Likeness of Any Thing

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 20:4

Hello, Friends! Today, we will dive right in to our discussion on the dangers of graven images, and any likeness of any thing made to resemble the Lord Jesus Christ. That is all we will touch on in this exhortation.

Ready? Hope so…

The word “likeness” means, “something portioned (that is, fashioned) out, as a shape” (Strong’s) … “similitude, image” (Ancient Hebrew). It specifically refers to “the likeness of any thing on canvas; a picture; a resemblance painted” (Webster, 1828). God said, make NO IMAGE, OR ANY LIKENESS OF ANY THING to resemble Him! When we see paintings of what’s suppose to be Jesus Christ at any location, they are actually pictures by Michelangelo of his nephew.

Isaiah prophesied of the appearance of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) manifest in the flesh.

Isaiah 53:2b says “…he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” That’s right, folks! Jesus was not good looking, but had average features, or was ugly.

The word “comeliness” here, simply refers to “beauty” i.e., attractive, and gives a prophetic view that Jesus came down from heaven not to turn us on with good looks, charm and smooth words, but as the anointed sent to preach good tidings to the meek and to the poor (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18-19); to tune up our ears to hear as the learned (disciples) what He said (Isaiah 50:4). We live by the word of God spoken and written; we walk by faith, not by sight.

Next, the word “form” in Isaiah 53:2 refers to “the outline of an individual” … their visage, and appearance.

Isaiah topped it off by writing, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. In a nutshell:

  • He was no sight for soar eyes;
  • He was not a man to vision in the imagination, because He had no attractive features;
  • He was not a man to take a second look at as it is when we see a drop dead gorgeous person (male or female);
  • He was not a spectacle come to make anyone feel good to follow someone who looked good….

He came to seek and find the lost sheep and to save them/us from eternal judgment to everlasting life with Him in His kingdom.

So, if someone says, that’s the Old Testament view. Well, we beg to differ. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Just so we’re clear, God is the same both yesterday, today, and forever. And, He cannot change.

Whenever a change is needed, He makes it plain and simple for everyone. In the case of images and likenesses of Him, both Testaments say the exact same thing—NO IMAGES OR ANY LIKENESSES OF ANY THING that is a similitude of Him! We can go as far as to quote, 1 John 5:21 which says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” The word “idols” means “images.” — ‘Nough said

Remember, God is jealous, and will not give His glory to another (Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 42:8); that’s why the focus of the word “likeness” is on what the image resembles. When a painting, or any thing is used to resemble the Lord Jesus Christ on a canvas, a crucifix, a sculpture, etc. it is in violation of His command NOT to make, i.e., NOT to fashion, build, or draw on a canvas—ANY LIKENESS OF ANY THING that puts one in mind of Him!

If you are guilty of owning a necklace with a cross, or a painting that resemble the likeness of Jesus Christ, a crucifix, sculpture(s), etc. now is the time to consider what is said here; be fully persuaded in your own mind; repent and believe what God said (and is still saying); and He will give you understanding in all things.

I was guilty. I owned a cross on a necklace; had one of the famous pictures of Michelangelo’s nephew knocking on a door, one of him carrying a lamb (or sheep), and one of him sitting on a rock teaching. But, once I learned the truth, and was fully persuaded in my own mind to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ Whom I have not seen (and thank God for Thomas’ testimony (John 20:27-29)), I repented, renounced, and destroyed every likeness of any thing that pertained to any image that was made to make one think of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Right now, we don’t know what Jesus looks like … not even a clue …and… we are not concerned about His looks either. Our concern is to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. We think as Paul wrote, “…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.” — 2 Corinthians 4:18

The presentations of any likeness of any thing should not be our focus because it sends a false message with all the trimmings wrapped up in false words of hope as demonstrated by “…false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” — 2 Corinthians 11:13-14

They love to push images of the Lord through social media, for instance, to send out the warm sensation of what the angel of light said, but not the Lord. They always speak contrary to what God said, as the serpent spoke to Eve … You will not surely die if you eat of this tree … even though God said, in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die…. (See: Genesis 2-3).

Just as Satan motivated the serpent to deceive Eve to see the tree differently for the very first time, it is as James wrote, every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Once lust is conceived it brings forth sin. When sin is accomplished, so is death! (James 1:14-15).

Our focus is on what God said in His word:

  • (1 John 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
  • (Matthew 5:8) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see (rightly perceive) God.
  • (John 17:24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
  • (1 Corinthians 13:12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
  • (2 Corinthians 3:18) 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.
  • (2 Corinthians 5:6-8) Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Folks, the Church of the Living God will be transformed into His likeness and will see Him as He is. We will behold His glory (John 17:24) as given to Him when the Father …raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that our faith and hope might be in God (1 Peter 1:21), even now as we wait for His appearance.

If our eyes and minds are focused on any likeness of any thing that pertains to God, we will miss Him, entirely. Why? Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Only false leaders and false brethren will not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved, i.e., that they might be delivered, spiritually. Some folks just don’t care what the scripture says, especially when it is against what they believed for generations. Sad … truly sad. But, for those willing to come out from among them and become separate, Amen, and bless God!

After all, Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” — Matthew 7:13-14

Are you among the few or the many? In other words, are you among the few with no image that is any likeness of any thing made to think of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or, are you one of those on the broad way, led to self-destruction by a love for an image representation of God over and above a true love for Him, and His word with NO image attachment? Think about it….

Finally, and with all these things being said, we conclude by revelation of the Spirit that, the Lord desires for those who believe on Him to resemble Him.

Consider what He did for us to resemble Him:

  • He gave His life a ransom for many.
  • We are buried with Him by baptism into death.
  • He rose from the dead with all power.
  • We rise from baptism to walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” — Romans 6:5-6

The word “likeness” means RESEMBLANCE. After baptism, we become new creatures and the process to crucify that old man with the affections and lusts, begins (Galatians 5:24); we also (among many other things) learn how to fight and stand our ground, so that sin will no longer have reign, nor have dominion in our mortal body (Romans 6).

Let us not make or purchase any more man-made images and likenesses to resemble the Lord, but let us “…put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” AND “…which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…” — Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10

Get the picture (no pun)?! 😊 Hope so….

In Christ We Do Remain
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