Church of God, New World Ministries

How Did The World’s Religions Begin? - Part 4

Today’s Religious Customs

This is the fourth in a series of articles outlining the origin of the World’s Religions

Salvation is certainly the most important question in today’s confused world. Soon, there will be “a famine of hearing of the words of the Lord”, and then it will be too late. The scriptures state, “they shall seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).

Trouble, terrible trouble, is just ahead for this world. Now, while there is still time you should prepare yourself. Unfortunately, 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 mind to question that they might be wrong. How about you? Do you think you are correct in your religious beliefs?

This series of articles is a stern warning against the confusion and failure of professing Christianity in our tottering Western World. You should save these articles for re-reading. They will be very useful in the coming dark hours.

Up to this point we have learned that the knowledge of Adam and Eve’s sin and the coming of a Savior to redeem mankind was well known by the earth’s early inhabitants. Just after the flood, Nimrod founded in Babylon a civilization which ignored the rule of God (Gen. 11:1-9). Soon after his death, his wife Semiramis, inspired by the devil who wished to confuse the world by clever counterfeits, claimed she miraculously conceived the “Redeemer”. He would emancipate the world from the rule of God. This gave her prestige and power to retain her dead husband’s kingdom.

One of her illegitimate children (Tammuz) served as this “Savior”. The gospel of the coming Christ 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 the place of her rule, Babylon, these deceptive teachings spread throughout the whole world, including the Christian-professing nations! Because of their marked similarity to Christ’s teachings, the pagan counterfeits became mingled with His, and have deceived the people to this very day, just as the devil had planned!

Many of these planned pitfalls have been revealed to you in previous articles. Satan is going to double his efforts to deceive in these very end days “because he knows he has but a short time” (Rev. 12:12). Christ, warning of this time, said, “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect” (Matt. 24:24). Be on guard! Know Satan’s methods!

Let us learn more of these deceptions that masquerade as Christian but are actually pagan, and lead people down the wrong road today.

THE CROSS

Is the cross (stake) which took Christ’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 Christ. Satan was to bruise the heel of the seed of woman (Gen. 3:15), Satan was to kill Christ. How did he do this?

Satan deceived us into sinning and our sins killed Christ. Should we parade our instrument of death which took Christ’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 “t” like the cross the 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 from their necklaces as nuns do now. There is hardly a pagan tribe where the 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, “t, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah, was everywhere substituted in its stead. (Hislop, 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 this world is to the truth of God.

HOLY OIL

The Savior is spoken of as the “Messiah which is Christ” (John 1:41). The word “Messiah”, according to Pelouber’s Bible Dictionary, means one who is anointed with holy oil. Kings of Israel were called “anointed from this mode of consecration”. The Savior was the Messiah, the anointed one consecrated by God.

We shall now see how Satan, knowing of the Messiah’s coming, the One who would come to make peace between mankind and God, produced counterfeits hundreds of years before he came. 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 Satan, 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 sepulcher, 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 the 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.’ Extreme unction 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 Christ’s coming, the apostate Church, desiring to retain this pagan practice for the thousands of incoming pagans and also to pacify the professing Christians, concocted a scriptural basis: “Is any sick among you? Let him call the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil and the Lord shall raise him up” (James 5:14-15). 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 Christ’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 of a false Messiah. (Send for our FREE mini-correspondence course titled “Laying on of Hands”).

So those who could have life by God’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!

ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS

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 even in our “Christian times”? Let us see.

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 of reviving of Tammuz (Nimrod reborn. Stanley’s Sabaean 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 half way and so bring them into the Church (Bower’s Lives of Popes, vol. ii, p. 5232). Here is how it happened. About the 6th 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 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 Dec. 25th as Christ’s supposed birthday (actually it is in the autumn), that could not be used. But June 24th, 6 months earlier, could be John’s birthday! John the Baptist was born 6 months before Christ. 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! Oannes was he Fish-god. How did Nimrod acquire this name?

When Nimrod was overcome by Shem, Semiramis concocted a fable regarding it. 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 the St. John Festival, which actually commemorates the death and reviving of pagan Tammuz, bears a Christian name! How was this Christian-named festival observed? How has it been observed in our times?

Before Christianity entered the British Isles, the 24th of June was celebrated by the Druids with blazing 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’s fires in Ireland, proud of passing through unsinged, thinking themselves in a special manner blest by the ceremony.” (Toland’s Druids, p. 107). It was a wide spread custom. Herodotus, Wilkinson, Layard, and many others record its observance in various countries.

The grand distinguishing solemnities of St. John’s Eve are the midsummer fires. These were lighted in France, Switzerland, Ireland and Scotland (Hislop, p. 114). “When the fire had burned for several hours and got 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 this worship of the sun-god or serpent again in our times, under the cloak of a Christian name! We are not as far removed from paganism as we think!

What does 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 (Jer. 32:35). Again God says, “When ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with your idols, even unto this day.” (Ezk. 20:31.) God 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!” ( Ex. 20:3).

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 he was said to have been miraculously conceived of Semiramis and to have returned in the form of Tammuz. It was the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun!” (Giesler’s Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii. p. 42). 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. (Wilkins’ Egyptians, vol. iv. p. 405). The winter solstice was then December 25, the place marking the beginning of the day’s becoming longer and longer. To the 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. 1, p. 130). “Yule” was the Chaldean 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 (Stanleys History of Philosophy, p. 1066, col. 1). The Saxons observed December 25th. Hislop, p. 96 states: “It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the one and 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 that 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 Christs birthday.

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 Tammuz) 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 ‘divine son Tammuz. (Ovids Metain, lib. XV 500-513) Hislop, p. 97, indicates that if the mother was the tree, the son must have been the counterfeit “Man of the branch.” But Christ is the true “Branch.” (Jer. 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 brings all divine gifts to men. When the deceived today use the Christmas tree in their celebrations, they pay homage to Semiramis, the mother (and give) of their “Savior.” Who then do they thus acknowledge as their savior? Nimrod, the very man who “saved” mankind from following God at the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:6).

What does God say about the Christmas tree? “Learn not the way of the heathen, for one cutteth a tree. They deck it with silver and gold; and fasten it that it move not they are altogether brutish and foolish” (Jer. 10:1-18). God commands us to commemorate Christ’s death (Mark 14:22-24) not his birth which occurred before winter (Luke 2:8).

LADY DAY -- EASTER

Is there a counterfeit for the miraculous conception of Christ? Yes! Lady Day, celebrated each March 25th, nine months before the supposed “Savior” was born. This day was observed long before Christs time in honor of the Babylonian “Messiah” (Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxiii, cap. 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 today after the real Savior came! So we see that those who keep Christmas today mark themselves as worshipping of the Sun, Satan, Nimrod, and Tammuz, and Semiramis, the apostate heroes who founded civilization after the flood in defiance of the way of 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, these Mysteries (II Thess. 2:7) which deceive the earth today would never have been formulated and they would never have had a false savior.

The name of Semiramis found on Assyrian monuments is “Ishtar.” This was pronounced “Easter.” This corresponds with one of the titles of the Babylonian Beltres (Semiramis) called Astarte in the Bible. So, the very word “Easter” shows that this festival originated in Babylon (Layards Nineveh and Babylon, p. 629). What does this day commemorate? We have to go back to Semiramis and her Mysteries again. Says Hislop, p. 110, “As everything that was good to mankind was represented in the Chaldean 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 word for “egg” and “house” in the Hebrew and Chaldean is 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 classic poems are full of fables of the Mystic egg of the Babylonians.

This then, was the event that the Ishtar egg or Easter egg first commemorated; the “arrival” (birth) of the future mother of the Sun-god on this earth after the flood. So we see Easter commemorates Semiramis birthday.

Jesus Christ 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).

 
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