Should a christian still smoke cigarettes or use medicinal marijuana and expect to please God? A brief history of Cigarettes and tobacco going back to ancient Baal worship that most people are unaware of may surprise you! And if you smoke, or know someone who does, this message will truly make you think more seriously than ever before about quitting smoking and never partaking in any use of any tobacco product ever again!
Lie #1 – Smoking is not in the Bible so it is OK.
So the first question to address here is: is smoking in the Bible? It would appear that it is. So many things can be lost in translation where a word in one language is translated into another, yet the full meaning is either lost or part of what the word is conveyed in the translation. The word ‘incense’ happens to be one of those words. In fact, the pagans used incense, which also is recorded in history as ‘smoking’.
Two main words are used to reference Incense in Hebrew Scripture. Those words are qatar and qtoreth. Strong’s Concordance defines them as follows:
Incense Hebrew 6999 qatar (kaw-tar’) 1. to smoke, i.e. turn into fragrance by fire (especially as an act of worship) [a primitive root (identical with H7000 through the idea of fumigation in a close place and perhaps thus driving out the occupants)]
Incense Hebrew 7004 qtoreth (ket-o’-reth) 1. a fumigation [from H6999]
We will periodically refer back to these two Hebrew words for “Incense” so keep them in mind; qatar and qtoreth.
And here is how Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it – Fumigate:
- To smoke; to perfume.
- To apply smoke to; to expose to smoke; as in chemistry, or in medicine by inhaling it, or in cleansing infected apartments.
Throughout scripture, incense is associated with worship of a deity, whether it is God (YHVH) or a false, pagan god (and/or idol). Originally, incense was created for the worship of the one true God, YHVH, burned in censors with fire taken from His altar to be given with the repentant confessions and prayers of the saints – NOT to any other god!
Shocking Truth Revealed About Tobacco That Will Turn Your Stomach & Make You Quit!
And it came to pass, that while he (Zacharias) executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of Yahweh. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And there appeared unto him an angel of Yahweh standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense (qtoreth), and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from Yahweh; the plague is begun.
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense (qtoreth); and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a watch, O Yahweh, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips …
If the one true God Inhabits the praises of His Bride, the Body of Christ, and Jesus Christ is our mediator, then it is possible that the incense offered up with the prayers of His people is a shadow of Christ.
See here what the Bible has to say. And as you read, I encourage you to meditate on the importance of the words:
2 Chronicles 29:11
My sons, be not now negligent: for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense (qatar).
And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. 13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
Song of Solomon 3:6
Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?
And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense (qtoreth) every morning: when he dresses the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before Yahweh throughout your generations. 9 Ye shall offer no strangeincense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before Yahweh, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: 13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before Yahweh, that the cloud of the incense (qtoreth) may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not.
See here from Strong’s Concordance: Hebrew 2114 zuwr (zoor)
—to turn aside (especially for lodging)
—hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane
—specifically (active participle) to commit adultery
Note the sons of Aaron with their “strange fire”? Remember their strange fire or ‘incense’ in the temple of God delivered some nasty results—death!
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense (qtoreth) thereon, and offered strange (zoor/zuwr) fire before Yahweh, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from Yahweh, and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh.
Numbers 3:4, Numbers 26:61
Uzziah attempted suicide much in the same way, though he was saved by some priests. His presumptuousness and ungratefulness, however, were rewarded with leprosy. See here:
2 Chronicles 26:16-19
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against Yahweh his God, and went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of Yahweh, that were valiant men: 18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertains not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto Yahweh, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou has trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honor from Yahweh God. 19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, from beside the incense altar.
And what about King Solomon who was not only known for his supernatural wisdom, but for his unfaithfulness to God by allowing his wives to practice Baal worship, in which by the end, he partook in himself?
1 Kings 3:3
And Solomon loved Yahweh, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense (qatar) in high places.
In this passage, Solomon begins to stray but is still in favor with God, as the rest of this passagoe conveys. God offers Solomon whatever he desires, and Solomon chooses wisdom. And, as I mentioned a moment ago, the pagan wives make their entrance, and in their company, their pagan perversions and counterfeits of God’s offerings.
1 Kings 11:3-8
And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense (qatar) and sacrificed unto their gods.
It is from this point on that we can witness the degradation and perversion of the service and worship o f God. Pagans and Israelites whoring themselves out to false gods, burning incense to a host of other gods who were merely made of wood and metal, as well as ceramic statues they bowed down to and worshipped.
2 Chronicles 25:14-15 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense (qatar)unto them. 15 Wherefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why has thou sought after thegods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?
1 Kings 12:28-33 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense (qatar).
2 Chronicles 28:2-4, 25 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. 3 Moreover he burnt incense (qatar) in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom Yahweh had cast out before the children of Israel. 4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree …
25 … And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense (qatar) unto other gods, and provoked to anger Yahweh God of his fathers.
Jeremiah 7:9-10 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense (qatar) unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
In Jeremiah 44, God is addressing a problem with the Jews (Yehudee – descendants of Yehudah/Judah) who dwell in Egypt. God warns them of what He did to Jerusalem when they burnt incense to other “gods” and then asks them why they are doing the same thing. He asks, did you forget what happened to them because of this? Not only does God inquire of them, but He warns them that He will do the same thing to them if they do not repent. He provides them a chance to repent, as God so faithfully does when we sin. However, their response is outrageous and defiant! Thus, God pronounces judgment upon them, save for a few who were sent back to Judah to see who’s word would stand—theirs or God’s.
Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense (qatar), and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers. 4 Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. 5 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.
… Because ye have burned incense (qatar – smoked), and because ye have sinned against Yahweh, and have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.
Just take a look at the roots/origins of smoking:
“The history of smoking dates back to as early as 5000 BC in shamanistic rituals. Many ancient civilizations, such as the Babylonians, Indians and Chinese, burnt incense as a part of religious rituals, as did the Israelites and the later Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches. Smoking in the Americas probably had its origins in the incense-burning ceremonies of shamans but was later adopted for pleasure, or as a social tool. The smoking of tobacco, as well as various hallucinogenic drugs was used to achieve trances and to come into contact with the spirit world.
“Early smoking evolved in association with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals or to allow shamans and priests toalter their minds for purposes of divination or spiritual enlightenment.”
Substances such as Cannabis, clarified butter (ghee), fish offal, dried snake skins and various pastes molded around incense sticks dates back at least 2000 years. Fumigation (dhupa) and fire offerings (homa) are prescribed in the Ayurveda for medical purposes, and have been practiced for at least 3,000 years while smoking, dhumrapana (literally “drinking smoke”), has been practiced for at least 2,000 years. Before modern times these substances have been consumed through pipes, with stems of various lengths or chillums.”
“Fumigation and fire offerings have been performed with various substances, including clarified butter (ghee), fish offal, dried snake skins, and various pastes molded around incense sticks and lit to spread the smoke over wide areas.” —Bible Underground
The above Quotes are taken from Wikipedia’s articles on “Smoking” and “History of Smoking” which quote from several authors – Just the titles of these books are revealing:
—Francis Robicsek “Smoking Gods”
—Iain Gately “A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization”
—Johannes Wilbert “Tobacco and Shamanism in South America”
—Ram Manohar “Smoking and Ayurvedic Medicine in India” (A chapter from a book called “Smoke: a global history of smoking”)
(Ayurvedic Medicine is related to the worship of an Indian pagan goddess named “Dhanvantari”) —Bible Underground
Moving Ahead To Modern Times
Incense is still used as offerings to pagan gods. In defense, you might say “But I am not offering or smoking to another god” or “God knows my heart”. Let’s take a look then at what the Bible says:
Because my people has forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.
Thus says Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people are vain
First of all, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
A believer who smokes is bringing a foreign substance or strange fire into God’s holy temple, which again, is your body. Did God command His people to smoke, thsu filling their bodies/temples with strange/foreign substances? What about the fruits produced by this incense burning/smoking? According to Scripture, what fruits are produced by smoking?
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – HalleluYahweh!
The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Let’s be completely, brutally honest with ourselves. Since we knwo that Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy; the question is, does smoking kill, steal and destroy? Or, does it bring abundant life?
—Steal: how much of the money that God has blessed you with are you spending on tobacco products that could be used to bless God? How much of your health and time per day is being stolen from you as a result of smoking? And, if a health problem arises from smoking, which in most cases, it eventually will, how many people who depend on you will have you ‘stolen’ from them as a result? And how many days of work have you missed from illness that you probably would not have gotten to begin with if you were not a smoker?
—Kill: This one is obvious. Reference the last sentence above.
—Destroy: How many homes and items have been destroyed by cigarettes? Whether a burn mark, an all out fire, or the smell and stains? But more importantly, how much of your life is being destroyed by them? Does smoking make it harder for you to partake in physical activities due to you are out of breath? Have you looked at some of the vital organs of a smoker? See here:
Does anything good come from smoking other than the fleshly fulfillment of addiction? Even smoke’s calming effect is a counterfeit for what God wants to give to you solely through His Holy Spirit. Our peace comes through the Holy Spirit, not from strange incense/fire/smoke offered up in God’s temple (your body).
My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms has caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. 13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery … repent before judgment comes
Thou has also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and made to thyself images of men, and did commit whoredom with them, 18 And took thy embroidered garments, and covered them: and thou has set mine oil and mine incense before them. – Gee wiz, can you guess how a husband might feel if his wife took his cologne or incense and gave it to her adulterous lover? Ouch.
And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou did wash thyself, painted thy eyes, and decked thyself with ornaments, 41 And sat upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou has set mine incense and mine oil.
And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgot me, says Yahweh.
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. 2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. 3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. 4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
Interestingly enough, in the Bible, smoke is also used as an analogy for something irritating. See here:
Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burns all the day.
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
Irritate and Irritating (from Macmillan and Wordnet at OneLook.com):
—to make someone feel annoyed or impatient
—to hurt a part of your body, making it painful, red, or swollen
—cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
—Irritating: making you feel annoyed or impatient
So now let me ask you, is there any doubt in your mind now as to whether or not smoking is in scripture?
Let’s move on now to the second lie:
Lie #2 – God gave every green herb for the use of man so therefore I can smoke it.
Truth – Look more closely at the actual context—He gave it for “FOOD”. God gave every green herb for FOOD. See here:
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good …
Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.
It is obvious that the context of the above verses is referring to food you eat and not the corruption of improper use. Unless you believe for meat (food) means to smoke it too? And then do you think the cows and “every beast of the earth” were also smoking? Or maybe they merely ingested grass brownies.
Moving forward again to the third lie.
Lie #3 – I know it’s wrong, but I can’t quit. God will just have to deliver me. Until then, I’m going to enjoy it.
The truth is that you can quit, and God has provided a Counselor and Comfortor to help you quit. His name is the Holy Spirit.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof…
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shall not covet.
But what does ‘covet’ really mean? Let’s have a look.
Covet – Greek 1937 epithumeo 1. to set the heart upon, i.e. long for (rightfully or otherwise) [from Greek 1909 and Greek 2372 – Passion (as breathing hard)]
From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary – Covet:
—To desire or wish for, with eagerness; to desire earnestly to obtain or possess; in a good sense.
—To desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; in a bad sense.
And what does ‘addiction’ really mean?
From Wordnet at OneLook.com – Addiction:
—an abnormally strong craving
—being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs)
—(Roman law) a formal award by a court sentence of a thing or person to another (as of a debtor to his creditor); a surrender to a master
And, what does the Bible say?
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
2 Chronicles 34:25
Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, says Yahweh of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
…Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting … Why? – Look at the context of Isaiah 1:13
he that burns incense (frankincense), as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose comes there to me incense (frankincense) from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burntofferings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.
Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, says Yahweh, him that offers in the high places, and him that burns incense to his gods.
And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, has thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, Yahweh sees us not; Yahweh has forsaken the earth.
They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. 16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.