What is Paganism?
When writing an expose (revealing the true, objectionable nature), regarding the extent of Paganism in the Roman Catholic Church, it is important to define the term Paganism. Paganism has different definitions, depending on the source. Some will say paganism is any religion that isn’t one of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity, or Judaism), while others will say paganism is a religion that follows a more polytheistic view of deity and seeks to revive the old ways of our ancestors. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as a religion that worships many gods, especially a religion that existed before the main world religions. Paganism is an umbrella term, meaning it covers a wide range of religions and belief systems, including (but not limited to): Wicca, Neo-paganism, Asatru (ancient Germanic spirits and Gods), Voodoo, Indigenous traditions, Hellenic paganism, witchcraft, and more. So, there are those people that will say that paganism is equivalent to Satanism, which isn’t a correct definition, but as stated earlier it all depends on whom you ask.
For me, there can be only one true definition of Paganism, and that is those practices that have their roots in Babylon Mystery Religion. The Whore of Babylon is the mother of all false religions, therefore all practices that are not rooted in God’s Word have their origins in Babylon, and are therefore pagan!
Let me make this clear from the beginning, God hates paganism, and God detests it when people who call themselves his children, attempt to contaminate His Word with the philosophies and traditions of men. I made this very clear in a twelve-part series that has just been completed, titled “There will be Enmity,” which laid out in detail the continual efforts by Satan to contaminate and destroy God’s Word. For those that have not covered the series I will repeat one example to emphasize the point:
“When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God” (2 Sam. 6:6-7).
So, why did God Kill Uzzah? Uzzah and his kin had placed the Ark on a wagon, to transport it to Jerusalem. This was contrary to God’s law, which stated that Levites were to carry the Ark on wooden rods (Deuteronomy 31:25; Exodus 25:14-15). Uzzah had copied the method of the Philistines (1 Sam. 6:10-11) and reinterpreted God’s law; man’s wisdom was superimposed on God’s Wisdom. God hates the mixture, He could not allow the insult to pass, it is a clear message to all believers – do not allow syncretism, man’s wisdom, to become part of our relationship with God! To impose pagan practices into our worship of God is repeating the error of Uzzah – not treating God with reverence and honour.
The Roman Catholic Church continues the pagan practices of ancient Babylon, while cloaked in the guise of Christianity, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Hislop in his book The Two Babylons expresses this belief well by saying “there is hardly a form of ‘pious fraud’ or saintly imposture practiced at this day on the banks of the Tiber, that cannot be proved to have had its counterpart on the banks of the Euphrates, or in the systems that came from it.”
As was made clear in both the series on the book of Revelation and the last series “There will be enmity,” Paganism in the Roman Church started with the Roman Emperor Constantine’s “conversion” to Christianity, which occurred after the battle of the Milvian Bridge in October, AD 312. This was the key battle in the civil war fought for control of the empire between Constantine and his rival for power, Maxentius. Before the battle, Constantine supposedly had a vision of a flaming cross in the sky with the inscription in Greek “by this sign conquer.” We are required to believe that Constantine was told by the Prince of Peace, Jesus, to use the sign of the cross to go out and slaughter his enemy! It is interesting to note that two years earlier, in AD 310, Constantine claimed he saw a vision of the sun god Apollo and publicly made vows to serve him. After his victory against Maxentius, Constantine went to Apollo’s shrine to make sacrifices. His victory, however, did enable Constantine to come to power as Emperor of Rome. Constantine’s rule showed that his sudden conversion to Christianity was not a sincere conversion, but rather a means to an end.
For 280 years Christians had been persecuted by the Romans, then suddenly in March AD 313, with the edict of Milan, Constantine made Christianity an official religion of the Roman Empire and the persecutions ceased. For this, the Christians were grateful to Constantine and showed goodwill towards him. It is important to understand that Rome was an empire divided, shaken by civil war and Constantine believed that Christianity as a religion could help unify the empire, so the adoption of Christianity was strictly a political move. Constantine was a pragmatist, he realised that over the vast extent of the Roman Empire he could not expect everyone to forsake their religious beliefs to embrace Christianity. He, therefore, promoted the adoption of pagan traditions by the Church as a means of unifying the Roman population. Although this brought an end to the persecution of the Church, the result was far worse than the persecution – the corruption of the Church.
Satan, the Dragon, had attempted to eradicate Christianity through Roman persecution and execution. This strategy backfired horribly, with more people becoming Christians as they witnessed a faith worth dying for. Satan changed tactics from being the Dragon that torments, to becoming the serpent – the deceiver – that contaminates the “Truth” (God’s Wisdom), with man’s philosophies. The religion of Constantine was a mixture between Christianity and paganism. An example is a 3rd-century sarcophagus found in Vaticanus hill, depicting Jesus as the sun god pulling his chariot across the sky. The compromise within the Church of Rome with paganism, and the substitution of God’s word for man’s traditions, became prominent at this time and has continued within the Roman Catholic Church to the present.
What will be the next invention? The Roman Church says it never changes; yet, it has done nothing else but invent new doctrines which are contrary to the Bible, and has practiced rites and ceremonies taken bodily from paganism. The prominent Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) stated that 75% of the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Church are of pagan origin. He also admitted in his book, The Development of the Christian Religion, that … “Temples, incense, oil lamps, votive offerings, holy water, holidays and season of devotions, processions, blessing of fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure (of priests and monks and nuns), images … are all of pagan origin…” (Page 359).
So Catholic scholars are well aware of the fact that there are numerous customs within their church that were borrowed from paganism. But the Roman Catholic Church has been very pragmatic over the ages, holding onto a philosophy of Christianizing pagan practices so that the pagans will become part of the Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church has proved to be very adept at taking pagan worship and finding ways to make it part of Church tradition. An example would be pagan sun-worshippers facing towards the east (Ezekiel 8:16), so the Roman Catholic Church introduces a sunrise service in honour of the resurrection of Jesus, even though He rose after 18:00 on the Saturday (the start of Sunday in Judaism), and also introducing numerous sun symbols into Catholicism to make sun-worshippers feel at home. So, the Roman Church has consistently taken popular customs from pagan religions that were used to honour pagan Gods and used them to honour Jesus.
What also should be of great concern to believers is that Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic churches still hold onto a number of pagan practices that the Roman Catholic Church Christianized, and although many of these churches recognize the pagan origins of these traditions, they make weak excuses to keep them. The leaders of these churches have forgotten that they serve a Holy God, who does not tolerate syncretism of any form:
“Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? — that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-32).
The Roman Catholic Church does not deny the pagan symbols, rites and ceremonies within its church traditions, in fact, it is proud of them, as the adoption of pagan traditions brought many pagan faiths under the fold of the “Mother Church.” This should be of great concern for believers, it is a direct attack on the Word of God. So, what are examples of pagan practices in the Roman Church?
Lent is a Pagan holiday that the church at Rome has incorporated into their institute so as to attract pagans to their brand of Christianity – syncretism.
When Nimrod died, Semiramis became “miraculously” pregnant and claimed that the son she bore (Tammuz), was the reincarnation of Nimrod. The Feast of Tammuz was usually celebrated in June (also called the “month of Tammuz”). Lent was held 40 days before the feast, “celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing.” This is why Lent means “spring;” it took place from spring to early summer in the northern hemisphere.
The book of Ezekiel records ancient Judah worshipping this false god: “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14-15). This great abomination of mixing paganism with Temple worship (syncretism), was one of the reasons God brought the judgement of 70 years of captivity upon the nation of Judah.
Alexander Hislop explains the tactics of the Roman Church writing: “To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity – now far sunk in idolatry – in this as in so many other things, to shake hands” (1).
The Catholic church replaced Passover with Easter (Edict of Milan 313), moving the pagan Feast of Tammuz to early spring, “Christianizing” it, and so Lent moved with it. “This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent” (1).
Before giving up personal sins and vices during Lent, the pagans held a wild, “anything goes” celebration to make sure that they got in their share of debaucheries and perversities – this practice is continued in the holiday Mardi Gras, which is celebrated in many cities around the world today.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia: “the real aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare men for the celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ… The better the preparation the more effective the celebration will be. One can effectively relive the mystery only with a purified mind and heart. The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts,” (note the link between a doctrine of works and Amillennialism).
Lent then is used by the Roman Catholics for “fasting from sin and from vice…forsaking sin and sinful ways,” it is a season “for penance, which means sorrow for sin and conversion to God”. This tradition teaches that fasting and employing self-discipline during Lent will give a worshipper the “control over himself that he needs to purify his heart and renew his life.”
However, this is not Biblical, the Bible clearly reveals that self-control comes from having the Holy Spirit working in the life of a child of God, through a process termed sanctification (Galatians 5:16, 17, 22-23). Fasting or self-denial, of and by itself, cannot produce godly self-control.
In his letter to the Colossians Paul warned against using self-denial as a tool to rely on your own will, he called it “will worship”:
“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:20-23).
- (1) Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, S. W. Partridge & CO. 4.5. & 6, Soho Square, London, W. I. 1916.
Fish on Friday
Saturday, Sunday and Monday are named after celestial bodies in the heavens: Sunday, the first day of the week is the venerable day of the sun, and Monday is the day of the moon, being named after the mythical person ‘Maní’. Saturday is named after the planet Saturn, which is also a Roman god. The rest of the days of the week are named after Germanic or Norse gods.
Friday receives its name from the goddess “Freya,” the goddess of fertility. Her original name was “Frigg-Frija”, so she is referred to as both “Frigg” and “Freyja.” Fish were associated with the goddess “Freya” as a sign of sexual fertility, as fish spawn a huge number of eggs. Ralph Woodrow in his book Babylon Mystery Religion explains that the fish was linked to other pagan goddesses, being regarded as sacred to the Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth, and also to the Egyptian Goddess Isis, who was sometimes represented with a fish on her head. Woodrow then makes the important point that “Friday (Freya’s Day) being that day from olden times was regarded as her sacred day, and since fish was her sacred symbol; it seems more than a mere coincidence that to this day, Catholics are taught that Friday is a special day, a day to eat fish! (1)”.
(1) Ralph Woodrow, Babylon, Mystery Religion, Chapter Nineteen Fish, Friday, and the Spring Festival, 1965.
Origins of Easter
The belief that the origins of Easter are obscure, is often given as a reason for Christians to continue with the celebration of Easter. For example, some assume that the name Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre (or Eostre), whose symbol was an egg-producing rabbit or hare, and who was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. Others believe that the Easter story comes from the Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), an epic myth called “The Descent of Inanna” found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100 BC. Thus, the term “Easter” is derived from the worship of the goddess Ishtar. The claim that there is no direct proof linking either of these pagan goddesses to Easter, allows Christians to continue celebrating this time guilt-free. Their belief is that there is nothing essentially evil about painting and hiding eggs and having children search for them. What is important is our focus. If our focus is on Christ, children can be taught to understand that the eggs are just a fun game. As this confusion regarding the history of Easter, and the motives behind its conception, are key to the continued practice of this pagan holiday, it is necessary to go back in Church history to find the answer:
Constantine, as with the emperors before him was a sun worshipper, he continued this practice throughout his life, Jesus – the Son of God – for Constantine was equal with Sol (Roman) and Apollo (Greek) sun gods. With the deceptive “conversion” of Constantine to Christianity after the battle of Malvernian bridge, Constantine opened the door for the pragmatic acceptance of ancient pagan practices into Christianity – this included the celebration of Easter. When Constantine established the date for the celebration of Easter, he formalized the method still used today.
Easter Sunday is a ‘movable feast,’ set on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox, when the sun’s position marks the beginning of spring. While the sun’s position was part of the new method of calculation, it was probably Constantine’s hatred of the Jews rather than his devotion to Apollo that caused him to insist on the change. This he made clear when he wrote in a summary letter, “Let there be nothing in common between you and the detestable mob of Jews! … with that nation of parricides (killing of a parent or other near relative) and Lord-killers” (Eusebius, Life of Constantine 3.18.2; 3.19.1).
No doubt, in the case of the other main celebration in Christianity — the date of Christ’s birth, which had been earlier made to coincide with the pagan observance of the winter solstice and the birth of the sun god in late December (To be covered in an upcoming blog Sun Worship in Roman Catholicism) – Constantine was more than pleased at the choice of the spring equinox, for the new date of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. So, the new date not only divorced Jesus from the Jewish Passover, but also connected Him with the sun’s spring equinox.
The spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, was over time, connected with the mother goddess and the rebirth of life after the winter months. Therefore, under that definition, both Ishtar and Eastre meet the requirements. The research into the goddesses needs to go back to Semiramis, the evil wife of Nimrod, the husband-and-wife couple being the two founders of Mystery Babylon religion. Her legend starts with an egg falling from the sky into the Euphrates River, and then doves hatched from the egg. Both Ishtar and Eastre are alter egos of Semiramis, with her legend being culturally adapted over time. The association with eggs by the two goddesses links to Semiramis, the original “mother goddess”, which extends into the gift-giving of eggs as a symbol of spring, fertility and new life. The giving of eggs is seen in a number of pagan ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians and Persians had the custom of colouring and eating eggs during their spring festival.” In ancient Egypt, an egg symbolised the sun, while for the Babylonians, the egg represents the hatching of Venus Ishtar, who fell from heaven to the Euphrates.
There is further evidence of the pagan connection to Easter through the actions of Constantine’s Mother, Helena. During the edict of Milan in AD 325, Constantine established the dates for the celebration of Easter. The very next year while in Jerusalem, Constantine’s mother Helena located a site that she claimed to be the place of the burial and resurrection of Jesus – now called the Holy Sepulchre. She achieved this “good fortune” by locating the pagan Temple of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. This goddess was known outside of Mesopotamia by her Babylonian name, “Ishtar.” In ancient Canaan, Ishtar is known as Astarte, and her counterparts in the Greek and Roman pantheons are known as Aphrodite and Venus respectively. So, Venus was the Roman equivalent of Ishtar, a goddess who would have been associated with the newness of life of the spring equinox.
There can be no coincidence that the decision of Constantine to change the date of the resurrection festival to the spring equinox, was so closely followed by the location of the burial site of Jesus by Helena, in a temple built to honour Venus (Ishtar). Also, in building a Church over the site of a pagan temple, as which is common within the Catholic Church, one has to be concerned with the demonic influence that will be at play within that building. This site is now considered to be the holiest site in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths!
Do not be deceived, God hates the mixture of paganism into His divine feast days. Yeshua is the fulfilment of the covenant promise, He is the Jewish Messiah. The death and resurrection of Jesus were a fulfilment of the Jewish faith, not a separation from it. The Jewish bridegroom is returning for His Bride, who has been grafted into the olive tree (Romans 11:19). He is not going to return to a bride that is forcing her pagan contaminated sap into the olive tree. If the Church wants Yeshua to return for His Bride, the Bride needs to cleanse her house of pagan practices.
Christians need to comprehend that by celebrating the pagan Easter festival at the spring equinox they are committing the following errors:
- They are ignoring God’s hatred of syncretism, where man’s wisdom contaminates His divine plan.
- They are ignoring God’s hatred of paganism, practices that are connected to Satan’s deceptions and demonic powers.
- They are following an anti-Semitic practice instituted by Constantine (a Jew hater), by separating the death and resurrection of Jesus from Passover.
- They are separating Jesus from the divinely ordained feasts that are prophetic pointers to Him.
- Parents by associating the Easter bunny and the delivery of chocolate eggs with Easter Sunday, are lying to their Children, and bonding them to pagan emblems.
In Genesis 12:3 God promises Abraham that He will “bless those that bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” Constantine cursed the Jews as “Lord-killers,” determining to separate Christianity from its roots in Judaism. Those that celebrate Easter, rather than Passover, are taking part in that anti-Semitism, and are at best losing out on a blessing.
Mary in May
The goddess Diana was known by many names including the Queen of Heaven; the Great Goddess; the Lunar Virgin; the Mother of Animals; the Lady of Wild Creatures; and the Huntress. She also became known as the Queen of May Day. This is a pagan festival, still celebrated today, which begins on the evening of April 29th, known as Walpurgis Night, and continues through to May 1st.
In the Catholic Church, May Day is associated with the Virgin Mary, and they celebrate her crowning as the Queen of May on this date: “It has been a long-standing Catholic tradition to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary in May… It was during the Middle Ages (11th century) that the idea of giving the month of May to Mary began with an old tradition, the ‘30-Day Devotion to Mary’, which was originally held August 15 to September 14” (Catholic encyclopedia).
May 1 marks the Celtic festival of Beltane, also referred to as May Day, which many neopagans and Wiccans around the world observe to celebrate the onset of summer. Beltane is also celebrated by Satanists, being their second most important day after Halloween. Anton LaVey established the Satanic Church on the festival of Beltane.
The Rosary’s Beads and Their Meaning – Scripture Catholic.
The Rosary is a string of prayer beads that are used by Roman Catholics to count their prayers, which makes it “easy for the (Catholic) to travel the ‘Rosary Journey’ in the loving company of Mary” (1). The prayers of the rosary have been used by Popes through the centuries to promote the veneration of Mary, with “Hail Mary” being repeated 10 times for every “Our Father.”
The Rosary, or prayer beads was introduced by Peter the Hermit in 1090, a tradition copied from Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. The evidence of this is:
- Muslims have bead-strings of 33, 66 and 99 to count the name of Allah. The use of prayer beads by Arabs is a cultural practice that predates Islam.
- The writings attributed to Marco Polo, a record that in the 13th century the king of Malabar (the southwestern region of the Indian subcontinent) used prayer beads.
- St Francis Xavier in the 16th century was equally surprised to see prayer beads being used by Buddhists in Japan.
- Hindu Brahmans have, from the earliest of times, used prayer beads with strings consisting of 10 and 100.
- Hindu Vishnu worshippers use a prayer bead of 108 beads.
- Hindu Siva worshippers have a prayer bead of 1 008 beads to repeat the names of Siva.
Jesus emphasizes to the disciples that they should pray to God as one would speak to their own father, developing a bond through the communication, and He stressed that they should not pray empty repetitive prayers as the heathens do (Matt. 6:7-13). Praying the Rosary is a pagan practice, introduced into Catholicism purely with the purpose of instilling a devotion to Mary.
- (1) Hirmer, Oswald. Our Joy in being Catholic. Mariannhill Mission Press, 200.
Prayers and devotions to Saints
A Saint Christopher medallion
The pagan worship of many gods has been replaced in the Roman Catholic Church by prayers to saints. A saint in the Roman Catholic Church is a person of prominence within the church who has died; for the Pope to recognise them as being a saint, the person has to have met certain criteria within their lives. Once attaining sainthood, that person will receive honour befitting the title, and Roman Catholics will pray to them.
Ralph Woodrow explains the concept, writing: “With the idea of gods and goddesses associated with various events in life now established in pagan Rome, it was but another step for these same concepts to finally be merged into the Church of Rome. Since converts from paganism were reluctant to part with their ‘gods’ – unless they could find a satisfactory counterpart in Christianity – the gods and goddesses were renamed and called ‘saints.’ The old idea of gods associated with certain occupations and days has continued in the Roman Catholic belief in saints and saints’ days” (1).
An example of the Catholic veneration of saints is St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of Merchants, and he is commemorated by the Roman Catholic Church on October 4. Catholic merchants will direct their prayers to St. Francis rather than to Jesus.
As a teenager, I used to regularly hitchhike and I was surprised to see how many people that gave me a lift trusted their journeys to Saint Christopher. The cars would have a medallion of the man on their dashboard, or his pendant hanging from their rear-view mirrors. There is no evidence that the man ever existed, and the story connected to his sainthood is extremely farfetched: Christopher, a tall man of seven feet, devoted his life to aiding travellers to cross a river. On one occasion he carried a child across the river who, when reaching the other side, revealed himself to be Jesus. To prove His identity Jesus told Christopher to drive his staff into the ground. The next day Christopher discovered his staff had grown into a tree that was full of fruit. Now, as a saint, Christopher is known as the patron saint of travellers, and he is depicted carrying the Christ child on his shoulders. People will ignore scripture that tells us to not just commit our travels to the Lord, but our lives, and will instead wear his medal, believing that it has special powers to bless their travels, and direct their prayers concerning their journey to him.
Mediation by Saints
The foundation of our service to the Lord is based on prayer. Satan nullifies this spiritual weapon by having Roman Catholics pray to Mary and the Saints. Also, prayer is an important form of worship, therefore is it appropriate to bend our knees in worshipful prayer to anyone other than our Creator and life-giver? Jesus said, “…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks” (John 4:23). The Bible also states that our Creator requires our “exclusive devotion” (Deut. 4:24; 6:15). The Roman Church not only wants people to pray to saints, it is also willing to sell them cards with prayers printed on them that they may repeat to receive the saints blessing:
The Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
“Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints” O Holy St. Anthony, Gentlest of Saints, your love of God and Charity for all creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers, encouraged by this Thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart is ever full of human sympathy, Whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
Not only is the card an excellent tool in indoctrinating people into a pagan ritual, and perpetuating a superstition, but there is also the fact that the Roman Catholic Church coffers once again benefit from their adopting the traditions of men.
A scripture used as evidence by the Roman Catholic Church for people to pray to saints is Revelation 5:8:
“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints”.
Since the Roman Catholic Church uses this scripture to justify praying to saints, some clarification is required here. Scripture identifies all believers as saints of God, for example, Paul always started his letters to the churches by writing a salutation, a number of which included a greeting to the believers in the church, or the district of the church, and Paul referred to these believers as “saints”:
- 2 Corinthians 1:1: “From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.”
- Romans 1:7: “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Ephesians 1:1: “From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints (in Ephesus), the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
- Colossians 1:1–2: “From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, at Colossae.”
Another example of believers being called “saints” in Scripture is in Revelation 13:7, where God allows the Beast (the Antichrist) “to make war on the saints and to conquer them.” God gives authority to the Antichrist to persecute believers during the Great Tribulation; the last verses of chapter 13 explain that the persecution will be related to the pressure placed upon people to worship the Antichrist as god, and to take the mark of the beast.
Now, the first rule that must be met for a person to become a “saint” in the Roman Catholic Church is that they must be dead! The canonisation of a person to sainthood cannot normally start until at least five years after the person has died. This underlines the error of their belief, as it is clear that Paul is writing to all believers in the region, not a select few, and to the living not the dead. As there are more than 10,000 saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, Satan has effectively squashed prayers to God in favour of prayers to the dead.
Revelation 5:8 must then not be interpreted from the corrupted Roman Catholic interpretation that “Christians” should pray to saints. The Roman Church holds that the 24 elders are “saints” who have bowls of prayers that have been offered up to them, and they then present these prayers to God. As Mary is the focus of Roman Catholic prayers, she should be present in this revelation of the Throne Room of God, at the head of the queue with barrel loads of incense – she is not!
Note that it is only after the prayers of the saints (all believers) have been offered up to God in Revelation 8, that the judgements of God begin. The message to be gleaned from this is that the Church is required to pray into prophecy, and seek the restoration of all things under the authority of Jesus – “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
(1) Babylon Mystery Religion. Ralph Woodrow Evangelical association, inc. 1990.
The Veneration of Images
Feast of the Chair of Peter
The instruction from God regarding images is made clear in Deuteronomy 5:8-9:
“8 ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…”
By AD 814 the worship of images in Catholic churches had become scandalous, and Muslims mocked them as being idolatrous. Today, in every major city in Europe and throughout the Roman Catholic world there are shrines to Mary, where a statue of Mary is venerated and worshipped. Many Roman Catholic communities have patron saints, and on the day set aside to celebrate that saint, their statue is decorated and dressed in expensive vestments and carried out on the shoulders of men before an adoring crowd. In St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, there is an ancient bronze statue of the Roman God Jupiter that the Catholics have renamed St. Peter. The statue has its right foot extended to enable worshipers to kiss the foot. Over the centuries the metal toes have been worn down by the lips of multitudes of Roman Catholic pilgrims kissing the foot. Kissing an idol was an act of worship practiced by idolaters, which is made evident in the following scriptures:
- 1 Kings 19:18: “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him”.
- Job 31:26-27: “If I had regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendour, so my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage.”
- Hosea 13:2: “Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver, clear fashioned images, all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of these people ‘They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calf-idols.’”
Clearly, the pagan practice of kissing idols is continued in the Roman Catholic Church. Tourists on a tour of the Vatican are shown by tour guides a marble statue of Mary, the feet of which are smooth stumps. To emphasize the devotion Roman Catholics have towards Mary, the guides inform the tourists that the original sculptor’s creation of the feet of Mary had been worn down by the millions of Catholic’s lips kissing her feet. The direct instruction in Deuteronomy 4:16 to “not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman…” does not seem to have any effect on the Roman Catholic Church. The only conclusion is that the Church is so corrupted with paganism that scriptures take second place to Roman Catholic dogma.
The worship of idols through the veneration of statues in the image of Jesus, Mary and the saints is stark evidence that Babylon religion is alive and well in the Roman Catholic Church. To cover their blatant pagan practices of idol worship, the Romish Church has removed the second commandment from the list of Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:2-17. In the Roman Catholic catechisms, the second commandment “you should not make for yourself an idol… You shall not bow down to them or worship them” is removed, and the tenth commandment is divided in two, in order to preserve the number of Ten Commandments. The Catechism of the Council of Trent reaffirmed the veneration of images by saying “It is lawful to have images in the church and to give honour and worship unto them. Images are put in the churches that they must be worshipped. Therefore, those that do not worship these images are not true to the teachings of the church.” The mutilation of scripture and this doctrine of image worship deceives people into believing that it is acceptable to bow down before these graven images, offer up prayers to them and kiss them in gratitude. The reality is that all these practices are an abomination to God.
Pope Gregory I, initiated the teaching of purgatory in AD 593, and in AD 1439 the Council of Florence made this official. The Roman Church teaches that every sin must be purified either here on earth or after death in purgatory, and defines purgatory as, “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death, they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification…” (Catechism p.268, para #1030, 1031). Purgatory is a place of torment, so the stages of “purification” referred to in their definition require that the individual undergoes a cleansing process that involves suffering.
The belief that souls must pass through stages of cleansing before being able to attain heaven, is a belief that is common in various forms of paganism. The Bible, however, has no mention of a need for such cleansing, as this is done by the blood of Jesus after a person accepts Jesus as their Lord (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:1-3).
Hebrews 9:27 plainly states that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement.” There is no intermediate phase. In his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul is very clear that salvation is “through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so no-one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9). Paul clearly states that salvation is a free gift. There can be no effort on the part of the penitent, which will enable them to attain salvation besides a confession that Jesus is Lord. Purgatory is a doctrine of works, where the work of Jesus on the cross is not sufficient for salvation, and the Catholic is bound to follow the traditions of the Roman Church.
Further confirmation that there is no purgatory is given in Luke 23:39-43, when the penitent thief who is crucified with Jesus recognises Jesus as Lord and turns to Jesus and says “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Now a man who is crucified for crimes he has committed and attains salvation hours before his death would need to – according to the Roman Catholic Church – spend a considerable time purifying in purgatory. Yet the reply Jesus gives is, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” There is no mention by Jesus of a required period of purification that must be completed for the man to “achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”
Within Roman Catholicism purgatory is no more than a tool for the church to bind people to obey the traditions of the church, in order to manipulate them to be obedient to the will of the Roman Church and to extract money from people. A means to escape purgatory is to have others pray for you, so, a Roman Catholic who has lost a loved one must pay for masses to be said and candles lit for the deceased. Many of those who are grieving are in dire financial straits, with the loss of a breadwinner within the family, and this added expense is a great burden.
Indulgences were first introduced by Pope Urban II, who promised to remit all penance of persons who gave money towards the expenses of the crusades. In a decretal issued in 1343, Pope Clement VI declared, “The merits of Christ are a treasure of indulgences.” In 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for those who gave money towards his many projects, including the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Church drew deeper into the “salvation by works” doctrine by using the sale of indulgences as a means of enabling a loved one to escape from purgatory. A Dominican monk named Tetzel was responsible for coining (pun intended), the phrase “When a coin into the box rings, a soul from Purgatory springs.” The fear of not making it to heaven has had people “invest” in the church, so the church will pray them out of purgatory and into heaven when they die. The Roman Church is not beyond extorting money out of grieving families in the hope their loved ones will be able to make it to heaven. Purgatory is a doctrine out of the pit of hell.
Pope Francis has shown that there has been no change in the modern Roman Catholic Church from the practices that Martin Luther so fervently protested against in AD 1593. In July 2013 Pope Francis announced that he will offer plenary indulgences, or reductions in purgatory time, to those who participate in the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, which was held in Rio de Janeiro. Those who could not attend but still wanted to reduce the time they spend in purgatory, could follow Pope Francis on Twitter and spread his message via other social media (1). The fear of suffering in purgatory is still being used by the Roman Church to manipulate Catholics into obedience to the Pope.
- (1) NEWS BRIEF: “Pope Francis Purgatory Twitter Deal: Followers Get to Heaven Faster”, News Max, 17 July 2013
The idea of confessing to a priest comes from paganism, where priests were able to keep control over their flock by the power, they derived from the knowledge of all the penitent’s transgressions. The evidence of pagan confessionals dates back to Babylon, where historians have been able to use the written records of confessions to ascertain the Babylonian concept of right and wrong.
Pope Leo I (440-461) introduced the private confessional as part of the duties of the priest. The requirement for the confession of sin to a priest at least once a year was instituted by Pope Innocent III, at the Lateran Council in 1215. For a sinful man to assume the power to forgive sins is not scriptural; only God is able to forgive sins. Peter’s instruction to Simon of Samaria when he sinned in Acts 8:22 was to pray to God for forgiveness. The Grace of God is freely given and does not require a priest to set a “penance” to perform so a person can earn forgiveness.
Pagan priests required blind submission to their authority in order for followers to attain salvation. In a faith where salvation is defined by obedience to traditions and confession of sins, the confessional becomes a powerful tool that binds the Roman Catholics to their priest.
The confessional is reprehensible to believers, as The Roman Church claims that “God Himself is obliged by the judgements of His priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse, or give absolution… the sentence of the priest precedes, and God subscribes to it” (Dignities and duties of the Priest, vol 12, p27). This is complete garbage taken from Satan’s playbook on deception. It is important to note that the Roman Catholic Church continues to take authority away from God and claim it for themselves, from the Pope right down to the priests.
The ancient historian Bryant (vol.3 p2l,84) traces infant baptism back to the practice of commemorating Noah and his three sons’ deliverance through the waters of the flood, emerging from the ark and entering a new life. To commemorate this event, the Priests of Nimrod would ‘baptize’ new-born infants the fathers chose to keep, and they would become members of the Babylonian Religion. Noah was worshipped as a two-headed god looking in opposite directions, having lived before and after the flood he was considered to be “twice born” (1). Infant baptism became one of the sacraments of Babylonian religion, which was necessary for salvation. So, the Roman Catholic sacraments, begin at birth with infant baptism, with other sacraments occurring throughout the individual’s life. The final sacrament is an anointing with oil at death to prepare one for the hereafter. Since the Babylonian Priest was the only one who could administer these ‘sacraments’, the person was bound to the Babylonian system for life. This is also the case in the Roman Catholic Church – salvation requires obedience to church traditions.
One of the worst heresies in Rome’s eyes was to reject infant baptism. That ritual supposedly removed the stain of original sin, made the infant a child of God and a member of the Church, and started the process of salvation, which consisted in obeying Rome’s ordinances and participating in her sacraments. Upon entry into a Roman Catholic church a font with “holy water” is made available so the Roman Catholic may make the sign of the cross with the water, to remind them of their baptism. Coffins at funerals are also sprinkled with holy water as a reminder to all present that the spirit of the body within the coffin needs baptism to attain entry to heaven.
The true scriptural meaning of Baptism is that it is a symbol of our willingness to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a conscious decision and proclamation: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). It is clear from this scripture that infants should not be baptised as they cannot make a conscious decision, therefore, to baptize infants defeats the whole purpose of the ceremony. Also, infant baptism is not taught in the Scriptures.
Taken from https://www.michaeljeshurun.wordpress.com
In Acts 8, the King James Version gives a full description of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch. He was a high official who had come to worship in Jerusalem. He was reading the book of Isaiah, when Philip was sent to him and explained to him the passages pertaining to the Messiah. When he had grasped their significance and recognized Jesus Christ in these verses (Acts 8:27-35), he was ready to be baptized:
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What doth hinder me to be baptized?’ And Philip said, ‘If thou believest with all thine heart, thou may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38).
Note the apostle Philip makes a clear requirement of the Ethiopian eunuch before he would agree to baptise him, that he believed in Jesus with all his heart.
(1) Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, P 134. S. W. Partridge & CO. 4.5. & 6, Soho Square, London, W. I. 1916.