The idol in the grove

2 Chronicles 15:16 - And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.

Asa was a good king of Judah and he did try to walk in the way of the Lord, his account in chapter 15 ends as there were 35years of peace during his reign after what he did. Later he did make a mistake for which he had to bear its consequences but when he walked in ways of the Lord he was blessed with peace.

Today's message states Asa removed Maacah his grandmother (mother of Abijah his father) from the position of queen-mother because she made an idol in a grove. This idol was not an ordinary idol it was like a stone pillar which the Jews made as a remembrance of God's promise and prayed at but this pillar had a feminine form. It was in a form of Ashtoreth / Ishtar, the goddess who had been pursuing the people of God since the times of Noah. She was a moon goddess, the mother / wife of their chief god Baal who was the Sun god. She was called Queen of Heaven and was later worshipped by the Jews.

This goddess was the prime goddess in the tower of Babel where people of all beliefs came together under her guidance and made a tower which was more of a tall temple in her name. Bible says they were of one language (communication) and speech (worldly thinking); this goddess had the power to unite together people who were void of the knowledge of God with one motive and one purpose, which was to go against the plans of God. Bible says God saw they were so blinded by this oneness that God had to intervene so as to stop them from destroying His plans. So God caused confusion between them such that He broke their unity and also caused them to not understand each other. God also bought down the tower of Babel.

In the Bible there were only 2 manmade structures which the Lord Himself bought down, one was the tower of Babel and the other the wall of Jericho. Like the tower of Babel, the wall of Jericho also was a connected to pagan gods. The fortified city of Jericho was a prosperous city which had a wall which was not just one wall but set of two parallel walls with temples between them. Even the beggars and outcaste of Jericho dwelled between these walls (Bartimaeus was healed here).

We see God personally intervened when all pagan religions united and started coming of one mind. We are living in a time where we see this happening again. The Catholic Church Popes have been pushing for this unity since ages and John Paul II did great progress in bringing various religions together. Today we read of late Pope Francis has managed to bring heads of various religions together especially the Muslims. The one thing common between both Islam and Catholicism is their devotion to a woman who is exalted to a position so high that she is lifted above God, declared as 'Queen of Heaven', 'Mother of God', 'Mother of Creation' and various other blasphemous titles.

Catholics would say Mary was good woman chosen by God to bear His only son; a woman who sacrifice and suffered a lot for the purpose of salvation of mankind (bore the suffering of her son). There is no doubt about that. But to understand the truth one needs to look at the Mary in the second largest religion - Islam which routed out of Catholicism.

In Islam Mary (Mariam) is the mother of Jesus (Isa) and here too she is exalted to be only person other than Isa to be born without sin. The second largest sect of Islam (Shias) put her as the only woman among few male prophets to be second to Allah (their god) with the likes of Adam, Moses, Jesus (Isa), Abraham, Ismail, David, Muhammad among others (they are called the Twelver). Eve being a mother of creation is considered evil, so also all women are considered evil in Islam but she alone is considered good, so she plays an important part in their belief.

Now if we probe further on this Mariam (Mary) of the Muslims we will be amused. Quran thinks Christians consider Mary as the third figure in the Trinity - God the Father, Jesus the son and Mary the mother, they have made the Godhead into an earthly family. In the Quran when Mary was questioned about her virgin birth she asks the people to speak to the just born infant Isa and miraculously the just born infant testifies for her innocence. Bible does not have any such records written but if we trace its source, it comes from the Gospel of Thomas which is a book written between 300 - 400 AD a period there was a flood of heretic writings and also a time when Catholic church was born with Roman emperor Constantine converting to Christianity due to his mother, who converted first. He anointed the Bishop of Rome as head of all churches thus started the concept of Pope.

Muhammad got all this distorted information of the Bible from his first wife (who was a rich woman and older than Muhammad) Khadija's uncle Waqara bin naufal bin asad bin abdul uzza. Waqara was a heretic Christian who read a lot of the Apocrypha's. He was the person who first declared Muhammad as a prophet and nurtured him in his early stages of his 'prophethood' because he was influential.

Waqara was not only Muhammad's only source on Mary; he also added his own confusion to that character. According to the Quran Mary the mother of Jesus was the sister of Moses and Aaron, thus bridging about 1500years together. He mistook Mariam the sister of Moses to Mary (Mariam in Hebrew) the mother of Jesus as been the same person (like he did with other characters of the Bible since his education was more verbal). The word Allah means 'the god' and referred to a moon god Hubal who was chief of the 360 idols in the Kaaba. Muhammad's father was named after this god (Hubal was symbolized by the crescent moon same as the goddesses Ashtoreth / Ishtar).

We may be amused with the thinking of Mary in Islam but what about the Mary of the Catholic Church. If one studies it, it is even more amusing. One will get baffled how any mind can think such things. Like Muhammad due to his lack of knowledge was confused and in his greed of power landed deceiving millions, same is the story of the Catholic Church. Catholics including the top priest do not study scriptures (they study all other secular writings but not scriptures) and have lack of understanding of the truth. They think sin is in the flesh and blood, I would like to know do they check for sins in the blood when they receive blood from another person during operations or blood transfusion.

If we read in chapter 14 Asa had removed all temples dedicated to foreign gods and goddesses but he did not see this idol which his own grandmother was a patron of. The reason being this idol had fused itself with the beliefs of the Jews like it did /does with all other religions.

Today's message talks of the idol in the grove and in a few days we will be having most Christians worshipping or giving reverence to this idol by celebrating her birth. Legend says every year an egg would fall from the sky and the goddess Ishtar would come out of it and the house that found it would be blessed, so all looked for eggs on her birthday. This day was celebrated by the Romans by the name Easter and was on same day as the Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church continued this pagan celebration by replacing Resurrection Day.

It is high time we also look in our own beliefs like Asa did and remove the idol of the grove and send the spirit that is behind it to the place destine to it, that is hell by destroying the idol from our lives, not getting deceived by its claim to be Mary the mother of Jesus.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, open the eyes of your people who are deceived by this evil spirit that comes as an angel of light. Lord we pray the bondages of chains put upon them are broken and their blindfolds are removed, that they see the truth as it is written in your Word. Let this horrid image be destroyed and the spirit behind it be exposed...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference ]
2 Corinthians 11:14 - And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Genesis 11;1-9
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.
4 And they said, come, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we should be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men were building.
6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be withheld from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there upon the face of all the earth: and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD there confounded the language of all the earth: and from there did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

1 Kings 11:5 - For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

2 Chronicles 14:2-5
2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:
3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and broke down the images, and cut down the groves:
4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.
5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.

Revelation 13:14-15
14 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

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