reetings, everyone: Please be sure to read this all the way through, as I have a couple of announcements to make. The first concerns the frequency of issues. We plan to go to a quarterly format beginning in January, 2011. The Work has grown to the point where it is difficult to put out an issue every two months with the very limited help that I have, and still do justice to the many letter writers who need answers to their Scriptural concerns. I am currently about two months behind with answering letters. Please bear with me if you are still waiting for an answer to your letter.
The second pertains to postal subscribers only: unless you are a fairly new subscriber to this newsletter, we are asking you to re-subscribe if you want to continue receiving it. Often interest wanes, issues are unread, and yet we keep sending them because we don’t know. This is a waste of Yahweh’s resources. So, if your issue of this newsletter has a notice on the address page just over the return address, that asks you to re-subscribe, please drop us a line and let us know that you want to stay on the subscriber list. If we don’t hear, your name will be deleted. REMEMBER, this is for postal subscribers only ~
On another matter, we receive several good articles and newsletters written by prison inmates, that we publish occasionally. I intended to run one in this issue, but due to the fact that they have to be typed into the computer, I have opted to use about half of one this time, since we are already more than a month overdue. Last half next issue. ~
See the 2011 New Moon and Holy Day Calendar at the end of this newsletter.
We are into that time of year on the profane Roman calendar when almost the entire world goes wild over the Saturnalia celebration, in honor or the god Saturn, and misnamed “Christ-mass” by the Roman Catholic Church. This winter solstice festival has been around since the days of Nimrod and his mother-wife, Semiramis. Nimrod was the first tyrant who actively worked against Yahweh’s people. He was a son of Ham, and a grandson of Noah. Read about him in Genesis 10. He was said to be a “mighty hunter” before Yahweh. Here this Hebrew word for “before” is “pawneem,” and one of its meanings is “against.” Another is “tyrant.” There is not much more said about him in Scripture, but ancient history and legends tell us much more. He was an evil man who set up probably the first “protection racket” in history. He was instrumental in getting people to move into cities, where he would protect them from wild animals and marauding bands of outlaws. He was known as a “mighty warrior.”
He is credited with (or charged with) founding the first religion opposing Yahweh, requiring that the people look upon him as their “savior,” their “god.” No doubt he was inspired by Satan himself. Since “Nimrod” in Hebrew translates to “Rebel,” it is believed that this was a title, and not a name. There is a man in secular history from those times whose name was “Gilgamesh,” and it is believed that he was “the Nimrod” of Genesis 10. Here is what an excerpt from history says of him:
“First, what does the name Nimrod mean? It comes from the Hebrew verb marad, meaning “rebel.” Adding an “n” before the “m” it becomes an infinitive construct, “Nimrod.” (see Kautzsch 1910: 137 2b, also BDB 1962: 597). The meaning then is “The Rebel.” Thus “Nimrod” may not be the character's name at all. It is more likely a derisive term of a type, a representative, of a system that is epitomized in rebellion against the Creator, the one true God. At that time, as civilizations were restored, this person became very prominent.”
The date of the composition of the Gilgamesh epic can therefore be fixed at about 2000 BC. But the material contained on these tablets is undoubtedly much older, as we can infer from the mere fact that the epic consists of numerous originally independent episodes, which, of course, did not spring into existence at the time of the composition of our poem but must have been current long before they were compiled and woven together to form our epic (Heidel 1963: 15).
Yet his arrogance, ruthlessness and depravity were a subject of grave concern for the citizens of Uruk (his kingdom). They complained to the great god Anu, and Anu instructed the goddess Aruru to create another wild ox, a double of Gilgamesh, who would challenge him and distract his mind from the warrior's daughter and the noblemen's spouse, whom it appears he would not leave in peace (Roux 1966: 114).
The Epic of Gilgamesh has some very indecent sections. Alexander Heidel, first translator of the epic, had the decency to translate the vilest parts into Latin. Spieser, however, gave it to us “straight” (Pritchard 1955: 72).
With this kind of literature in the palace, who needs pornography? Gilgamesh was a vile, filthy, man. Yet the myth says of him that he was “2/3 god and 1/3 man.”
Legend says that Nimrod married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. Other legends say she was a brothel keeper and met Nimrod there. Here is part of a short article that explains their role in beginning the Babylonian system of idol worship and false “gods.”
“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 be 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 its 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 its 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. (read about women weeping for Tammuz in Eze. 8.)
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 is essential to know her story in order to
discern what is factual legend and what is merely myth.” by Bryce Self
So we see that this couple and their (or her) son, Tammuz, actually began what has become known as “Babylon the great,” and surprisingly, is still with us today. The entire thing is based on sun and sex worship. Among other names that Semiramis carried was (and is) Diana of the Ephesians (Acts 19:28-35), Artemis, Venus, Ishtar, Easter, Astarte, Aphrodite (from whence our word “aphrodisiac” comes), Ceres, goddess of grain (from whence our word “cereal” comes), Beltis, the queen of heaven, and so on ad infinitum.
Formerly the spring equinox was on March 25 and was known as “Lady day,” because Semiramis-Ishtar-Easter became pregnant with Tammuz on that day. The winter solstice was on December 25, and so exactly 9 months later, on December 25, Tammuz was born. After he was killed, Easter (Ishtar) said he had ascended to heaven, and was now the Sun God, and she was the Queen of Heaven.
A huge year-end celebration was kicked off on this date. It was a time of merry-making, exchanging of gifts, orgies, licentiousness, drunkenness. Huge bonfires were kept burning, especially in the northern climes, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, etc. This was to encourage the return of the Sun god from the south to warm the north regions. And it worked! (or so they thought). The sun began its journey back from the south, to make its circuit again.
“Lady Day” eventually became known as Easter day. It was a day devoted to sex and sex objects such as eggs and bunny rabbits.
But how, then, did these abominable practices come into the “Church”? Here is how it was done:
When the Roman empire was expanding and taking in new territory, the Roman Catholic church wanted to convert the heathen, pagan people to Christianity. That was all right with them, as long as they could keep their pagan traditions. And that was all right with the Roman church; they just re-named some of them. Passover became Easter, Saturnalia (worship of Saturn) became Christ-mass, etc.
But they were still celebrated on the pagan dates and with the pagan customs, the same ones that had been celebrated for 3,500 years, since the days of Nimrod and Semiramis, the ones you are familiar with today i.e., Santa Claus instead of Yahshua the Messiah; St. Valentine’s Day, Easter instead of Passover, with its “Lent,” women weeping for Tammuz; Easter sunrise services to worship the sun as it rises in the east. See Ezekiel 8 all. It’s only 18 verses, so read it carefully. Do you see some familiar practices?
After all this time, we still have these heathen practices with us today, worshipping the “sun god” instead of the Son of Yah, and worshipping an immoral woman, long-since dead. We still have remnants of Yahweh’s Holy Days, such as the tradition of spring house cleaning. This comes from the instructions for how to prepare for the Days of Unleavened Bread, when leavening and leavened products are to be removed from our homes for seven days. We have autumn harvest festivals like county and state fairs, in place of Yahweh’s Feast of Tabernacles. It’s tradition. It is also a sign that we are physical descendants of the so-called “Lost 10 Tribes of Israel.” But this is a subject for another day.
I could go on and on. There is so much more. But this at least scratches the surface. Many of these pagan things and their sources have been revealed in books. One in particular is “The Two Babylons,” by Alexander Hislop. He was a Presbyterian minister who came to realize that the Catholic Church had adopted, and her daughters the Protestants had accepted, the pagan practices going back 4,000 years. He wrote almost 100 years ago and his work was widely read and accepted as true. But alas, there was no outcry against this abominable sin, no rush to repent, no signs of remorse. Just silent acceptance. Do you think Yahweh is pleased with this syncretism (mixing of Truth with Error)? Here is what our Master, Yahweh, said to our ancestors:
Deut. 12:29-32 When Yahweh thy Elohim shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
But they did not heed. They were not faithful to their new Husband, Yahweh, but went, as He put it, “a whoring after other gods.” He knew they would, as He prophesied in these verses:
(Deu 31:16) And Yahweh said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
(Jdg 2:17) And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of Yahweh; but they did not so.
(Jdg 8:27) And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.
(Jdg 8:33) And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.
(1Ch 5:25) And they transgressed against the Elohim of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom Yahweh destroyed before them..”
Will we do any better? We must, or else we die! “Come out of Babylon, O My people!”~ fb