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Added to Article About Graven Images
What About Pictures of Family, Spouse, Girlfriend, Boyfriend?
I wouldn't say that these types of pictures are ALWAYS forbidden or idols. But I would recommend caution. A LOT of people DO idolize their spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend or parents. I believe that if you really take the time to think about this, you would agree. Some people kill themselves because a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend left them. If someone commits suicide because of a relationship breakup, it's very clear that the person was their god; and without their god, they are lost & no longer want to live. This happens all of the time. It's NOT rare. Many people do idolize their partner beyond just a healthy respect & honor. The same is true with parents & other family. Some people would be completely lost without their family god. Anyone & anything can become a god to people. If a thing or person is a god to us, we should not have pictures of them. And if they are NOT YET a god to us, having pictures of them can CAUSE us to eventually make that person or thing a god.
It's different with different people, some people would never idolize their spouse, but others do. Some don't yet but will eventually. So I am not saying that pictures of family is always forbidden for everyone at all times of their life. But I do caution against it. Personally, I have pictures of myself & my wife but only for memory of places we have visited & also to share with people who live out of state that we become true, trusted, spiritually family with, so that they can see what we look like. We might look at them or share them only once a year or so. But we do NOT have any pictures of ourselves or anyone else on our wall at the current time. I don't feel a need to idolize or glorify anyone by lifting them up upon our walls. I realize, comprehend & admit that if I do lift that person up on my wall, that I personally would be idolizing them. During my lifetime, I have had to pull down many idols of my heart. It wasn't all done in 1-3 years. It takes time to fully mature in Christ & understand things & see things the way that GOD sees them. We must all continue growing & maturing in the holy will of GOD.
Objection: Moses made a statue of snakes on a pole, and people made images in the Temple of GOD.
My Answer: Moses made those graven images of snakes because GOD told him to. That cannot be compared with people making images of our own desire. GOD also told Hosea to marry an adulterer. But we know that's usually forbidden. But if GOD commands us to do something, it's not forbidden to us, and thus not a sin to us. But that doesn't mean that everyone should go out & marry an adulterer. GOD told people to make images in his temple. That was for decoration of HIS temple building. That's what GOD wanted for his temple building. That's not permission for us to decorate our home with our false gods & our personal idols. If I put a picture of a famous person on my wall, I am idolizing that person. If you take the time to honestly & carefully examine yourself in sincere prayer & fasting, I believe that you would agree. We shouldn't judge things by the way that we ALREADY think & believe, but rather be willing to deeply examine ourselves & what & why we believe the way that we do. This is what causes spiritual growth. But if we read things like this article that we disagree with & refuse to challenge ourselves & refuse to deeply & carefully examine ourselves in prayer & fasting, then we hinder spiritually growth.
Added to Article About Baptism
Scriptures for Refusal to Baptize
There are biblical examples of refusal of baptism.
Matt.3:1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!’”
4 Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Many people think being baptized with fire in verse 11 is a good thing. But John meant it as an insult, he meant that Jesus would destroy them, burn them up, as shown in verse 12. He's not saying that they would receive the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. When he said "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit AND fire", he meant that the very presence of JESUS, who is the Lake of Fire, would destroy them. Did John go ahead and baptize them? NO! He refused to baptize them. The reason that we know that is:
It never says they came down into the water & got baptized. We only see John INSULTING them & warning them. He even called them poisonous snakes. It doesn't make sense to throw all of these insults at them & then baptize them anyways. If he had baptized them, it would have been a BIG deal & it would have given a detailed description of them baptism & conversion & salvation. But it doesn't tell us any such thing.
Plus Luke 7 tells us they did NOT get baptized.
Luke 7:28 I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
It's even talking about the same time frame. So it's clear that John refused to baptize them. Notice again in Matt.3:2,6,8 John required repentance & they also had to confess their sins. We see other scriptures where they confessed their sins as well. So we cannot be baptized without repentance and confessing our sins. If a person refuses to agree to start keeping the 7th day, which is one of the 10 Commandments, then they are NOT showing repentance or confession of the sin of pagan Sunday worship etc.
There is the Acts 2:38 requirement of repentance FIRST.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (It should say Holy Ghost).
It could be translated "repent, THEN each of you be baptized". Considering all other verses of the bible requiring repentance first, I think that would be more accurate to translate it that way.
Then we have Acts 10.
Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.
What Peter was saying is that normally people COULD reject/refuse a baptism if necessary, but in this case the people had very clearly already received The Holy Ghost and therefore there was NO possible reason for refusal.
What Jesus said to me today was this:
"In order to plant a plant, you have to start with a plant that has good roots and place it in good soil.
Without both good roots and good soil, the plant will not succeed and bear fruit. It will be likely to die even if it stayed alive for a while."
I have listed above 6 questions (click the link above to view entire article) that I ask people before agreeing to baptize them. And the reason that I require these 6 questions & correct answers is:
If they don't confess that Jesus is GOD & Jesus is His Name, the ONLY name by which mankind can be saved, then even if I baptize them, they are only getting wet, they are NOT getting saved.
If they refuse to obey the 10 commandments including the 7th day, & they refuse to observe Passover (John 6:53) & the other Holy days, and I still baptize them, they are ONLY getting wet, NOT saved.
If they still believe there are 3 gods, & I baptize them, they are ONLY getting wet, NOT saved. We must believe there is ONLY ONE GOD.
If people would still vote for Obama or Clinton, knowing NOW that they promote murder of abortion, homosexuality & the mark of the beast (islam), and I still baptize them, they are ONLY getting wet, NOT saved.
If they are going to continue keeping Xmas, Easter or Halloween, then what they are saying is that they are going to continue to observing SATANIC holidays. And so if I baptize them, they are NOT getting saved.
So I don't want to just get people wet. I want to get people TRULY SAVED. In order to do this, they must be taught the truth & accept the truth, and THEN agree to fully surrender their life to Jesus in the truth & obedience. Otherwise, the baptism will NOT save them.
But if they DO get saved in baptism and don't have these very basic essential good roots and good soil, they will just die after being planted.