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Sunday, April 28 2013
Sun Worship In Israel
"Lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them"
Many regard "sun worship" to be merely what ancient "heathen" people did. Some others realize however that many of those idolatrous practices were adopted as state religions by great empires. Babylon and Rome are the most-familiar, primarily because of their "sun god" e.g. Sol Invictus of the Church of the Roman Empire (now known as the Church of Rome, or the Roman Catholic Church), which was the basis for both their choosing of December 25 for "Christmas" (the Romans celebrated the winter solstice on that date long before the birth of Christ) and their "Sun Day" that is also observed by most of the "protestant" churches (see the Fact Finder question below). Even the portrayal of the "halo" (a natural phenomenon of the sun that pagans used as part of their idolizing of the sun and themselves) is merely the sun behind the head of a "saint."
The people of Israel were however also corrupted by sun worship. They, of all people, had no excuse because the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see The Kingdom Of The LORD God) specifically commanded them to not worship the sun, moon or stars because it is idolatry, no different that religious statues or images.
"4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
Worship of the sun was a death-penalty offense i.e. "hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded ... even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die."
"17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
Some of the kings of Israel and Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah) attempted to reverse the idolatry, which included sun worship, of the nation. King Josiah (see Josiah of Judah) was one of the few righteous kings who cleansed the land of such idolatry.
"23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. 23:5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. 23:6 And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. 23:7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove." (2 Kings 23:4-7 KJV)
Nevertheless, many of the kings of Israel and Judah made themselves and their kingdom incorrigible sun worshipers. There is a prophecy about them that will be fulfilled after the return of the Messiah.
"8:1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 8:2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 8:3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts." (Jeremiah 8:1-3 KJV)
"With their backs toward the Temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east"
The primary reason that the original Temple of the LORD was destroyed, by the LORD, was because the people had turned it into a place of idolatry, including, as documented in the verses below, sun worship. Amazingly, the illustration shows the very same sort of idolatry in a 6th century Synagogue in Israel.
"8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me. 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. 8:3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. 8:4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
Fact Finder: How did Roman sun worship cause corruption of the true Christian Sabbath?
This Day In History, April 28
357: Emperor Constantius II entered Rome for the first time after his victory over Magnus Magnentius.
1192: Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), "King of Jerusalem," was assassinated in Tyre (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1282: The people of Palermo lead a revolt against French rule in Sicily.
1503: The French were defeated by the Spanish under Gonsalvo de Cordoba at the battle of Cerignola near Naples. It is regarded as the first battle in history won by weapons using gunpowder.
1521: In Germany, Protestant reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: "The authority of Scripture is greater than the comprehension of the whole of man's reason" (an ironic statement because, despite his "protest" against an immoral pope, Luther, and all of the "protestant" churches to this day maintain nearly all of the Church of Rome's anti-Bible doctrines e.g. Sun Worship).
1686: The first volume of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathamatic was published.
1760: One of the bloodiest battles in Canadian history. In an attempt to recapture Quebec City, Francois de Levis and his French force of 5,000 men attacked the British on the Plains of Abraham in what became known as the Battle of Ste-Foy. The British resorted to Quebec City, which they still held, and Levis was unable to take control of the city before British reinforcements arrived May 10. Levis was forced to retire to Montreal.
1770: Captain James Cook landed at Botany Bay in Australia.
1789: The crew of the Bounty, led by the traitor Fletcher Christian, mutinied against Captain William Bligh, and set the captain and 18 crew members adrift in an open boat. Some of the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island, east of Tahiti, where their descendants still live.
1792: France invaded the Austrian Netherlands (present-day Belgium), beginning the French Revolutionary War.
1817: Britain and the U.S. signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, in which they agreed not to have guns or ships of war on the frontier waters of the Great Lakes.
1920: Azerbaijan joined the Soviet Union.
1944: Exercise "Tiger" ended with 750 U.S. soldiers dead in a D-Day rehearsal after their convoy ships were attacked by German torpedo boats off Slapton Sands, on the southwest coast of England.
1945: At the end of the Second World War, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, 62, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were captured and shot by Italian partisans while attempting to flee to Switzerland. The next day, their mutilated corpses were hung from lamp posts in Milan for public display.
1947: Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.
1969: Charles de Gaulle resigned as president of France.
1974: At the end of the Vietnam War, the last U.S. military and diplomatic personnel were evacuated from Saigon as the city was about to be taken by North Vietnamese forces.
1992: The body of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, heir to the vacant Russian throne, was returned to St. Petersburg to be buried in the city of his czar ancestors.