What Your Pastor Never Told You About The 2nd Commandment

As Bible Believers and as Parents, we need to raise our children according to the Faith of Yahweh, and not according to the ways of the world, and certainly not under the influence of devils. When Yahweh commanded His people that “no graven images” were to be made, acquired, or kept, He was not being cruel and heartless. He knew the great harm these objects could do to His people. Notice what we are told in the Second Commandment:

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)

In the above verse, the Hebrew word ‘asah’ is Strong’s number <06213>, and means “make, acquire, keep, use, prepare, work, execute, accomplish, fashion,” and a host of other meanings, depending on context. From this word we get the idea that graven images are “off-limits” to Yahweh’s children, in every way. Since this is one of the greatest sources of problems between Yahweh and His people, we will look at what a graven image is.

What Is A Graven Image?

Man is always trying to justify his own actions by attempting to re-define Bible words and meanings. Man would define a Graven Image or “idol” as something that man would physically “bow down” to. Yahweh, on the other hand, is very specific about His definition:

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: (Exodus 20:4)
Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make 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)

Notice that Yahweh’s definition of a graven image in the above verses is not “dependent” on what a man does, or does not do, with that object. In the above Scripture passages, Yahweh makes no distinction between an object that is worshipped, and one that is not worshipped. These are simply Graven Images by Yahweh’s definition.

Yahweh’s definition is simply based on a clear explanation of being “an image or likeness” of a living creature, as given in general in the Exodus verse, and in greater detail in Deuteronomy, as we see above. The term “likeness” narrows it down to a 3-dimensional object, since a 2-dimensional object bears no likeness to a 3-dimensional object.

Examples of these objects today are abundant, and can be in the form of “art” objects or figurines in the likeness of people, animals, or angels. They can likewise take the form of stuffed animals and other toys; and also brass eagles, carved birds, fish, horses, and other animals as found in homes and offices; and ceramic sun and moon objects, carved and cast statues, statuettes, African and other native masks, and many others. We will look at what Scripture reveals about the great danger to our wellbeing, and to the wellbeing of our families, as a result of having these items.

Why Do Objects Attract?

Visible, physical objects often appeal to the senses, delight the flesh, and have great attraction to man’s soulish realm. However, we need to be cautious, and realize that such objects can carry with them unseen spiritual realities that can actually bring a curse to the one who has the object in his home or office. Notice what Yahweh warns us about:

Neither shalt thou bring an abomination 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)

It is clear throughout Scripture that graven images and idols were among the many forms of “abominations” that were off-limits to Yahweh’s people. We see in the above passage that if an abomination were to be brought into our place of habitation, whether home or office, it will put the same curse upon us, that that object is under.

We have been clearly warned. These are not simply figurines, art objects, or “toys,” as the world sees them. In the spiritual realm, these objects are abominations, and are the equivalent of spiritual “dog dung.” They not only “stink,” but they attract spiritual “flies” or demons, and the curses that go along with the demons. Do we want our homes full of these demons? It is these demons that can cause uncurable sicknesses, and all types of “troubles” in the home, which take the form of curses.

Bible-Believing families should be shocked to learn these things that their Pastors and Leaders never told them, but that affect our lives so greatly. We should check our homes for any objects that fit the Scriptural definitions, and we ought to destroy them, or burn them, or throw them out immediately!

“Housecleaning” is what we call getting rid of anything in our homes that may cause demonic problems. We must look throughout our homes, and pray diligently, seeking Yahweh’s guidance about any items that need to be destroyed — items that are graven images by the Bible definition, and are idols or abominations in Yahweh’s eyes. This covers all statues, figurines, dolls, stuffed animals, and the like. There comes a great freedom and healing in all areas of our home — in the health of our bodies, in our emotional wellbeing, and in the peace in our home — when we begin to be obedient to this Second Commandment.

The Second Commandment says to NOT MAKE or ACQUIRE any graven image. Yahweh knew if we were to make them, we would become attached to them, and that is a form of worshipping them. Besides, having something in our home that Yahweh has told us NOT TO MAKE or ACQUIRE is disobedience. Yahweh knows that graven images lead to idolatry. Having these things in our homes give the demons a “legal right” to enter our homes, and to remain, until we repent of all disobedience! This is the source of much sorrow today in homes and families of otherwise faithful Believers. They are simply ignorant of the importance of obedience!

In Romans 1:25, the Scripture points out that there are MANY who change the truth of Yahweh into a LIE, and by doing so they worship and serve a creature more than the Creator. Think about it. If Yahshua came to your door and said, “Get rid of your carved images,” could you readily discard them and trash them? Would you hesitate, aching over the value and sentiment that they represented and held to you?

The Family Toybox

The Holy Spirit has revealed a tactic of the enemy against our children. This attack is presented in the form of dolls, stuffed animal toys, and figures of toy soldiers, heroes, monsters, and objects imitating other “life forms,” whether real or imaginary. These are graven images by Yahweh’s definition!

As parents, we desire the obedience of our children. So it is with Yahweh. He desires the trusting obedience of His children. Are you one of His children? He has told you very simply, “to obey is better.” (1 Sam.15:22) Those who love their heavenly Father, are those who will obey Him.

What Are Dolls?

Most parents like to give their daughters “dolls” to play with. But what are dolls? Have we ever looked at the history of dolls?

Let’s look at this example. One encyclopedia says that the origin of dolls is witchcraft and magic; in other words — “demonic.” In many early societies, only witch doctors or medicine men were allowed to handle them, because of their close association with demonic influence and curses. To this day, multitudes of idol (demon) worshippers use “dolls” in pagan religious ceremonies.

The dictionary gives one definition of a doll as “a small carved or molded figure that served as a cult object or representation of a nursery story, cartoon, or puppet character.” Much of the history of dolls includes the reputation of dolls as being used to bring “good luck” to their owners. Children were not allowed to touch the dolls, because they were thought to have magical powers.

These “Good luck” dolls were supposed to bring rain or food when there was a desperate need. Sometimes it was believed that such dolls could make goats give more milk or could help win wars. Some thought dolls could make sick people become well. In voodoo practice, dolls are supposed to bring curses on people, and also to make healthy people become sick. Since they are accursed by Yahweh, they actually can and do bring these and other bizarre results.

Some primitive tribes would make wooden dolls that looked like ugly elves. They were supposed to frighten people. When an Egyptian died, dolls would be buried with the dead person, to become friends and servants for him in the spirit world.

Every time the Israelites started worshipping idols, Yahweh sent them into captivity and bondage as punishment. Phrases such as, “lest you corrupt yourselves,” (Deut. 4:16); “the anger of the LORD burned against Israel,” (Jud 3:7); “it is abomination,” (Deut 7:25,26); “the LORD thy God hateth,” (Deut 16:22); “provoked him to anger,” (Ps 78:58); and “moved him to jealousy,” (Ps 78:58) — all these phrases are associated with graven (carved) images.

Homes Under A Curse

Today many homes of Bible Believers are under a curse, and the inhabitants are not even aware of it. The Proverbs tell us that the curse does not come without a cause (Prov 26:2). The moment we bring a forbidden object into our house or building, we establish a “legal” cause for a curse to come into that realm of our authority.

As a result, problems and difficulties that arise with your children or other inhabitants, in the form of unusual discipline problems, out-of-the-ordinary or chronic sickness, accidents, emotional problems, and many others, may be likely caused by an accursed object in the home. Parents and children alike may need DELIVERANCE from the demonic influence, and from the curse of idolatry of these graven images (formed, carved, fashioned images).

Enemy Strongholds In Our Homes

Objects, including some that are not graven images of living things, can become enemy strongholds; and it is because of these strongholds, that many of Yahweh’s people are not able to stand before their enemies (Josh 7:11-12; Jud 2:14-17). These can be in the form of a trinket, jewelry, or sentimental object, received as a gift or memento, or inherited from someone previously involved in occult practices of any kind, as far back as the third and fourth generation (Deut 5:9). Having such objects give the demons the “legal right” to remain.

These strongholds must be removed from the house or building. The parents must repent, by destroying the object. If possible, it should be burned, so that no one else may find or retrieve the object, and become accursed likewise.

Once the “legal” right to remain has been removed from the house, an “eviction” must take place, by commanding these spiritual “flies” or demons, in the name of Yahshua Messiah, to leave, and never return.

Acknowledging to Yahweh our sin of idolatry is an important step in gaining deliverance from demonic strongholds. A simple confession and renouncing of our sin, and coming out of agreement with idolatry, and coming into agreement with Yahweh, is often the key to freedom. Both children and parents may need to do this.

It is our repentance and obedience that restores our household and our authority in Yahshua. Once we are restored, we can then exercise our authority in the name of Yahshua. We may then command the demons to leave, and break the curse.

Demons know exactly when someone has authority, and when they do not. This is not a game; and a flippant attitude may create a problem seven times worse than before (Matt 12:43-45). It is safe to first remove the object, then through prayer, receive direction on any further steps to be taken.

If these steps do not result in a sense of peace and freedom, then you may need to seek the help of others. There are many deliverance ministries today that have a heart to help those who are seeking freedom from demonic strongholds.

Idols of the Heart

One consequence of having de jure idols (idols by legal definition only) is that they later become de facto idols, or idols of the heart. Are we attached in any way to our collection of graven images — our figurines, dolls, or toys? Our flesh will scream out against obedience to the Second Commandment. Nevertheless, this is the sin of idolatry, which is a stronghold in many lives, and is forbidden. Idolatry manifests itself in many ways. First, let’s look at what Scripture tells us about idols and idolatry:

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14)
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21)

Beloved, we are to “flee” from idols, and from idolatry. In the New Testament times, most knew what idols and idolatry were. It is only the gentiles, the heathen, that had no background in the Commandments of Scripture, and were ignorant. Today there are multitudes of Believing ones, who likewise are ignorant of the commandments in Scripture, and the effects of disobedience. Their Pastors and Leaders have simply not told them anything about this Truth of Scripture, because it would not “fit into” the theology they learned from their Theological Cemeteries and Bible Schools.

Notice what else Yahweh tells us about idolatry:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (<08655> ‘teraphim’ = “household images”). Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

This example spoken to Saul, reveals the same result He will have for us today, if we refuse to allow “Messiah-in-us” to walk in obedience to the Second Commandment, just as He did when He walked the earth 2,000 years ago in His own body.

Yahweh does not need us to have or to use any graven images, idols, or statues of any kind to sell and promote His Kingdom. All that is required is walking in the Truth of the Bible. Our simple obedience to the true teachings of the Word of Yahweh will result in signs, wonders, and miracles following. Our Saviour said that if you do not believe Me, then believe My miracles. He brought deliverance and set the captives free.

“Taste and see” the goodness of Yahweh, when you begin to obey the Second Commandment. He will give us victory over demonic strongholds, and the peace that surpasses our ability to understand how great it is. These are blessings that the disobedient, and those of the world, can never taste.

Conclusion

The world’s way of raising children is NOT Yahweh’s way. Love your children the way Yahweh wants you to love them. Remove the graven images from their toybox, and from their rooms, and from your home — and deliver them out of the hand of the enemy. Repent of your lack of knowledge of Yahweh’s Word, and love your children enough to remove the curses that continue to come upon them, simply because we as parents have been as disobedient children of Yahweh (Eph 5:5-6; Col 3:5-6).

Any type of collection of figurines, art objects, dolls, toys, or any other likeness of living things (such as owls and frogs especially, which are stated as abominations to Yahweh), unicorns, birds, elephants, mice, fish, bears, soldiers — any object which depicts one of Yahweh’s created living beings, as well as a likeness of the heavenly bodies — are graven images, and are idols.

Yahweh strictly forbids the MAKING or ACQUIRING of them. You may have just one or two of these items in your home or office, but only one is just as deadly as a whole collection.

Because of idols, many of Yahweh’s people become deceived, and thus they prevent themselves from making progress and attaining victory in many “little” ways in their walk with Yahweh. Refusing to “clean out” the home of graven images causes a blockage in their progress, therefore they begin to lack the willingness to “do what it takes” to grow and mature further — to become a mighty overcomer. This deception often begins with the thought, “Oh, Yahweh knows my heart; He knows I love Him, and these objects are insignificant, and nothing to concern myself over.”

Many Bible Believers have given testimony of deliverance from curses brought on by these objects. Many have testified of what these objects can do, and of the curses they bring on individuals and entire households, until they begin to walk in obedience to the Second Commandment.

(The above includes comments and testimony from several sources.)

Further Insight:   New   For pictures of graven images & idols most Believers have in their homes (unknowingly), see this article on Graven Images and Idols – pictures at Following Yahushua Website.

For an in-depth look at how Scripture defines Graven Images and Idols,

Proceed to: Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition

Related Content: Testing & Warnings


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

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

Entering the Kingdom: The Two Love Tests - Further 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

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

44 Responses to What Your Pastor Never Told You About The 2nd Commandment

  1. Jerry says:

    what about inside temple use like menorah thats graven images? ark of covenant? showbread table? yahshua is carpenter, make things such as furnitures ? etc?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I did not read the entire text, but, from the first 4 to 8 paragraphs I got the gist of where you are going with this. My question: if making an image by carving it from stone/wood/metal is not ok, then what about painting it? How is that different. And, speaking about different: how would taking a picture, or making a video be different from carving it?

  3. Mella says:

    I never thought about stuffed animals. Wow. I found this because my father in law (before he passed away) gave me a pure silver cross about the size of my hand. I have prayed over it, It is special because he gave it to me and it is a valuable metal but I can part from both–need be. What I need to know is…Is a cross a graven image? I had it hung on the wall over the door, now its a paperweight. I began wondering this after researching AFTER JWitnesses came telling me they were phallic pagan symbols.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      A cross is not necessarily a forbidden object in one sense, for it is not in the shape of a living being. It CAN be a forbidden object in another sense, however. If any object (no matter the shape) is used as a charm or object to bring protection, healing or good fortune, it then becomes an idol. Most modern uses of crosses would seem to fall into the category of idolotrous, especially when used as jewelry, or hung on a wall or over a door, as some place a horse shoe over the door to bring ‘good luck’ or fortune. Yahushua’s mention of carrying our cross refers not to carrying an object, but to allow our ‘self’ life to become crucified daily in our lives, as the apostle Paul discussed in many passages. Personally, I would dispose of the object, and not have it in my possession.

  4. Lee says:

    This is something Yhwh has recently called to my attention. I want to ask do you not think that pictures, movies, and television are the same thing? Not the picture, movie, or tv itself but the images portrayed in these objects. Whether they are 2d or 3d does not matter they are just technologically advanced ways of producing idols. Thanks for this post.

    • Lee says:

      I was able to read the other post and have read your stance about pictures, tv, etc. I apologize for asking and overlooking your answer to this question that has been asked already. I would delete my post but it wouldn’t allow me. Blessings

  5. Bless Yahuveh says:

    I enjoy your writings very much. Holy Spirit- filled words! I have one stuffed animal… maybe I should just throw it away? My family wants me to give it away as a present, but that’s such a terrible sin… I don’t know?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you, Bless Yahuveh, for your visit, and your kind words. In Acts 19:19 we see the Believers burned all their items related to various forms of idolatry, even though costly. It is proper to dispose of the stuffed animal, in a meanner as you see fit, but it would not be good for you to sell it or give it away. Some have simply carried away the items, and disposed of them away from the house, while other family members are not aware. You must pray, and then be led by the Holy Spirit in what to do in this matter.

  6. Veronica says:

    Thank you so much for this info, let me tell you I was unaware of any of this cuz the figurines looked so innocent and pretty…..

    After reading this I cleaned house! It hurt me that I threw away my moms coo-coo clock it had birds in graved into it…. I had a bear made out of wood on my living room that was also from my mom…. I didn’t know…

    My question is this…. My cat of 19 years was put down, I cremated him and he’s in a small wooden box… I love my baby… Am I keeping something God forbids me to have in my house?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Veronica, for your visit, and for your testimony! One of the most difficult things to do, is to let-go of mementoes handed down from family, or even expensive items we have acquired. Believe me, Messiah Yahushua sees your love for Him when you do something costly or difficult, in order to walk in obedience to His Word!

      He also sees your acts of obedience as recognition that you indeed know that it was He who was the ‘Rock that followed [accompanied] them’ in the Wilderness (1Cor 10:4), and who gave the 10 commandments to Moses, of which you are now obeying the Second Commandment (John 14:15). Let us all endeavour to obey all ten of the commandments, and especially the 4th—which is the sign that we truly know Him, that we recognise Who He is!

      Regarding the question of the remains (ashes) of your cat, I do not know any Scripture passages that would forbid that specific item. It is important, however, that we not allow anything become an ‘idol of the heart’ simply because of our inordinate affection for the item. You might keep this in mind as you pray, and the Holy Spirit will guide you into further truth as needed, in this regard. -Blessings to you and your household

  7. liz says:

    One more thing I have to say- Thank you for the article, keep up speaking the truth! I know it is not easy, and keep seeking the truth. It is not easy to hear people touch this topic, and it is mostly avoided.

    May YHWH bless you and give you more insight about His Kingdom, and about the hidden things. And may YHWH protect you from all your enemies, and may He give you boldness to speak the truth, and not to be silent!

    Blessings,
    Liz

  8. liz says:

    There is a kingdom of the dead, and there is a kingdom of the living. Kingdom of the living is everything that has breath and is living. The kingdom of the dead is everything that is dead and has no breath.

    Demons manifest themselves through the kingdom of the dead. The question is, whether people will join themselves with the kingdom of the living that produces life, or the kingdom of the dead that produces death. Through Yeshua (the word of YHWH became flesh) we can enter into the kingdom of the living, and The Breath of Life will be given to His people (the Holy Spirit).

    If someone has The Breath of life, how can that person go back to something that is dead? The kingdom of death is at warfare with the Kingdom of Life, the two can’t go together. It is a battle and it is not easy, but YHWH’s people will win in the end, and reap life. But that means his people should not hold onto this life, because the Kingdom ‘now’ has everything to do with the ‘kingdom of the dead’, and this Kingdom will come to an end.

    Chose life, and run the race set before us!

    Liz

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Liz for your comments. Yes, it is sad, but true, that many Believers who now have the Holy Spirit ‘Breath of Life,’ continue to flirt with the things of death. Good exhortation!

  9. liz says:

    All graven images are falsehood, because it is dead and it has no breath, it can not speak, it can not hear, it can not see. Do a little test with any object, ‘Does it look like anything The creator has made?’ If YES, then the next test – does it breathe, does it talk, does it hear, does it see? If all the answers on the last part of the test is NO, then it is a graven image (simple).

    The Creator Has put a copyright on His creation. Nothing can be copied, even a foto is forbidden, even television etc. Wake up People, He made everything, and we are not allowed to copied anything He has made!

    All graven images will be destroyed at the end of the age. But the people who love him are allowed to enjoy His creation, and to make things to benefit us like houses, gardens, beds, clothing, etc, but not copy anything He has made. Fotos are made by a craftsman, and are crafted, and it is in the likeness of his creation, unless it is a picture of a man-made object like a house etc.

    Liz

  10. Cody says:

    What about video games which are modeled after real life in many cases today the graphics are so good its very real looking.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Cody for your question. It appears that video games may be similar to movies and videos, with added interaction, where the image is on a screen to be seen. Currently I am not aware of images that can be seen on a screen as being idols per se, but there can be much idolatry in the practice of watching images, whether video games or movies.

      Such images as pornography, violence, and demon-spirit-related activities such as ouija, dungeons and dragons, and many others, all can be forms of idolatry. As Believers we are called to set no evil thing before our eyes.

      If we desire to be wise according to Scripture, we must begin to learn how to discern between what is evil, and abomination, and what is righteous, and good. If we desire to do all for the glory of Yahuweh, we must question all of our activities, and yield to the Holy Spirit’s direction to give up what is not for His glory. You have made a good choice to question video games!

  11. Yaohukin says:

    Shalom Brother Bill, I love to hang and display my family photo throughout my house. Is photo a graven image? Please advise based on scripture. Have a blessed day.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you, Yaohukin, for your visit. You have asked a very good question regarding photos, which many have asked. Perhaps I have not dealt with this question adequately on the posts and articles.

      In the article, Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition, under the heading, “What is a Forbidden Likeness or Shape?” there is a brief overview of the words found in the passages in Exodus 20:4 and Deuteronomy 4:16-18:

      Thou shalt not make 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 yourselves, and make you a graven image(06459), the similitude(08544) of any figure(05566), the likeness(08403) of male or female, 17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18 The likeness(08403) 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)

      If we look at the Hebrew words 06459, 08544, and 08403 in the above passages (and the root words from which these originate), let’s see what these words tell us:

      (06459) ‘pecel’ = 31 (n)(m) [idol; image; graven image; carved image] (from 06458)

      (06458) ‘pacal’ = 6 (v) [to cut or hew into shape; hew out, quarry]

      This first word (06459) gives us the primary definition. The root word (06458) shows us this is a shape which we might call “3-dimensional,” one which can be discerned not only by the eyes, but by touch.

      This first word tells us that photos in general (discerned not by shape or touch, but by sight only) might be excluded from the forbidden list. There are many kinds of photos, however, that are abomination to Yahuweh, and are not the subject of this discussion.

      The subsequent words appear to be secondary definitions, given to make clear or to add emphasis or detail to the primary word. These are:

      (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.]

      (05566) ‘cemel’ = 5 (n)(m) [image, figure, idol, statue] [from an unused root meaning to resemble]

      (08403) ‘tabniyth’ = 20 (n)(f) [pattern, likeness, form, construction, similitude, figure] (from 01129)

      (01129) ‘banah’ = 376 (v) [to build, build up, establish]

      These words add detail to the above passages, which tell us the forbidden ‘shapes’ are not those representing trees or plants, for example, but of living beings. These same words are used in Deuteronomy 4:23-25 to repeat the warning against making/having these objects.

      Based on the above definitions, it is my (current) understanding that pictures of animals or people are not ‘graven images’ whether photos, or pictures on a wall or puzzle. A good rule-of-thumb I use is, ‘If in doubt, throw it out.’ This is too serious a matter for serious Believers, than to trifle over such things.

  12. E. Ekimi says:

    Thanks Brother Bill for your support. I’ll try and be brief this time.

    You are so right! And isn’t that what Jesus was teaching throughout His life? He constantly kept us focused on the Father and our love and dependence on Him –not to worry about material things, even essentials like water, food, clothing or shelter.

    With the growth of materialism in our society, most of us never consider it idolatry. Even those who have so little are not immune to idolatry because feelings of discontent gradually take root in the heart. Craving nice things and secretly feeling resentful or jealous of what others possess is just as idolatrous.

    In Ezekiel’s day, the Lord exposed the idolatry in the hearts of His people. And today He longs for us to rid our hearts of anything that destroys our contentment with Him. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our hearts. The elders of Israel in Babylon no longer had actual images to worship; however, they kept their idols in their heart.

    Our ONLY purpose in THIS life is to learn to love and serve God with all your heart and your soul. If we don’t, there will be no happiness or unspeakable joy in heaven –we will be worshipping and serving Him throughout eternity!

    I find it interesting that in Rev 2 where Christ is “taking a pulse” on the seven churches , that only Philadelphia did it right because of they had a deep and abiding love for God and man. Jesus had an interesting comment about Ephesus however, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” They fell out of love with God and man. Instead of doing the work of serving God and man, they gradually lost that first love and put God second. In this case, guarding against the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life are paramount to the sanctification process. If the eye be single, it will be filled with light.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you EE for your thoughts, and your comments. Yes, our entire life is a training exercise in choosing to return to our first love.
      Blessings to you EE,
      Brother Bill

  13. notesfromthewilderness says:

    Thank you EE for your comments, and for your insight. There are indeed idols found in pictures, as well as in objects. Yet perhaps the most prevalent form of idolatry involves no image at all. These are idols we set up in our heart (Ezekiel 14:3,4,7).

    We recall that an idol in its most basic form is simply any substitute for Yah or His Word. When we lean on our own understanding, rather than on our Bridegroom and His Word, we are in idolatry. When we ignore the command, “Do not asah (06213) an idol or graven image” simply because we do not bow down to it, we are already in idolatry–for we have substituted ‘our own understanding’ in place of what the Word actually says. We have thus set up in our heart ‘our own understanding’ as an idol. This widespread idolatry is a serious plague upon the entire Body of Messiah, and thus Yah is today calling men to repentance.

    Again, thank you for your comments and words of wisdom.

  14. E. Ekimi says:

    I agree with Wendy brother Bill. Here’s why.

    In the day God gave these commands the only way one could make an image was by carving up a tree or chiselling through a rock. Like Wendy says, today we are much more sophisticated and image making is readily available. In fact, we have become so accustom to images that we can’t live without them. We know the dangers of beholding and becoming changed. Images –especially the Branding type, are engraved in our minds (Who could ever forget the McDonald’s arches? Or who can forget an image of Christ?) The Passion of Christ is another good example where people are traumatized by the images they see on the screen. They will never forget. While all these image seem innocent enough to the untrained eye, experts in the field of mind altering have for years been telling us about the dangers of watching violence, sex, and the like. What we behold we do become just like we are what we eat. I can’t help but think of all those who have pictures (the 2 dimensional kind) of Jesus or angels, etc. In Numbers 33:52 it says: “Then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and DESTROY all their PICTURES, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places.” As you see from Num 33:52, even pictures (the 2 dimensional kind) are an abomination, and God wanted them destroyed. Anything that represented anything that is in heaven, earth, or sea is prohibited in this commandment and more so those that represent gods or our God and Christ. Just because man has devised new methods of making images does not negate their prohibition. The purpose of this commandment is to STOP any FORM of idolatry.

    Here’s an insight. There is no argument that God wrote the second commandment in PROACTIVE LANGUAGE –Proactive meaning to STOP an INEVITABLE outcome –usually a negative or difficult one. By prohibiting the making of any image (graven or otherwise) we can stop idolatry. It is only when we introduce an image that idolatry comes into question or becomes inevitable. Just as you suggest with stuffed animals (as innocent as they may appear), so are pictures of Christ. A cross may also appear innocent but even a cross progresses to other things. We never hear of a cross used in the bible for anything other than to kill. Why have an instrument of killing in our Churches? Christ never wanted us to focus on His death and the few scriptures that tell of His death is proof positive that this was the case. We must guard our hearts, our desires/emotions as we all carry a propensity to serve the creature rather than the Creator.

    In addition, the second commandment is a perfect root cause and effect analysis. The root cause of idolatry is making images and the effects being bowing, serving and punishment. An image is not an idol unless it is bowed and/or served. Idolatry is nonexistent in the absence of an image or object. Conversely, idol automatically assumes or suggests worship else it is just an image. There is no worship associated with image and yet we are prohibited from making them. I cringe when I hear a mother say to her child, “look honey, there’s Jesus!” as she points to a picture of a man falsely representing Christ at the front of the Church.

    Lastly, the Catholic Church did away with the second commandment to justify their image making. When this commandment was removed from their law, they still warned their members about the danger of worshipping them –they were to act only as reminders. As we know, the “inevitable” occurred and they now worship their images (2 and 3 dimensional). As with Orthodox, Catholics also kiss their precious and holy pictures, reverence them, adore them and deify them –holding them high as they parade them in their services or festivals. To me, the deception lies in the word image. Do we assume God meant to use idol as our modern translations show, or do we take God’s word at face value and keep image in this commandment. Watch your bible translations. They are based on doctrines of men. To tell a Christian it is okay to make or possess images of Christ, just don’t worship them is absurd! Any image of Christ is automatically deified even though it is an impostor, a fraud. God is doing all He can to keep images out of our minds and hearts. He wants to put His own image in us and we keep Him out when we keep putting false images of Him in our minds. Keep your hearts and minds pure.

  15. Deborah says:

    Are a pair of Avon birds filled with perfume an idol? They are just on a shelf with other collectables. I got rid of stuffed animals and all animals and figurines. Also I have been tormented at night with negative thoughts. Anti-Christ thoughts and I am scared and pray against this.

    Also would like to know if this is because I have a bad habit with food that has not resolved and if I have not had a full heart repentance even though I ask daily for forgiveness and still sin?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Hello Deborah,

      You have made a great start, by disposing of stuffed animals and figurines. But it is common for the last few remaining objects to be the greatest ‘strongholds’ of these unclean spirits, which commonly manifest themselves through various torments, including unclean or violent thoughts and dreams, destructive habits, or inability to focus during prayer times. You might want to continue to seek out and remove anything else that might qualify as an idol.

      Any remaining objects in the shape of animals or birds, even if filled with liquids, can be idols, and thus enemy strongholds, as they are expressly forbidden in Scripture. When we remove these from our home or office, we remove the ‘legal’ right for the spirits to remain.

      Lastly, it is important to forsake and renounce any involvement with occult or forbidden activities. You might also consider that the ‘tormentors’ can come to us because of any unforgiveness we have toward another (Matthew 18:34-35).

      Blessings to you Deborah, and keep up the good work! Victory comes as we continue to clean-up our lives, and as we continue to battle these unclean spirits.
      -Brother Bill

  16. Hazel Livingston says:

    Dear Brother Bill -
    Your website is an answer to prayer. Since it has been more than a year since your last post, I hope you are still there.

    I’m trying to dehoard my home and will work hard to destroy all graven images – especially my figurine angels (giving them away or returning them to the persons who gave them to me is not an option.)

    Now, talk to me about coins. They certainly meet all the definitions of a ‘graven image’ and are worshipped in many homes. Maybe the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST serves as the shield?

    Thank you and God Bless your ministry.

    Hazel Livingston

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Hazel for the visit. Yes, still here by the Grace of Yahuweh.

      You asked about coins. I do not have any particular understanding on this. We do see in Scripture that Yahushua did tell His disciples to give the piece of money (‘coin’) from the fish’s mouth to pay the taxes for Himself and Peter (Mat 17:27).

      Yahushua also tells them (and us today) to take the penny or denarion, a silver coin having an inscription of Caesar, and give the coin to the appropriate recipient (Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17; Lk 20:25). He appears to be telling us to use the coins, so they apparently are not ‘de jure’ idols. But as you said, they can easily become ‘de facto’ idols of the heart.

      And thank you Hazel, for your Blessing!
      -Brother Bill

  17. Sandi says:

    Brother Bill,

    While on vacation last week my friends took me to a congregation in Knoxville and that was the first time I had heard any teaching on idols. I have been part of a congregation in Florida for years but this was new to me.

    What makes me sad is not having to give up my pieces of art (I was an artist at Disney before becoming a stay-at-home Mom) but the stuffed animals I have set aside for my first grandchild. What do you give the babies and children to play and snuggle with? This part has me somewhat confused.

    I do remember learning from missionaries when I was a teen about being careful of figurines, especially from foreign lands. I had a statue of a African native that was a wedding present that always made me uncomfortable, when I remembered that teaching I threw it away. But I had no idea that that idols covered such a large range of items.

    My question is this: I work at a Bible Park in Central Florida that was recently taken over by a poplular television ministry (?). In the past two years the new owners have inundated the park with statues of angels, Roman guards, animals, large crosses and different sizes of Jesus. I feel an oppression here that is very heavy and I have felt weighed down. What can I do? I cover myself in prayer and the blood of Yeshua for protection. I have asked Yah to be moved to another job but so far He hasn’t let me move. In the meantime I minister to others about Yeshua and meet quite a few that He is calling out of the corporate “church”. I know it’s a spiritual battle but I get spiritually fatigued at times. I appreciate your comments.

    In Yeshua,
    Sandi

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Sandi, for your comments.

      Thank you for your comments, and your questions.

      We remember that Yahushua Himself lived and walked among many forms of idolatry. We too live and walk among many who have idols of all sorts. We cannot control the activities others do, in places over which we have no control. But we may choose to not bring them into our own home, a place over which we do have control.

      We can also pray a request for forgiveness for the idolatries in our work place, such as the request of Naaman in 2Kings 5:18-19.

      Here is something from my wife:

      When we first understood the Word regarding the 2nd commandment, we had a real struggle too regarding stuffed animals for our children. It seems like such a sad thing to deny something so soft and cuddly from our children. However, obedience is pleasing to Yahuweh and His Way is always best, and He says not to make any idols. Not making or having idols of any sort is one of the “Ten Words.” So it must be very important.

      Of course, the best thing to do is to pray and ask the Father to show you what to do. One thing we did was keep soft blankets and little pillows handy as things to cuddle. Our daughter did have a favorite blanket, as well as several little pillows. But we taught our children at a very early age what exactly an idol is and as a result, they never expressed a desire for such things. They would not even play with them whenever visiting their friends who had plenty of toys that were idols.

      As far as dealing with all the idols at work, that would be another real struggle. But struggles are the nature of growth. As we grow in our understanding of Yahuweh and His Word, we become more mature and must “put away childish things.”

      Remember too “… strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Mat 7:14

      Our prayers will result in our best guidance in these matters.

      Shalom and Blessings to you

      Brother Bill

  18. Wendy says:

    I have just come across this article and am very refreshed that someone has taken the time to publish a fuller explanation of the second commandment as I have been struggling with this for some time but I think that you have neglected the time dimension in which this was delivered to the people of Israel and have taken a very literal view of ‘graven’. The reason being that back then unlike in our modern highly technological societies, they didn’t have cameras, printing presses and the like to construct images like we do today.

    The problem in general society is that, as young children we are taught to draw pictures, pose for cameras and store all these images in albums for future posterity to show others the ‘works of our hands’ – a far cry from giving due glory to God for the works of his hands.

    Not to forget television with its multitude of moving images. This is idolatry also. How many people become addicted to serial shows or idolize movie stars. It is no coincidence that the words ‘idol’ and ‘star’ have been attributed to them.

    I am trying to remove many of these things from my own home (artworks, printed clothes and fabrics) knowing that it causes much friction with the unbelievers but I can see God working miracles all the same!

    I’d love to talk more on this but that’s all for now.
    God Bless you and keep opening your eyes to his utter holiness.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Wendy, for your visit.

      Thank you for your words and comments, as they are refreshing to me, and an encouragement. We are all still learning of Yahuweh’s ways, and we are like the Lepers of (2 Kings 7:8-9), telling each other within the King’s Household of the great riches we have found.

      There is very much more for us as end-time Believers to consider regarding idols and idolatry, as (Rev 2:14, 20) says regarding “eating things sacrificed to idols.” While I do not yet have the full picture, I am trying to write down the few pieces of the puzzle that I have been given, and have seen.

      Perhaps as people contribute their pieces of the puzzle that they see, the entire picture will come into view. Thank you Wendy, for sharing some things you have seen! I will consider them carefully! I welcome your comments and suggestions.

      In His Love,

      Brother Bill

  19. notesfromthewilderness says:

    Thank you eddy, for your visit, and your questions.

    One question I have for you is this. Are you familiar with Chick comic books? If not, I would suggest you investigate these comic books as examples of comics for Believers. They are excellent.

    It would seem best to steer away from fantasy/superheroic characters. These type of characters would border too close to false mighty ones or gods. It may be better to focus on creating real-to-life characters and their adventures. When a person is truly submitted to the Father and the leading of the Holy Spirit, truly amazing things do happen!

    Blessings
    Brother Bill

  20. eddy says:

    Blessings. I came across this article, I believe in response to questions and concerns, which have been on my mind for quite some time. I am a reader of comic books. For a few years, I have been developing ideas for a Christ-centered comic that would be a blend of fantasy/superheroics, where the protagonists face off against “the forces of darkness” while empowered and guided by The Father/Son/Holy Spirit. After coming across this article, I’m wondering if this is unbiblical? Please advise. Thank you.

  21. notesfromthewilderness says:

    Thank you Priscilla, for your comments, your questions, and your Blessing!

    You have asked some good questions — some that we have wrestled with also. Let us address them as a list:

    1) Fabric with printed images (in general) appear not to be ‘graven images,’ unless Yahweh shows otherwise, for these images are not carved and molded into a three dimensional figure. However, some cartoon images and certain idolatrous images, such as pictures of ‘Jesus’ or other “religious” images, may clearly allow demonic strongholds.

    Additionally, many cartoon characters portray animals with human qualities, and these are questionable. The mixed nature of these characters show a degrading of humans, made in the image of Yahweh, combined with an elevating of animals, creatures intended to be far below the image of Yahweh. For this reason alone, they might be questionable.

    Having fabric with printed images of cartoon characters as a constant image before the eyes of an infant/baby, in our view, is something to be avoided. The tenderness of a child’s spirit and conscience is a very precious thing, and we would do well to guard and shield the child from the images of ‘the world.’ Cartoon characters would definitely fall into the category of worldly artwork. The visions we place before our children greatly affect their spirit.

    Fabric having printed images of nature, such as flowers or leaves or clouds, would appear to be acceptable, as these are not mentioned in the Scripture passages as things to avoid. These images are usually calming, as well as beautiful. These may be helpful, perhaps in a small way, in promoting peacefulness within your child.

    This may also answer your question regarding pictures of nature. Such pictures do reflect Yahweh’s awesome creation, and putting such images before our eyes seems to us a good thing – reminding us of our Creator and His Almighty power and handiwork. But again, everything must be submitted in prayer for Yahweh’s answer.

    2) Your question regarding the fake plant is another issue we have questioned also. Fake plants appear not to fall into the category of ‘graven images’ as defined in Deut. 4:16-19. However, the issue of fake plants may be a topic for prayer. Yahweh will show us further as we seek Him on these matters.

    3) The issue of jewellery (in general) appears to be not included as a defilement of the 2nd commandment. There are many Scripture passages that show the Bride’s adornment that may be considered jewellery.

    As you mentioned, it appears that jewellery would be considered graven images under the 2nd commandment if they were forms of any beast of the earth, such as dinosaurs, owls or frogs; of the sea, such as fish or dolphins; of the heavens, such as angels (plaster moon and sun decorations may be in this category, since these are popular worship items with some); and perhaps imaginary beings, such as robots, toy monsters, or outer-space beings. All these can be potential strongholds in the home, and should be avoided.

    However, we must use caution regarding jewellery, since these items are sometimes used in some forms of sorcery.

    These things we have mentioned are all subject to change, as Yahweh reveals them to us. “If in doubt, throw it out” is a good motto to adopt!

    In His love,

    Brother Bill

  22. Priscilla says:

    Hi there,

    We are about to have a child. Most of the items (bedsheets, clothes etc) all have pictures of cartoons and characters on them. Would bringing these in ones home be a defilement of the 2nd commandment, or even be considered a form of bringing in images, of the likeness of his creation, into you home?

    Also, would pictures of nature count? we have some pictutes of trees and water and we are debating on whether those should go. Whats your thought on that?

    We also have a fake plant in the house. Would that be considered a graven image?

    And lastly, You mentioned jewellery in your note. Although i wasnt really clear if you considered those graven imgaes. Would you consider them graven images if only they were forms of any beast of the earth etc.? Or would jewellery in general be another defilement of the 2nd commandment?

    Thank you.
    YHVH Bless you.

  23. notesfromthewilderness says:

    Thank you Teddy, for your comments.

    Many of us are beginning to realise there is much Biblical Life and Practice that is missing from the commercial religious groups.

    We are just beginning to understand the fullness of the life of obedience that Yahushua wants to live in each of us. For centuries we were taught the “Doctrine of Balaam” that teaches us to ignore the Earlier Words of Yahweh, and to accept the Later Words of Yahweh — just as Balaam did.

    Because of this teaching, there are many Born-Again Believers still refusing Yahushua, who simply wants to live the fullness of His life in and through us, in observing and walking in the whole Word of Yahweh.

    May you be blessed as your eyes begin to open more, and as you begin the adventure of discovering the jewels of walking in the Truths found in the Scriptures!

    In His love,

    Brother Bill

  24. Teddy says:

    Hi, I stumbled on this article by mistake. As a child of light I now know it was not an accident. Thank you, I’ll be cleaning my home asap as I’ve been praying, fasting, rebuking and nothing serious was happening. I’ve been kinda wondering offlate if there’s anything I’m missing. My eyes have really been opened and this time around I’m confident that there’ll be a “BIG” difference.

    Thank you so much.
    Teddy

  25. notesfromthewilderness says:

    Thank you Michelle, for your blessing, and for your questions.

    When we begin to awaken to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit, we begin to see the real spiritual condition of ourselves, and also of people all around us.

    Perhaps the first thing to realize is that this awareness from Yahweh is a precious gift. So it is first of all, a gift to you, and you alone. Yahweh wants you to concentrate first on your preparation, just as a Bride preparing for her wedding; forget about all the others, and you get yourself ready. After you prepare yourself, then you may become a testimony to others, if they are interested.

    As we ask Him for His Grace to accomplish our “cleanup,” He will give us the inner strength to accomplish it. However, you are responsible to clean up your own room, but are not responsible to clean up someone else’s room. With that in mind, let’s look at your questions.

    I have prayed for your household, and your church. You may do so also, and I find it very effective to ask Yahweh, “Please give the gift of repentance to my family, and turn their heart toward you;” or be very specific: your parents, your brother and sister, aunts, uncles, spouse, or children. The same prayer goes for others within your church. These kinds of prayers are what Yahweh wants us to ask Him for.

    As you begin to walk in His Word, your life will become a loud testimony. As you grow in the knowledge of Yahshua, He may put certain things on your heart to say to certain people. But whatever we say, it must be for their good, and said with comfort – not to hit them over the head with your Bible verses, but to love them.

    Most churches will not be willing to hear these Words today, for unfortunately they are wrapped up in the Error of Balaam. Most today are doing what Balaam did: Balaam simply rejected the “earlier” word of Yahweh (today they reject the Old Testament), accepting only the “later” Word of Yahweh (today they accept only the New Testament). You might look at a few of the other writings in this Blog on this subject.

    Images or pictures on a shirt, pictures in textbooks, and printed-out pictures, are like pictures anywhere else. They are probably not graven images. (It would be good to reread the definition of a graven image in the article.) But I would not want a picture on my shirt that is representative of Yahweh’s work of redemption, especially a picture of Yahshua. It seems risky to me, as though it borders on idolizing the image. Be selective, or if in doubt, opt for no pics at all for your own things. But for other things that are not yours, like books, or on church walls, just ignore them. Pray for the people.

    In school, it’s like at home. If it is your room, you can remove what you like. Otherwise, realise graven images are all around us, but they do not have to affect us. The consequences for having graven images falls on the owners. You remove what belongs to you. However, it is important to fully communicate with spouses, parents, or others in authority, when asked.

    In the Bible, Daniel had the same situation. He lived in the midst of idolatry, but he didn’t let it affect him. He prayed often, and was careful to keep Yahweh’s Word in his own personal life. Daniel was not called to account for what others did, and neither will you.

    Even Naaman the Syrian asked for prayer (2 Kings 5:18-19), as he had to live under the authority of a pagan boss, and he was also surrounded with idols. Elisha then told him to “go in peace.”

    Seek Yahweh in the Scriptures, and Pray often. He will accomplish what we ask, if we ask according to what He wants for us.

    In His love,

    Brother Bill

  26. Michelle says:

    Hi, thank you so much for this. May the Lord bless you.

    I got some major things that need to be addressed.

    First, could you please pray for this household? It has so many graven images. I can’t get rid of all of them, I wouldn’t be allowed.

    Also, could you please pray for the church I go to because it has graven images (like pictures of Jesus)? I know it’s wrong but how could I tell them? How is it my place to say something? I’m kind of scared to….

    What about a shirt that has a Bible verse, but it’s got images, is that idolary?

    Also, what if I’m kind of stuck with the graven images on my shirts?

    What about when I run into graven images in school? Like in the textbooks.

    What if you’re trying to help a cause with pictures, but the pictures are printed out, is that graven images? I know you said about “pictures”, but what about printed out pictures?

    What do I do if idolary is all around me and I wouldn’t be allowed to get rid of all of it?

  27. notesfromthewilderness says:

    Thank you Hadassah, for your comments and question.

    Our current understanding is that photographs, while they can be representations and images of living things, are not graven (“carved”) or fashioned images. They are not made or fashioned by man to become a three-dimensional depiction of one of Yahweh’s creations, male or female, or the sun, moon, and stars. However, there are a few exceptions.

    Some photographs and pictures can become strongholds for demonic spirits. For example, the spirit of “another Jesus” can attach itself to a “picture of Jesus” on the wall. We know it is only the artist’s depiction, and is not really a picture of the Saviour, so it is “another Jesus,” thus becoming a stronghold for all sorts of spirits of anti-messiah.

    Some photographs and pictures can also become strongholds for demons if they are associated with the owner’s improper soul-ties or other unhealthy relationship.

    Photographs and pictures can also become “idols of the heart, if they incite lust by looking at them.

    So, in general, photographs and pictures do not appear to be graven images by Yah’s definition. But above all, do not take my word for it — seek out all these things in Scripture, to see what is true!

    This is today’s understanding, and if tomorrow the Holy spirit reveals differently, we are willing to respond quickly. A good motto is, “When in doubt — Throw it out!”

    He is leading us onward! Praise Yah!

    In His love,

    Brother Bill

  28. Hadassah says:

    I am very thankful to have come across this article, may Yah bless you for taking the time to write this. I do have a question: What about photos, would it also be considered a graven image by Yah?

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