According to the Scriptures"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel... By which also ye are saved... unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)


Appendix II
The Mystery of Religion

By Noel Chartier



In the spiritual quest of many, questions have been pondered such as, why are there so many religions? Do they all possess a way to heaven? When they contradict one another, how can we know which one is right? As with all religions, they must have a beginning and to its very source we must trace our steps to see if they begin with man or with God.

If the root of religion is corrupt, certainly its fruit and the branches that bear them will be corrupt. If a ship begins its voyage one degree off course, as time progresses, the further from the way it will be. There is a standard, a compass if you will, that is able to lead us on the path of righteousness, and it is that high virtue we call TRUTH. Fable, legend, myths, philosopy, and tradition serve not as a reliable compass to direct our path for they cannot be authenticated by archaeology, history, or science.

The Bible however, not only declares to be the TRUTH, but can also be verified 100% accurate by various standards of testing. The Psalmist said, “For the word of the LORD is right” and “true from the beginning” (Psalms 33:4, Psalms 119:160). Isaiah said, “Good is the word of the LORD” (Isaiah 39:8). Solomon said, “Every word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5).

It is right, it is good, and it is pure. Furthermore, Jesus said, “thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and it is recorded in the book of Daniel as, “the scripture of truth” (Daniel 10:21), and many times over the Scriptures are referred to as, “the word of truth” (2 Corinthians 6:7, Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:5, 2 Timothy 2:15, James 1:18).

Down through the ages men have sought to prove its contents fallacious, flawed and erroneous, but as the hammers of humanism have pounded the anvil of Truth, the hammers are worn out, gone, and forgotten, but the Word of the Lord endures forever, immaculately flawless, and unreprovable before those who would set themselves at odds against it.

The Bible, against the wisdom of men, indicates that the history of man does not consist of millions of years, rather, it is calculated to be less than seven thousand years. The true record of mankind and all his religions then, must come from that timeframe, and the factual evidence bears this out.

There is the established science of Cause and Effect, and as we know, everything has a starting point, a beginning, or an origin if you will. When we examine a house, we know the foundation must first have been laid on which to build the structure. When we look to the tree, we know it started with a seed.

Where then might we find the seed of religion that has grown into this great tree that now spreads her branches abroad over the face of the whole earth? The Bible quite clearly indicates that all religion, falsely so called, originates back to the time shortly after the Flood when Noah's great grandson, Nimrod, instigated his rebellion against the Lord, and all the descendants of Noah chose to follow him. This defiance, in the face of God, took place on the plains of Shinar, in the region of Mesopotamia where the ancient civilizations of Chaldea, Sumeria, Akaad, and Babylon are rooted.

We would not only maintain that this rebellion is the most reasonable and logical source of all religion, but that it solves many mysteries pertaining to the origin of nations and the diversity of language. But ultimately, it answers the question as to why there are so many religions throughout the world, for its fruit is found in all the various branches of religion today tracing it back to that original rebellion at Babel.

If we would go back in time, back to that place in history, back to the plains of Shinar, we would observe a city being built. Its construction was the beginning of a great empire, and at the heart of that city stood a monumental tower, with heights overlooking the vast plain of the city. This tower was no ordinary tower for upon its top was a temple dedicated “unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4).

We believe that the evidence clearly indicates that this tower was originally built for the purpose of worshiping the “host of heaven” which likely included the worship of fallen angels (See Appendix III). In the course of time this satanically fabricated religion, headed up by Nimrod, evolved into astrology and all sorts of pagan idolatry whereby man turned from the Living God to worship and serve the creation.

This tower was in effect the prototype for all other towers with religious significance that dotted the Mesopotamian region and beyond, such as the pyramids of Egypt, the ziggurats of Mexico and South America, and the mounds of Mississippi USA, etc. (See Appendix IV)

The religion of Nimrod was likely quite developed before God judged the post-Flood population, confusing their original language into a great babble of different dialects, evidently one per family, “and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:9). The many different tribes then formed their own “nations” with their own distinct language, and they brought with them throughout the whole world that seed of false religion that originated at Babel.

This religion so permeated and influenced the world that it was revealed to the apostle John in a vision as a great whore riding on the backs of the Gentile kingdoms down through history, and on her forehead was the name written "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5).

The religion formed at Babel in effect became the “THE MOTHER” of all spiritual wickedness in its various forms, infecting the whole earth with her abominations. She is, “... the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings [or kingdoms] of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:1-2).

Many believe that the “great whore” represents Roman Catholicism. However, the Scriptures indicate that she represents something more ancient and much larger than Rome, for she is the “MOTHER” of all religions that have departed from the True God and Creator. (See Appendix VII)

Jeremiah, who was around long before Roman Catholicism said she, “made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad” (Jeremiah 51:7). Let us not forget that the formation of the nations were the direct result of the world's spiritual harlotry at Babel, and therefore they became her spiritual offspring.

This vast assembly of people, now confused in their communication, moved out from Babel to inhabit the earth in those early years after the Flood, bringing with them their abhorrent religion. The Gentile kingdoms then made her the state religion, producing generation after generation of harlots of whom she was the “GREAT …MOTHER”. As children bear the characteristics of their parents, so the religions of the nations bore the character of their MOTHER. And since that time, she has continued to nurse the nations down through the ages with her intoxications leaving them in a drunken stupor.

Her outward appearance may have been attractive and very ornate (Revelation 17:4), with intricate ceremony and pompous ritual, such as would appeal to the flesh and the carnal mind, but poison was on her lips for all who were seduced by her.

Now, if we follow the branches of religion down the trunk we will find their roots deeply planted in Babylon. There we shall find the seed of germination, and in its incubation it began with a tower that was dedicated for the worship of heaven.

That the above allegations are true is visibly documented in the study of History and Archeology, but ultimately, it is verified in the infallible record of the Bible. When examining the evidence, it can be seen that astrology and the zodiac find their roots in the Mesopotamian region (the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and from there flowed “upon many waters” (Revelation 17:1, representing “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” v.15), to India, China, Rome, Canaan, Egypt, Greece, and to the Americas, or as the Genesis record indicates, “upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:8).

As the religion of Nimrod developed, with his great tower dedicated to the heavens, the worship of the sun and the moon, and individual stars and planets became popular, each representing a god. “To interpret the will of the gods, they [the Babylonians] mapped the sky into the 12 signs of the zodiac and studied the paths of the planets Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Saturn” (Compton's Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 11, 1976).

If this were true, would we not expect to find this same belief around the globe? And so we do. For example, the Aztecs, who were the furthest away from Babylon, paid much attention to the host of heaven and her movements.

They believed that the sun and the moon and the “planets were also gods: and so were the major stars. The groups of stars through which the sun passed were the houses of 13 gods. These were very like our 12 signs of the zodiac … Thus there was always a relationship between the earthly events and the shapes in the sky where the gods had their places” (Encyclopedia of world Mythology, p. 71).

Ursa Major Each nation had its own structure of worship but the characteristics it bore were often quite similar. The names of their gods may have been different (due to the different languages formed at Babel) but the tales behind them were often quite similar. For example, in the ancient world, a Great Bear represented the constellation of Ursa Major, where the Big Dipper resides. In North America, the Indians had several tales about this constellation, and as we would have guessed, it was also of a Great Bear.

“Some North American Indian tribes … pictured bears in Ursa Major, and the nearby constellation Ursa Minor, as evidenced by the names frequently used to describe them, Okuri and Paukuawa - both meaning “bear”. But in Iroquois mythology, all bears once had long tails. The earthly bear lost its tail attempting to show it off, using the tail to fish through a hole in an iced over lake. The bear's tail froze and fell off, and now all earthbound bears mimic this ancient bear with its stumpy tail. A Blackfoot Indian legend tells of an elder daughter of a large family. The daughter fell in love with a grizzly bear. Her father was furious and ordered her brothers to kill the bear. But this was a magical bear, and before the bear died he gave some of his magic to his bride. She then turned herself into a grizzly bear, and in retaliation she destroyed her entire village, killing her mother and father. She began chasing her eight brothers and sisters, but one brother had magic of his own. He shot an arrow into the sky, and instantly all eight children followed it to become stars. The seven oldest children became the seven stars forming the Big Dipper. The youngest child was frightened, and she can be seen as the dim star Alcor, huddling close to the star Mizar. This was before any contact with Europeans.”
Name changes also took place long after Babel when one empire displaced another. For example, the Romans simply took over the Greek gods and gave them Roman names. Prior to this the ancient historian Herodotus reported “Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt” (The History of Herodotus, c. 484-c.425 B.C., p. 60), and if we would remember aright, it was Ham's descendants, who migrated from Babel to the region of Egypt, which is also known as “the land of Ham” (Psalms 105:23).

Now Ham had a son named “Mizraim” (Heb: Mitsrayim; Genesis 10:6), whose name is usually translated “Egypt”. He would have geographically represented a center that he and his family colonized after leaving Babel in the remotest period of post-diluvian history.

The gods of the nations then, although they were worshipped by differing names, were often one and the same. For example, Venus, the brightest “star” other than the Sun and Moon came to be identified with the fertility cult (goddess of love). The ancient Babylonians and Assyrians worshipped her as the goddess Ishtar symbolizing Mother Earth in the natural cycles of fertility on earth. Ishtar has also been identified with the Phoenician Astarte , the Semitic Ashtoreth (Strongs Concordance: “star”), the Sumerian Inanna , the Egyptian Isis , the Canaanite Asherah , and the Greek Aphrodite , and some scholars identify the “queen of heaven” , to whom the children of Israel burned incense (Jeremiah 44:15-25), with the Assyro-Babylonian goddess Ishtar .

This false form of worship, however, began at Babel where they built a “tower … unto heaven” and began to worship the “host of heaven” . This may have started with the worship of individual “stars”, but quickly developed into the zodiac (12 constellations), with its sidereal pieces (totaling 88 constellations), which historically can be traced back to the region of ancient Babylon.

The great archeologist and historian, Austin Layard, concluded that the religion of Greece and Egypt was derived from ancient Babel. "Of the great antiquity of this primitive worship there is abundant evidence, and that it originated among the inhabitants of the Assyrian plains, we have united testimony of sacred and profane history. It obtained the epithet of perfect , and was believed to be the most ancient of religious systems, having preceded that of the Egyptians… The zodiacal signs…show unequivocally that the Greeks derived their notions and arrangements of the zodiac from the Chaldees" (Layard's Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 439-440).

Edward Gibbon in his classic The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire stated, “The religion of the Arabs … consisted in the worship of the sun, the moon, and the fixed stars … The bright luminaries of the sky displayed the visible image of a Deity… the regularity of their motions … and their real or imaginary influence encourages the vain belief that the earth and its inhabitants are the object of their peculiar care … and he was taught by experience to divide the twenty-eight parts of the zodiac of the moon, and to bless the constellations who refreshed with salutary rains the thirst of the desert …”

Furthermore, he stated, “The science of astronomy was cultivated at Babylon … [and] diffused over Asia by the science of the Chaldeans and the arms of the Assyrians. From the observations of two thousand years the priests and astronomers of Babylon deduced the eternal laws of nature and providence. They adored the seven gods… who directed the course of the seven planets, and shed their irresistible influence on the earth. The attributes of the seven planets, with the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the twenty-four constellations of the northern and southern hemisphere, were represented by images …” (Volume II, p. 226-227).

These constellations or zodiacal signs were basically formed into images of “man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:23) (See Appendix V). These images, as they were portrayed in the heavens, were deified and the people worshiped these gods forming idols to represent them. Pagan idolatry therefore, was really an extension of astrology whereby the pagan nations made statues and images to represent the celestial powers they worshipped.

Originally, idols were simply the personifications of the host of heaven. It is no wonder then that many of the images associated with the zodiac and the constellations and planets, are identical with the idols and gods of pagan mythology.

Before Israel was to enter the Promised Land, the Lord gave them the Decalogue, and the second commandment read like this, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above…” (Exodus 20:4).

Israel was commanded to be separate from the nations who practiced this form of idolatry. The Lord told them, “Learn not the way of the heathen (Heb. gowy : nations) , and be not dismayed at the signs [Heb. owth ] of heaven ; for the heathen (Heb. gowy : nations) are dismayed at them . For the customs of the people are vain : for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good… Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image : for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them” (Jeremiah 10:2-5, 14).

The nations, we are told, became troubled and distressed at the “signs of heaven” . It appears that they assumed certain events, whether a storm or flood, a drought or famine, were all somehow related to the motions of the heavens. Certain seasons could bring various blessings such as an abundant crop, but a hailstorm or a flood could destroy that same crop. Their minds were filled with superstition and fear, and connected to their distress at the “signs of heaven” was the “custom” of making idols.

The first time the word “signs” (Heb. owth) is mentioned in the Scriptures is in Genesis 1:14. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs (Heb. owth) , and for seasons, and for days, and years” . The “signs of heaven” then, are related to the lights in the upper expanse of heaven.

The lights in the firmament were also given for seasons, days and years. The word “seasons” is usually translated “congregation” or “feast” and the new moon was usually the signal to mark these appointed times (Leviticus 23:2, 24, Numbers 10:10, 28:11). The Psalmist said, “He appointed the moon for seasons” (Psalm 104:19).

The “days” were marked by the rising and setting of the sun as the earth rotated on its axis, and “years” were determined by the revolution of the earth about the sun. But the lights in the firmament were also to be for “signs” (Hebrew: owth ). This word is also translated “mark” referring to a physical mark upon Cain. It is also translated “token” referring to the covenant of the rainbow, the circumcision given to Abraham and his descendants, the blood of the Passover and to Sabbath days. It also refers to the mighty “miracles” that were wrought by the hand of Moses upon all of Egypt.

However, “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), and are also a “sign” of His eternal, miraculous, creative and sustaining power. “He … hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7), that is, suspending it from the sun in its orbit by “nothing” but the mysterious force of gravity. He is truly the mighty God, “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3), and “by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16).

But the heathen were “dismayed at the signs of heaven” as they saw the stars and planets travel about their circuits, and as they witnessed the sun and moon rise and fall. As the seasons changed with the earth's orbit about the sun, it almost appeared (in their mind) as though the constellations were directing the seasons with their winters and summers, their cold and heat, and so the future, they believed, was in the hands of this starry host. In the blindness of their hearts they began to deify the grand “host of heaven”.

The heavens were to declare the glory of God (Revelation 4:11), and lead them to worship the Creator for His power and greatness, but they worshipped the creation rather than the Creator.

The nations used “high places” (housetops, mountains, towers) for their worship, which undoubtedly was patterned after the original form of idolatrous worship at the Tower of Babel (See Appendix IV). Whether in Babylon, or Egypt, in the jungles of Central America, or the mountains of Peru, all used high places to venerate the heavens and to offer sacrifice.

When Israel entered the land of Canaan, they found there a people who were given to this same idolatrous worship. They worshipped the “host of heaven” and made images to represent them.

But where did these Canaanites come from? And where did they get this idea? As we stated earlier, the Canaanites were descendants of Noah's son Ham (Genesis 10:6) who's offspring were among those original rebels at Babel. From Babel they migrated down to the land that bore their name, and there they continued to worship in “high places” . This they most certainly learned at Babel.

However, long before Israel entered the land of Canaan, after they were delivered from their bondage in Egypt, they succumbed to this same form of idolatry. “And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol , and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven … Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them (Acts 7:42-43).

After the Lord delivered Israel from the slavish grip of Pharaoh, Stephen, the first believer martyred in the name of Christ, recounted how swift the feet of Israel were in turning back to the idolatrous ways of the Egyptians. Servants are called to “be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as unto Christ” (Ephesians 6:5). They may have been in servitude to Pharaoh, but there was a service that was far more dreadful than obeying Pharaoh, it was that of serving his gods. This is what they did when they made a calf and offered sacrifice to the idol.

APIS But where did the children of Israel ever get such an idea to worship a calf? Well, today there still exists down in the land of Egypt the remains of the second largest temple ever built by the Egyptians, and it was dedicated for the worship of the bull-god Apis . What is of further interest is that Stephen associates this calf worship with the worship of the host of heaven.

They would not obey the commandments of God delivered by Moses, “but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt , Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol , and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven ; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them : and I will carry you away beyond Babylon” (Acts 7:39-43).

Their hearts had turned back to Egypt and to the idolatrous worship that originated at Babylon, so God said, “I will carry you away beyond Babylon” . If their hearts' desire was to serve those gods, back to Babel they would go, for seventy more years of bondage, to serve them there. Taurus

God gave Israel up to worship the “host of heaven”, and they made “figures [of a calf] to worship them”, that is, their ”star ... god”. We find it therefore, no coincidence that one of the constellations of the zodiac, Taurus, is depicted as a bull. This bull was first formed with the imagination of men, in a connect-the-dot fashion, and finally, they made an idol to worship it.

Archeology has proven that the zodiac has been used since the dawn of most ancient civilizations such as India, China, Greece, Egypt, Israel, and the Americas, so all would supposedly have a common origin, and many sources point out that “Astrology originated in Mesopotamia” (Encyclopedia Britannica).

From those early years after the Flood (and possibly carried over from pre-flood times) men began to notice the various star groups and saw in the constellations fanciful resemblances to animals and humans, and they wove myths and legends of these imaginary figures in the sky. The stars only formed the skeletons of these beings and the imagination took care of the rest.

The heavens were then divided up into the twelve signs of the zodiac. The ancients noticed that the sun moved in a regular path through the heavens (although it was the earth revolving around the sun) and was supposed to visit one constellation each month as it moved across the sky.

“The old Babylonians, noting that the seasons followed one another as the sun changed its position in the sky, came to worship the sun itself as the cause of the changes. Torrential rains always fell in their country about January, when the sun entered the region where Pieces (the Fishes), Cetus (Sea Monster), Eridanus (the River), and Capricornus (the Sea Goat) are located. Undoubtedly, the choice of aquatic animals for this region of the sky was associated with the type of weather they seemed to produce with solar assistance.” (The Heavens Above, By Donald H. Menzel, 1943)
They thought the stars could bring them good fortune and thanked them rather than their Creator for His goodness. These superstitions led men to believe that the stars and planets had a direct influence on them, and so they began to follow their “lucky stars”.

Today, this has taken on a whole new dimention. Men and women who have received fame and fortune have their following, and are called “stars” and “idols”. It is amazing to see how the masses have become infatuated, almost to the point of worship, with the rich and famous, with “sports stars”, “movie stars” and “music idols”, coveting to be as them rather than the Lord Jesus Christ. The fashion of this world finds images of these “stars” and “idols” on posters and trading cards etc., which is really only a subtle form of the devil's persuasion when He told Eve, “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5).

The Lycaonian's, in the days of the apostles, were polytheists who worshipped idols that were mere personifications of the host of heaven. When Paul and Barnabas came to that region preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, their word was confirmed with a miraculous sign when Paul healed a man who was lame from his mother's womb. But when they saw such a miracle, they thought the gods were “come down … in the likeness of men” , and they called Paul “Jupiter” and Barnabas “Mercurius” , and prepared to worship them.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and the word “Jupiter” is translated from the Greek word “Zeus” while “Mercurius” is translated from the Greek word “Hermes”. These were both idols from the Greek pantheon, and in essence, this play on words reveals how these idols were associated with the host of heaven. The Lycaonian's believed that the planets were gods and could intervene in the affairs of men, and so they believed that Paul and Barnabas were the incarnation of the “host of heaven”.

They thought nothing to add the “gospel” and the worship of Paul and Barnabas to the host of gods they already worshipped. But Paul compelled them, not to modify their religion to incorporate the gospel, but to turn from these vanities unto the living God , which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein” (Acts 14:6-15).

Astrology in its ancient form was idolatrous and used as a form of divination, that is, interpreting the influence of the gods (planets and stars) on earthly affairs in order to predict the destinies of individuals, groups, or nations. However, the Lord condemned the activity of, “the astrologers, the stargazers, [and] the monthly prognosticators” of “Babylon … daughter of the Chaldeans” (Isaiah 47:13). And so today, we must likewise reprove the horoscope predictions of the modern day soothsayers, and all other forms of religion that has in essence evolved from Babylon, if perhaps they too might repent and turn from their vanities unto the Living God.

Last Update: 12/13/2004

There are 3 comments
carole kwiatkowski
August 31, 2010 - 14:54

I found your site today and read "Mystery Religion" and it was a great read!!!

Robert
December 27, 2009 - 20:25

I suggest you read "The Real Meaning of the Zodiak" by D James Kennedy

http://www.amazon.com/Real-Meanin g-Zodiac-James-Kennedy/dp/1929626142

Joshua Martin
December 27, 2009 - 20:25

I agree with your findings. It seems your position is well rounded and researched. I never thought about the connection of " STARS " today with stars of astrology, they are worshiped and seen on high by media in our society.

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