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 comments and testimony from several sources.)

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 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

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

  1. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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!


  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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?

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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).

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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?


    • notesfromthewilderness says:

      Thank you Dennis, for your visit, and your question. These are questions many earnest seekers ask. And yes, you are correct, the images you mentioned are indeed images of living things. We have written about these special objects under the heading of “Images Commanded by Yahuweh” in the article Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition.

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. 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

  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….


    • Shushannah says:

      Yes youre speaking a lot of thruth, I would like to speak more about this if youre interested.

    • Lee Holden says:

      Of course Shushannah… :-)

  42. 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

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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.”

  49. 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

  50. 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

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