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Strange Texts but Grand Truths (4 of 17)
What Are You in the Dark?
Clarence E. Macartney
The prophet Ezekiel, a captive among the Jews on the
banks of the Chebar in far-off Babylon, saw a hand
stretched forth out of the flame of fire. This hand
lifted him up and transported him to the court of the
temple at Jerusalem. There he saw, set up in the
sacred precincts, an image of jealousy; that is, a
heathen idol which provoked the righteous indignation
and jealousy of Jehovah. This was bad, but what was to
come was worse. Ezekiel saw a hole in the wall of the
inner court of the temple. Obeying his angelic guide,
he dug in this hole and enlarged it, so that he was
able to pass through it. Then he came to a second
wall, in which was a door, and through the door he
passed into a large chamber. The walls of this chamber
of imagery were decorated with the unclean symbols and
likenesses of heathen worship. Before these filthy
pictures stood seventy elders of Israel, swinging
their censers and mumbling their adoration and
incantations. The angel said to Ezekiel, "Hast thou
seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in
the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery?
for they say, The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath
forsaken the earth."
Shocked at this disclosure of secret apostasy and
idolatry, Ezekiel was to see even greater
abominations. He followed the angel out of the secret
chamber, and near the gate of the temple beheld Jewish
women weeping openly for Tammuz. Tammuz was the
Oriental equivalent of Adonis, the paramour of Venus;
and the rites of this worship were carried out with
unbridled licentiousness. At Baalbek today one can see
the beautiful ruins of the Temple of Venus; and,
learning what was done there, one sadly contrasts the
beauty of architecture with the hideousness of the
worship. One realizes, too, the immense progress that
has been made in religious worship s ...
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