Joseph Herrin (12-05-2012)
I recently went out to Amazon’s website to retrieve a link to one of my books for a fellow saint who asked if it was available in Kindle format. I discovered someone had left a review (one star out of a possible five stars) on the book. It is quite common for books that focus on Bible doctrine to be quite polarized in their reviews. Those who agree with a doctrine often give a book the highest reviews possible while those who disagree will give a book very low marks. It matters not if the book is well organized, or skillfully written, religious book reviewers tend to grade a book by its subject matter.
What struck me about this review was the candid nature of the person’s words. The writer had written things that revealed a great deal about his own lack of spiritual maturity. His response to a writing that had instilled terror into his soul revealed a great deal. Following is what he posted as a review to the book God’s Plan of the Ages.
According to what I understand, the "First Fruits" of salvation consist of those that "Endure to the End." I don't remember any mention of this being accomplished by the Holy Spirit, sealed in us when we believe on Christ. If this is true, that is, if my salvation ever becomes a result of what I do, or how "holy" I am, I'm screwed - at least until I spend some serious time being disciplined (big time) for my failure to perform. Maybe I just didn't read carefully enough, and I'm no Bible scholar, so I don't want to try and give the author a black eye. The more I read though, the more I started to question my salvation based on faith, and the more I felt compelled never to read the bible again, for fear I might see things too terrifying for me to deal with.
[End of Review]
Is this not a remarkably candid declaration of the reader’s unworthy approach to studying Scripture? To declare that he “felt compelled to never read the Bible again, for fear [he] might see things too terrifying... to deal with,” reveals an attitude that prefers pleasant lies over difficult truths. It is only those who love truth who will arrive at a proper knowledge and understanding of it.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12
Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved... for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe (or obey) the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
The Father has shown me that one way in which the saints prove their love of the truth is by a willingness to suffer for it. Walking in the light of the revelation God has given to us will often lead to trials, tribulation, persecution, reproaches and other experiences of suffering. Many Christians shy away from experiences of suffering, and they are willing to disobey the light and truth given to them when it would appear to be too difficult to stand firm in truth. Let me provide a relevant example to make this statement practical and understandable.
Many Christians are becoming aware that the Christmas and Easter holidays originate with the ancient Babylonian worship of the Sun and Moon and their associated fertility cults. Christmas was in Roman days celebrated as Saturnalia and as Dies Sol Invictus, the Day of the Unconquerable Sun. The date was set near the winter solstice when the shortest day of the year had been reached and the Sun was beginning to stay longer in the sky each day. To the Romans, and ancient civilizations that predated them, this was evidence of the unconquerable nature of the Sun.
Due to the practice of syncretism in the Roman church, the pagan holidays were embraced and glossed over with a Christian veneer. The day of celebration for the unconquerable Sun became a day of commemoration for the birth of the Son of God. A corrupt admixture of the holy and profane was concocted and continues to this date. Following is an excerpt from the writing Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Lent and Easter.
Images of Semiramis and Tammuz
Idolatrous worship of Semiramis and Tammuz spread from Babylon.
According to the Babylonian mystery religions, after Nimrod was killed by Shem he ascended into the heavens and became the Sun god. Semiramis is herself associated as the Moon goddess. Semiramis continued to be sexually active after the death of her husband Nimrod, 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.
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 His 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?
"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 Yahshua 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
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
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.
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.
"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? The pig was a detestable animal to the Jews for Yahweh had declared it unclean in the Law of Moses. Christ is referred to as “the LAMB of God” and lamb was to be eaten at Passover as a symbol of Christ. It is revealed then, at both Christmas and Easter that it is actually Tammuz being honored when ham is served. 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.
"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.
If you desire to read a fuller teaching on the origins of Christmas and Easter I recommend the presentation titled Removing the High Places.
I chased a bit of a rabbit there (pun intended), but it is to reveal the practical challenges of walking in truth. Even as Solomon had to choose whether to please his wives, or be faithful to Yahweh, we too are faced with trials of obedience in our daily lives. We live in a pagan culture. America is NOT a Christian nation. Is it not interesting that conservative Christians who are so alarmed at having a wicked man in the White House, a man who is a champion of abominations and a hater of righteousness, do not wonder at the fact that he and his family observe the traditional Christmas and Easter celebrations? The reason they observe these days is that these are NOT Christian holy days. They are extra-Biblical, having been derived from Babylon. They are Satanically inspired celebrations.
Yesterday a sister in Christ sent me a link to a short article that made mention of Michelle Obama reveling in the fact that the White House has 54 Christmas trees this year, a great increase over previous years.
(NEWS.INVESTORS) — Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent’s thinking about many things. Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.
Even allowing for the usual Washington excesses with taxpayer money, that’s a whole grove of Christmas trees.
“We have 54 trees in the White House,” an excited Michelle Obama proudly told visitors the other day. “54! That’s a lot of trees.”
In fact, the Obamas’ 54 trees this year are almost 50% more Christmas trees than last year. That was during the campaign before Obama whispered a reminder to the Russians that he had to be careful until Nov. 6, when a victory would give him more “flexibility.”
What leapt out at me from this article was the use of the word “grove” to describe all these Christmas trees. The idolatrous practices of the nations surrounding Israel were conducted in groves of trees. This practice spread to Israel resulting in God’s judgment upon them.
I Kings 14:15
They have made their groves, provoking the Lord to anger.
II Chronicles 24:18
And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.
The majority of Christians who observe Christmas bring a tree into their home and decorate it. It is apparent from a scrutiny of the New Testament that this is not a Christian practice. It was not a tradition delivered to the churches by the apostles. Where then did it originate? Looking a little further back, into the Old Testament, the answer is supplied. It’s origin was in idolatry. It is a profound parable that Americans place gifts under the tree and the god that most of them serve is materialism. Thus, they are worshiping their god under the tree even as the ancients did.
Observe the following image from Rockefeller Center in New York. It reveals much about the origins of the Christmas traditions.
Notice that under the tree is a statue of Prometheus bearing fire for mankind. This story from ancient mythology is a Satanic fable. Prometheus is a symbol of Satan. Satan figures himself as one who brings gifts to mankind, even as Prometheus brought the knowledge of fire and other secrets of the gods to mankind. In the Garden we have Satan, a tree, and a promise that man can receive things that are divine and become “as God.” Thus, the imagery of Satan as a gift giver to mankind is portrayed in the photo above. This is what Christians are bringing into their homes on Christmas.
To read more on this subject I refer you to the post A Rockefeller Christmas.
Yahweh’s instructions to the body of Christ are very explicit.
II Corinthians 6:14-18
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.
Christians are touching something unclean when they bring the trappings of pagan celebrations into their homes. It matters not if they overlay it with a facade of Christianity. It is still unclean.
Let me now return to the main point of sharing these things. Walking in truth is costly. What would it cost you to walk in truth and righteousness regarding these annual celebrations? If you are a man, a husband and father, what would be the response of your wife and children? Quite possibly you would face the same test as Solomon. You would be torn between pleasing those family members you love, or pleasing God.
If you are a wife, and have a husband who celebrates Christmas, it is not your place to instruct or correct him. Peter lays out what the response of the wife should be to a husband who is walking in disobedience to the word of God.
I Peter 3:1-4
You wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. And let not your adornment be merely external - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Maintaining honor and respect for your husband does not mean that you are to join him in sinful practices. We have the example of Ananias and Sapphira to support this fact. Ananias chose to sin by lying about a gift of money given to the apostles. Ananias was the initiator of this deceit, but his wife Sapphira willingly joined him in it. She could not argue that she was simply being a submissive and obedient wife. She suffered the same judgment as her husband for going along with him. She was struck dead, and great fear came upon the congregation.
This places a wife and mother in a precarious place. She must opt out of joining her husband in sinful practices that are displeasing to Yahweh, yet she must also preserve respect for her husband and not seek to correct or instruct him. She must look to God to bring the necessary correction. Authority must always be corrected from above. Anything else is rebellion.
We see then, that walking in truth is costly in this day. The saying is true:
II Timothy 3:12-13
And indeed, ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Yahshua will be persecuted.
If you have not been experiencing persecution due to your faith in Christ, then it should be considered whether you have been walking in truth. We live in a darkened world in which light is not accepted by the darkness. Christians who walk in the light as Christ is in the light will become visible targets for those who walk in darkness.
The man who posted the review on my book wrote, “If this is true, that is, if my salvation ever becomes a result of what I do, or how "holy" I am, I'm screwed - at least until I spend some serious time being disciplined (big time) for my failure to perform.” I will affirm that what is written in the book is indeed true. All Christians will be judged upon what they do. Over and over in Christ’s words to the churches in the book of Revelation he began with “I know your deeds.” He then ended these passages with “He who overcomes...” It was the overcomers who were spared judgment, the lake of fire, and loss of inheritance.
Are you overcoming the world, sin, and Satan? Are you walking in the truth? You can prove to God that you love Him and His truth by your willingness to experience suffering to stand in the truth. Those who love truth will be given more truth. Those who do not love the truth will be given over to a spirit of delusion to believe lies that they might be judged along with the wicked.
Be not deceived, we will all reap what we sow.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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