Thursday, March 31, 2016

Titus 1:12-13

I was recently reading Titus 1:12-13. There it says:
Titus 1:12-13 
“One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; ”
Paul uses a saying of the time to describe the Cretans1, but this description does not include things they would take pride of: “always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies”. Paul does not, like somebody would expect, rebuke such a saying. In fact he did the opposite. He said that this saying is true and instructed Titus to rebuke the Cretans sharply that they may be sound in the faith. From this I extract that this description of the Cretans applied also to those from Crete that God had called. These people were not some noble, sincere, nice speaking people with great values. He called people who were liars, evil beasts and slow belies. These are the people who God went to, revealed His Son, and they accepted Him!
God’s love is really amazing. It is not because of the things that we did or we are that we are saved and members of the family of God, but it is because of His amazing grace and love! For either we are like the Cretans or we think we are a little bit “better”, for God there is no difference:
Romans 3:21-26
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested….even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus.
“There is no difference”, says the Word. “All [including you and me] have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Yet God made a way out in Jesus Christ. Now whoever “BELIEVES in Jesus2” is justified! See also Romans 5:8-10:
Romans 5:8-10
“But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For ifwhen we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, having being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. ”
God demonstrates His love towards us by giving His Son for us WHEN WE WERE STILL SINNERS. We were ENEMIES to Him, but He reconciled us to Himself by the death of his Son.
Don’t look with amazement to the filthiness of the Cretans. You can also look at me and yourself without Christ. Without Him we are nothingHE made the difference! His sacrifice made the way. The only thing that is needed from us is to believe in Him. To believe in the Lord Jesus and in His resurrection. If you are reading this and you don’t yet believe in Christ and you think that you are OK because you may consider yourself a little bit (or a lot) better than those Cretans.. in God’s eyes you are NOT better. The Cretans wouldn’t be reconciled to God and they wouldn’t be justified, by becoming more honest, more sincere, but by believing in Christ and in His resurrection. He is the only solution. See what God says in His Word:
Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:11
Whoever believes on him will not be ashamed. ”
I John 5:1
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God
It is believing that is required for salvation, not doing! It is believing, not understanding! Believing comes first and with it comes the whole gift package, including: salvation, justification, reconciliation with God, holy spirit, becoming son and daughter of God i.e. member of God’s family and others that “God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9). It is not works that are needed to achieve these. Christ did the work. What is needed now is believing in Him, in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His resurrection from the dead. This is what those Cretans did and I hope that you have already done or you will also do the same.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lazarus and the rich man

(Note: This article is part of the study with title: Resurrection or life immediately after death ? The reader is advised to also read the other articles of this study.)
We have seen up to now that the Bible clearly teaches that the dead are dead, i.e. they are without consciousness, waiting for the resurrection. This we recognise is against the traditional view that believes that though somebody dies “his soul continues living”. We have however seen, from a multitude of Scriptures, that this traditional view cannot be correct, as it contradicts Scripture. There are though a few passages of the Bible that being misunderstood are used by tradition to support its doctrine of a supposed life immediately after death. One such passage is the story of the rich man and Lazarus, given in Luke 16:19-31. There we read:
Luke 16:19-31
"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’"
Now before we say anything about a passage, especially one that seems to contradict many other passages, we need to study its context. To whom did Jesus say this story ? This we can easily find by looking at the verses that precede the above passage. Starting from Luke 16:1 we can see that the Lord spoke to His disciples and gave them a teaching that ended with the following conclusion: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. ” (Luke 16:13) Now to this the Pharisees that were around responded as follows: “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him” (Luke 16:14). Then Jesus moved on and replied to them:
Luke 16:15-19 
“And He said to THEM [the Pharisees], You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery. There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.”
I have intentionally included verse 19 in the above. Because this is part of the same talk that started in verse 15 and was addressed to “them”, them being the Pharisees. It was to them that Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. He was not giving a sermon to the people or a teaching to his disciples (though they were present). In contrast His eyes were looking at the Pharisees and His words were addressed to them. It was only after He completed this story that He turned again to the disciples, for we are reading in Luke 17:1 “then He said to the disciples….”. In other words, looking in chapter 16 as a whole we can see that what the Lord said in that chapter was addressed to two different groups of people: what he said from Luke 16:1 to 13 was addressed to the disciples with the Pharisees hearing. To this the Pharisees reacted deriding him. Then from verses 15-31 (which also includes the story we are looking at) He turned to the Pharisees and addressed them. When He was done with them, He turned again to the disciples (Luke 17:1).
It was therefore to the Pharisees that the Lord addressed the Lazarus and the rich man story. Now looking at this story we may feel very perplexed as there are elements in this that are not seen elsewhere in the Bible. Let’s see some of them:
i) The rich man died and went to Hades, where he was apparently tormented. As it appears from the passage he was still conscious as he could see, feel and speak. Moreover he had still sympathy and concern for his brothers and he wanted to warn them. This description of Hades and the state of the dead is in obvious contradiction with many Scriptures, some of which we give below:
Ecclesiastes 9:4-6, 10 
"But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living KNOW that they will die; BUT THE DEAD KNOW NOTHING, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; NEVERMORE WILL THEY HAVE A SHARE IN ANYTHING DONE UNDER THE SUN. ....... Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might FOR THERE IS NO WORK OR DEVICE OR KNOWLEDGE OR WISDOM IN THE GRAVE (Sheol) WHERE YOU ARE GOING."
Psalms 6:5 
“For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave (Hebrew: Sheol, Hades in Septuagint) who will give you thanks?”
Psalms 31:17 
“let them be silent in the grave (Hebrew: Sheol, Hades in Septuagint)”.
Psalms 115:17 
“The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence. [Septuagint: go down into Hades i.e. Hades = silence]”
Psalms 30:9 
“What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it declare your truth? ”
Isaiah 38:18-19 
“For the grave [Sheol] cannot praise you, death can not celebrate you: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth. The living, the living, he shall praise you, as I do this day: the father shall make known your truth to the children. ” (NKJV-KJV)
As it is obvious from the above, Sheol (in Hebrew) or Hades (in Greek) is a place of silence and non-consciousness. There is no tormenting or refreshing there. There are no feelings of sympathy and there is no knowledge there. There are really more than 70 occurrences of the words Sheol and Hades in the Bible and nowhere do we see in them the characteristics we see in the above story. Really in our story we see the rich man in Hades, speaking, feeling, having sympathy and being tormented. Why is that? Before we see the why, let’s also see some other points of this story. Let’s focus on the poor Lazarus.
ii) So for poor Lazarus we read:
Luke 16:22 
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom”
Once again this sentence contains strange references, unprecedented in the Bible. Indeed, there is no other Biblical reference to “Abraham’s bosom” and to angels bringing people there. There are as we said more than 70 occurrences of the words Sheol and Hades in the Bible that define Hades, literally the grave, as the place that all dead – without distinction – go. But we never read of an “Abraham’s bosom” there, nor do we read that the poor or the just go to a different place than the rich or the unjust. Why is Jesus making such references that have no parallel in the Scripture and in fact contradict it in many points?
The answer can be found by going back to the context: to whom was Jesus addressing this story? As we saw this was not intended to be a general teaching on the dead but it was addressed specifically to the Pharisees that scorned him because he was teaching that there is no way to work both God and money. This audience we read were “lovers of money”, “covetous” and they “were justifying themselves among men”. The Pharisees had, as we can read in other places in the Scripture, traditions that didn’t have anything to do with the Word of God. They believed things that were foreign to Scripture and made the Word of God of no effect. Mark 7:1-13 give us some insight on how far from the Bible this sect was:
Mark 7:1-13 
“Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash theirhands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honours Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men––the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. "For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ "But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban" ––’(that is, a gift to God), "then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."”
The last phrase “and many such things you do” shows that the above were not the only instances where the Pharisees were clearly deviating from Scripture. In fact, as it happens many times today, they had replaced the Word of God with their traditions. In fact, as it happens many times today, they had replaced the Word of God with their traditions. Their teaching were not teachings coming from the Scripture but traditions with no base on the Bible and in fact traditions that were blatantly contradicting the Bible. Now why do I say all these things about the Pharisees? The reason is simple: because though the “bosom of Abraham” and the other strange things that appear in the rich man and Lazarus story do not appear anywhere else in the Bible, and in fact contradict other references in the Bible, they do appear in the traditions the Pharisees believed. Here is what the Catholic encyclopedia tells us about the beliefs of the Jews of the 1st century (ephasis added):
“In the Holy Bible, the expression "the Bosom of Abraham" is found only in two verses of St. Luke's Gospel (16:22-23). It occurs in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus the imagery of which is plainly drawn from the popular representations of the unseen world of the dead which were current in Our Lord's time. According to the Jewish conceptions of that day, the souls of the dead were gathered into a general tarrying-place the Sheol of the Old Testament literature, and the Hades of the New Testament writings (cf. Luke 16:22; in the Greek 16:23). A local discrimination, however, existed among them, according to their deeds during their mortal life. In the unseen world of the dead the souls of the righteous occupied an abode or compartment of their own which was distinctly separated by a wall or a chasm from the abode or compartment to which the souls of the wicked were consigned. The latter was a place of torments … -- the other, a place of bliss and security known under the names of "Paradise" and "the Bosom of Abraham" ”
See in the above the emphasis to the “Jewish conceptions of that day”. We are not speaking here about Scripture based traditions that originate from God but “traditions of that day”, “popular representations of the unseen world”. The Bosom of Abraham, the just being in it, the angels bringing them there, the punishment of the unjust, the chaos between these two places and the other points we read above as the view of the Pharisees, have no parallel in any other part of the Scripture except the story of the rich man and the Lazarus. In other words: WHAT THE LORD USED IN THIS STORY, SPEAKING TO THE PHARISEES, WAS WHAT THE PHARISSES THEMSELVES BELIEVED TO BE HAPPENING AFTER DEATH. He used their own story to pass his own message. We can understand the Lord’s point in the conclusion given in the last sentence of the above story:
Luke 16:31
“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”
Obviously the rich man hadn’t heard, which is to say hadn’t followed, the Moses and the prophets, the Word of God, and ended up tormented. He was an unjust rich and his richness didn’t help him to avoid getting the tormenting share. On the other hand the poor man, though he was poor he was a man that followed the Word of God, the Moses and the prophets, and because of this ended up in Abraham’s bosom. And this is exactly what the Lord wanted to tell to these Pharisees. In Luke 16:13 he told the disciples “you cannot serve God and mammon”. Then Luke 16:14 tells us: “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him”. These people were lovers of money and they were not keeping the Word of God, the Moses and the prophets. In fact as we read elsewhere they were making the Word of God of no effect. Yet, they thought that somehow they would be saved – which according to their (false) traditions meant that after death they would go to the “Bosom of Abraham”. Then the Lord, using their own weapons, their very own traditions, turns to them and gives them a story where the poor ended up in the Bosom of Abraham because he kept the Word of God but the rich and unjust – like they were – ended up in torment. The riches were not sufficient to save him from this. Only keeping the Word of God could do this. It is a teaching to covetous Pharisees that in short tells them: “don’t think that riches will save you. What will save you is to follow the Word of God (the Moses and the prophets)”. To tell them this, the Lord used one of the most effective ways: their own language i.e. the language of their traditions about salvation and condemnation.
To conclude, the Lord didn’t intend with this story to give a sermon on what happens in the afterlife, as many have taken His words to mean, ignoring the context and the Pharisees beliefs that elsewhere the Lord judged severely saying that they bring the Word of God to no effect. What the Lord did, was addressing the Pharisees, using their very own beliefs about the afterlife to tell them that what matters is not riches but keeping the Word of God. He used their own framework, their own beliefs about afterlife, to add his own conclusion. He could choose another framework to say the same thing. But few will doubt that the most effective way to speak to somebody is using a language that is familiar to him. And this is what the Lord did: he spoke to them using their picture of the afterlife as a framework, adding to it the message He wanted. It is very sad that many have taken this framework, these wrong Pharisaic beliefs, and turn them into a doctrine about the dead. This is indeed a doctrine but a Pharisaic one. We hope that this article will help the reader to draw his own conclusions.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

“Beloved, now we are children of God”

I love Galatians 3:23 to 4:7. In verses 23 and 24 Paul explains what was the role of the law: that it was a tutor for the time before the coming of the faith. It then moves on and tells us what happened when faith came:
Galatians 3:25-26
“But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”! Faith in Christ Jesus, to believe that He is the Son of God, the anointed One, the Messiah, makes us children of God, His sons and daughters! Gospel means good news and these are really GOOD NEWS! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”, as Paul and Silas said to the prison-keeper in Philippi (Acts 16:31). “You are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus”, adds the Word here! This reality makes my heart full of joy every time I read this passage. Then chapter 4 of Galatians continues:
Galatians 4:1-7 
“Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Verses 6 and 7 call us, once again, sons of God, His children. God has sealed this by sending the spirit of His Son into our hearts that cries out, Abba1 (daddy), Father! I have read this passage many times and it always gives me much joy. There is something however in it that used to confuse me. And this is the word “adoption” in verse 5. As we know adopted kids are not connected by birth to their adopted parents. This is the very difference between an adopted kid and a non-adopted one. The non-adopted one is connected by birth, by blood with his father and mother, while the adopted one by the act of adoption. I believe we will all agree that though it is wonderful to be a child of God, it is one thing to be an adopted one, where God has not parenting you by birth and quite another to be a child of Him because you were born of Him. I want therefore with this article to go together with you to the Scriptures and see what the Word of God says on the matter of being children of God.

How does one become of child of God?
What does it take?
Is it by birth or it is by adoption?

I believe by the end of this article we will have clear answers on these questions from the only authorized source that can give them: the Word of God. We may have at times to look at the meaning of Greek words. Be patient when we do this because I believe it is worth the effort.

The word adoption

The phrase “adoption as sons” used above is a translation of one Greek word, the word “υιοθεσία” (uiothesia). This word is composed by the word “uios” that means son and the word “thesis” that means placing. “Uiothesia” therefore means the “placing as sons”. To understand better its meaning in Galatians 4, let’s have a look at the context. Galatians 3:23-4:4 speaks about children that were under a schoolmaster. Children that were to inherit but were no different than slaves. In other words, children that though children they had the place of slaves:
Galatians 4:1-3
“Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children (Greek: “nepioi”, small children not able to speak, a little older than infants – not the same as “uioi”, the word translated as “sons” in Galatians), were in bondage (Greek: enslaved) under the elements of the world.”
Galatians 3:1-2 gives us an example of a heir that is under guardians and stewards till the time appointed by the father. As long as he is in this stage, as long as the appointed time by the father has not come, he, though son, has the place of a mere slave. “Even so we”, says Galatians 4:3: before the appointed time by the father, we had the place of slaves, we were enslaved under the elements of the world. Then verses 4-5 tell us what happened next:
Galatians 4:4-5 
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the uiothesia (the placing as sons).”
The word “but” that starts verse 4 puts in contrast what follows it with what precedes it. What was before? The appointed time of the father had not come; we had the place of slaves; we were enslaved to the elements of the world; we were under schoolmasters, guardians and stewards. The word “BUT” nevertheless introduces a change to this situation. What is this change? The fullness of the time, the appointed time by the Father, came! God sent forth His Son, to redeem those who were under the law, and from having the place of slaves we now got the place of sons. We can also see the same, using the words of Galatians 3:23-26.
Galatians 3:23-26 
“But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
There was a time “before faith came”. This was the time of the law, the time of the schoolmaster, the time of the guardians and the stewards of Galatians 4. The time that we had the place of slaves. But then faith came, the fullness of the time came. Christ came! The schoolmaster, the guardian and the steward, the law that was all these, went away. We are no longer under it and we no longer have the place of a slave. Instead we now have the place of a son.
In other words the word “uiothesia” that is used in Galatians 4 and is translated adoption of sons, it would be much better be translated “the place of sons”. This word is not used to tell us that God is our adopted father, as the translation may make it to seem, but that we, with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, with the coming of the faith, we changed our place and from having the place of slaves we got the place of sons. It does not speak about our relationship with God in terms of adopted versus begotten but in terms of having the place of sons versus having the place of slaves.

Born of God – not adopted

The fact that the above passage of Galatians and the word “uiothesia” there does not mean that God is our adopted Father can also be attested by a multitude of other passages of the Bible that make clear that we are not God’s adopted but God’s begotten children. Starting from John 1:12 we read:
John 1:12
“But as many as received Him [the Lord Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name [the name of Jesus Christ]”
The word “children” here is the Greek word τέκνα (tekna) that means “that which is born (from τίκτω, to bear)2”. It is a word that “gives prominence to the fact of birth3”. In fact the next verse makes it crystal clear. Let’s read it together with the above verse:
John 1:12-13 
“But as many as received Him [the Lord Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name [the name of Jesus Christ]: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
From whom those children of God of verse 12 were born? Verse 13 answers: they were born of God! Obviously therefore if we are born of God, it is birth and not adoption that connects us with Him. And the Word makes this clear and we will also see it in more passages.
Next passage to go and see that it is a birth and not an adoption that connects us with God, making Him a literal Father to us, is in John 3:3-8. There we find Jesus and Nicodemus (a Jewish teacher) speaking about a second BIRTH.
John 3:3-8 
“Jesus answered and said to him [Nicodemus], "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again [but the Greek says “born from above” - see also NIV margin], he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. [Greek: “born from above”]’ "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
As Jesus makes clear there are two births that are available. The first birth is the birth of the water or of the flesh. This is the physical birth and all the people who have ever lived on this earth have taken part of this birth. Apart however from this birth, there is one more, that, as Jesus made clear, is a prerequisite to enter into the kingdom of God. This is the “birth from above”. Many translators have translated this as “born again”. As this is indeed a second birth and therefore to say that we were born again is valid4, what the Greek says here is “born from above”, which is another expression to say “born of God who is in above”.
We saw previously in John that the Word speaks of those who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as born of God. Here the Lord speaks about “born from above”. Both are the same and point out the fact that there is a second BIRTH that is required to bring us into the kingdom of God. This is the birth from God or the birth from above or the birth from the Spirit, as it is also called in the above passage of John 3. See again that the Word of God does not speak about adoption. Jesus didn’t say that we have to be adopted by God but to be born of God. It is this very birth that makes us children of God and give us the right to call God our daddy (Abba) Father. We could of course also call him father if we had been adopted by him, but obviously we do not have adoption here but birth. But let’s carry on and go to the first epistle of John. There in I John 5:1 we read:
I John 5:1
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.”
We saw previously in John’s gospel as well as in Galatians that somebody becomes a child of God, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Here it is repeated again. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ i.e. the Anointed one, the Messiah, is born of God. It is that simple and it is that good! It is also news to the world. Gospel means good news and these ARE really good news! Religion has hidden the truth and the beauty of the gospel. For years I had heard a lot about religion. A lot about what I should do to be OK with God. But nobody had told me that by simply believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the anointed One, I would become a child of God and could call God, my daddy, my Father. Yes, it is so simple dear reader. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”, Paul and Silas said, as we read previously, to the prison-keeper in Philippi, when he asked them “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30-31). The same says the Word to God to you today too. If you haven’t met the Lord Jesus Christ, I want you to know that He wants to meet you and bring you to the Father. You don’t need to do some fancy religious staff to get there. You don’t have to follow the various traditions that you may have heard from little kid. What you need to do is here, in front of your eyes: Whoever BELIEVES that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed One, is born of God! And as Romans 10:9 say:
Romans 10:9 
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It is that definite! It is that simple! It is that generous! As we read again in Romans 10:
Romans 10:12-13 
“for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
The Lord is rich, He is generous to all that call upon Him. And all that call on the name of the Lord will be saved!
And I John 4:15 
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
Everything turns around Jesus and everything has to do with belief in Jesus and confession out of this belief. Belief in the Lord Jesus, belief that He is the anointed one, the Christ, belief that He is the Son of God, belief that God has raised Him from the dead, confession, as a result of the belief, that He is Lord. It is not works that get somebody into the family of God. It is belief, faith. And it is not adoption that makes him part of this family but birth, birth from God, who thus becomes Abba (daddy), Father.
Moving further, we can also see this truth, the truth of the new birth, in I Peter 1:23 where we read:
I Peter 1:23 
“having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever”
Again Peter here speak about a new birth, the second birth, the birth from God that we saw John speaking about. It is a birth not from corruptible seed but incorruptible and the means of this birth is through the Word of God that lives and abides forever. Romans 10:17 - just a few verses after the passage that told us that one gets saved, not by works but by confessing with his mouth the Lord Jesus and believing with His heart that God raised him from the dead - tells us how faith comes:
Romans 10:17 
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith comes by hearing. Not hearing religious sermons on human traditions. Not hearing whatever people say that God may say. But by hearing what the Word of God says. What God Himself says. There are millions of people today that think they know what God says or thinks, either because they picture Him thinking this or because a religious person told them that He thinks this or even because their church told them this. Well, the truth of the matter is that every teaching has to be tested against the Word of God, the Bible. I grew up in Greece which is a deeply religious country. But what the people or the official church said about God – which was usually translated to a huge list of dos and don’ts that had no relationship to life – made me want to avoid any connection to Him. As a kid I was praying to Him and I felt Him close. But as the kid became teenager and got no answers to his questions, God became something between irrelevant to life and – when bad things were happening – a terrifying figure that was after me to punish me. But somehow I believed in the Bible – though I never had read it and thought that it was a sacred book only for priests and nuns. I was also searching for the truth, the meaning of life, without success. Whatever I tried, even if it succeeded left me empty. One day at the age of 21 and frustrated by the continues failures of my attempts to find meaning, I asked God to forgive me for the various foolish things I had done and the fact that I never paid real attention to Him. I also asked Him, if He existed, to find me. Less than a week later a friend of mine, without knowing something, told me that he went to a Bible fellowship and asked me to join him next time, which I did. There I saw people holding Bibles in their hand and speaking about becoming children of God, about being saved by faith, without works, about a real and personal relationship with God, about a God that was my daddy. About a God of whom I could ask and receive, seek and find. They were exposing to me an ALIVE God rather then the dead god of the human ordinances and traditions. I thought this was too good! It was also revolutionary! But is it true, I thought, especially since it seems so opposite to what the official church was saying? I decided to test it like this: if something is in the Bible I will believe it. If it is not I will not. Thus I appointed the Bible as my criterion concerning God and His will and not what the various people may say. I also said to myself I will apply the Word of God practically. I will test it. So when I read in the Bible, Jesus saying:
Matthew 7:7-11
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? "Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
When I read this do you know what I did? I started asking God! About everything. For every need I had I was asking Him for His help. And you know what? Miracles happened! God stretched His arm and reached me. Heaven opened and met me! Believing in God is not the end of a mental exercise. It is the beginning of an alive relationship with an ALIVE God. This is the God I’m speaking about. And He sent His Son Jesus Christ to bear our sins on the cross so that today whoever believes that He is the Christ, the Son of God, and God raised Him from the dead, he is saved and he becomes a child of the Almighty. Tired of God? I was tired too. But guess what? You haven’t met the real God. Because the real God is ALIVE, His Word is alive and whoever meets Him never becomes tired of Him. What you have met is the dead god of religion and yes this god cannot make anybody anything else than tired.
That’s how I became a believer. And that’s how I believe somebody becomes a believer. He has to have exposure to the true Word of God, to the good news of the gospel. Hearing is the first step. Then faith comes. Reader of this article: if you are not a believer of Jesus Christ you heard today the gospel, the good news of being saved by faith. The good news of becoming a child of God, the good news of being able to call God your daddy. The Word of God says:
James 4:8 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Reach out to God and He will reach out to you. He loves you, He waits for you and He has a plan for you. His family has a sit for you too. The Father is waiting for you too. As I Timothy 2:4 says: “who [God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” And this includes you too!
Closing this part let’s go to I John 3:1-2 where we read:
I John 3:1-2 
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God;”
Now we are children of God. How? By faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah. This is not something that is promised for the future. It is a present reality and it is available to you now! As Paul says in II Corinthians 6:2
II Corinthians 6:2 
“For He [God] says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

“Waiting for the placing as sons” – Romans 8:23

Returning to our original subject and having seen what I John tells us and that we are now – through faith in Jesus Christ – children of God, let’s go to Romans 8:23. There we read:
Romans 8:23 
“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption [uiothesia– placing as sons], the redemption of our body.”
It is easy to be confused when we read the above passage as it appears that Romans tells us that we are still waiting for the placing as sons while Galatians told us that Jesus Christ came so that we receive the placing as sons and John told us that we are NOW the children of God. The key to avoid confusion in the above passage is the very word “uiothesia”. If somebody understands this word as adoption, as the English translations translate this word, then we are utterly confused. Adoption is as definite in time as birth. There is one specific time that we are born first time (it is the date and time shown in your birth certificate), there is a definite date and time that we are born second time (it is the time that you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead) and there is also a definite date and time that somebody gets adopted (it is the date and time his adopted parents sign the related papers). So if we are to translate the “uiothesia” as adoption, then this definite date and time, has – according to Romans 8 - not even come! We are then not even adopted by God because we are still waiting for this. But this misunderstanding is artificial and created by translating the word uiothesia, as adoption. The right translation is “placing as sons” and to understand its meaning here we have to look at the context, starting from verse 18:
Romans 8:18-25 
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption [placing as sons], the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
Paul referring to creation tells us that it is subjected to futility. It is under the bondage of corruption. It groans and labors with birth pangs. These are great pains! And not only the creation but also we that have the FIRSTFRUITS of the spirit! Also we, groan within ourselves, waiting for something better, the redemption of the body, the time that the Lord will come back and will change these mortal, frail bodies to immortal, incorruptible bodies like His body. We groan and wait for the time that we will see face to face. For as Paul says:
I Corinthians 13:12 
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
There is a “now” and a “then”. Now we see in a mirror but THEN face to face! Now we know in part but THEN we shall know as we are known! Now the creation groans and we groan within too but THEN it will be delivered from this bondage of corruption! Now we have the FIRST fruits of the spirit which in turn means that there will be a time, a THEN, that we will have the fullness! We are sons of God now, born of God, children of the Almighty, brothers of Jesus Christ as He himself calls us in Hebrews 2:11-12, but this is not the full placing. The full placing as sons, is when we see face to face, when we will know as we are known. So yes we are placed as sons and daughters of God now, but also yes there is still more to come on this! And yes we have the firstfruits of the spirit now but also yes it is only the FIRST fruits and therefore there is more to come. When? When the Lord comes back. When the creation is delivered, when we see face to face! When the betrothal with Christ (II Corinthians 11:2) becomes marriage (Revelation 19).
We will close this article with Romans 8:14-17
Romans 8:12-17 
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors––not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of uiothesia [placing as sons] whereby we cry out, "Abba, Father." The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (NKJV-KJV)
By faith we become children of God and we receive the holy spirit. By walking by this spirit, by being led by the spirit, we are children of God in manifestation. And this spirit is not a spirit of bondage but a spirit of sonship, a spirit of uiothesia, a seal by which God sealed us (Ephesians 1:13) and by which we cry out Abba (Daddy) Father! We still have to endure suffering as the whole creation does. Becoming a child of God does not mean immunization from suffering, as some would have us to believe. The Word leaves no doubt about it: not only the creation groans tells us but also we. It is however the beginning and there is more to it coming, when we will meet our Daddy, face to face. When we go to the place that the Lord is preparing for us:
John 14:2-3 
“In My Father’s house are many mansions…. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Anastasios Kioulachoglou

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1. As Vine’s dictionary says: “Abba is an Aramaic word… It is the word framed by the lips of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust; [on the other hand] “father” expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship” (Vine’s dictionary, p.11). Another source says: “as the Rabbis say: “a small child "learns to say ’abbā’ (daddy) and ’immā’ (mummy)." Abba means daddy. Daddy is the word that we usually use when we speak to our earthly fathers. Both daddy and father mean the same think but Abba is a more intimate word. It is the word that a kid uses when he calls his father. And God doesnot restrict His kids to the word “father”, but He tells us that He is for us Abba, papa, daddy. This by itself shows how personal, intimate and real is the relationship that He desires with His kids.
2. E.W. Bullinger, A critical Lexicon and concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, Zondervan Publishing House, p. 148
3. Vine’s Expository dictionary, p. 189
4. In fact the Word uses the term “born again” as we will see later in I Peter.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lorraine Day, M.D. Christmas: Is it "Christian" or Pagan?

Lorraine Day, M.D.

The Bible does not tell us when Jesus was born. However, we know that the angels announced the birth of Christ to the Bethlehem shepherds in the open fields who were tending their flocks by night.. This fact certainly implies that the birth of Jesus could NOT have been on the 25th of December. "The cold of the night in Palestine between December and February is very piercing, and it was not customary for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October." Hislop, A., The Two Babylons, Loiseaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. pg 91.

In addition, Jesus Himself said, in speaking of the coming destruction of Jerusalem,
"But pray that your flight be NOT in winter, neither on the Sabbath day."
Matt 24:20
Obviously, Jesus understood that the wintertime in Palestine was harsh enough to make traveling difficult and uncomfortable. If the winter was such a bad time in which to flee, it seems unlikely that the shepherds would be sleeping out in the fields while tending their sheep during that season.

Because of these facts, and others to be discussed, it is virtually impossible for the birth of Christ to have occurred on December 25.
"No such festival as Christmas was ever heard of until the THIRD century, and not until the FOURTH century was far advanced did it gain much observance.

"Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the HEATHEN, at that precise time of the year, in honor oft the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed." Ibid, pg 93
It is beyond doubt that Christmas was originally a pagan festival. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin.

Isis, the Egyptian title for the "queen of heaven," gave birth to a son at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The term "Yule" is the Chaldee (Babylonian) name for "infant" or "little child."

This pagan festival not only commemorated the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but it also was celebrated (on December 24) among the Sabeans of Arabia, as the birthday of the "Lord Moon."

In Babylon, where the sun (Baal) was the object of worship, Tammuz was considered the incarnation of the Sun.
"In the Hindu mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the Sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who without such a birth, could not have been subdued." Ibid pg 96
There are many other Christmas counterparts of the Babylonian winter solstice festival, such as: 1) candles lighted on Christmas eve and used throughout the festival season were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honor to him, 2) the Christmas tree was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree; in Rome it was the fir. The tree denoted the Pagan Messiah.
"The mother of Adonis, the Sun God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as the ŒMan of the branch." Ibid pg 97
The Yule log was considered the dead stock of Nimrod (or Tammuz, depending on the specific nation involved), deified as the sun god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas tree is Nimrod revived - the slain god come to life again.

The Yule occultic colors are red and green.

The mistletoe branch symbolized "the man, the branch" and was regarded as a divine branch - a corrupt Babylonian representation of the true Messiah. Both mistletoe and holly were considered fertility plants by the pagans.
"Babylon was, at that time, the center of the civilized world; and thus Paganism, corrupting the Divine symbol as it ever has done, had opportunities of sending forth its debased counterfeit of the truth to all the ends of the earth, through the Mysteries that were affiliated with the great central system in Babylon."
Ibid pg 99
The story of the death of Adonis, also known as Tammuz, involved a fatal wound from the tusk of a boar when Tammuz was 40 years old. That is why a boar was sacrificed on this Pagan holiday. Even today, a Christmas ham is a traditional favorite of many.

"According to a Roman almanac, The Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Rome by A.D. 336. During the 4th century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted.

"The traditional customs connected with Christmas have developed from several sources as a result of the coincidence of the celebration of the birth of Christ with the pagan agricultural and solar observances at mid-winter. December 25 was regarded as the birthdate of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. . . The ecclesiastical calendar retains numerous remnants of pre-Christian festivals—notably Christmas, which blends elements including both the feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of the god Mithra." Encyclopedia Britannica, 1976 edition; Micropedia II, pg 903, Macropedia 15, pg 1063.

The much-loved hero of Christmas, Santa Claus, who "knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good" and who can circumnavigate the globe in one night, is nothing more than the Winter stag god, the god of the hunt, a "take-off" on the true God of heaven, who is omnipresent (everywhere at once), omniscient (knows all), and omnipotent (all powerful).

Santa has Eight Reindeer. Reindeer are symbolic of the Pagan Stag god. The number 8 is the number for a new beginning, and, when laid on its side, is the occultic symbol for Infinity.

There can be no doubt that the Pagan festival of the winter solstice—in other words, Christmas—was held in honor of the birth of the Babylonian Messiah.

The prophet Ezekiel is told by God to:
"Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they (the Israelites) do.

"Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house (the Temple) which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz (A Sumerian fertility god similar to the Greek god, Adonis)." Ezekiel 8:14
December 25 was also the Day of Saturnalia, a celebration dedicated to the Chief god, Saturn, during which time there was much drinking, many banquets, and presents were exchanged.

God is very clear in his directives against the celebration of this Pagan holiday that Christians now universally celebrate as Christmas. God calls this an abomination! Christians celebrate December 25th blindly believe they are honoring the birth of Jesus, when they are in reality honoring the Pagan god Tammuz.

In Jeremiah 10:1-4, we read:
"Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

"Thus saith the Lord, ŒLearn NOT the way of the heathen, and be NOT dismayed at the signs of heaven (the queen of heaven, Isis, worshiped by the heathen), for the heathen are dismayed at them.

"For the customs of the people are futile: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

"They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
There could be NO more specific description of a present-day Christmas, than this.
God says, "DON'T do it. This is Paganism!"
Easter: It's Totally Pagan too!
Easter is not a Christian name. It is Chaldean (Babylonian) in origin - the name Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven. The name Astarte, as found on the Assyrian monuments by the noted archeologist Layard, was the name Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Astarte was introduced very early into Britain, along with the Druids, "the priests of the groves," the high places where the pagans worshipped the idols of Baal. In the Almanac of the 1800's, May 1st is called Beltane, from the pagan god, Bel. The titles Bel and Molech both belong to the same god.

We must remember that Semiramis (also known as Ishtar) of Babylon, the wife of Nimrod and mother of Tammuz, was the same goddess worshiped throughout the world under various names, such as the Egyptian fertility god, Artemis, the Roman goddess of licentiousness, Venus, the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and the Ephesian, many-breasted fertility god, Diana, as well as many others.

The (Easter) bunny, the oldest pagan symbol of fertility - Semiramis - has absolutely NOTHING to do with the resurrection of Christ.

Nor does the Sunrise service. Jesus was resurrected while it was still DARK!
"And early came Mary Magdalene, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." John 20:1
Sunrise services are for the worship of the Pagan Sun god - ONLY! In addition, Jesus was NOT resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week. Please see the study entitled "Was Jesus Really Resurrected on Sunday?" at

One mythological legend says that sometime after Semiramis died, a huge egg dropped from heaven. Out of the egg came a re-incarnated Semiramis, now a goddess. The Babylonian Talmud refers to her as Ishtar, or Easter.

The forty days of Lent symbolize one day for each year of Tammuz' life. This period of time is celebrated in the "Christian" church by giving up something to mourn the death - of Tammuz, the son of the pagan goddess Semiramis!

Ezekiel 8:13,14 tells us what God thinks about any festival that recognizes Tammuz:
"The Lord said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they (the Israelites) do.
Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz."
As late as the 19th century, in Great Britain, at Beltan (or the 1st of May) a number of men and women assembled at an ancient Druidical circle of stones near Crieff, to participate in an ancient worship feast to Baal.

The festival of Pasch, or the Passover, was very early observed by many professing Christians, in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ, although it cannot be traced back as far as the Apostles. But Pasch was observed by Christians a full month before the festival of Ishtar was celebrated by the Pagans. In addition, the festival of Ishtar (Easter) now observed in churches is far different from the original festival of Pasch.

The amalgamation of the Christian Pasch, as observed in Britain by the Christians, and the Pagan Easter enforced by Rome, occurred by violence and bloodshed. But at last, the Festival of the Anglo-Saxon or Chaldean goddess, Ishtar, came to supersede that which had been held in honor of Christ.

"The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Easter Sunday figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do today. The Œbuns,' known by the identical name, were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Ishtar, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens, that is, 1500 years BEFORE the Christian era. One species of sacred bread which used to be offered to the gods was called ŒBoun.'" Hislop, Two Babylons, pg 107.
"The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven. Jeremiah 7:18
The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten instead, on the festival of Easter (Astarte - Ishtar).

"The origin of the Pasch (Passover) eggs is just as clear. The ancient Druids bore an egg as the sacred emblem of their order. In the mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. The hindu fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden color. In China, even as late as the 19th century, dyed or painted eggs were used during sacred festivals.

"In ancient times, eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. . . The classic poets are full of the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians.

"The occult meaning of the mystic egg of Astarte had reference to the ark during the time of the flood, in which the whole human race was shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched. And of course, the egg also refers to birth, or creation.

"Though the deified queen, whom Astarte represented, had no actual existence till some centuries after the flood, yet through the doctrine of metampsychosis, which was firmly established in Babylon, it was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that, in a previous incarnation, she had lived in the Antediluvian world and passed safely through the waters of the flood. The Roman Catholic Church then adopted this mystic egg of Astarte, and consecrated it as a symbol of Christ's resurrection." Ibid pg 109,110.

The Bible clearly tells us what God considers the memorial of Christ's death and resurrection. It is NOT the pagan celebration of Easter, in honor of the pagan god, Ishtar. It is BAPTISM:
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection:

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed (rendered inoperative), that henceforth we should not be slaves of sin." Romans 6:3-6

The memorial for Christ's death and resurrection is BAPTISM - - - NOT Easter!

There is NO doubt that Easter is a totally Pagan holiday.

How about Halloween?
"In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-inn), the Lord of the Dead, was observed on October 31, at the end of summer. The date was also the eve of the new year in both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon times and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about.

It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. The pagan observances influenced the Christian festival of All Hallows' Eve, celebrated on the same date." Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia IV, pg 862; 1976

Samhain, or Halloween, is the highest night of human sacrifice on the Illuminati calendar. It is also considered a "Cross Road," a very important symbol in the Illuminati. October 31 ends the occultic year, whereas November 1 begins the new occultic year, therefore making this date an important "Cross Road."
Members of Wicca, the modern-day name for Witchcraft, celebrate Halloween as one of their highest holy days. They also gather on May 1st, May Day, the pagan festival of Ishtar. Present-day witches claim they do not worship the devil, Lucifer, or Satan. They say they believe "in a balance of both male and female." Thus, they say, they worship the god and the goddess. They, according to their literature, honor Mother Earth, and hold all of nature with great respect. However, the god and goddess they worship are the same gods worshipped in ancient Babylon, Egypt, Rome and Greece: Nimrod (Tammuz) and Semiramis, just with different names. These are pagan gods and havenothing to do with the true God of the Bible.

Halloween is also a high, holy day for Satanists, those who openly admit to worshiping Satan. It is obvious that Halloween is all about death, skeletons, vampires, ghosts, witches, witches' cauldrons, and various other items connected with darkness, evil and the devil. It originated from the ritual of human sacrifice of a cult of the ancient Celts in Britain, the Druids.

The Druid priests met at stone temple altars, such as Stonehenge, and sacrificed human beings to appease the gods. They also wore frightening masks and clothes (costumes) in an attempt to scare away the ghosts of the dead who were supposed to be revisiting their homes on that night.

The Druids who could not attend the rituals of human sacrifice, instead celebrated this Satanic holy day with Harvest Festivals , also celebrations to the pagan gods of nature. Harvest Festivals, even though completely pagan in their origins, are now often put on by churches as a supposedly "wholesome substitute" for the celebration of the pagan, Satanic rite of Halloween.
The Druids were "the learned class among the ancient Celts, whose name means Knowing (or Finding) the Oak Tree. They seem to have frequented oak forests and acted as priests, teachers, and judges. The earliest known records of the Druids come from the 3rd century BC.

"The Druids offered human victims as sacrifices for those who were gravely sick or in danger of death in battle. Huge wickerwork images were filled with living men and then burned; although the Druids chose criminals by preference, they sacrificed innocent victims if necessary.

"In the early period, Druidic rites were held in clearings in the forest. Sacred buildings were used only later under Roman influence. The Druids were suppressed in Gaul by the Romans under Tiberius (reigned AD 14-37) and probably in Britain a little later." Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropaedia III pg 674: 1976.

These Druidic rites are still celebrated by the elitist of the U.S. and the world, every summer, at the Bohemian Grove, about 60 miles north of San Francisco. Since 1873, the Global Elite has held secret meetings in the ancient Redwood forest of Northern California. Members of the so-called "Bohemian Club" include former presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. The Bush family maintains a strong involvement and membership includes others of the rich and powerful. During the two-week festival, a Druidic rite takes place with the leaders dressed in the Satanic Druid garb, long red, black and silver robes with hoods.

During the ritual, there is the sacrifice of a human being (an effigy they claim), to the pagan god Molech, with accompanying screams of death of the victim broadcast over the audio system. A huge statue of an owl, representing the pagan god of wisdom, has been permanently built on the grounds and dominates the ritual. For more information, visit

It is during these degenerate, perverted, debase proceedings, that many of the important U.S. and global political decisions are made by the elitists, decisions that often have a very negative impact on the lives of average, hard-working Americans.

This clearly shows that the ancient pagan, Satanic rituals of the Druids are still being honored and embraced today by the global elite, including many presidents, congressmen and senators who claim to be Christian. No TRUE Christian could ever participate in a pagan ceremony such as this.
Not Valentine's Day too?
Valentine's day also has occultic origins. Cupid (Tammuz/Osiris/Nimrod) is the son of the Greek goddess, Venus (Semiramis). Venus, is the daughter of the Greek god Jupiter, the head god (Nimrod, the sun god of Babylon, and Ra, the sun god of Egypt). Cupid is depicted with a bow and arrow, a reminder of Nimrod being a "mighty hunter" (Genesis 10:9).

Valentine's day began as a pagan fertility rite celebrated with drunkenness and sexual license during which time SWEETS and SPRING FLOWERS were given as sacrifices to the gods in the temple.

Unfortunately, almost every holiday that is commonly celebrated can be traced to pagan roots, including the lowly Ground Hog day.
Why Were These Pagan Holidays and Festivals "Christianized"?
The Christianization of Pagan holidays began about the fourth century A.D. when the Roman Emperor Constantine, became (or feigned becoming) a Christian. In order to consolidate his rule, he incorporated the Pagan holidays and festivals into the church ritual - attracting the Pagans, but he gave the holidays and festivals new "Christian" names and identities - thus appeasing the Christians. Over the centuries, this practice has continued until the present time where we find the two systems, Paganism and Christianity, almost indistinguishable.

This is the Adversary's clever deception - Paganism dressed up in Christian clothes! It's still nothing more than Paganism, but the Christian churches have wholeheartedly embraced this deception.