Idolatry is the sin that is being associated with spiritual Judah. And we have already proven it here that it refer specifically to the Philadelphia Church of God. God is being specific of what ought to be repented of. The prophet Jeremiah even gave a strong emphasis on it:
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.” (Jer. 17:1-2)
To better understand these verses; let’s consider the word “groves” from the Strong’s Concordance:
H842. ‘asherah, ash-ay-raw’; or ‘asheyrah, ash-ay-raw’; from H833; happy; Asherah (or Astarte) a Phoenician goddess; also an image of the same:–grove.
While from JFB Commentary we read:
groves — rather, “images of Astarte,” the goddess of the heavenly hosts, represented as a sacred tree, such as is seen in the Assyrian sculptures. …The Hebrew for “grove” is Asherah, that is, Assarak, Astarte, or Ashtaroth.
But who is Astarte? To answer that, consider the article below:
THE ORIGIN OF EASTER
(W)e can see that Easter, Ishtar, Ashtoreth or Astarte, trace their origins back to Semiramis—the ancient queen of heaven, or moon goddess. Osiris, Baal, or Tammuz trace their origins back to Nimrod—the ancient sun god. They were worshiped as the king and queen of heaven. They ruled the day and the night. And it all comes from Babylon which means confusion…
In verse 6 (referring to II Kings 23) where it says, “brought out the grove,” JFB says, “Asherah, the mystic tree, placed by Manasseh in the temple, removed by him after his conversion, but replaced in the sanctuary by his wicked brother Amon.”
The King of Kings Bible Concordance says this concerning Asherah: “Name of a Canaanite goddess, frequently associated with Baal. It appears that she was symbolized by sacred poles or trees and that frequently the word does not signify the goddess, but only those symbols. In the Authorized Version Asherahs are called groves”…
God warns, we are not to follow after customs steeped in pagan origin (Lev. 18:1-4; Deut. 12:29-31). But for 6,000 years, man has consistently done what seems right in his own eyes (Prov. 14:12).
So if these ancient customs were not taught by Christ and the apostles, only one question remains. How did these traditions of men work their way into the beliefs and customs of traditional Christianity? (The Philadelphia Trumpet, March 1996)
Easter, Ishtar, Ashtoreth or Astarte can be traced back to Semiramis, the mother of Nimrod -They are the “mother and child tandem” who founded the “Revelation 17:5” religion: “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” According to 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica:
She assumes various local forms in the old Semitic world, and this has led to consequent fusion and identification with the deities of other nations.
Britannica Online Encyclopedia adds:
Astarte was worshiped in Egypt and Ugarit and among the Hittites, as well as in Canaan. Her Akkadian counterpart was Ishtar. Later she became assimilated with the Egyptian deities Isis and Hathor (a goddess of the sky and of women), and in the Greco-Roman world with Aphrodite, Artemis, and Juno…
Here is another one from the website, Cow of Gold – An Encyclopedia of Egyptian Mythology:
Astarte was worshiped as a loving mother and sexual goddess, and was related to Hathor and Isis. She was credited with defeating the sea-demon Yamm. Temples of Astarte were built in Thebes and Tanis. In her iconography Astarte was pictured as a woman riding on horseback, sometimes with the head of a lioness, brandishing a shield and spear. She was also pictured as a sphinx, and wore the Atef Crown or the horns of a bull.
And when we consider the word “groves” or the “images of Astarte” in Jeremiah 17:2, it is in plural form which indicates more than one occurrence. But first, let us define the word “image” from the dictionary:
A natural resemblance; also that which resembles something; counterpart. A representation in the mind of something not perceived at the moment through the senses; a product of the reproductive imagination or memory, of things seen, heard, touched, etc., including the accompanying emotion. A symbol of anything; embodiment; type.
Whereas, “resemblance” means:
“the quality of similarity in nature, form, etc.; relative identity.
Therefore, if we shall examine carefully, “the images of Astarte” could be referring to a “resemblance” or “the quality of similarity in nature, form, etc.” or a “counterpart” to something directly associated to “Astarte.”
Do you know what those images of Astarte are? And what does it have to do with the Philadelphia Church of God? Some might say; This is God’s Church, it is so impossible that God will allow such thing to happen to His Church. Or is it?
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