Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, Lent and Easter

Joseph Herrin (02-26-09)

Revelation 18:4-5
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues..."

In this hour when the Spirit is testifying that great judgment is coming to the nations, a judgment that must begin at the house of God, the prudent saint should be asking what they might do to escape that which is even now at the door. The Scripture cited above from the book of Revelation provides one answer. The people of God must come out of Babylon.

The Christian religious system of this hour is marked by mixture and spiritual pollution. Doctrines of demons have been mixed in with the true gospel of Christ, and the result has become an abhorrent mixture of the holy and the profane. The Scriptures reveal that Yahweh always judged His people severely when they failed to separate that which is holy from that which is vile. The judgments that are coming to the people of God in this hour are for no different reason than those judgments of Old when Israel was given over into the hands of her enemies.

To understand how very much opposed Yahweh is to any admixture of the holy and the profane we can look at a series of laws that God delivered to His chosen people through His servant Moses. Remember that all of the laws of the Old Testament serve as types and shadows of spiritual principles and serve as instructional tools for the saints in Christ.

Deuteronomy 22:9-11
“You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together.”

What is the message here for the Christian in this present age? God detests mixture. The specific type of mixture that He detests is righteousness and sin, the holy and the profane, light and darkness, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the works of the flesh. These things are shown forth in the specific laws given. For example, the priests were directed to wear linen, and to wear no wool when ministering unto God. The reason given is that wool makes men sweat while linen does not. Sweat speaks of the works of man being offered to God. Such an offering is despised by God even as God had no regard for the offering of Cain which arose from the ground from which man’s flesh was formed. God will only regard that which is initiated and performed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

If God has made such a point of differentiating between the holy and the profane, then it is vain for a Christian to reason that God does not care if they are mixing symbols of pagan rites and idolatrous worship with the worship of Christ Jesus, Yahshua the Messiah. God does care.

It is a simple matter to demonstrate Satan’s deceit in leading the saints to mix the holy and profane together. One need look no further than the name of the celebration which is called Easter. The name Easter never appears in Scripture, other than one occasion in the King James Version of the Bible. This is as follows:

Acts 12:4
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
KJV

The KJV translators did a disservice to the church by rendering this passage in this manner, for the word being translated is “pascha,” the Greek form of the word “Passover.” This grievous error was corrected in later Bible translations, including the New KJV.

Acts 12:4
So when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.
NKJV

We see in this how far the influence of Satan extends. When he is able to get Bible translators to replace the name of one of God’s appointed feasts with the name of a pagan festival. These two observances are far from being equal. Passover was initiated at the leading of Yahweh and its observance communicated to Moses. Easter is a veneration of a fertility goddess that was initiated by Satan and delivered to sinful men.

The very word Easter, that the church has written on the calendar of her annual observances is the name of a goddess of fertility. According to the wikipedia website, the English name of the goddess was arrived at as follows:

The English name, "Easter", and the German, "Ostern", derive from the name of a putative Anglo-Saxon Goddess of the Dawn (thus, of spring, as the dawn of the year) — called aster, astre, and ostre in various dialects of Old English and Ostara in German.

The worship of the fertility goddess who is remembered at Easter goes much further back, however. The mystery religions had their foundations in Babylon. The Bible records the following:

Genesis 10:1-12
Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood... The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Yahweh." The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.

The mystery religions can be traced back to Nimrod. Nimrod’s father Cush married a woman named Semiramis. Semiramis gave birth to Nimrod and, when Cush died, Nimrod married his mother. Thus Semiramis was both the mother and the wife of Nimrod. It is apparent from Scripture that the genealogy of this family was under a curse. Nimrod’s grandfather was Ham, the son of Noah. It was Ham who acted wickedly in exposing the nakedness of his father Noah when Noah had gotten drunk with wine and passed out in his tent. Ham acted rebelliously toward his father, in contrast to his two brothers Shem and Japheth who covered their father’s nakedness and would not look upon him. When Noah learned what Ham had done he cursed both Ham and his offspring.

It seems apparent that the sins of the father (Ham) were passed on to the sons, for wickedness continued in this bloodline. This wickedness was manifested in Cush who is attributed with the establishment of a system of rebellious idolatry that was continued in his wife Semiramis and his son Nimrod. This idolatry became heinous, being associated with all that is profane and with many immoral sexual rites including orgies and prostitution.

Alexander Hislop, in his book “The Two Babylons,” does a remarkable job of documenting and bringing together many ancient sources that reveal the history of this wicked family and the founding of the ancient mystery religions. According to Hislop, the profane practices of Nimrod and his tyranny over many people increased until Shem, the son of Noah rose up against this “mighty one” and made war with him. Shem having defeated Nimrod then cut his body into pieces and sent it throughout the land as a warning to all who should openly partake of the profane idolatry of Nimrod.

Out of fear of punishment, those who continued in idolatry were forced to practice their rites in secret, and the most vile parts of their practices were known only to those who had passed through the rites of initiation and been admitted into the deeper teachings and practices reserved for those whose loyalty had been proven. This is the origin of the “Mystery Religions” that have their source in ancient Babylon. One had to be initiated and pass through degrees to be admitted into the mysteries, and those who were outside, or whose loyalty had not yet been proven, were restricted from the true knowledge of the mystery religion. That which had once been practiced openly under the reign of Nimrod, was forced into secrecy when Shem slew Nimrod.

This same pattern of initiation, terrifying oaths against disclosure, and the cloaking of truth to those whose loyalty is not yet proven is observed in Freemasonry, which itself is merely one of the latest incarnations of the idolatrous practices of ancient Babylon.

We also see another pattern here. Shem, the son of Noah, became father of the Shemites, or the Semitic people. It was from this family that Abraham and his descendants arose. Why did God choose a people from among the descendants of Shem to be His chosen people in the earth? Certainly Shem’s actions in standing against idolatry and removing the wicked practices from the land had great bearing in Yahweh’s choice. In the same way we find that when Yahweh chose one tribe from among Israel’s descendants to serve Him as a priestly tribe, that He made His selection based upon the fact that Levi did not join with the rest of Israel when they sacrificed before the golden calf that Aaron made. Levi alone separated themselves from idolatry, and they became priests unto Yahweh.

I hope that the Christian today can understand that Yahweh will certainly use the same standard of measure when He chooses those who will be numbered among the overcomers, and who will be granted access to His presence and to His most holy things. That He will make a division among the saints based upon their involvement in idolatrous practices is prophesied in Ezekiel 44:6-19.


























Images of Semiramis and Tammuz


Idolatrous worship of Semiramis and Tammuz spread from Babylon.

After Nimrod was killed by Shem the mystery religions teach that he ascended into the heavens and became the Sun god. Semiramis is herself associated as the Moon goddess. Semiramis continued to be sexually active, and when she became pregnant she claimed to have conceived without intercourse. Satan, as the great deceiver, sought to bring forth a false belief in a counterfeit virgin birth that was sufficiently corrupted to suit his ends. Semiramis gave birth to a son named Tammuz, and it was declared that Tammuz was the reincarnation of Nimrod.

In this we see attributes of Yahweh’s plan of salvation. There is a child born of a virgin, supposedly the offspring of deity, yet a clear departure from Scripture is that the mother assumes a more prominent role than the son. This emphasis on the mother is continued to this day through the Catholic Church which teaches things about the mother of Yahshua that are nowhere found in Scripture, but which do find agreement with the Babylonian mystery religions. When God confused the languages of the people at Babylon and scattered mankind throughout the earth, its idolatrous religion centered around the trinity of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz was already pervasive and it was carried throughout the world where the main characters took on many different names while maintaining much of the central element of the original mystery religion.

Alexander Hislop writes:

The Babylonians in their popular religion supremely worshiped a goddess mother and a son who was represented in pictures and images as an infant or a child in his mother’s arms. From Babylon this worship of mother and child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, the mother and child were worshiped under the names Isis and Osiris. In India, even to this day, as Isi and Iswara; in Asia as Cybele and Deoius; in pagan Rome as Fortuna and Jupiter-puer “Jupiter the boy”; in Greece as Ceres, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace, with the boy Plutus in her arms, and even in Thibet, in China and Japan...

Other manifestations of these same characters are seen as Aphrodite/Cupid and Ashtoreth/Orion. Some of these characters are mentioned in the Bible.

Ezekiel 8:14-16
Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of Yahweh’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these." Then He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.

Worshiping the Sun (Nimrod) and worshiping Tammuz were abominable acts in the sight of God. Yahweh judged the people for this idolatry. The church is in great peril of not recognizing the consequences of embracing similar rites and symbols today. It was an offense to God that these pagan rites were being conducted in the temple of God. Today the saints are the temple of God, and God is equally offended when abominable practices are observed by those who constitute this living temple of the Holy Spirit.

I Kings 11:4-6
When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Yawheh his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians... Solomon did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and did not follow Yahweh fully, as David his father had done.

How did the high places become established in Israel? We read that Solomon’s heart was turned aside by his wives whom he loved. These wives were idolaters, many of them foreigners, and they wanted to continue to worship the gods and goddesses they had known from childhood. Their rites and symbols to them were just as dear as the rites and symbols of Christmas and Easter are to many Christians today. Solomon acquiesced to the pressure of his wives’ desires and built high places of worship for them.

Lest we condemn Solomon out of hand, the Christian should consider that the same pressure is exerted upon the saint today to maintain the celebration of pagan festivals. Our children and spouses may love the traditions that they have grown up with, and they may express their desires very passionately to maintain an observance of the things they love. How many saints are willing to stand fast and choose a course other than the one Solomon chose? When Yahweh reveals the truth of these practices and makes His will known, then the Christian is brought to the test. Do they love Yahweh more than all others? Will they choose obedience to God over satisfying the desires, and even demands of their family?

Luke 14:26-27
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

Christianity, as it is practiced widely today, costs individuals very little. The reason is that there is so much compromise. The church has embraced the world, and has even adopted the practices of pagan religions. True Christianity, however, is very costly. As the Scriptures declare:

II Timothy 3:12
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

The reason there is so little persecution and so little cost to being a professing Christian today is that men and women are not living godly lives. They have not come out of the world and out of Babylon. Solomon found it easy to get along with the members of his family if he accepted their idolatry. Even so, the world has no problem accepting Christians who will accept their values and practices. But should a Christian begin to differentiate between the holy and profane, then he or she will know the disapproval of those who have embraced that which is not holy.




















Sacred Egg of Heliopolis


















Mystic Egg of Astarte
(Ishtar Egg)

This same goddess Ashtoreth, for whom Solomon built a high place, is also called Ishtar, from which we get our word Easter. The church also has a high place erected to her. Every year the church celebrates a holy day that bears the name of the pagan goddess of fertility whose original was Semiramis, and who is known by a profusion of names throughout the various cultures of the world. Heliopolis is a city of Egypt where Semiramis was known by the name Isis. As mentioned, Semiramis was a moon goddess, and therefore we see an image of the moon atop her sacred egg.

The mystery religions teach that Semiramis was herself immaculately conceived and was lowered from the heavens to the earth in a giant egg. This egg came to rest in the waters of the Euphrates river. Eggs are also symbols of fertility, and as Semiramis was also a fertility goddess the symbol of the egg became thoroughly associated with her worship. Those who knew Semiramis under the name of Ishtar spoke of Ishtar’s egg, from which we get our current Easter egg.














Egg Roll on White House Lawn, Easter 2006

The above picture was taken in April 2006 during the annual White House Easter celebration. An egg roll has been held on the South Lawn since 1878. There was some controversy on this particular year as 200 gay and lesbian families planned to attend this event. Some saw this as an attack on Christian values, not understanding the true origins of the Easter celebration.

In the presentation “Freemasonry, the Spirit of Babylon” it was demonstrated that America serves as the seat of Babylon at this time, even occupying the country of Iraq in which the ancient city of Babylon was located. It should give Christians something to consider when they realize that the United States government has banned all Christian symbols from government spaces, even to the recent order to remove the ten commandments from all courthouses, yet this same government has no complaint about the annual observance of an Easter Egg roll on the White House lawn. Why is this? It is because Easter Eggs have no association with Christianity. They are clearly pagan in their origin and can be traced directly back to Babylon.

When one looks into the sexually immoral practices of the worship of the fertility goddess, it is actually more appropriate that gay and lesbian couples attend this event than that Christians attend.



















Hot Cross Buns

Another tradition of Easter that is clearly pagan is that of hot cross buns. These buns were initially made in memory of Tammuz, the son of Semiramis, who suffered an early death from being injured by the tusk of a boar. There were forty days of weeping for Tammuz leading up to the Ishtar celebration, which now finds its correspondence in the Catholic Church’s forty days of Lent, which is a time of mourning.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Millions of people who profess to be Christians went to their churches to participate in a ceremony that began in Babylon.



















Ashes applied to the forehead on Ash Wednesday


You will not find the people of God in either the Old or New Testament being commanded to observe such a practice as this, but we do find that pagan practices entered into Israel where the women of the nation mourned for Tammuz. The symbol of Tammuz was the Tau, or the cross. It is the same symbol seen on hot crossed buns. It is this symbol of mourning for Tammuz that is practiced among millions of Christians on Ash Wednesday.






















The women involved with the mystery religions would bake buns for Tammuz (originally called bouns). These were either marked with the sign of a horn, or possibly a tusk, or with the letter T for Tammuz. The sign of the cross, where a Catholic uses his fingers and marks the sign of the cross on their chest is derived from the worship of Tammuz. It is this same symbol that the priest makes on the forehead of professing Christians on Ash Wednesday.

Jeremiah 7:18
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me.”

Another name for Nimrod, whom Tammuz is said to be a reincarnation of, is Woden. The day of the week we call Wednesday is named after Woden. It was handed down to us as Woden's Day, and in English it became Wednesday. It is on Woden's day, as one commemorates the death of Tammuz, killed by a wild boar, that ashes are applied to the forehead as a symbol of mourning for this pagan deity. The practice of eating ham at Christmas and Easter also derives back to the veneration of Nimrod and Tammuz. As it was a boar that killed Tammuz, people would slay a boar and serve this meat during these "holy day" seasons.


























Even if done in ignorance, is it not an offense to God to carry on traditions that are steeped in idolatrous worship and profane practices? We read in Ezekiel that the women of Israel were weeping for Tammuz. The Israelites also offered oblations to the Queen of Heaven (Semiramis) and her son Tammuz, as is seen in the above verse from Jeremiah, and elsewhere.

Jeremiah 44:16-19
"As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of Yahweh, we are not going to listen to you! But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine. And," said the women,"when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and were pouring out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?"

The pagan traditions of the mystery religions have even been passed down to our children as they sing the little song that speaks of hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns
One a penny
Two a penny
Hot cross buns

If you have no daughters
Give them to your sons
One a penny
Two a penny
Hot cross buns

What does this mean “if you have no daughters, give them to your sons?” Remember, this was the celebration of the goddess of fertility and her son. By offering oblations of liquid and foods to Semiramis and Tammuz the people were asking for the gift of fertility. This fertility was petitioned from the goddess by offering drinks and cakes in order that their crops, livestock, and their own families might be blessed with abundance. Many a tradition that seems innocent today has found its origin in practices that are detestable to Yahweh.

This past week in New Orleans as the Mardi Gras celebrations began. Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday." It is a day of feasting and celebration just before the forty days of fasting and mourning begin on Ash Wednesday. This celebration is observed with much debauchery. There are homosexual events. There is a surfeit of sexually impure behavior. During Mardi Gras bead necklaces will be exchanged in return for sexual favors such as a woman exposing her breasts to any man (or woman) who would present the beads to them. It was out of this debauchery surrounding Mardi Gras that the x-rated videos Girls Gone Wild had their beginning.

The impure fruit of these celebrations are readily apparent, yet millions of Christians continue to participate in these celebrations which create a detestable mixture of the holy and the profane.

Tuesday, as the Mardi Gras parades were being held in New Orleans, seven people were shot along the parade route.

7 wounded by gunfire on Mardi Gras parade route
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer Wed Feb 25, 6:52 am ET

NEW ORLEANS – The shootings of seven people, including a toddler, marred Fat Tuesday partying as ear-piercing gunfire sent revelers ducking for cover and brought Mardi Gras' final stream of truck floats to a horrifying halt.

The 20-month-old child was grazed by a bullet and wasn't seriously injured. Two suspects were in custody, police said.

Gunshots erupted near the Garden District about 1:40 p.m. as a stream of truck floats passed by after the last major parade, Rex, had ended. Thousands of people partied in the streets on the last day of Carnival before the violence broke out along the oak-lined Uptown streetcar line.
[End Excerpt]

Fat Tuesday is the lsat day of Carnival. The word carnival literally means "flesh rising." Seven is the number of finality. The Spirit is testifying that this nation is truly at the end of its carnival season. The hour of judgment is at hand. If you would escape the judgment, then heed the words of the Spirit of Christ. Come out of the sinful and corrupt practices of a religious system that has embraced all the mixture of Babylon. Come out of confusion, and be separate, for we serve a holy God.

II Corinthians 6:17
Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate ," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you."

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 5546
Macon, GA 31208

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this article, it truly explains why we must come out of Babylon.

Anonymous said...

The more of the truth we know, the more liberated we become in the Holy Spirit and truly able to be servants and teachers of the Most High God!

Dean said...

Great article!
I've put a link to it on my website.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. There is a lot of concern regarding christianity of today. It is from what is coming from the pulpits to the things you have highlighted. All the pornography, adultery and divorce to name a few. We should all be concerned. But what is the way forward? Is it not better to call for prayer and fasting to see if the Lord in His mercy would open the eyes that are blind than to abandon ship? What do we do

Anonymous said...

Thank you for an excellent article. I will put in on our website and Newsletter with a link to your website. May God bless you!! Please continue with what you are doing.

thomas said...

Thank you for the informative dissertation,I have started doing research on ancient history and enjoyed reading your material.

Kathy Bonham said...

Great article. Thanks!