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THE SECOND COMMANDMENT PROHIBITS GRAVEN IMAGES: WHAT WAS GOD THINKING?

Blog Pic 2.27.19        

       God is against graven images. He is against idols. It is why the ancient Jews expressed a vigorous rejection of such imagery. There must be a compelling reason.

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         The Hebrew word for idol is pecel. It is defined as “a carved, graven, or sculpted image.” God’s injunction against such images is further defined by the Hebrew word temunah, which follows it. This word is most often translated as “likeness,” and is also defined as “form, similitude, picture, or shape.” What God is describing here is basic statuary of any size. Here is how Merriam-Webster defines the word statue: “A three-dimensional representation usually of a person, animal, or mythical being that is produced by sculpturing, modeling, or casting.” [1] That pretty much covers it.

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

      The preceding is the second commandment as it appears in the list of the Ten Commandments, which is known in Hebrew as the Ten Words (Aseret HaD’vareem). This list of ten, or Decalogue, appears twice in the Old Testament, in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. The ten comprise an initial set of compulsory imperatives directed to the nascent nation of Israel which had just been delivered from prolonged Egyptian bondage. The commandments were designed as a foundational moral code and components of a covenant. From these ten we can construe the behavior and way of life essential for right standing with God. We can also discover what is most important, i.e. our relationship with Him, since the first three commandments refer to how mankind must think of God and relate to and honor Him. The last five commandments tell us which sins and bad behavior God considers to be the most heinous and despicable, which must be eradicated at all cost in order to create an ethical and peaceful community.

THE HISTORICAL SETTING, CIRCA 1446 BC  

         The descendants of Jacob had arrived at the mountain of God in the early part of the third month after the Exodus. God had wasted no time in bringing them to an unprecedented supernatural nexus in the remote wilderness of Arabia. The great mass settled in and camped below the majestic mount, while Moses ventured up to meet with God. After getting his instructions he returned, gathered up the elders, and delivered the covenant pronouncement he had just received. The people immediately agreed to it wholeheartedly. Moses climbed the great mysterious height once again to relay the message to the Lord. He was instructed to tell the people to consecrate themselves, wash their garments, and prepare for the third day. They must all be warned to not go up the mountain or even touch its border on pain of death.

         So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. [Exodus 19:16-20]

         Take a moment and consider what you just read. Does it sound believable? Biblically literate Christians in general become notoriously complacent regarding such passages due to their familiarity with accounts such as this one, often to the point of no longer being effected by them as they should be. But rookie believers or non-Christians must see them differently. One cannot read this for the first time and not be emotionally affected. It gives us a picture of God many would rather not reflect upon.

         There was thunder, lightning flashes, a thick cloud upon the mountain top, and the incessant high decibels of a ram’s horn. All the people down below were shaking in fright. Can you imagine being in that place, having never experienced anything close to that? There was fire, ascending smoke, and the entire mountain quaked violently. Picture Moses actually having to go up there. I would think God was dead serious about the covenant He was making with Israel and expected everyone else to be as well. Whoever may happen to discount the severity of the setting and not respect the laws God was giving may likely be beyond hope.

EDITING THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

         Would you believe that a particular Christian denomination which embraces statuary decided to eliminate the mention of idols and graven images in its preferred version of the Ten Commandments? Agree or disagree, editing the Ten Commandments is a bold move. Perhaps they may wish to mull over what happened at the mountain of God and reconsider. Though they have no discernible respect for the commandment, have never repented for the obvious editing, and justify their actions persistently, God had specific spiritual reasons for the prohibition and has never rescinded it.

        There is something in that particular denomination that is vitally dependent upon graven images and idols, so much so that it was willing to actually remove one of God’s commandments in order to keep them. What is it, exactly, about these graven images and idols? What spiritual power do they have? How are they used? Why could they not do without this statuary? Why are the leaders of this religion so willing to confront God Himself and insist they will not be subjected to His commandments? The ancient Israelites did the same on countless occasions. They often refused the whole counsel of God and took to picking and choosing what laws they would comply with and which to reject.

         This exact attitude also leads to pure idolatry, in that people choose to create a deity to suit themselves.

        They create a god in their own image, according their personal wants and desires. Rather than live under the command of God and subject themselves fully to Him, and thus rightfully subject themselves to all of His laws and teachings, they instead make themselves the personal arbiters of God’s laws. It is the same with so many Christians who refuse to believe in and follow the entirety of the teachings and commandments of the Lord Jesus but instead create syncretic hybrid religions loosely based on Christianity, Christian denominations, and various offshoots.

         If one has a proper attitude before the Lord he knows he must either follow the Lord Jesus completely or not follow Him at all. Such a person knows he would be better off never following the Lord at all than submit to a false or incomplete form of Christianity. Once we choose the Lord Jesus it is never in our power to choose what He does with us or what He wants us to believe. When we choose Him we also choose His entire curriculum. When some people insist they are Christians but refuse the Lord’s full curriculum or create another, it is a clear sign of rebellion and disobedience on their part and signifies that their heart has yet to be circumcised.     

WHY IS GOD AGAINST IDOLS AND GRAVEN IMAGES?

         I don’t pretend to know the whole counsel of God on this subject, but it should not be difficult for us to figure it out. One may recall that the Israelites, after having experienced the incredible spectacle of God on the mountain and agreeing wholeheartedly to the covenant, shortly thereafter decided to make a golden calf and engage in extremely wicked acts right there in that same location. Somehow or another, that false idol had assisted them in their bad behavior. Even though they saw the effects of God’s presence on the mountain, they were more impressed by a three dimensional crafted idol which they could easily behold with their natural senses. God would prefer that we behold Him supernaturally, though we can’t see Him. He would prefer we do not make counterfeits that substitute for Him or spiritual things. Statuary may be legitimized as mere representations or art, but God has a different opinion. He says that creating idols, graven images, and statuary eventually leads to worshipping and serving them.

         “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:4-6] [2]

         He is a jealous God. He refuses to allow the imposition of any false gods or deceptive demonic entities in His place. He demands that we worship and serve Him and not be led astray into serving idols. He loves us enough to tell us the truth—that He is the only One who is both loving and compassionate, and able to save us. He shows great lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments. What happens to those who don’t? What happens to those who edit His commandments?

         Somehow or another, though the advocates of statuary vociferously deny this, there is a hidden understated worship of these abstract representations, though they may be mere statues and works of art. They portend a mental visual within the minds of their beholders which overrides reality, to the extent that reality is replaced with a faux portrayal which serves to reject reality and the desire to discover truth. The people who accept these carved images as benign eventually accept them as genuine representations, but they are not photographs. They are not even good representations, in that they do no service to the original organic flesh and blood historical figures but are mere stylized versions heavy on presence but lacking in human frailty and flaws.

         Regarding representations of otherworldly figures or those whose actual portraiture is unknown, the creation which results is based merely on the whim of the artist or whoever may be directing the artist. Whoever then may behold such statuary as genuine realistic renderings can be convinced, often easily, that whoever or whatever is supposedly represented had actually appeared as such though there is obviously no proof whatsoever. For example, whoever carves a statue of Moses is merely making up the resulting image since no one knows what Moses actually looked like. No one knows what any Biblical character looks like. But this has not stopped Christians from several denominations which reject God’s second commandment from manufacturing millions of statues, paintings, and iconography throughout most of the Church Age. And it has not stopped millions of beholders from becoming grossly spiritually confused, sidetracked, and barricaded from spiritually reality.

         Rather than attempting to experience God in some grand architectural wonder filled with statuary and beautiful art, I suggest heading out to a distant, desert wilderness all alone. If fortunate, one may meet the same Person Moses did.

         © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] © 1995 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, Tenth Edition.

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

COMPETING AGAINST THE LORD: “Churches” versus the Kingdom

         The Lord Jesus created one Church. It signifies the one Community of the Lord Jesus on the earth, composed of every real Christian. The word “church” is derived from the Greek Ekklesia and the Hebrew Qahal. The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is, of course, a spiritual kingdom. It has one King—the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last—YeHoshua HaMashiach.

        The moment a religious chartered institution, including an individual local “church,” is formally formed, it becomes a competing entity to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. It creates a clergy-based leadership team almost always consisting of one man at the top of the pyramid who has been invested with the ultimate power to do whatever he deems appropriate within the bylaws. He usually has a church board, an elder staff, or a small committee of some sort that shares his power in a sense, but most of these are mere sycophants, or yes-man boards who do little more than support him, not much different at all from the way a pack of wolves will honor a single alpha male as pack leader and submit to him completely.

         When a man is invested with such power he is bound to fail the Lord’s commission, lead his people astray, and royally screw things up over time. It keeps happening over and over, but such Christians who support this format refuse to see that the set up is messed up and rather than change the faulty format they insist on forcing everyone to adhere to it as the ultimate “right thing to do.”

         In other words, a monster is created and rather than kill the monster they insist on supporting it regardless of cost or what it does to people, and whoever has a different opinion is run off or destroyed by said monster. The concept of spiritual peace and love as taught by the Master is thrown out the window and is used and referred to only in the abstract in order to save the man-made substitute.

         To illustrate the difference between religious institutions and the one Ekklesia, Qahal, or Community of the Lord, the Southern Baptist Convention is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. The Roman Catholic Church is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. A Pentecostal mega “church” is not the kingdom but a competing entity. These legal religious institutions may or may not have real Christians as members, but such members are often unclear on the concept of the Lord’s original intent and curriculum. Thus, they give too little honor to the Lord Jesus and too much honor to their chosen leaders, who are often compromised.        

JUDAS

         Judas would not last long in the vast majority of churches unless he made it to the leadership team. In fact, this is where Judas spirits usually end up. But rather than go after the leader as the original Judas did, the real Judas spirit, since it longs for power over people, wants to control the institution. In this sense it works with the leadership team over the congregation. All it needs to accomplish this is a willing leadership team.

         The very fact that the Lord Jesus instructed His real disciples to call no one the “leader” except Him, and that most Christians insist on doing otherwise, and that “pastors” love being called “leader” and revel in the authority it brings (though many will affect a faux humble attitude), proves that almost all Christians and Christian leaders insist on violating the following pure commands of the Lord:

           “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

         “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

         “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. [Matthew 23:8-10]

         The preceding commands of the Lord Jesus in Matthew’s gospel are essentially no different than the first three of the Ten Commandments:

         Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” [Exodus 20:1-7]

         In the Matthew account the Lord Jesus clearly identifies Himself as (1) The only Teacher, (2) The only Father, and (3) The only Leader. In the Exodus account, YHWH Elohim clearly identifies Himself as the only God, which encapsulates everything that God is to His people, such as their loving Deliverer from bondage which always starts the process of salvation.

         But Christians in general are grossly confused by these clear facts. They are confused for a reason. They are confused because the very clear commands of the Lord Jesus regarding leadership and authority have been grossly violated. They refuse to see or even consider that He is indeed the only Teacher, Father, and Leader. As a result, they also grossly violate the first three of the Ten Commandments by making idols and worshipping them, and taking the Name of the Lord in vain:

         For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth… [Philippians 2:9-10]

         Because people have it stuck in their heads that an “idol” is a crude little ancient statue made of metal, wood, or stone representing some weird foreign deity and nothing else, they are blinded to the reality of what the Lord was teaching: The most fully evolved “idol” is a living human being. Hence—

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. [Matthew 23:8-10]

         We can add to this many other titles such as “reverend” and “pastor,” the latter of which is a pure corruption of a bad translation and appears only once in the NT. It should have been translated as shepherd. Most “pastors” love their title for obvious reasons, but are not true shepherds and in fact abhor the designation of shepherd due to its inferred lack of status, decorum, and authority. They do not want to be characterized as mere sheep herders off in a pasture somewhere with a stained robe and weathered stick.

         If Christians are waiting for reform in this area from the top, such reform will never arrive. We see by what happened to the Lord Jesus that challenging false leadership will be costly. They killed Him. In America, because we have laws against that sort of thing, false leadership resorts to chicken solutions like spreading false gossip and innuendo, blackballing, the use of supreme indifference, quiet hatred, and generally breaking every commandment of the Lord to attack His prophets and maintain personal power. All of this is done to prop up false leadership which proves further that it is false leadership, often infused with the power of a Judas spirit, which uses betrayal of the brethren as the means toward its highest goal: Power over them.

         “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:5-6] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

REAL REVIVAL, REAL WORSHIP, AND REAL DECEPTION

         I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The revival director was bent over on the floor of the stage on his hands and knees kissing another man’s feet—a clergyman. And he stayed there and kept at it. As far down to the floor as one can get. Kissing his feet.

         And I thought, he probably means well. He probably thinks he’s doing the right thing, a good thing.

         But here’s the problem, and it’s a BIG one:

         For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” [Romans 14:11]

         In this passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans, the apostle quotes from the writings of the prophet Isaiah, whom the Lord is speaking through:

         “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save.

         “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

         “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.

         “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” [Isaiah 45:20-23]

         In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he quotes from this passage yet again, this time identifying the God who spoke by the mouth of Isaiah over 700 years before. Paul also reveals the actual Name of God in its fullest revelation—the Name which is above every name:

         Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

         For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:5-11]

         Though our current English translations claim that Paul said Jesus Christ is “Lord,” in the original letter he used the word Adonai, which is what the Hebrew teachers used as a substitute word for YHWH. Therefore, when Paul said the Lord Jesus is Adonai, he was saying the Lord Jesus is YHWH.

         This is key, because the same identifying dynamic occurs in the Isaiah passage, in which the word “LORD” is translated from the Hebrew Adonai, which was a written substitute for the name YHWH.

         The Name of Jesus is the English rendering of the Hebrew Yehoshua, which means “YHWH-Salvation.” And what this clearly signifies is that the YHWH Isaiah refers to is the same Person that Paul is referring to when it comes to every knee bowing down.

         Also, it must be noted that the apostles refused worship toward themselves, claiming correctly to be mere men, though mere men with the power of the Lord. This point is proven well when Peter met Cornelius for the first time. Cornelius had great respect for Peter and when he first met him he bowed down to the floor and began to worship him:

         When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” [Acts 10:25-26]

         The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, always accepted such worship. Actual worship in its original meaning involved the act of bowing down, bending the knees, and actually becoming prostrate before the object of one’s worship. It is why Cornelius acted the way he did. It was often used to show extreme respect for other human beings in positions of authority. Indeed, if people did not show the proper worship and great respect they could lose their lives. Such was the power of kings and especially the Roman emperors.

         But, of course, Peter absolutely refused any such worship. No one would ever be bowing down to him, bending his knees before him, laying prostrate before him, or kissing his feet. To do this to another human being is an abomination before the Lord.

         Again, as Peter very clearly stated, and one can know he stated it with much emphasis:

         “Stand up; I too am just a man.”

         Now hear this, other than toward the Lord Jesus:

         Real Christians are NEVER to worship another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow down to another human being.

         Real Christians are NEVER to bow their knees to anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus.

         Real Christians are NEVER to kiss anyone’s ring.

         AND REAL CHRISTIANS ARE NEVER TO KISS ANYONE’S FEET.

         All of these are very clear forms of worship and to worship another human being is an abomination. All human beings are sinful and require the shed blood of their perfect sinless Savior, so even one who is cleansed from sin has no right whatsoever to accept worship, based on their former condition. Any human being who actually accepts such worship, as opposed to the apostle Peter who absolutely refused, is placing himself in the place of God. This has not, however, stopped certain clergymen from actually insisting they are substitutes for God and demand that they must stand in His place.

         NO ONE STANDS IN THE PLACE OF THE LORD JESUS.

         That is why it was so disconcerting and shocking to see a fairly well-known “minister” laying prostrate at the feet of another man, a religious leader, worshiping him and kissing his feet, while the other man made no attempt to stop him, but stood there and accepted it as if he was worthy.

         This alone proves it was a compromised, deceptive “revival” though there were many other proofs.

            This event happened very recently. As is my policy, I don’t name names. But it happened. Search for it. Look it up. Of course, in one particular Christian denomination there is a head guy who has always accepted such worship. And this has always been an abomination before the Lord. Yet, this has not stopped some very well-known and powerful American ministers from recently meeting with Him and honoring Him anyway. Whether or not they are personally deceived, they are certainly engaging in deception. Why do they honor a mere man whose office has historically mandated that the one sitting on the throne is a substitute for the Lord Jesus in the earth?

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY KING.

         THE LORD JESUS IS THE ONLY ONE WORTHY OF WORSHIP.

         WHOEVER ELSE ACCEPTS WORSHIP IS OF THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST.

         The real revival—the real Great Awakening—will come forth in great power the more the Lord Jesus, and only the Lord Jesus, is worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. It will come forth with no clergy icons and fake ministers clogging up the process and accepting great undue respect and honor. It will come when there are no stages and platform thrones when only a few high brows are at the top hogging all the attention while the great masses are gathered below worshipping them. It will come when we do exactly as did the 120 did in the Upper Room.

         This is exactly how the first Great Awakening happened in the first century. There were no “churches” then and such buildings would not even officially exist for three hundred years. There was no high clergy class taking authority over a low laity class filled with the nameless and powerless then. Even those with the great power of the Lord who were filled with his Holy Spirit knew they were mere men and women and refused any form of worship or undue respect whatsoever.

         But boy, have things changed. If you want to know the one reason we DON’T have great revival, that’s it—the worship of people who have taken the place of God.

         During the REAL Azusa Street Revival of 1906, William Seymour, the primary director in a sense, spent much of his time in services on his face before the Lord Jesus or with his head in a shoe box! That’s how they all acted at that time in that place in the beginning. The love and presence of the Lord was so extremely powerful that everyone there knew who the Boss was. No one dared accept any glory for themselves. There was absolutely no pride, especially religious pride.  It was an extremely humble setting. There was NO platform or stage. There was NO pulpit. They were all as self-effacing and humble as could possibly be. They surrendered EVERYTHING to the Lord Jesus.

         The revival ended when they took it all back.

THE REAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE LORD’S RESURRECTION

         The real anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection took place the morning of April 25. On the Hebrew calendar, which is an actual lunar-solar calendar lined up with celestial events, it is Nisan 17. Most Christians missed it completely and even refused to acknowledge it.

         Nevertheless, pay close notice to what the Lord’s disciples did when they saw the Lord Jesus after He rose from the dead. It you want real revival it makes all the difference in the world:

         Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

         The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

         And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” [Matthew 28:1-10] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

That They May Add Sin To Sin

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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THAT THEY MAY ADD SIN TO SIN

         “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!” [Isaiah 30:1-2]

         Christian rulers have no doubts about where they stand. With every thread of their being, they know they are right. They know their position is the correct one.

         Thus, the clergy spirit is very deceiving. This is how it remains in power. If the Christian ruling class were to display even a hint of uncertainty with regard to its core principles, its foundation would be weakened. Therefore, the clergy recognizes that to admit error is to admit fault. In other words, those who are passively going along with the clergy’s program should never be given an opportunity to consider the possibility that their leaders have been compromised.

         Though some believe themselves to be superior, the Scriptures state very clearly that humanity has an exceptionally sorry and rebellious nature:

         “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” [Isaiah 53:6]

         This is why many people don’t put any real faith in the Bible—they simply cannot handle the fact that they are inherently sinful. Most of those who have heard the gospel message yet remain in their sins are in strong denial. A lot of these people are “Christian.” Some are “Christian” leaders. These deceived individuals have no effect on the purity and strength of the real Church since they are not yet members. The problem for the body of Christ arises when those who are members fail to ongoingly replenish themselves through the refreshing of the Holy Spirit. This failure leads to a strengthening of the lower nature, which then leads to sin and a loss of contact and fellowship with God. Therefore, the same deception occurring in non-members can occur in real members. When the true becomes weak, it allows the false to grow strong. When people fail God, they give aid and comfort to the enemy.

         Is it possible for a Christian to never commit a sin? There are those who seem to think so, but they’re either (1) on drugs, (2) from a different planet, (3) deceived, or (4) prideful, arrogant, and high-minded. (Choose your poison.) Obviously, those in leadership are just as susceptible to sin as those not in leadership. However, according to the convoluted logic which most Christian rulers engage in, it would be better to keep such facts behind closed doors since there is so much potential for scandal.

         Those who have chosen to follow man instead of God prefer leaders who are better than they are. They don’t appreciate it when they discover that their leaders have misrepresented themselves. Even if they are aware that their leader is human, they would rather not know what makes him human. Hence, the cover-up. Besides, as far as the clergy is concerned, why confuse the laity over who’s in charge? Why allow the laity to think it could lead?

         The reason the sin of the clergy is proportionately rarely revealed is because, as a class, they work to keep it hidden. This is an art, of course. Covering one’s sin goes hand in hand with image building, but the Word states that creating images is also a sin.

         In Exodus 20:4–6, the second of the Ten Commandments flatly states:

         “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

         The word “idol” is translated as “graven image” in many Bible versions. The Hebrew word is pecel, and implies an image of a man or animal made from metal or wood. The word “likeness” in the stated verses is from the Hebrew temuwnah. This word has a more general definition—“form, representation, likeness”—but suggests three dimensionality. Both of these words connote something fashioned or shaped to be worshipped or served.

         Hence, image building is designed to cover inherent flaws and promote a false representation of reality—a three-dimensional fashioning of an object other than God to be submitted to, and thus, to serve. Therefore, the intention of the Second Commandment is to protect God’s people from the temptation of honoring another above Him and consequently losing or never establishing both one’s blessed relationship with the Lord, and one’s dominion in Him. The most fully evolved form of an idol today is a living human being.

         Even so, the professional clergy class has been very successful in promoting their image of sanctity and sinlessness. That they must sin to cover up their sin doesn’t seem to concern them. The alternative is to be found out and subsequently lose their power and prestige. Of course, these facts are general in scope. There are many members of the clergy who are not trying to hide personal sin. They must be careful, however, to avoid defending and protecting the traditional image of their class. Jesus wore the clothes of a simple working man, yet the majority of professional ministers insist on clerical collars, business suits, ties, fanciful robes, and the like. Why dress in this manner, if not to create a certain image or be recognized as a clergyman?

         Though many sins of the clergy have started to leak out as of late, they have been treated as isolated incidents, instead of as the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As is the case with all cover-ups, once leaks begin to flow unchecked, raging currents are sure to come. The professional Christian clergy is like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, except they’ve used up all their fingers and are running out of toes. This strategy won’t work, just as their halos won’t work at bailing water.

         When it comes to the sin of the laity, however, failures and transgressions are treated much differently. Instead of working to keep them concealed, the laity is encouraged by the clergy to bring their sins out into the open. While the clergy remains behind a mysterious wall of piety, the laity is supposed to be transparent. Why this obvious double standard exists, and why it is rarely challenged, attests to the power and scope of the clergy spirit’s subterfuge.

         If the laity reveals sin, shortcomings, faults, and so forth, how can their stature ever match the standing of the ones who don’t? In politics, a candidate attempts to compare his strengths with his opponent’s weaknesses while concealing his own weaknesses and refusing to acknowledge his opponent’s strengths. Is it any different in church circles? How can there be true Christian community under these dual class conditions? Are the controllers trying to insure that the controlled remain in a state of submission? Is this why they insist that the laity alone hang out its dirty laundry? Or are they simply trying to enforce the notion that clergy members are somehow closer to God?

         Like the Wizard of Oz, the ruling class has established a powerful and sometimes fearsome image of itself. Its members have set themselves up as the sacred and the laity as the profane. The laity, if brave enough to seek personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains, often do so at the feet of the big boys, who have been enormously successful at promoting their big daddy image for centuries. Of course, the laity receives only religious tokens for the most part, if anything at all. The important thing is image.

         The great Christian controllers must believe that if the laity perceives them as merely human, and not ultrahuman, it would cause such disillusionment within Christendom that a complete breakdown would take place. But one man’s breakdown and loss of power is another man’s revolution and recovering of freedom. Ask George Washington. Ask Martin Luther. Ask the Lord Jesus Himself. It was the benefactors of the religious clergy spirit of His time who were so incensed by His radical teachings and so petrified over losing control because of His growing movement that they savagely murdered Him, revealing to all, for all time, their true motivation and character.

         © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.