temple of Baal

This is the Temple of Baal that was destroyed by ISIS in Syria.  Don’t be alarmed though.  The gateway is being rebuilt in Times Square NY and Trafalgar Square in London.

Jezebel was a Phoenician Queen that married into the Royal House of Israel and somehow she got many in Israel to become apostate and worship the murderous idols she worshipped.  She was a murderer and a conniver and came from a background of a cosmopolitan and religiously diverse culture that included a religion centered around infanticide.  The worship of Baal and Astarte were denounced by God constantly in the Old Testament and the background story is that Israel refused to wipe out the beginnings of these religions when she had the chance.  That lack of back bone has reverberated to this day.  For instance there are those right now who believe that Jezebel was one of the first suffragists and that it’s time to change the Bibles view of Jezebel as a murderous, conniving, deceiver to a strong, courageous, loyal woman who stands up for what she believes in… no matter what the cost.

Interestingly those who call the Old Testament idea of wiping out completely any false worship horrible, never bring themselves to tracing what these religions did.  Some scholars claim that the Phoenicians brought their baby killing religion to Carthage at the Northern tip of Africa where it quickly was accepted.  Hannibal, considered one of the greatest military minds in history has his god’s name in his name (“Hann-I-baal” which means Grace of Baal).

Some scholars believe that the religion of Baal was so powerful that had Hannibal been able to complete his military conquest of Rome instead of having to return to Carthage, all of Europe would have been involved in child sacrifice and the whole history of Western civilization would have changed.  It seems far fetched but other scholars believe that it actually happened, we just have a “rights” based name for it.

Anyway, in the letter to the church at Thyatira we are introduced to a type of Jezebel who claims spiritual authority and is trying to lead the church once again into a tolerance and acceptance of a “religiously diverse culture”.  Sound familiar?  The fact that trade guilds (unions) were hooked into the religions of the Empire and that to get ahead one needed to be a guild member didn’t help either.  Here we see a church that in order to survive seemingly has to give in to the pressure of the society.  Revelations has a warning to that type of church and her confession.  There can be no truck with god’s of this world once the Gospel has been believed and the those who witness to the truth will receive the crown.  Those who do not will reap their reward and that is the same judgement of the world that they find so attractive.  The One who died and rose again to save people from their sins will come again as judge.  Those who endure to the end will be saved.