Modern Idolatry



In the previous article, we suggested that the Tower of Babel is being rebuilt before our eyes. Nebuchadnezzar’s image is standing tall, with Babylon as its golden head.

Our world resembles the Babylon of Revelation 18 more with each passing day. The nations are being pushed to unite, languages and cultures are disappearing into the same earthen mud used to construct the Tower of Babel. Currencies are combining and cash is going extinct. Proud, collective mankind is “making a name for himself” and “reaching unto heaven” while declaring he is “like unto gods.”

We are on the cusp of another divine intervention (like Eden and Babel) where the angels say “this is only the beginning of what they will do. Nothing that they have a mind to do will be impossible for them! Come on! Let’s go down there… (Gen 11:6-7).”

Babylon 3030 BC

How Idolatry Starts


Most of us do not work and live outdoors, so we are not overwhelmed by the immensity and majesty of the universe daily, like the dwellers of Mesopotamia were. To declare atheism under a billion stars would have been to declare lunacy. In Genesis 1, God says let the stars be for “signs and seasons and for days and years.” It should be natural, then that early “scientific” observations like astronomical cycles, solstices and equinoxes became part of worship. Psalm 19 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof (Psa.19:1-6).” The day speaks and the night shows knowledge. Their word goes to the end of the world. They give us signs about the future (e.g. the three wise men of Matt. 2). The “tabernacled” sun is described as if it were the Ark of the Covenant! To worship the heavens as god is obviously a sin. But to look up and feel spiritual is not. It is through this “innocent” beginning that alternative religions began. Eventually, a more disciplined study of the night sky produced the zodiac and a hierarchy of magi ruling from ziggurats. The tower of Babel is typically pictured as a ziggurat (stepped pyramid) presumably used for astronomy, and possibly designed to thwart God’s judgment in case of another flood.

The Egyptian, Indian and even Druidic religions are all thought to have Babylonian origins. Babylonian belief had its origins in Eden. Is it any wonder to find similarities between idolatry and the Truth? The anthropomorphizing of the sun by David (see above) sounds a lot like Ra (Egyptian sun god) making his nightly voyage. Skeptics often claim that Christianity borrowed from Ra because of similarities: Ra, a slain savior dies on a “cross” of stars in the sky December 23rd during solstice, being reborn on the third day. He had 12 followers. There are also 12 signs on the ancient zodiac. We should not be shocked to learn that the alternative mystery religions in those 2000 years of Genesis 1-10 stem from Eden. We should also accept that there were probably many more foreshadows and prefigures of Christ during those times that simply are not found in those brief chapters. Given the information we have, we can see that the Truth already existed to some degree. We see clean/unclean animals (Gen. 8), numeric symbology, and even a high priest (Melchizedek, Gen. 14). The word “remember” in the Sabbath commandment also implies pre-existence of that law. These examples show that alternative pagan religions borrowed from the Edenic Truth, not the other way around.

Along with astronomy, religious symbols in the form of art, architecture and statues have also existed since the dawn of religion. Those “graven images” were not necessarily “idols.” For example, the Ark of the Covenant and other temple furniture have symbolic carvings of cherubim and animals. They are not idols! Similarly, in the earliest alternative religions, material objects were used only symbolically to provide spiritual meaning and teach lessons. It was a way to focus on, understand and explain the unseen god. The sculpture was never the god to the enlightened. Israelites in Dan, for example, did not come around the corner of the grove, see Jeroboam’s golden calf and declare “We’re in the presence of Yahweh now!” They worshiped the spirit or power BEHIND the symbol. The most common ancient symbol to represent the Creator, for example, was a figure of the human body.

Along with the symbolic sculpture came festivals, or “holy days” (holidays). These were accompanied by feelings of joy, peace, gratitude and pride (like Christmas or New Year’s). There would have been reflection, socializing, music and ceremonies. Wise men would have given scientific explanations, making sense of nature and perhaps forecasting future trends. There would be stories and allegories to teach lessons. History would be recounted in order to preserve and continue traditions. This was all very healthy for the society, increasing solidarity and goodwill through common ground.

We might call these early religions “pagan,” and “misguided,” but they were not immoral. However, “Then came the age of idolatry” Manly P. Hall explains in The Secret Teachings of All Ages (p.194). “The Mysteries decayed from within. The secrets were lost and none knew the identity of the mysterious man who stood over the altar…[eventually] it came to be looked upon as a god. Having lost the knowledge of the purpose for which the manikin was originally constructed, the priests worshiped this effigy until at last their lack of spiritual understanding brought the temple down in ruins about their heads and the statue crumbled with the civilization that had forgotten its meaning.” Most ancient religions suffered this fate, history reducing them to the negative stereotypes of the decadent “baby-killers” they became rather than the “enlightenment-seekers” they started off as. History repeats itself, and we can easily see how today’s religions (Bible-based or not) are being swapped out for hollow effigies. Even the other traditional institutions of enlightenment that we do not think of as “religious” are suffering the same termite erosion: marriage, family, civic pride, patriotism, science, academia, medicine, etc.

To summarize: the priest class gets hijacked and corrupted (in Bible prophecy, the “sun and moon go dark”). They replace the original god with a watered-down version with more partying and less meaning. Then they gradually remove the meaning behind the new idol until the idol becomes hollow. The religion is now just a social party. Ultimately, the original god is replaced by whatever the priests and rulers (“heavens”) can use to fleece and control the people (“the earth”). If the priests are able, they themselves will become the infallible gods behind the idols!

Babylon 2030 BC

The Ultimate Concern


Ancient History professor George Mendenhall explains in his book Ancient Israel’s Faith and History (pp. 34-37) that the worship of idols was politically motivated. “By the time ancient people developed writing, these [religious] texts…had become essentially an arm of political control.” The unity of a city-state or nation depended on solidarity stemming from the people’s common belief in the state god. The clenched fist of Baal (shown in actual archaeological idols) epitomized this centralized, concentrated political power lorded over his people. Even today, we see the same clenched fist on posters and bumper stickers as a symbol of black power, communist power, socialist power, etc. Since the 1960s it has represented “empowerment” for various political movements. A group’s “god” can be aptly described as their “Ultimate Concern.” The ruling class’s ultimate concern is control. Mendenhall states “Baal personified power, overwhelming any enemy who threatened the status quo. To worship him was to celebrate power…and to extol the role that coercive force plays in human affairs.” Indeed “baal” means “lord.” Even the very word “government” exposes this reality. “Guber” or “govern”= control. “Menses” or “mental”= mind. Hence govern-ment means mind control.

Throughout ancient history, the State and the religion were tied together inextricably. If your city-state was conquered, so was your god. Your images were rounded up and replaced by the conquering state’s (obviously superior) gods. Idol worship meant a system of political, social, cultural, and even economic control (recall the whole Ephesian economy was based on Diana worship—Acts 19:27).

In the words of Brock Chisolm, United Nations World Health Organization Director: “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism, and religious dogmas.” And as H.G. Wells (author of the book A New World Order) stated in his 1920 essay How A Federal World Government May Come About, “the coming world state…will be based upon a common world religion…men’s thoughts and motives will be turned by education…And education as the new age will conceive it, will go throughout life.” Through the lens of history, we hope to explain the Old-World Orders that used idol worship to consolidate power and, in turn, begin to see aspects of an idol-pushing New-World Order forming in our day. This has always been man’s plan and purpose with the earth. God does not want robot slaves, but the idol-pushers do!

Babylon 330 AD

Hijacking The Church


In the first century, burning incense to the Emperor meant affirming allegiance to the Roman gods and the state. Things got even worse when the Empire merged with Christianity and mind control was accomplished with combined Church and State. Papal Supremacy began in the 300s and for 1260 years idolatry ruled the world. Even as recently as 1864, the Pope (Pius IX) declared in his Syllabus of Errors that separation between church and state was wrong and the Old-World Order needs to be reinstated as soon as possible! Are we naïve enough to believe that the power-hungry elites of our modern age have given up on this agenda of concentrated power? Do they no longer share this ongoing “Ultimate Concern” for total lordship? John predicts that the anti-God forces are allying themselves to battle the Lamb and will come after His followers in the last days: “These are of one mind and give over their power and authority to the beast {an empire}” (Rev. 17:13).
Recall from history that the Roman Empire originally tried to snuff out Christianity. But the more they persecuted its’ followers, the more it grew. So instead of defeating the viral movement, Emperor Constantine (and various insiders) hijacked it. Much like we saw with Jeroboam, it turned out to be far more advantageous to take a friendly “Emperor’s New Clothes” approach than a “Nero Persecutor” approach. Recall from the previous chapter that Jeroboam (“who made Israel to sin”) used a “mixture” of “alternative,” “modern,” “progressive,” “liberal,” “scientific,” “diverse,” and even “old school” trappings. Similarly, with Constantine, Christianity took on an official air and was given a makeover, which resulted in more glitter, gold, organization and sophistication. We are all familiar with the subsequent apostacy, corruption and idolatry, which followed once the moneychangers and lawyers took over (as they had done previously, in Jesus’ time). The “ancient mysteries” were re-inserted. Sadly, the Truth and the Way was “conformed” to accommodate every Asherah and golden calf ever spawned from Babylon!

We might think the Israelites were pretty gullible to fall for worshipping a golden calf (again!), but if we go to Wall Street today, what do we find? A giant brass statue of a bull! The correlation of stock market greed and Babylon is strong in Revelation. Chapter 18 describes it as a global market, trading everything including “human souls” (live people, and people’s lives). This over-arching, all-controlling influencer is responsible for “the blood…of all who have been slain on the earth (Rev. 18:24).” The bull that “fooled Israel” is also prominently featured on the E.U.’s euro coin itself! A woman riding a beast! Are we being conformed to the modern Babylon? The warnings for partaking in Babylon’s beast are severe: “If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb (Rev. 14:9-11).” We are exhorted to “Come out of her.” But what does that mean?

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