It is not so much the truth that a man knows, that gets him into trouble; but rather it is what he believes is true, that just ain’t so. Any decision based on an error will hinder our pursuit of a truth. But most egregious of all, that same error will pollute our advancement into further truth.
Adopting an error (a false image), as a truth, is like creating a file in our mind that is useless. In fact, this erroneous file is less than useless; for when a real truth comes along, we are more likely to toss that truth out without any real consideration of it, because it does not fit anywhere in our file cabinet.
We all have “false images.” These are not images created of gold, silver, wood or stone but rather they are images in our minds that depict a false reality. We have received these false images from family, friends, schools, TV, radio, the written word and even pastors. We have been taught the ways we should go all our life; but is it possible that those ways are, in reality, the ways we should not go? Is it possible that those ways are in fact the “broad road” which Yeshua said would lead to destruction? Jeremiah speaks of these errors as it relates to the last days saying,
O Yehovah (O LORD), my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto You from the ends of the earth, and shall say, surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Jer 16:19
Thus says Yehovah: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. Jer 6:16
We all want rest for our souls (our minds and our emotions), but our false images prevent us from coming to that rest. Identifying and, even more, destroying those many false images that we have all grown so accustom to is a monumental task; and requires not only a change of mind, but also a change of the heart, in order to allow our mind to even accept the possibility of error in our reasoning.
The knowledge that there is a possibility of error, false images, in our minds; gives us the opportunity to look at other possibilities and, hopefully, come to the knowledge of the truth. As Jeremiah said “stand in the ways” (look at other options) and search out the “old Paths,” the “narrow way” and walk in it.
This realignment of our heart and mind will also result in a change in our actions, which the Creator of the universe says He will judge every man according to.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecc 12:13-14
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, Yehovah, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Jer 17:9-10
Apostle Paul speaks of this tearing down of false images as the “renewing of the mind.”
And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:2
Notice, it is only the “will of Yehovah” which is “good, and acceptable, and perfect.” All other wills, my will, your will and the wills of all others are imperfect. It was Yeshua (Jesus) who was the word made flesh. Yeshua demonstrated that “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Yehovah” for us, in order that we too might be able to walk in the truth even as He did. Apostle Paul said,
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1Co 11:1
We are to live as Yeshua lived and to walk as He walked. What would Yeshua do? In order to do what Yeshua would do, we must ask ourselves “who’s will did He follow?” and then, emulate Him.
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Mat 12:50
I [Yeshua] can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. Joh 5:30
An example of a False Image
Is being “left behind” good or bad? We have all heard songs that say, “I wish we’d all been ready” so none would have been left behind. Let’s see what Yeshua, talking about these latter days, actually said about those who get “taken away.”
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also [will] the coming of the son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be. Mat 24:37-39
Who were the ones who actually remained on the earth in Yeshua’s example? Was it not righteous Noah and his family who remained; and the people who were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” who were “taken away” from the earth by the flood? Yeshua says, “so shall also the coming of the son of man be.” At that time the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous remain alive.
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like the son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God. Rev 14:14-19
For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it. Pro 2:21-22
The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inhabit the earth. Pro 10:30
So we see, “left behind” is very good, while “taken away,” is very bad.
False images must be torn down and disposed of before they destroy us. Even John the baptist brought false images to the attention of the people he baptized and those he could not.
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Mat 3:5-7
When the Pharisees and the Sadducees came to him, with their “false image of righteousness” he said,
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance. Mat 3:5-7
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Mat 3:10
Only those who bear fruits worthy of repentance will be “left behind”, while all others will be destroyed because their deeds and their works are wicked.
Tearing down a false images like that of being “left behind” is good; but it can not be done without replacing it with the correct image found in the scriptures. Precepts are the building blocks, the foundation that these true images must be built on. So let’s begin by formulating a set of precepts that will last an eternity; a set of truths that do not change. With these precepts under our belts, so to speak, we can begin to discern between our many false images and Yehovah’s true images and, at the same time, gain a deeper and truer understanding of how wonderful and righteous our dear heavenly Father is and how we can best serve Him in spirit and in truth.
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This “False Image” series of articles is continued here with the Introduction to Precepts.
Yehovah bless you as you serve Him only as He pleases!