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Today's Religious Customs... how did they begin? - Installment 6
Plain Truth Magazine
April 1960
Volume: Vol XXV, No.4
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Today's Religious Customs... how did they begin? - Installment 6
C Paul Meredith   
Church of God

Born: 1905
Died: 1968
Member Since: 1951
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

What is the real origin of Easter, Christmas, St. John's Day? Here is the surprising answer!

Part VI (Previous Installment V)

   IT WILL come as a shocking surprise.
   You probably have never noticed it before, but it is true!
   Easter was being observed 4000 years ago! It was still being observed when the Christ-child was born-during His ministry when He built His Church-yet Christ d d not institute it Christ never observed it the apostles never observed it the Church JESUS BUILT never observed it the Apostle Paul commanded Gentile-born Christians to cease observing it!
   More startling, Christ commands us, today, to cease observing it!
   How, then, did Easter and the host of religious customs now celebrated in this Western Wotld get into professing Christianity?
   Listen! Your eternal destiny depends upon the answer! You are soon-very soon-going to stand before the judgment bar of Christ. Do not say carelessly: "Well, here is the way I look at it;" or, "I do not think it makes much difference." God says it does make a difference. God declares there is a way that seems right to a man to YOU but the end result are the ways of death (Prov. 14:12).
   You will be judged by what God says not by what you think. Now let us unveil the facts of history.

World Deception Planned From Time of Flood

   The vast majority today believe they are on the right road to salvation. They are honest, sincere people. They do what they think is right. Never has it entered their minds to question that they might be wrong.
   Just after the flood, Nimrod founded in Babylon, a civilization which ignored the rule of God (Gen. 11:1-9). The gospel of the coming Christ and much of the Bible teachings were counterfeited in such a way as to appeal to its followers but lead them to DESTRUCTION INSTEAD OF SALVATION. From Babylon these deceptive teachings spread throughout the whole world including the Christian-professing nations! Because of their marked similarity to Christ's teachings, the pagan counterfeits became mingled with His, and have deceived the people to this very day just as the devil had planned!
   Millions celebrate unknowingly the supposed birth of Nimrod on December 25th and call it the birthday of Christ, the Savior, who was not born in the winter season!
   At the beginning of spring, men face and bow in the presence of the rising sun on Easter morning in the same act of worship as that of the pagans who bowed in honor of Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, the supposed mother of the sun god. And Christians have been led to believe that this abominable kind of heathen worship was ordained by Christ and the apostles!
   Jesus Christ never commanded us to celebrate His resurrection. He commanded us to commemorate annually, His death on the eve of the very day on which He gave Himself for the world. Strange as it seems, almost no one obeys the very One whom Christianity acknowledges as its Savior!
   Now notice the facts of history. They are startling!

Pagan Worship Continues Today

   You will recall that in the time of Nimrod, the sun (which was associated symbolically with the Serpent, or Satan) was symbolized on earth by fire. NIMROD, as the SUN-GOD or fire-god in the Mysteries, was worshipped by the sacrifice of HUMAN BEINGS IN FIRE TO HIM. Has this pagan custom persisted in even our "Christian" times? Let us examine.
   The Feast of the NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN is set down in the Papal calendar for the 24th of June. The very same period was equally memorable in the Babylonian calendar for one of its grand original festivals to commemorate the death and reviving of Tammuz, or Nimrod (Stanley's Sabean Philosophy, p. 1065).
   Why is this a "coincidence"? The apostate Church followed the now famous advice of Pope Gregory I, that by all means they should meet the pagans halfway and so bring them into the Church (Bower's Lives of Popes, vol. ii, p. 523).
   Here is how it happened.
   About the sixth century A.D., emissaries were sent over Europe, with an eye to gathering the pagans into its fold. Remember, the apostate Church was formed by a union of pagans and professing Christians (Consult Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. i, chap. 15). These emissaries or investigators found that the keeping of the 24th of June in honor of Tammuz (Nimrod) was very popular.
   To gain numbers to the church was the thing! This meant both professing Christians and pagans must be satisfied. The pagans wanted this festival. The Christians would not tolerate a name suggestive of its real meaning. So a Christian name was put on this pagan festival. This is exactly the way our pagan Christmas came into Christianity and why there are so many pagan festivals observed in the churches today.
   Now what Christian name was attached to June 24th a pagan festival?
   As the pagans had already established December 25th as Christ's supposed birthday (actually it was in the autumn), that could not be used. But June 24th six months earlier could pass for John the Baptist's birthday! John was born 6 months before Christ. The Feast could be called the nativity of St. John. But where could a connection be found between John and the name of Tammuz? In the Latin language adopted by the Church, John was called Joannes.
   One of the many sacred names by which Tammuz or Nimrod was called, when he reappeared in the Mysteries after he was slain, was Oannes (Bunsen's Egypt, vol. i, p. 707). How similar is Oannes to Joannes or John!
   But Oannes was the ancient Fish-god. How did Nimrod acquire this characteristic and name?
   When Nimrod was overcome by Shem, Semiramis concocted a fable. She said that Nimrod took refuge in the sea. When he therefore "reappeared" he did so in the very character of Oannes, the Fish-god (Hislop p. 114).
   So the PAGAN "NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN" FESTIVAL, which actually commemorates the death and reviving of pagan Oannes or Tammuz, BEARS A CHRISTIAN NAME!
   How was this Christian-named festival originally observed? How has it been observed even into our times?

"St. John's Day" in Britain

   Before Christianity entered the British Isles, the 24th of June was celebrated by the Druids with blazing midsummer fires in honor of their great divinity who was Baal (another name for Nimrod or Tammuz). It was thus observed to our times! "I have seen the people running and leaping through the St. John fires in Ireland... proud of passing through unsinged... thinking of themselves in a special manner blest by the ceremony" (Toland's Druids, p. 107). It has been a widespread custom. Herodotus, Wilkinson, Layard, and many others record its observance in various countries.
   The grand distinguishing solemnities of St. John's Eve are the mid-summer fires. These were lighted in France, Switzerland, Ireland, and Scotland (Hislop, p. 114). "When the FIRE had burned for several hours and got very low, everyone PASSED THROUGH IT... here was... worship of Baal, if not Molech (II Kings 23:10) too, by millions professing the Christian name" (Bell's Wayside Pictures, p. 225).
   SO, WE SEE THE WORSHIP OF THE SUN-GOD OR SERPENT AGAIN IN OUR TIMES, UNDER THE CLOAK OF A CHRISTIAN NAME! Our world is not as far removed from paganism as we think!
   What does God say about this heathen practice? The people of Old Testament times were practicing this identical rite to honor this same pagan god. "They built the high places of Baal... to cause their sons and their daughters to PASS THROUGH THE FIRE TO MOLECH [Nimrod]: which I commanded them not!" (Jer. 32:35). Again God says, "When ye make your sons to pass through the fire, YE POLLUTE YOURSELVES WITH ALL YOUR IDOLS, even unto this day" (Ezek. 20:31). God COMMANDS that this idolatrous festival NOT be kept! He says it is IDOLATRY! in honor of an idol god! THE PEOPLE TODAY HAVE OTHER GODS BEFORE THE TRUE GOD. The very first of the Ten Commandments says, "THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME" (Ex. 20:3).

What About Christmas Observance?

   The day set apart by Semiramis in memory of the "new birth" of Nimrod, her husband who had been slain by Shem, is familiar to everyone. What day is this? CHRISTMAS!
   Through her mysteries her dead husband was said to have been miraculously conceived of Semiramis and to have returned in the form of Horus (Semiramis' illegitimate son). It was the BIRTHDAY OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN! (Gieseler's Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii, p. 42). She claimed Shem had not vanquished Nimrod even though he had slain him.
   In Egypt, the son of Isis (Semiramis), the Babylonian queen of heaven, was supposedly born at the approximate time of the winter solstice (Wilkinson's Egyptians, vol. iv, p. 405). The winter solstice then was December 25th, the place marking the beginning of the days becoming longer and longer. TO PAGAN SUN-WORSHIPPERS IT MEANT THAT THEIR GOD THE SUN WAS NOT GOING TO DIE AFTER ALL, BUT WAS BECOMING STRONGER AND STRONGER. The very name "Yule-day" which is used among us today proves its pagan and Babylonian origin (Mallet's Northern Antiquities, vol. i, p. 130). "Yule" was the Chaldee name for "infant" or "little child" long before Christ's time. It did not appear in Christian worship until around 350 A.D.!
   The Sabeans of Arabia regarded the 24th day of December as the birthday of their pagan "Lord" (Stanley's History of Philosophy, p. 1066, col. 1). The Saxons observed December the 25th. Hislop, p. 96 states: "It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the only God. When, therefore, Tammuz was worshipped as god incarnate," (after he had supposedly taken the human form, as Christ did centuries later) "that implied he was an incarnation of the Sun."

And the Christmas Tree?

   What about today's Christmas tree? The Christmas tree in Egypt was the palm; in Rome it was the fir. The mother (Semiramis) of Adonis the Sun-God (Grecian name of Nimrod) was mystically said to have been changed into a tree the Christmas tree. While in this state she was said to have brought forth her so-called 'divine' son (Ovid's, Metain, lib. XV 500-513). Hislop, on p. 97, indicates that if the mother was the tree, the son must have been the counterfeit "Man of the branch." But Christ is the true "Branch" (Jer. 23:5). This is another pagan duality.
   This, he states, accounts for putting the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas eve and the appearance of the Christmas tree next morning the tree that supposedly brings all divine gifts to men. When people use the Christmas tree in their celebrations, they pay homage to Semiramis, the mother (and giver) of the false "Savior." Who then do they thus acknowledge as their savior? NIMROD the very man who "saved" mankind from following God at the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:6).
   What does God say about the Christmas tree? "Learn not the way of the heathen... for one cutteth a tree... They deck it with silver and with gold; fasten it... that it move not... they are altogether brutish and foolish" (Jer. 10:1-8). God commands us to commemorate Christ's death (Mark 14:22-24) not His birth, which occurred before winter (Luke 2:8).

Christ's Conception Counterfeited

   Is there a counterfeit for the miraculous conception of Christ? Yes! Lady Day, celebrated each March 25th 9 months before the supposed "Savior" was born. This day was observed long before Christ's time in honor of the Babylonian "Messiah" (Ammianus Marcellinus, book 23, ch. 3, p. 355).
   How clear it is becoming that the Devil supervised the fashioning of these counterfeits. They not only could be used in deceiving mankind then, as to the True way to salvation, but also could be used in deceiving people after the real Savior came! So we see that, THOSE WHO KEEP CHRISTMAS TODAY MARK THEMSELVES AS WORSHIPPERS OF THE SUN, SATAN, NIMROD, HORUS, AND SEMIRAMIS the apostate heroes who founded civilization after the Flood in defiance of the way of God. What a group for a modern "Christian" to be worshipping!
   And Semiramis? Does she have a day? Yes, she has a day reserved for herself also Lady Day and the people here and in other countries are dutifully keeping it! After all, had it not been for her, the MYSTERIES (II Thes. 2:7) which deceive the earth today would never have been formulated and the pagans would never have had a false "savior."
   The name of Semiramis found on Assyrian monuments is "Ishtar." This corresponds to one of the titles of the Babylonian Beltes (Semiramis) called Astarte in the Bible. So, the very word "Easter" shows that this festival originated in Babylon (Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, p. 629).
   What does this day commemorate?

Origin of Easter Observance

   To discover the origin of Easter we have to go back to Semiramis and her Mysteries again!
   Notice what Hislop admits on page 110: "As everything that was good... to mankind was represented in the Chaldean (Babylonian) mysteries, as in some way connected with the Babylonian goddess (Semiramis), so the greatest blessing to the human race which the ark contained... was held to be Astarte... the great civilizer and benefactor of the world... It was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that in a previous incarnation she had lived in the Antediluvian world."
   The words for "egg" and "house" in the Hebrew and Chaldean are very similar. So the house or ark of Noah floating on the waters, became the "Egg." "An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates... out came Venus, who afterward became the Assyrian goddess" (Hyginus' Fabulae, pp. 148, 149) that is, Astarte. The pagan classic poems are full of fables of the Mystic egg of the Babylonians.
   The event that the "Ishtar egg" or Easter egg first commemorated was the "arrival" (birth) of the future mother of the Sun-god on this earth after the Flood! So we see Easter commemorates Semiramis' birthday not Christ's resurrection!
   Easter worship is actually sun-goddess worship!
   What does God say about observing Easter? "Trust ye not in lying words... the women... make cakes to the queen of heaven [This world today is doing the same thing!]... walk ye in all the ways I have commanded... But they hearkened not..."
   And what happens to those who continue to disobey? "The carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls of heaven" (Jer. 7:1-33). This is the result of Easter keeping of following the Devil's deceptive Mysteries!
   Jesus knew that men would attach His name to pagan practices, claiming to worship Him. He shouted the warning: "Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
   Let us now notice one more of these deceptions that masquerade as Christian but are actually pagan.

The Counterfeit Cross

   Is the cross which took Christ's life a thing to be proud of and adored? Or has the Devil deceived us here also? Our sins and the Devil's deception killed Christ. Satan was to bruise the heel of the seed of woman (Gen 3:15) Satan was to kill Christ. How did he do this?
   Satan deceived us into sinning and OUR sins killed Christ. Should we parade OUR INSTRUMENT OF DEATH, which took Christ's life, before the world and be proud of it? But notice even more about the practice of parading the cross.
   The true original form of the Chaldean (Babylonian) alphabet letter "T" is made like like the CROSS CHURCHES USE TODAY and WAS THE INITIAL OF TAMMUZ, the sun-god. "This was marked on the foreheads of those initiated into the Mysteries; the Vestal virgins of pagan (not modern) Rome wore it suspended off their necklaces as nuns do now. There is hardly a pagan tribe where a cross has not been found... the X which in itself was not an unnatural symbol of Christ, and which was once regarded as such, was allowed to go entirely into disuse and the Tau cross, the sign of Tammuz, the false messiah, was everywhere substituted in its stead" (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 119).
   People and churches nowadays are even going to great lengths to identify themselves with the symbol of the Sun-god! The great display of this symbol today is an outward sign of how blinded the world is to the truth of God.

Next Installment 7: Is Today's Week God' Week?

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Plain Truth MagazineApril 1960Vol XXV, No.4
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