A Theology of Tattooing

1. Definition of Tattooing – For the sake of this study I am including Body Piercings, Body Burnings, Body Modifications, along with Tattooing. Tattooing, and all aspects of Body Modifications, is based on the idea of improving or altering ones appearance by so called Body Art. Most often this Tattooing involves some form of blood-letting, or some form of impacting the epidermal layers of the skin through injecting pigmentation, piercing, or burning to leave a pattern or design, which in the eyes of the individual is an improvement on their appearance.

2. Statistics regarding Tattooing:

A. In a 2006 study by the American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between the ages of 18-50 had at least one tattoo.

B. Men and women were about equal in their numbers of getting tattoos.

C. 30% of those who got tattoos felt more rebellious.

D. 26% of those studied felt more attractive with tattoos.

E. The greatest regret at getting tattoos was including someone’s name in the tattoo.

F. the Center for Disease Control perceived tattoo artists as personal service workers like barbers, hair dressers, manicurists, acupuncturists, or massage therapists.

G. People who acquired tattoos tended to rate higher on risk taking behavioral scales than those who do not get tattoos.

H. The average age of getting their first tattoo is 16.

I. It costs $4000 to $7000 to get a laser tattoo removal.

J. Opening a tattoo parlor is one of the most successful small businesses that one can enter into.

3. Styles –

A. Tattoos – Clearly tattoos come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

B. Cutting – Some people seem to feel good with the various instruments cutting their flesh to form the designs necessary to fulfill inner needs.

C. Piercing – This could be as simple as multiple ear piercing for multiple earrings to body scarring to form a design from the scar tissue.

D. Burning – Is another way of creating designs but also allows a different sensory experience in addition to the designs.

E. Other Body Modifications – This can mean implants, horns, whiskers, bone additions, hooks, or various mechanical devices in the body, or it could mean splitting the tongue, filing the teeth, or altering the shape of the person to fulfill some kind of design or picture.

4. Medical Issues involved with tattooing and body piercing:

A. Allergic reactions to the pigments or the jewelry.

1. Jewelry allergies tend to increase with number of piercing.

B. Potential for skin infections due to blood- letting, including the potentiality of Hepatitis C.

C. Pigment quality can cause skin reactions.

D. Keloid development – excess scar tissue.

E. Infections due to equipment sanitation – this is usually related to home use or use of needles in prison.

F. Virtually no transmission due to HIV. This is expressed in the context of sanitary shops. Home, prison, or unsanitary shops, have the potential of spreading blood contaminants including HIV.

G. Lower rates of Hepatitis transmission than that of Dentistry, again this expressed in the context of sanitary shops. Unsanitary shops have the potential of spreading most any kind of disease.

H. An interesting side issue of tongue piercing is the number of broken teeth from biting or hitting the tongue jewelry.

5. Reasons People Use to Get Tattoos:

A. The individual perceives their skin as a blank piece of paper which would display the individual’s perspectives on art, design, or appearance.

B. Some kind of memory or testimony to the loss of a loved one or a testimony of a specific experience.

C. Some people get a tattoo just for fun or to do something different and exciting.

D. Some people get tattoos just to copy celebrities.

E. Fashion statement or a personal expression of art.

F. Rebellion against the norms of society.

G. The desire to want to appear different from all of the others, the perception of being unique.

H. An expression of that person’s creativity.

I. The individual wants to communicate some kind of spiritual experience or some kind of spiritual message – this can be as simple as identifying with someone or as complex as trying to send messages to someone who is dead. In the old cultures Tattooing was done at the temple and was a form of communication between the individual and the spirits – demons or dead. In some cases getting a Tattoo was indicative of a form of possession by the spirits – a sort of infusion of the animal energy that the individual was seeking. Thus a Tattoo of a tiger or a leopard or cobra would indicate that kind of spirit had entered into the individual. In more modern times a specific kind of Tattoo would indicate what kind of a spirit the individual wanted to have in them. This could be symbolized by a Tattoo of some kind of demonic picture.

J. Some kind of therapeutic experience while sharing their feelings with the tattoo artist.

K. Tattooing can grant some people a kind of sensory experience – similar to that of cutters. Some people like the sensation of pain and feel more alive and responsive.

L. For some tattooing becomes a form of a rite of passage toward becoming a man or woman.

M. Tattooing can be expressive of a cultural or gang connection.

N. Tattooing can also be used as a form of long acting makeup.

O. For some people the doctor wants to do the tattooing so that they could get precise guidelines for future procedures like radiation therapy.

P. For some tattooing is a form of identifying of prison identification

Q. Boredom

R. Some people report feeling sexier when tattooed.

S. Some people report that getting tattooed with religious symbols, like crosses or rosaries, etc, is reinforcing for their faith.

T. Some feel that they get addicted to the sensations involved in tattooing.

6. Societies Perspective Regarding Tattoos – Statistics collected from 1936 indicated that approximately 10 million Americans had tattoos. By 2003 it was estimated that 40 million Americans had tattoos. It would appear that American society in general is much more accepting and approving of tattoos now than in the past. It would appear that American’s now believe that tattooing is simply an artistic expression of the individual and is comfortable with people displaying tattoos in the workplace. Each culture and each country has developed its own perceptions of tattooing and in general all cultures seem to be much more tolerant of tattooing as a mainline display of individuality.

7. God’s Perspective of tattooing: It is important for any reader to understand that this article is being written from the perspective of a Christian who believes in the Bible as the revealed will of the One and only True God. From my point of view if God is communicating an idea it is because it is right, it is for the blessing of all who obey, it will save all who obey from unnecessary pain and suffering as well as bring that obedient person into closer communication and communion with God.

A. What God Says – God wants all of His children to come into harmony with His thinking for it is the safest position possible from sin. Sin is basically anything, or anyway of deviating from God’s will. Deviating from God’s will is to initiate the process of death, and thus God wants to protect us from death for He only wants us to be happy and to maintain life. Happiness is to come into harmony with Him and His laws. So our first issue is to find out if He has spoken to the issue of tattooing.

In Leviticus 19:26-28 God says the following: “Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood; neither hall ye use enchantment, nor observe times. Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of their beards. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” In this section of Scripture God is connecting a number of things for His people to think about. He does not His people to eat anything with blood in it; He does not want them to practice His people practicing witchcraft/enchantments, or practicing the horoscope. He does not want His people to make any changes in their appearance for the dead in any way. He does not want His people to cut their hair, trim their beards in a special way, and He does not want them to cut themselves nor to mark themselves, especially for the dead.

The key concept in all of this discussion is that God does not want us to practice communicating with the dead. From God’s point of view when the person dies

they cease to function, they have no knowledge, and they are totally unable to communicate with the living. Ecclesiastes 9:4-10; Psalms 115:17; Psalms 146:4. So since God knows that the dead are totally unable to communicate with the living who, or what, is doing the communicating of special intimate information with the living? Since God knows that the dead are unable to communicate, and He is not approving of any attempted contacts with the dead, that leaves only one source of information and that is Satan. Satan is more than willing to have us attempt to communicate with the dead, for that is an avenue that he claims for himself. If someone violates God’s commands to not attempt to communicate with the dead then that person is inadvertently choosing to communicate with the ultimate rebel against God, and all good. Satan can say anything he wants when a person comes to communicate with the dead and that person will believe it because they want to.

God knows that all who rebel against Him will be in natural harmony with all others who have rebelled against Him. So He warns us away from avenues of supernatural communication that will expose us to harm and danger. Any avenues that help us to sympathize with Satan will end up causing confusion and harm. So God tells us to stay from honoring, or communicating with the dead. In addition God knows that all of the nations which He removed from Canaan practiced the pagan rites that God wanted to protect His people from. Leviticus 18:20-29.

In Leviticus 21:5 God again expresses His wishes about how people relate to the dead. He says “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.” In this verse God forbids making bald spots on their heads for communicating with the dead nor make any cuttings in their flesh. This making bald spots and cutting in the flesh are both spoken to in the context of the dead. In the tattooing community today one of the primary reasons for getting tattoos is to honor the dead. This would look like a direct contradiction to the commands of God.

In Deuteronomy 14:1-2 God again speaks to the issue of honoring the dead. God states the following: “Ye are the children of the Lord your God. Ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” Again God does not want us to honor the dead in the ways of the people who do not know God or who are rebelling against Him. God wants us to honor the dead by trusting that God will resurrect them in the future. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall

rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” God wants us to have the assurance that He knows all about our loved ones and that He will not only care for them but He will resurrect them when it is time. So we can leave our loved ones in His care and still be protected from Satan.

B. Bible examples of Cutting – In the Bible we have three classic examples of cutting or piercing. The first one is in I Kings chapter 18 and involves the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal were an example of the general worship systems of the nations which had inhabited Canaan before Israel was brought to the land. Their worship style gives us a sample of how piercings and cuttings were part of the normal process of praise to their god – Satan. In this story the prophet Elijah has called all Israel to a trial on top of Mount Carmel. Elijah will allow the prophets of Baal to offer their sacrifice to their god first and then Elijah will offer sacrifice to the real God of the universe. The trial is that that God who is able to burn up the sacrifice will be the true and real God. When the prophets of Baal conduct their sacrificial system they start by calling on Baal’s name, Baal is simply another word for Satan. They then start leaping upon the altar, in the marginal reference it states that they were leaping up and down or dancing before the altar. I Kings 18:26. When Baal is not able to answer then they start to pierce themselves and cut themselves to produce much blood, for their god requires the blood of the worshippers in order to conduct a worship service. I Kings 18:28. The verse also states that this kind of behavior was the normal worship behavior for the worshippers of Baal. Their god required their blood in order to communicate with them. This kind of worship was practiced in all of the nations of Canaan as well as most of the worship systems of peoples that did not know about the true God – the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The second example of cutting is found in Mark 5:1-20. In this story Jesus comes to the country of the Gadarenes, a country without a deep relationship with the God of Israel. Jesus finds a man there who is possessed by many demons. This man lives in the tombs with the bodies of the dead. He wails and carries on and whenever the local people try to calm him down by putting him in chains, he manifests supernatural power and is able to break the chains and returns to his home amongst the tombs. While dwelling amongst the dead he cuts himself with stones. Again the concept of cutting as stated here is a function of demon possession in the setting of the dead. In addition this man was without clothing and rebelling against the wishes of God.

When Jesus arrived this man, even though possessed by demons, came to Jesus and was healed. When he was healed, the demons were cast out into a herd of swine and then when people saw the formerly possessed man he was clothed, peaceful, in his right mind, and apparently did not need to dwell in the tombs any more nor feel a need to cut himself. All of these things are signs of a relationship

with God. God’s people do not want to live in the tombs, they want to be stable and calm. They do not need to cut themselves, cry out, or be naked.

Our third example of cutting or piercing is that of Jesus. Jesus came to the Earth with the specific goal of being a perfect sacrifice for us. In Isaiah 53 and Psalms 22 we are told many of the details of what would happen to Him when He was finally taken to Calvary to die for us. We are told that he would be rejected, His clothing would be cast lots for, he would be beaten for our sakes, and He would die for the guilty.

In the gospels, the stories of Jesus in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we are given the specific details. He was falsely accused, He went to 7 different trials and went through mock court proceedings, He was beaten by crowds, whipped two times and then nailed to a cross and then pierced with a spear. In the Christian worship Jesus was the only one to shed blood for the worship system. He was to suffer for us for we are not able to suffer for our sins and remain alive. Jesus was whipped for us, He experienced the sins of the whole world at one time, while being physically and emotionally abused. By faith the Christian worshipper does not shed His own blood to atone for sin. By faith we accept the shed blood of Jesus in our behalf as an atonement for our sins. Shedding our blood as an atonement for sin would be to reject the blood of Jesus that He shed for us.

In addition to the above Jesus has chosen to accept the real scars of His crucifixion as a testimony of honor to show us what He went through for us. He will keep His scars for ever. But again to scar ourselves, artificially, is to reject the wounds of Jesus that He endured for us. All honor is to go to Him and not to us. To scar ourselves with tattoos is to replace His death and suffering by disobeying His commands for us to not do such things.

C. Purpose of shedding blood – God’s purpose of shedding blood is to show us what He was willing to experience to save us from sin. From the very first sacrifice in the time of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:21) God wanted us to see that sin equates with death. Something has to die as a result of breaking the law. God wanted to alert us that we can die for our sins but if we do so we are rejecting Him and His offer to help us, and we can not live with Him forever. On the other hand if we allow Him to die for us we can be returned to harmony with Him and we can then live forever with Him. But there can be no compromise.

God was also aware of another thing about sin. Once a person sinned their thinking changed. Adam was an example of this when God came to visit Adam and Eve shortly after they sinned they did not want to come to Him but hid from His presence. They hid from Him because they felt guilty being in His presence. He who once was their ultimate delight was now their worst enemy. God knew that sin separates. Isaiah 59:1-2

God also knew that once a person has chosen to sin not only has their thinking changed but they begin to pick up the qualities of the god they have chosen to serve. God knew that Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44) and that the law of, “By Beholding We Become Changed” (II Corinthians 3:18) would go into effect as soon as a person chose to follow him. Soon there would be evil of all kinds where once there was peace and safety. This was proven in the fourth chapter of Genesis when Cain slew Abel. The reason that Cain slew Abel was because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because there was the shedding of blood in Abel’s sacrifice and there was none in Cain’s sacrifice. The shedding of blood was an act of obedience when done for God in the manner that God had ordained, but to not shed blood of the sacrifice as to reject the offer of God to die in our place. In addition to shed blood when God had not ordained it was to again reject God’s guidance and replace it with blood dictated by human tradition. (See Matthew 15:1-9) This is one of the main reasons why God rejects the act of tattooing. It violates His plan for our care and it offers our blood as way of taking care of issues by rejecting His blood.

The ultimate display of shedding of blood is in the death of Jesus. The key concept in the death of Jesus was that – Jesus was God. The second issue was that when Jesus was suffering He was carrying all of the sins of the entire history of the world, every sin of every person who ever lived, while He was shedding His blood for the very people who were torturing Him. Jesus shed great drops of blood from mental anguish in Gethsemane. Luke 22:44. He then was captured by the Jewish leaders and was beaten by them and then was beaten by Pilate. He then had a crown of thorns placed on His head indicating that He was the King of the rebellious. Then He went to Calvary and shed more blood through His hands and feet. Then after His heart was broken by the separation between He and His Father, He shed more blood when the soldier pierced His side with a spear. All of this blood was shed for all of the sins, of all of the people who have ever lived in the history of this world. Any blood shed apart from the blood of Jesus was not acceptable as an atonement for any sin. Only Jesus’ blood was acceptable to God.

Now it must be said that many saints have shed blood for Jesus, and Jesus accepts their sacrifice because their blood was shed while defending the blood of Jesus. The people of God, His sons and daughters, only want to point people to Jesus, not to create an alternative Christ (or an Anti-Christ – replacement Christ). While defending Jesus, and His holy sacrifice, many people get so angry that they kill Christ’s children because they can not get their hands on Jesus Himself. So the saints shed much blood but that blood leads people to look to the blood of Jesus that He shed for us. No other shedding of blood is acceptable to Christ.

D. God’s view of Marking – Any interesting sub-story in this study of tattooing is that of marking. In the context of tattooing, marking is simply another way of performing a body modification. In the Bible marking is also used to display messages of God. The first example of this is in the story of Cain, the first murderer in human history. When he murdered his brother and then rejected God’s appeal to help him God “marked” him with a mark that all would understand that Cain was a unique person and should not be harmed by human beings. Cain was to be an object lesson of those who turned against God.

In the history of Israel the Israelites were to be marked in such a manner that they would be immediately identified as followers of God. God chose to do this in a number of ways. Each Israelite was to have a blue ribbon on the borders of their garments so that everyone with whom they came in contact with would recognize that this person(s) was a follower of the laws of God. Numbers 15:37-41. In addition they were to eat no unclean foods, thus the food they ate would “mark” them as followers of God. Their houses and their persons were to be cared for in such a manner as people would know that these people were followers of God. The law of “By Beholding We Become Changed” would be in effect and they would conduct all of their business and their interactions by the law of God. This was displayed by the Passover blood spoken of in Exodus 12:5-13. The literal blood on the literal door posts of the house would testify to all that an obedient follower of the God of Israel was there and was under the guidance and protection of Jehovah. This marking was also to be symbolic as well when we are to have the laws of God written on the doorposts of our hearts and minds. Deuteronomy 6:3-9; Hebrews 10:16.

But perhaps the most visible “mark” that distinguished Israel from any other group of people was that of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a visible “mark” in time that all true followers of God could display for others to see, and meditate upon. The observer could ask themselves why were these people taking off work each week on the 7th day? They could ask themselves where was this idea coming from. If they asked an Israelite they would be told that this was God’s special time of spending a whole day of communion with Him and the normal things of Earth were to be set aside to have this time with God. He commanded this in Eden in Genesis 2:1-3 as the capstone of His Creation and He also incorporated the Sabbath in His holy law. Exodus 20:8-11. All through history He has asked His people to set aside this time as a testimony to all of the world that they take His mark/sign seriously. See Exodus 31:12-17; Ezekiel 20:12,20; Revelation 14:7. Jesus took this sign seriously and He defended the Sabbath all through the times of His ministry. See Matthew 12, John 5, John 9. He defended it so well that when He died on the cross He was buried before the Sabbath, and rested in accordance with His own commandment. Luke 23:50-56. When Sabbath was completed Jesus resurrected and went back to work to complete the details of salvation and to prepare to return to His Father in heaven.

One of the greatest displays of this special marking by God is told of in Ezekiel 8-9. Rebellious Israel was “marked” by their disobedience to God as displayed in the many ways of idolatry and the worship of other gods. In Ezekiel 9 God was to write a special “mark” on the persons of all of His true followers and when the angels came to monitor they were spare those who were followers of God versus those who were followers of false gods. This mark was a special mark that angels could see but not necessarily people. This mark will be counterfeited by Satan and he will attempt to replace this special mark with a mark of his own making – the mark of the beast. Revelation 13. This mark is a replacement/counterfeit marking. If Sabbath – the day of worship of God is God’s mark, then Satan will attempt to replace this mark with a worship mark that he approves of. This mark is displayed in Ezekiel 8:16 when the Jewish leaders have turned their backs on God’s temple, and thus on God and His law. They have chosen not to worship God and thus have chosen to reject God’s mark with the mark of the sun. This mark historically has been the day of the sun, or Sunday and alternative day of rest to that of God and His Sign/mark the Sabbath.

Finally, Jesus wants to mark us with the name of His Father to be written in our foreheads, not literally but spiritually. Jesus wants us to think and act just like He does and how His Father in heaven would have acted if He had come to live on Earth. Revelation 14:1. Jesus will also write the name of His Father and the name of the New Jerusalem on our foreheads as well. Revelation 3:12 and then finally Jesus will write His new name on our foreheads as well. All of this marking to indicate that our minds and our hearts are focused on an eternal prize and not on the things of this Earth.

E. God’s view of death – Before we complete this study of tattooing it would be helpful to reiterate what God thinks about death. In Genesis 2:15-17 God warned Adam that he could eat of every tree of the garden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God warned them that if they ate of that tree they would eventually die. So it appears clear that God did not intend for death to ever enter the Earth or to affect His people. God wanted no harm and no death in all of His holy kingdom. Isaiah 11:9; 65:25. Satan, however, came along and told one of the first of his lies. He told Eve that if she ate of the fruit of this special tree that she would not die. Now Eve had the experience of the first person of Earth to decide whether one could trust the Word of God or if He was a liar. She decided to put it to the test and ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and sure enough she started in motion all of the chaos and suffering that precedes death.

All through history people have wondered why God would introduce death into the world. God’s answer is that He did not introduce death into the world, but an enemy has done this. Matthew 13:24-28, 39. When Adam and Eve chose to disbelieve God and to believe Satan it put in motion the concept of sin, and all of the things that sin brings. God, on the other hand, wants to remove sin and return the earth to it’s pristine state where there will be no death or suffering ever again. Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 20:14; 21:3-5 So God declares that He did not introduce death to the world but people, at the temptation of Satan, introduced the death He had warned them not to partake of. But God, knowing the end from the beginning, had already seen this problem and He had decided before He even created the world to come up with a solution and promised to die for anyone who sinned against Him. So His blood was made available to anyone as soon as sin came into the picture. Revelation 13:8; Romans 5:1-21

One of the mysteries that people have wrestled with is what happens when we die and where do our loved ones go when they die. God has told us many things but often times we don’t see how these things work. In Genesis 2:7 God gave us an idea of how this works. He said that when He created man He made him out of the dust of the Earth. When God formed this dust there was no life in it. (See Ezekiel 37 for a more detailed process of the creative work). When God was finished forming the dust, or clay, of this Earth, then He breathed His breath, or His life into the dust and it became a living soul. So from God’s point of view, when a body, made of the dust of the Earth, is filled with His breath, or life, then it becomes a living soul. The breath is not the soul, the body and the energy/breath of God joined together becomes a soul. On the other hand when a person dies the life energy/breath returns to God and the living soul ceases to exist and ceases to function. See Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 and 12:7. To correct this problem God introduces the concept of the resurrection. The resurrection is when God puts a body and His breath back together and that person starts to think again and come alive. Until the resurrection occurs the person does not function on Earth or in Heaven. No one goes to heaven as a spirit or a ghost. The only way to go to heaven is as a soul – a body connected to the life giving energy of God. Thus we have the two main Scripture about the resurrection given in I Corinthians 15 and  I Thessalonians 4:13-18. When Jesus returns to this Earth He will call out and the dead in Christ will arise, their bodies will be recreated by the Word of God, and they will be joined by the breath of God, and the person will be alive, thinking, feeling, and rejoicing in God. This process is displayed in John 11 where Jesus displays His resurrecting powers in the resurrection of Lazarus.

The reason the above study is so important is that God wants us to come to Him for understanding and not to go to the world. The world can only give us a knowledge of good and evil, the world can not give us 100% truth. Because the world is not able to give us truth is because the world is separated from God by sin. Thus the world will always give us an incorrect understanding of truth, and especially truth about something that the world does not understand. No amount of scientific study will ever resolve the issues of death. Only God, the life giver, can tell us how He created, and how He can recreate/resurrect.

Because the world can not give us the truth Satan seeks to give us all kinds of errors about death. One of Satan’s favorite issues is the error of ghosts. A ghost, by definition is a person’s soul disengaged from it’s body. Satan tells us that there are ghosts out there and these ghosts can communicate with people. Not only can they communicate but they can haunt, and harm as well, according to Satan. The Bible clearly states that they can not happen for the Bible states that the dead know not anything. Ecclesiastes 9:5-10. God says a dead person can not communicate with the living, Satan says that they can. We get to choose whom we believe, just like Adam and Eve did long ago.

How this affects tattooing is that many believe that if they get a tattoo they are communicating with their dead loved ones and sending them a message of love and care, and respect. God says that that may be a very kind thought, but since the dead person can not hear, see, think, love, hate, then the effort is absolutely unable to accomplish the task the person getting a tattoo is seeking to accomplish. So not only is it a waste of money, and effort, but the mission can not be done. The message can not be communicated to the dead loved one. But the seeking to communicate with their loved one is exposing them to the errors of Satan. If a person seeks to communicate with a dead loved one, and the get a “message” back from the loved one they are thrilled. But they may not be so thrilled if they knew that the message was sent by Satan, not by their loved one. Satan seeks to take advantage of that person’s ignorance or rebellion, and to lead them to turn away from God to the point that there is no hope for that person. On the other hand God seeks to save them and protect them from the errors of Satan.

In the Bible God tells us to have nothing to do with the dead for they can not hear us. God wants us to meet with our dead loved ones by having an experience with God so that at the resurrection (John 5:21-29; 6:39,44,54) God will reunite us with our loved ones. Satan can not do this, and he seeks to keep people in a state of ignorance regarding these things.

Satan, in his task to confuse us, had built a whole system of errors to keep us away from God. Satan has introduced the idea of ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies, witches, warlocks, to scare us, to titillate us, to confuse us so that we won’t go to God for guidance but that we will go to him for guidance. Any guidance received from these sources will always lead to rebellion against God, and will put the person into a position of being deceived to the point of losing salvation.

How this connects with tattooing is that many of the tattoos that people want are tattoos of Satanic subjects – gruesome, death oriented subjects. One of the most sought after tattoos is that of a smiling skull. The concept in the smiling skull is that the dead are really alive and are smiling and communicating, something that God says can not be done. There is no such creature as a smiling skull. There is no such thing as a vampire, or a werewolf, or a zombie, or a mummy. These are Satanic concepts that do not literally exist. No witch and no warlock, and no one who conducts séances, can contact the dead for God says that the dead are unable to think. Psalms 146:3-4. Now if a person wants to talk to Satan they can always arrange that for Satan exists, and so do his angels, which are called demons in the Bible. But if a person wants to talk to Satan that person wants to die, for Satan’s goal is to kill all of the people of God.

So in the end tattooing is a system that brings people closer and closer to Satan. They either attempt to communicate through him, or they do things that accomplish the goals that Satan has. Tattooing does not bring us closer to God, but separates us from Him for He has told us not to do things, and to rebel against His Word, closes our minds and hearts to His instruction, and thus from receiving life and love, and truth from Him. We are free to choose Whom we will respond to but our choices are limited to either God or Satan.

F. What does God think if you had a tattoo and then come to God? – One of the wonderful qualities of God is the He is willing to forgive any and all of us for anything we have done against Him or against His children. We have wonderful stories in the Bible of the forgiveness of God. We see His kindness and compassion in the story of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:8-21 we see how many times God forgave Israel when they rebelled against Him. We have David’s testimony of requesting forgiveness in Psalms 51:1-4. We have the story of Manasseh in II Chronicles 33. We know the story of the Apostle Paul and his killing frenzy. Acts 9. We know of the people who consulted with demons and who brought their books on witchcraft to the disciples and burned them. Acts 19:1-20 We know of all kinds of stories of people recognizing their sins and trusting in the mercies, and cleansing promises of God. I John 1:9 So getting a tattoo is not nearly as difficult as that of murder. But God does want us to come to Him, and He will not only forgive us for any sin, but He will change us so that our thoughts and feelings come into harmony with Him. So don’t let Satan continue to deceive you into thinking that your sins are too great for God to care for. There is no sin that God can not and will not forgive. The only sin He can not forgive is the sin that is not repented of. Those who choose not to come to Jesus will join their god – Satan, and will receive all of the rewards that he will receive. Revelation 20. So come today and receive God’s special gifts – forgiveness, cleansing, protection from Satan, and all of the blessings that God has promised in His holy Word.

8. Conclusions – God has warned us of contact with Satan. He has informed us, and we have abundant testimony in the Bible of the dangers of associating with Satan, for he is a liar and a murderer. All contact with Satan is to move us away from God, and to tie us to Satan. All contact with God is to move us away from Satan and to tie us to God. We are free to choose Whom we will serve. But one thing must be very clear, God will not work in harmony or in partnership with Satan. Tattooing is one of those things that takes us out of harmony with God. God will not accept our worship when we deliberately choose to rebel against His instructions.

Now that you have had an opportunity to read some of these thoughts, I pray that you will examine these things from God’s point of view and decide for yourselves. I thank you for the opportunity to share these ideas with you. May God bless and keep you in your journey with Him.


Additional Studies: