Fred R. Coulter

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As we have seen, in this world you are under one of two authorities:

  • you're under the authority of God the Father and Jesus Christ

or:

  • you're under the authority of Satan the devil, and this world

There are some people who you can say are in between, because they're not wholly wrapped up in the world, but they are not necessarily on God's side. There will be that middle ground with some people. I'm sure that there are people in the world who don't keep the holidays of the world because they don't care for them, not necessarily because they are in the Church of God.

Let's review a couple of basic Scriptures that are important for us to understand. This is important to understand in order to be able to discern between right and wrong and good and evil even though some things appear very 'religious,' very pompous and even dramatic and elegant like the scene with Pope John Paul II's funeral.

  • How do you discern right and wrong?
  • How do you discern Truth and error?

Some things you can learn on your own. You put your hand on a hot stove and burn your hand you know to not do that again. If you do, it's not the stove's fault.

First of all, you have to prove the Bible, and in order to understand and realize the Bible is the Word of God it's very essential that you get a translation of the Bible that is truly translated from the true original in the Hebrew and Aramaic, and the Greek in the New Testament. There are false versions of the Bible that twist, distort and change the Scriptures. That's important to begin with. Then we need to understand that:

  • the Word of God is Truth
  • the commandments of God are true
  • the statutes of God are true
  • the judgments of God are true
  • everything that God has done from the beginning is true
  • God is a God Who cannot lie
  • He will not lie
  • He is not worshipped with lies

He expects all of us to worship Him 'in Spirit and in Truth.' Here's something we need to understand about how you come:

  • to the knowledge of the Truth
  • to know right and wrong
  • to know good and evil
  • to understand true righteousness

that is it must come through Christ:

  • it can't come from any other way
  • it can't come from any other man
  • it can't come from any other religion

Let's read it, John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way…'" The only way to know about the way of Jesus Christ is to study the Gospels and also to know the Old Testament, because before He became a man Jesus was the Lord God of the Old Testament. So, He is "…the Way…"

"…and the Truth…" (v 6). Therefore, we can take all the words that Jesus has said and understand that those are Truth. We can judge everything that we need to judge by the things that are in the Bible. When it comes to holidays vs Holy Days, we need to judge from the Bible what the Bible says about the holidays of this world. The holidays that are kept in the world today go way, way back thousands of years ago and they were the holidays of the sun-god and the gods of the nations round about Israel. Of course, as we have covered, God said, 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

When we start getting into these other Scriptures, let's remember something that's very important: If God would be in league with the other gods and religions of this world, and He said, 'have no other gods before Me' He would invalidate that commandment! Would He not also prove Himself to be very hypocritical, because He said, 'have no other gods before Me?'

'Oh, but I like this holiday over here that Baal has so, lets endorse that one; I'll endorse that one.' No! But this is virtually what people are told. This is what they are told concerning when they come to try and understand what the Catholics are doing and all the different holidays that they have, which are based on the days that the pagan gods were before Israel came and conquered the land and just changed the name. They say that the Catholic Church has christened many of the pagan holidays by giving them Christian names.

Like I pointed out last time, you can take the emblems of a Rolls Royce and you can put them on a Volkswagon Jetta, but you still have a Volkswagon. If you take, for example, Christmas—everybody knows it's pagan even though it's professed to be Christian and they keep it—and you call it Christmas, but that doesn't change the nature of the day. I'd like to know how much you could get for a Volkswagon Jetta dressed up as a Rolls Royce.

"…and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me" (v 6). That's very profound and dogmatic—no one! What does He say in John 10 about coming in through the door of the sheepfold? He is the door and if anyone comes up any other way, he's the same as a thief and a robber! That's what's happening.

Isa. 43—God is saying what Israel did in going after the other gods. Yet, they always do it in the name of God. When you start analyzing all of the holidays of this world claiming to be Christian, what do you find? They're all lies! God being a God of Truth and Jesus being the Truth tells us very clearly that They have nothing to do with those days.

Isaiah 43:22: "Yet, you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; much less have you troubled yourself about Me, O Israel." Doesn't that sound interesting? Haven't some people become weary of God because they didn't take advantage of what they should have taken advantage?

How many Israelites were, in relation to Baalim—that means many versions of the sun-god--that Elijah had to come and perform this miracle with the sacrifice. When he threw the challenge out there, he said to the children of Israel, who are the ones of Jacob, 'How long are you halting between two opinions?'—everybody has an opinion about God, but hardly anybody believes—if Baal is god, then follow him. If the Lord be God, then follow Him,' because they were doing all the mixing together.'

Verse 23: "You have not brought Me the lamb of your burnt offerings; nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with a grain offering, nor wearied you with incense." That's what they were doing. I couldn't help but think of that when they were doing all the incense over and over again during the pope's funeral. I thought, 'What on the earth are they doing that for?'

Verse 24: "You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; but you have made Me serve with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities." This means that every time people say, 'Let's put Christ back into Christmas,' that's all part of it, making Christ to "…serve with your sins…"

Verse 25: "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us plead together; declare yourself, that you may be justified. Your first father has sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against Me. And I will profane the princes of the sanctuary, and will give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches" (vs 25-28). We will see why God did that.
As we go through and understand these things and look at them, let's realize that God always acts to carry out His will. Whenever there is sin, He is long-suffering, He tolerates a lot of it for along time, but sooner or later, He has to judge.

Jer. 2—I couldn't help but think of this when I saw all of those devoted Catholics getting on their knees, going through the rosary, doing all the things that they would do. Then it showed on television the scenes from different places in Poland and Europe and even in Southeast Asia. I couldn't help but think, isn't this Scripture true? Look how zealous and how faithful those people are and look at the trouble and difficulty that the Church of God has, because they're not zealous.

Jeremiah 2:11: "'Has a nation changed their gods who are yet no gods? …[all the gods of the world are not gods indeed] …My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be amazed, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be utterly desolated,' says the LORD, 'For My people have committed two evils…'" (vs 11-13). Let's think about modern day Israel today: United States, Britain, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and so forth.

"…they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that cannot hold water'" (v 13). In other words, they traded the true for the counterfeit. They bought the Volkswagon Jetta and proclaimed it a Rolls Royce religiously speaking. Here's something that always happens:

Verse 19: "'Your own evil shall correct you… [Have you ever done something wrong and been corrupted by your own actions?] …and your backslidings shall reprove you; therefore, know and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and that My fear is not in you,' says the Lord GOD of hosts."

I want you to think: How do people forsake God? Some people, atheists, stand up and say 'there's no God and I don't want Him around and I don't want to hear it from anybody.' But the people who are 'religious' and consider themselves to be Christian, how do they do it? They leave God by accepting the Christianized, pagan substitutes of the days that they keep, the holidays and Sunday.

That's why we have on the website cbcg.orgRome's Challenge to the Protestants. You cannot get any stronger against Sunday-keeping than what the Catholics have said that they were the ones who instituted it, and 'if you Protestants don't admit that you're still really Catholic, then get off Catholic ground and keep the Sabbath like the Seventh-Day Adventists.'

They make it plain and they know that the Bible throughout teaches the seventh-day Sabbath. Then comes the sleight of hand where they say, 'We have the authority to change it.' God never gave that authority. That's how they exchange it. They retain the name but they change everything else. They have counterfeits for the Passover, which is called the Eucharist, the Mass, etc. They have the counterfeit for the Sabbath, which is Sunday. They practice Halloween, Easter, Christmas and New Years, which are all pagan days. That's how they leave God!

Verse 23: "How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not gone after the Baalim'?…." That's exactly what they have done. Baalim is just the plural for sun-gods. That's Sunday and everything that goes with it.

Let's see what happens when they do that. Jeremiah was a priest and he had to stand at the temple and tell them these things.

Jeremiah 7:3: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel… [these are the words of God] …'Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in lying words, saying, "The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these."'" (vs 3-4).

The temple of the Lord doesn't guarantee anything. We've lived through that! It didn't guarantee anything because what guarantees your relationship with God? a building? or your attitude? Of course, your attitude and Truth!

Verse 5: "For if you thoroughly amend your ways…[repentance] …and your doings; if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor; if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your hurt" (vs 5-6).

God says that He's a jealous God. Jealous inasmuch that it is the most profound and stupid thing for people to do to make themselves idols. As He says in one place, 'A man goes out in the forest and he cuts down a tree. He chops up a certain amount of it and uses that for a fire to warm himself, bake his bread and eat it. He takes another part of it and he carves a god out of it and then he bows down to it and says, This is my god.' So, God is jealous that anyone would forsake the true God to bow down to an idol. He says that if you repent:

Verse 7: "Then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever. Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal… [that's what the incense was for, not unto God] …and walk after other gods whom you do not know'" (vs 7-9).
By the way, I never knew this until I watched a review of the funeral of the pope. They have a special services that is called Litany of the Saints. You know what the Litany of the Saints is? They name the saint! 'Santo Matteo, Santo Marco, Santo Luca, Santo Johannes'; that's Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I think it is that they end it with, 'Pray for us.' I was surprised that they went through about 50 saints, in the Litany of the Saints that were supposed to pray for the people and pray for the pope. The pope shouldn't need a single prayer he was such a 'righteous' man, if we could look at it that way. That's what they do. Here's what's worse:

Verse 10: "And then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name… [God gave the plans to David to give to Solomon, his son, when he built the temple] …and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'?" In other words, 'We have grace to do these. It's all right; God knows our hearts. We're good people.'

Verse 17: "Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven…" (vs 17-18). Today that's called Mary-worship.

Watching the whole system and everything, and this current pope was really a devotee of Mary, pushing Mary-worship. You know what Pope John II did with the bullet that was extracted from him when the attempted assassination took place? The doctors gave him the bullet and he went to the statute of Fatima, over in Portugal, and had it put into the statue of the Lady of Fatima, which is another version of the goddess of heaven! What they're trying to do with Mary is make her a co-mediator with Jesus Christ for mankind, when the Scriptures say Jesus is the only Mediator. They're trying to make her co-redemptrix with Christ, Who is our Redeemer.

Here God condemns worshipping the queen of heaven, because:

  • she does not exist
  • it's a figment of men's imagination and Satan's inspiration

That's why we have so many goddesses in the world. You look at every civilization where they had pagan gods:

  • Babylon
  • Greece
  • Rome
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Assyria

What did God do with every one of those civilizations? He eventually destroyed it! The Acropolis there in Athens, which was the main place of worship—for the mother goddess, for Zeus, for all of the gods—is in near destruction as a perpetual witness to the impotency of those gods. Yet, man still wants to have them.

The next time the Olympic games come up, you watch how much more pagan it's going to be. How do they start the original torch? It's quite a thing when you see it done. They have a reflecting dish shaped like a bowl. They point it right up at the sun and this reflective dish concentrates the rays of the sun. They put the torch in there and light it from the sun, because this is in honor of the sun-god. Many people don't know that. They look that and say, 'Ah! Isn't that wonderful!' Don't put your finger in it!

So, we have the queen of heaven; that takes care of the assumption of the virgin Mary. That takes care of all the things to do with the goddess. God says don't do it!

Ezekiel 8:5: "And He said to me, 'Son of man, lift up your eyes now to the way of the north.…'" Where does Santa Claus come from? He doesn't come from the South Pole.

By the way, did you see the pope lying in state in his Santa Claus suit? Because he was greater than the last two popes, they put on the fish miter, which is the god Dagon, rather than the Santa Claus hat with the white ermine. If you can go back and you can look at a picture of Pope Paul VI's funeral, you will that he's got a full-fledged Santa Claus suit with the white ermine and the red cap on. They changed embalmers because the last two pope funerals the body almost rotted in front of their eyes. So, they had to change. That was in the paper.

"…So, I lifted up my eyes toward the way of the north, and behold, northward at the gate of the altar the image of jealousy was at the entrance" (v 5). What is the 'image of jealousy?' That's a statue of Nimrod! Have you ever seen the Aztec calendar? Right in the middle of the Aztec calendar is a card-picture of Nimrod! It's a solar calendar and all their sacrifices were to the sun.

Verse 6: "And He said to me, 'Son of man, do you see what they do; even the great abominations…'"

  • What does God call these holidays and the worship of pagan gods? Abominations!
  • Who is the mother of abominations and harlots in the earth? Babylon the Great!

That's why on the website cbcg.org we have the full book, The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. If anyone wants to know about these things and thinks that I am picking on people, and so forth, and that I'm against the good intentions of people, draw down the sections that you need to look at. It talks about everything concerning Mary-worship, all the aspects of the Babylonian 'religion,' and how they've all been absorbed into Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox. It's all right there!

"'…which the house of Israel is doing here, that I should go far off from My sanctuary? But turn again, and you shall see greater abominations.' And He brought me to the opening of the court; and I looked, and behold, a hole in the wall…. [This was a very strange thing. Why was that?] …And He said to me, 'Son of man, dig in the wall now.' And I dug in the wall, and, behold, an opening" (vs 6-8) There's a reason it's done this way.

Verse 9: "And he said to me. 'Go in and see the evil abominations that they do here.' And I went in and saw. And behold, every kind of creeping thing, and hateful beast, and all the idols of the house of Israel were carved on the wall all around. And seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel…" (vs 9-11)—the leaders of the nation. What this is describing is very clearly the same thing that you find in Masonry and their temples.

Remember. When you see a Mason building it is called a Masonic Temple, because they have rituals and practices in there that God calls abominations and it's the leading men in society who are there. As a matter of fact, being Masons they get the promotions, money and deals.

"…and Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, standing in front of them, these were before them, and each man with his censer in his hand. And the sweet smelling cloud of incense was rising. And He said to me, 'Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, each man in his room of idols? For they are saying, "The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the earth."'" (vs 11-12). That's bad enough. He goes on and says that there are even greater things that have been done.

Verse 13: "He also said to me, 'You shall see greater abominations that they are committing.' And He brought me to the opening of the gate of the LORD'S house, toward the north. And behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz" (vs 13-14). Tammuz is the son of Semiramis who was the wife of Nimrod and she married her son Tammuz, who was the pagan god who died and was resurrected.

  • When did Tammuz die? On Good Friday!
  • When was he resurrected? Easter Sunday!

Easter comes after the Bible name Astarte and the Babylonian name Ishtar, which is pronounced Easter, just like we do today. Yet, everyone proclaims this is a great 'Christian' holiday and if you take Mass on Easter and Christmas you still have it made even though you don't go other times.
Verse 15: "And He said to me, 'Have you seen this, O son of man? You shall see greater abominations than these.'" God said that four times.

  • What does God think of these days?
  • What does God think of these religions?

God is merciful in as much that in order to carry out His plan the way that He is going to carry it out, He's let those nations go their way and have their gods. That still doesn't take away from the abomination of the practices that they do. Look at the result of what these nations do that was uncovered there in Southeast Asia as a result of the Tsunami and how they were selling so many children into sex slavery and work slavery.

Verse 16: "And He brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house…" The 'inner court of the Lord's house' was where they would enter right into the temple. What does this tell us? This tells us that Satan likes to have his angels get into the people of God and lead them astray; even getting very high up in the order of the temple and consequently the order of the Church! That's why we see things going on in some of the Churches of God.

Do you know that in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church—they're Sabbath-keepers—there's a movement for keeping Sabbath and Sunday. Likewise in the Church of God Seventh-Day. Why? Because just like this, there were those who got in, into the inner part of the Church, bringing up doctrines to change it! Amazing! That's what happened to the Church of God we knew about. This is nothing new to us. God calls it an abomination.

"…and behold, at the opening of the temple of the LORD… [right before the temple] …between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the LORD… [if you worship other gods you're turning your back on God] …and their faces toward the east…" (v 16)….which is the rising of the sun. When do they have services?

Many Catholic Churches are designed this way: that at different hours of the day, at certain times and especially in the spring when Easter comes around they have this window up high in the Church that faces east. It is supposed to be designed and set at a certain time that when the priest, back here at the altar offers the Consecration of the Host—you've seen how the priest lifts up the little piece of bread—that when he lifts it up a beam of light from the sun will shine on it at the precise time that he lifts up the consecrated wafer.

The truth is at the temple you faced west and your worship of God was to the west. If you worship God toward the east you have turned your back on God and you're 180 degrees out of phase with God. This is what this is telling us here.

"…and they worshiped the sun toward the east…. [that's what Sunday is all about; it is sun-worship] …And He said to me, 'Have you seen, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they do the hateful things, which they do here? For they have filled the land with violence and have turned to provoke Me to anger still more. And lo, they put the branch to their nose.'" (vs 16-17). What is the branch? It's any form of the cross with a sun symbol in it!

Verse 18: "Therefore, I will also deal with fury; My eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them." That's pretty profound. Gradually we're getting to that point.

Jeremiah 8:5: "Why has this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a never-ending backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to repent. I listened and heard, but they did not speak right; no man repented of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' Everyone turned in their own courses, as the horse rushes into the battle" (vs 5-6). In other words, you're not going to stop them. Have you ever run across people that are this stubborn? Once in a while you do.

Verse 7: "Yea, the stork in heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow watch the time of their migration; but My people do not know the judgment of the LORD" They don't understand what is happening.

You look around at what's happening in America today, and no one understands what's happening. We're having:

  • more murders
  • more shootings
  • more rapes
  • more child murder and molestation

These things are so prevalent in the society and people say: 'Oh, we don't need this!' Well, you ought to repent and keep the Sabbath. 'Who are you?' You ought to get rid of your Christmas and Easter and New Years. 'Oh, we can't do that! We get 40% of our business during that time! Yes, we'll all go broke! We can't do that!' They don't know the Lord!

Verse 8: "How do you say, 'We are wise…'" Isn't that what they say? 'We're educated. We're smart, living in this educated, sophisticated world. We don't need those laws of God; those are old and ancient. After all it was only for those people.' Is it only for those people?

  • ask those who've had children murdered
  • ask those who have come down with venereal disease because they have broken the commandment, 'You shall not commit adultery'
  • ask the homosexuals that have 100s of contacts and now are coming down with a version of AIDS that will kill them within 90 days
  • Are they wise because they do away with the Law of God? No!
  • Are they paying the penalty? Yes!

"'…and the Law of the LORD is with us'?… [No! Their perverted way!] …Lo, certainly the lying pen of the scribes has written falsely" (v 8). 'The pen of the scribes are in vain.' Isn't that what they say? 'Well, it was only written by man.'

  • Is God capable of inspiring a man? Yes, indeed!
  • Is He capable of making someone, against his will do what God wants him to do in spite of himself? Yes!
  • What was his name? Baalim!

He was hired to curse but he could only bless because God wouldn't let him curse. He got up there seven times and said, 'I'm going up and curse them.' He gets up there and blesses them. Balak says, 'I paid you to curse!' Baalim says, 'I can't do any more than the Lord allows me.'

Do you think that God could inspire and cause a man to write what He wanted him to write, especially one who loved Him, served Him and was called to do His work? Of course! That wasn't in vain. Isn't that what the Jesus Seminar has said? That's why we can:

  • do away with the New Testament
  • do away with the Words of Christ
  • do away with Christ as a myth

because the scribes were all in vain! They didn't do it right. They made it up in their own minds hundreds of years later.
Verse 9: "'The wise men are ashamed, they are terrified, and are captured. Lo, they have turned away from the Word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? That's pretty heavy-duty stuff. No! They weren't ashamed and they didn't repent.

Jeremiah was one man against the world. You've heard me talk about one man and how important one man is: Noah, Abraham, David, all the prophets. Here's one man against the world. He saw all this going on and he said:

Jeremiah 9:1: "Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging place for traveling men… [some place way up out of the way to get away from it all] …that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 'And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies. But they are not valiant for the Truth on the earth; for they go from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,' says the LORD"  (vs 1-3). Why? Because they've gone after other gods!

The most convenient way to do it is this: Take a pagan practice, bring it over here and say you've cleaned it up and now we can dedicate it to God. That's the way they do it. That's how these things become so entrenched.

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The greatest insanity, as people would look at it, would be standing up and saying how:

  • sinful
  • awful
  • idolatrous
  • worthless
  • satanic

that this whole thing was. I got to thinking: Is this not the perfection of Satan's substitute righteousness? If anyone would stand up and say that these are abominations, they'd get the straightjacket.

That's what Jeremiah was feeling. You can't trust anybody. They're going to stab you in the back. Notice that they're not "…valiant for the Truth…" Let's see what happens when you're not "…valiant for the Truth..." That's why it's important for us to do. This happens on an on-going basis. If people:

  • love their lies
  • want their lies
  • want their false gods and religious practices
  • to do the abomination
  • do it in the name of God
  • say it is good

Then God is going to do something to them unless they repent. It's happened all down through history. It happens in absolutely every generation. The children who come along, even from righteous parents, many of them forsake the righteousness that their parents have taught them because they're free moral agents and they have to make up their minds. Unfortunately, that's the way it happens.

Notice what happens when you give yourself over to not loving the Truth, because there is the one who is coming:

2-Thessalonians 2:9: "Even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved" (vs 9-10).

If you forsake the Truth and you don't love the Truth, something is going to happen, individually and collectively.

Verse 11: "And for this cause, God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie." In believing a lie you can believe it with the same fervency as you believe the Truth and think that the lie is true because of your fervent belief.

I couldn't help but thinking all during the pope's funeral: What did it feel like? Did you feel anything? It was all feeling, all emotion. I thought that there probably were a lot of extra spiritual agents out there doing a little inspiring and massaging, because this was a fantastic moment of power for the whole papacy worldwide to have:

  • five kings
  • six queens
  • 70 presidents
  • prime ministers

all on their knees before the casket of the pope!

Revelation 17:18: "And the woman whom you saw is the great city that has royal power over the kings of the earth." I sat there and watched that. It's right in front of my eyes! It's happening! I even thought of this: What would happen if someone were able to:

  • get into the area of St. Peters Basilica
  • scale up on top of that obelisk
  • have a great megaphone
  • call them to repentance
  • tell them that God is going to destroy this horrible ugly place that you think is beautiful

I tell you what, I bet that one of the police snipers shoot them and you're history. They wouldn't accept one of it because they believe 'the lie.' The lie is that this ungodliness is called Christian! These holidays that they keep are pagan. They're not from God.

2-Thessalonians 2:11: "God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie. So that all may be judged who did not believe the Truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness." (vs 11-12). There we have a New Testament fulfillment of "…they are not valiant for the Truth on the earth..." (Jer. 9).

  • What does this tell us?
  • What does lay upon us as an obligation as God's people?
  • We've got to be valiant for the Truth!
  • We can't compromise with the Truth!

On business deals you can compromise and negotiate; that a business deal, that's one thing. You can be kind and understanding with people with their problems and difficulties, help them along and pray for them. That's another thing.

But, you cannot compromise the Truth of God with the lies of Satan, blend them together and come up with a mix that looks righteous. That's an abomination! God is jealous and zealous for His Word! After all, it's for our good! Notice what happens when they do that:

Jeremiah 9:3: "'And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies. But they are not valiant for the Truth on the earth; for they go from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,' says the LORD." Some people are so used to telling lies today, that they had rather tell a lie than tell the truth, even if the truth were simpler and easier to understand.

"'…But they are not valiant for the Truth on the earth; for they go from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,' says the LORD. 'Everyone beware of his neighbor, and do not trust any brother! For every brother will supplant his neighbor, and will walk with slanders. And everyone will deceive his neighbor and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and they weary themselves to commit iniquity. Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,' says the LORD" (vs 3-6).

This is how they refuse to really know God, because they don't acknowledge the Truth. When they blend all of these things together with their observances, holidays, Sunday-keeping, plus all of the other days that they have: saints day this and saints day that and saints day the other thing—then they cut themselves off from Truth.

What I want you to do is to think about this in relationship to the laws and commandments of God. Here is a profound verse that talks about the Christmas tree.

Jeremiah 10:1: "Hear the word, which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the LORD… [this comes direct from the mouth of God] …'Do not learn the way of the heathen… [plain and simple] …and do not be terrified at the signs of the heavens; for the nations are terrified at them'" (vs 1-2). That has to do with the signs of the zodiac and astrology.

As I was doing a little channel surfing and they had a whole program on:

  • how to do astrology charts
  • how to read the stars
  • how to work up a chart, whether it's:
    • a good day
    • a bad day
    • a lucky day
    • an unlucky day

I thought that here we are in the middle of it. Those of us in the Church, except for a little exposure to something like that, we don't know what's going on out there in the world. These things are going on all the time: astrology, psychics, tarot cards. That's all "…the way of the heathen…"

Verse 3: "For the customs of the people are vain… [that's clear; vain means that it comes to no good] …for one cuts a tree out of the forest with the axe, the work of the hands of the workman" (v 3). Every year, what do we see? We see the Christmas tree for the White House! We see where it's cut down and then they bring it in. Different states send one. It's generally a blue spruce.

Verse 4: "They adorn it with silver and with gold…" This does not mean to overlay. This means to drape it, to deck it.

"…they fasten it with nails and hammers, so that it will not move" (v 4). What did the Christmas tree picture? In the book The Two Babylons it is the resurrected Tammuz, who came back to life in the form of an evergreen tree! In the case of Egypt, since they don't have evergreen trees there, they have palm trees. I never saw a palm tree lighted up for Christmas until they showed one this year. That's what they do in Egypt. The Coptic Orthodox Church religion that keeps Christmas, they decorate the palm tree and put lights on it just like you see anyplace in Europe and America where they decorate the trees.

Verse 5: "They are upright like the palm tree, but cannot speak" (v 5). Even though they credit it with spiritual power, it still can't speak and it has to be carried about.

"…They must surely be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them; for they cannot do evil nor good, for it is not in them" (v 5). Please understand that this does not say that it is neither good nor evil to have a Christmas tree. It says 'the tree' being a representative of a god, which it is not, has no power to do good or evil. That's what it means.

I remember when we had a Christmas tree when I was kid. They first came out which what is called angel's hair. Some of you may remember that. You get this angel's hair and you stretch it out over the Christmas tree and the lights are on there and everything was on there. I must have been about age 10 or 11 and I looked at that at night glowing. 'Oh that is so gorgeous, look at the way the lights reflect and all that.' Some people actually put superstitions in their mind as to powers behind the Christmas tree.

Let me just give you a summary. I think it is evident that the Christmas tree celebrates the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and this represents the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The stringers they have around it are serpentine.

  • Who deceived them? The serpent!
  • What are the ornaments? They're all ornaments of love and sex!
  • 'Who told you that you were naked?'
  • 'Did you eat of the tree I told you not to eat of?' Yes!

Verse 6: "Therefore, there is none like You, O LORD…"—compared to a tree. How are you going to compare a tree that's been cut down that is destined for death, because it has no roots? that's decorated? that's brought into a house? How can you compare that to the God Who created heaven and earth, all things that there is and everything on it? No comparison whatsoever!

"…You are great, and Your name is great in might. Who would not fear You, O King of nations? For fear belongs to You because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You. But they are altogether foolish and animal-like; the tree is a doctrine of vanities" (vs 6-8).

We could apply that to the funeral of the pope, too. What was right up there in everybody's face? A cross with a crucified Christ on it! Amazing!

Jeremiah 11:1: "The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying." If you have any doubt that these things are the Words of God, just do a concordance search on:

  • thus says the Lord
  • the Word of God came
  • the Lord said
  • thus saith the Lord

You're going to find that 99% of the Bible is that way.

Verse 2: "Hear the words of this covenant…"  We've got a covenant renewal with the Passover. We need to hear the words of this covenant. That's why we have the Passover preparation.

"…and speak to the men of Judah and to the people of Jerusalem. And say to them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant, which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt… [we covered that God has judged all the gods of Egypt] …from the iron furnace, saying, "Obey My voice… [which is the simplicity of Christ] …and do according to all that I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God"; so that I may fulfill the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them "a land flowing with milk and honey," as it is this day.'"' Then I answered and said, 'Amen, O LORD'" (vs 2-5).

Verse 6: "Then the LORD said to me, 'Declare all these words… "Hear the words of this covenant, and do them, for I earnestly forewarned your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, rising early and warning persistently, saying, 'Obey My voice.' Yet, they did not obey nor bow down their ear, but walked each one in the imagination of his evil heart. So, I will bring on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did not do them"'" (vs 6-8). Notice what has happened here. How does this come about?

Verse 9: "And the LORD said to me, 'A conspiracyis found among the men of Judah, and among the people of Jerusalem.'" That's how we got to where we are today with such mixed up 'Christianity'—a conspiracy.

It says that the priests have 'hid their eyes from My laws and did not show my people the difference between the clean and the unclean' (Ezek. 22). Conspiracy! Many of them know better. Not all of them, some just take it 'lock, stock and barrel' and that's it. A lot of them know better.

Every time any one tries the Sunday/Sabbath test with a Sunday preacher, he always admits that the seventh day is the Sabbath, always; but he can't preach it otherwise he would loose his congregation. However, if he doesn't preach it he's going to lose his salvation. It's amazing!

Jeremiah 12:10: "Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard; they have trampled My portion under foot; they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness."

  • Who is the true Vine? Jesus!
  • Who is the Husbandman? The Father!
  • Has this not happened to those who profess to be Christian, that they "…have destroyed my vineyard…" by teaching lies?
  • Has this not even happened with the Churches of God? Yes!
  • What are they now doing?

I know some people who have quit keeping the Passover and the Holy Days and have gone to keeping Sunday and Christmas. They feel so elated. 'We're free to keep Christmas!' I can't believe it! Why did it happen? Because they believed some pastor standing up in the pulpit who said, 'It's okay to do these things!' That's why you're not to believe any man. You are to believe the Word of God! Test and prove everything by the Word of God!

Jeremiah 13:9: "Thus says the LORD, 'In this way I will spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.'"

  • Did that happen?
  • What is Jerusalem today? A pitiful city full of:
  • strife
  • hatred
  • religious lies
  • shrines
  • cathedrals

Even the Catholics admit that the fourteen stations of the cross that that really isn't where Jesus went, but you believe it on faith. Jerusalem is a pitiful city today. It happened just exactly like God said.

Verse 10: "This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart and walk after other gods to serve them and to worship them, shall even be like this girdle, which is good for nothing." He told them to take the girdle and wait for it to rot, then pick it up, look at it. It was good for nothing.

Jeremiah 15:10: "Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me, a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth!.…" That's what he felt like having to give this message and everyone against him.

"…I have not loaned, nor have men loaned to me; yet, every one of them curses me. The LORD said, 'Truly… [here's the promise we have]: …it shall be well with your remnant. Truly I will cause the enemy to entreat you well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction'" (vs 10-11). That's what happened to Jeremiah. It happened that way, exactly. He was able to get out of it.

He had some close calls. He was thrown in the sewer, but rescued. He was put in chains and destined to be killed, but Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard of Nebuchadnezzar's army, came up and said, 'Let this man go.' Sometimes it will be right at the last minute.

Here's what we need to understand, the blessing and the cursing in Jer. 17. Then we'll finish up by seeing God's final judgment on Israel because of what they did.

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars" That's pretty incurable.

  • How determined and evil can people become?
  • How do they get that way? By following false gods and observing the holidays of this world!

Verse 2: "While their children remember their altars and their Asherim beside every green tree on the high hills. O My mountain in the field, I will give your wealth and all your treasures for spoil, and your high places because of sin, throughout all your borders. And you, even of yourself, have let go of the inheritance, which I gave you; and I will cause you to serve your enemies in a land, which you do not know. For you have kindled a fire in My anger, which shall burn forever" (vs 2-4). For God to say that, they really were in deep sin.

Let's stop and think for just a minute: What God did to Judah in 580B.C. and in 70A.D., is nothing compared to what's going to happen at the return of Christ. That's going to be awesome! Here's the result:

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man…'"

I was watching the papal funeral and I couldn't help but think of that, when they were wanting to make him a saint now, worshipping a man, trust in a man. The only way you trust in a man is to have a contract and make sure it's legally ironclad.

"…and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD" (v 5). If he's a Godly man, if his word is true and good, then that's a different story, but you never trust anyone for salvation outside of Christ. Here's what happens when you trust in man:

Verse 6: "'For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD'" (vs 6-7). That's a blessing. That's what we are to do. To trust in the Lord means:

  • you obey His voice
  • you believe His Word
  • you keep His commandments
  • you love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and being
  • He gives you His Spirit
  • He opens the way for salvation for you

Remember, whatever we have here, right now in the physical, is only temporary:

  • what we're looking for is the riches of the Kingdom
  • what we're looking for is eternal life
  • what we're looking for is eternal righteousness

That's why we keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days.

Verse 8: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters; it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit."

Psalm 1:1: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water that brings forth its fruit in its season…" (vs 1-3). That's what we are to do.

Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things…" That's how we get ourselves in trouble, listening to the inner voice against better judgment. I've done it! You've done it! We all do it! What is the easiest thing to be deceived by? Not gross evil, but things that appear good!

"…and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (v 9). Let me just explain something here. Before you're converted, or before God begins to call you and you're subsequently converted, you have no thought of how deceitful the human mind is, even though you may have experienced some interaction with people who have lied to you, and so forth. That's them, that's not you! You don't know how deceitful it can get when it is turned over to evil, because it can become progressively more deceitful and evil. This is what it's talking about, because it refers back to Jer. 17:1 where the sin is just engravened in their hearts.

What does God want in our hearts? He wants the laws of God written in our hearts! He wants' the love of God in us! Here's one thing we need to know. God can do this to anyone at any time, anyplace in the world, any hour of the day or night:

Verse 10: "I the LORD search the heart…" That's why in the New Testament He's call the heart-knowing God. Only God knows the heart. We can look and see actions, that's true. We can know people by their fruits, but you can never judge their hearts, because you do not know, and never know, what they are thinking. Many wives and husbands, especially wives think that they know what their husbands are thinking and by experience, they can be pretty accurate in it. You really, really, don't truly know, because no one knows the heart except God. God is going to test and try. God is going to judge by the heart.

"…I try the reins…" (v 10). What is that? It's likened unto the reins on horses. That's so that God sees how you respond. With some horses you have got to get the bit in there and you actually have to put something that will injure their tongue slightly so that they will respond. It's so sensitive on the tongue, that if they fight against it, it's going to hurt them powerfully. You pull back on the reins on those horses, you can get them to do things that you want them to do. A horse that's been really trained right you don't even have to use the reins. You just get on the horse and you lean to the left, it'll go left. You lean to the right and it'll go right. You tell it to stop; it'll stop. You hardly ever have to use the reins.

That's the way God wants it with us, that we follow God and we follow His way, that He doesn't have to get the reins and tug and pull on them to make us do what we need to do. He knows that we're going to be just like God wants us to be. If He wants us to go left, He leans left and we go. If He wants us to go right, He'll lean right and we'll go.

"…even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings" (v 10). That's what God will do. There are many other things that can be there.

Let's see why God raises up nations to root out other nations and bring war against them. God is the One Who does it!

2-Kings 17:6: "In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria… [that was the capital of the ten northern tribes] …and carried Israel away into Assyria. And he placed them in Halah, and in Habor by the river Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Now it came to pass because the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, and walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which the nations had made" (vs 6-8).

Let's understand that from the time that the ten northern tribes were split off until they went into captivity was 238 years. Was God long-suffering? Yes! Finally it came to a point where He had to do as He said He would. The reasons are clear.

Verse 9: "Now, the children of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the LORD their God. And they built high places in all their cities for themselves…" Those are cathedrals today. Where do they put the cathedrals? In the best and most expensive land, the most prominent place!

"…from the Watch Tower to the fortified city. And they set up images and groves for themselves in every high hill, and under every green tree. And they burned incense in all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had removed from before them, and they practiced evil things to provoke the LORD to anger, for they served the idols of which the LORD had said to them, 'You shall not do this thing.' And the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all the prophets, by all the seers, saying, 'Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets'" (vs 9-13). God always offered them repentance.

While there is still time for those who still keep the holidays of this world, you check them out and you compare them with the Bible and are you going to accept God's offer of repentance and repent and turn to Him? That's a decision you're going to have to make! It doesn't matter how many other people in the world are keeping Sunday and the holidays of this world, what matters is what you do and what I do.

God sent many prophets. You can read of that all the way through the books of Kings and Chronicles.

Verse 14: "Nevertheless, they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like the neck of their fathers who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant, which He made with their fathers, and His warnings that He testified against them. And they went after vanity, and became vain, and went after the nations around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them not to do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their Godand made molten images, two calves for themselves. And they made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal" (vs 14-16)—the sun-god. That's why the judgment of God came!

You can add that up with many things. Let's look at why, just for example, economically, the U.S. dollar is going to go down; it's all based on a lie. There is no money! It's just printed. That's just one thing. That comes because of leaving the commandments of God that, 'You shall not bear false witness'! Every dollar that you have in your pocket is bearing false witness. You can't redeem it in silver or gold. It says, 'This note is legal tender,' and a note is an I.O.U.

All of these things go together. That's just one example. Society reaches a point of maximum sin, and when society reaches the point of maximum sin, God must judge! He's given some warnings: 9/11 was a warning. Everybody went to church for about six weeks and said, 'God bless America,' but not one of them repented of any of their rotten sins. Let's put it this way. I don't know how many did or didn't, but it's evident that very few repented of their sins.

Verse 17: "And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire…" That's the fire to Molech. We can liken that unto abortion today.

"…And they used divination… [going after familiar spirits] …and sorceries, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger" (v 17). The generation that's being raised today are being sold to sin and evil.

You want a real education, you get in your car and you go park where the high school lets out in the afternoon. Just sit there and look at the kids:

  • look at the expressions on their faces
  • look at how they dress
  • look at how they walk
  • look at their demeanor

What are you going to see? You're going to see kids given over to evil of every kind, frustrated and miserable! None of them walk out with a spring in their step and purpose and drive to do something. No! They have their heads hung down because their minds are all inundated with:

  • sex
  • music
  • stupidity
  • rottenness

They've sold themselves to evil! The parents have neglected them and let them go. If the parents try to do anything, they tell them to 'buzz off!'

You know it's going to come! What a shame! At least those who have ears to hear, can hear, repent, change and turn to God!

All Scripture from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • John 14:6
  • Isaiah 43:22-28
  • Jeremiah 2:11-13, 19, 23
  • Jeremiah 7:3-10, 17-18
  • Ezekiel 8:5-18
  • Jeremiah 8:5-9
  • Jeremiah 9:1-3
  • 2-Thessalonians 2:9-11
  • Revelation 17:18
  • 2-Thessalonians 2:11-12
  • Jeremiah 9:3-6
  • Jeremiah 10:1-8
  • Jeremiah 11:1-9
  • Jeremiah 12:10
  • Jeremiah 13:9-10
  • Jeremiah 15:10-11
  • Jeremiah 17:1-8
  • Psalms 1:1-3
  • Jeremiah 17:9-10
  • 2-Kings 17:6-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted

  • John 10
  • Ezekiel 22

Also referenced:

    • Book: The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop
    • From The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version) Appendix N: Rome's Challenge to the Protestants (also at cbcg.org)

FRC: nfs
Transcribed: 05-30-16
Proofed: bo—6/1/16

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