Christian Churches of God

No. 254

 

 

Law and the Second Commandment

(Edition 3.0 19981006-20050718-20120512-20120804)

 

It is written: You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them and serve them. This paper deals with the Second Commandment in the Old and New Testaments, its legislation, its social order and crime and punishment as it pertains to all the people.

 

 

Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2005, 2012 Wade Cox et al, ed Wade Cox)

 

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Law and the Second Commandment

 


The Second Commandment as it is written states:

Exodus 20:4-7 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 5:8-10 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image; any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (NKJV)

 

This commandment is also reinforced in the New Testament:

1Peter 4:3-5 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles; when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (NKJV)

 

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

 

Romans 1:21-25 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.2 2 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man; and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (NKJV)

 

1Corinthians 8:4-6 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (NKJV)

 

1Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (NKJV)

 

1John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (NKJV)

 

Just like the fifth commandment, the second commandment also includes a promise, either of iniquity or mercy (cf. Ex. 20:4-7 above and Deut. 5:1-10 below).

 

The second commandment falls under the umbrella of the First and Greatest Commandment, which is stated in Matthew 22:36-37 and also in Deuteronomy 6:5.

Matthew 22:36-38 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37 Jesus said to him,

" 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.í 38 This is the first and great commandment. (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 6:5"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (NKJV)

 

On the First and Second Great Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Mat. 22:40).

What God requires of us

God has given us much instruction on what He requires from us, and He does this not for His sake but for our sake. He says that it is for our good and not for His, as He is already inherently good (Mat. 19:17).

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 "and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 18:4-5 'You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. 5 'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 19:37'Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the LORD.'" (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 19:1-2 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 20:7-8 'Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 'And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you. (NKJV)

 

God promises us that if we keep His commandments and statutes He will bless us with good health.

Exodus 15:26and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you." (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 7:15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt, which you have known; but will lay them on all those who hate you. (NKJV)

 

Thus we see that what God requires of us most is obedience. We also see that there are promises made of good health for Israel if they obey.

Deuteronomy 26:16 "This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

Graven Images

The prohibition of a graven image forbids the creation of images for the purpose of worship. We are not to make images as the heathen do and bow down to them. There were images created under the command of Moses of things both in heaven and on earth that were never condemned. This command does not prohibit the making of images for art and so forth; however, worship of anything other than God the Father is idolatry and is prohibited. We find no images of God the Father anywhere as His face has never been seen by human flesh. In the note on the text in the NKJV it states that archaeologists have observed that no figure of God has yet been found in debris of an Israelite town. This would also substantiate the antiquity of the second commandment, since such images of other gods are frequently found at later periods.

 

God knows that if humanity creates images of influential people or beings that they will be given to worship them. An example of this is what the Catholic Church has done with statues of so-called saints. God purposely hid Mosesí body for that very reason. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into this error and this is why we avoid images of angels, Christ or other heavenly beings.

 

The command to keep from making any kind of image Ė or any type of similitude of anything that is in heaven or on earth for the purpose of worship Ė comes from God being a jealous God. This is not the jealousy condemned in scripture but a righteous jealousy that stems from the Father Eloahís love for us. Nor is it the jealousy that stems from selfishness, as is most jealousy felt by human beings. Rather, God does not want us to corrupt ourselves; He wants everyone to be holy as He is holy (Lev. 20:7). He does not want us to go whoring and worshipping after false gods and therefore forfeit the reward that He promises our children and us.

Deuteronomy 4:15-40 "Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 "lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17 "the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 "the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. 19 "And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. 20 "But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. 21 "Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22 "But I must die in this land, I must not cross over the Jordan; but you shall cross over and possess that good land. 23 "Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you. 24 "For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. 25 "When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the LORD your God to provoke Him to anger, 26 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess; you will not prolong your days in it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 "And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. 28 "And there you will serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 "When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice 31 '(for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. 32 "For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard. 33 "Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? 34 "Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 "To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him. 36 "Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. 37 "And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. 39 "Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 "You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time." (NKJV)

 

Exodus 20:22-23 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. (KJV)

 

Exodus 34:17 "You shall make no molded gods for yourselves. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 19:4 'Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 26:1 'You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God. (NKJV)

 

Physical Israel was not to make images and worship them as the heathen did; neither is spiritual Israel to do this. Christians are not to worship images, statues or any edifice constructed by man or the heavenly host. God alone is to be worshipped!

Leviticus 17:7 "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations."' (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 11:16-17 "Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 lest the Lord's anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you. (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 12:29-32 "When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, "take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' 31 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (NKJV)

 

There will come a time when prophets and/or ministers will tell us to go and worship other gods, deeming it acceptable to do so. God says that this can and will happen; but these are only tests to see whether we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 "and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods'; which you have not known; 'and let us serve them,' 3 "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 "You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst. (NKJV)

 

The only way we as Christians can pass this test is if we have a firm understanding of Godís laws and principals. This is one reason we read the law in the Sabbath year: it is to help us maintain a clear understanding of what it is we are to be doing. This is also why the kings of Israel were commanded to write the law in their own hand. They had to KNOW the law to be able to judge righteously. In order to be obedient, we also have to know the law.

 

We are commanded to completely destroy any form of idolatry wherever we are, or we will perish, just like the nations God destroyed during the era of the kings.

Deuteronomy 8:19-20 "Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 "As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God. (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 7:16 "And you shall destroy all the peoples whom the LORD your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. (NKJV)

Many would view this as very cruel. Why would a loving God tell Israel to destroy other people? He knew Israel would fall into idolatry if they were exposed to these idolatrous practices. The Christian church became idolatrous in the same way. They desired converts and allowed these new converts to bring their idolatrous practices into the church. God will spew them out of His mouth as a result of their idolatry.

 

Exodus 23:24 "You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars. (NKJV)

 

1Chronicles 5:25 And they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. (NKJV)

 

People who join the church have to completely reject idolatry and refrain from bowing to images of any kind. This includes other heavenly host. There is no being that is on equal footing with God the Father and none is to be worshipped, but Him.

1Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, (NKJV)

Injunctions regarding other gods

God leaves nothing to the imagination as to what we are to do with images or shrines of other gods. The command of God is to destroy them completely and utterly.

Exodus 34:12-13 "Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. 13 "But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 7:25-26 "You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. 26 "Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 12:1-4 "These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. 2 "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 "And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. 4 "You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. (NKJV)

 

Numbers 33:52'then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; (NKJV)

 

God forbids the nation of Israel and those of the Israel of God, which is the Temple of the Church, from marrying pagans; those of pagan nations and of idolaters in the faith.

 

The Bible notes a number of people from other nations as marrying into Israel and the Church, but it was always on conversion and showed the progressive extension of salvation to the Gentiles. We are not to be unequally yoked with idolaters.

 

Moses was married to a Midianitess, the daughter of the priest of Midian of the sons of Abraham by Keturah, yet Midian was destroyed forty years later for idolatry. 

Deuteronomy 7:1-5 "When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 "and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. 3 "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 "For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. 5 "But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. (NJJV)

Sacrificing of children to false gods

Any time sacrifices are made to gods other than the One True God it is considered idolatry. By definition, sacrificing is the same as worshipping. Sacrificing is therefore worshipping that to which sacrifice is being made.

 

In ancient biblical times, Molech or Moloch was a famous Canaanite deity to which human sacrifices (mainly children) were offered. This sacrifice is strictly forbidden by God, the penalty being death.

Leviticus 18:21 'And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 20:2-5 "Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: 'Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3'I will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name. 4 'And if the people of the land should in any way hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him, 5 'then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech. (NKJV)

 

2Kings 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel. (NKJV)

 

Jeremiah 7:31 "And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son ofHinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart. (NKJV)

 

Jeremiah 19:5 "(they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind), (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 12:31 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. (NKJV)

Customs of the heathen

We are commanded not to follow, in any manner, the customs and abominations of any people with whom we come in contact, in particular, those whose customs or traditions are contrary to Godís ways.

Exodus 23:32 "You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. (NKJV)

 

Exodus 23:33 "They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you." (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 18:3 'According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 18:26-30 'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 '(for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 'lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 'For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 'Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.'" (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 20:23 'And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them. (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 6:14 "You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you. (NKJV)

(cf. also Deut. 12:29-31 above)

 

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 "When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 "or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 "For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 ďYou shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14" For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you. (NKJV)

 

2Chronicles 36:14 Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. (NKJV)

 

2Kings 21:1-7 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshipped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem I will put My name." 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 7 He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD had said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; (NKJV)

 

Ezekiel 20:31-32 "For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you. 32 "What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, 'We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.' (NKJV)

Witchcraft and Sorcery as idolatry

Consulting with witches, sorcerers, or any type of medium like todayís psychics or astrologers, is the same as idolatry and will result in the individual being cut off from his people, or put to death. These practices are an abomination to the Lord.

Leviticus 19:26 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 19:31 'Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 20:6 'And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. (NKJV)

 

Leviticus 20:27 'A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.'" (NKJV)

(cf. also Deuteronomy 18:9-14 above)

 

Exodus 22:18 "You shall not permit a sorceress to live. (NKJV)

 

2Chronicles 33:6 Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. (NKJV)

 

Isaiah 47:13-15 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save you from these things that shall come upon you. 14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor fire to sit before! 15 Thus shall they be to you With whom you have labored, Your merchants from your youth; They shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you. (NKJV)

 

The loss of our children and becoming a widow could be the result of our sorceries and trust in ourselves.

Isaiah 47:9-14 But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments. 10 "For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, 'No one sees me'; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me.' 11 Therefore evil shall come upon you; You shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you;You will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, Which you shall not know. 12 "Stand now with your enchantments And the multitude of your sorceries, In which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you will prevail. 13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators Stand up and save you From what shall come upon you. 14 Behold, they shall be as stubble, The fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves From the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before! (NKJV)

 

Jeremiah 27:9 'Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." (NKJV)

 

Micah 5:12I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you shall have no soothsayers. (NKJV)

 

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien; Because they do not fear Me," Says the LORD of hosts. (NKJV)

 

Acts 13:6-11 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 "And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. (NKJV)

 

Galatians 5:16-21 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

 

Rebellion is a form of idolatry. In Godís eyes rebellion and idolatry are one and the same. Rejecting the word of God is idolatrous and any minister who fails to teach the truth is guilty of leading his followers into idolatry. For this reason Saul was rejected by God as king of Israel.

1Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king." (NKJV)

Idols: the work of manís hands

Those that worship their idols, whether made of stone, wood or any other material, are simply worshipping in vain. The idols themselves need their builders to move them around since they cannot move, or speak, or do anything, and the builders of such idols are like the idols and so are all who trust in those idols (Ex. 20:22-23).

Psalm 115:1-8 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. 2 Why should the Gentiles say, "So where is their God?" 3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men's hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them. (NKJV)

 

Isaiah 44:6-20 "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. 7 And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them. 8 Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.'" 9 Those who make an image, all of them are useless, And their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. 10 Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him nothing? 11 Surely all his companions would be ashamed; And the workmen, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, Let them stand up; Yet they shall fear, They shall be ashamed together. 12 The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals, Fashions it with hammers, And works it with the strength of his arms. Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails; He drinks no water and is faint. 13 The craftsman stretches out his rule, He marks one out with chalk; He fashions it with a plane, He marks it out with the compass, And makes it like the figure of a man, According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house. 14 He cuts down cedars for himself, And takes the cypress and the oak; He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it shall be for a man to burn, For he will take some of it and warm himself; Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; Indeed he makes a god and worships it; He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. 16 He burns half of it in the fire; With this half he eats meat; He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire." 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, His carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, Prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!" 18 They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 And no one considers in his heart, Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire, Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?" 20 He feeds on ashes; A deceived heart has turned him aside; And he cannot deliver his soul, Nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" (NKJV)

 

Isaiah 46:5-9 "To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike? 6 They lavish gold out of the bag, And weigh silver on the scales; They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. 7 They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it And set it in its place, and it stands; From its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer Nor save him out of his trouble. 8 "Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. 9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, (NKJV)

Keeping company with idolaters

God commands us to not keep company with any brother who lives contrary to the laws of God; in fact, we are told not even to eat with such a person.

Psalm 26:5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. (NKJV)

 

2Chronicles 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you. (NKJV)

 

1Corinthinas 5:9-11 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; not even to eat with such a person. (NKJV)

 

1Corinthians 10:19-20 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. (NKJV)

 

2Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." 17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty." (NKJV)

 

2Thessalonians 3:6But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. (NKJV)

 

2Thessalonians 3:14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. (NKJV)

Penalty for idolaters and an idolatrous nation

The penalty for idolaters was unconditional. An individual committing idolatry was put to death by stoning.

Deuteronomy 27:15 'Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.' And all the people shall answer and say, 'Amen!' (NKJV)

 

Deuteronomy 17:2-5"If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant, 3 "who has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, 4 "and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, 5 "then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones. (NKJV)

 

Exodus 22:20 "He who sacrifices to any god, except to the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. (NKJV)

 

The punishment for idolatry is captivity and destruction of the offspring and nation. Those nations that insist on breaking the second commandment will be allowed by God to go into captivity until they repent and agree to follow the covenant that God made with them.

 

Amos 5:25-27 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. 27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts. (KJV)

 

Deuteronomy 29:16-18 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, 17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them; wood and stone and silver and gold);18 "so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; (NKJV)

 

Judges 2:1-5 Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you. 2 'And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? 3 "Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'" 4 So it was, when the Angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the LORD. (NKJV)

 

Judges 2:11-15 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; 12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed. (NKJV)

 

Judges 8:33-35 So it was, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-Berith their god. 34 Thus the children of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side; 35 nor did they show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal (Gideon) in accordance with the good he had done for Israel. (NKJV)

Responsibility for obeying Godís Laws

Having poor leadership, or no leadership, is no excuse for breaking the commandments of God as many did during the times of the Judges when there was no king to lead the Nation.

Judges 17:1-6 Now there was a man from the mountains of Ephraim, whose name was Micah. 2 And he said to his mother, "The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you, and on which you put a curse, even saying it in my ears; here is the silver with me; I took it." And his mother said, "May you be blessed by the LORD, my son!" 3 So when he had returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, "I had wholly dedicated the silver from my hand to the LORD for my son, to make a carved image and a molded image; now therefore, I will return it to you." 4 Thus he returned the silver to his mother. Then his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to the silversmith, and he made it into a carved image and a molded image; and they were in the house of Micah. 5 The man Micah had a shrine, and made an ephod and household idols; and he consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. 6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (NKJV)

 

Even King Solomon was not immune to idol worship. His idol worship started when he allowed himself to be swayed by his many wives of different religions to follow false gods instead of the One True God. He started worshipping a multitude of gods and making graven images of them and building high places. God divided the nation of Israel as punishment for Solomonís actions, and it remains divided to this day,

1Kings 11:1-13 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; 2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9 So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded. 11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 "However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen." (NKJV)

 

Failing to turn away from doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord will result in total extermination from the face of the earth. This is exactly what happened to King Jeroboam, who changed the Feast of Tabernacles to the eighth month and made priests of men who were not of the Levitical line.

1Kings 13:33 After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. (NKJV)

 

1Kings 13:34 And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth. (NKJV)

 

Being alone or few in number is no justification for doing what the majority does when we already know they are wrong. We are not to follow a multitude to do evil. No matter how few we are God will be with us as He was with Elijah when he went up against the 450 prophets of Baal (1Kgs. 18:22).

1Kings 18:20-40 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 "Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God." So all the people answered and said, "It is well spoken." 25 Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it." 26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, "O Baal, hear us!" But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made. 27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened." 28 So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention. 30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Israel shall be your name." 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, "Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood." 34 Then he said, "Do it a second time," and they did it a second time; and he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water. 36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 "Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!" 40 And Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!" So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there. (NKJV)

 

All who worship carved images and boast of idols will be put to shame, for there is only one God, who is God of all other gods and who is worshipped by all gods (cf. Ps. 135:1-21).

Psalm 97:1-12 The LORD reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad! 2 Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. 3 A fire goes before Him, And burns up His enemies round about. 4 His lightnings light the world; The earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 6 The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory. 7 Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, Who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods. 8 Zion hears and is glad, And the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your judgments, O LORD. 9 For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods. 10 You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart.12 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. (NKJV)

Godís ultimate goal

Godís ultimate goal is to be all in all, and therefore we will all be gods or elohim under His authority and leadership, just as the Angel of Yahovah.

Zechariah 12:8 "In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. (NKJV)

 

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (NKJV)

 

1Corinthians 15:28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. (NKJV)

Summary

The Commandments of God have been in place from the beginning of the creation. The second commandment ties the system of worship under the first commandment and prevents its application to any other deity or system. In this way the third commandment follows on from the second and prevents the name of God being applied to any other system, so that no false system can be placed in lieu of the worship of the One True God. The fourth commandment deals with the days of worship of the One True God and ties Godís calendar of worship, centred on the Sabbaths, into the system of worship. Thus the third and fourth commandments complement the second commandment and prevent Godís name being applied to another system and another calendar of worship. The modern system of worship of the Sun cults, being applied to the worship of the One True God in the name of Jesus Christ, is exposed for the idolatrous farce that it is. The First Great Commandment of the love of God is tied to four commandments, all of which are definitive of a system of worship. The breach of one entails breaching the four, and a breach of the entire system of worship allows a false religious system to be instituted.

 

At his return Messiah will destroy every single aspect of the worship falsely attributed to him, namely that derived from the Mystery or Sun cults of the Triune system with its cult of idols.

 

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