A Sacred Assembly
The history of the Washington Monument, according to the Smithsonian magazine, reveals that the project was from its inception the focus of intense controversy. Although the monument was authorized by Congress in 1833, the cornerstone was not laid until 1848 and the obelisk was not completed until 1884. During this period of fifty years, the project was disrupted by the Civil War and delayed by congressional debates and public protest. The Smithsonian states that the undertaking was eventually financed by a private society rather than the federal government. (1)
The National Park Service conducts the National Historic Landmarks Program which provides on the Internet a history of the Washington Monument. On the sidebar of the Home Page, the category "Masonic Stones" yields an interesting page detailing the involvement of the Masonic Order in raising funds for the monument, laying the cornerstone and performing official Masonic ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone and final dedication of the monument.
There appears to be an active interest in obelisks on the part of the Masonic Order. A book published by the Freemasons titled Obelisks provides detailed information on the Babylonian origins of Masonry and many ancient obelisks around the world. Two of these were removed from Egypt a few years prior to the completion of the Washington Monument -- one was placed in London in 1878 and the other in New York in 1880. (2)
article alludes to the fact that "monument building runs against America's
democratic and puritanical grain" and vilifies the Know-Nothing Party which
intensely sought to contravene the building of the Washington Monument. It may
be that this opposition was generated by Christian "extremists" who
understood the symbolism of the obelisk and the occult character of the secret
society which financed its construction. There also seems to have been
considerable opposition to a block of marble donated by the Pope. A Catholic
predilection for obelisks is documented in Ralph Woodrow's Babylon Mystery
Religion, Ancient and Modern, which explains the
origin and also the significance of obelisks as follows:
Babylon Mystery Religion
"Among the ancient nations, not only were statues of the gods and goddesses in human form made, other objects with a hidden or mystery meaning such as obelisks, were a part of heathen worship.
"Diodorus spoke of an obelisk 130 feet high that was erected by queen Semiramis in Babylon. The Bible mentions an obelisk-type image approximately nine feet in breadth and ninety feet high: 'The people…fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up' in Babylon (Dan. 3:1-7) But it was in Egypt (an early stronghold of the mystery religion) that the use of the obelisk was best known. Many of these obelisks are still in Egypt, but some have been removed to other nations -- one is in Central Park in New York, another in London, while others were transported to Rome…
"Placing an obelisk at the entrance of a heathen temple was, apparently, not an uncommon practice at the time. One stood at the entrance of the temple of Tum and another in front of the temple of Hathor, the 'abode of Horus' (Tammuz).
"Interestingly enough, there is also an obelisk at the entrance of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome… It is not a mere copy of an Egyptian obelisk, it is the very same obelisk that stood in Egypt in ancient times! When the mystery religion came to Rome in pagan days, not only were obelisks made and erected at Rome, but obelisks of Egypt -- at great expense -- were hauled there and erected by the emperors. Caligula, in 37-41 A.D., had the obelisk now at the Vatican brought from Heliopolis, Egypt, to the circus on the Vatican Hill, where now stands St. Peter's. Heliopolis is but the Greek name of Bethshemesh, which was the center of Egyptian sun worship in olden days. In the Old Testament, these obelisks that stood there are mentioned as the 'images of Bethshemesh' (Jer. 43:13)!
"The very same obelisk that once stood at the ancient temple which was the center of Egyptian paganism, now stands before the mother church of Romanism! This seems like more than a mere coincidence." (3)
In Babylon Mystery Religion, we are given to understand also the true meaning of the obelisk:
"Originally, the obelisk was associated with sun worship. The ancients, having rejected the knowledge of the true creator, seeing that the sun gave life to plants and to man, looked upon the sun as a god, the great life giver. To them upright objects such as the obelisk also had a sexual significance. Realizing that through sexual union life was produced, the phallus was considered (along with the sun) a symbol of life. These were beliefs represented by the obelisks.
"The word 'images' in the Bible is translated from several different Hebrew words. One of these words, 'atzebah,' means 'standing images' or obelisks (I Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 18:4; 23:14; Jer. 43:13; Micah 5:13). Another word is 'hammanim' which means 'sun images,' images dedicated to the sun or obelisks (Isaiah 17:8; 27:9).
"In order for the obelisks to carry out their intended symbolism, they were placed upright -- erect. Thus they pointed up -- toward the sun. As a symbol of the phallus, the erect position also had an obvious significance. Bearing this in mind, it is interesting to notice that when divine judgment was pronounced against this false worship, it was said that these images (obelisks) 'shall not stand up,' but would be cast down (Isaiah 27:9)…" (4)Books of Freemasonry, Theosophy and other mystery religions state that it is not intended that the "uninitiated" or lower orders understand occult symbols, but it is important that they ignorantly venerate and even worship them. It is further believed by esotericists that the obelisks and other monoliths hold the sacred mysteries which were known to the ancient religions. Throughout the ages, these mysteries or secret doctrines have been entrusted only to the adepts -- the sages or "elect" -- nevertheless, they will be revealed to the world at the end of the age.
How is it possible that the customs of the ancient heathen nations will be revived in the Christian nations of Western Civilization? In 1859, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species,which evolutionary thesis shattered the Christian faith of many. Bereft of assurances of immortality after so great an assault on Biblical revelation were masses of hopeless people "begging for a revelation which was scientifically demonstrable." Ensuing was a widespread flight from reason and a revival of the occult Traditions that had been discredited during the Enlightenment. James Webb describes the 19th century Occult Revival as "...a wild return to archaic forms of belief and among the intelligentsia a sinister concentration on superstitions which had been thought buried…" (5)
During this crisis of faith, the esoteric writings of Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky and especially her two primary channeled works, The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled, revived interest in the ancient Babylonian Mysteries and laid the foundation for the New Age belief system. According to Mme. Blavatsky, all Babylonian mystery religions derived from one source, that is Egypt. Isis is the Egyptian fertility goddess, the Virgin-Mother, nature personified, the female reflection of Osiris and, in Jewish Kabbalistic doctrine, the woman clothed with the sun and with twelve stars. The unveiling of Isis will be the revelation of her mysteries at the end of the age. The Introduction to Isis Unveiled explains Madame Blavatsky's quest for God and the purpose of her book:
"When years ago, we first travelled over the East, exploring the penetralia of its deserted sanctuaries, two saddening and ever-recurring questions oppressed our thoughts: Where, WHO, WHAT is GOD? Who ever saw the IMMORTAL SPIRIT of man, so as to be able to assure himself of man's immortality? It was while most anxious to solve these perplexing problems that we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly designate them as the sages of the Orient… For the first time we received the assurance that the Oriental philosophy has room for no other faith than an absolute and immovable faith in the omnipotence of man's own immortal self. We were taught that this omnipotence comes from the kinship of man's spirit with the Universal Soul -- God! . . . Our work then, is a plea for the recognition of the Hermetic philosophy, the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion." (6)A Christian can almost hear the serpent's hiss in the garden of Eden when reading this testimony of a woman deceived by Satan. The BIG LIE has not changed: "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:4,5)
The Hermetic books to which Madame Blavatsky alludes are the pantheistic writings of Hermes Trismegistus, the "thrice great Hermes," who is the greatest and most mysterious of the Egyptian gods called Thoth. In his representation as a serpent, Hermes Thoth is the divine creative Wisdom. (7) The following excerpts from Isis Unveiled explain the important function of the obelisks as repositories of the ancient mysteries:
"The keys to the biblical miracles of old, and to the phenomena of modern days; the problems of psychology, physiology, and the many 'missing links' which have so perplexed scientists of late, are all in the hands of secret fraternities. This mystery must be unveiled some day…The answers are there. They may be found on the time worn granite pages of cave-temples, on sphinxes, propylons, and obelisks. They have stood there for untold ages, and neither the rude assault of time, nor the still ruder assault of Christian hands, have succeeded in obliterating their records….And so stand these monuments like mute forgotten sentinels on the threshold of that unseen world, whose gates are thrown open but to a few elect…they will disclose their riddles to none but the legates of those by whom they were entrusted with the MYSTERY. The cold, stony lips of the once vocal Memnon, and of these hardy sphinxes, keep their secrets well. Who will unseal them? Who of our modern, materialistic dwarfs and unbelieving Sadducees will dare to lift the VEIL of Isis?" (8)Those who have dared to lift the veil of Isis have found the sun god at whose pillar they worship to be the "thrice great" serpent, Hermes Trismegistus:
"There was a time when Asia, Europe, Africa, and America were covered with the temples sacred to the sun and the dragons. The priests assumed the names of their deities, and thus the tradition of these spread like a network all over the globe… And where is this source? Kircher places the origin of the Ophite and the heliolatrous worship, the shape of conical monuments and the obelisks, with the Egyptian Hermes Trismegistus …'But it is known …that this prince… received… the homages of his subjects under the shape of a serpent.'" (9)The Encyclopedia Of Religion directly identifies the Greek god, Hermes, who was derived from the Egyptian god Hermes Trismegistus, with phallic worship and the obelisk. We also discover in this comprehensive work that Hermes was worshipped in the image of a quadrangular stone pillar:
"The phallic symbolism of ancient Greek religion is most extensive. The representation of Hermes offers a prime example…at Cyllene Hermes was worshipped by the name Phales-- derived from Phallos - and in the image of a phallic stone. More usually, however, his phallic image was a herm. Originally a stone heap--perhaps topped by a large upright stone--serving as a landmark in the countryside without roads, the herm developed into a quadrangular stone pillar topped by the head of Hermes and featuring at its front an erect phallus." (10)
According to Madame Blavatsky, the deeper mysteries of sun-worship are not known to the uninitiated, but only to the adepts and initiates of the secret societies...
"In times of antiquity, those who had been initiated into the arcane knowledge taught by the hierophants (highest adepts) of the Mysteries; and in our modern days those who have been initiated by the adepts of mystic lore into the mysterious knowledge, which, notwithstanding the lapse of ages, has yet a few real votaries on earth." (11)Madame Blavatsky laments the debased condition of Freemasonry in her day (c. 1875) whose "perjured members" were guilty of exposing the secrets of the order, which have subsequently been "hawked about the world." (12) One perjured member, James Shaw was among the more recent highest ranking adepts to renounce the Masonic Order, having been initiated into the 33rd degree.
Rev. Shaw wrote pamphlets and books for the purpose of exposing Freemasonry and to appeal to Masons with the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In The Deadly Deception, Rev. Jim Shaw explained the foundation of all Masonic symbolism as phallic worship and exposed the utter deception of the lower orders of Masons who have no idea that they are involved in ritual phallic worship:
"Masonry is, according to its own philosophers, a system of pure religion expressed in symbols, one which cannot be understood without a knowledge of the true meaning of them. This makes a proper understanding of those symbols terribly important. For the Christian Mason, accepting and guarding those symbols and their 'secrets' with his physical life at stake, he must understand them to know that he is doing right.
"For the many zealous Masons, trusting their obedience to their obligations to gain them entrance into that 'Celestial Lodge Above,' those for whom 'the Lodge is a good enough religion,' the correct understanding of these symbols is the key (they believe) to their eternal destiny. They are trusting in the teachings of the Lodge concerning these symbols with their eternal redemption, or damnation, at stake.
"Herein lies the most terrible manifestation of Masonic morality, that philosophy of the elite, which makes whatever they do 'right' because it is they (the elite) who do it. Having established and taught the sincere but deceived masses of Masons (the Blue Lodge Masons) that everything depends upon their proper understanding of the symbols of Masonry, they have then deliberately deceived them as to the true meaning of those symbols. Hear the arrogant words of Albert Pike, Supreme Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry, that preeminent Masonic authority:
"'The Blue Degrees are but the court or portico (porch) of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine that he understands them… their true explication (explanation and understanding) is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry (those of the 32nd and 33rd Degrees)." (Morals and Dogma, page 819). (13)In one accord with Ralph Woodrow and H.P. Blavatsky, Jim Shaw locates the origin of phallic symbolism in the ancient Egyptian worship of the sun.
"Since the true meaning of Masonic symbols (and thus, the true meaning of Masonry itself) is to be known only by the Prince Adepts of Masonry, we must hear what they say concerning them. They (Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, J. D. Buck, Daniel Sickles and others) teach that Masonry is a revival of the Ancient Mysteries (the mystery religions of Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Rome and Greece).
"These Ancient religions had two meanings, or interpretations. One was the apparent (exoteric) meaning, known to the uninitiated, ignorant masses; the other (esoteric) meaning was the true meaning, entirely different, known only to a small, elite group, initiated into their secrets and secret rituals of worship. These mystery religions were forms of nature-worship, more specifically and most commonly the worship of the Sun as source and giver of life to the Earth. Since Ancient times, this worship of the Sun (and of the Moon, stars and of nature in general) has been sexual in its out-workings and rituals. Since the Sun’s rays, penetrating the Earth and bringing about new life, have been central to such worship, the phallus, the male ‘generative principle,’ has been worshipped and the rituals climaxed with sexual union in the mystery religions of Isis and Osiris, Tammuz, Baal, etc. In summary, then, since the Ancient Mysteries (especially those of Egypt) are in fact the Old Religion of which Freemasonry is a revival, the symbols of Masonry should be expected to be phallic in true meaning. This, in very fact, is the case. A thorough treatment of this unpleasant reality is beyond the scope of this brief summary; however, some examples, with references to the Masonic authorities, will suffice to illustrate this astonishing fact." (14) (See Masonic Symbolism)
A primary source of Masonic doctrine is the Kabbalah: "a medieval book of the occult, a highly mystical and magical interpretation of the Bible, and important sourcebook for sorcerers and magicians." (15) In her Theosophical writings, H.P. Blavatsky repeatedly refers to the Jewish Kabbala as an important aid to understanding the Hebrew Bible, especially the Pentateuch. According to the Kabbalistic interpretation of Genesis, the word Adam does not refer to one specific man but to four Adams who emanate from the first perfect Adam and represent four consecutive races. This concept of creation was the foundation of Blavatsky's Aryan Root Race Theory --
"The Kabalists teach the existence of four distinct Adams, or the transformation of four consecutive Adams, the emanations from the Dyőqnă (divine phantom) of the Heavenly Man… That they represent our Five Races is certain, as everyone can see by their description in the Kabala; the first being the 'perfect, Holy Adam'… the second is called the protoplastic androgyne Adam of the future terrestrial and separated Adam; the third Adam is the man made of 'dust' (the first, innocent Adam); and the fourth is the supposed forefather of our own race-the Fallen Adam…'The fourth Adam…was clothed with skin, flesh and nerves, etc.…and this is the human Root Race.'" (16)In other words, man emanated from the Divine Being in an androgynous form (male and female in one) but became male and female as a result of the fall; however, the fourth human root race is evolving through various stages and will eventually return to its former metaphysical, androgynous state. H.P. Blavatsky was believed to have been a lesbian and, in the passage which follows this, she critiques modern Kabbalists whose writings she regrets have been arrested in the phallic stage.
"It is just at this point that the modern Kabalists -- led into error by the long generations of Christian mystics who have tampered with the Kabalistic records, wherever they could -- diverge from the Occultists in their original interpretations, and take the later thought for the earlier idea. The original Kabala was entirely metaphysical, and had no concern with animal, or terrestrial sexes; the alter Kabala has suffocated the divine ideal under the heavy phallic element." (17)
Although Mme. Blavatsky's theory of creation is a highly irrational and unacceptable interpretation of Scripture, the point worth noting is that she identifies modern Kabbalists with Christian mystics who are familiar with Kabbalistic writings and have a proclivity toward phallicism. We do, in fact, find these same Theosophical/ Kabbalistic lines of thinking permeating the Promise Keeper's publication The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks. Robert Hicks seems to derive his theory of man from the Kabbalistic theory of creation as a seven step process of human evolution in which successive ‘races’ evolve from a lower to a higher form of life.
Under Mme. Blavatsky, Theosophy adapted the Kabbalist Root Race theory to Darwin's evolutionary model to form the New Age theory of the individual's evolution through successive stages on the path to the divine state. Hicks draws from this Gnostic pool of ignorance and attempts to demonstrate that the "masculine journey" progresses through six life cycles. These stages he identifies using the same Kabbalistic terminology found in Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine: 1. adam (male/female) 2. zakar (phallic) 3. gibbor (warrior) 4. enosh (wounded) 5. ish (ruler) 6. zaken (sage).
The Masculine Journey appeals to many other questionable sources of inspiration. For example, Hicks quoted Charles Darwin to begin Chapter 2 titled Adam: The Noble Savage: "Man with all his noble qualities still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." Throughout the book, Hicks derives his theories of manhood, not from Scripture, but from a variety of New Age authors, such as Daniel Levinson, Sam Keen, Robert Bly, Patrick Arnold, Robert Moore, Eugene Monick and occultists Carl Jung and Margaret Mead. Often denigrating the Church, Hick's justifies his frequent references to New Age authors with the statement: "I am often amazed at how God sometimes uses secular sources to communicate His truth better than Christian ones." Having expressed this low opinion of Scripture, Hicks then proceeds to devalue Western Civilization:
"When Margaret Mead first started studying the primitive peoples of Polynesia and Micronesia, what she encountered was not the expected savagery that was often portrayed by Western writers and missionaries. Instead, she found family systems where parents cared for their young and societies that were organized with systems of justice and fairness, though these differed from Western conceptions. Impressed by the noble aspirations of these 'savages,' she consequently coined the term 'noble savage.' She was impressed by the unexpected and unexplained nobility found among the most primitive of peoples. Today, there is a striking similarity going on in reverse. Amid all the emphasis on high aspirations in 'civilized' countries, the real question is how to explain the surprising amount and extent of violence, greed, and human degradation. When we begin to look underneath the veneer of this noble culture, what we find is not the expected beauty and purity of individual benevolence, but a sheer confrontation with evil." (18)Chapter 3 of The Masculine Journey borrows for its title the same term for "male" found in Kabbalism and Theosophy: "The Phallic Male -- Zakar: The Mysterious Taskmaster." Opening this chapter are two proverbs of arcane wisdom from occult sources: "The passions should be held in reverence." (The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe) and "The loins are the place of judgment." (Fire in the Belly by New Age author, Sam Keen) The remainder of the chapter is basically a modern treatise on phallicism and phallic worship with disclaimers that Robert Hicks really is not endorsing pagan worship. Hick's rejection of the orthodox meaning of Scripture is evident everywhere. A brief mention of the covenant meaning of circumcision is followed by a discussion of the doctrine of the phallus which is Kabbalistic. Other aberrant interpretations of Scripture appear, such as the "mass murder" of the heathen nations by the Israelites and blasphemous concepts of Jesus Christ as "phallic" and lustful.
Since the Mystery religions are careful to conceal from the rank and file of their membership the esoteric meaning of their pagan symbols, it is interesting that Robert Hicks demonstrates more than a superficial understanding of phallic worship. Hicks even gives a measure of approval to this unclean worship suggesting that the Christian Church could learn from the pagan mixture of the holy with the profane.
Promise Keepers distributed 5,000 copies of MASCULINE JOURNEY at its Boulder conference but stopped distributing the book upon the exposure of its contents and strong objections from numerous discernment-oriented ministries. However, the organization has not withdrawn its endorsement of the controversial book, but defends its theology as being Biblically sound. The Promise Keepers Web Site provides this statement:
"Several passages in The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks (1993, NavPress) could be understood in more than one way. Some of the content of the book has unfortunately lent itself to a wide range of interpretations and responses involving theological issues which Promise Keepers does not feel called to resolve. These are controversies which neither Promise Keepers nor the author could have foreseen, and which have proven to be a distraction from the focus of our ministry. Therefore, Promise Keepers has discontinued marketing and distributing The Masculine Journey. At the same time, we believe Mr. Hicks' core theology is consistent with orthodox evangelical Christianity, and that The Masculine Journey was a forthright attempt on his part to deal with male issues from a biblical context."
Despite their Christian profession, modern Kabbalists are essentially a new breed of cult leaders who are introducing profane forms of worship to the Church. In July/August of 1996, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon hosted a convention in Washington, D.C., which was also attended by several prominent evangelical leaders. Dave Hunt reported on this conference in The Berean Call:
"Sun Myung Moon's front organizations (Family Federation for World Peace, Women's Federation for World Peace, Summit Council for World Peace, etc.) promote 'morals and family values.' It is amazing to see who will join this self-professed 'Messiah' in working for these 'religiously correct' goals. Moon just hosted (7/31-8/2/96) another convention in Washington, D.C. The highly paid speakers (reportedly $80-150,000 each) included former presidents Ford and Bush, Robert Schuller, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer (president of Family Research Council, 'the lobbying/research arm of Focus on the Family') and Beverly LaHaye. Entertainment was by Pat Boone and family.
"Moon says that mankind fell from grace because Eve had sex with Satan, Christ failed in His mission and Moon is the true Messiah. While evangelical speakers were careful not to offend their high-paying host with the true gospel, Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, boldly proclaimed their gospel. What a denial of Christ for Pat Boone to entertain, and evangelical leaders to speak, on the same platform where the host declared that he is perfecting the work 'left uncompleted by Jesus!'" (19)The full text of Rev. Moon's speech of August 1, 1996, titled "In Search of the Origin of the Universe," is available on the Unification Home Page. The following excerpts from this speech are representative of the blasphemous language replete with phallic references which, like The Masculine Journey, somehow passes today for Christian teaching.
"God wants a love partner. Thus, centering on the place where husband and wife become one through their sexual organs, God wants to appear and meet us . . . I wish that you would center on the absolute sexual organ, unique sexual organ, unchanging sexual organ and eternal sexual organ, and use this as your foundation to pursue God. You should realize that this foundation should become the foundation of love, life, lineage and conscience. We also have to realize that the Kingdom of God on Earth and in Heaven will begin on this foundation." (20)Rev. Moon, a false Christ, has achieved alarming acceptance among the apostate leadership of the Evangelical Church. More shocking than his presentation of the Christian God as perverted is the marvel that this blasphemy aroused neither a word of protest nor a warning to the Church from the Evangelical contingent in attendance at this conference.
THE RELIGION OF THE FUTURE
The world and also the church are subtly being prepared for a return to ancient forms of heathen worship, in particular the phallicism which has been preserved within the secret societies. In a history of phallic rites, Phallism And Ancient Worship, Robert Bouton predicts that "phallic worship is…the real religion of the future." (21) Although Mme. Blavatsky would not degrade so sublime a mystery with such materialistic terminology, her forecast is essentially the same. The Secret Doctrine maintains that phallicism, despite its modern perversion by the Christian mystics, will be revealed in its pristine character as the ancient mysteries are unveiled and man progresses in his evolution toward a completely metaphysical state:
"Every old religion is but a chapter or two of the entire volume of archaic primeval mysteries -- Eastern Occultism alone being able to boast that it is in possession of the full secret, with its seven keys… A few years longer and this system will kill the dead letter of the Bible, as it will that of all the other exoteric faiths, by showing the dogmas in their real, naked meaning.
"The element of Phallicism, found in every God-name and narrative in the Old (and to some degree in the New) Testament, may also in time considerably change modern materialistic views in Biology and Physiology…The so-called phallic symbols have become offensive only because of the element of materiality and animality in them. As they originated with the archaic races…such symbols were but natural. If later races have degraded them, especially the 'chosen people,' this does not affect the origin of those symbols." (22)With Robert Bouton, Mme. Blavatsky maintains that Eastern Occultism will in the end replace worship of the Christian God. These astonishing statements, if they are to be taken seriously, require an investigation to determine whether there is Scriptural support for their claims. Revelation 18 does describe the religion of the Tribulation period as MYSTERY BABYLON, that is, a revival of the mystery religion of ancient Babylon. We have learned from Theosophy and Kabbalism that an integral element of the Babylonian mystery religions was phallic worship. However, does Scriptural support exist for Robert Bouton's outrageous prediction that "Phallic worship…is the real religion of the future"?
The Abomination of Desolation
A significant verse of Scripture pertaining to the form of worship which will be instituted by the Antichrist is found in Matthew 24:15:
"When ye therefore shall see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand;) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains…"Jesus is referring here to Daniel's prophecy in Dan. 12:11:
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."Concerning these twin prophecies, Dr. J. Vernon McGee wrote in his commentary on Daniel:
"The importance of (Daniel 12:11) cannot be overemphasized as the Lord Jesus referred to it in Matthew 24:15… This is the signal to the remnant that the Great Tribulation has begun. For 1290 days the idol of the Beast remains in the temple. " (23)The Old Testament frequently characterizes heathen idols as abominations. (Deut. 7:25,26) Daniel 11:31 foretold the abomination of desolation that would be placed in the Temple in 170 B.C. According to Dr. McGee, this event foreshadowed the Abomination of Desolation which Antichrist would place in the Temple:
"Antiochus came against Jerusalem in 170 B.C., at which time over one hundred thousand Jews were slain! He took away the daily sacrifice from the temple, offered blood and broth of swine upon the altar, and set up an image of Jupiter to be worshipped in the holy place of the temple of God. This was an 'abomination that maketh desolate,' but it was not the abomination to which our Lord Jesus refers which was future when He was on earth and is still future in our day." (24)In the ancient Temple at Jerusalem, the Holy Place was situated before the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant rested. Interestingly, six hundred years before Christ, Ezekiel described a scene in which the elders of Jerusalem were worshipping an "image of jealousy" which was placed at the entry of the inner gate of the temple. (Ezekiel 8:3,5) The proper position of worship at the temple was toward the west where the Ark resided in the Holy of Holies. However, verse 16 of Ezekiel 8 portrays the apostate elders (like the Masons): "with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east." Our understanding of this obscure passage is greatly improved in Babylon Mystery Religion:
"When the Israelites mixed heathen worship into their religion in the days of Ezekiel, they erected an 'image of jealousy in the entry' of the temple (Ezekiel 8:5). This image was probably an obelisk, the symbol of the phallus, for (as Scofield says) they were 'given over to phallic cults.' Placing an obelisk at the entrance of a heathen temple was apparently not an uncommon practice at the time." (25)Recalling the aforementioned quadrangular stone pillar with the head of Hermes, the Encyclopedia Britannica also records that the Emperor Caligula, who moved the Egyptian obelisk from Hierapolis to Rome, placed a similar object in the Temple at Jerusalem:
"The express command of Caligula (37-41 A.D.) …addressed to the Jews, to erect his image in the temple at Jerusalem in the form of the Olympian Zeus…must have recalled to the Jews familiar with their Scriptures the similar conduct of Antiochus." (26)Today there are thirteen obelisks in Rome, several of which are located within the Vatican, including the obelisk in front of St. Peter's Basilica. The Encyclopedia Britannica reveals that an obelisk may even stand inside St. Peter's: "In St. Peter's at Rome is kept in secret a large stone emblem of the creative power of a very peculiar shape on which are the words, 'Zeus Soter' (or Jove the Savior)." (27)
To arrive at an understanding of the occult reason for placing a phallic symbol at the entrance of a temple, let us now turn to H.P. Blavatsky for possible enlightenment as to the mystical explication of the Holy of Holies and of the Ark which rested therein.
"The Sanctum Sanctorum of the Ancients, i.e., that recess on the Western side of the Temple which was enclosed on three sides by blank walls and had its only aperture or door hung over with a curtain -- also called the Adytum -- was common to all ancient nations.
"Nevertheless, a great difference is found between the secret meanings of this symbolical place, in the esotericism of the Pagans and that of later Jews, though the symbology of it was originally identical throughout the ancient Races and Nations. The Gentiles, by placing in the Adytum a sarcophagus, or a tome,… and the solar god to whom the temple was consecrated, held it, as Pantheists, in the greatest veneration. They regarded it - in its esoteric meaning -- as the symbol of resurrection, cosmic, solar (or diurnal), and human. It embraced the wide range of periodical and (in time) punctual, Manvantaras, or the reawakenings of kosmos, earth, and man to new existences; the sun being the most poetical and also the most grandiose symbol of the same in heaven, and man -- in his reincarnations -- on Earth. (28)
"The Ark, in which are preserved the germs of all living things necessary to repeople the earth, represents the survival of life, and the supremacy of spirit over matter, through the conflict of the opposing powers of nature…the Ark corresponds with the navel… The umbilicus is connected with the receptacle in which are fructified the germs of the race. The Ark is the sacred Argha of the Hindus…an oblong vessel used by the high priests as a sacrificial chalice in the worship of Isis, Astarte, and Venus-, Aphrodite, all of whom were goddesses of the generative powers of nature, or of matter -- hence, representing symbolically the Ark containing the germs of all living things." (29)In Theosophy, therefore, the Holy of Holies represents the womb of nature, the female generative principle found in the mystery religions of Egypt, Babylon, India, Kabbalism, Masonry, etc. A tomb and the solar god were placed in the doorway to the Holy of Holies. The esoteric meaning of this arrangement typified cosmic, planetary and human resurrection or regeneration. Mme. Blavatsky notes that the symbolism of the pagan Sanctum Sanctorum corresponds to the Kabbalist/Masonic interpretation of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem:
"…and the Jewish Ark of the Covenant had precisely the same significance; with the supplementary addition that, instead of a beautiful and chaste sarcophagus (the symbol of the matrix of Nature and resurrection) as in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the pagans, they had the ark made still more realistic in its construction by the two cherubs set up on the coffer or Ark of the Covenant, facing each other, with their wings spread in such a manner as to form a perfect yoni (as now seen in India)." (30)Such an interpretation of the Ark of the Covenant constitutes the highest blasphemy, and yet is precisely the perverted view which Antichrist will hold toward the Ark of the restored Jewish Covenant. As Antiochus had "indignation against the holy covenant" and took away the daily sacrifice in 170 B.C., thus will the Antichrist proscribe the Jewish system of blood sacrifices and set in the Holy Place a pagan idol which incurs God's judgment. With Scripture in view and having established through many sources that that the solar god, Hermes, was worshipped in the image of a phallic stone or quadrangular stone pillar, we venture to state that the obelisk may be the idol or abomination that will be "set up" in the Holy Place.
The Permutation Of Scripture
Madame Blavatsky freely imposes a Kabbalistic interpretation on the plain meaning of Scripture and unabashedly defends the Theosophists/Kabbalists' privilege of permutation -- to thoroughly alter the Scriptures, based on esoteric or private revelation. Taking such liberty is also the custom of the modern Gnostics who produce new translations of the Bible. In particular, there are passages of Scripture related to our study in which serious permutation occurs. Dr. McGee mentioned that Daniel 12:11 and Matthew 24:15 were correlating verses. Mark 13:14 is nearly identical to Matthew 24:15, with the exception that, in modern translations of Mark 13:14, the words "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" have been removed: "When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong (let the reader understand) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (NIV)
This omission destroys the cross reference to the Abomination of Desolation given in Daniel's prophecy, which "lets the reader understand" that the original Abomination of Desolation was a pagan idol. Compounding the effect of this revision is the fact that Gnostics have traditionally considered Mark to be the only reliable gospel -- after they have truncated it and added a Secret Gospel of Mark, an apocryphal book which purports to set the record straight on the other gospel accounts. Modern Gnostics of the Jesus Seminar also pontificate that Matthew and Luke are heretical gospels and New Agers are fast publishing books to authenticate this spurious gospel in the public mind.
In Scripture, the writer of Hebrews described the tabernacle with its furniture as a type of Christ and His substitutionary atonement for sin -- types which looked forward to their time of fulfillment on Calvary. Hebrews 9:8-12 explain the way which God has provided for believers to enter the Holy of Holies, a privilege that was obtained for them at the first coming of Jesus Christ. The italicized letters in this passage as it is translated in the King James Version identify important phrases which have subsequently been altered in modern translations.
"The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (KJV)Please note the changes in the New International Version:
"The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings -- external regulations applying until the time of the new order. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (NIV)The Authorized King James Version declares that the believer received access into the Holy of Holies immediately after the blood of Jesus Christ was shed at Calvary. At that time Christ functioned as the high priest of the redemption which will be finally realized at his Second Coming and which redemption is limited to those who receive it by faith -- "eternal redemption for us" (KJV). By removing the words for us, however, the NIV allows for the concept of universal salvation of mankind.
This passage as it is worded in the NIV could be applied to a future time when the Jerusalem temple is restored and the daily sacrifice is reinstated. Rather than a tabernacle "which was a figure for the time then present", the NIV states that the tabernacle "IS an illustration for the present time." Having moved this critical reference from the past to present tense, one can hardly fail to notice the next change. The Jewish sacrificial system will be done away with at the time of the new order.
The Christ in this
passage does not come to establish His kingdom, but as a high priest of good
things that are already here! Thus translated in the NIV, a Kabbalistic
interpretation may be derived from this passage of Scripture which also supports
the Kingdom Now/ Restoration Theology of the Latter Rain Movement. Theosophists
will also take advantage of this translation to support their teaching that,
after the earth has been purified through a planetary initiation, all will have
been made ready for union with "Christ."
Rites Of Initiation
In esoteric doctrine, the regeneration of man is not accomplished though any sacrificial offering for sin, but by achieving union with God through a process of initiation. The Secret Doctrine describes the comparative rites of initiation as they were practiced in the pyramids of ancient Egypt and also in other pagan cultures, where custom required different symbols:
"The 'King's Chamber' in the Cheops' Pyramid is thus an Egyptian 'Holy of Holies.' On the days of the Mysteries of Initiation, the candidate, representing the solar god, had to descend into the Sarcophagus, and represent the energizing ray, entering into the fecund womb of Nature. Emerging from it on the following morning, he typified the resurrection of life after the change called Death. In the great Mysteries, his figurative death lasted two days, when with the Sun he arose on the third morning, after a last night of the most cruel trials. While the postulant represented the Sun -- the all-vivifying Orb that 'resurrects' every morning but to impart life to all -- the Sarcophagus was symbolic of the female principle.
"This, in Egypt; its form and shape changed with every country, provided it remained a vessel, a symbolic navis or boat-shaped vehicle, and a container, symbolically, of germs or the germ of life …In India, it is the 'golden' Cow through which the candidate for the Brahmanism has to pass if he desires to be a Brahman, and to become DVIJA ('reborn a second time')… For (the ancient nations) passage entrance and the sarcophagus in the King's chamber meant regeneration - not generation. It was the most solemn symbol, a Holy of Holies, indeed wherein were created immortal hierophants and 'sons of god'…" (31)To wit, the initiation rites which took place within the various Holies of Holies of pagan religions, were performed with the promise of transforming lowly mortals into "Immortal Sons of God." This very terminology is found within the Church today among the prophets of the Latter Rain Movement, who promise their disciples that they will soon be transformed into immortal Manifest Sons of God! Mme. Blavatsky further expounds upon the process of regeneration as it is expected to occur in a planetary transformation. "The inferior Mother" (Earth) as the female Bride will be purified and then united with the Heavenly Man or Spiritual Logos -- who is the First Cause, the chief of the seven Mystery-Gods, Hermes or Christos, who is one with Satan. (32)
A Chaldean source confirms that this union is a consummation or becoming one, even in essence:
"'When Matronithah, the Mother, is separated, and brought face to face with the King, in the excellence of the Sabbath, all things become one body.' 'Becomes one body' means that all is reabsorbed once more into the one element, the spirits of men becoming Nirvănďs, and the elements of everything else becoming again what they were before -- undifferentiated substance. 'Sabbath' means rest or Nirvănă… Paul, an Initiate, knew it well when referring to the eternal rest and felicity in heaven, as Sabbath; 'and their happiness will be eternal, for they will ever be [one] with the Lord and will enjoy an eternal Sabbath.' [Heb. iv,3 et seq.]" (33)
Men who join the Masonic orders undergo several initiations -- as many as thirty-three -- of which the third is most commonly attained. Initiates of this degree undergo a mock death and resurrection that simulates the death and resurrection of a legendary character, Hiram Abiff.
"The heart of Freemasonry is the Blue Lodge with its three degrees. The climactic degree (and the final one for most Masons) in the Blue Lodge is the Third, or Master Mason Degree. The heart of the Master Mason Degree, the thing that gives it both meaning and substance, is without any doubt the reenactment of the Legend of Hiram Abiff. It is this central figure in the legend, this Hiram the 'Widow's Son,' the 'Tyrian Architect,' this 'First Grand Master' who is impersonated by every man who is initiated as a Master Mason. It is Hiram who is at the very heart of the foundation of all of Masonry…" (34)According to the Masonic legend, Hiram Abiff was the chief architect of the Temple built by King Solomon. Hiram was the only one on Earth who knew the secrets of a Master Mason, including the Grand Masonic Word, the name of God (the 'ineffable name'). Knowing the secrets of a Master Mason would enable the masons working on the Temple to become Master Masons and to earn higher wages. Hiram had promised to reveal the secrets of a Master Mason upon completion of the Temple.
One day Hiram went into the unfinished Holy of Holies to worship and to draw up plans for the workmen to follow the next day. As Hiram was leaving the Temple he was accosted by three fellow Masons in succession, who demanded that they be given the secrets before the Temple was completed. These three "ruffians" threatened and finally murdered Hiram Abiff. King Solomon sent a search team which found the body of Hiram, but was unable to raise him from the dead. Solomon himself raised and restored Hiram to life with the grip of a Master Mason. The first word which Hiram spoke was the replacement for the Grand Masonic Word, which is traditionally given to a Master Mason during his initiation. As for the legend of Hiram Abiff, Shaw explains:
"It is generally believed, in spite of the fact that the Masonic authorities and writers of doctrine agree that it is not only a myth, unsupported by facts, but acknowledge that it is but a retelling of Isis and Osiris…"
"Osiris, both King of the Egyptians and their god, went on a long journey to bless neighboring nations with his knowledge of arts and sciences. His jealous brother, Typhon (god of Winter) conspired to murder him, steal his kingdom and did so. Isis, sister and wife of Osiris and his queen (as well as Egypt's Moon-goddess) set out on a search for the body, making inquiries of all she met. "After certain adventures, she found the body with an Acacia tree at the head of the coffin. Returning home, she secretly buried the body, intending to give it proper burial as soon as arrangements were made. Typhon, by treachery, stole the body, cut it up into 14 pieces and hid them in as many places. Isis then made a second search and located all the pieces but one; the one missing and lost part was the phallus. She made a substitute phallus, consecrated it, and it became a sacred substitute, and object of worship." (35)The Egyptian origin of this legend is demonstrable through many common elements in both stories and also the statements of Masonic authorities in Masonic source-writings. Among several parallels in these legends, there is in each "…a loss of something precious: in Hiram's death the secret word is lost; in Osiris' death, the phallus is lost; (and) a substitution for the precious thing that has been lost; concerning Hiram it is the substitute for the secret word; concerning Osiris it is the substitute phallus." (36)
According to the Supreme Council of Masonry, the exoteric meaning of the three "ruffians" is the tyranny, ignorance and intolerance of religious and civil powers. (37) However, since Masonic manuals also state that Hiram is a type of Osiris, the esoteric meaning of these ruffians is rather the Triune God who destroyed the religious system of Egypt, which system has been revived through the secret societies. And since the initiate experiences by faith the death and resurrection of Hiram, this rite corresponds to baptism, howbeit the Mason is baptized into Osiris:
"Thus, it seems clear, the Hiram Abiff of Free-masonry is not an historical character and certainly not a biblical one. Rather, he actually represents Osiris, the Egyptian Sun-god, and the reenactment of the Legend of Hiram Abiff is actually the reenactment of the legend of Isis and Osiris… Thus, each sincere man who is initiated into the Third (Master Mason) Degree of Masonry impersonates Osiris, the Sun-god of Egypt, and enters into his life of good deeds, his death, his burial and is 'raised' in his resurrection from the dead. With this understood, it is then easy to understand the statement in the Kentucky Monitor (handbook for all Blue Lodge Masonry in the Grand Lodge of Kentucky) that, while the Christian's Messiah is called Jesus, the Mason's Messiah is called Hiram (Kentucky Monitor, "the Spirit of Masonry," xv)." (38)
The Masonic book titled Obelisks provides much information on the ancient Mystery religions from which Masonic rites of initiation are derived. One example, the second degree of a Hindu initiation rite, involved preparation through fasting and the first stage of initiation proceeded as follows: "After an invocation to the sun, an oath was demanded of the aspirant of implicit obedience to superiors, purity of body, and inviolable secrecy." (39) The author notes concerning the Brahman initiation a "striking similarity to the Masonic system." Each Masonic initiation is also accompanied by oaths or covenants which are obligatory and the men are required at each stage of initiation to take an oath of loyalty to the Masonic brothers of that degree. As most Masons do not know Scripture, it is doubtful that any of the men realize the spiritually binding nature of their oaths or understand the inability of the carnal nature to honor oaths or promises.
On the Promise Keepers web site is displayed a covenant which participants in the Sacred Assembly promised to perform. The Promise Keepers Covenant includes, among other commitments, obligations of obedience to spiritual leaders, moral purity, religious unity and loyalty to brothers in Christ. (40) Like the Masons, Promise Keepers are placing themselves under the Law with its attendant curses for disobedience. (Deut. 28:15-68) However, Christian men, unlike Freemasons, should understand the spiritual ramifications of oath-taking, having the warning of Jesus in Scripture:
"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all, neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Matt. 5:34-37)The Promise Keepers have also taken a leadership role in the Fasting & Prayer 97, one of many public fasting events promoted by the ecumenical A.D. 2000 Movement. Although Scripture does not discourage fasting and even encourages believers to pray and fast, Jesus advised against public fasting: "…That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret…" Likewise, the Promise Keepers' Assembly disregarded the command of Jesus regarding public prayer:
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door pray to thy Father which is in secret." Matthew 6:5,6At Bill McCartney's invitation, all religions were included in this assembly -- a mixed multitude with whom II Cor. 6:14-17 declares believers may have no agreement:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteous-ness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."Christians should be able to discern whether the Holy Spirit would lead the Christian church in a great revival to kneel in prayer before a pagan idol. Does a Christian worship ceremony before a pagan obelisk honor God (or Satan), especially when conducted by a mixed multitude many of whom DO understand the significance of the obelisk? Nor does ignorance absolve the Christian community of the sin of bowing down before an idol -- "And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord; though he wist it not, yet he is guilty, and shall bear his iniquity." (Lev. 5:17) We have been informed in II Corinthians 11:4 that there is "another Jesus" and there are other gods which might be invoked by those who move outside the parameters of God’s Word.
This unhappy prospect leads us to question the invocation by several native American Indians who opened the Sacred Assembly with an Indian chant. Only another American Indian would know the interpretation of this chant and which "god" may have been invoked. An ancient Indian invocation would have addressed the sun god commonly worshipped by primitive American tribes.
If Promise Keepers disobey God’s commands, "do not pray…standing on the corners of the streets" and "be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers" and "swear not at all," what assurance do the men have that God will hear their prayers, even if they use Jesus’ name? Having performed this catalogue of forbidden practices, it is expedient to inquire whether the Promise Keepers are already passing through stages of initiation comparable to the mystery religions. The ancient custom of initiation is, in fact, highly recommended by Robert Hicks as a catalyst to making transitions through the various stages of manhood. Once again deriding Western culture, Hicks celebrates the glories of pagan initiation rites:
"As discussed in so many men's books today, we men have lost all of our formal initiation rites…Men have to prove something. So, lets at least begin thinking about which appropriate initiation rites might fit each of these stages…I'm not sure how we could do it. But I know we need to do it…In some cultures there is far more phallic initiation than in ours…
"Traditionally, the initiation of the warrior has been the first kill--whether fighter pilot, deer hunter or headhunter…If ever we needed to initiate the wounded in our midst it is now. We need to recognize a man's divorce, or job firing, or major health problem, or culpability in some legal or sexual indiscretion, as a wound to which we show deference as a part of the male journey…They can be initiation rites to lead men to a higher and richer level of masculine spiritual life." (41)Hicks model for manhood is Robert Bly, founder of the secular men's movement, who writes in his bestseller, Iron John:
"The boys in our culture have a continuing need for initiation into male spirit, but old men in general don't offer it… The ancient societies believed that a boy becomes a man only through ritual and effort -- only through the 'active intervention of the older men.' …The active intervention of the older men means that older men welcome the younger men into the ancient, mythologized, instinctive male world." (42)Hicks concludes that the Christian Church is not doing its proper work of initiating men as phallic males:
"I believe until the church sees men for what they are, phallic males with all their inherent spiritual tensions, it will not begin to reach men where they are living. Without proper teaching on the phallus, men will carry around in their psyches a spiritual god-hunger so mysterious and powerful that when driven underground, it will seek spiritual fulfillment only in the secrecy motel rooms, adult videos, and in the bragging and joking about sexual exploits in athletic locker rooms…"It is worth noting that the Boulder Valley Vineyard, the church pastored by James Ryle and attended by Bill McCartney and PK Board President, Randy Phillips, sponsors Rites of Passage: The Defining Moment of Manhood in which men progress from one "order" of manhood to another. (43) Ascending "orders" attained through initiations may be integral to secret societies like the Freemasons, but are found nowhere in Scripture.
The Temple Prostitute
The exoteric (stated) purpose of phallic initiation rites is the union of the physical and spiritual. In occult doctrine, however, it is the esoteric (unstated) purpose which is accomplished -- the union of the man with the "god." In Biblical terms, this is demon possession. Follow Robert Hicks as he subtly leads his readers from uncritical acceptance of an exoteric principle to the radical esoteric concept of "sacred" prostitution:
"In modern culture the phallus has been separated from spiritual categories. In some of the religious circles I have traveled in, men and women view the phallus as a spiritual liability. Women sort of tolerate or joke about the phallus functions in men, and in the church it is a rare cleric who gives any clarification to men on how the phallus should be understood and used. The silence says as much as the overt messages. The phallus is not a spiritual subject to be discussed alongside God, the Church and more 'spiritual' doctrines.
"This division of sexuality and spirituality is rather recent in the history of religious experience. In most pagan societies, sexuality is seen as an important aspect of uniting the spiritual with the physical and with the worship of gods and goddesses. In may cities, sacred prostitutes 'served' at the temples in order to be the mediatrix between the gods and humans. One writer notes,
"'The 'heiros gamos,' the sacred prostitute was the votary chosen to embody the goddess. She was the goddess' fertile womb, her passion and her erotic nature. In the union with the god, embodied by the reigning monarch, she assured the fertility and well-being of the land and the people. . . she did not make love in order to obtain admiration or devotion from the man who came to her, for often she remained veiled and anonymous; her raison d'ętre was to worship the goddess in lovemaking, thereby bringing the goddess love into the human sphere. In this union -- the union of masculine and feminine, spiritual and physical -- the personal was transcended and the divine entered in. As the embodiment of the goddess in the mystical union of the sacred marriage, the sacred prostitute aroused the male and was the receptacle for his passion…The sacred prostitute was the holy vessel wherein chthonic and spiritual forces united.'" (44)The reference for this last quotation, which Hicks was careful to conceal in his endnotes, is a New Age book entitled The Sacred Prostitute. This source provides much of the material for another book, The Feminine Journey, which Hicks co-authored with his wife Cynthia. According to Webster's dictionary, "chthonian" is a Greek word meaning "in or under the earth… Designating, or relating to gods or spirits of the underworld, esp. gods of the Greeks." The Theosophical Glossary defines Chthonia as "Chaotic earth in the Hellenic cosmogony." In The Feminine Journey, the Hicks present to readers a glamorized description of the initiation of young women as temple prostitutes. This initiation is, in fact, a consummation with a demon, as the following description reveals:
"The first stage of initiation…begins with the preliminaries of prayer, the ritual meal and purification. The second stage is entrance into the underworld, showing half-human, half beast satyrs and Silenus, a fat old drunken man. With the loosening of consciousness, the initiate entered the world of instincts and wisdom far from rational safety. The painting depicts fear in the initiate's face, and her position suggests that she wishes to escape; yet she drinks of the Dionysian wine held by Silenus.
"In each successive stage the initiate is less clothed, as if she were divesting herself of old roles in order to receive a new image of herself. In the final stage a winnowing basket containing the ritual phallus is unveiled to her; she is now able to look upon the fertilizing power of the god, a primal regenerative force... The final scene shows the initiate beautifully dressed and adorned. She grooms herself in the mirror of Eros, which reflects her feminine nature of relatedness. She has entered into and experienced, and now embodies, the sacred marriage of Ariadne and Dionysus. She is the woman transformed, ready to move into the outer world in full awareness of her deep inner strength. (45)Plainly stated, the temple prostitutes of heathen religions were united with demons through rites of initiation. In this pagan ritual, the moral restraint of a young girl, who was compelled to serve as a temple prostitute, was gradually eroded as she entered into union with a god. Lest we suppose our modern Christian churches to be emancipated from such debauchery, let us review the testimony of Teresa Seputis, a Toronto Blessing devotee, which presents a scenario that is remarkably similar to the initiation process of the temple prostitute. Well did Jeremiah prophesy, "For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness." (Jer. 23:11)
"I had just been prayed for at a renewal meeting and was laying on the floor. Suddenly I was in a vision… I was standing up and the Lord was standing before me…"
"Now is the time, Teresa. I want to wash you and cleanse you.
"I don’t want you to be uncomfortable while I’m doing this. That is why I have enveloped you in a shield of My love. There is no need for you to be embarrassed. Just keep looking into My eyes and this will be very easy for you."
"I imagine that what happened next happened in the spirit. But from my perspective, it seemed like it was physically happening to me. I kept my eyes glued on Jesus’ eyes... not because I was afraid or nervous, but because I was so over-whelmed by His love and His caring for me. Jesus reached over and began to remove my clothes from me. Soon I was standing before Him totally naked...
"'Remember how I told you that I wanted to wash you and make you clean?'
"Now is the time. Let me wash you.' Then He did wash me.. every part of me. He washed my face, behind my neck, down my arms, over my whole body. When He got to my feet, He tickled the bottom of one of them. That was the last thing I was expecting Him to do. I laughed and pulled my foot away.
"'Remember,' His eyes sparkled, 'I told you I was coming to you as your ‘playful fiancé.' He laughed and I was lost in that laughter. I felt more alive and cleaner than in a very very long time. Then He washed my other foot, tickling it as well.
"'Now that you are washed and clean, it is time to clothe you in a robe of My righteousness.' He held a white garment, sort of wadded up so that I could not really see it well." (46)
In the Masonic Lodges, the levels of initiation are progressive with the purpose of bringing individuals into total enslavement to Lucifer through gradual stages of spiritual bondage. Is there also a well-planned occult strategy to the Toronto Blessing/Pensacola Outpouring, even the prospect that adherents of the revival are being mystically prepared for ritual union with demonic beings? Describing the time of His coming in Matt. 24:37, Jesus said, "For as the days of Noe were…" This period is found in Genesis 6, which mentions in verse 2 such unholy unions preceding the great flood. With this consideration in view, the unthinkable becomes plausible, and we must ask whether participants in this occult revival, as in the Promise Keepers, are already passing through initiations which are preliminary to the great Luciferic Initiation.