, the fearful judgments on the earth will drive many to drugs as a form of escapism.  The merchants of the earth will gladly cooperate because of the great profits involved.  The same word is used in connection with the sales activities of these international profiteers in Revelation 18:23: “For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”

     Since Satan “deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), it is obvious that he will use these “drugs” as a means of inserting his deceptions into the minds of many.  The merchants do not care: their profits are enlarged and, as a matter of fact, they traffic in the “souls of men” (Revelation 18:13).  It is probable that many of the murders and thefts of these people (especially during this time of unprecedented famine and want) are the result of the need to pay for the “druggings,” and much of the fornication is likewise, at least as far as the women are concerned.

     The scenario drawn for us by John is appalling.  If there is any reader of these lines who is undecided about his eternal future, perhaps a time of meditation on the implications of his choice may help him decide.  If the gracious love of Christ as expressed on the cross of Calvary, is not sufficient to draw him in repentance and faith to the Savior, then perhaps a realization of the coming wrath of Christ, as expressed in this unspeakable time of tribulation, may constrain him to come.  “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 22, 23).  “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

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