Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Satan's Great Deception
Did you know that ancient pagan beliefs and practices in many ways bore a striking resemblance to the beliefs and practices taught and followed by the Messiah and the apostles? This is the very reason for the most amazing and least realized fact of all, which is easily seen by reading through the New Testament, that the teachings and practices of Yeshua and the apostles in the original true Church are not the same as we see in today's churches! This CHANGE was due to the paradoxical fact of the astonishing resemblance between ancient pagan beliefs and those enunciated by the Messiah!
by Dr. C. Paul Meredith
Paganism Resembled Truth
The false often appears as true. It is made to resemble the genuine. Edward Carpenter, in Pagan and Christian Creeds, p. 25, says: "The similarity of ancient pagan legends and beliefs with Christian traditions was so great that they excited the attention and undisguised wrath of the early Christian...not knowing how to explain it, they fell back to the theory the devil, centuries before, caused the pagans to adopt certain beliefs and practices."
He also quotes Tertullian, one of the early church fathers living between A.D. 160 and 220, as saying, "The devil, by the mysteries of his idols, imitates even the main part of the divine mysteries." Furthermore he says, "Cortez, too, complained that the devil had possibly taught the Mexicans the same things that God taught Christiandom."
Since the practices of today's churches are not the same as the early true Church recorded in the New Testament, it is vital to know if there has been a purposeful mixing of the false practices of paganism with the true teachings of the Messiah, the apostles, and the Bible.
Many writers of history, including Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1, chap. 15, state that there has been a change brought about by great numbers of pagans flocking into the early Christian Church and mixing their similar pagan customs and beliefs with those of the true Church.
The important question, then, is this: As the churches are teaching beliefs and customs not commanded by YEHOVAH God and which, although similar, do not really lead to our placing ourselves as obedient servants to Him -- being ruled over by Him now so that we may be eligible to obtain eternal life -- it is vital that we know it, so that we may return from the counterfeit to the right way.
"Christian" Church Attitude
The churches today unwittingly, follow a great number of practices originating from ancient pagan Babylon -- practices which are entirely opposite to those which the Messiah and the apostles taught. It is important to notice the attitude toward Paganism of the churches which consider themselves completely Christian. The following excerpts from Edward Carpenter's Pagan and Christian Creeds, show this attitude: "The Christian Church has kept itself severely apart from discussions of heathenism, taking the stand that it, the church, represents a unique and divine revelation and has persuaded mankind of this to such a degree that few people nowadays realize that it has sprung from just the same root as paganism and that it shares by far the most part of its doctrines and rites with the latter" (pp. 11-12).
Notice today's churches have sprung from the same root as paganism!
"The common idea is that the pagan gods fled away at Christ's coming, yet it is well known to every student that this is contrary to fact. At the time of the recorded appearance of Jesus, and for some centuries before, there were temples without and dedicated to Apollo or Dionysius among the Greeks, or Hercules among the Romans, Mythra among the Persian, Baal and Astarte among the Babylonians, and temples dedicated to many other gods. An outstanding phenomenon is apparent: not withstanding great geographical distances, racial differences between cults and in detail of services, the general outline of creeds and ceremonials were -- if not identical -- markedly similar" (p. 19-21).
Not only were these pagan creeds and ceremonies, which had existed centuries before the Messiah's birth markedly similar to each other, but they were also similar to true Christianity -- a fact that cannot be considered accidental. As an example of this, of eleven main deities from seven countries, it was believed of all or nearly all that, "these deities' births were on or near Christmas, of a virgin mother, in a cave underground, that they led a life of toil for man. They were called light bringers, healers, mediators, and saviors. They were thought to have been vanquished by the powers of darkness, descended into hell or the underworld, to have arisen and become pioneers of mankind to a heavenly world...Krishna, the god of India is an outstanding parallel with the life of Christ" (p. 21-23).
Mr. Carpenter, the author of Pagan and Christian Creeds, says: "The idea of God sacrificing His Son for the salvation of the world is so remote and remarkable -- yet it ranges through all ancient religion and back to the earliest times and is embodied in their rituals" (p. 133). These unusual customs were so similar to the truth that they strongly suggest there must have been some guiding force behind them.
It is evident that with such marked similarities to true Christianity, as are shown by the eleven deities from seven countries, that one should approach this subject with an open mind to see if a fusion of paganism and true Christianity is present today.
In I Thessalonians 5:21, the Apostle tells us to "Prove all things: hold fast to that which is good." Jude 3 to 4 tell us to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares...ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." We are warned of a turning away from the truth of YEHOVAH God which was starting to occur even in the time of the apostles.
Consider for a moment!
Is it probable that the pagans who had methods of worship, seemingly near in form and belief to that of the Messiah and the apostles, would come into Christianity and completely discard their pagan practices which often contained very pleasurable things, for teachings that did not appeal to them as much, even though YEHOVAH God has commanded them? Of course not. Paul warned in II Thessalonians 2:7 "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." A mysterious perversion of the gospel had already started to work even in Paul's time! The pagans didn't give up their ideas!
But when was the very beginning of this mysterious force for evil? Its origin dates from the time when Lucifer was created by the Eternal God to rule the earth. He rebelled and became Satan the deceiver. We will now see how this came about.
How It All Began
YEHOVAH God, speaking to Lucifer, the archangel (who later became "Satan" after he had sinned) said in Isaiah 14:11-15, "Oh Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God."
Now notice Ezekiel 28:12-16, which speaks of the king of Tyre, the type of this same Lucifer spoken of above: "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God....Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so...Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee....I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire." There it is!
Lucifer, whom YEHOVAH created as an archangel to carry out His will and government, was given rule of the earth. But he was not content -- he wanted to exalt his throne above the stars of YEHOVAH God. He wanted to be YEHOVAH God! He ascended above the atmosphere to take YEHOVAH's place from Him, but Revelation 12:3-4, and Luke 10:18 show that YEHOVAH's angels met him and cast him down. Note Luke 10:18, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Lucifer the archangel, whom YEHOVAH God created, became Satan when he sinned. He is a deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9).
Satan Retains Rule By Deceiving
Satan, however, has been permitted to retain rule of the earth. Yeshua did not deny this, for Matthew 4:3-10 says, "The devil taketh Him (the Messiah)...and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world...and saith unto Him, all these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me." They were the devil's kingdoms to give -- he ruled over them. He rules over this earth! See also John 14:30 and 16:11. He was trying to bring the Messiah under his rule -- "worship me."
But notice something else very carefully here. It is the key to the understanding of the method by which Satan, through the organized churches, is deceiving the world today -- a key to the Mystery of Iniquity which was already working in the Churches in Paul's time (II Thessalonians. 2:7). In Matthew 4:6 Satan says to the Messiah, "If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee." YEHOVAH promises to aid those who find themselves in hazardous circumstances not of their own making, but He does not say He will protect those who deliberately place themselves in such circumstances in order to convince others. But the Messiah replies in verse 7, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
Notice, Satan suggested an improper action for the Messiah -- an act of disobedience to YEHOVAH God -- by twisting YEHOVAH's word to convince the Messiah it was the proper thing to do. Yeshua corrected him. Had the Messiah done as Satan suggested, he would have obeyed Satan -- been ruled by Satan. So also today, Satan retains rule over individuals by having his agents misinterpret the Bible and otherwise suggesting false methods of self-justification to the individual for his own evil acts.
Eve was tempted by Satan in the same manner as the Messiah: Satan suggested an act contrary to YEHOVAH's command, then twisted YEHOVAH's word to make it appear the right thing to do. YEHOVAH said in Genesis 2:17, "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." But the Devil twisted this. He said, "Ye shall not surely die...ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:4-5).
Eve desired (lusted after) the fruit of this tree and obeyed Satan rather than YEHOVAH God -- he deceived her into doing it. Adam knowingly followed his wife's suggestion and obeyed her.
Thus mankind came under Satan's rule. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness" (Romans 6:16). Had they obeyed YEHOVAH God they could of ruled the earth.
Adam and Eve, for their disobedience, were driven from the garden of Eden where the tree of life was located (Genesis 2:9). They could have eaten and obtained eternal life, but were prevented by cherubim from returning (Genesis 3:24). Their chance of obtaining eternal life at the time was gone -- they had sinned, disobeyed YEHOVAH God -- they would not come under His rule; therefore He would not give them the opportunity of obtaining it. They sinned by transgressing YEHOVAH's laws which were in the world from the beginning, for I John 3:4 says, "Sin is the transgression of the law," and Romans 3:23 says, "All" -- including Adam and Eve -- "have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Opportunity of Salvation Revealed to Adam and Eve
A merciful God, He immediately revealed to Adam and Eve that one was to come who would again make it possible for mankind to have the opportunity of obtaining eternal life; for YEHOVAH God said to Satan (Genesis 3:15), "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel."
A male offspring of a man and a woman (the Messiah) was going to make it possible once again for mankind to come under YEHOVAH's rule and obtain eternal life. Proof of this is in verse 20 of the same chapter. Adam named his wife "Eve" which means, according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, "life giver." Both Adam and Eve shared equally in the giving of mortal life to their offspring. This is the first reference given by the Bible to the coming of the Messiah as Savior.
It was by faith and obedience that Enoch (Hebrews 11:5), David (Ezekiel 34:23), Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Matthew 8:11), all living in Old Testament times, understood the hope of salvation, and will rise to meet the Messiah at his coming (I Thessalonians 4:16). They obeyed YEHOVAH God -- came under His government -- (Enoch "walked with God" -- Genesis 5:24), and looked forward by faith to the Savior who should come -- just as we, today, should look backward and believe Him. YEHOVAH spoke to Abraham (Genesis 22:18) of the coming Seed (the Messiah). The few being called then obtained "a good report through faith" by the same method as we today: they repented of disobedience and believed that the blood of the Savior would pay the debt of their past sins!
This knowledge by which mankind could have faith in a Savior AND, like Enoch, be translated or transferred from Satan's rule (or "from the power of darkness") to YEHOVAH's rule (Colossians 1:13 and Hebrews 11:5) and ultimate eternal life, must be blotted out by all means if Satan was to retain rule of mankind on this earth.
Pagans Knew of Adam and Eve's Disobedience
There is evidence that the Pagans not only knew of the disobedience of Adam and Eve and that this disobedience was punishable by death, but also of the subsequent offering of Salvation again. Paul wrote in Romans 1:32 that the heathen sinned even though they knew "the judgment of God, that they which commit these things are worthy of death."
Hislop's The Two Babylons, pages 322, 323, says that one of the names of Eve, worshipped in ancient Babylon as a primeval goddess, was "Thalatth" which signifies "the rib" or "a side." It comes from the verb Thalaa which signifies "to turn aside." Adam turned aside from obeying YEHOVAH God because he took Eve who was made of a rib. It is in memory of Adam's turning aside from the right way that the pagan priests of Baal supplicated their god to hear them (I Kings 18:26) by limping (turning aside) at the altar, for "limping" is the exact meaning of the Hebrew word rendered "leaped." This, he states, is also the origin of Vulcan's lameness; for their pagan god Vulcan, as "Father of the gods," needed to be identified with Adam as well as Nimrod. The Pagans knew that this limping or turning aside implied death -- eternal death.
Pagans Knew of Promise of Eternal Life
But just as the pagans originally knew of the penalty of death for sin, so they also knew of the promise of life eternal. While at the spring festival of Cybele and Attes (other pagan gods which were the types of Adam and Eve in mythology) there was great lamentation for the death of Attes, so on the Hilaria or rejoicing festival of the 25th of March, in honor of Cybele the mother of the Babylonian Messiah, mourning was turned to joy, on the occasion of the dead god being restored to life again.
So we see how Lucifer, placed on earth to carry out YEHOVAH's rule, wanted, instead, to take YEHOVAH's place, but was cast down to earth and became Satan -- the adversary. Also we have seen how Satan twisted the word of YEHOVAH God by presenting to our first parents a counterfeit way which appeared as the TRUTH.
From this point on to the flood, the records prove that the Devil was very active in deceiving mankind. The earth became full of sin. "All flesh had corrupted His way upon the earth" (Genesis 6:12). This brought on the flood to show us the terrible results of disobedience.
Did Satan cease to deceive after the flood? No! Nimrod, under Satan's influence, founded the apostasy after the flood, and his wife Semiramis introduced the Mystery of Iniquity (II Thessalonians 2:7) which deceives the world today!
Nimrod Starts Apostasy After Flood
Noah and the seven people with him had survived the flood -- the great punishment on the inhabitants of the land for their disobedience to YEHOVAH's commands. Was there anyone who could keep the survivors in remembrance of obedience to YEHOVAH God? Yes, for II Peter 2:4-5 says, "God...saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness." Psalm 119:172 says, "All Thy commandments are righteousness." Righteousness is obedience. Noah preached obedience to YEHOVAH God. Noah was a preacher of obedience and through him the other seven were kept in remembrance of obedience to YEHOVAH God.
Everyone on earth after the flood knew of YEHOVAH God and why He had drowned the wicked. They feared to do evil -- at first. That they had lived under YEHOVAH's rule for some time is admitted by the ancients. "For many ages men lived under the government of Jove (YEHOVAH God) without cities and without laws, and all speaking one language...Then discord began" (Hyginnius, p. 114).
This group, composed of the only people in the land (for the others had all been destroyed by the great flood) began migrating from the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4) where the ark had landed: "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there" (Genesis 11:1-2). These people now known as Sumerians (Miller's Ancient History in Bible Light , p. 51), pushing through the mountains of the east, came upon a prodigiously fertile plain built up by the deposits of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers. This land of Shinar is now known as ancient Babylonia (Breasted's Ancient Times, p. 107). Here was a land that would produce all they desired in abundance.
Did these people continue to live happily and peacefully under YEHOVAH's rule, or did they, like Adam and Eve, disobey YEHOVAH God and bring trouble upon themselves? The land was productive, but the wild animals were multiplying faster than the people, due to the destruction of the former civilization by the great flood. Because of their primitive weapons, there was a great danger to life and possessions (Exodus 23:28-29). What could be done about it?
Nimrod, the son of Cush, was a large, powerfully-built black man who developed into a great hunter. It was he who gathered the people together and organized them to fight the wild ferocious beasts: "He was a mighty hunter before the Eternal" (Genesis 10:8-9). In other words, the name of Nimrod was known everywhere for his might. He emancipated the people of the land after the flood from their fear of the wild animals. His prestige grew. He became the leader in worldly affairs. He was ambitious.
Cush and Nimrod Build First City -- Babylon
There was a better way to protect the people from the wild animals that roamed the land than by constantly fighting them. Nimrod built a city of houses and surrounded this city with a high wall and gathered the people within. Thus the people were protected and Nimrod was able to rule over them. This arrangement was agreeable to the people, for "They said...let us build us a city and make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad" (Genesis 11:4).
The people not only protected themselves from the wild animals by building a walled city but also established authority of their own -- "let us make us a name." This was to be a central place of mankind's authority -- the necessity of their obedience to YEHOVAH God was not going to be recognized! Nimrod was their leader. Also they built a tower whose top was to "reach unto heaven." With a tower this high they could do as they wished -- disobey YEHOVAH God and still be safe from His punishment which had drowned the inhabitants of the land before. This was mankind's first act of open rebellion against YEHOVAH God after the flood -- they thought they had placed themselves out of YEHOVAH's reach if they wished to disobey Him. They, like Satan, thought that if they could "ascend above the heights of the clouds," they could "be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:14). Cush, Nimrod's father, also had much to do with the building of this tower and city (Hislop, p. 26).
Then it was that Nimrod "began to be a mighty one" and a "mighty hunter before the Eternal" in a ruling sense (the Hebrew word for "mighty" is "gibbor" which means "tyrant," Strong's Concordance). Nimrod became a tyrant over the people. He made the laws. Not only that but he was "mighty...before the Eternal" (The Hebrew word "paniym" translated "before" here, should be translated "against" -- Strong's Concordance. The Bible says Nimrod was against YEHOVAH God! Conspiracy and sedition were carried on by him (Epiphanius, Book i vol. i p. 7).
Nimrod kept growing in power, but the inborn desire of the people to worship him must be satisfied. Nimrod and his followers had turned against the true God. They wanted to glorify YEHOVAH God in their own way! They "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like...creeping things" (Romans 1:23) -- the snake, and other things YEHOVAH had created. (They should have worshipped YEHOVAH God in spirit and in truth and not through idols, John 4:24, Exodus 20:4-5.) With the civil power he wielded, Nimrod set himself up as the priest of the things worshipped by the people, to obtain a still stronger hold on them, and gradually put himself in place of the true God.
Nimrod Becomes Priest of Serpent-Sun Worshippers
Mankind immediately after the flood knew YEHOVAH God, but they did not like His laws -- they did not like to be obedient to Him. Their carnal minds rebelled.
To whom did they turn to worship in His place? They remembered the Serpent of the Garden of Eden (man's adversary) -- they would honor it, for had it not been through it that they had obtained the knowledge of good and evil? The Serpent had not commanded them to do anything. So it came about that the Serpent (Satan) was ultimately worshipped as the Enlightener of mankind (they were deceived!).
The sun, too, became a favorite object of worship because of the light and heat that it gives.
This being the case, the two enlighteners became associated together, for just as the Serpent was considered to be the Enlightener of the spiritual world, so also was the Sun the Enlightener of the physical world. Thus it came about that one of the commonest symbols of the sun or sun-god is a disc with a serpent around it (Bunsen's Hieroglyphics, vol. i, p. 497). Moreover the Serpent is universally the symbol of the sun (Davies' Druids, p. 437).
Now we're beginning to understand why it is that sun-worship is Devil-worship! Satan, by deceptively inspiring mankind, was associating himself with objects mankind tended to worship in such a way to receive the worship himself! Mankind, at this earliest date, knowing YEHOVAH God, did not like YEHOVAH's laws so they created gods of their own and ascribed to them laws which better suited their own desires.
This is the time referred to by Paul when, speaking to the Romans he said, "When they knew God, they...changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things...and worshipped...the creature (thing created) more than the Creator" (Romans 1:21-25).
The people then were worshipping the creeping things -- the snake, and the created thing -- the sun! To prevent the worship of the sun, the Eternal's original name for it was "shemesh" which means servant , but mankind later changed this name to Baal which means "the Lord" (Johann Clericus, Book ii. p. 199 and Vaux, p. 8). Fire, giving off light, was regarded by those after the flood as the earthly representative of the sun. It is said that Nimrod himself commenced the worshipping of fire or fire-worship (Johann Clericus, Book ii, p. 199).
Do you remember the great red (fiery) "dragon" of Revelation 12:3? The dragon is identified as a serpent in verse 14 and is further identified as the Devil and Satan in verse 9. Here, symbolically, we see the Sun, the great Fire God, identified with the Serpent or Satan! The sun then, becomes the symbol of the Devil himself! The Bible says so!
These, then, were the false beliefs into which the people in Nimrod's time, who did not wish to worship the True God, were being led. They were Sun-Fire-Worshippers. These were the beliefs Nimrod championed and which made him more powerful than ever. He became the priest of the Sun-god or Bol-Kahn, which means Priest of Baal. He did not claim to be the Sun-god himself but did spread the worship of this Pagan deity. He, being thus the priest of the devouring fire to which human victims were offered, and especially children, was regarded as a great child devourer. He became therefore the priest of Devil worship!
(Only after his violent death was he set up as though he had been an immortal deity.)
World Cheated Out of Real Happiness
Just as Nimrod had emancipated the people from the fear of the wild beasts, so also, he emancipated them from the fear of the Eternal which is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10) and in whose laws alone can true happiness be found.
He was the "mighty one," the acknowledged leader of the "great ones" or "giants" who, in their great apostasy, rebelled against heaven. He led those on earth to believe a real spiritual change of heart was unnecessary. Drunken and sexual orgies went hand in hand with his expansion of power. It is evident that he led mankind to seek their chief good in sensual enjoyment and showed them how they might enjoy the pleasures of sin without any fear of wrath of a Holy God. In his various expeditions he was always accompanied by troops of women, and by music and song, games and revelries, and everything that could please the natural heart and endear himself to the good graces of mankind (The Two Babylons, p. 55).
"There is ample reason to believe that in his own day he was the object of high popularity. Though by setting up as a king...he invaded the liberties of mankind, yet he was held to have conferred benefits...that amply indemnified them for the loss of their liberties, and covered him with glory and renown" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 50).
In the carnal mind of man (Romans 7:14) the Babylonian system was not so bad -- it had brought a measure of happiness, they thought; but what did YEHOVAH God do -- YEHOVAH God who knew the full measure of happiness mankind could have by obeying His laws? Was He going to allow man to destroy himself with his own sins before he had enough time to learn his lesson that sin does not bring happiness? (Romans 6:23).
Confusion of Tongues
"The Eternal came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men builded. And the Eternal said, Behold, the people is one,...and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do...let us go down and confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Eternal scattered them...upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Eternal did there confound the language...and...did scatter them abroad" (Genesis 11:5-9).
The word "Babel" means "confusion." YEHOVAH confused the language of this place and the city was named for that event. He did not destroy it but He did slow down its growth so that man would have time to learn the error of trying to rule himself. Thus by giving various groups of people various languages, He caused these groups to separate. This was the beginning of the nations as we know them today: the confusion of the tongues divided them "after their nations" (Genesis 10:5,20,31). The people of Babylon started to migrate outward from that point from that time. Each group took its idolatrous Sun-Fire-Serpent worship with them and its memory of Babylon and Nimrod.
Did this blow to Nimrod's plans stop him in his conquest for power? No, it made conditions more difficult and his rule less close-knit, but with increased zeal he extended his power: he did more construction work on the city of Babel. For the protection of three of the larger groups of people who had dispersed, he built the cities of Erech, Accad, and Calneh, and these thereby came under his rule. These cities (Genesis 10:10) comprised the beginning of his empire which was later to expand and cover the known world of that time. From thence he extended his control over much of the land that YEHOVAH God had designed for Shem (Exodus 23:31).
It was by such means as this, that Nimrod became, "a mighty one in the earth" (Genesis 10:8). He "set the world on fire," it was said.
Bryant, Vol. ii, p. 377, says that Nimrod conquered all nations as far as Lybia. This indicates that all the area from Babylon to Lybia was under his sway; thereby including Egypt also. This was a large part of the populated world at that time. Upon these his religion and government were imposed. Nimrod, then, was the first to form an army, civil, economic, political, and social systems. He set the pattern of laws to govern these, but in all this he did not include YEHOVAH God, for he turned the people to worship Satan.
Shem Slays Nimrod
But what of Noah, the preacher of righteousness? Did everyone join Cush and Nimrod in their apostasy against YEHOVAH God, or did Noah stand firm and gather some followers on his side?
Yes, Noah, the preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5) did stand fast and gained a staunch supporter in his son, Shem. While Nimrod was expanding his kingdom so rapidly there was opposition from Shem, the representative of Noah, the great enlightener of the world (Hislop's The Two Babylons p. 316-317). Nimrod became the representative for the forces of evil in opposing Shem who took over the position of Noah, the preacher of righteousness.
With the aggressive Nimrod expanding his government and religion to include all people in the small world of that time, the two groups were bound to come into conflict. How did the conflict resolve itself?
"Ancient traditions relate that the apostates who joined in the rebellion of Nimrod made war upon the faithful among the sons of Noah [Shem and his followers]. Power and numbers were on the side of the fire-worshippers. But on the side of the faithful was the power of God's spirit. Therefore many were convicted in their sin, and arrested in their evil career; and victory declared for the saints. The power of Nimrod came to an end, and with it, for a time, the worship of the sun, and the fiery serpent associated with it" (Hislop, p. 232).
Shem, a very eloquent person, is said to have obtained the aid of a group of Egyptians to overcome Nimrod. Nimrod fled to Rome where he was slain. Then Nimrod's dead body was cut into pieces, burnt, and the pieces sent as a warning to various areas against such evil apostatizing (Hislop, p. 63).
Was this terrible apostasy against YEHOVAH God stopped for all time with Nimrod's death? Who was there as capable as he to carry it on? The carnal nature of mankind was willing to continue the apostasy but they needed a leader! Certainly if a flood that drowned all but eight people in the land would not stop them, Shem and a few other men could not!
Would Satan allow this worldwide system, which he built up so he could secretly receive the worship of the earth, to crumble? We shall now find the answer!
Semiramis Expands Apostasy
The death of Nimrod seemingly halted the counterfeit pagan worship which he started. The Egyptians hold that Nimrod's dead body was cut into pieces. It was sent to many cities throughout the country as a stern warning as what would happen to others who might desire to apostatize (Wilkinson's Egyptians, Vol. V, p. 17).
A similar example of this practice is even recorded in the Bible. The dead body of the Levite's concubine was cut into pieces and a part was sent to each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Judges 19:29). Another example is recorded in I Samuel 11:7. It was not an unusual practice.
This warning against paganism had a marked effect on would-be apostates. If one as powerful as Nimrod could be slain and disposed of in such a terrible manner, the people rightly reasoned that the same fate would happen to them if it were known that they were adoring and serving forbidden objects -- idols. THE PEOPLE WERE AFRAID TO WORSHIP THESE OBJECTS ALTHOUGH THEY DESIRED TO DO SO! If they were to continue to worship these same forbidden pagan idols, there was only one way which it could be done. And that was for someone to initiate a system whereby the forbidden things of worship were represented by something else.
This system became known as the ancient "Mysteries."
Thus the ones initiated into the "Mysteries" would know that they in reality were worshipping the forbidden SUN or SERPENT when they worshipped these new symbols, but the outsider would not know. IT WOULD BE A "MYSTERY" TO HIM!
Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 66, declares: "In these circumstances, then, began...that system of "Mystery" which, having Babylon for its centre, has spread over the world."
Let us now see how this MYSTERY system actually did come into being and who created it and for what purpose! THE WORLD'S RELIGIONS TODAY -- INCLUDING CHRISTIANITY -- ARE DECEIVED BY THIS VERY SAME SYSTEM! How did this come about?
HERE IS THE ANSWER. At first it was explained to the worshipper what he was actually worshipping when he worshipped various symbols, many of which are widely adored in the professing "Christian" world today! But as time went by this practice was dropped. The people continued to worship the same symbols because of custom. But they didn't know then, nor do people know now, just WHAT is actually being worshipped!
Semiramis Initiates the System
Nimrod had been a man of unbounded ambition, but the ambition of his wife, Semiramis -- the future "Queen of Heaven" (Jeremiah 7:18) -- exceeded even his. Nimrod, her husband, had become the greatest and most powerful figure in the world. He was dead. She clearly saw that if she were to continue to have the great position and power which she had exercised by being the ambitious wife of the most powerful man on the earth, something must be done to assure continuance of her power.
Nimrod's kingdom, which consisted of most of the populated world of that time, had fallen to her. Much of Nimrod's power had come from his having set himself up as the human representation of the Sun-God. She must retain this world rule by any and all means. The religious control which had given so much power to her husband must be used by her also if she were to retain the maximum hold on her subjects. She, by way of Noah, the preacher of righteousness, had heard of the woman's prophesied seed who was to come and through whom mankind might obtain eternal life. This gave her a daring idea.
"Though the death of her husband has given a rude shock to her power, yet her resolution and unbounded ambition were in no wise checked. On the contrary, her ambition took a higher flight. In life her husband had been honored as a hero; in death she will have him worshipped as a god, yea, as the woman's promised Seed...who was destined to bruise the serpent's head and who, in doing so, was to have His own heel bruised. The patriarchs, and ancient world in general, were perfectly acquainted with the grand primeval promise of Eden. They knew right well that the bruising of the heel of the promised seed implied His death and that the curse could be removed from the world only by the death of the grand Deliverer" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, pp. 58-60).
Nimrod and Semiramis Become Gods
Here, then, was a perfect circumstance which Semiramis could use to perpetuate and even greatly augment her power!
The world had been told of the arising of a Deliverer whose death would redeem them from eternal death. The world was awaiting such an event. They also believed that this deliverer would go about doing good deeds before his death. Nimrod, her husband, the most powerful man on the earth in his day, had been considered a benefactor, as we have seen.
She would combine or fuse the Sun-Serpent worship which her dead husband had furthered, with the teachings of the Eternal God concerning a coming Savior of mankind. She planned to make her dead husband, Nimrod, this Savior, and thus procure for herself power over her subjects by posing as the mother of a supernaturally conceived and reborn Nimrod. A factor of great aid to Semiramis was the popularity of Nimrod and the desire of the people to keep him in their memory.
When the news first spread abroad concerning the violent death of this mighty man, cut off in the midst of his career, it was a great shock and loud were the wails everywhere. Nimrod at the time of his death was well and favorably known by the little groups which had been formed after YEHOVAH God confused their various languages at the Tower of Babel. They later formed the large nations of the earth as we know them today by gradually migrating outward to far distant areas after Semiramis' time. Nimrod's popularity is shown by the fact that hundreds of years later these nations still lamented the violent death of their hero -- Nimrod or Tammuz.
Japan, China, India, Scandinavia, and Iceland each have their own gods in whose life this event occurred, and each weeps for these at the proper time. In ancient Iceland and throughout Scandinavia, the idea of the weeping was that if everyone on earth would weep for their dead god Balder [Nimrod] he would be restored to life. This practice is still found today in the Lent season.
The central theme of the whole idolatry in Egypt was the violent death of Nimrod or Osiris (the Egyptian god representing Nimrod). As the women of Egypt wept for Osiris and the Phoenicians and Assyrians for Tammuz -- their name for Nimrod -- so in Greece and Rome the women wept for Bacchus, whose name means "The Bewailed," or "Lamented one." Japan, China, India, Scandinavia, and Ireland each had their "Lamented One," for which they bewailed annually (Hislop, pp. 55-57).
In these Bacchanal lamentations, a spotted fawn was used to represent Bacchus (the Grecian name for Nimrod). At certain stages in the mystical celebrations, the fawn was torn in pieces, thus expressing what happened to Bacchus (Nimrod or Tammuz). Remember Nimrod was cut in pieces. THE WAY of disobedience to YEHOVAH God is very popular with mankind! Even the Israelites in their time wept for the death of Tammuz: "There sat women weeping for Tammuz" (Ezekiel 8:14). So we see that in life the people of the early earth had looked upon Nimrod almost as though he were a god. In death Semiramis would make him the savior of mankind!
The False Messiah
Her plan was aided by her own great beauty. Her beauty is said to have once quelled a rising rebellion among her subjects on her sudden appearance among them (Valerius Maximus, lib. ix, chap. 3, p. 2). "The scheme, thus skillfully formed, took effect. Semiramis gained glory from her dead and deified husband; and in the course of time, both of them under the names of Rhea and Nin, or 'Goddess-mother and Son', were worshipped with an enthusiasm that was incredible and their images were everywhere set and adored. Whenever the negro aspect of Nimrod was...an obstacle...all that was needful was to teach that Ninus [Nimrod] had reappeared in the person of a posthumous son, of a fair complexion, supernaturally borne by a widowed wife" -- herself (Hislop, p. 69). For this purpose she used one of many illegitimate children. She was fair complexioned and had many of these.
Nimrod was said to have been the first that invented magic arts. He used tricks of magic to impress his converts (Justinius Historia, lib. i, Vol. ii, p. 615). After Nimrod's death, tricks of magic and deceptions were used by Semiramis to impress the converts to her system of Mystery with the power of these imaginary gods which she had concocted.
She first deified Nimrod, then herself, and their son and, due to opposition, gave them secret forms known only to the initiated, and these were worshipped. These, then, were the Mysteries. Those on the outside of these new religious practices could not see that these new practices of worshipping these symbols such as a calf or a tree, were actually the same as the worship of Nimrod or Semiramis who represented the Sun and Serpent (Satan) and were actually the worship of the same things which Shem had suppressed -- Sun-Serpent worship!
Those who wished to be initiated into these Mysteries in Semiramis' time had to have the meaning explained to them before they could understand them. The title of the priest who explained these Mysteries to the initiated was called "Peter" in primitive Chaldee, the real language of the Mysteries. This means "Interpreter" (Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon, p. 602). It was one of these interpreters or "Peters," who was in Pagan Rome long before the Messiah. He was confused with Peter the apostle of the Messiah in his time.
Kings of the Earth Spread Mystery System
Using every means within her power, ambitious Semiramis left no stone unturned to advance this Pagan religious system of mystery which she had formulated. By doing so, she, as the head of this system, strengthened her hold over her subjects. Petty kings had arisen over small groups of people having different languages -- the beginnings of the nations of the earth. These groups had resulted by YEHOVAH's giving to them different languages in order to confuse them and thereby stop their building of the city and tower of Babylon (Genesis 11:7-9).
When as one group with one language, they had established at Babel, or Babylon, a central place of authority of their own, so they could rule in YEHOVAH's stead. Then YEHOVAH God divided them "after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations" (Genesis 10:20). Never could they establish their own authority over the peoples of the earth so easily if they spoke different languages.
For many of these kings, Nimrod, when he had been alive, built cities or towns as we have seen (both he and Semiramis were given titles as builders after they were deified). These kings he controlled. The other kings of the earth were subservient to him because of his great conquests. How did Semiramis use these kings to further her own ambition when this great empire fell to her because of her husband's death?
The Bible tells us! Semiramis or Isis was the original fallen woman that the Bible describes in Revelation 17:1-2: "I will show thee...the great whore that sitteth upon many waters (nations): with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (her character in regard to fornication was well known). In return, the kings in Nimrod's days furthered her self-conceived system of religion -- the religious Mystery system spoken of in Revelation 17:5 -- the system formed by the fusion of the true teachings of the Eternal God with the teachings of Semiramis concerning her self-conceived religion. She, the head of this counterfeit of the true Church of YEHOVAH God, gave herself sexually to these kings or civil rulers of the earth of her time in order to saddle her own counterfeit system of Satan-inspired religion onto the nations of the earth.
No wonder Revelation 17 uses the symbol of that fallen woman to represent today's great unholy church! Revelation 17 is prophetic -- it is dual -- these same words tell of the arising in strength of this same system of Semiramis in our day, furthered by another woman (symbol of a church) which will unite with the civil kings or rulers of the earth to force her religion (including the "mark of the beast") upon the earth of our time!
No wonder this counterfeit religion of Semiramis, impressed upon the nations of the earth in their beginnings, was carried by them to the farthest places of this globe as they migrated outward from this central point!
So here we have a religion set up over 2000 years before the Messiah which was calculatedly patterned on the future coming of the Messiah! No wonder there were so many similarities to the real Messiah and his teachings when he came 2000 years later!
We read in Acts 4:11-12 that the only way to salvation is by the Messiah -- Yeshua, yet here we will find one who has recommended similar -- though counterfeit -- ways -- one who originally claimed falsely to be the Messiah -- whose teachings have deceived the whole world.
Here was a man who was killed for the supposed good he had accomplished, just as the Messiah would be later; this man was also declared to be "resurrected"; he was born of human parents and he became a son of YEHOVAH God through a resurrection. Did he also offer claim to eternal life to his followers? We will see that he did!
Nimrod-Worship Widespread Under Other Names
We have already seen how Nimrod, after his death, was said by Semiramis to have been reborn in the form of her illegitimate child Nin or Horus. That the child (Semiramis' counterfeit of the coming Savior) who was worshipped in the various countries was really one person -- Nimrod, there is much evidence. An examination of the legends and characteristics assigned to those gods by their worshippers show these coincide with the characteristics of Nimrod and the events of his life. (Now as we proceed, please recall that Nimrod was not only deified by Semiramis and worshipped after his death, but also, in her Mysteries, she said he was "reborn" as her fair-skinned child.)
Egyptian tradition shows that their god Osiris (Nimrod) was black. (Plutarch's De Isid, et. Os., vol. ii, p. 359.) This is a land where the color of the population is only slightly dusky. This then clearly shows that the man they worshipped was not of their own nationality.
This negro-featured Osiris was clothed from head to foot in a spotted dress, the upper part being a leopard's skin (spotted) and the lower part a spotted dress (Bunsen, vol. i, p. 425). The name Nimrod means "subduer of the leopard" -- from Nimr, a "leopard," and rod "to subdue." This name seems to imply that as Nimrod had gained fame by subduing the horse, he had also subdued the leopard and used it in hunting (Hislop, p. 44). In India hunting with leopards has been a custom (Wilkinson, v. iii, p. 17). Persian legends show that Hosang (Cush) the father of Tahmurs (Nimrod) who built Babylon, was the "first who bred dogs and leopards for hunting." (Sir William Jones' Works, vol. iv, p. 341,353). The Egyptian high priest's robe of office was the leopard's skin. Here, then, the leopard skin, was the common covering for the main deity in these two countries!
Nimrod, by the same spotted covering, is identified as being the god Bacchus of the Greeks. Leopards were employed to draw Bacchus' chariot, he was represented as attired in leopard's skins, and his priests were attired in the same manner or with the spotted skin of a fawn. This latter seems to have come from Assyria (Vaux's Nineveh, chap. viii, p. 233) -- indications again of the principal gods being covered with leopard's skins in two countries. The similarity to one man -- Nimrod -- is marked!
Recall that in Babylon, after Nimrod was slain by Shem's followers, Semiramis used secret or mysterious symbols to represent him so that he could be worshipped through these symbols as a god. In Greece, to secretly or mysteriously show that Nimrod and their god Bacchus were the same, Bacchus was symbolized as a spotted fawn. The rites of the Egyptian Osiris and the Grecian Bacchus are the same, and those of the Egyptian Isis (Semiramis) and Ceres (the Grecian Semiramis) exactly resemble each other (Bibliotheca, lib. i, p. 9).
In Egypt, Osiris, as we recall, was mystically represented as a young bull or calf -- the calf Apis -- "Apis," being only another name for Saturn, "the Hidden one." The name Apis in Egyptian is Hopi, evidently from the Chaldee (Babylonian) word "Hop" -- "to cover" (Bunsen, vol. i, vocab., p. 462). Other evidence is overwhelming that Semiramis had made her dead husband the great god of the world of that day.
Mankind was deifying himself by causing others to worship him. Here is a very important subject that should be studied.
"Ye Shall Be As Gods"
A factor that aided Semiramis in her deification of Nimrod after his death was the way in which statues were made of the mighty men of renown of that time. As the first of the "mighty ones" on the earth after the flood, Nimrod was symbolized as a bull. But there was yet another way by which his power was shown. Hislop, on pages 37, 38, and 39, says that a synonym for Gheber, which means "the mighty one," was Abir. But Aber signified a "wing."
Hislop continues, "Nimrod, as Head and Captain of those men of war...who were instruments of establishing his power, was Baal-aberin 'Lord of the mighty ones'. But 'Baal-abirin' signified 'The winged ones'. Therefore he was represented as a...winged bull -- showing not merely that he was mighty himself, but that he had...ones under his command who were ever ready to carry out his commands...this...alone explains the remarkable statement of Aristophanes, that at the beginning of the world 'the birds' were first created, and then, after their creation, came the 'race of the blessed immortal gods'...Let it be borne in mind that 'the birds', that is; the 'winged ones' -- symbolized 'the Lords of the mighty ones', and the meaning is clear...that men first began to be mighty on the earth, and then, that the 'Lords' or leaders of these 'mighty ones' were deified."
Nimrod was unquestionably the first of those deified after the flood. He became the "father of the gods" -- the first of any "mighty ones" who might be deified after him. The same general method applied to Semiramis -- she became the "mother of the gods."
Characteristics of the Babylonian System
Why has YEHOVAH God objected all through the Bible to mankind following the Babylonish system? Let us examine closely Nimrod's way of rule and find why YEHOVAH God would object. The characteristics of the Babylonish system of rule as represented by Nimrod's world-empire are: "rejection of God, denial of His right to rule, refusal to acknowledge man's dependence upon God for power or happiness, determination to deprive...God of the gratitude and allegiance of men, thirst for domination apart from God over this world, the exaltation of man to the place of Deity."
"These are characteristics which belonged in supreme degree to Satan, the arch enemy and rebel against God. They are characteristic of the innate heart of...humanity; since all unregenerate men are children of disobedience, and their minds are 'not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be' (Rom. 8:7)" (from Miller's Ancient History In Bible Light, p. 55).
Now notice carefully, for this is very important!
"To the later Jews, Babylon was the complete embodiment of the enmity of the heathen world against the kingdom of God, and the idea they formed of Nimrod was influenced by this view. The arrogance of his character which seemed to be implied in his very name was conceived of as defiance to God, and he became a heaven-storming titan. As such he built the tower of Babel...Jewish legend made choice of Abraham to be his antithesis, the representative of God's kingdom over against the heathen autocrat" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., Vol. 17, p. 511).
These are all serious indictments against this system.
To summarize why YEHOVAH God is against the Babylonish system; YEHOVAH is the supreme ruler. This rebellion of humans beings against Him would, if universal, defeat His very purpose -- His purpose of giving to obedient mortals eternal life by bringing them into His spiritual Kingdom of YEHOVAH God where He is acknowledged as the creator and ruler of all!
Revelation 14:8 speaks of a Babylon which will be destroyed in our day, and Revelation 18:4 tells us to come out of her lest we receive her plagues! This is really serious! No one will receive eternal life while they are in this system! "Babylon" is not as far away from us as we have always imagined. We shall presently see, as we continue our study.
Answer Found In Eden
Man had brazenly dared to make himself a god, a god to be worshipped and obeyed by others! He left the True God out of his life. The Ten Commandments say, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3). Many times in the Old Testament when people sinned, YEHOVAH God said words to the following effect: "I will punish them so they know that I am God." Who first wanted to be like YEHOVAH God? The Devil! "I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:14).
What did the Devil tell Eve would happen if she and Adam would follow his advice and eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil which YEHOVAH had forbidden? "Ye shall not surely die...ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:4-5). Satan in effect said, "You will not die, you can be as gods, deciding for yourselves what is right and wrong -- you can attain eternal life this way." The churches of Satan have been teaching this philosophy ever since. The philosophy that Adam and Eve followed in Eden is the type of philosophy the world has followed from that day to this: it is basically a type of disobedience. The Devil's suggestion sounds good to mankind.
YEHOVAH God had said they would die if they disobeyed His command and ate of this tree (Genesis 2:17).
They did not know YEHOVAH God yet -- they did not fear Him: "The fear of the Eternal is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). They did not know they must obey Him above all beings or suffer dire consequences -- so they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. THEY USURPED YEHOVAH'S PREROGATIVE -- THEY DECIDED FOR THEMSELVES WHAT WAS GOOD AND WHAT WAS EVIL! They made their own law by deciding that to eat of the forbidden tree was right and not a sin. They followed their law and broke YEHOVAH's. They became "as gods" to make their own law, but after they had sinned they were afraid (Genesis 3:10). They realized their folly, for then YEHOVAH God said, "Man is as one of us, to know good and evil" (Genesis 3:22).
They had learned by experience. They realized they needed a different kind of clothing than their carnal minds gave (Romans 8:7). Paul says mankind has been made to desire vain things (Romans 8:20).
"I put on righteousness, and it clothed me" (Job 29:14). They tried to clothe themselves with their righteousness, "They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons" (Genesis 3:7) -- a symbol of their kind of righteousness, but Isaiah, inspired by YEHOVAH God, says, "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). The Bible says of YEHOVAH's commandments, "All Thy commandments are righteousness" (Psalm 119:172). If we obey YEHOVAH's commandments, as revealed then by YEHOVAH's spoken Word, but now by the Bible, we clothe ourselves with YEHOVAH's kind of righteousness and are acceptable to YEHOVAH God. We cannot make our own laws here on earth! YEHOVAH God said Adam and Eve must for their sin be separated from the tree of life at that time. They must die. They needed a Redeemer who could pay the penalty of death in their stead if they were to have eternal life. This was promised very soon afterward (Genesis 3:15).
Now we can see how the Devil rules this world today! Are we doing today as Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden?
Are Men "As Gods" Today?
It can now be easily seen that if we, today, are following the same deceptive suggestion that our human forebears did in Eden -- making their own laws -- then we are "as gods." If Satan has thus deceived us, then our punishment will be the same as that given to Adam and Eve -- denial of access to eternal life. "Remember, to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are...whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness" (Romans 6:16). The Devil, then, rules over us by suggestive deception!
Do the nations or individuals today consult what the Bible says about divorce, for example, before they make their decisions and their laws?
They do not! They have become "as gods" to make their own laws! The world, then, is Babylon. We are told to come out of her (Revelation 18:4). This we can do by giving YEHOVAH's laws precedent in our lives -- being ruled by Him! The proper form of government is Theocracy -- being ruled over by YEHOVAH God and His laws. This form will soon be set up on this earth.
Like Adam and Eve, when they became "as gods" and made their own laws, the people today, in these end times, are having their eyes opened (Genesis 3:5), because of the results of following their laws.
World Deifies "Self"
The tendency of mankind to elevate himself is constant. After the Devil had tried to ascend and be like YEHOVAH God (Isaiah 14:14), Adam and Eve tried it (Genesis 3:5-6) and were denied eternal life at that time. In Genesis 6:4-5, we see that mankind had deified itself in the same way that we have shown Semiramis deified herself and Nimrod. These people became "Sons of gods." Wickedness increased. Verse 11 says the earth was corrupt and filled with violence -- the inevitable result when mankind makes its own laws! What happened? YEHOVAH God drowned all in the land except Noah and seven others!
After the flood, Nimrod and Semiramis set the pace for self-deification as we have seen. Israel was guilty of the same thing. In Ezekiel 20 there is a summary of why YEHOVAH God said He was going to punish the Israelites. He repeats six times His reason: "That they might know that I am the Eternal." Judges 21:25, a summary of Israel's actions, says, "Every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Like Adam and Eve, they decided what was right and wrong -- they were "as gods."
Today, we see the whole world deifying itself by making its own laws and leaving YEHOVAH God out of the picture. A great religious leader dares sit today, claiming he rules in place of YEHOVAH God! Very soon one of this group will show himself that he is God, "That day shall not come, except...that man of sin be revealed...who...exalteth himself above all that is called God...sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (II Thessalonians 2:3-4).
There is an outstanding example of man deifying himself today. While he was alive, "Joseph Stalin [had] long been eulogized by the Soviets...as the world's great...master. No words [were] considered too extravagant...East German children were asked to pray, not to God but to Stalin...his plans always come true" (Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1953, under heading "Stalin Cult Makes God of Dictator"). Only YEHOVAH God is worthy of the attributes this cult ascribed to Stalin!
YEHOVAH God knows the world will not voluntarily stop doing this. Soon both YEHOVAH God and the Messiah are coming to chain that deceiver, the Devil, and YEHOVAH God and the Messiah will rule with a rod of iron (Zechariah 14:3-4; Revelation 2:27). Then those on earth will have to decide whether they will stop deifying self or follow the real deity -- YEHOVAH God.
Why Do We Want To Be "As Gods"?
Yes, why? You and I today wish that this war within ourselves would cease -- this inner desire which makes us, against our will, do things that we know the Bible says not to do. It makes us not want to do the things the Bible commands us to do. This is the internal battle that even Paul described as raging in himself. "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me but how to perform that which is good I find not...I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin" (Romans 7:18, 23).
The answer to this provides the explanation that reveals why the Devil can rule this earth by Deceptive Suggestion! Never once does the Bible show that the Devil has used physical force to rule mankind.
YEHOVAH God has made mankind so we will desire (lust) to go contrary to His laws! Unbelievable, but true! "The law is spiritual: but I am carnal" (Romans 7:14). Carnal flesh does all sorts of evil things (Galatians 5:19-21). "The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7). The carnal mind today is making carnal laws to take the place of the higher spiritual laws which YEHOVAH God has set in motion to govern us. Mankind's laws seem right in our own eyes. The flesh we are born with desires to lust, "Ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16, see also II Peter 2:18; I Peter 4:2). "The creature (mankind -- the thing created by YEHOVAH God) was made subject to vanity" (Romans 8:20). Mankind was made to desire things of no value -- corruptible and sinful things, by YEHOVAH God himself!
YEHOVAH God has made mankind with the inherent capacity to be upright but has given them a carnal mind! (Ecclesiastes 7:29). We seem to be free agents to make our own laws to provide our own plan whereby we think (wrongly) that we will obtain happiness (The United Nations Assembly today is the big example of this).
Mankind firmly believes that the capacity to do this lies within himself. We evidently believe YEHOVAH gave this capacity to us, or else how do we think we received it? This is the very condition which makes it easy for the Devil to deceive us.
Proving Selves Wrong Today
Today, YEHOVAH God is letting the world prove that He has not bestowed on human minds the capacity of working out laws of happiness for themselves! He is letting them prove that happiness is beyond their reach as they are now constituted. It is no wonder then that YEHOVAH is perfectly willing that the Devil deceive the world now by encouraging the people in it to be "as gods." He turned even Job, the most perfect man on earth (Job 1:8), over to Satan to be strengthened (Job 1:12; 2:6, and 23:10).
YEHOVAH declared the end result from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9, 10). He planned it this way! After we learn the folly of our ways YEHOVAH says "the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption" (Romans 8:21) and be "created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). YEHOVAH God says He will then (and only then) go a step further in creating us. He will change our fleshly bodies into spiritual bodies fashioned to do good works.
YEHOVAH God has promised to do just this! We must desire this new eternal body; we must repent (Acts 2:38) -- show by actions that we realize that our usurping of our Creator's authority was wrong. Then He will beget us as His children and afterward give our bodies this new form. Lucifer, a spirit being, who became the Devil, never did learn his God-given capacity -- he fought against his Creator (Isaiah14:14).
How Satan Rules
How does Satan rule? Paul said, "I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Corinthians 11:3, 13, 14). Satan may suggest evil courses of action to us through evil people over whom he has sway. The ministers of the false churches are here referred to. Notice that Satan is behind such people. Paul says these are "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ." They corrupt our minds! Sometimes demons enter people and rule them by taking complete possession of their bodies. Luke tells of devils coming out of many people in the Messiah's time (Luke 4:41).
Satan lays traps for us. He brings about circumstances which tempt us to do evil things. Paul warns us lest we fall into the "snare of the devil" (I Timothy 3:7). Does our acting on Satan's evil suggestions bring us under Satan's rule? Yes. The Bible says so. "HIS SERVANTS YE ARE TO WHOM YE OBEY; WHETHER OF SIN UNTO DEATH, OR OF OBEDIENCE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Romans 6:16). We are urged to recover ourselves "out of the snare of the Devil" if we are taken captive by him (II Timothy 2:26). Satan is called the prince of this world (John 14:30). He rules it.
The evil spirit-helpers of Satan can directly influence the human mind. A spirit in Old Testament times told how he would persuade an ancient king's prophets to lie to this king. He said, "I will persuade him (the king)...I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets" (I Kings 22:21, 22).
Satan "deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). Notice that Satan deceives people everywhere. As a deceiver he makes things seem what they are not. A man because of his own lusts can deceive his own heart and this makes Satan's work easier (James 1:26).
Paul says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against...rulers of the darkness of this world" (Ephesians 6:12). We wrestle against spiritual powers -- Satan and his helpers. But how does Satan rule over large groups of people on this earth? Let us see. Revelation 12:3 tells of a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and Revelation 13:1 describes this same beast again. This is a CIVIL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM of four succeeding empires which are to rule this earth until the Messiah comes. One beast had four heads and each of the other three had one head which makes a total of seven heads. Daniel 7:6, 17, 18 describes this in greater detail. Notice that the dragon, identified as SATAN (Revelation 12:9), is HEAD OF THIS SYSTEM. THROUGH IT HE RULES THIS EARTH!
But now a second system through which Satan sways the millions: "I beheld another beast -- and he had two horns like a lamb and he spake as a dragon (Satan)...and HE CAUSETH THE EARTH AND THEM WHICH DWELL THEREIN TO WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST" (Revelation 13:11-12). This is a great RELIGIOUS GOVERNMENT through which Satan deceives the earth as to the true way of becoming actual sons of YEHOVAH God! Revelation 17:3 gives a further description of the first system. Yes, through these two agencies Satan truly rules over all! -- for a time. But Satan knows his time is short! (Revelation 12:12).
We have seen how the Devil, through Semiramis, perpetuated the Sun-Serpent worship after her husband Nimrod's death, and why YEHOVAH God allows this deception to go on. How did Satan pattern these deceptions so they would be usable to smother out and replace the teachings of the Messiah when he came? We shall see.
Semiramis of Babylon Originated Counterfeits
As we have seen, Semiramis possessed the knowledge of true salvation. It was known because of Noah, the preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5).
Queen Semiramis of ancient Babylon deified herself, and her son and dead husband, Nimrod, by introducing various types of images, titles, and rituals (Romans 1:21-23). She circulated stories of actual or imagined events which had, or were supposed to have, occurred in their lives. The stories made them appear as liberators, heroes, emancipators, and saviors -- delivering men from the rule of YEHOVAH God.
These innovations MADE HER AND HER SON APPEAR AS THE WOMAN AND HER PROMISED "SEED" THROUGH WHICH SALVATION WAS TO COME. This promise was foretold by YEHOVAH God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15).
Holidays were set apart on which the new divinities were to be worshipped. Almost all the principal Bible teaching of salvation were counterfeited by this system -- an evil twist being given to them. These "Mysteries" or ceremonies appealed to the physical senses -- to the carnal nature with which man is born (Romans 7:14). They became very popular.
What better way could the Devil play upon human lusts and desires! Thus men accepted a false purpose and counterfeit way of salvation. Fables smothered YEHOVAH's true way to salvation by confusing the people.
Eternal life was promised through the false messiah. The people of the earth gladly gave the rule of their lives on this earth over to him. The mother and son promised security and guaranteed eternal life through rituals and penance. The extremely ambitious and unprincipled Semiramis saw her opportunity. Using all the might of her great empire to back her lie, she enforced her claim to be the mother of this great Savior.
Thus, SHE BECAME THE ORIGINAL RELIGIOUS RULER OVER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH (Revelation 17:1-2). Both her own and Satan's desires were fulfilled! She ruled the earth and Satan obscured the rule of YEHOVAH God which alone can bring life everlasting.
Idolatry Spreads Everywhere
BABYLON WAS THE PRIMEVAL SOURCE FROM WHICH ALL SYSTEMS OF IDOLATRY FLOWED (Herodotus' History, book ii, p. 109). Layard in his Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii, p. 440, speaks of this Babylonian system of worship. He writes that we have the united testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the Assyrian (Babylonian) area and is believed to be the most ancient of religious systems!
This was the first Babylon. TODAY, THE WORLD IS STILL IN BABYLON THE GREAT! (Revelation 17:5). Isaiah 47:1 describes the system which rules the earth today as the DAUGHTER OF THE ORIGINAL BABYLON and Revelation 18:3 says ALL NATIONS have drunk of the wine of her spiritual fornication or false doctrine!
As the language in each country was different, naturally the names of Nimrod, Semiramis, and Semiramis' illegitimate son Horus -- the returned false Messiah whom she palmed off as the resurrected Nimrod -- were different.
The Devil continued to twist YEHOVAH's word and the truth which the early inhabitants of the earth had known. Semiramis, inspired by Satan, duplicated all things which were revealed by YEHOVAH God. She credited her family with divine attributes to enhance her earthly power and prestige. Among these were her counterfeit of the Father, Son, and holy spirit.
Truth About YEHOVAH God Changed
One of the pagan concepts originating with Semiramis is the false idea of a "Trinity." How does this compare with what the Bible reveals to us? Let us examine Genesis 1:1-2: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth...and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The word "spirit" means the holy spirit of YEHOVAH God -- that divine force by which so much good is accomplished and which now resides in both Father and Son.
Genesis 1:1 says that during the creation period: "the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." It is this same spirit which YEHOVAH God says He will pour out on all flesh in the future: "It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy" (Joel 2:28). The same Hebrew word ruwach is used in both cases for "spirit."
Actually, GOD IS A FAMILY, NOT A TRINITY OF PERSONS. GOD IS A FAMILY PRESENTLY COMPOSED OF TWO BEINGS WITH A COMMON SPIRIT OR LIFE FORCE. It is into this Family that we may be born (John 3). Note now that the pagans termed the holy spirit a "Being" such as the Father and Son. They wrongly made a Trinity. SATAN WAS CONFUSING MANKIND.
An examination of the triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity clearly shows a knowledge of the original truth: The emblem had the head of the old man (the Father). Next there is the zero or circle, which stood in the Chaldean (Babylonian) language for "a circle" or "seed" (the Savior). Lastly, the wings and tail of the dove (the holy spirit, which Semiramis soon supplanted).
This concept of God preceded the counterfeit of Semiramis which was soon introduced.
At that very early period, an important change took place in regard to the divinity: the spirit of YEHOVAH God, according to the harlot-queen Semiramis, became incarnate in a human mother, and the Son became the fruit of that incarnation. (Hislop's Two Babylons, p. 18).
Semiramis, through her mysteries, hundreds of years before the Messiah's birth, twisted the truth about the Messiah's fully human birth! Her own illegitimate son was the returned "Savior"! HOW BAFFLING IT MUST HAVE BEEN FOR THE PAGANS, WHO ONCE HAD KNOWN YEHOVAH GOD, TO NOW PERCEIVE THE TRUTH!
Semiramis identified herself as this spirit and ascribed to herself the power of aiding in the creation of the world. Through her method of deification, she taught her followers that she, in one of her forms, had been the dove -- a symbol of the spirit that "moved upon the face of the waters" at creation. She moved or "fluttered"..."upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2) (Hislop, p. 303). She claimed to be one of the "Trinity." She had become "as the Gods."
Please recall that it was the dove that lighted on the Messiah's shoulder at his baptism. Far in the future, in the day of the Messiah, this identical symbol -- the dove -- pictured the descent of the holy spirit on the Messiah! (John 1:32). It is becoming clear, isn't it, that there was a plan behind these pagan similarities?!
Same Pagan Ideas in Today's World
To symbolize the "Trinity" doctrine, the equilateral triangle was used, just as the Church uses it today (Layard's Babylon and Nineveh, p. 605). Some churches in Madrid have an image of a Triune God with three heads on one body (Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon, p. 605). Thus we see the origin of the false doctrine of the "Trinity."
Here again is seen the influence of the Babylonian Mysteries on religion as it is being carried on today!
"The recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis" (Hislop, p. 18). In Japan, the great divinity Buddha has one body and three heads. Gillespie's Sinim, p. 60, and Japet, p. 184, show that the pagans of Siberia worshipped a god with a similar body.
Later the father was overlooked. As the Great Invisible, taking no immediate concern in human affairs, He was to be worshipped through silence alone (Jamblichus' on the Mysteries, sect. viii, chap. iii). Today, in some churches we hear much about the Mother and Child (the Messiah being depicted as being dependent on his mother), but little about the Messiah's physical father and YEHOVAH God his spiritual Father! A HUMAN woman is thus made supreme!!
Family of God Counterfeited
The true teaching of the Bible is that the Father and Son presently comprise the One Kingdom or Family of YEHOVAH God. The holy spirit is the common nature, mind, and force of YEHOVAH God (Genesis 1:2, John 1:1). Yeshua said, "God is Spirit" (John 4:24). "God" is a Family composed of spirit, not material flesh. As we have seen above, at present only two persons -- Father and Son, comprise this Family. But we, too, can become members of that Family!
Is there a mention of the pagan counterfeit of YEHOVAH God in the Bible? Yes. It is spoken of in Isaiah 66:17. In the King James Version you will find the ambiguous words, "behind one tree in the midst." The proper translation should be: "after the rites of the Only One." The ancient pagan deity "Only One" was the triune counterfeit of YEHOVAH God. The concept of the False Triune God!
The proper reading then is, "They that sanctify and purify themselves...after the rites of the Only One, eating swine's flesh...shall be consumed" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 16).
Those who take part in the rites of this counterfeit god shall be destroyed!
The Devil's Part in the Counterfeits
We have found how Semiramis used the God-Kingdom, spoken of in Genesis 1:1-2, to fit into her mysteries. But how did she fit the Serpent or devil (Revelation 20:2) into these? We shall now see!
Plutarch, in De Iside, says of the serpent (Genesis 3:1): "First Tammuz (Nimrod as the 'Savior') was worshipped as the bruiser of the serpent's head, meaning thereby that he was the anointed destroyer of Satan's kingdom. Then the dragon himself, or Satan, came to receive a certain measure of worship, to 'console him', as the pagans said, 'for the loss of his power', and to prevent him from hurting them; and last of all the dragon, or Teitan or SATAN, BECAME THE SUPREME OBJECT OF WORSHIP, the Titania, or rites of Teitan, occupying a prominent place in the Egyptian Mysteries" (vol. ii, p. 362, 364). The same is true of the Mysteries of Greece (Porter's Antiquities, vol I, p. 400).
What is the real significance of all this? Remember that it was for supporting the rites of serpent worship and sun worship that Nimrod was killed by Shem. So, first, Semiramis cautiously introduced her illegitimate son as the bruiser of the serpent's head.
But as soon as the way was paved, she cautiously reintroduced a certain measure of the serpent worship which Nimrod had first introduced. The serpent (dragon), Teitan, or Satan, became the supreme object of ancient worship.
Semiramis now changed her position in her Mysteries. She claimed to be the wife of Pluto, the god of hell -- the serpent -- in order to fit her new position as sponsor of serpent or Devil worship. "Under the name of the 'Dove' she was worshipped as the Incarnation of the Spirit of God...and WAS KNOWN HERSELF AS THE 'VIRGIN' MOTHER...Under the name of Proserpine she was celebrated as the mother of the first Bacchus, and known as 'Pluto's honored wife'!" (Hislop, p. 126).
Pagan Hades A Myth
Where did the idea of hades or purgatory originate?
Bacchus, as we have seen, was the Grecian god who represented Tammuz. Pluto represented Satan. Now consider the following; "How vitally important was the place that Teitan or Satan occupied, may be judged from the fact that Pluto, the god of Hell, was looked up to as the great god on whom the destinies of mankind in the eternal world did mainly depend; for it is said that TO PLUTO IT BELONGED TO 'PURIFY THE SOUL AFTER DEATH' " (Taylor's Pausanias, vol. iii, p. 321). Pluto was the Greek name for the Babylonian god Kronos.
Here we see that Pluto (the Greek name for their god who represented Nimrod) -- merely different names for the devil or serpent -- instead of burning people up, was purifying them by fire after death!
Semiramis, as was her custom in forming her "Mysteries," linked her deified family with notable characters, whether they were good or bad. She used whichever one best fitted the times. She soon found it helpful to identify her deified husband as Kronos or Saturn -- the devil himself! Scattered notices of antiquity say that the name of the first deified king of Babylon was Kronos or Saturn (Hislop p. 31). She had been guided by the devil in order that the devil might be worshipped!
The Bible says that the wages of sin is death -- eternal death (Romans 6:23). And II Peter 3:10, 11, and Revelation 20:15 indicate that eternal death will be caused by this whole earth burning up and causing the destruction of all who have not become spirit beings in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. NOWHERE DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THERE IS A PLACE UNDER THE GROUND WHERE PEOPLE ARE TORMENTED BY FIRE. This is another of the false conceptions handed down by Semiramis.
Satan has people of the earth so confused today that they actually do not know whether they are coming into the true knowledge which will lead to eternal life or actually going the way which will lead to eternal death. Only the inspired Word of YEHOVAH God -- the Bible -- closely studied, shows us the right way and actual destinations of the sinner and the saved!
Devil Worship Reaches Rome
Purgatory in Paganism was the grand hinge of priestcraft and superstition. "The serpents were the supreme of all the gods and princes of the universe...." No wonder that it came at last to be firmly believed that the Messiah, on whom the hopes of the world depended, was Himself the "seed of the serpent"! (Eusebius Proeparatio Evang., vol. I, p. 50).
"This was manifestly the case in Greece; for the current story there came to be, that the first Bacchus (the Grecian name for Tammuz) was brought forth in consequence of a connection on the part of his mother with the father of the gods, in the form of a 'speckled snake'. Thus the (devil)...got himself almost everywhere recognized as in every deed 'the god of this world'" (Ibid). The devil, through one form or another, obtained the worship of this world!
Let us note the message of YEHOVAH God to His true Churches over 60 years after the Messiah's time. What did He reveal through the Messiah in Revelation regarding pagan worship of Satan? YEHOVAH addressed His message to the Church at Pergamos. It was the true seat of Babylonian devil worship after Belshazzar's time (Hislop p. 240).
In Revelation 2:13-14, the Messiah, speaking to the Church of Pergamos, says, "I thy works, even where Satan's seat is...thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam."
In Pergamos, which was outstandingly "Satan's seat," the SUN-DIVINITY BAAL -- Balaam's doctrine was idolatrous sun worship (Numbers 25:1-3; 31:16) -- WAS WORSHIPPED UNDER THE FORM OF A SERPENT and under the name of Aesculapius, "the man-instructing serpent" (Macrobius Saturnalia, book I, p. 650). In Satan's seat, over 60 years after the Messiah's time, the main worship was sun and serpent!
This sun and devil worship was TRANSFERRED to Rome when Pergamos became part of the Roman Empire. According to the fundamental doctrine of the Mysteries, as brought from Pergamos to Rome, THE SUN WAS THE ONLY GOD. In Pergamos the sun had been worshipped as a serpent!
Also, in Acts 8:9-25, we find recorded the attempt by one Simon the Sorcerer to buy YEHOVAH's power. After being rebuked by the apostle Peter, Simon eventually found his way to Rome where he preached his brand of the Mystery Religion and founded what came to be known as the Roman Catholic Church.
Counterfeit of Adam and Eve's Disobedience
In Genesis, chapters 2 and 3, YEHOVAH God has given us an account of the deception by Satan of Adam and Eve.
We have already seen the importance to mankind of understanding this event. It furnishes a clue as to how mankind has been misled by the devil and as to the ultimate result.
Also, we have seen that mankind at first did know the significance of this event in Eden. Would the devil let this warning to the people stand, or would he, through human means, counterfeit it and keep mankind under his control? Would he let people remember how he deceived Eve? We shall see.
Let us remember the following: Eve sinned because she saw that the tree appeared to be good. She gazed. The pagans, knowing of this event, typified her in a gazing position by their idols. They remembered this event and Satan's deception!
Throughout the world there are, in Paganism, many goddesses known as "gazing mothers" or gazing women. The Chinese goddess-mother, or "Queen of Heaven," in the province of Fuhkien, is worshipped by seafaring people under the name of Ma Tsoopo which is believed to mean "gazing mother" (Gillespie's Land of Sinim, p. 64). The name of the great Egyptian mother, Mut, in one of its vocabulary forms signifies "to look" or "gaze" (Bunsen's Vocabulary, vol. i, p. 471).
The Egyptian goddess-mother Mu or Mut was symbolized by either a vulture, or an eye surrounded by vulture's wings (Wilkinson, vol. v, p. 203). The vulture is noted for its sharp sight, and the great mother of the gods (recall that Semiramis was the "mother of the gods") in Egypt had been known as "The Gazer." The Athenian Minerva wore a helmet with two eyes or eye holes in its front (Vuax's Antiquities, p. 186).
What have these similar Pagan deities to do with the lesson YEHOVAH God wanted mankind to learn at Eden? It was believed by the Babylonians that Rhea (Eve) conceived by Kronos (Satan), and brought forth a child named Muth or Death, declared Sanchuniathon.
Sanchuniathon shows that this is in accord with Genesis, for Eve's lust, inspired by Satan, "when it had conceived did bring forth Death." "When lust hath conceived...it bringeth forth death" (James 1:15).
How did the devil remove this lesson of his deception and even turn it to his advantage?
Again, we find the answer in the goddess queen of Babylon. The goddess queen of Babylon held a pomegranate in her hand. Astarte or Cybele (Syrian and Roman names, respectively, for their goddess corresponding to Semiramis) was also called "Inaia Mater" which signifies "the mother of knowledge" -- in other words our mother Eve, who first coveted the "knowledge of good and evil." The pomegranate was represented as the fruit of the forbidden tree (Hislop, pp. 110-113).
Notice the clever deception! Men were taught to look upon Semiramis as their grand benefactress, as gaining knowledge which they might otherwise have sought in vain! SATAN THUS TAUGHT THAT GOOD CAME TO MANKIND BY EVE'S DISOBEDIENCE TO THE ETERNAL AND OBEDIENCE TO HIM! According to the classic pagan story, it was YEHOVAH God who was the snake who would not let man eat of the desirable tree of knowledge of good and evil. The false Messiah, Tammuz (as Hercules), slew it (Hislop, p. 112).
This, then, is a classical example of how Satan twists the teachings that YEHOVAH God holds so dear! IT IS CERTAIN THAT AS HE WAS PERVERTING THE TRUTH SO MIGHTILY THEN, HE HAS NOT STOPPED NOW.
We have now seen why the gospel that the Messiah proclaimed, was counterfeited hundreds of years before the Messiah! From history it has been proven that these counterfeits do have an effect on religion today! WHY
Pagans Had Counterfeit Baptism
Through the Babylonian Mysteries, Satan distorted the Truth about the Godhead and the holy spirit as spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis. He distorted the facts concerning himself, and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Was he going to turn Noah and his experiences also to his benefit after the flood? We will see that he did just this, in making the forgiveness of past sins a mechanical process through a counterfeit baptism.
Some churches consider water baptism so important that unless an infant is baptized, it cannot "go to heaven" (Bishop Hay's Sincere Christian, vol. i, p. 363). Says Hislop in The Two Babylons: "The doctrine of Rome is that ALL WHO ARE CANONICALLY BAPTIZED, HOWEVER IGNORANT, HOWEVER IMMORAL, if they only give implicit faith to the church, and surrender their consciences to the priests, ARE AS MUCH REGENERATED AS EVER THEY CAN BE....This doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration also is essentially Babylonian....Hindoos who have never opened their ears to Christian instruction are as familiar with the term and idea as ourselves" (p. 132).
The BRAHMINS in India make it their distinguishing boast that they are "twice born" men, and that as such they are sure of eternal happiness. Among the ancestors of the people of Mexico, Scandinavia, and other countries the same practice was followed (Asiatic Researchers, vol. vii, p. 271). "In certain sacred rites of the heathen," referring to the worship of Isis (the Egyptian goddess corresponding to Semiramis), and Mithra (the Greek god corresponding to Nimrod as Mediator), "the mode of initiation is by baptism" (Tertullian's De Baptismo, vol. i, p. 1204). The term "initiation" clearly shows that it was the Mysteries of these divinities to which he referred.
How did it come about that the Babylonians themselves adopted such a doctrine of regeneration by baptism? The Babylonian Mysteries of Semiramis, as usual, give the answer. In these mysteries, the commemoration of the flood, the ark, and the grand events in the life of Noah, were mingled with the worship of the "Queen of Heaven" (Semiramis) and her son-husband Nimrod and her illegitimate son Horus (the "resurrected" Nimrod). Noah, having lived in two worlds -- both before and after the flood -- was called "Diphues" or "twice-born." He was represented as a god with two heads looking in opposite directions, the one old and the other young (Bryant's Mythology, vol. i, pp. 84, 319).
Semiramis saw it was necessary to identify her dead husband Nimrod with the great patriarch Noah who was the father of all. In this way he would thus become the Supreme One, the Father of all the deified "mighty ones." He would obtain the authority and respect essential to constitute him the head of the great system of idolatry that the apostates inaugurated.
The period in which Osiris (the Egyptian term for Nimrod) was in his coffin, was precisely the same as Noah was in the ark -- a whole year (Apollodorus, vol. i, pp. 356, 257). Osiris, at the great and solemn festival called "The Disappearance of Osiris," was looked upon as dead and buried when put into his ark or coffin. When he came out again, that new state was regarded as a state of "new life," or "regeneration" (Plutarch's De Iside et Osiride, vol. ii, pp. 356, 367).
"Whatever primitive truth the Chaldean (Babylonian) priests held, they utterly perverted and corrupted it. They willingly overlooked the fact, that it was the 'RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH' which Noah 'had before' the flood...that carried him safely through...THEY led their votaries to believe that IF THEY ONLY PASSED THROUGH THE BAPTISMAL WATERS and the penances therewith connected...it would entitle them...to a new birth...The WHOLE SPIRIT OF PAGANISM WAS OPPOSED TO THE SPIRITUALITY of the patriarchal religion and indeed intended to make it void, and DRAW MEN UTTERLY AWAY FROM IT, WHILE PRETENDING TO DO HOMAGE TO IT" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, pp. 137, 141).
THE ANCIENTS, KNOWING THE TRUTH CONCERNING BAPTISM, THAT IT SYMBOLIZED A RIGHTEOUS STATE OF MIND, MADE IT A MECHANICAL PROCESS!
Here again we see the Devil deceiving mankind. He says to man in effect: "Follow your own ideas and ways, not God's, and you can have your past sins forgiven." YEHOVAH says, "Repent, and be baptized" (Acts 2:38). Turn to the ways YEHOVAH God commands! "In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
What does this mean?
Most churches today have been deceived into employing a counterfeit water baptism. True, some large denominations use the scriptural form -- immersion. But a counterfeit looks like the genuine. The deception lies in that which is associated with it -- the spirit in which it is done.
BAPTISM IS DONE TODAY IN THE SAME SPIRIT IN WHICH IT WAS DONE IN ANCIENT BABYLON -- many are baptized BUT their ACTIONS AFTERWARD DO NOT SHOW THEY HAVE figuratively BURIED THE OLD SELF IN BAPTISM. THEY CONTINUE IN THEIR OLD PRACTICES.
Pagan Doctrine of Penance
We have seen that the Devil's deceptive doctrine practiced by many churches to this day is that man does not have to change from his old evil ways and then be baptized to obtain forgiveness of past sins. The question now arises: What sort of perverted doctrine does he have regarding the forgiveness of sins we commit unwillingly after baptism?
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT WE, THROUGH FAITH IN THE MESSIAH'S SHED BLOOD TO CANCEL OUR PAST SINS, MAY USE THIS TO COVER THEM (Romans 3:25, 28, 31). Now let us note the BONDAGE of the pagan counterfeit of forgiveness which many churches practice today.
"In regard to justification, the Chaldean doctrine was that it was by works and merits of men themselves that they must be justified...perfection depended on the exertions of the individual" (Hislop, pp. 144, 145). The doctrine of many churches is the same. From the days of Cain downward, the doctrine of human merit and self-justification has everywhere been indigenous to the heart of depraved humanity.
In the Middle Ages, according to legend, Michael the archangel had committed to him the balance of YEHOVAH's justice and that in the opposite pans of the balance the merits and demerits of the deceased are placed (Review of Epistle of Dr. Gentianus Harvet, Book ii, chap. xiv).
This same system of human merits for justification is found in paganism over the world. Wilkinson's Egyptians, vol. v, p. 447, shows that in Egypt, the land of Ham, it was to Anubis that the SCALES OF JUSTICE were committed. If a person is found wanting, he is rejected and Osiris (Nimrod) pronounces judgment. The same system is found in Grecian and Chinese mythology. In China, lists and comparative tables of good and bad actions are recorded (Davis' China, vol. ii, chap. "Religion -- Buddhism").
"In spiritual despotism in every age, both pagan and Papal...ITS GRAND OBJECT HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO KEEP THE SOULS OF ITS VOTARIES AWAY FROM DIRECT AND IMMEDIATE INTERCOURSE WITH A...MERCIFUL SAVIOR" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, pp. 148-150). Continuing, Hislop quotes from a decree of the Council of Trent: "No man can know with infallible assurance...that he HAS OBTAINED the grace of God." It seeks "to keep its devotees in continual doubt." "In the confessional there was from time to time...a mimic rehearsal of the dread weighing...when they have a man of influence...or wealth...they will not give him the slightest bit of hope till round sums of money...be cast on the scale."
Notice how the pagans acquired merits for justification. Hislop continues, "Nimrod was the first after the flood that violated the patriarchal system, and set up (himself) as 'king' over his fellows...In almost every land bloody worship prevailed...human victims...were his most acceptable offerings. In pagan Rome the worshippers of Isis (Semiramis) observed the same practice in honor of Osiris (Nimrod). When it is remembered that Saturn (Nimrod) was cut in pieces, it is easy to see how the idea would arise of offering a welcome sacrifice by setting men to cut one another to pieces (in war)...TO LAY UP A STOCK OF MERIT...in their behalf."
In these "latter days" -- TODAY -- a turning away from true doctrines was foretold (I Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 13:8-9). YEHOVAH GOD HAS GIVEN MAN A SIMPLE WAY TO HAVE THEIR PAST SINS FORGIVEN, BUT THE COUNTERFEIT SYSTEM ENSLAVES ITS FOLLOWERS IN BONDAGE! MANKIND TODAY STILL FOLLOWS THE OLD BABYLONIAN SYSTEM IN SEEKING TO HAVE THEIR SINS FORGIVEN! IF THEY DO NOT PAY FOR FORGIVENESS, THEY abstain from some things which THEY HAVE DECIDED ARE EVIL: going to shows, dancing, card playing, to mention a few. They hope to BALANCE any evil they might do by abstinence from these.
BUT these same people go on divorcing and remarrying, and observing other practices which the Bible clearly condemns. THEY WILL NOT TURN FROM THEIR WAY (REPENT) SO THEY CAN HAVE THE MESSIAH'S BLOOD FORGIVE THEIR SINS -- the ONLY WAY by which sins may be forgiven (Acts 2:38)! Romans 5:9 says we are "JUSTIFIED by his BLOOD!" MANKIND CONTINUES TO DESIRE TO LIVE BY PRACTICES WHICH YIELD ONLY UNHAPPINESS, BONDAGE, AND DEATH. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
Forgiveness By Blood Unnecessary?
No! YEHOVAH God says that without the shedding of BLOOD there is NO remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Modernism stands condemned.
Where then does today's idea of a UNBLOODY sacrifice originate? Evidence shows that this is of BABYLONIAN origin.
NO blood was allowed to be offered on the altars of the Paphian Venus (A Grecian form of Semiramis). These rites came from Cicilia in Asia Minor. (Tacitus' Historia, vol. ii, p. 106). Cicilia, in turn, had acquired the rites from Babylon when Sennacherib, the Assyrian, built Cicilia in express IMITATION OF BABYLON. For this reason, the bloodless altars of the Paphian Venus are the same as the bloodless altars of the Babylonian goddess Semiramis from which she was derived (Bunsen, vol. i, p. 718). This false worship of Semiramis differed from the worship of her husband and son, Tammuz, whom she carried in her arms.
He, as we have seen, was represented as delighting in blood. She was the mother of grace and mercy, the celestial "Dove" -- the hope of the whole world (Bryant, vol. iii, p. 226). Whereas he desired bloody sacrifices, she desired only an "unbloody sacrifice" -- cakes. When her followers were initiated into the higher Mysteries, they could eat of these cakes or wafers.
"All this was done," says Hislop, p. 159, "TO EXALT THE MOTHER, AS MORE GRACIOUS AND MORE COMPASSIONATE THAN HER GLORIOUS SON." THEREFORE WE CAN FIND THE WOMEN OF JUDAH "OFFERING CAKES TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN" (Jeremiah 44:19). Today, many professing Christians, thinking they worship the Messiah, actually worship Semiramis through the eating of the cakes or wafers at communion.
Semiramis also bore the name of "Mylitta" -- that is Mediatrix. But Scripture says THERE IS ONLY ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN YEHOVAH GOD AND MAN -- THE MESSIAH (I Timothy 2:5). The idea of a Mediatrix as held in some churches today has its origin in paganism, not the Bible! It is THE MESSIAH WHO IS MEDIATOR FOR US -- he paid the penalty for our sins by the offering of his blood.
Communion With the Sun-God
The Messiah said, "I am the bread of life." This statement by Yeshua has been twisted to confuse the world for centuries.
Some religions today are very intent on the roundness of their unbloody sacrifice -- a round cake like that formerly used in the rites of Semiramis, queen of heaven. Why is this roundness so important? Hislop says that the ROUND DISK, so frequently used in the sacred emblems of Egypt, SYMBOLIZED THE SUN. Osiris (Nimrod) the sun-divinity, became incarnate and was reborn (p. 160). Recall that Semiramis in her mysteries represented Nimrod after his death as being reborn -- corresponding to the birth of the Messiah and the resurrection. The round wafer used in communion does not really represent the Messiah at all. It came from pagan sun-worship.
"When OSIRIS, THE SUN-DIVINITY...was born," declared Hislop, pp. 160-163, "it was not merely that he should give his life as a sacrifice for men...but also be the LIFE AND NOURISHMENT OF THE SOULS OF MEN...It is universally admitted that Isis (the Egyptian goddess representing Semiramis) was the original of the Greek and Roman Ceres...she was worshipped as the "mother of corn." The child she brought forth was symbolized by "the corn." Those who were uninitiated into the Mysteries worshipped "Ceres for the gift of material corn to nourish their bodies, but the initiated adored her for a higher gift -- FOR FOOD TO NOURISH THEIR SOULS."
Here then, long before the apostles' time, was the counterfeit of the Messiah as bread. He said, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven" (John 6:32). THE MESSIAH SAID, "I AM THAT BREAD OF LIFE" (verse 48).
"That the initiated pagans actually believed that the 'corn'...was not the 'corn' of this earth, but the 'Divine Son' through whom alone...eternal life could be enjoyed, we have decisive proof...The Druids were devoted worshippers of Ceres...the grain of corn is expressly identified with 'the lovely babe'."
"THIS SON WHO WAS SYMBOLIZED AS 'CORN' WAS THE SUN-DIVINITY incarnate according to the sacred oracle of the great goddess of Egypt...'The fruit which I have brought forth is the Sun'. What is more natural then, if this incarnate divinity is symbolized as the 'bread of God', that he should be represented as a 'round wafer' to identify him with the Sun?"
"In Egypt, the disk of the Sun was represented in the temples...In Babylon, the golden image of the Sun was exhibited...in Peru, the disk of the sun was...upon the wall...The Paeonians of Thrace were sun-worshippers. In the worship of Baal, as practiced by the idolatrous Israelites, the worship of the sun's image was equally observed...the image of the sun was erected above the altar...Even in comparatively modern times...among the Cushites of the East,...we find the image of the sun...If the sun-divinity were worshipped in Egypt as 'the seed', or in Babylon as the 'Corn' precisely so is the wafer adored in Rome. 'Bread-corn of the elect, have mercy upon us', is one of the appointed prayers of the Roman Litany, addressed to the wafer."
THE SON BECAME THE SUN! Here we see churches of today paying homage to the sun!
Now, I ask, is it possible that a world-wide worship of the sun as had persisted from the time of the Flood right up to the time of the Protestant "Reformation" should totally stop with this reformation?
WHY DO CHURCHES TODAY HAVE EASTER SUNRISE SERVICES? It is the SAME service the pagan Assyrians used to honor their goddess Ishtar! The pagans' celebration commemorated the birthday of Semiramis who was the mother of the Sun-god Tammuz. They faced the rising sun just as many sincere people do today. Why do today's churches speak of having pagan LENTEN SERVICES? Why do they OBSERVE THE BIRTH OF THE SUN-GOD NIMROD ON DECEMBER 25TH (CHRISTMAS) just when the sun is starting to wax strong again in the sky? And why do they have communion on SUN-DAY (day of the sun)? If they are not still worshipping the Sun-god, then why do they still observe the same customs the pagans used to honor him? THEY ARE WORSHIPPING THE SUN-GOD! PEOPLE TODAY, IN KEEPING THESE CUSTOMS, ARE STILL IN BABYLON AS MUCH AS OUR ANCESTORS. In ignorance people HONOR THE SUN AS THE ONE WHO WILL SPIRITUALLY NOURISH THEM!
BUT REMEMBER THE SUN AND SERPENT (THE DEVIL) WERE IDENTIFIED TOGETHER! Sun-worship, then, is devil-worship!
YEHOVAH GOD SHOWS WHO THE REAL SUN IS THAT WE SHOULD WORSHIP: "UNTO YOU THAT FEAR MY NAME SHALL THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARISE" (Malachi 4:2). Who is this? YEHOVAH said, "' Behold, the days are coming' says the LORD, 'that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness'" (Jeremiah 23:5). But He is not to be worshipped by symbols of the sun -- that is IDOLATRY! Satan has a false sun -- the sun in the sky! When the pagans accepted Christianity they mingled their pagan sun-worshipping practices with the teachings of the Messiah. They believed they thus honored the True God. But what does YEHOVAH God say about doing this? YEHOVAH said, "How did these (pagan) nations serve their gods?...Thou shalt NOT do so unto the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 12:30-31). YOU CANNOT WORSHIP THE TRUE GOD BY CELEBRATING PAGAN CUSTOMS AND HOLIDAYS!
The CHURCHES OF TODAY ARE DECEIVED BY THE DEVIL JUST AS THE PEOPLE WERE IN THAT DAY WHEN, AFTER THE MYSTERIES HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED, THE MEANING OF THE DIABOLICAL SYMBOLS WAS NO LONGER EXPLAINED TO THE PEOPLE! PEOPLE TODAY are DECEIVED BY OUTWARD APPEARANCE. They will continue to be, unless they use what the Bible says as their standard with which to judge.
Yes, SATAN HAS SUBSTITUTED A FALSE MESSIAH AND DIABOLICAL CUSTOMS. THOSE WHO OBSERVE THESE PAGAN CUSTOMS AND REJECT THE TEACHING OF THE MESSIAH SHOW BY THEIR ACTION THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT SALVATION REALLY IS! Satan has substituted a false baptism -- a mechanical act which does not signify the burying of the old self. He has perverted the teaching of YEHOVAH God that man must repent. HE HAS THUS BLOCKED THE VAST MAJORITY WHO FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS FROM BECOMING SONS OF YEHOVAH GOD NOW, UNLESS THEY CHANGE THEIR WAYS!
World Deception Planned From Time of Flood
The vast majority today believe they are on the right road to salvation. They are honest, sincere people. They do what they think is right. Never has it entered their minds to question that they might be wrong.
Just after the flood, Nimrod founded in Babylon, a civilization which ignored the rule of YEHOVAH God (Genesis 11:1-9). The gospel of the coming Messiah and much of the Bible teachings were counterfeited in such a way as to appeal to its followers but lead them to DESTRUCTION INSTEAD OF SALVATION. From Babylon these deceptive teachings spread throughout the whole world -- including the Christian-professing nations! Because of their marked similarity to the Messiah's teachings, the pagan counterfeits became mingled with his, and have deceived the people to this very day -- just as the devil had planned!
Millions celebrate -- unknowingly -- the supposed birth of Nimrod on December 25th and call it the birthday of the Messiah, the Savior, who was not born in the winter season! At the beginning of spring, men face and bow in the presence of the rising sun on Easter morning -- in the same act of worship as that of the pagans who bowed in honor of Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, the supposed mother of the sun god. And Christians have been led to believe that this abominable kind of heathen worship was ordained by the Messiah and the apostles!
Yeshua the Messiah never commanded us to celebrate his resurrection. He commanded us to commemorate annually, his death -- on the eve of the day following (Nisan 15) on which he gave himself for the world. Strange as it seems, almost no one obeys the very one whom Christianity acknowledges as its savior!
Now notice the facts of history. They are startling!
Pagan Worship Continues Today
You will recall that in the time of Nimrod, the sun (which was associated symbolically with the Serpent, or Satan) was symbolized on earth by fire. NIMROD, as the SUN-GOD or fire-god in the Mysteries, was worshipped by the sacrifice of HUMAN BEINGS IN FIRE TO HIM. Has this pagan custom persisted in even our "Christian" times? Let us examine.
The Feast of the NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN is set down in the Papal calendar for the 24th of June. The very same period was equally memorable in the Babylonian calendar for one of its grand original festivals -- to commemorate the death and reviving of Tammuz, or Nimrod (Stanley's Sabean Philosophy, p. 1065).
Why is this a "coincidence"? The apostate Church followed the now famous advice of Pope Gregory I, that by all means they should meet the pagans halfway and so bring them into the Church (Bower's Lives of Popes, vol. ii, p. 523).
Here is how it happened.
About the sixth century A.D., emissaries were sent over Europe, with an eye to gathering the pagans into its fold. Remember, the apostate Church was formed by a union of pagans and professing Christians (Consult Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. i, chap. 15). These emissaries or investigators found that the keeping of the 24th of June in honor of Tammuz (Nimrod) was very popular.
To gain numbers to the church was the thing! This meant both professing Christians and pagans must be satisfied. The pagans wanted this festival. The Christians would not tolerate a name suggestive of its real meaning. So a Christian name was put on this pagan festival. This is exactly the way our pagan Christmas came into Christianity and why there are so many pagan festivals observed in the churches today.
Now what Christian name was attached to June 24th -- a pagan festival?
As the pagans had already established December 25th as the Messiah's supposed birthday (actually it was in the autumn), that could not be used. But June 24th -- six months earlier -- could pass for John the Baptist's birthday! John was born 6 months before the Messiah. The Feast could be called the nativity of St. John. But where could a connection be found between John and the name of Tammuz? In the Latin language adopted by the Church, John was called Joannes.
One of the many sacred names by which Tammuz or Nimrod was called, when he reappeared in the Mysteries after he was slain, was Oannes (Bunsen's Egypt, vol. i, p. 707). How similar is Oannes to Joannes or John!
But Oannes was the ancient Fish-god. How did Nimrod acquire this characteristic and name?
When Nimrod was overcome by Shem, Semiramis concocted a fable. She said that Nimrod took refuge in the sea. When he therefore "reappeared" he did so in the very character of Oannes, the Fish-god (Hislop p. 114).
So the PAGAN "NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN" FESTIVAL, which actually commemorates the death and reviving of pagan Oannes or Tammuz, BEARS A CHRISTIAN NAME!
How was this Christian-named festival originally observed? How has it been observed even into our times?
"St. John's Day" in Britain
Before Christianity entered the British Isles, the 24th of June was celebrated by the Druids with blazing midsummer fires in honor of their great divinity who was Baal (another name for Nimrod or Tammuz). It was thus observed to our times! "I have seen the people running and leaping through the St. John fires in Ireland...proud of passing through unsinged...thinking of themselves in a special manner blest by the ceremony" (Toland's Druids, p. 107). It has been a widespread custom. Herodotus, Wilkinson, Layard, and many others record its observance in various countries.
The grand distinguishing solemnities of St. John's Eve are the mid-summer fires. These were lighted in France, Switzerland, Ireland, and Scotland (Hislop, p. 114). "When the FIRE had burned for several hours and got very low, everyone PASSED THROUGH IT...here was...worship of Baal, if not Molech (II Kings 23:10) too, by millions professing the Christian name" (Bell's Wayside Pictures, p. 225).
SO, WE SEE THE WORSHIP OF THE SUN-GOD OR SERPENT AGAIN IN OUR TIMES, UNDER THE CLOAK OF A CHRISTIAN NAME! Our world is not as far removed from paganism as we think!
What does YEHOVAH God say about this heathen practice? The people of Old Testament times were practicing this identical rite to honor this same pagan god. "They built the high places of Baal...to cause their sons and their daughters to PASS THROUGH THE FIRE TO MOLECH [Nimrod]: which I commanded them not!" (Jeremiah 32:35). Again YEHOVAH says, "When ye make your sons to pass through the fire, YE POLLUTE YOURSELVES WITH ALL YOUR IDOLS, even unto this day" (Ezekiel 20:31). YEHOVAH COMMANDS that this idolatrous festival NOT be kept! He says it is IDOLATRY! -- in honor of an idol god! THE PEOPLE TODAY HAVE OTHER GODS BEFORE THE TRUE GOD. The very first of the Ten Commandments says, "THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME" (Exodus 20:3).
What About Christmas Observance?
The day set apart by Semiramis in memory of the "new birth" of Nimrod, her husband who had been slain by Shem, is familiar to everyone. What day is this? CHRISTMAS!
Through her mysteries her dead husband was said to have been miraculously conceived of Semiramis and to have returned in the form of Horus (Semiramis' illegitimate son). It was the BIRTHDAY OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN! (Gieseler's Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii, p. 42). She claimed Shem had not vanquished Nimrod even though he had slain him.
In Egypt, the son of Isis (Semiramis), the Babylonian queen of heaven, was supposedly born at the approximate time of the winter solstice (Wilkinson's Egyptians, vol. iv, p. 405). The winter solstice then was December 25th, the place marking the beginning of the days becoming longer and longer. TO PAGAN SUN-WORSHIPPERS IT MEANT THAT THEIR GOD -- THE SUN -- WAS NOT GOING TO DIE AFTER ALL, BUT WAS BECOMING STRONGER AND STRONGER. The very name "Yule-day" which is used among us today proves its pagan and Babylonian origin (Mallet's Northern Antiquities, vol. i, p. 130). "Yule" was the Chaldee name for "infant" or "little child" long before Christ's time. It did not appear in Christian worship until around 350 A.D.!
The Sabeans of Arabia regarded the 24th day of December as the birthday of their pagan "Lord" (Stanley's History of Philosophy, p. 1066, col. 1). The Saxons observed December the 25th. Hislop, p. 96 states: "It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the only God. When, therefore, Tammuz was worshipped as god incarnate," (after he had supposedly taken the human form, as Christ did centuries later) "that implied he was an incarnation of the Sun."
Here again, then, we see why observing the BIRTHDAY of Tammuz is Sun-worship! In observing THIS DAY, PEOPLE OF OUR TIME ACTUALLY PAY HOMAGE TO A MORTAL MAN (now dead) AS BEING GOD INCARNATE, WHILE THEY THINK THEY ARE HONORING THE MESSIAH'S BIRTHDAY.
And the Christmas Tree?
What about today's Christmas tree? The Christmas tree in Egypt was the palm; in Rome it was the fir. The mother (Semiramis) of Adonis the Sun-God (Grecian name of Nimrod) was mystically said to have been changed into a tree -- the Christmas tree. While in this state she was said to have brought forth her so-called 'divine' son (Ovid's, Metain, lib. XV 500-513). Hislop, on p. 97, indicates that if the mother was the tree, the son must have been the counterfeit "Man of the branch." But the Messiah is the true "Branch" (Jeremiah 23:5). This is another pagan duality.
This, he states, accounts for putting the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas eve and the appearance of the Christmas tree next morning -- the tree that supposedly brings all divine gifts to men. When people use the Christmas tree in their celebrations, they pay homage to Semiramis, the mother (and giver) of the false "Savior." Who then do they thus acknowledge as their savior? NIMROD -- the very man who "saved" mankind from following YEHOVAH God at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:6).
What does YEHOVAH God say about the Christmas tree? "Learn not the way of the heathen...for one cutteth a tree...They deck it with silver and with gold; fasten it...that it move not...they are altogether brutish and foolish" (Jeremiah 10:1-8). YEHOVAH commands us to commemorate the Messiah's death (Mark 14:22-24) -- not his birth, which occurred before winter (Luke 2:8).
The Messiah's Conception Counterfeited
Is there a counterfeit for the human conception of the Messiah? Yes! Lady Day, celebrated each March 25th -- 9 months before the supposed "Savior" was born. This day was observed long before the Messiah's time in honor of the Babylonian "Messiah" (Ammianus Marcellinus, book 23, ch. 3, p. 355).
How clear it is becoming that the Devil supervised the fashioning of these counterfeits. They not only could be used in deceiving mankind then, as to the True way to salvation, but also could be used in deceiving people after the real Savior came! So we see that, THOSE WHO KEEP CHRISTMAS TODAY MARK THEMSELVES AS WORSHIPPERS OF THE SUN, SATAN, NIMROD, HORUS, AND SEMIRAMIS -- the apostate heroes who founded civilization after the Flood in defiance of the way of YEHOVAH God. What a group for a modern "Christian" to be worshipping!
And Semiramis? Does she have a day? Yes, she has a day reserved for herself also -- Lady Day -- and the people here and in other countries are dutifully keeping it! After all, had it not been for her, the MYSTERIES (II Thessalonians 2:7) which deceive the earth today would never have been formulated and the pagans would never have had a false "savior."
The name of Semiramis found on Assyrian monuments is "Ishtar." This corresponds to one of the titles of the Babylonian Beltes (Semiramis) -- called Astarte in the Bible. So, the very word "Easter" shows that this festival originated in Babylon (Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, p. 629).
What does this day commemorate?
Origin of Easter Observance
To discover the origin of Easter we have to go back to Semiramis and her Mysteries again!
Notice what Hislop admits on page 110: "As everything that was good...to mankind was represented in the Chaldean (Babylonian) mysteries, as in some way connected with the Babylonian goddess (Semiramis), so the greatest blessing to the human race which the ark contained...was held to be Astarte...the great civilizer and benefactor of the world...It was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that in a previous incarnation she had lived in the Antediluvian world."
The words for "egg" and "house" in the Hebrew and Chaldean are very similar. So the house or ark of Noah floating on the waters, became the "Egg." "An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates...out came Venus, who afterward became the Assyrian goddess" (Hyginus' Fabulae, pp. 148, 149) -- that is, Astarte. The pagan classic poems are full of fables of the Mystic egg of the Babylonians.
The event that the "Ishtar egg" or Easter egg first commemorated was the "arrival" (birth) of the future mother of the Sun-god on this earth after the Flood! So we see Easter commemorates Semiramis' birthday -- not the Messiah's resurrection!
Easter worship is actually sun-goddess worship!
What does YEHOVAH God say about observing Easter? "Trust ye not in lying words...the women...make cakes to the queen of heaven [This world today is doing the same thing!]...walk ye in all the ways I have commanded...But they hearkened not..."
And what happens to those who continue to disobey? -- "The carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls of heaven" (Jeremiah 7:1-33). This is the result of Easter keeping -- of following the Devil's deceptive Mysteries!
Yeshua knew that men would attach his name to pagan practices, claiming to worship him. He shouted the warning: "Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
Let us now notice one more of these deceptions that masquerade as Christian -- but are actually pagan.
The Counterfeit Cross
Is the cross which took the Messiah's life a thing to be proud of and adored? Or has the Devil deceived us here also? Our sins and the Devil's deception killed the Messiah. Satan was to bruise the heel of the seed of woman (Genesis 3:15) -- Satan was to kill the Messiah. How did he do this?
Satan deceived us into sinning and OUR sins killed the Messiah. Should we parade OUR INSTRUMENT OF DEATH, which took the Messiah's life, before the world and be proud of it? But notice even more about the practice of parading the cross.
The true original form of the Chaldean (Babylonian) alphabet letter "T" is made like like the CROSS CHURCHES USE TODAY -- and WAS THE INITIAL OF TAMMUZ, the sun-god. "This was marked on the foreheads of those initiated into the Mysteries; the Vestal virgins of pagan (not modern) Rome wore it suspended off their necklaces as nuns do now. There is hardly a pagan tribe where a cross has not been found...the X which in itself was not an unnatural symbol of Christ, and which was once regarded as such, was allowed to go entirely into disuse and the Tau cross, the sign of Tammuz, the false messiah, was everywhere substituted in its stead" (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 119).
People and churches nowadays are even going to great lengths to identify themselves with the symbol of the Sun-god! The great display of this symbol today is an outward sign of how blinded the world is to the truth of YEHOVAH God.
Origin of YEHOVAH's Week
When did YEHOVAH's week originate? What was this week like, which He has given to the world to use forever? Notice!
When YEHOVAH God remade our earth, He said of the first evening and morning, "The evening and the morning were the FIRST day" (Genesis 1:5). Then followed the SECOND day (verse 8), the THIRD day (verse 13), the FOURTH day (verse 19), and so on until the day following the sixth. He not only gave that day a number -- He gave it a name -- the Sabbath!
This, then, is when YEHOVAH's week originated. Note that it was composed of seven days, SIX OF THEM BEARING NUMBERS, and ONE OF THEM -- the last, THE SEVENTH, BEARING A NAME (see Exodus 16:23).
YEHOVAH'S Week Corrupted Early
In the library of Asshur-bani-pal of Assyria (a country which lay just north of ancient Babylonia), many clay tablets have been found relating the epic of creation. One of these tablets reads:
"On the seventh day He appointed a holy day, and to cease from all business He commanded" (Henry H. Halley Pocket Bible Handbook, p. 64 [EDITOR'S NOTE: p. 62, 24th ed., 1996]).
Here is absolute PROOF from the ancient records collected by this Assyrian King, that long before the time of Moses, Babylonia knew of YEHOVAH's seven day week.
But recall that Babylon was the place which Nimrod and his Assyrian wife, Semiramis -- called the "queen of heaven" in the Bible -- ruled. It was the country in which Satan started his perversions.
Would Satan leave YEHOVAH's simple calendar intact? Or would he pervert it and thus try to "change times and laws"? (Daniel 7:25).
Here is what happened. In ancient Babylon special days were observed on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of the month and were set apart (Webster's Rest Days, p. 230). These days of each Babylonian week were called SHABATTUM -- the pagan corruption of the SABBATH. Eventually the sabbaths of YEHOVAH God (determined by YEHOVAH's luni-solar calendar) -- times when man might enjoy spiritual pursuits -- were changed into periods of "ill omens" or "Evil Days" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 232).
On these "Evil Days" the pagans had to afflict themselves -- they had to do penance. They could not eat flesh cooked upon coals, nor change garments, nor could the physician lay hand upon the patient. At night, the king was to bring his gift before the images of Marduk (Nimrod) and Ishtar (the "Queen of Heaven," Semiramis) and offer sacrifice (Rest Days, p. 232).
The point is that even then, Satan was having other gods -- Nimrod and his wife -- worshipped on YEHOVAH's Sabbath day. SATAN HAD CORRUPTED THE SABBATH AND THEREBY THE TRUE WEEK OF YEHOVAH GOD. Did he establish a COUNTERFEIT WEEK OF HIS OWN? Yes!
Satan Produces His Own Week -- Today's Week
How did the pagans, under Satan's influence, formulate the week -- the planetary or astrological week WHICH THE WORLD STILL RETAINS TODAY?
Here is the answer: "The planetary week presents itself as a curious amalgam [or mixture] of ideas derived from different sources. BABYLONIA, THE MOTHERLAND OF DIVINATION, PROVIDED THE DOCTRINE of the influence of the stars upon human destinies: Greece furnished the mathematical astronomy which grouped the planets according to their distance from the earth...upon these foundations astrologers of the Hellenistic (Greek) era, familiar with the cult of seven and with the division of days into twenty-four hours, built up what was, at the outset, an entirely PAGAN INSTITUTION."
Notice the origin of our week -- a pagan institution!
Continuing, "This seven day week, in its astrological form...probably first appeared...[in] Syria, certainly not before the 2nd century B.C. had passed...thence to Alexandria (Egypt)...and about the age of Augustus (31 B.C. - 14 A.D.)...into the Occidental (Roman) lands" (Webster's Rest Days, pp. 218, 219). Today's continually cycling week was born from mother Babylon!!
Names of the Days
How did the pagans, under the guidance of Satan, name the days of this week -- today's week? As we have seen, old Babylonia provided the doctrine of the influence of the stars on human destinies. Remember the "Queen of Heaven," Semiramis, had identified herself with the planet Venus. Also we have seen, she identified her dead husband, Nimrod, with Saturn, and then with the SUN, ultimately making him the SUN-god.
Guided by these Babylonian influences, the pagans of a later time named the days of this new planetary week for these ancient heroes who became honored as gods: Sunday was at first set apart for the "god of this world" -- Satan, the Sun-god -- but was later associated with Nimrod after his supposed "Sunday" resurrection. Monday was set apart for the moon (Cush, the first husband of Semiramis, the "Queen of Heaven"); Friday for Venus or Frigga (Semiramis); and Saturday for Saturn (Nimrod, when he was associated with the planet Saturn as the hidden god -- the pagan "Savior" who was hid in the grave on Saturday after being killed on Friday). Nimrod's fabled "Sunday" resurrection led the pagans into honoring him on Sunday as the Sun-god.
The other days of the week received their names in similar fashion. Each received its name from a heavenly body which had been associated with some old Babylonian god or goddess which the "Queen of Heaven" -- Semiramis -- had named in honor of herself and her husband, and of Ham, Cush, Horus, and Asshur -- the first apostates!
Is this the week that YEHOVAH God gave us -- a week with its seventh day, only, bearing a name -- the Sabbath, and its other days bearing only numbers? No!
HERE IS A STRANGE WEEK. Here is a week whose days bear the NAMES of pagan gods and which has no connection to YEHOVAH's luni-solar calendar. The Sabbath day nowhere appears in this week. But Sunday, the Day of the Sun -- the SUN AROUND WHICH THE PAGANS SYMBOLICALLY ENTWINED THE SERPENT -- the DEVIL -- does appear! It is the one day which is most observed by all the earth TODAY !
This new planetary week which the world uses today is a part of our present Roman calender.
YEHOVAH's weekly cycle with its Sabbath on the seventh day and determined by counting from the New Moon has, of course, been altered. SUNday was made to come on the first day of this pagan continually cycling week.
Why Was Sunday Created?
The world after the Flood knew and understood that a Savior was to come (Genesis 3:15). So did Satan! What did he do about it?
Satan, as we have seen, inspired Nimrod to become the priest of the SUN, whose worship he initiated and furthered after the Flood. At Nimrod's death, his wife Semiramis, for purposes of prestige, contrived to convince the people that one of her illegitimate sons was miraculously conceived of her by the SUN -- her god-husband up in the sky. She claimed this son was the son of the SUN-god. Notice that this event was actually patterned after the future birth of the Messiah.
What connection have these events which occurred 4000 years ago, to do with the day of the SUN -- SUNday of our time? A great deal! Let us examine!
In Egypt shortly before 2000 B.C., (the very time when the "Queen of Heaven" -- Semiramis -- was most active in having her dead husband Nimrod worshipped as the SUN-god) worship of the sun became completely dominant. Sun worship became associated with almost every god which had not received a clear cosmic function at an earlier time (Gray's Mythology of All Races, vol. XII, p. 28).
Now it can be understood why the PAGANS, about three hundred years before the Messiah, came forward with the week that is used by the world today -- a week which CONTAINS THE DAY OF THE SUN -- SUNday -- A DAY ON WHICH THEY WORSHIPPED THEIR GOD THE SUN!
Satan was again inspiring his agents. Satan was influencing them to set apart a day -- SUNday -- on which he, through the dead Nimrod, the SUN-god, could be worshipped instead of YEHOVAH God. The serpent, Satan, was (symbolically) entwined around the SUN!
Sunday -- The "Lord's Day" -- Enters Early Church
When did the churches adopt the practice of keeping SUNday, which the pagans who joined their congregations brought with them?
When was the planetary week -- the week the world uses today -- adopted by the early church in place of the week which YEHOVAH God commanded at creation?
Here is the answer!
"The early Christians had at first adopted the seven-day week [YEHOVAH's] with its numbered weekdays, but by the close of the 3rd century A.D., this began to give way to the planetary week [Satan's]. The use of planetary names [Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.] attests to the GROWING influence of astrological speculations introduced by the converts from paganism" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 252).
THE USE OF THE PLANETARY WEEK BY THE EARLY CHRISTIANS WAS A YARDSTICK WHICH MEASURED HOW MUCH THEY WERE BEING AFFECTED BY PAGANISM.
But what about the "LORD'S DAY" which we hear so much of today? By many it is said to be Sunday. And right they are!
St. Augustine, one of the early "church fathers" (the "fathers" being a group of men who formulated the teachings of the churches after the days of the apostles), said that the "Lord's Day" was DECLARED NOT TO THE JEWS -- which it should have been if it had been declared to the Messiah or the apostles, as they were Jews -- but to the "Christians" (the newly "converted" PAGANS) by the resurrection of "the Lord" (from the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, vol. 2, under "Lord's Day").
St. Augustine here declares the "Lord's Day" is the day of the week on which the "Lord" was resurrected. Could this "Lord" be the Messiah? No!
THE "LORD" REFERRED TO BY AUGUSTINE WAS NOT THE MESSIAH! SUNday CANNOT BE OBSERVED AS THE DAY OF HIS RESURRECTION!
Then whose day was it?
"Lord's Day" Among Pagans
The "LORD'S DAY" EXISTED BEFORE THE MESSIAH WAS BORN!
Who then is "The Lord" that the people worship today when they observe Sunday -- the "Lord's Day"? The whole world today has been deceived by this surprising counterfeit!
THE PAGANS WHO FLOCKED INTO CHRISTIANITY WERE CARRYING IN MIND THEIR "LORD" NIMROD, THE FIRST GREAT LORD OR BAAL OF THIS EARTH. The word "baal" means a LORD or master. You probably never understood this before.
It was Nimrod's wife, Semiramis (counterfeit of Mary), who, after her husband's death, misled the ancient pagans to believe that THE "LORD" NIMROD HAD BEEN RESURRECTED! It was he who was supposedly "resurrected" on SUNday!
Nimrod, according to this, was the first of Satan's (the Sun's) created beings, just as the Messiah is the first-fruits of YEHOVAH's created spirit-created beings. What does this mean? It means that if we observe Sunday, we serve Satan instead of YEHOVAH God, as the Creator and Giver of Eternal Life, and show our obedience to Satan and not to YEHOVAH God!
Why Sunday Worship Is Widespread Today
But what was responsible for the later widespread rise of SUNday or "Day of the Lord" worship which prevails today?
Constantine, a civil -- not ecclesiastical -- ruler of the Roman Empire, had the most to do with the ascendancy of Sunday as the day of worship. "Constantine's famous edict (321 A.D.) definitely enrolled Sunday among the holidays of the Roman state religion. The change from Saturn's day to Sunday must have further commended the planetary week in Christian circles, where the Lord's Day...beginning the week, had long been observed as the day on which Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, rose from the dead. Thus a pagan institution was engrafted in Christianity" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 222).
Do you grasp this? A human civil ruler -- not YEHOVAH God, established the custom of observing Sunday as a time of "Christian" worship.
What was Constantine's own religion? Gibbon, the authoritative historian, in his Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, vol. 1, pp. 636-638, tells us: "Constantine...persevered till he was near forty years of age in the practice of the established religion (paganism)...But the devotion of Constantine was more peculiarly directed to the genius of the Sun...The Sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine."
Notice that Constantine became a "Christian" after he was about forty years of age. But, it was also after he was about forty that he, by his legislation, brought his Sun-god -- the "lord" -- and Sun-day into the "Christian" Church to stay. Today, the vast majority of "Christians" are still following in his footsteps.
What were the words of Constantine's famous edict of 321 A.D.? "On the venerable day of the sun let all magistrates and people...rest." (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article "Sunday Legislation").
Satan wants, as always, to be YEHOVAH God! He has substituted his week and his day -- Sunday. He, Satan, wants to be known as the Creator of all things -- including time -- and Giver of Eternal Life. Yes, Satan has been successful in this deception. The earth today has adopted his pagan week and Sunday worship!
Vain Repetition of Prayers
Yeshua commands, "WHEN YE PRAY, USE NOT VAIN REPETITIONS, AS THE HEATHEN DO: FOR THEY THINK THAT THEY SHALL BE HEARD FOR THEIR MUCH SPEAKING" (Matthew 6:7). Where does this mechanical repetition and telling of prayers upon beads come from then, if it is not commanded of YEHOVAH God?
The rosary (the instrument containing beads on which prayers are counted) was used as a sacred instrument among the ancient Mexicans (Humboldt's Mexican Researches, vol. ii, p. 29), also among the Brahmins. Hindu sacred books refer to it often. It was used by the heathen of ancient Tibet, China, and Greece, and ancient Rome (Rome before the time of the Messiah!). The name "Rosary" itself seems to be from the Chaldee (Babylonian) 'Ro', 'thought', and 'Shareh', 'director' " (Hislop, p. 188). The very present name -- Ro-sar-y -- indicates that this method came from Babylon.
The Rosary allows people to think they are worshipping YEHOVAH God but to overlook the great fact that YEHOVAH wants above all things that prayer should be from the heart.
As regards the Rosary of the Sacred Heart, the "Heart" was one of the sacred symbols of Osiris (the Egyptian Tammuz or Nimrod), when he was supposedly born again as the infant divinity, and carried in the arms of his mother Isis (the Egyptian Semiramis). Dryden's Aeneid, book i, pp. 937-940, shows why the heart was Osiris' symbol when he was born-again: Venus (a Grecian name for Semiramis), speaking to the boy-god, her son, said, "My Son, my might...To thee thy much afflicted mother flies." The son was called "the Strength" of his mother. "Thus the boy-god came to be regarded as the "god of the heart," or cupid, or god of love.
In this Rosary of the Sacred Heart, therefore, it is Tammuz, the Sun-god, who is venerated -- and in our day!
St. Valentine's Heart
The Messiah said: "I am the light of the world. He that followeth Me shall...have the light of life" (John 8:12). Through the Messiah's WORDS, LIGHT was shed to the people on how to attain eternal life. Did Satan have counterfeits formulated to correspond to this part of Yeshua's character? Let us see.
Nimrod being reborn as the incarnation of the SUN (the light-bringer), the "sacred heart" was frequently represented as being aflame. It became an emblem of the incarnate Son. "To be represented as a heart on fire, required also that burning lamps and lighted candles should form part of the worship of that Son" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 191).
The Savior is spoken of as the "Messiah which is...Christ" (John 1:41). The word "Messiah," according to Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, means one who is anointed with Holy oil. Kings of Israel were called "anointed" from this mode of consecration. The Saviour was the Messiah, the anointed one consecrated by YEHOVAH God.
Extreme Unction a Counterfeit of Salvation
We now shall see how Satan, knowing of the Messiah's coming -- the one who would come to make peace between mankind and YEHOVAH God -- produced counterfeits hundreds of years before he was born. It did not take Semiramis, inspired by Satan, long to incorporate this into her Mysteries and identify this title with her dead husband, Nimrod:
"Among the many names of the Babylonian god (Nimrod) was the name 'Beel-samen', 'Lord of Heaven', which is the name of the sun. But Beel-samen also properly signified 'Lord of Oil' and was evidently intended as a synonym of the Divine name 'The Messiah'." (Note here the subtle counterfeit of Semiramis, as inspired by the Devil, to duplicate the real Messiah!)
"This also accounts for the fact that the body of the Babylonian Belus (Nimrod) was represented as having been preserved in his sepulchre...floating in oil. And...at Rome the 'statue of Saturn' (Nimrod) was made hollow and filled with oil...As the olive branch was one of the symbols of their Messiah (Nimrod) whose great mission it was to make peace between God and man so, in bearing this branch of the anointed one, they thereby testified that in the name of that anointed one they came seeking peace" (Hislop, p. 165). IF ONE WAS ANOINTED WITH OIL BEFORE HE DIED, HE WAS SURE OF A GRACIOUS RECEPTION BY HIS GOD, THEY BELIEVED.
"The worshippers of this...'Lord of Heaven'...were also anointed with 'magical ointments'...to fit and prepare them for being admitted in vision, into his awful presence...Thus the pagan system naturally developed into an 'extreme unction'...[which] was entirely unknown among the Christians till corruption was far advanced in the Church" (p. 166).
Extreme unction thus was being practiced by pagans hundreds of years before the great falling away from the truth occurred in the Church. It was being used to prepare those who were being initiated into the Mysteries to meet their god in vision in an initiation. It was also to prepare others to make their last journey into the unknown beyond.
After the Messiah's death, the apostate Church, desiring to retain this pagan practice for the thousands of incoming pagans and also to pacify the professing Christians, concocted a spiritual basis: "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil...and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 15:14-15). THIS COMMAND IS OBVIOUSLY GIVEN FOR PHYSICAL HEALING AND NOT TO PREPARE MAN TO MEET THE CREATOR! This scripture was deliberately misinterpreted to allow a pagan counterfeit to masquerade as Christian. Repentance and the Messiah's blood make forgiveness possible. But by this pagan rite, men claim to prepare one another to meet the Creator -- but the rite or ceremony is only a continuation of pagan Sun-worship, worship of a false Messiah.
So those who could have life by YEHOVAH's healing COMMAND are led astray, by Satan's counterfeit, into other ways which bring death. They are deceived into honoring a false Messiah -- into using a false method to prepare them for their final judgment!
Today this same deception is perpetuated in the name of "Christianity"!
Relic Worship of Pagan Origin
IN MANY CHURCHES TODAY THE WORSHIP OF RELICS PLAYS AN IMPORTANT PART. It is believed that, "Whenever a chapel is opened or a temple consecrated, it cannot be thoroughly complete without some relic...of he-saint or she-saint to GIVE SANCTITY to it...The grossest impostures have been practiced in regard to such relics...and their WONDER WORKING POWERS..." In the realms of Heathendom the same worship had flourished for ages before Christian saints or martyrs had appeared in the world (Hislop p. 176).
It was found in China, Greece, India, and other places. Nimrod, it will be remembered, was cut in pieces. Plutarch (vol. ii, p. 358, A), describes the search Semiramis made for these pieces, "Isis (Semiramis) set out...in search of the scattered pieces of her husband's body...and one reason assigned for the different sepulchres of Osiris (Nimrod) in Egypt is that whenever any one of his scattered limbs was discovered she buried it on the spot. Not only were these Egyptian RELICS SACRED THEMSELVES, BUT THEY CONSECRATED THE VERY GROUND IN WHICH THEY WERE ENTOMBED" (Ibid. sec. 20, vol. ii, p. 359 A).
"If the places where the relics of Osiris were buried were accounted peculiarly holy, it is easy to see how naturally this would give rise to pilgrimages so frequent among the heathen." In the Middle Ages such pilgrimages to the tombs of the saints, were to wash away sin (Hislop, p. 180).
Nowhere in the Bible are pilgrimages commanded!!
Mankind spread from the original Babylon to all parts of the earth to form Babylon the Great. It is thus easy to see where today's "Great Babylon" acquired this practice. Such practices are entirely contrary to YEHOVAH's teachings. When a human being dies today, he remains dead. He cannot "sanctify," "work wonders," or "consecrate" anything. Even David, one of YEHOVAH's most beloved, is still dead (Acts 2:29). Only when YEHOVAH God and the Messiah come will the righteous live again (I Corinthians 15:51; I Thessalonians 4:16). IT IS OBVIOUS WHERE THE FALSE IDEA THAT MAN CONTINUES TO LIVE AFTER HE IS DEAD COMES FROM!
Other Deceptive Counterfeits
Church government in the Middle Ages was patterned after the Pagan College of Pontiffs, with its "Pontifex Maximus," which had existed in Rome from the earliest times. It is known to have been framed on the model of the grand original Council of Pontiffs at ancient Babylon, and the keys that their human leader emblazons on his arms as the ensigns of his spiritual authority were the symbols of two well-known pagan divinities who existed at Rome before the apostate Church was ever founded -- Janus (the Roman name for a god who represented Nimrod in one of his many forms), and Cybele (Nimrod's wife Semiramis). Each of these two divinities had a key which opened the doors to the kingdom of heaven.
Clerical celibacy, the shaving of the heads of priests, the pontifical crosier, and the mitre were all known in ancient Babylon.
These are other pieces of evidence as to what the people of today are actually worshipping. DOES YEHOVAH GOD HOLD PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE TODAY FOR WORSHIPPING THIS SYSTEM JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE DECEIVED? HE HELD OUR FOREFATHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR WORSHIPPING THIS IDENTICALLY SAME SYSTEM OF MYSTERIES EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE DECEIVED! Why wouldn't He hold us responsible? He says He will! (Revelation 18:4). We are to come out of Babylon or we will receive of her plagues! The plagues will soon fall!
"Mystery of Iniquity" A Secret System
As we have seen, the OPEN WORSHIP of the sun (or fire) and the snake (the Devil) was STOPPED when the righteous forces of Shem destroyed Nimrod, who had been the great power promoting this worship. SHEM FORBADE THE WORSHIP OF THESE SYMBOLS. When Semiramis started the forbidden system again, it had to be through a SYSTEM OF MYSTERIOUS SYMBOLS. We have seen that she deified her dead husband Nimrod, herself, and her son, Tammuz. She associated them with great personages of the past, and set up a system whereby they might also be worshipped through symbols. Thus those who were initiated into the meaning of these symbols could continue their worship of the things which had been forbidden.
THIS MYSTERY SYSTEM BECAME THE MOST POWERFUL DECEPTIVE RELIGIOUS DEVICE THIS WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN, as will later be proved by the Bible itself!
Nimrod had many titles as did also his wife (Wilkinson, vol. iv, p. 179). As we have seen, one of Nimrod's names is Saturn, which signifies the Hidden god. To those who were initiated, he was revealed; to all others, he was hidden. Why is this word "Saturn" the very key that connects the idolatrous Babylon of that time with the Babylonish fountain-head of idolatry in our time?
"The name Saturn in Chaldee (Babylonian) is...Stur. This name contains exactly the Apocalyptic number 666: S=60, T=400, U=6, R=200...(Hislop, pp. 269-270). The apostle John wrote (Revelation 13:16-18) that people would wear a "666" on their foreheads and right arms. In the Greek text, "666" is represented by Greek letters that also have numerical values, specifically: Chi Xi Stigma, or "Six-hundred, three-score and six." The Greek letters Chi Xi Stigma also spell a phrase in another language -- and that language is Arabic. The word it spells is "Bismillah" which means (literally) "In the name of Allah."
If you re-read Revelation 13:18 ("Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666") inserting "bismillah" in place of Chi Xi Stigma, it reads:
"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding compute the number of the beast; for it is a man's number; and his number is 'IN THE NAME OF ALLAH'" (The Emphatic Diaglott).
Where do you see this today? It is what is written on the green banners and green armbands that Muslims wear at protests, rallies, parades, etc. It is also what Martyrs for Islam wear on their heads and right arms when they blow themselves up -- yelling "Allah Akbar" ("God is Great"). It is on the new Muslim coinage, and everything in Islam is done "In the Name of Allah."
Note in particular that NIMROD, THE HEAD OF THE PAGAN SUN-SERPENT WORSHIP, WHO WAS FALSELY REPRESENTED AS THE VERY SON OF GOD, BORE THE NUMBER 666! This same number continues to be branded on the present-day Babylonish system, whose symbols hide the actual worship of the devil. How do we know? Because a world-wide religious leader who represents this system will brand himself with this number by his very actions! -- by acting as Nimrod did -- setting himself up in the place of the Messiah, the first-born son of YEHOVAH God!
It is prophesied that YEHOVAH God Himself will come to this earth and smite the nations and rule them (Isaiah 2:1-4). But what is also prophesied to happen just before YEHOVAH God will establish His rule in Jerusalem?
YEHOVAH says, "I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem" (Joel 3:1). Literal Jerusalem is soon to go into captivity to a coming confederation of Islamic nations in the Middle East. The religious head (False Prophet) of this coming confederation will "...tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months (Revelation 11:2).
He will place his headquarters of worship in the land which prophecy shows YEHOVAH God intends to use as His own headquarters and place of worship. Furthermore, this human religious head will "...cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name...for it is the number of a man: His number is 666" (Revelation 13:16-18).
YEHOVAH GOD, is to come to Jerusalem to establish His worship on the earth, but there will be a mortal man (with the complicity of the Vatican) who will come to this same place to spread the pagan worship of Muhammad and Allah over the earth. THIS MAN WILL PLACE UPON HIMSELF THE SAME NUMBER THAT NIMROD, THE ORIGINATOR OF THE WORLD'S FALSE RELIGIOUS WORSHIP, CARRIED. NIMROD, AS THE "SON OF GOD," WAS REPRESENTED AS BEING THE MESSIAH!!
Here is proof that the system of Mysterious Iniquity (in its various forms), whose head will brand himself with the number 666, is the same hidden system that has existed from the Flood and only for the purpose of perverting YEHOVAH's teachings. It is no wonder that the Messiah's gospel was "infiltrated" and twisted. The wonder would have been if this had not occurred!
In summarizing, recall that mysterious or hidden symbols are used. These symbols exist today, such as the Christmas tree, the Easter egg, the hot cross bun -- there are many others.
Also, just as symbolic as the Christmas tree and other material symbols, are the periods of time set apart by Satan for the worship of other than the true God -- Christmas, Easter, Lent, the Haji -- and many other symbolic periods which are hiding from people today the real "gods" they are worshipping! SATAN HAS ALWAYS TAUGHT OTHER GOSPELS -- WRONG AND IMPOSSIBLE WAYS OF OBTAINING IMMORTALITY -- YOU CAN'T WORSHIP THE SYMBOLS OF SATAN'S GODS AND OBTAIN ETERNAL LIFE. Even to the initiated, this worship was mysterious or hidden until explained. The individual (Satan) who is at the head is mysterious or hidden. YEHOVAH God has given Satan's system the name "Babylon," which means "Confusion" (Revelation 17:5). No wonder the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with confusing doctrines (Revelation 17:2).
Satan hid in the form of a serpent; Adam hid in the garden after he had sinned; Nimrod was hidden in the Chaldean Mysteries. The Devil is now the (hidden) god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4) and is deceiving the whole earth (Revelation 12:9)! The WORLD TODAY THINKS IT IS WORSHIPPING YEHOVAH GOD, BUT HE SAYS IT IS DECEIVED.
We have seen that there were pagan religious practices in the time of the Messiah and the apostles which closely resembled the doctrines the apostles practiced and preached. We have studied these pagan customs and found that they originated from a common source -- the old Babylonian Mysteries of Semiramis, and that they have found their way into religious practices of our day. They mask the way to salvation which the Messiah taught. THIS BABYLONISH SYSTEM, MASQUERADING AS CHRISTIAN, CONTROLS THE WORSHIP OF THE WORLD TODAY!
Fortunate will be the few who find their way out of this morass of confusion and STAND READY to be transformed at YEHOVAH God's and the Messiah's soon coming!
Today's Greatest Religious Hoax!
It comes as a shock to realize that the professing Christian world is being deluded by a FALSE MESSIAH -- one who has been masqueraded as Yeshua the Messiah.
The apostle Paul knew of this clever deception that would be foisted upon the Church. Here is what he said under the inspiration of YEHOVAH God:
"I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your thought should be corrupted...For if he who cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach...or another gospel, which ye did not receive" -- that is, if any minister comes who preaches about ANOTHER MESSIAH -- a false Messiah whom the apostles did not preach about, or another GOSPEL -- a different way to ETERNAL LIFE than the way you received from the Messiah and his apostles -- "ye bear well with him" -- you accept his false message! (II Corinthians 11:3-4).
Paul was shocked at the fact that Christians in his own day were giving heed to the false doctrines about another Messiah -- a false Messiah to whom the name of Yeshua the Messiah was appropriated.
A false savior appeared long before the Messiah's time and is the one upon which people today are depending for their salvation! IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP! Bible evidence proves that this is just what has happened!
World's False Savior Reappears
The inhabitants of the earth just after the Flood knew and understood that a Savior was to come (Genesis 3:15), but they did not know WHEN he would come. They were LOOKING and WAITING for HIM!
It was under these circumstances that Nimrod -- the world's greatest leader and founder of this world's civilization after the Flood -- died (Genesis 10:9-11). Semiramis, his wife -- known also as the "Queen of Heaven" (Jeremiah 44:17, 25) -- desired to retain the vast holdings of her dead husband at all costs.
She conceived a daring plan. Her family, even at the death of Nimrod, was considered very unusual because of their great exploits. It was not difficult when she gave notice to the world of the day that her illegitimate child HORUS WAS THE VERY Savior reborn FOR WHOM THEY WERE LOOKING!
The world knew that Nimrod had "liberated" them from YEHOVAH's "distasteful" ways. Therefore, after Nimrod had been slain, Semiramis claimed that she miraculously conceived and that Nimrod was thus miraculously reborn to her as the "SAVIOR" in the form of her present illegitimate son, Horus or Ninyas, as he was called in different nations.
HORUS, then, WAS THE "SAVIOR" THEY WERE LOOKING FOR! SEMIRAMIS WAS THE VIRGIN MOTHER! The world accepted them.
NIMROD, IN HIS NEW FORM OF HORUS WAS TO continue to LIBERATE THE WORLD FROM YEHOVAH'S distasteful WAYS, AND WAS TO USHER IN A new WAY -- another WAY OF LIFE! -- THE WAY OF sin, IF YOU PLEASE.
This Semiramis, the Queen of Heaven, received the adoration of the world through her lie. She became the virgin mother of the "Savior"! Her position over the holdings of Nimrod was thus secure.
Even today, this woman Semiramis -- whose Assyrian name was Ishtar, pronounced as "EASTER" -- is worshipped. The world continues to pay homage to her as mother of its "Savior" in the pagan festival Easter.
Because of the fierce opposition of Noah's son Shem, Semiramis was compelled by this circumstance to use SYMBOLS to represent the three members of her family so that the early world after the Flood could worship them secretly. Thus arose the MYSTERY system, referred to in the New Testament (II Thessalonians 2:7), by which EASTER and innumerable other pagan customs have been introduced into the Church. Those who knew the MEANING of the SYMBOLS knew whom they worshipped -- the outsiders did not.
These three, the husband, the wife, and her illegitimate son, came to be worshipped in many symbolic forms, and under many Babylonian names. Her system has been perpetuated by monks, nuns, and celibate priests down to this day!
Today's Religious Confusion From One Masked Source
THE POLLUTION of YEHOVAH's teachings, whether ancient or modern, came from ONE great masked source. It is hard to believe -- yet it is absolutely true!
It came from one family -- the family of Nimrod and Semiramis! THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS HAS BEEN GRADUALLY LOST!
This is how it happened, step by step:
1). At first Semiramis -- also called Ishtar or Easter -- desired to have the members of her family worshipped openly, but, as we have seen, she was forced by the opposition of Shem to have them worshipped through SYMBOLS.
The hero worship, bestowed upon Nimrod while he was alive, became transferred to symbolic rites in his honor after his untimely death. The remembrance of her dead Nimrod was so strong and his popularity had been so great that the worship of Nimrod, his Queen of Heaven (Semiramis), and her son Horus saturated the whole earth in the time of Semiramis' rule.
The very use of SYMBOLS to represent the human beings that were worshipped did, however, remove the people one step from the knowledge of whom they worshipped. The people were not as aware of whom they were actually worshipping as they would have been, had they not been worshipping them through SYMBOLS!
The point is, the world even then, after SYMBOLS were introduced, was not quite as aware that they were worshipping Nimrod's family, although for a time it was explained to them. SYMBOLS CLOUDED THE REALIZATION OF WHOM PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY WORSHIPPING!
The Next Fateful Factor
2). The second great factor which made the people of the earth lose sight of whom they were actually worshipping was that various family groups at the tower of Babel were miraculously given different LANGUAGES. They could not understand what the other family groups were talking about!
Thus, while each group was actually worshipping the same original three persons, ultimately, as they began to spread out upon the face of the earth from this central focal spot close to where their forefather, Noah, had landed the ark, THEY BEGAN TO BELIEVE THEY WERE WORSHIPPING different GODS! For the three were bearing DIFFERENT NAMES!
3). Now we come to the third great masking procedure. It was a method which brought to complete perfection, the other two masking processes. It was a process which has culminated in completely blinding the world today to the fact that it is also worshipping only three human beings -- Nimrod, Semiramis, and Horus.
What is this procedure?
After the Messiah was born, THE DEVIL INSPIRED CHRISTIAN NAMES TO BE PUT UPON THE RITES AND DOCTRINES WHICH SEMIRAMIS FORMULATED BY WHICH SHE, HER SON, AND HER HUSBAND WERE TO BE WORSHIPPED!
Labeling Pagan Practices by Christian Names
Here is how it happened! The Gentiles all around the Messiah in his day were still worshipping the first "SAVIOR" -- Nimrod. The world in the Messiah's day was saturated with the worship of the "unholy" three. The worship was attractive -- there was still the desire to be "liberated" from the authority of YEHOVAH God by their own "Savior." Seeing the POWER of the Messiah manifested through miracles, people wanted to associate themselves with him. Yet they would not accept the Messiah's gospel -- a repentance or TURNING from their former ways, NIMROD'S WAYS. They rejected the only WAY to obtain eternal life. The people were in a quandary as what to do about their TWO SAVIORS!
SO, WHAT DID THEY DO? THEY PAID "LIP SERVICE" TO THE MESSIAH BY PLACING "CHRISTIAN" NAMES ON THE OLD PROCEDURES BY WHICH THE false "Savior" WAS WORSHIPPED; AND THEY continued TO WORSHIP and follow THE first "SAVIOR"! Do you understand?
OUR WORLD HAS REFUSED THE MESSIAH, THE TRUE SAVIOR, and his ways -- IT STILL CLINGS TO THE FALSE "SAVIOR and his ways" -- "another Jesus" -- against which Paul warned (II Corinthians 11:3-4). THIS WORLD APPARENTLY WANTS TO LIVE LICENTIOUSLY and DIE OF VIOLENCE, THE SAME AS DID THE FAMILY OF NIMROD WHICH REJECTED THE TRUE GOD AND HIS WAYS! The world made its great decision at the time the TRUE SAVIOR appeared! No wonder THE MESSIAH MUST APPEAR A SECOND TIME TO SAVE THIS WORLD FROM ITS SINS! (Hebrews 9:28).
Pagan Rites Masquerading as Christian
The procedures for worshipping the counterfeit "Savior" still remain and are observed, although they bear "lip service" to the name of the Messiah. Nimrod's birthday on December 25th is still celebrated around the earth, although it bears the somewhat Christian name of "Christ-mas." Sun-day -- the day of the SUN -- Nimrod's day -- is still observed worldwide, although it is now often called by the name of "Sabbath." Semiramis' sprinkling rite continues to be used, although it now falsely bears the Christian name of "baptism."
These pagan practices -- falsely labeled "Christian" -- are masquerading as the teaching of a "Jesus" -- a DIFFERENT Messiah from the one whose life and doctrine is taught in the Bible!
The surface has barely been scratched here in naming all the ways which Semiramis formulated for the worship of her "Savior" -- ways which are used by the whole world today to worship Nimrod instead of honoring the Messiah!
You Are Born Into Your Religion
4). There is a fourth factor which comes naturally into play and which has aided in hiding from the world today those whom they are actually worshipping.
Here is how it works!
Semiramis was forced to introduce symbols for her family so that others could worship them. The worshippers were at first told that in adoring these symbols (idols, trees, animals, periods of time, etc.) they were actually worshipping the members of her family.
The priest who told a worshipper what these symbols actually represented bore the title of "Peter," which in the Babylonian language means "interpreter" (The Two Babylons, p. 208). There was a "Peter" in Rome, for instance, who later became confused with Peter the apostle of the Messiah.
In time the symbols were no longer explained -- THE ONCOMING GENERATIONS WERE "born INTO THE FAITH OF THEIR FATHERS" -- THEY WORSHIPPED THEY KNEW NOT WHAT! Their father's old time "religion" was good enough for them. THEY WORSHIPPED THE first "SAVIOR" FOR THE SOLE REASON THAT IT WAS THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE -- they did not know of any other handy way to worship. THIS IS WHAT PROBABLY HAPPENED TO YOU! YOU WERE PROBABLY born INTO YOUR RELIGION!
PEOPLE ARE NOT PROVING THINGS BY THE Bible as the Bereans were commended for doing (Acts 17:11). People today unquestionably accept the confused denominational teachings of their parents handed down by tradition from generation to generation.
Bible Proof That World Worships False "Savior"
If the world is so saturated with the worship of Nimrod, the counterfeit "Savior," and his family, many ask, "Why doesn't the Bible concern itself with the matter?"
This is naturally the thought that enters anyone's mind. Here is the answer:
The worship of Nimrod's family is the only false religious system that the Bible does speak of -- it is that important! The Bible mentions Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-10), his Queen of Heaven -- Semiramis (Jeremiah 44:17-19, 25), and Horus -- the Queen of Heaven's illegitimate son who was supposed to be Nimrod miraculously reborn as the "Savior." Then the BIBLE EXPLAINS NOTHING ELSE IN THE WAY OF A FALSE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM BUT OF symbolic idols WHICH STOOD FOR ONE OR THE OTHER OF NIMROD'S FAMILY -- the symbols which were conjured up by the mind of Semiramis.
The world has noticed, and marveled at the great variety of gods which the Bible shows were worshipped by Old Testament people. There seems to be no connection between them. But this is not true. It is a fact that they all came from ONE source -- from that first ruling family of Old Babylon!
Let us now notice IN THE BIBLE how the world-wide worship of Nimrod, the first "Savior," and of his family, caused Israel, the only nation that made any attempt to follow the true God, to turn away from Him. MARK WELL THAT THESE THREE -- NIMROD, HORUS, AND THE THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN and no others WERE THE ONES WHOM THE WHOLE EARTH WORSHIPPED. But different names in different lands were applied to them. This is what YEHOVAH God referred to when He said the people "went a whoring after other gods" (Judges 2:17).
Abraham and Israel
In Abraham, YEHOVAH God found a man after the Flood who would obey Him. He commanded him to leave his home country and told him He would make of him a great nation and give him and his offspring forever all the land he saw (Genesis 12:1-4; 13:14-15). Ultimately, Abraham's twelve grandsons found themselves in Egypt due to a famine in Palestine, and there they became the slaves of the Egyptians (Exodus 1:11).
They were in Egypt -- the land which, according to other evidence, was full of the worshippers of the Mysteries (SYMBOLS) of Semiramis. They were among the pagans, and remained captives among them over two hundred years. They learned, while there, how to worship the first "Savior" and his "virgin" (so-called) mother, the Queen of Heaven (Semiramis). They forgot the True God, but YEHOVAH, because of His promise to Abraham, had not forgotten them.
He led them out of Egypt and promised them He would make them the greatest of nations if they would forsake their idol (SYMBOL) worship and follow Him. If they would not, He said He would punish them severely (Leviticus chap. 26).
Israel Worshipped Counterfeit "Savior"
The Israelites had scarcely started their journey to the promised land when the people called for their old SYMBOLIC pagan gods that they had known in Egypt. Moses had gone up on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. In his absence the people said to Aaron, "Make us gods (SYMBOLS), which shall go before us; for as this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him" (Exodus 32:1).
Aaron made them a golden calf to worship, which, as we have shown, was the way the Egyptians mystically worshipped Osiris (Nimrod), their "Savior." This was almost 1500 B.C.
Those who first worshipped the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-4), did so with the full knowledge that they were worshipping the "reborn" Nimrod -- the "Savior" in one of his symbolic forms! The calf symbolized the false Savior, as the Lamb symbolized the True Savior.
EVERY ONE OF THE NINETEEN KINGS THAT RULED OVER THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AFTER THE SEPARATION OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH, WORSHIPPED THE GOLDEN CALF -- the symbol of the FIRST "SAVIOR"!
Now continue through the Scriptures.
Do you recall the account of the Europeans who passed through the bonfire in our "Christian" times? Now notice that your BIBLE shows it originates from the worship of Nimrod:
We have previously shown that Molech was also a title applied to Nimrod in one of his idol forms and that in order to "purify" themselves, people, usually children, were made to "pass through the fire to Molech." In Leviticus 18:21, just after they had left Egypt, YEHOVAH warned Israel: "Thou shall not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech." "Whosoever...giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death" (Leviticus 20:2).
That this practice was picked up from neighboring pagan nations is evident; "Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations...that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire" (Deuteronomy 18:9-10).
Today the teaching has become the doctrine of purgatorial fires in the next life.
Why Mentioned In Scripture
Now we can begin to see why YEHOVAH God named in Scripture an endless array of pagan gods -- ALL OF WHOM REPRESENT THE THREE DEIFIED MEMBERS OF Nimrod's FAMILY! IT IS A VEILED WARNING THAT A WORLD saturated WITH THE WORSHIP OF THE false MESSIAH WOULD continue TO WORSHIP THE FALSE "SAVIOR" THEY HAD KNOWN SINCE THE FLOOD -- BUT WOULD REJECT THE TRUE SAVIOR AND HIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM WHEN HE CAME, EVEN THOUGH THEY WOULD APPROPRIATE HIS NAME FOR THEIR PAGAN CUSTOMS.
Chemosh was the god of the Moabites. YEHOVAH says Israel had forgotten Him and was worshipping Chemosh (I Kings 11:33). Who was Chemosh? He is identified with Baal-peor -- the pagan "Christ child" -- and with Baal-zebub, Mars, and Saturn (Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, p. 115). We have shown that Saturn was one name of Nimrod, and Mars, another name as the god of war of the Greeks. Chemosh, then, was the Moabite name for Nimrod.
Solomon, despite his wisdom, built an altar to him (II Kings 23:13). Even he was misled by this Babylonian worship.
Israel also joined itself to the worship of the idol BAAL-PEOR which is but another form of the old Babylonian worship of Nimrod (Numbers 25:3). Again in Numbers 31:16, YEHOVAH God rebukes Israel for worshipping PEOR, which is the abbreviated name of BAAL-peor.
A Dead "Savior"
Recall that the true Messiah is often pictured still hanging dead on a cross -- whereas he is actually LIVING today.
YEHOVAH God admonishes in Psalm 106:28 that Israel "joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead" -- the dead human Nimrod, (Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 69). These people were eating sacrifices offered to Nimrod. YEHOVAH God was telling them a dead god could do them no good. The true God is a living God (John 6:57).
BAAL-ZEBUB, the god of Ekron (II Kings 1:3-4), the pagan god of medicine, was none other than Nimrod (Hislop, p. 279). Here we see Israel partaking of the Mysteries of Semiramis and worshipping Nimrod in this form also, by depending on healing from him through doctors and drugs. Luke 11:15 shows the real power behind Baal-zebub -- it was the "chief" of the demons -- Satan.
These are the pagan customs which have passed into the churches as Christian customs. They are labeled with the name of the Messiah -- but they originated among the pagans as a means to help them worship the FALSE MESSIAH!
Peter warns you today that there is no other way to be saved than through the NAME AND PERSON OF THE TRUE MESSIAH! (Acts 4:12).
History's Secrets Unfold
YEHOVAH had promised Israel -- the people He chose for a special mission -- that if they obey Him, the greatest earthly blessings any nation ever had, would be theirs. But He did not promise the nation, as a whole, eternal life. In Egypt, they had lost much of the knowledge of the True God their ancestors had possessed. In bringing them out of Egypt, YEHOVAH performed many miracles, showing them His power (Jeremiah 32:21).
Were they going to obey the True God who could and would make His promise of material wealth and power come true if they obeyed Him? Or were they going to be misled by the Devil-inspired idols of Semiramis, which were, as we shall soon prove, all about them?
Were they going to believe the Devil's lie -- that they could obtain eternal life by following the doctrines taught by the Mysteries of Semiramis, who falsely promised eternal life (a thing she could not bestow)? Or would Israel see through this deception and follow YEHOVAH's commands instead and obtain the material wealth of this earth, and ultimately, through YEHOVAH's promise to Abraham, eternal life? (Recall that Adam and Eve lost the material garden of Eden and eternal life at that time by following Satan's deception.)
Baal and Ashtoroth
Scarcely over sixty years after YEHOVAH God led Israel out of Egypt, YEHOVAH says: "They forsook the Eternal and served Baal and Ashtoroth" (Judges 2:13). We find these two names used in many places in connection with the Israelites.
Who were they? Why are they so important in Scripture?
The word "baal" means master or lord (New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 820). As first and mightiest of the lords of the earth, Nimrod, became Baal or Bel (Peloubet, p. 80). He was recognized as the chief Babylonian deity (Halley's Pocket Bible Handbook, p. 95). Ashtaroth, as we have previously shown, was Semiramis. Israel was soon worshipping these two under these names.
Israel also worshipped Baal-berith (Judges 8:33). Nimrod, as Mediator and head of the covenant of grace, took this name or the name of Mithras (Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 70). "Solomon went after Ashtoreth" (I Kings 11:5, 33). For a short time Israel "did put away Baal-im and Ash-ta-roth and served the Eternal only" (I Samuel 7:4), but they returned to this pagan practice (I Samuel 12:10). Please recall that Ashtaroth is just another form for the word "Ishtar" or "Easter" which the Christ-professing world observes today!
We, today, just as Israel was, are "in Babylon" or "in Egypt" which continued Babylon's pagan practices! "Jeroboam...served Baal, and worshipped him" (I Kings 16:31). You have heard of him. Is modern Israel -- the United States of America and the British Commonwealth -- not worshipping Baal (Nimrod) by observing his birthday, Christmas?
The priests of Baal (remember, Nimrod was the first and mightiest of baals, or gods) were the official representatives of Israel's religion (I Kings 18:26), while Ahab and Jezebel were the rulers. These priests, in their rituals, "leaped" or, properly translated, "limped," or "went sideways" just as their god Baal (Nimrod) is said to have done when he, through Semiramis' Mysteries, was identified as Adam who "went sidewise" or turned aside when he disobeyed YEHOVAH God.
The official representatives of Israel's religion in the reign of Ahab and Jezebel were the Priests of Nimrod! Nimrod had become Israel's god!
Do the representatives of modern Israel's religions not encourage us to keep Nimrod's Sun-days and birthday? Who is our national god today? Among all the millions in those days who followed Baal under Ahab and Jezebel, only seven thousand did not follow him (I Kings 19:18). How many are not keeping these days today in our nation?
Other Names of Nimrod
Israel worshipped Milcom "the god of the children of Ammon." Who was this? None other than Molech whom we have identified as Nimrod (New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 824). Judah was worshipping this god just before her captivity (II Kings 23:13). Jeremiah 7:17-20 warned Judah against her practice of worshipping the Queen of Heaven, who was Semiramis.
Now please notice II Kings 17:17, Jeremiah 8:18-22, and Deuteronomy 4:16-19. Alexander Hislop, in his book, page 309 says: "As Baal (Nimrod) the Lord of Heaven had his visible emblem -- the sun, so she (Semiramis) as Beltes, Queen of Heaven, must have hers also -- the moon." This happens to be the symbol of Islam today! Josiah (II Kings 23:11) "burned the chariots of the sun with fire."
With regard to Israel's and Judah's gods being represented by stars, the New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 827, says "The stars formed a class...corresponding to the Igigi or 'heaven gods' of the Babylonians."
High places, elevations used in the main for idolatry, were all over Israel and Judah (II Kings 23:13, Micah 1:3). Bel (Isaiah 46:1) was Baal or Nimrod, as we have seen, and Nebo (same ref.) was Nimrod as the prophetic god (Hislop, p. 34). Dagon (I Samuel 5:2-5) was the fish god of Babylon, whom Semiramis created in order to associate the dead Nimrod with Noah (Hislop, p. 264). Recall that Semiramis associated her dead deified husband with great personalities for prestige.
As we saw (earlier), Israel continued to worship the golden calf. YEHOVAH God said He would cut off the horns of the altars at Bethel (Amos 3:14). Israel had a golden calf there (Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, p. 87). YEHOVAH warned Israel just before her captivity which He brought upon her for such practices, "Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. Therefore they shall be as...the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind" (Hosea 13:2-3). YEHOVAH warns Israel today -- the U.S. and Britain, "Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off...they shall return to Egypt" (Hosea 8:5, 13).
Samaria was the capital of the ten northern tribes of Israel. They never returned to the land of Egypt after Moses' time but we, their descendants, will do so, as this prophecy shows -- and soon!
We have seen that Molech was a title applied to Nimrod in one of his god forms and that in order to "purify" themselves, people, usually children, were made to "pass through the fire to Molech." In Leviticus 18:21, YEHOVAH warned Israel: "Thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech." Again, "whosoever...giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death" (Leviticus 20:2).
But they went right ahead and disobeyed YEHOVAH God, for "Ahaz...the king of Judah...walked in the way of the kings of Israel...and made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen" (II Kings 16:1-3). That this practice was picked up from pagan nations is evident. "Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations...that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire" (Deuteronomy 12:30-31 and 18:9-10).
Note carefully that the heathen -- the gentiles -- were doing these practices of Nimrod and Semiramis as the Bible affirms.
Solomon built a high place for Molech (I Kings 11:7). Israel and Judah were both being deceived by the Babylonian worship. They, like the other nations, were infected with it! More evidence: Josiah, one of Judah's good kings, "defiled Tolpheth (a place where Molech was worshipped)...that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech" (II Kings 23:10).
This destruction of a worshipping place of Molech had no lasting influence, for Judah continued in idolatry. This was happening eight hundred years after YEHOVAH God led Judah and Israel out of their Egyptian captivity.
What does YEHOVAH say of this practice? "Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain My children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire?" (Ezekiel 16:20-21). YEHOVAH says this worship of Nimrod was a great sin. "They sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils" (Psalm 106:37). It is Devil worship.
We have now seen Bible proof that Israel worshipped the pagan gods of this "Mystery" system. What about the customs used in the observance of these pagan gods? Does the Bible speak of these? Let us examine.
Israel's Pagan Customs
YEHOVAH God says of the days set aside by Israel on which to worship -- days which had not been commanded by Him: "Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth...I am weary to bear them" (Isaiah 1:14). YEHOVAH had not appointed these days and customs Israel had been observing.
But YEHOVAH God did give Israel His days and His feasts -- times which keep YEHOVAH's people in remembrance of His GREAT PLAN OF SALVATION. And the keeping of these times instills the habit of obedience to the True God!
What about today? Has YEHOVAH God, through His Bible, appointed the days which churches now observe? YEHOVAH, we have seen, specifically condemns the observance of Christmas (Jeremiah chapter 10), which actually commemorates Nimrod's rebirth as Horus but what we say is the Messiah's birthday -- a day which was observed by Israel, our forefathers, as the birthday of Nimrod long before the Messiah was born.
Israel had their picture of the image of jealousy -- Tammuz, the counterfeit of the Messiah -- hung upon their walls (Ezekiel 8:5, 10, 14). Who knows what the actual Messiah looked like, who men say was born on Christmas Day? One thing is for sure -- he did not have long hair! (I Corinthians 11:14). We hang his supposed picture on our walls today.
Israel, our forefathers, worshipped the sun, as the United States and the United Kingdom, modern Israel, do today when they observe Easter sunrise service: "Their faces toward the east...they worshipped the sun" (Ezekiel 8:16, Jeremiah chap. 8). YEHOVAH says, "I gave them My statutes and...My judgments...also My sabbaths...but the House of Israel rebelled against Me" (Ezekiel 20:11-13). YEHOVAH God said, "I will turn your (not YEHOVAH's) feasts into mourning" (Amos 8:10).
"I hate, I despise your feast days, and...your solemn assemblies...ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity " (Amos 5:21-27).
What a duality! Moloch we have identified as Nimrod, the fire god of Babylon, and Chiun was Nimrod in his hidden form as Saturn (New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 823). They were setting aside days for the worship of Nimrod, and YEHOVAH God said He would scatter them into captivity.
Today, modern Israel, the United States and the democracies of northwestern Europe, are doing the same thing in our Sunday, Christmas, and Easter observances, and our captivity is foretold!
Read Ezekiel, chapter 5. Note that verse 4 says the prophesy is to the house of Israel and remember that this prophesy was given about 600 B.C. This was long after ancient Israel was scattered. This prophesy is for us! It is the same old story -- Israel today is deceived by the same old means the Devil used to deceive ancient Israel!
It is evident by now that the pagan gods that the ten and two tribes of Israel and Judah worshipped, were none other than those that the Devil inspired Semiramis to concoct for the deception of the world. They were believing the lie of the Devil -- that they could obtain eternal life and material benefits through the worship of these gods. All through the history of Israel, while she was worshipping these gods which we have identified as those composing the Mysteries, YEHOVAH was warning her not to follow the way of the heathen. The heathen were following these same gods (see II Chronicles 28:3, 33:2, 36:14; II Kings 17:15, 21:2). Here is Bible proof that the Gentiles were being deceived by this same system. The whole earth, at the time that Israel existed under the rule of YEHOVAH God as a nation, was deceived by these mysteries. Israel itself finally refused to be under YEHOVAH's direct rule and became deceived!
Why is it that YEHOVAH calls attention to only this system of deception -- the Mysteries of Semiramis -- and never mentions the many demon gods of Asia? Because Semiramis' counterfeit way is patterned after the true way of salvation so closely that YEHOVAH God knows that, if it were possible, it would even "deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). YEHOVAH has warned the few that follow Him about these "Mysteries." Other pagan practices they are able to recognize without Divine revelation. He knows this one will deceive the earth!
New Testament Mentions Mystery System
Paul warned the Churches of his time against these same practices when he said, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you" (Galatians 4:10-11).
When Paul visited Athens in his day, "he saw the city wholly given to idolatry" (Acts 17:16). The Greeks did not know the true God (verses 23-28). Paul stood on Mar's Hill to talk (verse 22). Mars was Nimrod as the Roman god of war (Hislop, p. 153). He was a well-known god. Diana, who was Semiramis as the "Bruiser of the Serpent's Head" (Hislop, p. 76) was worshipped by "all Asia and the world" in Paul's time (Acts 19:27). The Devil, the hidden head of this Mystery system, is not an evil-looking person with a pitchfork and a tail, as we have been led to believe. The New Testament shows us he "is transformed into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Why Israel was Deceived
Why did YEHOVAH God allow Israel, which He Himself had called out of "Babylon" (Egypt), to be deceived? In Leviticus chapter 26, YEHOVAH said He would bless Israel above all nations if they would obey Him -- five would chase a hundred of their enemies and one hundred would put ten thousand to flight (verse eight); they would dwell safely (verse 5) and have much material wealth (verse 10). He reminded them that He had brought them out of Egypt, the land where they had learned the Devil-inspired worship of old Babylon, and had been in captivity both to this pagan religion and to the Egyptians.
YEHOVAH God, bringing them out, warned them that if they would not obey Him, He would punish them more than other nations of the earth; they would be slain before their enemies (verse 17), suffer famine (verse 25), and be scattered among the heathen (verse 33). He would punish them "seven times" (verse 18) -- each "time" a year of 360 days, and each day a year -- a total of 2520 years.
We have seen that they were deceived by the Devil into worshipping his idols. YEHOVAH says, "They rebelled against Me...neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt...they walked not in My statutes...My sabbaths were greatly polluted...I lifted up Mine hand...that I would scatter them among the heathen" (Ezekiel 20:8, 13, 23).
YEHOVAH did "scatter them among the heathen." The ten tribes, Israel, "worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal...therefore the Eternal was angry with Israel, and removed them" (II Kings 17:16-18). Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians, the ancestors of modern Austria and Germany. And as the Assyrian king was ruler of Babylon and other areas, he repopulated Israel's country with people from these countries (II Kings 17:24). Israel later migrated from Assyria. She was scattered into the "Babylonish" world -- the pagan world that was saturated with the customs of old Babylon and the Mysteries of Semiramis -- they were scattered in the world of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2). The two tribes (Judah) were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon about a hundred and thirty-five years later because of the same sins.
Why did YEHOVAH allow all of this? We need not guess -- the Bible, as usual, tells us. It is explained hundreds of years later in the New Testament times. Stephen, speaking to the Jews, the present-day descendants of Judah, said: "Our fathers would not obey, but thrust Him (YEHOVAH God) from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt...then God...gave them up to worship the host of heaven" (Acts 7:39, 42). Continuing with verse 43 in the Moffatt translation, "So now I will transport you beyond Babylon." YEHOVAH God was doing this. YEHOVAH says He has fixed the nations allotted periods, and boundaries of the nations (Acts 17:26).
Why then did He remove Israel? Paul says of Israel, "with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters...and they are written for our admonition" (I Corinthians 10:5-7, 11). Idolatry is defined as worship of anything that is not YEHOVAH God (Webster's Columbia Reference Dictionary ). YEHOVAH God is building historical examples of the great penalty of worshipping anything other than Him, and of the great reward for worshipping Him only!
Remember, Abraham worshipped YEHOVAH God only after YEHOVAH called him. Through these many historical examples, YEHOVAH was building for the time when He will really start to save the people of this earth. He was then using Israel as this example to the world, just as He had used the people existing at the time of the Flood!
Satan Knows He Has But a Short Time
YEHOVAH has allotted six thousand years for Satan to rule and deceive this earth. The demons knew this time was not up when the Messiah was alive. They asked the Messiah, "Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:29).
Satan was well aware of the importance of the Messiah's first appearance on this earth. He knew hundreds of years in advance what it would do to his own rule! Note this prophecy! "A great red dragon...stood before the woman...to devour her child as soon as it was born" (Revelation 12:3-4). It was primarily Satan's idea to destroy the Messiah and save his own kingdom. Herod, who sought to slay the infant Yeshua, was only a tool of Satan. Later Satan tried to influence the Messiah to worship him when he tempted him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:8-9). Had the Messiah yielded, the devil could have retained his rule! The Messiah would not have ruled this earth as YEHOVAH God's representative, for he would instead have been serving Satan (verse 10). Had the Messiah yielded to Satan's temptation, the Messiah would have had to pay with his own life for his own sin (Romans 6:23).
But the Messiah resisted! And he thereby made salvation possible for humanity.
When Satan saw the Messiah "caught up unto God" (Revelation 12:5), he knew he was defeated. Satan became wrathful with the Messiah's Church. And especially is he angry today! YEHOVAH warns of Satan's deceptions now! "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth...for the Devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time..." (Revelation 12:12).
The Devil knows his period of rule is now almost up -- he has but a short time. He is even now casting out a torrent of false doctrines. He would have succeeded in destroying the early True Church entirely, had it not been for divine, supernatural, intervention (verse 6). Even so, only a "remnant" -- a very small number -- are to be left keeping the commandments of YEHOVAH God. "The Dragon" (Satan, see verse 9) "was wroth...and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17).
YEHOVAH God watches over this earth in as far as His overall plan and immutable laws are concerned. But Satan is allowed to rule it through suggestion until YEHOVAH God and the Messiah set up the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. Satan now is intensely active and he has all but a remnant -- a very small number -- deceived!
Perversion of the True Church Teachings
Have you ever noticed Ephesians 2:19-20? This scripture tells us that the household of YEHOVAH God is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone."
Do you really grasp the meaning of this? Whatever the Messiah or the apostles of this original Church taught or did, we must do today if we are going to belong to the household of YEHOVAH God! If Satan could counterfeit or otherwise delude people from following these original, true Church practices, he would destroy their hope of salvation! He would thus strike at the very foundation of the purpose of YEHOVAH's creation -- Sons of YEHOVAH God who are to rule with Him! No wonder Satan started to strike at the teachings of YEHOVAH God from the very time of Adam and Eve!
We have already seen how the Mysteries of Semiramis -- the pagan counterfeit of Christianity -- were everywhere when the true Church was founded. Did these seep in? Paul wrote the Thessalonians "the Mystery of iniquity doth already work" (II Thessalonians 2:7). Semiramis' Mysteries had started to infiltrate the teachings of the Messiah and the apostles. But they did not infiltrate the headquarters Church at Jerusalem during the time the apostles were there. This Church of YEHOVAH God, whose practices are recorded in the New Testament for our benefit, became the example for all to follow. Both Christian Gentile and Jew scattered abroad "became followers of the Churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus" (I Thessalonians 2:14).
Yet notice what happened!
Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 389, says, "It was natural that the primitive tradition of a Church which was founded [little more than] forty days after the death of Christ, and was governed almost as many years under the immediate inspection of His apostles, should be received as the standard of orthodoxy."
The Bible tells us, as we have seen, that this Church was to be the standard or foundation for all future Churches of the True God. What they did, we are to do. Gibbon, the authoritative historian, discovers this same fact.
Where, then, were the Mysteries creeping in? In the outlying Churches. In the Church at Ephesus -- idolatrous practices (Revelation 2:6); in the church at Pergamos -- the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14); in the Church at Thyatira -- idols (Revelation 2:20). These are a few of the examples pointed out to us by the Bible.
How did this perversion of the Gospel come about? Here is the answer of history! "The Jewish converts who laid the foundations of the Church, soon found themselves overwhelmed by the increasing multitudes that from all the various religions of polytheism [religions having many pagan gods] enlisted under the banner of Christ" (Gibbon, vol. I, chap. 15). Edward Gibbon further states that these pagans, when they first associated with members, asked the upright Christian members to tolerate their pagan practices. Later, after they became greater in number, they became intolerant of the true teachings. Thus paganism crept in.
Are Majority Deceived Today?
Are all to enter the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God now? Doesn't the Bible say, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it" (Luke 16:16)? "Doesn't this mean all must be saved now or be lost forever?" some ask. This would be true if the Bible did not have other scriptures amplifying this same subject. Scripture shows that YEHOVAH God, as part of His great purpose, has allowed the spiritual blindness of the vast majority now. YEHOVAH God has given the Gentiles over to a reprobate, or blinded, mind (Romans 1:28). The god of this age -- Satan -- has been allowed to blind the minds of those who do not believe (II Corinthians 4:4). All of Israel (except a very small number) are now blinded (Romans 11:7) and have been given over to their own laws that are not good (Ezekiel 20:25).
Did you know that the Messiah spoke in parables lest this blindness should be removed from the people of his day? (Mark 4:11-12). But in the 1000 years of the world tomorrow, YEHOVAH says He will remove all blindness. "He will destroy...the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations (Isaiah 25:7). But you personally can, if you are repentant, pray to YEHOVAH God that He will remove this blindness from you (Matthew 7:7).
Since the beginning of this world, YEHOVAH God has called only a few in various times. YEHOVAH removed the blindness from them and they saw the truth and accepted salvation. Enoch, Abraham, and David are examples. The few are called now (I Corinthians 1:2). For what purpose were they called? The Messiah will use them -- as well as the New Testament Church -- to rule and instruct the unsaved when he and YEHOVAH God come (Revelation 2:26, 5:10).
How False Churches Arose From Apostatizing Congregations of True Church
"Just how, step by step, did the pagan customs get into the churches of today?" you ask. We shall now see the unbelievable answer. The professing Christians of apostolic and post-apostolic times "...found a new occupation in the government of church...The ambition of raising themselves or their friends to offices of the church was disguised by...laudable intention" (Gibbon, vol. I, chap. 15). Selfishness was beginning to assert itself in a strong way within the early Church.
Gibbon shows that the Churches and their daughter congregations which had been founded through the work of the apostles began to form themselves into larger and larger groupings. Faithful members were ex-communicated. The size of the town within the boundaries of a group of churches had much to do with the power exercised by this group.
Naturally Rome, being the largest city, became the headquarters of this system of pseudo-Christianity. In the struggle for influence there arose among the elders at Rome, a Roman "pontiff" who gradually became the supreme head of these congregations. In order to increase church membership and power, a patronizing attitude was taken toward both pagans and "Christians." "Worship, at first very simple, was developed into elaborate, stately, imposing ceremonies having all the outward splendor that belonged to the heathen temples...The Imperial church of the 4th and 5th centuries had become an entirely different institution from the persecuted Church of the first three centuries. In its ambition to rule, it lost and forgot the spirit of Christ" (Halley's Pocket Bible Handbook, p. 671). The true teachings of the Messiah were cast aside!
"To conciliate the pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get paganism and Christianity -- now far sunk in idolatry...to shake hands" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, p. 105).
The parent of present-day religion was taking form!
The famous advice of Pope Gregory I was that "by all means they should meet the pagans half-way, and so bring them into the Roman Church" (Hislop, p. 113). Note this was to be done by a fusion of fragments of truth with overwhelming error.
"If, in the beginning of the fifth century, Tertullian or Lacrantius [early Catholics] had been suddenly raised from the dead, to assist at the festival of some popular saint or martyr, they would have gazed with astonishment and indignation on the profane spectacle which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of a Christian congregation" (Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. V, chap. 27).
Indeed, the forerunner of present day churches had departed far from the practices of the Church in Judea which the New Testament describes for us. But let us consider more evidence of the paganism of this Transition Church which stands midway in the path of development of Protestants and other churches of today. These contradicting and competing churches claim they go completely back to the original New Testament Church, but they hide the facts that they observe festivals and practices derived from paganism which are found in the Roman Church.
Paganism supposedly "disappeared" in the Roman area about 450 A.D. "So rapid, yet so gentle was the fall of paganism, that only twenty-eight years after the death of Theodosius, the faint and minute vestiges were no longer visible to the eye of the legislator" (Gibbon, vol. V, chap. 28). Where did paganism go? Gieseler's Ecclesiastical History, vol. II, p. 40, 45, has the answer. "In exact proportion as paganism has disappeared from without the church, in the very same proportion it appears within it."
Hear what Hislop (p. 224) has to say: "The system, first concocted in Babylon, and thence conveyed to the ends of the earth, has been modified and diluted in different ages and countries. In Papal Rome only is it now found nearly pure and entire." The system is a "Mystery" as we have seen. How does it masquerade? "It (Rome)...admits Christian terms and names; but all that is apparently Christian in its system, is more than neutralized by the malignant paganism that it embodies" (Hislop, p. 282).
Mankind on earth today is deceived by Christian-sounding names that Satan has put on practices of his own devilish system! Indeed Satan is active -- more active than ever!
Small Church of YEHOVAH God and Great False Church
We have now seen how the old Babylonian system of Semiramis and Nimrod engulfed the true teachings of the Messiah and the apostles within a relatively short time after the Messiah's death. We have read that only a remnant -- a very small number -- are to keep the commandments of YEHOVAH God (Revelation 12:17).
Down through the centuries have come two different churches, side by side, described by the Bible. One is the true little Church, always persecuted -- "If they persecuted me they will also persecute you" the Messiah said in John 15:18-20. It has been so scattered, that it has seemed almost invisible -- the members often not knowing each other (Acts 6:1, 8:1; Revelation 12:6, 15; Daniel 12:7; Ezekiel 34). These are they who keep the commandments of YEHOVAH God.
But the other is the Great Church -- that Great False Church described as a great whore (Revelation 17:1) who has wielded great power in this, Satan's world (verses 2, 15). She will continue to do so with suddenly increasing power, now for a short time (verses 12, 18). She is described as the mother who has given rise to many protesting denominations (verse 5).
Daughter Churches Blinded
The woman sitting on the beast in Revelation 17:3 is a world-ruling church. On her forehead is the name "Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother of Harlots" (verse 5).
Who are the Harlots? What offspring has the mother church given rise to? It is well-known that they are Protestants -- "a name given to the party who adhered to Martin Luther during the Reformation in 1529 and protested, or made a solemn declaration of dissent, from the decree of Emperor Charles V and the Diet of Spires...The name now applied generally to those Christian denominations that differ from the Church of Rome and sprang from the reformation" (Roach and Robertson's New Practical Reference Library, vol. IV, subject, "Reformation").
This same source says of this Reformation that it "is a term applied to a revolt in Europe in the Sixteenth Century against papal supremacy and certain doctrinal tenets of the Church of Rome."
This started similar movements in Hungary, France, England, and Scotland at that time. From these, the various modern Protestant groups have arisen. This, then, is where the Protestant churches of today have originated. They did not begin with the Messiah!
The Protestant churches come out from Papal Rome where the system, first concocted in old Babylon, is "now found nearly pure and entire" (Hislop, p. 224). By protesting against "certain doctrinal tenets" (Roach and Robertson's New Practical Reference Library, vol. IV, "Reformation") they claimed to get back to the teachings of the New Testament. But they did not do so!
The matter is easily proven. All one has to do is take his New Testament and check point for point what the true Church kept, and what these competing churches are now keeping. Satan has the world's churches deceived now!
Many a church today claims to be founded on "the ancient, original, apostolic Christian Church in its present-day form and appearance" (Karl Kreuschmar's What Lutherans Teach, p. 3). But doctrines foreign to the original true Church are followed, and doctrines followed by the original Church are not observed.
We have seen how Satan, knowing that his time for ruling this earth is now short, quickly substituted the deceptive doctrines of Semiramis' Mysteries for the true doctrines that the Messiah and his apostles taught. But we have also seen in Scripture, the way by which the few now called can recognize deception.
Satan, using the churches that arose after the apostles' time, was able to deceive the world, but the original Church at Jerusalem has given us the Bible despite all Satan's attempts to have it stamped out.
What YEHOVAH God Requires of You
Are you fulfilling YEHOVAH's requirements for salvation? The very fact that you are reading this shows that YEHOVAH God is revealing Himself to you. What should you now do?
Consider these facts! The household of YEHOVAH God is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua the Messiah himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:19-20). Note that what the Messiah and the apostles said or did was the foundation for the household or Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. If one desires to enter the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, composed of spirit beings, he must build his actions on this foundation. YEHOVAH has commanded it! Paul, inspired by YEHOVAH God, commanded this to the Ephesians -- converted Gentiles -- after the death of the Messiah. It is for everyone and is for us now.
Make this comparative "spot check." Beginning with the Book of Acts, there is much concerning how the disciples of the Messiah founded and conducted the New Testament church. Obtain a Bible concordance and try to look up the words "Christmas" or "Sunday" or "Halloween." (You need not look up these words for they do not appear once in your Bible!) By contrast, look up the word "Sabbath." Then look up the word "Pentecost." Was it being kept? As the Messiah formed the chief part of this "foundation," the things that he observed are to be kept also. So include the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in this word research. The practices observed by the Messiah and the apostles were the final instructions to this world. It is time you quit being deceived by false teachers! It is time to wake up to the shocking fact that the churches of today have departed from the doctrines of the ancient, original, apostolic Christian Church!
And it is time to do something about it. Quit these foolish, heathen customs masquerading under the Messiah's name and begin to OBEY YOUR BIBLE! May YEHOVAH God open your eyes and your heart, and light the way for your feet to follow Him to salvation. May YEHOVAH God Bless you!
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Hope of Israel Ministries
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