“Footsteps of the Messiah” – Segment 2

Footsteps of the Savior - Lesson 2

How to keep the 2nd commandment

Is it wrong to make any graven image?

Exodus 20:4-6 – “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, Yahweh your Mighty One, am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

One of the first questions that one might want to explore when reading this scripture is whether or not Yahweh is forbidding all images and likenesses, or is He only forbidding it if your intent is to bow down to them and serve them. If the answer is He is forbidding all images, and He is forbidding bowing down to them and serve them, we actually have two commandments here.. not just one.

In the Torah itself, however, Yahweh says that He only gave 10 commandments on Mt Sinai:

Deuteronomy 4:13 – “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

Therefore, what we have in Exodus 20 is one single commandment. Not two separate commands. For this reason, I believe the correct interpretation would be the He is only forbidding the making of images and likenesses for the purpose of bowing down to them and serving them.

This is confirmed by various examples where Yahweh Himself commanded Israel to make images:

Numbers 21:8-9 – Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”
9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Exodus 25:18 – “And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.

2 Chr. 9:17-19 – Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
18 The throne had six steps, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne; there were armrests on either side of the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the armrests.
19 Twelve lions stood there, one on each side of the six steps; nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.

So here are some pretty clear examples of three dimensional graven images being made in Israel, some of them commanded by Yahweh and some not. Another example by Solomon was the Sea which was made for the temple area:

1 Kings 7:25 – It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward.

So, the issue has to do with making some image or likeness of something in heaven or on earth, or in the waters… and then treating it as though it were being embodied by a divine power or the Creator of life…and then bowing down to it and serving it.

Yahweh did not want to be depicted by anything man-made. That’s why He said:

Deuteronomy 4:15-17 – “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when Yahweh spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,
16 “lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female,
17 “the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air,

Deuteronomy 4:18-19
– “the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth.
19 “And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which Yahweh your Mighty One has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.”

The modern Catholic church often has images of the Messiah, or his earthly mother Mary, that people bow down to. This is a clear violation of the second commandment.

The idea that our Creator could be represented by an earthly thing is coming from the common theology of ancient times.

In essence, they believed:

“Creation created Itself.”

Therefore, they looked around at the world they lived in, tried to study it in order to determine the reason for their existence. They saw the sun, which provided light and heat.. so they worshiped the sun. They saw that reproduction allowed human life to continue on the earth, and so the invented various goddesses to worship as well. They saw that the weather impacted their ability to produce crops, and so they invented gods that they believed had control of the weather.

All of it stems from the idea that “Creation created me.”

What we see in our world today is not really much different than what the pagans were doing, except people think they are a whole lot smarter about it.

They don’t believe that some divine energy created us at all, but what we see happening now is really the same thing. Men study the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth and all of creation in order to try and figure out how we were created. Most of the so-called professors at various institutes of higher learning, that is, colleges, teach that, based on their observation, “Creation created Itself.”

In other words, the world we live in just produced human life over a period of billions of years. But they are doing the same thing that former generations have done, by saying that Creation created me. They say that, essentially, we made ourselves!

And they don’t realize how foolish this really sounds.

Yahweh said in the book of Romans:

Romans 1:19-20 – what may be known of Elohim is manifest in them, for Elohim has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Elohim-nature, so that they are without excuse,

Romans 1:21-23 – because, although they knew Elohim, they did not glorify Him as Elohim, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible Elohim into an image made like corruptible man– and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Professing to be wise. I find it no coincidence that the big teachers of Evolution are actually called “Professors.”

The end result is that they change the glory of the incorruptible Elohim, who actually created all things, into this image made like corruptible man, along with the four footed animals and creeping things that they say are our ancestors.

Thus, Yahweh is again replaced by man, and animals.

In the ancient world, every nation had their little god that they worshiped, but now the god of man is himself. The very idea that Satan was trying to teach in the garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:4-5 – Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
5 “For Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.”

So, through the knowledge that they teach, they essentially take on another angle of putting man in .the place of Elohim.

So, the idolatry of the ancient world is still present when they say to a rock, “You have begotten me,” or to a tree or whatever they think they came from.

What creation ought to be teaching us, if we are willing to listen, is that Someone very glorious and amazing and awesome created all things:

Psalm 19:1-3 – The heavens declare the glory of Elohim; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.

So, the heavens declare Yahweh’s glory. And so does creation on the earth:

Job 12:7-10 – “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
9 Who among all these does not know That the hand of Yahweh has done this,
10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?

Remember, Yahweh created us for one reason, and that’s to glorify Him. We are created in His image and His glory. Therefore we, like all of creation, stand as a testimony of how awesome Yahweh truly is.

This is why it is so important that when we are glorified, we glorify Him:

Psalm 115:1 – Not unto us, O YAHWEH, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.

It’s like someone looking at the building and praising the building for making itself so beautiful. Every building has a builder, and all of creation has a Creator. And even the things that man creates, who created the mind of man so that he was able to do such wondrous things? It is none other than Yahweh. The Psalmist says, “Not unto us, O YAHWEH, but to Your name give glory.”

All things come from His mercy and His truth. If it were not for His mercy, we would not exist. And if it was not for His truth, we would know nothing at all.

So, let’s not glorify the creation and pay homage to the creation, let’s glorify the Creator and pay homage to the Creator!

The greatest testimony as to the foolishness of atheism and the foolishness of evolutionary theory is the amazingly awesome complexity of creation itself.

When we look to the heavens at night, and especially if you see the stars in the evening… most of us will agree that it is absolutely, indescribably amazing… and humbling.

We are so, so tiny compared to the universe we live in. It’s humbling. So, so humbling.

If the Sun were the size of a beach ball, then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and the Earth would be as small as a pea. And we only see a tiny fraction of a fraction of what Yahweh has made.

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in all of the earth’s beaches combined.

Observable Science says that there is at least 400 billion galaxies, consisting of (sextillion) 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars

Psalm 147:4 – He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

And it just so happens that the sun is 400 times more distant than the moon. Remarkably, the sun is also exactly 400 times larger, to the mile.

So, it has the same angular size as the moon—meaning it appears the same size and covers the same portion of the sky.

There is no naturalistic reason why the sun and moon would be at just the right distances to have the same apparent size as seen from earth. As far as we know, the earth is the only planet for which this is the case. And this is the reason we have the Solar Eclipse where the sun is blacked out by the moon.

And if that isn’t amazing enough, telescopes have given us an eye on things that are stunningly beautiful…

The Sombrero Galaxy is 28 million light years from Earth, this galaxy is as spectacular as its appearance. It has 800 billion suns and is 50,000 light years across. Its hallmark is a brilliant white, bulbous core encircled by thick dust lanes revealing the spiral structure of the galaxy.

The Cat’s Eye Nebula is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Draco. It is one of the most complex nebulae known, with photos revealing remarkable structures such as knots, jets and sinewy arc-like features

Pillars of Creation looks like undersea corral. This is one of Hubble’s most famous images where they believe that stars are forming in the Eagle Nebula. These massive structures—the tallest pillar is 4 light-years long from base to tip — are actually believed to be columns of cool hydrogen gas and dust.

The Horsehead Nebula is just one small part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. You can locate the Horsehead Nebula by looking just south of the easternmost star on Orion’s Belt.

Believed to be about 1700 years old, and Nicknamed the “Hand of God,” this object is called a pulsar wind nebula. It’s believed to be powered by the leftover, dense core of a star that blew up in a supernova explosion. It is a called a pulsar: it rapidly spins around, seven times per second!

These were all taken by the Hubble space telescope.. a telescope so powerful that it could zoom in on a penny 500 miles away and tell you whether or not it was heads or tails. This same telescope once opened its lens for 27 days of exposure time yielded this shot of outer space. one thirty-two millionth of our sky.

What did they find? Some 5,500 galaxies. 5,500! Just in a tiny spot in outer space.

The Hubble once found a dwarf, a dead star that was made up completely out of diamond. It was 4,000 km across.

The only thing I can say when I hear of these things is this:

Psalm 145:3 – Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

This means there is no end to His greatness. Mere words cannot do it justice. I do not believe that they will ever find the end of the universe.

2 Peter 3:5 – For this they willfully forget: that by the word of Elohim the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water

Notice that this says they willfully forget… When we look at creation itself, we would have to be pretty blind not to see the obvious… an intelligent being set all these things in motion. Men of old recognized this, and if we will take the time to consider our existence and the creation around us, it seems to me that we would have to be willingly ignorant in order to believe this all took place by random chance.

I recently read a post from an unbeliever who shared a link to an article…

“We know that our universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, but what causes this growth remains a mystery. The most likely explanation is that a strange force…is driving it.”

Tech Explorist 12/30/2018

Isaiah 40:22 – It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

For instance, before man knew that the earth was in space, the scriptures say that the “earth hangs on nothing”

Job 26:7 – He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

So, the bible itself speaks of things that were not possible to have been known at the time it was written.

The one who made the vast heavens to the smallest atom, the one who made the vast mountains to the depths of the sea was willing to look upon us to cleanse you, set you on His son’s throne and cause you to reign together with Him!

Wow, thank you Yahweh. We don’t have to mope around with long faces when we think about His promises.

If you ever feel discouraged about the past, or feel hopeless in the present.. take some time and meditate on His promises!

OUR BODIES

And if our dwelling place isn’t amazing enough, consider the dwelling place that you have right now while sitting in your chair. I’m not talking about your home. I’m referring to the body that you have.

There is a whole entire other world that we cannot see unless we make use of a microscope. This world was unknown to the men of old, but the revelation of this world ought to make us stand up and shout praises to Yahweh.

Our bodies are made up of atoms. there are 8 times as many atoms in a teaspoonful of water as there are teaspoonfuls of water in the Atlantic ocean.

These atoms combine in different ways to produce molecules. They now say our human body is made up of some 37.2 trillion cells. They all work together to make up who we are.

Take a minute and watch this video:

video

Psalm 150:2 – Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

Take a look at your hand for a minute..

Now make it your fingers move around. What is it that enables you to do that? You can’t even figure that one out.. and how arrogant is man, who doesn’t really know anything yet…to conclude that this world created itself.

1 Corinthians 8:2-3 – And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
3 But if anyone loves Elohim, this one is known by Him.

Scientists barely have an understanding of the process… but listen, even YOU are a walking miracle.

The fact that you can hear the words I’m speaking to you right now… most of us have learned that we have an eardrum that catches the vibrations of sound… but have you ever realized what happens after that? The vibrations pass onto 3 bones inside your ear.

The sound vibrations pass on from the hammer bone to the anvil bone to the stirrup bone, and because the surface area of the eardrum is much larger than the foot plate of the stirrup bone, the vibration is amplified. The foot plate moves in and out, producing waves in the fluid of the inner ear. Then the inner ear takes the mechanical vibrations and converts them into electrical signals that the brain can understand.

Inside the cochlear duct of the inner ear there is this strip of tissue known as the organ of Corti, here the ear converts signals at the molecular level.

This organ essentially consists of three rows of outer hair cells and one row of inner hair cells (Figure 6). The tops of the cells have tiny “hairs” (thus the name “hair cells”). These hairs are actually cilia that are much smaller than a hair on our bodies. In fact, they are too small to be seen individually, even with a light microscope. The tips of some of the hairs are attached to an overlying spiral membrane called the tectorial membrane (Figure 6). When the organ of Corti bounces up and down, the tectorial membrane wiggles the hairs.

The wiggling of the hairs causes small molecular “trapdoors” on the tips of the hairs to open and close, permitting electrically charged particles (ions) to enter the hairs (Figure 7). Incredibly, the molecular trapdoors are controlled by molecular springs that attach to adjustable molecular brackets.

It staggers the mind to think of tiny molecular trapdoors opening and closing at a rate between 20 and 20,000 times per second, admitting charged ions into the tips of the hairs. This movement of ions generates electrical signals that are sent to the brain, where they are processed and interpreted.

If it weren’t for the fact that I’m describing just one part of the human body, most people would think I’m describing something that was invented. This couldn’t have all come together by mere chance… it is a design and an incredibly complex invention! And this is just the ear!

Proverbs 20:12 – The hearing ear and the seeing eye, Yahweh has made them both.

Did you know that an adult body contains about 100,000 miles of blood vessels? Did you know that if you were to stretch out the DNA in your body, it would stretch to the moon and back over 1500 times. To the sun and back 4 tmes, that’s 744 million miles of DNA in your body.

I mean, how can you not be floored right now in awe of what Yahweh has done? The more we learn, the more science uncovers details of who we are and where we live, the more amazed we ought to be!

Psalm 139:12-15 – Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

PLANTS

Most plants harvest their energy from the sun, and take nutrients from the soil and water from the rain to move and live. This process is known as Photosynthesis. Now, take a minute and watch how complex this process truly is:

video

For me, it takes less faith for me to believe that an intelligent being invented this process than to believe that a blade of grass was smart enough to figure out this process on its own.

The faith required to believe that we are self-created, is quite simply, a religion. And it’s a religion that violates the principle and spirit of the 2nd commandment, paying homage to creation rather than to the Creator.

ANIMALS & INSECTS

This doesn’t even begin to speak of the millions of species of animals and insects that Yahweh has created. Solomon, when given wisdom from Yahweh spoke of these matters:

1 Kings 4:32-5:1 – He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five.
33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish.
34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

Anyone studying animal biology will see similar amazing designs in each animal, and in their bodies that Yahweh created.

Leafhoppers are only a couple millimeters long, but with one mighty jump they can spring at a velocity of 3.9 meters per second (nearly 9 miles per hour), with an acceleration of nearly 400 g (a fighter pilot in the heat of battle experiences less than 9 g).

The jump takes only two milliseconds. If both of the leafhopper’s hind legs didn’t push off at precisely the same time, it would spin out of control. Yet nerve impulses can’t travel fast enough to coordinate this feat. The solution is a miniscule set of gears between the legs.

As soon as one leg begins to move, the other one does too. Ten to twelve tiny gear teeth—just 6–12 ten-thousandths of an inch (15–30 thousandths of a millimeter) long—are located on the inner surface of each hind leg. These curved cogs mesh under the abdomen. As the insect cocks its legs to jump, they must move in unison, no matter which leg moves first. During the jump, the gear cogs roll past each other at a rate of nearly 50,000 teeth per second.

Rather than being symmetrical like most manmade gears, the leafhopper nymph’s gear teeth are curved and all point toward their point of contact. Coauthor Gregory Sutton says this unique type of gear is built for “high precision and speed in one direction. It’s a prototype for a new type of gear.”

Yet again, our Creator has given us a glimpse into His matchless creativity. This perfectly functioning, finely tuned, irreducibly complex gear is another testament to His handiwork, clearly seen in all of creation.

Yahweh is so amazingly awesome, He actually has to humble Himself to even look at the heavens and the earth:

Psalm 113:5-6 – Who is like Yahweh our Mighty One, Who dwells on high,
6 Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

Psalm 8:3-6 – When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

Psalm 8:7-9 – All sheep and oxen– Even the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.
9 O YAHWEH, our Master, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

That’s why professors ought to be professing. They ought to be looking at Creation and saying “GLORY TO YAHWEH!” and “O Yahweh, our Master and our Creator, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

So, as part of keeping the second commandment, let’s reject the foolish doctrines that are driving our modern world today:

Psalm 14:1-2 – The fool has said in his heart, “There is no Elohim.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.
2 Yahweh looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek Elohim.

Let’s be among those who seek Elohim rather than glorifying ourselves and glorifying Creation.

Yahweh does not like it when we give glory to His creation rather than to Him. And so that’s why He forbade giving any honor or homage to creation in the second commandment.

Pagan roots of worship

Sadly, there actually are some things being practiced today that are memorializing idol worship.

The ancient world was very hooked on sun worship, and a lot of these elements are still present in churches today.
The birth of sun gods on Dec. 25 inspired the date to be chosen for Christmas Day, the supposed birthday of the Messiah. The worship of sun gods inspired the yule log, mistletoe, and other traditions we see in the modern Christmas holiday. Besides Dec. 25 being a lie, parents lie to their children and say,

“There’s a Santa Claus who is basically presented as if he were an elohim who knows when you are awake or asleep. He knows if you’ve been bad or good.”

Thus, they lie to their children and say he will come and give them gifts if they are good. That is just manipulation through the use of an idol. It is unconscionable for a believer to do that and creep an idol into the heart of a child. The whole holiday contains the fragrance of ancient idol worship. The same is true about Easter. A lot of people observe Easter but even the name of Easter is derived from a pagan goddess, Astarte, the goddess of fertility.

So, we’ve got these Easter rabbits. Rabbits are among the most fertile of all animals. In fact, they only have a gestation period of about 30 days, and it only takes them a few months from birth to be mature enough to breed.
A single rabbit can produce as many as 800 offspring in one season. That includes children, grandchildren, etc.

So, they’ve got these very fertile rabbits representing the fertility goddess around Easter. This is supposed to honor the Messiah? Do we honor the Messiah with festivals and traditions rooted in idol worship, the very thing forbidden in the 2nd commandments? I really don’t believe it honors Him. So, you may not a physical idol, and you may not bow down to it, but if we are memorializing the practices of ancient religions that did do this, it doesn’t seem right to me.

Yahweh said in Jeremiah 10:

Jeremiah 10:2 – Thus says Yahweh: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.”

They looked at the signs in the heavens and thought, ‘The sun is going away, and it may not come back.’ So, around Dec 25, when the sun started heading back to the northern hemisphere, oh, a new god was born. Don’t be dismayed at the signs of the heavens.

Jeremiah 10:3-4 – For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple.

And you wonder where the Christmas tree came from? They have been doing that kind of thing for thousands of years.

I don’t believe that Yahweh is honored by the remnants of pagan rooted festivals in our worship.

That is why He said the following.

Deuteronomy 12:29-30 – “When Yahweh your Mighty One cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
30 “take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their mighty ones, saying,`How did these nations serve their mighty ones? I also will do likewise.’

Deuteronomy 12:31-32 – “You shall not worship Yahweh your Mighty One in that way; for every abomination to Yahweh which He hates they have done to their mighty ones; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones.
32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

So, I personally want nothing to do with anything that honors the very idols our Heavenly Father told us to reject.

1 Corinthians 10:14 – Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 John 5:21 – Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

1 Corinthians 10:19-21 – What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?
20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to Elohim, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Master and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Master’s table and of the table of demons.

My vote is to avoid practicing anything in our faith that would be a little nod to the idol worship of generations past, and I don’t want anything to do with this modern version of man giving honor to the Creature rather than the Creator.

Instead, I want my worship to be from the Spirit and from the Truth:

John 4:24 – “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Honor and worship Yahweh, in spirit and in truth. That’s the heart of the second commandment