The Mother of God
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” (Revelation 2:13-15 New AV)
What is the doctrine of Balaam? “If you can't lick-um . . . join-um.” (Numbers 22 - 25, 31:16) The way of Balaam is to sell your gift for hire. Balaam’s doctrine said to Balak, “Hey, you’ll never wipe these Israelites out. So go and mingle in with them.” So, the false teachers moved in with all their doctrines of immorality, and mixed in with the people of God.
If you can take from the people of God, the privilege of knowing the Lord, and ministering to the Lord individually, you can then take from the people of God the privilege of knowing what He is saying in His book. If you can take the privilege of interpreting the scripture away from the people of God, and place that privilege into the hands of a select group of Church officials, then the people of God become slaves of the group who know and hold the Book. That’s the Nicolaitans!
The name Nicolaitans comes from the Greek phrase meaning, people ruler, or converters of the people. The word comes from nikao which means, to conquer, and laos which means, people. We derive our word, laity from the Greek word laos. As soon as the Church began referring to the people of God as laity, this inaugurated the separation of the clergy from the people of God. The Church became: a Clergy class here, and a Laity class there. And God said “I hate it!” This separation brought about spectator-sport Christianity. The preacher up front on a platform, the congregation down below in the pews paying homage and cheering him on. And God hates it!
This was the beginning of the destruction of priestly ministry of the people of God before the Lord. (Remember: we are priests and kings unto the Lord. 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10; Daniel 7:27; . . .) All of this is a result of, and the ultimate end of, what happened in the Church in Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17).
Pergamum1 (translated fortified), the state Church, was first established by the emperor Constantine - thus, the first Church of Rome and the first Pope. This first Roman Church was stuffed full of a variety of morose pagans who didn’t want to become Church members, but were made to become Church members or face death from the hands of Constantine's army. So they all became Christians . . . or so they said.
This led to an initial dilemma Constantine had to remedy - the blending of new, pagan-christians with the real Christians. In order to unify his kingdom, he needed to integrate all the people into a happy mix of work, worship, and Church order. His pivotal task was to satisfy the pagans and not offend the Christians. But how? How was Constantine, and his fortified state Church, going to satisfy all those pagans who had come into the Church and at the same time not run-off the Christians who had helped establish the Church? Simple. Bring the pagans’ religion into the Church and blend the pagan religions in with the Christian faith. Then everyone will be happy. “If you can't lick-um . . . join-um.”
Constantine’s first order of business was to grant full legal recognition to all peoples throughout Europe. As he stated in his Edict of Milan, “I, Constantine Augustus . . . grant to Christians and to all others the right freely to follow whatever form of worship they please, that what so ever Divinity dwells in heaven may be favored to us and to all those under our authority.” Diversity, diversity, diversity . . .
History tells us, “there was strife in the land.” One group began teaching that Jesus, although a perfect man, was not co-eternal and of one substance with God the Father, but had been created by the Father as His Instrument for the salvation of the world. Other groups strongly disagreed and a battle began in Constantine’s little world of Church and State.
Sometime around 324 AD, Constantine decide to put to an end to all this fighting and called for a universal Council of the Church. Everyone agreed - maybe they had no choice - and the first council was held at Nicaea in 325 AD.
The council began first with a disagreement and then pressed on to more disagreements. Constantine’s words had opened the council as he sat in front of the whole of the body, “like an angel from God overseeing the proceedings,” it was said. The doctrine of the argument was of little interest to Constantine - he was a military man and cared little for theology - but he wanted the debate to end and so introduced the importance of unity to the group. The Bible does not say, “My people shall learn unity,” but rather, “My people shall learn doctrine" - a marked difference! Unity will unite all sorts of people and beliefs. Doctrine divides truth from lies. Unity brings compromise, but it will not bring forth truth.
Using the virtues of compromise, Constantine urged unity to the Church council. He proposed the insertion of a word into the draft of the Nicene Creed, the word was homoousios - “of one substance.” This, he felt, would stop the conflict and paint a clear picture of the relation of the Father to the Son. They agreed; and “of one substance” is still the norm to this day. The problem with this phrase is that it can be interpreted to mean precisely what anyone chooses it to mean. Obviously, there was a vital issue at stake, but the example this Church council set, sadly, many generations of their successors have been all too ready to follow. There is difference in, “I and the Father are one,” and “of one substance with the Father.”
Does Jesus, have the quality of being important, valid, significant with the Father as “of one substance?” Or, is He the real matter of which both the Father and the Son are One – with the Holy Spirit – as a tangible, solid “One?” As in “In the beginning God . . .” (Elohim – a plural noun in form, but singular in meaning). Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, Elohim - simultaneously.
Constantine’s goal was unity not doctrine. Unity within the empire and the Church - both was seen as one. But what about the Pagans? The pagans, unlike the Christians who worshiped one God, worshiped a plethora of objects symbolizing all sorts of gods. So Constantine, through unity and diversity training brought in the worship of Christian saints and images - crosses, marble statues, etc. The pagans burned candles to the dead. So he brought in burning candles to and for dead saints. Everything the pagans worshiped, plus more, was incorporated into the Church and proclaimed “Christian”. Unity.
All the pagan societies had female deities. So what did the Church do with that problem? Simple again. We’ll have everyone worship, and pray to, the mother of Jesus, Mary. Which must have seemed very holy to them at the time. What could be wrong with praying to the mother of God? That is, other than the fact of the Bible says nothing of the “Mother of God”.
It was not until the 5th century that this debate really took hold, and later became the norm; really, the law. Was it right to say “Mary, the Mother of God?” This was actually a debate on how we should view Jesus, not the title of his earthly mother. The argument was settled by popular vote. The people wanted to call Mary “the mother of God,” so in 431 AD, at the council of Ephesus, the bishops approved the title, “Mary, mother of God”. Again, “If you can’t lick-um . . . etc.” This was the beginning of shrines and prayers to Mary. By the 7th century there was a feast to Mary, a celebration of her birth, which like Jesus’ birthday no one really knew the date.
Natural man wants closure. The Church had the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, but where was the alternative, woman or mother. God is Father. Jesus is Son. The Holy Spirit is, He Him, etc. - male pronouns. Everyone in the Church was male. The apostles were male. Jesus came to earth as a man. But the pagans’ mother-goddess had no counterpart. They needed a counterpart. Without a counterpart in the Church, how would they win those pagan women to Christ? I hear this same argument when someone questions the validity of contemporary Christian music. “How will we win those pagan kids, if we don’t use . . .” So the Church was given a woman to worship, the mother of God, Mary.
Every nation which held Israel in captivity, and there were seven in all, had female deities. This pagan female worship began with the worship of the queen of heaven, Semiramis and her son Tammuz, in ancient Babylon.
If you will remember, when the children of Israel were carried away into captivity they offered up cakes to the queen of heaven and bowed down to Tammuz (Jeremiah 7).
Semiramis, referred to as the queen of heaven, was a slender, flaxen-haired whore who seduced and married the warrior king of Babylon, Nimrod (Genesis). He, along with his massive army, conquered all of his known world. During one of Nimrod’s many warring missions, Semiramis, his seductive, whore-queen became pregnant with one of her many lovers. Much to her amazement during that same mission, Nimrod, her brave, slow-witted trusting husband, was killed.
So Semiramis forged a plan. She quickly admitted to the people of Babylon that she was pregnant. “But,” she said, “this is not just any baby I’m carrying in my womb. I’m carrying the incarnate Nimrod.” And the people of Babylon believed her!
After a few months the child was born and Semiramis named the male child Tammuz. The word Tammuz, in ancient Babylonian, means, “seed of the woman”. This, as you can see, was a well planned effort by the old snake to counterfeit the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus (Genesis 3:15).
No one in their right mind counterfeits three dollar bills or three pound notes. You counterfeit something that looks like the real article. Which is what the Devil did with the queen of heaven, Semiramis and her son Tammuz. Semiramis gave birth to a child without the means of human sexual relationship, or so she said. Tammuz was a forged copy of the Real - a counterfeit of what God spoke through the prophet: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel (god-with-us)” (Isaiah 7:14). A birth without the means of human sexual contact. That’s why the Devil did it!
The people of Babylon were overjoyed with the rebirth, or what they thought was the rebirth, of their dead king Nimrod. Semiramis was made queen and sovereign immediately. Worship of her and the child began in earnest. Temples were established. A new religion inaugurated. Everyone bowed down and worshiped the Madonna and child. All of Babylon was happy.
Then the old snake promoted his counterfeit from Babylon to Egypt, with the worship of Isis. Then to Assyria, with Asteroid worship. On to new Babylon, during Daniel's time, again, with the worship of Isis. All of these goddesses, or Madonna’s, were the same goddess with different names. The Greeks worshiped Aphrodite. Persia had Asteroid worship. In pagan Rome, the people worshiped Venus. And then to Holy Rome, and Constantine’s state Church, who worshiped the Madonna, or Mary, the Mother of God.
Is the Madonna and child the truth of God? Yes it is. The virgin and the child is the truth of God. That's why the snake did it!
This Madonna and child doctrine was what the idolatrous peasantry used as their avenue to come into the Church from old pagan cults - who saw the woman, or the goddess, as supreme. In 553 AD, the Roman Catholic Church ruled that, “Mary was ever virgin” - theotokos. What is meant by, “ever virgin?” To quote one early unknown author, "The Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus only." In other words, Mary had only one Child - Jesus. I don’t know how they reconciled James, Jude and the other half siblings of Jesus with their ruling, but truth didn’t seem to matter so much to them at the time. In the earliest patristic writings, Mary was mentioned only rarely, and usually in connection with Eve. Justin Martyr contrasted her obedience with the disobedience of Eve. Her perpetual virginity was first introduced in the apocryphal Book of James (not the apostle James); Ambrose held her to be a type of the Church, in that “in giving birth to Christ she also brought forth Christians who were formed in her womb with Him.” What the people wanted, the people got. “If you can’t lick-um . . .”
The Church fathers also agreed that the virgin Mary was born from a virgin, as well. How they discerned this is still a mystery. But they believed and taught that Mary was also born from a virgin - her mother - and because of the virgin Mary’s virgin birth, she was sinless. This is very mystifying and difficult to explain, but I will make an effort.
The problem, they concluded, was the universal transmission of original sin in sexual conception. (The Roman Church believes any sexual contact – man/woman, husband/wife, etc. – transmits the original sin.) So one of their good friars, Eadmer, solved the problem by inculcating, what he referred to as “passive” conception (this is also a Roman Church doctrine). “Passive,” suggesting that only Mary herself, without reference to the parental act (Mary’s parents did not have sexual relations to conceive her), was without the stain of the original sin from the moment of her conception. Eadmer augured that, "because God could do it and because it was fitting, He did it." I suppose this might be called metaphysical artificial insemination . . . I really don’t know. Anyway, the rest of the Roman Church bought it! No questions asked.
In the last century efforts were made to secure a Papal definition of Mary as “Mediatrix2 of All Graces” and “Co-Redemptrix3”. To the credit of the Roman Church, when the Second Vatican Council added a chapter on Mary to the Constitution on the Church - against the wishes of those who wanted a separate book on her - their restraint was remarkable; its insistence on Scripture and the Father, and its stress on Mary's complete dependence on the Son, at the least should be commended.
By the 1100’s AD, the Ave Maria (Hail Mary) as a prayer appeared. Jesus was left to be the sufferer and to exemplify fellowship and Mary to offer the compassion; Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Pietà.
Constantine, along with his legacy - Julian the Apostate, Justinian, and other such emperors, along with most of the so called “Vicars of Christ” (Vicar: substitute or instead of - the substitute of Christ). All of what was and is pagan worship was incorporated into the Church: female worship, spirits, demons, pendants, marble statues, whatever. All of it was brought into the Church. Saint worship was the beginning of the icon, or holy image worship. “The icon cult grew to the point where holy images were openly worshiped in their own right and occasionally served as godparents at baptisms.” (John Julius Norwich, The History of Byzantium.) A friend of mine, who grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, told me as a child he once questioned a priest, “How come we pray to these statues when the Bible says we're not to have any carved images?” The priest told him that, "those carved images had been sanctioned and blessed by the Church, so it's okay to pray to them.”
The earliest depiction of the crucifix was around 430 AD. On one side, the stone carving portrays, the Savior on the cross and on the other, Judas hanging from a tree with his guts spilling out. Before the 5th century, no one had little crosses or saint pendants hanging around their neck. No fish pendants were pasted on the rear of family wagons. No saint or Mary statues, no baby Jesus paintings, no icons. But Constantine and his later devotees brought in what the pagans wanted along with what the Church wanted and everybody was happy. It made for a bigger Church! The bigger the better! Right?
When we come into the Church today, Madonna and child worship has taken preeminence. Maybe not in the protestant Church as such, but it is there nevertheless. Goddess worship is happening today - within the Church.
Some of you may remember - “I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance” - the image of the Sophia Beast, which was erected some years ago (mid 1990’s) at the World Council of Churches by the women's segment of that council. The women of the Church council fabricated the image of Sophia and began worshiping the image - sophia is a takeoff of the Greek word for wisdom - offering incense and prayers to this beast image during a Church service, which was supposed to be in the name of the Lord Jesus. These women were not some crazy group of radical feminists out to deceive the Church. But rather, they were a group of Church women comprised from several mainline denominations - Presbyterian women, Episcopal women, Methodist women, etc. - the Methodist women were at the forefront of this “women seeking wisdom service” - all worshiping a goddess made in their own image - all to gain wisdom.
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God made” (Genesis 3).
These Sophia worshipers had become wise in their own eyes. They had become unfaithful in small things. Unfaithfulness to the word of God in small areas opened the door for these women to become unfaithful in grander domains. Which, is why I fear liberalism. Liberalism opens the door for all types of error - which later grows into heresy. These women would have never erected an idol, the World Council of Churches would never have tolerated them worshiping a goddess (although some have now excused it), if the World Council of Churches had heeded fast to the simple teachings of the Word of God - not deviating from the word of God in any area. “Be faithful in small things.”
Goddess worship, or rather goddess acknowledgment, came into the 20th century Church through a radical feminist doctrine by referring to God the Father as “Mother” or simply, “She”. Jesus always referred to God as Father, as did all the writers of the Bible - Old and New testament alike. This, radical feminist doctrine is also the reason many people refer to the earth or nature as “She” or “Mother Earth”.
It is required of a man to be found faithful. Hold fast to what God says. Solomon said, “Cease my son, to hear the words that cause you to err from the way of truth.” You may never see a Baptist, Lutheran, non-denominational Church bow down and pray to Mary, but ask some of our fine gospel preachers to preach about feminism or the roll of the woman in the Church and you'll be surprised by what you see and hear. We are afraid to preach what the Bible teaches. We have become a Church full of “itching ears and ear ticklers.”
It is the purpose of Satan to sow a seed now that becomes a great tree later. “So that the fowls of the air can come and lodge themselves in it.” As a friend of mine says, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces.” I agree. The Devil will flood a valley with truth, so he can float one boat of lies.
Be thou watchful and pray.
1. Pergamum: means fortified. It also means twice married. (back to text)
2. Mediatrix: Literally, the mediator between the Christian, and the Lord, Jesus. (Note: - ix ending indicates female in Latin.) (back to text)
3. Co-Redemptrix: Literally, co-redeemer with Christ Jesus. (Note: - ix ending indicates female in Latin.) (back to text)
The Mother of God
Published: 4 February 2010 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
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