Detestable Religious Things over Which to Sigh
1. After his visions in 613 B.C.E., how long was it before Ezekiel received his next vision?
TIME moved on one year and two months closer to the day of Jehovah’s fury against ancient Jerusalem when Ezekiel as an exile in Babylon received his next revelation from the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. If that year had an intercalary or thirteenth lunar month in it, that lunar year and the two lunar months offered more time than the prophet Ezekiel had been commanded to lie on the ground, 390 days on his left side and 40 days on his right side, in a mimic siege of Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 4:4-7) Thus Ezekiel received the revelation on the fifth day of the lunar month Elul of the year 612 before our Common Era, or in the sixth year of Ezekiel’s exile in Babylon. He dates the time in these words:
2. At the time of the vision, who were sitting before Ezekiel, and where?
2 “And it came about in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, that I was sitting in my house and the older men of Judah were sitting before me, when the hand of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah fell upon me there.”—Ezekiel 8:1.
3. Why were those elders there, and how long did they have to wait until they learned what Ezekiel now saw?
3 Evidently Jehovah had something special to bring to the attention of those fellow exiles of Ezekiel who were sitting before him in his house at Tel-abib in Babylon. These older men had likely come to “inquire of Jehovah,” by means of Ezekiel, just as turned out to be the case about a year later. (Ezekiel 20:1-3) When the “hand” of applied power of Jehovah fell upon Ezekiel, to make him experience an exciting vision, they had to wait until the divine power was lifted from him at the close of the vision in order to learn what Ezekiel had seen. Here is what he could tell them:
4. What did Ezekiel first see, and to where was he transported, and how?
4 “And I began to see, and, look! a likeness similar to the appearance of fire; from the appearance of his hips even downward there was fire, and from his hips even upward there was something like the appearance of a shining, like the glow of electrum. Then he thrust out the representation of a hand and took me by a tuft of hair of my head, and a spirit carried me between the earth and the heavens and brought me to Jerusalem in the visions of God, to the entrance of the inner gate that is facing northward, where the dwelling place is of the symbol of jealousy that is inciting to jealousy. And, look! the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance that I had seen in the valley plain.”—Ezekiel 8:2-4.
5. How does Ezekiel try to describe the glorious appearance assumed by Jehovah, and what kind of spirit was it that transported him to Jerusalem?
5 The appearance that Jehovah assumed in this vision is not described in great detail by Ezekiel. He had a fiery appearance, and from his hips downward there was an appearance of fire. From his hips upward there was a shining, “like the glow of electrum.” The appearance is hard for Ezekiel to describe because it bears no resemblance to the form of a man. But it is awe-inspiring, glorious, just as was the case of Ezekiel’s first vision of the celestial chariot at the river Chebar. (Ezekiel 1:26-28) When this appearance of Jehovah thrust out what corresponds with a human hand (“the representation of a hand”) and took Ezekiel by a “tuft of hair” of his head, did he feel like those Israelites whose hair Governor Nehemiah pulled out because he was displeased at their disobeying God’s law? (Nehemiah 13:25) Of course, God was not displeased with his prophet Ezekiel, but he was displeased at the things that He was going to show Ezekiel in vision. Being lifted up by this means, Ezekiel was transported in spirit from Babylon to Jerusalem hundreds of miles to the west. Evidently the “spirit” that carried him there was the spirit of inspiration.
6. By whom had the real temple, as seen by Ezekiel in vision, been built, and what did Ezekiel see at the entrance of the northern inner gate?
6 Thus, “in the visions of God,” Ezekiel was set down in the temple that had been built by King Solomon in Jerusalem. That temple was now 415 years old. It had an inner court and an outer court, the altar of sacrifice being located in the inner court. The façade of the temple was toward the east, but Ezekiel was deposited in the outer court at the “entrance of the inner gate that is facing northward.” Behind Ezekiel was the outer gate through which a person entered into the outer court. What did he see there at the entrance of the gate that leads into the inner court? A lifeless, motionless “symbol of jealousy that is inciting to jealousy.” How this must have shocked Ezekiel!
7. What was nearby in stark contrast with that “symbol of jealousy,” and for whom was its movement there ominous?
7 In stark contrast with that idolatrous “symbol of jealousy” near the inner gate, “look!” as Ezekiel tells us, “the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance that I had seen in the valley plain.” (Ezekiel 8:4) The celestial chariot of Jehovah had moved—from the river Chebar in Babylonia where Ezekiel had first seen it in vision, westward to the doomed city of Jerusalem in the land of Judah. (Ezekiel 1:4-28) This movement of the celestial chariot was ominous for Jerusalem!
8. Ezekiel was asked whether he saw what, and what effect would its being there have upon Jehovah?
8 From his celestial chariot Jehovah began to speak to Ezekiel there at the northern inner gate that led to the altar of sacrifice. “And,” says Ezekiel, “he proceeded to say to me: ‘Son of man, please, raise your eyes in the direction of the north.’ So I raised my eyes in the direction of the north, and, look! to the north of the gate of the altar there was this symbol of jealousy in the entranceway. And he went on to say to me: ‘Son of man, are you seeing what great detestable things they are doing, the things that the house of Israel are doing here for me to become far off from my sanctuary? And yet you will see again great detestable things.’”—Ezekiel 8:5, 6.
9. What effect did that “symbol of jealousy” in his temple have upon Jehovah, and of what divine commandments was its presence there a violation?
9 Just what kind of idolatrous thing this “symbol of jealousy” was we are not told. It is thought that it was an “asherah,” or sacred pole, that represented the false goddess who was the wife of the Canaanite god Baal. Whatever it was, it incited the living God Jehovah to jealousy, for it divided the exclusive devotion of the Israelites to Jehovah and it was in violation of the first two of the Ten Commandments, namely: “I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves. You must not have any other gods against my face. You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error.” (Exodus 20:2-5) Hence worship of that “symbol of jealousy” in Jehovah’s own temple in Jerusalem was one of the “great detestable things” that the apostate Israelites were doing.
10. The presence of that “symbol of jealousy” there obliged the Lord God to do what as regards the temple, and what similar action by him took place in 33 C.E.?
10 Was such a material temple, defiled by the worship of this “symbol of jealousy,” a proper “sanctuary” for Jehovah to continue occupying by his spirit and favor? No, indeed! That idolatrous symbol, together with other “great detestable things,” made it necessary for him to withdraw his spiritual presence. It obliged him, as he said, “to become far off from my sanctuary.” This meant for him to abandon it to destruction. The same thing occurred in the year 33 of our Common Era, when Jesus Christ said to the Jews concerning their temple in Jerusalem: “Look! Your house is abandoned to you.” (Matthew 23:38) That desecrated temple was destroyed in 70 C.E.
11. What other religious system has defiled its houses in a way like that of Jerusalem’s temple, and what should adherents thereof do therefore in order to take proper action?
11 Today Christendom has defiled its religious houses with many symbols that divide its exclusive devotion to the God whom it professes to serve, professedly the God of the Bible. By such idolatrous things Christendom, which takes the name of the Son of God, incites Jehovah the heavenly Father to jealousy. It would be well, therefore, for churchgoing people of Christendom to take note of what Jehovah showed his prophet Ezekiel, to see whether they and their church systems are guilty of these very same things, in modern style. They might thus learn what to do now without delay in order to save themselves from destruction in the “great tribulation” that is shortly to come upon the modern-day antitypical Jerusalem, namely, Christendom. (Matthew 24:21, 22) Not yet have we noted all the “great detestable things” that turned away Jehovah from those who long ago pretended to worship him, for, as he said to Ezekiel at the temple of Jerusalem, “yet you will see again great detestable things.” Let us see them also.
OUTRAGEOUS WORSHIP OF CREATURES INFERIOR TO MAN
12, 13. Where did Jehovah now bring Ezekiel, and what did he do on being told?
12 Ezekiel followed Jehovah on this tour of inspection of the temple conditions. He says: “Accordingly he brought me to the entrance of the courtyard, and I began to see, and, look! a certain hole in the wall. He now said to me: ‘Son of man, bore, please, through the wall.’ And I gradually bored through the wall, and, look! there was a certain entrance. And he further said to me: ‘Go in and see the bad detestable things that they are doing here.’”—Ezekiel 8:7-9.
13 According to this, Jehovah brought Ezekiel through the northern inner gate right on into the inner courtyard where the altar was located. Inside this courtyard Ezekiel was shown a chamber at or near the inner gate through which he had come. Do we now see that hole in its wall? Ezekiel is told to bore through it, enlarging the opening in order to get through to the inside. Either through this bored entrance or through another “certain entrance” near the bored hole, Ezekiel is told to go in and see what those inside are doing. What Ezekiel saw after doing so he tells us:
14. Inside, what did Ezekiel see seventy men carrying on, and what were they saying?
14 “So I went in and began to see, and, look! there was every representation of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the dungy idols of the house of Israel, the carving being upon the wall all round about. And seventy men of the elderly ones of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing in among them, were standing before them, each one with his censer in his hand, and the perfume of the cloud of the incense was ascending. And he proceeded to say to me: ‘Have you seen, O son of man, what the elderly ones of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each one in the inner rooms of his showpiece? For they are saying, “Jehovah is not seeing us. Jehovah has left the land.”’”—Ezekiel 8:10-12.
15. The things that those elderly men worshiped were the things worshiped by what kind of nations?
15 This was taking place in the inner courtyard near the temple altar! There may have been individual chambers inside this structure into which Ezekiel had bored his way, and the walls of all these had carvings of creeping things, ceremonially unclean loathsome beasts and “dungy idols” such as the pagan Egyptians in particular worshiped along the Nile River.
16. How did those seventy elders quiet any fears of being punished for carrying on such worship there?
16 Outrageously in the very temple of Jehovah, those seventy elders of the house of Israel were offering up incense to the false gods represented by those carvings on the wall! To them it did not matter that they were doing such degraded false worship in the temple of Jehovah. They quieted any fears of receiving punishment therefor by saying to themselves that Jehovah was not seeing what they were doing in the darkness, behind closed doors. In fact, Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan and the sixty-nine other elders of the house of Israel may have felt that Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah had had so much trouble recently at the hands of Babylon that Jehovah had apparently “left the land” of Judah. And, as far as having further interest in the land, Jehovah was dead!
17. In this “Brain Age,” how does Christendom show the inclination of those seventy elders in worshiping beasts, birds and fish?
17 Today, in this so-called Brain Age, does Christendom show herself so smart as to keep from offering up the incense of worship to “every representation of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the dungy idols,” such as those seventy elders of Israel were perfuming? Well, look at the wild animals and birds by which the nations of Christendom represent or symbolize their respective countries, to which symbols they give their heart’s devotion. Look at the animalistic and birdlike names that the sports teams of Christendom call themselves, the heroes of such sports becoming popular idols for even churchgoing people. And what about the Evolution Theory, which even most of the clergy of Christendom have adopted instead of holding to the Bible explanation of God’s direct creation of man as distinct from the lower animals and fishes! Thus Jehovah is shoved out of the picture as man’s divine Creator, and the evolutionist clergy of Christendom lead their church people in worshiping a theoretical evolutionary force as man’s creator, at the same time speaking of Mother Nature instead of the Heavenly Father as Creator and God.
18. Are those hypocritical religionists correct in their way of thinking, and Jehovah will shortly make them feel that he feels how toward them?
18 If these hypocritical religionists of Christendom think that Jehovah is paying no attention to what is going on in the earth and is no longer interested, not even in Christendom, and that thus “God is dead,” they are greatly mistaken. He is as alive as ever, being immortal, and he is highly offended at what is going on among those who claim to represent him and to be in a Christian relationship with him. These facts he will shortly make them painfully feel.
19. Who today have good reason to consider what Jehovah showed here to Ezekiel, and how do his visions to Ezekiel prove that he sees and hears what is done and said in the dark?
19 Consequently church people who are under the influence and guidance of these clergy elders of Christendom have all good reason to consider the things that Jehovah showed to his prophet Ezekiel. He sees what the clergy are doing “in the darkness,” behind closed doors. He hears and knows what they are saying to themselves in self-assurance. Why should he not be able to do this? Think of how, by means of visions, he was able to uncover to Ezekiel what was going on in the temple of Jerusalem, although Ezekiel was bodily in Tel-abib in Babylonia five hundred miles east of Jerusalem. Distance is no barrier to Jehovah’s vision and hearing. Let us, then, read about what is next shown to Ezekiel:
20, 21. The false god over whom Ezekiel saw the women weeping furnished the name for what lunar month, and what did he represent to his worshipers in southwest Asia?
20 “And he [Jehovah] continued on to say to me: ‘You will yet see again great detestable things that they are doing.’ So he brought me to the entrance of the gate of the house of Jehovah, which is toward the north, and, look! there the women were sitting, weeping over the god Tammuz.”—Ezekiel 8:13, 14.
WORSHIP OF THE FALSE GOD TAMMUZ
21 Tammuz—ah! we recall that the fourth month of the lunar year is named after this false god. According to the Babylonians and the Syrians he was the god of vegetation that grows during the rainy season with its kindly floods and dies during the dry season of southwest Asia. Death of the vegetation pictured the death of Tammuz, and it was his death that was bewailed annually at the time of the greatest heat, by the idolatrous worshipers of Tammuz. At return of the rainy season Tammuz was supposed to return from the Underworld, as symbolized by the growth again of the vegetation. Worship of Tammuz is understood to be one of the oldest forms of false religious worship in human history, and has not altogether disappeared from certain parts of the earth even now.
22. With whom does the book The Two Babylons identify Tammuz?
22 However, in his book entitled “The Two Babylons” Dr. Alexander Hislop identifies Tammuz with Nimrod, the founder of the city of Babylon, about 180 years after the flood of Noah’s day.
23. Who, Biblically, was Nimrod, what did his followers do about him after his death, and how do the mythical characters Bacchus and Adonis correspond with him?
23 Nimrod was the great-grandson of Noah. According to Genesis 10:1, 6, 8-12, Nimrod became known as “a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.” According to religious tradition, Nimrod was executed for his rebelliousness against Jehovah, the God of Noah. Nimrod’s followers considered his violent death a tragedy or calamity, and deified him. Annually they memorialized his death on the first or second day of the lunar month Tammuz, when the idolatrous women wept over his idol. So among the ancient classical writers he was given the name Bacchus, which means “Bewept One,” “Lamented One.” This weeping over him corresponds with that carried on over the legendary Adonis, a beautiful youth who was loved by Venus or Ishtar and who was killed by a wild boar in the mountains of Lebanon. In fact, the Latin Vulgate Bible and the English Douay Version Bible use the name Adonis instead of Tammuz in Ezekiel 8:14: “Behold women sat there mourning for Adonis,” or, “Lord.”
24. What derivations have been given for the name Tammuz, what letter became a symbol of him, and why was it scandalous for women to bewail Tammuz in Jehovah’s temple?
24 The Two Babylons (page 245, footnote) derives the name Tammuz from the words tam (“to make perfect”) and muz (“fire”) so as to mean “Perfecting Fire” or “Fire the Perfecter.” Another derivation gives it the meaning “Hidden” or “Obscure,” and this corresponds with the fact that the worship of the image of Tammuz was carried on in a secret place, as pictured at Ezekiel 8:14.a He was represented by the first letter of his name, which is an ancient tau, that was a cross. The “sign of the cross” was the religious symbol of Tammuz. So there was an attempt to introduce the worship of the idolatrous pagan cross into the temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem. How scandalous it was for those Israelite women, on the pavement of the inner court of Jehovah’s temple, to be religiously weeping over the executional death of Tammuz, in reality over “Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah”!
25. According to Genesis 10:10-12, Nimrod was a founder of what, and what type of religion stems from the “beginning of his kingdom”?
25 What today in Christendom, since its founding in the fourth century by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, derives itself from all religious things having to do with Nimrod alias Tammuz? Let us bear in mind that “the beginning of his kingdom came to be Babel [or Babylon] and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went forth into Assyria and set himself to building Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: this is the great city.” (Genesis 10:10-12) Thus Nimrod was the founder of cities and of political systems of rule, contrary to the will of Jehovah God. All false religion stemmed from Babylon after the flood of the days of Noah. Genesis 10:8, 9 says that “he [Nimrod] displayed himself a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.”
26. According to the Babylonian and Assyrian custom of applying the word “hunter,” in what way was Nimrod a shedder of blood?
26 The term “hunting,” according to the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian custom, was applied not only to hunting for wild animals but also to military campaigns against human creatures as the prey. So Nimrod made himself a shedder of human blood in warfare.
27. What has Christendom done as regards setting up religious systems, and how has she not confined herself to religion purely as her realm?
27 How well these details about Nimrod fit also to Christendom! Like Nimrod, she also has established her own religious systems. These are generally thought of as being in harmony with the Holy Bible of Jehovah but in actuality being in harmony with religious teachings of ancient Babylon, including the adoration of the cross, the symbol of Tammuz. Like Nimrod, Christendom has not confined herself to religion purely; she has mixed herself in worldly politics, setting up, wherever possible, a union of Church and State, with the Church trying to tell the State what to do. She has claimed that her political emperors and kings have ruled “By the grace of God.” Even her bishops, archbishops and popes have been honored with material thrones and are still said to “reign” over their bishoprics and papal sees.
28. How have the politicians been favored by Christendom, and how has she gone contrary politically to the words and example of Jesus Christ?
28 The politicians of this world are given prominent positions and considerations in the church systems. What a contrast this to the example of Jesus Christ, who refused to be made a king on earth by men! To the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, he said: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” (John 18:36) To the contrary of this, Christendom insists that it is the duty of her church members to engage in politics. At times and in some places, she endeavors to dictate to them as to the political candidates for whom they shall cast their election ballots. Members of her clergy have even acted as political rulers, as president, or prime minister, and so on.
29. How does Christendom find in Nimrod the “mighty hunter” a small prototype of herself as regards bloodshed?
29 And what about wanton bloodshed as committed by “Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah”? Nimrod was merely a small prototype for Christendom! She too has engaged as a “hunter” in military campaigns with carnal weapons. The most sanguinary wars of all human history have been waged by the members of Christendom, between themselves and with the so-called infidels and pagans. All this is not Christlike. It is Babylonish and smacks of Nimrod.
30. How have the wars of Christendom caused further weeping on the part of the womenfolk and the paying of special respects by the churches to high-ranking war figures?
30 The loss of human lives in these wars has caused untold weeping by the womenfolk of Christendom. Memorial days are held annually when the ones bereaved by war go to the graveyards to decorate the burial plots of their slain warriors. The deaths of the mighty war generals and other high-ranking warlords are mourned by the patriotic, nationalistic members of Christendom, these being eulogized in the churches in which the funeral services are held. All this in full agreement with the notorious fact that churches have been used as recruiting stations and propaganda centers in times of war. Such connecting up of all these political and military doings with the “house of God” (the Church) in Christendom well reminds us of those Israelite women sitting and weeping over Tammuz inside the inner court of the temple of the Sovereign Lord God in Ezekiel’s day.
WORSHIPING A SYMBOLIC SUN
31. What worship did Jehovah show to Ezekiel as being carried on by about twenty-five men between temple porch and altar, and what was also being done so that Jehovah should not hear their prayers?
31 However, is that all? Ezekiel says not, for he goes on to tell us what further Jehovah showed to him, saying: “And he further said to me: ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? You will yet see again great detestable things worse than these.’ So he brought me to the inner courtyard of the house of Jehovah, and, look! at the entrance of the temple of Jehovah, between the porch and the altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of Jehovah and their faces to the east, and they were bowing down to the east, to the sun. And he went on to say to me: ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it such a light thing to the house of Judah to do the detestable things that they have done here, that they have to fill the land with violence and that they should offend me again, and here they are thrusting out the shoot [twig] to my nose? And I myself also shall act in rage. My eye will not feel sorry, neither shall I feel compassion. And they will certainly call out in my ears with a loud voice, but I shall not hear them.’”—Ezekiel 8:15-18; footnote reading.
32, 33. On whose worship were those men turning their backs, and what warning through Moses were they violating?
32 The conduct of those twenty-five Israelite men was specially outrageous toward Jehovah. There they were, in the inner court of the temple dedicated to him and in the space between the porch of the temple and the altar of sacrifice at the center of the inner court. But they were not worshiping Jehovah at that place, nor were they bowing to his altar of sacrifice that was to the east of them. Instead of facing west, toward the temple where the presence of Jehovah was symbolized by the Shekinah light that hovered over the sacred Ark of the Covenant in the innermost compartment, the Most Holy, those twenty-five men turned their backs toward the Divine Presence and faced east. Horrors! They were bowing down in worship to the sun in the sky! They were expressly violating the warning that Jehovah gave through the prophet Moses:
33 “You must take good care of your souls, . . . that you may not raise your eyes to the heavens and indeed see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the army of the heavens, and actually get seduced and bow down to them and serve them.”—Deuteronomy 4:15-19.
34. Earlier, what had good King Josiah done regarding sun worship, but now how were those twenty-five men renouncing Psalm 84:11?
34 In the year 642 B.C.E., or thirty years before this, good King Josiah had publicly read those words to the people who were assembled at the temple, and after that he promptly abolished and destroyed all worship of the sun-god out of the Kingdom of Judah. (2 Kings 22:3 to 23:11) But now, after Josiah’s death, the men of Judah acted like washed swine that returned to their wallowing in the mire and they reintroduced sun worship and practiced it right inside the temple of Jehovah, without interference on the part of the priests of the tribe of Levi. They renounced the words of the “sons of Korah [the Levite],” as recorded in Psalm 84:11: “Jehovah God is a sun and a shield; favor and glory are what he gives. Jehovah himself will not hold back anything good from those walking in faultlessness.” Those twenty-five renegade Israelites looked to a mere creation of Jehovah, the sun, as their source of “favor and glory,” as their source for “anything good.” That was enough to insult Jehovah.
35. Why was their holding out the shoot or twig to Jehovah’s nose offensive to him, and with what were they filling the land, thus obliging Jehovah to act in what way toward them?
35 Yet those men added further insult to this. “Here,” said Jehovah, “they are thrusting out the shoot [or, twig] to my nose.” (Ezekiel 8:17) This shoot or twig was used in idolatrous worship and may have been carved to a certain shape to represent the human male organ. At least it must have been something very offensive or obscene to be held out to Jehovah’s nose, as if he would find pleasure in smelling it. Such idolatrous sun worship on the part of those twenty-five men was accompanied by their filling “the land with violence.” It was enough for Jehovah to find good reason to “act in rage.” This it was his purpose to do at the approaching destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. Then, when the sun-god failed those twenty-five apostate Israelites, they would fall back on Jehovah and call out to him with a loud voice to try to make him hear, but he would have no cause for paying attention to their selfish cries. As he looked upon their destruction by his executional forces his eye would feel no sorrow, for he himself would feel no compassion. He hates hypocrites!
36. In what way are members of Christendom today engaging in a symbolic worship of the sun?
36 No, the religionists of Christendom today do not actually worship the sun, for they know from their scientists something of what the sun is, so as to know that it is no god. Even after World War II ended in 1945 the emperor of non-Christian Japan was intelligent enough to renounce the claim made for emperors of Nippon that they were descendants of the sun-goddess, Amaterasu. Be that as it may, yet there is a prominent group in Christendom, including the Modernist clergyman of her churches, that has turned from worshiping the God of the Holy Bible, Jehovah, to a substitute of their own choice. They even deny his existence. In place of looking to Him as the source of enlightenment and energy and of the warmth of material comforts, they look to modern science and human philosophy. They pay more respect to these modern scientists and intellectuals, they attribute more to these, than they do to Jehovah. These have become the symbolic “sun” that Christendom worships and to which she looks for salvation. Christendom’s general acceptance of the unprovable Theory of Evolution is one of the evidences betraying her as a worshiper of such a “sun.”
37. How has modern science been treated by awed human creatures, and how has Christendom displayed the tendency noted in Romans 1:23?
37 Modern science has come to be treated like a “sacred cow,” that must be treated with reverence and that must be considered ahead of the Bible and its God. Modern intellectuality with all its theories has been treated as the up-to-date form of enlightenment that has made the Bible out-of-date, obsolete. This high-speed, nuclear, space age has come to be rated as having advanced beyond the so-called “camel train” philosophy of the Bible. To modern technology is given the credit for all the material comforts and labor-saving devices and communication systems that are at our disposal today. All this has focused the attention upon the human creature. For all these marvelous accomplishments of modern times Christendom’s worship has been directed to the creature. She has turned her back on the Creator, who endowed the human creature with the mental and physical powers to accomplish these things. This constant human tendency to do so was mentioned nineteen centuries ago in Romans, chapter 1, verse 23.
38. How has Christendom’s infection with worship of the demon gods been betrayed, even in connection with putting men on the moon?
38 Christendom’s infection with the worship of false gods, the gods of demonism, betrays itself very slyly. For instance, on July 20, 1969, when for the first time a human astronaut set foot upon the moon, who was glorified thereby, according to the way that the scientific group responsible for it named things that were involved? Certainly not Jehovah, the Creator of the moon, but the mythological sun-god. How so? Because the man-made spacecraft with which the successful moon-shot for putting Americans on our lunar satellite was made was named Apollo, Number Eleven. Phoebus Apollo was the sun-god of the ancient Greeks and was also the twin brother of Artemis (or Diana), the moon-goddess. This Apollo of the Greeks has been traced back as being the first king of Babylon, namely, Nimrod, the “mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.” (Genesis 10:8-10)b Since that first landing on the moon, further moon-shots have been made in spacecrafts of the “Apollo” series. All a part of sun worship!
39. What must be said as to whether this symbolic worship of the sun has been beneficial to mankind?
39 Has this sun worship proved to be beneficial to mankind? Back in the days of the prophet Ezekiel it did not prove to be so. Neither has it proved to be so in this modern twentieth century. The violence that has resulted has vastly exceeded that of Ezekiel’s day. (Ezekiel 8:17) The clergymen of Christendom have not halted the application of modern-day science to the invention and use of the most fiendish weapons of war, culminating in the developing of biological and radiological and atomic-nuclear weapons. The fighting of World Wars I and II was heavily dependent upon activity of scientists. Violence that has filled the earth has not been limited to those two world wars that were fought mainly by Christendom. The much-worshiped modern philosophy has robbed churchgoing people of a real fear of God, and violence is being employed widely, even in peacetime. The time period since 1914 C.E. has been officially termed an “Age of Violence.”
40, 41. How have the techniques of modern science in industry and commercialism affected man’s natural environment, and what must be said about the offensiveness of man’s moral environment today?
40 The technology of modern science has been applied to modern industry and commercialism, and this has resulted in a growing pollution that is ruining man’s natural environment. Fears are expressed that this earth will become shortly a place unfit for humans in which to exist. And what about man’s moral environment?
41 A new morality has been adopted that views even fornication, adultery, and homosexuality with indulgence and makes legal allowances for them. Christendom’s clergymen refrain from declaring what the Bible has to say against these things. In fact, many prominent clergymen have come out publicly in favor of legislation that relieves immoral persons of punishment for committing such unclean things. Venereal disease continues to increase as a result, in fact, has become an epidemic! If this is offensive to many God-fearing people today, what must it be to God himself? It is just as offensive as when those twenty-five sun worshipers in Jehovah’s temple in Jerusalem were obscenely “thrusting out the shoot” to His nose. (Ezekiel 8:17) Should he hear such hypocritical Christians when they soon cry to Him? No!
CHRISTENDOM INFECTED WITH DEADLY DEMONISM
42. How has our tour of inspection of the house of worship of Christendom shown that Jehovah is justified in acting shortly in rage against her, and as to her what did Cardinal Newman write?
42 There is every justification for Jehovah to “act in rage,” without feeling compassion, when he shortly brings upon Christendom and her worldly associates the “great tribulation” with which this system of things will come to its end. Our tour of inspection regarding the religious conditions of Christendom has been just as revealing as that which Ezekiel made in the polluted temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem. It has disclosed that Christendom’s house of worship is so infected with demonism and so loaded with the appendages of demonism as to be inseparable from it. This was admitted almost a hundred years ago by one of Christendom’s famous clergymen. In the year 1878 the Roman Catholic prelate, John Cardinal Newman, published his book entitled “Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.” In this he expressed his belief that the early professed Christians had not been infected with spiritual disease by any adopting into their religious organization the things that had to do with the worship of devilish demons. Accordingly he wrote:
Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil, and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship to an evangelical use, and feeling also that these usages had originally come from primitive revelations and from the instinct of nature, though they had been corrupted; and that they must invent what they needed, if they did not use what they found; and that they were moreover possessed of the very archetypes, of which paganism attempted the shadows; the rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, or imitate, or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace, as well as the philosophy of the educated class.
Proceeding now to show the origin of Christendom’s things, he says:
The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the [song] Kyrie Eleison [Lord, have mercy], are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.—Pages 355, 371, 373, of the edition of 1881.
43. How did the late Pope Pius XI express the same spirit of compromise religiously to newspapermen regarding dealing with others for church interests?
43 Expressing the same spirit of compromise as continuing into this twentieth century is the statement made to newspapermen in Rome, Italy, by the late Pope Pius XI (died 1939):
The head of the Catholic Church would consider it his duty to deal with the Devil himself, to say nothing about any mortals who, hypothetically, or in reality, were merely agents of the Dictator of Diabolism, if reasonable grounds existed to support the hope that such dealings would protect, or advance, the interests of religion among mankind.—Quoted by Michael Williams, in the February 21, 1943, issue of the Brooklyn Eagle, New York.
44, 45. Have the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches discarded the inspired expressions and teachings of demons, and in the light of 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 7:1 what excuse do professed Christians have for contaminating themselves with the things of demonism?
44 Even the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Protestant churches of Christendom have not discarded the practices and the “misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons” that were to mark “later periods of time.” (1 Timothy 4:1) As regards the Israelites in the days of the prophet Ezekiel, there was no Biblical excuse for them to adopt the rites and teachings of demon worship, as this course was forbidden even back in the Law of Moses. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14) Likewise, as respects those who profess to be Christians, there is no excuse for them to contaminate themselves with the teachings, practices, instruments and appendages of demonism, especially in view of the apostolic command:
45 “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: ‘I shall reside among them and walk among them, and I shall be their God, and they will be my people.’ ‘“Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,” says Jehovah, “and quit touching the unclean thing”’; ‘“and I will take you in.”’ ‘“And I shall be a father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me,” says Jehovah the Almighty.’ Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.”—2 Corinthians 6:14 to 7:1; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 31:9.
46, 47. Disobedience to those divine commands has resulted in what religious condition in Christendom, and what is prophesied to come upon her, so that we should ask ourselves what searching questions and seek for answers where?
46 Disobedience to such inspired commands has resulted in the confused, contaminated religious condition of Christendom today. She is beyond recovery. Like her ancient prototype, ancient Jerusalem, she is bound to suffer execution at the hands of the God against whom she has so greatly offended. A “great tribulation” exceeding even that which came upon Jerusalem in the days of the apostles of Jesus Christ is prophesied to come upon her. (Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20) In view of this, searching questions present themselves to each one of us: Am I an active member of Christendom’s religious organization? Or, Am I in sympathy with her and cooperating with her? If so, how will the “great tribulation” that is coming upon her affect me? Is there any way to escape sharing with her in that destructive “great tribulation”? Will even anyone who is in the midst of Christendom but who is not a sympathetic part of her be spared alive?
47 What Jehovah showed to Ezekiel in vision after he inspected the temple in Jerusalem furnishes answers to these questions.
a Others derive the name Tammuz from the Akkadian word Duzu, which is associated with the Sumerian word Dumuzi, meaning “Faithful son,” or, “Sprouting of life.”
b See page 32, with footnotes, of The Two Babylons, by Dr. Alexander Hislop, the edition of 1926.