Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bowing to the Rising Sun (and other "detestable practices")

I've been reading Ezekiel and I had to stop at chapter eight when I realized I didn't know exactly what he was talking about.
First off it starts with:
"In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day". 
When was that?
Well the it was the sixth year of exile of King Jehoiachin. (We know that from earlier chapters) The sixth month is Elul (around August).  Six is a number of preparation... also the number of "man".  It would be interesting if it were also on the sixth day, but it's not, so I won't try to read anything into that.

So imagine Ezekiel: "sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me", and all of a sudden he gets a vision of these same elders (and then some) deep in idol worship.  That's pretty intense. You know he had to talk to them after this whole vision was over.  I would hate to have been in his position... (To say nothing of his positions in previous chapters).
God tells him,  “ look toward the north.” So he looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar he saw this idol of jealousy.
From the commentaries I read it seems to be a general consensus that this was an asherah pole that had been replaced after King Josiah had them all torn down only a generation ago.  There is even mention of Jaazaniah son of Shaphan being a part of the vision. (Shaphan was the guy who brought the sacred scrolls to Josiah, which led to him tearing down all the idol worshiping monuments.)
So Ezekiel sees the asherah pole in a holy place, then God tells him to dig through a hole in a wall to see through a secret doorway.  In this vision he sees 70 elders (plus Shaphan's son Jaazaniah) all holding censers with incense, and around them on the walls were "all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel."
It's interesting to note that Jaazaniah's name means "Jehovah hears". Verse 12 says, "They say, ‘The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land."  (Exactly the opposite of his name.)
Then Ezekiel gets a vision of the court of women (the only place that the women were allowed to go in the temple area). There they were mourning the god Tammuz. At first glance I thought, well, at least they are just crying over some idol, but that's not the real story. I looked up the god of Tammuz and found that in mythology he was a lover of Venus, who is basically alive for 6 months then in the under-world for 6 months.  When the rivers are dry, he's gone... when they are there, he's alive. The rivers even run red (with his blood) near the end... because of the red rock and it's dye that is seen when the river is small. So in their "mourning" these women prostituted themselves and wailed and all that jazz that goes along with Satan's style of "worship".
Then God shows Ezekiel the inner court of the temple. (That's holier still.) ..."and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the rising sun in the east.  He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse my anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose!  Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.”

This is where I decided to put it on the "All About The End" blog. I always look for Islam in prophetic passages. This passage is not all about the end... It's from a prophecy that has already been fulfilled. But in their Baal worship of facing the rising sun we can see clearly that Islam (which also faces the rising sun) is continuing in a detestable practice.  Bowing to anything, be it Mecca or the sun, is idolatry. 
I hate to even bring it up, but take Obama's rising sun symbol for example. Can anyone honestly deny his ties to Islam? God help us.

Anyway... God mentions in the visions "They will do even more detestable things than this."  We know that right at the cusp of the last 3 1/2 years before Christ's return the Anti-Christ will set up the "abomination that causes desolation" in the area of the Temple.  I would almost say that the Dome of the Rock is already an abomination... but I guess there will be something worse.  We won't have to wait too long to find out.