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I am a servant of the most high king! My family and I try to follow the best we can the complete word of the creator. May Yahweh bless you, may he cause His face to shine upon you....

What is an idol?

Recently I have encounter an interesting thought of what makes an ordinary thing become an idol? According to Webster it is defined as:

Definition of idol

1an object of extreme devotiona movie idolalso IDEAL sense 2

2a representation or symbol of an object of worshipbroadly a false god

3aa likeness of something

bobsolete PRETENDERIMPOSTOR

4a false conception FALLACY

5a form or appearance visible but without substancean enchanted phantom, a lifeless idol— P. B. Shelley

Further the Easton dictionary of biblical terms state:

Dictionaries – Easton’s Bible Dictionary – Idolatry

Idolatry [N] [T] [S]

image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25 : men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption ( 1:28 ).

The forms of idolatry are,

·  Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.

·  Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature.

·  Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes.

In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of Rachel stealing her father’s teraphim ( Genesis 31:19 ), which were the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban’s progenitors “on the other side of the river in old time” ( Joshua 24:2 ). During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it ( Joshua 24:14 ; Ezekiel 20:7 ). Many a token of God’s displeasure fell upon them because of this sin.

I know that I stepped on many toes about now and I yet to scratch the surface. If we are to get closer to our God then we have to know how He views this subject, wouldn’t you agree? Where do we see this first mentioned in the scripture?

In Exodus 20 let us examine what it says:

“You have no other mighty ones against My face. “You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth, you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, YHVH your Elohim am a jealous visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.

Exodus 20:3-6 (The Scriptures 1998)

Lets compare this to the KJV and see what it says:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6

They are virtually the same, so what do these words mean?

The word for image is:

H6459

פּסל

pesel

peh’-sel

From H6458; an idol: – carved (graven) image.

This is a three dimensional craved thing.

The word that is translated as likeness is from:

H8544

תּמנה    תּמוּנה

temûnâh  temûnâh

tem-oo-naw’, tem-oo-naw’

From H4327; something portioned (that is, fashioned) out, as a shape, that is, (indefinitely) phantom, or (specifically) embodiment, or (figuratively) manifestation (of favor): – image, likeness, similitude.

This is something that can be molded or fashioned. It is something that can be gazed at either something or someone that is to marveled at or worshipped.

According to Why Am I (YMI)  https://ymi.today/2016/06/5-signs-that-something-is-an-idol-in-your-life/

They identify 5 signs you have an idol in your life:

5 SIGNS THAT SOMETHING IS AN IDOL IN YOUR LIFE

Jun 7, 2016/4 Comments/in TOPICSWorld /by Contributor

Written By Grace Debora, Indonesia

Iwas swept up by the Korean wave and became an avid follower of K-Pop in 2009. Back then, I was obsessed with the 12-member boy band, Super Junior. Every break time, my friends and I would gather and talk excitedly about our favorite members, gush over YouTube videos we had watched the night before, or share facts we dug up about them.

Pop culture has become an entrenched and essential part of the lives of young people today. Who hasn’t heard of the queen of pop, Taylor Swift, the popular British boy band, One Direction, or heartthrob Song Joong-ki of the recent K-drama hit, Descendants of the Sun? With the accessibility of information, it’s easy to find ourselves obsessing about our favorite “idols” and getting wrapped up in what’s going on in their lives. In my case, this pattern went on for about a year until God pulled me back and showed me that my life focus had shifted.

Today, the term “idol” is used flippantly to refer to celebrities or whoever we revere or hero-worship. But in the Scriptures, “idol” refers to foreign gods or anything that replace God in our life. In fact, the first commandment God gave to the Israelites was, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Amid a culture of idolatry, God explicitly commanded His people to worship Him alone.

And He demands the same of us today. But first, we need to identify what “idols” we have in our lives. For me, these were the signs that showed something else had replaced God in my life:

1. Time

The amount of time we spend on something reveals how important it is to us. When I was obsessed about Super Junior, I would spend all my time after school downloading and watching videos of them, and reading up about them.

2. Energy and resources

Along with time, we might find ourselves pouring our energy and resources willingly into cultivating our interests. I remember spending a lot of money on Super Junior’s albums, concerts, merchandise, and even on programs organized by the international fan club. Emotions-wise, I was so invested that I sometimes got mad at others who would bad-mouth my favorite artists—to the point that I found myself despising them.

3. Phone content

What we browse online, listen to, or view on our playlists or our social media accounts indicates what we’re preoccupied with. Back then, all the pictures on my phone were of Super Junior, my playlist had almost every song from every album they released and my social media accounts were flooded with updates by the fan clubs or the stars themselves. I followed many K-pop news sites and even signed up for an account in a foreign language so that I could follow their updates.

4. State of affairs

When God is not first and foremost in our lives, our lives show. Life becomes disorderly and things take a turn for the worst. During those moments where I lived and breathed Super Junior, I was sleep-deprived, haphazard in my school assignments, and lackluster in my service in church. Even though I followed a Bible reading plan, my mind was far away from His Word.  

5. Community

“Birds of a feather flock together.” That was evident in my life. All my friends were those who liked the same idol group and we did similar things together. At first, our conversation seemed lively and our friendship fun, but in reality, it brought me nowhere.

I started to limit my involvement in church, and did not bother to get to know others outside my group of friends who loved Super Junior. I also did not find it necessary to mingle with other friends—I thought my group of friends was the best. Later on, I found out that some friends stopped hanging out with us because they had felt left out.

Although God used friends, sermons, and devotions to sound the alarm in my life, I ignored the warning signs until one particular sermon forced me to question who I am and what I live for. That’s when it struck me that I had been wasting my life. Guilt and regret overwhelmed me when I came face to face with the reality that God was not the one I was worshipping; I had made Super Junior an idol.

So I repented. I deleted all the videos, threw away all the merchandise I had collected, and basically, removed all things related to Super Junior. It was hard at first—but that feeling only lasted for a week. The hardest part was not being able to keep up with the conversations. I tried changing the topic. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Nonetheless, I thank God that He helped me retain my friends. Moreover, God brought back the close friends I thought I had lost!

Idols may come in many different forms. It may be our work, social media, drama serials, or even our church ministry—anything that causes us to lose our focus and personal time with God. In college, I was addicted to watching movies. But thankfully, God made that known to me and enabled me to change.

God will not allow His children to remain in their sins. He wants us to live according to His plan and will. Therefore, He will use various ways to bring us back to Him. And if we recognize that God is prompting us to return to Him, let’s hurry back and return. Let’s put Him first and foremost in our lives.

Photo credit: mduangdara via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

So as you can see idols can take the shape in many ways. There are many ways this can manifest when confronted here’s another article which shows what can happen when confronting idolatry:

Getting to the Heart of Conflict

rw360.org/getting-to-the-heart-of-conflict

What Causes Fights and Quarrels?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people could simply renounce their bad habits and decide to respond to conflict in a gracious and constructive way? But it is not that easy. In order to break free from the pattern they have fallen into, they need to understand why they react to conflict the way they do.

Jesus provides us with clear guidance on this issue. During His earthly ministry, a young man approached the Lord and asked Him to settle an inheritance dispute with his brother. “Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’” (Luke 12:13-15).

This passage reveals a common human pattern. When faced with conflict, we tend to focus passionately on what our opponent has done wrong or should do to make things right. In contrast, God always calls us to focus on what is going on in our own hearts when we are at odds with others. Why? Because our heart is the wellspring of all our thoughts, words, and actions, and therefore the source of our conflicts. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19).

The heart’s central role in conflict is vividly described in James 4:1-3. If you understand this passage, you will have found a key to preventing and resolving conflict.

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

This passage describes the root cause of destructive conflict: Conflicts arise from unmet desires in our hearts. When we feel we cannot be satisfied unless we have something we want or think we need, the desire turns into a demand. If someone fails to meet that desire, we condemn him in our heart and quarrel and fight to get our way. In short, conflict arises when desires grow into demands and we judge and punish those who get in our way. Let us look at this progression one step at a time.

The Progression of an Idol1

I Desire

Conflict always begins with some kind of desire. Some desires are inherently wrong, such as vengeance, lust, or greed. But many desires are not wrong in and of themselves. For example, there is nothing innately wrong about desiring things like peace and quiet, a clean home, a new computer, professional success, an intimate relationship with your spouse, or respectful children.

If a good desire, such as wanting an intimate relationship with your spouse, is not being met, it is perfectly legitimate to talk about it with your spouse. As you talk, you may discover ways that both of you can help to fulfill each other in mutually beneficial ways. If not, it may be appropriate to seek help from your pastor or a Christian counselor who can assist you in understanding your differences and strengthening your marriage.

But what if your spouse persistently fails to meet a particular desire and is unwilling to discuss it further with you or anyone else? This is where you stand at a crossroad. On the one hand, you can trust God and seek your fulfillment in Him (Psalm 73:25). You can ask Him to help you to continue to grow and mature no matter what your spouse does (James 1:2-4). And you can continue to love your spouse and pray for God’s sanctifying work in his or her life (1 John 4:19-21; Luke 6:27-28). If you follow this course, God promises to bless you and use your difficult situation to conform you to the likeness of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

On the other hand, you can dwell on your disappointment and allow it to control your life. At the very least, this will result in self-pity and bitterness toward your spouse. At worst, it can destroy your marriage. Let us look at how this downward spiral evolves.

 I Demand

Unmet desires have the potential of working themselves deeper and deeper into our hearts. This is especially true when we come to see a desire as something we need or deserve, and therefore must have in order to be happy or fulfilled. There are many ways to justify or legitimize a desire.

  • “I work hard all week. Don’t I deserve a little peace and quiet when I come home?”
  • “I worked two jobs to put you through school; I deserve your respect and appreciation.”
  • “I spend hours managing the family budget; I really need a new computer.”
  • “The Bible says we should save up to cover unexpected problems; we need to tighten our budget so we can put more into savings.”
  • “God has given me a gift for developing new businesses, and He calls me to work hard to support our family. I deserve to have more of your support.”
  • “Scripture says a husband and wife should be completely united in love. I need to have more intimacy with you.”
  • “I only want what God commands: children who have learned to respect their parents and use their God-given gifts to the fullest.”

There is an element of validity in each of these statements. The trouble is that if our desire is not met, these attitudes can lead to a vicious cycle. The more we want something, the more we think of it as something we need and deserve. And the more we think we are entitled to it, the more convinced we are that we cannot be happy and secure without it.

When we see our object of desire as being essential to our fulfillment and well-being, it moves from being a desire to a demand. “I wish I could have this” evolves into “I must have this!” This is where trouble sets in. Even if the initial desire was not inherently wrong, it has grown so strong that it begins to control our thoughts and behavior. In biblical terms, it has become an “idol.”

Most of us think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagan people. But the concept is much broader and far more personal than that. An idol is anything apart from God that we depend on to be happy, fulfilled, or secure. In biblical terms it is something other than God that we set our heart on (Luke 12:29), that motivates us (1 Corinthians 4:5), that masters and rules us (Psalm 119:133; Ephesians 5:5), or that we trust, fear, or serve (Isaiah 42:17; Matthew 6:24; Luke 12:4-5). In short, it is something we love and pursue in place of God (see Philippians 3:19).

Given its controlling effect on our lives, an idol can also be referred to as a “false god” or a “functional god.” As Martin Luther wrote, “To whatever we look for any good thing and for refuge in every need, that is what is meant by ‘god.’ To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe in him from the heart…. To whatever you give your heart and entrust your being, that, I say, is really your god.”2

Even sincere Christians struggle with idolatry. We may believe in God and say we want to serve Him only, but at times we allow other influences to rule us. In this sense we are no different from the ancient Israelites: “Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did” (2 Kings 17:41).

It is important to emphasize the fact that idols can arise from good desires as well as wicked desires. It is often not what we want that is the problem, but that we want it too much. For example, it is not unreasonable for a man to want a passionate sexual relationship with his wife, or for a wife to want open and honest communication with her husband, or for either of them to want a steadily growing savings account. These are good desires, but if they turn into demands that must be met in order for either spouse to be satisfied and fulfilled, they result in bitterness, resentment, or self-pity that can destroy a marriage.

How can you discern when a good desire might be turning into a sinful demand? You can begin by prayerfully asking yourself “X-ray” questions that reveal the true condition of your heart.

  • What am I preoccupied with? What is the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing on my mind at night?
  • How would I complete this statement: “If only _____________, then I would be happy, fulfilled, and secure”?
  • What do I want to preserve or avoid?
  • Where do I put my trust?
  • What do I fear?
  • When a certain desire is not met, do I feel frustration, anxiety, resentment, bitterness, anger, or depression?

Is there something I desire so much that I am willing to disappoint or hurt others in order to have it?

As you search your heart for idols, you will often encounter multiple layers of concealment, disguise, and justification. As mentioned earlier, one of the most subtle cloaking devices is to argue that we want only what God Himself commands.

For example, a mother may desire that her children be respectful and obedient to her, kind to one another, and diligent in developing their gifts and talents. And she can back up each goal with a specific scripture that shows that God Himself desires such behavior.

When they do not fulfill these goals, even after her repeated encouragement or correction, she may feel frustrated, angry, or resentful. She needs to ask, “Why am I feeling this way? Is it a righteous anger that they are not living up to God’s standards? Or is it a selfish anger that they are not giving me the smooth, comfortable, and convenient day I want?”

In most cases, it will be a mixture of both. Part of her truly wants to see her children love and obey God in every way, both for His glory and for their good. But another part of her is motivated by a desire for her own comfort and convenience. Which desire is really controlling her heart and reactions?

If the God-centered desire is dominating the mother’s heart, her response to disobedient children should be characterized by God’s discipline toward her. “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). As she imitates God, her response will line up with corrective guidelines found in Galatians 6:1: “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” In other words, although her discipline may be direct and firm, it will be wrapped in gentleness and love, and leave no residue of resentment or unforgiveness.

On the other hand, if her desire for comfort and convenience has become an idol, her reaction to her children will be much different. It will be characterized by smoldering anger as well as harsh and unnecessarily hurtful words or discipline. She may feel bitterness or resentment that her desires have been frustrated. And even after disciplining her children, she may maintain a lingering coolness toward them that extends their punishment and warns them not to cross her again. If this latter group of attitudes and actions frequently characterizes her response, it is a sign that her desire for godly children has probably evolved into an idolatrous demand.

I Judge

Another sign of idolatry is the inclination to judge other people. When they fail to satisfy our desires and live up to our expectations, we criticize and condemn in our hearts if not with our words. As Dave Powlison writes:

We judge others—criticize, nit-pick, nag, attack, condemn— because we literally play God. This is heinous.[The Bible says]”There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbor?” Who are you when you judge? None other than a God wannabe. In this, we become like the Devil himself (no surprise that the Devil is mentioned in James 3:15 and 4:7). We act exactly like the adversary who seeks to usurp God’s throne and who acts as the accuser of the brethren. When you and I fight, our minds become filled with accusations: your wrongs and my rights preoccupy me. We play the self-righteous judge in the mini-kingdoms we establish.3

This insight should leave us shaking in our boots! When we judge others and condemn them in our hearts for not meeting our desires, we are imitating the Devil (see James 3:15; 4:7). We have doubled our idolatry problem: Not only have we let an idolatrous desire rule our hearts, but we have also set ourselves up as judging minigods. This is a formula for excruciating conflict.

This is not to say that it is inherently wrong to evaluate or even judge others within certain limits. Scripture teaches that we should observe and evaluate others’ behavior so that we can respond and minister to them in appropriate ways, which may even involve loving confrontation (see Matthew 7:1-5; 18:15; Galatians 6:1).

We cross the line, however, when we begin to sinfully judge others, which is characterized by a feeling of superiority, indignation, condemnation, bitterness, or resentment. Sinful judging often involves speculating on others’ motives. Most of all, it reveals the absence of a genuine love and concern toward them. When these attitudes are present, our judging has crossed the line and we are playing God.

The closer we are to others, the more we expect of them and the more likely we are to judge them when they fail to meet our expectations. For example, we may look at our spouse and think, “If you really love me, you above all people will help meet this need.” We think of our children and say, “After all I’ve done for you, you owe this to me.”

We can place similar expectations on relatives, close friends, or members of our church. Expectations are not inherently bad. It is good to hope for the best in others and reasonable to anticipate receiving understanding and support from those who are closest to us.

But if we are not careful, these expectations can become conditions and standards that we use to judge others. Instead of giving people room for independence, disagreement, or failure, we rigidly impose our expectations on them. In effect, we expect them to give allegiance to our idols. When they refuse to do so, we condemn them in our hearts and with our words, and our conflicts with them take on a heightened intensity.

I Punish

Idols always demand sacrifices. When others fail to satisfy our demands and expectations, our idols demand that they should suffer. Whether deliberately or unconsciously, we will find ways to hurt or punish people so they will give in to our desires.

This punishment can take many forms. Sometimes we react in overt anger, lashing out with hurtful words to inflict pain on those who fail to meet our expectations. When we do so, we are essentially placing others on the altar of our idol and sacrificing them, not with a pagan knife, but with the sharp edge of our tongue. Only when they give in to our desire and give us what we want will we stop inflicting pain upon them.

But we punish those who don’t bow to our idols in numerous other ways as well. Our children may use pouting, stomping, or dirty looks to hurt us for not meeting their desires. Adults and children alike may impose guilt or shame on others by walking around with pained or crushed looks on their faces. Some people even resort to physical violence or sexual abuse to punish and control others.

As we grow in faith and awareness of our sin, most of us recognize and reject overt and obviously sinful means of punishing others. But our idols do not give up their influence easily, and they often lead us to develop more subtle means of punishing those who do not serve them.

Withdrawal from a relationship is a common way to hurt others. This may include a subtle coolness toward the other person, withholding affection or physical contact, being sad or gloomy, refusing to look someone in the eye, or even abandoning the relationship altogether.

Sending subtle, unpleasant cues over a long period of time is an age-old method of inflicting punishment. For example, a friend of mine mentioned to me that his wife was not pleased with the fact that he was giving so much time to a particular ministry. He closed by saying, “And as we all know, when momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” He laughed as he said it, but his comment made me think of the proverb, “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day” (Proverbs 27:15). A woman has a unique ability to set the tone in a home. If she is not careful, she can pervert that gift and use it to create an unpleasant or uncomfortable atmosphere that tells her family, “Either get in line with what I want, or you will suffer.” Such behavior is an act of unbelief: Instead of relying on God’s means of grace to sanctify her family, she depends on her own tools of punishment to manipulate them into change. Of course, a man can do the same thing; by being perpetually critical and unhappy, he too can make everyone in the family miserable until they give in to his idols. The usual result of such behavior is a superficial, splintered family.

Inflicting pain on others is one of the surest signs that an idol is ruling our hearts (see James 4:1-3). When we catch ourselves punishing others in any way, whether deliberately and overtly or unconsciously and subtly, it is a warning that something other than God is ruling our hearts.

The Cure for an Idolatrous Heart

An idol, as we have seen, is any desire that has grown into a consuming demand that rules our heart; it is something we think we must have to be happy, fulfilled, or secure. To put it another way, it is something we love, fear, or trust.

Love, fear, trust—these are words of worship! Jesus commands us to love God, fear God, and trust God and God alone (Matthew 22:37; Luke 12:4-5; John 14:1). Any time we long for something apart from God, fear something more than God, or trust in something other than God to make us happy, fulfilled, or secure, we are engaging in the worship of false gods. As a result, we deserve the judgment and wrath of the true God.

Deliverance from Judgment

There is only one way out of this bondage and judgment: It is to look to God Himself, who loves to deliver people from their idols. “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” (Exodus 20:2-3).

God has provided the cure for our idolatry by sending His Son to experience the punishment that we deserve because of our sin. Through Jesus Christ we can become righteous in God’s sight and find freedom from sin and idolatry. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

To receive this forgiveness and freedom, we must acknowledge our sin, repent of it, and put our trust in Jesus Christ (see Acts 3:19; Psalm 32:5). When we do, we are no longer under God’s judgment. Instead, He brings us into His family, makes us His children and heirs, and enables us to live a godly life (Galatians 4:4-7). This is the good news of the gospel—forgiveness and eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Deliverance from Specific Idols

Yet there is more good news. God wants to deliver us not only from our general problem with sin and idolatry, but also from the specific, day-to-day idols that consume us, control us, and cause conflict with those around us.

This deliverance is not done in blanket fashion, with all our idols being swept away in one great spiritual experience. Instead, God calls us to identify and confess our idols one by one, and then to cooperate with Him as He steadily removes them bit by bit from our hearts.

God conveys His grace to help us in this identification and deliverance process via three vehicles: His Bible, His Spirit, and His church. The Bible is “living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). As you diligently study and meditate on the Bible and sit under regular, sound preaching, God will use His Word like a spotlight and a scalpel in your heart. It will reveal your idolatrous desires and show you how to love and worship God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

The Holy Spirit aids our deliverance from idols by helping us to understand the Bible, to identify our sin, and to pursue a godly life (1 Corinthians 2:10-15; Philippians 2:13). Therefore, we should pray on a daily basis for the Spirit to guide, convict, and strengthen us in our walk with Christ.

Finally, God has surrounded us with brothers and sisters in Christ who can teach us, lovingly confront us about our idols, and provide encouragement and guidance in our spiritual growth (Galatians 6:1; Romans 15:14). This requires that we commit ourselves to consistent involvement in a solid, biblical church and seek regular fellowship and accountability from spiritually mature believers.

Through these three vehicles of grace, God will help you examine your life and progressively expose and deliver you from the idols that rule your heart. This process involves several key steps.

  • Prayerfully ask yourself the “X-ray” questions listed previously, which will help you discern the desires that have come to rule your heart.
  • Keep track of your discoveries in a journal so that you can identify patterns and steadily go after specific idols.
  • Pray daily that God would rob your idols of their influence in your life by making you miserable whenever you give in to them.
  • Describe your idols to your spouse and an accountability partner, and ask them to pray for you and lovingly confront you when they see signs that the idol is still controlling you.
  • Realize that idols are masters of change and disguise. As soon as you gain a victory over a particular sinful desire, your idol is likely to reappear in a related form, with a redirected desire and more subtle means of attracting your attention.
  • If you are dealing with an idol that is difficult to identify or conquer, go to your pastor or some other spiritually mature advisor, and seek his or her counsel and support.

Most of all, ask God to replace your idols with a growing love for Him and a consuming desire to worship Him and Him alone (more on this below).

If someone told you that you had a deadly cancer that would take your life if you did not get treatment, you would probably spare no effort or expense in pursuing the most rigorous treatment available. Well, you do have cancer, a cancer of the soul. It is called sin and idolatry. But there is a cure. It is called the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is administered through the Word, the Spirit, and the church. The more rigorously you avail yourself of these means of grace, the greater effect they will have in delivering you from the idols that plague your soul.

Replace Idol Worship with Worship of the True God

In his excellent book Future Grace, John Piper teaches that “sin is what you do when you are not fully satisfied in God.”4 The same may be said about idolatry: It is what we do when we are not fully satisfied in God. In other words, if we are not fulfilled and secure in God, we will inevitably seek other sources of happiness and security.

Therefore, if you want to squeeze the idols out of your heart and leave no room for them to return, make it your top priority to aggressively pursue an all-consuming worship for the living God. Ask Him to teach you how to love, fear, and trust Him more than anything in this world. Replacing idol worship with worship of the true God involves several steps:

Repent before God. When we repent and confess our sins and idols, believing in our forgiveness through Christ, we also confess our faith in Christ. Repentance and confession of our faith in the true God is true worship (1 John 1:8-10). “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17; see also Isaiah 66:2b).

  • Fear God. Stand in awe of the true God when you are tempted to fear others or are afraid of losing something precious. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of

[all wisdom]

” (Proverbs 1:7). “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:3-4). Love God. Desire the One who forgives us and provides everything we need instead of looking to other things that cannot save you. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ ” (Matthew 22:37). “Those who seek the LORD lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10). “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26). Trust God. Rely on the One who sacrificed His Son for you and has proven Himself to be absolutely dependable in every situation. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Delight in God. Find your greatest joy in thinking about God, meditating on His works, talking to others about Him, praising Him, and giving Him thanks. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long” (Psalm 71:8). “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

As these passages indicate, God has designed a wonderful cycle for those who want to worship Him above all things. As you love, praise, give thanks, and delight yourself in God, He will fulfill your desires with the best thing in the world: more of Himself! And as you learn to delight more and more in Him, you will feel less need to find happiness, fulfillment, and security in the things of this world. By God’s grace, the influence of idolatry and conflict in your family can be steadily diminished, and you and your family can enjoy the intimacy and security that come from worshiping the one true God.

Endnotes

1 I owe Paul Tripp, David Powlison, and Ed Welch of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (www.CCEF.org) a great debt for the many insights they have given to me on this topic through their books and seminars.

2 F. Samuel Janzow, Luther’s Large Catechism: A Contemporary Translation with Study Questions (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978), p. 13.

3 Journal of Biblical Counseling 16, no. 1, fall 1997.

4 John Piper, Future Grace (Sisters, Ore: Multnomah), page 9.

————————————–

Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict © 2004 by Ken Sande. All Rights Reserved. See Chapter 5 for more information on getting to the heart of conflict. Download Chapter 1 for free at this link.

So now we identified what idolatry is, what must we do to repent from it? In Ezekiel 14 starting in 4 it reads;

“Therefore speak to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus said the Master YHVH, “Everyone of the house of Yisra’who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling-block of his crookedness before his face, and shall come to the prophet – I YHVH shall answer him who comes, according to his many idols, in order to lay hold of the house of Yisra’by their heart, for they have become estranged from Me by their idols, all of them.” ’ “Therefore say to the house of Yisra’‘Thus said the Master YHVH, “Repent, and turn back from your idols, and turn back your faces from all your abominations. “For anyone of the house of Yisra’or of the strangers who sojourn in Yisra’who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts the stumbling-block of his crookedness before his face, and shall come to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I YHVH shall answer him Myself. “And I shall set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I shall cut him off from the midst of My people. And you shall know that I am YHVH. “And if the prophet is deceived, and shall speak a word, I YHVH have deceived that prophet, and shall stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from the midst of My people Yisra’“And they shall bear their crookedness, the crookedness of the prophet is the same as the crookedness of the inquirer, so that the house of Yisra’no longer strays from Me, nor be made unclean any more with all their transgressions. And they shall be My people and I be their Elohim,” declares the Master YHVH.’ ” Ezekiel 14:4-11 The Scriptures 1998+

So in all of this we must not put anything or anyone in a position that we set them in heart as an idol. As with all things we must approach this with much prayer and seek YHVH  that He will reveal what is in our heart. And when He reveals it to us repent and turn back to Him in humbleness and make sure we are putting Him first and foremost in all that we do.

Graven Images

The following is not my work rather it is a study that I found online yet it is a topic that has raised many questions. I pray that this study will enlighten you as we grow closer to our Messiah Yeshuah

Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition

TheWayPrepared.com


The Scriptures tell us that anyone who chooses to serve Yahuweh [the LORD], and to receive His blessings, must not make for themselves any graven image, nor enter in to any form of idolatry.

But in order to be obedient to the words of Scripture about any matter, we must first understand what the Scriptures say about that matter.

And so today, many are beginning to seek, and to ask some thoughtful questions.

Questions Many Are Asking Today

“What is a Graven Image?”

“What is an Idol?”

“What does it mean to ‘make’ a Graven Image, according to Scripture?”

“What is the danger of Idols to New Covenant Believers?”

“Is the issue of graven images and idols a ‘New Covenant’ issue?”

To answer these questions, we must disregard the many opinions, man-made doctrines and hearsay, and look only to the Scriptures.

Because human nature always tries to justify itself, man has twisted what the Scriptures actually say, by re-defining graven images and idols to accommodate his own actions. But Yahuweh has made it very clear to us. He has given us many examples in Scripture, to illustrate what a graven image is, and what an idol is.

It is not the purpose of this short writing to focus on the dangers, warnings, and details of how idols affect Born-Again Believers. This has been done in the article, Graven Images and Idols: What Your Pastor Never Told You About The Second Commandment. Instead, we will summarise the danger of these objects to New Covenant Believers, and then show some of the Scriptures that clearly detail Yahuweh’s definitions of graven images and idols.

Danger in Our Homes

One of the greatest dangers to Believers today is the action of bringing certain objects into the home. As we saw in the above-mentioned article, Scripture tells us specifically that any house that has within it an object that Yahuweh considers an ‘abomination’ will come under a curse: Neither shalt thou bring an abomination <08441> into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:26)

When we disobey the clear Word of Scripture, and bring an abomination, a cursed object into our home or office, the above Scripture tells us we become a cursed thing like the object. The result is that we come under the same curse the object is under.

The effects of these curses are varied. These effects include many chronic troubles or accidents, chronic sicknesses, chronic disease, chronic nightmares or mental attacks, constant argument, continued disobedience or rebelliousness, fearfulness, anxiety, and many others. One symptom a Believer may notice is that when idols are present in the home or office, prayers may be difficult to speak, or there seems to be a lack of Yahuweh’s presence and peace in the home, or a lack of understanding and/or acceptance of Yahuweh’s Word.

The ultimate effect, however, can be seen in the example of Achan, who took an accursed thing and hid it in his tent. As a result, the entire camp of Israel was cursed, with the result that the entire congregation failed to overcome, or prevail, in the battle against Ai (Joshua 6:18-7:12).

As the apostle Paul tells us (1Corinthians 10:11), these things happened to Israel for our examples, and are written for our admonition in these last days.

Thus the example of Achan tells us that we too [our family; our whole congregation] shall also fail to overcome against Ai [“iniquity”] if we bring the accursed object into our tent, our house!

Why is this important? It is because those Believers who fail to overcome ‘iniquity’ by the time the Bridegroom returns, are they who will be told “I never knew you!” (Matt 7:23). For those of us who desire to be among the Bride Company, we must educate ourselves, so that we do not bring these accursed objects into our homes!

We recall that there is a long list of curses that come as a result of disobedience, starting in (Deuteronomy 28:15).

“But We are ‘New Covenant’ Believers,” many will protest. “We have been taught that idols and the curses in Deuteronomy are of no consequence to saved, Born-Again, New Covenant Believers.”

Yes, Yahushua Messiah has indeed redeemed us from the curse pronounced by the Torah [Law], having been made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). But Messiah also tells us, after He has made us whole, the same words He spoke to the woman taken in adultery, and the same words He said to the man healed on the Sabbath day: “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11; John 5:14).

We have simply not understood what Yahushua meant, when He said, “Go, and sin [transgress the Torah] no more, lest a worse thing come to you” (1John 3:4; John 5:14). That is the subject of this writing — to see what the Scriptures actually say about graven images and idols — so that we may avoid the “worse thing” that comes to those who continue to disobey Torah.

Because most New Covenant Believers today are not aware of the dangers of graven images and idols, we will begin with some New Testament warnings. These Scripture passages reveal and highlight many of the potential dangers to Born-Again, New Covenant Believers. These New Testament passages reveal that the issue of ‘idols’ is indeed a New Covenant issue.

Idols as a New Covenant Issue

There are many, many warnings given to Believers throughout the New Testament. These warnings alert us to the many dangers that can actually prevent one from entering in to the Kingdom as part of the Bride-Company, and they are spelled out in detail in Scripture. The fact that these dangers apply to ‘New Covenant’ Believers can be easily seen, for they are specific warnings in the New Testament writings, and they are given to ‘saved’ or Born-again Believers.

Many Believers today, however, have thought that these New Testament warnings are for ‘unsaved’ people. And for this reason, multitudes of New Covenant Believers today continue to ignore these warnings, with the result that they will be found among the Foolish Virgins: They will not be ready when the Bridegroom comes — and they will not enter in with the Bride-Company (Matthew 25:10).

The Little Flock, however, will be found among the Wise Virgins: They will see these warnings in Scripture. They will search out, and discover these issues in detail, and will take heed to walk accordingly!

Let’s look at the following warnings, all given to Born-Again, New Covenant Believers: Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1Corinthians 10:14) Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1John 5:21) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (Revelation 2:14) Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (Revelation 2:20)

Notice the above warning of Paul in 1Corinthians 10:14, who very specifically warns the New Covenant Believers to flee from idolatry; and the warning of John in 1John 5:21, who warns the Believers to ‘keep yourselves from idols.’ Likewise notice the warning of Yahushua in the above Revelation passages, where Yahushua says He will have a “few things against” those who continue in sins related to idols.

We are also told in context of the passages in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, that these ‘idolatry’ issues can prevent one from overcoming. We are also told in Rev 21:7, that in order to receive our full inheritance, we must overcome all things. So if we want to overcome all things, we must know what to avoid, and what we must overcome. And this means we must understand — and overcome — the idolatry issues, including those of Revelation chapters 2 and 3!

With this in mind, we will begin with a Scriptural overview of the Believer’s proper response to graven images and idols.

New Covenant Life: Turning from Idols

There are many passages of Scripture that show the importance of beginning the process of removing idols from one’s life. Here is one passage: “…how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God…” (1Thessalonians 1:9b)

Here we see that turning “to Yahuweh from idols” is for the purpose of serving Yahuweh. This verse shows a basic Scriptural principle: that Turning comes before Serving. So unless we fully turn from having these idols, we cannot serve Yahuweh.

Thus if we would truly turn from these objects, we must find out what they are from a Scriptural point of view. And, as we shall see in the Hebrew definitions, we need not physically ‘bow down’ to an object, for it to be considered a forbidden object, or idol.

Here is another passage, and it tells us something many today have not yet realised: Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. (1Co 12:2)

Here we see that it is common for Gentiles to be carried away to idols. Notice in the above (1Co 12:2) passage Paul states that you ‘were’ (Lit. Greek can read “had been”) Gentiles. Does that mean they were no longer Gentiles?

Paul gives us the answer. He tells us we are no longer to live and walk as Gentiles (Eph 4:17). What Paul is saying, is that if we are going to walk in, and embrace the Way of Yahuweh, we must abandon the many idolatries the Gentiles hold dear!.

Next notice above that Paul states “As you were led.” Beloved, many of us as Gentile Believers are still ‘being led’ by spiritual leaders today who still live and walk as Gentiles. The result is seen in the above passage — that many are still being “carried away unto these dumb idols.” Many Pastors and spiritual Leaders today are simply ignorant of what the Scriptures actually say about the dangers of idols.

We as Believers, however, are cautioned that we must maintain honour and respect at all times toward our spiritual Leaders. They are still Yahuweh’s delegated authority in our lives, and as such, we must maintain submissive hearts toward them, for as long as we remain under their authority. There comes a time, however, that we are called to “come out of her, and depart” from these congregations, in order to break free from practicing idolatry and man-made doctrines (2Co 6:16-18; Rev 18:4).

The above Scripture passages, and many others, reveal some of the potential dangers to Born-Again, New Covenant Believers. With warnings like these, we would do well to find out exactly what Scripture tells us about idols. Let’s find out.

What is an Idol?

The key to proper understanding of the Scriptures is to find the agreement between the Torah and the Testimony (Isaiah 8:20), that is, to find the meaning that agrees with both Old Testament writings and New Testament writings.

To see what the Scriptures themselves say about proper interpretation and meaning of the Scriptures, the Reader is referred to the article, Seven Biblical Guidelines for Studying the Bible: Using Scripture to Interpret the Scriptures.

With this understanding, we can then look at the Old Testament Hebrew Words and their Meanings, to find the proper definitions of New Testament words and ideas. This agreement is especially true as we seek to understand what Scripture reveals about idols. The Reader is referred to the Hebrew words and definitions below in the References.[1]

As we look at these Hebrew word definitions, we notice that there are at least 14 Hebrew words translated directly into the English word ‘idol,’ each having its own definition. These 14 words originate from 8 other Hebrew words, making 22 words all together, revealing a great deal more than if we look at the single English word ‘idol.’ By looking at these Hebrew word definitions, we can actually see the full description of the nature of idols. We can also see their use, and the results of having them. Let’s look at a few of these definitions by groups.

As we look in the Reference below, here is what we see among the many Hebrew word definitions for the English word ‘idol’:

  • Some definitions reflect the nature of their use, such as to “revere as mighty, worship, and healing.”
  • Some definitions reflect a cause-and-effect relationship, such as “Do not do [Action 1], lest you do [Action 2],” — warning us that doing [Action 1] inevitably leads us to doing [Action 2].
  • Some definitions reflect the results of having them, such as “vexing, fear, trembling, pain, sorrow, and distress.” These appear to describe the long-term results these objects have on their owners.
  • Still other definitions reflect Yahuweh’s estimation of them, such as “worthless, good for nothing, things of nought, wallowing, filthy, detestable, and abominable.”

All these Hebrew definitions reveal some of the great depth of meaning of the various Hebrew words translated into the single English word ‘idol.’

As for the Greek words translated ‘idol,’ the Greek word definitions appear to show dependency on the definitions of the Hebrew words in Scripture. It appears that the New Testament writers must have assumed the Readers had understanding of the Hebrew terms and Torah words, because they used the Hebrew word understandings to communicate these New Covenant truths!

One Greek word translated idol has the meaning of ‘likeness,’ and is based on the Greek word “to know.” This reveals to us many related ideas, telling us that idolatry is similar to a man and woman ‘knowing’ one another, as seen in Genesis 4:1. Thus we see the connection between idols and fornication and adultery, where the use of an idol constitutes knowing someone other than Yahushua.

This same word meaning ‘likeness’ also has a meaning of knowing with the eyes, and with the senses, and not with the heart. This is how many today know Yahuweh’s Word, a result of walking by sight, and not by Faith. The end result of this living by the natural senses, and not by the Spirit, is that one becomes ‘carnal’ (depending on the fleshly senses). Paul tells us the reason for this carnality, however, is because the carnal person is not subject to — not yielded to obedience to — the Law [‘Torah’] (Romans 8:7). Paul’s insight, and his message to us today, signals an exhortation for us to return to simply walking by Faith, and of simple obedience to Torah.

Idols of Substitution

Let’s review a few Scripture passages: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)

Yahuweh tells us we are to have no other ‘Mighty Ones’ before or in place of Him. His desire for us is that we not have any substitutes for Him, or His Word. Now let’s notice what is said next, to show examples of substitutes: Thou shalt not make <06213> unto thee any graven image <06459>, or any likeness <08544> of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Exodus 20:4)

Yahuweh gives us the commandment, and then desires to test us in this area. He watches to see whether man will receive Yahuweh’s Word, as it says; or whether man will create a substitute for His Word, by substituting man’s own words, definitions, and his own understanding — instead of following Yahuweh’s simple instructions. Just in case we do not understand this simple instruction, Yahuweh gives us a more detailed picture: Lest ye corrupt <07843>(“destroy“) yourselves, and make <06213> you a graven image <06459>, the similitude <08544> of any figure <05566>, the likeness <08403> of male or female, The likeness <08403> of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness <08403> of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness <08403> of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness <08403> of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: (Deuteronomy 4:16-18)

Looking at these word definitions, we see that an idol is simply a likeness or image that man would use as a substitute for Yahuweh, or as a substitute for His Provision, or for His Word. When we choose the simplicity of His Word, and what it actually says, we are choosing Him. But when we choose some other religious idea or notion of what His Word says, we are choosing a substitute for His Word. Choosing a substitute for Yahuweh, or a substitute for His Word, His blessing or His provision, is the very essence of idolatry!

In like manner, when we covet, we are showing disdain for the daily Provision of Yahuweh. In so doing, we create a substitute of our own making, choosing our own provision instead of Yahuweh’s provision for us. We are thus told in (Colossians 3:5) that covetousness is idolatry. Now we know why this is true.

In New Testament usage, we see the term ‘things sacrificed unto idols’ used in two different examples. One use of the term (as seen in several places in 1Corinthians) references the physical ‘leftovers’ from food that had been part of a ‘sacrifice’ of (pagan in origin) religious rituals. Paul exhorts us to refrain from eating these leftovers, where eating them may cause our Brother to stumble.

The second New Testament use of the term ‘things sacrificed unto idols’ (as seen in Revelation 2:14, 20) refers to the ‘idol sacrifice,’ a man-made ‘substitute’ for the “true Food and true Drink” that is from Yahuweh. Scripture draws this analogy so as to give Yahuweh’s people instruction in what Yahuweh thinks of the modern-day, man-made substitute for Yahuweh’s true ‘Passover.’ When we substitute a man-made ritual in exchange for obeying the Truth of Yahuweh’s Word, we are creating an idol of substitution.

Let’s look further at how the ‘substitution of Yahuweh’s Word’ becomes an idol.

Idols of Substitution of Yahuweh’s Word

We have mentioned how substitution of Yahuweh with something else becomes an idol. Now let us notice a particular phrase that reveals how substitution of His Word is idolatry. Notice the following, spoken to King Saul: “…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as … idolatry <08655>. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Samuel 15:23)

Notice that in this passage, Saul did what he thought best, and not what Yahuweh’s Word said. Saul’s stubbornness was his rejection of Yahuweh’s Word, which is as idolatry. Notice that Saul’s stubbornness in rejecting Yahuweh’s Word is considered idolatry, even though there was no ‘worship’ or ‘bowing down’ involved.

Incidentally, Yahuweh’s Word to Saul, in rejecting him as king, is His Word to us today. Do we want to rule and reign with Messiah? Then we had better not reject Yahuweh’s Word!

Saul, in his stubbornness, rejected Yahuweh’s Word, replacing what it actually said with a substitute of his own understanding, thus creating an idol of the heart. Now notice in the two following passages how we too can do the same, if we follow this same pattern of rejecting what the Word of Yahuweh actually says, in exchange for our own understanding of what it says: Thou shalt not make <06213> unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Exodus 20:4)

Here Yahuweh tells us not to make a particular shape of object. But as we see in the word definitions in the footnotes below, the many meanings of the Hebrew word translated ‘make,’ Strong’s number <06213>, include the ideas of “do, make, fashion, acquire, have, maintain, prepare,” and a number of additional meanings.

Now notice what Yahuweh tells us next: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve <05647> them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. (Exodus 20:5)

And, as a result of many popular but incorrect Bible teachings today, many have been taught to say, “But I do not bow down to it, as verse 5 warns — so perhaps it is acceptable to ‘make, fashion, acquire, or have’ the object in my home or office.”

This is a grave error, to think that verse 5 supplies the ‘context’ for the meaning of verse 4. Instead, notice that Exodus 20:4 and Exodus 20:5 each has its own separate, stand-alone “Do not” commands, each containing the Hebrew word ‘lo.’ This information sheds new light onto these passages, and reveals to us a further depth of meaning.

Thus in verse 4, we are told not to “make, fashion, acquire, or have” the described object — and in verse 5 we are told not to bow down to them, even if they had been “made, fashioned, acquired, or had” by someone else.

Thus we see that verses 4 and 5 of Exodus 20 are each separate commands, each independent of the other for contextual meaning.

Nevertheless, many today will continue to ignore Yahuweh’s Word regarding the command, “do not make” the described object, and will substitute their ‘own understanding’ of what this command is saying. Notice Yahuweh’s warning, as He exhorts us: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto

[support; trust in]

thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge

[know; perceive; consider]

him [The WORD], and he [The WORD] shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6; Luke 6:47; John 1:1,14).

When we trust in, and lean on our own understanding, rather than what the Word actually says, that understanding can become an idol. Instead, we are to “acknowledge (know; perceive; consider) Him [The WORD] in all our ways, and He [The WORD] will direct our paths. ).

Again, the familiar argument is, “But I am not bowing down to this object, so it must be OK to have it.” But this way of thinking is based on man’s own reasoning, and this is what King Saul did. This is why Yahuweh tells us that stubbornness as the sin of idolatry — when we stubbornly exalt our own understanding above what Yahuweh’s Word actually says.

So if we reject Yahuweh’s simple and clear Word to us in verse 4, and instead choose to follow our own understanding, thinking “But I do not bow down to it,” then we are doing exactly as King Saul did!

And so we repeat this all-important Biblical truth:

To stubbornly rely on our own understanding, rather than what the Word actually says, is idolatry in Yahuweh’s eyes. We create an idol, when we substitute our ‘own understanding’ in place of what Yahuweh’s Word actually says.

Let’s now summarise what verses 4 and 5 of Exodus 20 actually say.

What verse 4 actually says is, “Do not make, acquire, or have” the described objects. Period!

And verse 5 actually says, “Do not bow down to, or serve the described objects. Period!

In simple terms, the Second Commandment is plainly telling us:

  1. Neither make [have, etc.] the object (verse 4),
  2. Nor bow down to it, nor serve it (verse 5).

Now let’s look at another feature of these two passages, the cause-and effect relationship seen in these two verses.

Cause and Effect

Not only do Exodus 20:4 and Exodus 20:5 give us two separate, explicit commands, but they are a classic example of a Biblical “cause-and-effect” relationship. “Do not do [Action 1], because it will inevitably lead you to do [Action 2], which you are also forbidden to do.”

The not-so-obvious, hidden cause-and-effect relationship between verse 4 and verse 5 tells us that to make, acquire, or have a forbidden object, inevitably leads to a hidden attachment to them, a bowing down to them

[hidden in our heart, not seen or perceived]

, and a hidden serving of them [hidden in our heart, not seen or perceived].

Yahuweh knew if we were to make or have these objects, we would become attached to them, and that is a form of worshipping them. Through our natural sentimentality toward an object, we can create an attachment to that object, creating an idolatry of the heart. This idolatry will only strengthen the stronghold of the enemy, bringing into our homes various torments — such as strife, discord, anger, rebellion, sicknesses, troubles, and unbelief.

This stronghold of idolatry is the inevitable outcome of this “cause-and-effect” relationship seen in these two verses of the Second Commandment.

Let’s look in detail at what happens as a result of disobedience of Exodus 20:4.

Disobedience Leads to Bondage

What follows Exodus 20:4 is a progression of what we see in verse 5: “You shall not bow down … to them, nor serve <05647> them.” Notice that the Hebrew word for ‘serve’ used here speaks of being led away, returning to bondage to another master [servitude; to be led to serve as subjects].[2] This passage shows a progression, where ‘bowing down’ to them inevitably leads to some form of spiritual servitude, some form of spiritual bondage.

We may claim that we are not physically bowing down, nor serving them. But simply having a forbidden object, or an idol of substitution, or some other idol of the heart, is the same as bowing down to that idol. And it inevitably leads to servitude, or bondage.

Let’s look at some further Scripture passages, to illustrate why this is true.

This same progression, of having a substitute that leads to servitude or bondage, is seen in Galatians 5:1:Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

In this passage, Believers today are exhorted to stand firm, to continue in the liberty of Messiah, and not to return to the heathen practices from which they came, before they became Followers of Messiah. Some of these practices include fleshly reliance on self-effort, following man-made teachings of redemption and Salvation, and continuing in sin — which the apostle John defines as “transgressing the Law” (1John 3:4).

When we continue in sin, and substitute man-made substitutes for the practice of Scriptural principles, and then use these Galatian-style attempts to justify ourselves — we end up closing the spigot of Father’s enablement, ‘turning off’ the supply of grace. The inevitable result is that we become “entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” which is a return to the bondage of self-effort.

Let’s look at another passage-pair to see this same cause-and-effect progression to bondage. First, notice what Yahuweh’s Commandment says:Lest ye corrupt <07843>(“destroy”) yourselves, and make <06213> you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: (Deuteronomy 4:16-18)

In the above passage we see that making, acquiring or having the described image results in being ‘corrupted’ (“destroyed”). Now notice the next verse: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven <05080> to worship them, and serve <05647> them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)

Again, we see in this passage the result of rejecting Yahuweh’s Word as stated in verses 16-18 leads to a progression which, if not stopped, will eventually result in lifting up ones eyes unto heaven to serve the creation, and then being driven, expelled, thrust away, and banished from Yahuweh altogether. This progression can be seen vividly in Israel’s history, as recounted by Stephen in the following passage: “And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?” (Acts 7:41-42)

This cause-and-effect relationship is defined in Deuteronomy 4:19, and the outworking of its effects can be seen in Acts 7:41-42. The final result of this progression, of being driven away because of serving the creation, is made clear in the wording of Deuteronomy 4:19, where we see the word ‘driven,’ is the Hebrew word nadach, Strong’s number <05080> meaning “driven away.”[3]

When Yahuweh expels, thrusts away, and banishes His people, He sends them into bondage because of continued disobedience, just as the apostles Paul and Peter tell us: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants <1401> to obey, his servants <1401> ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16) …for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage <1402>. (2Peter 2:19)

In the above Romans 6:16 passage, notice that the Greek word for servant, Strong’s number <1401>, meaning “bond-slave,” comes from the word <1210> meaning “to bind; put in bondage or obligation.” So we see that whomever [or whatever] we obey, to him [or it] we become a bond-slave.

Bondage and Captivity Today

Note that Romans 6:16 is a New Testament passage, and is directed to Believers, as followers of Messiah — confirming to us that these bondages still occur today, for the same reasons we see in Torah. When Yahuweh sends His people into bondage, He sends them into a form of captivity, which may be temporary or permanent, depending upon whether they are willing to repent, and convert [Strong’s numbers <1994> and <4762> meaning “turn around”], and begin to obey Yahuweh’s commandments in Torah.

The characteristics of the modern-day captivity of Yahuweh’s people can be seen prophetically in both the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities of Israel and Judah, which captivities give us much insight into how Yahuweh’s people go into captivity today. We cannot go into much detail here, except to say that the result of today’s captivity is that, like Samson (Judges 16:21) and Zedekiah (Jeremiah 39:7; 52:11), the eyes [the spiritual eyesight] of Yahuweh’s people are put out. They become blinded to spiritual truth!

And if those Born-again Believers persist in walking in the unrighteousness of disobedience to Torah, showing that they do not love the Truth of Yahuweh’s Word, Yahuweh Himself will begin to send them a ‘strong delusion’ so that they will believe a lie (2Thess 2:11): they will become deceived by their spiritual Leaders, who convince them of the lie that they should not obey Yahuweh’s Commandments in Torah!

For those Believers in bondage to the modern-day captivities of Assyria and Babylon, the only way to come out of captivity is by diligently seeking Yahuweh in His Word, and by repenting, by turning around, and walking in Righteousness, becoming obedient to Messiah’s Commandments in Torah.

Meanwhile, back at the 2Peter 2:19 passage, we see confirmation of this bondage <1402>, in that the Greek word for bondage, Strong’s number <1402>, comes from Strong’s number <1401>, as used in the Romans 6:16 passage.

So we see that obeying our ‘own understanding’ of Deuteronomy 4:16-18, even if we think we are obeying the Scriptures, will result in being driven away into bondage and captivity, as seen in Deuteronomy 4:19.

This cause-and-effect example in Deuteronomy 4:16-19 vividly illustrates the seriousness of Peter’s warnings given in 2Peter chapter 2, regarding teachers that teach error. The false teachers and their followers continue to practice the idolatry of substituting their own understanding for the Truth of the Scriptures.

And as a result of their continued disobedience to what the Scriptures actually say, both they and their followers will be driven away, and led into bondage and captivity.

Let us now summarise what we have seen about idols thus far.

Is it an Idol — or an Idol?

Throughout the Scriptures in general, there are many forms of idols and idolatry. We have seen a few examples of these. We might summarise by saying that idols in Scripture appear to fall within two broad categories:

1) De facto Idols — Idols of the heart (gold, silver, money, cars, movie stars, etc.) These idols are based on man’s use of them. They include such objects as the teraphim <08655> — objects that were used as a ‘mighty-one’ to bring healing, and objects used to bring good luck or fortune. In this category an idol is defined by man’s response to, and affection for the object, which becomes a substitute for the True Mighty One, hence it is a worship-substitute for Yahuweh.

Other examples of idols of the heart are ‘my will’ instead of Yahuweh’s will; my own understanding, my own ambitions, my own strength, my own self-reliance, and many others of mans own making, all of which become substitutes for Yahuweh, His Word, and His will. Idols of the heart can be seen to exist in (Ezekiel 14:3,4,7).

2) De jure Idols — Idols by Legal Definition (how Scripture defines an object). An object in this category is called an idol based on Yahuweh’s definition, regardless of man’s response to that object. This is an important understanding. We need not bow down to an object, for it to be an idol by Yahuweh’s definition. An object may be an idol, simply by Yahuweh’s definition — even if one does not revere it, or bow down to it. An object may be an idol, even if one is not aware of any idolatry. Forbidden objects such as graven images fall into this category.

So wherever we see idols or idolatry in Scripture, it may be in either or both of these two categories, to which the Scripture applies. It is important that we see and understand that we need not bow down to an object, to be involved in idolatry. There are many examples of idols and idolatry in everyday life, in which man does not actually bow down to the object, but these are idols nevertheless.

We will not go into detail in this writing, but the myriads of man-made religious traditions that originally began as pagan customs fall into these categories. Some of these include such items as x-mas trees, birthday cakes and candles, halloween candy, easter candy, and many others. The reader would do well to search out these man-made religious fossilized customs.

Let us now look at what Scriptures say about graven images.

What is a Graven Image?

Again we see the importance of the Hebrew Words and their Meanings as we look at ‘graven images.’ The various Hebrew words translated ‘graven images’ along with their definitions, are given below in the References.[4]

As we look at these Hebrew word definitions for ‘graven images,’ we can summarise them as follows:

  • An object or shape that is fabricated, or poured out, or cast, such as with bronze, silver, or gold.
  • An object, the use of which is considered by Yahuweh as a ‘drink offering’ or libation, which is something poured out as an offering to another — in essence a substitute for Yahuweh.
  • An object that is fabricated, or cut or hewn into a specific, forbidden ‘shape’ or likeness. There are many modern fabrication techniques and processes that could be used to produce such an object or shape, so it is important not to limit the fabrication to only two processes of cutting and hewing.

So we see that ‘graven images’ are objects that are ‘graven’ — that is, fabricated into a particular likeness or shape that is forbidden in Scripture.

From archaeological discoveries, as well as from Scriptural descriptions, it appears that fabrication of these forbidden objects, or shapes, could have been by any number of processes, such as moulding and shaping, as with clay, or cutting, as with an axe or knife, to produce a particular likeness or shape. Some modern processes used to produce shapes include not only cutting, but turning on a lathe, stamping, moulding, compressing, inflating of an empty shape, and filling of a sewn or fabricated shape.

Let’s see what Scripture reveals as to what kind of shapes are considered ‘graven images’ and are thus forbidden under the Scriptural definition.

What is a Forbidden Likeness or Shape?

We now look at one specific definition of ‘graven image’ as given by Yahuweh in the Scripture. We must be careful to examine the Scriptures with an open and honest heart. Let us avoid the trap of trying to justify our actions by attempting to re-define Bible words and meanings. Yahuweh is very specific about His definition: Thou shalt not make <06213> unto thee any graven image <06459>, or any likeness <08544> of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Exodus 20:4) Lest ye corrupt <07843>(“destroy“) yourselves, and make <06213> you a graven image <06459>, the similitude <08544> of any figure <05566>, the likeness <08403> of male or female, The likeness <08403> of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness <08403> of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness <08403> of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness <08403> of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: (Deuteronomy 4:16-18)

Here, we see the details about these forbidden objects. Yahuweh tells us these forbidden shapes are male or female ‘likenesses’ of any living thing, whether beast, bird, or fish. Notice the nature of the completed shape is to be examined against the Scriptural definitions, and is not in any way related to the object’s past, present, or future use. The Hebrew word definitions for the highlighted words can be seen below in the References.[5]

In these passages, Yahuweh’s definition of a ‘graven image’ is simply ‘an image or likeness’ of any living creature. Scripture further reveals in (Romans 1:23), that these images include the likeness or image of a human.

The simplicity of what this Scripture passage says is not what is commonly taught or understood. Most would define a ‘graven image’ as something to which man would physically ‘bow down,’ or ‘worship.’ However, if we examine the passages with honesty, it is clear that Yahuweh defines a ‘graven image’ as simply an image or likeness of a living creature, no more, no less.

Notice that in order for an object to be considered forbidden or off-limits, there are three requirements that must be met:

  1. The image must be graven;
  2. The image must be a similitude, figure, or likeness;
  3. The image must be that of a male or female of a living being on the earth, in the air or heavens, or in the waters.

Now notice in the above Scripture passage in Deuteronomy 4:16-18, that unlike the definition of an idol, Yahuweh’s definition of a graven image is not dependent on a man’s response to that object. In the Deuteronomy 4:16-18 passage, Yahuweh makes no distinction between an object that is worshipped, and one that is not worshipped.

But there is an additional bit of information given in this passage: Yahuweh tells us that the ones who will ‘destroy’ themselves are those who ‘make’ <06213> these objects. Notice however, that in both passages, the forbidden action is hidden within the definition of the word ‘make’ — the Hebrew word ‘asah’ <06213>. Thus the key to our understanding these Scripture passages is in understanding the Hebrew word ‘asah’ <06213>.

This is a key definition, so let’s look at it.

You Shall Not Make — the Key to Understanding Forbidden Graven Images

We are told, “You shall not ‘make’ <06213> any of these forbidden objects.” This is a plain and simple directive. It seems simple enough to understand. However, man will often overlook the simplicity of Yahuweh’s Word and create his own interpretation. It takes an honest heart to see clearly the simplicity of this directive.

If we look up the Hebrew word translated ‘make,’ we see a single Hebrew word that is translated into more than 50 different English words, with more than 50 different meanings, depending on context![6]

From these many Hebrew word definitions, we now see that the prohibition of these objects is not simply against ‘making’ — but also against acquiring, having, using, maintaining, showing, selling, or giving it away.

What do these definitions of ‘asah’ tell us? What does this say about having toys, art objects, and other objects in the shape of fish, birds, horses, eagles, turtles, frogs, owls, angels, and multitudes of other objects and ‘collections’ commonly found in the home or office?

Many would say, “But we don’t bow down to it.”

Yahuweh’s Word would say, “Do not even have it in your home!”

In order for us to see how an idol is hated by Yahuweh, let’s try to understand how Yahuweh sees things for a moment.

Yahuweh has told us in many Scripture passages that He is jealous over His people. This jealousy has everything to do with idolatry, because the idol becomes a substitute for Him.

Now tell me something. If you are a husband, what would you think if your wife placed a picture of an old boyfriend on the mantle or dresser? She does not ‘bow down’ to the picture, so why should you be jealous? What would you do?

If you are a wife, what would you think, if your husband had a female work associate’s photograph on the wall in his work area? He does not ‘bow down’ to it, so why would you be jealous? What would you do about it?

Now realise that Yahuweh’s jealousy is burning when we simply ‘have’ an object that He has forbidden us to have. Simply ‘having’ forbidden objects is like having the picture of someone else on your spouse’s wall, while your spouse is in covenant relationship with you. Simply having the forbidden object reveals the substitute we have created in our mind.

And so we see how our ‘own understanding’ of what an idol is, can become exalted above what Yahuweh has defined it as being. By making this substitution of ‘what I think,’ for ‘what Yahuweh has said,’ we are thus bowing down in our heart, and serving the object, simply by our having it!

Is it a Graven Image — or an Idol?

Now let’s look at some of the Scriptures in which we find both words — graven image and idol: Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 26:1) And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. (2Chronicles 34:7) Confounded (“confounded, ashamed, confused”) be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him (Yahuweh), all ye gods. (Psalms 97:7) I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I showed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. (Isaiah 48:5) What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? (Habakkuk 2:18)

A careful examination of the above verses clearly reveals a connection between a graven image and an idol. Based on our study thus far, it is safe to summarise by saying, ‘Not all idols are Graven Images, (meaning some idols are ‘idols of the heart’); but all Graven images (objects having the shape or likeness of any living being) are idols.’

Let us now look briefly at one issue in Scripture that many have wondered about, an issue that has been a stumbling-block for many — the issue of Images Commanded by Yahuweh. Let’s remove this stumbling-block!

Images Commanded by Yahuweh

Many Bible Scholars will ask, “But what about the Brasen Serpent in the wilderness?” “What about the carved cherubim over the Mercy Seat?” “And what of the twelve cast brasen oxen under the sea?” “And what of the lions, oxen, and cherubim on the borders between the ledges of the bases for the 10 lavers?”

These are all very good, and thoughtful questions, that are being asked by many today. Because men have seen in Scripture where Yahuweh ordered these things to be made, men have reasoned that it must be acceptable for man to make these same images, and others. By reasoning in this fashion, men have substituted their own understanding, and have refused to walk in the simplicity of Yahuweh’s Word. Wherever Yahuweh gave a specific, one-time command to make these images and likenesses of living creatures, in each instance these specific items became living parables, whose hidden truths were to be revealed to His people at a later time.

In the case of the Brasen Serpent, for example, there are multiple prophetic pictures for our instruction. One of these is the truth that the curse put on the people was transferred to the serpent (Gen 3:14); and that Yahushua became a curse for us, when He was lifted up on a tree, that we might exchange our curse for His righteousness and healing (John 3:14; Gal 3:13; Deut 21:23). We also see another truth illustrated in the Brasen serpent — the truth that the cursed object, when kept in ones possession, leads to idolatry, as we see in (2Kings 18:4).

These examples we see in Scripture are NOT intended by Yahuweh to be an excuse for our disobedience. Rather, they are a test by Yahuweh. He desires to see whom we lean on whether we will hear and obey His Word, in its simplicity or whether we instead lean on our own understanding, as an idolatrous replacement of His Word.

How to Avoid the Curse

Most New Covenant Believers have been taught that these Scripture Truths we have just examined, somehow do not apply to us today. Even that notion of ‘not applying’ today in itself violates Scripture! Every bit of the Word of Yahuweh will remain forever (Deut 29:29; Psalms 119:160; Isaiah 40:8; 1Pet 1:23; 1Pet 1:25)!

The first step in avoiding the curse is to simply search the Scriptures for yourself, and then to believe (act upon) the words of Yahuweh. Do not listen to those that would tell us this eternal word is not for you today.

We are ‘believing’ Yahuweh only when we take His word as Truth, with child-like faith, so that we act upon it, as a “DO-er” of His Word.

Remember too that every curse has a cause: As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. (Proverbs 26:2)

Here we see the curse does not come without a cause. If there is a curse in the house, there is a cause, or reason it is there. Our job is to find out why it came, and take the necessary step to get rid of the cause. Most likely the curse came as a result of an object someone has brought into the house.

Believers having graven images in their homes will eventually become ‘snared’ (to catch in a trap or noose, as taking a prey) if they do not remove these objects: The graven images <06456> of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take <03947> it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for itis an abomination <08441> to the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 7:25) Neither shalt thou bring an abomination <08441> into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for itis a cursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:26) Cursed be the man that maketh <06213> any graven <06459> or molten image <04541>, an abomination <08441> unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen. (Deuteronomy 27:15)

In the above passages, we see in (Deut 7:25) that the graven image <06456>, along with the gold and silver from it, is an abomination <08441>. Yahuweh is telling us that graven images are abominations. We are also told not to take <03947> [“fetch, receive, take, accept, or buy”][7] these objects, or their materials, lest we become caught in a snare.

So when we come to (Deut 7:26), we understand quickly that the reason we do not bring the graven images into our home, is because these items are ‘cursed things,’ and they are under Yahuweh’s curse. And if we bring them in, we will come under the same curse.

Notice above in the above verse (Deut. 27:15), that the graven image <06459> and the molten image <04541> are both called abominations <08441>. Because the abomination leads to the curse, and because the graven image is an abomination, we see again how the graven images brought into the home can result in the curse.

The above verse (Deut. 27:15) should be seen as a strong warning against having ‘graven images’ — objects of any living creature, male or female. Yahuweh says cursed are those who ‘do, make, fashion, acquire, gather, show, use, maintain, give, deal, prepare’ any of these objects, and puts them in a covert, sheltered, covered place (such as in a ‘curio’ cabinet to display them, or as a ‘shrine’ to revere them).

To avoid the curse from an accursed object:

1) Do not acquire it;
2) Do not have it; and
3) Do not bring it into the house or building!

There are other types of curses that are beyond the scope of this writing. Some can actually prevent the Believer from receiving his crown, his place of ruling and reigning with Messiah (Rev 3:11).

But for now, let us remember that Messiah has become a curse for us, in our place, and has taken upon Himself the curse that was upon us. We were pronounced guilty by the Law (“Torah”) and deserved death, but Yahushua has redeemed us from that curse, and has given us His life instead (Gal 3:13). However, Yahushua tells us, “Go, and sin no more” — that is, “Go, and transgress the Law no more” (1John 3:4; John 5:14; 8:11).

Conclusions

We have seen the Scriptural definitions of Graven Images, Idols, and Abominations. We have seen that each of these words has a different meaning, and the Hebrew definitions give us a great deal of information as to their nature, and the effects these objects have on Yahuweh’s people.

We have seen in detail what graven images are — fashioned or fabricated shapes or objects in the likeness of any living creature, male or female. We have seen that an object, by Yahuweh’s definition, may be an idol, whether man is aware of the idolatry or not.

We have seen that in order for an object to be considered forbidden or off-limits, that there are three requirements that must be met:

  1. The image must be graven;
  2. The image must be a similitude, figure, or likeness;
  3. The image must be that of a male or female of a living being on the earth, in the air or heavens, or in the waters.

We have seen that the result of breaking the commandment is a process that, if not stopped, will eventually lead back to bondage, and banishment away from Yahuweh.

We have seen that the key to understanding these commandments is to notice not only making these objects is prohibited, but simply having them is also a violation, and will result in those in the house coming under the same curse the object is under.

We have seen that those who break these commandments come under the same curse that the object is under.

Disobedience results in a curse, for which cause Yahushua will have a ‘few things against’ those who continue in this sin.

We have seen the way to avoid the curse is to believe the words of Yahuweh — to become a “DO-er” of His Word! Repentance is essential if we now understand that there are objects in our home that are abominations and cursed items.

Our action of repentance is to discard or destroy these forbidden objects!

Beloved, now you know these things:

“If ye know these things,
happy are ye if ye do them.”
(John 13:17)


Comments and Questions:
•Is a cross a graven image?
•Is a picture a graven image?
•Is a photo a graven image?

For these answers and more, see helpful Comments at: Comments and Questions
Notes from the Wilderness Blog

See Pictures of Graven Images Most Believers Today Have (Unknowingly) in their Homes

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For further information for the Bride’s preparation, see the following Related Articles:

Entering the Kingdom: Testing & Warnings for the Believers


To enter the Kingdom you must first be Born-Again (John 3:3-5). If you are not sure you have been Born-Again, see the following articles:

The Good News! – First, the Bad News: Your sin has condemned you to death; the Good News: Your debt has been paid!

How Do I Receive God’s Forgiveness for My Sins? – How to obtain Forgiveness of Sins according to the Bible,

The Blood of the Lamb – By Derek Prince – God’s righteousness is by faith, without having to observe the law—thus depriving Satan of his chief weapon against us, which is guilt.


After having been Born-Again, all Believers undergo the ‘Wilderness Testing’ of the Believers, just as did the Israelites, and as Messiah, both given as Scriptural examples for us today. For further details of the Wilderness Testing of the Believers, and of the Warnings given to the Bride concerning her Testing that must occur before entering in with the Bridegroom, see the following articles:

Entering the Kingdom: The Wilderness Testing of the BelieversAn Overview of the testing of the Believers

Entering the Kingdom: The Wise Virgins’ ChecklistAn Overview of the testing, and a Scripture Checklist

Entering the Kingdom: The Two Love TestsFurther details of Father’s testing of the Believers

The Love of Many Grows Cold – the measuring-stick used to test the Believers

The Doctrine of Balaam: A Warning to the BrideThe Root cause of failing the test

Eating Things Sacrificed to Idols: A Warning to the Bride – a major cause of failing the test

Graven Images & Idols: What Your Pastor Never Told You About The 2nd Commandment – Warning – a major cause of failing the test

Removing the Abominations: A Warning to the Bride – a major cause of failing the test


See Also the section, Whom do You Say that I am? in the following articles:

Messiah In The Wilderness – Who is Yahushua? Do we really know who He is?

Messiah-In-You – As the apostle Paul taught, only Messiah can bring us in to the Kingdom.


References

[1] Idols – Hebrew Words and Definitions

  • <0367> ‘eymah’ =17 (n)(f) [terror, dread, fear; idols]
  • <0408> ‘al’ =12 (neg adv) [none; nothing]
  • <0410> ‘el’ =245 (n)(m) [mighty one; false-gods; demons; the one true Mighty One, Yahuweh; mighty things in nature; mighty men; strength, power; idols]
  • <0457> ‘eliyl’ =20 (adj) [worthless; good for nothing; things of nought] (from <0408>)
  • <01544> ‘gilluwl’ =48 (n)(m) [idol; image] (from <01556>)
  • <01556> ‘galal’=18 (v) [to roll; to wallow; to be rolled]
  • <02535> ‘chamma’ =6 (n)(f) [the sun; heat of the sun]
  • <02553> ‘chamman’ =8 (n)(m) [incense altar; sun-pillar; idol; image] (from <02535>)
  • <04656> ‘miphletseth’ =4 (n)(f) [idol; horrid thing, horrible thing] (from <06426>)
  • <05566> ‘cemel’ =5 (n)(m) [to resemble; an image, figure, statue, or idol]
  • <06087> ‘atsab’ =17 (v) [to hurt, be in pain; to vex, grieve, torture; to be vexed, grieved, tortured; to make, form, copy, fashion, shape, stretch into shape.]
  • <06089> ‘etseb’ =7 (n)(m) [pain, hurt, offense; toil, labour, hardship; creation; object] (from <06087>)
  • <06090> ‘otseb’ =4 (n)(m) [pain; sorrow; wicked; an idol] (from <06089>)
  • <06091> ‘atsab’ =17 (n)(m) [an idol; image] (from <06087>)
  • <06426> ‘palats’ =1 (v) [to shudder; tremble]
  • <06696> ‘tsuwr’ =38 (v) [to besiege, lay siege, distress, bind, assault, make adversary, show hostility, be as adversary, treat as foe; to form, fashion, or delineate]
  • <06735> ‘tsiyr’ =12 (n)(m) [pain, sorrow, distress; envoy or messenger] (from <06696>)
  • <06736> ‘tsiyr’ =2 (n)(m) [image or idol] (same as <06735>)
  • <08251> ‘shiqquwts’ =28 (n)(m) [detestable thing; abominable thing; an idol] (from <08262>)
  • <08262> ‘shaqats’ =7 (v) [to detest; count or consider filthy; to make abominable or detestable]
  • <08655> ‘t@raphiym’ =15 (n)(m) [idol; idolatry; image; a family idol] (from <07495>)
  • <07495> ‘rapha’ =67 (v) [to heal; to cure; to be healed; to be a healer, physician]

Idols – Greek Words and Definitions

  • <1491> ‘eidos’ =5 (n) [external or outward appearance; form, kind; shape] (from <1492>)
  • <1492> ‘eidos’ =666 (v) [to perceive with the eyes, or the senses; to know; to see, notice, discern, discover]
  • <1493> ‘eidoleion’ =1 (n) [idol’s temple; temple consecrated to idols] (from <1497>)
  • <1494> ‘eidolothuton’ =10 (adj) [things sacrificed to idols; flesh left over from heathen sacrifices] (from <1497>, <2380>)
  • <1495> ‘eidololatreia’ =4 (n)(f) [the worship of false gods; idolatry; of the formal sacrificial feats held in honour of false gods of avarice, as a worship of Mammon; in the plural, the vices springing from idolatry and peculiar to it] (from <1497>, <2999>)
  • <1496> ‘eidololatres’ =7 (n)(m) [a worshipper of false gods, an idolater; used of any one as participant in any way in the worship of the heathen, esp. one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of offered victims; a covetous man as a worshipper of Mammon] (from <1497>, <3000>)
  • <1497> ‘eidolon’ =11 (n) [an image; likeness; form whether real or imaginary; a false god] (from <1491>)
  • <2712> ‘kataeidolos’ =1 (adj) [full of idols] (from <2596>, <1497>)
  • <2999> ‘latreia’ =5 (n)(f) [service rendered for hire; any service or ministration: the service of God; the service and worship of God according to the requirements of the Levitical law; to perform sacred services] (from <3000>)
  • <3000> ‘latreuo’ =21 (v) [to serve for hire; to serve, minister to, either to the gods or men and used alike of slaves and freemen; in the NT, to render religious service or homage, to worship to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship; of priests, to officiate, to discharge the sacred office] (from ‘latris’- a hired menial)

[4] Graven Images – Hebrew Words and Definitions

  • <04541> ‘maccekah’ = 28 (n)(f) [a pouring, libation, molten metal, cast image, drink offering; libation (with covenant sacrifice); molten metal, molten image, molten gods; web, covering, veil, woven stuff] (from <05258>)
  • <05258> ‘nacak’ = 25 (v) [to pour out, pour, offer, cast; to pour out; to cast metal images; to anoint (a king); to be anointed; to pour out (as a libation); to pour out libations; to be poured out; to set, install; to be installed]
  • <05262> ‘necek’ = 64 (n)(m) [drink offering, libation, molten image, something poured out] (from <05258>)
  • <06456> ‘p@ciyl’ = 23 (n)(f) [graven images; carved images; idols] (from <06458>)
  • <06458> ‘pacal’ = 6 (v) [to cut or hew into shape; hew out, quarry]
  • <06459> ‘pecel’ = 31 (n)(m) [idol; image; graven image; carved image] (from <06458>)

Abominations – Hebrew Words and Definitions

  • <0887> ‘ba’ash’ =17 (v) [to become abomination; to stink; to make or become odious; to abhor]
  • <02194> ‘za’am’ =12 (v) [to be abominable; to be indignant or have indignation; to denounce; to be abhorrent]
  • <06292> ‘pigguwl’ =4 (n)(m) [abomination; foul thing; unclean thing; stinking thing; used for unclean sacrificial flesh]
  • <08251> ‘shiqquwts’ =28 (n)(m) [abomination; detestable thing; abominable thing; an idol] (from <08262>)
  • <08262> ‘shaqats’ =7 (v) [ to make abominable; to detest; count or consider filthy]
  • <08263> ‘sheqets’ =11 (n)(m) [abomination; detestable thing; unclean thing; an idol] (from <08262>)
  • <08441> ‘tow’ebah’ =117 (n)(f) [abomination; disgusting thing; unclean thing; wicked thing] (from <08581>)
  • <08581> ‘ta’ab’ =22 (v) [abominable; to abhor; to be abominable; to do abominably; to loathe; detest; to make-, do-, to cause to become-] – (Ahab did abominably <08581> in following idols-1Ki 21:26.)
  • <111> ‘athemitos’ =2 (adj) [abominable; prohibited by law; unlawful; abominable]
  • <946> ‘bdelugma’ =6 (n)[abomination; foul or detestable thing; pertaining to an idol] (from <948>)
  • <947> ‘bdeluktos’ =1 (adj) [abominable; abominable; detestable]
  • <948> ‘bdelusso’ =2 (v) [to make abominable; to render foul; cause to be abhorred; to abhor, detest]

Similitude, Likeness, and Figure – Hebrew Words and Definitions

  • <08403> ‘tabniyth’ = 20 (n)(f) [pattern, likeness, form, construction, similitude, figure] (from <01129>)
  • <01129>’banah’ = 376 (v) [to build, build up, establish]
  • <08544>’t@muwnah’ = 10 (n)(f) [form, image, likeness, similitude, representation, semblance] (from <04327>)
  • <04327>’miyn’ = 6 (n)(m) [from an unused root meaning to portion out; kind, as species of animals.]

[5] Miscellaneous Hebrew Word definitions

[6] 06213 `asah {aw-saw’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1708,1709; v
      AV – do 1333, make 653, wrought 52, deal 52, commit 49, offer 49,
           execute 48, keep 48, shew 43, prepare 37, work 29, do so 21,
           perform 18, get 14, dress 13, maker 13, maintain 7, misc 154; 2633
      1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make
         1a) (Qal)
             1a1) to do, work, make, produce
                  1a1a) to do
                  1a1b) to work
                  1a1c) to deal (with)
                  1a1d) to act, act with effect, effect
             1a2) to make
                  1a2a) to make
                  1a2b) to produce
                  1a2c) to prepare
                  1a2d) to make (an offering)
                  1a2e) to attend to, put in order
                  1a2f) to observe, celebrate
                  1a2g) to acquire (property)
                  1a2h) to appoint, ordain, institute
                  1a2i) to bring about
                  1a2j) to use
                  1a2k) to spend, pass
         1b) (Niphal)
             1b1) to be done
             1b2) to be made
             1b3) to be produced
             1b4) to be offered
             1b5) to be observed
             1b6) to be used
         1c) (Pual) to be made
      2) (Piel) to press, squeeze



[2] 05647 `abad {aw-bad’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1553; v
      AV – serve 227, do 15, till 9, servant 5, work 5, worshippers 5,
      service 4, dress 2, labour 2, ear 2, misc 14; 290

 1) to work, serve
    1a) (Qal)
        1a1) to labour, work, do work
        1a2) to work for another, serve another by labour
        1a3) to serve as subjects
        1a4) to serve (God)
        1a5) to serve (with Levitical service)
    1b) (Niphal)
        1b1) to be worked, be tilled (of land)
        1b2) to make oneself a servant
    1c) (Pual) to be worked
    1d) (Hiphil)
        1d1) to compel to labour or work, cause to labour, cause to serve
        1d2) to cause to serve as subjects
    1e) (Hophal) to be led or enticed to serve



[3] 05080 nadach {naw-dakh’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1304; v
      AV – drive 18, drive out 6, …away 6, outcasts 5, cast out 3,
      banished 2, bring 1, go astray 1, chased 1, compelled 1, down 1,
      expelled 1, misc 6; 52

 1) to impel, thrust, drive away, banish
    1a) (Qal)
        1a1) to impel
        1a2) to thrust away, banish
    1b) (Niphal)
        1b1) to be impelled
        1b2) to be thrust out, be banished
             1b2a) banished, outcast (participle)
        1b3) to be driven away
        1b4) to be thrust away, thrust aside
    1c) (Pual) to be thrust into
        1c1) thrust (participle)
    1d) (Hiphil)
        1d1) to thrust, move, impel
        1d2) to thrust out, banish
        1d3) to thrust away, thrust aside
    1e) (Hophal) to be chased, be hunted
        1e1) chased, hunted (participle)



[7] 03947 laqach {law-kakh’}  a primitive root; TWOT – 1124; v
      AV – take 747, receive 61, take away 51, fetch 31, bring 25, get 6,
      take out 6, carry away 5, married 4, buy 3, misc 26; 965

 1) to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy,
    bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away
    1a) (Qal)
        1a1) to take, take in the hand
        1a2) to take and carry along
        1a3) to take from, take out of, take, carry away, take away
        1a4) to take to or for a person, procure, get, take possession of,
             select, choose, take in marriage, receive, accept
        1a5) to take up or upon, put upon
        1a6) to fetch
        1a7) to take, lead, conduct
        1a8) to take, capture, seize
        1a9) to take, carry off
        1a10) to take (vengeance)
    1b) (Niphal)
        1b1) to be captured
        1b2) to be taken away, be removed
        1b3) to be taken, brought unto
    1c) (Pual)
        1c1) to be taken from or out of
        1c2) to be stolen from
        1c3) to be taken captive
        1c4) to be taken away, be removed
    1d) (Hophal)
        1d1) to be taken unto, be brought unto
        1d2) to be taken out of
        1d3) to be taken away
    1e) (Hithpael)
        1e1) to take hold of oneself
        1e2) to flash about (of lightning)


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“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”   (Rev 3:3)

Repent for the Kingdom of YHVH is near!

I have often heard people say that the times are evil and the time of Yeshua return must be soon. However, what I do not see anyone living as if He is returning soon. I think that if you think that the time is short then why are you not living as a life that reflects your thinking? Some say; how do you live a life as a child of the King in a world that goes out of their way to shove God out of their lives? My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways, says the King. If we say we are His children then why do we not live according to His ways?

What does it look like living in His Kingdom? Do we reflect Kingdom living or the ways of the world? I would say the vast majority do not even understand what it means nor do realize that they are not living a life that reflects His Kingdom. So what does it look like? How does it feel? What does it mean to live this life that glorifies YHVH? First let us look at the rules for His Kingdom;

And Elohim spoke all these Words, saying, “I am YHVH your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery. “You have no other mighty ones against My face. “You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth, you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, YHVH your Elohim am a jealous visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands. “You do not bring1 the Name of YHVH your Elohim to naught, for YHVH does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught. Footnote: 1Or lift up, or take. “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath1 of YHVH your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. Footnote: 1There are other Sabbaths, but this is the weekly Sabbath. “For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHVH blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart. “Respect your father and your mother, so that your days are prolonged upon the soil which YHVH your Elohim is giving you. “You do not murder. “You do not commit adultery. “You do not steal. “You do not bear false witness against your neighbour. “You do not covet your neighbour’s house, you do not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbour.” And all the people saw the thunders, the lightning flashes, the sound of the ram’s horn, and the mountain smoking. And the people saw it, and they trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Mosheh, “You speak with us and we hear, but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die.” And Mosheh said to the people, “Do not fear, for Elohim has come to prove you, and in order that His fear be before you, so that you do not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, but Mosheh drew near the thick darkness where Elohim was. (Exodus 20:1-21)

The passage above is the basis of the Kingdom of God. Admittedly most people would say that these are nearly impossible to keep in our today. That is the main reason Yeshua came to show how to live these basic rules for being in His Kingdom. The problem is everyone has their own idea on how it is supposed to look like. The way I see it if family by family submitted themselves to the Kingdom as it is presented in the Torah then we will see a change in our lives. We have to relinquish our formal ties to any authority on this Earth and pledge ourselves to His Kingdom. This is the pattern established in Exodus when we were under the Kingdom Egypt and YHVH delivered and YHVH redeemed us. He offered to us to marry Him and we said yes, but we did not know what the terms were, now we know them and we have the Spirit so we can live them. But there is a problem when our fathers were in the land they committed adultery and YHVH sent out with a certificate of divorcement.

“If a man chooses to enter into marriage with a woman, but she finds herself displeasing to him because he has found something objectionable about her, he must draw up divorce papers, hand them to her, and then send her out of his house. If she goes out from his house, becomes the wife of another man, and this second husband dislikes her, he, also, must draw up divorce papers, hand them to her, and then send her away from his house. Should the second husband die, her first husband who married her and divorced her earlier must not remarry her, because she was defiled, since this is detestable to the LORD. Don’t defile the land that the LORD your God is about to give you as a possession. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)

When we were ejected from the land we married other gods and committed greater sins. As according to the law we were not allowed to remarry YHVH so He made a remedy for our transgressions.

For the married woman has been bound by Torah to the living husband, but if the husband dies, she is released from the Torah concerning her husband. So then, while her husband lives, she shall be called an adulteress if she becomes another man’s. But if her husband dies, she is free from that part of the Torah, so that she is not an adulteress, having become another man’s.(Romans 7:2-3)

This the part everyone misses; While we were in Egypt, the King made us into slaves so YHVH redeemed us from the house of slavery and set us free, as when Abraham rescued Lot and all of Sodom, He brought us to Mt Sinai and proposed and we accepted with one accord. We proved our virgin state to Him by the blood on our white garments.

Then Moses came and reported all the words of the LORD and all the statutes to the people, and they all answered with one voice, “All the things that the LORD has spoken, we will do.” So Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He got up early in the morning and built an altar with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel at the bottom of the mountain. He sent young Israeli men to offer up burnt offerings and sacrifice bulls as peace offerings to the LORD. Moses took half the blood and put it in bowls, while he sprinkled the other half on the altar. He took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do and obey.” Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD made with you based on all these words.” (Exodus 24:3-8)

So here’s the deal we were indexed to the covenant not just to here in Exodus 24 but all the way back to Gen 15. For Gen 15 was the arranged marriage covenant.

But he replied, “Lord GOD, how will I know that I will inherit it?” The LORD responded, “Bring me a three year old cow, a three year old female goat, a three year old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” So Abram brought him all these animals and cut each of them in half, down the middle, placing the pieces opposite each other, but he did not cut the birds in half. When birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun began to set, Abram was overcome with deep sleep, and suddenly a frightening and terrifying darkness descended on him. Then the LORD told Abram, “You can be certain about this: Your descendants will be foreigners in a land that isn’t theirs. They will be slaves there and will be oppressed for 400 years. However, I will judge the nation that they serve, and later they will leave there with many possessions. Now as for you, you’ll die peacefully, join your ancestors, and be buried at a good old age. Your descendants will return here in the fourth generation, since the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet run its course.” When the sun had fully set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a fiery torch passed between the animal pieces. That very day the LORD made this covenant with Abram: “I’m giving this land to your descendants, from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates River–including the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:8-21)

This is my thinking on this that this took place on Mt Morriah, and the pieces were laid North and South and YHVH walked from West to the East. So essence showing that He already new that the Kingdom would be divided into two. And declared that would die for them to be allowed to return to Him in that day.

So what does Kingdom living look like? Yeshua said that if you love me obey my commandments. If we want to stay in His Kingdom we must obey His commandments. We do things according to the way He wants to be. Most will say it is too hard to do things that way. Again Yeshua said The entire Law and Prophets can be summed up in two 1) Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’2) The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31) By keeping these two you will not violate the rest of the commands and you seek the rest out. If we love God the we will honor Him and Keep His Shabbat, Feast and will be pure before Him. If love our neighbor as ourselves and we not steel from him and will be envious of anything he has and we will do no harm to him in anyway.

In all of the scriptures if we say that the Kingdom of YHVH is near and we do not reflect what He has demonstrated for us to live then we are not living a life that shows we believe that His Kingdom is returning. If our ambition is to rule over man then the kingdom we live in is not His rather it is ours. Repent for the Kingdom of God is near!

A Revealtion

As I was preparing for the Torah portion last week I received an answer to a question I had had some years ago. This is not the first time I had this happen. About two years ago we gathered around the table for the Torah portion concerning Jacob and his household were on their way to Egypt it was revealed to me that the reason for the drought was not a natural disaster rather it was because  of Josephs brother and their deception of their father Jacob. As it is written that YHVH will make the ground as steel and the sky as brass and our prayers will not be heard.

In preparing the Torah portion it was revealed what YHVH said to Noah in Chapter 9 was not solely directed to man but to all creation that was with Noah in the ark, He said that they could eat all manner of meat for food. If God only intended the message for mankind it would have violated Torah that was established before the foundation of the world.

The application of this is also applied to Acts 10 in the vision of the sheet that was lowered down three times full of unclean creatures and a voice said rise kill and eat. Peter said not so Lord for nothing unclean has entered into his mouth. Then he realized that what was shown was not about food rather it was about not to call any man unclean that God has called clean.

The people of the world has made all of these writings about food and justifying their position concerning what they are eating. He has made very clear as to what is food and not food. It would stand to reason that Noah knew the difference between clean and unclean animals. If you noticed the lack of discussion between God and Noah concerning what to eat. Perhaps he understood something here that the church assumed to mean it is permissible to eat anything you wish and no harm will come to you.

Take a closer look at chapter 9 of Genesis and see who is God addressing here?

1 And G-d blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.

2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all wherewith the ground teemeth, and upon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be for food for you; as the green herb have I given you all.

4 Only flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man.

6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of G-d made He man.

7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; swarm in the earth, and multiply therein.’

8 And G-d spoke unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying:

9 ‘As for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

10 and with every living creature that is with you, the fowl, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that go out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.

11 And I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.’

12 And G-d said: ‘This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow is seen in the cloud,

15 that I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between G-d and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.’

17 And G-d said unto Noah: ‘This is the token of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon the earth.’

Jewish Virtual Library Gen 9:1-17

If you notice that God is talking to all of the creation. So the you in the verse 3 is in reference to all of creation.

This is food for thought…I thought you might enjoy this.

Current Events

                         What can I say about recent events? What am I speaking about? Two states have passed legislation that allows the MURDER of babies right to the time they are born. THIS IS MURDER!!! Then they applaud the passing as if they freed a POW and giving him a parade! I was speaking to my wife concerning these events and she relayed something from her childhood; her mother asked her father, “How much worse can things get?”. This question has been answered many times since then. I afraid to tell that is and will much more worst, for it out of the heart these things come from. Whatever evil will come out, for they do not believe nor do they follow the messiah.

                         Those who profess that they follow God do nothing to prevent these things from happening, they encourage these yahoo’s to run for office under the cover that they change things to make things better, only to reveal their true colors. They are changing things only it is not what you thought it should be, rather the change is the way they envisioned things.

Here is my suggestion:

  1. Purge your life of sin.
    1. Every thought
    1. Every deed.
    1. Make things right with neighbor.
    1. Re-align your life to God’s ways.
  2. Return to His word.
    1. Read His entire word and return to His way. Return to the ancient ways.
    1. Take your thoughts captive. Ask yourself this;
      1. Where did this come from?
      1. Does it glorify God or me?
      1. Does it help someone God placed on my path?
  3. Get on your knees!
    1. Repent of your evil ways.
    1. Get your life right with Him.
    1. Live out the Torah.
    1. Be light to those around you all the time!
  4. Pray
    1. Follow Moses example.
    1. Follow Yeshua (Jesus) example.

The reason I listed these items above it written;

“If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people upon whom My Name is called, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I shall hear from the heavens, and forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

               If we want to see a change in what we see then must  get our house in order. Consider during the time of Jacob and his sons that sold Joseph, in slavery, to the Egyptians. This caused the famine in the world. I find it amazing that because of the sin in family the whole Earth is judged, The sin of Pharaoh brought on the downfall of a country. The righteousness of one man, who was obedient to the Father, brought the house of Israel home. He paid the price of our disobedience. We need to put on our big boy pants on and do the right thing and become mature followers in God. 

My heart breaks when I see children being murder at the hands of those who swore an oath not to do harm. The question I have will it ever stop?

To whom does the Feast Belong too? (Part I)

As we approach the feast of Yom Kippur and Sukkoth many will celebrate Sukkoth in the area where they live, no matter where that maybe. When asked why are they are not going to Jerusalem where He has placed His name, the answers vary from we can not afford it to He places His name on my heart so no matter where I am I can celebrate His feast there.

At first both sides of the spectrum seems right and true. I would give credence to the first one since I find myself in this situation that the finances are not there to go. From where we live we are only 6 hours away by the time we do the boarder crossing and add in the bus ride. Factoring in the cost of lodging and food it is very costly to be there for a 10 day feast. So I get it a lot of times we can’t seem to make ends meet and when you throw in your daily cost of living there is very little money left at the end of the month. As of now we are not able make it for the feast this year, so we, my wife Hannah and I, have decided to set aside the money for Passover next year. Will things come up that it may make it seem that we may not make it. With God all things are possible. Now since we are not able to go this year what are we to do? Are we allowed to celebrate where ever we are? If we are allowed by what scripture allows us to this? What in the Torah allows us this substation? Let me make this easy there is none. I have looked into this because many people I know are doing precisely just that. I have found Jewish sources during the Babylonian exile the rabbis said that since they were in captivity they were be allowed to have Passover in their own homes. (Follow this link for a better understanding.) Now let us look at what it says in Deuteronomy “Do not do as we are doing here today – each one doing whatever is right in his own eyes.b Footnote: bSee Jdg_17:6 and Jdg_21:25. “Because you have not yet entered the rest and the inheritance which יהוה your Elohim is giving you. “But you shall pass over the Yarděn, and shall dwell in the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you to inherit, and He shall give you rest from all your enemies round about, and you shall dwell in safety. “And it shall be, that unto the place which יהוה your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell there, there you are to bring all that I command you: your ascending offerings, and your slaughters, and your tithes, and the contributions of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to יהוה. “And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim, you and your sons and your daughters, and your male servants and your female servants, and the Lěwite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you. “Guard yourself that you do not offer your ascending offerings in every place that you see, except in the place which יהוה chooses, in one of your tribes, there you are to offer your ascending offerings, and there you are to do all that I command you. “Only, whatever your being desires you shall slaughter and eat, according to the blessing of יהוה your Elohim which He has given you, within all your gates. The unclean and the clean do eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike. “Only, the blood you do not eat, pour it on the earth like water. “You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your new wine, or of your oil, or of the firstlings of your herd or your flock, or of any of your offerings which you vow, or of your voluntary offerings, or of the contribution of your hand. “But eat them before יהוה your Elohim, in the place which יהוה your Elohim chooses, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lěwite who is within your gates. And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim in all that you put your hands to. “Guard yourself that you do not forsake the Lěwite as long as you live in your land. “When יהוה your Elohim enlarges your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘Let me eat meat,’ because you long to eat meat, you eat as much meat as your being desires. “When the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to put His Name is too far from you, then you shall slaughter from your herd and from your flock which יהוה has given you, as I have commanded you, and you shall eat within your gates as much as your being desires. “Only, as the gazelle and the deer are eaten, so you are to eat of it. The unclean and the clean alike eat of it. “Only, be strong not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, do not eat the life with the meat. “Do not eat it, you pour it on the earth like water. “Do not eat it, that it might be well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the eyes of יהוה. “Only, the set-apart gifts which you have, and your vowed offerings, you are to take up and go to the place which יהוה chooses. “And you shall make your ascending offerings, the meat and the blood, on the slaughter-place of יהוה your Elohim. And the blood of your slaughterings is poured out on the slaughter-place of יהוה your Elohim, and you eat the meat. “Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim.

Deut 12:8-28

Notice the amount of times it is mentioned that where He places His name. Of those when would you bring those offerings? When you went to the Feast. Now let us examine where these feast where supposed to be held.

“Threea times in the year you are to celebrate a festival to Me: Footnote: aThe Festivals of יהוה are grouped in three, for three different times of the year. “Guard the Festival of Matzot.b Seven days you eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the new moon of Aḇiḇ – for in it you came out of Mitsrayim – and do not appear before Me empty-handed; Footnote: bUnleavened Bread. and the Festival of the Harvest,c the first-fruits of your labours which you have sown in the field; and the Festival of the Ingatheringd at the outgoing of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labours from the field. Footnotes: cShaḇuʽoth (Festival of Weeks). dSukkot (Festival of Booths). “Three times in the year all your males are to appear before the Master יהוה. “Do not slaughter the blood of My slaughtering with leavened bread, and the fat of My festival shall not remain until morning. “Bring the first of the first-fruits of your land into the House of יהוה your Elohim. Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Exo 23:14-19

“Three times a year all your males appear before יהוה your Elohim in the place which He chooses: at the Festival of Matzot,e and at the Festival of Shaḇuʽoth,c and at the Festival of Sukkotd. And none should appear before יהוה empty-handed, Footnotes: cWeeks. dBooths. eUnleavened Bread. but each one with the gift of his hand, according to the blessing of יהוה your Elohim which He has given you.  Deu 16:16-17

Between two worlds…

This may be a bit of shock to some but I want to you to understand that I am man that lives between two worlds. I am not of the Church nor am I in Judaism. I exist in neither and yet I hold to certain beliefs of both. I know that seems a paradox to you and it is, yet is it so far fetched to believe that you can live between two worlds and not let either contaminated those of us who live as such. It is almost like a man with no country. Recently the group who had some very loving hospital to all that they came in contact with. In fact they opened their house to us when first arrived here. I considered them as family and would have done anything for them. I would have defended them when the time came, however those times have passed. It started when the husband came to where we are living and said that they no longer believe nor do they follow the teachings of Jesus (Yahshua) they in fact are converting to Judaism. They tried to explain in away that would convince me that they were not doing it make citizenship in our next door neighbors’. They thought that we the group that they had that all of us would fall in line and convert as well. After I looked at the information and how flawed it was I realized that I can not deny the one who laid down his life in order for us to come back to the covenant. Recently I was informed that they are having the time of their lives and it is all that they had hoped for. Kinda like saying come on in the water is fine. Only to find out that there is a gator in the water and they do not know it.

This is the question that must be asked in all of this, 1. Who is your King and 2. Which kingdom to you serve? If you can not answer this then you are lost already. You must be able to stand and answer this now when you and when you are under server persecution. You must be able to answer it in all times. For we do not belong to any church nor synagogue rather we belong to the true Messiah and His Kingdom. The time for testing has begun and if you cannot stand for Him now how will you be able to stand for Him when it counts the most?  Look at what happened to Peter when it matter he denied Him three times. How many times will you deny Him who suffered much you and I?  It breaks my heart for those who give Him up to gain a little comfort and solace and in the end they will get neither. What will you give up when the time comes? We will give up in order to get what you what. Will you lay down your life for Him? Or will you cave as Peter? This question only you can answer when the time comes.

Just thought I would pass this along for your consideration.

May His blessings be placed upon you.

Third year tithe

I have heard it said on many occasions that I am too poor to make it to Jerusalem one time a years never mind the three feast that God commanded us to go to. What about me does that mean I am going to hell and I lost my salvation? According to scripture God had gave us provision even though the cost is so great who afford to go and spend 8 to 12 days depending on when they fall during the week. None the less He did command us to go. So do I do? I want to go and been seen by Him to show that I am faithful to His word? What I suggest requires the whole community to get involved in what His word says not the way it has been interrupted to mean over the years and that is that we can celebrate the feast anywhere we choose, I challenge you to find that anywhere in the scripture. I know that modern day Judaism say that you can do what seems right in your own eyes, where the scripture clearly says where of the place I choose to put my name on. Exo 20:24  ‘Make a slaughter-place of earth for Me, and you shall slaughter on it your ascending offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause My Name to be remembered I shall come to you and bless you.

 

Where is that? According to Kings and Chronicles it reads that Jerusalem is where He placed His name forever.

1Ki 8:29  “For Your eyes to be open toward this House night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My Name is there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.

 

Further some say well the Temple is not standing so we do not have show up at the appointed times.

Neh 1:4-11  And it came to be, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days. And I was fasting and praying before the Elohim of the heavens,  (5)  and I said, “I pray, יהוה Elohim of the heavens, O great and awesome Ěl, guarding the covenant and loving-commitment with those who love You, and with those guarding Your commands,  (6)  please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, for the children of Yisra’ěl Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Yisra’ěl which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.  (7)  “We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not guarded the commands, nor the laws, nor the right-rulings which You commanded Your servant Mosheh.  (8)  “Please remember the word that You commanded Your servant Mosheh, saying, ‘If you trespass, I shall scatter you among the peoples,  (9)  but if you shall turn back to Me, and guard My commands and do them, though you were cast out to the end of the heavens, I shall gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen, to make My Name dwell there.’  (10)  “And they are Your servants and Your people, whom You have ransomed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.  (11)  “O יהוה, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who delight to fear Your Name. And let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him compassion in the presence of this man.” For I was cupbearer to the sovereign.

Eze 43:7-11  And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, when I dwell in the midst of the children of Yisra’ěl forever, and the house of Yisra’ěl shall no longer defile My set-apart Name, they nor their sovereigns, by their whoring and by the corpses of their sovereigns on their high places.  (8)  “When they placed their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My set-apart Name by the abominations which they have done. So I consumed them in My displeasure.  (9)  “Now let them put their whoring and the corpses of their sovereigns far away from Me, and I shall dwell in their midst forever.  (10)  “Son of man, explain the House to the house of Yisra’ěl, and when they are ashamed of their crookednesses, they shall measure the measurements.  (11)  “And since they shall be ashamed of all that they did, make known to them the design of the House and its structure, and its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its laws, and all its forms and all its Torot. And write it down before their eyes, so that they observe its entire design and all its laws, and shall do them.

1Ch 22:6-19  He also called for his son Shelomoh, and commanded him to build a house for יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ěl.  (7)  And Dawiḏ said to Shelomoh, “My son, as for me, it has been in my heart to build a house to the Name of יהוה my Elohim,  (8)  but the word of יהוה came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have fought great battles. You do not build a house for My Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My presence.  (9)  See, a son is to be born to you, who is a man of rest. And I shall give him rest from all his enemies all around, for Shelomoh is his name, and peace and rest I give to Yisra’ěl in his days.  (10)  He does build a house for My Name, and he is to be My son, and I am to be his Father. And I shall establish the throne of his reign over Yisra’ěl forever.’  (11)  “Now, my son, יהוה be with you, then you shall prosper and build the House of יהוה your Elohim, as He has said to you.  (12)  “Only, let יהוה give you wisdom and understanding, and command you concerning Yisra’ěl, so that you guard the Torah of יהוה your Elohim,  (13)  then you shall prosper, if you guard to do the laws and right-rulings with which יהוה commanded Mosheh concerning Yisra’ěl. Be strong and brave, do not fear nor be discouraged.  (14)  “See, in my affliction I have prepared for the House of יהוה one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is plenty. And I have prepared timber and stone, and you shall add to them.  (15)  “And with you there are many workmen: hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all types of skilled men for every kind of work.  (16)  “Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Rise up and do, and יהוה is with you.”  (17)  And Dawiḏ commanded all the rulers of Yisra’ěl to help Shelomoh his son, saying,  (18)  “Is not יהוה your Elohim with you? And has He not given you rest all around? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land has been subdued before יהוה and before His people.  (19)  “Now, give your heart and your being to seek יהוה your Elohim. And rise up and build the set-apart place of יהוה Elohim, to bring the ark of the covenant of יהוה and the set-apart vessels of Elohim into the house that is to be built for the Name of יהוה.”

 

 

 

 

 

If you read in Era and Nemaha, all they needed was build the alter, in fact only sacrifice that priest had to go in with the sacrifice into the temple is during Yom Kippur where he had to go into the most set apart place once a year.

Saying that how do I get to feast since my income is just enough to get by? Like I said it will take the whole house to believe and do what He had Moses write down for us to do in these cases. We are required to do a third year tithe and with this tithe we to bring everyone with us so all can celebrate at least one in three years.

Deu 14:22-29  “You shall tithe without fail all the yield of your grain that the field brings forth year by year.  (23)  “And you shall eat before יהוה your Elohim, in the place where He chooses to make His Name dwell, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, and of the firstlings of your herds and your sheep, so that you learn to fear יהוה your Elohim always.  (24)  “But when the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to bring the tithe, or when the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to put His Name is too far from you, when יהוה your Elohim is blessing you,  (25)  then you shall give it in silver, and shall take the silver in your hand and go to the place which יהוה your Elohim chooses.  (26)  “And you shall use the silver for whatever your being desires: for cattle or sheep, for wine or strong drink, for whatever your being desires. And you shall eat there before יהוה your Elohim, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.  (27)  “And do not forsake the Lěwite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you.  (28)  “At the end of every third year you bring out all the tithe of your increase of that year and store it up within your gates.  (29)  “And the Lěwite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the sojourner and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, shall come and eat and be satisfied, so that יהוה your Elohim does bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Deu 26:10-13  And now, see, I have brought the first-fruits of the land which You, O יהוה, have given me.’ Then you shall place it before יהוה your Elohim, and bow down before יהוה your Elohim,  (11)  and shall rejoice in all the good which יהוה your Elohim has given to you and your house, you and the Lěwite and the stranger who is among you.  (12)  “When you have completed tithing all the tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, and have given it to the Lěwite, to the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, and they have eaten within your gates and have been satisfied,  (13)  then you shall say before יהוה your Elohim, ‘I have put away the set-apart portion from my house, and also have given it to the Lěwite, and to the stranger, and to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all Your command which You have commanded me. I have not transgressed Your commands, nor have I forgotten.

 

So I propose every congregation across the globe to construct a box for such an event so anyone who wants to go will be able to go and joyous time in Jerusalem.  Be creative make sure it is secured, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES  is the money received to be used for any purpose other than for sole purpose to get people to Jerusalem for the feast days.

 

I do not what your box may look like but here is an idea what it could look like.

THIRD YEAR TITHE

As you may see it is modest yet yours make anyway you choose. What do you think I should charge for such a box? I am not sure if anyone would be interested let me know what think.

Well I have given much to think about may the Father grant to you His loving-kindness.

Shalom

Rick

A voice from the past.

As some of you may know my wife and have been working on our family tree. Over the last couple of days I was researching one of my Grandmothers it seems over the last couple of years I have a dead end, ever single time I looked at her there have been no hints, nothing new. I have even requested from everyone who share this same ancestor and to no great surprise no one knew what to do.  As I sat there trying to decide what to do with her it dawned on me that perhaps I should follow the advise of a friend here and use a different site so I went on the site and put in her madden surname in so I did and what I found out brought me to tears.  After a few hours of studying the information I understood why we were hitting a brick wall all these years is that during the Nazi era of WWII many of my ancestors with that name were murdered at that time. As one of my friend have said that the Father sees all of creation as a beautiful tapestry. We may not understand why we are here, never mind the fact how we got here. We take life for granted and  we are just here. I have learned life is not a mere consequent and a product of chance mutations. It is by the will of the Father that we are here, it was by His guiding hand that we made it here where are today. For all of us who call upon His name we are grafted into the true vine.

After mulling over the information I had found out I decided that since we were in Jerusalem we needed to visit the Holocaust museum. This was first time there and not knowing what we would see I was in for a very emotional time for us. We did not make it through one quarter of it before it was overwhelming. I realized then what was done to them was done to me and those who come after me. The very things that the Nazis said about us is being said today. So it never ends the evil one, Esau, is always after us.

One day the Father will set everything in its proper place. Until then may the Father grant to peace and shine His face upon you.

Rick

A voice crying in the wilderness

In recent years talking with friends, telling them about what the Spirit has laid on my heart. I found an interesting reoccurring statement that keeps popping up. Wow that is interesting that the Father is calling you to Jordan. I would go and I would if He called me. The thing is this if you are not in the land you are in sin for you bring dishonor to Him for the people where He has moved you too know that if you are called by His name know that you belong in the land. By not obeying Him you are driven to the farthest part of the Earth away from Him. How can we say the we belong to Him if we do not obey His lead and go home.

For me the journey started many years ago. I was working in a retail store when some friends invited my wife and I to attend a meeting with a group of people wanting to return the country to the origins of the founding fathers. As I was listing to him explaining were we had come from to where we are now I realized that there was much I need to learn about this I took many notes asked many questions and then every now and then he threw in verses of the Old Testament in his teaching as a nugget of truth. Listening to him did answer some of the questions I had only to generate more questions I would spend many more hours with him and his wife concerning these nuggets he threw out there. I had thought that, the “Law” was done away with, at the cross or so I led to believe to be true. Searching for the truth I asked them where did they come up with that the Torah was still for us today. They gave me the verses and I went and read them and the various websites and I prayed that the Father would reveal to me if that is what He wanted us to do. The answer was yes for it was never done away with only hidden in plane site. I compared what Yeshua said with what was written in Torah and it all lined up. Then I came across this;

 

“יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brothers. Listen to Him, according to all you asked of יהוה your Elohim in Ḥorĕḇ in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of יהוה my Elohim, nor let me see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ “And יהוה said to me, ‘What they have spoken is good. ‘I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. ‘And it shall be, the man who does not listen to My Words which He speaks in My Name, I require it of him. ‘But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other mighty ones, even that prophet shall die.’ “And when you say in your heart, ‘How do we know the word which יהוה has not spoken?’ – when the prophet speaks in the Name of יהוה and the word is not, or comes not, that is the word which יהוה has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (Deu 18:15-22)

 

That is if someone says that the law is done away with you are not fear him the truth is not in him. If we recognize that this the word of God then why is that we have to hear an audible voice of the Father in order for us to move? If someone told to get out of your house it is on fire! Do you say that I must hear the Audible voice of the Father in order to flee for my life.  If that were the case then why when He says over and over again come out of her my people , or I will bring you back to the land if you will obey my commandments, Torah, The voice of the Father comes in different ways that range from the deep small voice to a thunder of the blast of the shofar. It can be a friend that says for you to go.

It has been reported that before the Holocaust that the Father sent prophets to the Jews in Germany and the surrounding countries, to tell them it was time to come home. The response was the same that they were more German then they were Jewish. After the war those that survived said that they were more Jewish then they were German. Millions of lives could have been spared if they only listen to messengers that the Father sent to them.

I am not saying that there will be destruction as it was during WWII, what I am saying that the voice of the Father comes in different and varied ways. For me it was a voice and a conformation it was time to go.

 

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD. (Lev 26:40-45)

 

 

 

Why are we here in Jordan?

What is reason we are here in Jordan? Many have said we are insane for walking away from a “stable” job, medical treatment and the list went on. I have said before and I say it again it is not about the job, people, place or things. It is only about obeying the will of the Father. If we are not obeying His will of the Father then what is the point? Many I have talked with their reply is, “I have not heard the Lord at all and when I do, I will go.”

For about six years before I heard in my spirit that I needed to learn Hebrew so that could better understand what His word really said. So I started learning Hebrew then I started teaching the word at a retirement home on Sundays. It was about this time we where part of a patriot group to bring the country back to a constitutional government.  One of the leaders of the group kept tossing out things of the Old Testament. I started asking questions concerning why refer to these books since they were done away with haven’t they? After much research I discovered that the law of God was not ever done away with and we are to follow it. So we, my wife and I, decided to follow Torah as a result I felt strongly that where I found ourselves in a place in my heart I kept hearing that these are not people and this is not my country. It was during this time I had heaviness in my heart.

On our arrival to Jordan I heard in my ears, “welcome home”. My heart leaped within me. We have been here for six months and we have never been happier. I have heard it said, “Though He slay me yet I will trust in Him.” For he has given so very much for those who truly love Him. We struggle in this life only to find it was in vain for if we trusted in Him He will take care of us.

I remember a time when I was blessed with some farm animals and I was wondering how we would get through, He, the Father, reminded me of this, He said “do you see your chickens? Do they worry as to where their will come from? Do they give one thought as to when you will feed them? They only know that you will take care of them. In this same way you should be with me.” I am convinced that if one of the families of the children of Israel would have trusted the Father in this way that they would have not rebelled against Moses and Aaron. They would have simple would have said that they trusted in YHVH and He knew their needs He would have given so very much that their neighbors would have asked where did they get the water and food. It would have swept through the camp as a wild fire.

(Deu 30:1-7)“And it shall be, when all these words come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you shall bring them back to your heart among all the nations where יהוה your Elohim drives you, and shall turn back to יהוה your Elohim and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your being, you and your children, then יהוה your Elohim shall turn back your captivity, and shall have compassion on you, and He shall turn back and gather you from all the peoples where יהוה your Elohim has scattered you. “If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under the heavens, from there יהוה your Elohim does gather you, and from there He does take you. “And יהוה your Elohim shall bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. And He shall do good to you, and increase you more than your fathers. “And יהוה your Elohim shall circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, so that you might live, and יהוה your Elohim shall put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.

Since we have been here we have seen the hand of the Father on behalf many times.

  1. Before we left the states Dianna had asked me for certain things in an apartment. I told her I am not the one to ask. Seek the Father and see what He says.
  2. When we arrived Dianna was so sick she was able to even respond to anything I said for four days. After Shabbat we took her to ER thinking she was dehydrated, so they gave her an IV and it seemed to help.
  3. Sunday morning Bob gets this call concerning an apartment and asked if I wanted to see it. I said that I did, Dianna was still unresponsive. Not only it was what we had been talking about it was completely furnished it had the item Dianna wanted a bath tub.
  4. Since Dianna still unresponsive we took her to the ER again and this time I felt that they should do another test to see what else could be. As it turns out she had an UTI. So gave an series of antibiotics IV for four days. By the third day she came around and by the end of the week she was her normal self.
  5. We knew leaving the states we didn’t have a lot of money only that the Father would provide what we lacked. The land lord said that we needed (3) months of rent upfront. I explained to Bob and Val, our host, that we did not have that much money. We talked about various options that we could do and we knew that we were to stay in the Land. So we, the four of us, prayed that the Father grant favor to us. Bob called the land lord on our behalf and explained the situation to him and said we only enough money to pay one month at a time. At first the land lord was a little put out. He said he would have to think about it. One hour later he called back and said he would do a month to month.
  6. Since we have been here Dianna health has improved tremendously!
    1. She is walking, before she came the most she walked was mostly wheel chair bound.
    2. She was on 20 different meds throughout the day, now she is one med at night.
    3. She is happier now then she has been in many years, she is even laughing.
    4. She is even helping with meal prepping.
  7. I got a job
  8. In process in getting my work visa.
  9. The things that people were saying that we could not get the Father has provided.
  10. When we went to get our visas renewed people were saying would cost us about $80 dollars each cost us nothing.
  11. YHVH has Dianna a new name Hannah-Lynn.

As I stated before YHVH is good for those who love Him. He is good, His land is good and His people are good!

 

Returning Home

Many people think that we were nuts coming to the Middle East, there main objection was that we had a great job with great benefits! I told them that when the Father calls us who are we to refuse? The place where we are allows us the chance to visit the Land and attend His feast days. This will be our 2nd Passover. We have seen the land and it is good! Last year when we went to Sukkot I believed that something great was going to happen and it did! There so many things that happened to me I was amazed and at some points I was in tears.

To start we went to the wall, I went went with a friend and my wife Hannah. As we approach I had sensed that this was going to a special day, I parked Hannah as close as I could in the women area. Then my friend went about half way up to the wall, he asked me how close did I want to go? I said as close as possible even up to the wall itself. Well after weaving our through the crowd we arrived at our destination the western wall. It was great! After only seeing it only on television I was final face to face with the western wall! It was as if I stepped back in time and placed myself back at the time of David and Solomon. It is part of history were the very creation began. This is the place where Abraham saw and YHVH revealed His plan.  I was moved when the Levites went up the wall and turned and blessed us it was an awesome experience.

The next day my friends and went back so we could ascend the Temple mount. As we approached the group that we preparing themselves to go up where we joined the group I thought we were at the end of the group as it wound up we were in the front. Then we arrived at the security area they what the Jewish people to go first the guards pointed at us and said you, you and you as it turned out they were pointing at us! You feel the presence of Spirit there as we made our way onto the mount and surveyed the area where the Temple should be standing. We walked the circumference of the mount, some prayed, some sang and others raised their hands in praise. We were about half way around the mount when ever so soft it began to rain on us. When totally took it in and praised Him all the rest of the time.

The next day it was the day of the parade. This is where the nations take to the streets and express their love for Israel. It a very moving experience indeed. Though I did not take an active role in the parade I stood on the side line to greet those who would come through the streets. As people express their love for Israel I heard the Father say they are speaking to you, You are Israel! Weeping over what the Father has just spoke to me it dawned me something else. I was welcoming home my family who was scattered all over the Earth. There was something I had said when where in the states that when my ancestors made it to America’s, I said we greeting ourselves as we entered the country and now I am welcoming them home in the land of their fathers the land of Jacob, Issac and Abraham and to the land. I still get goose bumps when I think about it.

 

All in all it was worth us going. The Father says that we are to present ourselves before three times a year. As we finalize our plans to go again with great anticipation to go where the King if Kings awaits us to present ourselves to Him. Yes this year will mark our second time there for Passover. It will be a time when will see friends that we have made and attend a wedding.

May you be blessed.