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Thursday, February 11 2016

Zechariah 1: When Democracy Becomes Demolatry

"Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong ... The victor will never be asked if he told the truth ... The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one"

"Democracy" originated from a compound Greek word, demos, that means people, and kratos, that means power, or authority. Other man-made applications of the suffix are found in words such as bureaucracy (power in the hands of government officials), or theocracy (a government based upon a religion).

"Idolatry" originated from another compound Greek word, pronounced eidolon (keeping in mind that the Greek language uses a different alphabet), which means an image, or a reflection, and latreuo, which means to worship. Note the original literal definition of idolatry involved either, or both, an image (a religious portrait or statue) or a reflection of something or someone. The term included state worship, where democracy becomes demolatry - people not only making a god for themselves, but making a god of themselves i.e. making their reflection into a god.

The term is not in common use (while the principle is rampant in the world), but here are two historic references from events of the twentieth century in which demolatry was a prime factor, when its dangers were ignored, in causing two world wars (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion and Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?):

Hitler

"He knows nothing of hero-worship: the Russian spirit, he says, does not much believe in great men. To him, it is the soldier who wins battles; the general has nothing to do with it. But even while crediting the people, collectively and individually, with every success and honor, he by no means deifies them: He is just as sternly set against demolatry as against hero-worship. And while he exalts the peasant before the man of culture, his portraits of him are not in the least flattered. His pictures of peasant life are not idyls." (The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians by Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu [author] and Zenaide Alexeievna Ragozin [translator], 1896)

"The people should be supreme, yes, its will should be the law of the land. But it is a caricature of democracy to make it also the law of individual initiative. One thing it is to say that all proposals must ultimately win the acceptance of the majority; it is quite another to propose nothing which is not immediately acceptable. It is as true of the nation as of the body that one leg cannot go forward very far unless the whole body follows. That is a different thing from trying to move both legs forward at the same time. The one is democracy; the other is demolatry. The one thing that no democrat may assume is that the people are dear good souls, fully competent for their task. The most valuable leaders never assume that. No one, for example, would accuse Karl Marx of disloyalty to workingmen. Yet in 1850 he could write at the demagogues among his friends: "While we draw the attention of the German workman to the undeveloped state of the proletariat in Germany, you flatter the national spirit and the guild prejudices of the German artisans in the grossest manner, a method of procedure without doubt the more popular of the two. Just as the democrats made a sort of fetich of the words, 'the people,' so you make one of the word 'proletariat.'" John Spargo quotes this statement in his "Life." Marx, we are told, could use phrases like "democratic miasma." He never seems to have made the mistake of confusing democracy with demolatry." (A Preface to Politics by Walter Lippmann, 1913)

The Roman Empire is a familiar example of demolatry (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). When some of the Roman emperors declared themselves "divine," the people extended the principle to themselves, with the delusion that their nation was itself a god. By no coincidence, the origin of the Church of Rome's doctrine that the Kingdom of God is here now, because the Church of Rome is here now, originated from that time and attitude.

The people of the united kingdom of Israel (see A History Of Israel's United And Divided Kingdoms), and then, after the division, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), were not immune to demolatry. Not long after the division, the Kingdom of Israel invented their own state religion, that while based upon what the LORD actually gave to them, became a gross perversion of it (see The Politics And Religion Of The Lost Ten Tribes).

The Kingdom of Judah, after the return from the Babylonian exile (see Why Didn't The Exiles Want To Go Home?), also created their own state religion, known today as "Judaism" - the religion of the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism). It was for that demolatry that the Messiah rebuked them, and why He was assassinated by them for the Truth that He spoke:

"7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:6-9 KJV)

"26:3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 26:4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him." (Matthew 26:3-4 KJV)

Zechariah, from the Hebrew name pronounced zek-ar-yaw-hoo, meaning the LORD is remembered, was a prophet of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) to the nation of Judah (it was actually never a kingdom again after its fall to Babylon in 586 BC), during their return after the seventy-years Babylonian exile. Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai (see Haggai's Message To Zerubbabel And Joshua), who together taught and preached as the Temple was being rebuilt in the time Nehemiah (see Nehemiah: The Return Of The Governor) and Ezra (see Ezra: The Return Of The Levites To Jerusalem).

Zechariah lived in the time when the people of Judah had returned, not only to Jerusalem, but to the true obedience to the LORD that they had before they self-destructed their kingdom with demolatry. No Pharisees or Sadducees yet existed in the time of Zechariah (see The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees).

Zechariah's prophecy wasn't about getting a corrupt nation to repent; it was about warning the people to not repeat the self-worship that destroyed their ancestors. Unfortunately for them, they later failed to heed the warning.

Pharisee

"1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

1:2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. 1:3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. 1:4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD. 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? 1:6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

1:7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

1:8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

1:9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these?

And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.

1:10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

1:11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

1:12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? 1:13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

1:14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 1:15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

1:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

1:17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

1:18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 1:19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these?

And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

1:20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. 1:21 Then said I, What come these to do?

And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it." (Zechariah 1:20-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: How does demolatry produce iniquity?
See Iniquity In History And Prophecy and Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?; also The Idols Of Iniquity


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This Day In History, February 11

660 BC: The traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.

55: Britannicus, a son of Roman emperor Claudius, was poisoned. It paved the way for Nero to become emperor (see also Nero's Torches).

1531: King Henry VIII appointed himself supreme head of his new Church of England after the Church of Rome refused to permit the king's adulterous re-marriages.

Henry and Leo 1554: Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for 9 days, was beheaded for treason along with her husband Lord Dudley.

1573: English explorer and naval hero (i.e. in the battles against the Spanish Armada) Francis Drake sighted the Pacific Ocean.

1703: Godard van Reede-Ginkel, 1st earl of Athlone, died at age 59. The Dutch soldier, while in English service, completed the conquest of Ireland for Prince William of Orange (King William III of England) against the forces of the deposed King James II after the Revolution of 1688.

1790: The Religious Society of Friends, known as the Quakers, petitioned the new U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery in "the land of the free." The request was denied (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence remained slave holders for their entire lives).

1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signed a law changing the state's electoral boundaries to ensure a Republican victory. The manipulation gave rise to the term "gerrymandering."

1858: Bernadette Soubirous, 14, began 5 months during which she claimed to have 18 visions of Mary at Lourdes (if the girl saw anything at all, it wasn't Mary - Mary is dead, awaiting her resurrection like everyone else; see Wednesday April 10 2013 - What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and The Sleep Of Death).

1873: King Amadeo of Spain abdicated. It led to the proclamation of the first Spanish republic.

1919: Friedrich Ebert was elected the first President of the German republic. He helped to bring about the Weimar constitution that tried to unite Germany after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1922: The discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best was announced in Toronto.

1929: In the Lateran Palace in Rome, Benito Mussolini (representing the Italian king) and Cardinal Gasparri (representing Pope Pius) signed 3 historic documents (1) The Lateran Treaty gave the pope full sovereignty and temporal power over the 110-acre Vatican City. (2) a financial agreement compensated the Vatican for its surrender of claims to the old Papal States. (3) a concordat established Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Italy.

1945: The Yalta Conference of Winston Churchill of Britain, Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S. and Joseph Stalin of Russia ended.

1953: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The couple were later executed by electric chair at New York's Sing Sing prison. Eyewitnesses recorded the Rosenbergs' death, noting that Julius Rosenberg died after the first electric shock, while his wife did not. After three electric shocks, guards removed her strapping and hood only to find that Mrs. Rosenberg was not dead. Two more electric shocks were then applied, from which smoke and the odor of burning flesh rose from her body in the chamber.

1970: Japan became the 4th country to put a satellite into orbit.

1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party when she was elected leader of the Conservatives.

1990: Nelson Mandela released from a South Africa prison after 27 years on charges of treason.


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