Bible lesson: “Thou shalt not make any graven image.”

Many years ago when were were visiting Rome, we took a trip to see Saint Peter’s Basilica. As I was wandering around, I came across a statue of Mary and Jesus. Jesus was lying in her arms, and I could see the nail print in his hand and the veins in his arm. I admired the artwork and my mind wandered back to my high school days when I studied art and read the book about Michelangelo.

As I stood there admiring and reminiscing, the Holy Spirit said to me: “Thou shalt not make any graven image.” It was a shock to me, and I tried to reason with the Holy Spirit, by saying: “But this is Michelangelo.” The Holy Spirit replied: “No, it is wrong.” It was a shock to my thinking. I grew up in a church where I was told that we are in the New Testament. We are not under all the Old Testament laws. Yet here was the Holy Spirit quoting from the 10 commandments! I had to do some serious thinking. As we flew in the plane across the Alps, I thought of church as being a mixture of Israel and Rome. We had spent 6 days in Israel and 3 days in Rome.

Later on we were working as assistant superintendents at a large apartment building in Canada. One weekend when the cleaners were off duty, I was changing the dumpster by the compacter, when someone threw down a whole set of encyclopedias and a two volume dictionary. Those were the days before computers. I had never owned a set of encyclopedias before, so I picked them up, cleaned them off, and took them home.

TUESDAY

One day the thought came to me: “What does Tuesday mean?” In all my years of growing up in school, I just believed everything that people told me. So I looked up Tuesday, and was shocked to find it is named after a pagan god. A ‘god’ of war! At that time, the Holy Spirit also brought to my remembrance a verse in the Bible where The LORD said:  ‘and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.’ So, even though I know the names of all these pagan gods, I feel I must not mention them.

WEDNESDAY

A ‘god’ of war, art, culture, and the dead. The ‘father’ of Tuesday. He was also the ‘god’ who supposedly made the world. That is very different to the teachings of the Bible. How come they never taught me that in school?

THURSDAY

The ‘god’ of thunder. I hear there is a movie about him, but I haven’t seen it, and don’t plan to either!

FRIDAY

The ‘goddess’ of love and marriage. I think there was a whole page on that subject, so I have just abbreviated it. Jesus said: “Whom God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” It is God who joins people in marriage, not that woman!

SATURDAY

The ‘god’ of agriculture. There is also a planet out there that it is named after. In the old days they had harvest festivals named after that ‘god.’

SUNDAY

The sun ‘god.’ In the Bible, the worship of the sun, moon or stars was death penalty. Deuteronomy 17, 2-5. They had to be stoned to death. See also Deuteronomy 4, 14-24. I was brought up in a church that believed very strongly in Sunday, but there is no such word in the Bible! The capital ‘S’ means it is the name of a person.

MONDAY

The moon ‘god.’ Many people talk about the man on the moon. There are many pop songs that imply that the moon has a personality of it’s own, and can shine it’s light on the estranged lover and can him or her back. Songs like Dark Moon, Carolina Moon, Blue Moon of Kentucky, and so forth.

In my school days, nobody told me that all the days of the week were named after pagan gods. I am told that in America, they are not allowed to teach religion in the schools. If that is so, then they should scrap the days of the week from the school and also some of the months! Friends on Facebook claim that they are teaching the Muslim religion in the schools now. That sounds weird. I thought that was against the rules.

JANUARY

If I can remember correctly, Julius Caesar brought January into the calendar in 45 BC, then he was assassinated the following year. Julius Caesar was an idol worshipper, and January is named after his idol that he worshipped as his ‘god of beginnings and endings.’ His idol had two faces, one facing east and the other facing west, for the beginning and ending of the day. There was a whole ritual of how when the armies went out to war, they would pray to this idol, and burn incense.

When I was little, I remember in church how they made me stay up till midnight to pray in the new year on December 31st. One deaconess stood up and said: “We look back at the old year to see what God has done, and look forward to the new year to see what He is going to do.” It all sounded so holy, but isn’t that based on Julius Caesar’s idol? It is not based on the Bible! God has a new year in the Bible, but I have never been in any church where they celebrate God’s new year! Exodus chapter 12. The year after they had come out of Egypt was when the tabernacle was built, and on the first day of the second year was when God’s glory filled the tabernacle! Exodus chapter 40. It is a type of us being God’s temple and with us being filled with the Holy Spirit. Glory to God.

When I was young, our preacher told us that everything they believed and practiced was based on the Bible, but they were following Julius Caesar instead of the Word of God! Jesus taught that we must give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God. Mark 12,17. Churches are so mixed up! Sorry, but that’s the truth.

FEBRUARY

This was named after festivals of purification in ancient Rome.

MARCH

This was originally the first month, until Julius Caesar brought in January and February. It is named after a planet, and was also a ‘god’ of war. I read a book where a lady had an experience where she was before the throne of God. God was giving her instructions and said: “Now in the third month…….” So she interjected: “Yes, in March.”  Then God stopped speaking. After a while God started speaking again, “Now in  the third month….” So she said again: “Yes in March.” The next moment she was gone from the throne of God, and back in her bed on earth. She was so shocked, and wept and asked what she had done wrong to offend God in such a way. The Holy Spirit said to her: “It is an abomination to use the name of another god when you speak to God.” She didn’t know that March was the name of a pagan god.

APRIL

It means to open. When the buds open in the northern hemisphere.

MAY

When they celebrate old age – major.

JUNE

When they celebrate youth – junior.

JULY

Named after Julius Caesar. The Caesars were sometimes considered as gods.

AUGUST

Named after Augustus Caesar.

SEPTEMBER

It means 7. Similar root word as Septuagint.

OCTOBER

It means 8, like octopus and octagon.

NOVEMBER

It means 9.

DECEMBER

It means 10, like decimal.

EASTER

This is a controversial subject. The word is found once in the King James Version – Acts 12,4. In the Greek Interlinear Bible it says: ‘passover.’ People have all different views on this, and some people get very upset. The leader of one church told me that the King James Bible is “no good, and the Greek interlinear Bible is wrong.” So who do you believe? Some sources say that Easter is the goddess of spring, and other say she is the goddess of dawn. Some say she is the goddess of fertility, hence the eggs and bunnies that are symbols of fertility. Everybody has their own angle on the matter. My advice is to search for yourself what you believe to be the truth, because we all have to answer to Jesus one day.

GOOD FRIDAY

There is no such phrase in the Bible. Some churches believe that we must celebrate Jesus’ death on Good Friday morning at 11 am. In the Bible it says that Jesus died in the afternoon, so I don’t know why churches believe the way they do. Some people believe Jesus died on Wednesday, while others believe he died on Thursday. Pick what you want to believe!

When some churches celebrate Christ’s death, they have a ‘pork roast’ and others have a ‘ham dinner.’ I have seen the church signs in the city where I live. However, in the Bible he is called the ‘lamb of God.’ Not a pig! Jesus said that we remember his death when we have communion. This can be done daily or weekly or monthly or once a year. Choose for yourself. Many years ago, my wife had bell’s palsy, where half her face went lame. She listened to some of Derek Prince’s teaching, and she had communion three times a day, telling the devil what Jesus’ blood had done for her. After a week, she was healed! Her doctor was shocked. He said he has many patients with the same problem, but he can’t get them healed.

In the Bible it says the disciples went daily house to house breaking bread. Acts 2,46. When Paul was in Ephesus, he had church every day, not once a week! Acts 19,9 and Acts 20,31. On one occasion, Paul had church on the first day of the week, and he preached until midnight when Eutychus fell down. Then they talked until daybreak. Acts 20,7-12.

CHRISTMAS

Another controversial subject. The word Christmas is not in the Bible. Some people claim it is, but I have read the Bible many times, and have not seen it. From what I studied 36 years ago, the 25th of December was the day of the rebirth of the sun god in the Roman Empire. When the days were getting shorter, they thought the sun god was dying, and then came back to life.

I have some of my own theories according to what I have read in the Bible, but I don’t feel like sharing them with you. However, you can read the Bible for yourself if you want to. Read Luke chapter 1, and work it out for yourself. We met a minister who died and went to heaven, then came back. He said that Jesus was born at passover.

TRADITIONS

When Jesus was on the earth he knocked their traditions. Mark 7,1-13. “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.”

IDOLS

The people who worshipped the golden calf in the wilderness got the death penalty. All through the Bible idolatry is condemned. Paul said: ‘Flee from idolatry.’ 1 Corinthians 10,14. ‘You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils.’ verse 21. John said: ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols.’ 1 John 5,21. In Revelation 9,20 there is mention there of how people refuse to repent concerning the worship of devils and idols.

PROVE ALL THINGS

In the Bible Paul wrote: ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ 1 Thessalonians 5,21 Jesus said he is the way the truth and the life, and one day his words will judge us. John 14,6 and John 12,48. So beloved, study the words of Jesus and do them. That is the best advice I can give you.

 

 

Country Gospel Songs by Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard passed away recently, and I would like to share some of the Country Gospel songs he sang.

1. I saw the light

He talks about some of the old singers and Hillbilly heaven.

2. Amazing grace

3. Lord, don’t give up on me

I am not sure if Merle Haggard wrote some of these country gospel songs or not, but some of them sound very personal.

4. In the garden (He walks with me)

5. This world is not my home

6. Jesus Christ

7. Jesus, take a hold

8. Guide me Lord

9. The sermon on the mount

10. There’s just one way

11. When God comes and gathers His jewels

12. Where no one stands alone

13. Old rugged cross

14. Precious memories

15. Wait a little longer please Jesus – with Bonnie Owens

16. Life’s railroad to heaven

17. On the Jericho road

I remember some men singing this song in church when I was young.

18. If we never meet again

19. Mama’s prayer

20. Family Bible – A Country Gospel song by Merle Haggard

21. One day at a time

22. Just a closer walk with Thee

This is the first country gospel song I sang in front of people at a little house meeting. I learnt the song off by heart, but when I announced the song title my mind went blank. I sang the chorus a couple of times, then I remembered one verse. Then later I remembered another verse. I was so embarrassed. Afterwards, some guy said he enjoyed the song, so I confessed that I had forgotten the words. He said he didn’t know the words. That encouraged me. Now, if I sing one of my own songs and forget the words, nobody will even know, except me!

23. What a friend we have in Jesus

24. Why me Lord

25. What will it be like

26. I’ll fly away – “live”

Some of his fellow singers talk about him, then you see Merle Haggard on stage singing.

27. Victory in Jesus

28. The seeker

I see that this country gospel song was written by Dolly Parton. Thank you Merle Haggard, and I hope you made it through the pearly gates, and are singing in hillbilly heaven!

 

Gospel songs by MercyMe

Last night my daughter introduced me to this band called MercyMe, who sing modern type gospel songs. I hope they achieve much for Jesus. Here is a selection of some of their songs.

1. Shake

2. Greater

3. Flawless

4. Beautiful – “live”

MercyMe seem to have a large following.

5. Hurt and the Healer – Gospel song by MercyMe

I got healed of a cracked spine in 1972 by raising my hands and saying: “With the stripes of Jesus I am healed.” Afterwards I wrote my own song: There is healing in the name of Jesus. I also have a bunch of stories about healing on this website. If you are interested check out: Healing stories 1 and Healing stories 2 on the right hand side bar.

6. Bring the rain

7. I can only imagine

8. I can only imagine – with London Symphony orchestra

9. Homesick

10. Lord I lift Your Name on high

11. You are I am

12. You reign

13. In Christ alone

14. All of creation

15. This life

16. Here with me

17. God with us

18. Dear younger me

19. Finally home

20. All that is within me

21. Coming up to breathe

22. In the blink of an eye

Back in 1977, I had a dream of the rapture where I got left behind. It was very shocking to me, and the next morning I wrote a song about it: It was the rapture.

23. Finish what He started

24. Wishful thinking

25. There is a fountain

26. Just as I am

This is an old gospel song that Billy Graham used very effectively at the invitation for people to receive Jesus as their Savior. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior, I want to encourage you to do it now. Nobody can promise what will happen tomorrow.

Country Gospel Songs by George Jones

I have always associated George Jones with love songs, but he also sang a lot of good old country gospel songs. I hope some of these will be a blessing to you.

1. Me and Jesus

I first heard this song on a record by Pat Boone, and I still love it, and sing it. “We can’t afford any fancy singing, we can’t afford any fancy church!”

2. I know a man who can

3. Old brush arbors – a Country Gospel song by George Jones

I also first heard this by Pat Boone.

4. Peace in the valley

Elvis made a hit with this one.

5. A man I’ve always wanted to meet

6. God keeps the wild flowers blooming

7. Give me just one day Lord

8. Matthew 24

9. Jesus hold my hand

10. Why me Lord

This is a good old standard country gospel song written by Kris Kristofferson.

11. Lord, You’ve been mighty good to me

12. When Mama sang (the angels stopped to listen)

13. I’ll fly away

I trust that Mr. George Jones flew into the everlasting arms of Jesus.

14. How beautiful heaven must be

15. Family Bible

This good old country gospel song was written by Willie Nelson. I first heard it on a record by Bobby Bare called “This I believe.”

16. Family Bible – “live” with the Kingsmen Quartet

17. Hallelujah weekend

18. Old brush arbors – “live” with the Kingsmen Quartet

19. The devil is gathering firewood

20. We oughta be ashamed

21. Jesus saves today

22. In a gospel way

23. My cup runneth over

24. The lily of the valley

25. Leaning on the everlasting arms

26. Someone’s watching over you

27. Great judgment morning – with friends

George Jones sings this is a very serious song. I first heard it when I was young, on a record by Slim Whitman.

28. He made me free

29. Homecoming in heaven

30. Amazing grace

31. In the garden

32. Never grow old

33. Take the world but give me Jesus

34. Old rugged cross

35. Will there be any stars in my crown

36. Swoop down sweet Jesus

37. Wings of a dove

It seems like everyone sings this old country gospel song.

38. Traveller’s prayer – with Sweethearts of the rodeo

39. Rest in peace

May Mr. George Jones rest in peace, safe in the arms of Jesus.

Gospel songs by Rex Allen

When I was young, a friend had a record of Rex Allen singing gospel songs. One of the songs I heard  was on my mind the other day, but I can’t find it on the YouTube. Anyway, here are some other songs I found, and I hope they are a blessing to you.

1. Take me Lord

I remember hearing this song on the record.

2. Just a closer walk with Thee – Gospel song by Rex Allen

3. Crying in the chapel

I am presuming that this is where Elvis got this song from, and made it into a hit.

4. Wasted years – with lyrics

For many years we sang this chorus at church meetings. A very important message.

5. Daddy sang bass

I first heard this one sung by Johnny Cash. Written by Carl Perkins. In the song it mentions how his brother had died. From what I have read, Carl was on the way to New York to promote his song ‘Blue suede shoes’ when they had a car accident and his brother got killed.

6. I won’t need my six gun in heaven

The cowboy side of him.

7. I thank the Lord

This is actually a love song, but it is good that he is thanking the Lord.