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The Sealing of God's People - Part 1 (Ezekiel 8)

Events Leading Up to the “Sealing of God’s People(Ezekiel 8)
The Current State of the Church

            It is made unequivocally clear in the Spirit of Prophecy that the Sealing of God’s Servants from among His People in the end-time is “the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision.” (Ezekiel 9), and that  “John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.” (Rev 7:1-8) TM 445; cf. 3T 266-267; 5T 207-212; Mar 240. In reading the passage in Ezek 9, it can be seen that the sealing and destruction depicted there is actually the just and direct result of past, blatant transgressions by God’s people, particularly the leaders of Judah. (Ezek. 8; cf. 9:6b). If Ezek. 9 is indeed a prophecy of what similarly/typically/typologically also transpires in the end with God’s Remnant People, then could it also be that the same transgressions spoken of in Ezek 8, that causte that previous judgement by God, be also committed today by God’s people in the end? The answer, after a careful study of this chapter, and then comparing its issues with the ones in the current Remnant Church today is astoundingly “yes,” and in every detail. This is shown here. It is therefore no surprise that the same unwavering judgement of Ezek 9 is prophesied to also be executed amongst God’s People today.

Historical Prologue
            First of all, to help put things in context, some helpful historical background information is necessary. A study of the ministries of Jeremiah and Ezekiel reveals that they were contemporaries. Jeremiah was raised by God in the years leading up to the justly decreed 70 years of Captivity. When this time period began with a couple of attacks by Babylon in 605 and 597 B.C., Jeremiah was among those who had been left in Judah, but he continued to prophesy of subsequent attacks, and further, utter, destruction, as that of the Temple itself. Ezekiel was among the many who were taken captive to Babylon in the second attack. By being a priest, he was one of those in leading/prominent positions, along with those who were economically capable, productive and/or wealthy, including “all of Jerusalem,” that Babylon specifically targeted in this second attack in an escalated attempt to subdue Judah. (cf. 2 Kgs 24:14-16). While captive in Babylon, God raised up Ezekiel to prophesy for him, and particularly deal with the false hope that was being preached by those among the captives in Babylon that this captivity would be short, that it would be soon overturned and they would return to Judah. It was being said that God would not bring long and utter destruction to His people as prophesied by Jeremiah. (See e.g., PK 448, 449). So it is to this group of oblivious, and unrepentant captives in Babylon, and also those who had remained in Judah and were still carrying on their acts of blatant transgression, that the Word of God through Ezekiel was pointedly directed to.

[For the helpful convenience of having an immediate context, the identified contemporary application of each of the prophesied abominations is stated right after each studied abomination. This is  instead of citing them all after the entire exposition of Ezek 8 is first stated.]

Transgressions Overview
            So in Ezek 8, God begins to show to Ezekiel exactly what the house of Judah and Jerusalem had done, and were still doing, and why He was now justly going to ‘deal with them in unwavering wrath.’ (Ezekl 8:18). God showed Ezekiel four of the most abhorring things that his people were doing, each successively worst than the previous. The first was ‘the cult of the idol of jealousy in the altar of the north gate which provoked God’s Jealousy.’ (Ezek. 8:3-6). The second  was the presence of every creeping and detestable things among other idols, carved onto the walls in the presence of the 70 elders, just behind the wall of the court where the people gathered. (Ezek. 8:7-13). Then in the entrance of the gate of the Lord’s house which face towards the north, there were women sitting and weeping to Tammuz, a Babylonian god. (Ezek. 8:14-15). The fourth and final abomination was in the inner court of the Lord’s house, a holy gathering place for the people in Judah, located between the porch and the altar. There, there were 25 men with their backs to the temple and facing the east, prostrating themselves eastward towards the sun (Ezek. 8:16).

Location Information in Vision
The locational and directional information given in these passages is very interesting and
significant. From a study of how the temple was laid out, it is seen that it had main gates facing each of the 4 cardinal points except for the West, where the Temple complex was located.
            North - If one looks at a map of Israel, it can be seen that to the West of Israel was the Mediterranean Sea. However to the North of the Temple in Judah was the Northern part of Israel which was in this time fallen away and non-existent after the Assyrian conquest. Further to the north of the boundaries of these past 10+ tribes were other nations which Israel had not driven out from the territory of their Promised Land at the time of their conquest due to their unfaithfulness (e.g., Judge 2:20-22). These are therefore northern nations that were in the territory that God had wanted to give to Israel as a possession.
            South - To the south of Judah was the Kingdom of Egypt, from which Israel had come out of. Egypt was the ever present symbol of a Kingdom that had withered away from having a dominant worldly impact and influence because it had refuse to acknowledge the existence of God. It is evident that God had allowed Israel to live in Egypt in order to help them to concretely realize the importance having, and maintaining, through faithfulness, their own sovereign homeland. (Gen 15:13; Deu 4:20; 1 Kgs 8:51; Jer 11:4).
            East - To the east of Judah and Israel were the kingdoms which, relatively, had some recognition and respect for the God of Israel, still without wholly believing in Him. These were namely Babylon and Medo-Persia. Because of this recognition, God was able to work with them in various ways to accomplish purposes (cf. Isa 45:1ff, 13; 46:11a), but all due to the unfaithfulness and unworthiness of Israel/Judah.
            It therefore can be seen that these main gates in the temple layout of Israel pointed towards these tangible kingdoms and peoples, as if indicating that it was in God’s purpose to also minister to them, through Israel, in His Temple, hopefully, towards an ultimate unity as they come to worship Him, in His temple and according to His ways. (cf. e.g., Isa 56:3-7; 60:7). There was no need to make such a symbolic entrance facing the West as it faced a body of water. The actual way westwards to other parts of the world for Israel, geographically was either northward or southward. 

Focus on the North
            As it will be seen in these passages, the only temple location that is mentioned is the northern gate/area. (Ezek 8:3, 5, 14; 9:2). From Judah, this was the gate which opened towards the ancient, full territory of Israel and its now 10+ lost tribes, and also towards the remainder of the territory which had been promised to Israel. It was as if God was indicating here that, in this judgement, He was particularly concerned  with what affected and obstructed His plans for Israel and its full restoration. (Jer 3:12, 18; 23:8; 31:8; cf. the apocalyptic/prophetic restoration in Rev 7:4-8; See also the message presented in this post on Daniel 11).
First Abhorring Transgression (Ezek. 8:5, 6)
            In the first cited act of rebellion, what is rightly rendered as “the idol of jealousy, which provokes God to Jealousy” is indeed effectively based upon the emotion of “jealousy.” However, at its base meaning, this Hebrew expression [Strongs #07065, #07067 & #07068] straightly refers to one’s “zeal.” It is therefore also used in the Old Testament in a relatively “good/justified” sense to speak of: “ardor,” “zeal,” “passion.” (E.g., Num 25:11; 2 Kgs 19:31; Psa 69:9; 119:139; Isa 9:7). It is the actual situation of its context that determines its meaning depending on what the object/purpose/reason for that “zeal” is.[1] Therefore: ‘zeal for one’s own/property’ = “jealousy”; while ‘zeal for another’s possessions’ = “envy” (e.g., Gen 26:14; 30:1; 37:11; Isa 11:13; cf. TWOT, 802). Deliberate provisions were implemented in the Temple Ministry of Israel to effectively deal with an occurrence of this "insinuous" and undesired emotion (see Num 5:12-31), as, e.g., a husband who may have some doubts as to the faithfulness of his wife could go with her to the temple and offer a “grain offering of jealousy” according to the “law of jealousy” where God would then decisively reveal the truth in this matter in a concrete answer. The matter would then be settled, and the couple, if no guilt was found, would be reconciled. [If guilty, the woman would forever become (biologically) infertile. (Num 5:27-28, 31)] So it can be seen that while (righteous) zeal/jealousy could surface in the religious context of Israel, it, however, with improper motives, was indeed just a small step away from becoming outright detrimental and hurtful “envy” leading to subsequent, escalated sins. (cf. James 3:14-16). 
            Despite its understood/justified occurrence in the temple rites of Israel, there are several things that are wrong with what was now found and being practised in Judah in Ezekiel’s day. First of all, this dividing emotion was never to remain amongst God’s people. Hence the provision made by God in the ‘grain offering of jealousy’ according to the ‘law of jealousy’ (Num 5:25, 29) to deal with it when a situation demanded this. But here, in Judah’s worship, Jealousy was now not only concretely ‘idolized’, it was also given a “permanent seat” at the very entrance before the altar gate (Ezek 8:3). As such it, respectively, effectively supplanted and took prominence over both God, and the altar of the temple (i.e., the temple ministry). So despite God having intended, in a provided way, to quickly and decisively resolve valid issues of zeal, this adverse state had now become a god in itself. And with really, absolutely no effective, authoritative means of ridding it, as it was completely void of the needed “input” from God Himself, it such issues stemming from zeal/jealousy were therefore really never resolved. As thus lingering, unresolved issues, this therefore led to many other sins being committed, and perpetuated among the people in Judah, not to mention that people could get away with acts of marital unfaithfulness.
            Therefore, here, by being thus ‘naturally turned away from His Sanctuary,’ (Ezek 8:6a), God could not work with, nor for, such a people who caused iniquity to thrive and remain unexpurgated amongst themselves.
            This all, in turn, provoked the ‘righteous, zealous, jealousy of God’ and caused Him to take actions intended to be corrective and punitive, but forcedly independent of His established, and to be defaultly used, provision in the Temple Ministry and its priestly ministers, by mainly working through prophets that He would raise up such as Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Current First Abomination Occurrence
            Going right to the point here, one simply has to look at the current, default relationship that exists between the SDA Church vs. SDA Ministries, which do the ‘heavy lifting work of the Church and its mission’ to see that there here also exists a similar ‘seated idol of jealousy’ in God’s Remnant Church, as shown here.
            Bible study will easily reveal that as a woman in the Bible is consistently, symbolically used to represent the Church, the bride of Christ (Eph 5:23-27, 32, 33; 2 Cor 11:2), which, when perfected will become the New Jerusalem (Rev 19:7; 21:2, 9-10ff), God’s intended/envisioned objective for it, its husband, which undeniably is Jesus Christ, could be seen as a symbol for a Church’s ministry. The life of Christ while on earth was indeed the perfect example, and demonstration, of devoted outreach ministry from healing, to teaching, to priestly ministry, among others. Tellingly, such religious tasks were defaultly reserved for the men of Israel. The women's main task was to care for the home and family, from among other things, provisions brought forth by the man. As it also occurs in the natural world, it is the union of the man and the woman within the context of marriage that brings forth legitimate children that grows a family. Therefore, based on these parallels, it can be seen that the symbols of a woman and a man can be seen to respectively represent a Church and the Church’s Ministry.
            Also, similarly here, as there could exist some issues of unfaithfulness in a married couple in Israel which was to be resolved by God through the ‘offering of jealousy, according to the law of jealousy,’ there may also come to exist synonymous issues of belief differences and/or mistrust between the Church and a Ministry related to it. However, as in the offering of zealousness/jealousy, such an issue, rather than leading to a default, divorcing independence of one from the other, should instead be resolved with both parties coming together before God, making their case known and letting God and His Word decide/reveal the truth. However, in the Church today, it is found that any ministry that comes to have any sort of difference with the Church is defaulty, effectively stonewalled and left to seek to establish itself independently of the Church, financially and/or in recognized status. Interestingly enough, one, or even both sides claim that this is being done due to their ‘zeal for God, His Church or His Cause.’ Therefore, in order to thus “zealously” protect this cause, many ministries, even if vital and necessary, are left to fend off on their own, because various issues are not seen in the same way or light. Reciprocally, the Church is also left to function without the default services of that ministry. Many specific situations of such developments in the Church and various Ministries can be cited here, still both sides, depending on the others’ demonstrated “rightness”, most times seek to claim that they “support” each other. In reality, these entities are corporately quite independent of each other, and this detrimentally shows in many ways in regards to the overall progress and forward thrust of the Work of God. Strangely enough, there is even a vindictive, prideful and boastful glee that can be perceived in the claims of independent ministries that: ‘they are not affiliated with the main/corporate SDA Church”!?! One can almost hear the airs of Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “My Way” playing in the background as this is being touted.[2] This all leads to a sort of quite detrimental professional and ministerial rivalry and competition within the Church (cf. DA 432.2; 10MR 285.1), instead of a default cooperation, which leads to many wasteful shortcomings and systemic dysfunctions for both sides. It must be emphasized again that this way of doing things is considered to be a most righteous way of conducting the work of God by them. What had been meant by God as a correction using solely “non-compelling” (cf. EGW’s “field-buying” discussion in this post), positive-reinforcements, designed to bring free-willed, Godly results (= Amos 4:7-8), has instead wrongly, “idolistically”, been viewed and installed as ‘God’s supposed endorsed, default way conducting His work.’ No wonder then that the Church is not growing, and moving forward, as it should. As in situations that involve such default independence and competition, much energy and resources is wasted on parallel/repetitive basic/foundational work, and, figuratively, the “spinning of tires.” (Relatedly, see this excellent Bible/SOP presentation by Jay Gallimore on this topic of (also societal) competition.)[3]
            Such a default ‘idol of jealousy’ in the Church today is also seen, at a more micro level, in the work of those who have responsibilities of leadership within the Church, such as pastors, teachers, evangelists, writers, speakers, publishers, administrators, etc. There also is found here this defaultly revered notion, under a pretext of being ‘zealous for truth’, that everyone should independently come to their own opinions, interpretations and conclusions in regards to Biblical Truths and Issues. The common reason cited by all is that ‘it is God who is speaking to me about these things and if you cannot see it this way then I will establish my own podium/platform/ministry and proclaim this on my own.’ This is thus conflated with the worldly, capitalistic belief that everyone is entitled to their own opinion or that there should similarly also exist this unregulated “freedom of speech” within the Church. However the Bible only endorses a “Freedom of Truth”. This also all comes to fly in the face of how the SDA Remnant Church was established, with God’s tangibly manifested presence, when the early pioneers would come together to settle various differences through predominantly Bible Study.
            What should have occurred in all of these unbiblical stances and views which now exist in the Church is that any two differing parties would bring their views before God so that the differences could be examined and if possible ironed out. Views that are found to be completely unsupportable by the Word of God would then be properly, and transparently, proven false and disposed of. This involves much more than simply, perfunctorily passing something through the judgement of 1-3 people at the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) at the General Conference or the individualistic and, ‘may-the-best-paper-win’, competitive model of the Adventist Theological Society (ATS). If the Biblical cooperative model and practice had been used, it  would have led to a beneficial, unbreakable unity in the Church, especially between it and independent ministries that “support” it. Such cooperation would go a lot further than the current unfocused, fragmented and even in many ways, cancelling efforts.
            As with many of the problems in the Church, this abhorring issue also has its roots in finances and money. I.e., the Church does not feel that a ministry is, for "spiritual reasons" of course, worth the investment and/or financial support so it is not taken under the arms of responsibility of the Church. Sure the Church cannot afford to pay every supporting ministry from the tithes and offerings, but these independent supporting ministries are still supported financially by mainly members of the SDA Church and/or by their productions. So they really would in the end, not be an additional financial burden. Many of these independent ministries usually come to be independently successful, mostly after years of lone struggle, mainly because of the obtained, needed recognition of Church members, and hopefully, an eventual, official Church ‘endorsement.’ However, had the Church used the example of the grain offering for such ‘issues of zeal,’ the difference between the Church and these ministries would have been readily settled and ironed out, and this ususal, later state of mutual acknowledgement and recognition would have existed much earlier and without the usual, bitter ecclesiastical strife that usually transpires before this truce. 
            Furthermore, if this is the selfish and discordant example/model that the Church’s leadership and ministries endorses and displays, then it really is no surprise if similar divisions are also present within the Church’s membership itself. This all certainly is not the pressing desire of unity expressed by Christ for His followers. (John 17:11, 21-22)
            Also, like it is typical in the capitalistic world, where such “zealousness” and independence is the default and encouraged norm (cf. Eccl 4:4 were the “zeal” expression is, in context, rightly used to speak of “rivalry”), there is quite a costly financial overhead that comes with such sectarianism. Also such a visible division within God’s Church loudly speaks against any message of brotherly love, fellowship, and even claims of having the truth in the light of seeing e.g, 10 SDA leaders giving 11 different interpretations or views on the same Biblical topic, issues or prophetic interpretation. Such confusion, division, envy and jealousy is not at all the work of God, nor is it a fruit of His Holy Spirit. It is no wonder that such an act similarly, ‘naturally turns God away from His Sanctuary.’ And SDA’s still wonder why the ministry of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary has taken so long. Maybe it is His People’s actions here on earth that are impeding its progress!

Second Abhorring Transgression (Ezek. 8:7-13)
            Now God is going to show Ezekiel a second abomination done in Judah. He bring him to the entrance of the court, and before a wall, where there is a hole. Notice that Ezekiel does not create this hole, but it already existed. He was however given permission to use this hole to dig through the wall where he then sees an entrance. Ezekiel was then told to go in and see all of the wicked abominations being done inside. Evidently what was being done beyond this wall was intended to remain hidden, however those doing these secret acts had failed to close all possible entries into their secret chamber. Ezekiel then saw what can be summarily described here as idolatry mainly focusing on animal worship. 
            While the things that are described to be in this private chamber is indeed wicked, still, knowing the cruel, violent, drunken, debauching, explicitly lewd and lascivious idolatrous worship that Israel had been guilty of openly doing in the past (e.g., Psa 106:34-39; 2 Kgs 17:15-20; Isa 57:5-8; Jer 3:2-11, 13; Ezek 16:16, 21, 25; Hos 4:13-14, etc), what was being done and rebuked here was relatively quite mild in comparison. Israel obviously had learned their lesson from these previous sins which had greatly contributed to the lost of the 10+ tribes, still this present form of worship was equally treated as being an on par abomination. So how was this particularly themed idolatry so sinful.
            First of all, it must be emphasized that idolatry is not a empty, or purposeless action. When one comes to implicitly or explicitly adore/idolize/worship/revere something or someone, it is because, inwardly they effectively, deeply want to be like that person or thing, or have, or be capable of having, what that idolized person or thing has, or can have. They want to emulate what that person has done to be where they are, or do whatever is necessary to meet the demands to get that desired thing. As strange as it may seems, and this is probably a most revolting part of all of this, these feelings and desires are also present in animal worship. When a human being comes to idolize an animal, they effectively consider this animal to be superior to them in some ways/trait, or even as a whole, and they wish to also possess these superiorily viewed qualities. They wish to be able to recreate in their human life whatever power, respect and/or success that this creature has been able to demonstrate in the animal kingdom.
            Interestingly enough, man is in many ways very comparable to animals as they are the only two actively/visibly alert/responsive creations of God. However, arguably, the only thing that is the main difference between man vs. animals, makes all of the difference, and that is deliberate, cognitive intelligence vs. natural and/or trained instinctual behavior. In other words animals do things, however intelligent they may outwardly appear to be, mainly out of a responding behavior of necessity, while man can choose to do something because they want, or do not want, to. Man has the capacity to rationalize, reason and make judicious decisions, animals will do whatever is best for them whether it is killing another animal for food or protection, or performing a learned trick (i.e., for a treat or pleasure). Therefore it is indeed an affront to God and His graciously bestowed “image and likeness” in the creation of man, for man to come to worship, and effectively emulate, or desire to emulate, creatures which are so inferior to them.
            So here were the 70 elders of Israel, with every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, along with other idols that were found in Israel, carved as images on their walls. These were the very leaders in Israel! Throughout the history of Israel, through to the time of Christ (e.g., the Sanhedrin), 70 men were always chosen from among the elders of Israel to act as a part of the representative leadership in Israel. (Exod 24; Num 11:16, 24; Luke 10:1ff, 17; cf. Exod 4:29; 12:21; Deut 31:9; 1 Kgs 8:1). [70 = 7x10 being the symbolic numbers to indicate perfect and complete, respectively, and thus being a proper representation and thus suitable/acceptable for a judgement]. The main task of these 70 elders was to extend the work of chosen leader(s) in Israel (e.g., Moses and Aaron) and act, through and impartation of their spirit in the teaching and judging of God’s People, thus also as representative/spokespersons (i.e., prophets) of God. (Num 11:25-30; cf. Luke 10:1ff, 17). Indeed among these elders, standing in front of them, was also found Jaazaniah who, as it is seen elsewhere, was then a prominent leader of God’s people (Ezek 8:11; 11:1; cf. 11:13). But here, this leader is now fully corrupt and actually leading the way in this idolatrous. With this position taken by them, these leaders/elders could not at all perform their work of Godly leadership and righteous judgement as it had been designed and expected by God.
             Indeed, as it was mentioned before, it was God who had created these animals and even “creeping things,” however these were brought forth from the earth (see Gen 1:24-25). On the other hand Man, while also being created from the earth (Gen 2:7), was fashioned by the hand of God and made in the ‘likeness and image of God’ (Gen 1:26-27). Man even was to have authority over all of these creatures (Gen 1:26b-28). So here, in the existence of animal and idol worship, as it was also done among other peoples such as Babylon (Ezek 23:14; cf. Hab 1:14-16) and Egypt (Deut 4:20), here endorsed, practised and sanctioned at the highest levels of the leadership in Judah, everything was turned on its head. Not only were animals here elevated to effectively be the rulers of man, and particularly, God’s people, but also, by now being in the place of man, it was also implicitly being said that it was these animals, beasts and creeping things that were considered to be in the image of God! In fact, for man to be considered on the same level as creeping things was seen as a curse from God. (Hab 1:13-14).
            This was all quite contrary to what God had clearly and explicitly cautioned against. When giving out the Ten Commandments and the other Ordinances for His people, Moses reminded Israel that their worship of God was free of all, and any, of representation of creatures (Deut 4:12-18), including such “creeping things” (Deut 4:18). All that they had witnessed and were to worship was the Voice of God. (Deut 4:12b). So as long as they “revered” His Voice (which really they could not make a representation of) by obeying the instructions that God spoke (Jos 24:24), their worship would be pure and acceptable and their lives would be in accordance to God’s will.
            So animal worship here in Judah supplanted the adherence to God’s Words, Character, Ways and Principles. It was thus the ways, traits, instincts and life of these creatures that was seen as being in the place of God. The similar type of worship that was also found in Babylon, as described in Hab 1:15, 16, and showed that these worshippers of created things do indeed worship whatever they feel is their provider. In that case it was their self-made “fishing nets”!
            It must also be noticed that the worship of these 70 elders was (1) being done in secret and (2) did not actually involve the actual/tangible, physical idols or even creatures, but only representations of them (cf. Ezek 8:12). The false rational in keeping this idolatrous worship secret may have been here that they could secretly engage in it, all the while continuing to lead the people, without any consequence, or detriment to their leadership ministry, which included the sacred offering up of incense to God. However even such secrecy was expressedly condemned by God. (Deut 27:15). This all indicates that these leaders knew better than this and did not want it to be known that they were taking part in this abhorring worship. They therefore sought to keep their worship secret and did not even tangibly set up overt memorials of their secret cult. Then all of this was offered up as an acceptable act of worship to God through the burning of incense. This predominantly, priestly task was done as a form of the offering up of prayers to God. (Luke 1:8-10; Rev 8:3), and was thus ‘a symbol of Christ’s covering righteousness’ (PP 367). However, the “prayers” of these elders and leaders were far from righteous or acceptable. This is also depicted as being in a ‘cloud of rising incense’ (vs. Ezek 8:11b) as oppose to individual columns of thin smoke plumes, to apparently emphasized the common, concerted worship and collectivity of action here by these leaders. Indeed these leaders are shown to be gathered in the house of God to collectively engage in this false worship. 
            Also, based on passages such as Exod 40:34-35 and 1 Kgs 8:10-11, as a cloud in the Temple normally indicated the approving glory of God, this false, manufactured cloud, here could be indicating a man-made, substitutionary, manufactured (divine-like) approval, and self -righteousness, serving to appease the conscience of these leaders. This is indeed what this tangible symbol is depicting in the pertinently related Vision of Ezek. 10 where the Glory of God is shown departing the Temple (vss 3 & 4).
            Interestingly enough the other time in which “incense” and a “cloud” are closely associated was during the Day of Atonement ministry (Lev. 16:13) which served to shield the priest from the “unsheathed” presence/glory of God.  
            One would have expected, as their desired secrecy shows, that they did mean to hide this from the people and would be doing this in secret in their homes instead. However they evidently sought to also keep this hidden even from their own families. They probably did not want to provide a bad example for the people. Evidently, the only place they felt they could comfortably engage in this was in the Temple of God. It therefore was evidently being seen by them of having a justified place in the religious rites of the Temple ministry, even if kept secret. Therefore this collective, but secret worship shows that this cult of theirs had secretly become institutionalized in God’s Temple by them. 
            The false “justification” that is cited by these leaders for their turning here to false worship is that “God is not seeing them and has forsaken the land” (Ezek 8:12). With the fact that the word for “seeing” in Hebrew also includes the notion of “perception”, it could by extension be understood that these leaders may not only have convinced themselves that God was literally not seeing, or noticing, what they were doing, but that He physically saw them, but did not perceive/comprehend what they were really doing. In other words, they knew better than God in seeking these alternate ways. A similar statement is made by wayward leaders in Isa 29:15. This statement could also echo the understanding of the prophet Daniel that if God has indeed forsaken His people during their Captivity, then He is more than likely not even “looking for”, or “at”, them. (See Daniel 9:18).
            It is also important to note that, with these cited reasons of “God is not seeing them and has forsaken the land” (Ezek 8:12), and as the warned curses to Israel for waywardness (e.g., Deut 30:15-20), 1 Kgs 8:35-36 which indicated that the prosperity of Israel, even its natural/agricultural plentitude, could indeed be (supra)naturally affected by God (see Lev 26:18-20; Deut 28:23; Isa 5:6; 1 Kgs 17:1; Jer 3:2-3; 14:1-6, 22; Amo 4:7; Hag 1:11), it can be seen that such acts of worshipping other gods were really not empty acts. If Israel felt that they were cursed, or that they were not blessed as they thought they should be, by God, then they deliberately turned to other gods to obtain this blessing that was obviously being withheld from them. In fact these heathens outwardly seemed to them to be prospering and doing just fine, false gods and all. (cf. Psa 9:6; 92:7) Case in point, wasn’t Babylon reigning supreme over the Near-Eastern world, and also over Israel. So why not pray to their apparently more powerful gods, but of course, in a sanctified way. God would not be replaced as in times past. He simply here would be sought through these gods by establishing them in His Temple. Indeed, rather than turn to God and follow His ways in order to resolve what caused them to effectively be cursed by Him (cf. Jos 1:7), Israel, and now the Remnant Judah, instead persisted in their iniquitous and lawless ways, and sought remedy from false gods. It did not even begin to register with them that it was their waywardness that had caused the great promises of God to them to not come to pass.

Current Second Abomination Occurrence
            Based on this Biblical explanation and context for the second abomination shown to Ezekiel, if a modern day occurrence is to be found to fit this prophetic template, it is to effectively, similarly involve a form of idolatrous worship that mirrors this type of the worship of animals and all that this naturally entails. This is also to be a secret, yet still cursed cult with the naturally similar false rational that it is of no consequence (see Deut 27:15). This false worship is also to be done for the similar cited reason that “God has forsaken the land” and instead of seeking the ways of God for the promised blessing, idolatry and effective lawlessness is instead persisted in and practised. This is also to be done by various leaders in the Church whose responsibility it is to exemplify and teach the ways of God to His people as dictated in the Bible.
            At first thought, upon a surface observation of things, such an abhorring thing certainly does not explicitly exist in God’s faithful Remnant Church today. However, a closer look at the one common denominator that is without fault cited by all leaders in God’s Church when it comes to doing His work shows that such a comparable worship is indeed alive and well. That common denominator is money, and more pointedly, but implicitly, here, the economic theory/system that is seen to generate this money, namely Capitalism.
            It doesn’t take much perceptive effort to see that money indeed overtly plays a most prominent/important part in the Church’s Work today. However it in fact has come to have a revered godlike status in the Church today. Of course, you will not hear this being preached from SDA pulpits, especially as sermons asking for money are veiledly rare (i.e., stewardship) and even shunned, but sit in on any committee meeting in a local Church, Conference, or the General Conference and you’ll see that Church’s Development, Expansions, Missions and its Ministry Work are strictly planned, or all together dropped, depending on whether or not the funding is available. Of course, the base, knee-jerk reaction to this is to say that these things cannot be done without, and even “but for”, money. That would be entirely true if (1), as non-sensical as it may surfacedly sound, these things were themselves physically made of money, and (2) if the Bible did not provide the economic and moral principles for a better system than what exists today. Succinctly said, Capitalism, and its profit-controlled mentality, has come to make everything cost more than they need to and God’s people are, like the rest of the world, just lining up to pay these whimsical, exorbitant prices by blindly going along with it (despite having the various needed Denominational institutional resources to produce much less costly, but still quality, alternatives). Like a good dog trainer, Capitalism has made humans believe that, like in the animal world, ‘eat or be eaten’ is the rule for life and that ‘survival of the fittest’ must dictate what decisions are to be taken. This system has brainwashed people to believe that greed, selfishness, self-interest, individualism and guiltless/”blameless” (effective) indifference is good, recommended and absolute necessary. It has trained people to believe that they must look out for themselves first and worry about others later, if (economically) possible. Shockingly enough, this same underlying base mentality has found its way into the Church and again, while you will not hear this being overtly endorsed and preached, as it is in capitalistic and business circles, these principles are found, even if only at trace levels, in every decision that the Church and Church members make in regards to conducting the work of God on earth. All of this flies completely in the face of all of the teaching of God in the Bible on such socio-economic issues and those, in God’s Church who should know this and teach God’s people His ways, are not only not doing so, but they themselves are also intrinsically involved in this cultish, spurious worship. It is so telling to see how, whenever one of these various leaders comes across a clear statement and principle of how God expects his people to operate economically, they systematically rationalized away, or outrightly ignore, these Biblical statements and principles! These deficient leaders teach God’s people that all of this, in this unbiblical alternative way, is  ‘quite okay, and is perfectly acceptable to God in a supposedly, but futile, sanctified way, especially in our modern day and age, where God’s word cannot be expected to still have such “strictly applicable” weight upon His people, now scattered throughout the earth and supposedly, solely organized as a congregating Church!’ That is certainly not what the Apostolic Church believed or practiced. (Acts 2:43-45; 4:32-35; 2 Cor 8:1-15). A simple casual reading of modern commentaries on these cited passages shows this zealous dismissive bias in the Church, including the Christian Church at large. What is thus implicitly, if not outrightly explicitly said here is that God does not have a better, "modern day" way, economically speaking, and if this is not done in this capitalistic way, using these means, then God’s Church on earth will literally crumble. In other words, this effective substitutionary “worship” is good and acceptable because ‘God has forsaken the land’ and left it up to us to seek to prosper it and His work. Therefore Capitalism, and its unbiblical ways are directly or indirectly wholly endorsed by the leaders of the Church, and anyone who speaks against it should figuratively be ‘taken outside of the camp and stoned’ (at least literally “stone-walled”). 
            Much, much, more can be said to show exactly how Capitalism is completely unbiblical and still does reign supreme in the Church today, (see The Church Triumphant for some more details), but one simply has to Biblically analyse the reasons given for was is done, and most importantly, what is not being done in the Church today, especially when compared with what is tangibly feasible and what God actually expects His Church and His people to be doing, vs. the overarching reason why these are not done, namely "money", to see how this system and its spurious dictates is shorting the progress of God’s work. As in the times of Ezekiel, the effective “worship” of this economic system and its ways by the Church today has come to not only greatly limit the work of God on earth today, but quite craftily has also come to mar the image that God wants to reflect through His people. An image that mirrors His Perfect Compassionate One, vs. the current base and animalistic one.

Third Abhorring Transgression (Ezek. 8:14, 15)
            As it was told by God to Ezekiel, the abominations that he was now going to further see would be even greater. Indeed He then shows Ezekiel a group of women at the entrance of the northern gate who were sitting, weeping for Tammuz. The sin in this quite overt act can be readily and clearly seen. Obviously these women had incurred a loss, but instead of seeking God for an answer, they were here weeping to the god Tammuz. Obviously if they had turned to Tammuz for an answer, it was because they had considered Tammuz to be capable of providing the answer for them and that God was inconsequential here. 
            The false god Tammuz was a (adapted/customized) god of the Babylonians who was said to be ‘the god of pastures and flocks, the heavenly shepherd.’ He was also viewed as responsible for food and vegetation. It was believed that he died annually, but rose to new life every year after Ishtar (an also adapted/customized by the Babylonians), who was his wife (consort) and sister - ‘a lover of Tammuz from youth,’ descended into the netherworld and brought him up again. Thus in weeping for Tammuz, Ishtar was also indirectly being implored so that she can bring him back to life. The Tammuz feast was one of the most widely celebrated festivals among the ancient Semites and the worship by these women here must have also involved the religious rites connected with Tammuz’s annual death.’ (See SDABD, 1088).
            It is striking to see how Tammuz, in many points, comes to mimic the characteristics of Jesus Christ, the true Heavenly Shepherd (John 10). The existing pertinent and crucial relationship that existed between Tammuz and Ishtar is also significant here. As being the sister of Tammuz, the marriage union with Ishtar made this an illicit union. It obviously was not their fault/responsibility that they were siblings, but it certainly did not sanction them to be involved in a husband and wife relationship, which had been the case, evidently, ‘from their youth.’ The Ishtar cult was also mainly characterized as being a cult of harlotry.
Current Third Abomination Occurrence  
            The first interpretational/“applicational” symbol for this abomination here is readily seen in the Biblical fact that, as it was discussed before, a woman consistently represents a Church. Thus by the women here praying to this shepherd-like god Tammuz, these, by interpretation, "Churches" are therefore concerned with the well-being of their pasture and flock. It is odd to see that despite the fact that Tammuz did die annually, he is still “faithfully” returned to every year and wept/lamented for. One would think that such a mortal god would be readily seen as actually not being a god and thus not worthy of worship, but this strangely enough wasn’t the case. They fact that these women are weeping to it, apparently quite heartfeltly and genuinely, shows that they really believe in, and fully accepted, this unstable, mortal god.
            Prophetically enough, a similar non-sensical worship is also seen in the Church. Interestingly enough, it also has a basis in the economy. The recent global economic crisis of late 2008, that originated in the United States due to the spurious, self-defeating tenets and ways of capitalism, tellingly enough, greatly impacted the SDA Church. Many pastors were laid off, institutions were scaled back, sold  or completely closed, and budgets diminishedly readjusted. Even in “normal” years, i.e., one not involving a recession, the economy ultimately dictates how the Church’s work progresses. All of this affects the overall health and growth of the Church. As evangelistic efforts also ultimately, greatly depend on available funding, various evangelistic works are also detrimentally affected, thus also stymying the Church’s growth. Case in point, try to do a welfare outreach, an evangelistic campaign or a mission trip without spending any money, or at least, at the going market prices. It surely would not take place. Currently a wave of having non-paid, lay pastors has (falsely) been hailed as a ‘biblical and inspired’ solution for this economic hurdle, but professional Church pastors do have their definite function in the Church in order to properly shepherd God’s flock. Ideally every church should have its own, properly educated, and trained pastor; not to ‘“prevent” lay members from doing their duty in God’s works,’ as it is non-sensically posited by those who want to defend having e.g., 33 churches for one pastor in some parts of the world (e.g., Mozambique), but to help the work of God advance in a needed cultivated, and thus more fruitful, way. There are many other factors that make it that there is a high church growth rate in areas which have few pastors, however this growth could be much higher, and of higher and lasting quality, with the presence of the God-ordained ministry of a qualified pastor. 
            All this to say that the expected and “normal” ups and down seen in the capitalistic economy, as it periodically also “dies”, also causes similar ups and downs in the development and progress of God’s work. When a recession causes a major downturn in the business world, then, naturally so also follows the dependent Church. Yet you can hear from the pulpits, preachers almost weepingly praying that this unbiblical economy gets better, so that the Church could also get better financially as it is quite convincingly believed and taught in the Church that the economy is responsible for its health, prosperity and growth. Again, if the Word of God had nothing to say to the contrary, then all of this could be accepted as Biblical, however, the Bible most certainly does, still this will never be preached from the Church’s pulpit. As it is, effectively, implicitly rationalized: ‘you do not want to bite (i.e, speak against) the hand that literally feeds you’. Sample case in point, a speaker at a (2009) Conference-wide Rally effectively lamenting the down turned economy (rather than denouncing it as being inherently unbiblical and ungodly and seeking God’s Alternative Way for His People), “because,” he stated, “ we also do depend on it for our daily living.”[4]
            From this it can be seen that the illicit relationship that existed between Tammuz and Ishtar also does have an application here. Again using the Biblical symbol that a woman represents a church, even an unfaithful/harlot one (Rev 17-18), and with the corresponding symbol that a man/the husband stands for the Church’s ministry, responsible for developing the Church, as seen above, a prophetic application of this existing union here can be concretely seen in history. It is a historical fact that Capitalism has its roots and origin in the (misguided) theological understanding of early Protestant Christians. The whole development of this economical system, was seen as a tangible demonstration for one’s actual acceptance and standing before God, even involving matters of salvation. It was taught that the wealthier one was, or became, then the more favored and “elect” they really were in God’s eyes. Hence came this literal (sanctified) obsession of making money just for the sake of making money, and all the unChrist-like traits that this entails, and has now come to be. Capitalism also was a tangible, reactionary movement to the way that personal wealth and prosperity was staunchly and unbiblically repressed by the “Mother” Catholic Church. Private wealth was greatly shunned upon. Additionally, all forms of lending with interest/usury, which is the very life of Capitalism, was outrightly banned in the presumed “Catholic World.” The longtime liturgical/theological repression of one’s salvation, and “knowledge/certainty” of salvation, also contributed to this new theology which sought to contrarily, tangibly demonstrate one’s blessed and favoured standing before God in the here and now. 
            Therefore it can be seen here that Capitalism can be seen as a modern/neo form of what the false god Tammuz stood for and represented in the days of Ezekiel, especially in relation to God’s people adopting it. Correspondingly, it can be said that his wife/lover and sister, Ishtar, could be symbologically seen to represent the Protestant Church, which still gives endorsement and ideological acceptability and validating “life” to Capitalism, especially when needed in times of, almost inevitable, periodic economic downturns. Now and increasingly, “mixed” in with Capitalism, in order to revive it and keep it alive, are many measures which are purely Socialist in their nature. Interestingly enough, these measures have a direct origin, or derived nature in principles that were thought by Jesus Christ Himself and thus were found, in some degree, in the teachings of the Catholic Church, and then also in the offspringing Protestant Church. Although these principles are not always entirely followed and applied, it is solely this influx of Christian principles that has sustain the life of Capitalism over the years. Hence the prophetic symbolism in a woman (a Church) reviving a repeatedly dying man (its various outworking ministries). Indeed it is an economic and historical fact that Capitalism, real Capitalism, i.e., Laissez-faire Capitalism, would have completely died off a long time ago, i.e., in the late 1920's and early 1930's, had it not then been diluted with such several key Socialist measures to lessen it inherent detrimental, self-devouring effects and ensure its future operational survival. A “mixed economy” as it e.g., even exists First World countries/economies in North America and Europe, is not Capitalism. It is in fact more Socialism than Capitalism. 
            As it is seen in history, the fact that both a theology and economic theory were simultaneously, if not jointly, developed from a “protest” of these predominant, pertinent ways of the Mother Church led both to the creation of the Protestant Church and also to its system of Capitalism, thus effectively making them "blood siblings." This however did not give then a permission/license to get married and thus Biblically become, and be viewed as, “one”. However this is how Capitalism and Protestantism wanted, and still want, to be viewed. Therefore whatever Capitalism does is endorsed by the vast majority of Protestants (e.g, North American Republicans/Conservatives). Tellingly enough, it certainly did  ideologically help things that Soviet-style Socialism/Communism naturally stood against Protestant Christianity which they (partly) justly conflated with Capitalism, and thus even went further by espousing Atheism in this opposition. 
            So now whatever the Protestant Church can do to advance the work of God, from physically building needed churches and operating supporting institutions, media networks, and doing various humanitarian and evangelistic outreach efforts, this is said to be only possible through the ways of Capitalism. The fact here is that this has defaultly been the only ways used for this, but facts show that a more, direct/outright cooperative approach for these Christian endeavors would accomplish much more. Notwithstanding, it is not surprising to hear from pulpit sermons that, similar to the women of Judah, advocate, weep and pray for this spurious economic system, which is defiantly unfaithful to any Godly or biblical principles; and that, similarly ‘even in the midst of Judah,’ the supposedly faithful Remnant of God’s Israel! 
            Correspondingly, God’s Remnant here has also become intrinsically involve in a “cult of Ishtar, the harlot” (i.e., Sundaykeeping Protestantism - cf. Rev 17:5; 18:1-24), as she supposedly has the power to perpetuate the existence of Tammuz (Capitalism). 
            (It is significant to note that while a “protestor” stands on his own ground in opposition, it still technically has no power of its own. Despite its best efforts, the one that it is protesting still holds that power. Hence to heckles of Catholicism to Protestants that point to Sunday Sacredness, from its very own doing, and the assumed “mark of its authority in ecclesiastical matters” which most of the “Protesting” ones still also view as sacred and acknowledge as being valid.)

Fourth Abhorring Transgression (Ezek. 8:16)
            It is hard to imagine that Judah could have done any worst than what it was shown to be doing thus far, but it did. And again, as God has said, what follows would be even more abominable, than the previous ones. So here God transports Ezekiel in vision to the inner court, where, between the porch and the altar, he sees 25 men, with their backs to the Temple, facing the east and prostrating themselves towards the sun.  This place between the porch and the altar was Divinely recognized as a most sacred place in the Temple (See e.g., Joel 2:17, Matt 23:35). Indeed when intercession and intervention was sought in national repentance, in order to overturn a coming judgement of God, the priest and ministers were instructed to repent by "weeping between the porch and the altar." (cf. Joel 2:11-17). Also, the act of ‘turning their backs to the Temple’ meant a refusal to hear the word and instruction of God in regards to His ways of ministry as seen in the Temple. (cf. Jer 2:27; 32:33). Case in point, in the historically parallel passage to this event spoken to the contemporary prophet Jeremiah, (Jer 32:26-34), it is said that instead of listening to and “rising up early and teaching” God’s instruction (i.e., readily adopting and proclaiming it), Israel and its leading people (vs. 32) had chosen to “put their detestable things in the Temple.” (vs. 33, 34). So here, these 25 men have deliberately chosen to refuse to hear any instruction from God’s word and openly and devotedly involve themselves in sun worship right in the midst of God’s temple. It is no wonder that this is the most abhorring of transgressions.
            The mention of 25 men seems a little odd here as this number do not have a symbolic meaning in Scriptural numerological understanding, however the parallel mention of this sun-worship in Ezek 11:1 shows that these men included at least, the foremost (civil) leader in Judah then. The other men could have been some of the various men in Judah and Jerusalem. This shows that this sun-worship was widespread, widely accepted and communally practised, amongst God’s people.
            Sun worship is a common worship, in one form or the other, among different peoples and religions. It is not for no reason that the Sun is so widely revered. It arguably is the most important created body in the universe. Not surprising that almost everything revolves around it. The moon even gets its light from it. Indeed it is from the sun that the key, life generating elements of light, heat and energy comes from which in turn leads to most of the developments in nature and technology. So it is not surprising to find so many various peoples worshipping this celestial body, one that can tangibly be seen, instead of the God who created it, which cannot be seen by them. However how could this come to also be the deliberate case for God’s own people???
            Also, as the sun rises in the east, a wholly devoted worship of the sun does also involve facing it. In a similarly devoted way, the prophet Daniel, when in Babylon, opened his windows facing the west, where Jerusalem and God Temple was located, to pray to God in repentance (Daniel 6:10; cf. 1 Kgs 8:48).

Current Fourth Abomination Occurrence
            In a similar way that the Sun is viewed by many as a most important body in the natural world, affecting, controlling and providing for virtually everything, thus deemed worthy of adoration, in the man-made/civilized world, such a widely recognized “worthiness” is similarly given to the Economy. Indeed virtually any decisions made in society today, from politics, to finances, to war, to life or death, all are in some direct or indirect way dependent on the Economy. Without going into specific, corroborating details here, the economy has come to affect every aspect of life today. Shockingly and sadly enough, this reverence is also found in God’s Church, even to the point where it is believed and thought that it is the economy that will dictate when prophesied final/apocalyptic events take place. However, the Bible clearly teaches that it is God Himself who is in total control of final events (e.g. Rev 7:1-3ff).
            Careful Bible study also clearly shows that God’s Seventh Day Sabbath was to also have a practical economical impact amongst his people (see Isa 58; cf. Welfare Ministry, 23-62ff). So since Sun worship is also intrinsically associated with Sunday sacredness, by participating in such a spurious economic worship that blatantly goes against what God intended as a principle through His Sabbath, it is not surprising that God’s Remnant is correspondingly also participating in this spurious sabbath worship. Similarly here, God’s people also refuse to readily accept and proclaim the instructions of God in regards to His desired economic system, but prefer to deliberately turn their backs to this, and effectively worship Capitalism.
            Indeed instead of the people here worshipping “the Son of Righteousness” (Mal 4:2 = Christ, the Angel of the OT Covenant (Exod 23:20|Mal 3:1-3ff)), as it was already incorporated in the Righteousness in their far-reaching Covenant (cf. Isa 42:21), they were worshipping the Created Sun. They probably thought that this was more justified than the worship of man-made Gods, just as SDA’s today won’t recognize that they are worshipping Capitalism (=man-made idols) yet they worshipfully operate according to that system’s economic tenets, dogmas and policies, of course, couched in “SDA-baptized” ways/practices. But all of this indeed stands against, and in opposition to, Christ’s True/Full Gospel Righteousness (Matt 25:31-46) and God’s Sabbatical Principles (e.g., Deut 15:1-11; Isa 58), and as those Economic idolatrous ways lead to a murder-condoning “live and let die” mentality, literally leading to the First and Second Death of many through such deliberate and selfish indifference, that is why, as next seen in Ezek 9, God is so enraged at and will act utterly wrathfully towards His professed people, pointedly in that most blessed Remnant of Israel, this Tribe/Kingdom of Judah. (=DA 825.4).[5]

Pronounced Judgement
            With all of these committed abominations which, as it is seen, all have a tangible basis in the pervasive economy, which in turn greatly affects God’s work, God is left with no other choice but to ‘indeed deal with these rebellious people in wrath’ (Ezek 8:17-18). Interestingly enough, God specifically says that these abominations have filled the land with “violence” , i.e., the most extreme form of wrongness (vs. 17 cf. e.g., Gen 6:11, 13). However if one looks at each of the acts involved in the cited abominations, none of them can be said to be particularly violent. However, it is the fact that the practice of these rites supplanted the worship of God and thus the adherence to His teachings which showed God’s people how to live together in perfect harmony, which inevitably degenerated in the land becoming lawless and violent. (It is interesting to note that in the Greek translation of Ezek 8 in the LXX, the Hebrew word “abomination” that is used throughout this passage, is consistently translated as “lawlessness” (Gk. anomia - cf. Mat 7:23)). Similarly, in an application of this consequence, it can be seen that most strife, crimes and conflicts in the world are due in some way to an economic issue. The current Econo-Darwinian “profit or be profited,” and “survival of the richest” indeed only fuels and perpetuates the various problems in the world today. Just as the Sabbath, which is a memorial of Creation (Gen 2:2, 3; Exod 20:8-11), serves to refute the notion of Evolution, it also, in its extended application to the socio-economic lifestyle for God’s people, serves to protect against the evils caused by the spurious economic system that is Capitalism. 
            This progression of: [1] Mother Church - [2] Daughter Churches - [3] Worldwide Abominations/Lawlessness, as seen in the applications in the 3rd and 4th abominations above, is similarly found in Rev 17:5 which prophetically speaks of these same entities here as: “[1] BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF [2] HARLOTS [3] AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Indeed another Biblical clue to solving that ‘mysterious (i.e., hidden truth) apocalyptic name.’ - See more on this in this post.). 

            An analysis of the apostasy in Ezekiel’s day and the current waywardness, if not outright apostasy, in the Church today shows that they similarly involve (cf. 4T 384-387): (1) a detrimental instituted and sanctioned spirit and practise of false zealousness of jealousy, envy and rivalry; (2) a secret, yet still communally pervasive, adherence to worldly and economic ways and customs by the leadership for God’s work that effectively make men act as unintelligently, ruthlessly and thus ungodly, as animals; (3) a substitutionary seeking to man-made systems and methods in order to try to obtain God’s promises and conduct His work; and (4) a deliberate decision/stance to not follow the Biblical laws and instructions of God in economic issues. Therefore, like in Ezekiel’s day, God cannot also draw near to His Remnant people here. He is therefore going to enter into righteous judgement with those who have come to replace His ways with man-made ways, and He will have not mercy. Hence Ezekiel 9, which has been prophetically cited as “the Sealing of God’s people” (TM 445~Rev 7:1-8) involving a "fuller" (EW 33) 'understanding of God's Sabbath.' (cf. LDE 219-222). This topic is discussed in further details in the next post           

[1] Which is why I am here “lobbying”,* that it be instead said of God, -(in ‘quasi-infamous’ passages like Exod 20:5; 34:14; Deut 4:24; 5:9; 6:15), that: ‘He is a zealous God’ (cf. Joel 2:18; rather than the petty/base-seeming: “jealous God”; which is indeed what the “context” better “Theologically” supports. Meaning that God, as per His character, is rather “zealous” to see perfect Righteousness, Justice and Truth being done and so He will indeed be “zealous” to see that this is done, including, as innately necessary, as timely as possible. Therefore God is One who will (normatively) take swift action to judge, remedy and eradicate any sinful/evil development. (Which clarifyingly is why, as elsewhere outlined & explained about the (quasi-infamous) “3rd or 4th generation” statements in e.g, Deut 5:9|Exod 20:5; 34:7; Num 14:18; it is rather being stipulated in those terms that God will justly, thoroughly/exhaustively adjudge a sin, i.e. to whatever extent it has been practised and/or condoned, even if that impleads better-knowing younger generations.) Indeed God has always been fully/unequivocally approving and supportive of people in the Bible who have “zealously” acted to deal with sin, e.g., Phinehas (Num 25:1-9, 10-13), Elijah (1 Kgs 19:10, 14; 2 Kgs 2:11-12a); cf. the (solely ‘zealously’ repenting (cf. Rev 3:19)) Levites (Exod 32:25-29; Num 3:11-12; 8:18-19); -pointedly, as said about Phinehas, as this is indeed how He Himself would have acted (Num 25:10-13).

* Just as Randy Skeete has been doing (see (in a sermon in) here; cf. here[17:35-18:19]) in regards to ‘calling the 3 friends of Daniel by their (original) Hebrew names ((as the Bible actually does:) Dan 1:6, 11, 19), rather than by their more common Babylonian renaming (Dan 1:7)’ [as actually done with Daniel (i.e., not “Belteshazzar”]

            Indeed it makes no logical, and especially theo-logical sense for God to become “jealous”, (-as commonly thought to be the (translational) meaning in: Exod 20:5; 34:14; Deut 4:24; 5:9; 6:15), if/when His professed people would prefer to turn to worshipping idols as their god. Why would/should the Almighty Creator God become “jealous”, i.e., filled with envy, of either His professed people if they suddenly want to think and claim that ‘a piece of wood, or any other created thing, is what had created, guided and sustained them. (cf. Isa 44:9-20). Such senseless and irrational rebelling should, -if God did not have a greater, highly limited (e.g., Deut 9:5), cause to pursue and see through (Ezek 36:22-23, 32; cf. e.g., Isa 42:6-7), instead “provoke” indifferent derision and laughter from Him, rather than any degree of “jealousy” (cf. 1 Kgs 14:22). The same ‘logical non-starter’ is seen in couples relationships where, e.g., a woman would not begin to seriously/concernedly experience feelings of  “jealousy” if her male partner was, or became friends, with another woman who she did not consider to be, either in character or physical beauty, on a comparable, let alone same or greater, level than her. But if that other woman was, either subjectively or objectively, on a such a greater, ‘model-type’, level, then ‘envying-jealousy’ would almost naturally occur to some degree [e.g., this claimed “rivalry”]...unless that woman partner would well-know that “other woman”, and trustingly know that she would not be of the character to lure her man away from her.
            And that is the inherent thing with any man-made/established “idol”, including “person/celebrity worship”. God both knows that they just do not begin to be on His level, nor do they, or can they, even possess a character, and/or wisdom, that can rival His own...So why in His Created Universe would He begin to become “jealous of any of these false gods. God is instead “zealous” in regards to timely dealing with the bad influence that such idolatrous course can have either on His own People and/or other people. And that is why He “zealously” both timely and thoroughly, deals with any (abominably) wayward people/institution who claim to be “called by His name” (e.g., Jer 7:1-11ff, 7:30-31ff; Dan 9:13-16ff; John 2:14-17) And on the applicable flip side, that is also why He, and here “jealously”, will not, (and will also fore-state/act so as to not (Isa 48:3-11)): ‘give the glory/credit which belongs to Him, over to another’ (Isa 42:8; cf. Ezek 36:22-23 =a form of slander/blasphemy (cf. James 2:6-7)); -and thus “clear his name (of such slanders)”..
            Which is all why, as per the foundational and pivotal issue in the Ezek 8 debacle, -indeed starting with this initiating ‘abominable idolatrous zealousness vs. jealousy’ issue in Ezek 8:5-6, people in God’s Church, who, as quite common, sanctimoniously think that it is not good or right to act “zealously” in regards to waywardness in the Church, either in regards to declaring it and then subsequently also dealing with it (cf. Matt 18:15-17)), are indeed, as the, expounded upon in this blog post, progression in Ezek 8 shows, only being detrimental towards God and His cause. Indeed the “unfaithful ‘willfully/indifferently mute’ watchmen” of Ezek 33:1-20. As stated about, God instead approves the rightly and properly “zealous in such situations, the ones who not only do “call sin by its right name” (e.g., SD 214.1-4) and ‘cry aloud and spare not, pointing out the transgressions/rebellion and sins of God’s people’ (Isa 58:1), but also those who then take it upon themselves, if still needed, to tangibly do something to overturn these evil. (So, in regards to the here, Ezek 8-prophecy-fulfilling-SDA Church (cf. here), it is indeed due and proper to, as done throughout this blog: E.g. engage the popular pastors/preachers who, and pertinently enough, as per the preferred selfish/individualistic false-zealousness of the SDA leadership/ministry#), have no regard to properly ascertain Truth, including factual truth, before presenting it to God’s people; denounce institutionally-cherished hatred; decry (self-defeating) dysfunctionality (contra. here) and disorganized (contra. here) inefficiency (cf. here); etc. Those who choose not to do so, but rather, variously, work to “save their own skin”, will indeed not be approved of.
            And it is increasingly, indeed quite indicatively, dually, telling to me that God had had to supernaturally intervene so that a full-Ezek 8-debacle-preempting message/warning would not be give to SDA’s (cf. Luke 8:8-10|Matt 13:10-17; -As similarly done with every Church (+Church Age) in Rev 2&3 (see Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) {-On that/such (patent) statement(s) by Jesus, see this sermon, as well as this one, by Francis Chan}). Evidently, as here, for ‘those who would choose to not hear/heed’, God had a deserved end judgement (cf. here) that He was simultaneously working to rightly bring upon them (=Isa 6:8-13))...

# Most pertinently applicable, perfect case in point: As (increasingly) patently seen in various SDA(-supporting) ministries and conferences each wastefully/redundantly/duplicatively sanctimoniously, gas-lightingly, (for for them ‘money = the Holy Spirit’), concealedly begging for (e.g., here|here|here* and here) and then spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars to build, equip, then operate, recording media studios (also here for, e.g., this series; and also with other SDAs here), -which they then will merely part-timely use; instead of them building one studio and sharing it, or even much better, just sharing the amply present and/or reservable facilities of already existing (yet likewise inherently duplicative) media studios such as that of 3ABN and/or Hope Channel....Indeed the idolatrous “in thing” for SDAs to do is, whenever they have an issue of difference, rather than seek to exhaustively, or even at all, arrived at an, actually achievable, unified/harmonized/reconciled truth, they just go off on their own and form their own ministry “mecca”, however redundantly wasteful it mostly is, indeed eventually with them just hosting the same speakers/preachers and producing the same sermon series/seminars.

* From Stephen Bohr’s own “blindly pompous” (contra Isa 42:18-19ff) accounting here|here|here|here for that redundantly wasteful production studio for his ministry, they have managed, and plan to, to misappropriatingly acquire at least $2.6 million, including, most emblematically enough of this ‘Ezek 8:5-6 “jealousy” charade’, $300,000 for a production truck to do remote Live satellite broadcasting. This is all indeed a Satan-inspired (EW 266-269) and guided/controlled (=EW 56.1) SDA cloaked-covetousness, leading to selfishness ensnaring. And the most comical reality in all of this is that any feeling that Bohr, or any other SDA ministry (=the Rev 2:9b; Rev 3:9a “synagogue of Satan”#) may have of God’s “leading” and “blessing” into such Biblically selfish, wasteful, jealous, covetous motivations and actions, which for them is confirmed by their greenback money god, is indeed surely not (“approvingly”) from God, but rather, -indeed as per EW 56.1=1SAT 343.1 (cf. e.g. LDE 219.2-3), at the very least, all according to His now long-activated: operationally covert (=Isa 42:14-17), merely self-reflecting (Ezek 14:1-9), wrathful (=Isa 63:1-6|Rev 14:17-20|DA 825.4); duly, maintainingly-dooming (Isa 29:9-16) last gap option (Amos 7:6-9), so that these, indeed inevitably Sabbatically unseal-able (Ezek 9:3-11|3T 265.2-267.3), flint-foreheadedly (Ezek 3:1-9) Babylonianly-awhoring (Jer 3:1-5) rebels can hit that Amos 7:7 “erected adamant wall” as fast, -thus hard, and as “soon”, as strategically possible!!! As Jesus clearly says in Matt 25:34a, those who are actually “blessed” by God are those who actually help people in need, and are not, as here, hoardingly diverting available funding and resources just to “idolatrously”, redundantly-wastefully, build an “ministry empire”, name/memorial and “mecca” for themselves...So, instead of, as here[01:39:58-01:42:33], guilt-ployingly haranguing his church members for not being able to keep up with his relatedly redundantly wasteful hyper-inflated private-studio-media-ministry budget uselessly sucking away at their income (=Luke 11:46|Matt 23:4), he should, e.g., resume doing ministry filmings in his church building, and would thus e.g. find, in just the non-duplicated expense for a set of video cameras, find the “$53,000” needed to cover his Church budget expense; -not to mention that sought for $300,000 for his coveted, variously useless ‘live remote, satellite broadcasting’ capabilities...(Then what moreover was all the fuss for building a studio...-which barely 25 people audience/attend anyway on non-Sabbaths??!)...Really, what is the rationale for SDAs, especially Bohr and his patent pointedly SDA-audience messages, wanting to produce programs outside of an evident church setting. If your goal is to attract people into attending your churches (cf. Heb 10:25) then why, -other than most  deluding Satanic pride, all this ‘embarrassed’ rush to avoid presenting a church sanctuary!??...(Exposing case in point, (e.g.) this symposium against the (SDA) Emerging Church Movement was held and broadcasted from the Sacramento Central Church, and indeed exposingly enough, involved Steven Wohlberg and Stephen Bohr who, as referentially cited above, both have built their own private ministry studio, and with that Church being close to, and formerly associated with, Amazing Facts which itself has its own production studio. So clearly these people do not care at all on wasting resources on their redundant, self-aggrandizing, “spotlightings”.) Try “sacrificing” your self-important pride instead....Or, seriously, just go to your Sheoll destination already, instead of continuing to, merely out of drunken pride, pillage and defraud (trusting) people...No...Really...it’s just beyond that cliff’s (merciful) wall, (Ezek 13:8-16; Rev 11:3b), to your (“SS”) right||My Left (Matt 25:33b, 41ff, 46; LDE 219.2-3)........(~Matt 7:6->Luke 8:32->John 13:25-30, 12:28-32, 35-36; 13:31-32->Luke 8:33).

# Indeed, and pertinently/tellingly, contrary enough to Stephen Bohr’s main, exegetically novice, “no doubt” premise in his Worshiping at Satan’s Throne [27:25ff] presentation; [as well as in/for his Return of the War Hero [15:25ff] presentation], the initial throne that was shown to EGW in that vision, quasi-subjectively entitled: “The End of the 2300 Days” in EW 54-56, was not, as Bohr claims: ‘in the Holy Place of the Sanctuary’, because both “ the Church and the World” representing all those who had become aware of the well-publicized Millerite message, thus, collectively, “the Advent people”, were before that throne. So it could not have been anywhere within the Sanctuary, but at best, i.e., since most the world, pointedly America then was, at the very least, nominally Christian, in the Sanctuary Complex Courtyard. So evidently the Father and Jesus had facilitatingly (re-)located their shared Throne to the Court Yard of the Sanctuary Complex, where most of the world was/could gather. And it is from then that, the Father first went from there straight (back) into the Most Holy Place (=EW 55.1a; cf. EW 92.1), where His Throne Room actually, and only, is. [And relatedly, also in regards to what Bohr premisely falsely claims, proper exegesis shows that the “(sourcing) torch lights” [#2985; -from #2989 =“(state of) light”] of Rev 4:5 (=God’s Spirit (Rev 1:4; 4:5; 5:6)) are not the same as the merely “[propping up] lampstands” [#3087] of Rev 1:12-13; cf. 2:1, 5 (=Churches on Earth (Rev 1:20)); which moreover have their own (portable) lamps [#3088] (see in Matt 5:15|Luke 11:33). So their mention of actually “(sourcing) torch lights in Rev 4:5 is exegetically not an evidence that this ‘must be the Holy Place’, but is actually right in God’s Throne Room (Rev 4:5), =the Most Holy Place.]
            Then Jesus Himself subsequently arose, and, and this is key, particularly for SDAs, since this is the (present) group which has followed Jesus as He now went into the Holy Place (EW 55.1b), while the others, the rest of the (Christian) Church, and the world, continued to remain outside and remained in their perfect (Middle Ages/Papacy) Darkness. The “little way” that Jesus had lead these more faithful followers is surmisingly merely the Holy Place; -indeed: ‘faith-praying to (i.e. towards) Jesus who Himself (alone) was in the Holiest’ (DS, March 14, 1846 par. 1); and from in there these (SDAs) were told to remain as Jesus had gone on into the Most Holy Place, to receive a Kingdom (=Dan 7:9-10, 13-14, 26-27). And their main task while awaiting was to keep their garments spotless, which is all allusive to the practical righteous acts that these are supposed to be doing while awaiting that New Jerusalem, Kingdom of God wedding feast reunion (Rev 3:5; 16:15; 19:7-9; 21:9-11 = Matt 22:1-14) = Luke 19:11-27.
           So, debunking Bohr’s foundational premise: no Throne was actually ever set up in the Holy Place. Only, specially/mercifully, in the world-accessible Courtyard (as it will done in Matt 25:31-32ff = Rev 20:11-12ff (along the lines of ‘having the most comprehensive of judgements’ of Rom 9:28 discussed here)); -(and which is probably reflective of the prophetic fact that, as Millerites were validly, (i.e. potentially applicably), permitted to believe&preach: ‘October 1844 could have been the Final Coming of Christ event’), and then, normatively, back within its most restrictive confines in the Most Holy Place.
            So SDAs have merely remained in the Holy Place, with at best, only a chance to look into the Most Holy Place and inherently see (=know about and understand), through the mercifully-aiding Opened Door (=Rev 3:8; 4:1) the (finalizing individuals reviewing and sifting/shaking judgement) work that Jesus is, -indeed duly starting with them (=Ezek 9), doing there (=Dan 7:10, 13-14). And so, as presented in this post, SDAs are not actually within/passed that generously opened door, and that mainly because they have not been able to master the practical godliness works which Jesus had, as depicted in this post, quasi-implicitly, yet quite clearly, mandated them to be doing while waiting. (=LDE 218.3ff). Only those who will be doing this will be able to proceed through that open door, even if=when Christ chooses to make any “type” of His return, and thus these will not be surprised as by a thief. (Rev 16:15), and thus not “naturally” (1 Cor 2:6-16, deceivedly (2 Cor 3:7-18; EW 36.2; 266-269) and/or deludedly (2 Thess 2:8-10) find themselves incorporatively fighting on the wrong side of the Sixth Era’s “Har-/Ar- Mageddon” (= ‘Mountain of/City in the Valley of Meggido’ showdown (=Rev 13:13ff; see this post; and also in here at Rev 16:16), likewise “drawing backly” (EW 56.1 = Heb 10:38-39 = DS, March 14, 1846 par. 1{end}) along side the rest of the Mark of the Beast “Church and World” Camp which had remained in total Darkness. (=Rev 16:12-16 = 2 Thess 2:11-12).

            Therefore, it is thus, indeed through their various Capitalism honouring&worshipping, ways, as manifested in Bohr’s unwitting and/or indifferent ‘“jealousy|covetousness|selfishness”, capitally detrimental/wasteful endeavors’, that these SDAs also, and most fulfillingly, become (the leading part of) this “synagogue of Satan”, pointedly as the claim/think themselves to be “Jews” by having had that Sanctuary Message understanding!!
            ..And, sequiturly enough, these “SDA Worshipfully “Drawing Back” Losers” (=EW 270.2) have since indeed been playing, and to a “T”, their, -as long made evident, prophesied, -(and indeed just like the likewise Satan duped, deluded and ensnared (cf. EW 266-269) Jews at their own “Cross Exposing” (DA 746.3-749.2), Satanic-laced, ring-leading, part in the already transpiring, Fifth Era’s Shaking, by, most sufficiently, firstly-applicably, being the: “men transformed to demons” like in GC 638.2 who are: ‘tactifully endeavoring to “press darkness” (EW 269.2ff) upon God’s Righteous and Faithful One(s)’ (EW 269.1), -thus doing the very work of the “evil angels” who pridefully/self-blindingly/vexatiously oppose God’s True Witnesses (=COL 293.3, 294.1) in this, their nonetheless effectuated Ezek 8&9 Shaking Judgement (1 Pet 4:17-18 = Ezek 9:5-11 = Rev 11:13) =GC 615.1!!!

[2] Cf. a similarly expressed statement in 2008 by the SDA GC vice president Ted Wilson in this sermon entitled: “I Did it My Way”, also from/after Sinatra’s song rendition.

[3] Similar to Gallimore’s statement in that presentation [at 34:00-35:07] against competitive/“varsity”, including interschool, sports in/with SDA Schools, I like the statement here [49:25ff] by evangelist and revivalist Randy Skeete who says: ‘So we have some schools with competitive sports.--They’re playing non-Adventist schools in some competition.–Fights break out...-We call that witnessing!’

[4] 2009 Quebec Conference Fall Rallye (September 19, 2009) - Speaker: (pastor) Maxime Bouvet.
[video] 19:46ff.

[5] In a 3+ part series on “The Biblical 9/11” [Part 1Part 2Part 3] which (actually) focus on a view on the close of probation for SDA’s in Ezek 8 and the ensuing slaughter which ends in Ezek 9:11, Nader Mansour of the (Revelation) 1412 ministry in Queensland, Australia, tries to (pointedly/mainly) claim that the reason why SDA probation will close and that God will act wrathfully against SDA’s is because they have an unbiblical/Catholic view of the Godhead, where they believe that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are both eternally and inherently God and are to also be worshipped as God. Frankly if God is going to pitilessly slaughter even ‘old people and children’ (Ezek 9:6) because they could not accurately figure out the nature of God and the Godhead which He never explicitly explained in the Bible, then that would be quite “extreme” to say the least. Mansour’s presentation, though surfacely plausible, is at best only that because he expounds on pointedly Ezek 8 in the typical SDA-deficient “anecdotal” approach where proper exegesis is just a luxury that can be abstained from when it does not advance one’s preconceived understanding/view. So in his presentation he e.g., completely glosses over the specific fact that the initial abomination is caused by an “idol of jealousy” Ezek 9:5 which he glossingly, hendiadysly truncates to merely be a generic/non-specific idol. Sure the Bible does say that ‘idolatry (in general) provokes God to jealousy’ (Deut 32:16; cf. Psa 78:58; =Exod 20:4-5), but in Ezek 9:5-6 God is specific in saying that the idol itself “ironically enough” is itself “jealousy”. As explained above, that is actually considered righteous as it seems to be emulating God’s own jealousy towards pure religion, but really is only a manifestation of the base selfishness of the people. Among other things, Mansour claims that the “North” is mentioned in this chapter refers to the location of the table of showbread which was indeed on the side towards the North inside the Sanctuary. However all of Ezekiel’s dealings with the North, all occur outside of the Sanctuary Proper around various gates in the Temple court. (Ezek 8:3, 5, 14) And it is as if here that God is pointing out that He actually has not problem with the core Religion/Truth of the Sanctuary but the various false practices which the people have set up all around the Temple Complex that “supportingly” surrounds that Sanctuary...all climatically ending up in them just/actually turning their backs to that Temple to worship the sun. (Ezek 8:16). And on a somewhat trivial matter, but nonetheless indicative of deceptive “exegesis”, while the worship of Tammuz was connected to base immoralities, you don’t get that from the Hebrew word for “weeping” (Strongs’ #01058) here, moreover being done by “sitting” women. E.g., when the people in Gen 21:16; Jdg 21:2, Neh 1:4; Psa 137:1 variously contritely “sat down” (#03427) and “wept” (#01058), they were not engaging in immoralities. (cf. other uses in Ezek 24:16, 23; 27:31).
            What evidently is the case with Mansour take and claims on, and from, Ezek 8 is a believed to be pivotal issue in regards to the Godhead and the Divinity of Christ and also the Holy Spirit. I won’t go into detail about that issue, but I think that a perfect harmonization between the two sides of supporting points from both the Bible and SOP which on one hand show that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are to be considered and worshipped fully as God the Father Himself, and on the other hand the points which show a deference by Jesus and the Holy Spirit towards God the Father, is in the fact that there is a chosen deliberate hierarchy in the Godhead. I.e., all three Divine being are equally and fully God, but for various Religious and Practical Universe governing and administrating purposes, they had/have chosen back at some pre-Creation point, to, both, manifest themselves in binding distinct forms (i.e., God the Son = as God’s Creation; and God the Spirit = as an invisible Energy) and also maintain a deferential hierarchal order. (As an illustration the Hierarchal Ruling Power Structure of a country, as it will be in the NJK, which would have a Monarch, a President and a Prime Minister - the Monarch has final say, the President is the directly representative of the People and the Prime Minister works towards tangibly facilitating and implementing the will of the people.)
            So Mansour may have a distinct issue in regards to properly understanding the Godhead, which is not the one side points he focuses on, but it is neither the pivotal/climatic issue in the Shaking of God’s People, nor is it rationally/justly why God would utterly destroy His People. Indeed it is one thing to worship a idol or a pagan deity, which leads one away from the true religion of God and can end up in life snuffing issues, such the passing of children through fire as in the worship of Molech, but it is a whole other benign thing to do as the Bible actually says and shows many times and worship Jesus as God or pray to/towards/through the Holy Spirit. As the Bible and SOP stand on that issue, that ca not justly be a heretical, moreover “capital”, issue. So do focus on what actually “enrages” even Christ Himself (Matt 25:31-46; DA 825.4), and you’ll understand what that very/typological Judgement here is indeed all/“fully” about. (LDE 218.3-219.3)

            Succinctly debunked here, in regards to Mansour ‘Alpha/Omega Heresy includes Trinity Belief’ presentation here, it should be pointed out that:

(1) EGW is not the originator or definer of doctrine. The Bible is. She at best simply, and pointedly in direct revelation and derived statements, corroborates or furthers it. Thus only when she was actually directly shown something and already had a correct Biblical understanding on a topic. And that is fundamentally pivotal here as Mansour seems to be operating on the belief that everything EGW, (or worst, SDA Pioneers), said was (inherently) infallible and directly inspired/from God. That just was not “always” the case. Yet what EGW said may when properly studied out, not at all be contradictory to a Godhead/Trinity view....And her statement in 7ABC 441.9 in unequivocally quite clear in support of the Trinitarian understanding!
            (See links to SDA presentations on the Biblical validity of the Trinity Doctrine in here).

(2) In regards to the objecting claim (here [25:49-36:18]) that: 'EGW actually understood Jesus Christ Himself to be the Comforter', the Bible actually does exegetically say in John 14:16 that ‘the Holy Spirit would be “another Comforter” ‘of the same kind’ (Greek: allos; and not heteros) that Jesus had been. So no 'SOP vs. Bible' contradictory thought here. Jesus continued to manifest Himself to His disciples/followers through that other, exactly-similar Comforter, the Holy Spirit. (=John 14:7-10~John 16:7, 12-15). And, indeed as Jesus pointed out (John 16:12-15), that “exact similarity” is indeed crucial to understand because the Holy Spirit will then not come and influence or teach someone something different than what Jesus had taught. So that is how, indeed as with the seamless interrelationship between all three members of the Godhead, there is no ideological differentiation amongst them. So the Holy Spirit is indeed distinct for God the Son, yet, as Jesus did with the Father (e.g., John 16:15), He will only be expressing things which are similar to what Jesus had stated.

            For me, in my “experience” (cf. 1SM 25.4), it was quite confirming that, as related in here, just upon inceptively realizing that SDA’s were indeed acting in a spurious “jealous” manner, and all under believed staunch religious fervor, as described above, and that this was fundamentally hampering the progress of God’s work, that God confirmingly, fundamentally inclusively involved that theme//episode in that first vision, which there actually switch scenes before I could go even deeper into considering it, thus during the issue of that first abomination (Ezek 8:5-6) as if to say: ‘that itself should indeed be enough to grasp the true fallen state of the SDA Church’....And indeed it was, with the other abominations more precisely transparently seen and understood later.

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