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Images of God. Inspirational and Meditative Thoughts on the Second Commandment. Images of God. 1 st Commandment 2 nd Commandment 3 rd Commandment 4 th Commandment. Our Supreme Desire – (first & best in everything) How we worship & our conceptions of God

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Images of God

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Images of God

Inspirational and Meditative Thoughts on the Second Commandment

Images of God

  • 1st Commandment

  • 2nd Commandment

  • 3rd Commandment

  • 4th Commandment

  • Our Supreme Desire – (first & best in everything)

  • How we worship & our conceptions of God

  • Reverencing His name, majesty & presence

  • Seal of God – Specifies who He is as lawgiver. Honoring His special time with us & acknowledging & worshiping Him as Creator

I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:96,97

1st Commandment "Thou Shalt have no other gods before Me" {Exodus 20:3}

“Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service. Whatever we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that do we make a god.” {Patriarchs & Prophets 305.4}

2nd Commandment

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;

And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20:4-6

The second commandment forbids the worship of the true God by images or similitudes. Many heathen nations claimed that their images were mere figures or symbols by which the Deity was worshiped, but God has declared such worship to be sin. The attempt to represent the Eternal One by material objects would lower man's conception of God.The mind, turned away from the infinite perfection of Jehovah, would be attracted to the creature rather than to the Creator. And as his conceptions of God were lowered, so would man become degraded. {Patriarchs & Prophets 306.1}

A few condemned pictures, urging that they are prohibited by the second commandment, and that everything of this kind should be destroyed. . . . The second commandment prohibits image worship; but God himself employed pictures and symbols to represent to His prophets lessons which He would have them give to the people, and which could thus be better understood than if given in any other way. He appealed to the understanding through the sense of sight. Prophetic history was presented to Daniel and John in symbols, and these were to be represented plainly upon tables, that he who read might understand (HS 212). {1BC 1106.1}

Images of God

The worship of images and relics, the invocation of saints, and the exaltation of the pope are devices of Satan to attract the minds of the people from God and from His Son. To accomplish their ruin, he endeavors to turn their attention from Him through whom alone they can find salvation. He will direct them to any object that can be substituted for the One who has said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. {GC 568.3}

-All false worship is spiritual adultery. The second precept, which forbids false worship, is also a command to worship God, and Him only serve. The Lord is a jealous God. He will not be trifled with. He has spoken concerning the manner in which He should be worshiped. He has a hatred of idolatry; for its influence is corrupting. It debases the mind, and leads to sensuality and all kinds of sin (MS 126, 1901). {1BC 1106.3}

Images of God

But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. Psalm 115:3-8

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

It is a law of the human mind that by beholding we become changed. Man will rise no higher than his conceptions of truth, purity, and holiness. If the mind is never exalted above the level of humanity, if it is not uplifted by faith to contemplate infinite wisdom and love, the man will be constantly sinking lower and lower. The worshipers of false gods clothed their deities with human attributes and passions, and thus their standard of character was degraded to the likeness of sinful humanity. They were defiled in consequence. {Patriarchs & Prophets 91.2}

Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. John 4:20-25

Images of God

To make an image of God dishonors Him. No one should bring into service the power of imagination to worship that which belittles God in the mind and associates Him with common things. Those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. They must exercise living faith. Their worship will then be controlled not by the imagination, but by genuine faith. {4BC 1145.7}

Images of God

  • What about videos/dvds or movies that depict the life of Christ or of God Himself ?

  • Example: “The Passion of Christ” - How can a sinful human being (especially one who is corrupted by the filth of Hollywood) act out the sacred role of the Son of God??!!

  • How can any person of the world or actor give a right representation of Jesus or God ?

  • Our only safe representation of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are the scriptures and s.o.p.

  • The imagination of sinful man and the acting out (or pretense) of actors is mingling common fire with the sacred !

Are we worshipers of Jehovah, or of Baal? of the living God, or of idols? No outward shrines may be visible; there may be no image for the eye to rest upon; yet we may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal (Ibid., Dec. 3, 1908). {1BC 1105.8}

Images of God

  • Do we have false ideas or conceptions of God in our own hearts ?

  • This is one of the reasons why it is so important that we carefully study God’s Word and learn about His character.

  • This is why it is so important that we carefully study the life of Jesus and meditate on it.

Images of God

  • The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. John 4:25

  • Jesus had come and it was His purpose to show to the world what the Father was really like !

  • Jesus revealed that God is infinitelyloving, kind, compassionate, long-suffering, merciful, understanding, gentle, just, truthful, infinitely wise, trustworthy and the list could go on. . . .

Images of God

  • Exodus 20 verse 5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” } JUSTICE

  • Verse 6 “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” } MERCY


  • Two very important balancing character traits of our God > Justice & Mercy

  • Too much of one or the other - at the expense of the other, will give us a very distorted view of our God

  • What “mental images” of God are you hanging onto today that should be given up ?

“As the bow in the cloud is formed by the union of the sunlight and the shower, so the rainbow encircling the throne represents the combined power of mercy and justice. It is not justice alone that is to be maintained; for this would eclipse the glory of the rainbow of promise above the throne; man could see only the penalty of the law. Were there no justice, no penalty, there would be no stability to the government of God.” {Amazing Grace 70.3}

". . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation]" Exodus 20: 5

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: Genesis 5:3

JUSTICE"Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me." It is inevitable that children should suffer from the consequences of parental wrongdoing, but they are not punished for the parents' guilt, except as they participate in their sins. It is usually the case, however, that children walk in the steps of their parents. By inheritance and example the sons become partakers of the father's sin. Wrong tendencies, perverted appetites, and debased morals, as well as physical disease and degeneracy, are transmitted as a legacy from father to son, to the third and fourth generation. This fearful truth should have a solemn power to restrain men from following a course of sin.{Patriarchs & Prophets 306.3}

MERCY "Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments." In prohibiting the worship of false gods, the second commandment by implication enjoins the worship of the true God. And to those who are faithful in His service, mercy is promised, not merely to the third and fourth generation as is the wrath threatened against those who hate Him, but to thousands of generations. {Patriarchs & Prophets 306.4}

It is Satan's constant effort to misrepresent the character of God, the nature of sin, and the real issues at stake in the great controversy. His sophistry lessens the obligation of the divine law and gives men license to sin. At the same time he causes them to cherish false conceptions of God so that they regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love. The cruelty inherent in his own character is attributed to the Creator; it is embodied in systems of religion and expressed in modes of worship. Thus the minds of men are blinded, and Satan secures them as his agents to war against God. By perverted conceptions of the divine attributes, heathen nations were led to believe human sacrifices necessary to secure the favor of Deity; and horrible cruelties have been perpetrated under the various forms of idolatry. {Great Controversy 569.1}

The fruit of idolatrous religions in which image worship is prominent

  • Hinduism

  • Catholicism

  • Islam (no physical images but wrong concepts)

  • Abject poverty, foolish-rediculous superstitions & ideas, terribly unjust caste systems, unjust treatment of women, demon possession

  • Ignorance, poverty, loss of freedom & individuality, fearful (afraid) of God, lack of discernment

  • Loss of freedom, system of works, hatred & violence- (Islamic extremists)

Jesus said – “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

False Doctrines of Babylon which directly or indirectly misrepresents the character of God

  • Images, icons, popes (Catholicism, Orthodox)

  • Eternally burning hell

  • Immortality of the soul

  • Predestination or “once saved, always saved”

  • Secret Rapture

  • False “speaking in tongues” & miracles

  • Subtle forms of “righteousness by works”

  • Non-Divinity of Christ (Jehovah’s Witnesses)

  • Adherence to pagan aspects of pagan holidays

  • “Sacred” artifacts & archaeological curiosities

Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. Revelation 17:1b,2

It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power.His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth. {Christ Object Lessons 415.3}

The 144,000 will have a perfect, beautiful concept of God's character – Indeed His character will be reflected in them

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. Revelation 22:3,4

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.Revelation 7:9-12

And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise. {GC 678.1}

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