'When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.
now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their
silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the
work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice
kiss the calves.
Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and
as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with
the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.'
The gods of this age meld political power with celebrity style charisma, skilled exploiters of the moving screen, they shift and evolve according to circumstance and need.
Their appearance of commitment to transcendent principle is illusory, their primary concern is with perception and public confidence.
They are chameleon gods, malleable and adaptable to appeal - molten gods.
The religion of the golden calf:
A religion of dancing, drinking, making merry and nakedness which puts to shame - sound familiar?
in the last time, the supreme delight and object of adoration of the
masses, the source of life, the fountain of pleasure, the mover of
inspiration will be in the Divine eyes, the Abomination of Desolation,
or strictly the Abomination that desolates.
They steal their power, appeal and beauty from handiwork of the Author, and prostitute it to serve debased ambition.
Nebuchadnezzar's time, a vast golden image (presumably not entirely
dissimilar to Nebuchadnezzar) was erected in the plain of Dura. An
orchestra of fine musical instruments helped create a reverential
atmosphere, and all the people were both induced and commanded to adore
it. Those who refused were regarded as unreasonable, uncultured and
anti-social, and threatened with execution for their rebellion.
is characteristic that Nebuchadnezzar stole the idea for this image
from the revelation explained to him by Daniel the Hebrew prophet, and
introduced with these words, 'there is a God in heaven that reveals
secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in
the latter days.' Nebuchadnezzar snatched the glory and stole the
concept, thus exalting himself. Only the faithfulness of three Hebrew
servants awakened him from his folly.
In the days of the Roman
emporers, Christians were commanded to offer incense to the 'genius' of
the Emporer, or his image, and failure to agree to such a 'simple and
uninvolved' act of was deemed punishable by death and torture.
Perpetua, one of the martyrs of Carthage
In the last days, a greater and more seductive image will
appear. It will appeal to many senses, draw admiration
from every onlooker and ravish
every unguarded spirit.
It will live and speak and command worship. Opposition will seem
uncivilised, unreasonable and
anti-social, so that death will seem the appropriate penalty for
disobedience. Yet it will damn and desolate the spirits
who bow to it - 'that which
is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God'.
Some past abominations:
Nebuchanezzar's glorious image.
The rising sun in its glory.
The worship of the moon god Sin.
The genius of the Roman emperors.
The blasphemous idolatry of the mass - a dangerous deceit as the Anglican Church officially describes it.
Yet the final abomination will eclipse all these for attractiveness and seductive power.
©Stromboli on line
'If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out
without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be
tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels,
and in the presence of the Lamb:
the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they
have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and
whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.' Rev.14.9b-12