In the last Book of the Bible, John the Apostle writes about a Great Religious System present during the Tribulation Period which is described as a great counterfeit, known as BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION" that can be traced all the way back to the early days of the' Old Testament!
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
John wonders in amazement as to how this great counterfeit religious system has been present since the beginning of time. He calls it a "harlot"! To identify the ‘Mystery Religion' we must go all the way back to the Book of Genesis 10 & 11 where we learn about Noah's great Grandson, Nimrod, who lived some 200 or 300 years after the flood.
“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh…..”
Historians tell us that Nimrod developed a following behind him for his ability to protect the people from wild animals that roamed the earth in that day. Genesis 10:9 speaks of his reputation as a mighty hunter. Nimrod also contrived the idea of gathering the people into walled cities to protect them from the wild animals. Leaders of Freemasonry claim that this Nimrod was the founder of what is known today as the lodge of Freemasonry.
Albert Mackey in his HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY, states on page 601,
“The Legend of the CRAFT in the Old Constitutions refers to NIMROD as one of the founders of Masonry..”
As a great deliver and protector of the people, this Nimrod became the first world dictator, and he built two of the greatest cities and empires the world has ever known, Babylon and Nineveh! (Gen.10:8-11)
Sadly, how often power helps corrupt a man ... Nimrod also began to lead people away from his grandfather, Noah's God. (Josephus, Antiquities 1:4:2) He built a system of study of the stars, astrology, occultism and devil worship. The Tower of Babel was built for this purpose and in defiance to God to escape and survive another flood if God should send one.
It is because of this we read in Genesis 11:4-9 that God scattered the people to form the various nations and confounded their language. AS we will see, when the people scattered, they took aspects of this Babylon Mystery Religion with them, and this is why we aspects of a Mother/Child worship all over the world, even in countries where missionaries of any type had ever been!
Before this occurred, let's get some more details about this Babylonian Religion Nimrod and his wife founded. Secular history and tradition tell us that Nimrod married a beautiful, blond-haired woman who was as evil and demonic as himself! Her name was Semiramis. She and Nimrod contrived a system where by she, Nimrod, and her son would be objects of worship! Knowing God's promise of a future Savior (Gen.3:15), she claimed that Tammuz, her son, fulfilled this prophecy...
Having developed the city of Babylon into one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, she was the real mastermind behind the Babylon 'Mystery Religion' ...This is all spelled out in detail in a well-documented book entitled 'THE TWO BABYLONS by Alexander Hislop. It can be purchased from CHICK PUBLICATIONS at http://www.chick.com.
or (909) 987-0771. It documents how she, Semiramis, developed a system of a celibate Priesthood which was answerable to her and the High Priest, Nimrod, who was known by the title of 'Pontiff' or Pontifex Maximus ... meaning 'bridge-maker'. This High Priest Nimrod was supposedly the ‘BRIDGE’ between this life and the life to come ….He was also known as the 'fish god' ....DAGON... and this is why a fish-mitre hat was worn by the High Priest. We still see these fish-mitre hats worn by priests today! It was in the shape of a fish open mouth. Semiramis knew an unmarried celibate priesthood would be more devoted to the religion and to her and her husband. Hislop tells us the regular priests wore black robes, which was the color of Satanism & the occult...(Fausset's Bible Ency.p291). Hislop also documents that Nimrod had a council of 12 priests to assist him in the temporal and Political affairs of running the empire, and they were called "CARDINALS' and they were dressed in Scarlet & Red robes (Hislop,p210).
Another distinguishing mark of the priests of Nimrod, later known in the Old Testament as Priests of Baal….. was the Clerical tonsure, and initiation rite in which the priest of Nimrod has the top of his head sheared bald, while the edges of the hair allowed to remain as a ring...in honor to Nimrod who was also worshipped as the SUN-GOD! (Hislop,p222) For this reason God forbade it in Leviticus…
“Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.”
“They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.” (Flagellation?)
Besides a celibate priesthood, Semiramis developed a system of female devotees known as vestal virgins, later to be known by the Chaldean word, NUN, which means "Daughters of Nimrod" (Hislop,223)
Their 'duty' in service to their 'god' Nimrod in this Babylonian priesthood was to'sexually' serve the unmarried priests and monks since these men were not allowed to marry and have wives …...This was seen as a form of worship to their god. This kept the priests satisfied and happy in the priesthood, not to mention keeping them from turning homosexual. History attests to the horror of countless abortions which arose from this immoral system as countless bodies of babies have been found near convents and monasteries thru history. ( See picture and details in Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow, page 116,117) Many such gravesites for the aborted babies of these Nun/priest relationships were found in the underground tunnels between Convents and Monasteries in Spain and in Rome. By the 1936, the citizens of Spain were so outraged of this debauchery; they attacked and burnt many of the church buildings to the ground! (See Woodrow, above). Nevertheless, forbidding to marry resulted in much HOMOSEXUALITY among priests and the public allowed this immorality to continue to keep the priests away from their wives and daughters, according to Woodrow. To this day, history attests that the priesthood has proven a drawing net to homosexuals.
Semiramis claimed her 'Mystery Religion' possessed the highest wisdom and revealed 'Divine secrets' and that members of the Babylonian Religion would be the only ones to receive 'salvation' to heaven after completing a series of 'religious works' beginning with 'Baptism' by the Babylonian Priest and ending with 'prayers for the dead’ Hislop says these became known as ‘Sacraments’. Semiramis taught that devotees did not immediately enter 'heaven' at death, but went to an intermediate place known as PURGATORY (Hislop, p169).. This held the family to remain 'faithful' to ' the Babylonian Priesthood to assure their loved one could 'move on' to heaven! Property and money could be donated to the Babylonian Priesthood and this would 'help' get the one out of purgatory sooner...This later became known as ‘Indulgences', according to Hislop.
The Priests also had control over the devotees because Semiramis compelled the people to confess to a Babylonian Priest at least once a year and to do penance according to the degree of the sins committed. Sins were categorized by their seriousness as either 'mortal' or 'venial' sins. Of course, none of this was in the Bible. The original purpose of the confessional was to keep tabs on any rebellion or uprising in the empire! This was effective because people were compelled to confess every sin...moral, ethical, ... whatever, to the priest--omission of any sin could forfeit salvation! The problem of a celibate....unmarried priesthood of males ... hearing the intimate private sexual confessions of married and single women ... eventually would lead to trouble as one would expect ... and it did. A former Priest, Father Chiniquy, tells in his book THE PRIEST, THE WOMAN, & CONFESSIONAL that if married men and fathers knew the intimate questions that were asked of the wives and their daughters in the confessional booths, they would run the priests and their confessional booths out of town!! This book is also available from Chick Publications at the address above at http://www.chick.com.
Later on when the Babylonian Religion moved to Egypt, these priests imprinted the initials of Nimrod, Semiramis, and the son Tammuz on the wafer-cakes which were eaten, in a MASS CEREMONY', as the priest placed the wafer on the tongue of the person ...
In the Egyptian language ,Nimrod, Semiramis, and tammuz were known as Seb, Isis, and Horus... thus IHS were imprinted on the wafer cakes ... Many Christian churches still have this religious symbol of IHS on their church furniture and have no idea what it stands for!
Devotees of this Babylon Mystery Religion would make the mark of a ‘T' with their hand across their chest in honor of 'Tammuz' ...later called genuflecting. We see this 'Tammuz' being worshipped in the Old Testament times in Ezekiel 8:13,14!
"He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
14 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."
H.L. Willmington tells how this 'Babylon' Religion spread thru out the world and in the Old Testament became known as 'Baal' worship...(The King is Coming, p76)
Starting to fit together?
What was the teaching of Semiramis' Satanic Church?
That Semiramis herself was the way to God. She actually adopted the title "Queen of Heaven."
We read about the worship of Semiramis in this Baal Worship in Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:25,
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
(Notice this provokes God to anger!)
44:25 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
Adherents believed that she alone could administer salvation to the sinner through various sacraments, such as the sprinkling of holy water.
They believed that her son Tammuz was tragically slain by a wild bear during a hunting trip, but was, however, resurrected from the dead forty days later. Thus, each year afterward the temple virgins of this cult would enter a forty-day fast as a memorial to Tammuz' death and resurrection. This was later called 'LENT'...(according to Hislop, THE TWO BABYLONS)
Based upon the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 of a coming Messiah, She claimed now she was CO-MEDIATRIX with her son.
LENT….. which is observed for forty days, ending with Easter, is derived from the Babylonian system of mysteries.
Perhaps you wondered why you never found the word mentioned in the Bible?
After the forty-day fast, a joyful feast called Ishtar (another name for Semiramis) took place. At this feast colored eggs were exchanged and eaten as a symbol of the resurrection. An evergreen tree was displayed and a yule log was burned. Finally hot cakes marked with the letter T (to remind everybody of Tammuz) were baked and eaten.
This pagan festival of 'Ishtar' was celebrated hundreds of years before Christ, and it is even mentioned in Acts 12:3,4! The name has slightly changed to 'Easter'... One can see the resemblance - "Ishtar - Easter"...
Acts 12:3,4 "And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
The prophet Ezekiel was called by the Lord to go to the temple and see this cultic practice in process. Ezekiel watched the women of Israel observing the forty days of Lent for the slaying of the pagan, Tammuz. The Lord called this an abomination (Ezekiel 8:13-14).
“He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. 14 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.”
Here we see women weeping for Tammuz, whom Semiramis claimed was the 'resurrected' Nimrod!
God calls it an abomination!
Thus began the mother-child Cult which later spread all over the world.
From the dispersion at Babel in Genesis 11, we see the Babylon Mystery Religion spread worldwide! Missionaries have been shocked to find 'Mother and Child' worship in pagan countries where the Gospel has never been taken! It is the Babylon Mystery Religion!
From Babylon it spread to Phoenicia under the name of Ashteroth and Tammuz.
From Phoenicia, it traveled to Pergamos in Asia Minor. This is the reason for John's admonition to the church at Pergamos in the book of Revelation: "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is . . ." (Rev. 2:13).
In Egypt the mother-child cult was known as Isis and Horus.
In Greece it became Aphrodite and Eros.
In Rome this pair was worshiped as Venus and cupid.
Clarence Larkin, in his classic, DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH, on page 140, traces this Babylon Mystery Religion down through history until it enters Rome:
"The city of Babylon continued to be the seat of Satan until the fall of the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires, when he shifted his Capital to Pergamos in Asia Minor, where it was in John's day. (Rev.2:12,13 see verse quoted above)
When Attalus, the Pontiff and King of Pergamos, died in B. C. 133, he bequeathed the Headship of the "Babylonian Priesthood" to Rome. When the Etruscans came to Italy from Lydia (the region of Pergamos), they brought with them the Babylonian religion and rites. They set up a Pontiff who was head of the Priesthood. Later the Romans accepted this Pontiff as their civil ruler. Julius Caesar was made Pontiff of the Etruscan Order in B. C. 74. In B. C. 63 he was made "Supreme Pontiff" of the "Babylonian Order," thus becoming heir to the rights and titles of Attalus, Pontiff of Pergamos, who had made Rome his heir by will. Thus, Julius Caesar, the first Roman Emperor became the Head of the "Babylonian Priesthood," and Rome became the successor to Babylon. The Emperors of Rome continued to exercise the office of "Supreme Pontiff" until A. D. 376, when the Emperor Gratian, for Christian reasons, refused it. The Bishop of the Church at Rome, Damasus, was elected to the position. He had been Bishop 12 years, having been made. Bishop in A. D. 366, through the influence of the monks of Mt. Carmel, a college of Babylonian religion originally founded by the priests of Jezebel. So in A. D. 378 the Head of the "Babylonian Order" became the Ruler of the "Roman Church." Thus Satan united Rome and Babylon in One Religious System."
Soon after Damasus was made "Supreme Pontiff" the "rites" of Babylon began to come to the front. The worship of the Virgin Mary was set up in A. D. 381. (All the outstanding festivals of the Roman Catholic Church are of Babylonian origin.) Easter is not a Christian name. It means "Ishtar," one of the titles of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, whose worship by the Children of Israel was such an abomination in the sight of God. The decree for the observance of Easter and Lent was given in A. D. 519.
The "Rosary" is of Pagan' origin. There is no warrant in the Word of God for the use of the "Sign of the Cross.") It had its origin in the mystic "Tau" of the Chaldeans and Egyptians.) It came from the letter "T," the initial name of "Tammuz," and was used in the "Babylonian Mysteries" for the same magic purposes as the Romish Church now employs it. Celibacy, the Tonsure, and the Order of Monks and Nuns, have no warrant or authority from Scripture. The Nuns are nothing more than an imitation of the "Vestal Virgins" of Pagan Rome."
(The Above taken from Clarence Larkin's DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH, page 140 ff)
David Jeremiah, Popular Radio preacher On his TURNING POINT radio program, gives a similar survey in his Book, ESCAPE THE COMING NIGHT, pages 168-175.
Does this now help to understand what the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation was meaning when he referred to 'Babylon Mystery Religion'?
It even astounded John to see this great Mystery Religion still present at the end of the Ages, having been present as an enemy to the Gospel of Jesus Christ all of these years!