The Apple Of God's Eye

April 25, 2011

How Rome Counterfeited God’s Holy Days

pacinst.com

There are millions of  professing Christians in the world today — everyone of them, in greater or lesser degree, practicing the pagan mysteries of ancient Babylon!

How could the world believe that its hundreds of competitive sects and denominations are the one true Church of God? — and believe that its heathen customs and holidays supersede the authority of the Bible?

What Is the “Mystery of Babylon”?

Admittedly the customs of the Protestant world came from the Roman Catholic Church; but how did Rome fall heir to the “Mystery of Babylon?” Here is the answer!

In Revelation 17:5, an angel reveals to the apostle John, in symbol, the professing Christian world of today. Notice what kind of world it is! It is dominated by a “Mother Church” — symbolized by a fallen woman — whose name is “a mystery, ‘BABYLON THE GREAT, the Mother of the Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth.'”

That is her real name! She is named after the city Babylon! But why is this great church not called the mystery of “Nineveh,” or the mystery of “Sidon,” or “Athens,” or “Thebes”? — all famous cities of the ancient world in which competitive pagan mystery religions were located. Why is it called specifically the mystery of “Babylon”? How did the “Babylonian mysteries- migrate to Rome? And what were the customs or mysteries that specifically distinguished the city of Babylon from the other centers of mystery cults?

First, notice what a “mystery” is. A mystery is secret knowledge revealed only to an inner circle, not to outsiders in general. Paul speaks of the teaching of the true Church as a Mystery. “Now to the one able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent through the times of ages, but now is manifested,” he wrote in Rom. 16:25-26. This mystery includes the knowledge God has revealed in the Bible. But the Bible is written in such a way that the world, which is carnally minded, cannot understand it. It is a mystery to the world!

Those who constitute the true Church of God are also called the “mystery of God” in Revelation 10:7. (more…)

February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day: A Millennia Old Fertility Rite With A Little Magic To Boot!

listverse.com

When we were small children, we’d often use the word “why”—usually in the form of a question, directed at a person older than us. And each answer, it seemed, triggered another question—another why. But as we grew older, our curiosity began to wane. We stopped asking why so frequently. What was the reason? Was it because we thought we knew everything at that point? No, we became comfortable with the status quo. Most of us began to accept things the way they are—without question.

And so it is with the holiday we are fast approaching on February 14, 2010 – Valentine’s Day — a day which supposedly celebrates love and affection between couples by giving flowers and sending greeting cards.

But since there’s no biblical basis for its observance, we must look to secular history to determine its origin.

Centuries before Christ, the Romans celebrated the evenings of February 14 and 15 (named “Lupercalia)” as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves.” This pagan free-for-all was to be done away with when Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, but the general public would have none of it, and so only the more grossly sensual observances were toned down.

Modern tradition says that this holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. But the fact is that by this time, the holiday had BECOME a “Christian” custom, appropriating the name St. Valentine in place of Lupercus (Lavinia Dobler, Customs and Holidays Around the World). (more…)

December 30, 2009

The Plain Truth About New Year's Eve!

askmatthewpotter.com

How did the celebration of New Year’s Eve begin? Why is the beginning of a year placed in the middle of a dead winter? And where did the many customs surrounding it originate?

Most people carelessly assume that celebrating New Year’s Eve is a Christian custom.  But did the practice of “waiting the old year out” really come from the Bible?  Is January 1 the true beginning of a new year? Who has the authority to determine when a new year begins?

New Year’s is one of the oldest and most universal of all pagan traditions! The custom of celebrating it has remained essentially unchanged for 4,000 years! “There is scarcely a people, ancient or modern, savage or civilized,” writes Theodor H. Gaster, in his definitive book “New Year”, “which has not observed it … in one form or another. Yet no other festival has been celebrated on so many different dates or in so many seemingly different ways.”

In ancient Babylon, New Year’s festivals were closely bound to the pagan feast called “Christmas” today. When and how did New Year’s celebrations originate? Who began the custom? (more…)

December 25, 2009

The Truth About Christmas

wonderfulthings.info

Where did the world get Christmas? … from the Bible, or paganism? Stop and think a moment! Very few have ever reflected on why they believe what they do — why they follow the customs they do, or from where those customs came. We were born into a world filled with customs. We grew up accepting them without question.

Why? By nature we do tend to follow the crowd, whether right or wrong. Sheep follow others to the slaughter. Humans ought to check up where they are going.

So ask yourself some questions: Does Christmas really celebrate the birthday of Christ? Was Jesus born on December 25th? Did the original apostles, who knew Jesus personally and were taught by Him, celebrate His birthday on December 25th? Did they celebrate it at all?

If Christmas is the chief of the Christian holidays, why do so many non-Christians observe it? Do you know? Why do people exchange presents with family members, friends, relatives, at Christmas time? Was it because the wise men presented gifts to the Christ-child?

Most people have “supposed” a lot of things about Christmas that are not true. But let’s quit “supposing” and get the facts!

What Encyclopedias Say

The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” or, as it came to be shortened, “Christ-Mass.” It came to non-Christians and Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church. And where did they get it? NOT from the New Testament — NOT from the Bible — NOT from the original apostles who were personally instructed by Christ — but it gravitated in the fourth century into the Roman Church from paganism.

Since the celebration of Christmas has come to the world from the Roman Catholic Church, and has no authority but that of the Roman Catholic Church, let us examine the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, published by that church. Under the heading “Christmas,” you will find:

Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church … the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” “Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.”

And in the same encyclopedia, under the heading “Natal Day,” we find that the early Catholic father, Origen, acknowledged this truth: “… In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners [like Pharaoh and Herod] who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world” (emphasis ours). (more…)

August 9, 2009

Guy Fawkes Day: No Biblical Basis As A Religious Holiday!

GuyFawkesBonfireIn Great Britain, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated every November 5.

This holiday has its origins in a religious conflict involving the banishment of Roman Catholic priests from England. In protest, several laymen plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament when King James I was to open the new session. Nearly 40 barrels of gunpowder were prepared and secreted in a cellar underneath the Houses of Parliament. Authorities discovered the plot and the conspirators were arrested and executed.

In the early 1700s, after firmly choosing Protestantism over Catholicism, the British nation began to celebrate the anniversary of the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes — an apparent ringleader — had been chosen to set off the ill-fated explosion, hence the holiday became known as Guy Fawkes’ Day, and was celebrated by burning Fawkes in effigy. Later, fireworks were added to the festivities.

Children made human figures out of straw and sticks, and begged coins from passersby by asking, “Penny for the Guy?” They chanted rhymes like these:

“Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.”

A few old Fawkes’ Night rhymes were aimed at the far-off leader of the Catholic Church:

“A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.”

Guy Fawkes Day in England is reminiscent of Halloween celebrations. Marguerite Ickis tells us, “Guy Fawkes Day has many customs in common with a Halloween celebration in the United States” (Book of Festivals and Holidays World Over, page 120).

Young people in England observe this holiday somewhat like Americans observe Halloween. The Book of Days tells us:

“English juveniles still regard the 5th of November as one of the most joyous days of the year. The universal mode of observance through all parts of England is the dressing up of a scarecrow figure, in such cast-habiliments as can be procured (the headpiece, generally a paper cap painted and knotted with paper strips in imitation of ribbons), parading it in a chair through the streets and at nightfall burning it with great solemnity in a huge bonfire…. The procession visits the different houses in the neighborhood…. One invariable custom is always maintained — that of soliciting money from the passersby, in the formula, ‘Pray remember Guy!’ ‘Please to remember Guy!’ or ‘Please to remember the bonfire!’ [The common expression now is “Penny for the guy”]” (pages 549-550).

In times past, Guy Fawkes Day was celebrated by many of the adult generation. “In the old days the festival was celebrated heartily with bonfires and parades of masqueraders, who carried aloft ‘popes’ or ‘guys’ of straw” (Dorothy Gladys Spicer, The Book of Festivals, page 14).

But as Marguerite Ickis explains: “Today Guy Fawkes Day is mainly a holiday for children, who observe it by dressing up in funny costumes, having parades, lighting firecrackers and making straw dummies of Guy Fawkes” (Book of Festivals and Holidays World Over, page 120).

Like Halloween, Guy Fawkes Day has its religious overtones. The Book of Days informs us: “Till 1859, a special service for the 5th of November formed part of the ritual of the English Book of Common Prayer; but by special ordinance of the Queen in Council, this service… has been abolished” (page 549).

Guy Fawkes Day, like Halloween and many other days observed the world over, has no biblical basis as a religious holiday.

Source: The Good News, October/November 1985

August 6, 2009

Is "Independence Day" Of Pagan Origin?

Independence_Day1Independence Day, celebrated on July 4th in the United States, is not fundamentally religious in character. It is a secular holiday of comparatively recent origin. The holidays that Christians should not keep are those that are pagan in origin; but there is nothing inherently pagan about the 4th of July.

As a patriotic American citizen, there is certainly nothing wrong with observing a day that celebrates the freedoms bestowed upon this great nation by Almighty God. Patriotism becomes a sin only when it supersedes the worship of God!

June 8, 2009

Do Nicolaitians Have A Connection To Santa Claus?

“Nicolaitan” means “a follower of Nicolas.” It comes from two Greek words — “nikos” and “laos”. “Nikos” means “conqueror” or “destroyer,” and “laos” means “people.” The original Nicolas was a conqueror or destroyer of the people! That was Nimrod — the original archrebel, who conquered the people and founded a man-made civilization within two centuries after the Flood!

While he was alive, Nimrod put himself in the place of God. When he died, his admirers continued to WORSHIP him as a divine hero. They called him “Baal,” a name found throughout the Old Testament, meaning “master” or “lord.”

Nimrod also had other names. One, commonly used throughout Asia Minor, was “Santa.” (See “Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary”). “Santa Claus” is but a shortened form of “Santa Nicholas” or “Saint Nicholas.”

Many unknowingly honor this Nicholas even in our day by by observing customs associated with December 25th. Christmas originally was the “Saturnalia” or birthday of Nimrod. Of course, these customs handed down from ancient paganism have been renamed and made to appear innocent and good!

Nicolaitans in modern times

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says:

  • nik-o-la’-i-tanz Nikolaitai: – The Sect: A sect or party of evil influence in early Christianity, especially in the 7 churches of Asia. Their doctrine was similar to that of Balaam, “who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication” (Re 2:14,15). Their practices were strongly condemned by John, who praised the church in Ephesus for “hating their works” (Re 2:6), and blamed the church in Pergamum for accepting in some measure their teaching (Re 2:15). Except that reference is probably made to their influence in the church at Thyatira also, where their leader was “the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess” (Re 2:20; compare 2:14), no further direct information regarding them is given in Scripture. The Nicolaitians were one of the heretical sects that plagued the churches at Ephesus and at Pergamum, and perhaps elsewhere.

Irenaeus identifies the Nicolaitans as a Gnostic sect:

“John, the disciple of the Lord, preaches this faith (the deity of Christ), and seeks, by the proclamation of the Gospel, to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men, and a long time previously by those termed Nicolaitans, who are an offset of that “knowledge” falsely so called, that he might confound them, and persuade them that there is but one God, who made all things by His Word” (see Irenaeus Against Heresies iii 11.  1; ANF vol. 1, p. 426) There is also historical evidence of a Gnostic sect called Nitolaitans a century or so later.

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans appears to have been a form of antinomianism: a belief that is based upon a recognition of the mercy of God as the ground of salvation. However, it goes astray in the mistake that man can freely partake in sin because the Law of God is no longer binding. It held the truth on the gratuitous reckoning of righteousness; but supposed that a mere intellectual “belief” in this truth had a saving power.

James 2:19 refutes this error:

“The devils also believe, and tremble”; reminding us that belief of and by itself is not enough for salvation, especially when held to the light of James 2:20, which says: “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

No one will argue that salvation is a free gift, based upon God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). but from there we have to go on and do something, as the very next verse admonishes us.  “We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).  The faith of God produces action; leading to a desire for holiness and obedience. (1 John 3:18, Titus 2:11-15, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Revelation 14:12)

There are certain religions  today which still teach the heretical doctrine of holding to the freedom of the flesh and sin, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh have no effect upon salvation. But is this biblical?

The Bible teaches that Christians are supposed to “die” to sin and the deeds of our “flesh”: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2)  “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:11-13)

Today, the doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made God’s law of no effect: that by “believing” we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned in the book of Revelation.  “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)

April 12, 2009

Easter: A Holiday For A Deceived, Misled, And Misguided World

endrtimes.blogspot.com/2008/03/pagan-worship-... 

endrtimes.blogspot.com/2008/03/pagan-worship-...

Easter Sunday morning devout believers by the millions will be engaged in what they feel to be the reenactment of the resurrection drama. The ceremony will more than likely be staged in some scenic setting. It’s all quite impressive. 

There will be a sunrise service with pomp, pageantry, communion, the joyous announcement that Christ is risen, the hot-cross buns, colorful eggs, chocolate bunnies, new clothes, and games. All of it seems so wholesome, so Christian. But we should not be keeping Easter, and there is a reason. 

Isn’t it peculiar that in the Bible, which Christians accept as the revealed, written Word of God, there is absolutely no command, no example — not even a hint — that Easter should be observed. On the other hand, we are given a strong warning not to improvise on how to worship God. One who is “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (the Creator God) states, ” … If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18). No matter if we take these words as a threat or a promise, the sobering warning remains. 

But isn’t God being unreasonable? What’s wrong with these quaint, cherished customs that everybody loves? No problem, except, “Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen … ” (Jeremiah 10:2). But surely, Easter is not “heathen.” 

One doesn’t need to be a Rhodes scholar to get to the roots of Easter observance. It’s as simple as a trip to a library. For example, look up the article “Easter” in The New Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia

“… it (Easter) embodies traditions of an ancient time antedating the rise of Christianity. The origin of its name is lost in the dim past; some scholars believe it probably is derived from Eastre, Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility … 

“Her festival was celebrated on the vernal equinox, and traditions associated with the festival service in the familiar Easter bunny, symbol of the fertile rabbit, and in the equally familiar colored Easter eggs originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring … Such festivals, and the myths and legends which explain their origin, abounded in ancient religions.” That’s Christianity? The roots are suspect, but let’s go on. 

Easter, Astarte, Eostre, Ishtar … What’s in a name? “It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven … That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar.” (See The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, page 103). 

Continuing, “The worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, ‘the priests of the groves.’ ” The Old Testament is profuse in documenting this pagan type of idolatrous worship. Note Jeremiah 7:18-19: “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven … 

“Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?” Notice that cakes were offered to the “queen.” Could this be the origin of the hot-cross buns? 

“The ‘buns’ … were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens — that is, 1,500 years before the Christian era” (ibid., page 108). 

Other pagan traditions revolving around the spring festivities include the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, otherwise known as Bacchus (the lamented one). He was often pictured (and worshiped) as a little child in his mother’s arms (ibid., pages 21-22). This adoration of Tammuz was enacted by the believers with “… their faces toward the east: and they worshiped the sun toward the east (at sunrise) … ” Sunrise service? Sounds familiar, and God comments on this tradition in Ezekiel 8. He has a word for it. It’s spelled: abomination! 

As decades and centuries passed, the dominant “Christian” Church headquartered at Rome continued to bring the heathen masses into the fold by amalgamating their pagan practices, apparently oblivious of Jeremiah 10:2. And so the nominal Christianity grew, but was the God of the Bible in it? 

The deceived, misled, misguided world (see Revelation 12:9) has its Easter. 

The God of heaven has given us the Holy Days. In the springtime, when nature bursts forth with new life, God ordained special feasts. A time of gladness and of profound meaning — for young and old alike. Through these days God unfolds His master plan: the purpose of life, the precious sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the incredible potential that we have of being born into the very Family of God. Now that’s something to celebrate and get excited about. 

Source: The Good News, March 1979 

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