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 Let those with ears to hear; hear. Let those with eyes to see; see

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frsmoke

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Join date : 2011-06-06
Location : USA

PostSubject: Let those with ears to hear; hear. Let those with eyes to see; see   Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:11 pm

I feel I should address, at least in passing, the first Reading at this morning's Mass. The Reading from 3 Kingdoms Chapter 18: vs. 20-40 in the Septuagint (1 Kings 18: 20-40 in the Masoretic Text) has special import for us today. Elijah the Prophet is clear he is the ONLY Prophet of God left on earth, He is facing 450 prophets (clergy) of Baal and 400 Prophets of the sacred groves opposing he who stood alone for the true God.

The people were undecided who was speaking the truth of God to them, either the way of Baal or the way taught by Elijah and the God of Elijah. These people were obviously not indifferent to truth, just didn't know how to deal with so many different statements from people all claiming to be the truth of God.
In Baal's corner was the advantage that the Priests of Baal were on every street corner, in every city and the Prophets and Priests of Baal were respected by everyone. The clergy of Baal were the 'official institution' of religion at that time. When ever there was a public function and a prayer was to be part of the program, it was a Priest of Baal who was called to give the invocation as that was the most respected.
We are talking about a great deal more here than two names for the same God, as this Baal was not the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob. He was a different God with attributes, attitudes functioning created in the mind of man. It is akin to the contrast between the true God and Allah. There was no god named Baal and there is no god named Allah. Both are figments of the imagination created by the devil. Allah is not another name for the true God.


This confrontation took place on the holy Mount, Mount Carmel in Israel. These people had been faithful Jews but lost their way. The Prophets who had made their way to MT. Carmel and lived there and prayed for the people are now gone. The Jews were still seeking God - they were sincere in their search as is obvious from the text - but they were divided. They were conflicted because the followers of Baal were so numerous and had reduced the Jewish religion to a fringe group. So much had the people abandoned the faith they were reduced to a handful of people who were outnumbered by the followers of Baal. The Rabbi were few and far between and the people were not sure who was telling the truth. Of all the Prophets, Elijah remained the last standing. The others died off, gave up or joined in with the popular followers of Baal.


Nothing succeeds like success so because the religion of Baal was so popular and had the acceptance of everybody and was the 'religion' of the power brokers it was in a position to step on and condemned those who would not agree with them and their presumed respectability would exempt them from harm.


When push came to shove, Elijah was the only Prophet of the true God left standing but that was enough.
Through him God worked the miracle to show He alone is the true God and the followers of Baal were false, misleading the people. As a result, Elijah ordered the Prophets of Baal to be slain for their sin against the dignity of the true God.


The lesson is size, might, wealth and social acceptance of a religious group does not indicate they are right or that what they teach is true. Through out history, larger religious groups have managed through intrigue and military force to eliminate a small group who actually was teaching the truth in opposition to what the larger group taught. The larger groups wanted the loyalty of nations to expand their power base and finances, to enhance their self proclaimed "right of Kings" and to rule with absolute, unquestioned authority in both spiritual matters and temporal matters, placing temporal rulers in submission to this great religious institution and it's leadership. All kinds of perversity and immorality was over looked and ignored because the 'institution" was considered holy.


The problem with truth is it just won't go away - it will be heard, even if only by the few. God will raise up men who will proclaim the truth of God's word so that the world can fall under the judgment with no defense that they didn't know. Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel found they were anointed of God to preach and teach the truth in opposition to the religious leaders who were teaching as dogma what is only human precepts. The Holy Spirit, through the Prophet Isaiah told the people their worship was unacceptable to God because they taught so much that was error and they had an agenda to enrich and expand their own authority rather than the authority of God. These great Prophets of God were rejected - they found none that would accept the truth but God told them that was fine because they did what God had appointed them to do - they told the people and so now the people will die in their sins.


Let those with ears to hear; hear. Let those with eyes to see; see
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