This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org
As we have read in the past chapter, our Heavenly Father does not speak in secret, unfortunately, it is because of ignorance, that people come to think that God speaks in secrecy. God has told us that there is nothing that shall happen without His having warned us beforehand; so that people can see with their eyes and hear with their open ears. It is written "My Word has gone out and it shall not come back to Me void".
God created this earth to be inhabited by His created beings, and Satan and one third of the His created souls rebelled, He destroyed that first earth age and brought those souls back to Him. Then as we read in II Peter 3, along came the second earth age whereby all souls would come into this second earth age to be born of woman. Each soul innocent of that first earth age and allowed to live their lives and make a choice between God and Satan. However Satan, and many of his fallen angels that refuse to be born of woman decided that they would violate God's law, and come to earth to take the daughter of men to wife, as recorded in Genesis 6:1-8, and Jude 1:6-10.
Then Isaiah brought us forward in time to the time when Sennacherib and his Assyrian army took the House of Israel and scattered them. When Sennacherib's pride went to his head and he forgot that he was just a servant of God, God destroyed Sennacherib and his Assyrian army and nation. God then elevated Babylon to punish the House of Judah for their sins, and just as God brought Judah into captivity, He told the House of Judah that He would bring up a man named Cyrus that would bring them out of their captivity.
Cyrus was named by God one hundred and thirty seven years before His birth through Isaiah. This Cyrus was raised up to be a type for us of the true Christ that would save the nation from the hand of the Babylonians of the end times. So here in Isaiah 46, God is addressing Babylon and the Babylon of old is only a type of the Babylon of Revelation 17 which is coming up in these end times. These things are only a sample of the things that you and I are going to witness, and in many cases these prophecies have already taken place.
Isaiah 46:1 "Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast."
"Bel" is the abbreviated form of the word "Baal", or "lord". This heathen god was called Zeus to the Greeks and Jupiter in Roman mythology. "Nebo" was the God of "learning". The Egyptians called this Nebo god Anubis, while the Greeks name it Hermes, and the Romans called it Mercurius. It is from this god "Nebo" that the name "Nebuchadnezzar" comes from.
The people had taken up the worship of so many idols that their carriages were sunk in the dirt, and their beast that pulled those carriages could not pull their carts. In other words they had become so full of idols that their religious systems took on the form of "Babylon", which is the base root of the word Babel, meaning confusion. Anytime you load your mind with traditions and customs and allow the many religious systems of the heathen to enter into your worship of our Heavenly Father, you have entered into the Babylon of the end times.
God has written a letter to each of us in this book of Isaiah, and He is personally warning us that it is going to happen. These idols have even crept into the form of Christianty, and in our generation these forms will set the way for the "instead of christ", or Antichrist to take complete control over all of Christianity, except for those few that have the seal of God in their minds [foreheads]. As the confusion increases, we have to be real careful that we are not drawn into these forms of "Bel and Nebo". Those that are drawn into these systems are the ones that will not study God's Word for what it said in the original text, but allow the Kenites and false teachers to interpret God's Word for them. This is what is called the great apostacy, or falling away of the latter days.
Isaiah 46:2 "They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity."
The word for "themselves" in the Hebrew text, is "nephesh", and it is in reference to their very souls. What does it take to bring a soul into captivity? It takes deception so that the souls will be deceived. Every human being on the face of the earth must have something to believe upon and that is what fulfills the spiritual function within their lives. They must have something. When it is drugs or liquor, they turn their minds over to the evil spirits of the drugs or bottle, and when there is no religious connection at all in them they turn from the spiritual to themselves and physical objects. Every soul has to have some form that they stoop or bow to subject their mind to.
That object here is what they run to when their soul is in need of support. We must place the captivity of our souls into our Heavenly Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. It is from His Word that we get our direction, and the Holy Spirit of God does the directing of our path. God has told us all things that we shall face in life, and in this final generation we shall face nothing but what it has been written in His Word.
Isaiah 46:3 "Hearken unto Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the House of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:"
God is saying, "Listen unto Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the House of Israel, that are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:" Think about this for a moment. They were each carried by God Himself. These were the natural seed of Jacob of all the tribes and not just the Jews of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which allowed the Kenites to infiltrate into their midst and take control of their house. This is addressing our generation, and each person of the natural seed of Jacob, which includes those Gentiles that have been grafted in to that family through the blood of Christ.
Don't forget that the subject here is Babylon's idols, and the warning is for those of that natural seed, which are part of the Children of God, that have been borne into His Kingdom, and also have been born from the womb. This is not directed to those fallen angels that shall also be among us in a very short time coming.
Which would you rather serve, the god that you have to carry around with you in your carriages, or one that has carried you and protected you from your birth? It makes life so much easier when we have our Heavenly Father looking over us, rather then you and I having to protect some created thing by our own hands and minds. This is why God is telling us to listen to Him, it is He that is doing the carrying, and not the other way around. Why would you ever want to load yourself down with any tradition that would cause you to worry, and load you down things that would fill your mind with fear? Today most of the church world thinks of the time of great tribulation as a time when the world will be filled with unthinkable creatures tearing flesh men apart, with all sorts of disasters, and plagues. They have completely disarmed themselves from the spiritual warfare that shall take place, and preparing for a battle that shall never take place.
There is something wrong with anyone that would rather have the protection of some system, then the protection that our Heavenly Father has offered to each of us for the asking. A church system will load you down with burdens, and many of them can be too heavy to carry on your own. God is telling us to wake up, don't you know that I am the one that is carrying you. God will always take your burden from you and give you a way out.
Isaiah 46:4 "And even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."
In the previous verse God has told us that from the time we were carried from the womb He has taken care of us. Here He also tells us that all the days of our lives, even to our old age He will continue to carry us and deliver us from our troubles. Even in our gray hairs [hoar hairs], or old age will He continue to look out for our well being. There is nothing that we shall face in this life but what He has warned us about in His Word. "There is no new thing under the sun", He has told us through Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."
There is nothing to compare our protection to, that the world has to give. Our Heavenly Father takes care of us, and the guilt that the world would like to use to whip people into shape, is gone when we are under the protection of our Heavenly Father. That is the protection and freedom that we have in Christ, when we by faith repent to Him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We repent in His name because we have the faith that the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was sufficient for the sins that we commit while living in these flesh bodies.
Though our salvation, or being saved comes once, while we are in these flesh bodies we shall continue to fall short of His Word, and that is why daily we must confess those things that we do in the flesh, daily to Him in Jesus name, and then we are free from the guilt that those things bring to us. When we confess them, our Heavenly Father blots them out of His memory, and they are never again used against us where it counts, in heaven. Sure Satan will continue to throw your forgiven sins in your face, and those that also do such a thing, mark them well for they are doing the work of Satan. The Holy Spirit will do nothing that goes against the Word of God, or the work of God, and when someone claims to be of God and does that, they are guided by spirits other than that of God.
We are to rely wholy on God to go before us in whatever we do, and anytime a person allows anything to replace the personal message from our Heavenly Father, it become a idol to you. God is the one that does the carrying, and we must learn to listen and to lean on Him. Today many have come to worship the building, or the church system that has its symbols over the door of the church, then to look to the Heavenly Father. This is done because when they are in that building, they are never fed from the Word of God. They have come to rely on doctrines of men, and traditions of the system, rather then God's Holy Word. They don't look to the creator, but to the things that are created by man, and in the minds of men.
They are never fed chapter by chapter and verse by verse to get the message that God would have you learn. The true message is hidden and taken away from you, and many times the men behind the pulpit would have you believe that it is he that carries your load. Remember that it is the church systems that leads all except the elect into the Babylon of the end times, in which Antichrist is worshipped as the True Christ. The people have allowed it by their acceptance of misguided teachers and preachers without checking it out for themselves.
Isaiah 46:5 "To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?"
God is asking you, if you like to compare Him to anything; Where is my equal? You can search for a comparison all the days of your short life and you will never come to anything that is like our Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 46:6 "They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god; they fall down, yea, they worship."
God is now going back to a parallel, and to the types that existed in old Babylon. "They" are the ones that brought the idolatry, the ones that brought the confusion within your mind of the Word of God. Notice that the god just didn't come into being but it was well planned out, and each did his part in making the god come into being. One got the gold, others weighed it out while others did their part in hiring and selling the ideas of how the idol should look. Then they went to the experts in shaping the idol, so that when the idol was completed it would look like an idol should look. They are the smiths, the ones that shape the doctrines and traditions, and know how their forefathers idols looked, so that our idols can be authentic.
Then when the idol or doctrine is completed, it is sold to the congregation and thy now can stoop and bow to this man made shape or form, and be assured that they can worship just like great grandpa Henry did. This may seem a little corny only that is what God is comparing the religious dogma like the rapture doctrine and other man made forms that the church systems have created, and called it of God. Those false ideas are what the church world and those that call themselves Christians have come to rely on; and they have turned their back on becoming armed for the spiritual battle that is taking the whole world in secret today.
People want something that they can see and touch, and compare their [god] with the god of the heathens. They are just like their forefather in the wilderness, they wanted something that they could see and touch and talk to, and it didn't matter if the thing was just a heap of gold, at least they had something that those around them could see and compare their gods to. They were not able to see and feel the promises of God being fulfilled in the lives through the blessing that God gave them. They thought they could create something better.
Isaiah 46:7 "They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble."
After they have built their idols, traditions and false doctrines they learn to carry it on their shoulder. What is on your shoulder? Of course it is your mind, and to carry it on your shoulder is to place it within your mind, and they place their forms of idolatry to the forefront of their lives. Whatever they do they take pride in that church system, that rapture doctrine, or whatever it is that they have placed their hope of salvation in, and when Satan comes to earth, that becomes what their salvation rests in.
Many other religious forms have taken objects and placed their hopes in them, something that they can see and touch, and the results are the same, their religious form just will not stand the test when God turns Satan lose on the earth for that last five months of this earth age of the flesh.
Revelation 9:5 "And to them it was give that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man."
Friend, God created all the elements that everything was made of, and that includes our souls and that of every other created being. God allows us to use everything that He has created to be of use for our needs, yet He did not create them to be worshipped. We are not to make gods out of any being, or the materials that he has created. If you must have a god, why would you wish for any substitute for the True Father. We have a heavenly Father that loves you, and He will carry you all the days of your life. He knows the things that you think before you think them yourself, and He also knew the problems that you will have before they come your way. So why in the world would you create or form anything that is no smarter then you, to rely on for solving your problems. If idolatry sounds stupid, it is and those that rely on it make themselves sottish [means stupid in the Hebrew] also. Idols can't help themselves, so why would any person think that an idol could help them?
People pay good money to have their idols built and kept safe. They see to it that their idols are propped up so that it won't fall over, and they have their experts revise their systems to update the false ideas and prophecies, as their teachings don't come to pass in time and as they have prophecied. We see this as their false prophesies fail to come to pass, the next year out comes a new book with a revised prophecy, that also fail to meet the test. Yet People continue to spend their money to keep up on their idolatry, and keep their idols intact.
Spiritualism and witchcraft doesn't exist, except in ones mind, that has turned themselves over to evil spirits. It doesn't take much wisdom to see what God is trying to tell us here, He is telling us to forget all those idolatrous forms and turn back to Me. I can help you, and I can change things for you. Remember this entire chapter is still discussing old Mystery Babylon of end times, and God has named Cyrus to bring it down. Though Cyrus is on his way, it is one hundred and thirty seven years later until he would be born, everything that God spoke of Babylon will also take place until the day of Cyrus actually happens. Everything that God spoke of concerning the Mystery Babylon of the end times will also take place, including the idolatry that will enslave the entire world by the Antichrist, but the true Christ will arrive right on time.
In the time concerning God's prophecies concerning the seventy years of captivity of the House of Judah, that would take place to the final day, and on that final day, Cyrus entered the city of Babylon, and the entire system fell in that night. The king was killed and the people set free. Friend, all the prophecies concerning our generation will also be fulfilled, and you are not going to fly anywhere until the final day, and then there is a change that is going to take place, and Jesus Christ, who Cyrus was a type of, will bring Satan the Antichrist's system down instantly, and God's vengeance will take place in one day.
God had his arrow Cyrus pointed at Babylon to bring it down years before it was even a superpower nation of the world, and at God's appointed time and within the prophecied appointed moment Cyrus and his army marched through the gates of Babylon, and it was all over. So God is asking us in this verse; Who do you want to serve? a God that can build a world system, and then appoint a man to conquer that superpower before it even became a nation, or a god that you made with your own hands that can't even stand on its own feet without you propping it up? God tells us in the book of Revelation that the same thing that happened in the time of old Babylon, will happen to the Mystery Babylon of the book of Revelation.
Isaiah 46:8 "Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors."
God is telling you to stop and think about what He has just said to you, and bring those things to your memory. Especially those of you who take pleasure in your idols and false doctrines.
Isaiah 46:9 "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me,"
God is telling you to look back to the first earth age, how I shook and destroyed the entire earth, and the heavens around it, and know that I am God, and I am in control. There is no one else that can do what I can do, because there is no other god like Me. God is telling you, by identifying Himself with his sacred name: "I AM THAT I AM"" 'ehyeh `asher `ehyeh". I am whatever I want to be.
Exodus 3:14 "And God said unto Moses, "I AM THAT I AM:" and He said, "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, `I AM hath sent Me to you."
So God is telling us over and over again that He is whatever He wants to be in your life, or to the world. If you put your trust in Him, and repent in the name of Jesus, He is your personal friend and protector. When you think you can defy His Word and go against everything that His Word teaches then He is something different to you. It is you that desides what you want Him to be in your life. He can be your protector, or your judge. He can protect you, or He can destroy you. You can have and be sure of every promise that He made in His Word to His Children, or you can receive all the curses that He made in Deuteronomy 28, by rejecting His Word, and going your own way.
Friend, there is nothing like God, and no one ever, and that goes even before the foundation of this earth age.
Isaiah 46:10 "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, `My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."
From the most ancient of times God has declared His counsel as to how we are to live and the relationship we are to have with Him. Yet He has allowed each of us to choose whether we will follow Him and His Ways, or reject those ways. God made this declaration through Moses, and just before the children of Israel were going to move into their new promised land, Moses gathered them all together and reminded them of God's promise.
Deuteronomy 28:13 "And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:"
God will make you blessed in all that you do, and above those that reject His ways, however there is a condition to receiving His blessings. That condition is that we are to "hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them". Most Christians today think that they can throw out the conditions that God placed before the promises and blessings, and they wonder why things go against them.
Deuteronomy 28:14 "And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them."
Our path is God's Word, and that does not include these extremist to either the right or the left. The right extremist will bind you just as much as the left, and their goal is to bring you as a servant to them. Their systems, doctrines and traditions become their gods, just as much as the idol that other religions bow down to. When you follow church systems, then you take your eyes off our Heanvely Father and His Word, and serve them.
Deuteronomy 28:15 "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and over take thee,"
God's warning to you that when you claim to be a Christian to follow His Word, which is his commandments, and well as our Lord Jesus Christ's teachings.
Deuteronomy 28:16 "Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field."
Have you looked at the conditions of our cities lately, and that of even the rural communities that are considered to be safe.
Deuteronomy 28:17 "Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store."
Have you checked the prices of the food you buy, and the clothes you ware. The salaries we make just don't go as far as they use to.
Deuteronomy 28:18 "Cursed shall be thy fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
The fruit of thy body is our children, and the fruit of thy land is the produce that we eat. Children are getting out of control, and people just can't figure out why. As God and His commandments are being pulled from our schools, it is not being taught in the homes, and thus there is no guidance for the children to find stability for their lives. God said that you will keep these commandments and teach them to your children, or they will be a curse to you. If God's Word is no longer taught in the church houses, nor in the schools, then the only other place is the homes. How is it taught in your home? Friend this curse goes to the type of food that you will eat, the animals that you have.
Deuteronomy 28:19 "Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
The curse of this verse goes to where you live, where you go, and how you get there. Our homes no longer can be left open. Cars are taken from people as they get into them, and even stolen by the bankers and loan sharks that allow you to buy them. You are not safe on the streets, in your homes, and now days not even in the church you worship in. Are you starting to understand how God can place a curse on you, when you allow yourself to turn your back on Him and His Word?
Friend, these curses continue and cover every part and thing that will ever enter into your life from the day you entered this world from your mother's womb, to the day your soul returns to the Father that gave it. And whether you live under the blessing or cursings is all up to you. It is your choice whether you chose God and His Word, or man and his idolatry. If you think that things are getting better, forget it, for the one that will come that offers peace, will require you to give him your soul in barter for the peace Satan has to give.
God will carry His own, but He expects you to do your part and study the Word of instructions that He has given you. Those instructions are good for every period of time of this earth age. Only God can declare the beginning, from the end, and the end as it shall be. No idol can declare anything except that it originates within your own mind. In other Words God has set in motion a plan that has continued, and will continue right on into the eternity, and that plan is carried out daily, exactly as it is written in His Word.
Isaiah 46:11 "Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel for a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass: I have purposed it, I will also do it."
This verse again is refering to Cyrus, the ravenous bird from the east. Persia happens to be east of both Babylon, and Jerusalem. God is saying that He is going to allow Cyrus to bring His plan into being, just as it is written. God is saying that if He spoke it, it is written in His Word, and it shall come to pass. When this was written it was prophecy, to come to pass over one hundred years from this writing. However it is also a type of how it shall be when Christ returns to put Satan and Mystery Babylon out of existance. God's Word came to pass exactly as it was written for our generation, the generation of the parable of the fig tree. What an exciting time to live in.
Isaiah 46:12 "Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:"
Stouthearted - 3820 leb (labe);a form of 3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything:KJV-- + care for, comfortably, consent, X considered, courag [-eous], friend [-ly], ([broken-], [hard-], [merry-], [stiff-], [stout-], double) heart ([-ed]), X heed, X I, kindly, midst, mind (-ed), X regard ([-ed)], X themselves, X unawares, understanding, X well, willingly, wisdom.3820 leb-
- the inner man, the mind, the will, the heart,
understanding the inner part, the midst
God is telling you to listen to Him all those that are stout-minded, yet stray from righteousness from time to time. I feel that we all drift a little for time to time. When we do stray for righteousness we are to confess our sins to Him and there is complete forgiveness.
Isaiah 46:13 "I bring near My righteousness; it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory."
In the Hebrew manuscripts, God is telling us that He is offering His righteousness to you individually, however you must make the effort to receive it. Whoever participates in Christ, and by faith repents of their sins, can have this righteousness that God offers. It is not far off, for it is as close as your mind. Included in that righteousness that our Heavenly Father has to offer, is the salvation of your soul. The righteousness that our Heavenly Father offers is not a church house, or a system, but the freedom that we have from guilt when we accept the righteousness of His Son, to cover all our sins. We do not come before God in our righteousness, but in Christ's righteousness, He is our credentials to approach the throne of God, and that is why we must approach the throne of God at all times "In Jesus Name".
Remember in the nineth verse, God used His name twice to emphasize that everything that He commits to, He will do. God's Word came to pass that Cyrus was born, and Cyrus did march on Babylon. Then just as God's Word said Cyrus would come in victory, so also will our Lord Jesus Christ come again in victory at the appointed time of the seventh trumpet. Then all that are sealed in their minds, and have remained patient for that day, will also see the glory of God and share in the victory in the Millennium age. God gave the world over to Cyrus to rule over and our Lord Jesus Christ will also rule over the entire earth in the Millennium age.
Friend, God sets up whom He will have to rule, for the times and prophesies that must be fulfilled. At one point in time that Pharaoh of Egypt was a servant of God, Later Sennacherib became one of God's servants, then Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon filled that position. In each case these kings ruled the known world of their day for the fulfillment of God's plan. Then at the appointed time Cyrus was raised to free God's people from Babylonian captivity, just as Christ, a type of Cyrus will also come and free the people of this earth age from the bondage that Satan's world system will place on all souls except God's election. The elect are those that have the seal and knowledge of God's Word in their minds, and do not worship Satan, the Antichrist.
The subject of this chapter is God's warning to those living in these last days that would worship strange god's or idols. The two forms of idolatry that He named were Bel and Nebo. So it is important that we understand each of these forms of idolatry, where they came from and what they are. Each of these forms of idolatry are ancient, and came out of the earliest Babylonian empire; that of Nimrod as spoken of in Genesis 10:8-12.
Genesis 10:8 "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth."
Genesis 10:9 "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, "Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord."
Genesis 10:10 "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."
Genesis 10:11 "Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh (and the city Rehoboth) and Calah,"
Genesis 10:12 "And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city."
Nimrod was the son of Cush, the grandson of Noah through Ham. At the time of Nimrod all the people on the face of the earth spoke one language and were of a one world government order. We read in Genesis 11:4; "And they said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
Genesis 11:5 "And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded." [Bel]
Genesis 11:6 "And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." [Nebo]
Lets consider a few things here: first, this city-state government was the first form of government, and is called after that first city-state "Babel", which in the Hebrew tongue means confusion. It is from this Babel, or Babylon that the Sumerian religions come, and this kingdom dominated all parts of their civilization. It would be centuries later that the Semetic Empires came to power, and then later after these Semetic empires, another Babylon rose to power again under Nebuchadnezzar.
The center of the first religious order was formed in the ancient city of Babel of the earliest Babylonian (Sumerian) Kingdom. The ruler and protector was Nimrod, with His wife Semiremis, and their son Tammuz are the basic characters of that first developing religious order. This ancient kingdom came to power in the lands around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which are called Iraq, Iran, and Syria of today.
When ancient records were dug up in the lands of that ancient kingdom, it was revealed that they formed the idea that gods controlled fields, streams, the sky, the wind, war, and many other areas of mens lives. The Sumerians believed a council of gods existed to give out governing powers to each of the gods. Through these ancient records the names of these gods are known and where the god's powers were to control. In the pantheon of Sumerian gods, there were over four thousand, however there were three that are important for us to focus upon, and they were Anu, Enlil, and Ea. These were the dieties of Nimrod, his wife Semiremis, and their son Tammuz.
It is from the worship of Semiremis (Eridu), or "Ishtar" that they believed that they could have control over agriculture, birth, and growth. She was the fertility goddess. In that Nimrod had died before Tammuz' birth, they attached the virgin birth to Tammuz (Ea), and the worshipped the sun, whom they believed to be father Nimrod (Anu). This was easiy for them to do, because the virgin birth of a Messiah was well know to mankind from even before the flood. The virgin birth was given by God to Adam in the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 3:15. It is from this basic Sumerian religious system that all religious forms have evolved.
About fifteen hundred  years later the city states of the Sumerian Empire fell, and in the 6th dynasty of Babylon the great Hammurabi ruled. Hammerabi was the founder of the famous law codes that existed durning the time of Abraham. It was during the time of Hammurabi that the ancient gods "Ishtar" (Semiremis), and "Murduk" (Tammuz) rose to greatness. They took many forms in the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonina and Persian empires, and even had their dominance in the Grecian and Roman empires. It is from "Ishtar" that Christians have formed their ideas of "Easter", that has taken place of the feast of passover, that feast of what God told us to remember. Christ became our passover as Paul told us in I Corinthians 5:7.
I Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
I Corinthians 5:8 "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
The feast that we keep of passover today is what is called the "communion", it is the bread and the wine which is taken in remembrance of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus christ on the cross. The old leaven are the old ways of the Sumerian religions, such as the traditions of "Ishtar", which we call "easter". Christains find pleasure mixing the heathen forms with the pure unleavened bread of sincerity and truth found in His Word. It is what is called their traditions, and because it has been in their families for many generations, God is suppose to accept their stupid ideas. Friend, He doesn't.
So we see that it was out of that ancient Sumerian religion that the forms of idolatry of Bel and Nebo came, that God is speaking of in Isaiah 46 came. It was man's initial way of creating gods for himself through his own imaginations, and turning away from the One True God. They were rejecting the Heavenly Father that created them, and turning first to their knowledge of their own imaginations for their salvation, which is the god of Nebo. They also turned to what they could form with their hands, their towers and the items that they could see and touch and bow down before, which is the god of Baal, or Bel. There became a value to their gods, for they could make their gods to suit the price that one could afford; some made with gold and silver, yet some made from wood. You could buy and sell, and merchandise the gods. Many find comfort today in their form of a cross, or statute of a elevated person, rather then focusing of the Creator or Heavenly Father, and or Lord Jesus Christ. They create ideas of their own imagination, and substitute those ideas in place of the Word of God, such as the rapture theory.
Today these methods of divination appear in many forms, such as palm readings, horoscopes and other occultist games, yet they also have drifted into the church houses of today. The precepts of Buddha are the precepts of modern psychology, in which many church houses have adopted to take the place of the commandments of God and the instructions that He has given to us in His Word. Many Christians of today seek help for their problems from the ways that were derived from those ancient Sumerian religious ways, and they reject seeking help and communion with our Heavenly Father through His Word. Is it any wonder that our basic family units of our land are falling apart, when the forms of occultism and their practices are going on even within our church houses. Cheating, corruption, and deception are so common in our city halls, state and federal government that our people look the other way when it is practiced. Yet our people can't understand why we have the trouble we have, and God isn't blessing them.
God asked you and I in verse five, "To whom will ye liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that We may be like?" Friend, There is nothing in this entire world or universe that you can liken God to, and if you think there is, then you need to get studying in His Word. You can not obtain salvation by your own learning and knowledge (Nebo), nor through any work that your hands could ever create or buy (Bel). Sending your money to any church or person just will not buy the salvation of your soul. No church or ministry can sell salvation to you, or free you from the bonds that sin and guilt binds you with, and no matter how hard you work for any ministry, that just will not earn you salvation.
Each of us can have salvation, and though it is free to you and I, an extreme price has been paid when Jesus Christ went to the cross and laid down His life for your sins and mine. Salvation is free to those that will accept that blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we receive our salvation by believing in Jesus, and acting upon the faith that God will do what He promised us in His Word. When we become free to the bonds of sin by our repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we also become a bond servant to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is through you and I that His Word goes out to others, and that do with the Word of the Lord.
For those that cannot understand God's love in this earth age of the flesh, there is a time coming very soon when God will bring His righteousness here to earth at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This time is called the Millennium age, which is a time of learning and discipline before the final judgment. God is promising us that this will come to pass, and it will be exactly as it is written in His Word. For those of the elect, each will see the truths of His Word, and not be deceived by Satan the Antichrist in this final generation, however many Christians will not harken unto God, and they will be deceived. That is why we are to study His Word to know the times and events that we are in, so that we can prepare ourselves for a spiritual battle that we are in.
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