Spiritual Law number 2 leads right into law number 3, because they have similar concepts.
Exodus 20:4-6 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
This commandment in Exodus warns us of iniquity if we bow down to a “graven” image. But what is a graven image? The graven image needs to be understood spiritually to the internal man for the Law to be relevant.
Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
There is a law of God and there is a law of sin.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Our natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit and they appear as foolishness. The natural man is the carnal mind.
1 Corinthians 8:1-2&4 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know…we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”
The idol which is defined as an image by Strong’s concordance has to do with the knowledge we hold as discussed in 1 Corinthians 8. Things offered unto idols symbolizes the things our carnal man does that causes the natural man to serve the false image rather than God; which in doing so is also the law of sin discussed in the verses above. However, as it says later in 1 Corinthians, the image (idol) is really nothing [in the world], however, it is everything to our natural man and carnal mind so that we give up everything to serve it. The image in the world may symbolize something in the [in the spirit] but it is really nothing in the world. Remember the natural mind knows nothing as it ought to until it realizes that it knows nothing as it should [of the Spirit]. And if you think any different than this than you are in error according to 1 Corinthians 8. Our knowledge concerning the things or images of this world are in error. So what is this idol or false image that we serve, which can also be compared to the “graven” image spoken of in Exodus 20?
Romans 1:20-25 “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 fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour 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.”
The definition of “glory” by Strong’s Concordance is opinion, judgement, or view. The invisible things are understood by the things that are made, however, the things that are made are the “images” in the world. And we change the “glory of God” (“judgement of God”) or rather how we view God into an “image” that is corruptible. The images or things “made” in this world, including man, are corruptible.
Eph 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
And the image we project into this world can be not of God but of our own “deceitful lusts” (i.e. obsessive desires). Again remember these “lusts” can be anything we think we need and obsess, worry, or complain about it. The image is the creation (creature) that we are and that we serve. When we change the glory or view of invisible God into something it is not, we create a creature or a version of ourselves and a world that is a called a “graven” image or false god. It is graven because we create it rather than allowing God to sculpt it and us. And it is called a false god because we continually serve it. We serve the creation in this world more than the Creator (Romans 1). But remember these imagez [or idols] are really nothing in this world.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
However, the Lord is Spirit, and we can change that glory or view of God and change the image from one “glory” or one view to another “glory” or opinion. These verse imply that the image that we project comes from our opinions or glory, which has to do with our knowledge which again can also make us “eat things sacrificed to idols” (1 Corinthians 8), in other words, we create an image to ourselves and also serve this graven image (ourselves and the things created in this world) and then “eat” the fruit of it. For a more detailed discussion on the image of God verses the image of man, see previous post on February 14, 2015 called “Man Created in the Image of God”. This post describes how man is first made in his own image and then into the image of God; from one “glory” to another. In 1 Corinthians 15 it also says “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”. The first image we bear is of earthly man and our second image is of God (heavenly). Remember God is Spirit, and so are we in true reality. The Bible is allegorical and these verses are a description of internal man and the process man can go through to become the “image of God” rather than a graven image of himself. Genesis 1:27 is also an allegorical description of this process; “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Man is first created in his own image, and then afterwards in the image of God. Both images are male and female. Also see previous posts that discuss the male and female counter parts that are in each person or “one flesh” (i.e. June 28, 2014 “Christ: Our Husband”, and Jan 15, 2016 “Should Women be Silent in Church”). The images we project and create in this world come from within us from within our spirit, our consciousness.
1John 2:15-16 “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. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
The things in the world will pass, and these things are of the law of sin that we serve in the flesh (Romans 7:25). The image or idols we create come from the things we want, have, think we need, and things we work for in the world. When we seek the things in the world we are bowing down and serving the graven images spoken of in Exodus 20:4-6, when really God just needs us to seek him. The graven images are what we create of ourselves in this world that is not of God (i.e. false “gods”). Our false understandings and beliefs about this material world create the “idols” that we serve. The carnal mind views this world as what is most important, but desires do change, things change, but our true reality is of God who is Spirit, and not the things in the world. However, God knows that to live in this world of images we must have things, however, he has asked that we don’t serve the world or the desires and needs of the flesh, but to seek and put him first for he is “jealous”. When we serve our desires we are creating “graven” images that we serve over God. Remember we are to have no other “gods” BEFORE him. The scriptures are spiritual and allegorical.
So what are we doing or probably unknowingly doing to keep creating these graven images for false god’s that we serve rather than God? It really comes down to the condition or our mind and the knowledge and understanding that we hold as true.
Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Genesis 3:3-7 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 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. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
James 4:6-10 ”But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
The tree of knowledge of good and evil makes both of the eyes of the mind open which creates the double mind and the carnal mind which views this world as important and as something we need to conquer. Our internal “woman” or desires then feed our internal “man” this belief system. A mind that sees both good and evil represents the carnal mind but also the potential for the spiritual mind. The tree of knowledge is not evil in itself, but it represents something that creates the potential in us for BOTH good and evil. However, obtaining the consciousness of the tree of knowledge is necessary for our progress to the next level and all part of the greater plan. We need knowledge for our consciousness to even begin to understand our condition.
Rev 13:10 “10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
In the end wisdom will slay knowledge (false knowledge). These are allegorical stories which help us to better understand who we are. But remember…
John 9:39&41 “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind… Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”
If we are blind, we see no sin. If our mind that sees through the tree of good and evil becomes blind to the falsities of this world [also created by the tree of knowledge of good and evil], we shall truly then see. We will see beyond the illusions of the world; the illusion of the graven image.
Romans 14:21 “For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.”
And with God all things are pure, and nothing is evil, only to those who are offended because of their vision through the tree of knowledge of good AND evil. The tree makes us see the evil through the carnal mind which in turn makes us create the carnal law to try to control and conquer it.
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;:
The carnal law also creates the false gods we serve through “works of righteousness”.
Titus 1:14-15 “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
Commandments and Jewish fables are the laws that come from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This tree creates in us a double mind and a carnal mind that creates laws to try and stop all the evil that it sees. But we all know by experience this is not how evil is stopped…it is rather how it created. Remember what was discussed earlier how the carnal law with the carnal mind based on obsessive desires (lust) and pride creates in us a mechanism to sin.
In other words we gain the ability to produce evil because we are following the carnal mind. Therefore, evil and sin comes about by not following the Spiritual Law and in turn we also sin against the carnal commandment because we are looking at and following the “law of sin”. The law of sin also comes the double vision or consciousness that creates the world of graven images.
Matthew 6:22-24 ”The light of the body is the eye: if therefore, thy thine eye be single whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 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. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
The tree of knowledge of good and evil gives us two eyes wide open (the double mind with the “evil” eye open) rather than one single understanding of light. With God as our true “master”, we understand all things [are good] and there is no darkness. If your eye is single, all things are pure and there is true vision of all through the light. If your eye is evil, you are serving the tree of knowledge of good and evil, where your goal is the treasure of mammon. Remember from earlier discussions that treasure represents knowledge and wisdom in the bible. Mammon is evil treasure which is the knowledge of evil which in turn breeds the carnal law (law of sin). The carnal law tries to rule over evil rather than dissolving it completely.
The serpent, which is within us, brings knowledge. However, the knowledge can be distorted and actually blind the true consciousness of God. God warned that the knowledge good and evil would “surely” kill then spiritually, but the serpent implies that it will not literally (i.e. surely) kill you, so this death is subtle. The carnal knowledge uses the literal understanding to hide and do away with the spiritual intent of everything which is the actual real reality that affects us and our life. However, this painful process of “death” caused by the carnal natural knowledge of the world was also our destiny. Remember the previous discussion on knowledge. As with any venom, the antidote is made from the venom. We use tweaked knowledge to cure the death from the tree. Remember the world and the things in it are nothing. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”. The tree of knowledge of good and evil first creates in us a false understanding of reality (double mind with both eyes of the mind wide open) which makes us long after the things of the world (pride of life and lust of the eyes of the mind, and lust of the flesh}. “And it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired…” The tree opens the mind’s eyes to the carnal natural world and when our carnal eyes are open we continually see ourselves as naked and in need of things we desire, rather than trusting God that we already have all we need [even in our nakedness]. It makes our mind trust our own false understanding of things and the world that it projects. However, this ability for knowledge also gives humans the potential for something greater.
Again, remember “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” and “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”.
We really do not know anything as we ought to know and we need to trust in God to help us through the darkness and bring us to the light (one single eye of the mind open). Trust God with your heart because he will not break it.
The tree of knowledge gives humans a conscious potential to let go of itself which is good; an ability to know and admit it is wrong. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” We use the sword (wisdom) to kill that which kills with the sword (knowledge). But how do we kill the false knowledge and, see the world for what it is, and fully trust God with our heart? It has something to do with humility (anti-pride).
Job 42:10 “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Genesis 3:19 “…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Romans 14:2&14 “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs... I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”
The dust represents something we must return to and be. The dust is of the ground, and we are of the ground, where the ground represent a type of soil to be tilled to grow fruit. But the ground that we currently are is cursed until we return to what we came from. We have to eat “herbs” while we are weak because everything is unclean to our understanding and our ground is still producing thorns and thistles. The produce of the carnal mind is unclean and the carnal mind makes things unclean. But remember there is nothing unclean of itself (Romans 14). In other words there is nothing evil of itself.
What do we come from? It says above in Genesis 3, it is the ground. This ground represents something that creates. When this thing that creates (“the ground”) works through of the tree of knowledge, it is cursed and causes us sorrow and sweat and we eat herbs because of our weakness. This is an analogy of the consciousness within us. The ground gives the tree the nutrients it needs to live and if the ground is cursed a thorn tree is produced, but once the ground is free from the curse, a tree of life grows. And until this happens the herbs that grow freely in the ground without our efforts are all we have to eat when there is not yet a harvest of a tree of life. Proverbs 3 tells us wisdom is a tree of life. So these trees represent the type of tree (wisdom/knowledge) in our heart and mind as “produced” from our own consciousness. We make things unclean because of how we see it and “esteem” it (see Romans 14, above), and the way we see is represents the two trees of our consciousness (knowledge vs life).
The tree of knowledge brings pride because remember “knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth”. We become humble when we realize there is so much we really do not know. Returning to the ground as the dust we truly are symbolizes a humbling effect and bringing ourselves down from the lofty high places and thoughts. The ground reflects the condition of our heart and mind, because the ground produces the fruit through the tree (knowledge) we live by. And if we are not lowly and humble we are not being the dust of the ground that produces the fruit we need. Therefore, the wisdom of the tree of life is humility as a product of the realization of our ignorance, and we in turn trust in God rather than our own knowledge and understanding.
Psalm 51:10&17 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
2 Corinthians3:3 “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Our mind thinks we “know” through the tables of stone (i.e. ordinances of the carnal law and physical understanding) we have learned throughout our years in the world, but our heart needs to break those tables of stone which is very humbling and also breaks the heart and spirit we have lived with our entire life.
Ephesians 6:6 “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”
Proverbs 29:23 “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
1Peter 5:5-6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
And also Remember Titus 1:14 “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Titus 1 is speaking about the tree of knowledge of good and evil which defiles our conscience. However, all things are really pure and there is nothing un-pure or unclean in itself (i.e. don’t know we are “naked”: where naked has a two-fold meaning as in physical nakedness as being immoral and nakedness as being in need). Humility comes when we come to realize how destitute and lost we are without the guidance of God. We are truly “naked” without the guidance of God, but with God there is no real nakedness (physical or neediness), it is “all in our head” per say. Humility comes when we realize we are “dust of the ground”, that has adopted a cursed consciousness that creates this world (idols) of uncleanness and evil through our trust in the knowledge gained through the tree of good and evil (double mind), rather than our single eye of light from God. Humility comes when we realize we have had distorted vision with both our eyes open, where the carnal eye prevents full spiritual vision of the single eye, and we have been “wrong” all along. The single eye shows us that all is good, and we really have nothing to worry about in this world of things we think we need (see 1John 2:15-16 above).
And stop worrying about how you are going to do it, because through the wisdom of the tree of knowledge the mind is a wilderness full of pride, high thoughts, and knowledge of the world, religion, and their ordinances (i.e. tree of knowledge of good and evil), which creates this world and its images. Acknowledgement of our ignorance (i.e. humility) begins the process of the way of the tree of life.
1 Corinthians 8:1&4 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. “we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. ... 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.”
The idol represent the “graven images” we create in this world via the carnal mind that are nothing, however, when we serve the images [we have created with our consciousness] in this world we are serving another god. The knowledge we have about this world of images also brings pride and puffs us up. Because..
Knowledge makes us think we know something, but love or “charity” builds us up rather than puffs us up with pride; there is a difference because with love there is peace. As the old saying goes sometimes it is better to have peace than to be right, because you can never go wrong with love.
Exodus 20:4-5 says “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
This really means to humble your consciousness and stop serving the world of images you create with the carnal mind, heart, and beliefs (i.e. graven image) which breads iniquity, aka “sin” to ourselves, but rather allow God through love to sculpt you and your life into the “image of God”. Because it when we allow God to create us into our highest potential (follow the spiritual commandments), we then find the “mercy” of God. This is the commandment seen as spiritual because remember Rom 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
Isaiah 41:23-24 “Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.
These scriptures imply that this worldly life we create is really nothing and will pass, so we need to remember to serve the most high God rather than our high and mighty selves and allow God to create what he will. The graven images we create ourselves are really nothing compare to the image of the most high God that we can become.
2 Corinthians 4:7, 18 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. ... While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Somehow we need to “look” at the things that are not seen. How then do we lower our carnal selves back to the “dust”, dissolve our pride and ego mind, and stop making graven images in this world (serving the temporal world); and rather serve the most high God?
To be continued with a spiritual interpretation of the remaining “ten commandments”.