How churches today have been deceived into practicing an ancient PAGAN baptism is the startling revelation in this installment of Dr. Meredith's forthcoming book.
Part V IN THE previous four articles we learned that soon after the flood Nimrod founded CIVILIZATION at BABYLON. IT REJECTED THE RULE OF GOD.
After Nimrod's death, Semiramis, his wife — for purposes of prestige and power — developed a religious system at BABYLON. IT DID NOT RECOGNIZE GOD AS CREATOR AND SUPREME RULER OF THIS EARTH. Knowing the Savior was to come, she formed a false religious system. She palmed herself off as the virgin mother and MADE HER DEAD HUSBAND THE RESURRECTED SAVIOR. She counterfeited Christ's teaching over 2000 years in advance. She gave them an unscriptural twist.
With these she deceived the world, and Satan has continued to use these SAME TEACHINGS to deceive the earth down to this very day! God speaks of today's world as "Babylon the Great"; for in all points it still remains basically the same as ancient Babylon in spite of Christ's birth.
Now let us notice the counterfeits of true doctrines of salvation.
WHY Pagans Had Counterfeit Baptism Through the Babylonian Mysteries, Satan distorted the Truth about the Godhead and the Holy Spirit as spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis. He distorted the facts concerning himself, and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Was he going to turn Noah and his experiences also to his benefit after the flood? We will see that he did just this, in making the forgiveness of past sins a mechanical process through a counterfeit baptism.
Some churches consider water baptism so important that unless an infant is baptized, it cannot "go to heaven" (Bishop Hay's Sincere Christian, vol. i, p. 363). Says Hislop in The Two Babylons: "The doctrine of Rome is that ALL WHO ARE CANONICALLY BAPTIZED, HOWEVER IGNORANT, HOWEVER IMMORAL, if they only give implicit faith to the church, and surrender their consciences to the priests, ARE AS MUCH REGENERATED AS EVER THEY CAN BE.... This doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration also is essentially Babylonian.... Hindoos who have never opened their ears to Christian instruction are as familiar with the term and idea as ourselves" (p. 132).
The BRAHMINS in India make it their distinguishing boast that they are "twice born" men, and that as such they are sure of eternal happiness. Among the ancestors of the people of Mexico, Scandinavia, and other countries the same practice was followed (Asiatic Researchers, vol. vii, p. 271). "In certain sacred rites of the heathen," referring to the worship of Isis (the Egyptian goddess corresponding to Semiramis), and Mithra (the Greek god corresponding to Nimrod as Mediator), "the mode of initiation is by baptism" (Tertullian's De Baptismo, vol. i, p. 1204). The term "initiation" clearly shows that it was the Mysteries of these divinities to which he referred.
How did it come about that the Babylonians themselves adopted such a doctrine of regeneration by baptism? The Babylonian Mysteries of Semiramis, as usual, give the answer. In these mysteries, the commemoration of the flood, the ark, and the grand events in the life of Noah, were mingled with the worship of the "Queen of Heaven" (Semiramis) and her son-husband Nimrod and her illegitimate son Horus (the "resurrected" Nimrod). Noah, having lived in two worlds — both before and after the flood — was called "Diphues" or "twice-born." He was represented as a god with two heads looking in opposite directions, the one old and the other young (Bryant's Mythology, vol. i, pp. 84, 319).
Semiramis saw it was necessary to identify her dead husband Nimrod with the great patriarch Noah who was the father of all. In this way he would thus become the Supreme One, the Father of all the deified "mighty ones." He would obtain the authority and respect essential to constitute him the head of the great system of idolatry that the apostates inaugurated.
The period in which Osiris (the Egyptian term for Nimrod) was in his coffin, was precisely the same as Noah was in the ark — a whole year (Apollodorus, vol. i, pp. 356, 257). Osiris, at the great and solemn festival called "The Disappearance of Osiris," was looked upon as dead and buried when put into his ark or coffin. When he came out again, that new state was regarded as a state of "new life," or "regeneration" (Plutarch's De Iside et Osiride, vol. ii, pp. 356, 367).
"Whatever primitive truth the Chaldean (Babylonian) priests held, they utterly perverted and corrupted it. They willingly overlooked the fact, that it was the 'RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH' which Noah 'had before' the flood... that carried him safely through... THEY led their votaries to believe that IF THEY ONLY PASSED THROUGH THE BAPTISMAL WATERS and the penances therewith connected... it would entitle them... to a new birth... The WHOLE SPIRIT OF PAGANISM WAS OPPOSED TO THE SPIRITUALITY of the patriarchal religion and indeed intended to make it void, and DRAW MEN UTTERLY AWAY FROM IT, WHILE PRETENDING TO DO HOMAGE TO IT" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, pp. 137, 141).
THE ANCIENTS, KNOWING THE TRUTH CONCERNING BAPTISM, THAT IT SYMBOLIZED A RIGHTEOUS STATE OF MIND, MADE IT A MECHANICAL PROCESS!
Here again we see the Devil deceiving mankind. He says to man in effect: "Follow your own ideas and ways, not God's, and you can have your past sins forgiven." God says, "Repent, and be baptized" (Acts 2:38). Turn to the ways God commands! "In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:9).
What does this mean?
Most churches today have been deceived into employing a counterfeit water baptism. True, some large denominations use the scriptural form — immersion. But a counterfeit looks like the genuine. The deception lies in that which is associated with it — the spirit in which it is done.
BAPTISM IS DONE TODAY IN THE SAME SPIRIT IN WHICH IT WAS DONE IN ANCIENT BABYLON — many are baptized BUT their ACTIONS AFTERWARD DO NOT SHOW THEY HAVE figuratively BURIED THE OLD SELF IN BAPTISM. THEY CONTINUE IN THEIR OLD PRACTICES.
Pagan Doctrine of Penance We have seen that the Devil's deceptive doctrine practiced by many churches to this day is that man does not have to change from his old evil ways and then be baptized to obtain forgiveness of past sins. The question now arises: What sort of perverted doctrine does he have regarding the forgiveness of sins we commit unwillingly after baptism?
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT WE, THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST'S SHED BLOOD TO CANCEL OUR PAST SINS, MAY USE THIS TO COVER THEM (Rom. 3:25, 28, 31). Now let us note the BONDAGE of the pagan counterfeit of forgiveness which many churches practice today.
"In regard to justification, the Chaldean doctrine was that it was by works and merits of men themselves that they must be justified... perfection depended on the exertions of the individual" (Hislop, pp. 144, 145). The doctrine of many churches is the same. From the days of Cain downward, the doctrine of human merit and self-justification has everywhere been indigenous to the heart of depraved humanity.
In the Middle Ages, according to legend, Michael the archangel had committed to him the balance of God's justice and that in the opposite pans of the balance the merits and demerits of the deceased are placed (Review of Epistle of Dr. Gentianus Harvet, Book ii, chap. xiv).
This same system of human merits for justification is found in paganism over the world. Wilkinson's Egyptians, vol. v, p. 447, shows that in Egypt, the land of Ham, it was to Anubis that the SCALES OF JUSTICE were committed. If a person is found wanting, he is rejected and Osiris (Nimrod) pronounces judgment. The same system is found in Grecian and Chinese mythology. In China, lists and comparative tables of good and bad actions are recorded (Davis' China, vol. ii, chap. "Religion — Buddhism").
"In spiritual despotism in every age, both pagan and Papal... ITS GRAND OBJECT HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO KEEP THE SOULS OF ITS VOTARIES AWAY FROM DIRECT AND IMMEDIATE INTERCOURSE WITH A... MERCIFUL SAVIOR" (Hislop's The Two Babylons, pp. 148-150). Continuing, Hislop quotes from a decree of the Council of Trent: "No man can know with infallible assurance... that he HAS OBTAINED the grace of God." It seeks "to keep its devotees in continual doubt." "In the confessional there was from time to time... a mimic rehearsal of the dread weighing... when they have a man of influence... or wealth... they will not give him the slightest bit of hope till round sums of money... be cast on the scale."
Notice how the pagans acquired merits for justification. Hislop continues, "Nimrod was the first after the flood that violated the patriarchal system, and set up (himself) as 'king' over his fellows... In almost every land bloody worship prevailed... human victims... were his most acceptable offerings. In pagan Rome the worshippers of Isis (Semiramis) observed the same practice in honor of Osiris (Nimrod). When it is remembered that Saturn (Nimrod) was cut in pieces, it is easy to see how the idea would arise of offering a welcome sacrifice by setting men to cut one another to pieces (in war)... TO LAY UP A STOCK OF MERIT... in their behalf."
In these "latter days" — TODAY — a turning away from true doctrines was foretold (I Tim. 4:1, Heb. 13:8-9). GOD HAS GIVEN MAN A SIMPLE WAY TO HAVE THEIR PAST SINS FORGIVEN, BUT THE COUNTERFEIT SYSTEM ENSLAVES ITS FOLLOWERS IN BONDAGE! MANKIND TODAY STILL FOLLOWS THE OLD BABYLONIAN SYSTEM IN SEEKING TO HAVE THEIR SINS FORGIVEN! IF THEY DO NOT PAY FOR FORGIVENESS, THEY abstain from some things which THEY HAVE DECIDED ARE EVIL: going to shows, dancing, card playing, to mention a few. They hope to BALANCE any evil they might do by abstinence from these.
BUT these same people go on divorcing and remarrying, and observing other practices which the Bible clearly condemns. THEY WILL NOT TURN FROM THEIR WAY (REPENT) SO THEY CAN HAVE CHRIST'S BLOOD FORGIVE THEIR SINS — the ONLY WAY by which sins may be forgiven (Acts 2:38)! Romans 5:9 says we are "JUSTIFIED by His BLOOD!" MANKIND CONTINUES TO DESIRE TO LIVE BY PRACTICES WHICH YIELD ONLY UNHAPPINESS, BONDAGE, AND DEATH. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
Forgiveness By Blood Unnecessary? No! God says that without the shedding of BLOOD there is NO remission of sin (Heb 9:22). Modernism stands condemned.
Where then does today's idea of a UNBLOODY sacrifice originate? Evidence shows that this is of BABYLONIAN origin.
NO blood was allowed to be offered on the altars of the Paphian Venus (A Grecian form of Semiramis). These rites came from Cicilia in Asia Minor. (Tacitus' Historia, vol. ii, p. 106). Cicilia, in turn, had acquired the rites from Babylon when Sennacherib, the Assyrian, built Cicilia in express IMITATION OF BABYLON. For this reason, the bloodless altars of the Paphian Venus are the same as the bloodless altars of the Babylonian goddess Semiramis from which she was derived (Bunsen, vol. i, p. 718). This false worship of Semiramis differed from the worship of her husband and son, Tammuz, whom she carried in her arms.
He, as we have seen, was represented as delighting in blood. She was the mother of grace and mercy, the celestial "Dove" — the hope of the whole world (Bryant, vol. iii, p. 226). Whereas he desired bloody sacrifices, she desired only an "unbloody sacrifice" — cakes. When her followers were initiated into the higher Mysteries, they could eat of these cakes or wafers.
"All this was done," says Hislop, p. 159, "TO EXALT THE MOTHER, AS MORE GRACIOUS AND MORE COMPASSIONATE THAN HER GLORIOUS SON." THEREFORE WE CAN FIND THE WOMEN OF JUDAH "OFFERING CAKES TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN" (Jeremiah 44:19). Today, many professing Christians, thinking they worship Christ, actually worship Semiramis through the eating of the cakes or wafers at communion.
Semiramis also bore the name of "Mylitta" — that is Mediatrix. But Scripture says THERE IS ONLY ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN — CHRIST (I Tim. 2:5). The idea of a Mediatrix as held in some churches today has its origin in paganism, not the Bible! It is CHRIST WHO IS MEDIATOR FOR US — He paid the penalty for our sins by the offering of His blood.
Communion With the Sun-God Christ said, "I am the bread of life." This statement by Jesus has been twisted to confuse the world for centuries.
Some religions today are very intent on the roundness of their unbloody sacrifice — a round cake like that formerly used in the rites of Semiramis, queen of heaven. Why is this roundness so important? Hislop says that the ROUND DISK, so frequently used in the sacred emblems of Egypt, SYMBOLIZED THE SUN. Osiris (Nimrod) the sun-divinity, became incarnate and was reborn (p. 160). Recall that Semiramis in her mysteries represented Nimrod after his death as being reborn — corresponding to the birth of Christ, as a human being, and the resurrection. The round wafer used in communion does not really represent Christ at all. It came from pagan sun-worship.
"When OSIRIS, THE SUN-DIVINITY... was born," declared Hislop, pp. 160-163, "it was not merely that he should give his life as a sacrifice for men... but also be the LIFE AND NOURISHMENT OF THE SOULS OF MEN... It is universally admitted that Isis (the Egyptian goddess representing Semiramis) was the original of the Greek and Roman Ceres... she was worshipped as the "mother of corn." The child she brought forth was symbolized by "the corn." Those who were uninitiated into the Mysteries worshipped "Ceres for the gift of material corn to nourish their bodies, but the initiated adored her for a higher gift — FOR FOOD TO NOURISH THEIR SOULS."
Here then, long before the apostles' time, was the counterfeit of Christ as bread. He said, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven" (John 6:32). CHRIST SAID, "I AM THAT BREAD OF LIFE" (verse 48).
"That the initiated pagans actually believed that the 'corn'... was not the 'corn' of this earth, but the 'Divine Son' through whom alone... eternal life could be enjoyed, we have decisive proof... The Druids were devoted worshippers of Ceres... the grain of corn is expressly identified with 'the lovely babe'."
"THIS SON WHO WAS SYMBOLIZED AS 'CORN' WAS THE SUN-DIVINITY incarnate according to the sacred oracle of the great goddess of Egypt... 'The fruit which I have brought forth is the Sun'. What is more natural then, if this incarnate divinity is symbolized as the 'bread of God', that he should be represented as a 'round wafer' to identify him with the Sun?"
"In Egypt, the disk of the Sun was represented in the temples... In Babylon, the golden image of the Sun was exhibited... in Peru, the disk of the sun was... upon the wall... The Paeonians of Thrace were sun-worshippers. In the worship of Baal, as practiced by the idolatrous Israelites, the worship of the sun's image was equally observed... the image of the sun was erected above the altar... Even in comparatively modern times... among the Cushites of the East,... we find the image of the sun... If the sun-divinity were worshipped in Egypt as 'the seed', or in Babylon as the 'Corn' precisely so is the wafer adored in Rome. 'Bread-corn of the elect, have mercy upon us', is one of the appointed prayers of the Roman Litany, addressed to the wafer." THE SON BECAME THE SUN! Here we see churches of today paying homage to the sun!
Now, I ask, is it possible that a world-wide worship of the sun as had persisted from the time of the Flood right up to the time of the Protestant "Reformation" should totally stop with this reformation?
WHY DO CHURCHES TODAY HAVE EASTER SUNRISE SERVICES? It is the SAME service the pagan Assyrians used to honor their goddess Ishtar! The pagans' celebration commemorated the birthday of Semiramis who was the mother of the Sun-god Tammuz. They faced the rising sun just as many sincere people do today. Why do today's churches speak of having pagan LENTEN SERVICES? Why do they OBSERVE THE BIRTH OF THE SUN-GOD NIMROD ON DECEMBER 25TH (CHRISTMAS) just when the sun is starting to wax strong again in the sky? And why do they have communion on SUN-DAY (day of the sun)? If they are not still worshipping the Sun-god, then why do they still observe the same customs the pagans used to honor him? THEY ARE WORSHIPPING THE SUN-GOD! PEOPLE TODAY, IN KEEPING THESE CUSTOMS, ARE STILL IN BABYLON AS MUCH AS OUR ANCESTORS. In ignorance people HONOR THE SUN AS THE ONE WHO WILL SPIRITUALLY NOURISH THEM!
BUT REMEMBER THE SUN AND SERPENT (THE DEVIL) WERE IDENTIFIED TOGETHER! Sun-worship, then, is devil-worship!
GOD SHOWS WHO THE REAL SUN IS THAT WE SHOULD WORSHIP: "UNTO YOU THAT FEAR MY NAME SHALL THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARISE" (Mal. 4:2). Who is this? God said, "I will raise... a King... and this is His name... He shall be called The Eternal OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS," (Jer. 23:5-6) says God! But He is not to be worshipped by symbols of the sun — that is IDOLATRY! Satan has a false sun — the sun in the sky! When the pagans accepted Christianity they mingled their pagan sun-worshipping practices with the teachings of Christ. They believed they thus honored the True God. But what does God say about doing this? God said, "How did these (pagan) nations serve their gods?...Thou shalt NOT do so unto the Lord thy God" (Deut. 12:30-31). YOU CANNOT WORSHIP THE TRUE GOD BY CELEBRATING PAGAN CUSTOMS AND HOLIDAYS!
The CHURCHES OF TODAY ARE DECEIVED BY THE DEVIL JUST AS THE PEOPLE WERE IN THAT DAY WHEN, AFTER THE MYSTERIES HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED, THE MEANING OF THE DIABOLICAL SYMBOLS WAS NO LONGER EXPLAINED TO THE PEOPLE! PEOPLE TODAY are DECEIVED BY OUTWARD APPEARANCE. They will continue to be, unless they use what the Bible says as their standard with which to judge.
Yes, SATAN HAS SUBSTITUTED A FALSE CHRIST AND DIABOLICAL CUSTOMS. THOSE WHO OBSERVE THESE PAGAN CUSTOMS AND REJECT THE TEACHING OF CHRIST SHOW BY THEIR ACTION THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT SALVATION REALLY IS! Satan has substituted a false baptism — a mechanical act which does not signify the burying of the old self. He has perverted the teaching of God that man must repent. HE HAS THUS BLOCKED THE VAST MAJORITY WHO FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS FROM BECOMING SONS OF GOD NOW, UNLESS THEY CHANGE THEIR WAYS!
Read in the next installment about more of these seemingly innocent practices which confuse the world today and have so great an effect on your life!