“THE LIE” of Idolatry (Romans 1:25)

NOTE:  Even as the “backsliding”, a word unique to Jeremiah, is the equivalent for Israel of the great apostasy called the Falling Away (II Thessalonians) for Christians, so the very source of the Christian fables of II Timothy 4:3,4 is the same as the backsliding of Israel, THE LIE of idolatry.  The lie and idolatry are the same, THE LIE of which Romans 1:25 speaks is to doubt and deny God and God’s Word, and idolatry plain and simple is to allow any loyalty in life to be paramount to God and precisely what He says in His Word the Bible.        

“THE LIE” (Romans 1:25)
What God’s people of Jerusalem and Judah were thinking–the men, women, children, princes of government, official prophets and priests–finally becomes evident to us after months of tedious study on the book of Jeremiah and related books of prophecy: their minds were filled with idolatrous thoughts that motivated everything they did, God and Jeremiah in the Temple Message called it their “ways and doings”, in the years before the destruction and desolation of Judah and Jerusalem. Only publicly did the women and their supporters admit this idolatry as a remnant fled from Mizpah, seat of the flimsy government under Governor Gedaliah, to Egypt; only after the captains with the remnant and other remnant leaders had asked Jeremiah to ask of God a blessing on their escape to Egypt; only after the answer from God came back 10 days later that they must remain in Mispah, and to go to Egypt with be the complete destruction of every remaining resident of Judah.
5-1: The LIE of other gods was alive and well in Jerusalem and Egypt before total destruction and desolation.
1. We see this in the public confession, or profession of idolatry, of the Jewish women down in Egypt.
Granted we read from God and Jeremiah in the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7, the observation by both of the idol worship of the Queen of Heaven in the streets of Jerusalem and other cities of Judah, and how it was family worship: “Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.” (Jeremiah 7:17,18) {By the way we have also learned in our Bible Studies of Jeremiah and Prophesy that the made and passed out cakes upon which were images of the Queen of Heaven, worshiped these images, and influenced others to do the same.} All this was known way back at the beginning of our Jeremiah studies as we looked at chapter 7, the Temple Message, of Jeremiah; but only as we have come to chapter 44 do these same women, their husbands, and other supporters of the Jews down in Egypt publicly confess this commitment to idolatry.
“Then {after in 44:1-14 Jeremiah delivers the answer of God to escape in Egypt} all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros {southern Egypt}, answered Jeremiah, saying: ‘As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth {the vows they made to the Queen of Heaven}, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done {a confession of continued idolatry in Judah and Jerusalem}, we and our fathers {a public confession that it was part of their heritage of many years}, our kings and princes {a public confession that the public and government leaders practiced idolatry and encouraged the people to do the same}, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem {this idol worship had been done openly although there had not previously been the public commitment and confession to such idolatry}. For then we had plenty of food, were well off, and saw no trouble.
NOTE: As we come to look at THE LIE of idolatry from Romans 1, we will discuss also the rationalizations, delusions, and lies that go with it. There is little doubt that they are speaking of a period in their history, no doubt under the wicked King Manasseh for 50 years when there was also prosperity and peace; but to subscribe that to the blessings of a dumb idol, a false god or goddess, that was only imagined and not real in the first place is a testament of what happens, according to Romans 1:25 when truth about, and truths about the Great God of the Universe is traded for A LIE THAT OTHER gods EXIST.
2. 70 influential men of Judah were seen by Ezekiel secretly worshipping THE LIE of idols in a dark basement of the Jerusalem Temple (Ezekiel 8:1-18), one of them, Jaazaniah, was the son of a leader, Shaphan, in the previous reformation and temple cleansing under King Josiah.
“And He said to me {God took Ezekiel to the dark basement of the Jerusalem Temple to see what perhaps Jeremiah never saw}, ‘Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there. So I went in and saw, and there–every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, have you see what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? FOR THEY SAY, ‘THE LORD DOES NOT SEE US, THE LORD HAS FORSAKEN THE LAND.” (Ezekiel 8:10-12)
3. That “forsaken” rings a bell: this study of the LIE of idols versus the real truth of the Living God of the living water can be done at several levels, and no doubt will, at the top level, as in Romans 1, of the Truth and Truths of the Living God versus the LIE of idols and idolatry; or it can be done down in the dirt of the history in Jeremiah where while God said “the people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns, broken cisterns, for themselves that will hold no water” versus what the people were really thinking, or what they claimed to think in public Temple worship and versus what they thought in the darkness of the temple in the dark: (1) that God had deserted His own people and the land, did not see what they were doing or what was going on politically, economically, and religiously {the kind of idol worship lie that many Americans practice today}, and that God just plain had forsaken His own people and the land of Judah and Jerusalem.
5-2: What Judah had in common with the whole world: THE LIE of Romans 1:25.
The Philosophical and High Level of “the truth of God versus THE LIE” of Romans chapter 1 places the guilt of “idolatry” on the whole world of civilizations, peoples, and nations where it should be instead of just on the people of God of Judah and Jerusalem before the destruction in 587 B.C.
1. While some liberals may object to applying the fuller New Testament truth of the book of Romans to an explanation of what the people of God were thinking in 587 B.C, and before in their nations history, and after down in Egypt, that is what the “progressive revelation of the Bible” is all about. In most cases, we learn the fuller truth and truths in the New Testament as compared to the Old Testament. Except in this case, there is much learning for God’s people today on God’s people of Jeremiah, what they were thinking and what they did, that in turn sheds light on exactly what demolishes the thinking of men, women, and children when they go through the process with the society around them of turning it original truth and knowledge of God for the lies of idols. {Idols are a LIE; because they are not real; there is in reality no other God period than the Father of the LORD Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, and the LORD God of Israel of the Bible. In the closing chapters of the book, idols will be presented as dynamic symbols that represent something important in the life of the idolater but are not real gods that can think, act, and bless.}
NOTE: You will find that they same high level of “tolerance” that led the children of Israel into idolatry is that level we see in America today as Americans tolerate loose convictions and beliefs on God and gods. One woman leader of those killed in 911 said recently of the death of Osama Bin Laden, “now it is a matter of accountability between him and his god.” You see this is a tacit and subtle, very tolerant admission that there is another God beside the Creator of the Universe. How quickly we as Americans, even church members and the new generation of God’s people, allow the extremes of toleration lead us into the most hateful sin there is to God, IDOLATRY!
2. After these past studies in the book of Jeremiah where the major sin of the people of God was idols and idolatry, we have more appreciation now for a study of Romans 1; and we tend to apply it, as it should be to any case of idolatry, to God’s people of Judah and Jerusalem, as we do to heathen nations. Yes, I know liberals and others ignorant on the Word of God in Romans, on Bible history, and world history tend to think falsely that: (1) all civilizations started off with idol worship then evolved to a higher concept of god as did the nation of Israel; (2) that social evolution, somewhat like theistic and physical evolution, in a civilization like in America is measured as society gets better and better. Well, like with so many other truths in Romans and the Word of God where they “professing to be wise, they become fools”, the opposite of the history of civilization and the world is true: According to the Word of God in Romans, all peoples started off with a knowledge of God from conscience, from the works of Creation, and etc; and although at one time they knew God as God, they did not glorify God and give Him the honor, God gave them up to a reprobate mind and many other evils. So the history of civilization from the God that made us is that man has continuously de-evolved with a few minor perturbations of getting better.
3. What happened to past civilizations, even to the children of Israel as a nation, is that first “they knew God” (Romans 1:21) but “they did not glorify Him as God”, and “they were not thankful to God”; so, what happened to these peoples and civilizations like happened to Judah and Jerusalem: (1) “they became futile in their thoughts”; (2) “their foolish hearts were darkened”; and (3) claiming to be professors and possessors of unique wisdom, they degenerated into “fools”.
4. The PROCESS of the LIE of idolatry: (1) while God is holy and incorruptible, man with his great imagination and professed wisdom creates images of God of 4 types; (2) the images or idols are of (a) “corruptible man” {it is always easier to bring our god down to our level of humanity and manhood than to come up to His level as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ}, (b) birds, (c) four-footed animals, and (d) creeping things.
NOTE: You noted as the 70 influential elders of Judah sat in their little cubicles in the darkness of the basement, each had his own favorite idol to represent the 70 idols worshiped in Israel and Judah! These were “every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 9:10)
5. The point of God’s Word to Ezekiel in chapter 8, about all the worship of idols–the 70 elders of all the idols of Israel, the idol of Asherah at the entrance to the gate, the women of Judah weeping at the door of the north gate for Tammuz, and there in the inner court the 25 priests worshiping the sun–is not with any sexual connotations, although, of course, we know that the Queen of Heaven and Asherah were fertility goddess; no, there is nothing of sex and sexual deviations in Ezekiel 8; but God points out over and over how “do you see these abominations”, and greater abominations than this. We must come to the conclusion that the greater by far abomination of God, even than the mistreatment of the people in the land, is IDOLATRY.
NOTE: We may never come to appreciate the harrow of God, of Jeremiah, of Ezekiel and the elders of Judah in the foreign land of this just plain, and awesome to God, sin of idolatry! It is difficult for us. For most of us know that there is only ONE God; we know that this idols and creeping things can not bless and mean nothing when they are foolishly worshiped.
5-3: Idol Worship Is A supreme Abomination to God!
There are reasons that the first two of the Ten Commandments have to do with Respect and worship of God without false mental images or idols, and the third and fourth also relate to respect for God, for His name and for one day of the week set aside for thinking about Him. True, even as in the 10 commandments, the last six deal with mistreatment of the people in the land, and so the abominations of God’s people of Judah included this same mistreatment of the people in the land.
“Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, sand say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations.” (Jeremiah 7:9,10)
And even as today when people have adopted false gods that are not really gods at all, you can detect easily the falsehood in terms of the immorality, like murder and adultery, that goes with it! Bottom line since the only other supernatural beings are Satan and his fellow devils, any worship or service to a god turns out to be Satanic worship, even if in the milder forms. Of course, the bottom line of God’s message of Jeremiah is that there are no mild forms of devil and idol worship, to the God of this Universe Who knows He is the only God, and tells us so in the Book He wrote, and told the nation of Israel and Judah, rising early and staying up late, sending many prophets for hundreds of years to keep the people straight on idolatry. And at the highest level of God’s summary of what was wrong with His people of Jeremiah was that they had committed 2 broad and all encompassing EVILS; (1) they had forsaken the only Living God, and (2) they had made broken cisterns, among those ways of salvation many idols, that could hold no living water.
5-4: Idol Worship in Jerusalem’s Temple Basement.
We have generally learned from the Bible to respect God’s people of Judah and Israel, but we lose a lot of that respect as we read about the foolishness of the idol worship in the dark basement of the Temple, and as we read of men, women, and children engaged all over Judah and Jerusalem in the worship and service of the Queen of Heaven. And we must see from Romans 1 if no where else what such a substitution for truth does to the human mind: the women in Egypt had lost it mentally in thinking that they were better off when they worshipped the Queen instead of Yahweh, much less the fact that even as today except among the false popular preachers of prosperity, you do not make “well-off” and other material things you sole justification for worship and service; and the 70 elders, to think that the omnipotent and omniscient God of the Universe could not see what they were doing was foolhardy and an indication of mental lack of health.
For more on this subject please go to the following web pages of SunGrist_Bible at http:\\biblecombibleman.com .
1. Danger In This Life of Unbelief.
2. Follies to Fables.
3. Leaky Barriers to Strong Delusion.
NOTE: As preliminary indications are now from this thorough and spirit led look at “Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy”, that it is extreme toleration for other gods which caused the destruction and desolation of Israel and Judah; and how scary since we know that extreme toleration is now the standard for the American Democratic Faith.
5-5: Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy plus Advanced Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy.
By the way, are you caught up on Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy as it is now plunging into outstanding conclusions where that background is both helpful and needed. This chapter and the ones to follow are deep into the intensity of Jeremiah and Prophesy that has been part of the free online Bible Studies on http://www.biblecombibleman.com {the first official website of SunGrist} for the past almost 3 years. Along the line of the study of this volume, you may want to make reference to these web pages. It would work quite well to do it simultaneously.

Final NOTE:  “The twin lies of human divinity and immortality have been Satan’s foundation for his counterfeit religion throughout the ages. He has been using these lies to hide from us the importance of seeking salvation in Christ.

If we are immortal, we do not need Christ to help us regain the immortality we have not lost. If we are divine, we become His equal and are capable of saving ourselves. With this masterpiece of Satan, the plan of salvation becomes futile.”

{From  The Twin Lies of Eden, http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_New-Age_Satan_lies_Eden

Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD

Publish date: Dec 14, 2009
Summary: New Age doctrine is anything but new. In fact, Satan has been tricking humanity with the same basic lies since history began.
This article is part of a series. We recommend that you first read: The New Age Movement.}

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