Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Babylonian Mysteries Pt 4

Other Practices

Sun Worship

1) The sun was not only worshiped from the time of Nimrod as being a deity, the sun image became a mega symbol in all pagan religions. (This was discussed in the first chapter of Genesis regarding Satan being the angel overseer of the sun). The round sun with some type of rays can be found in all pagan ruins.

Eating the God

1) The priests of Baal ate a portion of all sacrifices including human sacrifices. Cahna-Bal means priest of Baal. It is the source of our word cannibal. In Egypt a thin round cake was consecrated by the priest and then was believed to become the actual flesh of Osiris. It was then eaten. In Mexico and Central America, there was a religious rite whereby an image was made of flour, consecrated by priests and then distributed to the people who ate it declaring it to be the flesh of their deity. In Mithraism, initiates received a small round wafer of unleavened bread which symbolized the solar disk. We find some Christian churches use a thin round wafer of unleavened bread to represent the body of Christ and teach transubstantiation, or consubstantiation (closely related to transubstantiation) which means that the bread and wine are supposed to miraculously become the actual body and blood of Christ. This is unscriptural. This is covered in my article on trans and consubstantiation located here DoestheEucharistMakeChristiansCannibals . Jesus tore a piece off a loaf of unleavened bread during a Passover meal (see my articles on the Feasts of Israel - Passover) and indicated that it was just a symbol of his death. Not the real flesh. (He wasn't dead yet anyhow.) That would amount to cannibalism. If the wine were turned into Christ’s blood as transubstantiation teaches, it would violate the very clear mandate from God that He initiated with Noah, reiterated with Moses and again in the New Testament in Acts, and has not rescinded - that we are not to eat blood. When we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we are re-enacting a portion of the Passover meal (will cover this later) where the bread and cup of wine were representations of something, not the real thing. For instance the particular cup that Christ said was His blood, was called the cup of redemption. Christ merely slightly altered the meaning of those symbols, but they were still just representations, nonetheless. It is for a memorial. It was never meant to be the real blood and flesh of Christ.

Kissing and Parading Statues

1) Kissing a statue was a pagan practice starting with the worship of Nimrod. It has continued right up today, even in some Christian churches. In the Bible, God tells Elijah that He has 7,000 that have not bowed to or kissed Baal. 1 Kings 19:18.

2) Carrying idols in a procession is an ancient practice of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Mexico, and Ethiopia. The Bible tells of this practice in Is. 46:6-7. In Central and South America these processions still occur.

Prayers and Indulgences for Delivery from Purgatory

1) Ancient Greece had Orphic teachers who went to people’s doors and offered to make amends for crimes committed by the person or his ancestors by offering sacrifices and incantations for a price. The Chinese Buddhists buy prayers for deliverance of loved ones from purgatory. In Zoroasterism, souls go through 12 stages to be purified for heaven. The Stoics had a middle place of enlightenment and fire called Empurosis. Various nations had the belief that fire was necessary to cleanse sins. A place of purgatory after death and the necessity of prayers for the dead is prevalent in pagan religions.

2) One church’s encyclopedia says that sins committed after baptism (infant) can be forgiven through the sacrament of penance, but there remains the temporal punishment which must be fulfilled in this world or the next (purgatory). An indulgence discharges this debt during life here on earth. Scripture teaches differently. If you are a true Christian believer Paul says "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." If you aren't a believer, you simply go to hell. You can't pay off your debt to God with money down here. You can't pay it off at all. Nor do prayers alter the state of your heart when you died. Either you belonged to God or you rejected Him. After death it is too late to change that fact. We don't earn our way to heaven. Only Christ kept the Ten Commandments perfectly. The rest of us have to piggyback on His righteousness by accepting His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross for our salvation.

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven

1) It is the practice of some pagan religions to offer cakes to the Queen of Heaven. This can even be found in Jer. 7:18. “The children gather wood and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” Offering round cakes to Mary as the Queen of Heaven was practiced starting in the 4th century. Obviously God does not like this practice.

Holy Days

1) December 25 was a pagan celebration day. It was a year-end festival to honor Saturn, the god of harvest and Mithras the god of light. People prepared special foods, decorated their homes with greenery, sang, and gave gifts. In ancient Rome, a wreath was placed on the front door as a sign of victory and celebration. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant by the Druids and was used as a charm. It is believed Christ was born around Sept./Oct not December (although some think it was in the spring).

2) Eastre was the pagan goddess of spring. The pagans would have a celebration of new life in the spring. Some of the symbols were bunnies, chicks, eggs for fertility and other spring things such as plants. Today the date Easter is celebrated is determined by the vernal equinox and the moon, not by the timing of Passover (which is how it should be determined). Even Judaism has incorporated some of the Eastre trappings into Passover with the roasted egg.

3) Samhain (Halloween) was an ancient festival of the dead. It involved putting on disguises to fool the demons so they wouldn’t bother you. Bonfires were built to scare away the demons. Jack-o-lanterns were also a part of this celebration. November 1 is All Saint’s Day - a celebration of the dead saints in some churches.

4) Sunday - the pagans set aside one day a week as sacred to the sun. Hence the name Sunday. Sunday became the official worship day of the Christian church in the 300’s A.D. Christ, when speaking to his disciples (in Matt. 24) said that at the end of the age, they should hope that they don’t have to flee on the Sabbath. He expected that they would still be celebrating the Sabbath at the end of the age, as they were then, on the seventh day of the week. In spite of arguments to the contrary, a true exegesis of the Scriptures shows that Sunday was never made the new worship day, the study of this can be found here SabbathorSunday

Note: Most Christians celebrate Christmas, and Easter and most worship on Sunday. The Scriptures say this about that Rom. 14:5-6 “One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day; to the Lord he doth not regard it…” There are some who refuse to celebrate any day, including birthdays, as they feel it is a pagan thing to do. Others have no problem even celebrating the pagan holidays (Halloween). The key seems to be this - regarding it unto the Lord. I believe that everyone has to decide for themselves whether they can celebrate these days or not by their own conscience, but when it has a pagan connotation, then it really also becomes a matter of appearances to others if you do.  I do not think there is any way that you can Christianize Halloween, but if you use the opportunity to pass out tracts to children, that is not a bad thing.  If you celebrate it to the Lord in some manner rather than adopting the pagan celebrations of it, then it may be perfectly acceptable to God. After all, He made every day of the year. Satan has no ownership on any day. If you have serious doubts that you should be doing it though, then you shouldn’t be doing it, as you are not fully persuaded in your own mind that it is all right.

As far as the Sabbath goes, the Jews celebrate it on Saturday. The majority of Christians celebrate it on Sunday. However if we look at the Ten Commandments, it says “Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work…” Ex. 20: 9-10. While I myself take this to mean the seventh day that Israel observes, God’s rules are not meant to be a burden. He knew that as time went by, some people would have to work on what in our calendar is considered the seventh day.  He didn’t really specify it by name, (although the implication is that it is the seventh day of the week as we count them from one to seven) which day of the week you had to rest, simply that you work six of the seven days and rest on the seventh. And we don’t actually know if our week is the same as the original week of creation in terms of which day is the first, etc (but again we should probably use Israel's observation of it, as God gave them what we consider the seventh day and they have observed it ever since. At least I think they still did during the captivities.  They are least probably knew which day was the seventh. One hopes anyhow.)

In Spanish cultures, what we consider the second day of the week is their first, so now they would say that the seventh day of the week is Sunday.  While I do believe that Saturday is truly the Sabbath according to God's calendar, the most important thing is that we observe one day out of the seven as a Sabbath, and personally I prefer that it not be on a day that is named for worship of the Sun god (whom I believe to be Satan).  God made the Sabbath for man (Mark 2:27) not man for the Sabbath, so while I tend to think we should observe a Saturday Sabbath, maybe God will accept the spirit of the law rather than the letter of it. I prefer to take the safer route and have adopted the letter of the law by making Saturday my Sabbath.

The entire purpose of the Sabbath is to give us a break. A legitimate, unbreakable excuse (even a command) to take the day off and do nothing (except commune with God). Science recently published a study that found for man to be at his best physically, emotionally, and mentally, the optimal schedule to provide this is to rest (surprise, surprise) one day out of every seven. And yet, people don’t want to follow this command. We are foolish to not take advantage of this command, as who doesn't want to be able to take a day off and not feel guilty about it? Personally, as already mentioned, for myself I have switched to Saturday Sabbath, as I would rather be associated with the day that people associate with God's original commandments than worship on the day that I know Satan chose for himself and had named for himself (Sun - day). I feel the need to separate myself from paganism on this one, as this (Saturday) is the day that God has called the Sabbath since giving the commandment to Moses and Saturday Sabbath is the one to which Christ was referring in the passage in Matthew 24 when He expected His followers to have to run at the time of the tribulation. For me, I had to make the change, difficult as that was. You have to follow your own conscience.

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