Posts Tagged ‘Tammuz’

Jeremiah: Ishtar and God

This week’s Sabbath reading from the prophets was Jeremiah 7:21-8:3. I began reading the portion and wondered about the backstory so I began reading in Jeremiah 7:16.

“So you, [Yirmeyahu,] don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry, pray or intercede on their behalf with me; because I won’t listen to you. Don’t you see what they are doing in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim?  The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods! Are they really provoking me,” asks Adonai, “or are they provoking themselves, to their own ruin?” (Jeremiah 7:16-19).

These words are actually an answer to prayer. In the past few days, I have been struggling with how to pray for a nation that no longer cares to hear what God has to say? How am I to pray for people that I know won’t repent because evil has been transformed into good? Is there even a prayer for a nation that considers righteousness wicked?

The answer God gave Jeremiah is “Don’t.” Don’t pray for them because He isn’t going to listen! For those who would argue that God hears every prayer, Adonai tells Jeremiah why He won’t listen and His words are for this exact day and time.

The people of God are worshiping the Queen of Heaven. The Queen of Heaven is Istar who is called Easter. The short story of the goddess Ishtar is that she had a son, Tammuz, who died by a wild boar attack. Those who worshiped the trinity of the mother Ishtar, the son Tammuz, and the father Nimrod mourned the death of the ‘son’ for a period of six weeks. That ‘mourning’ time is called Lent and, according to the prophet Ezekiel, is considered disgusting by Adonai.

“He brought me to the entrance of the north gate to Adonai’s house; and there before me were women weeping for Tammuz.  ‘Human being,’ he asked me, ‘have you seen this? You will see practices even more disgusting than these'” (Ezekiel 8:14).

The designated reading for today:

“Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el: “You may as well eat the meat of your burnt offerings along with that of your sacrifices. For I didn’t speak to your ancestors or give them orders concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.  Rather, what I did order them was this: ‘Pay attention to what I say. Then I will be your God, and you will be my people. In everything, live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well for you.’  But they neither listened nor paid attention, but lived according to their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, thus going backward and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:21-24).

There are no burnt offerings today because there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem. When there is another Temple, the sacrifices will begin again. It is even possible that this year, 2020, there will be a Passover sacrifice at the Temple mount for the first time since its destruction nearly 2000 years ago.

The significant part of today’s reading is “Pay attention to what I say … living according to the way that I order you.” Because of stubborn hearts and the desire of people to live according to their own will, those who worship other gods and goddesses will continue to go backward. The Hebrew word for ‘backward’ refers to ‘turning away.’ The Hebrew word for ‘forward’ is lepanim and refers to ‘the face of Elohim.’ Rather than seeking the face of Adonai, they turn away and cling to their false gods and goddesses.

“Therefore, say to them, “This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Adonai their God. They won’t take correction; faithfulness has perished; it has vanished from their mouths. Cut off your hair, and throw it away, take up a lament on the bare hills, for Adonai has rejected and abandoned the generation that rouses his anger'” Jeremiah 7:28-29).

Such a nation will not heed the voice of Adonai. They won’t be corrected for their worship of Ishtar and Tammuz. They like what they are doing and have justified the idolatry as honest worship. Their mouths no longer speak the Truth. For these people, one should not pray, but only feel sorrow for their impending death because they have been rejected and abandoned by Adonai.

“For the people of Y’hudah have done what is evil from my perspective,” says Adonai; “they have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, to defile it” (Jeremiah 7:30).

The weekly reading continues with Adonai saying the ‘houses’ that bear His name are defiled because of detestable things. Defiled with the Queen of Heaven, Ishtar. Defiled with mourning for Tammuz, Lent. This generation rouses His anger.

“For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News?” (1 Peter 4:17).

Peter says that judgment begins with the ‘house’ of God because throughout the world, they have embraced the false gods and goddesses. As the fast of Tammuz comes to an end, the nations prepare for Ishtar by baking of cakes (hot cross buns), pouring out drink offerings, and preparing their ‘wild boar’ roasts. Adonai calls these things abominations and they will bring destruction.

We live in serious times. We need to be serious about God’s Word or suffer His anger.

“Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked” (John 3:19).

I entitled one book I have written Journey With Jeremiah because so much of what Adonai teaches me comes from the prophet Jeremiah; today was no different.

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The Easter Women

I had a little book I read to my children every Easter about the women going to the tomb and seeing the empty grave. It wasn’t until I understood who the ‘Easter women’ really are that I stopped reading the book. I realized that combining the holy with the pagan didn’t reveal God’s plan of salvation through Yeshua to the world, but kept alive the worship of foreign gods and goddesses that I didn’t want in the lives of my children.

“So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines’  (1 Samuel 7:3).

Nimrod, from Genesis 10, had wife whose name was Semiramis. She was an adulteress and an idolator. When her husband died, she gave birth to an illegitimate son claiming that he was supernaturally conceived in order to hide her own immoral behavior. She even claimed that he was ‘the promised seed’ so there would be no judgment against her behavior. When the child was born, she named him Tammuz and declared him, Nimrod reborn. This allowed her to have an immoral mother-son relationship. Not only was Tammuz worshiped, but so was his mother.

Semiramis is also called Ishtar, and from where is derived the English, word, Easter. She is also the goddess Ashtoreth/Asherah in the Scriptures; King Solomon fell away from worshiping the God of Israel and worshiped Ashtoreth.

A Little More Background

Tammuz became a shepherd, and one day while herding his flocks, he was killed by a wild boar.  Ishtar, his mother turned lover, mourned for him.  She descended into the underworld, or Hades,  to deliver him from death. She weeped for 40 days which eventually made the god of water and wisdom send a heavenly messenger to Hades to rescue her and her son. All the women in Babylon began a 40-day time of mourning on the second day of the fourth month. According to the prophet Ezekiel, this lamenting time was detestable to God.  

“Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning for Tammuz.  He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this” (Ezekiel 8:14)

After the 40 days, when Ishtar and Tammuz were set free from the underworld, there was a festival that was full of sexual immorality, including dancing around Asherah poles. The worship of Ashtoreth (Ishtar) and Asherah combined over time and she became known in ancient Israel as the Queen of Heaven.

“Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their heart and on the horns of their altars. Even their children remember their altars and Asherah poles beside the spreading trees and on the high hills” (Jeremiah 17:1-2).

The church fathers in the second and third centuries embraced the pagan ‘trinity’ worship of Nimrod, Tammuz, and the Queen of Heaven, but tweaked it to make it palatable for Christians. As preparation for the Easter celebration, there is a 40-day fasting period called Lent. The day before Lent begins, there is great feasting on Shrove Tuesday with immoral parties. Remnants of these pagan traditions are embedded in Carnival of Brasil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. When the first day of Lent arrives, Ash Wednesday, those same immoral crowds, including Protestants and Evangelicals who have embraced catholic doctrines, flock to churches to receive ashes on their forehead, a symbol of mourning for the dead.  For the next 40 days there is soulful preparation through fasting culminating in the great celebration called Easter after the Queen of Heaven, the memorial of Tammuz being released from Hades.  How deceptively the catholic church gave this pagan tradition a Biblical twist!

“The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods!” (Jeremiah 7:18).

The God of Israel warned His people about Tammuz and honoring the Queen of Heaven with cakes known today as ‘hot cross buns.’ Dancing around a ‘May Pole’ honors the pagan goddess Asherah. Even coloring eggs has been embraced by the church. Traditionally, during the season of Lent, all eggs were removed from the home for 40 days, then they were colored red as a ‘blood sacrifice’ for Ashtoreth and Asherah on the day of Ishtar. The Easter ham is nothing more than a massive sacrifice of pigs to take vengeance for Tammuz’s death by a wild boar.

“Then all the men who knew that their wives were offering incense to other gods, along with all the women standing by, a huge crowd answered Jeremiah: “As for the word you have just spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you.  Instead, we will certainly continue to fulfill every word our mouths have spoken: we will offer incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our ancestors, our kings and our leaders, in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food; everything was fine, we didn’t experience anything unpleasant.  But since we stopped offering to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything, and we have been destroyed by sword and famine” (Jeremiah 44:15-18).

Jeremiah’s warning was not heeded by the men and women of Israel. They didn’t care that they worshiped other gods contrary to what God commanded. Instead they remained rebellious in their stony hearts and fervently declared they weren’t going to change their wicked ways. They believed that their prosperity came from the Queen of Heaven and not from the God of Israel so they continued their abominations until judgment came.

“For everything written in the past was written to teach us, so that with the encouragement of the Tanakh [Old Testament] we might patiently hold on to our hope” (Romans 15:4).

We are to learn from Israel’s mistakes and not imitate them. We are not to harden our heart when we hear God’s voice, read His Word, and learn from His Son.  As gentiles join with Israel through faith in Yeshua, all pagan practices must be removed in order to have a pure worship of the God of Israel. Cutesy little stories or poems do not justify unholy traditions that are abominable to Go.  We have been given the promise of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Yeshua, not with the traditions surrounding a pagan god murdered by a wild pig that honors the Queen of Heaven.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

‘Echad’ or Trinity

“Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”  (Deuteronomy 6:4).

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Christianity has a doctrine called the Trinity also known as the ‘Three-in-One Godhead.’ To explain this tenet, an egg is often used.  It is ‘one egg’ having three parts: the shell, the yolk, and the white.  Sometimes water is also used to explain the same idea: solid, liquid , and gas.

The Greek word trinity comes from the Latin word trinitas meaning the ‘number three’ or ‘triad.’  In the second century, Theophilus of Antioch was the first to use trinity in reference to God as Father, the Word, and His Wisdom. In the third century, Tertullian, a monk who lived in the Roman province of Africa, was the first apologist to defend the father, son, and holy spirit trinity.

The New Testament does not use the word trinity, nor did Yeshua or the apostles teach this plurality of God.  Though the followers of Yeshua saw the power of God’s Spirit through the risen Savior,  recognized the voice of God in the flesh as Yeshua,  they did not teach, as Tertullian, three different parts or entities of God that are “distinct, simultaneous, and interactive.” The foundation of the trinity has a long pagan past beginning after the days of Noah with his great-grandson, Nimrod. 

Nimrod – The Father

“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD” (Genesis 10:8).

Nimrod was from the land of Cush, modern-day Ethiopia. He was known as “a mighty hunter before the LORD.”   The word ‘hunter’ can also mean ‘tyrant.’ “Before the LORD” is a Hebrew phrase for ‘in the face of, against, and anger.’ Nimrod could be described as a man whose face was set against God and hunted after men stealing their lives and souls. This is the epitome of the spirit of rebellion and the first manifestation of the ‘man of lawlessness’ in Scripture. Nimrod was given authority over many cities; one of them was Babel from which the great rebellion against God took place at the Tower of Babel.

Nimrod is known in different cultures as Molech, Baal, and Zeus.  Molech was the god of death and required the sacrifice of children in fire (Leviticus 20:1-5). Baal worship is mentioned throughout the Scriptures, especially in the days of the prophet  Elijah and the wicked queen Jezebel (1 Kings 18:19).   During the conquest of Alexander the Great, Antiochus Epiphanes forced the worship of pagan gods on the Jewish people. Zeus, the Greek god-idol, was set up in the Temple as an ‘abomination of desolation’ (1 Maccabees, Septuagint).

Tammuz – The Son

“Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz”(Ezekiel 8:14).

Tammuz was the son of  Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis.  Tammuz is also known as Dagon, the idol that fell over in front of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 5). Horus and Osiris, both part of Egypt’s worship of death, and Cupid, the god of the modern Valentine’s Day are also related to Tammuz.

The simple account of Tammuz is that he was killed by a wild boar and taken to the netherworld.  His mother-turned-lover (Semiramis) mourns him for 40 days until he is brought back to life at the spring equinox.  He is worshiped as Nimrod, his resurrected father.

Semiramis – The Spirit

“We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 44:17).

Nimrod’s wife was Semiramis and known in different world cultures as Astarte, Ishtar, and Easter.  She was a beautiful woman; and worshiped in Israel as the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18).  As part of the Father, Son trinity, she was called the ‘holy spirit’ and the ‘mother of god’ because she conceived and gave birth to Nimrod’s reincarnated son, Tammuz.

This family unit of father Nimrod, son Tammuz, and spirit Semiramis became the models for the three-in-one foundation for the trinity. Each of these gods within the trinity was worshiped as an individual as each had a unique purpose within the godhead. Nimrod was the cruel, ‘father,’ Tammuz was the murdered ‘son’ who miraculously came back to life, and Semiramis was the beloved ‘mother of god.’

Tenet of Trinity

Three centuries after Yeshua, his followers did not want to adopt the tenet of the trinity, but Constantine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE forced the doctrine on the ‘church’ threatening exile.  The Roman Catholic church merged the pagan trinity with Biblical truth. Lent became the 40-day mourning period of Tammuz and Easter became the day of Tammuz’s resurrection.  The ‘mother of god’ holding her baby became known as the Madonna with a halo.

The Protestant Reformation didn’t go far enough in rejecting Roman Catholic tenets and adopted the trinity. The worship of the three individual god-parts is easily recognized within different denominations today. For example, Methodist, Lutheran, and other ‘high’ religious tradition focuses on God as the ‘father.’ The Evangelical denominations worship the son named Jesus. Pentecostal denominations exalt the gifts of the spirit above everything else, especially speaking in tongues. This triune-god worship is the reason that many Jews, and even Muslims, reject the idea of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh revealing Himself in the body of Yeshua.

Returning to the concept of the egg, worshiping God as a trinity is like choosing to worship either the shell, the yolk or even the white of the egg.  This would not be worshiping the egg as ‘the egg.’ Nor would worshiping ice or steam be worshiping water in its complexity. 

Echad – ‘One’

“Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is ONE” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

The verse above is called the Shema, a Hebrew word meaning ‘to hear’ or ‘listen.’ God commanded His people in remember He is ‘One.’ The tenet of the trinity has blinded many to the ‘oneness’ of the God of Israel. This tenet also created a dangerous path for not only multi-god worship, but also deceptive pagan-god worship.

The word for ‘one’ in the Shema is echad and means ‘same, single, undivided oneness, and unique.’ God is telling the Israelites that He is one, undivided, and unique God. This was a new concept to the freed Hebrews as they had been immersed in the multitude of gods of Egypt worshiped as trinities. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is a unique God, the only God to be worshiped ‘undivided.’

God delivered His chosen people from Egypt where Ra, Isis, and Osiris comprised the trinity. He delivered the Israelites from that spiritual bondage so they could worship Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh as the ‘One’ Living God.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hear or Shema – שמע

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

Mem מ – Water means ‘chaos.’

Ayin ע – An Eye means ‘to see and understand.’

In Hebrew word pictures shema: See and understand, chaos consumed.

Hebrew Word Pictures

One or Echad – אחד

Alef א – An Ox means ‘first strength.’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘protect.’
Dalet ד – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew word picture for echad: The first strength protects the pathway.

Though echad has the nuance of ‘diverse,’ this does not support God as a trinity. It means that Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can, did, and does reveal Himself in diverse ways: a bush that didn’t burn, the man who ate with Abraham, a pillar of fire, a cloud of glory, a still small voice, a hand on the wall, and wind blowing where it will. These are all expressions of the “I am who I am.” As God, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can express Himself any way He needs to including in human flesh –– Yeshua.

Eheyh Asher Ehyeh –The Creator

“Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God (Elohim), the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3).

We know that God is the Creator, and according to John, so is Yeshua.  This makes Yeshua echad with God because “he was with God and was God” (John 1:1). Through Yeshua all things were made because all things were spoken into existence by Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – The Spoken Word

“This day I call the heavens and earth as witnesses … and that you may love the LORD your God (Elohim), listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:20).

“The Word [of God] became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

God spoke to Noah and told him to build an Ark.  God spoke to Abraham and gave him His promises. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and told him to deliver His people.   God spoke to the Israelites in thunder and lightning when He brought them to Mount Sinai and gave them His Word. God spoke through the prophets preparing Israel for the Messiah.

The ‘voice’ of God, His spoken Word became a human being in the body of Yeshua.  Still, God is not divided and remains echad. His voice is not a separate entity from Himself. Yeshua stated, “For I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has given me a command, namely, what to say and how to say it” (John 12:49). As God’s ‘voice,’ Yeshua said he and His Father are echad (John 10:30).  The Greek word ‘one’ is heis and used to signify ‘one in contrast to many, and in union with.’

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – The Breath

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water” (Genesis 1:1-2).

“Again Yeshua said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’  And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:21-22).

The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ is ruach and means ‘breath.’ In the beginning, the ‘breath’ of God hovered over the surface of the waters. His ‘breath’ was not separate from Him, but part of His ‘being’ as the Living God.

God put his ‘breath’ into the nostrils of Adam and gave him life (Genesis 2:7).  He put His ‘breath’ into Bezalel from the Tribe of Judah and gave him the ability to do artistic works with silver, gold, and bronze for the Tabernacle (Exodus 32:1-3). Joshua was filled with the ‘breath’ of wisdom because Moses had laid hands on him (Deuteronomy 34:9).  King David, when anointed by Samuel to be King over Israel, was filled with the ‘breath’ of God (1 Samuel 16:13). When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting she was filled with the ‘breath’ of God and her baby leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41-42).  The ‘breath’ of God descended like a dove on Yeshua when he was immersed in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:16).   Believers in Messiah are sealed with the ‘breath’ of God manifested in gifts and fruits (2 Peter 1:3). Zechariah prophesied that the rebuilding of the Temple in the Millennial Kingdom will  not be by [human] power but by the power and ‘breath’ of God  (Zechariah 4:6).

The most powerful testimony that Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh and Yeshua are echad occurs after the resurrection when Yeshua ‘breathes’ on his disciples.  The holy ‘breath’ of God comes out of Yeshua, from his mouth, enters the disciples, and empowers them to be sent forth to the world as he was –– forgiving sins and being witnesses of the resurrection.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – The Holy Arm

“A psalm.  Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him” (Psalm 98:1).

The word ‘salvation’ in this verse is the Hebrew word yeshua.  Read with that knowledge, yeshua is God’s right hand and His holy arm. Yeshua was and has never been a separate entity from God.   He is part of Him just like His breath, His words, His right hand, and His holy arm.

When Mary received God’s ‘breath’ to conceive, she knew it was yeshua for Israel.  When the Jewish people listened the Word in the flesh, they knew Yeshua spoke with authority and wisdom.   When God gave His only begotten Son to the world, they saw His holy arm reaching down, and His right hand bringing them yeshua.

The Great Commission and the Trinity

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). 

Some may argue that Yeshua’s command to go and make disciples involved immersing them in the “name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” however, those words are not in the original manuscripts.  They were added sometime after the Council of Nicaea that convened to deal with the issue of Yeshua’s deity and his ‘oneness’ with God. Earlier church fathers like Origen, Tertullian, Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr had come up with the idea of the trinity,  but adding the Holy Spirit was not completed until the Council of Constantinople in 360 CE  (wikipedia).

The Great Commission is not proof text for the trinity; it is about Yeshua giving his disciples the authority he had been given by his Father to immerse people for repentance and forgiveness of sin. Yeshua tells his disciples to teach the commandments, sanctifying them to become his royal priesthood. Those who are immersed will also be given the authority to “go and make disciples.” The authority to immerse into the echad is to begin in Jerusalem, and then proclaimed to the nations of the world. A better description of this Hebrew-Jewish ritual is found in Luke:

“Then he [Yeshua] opened their minds, so that they could understand the Scriptures telling them, “Here is what it says: the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day;  and in his name repentance leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to people from all nations, starting with Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45).

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is not a three-part godhead nor three separate persons known as the trinity. He is not an egg or water that can be separated into parts that we choose to use or worship.  Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is echad.  He is One.  Yeshua said that we must worship Him as echad in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). We must honor Him as the Creator whose Spoken Word became flesh, whose Holy Arm worked salvation, and whose Breath empowers us to be witnesses to the world.

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.