“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 textual and
topical 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.

30-1:  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,
worshipped 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.  
{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.

30-2:  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.}

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 tolerant 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 worshipped 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 worshipping 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 worshipped.

30-3:  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.

30-4:  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 Jewish 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.

30-5:  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.

1.  
Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy.
2.  Advanced Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy.
SunGrist_Bible
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based, and demanded by today's
environment. Our words and actions must be
geared to the most influential event of all
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Falling Away, second only to the First and
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Christian Apologetics with a contemporary
twist has 3 main goals:  (1) to convince
Christianity that we are now in the Falling
Away from God, Christ, and the Bible; (2) to
strengthen a Bible based faith of Christians
with evidences; and (3) to reach as many
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