Come out of Her, My People (Pre-Edition) - The Final Reformation
Ever since the Reformation began at the beginning of the 16th century, there have been steps taken, in response to directions from the Mighty One, to restore "the Faith which was once for all delivered to the saints," Jude verse 3 RAV. This book, which you are now reading, is the Final Reformation, "the restitution of all things," Acts 3:21 KJV. We do not profess that further Light will not come, for indeed, our Saviour will complete that which He has now started, "He will thoroughly purge His threshing-floor ... He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire,'' Matt. 3:12 KJV.
This book serves to unveil the Great Apostasy (as Bible translators like to call it) as is described in 2 Thess. 2:312. It reveals to us the "Mystery of Lawlessness" of 2 Thess. 2:7 REV. It reveals to us "Mystery Babylon" of Rev. 17:5, of which much is said in the final eleven chapters of the book of Revelation. It unmasks the "Abomination of Desolation", which our Messiah said (in Matt. 24:15 - and Daniel as well in Dan. 9:27, Dan. 11:31, Dan. 12:11), will be found to be standing in the "Holy Place". In fulfilment of Messiah's promise in Luke 8:17, it unseals the important things that were revealed to Daniel in visions and dreams. Daniel was commanded in Dan. 12:4, "But you Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end." This command to Daniel was repeated to him in Dan. 12:9. This sealing of the book was only up to the time of the end-time, "until the time of the end; many shall push forth, and knowledge shall increase," Dan. 12 4 Hebrew text. The German, Dutch and Afrikaans translations have preferred the figurative meaning of the Hebrew shut (push forth), namely: "do research", and it fits in perfectly with the context of this verse The revelation of the "Abomination of Desolation" (Dan. 9:27, Dan. 11:31 and Dan. 12:11) and all the things "what will be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:28, Dan. 7:18 and 27, Dan 8:17 and 19 and 26, Dan. 10:14, Dan. 11:40, Dan. 12: 1-13), are described for us in Daniel chapters 2,7,8,9, 10, 11 and 12. These visions, revelations, were so shocking that Daniel said, "I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself," Dan. 7:28 NIV. In Dan. 7:15 he said, "my mind disturbed me." NIV. In Dan. 8:27 he said he "fainted and was sick for days." In Dan. 10:8 and 16-17 Daniel further recorded the sickening effect these revelations had upon him, "I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless . . . am overcome with anguish . . . I am helpless, my strength is gone and I can hardly breathe," NIV. That is exactly how we too felt when the Abomination of Desolation, the Great Apostasy, the Mystery of Lawlessness, and Mystery Babylon were unveiled to us!
The Spirit of Truth was indeed guiding us into all Truth (John 16: 13), convicting us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8). The Spirit was truly declaring to us our transgression and our sin (Micah 3:8). Our Elohim was verily fulfilling His promise of Eze. 36:27, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." The fire of the Baptism of the Spirit does indeed "burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire, " Matt. 3: 12. All the revelations in this book were given to us in a supernatural way, by the Spirit, and subsequent search led to confirmation in Scripture, as well as in reliable sources of scholars of Scripture, of religious history, or of archaeology. Someone has attempted to criticize us for including non-ecclesiastical historians and archaeologists in our search. However, this criticism can be refuted on the very Scriptural example of the Almighty even speaking through an ass (Numbers 22:28), and even using stones (archaeology), as Messiah has predicted in Luke 19:40. It is well known that the Church, from the 4th century onwards, had accepted many pagan festivals, images, idol's names etc., into the Church, with the apology that these things of idolatry have been "sanctified". Therefore, much of the frank idolatrous origin of these things became suppressed, ignored, or explained away. However, honest historians and archaeologists recorded these facts for us, for they were unbiased and merely related their findings. Thus, the very stones of archaeology and history also cry out! The study of the names of pagan idols is greatly impeded by the fact that the pagans diversified the names of their deities, and also disguised their names, and even tried to keep them secret, in order to avoid their opponents getting hold of the name of their idol. Further, Hislop tells us in The Two Babylons, p.122, that "The Pagans were in the habit of worshiping the same god under different names." And, even worse, with the syncretism that prevailed since the time of Alexander the Great, the deities of the various nations became identified with one another. But, in our research, the Spirit of Truth was blessing us by guiding us and leading usŚ leading us out of this confusion. Another important point needs to be mentioned: The Sun-deity had, and still has, many names. This fact soon becomes very obvious to anyone who starts reading on the subject. In the 4th century, when the fusion of Sun-worship with the Messianic Faith took place, Macrobius wrote, "All gods are only different powers of the Sun" (quoted by James Bonwick, Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought, p.276). The details of this assimilation are fully discussed in the text of this book, The Final Reformation.
This book will greatly help the seeker of Truth to return to the True Faith. The Gift of "discerning of spirits" must be prayed for, in order to discern between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6), to discern between the Spirit of Yah˙weh' and "the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). Not many will accept the revelations coming forth in this book, "for many are called, but few are chosen," Matt. 22:14. "For the gate is small, and the Way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it," Matt. 7:14 NASB. "Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left," Isa. 24:6. Who are the "few" that are chosen? "Just as HE CHOSE us in Him [Messiah] before the foundation of the world, THAT WE SHOULD BE SEPARATE (HOLY) AND WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love " Eph. 1:4, capitals mine. Read also 2 Thess. 2:13, 1 Pet. 1:2, 14-16. We are chosen by Him to be Separate (holy), for He is Separate (holy). Many are called, but few respond to His requirement, His demand for Separation (holiness). Therefore the "few" are described in Rev. 17:14 as "called, chosen and faithful." How can I know that I am being chosen? Simply by responding to His call "to be Separate" from the sins of the world. Take heed: without Separation no one will see HimŚHeb. 12:14. Only those who accept His only-begotten Son as Saviour, and then as his only Teacher (Matt. 23:8 and 10), and only Leader, Shepherd and Overseer (1 Pet. 2:25), will endure to the end on the Narrow Way. They are those who truly come into the binding relationship with Yah˙weh, the New Covenant, of which the Law of Yah˙weh is still the contentsŚHeb. 8: 10 and 10: 16. Only they will escape the end-time plagues and final destruction that is to come upon Mystery Babylon.
This book is meant for those who, out of thankfulness for the Great Redemptive Love shown on Golgotha, can but only respond by loving our Elohim with all their hearts, all their minds and all their souls. They are those who strive to read and obey every Scriptural command, for they delight in doing so. They are those who "live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of Yah˙weh," Deut. 8:3 and Matt. 4:4. They are those who no longer read and obey the Word in a "pick as you please" way, no longer in an a la carte fashion. In one sense Scripture is the story of the struggle between True Worship and false or apostate or mixed worship. The message of the Three Angels in Rev. 14:6-12 is a call for reform, a call for sanity. This book details that call for sanity. It appeals to those who have come to know their Saviour personally those who, like us, "serve Yah˙weh with gladness", who "rejoice in Yah˙weh always". When we have accepted Yahush˙a as our Saviour, He lives in us, in our hearts, He and His Father (John 14:23), working in us "both to will and to work on behalf of His good pleasure," Philip. 2:13. He is the One Who reconciles us with His Father (Rom. 5:10,2 Cor. 5:18,1 Peter 3:18). He is the One Who motivates us to do the Will of His Father, to bring us to the place where we can truly say, "I delight to do Your Will, O my Elohim, and Your Law is within my heart," Ps. 40:8. This book is a call to worship the Father not only in Spirit, but in Truth alsoŚJohn 4:23-24. "Trust and obey, for there is no other Way", should be the song sung from our lips, but also from our hearts.
This book cannot be sold, for Messiah has already paid the price. He has already paid the price on the cruel tree on Golgotha, not only to save us but also to "redeem us from all lawlessness", Titus 2:14 Greek text. However any contributions received, will be used exclusively for the reprinting of further copies and distribution thereof.
We are greatly indebted to our Messiah Who said "Without Me you can do nothing," John 15:5. We are also greatly indebted to every brother and sister who has supported this, The Final Reformation, by their tithes, by helping prepare the manuscript, and above all: their prayers.
Chapter I - SUN-WORSHIP HAS BEEN FUSED WITH THE MESSIANIC FAITH
The Almighty has turned and has given us, the Christian Church and the Christian world, up to worship the host of heaven, which comprises the sun, the moon, and the stars, of which the sun is the most important. He did this to Israel after He brought them out of Egypt, the land of sin, Acts 7:38,39 and 42. The startling truth is that He has done it again, to us! This is revealed to us in the book of Revelation by our Saviour, in Rev. 12:1Śthe woman (the Church), "clothed with the sun . . . moon . . . stars." The Almighty delivered Israel up (Act 7:42 NASB) to worship the host of heaven, because they would not abide by, and remain faithful to, the Covenant, the "Ten Words"Ś Deut. 4:13 Hebrew text, correctly rendered in the New English Bible or Green's Interlinear. Israel would not abide by the "Living Words" (Acts 7:38 NIV or Green's Interlinear) which they received from the Angel on Mt. Sinai, through the mediation of Moses.
Likewise, our Saviour, the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 8:6, Heb. 9:15, Heb. 12:24), has been seeking to mediate the New Covenant to us. The contents of the New Covenant are the same as the Covenant of old, namely the Law of Yah˙weh 1 (Heb. 8: 10, Heb. 10: 16, Jer. 31:33), of which the Ten Words, the "Living Words" or the Ten Commandments, form the basis or foundation. These Ten Words were given on two tables. The second table with the last six Commandments is the basis of the ethical or social law. The first table with the first four Commandments is the basis of the religious law. The second table is the basis of our love towards our neighbour, our fellow-man (Matt. 22:39, Luke 10:27b, Mark 12:31, Rom. 13:9, Lev. 19:18). The first table is the basis of our love towards Yah˙weh (Matt. 22:37- 38, Luke 10:27a Mark 12:29-30, Deut. 6:5).
FIG. 1: The Name of our Heavenly Father in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is best transliterated as IaHUeH, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (see under "Jehovah"). The Hebrew word must be read from back to front. The represents YAHU-, and the final represents -EH or -WEH. (See also References No. 1).
For almost 2 000 years the Church has been striving to get people to adhere to the ethical or social laws The laws of the second table, the love towards our neighbour and fellow- man. But what about the love towards Yah˙weh, the first table, the religious laws? These have been shockingly neglected, turned aside, "done away with" or ignored. The very essence of Yahush˙a our Saviour's
FIG. 2: All authoritative sources agree, e.g. Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, that this is the original form of our Saviour's Name, preserved in the Old Testament as the name of Moses' successor. The represents YAHU-, and the final represents -SHUA. (See also References, No. 6).
final message in Revelation chapters 12 to 22 is that of the sad neglect, in fact, even rejection of the "love towards Yah˙weh"Śthe religious laws. At the end of this article we shall study Revelation chapters 12 to 22 in full detail, wherein we shall discover numerous facts that witness to this, proving that we too have been "given up to worship the host of heaven". We have not allowed the Mediator, Yahush˙a, to mediate His Father's Law into our hearts and in our minds, especially not the first four Commandments or Words, the religious law, the love towards Yah˙weh. The Scriptures repeatedly warn us against the worship of the sun and the rest of the host of heaven, which is simply a form of idolatry, in fact, the most natural thing for natural man to do. These warnings are found in Deut. 4:19, Deut. 17:3, Job 31:26-28, Eze. 8:9- 16, 2 Chron. 14:5. Jer. 44:17, Jer. 19:13,2 Kings 23:4-11, Acts 7:42, and Revelation chapters 12 to 22.
For quite some time we have been
convinced of this idolatry of Sun-worship which has been adopted by the Church.
We then discovered the honest and unbiased conclusions arrived at by the
following four scholars. This prompted us to come forward and to "Cry
aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet, tell my people their transgression,"
Isa. 58:1. Let us read what these scholars said:
The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Second Edition, p. 233, states, "Constantine combined veneration for the 'Unconquered Sun my companion' with that of Christ." This frank and honest statement is confirmed by the three other authoritative sources. One of the most knowledgeable scholars in this field, Franz Cumont, candidly states on p. 288 of his book, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, "The vague deism of Constantine strove to reconcile the opposition of helioatry [sun-worship] and Christianity." John Ferguson, in The Religions of the Roman Empire, p. 56, states, "Constantine's god was a fusion of the Unconquered Sun and Christ the Victorious." Another scholarly researcher, Legge, on pp. 118-119 of Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, relates what happened in the first few centuries of our common era, before this fusion took place, and then that which followed, " . . . the . . . importance thus given to the worship of the material sun, which henceforth forms the centre of adoration in all non-Christian religions . . . All the post Alexandrian legends of the gods were turned the same way, and Serapis, Mithras, Attis were all identified with the Sun, whom philosophers like Pliny and Macrobius declared to be the one supreme god concealed behind the innumerable lesser deities of the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Even the Christians could not long hold out against the flood, and the marks of the compromise to which the Catholic Church came in the matter may perhaps be seen in the coincidence of the Lord's Day with Sunday and the Church's adoption of the 25th day of December, the birthday of the Unconquered Sun-god, as the anniversary of the birth of Christ. It is certainly by no accident that the emperors whose reigns immediately preceded the establishment of Christianity all turned towards the worship of the Sun-god who was looked upon as the peculiar divinity of the family to which Constantine belonged."
Pagan worship is forbidden to the people of the Almighty, even if mixed with True Worship. Many Scriptures testify to this: Deut. 4:13-19, Deut. 12:1-4, Deut. 12:29-32, Deut. 18:9, Lev. 20:23-26, Jer. 10:2-3, Eph. 4:1722, Eph. 2:1-4,2 Cor. 6:17,1 Cor. 10:14-21,1 John 5:21 etc. Notice especially in 2 Kings 17:33 and 41 how True Worship was mixed with idol worship. Note also, that even the high priest Aaron was persuaded by his people to lead them into a mixed worship, Exod. 32:5. The Almighty's wrath was kindled and He wanted to destroy everybody except Moses. Other examples of mixed worship are Eze. 23:38-39, Jer. 7:2 and 8-18.
In an attempt to justify this assimilation of Sun-worship with the New Testament Faith, much appeal was made, especially in the early centuries, to Malachi 4:2, the prophetic promise (interpreted by many to mean the Messiah) of the "sun of righteousness". However, this figure of speech cannot justify the adoption of Sun-worship, just as the figurative reference to the Messiah as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Rev. 5:5) cannot justify the adoption of lion-worship!
For primitive man, ignorant of the True Worship and the True Mighty One, it is only natural to start venerating or paying homage to the sun, moon and stars (the host of heaven), of which the sun is the most important, giving warmth to man and animal, and life-giving growth to plants. That is the reason why, when Yah˙weh commanded His people to keep the Ten Commandment Covenant, He warned them against the corruption of worshipping and serving the sun, and the moon, and the stars - the host of heaven - things which Yah˙weh has divided unto all nations (Deut. 4:13- 19). The Wycliffe Bible Commentary comments on Deut. 4:19, "The worship of the visible and creaturely was characteristic of the Gentile nations whom [Elohim] had abandoned to their perverse folly." Dr. J.H. Hertz, in Pentateuch and Haftorahs comments, "The heavenly luminaries exercised a great fascination upon early man . . . The 'host of heaven' was the dominant influence in Babylonian religion. The Egyptians also reverenced the sun, the moon, and the stars as symbols of deities. Associated with this worship was also the superstition that the heavenly bodies influenced the lives of mortals, a superstition which is not yet altogether extinct . . . [Elohim] had suffered the heathens to worship the sun, moon and stars ...." Because of similar comments by others, the Good News Bible took the liberty of rendering Deut. 4:19, ". . . the sun, the moon, and the stars ... Elohim has given these to all other peoples for them to worship." The New English Bible also relates this verse this way. We do not want to justify this rather free translation, but in the light of Acts 7:38, 39 and 42, as well as Jer. 10:2, it prompts us to carefully heed His warning to remain in His Covenant, His Law, lest we become as the heathen who worship the host of heaven. In Acts 7:38-42 we read of the Spirit-filled Stephen reprimanding his fellow Jews for not keeping the Law (Acts 7:53), just like their forefathers who received the "Living Words" (verse 38 Green's Interlinear and NIV), but the forefathers did not obey the Living Words. Therefore, what happened? Acts 7:42 reads, "Then Elohim turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven ...." In Jer. 10:2 we read, "Thus says Yah˙weh: 'Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed (awed - NEB) at the signs of heaven; for the Gentiles are dismayed (awed - NEB) at them.' " This is astrology and astrological religion, which had its origin in ancient Chaldea (Babylon), and later on moved to Rome, being based on the different paths of the sun through the sky, displaying the sun at the centre of the zodiac. The people of Yah˙weh are forbidden to participate in these things which are the customs of the Gentiles. Being secretly enticed by the sun or the moon, or any homage paid to them, is an iniquity and a denial of ElohimŚJob 31:2628.
In Eze. 8:3-16 we see the most alarming description of how idolatrous worship is fused with True Worship, especially in verses 14-16 where Sun-worship has been brought into the House of Yah˙weh. The Tammuz - worship of v. 14 is just one form of Sun-worship, Tammuz being the incarnate Sun, the young rising Sun as a deity.2 In verse 16 the prophet was also shown the twenty-five men worshipping the Sun towards the East, and that is exactly what started happening in post-apostolic Christianity. This praying towards the Sun in the East is recorded in the writings of Clement of Alexandria (150215), as well as in the writings of his scholar, Origen. They were both guilty of trying to justify this practice, which Yah˙weh labelled "wicked abominations" (Eze. 8:9). The Bishop of Carthage, Cyprian, in the year 258 also exhorted Christians to pray to the East at sunrise. On the other hand, in the year 197, Tertullian writing in his Ad nationes 1,13, accused fellow Christians of Sun worship because of their praying to the East and because of making Sunday a day of festivity. Despite this warning by Tertullian, Augustine (354- 430), in his many writings, was repeatedly trying to justify his prayers to the East. This was a regular practice in the basilica of St. Peter in Rome, which caused Pope Leo the Great to make a vigorous attack on this practice in the year 461. However, his objection was ignored and they continued with this in the basilica up to the year 1300, as we shall see later. Another voice in the wilderness was crying out against this practice, that of Eusebius of Alexandria, who wrote, "and not only Sun-worshippers and heretics do this, but also Christians, departing from the faith, mingle with heretics." These important facts are all well documented in Dr. F.J. Dolger, Sol Salutis, as well as in Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday.
In Eze. 8:9 Elohim calls this a "wicked abomination". In Deut. 17:3-5 the civil law demanded that those of Israel who were found guilty of worshipping "the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven", were to be stoned to death. Has our Mighty One changed? "For I am Yah˙weh, I do not change," Mal. 3:6. He is "the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning, " James 1: 17. The civil laws of the Scriptures are not being applied today, but Yah˙weh has not changed and will still mete out the just penalty. "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of Elohim leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim, Who will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for esteem (glory), honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but esteem (glory), honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with Elohim. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law; for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the law will be justified," Rom. 2:4-13. Let us not despise His forbearance and long suffering. Because of His forbearance and long suffering, we have come to salvation Śthink of it! He is patiently leading us to repentance, repentance from every form of sin. The Law cannot forgive and save us, but the purpose of the Law is to tell us what sin is - 1 John 3:4, Exod. 20:20, Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4:15, Rom. 7:7.
In Deut. 12:30 Israel was warned not to follow the Gentiles in their idolatrous religion, "Take heed to yourself that you do not inquire after their elohim, saying 'How did these nations serve their elohim? I also will do likewise.' " Israel was prohibited the frank worship of idols, as was also the manner in which the idols were worshipped. Not only is frank Sun-worship forbidden, but also the mode, the manner and means by which the Sun was worshipped - the "how". This is important.
We shall now discuss the manner of Sun-worship, the customs and the "how" of Sun- worship, which was fused with the Messianic Faith by emperor Constantine and others that followed, political leaders, but especially religious leaders. In spite of subsequent attempts to justify the adoptions of these components of Sun-worship, their origin is important, and it must be exposed. Let us get complete clarity on the attempts made to justify these adoptions, this "canonization", this "Christianization" or ''sanctification'' of heathen customs, deities or festivals. The Scriptures are very clear on this: These things cannot be "sanctified" - only repentant sinners, humans, can! IGNORANCE OF, AND DEVIATING FROM, THIS MOST BASIC SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLE, HAS BEEN THE ROOT CAUSE FOR THIS GREAT SICKNESS OF "SOLARIZATION" THAT HAS BEFALLEN US, THE CHURCH. We must repent of this great sin if we earnestly seek for a restoration or a revival!
Chapter II - WHAT COMPONENTS OF THE WORSHIP OF THE SUN AND THE HOST OF HEAVEN HAVE BEEN ADOPTED?
The following customs or "hows", giving homage to, or veneration of the Sun and the rest of the host of heaven, have been adopted and are even practised today. Although they are still found in Christianity, they are not found in the Scriptures, Old Testament or New Testament. However, a few words or names are found in our translated Scriptures, which are incorrect according to the inspired original Scriptures, as far back as we can trace them. They have been brought into the translations because the Almighty turned and gave us up "to worship the host of heaven", just as He did to Old Testament Israel at various stages, Acts 7:42. He has done the same to us. Read 2 Thess. 2:3-12 too, where the shocking words appear, "Elohim will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie" those who do not believe the Truth!
The Supreme Authority on the True Faith is our Saviour Yahushua Himself: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them . . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age," Matt. 28: 1820. All modern translations admit this correct rendering: "authority". He is the only One, Who, with the authority given to Him by His Father, can authoritatively decide on all spiritual matters - Matt. 23:8-10, Heb. 1:1-2, Matt. 7:24-29, Matt. 11:29, Jn. 18:37, Jn. 12:48-50, Lk. 9:35, Jn. 6:63 & 68, Jn. 8:31-36, Jn. 3:34, Jn. 14:6, Rev. 19:13, Rev. 19: 16, 1 Tim. 6:3-4, 2 Jn. v. 9 etc. We have no other Supreme Authority. In Colossians and in Ephesians He is repeatedly called the Head of the Body "head" having the figurative meaning of "authority".
What is Yahushua's supreme, ultimate and authoritative verdict on the great controversy between Sabbath and Sunday? First of all, He is our supreme example (1 Jn. 2:6, 1 Pet. 2:21, Jn. 10:27, Jn. 21:19 & 22 etc.) And it was His custom to keep the Sabbath - Luke 4:16; just like the custom that Paul followed too - Acts 17:2, Acts 13:14 & 42-44, Acts 16: 13, Acts 18: 4 & 11. Secondly, Yahushua commands us to keep His Father's Ten Commandments (of which the Sabbath is the Fourth Commandment), authoritatively and very clearly - Matt. 19:17, Lk. 10:28 and Jn. 12:50. Indeed, He clearly says that the keeping of His Father's Commandments is a condition for inheriting eternal life! Again in His final revelation to us, He repeats this in Rev. 22:14, "Blessed are those who do His Commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." This text has been changed later on to such an extent that the necessity of Commandment- keeping as a prerequisite for entry to the New Jerusalem is here completely hidden. Long before the New Testament books were canonised to form the New Testament as we know it, this correct rendering of Rev. 22: 14 (which stresses the necessity for keeping the Commandments) was quoted by Tertullian in the year 208, and again by Cyprian in the year 251. Yahushua, through John, defines the True Worshippers in Rev. 12: 17 and in Rev. 14: 12 as those who also keep the Father's Commandments. The Apostles also reaffirm this necessity in 1 Cor. 7: 19, 1 Tim. 6: 13- 14, 1 John 5:2-3, 2 John w. 4-6 Rom. 3:31, Rom. 2:26-29, Rom. 2:13, Rom. 7:22, Rom. 8:7 James 2:10-12, Heb. 10:16, and Heb. 8:10. According to James 2: 10-12 we are to keep all ten Commandments, not just some of them. But why not the Fourth Commandment, the keeping of the Sabbath, too? Why was it changed to Sunday? or simply done away with? If Scripture defines the Sabbath as the only sign of Separation (Sanctification)ŚEx. 31:13 & 17, Eze. 20:12 & 20, dare we ignore it? Some might argue that the keeping of the Sabbath is not commanded in the New Testament - but it is! If they had only translated Heb .4:9 truthfully, there would have been no doubt. The Greek text reads as follows, "There remains a keeping of Sabbath to the people of Elohim" (see margin of KJV). This is confirmed by Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 3, p. 411 (Ed. Colin Brown). The correct rendering "keeping of Sabbath" is also found in the Emphatic Diaglott, in the Rotherham Version, Henry Alford Translation and Lamsa Bible. This word sabbatismos means "the keeping of Sabbath" and nothing else. Barnes Notes on the New Testament comments, "It properly means: a keeping Sabbath." The authoritative Liddell and Scott's Greek - English Lexicon gives this as the only meaning. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words agrees on this. In fact, almost all Greek dictionaries give this as the only meaning. Why has this word sabbatismos been translated theologically instead of literally and truthfully? The true rendering "keeping of Sabbath" clearly emphasises the present-time obligation, in fact, the exhortation for its present observance. The keeping of the Sabbath now is a type, a shadow, of the world to come. Colossians 2:17 speaks of the Sabbaths which "are [not 'was'] a shadow of things to come". The present obligation to keep the Sabbath, which is a shadow or type of the eternal rest to come, is mandatory, for the Sabbath is the only Scriptural sign of Separation (Sanctification) Ex. 31:13 & 17 and Eze. 20:12 & 20. Remember: without Separation (Sanctification) no one shall see the Sovereign - Heb. 12:14.
Thirdly, in His prophecy on the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:14,15-21), Yahushua foresaw His followers continuing to observe the Sabbath, and He is concerned that they will be confronted with the problem of fleeing on the Sabbath. He said in Matt. 24:20, "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath." Our Messiah clearly foresaw the permanence of Sabbath-keeping by True Worshippers. Yahushua did not abolish the Sabbath, which is part of the Ten Commandment Law. He explicitly stated: He did not come to destroy the Law. The correct and literal rendering of Matt. 5:17-19 from the Greek text is, "Do not think that I came to destroy [or abolish or annul] the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy [or abolish or annul] but to fill. For verily I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all come to pass [or be accomplished]. Whoever therefore breaks one of these Commandments the least, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches [them], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." This word "fill" in v.17 (Greek pleroo) has different meanings when used figuratively. The New English Bible renders it as "complete", and so does the Canisius Translation. This word pleroo cannot mean "annul" or "abolish" here in v.17, because, firstly, then Yahushua would have contradicted Himself in one and the same verse. Secondly, this same word pleroo is used in Matt. 3:15 and Col. 1:25 where it would be preposterous to even suggest a meaning of "annul" or "abolish". The word pleroo in Matt. 5:17 can best be rendered as "fill" or "complete". The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, like others, suggests: complete, confirm, meeting the full requirements, corroborate, establish, totalise or even: fully preach (the best rendering for Col. 1 :25). Others have suggested: execute, or live up to, or comply with, as the best rendering, especially in Matt. 3:15. In Matt. 5:19, the correct rendering of "breaking one of these Commandments the least" (see any Interlinear or the Rotherham Version), clarifies the difficulty created by the ordinary translations and brings it into harmony with all Scripture. In Luke 16:17 Yahushua confirms the permanent validity of the Law: "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail." Dare we appeal to any other human authority in an attempt to evade Commandment-keeping, including the Fourth - the Sabbath? We cannot over-emphasise Yahushua's statement, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth," Matt. 28:18. He is our only Supreme Authority. He is the only Head (authority) of His Body, the congregation or assembly. Read also 1 Tim. 6:3-4 and 2 John v.9.
What about the Pharisees' accusations that our Messiah was breaking the Sabbath? What about the many allegations made through the centuries that Yahushua annulled the Sabbath? First of all, the Pharisees' accusations did not hold against Yahushua's authoritative replies. When the time of His trial had come, they were no longer attempting to raise this accusation against Him, which had been proven false by Him. Secondly, a thorough study of the New Testament, together with a knowledge of how the Pharisees had brought in added burdens in Sabbath-observance, will clarify any argument. Yahushua was simply refuting the man-made 39 additional traditional laws pertaining to Sabbath- keeping which the Jews had legislated in their Mishnah, Shabbath 7,2. He strongly reprimanded the Pharisees for not keeping the Commandments of Yahuweh while holding fast to their own man-made laws, their traditions, Matt. 15: 3-9 and Mark. 7: 5-13. These traditional laws are still upheld by the Jews today and are commonly known to them as the "oral law". The Dictionary of New Testament Theology discusses this alleged Sabbath-annulling by Yahushua, and then concludes, "We may conclude then, that though [Yahushua] broke through the rabbinic tradition about the Sabbath, there was no annulling of the observance of the day."
Why then has Sunday become the day of worship instead of Sabbath? Why are we not keeping Sabbath while Sabbath-observance will be practised in the new earth by those who have survived the end-time judgment? Isa. 66:23. Who then changed the Sabbath to Sunday? Is the change Scriptural? Cardinal Gibbons in Faith of Our Fathers, 92nd ed., p. 89, says, "You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." During the many centuries of the Dark Middle Ages the ordinary people had no access to the Scriptures. When it eventually became available to them, because of the Reformation and the invention of the printing press, the supreme authority of the Scriptures was contested. Finally, after debating this issue for many years, the Archbishop of Reggio at the Council of Trent in 1562 set all hesitation aside by openly declaring that tradition stood above Scripture! His words were, "The authority of the Church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed . . . the Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority." Canon and Tradition, p. 263. Similar confessions as to the unscriptural origin of this change are to be found in theological works of all the major denominations.
How then did this change come about? All books of history tell the same story: Just before and after the time of Messiah Yahushua, Sun-worship became popular and the Sun-deity was assimilated to all the known deities. All the deities of the nations were identified with the Sun-deity. When Christianity came to Rome a struggle between Sun-worship and Christianity ensued, for by then the Sun-deity had taken over from the older pantheon of Rome. This struggle eventually ended when Constantine fused Christianity and Sun- worship. Even before Constantine fused these two religions, Christianity had already been joined by unconverted pagans and the half-Christian Gnostic sects were thriving. These Gnostic sects were, in a variety of forms, an admixture of Christianity, Neoplatonic philosophy, Sun-worship and the worship of some of the older idols. The difference between them and Christianity (which by now consisted mostly of Gentiles), was at times difficult to determine. Clement, Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Tertullian, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, were all guilty of justifying certain Sun-worship practices. Also, Ignatius, Justin, Chrysostom and Barnabas all had a major share in promoting anti-Judaism, which made the rejection of the "Jewish Sabbath" an almost natural consequence. At the beginning of the 4th century the conditions were more than ripe for the fusion to take place. Firstly, in the year 313, Constantine, together with Licinius, held a conference at Milan where they concluded a friendly alliance and adopted a policy of universal religious freedom. 12 Some have called these documents the "Edict of Milan". This ended the long-standing persecution of the Christians, giving them the freedom to observe their own form of worship, unrestricted. This promoted a thankful attitude and an affinity towards Constantine, and likewise, he too was beginning to show some partiality towards the Christians. Subsequently he extended further rights and concessions towards them. The next great step further, the decisive breakthrough for Sun-worship, was the famous Edict of Constantine in the year 321.
Let us first consider what influence Sun-worship had amongst Constantine's predecessors, the emperors before him. Elagabalus, Nero, Diocletian and Aurelian were each involved in Sun-worship, especially Elagabalus and Aurelian. Likewise, Constantine's family had been Sun-deity worshippers, and so was Constantine himself. Constantine called the Sun- deity: "Unconquered Sun, my companion". His edict in the year 321 legislated the "venerable day of the Sun" to be a rest day. This rest was commanded in honour of the Sun, and not in honour of Messiah. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible emphasizes the motive of Constantine for legislating the Sunday as a day of rest, and stresses "the general importance of the Sun-god in the Empire. Indeed, this god was the titulary divinity of Constantine's family, and from the fourth century there is an increasing assimilation of Christ to the Sun-god (as Sun of Righteousness), the Christos Helios (cf. Eusebius Life of Constantine 1.4.18; and the notable mosaic of Christos Helios recently uncovered in the tomb of the Julii under the Vatican)." But this theme of "Christ-the-True- Sun" had already been diffusely proclaimed by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-215) in many of his writings. Origen followed in the footsteps of Clement, his teacher, and proclaimed our Saviour to be "the Sun", "the True Sun". Cyprian also called our Saviour "the True Sun''. Because of this, Bishop Zeno of Verona elaborated at great length on Christ-the-Sun as the True Sun, as the Eternal Sun. Some might say that Helios also means the sun as the physical sun. But, all encyclopaedias affirm that, in religion, Helios means the Sun-deity.
This assimilation of our Saviour to the Sun-deity was not difficult, for the pagans of the Roman Empire were steeped in Sun-worship and they referred to their Sun deity as their "Lord" (Kurios). Helios, the Sun-deity, was called "the Lord (Kurios) of the heaven and the earth." Indeed, certain historians have felt that Sun-worship has really given Sunday the name "Lord's day". A. Paiva writes, "The first day of each week, Sunday, was consecrated to Mithra since times remote, as several authors affirm. Because the Sun was god, the Lord par excellence, Sunday came to be called the Lord's day, as later was done by Christianity." Our Saviour was called "Lord" (Kurios) and the Sun-deity was also called "Lord" (Kurios), the "Lord par excellence". So, the name-titles being easy to unite, it made it easier to identify our Saviour's "day" with the day of the Sun-deity! Thus, civically the "venerable day of the Sun" was legislated to be the rest-day. It now only remained for the Church to fall in line with the civil law of Constantine, who, although being a Sun-worshipper, had already showed some affinity towards Christians, especially by ending their persecution. This change-over to Sunday by the Church happened in the year 336 (some authorities give the date as 364) at the Council of Laodicea, Canon 29: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day honouring rather the Lord's day by resting, if possible, as Christians. However, if any shall be found Judaizing, let them be shut out from Christ."
Bishop Eusebius (270-338 C.E.), who worked with Constantine, admits the Church's decision to change from Sabbath to Sunday, "All things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord's day." (Eusebius, Commentary on the Psalms, quoted by Moses Stuart, Commentary on the Apocalypse, vol. II, 9.40.) The Church had succumbed, the fusion was virtually accomplished. The Unconquered Sun, the Sun deity, was proving the merit of its name - it was invincible !
With the accession of the Severan dynasty, Sun-worship had become dominant in Rome. The Sun as deity was a superb symbol and rallying-point for the Empire. "The Unconquered Sun had taken over the role of Jupiter, the Great Sky-god, as protector of Rome and of the Empire." Upon the Sun were bestowed as many attributes and symbols and names of "gods" or "goddesses" as possible. Serapis, the great deity of Alexandria, as well as Mithras and Attis, "were all identified with the Sun, whom philosophers like Pliny and Macrobius declared to be the one supreme god concealed behind the innumerable lesser deities of the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Even the Christians could not long hold out against the flood, and the marks of the compromise to which the Catholic Church came in the matter may perhaps, be seen in the coincidence of the Lord's Day with Sunday .... It is certainly by no accident that the emperors whose reigns immediately preceded the establishment of Christianity all turned towards the worship of the Sun-god who was looked upon as the peculiar divinity of the family to which Constantine belonged." The great scholarly and honest Roman Catholic theologian, Dr. F.J. Dolger, wrote, (I translate), "In his Sunday-law (edict), Constantine probably instituted the meaning of the familiar usage 'Sunday' without far-reaching intent; the expression could be used without causing offence among the pagans of his portion of the Empire. Since the days of emperor Aurelian in the second half of the 3rd century, the Sun-god cult, under the title of Sol invictus, i.e. 'Unconquered Sun', had experienced a tremendous furtherance at the hands of the state. Other pagan cult groups of that time also likened their supreme deity to the Sun-god or completely equated it to the Sun-god. Attis was a Light-deity, Osiris too was Sun-god. Baal Hammon of Carthage was Sun-Baal, Jupiter Anxur of Terracina and Jupiter of Doliche and Heliopolis were all Sun-god, Sabazios had become one with the Sun-god and the Persian Sun-god Mithras had instituted a missionary campaign as no other religion next to Christianity. For all these religious fellowships the imperial Sunday-law (edict) meant a privilege, they all felt themselves honoured when the Sunday was specially feastly dedicated to their deity, the Sun." The Unconquered Sun, which had conquered all other religions, had finally conquered its last major rival, Christianity, by joining it, by being fused with it.
The Messianic Faith, being united with all the Sun-worshipping cults, was to become one strong body which gradually overrun, assimilated and syncretised all remaining obstacles, either by force, or by "assimilation and compromise". The many half-Christian and mostly Sun-worshipping Gnostic sects, heavily leaning towards allegorisation and Neoplatonism, had already influenced or infiltrated the Christianity of Alexandria and of Rome. Clement of Alexandria and Origen had already been quoting freely from the books of the Gnostics Valentinus and Heracleon. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus later on also did likewise with the writings of Valentinus and Ptolemy. Already in the year 124 emperor Hadrian wrote from Alexandria (on his visit there) the following, in a letter, "Those who worship Serapis are Christians and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are vowed to Serapis." (Serapis being the Sun deity of Alexandria). The intermingling between Christianity and Gnosticism is typified by the Christian leader Clement's repeated praise of the "true Gnostic", meaning thereby the perfect Christian! Speaking of the Gnostics, Legge states, "Most of them, ,moreover, sooner or later abandoned their Gnosticism, and became practising members of the Catholic Church, who sometimes went a long way to meet them. As Renan has said, none of them ever relapsed into paganism, and in this way the so-called heresies became at once the feeders of orthodox Christianity and its richest recruiting ground. They offered in fact an easy road by which the wealthy, the learned, and the high-placed could pass from paganism to Christianity without suffering the inconvenience imposed upon the first followers of the Apostles ... The Gnostics brought with them into their new faith, the use of pictures and statues . . . and of all the paraphernalia of the worship of heathen gods."And in a footnote, Legge states, "Clement of Alexandria seems to have been initiated into most of the heathen mysteries then current . . . Origen too, . . . professes to know all about the Ophites' [a Gnostic sect] secret opinions." Eusebius, who later wrote, was so upset about these Gnostics being absorbed into Christianity, that he raised his voice in the following words, "savage beasts crept secretly into the Church." Legge comments on Eusebius' statement and adds, "and continued to disseminate their doctrines by stealth.'' Some well-known Church Fathers who came from Gnosticism were: Epiphanius who had been a Nicolaitan, Ambrose of Milan who had been a Valentinian, and Augustine who had been a Manichean for 9 years before joining the Catholic Church. All these Gnostic sects were distinguished by their rejection of the Old Testament Law, some of them even rejecting the Mighty One of the Old Testament, and some of them even equated the Mighty One of the Old Testament with the Evil One! In their rejection of the Old Testament Law, the Valentinian Gnostics even rejected all moral laws, leading to scandalous living. This Valentinianism acted as a half-way house for two hundred years between heathenism and Christianity. The Marcionites were later on refuted, but they also contributed toward the aversion to, and even rejection of, the Old Testament. Sun- worshipping Mithraism, who advanced Babylonian (Chaldean) astrology with the Sun at the centre of it, played a major role in the resultant fusion between Sun-worship and the Messianic Faith. Manes and his followers, the Manicheans, from among whom Augustine came, "looked on Judaism with horror, rejected the Old Testament entirely, and [Manicheism] was not improbably born in an outbreak of anti-Semitic fury." The Manicheans (who were half Christians) kept Sunday in honour of the Sun, and not in honour of the Resurrection day.
However, the Council of Laodicea's directive in the year 336 (or 364), that Christians are not to Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, was apparently only obeyed in Rome and in Alexandria, the two centres where Christianity was infiltrated by, and mixed with pagan religions. Two contemporary historians, namely Sozomen in the year 440 and Socrates in the year 439, both recorded this remarkable situation. Socrates wrote, "although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this." Sozomen confirms this, "the people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week," such a "custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria." But gradually the influence and power of the Roman Church grew, supported by political and civil authorities with their power. Sabbath-keeping dwindled until there was hardly a remnant left, scattered and persecuted.
So, the first contributory factor for the adoption of Sunday instead of the Sabbath, was the assimilation of our Saviour to the Sun, even the Sun as deity, Him being made into Christ Helios, Christ the True Sun, Christ the Eternal Sun. The second contributory factor was the general importance and popularity of Sun-worship that had become deeply rooted in Alexandria and in Rome. The third contributory factor was the strong anti-Judaism that prevailed, as has been mentioned already. The fourth contributory factor was the Eastward orientated prayers and worship. We have already touched on this subject, but we need to study its origin, particularly in order to realise the seriousness of the revelation and warning given to Israel, through Ezekiel, in Eze. 8:9-16, Elohim calling this a "wicked abomination". In verse 16 we read of the 25 men "worshipping the Sun towards the East." Israel was commanded to shun such an abominable practice by rather praying towards Jerusalem, 1 Kings 8:29-48, Ps. 138:2 and Dan. 6:10. In the Law, Israel was sternly warned against Sun-worship, Deut. 4:19, as we have already seen. .J. Dolger, in his comprehensive Sol Salutis, devoted many pages to this Eastward orientated prayer and worship. The Roman Christians, whose ranks were flooded with half-converted believers coming from pagan worship, especially Sun-worship in its various forms, simply continued the practice of worshipping the Sun towards the East, or praying to the Sun in the East. This manner of Sun-worship was a well-known custom of the Manicheans37 and the Mithras-cult, two of the most popular forerunners and cradles of the fused Church. This Eastward orientated Sun-worship had come from Apollo worship, the Greeks, the Syrians (Antioch and Baalbek or Heliopolis), the Persian religions, from India, Babylon, Assyria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Egypt, the Hermetic religion, the Osiris religion, from Carthage (Tunis), the Phoenicians, and Thrace.39 Other contemporary and preceding cults practising Sun-worship were the Pythagoreans, the Therapists and the Magi.40 Prayer and worship towards the East was also practised by Socrates, and later by the Neoplatonists too. But perhaps the strongest influence was that of Alexandria, firstly because of its spreading Serapis-Isis cult (both these idols being identified with the Sun), and secondly and more dangerously, the Hellenised, allegorising, syncretistic Alexandrian Christianity, the product of Clement and Origen. These two teachers, through their many writings, had done much to justify the adoption of Greek philosophy, Gnostic teachings and also Sun-worship, into Christianity. Origen not only called our Saviour "the True Sun", as mentioned before, but both Clement and Origen attempted to justify Eastward orientated prayer and worship. Clement tried to justify this by allegorising Ps. 132:7, 2 Cor. 4:6, and Matt. 4:16 (Isa. 9:2). Origen. his scholar, continued this allegorisation of Scripture to justify Sun-worship, and quoted Zech. 6:12 from the Greek Septuagint, where the Hebrew "branch" had been badly mistranslated as anatole (rising, east or day spring). Justin was also intrigued with this anatole and often quoted anatole as if pointing to the Messiah, also by attempting to identify the Messiah as the "sun" of Ps. 72:17.43 Origen, in his Genesin Homilia 1,5 and 1,8 identified the Messiah with the Sun. Even Tertullian, in the year 197, as previously stated, was perturbed at the praying towards the Sun in the East, but found it acceptable if this was done "on other grounds than Sun-worship"! The other text that was used in an attempt to justify the identifying of our Saviour with the Sun, was the well- known Mal. 4:2, which I discussed earlier. We also read of Origen's Commentary on John, wherein he equates Messiah's resurrection with the rising Sun in the East. They also twisted Matt. 24:27 in an attempt to prove the Messiah's Second Coming to be from the East.45 They did the same with Mal. 1:11.
Justin also encouraged prayer towards the East, quoting the Greek Septuagint's incorrect rendering of Ps. 68:34. As an expression of our longing for Paradise, they also tried to justify prayer towards the East because of the garden that was "planted eastward in Eden" (Gen. 2:8). This is well documented in the writings of Basilius, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Severus, Cyrill of Jerusalem. Archbishoo Germanos of Constantinople, John of Damascus and also Thomas of Aquina. Although Justin, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius and Augustine rejected the heathen belief that the Almighty lived in the Eastern heavens, heathen converts must have been responsible for this continued belief. In the Orient this prayer towards the East was a counter-measure against Judaism. This prayer towards the East was very much alive in the Roman religion in the 6th and 7th centuries and continued right up to the year 1300. F.J. Dolger summarises the outcome of it all, as follows, "The Gentile Christians, with the Eastward orientated prayers, simply retained an inborn custom of their heathen past. They filled this custom with new contents, being freed from heathenism through it and at the same time being made a sign of distinction between Judaism and Christianity." Indeed, this practice probably originated from Brahman India. Ambrosius admitted that this was adopted "from the custom of the Brahmans" (the upper class of Indians).
With this deeply rooted and generally prevailing Sun worship as background, it was easy to accept the resemblance between the day of our Saviour's resurrection and the day of the Sun, i.e. Sunday. Clement, Justin, Ignatius, Jerome and others following, put emphasis on the day of the resurrection, thereby attempting to identify the Messiah with "the True Sun", the One who has been behind it all along! In fact, Firmicus identified our Saviour with the Sun-deity in his writings in the year 343, and Garruci painted our Messiah with sun-rays around His head, thereby clearly identifying our Saviour with the Sun-deity, now being called "Christ Helios", "Sun of Resurrection", "the True Sun". Clement of Alexandria wrote, quoting Menander, "Sun, one must venerate you as the first of the gods; through you we are capable of looking at the other gods." The solarisation became even worse. In the 5th century, the Messiah was not only called "the True Sun", but also "the true Apollo", the age-old Sun-deity of the Greeks! Other paintings and pictures followed, as well as statues and images of our Messiah with sun-rays or a nimbus (sun- disc) about His head. There are a great number of these illustrations to be found in ecclesiastical books.
To summarise: Because of their inborn heathen custom of Sun-worship, and because of anti-Judaism, the Gentiles who became Christians in a nominal way, were easily persuaded to accept "the True Sun", "the Sun of Righteousness", "Christ Helios", "the True Apollo". Emperor Constantine was the one who put an end to the enmity between frank Sun- worship and the Messianic Faith. For many years it remained quite obvious that frank Sun- worship was being adapted to Christianity. The remarks, and concern, by Tertullian, Pope Leo the Great, Eusebius, and also by Cyrill of Jerusalem, testify to this. Cyrill contended against this in 348 C.E., "Let the heresy be silenced which blasphemes the Messiah, the Son of the Mighty One. Let those be silenced who say that the Sun is Messiah, because He is the Creator of the Sun, and not the visible Sun itself." Augustine, who himself had previously been a scholar of the Manichean Gnostic Sect (known for worshipping the Sun all day long as it passed through the sky), also compromised, but cautioned against the frank Sun-worship of the Manicheans and warned, "Eventually we shall yet be taken to be Persians"- the latter being known for their Sun-worship and being the place of origin of the Manichean-cult. The Unconquered Sun, Sol Invictus, Sol Helios became the conquerer! Paul Schmitt, author of "Sol Invictus" in Eranos Jahrbuch 1943 X, ends his article, "The religious polity of Constantine characterised itself in a striking manner by the establishment of Dies Solis (Sun-day), as a mutual feast-day for the heathen and for the Christians, in the year 321. So the heathen, the Christians and Manicheans of the territory of the empire thus had a mutual feast-day, Sun-day, in the sign of Sol-Helios that excluded them from the Jews."
THEREFORE, BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE COVENANT PEOPLE (ISRAEL) THEY REJECTED THE SIGN OF THE ETERNAL COVENANT: THE SABBATH. ELOHIM EMPHATICALLY DECLARED THIS TO BE THE SIGN OF THE ETERNAL COVENANT BETWEEN HIM AND HIS PEOPLE - Exod. 31: 16-17, The Berkeley Version, Ferrar Fenton Translation, German, Dutch and Afrikaans translations (capitals mine).
DO WE BELIEVE YAHUWEH WHEN HE SAID THAT HIS COVENANT IS "ETERNAL", "FOR EVER"?ŚTHAT THE SABBATH IS THE SIGN OF THIS ETERNAL COVENANT, FOR EVER? HE MADE HIS ETERNAL COVENANT WITH NO OTHER PEOPLE THAN WITH ISRAEL (capitals mine). Israel were the people who received the Covenants, the Laws, the Worship, the Promises from Yahuweh - Rom. 9:4 NIV, NEB and GNB. These precious values were not given to any nation, but to Israel. The Good News Bible in this verse even says of Israel, "They are Elohim's people . . . they have the True Worship . . ." So, what happened at the time of Constantine? By rejecting the Sabbath, the Sign of the Eternal Covenant, the Church rejected the Covenant Law that Elohim has made with His people, Israel - the Ten Words. Therefore Elohim turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, just as He has done previously - Acts. 7:42. Even the New Covenant, the Renewed Covenant, is only promised to the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Heb. 8:8. This might come as a surprise to those who are ignorant of this Scripture. The New or Renewed Covenant is not promised to any other nation! Any convert from the Gentiles has to be grafted into Israel if he wishes to become a "partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree," Rom. 11:17. We will come to that later. Please note: Renewed Covenant is the better rendering, for Heb. 8:8 is quoted from the Hebrew of Jer. 31:31. The Hebrew chawdawsh is derived from the verb chawdash, which means "renew" (see any Hebrew lexicon). Even the Greek equivalent, kainos, is best rendered as "fresh" or renewed".
The day of the resurrection received such eminence, that it became an excuse to justify the change from the Sabbath to the day of the Sun, the Dies Solis, the day of the Unconquered Sun, the Sun-deity of emperor Constantine and of his empire - a rest-day which Constantine had legislated in the year 321 in honour of the "venerable day of the Sun". The origin of the legislation of the keeping of Sun-day is important to know. It is also important to know the origin of the change of Sabbath to Sun-day, namely by the Council of Laodicea in the year 336 (or 364). The keeping of the day of the resurrection may make sense, but this is not legislated in Scripture. However, the fact remains that it has taken the place of Sabbath-keeping, thereby trampling the Fourth Commandment underfoot. Thus, the prophecy was fulfilled of "the horn" ... that "shall intend to change times and law," Dan. 7:25; and the prophecy of the end-time judgment upon the earth, in Isa. 24: 1-6, "Because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant," Isa. 24:5. This is the very same Everlasting or Eternal Covenant which we found in Exod. 31: 16, of which the sign is the Sabbath!
We cannot keep some of the Commandments and not all ten of them - James 2: 10- 12 and Deut. 4:2. Our Messiah commands us to keep the Father's Commandments if we are to enter into eternal life - Matt. 19: 17, Lk. 10:28, Jn. 12:50 and Rev. 22:14. He says, "the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day," Jn. 12:48. "Let Elohim be true and every man a liar," Rom. 3:4. Likewise, Paul commands us to keep the Commandments "without spot, blameless," 1 Tim. 6:13-14 (the singular word "Commandment" is very often used as a synonym for "Commandments", e.g. Rom. 7:12, 2 Pet. 2:21, Dt. 17:20, Dt. 30:11, PS. 19:8, Ps.119:96, Ex. 24:12, Prov. 6:23, Prov. 13:13 etc.). Peter also strongly admonishes and warns us against "turning from the Holy Commandment" which is the "Way of righteousness" 2 Pet. 2:21. John reminds us that the only way to show and to prove our love towards Yahuweh is to keep His Commandments, 1 John 5:3 and 2 John v. 6, just as we read in Ex. 20:6, Deut. 7:9, Neh. 1:5 and Dan. 9:4. The Great Enemy of our souls has always been determined to keep us in bondage to sin (John 8:34, Rom. 6:16-20,2 Pet. 2:19). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), transgression of the law, the opposite to law-keeping (Rom. 7:7, Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4: 15, Ex. 20:20). The Great Enemy of our souls wants to sever us from Elohim (Isa. 59:2, Prov. 28:9) by enticing us and deceiving us to break the Commandments of Yahuweh, thereby preventing us entering the New Jerusalem - Rev. 22: 14, Matt. 19:17, Lk. 10:28, Jn. 12:50. This Enemy never ceases with his efforts to hide from us the Glad Tidings, the real purpose of our Saviour Yahushua's work in us, namely: "For He will save His people from their sins," Matt 1:21; and, "Elohim . . . sent Him to bless you, in turning every one of you from your iniquities," Acts 3:26; and, our Saviour "Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed" ("all lawlessness" Greek text), Titus 2: 14.
The Law cannot save us. However, the Law was given to us by Yahuweh for a purpose, as Moses said, "for Elohim has come to test you, so that you may not sin," Ex. 20:20. After Yahushua had healed the man who had an infirmity at the pool of Bethesda, He said to him in Jn. 5:14, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." After He had forgiven the adulteress, He said to her in Jn. 8:11, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." A sinner that has come to conversion is commanded to "sin no more", to prove his love towards Yahuweh by keeping His Commandments, 1 John 5:3 and 2 John v. 6; to be careful not to "sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth," Heb. 10:26, Numbers 15:30, Psalm 19:13.
We dare not elevate the Sabbath Commandment above the others, but the Scriptures are very emphatic that the Sabbath is the only Sign of Separation (Sanctification). There is no other Sign of the Everlasting Covenant, the Eternal Covenant, given to us in Scripture. If we are outside of a Covenant-relationship with Yahuweh, we are still "outside"! If we do not enter the rest of Sabbath-keeping now, we cannot enter the Millennial Rest - Heb. 4:9, Heb. 4:1-11. "Blessed are those who do His Commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city," Rev. 22:14. The Almighty is calling out to the Christian world: "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin," 1 Cor. 15:34. Shall we not ask the Saviour to deliver us from the bondage to sin, to deliver us from "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience," Eph. 2:2. "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practises righteousness is born of Him," 1 John 2:29. "Little children let no one deceive you. He who practises righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins, is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Elohim was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil," 1 John 3:7-8. The spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience is the spirit of the devil, the one who holds the sway over the whole world (1 John 5:19 and 2 Cor. 4:4), and who succeeded in getting the True Worship mixed with Sun-worship. The Great Deceiver (Rev. 12:9) had planned and succeeded in his onslaught on the only Sign which Yahuweh gave to us for us to know that we are part of His Covenant-people: the Sabbath. May we repeat Paul's command in 1 Tim. 6:13-14, "I charge you to keep the Commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Sovereign ...," Revised Standard Version. Remember also the writer of Hebrews' exhortation in Heb. 4:9, "Therefore, there remains a keeping of Sabbath for the people of Elohim," Greek text.
Yahushua commands us, "learn from Me" -- Matt. 11 :29, "follow Me" -- no less than 18 places in the four Evangels. John says in 1 John 2:6, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." Peter says in 1 Peter 2:21, that we are to follow Messiah's steps. Our Messiah committed no sin (1 Pet. 2:22) and said, "I have kept My Fathers Commandments and abide in His love," John 15:10. He kept the Sabbath as we read in Luke 4: 16, "And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Sabbath-keeping was His custom, and Paul walked in His steps and continued in the custom of Sabbath-keeping (Acts 17:2), preaching to Jews and Gentiles alike on every Sabbath (Acts 18:4, Acts 13:42). We also read of Lydia and the other women who "customarily" gathered on the Sabbath to pray (Acts 16:13). Paul testifies of his obedience to the Law in Acts 25:8, "Neither against the Law of the Jews nor against the Temple nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all." Again he says in Acts 24:14, "so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets." Again he says in Acts 28: 17, "I have done nothing against . . . the customs of our fathers." In Rom. 7:22 Paul says, "For I delight in the Law of Yahuweh according to the inward man," just as the Psalmist who delights in the Law of Yahuweh - Ps. 1:2, Ps. 112:1, PS. 119:35,47,70,77,174.
Man took it upon himself to "change times and law" (Dan. 7:25), to "have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant," Isa. 24:5. However, when He returns, the "Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire,'' Matt. 13:41-42. Thereafter, in the new heavens and the new earth the Sabbath will still be kept by those who escaped the fiery judgment of Yahuweh (Isa. 66:22-23 and 14-17), and "they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me . . . ," said Yahuweh in Isa. 66:24. Read also of the blessed promise for end-time Sabbath-keeping, the promise which includes foreigners (non- Israelites), in Isa. 56:6-7, "Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to Yahuweh, to serve Him, and to love the Name of Yahuweh, to be His servants -- everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My Covenant -- even them I will bring to My Separated (Holy) Mountain . . ."
The word "Easter" in acts 12:4 of the King James Version is a mistranslation of the Greek pascha. All other translations have subsequently rendered it correctly as "Passover". The well-known Barnes Notes comments on this mistranslation in this single occurrence of the word "Easter" in the King James Version, as follows, "There was never a more absurd or unhappy translation than this." Not only is the name "Easter" incorrect, but also the time of the feast. No one would ever think of keeping his own birthday every year on the same day of the week. If I was born on a Sunday, I would not think of keeping my birthday on a Sunday every year. I will keep it according to the day of the yearly calendar and and not according to the day of the week. This is exactly what happened when Easter Sunday was instituted by Constantine's Church. The passover dispute between the Western Church and the more Scripture-adhering believers of the Near East was finally settled by Constantine's Council of Nicaea in the year 325, where it was decided that Easter was to be kept on Sun-day, and on the came Sun-day throughout the world and that "none should here-after follow the blindness of the Jews."58 Prior to that, Polycarp, the disciple of the Apostle John, had learned from the apostle himself that the 14th Abib was the Scriptural day of the year, which had been legislated in the Old Testament to determine the onset of the Passover, which Yahush˙a kept the night that He was betrayed. Polycarp, Polycrates, Apollinarius and others contended for the correct calculation of the Passover Memorial Supper (and the events following it), to be reckoned as beginning from the 14th Abib (Nisan). Now, with Constantine taking the lead, the Council of Nicaea decided to reject the Scriptural way of determining the correct date according to the yearly date, in favour of Easter Sun-day, according to a day of the week. Constantine exhorted all bishops to embrace "the practice which is observed at once in the city of Rome, and in Africa; throughout Italy, and in Egypt."59 Another fragment records that Constantine urged all Christians to follow the custom of "the ancient church of Rome and Alexandria."60
The case for the yearly Easter Sun-day was held in common with the case for the weekly Sun-day. Origen wrote, "The resurrection of the Master is celebrated not only once a year by constantly every eight days."61 Eusebius also stated, "While the Jews, faithful to Moses, sacrificed the Passover Lamb once a year ... we men of the New Covenant celebrate our Passover every Sunday."62 Pope Innocent I wrote, "We celebrate Sunday because of the Venerable resurrection ... not only at Easter but ... every Sunday."63 But wherefrom did this Easter Sun-day originate? Any encyclopaedia or dictionary, such as The Oxford English Dictionary, will supply the answer: Easter had a pre-Christian origin, namely a festival in honour of Eostre, the Teutonic dawn-goddess, and as Usha or Ushas, the Hindu dawn-goddess. This Eostre was also known to be the spring goddess and the goddess of fertility. Thus, another form of Sun-worship, another variant in the form of a dawn-deity, Eostre, also called Eastre, Eostra or Orstara,64 became fused with Christianity. This same dawn-goddess was also well known in the Greek Classics (Homer, Hesiod) as Eos (the Roman Aurora) and the Assyrian Ishtar, goddess of the morning. In classical mythology Eos was an amorous deity and the idea of fertility with its fertility-symbols of eggs and rabbits was to be expected. Any reference work will testify to the fact of the origin of Easter eggs and the Easter rabbit or bunny, because "Easter" was not only goddess of dawn but also goddess of spring with all its fertility-symbols and fertility-rites. This word Eos, Eostre, Ostara, is related64 to the Sanskrit and Vedic usra or ushas, the Zendic ushastara and the Lithuanian Ausra, the old Teutonic austron, and the male spring or dawn deity of the Norwegians, Austri, of which we read in the Edda. Most likely this Eostre, dawn deity/fertility deity, is the same as Astarte, which is recorded in the Hebrew of the Old Testament as Ashtaroth and Ashtoreth (the latter being changed because of deliberate Hebrew misvocalisation).65 The name of Astarte was Ishtar in Nineve. She was also known as the "queen of heaven".
Let us further examine the festival of this dawn - or spring-deity. Just like Eostre, the dawn-diety of the Germanic tribes, we find Eos, the dawn-deity of the Greeks, who, although married to Tithonus, was consistently faithless to him, which accounts for the blush of dawn.66 She was known to be the sister of Helios, the Sun-deity, and represented in sculpture with radiant sun-rays around her head.67 Similarly, and probably the same origin of this Eos and Eostre, we find in Hindu mythology the goddess of dawn to be Ushas, daughter of Heaven.68 Other spring festivals were celebrated, with the rites of Adonis or of Tammuz (well known as the youthful Sun-deity) which were held in summer in some places, but held in spring in others, such as in Sicily and Syria, our dead and risen Annointed One being assimilated to the pagan celebration of the dead and risen Adonis (Tammuz). This "weeping for Tammuz" is exactly what Yah˙weh included amongst His verdict of "wicked abominations", as we read in Eze. 8:9 and 14 Rev. Alexander Hislop comments on this fusion of the Scriptural Passover Memorial (and the events following it in the New Testament) with that of the pagan spring celebrations: "To consiliate the pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get Christian and pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get paganism and Christianity - now far sunk in idolatry - in this as in so many other things, to shake hands."69 Sir James Fazer similarly comments, "When we reflect how often the Church has skilfully contrived to plant the seeds of the new faith on the old stock of paganism, we may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen The Annointed One was grafted upon a similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis ... Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the Church in the hour of its triumph was compelled to make with its vanquished yet still dangerous rivals."70 Adonis was known also as the Phrygian Attes, Attis, Atys.71 Attis was beloved by Cybele, the "Mother of the Gods", the great Asiatic goddess of fertility, who had her chief home in Phrygia. Some held that attis was her son. The worship of Attis and Cybele was adopted in 204 B.C.E. by the Romans where the great spring festival in their honour became well known. This festival lasted from the 22nd to the 25th of March, the last day, when the mourning was turned to joy fro the resurrection of the dead Attis. Attis was also identified with the Sun.72 The 25th March was regarded as the vernal (spring) eqinox, and we can easily see how the pagan worshippers of many different pagan religions were reconciled with the Messianic Faith, by means of assimilating a similar commemoration, but which had a different date, according to the day of the year, and not according to the day of the week, the Sun-day. Easter Sun-day, year after year. This was the decision taken by the Council of Nicaea.
Furthermore, not only was the time of the Scriptural feast supplanted by the pagan day's date, but also the rites of the pagan Easter took over, namely the fertility pagan symbols of Easter eggs and Easter rabbits (bunnies), and also the Easter buns, the hot-cross buns. The "buns", known by the identical name boun, were used in the worship of the Queen of heaven already 1500 years before the Christian era.73 They were also known amongst the Teutonic tribes as osterstuopha and moon-shaped ostermane.74 The Mighty One warns His people against this "abomination", as He called it in Jer. 7:10, and as is described in Jer. 7:18. Even the round shape of them with the cross on top represents exactly the very ancient symbol of the sun, namely the cross with a circle around it.75 this was especially known to be the symbol of the Babylonian Sun-deity. The circled cross was also later found on a coin of Julius Caesar, 100-44 B.C.E., and subsequently on coins struck by Caesar's heir, Agustus subsequently on coins struck by Caesar's heir, Aufustus 20 B.C.E., and by Hadrian and other Roman emperors.76
How then were these things ever permitted to enter in? In an attempt to justify this, the Church uses the term "Christianisation". The adoption of these pagan emblems of Easter eggs, Easter rabbits and Easter buns, are explained by The Catholic Encyclopedia, "a great many pagan customs celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter ... The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility."77 This is in direct contrast to the Word of Yah˙weh in Jer. 10:2, "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles," and in Deut. 12:30, "do not inquire after their mighty ones, saying, 'How did these nations serve their mighty ones? I also will do likewise.'" Israel was commanded to keep the worship pure and undefiled by destroying everything pertaining to pagan worship, even to destroy the names of the pagan deities (Deut. 12:3), and not even to "mention the names of other mighty ones, nor let it be heard from your mouth," Ex.23:13. The whole subject of Easter, its Sun-day - emphasising date, and its pagan emblems and rites, such as Easter sunrise services, is crowned by the general admission that the word "Easter" is derived from the name of a goddess, the dawn-goddess, the spring-deity, the goddess of fertility.
Let us rather commemorate Yahush˙a's Memorial Passover and the subsequent happenings according to the Scriptural calendar, starting on the evening of 14 Abib, and repent of, and eliminate the pagan Easter festival.
3. CHRISTMAS Ś 25th DECEMBER
The fact of the pagan origin of the festival of Christmas on the 25th December, namely, as birthday of the Sun deity, is admitted by all scholars. The Messiah could not have been born in mid-winter, 25th December, as the shepherds were out in the fields, watching over their flock by night Ś Luke 2:8. In Israel no one would permit their flock out on a winter night. The date of our Messiah's birth has been calculated to be in fall. In any case, we are not commanded to remember the day of His birth, rather, to remember the day of His death. According to Scripture, this is what the early believers did, 1 Cor. 11:26. The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts." Wherefrom does this Christmas on 25 December originate? Sir James Frazer says, "The largest pagan religious cult which fostered the celebration of December 25 as a holiday . . . was the pagan sun- worship, Mithraism . . . This winter festival was called . . . 'the Nativity of the SUN.' Mithraism was the fastest growing cult just prior to the year 321 and was the major rival of Christianity. Franz Cumont, perhaps the greatest scholar of Mithraism, wrote, quoting Minucius Felix, "The Mithraists also observed Sun-day and kept sacred the 25th of December as the birthday of the Sun. Many scholars have pointed out how the Sun- worshipping Mithraists, the Sun-worshipping Manicheans and the Christians were all syncretised and reconciled when Constantine led the take-over by Christianity, even if it meant the latter's surrender of most vital Scriptural truths, especially its Hebrew roots.
However, other Sun-worshipping groups were included too, because of the general importance and popularity of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun-deity. Mario Righetti, a renowned Catholic liturgist, writes, "the Church of Rome, to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, found it convenient to institute the 25th December as the feast of the temporal birth of Christ, to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honour of the 'Invincible Sun', Mithras. Sir James Frazer wrote, "If the Mithraic mysteries were indeed a Satanic copy of a divine original, we are driven to conclude that Christianity took a leaf out of the devil's book when it fixed the birth of the Saviour on the 25th December; for there can be no doubt that the day in question was celebrated as the birthday of the Sun by the heathen before the Church . . . transferred the Nativity The mixing of pagan Sun-worship and Christianity is exemplified by the testimony of a Syrian scholiast on Bar Salibi, who said, "It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same 25th of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part." Practically all the known Sun-deities were born on the 25th December. In S.E. Titcomb, Aryan Sun myths, the Origin of Religions, we find it cited, quoted from primary sources, that the following Sun-deities were all born on 25 December, according to their legends: Crishna (Vishnu), Mithra (Mithras), Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Dionysus (Bacchus), Tammuz, Indra, Buddha. Therein we also read of the Scandinavian goddess Frigga in whose honour a "Mother-night" festival was held at the winter solstice (+ - 25 December), as well as a similar great feast of Yule, where a boar was offered at the winter solstice in honour of Frey.
Thus we find the three great days of Christianity (as it is practised by most today), namely Sun-day, Easter and Christmas, all three having had its origin in the Sun-worship of the pagan nations. "How did these nations serve their mighty ones? I also will do likewise," Deut. 12:30. This is exactly what the true Mighty One, Yahuweh, forbade His people to do. The keeping of days, especially days of festivity, is perhaps the most popular amongst all religions "And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which Yahuweh your Elohim has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage," Deut. 4:19. The New English Bible and the Good News Bible render this more interpretatively, ". . . your Elohim has given these to all other peoples for them to worship." The prophet's warning of Eze. 8:9-16, the "wicked abominations" of Sun- worship which had been fused and mixed with True Worship, is equally applicable for our day. What greater proof do we need of the most alarming fact that Elohim has indeed given us up to worship the host of heaven, especially the Sun! These Sun-worshipping festivity days had been used to win over to the Church, the pagan masses of the Roman Empire in which the Sun was the leading power in the Roman pantheon. The weekly Sun-day, the spring Easter Sun-day, the birth of the Sun-deity on 25 December Ś all three of these festival days originated from, and were instituted by pagans in honour of the Sun-deity.
4. THE CROSS
A prophecy for the end-time is given to us in Jer. 16:19. Jeremiah addresses Yah˙weh and says, "The Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, 'Surely your fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.'" The Revised Standard Version reads, "To Thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: 'Our fathers have inherited naught but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.'" But these very lies could keep us from entering the New Jerusalem, as we read in Rev. 21:27, and again in Rev. 22:15 which reads, "But outside are ... whoever loves and practises a lie." The common claim that Sabbath-keeping has been annulled in the New Testament, has been shown to be untrue. this claim is refuted on Scriptural grounds. Likewise, the claim of many sincere believers, who have erroneosly been taught that the Moral Ten Commandment Law has been "nailed to the cross", is also not substantiated by Scripture. These claims have since been made by many in an attempt to justify the adoption of, or the fusion of, Sun-worship with the pure Messianic Faith. Similarly, the keeping of Easter Sunday and Christmas are also not found in Scripture.
Another "later rendering", a tradition of the Church which our fathers have inherited, was the adoption of the words "cross" and "crucify". These words are nowhere to be found in the Greek of the New Testament. These words are mistranslations, a "later rendering", of the Greek words stauros and stauroo. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says, "STAUROS denotes, primarily, an upright pole or stake ... Both the noun and the verb stauroo, to fasten to a stake or pole, are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a tow-beamed cross. The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea (Babylon), and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) ... By the middle of the 3rd century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of teh apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross piece lowered, was adopted ...." Dr. Bullinger, The Companion Bible, appx. 162, states, "crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian Sun-god ... It should be stated that Constantine was a Sun-god worshipper ... The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle." Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 197-205, frankly calls the cross "this Pagan symbol ... the Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah ... the mystic Tau of the Cladeans (Babylonians) and Egyptians - the true original form of the letter T the initial of the name of Tammuz ... the Babylonian cross was the recognised emblem of Tammuz." In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol. 14, p. 273, we read, "In the Egyption churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life borrowed by the Christians and interpreted in the pagan manner." Jacob Grimm, in his Deutsche Mythologie, says that the Teutonic (Germanic) tribes had their idol Thor, symbolised by a hammer, while the Roman Christians had their crux (cross). It was thus somewhat easier for the Teutons to accept the Roman Cross.
Greek dictionaries, lexicons and other study books also declare the primary meaning of stauros to be an upright pale, pole or stake. The secondary meaning of "cross" is admitted by them to be a "later"87 rendering. At least two of them88 do not even mention "cross", and only render the meaning as "pole or stake". In spite of this strong evdence and proof that the word stauros should have been translated "stake", and the verb stauroo to have been translated "impale", almost all the common versions of the Scriptures persist with the Latin Vulgate's crux (cross), a fallacious "later" rendering of the Greek stauros. Why then was the "cross" (crux) brought into the Faith? Again, historical evidence points to Constantine as the one who had the major share in uniting Sun-worship and the Messianic Faith. Constantine's famous vision of "the cross superimposed on the sun", in the year 312, is usually cited. Writers, ignorant of the fact that the cross was not to be found in the New Testament Scriptures, put much emphasis on this vision as the onset of the so-called "conversion" of Constantine. But, unless Constantine had been misguided by the Gnostic Manichean half-Christians, who indeed used the cross in their hybrid religion, this vision of the cross superimposed on the sun could only be the same old cosmic religion, the astrological religion of Babylon. The fact remains: that which Constantine saw, is nowhere to be found in Scripture. We read in the book of Johannes Geffcken, The Last Days of Greco-Roman Paganism, p.319, "that even after 314 A.D. the coins of Constantine show an even-armed cross as a symbol for the Sun-god." Many scholars have doubted the "conversion" of Constantine because of the wicked deeds that he id afterwards, and because of the fact that he only requested to be baptized on his death-bed many years later, in the year 337. So, if the vision of the cross impressed him, and was used as a rallying symbol, it could not have been in honour of Yahush˙a, because Constantine continued paying homage to the Sun-deity and to one of the Sun-deity's symbols, the cross. This continuation of Sun-worship by Constantine is of by his persistent use of images of the Sun-deity on his coins that were issued by him up to the year 323.89 Secondly, the fact of his motivation to issue his Sunday-keeping edict in the year 321, which was not done in honour of Yahush˙a, but was done because of the "venerable day of the Sun", as the edict read, is proof of this continued allegiance to Sol Invictus. We shall expand on this later.
Where did the cross come from, then? J.C. Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols, p. 45, aptly summarises it, "Cross - A universal symbol from the most remote times; it is the cosmic symbol par excellence." Other authorities also call it a sun-symbol, a Babylonian sun-symbol,91 an astrological Babylonian-Assyrian and heathen run-symbol,92 also in the form of an encircled cross referred to as a "solar wheel", and many other varieties of crosses. Also, "the cross represents the Tree of Life", 93 the age-old fertility symbol, combining the vertical male and horizontal female principles, especially in Egypt, either as an ordinary cross, or better known in the form of the crux ansata, the Egyptian ankh (sometimes called the Tau cross), which had been carried over into our modern-day symbol of the female , well known in biology.
As stated above, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the mystic Tau of the Babylonians and Egyptians, was brought into the Church chiefly because of Constantine, and has since been adored with all the homage due only to the Most High. The Protestants have for many years refrained from undue adoration of, or homage to the cross, especially in England at the time of the Puritans in the 16th - 17th centuries. But lately this un-Scriptural symbol has been increasingly accepted in Protestantism. We have previously discussed "the weeping for Tammuz", and the similarity between the Easter resurrection and the return or rising of Tammuz. Tammuz was the young incarnate Sun,94 the Sun-divinity incarnate.95 This same Sun-deity, known amongst the Babylonians as Tammuz, was identified with the Greek Adonis and with the Phoenician Adoni,96 all of them Sun-deities, being slain in winter, then being "wept for", and their return being celebrated by a festivity in spring, while some had it in summer - according to the myths of pagan idolatry.
The evidence for its pagan origin is so convincing that The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that "the sign of the cross, represented in its simplest form by a crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly antedates, in both East and the West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization."97 It then continues and revers to the Tau cross of the pagan Egyptians, "In later times the Egyptian Christians (Copts), attracted by its form, and perhaps by its symbolism, adopted it as the emblem of the cross."98 Further proof of its pagan origin is the recorded evidence of the Vestal Virgins of pagan Rome having the cross hanging on a necklace,99 and the Egyptians doing it too, as early as the 15th century B.C.E.100 The Buddhists, and
FIG. 3: Ancient Egyptian Rot-n-no priests. Note the crosses on the robe, and hanging from their necks.
numerous other sects of India, also used the sign of the cross as a mark on their followers' heads.101 "The cross thus widely worshipped, or regarded as a 'sacred emblem', was the unequivocal symbol of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah, for he was represented with a head-band covered with crosses."102 It was also the symbol of Jupiter Foederis in
FIG. 4: This is Tammuz, whom the Greeks called Bacchus, with the crosses on his head-band.
Rome.103 Furthermore, we read of the cross on top of the temple of Serapis,104 the Sun-deity of Alexandria.
After Constantine had the "vision of the cross", he and his army promoted another variety of the cross, the Chi-Rho or Labarum or sometimes . This has subsequently been explained as representing the first letters of the name Christos, the being the Greek for "Ch" and the being the Greek for "r". but again, this emblem had a pagan origin. The identical and were found as inscriptions on rock, dating from the year ca. 2 500 B.C.E., 105 being interpreted as "a combination of two Sun-symbols",105 the as the Ax or Hammer-symbol of the Sun- or Sky-deity, and the or as the ancient symbol of the Sun, both of these signs having a sensual or fertility meaning as well. Another proof of its pagan origin is the identical found on a coin of Ptolemeus III from the year 247 - 222 B.C.E.106 A well-known encyclopaedia describes the Labarum (Chi-Rho) as, "The labarum was also an emblem of the Chaldean (Babylonian) sky-god and in Christianity it was adopted..."107 Emperor Constantine adopted this Labarum as the imperial ensign and thereby succeeded in "uniting both divisions of his troops, pagans and Christians, in a common worship ... according to Suicer the word (labarum) came into use in the reign of Hadrian, and was probably adopted from one of the nations conquered by the Romans."108 It must be remembered that Hadrian reigned in the years 76 - 138 C.E., that he was a pagan emperor, worshipped the Sun-deity Serapis when he visited Alexandria, and was vehemently anti-Judaistic, being responsible for the final near-destruction of Jerusalem in the year 130 C.E. Another dictionary relates the following about the Chi-Rho, "However, the symbol was in use long before Christianity, and X (Chi) probably stood for Great Fire or Sun,and P (Rho) probably stood for Pater or Patah (Father). The word labarum (labarum) yields everlasting Father Sun."109
What is the "mark of the beast" of which we read in Rev. 13:16-17, Rev. 14:9-11, Rev. 15:2, Rev. 16:2, Rev. 19:20 and Rev. 20:4 - a mark on people's foreheads and on their right hands? Rev. 14:11 reveals the mark to be "the mark of his (the beast's) name." Have we not read about the mystic Tau, the T, the initial of Tammuz's name, his mark? This same letter T (Tau) was written in Egyptian hieroglyphics 110 and in the old Wemitic languages as ,110 representing the CROSS.110 Different interpretations have been given to the "mark of the beast", and also the cross has been suggested. There has been some research done on the strange crosses found on quite a few statues of pagan priests, on their foreheads. However, these scholars have been unable to come to an agreement. Conclusive evidence may still come (see among others: Dr. F.J. Dolger, Antike und Christentum, vol. 2, pp. 281-293).
Let us rather use the true rendering of the Scriptural words stauros and stauro, namely "stake" and "impale" and eliminate the un-Scriptural "cross" and "crucify".
This is the word used in most English versions as a rendering of the New Testament's Greek word ekklesia. Ekklesia really means "a calling out", a meeting or a gathering. Ekklesia is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew qahal, which means an assembly or a congregation. Neither ekklesia nor qahal means a building. Tyndale, in his translation, uniformly translated ekklesia as "congregation" and only used the word "churches" to translate Acts 19:37 for heathen temples! Whence the word "church", then? Ecclesiastical sources give the origin as kuriakon or kyriakon in Greek. However, to accept this. one has to stretch your imagination in an attempt to see any resemblance. Also, because kuriakon means a building (the house of Kurios=Lord), and not a gathering or meeting of people, as the words ekklesia and qahal imply, therefore this explanation can only be regarded as distorted, even if it is true. Our common dictionaries, however, are honest in revealing to us the true origin. They all trace the word back to its Old English or Anglo-Saxon root, namely circe. And the origin of circe? Any encyclopaedia, or dictionary of mythology, will reveal who Circe was. She was the goddess-daughter of Helios, the Sun-deity! Again, another form of Sun-worship, this time the daughter of the Sun-deity, had become mixed with the Messianic Faith.
Circe, daughter of the well known Sun-deity Helios. This"Circe" is the identical Old English word for "Church"Śsee any dictionary.
Some interesting facts emerge from the study of the word circe. The word is related to "circus", "circle", "circuit", "Circean", "circulate", and the various words starting with "circum-". The Latin pronunciation could have been "sirke" or "sirse". The Old English word circe may have been pronounced similarly to "kirke", or even "sirse ".
However, Circe was in fact originally a Greek goddess where her name was written as: Kirke, and pronounced as suchŚjust as in numerous similar cases of words of Greek origin, e.g. cyst and kustis, cycle and kuklos, cylinder and kulindros. The word "church" is known in Scotland as kirk, and in German as Kirche and in Netherlands as kerk. These words show their direct derivation from the Greek Kirke even better than the English "church". However, even the Old English circe for "church", reveals its origin.
Let us rather use the Scriptural "Assembly" or "Congregation", and renounce the word that is derived from Circe, the daughter of the Sun-deity!
The Hebrew of the Old Testament reveals to us that the Scriptural Hebrew word (which means: so be it, or verily or surely) is "Amein" and not "Amen". Likewise, the Greek equivalent in the Greek New Testament is also pronounced: "Amein". Anyone can check on this in Stong's Concordance, No. 543 in its Hebrew Lexicon, and No. 281 in its Greek Lexicon, or in Aaron Pick's Dictionary of Old Testament Words for English Readers. Why then, has this Scriptural word "Amein" been rendered as "Amen" in our versions? Again we can see how the pagans have been made welcome, been conciliated, by adopting the name of pagan deity into the Church.
The Egyptians, including the Alexandrians, had been worshipping, or been aquainted with, the head of the Egyptian pantheon, Amen-Ra, the great Sun-deity, for more than 1 000 years, B.C.E. Before this deity became known as Amen-ra, he was only known as Amen among the Thebians. This substitution of "Amen" for "Amein" was greatly facilitated by the fact that this Egyptian deity's name was pelt in Egyptian hieroglyphic language with only three letters: AMN, just as we find a similar poverty of vowels in the Scriptural Hebrew, which prior to its vowel-pointing by the Massoretes, also only spelt its AMEIN as : AMN. However, with the vowel-pointing by the Massoretes the Scriptural word has been preserved for us as AMEIN. On the other hand, the Egyptian deity AMN is rendered by various sources as AMEN, or AMUN, or as AMON. However, the most reliable Egyptologists and archaelogsits, such as Sir E.A. Wallis Budge,112 Dr. A.B. Cook,113 Prof. A Wiedemann, 114 Sir W.M.F. Petrie,115 and A.W. Shorter,116 as well as some authoritative dictionaries,117 all render the name of this Egyptian deity as AMEN. This AMEN was originally the Theban "hidden god who is in heaven"112 "the hidden one, probably meaning hidden sun".118 Funk and Wagnalls, Standard College Dictionary, describes it, "AMEN: In Egyptian mythology, the god of life and procreation ... later identified with the Sun-god as the supreme deity, and called 'Amen-Ra'." James Bonwick, Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought, repeatedly and frankly calls the Sun-deity of Egypt by its correct name: AMEN. He states on pp. 123-125, "AMEN ... is in a sense, the chief deity of Egypt - supreme divinity. Whatever else he be, he must be accepted as the sun ... the hidden god, the solar aspect is clear ... there is the disk of the sun ... the sun Amen ... His identification with Baal ... establishes him as a solar deity ...." Smith's Bible Dictionary expresses AMEN as, "an Egyptian divinity ... He was worshipped ... as Amen-Ra, or 'Amen the Sun'." Herodotos recorded for us how the Greeks identified their Zeus with Amen-Ra.113
Yahush˙a calls Himself "the Amein" in Rev. 3:14. Substituting a title or name of Yahush˙a with the name o of the great hidden Sky-deity or the great Sun-deity of the Egyptians, Amen, is inconceivable! The difference is subtle, but it is there. By ending our prayers "Amen" instead of "Amein", one could very well ask: Have we been misled to invoke the name of the Egyptian Sun-deity at the end of our prayers?
-But worse is still to come.
The Hebrew word qodesh and the
equivalent Greek word hagios, together with their derivatives, have been
translated with one of three words, or derivatives, in our older English
versions, namely: holy, hallowed, or sanctified. Another word is also used in
modern versions, and generally in ecclesiastical literature, namely: sacred.
Most of us have the idea that this word has the meaning of piety, or being
pious, or to be devout. However, this conception is refuted when we read in
Isa. 66:17 of the idolatrous people "who sanctify (qadash) themselves and
purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating
swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse ...." This refutation of
the incorrect idea that "holy" means "to be pious", is
further confirmed by the shocking discovery that one of the Hebrew words for a
harlot (whore) is qedeshah, a derivative of qadash! Likewise, a male prostitute
(or sodomite) is called a qadesh in Hebrew. This then causes us to seek for the
real meaning of the word qodesh (its verb being qadash) and its Greek
equivalent hagios. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 2, p. 817,
summarises what most authorities say about qodesh and hagios, ". . . the
meaning of 'separation' is paramount ... the more elemental meaning seems to
lie with 'separation'." The same dictionary, in vol. 4, p.210, says,
"The basic sense of the Hebrew root qadash, as of its Greek equivalent in
the BibleŚhagios, seems to be 'separateness'." Likewise, Vine's Expository
Dictionary of New Testament Words repeatedly emphasises the fact of the
fundamental meaning of the word to be: "separation" (see under
"holiness" and "sanctification"). With the discovery of the
true meaning of this word, namely, separate and separation, we can now
understand why qodesh is used in a positive sense, a good sense, and that it
can equally be used in a negative and evil sense. Someone is, or something is
separated unto Yahuweh, or he/it is separated unto evil. Thus, the word qodesh
applies to both.
Why then, if the Hebrew word qodesh as well as the Greek hagios both mean "separation", why has the word "holy" been used instead? Is it possible that the father of all lies, the Great Deceiver, had cunningly proceeded with his master plan of bringing idolatrous worship into True Worship? Has the "Mystery Man" behind "Mystery of Lawlessness" and "Mystery Babylon" been active again? (see Jer. 16:19-21, Isa. 25:7, Isa. 30:28, Rev. 17:2,4,5, as well as 2 Thess. 2:7). Indeed, we do find evidence of his veiled, his hidden, his mysterious work. In The Oxford English Dictionary, vol. 5, p. 345, under "Holy", we read, ". . . the primitive pre-Christian meaning is uncertain . . . Its earlier application to heathen deities is found in ON [Old Norse]." Likewise, we read in the big Netherland's Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, vol. 6, p. 455 (I translate), "An explanation of the original meaning, that makes it clear as to how this adjective has obtained the meaning of the Latin sanctus, has not yet been given Ś For speculations, see e.g. KLUGE, FRANCK AND MURRAY." But we did discover the origin of the word "holy". In G. Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols, p. 781, we read, "HOLY: In practically all languages, the word for holy has been derived from the divinely honored sun." We found confirmation in Forlong's Encyclopedia of Religions, as follows, "HOLI: The Great Hindu spring festival .. . held in honour of Krishna, as the spring sun-god . . . a personified woman called Holi . . . Holi had tried to poison the babe Krishna ...." Further revealing evidence was yet to come. In Strong's Concordance, in the Greek Lexicon No. 1506, we found the following: "heile (the sun's ray)"Śthis is pronounced: heilei. This form is almost identical to the German and Dutch equivalent of the English "holy". The meaning of "halo", the ring on top of a saint's head, now became clear to us. And this was confirmed in J.C. Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols, p. 112, "NIMBUS, HALO, or AUREOLE: Originally indicative of solar power and the sun's disk, hence an attribute of sun-gods."
The truth of this most disturbing find stunned us. We simply could not handle it. Gradually we came to understand. The Great Deceiver will not make the mistake of diverting the worship towards himself. By just diverting it to the innocent sun, Satan would succeed in his master plan by firstly veiling, and then bringing into the Temple the "wicked abomination", as Elohim had called this Sun-mixed worship (Eze. 8:9-16). It is well known how pictures of our Messiah, of Mary, and of a great number of saints were adorned with a sun-disc (nimbus), or halo, or sun-rays, thereby identifying him/her with the Sun-deity, or even only being taken as blessed by the Sun-deity. With the word "holy" being applied to the Spirit of Yahuweh, called in Hebrew Ruach ha Qodesh the enormous challenge was put to us: Can we continue to use the word "Holy Spirit"? Ruach ha Qodesh simply means: "The Spirit of Separation". Can we continue bringing homage to the Sun, once the truth has been revealed to us, and be found guilty of participating in the "wicked abominations" of Eze. 8:9-16?
In the Scriptures we are warned of Job's similar predicament in Job 31 :26-28, in which Job warns us of this "an iniquity worthy of judgment, for I would have denied Elohim who is above." Have we not been warned in Jer. 10:2, "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed (awed) at the signs of heaven for the Gentiles are dismayed (awed) at them."? Can we ignore the disastrous result of Israel's disobedience to the Law which caused Elohim to have "turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven," Acts 7:42? We who have entered into the New Covenant, having the Law of Yahuweh written into our hearts (Heb. 8:10 and 10:16), can we delight in His Law, His Words? Do we accept His warning which comes to us in Deut.4:19, "And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you fee driven to worship them and serve them, which Yahuweh your Elohim has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage"? If it has been revealed to US having been led by the Spirit of Truth, that the word "holy" has been derived from the divinely honoured sun can we ignore it? In direct contrast to this "sun-origin" of the word "holy", the Hebrew qodesh and the Greek hagios have nothing to do with the sun or sun-rays at all The Spirit of Truth put the challenge before us: If we love Him Who first loved us, we will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. If we love the Spirit of Yahuweh, we will call Him: The Spirit of Separation, and not "the spirit of the sun". The former is the truth, the latter is a lie if it is meant to be a translation of Ruach ha Qodesh. If the term "spirit of the sun" is devoid of all Scriptural truth how much more is the term "spirit of the divinely honoured sun"?Śor "the spirit that solarises", or "the solarised spirit"?
Identical to the above is another derivative of this word originating from the "divinely honoured sun." In our versions the word "hallowed" is also a translation of qodesh or qadash, and hagiazo. The word is also found in "halloween" or "Hallow-even", an old pagan British festival which was adopted by the church. The great Sun-image of the Krom-druach was specially worshipped at this season.119 Here again, this word "hallowed" in our versions should be "koshered" to read: "separated".
Although this word is not found in the King James Version, it has been used in some instances in the more recent English versions (e.g. Moffatt's Translation, NIV, GNB, NASB) to translate the Hebrew qodesh and the Greek hagios. In the literature and preaching of the churches, however, it is frequently used, as well as in the word "sacrament". Much of the English language, which is one of the Indo-European languages, viz. Sanskrit. Similarly, the English word "sacred" can be traced back to the Sanskrit "Sakra". What or who was "Sakra"? Larousse, World Mythology, pp. 229, 233, reveals to us that Indra was one of the 12 forms of the Sun-deity, and that he was also known as: "Sakra". This startling information is found in other sources too.120 In this deity, and in the twelfth form, he is called: Mitra, the origin of the later Persian and Roman Mithra or Mithras, who at first was only associated with the Sun-deity, but later on became the Sun-deity himself as Sol Invictus, the unconquered Sun-deity.
Another word that translates the Hebrew qodesh and the Greek hagios, is the word "sanctified", which, according to the dictionaries, originates from the Latin sanctus. According to Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopaedie, under "Sanctus", the primary meaning and origin is not certain. However, this article quotes a source mentioning Santus as a deity, named deus sanctus, and also states that Sanctus was often used as an epithet or surname of deities (See also this same book's entry: "Sancus"). Augustine in his City of God,121 reveals to us that the Sabine chief deity, Sancus, was called by some: Sanctus. In the Realencyclopaedie, under "Sancus", we read of a statue of Sancus, representing an archaic type of Apollo, the great Sun-deity of the Greeks. At the end of the article it states that, originally, Semo Sancus was Jupiter itself. Another cognate form Sancius was also identified as Jupiter.
Although we have fewer witnesses here than in the case against the words "holy", "sacred" and "hallow", we still have enough evidence that "Sancuts was the name of a pagan deity, even identified with Jupiter and Apollo. Another "wicked abomination", in the form of the words "sanctified" and "sanctuary", had been fused with the pure Messianic Faith, and we must eliminate them.
11. THE FISH SYMBOL
There was an upheaval against iconalotry (image worship) in the 8th - 9th centuries, and again by the Puritans in the 16th - 17th centuries. This sin has crept in again and those who love Yahush˙a and His Father are again crying out against this sin, which has become less obvious due to the explanations offered in an attempt to justify this practice. Let us investigate the symbol of the fish so commonly displayed on the back of cars.
This symbol is used because Christians are told that it is because we are called to be "fishers of men". However, another popular explanation is offered: It represents our Messiah, because of Augustine's attempt to justify the adoption of another element of pagan worship the Church's syncretism, "Christianising" pagan practices, emblems and even pagan deities. Paganism was mixed with the Messianic Faith. Rev. Hislop states that our Messiah "began to be popularly called ICHTHYS for ICHTHUSI, that is 'the Fish', manifestly to identify Him with Dagon."122 Dagon was the Fish-deity. Augustine, the celebrated church Father, rather childishly, gave his reason for doing this, "If you combine the initial letters of the five Greek words, which are Iesous Chreistos Theou Uios Soter, Jesus Christ the Son of god the Saviour, they make the word ichthus, meaning fish, and the mystic meaning of this noun is Christ, because he had power to exist alive, that is, without sin, in the bottomless pit of our mortal life, as in the depths of the sea."123 But Tertullian was even more frank in his blasphemous identification of our Messiah with a fish, by calling Him, "our Fish" . Tertullian wrote, "But we, little fishes, are born in water according to our Fish (Ichthus), Jesus Christ."124 Why were these Church Fathers so keen to identify Yahush˙a with a fish? In The Two Babylons, pp. 252 and 270, we read, "that Ichthus, or the Fish, was one of the names of Bacchus." Bacchus was just on the name for Tammuz,125 the Sun-deity. the adoration or veneration of the fish emblem is clearly and emphatically forbidden in Deut. 4:15-19; and even more so once the hidden truth of the 3rd and 4th century' idolatrous syncretism with the Fish-deity (identifying our Messiah with the Fish-deity), has been revealed to us. Yah˙weh will not accept any attempts to justify this, in spite of explanations (totally contrary to Scripture) of how the pagan deities were "Christianised".
Furthermore, the fish, as a pair of fishes, is part of the Chaldean (Babylonian) zodiac, as one of the signs of astral worship with the Sun at the centre of the zodiac. It therefore formed part of, and was a sign of, Sun-worship.126 Also, Hippolyt of Rome tells us that the Brahmans (sect of Indians, from whom some pagan idolatrous worship originated) regarded the sun to be as a fish.127 Further, the son o the Syrian goddess Atargatis was known as Ichthus too.128 Another Fish-deity was the Babylonian Ea, who became known amongst the Greeks as Oannes, similar to the Fish-deity of the Philistines, Dagon, half man and half fish.129 We also read the following findings of scholars, "The Fish is also associated with the sun ... the god of the sun ... as a fish", 130 also being an Egyptian phallic emblem,131 as well as a sign of fecundity, or the female generative organ, or of female goddesses.131
The Harlot Woman, Mystery Babylon of Rev. 17, has made the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication, Rev 17:2, giving the inhabitants of the earth to drink out of the golden cup in her hand "full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication." Rev. 17:4. (In verse 5 we read that she is the Mother of Harlots.) This means spiritual fornication with idolatrous practices. But does this fornication not include the sensual part of idolatrous worship too? Is the whole world not preoccupied with sensuality, as were the festive rites of Bacchus? The fish emblem might seem innocent origin. Do read our Mighty One's clear warning on "the likeness of any fish" in Deut. 4:18.
No fewer than 25 Hebrew words are
rendered by doxa in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the
Hebrew Old Testament. Of these 25 words, 7 are more common, the most important
being kabad. This Greek word doxa of the Greek translation of
the Old Testament, and the doxa of the New Testament, are usually rendered
"glory" in the English versions, a translation of the Latin gloria.
If we first look at the Hebrew Old Testament, we find that kabad has usually
been rendered "honour" when applied to man, but rendered
"glory" when applied to our Heavenly Father. Why were they so keen to
apply the word "glory" to our Mighty One? What is the meaning of the
word "glory"? Funk & Wagnalls, New Standard Dictionary of the
English Language, under "glory", gives the religious symbolic
meaning, "In religious symbolism, the complete representation of an
emanation of light from the person of a sanctified being consisting of the
aureole and the nimbus;" and further on, "The quality of being
radiant or shining; brilliancy brightness; luster; as the glory of the
sun;" and further on, "A sunburst; any ring of light; a halo."
John Ogilvie The Comprehensive English Dictionary, under
"glory", explains it as, "splendour, as of the sun."
Similar statements are made by The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's
New International Dictionary. The latter states, "glory is the
general term for the aureola and the nimbus"Śaureola being the halo or
ring round the sun, and nimbus being the sun-disc.
This meaning, as well as the word itself, would be acceptable if the commonly used Hebrew words of the Old Testament, and the Greek word doxa, have had the same meaning of sun-radiance or circles of light. However, we do not find any trace of sun-radiance or emanation of light in any of these Hebrew words, nor in the Greek doxa. Once more we are rudely awakened to the fact of the adoption of Sun-worship into the Church, the fusion of Sun-worship and the Messianic Faith. In the dictionaries, encyclopaedias and ecclesiastical books, we find many illustrations of our Saviour, the Virgin, and the saints, encircled with radiant circles or emanations of light around them.
What are the meanings then of the Scriptural Hebrew words? Kabad means honour, dignity or esteem in its figurative sense, as well as weight, in its literal sense. Pa'ar means repute. Halal means praiseworthiness or praise. Adar and hadar means to make great. Tipharah means repute. Shavak means to esteem. The Greek word doxa simply means opinion, estimation, esteem, repute or dignity, coming from the verb dokeo, which means "to seem".
Thus, the ecclesiastical symbolic meaning of the word "glory", being that of radiance or emanation of light as from the sun, is totally un-Scriptural. It is strong evidence of the Church's solarisation of our Messiah and of His Father. The Church identified Elohim with the Sun deity, which was the prevailing deity of the Roman emperors, the Roman capital and its empire. However, not only does the concept of "glory" stem from Sun-worship, but we also find proof of "glory" (gloria) as having been a Roman goddess, discovered in the form of an icon personified by a woman, the upper part of her body almost naked, holding a circle on which are the zodiac signs. Pauly-Wissowa also defines Gloria as a personification of fame, the word being found very frequently on the coins of Constantine and his successors. Besides the frequent occurrence of the word Gloria on the coins, the image of this goddess is found on two coins, one of Constantius II and one of Constantine II.
We should therefore eliminate the word "glory" from our religious vocabulary for three reasons:
1) We have been commanded in Exod. 23:13 to "make no mention of the names of other mighty ones, nor let it be heard from your mouth"Śespecially in our worship, applying these names to the One we love, and His Son.
2) The concept of the word "glory" in religious symbolism, as we read in Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary, is that of the emanation or radiance of light, as of the sun. This is proof of the solarisation of our beloved Saviour, identifying Him, as well as His Father, with the Sun-deity.
3) The Hebrew words, as well as Greek word doxa, do not carry the meaning of sun-radiance or sunlight at all. Therefore the word "glory" is an incorrect rendering of those words.
What then should we use instead of the word "glory"? Simply what the Hebrew words and the Greek word mean: "esteem", or "high esteem" or "repute". These words carry the meaning of the Scriptural words and do not stem from the names of deities as far as we know, and should be used wherever our versions have "glory".
13. DIVINE, DIVINITY, DEITY
The Hebrew word "The Mighty One" (as well as "el" and "eloah"), has been translated theos in Greek, similar to the related dios in Greek, deus in Latin, related to the similar dius and divus in Latin.134 The Latin dies (day) also originates from the same word, namely, dieu or its related deieu and diuos. 134 Related to this are the Greek Dieus or Zeus, the Teutonic Ziu, the Roman Diovis or Jovis, and the Roman equal of Zeus, namely Jupiter, formed from Dies-piter.135 Most linguists trace these words back to the Vedic deva, corresponding to the Latin deus, meaning "bright", and the Indo-European Djeus, also meaning "bright" or "shining". And this Djeus gave rise to the Old Indian Dyaus and Greek Zeus.136 Dr. A.B. Cook, Zeus - A Study in Ancient Religion, vol. II, p. 276, relates that Hellenic names which are derived from Zeus, e.g. Diodoros, Diogenes, Diomedes, have for their element Dio- and others have Deo-or Deos. Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, translated by J. Stallybrass, chapter IX, traces all these words back to "the root div, which, while enabling us to make up a fuller formula div, tiv, zio yield the meanings 'brightness, sky, day, god'. Of sanskrit words, dyaus stands the closest to the Greek and German gods' names Zeus, Tius." Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 16, relates, "Deva ... is derived from the Sanskrit Div, 'to shine' ... when Sun-worship was engrafted on the Patriarchal faith, the visible splendour of the deified luminary might be suggested by the name." In the same book, pp. 323 and 20, we read that Demeter, the Great Mother, was called Deo by Sophocles, and she was the mother of Bacchus. Bacchus, the Sun-deity, is also identified with Attes, the son of Cybele, and Attes was also known as Deoius. On p. 95 we also read that the Moon-god was known as Deus Lunus. The feminine Moon-goddess was also known as Diana.137
With the root div or deva or diu all meaning "bright", or to "shine", it is easy to comprehend the heathen nations' affinity for, and worship of, the Sun, the bright sky, the Sky-deity - the deity that brings the day of daylight. These roots are still found in the English words "divine", divinity" and deity" - all derived from the bright Sky-deity or Sun-deity. Does it matter? Yes, if the ancient tribes called their mighty ones: Deva, Dyaus, or anything similar, traceable to the Sky-deity, or Sun-deity, we should eliminate from our vocabulary the words "divine" and "deity" , which we have erroneously been taught to apply to the One that we love and His Son. he commanded us, "make no mention of the name of other mighty ones, not let it be heard from your mouth," Exod. 23:13. Secondly, the word "The Mighty One" means: mighty one, just as "The Mighty One" means Mighty One, and it has nothing to do with "shining" or "brightness" or "daylight" or "day" or "sky". Thirdly, we should be careful not to fall away from the True Worship, namely, worshipping Yah˙weh and His Son. We must be in the Eternal Covenant with the Law of Yah˙weh written into our hearts and written in our minds, Heb. 8:10 and 10:16. If not, the same destiny will be our heritage, as we are warned of, "Then The Mighty One turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven," Acts 7:42.
And the word Theos? Donaldson in his New Cratylus points out that "Th" is frequently pronounced as "Dh" in Greek, thus Theos and Dheos could be the same, if only in pronunciation. Further, B.C. Dietrich, The Origin of Greek Religion, p. 288, reveals to us a pair of deities, Theos and Thea. This proves that Theos is not only a title, but also the name of a Greek idol. The origin of the word (or name) Theos is disputed, but Prof. F. Max Muller feels very strongly that "Theos must remain part of the same cluster of words a Zeus, Dios, Dione, ... Sanskrit Dyaus, Deva, Latin Jupiter, Diovis, Jovis, Diana, Deus, Lithuanian diva, Old Netherlands tivar ... The Greek Theos, if not derived from the root div, has found no other root as yet from which it could have been derived, so as to account for its meaning, as well as its form."138
Although the word Theos is admittedly mostly used as a title, it has been used as a name, and therefore we dare not call our The Mighty One by the name of a pagan mighty one, Exod. 23:13. But even as a title, the word theos is not acceptable, even if it does appear in the Greek New Testament. There are many scholars who are convinced that most of the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and that the Greek New Testament is only a translation of the Hebrew/Aramaic original. Other scholars have been less radical and have proposed that, if the New Testament was originally written in Greek, our oldest manuscripts contain substitutions in its rewritten form, because of the evidence that the Tetragrammaton was used in the original New Testament, but has since then been substituted in the oldest extant manuscripts. The Tetragrammaton has been substituted in texts of the New Testament which are quoted from the Old Testament. Sometimes it is substituted by Kurios, such as Matt. 21:9 (quoted from Ps. 118:26), or substituted by Theos, such as Matt. 4:4 (quoted from Deut. 8:3). However, for the most part, Theos is used in the New Testament as a translation of the Hebrew The Mighty One (or el or eloah), such as Heb. 1:9 (quoted from Ps. 45:7). The word theos should not have been used, because, in many instances this word as a title has been used as a substitute for the Name of Yah˙weh , and this is explicity forbidden in Deut. 4:2 and Deut. 12:4. Secondly, the word The Mighty One means: Mighty One, whereas Theos is probably derived from the root div (see above), which means: to shine. Thirdly, the word theos has been used as an important means of merging Zeus-worship with the Messianic Worship. Dr. A.B. Cook in his monumental research on Zeus - A Study in Ancient Religion, vol. I, p. 233, remarks on how "the gentiles conceived Jehovah (as Cook called Him) as Zeus." Zeus was also called Theos, for instance, and Zeus Hypsistos was also known as Theos Hypsistos (pp. 882, 883, 884, 886, 969).
With the Jewish tradition of hiding Yah˙weh 's Name and the Greeks calling all mighty ones theoi (plural of theos), the assimilation and merger of the two mighty ones was made easier - especially if they both can be identified as being "the Great Sky-deity", or both can be identified as the Sun. We have already seen how the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Rome began calling Yahush˙a "The Sun of Righteousness", even "the True Sun". By that time all the idols of the mediterranean countries were identified with the Sun -Apollo, Hercules, Adonis, Mithras, Dionysus, Serapis, Osiris, Horus, Jupiter, Zeus, Hades, Helios, Sol, Oannes, Hermes, Bacchus, Attis, Orpheus, Ixion, Amen, Amen-Ra etc.
Dr. A.B. Cook's observation on how "the gentiles conceived Jehovah as Zeus" - is exactly what our Messiah prophesied of in Matt. 24:15, "the abomination of desolation ... standing in the Separated Place", i.e. the commentators agree that this abomination of desolation is Zeus, mainly because of the frank evidence found in 2 Maccabees 6:2. Why was The Messiah's prophecy given for the end-time, particularly? Because this shocking disillusionment and realisation has been predicted to be a revelation in the end-time. We will come to tis again. it is well known that at some stage the Greeks were trying to identify all the idols with Zeus. It is also known that for a long time, they were avoiding the names of their idols by just calling them by the title, or generic name, theos. In L.H. Gray's Mythology of All Races, vol. 1, p. 312, we read, "Only in a few localities, notably in Crete, does any form of the name of Zeus survive, but the god still lives under the title Theos ('God'), a title so conveniently equivocal that the Christian can use it without heresy and at the same time square perfectly with the ancient pagan belief." What a clear testimony of religious syncretism! Our Mighty One, or His Son, is called Theos, and so is Zeus called Theos. What does it matter? Just this: the words Theos and Zeus are derived from the Sky-deity or the Sun-deity, and therefore unacceptable to our Mighty One. Any form of Sun-worship, or any derivative of Sun-worship which has been adopted into Pure Worship, has been designated by Him to be a "wicked abomination", Eze. 8:9. Apart from Prof. F. Max Muller's statement as to the origin of the word "Zeus" (see above), we also read Dr. A.B. Cook's scholarly conclusion, "The supreme deity of the ancient Greeks, during their historical period at least, was Zeus. His name, referable to a root that means 'to shine' may be rendered 'the Bright One'. And since a whole series of related words in the various languages of the Indo-European family is used to denote 'day' or 'sky', it can be safely inferred that Zeus was called 'the Bright One' as being the god of the bright or day-light sky."139 Dr. Cook then says in a foot note on the same page, "The Greek Zeus and the Old Indian Dyaus represent an Indo-European dieu-s from the root di: die : deia, 'to shine' ." Later on, as we have previously mentioned, Zeus became more directly identified with the Sun. Osiris, the Sun-diety of Egypt, was later identified with Serapis, the Sun-deity in Alexandria. Helios, of course, was the Sun-deity of the Greeks. Zeus was identified with all of them, and the phrase "Zeus Helios Great Serapis" was well known to be an exceedingly common formula in the 2nd and 3rd centuries C.E. 140
Thus, Zeus, whose name is derived from "to shine", "the Bright One", is the one who has entered into the Separated Place, the Temple, the Kingdom of Yah˙weh . The Sun-deity of the pagan nations has taken over - the abominations of desolation! You might say to me: But we do not worship Zeus. Our reply is: All these components, customs, "hows", and names, which are all derived from Sun-worship - in whose honour were they originally instituted? f they were originally used in the veneration of the Sun, can their continued use be justified? Our Heavenly Father has called them "wicked abominations". Any attempt to justify their acceptance by the apologetical "Christianisation" which was done by the Church, can only be refuted in the light of the Word. "Christianisation" of pagan practices are explicitly forbidden in Deut. 12:30-32, Deut. 12:1-3, Jer. 10:2, etc. Even more so, the "Chrstianisation" of idol statues is repulsive in the eyes of Yah˙weh . Many scholars have pointed out the similarity between Zeus-worship and Serapis-worship, as both were identified with the Sun-deity. But more so, the serapis statues most resemble those of Zeus.141 Serapis, the Sun-idol of Alexandria - the same city where Clement and Origen were leaders of the "first theological seminary" - was assimilated to all other Sun-deities.141 The christian apologist Minucius Felix, writing in the 2nd or 3rd century, comments that this Egyptian (Alexandrian) cult of Serapis has been completely adopted by the Romans.142 "Zeus Helios Great Serapis" was the exceedingly common formula.140 Not only did the statues of Zeus and Serapis resemble each other, but we, like others,143 are alarmed at the striking similarity between these statues and that of the images of our Messiah which have been made by the Church! The Law forbids us to make images of our Father or of His Son, let alone calling an image of Zeus or of Serapis by the name of Yahush˙a. He has warned us in Matt. 24:15 about the end-time revelation, or end-time realisation and disillusionment, of the "abomination of desolation" standing in the Temple. Paul likewise warned us of this in 2 Thess. 2:3-4.
Further evidence of the fusion of the worship of Yahush˙a with that of Serapis comes from the historical record of the Roman emperor Hadrian who worshipped Serapis as well as Christ when he visited Alexandria.144 But, even worse, whenever a Christian church was erected on the site of the Serapeum (temple of Serapis), Jerome would exclaim, "The Egyptian Serapis has become Christian!"145 Such was the spirit of syncretism, of identifying pagan idols with Yahush˙a.
We are sorry that we had to use the word "deity" in this article for the sake of making the message clear. However, it too should be deleted from the vocabulary of the sincere believer. Instead of "deity", "divinity", or "god", we should use the Scriptural "The Mighty One" or "mighty one" or "mighty". This latter word, which is an adjective, could well be used as a noun. Instead of "divine", we should say "as of The Mighty One", or "as of the Mighty One", or "Mighty - like".
14. HER, HEER, HEERE
The Jews developed a superstitious belief, after their Babylonian captivity, that the Name of Yah˙weh should be avoided, except for certain occasions i n the Temple at Jerusalem. This was done in fear of profanation of the Name, and to avoid the use of the Name by others. This lead to the idea that the Name is "ineffable". However, this was a pagan doctrine. We read n Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, p. 37, "The ineffability of divine names was an old idea in Egypt, especially in the Osirian religion ... The name of Marduk (Sun-idol) of Babylon is in the same way declared ineffable in an inscription of Neri ... The Name of Yahweh became ineffable directly after Alexander. See Halevy, Revue des Etudes juives, t. IX (1884), p. 172. In every case, the magical idea that the god might be compelled by utterance of his secret name seems to be at the root of the practice." However, we believe that this hiding of the Name of Yah˙weh , substituting it with a title, was the work of "the mighty one of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), in order to facilitate the introduction of the names of many a national pagan idol of the nations, to which the Glad Tidings was being brought to. Secondly, by calling all the deities of the nations only by a title, it was very easy to assimilate them all, identifying all of them with the one deity, whichever you wish to identify them with. This is exactly what happened. With the solarisation of all the deities, the Sun-deity was seen as the one behind them all only having different names. When the Messianic Faith was proclaimed, the same thing happened. Maximus of Madaura wrote in approximately 390 C.E., "There is only one God, sole and supreme, without beginning or parentage, whose energies, diffused through the world, we invoke under various names, because we are ignorant of his real name."146 This is in direct contrast to what Yah˙weh commanded us in Exod. 20:3 and Exod. 23:13, and what Paul tried to rectify in Acts 17:23.
Another point needs our attention. Scholars attest to their findings that many of the Greek idols, or their names, originated in Egypt. Other idols, or their names, are traceable to their Vedic or Sanskrit roots. In our study of the Indo-European languages, we trace many words, names, as well as idols' names, in many of the European languages. One is astonished to notice how some of them are only found in the southernmost countries and only again in the Nordic countries. This will help us in our search for the origin of Herr, the German word for "Lord" - both of them being the substitute for the Name, Yah˙weh , in our versions. This substitution has no Scriptural ground. Indeed, it is directly in contrast to our The Mighty One's command in Deut. 4:2 and Deut. 12:3c and 4, but do read the latter in the KJV or RSV. The writer of Proverbs in Prov. 30:4 challenges and asks us whether we know the Father's Name and the Son's Name. He then follows on in verses 5-6 by reprimanding us not to delete from, nor to add to the Word, as if to say: This is the reason why the Name of the Father and the Name of the Son have been hidden!
German dictionaries tell us that the origin of the word Herr is uncertain. The moment we read this remark we are alerted: Has the Prince of Darkness of this world been hiding his work of darkness again? Can this word or name be traced back to Sun-worship? Indeed, that is what we find, and we have a few witnesses. The Latin and Greek names for a certain Egyptian Sun-Sun-deity are Horus, Horos. However, in the Egyptian language his name is written Hr and pronounced: Her,147 or Heru - the ancient Sky-deity or Sun-deity of Egypt. Budge, From Fetish to God in Ancient Egypt, p.6, clearly states, "the sun as a god was called HER at a very early period." Other Sun-deities were to follow, bearing the name Her as the first part of their names: Hercules, the well-known Sun-deity, Hermes, the Greek name for Mercury and in whose name a strong religion became established in Alexandria and Egypt just before Christianity came. Some Teutonic deities' names also started with Her, namely Hermod and possibly Hermann too. Amongst, the Teutons we find the names of a deity Er or Heru.148 Thorr, the great thunder-deity, was also called hergot, 149 and again Herre Got.150 This same author, Jacob Grimm, perhaps the greatest scholar of Germanic languages, as well as of Germanic mythology, comments on an inscription "'der herre' seems to mean the sun."151 it becomes obvious to all that this word was later used as a title and "here is said of heathen gods, angels, emperors." 152 Other evidence as to Her or Har originating as a name, is found where the Teutonic deity Odinn is called Har,153 as well as Har or Herjan.154 Other scholars trace the origin back to the Sanskrit Svar (heaven), and the Zendic Hvar, which is the Sun.155 Har also means "bright",156 and Herman-sul is a Sun-deity.156
But again, Zeus, the great Sky-deity, who later became identified as the Sun-deity, was involved. Zeus was known as Herros in the Aeolian dialect, 157 or as Heros.158 The feminine of this word is Here, also known as Hera. She was the Queen of the Sky, and the sister as well as wife of Zeus, and known as Juno in Rome.
Whether it be the male Her, Herr, Herros, Heros or Heru - it all originates from Sun- or Sky-worship. Similarly, the female Here or Hera also originates from Sky-worship. Our Heavenly Father's Name has been substituted with a so-called title. but this title traces back to the name of the Sun-deity. Likewise, Yahush˙a has also been called Herr or Heer. Therefore, He also became identified with the Sun-deity.
At this stage we would also like to look at the dutch Heere and the Afrikaans Here. These are plurals of Heer, even if only as a "plural majesty", but they also trace back to the Sun-deity Her or Heru. but in its plural form the Afrikaans Here is being spelt exactly like the queen of Heaven's name.
Although it is commonly taught that Herr, Heer and Here are titles, the Indogermanische Etymologishes Worterbuch or Julius Pokorny, on p. 615 of the 1st volume, admits that these three words probably originated as "names of gods".
What does Scripture say will happen in the end-time?
* "For I will take from her mouth the name of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more," Hosea 2:17. the name Baal became a title later on, but most commentators and scholars reveal its origin: the Sun-deity.
* "O Yah˙weh ... the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, 'Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.' Will a man make The Mighty One for himself, which are not The Mighty One? Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My Name is Yah˙weh ," Jer. 16:19-21.
* "Therefore My people shall know My Name," Isa. 52:6.
* "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the Name of Yah˙weh ," Zeph. 3:9.
* "'It shall be in that day', says Yah˙weh of hosts, 'that I will cut off the names of the idols ...."Zech. 13:2.
* "They will call on My Name and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; and each will say, 'Yah˙weh is my The Mighty One,'" Zech. 13:9.
* "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the Name of Yah˙weh shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as Yah˙weh has said, among the remnant whom Yah˙weh calls," Joel 2:32.
* "For I will make My Separated Name known in the midst of My people Israel," Eze. 39:7.
* "If we had forgotten the Name of our The Mighty One, or stretched out our hands to a foreign The Mighty One, would not The Mighty One sear this out?" Psalm 44:20-21.
* "Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your Name O Yah˙weh ... That men may know that You Whose Name alone is Yah˙weh , are the Most High over all the earth," Psalm 83:16-18.
* Has our Messiah not clearly stated in John 17:26b that He will make His Father's Name known to us? Are we allowing Him, Who works in us, to do this work of restitution, of restoring, or giving us pure lips, "a pure language, that they all may call on the Name of Yah˙weh " ? Zeph. 3:9.
15. GAD - GOD,GUD
A prophecy for the end-time is given in Isa. 65:11 wherein our Mighty One warns of the apostasy of His people, "But you are those who forsake Yah˙weh ... who prepare a table for Gad, and who furnish a drink offering for Meni." - Revised Authorised Version. All commentators agree that Gad is a pagan deity, and so is Meni. Gad is usually interpreted as the well-known Syrian or Canaanite deity of "Good Luck" or "Fortune", and Meni the deity of "Destiny". This Gad is written in the Hebrew as GD, but the Massoretes afterwards vowel - pointed it, adding an "a", to five us "Gad". However, we find other references in Scripture to a similar deity, if not the same one, also spelt GD in the Hebrew text but this time vowel - pointed to read "Gawd" or "God", in Jos. 11:17, 12:7, 13:5, where we find: "Baal-Gawd" or "Baal-God", according to the vowel - pointed Massoretic Hebrew text. This Baal - Gawd or Baal - God was obviously a place named after their diety.159
The astrologers identified Gad with Jupiter,159 the Sky-deity or the Sun-deity. Other sources of research also testify of "Gad" being the Sun-deity. Rev. Alexander Hislop wrote, "There is reason to believe that Gad refers to the Sun-god ... The name Gad ... is applicable to Nimrod, whose general character was that of a Sun-god ... Thus then, if Gad was the 'Sun divinity', Meni was very naturally regarded as 'The Lord Moon.' "160 Keil and Delitzsch, Commentaries on the Old Testament, comments on Isa. 65:11, "There can be no doubt, therefore, that Gad, the god of good fortune, ... is Baal (Bel) as the god of good fortune. ... this is the deified planet Jupiter ... Gad is Jupiter ... Mene is Dea Luna ... Rosenmuller very properly traces back the Scriptural rendering to this Egyptian view, according to which Gad is the sun-god, and Meni the lunar goddess as the power of fate."161 Isa. 65:11 tells us than that Yah˙weh 's people have forsaken Him and in the end-time are found to be serving Gad, the Sun-deity of "Good Luck", and Meni, the Moon-deity of "Destiny".
As pointed out above, this Gad (GD with and "a" vowel - pointing) is probably the same deity as we read of in the book of Joshua, GD with a vowel-pointing of "aw" or "o", Massoretes cannot always be relied on, but we can rely on the Hebrew Scriptures before the vowel-pointing was done. It could well be that the GD of Isa. 65:11 is the same as the "Gawd" or "God" of the book of Joshua. But, let us not try to establish a fact on an assumption. Let us rather do some research on the word "God".
The word God (or god), like the Greek Theos (or theos) is used in our versions as a title, a generic name, usually. It translates the Hebrew The Mighty One (or The Mighty One), El (or el), and Eloah. However, in quite a few places it is used as a name whenever it is used as a substitute for the Tetragrammaton, the Name of our Father, e.g. Matthew 4:4 etc. If the word God is then used as a substitute for the Name, it must be accepted that the word God has become a name again. How and when did this title or name become adopted into our modern languages? Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, says, "GOD - the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship ... applied to all those superhuman beings of the heathen mythologies. The word 'god' on the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being ...." Webster's Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged, 1st edition, says, "The word is common to Teutonic tongues ... It was applied to heathen deities and later, when the Teutonic peoples were converted to Christianity, the word was elevated to the Christian sense." James Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. 6, p. 302, reads, "After the conversion of the Teutons to Christianity the word came to be applied also to the Christian Deity ... Its etymology and its original meaning are obscure, and have been much debated." J.G.R. Forlong, Encyclopedia of Religions, on "God", says, "It is remarkable that philologists are unable to decide the origin of this familiar Teutonic word." Once again, we are strongly suspicious of the rulers of darkness or the Prince of Darkness, having succeeded, once again, in hiding yet another work of darkness. There is much confusion in the European languages between the words gud (good) and god. The Scandinavian languages, like the old Anglo-Saxon, called god gud and called gud (good) god. Calling good god and god gud is bad enough to confuse us. Even worse is that the Old Nether lands languages regarded god as an idol and gud as the correct deity! Jacob Grimm recorded162 this for us, as well as Julius Pokorny and Jan de Vries.163 This inconsistency of spelling confuses us, as it must have confused the people in those early centuries who were still completely or partially ignorant of the True Mighty One and His Name. Jacob Grimm asserts that this was done because of fear, "Such a fear may arise from two causes: a holy name must not be abused, or an unholy dreaded name, e.g., that of the devil, has to be softened down by modifying its form", and then gives examples.162 Other modifying its form", and then gives examples.162 Other scholars have explained that the names of national deities were either hid, or modified, in order to prevent their enemies getting hold of these names -enemies who might use it as a magic word against them. Another reason for this changing of spelling of idols' names was the ritual of abrenuntiatio, i.e. a solemn renouncing of the names of major deities, whenever a pagan became converted to Christianity. One of the three major idols of the Teutonic tribes was called Saxnot. It is well documented how this name was renounced and later on came back in a disguised form, Saxneat. We even found that some idols' name were spelt 17 different ways.
We found further evidence that "gott" or "god" was not only a title, but used as a name too, amongst the Teutonic tribes. Simrock discovered songs wherein "Gott" was used as a beiname for the deity Odin.164 In German, beiname means: surname (or epithet, or appellation). We further found "Goda" as a proper name of an idol.165 Moreover, the same author relates how Wodan, "the name of the highest god" , also called Wotan and Odan, was also called Godan.166 The Teutonic masculine deities each had its female consort or counterpart. Thus we read that this deity's female consort was frau Gode.167 It is commonly known that our Wednesday was named after Wodan or Wotan. In Westphalian we find this day being called Godenstag.168
If the Teutonic pagans called all their idols by the generic name "gott" or "god", shall we continue to call the One that we love by the same generic name/title/or name? Why do we not translate the title The Mighty One (or El or Eloah) with it proper meaning: Mighty One or Mighty? Also, in those places where "God" has become a substitute name for "Yah˙weh ", shall we continue to invite the wrath of The Mighty One by doing this? He has commanded us that we should not destroy His Name (Deut. 12:3c and 4, KJV or RSV). he is sorely displeased with those who have forgotten His Name for Baal (Jer. 23:27), remembering that Baal really was the Sun-deity. "Therefore My people shall know My Name," Isa. 52:6. "Yah˙weh 's voice cries to the city - wisdom shall see Your Name," Yah˙weh 6:9. "For The Mighty One will save Zion ... and those who love His Name shall dwell in it," Ps. 69:35-36. Also read Isa. 56:6-7. If we love Him, we will love His Name. If we love His Name, we will not destroy it (Deut. 12:3c and 4), we will not forget it (Jer. 23:27), we will not substitute it with a title, a generic name, or a name, which had been used for a pagan deity (Exod. 23:13). Also, and even more applicable to this present study, we will stop substituting His Name with Baal (Jer. 23:27 and Hos. 2:16) - that great Sun-deity, also known as Bel, who was the primary deity of Babylon - whether "Baal" applies to the name of the Sun-deity, or whether "Baal" became a title. We are to stop substituting His Name with anything that pertains to a Sun-deity, or even only a title with an idolatrous origin, notwithstanding attempts to justify the "changed meaning of the word".
There is not a single text in all Scripture which prohibits us from calling Him by His Name. They called upon His Name right back in Gen. 12:8 and 13:4, and as "Abraham" again in Gen. 21:33. Abraham called the place in Moria "Yah˙weh Yireh", Gen. 22:14. Isaac called upon the Name Yah˙weh , Gen. 26:25. Jacob used the Name, Gen. 28:16. Leah used it, Gen. 29:33 and 35. Moses proclaimed the Name of Yah˙weh , Deut. 32:3. David declared Yah˙weh 's name, Ps. 22:22, and so did our Messiah, Heb. 2:12, John 17:6 and 17:26. Finally, Yahush˙a promised to do it again, John 17:26b, which is that which is now happening!
The Name Yah˙weh has been substituted in our translations of the Scriptures with the title "Lord" some 6823 times. The short form, Yah, has also been substituted 48 times with "Lord", and only in one place was it retained as: Yah, in Ps. 68:4 (Jah, in the KJV). Further, wherever we read "GOD" in capital letters, that too is a substitute for "Yah˙weh ". This title, "lord", is applied to all heathen deities, if the word "god" is not used for them. In most cases "lord" and "god" are used interchangeably for pagan idols. For instance, Hare Krishna is popularly known as "Lord", and nowadays we hear much about "Lord Maitreya". In 1 Cor. 8:5 Paul says, "There are many gods and many lords". So, who then, do we worship? Surely there is only One that we should worship, with His Son sitting on His right side. "What is His Name, and what is His Son's Name, if you know?" - Prov. 30:4. Why have Their Names been hidden from us?
Let us investigate this most common substitute for the Name Yah˙weh , namely, "Lord". What is its etymology? Dictionaries tel us that it originated from the Old English hlaford, which in turn came from hlaf-weard = loaf-keeper. This may be true, but you do have to strectch your imagination to see a connection between "lord" and hlaf-weard. Nevertheless, even if we do accept it, I would like to propose that, in accordance with the spirit of syncretism, i.e. making your deity acceptable to others, we can readily see how the worshippers of three pagan deities with names similar to "lord", were accommodated by means of compromise. These three pagan deities were Larth, Loride and Lordo. The Church, which evolved after Constantine fused the Messianic Faith with Sun-worship, was enthusiastic to win as many followers as they could, even if it meant compromise or assimilation. Let us do some research on these three idols:
(a) LARTH: There was an Etruscan house deity whose name was Lar, which signified "Lord", also known as Larth,169 who later on became very popular n Rome and became known as Lares (plural), because as idol statues they were usually in pairs. This deity was invoked together with Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus and Bellona.170 The Greek equivalent of this name was Heros,171 which was another name for Zeus, as we have seen previously in this article. A feminine form was known as Lara,172 who was the beloved of Mercury, the Sun-deity. Another name for Zeus was Larissaeus,173 which also was another name for Apollo. Zeus was also known as Larasios174 or Lariseus,174 while Larasios was also a surname of Helios.174 Typical of the syncretism and polytheism of those days, we read of emperor Alexander Severus (222 - 235 C.E.) who "had images of Abraham, Christ and Alexander the Great among his household Lares."175 These Lares are to be found in the East as well, seen in niches in Hindu houses.176 However, what is the analogy between Larth (Lar) and Lord? Firstly, all sources agree, that this Lar or Larth means: Lord. Secondly, it is well documented that "the" and "d" were virtually interchangeably used, varying from nation to nation. Thirdly, in Old English and Middle English it was common to find the "o" and "a" interchangeably used too. In the Middle English Dictionary, editor S.M. Kuhn, we read177 that lord was earlier spelt lard; that lor became lord; that lor was spelt lar in Old English (meaning: the action or process of teaching or preaching); that Lore-fader was also spelt Larfaderr or Larefadir or larfadir (meaning:teacher); that lorspel was lar-spel in Old English (meaning: that which is taught in religion); and that lor-theu was previously also spelt lar-theow, lardewe, lardewen, lauerd, lordeau (meaning: teacher or spiritual or theological teacher). Thus we can easily see the ease of identifying Lard, Lord, Larth, Lor, Lar, Lortheu, Lartheow, Lardewe with one another. In fact, it is easier to trace the origin of "Lord" according to this well documented evidence, rather than the commonly held belief that it originated from hlaf-weard.
(b) LORIDE: Thor was the well-known Teutonic war-deity. he was also known as a Sun-diety.178 His surname was Hlorridhi, 179 or Loride, 180 The latter also taken to be Thor's son, who had a wife with the name "Gloria".180 This Loride could easily have been contracted to the form "Lord", or perhaps it could only have served to establish religious syncretism with Larth, and Lortheu, and Lard, and Lordeau, and Lord.
(c) LORDO: Lordo181, or Lordon, was another deity or daimon, the daimon of "lodosis", the curvature of the spine or body, which also had a sensual meaning.181
If all this evidence is considered, once can resolve that, apart from the various names which contributed toward the assimilation or syncretism, the most likely origin of the word "Lord" seems to come from Larth (Lard) and Lor-theu (lardewe, lordeau, laured). Thus, although the word "Lord" is not so clearly related to, or originated from, frank Sun-worship, we have enough evidence to trace its roots back to idolatrous worship in the form of Loride, being a surname for Thor (the Sun), and also Lortheu or Lardewe or lordeau (connected with theos or deos or deva), as well as Larth or Lar which was somehow linked with Mercury (the Sun-deity) and Zeus, the Sky-deity who later on became the Sun-deity.
As a confirmation of the conclusion to which we came, we afterwards discovered the following findings of the scholar of English names, Robert Ferguson, in his Surnames as a Science. On pp. 157 and 189 he emphatically states that "Lord" could not have had its origin from hlaford, which was said to come from hlaf-weard. Like us, he states that the origin of "Lord" is from lar lore, and Loride.
What then, should we use instead of "Lord"? The word "Master" is an exact rendering of the Hebrew Adonai and the Greek Kurios. For our Saviou or His Father we can use "Sovereign". The latter word is used in many places in teh Old Testament of the New International Version. If we love the Name of Yah˙weh , as is expected from us (Ps. 69:32, Ps. 119:132, Isa. 56:6), can we be content with this word "Lord" which man has dared to substitute His Name with? Can we say with David in Ps. 5:11, "But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You... Let those also who love Your Name, be joyful in You." The Mighty One's end-time prophecy of Isa. 56:6-7 could mean a blessing, or an exclusion to us, "Also the sons of the foreigner, who joined themselves to Yah˙weh , to serve Him, and to love the name of Yah˙weh , to be His servants -everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My Covenant - even them I will bring to My Separated Mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer." Again, He prophecies about this time in Hosea 2:16-17, "And it shall be, in the day," says Yah˙weh , 'That you will ... no longer call Me: My Baal; for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more.'" The prophecy of Zeph. 3:9 must be fulfilled, "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the Name of Yah˙weh , to serve Him with one accord."
17. THE NON-ORIGINAL, SUBSTITUTE NAME "JESUS", TRACES BACK TO SUN-WORSHIP TOO
There is not a single authoritative reference source which gives the name Jesus or Iesous as the original name of Yahush˙a. All of them admit that the original form of the Name was Jehoshua or Yehoshua to Jesus?
Many Hebrew names of the Old Testament prophets have been "Hellenised" when these names were rewritten in the Greek New Testament. Thus, Isaiah became Isaias, Elisha became Elissaios or Elisseus (Eliseus),and Elijah became Helias in the Greek New Testament. The King James Version ahs retained some of these Hellenised names. Since the King James Version was published, the newer English versions have ignored these Hellenised names of the Greek New Testament, and have preferred , quite correctly, to render them as they are found in the Hebrew Old Testament, namely: Isaiah, Elisha and Elijah. Incidentally, the similarity between the Hellenised Helias (instead of Elijah) and the Greek Sun-deity Helios, gave rise to the well-known assimilation of these two by the Church. Dr. A.B. Cook, in his book, Zeus - A Study in Ancient Religion, vol. I p. 178 - 179, elaborates on this, quoting the comments of a 5th century Christian poet and others, on this. Imagine it, Elijah identified with Helios, the Greek Sun-deity! Returning to our discussion on the reluctance of the translators to persist with all of the Hellenised names in the Greek of the New Testament, one could very well ask: But why did they persist with the Hellenised Iesous of Yahush˙a's Name, and its further Latinised form Iesus? It is accepted by all that His Hebrew name was Yahush˙a. So why did the translators of the scriptures not restore it, as they did with the names of the Hebrew prophets? It is generally agreed that our successor to Moses, Joshua. But "Joshua" was not the name of the man who led Israel into the Promised Land. The Greeks substituted the Old Testament "Yehoshua" with Iesous, the same word they used for Yahush˙a in the New Testament. Subsequently the Latins came and substituted it with Josue (Iosue) in the Old Testament (which became Josua in German and Joshua in English), but used Iesus in the New Testament. In the Hebrew Scriptures we do not find the word "Joshua". In every place it is written: Yehoshua. However, after the Babylonian captivity we find the shortened form "Yeshua" in a few places -shortened, because they then omitted the second and third letters, namely: . Everyone who sees the names Yehoshua and Iesous will agree: there is no resemblance between the names Yehoshua and Iesous or Iesus.
Before we continue with our study of the word Iesous and Iesus, we would like to point out that we have been led to believe that the correct Name is Yahush˙a. He said in John 5:43, "I have come in My Father's Name". Again, in John 17:11 He prayed to His Father, "... keep them through Your Name which You have given Me" -according to the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, the United Bible Societies' Third Edition, and the Majority Text - all of which are over-whelmingly accepted today as being far more reliable than the Textus Receptus. Therefore, in John 17:11 Yahush˙a states that His Father's Name had been given to Him. Again He repeats this irrefutable fact in the next verse, John 17:12, "...in you Name which You gave Me. And I guarded them (or it)." See the footnote on these two verses in teh Revised Authorised Version. Read also John 17:11-12 in any of the modern English versions. So, we have Yahush˙a's clear words, in three tests, that His Father's name was given to Him. Paul also testifies to this in Ephesians 3:14-15. What then is His Father's Name? Although most scholars accept "Yah˙weh " and many still cling to the older form "Yehowah" (or Jehovah), we are convinced that the correct form is Yah˙weh.1,6
Two factors contributed greatly to the substitution and distortion of Yahush˙a's Name. The first was the un-Scriptural superstitious teaching of the Jews that the Father's Name is not to be uttered, that it is ineffable, that others will profane it when they use it, and that the Name must be "disguised" outside of the temple of Jerusalem.182 Because of the Father's name being in His Son's Name, this same disastrous suppression of the Name resulted in them (? the Greeks) giving a Hellenised, in fact a surrogate name for Yahush˙a. he did warn us in John 5:43, "I have come in My Father's Name ... if another comes in his own name, him you will receive." The second factor was the strong anti-Judaism that prevailed amongst the Gentiles, as we have already pointed out. The Gentiles wanted a saviour, but not a Jewish one. They loathed the Jews, they even loathed the The Mighty One of the Old Testament. Thus, a Hellenised Saviour was preferred. The Hellenised theological school at Alexandria, led by the syncretising, allegorising, philosophying, Gnostic-indoctrinated Clement and Origen, was the place where everything started to become distorted and adapted to suit the Gentiles. The Messianic Faith, and its Saviour, had to become Hellenised to be acceptable to the Gentiles.
Where did Iesous and Iesus come from? In Bux and Schone, Worterbuch der Antike, under "Jesus", we read, "JESUS: really named Jehoshua. Iesous (Greek), Iesus (Latin) is adapted from the Greek,, possibly from the name of a Greek healing goddess Ieso (Iaso)." Like all authoritative sources, this dictionary admits to the real true name of Yahush˙a: Jehoshua (more precisely: Yahush˙a). It then states, as most others, that the commonly known substitute, non-original, non-real name "Jesus" was adapted from the Greek. We must remember that Yahush˙a was born from a Hebrew virgin, not from a Greek one. His stepfather, His half-brothers and half-sisters, in fact all His people, were Hebrews, Jews. Furthermore, this dictionary then traces the substitute name back to the Latin Iesus, and the Greek Iesous. It then traces the origin of the name Iesous back as being possibly adapted from the Greek healing goddess Ieso (Iaso). To the uniformed I would like to point out that Iaso is the usual Greek form, while Ieso is from the Ionic dialect of the Greeks. This startling discovery, the connection between Ieso (Iaso) and Iesous, is also revealed to us by the large unabridged edition of Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon, p. 816, under "Iaso". The third witness comes to us in a very scholarly article by Hans Lamer in Philologische Wochenschrift, No. 25, 21 June 1930, pp. 763-765. In this article the author recalls the fact of Ieso being the Ionic Greek goddess of healing. Hans Lamer then postulates, because of all the evidence, that "they changed Ieso into a regular masculine Iesous. This was even more welcome to the Greeks who converted to Christianity." He then continues, "If the above is true, then the name of our Lord which we commonly use goes back to a long lost form of the name of a Greek goddess of healing. But to Greeks who venerated a healing goddess Ieso, a saviour Iesous must have been most acceptable. The Hellenisation was thus rather clever." This then is the evidence of three sourced who, like us, do not hide the fact of the Greek name Iesous being related to the Greek goddess of healing. The Hellenisation of Yahush˙a's Name was indeed most cleverly done. To repeat Yahush˙a's words of warning in John 5:43, "I have come in My Father's Name and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive." There is no resemblance or identifiability between the Name, Yahush˙a, and the Greek substitute for it, Iesous. The Father's Name, Yah- or Yahu-, cannot be seen in the Greek Iesous or in the Latin Iesus, neither in the German Jesus, nor in the English Jesus. President Reagan's name remains the same in all languages. Hitler's name remains the same in all languages. Even Satan has seen to it that all nations know him by his name: Satan. Satan has seen to it that his own name has been left unmolested!
However, let us further investigate the names Ieso (Iaso) and Iesous. According to ancient Greek religion, Apollo, their great Sun-deity, had a son by t he name of Asclepius, the deity of healing, but also identified with the Sun. This Asclepius had daughters, and one of them was Iaso (Ieso),183 the Greek goddess of healing. Because of her father's and grandfather's identities as Sun-deities, she too is in the same family of Sun-deities. Therefor, the name Iesous, which is possibly derived from Ieso, can be traced back to Sun-worship.
We find other related names, all of them variants of the same name, Iasus, Iasion, Iasius, in ancient Greek religion, as being sons of Zeus.184 Even in India we find a similar name Issa or Issi, as surnames for their deity Shiva.185 Quite a few scholars have remarked on the similarity between the names of the Indian Issa or Issi, the Egyptian Isis and the Greek Iaso.186 In our research on the deity Isis we made two startling discoveries. The one was that the son of Isis was called Isu187 by some. However, the second discovery yielded even further light: The learned scholar of Egyptian religion, Hans Bonnet, reveals to us in his Reallexikon der Agyptischen Religionsgeschichte, p. 326, that the name of Isis appears in the hieroglyphic inscriptions as ESU or ES. No wonder it has been remarked, "Between Isis and Jesus as names confusion could arise."187 This Isis also had a child, which was called Isu by some.187 This Isu and Esu sound exactly like the "Jesu" that we find the Saviour called in the translated Scriptures of many languages, e.g. many African languages. Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 164, also remarked on the similarity of Jesus and Isis, "IHS - Iesus Hominum Salvator - But let a Roman worshipper of Isis (for in the age of the emperors there were innumerable worshippers of Isis in Rome) cast his eyes upon them, and how will he read them, or course, according to his won well-known system of idolatry: Isis, Horus, Seb." He then continues with a similar example of "skilful planning" by "the very same spirit, that converted the festival of the Pagan Oannes is not the feast of the Christians Joannes." (The Hebrew name of the baptizer, and that of the apostle as well, was Yochanan or Yehochanan).
Thus, by supplanting the Name of Yahush˙a with that of the Hellenised Iesous (in capitals: IHSOUS), which became the Latinised Iesus, it was easy to make the pagans feel welcome - those pagans who worshipped the Greek Ieso (Iaso), of which he masculine counterpart is Iesous (in capitals: IHSOUS), as well as those who worshipped the Egyptian Esu (Isis). further evidence of syncretism withe the Isis-system is found in A. Kircher, Oedipus Aegypticus, wherein the name of the son of Isis is revealed to us as "Iessus, which signifies Issa, whom they also called Christ in Greek." Another pagan group of worshippers could also be made to feel at home with the introduction of this surrogate name Iesous (IHSOUS) or Iesus, namely the worshippers of Esus. Jan de Vries hold that Esus was a Gallic deity comparable to the Scandinavian Odin.188 Odin, of course, was the Scandinavian Sky-deity. This Gallic or Celtic deity, Esus, has also been identified189 with Mars, and by others with Mercury, and was regarded to by the special deity of Paris.189 Just as Iaso, Ieso, Iesous are derived fro m the Greek word for healing, iasis, we similarly find Isis (more correctly: Esu) and her son Horus (more correctly: Her), regarded as deities of healing as well as cosmic deities,190 or Sun-deities, by others.
The most disturbing evidence is yet to follow. The abbreviated form of the name Iesous is: Ies or in capitals: IHS, or in Greek the capital for "e" id "H". This is to be found on many inscriptions made by the Church during the dark Middle Ages. This fact is also well documented and is generally admitted by scholarly sources and ordinary English dictionaries.191 These dictionaries bear witness to the fact if IHS (Ies) being an abbreviated form of IHSOUS (Iesous).
Furthermore, the shocking fact has also been recorded for us that IHS was a mystery surname of Bacchus, and was afterwards taken as initials for Iesous, capitals: IHSOUS.192 We discovered this in a dictionary of mythology and in an encyclopaedia of religion.192 This revelation was confirmed by a third witness, Dr. E.W. Bullinger, The Apocalypse, footnote p. 396, "Whatever meanings of ... IHS may be given, the fact remains that it was part of the name of Bacchus ..." We then realised, most painfully, that our beloved Messiah was identified with the Greek deity Bacchus, by giving Yahush˙a the surname or other name of Bacchus, namely: IHS or Ies! Bacchus was well known to be a Sun-deity. Bacchus was also a commonly known name for Tammuz among classical writers.193 Tammuz, as you will remember, was known to be the young returning Sun-deity,194 returning in spring. Bacchus, also known as Dionysus, was expressly identified with the Egyptian Osiris,195 the well-known Egyptian Sun-deity. Bacchus was also called Ichthus, the Fish.196 So, yet another group, the worshippers of Bacchus, the Sun-deity, alias Ies (IHS), were conciliated, were made welcome, with the foreign-to-the-Hebrew name of Iesous (IHSOUS) or Iesus. This most appalling revelation startled us, indeed. After being enlightened about the solar origin of the word IHS and its fuller form IHSOUS (Iesous), we are no longer surprised to find the ecclesiastical emblem, IHS, encircled by sunrays, commonly displayed on church windows:
No wonder that we read the testimony of the learned Christian advocate, M. Turretin, in describing the state of Christianity in the 4th century, saying "that it was not so much the (Roman) Empire that was brought over to the Faith, as the Faith that was brought over to the Empire; not the Pagans who were converted to Christianity, but Christianity that was converted to Paganism."197 A further witness to this paganisation of the Messianic Faith is that of emperor Hadrian, who, in a letter to the Consul Servianus, wrote, "There are there (in Egypt) Christians who worship Serapis; and devoted to Serapis are those who call themselves 'Bishops of Christ.'"198 Another testimony comes to us from the letter of Faustus, writing to Augustine, "You have substituted your love-feasts for the sacrifices of the Pagans; for their idols your martyrs, whom you serve with the very same honours. You appease the shades of the dead with wine and feasts; you celebrate the solemn festivals of the Gentiles, their calends, and their solstices; and as to their manners, those you have retained without any alteration. Nothing distinguishes you from the Pagans, except that you hold your assemblies apart from them."199
Yahush˙a, in His final message to us, the book of Revelation, has warned us of this in Rev. 17, Rev. 18, Rev. 19, and also in Rev. 13, Rev. 14, and Rev. 16 -Babylon, Mystery Babylon. The Great Harlot has made "the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication," out of the "golden cup" in her hand, "full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication," Rev. 17:1-5. The is also described as "sitting on a scarlet beast, full of name s of blasphemy," verse 3. Tammuz, alias Bacchus, had a surname: Ies or IHS. He was also known as the fish (Ichthus), and had the Tau, the cross, as his sign. These three things have survived, and are still with us!
In Acts 4:12 we read, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." This verse clearly tell us that there is only one Name whereby we can be saved - there is none other. It cannot be Yahush˙a as well as Jesus, Iesous, Iesus, or Ies (Bacchus). There is no resemblance between the names of Yahush˙a and Jesus. The one is correct and the other one a substitute. The one contains our Father's Name and the other one not. Yahush˙a has said that He came in His Father's name, John 5:43. In the newer translations of the Scriptures, we read in two places, John 17:11 and 12, that Yahush˙a said that His Father's Name was given to Him. If we believe the Scriptures, if we believe our Messiah, if we believe what Peter said in Acts 4:12, we cannot be satisfied with any substitute name. We must believe, accept, and be baptized into the only saving Name: Yahush˙a. In the end-time, according to Joel 2:32, calling on the Name of Yah˙weh will be necessary for salvation and deliverance. By believing on, calling on, and being baptized in the Name of Yahush˙a, we do "call on the Name of Yah˙weh " , through His Son, "Who had His Father's Name given to Him, by His Father. "I have come in My Father's Name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive," John 5:43. The writer of Proverbs challenges us in Prov. 30:4, "What is His Name, and what is His Son's Name, if thou canst tell?" KJV. a very interesting alternate rendering for Psalm 72:17 is given to us in the centre column of the Reference Kin James Version, speaking about he promised Messiah, "His Name shall be as a Son to continue His Father's Name for ever."
As I have stated, there is no resemblance between the Name Yahush˙a and the name Jesus. neither is there any resemblance between their meanings. Yahush˙a means: "the Salvation of Yah or Yahu." "Jesus" is derived from Iesus, derived from Iesous (IHSOUS) derived, most probably, from the Greek goddess of healing, Ieso or Iaso. her name was derived from iasis ,which means "healing". Further, the short form, or original source of the name Iesous (IHSOUS) is Ies (IHS), the very surname of Bacchus, the Sun-deity. Therefore, the two names differ completely in their origin, and in their meaning. And more important: Yahush˙a's name contains the Name of His Father, which the substitute name does not. Further proof of the Father's Name being in the Son's Name is found in Eph. 3:14-15, "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father ... from Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Surely, if His family received His Name, His only begotten Son will also have His Name.
Another proof is Rev. 14:1, but this should be read in the newer translations, because the King James Version and the Revised Authorised Version have it both wrong. Rev. 14:1-5, in the NASB reads, "And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Name and the Name of His Father written on their foreheads ... These are the ones who have not been defiled ... These are the ones who follow the Lamb where ever He goes. These have been purchased ... as firstfruits ... And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless." The translators of the King James version must have realised the meaning of this passage in Rev. 14:1, namely, the similarity between the Lamb's Name and His Father's Name. Therefore they took the liberty , even if wrongfully, to omit the words "His Name and". The King James Version therefore only speaks about the Father's Name, while the Greek Text reads, "having His Name and the Name of His Father written on their foreheads." Do we wish to be part of this first fruit company? Then we are to make quite certain that we have the Father's Name and the Lamb's Name on (or in) our Foreheads. The similarity between their Names is obvious. Whether it will be just one Name, Yah, or whether it will be both Yah˙weh and Yahush˙a, is not clearly indicated, and is less important - as long as we have the essential part of the Name, Yah, which transmits its etymological concept of life, everlasting life. Verses 4-5 warn us against defilement, spiritual defilement - the lies that we have inherited, including the lies about the Names. "O Yah˙weh , ... the Gentile shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, 'Surely our fathers have inherited lies ...' Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know ... ; and they shall know My Name is Yah˙weh ," Jer. 16:19-21, a prophecy for the end-time. "Therefore My people shall know My Name," Isa. 52:6. "I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My Name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; and each one will say, 'Yah˙weh is my Mighty One,'" Zech. 13:9. "For then will I restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the Name of Yah˙weh , to serve Him with one accord," Zeph. 3:9. "And Yah˙weh shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be - 'Yah˙weh is one,' and His Name one," Zech. 14:9. he will no longer be called by all those hundreds of names, by which He is known today. His Name will be "one". And His Son, in Whose Name the Father's Name is contained, will subject Himself to His Father in that day, 1 Cor. 15:28.
18. WHY "CHRIST" AND NOT "MESSIAH" ?
Similar to the foregoing components of Sun-worship which had been adopted into the church, we have similar proof of the adoption of a pagan word or name, although less convincing of its absolute solar origin. However, we can clearly see that, with the Greeks using both the Greek words Messias (a transliteration) and Christos (a translation) for the Hebrew Mashiach (Anointed), the word Christos was far more acceptable to the pagans who were worshipping Chreston, Chrestos, and perhaps also those worshipping Krista. But we will come to that later.
The Hebrew word Mashiach has been translated in the Old Testament of the King James Version as "Anointed" in most places, but as "Messiah" in two places, namely Dan. 9:25 and 26. This word is a title, although it was used as an appellative (name) later on. Thus, this word was faithfully translated as "Anointed" in the Old Testament and only in Dan 9:25 and 26 was its Hebrew character retained in the transliterated "Messiah". Likewise, we find that the Greeks also admitted their transliterated form Messias in the Greek New Testament in John 1:41 and John 4:25. Why then did they introduce or use the word Christos in the rest of the Greek New Testament? Even if they had preferred Christos to Messias, why did our translators transliterate the word as "Christ"? Why did they not transliterate the word, as was done in Dan 9:25 and 26, as "Messiah", seeing that the Greeks had also accepted their Greek transliteration of the word, namely Messias in John 1:41 and John 4:25? Ferrar Fenton's translation, The Complete Bible in Modern English, used "Messiah" instead of "Christ" in most places where the word is used alone, except when used as the combination "Jesus Christ". Similarly, the New English Bible has used "Messiah" in its New Testament in many places. The Good News Bible has restored the word "Messiah" in no less than 70 places in its New Testament. The New International Version gives the alternative "Messiah" in almost all places, by means of a footnote. Dr. Bullinger in The Companion Bible, appendix 98 IX, says, "Hence, the Noun (Christos) is used of and for the Messiah, and in the Gospels should always be translated 'Messiah'". also, Benjamin Wilson in his Emphatic Diaglott has restored the words "Anointed" and "Messiah" in many places.
Yahush˙a Himself said in John 4:22, "For salvation is from the Jews," NASB. Not only was our Messiah born from a Hebrew virgin, but also all of His Saving Message, the teachings, "the root and fatness" (Rom. 11:17), the Glad Tidings, "spiritual things" (Rom. 15:27), "the citizenship of Israel" (Eph. 2:12, Rotherham), "covenants of promise" (Eph. 2:12), "the spiritual blessings" (Rom. 15:27, NIV and TEV) - are all from the Jews! The Good News Bible, in its rendering of Rom. 9:4-5 added the word "True" to the word "Worship" to make it clearer. Speaking of literal Israel, it read, "They are The Mighty One's people; He made His covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the True Worship; they have received The Mighty One's promises; they are descended from the famous Hebrew ancestors; and Messiah, as a human Being, belongs to their race." Read this passage in the NIV and NEB to. These New Testament texts irrefutable prove the Jewishness of our Messiah. That well-known scholar of the Old Testament, as well as New Testament, Prof. Julius Wellhausen, who in all his works expressed his hatred towards Pharisaical Judaism, nevertheless wrote the following bold words, "Jesus ... was a Jew. he proclaimed no new faith, but He taught that the Will of God must be done. The Will of God stands for Him, as for the Jews, in eh Law, and in the other holy Scriptures that are classed with it."200 Yahush˙a could not have been known as Christos amongst His people. His title was known as Mashiach in Hebrew, and Mesiha in Aramaic - to those who accepted Him as such, Matt. 16:16, John 6:69 etc. This title is easily transliterated as "Messiah", and is generally accepted, and has been accepted, just like the Greek Messias. Why then have they not persisted with it? Even if they wanted to translate it, why have they not translated it as "Anointed", as was done in the English translation of the King James Version's Old Testament?
Our research into this matter has produced some revealing similarities between Christos and certain pagan names and titles. F.D. Gearly, writing in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 1, pp. 571-572, says, "the word Christos ... was easily confused with the common Greek proper name Chrestos, meaning 'good'." He also quotes a French theological dictionary which says, "It is absolutely beyond doubt that Christus and Chrestus, Christiani and Chrestiani, were used indifferently by the profane and Christian authors of the first two centuries of our era." he continues, "in Greek, 'e' and 'i' were similarly pronounced and often confused, the original spelling of the word should be determined only if we could fix its provenance (origin). ... The problem is further complicated by the fact that the word Christianos is a Latinism ... and was contributed neither by Jews nor by the Christians themselves." He quotes various scholars to support his proposition that the word Christianos was introduced from one of three origins: (a) The Roman police (b) The Roman populace (c) Unspecified pagan provenance (origin)." he then proceeds, "The three occurences of 'Christian' in the NT suggest that the term was at this time primarily used as a pagan designation. Its infrequent use in the NT indicates not so much lateness of origin as pagan provenance (origin)."
This almost sensational admission as to the confusion and uncertainty between Christos and Chrestos, Christus and Chrestus, Christiani and Chrestiani, is well documented and shared and published by other scholars too,201 as well as by the Early Fathers: Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Lanctantius and others.201 This confusion and uncertainty can only encourage and encourage us to return to the only Source of Truth, the Word, the Scriptures, before it was translated into the languages of the pagans. Only then can we find peace in the truth of Yahush˙a being the Anointed, the One promised to Israel.
Who was this Chrestos or Chreston with which Christos became confused with? We have already seen that Chrestos was a common Greek proper name, meaning "good". further, we see in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopaedie, under "Chrestos", that the inscription Chrestos is to be seen on a Mithras relief in the Vatican. We also read in J.M. Robertson, Christianity and Mythology, p. 331, that Osiris, the Sun-deity of Egypt, was reverenced as Chrestos. We also read of the heretic Gnostics who used the name Chreistos.202 The confusion, and syncretism, is further evidenced by the oldest Christian building known, the Synagogue of the Marcionites on Mt. Hermon, built in the 3rd century, where the Messiah's title or appellation is spelt Chrestos.203 Justin Martyr (about 150 C.E.) said that Christians were Chrestoi or "good". Tertullian and Lactantius inform us that "the common people usually called Christ Chrestos". Clement of Alexandria, in the same age, said, "all who believe in Christ are called Chrestoi, that is 'good men.'"203
The word Christos could even have been more acceptable to the Krishna-worshippers, because the name of Krishnawas pronounced, and still is to the present day, as Krista, in many parts of India.204Thus, we can readily see that the word Christos was easier to convert the pagans with than the word "Messiah", especially because of the anti-Judaism that prevailed among the pagans. The syncretism between Christos and Chrestos (the Sun-deity Orsiris), is further elucidated by the fact of emperor Hadrian's report, who wrote, "There are there (in Egypt) Christians who worship Serapis; and devoted to Serapis, are those who call themselves 'Bishops of Christ'."198 Serapis was another Sun-deity who superseded Osiris in Alexandria. Once again, we must not falter nor stumble over this confusion among the Gentiles. Rather, we must seek the truth, primarily from the faithfully preserved Old testament Scriptures - see 2 Tim. 3:16, John 17:17, Ps. 119:105, Isa 40:8. We must worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth, as well as His Son, Yahush˙a the Messiah, Who is sitting at His right hand. We do accept every word in the New Testament, but we do desire to return to the original Scriptures of the New Testament, as far back as we possibly can. As previously mentioned, the Greeks changed Elijah into Helias in the Greek New Testament, and the Helios-worshippers must have been overjoyed because of their Sun-deity being assimilated to the Elijah of the Scriptures. To avoid the confusion between Helias and Helios, we should abide by the Hebrew "Elijah". Likewise, to avoid confusion between Christos and Chrestos, we should abide by the word Anointed - remembering that Osiris the Sun-deity, amongst others, was called Chrestos. Mithras too, was possibly called Chrestos (see above).
19. SACRIFICE, SACRILEGE, SACRAMENT
These three words are compounded from and derived from the same word Sakra, which we discussed earlier on. Instead of "sacrifice", we should used the words preferred by some modern English translations, namely, "offering" as the noun, and "offer" as the verb. The word "sacrilege" appears only once in the King James Version and has since been rendered as the more correct "rob". "Sacrament" as a word does not appear in any translation of the Scriptures. It is purely and ecclesiastical word and means a religious ceremony. It is best rendered "ceremony".
20. MANNER OF BURIAL
Because of tradition we bury the dead with their heads towards the West, and their faces facing East. The date of onset of this practice is not known. It is generally told that this is done because our Messiah will allegedly appear in the East at His Second Coming. this was the reason given by the Church for this manner of burial in the first record of Eastward-facing burial, in the year 379 (or 380), as related by Gregory of Nyssa.205 The sect of the Marcionites did the same in a recorded statement, previously, in the year 250.206 The Scriptures lend no support whatsoever to this claim of this alleged appearance in the East. The Messiah will appear on the clouds, but we read nowhere from what direction, except from "above". This tradition clearly originates from Sun-worship, just like the prayers towards the East and the worship of the Sun towards the East - as we read of in Eze. 8:16. It does not matter how we are buried, but we must take note of this custom or manner of Sun-worship which was obviously taken over by the Gnostic Marcionites and subsequently by the Church.
The well-known pointed obelisks or sun-pillars of Egypt are found in the Scriptures in the Hebrew words matzebah and hammanim. The former word is best translated as "pillars" or as "sun-pillars", and the latter as "sun-images". In Jer. 43:13 this matzebah (sun-pillars) are identified as those obelisks found in Beth-shemesh (in Greek: Heliopolis) in the land of Egypt. Unfortunately the King James Version rendered this word matzebah in most places as "images" instead of "obelisks" or "pillars", as the other English versions correctly do. In Exod. 23:24 Israel was commanded to break down these pillars of the heathen nations. he repeated this in Exod. 34:13, deut. 7:5 and Deut. 12:3. And in many other places n Scripture these pillars or sun-pillars are emphatically described as an "abomination" by our Mighty One. Israel was not only commanded to break down these pagan pillars or sun-pillars, they were strictly commanded not to erect them, Deut. 16:22 and Lev. 26:1. in Deut. 16:22 our Mighty One says that He "hates" them.
Diodorus spoke of an obelisk 130 feet high which was erected by Queen Semiramis in Babylon.207 In Babylon the phallic symbolism seems to have been the more important aspect. However, in Egypt more emphasis was put on its sun-symbolism seems to have been the more important aspect. However, in Egypt more emphasis was put on its sun-symbolism, pointing upwards to the sun, and also described as a sun-ray. These obelisks were commonly erected at the entrance to the temples of Isis or other temples of the numerous Sun-deities of Egypt, especially in the city of Heliopolis (Beth-shemesh), for its sun-symbolism as well as for its phallic meaning. Ezekiel chapter 8 clearly describes to us the mixture of Israel's' True Worship with that of Sun-worship in the form of Tammuz-worship (Tammuz being the young Sun-deity) in verse 14, as well as the 25 elders worshipping the Sun towards the East, verse 16. In verses 3 and 5 we read of "the image of jealousy" which was erected in the entrance to the Temple. Scofield regards this "image of jealousy" to be phallic.208 The Lamsa Bible as well as the New English Bible have rendered this as "image of lust". Travellers to Rome all know about the famous Obelisk at the entrance of St. Peter's in Rome. It is not a mere copy of an Egyptian obelisk, it is one of the very same obelisks that stood in Egypt in Heliopolis in ancient times! When the mystery religion came to pagan Rome, Egyptian obelisks, especially from helipolis, were hauled, at great expense, and erected by the Roman emperors. Caligula, in 37-41 B.C.E., had this very same obelisk brought from Heliopolis, Egypt, to his circus on the Vatican Hill, where now stands St. Peter's is 83 feet high (132 feet with its foundation) and weighs 320 tons. Pope Sixtus V ordered it to be moved a little in 1586, in order to centre it in front of St. Peter's. the sun-pillar from Heliopolis, which the Mighty One has ordered to be destroyed, was not destroyed. Rather, it was erected right in the entrance to St. Peter's - a memorial to the fusion of Sun-worship with the Messianic Faith.
FIG. 6: Obelisk in front of St. Peter's.
The majority of church buildings that have been built over the centuries have a tower. Each generation of church builders has copied the former generation, probably never questioning the origin of the idea. The Scriptural Temple of Yah˙weh does not have a pointed tower or pointed pillar in its design. Similar to the sun-pillar or obelisks, these pointed towers of churches can be traced back to Babylon. Many of the towers that were built in the Babylonian empire were not watchtowers, but were religious towers. In those times, a stranger entering a Babylonian city would have no difficulty locating its temple, we are told, for high above the flat roofed houses, its tower could be seen.210 We are also told by The Catholic Encyclopedia, "It is a striking fact that most Babylonian cities possessed a ... temple-tower."211 Whether it be a tower, a steeple or a spire, they are all un-Scriptural. Several writers think, and not without some justification, the towers, steeples and spires with the ancient obelisk. "There is evidence," says one, "to show that the spires of our churches owe their existence to the uprights or obelisks outside the temples of former ages."212 Another says, "There are still in existence today remarkable specimens of original phallic symbols ... steeples on churches ... and obelisks."213
The Church has sadly failed to destroy the obelisks or sun-pillars of Sun-worship. They have kept on erecting new ones, similar to the obelisks, nowadays standing separate from the main building, often similar to the obelisks of old. However, this will continue only till the time of the end-time, for we read, "the Asherim and the sun-images shall rise no more," Isa. 27:9 ASV. Indeed The Mighty One Himself will destroy them in the end-time, "and I will cut off your carced images and your pillars out of the middle of you, and you shall no more worship the work of your hand." (Micah 5:13 ASV).
22. NAMES OF THE DAYS OF THE WEEK
"Through the use of their names in the designations for the days of the week, Tiu, Wodan, Donar and Frija are with absolute certainty ascertained to be ancient Teutonic divinities."214 This is generally accepted by all. Through the centuries some devout clergy have attempted to put an end to this practice. History tells us that a certain pope tried it, but failed. However, one zealous Catholic bishop succeeded in Iceland in the year 1100: Jon Ogmundsson. Because of his effort, Iceland renounced the names of the weekdays by numbering them, "Second Day", "Third Day", etc.215
Similar to the Teutonic way of naming the weekdays after their deities, pagan Rome had previously also done the same, but in their case the deities were the planetary deities, the astra, the host of heaven. Since the 2nd century B.C.E., the seven-day week was adopted instead of the old Roman eight day week, but the new system still had the names of the planetary teities. These days were dedicated to, and named after, the planetary deities. These planetary deities of Rome later became identified with the deities of the Teutonic and other European peoples. Franz Cumont, that great scholar of pagan religions, remarks on this "astral" or "Chaldean" influence on this weekdays' naming, "Then today we name the days Saturday, Sunday, Monday, we are heathen and astrologers without knowing it, since we recognise implicitly that (they) ... belong to Saturn .. to the Sun ... and to the Moon."216
The prophecy for the end-time has been given to us in Zech. 13:2, "'It shall be in that day,' say Yah˙weh of hosts, 'that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered.'" Shall we not start eliminating them now, lest we be found guilty in that day? According to Scripture, the days should be called according to their numbering, except for the 7th day which can be called by its Scriptural name, the Sabbath day. In the period of transition, it would be very easy for us to use the date instead of the day, e.g., instead of speaking of and appointment of Friday, rather say: an appointment on the 23rd day of this month. "Tomorrow", "day after tomorrow", "yesterday, "day before yesterday", etc., will also help.
The names of most months are also derived from idols. These are also easily eliminated by numbering the month according to the date, e.g., speak of an appointment on 23.7.1985.
The Mighty One has commanded us in Exod. 23:13, "Be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other mighty ones, nor let it be heard from your mouth." John tells us in 1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of Yah˙weh , that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." Ps. 1:1-2 in the RSV reads, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked ... but his delight is in the Law of Yah˙weh ." The Psalmist says in Ps. 119:11 and 97 RSV, "I have laid up Thy word in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee ... Oh, how I love Thy Law!"
Almost the last, but not the least, of how the Messianic Faith was mixed with the worship of the host of heaven, comes to us as a most disturbing revelation.
This precious book, the Scriptures, that we dedicatingly love, is called "Scriptures" whenever the book is spoken of as a whole. This was the name given to it by Yahush˙a and His apostles, and once by Daniel in Dan. 10:21. We find it designated as such in no less than 54 places, of which, therefore, 53 appear in the New Testament. "Scripture" was the word used by Luther as a designating title for his German translation of the Scriptures. It is true that parts of Scripture, or individual books, are called "books" or "scrolls", which arebiblos or biblion in Greek. But biblos or biblion both only refer to individual books or sections of the Scriptures, and is nowhere used Scripture to designate the complete writ, the Scriptures.
This word for the Scriptures, was not used in the first few centuries of this era, and was first used ca. 400 C.E.217 Thus, this designation for the Scriptures was a later introduction. Why then was the Scriptural designation for the complete book, namely "Scriptures", substituted with the Hellenised word, "Bible"? The common story that has been told us, is that biblion, or plural biblia, denotes any kind of written document, originally written on papyrus. This Egyptian papyrus reed cam from Egypt and was imported through the Phoenician seaport Gebal, which the Greeks called Byblos or Byblus. This seaport Byblos was the home of the Phoenician Sun-deity, according to S.H. Langdon, Mythology of All Races, vol. V. p. 351. This seaport or city was also known to be a city which was founded by Baal Chronos, as well as the real seat of Adonis,218 where a large temple of Adonis once proudly stood. The Isis and Osiris could, both Sun-deities, also became popular in this city later on.218 Further evidence was found when we read that, "The Sun-god is associated with the 'Lady of Byblos' in a letter from Tell el-Amarna (116:65, Kn.)."219 In our research, up to this point, we were suspicious, but had no proof or incriminating evidence. and then, it was revealed to us. W.H. Roscher in his Ausfuhrliches Lexikon der Griechischen und Romishen Mythologie, vol. 1, pp. 839-840, states that this ancient city Byblos in Phoenicia, as well as the city Byblis, in Egypt, was named after the female deity BYBLIS, also called BYBLE, also called BIBLIS! This female deity was the grand-daughter of Apollo, the well-known Greek Sun-deity!220 Moreover - pagan worship was generally known to have some sensuality to draw the carnal minds of the masses. And here again, we find that this female deity, Biblis, was described as nymph (Gilbert Meadows, An Illustrated Dictionary of Classical Mythology, as well as Edward Tripp, Crowell's Handbook of Classical Mythology, both under "Byblis"). This very book, the Scriptures, which we so dearly love and cherish, has been given a name derived from the female deity who was the grand-daughter of the Sun-deity, Apollo.
We then understood the great sign given to John in Revelation 12, the Sun-clothed woman. Indeed, the faith of the New Testament, originating from the pure Hebrew Faith, had become clothed with Sun-worship. Because the Church had rejected the Eternal Covenant, the Ten Living Words, just like Old Testament Israel so often did (as described in Acts 7:38 to 42), therefore the same verdict came upon us: "The Mighty One turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven ..." The Church was mixed with, and fused with sun-worship, to such an extent, that The Mighty One gave her up to receive the name derived from CIRCE, the daughter of the Sun-deity, and that her most precious heritage, the Scriptures, became clothed with a cover on which is a name derived from the grand-daughter of the Sun-deity Apollo, namely : BYBLE or BYBLIS or BIBLIS.
It is from this Sun-clothed woman that the Body of The Messiah, the pure Messianic Faith, the man-child, must be delivered from, Rev. 12:5. (We believe this man-child is the True Faith, the Body of The Messiah, because the The Messiah was born from a virgin and not from a woman). The woman shall be taken to the wilderness where she is to be fed (? spiritual food, spiritual truths). This passage in Rev. 12 reminds of Eze. 20 : 35 - 37, a prophecy for the end-time, "'And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I plead my case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead my case with you, says the Sovereign Yah˙weh . 'I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant.'" This same prophecy is given in Hos. 2: 14-17, "Therefore, behold, I will lure her and bring her to the wilderness and speak to her heart ... For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name," Green's Interlinear.
At this point you may ask: But the word biblos, meaning "book", is in the Greek New Testament; it is an innocent word, simply meaning "book"? The reply to this is: Firstly, "Bible" almost identically resembles the name of this female deity, Byble, while it resembles less the Greek biblos, biblion, or biblia. And secondly, there are quite a number of other Greek word in the Greek New Testament which are derived from, or, later on given to, idol's names. Whether they were derived from, or later given to, idol's name, can be disputed, but the former was the case in the vast majority of instances. A thorough study of the subject impresses upon us the ancient existence of these names of pagan deities. As previously stated, we cannot accept that the New Testament was originally written in Greek. We have may authorities' opinion, based upon evidence, that the original New Testament - the majority of it, if not all of it was written in Hebrew and or Aramaic. Hebrew was the only heavenly language spoken from Sinai, and all of Israel heard and understood it. Again , in the New Testament we read how Yahush˙a spoke to the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus in the Hebrew language, Acts 26: 14. On the other hand, Greek, like all the languages of the nations, was a pagan language, its vocabulary being in existence long before the Glad Tidings reached them. Like all the languages of the pagan nations, its vocabulary consisted of many names of their deities. The reason? They were not guided by the Law of Yah˙weh that prohibited His people, "Make no mention of the names of other mighty ones, nor let it be heard from your mouth," Exod. 23;13. Even after the Greeks and other pagan nations heard the Glad Tidings, and accepted the Messiah, the majority of them were anti-Judaistic, some little and some much, and therefore did not have the same reverence for the Law that was given in the Old Testament, as was expected from Israel, and from us too. Secondly, in their enthusiasm to win converts, they did compromise much. This is called "syncretism". We can list a few of these names of pagan deities which are to be found in the Greek New Testament:
a) Hades - The Greeks had a supreme deity Hades. He or she was also known as the deity of the underworld, and also as a Sun-deity. The word hades also became used for "grave". In the King James Version this word was only once correctly translated as "grave" (1 Cor. 15: 55). In 11 places it was incorrectly translated as "hell". This was a sad mistake, because it gives the wrong idea of the state of the dead. Dr. Bullinger The Companion Bible, appendix 131, states, "'The grave' therefore, is obviously the best rendering ... The rendering 'the grave' exactly expresses the meaning of Hades." However, there is another Greek word that has been rendered "hell" in English translation. That word is the Greek word gehenna. In the King James Version the word "hell", in twelve places, is a rendering of gehenna. This is much better, for indeed, the "burning rubbish heap", gehenna, is the place that awaits the unrepentant sinners, the unrepentant lawless, those who wilfully transgress the Law of Yah˙weh . Yahush˙a said in Matt. 13:41 - 42, "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practise lawlessness and will cast them into the furnace of fire." He said more or less the same in Matt. 7:22-23, about those who possess Gifts of the Spirit but still practise lawlessness, "And I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practise lawlessness.'" Nevertheless, returning to the word hades: It was, and still is, the name of a pagan idol, and appears in the Greek of the Greek New Testament.
b) Charis - In the Hebrew of the Old Testament we find a very common word Chen, which simply means: favour. This word Chen was correctly rendered "favour" in the Old Testament of the American translations (American Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, Smith-Goodspeed Translation, Rotherham Version, New International Version, New World Translation), as well as in the English Ferrar Fenton Translation and New English bible. However, when this same word is used in the Greek of the New Testament, we find the word charis. This word was also known as grace, better known in its Latin form gratia.
From the English word "grace", "charismatic" and "charity" have come to us. Why was the generally accepted rendering "favour" (unmerited favour) not extended into the New Testament as well? The New Testament is based on the Old Testament is it not? The New Testament is but a continuation of the Old Testament. Its authors were Hebrews, they spoke Aramaic and or Hebrew, just like the authors of the Old Testament. Why then was a foreign word introduced which was unashamedly adopted from (or identified with) the name of a female deity? Yes, any dictionary or encyclopaedia will verify this. This Greek deity's name, Charis, is found in the Greek New Testament, no less than 127 times, translated as "grace" in the English translations instead of "favour", as it should have been, and as has correctly been done, indeed, in 6 places in the King James Version's New Testament, namely, Luke 1:30, Luke 2:52, Acts 2:47, Acts 7:10, Acts 7:46, and Acts 25:3. Who was this Charis? She was the wife of Hephaistos the fire-deity.221 She is identified with Aphrodite, both being names for the glistening dawn similar to the Sanskrit Ushas,221 the Dawn deity of the Indians, similar to the Greek Eos and daughter of Zeus and Here.222 In the plural form, Charites, we find the commonly known "Three Charites" or "Three Graces", three pretty young female deities, either stark naked or else very scantily dressed,223 being the three daughters of Helios, the Sun-deity.223
c) Other names of Greek deities that appear in the Greek New Testament are: Aster, Nymphe, Hellen, and Kakia, but this is a subject for another study.
d) Theos, Iesous - These have been discussed already.
Suffice it to say, the Greek language was a human language, the vast majority of its vocabulary was formed when the Greeks were still a pagan nation, having the names of their numerous deities freely used in various applications. This was not only the case with the Greeks, but also with all other non-Hebrew nations who did not have the Law of Yah˙weh to mould their languages. However, in the period before the Messiah came, the Greek language and customs were regarded as typical of, and even synonymous with, the pagan nations, especially because of the most severe oppressive occupation of Israel by the Hellenised Antiochus. It is therefore not surprising to read of the Talmud regarding the Greek language as being unclean. "The first part of the Talmud, the Mishna,emphatically declared it was worse for a Jew to learn Greek than to eat swine flesh."224
The prophecy for the end-time comes to us clearly in Zeph. 3:9, "For then will I change to the peoples a pure lip, that all of them may call upon the Name of Yah˙weh , to serve Him with one consent," Hebrew text. It is well known that a "pure lip" is a Hebrew idiom for the Hebrew language. In that day all the peoples of the world will know Him by the One Name (Zech. 14:9) with He revealed to Israel, and which His Son, Yahush˙a, made known to His disciples, John 17:6. Yahush˙a also promised to make it known to us too, John 17:26. Those who are dedicated ,please note: "calling on the Name of Yah˙weh " causes Him to send His Spirit, the Spirit of Separation, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit that washes away the filth of the daughters of Zion, Isa. 4:4. Our Messiah has begun to separate and to cleanse His assembly with the washing of water by the Word (Eph. 5:26) - even cleansing His assembly from these names of pagan idols: Hades, Charis, Grace and Biblis or Byblis or Byble! " will cut off the names of the idols from the land," Yah˙weh said in Zech. 13:2.
Before we proceed to this "luck" as a word, we would like to emphasis the fact that the idea of "luck" in itself is totally un-Scriptural, just like "fortune". This is the reprimand of Isa. 65:11, namely, that "good luck" and "fortune" are being relied on, instead of us relying on Yah˙weh . We should be entirely dependant on His blessings, which we can only receive from him if we live a life dedicated to Him and in obedience to His Word, His Son.
The word "Luck", derived from a name for the Sun-deity, is not found as such in the older English translations of the Scriptures, but the words "lucky" and "un-lucky" appear seven times in the Good New Bible. However, it is most frequently used in our everyday language. In the German, Netherlands and Afrikaans versions the word is used indeed as gluck or geluk, the latter, and probably the former too, being a word derived from the original form, luk. This fact can be verified in Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, vol. VIII, part II, pp. 3304 - 3306. We read here that luk was originally a vox media, a spiritistic medium. Also, that luk was also written luck, luc, lucke, lok, lock (pp. 3304 and 3306). On p. 3305 it states that Luk was also the name of a "personified Goddess of Luck." In The Oxford English Dictionary, vol. VII, p. 486, we read that the ultimate etymology of "Luck" or middle High Dutch gelucke, or Middle High German gelucke, is "obscure". Walshe, a Concise German Etymological Dictionary, under "Gluck", also states that the origin of this word is obscure. So, once again, "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), Satan, has blinded the eyes, has deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9). The Prince of Darkness has seen to it that his evil work has been hidden, made obscure.
The common everyday saying "One for luck", is most probably just a continuation of the old pagan Nordic expression, "One for god and one for Wod (Wodin or Wodan), and one for Lok", of which we read of in Karl Helm, Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte, p. 265. Please remember that the above quoted Netherlands dictionary stated that luck, luk and lok are just different spellings for the same word. Forlong, Encyclopedia of Religions, vol. 2, p. 463, says that Luk is an ancient root for "light" and related to Loki. In Gray's Mythology of All Races, vol. IX, p. 253, we read of "Luk the highest deity, as he was known in the Caroline Islands." Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols, on p. 1024, states that Luk was the highest primordial deity of the Caroline Islands. On the same page we read of "Lug, the Sun-deity himself" and again of "Lugus, Gaelic Sun-deity." Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, reveals more of the obscure origin of this mysterious deity. The names Logi and Loki were merged in times of old.225 He further points out the apparent roots for these names to be: lucere, luken.226 He also reveals that Locke was the Danish for the burning sun, and the Jutland's Lokke was the heat of the sun, and that "Loki, is by turns taken ... for sun, fire, giant or devil."226 Luka was also known as the fire-deity, as we read on p. 242. Jacob Grimm on p. 82, vol. 1, of his Deutsche Mythologie, says that Lokki could be taken as an abbreviation of "Lucifer"! Scholars normally regard a fire-deity to be the same as a Sun-deity.
What does the word "Lucifer" basically mean? All dictionaries tell us it means luc or luci, plus fer or ferre, that means: light-bringer. According to some mythologists Lucifer was the son of Zeus (Sky-deity) and Eos (Dawn-deity).227 In the King James Version we read only once of Lucifer, and that is in Isa. 14:12 where the king of Babylon is called: Lucifer. This was taken over from the Latin Vulgate, and many scholars prefer to use other words which more correctly translate the Hebrew Helel, pronounced: Hailail or Heileil. This word basically means "the shining one" or "the bright one". Apart from the interpretation of this king of Babylon as being "Lucifer", we find some calling him "morning star". Others, with good documented evidence, believe that Helel (Heileil) is Jupiter,228 the Sky-deity, which later became the sun-deity, also called Marduk-Jupiter228 - Marduk being the well-known Babylonian Sun-deity. J.W. McKay made a thorough study of this Helel in his article, Helel and the Dawn-goddess, in Vetus Testamentum, XX (1970), pp. 451-464, and he also mentions the strong evidence for Helel (Heileil) being the Sun-deity or being Jupiter. According to Isa. 14:12, Helel is the son of Dawn or Daybreak. Most pagan nations have the myth of the female Dawn-deity giving her birth to her son, the Sun-deity. Thus, this Scripture reveals to us that the "king of Babylon" is indeed the Shining One, the Sun, or Jupiter. We must remember that the deities of Babylon were made kings, and also that their kings were named after their deities, who were (in almost all cases) Sun-deities. We must not be misled by any man-made interpretation of Isa. 14. The emphasis is on the "king of Babylon" and not on Satan. The deified Sun may be a symbol of, or even an adopted guise of Satan. It could be that Satan used the Sun to catch the masses with, and to detract Yah˙weh's people from their Creator, the One who is to be worshipped, the One who created the sun. The sun is to be regarded only as part of the creation, and nothing more, and certainly not to be worshipped. Identifying Lucifer with Satan, is an idea that came later.
Let us first see what and who this Helel (Heileil, Hailail) of Isa. 14:12 is. In verse 4 he is called "the king of Babylon". This Shining One, Heileil, is the one who has said in his heart, "I will ascend into heave, I will exalt my throne above the stars of The Mighty One; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation ... I will be like the Most High." many commentators have acknowledged this passage to be future (at the time of its writing), and not past history. This passage is strikingly similar to 2 Thess. 2, the passage known as "the Great Apostasy", or the revelation of the Mystery of Lawlessness, the Man of Lawlessness sitting in the Temple, who has taken the place of The Mighty One. In Isa. 14 he is identified as the Shining One, Helel, also called Light-bringer, Lucifer. This is clear Scriptural evidence that the Sun-deity or Sky-deity, Heileil, the Shining One, has taken the place of the True Mighty One, or has planned to do so!
This is further confirmation of the Heil (holy) of the German, Dutch and Afrikaans translation, being the Sun-deity or Sky-deity, as we have previously discussed. Just like the Hebrew helel (heileil), we also found the Greek word heile for sun-ray or sun-light, as we previously saw and discussed. The king of Babylon, the Shining One the Lawless One, has planned, or is indeed sitting on the throne where Yahush˙a ought to be sitting. This is the message of Isa. 14 and 2 Thess. 2, as well as the authoritative prophetic message of Yahush˙a in Matt. 24:15 wherein He warns us that in the end-time it will be found that "the abomination of desolation" is standing in the Separated Place, the Temple, spiritually or literally. This "abomination of desolation" is generally accepted as Zeus, the Sky- or Sun-deity.
We should therefore repent of the idea of depending on "luck", of wishing one another "good luck" (the GD of Isa. 65:11), and should rather speak of the blessing, and seek the blessing, of Yah˙weh. Also, the revealed evidence of the Sun- or Sky-deity being the origin of Luk, Lok, Luck, Lug, Loki and Lucifer, should inspire us to worship the Father in the Spirit and in Truth, John 4:23-24. We should also be alerted to the Scriptural revelation of Helel (Heileil), the Shining One, being the King of Babylon, and rather seek to serve the "King of the Jews" - the title which was given to our Messiah and which is found no less than 18 times in Scripture!
Chapter III - THE WORD OF YAH┌WEH WARNS AGAINST BAAL AND AGAINST BABYLON
These two words "Baal" and "Babylon" are central in the Scripture's exhortation on idolatry. These two words are not only used historically, but are also used prophetically for the end-time. Our Mighty One will remove the names of Baal and the Baals (Baalim) from our mouths in the end-time, Hos. 2: 16-17. In Jer. 23:27 we read a similar passage and here this message apparently has a double reference, thus for the end-time too. A synonym for Baal is Bel, the Babylonian name for Baal, and is generally regarded as the national deity of Babylon. We read of Bel and Babylon's destruction in Jer. 50:2, which many commentators believe to be an end-time passage in the verses following, namely verses 4-7. This prophecy against Bel (Baal) is also found in Jer. 51:44 and Isa. 46:1.
Who is this Bel or Baal? The almost unanimous pronouncement by commentators and scholars is: It is the Sun-deity. A few scholars prefer to identify Bel with Zeus. However, all admit that Zeus was originally the Sky-deity and later on became known to be the Sun-deity. In Isa. 46:1 bel is named with Nebo, Bel's son (or called Bel's grandson by some), and also known as Sun-deity. The names of the Sun-deities, Bel and Nebo, were taken up in the names Belshazzar, Belteshazzar; and Nebo's name in that of Nebuchadenezzar, Nebuzardan, etc. Nebo was also known as Nabu. The Scriptures reveal to us another supreme deity of the Babylonians, namely Merodach, in Jer.. 50:2, known in Babylonian literature as Marduk. he was another will-known Sun-deity,and was usually regarded to be just another name for Bel. Thus, the Scriptures clearly reveal to us that the chief deities of Babylon were Sun-deities. Archaeological and historical sources confirm this naming a great number of deities, most of them different names for the Sun-deity, or variations thereof. The Moon-deity and Ishtar were also included, especially in the Babylonian trinities. Ishtar represents the star Venus, or maybe represents all the stars in general. Ishtar was also known as Cybele, Semiramis, Aphrodite, Demeter, Dea Syria, Venus, Ma and Rhea. She was also later on identified with Isis. this Ishtar is known to us by her Scriptural names: Ashtoreth and Ashtaroth (Greek: Astarte). She was regarded as the ancient Moon-deity, and by others as Venus, and by others just as a star. The young Sun-deity was popularly known as Tammuz, and he had his female consort Ishtar who was also his mother, who gave birth to him.
But before we become too involved with all of Babylon's pantheon, suffice it to say that the Scriptures reveal to us the names of the three chief deities of Babylon, namely, Bal (Baal), Merodach (Marduk),and Nebo (Nabu). Therefore, the Scriptures, the only source for doctrinal truth, reveal to us that the Babylonian religion was basically Sun-worship, because all three their chief deities were identified with the Sun. This is also confirmed by the testimony of the scholars of archaeology and religious history. Prof. F. Max Muller wrote, "Babylon, There also the decipherers of the Babylonian tablets soon discovered that the Sun-god was the principal deity ... Baal, the supreme deity of the Semitic inhabitants of the Mesopotamian kingdom, was clearly a Sun-god."229
According to the Scriptures in Gen. 10:10, Babel or Babylon was "the beginning" of Nimrod's kingdom. Whether Nimrod was in fact the "founder" of Babylon, is not directly stated. However, the Babylonians themselves, in their literature, claim that Bel (Baal) was the founder of Babylon.230 Some scholars believe that Bel was just the same as Nimrod, the latter becoming deified after his death and becoming known as Bel, their Sun-deity. Assyria was the sister-nation of Babylonia and had in fact adopted the system of writing, most of the literature, the laws, and the religion of Babylonia.231 On the other hand, Assyria annexed and dominated Babylonia in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C.E.232 many scholars combined Assyria and Babylonia in their studies, both being Semitic nations in any case. Therefore the religion of these two nations became commonly known as Babylo-Assyrian religion. Babylon had its national deity, the Sun, called Bel (Baal), and afterwards Merodach (Marduk or Bel-Marduk) and Nebo (Nabu). Secular history tells us of numerous tells us of numerous other Babylonian Sky- or Sun-deities, such as Shamash, Ninurta, Anu, Ea, Enlil, and many others too. Likewise, the great national deity of Assyria was a Sun-deity as well, named: Asshur. Asshur, the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22), is generally accepted as the father of the Assyrians. After his death, the Assyrians deified him and then identified him with the Sun. And so he became the mighty sun-deity of the Assyrians. His name was of course also used for one of the major cities of Assyria, namely Asshur, which was regarded as the ancient capital of Assyria. This capital, Asshur, was shifted to Nineveh, and the worship of Asshur was shifted as the same time. Asshur, the Sun-deity of the city of Asshur, had now become the chief deity of the whole nation and the central power that governed Assyria. Assyria became the "land of the god Asshur."233 The symbol of this deity Asshur was the sun-disc or nimbus, which was later to appear ever so often on portrayals and images of The Messiah, and other figures from Scripture. It is interesting to note that quite a few commentators believe that the end-time enemy of The Messiah, and The Messiah's people will be the Assyrian (Asshur), and they base their tenet on the following passages: Micah 5:5-6, Isa. 10:24, Isa. 14:25, Isa. 30:31, and a few other texts. Are we looking for an earthly man, or are we to be on guard against the sun-deity of the Babylo-Assyrians?
The Bablo-Assyrian religion spread to the surrounding countries, in the form of its deities, but also in another form that of its astrology, astronomy and cosmic or astral religion. The Babylonians were the ones who started astrology, i.e. the occult influence of the host of heaven upon human affairs. Morris Jastrow described the very nature of astrology as follows, "The fundamental factor in astrology is the identification of the heavenly bodies with the chief gods of the pantheon."235 Therefore, astrology was in fact a study of the influence exerted upon man by the host of heaven, the pagan's Sky-deities.
This is virtually the same as the concept of "cosmic or astral religion". The Babylonians eventually became rational about it, and thus the science of astronomy came into being. On the other hand, we find that in Greece the reverse had happened.236 There we find that astronomy came first and then astrology evolved. However, the two were blended.237 Science and religion worked together to promote the common interest of all pagan nations, namely, the worship of the sun, the moon and the stars.
Not many people are aware of the fact that the sun is a star itself - see any dictionary. The sun is a star, because a star is defined as a planetary body that emits its own light in contrast to the other planets, e.g. the moon, that only reflect light. Strictly speaking, if we speak of all the stars, then the large star, the sun, should be included. The Greek words for star, aster an astran, were applied to the sun, as well as to the other stars.238 Therefore, when we speak of astral religion, astronomy or astrology, we must never overlook the fact that the sun is the largest of the stars in our visible planetary system. The zodiac, which typifies astrology, came into existence when the Babylonians evolved the thought of the sun's path through the sky, divided into twelve sections, and each being distinguished by its chief constellation or star.239 This Chaldean cosmology became very prominent in the entire Syrian syncretism. The sun remained supreme in the system because it led the starry choir.240 The numerous Sun-temples n Palmyra, Syria, testify of this. we should not forget that Syria was at one time part of the Assyrian empire and also derived its name from Assyria,241 as many do believe. It is from one of these Sun temples in Palmyra, Syria, namely from the temple of bel, that the great image of Bel was removed and taken to Rome, where it was erected. This was done by emperor aurelian of Rome, who was known as "the sun-emperor". aurelian also took the image of Helios, another Sun-deity, from Palmyra, and erected it in Rome. This supreme Sun-deity, Bel, was honoured throughout northern Syria and had come from Babylon.242 So, the worship of Bel, the founder of Babylon, eventually became established in Rome. No wonder that the Church Father Augustine candidly wrote that "Rome was funded as the second Babylon and as the daughter of the former Babylon."243 In the same book Augustine again said, "Babylonia as the first Rome ... Rome itself is like a second Babylon."244 Further testimony of Rome being Mystery Babylon, is recorded for us by Hislop in The Two Babylons, pp. 240-241 and p. 279, wherein he quotes his sources, "The true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff ... after the death of Belshazzar, and the expultion of the Chaldean priesthood from Babylon by the Medo-Persian kings, was at Pergamos, where afterwards was one of the seven churches of Asia. There, in consequence, for many centuries was 'Satan's seat' (Rev. 2:13)." he then quotes Barker who relates that the defeated Chaldeans fled to Asia Minor, and fixed their central college at Pergamos. Hislop then continues, "in course of time, the Pontificate of Rome and the Pontificate of Pergamos itself part and parcel of the roman empire, when Attalus III, the last of its kings, at his death, left by will all his dominions to the Roman people, B.C.E.133." We will discuss this "Second Babylon" - Rome, later on. Not only did Bel, the Sun-deity of old Babylon, become established in Rome, but also the Babylonians (Chaldean) astrology became grimly established in Rome between the years 323 - 44 B.C.E. 245
Another Sun-deity was found in Babylonia, namely Zoroaster, and he was the head of the Chaldean Mysteries.246 some scholars think that he came to Babylonia when the Persians conquered Babylonia. Others think that his name originated in India. Nevertheless, with the Persian's (Iranian's) conquest of Babylonia, there also came to Babylon the well-known Sun-deity Ahura-Mazda. He became identified with the Babylonian Bel (Baal),247 and was to play an important role in the Manichean and Mithras religions of Rome. These latter two religions both kept Sun-day in honour of the Sun-deity, as previously stated. The Babylonian empire had vanished but its religion was very much alive in Syria, and from here it was taken to Rome when the Roman pantheon and Greek pantheon had waned. The outcome? Franz Cumont summarised it so well, "Solar pantheism, which grew up among the Syrians of the hellenistic period as a result of the influence of Chaldean astrology, imposed itself upon the whole Roman world under the empire ... Syria was Rome's teacher and predecessor. The last formula reached by the religion ... of the Romans, was a divinity unique, almighty, eternal, universal and ineffable, that revealed itself throughout nature, but whose most splendid and most energetic manifestation was the Sun."248 Again he wrote, "solar pantheism was the last form of Roman paganism."249
Previous to all this, another image of a Sky-deity was brought to Rome. The female deity of Babylon, namely Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, or Venus or Star, was known as Cybele amongst the Persians, and was also known as Mater Dea, "Mother of God" or the "mother goddess". Her image was formally brought from pergamum to Rome, a temple was built in her honour, and a festival instituted.250 This was done in the year 204 B.C.E. Yahush˙a warned us about Pergamum (Pergamos) in Rev. 2:13-14, "where Satan's throne is" and, "those who hold the doctrine of Balaam". it is well known that Pergamum (Pergamos) was a centre of many major pagan cults that worshipped the host of heaven - Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, Asclepius,251 and previously Cybele too, before her image was taken to Rome. Later on, in the first three centuries of our Common Era, just before Constantine entered the scene, we find that Rome began to forsake her own Roman pantheon, and the Greek pantheon too, and turned to he deities of the other countries under her rule, especially the worship of the Sun.
What happened in Rome in the period 44 B.C.E. - 321 C.E.? Julius Caesar was succeeded by Augustus in +- 44 B.C.E. Augustus was the first of the Emperors of Rome. Joscelyn Godwin, Mystery Religions, p. 59, describes him as a devotee of Apollo, the Sun-deity. Augustus was even regarded by some as an incarnation of the Sun-deity. The year 54 C.E. brings us the accesion of Nero who strongly promoted the cult of Isis, another Sun-deity. Isis was identified with many other female deities known as "Mother of God", and thereby also with Cybele who was also known as such. Apart from being a Sun-deity, both Cybele and Isis has sexual fornication as part of their worship. This is what is meant by the "doctrine of Balaam" - Rev. 2:14 and Numb. 31:16. Nero was quite open about this Sun-worship and had a huge Colossus built, an enormous image of himself in the guise of the Sun.252 But this Colossus was never completed. Nero placed his own portrait on his coins with the radiate crown of the Sun around his head. He was actually honoured in one place as "the new Sun-god shining on the Greeks."253 In the year 117 C.E. Hadrian ascended the throne and he was known for his promotion of Serapis- and Isis-worship, both being Sun-deities.
In the year 218 the 14-year old heliogabalus (also known as Elagabalus) ascended the throne. His very name reveals that he was dedicated to Helios and to Baal (Bel or Belus). He was a worshipper of the Sun-deity, Baal of Emesa in Syria, and brought this coarse idol-image from Emesa to Rome, and tried to subordinate the whole ancient pantheon to it: Sol invictus Elagabal.254 He had had his training in the priesthood of the Sun-deity at Emesa and then tried to establish Syrian Baal-worship in Rome. However, his reign did not last long, for he was murdered. In the year 238 C.E., Manes began to preach and teach. he was the founder of Manicheism. Their teachings comprised Sun-day keeping, severe anti-Judaism, the teaching of Buddha, the teachings of Zoroaster as well as the teachings of the Messiah of the New Testament. Manes gave himself a title, which read, "Mani, the messenger of the God of Truth to Babylonia."255 One of the famous Church Fathers, Augustine, was himself a scholar of this Manicheism for nine years. Manes rejected the Old Testament "with horror" and was even more blasphemous that the earlier Gnostics, like Marcion who spoke of the The Mighty One of the Old Testament as a tyrant. Manes was worse, for he described our Mighty One as follows: "the Prince of Darkness ... For He led them astray in the lusts that He taught them, since he was not the God of Truth"!256 This blasphemous spirit which hates, or ignore, or wants to change the Almighty of the Old Testament, has had its influence, n varying degrees, up to this day. In the meantime, the Mithra-cult was concurrently also growing, also bent on Sun-worship and the keeping of Sun-day.
The year 270 C.E. marks the accession of emperor Aurelian, the "sun-emperor" , who established an official cult of the Sun at Rome.257 He was also sympathetic towards "Mithra, the god who was himself now regularly identified with the Sun."257 Aurelian's sun-deity was called Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, the Unconquered Sun. He built a new "sanctuary" in Rome into which he placed the images of Bel and Helios, which he had taken from the Palmyra in Syria.258 Aurelian was the emperor who established the sun as the supreme diety of Rome, according to the inscriptions on his coins. The Sun had taken over Jupiter's role as protector. His Sol Invictus was also known as Deus Sol,259 whose birthday was the 25th of December.259 The Sun had indeed become the superb symbol and rallying point for the empire.260 But Mithra (Mithras) was still to be finally identified with Sol Invictus. And this happened when Diocletian. Aurelian's successor, took the final plunge in 307 C.E. and proclaimed that Mithras is indeed Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun-deity, the Protector of their empire. The worship of Mithras spread like wildfire.261 For the sake of completeness, we would at this stage just skip the period of Constantine, and then mention the big influence which another Roman emperor had later on, namely emperor Julian. He came after Constantine, after the latter had fused sun-worship with the Messianic Faith. Julian (the Apostate, as he was known), reverted back to the former, older frank Sun-worship, calling himself a "follower of King Sun", being a devotee of Mithras, but also propagating the worship of Apollo, Serapis, Mars and Cybele.262
We have briefly sketched the influence of the emperors in promoting Sun-worship, mainly by also getting themselves, humans, identified with the Sun-deity. On the religious scene the various Sun-cults were striving for supremacy. But as a group of different Sun-worshipping cults they had a common enemy and a common rival: the Messianic Faith. We all know the successful dictum: If you can't beat them, then join them! Before Constantine entered the scene, the strongest groups were Manicheism and Mithraism, both of them keeping Sun-day, as we have seen before. Interspersed with these cults, we find the Greek-originated Neoplatonic philosophy, which had such a tremendous influence on the Alexandrian Clement and Origen, and also on the Roman cults. Alfoldi summarises the deep and ultimately devastating influence of neoplatonic philosophy, "In absorbing the Sun-god with the rest of the popular religions, it wet Sol on the throne of the universe and made it easy to suppose that this supreme being was none other than the Almighty of the Christians. The summa divinitas, the nameless supreme deity of the Edict of Toleration of Milan, assuredly bears the stamp of the style of this philosophic deism. Even at the end of his life, Constantine had not been able to free himself from the influence of a few Neoplatonic philosophers ... (who) were, of course, priests and magicians rather than scholars. This connection of solar monotheism with the Christian Almighty, and so with Christ, may have been a bond of union between them. Such muddled combinations of quite distinct forms of monotheism were all the easier, because the Church, on its side, had long been using the comparison of Christ with the Sun as an instructive symbol, naming in 'sun of Truth', 'Sun of Resurrection', 'Sun of Salvation', and thus admitting the influence of the cult of Sol ... Constantine could, with a good conscience cross over to a toleration of Sol beside the Redeemer."263
We must also not forget the tremendously strong influence of the Isis-cult, the licentious sun-cult of Egypt, which sporadically came and went in Rome, depending on the favour or antagonism of its emperor. With this, came the worship of Serapis too. Serapis became the "sycretistic" Sun-deity, being identified with Zeus, helios, Osiris and many others. We have already seen that in Alexandria (the major seat of Serapis-worship) it was the practice of Christ worshippers and Serapis-worshippers to mix in their worship. The Christian apologist Minucius Felix, writing in the 2nd or 3rd century, comments that the Egyptian (Alexandrian) cult of Serapis has been completely adopted by the Romans.264
Sir J.G. Frazer sketches so well the preparation of the scene for Constantine to enter, "In Babylonia, under the powerful influence of chaldean theology and astrology, the Iranian (Persian) deities were assimilated to their nearest Semitic (Babylonian and Assyrian) counterparts, the Supreme God Ahura Mazda being identified with the Sky-god Bel ... and Mithra equated with the sun-god Shamash. But Babylonia was only a stage in the triumphal march of Mithra westward (to Rome)."265 He further describes the period prior to Constantine's accession as follows, "The imperial patronage thus accorded to Sun-worship ... before the establishment of Christianity was little more than an official recognition of a universal solar religion which had long been spreading in the Empire under the combined influence of philosophic thought (Neoplatonic philosophy), astrological speculation (astrology and astral religion) and Oriental mysteries. Among these mysteries none were more popular ... than the worship of the Old Persion god Mithra, who was now definately identified with the Sun-god under the title of the Unconquered sun. About the beginning of our era Strabo affirms without hesitation or ambiguity that the Persian deity Mithra was the Sun."266
In our study of the subject of what happened prior to, and during, the reign of Constantine, we finally come to the man responsible for ending this 250-year old conflict between the Sun-cults and the Messianic Faith, by fusing them, namely Constantine, the emperor of Rome. We have already, in this book, related much of what happened when these two major streams of religion were joined together by Constantine, and the fusion which was subsequently made complete. A few more remarks from literary and archaeological sources will help us to better understand what happened. Alfoldi summarises these two main streams as follows: The first, "the worship of the Sun-god: Philosophy changing into theosophy, the astrological speculations of the Chaldeans, the wild mysticism of the half-Christian Gnostics met here in one wild confusion; and with them met that religion of the Sun that pervaded the whole East and the primitive ideas of the Indo-Germans and their like about the magical power and omnipotence of the god (the sun-deity). This deification of the Sun, in this composite form, was vastly attractive. Official Roman policy had once ventured in this direction and had tried to exalt Sol Invictus as dominus imperii Romanii to be the heavenly lord of the Roman Empire."267 He then describes the second stream, the Messianic Faith.
As to the so-called "conversion of Constantine", Alfoldi states, "modern research has even ventured ... to question the fact of his conversion, or at least his sincerity."268 "By their fruits you will know them" - our Messiah taught in Matt. 7:20. We have already mentioned that Constantine, after his "conversion", kept on with inscriptions to the Sun-deity on his coins. It is well documented that the image-statue that he had built in constantinople in the year 330 C.E. - note: this was many years after his "conversion" - was clearly a hybrid sun-deity image. Franz Boll, Sternglaube und Sterndeutung, p. 31, recounts, as other sources do too, that Constantine also ordered a horoscope from an astrologer for himself, for this new city of his: Constantinople - many years after his "conversion". He also "sacrificed to Jupiter, Best and Greatest", 269 after his "conversion". Even shortly before his death in 337 C.E., he had a commemorative coin struck on which Constantine is represented as Jupiter, while one of his sons is represented in the guise of Bacchus.270 We can only conclude, as Alfoldi does, "The imperial cult remains; only such forms as offend Christian sentiment are a little veiled."271 This proves to us that the religious part of his "conversion", the vertical love, was indeed insincere or false. But alsoth ethical or moral part of his "conversion", the horizontal love towards his fellow-man, left much to be desired. Although the following facts have been veiled, or ignored, history tells us that Constantine, after his, "conversion", drowned his unoffending wife, Fausta, in a bath of boiling water, in the year 320 C.E., Constantine beheaded his eldest son, Crispus. These facts are so irrefutable, that even Dr. Lardner, who endeavoured to whitewash Constantine generally in his book, Credibility, had to acknowledge that Constantine was indeed responsible for these atrocious deeds (vol. 2, pp. 342 - 343).
We have already discussed how the nimbus or sun-disc was found in the portrayal or images of Sun-deities in ancient times, as well as in the centuries just before the time of Constantine. These sun-discs (nimbuses) were continued in the portrayals and images of our Messiah, or Heavenly Father, Yahush˙a's mother, and many other personalities from Scripture. In some cases this was done by means of sun-rays of emanation of light ("glory"). However, there is another proof of how Sun - and Moon-worship was perpetuated in the Church since the time of Constantine. In javier Teixidor, The Pantheon of Palmyra, we see on Plates III, VIII, XI, and XXXI, how the sun-rays together with the moon's crescent are represented on two images or in some cases, separate in the two top corners of the relief. These Sun- and Moon-attributes were applied to the various deities depicted on the sculptured reliefs - in these cases Bel, Baal shamin, Mithra, and Bel again, in that order. similarly, we find in Mysteria Mithrae (editor Ugo Bianchi - an International Seminary held in Rome in 1978), the figure of Mithras with the sun-rayed head of the Sun-deity in one top corner and the moon-crescented head of the Moon-deity in the other top corner. However, in this same book, Mysteria Mithrae, we find the very same Sun- and Moon-deities, depicted over our Heavenly Father and over His Son in feliefs and sculptures produced by the Church which was formed when Constantine took over. Numerous illustrations are found in this book. first of all we see fig. 15 (our Messiah as Shepherd, in this case with seven stars too); then fig. 19 (our Messiah standing between Father Sun and Mother Moon, with a star tool; fig. 30 (our Messiah on the cross, a nimbus round his head, with the sun and the moon-crescent above His head); fig. 32 (our Messiah on the cross with the Sun-deity and the Moon-deity in full form above and next to His head); fig. 25 (our Messiah and Mary, on two adjacent reliefs, both having a sun-rayed and a moon-crescented head in the top corners); fig. 23 (our Messiah being carved out with the sun and the moon above Him); fig. 24 (Abraham on the point of offering Isaac, with the sun and the moon depicted underneath); fig. 27 (our Messiah being baptized, with the Sun- and Moon-deities i the top corners); figs. 28 and 29 (two medallions with 4 depictions of our Messiah and His Father, both with sun-discs around their heads, and a round sun, a four-beamed cross, and a six beamed cross, similar to the Chi-Rho, as well as a pair of stars, above them).
What more evidence do we need to prove the irrefutable fact that the worship of the host of heaven became fused with the Messianic Faith! The Woman of Revelation12:1 is indeed clothed with the Sun, she has the Moon under her feet, and she has a crown of stars upon her head. Sun, moon and stars comprise the host of heaven. The twelve stars probably represent the zodiac, for the zodiac has twelve division, each division representing a path of the sun through the sky in twelve different stages of the year, and each of these twelve paths being represented by its chief constellation of stars, or star.239 This in fact is astrology or astral religion, which originated in Babylon and had finally come to Rome. The Sun, the Moon and the Stars identify Babylon, and identify the Woman of Rev. 12:1 too.
Chapter IV - THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE OF Yahush˙a OUR Messiah FOR OUR TIME
Have the Scriptures left us destitute of this all-important revelation? Has our Messiah, our only great Prophet, our only Great Teacher, our only Great Leader - has He left us without a warning? No, He has warned us in Matthew 24, and He has warned us again in His final message, the book of Revelation, especially in its last part, chapters 6-22, which we shall now study. Chapters 11-22, especially, will receive our attention.
As an introduction, we wish to refer to some Old Testament Scriptures pertaining to the end-time. These scriptures were given to us "by inspiration of The Mighty One, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of The Mighty One may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work," 2 Tim. 3:16-17. The prophecies of the Scriptures are especially and encouragement and comfort to us, "We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as to a light that shines in the dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts," 2 Peter 1:19. This is repeated in Romans 15:4, "For whatever things were written before, were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." That which has happened to Israel of old, especially in her wilderness experience, is a lesson and a warning to us, as we read in 1 cor. 10:11, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come." Was Peter not referring to this same wilderness experience (1 Cor. 10) of Israel, in the time of Moses, when he tells us in Acts 7:38-42 that Israel would not obey the Living Words, and "then The Mighty One turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven"? Are we today's believers, not in the same wilderness experience? Surely we are! We have not entered the Promised Land yet.
Among these prophetic messages for our time, which indeed is a comfort to us, is Daniel 12:4, which, according to the German, Dutch and Afrikaans versions, reads as follows, "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall do reasearch, and knowledge shall increase." (See the Preface of this book). We are absolutely convinced that the latter rain has begun to fall, the Spirit of Truth that guides us into all truth. Our Disobedience to the Living Words, the Ten Words, the Covenant, the same Law of Yah˙weh (which is the contents of the New Covenant - Heb. 8:10 and 10:16), has resulted in the following: "For Yah˙weh has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed you eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. The whole vision has become to you like the words or a book that is sealed," Isa. 29:10-11. This is the result of our disobedience to the New (rather: Renewed) Covenant - the Law of Yah˙weh. The New Covenant is but a renewal of the Eternal Covenant.
However, there is to come a recovery, a renewal, in fact; the Final Reformation, in the end-time, as we read in Isa. 29:18, 19 and 24, "In that day the deaf shall hear the Words of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The humble also shall increase their joy in Yah˙weh ... These also who erred in spirit, will come to understanding, and those who murmured will learn doctrine." Our Messiah also promised us that these truths will be revealed to us. In Luke 8:17 He promised, "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light." He is the only One Who can open our eyes, Luke 24:31. The is the only One Who can open our understanding, Luke 24:45. He has told us all about this in His end-time prophecy in Matthew 24, and again in His final message of the end-time in the book of Revelation chapters 6-22, especially 11-22. It is clearly written. All we need is for Him to open our eyes to what He has said, and for Him to open our understanding. However, He has laid down His condition for the opening of our understanding, "Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has , to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him," Luke 8:18. This is generally commented on as follows: He who receives light from the Word, particularly form the Messiah Himself, and obeys that light, unto him more light shall be revealed. But he who does not obey this light, from him shall be taken away that which he seems to have. This is a vital and all-important condition for receiving light on Scriptural truths. "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven, " John 3:27. If we disobey Him, Yah˙weh will do as he warns us through His Son, when He quoted from Isaiah, as we read in John 12:40, "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and understand with their heart, lest they should turn, so that I should heal them."
Therefore, if we humbly obey the Word, particularly the Word that became flesh - Messiah Yahush˙a - He will then cause us to see and understand His prophecy about the end-time in Matthew 24 as well as His final message to us in Revelation. In Matt. 24:12 He reveals to us that "lawlessness will abound" in the end-time. The NASB renders this more correctly, "lawlessness is increased ... " Then in verse 15, He reveals to us that "the abomination of desolation" will be standing in the Separated Place. In Matthew 24, He warns us four times (vv.4, 5, 11 and 24) about deception - being deceived. So we desperately need the Spirit of Truth if we long for truth, lest we be deceived by the spirit of error (1 John 4:6). If we do not receive the love for the truth ("Thy Word is the Truth" -John 17:17), Yah˙weh will send us strong delusion that we should believe the lie, 2 Thess. 2:10-12. The Spirit of Truth guides us into all truth, convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment - John 16:13 and 8. In contrast to this, there is now prevailing "the spirit of error", "the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience," Eph. 2:2. These are awesome words, but we do believe that the time has come that we should return to "fear Yah˙weh" - Rev. 14:7, Matt. 10:28, Acts, 9:31, 2 Cor. 7:1, Eph. 5:21, 1 Pet. 2:17, Rev. 15:4, and Rev. 19:5.
Therefore, in Matthew 24 Yahush˙a warns us that before His Second Coming we should take note of three things:
1) His warning against being deceived,
2) expect lawlessness to increase,
3) and the "abomination of desolation" standing in the Separated Place.
Satan is the one who deceives the whole world. The way in which he has done it, and the nature of the deceit, will become apparent as we study points 2 and 3.
The incorrect translation of the Greek anomia (lawlessness) and anomos (lawless) in the older translations has been a major reason for the deceit that has crept in. The serious increase of lawlessness, even in the assemblies, is the fruit of this mistranslation. It has done immeasurable harm. The restoration of the true meaning of this word cannot be done soon enough. The newer translations, such as the RAV, NASB, Ferrar Fenton translation, New World translation and Rotherham translation, have it truthfully and correct, as well as all the Greek-English Interlinears, of course. With anomia and anomos correctly rendered as "lawlessness" and "lawless", we are awakened from our "deep sleep", our intoxicated state, having been done away with". Indeed, our Messiah Himself reveals to us the startling fact that those believers who are still practising lawlessness will be turned away (Matt. 7:23), in fact they will be cast into the furnace of fire (Matt. 13:41-42)! These are the irrefutable and unassailable words of The Messiah Himself.
With anomia and anomos correctly rendered, we also discover in 2 Thess. 2:1-12 that this great passage on "The Great Apostasy" or the Mystery of Lawlessness, comprises the very subject of lawlessness. The words "lawless" or "lawlessness" appear 3 times (in some, 4 times ) in vv. 3-9. Verse 3 tells us that the leader or instigator of this lawlessness, namely the man of Lawlessness, will "sit as Yah˙weh in His the Temple of The Mighty One, showing himself that he is Yah˙weh." We have been ignorant of, and we have been blinded to this startling truth, because of incorrect translation in the past.
Let us ask ourselves: Is Yahush˙a the Messiah ruling in our individual bodies, His temples? Is Yahush˙a the Messiah ruling in our individual bodies, His temples? Is Yahush˙a the Messiah the One Who is ruling in His Assembly, His Body? Our Messiah never did away with His Father's Law. In fact, He commanded us to keep His Father's Commandments -matt. 19:17, Luke 10:28, John 12:50, Rev. 22:14, Luke 16:17, Matt. 5:19. Yahush˙a is the Mediator of the New covenant itself, He is the Mediator of it. What then is the New or Renewed Covenant? Heb. 8:10 and 10:16 clearly tell us it is the Law of Yah˙weh into our hearts and in our minds. Who writes the Law into our hearts and in our minds? It is the Mediator of the new Covenant Who does it: Yahush˙a. He is the Law-giver, the Law-mediator. Therefore, He has been opposed by, and replaced by, the Man of Lawlessness. Apart from the Man of Lawlessness who will be sitting in the Temple, we read in 2 Thess. 2 that lawlessness, the Great Apostasy, the Mystery of Lawlessness will take over prior to The Messiah's Second Coming. This is precisely what Yahush˙a also said in Matt. 24:12. Please not in Matt. 24:12 that, because of the increase of lawlessness, we find as a result, "the love of many will grow cold." The horizontal love, the keeping of the second table of the Law, the love towards our fellow-man, will grow cold because of increased lawlessness. And also the vertical love the keeping of the first table of the Law, the love towards Yah˙weh, will grow cold because of increased lawlessness.
In contrast to this lawlessness which will increase in the world in the end-time, we discover in Matt 24:20 that the faithful few will be keeping the Sabbath. He reveals the contrast between lawlessness and Sabbath-keeping in the end-time. Remember, the Sabbath is the only Scriptural sign of Separation - Exod. 31:13, 17 and Eze. 20:12, 20. It is a sign that he is separating us unto Himself, and separating us from this world which is increasing in lawlessness. Furthermore, this Sabbath is the sign of the Eternal Covenant, the sign of the Eternal Covenant which has been given to the Chosen People, Israel, "forever" - Exod. 31:16-17.
This end-time increase in lawlessness in the world in indeed what Paul also spoke of in 2 Tim. 3:1, "but know this, that in the last days perilous times will come." Read verse 13 too. Even more alarming is the lawlessness which is permitted or even taught in some assemblies. Toleration of, and even acceptance of homosexuality, ignorance of the Ten Commandments, preaching that the Law has been done away with, that the "Law has been nailed to the cross" - all are signs of the "Great Apostasy", the caption for 2 Thess. 2, which many translators use. Indeed, the curse is devouring the earth, as we read of in Isa. 24:6. In Isa 24:1-6 we read the great prophecy for the end-time apostasy and subsequent judgement upon the earth. It describes it vividly for us, "Behold, Yah˙weh makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants ... The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants ..." Why is this happening to us? The reason is given in verse 5, "Because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant." And the result? Verse 6 brings us the shocking answer, "Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." Indeed we are guilty, we have transgressed the Laws of Yah˙weh, we have changed the ordinance (Luther's German translation reads "Changed the Commandments"), we have broken the Everlasting, the Eternal Covenant - the same covenant which is even now called the Renewed or New Covenant, the Law of Yah˙weh into our hearts and in our minds Shall we not repent of our sins, the transgression of the Law, lest we be burned with all the lawless ones in the Day of Judgment? Shall we not repent of our lawlessness, ask Yahush˙a for forgiveness, and be part of the small Remnant People, the "Few men left"? Yahush˙a had said in matt. 7:14 "For the gate is small, and the Way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who enter by it," NASB. Again He said in Matt. 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen." These "few" are described in Rev. 17:14 as the "called, chosen and faithful." They are described in Rev. 14:12 and in Rev. 12:17 as those "who keep the Commandments of Yah˙weh and the faith of Yahush˙a" - two requirements which we are to meet if we are serious to enter into eternal life.
3 THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION:
Yahush˙a said in Matt. 24:15 that it will be seen, or more correct: called to attention to, in the end-time, that the Abomination of desolation is standing in the Separated Place. This "Abomination of Desolation" is also prophesied of in Dan. 9:27, Dan 11:31 and Dan. 12:11. Who is he or it? In 2 Macc. 6:2 he is revealed to us as the deity "Zeus Olympios" or Baal Shamen as the Syriac version of 2 Macc. 6:2 renders it. The great Sky-deity or sun-deity is standing in the Separated Place! This shocking revelation is confirmed by the similar revelation of Isa. 14:4 and 12:16 where he is revealed to us as Helel (Hailail or Heileil), the Shining One or Bright One, interpreted, amongst others, as the Sun-deity, or as Jupiter (Zeus). In 2 Thess. 2:3-4 he is revealed to us as: either the Man of Sin or the Man of Lawlessness, or else by being represented by someone, or some object.
Not only have various names, surnames, and name-derivatives of the ancient Sky-deity (Zeus, alias Jupiter) been retained in the religion of the Western World, but above all, we find that an even more tangible form of Zeus- or Jupiter-worship exists, to this present day. It is commonly known, and also told by the guides of the Vatican, that the bronze statue of "St. Peter" in St. Peter's in Rome is but only the ancient pagan image of Jupiter,
FIG. 7: Vatican statue of Peter, originally an image of Jupiter!
which was adopted, "canonised" and "sanctified"! This same image is being reverenced and his one big-toe regularly kissed at certain ceremonies. Do we need more concrete proof of our Messiah's prophecy about this, as is recorded in Matt. 24:15, and by Daniel in Dan. 9:27, Dan. 11:31 and Dan. 12:11?
Thus, Yahush˙a reveals to us in Matthew 24 that the end-time deceit and apostasy will be hallmarked by increase of lawlessness and by the Sky-deity or Sun-deity standing in the Separated Place or Temple or religion. In contrast to this, The Messiah reveals to us in Matt. 24:20 that the remnant few will be keeping the sign of the Eternal covenant, the Sabbath.
We will now proceed to Yahush˙a's final message for us in Revelation chapters 6-22, especially chapters11-22. The end-time apostasy is clearly conveyed to us in these Scriptures. We have previously mentioned that the Ten Commandments were given on two tables, the first table being the basis for the religious Law or vertical love, while the second table is the basis for the ethical or social Law or horizontal love. It is generally accepted that, at the time of The Messiah's sojourn of earth, the Jews erred mainly as far as the second table was concerned. They were somehow keeping the first table, even if their "oral laws", which were added, caused them to differently interpret the Third and Fourth Commandments. For instance , they made a burden of Sabbath-keeping, instead of the original intention of it being a delight, by adding 39 additional rules pertaining to Sabbath-keeping, as we find recorded in their Mishnah.
The Jews also avoided the use of the Name Yah˙weh, an "oral law" which is not supported by Scripture. Yahush˙a remarked on this deletion of His Father's Name when He reprimanded them for having taken away the key of knowledge, Luke 11:52. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 2, p. 407, says that the Name of our Heavenly Father "is the key to understanding the biblical doctrine" of Yah˙weh. The Messiah prophesied about the restoration of His Name and His Father's Name when He said in Matt. 23:39, "For I say to you, you shall see Me nor more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the Name of Yah˙weh!'" - where He quoted from Psalm 118:26, and was referring to the restoration which is to take place before His Second Coming. This can only refer to His Second Entry into Jerusalem. In Luke 19:38-40 we read of His First Entry into Jerusalem when the crown called out this verse, Psalm 118:26. They must have used the Name, as it is written in Psalm 118:26, for some of the Pharisees asked Him to rebuke them. They must have objected against the crown using the Name, because the rabbis had forbidden such a practice. However, Yahush˙a did manifest His Father's Name to His disciples - John 17:6, 26 and Heb. 2:12. And He promised to make it known to us too - John 17:26.
Wherefrom did the rabbis get the idea of hiding the Name, teaching the people that the Name is ineffable, unutterable? We have already touched on this, but would like to discuss it more fully. Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, p. 37 says "The ineffability of divine names was an old idea in Egypt, especially in the Osirian religion, where it forms the base of the story of Ra and Isis. So the name of Osiris himself was said to be ineffable ... The name of Marduk or Babylon is in the same way declared ineffable in an inscription of Neri. glissar ... The name of Yahweh became ineffable directly after Alexander. ... In every case, the magical idea that the god might be compelled by utterance of his secret name seems to be at the root of the practice." A.H. Sayce in his Religion of the Ancient Babylonians, p.4, writes, "Religion has always loved to cloak itself in mystery, and a priesthood is notoriously averse from revealing in plain language the secrets of which it believes itself the possessor. The priesthood of Babylonia formed no exception to the general rule ... and the true pronunciation of divine names was carefully hidden from the uninitiated multitude." Furthermore, it is well-known that the Greeks, for a long period of time, preferred to avoid the names of their deities, and rather called them by a title. Usually kurios and theos were used. Thus, the un-Scriptural teaching of the rabbis of hiding or masking the Name, was something which they had learnt from the Egyptians, Greeks and Babylonians. Their decision to hide the Name was taken significantly just after they came from Babylonian captivity.
What was the ultimate result, all over the world, of this decision by the Jews to hide the Name? Just this: In all the countries of the world, the Name was replaced by a title which was previously used for a again deity of that particular pagan country. In many cases we find that the proper name of the local pagan deity was adopted to stand for the Name of Yah˙weh. In the Polish translation of the Scriptures Pan Bog was, and still is, used as a rendering for Yah˙weh . Both Pan and Bog were pagan deities. In South Africa the ancient pagan deity-names Modimo, uNkulunkulu, and uTixo, were brought into the translations of the Scriptures of three different African languages, to call the Almighty by.293 A few weeks ago we read that in the Maquiritare language of south-western Venezuela, the name Wanaari recently became used for the Name of our Almighty in the translation of the Scriptures. Who was Wanaari? In this recent publication of the United Bible Societies it is openly admitted that Wanaari was the "lyingest cheatingest immoral character", their pagan "cultural hero", their mythological figure. And "with one bold stroke the horrible past of this pagan deity was "reinterpreted".272 This shocking syncretism, identifying our Mighty One with a pagan deity, in fact, the paganisation of our Mighty One, happened in the same way as many centuries ago, in defiance of the clear commands of Yah˙weh which instruct us that the names of pagan deities must be destroyed, not used! - Deut. 12:3. "And do not mention the name of other mighty ones, nor lot them be heard from your mouth," Exod. 23:13 NASB.
We have deviated somewhat. To return to the point made: In The Messiah's time the horizontal love was neglected more than was the vertical love. In contrast to this, we find that in The Messiah's final message to us in Revelation chapters 12-22, the religious Law, the vertical love, is the burning issue. We read her how Yahush˙a repeatedly exposes the idolatrous worship, also called fornication, generally interpreted as spiritual fornication. Spiritual fornication means pagan idolatry or mixed worship. The Greek words, porne, porneia, pornos, porneuo, have been translated as: harlot, fornication, fornicator, or whore, in the King James Version, but they all derive from the same basic Greek word as listed above. Modern translations have used other words as well, such as "sexually immoral" and "prostitute", as we also find in the Revised Authorised Version. We have preferred the KJV's rendering of these words in this book. All these words may also refer to literal fornication, including the sensual symbols, as we have already seen. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that these words primarily refer to the spiritual fornication or spiritual harlotry. If we count the Greek words porne, porneia, pornos and porneuo in Revelation 12-22, we find that they appear therein no less than 14 times. Another word that points to idolatry is the word "abomination(s)", translated from the Greek word bdelugma (and bdeluktos), used in Scripture to denote an idolatrous object or an idol. We find this in Rev. 17:4, Rev. 17:5, Rev. 21:8, Rev. 21:27, as well as in Matt. 20:15, as we have already discussed. We further find "idolaters" twice in these final chapters of Revelation. Other words and figurative speech also point to this idolatry and apostasy, such as "unclean things" (Rev. 17:4 NASB), "every unclean and hated bird" (Rev. 18:3), "abundance of her luxury" (Rev. 18:3).
Therefore, we find a cloud of witnesses in this final message of Yahush˙a, which reveal to us that this Mystery Babylon, the Great Harlot and "mother of harlots", Rev. 17:1-5, is indeed the instrument responsible for making "the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication," Rev: 17:2. Please note, this wine of fornication is not given to the earth's inhabitants by Babylon of her own accord. No, she has done it because "Babylon was a golden cup in Yah˙weh's hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine...," Jer. 51:1. Read Jer. 25:15 too. Our Mighty One is responsible, He has caused it to be! He is the One Who sends strong delusion to those who believe not the truth. Therefore, do not blame Babylon! We have only ourselves to blame, because of our disobedience to His Covenant Law, the Eternal Covenant with the Sabbath as its Sign. We have invited his Wrath, and therefore He sent us strong delusion - He gave us up to worship the host of heaven. And He has used babylon to do it! At first, wine makes you feel happy, but it then begins to dull your senses, and the more you take of it, the more difficult it becomes to discern between the truth and the lie. "Pause and Wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not of wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For Yah˙weh has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and had closed your eyes, namely the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers," Isa. 29:9-10. Why has this happened? "Because they did not receive the love of the truth ('Thy Word is the Truth' -John 17:17) that they might be saved. And for this reason Yah˙weh will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness," 2 Thess. 2:10-12. "Then Yah˙weh turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven," Acts 7:42. This is again found as the source of the Mystery of Lawlessness, the Great Apostasy, of which we read of in 2 Thess. 2:3-12 and in Matt. 24:12-15, as well as in this final message of Yahush˙a in Revelation chapters 12-22.
By what means has the Great Harlot, as an instrument in the hand of the Almighty, done this? By means of "the wine of her fornication" which she has given to all the inhabitants of the earth to drink, out of the "golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication," Rev. 17:4. The words "abominations" and "fornication" speak of idolatry, as we have already discussed. The passage in 2 Thess. 2:3-12 speaks of the same time as that which The Messiah reveals to us here in Revelation 12-22, especially here in Revelation 17. The word "mystery" is found in both. In 2 Thess. 2 we read of the "mystery of lawlessness" and here in Revelation 17 we read of "Mystery Babylon". It reveals to us how this "mystery" had taken over "while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way," Matt. 13:25. In this all-important parable of the tares in Matthew 13, Yahush˙a gives this parable, and then explains this parable too, revealing to us that "WHILE MEN SLEPT" the enemy sowed the seed of "LAWLESSENSS" Matt. 13:41 (capitals mine). Satan is the one who sows the seed of the tares, Matt. 13:39. The tares are identified by Yahush˙a Himself as "all things that offend, and those who practise lawlessness." Matt. 13:41.
The final message of Yahush˙a ends with His revelation of the shocking condition of the world in the last phase of the end-time. In Revelation chapters 12-22 He refers to idolatry, spiritual fornication, abominations - as we have already detailed - in no less than 24 places. Thereby He exposes the Mystery of Lawlessness, Mystery Babylon, as the religious system which is particularly identified as being idolatrous, having rejected the vertical Law, the religious Law, the basis of which is the first table, consisting of the first four Commandments. In fact, the Church has changed, or rejected, or set aside much of the religious Law.
This is the outcome of the fusion of the religions, which came about at the time of Constantine. Previous to this time, the seed-bed has bee n prepared by the half-Christian Gnostics, the partly-Gnostic Alexandrians (such as Clement and Origen), the prevailing anti-Judaism, the predominant Sun-worship of the Roman cults, the influence of Neoplatonic philosophy, and the Alexandrian method of allegorising the Scriptures. Also, this fusion was made more acceptable to the persecuted Messianic Believers, because their severe persecution was thankfully stopped by Constantine. This resulted in them having much goodwill towards Constantine. More-over, the ground for the fusion had been prepared by the concealment of the Name Yah˙weh.
The emperors of Rome had been Sun-worshippers and also regarded themselves to be Sun-deities. Emperor Constantine was no different to his predecessors. The only difference was that he ended the persecution of Messianic Believers. He started to fraternise with them, and He sought their co-operation for his own political ends, i.e. to bring about peace, unity and strength in his empire. Thus a Sun-deity worshipping Roman emperor used his fraternising and his political power to fuse the Messianic Faith with that of the predominant Sun-worship. Constantine even assumed the chairmanship, the chair of the Pontifex Maximus, at times, such as at the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 C.E. His son, Crispus, before his father beheaded him, also took the chair at this Council of Nicaea. The great Mystery of Lawlessness became established, the system which annulled, changed or set aside the religious Laws of the True Worship - that worship which was primarily given to Israel of old and subsequently given new life by Yahush˙a The Messiah.
We shall now complete our search in the Scriptures on the finally message of Yahush˙a to find final proof of the identity of "Mystery Babylon". With this, the final destiny of this religious system will also be revealed to us. The book of Revelation is the revelation of Yahush˙a, which He had received from His Father. In times past it was incorrectly referred to as the revelation of John. That is not quite correctly referred to as the revelation of John. That is not quite correct, for it is called "The revelation of Yahush˙a The Messiah which Yah˙weh gave Him to show His servants ... And He sent and signified it by His Angel to His servant John." What is this final message all about? The clue is given in Rev. 1:19, "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this." Thus, the latter part of the book of Revelation tells us of "the things which will take place after this" - bearing in mind that this book of Revelation was written +- 96 C.E. The contents of the latter part of Revelation is clearly prophecy for the final phase of the end-time. Another proof that Revelation is mostly prophecy for the end-time, is the indication given in Rev. 1:10, "I was in the Spirit on the Day of Yah˙weh," the latter being an oft-used Scriptural term (some 30 times) for the final Day of Reckoning. The chapters of Revelation are arranged somewhat chronologically. To illustrate: the last two chapters clearly speak of the New Heaven and the New Earth. Chapters 5-20 are arranged chronologically, but do we do find that, in some places, different visions or even different facets of the same happening or period are given. For instance, the judgement upon Babylon in the end-time is discussed in five different places - Rev. 14:8, Rev. 16:19, Rev. 17:16-18, Rev. 18:2-23, and Rev. 19:2-3. This does not mean that five different judgments are poured out on Babylon. It only relates to five phases or aspects or visions of the same judgment.
Who or what is this Mystery Babylon, the Great Harlot? Rev. 17:9 reveals to us that she is sitting on seven mountains. Thus, Scripture immediately identifies her as: Rome. The Church Fathers Acknowledged this. Augustine, in his City of God, states in four places that Rome is the Second Babylon, but more clearly so in two passages, which we have already discussed.243, 244 Likewise, Tertullian wrote, "Babylon ... is a figure of the city Rome."273 Moreover, we discover the interesting fact of the following Roman Catholic clergyman admitting this too: The Jesuit Sylvester J. Hunter, Cardinal Newman, Bishop Bossuet of Meaux, Bishop Walmsley, Cardinal Baronius, Cardinal Bellarmine, Salmeron, Alcasar, Maldonatus, Andreas, and Bishop Victorinus.274 Even the Roman Catholic versions of the Scriptures admit it in their foot-notes on Rev. 17:5 - The Douay Bible, The Jerusalem Bible, the Dutch Canisius translation, and the Dutch Willibrord translation. These translations admit that Rome is indeed Babylon, explaining that this Babylon is "political Rome" or "pagan Rome". However, it cannot be a political system primarily, because the Great Harlot is a woman, and a woman in Scripture is a symbolic of a religious system, and not a political government or system. However, we do agree with the identification "pagan Rome", for it was indeed pagan Rome, pagan Sun-worship, which was victorious when emperor Constantine championed the cause of his "Sol Invictus, my companion". Constantine's Sun-worshipping religion is foremost that which is described as Mystery Babylon in Revelation. The sins of idolatrous Sun-worship, however, have persisted all through the centuries. The Catholics and the Protestants have all inherited these sins of pagan Rome's Sun-worship, and we must all repent of these.
Therefore, the call, "Come out of her, My people" (Rev. 18:4), simply means to come out of the sins, particularly the sins of Sun-worship, which we all have inherited from "pagan Rome". Most commentators admit that Mystery Babylon of Rev. 17 comprises all apostasy found amongst Catholic as well as Protestants. The revelation which we have received, as proclaimed in this book, centres around the identification of this enormous idolatrous sin of Sun-worship, which we have inherited from pagan Rome, Constantine's Rome - and instrument in the hand of Yah˙weh!
The Scriptures are our only source of spiritual truths, and all revelations which are important, are found in it, including the revelation of the "woman clothed with the Sun, with the Moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve Stars" - Rev. 12:1. The call, "come out of her, My people," means exactly just that. Our Mighty One has called the mixing of True Worship with that of Sun-worship "wicked abominations" in Eze. 8:9-16. He cannot change (Mal. 3:6 and James 1:17), therefore His verdict on this mixed-with-Sun-worship is still the same, and His judgment upon it is fearsomely, described in Revelation 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19. These five chapters describe to us the plagues and final destruction that is to come upon Babylon.
"And the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication" - by giving them to drink out of "a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication." Rev. 17:2-4. Unless we repent of these abominations (idolatrous things) and fornication (spiritual harlotry), we will not enter the New Jerusalem. in fact, our destiny will then be the lake of fire! Not we say so, but Yahush˙a says so in Rev. 21:8, Rev. 21:27 and Rev. 22:15. Let us read His clear verdict on this: "But to the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars their part is in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death," Rev. 21:8 Berry Interlinear. "But there shall by no means enter it (the New Jerusalem) anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life," Rev. 21:27.
Finally, Yahush˙a speaks of the absolute necessity of doing His Father's Commandments if we wish to enter the gates of the new Jerusalem, when he said in Rev. 22:14-15, "Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that their authority shall be to the tree of life, and through the gates may enter into the city. But without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone that loves and practises a lie." Berry Interlinear. It is very interesting that the "Commandments are contrasted with the "Lie". Likewise, the "Truth" is contrasted with the out, the "Lawlessness" of 2 Thess. 2:3-12 identifies this "Lie" for us. Yahush˙a thus exposes and reveals to us the Great Lie of the false teaching of "the Law has been annulled". Similarly, Paul writing in 2 Thess. 2 exposes the Man of Lawlessness and the Mystery of Lawlessness, the Lie, the Great Apostasy. The Messiah ahs already unmasked the "tares" in Matt. 13:25-42 as "those who practise lawlessness", who will be "cast into the furnace of fire". here in Rev. 21 and Rev. 22, Yahush˙a finally exposes the Great Lie of "the Law has been done away with". Those who practise lawlessness will not enter the New Jerusalem. Those who practise lawlessness will not enter the New Jerusalem. Those who practise lawlessness will be cast into the furnace of fire, also cited as the lake of fire. Not we say so, Yahush˙a has said so.
Is there an escape (or protection) from the fearsome plagues and eventually the final judgment which is to come upon Babylon? Yahush˙a has given us the way of escape out of these dreadful judgments of the end-time. He gives it to us in rev. 18:4, "Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues," RSV. Our Messiah does not request us to come out of her, no, He commands us to come out of her. Yahush˙a then continues in Rev. 18:5-8, "For her sins have reached to heaven, and Yah˙weh has remembered her iniquities ... Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire for strong is Yah˙weh Who judges her," RAV. Coming out of Babylon, Rome, simply means: Coming out of the sins, the teachings derived from pagan Rome, which Rome had composed from her forerunners, namely: Paganism, Gnosticism, Hellenised Alexandrian theology, and above all: the prevailing Sun-worship. In contrast to this, we read of the wonderful time when the sealed ones, the 144 000, the first-fruits to Yah˙weh and to the Lamb, will stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion with His Name and His Father's Name written on (or in) their foreheads - Rev. 14:1-5. The "great multitude" from all nations, Rev. 7:9-14, seems to be the second-fruit company who were not protected in the Great Tribulation.
Even more precious is the proclamation of the Kingdom of Yah˙weh here on earth, when the seventh and last trumpet is sounded in Rev. 11:15-19, "And the seventh angel sounded: and there arose loud voices in heaven saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Sovereign and of His Messiah; and He will reign for ever and ever!" ... And the Temple of Yah˙weh was opened; and the Ark of His Covenant appeared in His Temple ...." NASB. This is repeated in Rev. 12:10, "Now the Kingdom of our Yah˙weh, and the authority of His Messiah have come," NASB.
This is exactly what was prophesied of by Daniel when he revealed and interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, in Daniel chapter 2. This is a prophecy for a time which we shall soon enter. This dream centred around a great image of which the head was made of gold. Gold is the metal which since times of old symbolises wealth and also symbolises the sun. Daniel then identifies the head of this image with Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who represents Babylon. Please note: Firstly, the image is ruled by its head, the king of Babylon. Secondly, the image is ruled by gold, earth. Thirdly, the gold of the head the ruler is also symbolic of the sun. We have already noted that the chief deity of Babylon is the Sun, originally named: Bel, Baal. the rest of the body of the image is generally interpreted, because of historical events, as Medo-Persia (Persia). Greece, Rome, and the "feet and toes" as the kingdom which is divided - whether this be all the world which is divided, or whether this be a divided Europe, or a revived Roman Empire.
As we view this image for its religious significance, we are immediately struck by the fact that Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome, as well as the various divisions of the European continent have each contributed towards the penalisation, or more specifically, the solarisation of the Messianic Faith. But the wonderful news is that this image of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, will be broken in pieces and crushed by "a stone" at the time of the end. This image with Babylon's king (Heileil) at its head, will be utterly destroyed and the "stone" will become "a great mountain", Daniel 2:34-45. The kingdom of this world, with Babylon or the king of Babylon being its head, its leader, will come to an end, and the Messianic Kingdom of Yahush˙a The Messiah will be established here on earth! This is exactly the same prophecy which we read of in Rev. 11:15-19 and Rev. 12:10. More detail of this kingdom of Yah˙weh on earth is given in Daniel's vision in Dan. 7:13-27. "His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him," Dan. 7:27. This establishment of the Kingdom of Yah˙weh on earth is also confirmed in Isa. 24:23, Hag. 2:22, Micah 4:7, Isa. 2:2-4, Joel 2:32, Joel 3:17, Eze. 34:23-24, Eze. 37:24-28, Zech. 14:3-21, Obad. 1:17-21, Ps. 2:6, Ps. 110:2-7.
CHAPTER V- WE ARE OUTSIDE THE NEW COVENANT!
WE HAVE REJECTED THE SIGN OF THE ETERNAL COVENANT
Who is this "remnant" that shall escape, the "remnant whom Yah˙weh shall call", the "remnant of My people" - of which we often read in the prophetical books? This "remnant of her seed" (Rev. 12:17 KJV) is defined as those "who keep the Commandments of Yah˙weh and have the testimony of Yahush˙a The Messiah" - the two conditions required to be in that firstfruit company of Rev. 14:12. This is the firstfruit company, the remnant, those who have not defiled themselves with the "women" of Rev. 17:1-5. They are those who have heeded the command of our Leader in Rev. 18:4, "come out of her, My people". "And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant," Eze. 20: 25-27. This is a prophecy for the end-time, wherein we clearly hear from our Mighty One that "the bond of the Covenant " is Yah˙weh's requirement for us if we are to be part of the remnant. Our attention is drawn to "the bond of the covenant" in this passage.
In Rev. 11:15-19 we also read, when Yah˙weh and His Messiah put an end to the kingdom of this world to set up the Kingdom of Yah˙weh on earth, that the Ark of the Covenant is brought to our attention too - verse 19. Remember: the most important contents of this Ark of the Covenant is the Law written on two tables - the very same Law by which we all will be judged by in the Great Day of Yah˙weh - James 1:25 and 2:12. The Messiah, in His final message to us in Revelation, has emphasised the necessity for keeping His Father's Commandments in three places - Rev. 12:17, Rev. 14:12 and Rev. 22:14. He stressed it in the four Evangels as well - Matt. 5:19, Matt. 19:17, Luke 10:28, Luke 16:17, John 5:14, John 8:11, John 8:47, John 12:50. The Apostles stressed it too - Rom. 2:26-29, Rom. 3:31, Rom. 7:12, Rom. 7:22, Rom. 7:26, Rom. 8:7, 1 Cor. 7:19, 1 Tim. 6:13-14, Titus 2:12-14. James 2:10-12, 2 Pet. 2:21, 1 John 2:3-4, 1 John 3:4-10, 1 John 3:24, 1 John 5:3, 1 John 5:18, 2 John v.6 etc.
One of the saddest mistakes of the King James Version is its use of the word "testament" instead of "covenant", as it should have been. The Greek word diatheke has been rendered "covenant" some 20 times and "testament" some 13 times. Since then, this most unhappy error has been corrected, and almost all never translations have completely eliminated the word "testament", although they all still persist with the man-made tradition of calling the last part of the Scriptures "New Testament". Just like the newer translations have now correctly done, all Greek-English Interlinears have also avoided using the word "testament" in its text. Dr. Bullinger, in The Companion Bible, appx. 95, wrote, "The word 'Testament', as a translation of the Greek word diatheke (which means covenant), has been nothing less than a great calamity; for, by its use, truth has been effectually veiled all through the centuries; causing a wrong turning to be taken as to the purpose and character of this Dispensation, by which the errors of tradition have usurped the place of important truth. The word 'Testament' as a name for a collection of books is unknown to Scripture. It comes to us through the Latin vulgate." The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4, p. 575, says, "There can be no doubt that the fundamental meaning of 'covenant' in the NT is derived from, and is a highly creative reinterpretation of, the OT berith, a two-party arrangement in which one is bound by oath." What then is wrong with the word "testament"? On the same page in this dictionary we read, "Testament: properly, a written instrument by which a person disposes of his estate, to take effect after his death."
A covenant is binding agreement between two parties; it is a two-party solemn arrangement in which one is bound by oath. On the other hand, a testament is a written instrument by which someone has disposed of his estate. This exposes the very heart of the Great Apostasy of our time. This reveals the very carnal nature of man, "Because the carnal mind ... is not subject to the Law of Yah˙weh," writes Paul in Rom. 8:7. Also, carnal man only wants to "receive" and does not want to "serve". Yahush˙a has taught us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," Acts 20:35. Believers are, or ought to be, in a covenant relationship with Yah˙weh, with Yahush˙a being the Mediator (Heb. 8:6, Heb. 9:15, Heb. 12:24) thereof. Yahush˙a has solemnly instituted the New Covenant in Matt 26:28, "For this is the blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins." We ought to have been in the same New (more correctly: Renewed) Covenant - Heb. 8:10, Heb.10:16 - if we take the Cup and the Bread, His Blood and His Body!
Only the "overcomers", the "little flock", are experiencing the blessings of the Renewed Covenant now, but when Yahush˙a returns, it will become a reality to all. Similarly, only the firstfruit company are now abiding by the Laws of His Kingdom, but with His Second Coming, the Kingdom of Yah˙weh and its Laws, will be binding to but when He returns, he will be King over all the earth - Rev. 11:15, Dan. 2:44, Dan. 7:18:27, Isa. 24:23, Micah 4:7, Zech. 14:4-21 etc.
This world "testament", as a description of our present spiritual realm, is the heritage that we have inherited from Rome, for it has come our way, due to the use of the word "testament" in the Latin Vulgate. The word gives the wrong impression of "receiving only". It contributes to the erroneous teachings of "only believe" , "grace only" , "good works are unnecessary" , "love only" . Incidentally, love is not the rule whereby we must live, love is the principle whereby we must live. Love is the motive for the keeping of the law. It is a fallacy to think that "love" according to the world, is the same as the "love" according to the Scriptures. Scriptural love is qualified, it is specified by the stipulations of the Law. Unqualified love grants permission for the act of adultery for the sake of "love", murder for the sake of "love", etc. Scriptural love is defined as the keeping of the Commandments of Yah˙weh - 1 John 5:3 and 2 John v.6.
This doctrine of "only believe" is the fruit of the work of the "spirit that works in the sons of disobedience," the spirit in the Man of Lawlessness who instituted this "no-law-religion", the Great Apostasy, the Mystery of Lawlessness. Yah˙weh warns about this in Ps. 2:1-6, "Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yah˙weh and against his Anointed (), saying , 'Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.' He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; Yah˙weh shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: 'Yet I have set My King on my separated hill of Zion'" This is exactly what has happened in our Christian world, and this is exactly the restoration which must soon come. Some time ago a young mans said he became a Buddhist because they have "no do's and don'ts". Is it much different with us? Where is the New covenant? Is the Law of Yah˙weh truly written into our hearts and written in our minds? Sadly, we must admit: Indeed, the Mystery of Lawlessness, the Great Apostasy, has become our heritage, inherited through the traditions of men. The Man of Lawlessness has indeed taken over. "The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth ... therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left," Isa. 24:5-6.
Not only has the Covenant been broken, but Messianic Believers have not been properly taught the basic simple, but clear Messianic message of the New Covenant: The Law of Yah˙weh written into our hearts and in our minds, by Yahush˙a, the Mediator of the New or Renewed Covenant. Therefore, we must eliminate the word "testament" from the "New Testament", as modern translations have done. Furthermore, this latter part of the Scriptures, we so dearly love, must be called: "New Covenant", and not "New Testament". That will help us remember that we are expected to be in a two-party agreement with our Mighty One if we regard ourselves in be "in the Faith". We are bound to Him by love, by His Son, the Mediator of the Eternal Covenant. We are married to Him, therefore we are faithful to Him, willingly. We delight in the Law of Yah˙weh. It is no longer a burden, it is a joy to be obedient to Yahush˙a, the Lawgiver, the Covenant-mediator.
The incorrect and un-Scriptural ideal of "testament", instead of the correct Scriptural "covenant", has truly been a "calamity", as Dr. Bullinger called it. Similarly, the older translations lack the correct Scripture words "lawlessness" and "lawless". That too has been a major cause for the "no-law doctrine". Likewise, the erroneous rendering of Heb. 4:9 has also hidden the clear instruction of Sabbath-keeping, as previously discussed. Last of course, the substitution of the Name of the Father and the Name of the Sun, has resulted in the hiding of, and the substitution of their identities, and even the supplanting of their Names with those of idols, particularly Sun-deities. The prophecy of Yahush˙a's First Coming was given in Mal. 3:1, "'Behold ... the Sovereign, Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His Temple, even the Messenger (Angel) of the Covenant, in Whom you delight Behold, He is coming.' says Yah˙weh of hosts." Have we accepted Him, the Angel of the Covenant, the Messenger of the Covenant, the Mediator of the Covenant, to mediate the Covenant? Yah˙weh turned. and gave Israel up to worship the host of heaven. He has done the same, exactly the same, to us too -we who regard ourselves to be part of Israel! Why Because He has sent us strong delusion to believe the lie, the Great Lie that we are free from the binding Covenant relationship, "free from the Law". This has resulted in the Great Apostasy, the Mystery of Lawlessness (2 Thess. 2 Rev. 12-22). Hebrews chapters 7,8,9 and 10 make it very clear: Yahush˙a fulfilled the Old Testament laws concerning the offerings (sacrifices) and the laws concerning the Levitical priesthood - the ceremonial laws - nothing more!
We are not saved by good works. We are saved by favour (grace) through faith. We cannot earn our salvation. Paul makes this very clear in Romans 3 and 4. We are saved by favour (grace) alone. But not: we are saved by favour, through faith, UNTO doing good works. That is the clear message of Eph. 2:8-10, Titus 2:14, Titus 1:16. When we come to salvation, Yahush˙a commands us, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you," John 5:14. Again, Yahush˙a said in John 8:11, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." What is sin? The Scriptures emphatically describe it as lawlessness, transgression of the Law - 1 John 3:4, Exod. 20:20, Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4:15, Rom. 7:7, Jer. 16:10-11 etc. Can we truthfully say, "Thy Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee"? - Ps. 119:11 NASB.
If we do not have the Law of Yah˙weh in our hearts and in our minds, we are outside the New or Renewed Covenant. This same Covenant is called the Eternal Covenant in Heb. 13:20. This Eternal Covenant has a sign: the Sabbath, according to Exod. 31:16-17. Shall we not return to the Mediator of this Covenant, Yahush˙a, and ask Him to mediate to the Eternal, Renewed Covenant?
CHAPTER VI- UNVEILING THE GREAT HIDDEN MYSTERY OF SATUR(N)
In studying the subject "Satur(n)", one is struck by the overwhelming evidence of the scholars who emphasise the react mystery of this "hidden" deity. Rev. Alexander Hislop in The Two Babylons contributes much to unveil this mystery. We have already seen the almost unanimous verdict that Rome is indeed the Second Babylon, or Mystery Babylon. The following evidence was also discovered: The ancient name of Rome was Saturnia, the city of Saturn.275 Saturn was the "father of the gods",276 also called the father of Zeus (alias Jupiter).277 Saturn was also known as Kronos and he was known as the first King of Babylon.276 Hislop quotes Eusebius who stated that "Saturn or Belus was the first King of Babylon."278 Belus, of course, is the Greek word for Baal, as is generally known. "It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the only God." - wrote Hislop.279 Saturn was also known as Lateinos and Lateinos was identified by Virgil as the "child of the Sun."280 Therefore, the very ancient name of Rome, namely Saturnia, the city of Saturn (alias Belus or Baal, the first King of Babylon), is further proof of Rome's identity as the Second Babylon, Mystery Babylon.
In the Preface of this blood we have already stated that "The Pagans were in the habit of worshipping the same god under different names."281 Many scholars have called this the "many masks" of the pagan idol. This "different masks" or "different names" or "hiddenness", all contribute to the "mystery" which is so typically to be expected of the Prince of Darkness, Satan. But Yahush˙a has promised us, "For nothing is hidden that will not be known and come to light," Luke 8:17. In our endeavour to unveil the mystery , the hiddenness, of this hidden deity, we must first of all remember that the name "Saturn" did not originate from the planet Saturn. The name Saturn originated with a deity and was only afterwards given to that planet Saturn, which, as we all know, has a ring(s) or "halo" around it. Many scholars have discovered from ancient sources that this planet Saturn was connected with the sun, somehow. The reason for this is the well-known principle in astrology of "star-representation" or "star-deputising."282 In other words, as the sun sets at sunset, it becomes represented by a planet at night. It is represented by a deputy acting on its behalf. Most of the pagan nations regarded Saturn to be the chief deputy or representative of the sun, especially among the Greeks.282 That is why Saturn was designated as the "sun" in many Greek inscriptions.282
A week of feasting was held in rome, dedicated to Saturn, and it was called: Saturnalia. It lasted from 17 -23 December and it is generally admitted to have preceded the birthday of the Sun-deity on 25 December. It was known for its exuberant festivities, given to drunkenness and revelry, being a time for giving presents in the form of "images" to one another, especially to children.283 This was the origin of the Christmas custom of giving dolls to little girls.
Saturn was also known as Ninurta in Babylon.284 Ninurta was well known to be a Sun-deity in Babylon.284 The Babylonians also had a seven-day week, and their seventh-day was dedicated to Ninurta, alias Saturn.285 This fact becomes very important to us. The weekly day of rest was transferred from the Sabbath to the Sun-day, the first day of the week, by the newly fused Church in the year 336 C.E. (or 364 C.E. ), at the Council of Laodicea, as previously mentioned. Since then, Sun-day is kept as day of rest instead of the Scriptural seventh-day of the Babylonians. In ancient Babylon the seventh-day was dedicated to Ninurta, alias Saturn, also a type of the Sun. The case was the same in Rome too, where the seventh-day of the week was also dedicated to Saturn, when they switched over from the former eight-day cycle to a seven-day cycle in the 2nd century B.C.E. So, later on in the 4th century C.E. the Church transferred the rest day from the seventh-day Sabbath to the Sun-day, and instead of the seventh-day being a day dedicated to Yah˙weh by keeping it as a rest-day and calling it the Sabbath, the name of it was replaced with "Satur-day", a day dedicated to Saturn - Just as it previously had been a pagan Rome, and in the old Semitic Babylon before. The Seventh-day Sabbath which Yah˙weh and His Creator-Son had "blessed and separated" right back in Gen. 2:3, had its name now substituted with the name of the pagan day dedicated to Satur(n), alias Baal or Belus. Further, the rest of the Sabbath-day was moved forward to Sun-day, previously instituted by Constantine in honour of the venerable day of Sol Invictus, the day of the Sun-deity.
Then we discovered something which startled us. Saturn was identified with Baal too.286 There was another ancient Etruscan (old Italian) deity named "Satre" (pronounced: Sater), also called Sator. W.H. Roscher mentions two scholars who regarded this name to be an old name for Saturn was his son.287 Hislop states that Saturn is known in Chaldee (Babylonian language) as "Satur", and that this Satur was "canonized" by Rome and a festival instituted for March 29th, dedicated to "St. Satur".288 Further research brought us the shocking discovery that Satur is the goat-legged deity which we all know since our childhood days to be Satan! The Greeks spell his name Saturos, that is: "Satur" in English. It has erroneously been spelt "Satyr" in English books, most probably because Satan was determined to hide his identity from us. Any Oxford Dictionary will confirm the Greek form as: Saturos. This is also affirmed by Hislop289 and by F. Commelin.290 These Saturs were headed by Pan, who also was half-man and half-goat.
These Saturs are found in Scripture, in Isa. 13:21, being identified here as part of Babylon. The Saturs, and their leader Pan, are also known as "Goat-gods", and described by dictionaries as lust deities (see any dictionary under "Satyr"). J.M. Robertson, Christianity and Mythology, pp. 319-325, describes in detail how the early Babylonians called the Sun: "the Goat", that the "goat-god" was the "Sun-god". he also states that the scapegoat Azazel of Leviticus 16 was a figure of Satan, as was proclaimed by Origen. He also mentions on p. 231 how the ancient Babylonians "consecrated the seventh-day (Saturday) to their supreme and sinister deity Saturn." On p. 232 he states that Saturn was known to the Romans as Deus Latius, the deity of the Latins. A deity with two goat-legs has always been identified with Satan, by ancient Jews as well as Christians. Is it possible, that even the names "Satur" and "Saturn" are related to the name "Satan"? Jacob Grimm thrice mentioned this possibility.291 Hislop also mentions this likelihood thrice.292 However, the strongest witness is that which comes from the etymological evidence, and the portrayal of the goat-legged Satan, being identical to that of Satur, as well as the Scriptural evidence of Isa. 13:21 in the King James Version.
The Sabbath of Yah˙weh starts at sunset Friday night and ends 24 hours later at sunset. In that period of 24 hours the world is seeking its pleasure, parties, liquor, shopping, sports and festivities - in fact, a miniature Saturnalia, if only now kept for one day. The very nature of Satur is often let loose. This is the way of man, as opposed to the Way of Yah˙weh. This is the carnal way of spending the seventh-day of the week, as opposed to the spiritual feast in which the people of Yah˙weh should be delighting themselves in (Isa. 58:13, Lev. 23:2-3).
The Church has rejected the Covenant, the Eternal Covenant with the Sabbath as its sign, now being the New Covenant, which as the Law of Yah˙weh, the Ten Words, written into our hearts and in our minds. Therefore, Yah˙weh has given us up to worship the host of heaven. Therefore the Woman is clothed with the Sun, the Moon at her feet, and the Stars on her head. The wine of fornication has made us happy, but it has also dulled our senses. Therefore we can no longer discern between what is right and what is wrong -in the sight of our Heavenly Father of course.
The name of the day of Satur (or Satan?), namely Saturday, has taken the place of the day of Yah˙weh, the Sabbath. The Seventh-day of the week is spent according to the ways of the "Hidden One" after whom it was named: SATUR or SATURN, instead of dedicating it as a Sabbath, according to the One who instituted it right back in Gen. 2:3. To have a day of rest, the Western world has preferred the day of the Sun, a day which was originally dedicated to the Sun-deity, "Sol Invictus my companion", by emperor Constantine.
Because of our rejecting the Eternal Covenant's sign, the Sabbath, and the truth of the eternal binding validity of the Moral Law, the Ten Words - therefore our Heavenly Father has sent us "strong delusion" that we "should believe the lie," 2 Thess. 2:11.
The 24 components of Sun-worship are indeed 24 proofs that Yah˙weh has turned, and has given us up to worship the host of heaven. This alarming fact of the "day of Satur" is even further proof, shocking evidence, jolting us out of our "deep sleep". "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin," 1 Cor. 15:34.
The time for the Final Reformation has come, even if this Final Reformation requires us to take a big step. The Body of must be born, and a birth is indeed a radical experience. The birth of the Renewed Israel, or True Israel, or the Remnant, the Few - whatever you wish to call it - is to take place. The Scriptures speak often of this great event, this end-time birth: Rev. 12:5, Micah 4:6-10, Micah 5:3, Ps. 22:31, Ps. 102:18, Matt. 24:8 etc. Micah 5:3 describes it so well, "Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labour has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel." The time of this birth is the time of the Great Tribulation, as The Messiah said in Matt. 24:8, "But all these things are merely the beginning of the birth pangs," NASB, the time of the labour pains, "the first pains of childbirth," Matt. 24:8 Good News Bible. The tribulation of the end-time will bring forth the restoration, the Remnant, the Renewed Israel. "When you are in tribulation and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to Yah˙weh your Mighty One and obey His voice," Deut. 4:30 RSV. Yahush˙a will remain in heaven "until the times of restoration of all things," Acts 3:21. The True Worship must be re-established, the Body of The Messiah, the Assembly or Congregation of Yah˙weh, must come out of Babylon, must be delivered from the sin, the pollution of Sun-worship, the worship of the host of heaven. The Eternal Covenant, the Renewed Covenant, needs to be rediscovered.
The Scriptures, especially the prophetic books, abound with prophecies concerning this final restoration of Israel. What will this "Israel", the Renewed Israel consist of? We read in Acts 15:14-17, "Simon has declared how Yah˙weh at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 'After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, so that the rest of mankind may seek Yah˙weh, even all the Gentiles who are called by My Name, says Yah˙weh Who does all these things.'" "A people for His Name ... even all the Gentiles who are called by My Name" - is the very description of the firstfruit company of Rev. 14:1. It is the very description of repentant, restored True Israel, amongst whom are also the Gentiles who are grafted into the natural olive tree, Rom. 11:17-24. Read also Eph. 2-11, Rev. 21:12.
This is confirmed, and revealingly described, in Isa. 56:6-7, an end-time prophecy, describing the salvation of the Gentiles, "Also the sons of the foreigner, who join themselves to Yahweh, to serve Him, and to love the Name of Yah˙weh, to be His servants - everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My Covenant - even them I will bring to My Separated Mountain." The end-time blessings are only for repentant, believing and obedient Gentiles who are joined to Yah˙weh, grafted into Israel, the Renewed Israel. These are the only ones that will be saved in the end-time. Read Isa. 14:1, Jer. 30:11, Jer. 16:19-21, Zech. 2:11, Amos 9:8-12, Zech 8:23, Numb. 15:15-16 etc. Gentiles who are saved, are grafted into the natural olive tree, True Israel, if they are to partake of the root and fatness, of the blessings that were promised to True Israel - Rom. 11:17-24.
Gentiles who are saved have not taken the place of Israel, they can only be "fellow citizens", "fellow heirs" and "partakers of His promise in The Messiah" - read Eph. 2:19 and 3:6. The Gentiles have not superseded Israel, no, they are only "partakers of their (Israel's) spiritual things," Rom. 15:27. Apostate Israel, especially for their unbelief in The Messiah, as well as apostate Christianity, especially for their transgression of the Law, must both come to repentance. The prophecy for the end-time comes to us in Isa. 30:20-21, "And though Yah˙weh gives you the bread of affliction and the water of oppression yet your teachers (or: Teacher) will not be hidden anymore. But your eyes shall see your teachers (or: Teacher), and your ears shall hear a word from behind you, saying, 'This is the Way, walk in it' - when you go right or when you go left" - Green's Interlinear. For almost 2 000 years Christians have made earthly men their teachers, instead of getting all their teachings from the One who purchased them, the One who gave His Life for them: Yahush˙a The Messiah. He said in Matt 23:8, "But you, do not be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brethren." Again He repeated this in verse 10, "And do not be called teachers, for one is your Teacher, the Messiah."
Our Messiah is busy preparing His Bride, separating her and cleansing her with the washing of her water by the Word - Eph. 5:26. "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen represents the righteous acts for the saints," Rev. 19:8. "The Remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies," Zeph. 3:13 KJV. If we accept Yahush˙a as our personal Saviour, accept His forgiveness for our sins, He then commands, and teaches us, "Sin no more" (John 5:14); "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11).
Those who are born again, sin not, sin no more - 1 John 3:8 and 9, 1 John 5:18. The most dedicated believer can still sin unintentionally, or in a moment of weakness can still sin unintentionally, or in a moment of weakness while under pressure. For this unintentional sin there is complete forgiveness if we "confess and forsake" - Prov. 28:13. The forgiveness for unintentional sin is repeatedly reaffirmed - Numb. 15:22-29, Lev. 4:2-28, Lev. 5:15-18 and Heb. 9:7. But if we sin wilfully or presumptuously or intentionally, after we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remains a terrible price to pay - Heb. 10:26-31, Numb. 15:30-31, Ps. 19:23, Ex. 34:7. By doing this we "trample the Son of Yah˙weh underfoot," and count "the Blood of the Covenant ... a common thing," Heb. 10:29. The Psalmist could testify to deliverance from intentional sin in Ps. 119:11 NASB, "Thy Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee." Can we testify too?
The answer to this Great Apostasy is: Yahush˙a. The only One who will lead us out of this wilderness is: Yahush˙a. John Wesley said something like this: When I looked into the Law, I realised that I was a sinner, and that I needed salvation. The Law therefore pointed me to The Messiah, and I found salvation in Him. The Messiah then pointed me back to the Law, for He commanded me to keep the Law. But I found that I could not keep the Law by myself. Again the Law referred me back to The Messiah through Whom I am enabled to keep the Law. This indeed summarises the Glad Tidings, the Evangel. Yahush˙a does teach, and commands us to keep the Law - Matt. 5:19, Matt 7:23, Matt. 13:41, Matt. 19:17, Mark 7:8-13, Luke 8:21, Luke 10:28, Luke 16:17, John 5:14, John 8:11, John 8:47, John 12:50, John 14:23-24, John 17:6, Rev. 12:17, Rev. 14:12, Rev. 22:14.
In His final message to us, the book of Revelation, He encourages and admonishes us to "overcome" - to overcome sin, including the sins of idolatry which originated from pagan Rome. The Messiah uses the verb "overcome" no less than 17 times in Revelation. Only through Him and by Him can we overcome - John 16:33, Rom. 8:37, 2 Cor. 2:12. "I can do all things through The Messiah Who strengthens me," Phil. 4:13. Yahush˙a warned us "without Me you can do nothing," John 15:5. How does He do it? "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him ... and the Word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's Who sent Me," John 14:23-24. The Word that He teaches us, is not His own, but it is His Father's Words - John 14:24, John 3:34, John 7:16, John 8:28, John 8:40, John 12:49, John 17:8. This identifies the True Messiah, our only Great Prophet - Deut. 18: 18-20. In contrast to this, the false Messiah or false prophet speaks his own words - Deut. 18:20> We must abide in His Words and His Words must abide in us - John 15:7 and John 8:31 -including the Ten Words, the Living Words (Deut. 4:13 and Acts 7:38). Only if a man keeps His Words will the Son and His Father make Their "abode with him", John 14:24 KJV. Only then does he possess Their indwelling power, for him to overcome sin. "For it is Yah˙weh Who works in you both to will and to work on behalf of His good pleasure," Phil 2:13. The Good News Bible reads "Because Yah˙weh is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey His own purpose." This wonderful experience of The Messiah working in us, is also found in Heb. 13:20-21, "Now the Mighty One of peace ... make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Yahush˙a The Messiah ..." KJV.
Yahush˙a found the religionists of His day worshipping the Mighty One by means of vain worship, "Thus you have made the Commandment of Elohim of no effect by your tradition." Instead of keeping the Father's Ten Words, they were keeping and "teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the Commandment of Yah˙weh, you hold the tradition of men ... making the Word of Yah˙weh of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down." Similarly, Paul warned in Col. 2:8, "Beware lest anyone should cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to The Messiah." Paul's ministry to the philosophic Greeks at Athens (Acts 17:16-34) is equally applicable for our time. The Greeks had an altar "to the unknown Yah˙weh." The identity of the True Mighty One was not known. The same is found today. The Father's Name and His Son's Name have been hidden and replaced by other names derive from Sun-worship. Also, the all-important truth of our Covenant-relationship with Yah˙weh has been hidden from us. Up to now we have worshipped the "unknown Mighty One" in an ignorant way, because of the philosophies and traditions of men. The clear call for repentance thus goes out, "Truly, these times of ignorance Yah˙weh over-looked, but no He commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man Whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all, by raising Him from the dead," Acts 17:30-31. The time for the Final Reformation, the restitution for the True Worship, has come. We must allow Yahush˙a to "redeem us from all lawlessness," Titus 2:14 Greek text. Only then will we be the "called, chosen and faithful", will we be part of the firstfruit company, the overcomers, the Isra-El, calling on the Name of Yah˙weh and being in the New Covenant, the Renewed Covenant, the Law of Yah˙weh in our hearts and minds.
Two things are required of us, and these two things are an absolute necessity if we seek Eternal Life. They are coupled, and alternately referred to as:
*Rebirth, then Separation (sanctification).
*Justification by faith, then doing righteousness (First Gen. 15:6, then Gen. 26:5).
*Imputed righteousness, then imparted righteousness.
*Passive righteousness, then active righteousness (Luther).
*Salvation from the burden of sin, then deliverance from the power of sin (Oswald Smith).
*Faith, then good works (Eph. 2:8-10, Titus 2:14, James 2:14-24).
*You have been made well, then: Sin no more (John 5:14).
*Forgiveness, then: Go and sin no more (John 8:11).
*That which He has wrought for us on Golgotha, then Him working in us.
*Faith in Yahush˙a, then keeping the Commandments of Yah˙weh (Rev. 12:17, Rev. 14:12).
Accept Yahush˙a as your personal Saviour, but also as your only Teacher, Matt. 23:8 and 10. "Yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, 'This is the Way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left," Isa. 30:20-21 RSV. "Looking for the blessed hope and esteemed appearing of our great Mighty One and Saviour Yahush˙a The Anointed One, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works," Titus 2:13-14 RAV. it is imperative that we believe in, and obey the Son, for "he who does NOT OBEY THE SON shall not see life, but the wrath of Yah˙weh rests upon him" - John 3:36 RSV (capitals mine. Obedience to the Son, and to believe in Him, are equally important. See also Matt. 13:11-15, John 8:31-36, John 8:51, John 17:6, Rev. 14:4, 2 John v.9, Matt. 7:24-27. Our Messiah said in Luke 6:46, "But why do you call Me 'Master, Master,' and do not do the things which I say?"
We are to obey the Messiah in all things, even His final command to us in regard to our participation in the sins of Babylon:
"COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE, LEST YOU TAKE PART IN HER SINS, LEST YOU SHARE IN HER PLAGUES," Rev. 18:4 RSV (capitals mine). "Coming out of her" requires of us to stop taking part in her sins, particularly the 24 components of Sun-worship, or the worship of the host of heaven, which were inherited by the Church. These components are not acceptable to Yah˙weh, just as little as Israel's golden calf was acceptable to Him. Although Israel attempted to use the golden calf to honour Yah˙weh with (Exod. 32:5), our Mighty One's "wrath burns hot" against such practice. The "wicked abominations", as He had labelled Sun-worship customs which are mixed with the True Worship (Eze. 8:9-16), are not acceptable to Him. If we are to "overcome", we are to repudiate these 24 components of Sun-worship, as well as to repent of keeping the Seventh-day of the week according to the way of Satur, and to return to Yah˙weh through His Son Yahush˙a.
By accepting Yahush˙a as Saviour, and then as our only Teacher, He teaches us, He opens our eyes, he opens our understanding - as we have already stressed. We must abide in His Word. He said in Jn. 8:31-34 NASB, "If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine: and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" - free from sin, free from being a slave of sin, verse 34. Yahush˙a is the Truth, Jn. 14:6, by testifying to the Truth which He received from His Father. He said in Jn. 18:37, "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth." He prayed to His Father in Jn. 17:17 and said to Him "Thy Word is Truth." KJV. This same Truth, as was proclaimed by Yahush˙a, is that which sets us free from sin, free from bondage to the "abominations and filthiness of her fornications" Which we have inherited from Mystery Babylon, the "wicked abominations" of Sun-mixed worship, or Baal-mixed worship.
Like Gideon of old, we desperately need the help and delivery of Yah˙weh in the time of the Great Tribulations, which is becoming a reality. He will not deliver us in this time unless we too, build and altar Yah˙weh - restore the pure worship to Yah˙weh. An altar is symbolic of the "ways", the mode of worship, or means or "hows" to worship. At the same time, we, like Gideon, need to break down the altar of Baal - the more, the customs, the "hows" of Sun-worship, all 24 of them, need to be repented of and eliminated. Only then can we return to the Almighty, and He will return to us.
He has turned away from us and has given us up to worship the host of heaven, as we have repeatedly said. Elohim said in Hos. 5:15, "I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offence. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will diligently seek Me." Hosea then calls out in Hos. 6:1, "Come, and let us return to Yah˙weh; for He has torn, but he will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up." "'Return to Me,' says Yah˙weh of hosts, 'and I will return to you,' says Yah˙weh of hosts 'Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, 'Thus says Yah˙weh of hosts: Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.' 'But they did not hear nor heed Me,' says Yah˙weh," Zech. 1:3-4.
For those who are seeking the blessings of Yah˙weh, for those who are seeking a delivery in this time of trouble, in the Great Tribulation - the call goes out: Return to Him, and He will return to us. To those believers who yearn for His Second Coming - the call goes outs: Come out of the sins of Mystery Babylon. For those who long for Yahush˙a to return and assume His rightful position as King of kings and as High Priest in the Separated Place - the call goes out: The Separated Place must first be swept thoroughly and the chaff of Sun - or Baal - worship be burned with unquenchable fire.
The message of Elijah must again go forth in the end-time, before the great and terrible Day of Yah˙weh comes - Mal. 4:5. Elijah found the people in mixed worship, the worship of Yah˙weh and the worship of Baal (the Sun-deity). the message of Elijah, a message of challenge, is again proclaimed, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If Yah˙weh is The Mighty One, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him," 1 Kings 18:21. Shall we do as Israel did, by "answering him not a word"?
Our sins, our transgression of the Law, can only be atoned for the Blood of Yahush˙a. His Blood is "the Blood for the Eternal Covenant", as is clearly related in Heb. 13:20 RSV, NEB, NASB, NIV. In Heb. 10:29 His Blood is called "the Blood of the Covenant". This Eternal Covenant is the same as the Renewed or New Covenant. If we are earnestly seeking Eternal Life, dare we continue to trample underfoot His Blood which He shed to bring us into the Eternal Covenant (Heb. 13:20), also rejecting the sign of the Eternal Covenant, the Sabbath? - Ex. 31: 16-17. The Eternal Covenant is the very same Eternal Covenant which Yah˙weh says will be found (on the Day of Judgment) to be "broken" by the "inhabitants of the earth", Isa. 24:5.
The message on the day of the Pentecost in Acts 2 was given at the time of the Former Rain. The same message is again proclaimed for the time of the Latter Rain, "'Men and brethren what shall we do?' Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the Name of Yahush˙a The Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Spirit of Separation. For the promise is to you and to your children, and all who are afar off, as many Yah˙weh our Mighty One will call.' An with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation,'" Acts 2:27-40.