Posted, 9/29/06

March 12, 2006


By Bro Need

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

I will mention this point often – as we go through these commandments, we will see how far short we are of what is required of us in to be holy even as He is holy. Leviticus 20:7, 1 Peter 1:15, 16. The purpose of pointing these hundreds of sins a day a day, in almost every thing we do, is not to discourage us. Rather, it is that we might better see the need of our Mediator, and better understand what he has done for his people:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1 Peter 3:18 ¶ For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Our conscience is clear in all our sin only because of the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, and purged our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14. Also, Hebrews 9:9, 10:2, 22.

The First Commandment:

I am going to cover many points. Actually, these points are simply outlines of many of the things covered by the First Commandment. There is a year's worth of teaching in each commandment. All the rest built on this one. It will be difficult to keep them separate. The First and the Second are very similar – the First deals with the inward thoughts and intents of the heart; the Second with the outward actions. Though I will try not to, I will probably repeat myself as we discuss the first two commandments.

Many of these things are well-known points that are often preached, but other things are not so well-known. I will try to place them in an orderly fashion, and show how lightly we treat God's law, and the work done by Christ Jesus. We take him and his work too much for granted, to our own destruction.

There is an abundance of Scripture for each point. I will give you a few, and with a good concordance (or computer Bible program, which I distribute), you can easily follow them up with many more.

Let me open with this verse:

Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

This is the beginning of all sin. Here the first temptation was that man could be his own god. He would not need Jehovah God to tell him what was good and evil. Rather, he could know that himself. Thus, sin is simply man trying to set himself up as his own god, able to not only survive but prosper simply by following what he feels is best for him.

Therefore, all the other commandments are based upon the First. Idolatry, defined by the First and Second commandment, is any and every attempt by man to be guided by his own word rather than God's. Man's number one god is himself.

We could cover all 10 from the First, but we will not. I will try to break them up in an organized fashion, but of necessity they must overlap.

In 1 Corinthians 10:9 (Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.), Paul tells us that the Old Testament Angel of the Lord Christ. Christ redeemed his people from Egypt, met them at the mount, led them in the wilderness and delivered them into the promised land, Canaan. Hebrews 4 assures us that Christ is that promised land for his people today.

In Deuteronomy 6, Moses rehearses the blessings promised for keeping the 10 Commandments, as well as the curses for ignoring the Commandments. This passage should be studied with the commandments, remembering that the Gospel Church is the new Israel of God, and the Jehovah God of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, is her God today:

Deuteronomy 6:1-6: Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: 2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son''s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Christ emphasized the importance of Deuteronomy 6 by quoting vv. 4, 5 as the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:29, 30, Luke 10:27.

Many gods

1 Corinthians 8:4. Though there is but one God, Paul tells us that there are many that are called gods:

As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

The First Commandment broadly prohibits idolatry. The Biblical definition of idolatry is obviously a broad one. Paul identifies covetousness as idolatry. Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5.

This commandment sets the true God apart from all supposed gods. It deals with both the inward and outward worship.

Before we get into the spiritual aspect of this commandment, we will examine an overlooked practical aspect of it.

The State and Law

The First Commandment tells us there is only one God; therefore, only one law system. However, we are now a nation of many gods, with many law-systems. The term we hear is "Pluralistic Society."

Pluralism – Philosophy a theory or system that recognizes more than one ultimate principle. A "Pluralistic Society" has more than one god, and says that no one god can have a corner on the truth. The result is that the state must be the ultimate god, for it alone can claims to the only source of truth, and it enforces its claim with laws, taxes and arms.

Our nation was not founded as a pluralistic society. It was founded upon ONE GOD as defined in His Holy Word.

Thus, if this nation continues in its departure from the one common law-system upon which it was founded – God's Commandments, it must break up into separate parts. The other option is anarchy, and law imposed by force of arms. (The "celebration of diversity" rather the "celebration of unity" is actually the celebration of the breakup of the United States.)


Law and power.

Law is applied power. God gave the state restricted power to reward good and punish evil. But an apostate state will claim all power, and kill multitudes of people to retain its power. Romans 13:4.

Christ himself said that those with civil power are gods. John 10:34 quotes Psalms 82. Accordingly, unbiblical laws enforced at the point of a gun is the states claim of godhood. When we recognize the state's unbiblical laws as legitimate, we have established another god.

The commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," requires that we recognize no power as true and ultimately legitimate if it be not grounded in God and His law-word. It requires that we see true law as righteousness, and righteousness of God, and as a ministry of justice, and it requires us to recognize that the inequalities of just law faithfully applied are the basic ingredients of a free and healthy society. The body politic, no less than the physical body, cannot equate sickness with health without perishing. (RJR, Institutes v. 1, p. 61.)

The commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," means also "Thou shalt have no other powers before me," independent of me or having priority over me. The commandment can also read, "Thou shalt have no other law before me." The powers which today more than every present themselves as the other gods are the antichristian states. The anitchristian state makes itself god and therefore sees itself as the source of both law and power. Apart from a Biblical perspective, the state becomes another god, and, instead of law, legality prevails. (Ibid.)

That is, rather than something being lawful according to the just and righteous laws, things are legal because the state says they are legal. Thus, our law today is pragmatic law—THAT WHICH WORKS for the situation at hand. It has no moral base—kill an unborn child with a gun or a knife, and you will be charged with murder, which is a just and right law. However, kill an unborn child with abortion, and you will be paid, because that is legal.

Pragmatic law – that which works for the time being – cannot believe in one true God who has a common binding unchanging law upon all persons.

Because there is only one unchanging God, there is only one unchanging law-system. Christians cannot recognize any other law-system as legitimate other than Biblical law. If we do, we have turned to serve other gods. When a person's law-system changes, his god changes. When a person thinks he is a law unto himself, he worships self.

Antinomians, who dismiss God's law for our day, and Dispensationalists, who believe that God changes according to whatever age is at hand, are both polytheistic, for they both reject the ONE GOD who changes not. Malachi 3:6.

ARE THEY SAVED? Only the Lord can make that determination.

The moral collapse of Christendom is the result of the current process of changing gods –– from the Christian God to the Humanistic god whose laws are built around man. Genesis 3:5. Sadly, the tabernacles of change are the government schools.

Deuteronomy 6:7-9 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. 20-25, And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you? 21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: 22 And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: 23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. 24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

Here we see that true worship of God requires education in terms of Biblical law. There can be no true worship without true education, vv. 8, 9. Nonbiblical state education, particularly of our children, means we are educating them in service to pagan gods; it means bowing down to other gods. It is idiolatry, for we have given them to another god, more commonly know in Scripture as Moloch.

1 Kings 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

Thus, Moloch and Malcham were the same god of the Ammonites. According to Smith's Revised Bible Dictionary, Molech means THE KING, and Malcham means THEIR KING or YOUR KING.

According to McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature:

King or their king was the title by which Molech, Malcham was known to the Israelites. Their king, Molech or Malcham was invested with regal honors in his character. This king was seen as a tutelary deity [protector, guardian]. He was seen as the lord and master of his people. The people were accused adulterers as they looked to the king rather than to the Lord for their protection and guardian.

This problem was far more widespread among Israel than appears at first glance in the Old Testament.

Amos 5:26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. {the tabernacle…: or, Siccuth your king}

The king of our day has many tabernacles. The tabernacles of our Moloch, or king today are the government school buildings. We can see a monstrous edifice here out of our window. You will also find a reference to this tabernacle of Moloch in Acts 7:43. Molech is called "the king" in Isaiah 30:33

Israel is personified as an adulteress in Isaiah 57:9, as they went to the king with ointment and perfumes.

Though one way he was worshiped by placing babies in his flaming hot idol, some say this simply meant passing the child between two burning pillars. However, the worship of Malcham was much more than just giving the child to him. The people could swear by Malcham. Zephaniah 1:5.

Malcham, or Molech also had chapels dedicated to him and his instruction:

Amos 7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.

Here we see that Amaziah the priest of Bethel forbade Amos to prophecy there, "for it is the king's chapel", or a house of Molech. Today, we are forbidden to prophesy in the government schools, for they are chapels of Molech. Revelation 19:10, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Psalms 106:37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, 38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

Notice here there were two things God condemned his people for:

1) giving their sons and daughters to devils by indoctrinating them in the service to Molech. They sacrificed them to the king or the state.
2) killing innocent children by sacrificing them to idols.

Moloch warship was a political religion, and involved worship of the state as god. The state was the ultimate order; religion was a department of the state, and the state claimed total jurisdiction. (RJR, Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 30-40.)

1 Samuel 8 tells us that when King Jesus and his law is rejected, the state will take over as king, and enforce its laws with weapons.

Today, Moloch is worshiped by sacrificing our children to the state education system.

The word of God is clear:

Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them

1 Samuel 2:24-30 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. 25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. 26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. 27 ¶ And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? 28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? 29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? 30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Eli honored and loved his children above God. How do we honor our children above God? By doing with them what we fee is best rather than what is required of us by God's word. By allowing them to make their own decisions, and do what they feel is best, rather than what the Lord tells us is best.

Eli is in contrast to Abraham who withheld NOT his only son from God, Genesis 22.

Those of my generation find it exceeding distressing how so many parents today not only sacrifice their children to the state in the education system starting in preschool, but allow their children to control their household. The parents become slaves to their 6 year old.

Sacrificing children to Molech, the state, has its results. As the majority of those children turn against the Christianity of the parents, they are destroying the foundations of this country. Psalms 11:3. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Obviously, not all state-educated children turn against the God of their fathers, for God in his mercy and grace calls whomsoever he wills. However, we cannot live in terms of what God might do, but only in terms of what is required in his word.

In fact, Rebellion against God's word is witchcraft.

1 Samuel 15:23. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

When we allow the State to establish law rather than God through his word, when we honor State-made and man-made law above God's law. We recognize the State as the source of law – that is, as god. However, we can only violate man-made laws when following them violate God's law. Acts 5:29. The property tax is the best example of the State claiming to be god as it claims ownership of the earth, and all that is in it. Psalms 89:11.

Yet it is a law we must obey, or the State will remove it by force.

Though we must obey man-made laws according to Romans 13 (I have written a book on Romans 13), if we honor those laws above Biblical law, the State has become an idol:

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. {lawgiver: Heb. statutemaker}

James 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

1 Samuel 8 gives the results of this idolatry of exalting a king above the Lord God.

We have replaced the Creator with the creature. Romans 1:25. If we follow through the implications of allowing the State to be god, the lawgiver, we must conclude that sending children to State schools for their schooling is sacrificing them to devils. Sadly, we are forced at the point of a bayonet to finance that idolatry.

Also, the effects of sin have required many to do those things they would not otherwise do, such as mothers who have been abandoned by their husbands, or who have lost their husbands in death. I believe God has more mercy and grace for those who unwillingly must compromise his word than for those who willingly compromise.

Spiritual aspects

This First Commandment defines the right external object of worship, directing men to the true God, and it regulates men's internal worship of God. The Second Commandment presupposes both proper external and internal worship, and regulates the proper method of worship of the one true God.

This commandment, as do all the rest, has a positive part which requires something, and a negative part which prohibits something.

POSITIVE, or what is required by the first commandment

Three things required by this commandment:

1. It requires right knowledge of God, for without right knowledge, there can be no right thoughts nor concepts of him, nor faith in him.

Deuteronomy 6:4 ¶ Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Before we can worship him properly, we must know his attributes: omnipotence, omniscience, wisdom, goodness, justice, faithfulness, immenseness, unchangeableness..

We must also know his special works that reveal his sovereignty, majesty, providence, redemption, mediation, creation and his offices. Proper faith in him, as required by Scripture, cannot be obtained without some measure of distinct knowledge of God's attributes and properties.

In other words, this commandment requires that we study his Word to know who God is, and how he must be served and worshiped. Anything less than proper worship is not worship to the true God. Rather, improper knowledge of him leads to worshiping gods made in our own image.

2. It requires suitable acknowledging of God in his characteristics:

He is highly esteemed above all.
Believed and trusted in.
Hoped in.
Served and obeyed.
He must be the supreme end in all our actions.

3. It requires such duties as result from his excellency:

It requires:

Dependence upon him:

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. (Psalms 73:28, Psalms 118:8, 9.)

Submission to him, and patience under extreme difficulties:

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6.)

Repentance for wronging him:

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (Psalms 51:4.)

Communion and constant walking with him. Communion is broken when prayer is slighted, for then we fail to acknowledge him in everything:

Nehemiah 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Delighting in him:

Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (40:8, 119:16.)

Meditating on him:

Psalms 1:2, above. Also 63:6, 77:12, 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 148, 143:5, 1 Timothy 4:15.

We are required to encourage and help others, according to our areas of responsibilities, such as husbands and fathers are to encourage their wives and children, pastors their congregations:

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 1 Timothy 6:2, Hebrews 3:13.)

We are required to use all lawful means to expand these things in us: reading, meditation, study, &c.:

1 Timothy 4:13-15 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 14 ¶ These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

In other words, the First Commandant requires that we study Scripture to develop its implications, and find how God's laws apply to every area of life and thought, including to the civil government. What does it require of us and of those around us? How can we serve the One True God properly? How can we, and should we confront wickedness in high places, as we are commanded to do in Ephesians 6:12 (For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.)?

If we do not know God's word and stand as required by his word, we are serving a god after our own making.

Some of our required duties to God are also required toward our fellow creatures, such as love, fear, submission, &c. We are even required to treat the bruit beasts properly:

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

When competition between other creatures and God arises, God must be given first place. As Peter said, We ought to obey God rather than man. Every duty must keep its own place so none conflicts with our duty to God. We are commanded to honour our father and mother, but the Lord tells us that those who love father and mother more than him are not worthy of him. Matthew 10:37. There are those who use father and mother as an excuse not to give him his due. Matthew 15:4ff.

When we ignore or avoid what is required of us by His Word, we have established another god.

NEGATIVE, or what is forbidden

Now, the negative part of this commandment—what is forbidden, and how may it be broken.

Generally, we consider ourselves the most innocent concerning this commandment, when actually we are the most guilty of breaking this commandment. This commandment is breached when God is in any way wronged in what is his due.

How it is broken

We break it with impatience, fretting (worry), unwilling submitting to God, wishing things were different than what Divine Providence provides, thinking things might have been better otherwise, not behaving thankfully for what God does.

We break it when we deny what is owed to God, e.g., when he is not considered eternal, omnipotent and one blessed God in three persons.

We break it when we live as if there were no God, or as if he has not the attributes attributed to him by Scripture, e.g., omniscient, just, &c.

Psalms 50:1 ¶ <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.>> The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

When we act and think as though God were not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. With our mouth we profess that God is everywhere at all times, yet in our actions we deny that fact.

We break it when our actions do not line up with what we say we believe. In other words, hypocrites.

With our mouth we profess Christ, but our actions do not support that profession:

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

We break the first commandment when we attribute human facilities to God, e.g., he changes, he favors profanity, or he overlooks and forgets about sin, &c.

Psalms 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

Our memories are conveniently short. We sleep on something a few times, and it is forgotten. God promises results either for not obeying or for obeying his commandments. God in his mercy withholds the results of our sin, giving us a chance to repent. Because the "lightening does not strike immediately," we misunderstand God mercy, and we feel we have escaped. But we have not. God promises that either we or our descendants will pay for our sin, if we do not repent and turn.

Romans 2:4-6

Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

We need to be reminded of Ecclesiastes 8:11 often. We are commanded in 1 Peter 1:15, 16, to be holy even as he is holy. We are holy the same why Christ was and is holy, by living by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4. All the word of God is based upon the commandments. His word develops the implications of these commandments.

In Exodus 20:18-26, we see that the holiness of God as revealed in the commandments caused the people to see their need of a mediator. V. 19, they asked Moses to be that mediator. Then in v. 22-26, the Lord provided the proper approach to himself — the altar and blood sacrifice.

The same as with the Old Israel, the commandments show us our need of a Mediator, and of a Sacrifice. Christ meets those needs, as well as providing the Christian Grace to live as pleasing to him—following the implications of the commandments.

There are no doubt people in here today who are hearing these things, and think that because they have gotten away thus far, they can continue on ignoring what God requires of his people. However, we are promised that his sentence against an evil work will be executed, either in us or in our children.

We break it when we attribute what justly belongs to God to any part of his creation. Such as, attempts to approach God in any way than through the Lord Jesus Christ, thinking that the stars (or luck) influence events here on earth, or that the devil is in control of various situations, &c.

Daniel 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. (Proverbs 8:15, 16, Jeremiah 27:5, Colossians 1:16.)

These various things can become idols when they replace God in our thinking.

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

Considering God's works for us – his providence, redemption, mercies, righteous judgments, how many times have we slighted him in his works, e.g., we attribut what happens to us, whether good or bad, to luck, chance or good fortune. Or we are unthankful. Romans 1:21.


IDOLATRY MAY BE TOWARD something that is no more than a figment of someone's imagination, such as the images found in many foreign countries, and that are now making their way into this once Christian nation:

1 Corinthians 8:4 ¶ As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

(In LA, I visited the home of someone who visited the church. In the corner of the room was an idol with candles and incense set before it. The AF man had married a foreign girl, and she had brought her idols with her. The Mexicans are bringing in their Roman idols.)

(When I was stationed in Spain, it was not uncommon to see statues of Marry along the road with food or flowers sacrificed before those statues. Nor is it uncommon to see those statutes in the backyards of Americans.)

IDOLATRY MAY BE TOWARD real objects – evil men, devils, animals, angles, saints, sun, moon.


This is probably the most common form of idolatry. Ezekiel 8, the elders come to Ezekiel faking genuine religion, hoping to hear what they wanted to hear. They were idolaters. Those who seek after preachers who will tell them what they want to hear are idolaters at heart.

Ezekiel 8:7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. 9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. (Also Ezekiel 14.)

Example – Rick Warren knows what to say and when to say it to draw the multitudes to him:

Journalist, Paul Nussbaum recently sent shock waves through a segment of the Christian community after reporting the following comments from Pastor Rick Warren in The Philadelphia Enquirer:

"Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century.'"

Warren: "Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other." ...

Warren: "Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. [Verbal Inspiration. Virgin Birth. Vicarious Atonement. Victorious Resurrection. Visible Return. Ed.] And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones…I am an evangelical. I'm not a member of the religious right and I'm not a fundamentalist ...Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left; I don't know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren't that many Fundamentalists left in America."

So, before a very diverse, secular and ecumenical audience, Warren says he IS NOT a fundamentalist. Then, in a later damage-control article, written [by a staff member] for the benefit of Christian pastors who subscribe to his website and buy his Purpose Driven products, "Saddleback Church is unapologetically fundamentalist." Handy, huh?

I don't think double mindedness is what the Apostle Paul meant by being "all things to all men," do you?

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." - James 1:8 ...


Rick does not even define "Fundamentalist" properly. ""Fundamentalism:" The term originated to describe those who held to the dispensational, millenarian system. The term, Fundamentalism, has since enlarged to embrace far more than just the millenarians — generally, all who hold to the inspiration of Scriptures and profess to live by their belief" (Death of the Church Victorious, p 287. Note #52.)

Thus, the mega church movement of our day has departed from the basic Christian faith to serve other gods. Listen to what they are saying — their message is as unoffensive as possible in order to draw and keep a crowd. They must keep the funds flowing.

The false prophet appeals to the idols of the heart. A.W. Pink says concerning false prophets:

In addition to their subtlety and plausibility, 'frequently accompanied by a most winsome personality and an apparently saintly walk, there is a real danger of our being deceived by these false prophets and receiving their erroneous teaching by virtue of the fact that there is that within the Christian himself which responds to and approves of their lies. How immeasurably this intensifies our peril! That which flatters is pleasing to the flesh; that which abases is distasteful. (Sermon on the Mount, p. 340.)

In our Lord's words, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15

Jeremiah 23 has a lot to say about false prophets:

16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. 21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

Jeremiah 23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

Ver. 32. Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, &c.] And not true ones, such as the Lord spoke in to his prophets, and which they communicated from him to his people; see #Nu 12:6;

and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; by the false doctrines and prophecies which they delivered, and by their loose and disorderly lives which they led; so that they debauched the principles of the people by the former, and their practices by the latter. Kimchi interprets the word translated "lightness" of lightness of their knowledge; as if it was through the shallowness of their judgments, and want of capacity in teaching, that the people were made to err by their false doctrines. The Targum interprets it of their temerity or rashness; and Schultens {s}, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, explains it of their pride and false glorying;

yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; wherefore they lied, and acted a vainglorious part, when they pretended they were sent by him, and had their orders from him what they should say; see #Jer 23:21;

therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord; so far from it, that they did them a great deal of hurt by their lies and flatteries; seducing them from the ways and worship of God, and leading them on in such as would issue in their destruction, and did.

(John Gill)

The problem with the false teacher is far more than simply compromising the gospel of Christ. The general characteristic of false prophet is that he makes godliness to be a thing less strict and easier than it actually is. He cheapens not only salvation, but the Christian walk. He is popular because he makes the gate wider and the way to heaven broader than did Christ.

1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them

He makes godliness agreeable to the fallen human nature. His message is smooth and unoffensive. Thus, it offers very little or no healing to the sinner. Jeremiah 23:17, Micah 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:3, Jeremiah 8:11, Ezekiel 8:14, 22:28, Isaiah 30:10. His message finds a ready acceptance by the natural man. (Ibid, p. 339.)

Basically, the false prophets preys on the idolatry of the heart. The natural man desires a god that he can be comfortable with, that allows him to proceed according to what he wants to do, and the false prophets supply that god, AND MAKE A VERY GOOD LIVING AT IT.


Sensual - carnal; pertaining to the flesh or body... Many churches are built upon appealing to the flesh with the music and entertainment.

Israel was more concerned about what they would eat than they were about what God had for them to do. Exodus 14:11, 12 & 16:2, 3.

Paul identifies this great idol, the belly:

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

How many Christians do we know whose idol is their own ease and physical appetites. They spend their working lives seeking pleasure or simply to have the good things of this life for them and for their families.

God defines the purpose of work:

A) To provide for his own house. (1 Timothy 5:8.)

B) To give according to the commands of God – give to those in need:

Ephesians 4:28, Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

C) To support the work of God. (Malachi 3. I have found over the years that one reason men do not want to recognize the validity of the Old Testament upon Christians is because they love money more than God. They don't want to give God what he claims as his, the tithe.)

IDOLATRY AND SECRET DESIRES. That is, desires or love of things that are not ours: another's house, spouse, goods, and other unlawful things.

IDOLATRY AND EXCESS. An excessive love of lawful things: our own house, spouse, goods and other things that are lawful in themselves.

Daniel 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

There was nothing wrong with building his house and kingdom. It was when he loved them excessively. The idolatry of good things can creep up on us, and is easy to fall to.

God's due

There are five things that above question are due to God alone:

1. Honor above all
2. Love with all of the heart.
3. Confidence and trust.
4. Fear and reverence.
5. Service and obedience.

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

First: What do we honor? Do we honor our loved ones above God?

We commit idolatry when anything, even lawful things, gets too much respect. We know we have given to much respect to something or some one when our happiness is dependant upon that person or thing – including wife, children, house, land, any kind of possessions.

Micah possessed an idol:

Judges 18:24 And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?

How are we affected with the thought of losing something that we hold dear?

1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

David's men were ready to stone him when they lost the things they held dear, but David was encouraged in the Lord.

Second: What do we love enough to follow? Though commanded to love God with all our hearts, Luke 10:27, we commonly allow other things to gain our love.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Those who love the things of this world are called idolaters.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (Also Ephesians 5:5.)

How do we know if we love the things of this world?

In 1 Kings 21, Ahab so loved Naboth's vineyard that he could get no rest without it. He was willing to either himself or let someone else violate God's law in order to obtain what he wanted.

(We will see much more of this under Thou shalt not covet. Covetousness can be defined as any desire for anything for which we are willing to compromise the word of God to obtain.)

In 2 Timothy 4, Demas loved the things of this world so much that he forsook his service to God by forsaking the apostle. There are godly wealthy men. And there are some who have the personality with which he can both serve the true God and gain great wealth. However, far more men have found great wealth in serving other gods.

We mentioned Rick Warren last time.

I have personally known two men who could be considered wealthy. In both cases, they kept their priorities right with the Lord, neither had over a 6th grad education, and you could not tell by looking that either were wealthy.

Third: God is due our total confidence and trust. We violate the first commandment when we place our confidence and trust in anything beside the God of the Bible, through Jesus Christ.

Psalms 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Sadly, the ungodly state has worked hard to make everyone dependent upon the ungodly who are in power. The hurricane response at the Gulf Coast is a good example. Everyone is saying, "Where is my federal aid that is owed to me?"

In Howard Phillips' Issues and Strategy Bulletin #786, March 31, we find this statement concerning Bush's Faith Based Initiative:

"Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.) was more outspoken. ‘I believe ultimately this will be seen as one of the largest patronage programs in American history,' he said. …
"The Institute for Youth development in Sterling, which is run by Shepherd Smith and his wife, Anita M. Smith, has been awarded $7.5 million over three years. In turn, the institute has parceled out $4.5 million of the federal money in grants of $5,000 to $50,000 to smaller organizations.
"Shepherd Smith, who was a top strategist in Pat Robertson's 1988 presidential bid, said the institute's grants were ‘not an effort on my part to make the right stronger; this was an effort to help little people' who have difficulty getting access to federal money. …"

There are many people who make an excellent living out of telling people how to get free federal money. However, we know there is no such thing as a free lunch.

We make the Examiner available at no charge, but it sure is not free. It stretches us to the limit at every mailing.

Illustration: Some time ago, I read of the situation in places like the mountains of Tennessee and the Carolinas. When things would get difficult and money was scarce, the men would work at anything they could do – cutting lumber or any other difficult task. However, when the welfare system came in, these hard working men were persuaded to take payments for doing nothing. It destroyed the work ethic in that region, and the cancer spread.

The enemy of our souls has been very effective in making everyone, Christians included, dependant upon the State.

Job 31:24 ¶ If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;

Do we consider ourselves secure because we have a good "rainy weather" or retirement account laid aside, or because we have a good job? The man in Luke 12:19, found rest for his soul because he had full barns.

As we will point out in the Spring Examiner, the idol of "gold", though there is no gold, is about to fall, and bring down a nation in that fall. (Gold was over $600 this past week, and closed at 587 and silver at 12.05. This shows us how fast and far the dollar is being devalued by the huge debt.)

How do we know when we are serving an idol?

How do we respond when we are disappointed in financial matters? It is a very common human malady to seek security in worldly things, rather than in Divine Providence. (It is the sin nature that has a problem of seeking worldly security. Though the Lord miraculously provided all our needs in 2000 for the huge medical bills while my wife was in the hospital, I have a problem depending upon his providence day by day.)

Are we not warned three times, Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25 & Luke 18:25, about trust in riches replacing trust in the Lord?

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with riches, unless trust in material wealth replaces trust in the Lord – if material things make us fell secure, proud or happy, then they are idols. And we all have problems with this idol of physical security.

4) The fourth things that is due to God alone – Fear and reverence. Do we fear men more than God? Does fear of ridicule hinder our stand for God, and keeps us back from our duty? Young people would be particularly susceptible here. It is an unique young person who will not allow "peer pressure" to cause him or her to join the crowd in some ungodly things.

John 12:42, Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Here we see that there were chief rulers among the Jews who believed on Christ, but because of their fear of the Pharisees, they kept their belief quit. Thus, they feared the Pharisees, making the Pharisees their idols. They feared those who could kill the body more than they feared the one who could kill the soul. Matthew 10:28.

Fear of man

World magazine, 3/25/06, had an article, Medium and Message. It told how much influence the right kind of Christian radio broadcasting was having for the gospel in the Mohammedan, Muslim, lands.

A lady raised in Lebanon and Saudi Arabis married and moved to the US. She became a Christian. Mrs. Brooks lives in Washington and produces devotional tapes in Arabic that are broadcast across the Middle East.

Mrs. Books says she knows of many Muslims who have become Christians through radio programs, and although their conversions are typically not made public, they usually find fellowship with quiet groups of believers in otherwise restrictive Muslim-dominated countries.

What would we do in such circumstances? I think the figures say that when a Muslim population becomes 30%, they will start causing problems, and the higher the number, the more problems until they start persecuting Christians. Until then, they are very docile.

The Muslims are in a big push to gain followers in the US, being financed, of course, with petrodollars. They and the Catholics are the two fastest growing groups in the US.

Did not the early church meet in secret for fear of the Jews? John 7:13, 19:38, 20:19. At the rate we are financing the Muslims and helping them prosper, how long before they will start serious persecution of the Church?

How about the early Church under Rome until the AD 313 Edict of Milan? It was issued by Constantine after the Milvian Bridge battle, in which he was given a miraculous victory, which he attributed the Christian God. (In This Sign Conquer.)

The "Edict of Milan" (313) declared that the Roman Empire would be neutral with regard to religious worship, officially ending all government-sanctioned persecution, especially of Christianity. The Edict was issued in the names of Constantine the Great, Western tetrarch, and Licinius, the Eastern tetrarch. (

The Edict decreed that Christians were no longer to be persecuted, that is, not brought before judges, and not tortured or killed because they were Christian. The document went further than that: if their land or houses had been taken away, they were to be restored, without the necessity of going to court to get their property back. If new owners objected they were to receive recompense from the government. (

At what point does common sense develop into fear of man?

We are discussing five things that above question are due to God alone:

1. Honor above all
2. Love with all of the heart.
3. Confidence and trust.
4. Fear and reverence.
5. Service and obedience.

We just finished #4 with this question: At what point does common sense develop into fear of man?

Great and powerful men of this world can be idolized, and people follow their opinions regardless of what Scripture says. Many Christians' infatuation with Bush is a good example. Who cares that his actions when compare with Scripture prove he is antichristian. As long as he sais he is a Christian, he will get our support. Such an attitude makes Bush, or any other man, an idol.

When we allow what others think of us or say to us to control what we think, say or do, they have become our idols.

5) The fifth things that is due to God alone – Service and obedience. Who do we seek to please?

Galatians 1:10 ¶ For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)

We are warned against trying to serve God and mammon. In other words, we cannot serve the true God and at the same time be supremely engaged in obtaining the riches of this world, or controlled by what others think of us.

Illustration: There was a man in my church in Linden who had been a pastor in Kentucky. His was a sad situation, in that he and his first wife became close friends with another couple in the church. This pastor's wife divorced him and the man in the other couple divorced his wife so they could marry. After his wife and the friend married, the pastor and the other man's wife married. In other words, they simply switched spouses.

As he pastored, he also managed a lumber company on the side, and did such a good job that the company transferred him to Indiana, and they started attending our church. After I resigned and left, they used this man to fill the pulpit several times. While still manager of the lumber company, Linden called him to be the pastor.

One of my first projects when I became pastor there was to pay everything off (and plant trees). When I left the church, the church building had a new roof and siding, the big steel building that had been built for a Christian school had new carpet, and the 4 bedroom parsonage had a new roof and siding, and everything was debt free.

Because this new pastor already had a very nice home, he encouraged the church to sell the parsonage, which they did. They then put AC in the building. He became dissatisfied with the place he was working, for he felt they did not pay him enough. So he quit that job, and went to work for Lowes. But Lowes required him to commit to work Sundays, so he was left with a choice. Pastor or work Sundays for more money. He resigned the church. Now the church is left with no pastor, and no parsonage to offer a pastor for living expenses.

When the choice was given to him, he chose the money over serving the Lord. Money is his idol.

When more effort and pains are taken to gain money, idolatry is involved. When our priority is given to making money, idolatry is involved.


An idol is defined as whatever we make ourselves servants to:

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Cigarettes are a good example of how something can become an idol.

1) There is the great idol of one's life, honor, credit, reputation, the applause of the world, his own will, opinion, judgment, &c. We live for ourselves, for our own benefit and maybe even for the applause of the world rather than for God and his glory:

2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Who of us is free of the idol of self?

2) There is the idol of self-righteousness – our prayers, repentance, blameless life may give us a feeling of righteousness:

Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

3) There is the idol of outward purity, and inward rottenness. Jeremiah and Jesus rebuked the Jews for their outward purity, external forms and professions of religion, yet they were full of dead men's bones. Others might look at them and say, My, how they must love God, yet their hearts were corrupt:

Jeremiah 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.
Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

4) There is the idol of gifts — that is, gifts which God has bestowed upon us, such as beauty, strength, wit, learning, abilities of all kinds.

When we think more of or depend more on of these gifts than on Christ himself, they have become idols.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

It is so easy to depend upon the abilities God has given, rather than depend upon his grace working in us. Paul put it like this:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Being one of the best educated and talented men of his day, it would have been so easy for him to say, "Look at what I am doing." Though God greatly used Paul's education, he realized that whatever he accomplished was the grace of God working through him, really despite his education.

How many have we known whose education has gone to their head, and they are not worth a flip in God's kingdom work.

5) There is the idol of ease, contentment and retirement. We find such a man in Luke:

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Adam Clarke rightly comments here:

Great possessions are generally accompanied with pride, idleness, and luxury; and these are the greatest enemies to salvation. Moderate poverty, as one justly observes, is a great talent in order to salvation; but it is one which nobody desires.

This man made his plans; he build his life around making preparation so he could take his ease, so that rather than trusting God, he trusted his stored up riches.

(The man next to the church in Linden.)

Mark 12:37 tells us that the common people heard him gladly. We find in Luke 14 that it was the rich who had no time for him.

6) There is the idol of fancies of the mind, or daydreaming.

Ecclesiastes 6:9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

This is the various things we meditate on – our imaginations and fancies.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

When I was 14, my dad owned a gravel pit. I worked with him during the summers, operating the heavy equipment, dragline and gravel pump. After I graduated, I operated the gravel pump full time, and it was extremely boring with a lot of idle time. Then in the military, I operated a crane with lots of idle time between lifts. Sad to say, I let my mind run wild. Those things we meditate on which are contrary to God's word are idols, or other gods.

However, after the service, I operated a dozer for a land developer, and put Bible verses on the dash board and memorized the Roman's Road.

How do we use our idle time? Do you imagine what you would do if you won the "Power Ball"? Or do we use it to listen to good material and meditate on things such as Scripture passages that will see us through whatever problems we are facing?


We should be careful that our heart does not dwell too much on even lawful things.

We should be careful that we do not change the names of unlawful things to lawful things, such as,

We rename anxiety or worry as lawful care.

We rename pride as honesty.

LET'S DISCUSS THE DIFFERENCE between idolatrous love, fear and service, and true love, fear and service

1) Idolatrous love drowns our love to God, and makes us avoid or ignore duties we owe to him:

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

2) Idolatrous love hinders our performance of duties to God, Eli:

1 Samuel 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

3) Idolatrous love takes so much of our time during the day that we do not have time to worship God in reading, praying and hearing.

1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

4) Idolatrous love takes our mind off the preaching of God's word. (This is probably the most prevalent idol in every church, and it is the most difficult to cast down.)

Ezekiel 33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

5) Idolatrous love takes over the medication of our heart when our minds are at rest.

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Thus we see how common idolatry is, and how great a guilt even God's people lie under. Few are convinced of it, as idolatry lies quietly in the conscience. There is no conviction of this idolatry, so we see no need of repentance and the application of the forgiveness found in Christ.

All of the commandments and the duties of men toward God are summed up in the First Commandment. If the mind is continually under control and in conformity to Scripture, so will be one's life.


1) all efforts to come to God the Father without Christ:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

"Christians", Jews, Muhammadans, even Catholics violate this with their false ideas of approach to God.

2) any failure to give to Christ what is his due, e.g,, less than God, no more than a good man and teacher, &c.

3) seeking to know the future in unlawful ways: palm readers, horoscopes, familiar spirits (1 Samuel 28), and meddling with God's secrets which have not been clearly revealed. Deuteronomy 29:29.

"That which is hidden belongs to the Lord our God (is His affair), and that which is revealed belongs to us and our children for ever, to do (that we may do) all the words of this law." That which is revealed includes the law with its promises and threats; consequently that which is hidden can only refer to the mode in which God will carry out in the future His counsel and will, which He has revealed in the law, and complete His work of salvation notwithstanding the apostasy of the people. (Deuteronomy 29:29. Keil-Delitzsch.)

Illustration: I remember going into a Kroger store in a small mall in Crawfordsville IN. As you entered into the mall, there was a "prophecy conference" sign, proclaiming, Come and know what the future holds. The poster was professionally printed with a black background and blue images. It very much reminded me of the occult attempts to know the future.

Sadly, we are living in the results of the many prophecy conferences started in 1826. Their purpose was to develop the seeds of the dispensationalism, including the pre trib rapture idea. These conferences continued for several years, and the attendees put together the Scriptures that today are used to support the rapture theory. Death of the Church.

They sought to know and establish the future in unlawful ways.

4) Idolatry includes all charming by words, herbs, or other means not appointed by God. That is, seeking health from sources that have no physical effectualness in bringing health to the seeker, e.g., bacon on a wart, and burry the bacon.

Illustration: My first wife's father had the ability to "blow out fire". That is, if some one had a burn, he could read a passage of Scripture and blow on it, and the fire pain would be gone with no blisters nor scars. That was before I met Carol, but she told me about how her father had done that many times, even to serious burns. He renounced it in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the gift was gone.

We are discussing what Idolatry includes.

1) all efforts to come to God the Father without Christ:

2) any failure to give to Christ what is his due, e.g,, less than God, no more than a good man and teacher, &c.

3) seeking to know the future in unlawful ways: palm readers, horoscopes, familiar spirits (1 Samuel 28), and meddling with God's secrets which have not been clearly revealed. Deuteronomy 29:29.

"That which is hidden belongs to the Lord our God (is His affair), and that which is revealed belongs to us and our children for ever, to do (that we may do) all the words of this law." That which is revealed includes the law with its promises and threats; consequently that which is hidden can only refer to the mode in which God will carry out in the future His counsel and will, which He has revealed in the law, and complete His work of salvation notwithstanding the apostasy of the people. (Deuteronomy 29:29. Keil-Delitzsch.)

4) Idolatry includes all charming by words, herbs, or other means not appointed by God. That is, seeking health from sources that have no physical effectualness in bringing health to the seeker, e.g., bacon on a wart, and burry the bacon.

5) (Start) spells, fearing events (black cats, walking under ladders, rabbit's foot), and such things as carrying a Bible as a good luck charm. It certainly includes the Roman practice of carrying around images of "saints" to protect certain areas of life.

It also includes a professed ability to know the future. (Isaiah 41:21-29.) I have worked with people who felt they had that ability. Enough would come to pass of what they felt would come to pass, that they were very oppressed by the "ability." They felt that somehow they were responsible. After they would renounce the hidden things of dishonesty (2 Corinthians 4:2), the ability and oppression was gone.

I know it seems like we will never get through the First Commandment, let alone the 10th. However, the following subject is important. Because of the prevalence of the rod and pendulum, we should examine it closer than we have other areas.

WATER WITCHING comes under this commandment.

There is a lot of discussion of divining rods. From what I have read, I must lean toward the idea that the practice is not of God. There is an abundance of material on this subject, but I will just touch on it for a few moments. There are TV programs based upon the use of the pendulum in finding bodies, &c.

I am not even implying that the rods and pendulums do not work, for we know they do work. Nor do I imply that those who practice divinations are in a known league with any antiGod powers. I am, however, calling into question the power behind these means. Is it God's?? If it is not, can we support or use it? If it is not of God, where is it from?

Controversy has followed [water] dowsing throughout its tangled history. The earliest records of water witching are 6,000-to 8,000-year-old cave paintings in Africa that are believed to show a figure with divining rods. (

I'm afraid I will only add to the controversy as I point out some interesting Scriptures and instances concerning divination:

Hosea 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God..

According to Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, Staff here is a rod or stick. Calvin comments:

But the Prophet says the Israelites "consulted" their own wood, or inquired of wood. He no doubt accuses them here of having transferred the glory of the only true God to their own idols, or fictitious gods. They consult, he says, their own wood, and the staff answers them. ...

Adam Clarke comments:

[Staff] And their staff declareth They use divination by rods; see the note on "Eze 21:21", where this sort of divination (rabdomancy) is explained. (Rabdomancy: Divination by means of rods or wands.)

Ezekiel 21:21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.

At the parting of the way, the king of Babylon would throw an arrow in the air, and the way it pointed when it landed would influence the way he would take.

Matthew Poole comments:

Their staff declareth unto them: this was another kind of forbidden consulting with the devil; an art much in use in those times and places. You read of this #Eze 21:22. These were parts of their sottish idolatry. So they thought, they believed what their false prophets reported from the staff or stock. Unparalleled folly! not to believe God speaking from heaven, but at the same time believe a stock or staff, that knows not in whose hand it is, or what use it is put to.

Good point! A water wizard does not believe God speaks to man through his word, but they believe things such as sticks and rods speak to them.

John Trapp comments:

And their staff] That is, saith Kimchi, their false prophets, upon whom they lean, and by whom they are led, as a blind man by his staff. But I rather think it is meant of rhabdomancy, {a} a kind of odd way of divining by rods and staves, as Nebuchadnezzar is brought in doing, #Eze 21:22, and was common in those eastern parts.


Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, ... 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament defines Divination:

[The word is qesem] Like the noun qesem, this verb describes some variety of divination. And as with all other manifestations of the occult, this practice was outlawed in Israel and spoken of with scorn.
The participial form appears in the long list of such practices in #De 18:10,14.

I have heard water dowsers also called diviners.

In the 60s, I operated a bulldozer for a land developer, clearing land, cutting grade and burying the water and sewer lines. Though we would stick a 2x4 up at the end of a line, sometimes the 4x2 would get lost, and we would lose the end of the line. The foreman on the job, who was clearly a pagan, could take two properly bent wires and walk over where he thought the end of the line was, and the rods would respond. He would say, "Dig here, but be careful." And sure enough, the end of the lines would be there.

Here are three examples given by Dr. Kurt Koch, Christian Counseling and Occultism (pp. 98-113. Kregel, 1972.) Dr. Koch was a German Christian counselor, specializing in working with those oppressed through involvement with occultism. His books are unusually practical and Scriptural in this area of study. For me, they are "page turners."

Ex 44 One of my friends was a missionary in China. On the mission field he constantly battled against the dowsing practices of the geomancers who roved the land looking for springs and building sites. He took this to be a swindle on the part of the idol priests. One day a geomancer [n : divination by means of signs connected with the earth] asked him to try it himself, he consented to the request. The result was surprising. The rod struck forcibly. He himself could have taken up the profession of dowsing. I am aware that religious opponents of rod divination would perhaps put this missionary's experience down to suggestion or hypnosis, or even demonic influence. But that would not be doing justice to the rod phenomenon. ...

Ex 45 A dowser explored a garden for a spring. Afterwards the owner, who was a doctor, took the rod into his own hand. It struck at the same spot. A second professional man tried the experiment, with the same positive result. Both had been up to this time wholly indifferent to rod-divining. They were amazed that the supposed humbug really worked. I witnessed this search as a bystander. ...

Ex 46a A Swiss diviner spread out a map of Japan on the table and sought, with the aid of a pendulum, water and other resources of the earth....

When the outcome was tested, the results proved correct. Yet certainly no one would claim that the map of Japan, which was printed in Switzerland, contained elements of the composition of the earth's crust in japan. All the materials of this map originated in Switzerland. In this case the map was merely a contact bridge between the diviner and the object being investigated. Since we know of no method in exact science by which the human mind can know, without technical aid, the physical situation some thousands of miles away, we must designate such a method as occult or mediumistic.

Dr Koch concluded with this thought:

The expansion of the author's collection of data by means of important additions since the appearance of the German edition has led the author to distance himself further from pendulum activities. Being persuaded by the weight of evidence, he has approached nearer to the conception of the more radical group of critics [who are against the practice].

My advice is that anyone who might be tempted to use this method should renounce any hidden thing of dishonesty in the name of the Lord Jesus before doing anything like this.

It obviously includes using a pendulum to find what sex a baby might be. It includes things such as a Ouija Board, Tarot Carts, Palm Reading, &c.

All those who have been involved in any of these practices need to renounce them.

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.


1) By detracting from God what is do him. That is, when we act as though God were not omnipotent, omniscient, infinite, &c. When we deny his providence, even in regeneration.

The belief that man controls his own destiny in his salvation or in history is against the first commandment.

Thus, Arminianism, which makes man sovereign over his own destiny, is a violation of this very first commandment. It makes man his own god.

2) By attributing to God what is not consistent with his attributes of absolute perfection, holiness, purity, immutability, &c. That is, we believe he does not keep his promises; he changes from the Old to the New Testament; he does not wisely guide the world; he has any bodily shape; or that he may be comprehended or understood my human understanding.

When we try to reduce the secret things of God to human understanding, such as election and free-will, we have made an idol.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

There are many areas where we must say with the author of Hebrews:

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.


1) By detracting from God what is do him.

2) By attributing to God what is not consistent with his attributes of absolute perfection, holiness, purity, immutability, &c.

3) By attributing what is due to God alone to other creatures, such as love, hope, faith. When we give these things to other men, saints, angels, ordinances (the sacraments), stars, herbs, gold, doctors.

How many churches have replaced preaching with liturgy and sacraments, making these things idols. I heard of a gathering that only sang, had the liturgy, had the sacraments, and went home. It was not until someone reminded them that the purpose of gathering was to preach the word that they started telling a bible story. (We will discuss the difference between ordinance and sacrament at another time.)

There was a church in Crawfordsville that lost their pastor. They reduced the services to just singing "worship songs" and personal testimonies. The result was that they grew so much they decided they did not need a pastor.

These groups loved everything except the preaching and teaching of the word of God.

Certainly, there are many things due to God that may also legitimately be given to men, but they must be given in subordination to God out of obedience to him. Are we ready to quit, even hate, these things for Christ? (Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.) Where does our confidence lie?

Certainly, we must have confidence in things like skillful doctors and medical technology, but that confidence must be subordinate to God's sovereign care for us. He alone must be relied upon, and he many times uses the medical profession.

4) by believing or teaching untrue and dishonoring things about God - false doctrine:

Matthew 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 38 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

5) by opinions or judgments, though not expressed by the mouth.

Psalms 14:1, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God...

6) by unbecoming thoughts of God, or ideas about God that do not do him justice:

Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
Psalms 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

Here is a problem when we try to reduce God's thoughts to the level of our understanding.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

7) We violate the first commandment when we fail to fulfill our duties before God.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Counterfeit humility, insincere prayers, presumption rather than faith, exchange curiosity for honest search for knowledge, counterfeit his service – serve as men pleasers rather than God pleasers.

How many curious seekers of God have we met? How many search Scripture or attend Bible Conferences in hope of finding out what the future holds, or what God owes them, or how to get God to prosper them with material things. They desire to make God their servant, and study Scripture to find how to do that.

8) We violate this commandment when we fail to walk worthy of God:

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

When we fail to:
submit to him
take direction from him as revealed in his Word.
properly fear him
properly consider his justice

We abuse his kindness, and fail to properly reverence him as the Creator, in whom we have our being. (Acts 17:28.) He is our husband, yet we go whoring from him, and prove unfaithful in our ties to him. Though he is our Redeemer, Lord and Master, we fail to love and serve him properly.

We fail to properly keep the covenant we made with him with our baptism, raised to walk in newness of life. Romans 6. And in the Lord's supper—do we do it in remembrance of him? (1 Corinthians 11:24ff.)

Do we avoid the things that draw us away from him? Everything that takes our hearts away from the Lord violate the first commandment, e.g., evil companions, unchaste books. Proverbs chapter 7.

Furthermore, this commandment REQUIRES that we KNOW GOD.

1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Thus, ignorance of him is sin. Certainly, we cannot know God totally, and there are many things of God that are forbidden to us, not revealed or that can only be known in the future. But we can know him according to his word. Thus, failure to seek the knowledge we can have about God from his word is sin.

There is a willful ignorance, where we have the means of knowing God but do not take advantage of those means.
There is a lazy ignorance, where we simply do not discipline ourselves to know him, and neglect our study.
There is a natural ignorance of things we have not had the means to learn:

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

It is a great duty called for in this commandment, that we may know him, know his will, and do it:

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

9) We violate this commandment by speaking in unknown tongues, for it lacks the faithful proclamation of the Word of God, nor does it educate God's people in terms God's word. 1 Corinthians 14.

10) failure to proclaim all the counsel of God. Acts 20:20, 27, 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, 4:2.

11) failure to educate the covenant people (AND OUR CHILDREN) in the requirements of the covenant. Deuteronomy 6. (Christ is the covenant, and those in him are God's covenant people. Isaiah 42:6, 49:8.)

12) Questing God: Is the Lord among us or not. Exodus 17:7.

Verse 2-6. As there was no water to drink in Rephidim, the people murmured against Moses, for having brought them out of Egypt to perish with thirst in the wilderness. This murmuring Moses called "tempting God," i.e., unbelieving doubt in the gracious presence of the Lord to help them (v. 7). (Keil-Delitzsch.)

When he does not remove our distress as we would like for him to do, do we question him? We are not to test him with doubt and unbelief. Example: we cannot expect God to care for us without work. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Is he going to let me starve?


The welfare state clearly breaks the first commandment, as it presents itself as the all providing god, offering womb to the tomb security.

I turn 65 in August. I received the Medicare card from the Government saying I was enroled unless I wrote back and told them I did not want it, which I did. And the mail box has filled with all kinds of offers that take advantage of the Medicare offer.

The state offers itself as god, and the offer is hard to ignore.

Doubting God's goodness and supply fits here:

Psalms 78:19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

13) We violate this commandment with covenants, agreements, marriage, business partnerships, treaties with the unsaved. 2 Corinthians 6:14.

A Christian lady in my church at Linden knowingly married an unsaved man many years ago, and used many things to justify her marriage. They raised three boys, and all three followed in their father's very harsh footsteps. However, one of the sons attended the Linden church, and was saved. But he was never able to depart from the way his own father raised him, and he drove his own children away from him with his harshness.

His dad ended up on the hospital for by-pass surgery a short time after I got there. I had the privilege of leading him to the Lord in the hospital, and he became a faithful church member.

Sure, the unsaved man was saved, and the wife rejoiced, but the damage had been done in the family.

Fathers must check closely the young man that is interested in their daughters. The young man can be anything he needs to be to win the young woman he is interested in, but after the marriage, it can be a terrible situation.

We stayed with a family one night in California. Their hearts were broken over what happened to one of their daughters after she married. The young man was just what they wanted for their daughter, until they married. At that point, everything changed. They moved to her husband's "family compound", and almost all contact was cut off with her family. She was not even allowed to call her parents except on very special occasions.

We must not live in terms of what God might do, but in terms of His Word.

14) Adding to, taking away from or changing in anyway the word of God violates this Commandment, for it makes another word from another god. (Deuteronomy 4:2.) How many of the modern "translations" offer another god to the reader?

15) Evolution, even "Theistic Evolution."

Evolution rejects the God of creation as revealed in his word. Evolution, therefore, must be defended at all costs by the ungodly. If it is abandoned even for "Inelegant Design", it must be admitted that someone other than man has absolute power.

God is a jealous God. As God's people observe the material prosperity of the wicked, they are tempted to serve the gods of the wicked to have the same material prosperity. Moreover, when we see others get away with sin, we are tempted to try to do the same, and serve their gods of this world.

Example: God is not like impersonal electricity with immediate cause and effect. (Working for Honeywell. As soon as I touched the joyce, the electricity flowed through me.)

Rather, God is mercyful, as well as just. He may even give the wicked plenty of opportunity to repent, and he may hold off their judgment until after death. Psalms 37, 73. But his commandments cannot be ignored with impunity. Romans 2:1-11, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 6:7

Violations in Blood

Any hope of salvation other than the shed blood of the Lamb of God.

Other gods also means having other laws than God's law, including shedding of blood. Blood can only be shed in terms of God's law—civil authority executing vengeance against evil, self-defense, warfare. We cannot consider man's way as higher than God's way–that is, vegetarianism, pacifism, non-resistance


The fall placed man in total bondage to sin. Israel was in physical as well as spiritual bondage in Egypt. God redeemed everything from bondage. Exodus 13. Thus, any effort to limit salvation to man's soul and not include his body, his society and every aspect of his relationships is to deny its Biblical meaning. The whole creation is to be finally involved in redemption. Romans 8:20, 21.

Israel deserved to die just as did the Egyptians. Thus, Israel's redemption was an act of God's free grace.


Of course, this is a series of messages in itself.

The tithe is an acknowledgment of God's kingship, his authority, his ownership of us and all we have. Failure to tithe establishes another god. 1 Samuel 8:4-19. Malachi 3:7-12.

The tithe is not a gift to God, but is simply his tax on the use of the creation that belongs to him. A gift is what might be given over the 10 %.

1 Samuel 8:4-19 is clear—high taxes, among other things, is simply a result of God's people not honouring him as God. The totalitarian state is a result of Christians not taking their Biblical responsibilities to the society in which they live.

The tithe appeared long before Moses. Genesis 14:20, Hebrews 7:4,6. Moses gave the law in Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21-26, Deuteronomy 14:22-27, 26:12, 15.

The tithe is due on the increase.

There were at least three tithes:
1) on the increase.
2) rejoicing (or vacationing) before the Lord, Deuteronomy 12:6, 7, 14:22-27, 16:3, 13, 16.
3) the poor tithe, used locally to aid the poor, widows, orphans, helpless, foreigners, aged, sick or other special conditions. It was also used to remember the Levites, or teachers. Deuteronomy 14:27-29.

The total tithe was just over 13 % of the man's income.

The tithe took care of the basic social functions. Whoever provides those functions will have the power, for the poor and needy will always be with us. John 12:8.

It is up to the individual to see that his tithe is used properly for the Lord.

There were only two churches in Linden. A man who lived across the street from our church in Linden faithfully gave to and attended the very liberal Methodist church. That church did some very underhanded dealings to acquire a fancy parsonage for its pastor. It had a "contemporary" service and a traditional service. He continually complained about what was taught there, but he would not fail to support the church, as did a multitude of other older people. Why? Because his wife's grandmother used to play the organ there years ago.

The pastor's wife when we first went there told my wife at the bea

Let us not think these liberal churches do not know how to keep the money coming in.

All of that to say that THE TITHER IS RESPONSIBLE TO SEE THAT THE LORD'S MONEY IS USED FOR HIS GLORY, and not for some man's or organization's glory.

Moreover, giving to an organization that does not glorify God is NOT TITHING.

Deuteronomy 23:18 forbids giving to God anything of the profits of sin. Sinners are not barred from giving, but God wants nothing from the profits of sin. "Sin taxes" only give those sins legitimacy and legal standing. God forbids giving from the income of a lottery.

Edersheim says that the publicans, tax collectors, were prohibited from giving to the Lord.

Various violations:

> with questions or doubts about God's promises.
>with presumption. Presumption attempts to claim a promise of God without taking God's way to gain the promise. Presumption fails to properly attribute to God his justice, holiness and greatness.
>with lukewarmness, Revelation 3:13
>with coldness of love, Matthew 24:12
>with self-love or self-esteem, Philippians 2:3
>with attempts to serve two masters, Matthew 6:24
>with envy of sinners, Proverbs 23:17
>with lack of proper fear of the Lord, Ecclesiastes 12:13, Proverbs 23:17, or more fear of man than of God, Proverbs 29:25, Hebrews 13:6
>with failure to honor God as God:

Malachi 1:6 ¶ A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, ...

(People bring their castoff to the church for the Lord's use.)

>with an incomplete giving of self to God, both internal and external, Luke 10:27.

Let me close this commandment with this from the Westminster Larger Catechism. I hold to the London Baptist Confession, but it does not cover the ten commandments.

Question 104: What are the duties required in the first commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly, by thinking, meditating, remembering, highly esteeming, honoring, adoring, choosing, loving, desiring, fearing of him; believing him; trusting, hoping, delighting, rejoicing in him; being zealous for him; calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks, and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man; being careful in all things to please him, and sorrowful when in anything he is offended; and walking humbly with him.

Question 105: What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the first commandment are, atheism, in denying or not having a God; idolatry, in having or worshiping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God; the not having and avouching him for God, and our God; the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this commandment; ignorance, forgetfulness, misapprehensions, false opinions, unworthy and wicked thoughts of him; bold and curious searching into his secrets; all profaneness, hatred of God; self-love, self-seeking, and all other inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections upon other things, and taking them off from him in whole or in part; vain credulity, unbelief, heresy, misbelief, distrust, despair, incorrigibleness, and insensibleness under judgments, hardness of heart, pride, presumption, carnal security, tempting of God; using unlawful means, and trusting in lawful means; carnal delights and joys; corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal; lukewarmness, and deadness in the things of God; estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God; praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures; all compacts and consulting with the devil, and hearkening to his suggestions; making men the lords of our faith and conscience; slighting and despising God and his commands; resisting and grieving of his Spirit, discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us; and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have, or can do, to fortune, idols, ourselves, or any other creature.

Question 106: What are we specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?

Answer: These words before me, or before my face, in the first commandment, teach us, that God, who sees all things, takes special notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God: that so it may be an argument to dissuade from it, and to aggravate it as a most impudent provocation: as also to persuade us to do as in his sight,: Whatever we do in his service.


I have tried to make clear how far short we are of the holiness required of us by God. My purpose is to show us the daily need of the blood of Christ being applied to our lives.