Pagan Feasts

The Mystery of Christmas

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The Mystery of Christmas
Son Worship or Sun Worship

by Norm Franz

Scripture teaches that there are ultimately only two cities in the earth; the city of Babylon (Rev. 18:21) and the city of Jerusalem (Rev. 21). Jerusalem is the city of God that is fashioned after the very image (character and nature) of Jesus (Yeshua). On the other hand, Babylon is the city of Satan that is fashioned after the image of Lucifer.

This end time Babylon is not a physical city, nation or any other geographic place, but a world system that John describes as a demonic blend of financial, political, and religious mysteries (Rev. 17 and18). The financial mystery is the world's debt-based monetary system that uses dishonest scales to put mankind under slavery to debt. The political mystery is the one world government being formed in the inner chambers of the United Nations (U.N.) by various Globalist groups. And the religious mystery is contained within the manmade traditions and ceremonial sacraments of virtually every major religion today.

These mysterious rituals can only be understood by studying the mystic faiths of ancient Babylon which were kept by the Chaldean priests. Their cultic beliefs consisted of twisted tales of ancient folklore that were cloaked in superstition and black magic. Many elements of Babylonian mysticism have been handed down from generation to generation until this very day where they permeate every area of life. As a result, this ancient Babylonian spirit is channeling the nations into a New World Order (One World Financial, Political and Religious System) that Scripture refers to as the "Mystery of Babylon" (Rev. 17 and 18).

Nimrod and Semiramis

The ancient figure that most Babylonian religious mysteries speak about is Nimrod, son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great grandson of Noah. He was best known for his part in building the tower of Babel of the plains of Shinar in the land of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11).

As Nimrod built Babel, "...a city, and a tower whose top [reached] into heaven...," he made a name for himself as the "...mighty one on the earth" (Gen. 10:8). Few, however, are familiar with Semiramis, who served as both Nimrod's wife and mother. The mysteries also point to Semiramis as the one most instrumental in producing and promulgating most of the ancient folklore and mysterious rituals surrounding the religion of Babylon. For example, after Nimrod's death, she deified him so that all Babylon worshipped him as the "God of Gods." Under this title, Nimrod mystically became many gods within the creation itself (i.e. the sun god, god of the harvest, god of the netherworld/dead, etc.).

Nimrod was also a skilled archer and "a mighty hunter" (Gen. 10:8-9), who Semiramis deified in the zodiac as Sagittarius in the constellation of Orion.1 It is important to note that Sagittarius is a centaur (half man and half horse). When combined with the garland wreath in the picture above, we can see the pagan imagery of Nimrod as the "god of nature" come alive. This is the ancient religion of Babylon known as pantheism. It says all creation (man, animals, the earth, and the stars) is god and that there is a "god force" within everyone which holds the universe together and makes us one with it. This counterfeit was preached in apostate Israel (Jer. 2:26-27; 3:9) and continues today in the theology of the New Age movement. This doctrine is the foundation of Religious Babylon (Rev. 17:4-5), and many of its pagan rituals can be found within every religion on earth. Unfortunately, this includes Christianity.

Sun God Worship

The primary mystery of Religious Babylon was sun god worship, which is still the most popular form of idol worship today. This pagan religion was fashioned primarily by Semiramis, who deified Nimrod as "God incarnate".2 Babylonian myth teaches that Nimrod was the first in a long line of sun gods, including Tammuz, Adonis, Baal, Surya, and others. The evolution of these incarnates are mix with religious symbolism, celebrations, and rituals that will soon appear all too familiar.

As the "god of nature," Nimrod was symbolized by a Great Tree until his death. There is nothing in Scripture regarding how he died, but legend teaches that he was hacked to death by his grandfather Ham for his rebellion against Yahweh Elohiym (Jehovah God) at the Tower of Babel.3 After this Great Tree was cut down and killed in his prime, he was symbolized as a branchless tree stump, called the Yule Log.4

One very ancient legend tells how Aesculapius (the great serpent), a Babylonian symbol of life restored, came and wrapped itself around Nimrod (the stump). Miraculously, a new tree appeared at the side of the stump symbolizing Nimrod's rebirth. This mystery was later engraved on an ancient Ephesian coin, which portrays Nimrod's victory over death 5 through the power of the serpent rather than the power of Yahweh. This tale appears to be the foundation of all false religions that teach the power of life and death can be found in anyone other than Jesus Christ.

Another myth goes on to tell the story of how Nimrod rose from the dead and ascended as the sun, where he sends down a sun beam to impregnate Semiramis. Her miraculous conception gives birth to Tammuz, who was the reincarnation of Nimrod the sun god. Tammuz clearly represents a counterfeit messiah that comes in the expressed image of his father Nimrod. It also appears that father and son were very close, because some zodiac artwork of Sagittarius (right) depicts what seems to be Tammuz riding on Nimrod's back.

Legend has it that Semiramis created an annual celebration commemorating this miraculous story about the reincarnation of Nimrod. This remembrance was expressed in the retelling of how Nimrod (the Great Tree) was killed and became the Yule Log, but through the serpent's supernatural power and her own miraculous conception, Nimrod was reincarnated as Tammuz. Consequently, Tammuz becomes a Messianic figure who is savior of the world, and Semiramis becomes the "Queen of Heaven" and "Mother of the gods." 6

Like Nimrod, Tammuz was also symbolized by a tree and worshipped as God during his reincarnated life on earth. Consequently, earth worship, especially the worship of trees, evolved throughout the centuries and became the foundation of Baal worship. In ancient Egypt, they worshipped the palm tree which symbolized the pagan messiah "Baal-Tamar." One of the most ancient Baals was known as "Baal-Bereth" or "Lord of the fir-tree." 7 This brings us squarely back to the saga of the Yule Log, which is clearly at the heart of today's Christmas celebration.

Unwrapping Christmas

All of this activity surrounding the Yule Log gave birth to the Babylonian festival called Yule Day, which is Chaldean for Infant Day. The time for this festival was set during the winter solstice, because this is when the sun hits its lowest point (symbolizing death), and then begins to rise toward spring (symbolizing rebirth). The evening of December 24th was established as "Mother's Night" and December 25th became the "Birth-Day of the Unconquered Sun." 8

The legend continues to develop through Greco-Asian mythology, where Yule Day is seen as a modified Nimrod/Semiramis/Tammuz story. Here, the woman Smyrna is symbolized as a tree that gives birth to her divine son Adonis. She does this by throwing the Yule Log on a briskly burning fire on "Mother's Night" (Dec. 24th). The next morning (Dec. 25th), the reincarnated sun god (Adonis) arises out of the fire as a brand new tree called the "Branch of God." He was also known as the "Tree that brings all divine gifts to men," 9 which is undoubtedly where the tradition of placing gifts under trees started.

This ritual was practiced in apostate Israel when they turned away from Yahweh and worshipped the pagan god "Baal-Berith" or "Lord of the Covenant." 10 The worship of this Baal required its followers to distribute their favors (charms) under the green trees:

"Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree..." (Jer. 3:13 NAS, see also Jer. 2:20; Deut. 12:2)

The spirit behind the worship of trees also led Israel to set up shrines in their homes, where they would erect wooden idols cut from the forest and decorate them with gold and silver:

"Thus saith the LORD, 'Learn not the way of the heathen... 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.'" (Jer 10:2-4 KJV)

Here, we see that God clearly forbids His people to participate in pagan tree worship or any of the traditions, customs or rituals surrounding it.

Christmas Celebrations Before Christ

Obviously, the origin of the December 25th Christmas celebration has nothing to do with the birth of Messiah Jesus and everything to do with the Yule Day rebirth of Nimrod as Tammuz the sun god incarnate. Christians who insist that Christmas is the biblical celebration of Jesus' birthday must face the fact that our pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors were celebrating Yule Day on December 25th long before they ever came into contact with biblical Christianity. 11

This brings us to the Grecian deity Cronus and Roman deity Saturnus, who added their own rituals to the Yule Day celebration. Both the Kronia and the Saturnalia celebrations were Babylonian style feasts that took place during the winter solstice. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, their pre-Christian Yule Day traditions have heavily influence today's Christmas festivities:

"All work and business were suspended. Slaves were given temporary freedom to say and do what they liked, and certain moral restrictions were eased. The streets were infected with a Mardi Gras madness; the seasonal greeting "io Saturnalia" [Merry Saturnalia] was heard everywhere; presents were freely exchanged principally wax candles and little clay dolls... The influence of the Saturnalia upon the celebration of Christmas and New Year has been direct." 12

In other words, the Greeks and the Romans were observing a Yule Day Christmas type celebration before Christ was ever born. This means that the stories about the birth of Nimrod the sun god and Jesus the Son of God were merged sometime during the first three centuries following Messiah's resurrection.

Paganizing Christianity

During most of the first century A.D., the church was very Hebraic in its worship, especially as it pertained to God's appointed times of feasts and celebration tables (1 Cor. 5:7; Acts 2:1; 20:16). However, in 70 A.D., when Titus and the Roman Legions destroyed Jerusalem and scattered Israel, the Jews became the most hated people on earth. Consequently, anything that appeared Jewish drew heavy persecution, which had a negative impact on the very Hebraic New Testament Church.

During the next two centuries, gentile church leaders sought relief from anti-Semitic persecution by moving away from anything Hebraic. For example, they exchanged their biblical seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath for the pagan SUNday sabbath. They also falsely taught that, Jesus redeemed the pagan feasts through His death on the cross, so it was alright to celebrate them as long as they worked a Christian theme into them.

Rome's Sun God

During this time, the Indo-Iranian sun god cult of Mithra had spread from Persia to Asia Minor and finally settled in Rome. Mithra's ascent to Godhood involved the pursuit and sacrifice of a bull (left). "According to Persian sources the bull, apparently in origin a vegetation spirit, by its death gave birth to all living things; thus Mithra became the creator of life, as by his other exploits he was its protector against evil." 13

Mithraism was not just another rung on the ladder of sun god worship, but it was the closest counterfeit to Christianity the world had seen up to that point. As creator, Mithra was worshipped as the "mediator between God and man." He was considered to be the "divine Lord by whose deeds, performed once, man was assured of salvation." There was "a sacramental meal; a ritual of baptism; [and] a concept of religion that could liken the religious life to enlistment and service under a divine commander." 14 Legend says that when Mithra saw "mankind's affliction by Ahriman, the cosmic power of darkness, he incarnated on earth. His birth on 25 December was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds he held a last supper with his disciples and returned to heaven. At the end of the world, he will come again to the resurrected mankind and after the last battle, victorious over evil, will lead the chosen ones through the river of fire to a blessed immortality." 15 Mithraism had all the trappings of Christianity surrounded by politically correct celebrations that set the table for the next phase of paganizing Christianity.

Mergers and Acquisitions

By the third century A.D., Christianity and Mithraism were contending for religious dominance within the Roman Empire. Finally, Constantine declared Christianity the religion of Rome and pushed for it to adopt pagan feastsand rituals as a permanent part of its holiday observances. Church leaders surmised that Christianizing pagan feasts would be a good way to evangelize the nations. Unfortunately, instead of Christianizing paganism, they ended up paganizing Christianity. In other words, they abandoned the table (feasts) of the Lord and sat down at the table (feasts) of demons that Paul warned them against (1 Cor. 10:20-21). Keeping pagan celebrations is tantamount to fornicating with other gods and eating things contaminated by idols, which is what the doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel are all about (Rev. 2:12-29).

Many Christians say that these laws don't apply to the New Testament Church. However, the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem determined that the gentile church at Antioch should not eat things contaminated by idols, drink blood or commit acts of fornication (Acts 15:19-32), which all describe the table laws that govern pagan feasts. When the apostles Paul and Barnabas along with the prophets Judas and Silas delivered this edict to the church at Antioch, both the prophets preached a lengthy message that undoubtedly explained how God's table laws are used to distinguish the biblical feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23) from the pagan feasts.

In these last days, God's Feasts and the table laws that govern them play a major role in sanctifying us from the secular/pagan world. Therefore, it is important that we learn to apply those laws to the celebrations we keep. As we do this, we become Messiah's witnesses throughout the nations, who eat at the "table of the Lord" instead of the "table of demons." May we remain steadfast in returning to all of His ways, as together we prepare the way of the Lord.

God bless you and Shalom!

  1. Layard, Ninevah and Its Remaines, Vol. 2, pg. 439-440.
  2. Plutarch, De Iside, vol. 2, sect. 52, pg. 372; and D. Macrob. Saturn., Lib. 1. Cap. pg. 71.
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 1, pg. 164-165, 1970 Edition.
  4. Hislop, em, pg. 98.
  5. Mayrice's, Indian Antiquities, Vol. 6, pg. 368, 1796 from Hislop, The Two Babylons, pg. 98.
  6. Hislop, The Two Babylons, pg. 5, 41, 141.
  7. Berlin Correspondent of The London Times, Dec.23, 1853.
  8. Gieseler, pg. 42, from Hislop, The Two Babylons, Pg. 98.
  9. Hislop, The Two Babylons, Pg. 65, 97.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Sharon Turner, Anglo-Saxons, Vol. 1, pg. 219.
  12. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 19, pg. 1088, 1970 Edition.
  13. Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 15, pg. 604-605, 1970 Edition.
  14. Ibid
  15. Professor Jocelyn Godwin, Mystery Religions of the Ancient World, pg. 99.