This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One… “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)
The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament portion of the Bible is one of the most incredible books of prophecy ever written. Isaiah was a prophet during the time the northern kingdom of Israel was deported to Assyria in 722 B.C. But not only did Isaiah write about events that were happening during his own day, he also wrote about events that would happen hundreds of years later during the days of captivity of the southern kingdom of Israel after 586 B.C. He also wrote what are called the “suffering servant” Messianic passages that prophesied about the life of Jesus Christ which would happen more than 700 years later.
In Isaiah chapter 48 we are given some of the reasons why God revealed these things to his people through the words of the prophet Isaiah:
Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together. Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? (Isaiah 48:12-14)
What a poor comparison the idols of Isaiah’s day were in comparison to the one true God, the Creator of heaven and earth! The idols did not have knowledge of future events like the Lord did, who sometimes revealed these events to his prophets. The Israelites were called out to be a special people, different from the nations around them. They were to trust in God alone, and seek a relationship with him, as is stated in verse 17 above, where God states: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” This principle guided everything in life, and was the first of the ten commandments:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:2-6)
The Heart of Idolatry
So why did people create idols, and what did they trust them for?
Idols were looked to for guidance, power, and healing. It seems strange to us today that people would create idols out of man-made objects created by their own hands. But the reason it seems strange to us today is because the people trusted in the spirits or spirit world represented by the idols, or in some cases they may have believed that the idol itself was inhabited by spirit beings. Our materialistic culture, by contrast, believes primarily only in the physical world, either denying or ignoring the spiritual world.
The heart of idolatry is looking to sources outside of God for our basic needs and desires in life. The idols that are erected flow out of our experiences in life, and the idol is an attempt to explain life apart from the Creator.
Hence, when the Israelites were miraculously delivered from slavery to the Egyptians under the leadership of Moses, and when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the laws that were to govern them and did not return for 40 days, they assumed he was dead and they reinterpreted their experiences in life to find meaning apart from God. They assumed God had abandoned them and was no longer involved with their lives. Their experiences taught them that they had indeed been miraculously delivered from the powerful Egyptian army which was destroyed, so they had to attribute this reality in their life to something. Drawing upon their religious experience in Egypt, they decided to make an idol out of gold and use that image as a symbol of great power. (Read the story in Exodus 32)
The Function of Idols
The typical things people have historically looked to idols to provide for them are: guidance, wealth, fertility, and health. God, the Creator of heaven and earth, presents himself to his people as the sole source of these things we need and desire. God does not act like a “magician” by providing these things for us out of thin air, but most of the time he works through his natural order of creation which is upheld by his power. (See Hebrews 1:3 & Colossians 1:17 which explain that God holds together the universe.)
The creation, however, is not a closed system, and God himself is not bound to its laws. He operates outside of it also, and in the person of Jesus, especially, we saw the power of the Creator in human form interact and overcome the limitations of the physical creation in many instances. Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, immediately healed people’s diseases, and even raised people from physical death back to life.
But the decision as to when supernatural events happen always originates with God, and not the created beings. The prophets and other leaders at times were used by God to perform miracles, but the miracles were performed by God through them. “Magicians” on the other hand, those who truly perform magic (not just illusions), are interacting with the spiritual world being controlled by their own thoughts and desires, or those of the spirits who are also created beings.
The ancient world was full of competing religions that practiced real magic in the spiritual realm through idolatrous practice. One specific form of idolatry that was condemned in the Old Testament writings of the Bible was child sacrifice to the god Molech:
Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him.
I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech. I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.
Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy. (Leviticus 20:2-8)
Idolatry Today in the 21st Century
Are things any different today in terms of idolatry? It has taken on a different form, but it is in essence the same thing it has always been – trust in idols rather than God to supply our needs and desires.
Modern-day culture has changed dramatically since the theory of Darwinian evolution came on the scene and dominated academics in western culture, so that today the physical world is exalted above all other realities. The spiritual world is either denied or ignored. Hence, creation of physical idols out of basic elements such as wood or metals is very uncommon, because current culture ignores the unseen world that could be represented by such physical manifestations.
What has replaced those idols, however, are beliefs in new ones. The most common idol in western culture today, by far, is medicine – the new “magic.”
Modern day medicine has existed for a relatively short period of human history, and the creation of a body of licensed “physicians” can be traced back to the start of the vaccine movement in Europe in the 1800s, when health officials wanted more control over the population and what they perceived as threatening diseases like smallpox.
Today, medicine is seen as the solution to almost all of life’s problems. A pill or vaccine exists now for just about every ailment or problem in life, and for those problems that don’t have a medical solution yet, billions of dollars are spent on research to find one. The belief system currently in place is that physical science and medicine can solve all problems in life.
The people who control the medical system are trained and licensed and given great authority to control our lives. Currently they have the authority to take children away from their parents, to declare someone “insane” or mentally disturbed and have them committed to an institution, force people (especially children) to use their products via vaccinations, and make sweeping laws and regulations that affect the lives of everyone.
It is believed that life itself is dependent on medicine, and this belief system is used to justify the authority and power the medical system has in our culture.
Child Sacrifice in the 21st Century: Medical Kidnapping
So while we may think the idea of child sacrifice in a temple to the “god” Molech was repulsive in ancient culture, are things much different today? Child sacrifice within the field of medicine has simply taken on a new form, and this practice is just now beginning to get mainstream media attention.
One of the most publicized cases in 2014 was the story of Justina Pelletier. Justina was taken away from her parents at the age of 15 by Boston Children’s Hospital, because they disagreed with the family’s physician’s diagnosis of her medical condition. They seized custody of Justina against her will and the will of her parents, and subjected her to a psych ward in an apparent medical experimentation, where she was held for over 16 months.
The Pelletier story got national recognition only because the parents defied a court gag order, and national talk show hosts such as Dr. Phil, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and others publicized her story. It prompted several members of Congress to propose a new law prohibiting hospitals from carrying out medical experiments on children who had been seized by Social Service agencies. (See: “Justina’s Law” Seeks to End Experimental Medical Research on Children Seized by Child Protection Services.) The law never made it to the floor of Congress, however, as the pharmaceutical lobby in the U.S. is one of the most powerful groups in the world.
Justina’s story is not unique, however, and it is happening all across America. As editor of Health Impact News, I began to receive stories from other families who were suffering the same thing. There were so many stories coming in, that we began a separate website just to start documenting some them: MedicalKidnap.com. There are families all across America, thousands of them, losing custody of their children today for not following a doctor’s advice, or simply wanting to seek a second opinion on medical care.
How have we allowed this to happen? How does the population for the most part willingly believe in the medical system and give up so many of their freedoms and so much of their wealth to this system?
There’s only one rational explanation: idolatry. We are simply repeating the same mistakes that have been made throughout history, when God is removed from our belief system and replaced with a belief in something else. We learn to trust in our idols instead.
If history lasts long enough, I predict that a day will come many years in the future that will look back at our current day and culture and have the same feelings of repulsion and disgust that those of us feel today when we look at ancient cultures that trusted in graven images and spirits in their idolatrous practice, and even sacrificed children to these idols. “How could they be so foolish to trust in those things?”, we think today, and in the future I suspect the same thoughts and questions will be pondered about our medical practices today.
The Weakness of the Medical Paradigm
The winds of change are blowing already, however, as many are beginning to see just how far we have come in this blind trust we have in medicine. Some are stepping back to try and take an objective look at the effectiveness of our drugs, and what is being seen are some very troubling facts that can no longer be denied.
Depending on which set of statistics you look at, deaths from legally prescribed medicines and the administration of the medical system is seen as either the number one cause of death in the US today1, or the number three cause of death just behind cancer and heart disease2. This would include deaths from prescription drugs and hospital mistakes that are preventable.
All of the statistics used to reach a conclusion like this are from standard published reports that come out of the medical system itself. Yet this is not widely reported in mainstream media, because of the belief that medicine and the medical system is necessary for life, and that therefore we have no choice but to put up with these mistakes and accidental deaths that are a direct result of medicine. The causalities of the medical system are accepted for “the greater good.”
Alternatives to the Medical System Attacked and Suppressed
Anything that is put forward as an alternative to the medical system for health is generally attacked and declared illegal, and if those from within the medical system decide to become “whistle-blowers” to speak up and try to reveal the failures of the medical system, they are attacked and they often lose their careers.
Vaccines: The Holy Grail of Modern Medicine
This is especially true in the vaccine movement right now, which seeks to greatly increase the number of vaccines required to immunize children and now even teenagers and adults. Hundreds of thousands of parents know first-hand that vaccines have either killed or permanently damaged their children (and this is even backed up by statistics in the VAERS – Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System – government database, as well as government payouts from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.) The medical establishment is aware of these side effects resulting in disabilities and deaths, but believes that these casualties are necessary for “the greater good” of society. Laws have been put in place to protect the manufacturers of vaccines from lawsuits, and a government compensation program was established to pay damages to those injured or killed by vaccines.
While great wealth and profits are definitely tied into the vaccine and medical industry as a whole, I believe that the overriding motivation is a belief system, and not necessarily strictly a profit motive (although the profit motive is also a huge factor!) For vaccines, the belief is that if everyone is not vaccinated, dangerous viruses and diseases will spread through society and threaten life itself – the very existence of the human race.
That belief, however, is not backed by objective science. It is simply a belief system, based on historical plagues and what future plagues could potentially do. It is a belief system that feeds on fear and makes no consideration that there is a God who has ultimate control over his creation. When one looks objectively at the history of diseases and vaccines, however, it is obvious that all these major diseases were already on the decline prior to the development of the vaccine, suggesting that God’s built-in natural immunity was sufficient, and probably superior, to vaccines. (See: An Honest Look at the Historical Evidence that Vaccines Eliminated Diseases)
Psychiatry: Replacing God and Controlling the Masses
People are now starting to look objectively at the effectiveness of medicines, and what they are finding is very disturbing. This is especially true when it comes to psychotropic drugs within the field of psychiatry.
Psychiatry is presented as a part of medical practice that supposedly has its basis in biological science, but it just simply is not true. There are currently no biological tests that can diagnose mental illness. None. Drugs are prescribed simply on symptoms. It is a $330 billion industry, and the number of antidepressant drugs prescribed has doubled in less than one decade.
Most people don’t realize that the diseases these drugs are supposed to treat are diseases that psychiatrists vote on to include in their “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders” (DSM)3. There are no objective tests to detect these “diseases,” and the number of defined diseases that go into the DSM are increasing at an alarming rate, and now include such things that in the past were considered within the realm of normal behavior.
One of the largest and most controversial ones is “attention deficit disorder” which is increasingly being used to prescribe strong drugs for children that are “overactive” and have “behavior problems.” Even unhappiness is now considered a disease, and drugs can be prescribed for that too. Critics point out that the DSM is so large now, that it can now cover the behavior patterns of the entire human population, and effectively label everyone now as having a mental illness. What a huge market for their drugs!
As editor of Health Impact News, seldom does a week go by where I don’t see at least one story, and many now from mainstream media sources, questioning the validity of this increase in antidepressant drugs and their dangers4. These drugs are now being implicated in the increasing school shootings we are seeing so frequently in the news5, and to an alarming increase in suicide among our youth6. They are also being increasingly used with the elderly population who are often defenseless to defend themselves and stand up for their rights7.
Idolatry is the reason we have allowed this medical system, which is so wrongly labeled as “healthcare”, to become as powerful as it is today.
Who Gets to Define What is “Medicine”?
Some may think after reading this that I am opposed to all drugs and anything involved with the medical system. That is not the case.
There are real drugs that are based on real science that obviously have great benefit, and can save lives. Antibiotics are a case in point. But our blind trust in antibiotics has led to such an abuse and overuse that they are losing their effectiveness. This is because over 80% of all antibiotics are used on animals8 in our industrial agricultural system, and it is estimated that of the other 20% or so used to treat human illnesses, about 90% of those cases antibiotics are used unnecessarily. If we continue to follow the current path we are taking, some feel that antibiotics will completely lose their effectiveness, making it impossible to perform life-saving procedures like surgeries or emergency room trauma care9.
Many today are recognizing the faults of the medical system, and they are seeing that what is labeled as “science” to justify this system of treating diseases is in fact primarily a belief system and not really science at all10. “Scientific” studies that are published in peer-reviewed journals regarding new drugs or vaccines are almost exclusively funded by the drug companies themselves, with tremendous conflicts of interest.11
“Medicine” Defined in the Bible
However, what is real “medicine”? Can we find this term in the Bible anywhere to give us some guidance?
If you search for the word “medicine” in your English Bible, you will not find much. Usually the only verse in the Bible that uses the English word “medicine” is Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” This verse is hardly dealing with pharmaceutical products, obviously. The meaning is much broader than the strict understanding of pharmaceutical drugs.
However, there is a Greek word that would have been used to convey “medicine” in ancient Greek culture, and it can be found in the original language of the New Testament portion of the Bible as well. It is the Greek word pharmakeia, from which we get such English words as pharmacy and pharmacist. This word is never translated into “medicine” in the English translations of the Bible, however, because the word always appears as something negative, associated with idolatry and sorcery or witchcraft. It appears, for example, in Galatians chapter 5 in describing the evil acts of the sinful nature:
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:19-21)
The Greek word pharmakeia, is translated “witchcraft” here, right next to “idolatry.” I wonder why the translators did not think that the word “medicines” was the proper translation?
So herein lies the problem with “modern” medicine, which is not so modern after all. It all comes down to a matter of definition and use. Today, the word “medicine” is a regulated and carefully defined term to refer to only government-approved drugs, produced by the pharmaceutical industry.
Natural substances found in nature, which are not produced by a pharmaceutical company, are not referred to as “medicine,” and most of the time to do so is to break the law and face arrest. Even the so-called “illegal drugs” in our modern day culture, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, all have a previous history of verifiable medical uses. But they are generally illegal today*, not because they cannot cure disease, or because they are abused in recreational use, but because they cannot be patented by a pharmaceutical company and approved by the FDA. Yet, legal prescription drugs are more addictive, more abused, and cause far more deaths than “illegal drugs.” And natural cures such as food and herbs are not allowed to make disease-curing health claims.
So are modern-day man-made medicines any different from the idols of ancient times? They seem to function exactly the same way, by leading people to put their trust in man-made idols rather than God. And just as it is hard to imagine that people willingly gave up their children as sacrifices to the god Molech in ancient times (they were undoubtedly forced to do so), so too children today are being sacrificed to the medical system for the sake of “the greater good,” even against the desires of the parents.
No, not much has changed at all.
The Solution to Idolatry
There is a solution to this mess we have created:
This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One… “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be cut off nor destroyed from before me.” (Isaiah 48:17-19)
The cure for idolatry is belief and trust in God our Creator and Redeemer. The Redeemer Messiah had not yet been born during the days of the prophet Isaiah, but we live in a day and age after he has been born, and his name is Jesus Christ.
Faith in God our Creator and the Redeemer Jesus, is the opposite of idolatry, and recognizes that life depends on God the Creator, and that redemption, the forgiveness of sins and spiritual rebirth, comes from a relationship with Jesus.
When we trust in God, we trust in his word, and this is his word to us:
“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Who Do You Trust?
Don’t put your trust in the medical system! If you need to use it, make sure you have sought the Lord first, and that he is the one leading you to the right people and the right solutions.
The prescription for dealing with sickness in biblical times was to seek counsel from spiritual leaders, not “doctors”. (See: Do Doctors Really Heal?) Life is not dependent on the medical system, and often times there are natural solutions, and sometimes even supernatural ones. God is the author of all life, and he is the one who upholds it. Seek him first, and depend only on him!
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:2-6 – the first of the 10 commandments)
Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:14-16)
*The exception is marijuana, where laws are now changing, but not necessarily for the better. See: Medical Cannabis: The REAL Reason the Government Wants to Keep it Banned
1. The medical system is the leading cause of death in the US: by By Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean MD, ND; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD
2. America’s Health Care System is the third leading cause of death in the US: by Barbara Starfield, M.D.
3. Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights: Psychiatric Disorders Voted Into Existence –Psychiatry’s New Billing Bible, The DSM: A Goldmine of Mental Disorders for Pharma
4. Here are some examples: Ex-Pharma Sales Reps Speaks Out – Pharma Not in Business of Health (Video), Antidepressant drugs do not work, and they have serious side effects (includes Videos), The hidden tyranny: children diagnosed and drugged for profit, Psychiatry Biggest Offender in Mis-diagnosis and Unnecessary Procedures (ABC News) – These are a small sampling stories. To view the most recent ones, click here.
6. See: Harming Youth: Screening and Drugs Ruin Young Minds (includes Video)
7. See: Judge Clears Way for Whistleblower Lawsuit Over J&J Risperdal Kickbacks (prescribing antidepressants for the elderly in nursing homes when they didn’t need them), Senate Aging Panel blows whistle on over drugging dementia patients