Do Not Trust in Religion

God did not make ‪man in His Image so that people would not have work hard to live up to their potential; they would not receive any entitlements or get food, clothing or shelter without hard work. Indeed God will test a person to his limits, but not beyond so it would be impossible to do it. No matter what it takes within the limits, God will continue to train His people to their limits. People, on the other hand, have their preoccupations, idee fixes and obsessions. These hang ups often mean giving up their predilection with great difficulty. They make certain excuses: I am used to doing it this way; everyone else is doing it; I cannot stop (really); when I stop I get very nasty, angry and vindictive because, while I know its wrong, I utterly miss it. Don't worry, God will keep after you until you change.

Almost every great man of the Bible has predilection problems. Noah did not mind having a drink or two, and passed out on a certain occasion. Abraham did not mind some obfuscation when the situation seemed to call for it, as when he called his wife his sister in front of a powerful ruler because he was afraid the man might kill him for his beautiful woman. He also really wanted an offspring, even to the point of going to his wife’s maidservant to get a son. Nonetheless, he fully believed and served Our Father in Heaven. God helped him give up the old and bad ways, even by keeping his son away from him for twenty years or so. Sometimes time is the best teacher.

God needs to have His people continue to change and keep the Faith, because without them the Earth will be destroy again like in Noah's time and in the Last Days. These people save the Earth, the country, the town or the area, and they must not forget their importance to the plans of God.

Gen. 12:1  Now the LORD said to Abram,
            “ Go forth from your country,
            And from your relatives
            And from your father’s house,
            To the land which I will show you;
2 And  I will make you a great nation,
            And I will bless you,
            And make your name great;
            And so   you shall be a blessing;
3 And  I will bless those who bless you,
            And the one who curses you I will curse.
             And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

With each of the great men in the Bible, they had their proclivities, habits and related desires, which went against their love and honoring of God. With great patience, God helped them to overcome their weaknesses because He saw the loyalty and love within. After all they were human; even Jesus lost his temper and went to work in the temple. He did not mind giving the Pharisees profound and deep cutting criticism. Nonetheless, with Our Father’s help all overcame their weaknesses and gave us example and more. Jesus finally died for our sins after much prayer and soul seeking. He was human but eventually let His love rule him.

Then there are the ones who did not and do wish to serve the Creator for serving Him requires giving up the tendencies driving a person from Him. They find every excuse and even pretend to be a follower but really followed selfish vainglory, a craving for wealth and a demand for power. On the other hand, there are those who think, did God say. Like Eve, people see the tree as something really desirable and they give into their passions. They rationalize and conclude that they are right.

After Noah’s progeny began to stray again and human nature buried the divine in them these antagonists found apt country to give into their appetites. They found a home in Egypt.

Egypt is not only a country but also a center of demonic influence, probably received from Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz. You know the history. Nimrod became a great ruler and escaped to Egypt where Shem slayed him. The virgin, Semiramis, became pregnant by the “god” Nimrod and bore a son, Tammuz. Nimrod had a part in building a high tower to take over heaven. Since God “confused” their language to become many, many tongues, mankind’s’ plan reverted to ruling the Earth, and not according to the Noahide covenant either. They were still responsible for it and paid the penalty for trying to break the covenant. Eventually, starting with Abraham, God built a nation for himself unlike the pagan ones existent.

Even Abraham visited that renowned country.

Gen 12:11 It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.  13 “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that   I may live on account of you.”

Later, Israel came to Egypt to stay for a few centuries, but God led them away from that evil land.

Deut. 8:2 “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

What is intrinsic in the heart motivates the words and actions a person uses. So pride brought Israel down as they sought ways to avoid the Covenant (the Ten Commandments).

Deut. 8:14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

According to the Bible, very few people found favor with Our Father in Heaven. The two basic impediments have been pride and greed. Eve preferred to have the knowledge of good and evil and just loved the sight of the fruit. She wanted these more than having God as her creator. She chose wrongly. Most people will not keep the Creator as their God and find other ways and other people or things to worship. This time of year the most powerful holiday, both religious and “secular” is Christmas. However, people would not classify themselves and the holiday as pagan and anti the Creator God. The basis of the holiday is sun worship; as the day becomes shorter and shorter and ancient people feared the sun eventually disappear; so they worshipped the sun with the holiday and it worked for the days began to get longer. Their lives were saved.

The web has many sites examining the holiday of Christmas; some for, some historical, some objective and some against it.

Rev 2:15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

Another opinion, favoured by a number of authors, is that, because of the allegorical character of the Apocalypse, the reference to the Nicolaitans is merely a symbolic manner of reference.[3] As a symbolic reference, the "teaching of the Nicolaitans" refers to dominating the people, compared to the "teaching of Balaam" which refers to seducing the people. John, the author of Revelation, discusses domination within the church in 3 John 9-11.[8] Dominating the people goes against the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28.

Jesus notes that the pagan ways of evil and the leaders of these pagan lands determined all must do as they command. And even so these leaders often used a kind of bribery enticing servitude. Saint Nicholas is considered as a participant in the Nicolaitans, which brought Constantine’s brand of Christianity into the fold of paganism from ancient times.

Matt. 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
Matt. 20:26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
Matt. 20:27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;
Matt. 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Etymology:

Nico-, combinatory form of nīkē, "victory" in Greek, and laos means people, or more specifically, the laity; hence, the word may be taken to mean "lay conquerors" or "conquerors of the lay people". However, "Nicolaitan" (Greek: Νικολαϊτῶν; Νικολαΐτης) is the name ostensibly given to followers of the heretic Nicolas (Greek: Νικόλαος)—the name itself meaning "victorious over people," or "victory of the people," which he would have been given at birth.

The name Balaam is perhaps capable of being interpreted as a Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Nicolas. Some commentators[10] think that this is alluded to by John in Revelation 2:14;[11] and C. Vitringa[12] argues forcibly in support of this opinion. However, Albert Barnes notes:
Vitringa supposes that the word is derived from νικος, victory, and λαος, people, and that thus it corresponds with the name Balaam, as meaning either lord of the people, or he destroyed the people; and that, as the same effect was produced by their doctrines as by those of Balaam, that the people were led to commit fornication and to join in idolatrous worship, they might be called Balaamites or Nicolaitanes--that is, corrupters of the people. But to this it may be replied,
(a) that it is far-fetched, and is adopted only to remove a difficulty;
(b) that there is every reason to suppose that the word here used refers to a class of people who bore that name, and who were well known in the two churches specified;
(c) that, in Rev 2:15 , they are expressly distinguished from those who held the doctrine of Balaam, Rev 2:14 --"So hast thou also (και) those that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes."

Let us first examine what God said about Abraham’s progeny.

Gen. 18:22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD.  23 Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

Deut. 4:15 You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,  18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.  19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars — all the heavenly array — do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

People tend to worship things of the creation instead of the Creator. Among things worshipped is nature: the creatures of nature like various birds, hawks and ravens; various animals like goats and wolves; and sea creatures like Dagon and Xenophon.

Mostly people worship gods who live in the heavens from the sun to the planets (like the gods Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn) and stellar system. These gods have a human form, probably taken from the reality that people are made in God’s Image. The first of these gods was Nimrod who died and went to heaven as a god. You know the story of how the god Nimrod impregnated Semiramis who gave birth to the son of god, Tammuz who was half deity from his father.

The great people of the past were considered sons of god because no human could achieve such greatness. Thus the great Pharaohs, Greeks and Romans became sons of god.

With each of the gods, people had times or days for festivals. The people looked forward to the festivities: eating, drinking and sexual activities. They never wanted to give up these activities brought to them by their gods. They might change the name of festival but never the festivities. The most powerful feast of ancient Rome was the feast of Saturnalia celebrated at the end of December. They exchanged presents, had parties and orgies and paid homage to Saturn, the god not the planet. We were in Rome some years ago and walked in the hall of statues in the Vatican. We actually wanted to see Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the hall was on the way. I pointed out to my wife that a short, fat, fully bearded stature up ahead was Saturn, unlike the more handsome and well muscled other gods. As we got closer, I said that if you painted the marble white statue skin color, put a red suit on it and a hat, it would be an exact duplicate of a modern Santa Claus. Amazing! People renamed Saturn Santa. Actually, Wikipedia does not mention Saturn and Santa connection:

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and simply "Santa", is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24. However in some European countries children receive their presents on St. Nicholas' Day, December 6.[1] The modern figure of Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, was part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.  

Either way, Saturnalia has become Christmas, which has nothing to do with Jesus, who was born in the Fall, probably September; Jesus was born six months after John the Baptist, his cousin, which can be figured out by determining John’s father’s time in the synagogue and Martha’s becoming pregnant at that time.

What happened was when Constantine, the Roman Caesar, became converted; he could not convert his people because they would not give up Saturnalia. So he changed the name of the festival to Christmas and made it Christ’s birthday. They converted, not really!

The Romans would not give up Saturnalia and passed on their appetites to those they conquered, not only by arms but by persuasion as well.

Most people do not know the obscure the nature of the great holidays. Who is going to tell them, the businesses making money on them or the churches people rush to on the special holy day in which the churches gain money from contributions and power as ones who influence their parishioners. Surely, many church leaders do not know their compliance with paganism. These are just fun days, partying gift giving.

However, God says:

Deut. 5:7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

Nothing is more important that having the Creator as God, not someone or something created. Doing so demeans a person and makes him an antagonist of the One who made him. However, science says evolution, not God. Yet they have no real proof of such things as the nature of water; unlike all other liquids that sink when frozen except water which floats to preserve liquidity of water. Why disparage the One who made us so wonderfully?

Deut. 5:8 ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Besides not worshipping what God created, people make things gods or consign deity to humans.

Deut. 5:9 ‘You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Deut. 5:10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Jesus says all must keep the everlasting Law.

Matt. 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Luke 16:17 “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one 1stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

People may refuse to live by the laws of Life, but these Laws are there, period.

And John reiterates the Command.

1John 5:21 ¶ Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Rom. 3:31 ¶ Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

All idol holy days have their set time; so no matter what these days are entitled, by whatever pseudonym, Saturnalia, or Santa Clause, is an deity being worshipped.

Finally, do you want to follow the mob, which seems so right and pleasurable or do you want to seek Him even though you cannot keep the wrong ways that seem so gratifying? Will your friends still like you if you go against the windy waves of self-satisfaction and fight for being in God’s favor?

Amen.

Gil Kovacs,

Pastor, Sabbath Christian Church

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