The First Commandment – False Gods versus the True God
This is my sixth post on the Ten Commandments using Buddy Dano’s study: FOR THE LAND OF THE FREE: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM and the second post to deal with the first commandment. I will finish the material on the first commandment next week.
There really isn’t much I need to say that I haven’t mentioned before. However, I do want to say once again that this command is one that only individuals can follow. A nation’s government can set up false gods and a false religion but cannot force a people to follow any false god in their hearts. By the same token, a government cannot force its people to follow the truth. To use modern lingo: truth in a nation comes from the bottom up and not the top down.
I also want reiterate that no one is truly a “free spirit.” We all hold to ideas which we believe to be true. The idea that a person can be a nihilist (someone who believes in nothing) is a conceit which people hope will allow them to follow their fallen natures with impunity. We are not gods; we do not lead but rather follow. Follow the truth and you will be free. Follow the lie and you will be a slave.
Now, here is Pastor Dano:
FALSE GODS VS. THE TRUE GOD
False concepts, and actually false gods, are always created by the soul in slavery and are direct results of emotional rebellion. When the soul revolts against what God has designed for it, that soul is looking beyond God for something else. And what is there? NOTHING! If there is nothing beyond God, and people in emotional rebellion go beyond God, they go into nothing. Once they are in nothing, they must draw upon a segment of the emotions, and since the emotions do not contain knowledge, neither doctrine or character, anything that originates from the emotions in revolt is false. It is also soul slavery.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians reiterates this concept when he declared, ‘‘We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one,’’ 1 Corinthians 8:4. Now since an idol is nothing, who tries to pick up nothing and do something with it? Well, Satan does. This is what is known as the devil’s communion table in 1 Corinthians 10:19-21. ‘‘What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.’’
This phrase ‘‘beyond Me’’ of Exodus 20:2 emphasizes that when you walk past God, you have rejected Category 1 love, and therefore, you have rejected God. Mental idolatry, soulish idolatry, or soul slavery is actually unfaithfulness or rejection of Category 1 love. This is why idolatry is called ‘‘spiritual adultery.’’ The negative form of this prohibition emphasizes the same issue that was made in the original sin. It was ‘‘Thou shalt not eat.’’ In the first commandment it is ‘‘There shall not be to you any other gods beyond Me.’’
Now freedom in the Garden depended upon observance of a negative prohibition and freedom in a national entity depends upon observing a negative prohibition. When man broke the Divine Law in the Garden, rulership of the world went to Satan and his angelic followers. When a maximum number of people in a nation break God’s Divine Laws, that nation comes under the control of satanic doctrines.
Negative prohibitions give the opportunity for the daily exercise of free will, which is crucial to the resolving of the unseen conflict. Therefore, the first commandment is directly related to the unseen conflict. In fact, all of the commandments are, but especially the first one.
THE BASIS OF FREEDOM IN THE CHURCH AGE.
Believers in both the Jewish Age and the Church Age are set free from slavery to sin and Satan by faith in Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. Psalm 2:12, ‘‘Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.’’ John 8:36, ‘‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’’ But while the Mosaic Law was the basis for living in freedom in the previous dispensation, the basis for freedom for the believer-priest in the Church Age is the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, which is unique to this dispensation.
Three verses bring out this principle:
1. Galatians 5:1, ‘‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty (literally freedom) wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’’ Interesting enough, ‘‘the yoke of bondage’’ includes the Mosaic Law. How is the Law converted to bondage? Through legalism. The Law was given in GRACE, but legalism converts GRACE into something which was not intended. Legalism therefore makes the Law a system of works for salvation rather than a principle of freedom.
2. Galatians 3:1-6, ‘‘O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the Truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’’
Compare Galatians 5:1 with Galatians 3:1-6. Verse 2, ‘‘Received ye the Holy Spirit by the works of the Law?’’ Of course you didn’t, says Paul. Now, compare this with that fantastic passage in Romans 8:1-4, which is the Magna Carta of the believer in this dispensation. ‘‘There is therefore now no condemnation (literally judgment) to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. FOR THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS HATH MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh (the old sin nature), God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for a sin offering, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness demanded by the Law (is freedom righteousness) might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after (according to) the flesh, but after (according to) the Spirit.’’
Now we have been given, as believer priests in the Church Age, the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Law. When I say the Law is fulfilled, I do not mean keeping six commandments out of ten, or keeping all ten. I am talking about THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PROVIDING FREEDOM. Since the first two commandments have to do with the prohibition of mental idolatry, or soul slavery, let us examine carefully and categorically the doctrine of idolatry, taking in pertinent aspects of the subject given us in other passages of the Word of God.
1. IDOLATRY, MENTAL OR OVERT, IS FORBIDDEN.
Exodus 20:3, 4, ‘‘Thou shalt have no other gods beyond Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth.’’ Exodus 23:24, ‘‘Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.’’ Deuteronomy 4:28, 5:7, 6:14, 7:16, 8:19, ‘‘And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.’’ ‘‘Thou shalt have none other gods beyond me.’’ ‘‘Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.’’ ‘‘And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.’’ ‘‘And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.’’
2. IDOLATRY IS AN ATTACK UPON CATEGORY 1 LOVE, OR A REJECTION OF CATEGORY 1 LOVE AND SUBSTITUTES IT FOR THE WORSHIP OF ‘‘THINGS,’’ ‘‘NOTHINGS,’’ OTHER GODS.
Jeremiah 3:8-10, ‘‘And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto Me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.’’
Ezekiel 16:23-43, ‘‘And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord God;) That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street. Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.
‘‘Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbors, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke Me to anger. Behold, therefore I have stretched out My hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.
‘‘Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire; But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband! They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.
‘‘Wherefore, O harlot, hear the Word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them; Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness. And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.
‘‘And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. So will I make My fury toward thee to rest, and My jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.
‘Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted Me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord God: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.’’
Ezekiel 23:24-28, ‘‘And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments. And I will set My jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by fire. They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels. Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated.’’
Revelation 17:1-5, ‘‘And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgments of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the Earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.’’
3. SOUL SLAVERY, OR MENTAL IDOLATRY, PRECEDES THE OVERT PRACTICE OF IDOLATRY.
The practice of overt idolatry does not occur unless first there is soul slavery.
Exodus 20:3, 4, ‘‘Thou shalt have no other gods beyond Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth.’’ Judges 2:10-13, ‘‘And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, or the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.’’
Ezekiel 14:7, ‘‘For everyone of the house of Israel; or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from Me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning Me; I the Lord will answer him by Myself.’’
4. IDOLATRY ALSO RESULTS FROM REJECTION OF CHRIST AS SAVIOUR.
This produces calluses on the soul and causes the emotions to rebel in the soul.
Romans 1:18-25, ‘‘For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the Truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.’’