Monday, November 19, 2012

A Lad and Faith, Feeding the Five Thousand

Feeding the Five Thousand

I want to tell this wonderful story and fill in some details. No, I was not there! And I admit my speculation on the story is no better than all the commentaries that say the “Lad” was a servant or selling food. I do not see that.  So here is the story.

And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the Power of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.
But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat.

This is where the story gets good and so many I feel miss it.  Jesus had been teaching the people all day. They knew He was there and were following Him.   Like we do, they started their day getting ready for an exciting day following and hearing the great teacher.  Some where in all those people getting ready there was a mother that packed a lunch for a small lad.  Many  mothers in out day have packed a little lunch snack for a child to  have on a long day of activity. The little ones don’t seem to go as long without eating as adults may.  I know what has been speculated in commentaries for years about this lad and his lunch, but I will maintain that it was a mother in the crowd that followed Jesus caring for her child.  Ok, now we have an idea how the Lad got the loaves and fish, now to the blessed part of the story.    We have a young son that often surprises us at how much he HEARS what is said in Church.  He is playing with a toy car, writing in a tablet, or making paper airplanes yet when asked what was said he knows very clearly both what was said and how to apply it. He taught me this lesson.  The Lad in the story was with his family following the teacher. He was probably playing and he may have eaten part of the lunch his mom had given him, it was a long day.  Like other children he listened to adult conversations he had listened to Jesus all day and wanted to know what was going on.
He heard Jesus say “Give them to Eat”.
He heard the concerned answers of the followers of Jesus.
He had heard Jesus teach of the Power of God all day and he understood!!
The disciples were saying “I can’t get enough to do as you asked”.  I cannot meet the need.
But, this small Lad had HEARD Jesus.  In the power of God Jesus Can do all that is needed.
He came to one of Jesus followers and said “The Master can have my Lunch.”
“I will give Him All I have” and Jesus can feed the people!! 
It was not Five loaves and Two fish that Jesus heard, 
It was a child’s faith “I will give Jesus all I have”.

That was enough!!   
Jesus said, have the people sit down WE ARE Going To Eat”

Through time people have dismissed the statements and ideas of children, Jesus did not.
Jesus several times uses the faith of a child to teach great truths.  Social order of the day did not count children or women; we are told there were five thousand Men. Still here Jesus heard a lad, He saw the greatest kind of faith, “I give Jesus all I have and trust Jesus to do the rest, HE Will. This lad applied the Power of God that Jesus was teaching to the problem of feeding all the people. All I have Plus Jesus is all that is needed

But if Not, KNOW GOD!

1                    Knowing GOD

We have talked about needing Revival and this morning I want to offer an Idea of where that revival may start. More than bible reading, more than Attending Church, More than Loving neighbors, I want to look at KNOWING GOD and OUR RELATION TO HIM.

God is Holy and glorious. He is the Most High God. The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high, who’s Name is HOLY ? God is three persons in one divine being: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is infinite, self-sufficient, unchangeable, and sovereign. He has infinite power, knows everything, and is present everywhere. The God of heaven and earth is the only holy, righteous, and just God and can only do that which is compatible with His nature. He is full of love, grace, and truth. 

Does knowing the theology of God mean we know God, or is knowing God knowing Him personally, what he did for us?

2                    Moses knew God

The rest of the people saw the works of God, but Moses knew the ways of God.

They knew about God,
Moses knew God intimately.

"And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend

There is a great difference in knowing ABOUT God and knowing God.  Moses talked with God on a personal level. We may not speak face to face with Him but, we can and should have a Bible based understanding of the Ways of God. The more we study and pray and spend time with God the better we know Him.

3           The great problem in today's churches

We have many who know about God
 but few who know God intimately
How sad it will be in the resurrection to meet a God face to face that we have not known heart to heart

To know Him is the source of all our strength, when troubled times come we need to know Him.

4                   God made us to know Him.

Made in the image of God.
The glory of man is that we are made in the image of God’s glory.
Reason,  Thinking
Feeling, Emotion, Instinct
Choice, Free Will, Action
God wants us to CHOOSE to know Him.

In creation our Sovereign God Created Man in His own Image, which is our Original Glory.
He created us In His own Image.
Thinking, The ability to reason, know, and understand.
Feeling, The function of emotion, instinct, hope, despair, love, hate, courage, and fear.
Acting The Will of man to act on reason and understanding, tempered by emotion, even at times controlled by emotion. Man is free to act within his own Choice to serve God or not.

5                    The image of God in Man
                                 We Have A choice

The image of God in man is Choice. Only Man, in all creation, has the Glory of God in the ability Think, Feel, Act, that is to freely make a choice.
Man was created in the image of God’s Glory with the ability to and right to Choose to serve God or not.

6                        God Wants us to choose to Know HIM
         We were made in His image to know Him.
We were made with the ability and right to know Him.
He is our Guide, Strength, Rest.
We know who we are and why we are here By KNOWING HIM.

7            There are so many great examples of the ones that knew GOD. 
 Hebrews Chapter 11 list some.  Heroes and martyrs
By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard constructed an ark.     See Gen 7:16
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Noah obeyed God, he built the ark, he got everything on board. GOD SHUT HIM IN!!   God will not ask us to do what we cannot do.  How could a man shut the door and let all his friends and neighbors drown  in the rain?  This is such a loving act of mercy, God closed the door, they could not break in, Noah could not let them in.  The judgment was in God’s hand.

Moses was taken from the river to live as the son of Pharaoh’s  daughter. He had only one contact with the history and tradition of his people, the princes sent his sister to get a nurse maid for him and she got his mother. Moses lived in the palace, went to the best Egyptian schools, was Egyptian royalty; He did not grow up in Israel, he did not go to Israeli schools the only contact he had with Israel was his nursemaid.
In ancient Egypt the crown and throne passed from father to Daughter.  To be the Son of Pharaoh’s Daughter was to be Crown Prince in Egypt.  WHY WOULD A PRINCE TURN AWAY FROM  HIS THRONE.  One of the greatest characters of the bible is a nurse maid a mother, all Moses knew of Israel came from the quiet teachings of a mother, a mother I pose that KNEW GOD, and taught her son. 

8   How well do you know God?

The point here is that these saints past Knew God! They knew death was better than disobeying God. The early church lived as the property of God, Bondslave to Him ready to die for Him.      How well do you know God?

9             And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of All.
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

10                 Of whom the world was not worthy
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)
These Heroes of Faith KNEW GOD!

11                        Quenched the violence of fire
Three bold young men knew GOD  they knew he was able to keep promises

The suffering of the faithful is still part of God’s plan. That is no less true today than in the second century. And it was true in Daniel’s day when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before mighty King Nebuchadnezzar. When he ordered all his leaders to bow down before the golden image, they and they alone refused. When called to give an account of their disobedience, they replied that the king could do what he wanted, but their God could deliver them, and no matter what happened to them, they would not bow down.
Their heroic words speak across the centuries to us today. Let’s take a few moments to consider what they said and what it means for us. I urge you to pay close attention. You may need this truth sooner than you think.

                     12            An Absolute Conviction
                                          Our God is able!

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it” They did not doubt the king’s intention to throw them into the blazing furnace. They didn’t doubt his ability or his willingness to act if necessary. I am sure they had seen firsthand how cruel he could be to anyone who crossed him.
What gave them the confidence to speak so boldly? Three little words: God is able. What a thought this is. They knew their God and they knew what he could do.
God is able to deliver! God is able to save! God is able to rescue! And how did they know that?

13           They remembered what he had done in the past.
He spoke and the stars flew into the skies.
He spoke and the planets began spinning around the sun.
He spoke and the lion roared and the eagle soared and the fish began to swim.
 He took a lump of clay and made a man
Then he took the man’s rib and made a woman.

14            They had been taught these stories since they were tiny children
He turned a rod into a serpent and back into a rod again.
He sent a wind and the Red Sea parted.
He set a table in the wilderness and fed his children manna and quail.
He brought forth water from a rock.
He caused the walls of Jericho to come a’tumblin’ down.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been taught these stories since they were tiny children. Because they knew their God, they knew what he could do. Therefore, in their own time of crisis, they knew beyond any shadow of doubt that God is able.

15           What God Could do!!
Let me say it plainly. Because they knew what God had done in the past, they knew what he could do in the present. This is the great value that comes from learning God’s Word. You discover who God is, what he has done, and what he can do. Knowing God gives you the strength to stand your ground no matter who is standing against you.

 16          A Strong Hope
They had a big God. They believed in a God who could do anything. That’s why Hebrews 11:34 refers to them when it says, “By faith they quenched the fury of the flames.”
These three knew the ways of God not just about Him.

“And he will rescue us from your hand, O king.   There is a strong note of optimism in their voices as they stand before the mightiest man in the world. The fiery furnace was not too many yards away, certainly within eyesight, I would think. They knew the price for disobedience. But who did they serve? They disobeyed the earthly King anyway. Why? Because they believed deep in their soul that to obey and worship the golden idle was to deny the one true God . They expected some kind of deliverance. In this life or the next, but, they were true to GOD.
Now what made them talk like this? I answer very simply Our God Is Able! Here is strong optimism at a time when hope seemed gone.
Many of us stand in that same spot this morning. The circumstances seem stacked against us, but because of God, we can always be sure of victory. That’s a lot better than yielding to this world, which is where we are when we don’t know God at all.

17        An Unwavering Resolve

    But if not!!
But if not,  He may have other plans.
But if not,  His will, will be done.

We will be true to the God of eternity
Not just protect the present.

“But even if   he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18). And so we come to the most powerful words of all. There are various stages in the life of faith and this may be the highest of all. Here they are saying, “We know God can deliver us but we don’t know if he will deliver, but either way, we still won’t bow down before your golden image.” Basically they were signing their own death warrant before an earthly King, and they knew it. But, they were true to the King of Kings. How many of us would have that kind of courage?
They knew it was better to die a thousand times with God’s approval than to live one day without it. Better Talk about a fiery furnace than to live with the fire of a guilty conscience burning in your soul. They could die, but they dare not sin! Their convictions were not for sale. Not at any price, not even their own lives.
What a noble example of faith. They hoped for a miracle but they didn’t demand one. They left everything in the hands of God!

18      Consider that little phrase: “but if not.”

We want our prayers answered—but if not!
We want long life and good health—but if not!
We want our children to prosper—but if not!
We want to see miracles happen—but if not!

If God says no to your cherished dreams and your fondest hopes, will you still trust him? If God says no to your plans for the future, will you still serve him?
If God says no when through your tears you pray for those you love, will you still follow him?

These three young men had a big God and they knew that their personal deliverance in this life might not be possible but, they had a promise of another life. That’s a key insight because for most of us, when we get in a tight place, the only thing we can think about is making sure we get out okay. So when we pray, we say, “O Lord, please get me out of this jam.” And sometimes we even say, “If it be thy will,” but we don’t say that very loudly because we hope God’s will is the same as ours.
But often it isn’t. We see through a glass darkly. At best we see only a glimmer of God’s purposes, like peeking through a pinhole. But God sees the whole panorama of history stretched out before him.
This time the three stood on “but if not”  and the King was good to his word! He commanded,” Heat it seven times hotter and throw them in”. But,


Their bonds were gone and the fire had no power over them.
They were up walking around.
Fellowshipping with Jesus He was there too
They got to meet the Savior!

True to Faith, true to God, their bonds burned off and they were up walking around.  The fire had no power over them because they were walking around and fellowshipping with Jesus.  He was there too!  What a reward for being faithful! They got to meet the Savior.  I am sure He told them how good they had done to be true to all they knew of God. He may have told them of the rewards they had earned. But, He surely gave them a message for the king and sent them unharmed back to give it to him.

20      The Other Side of Faith

         The “ Others” who suffered.

         The world saw failure.

         God said “Of whom the world was not worthy.

There is more to the story than that. If I left the matter there, I would be leaving a very incomplete picture. It sounds too easy. But living by faith is often very difficult. And it doesn’t always end up the way we would like.
Suppose we ask the question this way: Does living by faith mean you will always receive a miracle? The answer must be no. The end of Hebrews 11 makes that very clear. Verses 35b-38 record the Trials of Faith:
Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned and they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
Who are these poor souls? What have they done to deserve such punishment? The writer simply calls them “others.” They are “others” who lived by faith. These men and women who endured such torment were living by faith just as much as Noah, Abraham, Moses or Joshua. Their faith was not weaker. If anything, their faith was stronger because it enabled them to endure incredible suffering. They are not “lesser” saints because they found no miracle. If anything, they are “greater” saints because they were faithful even when things didn’t work out right.
So great it is said of them “ Of whom the world was not worthy!

21      How Well do you Know God?  
      How far will you go with Him?

An important part of Knowing God is knowing our personal relation to God.
There is an song:

 22   Who am I that a King should bleed and Die for?
        Who am I that he would say not my will thine Lord?

In “Church Talk” in our time the descriptions of Christians have many failings, we are referred to as sinners, repentant sinners, God must first show us good or we cant know it and many others, dealing with how low, sinful, unimportant, apart from God we are.  But, when I read the Bible I see something else. 

23      There are two ways!!

In Adam  Flesh and DEATH!

 In Jesus Christ  Life in the spirit!

Rom 5:17  For if by the transgression of the one, Adam death reigned through the one, Adam, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18  So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Rom 5:19  For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

The God of eternity said man disobeyed me and is under the curse of death.  Our fellowship is broken. I must make a way to restore man to ME.  As we seek to know God and study the Bible we see a promise, a covenant made with us to provide a way to save us from spiritual death.
The Holy Eternal Spirit God required the penalty to be paid in full, it was a debt We
could not pay, So ,HE stepped across time and eternity and was born a man to pay our debt.  There are even today two ways 1 the Flesh Adam’s disobedience and death.  2. the Spirit, the shed blood of Jesus and God’s Grace.  And You by the will of our sovereign God have the right to choose.

Who am I that a King should bleed and Die for?
I have come to see that in eternity I am His adopted little brother. I had a debt I could not pay, so my Big Brother fixed it He paid my debt in FULL.

When we live in the SPIRIT He has provided we are adopted into the family of God. The Father not only forgives sin, The debt is paid in full God the Father does not even remember we disobeyed Him.  We are Justified innocent by the Blood of Christ. We are still human and may fail at times but Jesus Christ , the King of Kings and Lord of Lords stands before the Father as our intercessor, offering His Blood to pay our debt, see He’s my adopted big brother that is why I am so important to Him.

Who am I?
Living in the Spirit of Jesus
Adopted into the family of God,
Heir of God and joint heir with Jesus
A child of God
With Jesus Christ as Our High Priest, We Are Priest of the Most High God.
We have the indwelling of the holy spirit, and all the power of the Living God in us.

Every Christian has the power of a priest to God. Every Christian is to know and study the bible, growing in grace and knowledge, not waiting for someone to tell them what the bible says.
One of the cardinal passages affected by this is Romans 10. In verse 9 we are told we must confess with our mouth and believe in our heart to be saved.
Verse 14 holds the responsibility for every Christian, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a Messenger.”  The priest of this age is that messenger.

This view of a Christian is beautiful, breath taking, exciting, there is victory in knowing Jesus. But, it came with a caution, Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
How do you make this work and not seem proud?
How do you access the power of God?

By choice I give my all to Jesus, a bondslave to serve Him.  Life is not about Me and what I want.  I give my wealth, life, position, and Faith to the savior, He is my all in all I only live to serve Him. The more I yield to Him the more His Power can flow through me.

Who am I?
A bondslave of the King.

Rom 8:31:39
  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

24         How do you Know GOD?

What were the “Oral Traditions”?

Mythos and legend have a way of becoming true. If only true that they are believed and practiced, they are true to the people.  So it is with the Babylonian mythos, We know there is truth here because the Bible references events and results from the story. We know that some of the story grew bigger than life, yet bigger in this case is only to make the application of the resulting religion and worship that much more evil.
… I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a cup of gold in her hand full of abominations and the unclean things of her and of the earth's fornication, and upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth.  Rev 17

This story covers all the years of history from the flood to the end of the tribulation. For all of time GOOD has been to Know and obey God. EVIL has been the work of those that deny and attempt to usurp the authority of God.  Please look with me at a story in two parts but one story, good and evil and the right of people to choose the path they will follow.  “Evil” is the story of the beginning of all the “wisdom” that said “good is in men and the way by self aware knowledge they may overcome the flesh of this life, evil, and rise to be as God.”
I will offer a time line to help you follow my thinking, you may agree or not this is only the order as I see it.  This is not about me or my writing so I will simply include the articles of others when I find one that I feel clearly carries the story. 

Satan chose to “rise up and be as God”
Adam & Eve Eat of the Tree
Mankind deep in sin
The Flood
Nimrod, a king,  takes a Queen,  seeks “wisdom” to rise up and be god.
Zoroaster (either Nimrod or the Queens Son)   made a “wisdom” religion opposed to God and teaching how to rise up and be god.  
Epic of Gilgamesh, just a retelling of this story, but on tablets in one of the oldest writings.
NOTE: there are now two systems of  pagan thought:
  Polytheism,  pantheon of gods for every need and purpose
   Monotheistic,  “faith wisdom”  (pistis sophia)
Hebrews disobey God and go into exile in Persia
They learn and accept the teachings of Zoroaster, The beginning of Jewish Mysticism
The Teachings are spread to other parts of the world by moving and trade. Egyptian Mysticism is started.
Christ and Christianity
Gnosticism appears as  just the latest version of the ancient mysticism. Secret wisdom that will allow one to “rise up free of evil flesh and in spirit be as God.”

This is a very important discussion because it so totally fills all the teachings and beliefs of all people of all time. And Yet it is not always presented as evil. All to often the “wisdom” is desired and used as “ANOTHER WAY OF SALVATION”.   Yes the Church and modern religion is full of the ancient mystic teaching. Calvinism is based on Gnostic thought. New age is reworded mysticism.  Total depravity as it relates to man totally evil and can’t know God because all FLESH is evil is the ancient mysticism properly stated.

I feel that a good example of this error being practiced is seen in the “Oral Traditions”

This is a simple question, What were the “Oral Traditions”?

I am asking, were the traditions the work of good men of God seeking to teach God’s law? Or were they a mixed teaching of many mystic and ancient cults that were offered by Satan to deceive men? Taught by men who for special Knowledge, Position and Power followed a secrete teaching of a higher knowledge that would free them of evil flesh and allow them to come to God by their own works.   Do they go all the way back to Babylon?

Mat_15:2  Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
It was commanded to wash the hands before meals, it was one’s duty to do it after eating. The more rigorous did it between the courses. The hands must be immersed. Then the water itself must be “clean” and the cups or pots used must be ceremonially “clean.” Vessels were kept full of clean water ready for use . So it went on ad infinitum. Thus a real issue is raised between Jesus and the rabbis. It was far more than a point of etiquette or of hygienics. The rabbis held it to be a mortal sin. The incident may have happened in a Pharisee’s house. AT Robinson.
How much of this is an interpretation of OT law which did not require such a washing and how much comes from the tradition based in the Dualism that all material flesh is evil. Not washing had become considered sin.

Mat_15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Tradition is not good or bad in itself. It is merely what is handed on from one to another. Custom tended to make these traditions binding like law. The Talmud is a monument of their struggle with tradition. There could be no compromise on this subject and Jesus accepts the issued. He stands for real righteousness and spiritual freedom, not for bondage to mere ceremonialism and tradition. The rabbis placed tradition (the oral law) above the law of God.  AT Robinson
The Oral Tradition of the Jews had been shaped by their contact with the Persians (Zoroastrian Dualism) when in captivity and the fact that not one of the kings of Israel and only one in Judah had obeyed God and led the people to God. We often think of  Israel as “God’s People” but they did not live up to the promise. They followed idols and handed down traditions that came from ancient mystic cults, they failed to follow the Law or obey God.

The Meaning of “A Tradition”.

We most often see this word “Tradition” and think of the teachings of the religious leaders. Maybe the Talmud, or Writings of Rabbis,  But what are these based on.  Do not jump to the conclusion that they are from interpretations by pure teachers of the Word.

Without reviewing the details of each separate idea I want to see a progression of thought that is apposed to God and the Bible message.  It has a purpose and a plan and is I feel ONE CONTINUOUS MESSAGE.  Its purpose is for Satan to offer man the “Faith Wisdom” {pistis sophia}  and have us all follow him in trying to ascend to the place of God, a view that says we can come to God by our own knowledge. Its author is Satan, he has a plan and it is a good one at least it has worked for many years. One of the first if not the first of these religions is that of Babylon, the kingdom of Nimrod and his Queen, Samiramis. I cannot say how much of the legend is true but most of the mystic religion is based on the story, so true or not it is the basis of mystic religion.  Another of the most ancient forms of this is the Chaldean Mystic Numerology, a system of reading meaning and power from the letters of words and related numbers.   Another is the structure that came to be Persian and Parsi (Indian) Dualism and in time developed into a monotheistic, Zoroastrian Dualism of good and evil 1500 to 1200 BC.  Around 1500bc Zoroaster developed his religious structure based on these ideas. The relation of this religion is very important because the legends say Zoroaster is Nimrod or his son.(3.)  This means the link between Babylonian mysticism (the thinking of the young man)  and Zoroastrianism ( the knowledge of a mature system and thinking) is simple they have the same author/ source. At this early point the Babylonian mysticism under Nimrod/Zoroaster included magic and power of demons, using this power is said to be what caused Nimrods death.   Chaldean, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Jewish, Greek, and Roman each of these civilizations share, develop, and spread the Ideas of  Mystic Numerology and Dualism of good and evil and a secret knowledge that can overcome evil flesh and rise the one of knowledge to God by his works and knowledge.  There is an important split in the presentation of the occult religions.

First there is the widely reported and better known pantheon of gods that each nation or culture had and worshiped. This was a religion for the common person to see and hold to, something they could do to be “Religious”. To a large extent it requirements were used to control the masses of people.  The “practice” side greatly effected the behavior and belief of the people it had an enormous impact on nations and culture of the world.

Second and not so well knows was the secret “Faith Wisdom” {pistis sophia} which was passed along to a select few that were able to understand the meaning of the teachings.  The word mystic means secret. This was the Zoroastrian Mysticism that led to Egyptian Mysticism, Jewish Mysticism, and later Gnosticism.

It started when Satan by his beauty and knowledge thought to rise up and be as God.  In Gen 3:5 Satan offered Eve enlightenment and knowledge that would allow her to rise up and become as God. In fact every one of the traditions is based on knowledge that will allow the person to overcome the evil of flesh and rise up to God by their own ability of self aware thought and power. Satan still trying to do the one thing he wants most, to be like God worshiped and loved.
When Israel went into captivity they were directly influenced by the Persian (Zoroastrian) ideas and they adopted many of the teachings in their traditions. Cyrus the Great was relatively liberal. While he himself ruled according to Zoroastrian beliefs, he made no attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the people of his subject territories. The Jews most famously benefited from this; Cyrus permitted them to return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, and rebuild their temple. This act of kindness made a huge impact on Judaism. Zoroastrian philosophy powerfully influenced post-Exilic Judaism. It is the foundation of Jewish tradition and mysticism. Darius the Great was famously pious and showed the same general tolerance for other faiths as his predecessor Cyrus. He also showed kindness to Israel.  His piety is expressed in religious inscriptions left on his tomb.
  Like most  of the mystic religions the “Faith Wisdom” teachings were passed down to ONLY an elite that “Could Understand the Meaning”.  These teachings were not accepted by the masses and had to be kept secret passed along orally.
There are many sources of the specifics of these teachings and they are all very similar.  Where these traditions that developed by the time of Christ no more than the Mystic Dualism of the secret Traditions that became Jewish Mysticism, Gnosticism, and Allegory?   Remember, these were secret teachings and we have only a little real data on them, SO YES I am “Reading Between the Lines” still I feel this idea is worth considering. Is it reasonable that Christ would have been so hard on a specific literal keeping of the LAW?  Was there more to the “traditions” in these verses (Mt 15:2) than we may have thought?  Then too we have the Egyptian mysticism and allegory that saw the words as symbols and meanings (from Chaldean Mystic Numerology) and they were free to “interpret” the Bible as they wanted. Philo was one of the teachers in this movement.  When ”we” read the ancient mystic writings they seem meaningless to us, WE DON’T READ ALLEGORY.

Here is some of the Article that started my Question. (emphasis is mine)

The horizon must be taken here as wide as possible; for the question as to the origin of theology can only be answered by surveying all the relations into which the Christian religion has entered in naturalizing itself in the world and subduing it. When ecclesiastical dogma has once been created and recognized as an immediate expression of the Christian religion, the history of dogma has only to take the history of theology into account so far as it has been active in the formation of dogma. Yet it must always keep in view the peculiar claim of dogma to be a criterion and not a product of theology. But it will also be able to show how, partly by means of theology and partly by other means-for dogma is also dependent on ritual, constitution, and the practical ideals of life, as well as on the letter, whether of Scripture, or of tradition no longer understood-dogma in its development and re-expression has continually changed, according to the conditions under which the Church was placed. If dogma is originally the formulation of Christian faith as culture (all of the ancient mystic, dualistic, “Faith Wisdom {pistis sophia}”, Jewish Tradition, and Greek philosophy)  understood it and justified it to itself, then dogma has never indeed lost this character, though it has been radically modified in later times.

This conviction had to be immediately tested by the Old Testament, that is, the task was imposed on the majority of thinking Christians, by the circumstances in which the Gospel had been proclaimed to them, of making the Old Testament intelligible to themselves, in other words, of using this book as a Christian book, and of finding the means by which they might be able to repel the Jewish claim to it, and refute the Jewish interpretation of it. This task would not have been imposed, far less solved, if the Christian communities in the Empire had not entered into the inheritance of the Jewish Traditions, propaganda which had already been greatly influenced by foreign religions (Babylonian and Persian, see the Jewish Apocalypses), and in which an extensive spiritualizing of the Old Testament religion had already taken place. This spiritualizing was the result of a philosophic view of religion, and this philosophic view was the outcome of a lasting influence of Greek philosophy and of the Greek spirit generally on Judaism. In consequence of this view, all facts and sayings of the Old Testament in which one could not find his way, were allegorised. "Nothing was what it seemed, but was only the symbol of something invisible. The history of the Old Testament was here sublimated to a history of the emancipation of reason from passion."

This necessary allegorical interpretation, however, brought into the communities an intellectual philosophic element, a gnosis, which was perfectly distinct from the Apocalyptic dreams, in which were beheld angel hosts on white horses, Christ with eyes as a flame of fire, hellish beasts, conflict and victory. In this γνωσις, which attached itself to the Old Testament, many began to see the specific blessing which was promised to mature faith, and through which it was to attain perfection. What a wealth of relations, hints, and intuitions seemed to disclose itself, as soon as the Old Testament was considered allegorically, and to what extent had the way been prepared here by the Jewish philosophic teachers! From the simple narratives of the Old Testament had already been developed a theosophy, in which the most abstract ideas had acquired reality, and from which sounded forth the Hellenic canticle of the power of the Spirit over matter and sensuality, and of the true home of the soul. Whatever in this great adaptation still remained obscure and unnoticed, was now lighted up by the history of Jesus, his birth, his life, his sufferings and triumph. The view of the Old Testament as a document of the deepest wisdom, transmitted to those who knew how to read it as such, unfettered the intellectual interest which would not rest until it had entirely transferred the new religion from the world of feelings, actions and hopes, into the world of Hellenic conceptions, and transformed it into a metaphysic.
 (Jewish encyclopedia.)

Satan has a PLAN!!

Satan failed to over throw God and is condemned and he knows it. He goes about on earth to deceive as many people as he can and he has a good plan. From the most ancient times the idea of good vs evil has been known. Satan created and taught men to believe mysticism dualism and magic as a way they could rise up free of evil flesh and be god

There is a progressing system here from Satan to Nimrod who became known also as Zoroaster and Tammuz and Adonis, yes following Satan these four famous names are the same character in the story. The mystic traditions are all part of the plan to teach men they could become “as god” by knowledge from the religious system they taught.  
In Satan’s system the TRUE ALL POWERFUL GOD is not knowable by man. A lesser god made the world in an error. Man was made in an error and mistakenly given a spark of the divine light. Because of the mistake all of the world and man were created evil. Satan used a man (Nimrod/Zoroaster), he gave a vision to start a religion that on the surface sounded good, but, went far beyond the surface good and included mysticism, magic, and the knowledge cults in its development. These errors came from Babylonian folklore,  Zoroastrian Dualism, Buddhist ethics, Egyptian Mysticism, Greek Philosophy, Jewish Tradition and Mysticism, Manichean, and Gnosticism.

Zoroaster is said to have received a vision from Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, who appointed him to preach the truth. He said he saw many problems with the  polytheistic religion, so many gods and no one would be committed to any. It was at this point he started to present a monotheistic religion to focus the allegiance of followers to one god. Zoroaster began preaching his message of cosmic strife between Ahura Mazda, the God of Light, and Ahriman, the principle of evil. According to the prophet, man had been given the power to choose between good and evil. The end of the world would come when the forces of light would triumph and the saved souls rejoice in its victory. This dualism was part of an evolution towards monotheism in the Middle East. Zoroaster's teaching became the guiding light of Persian civilization.   BC1500

The idea here is that man, by knowledge, can ascend beyond the evil of flesh and come to pure spirit of god by himself. This is the origin of “All Flesh Is Evil and total depravity” only the spirit is good.  It was the Mystic secret knowledge given by Satan to deceive the world.

“But especially does “Wisdom of Knowledge” that is “Faith Wisdom {pistis sophia}”, testify to the antiquity of the Mystic Wisdom. Of Chaldean origin... Gnosticism was Jewish in character long before it became Christian... Gnosticism that is,(wisdom of Knowledge) seems to have been the first attempt on the part of the Jewish sages to give the empirical mystic lore, with the help of Platonic and Pythagorean or Stoic ideas, a speculative turn; hence the danger of heresy…of which the systems of Philo show many pitfalls...
Jewish Gnosticism unquestionably antedates Christianity, for Biblical exegesis had already reached an age of five hundred years by the first century C.E.  Judaism had been in close contact with Babylonian-Persian ideas for at least that length of time, and for nearly as long a period with Hellenistic ideas. Magic, also, which was a not unimportant part of the doctrines and manifestations of Gnosticism, largely occupied Jewish thinkers. There is, in general, no circle of ideas to which elements of Gnosticism have not been traced, and with which the Jews were not acquainted.” (Jewish Encyclopedia)

 Closely connected herewith is the doctrine that the pious are enabled to ascend toward god even in this life, if they know how to free themselves from the trammels that bind the soul (good) to the body (evil). Thus were the first mystics enabled to disclose the mysteries of the world beyond. According to Anz, l.c., and Bousset, …the central doctrine of Gnosticism—a movement closely connected with Jewish mysticism—was nothing else than the attempt to liberate the soul and unite it with god.
(Jewish Encyclopedia)

Please understand this is the whole point. The modern world rejects the creation, and free will of man. Without these points there is no bible message. God did not create sin. Man was given a choice and made the wrong one. The cause for sin is mans choice, A choice to DISOBEY God. The only SIN is to disobey GOD.  There are two sides {God=Good} or {self, world, what I want = Evil}, the question is which do you choose.  Satan is actively enticing the mind of men to do as he had done, “With Knowledge you can be as God” !

Here is Satan’s Plan.

3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

I hope I have made my point on the beginning of sin and I am not going to cover the story of Eve and the Serpent told here, I hope to look beyond these stories we have all heard so often and point out some new Ideas. I hope to show a comparison of Satan’s method in the garden and today in out world.

First an incomplete thread of truth, this is only part of what God said.
3:1 God said, Ye shall eat of every tree of the garden?
In her answer Eve added to what had been said. God had not said anything about touching the tree.
Second Satan offers a misleading idea to further his point.
Ye shall not surely die:
Then he adds an appealing reason to do what she wanted to without God.
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes
shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Choose to possess the enlightened knowledge, your choice makes you a god.
Third we see a progression of disobedience, incremental movement to sin.
the woman saw
it was pleasant to the eyes
be desired to make one wise
she took of the fruit
and did eat
gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat.

The outline we have here is the modern method to deny God, the bible, and moral right and wrong. Satan devised this outline in the garden; he and his servants still use it today. Please understand this is not a small thing, there is a plan to the Liberal Agenda, and it is an Old Plan.

1st Misstate the facts to SOUND the way you want them, use a thread of truth as a foundation.
2nd Offer a misleading idea to further the point, make your point, add your position or opinion.
3rd In small increments keep making the claim and moving public thought to your way of thinking.

There is a story that all the demons and Satan were trying to decide how to make this plan work best and a little demon cried out “WAIT” he wanted to be heard. When Satan heard “Wait” he exclaimed, “THAT IS IT”,  “You have the best Idea of all”, There is no hurry just WAIT, Put off the decision, state what we want over and over.

Modern Man says there is no GOD.                                                              Evolution
The world JUST HAPPENED by chance.
Man has no Free Will, we are only a more self-aware animal.                   Naturalism
All of nature is equal.
Do not eat other animals they are just as valuable as man.
Man as the highest self aware animal answers only to man.                      Humanism
Moral Right is what “I” want right now.
Wrong is anything that keeps me form what I want.

If God did not create the world and man in His image there is no absolute authority for moral law, Man is free to be god and answer to only himself.
Modern Liberal Humanist want to eat of the tree; “in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” They do not want an absolute, almighty, all knowing, GOD to whom they must be obedient.
Modern Liberal Humanist cannot believe in God, if they did they would have to answer to Him and keep His commandments. They could not be god and make the rules.
This is the choice we have to make, will I accept God and his promises or shall I choose to be enlightened and not need god because man is god.
The Enlightenment of the 18th century was this very comparison, Educated People rejecting the God of the medieval church. They rejected the Bible and its God. Enlightened man had moved beyond the need for God. He was free, by his own reason and now the master of all he understood.
Enlightened man rejected creation of the world as told in the bible, even though many scientist and leaders of the time rejected Darwin as poor science, and Darwin admitted that he had never proven or fully explained the theory. There was a large group of humanist Philosophers that accepted even promoted Darwin’s theory. They had made up their minds before the discussion started. They did not accept the idea of God. These theories were the lie. They denied God, they denied the creation, the enlightened man did not want an all knowing, all powerful God that he had to answer to and obey.
The men of this period of thought made a choice the wrong one. They made up their minds there was no God. Man was a product of natural events. With their minds made up, they went on to prove the point.   A mind yielded to Satan is controlled by Satan and can use and follow his outline with skill.

They told a partial truth.
Man Changes, and change in nature are normal.
They offer a misleading idea to further the point.
God controlled how the world evolved.
They progressively, repeatedly promote the idea of humanism.
For many years now in little steps they have progressively pushed the theory of evolution. They knew it was an unsound and unproven theory but it fit what they wanted. The theory has slowly been moved from an illustration of the flow of life; to a theory of how all life came to be; to scientific fact. And it has been incorporated into almost every idea in our lives.

Evolution is the best argument against Historic Christianity as a way of belief. Prove God did not do what the bible says He did and there is no Bible, God, or absolute power, truth, right, wrong. Man is his own master, the highest self aware animal that lives a little while on earth then is no more.

This evolution vs. creation argument is not a minor disagreement. It is the foundation of the historic Christian system of belief and values. We have a choice, look at the world around us all the wonders of creation and know God created all this for us, or believe the entire world just happened by chance.
The Bible, what does it mean? Why do we have the bible?
The bible is God’s word to us. The educated liberals try to say men over many years and from many places wrote stories these were told and handed down.
They told a partial truth.
men over many years and from many places wrote stories.
They offer a misleading idea to further the point.
The bible is just mythology, stories of men.
Liberals deny, discredit, and laugh at the bible. Over the years they teach the wisdom of men. The bible is degraded to the point it is unacceptable to reference it or quote in public.

Satan is still working the Plan, he has not given up.  Please do not be mistaken Satan is very active in the affairs of men.  The plan allows men to choose to serve “Human self” instead of God. Natural man disobeys God and puts man before or instead of God.

Romans 1:18-24
21  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their peculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22  Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Knowing the enemy is important because he is real and will continue to accuse until he has been thrown down by Michael and his angels in the future.    If the Bible records the over throw of Satan and stopping him from accusing our brethren, “for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.” It stands to reason that accusing the brethren IS what Satan is doing. Satan’s plan is real, his purpose is deadly serious, and he is in the world today.
Satan is active in this story. Satan is the one with the plan and is ACTIVELY seeking to deceive mankind. He wants to be worshiped, admired, and in control. Today Mysticism, Dualism, and Gnosticism are active in our world, an example is The New Age Movement.


by Bryce Self

Any effort to trace the origins of the myth, legend, and lore of goddess-worship will eventually lead one back to a single historical figure---Semiramis, wife of Nimrod and queen of Babylon.
Before we can begin to deal with Semiramis though, we must (as with any historical figure) gain at least a general understanding of her cultural and temporal setting. Since I have found in my researches that neither proven scientific truth nor gleanings of fact from the body of ancient legends in any way contradicts a proper understanding of biblical revelation, I will use the scriptural framework of history as a basis upon which to reconstruct the story of Semiramis the woman.
When Noah and his family left the ark after the flood, they settled first at the northern feet of Ararat facing what is today Georgia, USSR. From here, these eight souls began to spread out into the surrounding districts of northern Iran and Syria, as well as eastern Turkey. After a considerable period (perhaps 5 to 6 hundred years), the families of Noah's descendants began to scatter a bit more widely due to increasing population, and perhaps some degree of rivalry or even enmity between the families of Japheth, Shem, and Ham. In this way we find that within about half a millennium the entire "fertile crescent", as well as the Nile valley, the Anatolian and Iranian plateaus, Arabia, and Ethiopia have been sparsely settled---but with a decided majority of Noah's descendants living in the lower regions of Mesopotamia (which would come to be called Sumer and Akkad).
Modern archaeology has confirmed the fact that the first inhabitants of these areas were homogeneous in both race and culture, and the most reliable researches indicate that it was from here that population, animal husbandry, metallurgy, agriculture, and "citification" spread throughout the earth. The scientific and scriptural views are in exact agreement upon the origin and spread of races and civilization---the only point of difference is the time scale involved! Whereas the scriptures clearly indicate the existence of all these elements of civilization long before the flood; orthodox science, by it's denial of the bible is required to construct a mythical stone age several millennia long in order to account for the same phenomena.
It was in Mesopotamia that the first cities were built after the flood, and the first of these was quite naturally named after the very first city built by man before the flood---Enoch. Due to vagaries of linguistic permutation, this name has come down to us as Erech or Uruk in Sumeria. In all there were seven major cities built near the head of the Persian Gulf, leading to the name "Land of the Seven Cities" commonly found in the early mythologies of the world. These seven cities are enumerated in Genesis as those which were conquered by Nimrod, establishing the world's first empire. The earliest Babylonian legends tell of a conquering people who came up out of the Persian Gulf and established an empire from these cities. This seems to fit well with what we know of the movements of Nimrod in his early career. He was a native of Ethiopia and was widely traveled among the few populated areas of those days. When he set out to build himself an army of conquest, he recruited from his "cousins" the descendants of Sheba and Dedan who had come up through Arabia to settle on the Asian mainland at the Straight of Hormuz and on the Indus river in what is now Afghanistan (these people were the Dravidians who were driven southward into India by the later Aryan invasion). After raising his army, Nimrod ferried them up the gulf in the world's first naval armada, and conquered his empire. The best estimates place the time of the conquest as about 4000 to 3500 BC, and about 1000 years after the flood of Noah.
In the midst of the tumult of war Nimrod and Semiramis met--and in none too savory circumstances, for tradition states that she was an inn/brothel keeper in the city of Erech---leading one to speculate upon the nature of their initial acquaintance. Semiramis was a native of Erech, which as evidenced by it's name seems to have been built by a Hamitic family (Ham's wife was said to have been descended from Cain who built the first Erech in honor of his son). The name Semiramis is a later, Hellenized form of the Sumerian name "Sammur-amat", or "gift of the sea."
The initial element "sammur" when translated into Hebrew becomes "Shinar" (the biblical name for lower Mesopotamia), and is the word from which we derive "Sumeria". This one tarnished woman then, had such a lasting impact upon world history that not only do we call by her name the land from which civilization flowed, but God himself through the sacred writer has let us know that its distinguishing characteristic was that it was "the Land of Shinar," or Semiramis. Very little has come down to us through the millennia concerning Semiramis' rise to power, but it is safe to assume that it was initially upon Nimrod's coattails that she rode, although later in life as well as throughout history her influence overwhelmingly obscured that of her husband. Of course, it would not do to have an ex-harlot upon the throne, so the "polite fiction" was invented that she was a virgin sprung from the sea at Nimrod's landing, and hence a suitable bride for the emperor(thus the title Semiramis which has totally obscured her original name).
Semiramis was the instigator in forming the false religion aimed at supporting their rule, and of course her suggestion fell upon open ears. The religion she invented was based primarily upon a corruption of the primeval astronomy formulated by Noah's righteous ancestors before the flood. In the original this system depicted by means of constellations the story of Satan's rebellion and the war in the heavens, his subversion of mankind, the fall of Adam and Eve, the promise of One to come who would suffer and die to relieve man from the curse of sin then be installed as Lord of Creation, and the final re-subjugation of the cosmos to God through Him.
These eternal truths were corrupted by her (rather, quite obviously, by the evil one controlling her) into a mythic cycle wherein the great dragon is depicted as the rightful lord of the universe whose throne has been temporarily usurped by One whom we can recognize as the God of the Bible. The serpent creates man in his present miserable state, but promises that a child would one day born of a divine mother---which child would supplant God, become a god himself, and return rulership of the Earth to the serpent. These fables were based upon the then widely-known story of the constellations, and were introduced under the guise of revealing the hidden esoteric knowledge concealed in them (regardless of the fact that the original was quite straightforward).
Although this esotericism was the second element in Semiramis' cult, it only masked the actual goal which was the worship of the "heavenly host," which the Bible equates with Satan's army of fallen angels. Satan was quite willing to receive worship "by proxy", hence the third major element of the mystery religion was emperor-worship. This religion was propagated by a hierarchy of priests and priestesses, to whom were assigned the task of initiating the populace at large into it's ascending degrees of revelation, culminating at the highest level in both direct worship of Satan and demon-possession.
Although Nimrod was a brilliant strategist, he made a fatal blunder when he allowed Semiramis to retain full control over this religious hierarchy, and through it the minds and hearts of the people; for when a schism occurred between them she was able to turn it from a tool of support into a deadly weapon. The rift between husband and wife occurred when the queen bore an illegitimate son, and the king threatened her with both dethronement and exposure of her true origin. Semiramis, of course would not allow this to take place, and devised a plot to overthrow Nimrod.
During the course of the New Year's festivities at which the advent of Nimrod's rule was celebrated, there was a certain feast exclusively for the royal family and the upper echelons of the priesthood. During this feast, which included "courses" of psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs, a year-old ram was traditionally sacrificed by being torn limb-from-limb while still alive, and it's flesh eaten raw. This ram symbolized the old year passing into the heavens to allow room for the new year. A new-born lamb was then presented which, symbolizing the new year, would be kept and fattened for the next year's ceremonies. This year Semiramis directed the ritual according to the formula, with the exception that when the time came for the ram to be slaughtered, it was the king who was torn to pieces at the hands of the drug-crazed priesthood and Semiramis' bastard son was installed as king. Thus Nimrod, the mighty hunter, died a horrible death as a trapped beast himself.
Semiramis named her son Damu (from the Sumerian "dam," or blood), which in the later Babylonian language became Dammuzi, in Hebrew Tammuz, and in Greek Adonis. Of course, Semiramis assumed the regency for her infant son, and ruled as absolute monarch for 42 more years. In order to avoid having to kill her son on the next New Year's Day, she instituted an annual nation-wide sports competition, the winner of which would have the "honor" of taking Damu's place and ascending into heaven to become a god.
Semiramis was not unopposed in her arrogation of the regency, however, or her rule as a woman. The military arm of the government was divided into two camps for and against her, and a short war ensued which ended when the populace (roused by the priesthood) not only refused to support the "rebels" but actively opposed them. In the course of this war, though, things became so close that Semiramis was forced to build a system of walls, towers, and gates around Babylon to defend herself. She was thus the first to build fortifications and her crown afterwards was in the form of the turreted walls of Babylon. To oppose the accusations of "mere" womanhood laid against her, she had herself deified as the mother of the god Damu (since only a god can beget a god) , and installed as "The Queen of Heaven" pictured in the constellation Cassiopeia, which the ancients had intended as a corporate representation of those people faithful to God who will be enthroned by Him after the end of the age.
In spite of her cleverness, though, she also sowed the seeds of her own destruction. As she raised her son, she imbued him with divinity in the eyes of the priests and people as the means of retaining control as the divine mother without seeming to aggrandize herself. As Damu grew he became used to having every whim instantly gratified by a subservient, indeed groveling, populace. For safety's sake he had a personal bodyguard/companion group which he was never without, and which formed an elite corps of soldiery loyal and accountable to him alone. Upon coming to maturity and demanding of his mother to be installed as king, she not only refused him this--but, seeing him now as a challenge to her rule, slated him for the same death she had meted to his father. Damu caught on to her scheme, and pre-empted his "assumption" by slaying his mother with his own sword, and putting down any priestly protests by purging the hierarchy of all who would not vow allegiance to him. Thus Semiramis died after reigning as queen over Babylon for 102 years.
These events laid the groundwork for all of the pagan religious systems of antiquity, as well as many alive today. Semiramis, in particular was the model and original of every goddess and female cult figure in the ancient and modern worlds (either directly or by derivation); and thus it essential to know her story in order to discern what is factual legend and what is merely myth.
by Bryce Self



By Harry A. Ironside
e-sword commentary
As we go back into the dim twilight of history with Scripture, we learn that the founder of Bab-el, or Babylon, was Nimrod, of whose unholy achievements we read in the 10th chapter of Genesis. He was the arch-apostate of the patriarchal age. He is described as a "mighty hunter before the Lord" -- "a hunter of the souls of men," the rabbis said. Going out from the presence of the Lord, he impiously sought to gather a multitude about himself, and in defiance of the express command of God to spread abroad upon the face of the earth, he persuaded his associates and followers to join together in "building a city and a tower which should reach unto heaven."
Not surely as some of us were taught in our childhood a tower by which they might climb up into the skies to escape another possible flood, but a tower of renown, rising to a great height, to be recognized as a temple or rallying center for those who did not walk in obedience to the word of the Lord. With all the effrontery of our modern apostates, they called their city and tower Bab-El, the gate of God; but it was soon changed by divine judgment into Babel, Confusion. It bore the stamp of unreality from the first, for we are told, "they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar." An imitation of that which is real and true has ever since characterized Babylon in all ages.
Nimrod, or Nimroud-bar-Cush, as he is called on the monuments, was a grandson of Ham, the unworthy son of Noah, whose character is revealed in his exposure of his father's shame. We know that Noah had brought through the flood the revelation of the true God, for he was a preacher of righteousness, and his utterances on more than one occasion show that he had the prophetic gift. Ham on the other hand seems to have been all too readily affected by the apostasy that brought the flood, for he shows no evidence of self-judgment, but the very opposite. So Noah passes over his unworthy son and utters a curse upon Canaan, Ham begat a son named Cush, and he became the father of Nimrod, the apostate leader of his generation.
Ancient lore now comes to our assistance, and tells us that the wife of Nimrod-bar-Cush was the infamous Semiramis, the First. She is reputed to have been the founder of the Babylonian mysteries and the first high-priestess of idolatry. Thus Babylon became the fountainhead of idolatry, and the mother of every heathen and pagan system in the world. The mystery-religion that was originated there spread in various forms throughout the whole earth, and as we shall see in a few minutes, it is with us today. It is identical with the mystery of iniquity which wrought so energetically in Paul's day, and shall have its fullest development when the Holy Spirit has departed and the Babylon of the apocalypse holds sway.
Building on the primeval promise of the woman's Seed who was to come, Semiramis bore a son whom she declared was miraculously conceived, and when she presented him to the people, he was hailed as the promised deliverer. This was Tammuz, whose worship Ezekiel protested against in the days of the captivity. Thus was introduced the mystery of the mother and the child, a form of idolatry that is older than any other known to man. The rites of this worship were secret. Only the initiated were permitted to know its mysteries. It was Satan's effort to delude mankind with an imitation so like the truth of God that they would not know the true Seed of the woman when He came in the fullness of time. To this Justin Martyr bears definite witness.
From Babylon this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding nations, as the years went on and the world was populated by the descendants of Noah. Everywhere the symbols were the same, and everywhere the cult of the mother and child became the popular system. Their worship was celebrated with the most disgusting and immoral practices. The image of the queen of heaven with the babe in her arms was seen everywhere, though the names might differ as languages differed. It became the mystery-religion of Phoenicia, and by the Phoenicians was carried to the ends of the earth. Ashtoreth and Tammuz, the mother and child of these hardy adventurers, became Isis and Horus in Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy, and bore many other names in more distant places. Within 1,000 years, Babylonianism had become the religion of the world, which had rejected the Divine revelation.
Linked with the central mystery were countless lesser mysteries, the hidden meaning of which was known only to the initiates, but the outward forms were practiced by all the people. Among these were the doctrines of purgatorial purification after death, salvation by countless sacraments (such as priestly absolution), sprinkling with holy water, the offering of round cakes to the queen of heaven (as mentioned in the book of Jeremiah), dedication of virgins to the gods (which was literally sanctified prostitution), weeping for Tammuz for a period of 40 days prior to the great festival of Istar (who was said to have received her son back from the dead); for it was taught that Tammuz was slain by a wild boar and afterwards brought back to life. To him the egg was sacred, as depicting the mystery of his resurrection even as the evergreen was his chosen symbol and was set up in honor of his birth at the winter solstice, when a boar's head was eaten in memory of his conflict and a yule log burned with many mysterious observances.
The sign of the cross was sacred to Tammuz, as symbolizing the life giving principle and as the first letter of his name. It is represented upon vast numbers of the most ancient altars and temples, and did not, as many have supposed originate with Christianity. From this mystery-religion, the patriarch Abraham was separated by the divine call, and with this same evil cult the nation that sprang from him had constant conflict, until under Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, it was grafted onto what was left of the religion of Israel in the northern kingdom in the day of Ahab, and was the cause of their captivity at the last. Judah was polluted by it, for Baal-worship was but the Canaanitish form of Babylonian mysteries, and only by being sent into captivity to Babylon itself did Judah become cured of her fondness for idolatry. Baal was the Sun-God, the Life-giving One, identical with Tammuz.
When Christ came into this world the mystery of iniquity was everywhere holding sway, save where the truth of God as revealed in the Old Testament was known. Thus, when the early Christians set out upon the great task of carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth, they found themselves everywhere confronted by this system, in one form or another; for though Babylon as a city had long been but a mystery, her mysteries had not died with her. When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan plain.
There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism. The chief priests wore mitres shaped like the head of a fish, in honor of Dagon, the fish-god, the Lord of life-another form of the Tammuz mystery, as developed among Israel's old enemies, the Philistines. The chief priest when established in Rome took the title Pontifex Maximus, and this was imprinted in on his mitre. When Julius Caesar (who was an initiate like all young Romans of good family) had become the head of the States, he was elected Pontifex Maximus, and this title was held henceforth by all the Roman emperors down to Constantine the Great, who was at one and the same time, head of the church, and high priest to the heathen. The title was afterwards conferred upon the bishops of Rome, and is borne by the pope today, who is thus declared to be, not the successor of the fisherman-apostle Peter, but the direct successor of the high priest of the Babylonian mysteries, and the servant of the fish-god Dagon, for whom he wears, like his idolatrous predecessors, the fisherman's ring.
During the early centuries of the church's history, the mystery of iniquity had wrought with such astounding effect, and the Babylonian practices and teachings had been so largely absorbed by that which bore the name of the church of Christ, that the truth of the Holy Scriptures on many points had been wholly obscured, while idolatrous practices had been foisted upon the people as Christian sacraments, and the heathen philosophies took the place of gospel instruction. Thus was developed that amazing system which for a thousand years dominated Europe and trafficked in the bodies of souls of men, until the great Reformation of the 16th century brought in a measure of deliverance.

By Dr. Seiss    e-sword commentary


And he bore me away in spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a cup of gold in her hand full of abominations and the unclean things of her and of the earth's fornication, and upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth.

We have already twice heard of Great Babylon, and calamity to her; once in Rev_14:8, by anticipation; and once in Rev_16:19, where her sins were said to have come into remembrance, and the cup of the fierceness of the wrath of God to have been administered to her. The particulars of that visitation, as well as the whole character and relations of this mystic personage, are given in the chapters upon which we now enter. As the first reference was somewhat anticipative, so these further accounts are somewhat retrogressive, and go back to exhibit in all its length and breadth what in the previous chapter was only synoptically stated.

The subject itself is one of great prominence in the Apocalypse, as in all the prophecies; but it has proven about as difficult as it is conspicuous. The first point is the evident correlation and contrast between the Woman here pictured and another Woman described in the twelfth chapter.

Both these Women are mothers; the first "brought forth a son, a male [neuter, embracing either sex], who is to rule all the nations;" the second "is the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth."
Both are splendidly dressed; the first is "clothed with the sun." Her raiment is light from heaven. The second is "clothed in purple, and scarlet, decked with gold, and precious stone, and pearls." All her ornaments are from below, made up of things out of the earth and the sea.
Both are very influential in their position; the first has "the moon," the empress of night, the powers of darkness, "under her feet;" the second "hath rule, or kingdom, upon the kings of the earth."
Both are sufferers; against the first is the Dragon, who stands watching to devour her child, and persecutes and pursues her, and drives her into the wilderness, and sends out a river to overwhelm her, and is at war with all her seed that he can find; against the second are the ten kings, who ultimately hate her, and make her desolate and naked, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, whilst God in His strength judgeth her, and visits her with plague, death, and utter destruction.
Both are very conspicuous, and fill a large space in the history of the world, and in all the administrations of divine providence and judgment. That they are counterparts of each other there can hardly be. a reasonable doubt.
The one is a pure woman, the other is a harlot.
The first is hated by the powers on earth, the second is loved, flattered, and caressed by them. Where the one has sway, things are heavenly; where the other lives, it is "wilderness."
The one produces masculine nobility, which is ultimately caught away to God and to His throne; the other produces effeminate impurity, which calls down the fierceness of the divine wrath.
The one is sustained and helped by celestial wings; the other is supported and carried by the Dragon power,-the Beast with the seven heads and ten horns.
The one has a crown of twelve stars, wearing the patriarchs and apostles as her royal diadem; the other has upon her forehead the name of the greatest destroyer and oppressor of the holy people, and is drunken with "the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that have been slain upon the earth."
The one finally comes out in a heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, made up of imperishable jewels, and arrayed in all the glory of God and the Lamb; the other finally comes out in a city of this world's superlative admiration, which suddenly goes down forever under the intense wrath of Heaven, and becomes the habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit.

These two Women, thus related, and set over one against the other as opposites and rivals, must necessarily be interpreted in the same way. As Antichrist corresponds to Christ as a rival and antagonist of Christ, so Great Babylon corresponds to the Woman that bears the Manchild, as her rival and antagonist.

"The Woman clothed with the sun, having the moon under her feet, is the Church of the Patriarchs, and of the Prophets, and of the holy Apostles"--that is, the Church from the days of Adam and Eve on to the last victory over the worship, name, and mark, of the final Antichrist.
What then can this rival Woman be but the organized Antichurch, the pseudo-church, the Bride made out of Satan, the universal body and congregation of false-believers and false-worshippers?

As Christ has had a visible Church in all time, embodying the wisdom and spirit of heaven, and maintaining the confession of His truth and worship,
So has the Devil had a corresponding following in all time, embodying the sensual and devilish wisdom and spirit, and maintaining the profession and teaching of Satan's lies.

And as the first Woman denotes the one, so the second Woman denotes the other. The proofs of this will appear as we consider the particulars of the case.

1. One of the most characteristic features of this Woman is her harlotry. The Angel calls her "The Great Harlot," and she wears on her forehead as her name, "The mother of the harlots, and of the abominations of the earth." Harlotry is the standing symbol in the word of God for a debauched worship, idolatry, and false devotion.

2. This conclusion is rendered the more necessary by the name which this Woman has written upon her forehead. How could she be "the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth" if her existence does not date back to, and above all include, the great harlotries and abominations. The imagery, therefore, goes back to the beginnings, out of which all false systems, and false worships, and abominations of the earth have come.

3. Accordingly, also, we have in the very front of this Woman's name a designation which carries us back to the commencement of the whole ill-condition of things in this present world.

Turning to these chapters of national origins, we learn that the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, was Bab-el, or Babylon, in the land of Shinar, whither the then inhabitants of the earth, who were as yet of one language and one speech, journeyed together from the East. This implication is, that they came thither under the leadership of Nimrod, whose name means a rebellious panther, and that under him began that first great work of rebellion against God which brought the confusion of tongues, and inaugurated the original of all the subsequent harlotries and abominations of mankind. Against the command and known intent of the Almighty, it was there undertaken to "build a city and a tower whose top might reach unto heaven," and to make themselves a name that they might not be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. It appears, also, that from the hunting and slaying of wild beasts, and with the armed forces grouped around him in that business, Nimrod betook himself to the subjugation and enslavement of men, compelling them into his service and daring schemes. Thus he "began to be a mighty one in the earth, the organizer of an arbitrary imperialism over against the patriarchal order and the divine institutes. The Arab records tell us that he was the first king, and thus the beginner of all kingcraft and tyranny which have since so much oppressed the world. It is said of him that he professed to have seen a golden crown in the sky, that he had one made like it, and that he put it on his own head, and thus claimed to rule in the name and as the earthly impersonation of the powers of the sky, either as Orion or the Sun.

The Bible says that it was further arranged for the people to make for themselves "a name,"--a Sem, token, sign, banner, ensign, or mark of confederation, fellowship, and organized unity, as an undivided people, lest they should become dispersed over the earth into separate societies. (Compare Jer_13:11; Jer_33:9; Eze_39:13; Zep_3:20.) Against God they had determined to hold together, and they wished to have a badge, standard, something by which they could be known, and in which they could all glory and rejoice as the centre and crown of their unity. That Sem, or Sema, was to be a mark of consolidated greatness, a loftiness and pride to them; that is, in the language of the time, a Sema-Rama. Thus we have the name of the mythic Semiramis, the Dove-Goddess, which was the ensign of all the Assyrian princes, and which figures so largely as Ashtaroth, Astarte, the heavenly Aphrodite, and Venus. Semiramis is said to have been the wife of Nimrod; so that the Sem, or token, of the Nimrodic confederation was probably the image of his wife, with a dove upon her head, with wings spread like the horns of the new moon. This, in the language of the time, would be called Sema-Rama, because the great Sem, name, or token, of the combination against being scattered abroad. The symbol of such a name or confederation would naturally and almost necessarily take the place of a god, and become the holy mother, the great heavenly protectress, the giver of greatness and prosperity to those rallying under it.

So again, Nimrod called his first and capital city Bab-el, which, in the language of the time, means The Gate of God; of course not the God of Noah and Shem, for the whole proceeding was in known and intended antagonism to the true God and His will and commands. Hebraistically, and by way of accommodation to the judgment which Jehovah there inflicted, Babel is made significant of confusion (Gen_11:9), but in the original application of the name it means The Gate of God. Thus, in the very name of the place, we have the intimation and proof that these Nimrodic proceedings were not only the organization of a new and oppressive style of government, but with it, as an essential part of it, the inauguration of a new and idolatrous religion, the parent apostasy of the postdiluvian world.

The Bible says that Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord. The Targum of Jonathan interprets this to mean that he was a mighty rebel before the Lord, the mightiest rebel before the Lord that ever was in the earth. The Jerusalem Targum reads it that he was mighty in sin before the Lord, a hunter of the sons of men, exhorting them to leave the judgments of Shem and adhere to the judgments of Nimrod. Hence it was the proverb concerning every notorious adventurer in wickedness and oppression, As the mighty Nimrod in rebellion and sin before God. Jarchi accordingly understands the record to be, that Nimrod was a most brazen offender, who did not fear or hesitate to withstand God to his very face. And every intimation concerning him shows that he was the Heaven-defying founder of a new system of rule and worship, instituting a government by brute force and earthly wisdom and policy, and a religion which quite abolished the true God, and set men to the adoration of the sun (Nimrod), moon(Samiramis), and stars (her son Damu), impersonated in himself, wife, relatives, and chief consociates, and represented in the idol standards of his kingdom.
Semiramis was the instigator in forming the false religion aimed at supporting their rule, and of course her suggestion fell upon open ears.      Bryce Self

It is a mistake to suppose that idolatry was the gradual growth of well-disposed but unenlightened human thinking. Its rise was sudden. It was conceived in intentional rebellion. It was the invention of a proud and tyrannous ambition at war with Jehovah's commands. It was brought into being to counteract the will and worship of the true and known God. It was the creature and handmaid of power for the deification of "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life "in the place of the Creator. And it originated with old Babylon, and Babylon's first king, the great rebel Nimrod

Whatever changes or additions came, it still was old Babylon, which ever abides, potent through all the ages, and known to the judgment angels as "Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth."

4. It is further said of this Woman that "the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk from the wine of her fornication." Ancient lore now comes to our assistance, and tells us that the wife of Nimrod-bar-Cush was the infamous Semiramis, the First. She is reputed to have been the founder of the Babylonian mysteries and the first high-priestess of idolatry. Thus Babylon became the fountainhead of idolatry, and the mother of every heathen and pagan system in the world. The mystery-religion that was originated there spread in various forms throughout the whole earth .      Bryce Self
The cup held out is golden. The cup is one; and in all the varied systems of false faith and false worship which taint our world there is held out and received but one and the same essence, and that essence is the harlotry of old Babylon. It is most direct in Paganism; but it is in Mohammedanism, in Papalism, in the degenerate Catholicism of the Eastern churches, and in all the heretical isms, infidelities, and mere goodishnesses which afflict our Protestant Christianity as well. So true is it that Great Babylon, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth, hath made the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication.

5. This Women is also herself drunken-"drunken from the blood of the saints, and from the blood of the martyrs or witnesses of Jesus." "In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and all that have been slain [as martyrs] upon the earth. It is very certain, and beyond dispute, that all the persecution and slaying of saints, and prophets, and witnesses for God that have ever occurred upon earth, past or present; ancient or modern, stand charged against the mystic kingdom of idolaters, false religionists, and such as accepted fellowship with spiritual harlotry. Persecution of God's prophets or people is itself a mark and evidence of spiritual whoredom. It shows alienation from God and His true worship. And wherever such presentation finds place, or saints are sacrificed for their faith, there this great Harlot is in living and visible force and presence, whether among Pagans or Jews, Mohammedans or Christians, Catholics or Protestants. It is the old Nimrod the SUN god and Samiramis the MOON goddess over again, tyrannously enforcing murderous will against the will and commands of God.

6. Again, this mystic Woman sits upon many waters, which waters the angel says "are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." There is a vastness and universality in these terms, and in the extent of these symbolic waters extending over many peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues, there are many many more peoples, and far greater multitudes, and numbers of nations, and tongues which make up the seat, dependence, and support of this great Harlot. At one period or another she has been found sitting on every people, and nation, and tongue, since the tongues or multitudes of men have been sundered.    

End notes and References.

2. Web  pages that tell this story:

{  Zoroasther: ;


Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) (Editor)
Chapter XXIX.--Fire-Worship of the Persians.

   "First among whom is named a certain king Nimrod, the magic art having
   been handed down to him as by a flash, whom the Greeks, also called
   Ninus, and from whom the city of Nineveh took its name.  Thus,
   therefore, diverse and erratic superstitions took their beginning from
   the magic art.  For, because it was difficult to draw away the human
   race from the love of God, and attach them to deaf and lifeless images,
   the magicians made use of higher efforts, that men might be turned to
   erratic worship, by signs among the stars, and motions brought down as
   it were from heaven, and by the will of God.  And those who had been
   first deceived, collecting the ashes of Zoroaster,--who, as we have
   said, was burnt up by the indignation of the demon, to whom he had been
   too troublesome,--brought them to the Persians, that they might be
   preserved by them with perpetual watching, as divine fire fallen from
   heaven, and might be worshipped as a heavenly God.

This fire-worship the Persian Magi did not pretend to have invented; but their popular story carried the origin of it up to the days of Hoshang, the father of Tahmurs, who founded Babylon (WILSON, pp. 202, 203, and 579)---i.e., the time of Nimrod. In confirmation of this, we have seen that a fragment of Apollodorus (Muller, 68) makes Ninus the head of the fire-worshippers. Layard, quoting this fragment, supposes Ninus to be different from Zoroaster (Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 443, Note); but it can be proved, that though many others bore the name of Zoraster, the lines of evidence all converge, so as to demonstrate that Ninus and Nimrod and Zoroaster were one. The legends of Zoroaster show that he was known not only as a Magus, but as a Warrior (ARNOBIUS, lib. i. p. 327).