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 incurable 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 the Second Commandment.

The Second Commandment says to NOT MAKE or ACQUIRE a graven image of any living being. Yahweh knew if we were to make them or have them, we would become attached to them, and that is a form of worshipping them. Through our natural sentimentality toward an object, we can create an attachment to that object, and an eventual stronghold of idolatry.

Besides this, having something in our home that Yahweh has told us NOT TO MAKE or ACQUIRE is disobedience. Yahweh knows that having forbidden graven images leads to idolatry.

Our disobedience becomes idolatry when we practice ‘our own understanding’ of the Scriptures, rather than what the Scriptures actually say. Our own understanding becomes an idol, when it becomes a substitute for Yahweh’s Word. Thus many Believers today are unknowingly practicing idolatry, when they make or have a forbidden object, yet do not ‘bow down’ to it.

Simply 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 to the Second Commandment!

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. (1Corinthians 10:14)

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1John 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 Seminaries 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.


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.”

Pastors, do you experience a lack of prayer results, or perceive a blockage in your ministry? Perhaps you might want to consider whether you have unknowingly allowed forbidden objects into your home or office.

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 testimony from several sources.)

Comments and Questions:

•Is a cross a graven image?
•Is a picture a graven image?
•Is a photo a graven image?

For these answers and more, see Comments below:

Helpful Comments and Questions

Further Insight:   New   For pictures of graven images & idols most Believers have in their homes (unknowingly), see the article How to Follow the Second Commandment 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.

To gain a Scriptural understanding of how Born-Again Believers, as well as entire households can remain under a curse, see How to Break Generational Curses.

Related Articles:

  • If You Love Me, Keep ‘My’ Commandments – Do we show our love for Messiah, in the way He has told us — or have we lost sight of His identity?
  • What Are the Ten Commandments? – Also called The Ten Words, these Scripture passages are shown in both Hebrew and English, enabling us to see for ourselves what these Commandments actually say. When we as New Covenant Believers understand whose words they are, we can better know how to respond to them.
  • Obeying Torah is Not About Salvation – Obedience to the Torah [Father’s House Rules for His family] is not about our redemption by Yahushua’s blood. Instead, it is Messiah’s New Testament instruction to all Born-again Believers in how to abide in Him, how to love Him, and how to walk as He walked.
  • Seven Biblical Guidelines for Studying the Bible: Using Scripture to Interpret the Scriptures – What is the source of our current understanding of the Bible? The pure Truths of Scripture are of highest importance — how we understand the Scriptures will affect our eternal condition! To avoid being deceived by man-made doctrines, we must not rely on Preachers, Teachers, Bible notes or commentaries. Instead we must study and understand the Bible for ourselves — not looking through the lenses of tradition or man-made Bible study methods — but relying only on what the Bible actually says about how to study and understand the Scriptures! Here are 7 Biblical Guidelines that show us the way!
  • Contending for The Faith – We are exhorted to contend, to fight to remain in The Faith that was originally given. Scripture shows what The Faith is, and shows why and how we must contend for The Faith. Overview of how the adversary attacks the foundation of The Faith, with examples of contending for The Faith.
  • The Wise and Foolish Virgins – Yahushua tells us why many today are not prepared.
  • The Wise and Foolish: According to Yahushua – Messiah tells us in clear and simple terms for our instruction, who the wise and foolish are today!
  • The Wise and Foolish Virgins: The Separation of the Wise – The Scriptures reveal a 2-step process of separation from the multitudes, for those who would grow in Wisdom.
  • Let No Man Steal Your Crown – Reveals there are men today trying to take away, and steal your Bridal veil, and your crown; things that allow your crown to be stolen; the Doctrine of Balaam, and how it will steal your crown.
  • The Wedding of the King’s Son: A Parable – A parable revealing the astonishing – and magnificent – nature of the New Covenant
  • Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition – How Scripture defines Idols and Graven Images; How these items affect New Covenant Believers, for our warning.
  • Who is the Chaste Virgin? – The Bridegroom is coming for His Bride — one who is chaste, and without corruption. The Scriptures warn us of the many forms of corruption, and how to remove them, in order to remain chaste, and ready for the Bridegroom.
  • The Promised Land: Choosing to Enter In – Yahuweh gives us freedom to choose whom we will serve; we may then choose to enter in, by His Grace, or we may choose not to enter in, depending on our choices
  • True Grace – by David M Hargis – A Biblically accurate overview of New Covenant Grace as used in the context of the majority of the apostle Paul’s writings.
  • Grace-Grace – As seen in Zechariah 4, Yahuweh’s New Testament Grace is two-fold; both aspects His Grace are required to walk in Righteousness.
  • New Covenant Liberty: Freedom to Choose – Many surprising and astonishing features of the New Covenant are revealed in this in-depth look at the New Covenant.

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

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192 comments on “What Your Pastor Never Told You About The 2nd Commandment
  1. Wayne says:

    IF a photograph, whether in digital form or paper is forbidden, then what about laws requiring photo ID to prevent dead people from voting?

    • Notesfromthewilderness says:

      As discussed here in great detail in the comments, photos per se are not forbidden in Scripture.

      • This you are wrong about. A photograph is an image period and forbidden in the Bible.

        • Notesfromthewilderness says:

          Yes, that certainly would be the safer choice for any who are not sure what the Scriptures actually say. But that idea when taken to its modern-day conclusion [no passport; no drivers license] would prevent one from being a functional Believer who is “in the world but not of the world.” We must all seek out what the Scriptures actually say, and then we must each choose to act on what we find. Blessings and shalom —Brother Bill

    • All the answers are in the Bible. A government photograph is covered by that governments seal.
      Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.
      Mark 12:17 Then Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” And they marveled at Him.

  2. Mark says:

    Well if I came to a clear understanding of anything from reading these responses it’s how much people love and want to hold onto, and essentially worship, the things of this physical world from below rather than the spiritual things from above. Most importantly, it helps me recognize ithis within myself.

    I had other words intended to convey, but as I was writing this the following Scripture came to mind. It seemed to summarize entirely for me what the eyes of our hearts should be gazing upon:

    2 Corinthians 4
    17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  3. Miguel says:

    I cleaned my house yesterday, my wife and kids were very understanding and supportive on getting all graven images out of the house. My question in what about fake plants?

    • Yes, the fake plants are copies of what God created and must go as well.

      • Notesfromthewilderness says:

        We can gain better understanding of what Exodus 20:4 is saying, by looking at Deuteronomy 4:16-18, which gives us further detail:

        “Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure [image or resemblance of] the likeness 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 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)

        • Jacki Williams says:

          Add the sun, moon and stars to this list as well.

          Deuteronomy 4:19 beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

  4. Rachel Quigley says:

    You have not explained the content of the verses I quoted. For instance,
    “For Christ is THE END OF THE LAW…” Romans 10:4
    What is your defintion of THE END of something?
    “…ye also are become DEAD TO THE LAW by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another,,,,Romans 7:4.
    What is your definition of being DEAD to something? Which part of you responds to something you are supposed to be DEAD to?
    ” Christ hath redeemed us from the CURSE OF THE LAW…” Galatians 3:13
    We are supposed to follow something that is a CURSE even though we have been redeemed of it? (Look up the definition of redeemed = “compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).” So the Law was a curse (that qualifies as a bad aspect, wouldn’t you say?), and Christ compensated for it. That is, He made up for it. He paid everyone’s debt! He cried out, “It is finished!” We don’t have to contribute anything but belief because He paid our price IN FULL.
    There IS an old covenant = the Law, and the New covenant = Grace. This is what Christ meant when He said, “…this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:20.
    I believe Bill is in agreement with me that you do not have to follow the law to be saved. It’s something you may choose to do BECAUSE you are saved.

    • FJ says:

      Hi Rachel

      the misunderstandings come from reading into the words of God things we are taught that do not line up with the whole counsel of scripture.

      God’s Law is truth according to Jesus and the truth sets us free.

      We are no longer under the law of sin when we are in Christ. It is sin which leads to death not the Law at all. By the grace of God he gives us a new heart to abide in His ways which are life to all who follow them.

      The prophets show us in many places the Law stands eternally but with the mindset that the law of God is not a good thing many do not even register them when reading.

      There was Never anything wrong with the Law of God it was our hearts that were the problem.

      Jesus shone on the Mount of transfiguration because of His righteousness that came from being obedient to the Law of God by Faith in the Father, just like Moses face shone after receiving the commandments and then after coming down he had to cover his shining face from the assembly. Sadly the congregations’ opportunity to shine like he did faded away because of the sin of the golden calf separated them from the glory of the Law which is the perfect will of God for mankind. Jesus actually brings that back to us…ie to walk in covenant again with the atonement provision for our transgression ongoing but the indwelling spirit to enable us and guide us into all truth.

      Be blessed by looking closely into early church history and find that the paradigm you have received to interpret what you read is not the paradigm Jesus taught or lived but the one Paul warned us about. The best short video presentation I have come across is from houseofdavidfellowship.com History of the church. It may give you reason to rethink your interpretation if you are sincere in seeking truth.

      Brother Bill is on the ball too. You follow the Torah out of love. Messiah reveals himself to those whose heart is to love him and their neighbour in truth.
      Love in Messiah
      May we finish the race by the rules

      The curse of the Law is death and other penalties here on earth for breaking God’s righteous demands on his creation (read deuteronomy)

      End of the Law means the purpose of the Law… not its conclusion.
      God gave it is for blessing all mankind and life to all when obeyed by faith.

      Our dear Christ is what that actually looks like as an example for us. Remember death could not hold him.

      It is finished is his life poured out for us. He took the punishment we deserved but if you know the prophets there is much more prophesy to be ‘fulfilled’ as in to come to pass still.

      We are not even to the New Heaven or New Earth yet nor has the tribulation come so perhaps you may have to admit your statement is far too sweeping in that all is actually completed.

      Read Isaiah 66 and find out what the people who survive the tribulation will be doing and also Ezekiel 44 and find out that gentile believers will be priests in the Millenniel Temple and that they have to be circumcised in heart and in flesh!

      There is so much in the bible it is hard to know all of it but keep going as a humble seeker of truth for the sake of the one who died for you to have undeserved eternal life.
      be blessed.

  5. Rachel Quigley says:

    Dear Michaela,
    Thank you for replying. Please explain these verses:
    Romans 10:4 King James Version (KJV)
    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    Galatians 3:13 King James Version (KJV)
    13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

    Romans 7:4 King James Version (KJV)
    4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

    Romans 2:12 King James Version (KJV)
    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

    I know you mean well, but please re-read Romans and Galatians as you have missed the whole point of the New Testament. We are NOT under the old law, Christ fulfilled it, and we are “married to another” – HIM!

    You say, “grace is actually to know what your sin is”. No! The Law defines what sin is. Grace is the free gift of salvation that none of us deserve but are given for our belief in Christ’s atoning death and resurrection.

    The Law makes us conscious of our sin. Sin consciousness drives us away from God and increases our tendancy to sin.. (Think of Adam and Eve, when they became conscious of their sin, did they seek out God? No, they hid!) We are not to live in shame and guilt – this is not the shining face of a joyful Christian living abundantly in Christ!

    Yes, Jesus tells us to keep His commandments, but then He goes on to define what He means – He commands us to LOVE one another. (Notice the word LOVE does not appear even once in the 10 Commandments.)

    John 15:10-12 King James Version (KJV)
    10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (Notice He differentiates between His commandments and His Father’s commandments. He kept His Father’s; we are to keep His.)

    11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

    12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

    Be careful because if you are living under the old covenant (Law), you will be judged under the Law. Spoler alert: Everyone living under the Law fails the test! God knew this, and in His love for us, he sent Christ to fulfill the Law and let us live under Grace where all our sins are forgiven, even the ones we don’t repent of. (You really think you can repent of every sin?! There are probably hundreds or even thousands that you aren’t aware of – every moment of pride, anger, worry, etc.! Are we to focus on our sin and obsess that maybe we missed one? No – enjoy the freedom that is knowing Christ! He’s got you covered!

    Law vs. grace is such an important and misunderstood concept. Please pray, read your Bible, and study this so you come to understand. Josept Prince on television does an excellent job of explaining law vs. grace. I think people have a natural tendancy to want to contribute to their own salvation. Instead of getting rid of all the stuffed animals in your house, focus on the FINISHED work of the cross. Quit trying so hard to contribute your piddly two cents worth to the price Christ paid for you. God’s love and blessings are not based on your goodness, they are based on HIS!

    • Michaela says:

      Rachel, There is no ‘old law’ and no ‘new law,’ there is One law, for all, that is the constitution under which we are to live when we are committed to the will of Yah. And now we do not have the freedom to do what we want, it’s not your will but His. It’s not what I set up, but what Yahuah has said; as for the rest, I point you to read carefully what Bill wrote earlier.

  6. Michaela says:

    Thank you brother Bill, for clarifying before I could type something here to Rachel, but nevertheless I want to add that here in the hope you don’t mind.

    Here now my answer to Rachel: If you don’t obey the law, because you think you have grace and don’t need to obey the law, then you don’t know what your sin is all about.

    Oh I see, you think you don’t sin, because your sins are washed away once and for all? Maybe your former sins are, once and for all (if you seriously repented of them); but how can you repent of something when you do not even know what sin is, because you don’t know the law?

    If you don’t know the law, neither will you recognize your future sins. If you don’t know what the law says in that regard, you transgress the law by sinning. The grace is actually to know what your sin is, but you can’t, for you think the law is been done away with!

    Yahusha didn’t come to abolish the law (Torah) but to establish it, says Shaul/Paul.

    The instructions and rules and the laws within, are the covenant of Yahuah’s kingdom. If you put the law of the United States, the constitution away, you are nothing more than an anarchist, one who lives lawless.

    If you put the Torah away, which Yahuah has constituted for His kingdom, and intends for you to keep, then you are a covenant breaker as you transgress the Torah, and if you do not repent of this, then the day will surely come, when Yahuah puts you away. That means you will be cut off from being one of His people, and from His kingdom.

    It’s a tragedy to see and hear, how the false doctrine of being under grace and not the law, deceives people into thinking the law is canceled. Shaul/Paul never taught this, and you can only come to this conclusion that he would, when you pick and choose what fits in your wrong doctrine.

    Make no mistake: Paul and all the other apostles taught Torah, called the Brith Chadasha, what you wrongly call the NT, but it is a renewed covenant, and is one and the same covenant with the Torah as it’s base.

    And above all, in the apostles lifetime, there wasn’t yet found any Brith Chadasha writings, for it was written later; back then they all taught TORAH, just as the Messiah Himself taught them; and He kept it 100% — otherwise He wouldn’t be the Messiah.

    If you want to get serious in the Faith of a true believer, then you’ve got to do the same as the One true Elohim/G-d of Avraham, Yitzak and Yaakov, the Elohim of all Yisra’el and what He ordained you to do.

    He says to you: If you love me, then keep my commandments (ToRaH).

    One thing for sure, is that you have to learn and study the Word of Yah for yourself like a Berean, and prove if it is so what Yah says; most Christians make the mistake of NOT proving for themselves, but take the words of their pastors for granted. Rather, you have to take Yah’s word for granted, for He does not change, and neither does His word.

  7. Rachel Quigley says:

    The Law/10 Commandments no longer has any bearing over us because its demands have been fully met in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ who satisfied the righteous demands of the Law restores us into a pleasing relationship with God and keeps us there. No longer under the penalty of the Law, we now live under the law of grace in the love of God. If you live under the Law, you will be judged under the Law!

    Romans 10:4 King James Version (KJV)
    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    Galatians 3:13 King James Version (KJV)
    13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

    Colossians 2:13-15 King James Version (KJV)
    13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

    15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    Romans 7:4 King James Version (KJV)
    4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

    Romans 2:12 King James Version (KJV)
    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Rachel, for your comment. You are absolutely correct! The apostle Paul tells us that Messiah certainly is the end [the goal] of the Law [Torah=instruction] for all Believers (Romans 10:4), just as the end [the goal] of the Commandment is love and a sincere faith (1Tim 1:5), and as the end [the goal] of our faith is salvation (1Peter 1:9).

      Paul then tells us more about the goal of the Law — that the Law is intended to bring us to the person of Messiah [who is our goal], so that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24).

      Yes, and it also true, that those whom Messiah has redeemed by his blood, have remission (forgiveness) of their past sins (Romans 3:25). And Messiah has indeed redeemed us from the curse that the Law pronounces against all disobedience (Galatians 3:13), so that we are no longer under compulsion to obey the commandments of Messiah, including those He gave to Moses.

      Those who love Messiah however, will choose to obey His commandments, simply because they love Him (John 14:15; 1John 5:2-3), and they desire to abide [‘remain’] in Him (John 15:10), and they choose to walk as He walked (1John 2:6). These are the Wise Virgins, who are today making themselves ready for the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:10; Rev 19:7). To gain more understanding of how the wise Virgins learn to love the Bridegroom, see The Wedding of the King’s Son: A Parable.

      Most Believers however, are not being taught by their Pastors and spiritual Leaders, that the apostle John defines ‘sin’ as “the transgression of [disobedience to] the Law of Moses” (1John 3:4).

      Nor have many Believers been taught the apostles’ exhortation to all who have been redeemed by Messiah’s blood — that all Believers are urged to ‘stop committing sins’ — that is, ‘stop transgressing the Law of Moses’ (1Co 15:34; Eph 4:26; 1John 2:1; 1John 3:4).

      Nor have many Believers been taught that it is the ‘Law’ that gives us awareness of what is/is not sin (Romans 3:20); so that without the warnings of the Law, we can easily commit many sins because of gross ignorance of Messiah and His ways.

      Messiah tells us that only those who truly repent [that is, convert or turn to walk in God’s ways] will enter the Kingdom (Mark 1:15; John 3:3, 5; Acts 3:19). When we repent, and stop committing sins, it is not an attempt to establish ‘our own’ righteousness, but it is simply submitting ourselves to Messiah Himself, who is the ‘Righteousness of God’ (Romans 10:3).

      We might ask ourselves this question:

      As born-again, blood-bought, spirit-filled Believers, which of Messiah’s Commandments do we not want to obey? Do we want to dishonour our parents, or lie, steal, commit adultery or idolatry, or not honour the Sabbath days? These are all part of the Ten Words (Commandments) that Messiah gave to Moses; and only those who choose to love Messiah, will choose to love Him in the way He has told us — by keeping His Commandments (John 14:15).

      Remember, it is the Wise Virgins who continue to ‘watch’ and pray (Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36).

      It is the Foolish Virgins, however, (Matthew 25:1-13) who have not understood from a Hebrew perspective, that the meaning of the word ‘watch’ includes these meanings: “to guard, observe, celebrate, keep Sabbath or Covenant or Commands.”

      I would encourage you to study the Scriptures for yourself, and to seek Messiah in the Scriptures! He is a rewarder (Jer 29:13; Heb 11:6) of them that diligently seek Him! Messiah is the WORD of Yahuweh, and it is He (Gen 15:1) who is our exceeding great reward! -Brother Bill

      • Rachel Quigley says:

        Thanks for your speedy reply. I agree that we have no obligation to keep the law (But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:25), but may choose to do so out of love. You say believers have redemption “from their past sins”. Jesus’s blood covered ALL sin, past, present, and future. Repent means to change your mind about your disbelief, not to stop doing all your sins. If you can stop doing them yourself, what do you need Christ for? When we become believers, Jesus changes our hearts, we don’t do it. We don’t confess and turn from our sin in order to be saved, we confess and Christ turns us from our sin because we are saved. And yet we keep on sinning…but thankfully, we are cleansed of all sin. Of course we don’t try to keep sinning, but we inevitably fail and He loves us anyway.
        Whereas your article had some good points about not being ovely attached to things, it still had a very legalistic tone. There are no demons lurking in my children’s Barbies and teddy bears – Jesus protects my home. The herculean effort needed to remove every figure from one’s home does not speak to the REST we are to experience by trusting the Lord and knowing God is in control. I am in a state of rest and tranquility knowing ‘no weapon formed against them shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17).

        • notesfromthewilderness says:

          Michaela is entirely correct in her comments to Rachel. When the apostle Paul says “past sins” he means “past sins.” Any subsequent sins are covered when we do 1John 1:9.

          Most today are not even aware of what is/isn’t considered sin. The apostle John gives us the definition of sin:

          “…sin is the transgression of the law” (1John 3:4b).

          According to 1John 3:4, if we transgress [disobey] the law of Moses [Torah = Father’s instructions for His children], we commit sin. The apostle Paul tells us (Romans 3:20b; Romans 7:7) that it is only by the Law [Torah] that we distinguish between what is/isn’t sin.

          Messiah said three times, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Matt 24:35; Mark 13:51; Luke 21:33). And so anyone who teaches that the Law of Moses has been done away, is speaking by the spirit of a false prophet!

          Many of today’s Bible teachers are repeating the deception first seen in the garden of Eden, by calling into question the applicability of the Words of Yahuwah. This error is also called the “Error of Balaam,” and results in the “Doctrine of Balaam.”

          As Believers, we have to choose whether we are going to follow man’s doctrines, and continue to sin, continue to be workers of iniquity (Matthew 7:23) — or whether we will choose to follow the words and example of Messiah, and walk as He walked (1John 2:6).

          As Believers, we must choose whether we will be among the Wise Virgins, or among the Foolish. Most Believers today are still among the Foolish Virgins, as they have been deceived by their spiritual Leaders, and are not making themselves ‘ready’ for the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:10-12; Rev 19:7).

          I have written extensively on the main website, of the many aspects of the choice we are to make. I urge all to be as the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11): prove all things against the Scriptures (1Thess 5:21), and then by much prayer, choose wisely! —Brother Bill

          • Rachel Quigley says:

            I repeat, PLEASE EXPLAIN THESE VERSES:
            Romans 10:4 King James Version (KJV)
            4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

            Galatians 3:13 King James Version (KJV)
            13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

            Romans 7:4 King James Version (KJV)
            4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

            Romans 2:12 King James Version (KJV)
            12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

            Yes, the Law defines sin. I never said otherwise. But we are not longer under the demands of the Law. Because I am saved, Jesus has changed my heart, and the Holy Spirit guides me to not sin. I follow His guidance because I love HIm and want to please Him. But I don’t do it to be saved – I already am. In a nutshell, you believe you must follow the Law in order to be saved. I follow the Law (as best I can) BECAUSE I am saved. You cannot possibly confess every sin unless you give a blanket statement, “please forgive me of all my sin past, present, and future.” So, in your view, if you sin and are immediately hit by a bus before you confess, you are damned to hell?! And what about the sins you are not even aware you committed?
            Please actually answer my questions this time instead of just stating your view point and saying that “Mikaela is entirely correct in her comments”. So you think she was “entirely correct when she said, “grace is actually to know what your sin is”? That is your definition of grace? “To know what your sin is” is the definition of Law, not grace, obviously.

          • notesfromthewilderness says:
            Thank you Rachel, for your comments. You said, “I repeat, PLEASE EXPLAIN THESE VERSES”:
            1. Romans 10:4 King James Version (KJV) – 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

            In your reply of 2 July, you addressed that question to Michaela, not to me. Perhaps you had not read my previous reply of 06/17, in which I already answered the Romans 10:4 question. Here is my 17 June reply to that question:

            Thank you Rachel, for your comment. You are absolutely correct! The apostle Paul tells us that Messiah certainly is the end [the goal] of the Law [Torah=instruction] for all Believers (Romans 10:4), just as the end [the goal] of the Commandment is love and a sincere faith (1Tim 1:5), and as the end [the goal] of our faith is salvation (1Peter 1:9).

            Paul then tells us more about the goal of the Law – that the Law is intended to bring us to the person of Messiah [who is our goal], so that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24).

            Here are the Scripture passages to which I was referring:

            For Christ is the end [telos – the aim, purpose, or goal] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:4)

            Receiving the end [telos – the aim, purpose, or goal] of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:9)

            Now I ask, “Has our faith been terminated, or done away with?”

            No, our faith has not been terminated, or done away, and neither has the Torah [law] been done away. The phrase ‘the end’ in these two passages does not mean the “termination of,” but means the “end result” — the aim, purpose, or goal. We must interpret any Scripture passage in light of what the rest of the Scriptures say, without contradicting any of the Scriptures.

            2. Galatians 3:13 King James Version (KJV) – 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

            Here the apostle Paul tells us that Messiah has indeed redeemed [purchased] us with His blood. He took upon Himself the curses [proclaimed by the Torah] that were due to us, because of our past sins (Romans 3:25), which sins John defines as disobedience to Torah (1John 3:4). And in exchange, Messiah gave us His Righteousness.

            3. Romans 7:4 King James Version (KJV) – 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

            Yes indeed, we become ‘dead’ to the Torah, when the Torah no longer has any claim on us. Just as a widow is free from her former marriage covenant, we are now free to marry another, who is Messiah the Bridegroom.

            4. Romans 2:12 King James Version (KJV) – 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

            Those who have committed sins outside of awareness of the Torah [those who have never heard of Torah or of Messiah] shall surely perish, under judgment pronounced by the Judge, and not the Torah; and those who have committed sins while having awareness of the Torah [yet are outside of Messiah], shall also perish, under judgment pronounced by the Torah.

            You said, “Yes, the Law defines sin. I never said otherwise. But we are not longer under the demands of the Law. Because I am saved, Jesus has changed my heart, and the Holy Spirit guides me to not sin. I follow His guidance because I love HIm and want to please Him. But I don’t do it to be saved – I already am.”

            Yes, you are correct. We are not under the ‘demands’ of the Torah, but we are, like the apostle Paul, under the voluntary ‘constraint’ of the Torah (1Co 9:21), in order to allow the Torah define sin for us. We follow Messiah’s words in Torah, only because we love Him, and want to please Him.

            This is the reason all Born-again Believers should try to obey the Torah. The Holy Spirit guides us, exhorting us not to commit sins, which the apostle John defines as disobedience to Torah (1John 3:4).

            5. You said, “In a nutshell, you believe you must follow the Law in order to be saved.”

            This is not true, but is a false presumption. Do you continue to honour your father and mother [The 5th commandment (Exodus 20:12)]?
            And do you refrain from committing murder and adultery [the 6th and 7th commandments (Exodus 20:13-14)]?

            If you do obey these commandments, should I therefore assume that you obey them in order to be saved? Many today, who are being taught religious traditions and ‘doctrines of men’ rather than what the Scriptures actually say, would think you obey them in order to be saved.

            6. You said, “I follow the Law (as best I can) BECAUSE I am saved. You cannot possibly confess every sin unless you give a blanket statement, ‘please forgive me of all my sin past, present, and future.'”

            Yes, we can only do the best we can. But today there is an abundance of false teaching of doctrines of men, which have re-defined the Biblical concepts of grace, law, righteousness, sin, repentance, holiness, and many other Biblical concepts, so that these important terms are not properly understood by new Believers.

            Also notice that according to Scripture, there is no such idea as a ‘future’ sin. All sins are in the present or past, and must be dealt with by the blood of Messiah in order to be absolved (1John 1:7-9).

            7. You said, “So, in your view, if you sin and are immediately hit by a bus before you confess, you are damned to hell?! And what about the sins you are not even aware you committed?”

            Again, this is a false presumption. If we properly understand our redemption by blood, and how Biblical grace, repentance and forgiveness operate, we will not have such silly notions as being damned to hell for unconfessed sins.

            8. You said, “Please actually answer my questions this time instead of just stating your view point and saying that ‘Michaela is entirely correct in her comments’. So you think she was entirely correct when she said, ‘grace is actually to know what your sin is’? That is your definition of grace? ‘To know what your sin is’ is the definition of Law, not grace, obviously.”

            Yes, it is only by Father’s grace that He would open our eyes to recognise what He considers sin, which is what the Torah is all about. Would you suggest that we ourselves can open our own spiritual eyes, without the grace of Messiah? Would you imagine we can define sin on our own, without knowing what Messiah has spoken to us in the Torah?

            Even for us to be aware of a sin is indeed, one of many works of Messiah’s grace! So Michaela is entirely correct in her comment.

            In summary, it appears that your questions and comments are not about the words of the 2nd Commandment that Messiah gave to Moses, but they appear to be some sort of protest, based on certain misunderstandings you have, of the apostle Paul’s words regarding the Torah.

            We must try to avoid the many false prophets and teachers today, whose focus is not on the person, words, and example of Messiah Yahushua, but on many opposing religious doctrines. It is these false teachers who twist the true meanings of the apostle Paul’s writings, just as they were doing in the days that the apostles Peter and Jude wrote their epistles.

            But how can we discern which are the false teachers?

            The apostle Peter tells us that many [Bible teachers] ‘twist’ the meaning of Paul’s writings, and lead many away with their [the teachers’] error (2Pet 3:16-17). Instead, we are commanded to grow in grace (2Pet 3:18). So if our teachers have given us an erroneous and false notion of Biblical grace [this was the problem in Jude’s day (Jude 1:4)], the result is that we will not be able to obey this command to “grow in grace”!

            When interpreted correctly, the words and teachings of Paul mesh exactly and perfectly with the words of Messiah, according to Scripture! This is why Paul could say:

            Be ye followers [‘imitators’] of me, even as I also am [an ‘imitator’] of Christ. (1Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Php 3:17)

            Many Bible teachers today are teaching a ‘twisted’ version of Paul’s writings, and these false teachings actually contradict and deny Messiah.

            Thus if we want to understand Paul’s writings correctly, we must find the interpretation that is in agreement with Messiah’s words, and indeed, all of Scripture, as I have written in my treatise, Seven Biblical Guidelines for Studying the Bible: Using Scripture to Interpret the Scriptures.

            If we desire to learn what the Scriptures actually say, we must study the Scriptures on our own. We must be on guard, because the many (Matt 24:11) false teachers and false prophets who twist Paul’s writings, use the Romans 10:4 passage [and others] to claim that the Law [Torah] has ‘ended.’ That notion, however, would contradict the words of Messiah:

            “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Matt 24:35; Mark 13:51; Luke 21:33)

            Have Heaven and earth passed away yet?

            If not, then the Law has not yet passed away. This tells us it is still against Father’s will for us to lie, steal, commit adultery, and dishonour Father’s sabbath days, and to violate the other instructions Messiah has given us through Moses.

            At this point, some would say that we must differentiate between Messiah’s commandments and His Father’s commandments, thinking they are not one and the same (John 14:24).

            Those spiritual Leaders [and their followers] who claim that Messiah’s commandments are ‘different’ or ‘separate’ from His Father’s commandments, do not ‘know’ Messiah. It is these Leaders [and their followers] who will hear, “I never knew you,” for the following reasons:

            • They do not ‘know’ that Messiah is the Word of Yahuwah, (John 1:1,14);
            • They do not ‘know’ that it was this same Word of Yahuwah who gave the commandments to Moses!(Ex 9:21; Num 3:16, 3:51, 4:45, 15:31, et al);
            • They also do not ‘know’ that it was the Word of Yahuwah who also appeared to all the Prophets! (Gen 15:1; 1Sam 15:10; Isaiah 38:4; Jer 1:4; Eze 6:1; Hos 1:1; Joel 1:1; Jonah 1:1; Micah 1:1; et al)
            • And as a result of not knowing Messiah’s identity, they continue to reject most of Messiah’s commandments, and they continue in iniquity [lawlessness], by disobeying Messiah’s words to Moses (Matt 7:21-23). And refusing to become “DO-ers” of His words, they became deceived (James 1:22).

            This idea — that Messiah’s commandments are different from Father’s commandments — is the main pretext of much of the false doctrines of Rome, that are practiced by much of modern evangelical churches today. This is why Rome still advocates the worship of graven images — because they say that only Messiah’s commands apply under the New Covenant, thinking they are different commands from the Father’s commands.

            Please be aware, that the above article on the 2nd Commandment simply describes only one of many aspects of serving Messiah, by following the words Messiah gave to Moses. We may choose to believe, and to follow Messiah, by becoming a “DOer” of Messiah’s words. Or we may choose not to believe, and not to follow Messiah, by not becoming a “DOer” of Messiah’s words. This is the choice we must all make (Joshua 24:15; James 1:22-25).

            In summary, if we want to serve Messiah, we must learn not to follow men and their religious doctrines, but we must learn to follow Messiah, and walk as He walked (John 12:26; 1John 2:6).

            This is what it means to ‘follow’ Him: to walk in His footsteps, by walking as He walked.

            How did Messiah walk? He did not sin — He did not transgress the law [the Torah] (1Pet 2:21-22; 1John 3:4). We follow Messiah, by obeying the Father’s commandments (1sam 15.11; John 12:26; 1Pet 2:21-22; 1John 2:6).

            Those who are preparing themselves to be among His Bride-company [the wise], are those who are simply learning to follow Him, learning to walk as He walked — by walking in obedience to His word, and by following His examples.

            Also please be aware, that this comment section is not conducive to lengthy replies, which always require 2 or 3 or more Scripture passages to reveal the proper answer to every question. So I suggest that if you have many questions, please email us with your questions.

            We often receive questions by email, and we are glad to answer all sincere questions by return email as best we are able. We also have many teaching articles on the main website, explaining many of the apostle Paul’s words in light of what the rest of Scriptures say.
            —Brother Bill

  8. benaiah juma says:

    Idolatry is a sin and God hates it.

  9. JMB says:

    Thank you for addressing this under-addressed subject.

    I’ve read the scriptures on this subject and “Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition”, and most of the comments and answers. I’ve done some housecleaning. I’m re-evaluating to make sure I’ve gotten it all. I desire nothing but obedience to Yahoweh.
    I have a couple questions that remain. I understand the 3-d versus 2-d part of the definition. In several of the comment answers, you allude to certain abominations that would include 2-d images. In one place you mentioned frogs and owls. If I understand correctly, these would include 2-d images. Is there a teaching, or list of scriptures on what these abominations include, so I can check my house.

    My other question, that I don’t think was addressed prior, is sports stuff. My husband, who does not actively follow Yeshua as I do, has seahawks emblems on many items in our home. They are not under my jurisdiction- they are his-, but I can actively attempt to persuade him (not sure how successfully, but I can try) if these items are bringing a curse to our home.

    Again thank you for taking the time to teach us newbies coming out of the all grace- no laws churches.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Jennifer, for your comments and questions. You have made a good start! But be patient. It has taken our family years to clean out everything, as we learn more each year.

      As for a list of Scriptures, notice that Ezekiel (Eze 8:10-12) saw in vision, sometime around 593 BCE, that the leaders were worshipping things that were abomination to Yahuwah. These were not graven images, but were what we might call pictures of idols drawn or painted on the wall. These were pictures of the many unclean animals and creeping things that were worshipped in Egypt, whose images were portrayed on the walls of the private, inner chambers of the Temple in Jerusalem.

      As for a list of items to be removed from the home, and discussion of these, I recommend the following:

      As for the sports emblems, these are likely not graven images forbidden by Scripture as you describe them, and would not bring a curse as such. However, the sports emblems themselves, and the sports they represent, can become idols if we give undue time, attention, or esteem to them.

      Someone once said, “Whatever you give the most of your spare time and attention to, is your god.” For most men, competitive sports are a great attraction, but are also a ‘time-robber,’ and potential for idolatry. We must all work hard to keep our priorities right.

      And I must mention that our redemption and salvation is still based on “all grace” and “no laws.” The difference is now that Messiah has redeemed us by His blood, we desire to love Him, as He has told us (John 14:15). To love Him however, requires that we choose to abandon our own ways, and walk in His ways, and to abide in Him — which is to walk in Messiah’s Commandments, and to obey His Laws He gave to Moses — in other words, to walk as He walked (John 15:10; 1John 2:6). Blessings and shalom! -Brother Bill

    • All photographs are graven images. Use a dictionary to look up the words and you will have a clear understanding of the verse Exodus 20:4. All television is idolatry and prophesied about in Revelations. The beasts are here. These are the End Times.

  10. Startingnow says:

    Are family pictures not allowed? We are not to worship it but really? Even on my phone? I’ve disposed some things already. What about pictures of animals in canned goods or cat foods it seems to me that it is a bit inevitable since it is products.

    • Photographs are graven images. Any photograph is a graven image. I’ve thrown away all my family photo’s. I have deleted photographs online where I can and I am still sending out apology letters for taking, giving and posting photographs. I remove the labels from food before entering the home and in many cases I remove the labels at the store. The Holy Spirit says I can use my cell phone without the camera and video app. I may use the internet without photographs, videos and television. I use the internet to shop, pay bills, and talk about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Television is a graven image maker and is written about in the book of Revelation. We call it the beast box. Television is an abomination.

  11. Jess says:

    So the twelve lions that King Solomon placed on the steps of his throne were graven images? I’m not so sure about this. And the commandment states Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am o jealous God. So it’s clearly referring to the worship of these images not just having them as Solomon did. I usually don’t argue things like this but I think your misleading and confusing a lot of people.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Jess, for your comment. It is good that you mentioned Solomon’s lions on the sides of the seat of his throne, and on the steps of his throne (1Kings 10:19-20). Solomon’s life is a good example for us, to see the cause-and-effect principle in the Bible, how that one sin begets another of like kind. In Solomon’s life, his initial disobedience can be easily seen as having forbidden, graven images (those that depict lions, which are living beings).

      We also know that later in Solomon’s life, he went astray into idolatry (1Kings 11:3-10). We might ask ourselves, “How could the wisest man in the world be led off into idolatry?” When we look at Solomon’s life, we can see the cause-and-effect principle of his idolatry began at some point earlier in his life. His putting the forbidden, graven images of the lions around his throne is likely to have been that starting point, because it was the ‘throne’ [the kingdom] that Yahuweh took away from him (1Kings 11:11).

      This same cause-and-effect principle can also be seen in the matter of the brasen serpent in the wilderness. Because the Israelites complained and spoke against God and against Moses, God sent fiery serpents among them. And to heal them, Yahuweh commanded the brasen serpent to be made and put on a pole, so that all who looked upon it would be healed (Numbers 21:5-9). The brasen serpent was a prophetic picture of the curse, which Messiah would later become on our behalf (Galatians 3:13), and it was also a picture of how Messiah would bring healing to all who looked to His death on the cross to bring eternal life (John 3:14-15).

      But there is a cause-and-effect principle to be seen in the matter of the brasen serpent. God commanded it to be made for a specific occasion, but it was retained long after it was needed — and years later it became an object of false worship by the Israelites, and had to be destroyed (2Kings 18:4). Had the Israelites not retained it, they would not have made it into an idol to be worshipped.

      The ultimate intent of the commandments is love — which includes not going into the adulterous relationship that idolatry is; but because of the cause-and-effect principle, God tells us not to “make, acquire, have, etc.” the object.

      When a father tells his children, “do not play with matches,” the father expects his children to obey. The ‘play’ is not the father’s focus, but the result of the cause-and-effect principle is his focus — the father does not want his children to be burned. For further discussion of the cause-and-effect of disobedience, see my article, Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition.

      Most Bible teachers today tell people falsely, that the second commandment refers only to objects that are worshipped. And most people today do not do as the Bereans did, to search the Scriptures, to see for themselves what the Scriptures actually say.

      You and I can choose whether we will obey the commands as they are actually written in the Bible, or whether we will obey these Bible teachers. As for me and my house, I do not want to be burned. I choose to obey Father’s commands as they are actually written.

    • Mike says:


      The whole bible refers to a graven image as an object of worship. Never as a toy or stuffed animal or decoration or any other type of 3d item. I would say you are being pretty overzealous, but more power to you for that, better to cut off anything that might cause you to sin then go to hell, right? If you fear you might be accidentally worshiping dolls you should definitely get rid of them.

      • notesfromthewilderness says:

        Sorry Mike, you are mistaken. You are looking at a corrupted Bible translation, and a corrupted definition of the Hebrew word pecel. I suggest you use the KJV with Strongs numbers, as it is based on the least-corrupted and most reliable underlying manuscripts.

        As I point out in the longer article Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition, Scripture reveals that the Hebrew word pecel stems from the verb pacal, which simply means to hew or cut into shape. In Deut 26:1, we can plainly see that Graven images and idols are not the same, but are two separate entities, each having different Hebrew words and meanings.

        So we see that ‘graven’ images are simply objects that have been ‘graven,’ which is cut or hewn into shape — some forbidden by Scripture, and some not forbidden — as the clear wording of Scripture reveals.

        All “idols” however, whether de facto idols or de jure idols, are objects of worship, and are all forbidden. Most Believers today do not yet understand the difference between a graven image and an idol.

        And so let’s stop refusing to learn. Let us no longer continue in willful ignorance and in slothfulness. Instead, let us study the Scriptures for ourselves, and seek Messiah, the One who gave the Commandments to Moses.

        Also important to note, is that for a Believer to have an idol or forbidden object out of ignorance is ‘not’ the cause for someone to sin and go to hell. The cause of sin and resulting hell is:

        • 1) an unrepentant heart that continues to reject the free offer of redemption and forgiveness by the blood of Yahushua Messiah; and
        • 2) continued, ongoing rebellion against the Word of Yahuweh, Who continues to call His people to repentance — calling them to stop sinning, and begin to follow Him — calling them to abandon their own ways, and to walk in His ways.

        And those with experience in deliverance ministry, will tell you that one does not need to ‘worship’ dolls, but merely have them, to bring a curse to the home. –Brother Bill

    • The verse says nothing about the lions being carved. In saying “nothing had been made for any Kingdom” he is referring to the throne. 1 Kings 10:18 Additionally, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with pure gold. 19 The throne had six steps and a rounded top at the back of the throne. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, with a lion standing beside each armrest. 20 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like this had ever been made for any kingdom.

  12. Son of the Living God says:

    Brother Bill, I would like to thank you for taking the time to inform people like myself, who are not sure to what graven images are and are surrounded by these things. This article has opened my eyes to what is around me. House-clearing, not a problem. And you are right, ‘If in doubt, throw it out’. Doubt does not come from our God. Doubt comes from satan, do not listen to satan.

    I can hear the murmurs of people, ‘But I don’t want to throw this and I don’t want to throw that’. What people have to understand is when they get a thought it comes from 1 of 2 places, from God and not from God. If they are getting a thought saying to them not to throw something out, it is not coming from our God. It is coming from the source that wants to keep them in chains. You would simply not get a thought to throw something out, that is not a graven image or likeness. You would only get a thought to throw out what you are meant to throw out. As simple as that.

    Again, I thank you Brother Bill, Blessings.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Son, for your thoughts and comments. Yes, if we are going to walk with Messiah, we must listen for His still, small voice to direct us.

      Perhaps many today have forgotten that Messiah’s voice is always in full agreement with what He spoke to Moses — but the voice of the accuser is not in full agreement with Moses’ writings. And Messiah asks us (John 5:47), “If we do not believe Moses’ writings, how can we believe Messiah’s words?”

      The answer is, we cannot. For Moses’ writings are Messiah’s words.

      And it was Messiah who said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), and “If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love” (John 15:10a).

      So if we love Him, and desire to abide [‘remain’] in Him, we must study the Scriptures diligently for ourselves, in order to know which voice we are following, and ultimately whose commandments we are obeying!

      Blessings and Shalom,
      Brother Bill

  13. Anthony Quickle says:

    Hmmmmmm…. Don’t think so. A “Graven Image” is an image that is worshipped, created for worship, created as a replacement for God. When God gave his commandments to Moses & the Children of Israel (and thus to the world), He was correcting the form of worship practiced by Israelites that had fallen under the sway of the Egyptian polytheism. God was establishing for them that the practices they had seen & often observed in Egypt were no more. They were now to worship the living God, the only God. Banning the idols / graven images was God’s codification and reminder that there was only one God, and no carved image could contain Him. A three dimensional inanimate object is just that. Nothing more. And my home, is under no fictitious “curse” because I have sculpture, nor am I because I create sculpture. Silly people.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Anthony, for your comments. What you describe as an “image that is worshipped, created for worship, created as a replacement for God” describes not a graven image, but an idol. A graven image need not be an ‘idol’ to be forbidden by Scripture — and not all graven images are forbidden.

      It is the graven images that depict living things that are forbidden by Scripture, even though they may not be worshipped as idols. And according to Scripture, it is technically our ‘disobedience’ [having a forbidden object, or other sins] that brings the presence of demons and curses into our homes (Deut 4:23; Eph 2:2; 1Pet 5:8).

      You and others may think these things to be a silly idea, or merely some man’s opinion, but this is what the Scriptures actually say. It is by our obedience to Scriptures that we learn to ‘abide’ in Messiah, and this is also how we learn to truly ‘love’ Him (John 14:15; 15:10; 1John 5:2-3). I encourage everyone to study the Scriptures for themselves, and then obey what it says.
      —Brother Bill

    • You are wrong. God says not to make anything. And the sculpture you made is an idol. God says this is all vanity. He clearly tells you again and again in the Bible not to make any such thing and yet people will argue and fight over the these meaningless items instead of focusing on God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. God has said,
      1 Corinthians 6:9
      Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts,.
      Exodus 20:4 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:

  14. Rin says:


    Thank you so much for writing this article. I have only recently started studying the bible and I was confused when I came across the second commandment about not making any graven image or likeness of anything living thing on earth or of heaven above. I’ve always been taught not to idolize any image, person, carving, etc but I didn’t realize that just by owning a decoration I was breaking the second commandment.

    Please bear with me as I’ve only just started reading Deuteronomy so maybe my question will be later answered in the bible but I would still like to ask your opinion on this.

    My friend and I had a bit of a debate, she says that because Jesus died for our sins that the laws of the old testament such as burnt offerings are no longer needed. When Jesus was asked, what are the most important laws of God, Jesus answered to love God and to love thy neighbor. So I argued that if the laws of the old testament were no longer in place, why then do we follow the ten commandments and she told me because Jesus said to love God and by obeying the commandments it pleases him and thus you show you love Him. As far as I can tell, God also really likes peace offerings and sin offerings, etc, so why then don’t we practice these customs, wouldn’t that please God and show that we love Him? There are many other laws in the old testament (not eating pork or not wearing mixed fabrics) but people only ever seem to focus on the ten commandments and I’m just curious as to why?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, this questions been bugging me for awhile.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Rin, for your questions.

      In general, we must be very careful about things of Scripture we claim are no longer needed. If a command or requirement of the law is no longer needed, it will be clearly stated in the Bible, perhaps in the book of Hebrews.

      As for the burnt offerings, the apostle Paul tells us (Romans 12:1-2) that it is our bodies, and our lives, that are to be a ‘living’ sacrifice, to live for Him. This is the meaning of the burnt offerings in the Old Testament, and this is the ‘sacrifice’ they pointed to.

      The prophetic meaning of these sacrifices has been revealed to us in Hebrews 10:8-10, in quoting the meaning of Psalms 40:7-8. Here we are told that the earlier ‘literal’ sacrifices of burnt offerings (the first) has been taken away, so that He may establish the later fulfillment or ‘prophetic meaning’ of these offerings (the second) — which is doing the Father’s will. Hebrews 10:10 tells us it was in doing the Father’s will, that the literal sacrifice was fulfilled in Messiah, once and for all.

      This ‘second’ offering (in Hebrews 10:8-10) was spoken and fulfilled by Yahushua, when He said, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Since He is our example, and since we are to walk as He walked (1John 2:6), then we know that this ‘second’ offering is for us to do also — by our saying, “not my will, but your will be done”.

      As for the two ‘commands’ to love God and to love our neighbor, these are like two titles or headings, under which all the other commandments are arranged. For example, the first 4 of the Ten Commandments tell us how to love God; the last 6 of the Ten Commandments tell us how to love our neighbour.

      And contrary to popular religious tradition, none of the commandments have disappeared.

      As for why we follow the Ten Commandments, your friend is correct. The reason we follow the Ten Commandments, and all the other ‘Old’ Testament Commandments, is two-fold.

      First, let’s remember that it was Messiah who gave the Commandments to Moses, and it was Messiah who led and followed [accompanied] the Israelites in the Wilderness (1Cor 10:4). So when Yahushua said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), He was telling us that those who truly love Him, are those who obey His Commandments. And ‘His’ Commandments include those He gave to Moses.

      Second, obedience to Messiah’s Commandments is all about being a participant in the Everlasting [New] Covenant. Most of the New Covenant Commandments, provisions, promises, and blessings are found within the ‘Old’ Testament writings. Overall, the commandments in the Bible can be considered Father’s “House Rules” for those who will rule and reign with Him in the Kingdom.

      As for God liking peace offerings and sin offerings, our Father tells us He does not like these offerings (Psalms 51:16; Hosea 6:6; Hebrews 10:5), but He does like what they point to in their fulfillment in Messiah, and in us.

      As for why many folks seem to focus only on the ten commandments, Perhaps it is because of a lack of balanced Bible teaching from many pulpits today.

      We are told in Jude 1:4 the reason for this lack of balanced Bible teaching. It is because there have been “certain men crept in unawares” [into the Seminaries, Bible Schools, and Churches], “who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).

      Today as a result, we have a ‘watered-down’ Gospel, which is not “the” Gospel, but is “another” gospel.

      We have a ‘watered-down’ version of Grace, which is only one side of a two-sided coin.

      Our church teachings have become mixtures of truth, along with man-made traditions and man-made Doctrines and Commandments, which turn men away from the Truth (Titus 1:14).

      And it is for these reasons we must each study the Scriptures for ourselves, to see what it actually says. We must “contend for The Faith” if we desire to have The Faith that was originally given to God’s people (Jude 1:3).

      And I commend you for seeking out the answers to these questions! But I would add, do not believe any of what I have written, without first confirming them in the Scriptures as being true!

      Blessings and Shalom to you and your household,
      Brother Bill

  15. Sam Ogara says:

    Bro Bill,
    But God chose Bezalel, “filled him with his power and given him skill, ability, and understanding for every kind of artistic work, for planning skilful designs and working them in gold, silver and bronze for cutting jewels to be set; for carving wood; and for every other kind of artistic work.” “.. him and to Oholiab gave them “…..the ability to teach their crafts to others.” As “he has given them skill in all kinds of work done by engravers, designers….”(Ex35; 30-34).
    “…any graven image, or any likeness of any thing”(Ex20:4), was it not for things that speak, see, hear, smell, feel, and walk; things that can make sound-of spirit and body?

  16. Michele says:

    Then what did God mean when he said dont make anything of the likeness that he made in heaven if its not referring to pictures and Tv.

  17. Rosalie says:

    Also interested in your views on using emojis. I’m inclining to the view that I should stop using them…

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      These also appear harmless. But “When in doubt, throw it out…”

      The leading of the Holy Spirit will ‘always’ be in agreement with the written Word. So if we want to discern what the Holy Spirit is telling us about a matter, we must learn for ourselves everything the Scriptures say about that matter. This is especially true in the matter of graven images and other forbidden objects! —Brother Bill

  18. Rosalie says:

    So helpful to read your guidance, thank you!

    Strong’s gives a number of meanings for “likeness” including “pattern, form,shape”. So I’ve been wondering whether 2 dimensional likenesses of animals should be avoided: I have fish on one window blind and birds on another and butterflies on some wallpaper.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      When we see how the Scriptures actually define a forbidden images, we see these are all 3-dimensional objects. From what I can see at present, a 2-dimensional picture is not forbidden as such. There are many forms of forbidden pictures however, that are forbidden — not because they are 2-dimensional, but because of what they portray. Those you describe do not fit the Biblical description of graven images. —Brother Bill

  19. Joe says:

    I just thought you should know that there is a toys r us add at the bottom of your page for all kinds of graven images (kids toys). So in a way your promoting the very graven images you hate….. I’m pretty sure gods not gonna be happy about that.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Yes, there is not much we can do about the commercials on the page. Let’s just say that after you have read the article, and have reached the bottom of the page, you will be tested to see what you have learned. The advert for toys is your test. Remember that what God builds in us, He tests. Let’s just hope that we will learn well, and pass the tests He gives us! —Brother Bill

  20. Tracy says:

    Dear Brother Bill,
    Thank you for all the time you devote here to helping others listen to the word of God, and His Holy Spirit. I am trying with all my heart to seek God, and will continue to regarding this commandment. I do NOT want to do ANYTHING that will offend Him or the Holy Spirit, and especially invite evil or demonic presence.

    My question are for a few items, that I am uncertain about… and will continue to seek God now that I have read some of this website.

    A couple of crosses that I love to wear.

    A heart shaped pendant …. and a Bumble bee pendant… is that included too? (both from my Mother who has just recently passed, the bee was purchased just before she died for me, after 45 years of a terribly dysfunctional relationship… so I have very little of hers, and seems disrespectful to throw this away?)

    2 Toy Snakes that are placed in the Garden to ward off Ducks from continually being in the Vegi patch. They actually work, and before I got them, the Ducks were always in there destroying everything.

    Nativity Scenes that contain the Beauty and reminder of the Christmas Story…. are these also wrong? Yet the story is in many picture books to tell the story, why would the Nativity Scene in figurines be different?

    And Angels around my home. Some have been given to me by family members, and are definitely NOT worshipped by me, but something pretty that’s all.

    I do NOT worship ANY of these…. ONLY my Lord and God …. but isn’t that what Graven Image is…. AN IDOL we worship?

    My hesitance is not that I wouldn’t happily give ANYTHING away, or throw ANYTHING away God asked me to, but my hesitance is I do NOT wish to offend those who gave me these gifts and hurt them by throwing them out… if this is NOT the will of God. And I’m making an offense to these people that are already NOT close to God. ie: a futher wedge or stumbling block for them.

    My husband is one of these, who has NOT yet given his heart to Jesus…. after 35 years, and he is still unrepentant, and thinks he is Good enough :(

    Please Pray that I hear this direct from God Brother.

    I fight alone here as a front line Christian for Generations to come, and need to do this right !!

    Thanking you soooooo much for your help and Prayers,
    Blessings to you in Christ Jesus,

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Tracy, for your questions and comments.

      To answer your questions thoroughly, I would recommend you read the other questions and comments on this page, and also see two articles that discuss the 2nd Commandment in more detail: What Are the Ten Commandments? and Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition.

      To answer your questions briefly, we must first understand one important truth.

      Most Christians today have a difficult time understanding the Commandments of Scripture, because they have been taught a ‘watered-down’ form of Grace teaching. This teaching contradicts much of Scripture, and we are warned against this teaching in Jude 1:4.

      This teaching fails to recognise that it was Messiah Himself [the ‘Word’ of the LORD] who appeared to Abraham, and spoke all the Commandments to Moses.

      As a result, many Christians have been taught erroneously, that the Ten Commandments, and all the other Commandments in the old testament writings, are not valid for New Covenant Believers.

      Thus when Yahushua tells us, “If ye love me, keep ‘my’ commandments” (John 14:15), many have not realised that He is referring to ‘all’ of His commandments, including those He gave to Moses.

      Those who choose not to keep His Commandments, are those who do not ‘know’ Him — and they will hear the words, “I know you not…” (Mat 7:23, 25:12; Luke 13:25).

      Now for the brief answer:

      • cross (no body attached): does not depict a living being: not forbidden
      • cross (with body attached): depicts a living being: forbidden
      • heart shaped pendant: does not depict a living being: not forbidden
      • Bumble bee pendant: depicts a living being: forbidden
      • 2-Toy Snakes: depicts a living being: forbidden
      • Nativity Scene: depicts a living being: forbidden
      • Angels around the home: depicts a living being: forbidden

      You also asked, “Please Pray that I hear this direct from God Brother.”

      I would suggest that we have already heard direct from God, and it is already written for our admonition in the Scriptures. When God speaks to us by His Holy Spirit, it will ‘always’ be in agreement with what He has already spoken, and is already written in the Bible. The Holy Spirit will ‘never’ contradict Himself, by saying something contrary to Scripture.

      It is now a matter of what we choose to do. Would we rather offend God or man? Would we rather be God-pleasers or man-pleasers? Paul said, “…am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10b).

      Some Believers find it very difficult and costly to discard some of their forbidden objects, giving us a clue that these objects still hold us in a form of bondage.

      When we obey the Scriptures, it can sometimes be a stumbling-block or offence to others. But if we choose not to obey the Scriptures, it becomes a stumbling-block to us. It is the stumbling-blocks that cause us to stumble in THE WAY, that prevent us from walking with Messiah, in the way of holiness.

      Yahushua is waiting to see what we choose to do. His great yearning and desire is that we would ‘overcome’ all opposition to our walking with Him.

      Let’s remember also the Biblical principle, that Father opens our eyes to ‘understand’ a matter, only after we begin to ‘obey’ Him in that matter. This is a major Biblical principle — See Seven Biblical Guidelines for Studying the Bible: Using Scripture to Interpret the Scriptures.

      I hope this gives a little light regarding your questions. I will pray for you, that God would reveal His truth to you in this matter. I have found it helpful to do what God tells us to do in Jeremiah 33:3, and to pray the prayer of David in Psalms 119:18. You might do this also!

      Blessings and shalom,

      Brother Bill

  21. Jazmin says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article! What about the cross? Is it okay to have a graven cross necklace or wooden cross?

  22. Jimmu says:

    I have gold cross pendant for my chains. Is it a graven image???

  23. Robert Ellison Smith says:

    I have a question: I have a plaque made out of wood with “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. is that acceptable? The Holy Spirit led me to your site. Amen and Amen. Blessed be the Lord our God Yahweh.

  24. Carron C says:

    I have just come across this site and I know it was not coincidence. YAH has already spoken to me about this and I cleared out my house partially for I left my little girl some things (with toys) with the intention of returning later to continue the clearing. This did not happen and I have subsequently chosen to try and ignore His Instructon to me to avoid upsetting my little girl. However I cannot continue doing this I know I can not continue knowingly in disobedience. Praise YAHWEH FOR loving me so much to not allow me to bring harm to my family and household what a wonderful FATHER HE IS.

  25. Vera says:

    Hi, lovely reading this entry and the comments. I’m a single mom of a 5y old, God poured His light on me last Spring and I instantly became a believer of Jesus, God, Holy Spirit and the bible in full. We had no TV and my son has never played computer games. We do though watch Youtube clips and movies on Jesus and bible stories. Especially the “Beginner’s Bible”. I always tell my son that the bible is the only truth, and that sometimes the stories we watch are simplified, sometimes even not exactly true. He is very smart, very understanding and doesn’t find it perplexing or confusing. He sees me read the bible every day – and I read it to him too at night. He starts a humble Christian school in the Fall.

    Question though: Are we ok with the bible stories and the likes on Youtube? It is sort of the only “worldly” thing we do.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Vera, for your question. With the many Bible stories and Bible teachings on the internet, we must be vigilant to discern between what is Bible Truth, from what is man-made tradition. You mentioned that “sometimes the stories we watch are simplified, sometimes even not exactly true.” You can use this understanding of yours to teach your son even further, as you allow him to watch the videos.

      For example, as your son matures, you can challenge him to look for things that are not true, as he watches a Bible story or teaching. In this way, he will gain a head start in learning that the “real world” religious makeup is a “mixture” of truth and man-made tradition (error). With your continuing to read Scripture to him, and with practice, he will become proficient in spotting the errors, and he will be better able to avoid the errors in later life.

      So yes, you might want to continue the Youtube videos for your son (with your oversight). You might also consider reading him a Proverb-a-Day, one chapter a day, like spiritual vitamins. There are 31 days, and 31 Chapters in the Book of Proverbs. On the 1st day of the month, read Chapter 1. On the 2nd, read chapter 2, and so on. Every young man (and young lady) needs to learn these basic, spiritual principles in the Book of Proverbs, as they are the “building blocks” of spiritual discernment, and of walking with our Heavenly Father. -Brother Bill

  26. Caroline says:

    Can you please tell me if artificial plants and flowers are graven images

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      According to the Scriptures, artificial plants and flowers are not graven images. See further questions and comments in this comment section, of what is, and what is not, considered a graven image.

  27. Jake says:

    hi. i have also seen what you have seen regarding images and i continue to study.
    there are some items that should be considered:
    – hitler had his portrait or photo put at the front of churches.
    – the world will bow to the image of the beast. Greek eikon, “icon”. defined as portrait in strongs corrected concordance.
    -when a digital image is printed on paper, there is a tiny engraving that occurs on the paper.
    – in the older books, God tells people in wilderness to make graven images for the ark, tent of meeting and the snakes lifted up on the pole….these verses need to be investigated- easily nullify what we both see about images. Btw, think about this: idol…doll very similar words. also, santa and satan.

  28. Robin says:

    It was interesting to find this article concerning Exodus 20:4. I was reading the Bible & wondering exactly what this meant. I recently decorated my bedroom in western style items, i.e., spurs, canteen, cowboy hat, rope, saddle bag etc. I think those items are okay, but I have a few items in question that maybe you could answer for me. The verse states graven images of living things – well, I have a manufactured cow skull with horns. It is not of a living item, but a thing that has died. What do you think? My sister-in-law bought me 3 iron horned toads. I bought a manufactured deer horn cross & had an iron works man make an iron woman & man kneeling in prayer before the cross. I thought that was a good thing, but after reading your post, it is actually depicting someone kneeling before the cross instead of God. I had good intentions in designing my bedroom to look western style, but now I am thinking to remove these objects. They were not intended to be worshipped, but all the same, I am now wondering. I also have Avon items in another room with a cowboy & bucking horse, a bull, a horse, a colt. In yet another room, I have a large painting of a cowboy riding a bucking horse. As you can tell, my entire house & yard is decorated to look western style. I had bought 6 milk cans online for 6 citrus trees I am going to plant in them. I printed out 6 horse heads & lacquered them to the milk can for decoration. I would like your opinion on all these items. Finding they are wrong, I will remove them. I can replace them with other nonliving objects. Thank you sincerely.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      The manufactured cow skull with horns would indeed be an image of a (once) living being, and thus included among the forbidden objects. The 3 iron horned toads would also be on the forbidden list. Note that the ‘manufactured’ (read “graven”) images of the skull and iron toads are not actually alive, but depict those type of animals (or parts of animals) that live on the earth (Ex 20:4; Deut 5:8).

      Those containers that are made in the form of a cowboy and bucking horse, or in the form of a bull, horse, or colt, would likewise be considered forbidden according to Scripture, for they are all living things. The painting of a cowboy riding a bucking horse, and the printed-out horse heads lacquered to a milk can, as you describe them, do not seem to be forbidden.

      “If in doubt, throw it out!” -Brother Bill

  29. HisCreation says:

    Shalom! I have another question but before I ask, I’d to testify that since we have cleansed our home per conviction of the Set-apart (Holy) Spirit, our daughter has not had any night terrors and the mysterious scratches that would appear on the back of her neck after having those screaming middle of the night episodes have NOT reappeared!! Praise Yahweh!!! Now that we have told our family what we have done, my Mother (in particular) basically thinks we’re crazy and on “some other religion”! (LOL) My husband and I have prayed for her to be released because she does not see the spirit of idolatry operating in her life – leading her to think and say all kinds of silly things to us. Just yesterday, I tried explaining it to her in a way she would understand but again I was met with great resistance. So my question is – Can you be specific about things that are acceptable according to the 2nd commandment, particularly pertaining to children and toys? She thinks our children can’t have anything now and although I told her that yes, they play with wooden blocks, Legos (minus the people and animals), kitchen sets with dishes and food, books, etc., I still can’t get through to her that she can still buy for our children, just not certain things. Her mind isn’t allowing her to think beyond “certain things” because to her that means everything. :(

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      What a great testimony of Father’s goodness!

      Many are discovering that as they obey the Second Commandment, there is a real blessing that accompanies their obedience! The unclean spirits that try to torment us, can not remain in a room or house — but must vacate the premises — wherever the occupants are obeying the Scriptures.

      As for toys, any toy that does not depict a living creature would be fair game. For example, cars, boats, planes, trains, blocks, legos, all do NOT depict living creatures.

      Examples of forbidden objects would include toy soldiers, dolls of all types, angels, toy animals of all types, fast-food toy ‘action’ figures, robots, conversion or ‘transformer’ toys, alien beings, and any other form that depicts a living creature, real or imaginary.

      We must understand that many people have an imposed spiritual blindness due to their [former] idolatry, and that the blindness is removed only after repentance and obedience. Thus we must not condemn, but be gentle [and patient] with family and friends who do not understand, and pray fervently that Father would give them repentance.

      It may also be helpful to explain to those who are Born-again Believers, that it was Messiah Himself [the ‘WORD’ of Yahuweh] who appeared to Abraham (Gen 15:1), and who gave the commandments to Moses (Num 15:31). And so those Believers who obey the Biblical commandments (including the Second Commandment) are simply showing love to Messiah, who gave the commandments to Moses (John 1:1, 14; John 14:15). -Brother Bill

      • HisCreation says:

        Shalom and thank you for helping me understand it even further! May I ask that you stand in agreement with my husband and I in prayer for my family, that they would seek understanding and repentance?

      • Shane Carter says:

        Exodus 20:5 Thou shall not bow down and worship them.

        Are you to live by the Law or by Grace?

        Do you want to be judged under the Law or saved by Grace?

        If you live under the Law, you will be judged under the Law.

        Jesus came and gave two commandments Love your God, your Father with all of your heart, all your might, all your strength and love your neighbour as yourself.

        The Ten Commandments are locked away in the Ark of the Covenant.

        Love your God, your Father in heaven and love your neighbour as yourself.

        The Pharisees (the knower and the keeper the of the Law) did not get it either and was rebuked by Jesus.

        If you abide with Christ your heart will be your consciences to know what is right and what is wrong, what goes against God’s will and what is the doing of God’s will.

        Don’t get caught up in the legalistic trap.


        • Notesfromthewilderness says:

          Thank you Shane, for your comments. I believe you are a sincere young man who desires to follow Messiah. We all want to hear what each other has to say about Bible matters. But before speaking out, we must first be as the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11), and learn for ourselves what the Scriptures say. So let’s look at your comments, in light of what the Scriptures ‘actually’ say:

          You said: Are you to live by the Law or by Grace?

          Apparently you embrace the popular but twisted and unscriptural concept of Law being opposed to Grace. The ‘purpose’ of Grace, according to the apostle Paul, is for obedience to The Faith (Rom 1:5), so that by grace we are enabled to serve God in an acceptable manner (Hebrews 12:28). Messiah gives us His grace, His enablement, so that we are able to obey Messiah’s words [“The Law”], which Messiah spoke to Moses. He designed His ‘Law’ and His ‘Grace’ to work together in our lives (Psalms 119:29).

          You said: Do you want to be judged under the Law or saved by Grace?

          All who are genuine Believers will be saved by grace (Eph 2:5,8); Yet Messiah tells us (John 12:48) that those who reject the words Messiah spoke to Moses [“The Law”] will also be judged by those same words [“The Law”].

          You said: If you live under the Law, you will be judged under the Law.

          Paul tells us (Galatians 3:11) that no man is justified [made righteous] by [obedience to] the law; Yet the just [those made righteous by faith in Messiah’s Blood] shall live by faith — by being a “doer” of the Law (James 1:25).

          Messiah tells us that all who reject His words [including those words Messiah spoke to Moses — “The Law”] will also be judged by those same words [“The Law”](John 12:48).

          You said: Jesus came and gave two commandments Love your God, your Father with all of your heart, all your might, all your strength and love your neighbour as yourself.

          Those who DO ‘know’ Messiah, know that Messiah did not give only two commandments. Messiah Himself gave all the commandments to Moses, including the two commandments you mentioned: “You shall love Yahuweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might (Deut 6:5) and “you shall love your neighbour as yourself (Lev 19:18).

          Those who do NOT ‘know’ Messiah, are under the mistaken idea that Messiah spoke only two commandments. They will hear the words, “I never ‘knew’ you…” (Matthew 7:23a). Paul tells us Messiah knows only them that “love” Him (1Co 8:3).

          In the Matthew 7:23 verse, Messiah also gives us the reason He did not ‘know’ them: they were [continuing to be] workers of ‘iniquity’ [Strong’s number 458 anomia, from Strong’s number 459 anomos, “destitute of the Mosaic Law” (Matthew 7:23b). And He tells us that those who love Him, are those who obey His commandments (John 14:15).

          You said: The Ten Commandments are locked away in the Ark of the Covenant.

          The Scriptures say that all who follow Messiah have the Ten Commandments [part of His word] ‘locked away’ [hidden] in their heart, so that they would not sin against Father (Psalms 119:11; Jer 31:33).

          You said: Love your God, your Father in heaven and love your neighbour as yourself.

          The Bible tells us that if you keep the first two commandments, you are obligated to keep all the rest (James 2:10).

          You said: The Pharisees (the knower and the keeper the of the Law) did not get it either and was rebuked by Jesus.

          You are mistaken. Messiah rebuked the Pharisees because they did NOT keep the Law (John 7:19).

          You said: If you abide with Christ your heart will be your consciences to know what is right and what is wrong, what goes against God’s will and what is the doing of God’s will.

          First, the apostle John tells us those who abide [‘remain’] in Messiah, and in His love, are those who keep [‘obey’] His commandments (John 15:10; 1John 3:24), and these commandments include those Messiah gave to Moses.

          Second, the Scriptures tell us that our conscience alone is not to be our sole guide. The apostle Paul tells us the conscience “bears witness” to the Law written on the heart (Romans 2:15).

          Third, the Proverbs tell us that he that trusts in his own heart is a fool (Prov 28:26a). Our heart cannot be trusted to lead us into what is true, because our heart [on its own] is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and is thus not reliable. This is why we must lean on the Scriptures, along with understanding from the Holy Spirit, for guidance in all we do.

          God’s will for us is that His Law be written on our hearts (Psalms 40:8), so that we can love Him, and walk in His ways (Psalms 119:3; Psalms 128:1). All who will be in His kingdom are called to learn His ways, and walk in His paths (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2).

          But if we are to walk in His ways, we must ‘know’ His ways. Messiah tells us that His ways were revealed to Moses, who wrote them in the ‘Law’ as commandments for us (Psalms 103:7; Joshua 22:5).

          The apostles exhort us to stop committing ‘sin’ (1Co 15:34; Eph 4:26; 1John 2:1). But the apostle Paul tells us that it is “by the Law” that we have knowledge of what sin is (Romans 3:20).

          The apostle John tells us ‘sin’ is “transgression [disobedience] of the Law” (1John 3:4). Now if we are to stop committing ‘sin’ this tells us we are to stop disobeying the Law.

          The apostle Paul calls us to be “followers [‘imitators’] of him” (1Co 4:16; 1Co 11:1). Now if Paul “delighted” in the Law (Romans 7:22; Psalms 1:2), then those who ‘imitate’ Paul will do the same.

          You said: Don’t get caught up in the legalistic trap.

          Have you not yet heard of the ‘illegalistic’ trap that many Christians today have fallen into?

          Those Believers who are ‘illegalistic’ will enter the Kingdom, but they will be known as “outlaws”, because they continue to disobey the least of the commandments of the Law — and Messiah tells us these will be considered “Least” in the Kingdom (Matthew 5:19a; Psalms 1:4-5).

          However, those Believers who are ‘legalistic’ from a Biblical standpoint, are those who continue to obey the least of the commandments of the Law — and Messiah tells us these will be considered “Great” in the Kingdom (Matthew 5:19b).

          Do we want to be considered ‘Least’ in the Kingdom, or ‘Great’ in the Kingdom? We must each choose for ourselves.

          Paul goes on to tell us, that when we break [disobey] the Law, we dishonour God (Romans 2:23).

          And so Messiah tells us with much compassion, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

          For further study you might want to see these articles:

          Blessings and shalom, to you and your household —Brother Bill

        • Jacki Williams says:

          Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

          20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  30. Allison says:

    Bill, I don’t think that it would be wise for anyone to discard the information of guides and rely solely on my own ability to understand the Bible. Anyway, I don’t recall ever hearing a sermon on the 2nd commandment that I can recall. I have read the 10 commandments, but I became aware that certain people interpreted and applied the 2nd commandment differently than I when I read in a forum for Reformed Christians that they tended to apply the Second commandment to images of Jesus. Hopefully I am representing their ideas on this correctly: they very strongly believe that Jesus should never be drawn or depicted visually in any way because then it would be a violation of the 2nd. So, I thought to look more into what people interpret the 2nd commandment to mean, and I will compare it to what I hear from others and what I am able to gather from the Bible. By the way, thanks for the references to interpreting scripture references, I am familiar with those already but I try to always keep them in mind. May I ask you a question to see if I am viewing your ideas correctly: Do you view all physical depictions of art as being idols as considered by Exodus 20:4-5? or maybe just some types of art?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Allison, for your comments and question.

      No, I definitely do not view all depictions of art as being idols. Nor does my wife, whose university degree is in Fine Art, and who co-authored this post with me. Although some of what is considered to be ‘art’ is forbidden by Scripture, not all art is in this forbidden category.

      Once we begin to obey what the Second Commandment really says, it becomes easier to understand, and easier to determine what is forbidden by Scripture, and what is not. As Scripture reveals, first we “do” Father’s will — and then we will “know” and understand. (John 7:17).

      It may be helpful to read all of the comments in this section, where there are questions and further discussion of what is, and is not, forbidden.

      With regard to ‘pictures’ of Jesus, this is not the same as a photo or picure of a family member, but is an out-of-the-ordinary category of picture. This is a picture that represents [is a substitute for] the one who is worshipped, and it is thus an idol by definition. For this reason these pictures attract unclean spirits, who come to torment people who have these idols in their homes. Just as Jeroboam’s golden calves (1Kings 12:32) ‘represented’ [were substitutes for, or idol of] the God of heaven, in the same way pictures of Jesus ‘represent’ [are substitutes for, or idol of] the true Messiah.

      And with regard to Bible notes and commentaries, yes, they are helpful in general, helping us to gain further understanding. But there is an unwritten “caveat emptor” on all Bible notes and commentaries, and yes, even on sermons and church teachings.

      To avoid being deceived, we must become as the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11), and test everything against Scripture, studying for ourselves to see whether what we hear is true, or false.

      For centuries, owning a Bible in one’s own language was forbidden. Rome deceived the people, teaching them that it was “dangerous” for individual Believers to interpret the Scriptures for themselves — for they might read something in the Scriptures that was opposite of what they were being taught.

      Let us not fall for that same deception — the idea that interpreting Scripture for ourselves is “dangerous.” We might actually see something in Scripture, that is opposite of what we have been taught! -Brother Bill

  31. Allison says:

    I think that the author of this blog may be making a straightforward commandment in the Bible into something that it is not, such as the Pharisees did to the commandment to honor the Sabbath. The Pharisees burdened the people with extra interpretations of the way to observe the Sabbath and thus missed God’s intention for creating it. Remember, they only let people take a certain amount of steps from their homes, among other restrictions. Jesus directly addressed this issue and condemned the Pharisees for burdening the people so and by twisting the intention of the Sabbath–which was made for the people to give them rest. I think that here too there is a danger for taking something good–God’s word–and twisting its meaning. It is very important to correctly understand what we read and I applaud those here who want to discern what things are idols in our society in order to not be enslaved to them, yet obsessing over rules rather than God is unhelpful.

    Specifically, the author has rather arbitrarily interpreted the restriction against graven images to not include pictoral representations, including photographs (and I would assume paintings as well). Since the intention of the Second Commandment is plainly to restrict worship to just God, I would think that (as an example for my point) religious icons which are painted representations of venerated people would clearly be a possible stumbling ground for many.

    I do not think that the 2nd Commandment would apply to such innocuous things as stuffed animals or many types of art, among other examples of three-dimensional depictions of people or animals because they are not all objects of worship. I would make that distinction that those things should not automatically be considered idols because Exodus 20:5 says that the representations admonished against are specifically those other than the true God that people worship or serve. The concept of art encompasses more than just idols. Therefore, an art piece can be something that Christians can own with a clear conscience, only if they do not ascribe more worth or devotion to it than is appropriate.

    Anything can be an object of worship, even non-animate objects, abstract concepts (e.g. erotic love or freedom from tyranny), actions (our jobs), or institutions (even love and marriage can be idolized). Anything not in its proper place in our attachment to it is sinful. So, I will finish by saying that the second Commandment has many implications: that we should not worship anything that is not God. But, do not automatically demonize neutral or good things like art or the physical things we surround ourselves with.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Allison, for your comments.

      Yes, it is indeed a tragedy today, that so many Christians receive a ‘twisted’ meaning of the Scriptures. Sadly, most Christians today are learning old wives’ tales and fables regarding the Second Commandment, and about the Torah in general — from seminaries, Bible schools, pulpits, and commentaries — instead of discovering the truth of a matter by studying the Scriptures carefully for themselves.

      For example, most commentaries today teach Exodus 20:5 as if it were a ‘qualifier’ for Exodus 20:4, supposing that an object is an idol only if ‘bowed down’ to or worshipped. Upon close examination of verses 4 and 5, however, we notice each verse has the negative particle [the Hebrew word ‘lo’], telling us that each verse is a stand-alone commandment. Together, they tell us, “You shall not ‘make’ [acquire, maintain, etc.] the object, neither/nor shall you bow down nor serve them….” This fact alone, that these are two separate and distinct commands, has great implications for Born-again, Spirit-filled followers of Messiah!

      It is instructive for us to note that Israel disobeyed the first half of the Second Commandment, in that they retained or ‘kept’ the Brasen Serpent as a memorial, which later led them into idolatry, and the Brasen Serpent had to be destroyed. This is one of several classic, Biblical examples of idolatry that began not by “bowing down” to the object, but by merely “having” [acquiring, maintaining, etc.] the object, in violation of Exodus 20:4 and Deut 7:26, which “having” led them into idolatry.

      In the same way, Christians can disobey the Second Commandment, when they violate what the first half [verse 4] of the Second Commandment actually says.

      Another common form of idolatry among Christians today is to lean on one’s ‘own understanding’ as a substitute for what the Scriptures actually say about a matter.

      I have discussed the Biblical definitions and differences between a ‘de facto’ idol and a ‘de jure’ idol, as well as the meaning and implications of what the Second Commandment actually says, in several articles:

      I would also suggest, for anyone desiring to become as the Bereans, and not become deceived by the many winds of doctrine today, that they read the following article, to see the Biblical principles the Bible itself gives for its own interpretation:

      And so my counsel to you is this. Your current view of the Second Commandment is half-correct, and that is a very good start. But because of your current lack of understanding of what the first half of the Second Commandment actually says, as seen in Ex 20:4, you are setting yourself up for becoming deceived, and falling into idolatry.

      I suggest you discard what you have heard from pulpits, Seminarians, and commentaries regarding the Second Commandment. Then go to the Scriptures, and study them for yourself, to see what they actually say. Then begin to act on what the Scriptures say, and you will avoid being deceived (James 1:22).

  32. Thak says:

    This is excellent information. God bless the posting of this. It explains really well what a Graven Image is and the harm done unknowingly. Thank you

  33. Joseph says:

    Hello. May our Messiahs abundant Mercies and Grace be poured upon you and all who read this article. Please try and be as specific as your wisdom and knowledge allows you on answering my question: “Crosses”..? All types, wood, metal, stone. Having crosses hung on a persons wall in their home? The Star of David also? As I have several Crosses, some just bare, others with an image of Yeshua hanging from it. Thank you for your time and knowledge from our Messiah. Be Blessed.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Joseph, for your blessing. You have asked some good questions, and many today are asking those same questions.

      The objects forbidden in Scripture fall under two different categories. The first category includes those objects that are “de jure” idols, that is, objects forbidden by the Scriptures, regardless of man’s response to them — regardless of whether they are “bowed down to” or not.

      Examples of these include figurines, toys, carvings, and the like, that depict human or other life forms or living beings.

      The second category includes those objects that are “de facto” idols, that is, objects NOT forbidden by the Scriptures, but which become idols based on man’s use of them or response to them.

      Examples of these include people, money, houses, cars, boats, and virtually everything that man has. Our “first love” is displayed for all to see, in how we spend our time, and our money. When the Word of Yahuweh is not our “first love,” it is because of idolatry.

      Any object or activity can become an idol, when we covet or love or honour that object or activity, or spend more time on that object or activity, more than we covet or love or honour, or spend time with, Messiah.

      The first category of “de jure” idols includes objects that are made in the image and likeness of living beings (Ex 20:4; Deut 4:16-18).

      The second category of “de facto” idols includes those objects, pictures, or writings that portray things that are abomination to our heavenly Father, or things that provoke us to lust or idolatry.

      As to crosses and other geometric objects, shapes and symbols, perhaps almost every shape has been used at one time or another to represent something evil or sinister. These sinister uses, however, do not automatically ascribe an inherent evil to the shape or object.

      For example, we may hear that the “Star of David” has an evil origin, but we recall that everything of value that is true, has been counterfeited by haShatan. We should not run in fear of what he has counterfeited, but we should stand firm in the Truth of the guidelines of Scripture. The Star of David is a geometric symbol consisting of two ‘dalets,’ one inverted over the other. There is no inherent evil in the Star of David, despite the cries of the fearful.

      A cross with a human image on the cross is a de facto idol, because of the human image on the cross. That object would also be portraying a lie, because Messiah did not remain on that cross (stake) for more than a few hours.

      An “empty” cross is not forbidden in Scripture, regardless of what it is made of. Many people, however, make a cross into a “de facto” idol when they ascribe supernatural qualities or ability to the object, and make it to become a magic charm or “talisman” — thinking it will bring healing, or ward off evil spirits. This is how many Believers consider a cross hanging on the wall, or used in jewellery.

      A cross seen in this regard, is like a “lucky” horseshoe over the door, or a “lucky” rabbit’s foot, or some other object thought to bring good luck, fortune, or safety.

      There is no real reason for a follower of Messiah to have a cross, for it could become a stumbling block to many. Most today do not understand the dangers of having a cross, while thinking of it as a good-luck charm. Instead, we are called to “carry our cross” daily, that is, to “die” daily to our own selfish wants and desires, and instead, yield ourselves to doing our Abba Father’s will.
      Blessings and Shalom to you and your Household,
      Brother Bill

      • Joseph says:

        Thank you Brother Bill for your knowledge and insight. I believe I now have a better insight to this subject, as it has been upon my spirit for awhile now. I realize that the cross was made by “man”,. as all other “objects” have been made. I do believe it is very tricky and dangerous ground for one to have these objects, especially crosses with a figure attached to them. The bare crosses have been influenced by mastema to have people believe that it offers protection, or power. The last thing I want is to be influenced by the generational curse of man whom thinks these objects are a necessity or required. I am grateful to have found your site here, and I encourage you to continue your calling and path with humility and love my Brother. May Yeshua send His Angels of guidance and instruction to you from the Sanctuary. Be blessed. Shalom

  34. Jessica L Reynolds says:

    I’m wondering why flags are not listed as consideration of an idol.

    The worship of flags in prominent around the world, some countries more so than others.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      First, we must understand that flags are not de jure idols (objects forbidden by Scripture). They can however become de facto idols (an idol of the heart), and so they are in the same category as cars, boats, money, and houses, and many other objects.

      It is not forbidden to have cars, boats, money, and houses, but it is forbidden to allow anything to become an idol of the heart. In order to forsake all idolatry in its many forms, we must first understand the various Bible definitions of what an idol is.

      If we hope to overcome the deception of idolatry (Rev 2:20,26), we must not limit our Bible understanding to two or 3 hours one day per week, but must diligently study the Scriptures for ourselves, and then become “DOers” of what it says (Mark 12:24; 2Tim 2:15; 2Tim 3:15; James 1:22).

    • Logan says:

      It might be worth noting also that the 12 tribes of Israel had standards (flags) under which they moved through the wilderness. It wasn’t an option, either, it was commanded.

      Num 2:2 “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.”

  35. HisCreation says:

    What about images on clothing? Like our son has on a duck sleeper…. Are clothing with these images be considered prohibited?

    And my husband and I were wondering about blankets and educational material such as books, flash cards, etc.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Pictures such as are found in educational materials and flash cards are not prohibited by Scripture. The pictures prohibited in Scripture are what we might call pornographic pictures, and pictures of false deities such as the various renditions of sun-god worship found in many cultures (Num 33:52).

      My wife does not know what a duck sleeper is, but we would recommend no animal renditions on clothing, and no animal-shaped clothing, as young children tend to form soul ties with the imaginary animals they represent. As parents, we need to teach our Children at an early age the Scriptural boundaries, and we must help them to avoid the many subtle deceptions in the unseen, spiritual realm.

      • HisCreation says:

        Ok great! We were thinking that it also included clothing! Just an update, since we have “cleansed” our home of all these graven images, we have felt so much BETTER and LIGHTER! :) I am still stumbling upon clothing and few things here and there with animals on them but we don’t hesitate to throw it out! Thanks so much for your response!

  36. James Gramm says:

    I agree! I also believe we cannot have paintings or drawings made with men’s hands. Photos are captured on film or electronically so a little different. We are NOT to have these for our selves, however a bean on a can or picture on money of illustration in books for learning I believe is OK. But if in doubt do not have have them.
    Never hang them on your wall.

  37. Anna says:

    I read your comments to Daniel, but I still don’t understand why a “likeness” is only a 3d object. In English, for many centuries “a likeness” meant any picture or drawing that was reasonably true to its model. Any simple and truthful reading of the Second Commandment without trying to twist the words must conclude that all photographs, images and drawings of people or animals are idols. How can you possibly split hairs about the idea that dolls are idols and yet hold that family photographs are not? And why would God hold such a different view of 3d objects than of 2d images? Surely, you don’t imply that a real spiritual force embodies 3d idols that does not embody 2d images?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Anna, for your thoughtful comment. It is good to see Yahuweh’s people searching out the good things of His Word!

      A careful reading of the commandment in Deut 4:16-18 shows that it is not “images” that are forbidden, but “graven” images. The English word “graven” comes from the verb “to grave” which means “to sculpt,” from which the word “sculpture” is derived.

      The reason the word “graven” is used as a modifier, is because if we look at the Hebrew word translated as “graven image” in verse 16, we see the Hebrew word ‘pacal’ is used, which comes from the verb ‘pecel’ meaning “to ‘hew’ [make or shape as with an axe] or ‘cut’ [to form or shape by cutting or incising].”

      So we see in Scripture that “images” of living things are not forbidden per se, such as pictures or photos of living things, but only “graven” images of living things are forbidden.

      Notice however, that this definition does not address certain types of pictures that are forbidden in Scripture, such as ‘flat surface’ images as mentioned in (Ezekiel 8:10). These forbidden pictures are indeed non-3D images, but they are forbidden because they portray things that are abomination to our heavenly Father, or things that provoke us to lust or idolatry.

      These non-3D images are just like the forbidden 3D ‘graven’ images, in that they can become a demonic stronghold against a person, against a household, or against an entire congregation. And yes, there is a real spiritual force [from the demons themselves] that are attracted by [forbidden] 3d “graven images,” that does not occur with [non-forbidden] 2d images. This is because the goal of these demons is not to embody the object, but to embody the ‘owner’ of the object who is in disobedience.

      For further insight, you might want to read the above-referenced article:
      Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition

      In any event, I recommend the motto, “if in doubt, throw it out!”

      Thank you again, Anna, for asking this question. -Brother Bill

    • Logan says:

      I’m with you on this one. It has long bothered me that we are not to have any images of anything at all that God made. The difficulty of destroying a statue of a cow would be far less that destroying the image of my daughter that I haven’t seen in years. But I am convinced this is what God wants as well.

      This would include everything else akin to it – tshirts with print, album covers with such images, comic books and so on.

  38. Annette says:

    hi Brother Bill,

    I did not have a reply button under my comment. But when you said, “As I understand the Scriptures, there is nothing in Scripture expressly stated or implied, to indicate that we can corrupt ourselves with photos, pictures, or models of flowers, trees, or plants, but only those that apply to the animal realm (Deut 4:16-18). “, Are you saying that we should not have any of these things? Thank you.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thanks Annette, for the question. I suppose I was not being very clear on my previous comment. Yes, my current understanding is that any photos, pictures, or models of anything in the plant realm are not forbidden, as these are not addressed in Scripture. -Brother Bill

  39. Daniel says:

    “The term “likeness” narrows it down to a 3-dimensional object, since a 2-dimensional object bears no likeness to a 3-dimensional object.”

    I disagree with you on this. A 2-dimensional object can have just as much likeness as a 3d object due to the power it can have. Such as the case with photographs people take of themselves and objects of this world, as well as paintings/drawings people create.

    Jewish & Amish law forbids the creation of “graven images” and interprets this to mean any image like a photograph that captures an individual’s physical likeness. It also interprets this to mean a painting or drawing.

    I would even go further and interpret it to mean Music as well due to the recording process which creates a graven image.

    Many idolize photos of models, celebrities, musicians, and youth today. Many idolize music. Many also idolize “heavenly” paintings such as the case with Akiane.

    It saddens me how corrupt this world is and how many people don’t even know what they’re doing goes against the 2nd commandment.

    So many things can be interpreted as a graven image.

    IMO..all art & music is clearly of the devil.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Daniel, for your comments. Yes, it saddens me too, that much of what many Believers are doing goes against the 2nd Commandment. It is important to see what the Scriptures say about “graven” [carved; fashioned] images and idols of the heart, as discussed in Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition.

      Yes, I’m glad you brought up pictures and music. There are certainly some 2-D pictures that are forbidden objects [de jure idols], and many also that are idols of the heart [de facto idols]. Many things such as pictures, art, music, cars, jobs, people, celebrities, etc. can become idols of the heart, when we take on an ‘attachment’ to them. For many others, the Scriptures are definitive and specific, thus we are not free to interpret as we like, any object that is clearly forbidden in Scripture.

      I might add, that as followers of Messiah, we are not to govern our lives according to Jewish, Amish, or any other religious law or tradition, but only according to Yahuweh’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

      Unless we study these things in Scripture for ourselves, we will remain in the dark, become deceived, and remain in disobedience. So if we are Believers, but ignorant of what the Scriptures say, we are likely to allow the stumbling-blocks to remain in our lives, causing our place in the Kingdom to be in jeopardy (Hosea 4:6; Matthew 13:41).

      Let’s encourage everyone we know to study the Commandments of Messiah, including those Messiah gave to Moses. Let us make ourselves ready (Matt 25:10; Rev 19:7), by keeping and obeying all of Messiah’s commandments, including the 2nd Commandment. “If in doubt, throw it out!”

    • Kick2dahed says:

      Hi there Daniel, I too agree that all art that represents “likeness” of anything in heaven, on earth or in the sea is a graven image. Im not so sure about the music tho. I do believe the recording process is where the “graven Image” is created. However, I believe live music is the way we are to worship. Recorded music no matter how good, has great limitations as far as capturing ALL of the frequencies(all of Him). Anything less than all of Him is Unacceptable. In addition the copy of it becomes a graven image of the real thing. Lots of things to throw out on this one! :)
      Its a hard transition to make.

  40. Fiona says:

    My husband is a non-believer and he has figurines in his office. I have managed to remove all figurines and children’s toys from the rest of the house but his office is his domain. I have prayed to YHWH about this problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Fiona, for your question. Regarding your husband’s figurines, that is a difficult issue. This issue requires prayer and fasting, to determine Yah’s direction in the matter. I have responded by email, outlining what I see in Scripture as a proper response. Shalom and Blessings! -Brother Bill

  41. Lee Holden says:

    Dear Sir,

    I have very recently become aware of dolls and toys coming under the umbrella of ‘graven images and idols’, it is greatly disturbing to me that I never saw this sooner.

    I think, in part, its because the church teaches the lie that the 10 Commandments are no longer for today. They say that keeping them is works (which is the opposite of Grace).

    Yet I have discovered them to be liars!

    Matthew Ch 7 vv21–23 – 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    That last part “I NEVER KNEW YOU” is the key to the whole passage!

    It doesn’t mean ‘you were never saved’! To find out its meaning, you have to cross reference to this passage –

    1 Corinthians Ch 8 v3 – “But if any man love God, the same is KNOWN OF HIM.”

    Therefore, Yehoshua was effectively saying ‘you never LOVED ME’! Of course, love is demonstrated by keeping the Commandments –

    John Ch 14 v15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    2 John Ch 1 v6 – “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

    Revelation Ch 14 v12 – “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, AND the faith of Jesus (Yehoshua)”

    Thank you so much for helping me in my walk and understanding of how to properly observe the 10 Commandments with reverence and respect!

    In Yehwehs name


    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Lee, for your perceptive comments!

      Yes, many today are beginning to see things that for many years, have been “hidden in plain sight” in the Scriptures. All glory to our Saviour Yahushua Messiah!

      As for the church being liars, many today are saying this, as Jeremiah foretold in Jeremiah 16:19. However, we must not be too hard on our Brethren. Most Pastors and Leaders have not consciously lied to the people — but they too have been blinded by Father Himself, until they decide to let go of what they learned in Seminary or Bible School, and then personally and diligently, seek Messiah in the Scriptures for themselves.

      Father is opening the eyes of all those who seek Him and obey Him!

      And to those still caught in the prison-houses of denominational or ‘church’ doctrines, the Holy Spirit is now saying, “…Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev 18:4b). Make haste!


      -Brother Bill

      • Lee Holden says:

        Thanks for your reply Brother Bill,

        I agree with you…

        I have already beaten that retreat from the mainstream Churches, although I wouldn’t call them brethren. Yehoshua said to them “I never knew you” specifically because they didnt love him (IE, keep his Commandments). Yehoshua himself said this to identify a true ‘brethren’ –

        Mark Ch 3 v33-35 “And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother”

        Therefore doing the will of God testifies as to your position with God!

        I am writing a book called “150 lies of the Protestant Church”! It has 3 sections (False Doctrines, Protestant Neo-Paganism and Liberalism within the Church). I believe this to be important –

        Romans Ch 10 v14 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

        I would very much be interested in meeting with you once I have completed this work (it will take a year or two). I used to work for a Missions board in Florida years ago, and now my path and calling is to confront the heresies within the church.

        Concerning my affirmation of Yehweh’s name there is a distinct historical reason behind this. In the Masoretic Texts (ancient Hebrew) we find the name of the saviour to be Yehoshua (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ) specifically means ‘Yehweh Saves’! Some try to append YAH (יָהּ) as part of that name, however this is not attested to by any historical Hebrew usage.

        In the KJV anytime you see the word “the LORD” that originally read as “Yehweh”. This word change occurs over 7.000 times Therefore the following verse is proven correct –

        Isaiah Ch 43 v11 “I, yes I, am the LORD (Yehweh), and apart from me there is no savior”

        It is therefore fitting that the NT saviour bears the father’s name!

        Regarding the word “Hallelujah” (or “alleluia” in the KJV). This means ‘praise the lord’. Well straight away you know something is wrong here (as Lord is not his name). Yehweh even gives us this direction regarding the future and his second coming –

        Hosea Ch 2 v16 “And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD (Yehweh), that thou shalt call me Ishi (husband); and shalt call me no more Baali (Lord)”

        The ancient Hebrew word for “alleluia” is ELaLUIE (meaning “Make IE [Yeh] Shine Like a Star”.

        I mean absolutely no disrespect. I have total respect for you and what you do, however, getting the name of the Saviour correct is absolutely vital!

        Also, Scholars have found the name ‘Ya’, ‘Yah’, and ‘Yahu’ (yahoo…?) in Babylonian tablets (dated from around 2500BC). Taking this information as base, and also the fact that Abraham was not born until 1800BC and Israel as a nation did not exist until 1400BC, Yah can’t possibly be God’s name as he doesnt share his name (or glory) with anyone else –

        Isaiah Ch 42v8 – “I am the LORD (that is not a name – his name is Yehweh): that is my NAME: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images”

        The modern bibles have corrupted many such words! Thats for another time though….


  42. H Petree says:

    You might want to change “what they have learned from the Theological CEMETERIES” to SEMINARIES. I’m sure that’s what you meant and the wrong word seriously detracts from your prudent message.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Yes, perhaps you are right. Originally we worded this in this way as a slight, as a reference to Matt 23:27, as being full of ‘dead men’s bones’, but perhaps this may not communicate well to those who do not fully understand the nature of the fruit produced by most seminaries. I have changed the wording. Thank you for your counsel! –Brother Bill

  43. Eric says:

    2 years ago we got rid of our children’s images and my wife and I got rid of ours! My wife and I were enslaved by computer games.

    The etymology of the word “worship” convinced me that I was giving value to the valueless. What is Yah’s love for my games? I should have His love for the games… Which turns out to be none!

    Then we reread Deut 5 and wow! Why didn’t we see it before??? Having eyes, we didn’t see!

    In the end, I think it boils down to this. All of what Yah command is summed up in Love Yah! He is our only source of life! When we have images, we are distracted into loving things of this world.

    We are prostitutes, all of us. We left our first love in the garden and we chase things that we love in this world. Yahshua said we should love Yah with our whole being! ALL of our hearts! I believe husbands and wives are a picture of Yahshua and those who have taken up their cross to follow Him. The “church” tells us how we might put “Jesus” first. But does any husband wish to be loved most amongst many others?

    Images simply facilitate a love for things in a broken world. I need to love that which Yah loves and those whom He loves.

    Right now, He is blessing me with much better activities than leveling my “toon” on the game “Guild Wars 2”!!! I am so thankful for His patience, grace, and mercy!!!

    Thank you for your well written message!

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Eric, for your kind words, and your testimony of how the Master is leading you and your family!

      That is a good word — that Messiah is not to be ‘first’ of many, but the ‘only’ one! And you are right — our goal is to learn to love Messiah, and to love the Brethren. Let’s remember that we accomplish these, by living within the boundaries of all of Messiah’s commandments, including those He gave to Moses (John 14:15; John 15:10; 1Jo 5:2-3).

      Blessings and shalom to you and your household!
      –Brother Bill

  44. Patti Timmons says:

    After asking my Elohim to help me clean out my heart, soul and mind, He told me I had to clean out my house first! I read in one of your answers that artificial plants and flowers are okay. After praying and looking up the words, graven image and likeness, in the Strong’s, the Spirit of my Elohim tells me that artificial plants and flowers are in the likeness of His creation. I burnt them! I’m so excited to be walking in faith that will draw me close to my Abba, as He has always wanted to do with me! Our Abba wants to know us and we know Him!!

    I pray for all ears and eyes to hear and see, that their hearts and mind be cleansed and set-a-part with the one and only Creator! Praise The Elohim of Avraham the Elohim of Yitz’chak and the Elohim of Ya’akov!


    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Very good Patti! Our Bridegroom-Messiah is opening the eyes of many today, enabling them to learn how to love Him, and to know Him, exactly as He told us in His Word. And you stated precisely what our prayer should be for our fellow Believers — that Messiah would open the ears and eyes of His people, that they may choose to prepare themselves, by cleansing themselves with the washing of the water of the Word [by becoming ‘doers’ of His Word], and by choosing to live holy [‘set-apart’] lives unto Him. Praise Yah for your victory!
      -Brother Bill

      • Annette says:

        Hi Brother Bill,
        I understand that Patti was told that artificial plants and flowers are in the likeness of His creation. But what about pictures of flowers? And also, if they drew back then, what did they draw? Our daughter is wanting to know that last question.

        • notesfromthewilderness says:

          Thank you Annette, for the visit. You have asked a good question.

          When answering questions, I try to be on the conservative side, and go strictly by what the Scriptures tell us. When others seek Yahuweh on their own, and receive something different from what I have answered, I see this as an important step in their learning to obtain answers directly from Yahuweh. And if the answer they receive does not put them in a more dangerous position, I will applaud that answer! And the matter of artificial plants does fit into the saying, “If in doubt, throw it out” [or burn it!].

          For myself, I try to go with what I see in the Scriptures. In some matters, however, I could be wrong. I do not want to be deceived, so I try to re-evaluate a matter against Scripture, each time I hear something different from what I currently understand.

          As I understand the Scriptures, there is nothing in Scripture expressly stated or implied, to indicate that we can corrupt ourselves with photos, pictures, or models of flowers, trees, or plants, but only those that apply to the animal realm (Deut 4:16-18). However, even real or living trees or branches are prohibited, if they are put to idolatrous uses (Deut 12:2; Jer 10:2-4; Eze 8:17). When seeking answers from Yahuweh, we must remember that the set-apart Spirit of Yahuweh is always in agreement with His written Word, and He does not contradict Himself.

          Good question, Annette. -Brother Bill

  45. Cathy says:

    You never answered Deb’s question above

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Cathy, for your comment. Deb’s comment above appears in the comment window as “Submitted on 2015/03/06 at 11:36 | In reply to Mary Ann.” So it appears that Deb’s question was directed to Mary Ann, and I too would like to see Mary Ann’s answer.

      In my reply to Mary Ann, I was answering her alluding to Yahushua [Jesus] as being a false god, and as being an idol in the eyes of those who do not follow Him, but who follow only the ‘old’ testament writings. My answer to her centered on the identity of the ARM of Yah, the WORD of Yah, and the MESSIAH of Yah, all of whom we know to be Yahushua [Jesus] Messiah, who is the visible person of Yahuweh Himself.

      My reply was worded in this way, as a means of communicating the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins by His blood, and of eternal life through the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah — to one who appears to be ensnared in the religion of Judaism.

  46. William says:

    This is an interesting article but a bit over the top. It suggests that sculpture of the human body is of the devil and that the famous statue of David ought to be destroyed. Perhaps the author should be the person to prove his faith by doing that.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you William, for your comment. As you are probably aware, we are each responsible for only those things that fall within our own jurisdiction, such as within our own home or office. To attempt to destroy something not within our own jurisdiction, something belonging to another, is not sanctioned by Scripture, and would be a sin. Our faith is proved only by our obedience to Messiah’s commandments written in Scripture, including those commandments He gave to Moses.
      –Brother Bill

  47. Dennis DePew says:

    Reading your article, I saw no references to the decorations, in some cases very elaborate carvings and statues used as decorations, described in the tabernacle and especially the temple of Solomon. If a graven image does not require you to bow to it and etc, why were these images not considered violations of the second commandment? Note that the design of the tabernacle came from God. So if they were graven images why would God inhabit the tabernacle and the holiest of holies of the temple?

    EXODUS 25:

    18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

    19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

    1 KINGS chapter 6:

    23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.

    24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.

    25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.

    26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.

    27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.

    28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.

    29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.

    1 KINGS 7:

    25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

    26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

    27 And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it.

    28 And the work of the bases was on this manner: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges:

    29 And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work.

    Are not all of the above 3D images of living things, or in the case of a cherub, a heavenly host?


  48. Mary Ann says:

    This would also go for Jesus because there are graven and carved images of him all over the place. The most high, Yah warns us in the old testament which are the only books that he speaks in, and he himself tells you about him and gives or tells us exactly what it takes to get everlasting life. And this includes false gods that say they are your savior, they died for your sins, they are your redeemer, because Yah the most high says he is the only one that can do this: Isaiah 45: 21,22; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 43:10-12; Isaiah 60:16; Deut 32:39; Hosea 13:4. Then he tells you about gods of stones and woods which go for the so-called Jesus. If someone tells you that the old testament is no longer needed, think again, it is the only books we need, and he is the only God we need. The Israelites are still his chosen people, Jeremiah 31:31-37, Hebrew 8:7-13 but any can fellow and will have to get life. The bottom line is, we have to stop walking in darkness by following the teaching of men and get to know Yah himself, and this can only do by learning about him in the old testament where tell about him and his laws.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Very good word Mary Ann! Many today do not realise the truth of what you have said — that the Israelites are indeed Yah’s chosen people, and that Yah the most high is the only Saviour and Redeemer! To emphasise the truth of your words, I will add this:

      • Only Yah Himself, as the ‘Arm’ of Yah [whom the sages of old say speaks uniquely of the Messiah (Isaiah 53:1-12)] — is able to fulfill His own promise — that He would bear the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:5,6,11);
      • Yah Himself, as the ‘WORD’ of Yah, commanded His words to Moses (Num 3:16; Num 3:51; John 1:14); and that the WORD of Yah is the only Saviour (Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 43:11; Hosea 1:1; Hosea 13:4);
      • Yah’s Messiah, as the Servant of Yah, promised to bring His mishpat, His collective body of precepts and judgments, to the goyim [Gentiles] (Isaiah 42:1) — and also promised to perform the priestly requirement for sacrifices, and for blood covenants, to sprinkle many nations (Isaiah 52:13-15).

      And to further emphasise the truth of your words, I will say this: Yah has promised that everyone will remain in bondage to death, as a result of sin (Ezekiel 18:4). Thus we see that even Yah’s own people remain in bondage, until He redeems them (Exodus 15:13) by the blood (Lev 17:11) of the slain Passover Lamb, sprinkled on the altar of sacrifice, onto the 2 side-posts "❘" and lintel "‒" above the door of each individual’s own house.

      Thus the slain Passover Lamb provides the blood to make a blood-stained mark, a bloody "✝" at the outside of the doorway, for Yah Himself to see when the death angel goes over. Thus we see it is ‘only’ the blood of the Pesach Lamb of Yah, on our own door-post, that saves us from death.

      In further agreement with what you said (Jeremiah 31:31-37), I might add that Yah’s covenant promises of redemption, salvation and rescue from death are given ‘only’ to the house of Israel, and the house of Judah — and are not made to members of any ‘religion’ — neither Christianity nor Judaism.

      This is why the eminent student of Gamaliel [the apostle Paul] has told us, that citizenship in ‘Israel’ includes those who become ‘grafted-in’ by faith in Messiah Yahushua (Romans 11:13-27; Ephesians 2:12-13), that is, those who look upon the WORD of Yah whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12:1,10; John 1:14), and then repent from their sins. In this way, ‘all Israel’ [both Jews and Gentiles who put their trust in the ‘Arm’ of Yah (Isaiah 53:1), Messiah Himself] will be saved (Romans 11:26).

      The question to ponder in this article is, “If we claim to be Believers, and claim to follow Messiah, have we yet repented from our sin of breaking the 2nd Commandment, that the WORD of Yah Himself spoke to us through Moses?”
      Blessings and Shalom,
      Brother Bill

    • Deb says:

      Does this mean that you do not believe in Jesus? He was God himself who came down from heaven and was born in the flesh to die for our sins.

  49. Anna says:

    I don’t what to sound stupid but what about Elmo and cookie monster, minions… my child has them as toys. And what are the children supposed to play with…

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      As parents, it is our duty to read the Scriptures for ourselves, and to read to (and teach) our children diligently what it says, and what it means (Deut 6:6-9). We must choose whether we will be obedient to Scripture, or disobedient, and then determine accordingly, the suitability of any toys or other objects we allow into our homes. This means that we must learn to discern what is appropriate, and what is not.

  50. Dumpster says:

    I have been doing a great deal of research and I appreciate your article here.

    One thing I’ve been looking into is I.D. and documents that link us to government. One of my concerns is Exodus 20:1 where the Israelites where held in bondage/slavery by a government/nation. I have come across a lot of info on the Net/Web that speak about Nations taking men and womens birth certificates and selling them to international bankers; thus turning the living man/woman into a trust.

    Anyhow, it looks like Governments have become corporations creating ‘shadow’ men/women to get money.

    My question would be, are we being held in bondage/dept slaves to shadow governments? And would an I.D. or drivers license etc. be graven images?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      An I.D. or drivers license does not fit the Scripture definition of a graven image. We have discussed some details of what graven images and idols are, in Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition.

      As for the Exodus 20 passage, the Israelites’ bondage is a prophetic picture of mankind’s bondage to sin, and how Yahuweh sets us free by the blood of the Lamb (Messiah), when we cry out to Him for salvation and redemption.

      And as for reading all the internet ‘prattle’ about being held in bondage as slaves to shadow governments, Proverbs 14:15 warns us, “the ‘simple’ (foolish, naïve) believe every word.” In reality, governments are appointed by Yahuweh Himself, to execute wrath upon those who do evil (Romans 13:1-5). What you are seeing therefore, may be the voice of rebels and mockers, voicing their fears of Yahuweh’s soon judgment upon the land. You might also consider, that those who waste their valuable time studying earthly kingdoms and foolish pursuits (conspiracies, ET’s, aliens, pursuit of wealth, partisan politics, etc.) will not be prepared for a heavenly kingdom at the time of Messiah’s soon return. Those who cry out to Yahuweh for help in preparing themselves, will receive His help!

  51. Linda says:

    Sounds like you are really living by the law in the old testament.. Jesus died for us to set us free from the law. He loves us no matter what, and if you have him in your heart you should not be afraid of demons, stuffed animals etc…!!

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Linda, for your visit, and your comments. Yes, Messiah does indeed love us, no matter what we do — even as a Father loves his daughter, even when the daughter continues to reject her Father.

      Let us look at your comments in the light of Scripture.

      First, the apostles Paul and John, in addressing the redeemed, born-again believers, exhort all Believers (including us today) to ‘flee idolatry’ (1Co 10:14; 1John 5:21) — and this means idolatry in all its forms, as defined in the eternal Scriptures, the written Word of Yahuweh. Now, where do we suppose John obtained his understanding of what idolatry is, and of what constitutes idolatry? John’s understanding came from the Scriptures. What were the Scriptures they had in John’s day? They were the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, what is today called the ‘old’ testament writings.

      Anyone who has first been redeemed by the precious Blood of Yahushua, who becomes Born-Again and filled with the Holy Spirit, may then choose to love Messiah in return, because Messiah first loved us. Messiah tells us (John 14:15) that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Now, those who know Him, know it was Messiah Himself who gave the commandments to Moses, which commandments are all written in the ‘old testament’ writings, and these include the 2nd commandment.

      By Messiah’s Blood alone we have been redeemed, and set free from sin, and from the condemnation of the law — but for what purpose?

      We have been redeemed, and set free, so that we may choose whether we love him (keep His commandments), or not — whether we would be bondservants to our new Master, or not — whether we would be among the Wise Virgins, or the Foolish Virgins.

      Only those who have been set free from the condemnation of the law, and the constraints of the law, are free enough to obey the Master’s commandments, and to show their love for the Master. And unless He provides the grace for us to keep the law, we cannot love Him in the way He has told us to love Him.

      Many Blood-bought Believers today receive His Grace, but receive it in vain — because they have been taught by their pastors, ministers, and religious leaders to ‘refuse’ to do any works of obedience to the Law (Torah), the fruit Messiah desires to produce in us, when He lives within us (1Co 15:10; 2Co 6:1; Php 1:11; James 2:20).

      Today many are choosing to love Messiah, and to abide (‘remain’) in Him, by keeping the 2nd and 4th commandments, as their first baby-step of obedience to Messiah, of walking as He walked (1John 2:6). Some however, choose not to love Him, or abide in Him. That is their choice.

      Let’s also consider the apostle Paul. In addressing the redeemed, born-again believers, Paul exhorts all, including us today, to be followers (‘imitators’) of him, just as he was (an imitator) of Messiah (1Co 4:16;11:1; Php 3:17). So if we want to imitate Paul, let’s look at what Paul did:

      –Paul delighted in the Torah written on his heart (Romans 7:22), which is the very essence of the New Covenant, which is promised to all who become grafted-in to Israel by faith in Messiah (Jer 31:31-33; Romans 11:17-24);

      –Paul walked orderly and kept all the Law (Acts 24:14; Acts 25:8);

      –Paul kept the Biblical Feasts (Acts 18:21);

      –Paul tells us the ‘carnal’ mind is one that is not subject to the Law — that is, not yielded to obedience to the Law (Romans 8:7). Paul was not carnal, and he exhorts us not to be carnal, but that we might choose to be yielded to obedience to the Law.

      And so we see that the apostle Paul believed in (that is, he was a ‘DO-er’ of), all that is written in the law and the Prophets (that is, in the Old Testament Scriptures). Paul did not give up the practice of observing the Torah commandments after his conversion. Instead, he had found the One who spoke the Torah Commandments, who revealed to Paul the eternal significance of keeping them. And so Paul calls upon all Believers to imitate him. Paul exhorts us that we too, would choose to walk in, and keep all the Law, just as he did!

      Those who are Wise will be as bond-servants to the Master. They will seize, take hold of, and honour the Master’s eternal Commandments, so that they themselves will be seized, taken hold of, honoured, and married, as a Bride (Proverbs 10:8a).

      Those who are Foolish – those who think that the Master’s eternal Commandments have been annulled, no longer in effect, and done away with – will not be as bond-servants to the Master. Instead they will throw down the Master’s Commandments, cast them aside, and reject them, so that they themselves will be thrown down, cast aside, and rejected as a Bride (Proverbs 10:8b; Rev 22:14).

      My prayer is that we as Believers would seek Yahuweh with all our heart, studying the Scriptures for ourselves, and not believe everything we hear from the pulpit (Prov 14:15). We must contend, fight to apprehend “The Faith” that was originally given to the set-apart Followers of Messiah (Jude 1:3).

  52. Toni says:

    What about mounted deer and animals?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      If you are asking whether these are forbidden in Scripture, I am not aware of any Scripture prohibiting mounted deer or other genuine animals, as they are of Yah’s creation, and not of man’s. We must always be on guard, however. Any object, if revered or used as an amulet, can become an idol of the heart (Ezekiel 14:3-8), thus forbidden, without our being aware of it.

  53. Abijah Dixon says:

    Very thorough. Hard to find that in most other sites. Also read about licenses today as well. I have a few questions. I don’t belive in lucky charms but is lucky bamboo bad as it is alive and not fake or used for luck for me? I love Asian things as I was adopted so it helps me connect to my origin of birth, but i am not into the new age crap, but is it still wrong? What about certain food like oysters as it is not finned or scaled but i am not Jewish? What about drawings, what is OK, tho I did read all the comments. What about fish games? Thanks for your reply. Got rid of a lot recently, working on more.

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thanks Abijah!

      As you describe the ‘lucky bamboo’ it is not a forbidden object according to the Scripture definitions, but it may become an idol based on its use. If it is not used for ‘luck’ or good fortune, or for any mind-altering drug effects, it may be acceptable, if used as just another plant for decoration. For better understanding of forbidden objects and idols, see Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition

      You asked about “food like oysters as it is not finned or scaled but i am not Jewish….” First, according to Scripture, all the commands describing how we are to be holy [set-apart to Messiah] are not only for those who are ‘Jewish,’ but are for all who desire to remain among Yahuweh’s people. According to the Scripture, oysters are not even classified as ‘food’ for those who are set-apart unto Yahuweh, even as the apostles Peter and Paul demonstrate in their own lifestyles, as our example (Acts 10:14; Acts 24:14; Romans 7:22). The apostle Paul and the other Disciples all lived their lives as confirming witness of the truths of Torah, and of the Gospel. They became a testimony of obedience to Torah, and an example for us to imitate, and to follow in every way (1Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17).

      I am not familiar with fish games, but having or using objects in the shape of living beings is forbidden, according to the Scriptures. We must each grow in our understanding, so that we would begin to discern these things for ourselves, as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us by the Scriptures.

      Abijah, it is great to hear that you got rid of a lot recently! Hallelu….Yah! Good work — Keep working on more! It has taken our family years to weed out the items, and we must continue to remain vigilant!

      Blessings to you Abijah, and to your household,

      -Brother Bill

  54. 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?

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Jerry, for your visit. That is a thoughtful question that many seekers are asking. The Scriptures give us clear answers to these questions, which we have discussed in the article, Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition. Hallelu-Yah! Those who seek, shall find! -Brother Bill

    • William says:

      It is interesting that with reference to Carpenter, of whom Jesus is stated to by the son (Joseph) the translation from the Hebrew word means one who worked with stone – a stone mason.

      • notesfromthewilderness says:

        The Scripture text to which you refer is seen in Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3, which extant manuscripts are written in Greek, not Hebrew. The word translated ‘carpenter’ is the Greek word tekton, Strong’s number 5045, meaning “carpenter, joiner, builder; a craftsman.”

        In referring to Joseph’s trade, notice what John Gill (1697-1771) of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, says about this Greek word tekton:

        • “The Greek word here used, signifies any mechanic, or artificer. The Syriac expresses it by a word, which signifies both a carpenter and a blacksmith; and Munster’s Hebrew Gospel renders it, ‘the blacksmith’s son’ [notice this Hebrew translation does not say ‘stonemason’]. But the generally received notion of the ancient Christians is, that he was a carpenter, and that Jesus was brought up to the same business, which lay in making ploughs and yokes (by which He taught the symbols of righteousness and an active life) {Justin Martyr, Dialog with Trypho, Chapter 88}” [emphasis added].

        So when we look at the meaning of the Greek word, and the evidence in the various Scripture translations, we see that there is no Scriptural evidence alluding to the notion, as you suggest, that Joseph was one who worked with stone — a stonemason.

        On the other hand, notice that Messiah’s words urge His followers to take His ‘yoke’ upon themselves (Matthew 11:29). Even His own words favour the idea that He himself (and His supposed father Joseph) were both fashioners of yokes and other wooden implements — which yokes He continues to fashion today, for all who follow Him. The work He did then in the natural realm, is prophetic of His work He continues to do today in the spiritual realm.

        Today there are many ideas and notions being published, many of which have no Scriptural backing whatsoever. We would be well advised to stick with the Scriptures, rather than to dabble in the many novel and foolish speculations so popular today.

        —Brother Bill

  55. 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?

  56. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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 manner 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.

  59. 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

  60. 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!


  61. 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!


    • 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!

  62. 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.


    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Liz, for your thoughts. That sounds like a good test!

    • Shushannah says:

      Praise the Father Yahuah! Let it be so! I have following thus words but recently I have been tempted and feeling compelled to question what He has opened my eyes to for the sake of pleasing social media and myself as I once really enjoyed taking pictures as art and my ex career as an fashion stylist but obidence is better than my wants and vain pleasures praise Yahuah. I attempted to see a loop hole in this commandment but He wouldn’t allow me to deny the truth of His set apart word. May Yahuah be good to you.

  63. 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!

  64. 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.

  65. 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

    • Lewis says:


  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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

  69. 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

  70. 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,

    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Sandi, 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

  71. 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

    • Shushannah says:

      Praise Yahuah! Very encouraging to hear fellow believers being obedient to Yahuah word even when get the black from people. Most people dont understant when we must say no to pics, clothing with likeness, toys the list goes on. But it does feel good to be pleasing Yahuah by keeping His commandments. I must say very encouraging. May Yahuah be good to you and increase you with obedience and boldness for His name sake.

  72. 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!

    Brother Bill

  73. 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.

  74. 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

    • Jamie Dawn says:

      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)

      I am pondering the “any likeness of anything” that would seem to include even nature….one of the verses mentions the stars in the heavens…that some worship so wouldn’t this include those…I recently started learning embroidery and now I am wondering what is allowable there…I have no issue with obeying this just searching out how to go about being obedient to this. and wouldn’t “any likeness of anything” also include photographs, ID’s, videos…?

      I tossed out all figurines many, many years ago. However, I did a quick look around my personal space and did have two butterfly ceramic wall hangings my mother made, a water globe my aunt gave me, I’ve removed the small bird I found in a wreath I recently purchased and going though a small box I found a gold angel I found walking one day…those are all being discarded and I will be doing a thorough look around to make sure I do not unknowingly have anymore of these items.

      I rent a room in a home however, of someone who does not believe as I do that does have these types of items…what does one do in that situation? Does my room count as my home since I rent a room? If you have any words of advice on this I would be appreciative.

  75. 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.

  76. 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

    • Jackie says:

      So graven images or likeness of any creature is idolatry. The money we have has likenesses of eagles and people. The Bible if full of versus about this and explains it in different ways. Jesus also told his people to render unto Caesar what’s his and render unto God his 10 percent. Coins are melted down and made after a likeness. I need money to live in this world but I don’t love or worship money with the likeness of people and animals. I don’t want a picture or statue or trinket of bael or Satan but I do have pictures of my family on my wall which I don’t worship. So everyone should rid themselves of all money that has molten and graven images and so should the church? Or is money just ok?

      • notesfromthewilderness says:

        Thank you Jackie, for your question. I think you will find the answers to your questions in the comments section below the article, where others have asked similar questions and we have commented on these.
        Blessings and shalom,
        —Brother Bill

      • Steveng says:

        The NT doesn’t say to “render unto God his ten percent.”

  77. 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.

  78. 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

  79. 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?

  80. 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

    • Sharron Denice Hall says:

      This was gooooood! Now you have me thinking about those stuffed animals in my other bedroom. This “false” picture of Jesus on my fireplace, and even some of the books in my home. Thank you for this article!

  81. 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?

    • Marquel The Mighty One of The Most High with Seven letters in my name says:

      No but maybe because it’s not 3 dimensions it’s only a two-dimensional figure

    • Donna says:

      I think the engraved plates of photographs in books, lithographs and prints partake of a third dimension. I’m not at all convinced that the 2 dimensional images don’t “resemble” natural things; that seems to be one of the weaker arguments here. In fact, generally speaking I’m not convinced by the level of scholarship in this article. It all hinges on the Second Commandment as originally written. This troubled me when I was young, until someone pointed out that there was no punctuation in the original writing of it. So the assertion that the idols are forbidden regardless of their worship must have been written into the Commandment later in history when the punctuation was added that separated the nature of the objects from their intended purpose!

      • notesfromthewilderness says:

        Thank you Donna, for your comment. You indicated that when you were young, you were troubled by the 2nd Commandment, until someone pointed out there is no punctuation in the original text. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we feel troubled about it, until we repent, and begin to walk in obedience to the Scriptures. Many Believers today do not dig into the Bible for themselves, to see what the Scriptures actually say. Instead, they readily listen to what others say — and if they do not repent of their sin, they become cold to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

        And so in our seeking, we should not believe anything we hear or read, without first checking for ourselves to see what the Scriptures actually say. We are to be just like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11), who searched the Scriptures [the ‘old’ testament Bible is all they had], to see if what is being said is true! If we do not look at what the Scriptures actually say, but listen only to what men say about the Scriptures, this will turn us away from the truths of the Bible (Titus 1:14).

        When we stand before the Throne of the King, it will be too late to blame our own poor scholarship on those who advised and deceived us. And if you have read the article referenced above, Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition, and its companion article, What Are the Ten Commandments?, then you will have noticed that there is no punctuation nor chapter and verse numbers in the Hebrew text of the 2nd Commandment; and also you will have noticed that we have presented what the Hebrew text actually says.

        And so I encourage you to look at what the Scriptures actually say about this and other related matters. For the apostle Paul tells us, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2Corinthians 7:1). Let us recall that the ‘fear of God’ is displayed by those who are keeping His commandments (Deuteronomy 5:29, 6:2, 8:6; Psalms 111:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13). Let us be reminded also, that Messiah will not ‘know’ those who continue in iniquity [Strong’s number , from “lawlessness: failure to obey the Torah (law) of Moses”] (Matthew 7:23; 1John 3:4). Most today are ignorant of what the Torah actually says, because for the most part, churches today do not believe all of the Bible applies to them, and so they do not teach it — contrary to Messiah’s words in (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).

        For many Believers today, it is the continued refusal to walk in obedience to 2nd and 4th Commandments, that is preventing them from cleansing themselves and purifying themselves, and preventing them from perfecting holiness in the fear of Yahuweh, as Peter and Paul exhort us to do.

        You might have noticed that the articles on this site are directed to those who are seeking Messiah with all their heart, and who desire to prepare themselves as a Bride prepares for her Bridegroom. Today there are multitudes of Believers who do not see nor agree with what we are presenting — what the Scriptures actually say — but who desire to hold on to what they already know. These are not the audience to whom we are writing.

        There is, however, a small remnant that desire to truly ‘know’ Messiah, and to purify themselves through obedience to all of Messiah’s commandments, just as Peter tells us (1Pet 1:22). These also desire to learn how to ‘love’ Messiah, in the way He has told us (John 14:15). These are the ones to whom we write, and whom we encourage to seek out the truth in the Scriptures for themselves. Blessings to you and your household! –Brother Bill

        • Keiarra C McCoy says:

          I have stuffed animals and I will be getting rid of them once I get home. I’ve prayed for God to show me these things and I thank him that I came across this article. But I was wondering what about Hello Kitty I prayed to him about her and he hasn’t said anything about her and I haven’t felt anything evil emit from her. I always put God first before anything else and Hello Kitty is just something I like.

    • David says:

      According to this rendition and interpretation of the scripture cited. Yes, a photo of a person or animal living or dead must be regarded as a graven image.

      Despite the fact that it is neither graven,(carved) only 2 dimensional nor used for worship as a replacement for the one and only living God.

      It must also be noted (by the definition claimed here) that God Himself instructed Moses to violate this law by making the image of the serpent that he raised for the people in the desert, or did He?

      Who here thinks God causes His own laws to be violated? Think very carefully about what His command about idolatry REALLY was about.

      • Steveng says:

        A graven image, OR any likeness…

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with David that God would not cause His own laws to be violated.

      • David Monk says:

        Yet God directly commands us at times to not work on one of the six days of work in order to observe a high sabbath.

      • Shane says:

        If you have a habit of worshipping your can of tuna, then yes pull the label off. If you have a habit of worshipping family photos, I suggest don’t take them. If you are not in the habit of worshipping other than our Father in heaven don’t worry about it. Blessings

        • The Bible clearly states “Thou shalt not make unto thee”, Exodus 20:4 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: Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

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Let Us Keep the New Covenant Passover

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"Messiah our Passover has been sacrificed for us, (1Co 5:7-8) therefore let us keep the Feast."

To find out why all followers of Messiah are called to observe the Passover, see the following:

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