Wednesday, August 23, 2017
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Colossians 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

The Apostle Paul warns us about the traditions of men that are not after God as The Lord Jesus Christ Himself warned His people that their traditions were put before The Word of God.  See Mat. 15:3, Mark 7:6-13.

We believe that God’s Word tells us why these traditions have crept into our modern times because some are like Matthew 15:8-9 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with {their} lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching {for} doctrines the commandments of men.

We believe that God’s Word provides our only rule for faith and practice and by praying to the Father for meekness we can receive John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. And then truly be as John 17:16-17 says They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

We thank you Father for leading us from darkness to Your light through Jesus Christ our Lord and we are not afraid to embrace Your Truth shine The Light of Your Word on the traditions and commandments of men. Amen.

The following are just a few of the many popular traditions that embody the lie and not The Truth:

1. There is a tradition that there is eternal conscious torment in hell awaiting the unbeliever. However, when we read Rev 20:14 that death and hell are cast into the lake of fire before eternity ever begins, we are brought up with a jolt to the realization that something is wrong. As an introduction, we can say that there may be about 3 ways in which to react to this situation. We can stick to our traditions and never admit that there is even a problem. This is the fundamental way of looking at it. Or we can take the position that the Bible is not inspired entirely, or at the most inaccurate, and so we do not need to bother about it. Or we can realize that maybe tradition is wrong and that the Bible, may have the answer. The last is the safest way to approach the problem. Now just a hint as to how to resolve it. Get the Englishman's Greek and Hebrew Concordances and look up every occurrence of the original words that are translated hell and study each one in the context and how translated. Light may begin to come.

2. There is a tradition that immediately when men die they either go to heaven or to hell. The question above contains some of the elements of this one. However, when we read in Ecc 3:19,20, For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again, we are jolted a bit. We have had some good fundamentalists tell us that this book is not inspired, but it tells of things which seem to be as they are. But we believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. If we throw out some of the Bible, then we might just as well throw away the whole Bible. It is imperative that we try the tradition by the Word and find out where men and beasts do go when they die, and if this place cannot be avoided, then how can we get out of it. Could it be that resurrection is the answer?

3. There is a tradition that death is simply a separation from God. Also coupled with this is the idea that those who do not believe will be forever separated from God. The supposition being that God is not present in hell. But in Psalms 139:8 we read, If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. So we must then admit that the omnipresent God is in hell. Can one flee from the presence of God?

4. There is a tradition that Satan is in hell. There is nothing to indicate that he has ever been there or that he ever will go there. Everlasting fire, not hell, is for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41). Satan has access to the presence of God (Job 1:6; 2:1). In fact, Satan is in heaven and will some day be cast out and his angels with him (Rev 12:7-9). Satan being in Heaven we know this makes the orthodox see red but we must stand for Truth rather than tradition. First according to Scripture anywhere above the earth is heaven and the air or atmosphere above earth is the lowest part of the heavens and it is to that part of heaven that Satan was cast down. We need to face the facts and then search and see whether we have fact or fiction; whether we have tradition or the truth of the Word.

5. One of the oldest church traditions is that concerning the observance of Lent. This was at the first known as the weeping for Tammuz. Many and varied are the tales concerning him. He was supposed to be a paramour of Venus, and that he got killed by a wild boar and so she would weep for him. The legends also tell that he was in the lower regions half of the year and returned to the earth the other half, making our winter and summer. So the weeping was in our June about the time of the equinox.

Further light can be gotten from The Two Babylons by Hislop. This weeping for Tammuz is mentioned as a great abomination in Eze 8:13,14. The early church took this custom up, as did some of Israel earlier, and then they changed the time to just before the worship of Astarte (Easter). Many of the Scots objected and there was blood shed in Scotland over the controversy. But the church prevailed. It is said of the ancient Syrian women that they tore off their hair in wild grief, and yielded their persons to prostitution, consecrating the hire of their infamy to Venus; then followed days of rejoicing for his return to earth. And now profane spirits connect this awful thing with the resurrection of the Lord of glory! Speaking of the passage in Ezekiel, Fausset says, "Instead of weeping for Tammuz, the idol of beauty and licentiousness, the women ought to have wept for the national sins ...Imitate Mary who, when all others were gone, stood at the Lord's sepulcher weeping, and so had her tears dried up by the risen Savior Himself."

6. There is an old tradition that Elijah went up to heaven in a chariot of fire. A hymn has been written about it and also several years ago a European country had a stamp made picturing it. But the Bible does not say so. It says that he went up in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1,11). We do well to read very carefully with our mind on the subject.

7. There is one tradition which probably will never be done away. It is the story that Peter was at Rome. Such traditions persist in the face of any truth that may be brought forward. In the Scriptures we can trace Peter from his prison term in Acts 12, to the council in Jerusalem in Acts 15, and thence to Babylon where at the very end of the events of Acts he was preaching. If, as they claim, Peter was Pope in Rome for 25 years (41 to 66), then there is something wrong somewhere. For he was in prison in Jerusalem about 44, the council at Jerusalem was about 52 and from Gal 2 he may have been at Antioch about 53. During this time Peter was supposed to be Pope in Rome, Paul wrote to Rome, was in Rome, and wrote from Rome. But in all this Peter is never mentioned. How that the fury of Caesar destroyed Paul and countless other Christians, and leave Peter unhurt during that time has never been explained. Surely Peter would have come to Paul's assistance in those days. But Paul is silent about it, saying that at the last all men forsook him. I do not think Peter would have done such a thing. At the last moment only Luke was with Paul. How could Peter have been in Rome?

8. Many churches today have something they call an altar. It bears no resemblance to anything in the Bible which goes by that name. In biblical terms, an altar is a place of sacrifice, not a confessional. The only confessional we can find in the Word is in James 5:16. But according to that passage the priest would be obligated just as much to confess his faults to the people as they would be to him. No altar was required for this confession. The ancient Babylonians had a confessional. It was taken over by the RC's. In turn some of the Protestant churches took it over about 200 years ago. It has so taken hold of the minds of the people that they claim that it is the only place of salvation, adding to it repentance and other works of the flesh. Just what are people doing with an altar today, seeing the one great sacrifice has been made once and for all?

9. The translators made a terrible mistake when they let the word Easter creep into our Bible (Acts 12:4). It reminds us of the first UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) in world history. It was about the time of the founding of the city of Babylon. The story goes that a large egg dropped out of the sky and landed in the Euphrates. Fishes pushed it to shore with their noses. Doves sat on this great egg and hatched it. Out came the goddess Venus, known also as Astarte from which comes the present day name of Easter. From what we have seen of ancient pictures and statues, we can identify her with the woman on the beast in Revelation 17. Venus was the mother of all impurities, the goddess of love.

10. The cross, as it is known in Christendom today, was never used or known among early Christians till after 400 A.D. Sometimes the X, the initial of the word for Christ in Greek, was used. But its place was taken by the Tau or cross of Babylon. This cross was worshiped by the ancients as representing the male and female sex organs. One author has remarked that it should have its place in a brothel rather than in a church. Being the Tau, it was the initial of Tammuz. Now Tammuz was also known as Bacchus and from that we get the expression "bacchanalian revels." It was Tammuz for whom the women wept each year and is one of the abominations mentioned in Ezekiel 8. This is now called Lent and is observed by so-called Christian churches. See our article on Lent (#5).

11. Another bit of heathen belief and practice has come to have a place in Christendom. It is the use of the initials IHS. Your dictionary may explain it as a part of the Greek word meaning Christ. The RC church will explain it as the initials of a Latin phrase, Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus the Savior of men). But under the Babylonian and Egyptian worship it was initials that were put on the round wafer that was used in the worship of the sun. The Egyptians could have told in a moment the meaning. It stood for Isis, Horus, and Seb. These were the holy family; the mother, child and the father. It was called the Egyptian trinity. Pagans believed that the Holy Spirit was the mother.

12. Water baptism has become an accepted part of nearly all of Christendom today. It was known among many of the ancient peoples and religions. Contact with these peoples and religions would to some extent color the concepts of believers in the God of heaven and His commands. Many were baptized with Moses in a dry baptism. They went across the Red Sea dry shod (1Cor 10:2). Read the story in Exodus 14. The law of Sinai gave various washings or baptisms as ceremonials to a certain people with a certain calling. Israel also looked for a Messiah who would come and sprinkle His people with clean water. With the heathen background and seeing these requirements of old, men of the early church concluded that it was also for them. And that is how that the tradition began. But the Word speaks of a baptism connected with the church as a ONE BAPTISM (Eph 4:5) and it is a part of a unity which is already made without hands and is given for the church to keep. This cannot possibly be water baptism. It is the identification of the believer with the death and burial of Christ.

13. Christians today seem to think that it is obligatory to have hymn books and to sing whenever they meet together for fellowship or worship. But do the Scriptures say so? Psalms were recited in worship at the tabernacle and the temple. And the Hallel was sung at the end of the Passover feast. Songs or poems were composed and recited or maybe sung at some great events. The song of Moses and Miriam is an example. But we do not find any command specifically set forth that singing was to be employed when groups met together. Eph 5:19 says, Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. But this is for individuals, not for the church as a whole. And it is to themselves, not to others. It is true that most of the heathen religions had singing as a part of their rituals. History tells us that the Gregorian chants were borrowed from the Egyptian worship. I do not say that we should do away with the use of music, but we should be careful in its use.

14. Many traditions have sprung up concerning the events at the time of the birth of our Lord in Bethlehem. It is said that angels sang. But there is no reference in all the Bible to tell us that angels have ever sung at any time. It is said that this event was in the winter when shepherds would not ordinarily have flocks in the fields and when the Roman government would not be likely to have people register for taxes when the weather was inclement. And further they have the wise men coming to the inn, when it says that they came to the house. This would be after the return to Nazareth. So it is unlikely that the shepherds ever met the wise men. The inn is usually pictured as an ordinary farmstead rather than a place where travelers put up for the night. An inn would not have sheep and cows, but rather donkeys and camels which belonged to the travelers. And certainly the Lord would not have a halo, the sign of the Babylonian sun god.

15. The wandering Jew. There is a plant that is named after this tradition. Two notable books have been written on the theme, The Prince of India by General Lew Wallace, and Tarry Thou till I Come by George Croly. The story is that on the way to Calvary by the street Via Dolorosa, our Lord was so weak and wearied that he paused to rest and leaned against the door post of a Jewish shop. The owner pushed Him away. And the story goes that the Lord told this Jew that he would have to wander on the face of the earth till He should come again. The legend says that this man has lived thru the centuries, living till he grows old and gets a fortune amassed and then becomes young again, losing his fortunes and having to start all over again. The whole story is treated as an allegory of the Jewish nation, destined to wander among the nations until their Messiah comes again. There is no proof that this event ever happened. The Word says nothing about it. So it is just a tradition.

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16. It is strange how that silly traditions can have such a hold on an enlightened world as we have today. An example is that the church began at Pentecost, a Jewish holiday. One has only to read Acts one to learn that the apostles were instructed about the kingdom for 40 days, not the church. The book of Acts is about the 12 and Paul proclaiming the kingdom; the 12 proclaiming it to the circumcision, and Paul proclaiming it to the uncircumcision when the Jews opposed themselves. The church was not made known till the kingdom had first been preached.

17. Another tradition shows the general ignorance of the Scriptures. It is assumed that heaven is the New Jerusalem. But when the record is read in Rev 21 and Heb 11 we find that it is a city, not heaven. It is built in heaven by God and comes down from heaven to the earth where it will be inhabited. It has foundations and walls. And its dimensions are given which makes it a city of great size. Its streets are paved with gold. But heaven is never said to have streets, nor is there any description of it given anywhere in the Word. It is interesting to note in this connection that a song, The Holy City, was performed in London, England many years ago. It was in a vaudeville and sandwiched between a couple of charcoal-face acts. The public liked it, even though very unscriptural, and it was not long till it was used to amuse the congregations in churches and is now rated as a sacred song. But it did not have a sacred beginning. And so it is with many traditions.

18. There is a tradition that Melchisedec was Shem, one of the sons of Noah, and that when Abraham came before him to make offerings of tithes, that Shem recognized him as the true heir of the land and blessed him. As to the truth of this, we cannot say. There is nothing in the Scriptures to prove it one way or the other. But we do know that it could have been as far as the time was concerned. Shem died when Abraham was 150 years old, 10 years before the birth of Jacob.

19. One of the most common traditions we meet with today is that repentance is a requirement for obtaining eternal life. This has come about because folks have been careless. They equate eternal life with entrance into the kingdom of heaven. When John the Baptist was announcing the kingdom, he called for Israel to repent, or change their minds. And remember that it was Israel's Kingdom and King that was being proclaimed. Later the Lord Himself, along with the 12 and the 70, made the same assertion, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. On the contrary, when we read John's gospel which is to and for Gentiles after the kingdom was closed to any more members, and which is the only book in the Bible for unbelievers in need of everlasting life, repentance is not mentioned.

20. The Lord's Supper is mentioned once in the Bible. But this was a carry in supper where they did not share with each other and so there was some hard feelings. Paul abolished it in the Corinthian church (1 Cor 11:20,22,34). The Lord's Supper as a ritual was never known to Scriptures. But it was a ritual of the pagans which had its beginning at Babylon. It is Baal's Supper. Baal or Bel means lord. This tradition has so fastened itself upon Christendom that many claim that one cannot have life without observing it.

21. Another tradition that cannot really be traced is that of begging. Usually it is in the form of a collection plate or basket being passed thru the congregation and each one throws in something knowing all the while that others are watching to see what he gives. This is a sort of forced holdup to pay the preacher and other expenses of the church. Its origin might be interesting.

22. One of those traditions that has been with us for centuries is that Peter has the keys of the church. Again this is a case of wrong division. It has been assumed back in the dark ages that the kingdom and the church were one and the same. Peter had nothing to do with the church. He is one of the 12 who will reign with Christ here on earth in the kingdom and later will be in the New Jerusalem which will also be on the earth. He was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt 16:19).

23. Many people wonder where the idea of having sunrise meetings started. We do not know, but there is an account in the Word of such in Ezekiel 8:16-18. They turned their backs on the temple and worshiped the sun as it was rising. This was in connection with some of the vilest worship Israel ever tempted God with. See Companion Bible. Also read this whole chapter 8 in Ezekiel. It is revealing!

24. And in this same chapter 8 of Ezekiel, we find a worship of images and pictures right in the holy place, the temple. Read verses 6 to 12. These things were done in secret by the priests of the temple, but today there are images and pictures that are out in the open for everybody to see. The first and the second commandments to Israel show us something of the mind of God in these matters. We should examine every practice by the Word.

25. No difference whether the truth or a lie, if it is told often enough, folks will begin to accept it as truth without any examination. And such is the tradition of the three crosses on Calvary. Very few who profess to believe the Bible ever read it very carefully. If they did, they would discover that two malefactors were led out with the Lord and hanged on stakes on either side, and in another account 2 thieves were brought up after the parting of the garments, and they in turn were fastened to stakes on either side, making 5 stakes in all. We use the term stake, for the two Greek words used to describe this instrument cannot possibly mean a cross as we think of it. Remember, the brazen serpent was lifted up on a pole in the wilderness, and the Lord was likewise lifted up.

26. In pictures and sermons the wise men (the number of them is not given) are associated with the shepherds in the stable at the inn in Bethlehem. However the Word says that the wise men found the child at a house. This was no doubt in Nazareth. Like the above, it is a matter for careful reading.

27. Multitudes of unbelievers have been sadly bewildered by well-meaning persons who try to show the way of life to them. But all too often the way of life is all mixed up with entering the kingdom. It is thought that they are the same thing. The result is that men teach that one has to do works to get life. Repentance and good works were requisites for entering the kingdom, but never for life. John three sixteen requires no more then it says. It is dangerous to add to the Word of God. Life is first gotten by being begotten. Then entering the kingdom was to be by being born again, the resurrection from the dead. Patently, these have nothing to do with membership in The Church which is the body of Christ, the Mystery Church.

28. Prophecy today has suffered much because Daniel nine has not been read carefully. This chapter tells of the two advents of Christ. His first coming was to be 69 weeks of years from the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem (not the temple). This is divided into 7 and 62 weeks of years, and for a purpose. There is no 70th week in this prophecy, just 69. But there is a 70 weeks determined on the People (the Jews) and the holy city. Note this. It cannot begin at the same time as the other prophecy, for you cannot separate the People and the city. Now make your own chart by lines and dates. The decree was made in 454 B.C. Exactly 69 weeks later, A.D. 29, our Lord died (was cut off) at Calvary. But 7 weeks after the decree, was the dedication of the temple. The people and the holy city were together. Here began the 70 weeks determined until the Messiah should come (second coming). That would have been in A.D. 85, easily in the lifetime of Paul and many others who expected to be living when this happened. But at the end of Acts, this time was interrupted. Now if you will subtract the date of Acts 28:28 from 85, you will have the number of prophetic years till the second advent. This would be more than 7 years, as many figure.

29. Many traditions start from a misreading or a misunderstanding of the Word. One such is the expression born again. In John 3:10 the Lord told Nicodemus that he should have known what was meant by this expression, but even Nicodemus was not able to recall from the Scriptures the meaning. He should have remembered Isaiah 66:7-9. There the rebirth is the resurrection of Israel. The reason that one could not enter the kingdom without a resurrection was the fact that flesh and blood could not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50). Even the Lord Himself had to have a resurrection before He could enter into His kingdom. He is the only one who has ever been born again so far. It is noteworthy that this expression is not used of those in The Church. But that is another subject. People may mean well when they speak of a person being born again in this life, but what they really mean is begotten which is the correct translation of it in 1 Peter 1:23. There must be a begetting before there is a birth. And this begetting is by the Word of God which is incorruptible seed.

30. Probably one of the most mixed up traditions we have any record of is the succession of the priesthood in the church. It is commonly supposed that this is in line down from the 12 apostles, the pope getting his succession from Peter. No apostolic succession was ever arranged for in connection with the 12 and their work. Their great commission of Matt 28:18-20 will be done by them, and no others, in the kingdom. There was a succession arranged for Paul, but not of the 12. And it is further noted that the 12 were never, in any sense of the word, priests. Not one of them was of the tribe of Levi or the family of Aaron. And this observation must be made, that the priest in his sacrifice of the mass is imitating the Roman soldiers, not the temple priests or the apostles. It was the soldiers who put the Lord to death!

31. The Word of God gives plenty of directives about the marriage relationship, the sanctity of marriage, monogamy, and the like. But it does not provide for any ritual or wedding program of any kind for a marriage. In this respect the Bible is silent. No doubt the elaborate church weddings of today have a pagan origin. We have not looked it up yet.

32. Neither do we find anything about having funeral orations and the like in the Bible. There was a period of mourning according to the Jewish custom. But there are no laws about conducting a funeral except in the matter of uncleanness in handling a dead body. But the pagans had funeral orations. Read the oration of Mark Antony in Julius Caesar as example.

33. There are more things borrowed from the pagans than one would ever think. Pagans used bells in their temples to chase away evil spirits. And some of them had a special kind of architecture so that when the spirits would enter, they would slide right down the roof and away from the temple. We are sad to report that the spires reaching up to heaven are like the obelisks and Asherah or groves of the OT and were the center of pagan worship and as such are the first things seen and thus cause mens eyes to be lifted up when arriving at many of our modern structures. We also know that intoned prayers had a place in the religion of the Egyptians and that they originated the Gregorian Chants.

 

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