The 9 Commandments of Rome

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Page 15: Revised 11/29/1999

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On this page: | God's Commandments vs Rome's | Sources Used in This Section | Where is God's 2nd Commandment? | Why Rome Took Away God's Word | How Rome Can Still Have 10 Commandments? | Do Catholics Really Worship Images? | Word Magic | Earn $100! | Talking with Catholics | Rome's Counter-Argument in favor of Images | Whatever Happened to God's Images? |

God's Commandments vs Rome's Commandments

It may come as a shock to both Roman Catholic and Protestant surfers to discover that the Roman Catholic Church has only nine (9) commandments, not ten (10). "What?!" You say. "I'm a Catholic and my church taught me there were ten commandments. How can you say they have only nine? Can't you count?"

Yes. I can count. So can you. So let's count them, alright? In the table below I have recorded the '10' commandments as taught by Rome, side-by-side with the 10 commandments as given by God. Study this comparison carefully, dear surfer, and you will find two glaring errors in Rome's list of commandments. I'll give you a clue: something is clearly missing in Rome's list. See if you can find it.

Sources Quoted

I rely on official Roman Catholic sources in the quotations below. The list of "Rome's '10' Commandments is taken from The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism, Copyrighted 1981 by John A. Hardon, S.J., bearing the Impri Potest, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, which my Catholic readers understand to mean that this is a officially sanctioned book by Rome. You can examine as many other official Roman Catholic catechisms and will find the list to be essentially the same. The list of "God's 10 Commandments" is taken from The Holy Bible, New Catholic Version, Copyright 1950 by P.J. Kennedy & Sons, and bearing an Imprimatur by Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York.
Rome's '10' Commandments God's 10 Commandments Specific Sin
1. "I am Yahweh your God. You shall have no gods except me." 1. I am the LORD thy God. . . . . Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. (Exo 20:2-3) Worship of false gods.
Why is this space empty?

2. "Thou shalt not make to thee a graven thing (image), nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that in the waters under the earth: Thou shalt not adore (bow down to) them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." (Exo 20:4-5) Making, bowing before or praying to graven images (i.e., statues, icons, etc.)
2. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain." 3. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain." (Exo 20:7) Using God's Name in vain; cursing in God's name.
3. "Remember to keep holy the Lord's day." 4. 8 "Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day." (Exo 20:8) Keep Sabbath holy (Saturday)
4. "Honor your father and mother." 5. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thou mayest be longlived upon the land which the LORD thy God will give thee." (Exo 20:12) Honor parents. Notice the blessing attached?
5. "You shall not kill." 6. "Thou shalt not kill" (Exo 20:13) Murder
6. "You shall not commit adultery." 7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." (Exo 20:13) Adultery
7. "You shall not steal." 8. "Thou shalt not steal." (Exo 20:15) Theft, Cheating
8. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" 9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." (Exo 20:16) False witness, false oaths
9. "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife." 10. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his."(Exo 20:17) Covetousness
10. "You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour."

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Where is God's Second Commandment?

It is obvious that the two lists are not the same! In His second commandment, God forbids us to make or use statues, icons, and other 'graven images. God's second commandment is missing from Rome's list of commandments! Where did it go? How could it be missing and there still be ten commandments listed by the Roman Catholic Church?'
QUESTION: Do you notice anything about the Roman Catholic Church that is associated with God's second commandment?


QUESTION: What can you find in all Roman Catholic churches and many Roman Catholic homes that you can never find in any Christian home or Church? Your Answer?
QUESTION: Why did Rome split the single commandment against coveteousness into two separate commandments? Your Answer?

Yes, you are correct. The answer is graven images! The Roman Catholic Church is the only one that makes a serious business (and serious money too!) of graven images. Every Catholic Church is full of statues to Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Angels, Apostles, patron saints and so forth. Most Catholic families have their statues too, especially of Mary. Many Catholic families have a place of honor for their graven images, light candles before them (why I can't figure out!), kneel before them and pray to them. Thus does Rome encourage her people to create mirror-images of a form of worship found in only one other place - the cultic pagan mystery religions! While the images and names are different, everything else remains as it was, and still is, in all those religions offering Satanically-inspired false worship.

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Why Rome Took Away from God's Word

God places a heavy sanction on anyone who dares to take away anything from His inspired Word. Yet Rome has had the audacity to do just that! She has eliminated God's second commandment! Why? First because that would really interfere with the money to be made making and selling graven images! This is just a repetition of what happened back in the days of the Apostles:
"For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And the whole city was filled with confusion: (Acts 19:24 -29)

Take away the statues, the icons, the holy candles that burn before them in Catholic churches and homes, and all the other uniquely Catholic graven images, and you are sure to deprive the image makers of their craft, and bring great confusion to the people who make, sell, and believe in them, just as happened at Ephesus.

Another reason Rome took away God's second commandment is control. Yes, control. When Rome can convince her people to worship graven images, she locks them deeper under her control over them. After all, people do get a sense of 'holiness' from idol worship. They always did, and still do, wherever and however it is practiced. But the people or things represented by the graven images are, according to Rome, under Rome's control too! The so-called 'grace' that is supposed to come from Rome's idols and sacramentals ('holy' pictures, 'holy' water', scapulars and so forth) is, in the final analysis, under the direct power and control of 'his holiness, the pope.' Thus, to get the 'grace' you must submit yourself to that pope and his underlings, the cardinals, bishops, and the priests. Its a vicious circle, or, as I call it, Rome's holy runaround.

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How Can Rome Still Have Ten Commandments?

If the Roman Catholic Church eliminated God's second commandment, how can they still have ten commandments to teach? Good question. Look closely at God's tenth commandment.

What do you see? A commandment that forbids a single sin - that of covetousness. God forbids us to covet a neighbors home, wife, goods, servants, and so forth. In the Bible you see that it is a single commandment, dealing with a single sin, and written in a single sentence. Now that's not too hard to understand, is it?

What did Rome do? She split God's tenth commandment into two separate ones! Rome 'sees' coveting a neighbor's wife as one commandment, and coveting everything else as a second commandment. How ridiculous can you get?! Notice further, in God's Word, quoted from a Roman Catholic-approved Bible, that the neighbors wife is not even first on the list! No, first comes the neighbor's home! So what Rome did was to arbitrarily jump to the second item in God's list, pull it out of context, and make it a commandment unto itself!
QUESTION: According to God's own Words, how many commandments did he use to cover the sin of covetousness?


QUESTION: If God says that one Commandment covers covetousness, and Rome says it takes two Commandments, who will you believe - God or Rome? I Believe God I Believe Rome

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Do Catholics Really Worship Images?

IN IGNORANCE, CATHOLICS WORSHIP IDOLS!Yes, Roman Catholics do worship images, just like the pagan religions do. There is no escape from the clear logic of Catholic actions. Their churches are full of graven images. Most of their homes contain one or more as well, with the favorites being Mary and the 'Infant of Prague.' Catholics also have their 'special-purpose' saints, who are supposed to help with particular needs... A Patron Saint of the Impossible (Jude), and a Patron Saint to help find lost things, and so forth. Of course, no Roman Catholic will admit that they worship their images. They have been duped by Rome into believing that their worship is directed not to the statues but to the ones represented by those statues. The Roman Catholic Church makes several artful (and artificial) distinctions about Catholic actions regarding images. This is covered below, but if you wish to read a detailed analysis of this duplicity right now, just Click here.

As with any system built on lies and deception, Rome's teachings on worship forces Rome into a box canyon. With a clear understanding of what constitutes worship, it is impossible to escape the fact that Catholics worship the images, or they worship the dead people portrayed by those images. Either way it is false worship, and a worship clearly condemned by God. Just review God's second commandment, and compare it with the teaching and practice of Rome:

2. "Thou shalt not make to thee a graven thing (image), nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that in the waters under the earth: Thou shalt not adore (bow down to) them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." (Exo 20:4-5)


The Roman Catholic Church and Images

QUESTION: Does God forbid us to make graven images (statues, icons, etc.) for worship? Yes No
QUESTION: Do Roman Catholic pray to dead people (Mary and "the saints") for help with daily problems and needs? Yes No
QUESTION: Does the Roman Catholic Church encourage her people to own, to kneel before, and pray before (sic., to worship) graven images? Yes No
QUESTION: Does God forbid us to worship anything or anyone in Heaven or on earth except Himself? Yes No
QUESTION: Is God able to make a commandment for man that God Himself is not obliged to obey? Yes No
QUESTION: Does the Roman Catholic Church do exactly what God tells us not to do regarding graven images? Yes No
QUESTION: Did the Roman Catholic Church delete God's second commandment, then split God's tenth commandment into two to maintain an even ten commandments? Yes No
QUESTION: Does the Roman Catholic Church realize, directly or indirectly, substantial income from the sale and use of graven images and the candles burned before them? Yes No
QUESTION: If you answered "Yes" to all the above questions, does it suggest to you that the Roman Catholic Church may be a false religion? Yes No
QUESTION: Who will you obey - God or Rome? God Rome

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WORSHIP: More Word Magic from Rome

On the subject of worship, as on so many spiritual topics, Rome spins a web of word-deceit. First, She artfully makes a false, unsubstantiated distinction between forms of worship. To do so, she had to invent new terms, or use old Latin terms and give them new meanings. It kind of reminds me of today's 'politically correct' (P.C.) jargon. For example, you can freely call them 'native Americans' or call them 'African American,' but don't you dare call them 'Indians' or 'Negroes!' Or in the business world you can call it 'downsizing' but never call it a 'layoff.' For reasons that are beyond my reach, common, clearly-understood terms in use for generations are now taboo.

Well, so it is with Rome. For centuries everyone understood what the term 'worship' means. All agreed on the same meaning. There were no subtle distinctions. Let's see what the American Heritage Dictionary considers worship:
Worship (wûr"sh¹p) n. 1.a. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. b. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. 2. Ardent devotion; adoration.. To honor and love as a deity. To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion. To participate in religious rites of worship. To perform an act of worship.

Along with the above definition, the thesaurus gives the following synonyms for worship:

adoration, reverence, veneration, idolization, idolatry, homage, passion, obsession, supplication, prayer, devotions, litany, praise, invocation, memorialize, eulogize, glorify, adore, hallow, reverence.

Added on 11/29/1999Now let's see what The Catholic Encyclopedia has to say of Worship and Veneration:
Adoration Adoration refers to the external act of worship or honor given to a thing or person of excellence. (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Revised and Updated, 1986; Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Veneration of the Saints Special worship, called dulia, is due to the saints and angels...." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Revised and Updated, 1986; Thomas Nelson Publishers)

So it appears that even the Catholic Encyclopedia confirms that worship, adoration, and veneration are synonymous terms. And this, despite Rome's efforts to portray them as different things altogether.

Now let's have a look at The Expanded Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Copyright 1984, Bethany House Publishers:
Worship (Proskuneo) to make obiesance (bow before), do reverence to, is the most frequent word rendered to worship. It is used as an act of homage or reverence (a)to God; (b)to Christ; (c)to man; (h)to idols. The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man or to God.

Alright. We can now see that, in common understanding, the term 'worship' has many synonyms (words that have the same meaning) including adoration, homage,, reverence, obeisance, and so forth). When you kneel before something or someone, bow before it (them), praise it (them), pray to it (them), show reverence to it (them)..... you are performing an act of worship. Period.

Now let's see what Rome does with the term.
222. "We honor Christ and the saints when we pray before the crucifix, relics, and sacred images because we honor the persons they represent: we adore Christ and venerate the saints." (Emphasis mine).

The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, No. 2, Copyright 1969-1962 by Catholic Book Publishing Co., with Nihil Obstat, Imprimi Potest and Imprimatur.

Notice the clever use of terms here? According to common knowledge, adoration and veneration are two synonyms for 'worship.' Yet Rome wants us to believe there is something different between adoration and veneration. Here's another obfuscation to consider:
233. "We do not pray to the crucifix or to the images and relics of saints, but to the persons they represent."

Same source as above.

Notice how Rome completely ignores God's commandment that we must not pray to anyone except Himself? It is true that we must not pray to statues. It is equally true that we are forbidden to pray to dead saints too! Nor are we to pray to angels either. Yet the devout Roman Catholic person goes into the confessional and immediately launches into a prayer to the dead, including Mary, two apostles, and one angel! Go to our page on Confession to see this prayer in detail. Yet any attempt to communicate with the dead is strictly forbidden by God.
2131 "the seventh ecumenical council at Nicea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new "economy" of images."

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Copyright 1994, United States Catholic Conference.

Here is the official Roman Catholic teaching on idol worship! Read it carefully. Remember that 'veneration' is just another word for worship. Back in the seventh century, a group of people that Rome called 'the iconoclasts(1)' objected to the worship of idols and images. Rather than correct a terrible deviation from God's express commandment, Rome held a council and made an official declaration that the veneration (worship) of icons (statues, etc.) is acceptable. Thus did Rome set herself up in direct opposition to God Himself! Such chutzpah! Such a cavalier attitude. Such error!

The only part of this statement that is truthful is Rome's admission that the use of images is a 'new economy.' It sure is! There's a lot of gold in them thar' statues!

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I can't help comparing Rome's unique, self-defining 'dictionary of terms' with the way President Clinton talks. "I did not have sex with Monica Lowinski. She had sex with me: I just happened to be there at the time." "I was never alone with Monica Lowinski. Alone means what I want it to mean, not what you think it means. You'll have to tell me what you mean by 'alone' before I can answer your question."

Sound familiar? I hear this line of reasoning from Roman Catholics who try to answer challenges to Rome at this and other sites. I ran into it often back in my days as a sincere Roman Catholic in search of answers from priests and theologians. Recently one very well educated and informed surfer, in response to the simple question, "Did God tell us to not make or use images?" replied by asking me how I know what sin is! Excuse me? I did not mention sin. And while my question does, indirectly, have a bearing on sin (for example, doing what God forbids, such as making and using images for worship), it was not the thing I questioned. This guy worked very hard at getting some irrelevant terms defined. He went off on several interesting, somewhat related tangents. He was very thorough, and made much use of Scripture. I give him a lot of credit for his research. But after a number of very lengthy Emails he still had not answered the very simple question I had asked.

Such misdirection is quite typical of Roman Catholic apologists. When they cannot answer a simple, direct question (because the only obvious answer would contradict Roman Catholic theology), they often try to drag you down side roads - and away from the real issue. In my younger days I delighted in that very thing. Now that the years have crept up, I am more inclined to take God at His Word, unless there is ample reason to think otherwise.

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The Roman Catholic Church declares that, by being born, Jesus Christ established the practice of image worship. I have a hundred dollars for the first three people - priest, bishop, cardinal, pope or layperson who can prove this from scripture! Here's a chance to make a rebuttal of The Roman Catholic Observer! How hard can it be? You have Rome's written declaration to start with. Now go to the New Testament and read it through. Find where the birth of Jesus established what Rome calls 'a new economy of images.' Find where Jesus or any of the Apostles told us to have and worship idols! Keep in mind that Jesus is God - the very same God who wrote the Second Commandment. Search diligently to find where Jesus, God, contradicted Himself as declared by the Roman Catholic Church.
Responses to the Challenge
Report Date Response Date Name/email


09/17/98 - Challenge first published on the Internet
10/01/98 - 14 days and no takers yet!
10/23/98 - 36 days and no takers yet!
04/25/99 - 7 months+ and just two surfers to comment. Click here to see the responses.
06/25/99 - 9 months+ and no one has claimed the prize.

Interesting when, as of today, 4,657 people have visited this site.

09/11/99 - 12 months, 6700+ visitors, and still no takers. As of today I will

stop keeping track in this table. If anyone does respond, I will let you know.

11/1999. One Roman Catholic surfer, Dennis B., tried to claim the prize. He is the first and only one to offer at least a rational attempt at an answer. While he certainly did not have a convincing argument, I am so delighted at his effort, I have awarded him a consolation prize - a copy of my autbiography. It's in the mail, Dennis!
Will YOU be the FIRST to collect $100? How hard can it be?

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How to Reply

You can use my Message Board to make your claim. I shall keep track of your responses and copy them to the table above. The first three people to submit proof that is beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt will receive a check for one hundred dollars, plus a personal acknowledgment that I have made a substantive error in this matter.

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Comments from Surfers

After a year just two surfers took the trouble to respond to this challenge. Neither of them had anything substantial to say. Rather, they mentioned the challenge and declared it was too inane, banal, fatuous a thing to merit a serious response. Since they saw the challenge as a no-brainer, they just wanted to tell me how ridiculous it is. Go figure!

Talking with Catholics

Don't be too hard on the Catholic people! This is what their church taught them to do, and drove the fear of hell into them if they failed. Remember, dear surfer, the level of fear that drives our Catholic friends is so deep that many of them simply respond to it without ever realizing its presence. This is especially true of Catholics who were unfortunate enough to have been taught from childhood by the priests, nuns and brothers in the Church of Rome. When you tell them they are worshiping idols, and thus a false god, the fear throws up a barrier of anger and rage - which will be directed at you. (Catholics born after Vatican Council II are mostly a different breed. Lots of them don't believe a lot of what Rome tells them, and don't obey the laws that Rome quotes to them. This is currently a serious topic being addressed by Roman Catholic apologists, such as Catholic Answers, which recently quoted statistics about it in their September 1999 newsletter by the same name.)

Be patient. Don't take it personally. Don't expect a rational answer or an informed discussion. Remember that Catholics are taught what to think, not how to think of spiritual matters. Keep in mind that for Catholics, all questions of salvation, faith, Scripture, and so forth are left in the hands of their priests, who are themselves not much better prepared.

With a few rare exceptions, Catholics are just not prepared to discuss Scripture. Those exceptions exist despite Rome, not because of her. Now and then a Catholic, led by the Spirit of God, begins to study Scripture on their own. More often than not, this leads them to depart. Knowing that the Word of God will reveal both its own Truth and Rome's lies, Rome forbade reading of the Bible to her people until this generation. Only the pressure of a well-educated and emancipated laity pried Rome loose from fifteen centuries of cursing anyone who read Scriptures on their own. So what has happened? People are leaving Rome in droves, along with thousands of ordained priests.

Yes, there is a bit of traffic in the opposite direction. A very small flow it is. Since publishing The Roman Catholic Observer site, I have received exactly two messages from people who moved from Protestantism to Rome as a result of serious study of the subject. But I can point you to hundreds of former Roman Catholics who are now Protestants as a result of their study.

As you discuss Scripture with your Catholic friends, try to show them the truth from their own Bible. And remember, its the job of the job of the Holy Spirit to convince a man or woman of the Truth - not your job or mine.

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Rome's Counter-Arguments

[God Didn't Mean What He Said!][Protestants Worship Images Too!]

God Didn't Mean it!

Roman Catholic apologists are not without their official counter-argument regarding graven images. As a whole, their argument goes something like this:
"There is Biblical proof that God did not mean exactly what He said in Scripture regarding making and using graven images. If He really meant it, he would never have instructed Moses to make an image of a brazen serpent out there in the wilderness (Numbers 21:8-9). God even blessed the people for using that image by healing them. Furthermore, God also told the Israelites to make yet another graven image, that of the Ark of the Covenant, with its images of Cherubim up on top. And God blessed them for doing it by actually abiding there, and meeting with the people there. (Exodus 25:8-22). So you can see that graven images are quite acceptable."

On the surface this seems to be a convincing argument in favor of images. However, when I hear anyone say that 'God didn't really mean what He said......' a big red flag goes up in my mind, and my 'doctrinometer' needle gets pinned!

We have to recognize that God did, indeed, give us the commandment to not make or use graven images. Rome accepts this, while consistently leaving out the commandment in nearly all of her official catechisms, replacing the Bible text with an elispis (. . . ). Her longer Catechisms do include the Bible verse, then launch into an argument similar to the one above, justifying actions condemned by God.

We must ask ourselves, "Is God constrained to obey a commandment written for men?" Certainly not! He is quite able to give us all the commandments He wishes without limiting Himself to follow them. Just consider the command to 'Honor thy father and thy mother.' (Exodus 20:12). Is God constrained to obey this commandment? Hardly, since God has no father or mother! God, who is the Father, clearly states that He is the only God, and beside Him there is no other, not even a father of God. (Isa 44:8; 45:5; 1 Chr 17:20).

Some Roman Catholic apologists declare that God does have a father and mother, making Mary the 'mother of God' rather than just the mother of Jesus. Those apologists paint themselves into a corner. When God gave this commandment, Mary was thousands of years in the future - she did not exist. And if Mary was really the mother of God, she would have to have pre-existed God, which she didn't. That line of argument forces us to ask, "If Mary is the mother of God, is Elisabeth God's aunt? Is John the Baptist God's cousin? Is Zacharias God's Uncle? Is Jacob God's father-in-law?" If these seem to be ridiculous questions, it's because they are. I pose them here just to give a bit of perspective to the issue.

There also remains the question of 'who is God's Father?' The Roman Catholic apologists retort that, since Jesus is God, then his Father is the Father of God. Pretty convoluted thinking in my opinion . . . having a God whose Father is Himself, with a mortal mother. This sounds more like Greek mythology than Scripture. Remember the story of Hercules? There was a guy with a god for a father and a human woman for a mother. The closer you look at the teachings and trappings of Rome, the more she looks like ancient Greek and Roman mythology, and the less like the church of Christ portrayed in the Bible.

So it is that, while God commands men to refrain from making 'unto themselves' and using images in worship, God is quite free to order men to make images under His direction without contradicting Himself. When men obey God's instructions to make images, God does reward them. When men make and use images for themselves, it is a sin.

Finally, please notice that much later than the time of Moses, God said that the use of graven images is an act of vanity and (spiritual) blindness. (Isaiah 44:9). Is God thereby condemning His own actions in telling the Israelites to make certain images? I don't think so! It still comes down to the question of who it is that decides to make and use the images. If man does it, as in the Church of Rome, it is a sin; if God does it, it is His divine will. Big difference!

We also need to ask, "What ever happened to that brazen serpent that God ordered Moses to make? Whatever happened to the Ark of the Covenant?" The answer may surprise you!

So it happens that Roman Catholics honestly believe they are not worshiping idols because of the illogical gobblydegook spoon-fed to them from childhood. Gobblydegook? Yes indeed. All that artificial and misleading talk of levels and kinds of worship, and of how the worship is 'passed-on' to the person(s) represented by the status.
QUESTION: Did God forbid man from making and using images in worship. Your answer?
QUESTION: Is God obliged to obey the commandments he gave to men? Your answer?
QUESTION: Is there a difference between making graven images for ourselves, and making them at the command of God? Your answer?
QUESTION: Rome teaches that Catholics do not worship images. She further says that the Catholic's worship is 'passed-on' to the person represented by the images. If you are not worshiping, what is it that is 'passed-on?' Your answer?
QUESTION: Are you aware that God forbids any attempt to communicate with the dead? Your answer?
QUESTION: Is not the attempt to get Mary or some saint to do something for you an attempt to communicate with the dead? Your answer?

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Dear Roman Catholic surfer, if you are not worshiping your statues, how can your non-worship be 'passed on?' Also, please consider the fact that, beyond graven images, God also forbids any and all attempts to communicate to or with the dead! Saul tried it and died for the trying (1 Samuel 28:3-18). Well, Mary is dead; the Apostles are dead; all the official Roman Catholic 'saints' are dead. They do not hear you. They can not answer you. They can not help you. While you may feel a bit uplifted after half an hour before a statue of St. Jude, remember that Buddhists feel the same after half an hour before a statue of Buddha, and Hindus after a spell with statues of Krishna, or Shakti, or any of their hundreds of dead 'saints, or the Native Americans after a session with their totem-ancestors.' The feeling goes with the actions, and in no way prove that some communication with the dead has occurred.

If you'd like to get a handle on how God views our puny efforts to communicate with the dead, get out your concordance and do a word-study on the Biblical terms applied to such efforts - soothsayer, soothsaying, necromancer, necromancy, familiar spirits and so forth. It will enlighten you.

May God bless you as you study His inspired Word. May His Holy Spirit guide you, even as promised, to the Truth.

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Whatever Happened to God's Images?

Granted that God ordered men to create graven images on several occasions. When He did so, it was for a specific purpose. Once that purpose had been served, the image was no longer needed, so God saw to it that those images were disposed of. Herewith the story of two of those images- the brazen serpent and the Ark of the Covenant.

Hezekiah's Destroys Mose's Serpent

Alright. So God told Moses to make a brazen serpent, and those who viewed it were healed of snake bites. What happened to that brazen serpent? Many years later we are told that:
"And he (King Hezekiah) did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. (2 Kings 18:3-6)

Here we have a King, doing 'that which was right in the sight of the LORD,' destroying the very image made by Moses under God's direction! The making and use of that image was also right in the sight of the LORD! Do we have a contradiction here?

No, we do not. After the initial creation and use of the brazen serpent, its purpose was fulfilled and it was no longer needed. The Israelites, however, didn't get the point. They kept that image around and burnt incense before it, which amounted to idolatry. Kind of reminds you of the Catholic priests burning incense on their altar, doesn't it? So God moved someone to destroy the very same image He had ordered made! Its something to think about.

Whatever Happened to the Ark of the Covenant?

God told the Israelites to make another graven image, the Ark of the Covenant. For many years it accompanied them as the evidence of God's presence, and His promise to help them in battle. But then the Israelites descended into idolatry, and the Ark suddenly disappeared. There are two legends purporting to explain its disappearance. One says that near the end of Solomon's reign, his son, Menelik I, by the Queen of Sheba, had an exact replica of the Ark created. He swapped the copy for the original, and took the original to Ethiopia for safekeeping. Word also has it that in the last few years, Israeli soldiers, proven to be descendants of the priestly line of Arron, returned the Ark to Israel where it now resides.(1)

The second legend Has it that Jeremiah, wishing to protect the Ark from the coming invaders, hid the ark is a cave, along with several other objects of temple worship. This version, recorded in Jewish legend and in a book of the Apocrypha, was taken seriously by explorer Ron Wyatt. Ron claims he recently found this cave, and that he has photographic evidence that the Ark of the Covenant is there. Go to Ron Wyatt's Page for a fascinating description of his work.

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Protestants Worship Images Too!

Several Roman Catholic apologists have responded to the 'Catholics-Worship-Images' charge by challenging that Protestants also worship images. The line of reasoning goes like this:
"You Protestants have no right to charge Catholics with idolatry. Protestants worship images too. Every Protestant church has a cross somewhere, or stained glass windows, or carvings of bread and a communion cup. And you Protestants use cameras, don't you? And photographs are images, aren't they? So you are as much idolaters as you say we Catholics are!"

An interesting charge. Indeed, Protestant churches do have these images. If I, as a Protestant, do the very same thing the Catholics do, am I not a hypocrite? Are Protestants therefore committing the sin of idolatry?

The answer is a resounding "No!"

How so? The answer lies in the advice my son, Warren often give me regarding the interpretation of Scripture. He reminds me there are three cardinal rules: 1.) CONTEXT, 2.) CONTEXT, 3.) CONTEXT! He is correct. We must not lose sight of the fact that the making and using of images was clearly linked by God to worship. We discussed that above. Protestants do not worship (bow before, kneel to, pray to, pray through, light candles to, or expect sins to be forgiven by or through) their crosses and windows. Protestants do not attempt to get some dead person to do something for us, such as find lost objects, or do some impossible task, as do Roman Catholic people. To a Protestant, these are merely symbols that identify the church as being Christian. There is a world of difference between the way Catholics and Protestants perceive and deal with their images. Thanks, Warren.

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End Notes

1. An iconoclast is an 'image breaker,' or one who either objects to idol worship, or goes about trying to destroy images, icons, statues, etc. I myself am an iconoclast. I am in good company, too. God has been known to break a few images as well (see story of Dagon in 1 Sam 5:1-6).

1. As reported on Pages 135-149 of Armageggon: Appointment with Destiny, by Grant R. Jeffrey, Copyright 1997; ISBN 0-921714-00-9. Available via the internet from Amazon Books.