Sunday, December 30, 2018

Attractive Deception - Part 2

Hanukkah - The Jewish Saturnalia

Idolatry has always been a snare to Yahweh’s chosen people. Abram, the first of the Hebrews, was called out of Ur of the Chaldees by Yahweh. Ur lay in the land of Babylonia, the most ancient source of idolatry. Undoubtedly, when Yahweh appeared to Abram calling him to “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you” (Genesis 12:1), the instruction was to leave the idolatrous practices of his family, and of the land of the Chaldeans behind. It is not speculation to suggest that Abram came from a family of idolaters. The Scriptures inform us of the fact.

Joshua 24:2-3
And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants...’”

The Chaldean name Ur translates as “flame,” or “light.” The Chaldeans were renowned for their astrology, a mixture of astronomy and deity worship. Ur’s designation as “the Light of the Chaldeans” was almost certainly a reference to the heavenly lights that were the focus of their worship. Indeed, the prominence of astral worship was so great among the inhabitants of Chaldea that the name Chaldean has become synonymous with “astrologer.” Abraham’s descendants demonstrated a penchant for returning to the worship of the celestial lights. This proclivity toward worship of the Sun, moon, and starry hosts (including the planets) was so strong that Yahweh was induced to warn the Hebrews against the practice.

Deuteronomy 4:19
And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them...

These words were spoken four centuries after the death of Abraham, at a time when Moses was leading the Israelites out from captivity in Egypt. When the Israelites came up from Egypt, they were not the pure and devoted worshipers of Yahweh that some imagine them to be. The prophet Amos provides the following testimony.

Amos 5:25-27
Did you bring to Me sacrifices and cereal offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? No but instead of bringing Me the appointed sacrifices you carried about the tent of your king Sakkuth and Kaiwan [names for the gods of the planet Saturn], your images of your star-god which you made for yourselves and you will do so again. Therefore I will cause you to go into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
[Amplified Bible]

It is pertinent to our present study to note that at least one of the gods named by Amos is identified with the Roman deity known as Saturn. This was the understanding of the Jewish translators of the Septuagint, an early translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek dated around the 3rd century B.C.. In the Septuagint, the Hebrew word Chiun (Kaiwan) was rendered as “Remphan” which was the Egyptian name for the planet Saturn. Evidence points to the Jews having embraced the worship of Saturn while in Babylon. It is this idolatrous worship that serves as the true origin of the Festival of Lights, which is also called Hanukkah. It is also the “image of the star-god” which the Israelites have made for themselves today in everything that relates to the nation of Israel.

This is the star of Remphan. It has been sold to the people as the star of David, but there is no star of David. The Rothschilds met with serious opposition when they proposed the star of David as the emblem on the flag. Far too many people recognized it as the star of Rempan. Today the vast majority of Christians and Jews, Israelis and all other nations, when they see the Star of Remphan described as the star of David make no objection. Christians throughout the United States think they are honoring Yahweh and the nation of Israel by wearing the star of Remphan.

I was astonished recently when I came across a serious Bible teacher proclaiming that the Jews finally learned the lesson that Yahweh wanted to teach them while they were in captivity in Babylon. The writer asserted that the Jews put away their idolatrous tendencies from the time of the Babylonian captivity forward and became zealous adherents to, and proponents of, Yahweh and the sacred Scriptures which He had entrusted to them. How can a Christian minister defend such a claim? The people of whom he speaks murdered the Son of God when He visited them.

Was there ever a time when the Hebrew people became associated with another nation whether through intermarrying, through conquest, or through alliances, when they did not transgress by adopting their idolatrous practices? Why would it be assumed that the Jews’ period of habitation in Babylon, a land that was “mad over their idols” (Jeremiah 50:38), would have a different result than any other period of Jewish history? Do we not read that when Jacob went to Haran to marry Rachel and Leah, upon his return the members of his household brought back idols with them (Genesis 31:34, 35:2)? Not many years later Jacob’s sons went down to Egypt. When they came up four centuries later, they brought the idols of the land with them.

During the period between the Egyptian captivity and that of the kings of Israel and Judah, a period recorded in the book of Judges, Abraham’s descendants were continually falling into idolatry. The idolatry continued during the time of the kings. Solomon married many foreign women and they turned his heart toward their gods. He built high places for them all around Jerusalem, leading the people of God into idolatry.

I Kings 11:7-8
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

This idolatry continued unabated in the northern kingdom of Israel, and knew only brief reprieves in the southern kingdom of Judah. Therefore, Yahweh judged the people and sold them into captivity to Assyria and Babylon.

Acts 7:39-43
“And our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt - we do not know what happened to him.’ And at that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha (Saturn), the images which you made to worship them. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’”

Stephen, the first Christian martyr, testified of the Jewish people’s ceaseless spiritual adultery as they adopted the gods of other nations. As he was concluding the last words he would utter, Stephen declared, “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did” (Acts 7:51). Nothing had changed between the time of the Jewish captivity in Babylon circa 600 B.C. and the time of Christ. The Hebrew people remained wayward in their hearts. Pretending to be zealous for Yahweh and His word, they were in fact children of the devil as Yahshua testified.

John 8:42-44
Yahshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.”

Rather than being the devoted students of God’s word that some perceive the Jews of Christ’s day to have been, they had gone so far astray in their hearts that they did Satan’s bidding by putting to death the Lord of glory. Is it too much to believe then, that these same men, and their descendants over the next centuries, would embrace a Babylonian festival to Saturn/Satan while covering it over with a thin veneer of Judaism in the same manner the Christians did with Christmas and the Roman Saturnalia? The Hanukiah is the “Flame of the Chaldeans” embraced once more by the descendants of Abraham. Satan had brought the Hebrew people full circle. The called out descendants of Abraham had returned to the idolatrous worship of their forefathers.

Flame/Light of the Chaldeans

The Chaldeans/Babylonians worshiped the heavenly host; the sun, moon, planets, and stars. I can imagine Satan engaging in deceit as he persuaded the Jews that they were in some manner honoring their forebears by returning to the more ancient faith of Abraham and his ancestors, returning to the worship of the heavenly host. This overt worship of the lights in the heavens and the deities they represented was commonplace in the Israelites pre-captivity history.

II Kings 17:16-19
And they forsook all the commandments of Yahweh their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Yahweh, provoking Him. So Yahweh was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. Also Judah did not keep the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.

After the captivity, the idolatry of the Hebrews obtained a more hidden nature. Instead of engaging in visible worship of Baal, Ashtoreth, Molech, Chemosh, Remphan/Saturn, and all the host of heaven, they began to introduce heretical elements of the worship of these gods into the worship of Yahweh. The rabbis through the Oral Torah, the Talmud, Midrash, and Kabbalistic writings, brought forth interpretations of the Bible/Tanakh that defiled the worship of Yahweh until it became the worship of Satan.

As an example of the sophistry employed by the rabbis, we find in the Talmud that the candlestick which stood in the Tabernacle of Moses and in the Temple of Solomon, has been re-interpreted to be symbolic of the seven visible planets. (From antiquity, the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been recognized as seven celestial lights that differed from the stars in their motions. The five planets mentioned in this list are the only planets visible to the unaided eye.)

In the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 15:7) the seven lamps of the Menorah are compared to the seven planets listed above. The Talmud goes much further in commenting on the symbolism of the lights of the Menorah and the planets associated with them. In Tractate Shabbat 156a we find the following commentary.

R. Hanina said to then, [his disciples]: Go out and tell the son of Levi, Not the constellation of the day but that of the hour is the determining influence. He who is born under the constellation of the sun  will be a distinguished  man: he will eat and drink of his own and his secrets will lie uncovered; if a thief, he will have no success. He who is born under Venus will be wealthy and unchaste [immoral]. What is the reason? Because fire was created therein.  He who is born under Mercury will be of a retentive memory and wise. What is the reason? Because it [Mercury] is the sun's scribe. He who is born under the Moon will be a man to suffer evil, building and demolishing, demolishing and building, eating and drinking that which is not his and his secrets will remain hidden: if a thief, he will be successful.  He who is born under Saturn will be a man whose plans will be frustrated.  Others say: All [nefarious] designs against him will be frustrated. He who is born under Zedek [Jupiter] will be a right-doing man [zadkan] R. Nahman b. Isaac observed: Right-doing in good deeds.  He who is born under Mars will be a shedder of blood. R. Ashi observed: Either a surgeon, a thief, a slaughterer, or a circumciser. Rabbah said: I was born under Mars.  Abaye retorted: You too inflict punishment and kill. It was stated. R. Hanina said: The planetary influence gives wisdom, the planetary influence gives wealth, and Israel stands under planetary influence.

This Talmudic entry sounds very much like Babylonian astrology, looking to the hour and day of one’s birth to forecast what a person’s life and character will be. It can hardly be coincidental that Mercury is mentioned as the Sun’s scribe, and the Romans held Mercury to be the messenger of the gods. Of Mars it was said, “He who is born under Mars will be a shedder of blood.” Mars was the god of war to the Romans. There is clear evidence of idolatrous influences in the opinions of the rabbis which are recorded in the Talmud, and Midrash. This influence is even more pronounced in the Kabbalistic writings of the Jews. The primary document of Kabbalistic teaching, The Zohar, makes the following comment regarding the candlestick in the Jewish Temple: "These lamps, like the planets above, receive their light from the sun."

Modern Freemasonry is derived from Kabbalah. We can therefore look to the writings of Freemasonry to discern what the Jewish mystics believed about the planets and their relationship to the golden candlestick, or menorah, that Moses commanded to be built. Frank C. Higgins in his book The Beginning of Masonry, published in 1916, writes the following regarding the Jewish seven-branched candlestick (the illustration is taken from his book):

Thus the seven planets were the seven old gods of the Babylonians, - Shamash, the Sun; Sin, the Moon; Nebo, Mercury; Ishtar, Venus; Nergal, Mars; Marduk, Jupiter; and Ea, Saturn.

The Jewish seven-branched candlestick and its symbolism.

From left to right, the seven flames correspond to the following planets:

Saturn-Jupiter-Mars-the Sun-Venus-Mercury-the Moon

According to Talmudic dogma, it is forbidden for anyone to construct a seven-flame candlestick of the same pattern delivered to Moses. Consequently, any menorah that a Jew possesses in their home, in a synagogue, or any other public or private place, must have fewer than, or more than, seven lights. The Hanukiah abides by this stricture, as it possesses nine lights.

Did you note that Frank Higgins stated that the central flame, that which corresponds to the Sun, is called by the Babylonians “Shamash”? This is the same name the Jews give to the central candle on the Hanukiah, though they provide the explanation that the Hebrew word “Shamash” means “attendant,” or “servant.” The Talmud instructs the Jewish believer to always set the “Shamash” candle apart, either higher, or lower, than the other eight candles. Most typically, it is elevated over the other candles.

In the previous chapter it was mentioned that there is a specific order given in the Talmud, specifying how the candles on the Hanukiah are to be lit. This order is illustrated in the graphic above. The Shamash candle must be lit first. It is used to light every other candle. Supposedly, this is the reason for it being called Shamash, the attendant, or servant. This candle is the only one of the nine on the Hanukiah to be given a name.

One might ask, “How can the Hanukiah be related to the worship of Saturn if the central candle is named Shamash, and Shamash is the Babylonian name for the Sun and the deity it embodies?” On the Roman calendar, Sol Invictus Dies Natalis followed the Saturnalia. Sol Invictus was the celebration of the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun (Which is the source of the Christian tradition of celebrating the birth of the Son of God on the same day). If the Shamash candle is representative of the Babylonian Sun-god, then we would have to logically conclude that Hanukkah is a solar festival, not a Saturnian festival.

Among the Babylonians, the Sun and Saturn had a very intriguing relationship. The name the Babylonians called Saturn by was Alap-Shamash, meaning “Star of the Sun.” It is interesting to note that a great many Hanukkah Menorahs incorporate what is referred to as ‘the star of David’ in the body of the candlestick. This six-pointed star is an ancient occult symbol relating to the worship of Satan.

Satan is known by the name Lucifer which means “light bringer,” or “light bearer.” Satan styles himself as a benevolent being who has brought the light of wisdom and knowledge to mankind. Throughout human history he has donned many personas or images that are a variation on this theme. One of them is as Prometheus, the Titan who taught mankind the secret of fire and of many of the hidden arts of the gods. Because Prometheus defied the gods in giving forbidden knowledge to mankind, he was cruelly punished by Zeus, chained to a mountain side where a great eagle would daily come and eat his liver only to have it regenerate every night due to his immortality.

Prometheus Statue at Rockefeller Plaza, New York City

The Rockefeller family has erected a statue of Prometheus in New York City. The Rockefellers are an Illuminati family. They serve the one who claims to be a bringer of light to mankind. Satan rewards those who worship him. In the gospel of Matthew, we observe him offering to reward the Son of God if He would only bow down before him.

Matthew 4:8-11
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Yahshua said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

Although the Son of God rebuffed Satan and refused the “gifts” he offered, there have been many men and women who have sold their souls to the devil in order to receive fame, fortune, or some worldly gain in return. Among them are the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds. Tragically, many Jews have been led astray to worship Lucifer as the god of light. These are the same ones Yahshua declared to be sons of their father, the devil.

Prometheus at Rockefeller Center

Every Christmas, directly above the statue of Prometheus/Lucifer at Rockefeller Center, an enormous Christmas tree is erected amid much pomp. The tree is adorned with lights, and a blazing star signifying Lucifer, the angelic light bearer, crowns the top. Note the symbolism of Prometheus holding the gift of fire directly under the tree where the Christmas presents would be placed. Satan boasts of having brought the blazing light of knowledge to humanity. I would postulate that this is precisely the same image being presented with the Shamash candle which stands apart from and above the other candles on the Hanukiah. This candle is used to light all the others. Thus is Satan/Saturn/Lucifer depicted as being the source of all light, and bringing that light to mankind.

II Corinthians 11:13-15
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

When Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he was offering them a gift. He was alluring them with forbidden knowledge. To Satan’s disciples, the transgression of this fallen angel is styled as a benevolent gift, and Yahweh is figured as a tyrant who punished Satan unjustly. In Satan’s guise as Prometheus, we read the following words regarding this being, the words being inscribed beneath the statue.

Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.

In the New Testament the word for angel is also translated as “messenger.” Consequently, the phrase “angel of light” and “messenger of wisdom and knowledge” become synonymous with one another. What is depicted in the lighting of the Christmas tree and the laying of gifts beneath it, is the same story being told through the Shamash candle being used to light the eight candles of the Hanukiah. Lucifer, the light bringer, is portrayed as giving his light/wisdom/knowledge to mankind.

It is of little consequence whether Shamash refers to the Babylonian Sun-god, or whether it is a reference to Alap-Shamash, the deity associated with the planet Saturn. Both roads lead back to Satan who styles himself as the heavenly ruler and the source of light for all mankind. Recognizing that the days of the week are all dedicated to various deities, and understanding that Satan is an usurper, wanting to ascend to the place reserved for Yahweh, it follows logically that he would wish to usurp unto himself that day which is peculiarly reserved for the worship of Yahweh. In the Bible, that day is the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. It is notable that the seventh day Sabbath has been replaced among a great many nations of the world with the worship of Saturn. Hence, in the English speaking portions of the world, we call the seventh day Saturday (Saturn’s Day).

Although it is not readily apparent why the planet Saturn would come to such prominence, since it is among the dimmest of the seven ancient planets due to its great distance from the Sun and earth, historians relate that this planet and the god it represents held a position of preeminence among the heavenly lights. Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian who lived in the first century B.C., wrote that the Chaldeans regarded Saturn as the most prominent of the planets.

But above all in importance, they (the Chaldeans) say, in the study of the influence of the five stars known as planets, the one named Cronus by the Greeks (i.e., Saturn) is the most conspicuous.

Also affirming the elevated position of Saturn in the pantheon of the gods, we find that in the Sanskrit language Saturn is named Grahanayakah. This name is a compound of “graha(h)” (planet), and “nayakah” (chief or leader). Thus, Saturn was accorded the title of “Chief Planet” by those who spoke the ancient language of Sanskrit which flourished from approximately 2,000 B.C. until 600 B.C.. Sanskrist is the religious language of the Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains.

In Sanskrit another name attributed to Saturn is Shani. In this language the seventh day of the week is called Shanivar which translates as Saturn's day. In Cambodia the seventh day is named in honor of Prah Sau, which again corresponds to the planet Saturn. In Japanese, the seventh day is Do Youbi, and is associated with Dosei (Saturn). In the solar calendar of Thailand, the name of the day is derived from a Pali word for Saturn (Pali now being an extinct language).

Throughout the world we find that the seventh day which was declared holy by Yahweh, has been supplanted by idolatrous religions that worshiped Saturn. If we follow the trail leading back to the worship of Saturn, we find additional correspondence with the celebration of Hanukkah. One of the chief sources on the Roman celebration of Saturnalia is the book titled Saturnalia written by Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius. The date of this encyclopedic writing is around 400 A.D.. In this work it is stated that Saturn was considered by the Romans to be “the foremost of the gods” and that the Romans “celebrate Saturn with the greatest honor, among all the other (gods).

In Macrobius’ Saturnalia, a character is discoursing on the origin of the festival and its various rites and symbols. He explains how the worship of Saturn became associated with the kindling of lights. The story goes that Saturn was formerly worshiped with human sacrifice. The heads of men who had been slain were required to appease the god. This changed when Hercules persuaded the people to substitute the offering of men for that of burning lights. It is explained that the Latin word “phota” means both “man” and “lights.” Thus the custom of exchanging candles during the Saturnalia began. (Source: Macrobius’ Saturnalia, edited and translated by Robert A. Kaster, page 81).

If one accepts this explanation of the lighting of the candles being a substitute for human sacrifice, it is a serious matter for those who light the Hanukiah. As each light is set ablaze it is offered up as a substitute for human sacrifice. In other words, the lives of mankind are being symbolically offered up to Saturn/Satan.

A second significance of the lighting of candles relates to the association between light and knowledge. Macrobius writes:

Others think that candles are exchanged precisely because it was under Saturn’s guidance that we passed out from a dark and uncultured way of life to the light cast by the knowledge of beneficial skills.
[Ibid, page 83]

Whether a person is symbolically offering human sacrifice to Satan, or honoring him as the giver of knowledge and gifts to mankind, the act is one of immense evil.

As I mentioned at the end of the preceding chapter, another association between Hanukkah and Saturnalia is derived from the alternate name The Feast of Dedication. The rabbis in the Talmud, and the authors of I and II Maccabees, inform us that it was the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem that is in reference here. Yet, if we peel away the deceit, and look back to a more ancient source for this celebration, we find that Saturnalia was held on the day that the Temple of Saturn was dedicated in Rome in the year 497 B.C., long before the reported victory of Judas Maccabeus over the Seleucid armies. Two further associations to Hanukkah are observed as we read what is revealed in the Wikipedia article on the feast of Saturnalia.

Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth...

Gambling and dice-playing, normally prohibited, or at least frowned upon, were permitted for all, even slaves.

The Roman Saturnalia was referred to as the “Festival of Light.” This same name is given to the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. From the second statement above we derive another correspondence. Other than the nine-candle menorah, one of the most widely associated symbols of Hanukkah today is the Dreidel.


Dreidels are given as gifts, especially to children, during the eight days of Hanukkah. The dreidel originates from a gambling device called the teetotum. It is basically a dice that spins. The Wikipedia entry on the teetotum contains the following information.

In its earliest form the body was square (in some cases via a stick through a regular six-sided die), marked on the four sides by the letters A (Lat. aufer, take) indicating that the player takes one from the pool, D (Lat. depone, put down) when a fine has to be paid, N (Lat. nihil, nothing), and T (Lat. totum, all), when the whole pool is to be taken.

A square with a stick in one side is a very good description of a dreidel. Is it mere coincidence that Saturnalia was “marked by gambling and dice-playing,” and the dreidel has become an inseparable part of the Hanukkah observance today?

A final association between Hanukkah and Saturnalia that I will mention to close this chapter, is the tradition of cooking oily foods, such as latkes (potato pancakes) during Hanukkah.


The statue of Saturn in its temple in Rome has been described by ancient historians as being hollow and constructed of wood. Saturn is depicted as a veiled figure holding a scythe. The hollow statue was filled with oil. It is reported that it was filled anew every year on the anniversary of the dedication of Saturn’s temple. This is at the time of the Saturnalia festival, and corresponds to the season of Hanukkah.

One modern explanation for the emphasis on oily foods during Hanukkah points back to the miracle of the oil recorded in the Talmud. As has been shown, however, this story of the temple menorah burning for eight days on a single day’s worth of oil is a fabrication of the rabbis. It was not reported in the much older accounts in I and II Maccabees and in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews. A more plausible explanation for the emphasis on oil during Hanukkah is that the Jews practiced syncretism as they adopted the rites and symbols of the worship of Saturn. Saturn from antiquity has had an association with oil as is observed in the worship of Shani, which was mentioned earlier as a Hindu equivalent of Saturn.  Shani was “one of the... nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology... Shani is embodied in the planet Saturn and is the Lord of Saturday” [Source:]

Note the ladder behind the statue to enable worshipers to ascend to the head of the idol in order to pour oil over it. This idol is found in India, a land of many languages. The rite of pouring oil over the statue is referred to in the following manner in the local languages. In Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam the rite is called Tailabhishekam (Tailam means oil). In Telugu the rite is also called Nuvvula Nune (Nuvvulu means Sesame; Nune means oil). In the language Kannada, the rite is referred to as Ellenne (Ellu means sesame; enne means oil).

There is an English expression that states, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” The Hanukkah celebration passes the test for being a Jewish adoption of the ancient worship of Saturn. It shares the same holiday names as Saturnalia: The Feast of Dedication; The Festival of lights. It shares the same rites with the lighting of the candles, the giving of dreidels as gifts, and the focus on oil. It even incorporates the Babylonian name Shamash, a name related to the worship of Saturn, in its major symbol and rite. Additional correspondence could be expounded upon, such as the traditional use of beeswax candles among the Hebrew celebration and in the ancient worship of Saturn.

If Christians are going to separate themselves from the observances of Christmas and Easter due to their proven links back to Roman and Babylonian idolatry, should they not do the same with the Jewish Hanukkah?

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Attractive Deception - Part 1

During the last month I have had much more than the usual amount of readers on the Parables Blog. It is evident that the Christmas and Easter holidays are much on the minds of a select number of Christians. I have even had a leading of the Spirit to provide the same sampling of articles to a local church, one that I used to attend. It is the church that my daughter attends when she is home. It is also the church that Nicholas and George go to, though George has been having difficulty with the errors of the church. The elders have not been amenable to what was shared with them. Though it is not expected that too many would be.

I have been searching my writings, both the shorter articles and the books, to find the best of what I have written on Christmas and Easter in hope of finding something that would convince those who continue to hold to the waywardness of these secular holidays (they aren't Christian). I have found in the book Attractive Deception the best arguments against the holidays. The book was written primarily of the Hebrew Roots movement in the churches, but I have included many things that touch on Christmas and Easter, and I have added a few new things.

As soon as I post these last few chapters, I will be temporally done with the posts on the holidays. I admit that Christmas is now over, but it will come again. Hopefully some of what has been, and will be, shared will convince another saint to separate from these things. It is after all the hope of convincing someone, like myself 18 years ago, that Christmas and Easter are antithetical to the true worship of Yahshua the Messiah.


Hanukkah - An Historic Deception

Whenever I encounter individuals who have embraced the Hebrew Roots Movement, Christmas and Easter are often mentioned. A desire to separate oneself from profane spiritual practices and to return to authentic Bible-based observances (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles), is often cited as one of the reasons people are abandoning mainstream denominational Christianity and adopting a more Hebraic approach to the faith of Christ.

Having for many years been aware of the corruptions that have entered into Christianity, and having searched out this matter at significant length, I can sympathize with believers who wish to separate themselves from practices that have idolatrous origins. I will not repeat what I have written in many other places regarding the unclean spiritual origins of Christmas and Easter. The following titles are provided for those who want to look into this subject further.

A Rockefeller Christmas
What’s the Big Deal About Christmas?
Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Lent and Easter

I share the conviction held by many of those in the Hebrew Roots Movement that Christians should not observe holidays that are historically demonstrated to have arisen from the worship of false deities. I believe Christians should make an effort to separate between the holy and the profane. I believe they should heed the divine admonition to not learn the ways of the heathens (Deuteronomy 18:9). Yahshua said that men should worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). We fail on both counts when we adopt festivals and holy days that were dedicated to false deities (their dates, names, symbols, and rites), and then spread a thin varnish of Christianity over them as if the act of doing so sanctifies these celebrations and makes them acceptable to Yahweh and His Son.

Some Hebrew Roots websites devote space to exposing the pagan and idolatrous origins of “Christian” holidays. Videos can be found online where Hebrew Roots teachers expose the unclean spiritual roots of Christmas and Easter, while urging Christians to have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness. A significant amount of research, fact-checking, and consideration has gone into many of these teachings. Yet, I have noticed an absence of the same level of diligence in examining the origins of the Jewish holiday known as Hanukkah. It should raise some eyebrows, leading to significant scrutiny, when it is often remarked that Hanukkah is “the Jewish Christmas.”

I can hear the protests now. “No! Hanukkah is a legitimate Jewish holiday. Its origins are traceable back to the Maccabean revolt and the miracle of oil at the re-dedication of the Second Temple after the Greeks had defiled it.” Yes, and adherents of Christmas declare that it is traceable back to the birth of Christ; its rites and symbols are derived from the Star of Bethelehem, the presentation of gifts by the Magi, and angels announcing to shepherds in the field that the King of the Jews had been born! Brothers and sisters, it can be demonstrably proven that Hanukkah is as much derived from the Roman Saturnalia as is Christmas. Like Christmas to the Christians, Hanukkah is Saturn/Satan worship covered over with a whitewash of “Jewishness.” I do not ask you to accept this conclusion based upon my word. I will present the evidence before you and invite you to judge.

On the surface, both Christmas and Hanukkah share numerous similarities. They occur close together on the calendar. They both are observed over multiple days. Gift giving is equally associated with them. Lights/candles are integral parts of both observances. There is also an increasing crossover of traditions from Christmas to Hanukkah with many people beginning to incorporate a Hanukkah Bush in their celebration, topped with a star in imitation of the Christmas Tree.

There are some who errantly style themselves as “purists” who resist the intrusion of Christmas observances into Hanukkah. In order to keep Hanukkah “undefiled” they hold to the traditions of the rabbis set forth in the Talmud. They attempt to observe Hanukkah as they imagine it to have been observed by the Jews who lived in the day of Christ. The central focus of this Hebrew festival becomes the nine candle menorah, also called the Hanukiah. I have yet to find any Hebrew Roots adherents who observe Hanukkah who do not adopt the Hanukiah as a central part of their ritual.


After posting the previous chapters that spoke of the Talmud and Midrash, some readers wrote to defend the Hebrew Roots Movement. They stated that their Hebrew Roots church or group only embrace the written Torah. They reject the Oral Torah and its succedents, the Midrash and Talmud. I do not doubt the sincerity of these objections. Many people simply do not realize the source from which many Jewish practices arise. They are following the Talmud unknowingly. It is in the Talmud that the Hanukiah is established as a Jewish tradition, and rules are set forth for its employment.

On Lighting The Chanukiah:
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, page 21b
What is 'Hanukkah? The rabbis taught: "On the twenty-fifth day of Kislev 'Hanukkah commences and lasts eight days, on which lamenting (in commemoration of the dead) and fasting are prohibited. When the Greeks entered the sanctuary, they defiled all the oil that was found there. When the government of the House of Asmoneans (Hasmoneans) prevailed and conquered them, oil was sought (to feed the holy lamp in the sanctuary) and only one vial was found with the seal of the high priest intact. The vial contained sufficient oil for one day only, but a miracle occurred, and it fed the holy lamp eight days in succession. These eight days were the following year established as days of good cheer, on which psalms of praise and acknowledgment (of God's wonders) were to be recited...

The rabbis taught: The law of 'Hanukkah demands that every man should light one lamp for himself and his household. Those who seek to fulfil it well have a lamp lit for every member of the household. Those who seek to fulfil the law in the best possible manner should light according to Beth Shamai the first night eight flames, and every following night one flame less. And according to Beth Hillel the reverse - the first night one lamp, and be increased by one on each succeeding night.

Note the reasons given for placing the Hanukiah in the home and lighting the candles. The reason is “The rabbis taught...” There is nothing beyond this. There is no admonition in the Bible to observe Hanukkah. The Bible contains no mention of the Hanukkah menorah. The Scriptures say nothing of lighting candles to observe any festival. The Talmud gives the Jews nothing more than a tradition of men. Since it did not derive from the holy Scriptures. From where did it come?

Before you answer that it came from the miracle of the oil that is described in this section of the Babylonian Talmud, remember what has been observed previously. The Jewish rabbis have no scruples when it comes to altering the Scriptures, re-writing the history of the Bible. They have proven themselves to be great embellishers of the Biblical narrative, adding to it many spurious facts and deceitful inventions of man. Is it inconceivable that these same rabbis tinkered with the historical accounts outside of the Scriptures in the same way they that they “filled in gaps” in the Bible’s historical narrative? An examination of the evidence leads to the conclusion that the rabbis did in fact create a fictional history of the Maccabean revolt and of the subsequent rededication of the Temple.

It should surprise no one, but will undoubtedly trouble a great many, to learn that the Jewish religious leaders practiced syncretism long before the Christian era began. Syncretism is defined in the following manner.

Syncretism: the attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. This may involve attempts to merge... several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.

If that definition seems a bit difficult to wrap one’s mind around, I present for the reader a simpler definition. Syncretism is the introduction of beliefs and practices from one religion into that of another religion. An example of this is observed in the introduction of monasteries and monks into the Roman Catholic Church which describes itself as “Christian.” There is nothing in the Old Testament practice of Judaism, or the New Testament practice of Christianity, that corresponds to monastic practice. There is, however, a long history of monastic practice in other ancient religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism.

Buddhist Monks

Buddhist Monks Lighting Candles

Buddhist Monk with Prayer Beads

The Roman Catholic Church has monks. It practices candle lighting. It incorporates prayer beads in the praying of the rosary. Seeing that none of these practices come from the Bible, and recognizing their presence in other religions extant at the time that Rome began these practices, we observe that it was through the practice of syncretism that these things were brought into that which calls itself “Christianity.”

Satan has long been about the practice of introducing the profane into the holy. Before the advent of Christianity, Satan had great success in enticing the Hebrew people to adopt many idolatrous practices from the nations around them. The Old Testament contains a myriad of accounts of the Israelites going after the gods of other nations. Embracing practices from other religions was such a temptation that Yahweh forbid the Israelites to marry people from the nations around them lest they be drawn away to worship their gods. Nevertheless, the people of Israel transgressed repeatedly, and profoundly. They adopted rites, symbols, and even the outright worship of other deities. As punishment, Yahweh sent plagues, drought, pestilence, and warring nations against them. When they did not repent of their idolatrous practices, He sold them into slavery to the very nations whose gods they were worshiping. The northern ten tribes of Israel were led captive into Assyria, and the Southern tribes were taken into bondage in Babylon.

Any sincere Christian who walks according to the leading of the Spirit of Christ, eschewing error and loving truth, should be appalled as they observe the great harlot of Rome. This entity that boasts of being the largest religion in the world, declaring itself to be the one true and universal church of Jesus Christ, has prostituted herself as she has embraced other gods along with their rites, symbols, and doctrines. There is far more evidence of Sun worship among the Roman Catholic Church than there is worship of the Son of God. It is a gross admixture of the holy and the profane.

Many non-Catholic Christians recognize that the abominations of Rome have bled over into Protestant Christianity. The clergy/laity system is anti-Christian, for the apostles taught that the entire body of Christ was called to be a kingdom of priests. The Protestant church has embraced Christmas and Easter, Sunday worship, a fixation on buildings with steeples/obelisks, and the list goes on and on. A growing number of believers want to heed the command of Revelation 18:4 to “Come out of [Babylon/the Great Harlot] My people, lest you participate in her sins and partake of her plagues.”

Partially due to a failure to recognize the apostate nature of Judaism, an apostasy that began long before the birth of Christ, and partially due to the ongoing deception of Satan, Christians are turning away from the harlotries of Rome and toward an even older idolatry, one that was birthed in Babylon. This is the state of Judaism today. It is as saturated with the religious confusion of Babylon as is the Roman Catholic Church. I believe it is more convincing to show people this truth, than to tell them it is so.

Macedonian Hanukiah

Many Jews and Christians who observe Hanukkah relate the story of the miracle of the oil to their children. As you can see in the video below by a popular Hebrew Roots teacher, Hanukkah is being embraced as an alternative to Christmas.

It is difficult to arrive at the true origins of the Hanukkah celebration without providing some historical background. In 332 B.C. Palestine was conquered by Alexander the Great. This began a period of Greek rule and influence over the Jewish people. Alexander died at the age of 33 in the year 323 B.C.. He had conquered a massive area in the brief period of his conquests. Upon his death, the territory over which he had established rule was split up under four of his generals. One of these generals (Ptolemy) established rule over Egypt and adjacent lands. This became known as the Ptolemaic Empire. Another general established rule over the land of Syria. This became known as the Seleucid Empire.

Israel/Palestine was caught between these two Greek empires and control over the Jews changed hands numerous times. For a period of time the Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt ruled over Palestine. This rule was finally put to an end when the Seleucid King Antiochus III invaded Palestine in 201 B.C.. Palestine remained firmly under Seleucid control until the Maccabean Revolt that lasted from about 168-164 B.C.. By the time of the Maccabean Revolt, the Jews had been under Greek influence for more than one and a half centuries. Numerous Greek cities had been built in the land of Palestine, and a significant number of Jews had become Hellenized, having adopted Greek culture and in many cases their religion as well. This led to a struggle between Orthodox Jews and Hellenized Jews, with a state of civil war erupting between them at times.

Although the Talmud, the books of I and II Maccabees, and other Jewish sources describe the Maccabean revolt against the Greek Seleucid rulers of Palestine as a righteous revolution precipitated by Greek oppression, religious persecution, and the defiling of the second Temple in Jerusalem, there is solid reason to believe this is a biased view. It was the policy of the Greeks to allow conquered peoples to retain a significant amount of autonomy, as long as they paid taxes and remained loyal to the Greek rulers. This was the condition of the Jewish people from the beginning of Greek rule. Following is a letter recorded by the Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus that is found in his writing Antiquities of the Jews. This letter was written by the Greek King of the Seleucid Empire to the Greek ruler of the Ptolemaic Empire.

"Since the Jews, upon our first entrance on their country, demonstrated their friendship towards us, and when we came to their city [Jerusalem], received us in a splendid manner, and came to meet us with their senate, and gave abundance of provisions to our soldiers, and to the elephants, and joined with us in ejecting the garrison of the Egyptians that were in the citadel, we have thought fit to reward them, and to retrieve the condition of their city, which hath been greatly depopulated by such accidents as have befallen its inhabitants, and to bring those that have been scattered abroad back to the city. And, in the first place, we have determined, on account of their piety towards God, to bestow on them, as a pension, for their sacrifices of animals that are fit for sacrifice, for wine, and oil, and frankincense, the value of twenty thousand pieces of silver, and [six] sacred artabrae of fine flour, with one thousand four hundred and sixty medimni of wheat, and three hundred and seventy-five medimni of salt. And these payments I would have fully paid them, as I have sent orders to you. I would also have the work about the temple finished, and the cloisters, and if there be any thing else that ought to be rebuilt. And for the materials of wood, let it be brought them out of Judea itself and out of the other countries, and out of Libanus tax free; and the same I would have observed as to those other materials which will be necessary, in order to render the temple more glorious; and let all of that nation live according to the laws of their own country; and let the senate, and the priests, and the scribes of the temple, and the sacred singers, be discharged from poll-money and the crown tax and other taxes also. And that the city may the sooner recover its inhabitants, I grant a discharge from taxes for three years to its present inhabitants, and to such as shall come to it, until the month Hyperheretus. We also discharge them for the future from a third part of their taxes, that the losses they have sustained may be repaired. And all those citizens that have been carried away, and are become slaves, we grant them and their children their freedom, and give order that their substance be restored to them."

This letter, written by the Seleucid ruler, an ancestor of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, demonstrates that the Greeks were not only content to allow the Jews to continue their own form of worship, but were taking steps to help them restore the Temple and to bring back the scattered Jews to the land of Palestine. Although there was undoubtedly a growing religious conflict between the Orthodox Jews and the growing number of Hellenized Jews, a conflict in some ways mirrored in Israel today between the Orthodox and secular Jews, a great deal of the conflict with the Greek rulers was political.

Historical records reveal that a quarrel about taxation arose during the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-221 B.C.) and the Jewish High Priest Onias. The quarrel resulted in the appointment in 242 B.C. of Joseph, son of Tobiah, a nephew of the High Priest, to the office of tax collector. This led to a rivalry between the Jewish Tobiad family and the Oniad High Priests. Similar disputes continued after the Seleucids gained control of Palestine. Those Jews that were content with Greek rule and culture were viewed as traitors by the Orthodox Jews.

Sometime prior to 168 B.C. an influential segment of the Jews revolted against the Greeks. This resulted in the Seleucid King taking away from the Jews their autonomy and forbidding them access to the Temple. This latter step points to the Jewish religious leaders being the source of the revolt. These acts by the Greeks were taken only when a conquered people proved to be rebellious. Most Jewish and Christian information about the Maccabean Revolt comes from the books of I and II Maccabees. These are books written by Jews, and as such they can be expected to paint a historic picture that is slanted in favor of the Jews, and particularly of the Maccabees who became leaders of the Hasmonean Dynasty.

Recommended Reading

I and II Maccabees, although included in the Apocrypha to the Bible, are not considered part of the canon of Scripture. They should not be deemed to be “Spirit breathed,” and their historical narrative should be examined for evidence of historic revisionism. The recording of Jewish history is no different than that of any other people in that it has included a great many deceivers and unfaithful witnesses.

I do not doubt that after some act of rebellion by the Jews, the Greeks did suppress the free exercise of the Jewish faith. Nor do I doubt that they defiled the Temple in Jerusalem. It would have been in keeping with the practice of the Greeks to convert the use of a rebellious people’s holy places to the worship of Zeus or other Greek deities, and it is recorded by numerous sources that this is in fact what occurred in Jerusalem.

From 168-164 B.C., Judas Maccabeus (Maccabeus meaning “hammer”) led a revolt against the Greeks and against the Hellenized Jews in Palestine. The books of I and II Maccabees attribute to him a series of successive victories over the Greek forces resulting in the liberation of the Temple and the restoration of Jewish Temple worship. This account of Judas Maccabeus appears slanted to bolster the heroic image of the Maccabees and their ensuing Hasmonean dynasty which maintained religious and political rule over Palestine from 140 B.C. until the beginning of the Herodian Dynasty in 37 B.C.. (Herod the Great married a Hasmonean princess to bolster the legitimacy of his reign).

One piece of evidence that would bring into doubt the depiction of Judas Maccabeus as the conqueror of the Greeks and the liberator of the Temple, is derived from the book of II Maccabees. In a passage found there, mention is made of some letters between the Greeks and Jews that would support the view that it was the High Priest Menelaus who brokered a deal with Antiochus V (who succeeded to the throne upon the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes) and Lysias (a Greek commander), restoring to the Jewish people their own religion and access to the Temple.

Some may think it strange that facts in II Maccabees would contradict the account of I Maccabees, but this is explained by the two books having different authors with very different perspectives. It is suggested by some scholars that I Maccabees was written by a Sadducee who was a sympathizer with the Hasmoneans, some going so far to describe I Maccabees as a partisan document. In contrast, II Maccabees is believed to have been written by a Pharisee. This latter book was written in Greek, while it is asserted that I Maccabees was written originally in Hebrew or Aramaic, though only Greek copies are extant at this date.

II Maccabees 11:29-32
Menelaus declared unto us, that your desire was to return home, and to follow your own business: Wherefore they that will depart shall have safe conduct till the thirtieth day of Xanthicus with security. And the Jews shall use their own kind of meats and laws, as before; and none of them any manner of ways shall be molested for things ignorantly done. I have sent also Menelaus, that he may comfort you.

This account supports the historical view that the Seleucids retained control over Palestine after the Maccabean revolt, though their power was in decline as the power of Rome was increasing. The Jewish observance of Hannukkah, is based upon the account of history that presents Judas Maccabeus as the hero of the conflict against the Greeks. The celebration of Hanukkah is derived from the following passage in the book of I Maccabees.

I Maccabees 4:36-59
Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary. Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Sion. And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down; They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads, and fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven. Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary. So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law: Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place. And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned; They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down, and laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them. Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former; And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts. They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table. And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple. Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make. Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning, and offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made. Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and harps, and cymbals. Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshiping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success. And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise. They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them. Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away. Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.

To this day, the Feast of Dedication is observed beginning on the 25th day of the month Kislev, running for eight days. It must be noted that in the account above, there is no mention of the miracle of the oil which is reported in the Talmud. This is a glaring omission if the story were true. The book of I Maccabees is estimated to have been written about 100 B.C.. This places its authorship almost five centuries closer to the actual events being described than the Talmudic account. How do we account for this omission? A reasonable explanation is that the rabbinical account of the miracle of the oil was, like so many of their additions to the Biblical account, a fabrication. This conclusion is bolstered by the writings of Josephus.

Now Judas [Maccabeus] celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the Temple for eight days; and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs when after a long time of intermission they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival on account of the restoration of their Temple worship for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival.
[Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, Chapter 7, Part 7]

Josephus wrote this account of Hanukkah around 100 A.D., nearly three centuries earlier than the Talmudic account. Again, we find no mention of the miracle of the oil. Even more puzzling, if the story of the oil were true, is that Josephus confesses ignorance regarding why this Jewish festival is referred to as “Lights.” Had the story of the miracle of the candlestick burning for eight days on a single day’s supply of oil been known, he surely would have suggested it as a possible explanation for the name of the festival.

There is, however, an explanation for Hanukkah being referred to as “the Festival of Lights,” that Josephus, a Jew whose father was of priestly descent, would have been reluctant to disclose. It is that this “Hebrew” festival was actually a Jewish adaptation of the much older Babylonian celebration of Saturn. The Saturnalia, as the Romans called it, was from ancient times also called “The Festival of Lights” and “The Feast of Dedication,” as the Romans traced it back to the dedication of the Temple of Saturn in 497 B.C., on the precise date which the Roman Festival of Lights begins. This, and other evidence of Hanukkah’s true origins will be set forth in the following chapter.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Syncretism - Conclusion

Joseph Herrin (10-23-2010)

Perhaps you have considered that the practice of Syncretism that has been revealed in this series is the opposite of the separation that God has always required of a people who will be holy unto Him. Syncretism is the mixing of the holy and profane. It is to travel in a path contrary to that of being separated unto a holy God.

James 4:4
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Observing the trend of the churches today as they strive to be “seeker friendly,” we see that the chief means by which the church seeks to accomplish this end is to embrace the world. Does the world love rock music? The church will give them rock music. Does the world love sports? The church will create Christian sports leagues and build ball fields and a sports complex. Does the world love entertainment? The church will install big screens, professional lighting and sound systems, and put on a show. Does the world love its celebrities? The church will build a personality of cult around its gifted speakers, singers and entertainers.

Of course, those Christians who embrace all the things of the world, declare they are doing so in a quest to be “relevant.” After all, they reason, how will they reach a lost world if they do not appeal to the desires of the world?

The problem with this way of thinking is that, having drawn worldly people into the church, the seekers find no significant difference inside the church. The church merely presents them with a “cleaned up” version of what they had outside. The church has all the same values of comfort, ease, pleasure, and entertainment; they are presenting a religion that satisfies the soul of man, instead of leading people to the radical change of focus that they need.

Mankind apart from Christ is by nature a consumer. He lives to satisfy his natural appetites. This became the state of all men when Adam transgressed in the Garden of Eden. Adam failed to subdue and rule over the beasts (and by extension the beast nature). Adam submitted to the rule of the serpent. Consequently, the curse on the serpent became mankind’s curse.

Genesis 3:14
And Yahweh God said to the serpent... "Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field; On your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life...”

This curse contains a great parable. To go on one’s belly, is a parable of living to satisfy the appetites of the flesh. Man’s flesh was formed of the dust of the earth, and this became the food of all those ruled by the nature of the serpent. The apostle Paul alludes to this fallen state of mankind, and those in the church who continued in it, in the following words:

Philippians 3:18-19
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame - who set their mind on earthly things.

If one sets their mind on earthly things, then they are an enemy of the cross that all disciples must bear. If a man or woman is ruled by their belly, by the desires of their flesh and soul, then they are not following the pattern of Christ who testified that He did not come to do His own will.

John 5:30-31
"I can do nothing on My own initiative... because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

The world knows nothing of living for the will of the Father. A worldly church is following the pattern of the world. Christians are running over with personal initiative. They live their lives according to the desires of their own soul. They have merely adopted sanitized versions of the things the world pursues. The course of their life has not been altered. They are still living for self.

To be a disciple of Christ, one must make a complete about face. One must dare to be different.

To be a disciple, one must make an about face. They must no longer live to please themselves. They become the bond-servants of God, having been bought with a price.

I Corinthians 6:20
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

As I shared in the previous post, the disciple must hate his own soul.

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

Both Christ and His apostles contrasted The Way of the cross with loving the world. If one loved the world, and the things in it, if they were ruled by their belly, they were said to be enemies of the cross.

The church today has lost this distinctiveness. They have become as salt that has lost its savor.

Luke 14:33-35
"So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

It is the cross that gives the church its intense flavor. I am speaking here of the cross each disciple is called to bear. The church today speaks only of the cross that Christ bore. In their own lives there is no cross. Most Christians are not denying themselves, but rather living for self.

Some have written to me after the last post asking if there must always be suffering in our lives. Must we continually be subjected to hardship, loss, difficulty and distresses? Both Christ and His apostles have answered this question for us.

Luke 9:23
And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me.”

I Corinthians 15:31
“I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Yahshua our Lord, I die DAILY.”

This does not mean that we must be miserable every moment. It does not mean that suffering is our daily portion. What it does mean is that every day we must live for the will and pleasure of God rather than for our own will and pleasure. The cross always is applied to the soul of man. Our desires, our will, our ways, must be set aside in order that we might do the will of Yahweh. Though all the world and a worldly church are pursuing their own will, those who would be disciples must go against the flow. As they do, all who observe them realize that they have a very distinct flavor. There is a pungency about them that is absent in the lives of others. Their lives are potent by virtue of their sacrificial obedience to the Father.

II Corinthians 2:15-16
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.

Let me clarify that which I shared yesterday. Some have wondered whether we must be always suffering. Must we embrace poverty, and never know any ease or comfort. In God’s sight one condition is not superior to another. Whether we are well dressed, or ill-clothed; whether we are abundantly fed, or experiencing hunger; whether we are financially well-off, or experiencing great leanness, there is no moral benefit in one condition versus another.

Some do err by thinking they must always be abased, and suffering some austerity. These will not accept blessings of abundance when they come from Yahweh’s hand. To have such a mind is equally as much in error as those who will only accept blessing and abundance, despising and rejecting any thought that they should ever be lacking in every good thing. The apostle Paul addresses this error in the following words:

Colossians 2:20-23
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) - in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Paul is addressing those who are asserting that “self-abasement and severe treatment of the body” are required for one to be walking in a pure religion. In other places the apostles and Christ address those who go to the other extreme, desiring always to be rich in the goods of this world.

I Timothy 6:9-10
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.

Despite the marked difference in the outward appearance of those who are pursuing a life of austerity, and those who are pursuing a life of material abundance, the error of their hearts is the same. They are both “self-directed.” Both groups are choosing for themselves what they will accept in this life. Paul has declared this when he speaks of “self-made religion” and “self-abasement.” It is obvious from these words that “self” is the origin of this lifestyle. In contrast, Christ never did anything that arose from self. He lived to do the will of the Father.

John 4:34
Yahshua said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”

John 6:38
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

Romans 15:3
For even Christ did not please Himself...

Christ came into a world that was living for self. He swam against the current. His life was very distinctive. He was exceedingly salty.

I have often shared in this blog that a Christian need not choose for himself a cross to bear. No man needs to go and look for some way to suffer for Christ. All we must do is surrender to be led of the Spirit of Christ in all things. This is what Yahshua did. He always did the will of the Father. Such a life, moving as it does against the tide of humanity and the forces of this world, will include conflict and suffering. At times this suffering is the result of the world standing in opposition to the course of our life, but oftentimes the suffering is internal as we wrestle with laying down some cherished thing that our soul loves.

There are no vacations in a disciple’s commitment to follow God, but our Father does give His sons and daughters seasons of refreshing. We are not always in distresses. We are not every day submitted to dangers, and fears, and reproaches. We do not meet with loss and heartache every day. There are periods of great fellowship, of relative abundance, and of calm. Our Father knows how to refine His children. He knows how long they can remain in the fire, and when to bring them out and allow them rest.

The message I would convey to you is that a great majority of those who profess to be Christians are not walking as His disciples. They are not walking in The Way that leads to life. Many are enemies of the cross. They will not accept the cost of discipleship. They have never surrendered to be led of the Spirit in all things. They are going in the same direction they were traveling before they began confessing Christ. They are self directed, and living for selfish pleasure.

I Timothy 5:6
Whereas she who lives in pleasure and self-gratification [giving herself up to luxury and self-indulgence] is dead even while she [still] lives.
[Amplified Bible]

What will you do? SYNC or SWIM!

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Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
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Monday, December 24, 2018

Syncretism - Part Seven

Parting of The Ways
Joseph Herrin (02-22-2010)

This is the most important post of this series, for in it I will address the motive behind the practice of syncretism. Without any doubt in my mind, understanding this matter will be a key issue for all who would walk as overcomers in these last days.

As I have meditated upon this subject, asking the Spirit of Christ to guide me, I have pondered what the root cause of this practice of syncretism, this leavening of the church could be. The conclusion I have arrived touches the very foundation of Christianity.

Those who fail to accept the cost of discipleship; those who reject The Way of the cross, are susceptible to the unclean practices of syncretism. A Christian who has not given his or her life wholly to Christ to live as He chooses, have already adopted a spirit of compromise. This compromise opens the door to further compromise in all areas of life.

The Way of Christ and His disciples is a very narrow way. It is an afflicted way. The way of Mystery Babylon, the Great Harlot, is a way of ease and self-indulgence.

Consider for a moment the contrast between Christ and His disciples, and Mystery Babylon, the Great Harlot described in Revelation.

Of Christ and His disciples we read:

Isaiah 53:2-4
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows , and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

I Corinthians 4:9-13
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.

Of Babylon, the Great Harlot, we read:

Revelation 17:3-6
And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast... And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

Revelation 18:7-16
She glorified herself and lived sensuously... for she says in her heart, 'I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning...' And the kings of the earth... committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her... And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more; cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives... and all things that were luxurious and splendid... she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls.

Can a greater contrast be found between Christ and His disciples and the description of the Great Harlot, Mystery Babylon? Christ and His disciples had an afflicted path to walk. As men viewed their lives, they were judged to be stricken and smitten by God. They were strangers in the earth, without homes, without possessions, in many hardships and distresses. Their pathway was the way of the cross.

The Great Harlot, in contrast, has all the world’s goods. She says that she will never see mourning, for her heart is set to avoid all suffering. She is esteemed by the great people and merchants of the earth, where the true disciples were scorned. The harlot walks comfortably in the midst of this world system. Her path is broad, and multitudes join in her company, while the way of Christ is narrow, constricted and afflicted, and few are there who find it.

I will tell you what led to the compromises of the early church, and the corruption of the virgin Bride of Christ into a Great Harlot. It was a loathing of The Way, the narrow way, the way of the cross that all true disciples must follow.

Perhaps you have noticed that I have been capitalizing the words “The Way” throughout this series. This is the expression used to describe the early disciples of Christ. The early disciples were called “followers of The Way.”

Acts 9:1-2
Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Acts 19:9
But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

Acts 19:23
And about that time there arose no small disturbance concerning the Way.

Acts 24:14
"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers...”

The early disciples were referred to as The Way, more often than they were called Christians in the New Testament. These verses above reveal that those who belonged to The Way were persecuted; they were “the disciples”; disturbances followed them; and they were viewed as a sect of Judaism.

Strong’s Concordance defines the Greek word rendered as “Way” in the following manner:

hodos (hod-os'); apparently a primary word; a road; by implication a progress (the route, act or distance); figuratively, a mode or means:
KJV - journey, (high-) way.

We see that this Greek word can be used to signify both the route and road one takes, as well as the journey. The walk of those who were true disciples of Christ was very different from the path all other people around them were following. The disciples of The Way stood out in the society they found themselves in. Their priorities, values, and manner of living was altogether different from the pattern of the world.

Christ declared to those who gathered to hear Him that The Way to life was very different than the way of the world.

Matthew 7:13-14
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way (hodos) is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way (hodos) is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

I want you to understand this post, if you do not understand anything else from this series. There is apparent today two bodies, both women, who are identified as the Bride of Christ. One body is small in number. It is described as “a pure virgin” that has been espoused to Christ (II Corinthians 11:2). There is another body comprised of vast multitudes. It too claims to be espoused to Christ, but she is a harlot in her affections. She has eyes for the world, and the things in it.

Both of these bodies are walking very different roads. The pure virgin, few in number, is set upon an afflicted path, a narrow and constricted way. They aspire to be led of the Spirit in all they do. They have counted the cost of following Christ, even to hating their own lives, and have accepted the cost. These are following The Way that leads to life.

The other body is walking together with the world on a very broad path. It is the path of least resistance. They walk hand in hand with the merchants and money changers. They are focused on buying and selling, on eating and drinking, on building and planting and marrying. Their lives are focused on satisfying the desires of their flesh and the dreams and passions of their souls. Although a great many profess to be followers of God, these are walking the way that leads to destruction.

Among the early believers, the cost of following Christ was very clear. The early disciples, and all the 120 gathered in the upper room during that first Pentecost of the virgin church, knew very well the path that Yahshua had walked. Many had been witnesses of His crucifixion. All knew of His suffering and persecution and death. They were aware that He was an outcast from the Jewish religious system, hunted by the leaders of the Temple and synagogues.

The early church proclaimed the cost of following Christ. The first disciples knew that it would cost them everything. Christ made it clear that even as He was persecuted, so too would they. Even as He did not possess this world’s goods, neither would they be promised the things of this world. They had to accept whatever provision their Father in Heaven chose for them, for Christ was their pattern, and they were to be conformed to His image.

When the rich young ruler approached Christ, we read the following:

Matthew 19:21-22
Yahshua said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.

When the Scribe approached Yahshua wanting to be His disciple, we read:

Matthew 8:20
And Yahshua said to him, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

In these words we read that Christ did not require a permanent dwelling place on this earth. He never owned a home. He went wherever His Father directed Him, and was content with whatever provision God chose for Him.

When Christ addressed the multitudes, He declared:

Luke 14:33
“So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

From a strictly material point of view, there is nothing in The Way of Christ that would attract followers. One must choose The Way for no other reason than that it is the only path that leads to life. It was for this reason that Christ’s disciples continued to follow Him when the majority fell away.

John 6:66-68
Many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. Yahshua said therefore to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of age-abiding life.”

Yes if you want to be a possessor of the life of the Son of God, there is only one Way to walk. It is The Way of the disciples. It is the narrow way that promises nothing in this world, but has laid up its treasure in heaven and in an inheritance imperishable and incorruptible. It was in recognizing the truth that the Christian’s reward is not in this present life that the apostle Paul penned the following:

I Corinthians 15:19
If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

The Way to life is a costly way. It is a difficult way. It is a way that only those who embrace death to the natural life, to the desires and passions of the soul, alone can find.

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.”

What Christ is describing is the complete opposite of the broad path that “seems right unto a man.” Christ exhorted all who would be His disciples to count the cost first, to see if they could finish what they began. Were they willing to pay the full cost of what they began? Would they shrink back at anything?

People of God, the Spirit has instructed me in The Way during the past eleven years. In 1999 the Spirit of Christ challenged me to give all things I possessed over into His care, including my wife, my children, my home, my job, and even my own life. He asked me to commit to following Him wherever He would lead me, and to doing whatever He asked. I have written of this journey in the book Evidence of Things Unseen.

One thing I have fully discovered is that there truly are few who are willing to walk this narrow path. Many who are dear to me have fallen away, choosing a different course. Many trials, losses, suffering, and persecutions have been my lot over the past decade. These experience included the departure of my wife and son, of being rejected by fellow ministers, and having the doors to today’s synagogues, the churches, closed to me. It has led to my living as a wanderer in this earth, and even experiencing homelessness, and living at a Rescue Mission for a year. I have lived out of a car, in a tent, in a camper/van, and in other people’s homes. I have gone where the Father has led me, even when that included spending time in jail.

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

Let me share with you something I have discovered along The Way. When we count the cost of following Christ; when we accept the cost, setting our faces as flint to continue to the end; when we will bear every loss without seeking an easier path, then we will also find that our the compromises we once embraced in other areas of life will also fall away from us. These compromises include the doctrines and practices of an apostate church system who is walking on the way that is broad and leads to destruction.

The Way of Christ is an ever narrower Way. Yahweh is ever calling His people OUT of the world to be HOLY unto Him.

Revelation 18:4
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...”

The very word that is translated as “church” in our English Bibles speaks of this call of God upon those who would embrace The Way of Christ that leads to life. The Greek word “ekklesia” is translated into the English word “church.” Ekklesia is more literally translated as “called out assembly.” Those who would walk holy unto God are constantly being called OUT to a narrower place where there are fewer walking the path. This narrow place is a part of their journey. It is The Way, the narrow Way.

Consider now, what the inducement was among the early believers to look for another Way. The natural man despises the cross. The natural man does not desire to suffer, even if the suffering is necessary in order to fit sons and daughters to rule and reign with Christ. The natural man will seek a path of compromise where the way is not so difficult, and the most odious suffering can be avoided. Over time even the smaller acts of sacrifice and suffering will give way to a desire to be constantly at ease, endlessly entertained, and perpetually in a state of pleasure.

II Timothy 3:1-4
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God...

These words describe the state of the visible church today. Today, ministers do not even mention that there is a cost to be counted before committing to becoming a disciple of Christ. People are told that Christ has done it all. They can get their “get out of hell free card” by making a confession and saying a prayer. Then they can continue to live for their own will and desires, and God will even help them to attain all that their soul lusts for.

Such ones will inevitably find themselves following a broad way upon which the teeming multitudes throng. Having embraced a life of compromise, they will find themselves embracing mixture in all areas of life. In their religion they will see no difficulty in mixing the holy and the profane, for in their commitment to Christ they have mixed the will of God with their own Adamic will. They will obey God as long as it is pleasing to their soul, but if it does not please them, if the will of Yahweh leads to some sacrifice or suffering they do not wish to make, then they will choose the profane leadership of the fallen nature over the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Have you heeded the command of Christ to count the cost of discipleship? Have you considered that following Christ means death to your own ways? Have you considered that you must let another lead you, and live for the pleasure of another, in order to be a disciple of Christ? Are you willing to go wherever He would lead, and do whatever He would ask you to do? Have you considered that your life is not your own, for you have been bought with a price? Are you willing to live as a bondservant of God, living daily to do His will?

If you have not yet made this commitment, then you are a candidate for Satan’s deceit of syncretism. God requires everything. There can be nothing held back. Yahweh will ask you to lay that which is most precious to you on the altar as He directed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.

If you will not pay the cost, then you have already compromised your faith, and you are an open target for Satan to bring in more and more compromise and error until all is thoroughly leavened. Satan’s work is far advanced in the church today. The Spirit is calling His people to come out of Babylon, to come out of the world, to come out and be a people holy unto Him.

Syncretism is mixture. Syncretism is compromise.

Will you heed the call?

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063