We have this declaration come around once in a while. It seems some feel that you can never have a picture of Jesus hung, especially near your private worship/devotional place. Never have a statue of Him or anyone else there. And the source of this is always the OT quote about graven images.
Going back to where it was first stated, in Exodus, Chapter 20 it is written in verse four: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above or 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.”
Now, according to Webster’s dictionary, a graven image is a carved idol. A representation of a god used as an object of worship.
In other words, the worship of idols representing gods was forbidden. But not the images themselves. So, a graven image was the likeness of a god used in worship. The Scriptures say nothing about statues and pictures in general being forbidden. Only when they represent a false god and are worshipped.
And the proof of that is substantiated in I Kings, chapter 7. And just to be clear about the timing of this, Exodus was written 1,400 years before Christ and I Kings was written 840 years later. And this is when the Temple of Solomon was being constructed, where Solomon was instructed to build a Sea – constructed out of metal. A very large bowl, 25 feet from rim to rim and 12 feet high. This Sea was set on 12 carved bulls and it could contain 12,000 vat-fulls of water. Stands were also made out of bronze, with lions, bulls and cherubim within them. That’s I Kings chapter 7.
So, it IS lawful to have an image of God, a painting or a statue. You are not worshipping the object you are looking at. You are worshipping the God Who is represented in the image. So, that should clarify and help you to understand what the Scriptures REALLY say about photographs and statues. He’s talking about people who made little demon images and would sit there are worship them.
If you have seen the video about John Ramirez that is on our Youtube channel, you have seen him go into a store and point to statues of Jesus, Mary, angels, saints… and say that they are idols. But don’t stumble over that, either! He was declaring the very same thing that we are saying in this article: those statues are made, and then demons assigned to them – MAKING them idols. Making them of people who are recognized – especially by people of the Catholic faith, creates great confusion among religious people, those who are not truly following the Lord, truly just using the statues in church and elsewhere to touch their hearts with remembrance and thanksgiving to God for the lives of these people.
Just like we hang pictures of our loved ones around the house. We want to remember an occasion, something we or they did, a period of time… The misunderstandings over this issue are all just another trap that Satan sets for those who are lukewarm – believing by mouth and not heart. Or for those believers who do not seek HIS answers to such questions, but rather go along with whatever the popular opinion is of the people that they listen to.
Before I tell you what Jesus said about making pictures, portraits of Him, I just want you to know, I don’t worship a picture. I worship the Lord Jesus. And He has a face and He has a look. There are pictures that resemble Him. And when I look at that picture, I’m not worshipping the picture, the paper or the photograph or the art! I’m worshipping HIM and His presence. And this is something that’s been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented from the Scriptures.
Jesus Himself gave His opinion about pictures to me on this topic when we were discussing another subject.
“My Bride, I didn’t want you to feel alienated from Me, I truly am represented in all those images of Me. Yes, indeed the pictures you have used capture unique facets of My person and I have no objection to you using them. I only want for you to be acquainted with My actual face so that you will in no way be shocked when you finally see Me.”