After I became a Christian I had an insatiable desire to read the Word of God [The Bible]. One of the first things that I noticed in my reading of the Ten Commandments, which can be found in Exodus 20:1-17, is that the Second Commandment was different from what I learned growing up as a Roman Catholic. I remember learning the Second Commandment as “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain.” which you can read for yourself in the Catechism above.These are the Ten Commandments as found in the Roman Catholic New Saint Joseph Catechism, which has the Imprimatur of the Catholic Church. Having the Imprimatur means that they approve of the doctrine which is contained inside the Catechism. [Item #195, page 100]After I was born again, I went to the Bible and saw that the Second Commandment spoke about the making and worshiping of graven images. It is obvious that the statues, which I was so used to seeing in church when I was growing up, fit into that category. Here is the REAL Second Commandment as found in the King James version of the Bible.
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 shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)
Shortly before I came to know Jesus Christ I was involved in the worship of graven images, and I became more heavily involved in the worship of Mary as I became involved in the Catholic charismatic movement. I went shopping with the intention of purchasing a small statue of her, for I was going to build an altar to Mary in my finished attic. The prices were out of my range, so I never bought the statue, nor did I build that altar. I can say today that the Lord set me free with His truth, from the idolatry which had me ensnared.
If you take a look at the Ten Commandments in the Catholic Catechism you will notice that after removing the Second Commandment, the Third Commandment then became the Second Commandment, and the Fourth Commandment became the Third and the rest of them were slid down also. The Roman Catholic Church then took the Tenth Commandment, found in ONE verse [Exodus 20:17] and which deals with the ONE subject of covetousness, and they broke it in half, and made it into the NINTH and TENTH Commandments in their Catechism.
I point this out for the pupose of bringing some spiritual light on the subject of idolatry. There is an interesting portion of scripture in the book of Acts where the city of Ephesus went into an uproar because the apostle Paul had been preaching his heart out to the people, and warning them about such idolatry and the worship of graven images. This upset the merchants who were making a fortune by creating these graven images:
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. 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. (Acts 19:23-28)
Do you see what happened there? There was an uproar because the apostle Paul was making inroads into the territory of the devil himself. Were the people of Ephesus worshiping God in Spirit and truth? Were they worshipers of Jesus Christ as the Jewish apostle Paul was? You know that they were not. They were worshiping a goddess named Diana, who had people throughout the whole world ensnared. As a Christian I know that these people of Ephesus were in gross deception [as I was] and the devil was going wild because he was about to be exposed.
The devil will leave a person alone in the darkness of their idolatry, and even allow them to make mega bucks in their spiritual fraud, because ultimately he is after their soul. When somebody gets near them with the Word of God, and the truth that can set them free he gets very angry, and will often create a distraction so that they do not hear the truth that can set them free.
That is why I am a firm believer that the Sword of the Spirit [God’s Word and Truth] must be used when you share the Gospel with people. Why? Because it is the Word of God and not merely a man made opinion. There is power in the Word of God. Here is another passage of scripture that deals on the subject of idol worship:
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their 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. (Psalms 115:1-8)
The Word of God could not be any clearer when it speaks on the subject of idolatry. Many people will dig in their feet to defend their worship of idols, but they are totally unaware that there are dark powers working behind the entities they THINK they are worshiping. There truly is a battle for their souls taking place.