The supernaturalization of the Temple Altar of Incense is the "pillar" of cloud and fire. Incense burning was part of the tabernacle and temple rituals for the Levite priests and wasn't to be considered a minor procedure. Ex 30:9- "You shall not offer strange incense.." The right kind of incense had to be used and at the proper time.
Aaron's first two sons, Nadab and Abihu offered profane incense fire to the Lord and the Lord devoured them with fire (Lev 10:1,2). In Jeremiah 1:16 the Lord utters His judgements against backsliders forsaking Him and burning "incense to other gods..." In Rev 8:3-5 one of the seven angels throws fire from a golden censer which starts the sounding of the seven trumpets.
Ezekiel's "wheels", the Merkabah Chariot, the supposed "alien spacecraft", as a supernaturalized temple incense cart:
Temple laver on wheels
"And this was the design of the carts (temple laver carts): They had panels, and the panels were between frames: on the panels that were between the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim. And on the frames was a pedestal on top. Below the lions and oxen were wreaths of plaited work. Every cart had four bronze wheels and axles of bronze, and its four feet had supports of cast bronze beside each wreath."..."The workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel; their axle pins, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all of cast bronze."
-I Kings 7:28-30, 33-
"As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man, each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle."
"Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their works was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their works was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel (the axles. When they went, they went toward any one of the four directions; they did not turn aside when they went. As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them. When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up."..."for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels."
In Solomon's Temple the mobile lavers were for the washing of animals offered for the burnt sacrifice. There was also a large laver called the "Sea".
Ezekiel's emphasizing the wheels in his vision symbolizes that the Spirit represented by the "living creatures", (the eagle added to symbolize the ability of flight for the Spirit, a motif found in pagan imagery, e.g. the wings of Isis which match those of Hebrew cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant and other Temple cult objects)* is not still; it's alive and moving, perhaps seeking revenge for the burnt offerings which, according to Isaiah 1:13 and Hosea 6:6, are futile sacrifices God does not want.* See Rev 12:14-17 in the Revelation Revealed chapter.
Biblical Symbolism in the New Testament
The story of The Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth, and the Adoration of Jesus as told by Luke's gospel were all depicted about 1700 BCE on the wall of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Amen at Luxor, built by Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
"The Three Kings or Wise Men from the east were known to the Egyptians ages before they are supposed to have followed a star to Bethlehem. On a clear evening in midwinter, looking eastward we see the most striking of all the constellations in the sky, the three stars in Orion's belt pointing to the east from where they came, as if announcing a marvel. Then the marvel comes. Sirius, the most brilliant in all the heavens, rises in the east in line with those three stars. To the Egyptians, it was the most important of all the stars; they regulated their calendars by its rising. At one period in Egypt, it reached its highest point at midnight on December 24. Astronomically speaking, the Three Kings had "seen his star in the East."
Pagan Symbolism in the Bible Signs of Paganism and hidden Goddess worship in the Bible
The Canaanite fertility goddess was at one time worshiped as Yahweh's consort. She was widely worshiped by the Hebrews, judging from OT references attesting to her worship, e.g., 1 Kings 16:3 2 Kings 13:6, 18:4, 21:7, 23:4, 6-7, 15.
The archaeologists found many pieces of pottery and fragments of wall plaster which have cultic motifs drawn on them or inscriptions, sometimes both. Some mention Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah.
Asherah stood in the Temple in Jerusalem. . . . An Asherah also stood in Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel and in Yahwehs temple in Bethel.
"A common Semitic word meaning owner, lord, husband. . . . Although the head of the Canaanite pantheon was El, Baal was the most important god because of his association with the storms that annually brought revival of vegetation and fertility. . . . By the ninth century BC, Baalism had deeply pervaded Israelite life. . . . Even Saul and David had sons with Baal names (1 Chron, 8:33, 14:7). . . . Opposition to Baalism was led by Israels prophets."
Moses with his Tablets of God follows the myth of the Mesopotamian Goddess in Her death and destruction aspect as Tiamat or Chaos in Her war with the lesser god Kingu who was appointed commander-in-chief in that symbolic war and wins the Tablets of Destiny, the blueprints for the Divine Plan, the order and power coming from heaven. Later, Marduk also wins his battle with Tiamat and takes the Tablets of Destiny from Kingu and fixes to his breast.
Another lesser Mesopotamian god, Nebo, meaning "Speaker of the God", was patron of writing and speech-making. The Hebrew word for prophet, "nabhi" stems from Nebo.
One of the Patriarchs of the Twelve Tribes of Israel was originally the national god of Assyria. "Asher" is a variant of the Iranian sun god name of Suryah who's distribution around the Middle East included Asar or Asir, the Egyptian god we know as Osiris.
"He who mounts the clouds" winning order from chaos, is reflected in Hebrew version in Psalm 68:4 "Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name Yah, and rejoice before Him."
The New Testament prophesies of the Second Coming of Jesus as the Son of Man has him also "coming with the clouds of heaven", like the Storm God, Baal. Baal was said to be a son of Dagon in the ancient Canaanite pantheon.
Yahweh too, started off as a lower god. Yahweh was said to be a son of EL in that same pantheon. Psalm 82 prophesizes what happens to sons of EL.
Baal and Yahweh, two Storm gods, were in fierce competition for second spot until Yahweh got the Lucifer bug and decided to go for EL's spot himself. Yahweh nearly succeeded even though the Holy One symbolically killed Yahweh through the crucifixion of Jesus who while being named after Yahweh, preached EL's compassion and wisdom.
Jesus had found his true heavenly Father in EL but Paul subverted Jesus and turned early Christianity back to Yahweh, the tribal god of the Jews. In our times the Holy One has resurrected the true origin of Yahweh as found in ancient Canaanite texts.
* The word "Tabernacle" means "bivouac of green branches" which was also what the "House of Baal" was called.
* Baal and Marduk's triumphs over Tiamat (or Rahab or Leviathan), Ishtar's destroying sea-creature, is celebrated in Isaiah 27:1, 51:9 and in Job 26:13.
* Moses' God parting the Red Sea and wiping out pagan Egyptians symbolizes the Hebrew patriarchal attack on the Goddess as do the plagues of Goddess totem animals like Hecate's (Heq in Egypt) sacred frogs. (Egyptians thought frogs-polliwogs in water symbolized fetuses and metamorphous of the soul.) Revelation 16:13' "three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon" continues the patriarchal attack on the the Triple Goddess.
* The Book of "Esther". The book symbolizes the adoption of Ishtar ("Esther" being the Hebrew version of Her name) and Marduk into Judaic theology. "Marduk" being the translation of "Morducai" in this Old Testament story where the Jews are miraculously saved by Esther's influence. The Jewish Purim festival commemorates this act of the Goddess in Hebrew disguise.
* Divination is considered idolatry in the Bible yet divination through oracle knucklebones as "Urim" and "Thummim" was part of Mosaic Law. (see Exodus 28:30 and Samuel 28:6)
* Baptism comes from the Mesopotamian religious mythology of Enki, a god of water, seas and rivers and, corresponding to Hermes and Thoth, a supreme god of wisdom and magic who had the power to impose or remove spells and curses.
* The Mesopotamian religion had a rite of sacrificing a sheep and throwing it into a river as a "scapegoat" for the sins of the people. The Jewish atonement ritual "Kippur" comes from the Akkadian word for this ritual "Kupparu".
* The Goddess' magic number 7 representing the seven planetary rulers and it's Judeo-Christian anti-Goddess reaction as the splitting of it in half is represented in many places in the Bible. The story of Joseph in Egypt preparing the Egyptians for surviving 7 years of drought and Elisha restoring the dead son of a Shunammite woman back to life which is followed by announcing a 7 year famine upon the land, (2 Kings 8:1) is the Hebrew version of the Mesopotamian myth of Ishtar sending Anu to bring a 7 year drought and famine in revenge for Gilgamesh spurning Her as a his lover. Ishtar threatens also to break down the gates to the underworld to release the dead to swallow up the living.
* The Hebrew Menorah has 7 branches ending in oil cups shaped like almond blossoms. Solomon's Temple also had almond blossom shaped cornices. Almonds were one of the Goddess' sacred fruits being yoni shaped and white inside, white symbolizing the Goddess as the Moon. (See more almond symbolism in the White Stone section in the Revelation Revealed pages. The Revelation Revealed pages also have more instances of Goddess images and icons showing up in Judeo-Christian form).
* The "42" months, 3 1/2 years, symbolism that shows up in Daniel and Revelation continues the Patriarchal war on pagan polytheism. Egypt had 42 named gods they worshipped. 2 female bears maul 42 youths who mocked Elisha.
Shamash is honored in the Jewish Hanukkah holiday."Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, and may occur from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash (Hebrew: "guard" or "servant") is also lit each night for the purpose of lighting the others, and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest."
Shamash or Šamaš was the common Akkadian name of the sun god and god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu.
Pagan origins of the Peter/rock story
From "The Chief Gods of Rome:"There were two gods of ancient Rome which were pre-eminently worshipped as PETER-gods. One was JU-PETER (Zeus-Peter). The other, says the Classical Manual, was JANUS, called PATER or PETER (see page 389). Sometimes these two gods are confused. But they are to be reckoned as distinct -- relative to Roman paganism of the First Century. The latter god, JANUS-PETER, had some interesting roles to play in the pagan religion at Rome. These roles answer the question: Who was the original Peter of Rome? Notice a brief history and some of the activities of this god. Plutarch in his life of Numa, gives us the identity of JANUS. Originally, according to Plutarch, Janus was an ancient prince who reigned in the infancy of the world. He brought men from a rude and savage life to a mild and rational system. HE was the first to build cities and the first to establish government over men. After his death he was deified. There can be no mistaking who this JANUS was! This title was just another of the many names of Nimrod. This ancient prince who was violently killed, was later deified by the pagan religions. Because of his high authority, he was called a PATOR or PETER. Here are some of the religious activities of which JANUS-PETER was in charge. It was JANUS-PETER who was pre-eminent in interpreting the times -- especially prophecy. "The past and the future was always present in his mind" (Classical Manual, pages 388 and 389). He was pictured as being double-faced. Plutarch said this was a symbol of his endeavor to change men from barbarism to civilization -- that is, bring them to the civilization of NIMROD. One of JANUS' roles, after his deification as a god, was the continuation of his sacred task of "civilizing" men. Janus-Peter Had "Keys": The PETER-god JANUS was to the ancient Romans the "KEEPER OF THE GATES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH." "HE IS REPRESENTED WITH A KEY IN ONE HAND . . . as emblematic of his presiding over GATES and highways." The pagan Romans were calling their JANUS a PETER hundreds of years before the birth of the Apostle Peter. It was this JANUS who was in charge of the "pearly gates"! The very word JANUS means "gates," that is, the one in charge of the GATES. The Classical Manual continues: "Ovid speaks of him [Janus] in the first book of his Fasti; his face is double to denote his equal empire over the heavens and the earth -- [does not the Pope claim the same power today?] -- and that all things are open and shut to him AT HIS WILL -- [he was infallible and answered to no one for his actions, so the Pope] -- that he governs the universe [Catholicum], and alone possesses the power of making the world revolve on its axis; THAT HE PRESIDES OVER THE GATES OF HEAVEN."
Catholics Claim the "Keys":
The Catholic Church claims Peter gave to it the keys of the gates of heaven and that no one will enter into God's presence unless that church opens the gates. The very word "Cardinal" means "hinge." The Cardinals of the Roman Church are the HINGES upon which the GATE -- the Pope -- is able to turn.
The Classical Manual continues: "the successions of day and night are regulated by his influence; and that the east and the west is at one moment open to his view." It was JANUS-PETER who also controlled the calendar by his priests. The first month of the year was named after him to show his control over the years. So, today, we still have JANU-ary as the first month. The Catholic Church, like the priests of Janus, feels it has this same authority over the calendar today."
Petra was a counterpart of Hades in Greek mythology. Petra held the Key to the Pearly Gates of Celestial Aphrodite who deposited semen in rocks as gemstones. The "Petras" stones were very much like the phallic Asherah stone pillars. And that is why "Peter" is a nickname for penis, for Pete's sake.
The Ten commandments prototype found within the Egyptian Book of Dead..
more to come...